Dinner with Phyllis

Thanksgiving is a time of friends and family, and Richard Schuetz recalls a special occasion during his year of running the Stratosphere in Las Vegas and a dinner with the famous Phyllis McGuire.

Churchill Downs Wins Terre Haute Casino

The Indiana Gaming Commission has awarded the Vigo County casino license to Churchill Downs Inc., edging out runner-up Full House Resorts. CDI will develop the $240 million Queen of Terre Haute Casino.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Chicago Casino Bidders Show Their Hands

Last week, the Chicago mayor’s office released long-awaited details of five casino proposals for the city. Bally’s submitted two $1.6 billion plans, and local player Rush Street Gaming also proposed two venues. Hard Rock International submitted the fifth bid. A Windy City casino is part of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s plan to pay burdensome city pensions.

Macau CE: Concessions Could Be Extended

Macau Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng (l.) says the local government may extend the current gaming concession terms if an overhaul of gaming laws is not complete by next summer. The concessions are currently due to expire in June 2022.

Maryland Approves Five Sports Betting Licenses

The independent panel set up in Maryland to approve sports betting licenses has finally approved five providers, so the bets could be placed by Super Bowl time. Governor Larry Hogan (l.) approves.

Wakayama Residents Want a Say in IR Plan

Residents of Wakayama Prefecture in Japan are asking for a referendum on plans to develop an integrated resort in the vicinity. They say their views of the proposed development have not been taken into account.

AGA: Industry on Pace for Record 2021

The American Gaming Association reports that commercial gaming in the U.S. saw record third-quarter revenues, and is on pace for record earnings in 2021. CEO Bill Miller (l.) said the recovery is “not a flash in the pan.”

Arkansas Regulators Grant Cherokee Nation License

In a 3-2 vote, the Arkansas Racing Commission awarded the state’s fourth and final casino license to Cherokee Nation Business for the Legends casino (l.) in Pope County. The action voids the license the commission previously granted to Gulfside Casino Partnership.

New Jersey Lawmakers Push Casino Tax Breaks

New Jersey legislators want to remove sports betting and online gaming from calculations of the taxes owed by Atlantic City casinos. The gaming halls say much of the revenue ends up in third-party hands, but the online revenues still emanate from Atlantic City itself under the rules that allowed online gaming to be legalized.

FANTINI’S FINANCE: What Goes Up Must Come Down

At the beginning of the year, it seemed that iGaming and sports betting stocks had nowhere to go but up. In some cases, they soared. In others, they fizzled. And as usual, the complete picture is more complicated.

ASIAN GAMING More

Melco Tops Off Studio City Phase 2

Last week, Melco Resorts & Entertainment has unveiled its design concept for Studio City Macau’s Phase 2 addition. The $1.3 billion expansion is expected to open in December 2022.

U.S. to Investors: Steer Clear of Cambodian Casinos

The U.S. government is warning American investors to avoid doing business in Cambodia. The country has a high risk for money laundering and other financial crimes in the country, particularly in the casino trade and cites mobster Wan Kuok Koi (l.), also known as “Broken Tooth,” as one of the ringleaders.

Macau Reevaluates Tourism Plan

Tourism officials in Macau have commissioned a report re-evaluating the progress and goals of the Tourism Master Plan in light of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

GLOBAL GAMING More

Dutch Regulator Monitors Offshore Gaming Sites

Kansspelautoriteit, the Dutch gaming regulator, has announced that it will monitor 25 unlicensed gaming sites that operate outside of the country to ensure they are blocking Dutch customers.

Finland Cuts Problem Gambling

Veikkaus, which holds a gaming monopoly in Finland, claims it has achieve an all-time low in problem gambling. It got there with loss limits on slot machines, both physical and online.

Sweden Regulator Reprimands Betsson

Sweden’s gaming regulator Spelinspektionen has reprimanded Betsson Nordic Ltd. for accepting wagers on penalties for fouls during a football game in May. Swedish law does not allow bets on rules violations.

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Aristocrat Raises $231 Million for Playtech Bid

Aristocrat Leisure Limited reported that it completed the retail portion of its fundraising effort to acquire iGaming content giant Playtech, raising $231 million. Meanwhile, a third suitor showed up to challenge the Aristocrat bid.

Gambler Sues AGS Over Jackpot Error

An online slot player is suing slot manufacturer AGS over a glitch in which the game Capital Gains revealed a $100,000 jackpot but did not pay due to a “bug” in the product.

SPORTS BETTING More

Again, New Jersey Breaks Sports Betting Record

New Jersey cracked the $1 billion mark in sports betting handle in September, setting a new national record. And October broke September’s record, as sportsbooks racked up $1.3 billion in wagers.

Ohio Sports Betting Legislation Progressing—Slowly

Ohio state Senator Kirk Schuring (l.) says lawmakers are “making progress” on sports betting but draft legislation hasn’t been finalized yet. He says there’s still time to pass a bill before December 31.

Mobile Sports Wagering Advances in Arkansas

The Arkansas Racing Commission has approved proposed rules to allow sports betting anywhere in the state, with mobile wagers to launch in February. Currently, bets only may be placed at the state’s three casinos.

Two Louisiana Casinos Launch Sports Betting

Margaritaville and Boomtown in Bossier City, Louisiana now house the state’s eighth and ninth sportsbooks. Gaming Control Board Executive Director Ronnie Johns (l.) expects five more sports wagering licenses soon.

Study: Rapid Growth Ahead for WA Sports Betting

Washington’s young sports gaming industry could grow dramatically in the next five years, says a study by Washington State University. Study head Kahlil Philander (l.) said 59 percent of residents are sports fans.

Fixed-Odds Regs Finalized in New Jersey

New Jersey is a step closer to fixed-odds wagering at racetracks with the adoption of regulations on how to bet. Australia-based BetMakers will fix the odds, which will remain constant throughout the race.

Non-Casino Sports Betting Opens in Connecticut

Shea’s Pizzeria and Sports Bar (l.) in Manchester was among the first non-casino venues to offer sports betting in Connecticut under the state lottery. Fifteen locations have been authorized to offer the retail service.

DraftKings Opens Sportsbook at Foxwoods

DraftKings opened its new Foxwoods Resort Casino sportsbook November 13. It replaces the temporary sportsbook that has operated since September. The two-story location offers live bet windows and kiosks.

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MontBleu Rebranded to Bally’s Lake Tahoe

MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa in Nevada will be rebranded as Bally's Lake Tahoe Casino & Hotel. The new owner announced the rebranding November 15 and plans a grand opening in the first quarter of next year.

Nebraska Issues Draft Racino Regulations

The Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission has released draft rules for casino gaming at the state’s six existing racetracks. Rules include a $1 million fee for a 20-year license, plus an annual assessment. Executive Director Tom Sage (l.) said all casinos will be smoke-free.

Rockford, Illinois Temporary Hard Rock Casino Opens

Named “A Hard Rock Opening Act,” the temporary Hard Rock casino recently opened in Rockford, Illinois, offering 625 slots, electronic table games, two restaurants and a retail store with Hard Rock branded items.

WSOP’s Big Move

The World Series of Poker has announced that next year, after 17 years, it will move from its longtime home at the Rio in Las Vegas. Its new turf will be at Bally’s and Paris Las Vegas, both on the Strip.

MGM Doubles Testing Fee for Unvaccinated Workers

Starting November 22, MGM Resorts International requires all unvaccinated hourly employees to pay $38 for each onsite Covid-19 test, more than twice the previous co-pay, but half the company’s cost.

Lawmaker Wants Petersburg, Virginia Casino

Richmond voters said no to a planned casino. Virginia State Senator Joe Morrisey (l.) sees Richmond’s loss as Petersburg’s gain. He and the mayor have pitched the city to casino developers.

TRIBAL GAMING More

Wind Creek Presents Illinois Casino Proposal

Wind Creek Hospitality has proposed a luxury casino resort for approval to the Illinois Gaming Board. It will be located in Homewood and East Hazel Crest with a 70,000-square-foot casino and 252-room luxury hotel.

LOTTERY More

Australia Moves to Block Offshore Lotteries

In a first, Australian media officials have asked internet service providers to block two illegal offshore lotteries, We Love Lotto and Red Fox Lotto. The unregulated sites were discovered soliciting Aussie players.

PEOPLE More

Bragg Gaming Appoints Godfrey Interim CEO

Bragg Gaming Group has appointed Paul Godfrey (l.), chairman of its board of directors and former chairman of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp., to serve as interim CEO, replacing longtime CEO Richard Carter.

Giovanni Abbiati Dead at 77

Giovanni Abbiati, founder of the Italian supplier Abbiati Casino Equipment, has died at 77 after a brief illness, according to a statement from his family.

CGA Appoints New Board Members

In anticipation of the new Canadian sports betting market, the Canadian Gaming Association has named four new members to its board of directors. The most prominent: DraftKings executive Jeffrey Haas (l.).

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Eilers & Krejcik Launches EKG Ventures

Eilers & Krejcik Gaming has launched EKG ventures, a private investment arm to fund and advise early-stage gaming companies. According to principal Adam Krejcik (l.), it’s already invested in 10 companies.

TRADE SHOWS & CONFERENCES More

It’s Sports Betting All the Time at NIGA Midyear

Content is king at the NIGA Midyear Conference, held this year at the Pechanga Casino Resort in Temecula, California. But sports betting dominated the discussions, including the appearance of representatives of DraftKings and FanDuel (l.).

NUTSHELL More

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