Wednesday, July 13, 2016
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Table games boost St. Louis casino market
Missouri/Illinois (results) - Tim Bryant, St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Strong revenue gains at roulette, craps and other table games at three gambling halls saved the St. Louis casino industry from a dreary performance in June. Hollywood in Maryland Heights, River City in Lemay and Lumière Place in St. Louis recorded double-digit table game revenue gains last month. As a result, overall market revenue grew by 0.5 percent to $79.6 million in June...Ameristar, in St. Charles, once again led the market in revenue with $20.2 million in winnings. Revenue at the area's smallest casino, the Alton Argosy, fell 7.9 percent to just over $4 million. [Missouri total gaming revenues were $133.8 million, up .2%; Illinois casino revenues $112 million, down 5%.]
 
$40 million casino finds glitzy niche in rural Iowa
Iowa (results) - William Petroski, Des Moines Register - Wild Rose Casinos plunked down a $40 million investment on a glitzy gambling complex here, and so far, its bet on rural Iowa is paying off. Since opening in mid-July last year, Wild Rose Jefferson has raked in nearly $27 million in gross casino revenue, with 471,000 admissions through June 30. The average gambler has left behind $57. [In June Iowa's 19 casinos' revenue was $113.7 million with 1,782, 922 admissions in June.]
 
Pennsylvania budget strategy dares lawsuit, bond downgrade
Pennsylvania (legislation) - Marc Levy, Associated Press - State government began operating Tuesday under a $31 billion election-year spending bill that nevertheless lacks the tax collections to sustain it for the entire fiscal...Closed-door revenue discussions had revolved around a $1.3 billion package that relies heavily on a $1-per-pack cigarette tax increase and an expansion of casino-style gambling...the House and Senate do not see eye to eye on sprawling gambling legislation...The Wolf administration maintains that it is constitutional to allow the spending bill to become law and suggested that the state constitution makes the Legislature, not the governor, responsible for ensuring that spending bills are funded.
 
WV Lottery officials keeping eye on PA internet gambling bill
Pennsylvania/West Virginia (internet) - Phil Kabler, Gazette-Mail - West Virginia Lottery officials are closely monitoring legislation making its way through the Pennsylvania General Assembly that would significantly expand legalized gambling in that state...legislation, which would make Pennsylvania the fourth state to legalize internet gambling, would allow state casinos to operate satellite locations with up to 250 slot machines each and would allow slot machines in airport terminals. The bill passed the House of Representatives on June 28, on a 114-85 vote, and is pending in the Senate...Myers said, "There are certainly things we need to consider going forward. To stay competitive, we'll have to consider these, as well."
 
Editorial: No breaks for Rivers Casino on city slots taxes
Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh) - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Imagine an unhappy player at Rivers Casino demanding to change the rules of a game. He'd be laughed, if not escorted, out of the building. Yet the casino's owner, Holdings Acquisition Co., is doing much the same thing in its lawsuit asking the state Supreme Court to invalidate the minimum $10 million in slot machine taxes it annually has been required to pay to the city of Pittsburgh. What's more, the casino wants a refund of as much as $65 million it's paid the city over the past seven years. Does Rivers give refunds to players unhappy with the money they pumped into slots? No, it doesn't, and the casino doesn't deserve one, either.
 
Gaming Control Board could kill Lawrence Downs casino application
Pennsylvania (license) - Eric Poole, Beaver Times - A 12-year-long effort to bring casino gambling to Lawrence County could end Wednesday under a recommendation being brought to the state Gaming Control Board. The agenda for Wednesday's meeting includes testimony by enforcement counsel Cyrus Pitre, who will recommend that the board either reject or abandon Endeka Entertainment's casino license application now under consideration by the gaming board. The agenda also includes a possible vote on whether to accept Pitre's recommendation.
 
2018 Looms Large for Las Vegas
Nevada (Las Vegas) - Mike Heuer, CDC Gaming Reports - During the height of the Great Recession, most developments ground to a halt in the Las Vegas Valley, and many skeletons of stalled and dead projects marred the landscape. Local unemployment peaked at 16.1 percent during the worst of the recession, but it since has gone down drastically, reaching 6.1 percent in May...With record visitation levels and near 90 percent hotel occupancy rates year-round on the Las Vegas Strip, many of the recently vacated properties and projects have been revived and soon will cast a new shadow in the Mojave Desert.
 
Site of failed boom-era tower complex remains on market
Nevada (Las Vegas) - Eli Segall, Las Vegas Sun - Jack Woodcock has sold houses, developed office buildings and owned retail properties. But over his four-decade real estate career, he's never owned anything as big or expensive as his 12-acre hole in the ground in the Las Vegas suburbs...A broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Woodcock owns the former Spanish View Tower development site in the southwest valley. He is trying to sell it for $18.9 million, after a planned sale to a Chinese development group recently fell through, he said.
 
No 'Brexit effect' on U.K. entries at World Series of Poker
Nevada (Las Vegas) - Ken Ritter, Associated Press - Fears of a "Brexit effect" hurting the World Series of Poker proved to be unfounded, a tournament official said Tuesday, after the Main Event in Las Vegas saw a big increase in the number of players from the United Kingdom. By the close of entries Monday, the marquee event in the ongoing 69-event poker tournament tallied 344 players from the U.K., up 23 percent from the 279 who played last year.
 
Mobile casino tournaments launch at 9 MGM resorts
Nevada (Las Vegas) - J.D. Morris, Vegas Inc. - MGM Resorts International announced today that it has launched a mobile platform through which customers at nine of its Las Vegas resorts will be able to gamble with real money in tournament games. On the platform, called easyPLAY Mobile Tournaments, customers will be able to win cash and other prizes in regular tournaments of casino games such as slots, bingo and video poker, in addition to free-to-play games. The platform was developed by Las Vegas-based mobile gaming company oneLIVE inc.
 
Judge turns down sale of Moulin Rouge
Nevada (Las Vegas) - Nicole Raz, Las Vegas Review-Journal - The Moulin Rouge is ripe yet again for another go at development. Clark County District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez on Tuesday denied the sale of the property to Moulin Rouge Holdings LLC, citing infighting within the company as well as a better offer for the property from another buyer. Boris London, managing member of Moulin Rouge Holdings LLC, said he is relieved by the judge's ruling and no longer will have anything do with Moulin Rouge Holdings LLC or the site.
 
Owner of Tahoe's Cal Neva Lodge files for bankruptcy
Nevada (Lake Tahoe) - Associated Press - The owner of the shuttered Cal Neva Lodge & Casino has filed for bankruptcy, jeopardizing plans once again plans to reopen the most historic resort on the shore of north Lake Tahoe. Criswell-Radovan purchased the property once owned by Frank Sinatra in 2013 with ambitious renovation plans...During its 1960-63 heyday when it was owned by Sinatra, the Cal Neva became one of the most famous resorts in the country. Frequent visitors included fellow Rat Packers Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Peter Lawford, and stars like Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio.
 
Horseshoe adds continuous shuffle machines, stirring industry debate
Maryland (Baltimore) - Jeff Barker, Baltimore Sun - Gambling novices might not notice the continuous shuffle machines sitting next to the green felt at three dozen Horseshoe Casino Baltimore blackjack tables...serious players have taken heed. Anything that might tilt the balance between dealers and players in such a popular casino card game is considered significant in the industry. In recent months, Horseshoe - joining many other casinos around the country - has introduced increasing numbers of continuous shuffle machines.
 
Treasure Island to get $86 million hotel expansion
Minnesota (Indian gaming) - Brian Todd, Post-Bulletin - Treasure Island Resort and Casino broke ground today on an $86 million expansion that will add two new hotel towers and a host of other amenities to the resort destination just north of Red Wing. The expansion will add approximately 184,000 square feet for two new hotel towers that will connect to the current Eagle tower..."We're almost 100 percent every day of the week," she said. "So when we opened the water park, it drew so many families and vacationers, it cemented the fact we needed to add more hotel rooms." The two new towers will add 300 guest rooms - 240 standard rooms and 60 suites - bringing the resort's total to 800 rooms.
 
New gaming contract could mean revenue for county
South Dakota (Indian gaming) - Hannah Koeller, Enterprise - Moody County Commission Chairman Jerry Doyle informed the other commissioners that he had heard from South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard about a new gaming contract for casinos in the state. Because a lot of the gaming contracts are up, new ones are being written to include some funds for the counties if the businesses increase the number of machines they currently have. The hearing for the compact between the State of South Dakota and the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe will be held Thursday, July 21.
 
Three Rivers Casino expands nonsmoking area
Oregon (Indian gaming) - Jack Davis, Siuslaw News - Three Rivers Casino Resort will increase its nonsmoking gaming area to almost 12,000 square feet - about 40 percent of its total gaming floor - on July 29. The expansion will make the casino one of the largest nonsmoking gaming areas in Oregon.
 
Bonners Ferry casino now accepts Canadian money
Idaho (Indian gaming) - Taylor Viydo, KREM - The Kootenai River Inn and Casino recently installed slot machines that accept Canadian money. Casino officials said they are the only casino in the country that accepts dual currencies...The U.S. to Canadian exchange rate for currency is around 75 percent, according to the Bank of Canada. "It really puts a crimp on our Canadian guests coming down to the states and entertaining themselves," Casino general manager Tom Turpin said. So a few years ago, the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho began looking at how to keep cashing in on the Canadians.
 
Documents indicate tribe misled voters on casino sites
Arizona (Indian gaming) - Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services - Officials of the Tohono O'odham Nation were discussing possible sites for a casino in Maricopa County even as tribes were telling voters in 2002 there would be no new tribal gaming in the Phoenix area if they approve a ballot measure. Documents the tribe was forced to disclose in a pending lawsuit show officials were already looking at land west of Phoenix before the vote over tribal gaming. And the hand-written minutes of the closed meeting also show there already was interest in moving close to Glendale where, while the land was more expensive, the profits from a casino would be greater.
 
Fasig-Tipton July: Figures decline in yearling season opener
Kentucky (racing) - Joe Nevills, Daily Racing Form - Tension around the sale grounds prior to the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July selected yearling sale regarding the tenuous state of the middle and lower markets came to fruition on Tuesday, with across-the board declines and a significantly higher buyback rate. The single-day auction saw 183 yearlings sold for revenues of $15,756,500, down 21 percent from the 2015 edition when 205 horses brought $20,005,000... buyback rate closed at 38 percent, marking a sizable jump from 29 percent.
 
Curlin Colt Lights up F-T Bid Board
Kentucky (racing) - Ron Mitchell, Blood-Horse News - A beautiful son of Curlin   lit up the bid board at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July selected yearling sale when he was purchased by Hartley/DeRenzo Thoroughbreds for $475,000. The price was the highest of the sale at the time the colt went through the ring mid-afternoon July 12.
 
Donegal Moon RNA's at $1.6 Million at F-T
Kentucky (racing) - Myra Lewyn, Blood-Horse News - There was excitement at the Fasig-Tipton July selected sale of horses of racing age July 11 when grade III winner Donegal Moon was presented late in the evening, but the colt left the ring unsold after bidding reached $1.6 million.
 
Laurel adjusts stakes schedule, adds $150,000 in purses
Maryland (racing) - Jim Dunleavy, Daily Racing Form - Laurel Park will have seven major stakes days during its fall meeting. The Maryland Jockey Club has added five stakes to the schedule, increased the purses of three races, and decreased the value of three others. The total value of this year's stakes schedule is $3.25 million - not counting Maryland Million Day or Claiming Crown Preview Day - an increase of $150,000 from 2015
 
The Player should be just that in the Indiana Derby
Indiana (racing) - Brian Zipse, Horse Racing Nation - It's not often that you see a major player in a half-million-dollar race be one that has never attempted stakes company before, but then again The Player is not your typical racehorse. "He's a character," says Buff Bradley affectionately. "He sits in his stall like a dog." Bradley has plenty of reason to have a special feeling about the three-year-old son of Street Hero, who is eight days away from taking his shot in the Grade 2 Indiana Derby at Indiana Grand.
 
I'm a Chatterbox favored over five rivals in Delaware Handicap
Delaware (racing) - Jim Dunleavy, Daily Racing Form - I'm a Chatterbox, who won the Obeah Stakes last month, has a home-court advantage in the Delaware Handicap...on Saturday when she faces five rivals in the Grade 1 Delaware Handicap. I'm a Chatterbox has started only twice this season, tuning up for the $750,000 Del Cap with an 8 1/2-length victory in the Obeah Stakes at Delaware Park on June 11.
 

 
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UK players angered at EuroMillions price increase
Europe (UK) - Ted Menmuir, SBC News - UK lottery players have responded negatively to changes made to the EuroMillions game...have protested against the increased pricing of the EuroMillions draw, which will see the price of a line go up by 50p to £2.50 from September. Furthermore, the EuroMillions game will feature an extra lucky star which lessens the chances of winning the jackpot from 1 in 117 million currently to 1 in 140 million.
 
Euro 2016 Soccer Surprises Give Boost to Sportingbet Owner GVC
Europe (results) - Paul Jarvis, Bloomberg - Surprise results in the first half of the Euro 2016 soccer tournament gave a boost to second-quarter profitability at GVC Holdings Plc. Results were especially good in the early stages of the event in France, the Isle of Man-based company said. That led to an above-average win margin of 9.9 percent on sports bets, up from 7.9 percent in the same period last year...Upset wins for long-shots such as Albania and Iceland also helped the win percentage for GVC.
 
MP says the future of Baha Mar project is "worrisome"
Caribbean (Bahamas) - Yogonet - In the Bahamas, a Member Of Parliament (MP) has called on the ruling party of Prime Minister Perry Christie to launch an official inquiry into the status of the delayed The Baha Mar Casino And Hotel...Andre Rollins declared that the future of the $3.5 billion casino resort project, which was originally due to open in December of 2014, is more "worrisome" than is being acknowledged...implored Christie's administration to "urgently convene" an inquiry.
 
Court orders sale of casino ship in HK$3.8 million wage dispute
Asia (Hong Kong) - South China Morning Post - A troubled casino cruise ship locked in a legal battle over HK$3.8 million in unpaid wages for its 46 crew will be put up for auction after the High Court ordered a judicial sale...industry insiders said the plight of the vessel, weighing 12,586 tons and measuring 129 by 21 meters, highlights how the casino business has been hit hard in the wake of a crackdown by Beijing on corruption and gaming.
 
Lionel Leong: Wynn Palace gaming table application unclear
Asia (Macau) - Macau Business Daily - Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong Vai Tac said yesterday that gaming operator Wynn Macau had not submitted a definite number when applying for gaming tables and slot machines for its new Cotai project Wynn Palace slated to open next month.
According to the Secretary, the Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau has requested the operator to clarify how many gaming tables and slot machines it needs for the new project.
 
Parisian to feature VIP rooms
Asia (Macau) - Asia Gaming Brief - Sands China's president and chief operating officer, Wilfred Wong has announced the Parisian Macau will feature VIP rooms when it opens...Wong declined to clarify the number of new-to-market tables the new development would have. "We don't know [how many tables] we'll have," he said, saying it was a matter for the gaming regulator.
 
Macau's first training course for gaming employees
Asia (Macau) - Asia Gaming Brief - Sands China held the inauguration ceremony of Macau's first training course for gaming practitioners...The training focuses on professional ethics, professional conduct, professional awareness and professional skills. 600 Sands China team members will attend the training, with each team member attending 14 hours of training over two days, said the company in a press release.
 
'Strong start' to July revenue, analysts say
Asia (Macau) - Macau Daily Times - Macau's gaming revenue in the first ten days of July were ahead of expectations...Telsey Advisory analyst David Katz said in a research note that the gross gaming revenues in Macau for the month are estimated to be tracking up approximately 8.2 percent year-over-year.
 
Bernstein: Soft start to July
Asia (Macau) - Joanne Kuai, Macau Business Daily - Casino revenues have seen a soft start to July but should see improvement in the following weeks, said brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Co. LLC...gross gaming revenues have achieved an average daily rate of $65.70 million over the first ten days of the month, which is lower than June. 'The softer gross gaming revenues were likely impacted by the Euro Cup playoffs; Brexit and currency volatility did not help either,' reads the note. 'We expect to see some improvements in gross gaming revenues trends over the next few weeks.'
 
Gaming related crimes continue to surge
Asia (Macau) - Renato Marques, Macau Daily Times - Gaming related crimes and drug trafficking have been on the rise over the past year...The major increase goes to crimes related to the gaming industry, in particular, usury and illegal detentions due to the non-payment of gaming debts, both of which increased as much as 60 and 200 percent, respectively, leading to the detention of a total of 1,887 people. "The large majority of the suspects and victims of this type of crimes are not Macau residents therefore the occurrences didn't threaten the community security," he said.
 
First CCTV cameras being tested: police
Asia (Macau) - Macau Post Daily - Unitary Police Service (SPU) Commissioner-General Ma Io Kun said yesterday the police had finished installing over 200 CCTV cameras around the city's border control areas, and they were currently adjusting the angles of the cameras during testing.

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Iowa casinos post modest fiscal 2016 revenue growth
Iowa (results) - Rod Boshart, Quad City Times - Iowa's 19 state-licensed gambling operations took in gross adjusted revenue totaling $1.44 billion...admissions slipped by more than 90,000 patrons to 21.5 million last fiscal year. [June gaming revenue was up 2.8 percent to $113.7 million.]
 
Greater Cincinnati gambling revenues highest ever
Ohio/Indiana (results) - Alexander Coolidge, Cincinnati Enquirer - In the last 12 months, gambling outlets in Greater Cincinnati raked in $807.5 million...Jack Cincinnati Casino is the region's No. 1, collecting $197 million or nearly 25 percent share...Rising Star Casino & Resort in Rising Sun did $45 million in gambling revenue worth 6 percent.
 
Reports says Arkansas lottery enjoys record-breaking sales
Arkansas (lottery) - Associated Press - A new report says the Arkansas lottery total ticket sales during the fiscal year that ended June 30 were $455.6 million, up 11.5 percent over fiscal 2015.
 
California Lottery sales hit new record at $6.3 billion
California (lottery) - Associated Press - The California Lottery says it collected a record $6.3 billion in the last fiscal year, up nearly 15 percent...profits totaled $1.5 billion in 2015-16.
Associated Press - CDC Newsroom

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