Sometimes a person who thinks outside the box can make quite a difference to his field of endeavor. That’s the case with Spanky, a legendary sports bettor who launched Bet Bash, a gathering of like-minded people in the field. Richard Schuetz (shown with Spanky at left, and Susan Hensel) explains why Bet Bash 2 worked well.

Racetracks Seek Younger Fans

In an effort to lure new, younger fans, horse tracks and auto racing tracks are offering more than just races. Parties and experiences include popular musical performers, Instagram opportunities, art exhibits and circus acts.

AGA: Smashing ESG

When it comes to sustainability, diversity and responsible operations, the gaming industry is hitting its marks. The American Gaming Association recently completed an assessment of the industry’s ESG efforts, according to AGA VP Cait DeBaun (l.).

Japan Gaming Process Takes Another Hit

In what Governor Yoshinobu Nisaka (l.) called a “bitter blow,” a longstanding plan to develop an integrated resort in Wakayama, Japan was nixed last week by the prefectural assembly. Wakayama’s withdrawal doesn’t bode well for the nascent industry, conceived before the pandemic to bring in international tourism.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Maine Sports Betting Bill Goes to Governor

A bill to legalize sports betting has passed in the Maine Senate and House and could soon be on the desk of Governor Janet Mills (l.). Complicating the bill’s progress is the larger debate on tribal sovereignty in the state and opposition from the commercial casinos in the state.

Macau GDP Won’t Bounce Back for Years

The International Monetary Fund says Macau’s gaming-centric economy won’t return to pre-pandemic levels until 2025. The contraction is a reminder of the need to diversify, as demanded by Beijing.

Kentucky Sports Betting Bill Dies In Committee

Sports betting legislation died on the last day of the Kentucky legislative session. Senator Damon Thayer (l.) expressed disappointment in the outcome, but said sentiment will probably change next year.

U.K. Commission Establishes New Rules of Behavior

As part of its attack on possible player harm, the U.K. Gambling Commission has created a set of rules to intervene with at-risk players. Guidance on how to detect such behavior will be unveiled in June.

California Tribe Files for Massive Casino Expansion

The Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria have resubmitted expansion plans for their casino that are larger in scale than originally proposed in 2017. Studies are ongoing, and a public forum is open through May 4.

Indian Gaming No Longer an ‘N Word’

The Indian Gaming 2022 tradeshow held las week in Anaheim, California, was also the rebranding of the National Indian Gaming Association. The conference and tradeshow was declared a success when almost 7,000 attended, according to IGA Chairman Ernie Stevens Jr. (l.).

FANTINI’S FINANCE: Slowdown Ahead?

Too much confidence in the gaming sector may be unrealistic given inflation, which may cut into consumers’ leisure spend. As first-quarter earnings reports near, it may be time to adjust expectations.


Singapore IR to Renovate Three Hotels

This spring, Resorts World Sentosa (l.) in Singapore will begin the renovation of three hotels, the Hard Rock Hotel Singapore, the Hotel Michael, and the Festive Hotel. Collectively, the three hotels include 1,200 rooms and suites.

U.S. Accuses Macau of Censorship

A U.S. report says Macau saw more limits on free speech and assembly in 2021. Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng (l.) upheld freedom of the press, as long as the press adheres to a “love of the motherland” principle.

Committee to Report on Thai Casinos

An extraordinary committee of the Thai House of Representatives will soon issue a report on the pros and cons of an integrated resort in the country. Bangkok (l.) could host the first casino complex.



Okada Manila Introduces iGaming in Philippines

Last week, Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc. announced the soft launch of its iGaming platform. TRLEI operates Okada Manila in the Philippine capital’s Entertainment City casino zone.

India Mulls Online Gaming Regulations

India’s government has introduced the Online Gaming (Regulation) Bill that would for the first time introduce regulations for online gaming. Currently, India has no laws governing iGaming.

Light & Wonder to Release Stargate Megaways

Light & Wonder will soon release what the company calls its “flagship” for 2022, Stargate Megaways—the first new title on the OpenGaming platform under the new company name.


Nevada Racebooks Hopeful For Kentucky Derby Bets

Nevada racebooks hope they can take bets on this year’s Kentucky Derby. It hasn’t happened for two years due to a contract dispute over simulcast fees between Churchill Downs and the Nevada Pari-Mutuel Association.

Missouri Senate Considers Sports Betting Bill

A sports betting bill allowing retail and mobile wagering is on its way to the Missouri Senate, which is expected to increase the House bill’s 8 percent tax rate to 21 percent in a bill sponsored by Sen. Denny Hoskins (l.), and include $500,000 for problem gambling services.

Better Collective Acquires FIFA-Focused Site Futbin

Better Collective, a sports betting media group, has acquired popular FIFA-based esports website Futbin in a $113 million deal. The company is looking to expand its growing footprint in the esports industry.

Blackmon Signs First MLB Sportsbook Sponsorship Deal

Colorado Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon (l.) is baseball’s first active sportsbook ambassador, signing a promotional deal with MaximBet. The deal is permitted under the league’s new collective bargaining agreement.


AGA: Gaming CEOs Bullish on 2022

The American Gaming Association’s Industry Outlook report says gaming CEOs are maintaining a positive business outlook for 2022, with 67 percent saying conditions are good.

Mississippi Casino Hotel Sold to Saratoga Owners

After 11 years, the owner of Magnolia Bluffs Casino and Hotel (l.) in Natchez, Mississippi has sold the property to Saratoga Casino Holdings LLC. The sale came as a surprise to the mayor of the city, Dan Gibson.

Virginia Judge Dismisses Cordish Lawsuit

A Virginia circuit court judge has dismissed the Cordish Companies’ lawsuit against the city of Norfolk, which partnered with the Pamunkey Indian Tribe to build a casino. Cordish claimed it also had a deal to build a casino (l.).

Atlantic City Visitor Numbers Climbing

The South Jersey Transportation Authority has some positive news to report. Traffic on the Atlantic City Expressway rose in the first quarter on 2022 as did the number of passengers using the airport.

Illinois Golden Nugget Breaks Ground

Ground was broken for the Golden Nugget Casino in Danville, Illinois, which will create 300 jobs and offer a 41,500-square-foot gaming floor with 500 slots, 14 table games, two restaurants and a sportsbook.

Chicago Council Members Criticize Casino Sites

Chicago officials including Alderwoman Pat Dowell (l.) are concerned about traffic and safety issues that may come with a proposed new casino. Residents also spoke their minds at recent community meetings.

Live! Casino Pittsburgh Will Open Event Center in June

The Live! Casino in Pittsburgh announced last week that it will open a new 7,000-square-foot event and entertainment space called the Venue in June. The space was created for meetings, weddings, concerts and special events.

Vegas ‘Miracle’: Fontainebleau to Open in 2023

The Fontainebleau hotel and casino in Las Vegas, an on-and-off project for close to 15 years, could finally open in late 2023. The resort has changed hands a number of times, but will be completed by the original developers.

Casino Near Penn State Challenged

A combination of a lawsuit by a losing bidder and numerous negative comments from local residents will weigh on regulators’ decision on a license for a casino near Penn State University. Investor Ira Lubert (l.) and Bally’s would own and operate the property.


CA Supervisors Reverse Course, Endorse Win-River Relocation

After sitting down the Redding Rancheria CEO Tracy Edwards (l.), the Shasta County Board of Supervisors reversed a previous decision to oppose the Win-River Casino relocation proposal by a 3-2 vote. The board will send a formal endorsement to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Former Mashpee Chairman Goes to Trial

Former Mashpee Wampanoag tribal Chairman Cedric Cromwell (l.) went to trial last week on federal charges of bribery. For years, Cromwell led the Massachusetts tribe’s efforts to build a casino in Taunton.


San Manuel Band Elects Lynn Valbuena as Chairwoman

On April 12, Lynn Valbuena (l.) was reelected chairwoman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians for the fifth time. She and newly chosen tribal council members were sworn in and began their terms in office.

BMM Testlabs’ BIG Tech Names Sharma as CEO

BMM Testlabs’ technology company BIG Tech has appointed Amit Sharma as its chief executive officer. BIG Tech provides cyber-defense systems, regulatory technology and media solutions.


Win Systems Expands in Oklahoma with WIGOS CMS

Win Systems, a leader in gaming and entertainment software technology, has installed its WIGOS casino management system at the Madill Gaming Center in Oklahoma, run by the Chickasaw Nation.

Novomatic, R2 Gaming Announce Agreement

Novomatic Americas has announced a multi-year distribution agreement with top Canadian distributor R2 Gaming, Inc. R2 will make Novomatic products available throughout Canada.

White Hat Studios Makes Content Deal with Tipico

White Hat Studios, the content division of iGaming platform provider White Hat Gaming, has struck a content partnership with Tipico U.S. The deal will give Tipico customers access to White Hat games.

Zitro Adds Product to Spain’s Arcadia

Zitro has supplied its Altius Glare cabinets, the new Wheel of Legends game and other top products to Cocamatic Group’s Arcadia gaming salons in Madrid, Spain.

Sycuan Launches Tangam Slot Optimization

Sycuan Casino Resort has become the first property to deploy the Slot Optimization & Data Analytics software package to improve the guest experience for customers.

OKTO Brings Digital Payment Option to EU Casinos

OKTO, a payment provider in the gambling sphere, has signed a deal with the European Casino Association to bring innovation to the group with digital payments. Such advances are among the fastest in the sector.




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