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Friday, August 31, 2018

World Casino News
Novomatic AG bringing it all to Entertainment Arena Expo

Giant Austrian firm, Novomatic AG, has announced that it will be attending the upcoming Entertainment Arena Expo in Romania in order to showcase its portfolio of games, cabinets and system tools alongside a selection of online gaming and sports betting solutions. Innovator to exhibit ‘proven performers’: According to an official Wednesday press release, the Austrian innovator […]
Casino – CalvinAyre.com
Russia’s Tigre de Cristal casino puts VIP gamblers on back burner

tigre-de-cristal-casino-vip-gamblingThe Tigre de Cristal casino in Russia’s far east Primorye gaming zone is ditching VIPs in favor of a more modest class of high roller.

On Friday, the Hong Kong-listed Summit Ascent Holdings, which holds a controlling stake in Tigre de Cristal, released its financial results for the six months ending June 30. Revenue improved a modest 2% year-on-year to HK$207.8m (US$26.5m) but adjusted earnings improved 17% to HK$66.8m and profit swung to HK$2.6m from a loss of HK$5.4m in H1 2017.

Once again, it’s time to explain the tangled web of Tigre de Cristal’s operations: Summit Ascent holds a 60% stake in the casino’s actual owner Oriental Regent Ltd, while the casino’s operations are handled by Summit’s wholly owned subsidiary G1 Entertainment, which earns a management fee of 3% of the property’s gross gaming revenue.

The casino’s VIP gambling turnover fell 22.5% year-on-year to HK$6.5b in H1, while VIP gross win fell 38.2% to HK$189m as win rate fell 0.74 points to 2.9%. After deducting VIP rebates, net VIP win was down 44.5% to HK$41m. It’s worth noting that the casino’s average number of VIP tables fell to 12 from 16 in H1 2017.

Summit said it remains “sanguine” regarding the VIP slowdown, saying it has come under “increasing pressure” from junket operators seeking higher levels of rebates since the year began. Summit has resisted these requests, choosing instead to focus on developing its own ‘premium mass’ business.

The casino’s mass market numbers appear to support this strategy, as mass table drop rose more than one-third to HK$348m and net win spiked 47.3% to HK$84m.

The slots business, which primarily caters to a local clientele, reported handle up 44.4% to HK$1.35b but a lower win rate kept slots revenue’s gain to 27% (HK$66m).

Tigre de Cristal’s average hotel occupancy was largely unchanged year-on-year at 76% on the weekends but just 45% on weekdays. Still, hotel revenue fell 22% to HK$17m due to fewer high-rolling clients.

Summit says it’s encouraged by the Primorye region’s rising foreign tourist visitation, which is growing at a annual rate of 33% over the past five years. At the end of H1 there were 50% more direct flights to the region than one year ago.

Summit says it is currently refining the design and construction requirements of Tigre de Cristal’s Phase II, construction of which is expected to commence next spring with a targeted opening in “the latter half of 2020.” Phase II originally targeted a late-2019 opening but delays stemmed from alterations in financing and design options following “recent changes in substantial shareholders.”

Summit also says it’s observed “an acceleration of building works” by other Primorye operators, including NagaCorp’s Naga Vladivostok and Diamond Fortune Holdings’ Selena project. Assuming these other operators continue at this accelerated pace, Summit says it may start to see the benefits of a “cluster effect” of casinos as early as 2021.

The post Russia’s Tigre de Cristal casino puts VIP gamblers on back burner appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

Casino News Daily
Florida Casino Amendment Sees Support from 71% of Likely Voters in Latest Poll

Amendment 3 will see support from 71% of Florida’s residents who are likely to cast their vote in the upcoming General Election in November, the results from a recently conducted poll show.

Spearheaded by the Voters in Charge organization, Amendment 3 aims to modify Florida’s existing law in a manner that will prevent any gambling-related decisions from being made by the state Legislature without those being approved by 60% of all voters first.

The latest poll on the matter, the results of which were published earlier this week, was commissioned by Voters in Charge and was conducted by Hill Research Consultants. The research firm interviewed 1,209 people in the period between July 18-24. Interviews were conducted online as well as via mobile and landline phones. Hill Research found that 71% of all respondents were likely to vote ‘Yes’ for Amendment 3, meaning that they would support control over gambling-related decisions to be handed to residents of the state. Of all interviewed individuals, 18% said that they would cast a ‘No’ vote.

A similar poll carried out by Hill Research in January showed relatively similar results. As many as 1,235 likely voters were interviewed back then and 76% said that they would support Amendment 3, while 19% responded that they would vote ‘No’.

Why Will Amendment 3 Probably Succeed?

According to analysts, Amendment 3 will likely succeed in the upcoming November vote for several important reasons. In the first place, Florida voters had long been the ones to decide on gambling expansion matters, following the legalization of certain gambling services in the state in the early 1900s. It has actually been only recently when lawmakers assumed full control over those decisions.

Amendment 3 has thus been promoted as a measure that would reinstate something that had previously belonged to the people of Florida.

In the second place, the proposed constitutional amendment is pretty straightforward and easy to understand what will change exactly if it gains the necessary support from more than 60% of all Floridans who cast a vote at the upcoming mid-term General Elections on November 6. To better illustrate this, here is the Amendment 3 ballot title and summary:

Voter Control of Gambling in Florida

This amendment ensures that Florida voters shall have the exclusive right to decide whether to authorize casino gambling by requiring that in order for casino gambling to be authorized under Florida law, it must be approved by Florida voters pursuant to Article XI, Section 3 of the Florida Constitution. Affects articles X and XI. Defines casino gambling and clarifies that this amendment does not conflict with federal law regarding state/tribal compacts.

Last but not least, Amendment 3 has two huge businesses as its main supporters. News emerged earlier this month that of the total amount of $27 million poured into the measure’s promotion, $26 million has come from Disney and the Seminole Tribe of Florida, which owns and operates a number of casinos through its Seminole Gaming and Hard Rock International entities. Both have no interest in any form of gambling expansion in the state due to competition concerns. They have thus teamed up to support the Voters in Charge’s cause and thus prevent any new gambling entities from being established to steal clientèle and cannibalize revenue.

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The post Florida Casino Amendment Sees Support from 71% of Likely Voters in Latest Poll appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Casino News Daily
Nayong Pilipino Foundation Slams Corruption Allegations over Casino Project

Nayong Pilipino Foundation officials once again denied corruption allegations and stressed on the legality of the foundation’s deal with Hong Kong casino resort developer Landing International Development that secured the latter with a land plot for the development of a $1.5-billion hotel and casino complex.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte fired earlier this month all members of the board of the state-run organization that was established back in the 1970s to run the Nayong Pilipino cultural theme park located in Pasay City in the Metro Manila area.

Earlier this year, Nayong Pilipino Foundation penned an agreement with Landing to lease the land previously occupied by the above-mentioned theme park for the development of an integrated resort with a casino floor, hotels, and multiple non-gambling entertainment options. The site is located within Entertainment City in the Manila Bay area and not far from where the Philippine capital’s three operational integrated resorts have been built.

The Hong Kong-based developer broke ground on the property earlier this month. However, President Duterte announced hours after the ground-breaking ceremony that measures will be taken to block the materialization of the mega-plan.

The Philippines’ top official said that the lease deal was flawed and “grossly disadvantageous” as the lease period was “ridiculously long” and the lease rates were too low. In addition, the members of the Nayong Pilipino Foundation were accused of corruption.

President Duterte also ordered the Department of Justice to carry out a review of the lease deal. DOJ officials announced earlier today that the probe was completed on Wednesday but refused to reveal more details about the department’s findings.

Nayong Pilipino Foundation Slams Corruption, Graft Allegations

In a written statement released across several local news outlets on Wednesday, the foundation said that it has followed “all procedural and legal requirements” before the project was launched and that its members were “falsely and maliciously accused” of corruption.

Under the terms of the deal between Nayong Pilipino Foundation and Landing, the latter agreed to lease the portion of land for a period of 25 years with an option for an extension of the deal for another 25 years. In his comments against the deal, President Duterte has pointed out that it was a ridiculously long one and granted Landing permission to use the land for a period of 70 years and operate a casino on it. And the official has repeatedly pointed out that no other casinos beyond the existing ones would be allowed in the country.

The foundation stressed that a 70-year lease period has never been discussed by the two parties and that the initial lease period could only be extended to 50 years if the Philippine Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority classifies Landing’s development as a tourism project.

As for President Duterte’s comments that the lease price was too low, the foundation said that Landing has agreed to pay PHP360 per square meter per month for the 9.57-hectare property and to contribute 10% of the net profits from the three theme parks that are planned to be developed as part of the integrated resort, which effectively raises the lease price to PHP570 per square meter per month. The foundation’s statement further read that Resorts World Manila pays PHP156.66 per square meter per month for the 5.4-hectare site it occupies, a price significantly lower than what Landing has agreed to pay.

The post Nayong Pilipino Foundation Slams Corruption Allegations over Casino Project appeared first on Casino News Daily.

World Casino News
Visit the Retro 70s with Booming Games new Disco Bar 7s slot release

Take a trip back in time to the dancing 70s with the new online slot game release by Booming Games, titled Disco Bar 7s. The new disco title is designed for every player, offering funky tunes and fast-paced gaming. It is made up of 3 reels and 10 paylines, with an RTP of 95.96%. Wild […]
Casino – CalvinAyre.com
Cold tables snap Nevada casinos’ five-month winning streak

nevada-casino-gaming-tables-cold-julyNevada casino gaming revenue took a slight dip in July, snapping a five-month winning streak.

Figures published Thursday by the Nevada Gaming Control Board show the state’s casinos generated gaming revenue of $996.4m in July, an improvement on June’s $933m but a 0.16% decline from the same month last year. The decline was blamed on the Las Vegas Strip, where gaming revenue slipped 5.7% to $565.6m.

Slot machines did their bit to keep July in the black, with revenue up 5.6% to $667.8m. But the GCB’s new category of ‘table, counter and card games’ was off 10.2% to $328.6m, with nearly uniform declines in all table game totals.

Baccarat revenue was an impressive $101m but this was down 16.4% year-on-year despite a 13% win rate. Blackjack was down 6.6% to $93.4m and craps slid 13.3% to $35.1m. Roulette was the outlier, reporting revenue up 1.6% to $32.8m.

The state’s sportsbooks reported their 60th consecutive month of beating the customer, with revenue up a staggering 674% to just under $4.1m. It’s worth noting that July 2017’s $524k result was the books’ lowest monthly profit since July 2014, thanks to a woeful win rate of 0.24%.

Baseball was berry berry good to the books in July, as revenue rose 123% to nearly $3.8m. But the books took a bath on basketball, as lazy bettors finally got around to cashing nearly $3.2m worth of winning tickets.

Reflecting the second half of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, revenue from ‘other’ sports improved 38.6% to $2.9m, while American football revenue was down one-third to $418k. Parlay cards nearly tripled to $107k and the state’s lone pari-mutuel fantasy operator generated a whopping $1,000 during the month. The state’s race books were down 13.6% to $3.15m.

The seven Nevada race- and sportsbooks that utilize the services of CG Technology are facing an uncertain future as the company could see its license revoked at the next meeting of the Nevada Gaming Commission due to CGT’s ongoing failure to uphold regulatory standards.

The post Cold tables snap Nevada casinos’ five-month winning streak appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

World Casino News
Casino Cash Trac selected by Oklahoma tribal casinos

In Oklahoma, local land-based casino solutions developer, Casino Cash Trac, has announced that its Casino Audit System innovation is now being utilized by every one of the seven properties operated by the federally-recognized Osage Nation. Account management efficiency: According to an official Wednesday press release, Tulsa-headquartered Casino Cash Trac stated that its Casino Audit System […]

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Casino – CalvinAyre.com
Singapore gaming tourism helps to boost 1Q revenue

Singapore took in around $1.1 billion in the first quarter of the year, thanks to an increase in gaming, tourism and entertainment spending. The figure represents a 6% increase over the same period last year. Total tourism receipts during the period, however, actually decreased by 0.5% over the first quarter of last year to $4.9 billion.

Singapore gaming tourism helps to boost 1Q revenueThe data was provided by the Singapore Tourism Board this past Tuesday and indicated that an increase in spending on entertainment, sightseeing and gaming made up for a loss seen in spending on accommodations, shopping, eating and drinking. The numbers show that revenues from entertainment, sightseeing and gaming provided 22% of the total revenue. This put it in a tie with shopping for the second-most important tourism-spending component for the first quarter of the year.

The tourism board doesn’t provide a detailed analysis of the services that are listed in each spending category. However, the combined category of “entertainment, sightseeing and gaming” is reported to include entrance fees to nightspots and attractions, day tour purchases and spending on entertainment at Singapore’s casino resorts.

There are two casino resorts in Singapore – Marina Bay Sands, which is operated by Las Vegas Sands, and Resorts World Sentosa, a Genting Singapore property.

Around 4.6 million tourists descended on the country during the first quarter of the year, an increase of 7.3% over the same period in 2017. Approximately 933,000 of these visited from China, representing an increase of 10% year-on-year. 747,000 came from Indonesia for a 4% increase and 295,000 were from India – 22% more than what was seen in the period last year.

For the entire first half of 2018, 9.2 million tourists visited the country. This was 7.6% more than the amount seen last year during the same period. Of these, 24% – 2.2 million – came from Greater China and 6%, or 584,555, came from Malaysia. Taiwan participation was also up during the first half of the year, with 211,213 citizens of the country visiting Singapore. This was an increase of 8% over the same period last year.

Singapore set a record last year in tourist volume when it welcomed 17.4 million tourists. This was an increase of 6.2% over the previous year and included 3.23 million trips by Chinese visitors.

The post Singapore gaming tourism helps to boost 1Q revenue appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

World Casino News
Osage Casino Tulsa expansion opens in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, the federally-recognized Osage Nation reportedly opened the $150 million expansion of its Osage Casino Tulsa venue earlier today complete with an enlarged around-the-clock gaming floor that now encompasses approximately 1,000 slots. Casino with an in-house brewery: According to a Wednesday report from local television broadcaster KOTV, the expanded Osage County property, which is operated […]
Casino News Daily
Caesars Looking to Sell Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, According to New Round of Reports

For nearly a decade now, the Las Vegas rumor mill would, every once in a while, produce a story revolving around the potential sale of Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, which is currently owned by gaming and hospitality giant Caesars Entertainment Corp. and has been home to the World Series of Poker for more than a decade now.

A fresh round of reports about Caesars’ intention to sell the off-Strip Vegas casino emerged earlier this month. Las Vegas-based blog Vital Vegas said in a tweet early in August that an “insider” had confirmed that the casino operator had begun looking for a buyer for Rio and that it would bring the WSOP to Caesars Forum, a $375-million 550,000-square-foot convention center, it broke ground on earlier this summer and is slated to open doors in 2020 and become a premium Strip events destination.

The WSOP denied those reports shortly after. However, in a tweet from earlier this week, Vital Vegas said that their sources have informed them that the sale will happen and that three companies have expressed interest in buying Rio. Vital Vegas also pointed out that the WSOP will indeed move to Caesars Forum, despite previous denials.

Previously shared Rio sale rumor looks like the real deal. Caesars highly motivated to cut her loose, insider confirms three viable entities circling. Aftermath of sale will include move of WSOP to Caesars Forum convention center, despite denials.

— Vital Vegas (@VitalVegas) August 27, 2018

The WSOP has grown tremendously over the past several years. During the 2018 edition of the world’s longest-running tournament poker series, a record number of 123,865 entries registered into a record number of 78 gold bracelet events. In other words, the series could certainly make good use of a larger venue.

People familiar with Rio’s convention facilities know that the resort features 160,000 square feet of flexible convention and meeting space. Its Amazon and Pavilion ballrooms, where WSOP events are annually taking place, occupy 40,000 square feet and 50,000 square feet of space. As for Caesars Forum, developers have said that the convention center will offer 300,000 square feet of flexible space with two 108,000-square-foot ballrooms and two 40,000-square-foot ones.

Previous Sale Reports

As mentioned earlier, reports about Rio’s sale have been popping out for years. Most notably, Caesars was reported back in 2013 to have approached online poker operator PokerStars with an offer to sell its off-Strip hotel and casino resort. PokerStars Vice President of Corporate Communications confirmed those reports when approached at the time and also revealed that the online poker room refused the offer as it was not interested in buying another land-based casino.

Many expected that PokerStars might agree to buy Rio in order to be able to obtain an online gaming license in Nevada. However, the poker operator was looking to purchase another casino at the time. Online gambling was just legalized in New Jersey and PokerStars, hoping to enter that nascent market, was among the suitors circling the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. A deal between the poker room and the the owners of the now shuttered casino resort did not take place and it was not before the spring of 2016 that PokerStars finally entered New Jersey.

In 2014, pioneer entertainment journalist Robin Leach tweeted that a “major off-Strip hotel just sold for $400 million”. While he did not name the hotel, a thread in poker forum Two Plus Two suggested that Caesars might have reached a deal to sell Rio.

Despite the multiple reports over the years, the off-Strip property is still owned by Caesars. It is yet to be seen whether the case will be different this time.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

World Casino News
Scientific Games Corporation debuts new Kansas Lottery gaming system

American gaming machine and systems innovator, Scientific Games Corporation (SG), has announced the successful launch of a new gaming system for the Kansas Lottery featuring a modern suite of Wave point-of-sale retail terminals alongside a fresh portfolio of draw games. Premiere part of ‘strategic plan’ to grow revenues: Las Vegas-headquartered Scientific Games Corporation used an official Tuesday […]
Casino News Daily
Michael Copeland Takes Down WPT500 Los Angeles for $181,950

The 2018 edition of the WPT500 Los Angeles is now in the books. The tournament drew 2,509 entries who challenged their luck and tested their skills against each other at one of California’s hottest poker destinations – The Bicycle Casino. In the end, it was Michael Copeland who posed for a celebratory picture and then pocketed the first-place prize of $181,950 for outlasting his many opponents.

The final day of the tournament was played on Monday at the host casino. Nine players returned to play the final table and determine the champion. And Copeland led them into that final stage of the game with a massive chip lead.

It was a relatively short day at The Bike. The final table took less than four hours for the start-of-the-day field of nine to be whittled down to the champion. The first elimination occurred half an hour into action when Alexander Beleson’s [Ac][Qs] ran into Jorge Pineda’s pocket aces. An ace on the flopped pretty much sealed it for Pineda, while Beleson hit the rail for $17,790.

Players walked out one after another until there were just two players left at the table. More about the heads-up duel shortly. It is first important to note that Copeland entered the final day of the WPT500 as the chip leader with a massive advantage over the rest in contention with his stack of 19 million. And he never really lost momentum throughout the day.

The eventual champion was the first and only one to pass the 30 million chip mark yesterday. That happened during three-handed play. At that point, he was in possession of half of all chips in play.

Heads-Up

Copeland faced Pineda heads-up. The eventual winner had nearly three times more chips than his final opponent at the time cards were thrown in the air for the two-handed match. And it was not a long battle. It actually took around ten minutes for Copeland to finish off his last opponent.

On what turned out to be the final hand of the tournament, Pineda shoved pre-flop for 10.125 million and Copeland called. The eventual winner flipped over [Ac][Jc] to Pineda’s [10c][9h]. The board ran out [Ad][10s][8c][8s][4s] to bring the tournament to an end. Pineda hit the rail in second place, good for a cash prize of $120,610.

The WPT500 Los Angeles was the second event of the WPT500 series to take place this year, which means that it closed the popular WPT brand’s fifth season. The event featured a record number of starting flights – 16 overall. As mentioned earlier, it attracted a little over 2,509 entries who paid a buy-in fee of $570 to generate a prize pool of $1,254,500. Each of the nine players who played the final table was guaranteed a minimum cash of $17,790. And the winner scooped a first-place prize of $181,950, the WPT500 champion’s trophy and another trophy from the host casino.

The post Michael Copeland Takes Down WPT500 Los Angeles for $181,950 appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Casino News Daily
Kentucky Lawmakers Look to Take Small But Very Precise Steps on Sports Betting Legalization

It has been three months since the US Supreme Court struck down the 1992 nationwide ban on sports betting. The historic ruling led up to the legalization and launch of sports betting offering in several states and started discussions over the potential of a regulated sports betting industry in multiple other states.

Delaware, New Jersey, and Mississippi were the first to roll out wagering products, while West Virginia and Rhode Island are gearing up for the launch such offering in a regulated environment. Interest in sports betting has also been picking up in Pennsylvania, where two of the state’s 12 casinos have applied for permission to offer such products to its customers. The regulation of sports betting in the Keystone State comes as part of a sweeping gambling expansion process that will also see the provision of online gaming services to residents.

And while the above states decided to jump on the legal wagering bandwagon very shortly after the long-running ban was lifted, Kentucky lawmakers have taken a more cautious approach.

Three sports betting bills have been introduced in the state Legislature so far, but all three are yet to pass a committee vote. It can be said that former Kentucky Governor and current Senator Julian Carroll is leading the sports betting drive in the Bluegrass State. The legislator submitted a bill on the legalization of sports betting in the state in June.

He is also part of a nine-member working group that was assembled shortly after the SCOTUS ruling and vested with the responsible task to create a feasible sports betting regulatory system that will be discussed more broadly in the state Legislature during the next legislative session. With that said, Kentuckians will clearly have to wait at least until next year to be able to wager on professional and amateur leagues.

The nine-member working group, comprised by both Senators and House Representatives and members of both parties, has had two meetings so far. And according to a report from Sports Handle, the second meeting saw two important decisions being made – taxation of regulated sports betting operations and integrity fee for professional sports leagues.

Tax on Net Revenue

In an email to Sports Handle, Sen. Carroll has said that the group has decided on the basis for taxation when and if sports betting is legalized in the state. Wagering will thus be taxed on net revenue, but a rate is yet to be determined by lawmakers.

The taxation decision represents a major diversion from Sen. Carroll’s bill from June this year. The lawmakers called for taxing sports betting on handle. The proposed structure mirrored how pari-mutuel wagering, which has been legal in Kentucky for some time now, was taxed, the lawmaker explained in previous comments on the piece of legislation.

However, it can be said that net revenue is globally recognized by gambling companies serving regulated markets as the most reasonable basis. In other words, taxing sports betting on handle could have affected Kentucky’s lure to major sports betting companies. And it is believed that the state could be really attractive to global gambling giants, particularly when bearing in mind its rich horse racing heritage.

No Integrity Fee

With sports betting growing into an almost nationwide mainstream venture, more and more parties are becoming aware that what could turn into an industry worth hundreds of billions of dollars is currently in the making. And more and more parties want a piece of that large and juicy pie.

The US professional sports leagues have become particularly vocal about their right to benefit from the legalization and regulation of sports betting. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has been among the staunchest supporters of the idea that the NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLB deserve to receive a cut of the profit. In June comments, Mr. Silver said that the NBA alone will spend more than $7.5 billion on preparing the upcoming basketball season. And given the fact that that product will be used by casinos, betting halls, and other facilities to generate a profit, they feel they should receive an integrity fee just as musicians receive a royalty for their music that is being streamed all around.

During their latest meeting, the nine members of Kentucky’s sports betting legalization working group have decided that the state’s law on the matter would not include the distribution of an integrity fee to the nation’s professional sports leagues. It is also important to note that the six states that have legalized sports betting so far have not introduced an integrity fee as part of their regulation effort.

What Is Next for Kentucky’s Sports Betting Regulation Effort?

The nine lawmakers tasked with crafting the state’s sports betting regulatory framework have quite some work to do. For instance, they will have to decide where sports betting will be offered and who will regulate the industry.

Kentucky does not have commercial Las Vegas-style casinos. On the other hand, the state is home to nine racetracks, including the extremely popular Churchill Downs which annually hosts the Kentucky Derby. Under Sen. Carrol’s bill, sports betting will be allowed across the state’s horse racing venues.

Under a bill filed in the House of Representatives, the state lottery will regulate the provision of sports betting in Kentucky and sports betting products will be offered across retail lottery outlets, in addition to the nine racetracks.

Tax revenue distribution is another important matter that will have to be decided upon. The Senate bill looks to close a very huge and important gap and focuses on the state’s cash-strapped pension systems. It is yet to be seen whether that proposal will make it to the final draft of Kentucky’s sports betting legislation.

Sen. Carroll has said in his e-mail to Sports Handle that their most important goal is to protect Kentucky’s citizens, despite the potentially huge revenue source that will be created with the legalization and roll-out of a regulated sports betting product.

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Monday, August 27, 2018

Casino News Daily
Michael Copeland Holds Massive Chip Lead Into Final Day of WPT500 Los Angeles

The WPT500 Los Angeles in entering its closing stage after nine days of quality poker action at The Bicycle Casino in the Los Angeles area. The $570 buy-in tournament drew a field of 2,509 warriors, all eyeing the first-place prize and the accolades that accompany a champion. However, there are just nine of them left in contention and it is a matter of hours before it becomes clear who will be the one to claim the title.

The massive field of the event was generated through sixteen starting flights, played over eight days. This was the largest WPT500 tournament in terms of flights featured. The event offered a guaranteed prize pool of $1 million, but the guarantee was eventually crushed to reach $1,254,500. Each of the nine remaining contenders is guaranteed a minimum payout of $17,790. And the winner will take home a nice cash prize of $181,950 and the tournament trophy.

The nine hopefuls are set to resume action at the Live At The Bike studio located inside the host casino. Nine-handed play will commence at 1 pm local time and the remaining contenders will play down to a winner. It is also important to note that action will resume from Level 33 with blinds at 100,000-200,000.

Michael Copeland Leads the Pack of Nine

Day 2 of the event was played Sunday at The Bike. Play commenced with 124 players and lasted until WPT regular Minh Nguyen was eliminated in 10th place for $17,790 in prize money. The player hit the rail after failing to hold up against Michael Copeland. As for Copeland, the chips he collected from Nguyen helped him cement his lead.

The player bagged and tagged a massive stack at the end of the day and will thus lead the nine finalists into the final Day 3 with 19 million in chips. Copeland secured a big chip advantage over everyone else left in contention. The player was the only one of all nine to have passed the ten million mark. It is also important to note that Copeland’s stack is good for 95 big blinds.

Jorge Pineda collected the second largest stack last night worth 7.2 million in chips or 36 big blinds. Erik Nason with 5.375 million/27 big blinds rounded out the chip counts podium at the end of Day 2 play.

Aaron Messmer with 4.725 million (24 big blinds), Jose Torres with 3.25 million (16 big blinds), Luke Nguyen with 2.755 million (14 big blinds), Travis Tachibana with 2.5 million (13 big blinds), Alexander Beleson with 2.25 million (11 big blinds), and Sanjay Mayekar with 1.875 million (9 big blinds) were the other players to make it through Day 2 of the tournament and secure a coveted seat into the nine-handed finale. As mentioned above, each and everyone of them has locked a minimum payout of $17,790, but the first-place prize will be what all of them will be vying for.

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The post Michael Copeland Holds Massive Chip Lead Into Final Day of WPT500 Los Angeles appeared first on Casino News Daily.

World Casino News
Imperial Palace Saipan developer requests two-year deadline extension

In the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited has reportedly asked officials for permission to extend the construction deadline for the first phase of its giant Imperial Palace Saipan integrated casino resort by over two years. Official appeal lodged: According to a report from the Marianas Variety newspaper, the official […]
Casino – CalvinAyre.com
South Korea’s K International considers Russian casino

A casino operator out of South Korea is looking to open operations in Russia. Asia Gaming Brief (AGB) reported that K International Incorporated has been discussing the possibility of opening a project with the state-owned Primorsky Krai Development Corporation (PKDC), the entity managing the Primorye Integrated Entertainment Resort (PIER) zone near Vladivostok.

South Korea’s K International considering Russian casinoK International reportedly wants to build a $263.6-million hotel and entertainment complex in the PIER. The complex would include the hotel, a casino, a shopping center and a duty-free zone to the area and would be built on a 49-acre parcel of land.

The PIER is a casino-friendly project established by the Russian government. It already has seen the completion of the Tigre De Cristal resort, built at a cost of $144 million, and NagaCorp Limited’s Naga Vladivostok resort is in the works. Additionally, the $900-million Selena World Resort and Casino, a project planned by Russia’s Diamond Fortune Holdings company, will soon open its first phase.

Of the land that was allocated for the PIER zone, 118 acres are still available. K International’s resort would consume a large chunk of this land and the company has been considering launching a project in the area for some time.

PKDC interim General Director Igor Trofimov confirmed that the group had been negotiating a possible venue with K International. He told AGB, “We have been engaged in negotiations since the beginning of this year. The company accepts the terms of cooperation and is ready to sign the contract. For the implementation of the project, it considers a 20-hectare site with a fairly flat landscape.”

K International Vice President Lee Dong Tek expects the final designs for the project to be completed by November. Once complete, they will be submitted to a working group led by Andrei Larin, deputy governor for the PKDC. He further indicated that the company will also request participation in a scheduled auction for rights to sub-lease a portion of the PIER space.

According to AGB, the project will be funded through a partnership between K International and “subsidiaries of the largest Korean corporations.” That partnership will result in the formation of a holding company that will subsequently fund and manage the project.

The post South Korea’s K International considers Russian casino appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Casino – CalvinAyre.com
South Korea’s K International considering Russian casino

A casino operator out of South Korea is possibly looking to open operations in Russia. Asia Gaming Brief (AG Brief) reports that K International Incorporated has been discussing the possibility of opening a project with the state-owned Primorsky Krai Development Corporation (PKDC), the entity managing the Primorye Integrated Entertainment Resort (PIER) zone near Vladivostok.

South Korea’s K International considering Russian casinoK International reportedly wants to build a $263.6-million hotel and entertainment complex in the PIER. The complex would include the hotel, a casino, a shopping center and a duty-free zone to the area and would be built on a 49-acre parcel of land.

The PIER is a casino-friendly project established by the Russian government. It already has seen the completion of the Tigre De Cristal resort, built at a cost of $144 million, and NagaCorp Limited’s Naga Vladivostok resort is in the works. Additionally, the $900-million Selena World Resort and Casino, a project planned by Russia’s Diamond Fortune Holdings company, will soon see the opening of its first phase.

Of the land that was allocated for the PIER zone, 118 acres are still available. K International’s resort would consume a large chunk of this land and the company has been considering launching a project in the area for some time.

PKDC interim General Director Igor Trofimov confirmed that the group had been negotiating a possible venue with K International. He told AG Brief, “We have been engaged in negotiations since the beginning of this year. The company accepts the terms of cooperation and is ready to sign the contract. For the implementation of the project, it considers a 20-hectare site with a fairly flat landscape.”

K International Vice President Lee Dong Tek anticipates having the final designs for the project completed by this November. Once complete, they will be submitted to a working group led by Andrei Larin, deputy governor for the PKDC. He further indicated that the company will also request participation in a scheduled auction for rights to sub-lease a portion of the PIER space.

According to AG Brief, the project will be funded through a partnership between K International and “subsidiaries of the largest Korean corporations.” That partnership will result in the formation of a holding company that will subsequently fund and manage the project.

The post South Korea’s K International considering Russian casino appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

World Casino News
Wazdan launches with relax gaming

Award-winning gambling software supplier Wazdan has announced yet another partnership for their company. The content supplier has now launched with Relax Gaming, a multi-vertical gaming provider based in Estonia and Malta. Wazdan and Relax Gaming: Relax Gaming’s has an omnichannel open gaming platform known as Silver Bullet that has the ability to distribute thousands of […]
Casino News Daily
Dustin Gottstein Emerges as WPT500 Los Angeles Overall Chip Leader

Saturday was an eventful day at The Bicycle Casino in the Los Angeles area as the ongoing WPT500 Los Angeles finally concluded its starting flights stage. Over the course of the past eight days, as many as 2,509 entrants paid the $570 buy-in fee to try their luck and challenge their skills in one of WPT’s most exclusive series.

Of the original field, only 124 will progress into Day 2 action which starts today at 1 pm local time. Action will kick off from Level 19, the earliest finish of all 16 starting flights, with blinds standing at 4,000/8,000.

Day 1O of the tournament was played yesterday at The Bike. It was the largest one of all starting flights, drawing 460 players. There were only 23 finalists left at the end of the day. They will advance into Day 2 led by Dustin Gottstein who bagged the largest stack last night. The player collected 1.334 million in chips.

It is important to note that this was not only Day 1O’s biggest chip stack, but also the biggest one bagged throughout all sixteen starting flights. In other words, Gottstein has finally replaced Day 1A chip leader Peter Hengsakul at the top of the overall chip counts chart.

Day 1P Recap

Day 1P (Turbo) was the event’s final starting flight. It was, too, played yesterday at The Bike. The flight attracted 189 entries who were eventually whittled down to just nine players. Paul Lee bagged the largest stack of that closing starting flight. The player will enter Day 2 with 830,000 worth of chips.

As mentioned above, Gottstein will begin Day 2 as the overall chip leader with 1.334 million, followed by Day 1A’s Hengsakul with 1.151 million. It is interesting to note that Hengsakul is looking to improve his third-place finish in the previous edition of the WPT500 Los Angeles. The tournament was played at The Gardens Casino last May. Hengsakul made it to the podium, but could only claim the bronze and a third-place prize of $100,000.

Alexander Beleson, the Day 1G chip leader, will enter Day 2 action with the third largest chip stack of all 124 remaining hopefuls with 1.114 million. And Thomas Zanot is the last player to have passed the one million mark. Zanot was the Day 1I chip leader and bagged 1.1 million at the end of that starting flight.

The 2,509-strong field of the WPT500 Los Angeles created a prize pool of $1,254,500, easily crushing the $1-million guarantee. It is yet to be announced how much the winner will be awarded.

Day 2 of the tournament is set for a 1 pm start at The Bike, known to be one of California’s hottest poker destinations. The remaining hopefuls will be contending for a spot among the final nine. The nine finalists will then return to the host casino on Monday to play down to a champion.

The post Dustin Gottstein Emerges as WPT500 Los Angeles Overall Chip Leader appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Casino – CalvinAyre.com
The Star claims it’s Australia’s biggest VIP gambling operator

the-star-casino-australia-vip-gamblingAustralian casino operator The Star Entertainment Group is celebrating its fiscal year results despite taking a beating from VIP gamblers on a hot streak.

On Thursday, The Star delivered its preliminary final report on its performance in the 12 months ending June 30, which saw revenue rise 6% year-on-year to a record AU$2.6b (US$1.9b), while earnings slipped 19.2% to AU$484.4m and net profit after tax (NPAT) tumbled 44% to AU$148.1m.

In addition to their statutory figures, Aussie gaming firms utilize a metric known as ‘normalized’ results, which assumes a constant VIP gambling win rate, on the assertion that this provides a more accurate picture of the situation. Applying this filter, The Star’s revenue was up 15.3%, earnings gained 14.3% and NPAT rose 20.3%.

The Star also noted that its statutory NPAT suffered from AU$37m in significant items, including debt restructuring and expenses related to the launch of its refurbished Gold Coast property.

As previewed in May, The Star’s Asian VIP gamblers – bundled under the heading of ‘international VIP rebate’ business – went on a prolonged hot streak in fiscal 2018. The year’s VIP win rate came in at 1.16%, well below the 1.59% in the previous fiscal year and the 1.35% average assumed under the ‘normalized’ heading.

On the plus side, VIP turnover was up 54.3% to AU$61.2b and statutory revenue rose 11.2% to AU$711.5m. The Star threw shade at its Aussie rival Crown Resorts by claiming that its VIP business was now the largest in Australia/New Zealand.

The company credited the VIP gains to “sales-driven diversification strategy” and “market normalization,” the latter referring to Chinese VIPs getting over their fears that Beijing wanted to mount their heads on pikes outside the Imperial Palace. Bad debts also hit a record low as a percentage of revenue.

The Star’s flagship property in Sydney claimed the bulk (AU$52.5b) of this VIP turnover. The property’s statutory revenue rose 3% to AU$1.74b but earnings dipped 28.7% to AU$410m due to higher operating costs and VIP win rate slipping nearly half a point to 1.07%. Domestic visitation was up 11.4% and non-gaming revenue spiked 15%.

Queensland operations reported revenue up nearly 13% to AU$843m while earnings were flat at AU$199m. The revamped Gold Coast property opened in fiscal Q3 with an expanded gaming floor and the new 57 all-suite hotel The Darling.

As for Queen’s Wharf, The Star’s AU$2.4b major integrated resort joint venture in Brisbane, the company says the project remains on schedule and on budget, with demolition works completed and foundation excavation work commenced.

Looking forward, The Star claims that FY19 has so far enjoyed “broad-based revenue growth” across all segments, while VIP turnover was said to be “pleasing.”

The post The Star claims it’s Australia’s biggest VIP gambling operator appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

Casino News Daily
Two More WPT500 Los Angeles Flights Now in the Books, Only Two More Left

Poker excitement is building up at The Bicycle Casino where the latest installment of the WPT500 is taking place. The ongoing WPT500 Los Angeles is a special one. The $570 buy-in tournament features a record number of starting flights, which means a record number of opportunities for player to join the field.

Two more starting flights were completed on Friday at the host casino and there are just two more left before the remaining survivors head to The Bike for Day 2 of the major tournament.

A massive field was built on Day 1M of the event. There were 301 players to enter through that starting flight. However, only 15 of them were lucky and persistent enough to make it through the very end and bag and tag for the night. They will have one day for a much-deserved rest and to craft their strategies of how to approach the Day 2 field. Day 2 of the tournament will be played Sunday at the casino.

Jose Gallardo finished the Day 1M starting flight as the chip leader among the 15 remaining hopefuls. The player had a total of 975,000 in chips at the end of the day. Jose Torres finished second in chips with 677,000 and Derek Lacock collected the third largest stack of 636,000 in chips.

About Day 1N

The Turbo-structure Day 1N also took place on Friday at the host casino. It drew 100 warriors seeking a shot at the title and the first-place prize. After 22 levels of play, there were only five players left to whom the original field had been whittled down.

Adin Gardenswartz was the one to put the largest stack in his end-of-the-day bag. The player had a total of 616,000 at that point. He was followed by David Marshall with 492,000 and Martin Zamani with 348,000. Kai Yang and Robert Rubano were the other two players to have survived through the end of the day. They bagged 287,000 and 244,000, respectively.

The final starting flights of the event are set to be played later today. They might turn out to be the biggest ones so far as they will be interested players’ last opportunity to join the event. The tournament features unlimited re-entries until registration for each of the two starting flights played over a day closes at the beginning of Level 9.

As mentioned earlier, Day 2 is slated for commencement at 1 pm local time at the host casino. It will see the survivors from all the starting flights brought together for the first time. The remaining hopefuls will play down to the final nine who will come back at The Bike on Monday to clash it out until a single player remains on the field. It is yet to be announced how much exactly that one final player will be awarded for their deed.

The WPT500 Los Angeles has drawn 1,860 entries so far and there are 93 to have made it through their respective starting flights.

The post Two More WPT500 Los Angeles Flights Now in the Books, Only Two More Left appeared first on Casino News Daily.

World Casino News
Mega Moolah jackpot passes $12 million milestone

Online casino games and software developer Microgaming has announced that the progressive jackpot tied to its Mega Moolah video slot recently surpassed the $12 million mark and is continuing to grow by the minute. Prize could be hit at any time: Isle of Man-headquartered Microgaming used an official Thursday press release to announce that the […]
Feeling The Pinch, Monmouth ‘Confident’ It Will Kick Off Online Sports Betting By Football
squeeze

Monmouth Park was the first venue in New Jersey to accept sports wagers following the repeal of PASPA. Yet, the racetrack is falling behind in the race to launch NJ online sports betting.

The post Feeling The Pinch, Monmouth ‘Confident’ It Will Kick Off Online Sports Betting By Football appeared first on .

Friday, August 24, 2018

Casino News Daily
Mark LeBlanc and Jeff Yarchever Top WPT500 Los Angeles Days 1K/1L Chip Counts

Days 1K and 1L of the latest edition of the $570 buy-in WPT500 Los Angeles were played at The Bicycle Casino in the Los Angeles area on Thursday. The two starting flights drew a combined of 264 entries who brought the overall field to 1,459 contenders.

Day 1K of the major tournament attracted 181 players from all over the States and the rest of the world. Action lasted through Level 21. With 27 minutes left of that level, organizers called it a day and the remaining survivors were invited to bag and tag for the night.

There were nine players left in contention at that point. Of them, it was Mark LeBlanc who put the biggest stack into his bag. The player had managed to accumulate 845,000 worth of chips by the end of the day. He actually won the last pot of the night. The overnight chip leader held up against Kevin Kung in an all-in confrontation that saw his pocket nines clash against his opponent’s pocket sixes.

Steve Silverstein with 528,000 and Beau Winn with 482,000 were the other two players to round out the chip counts podium. The nine Day 1K survivors will have several days to rest and prepare their strategies for Day 2, which is scheduled to be played on Sunday, August 26, at the host casino.

Day 1L Recap

The second starting flight of the day kicked off at 5 pm local time and featured a Turbo format. It drew an 83-strong field that was eventually reduced to just four players. Jeff Yarchever will be leading Day 1L’s pack of survivors with a significant advantage over his three remaining opponents.

The player bagged 851,000 in chips last night after surviving through all 23 levels played within Day 1L. Nikhil Gera was the player to bag the second largest stack of the night with 432,000. Lawrence Engerman with 25,000 and Felipe Davila with 133,000 will be the other two players to advance into Day 2 from the tournament’s twelfth starting flight.

There are four more starting flights left to be played as part of the ongoing WPT500 Los Angeles tournament. This latest edition of the tournament actually features a record-breaking number of starting flights since the WPT500 brand was established four years ago. A total of sixteen starting flights are slated to be played.

The event will also feature two more days of action at The Bicycle Casino – Days 2 and 3. As already mentioned, Day 2 of the tournament will be played on Sunday and will combine the survivors from all starting flights. They will play down to the final nine. The nine final tablists will then return to the host venue on Monday to determine the champion. The event features a guaranteed prize pool of $1 million and the guarantee is yet to be reached.

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