This week, the GGB Podcast sits down with Boris Hallerbach, the director of premium content for IGT on the 25th anniversary of the legendary Wheel of Fortune slots, which broke new ground in the slot business.
A report from the International Gaming Institute of UNLV advises sports betting operators to act responsibly when it comes to advertising and promos—before some bureaucracy tells it to. An ad by FanDuel (left) shows there’s some work to do.
As the pandemic eases and businesses reopen, Eureka Casinos is working to ensure the industry is prepared for the next unforeseen challenge. One way, said COO Andre Carrier (l.), is through a $1 million innovation prize.
Just three years after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the ban on sports betting, the wagers are legal in 27 states and producing more than $21 billion in annual bets, most of it mobile. Where is this all going?
Urban One, a primarily black-owned business from Washington D.C., is the winner of the Richmond casino sweepstakes, according to Mayor Levar Stoney (l.). The casino will be run by Peninsula Pacific Entertainment, the owner of the Rosie’s slot emporiums in Virginia. A November referendum will now be held to approve the decision.
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Florida lawmakers have approved a new 30-year gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe. It gives the tribe three new casinos, sports betting and additional table games in exchange for $2.5 billion over five years and billions more over the life of the pact.
Japan was once hailed as the “Holy Grail” of gaming and the world’s next major market. Covid-19 has changed that. Cautious firms are no longer willing to spend billions to enter the market, and two more just withdrew, leaving only MGM Resorts and Melco Entertainment as major competitors for Japanese licenses.
Australian gaming giant Crown Resorts has refused the Blackstone Group’s AU$8.4 billion ($6.5 billion) bid for the company. But it’s still considering a merger proposed by Star Entertainment Group.
The casino that Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment is building near the former Athens, Greece international airport will take about 36 months to complete. MGE CEO Ray Pineault made the prediction May 14.
Marlon and Tito Jackson hosted the grand opening of the $300 million Hard Rock Northern Indiana Casino in their former hometown of Gary. The celebration featured Hard Rock’s traditional guitar-smashing.
Legal sports betting became official in Maryland last week when Governor Larry Hogan (l.) signed HB 940 into law, with wagering expected to be live by September. Up to 60 licenses could be issued, more than any other state.
The U.S. House has passed a bill that would let two Texas tribes offer more gaming. The legislation would affect the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo and the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe, which runs Naskila Gaming (l.), a bingo hall near Houston.
U.S. casinos saw first-quarter gaming revenue top $11 billion, matching the industry’ highest-grossing quarter ever. The American Gaming Association’s Bill Miller (l.) says the Covid comeback is ahead of schedule.
Ainsworth and GAN last week announced a five-year multimillion-dollar partnership to supply current and future Ainsworth real money online games within North America. Ainsworth COO Ryan Comstock (l.) says it will broaden the reach of the company’s popular games.
Look out! Gaming stocks of all kinds—operators, pure plays, brick-and-mortar/digital hybrids, technology providers, affiliates—are taking a tumble in the current deflationary climate. What’s an investor to do?
This week, the GGB Podcast sits down the Andrew Pascal, the president, CEO and co-founder of PlayStudios, on the growth of social gaming and how going public will grow his company.
A new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit indicates Chinese tourists are likely to choose destinations closer to home than in the past in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The “air-travel-bubble” flights between Hong Kong and Singapore will likely not be able to start up due to a rising number of Covid-19 cases in Singapore.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club announced a HK$4 billion investment to develop horse racing in China, including construction of a new grandstand at Guangzhou’s Conghua track (l.).
In a sign of Macau’s ongoing economic recovery, the 370-suite Londoner Court at Sands China’s Londoner Macao will open gradually but be at 100 percent occupancy by Golden Week in October.
Bloomberry Resorts Chairman and CEO Enrique Razon Jr. (l.) says there’s no truth to speculation that he will appropriate a planned vaccine center in Parañaque City to expand his Solaire mega-resort.
The Ohio Senate is looking at a bill to legalize sports betting, with 20 Class A licenses for existing racetracks and casinos and 20 Class B licenses for brick-and-mortar facilities. Some senators prefer an open bidding process.
Casino in South Dakota’s Deadwood (l.) will be able to begin offering sports betting sometime after July 1, when the new law goes into effect. On May 18 the state Commission on Gaming approved regulations for sportsbook.
U.K. lawmakers, problem gamblers and clinicians have appealed to broadcasters to suspend sports betting during the European Championship. They say the ads are too enticing for problem gamblers.
Kansspelautoriteit, the Netherlands gaming regulator and the U.K. Gambling Commission have reached a memorandum of understanding. They will work to “better support their respective supervisory tasks.”
Aquis Entertainment Chairman Tony Fung (l.) has confirmed he wants to resume talks with the Australian Capital Territory over the proposed AU$330 million redevelopment of Casino Canberra.
Rich Coleman (l.), who oversaw casinos in British Columbia for most of a decade has partially walked back comments made in 2011 about “something stinky” going on at BC casinos. Coleman says he went too far.
Bridge Investment Group will open its Tinian Ocean View Resort & Casino (l.) in the Western Pacific in September. According to Tinian Mayor Edwin P. Aldan, BIG has paid its licensing fees to build the casino.
April gaming statistics in New Jersey’s brick-and-mortar casinos showed a pandemic rebound. But the rebound hasn’t had a measurable impact on online gaming, which increased 35 percent over last April.
Golden Nugget’s online gaming spinoff reported a strong first quarter, with revenues 54 percent higher than in 2020. Continued online gaming growth along with expansion and addition of other markets played a role.
Swedish company LeoVegas will enter the U.S. iGaming market in New Jersey. The online casino and sports betting firm will partner with Caesars Entertainment for a launch in the first half of 2022.
The Missouri House Emerging Issues Committee is considering four sports betting bills, including one from Rep. Cody Smith (l.), which would only legalize retail wagering. The measures tax sports wagering revenue from 6 percent to 6.75 percent and allow both online and land-based betting.
Washington’s Gambling Commission and the Kalispel Tribe have reached an agreement whereby the tribe may offering sports wagering at its Northern Quest Resort (l.). The hope is to accept wagers by fall.
The Connecticut Lottery started out with 15 possible sportsbook operators and has narrowed that number down to four, according to board President Rob Simmelkjaer (l.). The lottery expects to announce its choice by June 10.
State Senator Bruce Tarr (l.) is trying to slip in a sports betting bill into the Massachusetts state budget for FY 2022. The House did not include a sports betting element in the budget it adopted.
The latest change to the legislation permits casinos to submit an application for a retail sportsbook. Each licensee can have any number of sportsbook partners. The bill also permits non-gaming companies to have a license.
As a compromise to get the legislation approved, Nebraska lawmakers will prohibit wagers on in-state colleges at home, but not for away games. The change should help get the bill passed.
Bettors in Kentucky and California have filed suit against Hall of Fame horse trainer Bob Baffert (l.). His horse Medina Spirit won the Kentucky Derby but failed a post-race drug test, and bettors want compensation.
Tennessee’s only local sportsbook, Action 24/7, does not face suspension for suspected fraud. The Tennessee Lottery dismissed all charges involving clients of the sportsbook now that new controls are in place.
Sports Information Services has signed an agreement to broadcast horse races from Hipódromo de las Americas racetrack (l.) in Mexico City, one of the most historic and popular tracks in Latin America.
Global sportsbook PointsBet and the Women’s National Basketball Association have announced a new partnership making PointsBet one of the WNBA’s authorized gaming operators.
The Baltimore Ravens and BetMGM signed a multi-year agreement under which BetMGM will be the team’s first official gaming partner, featured on in-stadium signage and fan promotions.
Of the 10 most in-demand NFL games this coming season, six involve the Las Vegas Raiders playing in Allegiant Stadium. Four of the Top 5 fall into the same category.
FanDuel will invest more than $15 million in an office in Atlanta, even though Georgia still has no legal sports betting. The venue will employ 900 to handle product development and technology operations.
Tennis remains popular among tennis fans, less so for sports fans overall—and sports bettors. Blame the lack of superstars beyond Serena Williams, as well as long matches and concerns over match-fixing.
Genius Sports has added to its growing portfolio of data partnerships with the NBA’s Africa League. The deal will provide real-time data and new technology for the games in the inaugural season which just began.
With the lifting of mandatory mask rules, a return to 100 percent hotel occupancy and the resumption of conventions at the city’s many meetings facilities, including the new addition to the Las Vegas Convention Center (l.), it’s starting to seem like old times in Las Vegas.
In a 63-28 vote, the Louisiana House passed a bill for a public referendum on a $250 million casino-hotel near Slidell in St. Tammany Parish. If the Senate approves the measure, the vote could be held in October.
Station Casinos has asked North Las Vegas officials for a second yearlong suspension of non-restricted gaming and liquor licenses at Texas Station (l.) and Fiesta Rancho—a clear indication the properties will not reopen. Fiesta Henderson also remains closed, but the company will begin construction on the Durango Station in south Las Vegas.
Although the city council of Portsmouth, Virginia, is supportive of the proposed $300 million Rivers Casino & Hotel (l.) it doesn’t want the rush things. Some council members May 11 voted to delay a vote on rezoning.
Four casinos owe $14.7 million to the New York State Gaming Commission. So says the Comptroller’s Office, which says the commission failed to tap casinos for past-due amounts for several years.
The Alabama House allowed an expanded gaming bill to die on the final day of the session. State Senator Jim McClendon (l.) was disappointed. “It was a lot of work, but so much for that this session,” he said.
Barton Healthcare System has purchased the defunct Lakeside Inn & Casino, closed since the early days of the pandemic. It plans to replace the casino and expand its health services in South Lake Tahoe.
In Nevada, laid-off hospitality workers are demanding that the state require casinos and hotels to rehire them and pay them pre-pandemic wages, rather than hire new employees for less.
The Plaza in Downtown Las Vegas became the first commercial venue to receive the Nevada Preservation Foundation honor in a ceremony awarding the NPF’s bronze plaque.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians said it expects the Indiana Gaming Commission to approve its new leadership group, EBCI Holdings LLC, as owners of the $250 million Caesars Southern Indiana (l.) in Elizabeth.
Intralot has agreed to sell its entire 80 percent stake in Intralot do Brasil, which runs the Brazilian lottery, to Saga Business & Gaming Intelligence SA.
Lithuanian regulators have fined lottery operator UAB New Miracle for failing to effectively prevent money laundering and terrorist funding between 2019 and 2020.
The International Center for Responsible Gaming has announced it is searching for a new executive director. The current director, Russell Sanna (l.), will retire in June.
Henry Williams has been appointed executive director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board. Formerly he was deputy director of the agency’s Casino Operations division.
Scientific Games has named Trevor Ross, formerly regional account manager for Asia for three years, as the company’s new sales director for Asia.
FDJ Group has named Andy Wright, a veteran of the sports gambling sector, as the new CEO of the Sporting Group, to succeed Simon Tri, who will continue as an adviser.
The NCAA’s Pacific-12 sports conference has named George Kliavkoff, president of entertainment and sports for MGM Resorts International, as the new conference commissioner.
Konami Gaming and Bet.Works have launched a casino loyalty system that interlaces player sports betting activity with core casino management system for seamless, real-time patron interaction.
The RG24seven responsible gaming training platform announced, “Operation Responsible Gaming,” an effort to assist members of the military to gamble responsibly.
In blog statements published on the company’s website, TCSJohnHuxley Executive Chairman Tristan Sjöberg (l.) addressed what he feels will be key to business post-pandemic.
Crucial Compliance is launching a business intelligence solution that allows casino operators to dispense with the need for expensive data teams.
The leading gaming trade show on the Pacific Rim, G2E Asia, was delayed for the second time and now will be held in Macau’s Venetian in November.
The International Association of Gaming Regulators and International Masters Gaming Law will meet in Boston for their annual conference, September 12-17. This year’s show is entitled “Disrupting the Regulator.”
Small Nuggets of News
Outrageous pronouncements, simple statements and words of wisdom.