Tuesday, July 31, 2018

World Casino News
Caesars Entertainment Corporation casinos to debut sportsbooks

Caesars Entertainment Corporation is set to become the latest casino operator to expand its sportsbetting services in the United States after announcing that it intends to launch sportsbooks for its properties in New Jersey and Mississippi over the next few weeks. Launches to begin in New Jersey: Las Vegas-headquartered, Caesars Entertainment Corporation, used an official Monday press release […]

Caesars Entertainment Corporation casinos to debut sportsbooks

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Interblock to Exhibit Cutting-Edge ETGs at AGE 2018

Luxury gaming manufacturer and electronic table game (ETG) market leader Interblock® today announced that it will exhibit its cutting-edge products at the Australasian Gaming Expo (AGE) 14 – 16 August in booth #451. 

Interblock to Exhibit Cutting-Edge ETGs at AGE 2018

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CHIPS has a ball for its 500th presentation with Strictly’s Anton Du Beke

The UK gaming industry took centre stage recently as CHIPS presented the 500th powered wheelchair thanks to donations made by a wide range of organisations from across the sector including Beacon Bingo, Cashino, Clarion Gaming, NRM and The Rank Group.

 

CHIPS has a ball for its 500th presentation with Strictly’s Anton Du Beke

Casino News Daily
Poker Buddies Antonio Esfandiari and Kevin Hart to Meet in the Boxing Ring

After some clashes at the poker table, poker pro Antonio Esfandiari and popular comedian turned avid poker player Kevin Hart are set to storm the boxing ring, Esfandiari himself told a TMZ Sports reporter over the weekend.

Delighted to be recognized by paps and asked about “some real juice”, Esfandiari said that he and Hart played poker the other day and “somehow boxing [came] up.” The two made a bet and agreed to step into the boxing ring to test their strength and will. The boxing match will take place “in March, around March,” Esfandiari told the TMZ reporter.

The poker pro refused to unveil how much money was on the line, but given both his and Hart’s estimated net worth, it should be expected that they have made quite a hefty bet.

Esfandiari further said that he is getting 35-1 odds in the upcoming bout, because his opponent is “in much better shape, he’s an athlete, he’s fast as hell”. However, at nearly 6 feet tall, the Magician, as Esfandiari is also known in the poker community, he has an important height/reach advantage. Hart stands at around 5’4″.

Esfandiari and Hart’s Careers

With three gold bracelets from the World Series of Poker and two WPT Main Tour titles, Esfandiari is one of the big stars of global poker. The player boasts live tournament earnings of over $27.6 million. That amount includes his first-place prize of $18,346,673 for taking down the 2012 $1,000,000 BIG One for ONE DROP and outlasting some of the world’s most seasoned pros, including heads-up opponent England’s Sam Trickett.

It is also interesting to note that he had been a professional magician before he started playing poker for a living, hence his nickname The Magician.

As for Kevin Hart, while he cannot boast with as many poker accomplishments as Esfandiari, he is one of the world’s most successful and praised comedians in the world. With estimated net worth of around $58 million, Hart ranks 39th in the Forbes 2018 Celebrity 100 Earnings list. His The Irresponsible Tour has been the biggest comedy tour so far this year with 1 million tickets sold, from which Hart grossed over $30 million.

Earlier this year, Hart became a brand ambassador for online poker room PokerStars, following his multiple appearances in different poker tournaments in 2017 and this year. The comedian and the globally popular poker brand said that they hope their partnership will change the face of poker.

Esfandiari and Hart excel in their respective fields, but it is to be seen who will emerge victorious in their upcoming boxing match. This will not be the first time poker players are clashing in the ring. Bouts have taken place between Bertrand Grospellier and Lex Veldhuis as well as between Brian Rast and Sorel Mizzi in the past few years.

The post Poker Buddies Antonio Esfandiari and Kevin Hart to Meet in the Boxing Ring appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Poker Buddies Antonio Esfandiari and Kevin Hart to Meet in the Boxing Ring

Monday, July 30, 2018

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Scientific Games Signs Sports Betting Deal With Caesars Entertainment

OpenBet's Market-Leading Technology to Power Caesars' Sports Wagering in New Jersey and Mississippi

Scientific Games Signs Sports Betting Deal With Caesars Entertainment

World Casino News
Choctaw Casino & Resort to host WPT

The World Poker Tour is back in Oklahoma in just a few days, as the Choctaw Casino & Resort will be hosting the WPT Choctaw event. Running from the 3rd to the 7th of August, the stop will mark the fourth year running that the WPT has traveled to Oklahoma for the main leg of […]

Choctaw Casino & Resort to host WPT

Casino News – Focus Gaming News
EGT and Reel Games install in California
EGT and Reel Games install in California

The companies signed an agreement for the Cache Creek Casino located in California.

The post EGT and Reel Games install in California appeared first on Focus Gaming News.

EGT and Reel Games install in California

Sunday, July 29, 2018

World Casino News
GVC Holdings in merger talks with MGM Resorts

Isle of Man-based online gambling company, GVC Holdings, has reportedly confirmed it is engaged in talks regarding a merger with global hospitality and entertainment company, MGM Resorts International (MGM:New York). According to Sky News … The owner of British-based betting and gambling company, Ladbrokes Coral Group plc, will this week or as soon as Monday, […]

GVC Holdings in merger talks with MGM Resorts

World Casino News
Pachinko remains king for Japanese gamblers

In Japan, pachinko reportedly remains the most prevalent form of gambling with the amount spent by players enjoying the vertical pinball-like slot machines regularly topping approximately $200 billion every year. Revenues double earnings from automobile exports: According to a Thursday report from The Independent newspaper, the Japanese pachinko sector annually takes in about twice what […]

Pachinko remains king for Japanese gamblers

Casino News Daily
Ireland’s Revenue Declares War on Dublin’s Illegal Casinos

Ireland’s Revenue has issued enforcement letters to a number of illegally operating casino facilities across Dublin giving them 21 days to remove gambling machines from their premises, The Times reported earlier this week.

News about the government agency launching a crackdown against illegal operations arrived after an investigation by The Times showed that a number of Dublin-based arcades have used their licenses to operate gambling machines, thus breaching a 1988 citywide ban on the latter devices.

Under the long-standing prohibition, no licenses for gambling machines can be issued to facilities located within city limits. However, The Times reported last month that a number of arcade facilities are violating that ban and are using their arcade machine licenses to operate gambling machines.

According to Revenue definitions, arcade/amusement machines are games that gives players the chance to win no more than an opportunity to play again or a non-monetary prize the value of which is worth no more than €7. The Times found that the gambling machines at some of the arcade premises across Dublin offered players the opportunity to wager up to €2,500 on casino-style games such as video poker, roulette, and blackjack. Such premises now have 21 days to remove all gambling machines or face seizure of those.

Industry Responds to the Looming Crackdown

The Irish Amusement Trades Association (IATA), which represents both licensed and unlicensed arcades, has responded quickly to the pending crackdown, saying that it was considering legal actions against Revenue’s ruling. The association has long been lobbying for the ban on casino-style gambling in Dublin to be lifted.

IATA General Secretary John Roche has previously said that Ireland’s current gambling laws are archaic and are violating directives of the European Union in relation to the provision of gambling services across member states. Ireland’s gambling industry is regulated under the Gaming and Lotteries Act which took effect back in 1956.

Irish lawmakers have been working for years on a piece of legislation that would replace the obsolete regulations, but not much progress has been made so far.

A Revenue spokeswoman has told The Times than any operator of gambling machines without the necessary license or using an arcades license to operate gambling machines would have their machines seized and would be prosecuted. IATA maintains that they can face down the taxman in court and even win, citing recent European Court of Justice rulings, under which any laws restricting gambling to certain areas in a given country should be reviewed if they are applied properly.

According to a 2015 study by Gaming and Leisure Association Ireland the issuance of arcade licenses is cheaper than of gambling machine ones and by favoring the former, the country is thus losing revenue. The study also said that of all 7,559 arcade licenses issued, around 5,000 were actually used for gambling machines that offered cash prizes.

The post Ireland’s Revenue Declares War on Dublin’s Illegal Casinos appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Ireland’s Revenue Declares War on Dublin’s Illegal Casinos

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Casino News Daily
Boracay Casino Resort Still On Track to Open in 2021 Despite Ongoing Hurdles

A planned casino resort on Boracay is on track to be launched in 2021, despite the Philippine island’s closure for environmental rehabilitation, a representative of one of the companies behind the project told local media.

News emerged last December that Macau gaming and hospitality giant Galaxy Entertainment Group had partnered Philippine leisure and entertainment company Leisure and Resorts World Corp. (LRWC) to build together a $550-million integrated resort on the island of Boracay. It was announced earlier this year that Galaxy has received a provisional gaming license from the Philippine gambling regulator, PAGCOR, for the operation of a casino at the planned property.

At the same time, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the closure of the island for a six-month environmental cleanup, following a probe into the environmental state of the popular tourist hub. The probe found that local businesses were discharging untreated waste water into the sea and that there were multiple illegal buildings across the island. Boracay was closed on April 26.

Responding to news that Galaxy and its local partner were planning to build a casino on the island, President Duterte has repeatedly said that he would not allow that.

Despite the President’s vows to prevent the plan from materializing and the island’s closure, LRWC is confident that the resort is on track to open by 2021, as originally planned. The company’s Vice President for Legal Affairs Katrina Nepomuceno said Friday that the environmental cleanup is not delaying the project as they were able to finish what they had to finish before Boracay’s closure.

It became known earlier this year that Galaxy and its local partner have obtained a 23-hectare site in the Barangay Manoc-Manoc area. Ms. Nepomuceno said that a land survey has proven that the portion of land was alienable and disposable.

Working Closely with Environmental Regulators

The LRWC official further explained that they have been working closely with the Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), which is in charge of the ongoing rehabilitation process, as well as with other government agencies, and that they are getting updates on the process from the Boracay task force.

Ms. Nepomuceno also told media that they want to be sure their project is fully compliant with the government’s environmental requirements.

Asked when construction on the resort is expected to begin, the official said that they are yet to decide on the official start of the development process but that they believe the 2021 targeted opening is still achievable despite the island’s closure. Ms. Nepomuceno further pointed out that she is confident in the future materialization of their plan because President Duterte has said that he wants to keep Boracay popular with tourists and they are offering an opportunity for that to happen.

The LRWC official also said Friday that they are yet to receive confirmation from the Department of Agrarian Reform about a recently announced planned for Boracay to be placed under an agrarian reform that would aim to hand land across the island to its natives.

The post Boracay Casino Resort Still On Track to Open in 2021 Despite Ongoing Hurdles appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Boracay Casino Resort Still On Track to Open in 2021 Despite Ongoing Hurdles

World Casino News
Gamenet Group SpA purchasing rival GoldBet

Italian gaming operator Gamenet Group SpA has reportedly announced a deal that is to see it pay out approximately $310 million in order to purchase all of the capital in domestic rival GoldBet. Combined entity to be ‘clear leader’ in Italy: According to a report from iGamingRadio.com, Guglielmo Angelozzi, Chief Executive Officer for Rome-headquartered Gamenet […]

Gamenet Group SpA purchasing rival GoldBet

World Casino News
Reconsideration of Brockton, Mass casino on hold until September

A Thursday decision by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission will see a request to reconsider its 2016 rejection of a proposed $700 million casino on the Brockton Fairgrounds (pictured) put on hold until September. According to Mass Live… Developer Mass Gaming & Entertainment petitioned the commission in June to revisit its application and to do so “without […]

Reconsideration of Brockton, Mass casino on hold until September

Friday, July 27, 2018

Casino News Daily
Lotte Tour Extends South Korea Casino Footprint with Paradise Casino Jeju Lotte Purchase

South Korean tour operator and real estate developer Lotte Tour Development announced Friday that it is stepping further into its home country’s casino market with the acquisition of Paradise Casino Jeju Lotte.

The company is set to pay the total amount of KRW43.4 billion (approximately $38.8 million) for the gambling facility. Under a share purchase agreement with the casino’s current owner, Paradise Group, Lotte Tour will acquire 100% of the venue’s shares for KRW15 billion and will pay its debt which amounts to KRW28.4 billion.

Paradise Casino Jeju Lotte operates in the Lotte Hotel, which is part of the Joongmoon Resort Complex on South Korea’s Jeju Island. The gambling venue features 23 baccarat tables, 2 blackjack ones, a roulette table, and 24 slot machines.

Lotte Tour is currently developing a separate integrated resort with a gaming floor on the Jeju Island together with Chinese developers Greenland Group and China State Construction Engineering Corp. The property, named Jeju Dream Tower Integrated Resorts, is expected to open doors in October 2019.

Aside from a casino, the resort will also feature 1,600 hotel rooms operated by Grand Hyatt as well as a number of food and beverage facilities. Developers have previously said that their aim is to build the Jeju Island’s tallest and largest building with a total floor area of 303,737 square meters.

The Jeju Island, a popular tourist hub, has become a preferred location for even more developers to base their integrated resorts. Hong Kong-listed company Landing International Development has been opening in phases its Jeju Shinhwa World integrated resort with a casino and theme park on the island since last spring.

Visitors Numbers Dip for Third Consecutive Year

Although new resorts are springing and are expected to spring in South Korea in the next several years, official data shows that the number of foreign visitors to the country’s casinos dropped for a third straight year in 2017.

According to recently published statistics, the nation’s 16 operational foreigner-only casinos attracted 2.22 million visitors in 2017, down 6.2% from the previous year. The decrease was attributed to the fallout in the relations between China and South Korea over a missile defense system the latter country has deployed.

South Korea reached a visitor peak in 2014 when its casinos drew 2.96 million foreign patrons. However, visitor numbers have been dropping since then due to the severed relations with China. Last spring, the Chinese government banned the sale of package tours to South Korean destinations, which resulted in big withdrawal of Chinese tourists. Casino players from Mainland China have long been the biggest market for South Korean casinos.

Revenue from the country’s foreigner-only casinos amounted to $1.07 billion last year, down 2.9% year-on-year. In comparison, Kangwon Land, the company that runs the only casino in the country that admits Korean nationals, generated KRW1.52 trillion (approximately $1.3 billion) last year.

The post Lotte Tour Extends South Korea Casino Footprint with Paradise Casino Jeju Lotte Purchase appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Lotte Tour Extends South Korea Casino Footprint with Paradise Casino Jeju Lotte Purchase

Casino News – Focus Gaming News
Puyallup Tribe would open a casino in Washington
Puyallup Tribe would open a casino in Washington

Washington State could become the host of a new casino operated by local Tribe, Puyallup.

The post Puyallup Tribe would open a casino in Washington appeared first on Focus Gaming News.

Puyallup Tribe would open a casino in Washington

Casino News Daily
Simon Lam Takes Down Inaugural WPT Gardens $5,000 Main Event

Simon Lam is the brand new member of WPT’s club of Main Tour Main Event champs. The player outlasted the 584-strong field of the inaugural edition of the WPT Gardens Poker Festival $5,000 Main Event for his first title from the popular poker series.

He collected a payout of $565,055 and a brand new 2018 Mercedes-Benz SLC Roadster (valued at around $50,000). The player also secured a $15,000 ticket into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions.

The final day of the WPT Gardens Main Event was played on Thursday at the Gardens Casino in Hawaiian Gardens, California. Lam came into that final day as the chip leader among a total of six survivors who comprised the official final table.

The first levels of the day saw poker pro Jake Schindler take the lead and extend the gap between him and his fellow contenders. Schindler then lost some of his momentum and what followed next was a fierce war for the chip lead between Men Nguyen and Lam. That war lasted hours and extended into three-handed play.

During that key and lengthy stage of the final table, the chip lead exchanged hands between Nguyen and Lam, and Schindler occasionally managed to double through his two remaining opponents to get ahead of them for a while. It was the elimination of Nguyen in third place that put an end to the mad three-handed race. The player collected $270,430 for his performance.

Heads-Up Duel

Lam was the chip leader at the time heads-up between him and Schindler kicked off. And the player never really lost his momentum, despite his opponent’s efforts to improve.

The two-handed match began with Lam holding 19.2 million in chips to Schindler’s 4.175 million. The two players battled it out for 11 hands until Hand #164 of the six-handed final table was dealt. It saw Lam raise to 600,000 pre-flop and Schindler call.

The [Js][7c][2c] landed on the flop. Schindler checked, while Lam bet 500,000 to see his opponent check-raise to 1.5 million. Lam spent the next 30 seconds thinking what to do next and eventually shoved. Schindler snap-called for his last 4.675 million, tabling [Jd][8d] for a pair of jacks. Lam turned [Jc][9s] for pocket jacks but with a higher kicker. Blank [3h] on the turn and [2d] on the river sealed it for Lam and sent Schindler to the rail. The tournament’s runner-up finisher collected $366,740.

Craig Varnell finished fourth in the WPT Gardens Main Event for $201,615. Saya Ono took home $151,995 for her fifth-place finish. Jared Griener went out in sixth place for $115,885.

The first ever WPT Gardens Main Event saw 584 entries who created a prize pool of $2,944,800. The top 73 finishers received a portion of the money.

The WPT is next heading to Choctaw Casino & Resort in Durant, Oklahoma for the second poker festival on its 2018/19 schedule. That festival’s Main Event take place on August 3-7. It features a $3,700 buy-in fee and a guaranteed prize pool of $1 million.

The post Simon Lam Takes Down Inaugural WPT Gardens $5,000 Main Event appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Simon Lam Takes Down Inaugural WPT Gardens $5,000 Main Event

Casino News Daily
Hong Kong Businesswoman Pansy Ho Buys Asia’s Second Most Expensive Mansion

Pansy Ho, daughter of Macau casino tycoon Stanley Ho, has reportedly purchased Asia’s second most expensive home for the hefty amount of HK$900 million, according to a report from news outlet the South China Morning Post.

The mansion is located in an exclusive Hong Kong neighborhood. It is believed that it occupies 5,579 square feet at 28 Gough Hill Road on The Peak, known to be the highest mountain on the Hong Kong Island and one of the most exclusive places to purchase a home. Land Registry data released earlier this week further shows that the property includes 7,489 square feet of garden and swimming pool.

House 3, as the property is identified, is believed to have been sold for HK$161,319 per square foot, which makes it the second most expensive home in Asia. The top spot is occupied by a 9,212-square-foot mansion at 15 Gough Hill Road which was purchased by businessman Chen Hong Tian for HK$182,370 per square foot back in 2016.

According to Land Registry data, private company Smart Richest International has recently purchased the House 3 mansion. Two senior employees of Ms. Ho – Jeny Lau and Yuen Kein-kei – are listed as directors at the holding. They are also directors at Shun Tak Holdings, a ferry and helicopter operator providing service between Hong Kong and Macau. The company was established in 1999 and has various other operations. Ms. Ho acts as Chairwoman and Executive Director of Shun Tak Holdings.

According to analyst Denis Ma, Head of JLL’s Hong Kong branch, the hefty price for Ms. Ho’s new asset was actually in line with current market trends and other Peak mansions.

Who is Pansy Ho?

Ms. Ho is the eldest of five children of self-made billionaire and Macau casino industry founding father Stanley Ho and his second wife Lam King Yin. Ms. Ho received her high school and higher education in the United States where she studied business and marketing.

Back in the 1980s, she had a brief career as an actress, but changed her aspirations shortly after to begin pursuing a career as a businesswoman. As mentioned above, the 55-year-old magnate is the Chairwoman of Shun Tak Holdings, which operates in multiple fields.

She is also a major shareholder in MGM China, the Macau arm of casino and hospitality giant MGM Resorts International. Ms. Ho is sister of another gambling tycoon, Lawrence Ho, whose Melco Resorts & Entertainment operates integrated resorts properties in Macau, the Philippines, and currently develops a property in the Republic of Cyprus.

With estimated net worth of around $4.8 billion, Ms. Ho is the 16th richest person in Hong Kong, according to Forbes’ list of the city’s wealthiest. She also ranks as the city’s second richest woman, with Pollyanna Chu Yuet Wah of Kingston Financial Group topping that ranking with estimated wealth of around $12 billion.

The post Hong Kong Businesswoman Pansy Ho Buys Asia’s Second Most Expensive Mansion appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Hong Kong Businesswoman Pansy Ho Buys Asia’s Second Most Expensive Mansion

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Casino News Daily
Simon Lam Leads WPT Gardens Main Event Final Table

The WPT Gardens $5,000 Main Event final table was set early today after a long Day 4 of the tournament. Six players are set to return later today at the host venue, the Gardens Casino in Hawaiian Gardens, Southern California, to play down to a champion.

The winner will take home a nice payout of $565,055, including a $15,000 seat into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions, and a brand new Mercedes-Benz SLC Roadster worth over $50,000.

Simon Lam is leading the final pack of six players after the fourth day of play. The overnight chip leader had accumulated a stack of 6.155 million by the end of Day 4 action to pack with a considerable advantage over his fellow contenders for the title. Popular poker pro Jake Schindler bagged the second largest stack, good for 4.45 million.

This will be Lam’s second WPT Main Tour Main Event final table. Back in 2016, the player finished 4th in the $3,500 buy-in WPT Borgata Poker Open Main Event, good for his best live tournament cash of $250,970. Overall, Lam has nearly $1.4 million in earnings from various live tournaments.

Day 4 Action

Day 4 of the WPT Gardens Main Event kicked off with 46 hopefuls still in contention. Saya Ono was leading the survivors. While the local player failed to keep her lead throughout the day, she managed to secure her spot at the official final table. She currently occupies the fifth spot in the temporary leaderboard with a stack of 3.445 million, good for 57 big blinds. In other words, even though she stands near the bottom of the chip counts chart, she is still running pretty deep.

The Day 4 hopefuls first played to the unofficial final table of nine. Men Nguyen was holding the largest chip stack when that stage of the game was reached with 3.635 million. The remaining nine survivors were then relocated to a single table. It took 98 hands of play for the official six-handed final table to be reached.

Nguyen maintained quite some momentum halfway through those 98 hands. However, to everyone’s surprise the player fell asleep at the table and spent more than 20 hands in that state. He eventually woke up, but Lam was already gaining momentum by that time and was eying the top of the leaderboard.

Despite his unexpected nap, Nguyen made it to the official final table with the third largest stack among the remaining survivors. The player will enter the final day of action with 3.935 million or 66 big blinds.

Aside from the chip leader, Lam, Schindler, Nguyen, and Ono, Jared Griener with 3.875 million and Craig Varnell with 1.955 million were the other two players to make it to the tournament’s official final table.

Six-handed action is slated to kick off today at 4 pm local time at the host venue. The hopefuls will play down to a champion. Each of them is guaranteed a minimum cash of $115,885.

The post Simon Lam Leads WPT Gardens Main Event Final Table appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Simon Lam Leads WPT Gardens Main Event Final Table

Casino News – Focus Gaming News
Promising future for Delta in Goa
Promising future for Delta in Goa

According to Union Gaming, Delta Corp’s financial performance “continues to make the case” for moving riverboat casinos to land.

The post Promising future for Delta in Goa appeared first on Focus Gaming News.

Promising future for Delta in Goa

World Casino News
Provisional license for fifth Entertainment City integrated casino resort

Chinese real estate firm, Landing International Development Limited, has announced that one of its subsidiaries has been granted a provisional gaming license for the new integrated casino resort it is planning to build in the Philippines. Hong Kong-listed Landing International Development Limited revealed via an official filing (pdf) that its wholly-owned Landing Resorts Philippines Development Corporation […]

Provisional license for fifth Entertainment City integrated casino resort

Casino News Daily
San Manuel Casino Breaks Ground on Multi-Million Expansion

San Manuel Casino broke ground Wednesday on a $550-million expansion that will see the addition of a hotel and an event center, among other facilities, to the property’s existing operations. The expansion project will be carried out in several phases and a date for its finalization is yet to be confirmed by casino officials.

Located in Highland, Southern California, just an hour from Los Angeles, San Manuel Casino was originally launched in 1986 as a bingo hall. The property was gradually expanded into a full-scale casino with Las Vegas-style gaming options, including slot machines and table games. The gaming venue saw its latest expansion completed late last year.

The newly launched expansion project will be carried out in several phases. Phase one will include the construction of a 6-story parking garage with room for 2,400 vehicles. Construction work on the parking facility has actually already begun. It is expected to be completed late next year.

The next phase will include the addition of a 3,000-seat indoor entertainment center. Officials for the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, the California-based federally recognized tribe that owns San Manuel Casino, said yesterday that the existing venue did not have enough entertainment space, particularly after the closure of the bingo hall and its transformation into the Rockin’ Casino. The entertainment facility is expected to be completed in 2021.

The last phase of the $550-million project will involve the construction of a 450-room hotel. Tribal officials said yesterday that that particular part of their plan has long been under consideration and that they will finally be able to meet their customers’ requests for at-property accommodation. The hotel building will feature between 14 and 17 stories. Aside from luxury accommodation, it will also offer customers a pool complex, a fitness center, and a spa. A date for completion of that part of the expansion plan is yet to be announced by tribal officials.

Additional restaurants and retail space will also be added to the growing hotel and casino gaming complex.

No Additional Gaming Options Planned

Tribal officials said yesterday that they are not planning to expand the property’s existing gaming space for now. As mentioned above, an expansion at the gambling venue was recently completed and more gaming options were added.

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians is believed to be among the top private employers in its host San Bernardino County. The tribe currently supports over 4,900 jobs and annually generates over $1 billion in economic activity.

Expansion at San Manuel Casino is expected to create 1,400 temporary construction jobs and over 1,200 permanent jobs ones the new facilities are fully operational, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians CEO Jerry Paresa told local media during yesterday’s ground-breaking ceremony. The official further pointed out that they hope the ambitious project would attract more investors who will “take a look at [their] community.”

The post San Manuel Casino Breaks Ground on Multi-Million Expansion appeared first on Casino News Daily.

San Manuel Casino Breaks Ground on Multi-Million Expansion

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

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Land-based casino industry engages with key topics for future development in Europe at annual forum in Monaco

Promoting equal career opportunities and tackling money laundering were the key issues at the annual industry forum organised by the European Casino Association (ECA) and Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer at the Casino de Monte-Carlo and Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo.

Land-based casino industry engages with key topics for future development in Europe at annual forum in Monaco

World Casino News
Integration sees Wazdan go live with EveryMatrix

In December 2017, major casino games producer, Wazdan, agreed a deal to integrate its award-winning content onto the EveryMatrix’s CasinoEngine platform. Per the agreement, the producer’s portfolio of innovative online slots, which players can enjoy on desktop, tablet and mobile, will now be made available to the UK-headquartered firm’s network of operators. According to the […]

Integration sees Wazdan go live with EveryMatrix

Casino News Daily
Exclusive Interview with PlayOJO CEO Ohad Narkis on UK Gambling Industry’s Challenges

Ohad Narkis is the CEO of PlayOJO, an innovative online casino that launched last year and is aiming to challenge the big industry names. Having previously worked for some of the global gambling industry’s powerhouses, including PokerStars and Scientific Games, Mr. Narkis is now using his knowledge and experience in the field to build a brand that places fairness and transparency at its core.

The UK gambling space is one of the main markets PlayOJO has been targeting since it went live. What are the challenges facing a new operation in the highly competitive UK online gambling environment? How is PlayOJO handling competition? And how does it make sure that its is fully compliant with the wave of regulatory reforms in the UK gambling industry from the past several years? Mr. Narkis has provided answers to these and many other important questions and has offered our readers an insight into how PlayOJO believes customers should be treated and industry challenges should be approached.

Operating an online casino business in the current environment of extreme competition, rising costs, and growing regulatory pressure must be really hard. What are the biggest challenges a new casino comes across when it goes live?

I would say that the biggest challenge of all is to cut through the noise in the market. The UK market is extremely competitive, very fragmented and is dominated by several well-established brands, some of which are high-street brands that have been around for years. To break into this cluttered market takes a lot of effort, preparation and much thought about how to differentiate yourself and stand out in the 3 key levels – Product, Brand, and Value proposition.

Without these major considerations and a creative and cut-through marketing strategy, it would be hard for any new brand to launch into a market and build any kind of significant market share. The growing compliance and regulatory pressure makes things even more challenging for a new casino. As far as PlayOJO goes, we believe that as operators we have a responsibility to our players and this is why we decided to challenge the market on some of its core shortfalls relating to fairness and transparency. With our fairness implementation, we’ve created a win win situation for both our players as well as for our business.

In what ways does PlayOJO stand out from its competition?

We’ve established PlayOJO to challenge the perception of the market. The outdated way of how things were being done was creating friction with customers and a greater level of mistrust within the industry. In order to address this fundamental inherent issue, we wanted to create a brand that is very transparent and fair. This is why we created a completely new value proposition with PlayOJO; we scrapped all the traditional bonus systems and created a new platform where customers could interact with us and not have concerns about things like funds availability or bonus money.

We wanted to create a brand that looked and felt different to any other brand. The name itself is not even a traditional casino name as we wanted to steer clear of using words like “luck” or “spins” that scream casino. The same goes for the visual brand elements being gender neutral, warm and welcoming. We treat players as our friends and this comes across in our playful and fun tone of voice and the way that we communicate with them.

Your bonus rewards system is a bit different from what is usually offered at online casinos. Can you elaborate more on how you approach new customers and how you reward them?

Keeping our players loyal is of essence and that’s why we came up with features like OJOPlus – a money-back mechanism which gives players back a percentage of their wager every time they bet, whether they win or lose. Unlike other casinos, it’s not a promotional offer but an inherent part of our value proposition which is active 24/7 and of course paid in cash.

On the same note, we don’t believe in luring our players in with too-good-to-be-true match deposit bonuses. Instead, we reward them for actually playing, using our levels system and the OJO Wheel, which they can spin by reaching new levels or just as a surprise extra perk. At PlayOJO, all funds are available for customers to play or withdraw at any time and without any restrictions. We do not impose painful wagering requirements on our players and we set no max win limit – they are in control.

The UK is the largest regulated iGaming market, but it has become a bit of a challenge to operate there due to competition and regulatory pressure. What are your personal views about that market and its current state?

The UK market is becoming much more challenging to operate in, particularly because of the increased regulatory pressure, some of which is understandable and actually very positive. It took extra attention and enforcement from the Gambling Commission and the likes of CMA and CPA to pave the way for operators to be more upfront about how they operate.

There was much non-transparency in the market between customers and operators that became a problem. I believe that it’s very positive that regulators are now pushing for operators to clean up their acts and give customers more control over their money and their play. This is a fundamental and welcome change in the way that the industry operates and I anticipate that it will take some time for the industry to adapt.

The UK Government announced started taxing freeplays last summer. How has this affected your operations in the country?

To be honest, it didn’t have a significant impact on our operations because we only launched a few months before the change to taxation calculation took place so were able to plan for it from the outset. Because we’re less bonus-heavy, the introduction of tax on bonuses didn’t impact our bottom line in a significant way.

The UK Gambling Commission has slapped massive fines on a number of operators for compliance failures over the past year. How do you make sure that all aspects of your UK-facing business are compliant with the growing number of requirements?

Along with the entire industry, we have learned a lot from these high-profile cases of certain operators, some of which who were were charged with failings within crucial operational functions. In an environment where the Gaming Commission keeps raising the bar when it comes to Responsible Gaming, KYC and Customer Protection, we need to stay one step ahead of the game so that our players stay protected.

This last year we’ve seen a greater endorsement in operators being challenged to be more socially responsible. The significant fines that the Gambling Commission has imposed onto operators clearly shows that much more attention, time and resources need to be devoted into internal processes. These should include rigorous checks for customers’ sources of funds, AML prevention, preventing instances where self-excluded players are marketed to via 3rd party channels and very importantly, ensuring that players are not encouraged to play beyond their financial means.

We actually introduced several new safety measures that identity unusual playing patterns very early on in the player’s life-cycle. These involve a very efficient KYC process, including source of fund authorisation, play monitoring and in certain cases, a total suspension of play activities. This is something we have seen across the industry and it has impacted VIP players in particular. Our VIP player numbers have actually decreased over the last months which is simply due to these suggested measurements, but we feel that this is the only way for responsible operators to operate.

You have quite unique approach to responsible gambling. Can you tell us more about your focus in that area?

We’ve created an environment where players feel secure because there is nothing hidden in our terms and conditions and they have full control of their money, which is held in a single cash account. It’s about being socially responsible in terms of how we communicate with players and the fact that everything is upfront for them makes them feel protected.

All of our marketing is based around this idea – in fact our new marketing campaign is based around our fairness message. There is no other operator that has built an entire brand or campaign around being fair and with this initiative we hope to educate the industry as well as the customers by setting the “fairness bar” of how players should be treated in the industry. It’s a long-term goal that requires a great deal of resources, patience and stamina because changing perceptions in an industry that has been operating for many years with low-trust levels is not something that can be done overnight.

The matter of social responsibility goes beyond the UK for us. PlayOJO operates in a number of different markets and one of our fastest growing markets is in Sweden, where we launched at the beginning of 2018 with exactly the same propositions and “fair” brand promise.

Despite the fact the market there is still unregulated and the industry does not face the same pressures from regulators, our perception of how we believe the industry should operate remained intact. With the knowledge that the Swedish market will re-regulate at the beginning of 2019, we anticipate that the Swedish Gambling Authority will follow in the same footsteps as the UK Gambling Commission as far as getting operators to clean up their acts. Therefore, we see ourselves as the pioneers of a fair casino promise in Sweden, setting that “fairness bar” high as we have done in the UK and demonstrating how we believe operators should treat their customers, in a socially responsible and fair way.

The post Exclusive Interview with PlayOJO CEO Ohad Narkis on UK Gambling Industry’s Challenges appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Exclusive Interview with PlayOJO CEO Ohad Narkis on UK Gambling Industry’s Challenges

Casino News Daily
Saya Ono Leads 46 Players Into WPT Gardens Main Event Day 4

Tuesday was an important day at the Gardens Casino in Southern California as it saw the money bubble of the inaugural WPT Gardens Poker Festival $5,000 Main Event burst to secure the top 73 finishers with a payout.

Besides that, the overall 584-strong field of the tournament was whittled down to just 46 hopefuls during Day 3 that was played Tuesday at the host venue. Local player Saya Ono is leading the pack of survivors with a hefty stack of 2.114 million.

Ono was the only player to pass the 2 million mark yesterday. And she now stands well ahead of Anuj Agarwal who bagged and tagged the second largest stack last night, good for 1.25 million. Craig Varnell was the only other player at the tables of the host venue to bag over 1 million worth of chips last night.

But the day belonged to Ono. The player had a hot streak of winning hands to grow her stack and cement her lead. She was actually responsible for the elimination that burst the money bubble. Ono busted Matt Salsberg in 74th place to make him the unfortunate bubble boy. Later on Day 3, the player eliminated popular poker pro Ari Engel to further pull ahead. Toward the end of the night, Ono knocked out Brandon Zuidema to scoop a big pot and pass the 2 million chip mark.

Former WPT Champs Still in Contention

This will be Ono’s third cash from WPT’s Main Tour. And if the player maintains her momentum throughout Day 4 of the Gardens Main Event, she could make her first WPT Main Tour final table appearance.

There are three players who have previously not only made it to the final table of a WPT Main Tour Main Event but also won the tournament, with those being Ryan Tosoc, who bagged 940,000 last night, Mike Del Vecchio (623,000), and Marvin Rettenmaier (575,000). Kitty Kuo with 590,000, Ralph Massey with 535,000, and his brother Aaron Massey with 192,000 were also among the notables who made it through the end of Day 3.

Day 4 is set to kick off today at noon local time with the 46 remaining participants. The survivors will play down to a six-handed final table. Each of the 46 hopefuls is guaranteed a minimum cash of $12,800, but they will all aim for the first-place prize of $565,055 and the accompanying brand-new Mercedes-Benz SLC Roadster, courtesy of the Gardens Casino. As for six the final tablists, they will all leave with a payout of no less than $115,885. The tournament’s finale will be played tomorrow at the host casino.

The first-ever WPT Gardens Poker Festival $5,000 Main Event attracted a field of 584 entries. Including the $200,000 in cash the Gardens Casino contributed to the prize pool, it now amounts to $2,944,800. As mentioned above, the money was split into payouts for the top 73 finishers, min-cashes starting from $9,145. The WPT Gardens is the first festival on WPT’s Season XVII schedule.

The post Saya Ono Leads 46 Players Into WPT Gardens Main Event Day 4 appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Saya Ono Leads 46 Players Into WPT Gardens Main Event Day 4

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Casino News Daily
Israeli Hoteliers Buy Shuttered Las Vegas Strip Motel, Hint Casino Development Plans

A new hotel and casino complex might spring up in the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip after two Israeli hoteliers bought earlier this month the 1960s-era Motel 8 and hinted at plans to bulldoze the site to make room for a new development, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

According to property records, Israeli businessmen Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah completed the purchase of the motel on July 13. They paid $7.4 million for the property which is located on the southern edge of the Strip, right across the street from where the golden facade of Mandalay Bay is shining in the hot Las Vegas sun and is dwarfing the much smaller building of Motel 8.

The Review-Journal notes that Motel 8 has a peculiar backstory. Court documents showed that the property’s late owner, without the knowledge of his estranged wife, had transferred its ownership to a trust formed with his mistress. The motel’s owner died in 2009. A Clark County court upheld his wife’s half-ownership of the property four years later.

Mr. Gabay and Mr. Zerah are known to be the co-founders of Astral Hotels. The chain operates several properties in the seaside resort of Eilat in Southern Israel. Speaking to the Review-Journal Monday, Mr. Gabay said that Motel 8 was located in a very interesting area on the Strip, pointing to the new Raiders stadium as one of the properties making the area interesting.

The businessman further pointed out that he and Mr. Zerah might have seen something others do not see in the motel that is part of a portion of the Strip that has not seen much development over the past decades.

Will Motel 8 Be Transformed Into a Casino Resort?

Mr. Gabay told the Review-Journal that their plans for the now shuttered Motel 8 and its nearby Mr. Deli convenience store involve razing those and making room for a hotel and casino complex. The businessman declined any further comments on what the future of the one-acre site would be, but hinted that more details might be revealed in the coming months.

A spokesperson for Clark County has told the Review-Journal that no plans for the site have been filed with county officials and regulators yet.

News about the purchase of Motel 8 and its potential redevelopment into a casino resort arrive at the time of booming development activity both across the Strip and in Downtown Vegas. Ten years after the Great Recession hit the city and its key industries, multiple developers, including foreign ones, finally see clear signs of recovery that encourage them to enter Las Vegas or expand and/or renovate their existing business in the city.

Most recently, developer Derek Stevens was given the green light by the Las Vegas City Council to kick off construction on a casino resort that is to be located on the Fremont Street in downtown. The property will be located at the sites of the former Las Vegas Club, Mermaids, and the Glitter Gulch strip club, which were demolished a few months ago to make room for the new development.

The post Israeli Hoteliers Buy Shuttered Las Vegas Strip Motel, Hint Casino Development Plans appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Israeli Hoteliers Buy Shuttered Las Vegas Strip Motel, Hint Casino Development Plans

World Casino News
New casino may be on the cards for Saipan

In the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, a Japanese businessman has reportedly met with the Mayor of Saipan in order to discuss the possibility of opening various businesses including a new casino in the American territory. Return visit scheduled for August: According to a report from the Marianas Variety newspaper, Saipan Mayor David Apatang […]

New casino may be on the cards for Saipan

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CasinoFlex Systems announces first installation in Spain

“Perfect systems solution with the service to match”

CasinoFlex Systems announces first installation in Spain

Casino News – Focus Gaming News
BC Hard Rock workers end strike
BC Hard Rock workers end strike

After a deal reached with the employer, more than 400 workers are set to return to work.

The post BC Hard Rock workers end strike appeared first on Focus Gaming News.

BC Hard Rock workers end strike

World Casino News
Kansas warned against sports betting over-optimism

Legislators in Kansas have reportedly been warned that bringing legalized sports betting to ‘The Sunflower State’ may not end up being the magic pill that will help them to solve an estimated $320 budget deficit. Revenue cannibalization warning: According to a Sunday report from local television broadcaster, WDAF-TV, the caution came as part of a study […]

Kansas warned against sports betting over-optimism

Monday, July 23, 2018

Casino News Daily
Thai Police Continue Clamping Down on Illegal Betting after World Cup

Thai and Chinese police busted last week another illegal online gambling operation in Thailand, Thai police officers announced earlier today.

In a joint operation, police from the two countries arrested 34 individuals, most of whom Chinese nationals, on illegal gambling charges as well as for the alleged operation of an illegal financial operation.

Thai Deputy Tourism Police Chief Pol Maj-Gen Surachet Hakpal disclosed more details about the latest nabbing of an illegal gambling ring in the country at a press conference held today at the headquarters of the Royal Thai Police. The official said that Chinese police cooperated in catching the 34 suspects, of whom 24 were Chinese nationals.

Thai police raided last Friday as many as 14 locations in Bangkok, Phuket, Nonthaburi, and Chon Buri. Nineteen of the arrested individuals were suspected to be part of call center gangs; 17 of them were from China, one was from Vanuatu and the other from Myanmar.

Another 15 individuals were detained for their alleged ties with online gambling gangs. Nine of them were Chinese nationals, while three were from Myanmar and the other three were from Northern Thailand.

Most of the arrested suspects were based in Phuket, which is known to be among Thailand’s largest tech hubs. Pol Maj-Gen Surachet said today that they targeted mostly Chinese victims via the WeChat messaging app.

Record Number of Gambling-Related Arrests During World Cup

Football and betting on football matches is particularly popular in Thailand, even though the latter activity is strictly prohibited under the country’s gambling laws. Gearing up for the expected increase in betting activity, Thai police set up a special center that was tasked with clamping down on illegal gambling ahead of and during the Russia World Cup.

Police officers announced last week that three times as much gambling arrests were made during the 2018 edition of the major sporting event than four years ago when it took place in Brazil. As many as 15,007 gamblers, including three individuals under 18, were arrested in the period between May 1-July 15, 2018, Thai police revealed. In addition, 695 illegal gambling operators and 166 gambling ticket runners were also nabbed during the above period. Assets and cash seized by police during raids totaled BHT51.2 million.

The largest number of bettors who were wagering money with illegal gambling operations were caught ahead of and during the World Cup final between France and Croatia. A total of 1,000 people were nabbed on illegal gambling charges related to that match, police revealed.

In comparison, the 2014 World Cup saw the arrest of 4,679 gamblers, 258 individuals providing illegal sports betting services, and 127 ticket runners. Police also seized THB12.4 million in cash during gambling-related raids.

The post Thai Police Continue Clamping Down on Illegal Betting after World Cup appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Thai Police Continue Clamping Down on Illegal Betting after World Cup

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