Not every gift that casinos give to their whales is appreciated. Las Vegas expert Ira David Sternberg recounts gift-giving faux pas and how to make it right.
Protecting the Alternative Games: High Card Flush
Another in his series on protecting alternative gaming, table game expert Bill Zender talks about how High Card Flush offers several opportunities for casino scammers to strike and how to parry those efforts.
A Career and a Half
Thirty years after co-founding the Spectrum Gaming Group, Fred Gushin’s role in the gaming industry can’t be underestimated, according to his partner, Michael Pollock.
Ohio Joins Sports Betting States
On New Year’s Day, Ohio sports betting officially kicked off, making it the 32nd state, plus the District of Columbia, to legalize the wager. Baseball’s hit king Cincinnati native Pete Rose (l.) made the first bet at Hard Rock Cincinnati on the Reds to win the World Series.
GLOBAL GAMING BUSINESS PODCAST: David Forman, Vice President, Research, American Gaming Association
Today, the GGB Podcast sits down with David Forman, the vice president of research for the American Gaming Association, on how his organization puts out some of the best data in the business.
GLOBAL GAMING BUSINESS PODCAST: Brant Iden, Vice President of Government Affairs, Fanatics Betting & Gaming
Today, the GGB Podcast sits down with Brant Iden, the recently appointed vice president of government affairs for Fanatics Betting & Gaming, on how he got an bill passed when he was a senator in Michigan legalizing both sports betting and iGaming.
GLOBAL GAMING BUSINESS PODCAST: Adam Greenblatt, CEO, BetMGM
Today, the GGB Podcast sits down with Adam Greenblatt, the CEO of BetMGM, which is one of the top three sports betting and iGaming sites in the U.S., on how he sees his company growing over the next few years.
GLOBAL GAMING BUSINESS PODCAST: Earle Hall, CEO, Axes.ai
Welcome to a special holiday edition of the GGB Podcast. Today we sit down with Earle Hall, the CEO of Axes.ai, on how his groundbreaking company is providing data services to the casino industry and pioneering cloud technology.
Churchill to Acquire Exacta Systems
Churchill Downs Incorporated has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all outstanding equity interests of Exacta Systems, expanding CDI’s reach in the historical horse racing market, and instantly making it the dominant player.
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WEEKLY FEATURE: January Signals a New Era for Macau Casinos
Macau’s newly relicensed casino concessionaires will begin their second concession terms on January 1. Under the new rules, they must double foreign visitation (non-Chinese or Hong Kong) and invest some $12.5 billion into their properties for the 10-year period, according to Secretary for Administration and Justice André Cheong (l.). New game caps and junket rules will take effect, too.
Fontainebleau Gets Construction Financing
With a “groundbreaking” for renewed construction on the Fontainebleau Las Vegas more than a year old, the owners of the property last week revealed they had received the final $2.2 billion financing to finish construction of the property, scheduled to open in late 2023.
Times Square Businesses Welcome Caesars
A coalition of more than 20 New York City restaurants, businesses and labor unions has released a statement in support of Caesars Entertainment’s plan for a Times Square casino (l.).
Philippines: Decision Time for POGOs?
Philippine Senator Grace Poe (l.) says it’s time for lawmakers to craft a formal policy on iGaming operations given its association with crimes including kidnapping. Poe alleges that an acquaintance was victimized.
Osage Congress to Investigate Former Casino CEO’s Spending
A former CEO of Osage Casinos, Byron Bighorse (l.) and his extravagant expenses will be the subject of an investigation by the Osage Nation Congress. During his tenure, Bighorse would expense rare whiskey, huge meals and golf clubs.
U.K. Minister Vows to Help Racing, Betting Sectors Thrive
U.K. Minister Paul Scully (l.), who has been put in charge of updating the law on horse racing and gambling is warning: “Nobody is going to get everything they want.” But he’s also assuring the sectors that he will do what he can “to make sure that horseracing and the betting sector can thrive.”
Massachusetts Licenses MGM Springfield, Plainridge Park
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission completed licensing its three in-person sports betting casinos. The sometimes lengthy hearings ended up with lingering concerns for MGM Springfield (l.) and Plainridge Park, which must submit to an investigation of the Penn-owned Barstool Sports.
Public Gets Revenge on bet365 in Argentina’s World Cup Victory
The betting public at bet365 had been losing pretty steadily in the opening round of the World Cup, but made some of the losses back in the final between Argentina and France.
Hard Rock Mirage Acquisition Finalized, Approved by Nevada Regulators
Hard Rock International has now completed its acquisition of the operations of Las Vegas’ Mirage from MGM International, a year after it was first announced. The iconic Strip destination will now begin a multi-year, multibillion-dollar transformation.
FANTINI’S FINANCE: Betting the House on Full House
When looking for winners in the gaming market for 2023 , the big names don’t have nearly the same growth potential as Full House Resorts, a regional operator with innovative new properties and proven leadership.
GLOBAL GAMING BUSINESS PODCAST: David Rebuck, Director, New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement
This week, the GGB Podcast sits down with David Rebuck, the director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, on his future with the agency and a review of all the regulatory milestones he’s achieved over his term at the DGE.
ASIAN GAMING More
In Japan, Tomakomai Reconsiders Integrated Resort Bid
The Japanese city of Tomakomai may pursue an integrated resort development in the next few years. An IR bid is part of the city’s public policy plan, with public comment invited in January.
Osaka IR Land Lease Set at $18M/Year
The yearly land lease to be paid for an integrated resort on Yumeshima Island in Osaka, Japan has been estimated at $18.3 million per year, assuming the Japanese city’s bid for an IR is approved in 2023.
EUROPEAN GAMING More
Cypriot Crime Boss Ran Money Laundering Through Malta
Halil Falyalı (l.), a Cypriot crime boss murdered two years ago in a hail of machine gun fire, had connections to illegal money laundering and illegal betting based in Malta. The facts came to light recently when Turkish police investigated his homicide and found links to Maltese operators.
Norway Pauses Fines Against Kindred
Norway has paused fining the Unibet operator Kindred for targeting Norwegians. It had been charging the operator $116,930 every day it didn’t withdraw from the Norway market. Now it has conceded that it is allowed to take passive bets from the country.
Many Self-Excluded Belgians Still Gamble
A study done by the Belgian Gaming Commission (GC) has revealed that about a quarter of those who have self-excluded from gambling are still able to gamble. The statistic came from a survey of 272 players who had self-excluded using Excluded Persons Information System (EPIS). GC Chairman Magali Clavie (l.) wants to expand the EPIS technology.
KSA Investigates Operators who Allow Excessive Losses
Dutch regulator KSA has begun investigating gaming operators that it believes are allowing some players to “lose excessively.” KSA Chairman René Jansen (l.) says such operators are failing to implement a “duty of care” of its consumers.
Ukraine Cancels Casino Licenses Linked to Russia
Ukraine’s Gambling and Lotteries Regulatory Commission (KRAIL) has pulled the licenses of three operators: Play Fan Investment, a casino and sports betting operator; and casino operators Alphagme and Joker UA. An investigation showed they were “controlled by residents” of Russia.
EGBA Urges Unified Markers of Harm Standards
The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) says that a list of standardized harm markers for EU jurisdictions is “essential.” It is urging the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) to adopt its proposed list.
GLOBAL GAMING More
Proposed NSW Tax Hike Leaves Star Scratching its Head
The NSW state government and Treasurer Matt Kean (l.) recently revealed plans to increase tax rates on poker machine and table game winnings, in order to fund state programs. Star Entertainment, however, was surprised by the announcement, and not in a good way.
ONLINE GAMING More
Kambi Signs Partnership Top Brazil Fantasy Site
The Kambi Group plc has signed and online sportsbook partnership with Brazil’s leading daily fantasy sports operator Rei do Pitaco to leverage Kambi technology to offer sports betting to its growing customer database which has amassed more than 3.4 million app downloads
Court Upholds £5.8 Million Fine Against Rank Group
The Rank Group has failed in its appeal of a £5.8 million fine (€6.7 million/$7.2 million) imposed last year by the Great Britain Gambling Commission over social responsibility and anti-money laundering issues.
India Panel Yet to Finalize Taxation Proposal for iGaming
A panel of financial experts are working on a plan for taxation of the iGaming industry but they have been meeting for several weeks and nothing concrete has been decided.
SPORTS BETTING More
BetMGM Battles Hacks, Fines for Premature Maryland Launch
BetMGM has had its share of problems in 2022. Maryland fined the company for its premature launch of a sportsbook. A hack of customer data has also sent BetMGM scrambling for damage control.
Nevada Lawmaker Seeks End to Fed Tax on Sports Betting
In 1951, Congress passed an excise tax on sports betting in Nevada. Though small in percentage, the revenue adds up, especially since the expansion of sports betting. Nevada Rep. Dina Titus (l.) is spearheading efforts to end the tax.
Ohio Fines Penn Entertainment for Barstool Violations
Barstool Sportsbook seems to have a cloud hanging over its head. The company courted controversy in the Plainridge Park Casino License, and Ohio regulators recently fined the sportsbook $250,000 for promotions on campus.
Dallas Mavericks Owner Seeks Vegas-Style Casino/Resort for Team
Mark Cuban (l.), owner of the Dallas Mavericks, is looking for a new home for his team and said he envisions something lavish, similar to a Las Vegas-style casino/resort.
NHL, Predators Ink Deals with Bet99, BetMGM
BET99 and BetMGM have signed separate deals. BET99 partnered with the NHL, while BetMGM, who already had a deal with the league, signed a sponsorship agreement with the Nashville Predators.
D.C. Sports Betting App Focus of Heated Debate
Washington D.C. has a sports betting app that seems to have a monopoly in the district but one outgoing official, Elissa Silverman (l.), would like to see more operators brought in to help stimulate competition.
Caesars, Simplebet Going Big on Micro-Betting Partnership
Caesars Entertainment has become the third company to sign an agreement with Simplebet to utilize its micro-betting technology that will be available in 17 states with mobile apps.
BetMGM, Caesars Open Sportsbooks to Puerto Rico
Two new retail sportsbooks have opened in resorts in Puerto Rico. BetMGM partnered with Casino del Mar (l.) while Casino Metro brought in Caesars.
More Play, More Titles Paints Rosy Picture for Esports, per Report
Betting and media company Rivalry released its annual report on esports, and among the highlights were insights on how its customers viewed popular titles and the growth of other games.
UNITED STATES GAMING More
Las Vegas Creates New Court System for Crime on the Strip
Las Vegas officials have created a new court system in which Justice of the Peace Melissa Saragosa (l.) will oversee all crime cases in and around the Las Vegas Strip. The new court, known as the Resort Corridor Court, will take effect at the start of the new year.
North Carolina Casino Political Scandal Continues
Evidence that officials of North Carolina’s Cleveland County, including Commissioner Eddie Holbrook (l.), drew huge campaign donations from supporters of the Catawba Nation’s Two Kings casino project is fueling a scandal.
Penn Inks Deal with Unions in Ohio, Avoids Hollywood Casino Strike
About 900 unionized workers between Hollywood Casino Toledo (l.) and Hollywood Casino Columbus avoided a strike after the casinos’ unions reached a deal with parent company Penn Entertainment.
Repeated Cost Hikes Raise Questions About MSG Sphere Venue
The development costs for MSG’s Sphere entertainment venue (l.) are continuing to rise, with the total bill recently surpassing $2 billion. Even though the venue looks to offer one-of-a-kind experiences, will it be enough to turn a profit in one of the most competitive entertainment environments in the U.S.?
Hard Rock Northern Indiana Delays Hotel
A hotel will not be built in the near future at the $300 million Hard Rock Northwest Indiana (l.) casino, which opened in May 2021. Meanwhile officials have invested $7.2 million in the venue, which has become the state’s revenue leader.
Lawmaker Targets Gas Station Gambling in Missouri
Missouri lawmaker Rep. Rasheen Aldridge (l.) is proposing legislation that would ban illegal slot machines in gas stations and convenience stores, but he faces stiff opposition from a powerful lobbying group.
Louisiana Casino Makes A Comeback
Foundation Gaming, the new owners of DiamondJacks Casino (l.) in Bossier City, Louisiana will invest $2 million to renovate the property, including building the market’s first land-based casino. The property has been closed since March 2020 due to Covid.
Station Purchases More Acreage from City of Henderson
Not long after the city of Henderson agreed to purchase the site of the former Fiesta Henderson from Station Casinos, the two sides have switched, as Station recently completed the purchase of 3.76 acres of city-owned land adjacent to another 45-acre plot that the company purchased back in 2007.
Arkansas Casino Completes Transformation
Delaware North recently completed the 3-year, $320 million expansion at Southland Casino Hotel (l.) in West Memphis, Arkansas. Officials said the final greyhound race will take place December 31.
TRIBAL GAMING More
New York Tribe Opens Second Class II Casino
The Cayuga Nation opened a new Class II gaming facility (l.) near Seneca Falls on the site of a former casino operated by a rival faction of the tribe, which Clint Halftown, tribal leader, had demolished in 2020.
Senate Bill Advances Arizona Casino
The Old Pascua Community Land Acquisition Act passed the U.S. Senate and awaits President Joe Biden’s signature, paving the way for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe’s third Tucson-area casino. The site is near Old Pascua, the tribe’s historic homeland.
Oregon Tribe Tries Again for Medford Casino
Oregon’s Coquille Tribe is trying again to get authorization from the Bureau of Indian Affairs to build a small, Class II casino in Medford. The first attempt was in 2020, when the Trump administration and Governor Kate Brown all turned thumbs down to the proposal.
IGT Extends Contract with Swiss Lottery
IGT Global Services has extended its contract with the Swiss lottery until 2031, during which time it will continue to provide the lottery technology and deploy its iLottery system.
Sega Sammy Appoints Kameda as President, CEO; Fukazawa Named Chairman
Sega Sammy Creation has announced a shake-up to its executive-level suite, with Naoki Kameda (l.) being named president and CEO and Koichi Fukazawa appointed as the company’s new chairman.
Tiina Siltanen Appointed Vice Chair of ECA
The European Casino Association has appointed longtime industry executive Tiina Siltanen as its new vice chair. Siltanen currently serves as managing director of Veikkaus Casinos Finland.
Frank Tecumseh Named CEO of FireKeepers Casino Hotel
Longtime tribal human resources executive Frank Tecumseh has been named CEO of FireKeepers Casino Hotel, after serving as vice president of human resources for nearly 10 years.
Urquhart, Whiteley Appointed COO, CMO of Great Canadian
Urquhart, Whiteley Appointed COO, CMO of Great Canadian
GLI Names D’Amore Director of Regulatory Compliance
Gaming Laboratories International has named Lydia D’Amore, a veteran of regulatory compliance issues, as the company’s new director of regulatory compliance.
GOODS & SERVICES More
Bluberi Approved in Minnesota
Bluberi Gaming announced that regulators in Minnesota have approved the company for a gaming license in the state, opening up an important tribal gaming market for the company.
Seminoles Install Florida’s First ‘Lightning Link Lounge’
The Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee in Florida became the state’s first to install a “Lightning Link Lounge,” featuring 50 of Aristocrat’s Lightning Link and Dragon Link games.
Ainsworth Expands HHR System Across New Hampshire
Ainsworth Game Technology recently completed installations of its Historical Horse Racing System in three venues in New Hampshire, which is one of five states that currently offer the new game format.
Internet Vikings, Greentube Ink Partnership in Pennsylvania
Hosting provider Internet Vikings has announced a partnership with Greentube to help launch its content in Pennsylvania.
NEWS & NOTES
Small Nuggets of News
THEY SAID IT More
Outrageous pronouncements, simple statements and words of wisdom.