In a special edition of the GGB Podcast, we sit down the Paul and Phil Juliano, senior executives at the Bally’s Corporation on how the rebranding of the company is going and how the various Bally’s casinos are handling it, particularly the flagship Bally’s Atlantic City.
Last month’s World Game Protection Conference had many revealing presentations, including money-laundering expert Jeffrey Robinson warning casinos of criminals who use vendors for back-door money laundering, and show organizer Willy Allison’s (l.) unveiling of the “Top Five Casino Scams” of the century.
Government officials in cash-strapped Thailand are considering legalizing casinos. It’s estimated that Thais spend billions annually on gaming, and frequently cross into Cambodia to patronize its casinos. Premier Prayut Chan-o-cha (l.) is worried about underground casinos in the country.
As access to gaming grows, concerns about at-risk players are on the rise. March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month. Here’s how states, health professionals and the gaming industry are collaborating on solutions.
Scientific Games Corp. is changing its business name to Light & Wonder Inc., a reflection of its omnichannel gaming approach of only gaming and the company’s core games. The company was required to rebrand when it sold off its lottery division and the name.
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Today, many countries have legal gaming. Now it’s Brazil’s turn to consider a legal industry, and lawmakers are facing off across both sides of the divide. The Chamber of Deputies has approved a wide-ranging gaming bill, but President Jair Bolsonaro (l.) has said he will veto the bill, so the end result is far from certain.
The slow movement of the legislature considering the revised Macau gaming bill has caused Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong (l.) to extend the June deadline for naming the next round of concessions until December 31.
For almost 50 years, the U.S. has required casinos to report jackpots of $1,200 or more to the IRS. A new bill sponsored by Nevada Rep. Dina Titus (l.) and others will raise the threshold to $5,000 but it’s not the first time it has been proposed.
Gaming firms are rallying to support Ukraine, raising relief funds and severing business relationships in Russia. Karolina Pelc (l.), founder and CEO of BeyondPlay, announced a fundraiser for Ukraine relief.
For all the cheering over sports betting records in New York, the quest to win customers came with a steep cost. Operators made no profits, and took major losses due to the state’s stratospheric tax rate. Now state Senator Joseph Addabbo is (l.) pushing online casinos.
MGM/Orix Agreement Includes ‘Escape Clause’
The Las Vegas Sands Corp. has formed a political action committee to push legal casinos in the Lone Star State. The PAC is funded by Miriam Adelson (l., with her late husband Sheldon) to the tune of $2.3 million.
Aristocrat Gaming has created a real money iGaming division headed by current CEO Mitchell Bowen (l.), and has named Hector Fernandez, now president of Europe and the Americas, as the new CEO of Aristocrat Gaming.
Eilers & Krejcik Gaming held its fourth annual EKG Slot Awards event in Las Vegas, with awards for 2021 performance dominated by Aristocrat. At the event, industry legends Bob Luciano and Michael Laubach were inducted into the Hall of Fame in the slot category.
As the world recovers from Covid, other crises have rushed in to worry investors, including the escalating assault on the Ukraine. Now is the time to stay the course: finding and buying good companies at good values.
This week, the GGB Podcast meets with Matt Wilson, the CEO of gaming for Light & Wonder, the former Scientific Games, on the reasons and thought process for rebranding the company.
Alliance Global Group will infuse $152 million into Travellers International Hotel Group to help it fulfill current financial obligations. Travellers operates Resorts World Manila (l.) in the Philippines.
S. Korea Casino Industry Struggles to Survive Covid
The City of Dreams (CoD) Manila (l.) is operating at full capacity now that most Covid restrictions have been lifted. That glad fact was reported by the CEO of the company that owns it, Melco CEO Lawrence Ho Yau Lung.
U.K. bookmakers use a process called stake factoring to clamp down on how lucky bettors can get. One good lucky streak could hurt bookies, so the process reduces how much a player can bet.
The French national gaming authority has announced it will crack down on ubiquitous gaming ads, claiming a “line has been crossed” by the industry. It will take aim at ads that exaggerate the chances of winning.
Spain’s state-owned monopolies have been ordered to spend no more than 2 percent of their budgets on sports marketing and sponsorship budgets. Any expenditures will require permission from the government.
The U.K. Gambling Commission has fined 888 Casino £9.4 million for failing to observe social responsibility and guard against money laundering. The agency cited individual issues where the company failed.
Flutter Entertainment, parent company of Betfair and FanDuel, will tie annual 10 percent staff bonuses to the success of initiatives to prevent gambling addiction.
The Puerto Rico Gaming Commission has granted three new licenses, authorizing casinos in the Aloft San Juan (l.), the Hampton Inn in Dorado and the Tribute Portfolio by Marriott hotels in Ponce.
Crown Resorts is being sued for “innumerable” compliance breaches at its Australian casinos. Hefty fines, to be determined by AUSTRAC’s Nicole Rose (l.), could trigger an exit clause for the Blackstone Group, which plans a multibillion-dollar takeover.
Churchill Downs will eliminate online sports betting and casino gambling in the next six months. Officials said the company will sell its market access and focus on its retail sportsbooks and online horseracing business.
MGA Games has launched a new online roulette game featuring Spanish celebrities and a fully immersive RNG-based game-play experience. The game is unique to the European iGaming market.
Kentucky state Senator David Yates’ (l.) bill would legalize retail and mobile sports wagering, online poker and daily fantasy sports. Senator Adam Koenig’s measure would legalize most forms of sports wagering.
A Virginia House committee defeated two bills that would have allowed in-state betting on Virginia college and university sports. One of the measures previously passed the state Senate.
A Missouri House committee will hold a hearing on mobile sports betting legislation this week. An earlier vote was delayed as members sought changes relating to problem gambling, off-site wagering fees and promos.
Alabama state Senator Greg Albritton (l.) has announced plans to introduce a sports betting bill along with two other measures expanding the state’s casino market and creating a state lottery.
California’s Supreme Court has rejected an attempt by card clubs to stop a ballot measure that would give gaming tribes a monopoly on sports betting. The clubs claimed the measure would violate the state constitution.
The NFL and Nielsen Ratings calculate that more than 112 million Americans tuned in to watch the Super Bowl on February 13. Neilsen used the University of Chicago to survey 5,000 adults.
On March 1, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments from the state of Texas and the Tigua Indians on whether the tribe can continue offering casino games at the reservation’s Speaking Rock Entertainment Center (l.).
The Forest County Potawatomi and Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers have signed an amended compact allowing the tribe to offer sports wagering at its Milwaukee casino (l.). Interior Department approval is expected.
A South Dakota House committee has rejected an online sports betting bill, so wagering will be limited to Deadwood city limits (l.). Proponents say if lawmakers don’t act, a citizen-led ballot initiative is likely.
A panel of industry experts formed by the Nevada Gaming Control Board has held its first hearings examining the possible expansion of esports betting in the state. In West Virginia, legislators are proposing a bill that would expand sports betting to include esports.
Maryland regulators have approved another retail sports betting license, but authorities say mobile sports betting will likely not go live until next year.
BetMGM last week announced it has added Connor McDavid (l.) as its latest brand ambassador. The Edmonton Oilers captain is the first active player from the four major sports to sign with the sportsbook.
The agreement between FanDuel and the Buffalo Sabres provides branding, sports betting odds and promotions during broadcasts. FanDuel gets rights to branding and use of logos.
Three Chicago casino proposals include McCormick Place (the Bally’s plan at left). A survey of exhibitors and organizers indicates they would support a casino nearby but not onsite, where a casino could lure customers from conventions.
Officials in Richmond, Virginia thought a casino re-vote was a sure thing for approval of the One Casino Resort (l.). But the state Senate proposed a feasibility study for a Petersburg casino, delaying a Richmond do-over until at least November 2023.
Nebraska lawmakers are at odds over how many racinos the state can accommodate. Some legislators don’t want to “stifle” the industry. Senator Tom Briese (l.) wants to allow tracks to relocate to more accessible locations.
Officials in Columbus, Ohio both have approved a proposal for a casino, racetrack and hotel to be developed by Convergence LLC. Mayor Jim Bulkley (l.) cited no public opposition to the plan.
The West Virginia Senate (l.) approved a bill allowing casinos to operate satellite locations within the same county. Now the bill moves to the House. Voters and the Lottery Commission also will have to approve it.
After failing to agree on details of a jackpot-intercept bill to pay delinquent child support, Nevada lawmakers will consider such a move in next year’s session.
New Mexico racehorse owners allege the state Racing Commission and Gaming Control Board are taking money intended for them and using it for racecourses expenses. They have filed an ethics complaint.
Faced with reinvestment from its nearest competitors, Atlantic City market leader Borgata has committed to revamping hotel rooms and the casino. Borgata President Travis Lunn (l.) says he wants to attract patrons from other MGM properties.
One of the most iconic layouts in one of the most iconic casino hotels in Las Vegas is showing off its renovation. The work at Caesars Palace added new tiling, new ceiling and a new statue of the man himself.
Seneca Nation Treasurer Rickey Armstrong Sr. (l.) has joined tribal members who want a federal ruling before releasing gaming revenues to the state of New York. They have pressed the NIGC to expedite the matter.
The tribes of Maine are lobbying the legislature to pass a bill that would recognize their sovereignty. The tribes would like to operate casinos and other things U.S. tribes do—a right they lost in a 1980 land settlement.
The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe is being sued in federal court over a $1 billion casino it would like to build in Taunton, Massachusetts. Some residents of the city say the tribe isn’t eligible to put land into trust
More students will have access to hospitality management and culinary arts training and careers with the support of a three-year $1.7 million grant from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.
Northern Quest Hotel Expansion Underway
California’s Jamul Casino has opened newly renovated high-limit rooms with a dedicated bar, a separate Asian Games room and a private VIP lounge. The spaces are designed to invite good fortune. The tribe has also refinanced its construction debt.
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb (l.) supports online lottery games, but some lawmakers urge caution. For example, a Senate committee amended a tax bill requiring the legislature’s approval of internet lottery sales.
Red Rock Resorts has named Scott Kreeger (l.) as the company’s new president. Since September 2021, Kreeger has served as the Las Vegas-based company’s senior vice president of development.
Daron Dorsey (l.) officially took over on March 1 as executive director of the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers, as Marcus Prater said his goodbyes via email to AGEM members.
Boyd Gaming has welcomed Sybil Davis (l.) to the leadership team at Valley Forge Casino Resort in Pennsylvania. Davis brings “exceptional business acumen and expertise” to the position, the company stated.
Melinda Chan (l.) has been reappointed as CEO of Macau Legend Development, the company announced last week. Chan has expressed the hope that Macau Legend will soon win its own gaming concession.
The International Gaming Standards Association has announced its board of directors for 2022, headed by new chairman John English (l.), managing director of Maxxsure and partner in Global Market Advisors
BMM Testlabs has announced that Melissa Shuba (l.) has been promoted to the position of vice president of government affairs and licensing. Shuba joined BMM in 2016 as senior manager of regulatory compliance.
Agua Caliente Casinos California has expanded its marketing team with the addition of Jessica Newton (l.). Newton will oversee public relations for three properties in of Rancho Mirage, Palm Springs and Cathedral City.
Hoiana casino resort in Vietnam has appointed Jit Ng (l.) as chief marketing officer. Ng will be responsible for strategic planning, creative development and marketing outreach.
Codere Group CEO Vicente Di Loreto will resign his position with the company later this year, to be replaced by two co-CEOs, Alberto González del Solar and Alejandro Rodino (l.).
The Swedish Gaming Association, known as Spelbranschens Riksorganisation, has named Maria Wennerberg Sedigh (l.) as its new chief executive. She will take the helm starting March 30.
CashMagnet Ltd. has appointed industry veteran Joni Oinonen (l.) as its new chief marketing officer. CashMagnet described Oinonen as a “heavyweight” who will oversee marketing strategies in the U.K.
Galaxy Gaming and Aruze Gaming America have announced that the world’s most popular craps side wager is now available on the groundbreaking semi-autonomous game, Roll to Win Craps.
On February 4, officials at Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, California added Gaming Arts’ Ocean Phoenix slot to its gaming floor. The game is already widely popular in Asian markets.
In January, Casinò di Campione in Switzerland welcomed back guests with a suite of new Novomatic products, including bestsellers and top-performing gaming technology solutions.
Exacta Systems announced a new license IP agreement with Sega Sammy Creations, Inc., under which Sega Sammy slot titles will be ported to Exacta’s platform for historical horse racing.
SoftConstruct has signed a deal with OfficePools Bets to provide the company with iGaming products encompassing sportsbook, casino slots, live streaming dealers and virtual games.
Quixant is re-branding with a new logo, identity and enhanced product and support platform, aiming to enhance its position as a technology provider.
California’s Pechanga Resort will make Marker Trax cashless slot credit markers available to guests through an interface with Light & Wonder’s SDS slot management system.
Gaming Laboratories International will host its 22nd annual Regulators Roundtable, March 16-17 at Luxor Las Vegas. Among the topics under discussion: iGaming, cybersecurity, payment innovations and M&A.
Zitro will combine its Zitro Experience and Zitro University events and present them March 29 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in conjunction with the SAGSE 2022 trade show.
Small Nuggets of News
Outrageous pronouncements, simple statements and words of wisdom.