Today in a special edition of the podcast, we sit down with Mike Bean, the Chief Executive Officer of Arizona’s Desert Diamond Casinos & Entertainment, on how the new Glendale casino is performing and what plans they have for the future.
Report: Illegal Gaming Market Triple the Size of Legal Market
In gaming, the terms “unregulated” and “offshore” are often said with disdain, but with a hint of vagueness as well. The American Gaming Association and its president, Bill Miller (l.), are trying to drag the elephant in the room directly into the spotlight, thanks to a recent report that details just how pervasive illegal gambling has become in the U.S.
Regulator of the Year
Richard Schuetz recalls when he was nominated for an award that required much more experience than he had at the time, but points out that many such awards are merely an attempt to “capture” the individual so they’ll become a backer of the very industry they hope regulate.
New York Officially Solicits Casino Bids
The New York Gaming Facility Board has released its request for applications to build three downstate casinos in the New York City region, setting the minimum license fee at $500 million.
Featured Stories More
WEEKLY FEATURE: Star Wades Into NSW Cashless Debate
In New South Wales, the cashless gaming debate has multiple sides, including Premier Dominic Perottet (l.), the state’s casino operators and its bars and clubs. Star Entertainment, despite its ongoing battles within the state and elsewhere, has now embraced the change, and is calling on its competitors to do the same.
Bumpy Launch for Ohio Sports Betting
January 1 brought the launch of sports betting in Ohio, and overall it was a success, despite the usual glitches most sportsbooks experience. Crowds were robust. Governor DeWine warned operators that the “glitches” must end immediately as the state handed out some hefty fines.
Las Vegas Visitation Up, Revenues Down for November ‘22
Despite the fact that Las Vegas continues to post promising visitation figures, its revenues are dropping slightly after 18-plus months of brilliance. Overall, the data represents a mixed bag as analysts try to make sense of the year to come.
Feds Discover CNMI Money Laundering Scheme
The FBI and IRS uncovered a money laundering scheme involving the holder of the only gaming license in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, which is a U.S. territory. Implicated are political figures who granted the license.
India Puts MeitY in Charge of iGaming
India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), headed by Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar (l.), has been put in charge of online gaming. The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has been named to oversee esports.
A Tough Year for Macau, But Reasons for Optimism
Last year, Macau casinos generated $5.3 billion in gaming revenues, down more than half from 2021, for the lowest total in 18 years. But the ongoing relaxation of pandemic restrictions could mean a happier new year for casino concessionaires.
Chilean Company Pulls Out of Strip Property Deal
An announced deal between the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and Chilean businessman Claudio Fischer (l.) that would have led to a $120 million Strip resort fell through this week.
U.K. Parliament Launches Inquiry Into Regulation of Gaming
The U.K. parliament’s Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS) select committee has launched an inquiry into the government’s regulation of gaming. It seeks to know if it has done enough to protect the vulnerable.
FANTINI’S FINANCE: So Far, 2023 Panning Out as Expected
The first few trading days of 2023 have shown that the public’s confidence is high on Macau’s resurgence and low on U.S. operators. This was to be expected, but investors shouldn’t get too comfortable just yet, as that dynamic is likely to change down the road.
GLOBAL GAMING BUSINESS PODCAST: Randy Taylor, President and CEO, Everi
Today, the GGB Podcast sits down with Randy Taylor, the president and CEO of Everi, on how his company manages to be the undisputed leader in payment processing, as well as an innovative slot manufacturer.
ASIAN GAMING More
Will Japan IRs Be Approved This Month
Osaka MP Nobuyuki Baba (l.) says the national government along with gaming regulators will likely approve Osaka’s bid for an integrated resort this month. The only other bid under consideration came from Nagasaki.
Cambodian Casino Fire Takes Steep Toll
A deadly fire last month at Cambodia’s Grand Diamond City Casino and Hotel (l.) killed at least 26 people and injured dozens more. The December 28 blaze engulfed the property, located on the country’s border with Thailand.
South Korea Casinos Should Diversify Beyond Chinese VIPs
As Macau seeks to diversify its tourism base beyond Mainland China, a hospitality expert advises Jeju Island in South Korea to do the same. The island has eight large and small casino resorts, open only to foreigners.
Macau Legend Exits Junket Biz
Macau Legend has ceased its VIP junket operations after decades in the business. The business effectively closed on January 1, just as new 10-year casino concessions began in the Chinese city.
EUROPEAN GAMING More
BOS Calls for End to Swedish Stated-Owned Svenska Spel
Commercial gaming operators in Sweden have called for the new government to break up the country’s state-owned gaming monopoly, Svenska Spel. They claim it is unfair competition in a competitive market.
Europe’s Gaming Market Returns to Pre-COVID Growth
The latest round of statistics from the European Gambling and Betting Association have shown that the European casino industry appears to be at or near pre-Covid levels.
Experts Give Poor Grades to New Irish Gaming RG Regulations
Problem gambling advocates are criticizing the new Irish gambling regulations for not doing enough to protect vulnerable consumers. Barry Grant (l.) of Extern Problem Gambling called them “a big miss.”
KSA’s Jensen on Dutch Online Market One Year in
The Netherlands’ top regulator, René Jansen (l.), spoke at a recent conference about the state of the nation’s iGaming market now that it has been live for over a year.
GLOBAL GAMING More
Aquis Sells Off Casino Canberra to Iris Capital for US$42 Million
After multiple unsuccessful attempts to redevelop Casino Canberra (l.), Aquis Entertainment has sold off the property and its subsidiary to Iris CC Holdings for a total price of $42.5 million.
James Packer, Crown Settle Civil Suit with Former Security Guard
James Packer (l.) and Crown Resorts have settled a civil suit that was brought against Packer by a former security guard for an undisclosed sum. The guard alleged that he was verbally and physically abused after failing to recognize the billionaire upon entering.
ONLINE GAMING More
New York Lawmakers Consider iGaming
The New York legislature convened last week for a session that is expected to see online gaming and online poker bills to advance, and ultimately augment the state’s gaming revenue.
Fanatics Chooses Amelco, Sends Kambi Reeling
Sports merchandise provider Fanatics confounded the market last week when it chose Amelco, a only systems provider, to power its first effort at sports betting. Kambi, the expected designee took a hit.
Tom Horn, Condor Gaming Sign Content Deal
Online gaming software supplier Tom Horn Gaming has entered a content deal with Condor Gaming Group under which it will supply Condor with its complete portfolio of games.
Genesis Global Initiates Insolvency Proceedings
Genesis Global has begun insolvency proceedings, after laying off all its employees two days before Christmas, unable to cover payroll for its 140 employees.
Pennsylvania Launches iGaming Bidding Process
Pennsylvania regulators have reopened the bidding process for online gaming operator licenses, extending the period to petition for an iGaming license through March 3.
SPORTS BETTING More
Sportsbooks Differ on Refunds After Harrowing Scene for Bills-Bengals
With the stunning injury to Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin on Monday where he suffered cardiac arrest on the field, sportsbooks took a wait-and-see approach on refunding bets, but most had made the decision by Thursday to void the wagers.
Oklahoma’s Stitt Credits Kansas for Sports Betting Push
With Kansas drawing Oklahomans across state lines to bet, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt (l.) says it’s time to come together and launch sports betting once and for all, but do it right.
67K DraftKings Accounts Exposed in Account Hacks
More than 67,000 customers of the online sportsbook DraftKings had their accounts hacked and more than $300,000 was stolen. The attack is just the latest on the accounts of several sports betting operators.
Minnesota Sportsbook Proponents Think 2023 Might Work
Both houses in Minnesota are in Democratic hands. But as the past shows, that doesn’t mean sports betting approval is a slam dunk. That said, supporters are more confident this year.
Soft Launch Planned for Massachusetts Sports Betting
Sports betting at retail casinos in Massachusetts should be ready in advance of the Super Bowl in early February. But mobile entrance has to wait until November.
Kindred Says Responsible Gambling Increased during World Cup
There was concern that problem gambling would increase among British customers during the recent FIFA World Cup, but the Kindred Group said their data showed it actually improved.
Lawmaker: NY Sports Betting 51 Percent Tax Rate Likely to Stay
New York has the highest tax rate for sports betting at 51 percent, but one state assemblyman, Gary Pretlow (l.), would like to see it lowered, though so far he has been unsuccessful.
NY Jets Assistant Miles Austin Suspended One Year for Gambling
New York Jets assistant coach Miles Austin (l.), a former player, was suspended for one year for gambling on other sports, but said through his agent he plans on appealing.
NFL Hall of Fame Village Announces BetRivers Sportsbook Addition
A BetRivers sportsbook was announced to be built at the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, part of a $600 million project that will also include a waterpark and Ferris wheel-style ride.
D.C. to Open First Strip Club Sportsbook
Cloakroom Gentlemen’s Club (l.) in Washington D.C. is opening a sportsbook rooftop lounge, a first in the U.S. The so-called Cloakbook will partner with Elys Game Technology to tout the success of sports wagering.
UNITED STATES GAMING More
Nevada Officials Approve New Cybersecurity Regulations for Operators
Cybersecurity continues to be a topic of concern in the gaming industry, especially in Nevada. As such, regulators from the Nevada Gaming Commission recently put new rules in place regarding cyber-attacks and how operators are expected to navigate them moving forward.
Buffalo Casinos Forced to Close During Blizzard, Now Back Open
Several Buffalo, N.Y.-area casinos, including Seneca Buffalo Creek (l.), were forced to shut their doors after one of the worst blizzards in Western New York history crippled the area and caused 37 deaths.
New Committee to Probe Oregon’s Gambling Market
The Oregon House has appointed Democrat John Lively (l.) to head the Gambling Regulation Committee for this year and he said that they will be looking at all aspects of gambling in the state.
Casino Gambling On Texas Lawmakers’ Agenda
Texas lawmakers will once again consider a constitutional amendment that would allow a limited number of casino resorts, create a Texas Gaming Commission, legalize sports betting and tax gaming revenue.
Virginia Casinos Making Progress
In Virginia, the Hard Rock Casino in Bristol and the Pamunkey Tribe’s Headwaters Casino in Norfolk are expected to open in 2024. Hard Rock’s temporary casino opened in July and Pamunkey officials also hope to debut a temporary Norfolk venue in the near future.
Jake’s 58 Expansion Approved
New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed a bill into law that authorizes a major expansion for Jake’s 58 Casino Hotel (l.) in Islandia on Long Island, New York.
MGM Sells Remainder of October 1 Site
MGM Resorts International has sold the Village (l.), which includes most of the site of the Mandalay Bay mass shooting of October 1, 2017, to the Three Affiliated Tribes of North Dakota.
Missouri AG: Unregulated Slots Are A Local Issue
Missouri’s new Attorney General Andrew Bailey (l.) said local law enforcement should handle the 14,000-plus illegal slot-like machines operating in the state. He said his office “stands ready to assist.”
Harrah’s New Orleans Renovations Continue
The 2-year, $325 million expansion and upgrade at Harrah’s New Orleans (l.), to be completed in summer 2024, includes renovating the casino floor, adding a 340-room hotel and restaurants branded by celebrity chefs. It will rebranded as Caesars New Orleans upon completion.
Nebraska Temporary Racetrack Casino Opens
The second casino to open in Nebraska, Fonner Park racino in Grand Island offers 300 slots and betting kiosks, employs 110 people and will provide property tax relief. The permanent casino will be built after the 2023 Nebraska State Fair ends.
Two Detroit Casinos Lift Smoking Ban
The Covid-19-related smoking was lifted at MGM Grand Detroit (l.), which now allows indoor smoking at designated areas. Hollywood Casino at Greektown now permits smoking on the second floor. It’s still banned inside MotorCity Casino.
Delaware Racino Reopens After “Technical Difficulties”
Harrington Raceway & Casino in Delaware (l.) abruptly shut down on December 27 due to “technical difficulties” which officials still haven’t explained. The property reopened on New Year’s Eve.
TRIBAL GAMING More
Omnibus Spending Bill Includes Much for Tribes to Like
The just-passed $1.7 trillion omnibus federal spending bill includes much for tribes to like. Besides money for Indian Health Service and housing, it includes land put into trust in Arizona that can be used for gaming.
Maine Native American Tribe Sovereignty Denied Again
For the second time in as many years, Maine Native American tribes were denied sovereignty by the legislature, but tribal leaders have vowed to continue the fight.
Feds Probe Washington Tribe’s Efforts to Protect its Casino
The U.S. Justice Department has launched an antitrust probe of the Cowlitz Tribe of Washington, which owns Ilani Casino Resort in La Center. The tribe is cooperating, providing thousands of pages of documents.
Sky River Casino has Promising Opening Months
The opening of the Sky River Casino (l.) in California has been promising. The casino opened in August and Wilton Rancheria Chairman Jesus Tarango says, “I think it’s more than what we thought it would be.”
Allwyn: Camelot Purchase Opens Company to U.S.
Robert Chvátal (l.), CEO of Allwyn, which is set to take over operation of the U.K. National Lottery, says the company’s decision to acquire former National Lottery operator Camelot will boost Allwyn in the U.S. market.
Christina Katsibouba Now Permanent CFO of Star Entertainment
Star Entertainment has announced that its interim CFO, Christina Katsibouba (l.), will be retained on a permanent basis as of January 1. Katsibouba first accepted the interim position back in May.
AC Hard Rock Names Goldhoff President, Sampson GM
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City has named George Goldhoff (l.) as its new president and Mike Sampson as its new general manager, to replace Joe Lupo, who is now head of the Las Vegas Hard Rock.
Fontainebleau Announces New Additions to Executive Team
In preparation for its projected opening later this year, the Fontainebleau Las Vegas has announced several new executive-level appointments. Colleen Birch (top left) is COO; Stephen Singer (top right) is CFO; Daniel Espino (bottom left) is CPO; Stacie Michaels (bottom middle) is general counsel; and Marc Guarina (bottom right) is CTO.
Chun Named Paradise Entertainment Co-Chair
Jay Chun, chairman of Paradise Entertainment Ltd., will now serve as co-chairman of the firm along with Zhang Jianjun, reportedly an investment banking and asset manager.
Brett Abarbanel Named Executive Director of UNLV International Gaming Institute
UNLV’s longtime gaming research director brings nearly 20 years of advisory and leadership experience in transition to lead role at the university’s International Gaming Institute
GOODS & SERVICES More
Maverick Completes Evergreen Acquisition
Maverick Gaming received final regulatory approval to acquire Evergreen Gaming Corporation, expanding Maverick’s footprint in Washington state by four Evergreen card rooms.
Betr Looks to Buy Australian Holdings of PointsBet
PointsBet owns almost 4 percent of U.S. market share. By disposing of its Australian companies it can concentrate on building up the American marketplace.
TRADE SHOWS & CONFERENCES More
Casino Marketing Boot Camp Announces Expansion
Julia Carcamo’s Casino Marketing Boot Camp series has announced that it will offer a new seminar geared towards executives and general managers next year.
Aristocrat Unveils Offerings for ICE 2023
Aristocrat Gaming plans to debut a number of licensed games and products at the upcoming ICE London 2023 show.
Konami to Showcase DIMENSION Cabinets at ICE 2023
Konami Gaming has announced that it plans to showcase its popular DIMENSION cabinet series at ICE London 2023, supplemented with new games and technology.
NEWS & NOTES
Small Nuggets of News
THEY SAID IT More
Outrageous pronouncements, simple statements and words of wisdom.