In this special edition of the GGB Podcast we feature a discussion with Morten Tonnesen, the chief commercial officer of Shape Games, on its recent acquisition by Kambi and how the future should unfold.
Lessons From Responsible Gaming Education Month
Addressing Responsible Gaming has become a Year-Round Effort and is Yielding Positive Results
AMERICAN GAMING ASSOCIATION: How Long?
The last 18 months of commercial casino revenue have set records, but is it sustainable?
Two blemishes on the otherwise stellar record of the Cordish Companies may be removed if a casino is permitted in Peterburg, Virginia, and an integrated resort (l.) is built in the Madrid region of Spain.
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WEEKLY FEATURE: Ontario’s Gray Market Grace Period Ends, as Pinnacle Transitions
Pinnacle, known in Ontario for its many years of operating in the “gray market,” is set to go live October 26 in the regulated market. Additionally, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has ended its grace period for others looking to make the same transitions. Paul Burns (l.), head of the Canadian Gaming Association, says the time for leniency is past.
Caesars Palace Times Square?
Proposals for one of the three licenses available in the “southern tier” of New York—the New York City area—are drifting in but this week’s proposal for a Caesars Palace in Times Square has garnered lots of attention.
Defiant Okada Vows to Reclaim Control of Philippine IR
On October 17, casino magnate Kazuo Okada (l.) was arrested on arrival at an airport in Manila, Philippines. The Japanese billionaire is charged with coercion in his takeover of the Okada Manila integrated resort in May. Now out on bail, Okada vowed to continue his quest for control of the IR.
Venetian Las Vegas Expected to Undergo Renovations Totaling $1 Billion
In an interview with Travel + Leisure, Venetian Resort CEO Patrick Nichols announced that the resort (l.) will be undergoing major renovations in the near future, to the tune of $1 billion. The renovations are expected to include all suites, but no timeline has yet been given.
Genting Officially a Contender in Macau
GMM S.A., a last-minute entrant in Macau’s casino license race, is now an official contender for a gaming license in the city. A unit of the Genting Group joined six incumbents to vie for 10-year gaming licenses.
Star’s NSW License Suspended; Regulators Impose Record Fines
Regulators in New South Wales have announced that Star Sydney’s (l.) casino license will be suspended as of October 21, and that independent monitor Nicholas Weeks will oversee operations for the foreseeable future. Oh, and don’t forget about a record $62.7 million fine on top of it all.
Truss’ Resignation Shrouds U.K. Gaming Review in Further Uncertainty
The long-awaited reformation of the U.K.’s Gambling Act appears to be on the backburner once again, following the resignation of maligned Prime Minister Liz Truss (l.) after just 44 days in office.
FANTINI’S FINANCE: Gleaning Trends from Small Sample Sizes
It’s third quarter earnings season, and Las Vegas Sands and Monarch Casino are the first operators to report thus far. However, because the two are unique in their own ways as opposed to other high-profile casino companies, it’s hard to tell if their mostly positive results will be extrapolated to the industry at large.
GLOBAL GAMING BUSINESS PODCAST: Joe Billhimer, Executive Vice President, Cordish Gaming Group
This week the GGB Podcast sits down with Joe Billhimer, the executive vice president of the Cordish Gaming Group, on the success of the Live! Philadelphia property since it opened during the pandemic.
ASIAN GAMING More
Cambodian Police Raid Thousands of Illegal Gambling Dens
A crackdown on illegal gaming in Cambodia has borne fruit. Following more than 10,000 raids in recent weeks, at least 127 unlicensed gambling dens have been shut down.
Philippine Officials Shutter Hundreds of Illegal POGOs
Last week, Philippine officials announced the shutdown of more than 200 illegal offshore gaming operations and the deportation of several Chinese nationals who worked for them. More expulsions are expected to follow.
Vietnam Resorts Need $2 Billion Minimum to Qualify for Gaming
Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance says three resorts in the country could be in line to offer casino gaming—but only if they can demonstrate capitalization of $2 billion or more. The Van Don Special Economic Zone (l.) is part of that requirement.
Osaka Lawmaker Pushes IR Approval
In comments before the Japanese parliament, Osaka MP Taku Ikeshita urged Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to approve an integrated resort (l.) in the prefecture by March 2023 “at the latest,” or risk years of delays.
VIP Now a Minor Segment in Macau
The high-roller segment in Macau’s gaming industry hit a new low in the third quarter of 2022, accounting for just over 20 percent of gross gaming revenues for the period.
EUROPEAN GAMING More
UFC Fighters Banned from Betting on Sport
The UFC recently announced it wanted to protect the sport from any possible impropriety and said they were banning its fighters from wagering on all UFC fights.
U.K. to Test “Single Customer” Monitoring
The U.K.’s Gambling Commission, headed by CEO Andrew Rhodes (l.), is ready to begin trials on a system that will monitor the activities of single customers, combining data on their activities from multiple operators. The goal is to prevent players from avoiding intervention by spreading their unsafe gaming activities over several operators.
Malta, France Collaborate on AML Strategies
The gaming authorities of Malta and France met for a remote workshop on September 27-28. The purpose was to collaborate on strategies for Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT). Some of the subjects covered include updates on legislation, and obligations of licenses to enforce regulations.
Paddy Power Ups Spending on Safer Gaming Measures
Paddy Power, a subsidiary of Flutter Entertainment, says it has been spending more than €100 million annually on safer gaming measures in the U.K. and Ireland. Both countries are on the verge of significant revisions of their gaming laws.
Unlicensed Maltese Operations Leave Dutch Market
The Dutch gaming regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has served cease and desist orders to two operators, LCS and MKC. The operators have complied and pulled out of the market.
Germany Pushes ISPs to Block Lottoland
Germany’s regulator Die Glücksspielbehörde is pressuring the country's ISPs to block the lottery wagering site Lottoland. It promises the providers hefty fines if they don’t block Lottoland. The regulator feels that Lottoland is especially undesirable because it could confuse consumers that it is a legal lottery.
Italy Regulates Fixed-odds Betting
Italy has finally issued a decree that has been hanging fire since 2017 that updates regulations on fixed-odds wagering on sporting and non-sporting events—excluding horse racing. The decree, which brings Italy’s regulations in line with international standards, goes into force October 28.
GLOBAL GAMING More
Queensland Govt. Cracks Down with New Regulations
The Queensland state government has wasted no time in implementing stricter regulations after Star Entertainment was recently deemed unsuitable for casino licensure in the state. Shannon Fentiman (l.), Queensland’s attorney-general, announced higher fine limits as well as the implementation of independent managers.
New South Wales to Implement Facial Recognition in RG Push
New South Wales is close to rolling out a statewide facial recognition program in gaming areas that will help identify self-excluded gamblers and prevent them from further engaging in problem behavior, according to two trade organizations in the state.
SPORTS BETTING More
Legislators Debate Legalization of Vermont Sports Betting
Vermont has long been tackling the issue of whether to have sports wagering legalized in its state, and recently held several meetings to discuss the topic.
New Jersey Lawmakers Seek to Keep LIV Golf Circuit Out
An upstart golf tour has made inroads into the golf circuit. But the LIV Tour, and member Phil Mickelson (l.) has carried a lot of baggage, namely its funding by the Saudi Arabian government, which has been accused of several human rights violations.
Missouri Lawmakers Press Governor on Sports Betting
Missouri lawmakers are trying to get sports betting passed but so far have not received much cooperation from Governor Mike Parson (l.), who recently nixed a special session for it.
New York State Tosses Lawsuit by FanDuel Co-founders
The co-founders of FanDuel weren’t too happy when the company sold the sportsbook away. Led by Nigel Eccles (l.), they filed a suit seeking $465 million.
Arlington Heights Seeks Zone Change for Bears Sportsbook
The Bears paid close to $200 million for an unused race course so the team can move out of Chicago. They’ll still be called the Chicago Bears but will play in a new stadium in Arlington Heights at the site of the shuttered Arlington Park Racetrack (l.).
ESPN and DraftKings Close to a New Partnership
ESPN owns a small piece of DraftKings. Now the network and the sportsbook are reportedly on the cusp of something big. Bettors would say it has to do with sports betting—they’d probably be right.
Fubo Closes the Book, Leaving Cleveland Back to Square One
At its third quarter presentation, the folks at FuboTV slipped in the announcement that Fubo Sportsbook is no more. The result left the Cleveland Cavaliers without an operator.
Esports in AC?
The Casino ESports Conference was recently held at Stockton University (l.) in Atlantic City, where the ribbon was cut on a new esports lab that could create jobs and benefit casinos.
Caesars Sportsbook Gets Facelift at Capital One Arena
The Caesars Sportsbook at Capital One Arena (l.) has recently undergone some renovations, including adding more betting kiosks, that the owners are convinced have improved the product.
Self-Exclusion Database Discussed for Colorado Sportsbooks
The Colorado Division of Gaming recently held a workshop with representatives from licensed sportsbooks in the state to discuss creating a database that would help problem gamblers.
UNITED STATES GAMING More
Bally's Signs Labor Agreement For Chicago Casino
Bally’s Corporation has signed a multi-project labor agreement for the construction of its $1.7 billion casino-resort in downtown Chicago (l.). The venue will offer 3,400 slots, 170 table games and a 500-room hotel.
Fertitta’s Proposed Strip Casino Approved by Clark County
Clark County commissioners have given the green light to Tilman Fertitta’s proposed casino-hotel project on the Las Vegas Strip near Harmon Avenue. The plot (l.), which was purchased in June, will soon be cleared to make way for the new 43-story development.
Alabama Casino Requests State Supreme Court Rehearing
In the latest round of Alabama versus electronic bingo, Victoryland (l.) asked the state Supreme Court for a rehearing on its decision that casinos must stop offering “illegal gambling activities,” i.e., electronic bingo.
Massachusetts, Connecticut Report Record Revenue Results
September was very, very good to the adjoining states of Connecticut and Massachusetts, at least when it comes to gaming revenues. A hiccup here and there, but overall a good report card.
Atlantic County Judge Issues Stay Over PILOT Litigation
Superior Court Judge Michael Blee (l.) agreed to a stay in the lawsuit between New Jersey and Atlantic County. At issue: an amendment removing online casino and sports betting revenues from calculations of PILOT tax.
Virginia Town Considers Skill-Game Ordinance
Virginia’s ban on unregulated “skill games” is the subject of a lawsuit from a state senator who supports the machines; the town of Marion (l.) seeks to act now to limit their numbers.
Plainridge Park Casino Wants to Renew Horse Racing License
The license for live horse racing at Plainridge Park Casino (l.) in Plainville, Massachusetts expires at the end of the year and the owners of the casino are seeking a renewal with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.
New Jersey Bill Aims to Keep Gambling Addicts Out of Jail
Gambling addiction and crime sometimes go hand-in-hand, and the crime part sometimes lands the addict in jail. A trio of New Jersey lawmakers introduced a bill to give these folks a path to redemption if they follow the program.
Louisiana Riverboat Casino Moving Ashore
The Treasure Chest riverboat casino (l.) in Kenner, Louisiana, which opened in 1994, broke ground on its new $100 million land-based facility. It’s among the first riverboat casinos to move ashore under a 2018 law.
Nebraska Planning Commission Finally Approves Casino
Prairie Thunder Hastings LLC was back before the Hastings, Nebraska Planning Commission for their horse track and casino project, and had much better news than their previous appearance.
Mississippi Company Eyes Shuttered Louisiana Casino
If Louisiana gaming regulators approve, Mississippi-based Foundation Gaming plans to invest $200 million in DiamondJacks Casino (l.) in Bossier City, Louisiana. The property closed in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Caesars Rebrands Its Only Florida Casino
Caesars’ only Florida casino, the former Isle Casino Pompano Park (l.), will become Harrah’s Pompano Beach in December, company officials said. Renovation and expansion are expected to be completed by early 2024.
Nebraska Casino Gamblers Wager $1.4 Million On Day One
Players at the temporary, 433-slot WarHorse Casino (l.) in Lincoln, Nebraska wagered an estimated $1.4 million on opening day, September 23. The permanent venue will open in November 2024 with 1,100 slots, 100 table games, a sportsbook and live and simulcast horse racing.
Aurora, Illinois Mulls Loan to Build New Casino
Aurora, Illinois, is considering taking out a general obligation bond loan for $50 million to help the Hollywood Casino (l.) build a new casino and hotel in the downtown area. Penn Entertainment is building a $360 million casino project. The loan would be paid back out of increased property tax revenues.
TRIBAL GAMING More
North Carolina Tribe Kicks Off $275 Million Expansion
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians broke ground on the $275 million expansion at Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino (l.) in Murphy, North Carolina. It will be the first major expansion at the property, built in 2015 for $110 million.
Tribe Says Poll Shows Support for Kenosha Casino
The Menominee Indian Tribe of Kenosha, Wisconsin commissioned a poll that showed 60 percent of residents approved of a plan to build a hotel, casino, and entertainment complex.
Me-Wuk Tribe Celebrates Topping off of Casino Resort
The Chicken Ranch Casino Resort (l.) in Tuolumne County, California October 5 celebrated a topping off ceremony for the 9-story structure. The project will include a hotel with 190 rooms and 9,600-square foot convention center.
David Tsai Named CEO of Crown Perth
Former MGM executive David Tsai has been named CEO of Crown Perth, as the company looks to get back into the good graces of regulators throughout Australia.
Chickasaw Leader Bill Lance Jr. Nominated to Aristocrat Board
Chickasaw Nation tribal leader Bill Lance Jr. has been nominated as a non-executive director of Aristocrat Leisure. Shareholders are expected to elect Lance at the company’s next annual meeting in February of next year.
GLPI Announces Promotions for Moore, Burke
Gaming and Leisure Properties, Inc. has announced two executive-level promotions—Brandon Moore has been appointed as chief operating officer and Desiree Burke has been named chief financial officer.
GOODS & SERVICES More
J.P. Morgan Invests in Sightline Payments
J.P. Morgan Payments has negotiated an investment deal with Sightline Payments, in which the two companies will develop a new offering for the resort and hospitality industry.
Swintt Partners with Joi Gaming
Software studio Swintt has signed a new partnership with Dutch-based Joi Gaming, in which Swintt titles will be available to iGaming players nationwide.
Konami’s BattleBots Slots Previews in Las Vegas
Last week, the world’s first BattleBots casino slot games debuted at World Championship VII in Las Vegas, ahead of an official launch in casinos. The game was created by global casino games developer Konami Gaming.
TRADE SHOWS & CONFERENCES More
EKG G2E Roundtable Lauds Aristocrat
At the Eilers & Krejcik Gaming Post G2E Roundtable, slot operations executives named Aristocrat Gaming the top slot supplier displaying at this year’s Global Gaming Expo.
NEWS & NOTES
Small Nuggets of News
THEY SAID IT More
Outrageous pronouncements, simple statements and words of wisdom.