GGB PODCAST: Ismail Vali, CEO, YieldSec

This week, in a special edition of the GGB Podcast, we feature a discussion with Ismail Vali, the CEO of YieldSec, a company that has a solution to the problem of illegal online casinos and sports books.

I Told You So

The enthusiasm surrounding legal sports betting in California was sky high less than one year ago. But those enthusiastic observers didn’t know California or the power of the tribes. Richard Schuetz explains what went wrong.

Voters Prepare to End the California Sports Betting Debate

The battle between Props 26 and 27 in California, which would legalize sports betting for either tribes or online bookmakers respectively, has become an epic, months-long fight that has resulted in nearly half a billion dollars in funding from both sides. It will be decided today as voters prepare to end that debate, at least for this election cycle.

Fertitta Becomes 2nd-Largest Wynn Shareholder

Tilman Fertitta (l.) is now one of the largest individual shareholders in Wynn Resorts, having purchased 6.9 million shares, which equates to a 6 percent stake in the company. This comes shortly after the Houston-based billionaire was granted approval to build his own 43-story casino resort on the Las Vegas Strip.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Brazil’s New President May Allow Gaming

Brazil’s outgoing president, Jair Bolsonaro, had promised to veto any attempt by the legislature to legalize gaming. However, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (l.), nicknamed “Lula '' narrowly defeated Bolsonaro, and he has reportedly said he would respect Congress if it passes such a bill.

California Ballot Question Big Issue on Election Day

With the mid-term elections slated for November 8 in the U.S., the most important issue to be decided for gaming is whether California will legalize sports betting in any form. And for states without legalized sports betting, these elections provide a chance to bring the discussion to the forefront. This is especially true when it comes to governors.

Travel Resumes from China to Macau

Starting November 1, Macau opened travel for individuals and groups from Chinese cities. The move was described by a JP Morgan analyst as a potential “boon” for gaming operators.

Life Goes On As Alabama Casinos Fear Shutdowns

Officials and casino owners in Lowndes County, Alabama await the state Supreme Court’s response to their request to rehear a case involving electronic bingo games that could lead to the casinos’ closure, eliminating 100 jobs.

Chau Trial: Conflicting Testimony on Illegal Bets

In the trial of former Macau junket boss Alvin Chau (l.), a director of the city’s compliance audit division testified that she saw no evidence the junket took part in illegal betting. Testimony from Suncity employees suggested otherwise.

New U.K. Minister Will Oversee Gambling Act Review

After unsuccessful attempts from four previous U.K. undersecretaries for tech and the digital economy, the country may finally have the undersecretary to carry the review of the Gambling Act of 2005 across the finish line. Paul Scully (l.) has been appointed to the job under the new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

FANTINI’S FINANCE: A Tale of 2 Markets

Even though business remains strong for U.S. casino companies, the onslaught of interest hikes may eat away at some of the market’s progress, representing a long-term value proposition. Macau, on the other hand, is primed for quick, short-term value, but future prospects remain uncertain.

GGB PODCAST: Soo Kim, Chairman, Bally’s Corp.

This week, the GGB Podcast features a discussion with Soo Kim, the chairman of Bally’s Corp., on his efforts to build a company that’s a leader in online gaming, land-based gaming and sports entertainment.

ASIAN GAMING More

Mohegan Inspire Slated to Open in Late 2023

Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment’s long-awaited South Korean resort, Inspire, is set to open in late 2023, according to the U.S.-based tribal gaming enterprise. Inspire is located in Incheon, known as the gateway to Seoul.

EUROPEAN GAMING More

Spain Reforms Gaming Law

Spain’s Senate has passed a reform bill of the Gambling Law of 2011. It further curtails advertisements and seeks to “improve controls on sports manipulations, betting fraud and expand protections for problem gamblers.” It also authorizes a database of those involved in illicit gaming.

Euro. Commission Raises Threat Level for iGaming Money Laundering

The European Commission has raised the threat of money laundering among online casinos to the highest level, calling it “very high.” The commission is asking for the strongest AML protocols and training sessions for employees and “know your customer” due diligence.

New Obstacle for Long-Awaited Hard Rock Project in Spain

A casino development near Barcelona by Hard Rock International has undergone several delays over the past 10 years and now has a new obstacle it must overcome. The company already operates the Hard Rock Café Barcelona at left.

Ho Family Retains Control of Portugal’s Casinos

Macau’s Ho family has retained its concessions of the two largest casinos in Portugal, in spite of being outbid by the online casino operator Bidluck. What apparently killed the deal is that two Bidluck directors face trial for “illicit exploitation of gambling.”

France to Restrict Bonuses to “Excessive” Gamblers

The French gaming regulator l’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) has issued a series of binding and non-binding guidelines and recommendations for operators. They include a ban on offering bonuses for “excessive” players and limiting welcoming bonuses to €100.

KSA Warns Against Advertising “Bombardment” During World Cup

The Dutch gambling regulator KSA Chairman René Jensen (l.) warns online betting operators that they risk bringing parliamentary wrath down on their heads if they insist on back-to-back advertising during the FIFA World Cup tournament. He advised against “bombardment of advertising.”

U.K. Changes Design of ‘Young People and Gambling’ Report

It was 2020 when the U.K. Gambling Commission last published “Young People and Gambling.” During the Covid-created interim, UKGC reviewed its survey and decided to do it differently than before. It observed, “Gambling is a tricky subject to research, especially amongst 11 to 16-year-olds.”

GLOBAL GAMING More

Mandatory Cashless Play Recommended Following NSW Inquiry

A massive money laundering inquiry in New South Wales has resulted in the recommendation of mandatory cashless play throughout the region, due to the proliferation of criminals either using the machines to clean the money or using them to gamble with illicit funds. Michael Barnes (l.), crime commissioner in New South Wales, said that “many billions of dollars” are being funneled through the machines annually.

Australian Govt. to Mandate New RG “Taglines” in iGaming Ads

The Australian government has introduced new responsible gaming “taglines” that will be mandated for all iGaming ads starting next year. Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth (l.) has championed the new changes, saying that more gaming offerings equate to more losses for Australians.

ONLINE GAMING More

Genting Malaysia: Link to iGaming is ‘Fake News’

In late October, Genting Malaysia Bhd issued a warning about “fake news” that linked it to online gaming. The website of Resorts World Genting informed readers that the report is inaccurate and not to be trusted.

Experts: Esports Betting Won’t Make Splash

Jay Kornegay, the head of major sportsbook operator Superbook, and the head of gaming research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas predict that legal esports wagering will not have a big impact on the industry.

DraftKings Offers New Jersey Progressive Jackpots

Exclusively for New Jersey customers, DraftKings Casino now offers progressive jackpots on blackjack, roulette and slot games. Officials said the progressive jackpot feature soon will be expanded into other markets.

SPORTS BETTING More

Will Sports Betting be Legal in Texas by 2023?

There are many that have teamed up to try and get sports betting legalized in Texas but they face powerful politicians who are opposed and are making it difficult to even get a bill introduced to the legislature.

Illinois Re-Opens Search for Online Sports Betting Applicants

Illinois has been one of the more successful states in sports betting, but its effort to find an online only operator hasn’t had much success. Now the state has re-opened the search in hopes of attracting the right mix. But a Mexican company run by former Tijuana mayor Jorge Hank Rhon (l.) didn’t make the cut.

Mintas Joins Sports Betting Startup

Dr. Laila Mintas (l.), who has already helped several iGaming companies enter the competitive sports betting and iGaming market is at it again. She is co-founding a company called PlayEngine that features a disruptive platform built from scratch.

UNITED STATES GAMING More

Vegas Room Rates Soar; Biden Pledges to Fight “Junk” Resort Fees

A recent report from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority noted that visitors paid the highest average room rates on record in September. That report comes at a time when President Joe Biden (l.) is pledging to fight hidden fees across a number of industries, including resort fees, which are extremely common among Strip hotels.

Texas Judge Rules Dallas Acted Legally to Close Poker Room

Civil District Court Judge Eric Moye (l.) has ruled in favor of the city of Dallas in a case where the city closed the Texas Card House. The city first issued a certificate of occupancy to the private club, then revoked it and raided the club, shutting it down.

Virginia Hard Rock Breaks Ground This Month

The temporary Bristol Casino in Virginia has been operating since July 8. Recently Hard Rock officials said groundbreaking for the permanent Hard Rock Hotel and Casino (l.) will happen this month.

Expanded Gambling Could Benefit Illinois Suburbs

Illinois casino operators, building new suburban casinos and replacing riverboats with land-based venues, expect to attract players from a 25-mile radius with improved amenities, accessibility and current technology. Hard Rock already operates a temporary casino (l.) in Rockford.

TRIBAL GAMING More

Ottawa Indians to Appeal Casino Plan to USDOI

The Ottawa Indians say they will resubmit their application for a casino in Muskegon County, Michigan directly to the federal government, after Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (l.) refused to sign off on the plan.

North Carolina Tribe Invests In Kentucky Racetrack

A new $55 million quarter horse racetrack and historical horse racing casino will be built in Boyd County, Kentucky by Revolutionary Racing of Chicago, partnering with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians of North Carolina, which operates Harrah’s Cherokee (l.) in the Smoky Mountains.

Electronic Bingo Offered on Alaskan Island

Indian gaming as regulated by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act is almost unheard of in Alaska. But there is one tribe, the Klawock, based in Prince of Wales Island (l.), where its land is in trust, and therefore eligible to operate a small casino offering Class II bingo slot machines.

Wisconsin Study Finds New Casino Proposal Reduces Risk

A legislative agency study said the Menominee Tribe’s proposed casino in Kenosha, Wisconsin (l.) offers less financial risk and increased benefits for the city, state and tribe. The Forest County Potawatomi, operators of a Milwaukee casino, oppose the project.

Iowa Casino Begins 60,000-Square-Foot Expansion

The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska broke ground on a 60,000-square-foot expansion at its Prairie Flower Casino in Carter Lake, Iowa. The larger facility will feature 600 gaming positions, sportsbook, dining and retail, and create 200 jobs.

LOTTERY More

Allwyn in Talks to Buy Camelot UK

Allwyn Entertainment revealed to Sky News that it is in “advanced discussions” to acquire Camelot UK Lotteries, the company it is replacing as operator of Britain's National Lottery.

PEOPLE More

Rhea Loney Appointed as Chief Compliance Officer for BetMGM

BetMGM has named Rhea Loney as its new chief compliance officer. Loney previously served as vice president of compliance, regulatory affairs and strategy for Penn Interactive, and also spent time providing legal counsel for the Louisiana State Racing Commission.

Lam Named Deputy CEO of Resorts World Sentosa

Lam Yi Young (l.) has been named deputy CEO of Resorts World Sentosa. In another key appointment, Andrew MacDonald became chief casino officer at the Genting Singapore property starting in September.

USAbility Adds IGT’s Joe Asher to Advisory Board

USAbility, a consultancy for the sports betting and iGaming industry, has appointed IGT’s Joe Asher to its newly formed advisory board. Asher is the former head of William Hill US and IGT’s president of sports betting.

GOODS & SERVICES More

Boyd Completes Pala Acquisition

Boyd Gaming completed its acquisition of Pala Interactive and its subsidiaries for $170 million in cash, and will expand on Pala’s proprietary online gaming platform.

TRADE SHOWS & CONFERENCES More

ICE London 2023 Registration Opens

Registration is open for ICE London 2023, to be held February 7-9. Organized by Clarion Gaming, the show brings together more than 35,000 gaming industry participants from around the world.

NUTSHELL More

THEY SAID IT More

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