DraftKings to Launch NFT Ecosystem

DraftKings will launch DraftKings Marketplace, which will provide mainstream accessibility to the digital collectibles known as non-fungible tokens, an up-and-coming social phenomenon.

Bally’s Buys Pro Volleyball League

Bally’s Corp. has acquired the Association of Volleyball Professionals. The league offers Bally’s ready-made content for its other deal with Sinclair Broadcasting to rebrand regional sports networks with the Bally’s brand.

Micro-Betting: Made in America for U.S. Sports Bettors

Even more than live or in-play sports betting, micro betting could hold the key to greater fan engagement—and a boom in U.S. betting volumes. When you can bet whether the next pitch to Fernando Tatis Jr. (l.) will be a strike or a ball, it opens up a world of possibilities.

Massachusetts House Approves Sports Betting Bill… And More

For the first time the Massachusetts House has approved of a sport betting bill by a large bipartisan majority. The bill would legalize wagering on professional and college sports, esports, video games and car racing, and expands gaming into some veterans organizations. But will it fly in the Senate? Senate sponsor Eric Lesser (l.) says the time has come.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Japan Bids Getting Serious

The bidding process for the three licenses available for integrated resorts in Japan is progressing and the favorites are becoming apparent, especially in Osaka where the consortium of MGM and Orix officially submitted their plan for a $9 billion IR (l.).

Masks Return For Las Vegas Employees as Covid-19 Rises

The Clark County government last week re-instituted a mask policy, but only for employees of businesses in the county where the Delta variant of the Covid virus is soaring, including casinos. A mandate for visitors to Las Vegas isn’t off the table either.

Ill-Fated Fontainebleau to Reopen As JW Marriott Las Vegas

With little fanfare, JW Marriott last week revealed that the former Fontainebleau hotel casino (l.) on the Las Vegas Strip would open in late 2023 as the JW Marriott Las Vegas. It will be at least the third try to get the blue building open.

In Victoria, Crown License Hangs by a Thread

A counselor in the ongoing Crown Resorts probe says the Aussie casino giant is unfit to retain its gaming license in Victoria. Chairwoman Helen Coonan (l.) could be heading for the exit, too.

Covid Resurrected in Asia

An uptick in cases of the Delta variant of Covid has caused several Pacific Rim countries to re-impose restrictions on casinos and travel. While Macau is cautiously reopening other countries are instituting restrictions once again.

Andrew MacDonald Steps Down from Las Vegas Sands

The chief casino officer for Las Vegas Sands, Andrew MacDonald, has stepped down from his position. Working out of Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, MacDonald will move to Glasgow, Scotland, where he has family.

IEC Planning Massive Manila Resort

Hong Kong-based International Entertainment Corp. is planning to develop an integrated resort in Manila, Philippines. According to a July 16 filing, IEC has signed a deal with regulators to build a 62-acre complex.

FANTINI’S FINANCE: Northern Exposure

The North Strip is suddenly the place to be with the opening of Resorts World Las Vegas. Now that the former Fontainebleau-Drew will open as a Marriot property, the Strat and Golden Entertainment are now in a much more desirable location.

GGB PODCAST: Chief Richard Sneed, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians

This week the GGB Podcast features a discussion with Richard Sneed, the principal chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians from North Carolina on the diversification of the tribal economy, which features the purchase of Caesars Southern Indiana, which the tribe will also operate.


SJM to Assume Control of Macau Diamond Casino

Macau gaming operator SJM Holdings will assume practical control of the Diamond Casino in the SAR's peninsula district. A prior management company had planned to shut the casino down.

U.S. Marshals to Seize IPI Property

The U.S. Marshals Service will seize gaming machines, computers, furniture and other assets of Saipan casino operator Imperial Pacific International, including the iconic crystal dragons (l.), to pay a judgment in favor of former workers.

South Korean Casino Opens Nongaming Attractions

The Paradise City resort in Incheon, South Korea, has reopened some non-gaming amenities including a spa and a theme park. It's an encouraging sign for the complex, which has been closed for a year due to Covid-19.


German Gaming Operators Find New Regime Hard Going

Gaming operators in German are complaining that the new gambling law that went into effect July 1 is harmful to the industry, according to Casino Guru’s Matej Novota (l.). One of the most onerous requirements they say is the €1 max bet requirement.

UK Racecourses Hoping for Big Crowds with Restrictions Eased

Three tracks in Britain expected large crowds July 19, the day when lockdown restrictions eased nationwide. The tracks have not had such attendance since March 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic struck. Beverley racecourse head Sally Iggulden (l.) expects crowds at the 2019 level.

Bremen Changes Casino Ownership Law

The city of Bremen, Germany changed casino ownership law to allow the city to take over ownership of casinos in Bremen and Bremerhaven and stop privatization. The casinos were owned by Westspiel which wanted to sell them.

Dutch Third Parties May Report Problem Gamblers

Third parties and gambling operators may recommend problem gamblers for Involuntary placement on the Netherlands' Cruks exclusion register. It must be shown that less drastic measures would be Ineffective.

GAMSTOP Evaluation Proves Self-Exclusion a Success

GAMSTOP’s self-exclusion list has proven its worth in reducing gambling harm, according to CEO Fiona Palmer (l.). The research firm Sonnet found 82 percent stopped or cut back gambling. 84 percent feel safer.


Canada to Open Border to U.S. on August 9

With Covid-19 rates dropping and vaccination on the rise, Canadian officials have agreed to reopen the U.S. border on August 9 to fully vaccinated individuals. The U.S. has not reciprocated.

Ontario to Launch Cash Transaction Task Force

The Ontario Alcohol and Gaming Commission has established an inter-agency task force to monitor cash transactions at casinos to look for unusual patterns that may indicate money laundering.


Spain To Impose Gaming Limits on Spend and Time

Spain’s gaming regulator has proposed rules for online casino play. These include posting a set time limit and net spend limit for every session. These limits cannot be altered. Players will also receive periodic notices.

Live Dealer Casino Games Debut In Michigan

Live dealer casino games, including blackjack, baccarat and roulette, kicked off in Michigan on July 22, six months after the launch of online gaming. Evolution was the first platform to offer the games.


Arizona Unveils Event Wagering License Allocation Scheme

The Arizona Department of Gaming has unveiled another draft of proposed event betting rules that lays out how 20 event wagering operator licenses will be allocated, achieving the “parity” sought by Rep. Jeff Weninger (l.). Sports betting goes lives in the state September 9.

UK Bookmakers Seek Rebate for Value Added Tax

Bookmakers and other hospitality businesses could get a refund in value added taxes due to miscalculations between 2005 and 2013. The rebate surfaced when challenged by Betfred and Rank Group.

Maine Sports Betting Bill Held Over Until January

A sports betting bill in the Maine Senate, which had been approved by the House and Senate but needed a final vote by the Senate, failed to achieve lift off. It will now languish until January when it can be taken up again.

BetMGM Number 2 in Sports Betting, Online Gaming

BetMGM came in second in sports betting and online gaming for the second quarter. A joint venture between Entain and MGM Resorts, the sportsbook’s share of the online market closed at 29 percent.

Cordish Approved for Second PA Sportsbook License

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board approved a petition from Cordish Companies’ Stadium Casino LLC for a second sportsbook license, although it is not clear where it will be used, possibly at the Live! Casino in Philadelphia (l.).

DraftKings, MLB Expand their Relationship

DraftKings has collaborated with Major League Baseball since 2012, with its daily fantasy sports. The latest relationship features livestream games through the DraftKings app.


Gambling Operators Form Georgia Lobbying Coalition

A coalition of 16 casino developers and operators formed a lobbying coalition to influence Georgia legislators to expand state gambling laws. Multiple polls have shown most Georgians approve expanding gambling laws. The Atlanta Motor Speedway (l.) is involved as an operator and a potential site.

Petition, Two Lawsuits Seek To Stop Louisiana Casino

Two lawsuits and now a petition to the Louisiana Gaming Control Board seek to stop the transfer of the gaming license for the now shuttered DiamondJacks casino (l.) from Bossier City to Slidell, where Peninsula Pacific Entertainment proposed a $325 million casino.

Missouri Senator Will File Gambling Legislation

Missouri state Senator Denny Hoskins (l.) said he’ll file legislation in December to tax and regulate video lottery terminals. He also will propose measures allowing sports betting, esports and horseracing.

Arkansas Group Aims To Amend Casino Amendment

The anti-casino group Fair Play for Arkansas plans to gather signatures to place on the statewide 2022 ballot an amendment to change the state constitution retroactive to 2018, to exclude a casino in Pope County.

R&R Partners Must Share Tourism Account

Longtime Las Vegas marketing group, R&R Partners, had its contract renewed by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority but now will be required to work with another firm.

Wildwood Hotel Opens In Cripple Creek

The first new hotel In Cripple Creek, Colorado in decades, the $14 million Wildwood Hotel (l.) recently opened with 101 rooms and meeting and banquet facilities. Hotels also are under construction at Bronco Billy’s and Triple Crown casinos.

Judge Orders Station Casinos to Negotiate With Union

Station Casinos has been known as anti-union for many years but has been constantly pressed by the local culinary union. The union won the latest round when a federal judge ordered contract negotiations to begin at the Red Rock casino (l.).

Fresno Card Club to Relocate

Now that Club One Casino (l.), a cardroom in Fresno, California, is permitted to open again, a new location is in the offing, which will add more tables and amenities.

South Carolina Horse Study Group Meets

The South Carolina Equine Industry Support Measures Study Committee held its first meeting to review the horse industry’s impact on the state’s economy. Some members suggested also studying legalizing horserace wagering.

Nebraska Keno Operators Concerned About Casinos

Last year, Nebraska voters approved a constitutional amendment allowing casinos at racetracks. Now keno operators are concerned the new facilities will cannibalize their business. Keno has been a Nebraska standard for nearly 40 years.

Oakland Council Vote Unacceptable to A’s

Oakland City Council voted yes to a proposal to keep the Oakland Athletics in town. Unfortunately, the A’s balked at the city proposal, which may clear a path for the baseball team to move to Las Vegas.

Aztec Inn Casino for Sale in Las Vegas

The Aztec Inn Casino on the north end of the Strip is part of a package of properties for sale for $60 million. The owners are also willing to sell each half of the land for $30 million each.

Omaha City Council Approves Casino Tax Incentives

WarHorse Gaming Omaha will receive $17.5 million in tax incentives for its $220 million casino, set to open In fall 2022 at Omaha’s Horsemen’s Park (l.). WarHorse officials said the funds will be used for infrastructure improvements at the casino site.


N. California Casino Expected to Open Next Year

The Elk Valley Rancheria hopes to open its new off-reservation casino near Crescent City, Northern California sometime in 2022. The casino will replace the original casino (l.) that opened 26 years ago.

Mashantucket Tribe Steps up Diversification

The pandemic gave impetus to the inclination of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe of Connecticut to diversify its economy, according to Chairman Rodney Butler (l.). The stark experience of being forced to close Foxwoods Resort for several months emphasized the urgency.

Choctaws Open $600 Million Expansion August 6

The new $600 million, 21-story Sky Tower expansion at the Choctaw Casino & Resort (l.) in Durant, Oklahoma will open August 6. Aimed at North Texans, the 300,000-square-foot addition will offer a total of 136 poker tables and more than 7,200 slots.


Isom-Clause to Head Bureau of Indian Affairs

Kathryn Isom-Clause has been appointed to head the Bureau of Indian Affairs. She is currently National Indian Gaming Commission vice chairwoman. She has served on the NIGC since 2016.

PointsBet Appoints CEO for Canadian Division

PointsBet appointed Scott Vanderwel as CEO of PointsBet Canada, leading a team to developing a sportsbook operation in the country. He served in various capacities for Rogers Communications.

Cordish Fills Two Gaming Group Positions

Cordish Companies filled tow positions in the gaming group. Cathy Beeding (l.) becomes executive vice president and general counsel; Suzanne Trout is executive vice president and chief marketing officer.

Robert Gansmo Named High 5 Games’ CFO

Robert Gansmo, former Wynn Resorts Macau chief financial officer has been named CFO of High 5 Games. His appointment will help High 5 expand further into the North American market.


Scientific Games Enters Ukraine Market

Scientific Games deployed some of its most popular products in the new casinos recently legalized in Ukraine, including the Twinstar family of cabinets and such games as Duo Fu Duo Cai, Super Colossal Reels, Spartacus Gladiator of Rome and more. Dmitry Grechko (l.), slots project manager for Slots City, says the products have been well received by players.

C3 Gaming Consulting Firm Launches

A consortium of gaming and hospitality consultants has formed to provide casinos with the right experts for their individual business needs. The new group is called Casino Consultants Consortium or C3 and is co-founded by Andrew Klebanow (l.).

Incredible Technologies Enters EGT Market

Incredible Technologies previewed its new electronic table games at last week’s Indian Gaming Tradeshow in Las Vegas, and will launch the first products for testing later this year.

IGT, Marker Trax Partner on Cashless Gaming

IGT and Marker Trax have formed a strategic partnership to provide a cashless gaming solution by integrating the Marker Trax system into the IGT Advantage Resort Wallet module.

Sightline, Aristocrat Partner on Cashless Gaming

Sightline Payments and Aristocrat Technologies have signed an agreement under which Sightline’s Play+ integrated payment solution will be available through Aristocrat Gaming’s Oasis 360 system.

Caesars Palace Chooses Gary Platt Seating

Gary Platt Manufacturing has replaced 1,500 casino chairs at Caesars Palace with its Lido model of casino seating, replacing Gary Platt chairs that were installed previously.

GambleAware Provides Tools to Prevent Gambling Harm

The U.K. based charity GambleAware, has published a report that builds a better picture of how people gamble. It looks at bank transactions to show how they can be harmed, and how to prevent gambling disorders.

Hard Rock Hotels Top J.D. Power Study

Hard Rock Hotels (San Diego at left) ranked first in Upper Upscale Hotels in J.D. Power’s 2021 North America Guest Satisfaction Study, for the third consecutive year. Hard Rock also won the highest score across six categories.

Boogie Nights Draws Large Crowds for Reopening

Boogie Nights, the popular night spot in the Tropicana, reopened for the first time since the shut down in March 2020 due to the pandemic. The July 15 night drew large crowds for a Thursday night. The Indiana branch opened to similar reactions the week before.

The Empire Group Explodes in 2021

The Empire Technological Group has shown exponential growth after exceeding 1,000 machine placements for 2021, including the popular J Flex-43 cabinet (l.).

IGT Highlights Gaming Solutions at NIGA Show

IGT’s booth at last week’s NIGA Indian Gaming Tradeshow included a showcase of Class II and Class III games and systems, as well as cashless gaming solutions and the IGT PlaySports betting solution. CEO Renato Ascoli (l.) called the show a “great opportunity.”




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