Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Top Stories
Tourism survey indicates fewer visitors to Las Vegas from California
Nevada (Las Vegas) - Bryan Horwath, Las Vegas Sun - The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority this week released its annual visitor profile study…Just under 20 percent of U.S. visitors to Las Vegas last year came from Southern California. That number is down from 26 percent in 2017. California sent 23 percent of all U.S. visitors to Las Vegas last year. That’s a decrease from the four years prior to 2018, when California tourists represented an average of 31 percent of all U.S. visitors to Las Vegas.
Ocean Resort changes its name
New Jersey (Atlantic City) - Amanda Auble, Press of Atlantic City - The towering casino covered in sleek glass at the end of the boardwalk has gone by many names. It started as the Revel Casino until 2014 and then it was renamed TEN Atlantic City in September 2016. Most recently, it has gone by the name Ocean Resort Casino…will be renamed Ocean Casino Resort.
SEC filing: Caesars board member with ties to Apollo Management resigns
National (corporate) - Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports - The internal shake-up within Caesars Entertainment continued this week with the resignation of a board member tied to one of the hedge funds supplanted by Carl Icahn as the casino operator’s controlling shareholder. David Sambur, a senior partner with Apollo Global Management, stepped down from the board on April 4, leaving the company with an 11-person board. The move all but assures Icahn will gain a fourth seat on the company’s board.
Let the bidding begin: It looks like Packer has lost interest and wants out
Oceania (Australia) - Elizabeth Knight, Sydney Morning Herald - Crown Resorts' major shareholder, James Packer, is said to have been out corporate shopping in recent months - but he was not looking to buy…But fellow international casino giant Wynn Resorts did – or at least it did until word got out and the deal was scuppered. This suggests any deal is seller-led - that Packer has lost interest and wants out. So let the bidding begin.
National News
MGM Northfield Park interested in offering sports betting, table games
Ohio (Northfield Park) - Rick Armon, Beacon Journal - MGM Resorts International “would love to see” legalized sports betting come to Ohio and for the state’s racinos to add table games, the president and chief operating officer of MGM Northfield Park said Tuesday. Those decisions ultimately must be made by state lawmakers and voters, but the global entertainment company is supportive, Chris Kelley said. “MGM has been a leader in sports betting for over 25 years and we think we’ve demonstrated the ability to work effectively with lawmakers, with regulators and bring an experience to the guest that they value,” he said. He added that the company also “would love to see an expansion of table games.”
Globe Pressures Regulators to Demand Wynn s Fire CEO Maddox
Massachusetts (regulation) - Devin O'Connor, - Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox’s days could be numbered, as pressure is mounting from the powerful Boston Globe’s editorial staff who are insisting that state regulators demand his removal in order for the casino company to retain its critical gaming license in Massachusetts. Two editorial writers at the Globe say Maddox – long known as Steve Wynn’s protégé who assumed the chief executive role following the billionaire’s resignation in February 2018 – must go.
It’s time for an evolution at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace
Nevada (Las Vegas) - Brock Radke, Las Vegas Sun - The Las Vegas Strip venue that originated the modern headlining residency phenomenon that has revolutionized the entertainment landscape is moving forward with renovation plans and a new partner. Caesars Entertainment has announced plans to update the Colosseum at Caesars Palace this summer with new technical and design upgrades, including the installation of an automated lift system that can lower and raise the floor in front of the stage to create different seating capabilities or a standing “general admission” space.
Longtime Station Casinos spokeswoman Lori Nelson-Kraft to join LVCVA
Nevada (Las Vegas) - Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports - Longtime Station Casinos spokeswoman Lori Nelson-Kraft is leaving the Las Vegas-based gaming company to join the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority as the organization’s senior vice president of communications and government affairs. 
State shuts down four Jefferson County electronic bingo halls
Alabama (slots) - Sean Ross, Yellowhammer News - The Alabama Attorney General’s Office and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) on Tuesday raided four electronic bingo halls in Jefferson County, seizing well over 1,000 pieces of allegedly illegal gaming equipment. Spin It and Win It Bingo in Graysville, the Fun-N-Games Arcade in Brighton, the Super Highway Bingo in Brighton and Southwind Bingo in Midfield were shut down…“The involvement of state law enforcement was necessary due to the opening of multiple facilities offering illegal electronic games and the failure of local law enforcement to enforce the law.”
Skill-based gaming push a reminder of past slot machine efforts
National (slots) - Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports - Remember Silicon Gaming? In the late 1990s, the Palo Alto, California-based slot machine manufacturer created a series of games operated on a system called Odyssey that featured a futuristic design and what, for the time, were high-tech 3D graphics. One of the company’s best-remembered games was a video poker product where a pair of disembodied white gloved hands would deal the cards. The machine was actually kind of creepy. Think of Thing, from the 1960s television series The Addams Family, dealing you a hand.
Seminole Tribe said to be in talks to update Class III gaming compact
Florida (Indian gaming) - Indianz - The Seminole Tribe is reportedly in talks to update its Class III gaming compact with the state of Florida. The News Service of Florida said state lawmakers have been negotiating with the tribe in hopes of reaching a new deal before the end of their legislative session on May 3. They are also mindful of a separate agreement -- due to expire at the end of May -- in which the tribe has agreed to continue sharing revenues with the state. The tribe shares between $300 million and $350 million a year with the state.
$100 million expansion at Alabama's OWA park could resort towns
Alabama/Florida (Indian gaming) - Ken Storey, Orlando Weekly - When the Park at OWA amusement park opened in Alabama in 2017, it left many wondering what its owners, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, were doing, but now two years on, it's clear that the tribe is set on becoming a major player in the hospitality industry. Before opening OWA in Foley, the Poarch Creek tribe made much of its money via a few small casinos found in Alabama. In 2015, when a previous investor pulled out from the OWA resort project, the tribe stepped in.
Cherokee Nation helps break ground on hotel next to new gaming facility
Oklahoma (Indian gaming) - Indianz - The Cherokee Nation will soon be welcoming a hotel next to a forthcoming gaming facility in Oklahoma. A groundbreaking for the Tru by Hilton at Cherokee Springs Plaza took place on Monday. Officials believe the 90-room facility, due to open in 2020, will help draw more visitors and conventions to Tahlequah, the tribe's capital.
Communities Excited by Jobs Brought In by New Hard Rock Casino
California (Indian gaming) - KTXL - The Sutter-Yuba County area traditionally has a high unemployment rate with no mega-employer aside from the regional hospital. "I mean we are committed to drawing as many people as we can from the local region," Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento President Mark Birtha said. Dozens of prospective Hard Rock employees gathered at Yuba College to hear a pitch from the global entertainment company on Monday.
Sports gambling, horse wagering at casinos OK'd by Senate
North Carolina (Indian gaming/sports) - Associated Press - Sports and horse wagering may soon be available for visitors to the two Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian casinos in western North Carolina. The Senate voted 43-7 on Tuesday for a measure that would allow the tribe to offer betting on sporting events and off-track racing. The measure now goes to the House.
Roadster Enters 3-Year-Old Poll in Top Spot
National (racing) - Blood-Horse News - After knocking off reigning juvenile male champion Game Winner in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) April 6, Speedway Stable's Roadster has bested his stablemate once more, this time taking over the top position in this week's National Thoroughbred Racing Association Top 3-Year-Old Poll.
National Horseplayers Championship Returning to Bally's
National (racing) - Blood-Horse News - The NTRA National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), the world's richest and most prestigious handicapping tournament, will have a new home beginning in 2020, as the NTRA and Caesars Entertainment have signed a multi-year agreement to move the event to Bally's Las Vegas.
Three Juveniles Fastest at Keeneland Preview Show
Kentucky (racing) - Ron Mitchell, Blood-Horse News - There were some anxious moments April 8 for consignors of horses entered in the Keeneland April 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale when they awoke to continued rainfall on the day the final pre-sale workouts were to take place at the Lexington track. But after all 33 horses breezed or galloped over a muddy main track and an additional seven worked on the soft turf course without incident, the track crew at Keeneland received a thumbs up from sellers.
Baffert: New $3.65 million Curlin colt a ‘wow horse’
Kentucky (racing) - Horse Racing Nation - Not long removed from a 1-2 finish by Roadster and Game Winner in the Santa Anita Derby (G1), Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert wondered this week, speaking to Steve Byk’s At The Races radio show, if something similar could be ahead for a pricy colt set to come into his care. Coolmore went to $3.65 million on March 27 at Gulfstream Park’s Fasig-Tipton sale of 2-year-olds for a son of Curlin out of a Bernardini mare named Achieving.
Mandella Back in Arkansas With ‘Omaha’
Arkansas (racing) - Alan Carasso, Thoroughbred Daily News - Trainer Richard Mandella was scheduled to be the second of three guests on Tuesday’s NTRA national media teleconference ahead of this weekend’s GI Arkansas Derby. Instead, given that he was hot walking the just-arrived colt around the shed row on the Oaklawn backstretch, his appearance was pushed back just a bit before he graciously answered questions on GII Rebel S. hero Omaha Beach (War Front), the likely favorite this weekend, and on the ongoing turmoil at Santa Anita.
Oaklawn news: AARP crowd leads 'ageless' Arkansas Derby
Arkansas (racing) - Horse Racing Nation - The Rebel was actually a rebel-lion last month at Oaklawn, with experience trumping youth in both divisions of the Grade 2, $750,000 race for 3-year-olds March 16. The winner of the first division was Long Range Toddy, owned by Willis Horton, 78, trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, 53, and ridden by Jon Court, 58. The winner of the second division was Omaha Beach, owned by Rick Porter, 78, trained by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella, 68, and ridden by Hall of Famer Mike Smith, 53.
Winx takes on eight in career finale; see the draw, post time
Australia (racing) - Horse Racing Nation - In search of a 33rd straight victory and successful sendoff to her next career as a broodmare, Winx will take on eight rivals from the outside post Saturday in Randwick Racecourse's Queen Elizabeth Stakes (G1). Trained by Chris Waller, Winx will have jockey Hugh Bowman in the irons as she looks for a third straight victory in the Queen Elizabeth. With another score, she'd top $26 million AUS in earnings in 43 starts.
International News
Czech Republic's government plans to raise taxes on all gambling
Europe (Czech Republic) - Yogonet - The Czech Republic's Ministry of Finance published 2019 plans to increase taxes across all “vice sectors”. On 4 April, it submitted its proposals to the Senate, seeking to implement new tax plans “increasing public budget revenues”. The mandate affects Czech gambling stakeholders hardest, as the Ministry moves to impose a general 30% gross-gaming-revenue (GGR) tax across all gambling/betting verticals (lottery, sports betting, bingo, casino games).
Ladbrokes and ARC join forces to broadcast UK content
Europe (Belgium) - Erin-Marie Gallagher, SBC News - Ladbrokes Belgium has penned a new long term agreement with Arena Racing Company (ARC) which will see the bookmaker roll out ARC’s European Racing Channel (ERC) across its Belgian retail division. 
The new deal will mean that British horseracing and BAGS greyhound racing can be broadcast to a growing Belgian audience via the Ladbrokes stores, which is currently listed as one of the largest retail betting shops operators.
NZ ASA launches new ‘Gambling Advertising Code’
Oceania (New Zealand) - Ted Menmuir, SBC News - New Zealand’s Advertising Standards Association (ASA) has published its new advertising code, updating, policy, guidance and standards on promoting gambling services. SA details that its new code will be effective from 5 August 2019 for new adverts, with all incumbents expected to comply with the new laws by 4 November 2019.
Genting’s Lim hints more cost cuts in Malaysia tax row
Asia (Malaysia) - GGRAsia - The announcement of a revision in casino duties and casino license fee applicable to the Resorts World Genting casino complex following the Malaysian government’s budget for 2019 “will impact Genting Malaysia’s earnings in financial year 2019 onwards…In view of the severity of the announced increases in casino duties, Genting Malaysia will continue to review and manage its cost structure.”
Fukuoka apartment used for illegal internet gambling
Asia (Japan) - Asia Gaming Brief - Fukuoka police arrested an unemployed man last week on suspicion that he was helping to run an illegal internet gambling ring based out of a single-room apartment in Hakata Ward. According to police, online baccarat was played on computers installed in the room and bets were taken between last October and this February.
Locals in Vietnam casinos boost money launder risk: U.S.
Asia (Vietnam) - GGRAsia - Locals in Vietnam casinos boost money launder risk: U.S. The end of a ban on locals gambling in casinos in Vietnam is likely to increase the country’s exposure to money laundering. So says a report by the Department of State in the United States. “In 2018, Vietnam granted its first pilot licenses to local casinos, increasing its money laundering risks if authorities do not ensure these establishments effectively implement and enforce anti-money laundering (AML) standards.”
Gaming suspicious transactions prevail despite a yearly drop in Q1
Asia (Macau) - Sheyla Zandonai, Macau Business - Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) related to the gaming sector constituted 72.5 per cent of the total of STRs reported in Macau during the first quarter of 2019. Relevant reports submitted to the financial authority by the gaming sector amounted to 507, marking a slight decrease of 6.2 percent. 
Macau still in US list of money laundering jurisdictions
Asia (Macau) - Jane K.C Wong, Macau Business - The United States (US) Department of State maintained Macau in its latest list of money laundering jurisdictions, owing mainly to illegal activities performed by junket operators, the report states that Macau’s ‘vulnerabilities’ to money laundering ensue from the anonymity gained through the use of junket operators in the transfer and commingling of funds, as well as the absence of currency and exchange controls.
Macau stricter with junkets, but more action needed
Asia (Macau) - Asia Gaming Brief - Macau is taking a more stringent approach towards regulating its junket operators, but more action is needed to prevent money laundering, an annual U.S. report found. The U.S. State Department’s International Narcotics Control Strategy Report said junkets had become a renewed focus of Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau and as a result the number of licensed promoters has decreased from 225 in 2011 to 110 in 2018.
Hac Sa Beach festival returns April 28 with three stages
Asia (Macau) - Macau Daily Times - Macau beach festival “Hush!! Full Music” will return to Hac Sa Beach this year from April 28 to May 1, according to information disclosed yesterday by principal organizer the Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC), bringing an array of local and overseas musicians to deliver a “marathon music feast…Supported by Galaxy Entertainment Group, the GEG Upbeat Power stage is introduced for the first time this year, promoting the pop music culture of a new generation, creating a rock party for young local music bands, and presenting the music of a new generation by 10 new groups.
Lionel Leong meets with Beijing official monitoring SARs
Asia (Macau/China) - Macau Daily Times - A mid widespread speculation that he will run for the top post in Macau, Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong has headed a delegation to Beijing to be received by Zhang Xiaoming, Director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the State Council. The main purpose of Leong’s visit is to “conduct in-depth communication with the various departments and committees.
Scholar urges Macau to achieve ‘dual transformation’
Asia (Macau/China) - Macau Post Daily - Zhang Yuge said that Macau could achieve economic diversification not just by exploring local industrial transformation but also by joining the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA), adding that Macau should achieve “dual transformation” by transforming itself from being a single city to being part of a metropolis.
Yesterday's News
Wynn walks away from deal after Crown Resorts tips its hand
Global (acquisition) - Trevor Marshallsea, Associated Press - Wynn Resorts abruptly ended buyout talks with Crown Casinos after word of a potential buyout were leaked.
Gambling revenue surges 6.9 percent at racinos, but falls at casinos
Ohio (results) - Rich Exner, Cleveland Plain Dealer - Gambling revenue at Ohio’s 11 casinos and racinos totaled $184.2 million in March, up 3.4 percent…racinos generated $103.1 million, up 6.9 percent…The four casinos had a total of $81.1 million, down 0.8 percent.
Profits down 15% in expanded Atlantic City casino market
New Jersey (Atlantic City/results) - Wayne Parry, Associated Press - Casino profits fell by more than 15% in Atlantic City in 2018 to $582 million…Of the seven casinos that had been operating at the start of last year, five of them saw lower gross operating profits.
Bricks and Mortar, Gift Box move up in NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll
National (racing) - Horse Racing Nation - Bricks and Mortar, winner of the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) and Muniz Memorial Handicap (G2), earned five first-place votes and 313 points to take over the lead position from champion Monomoy Girl. 
Scientific Games processed more than 37 million bets
Europe (UK) - Yogonet - Scientific Games n powered betting experiences during the 2019 Aintree Grand National…saw more than 37.4 million bets throughout the festival.
This report is edited by Ken Adams

This report is the property of Ken Adams and is compiled exclusively for CDC Gaming Reports.

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