Jeffrey Benson has Something to Say

The influx of lots of newbies to legal sports betting business isn’t great for the industry because they often have no clue about how to run a sports book. Not so with Circa’s young sports book director Jeffrey Benson, shown at left with the author Richard Schuetz.

ESPN Considers Expanding Role Related to Sports Betting

ESPN is not interested in taking your money for a bet on a Giants-Eagles game. But the broadcaster wants to do more on the fringes, including more related commentary, especially in their Vegas-based branded studio (l.). All this depends on parent Disney’s approval.

Hard Rock Reveals Plans for Mirage Replacement

Las Vegas is a city of constant change, and now one of its most iconic faces, the Mirage, is preparing to change hands from MGM Resorts International to Hard Rock International. On December 7, Hard Rock representatives revealed their plans to overhaul the property and add a guitar-shaped tower (l.) to the Strip skyline.

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WEEKLY FEATURE: Massachusetts Gaming Commission Begins Applicant Hearings

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission began its hearings into applicants seeking a license to operate a sportsbook in the state. Beginning with Plainridge Park Casino, owned by Penn Entertainment, they proved not to be a rubber stamp body for its Barstool sports book brand, where controversial president Dave Portnoy (l.) is a principal.

Poll: 65 Percent of Texans Support Legal Gambling

Gaming appears to be gaining momentum in the Lone Star State, as a poll conducted by PlayTexas showed that 65 percent of Texans would support a ballot measure to legalize casinos and sports betting in the state.

Greens NSW Lay Out Plan to Remove Pokies from Bars, Clubs

The Greens New South Wales political party has proposed a plan to phase out poker machines from the state’s bars and clubs. The plan, called “Pull the Pin on Pokies,” is centered around imposing extremely high tax rates that would increase annually. Greens MP Cate Faehrmann (l.) recently said that the reforms are needed because gambling in the state is “out of control.”

Proposed Law Would Regulate All Gaming in Ireland

Ireland has finally joined the rest of the EU in modernizing its laws pertaining to gambling. The island has been operating under a grab-bag of jurisdictions and laws going back nearly a century. The Minister For Law Reform James Browne (l.) called the Gambling Regulation Bill a milestone.


Analyst: Macau Gaming Will Recover in 2024

JP Morgan analyst DS Kim predicts that Macau’s beleaguered gaming industry could recover almost completely by 2024 on the back of mass market play. The city pledges to follow Beijing’s lead on Covid prevention.

Jeju Casinos Look Beyond China for Customers

Foreigners-only casinos on Jeju Island, South Korea, are targeting customers outside Mainland China in the wake of that country’s Covid restrictions and a crackdown on cross-border gambling.

SkyCity Adelaide Taken to Federal Court by AUSTRAC

SkyCity Adelaide (l.) has been taken to Federal Court by the financial crimes agency known as AUSTRAC over breaches of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism regulations. The exact charges and penalties sought are unknown, but some analysts have posited that fines could be in the tens of millions.


KSA “Too Limited” to Fight Illegal Online Gambling

The de Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), which regulates Dutch gaming, was the subject of a report commissioned by the government. The report said KSA was “too limited” to effectively combat illegal online gaming. Operators say the KSA should do more to limit offshore operators.

Denmark: Bonuses Can’t be Reactivated for Lapsed Players

The authority that regulates gaming in Denmark has issued a policy that makes it illegal to reactivate bonuses for a lapsed player. According to the rule, “Bonuses may therefore not be given on the basis of a player’s inactivity.”

UKGC Asks Operator Feedback on Remote Operator Guidance

The U.K. Gambling Commission has launched a consultation for proposed rules for remote customer interactions. The rules became official in September, but the UKGC wants feedback on implementing them from operators and stakeholders.


Puerto Rico’s Casinos Earnings up 38.89 Percent

Casino earnings in Puerto Rico’s 17 casinos grew 38.89 percent during the most recent fiscal year. Earnings were $355 million compared to $256 million last year. This likely indicates a rebounding of the island’s economy from the worst effects of the pandemic.

Indian Casino Operator Sues Goa Over License Fees

India’s sole gaming company, which operates three properties in Goa, including the Deltin Royale (l.), has sued the state government over being dunned for taxes during the period when casinos were closed due to Covid-19. That period includes between April 2020 and September 2021.

Chile Could Ban Online Gaming Ads at Events

The Chamber of Deputies of Chile (l.) has approved a ban on advertising of online betting during events or at sports clubs. The bill now goes to the Senate. Currently 11 of 16 first division soccer teams in the country have sponsorships with sports betting operators.




Station Casinos Buys, Sells Las Vegas Plots

Station Casinos recently completed two land deals in the Las Vegas Valley, one being a 67-acre purchase and the other being a 21-acre sale. The company continues to be aggressive in the area in its pursuit to double its foothold by the end of the decade.

Bally’s Adjusts Chicago Casino Plans

Bally’s officials told attendees at the final community engagement meeting that the $1.7 billion Chicago casino (l.) plan will offer more green space and additional traffic congestion solutions, in response to area residents’ requests.

Genting Malaysia Ups New York Stake

Genting Malaysia Bhd has increased its investment in Empire Resorts, operator of two casinos in New York state, increasing its stake in the company from 49 percent to 76.3 percent.

Virginia Hard Rock Breaks Ground

Hard Rock International’s $400 million Hard Rock Hotel & Casino recently held a groundbreaking ceremony (l.) for the permanent facility, expected to open in spring 2024. A temporary casino is operating in the former Bristol Mall.

Virginia Skill Games Can Continue To Operate

Virginia has sought to ban skill games that have proliferated in truck stops, convenience stores and sports bars. But Greensville County Circuit Court Judge Louis Lerner’s recent ruling will prevent the state from enforcing the ban as the case moves through the courts.

Florida Commission Delays Decision on Casino Sale

The sale of Magic City Casino (l.) in Miami to the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, may be delayed. The Florida Gaming Commission is holding up approval of the sale and license transfer over an issue of transparency. Much information is redacted from the application due to issues of trade secrets.

Missouri Bootheel Casino Moving Ashore

Ground was broken on Century Casinos’ new $51.9 million land-based venue in Caruthersville (l.), expected to open in late 2024. A temporary casino will open in an adjoining riverboat and barge by the end of the year.


Alabama Senator Seeks Tribe’s Federal Recognition

Retiring Alabama U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (l.) is sponsoring a bill that would grant the MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians federal recognition. But 141 other tribes oppose the move which would bypass the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ application process.

Washington Tribe’s Tactics to Discourage Competition Criticized

Washington’s Cowlitz Tribe employed as consultants a team whose job was to discreetly do everything in their power to discourage Oregon gaming tribes from building casinos. Now, with the consultant fired, tribal leaders are criticizing the fact that it was ever hired.

Missouri Could See Two Lake Of The Ozark Casinos

Missouri state Rep. Jeff Knight (l.) has pre-filed a constitutional amendment authorizing a commercial casino at the Lake of the Ozarks. However, the Osage Nation also has applied to the Interior Department for permission to operate a Lake-area casino.



AGEM Index Up 7 Percent

The AGEM Index, which follows the stocks of gaming suppliers, increased by 7 percent in November compared to October, though it is down by 5.6 percent year-over-year.

Konami App Wins Gold Award

Konami’s Konetic app has been honored as an outstanding digital tool in this year’s MarCom Awards. The app performs many jobs on the gaming floor including jackpot processing and TITO redemption.




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