A Smoking Hot Issue for U.S. Casinos

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has permitted the return of smoking to casino floors as its Covid 19-related universal masking order expired June 28. Atlantic City gamblers are also free to light up again.

Sci Games to Shed Lottery, Sports Betting Businesses

Scientific Games will spin off its lottery and sports betting units to focus on omnichannel content. CEO Barry Cottle (l.) said the move positions the company to “build great games that define the future of gaming.”

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MGM Buys CityCenter to Sell to Blackstone

MGM Resorts bought the piece of the CityCenter it didn’t already own and will sell it to Blackstone, which already owns the company’s Bellagio casino resort. The company developed the project with a unit of Dubai World, which owned 50 percent of CityCenter.

Sociedade de Jogos de Macau Is Now SJM Resorts

Macau gaming concessionaire Sociedade de Jogos de Macau S.A. has announced a name change. Board chair Daisy Ho said the name SJM Resorts “better reflects our prominent position” in tourism and leisure.

Maine Sports Betting Bill Hangs on More Votes

A vote of each of Maine’s legislative chambers is needed to pass a sports betting bill to allow online sportsbook tethered to a casino or racetrack. Once the bill is approved it goes to Governor Janet Mills (l.).

FBI Investigating Tribal Casino Cyber-Attacks

Six Lucky Star casinos in Oklahoma are starting to reopen after shutting down June 18 following a cyber-attack. The Menominee Casino in Wisconsin also was targeted. The FBI is investigating the attacks.

Mohegan Gaming to Expand iGaming Division

Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment has launched its Mohegan Digital platform to enable it to offer online sports betting and other iGames. The new division will be led by Rich Roberts and Aviram Alroy (l.).

CBRE Group Acquires Union Gaming

Real estate investment firm CBRE Group, Inc. has acquired the boutique investment advisory group Union Gaming, which focuses exclusively on the gaming industry. Union Gaming’s co-founder Bill Lerner (l.) will serve as head of CBRE’s gaming investment group.

Gaming Legend John Ascuaga Dies at 96

Gaming industry icon John Ascuaga (l.) died June 28 at the age of 96. Known as the king of Northern Nevada gaming, Ascuaga built his Nugget Casino Resort into the premier Reno-Sparks destination.

GGB PODCAST: Sangeeta Reddy, GLI Vice President, Engineering; Virginia Hollis, GLI Senior Manager Engineering; and Melissa Aarskaug, Vice President Of Cybersecurity at Bulletproof, a GLI company

In a special edition of the GGB Podcast, we sit down with (l. to r.) Sangeeta Reddy, vice president of engineering for GLI, Virginia Hollis, senior manager of engineering for GLI, and Melissa Aarskaug vice president of cybersecurity at Bulletproof, a GLI company, to talk about International Women in Technology Day.


Macau Hotel Owner to Liquidate Subsidiary

South Shore Holdings Ltd. will liquidate the subsidiary responsible for the 13 Hotel (l.) in Macau. The ultra-VIP property known for its fleet of red Rolls Royces was about as lucky as its name, and lasted less than two years.

Macau Operator Expects 90 Percent Decline

Kingston Financial Group has projected a 90 percent decline in profits for the year that ended March 31 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Hong Kong-listed company runs two casinos in Macau under a license from SJM.

NIKI Parkview Group to Bid on Nagasaki IR

The NIKI and Chyau Fwu (Parkview) Group confirmed last week that it has submitted a proposal to develop and operate an integrated resort in Japan’s Nagasaki Prefecture (l.).

Online Ads Attract Pachinko Players

A recent survey found that online advertising was more effective than print in drawing customers to Japan’s pachinko parlors, especially younger players.



PlayStudios Celebrates Nasdaq Debut

Mobile gaming leader and loyalty system provider PlayStudios celebrated its first day of trading as a public company June 22 on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

TVBET Partners with LV Bet

TVBET and bookmaker LV Bet have entered a partnership under which three TVBET games will be added to the Polish bookmaker’s online offerings.

iGaming Up 29.9 percent in Denmark

Denmark’s online gaming market increased by 29.9 percent in May over the year before. However, it also experienced a 24.8 decline from April. The reopening of brick-and-mortar casinos is a factor.


Louisiana Delays Sports Betting Launch

The Louisiana Gaming Control Board has no chairman, and therefore cannot launch sports betting in parishes that approved it. Observers said Governor John Bel Edwards may select state Senator Ronnie Johns (l.).

Florida PAC Launches Sports Betting Petition

The Florida Education Champions political action group has begun a petition drive to legalize sports betting via a constitutional amendment. Revenue would go to the state’s Educational Enhancement Trust Fund.

Ohio House Speaker Tables Sports Betting Bill

Sports betting won’t come soon to Ohio despite expectations. House Speaker Bob Cupp (l.) tabled an overstuffed sports wagering bill, promising to make it a “top priority” when legislators reconvene in September.

NJ Signs Deal to Fund Esports Center

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority and Stockton University have signed an agreement to fund an esports center. The $200,000 Innovation Center will conduct research and development.

NASCAR Works Out Sports Betting Content for Broadcasts

NASCAR fans come in two basic mindset. One doesn’t care much for a flood of sports betting content on broadcasts. The other can’t get enough. The racing icon has a system to please both sides without offending either.

NH Sports Wagering Revenue Declines Again

Sportsbook revenues in the Granite State declined in May in spite of a 633.1 percent increase over 2020. The figures were released by the New Hampshire Lottery, which operates sports betting in the state.

NHL, Sportradar Form 10-Year Partnership

Sportradar will supply all league data to the National Hockey League as part of a 10-year partnership. The company will also distribute live streams to gambling operators and help the league secure sponsors overseas.

Italy’s Sports Betting Market Rebounds

The Italian sports betting market saw a rebound in May. Sportsbook revenues bounced nearly 50 percent after a precipitate decline in April. The end of the Italian soccer season came to the industry’s rescue.

WynnBET Studio to Begin Operation Ahead of NFL Season

The Wynn Las Vegas will soon be the host to WynnBet’s new Blue Wire podcasting studio (l.). The studio will have seating for 1,700. It will begin offering sports related content a month before the NFL season opens.

Audacy Grows Sports Betting Network

Audacy said seven broadcast stations changed formats to become part of the company’s sports betting network. The company will announce additional stations as sports betting markets expand.


AC’s Hard Rock, Ocean Finish in Top 3 for 2020

New Jersey’s newest casinos, the Hard Rock Atlantic City (l.) and Ocean Casino Resort, have done well for themselves. For 2020, they finished second and third in money won at brick-and-mortar casinos.

Massachusetts OKs MGM Springfield Sale to REIT

The Massachusetts gaming regulator has approved a 45-year lease by the MGM Springfield (l.) from MGM Growth Properties. MGM sold the land to the REIT for $400 million and will lease it back for $30 million annually.

Washington Operator Gives Nevada Properties a New Look

Maverick Gaming, which bought properties in and around Elko, Nevada (Red Lion casino at left) in 2019, now plans to renovate those properties. The gaming company’s plans are to “expand its reach” in Northern Nevada.

All Ashore for Louisiana Riverboats

Louisiana’s Governor John Bel Edwards has signed a bill that allows the state’s 15 riverboat casinos, including the Hollywood Casino in Baton Rouge (l.), to move 1,200 feet from their designated berths and offer 30,000 square feet of gambling space.

Indiana Commissioners Deny Terre Haute License

The Indiana Gaming Commission declined to OK a license for Spectacle Entertainment’s proposed casino in Terre Haute. The company isn’t fully funded and lacks an executive team, commissioners said.

Illinois Regulators OK Temporary Rockford Casino

The Illinois Gaming Board said a temporary Hard Rock Casino Rockford may operate while the permanent $311 million venue (l.) is built. A former restaurant will serve as the location, following an $8.8 million renovation.

Harrah’s Philadelphia Reduces Slot Count

Harrah’s Philadelphia (l.) has received regulatory approval to remove 563 slot machines from its floor, citing the benefit of better spacing between players without loss of revenue.

Rhode Island Towns’ Casino Payments Doubled

The Rhode Island legislature had some good news for the casino hosting cities of Lincoln and Tiverton in the upcoming budget. Their share of sports betting from the casinos was doubled to $200,000 for this year.

New Mexico Horsemen Sue Racing Commission

The group representing New Mexico’s thoroughbred and quarterhorse owners is suing the state’s racing commission in federal court. The New Mexico Horsemen’s Association claims members’ civil rights were violated.

Former Owners of Encore Property Lose Suit

The former owners of the land where the Encore Boston Harbor (l.) now sits have lost their lawsuit against the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. They said the MGC unfairly made them take a lower sale price.


Harrah's Cherokee Expansion Set For Fall Opening

The $250 million expansion of Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort (l.) in North Carolina will be completed this fall. Covid-19 delayed work on the project, which will add a fourth hotel tower and new convention center.

Gila River Tribe Plans Fourth Arizona Casino

The Gila River Indian Community has announced it will open a fourth casino on its reservation near Chandler, Arizona. The new casino was a result of a new compact with Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and will join its sister casino, Wild Horse Pass (l.).

California’s Hard Rock Casino Plans Expansion

California’s Enterprise Rancheria and the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino are planning a $65 million expansion expected to open in 2022. It will include a live events center able to seat 2,500 guests.

California Casino to Add Hotel

Red Hawk Casino in Placerville, California, held a groundbreaking ceremony (l.) for its new hotel June 29. It’s the property’s first expansion since the casino opened in 2008.


Morongo Chairman Martin Retires After 40 Years

Robert Martin, chairman of the Morongo Tribe of Southern California for a total of 18 years, retired June 29. Martin led the tribe when it was a party to the landmark California v. Cabazon Indian gaming decision.

New Jersey CRDA Appoints Butler As Chairman

For the first time in its 37-year history, New Jersey’s Casino Reinvestment Development Authority has tapped an African American to chair its board. Modia Butler, a board member since 2018, replaced Robert Mulcahy.

Braubitz Joins Pennsylvania Casino as Finance VP

On July 1, Valley Forge Casino Resort announced the appointment of Robert Braubitz as the property’s vice president of finance. Braubitz is a local, with strong ties to Philadelphia and environs.

Halkyard Named Director at MGM China

Jonathan Halkyard (l.), who became CFO of MGM Resorts International in January, has been appointed a non-executive director of MGM China Holdings Ltd. He replaces James Freeman on the MGM China board.

Hayes Promoted at Florida Casino

Nataly Hayes (l.) has been promoted to assistant director of marketing at the Casino @ Dania Beach in Florida. She previously served as marketing manager at the resort.


Seneca Resorts Launches Updated iPlay Platform

Seneca Resorts & Casinos has launched a new, updated and even more dynamic version of iPlaySeneca, its free play-for-fun simulated gaming platform. The site features dozens of virtual slot machine games.

Novomatic Among Austria’s Top Brands

On June 30, Novomatic ranked second in the Austrian Brand Value Awards, just behind Red Bull and ahead of Swarovski. The awards are given by the European Brand Institute.

VSiN Expands Into LatAm

VSiN has announced that it will bring its sports betting coverage to Latin America. Totalplay will distribute VSiN information and analysis via Totalplay Residential’s network, which covers 10.5 million homes.

MPL Enters U.S. Market

Mobile Premier League, Asia’s largest esports and skill gaming platform, has launched an app in the United States. The app will feature a variety of games that can be played for money or fun.





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