GGB Special Report: My Story

A long career as a regulator followed by the launch of a new law practice seemed like a great path forward until a scary diagnosis changed everything. Former Pennsylvania regulator Susan Hensel explains.

In the Great Smoking Debate, New Jersey Shows Its Cards

As of June 4, smoking returned to Atlantic City casino floors. Operators are glad the state didn’t make the ban permanent. Anti-smoking advocates are mad lawmakers failed to act. Similar debates continue around the country.

Betting Increasingly Part of Sports Coverage

In an effort to gain market share, sportsbooks are becoming more involved with sports media, particularly ESPN and its “Daily Wager” broadcast, direct from the Las Vegas Strip. The symbiotic relationship has proven good for both sides, and the bottom line.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Awards programs in gaming are usually harmless fun where the organizers get to stroke their sponsors, but when one awards program recently regaled the 52 judges it has lined up and only one of them was a woman, it gets serious, or so says noted gaming observer Richard Schuetz.

Wakayama IR Team Includes Weidner

Canadian private-equity firm Clairvest, chosen to develop a casino resort in Wakayama, Japan, will partner with French operator Groupe Partouche and a company linked to U.S. gaming veteran William Weidner (l.). Other developments in Japan are moving forward as well.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Branson Gets the Party Started!

Virgin Hotel in Las Vegas is officially opened now that founder Richard Branson showed up to officiate at the grand opening, featuring the governor of Nevada, pop star Christina Aguilera, and the drumline for the Vegas Golden Knights hockey team.

Macau Recovery Is Up and Down

Gross gaming revenue in Macau for June could be down 30 percent from May due to a spike in Covid cases in China. And the SAR has a long way to come back from June 2019, when revenues were 70 percent higher.

Australia Extends AML Probe to Star, SkyCity

Australia Extends AML Probe to Star, SkyCity Australian financial crime watchdog AUSTRAC has opened official investigations into two more gaming companies, SkyCity and Star Entertainment. Crown Resorts is already in the agency’s sights.

Miami Beach Mayor Slams Seminole Gaming Compact

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber (l.) is urging Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to reject the proposed gaming compact between Florida and the Seminole Tribe of Florida, saying it was “hijacked by non-tribal interests.”

Pennsylvania Senate Committee Looks at Skill Games

A key Pennsylvania state Senate committee has held the first of a series of hearings to examine unlicensed, unregulated so-called “skill-based” games, with the goal of either banning or licensing the machines.


Jeju’s Dream Tower Casino in Korea Now Open

Lotte Tour Development launched its new foreigner-only casino at Jeju Dream Tower (l.) on June 11. The Dream Tower Casino was relocated from its former home at the Lotte Hotel Jeju to the US$1.4 billion tower.

Another Delay for Grand Lisboa?

Macau gaming operator SJM Holdings may have to push the opening of its new Grand Lisboa Palace (l.) to the third quarter as it waits for official licensing permits.

Sihanoukville Casinos Still Closed

The busy casino district in Preah Sihanoukville, Cambodia remains closed as authorities work to curb the spread of Covid-19. Sihanoukville is now a designated yellow zone.

IPI Chairwoman Bows Out

Cui Li Jie (l.), chairwoman of casino operator Imperial Pacific International, will resign. Cui cited personal reasons, but she’s been threatened with jail in association with the chaotic gaming organization.

Pansy Ho Sells Down MGM Shares

Once again Pansy Ho (l.) has sold off part of her stake in MGM Resorts International. With her latest sale of shares, in May, Ho now holds less than 1 percent of MGM.


Some Canadian Casinos Reopen

Canadian casinos began reopening Thursday, June 10 after being mostly closed since last December 12. In Alberta (Great Northern Casino at left), casinos have been cleared to reopen at 33 percent capacity.

Activists Oppose Papua New Guinea Casino

In May, Papua New Guinea signed an agreement for Paga Hill Development Corp. to build a $43 million casino resort in Port Moresby. Social activists say the country isn’t ready for casino gaming.

South African Gambling Board CEO Suspended

Gauteng Gambling Board CEO Steven Ngubeni (l.) has been placed on “precautionary suspension” with full pay by advocate Fana Nalane, administrator of the board. Few details were provided about the move.


European Union Considers e-ID for Gamblers

The European Gaming and Betting Association has thrown its support behind a proposal from the European Commission to use electronic identity wallets for patron verification.

PayNearMe Approved in Michigan

The Michigan Gaming Control Board has approved payment solutions platform PayNearMe to process sports betting an iGaming payments in the state.

Evolution Launches Live Online Slot Show

Evolution Gaming, a Swedish based manufacturer of online casino games, has introduced Gonzo’s Treasure Hunt. It is the first live casino game combining live action and slots play with Virtual Reality.


Mohawks Oppose Canada’s Online Sportsbook Bill

A change to Canada’s criminal code that would allow provinces to adopt regulations on single event sports betting is generating opposition by a First Nation. Chief Michael Delisle Jr. (l.) of the Mohawks of Kahnawake say they are being left out.

Arizona to Launch Sports Betting in September

Arizona has set September 9, the official start of NFL season, as its target date for live sports betting. Both tribal casinos and professional sports organizations are authorized to offer retail and mobile sports wagering.

Virginia Sports Betting Surpasses Tennessee

In less than four months after sports betting launched in Virginia, it’s on pace to exceed $1 billion in wagers. Both Virginia and its neighbor, Tennessee, depend on mobile betting, since neither has a casino.

PointsBet, Maryland Riverboat Make A Deal

Mobile sportsbook PointsBet will enter the Maryland sports betting market through a deal with Riverboat on the Potomac (l.), an OTB, keno parlor and lottery retailer once known as “Little Reno.”

Caesars Partners with PlayUp

Caesars Entertainment has signed a partnership agreement with Australian online betting platform supplier PlayUp, which will begin the relationship in the New Jersey market.

Las Vegas In Search of NBA Team

The NBA is on the lookout for a new home in Las Vegas. A local group of investors have put out preliminary feelers for a team, when and if the league expands.

Colorado Bettors Love Ping-Pong

Last year, when Covid-19 shut down mainstream sports, table tennis became a popular betting sport. In Colorado, it’s still the fourth largest most wagered-upon sport.


Louisiana Senate Approves Slidell Casino Vote

Voters in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana will have the opportunity to decide if they want a casino resort near Lake Ponchartrain in Slidell. Peninsula Pacific Entertainment has proposed a $250 million resort.

New York Mall Casino to Open in ’22

Construction is expected to begin soon on a Resorts World casino inside a mall in Newburgh, Orange County, New York. It’s expected to debut in 2022, and once operational, will be open 20 hours a day. The license is owned by the same company that operates Resorts World Catskills (l.).

NJ Casino Tax Relief Bill Goes to Murphy

New Jersey legislators have sent a modified casino tax relief bill to Governor Phil Murphy (l.). Another gambling-related bill calls for a referendum to allow wagers on New Jersey college teams.

New York Law to Aid to Upstate Track

A bill awaiting the signature of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will give financial aid to Vernon Downs Casino Hotel. The proposal is critical to the region in keeping the property afloat.

In Missouri, Gray Market Machines Proliferate

Missouri lawmakers once again could not agree on legislation to control the spread of unregulated “gray market” gambling machines. State Senator Denny Hoskins (l.) says the inaction could have an impact on pending court cases.

Shreveport Smoking Ban Begins August 1

Starting August 1, smoking will be prohibited in workplaces including bars and casinos in the city of Shreveport, Louisiana. Shreveport is the 30th city in the state to pass a no-smoking ordinance.

Arkansas Track Extends Race Schedule

Officials at Oaklawn Racing Casino (l.) in Hot Springs, Arkansas has announced it will offer a 66-day season starting in December. Purses for the season are forecast at $45 million to $50 million.

California Casino Patrons Can Be Mask-Free

Most California gaming halls can go maskless this week following an executive order by Governor Gavin Newsom (l.). Many tribal casinos already dispensed with masks, as they’re on sovereign land.

Nebraska Horsemen Seek Lincoln Casino Permit

The Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association has asked to set up a temporary 300-slot casino at Lincoln Race Course (l.) while the Ho-Chunk’s $220 million WarHorse Casino is constructed.


Circuit Court Rules for Spokane Tribe’s Casino

A Washington State appeals court has ruled in favor of the Spokane Tribe and its planned Airway Heights casino. The decision upheld a lower court ruling that dismissed a challenge by another gaming tribe, the Kalispels.

Oklahoma Nation Announces New Casino

The Kaw Nation of Braman, Oklahoma has secured a funding package to begin construction of its new Rock & Brews Casino (l.). The project, launched in 2019, was suspended in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dakota Tribes Considers Vegas Property Options

In 2020, the North Dakota-based Three Affiliated Tribes bought an 8.7-acre lot off the Las Vegas Strip. Now it’s considering options for the $12 million property, ranging from a parking lot to a casino.



Holaday Named Encore Boston Harbor President

Come August, Jenny Holaday (l.) will become the first woman to run a casino in Massachusetts, as president of Wynn Resorts’ Encore Boston Harbor. She will succeed Brian Gullbrants, who is joining Wynn Las Vegas.

Brink Becomes Pechanga GM

The Pechanga Development Corp. last week announced the promotion of Tjeerd Brink to general manager of the Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, California.

Former Disney Executive Joins MGM Resorts

Tilak Mandadi, a former executive with American Express and Disney, has been tapped by MGM Resorts. It created a new position for Mandadi: chief strategy, innovation and technology officer. He begins the job July 6.

New CFO at Four Winds Casino

Clayton Mason has been named chief financial officer of the Four Winds Casinos by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. Mason has worked since 2007 for the casino. He replaces Daniel Weindruch.

PointsBet Canada Names Sulsky CCO

PointsBet Canada has named former Monkey Knife Fight President Nic Sulsky as chief commercial operator as the company expands to the Canadian marketplace.

Lottoland Names Jon Hale CFO

Lottoland has appointed Jon Hale, formerly longtime CFO of 32Redplc before its sale to Kindred Group, as the company’s new chief financial officer.



SBC Summit North America 2021 Is Back

SBC has confirmed that its SBC Summit North America 2021 conference and trade show will go ahead as scheduled at New Jersey’s Meadowlands Exposition Center on November 30 - December 2.




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