Online gambling essentially supported Atlantic City casinos in the worst days of 2020. Even now, with casinos open—and in the peak summer season, to boot—iGaming hasn’t slowed down. Can the virtual model peacefully coexist with its land-based counterpart?
In 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic, Kindbridge launched a remote clinic for problem gamblers. Working with Rutgers University, it’s also collecting data to increase understanding of the condition.
It’s always a good idea to give gifts to your casino players, but how do you recognize them when they’re returning from the great pandemic? Ira David Sternberg has a few ideas.
Australia’s Star Entertainment has shied away from a proposed multibillion-dollar merger with Crown Resorts. The country’s second largest gaming operator backed out amid increasing fallout from Crown investigations.
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The New Orleans Saints will be the first NFL team to play in a stadium named for a casino operator. The $138 million deal between the team and Caesars Entertainment was approved by the Louisiana legislature.
Masks are again required in Las Vegas casinos and businesses throughout Nevada with “substantial or high-transmission” Covid cases. The Nevada Gaming Control Board said it will “ensure best practices” in casinos.
Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong (l.) says the government has not changed its projections for the year’s gross gaming revenue, and he’s confident about the second-half “Golden Period.”
Saipan’s Imperial Pacific Palace resort has been such an epic failure, one lawmaker has suggested blowing it up. And a casino commissioner said he’s willing to kill the island casino industry altogether.
City council in Richmond, Virginia has approved a host community agreement for ONE Casino and Resort (rendering at left). Now it’s up to a Circuit Court to approve a voter referendum on the casino on the November 2 ballot.
Starting this week, Italian casinos and bingo halls will demand proof of immunity against Covid-19 before people can enter. Prime Minister Mario Draghi (l.) said the measure “is essential to keep businesses open.”
San Manuel Casino in Southern California opened its $750 million expansion (l.) July 24. The opening, which coincided with the casino resorts 35th anniversary, added 1,500 new slots and 40 table games.
From late January to June, online casino gambling and sports betting in Michigan produced about $90 million in tax revenue. That number could reach $200 million by the end of the year, far higher than original estimates.
Several U.S. gaming companies kicked off second-quarter reporting with sky-rocketing numbers. But several factors—like the end of federal stimulus money and of course, Covid—could bring things back to earth.
This week the GGB Podcast features a discussion with Terry Glebocki, the CEO of Ocean Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, on how her property has performed since re-opening after the pandemic lockdowns and now that all restrictions have been lifted.
The Philippine House of Representatives reportedly will approve a new bill clarifying the tax rate for Philippines Offshore Gaming Operators. The plan includes a 5 percent tax on gross gaming revenues.
Diminishing VIP business has prompted Melco Resorts & Entertainment to shift to premium mass at its Altira Macau (l.). Melco COO David Sisk said the plan will “take out a lot of the volatility.”
Silver Heritage Group was delisted from the Australian Securities Exchange on July 23. The company had been on the rocks since revenues from the Phoenix International Club in Vietnam were cut off in early 2019.
Choi Hung-jib (l.), former CEO of Kangwon Land in South Korea’s Gangwon Province, has been sentenced to three years behind bars for his part in an illegal jobs scandal.
Macau’s six casino concessionaires have pledged $1.25 million each to help the victims of flooding in China’s Henan Province, for a collective contribution of $7.5 million.
July 19 was Freedom Day in the U.K., when Covid-19 pandemic restrictions were finally lifted. On that day, racetracks in the country opened to full capacity for the first time since March 2020.
The European Commission has begun an investigation to see if the company that runs the French lottery violated EU laws. In 2019, La Française des Jeux went private with an IPO.
A survey from the U.K. Gambling Commission revealed that gambling participation fell in June 2021, across both gender and age categories. The number of problem gamblers also declined.
Flutter Entertainment has accepted an offer to sell Oddschecker Global Media to Bruin Capital for £155 million. The sale will let Flutter focus on its core brands. Bruin has big plans for Oddschecker.
The U.K. Gambling Commission has proposed affordability checks to ensure that gamblers don’t lose more than they can afford. Whether the checks are incorporated remains to be seen.
Due to an adverse court ruling. the government of Puerto Rico has had to postpone its plan to tax slot machines. Electronic Games Inc. had sued Compañía de Turismo, saying it lacked authority to enforce the law.
Two weeks after casinos reopened in Sikkim, India, they were forced to close again due to an increase in new Covid-19 infections. The government has banned all social, religious and entertainment gatherings for a month.
Rush Street Interactive and Scientific Games have teamed to introduce popular online slots at BetRivers.com in West Virginia. The newly launched games include 88 Fortunes and Endless Treasures Jin Ji Bao Xi.
Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment has launched a digital arm. Mohegan Digital will be an extension of the brick-and-mortar casinos, according to the division’s president, Rich Roberts (l.).
Italy’s online gaming sector declined in June, posting the lowest returns of the year so far. The cause, most agree, is the reopening of Italy’s land-based casinos in June, which also spurred a rise in sports betting revenue.
Unibet has been fined by the New South Wales, Australia government for posting three illegal gambling advertisements in violation of the 1998 Betting and Racing Act.
Jerry Jones (l.), owner of the Dallas Cowboys, believes sports betting is inevitable in Texas, despite the failure of a bipartisan effort earlier this year. Sports betting would enhance football, Jones says.
The Arizona Department of Gaming says it is committed to going live with sports betting the first day of NFL, September 9. Rules are finalized and providers must submit applications by August 9.
Four locations in Washington D.C. recently installed sports betting kiosks. Players must be at least 18 years old. The machines accept cash only. Unlike online sports betting, gamblers don’t need an account to place bets.
DraftKings has ended daily fantasy sports games in Oregon. Although not conceding that DFS is illegal, it wants to get on the good side of the Oregon Lottery, which is looking for an operator of its sports betting monopoly.
Last week, the Boston Red Sox and DraftKings Inc. announced a deal making DraftKings the official Daily Fantasy Sports provider of the franchise.
Former NFL running back Marshawn Lynch (l.) has joined BetMGM as a brand ambassador. The Super Bowl champion will be featured in upcoming marketing campaigns, promotions and fan events.
Westwood One Commissioned a study which showed that sports bettors preferred radio ads more than television. The study also found FanDuel and DraftKings were the most recognizable.
Virginia reached $1 billion in handle five months after launching, faster than any state before. FanDuel accounted for over $543 million of that, thanks to a head start because of its link to Washington’s NFL team.
Sportsbooks in Las Vegas don’t see the Olympic games as a moneymaker compared to pro sports. Most of the action comes from amateurs who don’t bet via a sportsbook. It’s too unpredictable, some claim.
Sportradar and Bally’s Interactive agreed to a five-year partnership to supply sports data, including pregame and in-game odds. The deal also includes live betting services and content.
A Las Vegas-style sportsbook will partner with IGT to open this fall at Dakota Magic Casino in Hankinson, North Dakota, one of the largest tribal casinos in North Dakota.
The U.S. Open Pool Championship has a new home at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City. More than 250 players will compete for $300,000 in prizes before a global television audience.
A downtown Chicago casino would require an investment of at least $1 billion, with a tax rate on gaming revenue of at least 40 percent. As a result, Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts have dropped out of consideration.
An entertainment district in South Baltimore could spark a revitalization of Caesars’ Horseshoe Casino (l.). The district runs between the casino and M&T Bank Stadium, with a new concert hall, a Topgolf range and a nightclub
Boyd Gaming has indicated it may reopen Main Street Station (l. in Downtown Las Vegas), and the Eastside Cannery on the Boulder Strip, based on “growing demand for our product there.”
A temporary Hard Rock Casino in Rockford, Illinois is expected to open in October, slightly ahead of the HoChunk Nation’s Beloit, Wisconsin casino, directly across the state line, according to Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara (l.).
Nebraska voters last year approved gambling at the state’s six racetracks. Since then, five operators have filed for gaming licenses. State Senator Tom Briese (l.) said he’ll introduce a bill that may limit the licensees.
The Virginia Lottery Board has approved permanent casino gaming regulations which now await Governor Ralph Northam’s (l.) signature. Voters approved four casinos in local referendums last November.
A spokesman for the Indiana Gaming Commission said “several companies” are interested in applying for a gaming license in Terre Haute. Earlier, the commission rejected Lucy Luck Gaming’s renewal request, which would have resulted in a Hard Rock casino (l.).
Missouri state Senator Denny Hoskins (l.) will try for the fourth time to get a comprehensive gambling bill passed. The bill will include legal sports betting, video gambling machines and horseracing.
Due to a spike in Covid-19 cases in Mississippi, the Pearl River Resort and Bok Homa Casino now requires staff and guests to wear face masks. The Scarlet Pearl (l.) in D’Iberville also requires employees to mask up.
L’Auberge Baton Rouge (l.) will undertake a renovation project that will add a Barstool Sportsbook, a new poker room and a second smoking patio that will offer table games as well as slots and video poker.
There’s no guarantee that tribal gaming operators in New York state will get a piece of mobile sports betting, but the Oneida Nation has an ace up its sleeve for the Turning Stone Resort (l.)—if it’s excluded, it could suspend revenue-sharing.
The $600 million expansion of the Choctaw Casino & Resort (l.) in Durant, Oklahoma is due to open soon. It aims to tap the northern Texas market that includes Dallas, less than 100 miles away.
Premier Doug Ford (l.) of Ontario has been criticized by the owners of the Blue Heron Casino on Scugog Island. The First Nation members say Ford went back on his agreement not to permit a competing casino in the region.
The Gila River Indian Community of Arizona Governor Stephen Lewis (l.) has announced plans to build a fourth casino near Chandler. Taking two years to complete, it will join the existing Wild Horse Pass, Lone Butte and Vee Quiva casinos.
On July 27, the city council of Barstow, California, voted 4-1 to update its Municipal Services Agreement with the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe. The tribe hopes to build a casino resort (l.) on 40 acres in the city.
The modest border resort Grand Portage Lodge and Casino in Minnesota is waiting expectantly for the U.S. to reopen the border with Canada. The lodge taps much of the tourist and fishing traffic that passes through.
The U.K. Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will conduct an inquiry into the search for a new firm to operate the National Lottery. The scrutiny will aim at increasing charitable returns to equal profits.
Brazilian Senator Ciro Nogueira (l.), author of a comprehensive gaming bill that could bring the sector back, has been appointed Civil House of the Presidency of the Republic. The role is equivalent to chief of staff.
The Forest County Potawatomi have named Dominic Ortiz (l.) as CEO and general manager of the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in Milwaukee. Ortiz assumed his new role on July 26.
IGT has agreed to implement its Resort Wallet cashless solution and IGTPay funding gateway at Agua Caliente casinos in Rancho Mirage, Palm Springs and Cathedral City.
Konami’s Dimension 49 video slot cabinet (l.) ranked as the industry’s top indexing portrait-style cabinet for three consecutive months. The Dimension features a 49-inch flat display in 4K ultra-HD.
BetConstruct has introduced an upgraded website builder. SpringBuilder X facilitates and speeds the construction of online casinos and sportsbooks and also improves the user interface and experience.
Interblock reported that it will place electronic table games comprising a total of 123 player stations across two markets in the Philippines, Clark and Cebu.
Jumbo Technology has launched its latest fishing game, the multi-player “Ocean Phoenix,” on the six-set ARK-65 GLI multi-player cabinet. The company promises it will deliver “the ultimate entertainment experience.”
Crane Payment Innovations will install cashless payment technology at the Viejas Casino and Resort, adding mobile payments to its SC Advance bill validators and Easitrax Connect software.
International Game Technology has renegotiated a senior credit facility in a move that extends the maturity date of $1.18 billion in credit and reduces the applicable interest rate.
Small Nuggets of News
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