April In Vegas

Sing into spring? If Paris, New York, San Francisco and Kansas City can have songs that inspire, why not Las Vegas? Ira David Sternberg has a few suggestions.

U.S. Mobile Sports Wagering Explodes; So Does Fraud

As mobile sports betting grows in the U.S., so too do efforts to commit fraud via proxy bets, bonus abuse and multiple accounts. According to one estimate, fraud rose 400 percent year over year from 2020 to 2021.

Should Hawaii Permit DFS? This Lawmaker Says Yes

Hawaiian state Rep. Angus McKelvey (l.) wants to bring daily fantasy sports to the Aloha State, a state that is staunchly anti-gaming. According to McKelvey, DFS isn’t gambling, so it should be permitted. He hopes the incoming attorney general will agree.

Lightfoot Names Three Chicago Casino Finalists

Rejecting two proposals for a casino at McCormick Place, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (l.) last week announced the three finalists for a downtown Chicago casino. The finalists are Neil Bluhm’s Rivers 78 proposal and bids by Hard Rock and Bally’s Corp.

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Could Location Site Sink Osaka IR?

Concerns about flooding at Yumeshima Island (l.) in Osaka Bay have raised questions about the site’s suitability for an integrated resort. But the MGM-led consortium says it has no plans to bow out of the Japanese IR project.

Western Australia Punishes Crown

Like neighboring New South Wales and Victoria, Western Australia has ruled the Crown Resorts in “not suitable” to hold a casino license in the state, but can remain in operation at Crown Perth (l.) while remediation efforts get under way.

Kentucky House Passes Sports Betting Bill

The Kentucky House has approved a bill to legalize online and onsite sports betting. Previous efforts made it to the House but got no further. The bill moved to the Senate for consideration before the session ends April 14 where Majority Leader Damon Thayer (l.) frets about opposition.

Vegas Visitation Report Shows Diverse Tourist Visits

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s annual visitor profile showed that 2021 visitation rebounded to 32 million, most visitors were from the U.S., and they were ethnically diverse. The LVCVA expects convention business to fully return by 2023.

Comanche War Pony Casino Opens in Oklahoma

The Comanche War Pony Casino in Devol, Oklahoma, marked its grand opening March 19. The property is owned by Comanche Nation Entertainment, which now owns six tribal casinos in Oklahoma.



Dutch Minister Promises Stricter Ad Laws

Like officials in so many other countries, the Dutch hope to stem the proliferation of ads for gambling. Minister Franc Weerwind (l.) revealed plans for restrictions that will become law later this year.

French Regulators Order Winamax to Remove Ads

French gambling regulators ordered Winamax to withdraw a marketing campaign, claiming it breached national laws by suggesting sports betting could improve personal success and increase social status.


NSW: Star Sydney Ignored Junket Risks

According to investigators in New South Wales, Australia, the Star Sydney Casino renewed an agreement with a junket operator linked to Asian triads, despite the risk of money laundering.

Russian Resort Expansion Delayed by Covid, Sanctions

Global sanctions against Russia and the fallout from Covid will delay the Phase II expansion of Tigre de Cristal (l.), a casino resort in Vladivostok’s Primorye Economic Zone. The project will resume “no earlier than 2025.”

New Zealand: SkyCity Auckland Lax in RG Measures

The New Zealand government says the SkyCity Auckland Casino (l.) is “deficient” in its approach to problem gambling. A 2019 audit found that staff had a “dismissive” attitude to gambling by banned players.



Kansas Lawmakers Reconsider Sports Betting

A Kansas House committee heard testimony on a bill to legalize sports betting online and at casinos, convenience stores and racetracks. Analysts estimate the wagers could generate $50 million in annual revenue.

Missouri House Passes Sports Betting Bill

Sports betting legislation won first-round approval in the Missouri House. The bill, which allows on-site and online wagering, has the blessing of the state’s six professional sports teams and five of six licensed casinos. Passage in the Senate is unclear.

Mobile Sports Betting Benefits Louisiana

Bettors wagered $211 million online in Louisiana in February. By comparison, about $27.4 million was wagered at the state’s 13 retail sportsbooks, a dramatic drop from the $49.3 million bet during January.

Maine Casinos Object to Sports Betting Plan

As Maine lawmakers debate a bill to give tribes the right to operate mobile sportsbooks, the location of retail books has become an issue. Governor Janet Mills (l.) supports a plan to restrict retail bets to OTBs.

Indiana Sportsbook Prepares for Ohio Competition

As Ohio prepares for sports betting by January 1, 2023, Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg, Indiana debuted a $2.4 million expansion at its Barstool Sports Book (l.), with new slots and table games, betting kiosks and dining.

Wrigley Field Reveals Sportsbook Plans

The defunct Captain Morgan Club will be renewed as a year-round sportsbook at Chicago’s Wrigley Field. The location in the right-field corner will be a focal point of Wrigleyville development.

Washington Tribe to Open Sportsbook

The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe will offer onsite sports betting at its 7 Cedars Hotel and Casino (l.) in Washington by August 1. The $850,000 Cedar Sports venue will offer 22-foot TV screens, theater seating and six kiosks.

NH Town to Vote on Keno, Sports Betting

Selectmen of Conway, New Hampshire (l.), held a public meeting ahead of a vote that will determine if keno and sportsbooks will be permitted in the town. Voters will make the decision next month.

BestOdds Licensed in Maryland

BestOdds has announced that it has been licensed as a vendor in the state of Maryland. It’s the 16th U.S. market where the company may now operate.


Historical Horseracing Coming to New Hampshire

Churchill Downs will bring historical horseracing to New Hampshire with its purchase of Chasers Poker Room in Salem, 30 minutes from downtown Boston. The transaction is expected to close in second quarter 2022.

Richmond Judge Rules In Favor Of Renewing Casino Referendum For 2022 Ballot

A Richmond judge ruled that a failed casino proposal from the 2021 ballot will return in 2022. The Richmond City Council already voted in favor of renewing the proposal in January backed by Mayor Levar Stoney (l.). Those opposed were attempting to block the measure through budget provisions, but the judge’s order largely nullified that language.

El Cortez to Be Adults-Only Property

The El Cortez Casino (l.) in Downtown Las Vegas is transitioning to a 21-and-older-only property, beginning with reservations for April 1 and beyond. The casino will require an ID for entry.

Circa Resort Adds Meeting & Convention Space

Circa Resort & Casino in Downtown Las Vegas will open 35,000 square feet of meeting and convention space this September. The MICE amenity will offer new options for planners in search of an exciting off-Strip experience.

Colorado Approves Fixed-Odds Wagering

Fixed-odds wagering on horse and greyhound racing will have an 18-month trial period in Colorado, following approval from regulators. Officials said it’s helped bring back horseracing in other nations.

Atlantic City Casinos Have Positive Outlook

February shows a disappointing drop in sports betting revenue, but overall, the city revenues jumped almost 45 percent. That’s a positive as the goal moves towards producing revenues that beat pre-pandemic levels.

Waukegan, Illinois Commission Okays Temporary Casino

The Waukegan, Illinois Planning & Zoning Commission has approved Full House Resorts’ temporary American Place casino, anticipated to open in July. The 75,000-square-foot venue will be housed in a high-tension tent.

Hotel Planned at Henderson, Nevada Casino

A six-story, 90-room Atwell Suites hotel will be built at the Pass Casino in Henderson, Nevada. Owner Joe DeSimone (l.), who bought the property in 2020, said the $20 million hotel will offer a pool and wine bar.

Mississippi KISS-themed Casino Still Alive

The developer of the $200 million KISS-themed Rock and Brews Casino at the former Margaritaville Casino site in Biloxi said the project is moving ahead, although the property is listed for sale for $15.9 million.

Study: To Lower Risks, Pause Gambling Sessions

The Journal of Gambling Studies found that more than 40 percent of gamblers stopped either depositing money or wagering more after taking mandatory breaks. The study was based on 60-minute breaks from playing.

More Sponsors for NJ Casino Smoking Ban

Bipartisan support by New Jersey state lawmakers is gaining for an effort to close a loophole that allows smoking in the Garden State’s casinos, according to Senator Joseph Vitale (l.), the chairman of the health committee. More lawmakers have signed on as sponsors for the new bill, as Pennsylvania lawmakers push for similar action.

Massachusetts Considers Regulating Casino Ads

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has signaled its intention to press for increased regulation on casino advertising in the state, as it looks at the future of regulating sports betting within the Bay State. Regulators are likely to open a public comment period, with no action taken at a March meeting.


Washington Tribe Announces Casino Expansion

The Elwha River Casino in Port Angeles, Washington will complete a 12,000-square-foot expansion early next year, more than doubling current gaming space and increasing gaming terminals from 147 to 300.


New U.K. Lottery Operator to Cut Ticket Prices

After close to three decades running the U.K. National Lottery, Camelot will cede control to Allwyn Entertainment. The company will run the lottery for 10 years beginning in 2024. Allwyn promises to cut ticket costs.

IGT Signs Deal with Singapore Lottery

IGT has signed a six-year agreement with Singapore Pools (Private) Limited lottery to provide its central lottery system Aurora and perform related services.


Vegas Culinary Union Announces New Leaders

Culinary Workers Union Local 226 has named Ted Pappageorge (l.) as secretary treasurer and Diana Valles as president. Leain Vashon continues in the role of vice president.

Watson Tapped as MSG Sphere President

Lucas Watson (l.), former executive of a self-driving car company, has been named president of MSG Sphere, now under construction at the Venetian in Las Vegas.

Beijing Appoints National Security Officers in Macau

The Chinese government has appointed three senior officials to Macau’s Committee for Safeguarding National Security. They include Fu Ziying (l.), director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government.


888 Holdings Taps Global Payments

888 Holdings has signed an agreement with Global Payments Gaming Solutions that will deliver iGaming payment solutions to 888’s SI Sportsbook.




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