Analyst: Still A Chance to Salvage Saipan Casino

When it opened in 2015 inside a Saipan shopping mall, a casino known as Best Sunshine rivaled even Macau for revenues. That’s all changed now, and its successor, the multibillion-dollar Imperial Pacific Palace, is in shambles. But all is not lost, says one analyst.

It’s Brother Vs. Brother in the Carolinas

The Catawba Indian Nation’s plan to build a casino in North Carolina is under challenge by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, which runs two casinos in the state. The Cherokees say the Catawbas, who plan to open the Kings Mountain casino (l.), have no ancestral claim to the land, but the Department of Interior disagrees.

Game For A New Idea

Ira David Sternberg believes that more imagination is needed to revive the Las Vegas economy and he’s got some humorous suggestions about how casino operators can help.

New Leadership, New Era for Las Vegas Sands

The Las Vegas Sands Corp. has a new chairman and CEO in Rob Goldstein (l.), who brings seasoned leadership as the company climbs back from Covid. Look for Goldstein to make big changes.

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China Expands Overseas ‘Blacklist’

The Chinese government isn’t saying which jurisdictions to its blacklist of overseas gaming destinations. But it can only spell more bad news for VIP-focused markets across East and Southeast Asia.

U.K. Study: No Spike in Problem Gambling During Covid

A U.K. Gambling Commission study found no increase in gambling during the Covid-19 pandemic. In a survey of more than 3,000 adults, 60 percent reported no change in their habits, while 27 percent indicated a decrease.

Bally's, Caesars Acquire DFS Companies

Bally's and Caesars have made separate deals with daily fantasy sports companies. Bally's purchased Monkey Knife Fight. Caesars invested in SuperDraft, a DFS company. Both transactions will help recruit sportsbook customers. Bally’s also launched Bally’s Sports, which will combine all the regional sports networks previously controlled by Sinclair Broadcasting.

Crown Peddling Apartments to Pay Down Debt

Australian casino giant Crown Resorts is selling apartments at its Sydney resort to help reduce debt. Crown was barred from opening a casino at the new Barangaroo property (l.) at this time due to an ongoing government probe.

Mohegans Deepen Asian Bids

Connecticut-based tribal operator Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment is looking to delay the opening of its South Korean resort, Inspire (l.), from late 2022 to sometime in 2023. The property will open in phases. But the company is all in on a bid for a Japanese casino

Could Biden Open Doors for Massachusetts Tribal Resort?

According to Maybank IB Research, the new administration in Washington could help Genting Malaysia jumpstart construction on First Light (l.), a tribal resort in Massachusetts with the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, that the Trump administration had previously challenged.

AGA: And Now For Some Good News

American Gaming Association President & CEO Bill Miller (l.) gave something of a “state of the industry” presentation last week and, while admitting that there are still many challenges ahead, the gaming business has some positives to report.

FANTINI’S FIANCE: Partying Like It’s 1999?

Today’s runup in stock values has some people remembering 1999, and the upward spiral that soon crashed earthward. To stay in the black ink, investors should also remember the “f word”: fundamentals.


Thai City Split On Casino

Now that the government has said it will consider legalizing gaming, business leaders and lawmakers in Thailand are discussing legal casinos, with the city of Pattaya as a possible host. A 2017 plan for gaming has resurfaced due to a Covid outbreak that started in an illegal gambling den.

Yokohama to Accept IR Bids

With the release of its "IR facility implementation policy," the city of Yokohama, Japan is preparing to field bids from potential integrated-resort operators. An operator is expected to be chosen this summer.

Grim Year for Macau Tourism

Border closings, quarantines and travel restrictions were the story in the world’s top gaming destination for most of 2020. Official stats show that total visitation to Macau was down by 85 percent.

Hoiana to Open in Vietnam This Year

The Hoiana casino resort in Vietnam reportedly will open in the second half of 2021. The resort staged a soft opening last June, but held back on an official grand opening due to Covid-19.

Macau Operator SJM Floats $991M in New Debt

Macau casino operator SJM is selling two series of notes with the aim of refinancing loans that went into the development of the US$5 billion Grand Lisboa Palace. The Cotai resort is slated to open in the first quarter.


Bermuda’s First Casino Could Open in 2021

The first casino in the island nation of Bermuda could open later this year, according to Prime Minister David Burt (l.). The casino will be the first of four planned resorts that will all have gaming, he said.

Tribe to Open Puerto Rico Foxwoods

The owners of Foxwoods Resort Casino are partnering with LionGrove LLC, to revive one of Puerto Rico’s most famous resorts, the El San Juan Casino (l.). It will be brought back as the Foxwoods El San Juan Casino.

British Columbia Probes Casino Money Laundering

A Crown commission is continuing to take testimony on how the B.C. Lottery Corp. has dealt with money laundering at its casinos over the last two decades. Last week it heard from a former lottery executive, who said BC Attorney General David Eby (l.) was “disinterested” in the evidence.

Australia's Silver Heritage Appoints New Board

Australia-based casino operator Silver Heritage Group Ltd. announced in a January 22 Friday filing that it handed control of the company to a new board of directors following the company’s takeover by HatchAsia Inc., led by CEO Kirk Arambulo (l.).

Nova Scotia Dissolves Gambling Prevention Group

Nova Scotia’s government has shifted $250,000 from the nonprofit Gambling Awareness Nova Scotia (GANS) towards a general mental health pool. Gambling Risk Informed Nova Scotia has criticized the move.


North Dakota Lawmaker Files Online Poker Bill

North Dakota state Rep. Jim Kasper (l.), a poker enthusiast, introduced a bill that would legalize the game online. If it passes the legislature, voters could approve the constitutional amendment in the 2022 general election.

Lawsuit Targets Apple’s Social Gaming Apps

A lawsuit filed by two individuals in California claims that free-to-play social casino apps available on Apple Inc.’s App Store constitute illegal gambling because of players can buy in-game currency.

PlayStudios Eyes Going Public Through a SPAC

MGM-affiliated social game developer PlayStudios is in discussions with a special purpose acquisition company led by former MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren, in a proposed deal to take PlayStudios public.


Minnesota Introduces Sports Betting Bill

Minnesota lawmakers including Rep. Pat Garofalo (l.) hope to introduce legislation to approve sports betting in the state. But the bill faces opposition from tribal casinos and a lack of enthusiasm from legislators.

Tennessee Sports Betting Brings In $312 Million

Sports betting in Tennessee got off to a good start, with a handle of $312.3 million. Tax revenue amounted to $5.4 million. Now legislators are pushing for mobile sports betting in the state.

Illinois Track Opens OTB Sportsbook

Hawthorne Race Course, one of two Illinois tracks OK’d for sportsbooks, opened a book at an off-track betting site in Crestwood. The sportsbook is one of three OTB venues to have sportsbooks in the near future.

New Hampshire Mulls Expanding Sportsbooks

New Hampshire Rep. Tim Lang (l.) has filed a bill that would increase the number of venues in the Granite State that can offer sports betting. Sports betting in the state went live in December with two retail venues.


Alabama Lawmaker Proposes Gambling Bill

Alabamians last voted on a gaming measure in 1999, rejecting a constitutional amendment for a state lottery. Now state Senator Del Marsh (l.) plans a bill including all forms of gambling, including casinos.

Georgia Lawmaker Files Gambling Bills

Georgia state Rep. Ron Stephens (l.) is back with proposed gambling legislation. Resolution 30 would let voters determine if casino gaming should be allowed and House Bill 86 would legalize sports betting.

Hard Rock Rockford Awaits Board Approval

This week, the Illinois Gaming Board is expected to announce whether it will grant a gaming license to the proposed $310 million Hard Rock Rockford (l.). If it does, a temporary facility could open within 90 days.

Ohio Senate Looks at Gaming Impact

The Ohio Senate has formed a committee to review gaming in the state, including the impact of casinos, sports betting, online lottery systems and more. Senate Majority Leader Kirk Shuring (l.) as committee chairman.

Hawaii Lawmakers Serious About Casino

Hawaii legislators will seriously consider authorizing the state’s first casino, an idea endorsed by the Hawaiian Home Lands Commission. Although senior figures in the legislature don’t support gaming, they want to have a real discussion of the proposal, they say.

Illinois’ Argosy Casino Reopens

Argosy Casino in Alton, Illinois reopened January 23 with new health and safety precautions in place. VP/General Manager Steve Peate said he looks forward to “safely welcoming back our team members and guests.”

Bally’s: Curfews Hurting Rhode Island Casinos

Marc Crisafulli (l.), executive vice president of strategy and operation for Bally’s Corp., says curfews requiring its two Rhode Island casinos to close at 10 p.m. on weekdays puts them at a competitive disadvantage.


Oklahoma Governor Stitt Loses Again

Chalk up another loss for Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt (l.). The state Supreme Court has ruled that compacts he recently negotiated with two tribes are invalid. Last July, the high court rejected other Stitt compacts.

Pokagon Band, Indiana Reach Compact Agreement

The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb (l.) signed a gaming compact allowing the tribe’s Four Winds Casino in South Bend to offer Class III gaming.

BIA Approves California Casino

The federal government has approved of the Tejon Indian Tribe of California operating a Hard Rock casino (l.) near Bakersfield. Now Governor Gavin Newsom needs to agree in order for it to become a reality.

California Tribe Reveals Gaming Resort Plans

California’s Chicken Ranch Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians plan to replace their existing Chicken Ranch Casino (l.) with a new casino resort and conference center in Jamestown. They plan to open it in 2023.

Montana’s Glacier Peaks Casino Reopening

After ten months of being closed, Montana’s Glacier Peaks Casino reopened for limited service on January 14. The casino, owned by the Blackfeet Tribe, also reopened its hotel, Jackpot Restaurant and coffee shop.

Washington Casino Opening February 3

Quil Ceda Creek Casino in Tulalip, Washington, will have its grand opening on February 3. The new expanded casino will have an entertainment venue, new Food Hall and a larger parking structure.

Michigan Casino Resort Starts Expansion

Island Resort and Casino in Michigan has entered the second phase of its $33 million expansion project. Expected to open in December, the expansion includes 138 new hotel rooms and a water park.


N.Y. Approves Instant Lottery Sales by Phone

The wheels are in motion for development of an app to allow New Yorkers to remotely order scratch-off lottery tickets. The state hopes for a boost in revenues. But retailers on the bricks-and-mortar side are not happy.


Caesars Appoints New GMs in AC

After decreases of more than 40 percent at Caesars and Harrah's in Atlantic City, Caesars Entertainment hired new general managers Gregg Klein and Joseph Lodise to replace Ron Baumann (l.) at both properties.

SkyCity Promotes Three Executives

Australian gaming operator SkyCity Entertainment has added three executives to its new leadership team. Callum Mallett (l.), David Christian and Matthew Ballesty all were promoted from within.

Hansen Joins GameCo As Head of Digital

GameCo, a pioneer in video-game gambling and casino games designed to attract Gen X, Millennial, and Gen Z players has appointed Kurt Hansen as the new head of digital products for its iGameCo brand.

Gauselmann Executive to Chair GBG

Gauselmann UK executive Steve Sharp has been named chairman of the influential cross-sector strategic body the Gambling Business Group.

Meruelo Gaming Names Longi COO

Meruelo Gaming has named former MGM Resorts International executive Mike Longi (l.) as executive vice president and chief financial officer.

Rymax Announces Sales Staff Additions

Rymax has named Alan Traiger as vice president of solution sales and Brett Traiger, a veteran of player loyalty programming and gaming customer relations, as the new national sales manager for the supplier’s casino sales division.

Interactive Gaming Group Names Niculae CEO

Interactive Gaming Group, which provides streaming services to multiple gaming operators, has appointed Cristina Niculae, former chief strategy officer of CiG, as IGG’s new CEO.

Sazka Names Vesely CEO of Czech Operations

Aleš Veselý has been named CEO of Czech operations for Sazka Group, a European lottery company. Formerly marketing director of the group, he replaces Robert Chvátal (l.), who remains group CEO.

Campbell Founds Interior Design Firm

Beth Campbell, a registered architect and designer with experience in the gaming and hospitality industries, announced last week that she has started her own interior design firm, Campbell House.


IGT Launches S3000 Cabinet in Minnesota

IGT has launched its S3000 cabinet at the Grand Casino Mille Lacs. It’s the first time that video slot games have been placed in spinning-reel cabinets in the state.




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