GGB’s annual list of the movers and shakers in the gaming industry’s highest honor. The January issue features such high flyers as FanDuel’s Ann Howe, BetMGM’s Adam Greenblatt, Everi’s Randy Taylor, Casino Austria’s Erwin van Lambaart, Light & Wonder’s Siobhan Lane, Hard Rock Las Vegas’ Joe Lupo and many others.
Panel: Danger Exists of More Cyberattacks
A panel discussion at the recent National Council of Legislators from Gaming States conference warned that casinos are vulnerable to further cyberattacks. Continent 8’s Michael Tobin (l.) says the attacks have soared over the last year.
Hospitality Heros Honored in Vegas
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority last week celebrated the city’s top hospitality workers with the tourism industry’s “Best of the Best” honored during Hospitality Heroes reception. LVCVA President Steven Hill and Peter Guzman, president of the Latin Chamber of Commerce, handed out the awards to the winners.
Illegal gaming has been around forever and the growth of legal gaming has forced it back into the shadows. But it hasn’t gone away, as proven by a recent reports issued by the American Gaming Association and The Innovation Group.
Macau’s Big 6 Sign New 10-Year Deals
On December 16, Macau’s six gaming concessionaires, including SJM at left, officially signed 10-year licensing deals with the government. The new concessions under revised terms will begin in January and infuse $15 billion into the industry.
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WEEKLY FEATURE: Chicago City Council Endorses Bally’s Casino
The Chicago City Council (l.) approved zoning for Bally’s proposed $1.7 billion casino downtown. Once the Illinois Gaming Board grants a license to operate in the city, Bally’s can open a temporary casino at Medinah Temple in 2023.
Bolsonaro Throws Brazil’s Sports Betting Market Into Chaos
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (l.) may be leaving office at year’s end, but he’s not going quietly, after refusing to sign sports betting regulations before a key December 12 deadline. The future of the market now looks uncertain, as lawmakers will likely have to start from scratch.
Virginia’s First Permanent Casino To Open In January
The first permanent casino to open in Virginia, Rivers Casino Portsmouth (l.) will debut January 15, 2023. The venue will feature 1,448 slots and 57 table games on the casino floor, a sportsbook, Top Golf Swing Suite, poker room and dining options.
Japan IR Decision Unlikely this Year
Osaka and Nagasaki may have to wait until 2023 to learn if they can build Japan’s first integrated resorts with gaming. Osaka would develop its IR with gaming partner MGM Resorts, and Nagasaki with Casinos Austria.
Cordish Selected To Develop Petersburg Casino Resort
The Petersburg, Virginia City Council selected the Cordish Companies to develop a $1.4 billion casino resort (l.) over 15 years. However, that depends on legislative and voter approval, and no casino in Richmond.
Star Rocked by $67 Million Fines from Queensland Government; Feds Charge Execs
Australian regulators are continuing to deal out substantial fines to operators across the country, with the latest being a $67 million penalty against Star Entertainment from the Queensland government over a number of regulatory failings. And the federal government brought charges against 11 former Star execs, including CEO Matt Bekier (l.).
Florida: Oral Arguments Heard In Seminole Sports Betting Case
A year after the Department of Interior filed an appeal to a district court decision voiding the state compact with the Seminoles, the case began oral arguments. It could take another year or more for the appellate court to decide.
Massachusetts Hands First Licenses to Encore, WynnBET
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission approved its first retail sportsbook: Encore Boston Harbor (l.). The agency also gave a license to WynnBET as the first online approval.
FANTINI’S FINANCE: Here for a Good Time, Not a Long Time
Now that Macau’s Big 6 have signed new concessions, it may seem as though everything is back on track for the market that once dominated the global industry. And, in some ways, there is room for optimism in the short-to-medium term. That being said, the amount of uncertainty is simply too great to believe in the region as a long-term success.
GLOBAL GAMING BUSINESS PODCAST: Indiana State Senator Jon Ford
This week, the GGB Podcast features a discussion with Jon Ford, the state senator from Indiana who was largely behind the legalization of sports betting in the state, about his plans to push a measure adding iGaming in the next session.
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Special Gaming Zones, Tax Waiver May Be a Hard Sell in Macau
Starting in 2023, Macau casinos must set aside special gaming areas for overseas players to see how much revenue they generate. In return, certain taxes on GGR may be waived. Analysts say the plan doesn’t add up.
Philippines’ Diokno Pushes Privatization of PAGCOR Casinos
Philippine Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno (l.) continues to call for the privatization of casinos run by the country’s gaming regulator. Diokno agrees with other lawmakers that the dual role is a clear conflict of interest.
Onetime Thai Gambling Consultant Gets Decades Behind Bars
A Thai court has sentenced Siapo Po-arnon (l.) to 54 years in prison for illegal gambling and money laundering. Siapo once advised a House panel on plans to legalize gaming in the country.
At Trial, Former Junket Runner Proclaims Innocence
Last week, former junket head Levo Chan (l.) denied that his company engaged in illegal betting at Macau casinos. Chan and eight others have also been charged with criminal association, fraud and money laundering.
Korean Casino to Relocate
A foreigners-only casino run by Grand Korea Leisure Co. will move from the Millennium Hilton Seoul to Seoul Dragon City, just in time for New Year’s Eve.
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Glücksspiel (GGL) Now in Charge of German Gambling
Glücksspiel (GGL), the regulator of interstate gaming in Germany, is set to take up its new duties. Joint-Chief Executive Benjamin Schwanke (l.) says, “We’re ready to go. We have set up the appropriate structures and processes to effectively regulate the online gaming market from January 1, 2023.”
Report: Affordability Checks Hurt U.K. Industry
A new report by analysts at Ernst & Young concludes that affordability checks are posing a threat to business in the U.K.’s regulated gambling industry.
New Irish Gambling Law Requires ‘Opt In’ for Ads
Ireland’s proposed Gambling Regulation Bill includes a requirement that consumers may not be hit by gambling ads in streaming, video services and on social media unless they “opt in.” The bill is being discussed in the Dáil, the lower house of parliament.
UKGC in Hot Water for World Cup Tweet
U.K. Gambling Commission quickly apologized for posting a Tweet that promoted sports betting before the World Cup, but also had images of children. It quickly deleted the Tweet and added, “We realize this was an oversight and undermined an important consumer protection message.”
Norway Extends Horse Racing Bet Monopoly
Norway has extended by a decade the horse racing wagering monopoly of Norsk Rikstoto to the year 2032. Norway is one of the few remaining countries of the European Union that have state gaming monopolies. Its other such monopoly is Norsk Tipping, which offers online casino gaming.
KSA Warns Operators Regarding World Cup Ads
Dutch gaming regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) contacted two operators that employed banned advertising during the World Cup. The agency stated: “The KSA has approached two providers about advertising in a game in which people can create a World Cup pool. This is not allowed.”
Scottish Gambling Report Calls for Ad Restrictions
The Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICE) (l.) has issued a report on how a public health approach would relate to gaming regulations, which suggests taking a page from how tobacco, alcohol and drugs are treated.
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UFC betting Back in Alberta Sportsbooks, Ontario Holds Out
The Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis organization, which oversees sports betting in the province, said they were lifting a ban on UFC wagering after they were satisfied the UFC was complying with investigations regarding suspicious betting patterns. Ontario regulators, however, kept the ban in place.
Tabcorp Fights Entain Over “Ladbrokes lounge” in Sydney Hotel
Entain’s decision to open Ladbrokes lounges in hotels in the greater Sydney, Australia area has provoked a legal battle between Entain and its gaming rival Tabcorp, which is fighting to preserve its retail wagering monopoly.
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Indiana Lawmakers Will Reintroduce iGaming Bill
For the fourth consecutive year, Indiana state Senator Jon Ford and state Rep. Ethan Manning (l.) will introduce a bill allowing internet versions of poker, slots and table games, and authorizing the Hoosier Lottery to offer online games.
As More States Push for iGaming, Nevada Lags Behind
Nevada is widely accepted to be the gaming capital of the U.S., but iGaming remains absent from its offerings. As more states push for legalization, the pressure is mounting for the Silver State to do the same.
Esports Entertainment Group Axes CEO, Sells off Pieces
Esports Entertainment Group found rough sledding in its attempt to bring eSports into the betting mainstream. In response to its lack of success, the company fired the CEO, sold off parts of the firm with more to come.
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Ohio Commission Preparing for January 1 Sports Betting Launch
Sports betting will be legal in Ohio on January 1, and the Ohio Casino Control Commission, who regulates the activity in the state, made a series of moves at a recent meeting.
Report: Pre-match Betting on World Cup Up Over 50 Percent
The World Cup has been a boon to betting. Pre-match wagers made a comeback to surpass 50 percent of all bets, and live betting has also proved popular. Credit the beneficial time zones for part of the results.
Vermont Committee Favors Approval of Sports Betting
Vermont, the only state in New England without sports betting, may be crossing the barrier. A study committee has recommended that lawmakers give the go-ahead to mobile wagering.
Ohio Krogers Taking Wait-and-See Attitude on Sports Betting Kiosks
Sports betting becomes legal in Ohio on January 1 and one of the features will be betting kiosks at local businesses. Kroger grocery stores were approved for the machines but they said they won’t be ready.
Texas Alliance Hires Rick Perry to Push for Sports Betting
Texas will be a tough state to crack for sports betting, but it’s not for lack of trying. The Sports Betting Alliance, a collection of sportsbook operators and state pro sports teams has hired former governor Rick Perry (l.) as a spokesman.
First Golf Course Sportsbook Breaks Ground in Scottsdale
The PGA Tour and DraftKings have broken ground on a sportsbook that will reside at the TPC Scottsdale (l.), making it the first golf course that hosts a PGA Tour event to have a facility to make wagers.
NFL Streams First Live Game on Caesars Sportsbook App
The Dallas Cowboys crushed the Indianapolis Colts in what turned out to be the first NFL game to be livestreamed on a sportsbook app. The game appeared on the Caesars app. At the same time, viewers could place bets.
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Wynn Desires Encore Boston Casino Expansion, Needs State Approval
The Encore Boston Harbor casino, owned by Wynn Resorts will soon be expanding with two hotels, more meeting space and a new showroom (l.), but the operators still need to get approval from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission for some of their plans.
Bally’s LV Rebrands as Horseshoe
Caesars Entertainment has officially rebranded its Bally’s Las Vegas property as Horseshoe Las Vegas (l.), after Caesars sold Bally’s Corporation rights to the Bally’s casino brand.
Resorts World Hudson Valley to Open December 28
Resorts World Hudson Valley (l.), Genting’s casino 60 miles north of New York City in Newburgh, announced it will hold its grand opening on December 28.
From Isle to Horseshoe, Louisiana Casino Reopens
The land-based Horseshoe Casino Lake Charles (l.) opened December 12, replacing the former Isle of Capri Lake Charles in Louisiana, which closed in 2020 due to Covid-19 and Hurricane Laura.
VICI Properties Funds Missouri Casino
VICI Properties real estate investment trust will provide $51.9 million toward three Century Casinos properties, including a new land-based casino and hotel at Caruthersville, Missouri (l.).
World Series Of Poker Returns To The Strip
Caesars Entertainment announced for the second consecutive year, the World Series of Poker will return to the Strip, at Paris Las Vegas and Horseshoe Las Vegas, starting May 30, 2023.
Atlantic City Gaming Leaders Say Change is Vital to Future Success
A panel of five people with ties to the Atlantic City gaming industry met recently to discuss the future of the seaside gambling town and how it can move forward in the future.
Mount Airy Casino Resort Implementing 21-and-Over Policy
Mount Airy Casino Resort (l.) made the decision to ban people under 21 from its property starting December 18, including the pool areas, hotel, restaurants, and bars.
Former Fiesta Henderson Site Purchased by City of Henderson
The 35-acre plot that used to be home to the Fiesta Henderson (l.) was recently bought by the city of Henderson for $32 million. City officials plan to use the space to build an indoor youth sporting complex.
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Alabama Tribe Still Lobbies For Gambling Bill
Comprehensive gambling legislation failed to pass in Alabama last year, but Poarch Band of Creek Indians leaders still are lobbying for a bill allowing voters to approve sports betting, casino gambling and a lottery.
St. Regis Mohawk Tribe Settles $4.84 Million in Unpaid Compact Funds
Lawrence County as well as other areas in New York state are seeing payments owed to them from the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe in relation to unpaid compact funds.
Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke Sues Ontario Over iGaming Operation
An indigenous tribe in the province of Ontario, Canada has taken the government to court over what it alleges is an illegal and unconstitutional operation of online gambling and sports betting.
Washington Tribe’s Luxury Hotel Opening In 2025
The Washington-based Snoqualmie Tribe released images of its new 210-room luxury hotel, opening in 2025. It’s part of the tribe’s $435 million expansion that also includes additional gaming area, spa, entertainment and meeting facilities and new restaurants.
Canadian Gaming Assn. Adds new Board Members
The Canadian Gaming Association held its annual meeting in Vancouver and learned a lot about the dynamic British Columbia gaming market. It also named six new board members: Bruce Caughill, Mark Harper, Charmaine Hogan, Dale Hooper, Niaz Nejad, and Scott Vanderwel.
Executive Team for Upcoming Durango Casino Taking Shape
Station Casinos’ Durango Casino and Resort project may still be under construction, but its management team is starting to come together. The company recently appointed David Horn (l. to r.) as vice president and general manager, Kai Speth as vice president of hospitality and Daniel Ye as executive chef.
Mobile Global Esports Adds Jaitly as Advisor
Mobile Global Esports has added Rishi Jaitly as the company’s chief strategic advisor. Jaitly previously led Twitter’s entry into India and Asia Pacific markets, and headed public affairs for Google and YouTube.
Elfersy Appointed CCO of Platform, Sportsbook for GiG
The Gaming Innovation Group has appointed Marcel Elfersy as its new chief commercial officer for platform and sportsbook. The group is looking to strengthen its position as a provider in regulated markets.
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Perwyn Acquires VIXIO
Private equity investor Perwyn has acquired VIXO, a supplier of regulatory and business intelligence to the global payments and casino industry.
PA Casino Launches Cashless Payment Options
Last week, Pennsylvania’s Parx Casino announced the launch of cashless gaming across its casino floor through a new partnership between Sightline Payments and Light & Wonder.
Playtech Funds Academic Responsible Gambling Research
Playtech Plc has committed to funding a four-year project called: “A Safe Bet: design and evaluation of a player-tailored online responsible gambling promotion framework.” It will work with Erasmus Rotterdam and the University of Amsterdam, along with Holland Casino.
NEWS & NOTES
Small Nuggets of News
Outrageous pronouncements, simple statements and words of wisdom.