After three years of a tough zero-Covid policy, the Chinese government has finally relaxed travel restrictions to Macau. But now, viral cases are through the roof. Will Beijing reinstate the strict policy, or let business owners do business?
Can unregulated game suddenly become regulated games even though the operators claim they’re not gambling? If they want to be regulated, they need to jump through all the hoops and understand that a gaming license is a privilege and not a right, according to Spectrum Gaming’s Michael Pollock.
After a brilliant post-Covid resurgence, the U.S. gaming industry now looks to be facing a new challenge, that being a recession of at least some magnitude. David Jacque Farahi (l.), executive chairman of Quick Custom Intelligence and former COO of Monarch Casino & Resort Inc., offers his thoughts about the importance of data analytics in an uncertain economy.
The gaming industry’s hot streak is being threatened by illegal gambling, sports betting glitches and policy makers on Capitol Hill. But the American Gaming Association has a plan for 2023.
Lawmakers in Thailand are now reviewing a House study on legal casinos that could lead to integrated resorts in select regions around the country. For now, citizens who want to bet legally patronize casinos across the border in Cambodia, Laos and Malaysia.
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Four states have historically held fast against the expansion of gaming and sports betting, but the tide could be turning as tax revenues continue to pour into their neighboring markets. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has said he is open to the legalization of gambling in his state, within certain limits.
The number of junket operators in Macau now stands at 36, down 85 percent from their peak year in 2013. Back then, 235 junkets brought big-spending VIP gamblers to the town, for about 60 percent of all revenues.
Mets owner Steve Cohen (l.) recently held a few community gatherings in Queens to get feedback on his idea to construct a casino in the vicinity of his ballpark, Citi Field. Residents didn’t exactly embrace the idea, but hey, there’s still time.
Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox ruled last week that the Cherokee Nation’s Legends Resort & Casino (l.), which the tribe wanted build in Pope County, was granted the license unconstitutionally, granting the motion by Gulfside Casino Partnership. Both said they’ll take the case to the state Supreme Court.
Cashless gaming is becoming extremely polarizing in New South Wales, and with elections around the corner, all parties involved are choosing sides. The bars and clubs have been perhaps the biggest opponents of the change, but their influence may be cracking after a recent compliance sweep uncovered a bevy of gaming law violations, including some relating to ATM placement.
New German gaming regulator Germany’s Gemeinsamen Glücksspielbehörde der Länder (GGL) has so far approved about 50 online gaming licenses since it took over on January 1, 2023. Nevertheless, it has earned a reputation as Europe’s toughest market for unlicensed sites.
MGM Resorts’ sprawling solar complex in the Nevada desert (l.), which supplies most of its Las Vegas power needs, was recently attacked by a 34-year-old man from Colorado, causing a temporary outage. Police are investigating the incident as a terror attack.
Ground was broken for the Seminole Casino Hotel Brighton near Lake Okeechobee in Florida, less than two hours from the Treasure Coast. The venue will replace the tribe’s existing facility and be completed in late 2024.
Kirk Hendrick (l.), an attorney with decades of gaming and sports-related legal experience, has been appointed as the new chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board by recently elected Governor Joe Lombardo.
This week, the GGB Podcast sits down with Joe Lupo, president of the Mirage in Las Vegas about the details of the transition from the Mirage to the new Hard Rock Las Vegas.
For the new year, amid a general relaxation of Covid measures, Macau set a goal of 40,000 visitors a day. Almost immediately it met its goal, with nearly that number arriving January 8, the first day of a broader reopening.
The Cambodian government has launched a new tax framework for casinos. It replaces the previous fixed system with a new tax on gross gaming revenues.
Macau casino operators have more than three full years to fully abide by new technical standards for slot machines. The standards were set in 2021; the deadline for compliance is not until the end of 2026.
Macau Legend Development has confirmed its agreement with casino concessionaire SJM Holdings to run a satellite casino operation at Macau Fisherman’s Wharf (l.).
Finland’s Minister of Europe and Ownership Management Tytti Tuppurainen (l.) says that the governing party has broad multi-party support to end the gambling monopoly of Veikkaus. She said the decision might be made next spring, when there are parliamentary elections.
The government of Sweden has asked Spelinspektionen, the country’s gaming regulator, to collect data on why some consumers decide to self-exclude. It also wants figures on how many return to gambling on illegal sites.
The U.K.’s Betting and Gaming Council is battling reports that its members have too much influence over the research, education and treatment (RET) projects that GambleAware does using charitable donations from gaming companies. Some are calling for an end to that influence.
The CEO of Sweden’s state-owned gaming operator Svenska Spel Patrik Hofbauer (l.) is calling for a national debt register to help identify vulnerable people who might suffer financial harm if they gamble too much. There is a relationship between problem gambling and debt, says Hofbauer.
USA-Casino.com reports that fines issued by casino regulators in the U.S., Austria, the U.K., Sweden and the Netherlands topped $264 million in 2022, a 444 percent jump over 2021.
Uruguay’s President Luis Lacalle Pou (l.) in December signed a decree authorizing a fifth casino. It grants a license to Arena Paysandú to build a $22 million casino and hotel in the city of Paysandú. The approval opens the way for investors from Argentina to release the funds.
The island of Curaçao in the Caribbean is speeding up the schedule for the reworking of its online gaming licensing regulations. The reform—which was urged by the Dutch government— will tighten requirements to obtain a gaming license—which currently is considered open to corruption.
Real estate investment trust VICI Properties has made its first investment in Canada, acquiring the real estate assets of four Pure Casino properties in Alberta, including Pure Casino Lethbridge (l.).
The Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY), which has been put in charge of online gaming, has posted draft regulations. Intended as a way to combat black market gambling, the regulations require registering individual games and only offering legally approved games.
Indiana lawmakers have been attempting for two years to pass legislation to legalize iGaming in the Hoosier State. This year Rep. Ethan Manning (l.), among others, is hoping that the stars are in alignment to pass such a bill. But Senate President Pro Tempore Rodric Bray is saying not so fast.
Novomatic online arm Greentube has signed a deal to provide its content to LatAmWin, which will distribute Greentube games in the Chilean iGaming market, with Mexico to follow.
Light & Wonder’s Lightning Box subsidiary has released “Stunt Stars,” a new game on its OpenGaming platform featuring a combination of bonus features.
Two Missouri state representatives have filed similar bills that would legalize sports betting. A state Senator, Denny Hoskins (l.), also has sponsored a measure that would allow sports wagering as well as regulate video lottery terminals.
With a slew of new states coming online for sports betting in recent years, it’s no wonder that overall income is on a steep rise. New Jersey, Nevada and Pennsylvania ranked one, two, three.
Oklahoma State Rep. Ken Luttrell (l.) introduced a sports betting bill last year. It never got a vote, but this year he’ll try again. This time he also has Governor Stitt as a willing participant.
Ohio legalized sports betting on January 1 but three operators – DraftKings, BetMGM, and Caesars – were notified they were in violation of the rules and could face a $150,000 fine.
As Fanatics, the sports merchandise behemoth founded by billionaire Michael Rubin (l.), tries to venture into the Massachusetts sports betting market, regulators have questions about its future plans, and those of other operators as well.
Sports betting and horse racing have always existed separately, but FanDuel recently became the first bookmaker in the U.S. to merge both on a single platform.
Nebraska state Senator Eliot Bostar has filed a bill that would amend the state’s sports betting laws to allow wagering on home games for Nebraska colleges and universities.
For months there have been rumors connecting the Oakland A’s to the site of the Tropicana (l.), as the team looks to relocate from the perils of RingCentral Coliseum. However, what was once an expansive search has been whittled down over the last year, and it appears that the famed Las Vegas landmark may be the last option left.
Resorts World Hudson Valley will be the first casino in New York to be in a shopping mall (l.), and it could start a trend to help struggling retail space stay in business.
The developer of the MSG Sphere (l.) venue on the Las Vegas Strip is reportedly considering selling off its stake in Tao Group, a prominent restaurant and club chain, with the idea being that the proceeds could help supplement rising construction costs for the Sphere.
Several representatives from many areas of New Mexico horse racing met recently with the New Mexico Racing Commission to talk about ways to stem the decline of the sport.
So-called skill games have proliferated across Nebraska; in fact, they outnumber legal slots. State Senator Tom Briese (l.) has proposed a 20 percent tax on skill-game revenue to provide property tax relief.
Work crews have temporarily departed the Queen of Terre Haute Casino (l.) construction site in Indiana as owners Churchill Downs Inc. await official approval from the Department of Homeland Security.
Richmond, Virginia Mayor Levar Stoney (l.) urged the city’s legislative delegation to block any bill banning a casino there, although voters rejected one in late 2021. But state lawmakers filed measures to do just that and build a casino in Petersburg instead.
Station Casinos has announced yet another real estate transaction, having sold 57 acres near Las Vegas Boulevard and Cactus Avenue (l.) to prominent hospital chain HCA Healthcare for a little over $62 million.
Atlantic City Culinary Union Opposes Smoking Ban
Buffalo Bill’s in Primm (l.) is back open following a quiet reopening announcement. In total, the casino was closed for a whopping 33 months due to the impacts of the Covid pandemic.
Stadium Casino, the Pennsylvania licensee that owns the two Live! casinos in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh (l.), is continuing its legal challenge to the gaming board’s award of a Category 4 license for a casino near Penn State University.
A proposed thoroughbred horse racing track in Hardwick, Massachusetts was met by vehement opposition as the town’s voters voted it down by a nearly 3-1 margin.
The city of Slidell, Louisiana, is opposing the placement of state-approved historical horse racing machines at an off-track betting parlor, calling them “glorified slot machines.”
Virginia’s gaming market is expanding like never before, and with that comes added scrutiny to gambling addiction and related problems. However, a pair of officials have championed a bill that would establish a state committee dedicated to combating the issue.
Two separate court cases, one involving adoption rights and the other regarding sports betting, could be the biggest threat to indigenous tribes since the 1950s.
The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians’ gaming authority has been ordered to pay a total of $88.8 million in damages to investors over two failed Michigan casino projects.
Canterbury Park (l.) has enjoyed a financially beneficial relationship with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux but the 11-year agreement expired in December, leaving an uncertain future.
The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma signed a 5-year agreement with the Grandscape (l.) shopping/entertainment destination in Dallas for brand promotion and sponsorships, in anticipation of legalized sports betting in Texas.
The Pascua Yaqui tribe can move forward with plans for a second Tucson-area casino following passage of the Old Pascua Community Land Acquisition Act.
IGT has initiated a lawsuit in the European Court of Human Rights challenging the award to Allwyn of the 10-year contract to operate Britain’s National Lottery.
Ahead of its long-awaited launch later this year, Fontainebleau Las Vegas has named Brett Mufson (l.) as its president and CEO. Mufson was instrumental in the company’s re-acquisition of the property in 2021.
Longtime finance veteran Matthew Muscat (l.) has been promoted to chief financial officer for Videoslots. Muscat first joined the company as head of finance, and also served as finance director before his recent promotion.
Kambi Group has inked a partnership with Miami Valley Gaming and Racing (l.) in Ohio in which it will provide sportsbook technology and betting kiosks for the property’s new retail sportsbook.
As ICE London 2023 nears, Zitro details its plans to exhibit a wide range of games and other products.
The 40th International Gaming Summit is coming to Belfast, Northern Ireland June 20-22, the International Association of Gaming Advisors has announced.
The lineup of speakers for the Tribal Gaming Seminar at ICE London 2023 has been announced by the Indian Gaming Association. Among them is Ernest Stevens, Jr. (l.), chairman of the IGA.
Brian Christopher (l.), the top “slot influencer” in the business, has officially pledged to only play, promote and live-stream slots at smoke-free gaming spaces.
Small Nuggets of News
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