Esports: The Next Big Betting Trend?

For fans of the traditional Big 4—NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB—the idea of competitive video gaming as a sport is a head-scratcher. But esports contests are now considered real sporting events, and yes, you can bet on them.

Post-Adelson, Las Vegas Sands Changing

Less than eight months after Sheldon Adelson’s passing, the Las Vegas Sands Corp. is changing. First, LVS sold its Las Vegas properties. Now it’s targeting northern Florida for gaming expansion. And last week, President and CEO Rob Goldstein (l., with Adelson) said online gaming, vigorously opposed by Adelson, is “an outstanding opportunity for us.”

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Japan IR Laws, Regulations Now in Effect

Japan’s Integrated Resorts Implementation Act takes effect this week, along with the tenets of the Japan Casino Regulatory Commission. In 2016, the government approved up to three IRs in the country.

Does Crown Think It’s Too Big to Fail?

In its latest PR blunder, Australian casino giant Crown Resorts warned Victoria’s gaming minister Melissa Horne (l.) that revoking its license will be disastrous for all concerned, including the state. Critics saw the letter as a bullying tactic.

Navajo Nation Casinos Reopen After 15 Months

Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort (l.) near Flagstaff, Arizona and three other Navajo casinos in New Mexico reopened after shutting down in March 2020 due to Covid-19. Several restrictions still are in place, however.

Report: Intralot Not Fulfilling DC Contract

Intralot, a Greek firm hired in 2019 in a no-bid 5-year $215 million contract to oversee online sports betting and lottery programs, is not fulfilling its legal obligation to hire locally owned businesses, among other issues.

Report: Genting Spending Big to Bring NYC Casinos

The New York-based arm of Genting Malaysia was one of the Top 10 highest-spending lobbying groups in the Empire State in 2020. Genting is heavily and literally invested in seeing casino gaming expanded downstate particularly in its Resorts World New York City at Aqueduct Racetrack.

NIGA Kicks Off Return of Gaming Conventions to Vegas

This week, the National Indian Gaming Association will mark the return of gaming industry shows to Las Vegas. The Indian Gaming Trade Show & Convention will take place at the new Caesars Forum Conference Center (l.).

Gaming Legend Don Brinkerhoff Dies

Don Brinkerhoff, whose landscape design of the Mirage transformed the way casino resorts were designed, passed away last week peacefully at home. He was the founder of Lifescapes International, the leading natural designer in the gaming business.

Wallenda to Christen Firekeepers New Tower

Firekeepers Casino Hotel celebrates a major expansion grand opening on August 16 as Nik Wallenda, the “King Of The Highwire” will perform aerial tight rope walk across the top of the 8-story hotel towers.


Duterte Now Approves of Gambling

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (l.) has vacillated in his views of gambling in the past, but now has declared himself in favor of the activity—however “repugnant”—as a way to generate revenues.

Solaire Manila Assures Patrons of Safety

Philippines integrated resort Solaire (l.) in Manila’s Entertainment City casino district has launched a new campaign called “Solaire Is Safe For You” to assure patrons that it’s installed a number of Covid-19 safeguards.


Novomatic Opens New Netherlands Casino

Casino Admiral Helmond (l.) in the Netherlands opened in June, joining other Admiral-branded locations in Heerlen, Hoofddorp and Hulst. The casino, with 190 gaming positions, is currently running at reduced capacity.

Norway Court Rules Against Kindred Group

The Kindred Group of Stockholm has lost its appeal before the Norwegian Supreme Court. Kindred claimed that Norway’s gaming regulator acted wrongly in preventing its subsidiary Trannel from offerings online gaming.

Sazka Owner Komarek Seeks IPO

Karel Komarek (l.), owner of the Sazka Group, is working with Apollo Global Management Inc. to go public with his company. The goal is to issue the IPO before the end of 2021. The company operates multiple lotteries.

Ukraine Launches National Exclusion System

Gamblers in Ukraine can exclude themselves and be excluded from playing under a new register. It was launched by Ukraine’s Commission for the Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries (KRAIL).


Ontario Casinos to Begin Reopening

Ontario, Canada has begun Stage 3 of its Covid reopening plan. Casinos will be able to begin reopening July 23, operating at half-capacity at first, with enhanced cleaning and health screening.

New B.C. Racetrack Could Replace Older Facilities

British Columbia’s Township of Langley is pushing to open a new horse racing track on 32 acres within the city limits that would replace Vancouver’s Hastings Park (l.). It's sent a letter to the B.C. Horse Racing Industry Management Committee proposing the track.


Germany Launches Online Casino, Poker

Online poker and casinos were legal in Germany as of July 1. That’s when Germany’s Interstate Treaty of Gambling came into force. Casino winnings will be taxed at 5.3 percent and slot machine stakes can’t exceed €1 ($1.19). Goes Live in PA has gone live as one of four online poker sites in Pennsylvania, in partnership with 888 Holdings and using 888’s Poker 8 software.

Gamingtec, Playtech Sign Content Deal

Gamingtec has signed a partnership agreement with content supplier Playtech, under which Gamingtec’s platform will offer Playtech games in an extensive library.

EveryMatrix Partners with Bet-at-Home

EveryMatrix has partnered with German operator Bet-at-Home to provide content that will increase the EveryMatrix footprint across markets in Germany and the U.K.


Wyoming Opens Sportsbook Application Process

The Wyoming Gaming Commission has begun the application process for sports betting. It will only regulate mobile sports betting. The state’s four Indian tribes will be able to accept retail sportsbook at their casinos.

Alaska to Study Sports Betting

Alaskan Governor Mike Dunleavy (l.) is looking at lottery-operated sports betting in the 49th state. The Alaska Department of Revenue is spending $400,000 on a feasibility study.

Wisconsin Casino to Offer Sports Betting

The Oneida Nation of Wisconsin could begin taking bets on the Green Bay Packers this fall. The tribe announced July 1 that its Oneida Casino (l.) plans to offer sports betting by the beginning of the NFL season.

Olympic Betting Could Set a Record for Handle

The 2021 Tokyo Olympics, the first Olympic games since the widespread legalization of sports betting in the U.S., could attract a record handle. But don’t expect Super Bowl numbers.

Michigan Casino Now Offers Online Casino, Sports Betting

FireKeepers Casino in Battle Creek, Michigan has become the 13th operator in the state to provide both online gaming and sports betting. The Nottawaseppi Huron Band is partnering with Scientific Games subsidiary NYX Digital in the venture.

Louisiana Approves DraftKings DFS License

Approved parishes in Louisiana may now access DraftKings daily fantasy sports, following the Louisiana Gaming Control Board’s license approval. Louisiana becomes the 44th state to offer DraftKings DFS.

A’s High on Vegas if They Move

Officials in Oakland, California will vote this week whether to move forward with a new stadium to accommodate the Oakland Athletics. If the A’s relocate, Las Vegas is a serious contender to host the ball club, where the A’s could play temporarily at the Las Vegas Ballpark (l.), home of their top minor league ballclub.

DraftKings Accused of Copyright Infringement

Gaming company Winview has filed a copyright infringement suit against DraftKings regarding two patents. The patents deal with geolocation and equalizing latency, which insure all bettors see the same odds.

Esports Group to Join NFL Hall of Fame Village

In another sign of the mainstream rise of eSports, Esports Entertainment Group will bring Helix eSports entertainment Center to the NFL Hall of Fame complex. The center will join Topgolf and a Don Shula restaurant.

BetMGM, Pittsburgh Pirates Team Up

Sportsbook BetMGM has announced a new deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates that will place BetMGM branding throughout PNC Park and also include fan-focused promotions, social media content and more.

Sports Stars Join WynnBET As Ambassadors

Three sports stars have joined WynnBET as brand ambassadors: former NFL wide receiver Chad 'Ochocinco' Johnson (l.), former NFL lineman Nick Mangold and U.S. soccer star Tim Howard.


Hard Rock Indiana Closes In on the Competition

The Hard Rock Casino in Gary, Indiana, which opened in May, is already challenging Horseshoe Casino in Hammond. In June, Horseshoe reported $34.4 million in net revenue compared to $25.9 million at Hard Rock. But the impact was smaller than expected, proving Hard Rock has grown the market.

Lightfoot: Chicago Eager For Casino

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (l.) continues to talk up the Windy City as a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” for casino developers. She says the chosen operator will find a ready workforce and supportive government.

Gaming Board to Hold Hearing on PA Casino

On August 16, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will hear public input on a Category 4 casino planned for College Township, Centre County. The casino is being proposed by Bally’s Corp.

Circus Circus, Insurer AIG Take It to Court

Attorneys for Las Vegas’s Circus Circus (l.) and AIG Specialty Insurance Co. have filed arguments with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to see if AIG must pay the casino’s Covid-related damages.


Cherokees Approve North Carolina Expansion Z

Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians councilors have approved a $275 million expansion at the tribe’s Harrah’s Valley River Casino (l.) in Murphy, North Carolina. Projects will include a second hotel tower, restaurant, spa, indoor pool and larger gaming area.

Ho-Chunk Wants More Space For Nebraska Casino

HoChunk, the economic development arm of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, plans to move Atokad Park racetrack (l.) in South Sioux City to expand the track and add a casino. It’s also building racinos in Lincoln and Omaha.

California Casino Debuts Major Expansion

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians will open Phase 1 of a casino expansion project (l.) on July 24. The San Manuel Casino in Highland, California now has a larger gaming space, new restaurants and new retail.


Brazilian State Wants to Revive State Lottery

A bill has been introduced to allow the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul to revive its state lottery. The lottery was ruled unconstitutional in 2008, but that ruling was overturned in 2020.


Former Louisiana Governor Edwards Dies

Edwin Edwards (l.), colorful former four-term governor of Louisiana, has died at age 93. The lifelong Democrat served eight years in prison for taking payoffs from interests seeking riverboat casino licenses.

Gaming Counsel Moran Joins Vegas Firm

John T. Moran III (l.) has joined the Las Vegas of the Clark Hill law firm as senior counsel in the litigation group. Moran represents clients in the gaming industry in the United States and internationally.

FanDuel Names Howe Interim CEO

Amy Howe, the current president of FanDuel, will assume the interim CEO position, replacing the recently resigned Matt King. A search will be under taken to find a permanent replacement.

OK Casino Group Names New GMs

Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Osage Casinos has announced the appointment of four new general managers: Jeff Bailey, Travis Wilcox, Mark Davis and Mason Shackelford.

France Named F&B Director at Louisiana Casino

Cypress Bayou Casino Hotel has named Noel France (l.) as director of food and beverage. France will work to develop new creative food concepts on property as well as oversee all food and beverage operations.


Canadian Casinos Add AGS Cabinets, Displays

The Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis has added AGS’ award-winning new Starwall x Orion slot merchandising attraction and Orion Curve slot cabinet across multiple casinos in the Canadian province.

Acres Launches Optimal Poker Analyzer

Acres Manufacturing has launched the Optimal Poker Analyzer, a software application designed to help casinos maximize profits on video poker by strategically optimizing marketing and operations.

IGT Improves ESG Performance

IGT has announced results of a new commitment to environmental, social and governance initiatives in a program utilizing community ambassadors to prioritize funding requests.

Vegas Casino Launches Marker Trax

Ellis Island Hotel Casino and Brewery in Las Vegas has introduced the Marker Trax cashless casino marker at his property. The product combines player convenience with reduced risk for casinos.


Australasian Gaming Expo Canceled Again

Rising Covid-19 cases in New South Wales have compelled organizers of the Australasian Gaming Expo to cancel for the second year running. The show was set for August at Sydney’s International Convention Centre.




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