New Times, New Slogan

“What Happens Here, Stays Here” was a great slogan for Las Vegas, but why don’t we consider a different one now that the world has changed, suggests Ira David Sternberg

Casino CEO: Vaccine Mandate ‘Leading by Example’

With Covid cases spiking in parts of the U.S., some casino operators have moved from mask-and-test requirements to a vaccine mandate. Among the first to require vaccinations was MGM Resorts. But Mississippi’s Scarlet Pearl Casino did it first.

Japan IR Race: All Over for Yokohama?

The election of Takeharu Yamanaka (l.) as Yokohama’s mayor could spell the end of plans to develop an integrated resort in the prefecture. According to local media, the election turned on the controversial issue of gambling, as well as the nation’s Covid-19 response.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: More Lawsuits Challenge Seminole Compact

The Havenick family, owners of two Florida parimutuels including Miami’s Magic City Casino (l.), has filed a federal lawsuit similar to a state suit claiming the sports betting provision in the new Seminole gaming compact could harm their businesses.

Fewer Gaming Jobs in Macau

The number of open jobs in Macau’s gaming sector is up from this time last year, but substantially down since the same period in 2019, prior to the onset of Covid-19.

Switkowski Named Crown Chairman; McCann CEO

The fallout from the probes into the inner workings of Crown Resorts continue as Ziggy Switkowski has been named chairman, replacing Helen Coonan, who spent less than two years in the position. Steve McCann has been named CEO of the company.

First Arizona Sports Betting Licenses Announced

Arizona event wagering operator licenses are starting to be issued by the Arizona Department of Gaming. The first ones announced were FanDuel and Penn National Gaming and their professional sports partners.

Nevada Casino Industry Still Down 67,000 Jobs

Nevada unemployment dropped by a fraction—7.8 percent to 7.7 percent—from June to July, but the rate of job growth slowed in the same period. The state’s casino industry is still down 67,000 jobs since the start of Covid-19.

Aristocrat Acquisitions Boost Digital Space

Aristocrat Leisure Limited is expanding its digital footprint with the acquisition of Helsinki’s FuturePlay studio and Poland’s Playsoft, along with establishing a third new studio, according to Aristocrat Digital CEO Michael Lang (l.).

PA Lawmakers to Address Unregulated Gaming

The Pennsylvania state Senate plans to renew its effort to pass gambling legislation that will target the tens of thousands of unregulated machines operating around the state.

FANTINI’S FINANCE: Hammer Time in Macau

It’s not just Covid and the economic downturn that are hammering away at Macau gaming stocks. It’s the threat of a bigger hammer, wielded by the Chinese government.

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U.K. Bookies Pass Age Verification Test

To test whether certain businesses check for age limits, the British sent in secret shoppers. The results looked good for gambling as 90 percent verified age, better than supermarkets and gas stations.

Covid-19 Leads to Rank Group Losses

The Rank Group lost £72 million in the year ending June 30. Last year they turned a profit. The result came after a Covid-19 lockdown in the U.K. The company expects a turnaround in their fortunes.

Finland Extends Loss Limits to Slots

Finland’s gaming monopoly Veikkaus is imposing maximum loss limits for players of slot machines. The limits, before limited to online games, allow players to lose no more than €500 per day.

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Local Gamblers Buoy Russian Casino

Summit Ascent Holdings saw a massive increase in mass table play at its Tigre de Cristal (l.) in Russia—a welcome development with flatlining rolling chip business. The resort is located near Vladivostok.

Australian State to Survey Public on Pokies

The Australian state of New South Wales is preparing to survey its residents about proposed slot machines reforms. The proposal seeks to cap the numbers of pokies and encourage “pokie-free” establishments.

NSW to Name Independent Regulator in Wake of Crown Mess

The government of New South Wales, Australia has agreed to all 19 recommendations to bolster casino regulations made in the Bergin Report. The probe of Crown Resorts was released in February of this year. Minister Victor Dominello (l.) says the state will continue to monitor regulators.

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Louisiana Approves Emergency Sports Betting Rules

Emergency sports betting rules, unanimously approved by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, are good for 180 days. Retail sports betting will be available through the state’s 20 casinos and racinos.

Connecticut Waits on Sports Betting Launch

The bookies are in place. Football season is almost here. But in Connecticut, the first bets can’t be made until certain approvals come through. That means betting likely won’t be available when the NFL season kicks off.

Tennessee Licenses VegasWINNERS

Sports betting provider VegasWINNERS, headed by radio commentator Wayne Allyn Root (l.), was licensed by the Tennessee Education Lottery as the state’s eighth online sportsbook. Awaiting word on its application is Penn National’s popular Barstool Sportsbook

North Carolina Senate Passes Sports Betting Bill

In a 26-19 vote, North Carolina senators approved in-person and online sports betting, which could launch in January. The state lottery will issue 10 to 12 sports wagering operator licenses plus supplier licenses.

BetMGM Brings Sports Betting to Deadwood

BetMGM will offer retail and mobile sports betting at Tin Lizzie (l.) and Cadillac Jacks Gaming Resorts in Deadwood, South Dakota. The app should be available in September.

Sportradar, FanDuel Extend Partnership

Sportradar, the data provider, including various sports betting services, has extended its partnership with FanDuel. FanDuel will benefit from in-play betting options. FanDuel was also named title sponsor at Kentucky Downs.

Colorado’s Ute Tribe Offers Sportsbook

The Ute Mountain Ute Casino (l.) in Colorado has opened its sports betting venue. The sportsbook, powered by International Game Technology, will offer in person wagering and a mobile app called UteBet.

Canadian Track Owner Mulls Sports Betting

Woodbine Entertainment, operator of Woodbine Racetrack (l.) in Toronto, Canada, hopes to change the law so that besides horse racing wagers it can accept sports betting. CEO Jim Lawson says it’s a natural progression.

NY Tribe Wants Mobile Sportsbook

New York’s Oneida Indian Nation is bidding to operate online sports betting. Partners include Kambi, Caesars, Resorts World, Rush Street Interactive, PointsBet, WynnBET and the St. Regis Mohawk Nation.

Homestand Sports Acquired by Parleh Media

Parleh Media Group in Canada has announced the acquisition of Homestand Sports, a live event and media production company. Homestand’s CEO Kevin Kennedy will become president of Parleh.

Esports Commission Investigates Match-Fixing

The Esports Integrity Commission has more than 34 investigations going on to crack down on cheats and match-fixers. The commission banned three players, two of them for five years. Another three got 12 months.

Barstool Sportsbook Launches in New Jersey

Barstool Sportsbook has quietly launched its seventh and largest online sportsbook in New Jersey through a licensed held by Freehold Raceway, which Penn owns jointly with Greenwood Racing.

Arizona Casino Building Onsite Sportsbook

Casino Del Sol of Tucson, Arizona, announced that its new 4,000-square-foot retail sportsbook, SolSports, is being built at the site of a former lounge. Casino Del Sol will operate its own sportsbook.

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Atlantic City Profits Back in Big Way

Profits for the second quarter in Atlantic City grew for eight of the city’s nine casinos. Even the one posting a loss was up from 2020, and overall results surpassed the same time period in 2019.

New Casino Breaks Ground in Carson City

A new casino to be called the Lucky Strike is now under construction in Carson City, Nevada. The property is owned by Northern Nevada Comstock Investments, which owns several other casinos in the region.

Station Casinos, Culinary Union Clash

Dozens of Station Casinos supervisors recently staged a protest at the Las Vegas office of the Culinary Union, objecting to its persistence in trying to unionize Station employees.

MGM Springfield to Bring Back Poker

Following hundreds of complaints, MGM Springfield (l.) has told the Massachusetts Gaming Commission it plants to bring poker back by the end of the year, but in a reduced capacity.

Second Time Around for Iowa Casino Referendum

The Linn County, Iowa Gaming Association is pushing a casino referendum for the November ballot. Voters approved the same ballot issue in 2013, but because no license was granted, a second vote is required.

Golden Employees: Vaccinate or Show Negative Test

Nevada casino and tavern owner Golden Entertainment, which operates the Strat (l.) on the Las Vegas Strip, now requires employees to be vaccinated against Covid-19 or take a weekly test. The gaming company joins a growing list of businesses taking the hard line.

Fresno Casino Approved, But With Fewer Jobs

The city of Fresno, California has approved Club One Casino’s move from downtown to the Granite Park district. However, it will open with 31 tables instead of 51—and that means a potential loss of 100 jobs.

ZenSports Approved to Own Nevada Casino

The Nevada Gaming Commission has approved ZenSports as owner of Big Wheel Casino in Lovelock, despite a lack of experience and financing. The company also runs the sportsbook at Baldini’s Sports Casino.

New Casino Law Encourages Lake of the Ozarks Group

An investor group is encouraged by a new Missouri gambling law that allows “excursion gambling boats” to include non-floating facilities, though they still must be located on the Mississippi or Missouri rivers.

Alabama Bingo Hall Scores New Legal Victory

An Alabama circuit court judge ruled the VictoryLand electronic bingo casino (l.) doesn’t threaten the peace and can stay open. The state attorney general tried to close the venue pending a public nuisance trial.

Danville, Richmond Casinos Moving Ahead

Two planned Virginia casinos are moving forward. Caesars Entertainment invited public feedback about its $500 million casino in Danville. In Richmond, supporters and opponents of the planned Urban ONE (l.) are mobilizing.

TRIBAL GAMING More

EBCI Can Purchase Caesars Southern Indiana

EBCI Holdings was approved by the Indiana Gaming Commission to purchase Caesars Southern Indiana’s (l.) operations for $250 million. EBCI will lease the real property from VICI Properties.

Court Rules Insurance Must Pay Tribe $2M for Covid Losses

Connecticut’s Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation has one a small legal victory. It claimed its insurance provider owned it $76 million in Covid-related claims at its Foxwoods Casino (l.). A judge has ruled it is instead entitled to $2 million.

Vegas-Style Tables Come to AZ Casino

Gila River Hotels & Casinos-Wild Horse Pass (l.) has launched new table games authorized by the Arizona state tribal gaming compacts. The new games include roulette, baccarat and craps.

PEOPLE More

Mike Bean New CEO of Desert Diamond Casinos

Desert Diamond Casinos of Arizona has appointed Mike Bean (l.) as the company’s new CEO. His appointment followed a nationwide search by the Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise.

Massachusetts House Leader to Join MGC

Massachusetts lawmaker Brad Hill has been appointed to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. Hill, appointed by the Governor, Treasurer and Attorney General will finish Bruce Stebbin’s term.

At Colorado Casino, Farahi Steps Down, Shriver Joins

David Farahi (l.), chief operating officer of Monarch Casino & Resort in Black Hawk, Colorado, is leaving his post to pursue other interests. Michelle Shriver has joined the company as corporate VP or operations.

Olympia Gaming Expands Leadership Team

Olympia Companies has appointed a team to oversee the development of its Legends Bay Casino in Sparks, Nevada. It includes COO DeCourcy Graham (l.), CFO Robin Nedza and Regional President Court Cardinal.

Jordan Resigns SkyCity Board

SkyCity Entertainment of Australia and New Zealand has announced that Murray Jordan (l.) will exit the company board effective September 30. Jordan has been part of the board since December 2016.

Tabcorp Appoints Kendall Non-Exec Director

Australia’s Tabcorp has appointed former Galaxy Entertainment director Janette Kendall (l.) as a non-executive director. Kendall was senior VP of marketing at Galaxy China and also worked in marketing at Crown.

Kim Young-san Now CEO of Grand Korea Leisure

South Korean gaming operator Grand Korea Leisure has announced the appointment of Kim Young-san as its new CEO. Kim, who replaces Yoo Tae-Pool, will serve an initial three-year term.

Kastrup Named Casino Entertainment VP

Wasserman Music has hired veteran music agent Kevin Kastrup (l.) as its new vice president of casinos. Kastrup will oversee bookings for casinos and gaming centers across North America.

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GAN Plans Miami Tech Hub

Gaming platform provider GAN has announced plans to open a new technology hub in Miami, Florida, in Wynwood, the city’s arts district. The hub will open with 20 employees.

NUTSHELL More

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