Wednesday, October 31, 2018

World Casino News
New York Jets partnership with 888 Holdings draws criticism

In northern New Jersey, the New York Jets franchise of the National Football League (NFL) has reportedly raised the ire of critics after signing a sponsorship agreement with online casino and sportsbook operator 888 Holdings. Banners appeared on Sunday: According to a Monday report from the New York Post newspaper, the previous day had seen […]
Casino News Daily
New York Jets Join Forces with Casino Giant MGM in “First-of-Its-Kind” Deal

The Jets pen landmark deal with casino operator MGM Resorts International shortly after 888 advertising tie-up

The New York Jets and MGM Resorts International today announced a “first-of-its-kind” integrated gaming partnership that makes the casino and hospitality operator the official gaming partner of the NFL team.

The announcement about the Jets/MGM tie-up arrives shortly after reports emerged that the team has joined forces with online gambling operator 888 Holdings in a sponsorship deal that is yet to be announced officially.

In addition to a traditional casino sponsorship, the Jets’ deal with MGM also involves the I Called It mobile game which allows fans of the NFL team to answer questions about Jets games. The game is sponsored by MGM’s mobile app Play MGM and is available exclusively in the Official New York Jets App. It is free to play and provides Jets fans with the chance to win different prizes. However, it does not allow them to wager money on Jets games.

As part of the deal, MGM will be designated as the official gaming partner of the NFL team. In addition, the casino operator will sponsor and be offered access to the Jets 360 Production Studio, where the team films dedicated digital media and television content. The Jets’ home stadium, MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, will feature MGM signage.

Jets season holders and members of the Jets’ rewards program will be treated to entertainment experiences and hotel rooms at MGM resorts around the nation, including Atlantic City’s Borgata, as part of the newly penned partnership between the football team and the gaming and hospitality giant.

888 Partnership Draws Ire

It also became known earlier this week that the Jets have secured a sponsorship agreement with online gambling operator 888. While an official announcement about the tie-up is yet to be made, 888 banners can now be spotted at MetLife Stadium.

The NFL changed its advertising policies in early September to allow teams to join forces with casino companies and thus boost their advertising revenues. However, under the new rules, the sponsorships should not promote and involve sports betting in any way.

888 currently offers online casino, poker, and sports betting services, and its wagering offering was what drew criticism as the company’s tie-up with the Jets was unveiled. Supporters of the partnership have pointed out that it does not violate the NFL’s advertising rules as 888’s sports betting business is not directly promoted. However, opponents have argued that the deal definitely crosses the line.

The New York Jets are not the only team to have partnered with gambling companies since the NFL relaxed its rules. The Dallas Cowboys joined forces with WinStar World Casino in Oklahoma in early September, while the Baltimore Ravens inked a deal with Horseshoe Casino Baltimore.

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World Casino News
Evolution Gaming Group AB inks New Jersey supply agreement

Live-dealer online casino games provider Evolution Gaming Group AB has announced the signing of a deal that is to see it provide its products to players in New Jersey via the domain at PokerStarsCasinoNJ.com. Powering the live casino action: The Stockholm-listed firm used an official Monday press release (pdf) to reveal that the agreement will involve […]

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Casino News Daily
New York Jets Partner Online Gambling Operator 888, Face Backlash from Football Purists

Yet another NFL team joins forces with a casino operator as the league relaxes gambling advertising rules

The New York Jets have penned a sponsorship deal with online gambling operator 888 and football purists are not happy about it, news outlet the New York Post reported on Monday. The deal is set to be officially announced later this week, but 888 banners have already appeared outside MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the home stadium of the New York Jets.

Following the mid-May ruling of the US Supreme Court that struck down a federal ban on sports betting, the NFL reversed ahead of the new season a long-standing ban on casino advertising, allowing teams to partner with casino operators and advertise those in exchange for financial contributions.

However, the NFL rules still prohibit sports betting operations from being advertised by football teams. Aside from casino games, 888 also offers poker and sports betting services. Critics of the partnership between the Jets and the online gambling operator have argued that the fact that it offers wagering products crosses the line and violates NFL’s gambling advertising rules.

As mentioned earlier, the tie-up between the Jets and 888 has already manifested itself in the form of several orange banners displaying the 888.com logo outside MetLife Stadium. Sources familiar with the deal have told the New York Post that the banners do not violate league advertising rules as they do not specifically refer to 888sport, the gambling operator’s online sports betting operation.

However, critics have pointed out that the banners were “dangerously close to flouting the rules.” The deal is expected to be announced later this week, which means that more details about its scope are to emerge.

Normalization of Gambling through Ads

According to Keith Whyte, Executive Director of the National Council of Problem Gambling, advertising partnerships of this kind can have a big and lasting impact on young fans of football who go to the games. He told the New York Post that children and young people “will become much more inclined to see gambling as being part of the game.”

The four major sports leagues – MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL – were long opposed to sports gambling, arguing that the activity threatened the integrity of sports. However, the US Supreme Court ruled this past May against the leagues and annulled the long-standing federal sports betting ban. Since the ruling, league officials have softened their stance on the wagering issue and have been seeking a share of the proceeds generated from sports betting in the form of an integrity fee and advertising revenue, among other things.

The NFL decided to relax its advertising rules ahead of the new season, allowing teams to take advertising money from casinos. The Dallas Cowboys became the first team to align itself with a casino operator in early September, thus making history. It joined forces with Oklahoma-based WinStar World Casino.

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Casino – CalvinAyre.com
Is this bear market cyclical or secular? Upcoming earnings will shed clues

Modern gaming stocks have never seen a secular bear market. Sounds crazy right? It’s true. They’ve certainly seen cyclical bear markets. Vicious ones that’ll make you sick and destroy your finances if you’re leveraged. The crash of ‘08 was certainly a cyclical bear market. The Macau crash of 2014 was, too. But for long term holders they’re just aberrations of one kind or another on a long term uptrend.

Is this bear market cyclical or secular? Upcoming earnings will shed cluesThe oldest of modern gaming stocks have only been around since the late 1980’s. MGM, among the oldest, went public in May 1988, only 30 years ago. Secular market trends span longer periods than that. Bonds were in a secular bull market from 1981 to 2016 for example. Since its IPO, MGM has been in a secular bull market along with most other large cap gaming stocks.

The oldest and most veteran UK gaming companies have only been public in their modern incarnations since the late 1990’s. There have been great years and there have been horrible years, but buy and hold still hasn’t failed. Even Las Vegas Sands, which suffered a 99% collapse from 2007 to 2009, is still above its 2004 IPO. Wynn’s long term chart looks like riding an especially enraged mechanical bull, but the secular bull trend is clearly intact nonetheless. Macau stocks are way too young to even be on the time scale of anything secular. These casinos spent their adolescence in a time of extreme global monetary stimulus. It’s like being surrounded as a child by a bunch of cocaine addicts and thinking it’s totally normal. Modern gaming companies simply don’t know any other type of environment.

Right now we are clearly in the midst of yet another cyclical bear. The question is will it turn into a secular trend. The bellwether Macau gaming stocks are collapsing faster than they did in 2014 without a clear catalyst that affects fundamentals like an attack on the VIP sector. Galaxy is down 45% in 7 months. Back in 2014 that degree of collapse took 10 months. Las Vegas Sands is down 38% in 4 months. That level of decline took 10 months to materialize from the 2014 top. Wynn is down 53.5%. The same decline took over a year in 2014.

These rates of decline are rivaling those of 2008, and they are pointing to something more worrying than just another cyclical bear. They could be the beginning of a secular bear, something more similar to the US stock market between 1966 and 1982 when the Dow Jones just oscillated back and forth for 16 years as price inflation kept eating into real returns. We have become accustomed to more violent spurts lasting a year or two and then quick recoveries, but this sort of situation is only possible when you can abuse the debt markets in order to reinflate equities. Once price inflation becomes obvious, you can’t do that anymore, which is precisely why we had a secular bear market in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The Federal Reserve was fighting inflation instead of inflating bubbles back then, which is why bonds were in a bear market. The Fed was selling debt, not buying.

If this is the beginning of a secular bear market, here’s what should happen from here in broad strokes. First, we should start seeing confirmation of softening volumes in upcoming earnings from Melco, MGM, Penn, and others. Earnings and revenues themselves may not be affected yet. Let’s give that another quarter or two, but volume growth should be starting to level off. Over the next few months, the general downtrend should continue as stocks respond overly negatively to bad news and only tepidly to positive developments and fall down the proverbial slope of hope. We’ll see enormous up days here and there amid calls for a bottom that will keep investors in the game but they won’t hold.

At a certain point, central banks, China’s PBOC, the Fed, the ECB and whoever else, will be called in to act in a concerted effort to reflate the bubble one more time. When they do, we’ll have a short term bottom and that will be the time to buy for a short to medium-term trade. But when that happens and they flood the world with liquidity once again, price inflation all over the world is going to break loose. Just like in the late 1960’s and throughout the 70’s, stocks will bounce up and down nominally as real earnings, income, and standards of living fall.

I fear this cake is already baked. The money supply in the US has been faltering for two years now as stocks have climbed briskly, both in Macau and in the US. Fuel is running out. Since October 2016, the dollar supply has only expanded at an average annual rate of 4.6%, from $12.97 trillion to $14.19 trillion. This is lower than 2007-2008, which saw liquidity expand by 5.5% from October to October and that still led to a crash, a crash that began in gaming stocks about a year before the rest of the market was infected.

The average monetary growth rate from 2009 to 2016 has been 6.7%. There have been years since 2000 where it’s been lower than it is now without a crash, but in those years equity markets were far below their highs. Now they’re not. The liquidity crunch is coming. Gaming stocks are sounding the warning bell just like they did 11 years ago. The 2014 gaming crash was artificial, caused by government policy, not a systemic liquidity crunch. This is something different. 2019 is going to be a bad year. Best be prepared now.

The post Is this bear market cyclical or secular? Upcoming earnings will shed clues appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Casino – CalvinAyre.com
Belle Corp year-to-date income up despite lower Q3

Philippine leisure estate developer Belle Corporation reported an 18.5% year-on-year drop in net income during the third quarter of 2018, even as profits went up slightly for the first nine months of the year.

Belle Corp year-to-date income up in spite of lower Q3In a filing with the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), the company reported a net income of PHP716 million ($13.4 million) for the third quarter, as well as gross revenue of PHP1.94 billion ($36.2 million), 7.5% lower than the third quarter of 2017.

Even so, year-to-date consolidated net income was up 1% from the same period last year, to PHP2.68 billion ($50 million). Recurring net income was PHP2.94 billion ($55 million), 19.1% higher than the first nine months of 2017. The disparity between the growth rates of consolidated and recurring net income was explained as “due mainly to one-time gains recorded in 2017 from sales of non-core investments and properties.”

Belle Corp, through subsidiary Premium Leisure Corporation (PLC), takes a share in earnings from City of Dreams Manila, operated by lessee Melco Resorts and Entertainment (Philippines) Corporation. Belle reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) from City of Dreams Manila operations from January to September, of PHP1.84 billion ($34.4 million), a 29.5% increase from the corresponding period in 2017.

EBITDA from real-estate businesses was PHP1.79 billion ($33.4 million), 7.9% higher year on year. Of this, PHP1.54 billion ($28.7 million) came from the lease of the land and buildings comprising City of Dreams Manila.

Year-to-date revenue for the company in the first nine months of the year was PHP6.46 billion ($120.5 million), 3.8% higher than January to September 2017. Of this, gaming revenue was PHP2.38 billion ($44.4 million), 10.2% higher than the same period last year.

Last week, Melco Philippines withdrew a petition to voluntarily delist from the PSE. However, major shareholder MCO (Philippines) Investments Limited said that it will proceed with a tender offer so as to increase its current 73% shareholdings. The purpose of the withdrawal of the petition to delist, according to Melco Philippines, was for “alleviating certain investors’ concerns that the potential delisting may exert undue pressure on their decision process related to the acceptance of the Tender Offer.”

The tender offer price of about $0.13, while higher than the current share price, was questioned by some traders for being nearly 50% lower than when the stock was first offered in 2013.

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Casino News Daily
Cayman Islands Legislators Table New Anti-Illegal Gambling Bill

Cayman Islands lawmakers look to clamp down on illegal gambling with heftier fines

Cayman Islands lawmakers have indicated their intentions to ramp up efforts to crack down on illegal gambling with the recent introduction of a piece of legislation that, if adopted, would increase the penalties imposed on violators of existing laws in the British Overseas Territory.

The new Gambling (Amendment) Bill 2018 aims to revise provisions in the Cayman Islands’ existing Gambling Law that were never amended since the original enactment of that law in 1964. The piece of legislation will be discussed in the next meeting of the Legislative Assembly, which is scheduled to take place in November. The bill is currently a subject of public consultation that will remain open until the upcoming Legislative Assembly debate.

The piece concerns every individual involved in any way in gambling activities, from people who conduct such activities to gamblers. Under the bill, penalties for the ownership and use of premises for the provision of gambling services, the publication of lottery numbers, and handling proceeds from gambling activities would increase from $400 to $10,000. In addition, the maximum prison time for individuals caught to have been involved in any of the above violations would increase from one to three years.

Penalties for participation in public lottery, that is playing or being found in an illegal lottery establishment, would increase from $10 to $2,500, while the maximum prison sentence would increase from two to six months.

Other provisions in the bill include a rise in the penalty for those found to have taken part in or conducting a lottery game from $100 to $20,000 and in the prison term from two months to three years.

No Online Gambling Provisions

While the Gambling (Amendment) Bill 2018 contains extensive provisions regarding the conduction and participation of lottery (number) games in land-based establishments across the Cayman Islands, it does not specify whether those same provisions apply to online gambling.

According to analysts, lottery games are extremely popular with Cayman Island residents, but online gambling on offshore websites could actually be where the greater portion of gambling money is spent. The Gambling (Amendment) Bill in its current form does not specify whether and how gambling online or the provision of unauthorized online gambling services would be charged.

The focus on lottery games has been justified with the fact that it is much easier to identify and locate people who provide or gamble on this type of activities as they are usually conducted at local stores, bars, or private residences.

Lawmakers have over the years proposed the introduction of a national lottery that would contribute funds to good causes, but such proposals have failed to gain enough traction in the Cayman Islands’ Legislative Assembly.

Growing crime rates have been among the main reasons why lawmakers and local authorities have maintained the current status of gambling on the Cayman Islands. According to local police, there has been a steady rise in the number of gambling-related incidents. In addition, “a strong connection between certain crimes and gambling activities” has been identified by authorities.

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Casino – CalvinAyre.com
Analysts predict delays for Phase 3 of Galaxy Macau

In a report published last Thursday, Union Gaming (UG) provided a pessimistic, but realistic, view for Phase 3 of the expansion plans at the Galaxy Macau casino resort, which is operated by Galaxy Entertainment. The brokerage firm indicated that the expansion will be delayed and that it will more than likely not be ready before the middle of 2020.

Analysts predict delays for Phase 3 of Galaxy MacauAccording to UG analyst Grant Govertsen, “While design work continues to move forward on Phase 4, construction on Phase 3 has largely maxed out for the time being as the company waits on various government approvals. With this in mind, it appears that Phase 3, including the first batch of hotel rooms, is unlikely to come online before mid-2020.”

Govertsen’s analysis was supported by Sanford C. Bernstein. The firm also issued a note on Thursday about the Galaxy, stating, “Phase 3 is now slated to open in mid-2020 as there have been some delays. Phase 4 continues with site preparation.”

Earlier this year, Galaxy Entertainment chairman Lui Che Woo indicated that he expected some part of Phase 3 to be completed next year. Two months ago, however, the company’s deputy chairman, Francis Lui Yiu Tung, alluded to a “stage one” of Phase 3, which wouldn’t be ready until 2020.

Phase 3 is expected to include as many as 1,500 hotel rooms, a casino and an entertainment facility that could hold 16,000 people. Tung has indicated that the last two remaining phases of the resort’s expansions have been accelerated. This could be due to the license for the company’s gaming rights in the city, which will expire in 2022. By completing the expansion sooner, Galaxy will be in a stronger position to request a license renewal.

Last week, Galaxy reported its third-quarter earnings with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, indicating that its EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxation, debt and amortization) had increased overall by 10% year-on-year. Galaxy Macau increased its net revenue by 7% year-on-year to $1.186 million and its EBITDA climbed 9% to $382.59 million. The company’s Cotai operations, Broadway Macau, saw a net revenue increase of 38% year-on-year to $18.49 million. EBITDA also increased, coming in at $1.14 million. Last year, it recorded an EBITDA loss of $510,161.

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Sunday, October 28, 2018

World Casino News
Realistic Games announces new Shuffle Bots slot game

Top content developer Realistic Games has announced yet another new online slot game, this time creating a title based on dancing robots. Shuffle bots is a 5-reel, 20 payline slot game that uses the newest HTML5 technology, allowing players to enjoy the game on desktop, smartphone and tablet. The new game has a disco theme, […]

Saturday, October 27, 2018

World Casino News
ProgressPlay selects Groove Gaming Limited

iGaming content aggregator Groove Gaming Limited has announced the signing of a ‘white-label’ deal that is set to see it supply a portfolio of over 1,500 HTML5-friendly video slots and live casino games to Maltese platform provider ProgressPlay. Long list of developers: The Israeli firm used an official Friday press release published by European Gaming […]
World Casino News
Pragmatic Play announces new Ancient Egypt Classic slot game

Top online gaming developer, Pragmatic Play, has announced their newest blockbuster slot, Ancient Egypt Classic. This new game is a video slot with a 3×5 grid, set to go live on Halloween, October 31st. The online slot game includes many symbols that are found in ancient Egyptian culture including the Eye of Ra, ankhs, Anubis the […]

Friday, October 26, 2018

Casino – CalvinAyre.com
PAGCOR Q3 net income reaches $700M

Net income of state regulator Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has reached PHP37.6 billion ($699 million) in the third quarter of 2018, Inside Asian Gaming first reported.

PAGCOR Q3 net income reaches $700MThe figure is 762.9% higher than the corresponding period last year. Income from gaming operations was at PHP50.3 billion ($935.3 million), 18.7% higher year on year. This was also 9.3% higher than PAGCOR had earlier projected.

Gaming taxes and contributions made for PHP26.4 billion ($490.9 million), while other income amounted to PHP33.8 billion ($628.5 million).

Listed among the agency expenses for the quarter were PHP9.4 billion ($174.8 million) allocated for corporate social responsibility, and PHP2 billion ($37.2 million) for other contributions such as to early childhood care, and development and national endowment for culture and the arts.

The higher performance year on year comes despite Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s continued hostile stance towards gambling in general. When Boracay Island was opened last week after six months of rehabilitation, the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF), created by Duterte, ordered that no casinos would be allowed to operate, even as this involved canceling deals already made prior to the island’s closing, notably Galaxy Entertainment Group’s planned $500-million resort, scheduled to open in 2021.

The Hong Kong-based company’s founder and chairman Lui Che Woo had said the intended casinos would only be a small portion of the project, but this was apparently not taken into consideration. PAGCOR has said it would comply with the BIATF order.

The Philippine government had scheduled for casinos run by the state regulator to be auctioned off this year, in order to help narrow budget gaps of the national government, but PAGCOR chairman and CEO Andrea Domingo said last month that the agency would continue to operate the casinos, since these were still bringing in taxes. She also said that there have been no further discussions to privatize the casinos, and that PAGCOR was able to fulfill its role as regulator, without conflict of interest.

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Casino News Daily
Ukraine’s Illegal Gambling Market Thrives as Government Fails to Set Regulations

The lack of solid regulation in the Ukrainian gambling and betting industry has resulted in a booming underground gambling business while millions of dollars are going down the drain. According to local media reports, hundreds of gambling facilities disguised as lottery offices, are freely operating across the country.

Officially, almost all forms of gambling are banned in Ukraine with only licensed lotteries allowed to operate. Since 2009, when the Verkhovna Rada (the name of the Parliament) passed the ban into law, however, there have been multiple reports of existing underground gaming facilities. By July 2009, more than 6,000 illegal slot machines had been confiscated from dozens of illegal establishments. Investigations led to over 200 criminal charges. Things have not changed a lot since then.

In an article, the Kyiv Post uncovers what turns out to be a widespread scheme for illegal gambling operations that are carried out freely under the guise of lottery offices. The newspaper describes in details that the lack of clear regulation of the sector has allowed illegal businesses to thrive, nurturing organized crime and corruption. In 2012, according to the publication, the Rada loosened the gambling ban, allowing lottery operators to run gambling activities. During that time, the majority in the Parliament was held by the Party of Regions, the party of former president Viktor Yanukovych who is currently in exile in Russia and wanted by Ukraine for high treason.

As a result of the unfinished reforms in the sector – special legislation and gambling zones were initially considered, operators of underground gaming facilities are now offering slot-like games under their lottery licenses. There are lottery offices in every city and town across the country and many of them only pretend to offer lottery tickets. Although logos of the Ukrainian National Lottery can be seen, there are no lottery products on sale. Interestingly, there are no slot machines visible, as well.

The facilities are, actually, packed with computers – their keyboards are specifically customized to work like classic slot machines. Customers purchase plastic cards that are placed into special slots on the keyboard and the computer instantly turns into a Vegas-style casino game, the Kyiv Post reveals. Only cash is accepted, of course. And authorities seem to be clueless about this simple, yet extremely effective scheme, the paper suggests.

Revenues from Illegal Gambling Reach $1 Billion

It is impossible to estimate the exact cost of the black market gambling industry to Ukraine’s economy but it is certainly within the six and seven-figure range. The Kyiv Post spoke to Agia Zagrebelska of the Anti-Monopoly Committee who says that the revenues from illegal gambling reach $1 billion a year. According to other foreign experts, underground gaming operators generate much more from their unregulated activity.

Every year, Ukrainian lotteries pay around $2 million in taxes. The tax revenue that comes from lottery winners, on the other hand, is approximately $4 million, which is, by all standards, bizarre. In fact, most things related to gambling in Ukraine is out of the ordinary – there are three operators which held licenses granted by the state, namely MSL, Patriot, and the Ukrainian National Lottery. Their licenses have expired in 2014 but due to a legal loophole, they can operate until new licenses are issued.

Each of the three operators is allowed to run up to 5,000 lottery shops, which suggests that there must be up to 15,000 lottery offices on the territory of Ukraine. In addition, these three operators have extended their permits via franchise to some 180 retailing companies that can sell lottery tickets. As a result, the actual number of lottery offices could not be estimated. At the same time, the Anti-Monopoly Committee says that only 19 percent of them sell lottery products, while the rest functioning like gaming facilities or betting shops. Overall, the underground gambling scene seems to be thriving in Ukraine and the state is losing millions of dollars due to the lack of oversight and resolution to come up with a new legal frame.

The post Ukraine’s Illegal Gambling Market Thrives as Government Fails to Set Regulations appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Casino News Daily
Thai Police Gambling Raid Flops, Elderly Man in Custody

A massive joint operation of the police in Phuket and the Royal Thai Army has failed spectacularly as officers were conducting a raid on an illegal gambling den. On Thursday evening, local law enforcement raided the underground facility but the only person arrested was an elderly man, who simply could not run away.

Unlike many gambling dens uncovered by the police in Thailand, this venue was well-organized and furnished like a real casino, as evident from the photos published by the authorities. On Friday, the Phuket News reported that the raid was carried out on the evening of October 25 by at least 15 officers of the Kathu Police. They were accompanied by Royal Thai Army soldiers from the 25th Military Circle. This is a division stationed in Phuket, the largest island and province of Thailand.

The illegal gambling facility was in a building located in Division 3 at the rear of the Phuket Villa Kathu housing estate. It was raided after authorities received information that gambling operations were conducted on the site, the Phuket News writes, citing Kathu Police Chief Jakkawat Thaweekulsawad. According to him, however, gamblers quickly fled the scene right before the arrival of the law enforcement.

As a result, no arrests have been made, with one strange exception – a 72-year-old man who apparently was the “gambling manager”. The man, named as Somchai “Jeap” Onpanyasin, was the only person in custody simply because he could not run away from the police. He was taken in for questioning, the police confirmed, adding that five decks of cards along with THB8,700 (approx. US$263) in cash were seized from the place.

Will Thailand Allow Gambling?

Phuket is not only a Thai province, but it is also one of the most popular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. The island is packed with hotels and seaside resorts, restaurants, nightclubs, and markets. Gambling, however, is banned in the country and at the same time, it is extremely widespread among locals. Thousands of Thai gamblers travel to the nearby Cambodian city of Poipet, which is located just on the other side of the border and offers them legal casino gaming and betting.

Thousands of other locals, on the other hand, prefer gambling in illegal casinos, established temporarily across Phuket. This week’s raid, for instance, may have not been particularly successful but it uncovered that the gambling den was set up for the game of “Eighty-Nine”. This is a traditional card game, which is popular among the Thais and, of course, it is prohibited by law.

In fact, almost all forms of gambling are banned in the country, with only bets on horse races and the lottery allowed. Still, gambling remains a huge part of local culture and life, which is why authorities have considered legalizing casinos. There have been multiple attempts for coming up with a new legislation that would remove the prohibition set in the Gambling Act 1935.

Former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra planned to legalize a casino in Pattaya but the 2006 coup put an end to the plans. In 2016, senior government officials have expressed their approval of introducing legal casinos in the country. No further steps have been made, however. Many politicians have said that legalizing casinos would only bring in tax revenues and would not have a negative impact on the economy or the local communities, as illegal gambling is already widespread. For now, casinos and gambling remain prohibited.

The post Thai Police Gambling Raid Flops, Elderly Man in Custody appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Casino News Daily
“No Casino” Policy for Boracay Needs Executive Order, Department of Justice

The Philippines’ Department of Justice has said that in order to enforce his “no casino” policy on Boracay Island, president Rodrigo Duterte should issue an executive order. Such an act will be the fastest and most efficient method for halting the casino operations on the island, which reopens for foreign tourists on Friday.

Representatives of most public institutions and local authorities seem to be in line with the Duterte’s idea of no more casinos on Boracay. Following a six-month shut-down for an environmental clean-up and rehabilitation, the island is finally reopening this week. Authorities have set new rules regarding waste disposal, watersports that may harm the ecosystem, smoking and drinking. Being a vocal opponent of gambling, President Duterte also said that the island should be “free of casinos” when it opens.

Earlier this week, the local gambling regulator PAGCOR (Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation) was said to have been urged to cancel the existing casino licenses and to stop issuing new ones. The request had come, according to media reports, from the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force, a body that was specifically created for the purpose of assessing the environmental damage on the island and devising strategies to address the problem. Local newspaper The Philippines Star said that the regulator has made a decision to immediately suspend all gambling licenses on Boracay.

Now, it is possible that such actions may not be entirely legal. In a letter published Thursday, the Department of Justice recommends that President Rodrigo Duterte issues an executive order, that would allow him to stop the casino operations on the island.

Legal Repercussions

According to the Department of Justice, Duterte’s “no casino” policy has to be implemented carefully and through a presidential executive order. In a recommendation letter dated from October 8, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra writes that the President has the authority to limit casino operations on the island. The letter is an eight-page legal opinion that comes in a response to a query by the Department of Tourism, which is concerned about possible legal repercussions resulting from the revocation of casino licenses.

In the legal opinion, Guevarra explains that the President may direct the PAGCOR by an executive order to revoke the licenses already granted and to prohibit the issuing of new permits. He also points out that the provisional licenses granted by the regulator are not contracts and are, therefore, not legally binding for the government. Casino licenses can, then, be “granted, revoked” or their renewal withheld by the regulatory body instantly.

Meanwhile, Macau-based casino giant Galaxy Entertainment Group is planning to build a large integrated casino resort on Boracay. It was granted a casino license just a month before the temporary closure of the island. Galaxy Chairman Lui Che Woo explained that the casino facility would be just a small part of the complex and that the complex would, in fact, focus on the leisure and entertainment offerings.

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World Casino News
Full House Resorts Incorporated rejects takeover approach

American regional casino operator, Full House Resorts Incorporated, has rejected a proposal from Z Capital Partners that would have seen the private equity management firm pay approximately $132.5 million in order to acquire all of its issued stock. Unanimous refusal: In an official Tuesday letter sent to James Zenni, Chief Executive Officer for Z Capital Partners, […]
World Casino News
Greentube inks further British supply deal with LeoVegas AB

The Greentube online and mobile software technologies subsidiary of Austrian gambling giant, Novomatic, has announced the signing of an agreement that is to see its games made available to players in the United Kingdom via domains operated by LeoVegas AB. Video slots provision: The Vienna-based innovator used a short press release to detail that the arrangement will […]

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Hitting Paydirt: Hail Caesars Sportsbook For NFL Week 8 In NJ Sports Betting
Caesars head on white background

Not all days work out well for sportsbooks. Week 7 of the NFL season proved that. Playing at home as 3.5-point underdogs, the New York Jets rolled over in a 20-point loss to the Minnesota Vikings. The Chicago Bears entered as two-point dogs against the visiting New England Patriots, but a Hail Mary fell one-yard shy of potentially sending the game to overtime … Continue reading "Hitting Paydirt: Hail Caesars Sportsbook For NFL Week 8 In NJ Sports Betting"

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Casino News Daily
MGM GVC Interactive Confirms Adam Greenblatt as CEO of the Joint Venture

Following the creation of a joint venture in July 2018, MGM Resorts and GVC Holdings announced this week the appointment of Adam Greenblatt as the venture’s Chief Executive Officer. Greenblatt has previously served as Director of Corporate Development & Strategy for GVC Holdings Plc, but he also possesses in-depth knowledge and expertise in sports betting and online gaming from his position at Ladbrokes.

His promotion to the executive leadership position was announced on Tuesday in a combined corporate communication, pointing out his long experience in the gambling and entertainment industry. Greenblatt will now serve as CEO of the recently established joint venture between the American gaming and hospitality giant MGM Resorts International and Isle of Man-headquartered GVC Holdings PLC, which owns major gaming and sports betting brands, including Coral, Ladbrokes, bwin, Crystalbet, partypoker, and CasinoClub.

The joint venture was formed this summer for the purpose of creating a leading sports betting and interactive gaming proposition for the US market, according to the press release. It is hardly a surprise that Adam Greenblatt has been chosen to lead MGM GVC Interactive, considering he has played a “significant role” in its creation during his job as a Director Corporate Development & Strategy at GVC Holdings. His career, however, did not start at GVC and has been much more interesting.

After studying Business Science at the University of Cape Town, Greenblatt worked as a Chartered Accountant in the UK with Arthur Andersen. He then focused on mergers and acquisitions at international investment bank Rothschild where he oversaw deals in the leisure sector. In addition, Greenblatt was Director of Corporate and Strategic Development at Ladbrokes from 2010. According to the press release, he was in charge of “defining transactions” for the company such as the strategic partnership with Playtech, the acquisitions which created Ladbrokes Australia and the successful merger between Gala Coral and Ladbrokes in November 2016.

MGM GVC Interactive Joint Venture

Rumors about the partnership between MGM Resorts and GVC emerged in late July and it the two companies soon confirmed the creation of MGM GVC Interactive. The joint venture has its headquarters in the United States and is formed with an initial investment of $100 million made by each of the partners. According to the initial statement by GVC, the new business would have access to 15 states within the US and a potential audience of 90 million people.

In reality, MGM GVC Interactive will take advantage of all U.S. land-based and online sports betting and poker tournaments, real money and free-to-play casino gaming. It will integrate both companies’ customer loyalty programs. Commenting his new position as CEO, Adam Greenblatt said that he would transform the joint venture into the most “dynamic and successful” company in the industry, considering MGM GVC will profit from the combined brands, technology, and market reach.

The new venture is looking at the rapidly evolving US sports betting market following the United States Supreme Court’s decision in May to lift the federal ban on sports wagering. GVC is one of the several UK-based bookmakers that are now focusing on the new opportunities in the US as more and more states are passing legislation that allows wagers on sports.

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Casino – CalvinAyre.com
Japan casino scene: Machida to head Hard Rock Japan, Yumeshima flooding rumors denied

Ado Machida has been tapped to become the president of Hard Rock Japan. The choice is a fitting one as Machida has a long track record Japan casino scene: Machida to head Hard Rock Japan, Yumeshima flooding rumors deniedof serving large corporations as a lobbyist and is also a Republican Party activist. He has political ties to Tokyo and can be a strong supporter of Hard Rock’s efforts to win one of the expected three integrated resort (IR) licenses to be awarded by Japan.

Machida has served as the Chief Domestic Policy Officer for former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, and was also the Director of Policy Implementation for current president Donald Trump as he was transitioning to take the throne. Machida has also served time as a lobbyist for the U.S. defense industry.

According to Edward Tracy, Hard Rock Asia CEO, “With Machida’s Japanese fluency, his understanding of the Japanese culture and legal knowledge, along with his passion and experience in building bilateral business partnerships that focus on sustainable success, Ado has the leadership skill set that brings a key component to our team.”

Hard Rock isn’t the first casino operator to bank on political heavyweights to back their IR efforts in Japan. MGM hired Jason Hyland, a former U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires, to be its president as it lobbies for a license and Caesars recruited two high-profile politicians—former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Armitage and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle—to lead its efforts.

Speaking of Japanese IRs, anyone expecting a resort to be built on Yumeshima Island can continue to hold his breath. Officials in Osaka have denied rumors that the island is prone to flooding and insist that it is the perfect spot for a resort.

Area residents would disagree. The man-made island saw some damage following Typhoon Jebi in September and the only bridge that connects the island to the Kansai International airport was closed after a tanker crashed into it during the storm.

Ichiro Matsui, the governor of Osaka, countered the arguments by pointing to the elevation of the island. He said, “The island of Yumeshima is higher above sea level than Kansai airport, so there is no problem. Yumeshima is nine meters above sea level, so there would be no flooding at all.”

After the bridge was temporarily closed, as many as 4,000 travelers were forced to spend the night in the airport until alternative travel could be arranged. This would be a logistical nightmare under any situation, but the addition of an integrated resort could potentially make the matter unmanageable.

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Casino News Daily
Fate of Europe’s First Integrated Casino Resort to be Decided by March 2019

As the bidding process for a Greek casino license has already started, only three American gambling companies have remained in contention for the planned €8 billion Elliniko integrated casino resort. Hard Rock, Caesars Entertainment and Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment are currently interested in winning the permit to run the facility after the redevelopment of the former Hellenikon International Airport. By March 2019, the license should be granted and a groundbreaking ceremony is expected.

The three US-based companies are some of the world’s largest developers and operators of gambling and entertainment facilities, with properties across Europe, the Americas, and beyond. They are the three final bidders for the license, which will be granted for the planned Elliniko casino resort near Athens, local daily newspaper Kathimerini reported this week.

Several other prospective bidders have withdrawn from the race following major delays and attempts to hamper the project. Among them were the French Group Barriere and the American companies Las Vegas Sands and Melco Resorts and Entertainment.

While there are three major investors that are interested in running the future casino, a single license will be granted by the government. There will be no decision until the end of the year, according to local news outlets, while construction work on the site is not expected to begin before early 2019. The developer of the project is a consortium led by the Greek company Lambda and also featuring Chinese conglomerate Fosun and another unnamed partner from Abu Dhabi.

In June, Lambda Development discussed the plans for the complex at a shareholders meeting in Athens. Then, they confirmed that construction could start at the beginning of next year, according to the Greek business publication Naftemporiki. However, the start date may be pushed back once again and it is believed that the operator will be announced by 2019. Still, the developers from Lambda have already presented their vision for the integrated resort, revealing a larger and much more ambitious plan than previously expected.

What Will the Elliniko Casino Resort Look Like?

In June 2016, Lambda Development and the Greek Government signed a €1 billion agreement for the transfer of the property of the old Hellenikon International Airport.

Negotiations have started back in 2010 but due to political, technical and environmental issues, the privatization process was delayed multiple times. The inking of the deal allowed the government to continue with preparations for the bidding process and with the implementation of a massive investment of approximately €8 billion.

According to the plans, 1500-acre seafront land where the former airport was located would be transformed into a large seaside complex with hotels and other residential facilities, parks and cultural sites, stores, convention, and retail spaces. Of course, there would be a huge casino facility that would cover 15,000 square meters.

Along with the 10,000 construction jobs created by the project, another 70,000 to 75,000 permanent jobs are expected once the complex is fully operational. However, it will be built in several stages and over a period of 10 to 12 years, according to the developer.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Casino – CalvinAyre.com
Philippine regulator complies with ‘no casinos on Boracay’ order

pagcor-boracay-casino-licenses-cancelledThe Philippine gambling regulator says it will comply with a task force request to cancel all casino licenses on the island of Boracay.

On Monday, local media reported that the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) had sent a letter to Andrea Domingo, chair of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR), requesting that “any and all gaming franchise(s) and/or provisional license(s) in Boracay Island be cancelled by your good office.”

On Tuesday, the Philippine Star quoted Domingo’s special assistant Jose Tria Jr. saying that PAGCOR had responded to the BIATF letter by immediately ordering the permanent closure of all casinos in Boracay. The casinos were supposed to have closed six months ago when Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte — who appointed the BIATF members — ordered the island off-limits to tourists in order to facilitate an environmental clean-up.

PAGCOR further clarified that it had only issued two casino licenses on Boracay, including the unbuilt project proposed by Macau casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group. Business Mirror had reported that the other casino, an operation run by Alpha Allied Holdings Ltd inside the Movenpick Resort & Spa, had continued operations despite the six-month shutdown order.

Tuesday’s report failed to mention Boracay’s other casino operations in the Crown Regency Resorts and Paradise Garden Resort, which had reportedly complied with the original shutdown order, but this compliance doesn’t appear to have earned them any brownie points. Local television quoted Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat saying that casinos “cannot operate even if you are compliant” with BIATF requirements.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources Undersecretary Benny Antiporda echoed this warning, saying it was Duterte’s order that Boracay “is not a gambling area, it is a tourist area.” Anyone wishing to gamble in the Philippines “should just gamble in Manila” where casinos are abundant.

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World Casino News
Instant Win Gaming Limited partnering for further lottery success

Online instant-win games supplier, Instant Win Gaming Limited (IWG), has announced that it is partnering with fellow British firm, Inspired Entertainment Incorporated, in order to offer American lotteries a range of new virtual sports-themed titles. Kicking off with gridiron game: According to an official Monday press release published by European Gaming Media and Events, the collaboration will see […]
Tropicana Sportsbook The Latest Innovation In Casino’s 37-Year History

As sports betting in New Jersey continues to reach new heights, one longstanding property has yet to enjoy the rewards. Emphasize “yet.” The NJ sports betting industry, thanks in large part to football season, has blossomed. Atlantic City casinos old and new have tapped into the market for additional revenue streams while using it as the foundation for … Continue reading "Tropicana Sportsbook The Latest Innovation In Casino’s 37-Year History"

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