Risky Business

You wouldn’t think that the federal Commodities and Futures Trade Commission would have anything to do with sports betting, but it will soon decide an issue that could be crucial to the success of the industry. Gaming executive and inventor Bruce Merati (l.) explains.

Nebraska Horsemen’s Plan to Revolutionize Racing

Nebraska horsemen are taking a new approach to keep their industry going, says industry leader Robert Moser (l.): nonprofit ownership of tracks in partnership with a casino operator. Gaming revenues will be funneled back to purses.

Crown: Down But Not Out in Australia

The long-awaited Bergin Report has deemed Crown Resorts “unsuitable” to operate its VIP casino in Sydney, Australia. That may change if the gaming giant shows regulators in New South Wales that it’s cleaned house. Crown Chairwoman Helen Coonan (l.) pledged to work closely with regulators to accomplish that goal.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: In Macau, The Londoner Unveiled

Sands China offered the first phase of its newest themed resort the Londoner, formerly Cotai Central, to a Macau market still reeling from the Covid crisis. The company, which has yet to score a miss in the casino hub, is confident it will succeed.

Super Bowl Bets Crash Sportsbook Apps

The matchup of Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady (l.) at Super Bowl LV generated a landslide of sports bets—so many that some mobile betting apps intermittently crashed.

China to Gamblers, Junkets: Behave

Ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, Chinese authorities drove home the message that anyone involved in gambling inside the mainland and anyone who recruits Chinese citizens to gamble abroad will be punished. Most junkets operate VIP rooms (l.) at the Macau casinos, and it’s unclear what this means for them.

Koch Real Estate Investments Buys Fontainebleau

The long-dormant building that was going to first be the Fontainebleau and later the Drew was sold last week to the real estate arm of Koch Industries, and the original developers are back in the picture.

Australia’s TAB Target of Suitors

Australian racetrack regulators are closely following several groups interested in merging with Tabcorp Holdings in order to acquire its gaming assets. Such a deal could alter Australia’s racing landscape.

New Tribal Casino Opens in Washington

The Tulalip Tribes of Washington have opened their new $125 million Quil Ceda Creek Casino in Snohomish. The facility, which has 1,500 slots, replaces the old “Q” that first opened in 1983 as a bingo hall.

MP: U.K. Racing At Risk Due to Player Protections

A U.K. lawmaker says that proposed strict “affordability checks” for gamblers would have a “devastating effect” on the country’s horseracing industry—and possibly be harmful for the gamblers themselves.

Interest in Texas Gaming Heats up

Lawmakers in the Lone Star State are showing a renewed interest in gaming expansion, including sports betting. Is it enough to pass a bill? Not according to Lt. Governor Dan Patrick (l.).

Bally’s Acquires SportCaller

Bally’s Corp. has acquired SportCaller, a leading global B2B free-to-play game and sports provider. SportCaller complements Bally’s recently announced acquisitions of Bet.Works and Monkey Knife Fight.

ASIAN GAMING More

Fifth Contender Named for Nagasaki IR

A fifth bidder for an integrated resort in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan has been identified: it’s a consortium comprising the Niki of Japan and Chyau Fwu (Parkview) Group.

Covid Vaccine Arrives in Macau

In Macau, an initial shipment of 100,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine are being administered to healthcare workers and others in high-risk occupations. Another 300,000 doses are slated to arrive in the weeks ahead.

Smartkarma’s Klein Backs NagaCorp

Independent Smartkarma analyst Howard J. Klein (l.) has issued a “buy” recommendation on the stock of Cambodian operator NagaCorp, citing superior performance through the pandemic.

EUROPEAN GAMING More

Russian Casinos Pay Back Local Investment

The director of the Primorsky Territory Tourism Department in Russia says taxes from the state’s two existing casinos, including the Shambala at left, have already covered the government’s infrastructure investment.

GLOBAL GAMING More

ONLINE GAMING More

First Ukraine License Raises Concerns

Ukraine’s Commission for Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries has issued its first iGaming license without reaching conclusions about the technical certification of the law.

Nova Scotia Approves Online Gaming

Nova Scotia has approved the Atlantic Lottery Corp.’s plan to establish online gaming sites in the Canadian province, part of a plan to expand to all five of the provinces in which ALC operates.

White Paper: Dutch iGaming Market Could be Big

A white paper compiled by Online Casino Ground predicts that the online gaming market in the Netherlands, pegged to begin this year, could become one of the largest iGaming markets in Europe.

Betfair Licensed in Colombia

Betfair has been awarded a five-year license to operate online gaming in Colombia, amounting to the 17th authorized iGaming operator in the country.

SPORTS BETTING More

Sports Betting Slow to Gain Traction in DC

Sports betting in Washington, DC, hasn’t been the bonanza some expected. “Our gambling income is below where we thought it would be because of the economy," said DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson.

OK Tribe Awaits Trust-Land Ruling

The United Keetoowah Band of Oklahoma is preparing to build a casino on two acres in Cherokee County, even though the land has not yet been taken into trust. An appeals court will make the final decision.

Washington Group Accelerates Sports Betting Push

Maverick Gaming’s CEO Eric Persson says he won’t give up on trying to persuade Washington lawmakers to let him and his 19 card rooms offer sports betting. He will persist, he says, “until we bust down that door.” Meanwhile, he is moving the company’s headquarters to the state.

Canada: Another Super Bowl Sans Sports Betting

Parliamentarians in Canada are debating several bills that would lift the federal ban on sports betting. Supporters don’t want the provinces to miss another Super Bowl without the ability to place a bet on the outcome. And one MP wants the wager to benefit the struggling Canadian Football League.

Caesars Seeks In-Person Sports Betting Registration in Missouri

Caesars Entertainment is asking lawmakers in Missouri, where the company operates three casinos including Lumiere Place (l.) in St. Louis, to restrict sports betting to in-person registration at the outset, to compete with online-only sportsbook operators.

WynnBET Conditionally Approved in Tennessee

WynnBET, the sports betting app of Wynn Resorts, has received conditional approval to go live with online sports betting in Tennessee. WynnBET is currently available in New Jersey, Colorado and Michigan.

Brazil Considers Sports Betting Legalization

Brazil is moving towards the legalization of sports betting. It has issued a Request for Information for consultants to help it develop the framework that would allow private sportsbook companies to operate.

First Ever Betting Show Joins PGA Tour

Despite golfers’ misgivings, pro events may now be accompanied by live betting commentary. The Phoenix Open in Arizona was the first PGA tournament to feature a live-betting companion show.

Barry Sanders Joins BetMGM Team

NFL legend and former Detroit Lions great Barry Sanders (l.) has signed a multi-year agreement to become the celebrity brand ambassador for the BetMGM sportsbook following a record-setting debut of the BetMGM app in Michigan.

UNITED STATES GAMING More

New York Warned of Meadowlands Threat

A major gaming resort across the Hudson River from New York City at the Meadowlands Sports Complex (l.) in New Jersey could do serious damage to Gotham’s prospective casino market. So says a new report, which says now’s the time to head off the threat.

Hawaii Casino Proposal Dead in House, Alive in Senate

A bill in the Hawaii legislature that would have authorized a casino in Kapolei (l.) appears dead. But several other gaming bills, including one that creates a state lottery, are still alive in a state that currently allows no form of gaming at all.

Alabama Senate Considers Lottery, Casino Bill

Under state Senator Del Marsh’s (l.) proposal, Alabama could have a statewide lottery and casino gambling at four existing dog racetracks, plus a fifth new casino operated by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

Georgia Developer Proposes Three Casino Sites

Atlanta-based developer Rick Lackey (l.) wants to build casino resorts in Columbus, Midway and Lavonia, Georgia. State Rep. Ron Stephens has proposed legislation that could make Lackey’s vision a reality.

Illinois Hard Rock Receives Preliminary Approval

The Illinois Gaming Board has granted “preliminary suitability” status to developers of the $310 million Hard Rock Casino in Rockford. Among the investors: wife of Rockford native Rick Nielsen (l.), Cheap Trick guitarist.

Proposed Louisiana Casino Making Inroads

Peninsula Pacific Entertainment of Los Angeles want to move its gaming license from the shuttered DiamondJacks Casino in Bossier City, Louisiana to a proposed $250 million casino resort in Slidell.

NJ Governor: Vaccine Means Outdoor AC Events

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy says progress in distributing Covid-19 vaccines in the state increase the likelihood that at least outdoor events, such as the annual Air Show (l.), will return to Atlantic City this summer.

Rush Street Gaming Announces Virginia Contractor

Rush Street Gaming has chosen Ballard-Yates, a joint venture of Virginia’s S.B. Ballard Construction Co. and Mississippi-based Yates Construction, to build its new casino (l.) in Portsmouth, Virginia.

Wynn Launches $859 Million Stock Offer

Wynn Resorts hopes to raise almost $860 million with the sale of Nasdaq-listed shares, available at $115 per share. The proceeds are slated for “general corporate purposes,” Wynn Resorts said.

N.Y. Shopping Mall Targeted for VLTs

Resorts World Catskills wants to bring VLTs to a former department store (l.) in Orange County, about 60 miles north of New York City. The machines once were on the gaming floor at Monticello Raceway.

New Mexico Racino Bill Stalls

A bill that would have allowed New Mexico racetracks to offer sports betting and table games has died in a House committee. The bill would have benefited the Lottery Scholarship Fund.

Iowa Group Promotes Smoke-Free Casinos

Casinos in Iowa are exempt from a 2008 law banning smoking in public places. Tribal casinos temporarily banned smoking due to Covid-19, and now the American Heart Association seeks to prohibit it in all casinos.

Former Trump Casino Due for Implosion This Week

The onetime Trump Plaza Casino on the Atlantic City Boardwalk is set to be imploded at 9 a.m. Wednesday, February 17. The demolition site, at the foot of a major highway into the city, should be cleared before summer.

TRIBAL GAMING More

Arizona Lawmaker Fights Governor’s Compact Deals

The Arizona legislature is discussing new gaming compacts negotiated by the state’s tribes and Governor Doug Ducey. State Rep. Mark Finchem (l.) says Ducey didn’t have the authority to make the deals.

PEOPLE More

Ex-Louisiana Gaming Official Joins Entain

Former Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Jones (l.) has been named an advisor to the British firm Entain, which is partnering with MGM Resorts International to expand a sports betting venture.

Las Vegas Design Firm Names CMO

Las Vegas interior design startup Campbell House recently announced that Jennie Bowman has joined the company as chief marketing officer. Bowman will play a key role in the firm’s strategic development.

GOODS & SERVICES More

UNLV, Entain Team Up to Advance Women in Gaming

Sports betting operator Entain and the University of Nevada Las Vegas have launched the Women’s Innovation Igniter, a program to advance women's roles in gaming. It's headed by Jan Jones Blackhurst (l.), gaming industry leader and former Las Vegas mayor.

TRADE SHOWS & CONFERENCES More

SBC Summit November 30-December 2 in NJ

The SBC Summit North America, formerly Betting on Sports America, will take place November 3-December 2 at the Meadowlands in New Jersey. The event’s new name reflects the industry’s increasing emphasis on iGaming.

BCLC Gaming Conference March 9-10

The British Columbia Lottery Corp. will hold its ninth annual New Horizons in Responsible Gambling Conference in a virtual format March 9-10, 2021. The theme: “Player Health Reboot: Resetting the Future.”

NUTSHELL More