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.
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.
Alternative games are usually lucrative for the casino operator and are hard to beat, especially when the player is cheating. There are exceptions to the rule, however, and table-game expert Bill Zender points out one.
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.
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.
Featured Stories More
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.
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.
Caesars Entertainment was rumored to be shopping one of its Las Vegas properties for over a year, but CEO Tom Reeg (l.) recently announced to investors that the company has scrapped those plans and will keep its Sin City portfolio intact, at least for now.
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.
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.
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.
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt (l.) hired outside legal counsel to represent him in a lawsuit filed by four Native American tribes that claim gaming compacts Stitt signed with four other tribes are illegal.
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.
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.
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.
As Japan gears up to license its first integrated resorts with gaming, including MGM Osaka (l.), lawmakers in Osaka have enacted regulations to help prevent gambling addiction.
Cambodia continues to work to be removed from the money laundering “gray list” of the Financial Action Task Force. The head of Transparency International Cambodia says there’s still much work to be done.
Landing International Development, which runs the Jeju Shinhwa World resort (l.) on Jeju Island in South Korea, has announced the company will change its name to Shin Hwa World Ltd.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
SkyCity Chairman Julian Cook confirmed at a recent investors meeting that the company’s SkyCity Adelaide casino (l.) is under investigation from both state and federal authorities over allegations of money laundering violations.
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.
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.
Ontario saw the launch of several retail sports betting sites across the province as regulators for the Alcohol and Gaming Commission ended the transition period for gray market operators.
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.
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.
Evolution Gaming’s Live Dealer Craps (l.) has been approved for New Jersey’s online casinos, which will follow Pennsylvania as the second U.S. jurisdiction for the game.
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.
Incredible Technologies and Bragg Gaming have inked a new iGaming partnership through which IT will distribute its titles via Bragg’s platforms.
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 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.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission rejected a request by DraftKings to revisit the decision to launch in-person sportsbooks ahead of online ones. The operator feels a staggered launch allows retail sportsbooks to gain an edge.
FanDuel and Sportradar signed a deal with the NBA to provide official data and betting innovative services. The agreement goes through the end of the 2030-31 season.
Unibet will leave Iowa, admitting it failed to make a dent on the market share of the major sportsbooks. Could this example repeat itself with other markets attracting similar small operators?
The esports sportsbook Vie.gg had high hopes when they launched in New Jersey in April. But being treated as a sports betting entity in a market not prepared for it may have doomed it to failure.
Two local small business owners have partnered with Parx to operate sports betting at the Greenmount Station OTB (l.) and are calling it a “huge opportunity.”
Sports betting is two months away from launching in Ohio, but Caesars Sportsbook is already accepting deposits from customers who download their app, and is also offering bonuses.
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.
New Hampshire has enjoyed taking money from Massachusetts bettors, first in casinos near its border then from Bay State online bettors crossing the border. With mobile bets in March in Massachusetts, that could change.
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.
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.
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.
The Chicago City Council (l.) approved a 2,200-apartment development plus a 141-room hotel to be located within walking distance of the $1.7 billion Bally’s Casino in River West.
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.
FireKeepers Casino Hotel (l.) shattered the Mid-States Poker Tour record for Midwest events. The property pulled in 2,400 entrants, who produced a prize pool of $2.34 million.
The Concord Casino (l.) in New Hampshire is one of many charitable gaming facilities that are looking to expand and should be able to do so with the increased business generated by historical horse racing.
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.
Two Native American tribes, the MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians in Alabama and the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina (l.) are using two retiring senators to try and push legislation that would gain them federal recognition.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians recently closed on the acquisition of 30 acres of rural land just over a mile from its Red Hawk Casino (l.) near Placerville.
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.
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 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, 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.
Churchill Downs Incorporated has completed its purchase of virtually all of the assets of Peninsula Pacific Entertainment for a total consideration of $2.75 billion.
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.
Betsson will pay €14 million to acquire 80 percent of the shares of B2B sportsbook supplier KickerTech, reflecting Betsson’s increased focus on B2B operations.
Complaints from developers of a variety of apps have prompted Apple to temporarily suspend a series of advertisements for gambling apps on its App Store site.
On November 1, the Maryland State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency announced that it had awarded GeoComply with a tier-one contractor license for its geolocation and ID verification services.
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.
Small Nuggets of News
Outrageous pronouncements, simple statements and words of wisdom.