Keith Urban appeared at the Academy of Country Music Awards (ACMs) in Las Vegas, Nevada last weekend with her wife and the Nicole Kidman gambling secret was revealed.
Kidman might have joined her husband, New Zealand-born country musician Keith Urban in Las Vegas for an award ceremony only, but he eventually gave a considerable boost to the image of gambling. The 48-year-old Australian actress and her husband made a confession their regular visits to Las Vegas and their wagering habits, latest gambling news report. So, you can say to yourself: “Nicole Kidman gambling? Well, I would just do the same.”
But the point is that she made a few cabbages throughout her career that also brought her an Academy Award for impersonating Virginia Woolf in the 2002 drama, The Hours. So, she has some coins to gamble away, but she is still very controlled when it comes to wagering. Actually the Nicole Kidman gambling habits could be a good pattern for anyone, who places a wager.
“She’s very good,” Urban commented the Nicole Kidman gambling news. “She’s disciplined.”
— Music-News.com (@MusicNewsWeb) April 4, 2016
Kidman herself admitted that she is far from being a pro, but it is obvious that she is not an addict either. She said, “Well, I’m not very good. I have a little amount of money, I go and bet that and then I’m done. I’m that kind of gambler, I’m not going to bet the house.”
Okay, if you are en expert of gambling facts you are obviously encouraged to play with higher wagers, but pay attention to what she said and listen to the advice: Never bet the house!
In online gambling news, the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma has been granted permission to launch and operate an online gambling site. Their online casino—which they’ve dubbed Pokertribe—will be the state’s first tribe-operated online casino. They hope to receive the final permissions soon so that they can launch the site in early 2016.
The site will be available to players in US states where online gambling is legal, as well as eligible countries around the world. Pokertribe will begin by offering different kinds of poker, and then will begin gradually adding other popular casino games like slots, baccarat, blackjack, and more.
Former Judge Charles Chapel—who was appointed as the arbitrator of the endeavor—ruled that “using technology to play covered games as a way to increase tribal revenues” fitted into the tribe’s compact with the state. The tribe had Chapel’s decision certified by a US District Court Judge, who confirmed that the Oklahoma tribe online casino did not violate gambling laws.
Throughout the process, the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma had had the support of Oklahoma governor Mary Falling. Following news of the announcement, a spokesperson for the governor said that the ruling opened the doors for other tribes across Oklahoma to launch similar online operations.
A 26-year-old soldier from Cheshire took home the biggest online slot jackpot win ever. He won the GBP 13.2M progressive jackpot on Mega Moolah at Betway Casino.
Microgaming announced that the huge progressive jackpot of Mega Moolah Slot was finally won. Microgaming’s famous title produced a list of big slot jackpot winners and online casino millionaires already, but nobody every took home this amount of money after winning an online slot jackpot.
One of the luckiest ever online casino winners is Jonathon Heywood, a 26-year-old soldier from Cheshire, England. He hit the biggest online jackpot win on the 7th of October, just after midnight, playing with a 25 pence stake. He saw an unbelievable amount on his screen: GBP 13,213,838.68. That is equal to EUR 17.8 million and USD 20.2 million.
Heywood expressed that he just couldn’t believe his eyes after the luckiest moment in his life. He said, “It’s all so surreal, and I can’t come to terms with it just yet, I just kept staring at my screen and seeing this huge number in my Betway account. I couldn’t believe that I’d won all this money at the time – and it still hasn’t sunk in.”
He went on, “It’s amazing. The first thing I will spend it on is the best possible medical treatment for my dad. That’s more important than anything. Family comes first and I’d give all this money back for him to be healthy again.”
But he also revealed that he will switch from Fiat Punto to a Bentley. He said, “I’m trying not to get carried away and I really don’t know what else I’m going to buy with the money, apart from a yellow Bentley Continental GT. I never even dreamed of driving a Bentley, let alone owning one. I’ve got a Fiat Punto at the moment.”
Online gambling news recently reported that the progressive slot jackpot of Microgaming’s title is getting bigger than ever, and the time will come soon, when it will change the life of a fortunate online casino player. It was Heywood, who started a different life after started his crucial spin at Betway Casino.
Alright, he didn’t start it right after, since he went to work before cashing out the biggest online slot jackpot win. But he met the representatives of Betway that day, who were impressed by the young man. Alan Alger, spokesman at the online gambling operator said, “We are delighted for Jonathon and having met him the day after his win we can honestly say that it couldn’t happen to a nicer young man. We hope he really enjoys the World Record win.”
Microgaming Chief Executive Officer, Roger Raatgever was also happy for the guy who collected the biggest online jackpot win. He said, “Our progressive jackpot network has set many records since its inception, but I’m absolutely overjoyed to say that our software has generated the world’s largest ever online jackpot win. Many congratulations to Jonathon on this life-changing and historic win!”
Microgaming operates the longest-running internet progressive jackpot network. The company’s first online progressive jackpot was launched in 1998 and they have paid out more than EUR 500 million to date.
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New Jersey lawmakers are in a hurry to add a referendum to the November ballot that would permit operating more casinos in the state outside Atlantic City. On paper they have time until August 3, however, as a summer holiday is coming in legislation and the process is problematic, they have to achieve that in the following days. In the meantime the state Assembly approved a package of bills to help the declining Atlantic City and its casinos, while billionaire Carl Icahn was permitted to acquire Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort. However he might shut down the facility eventually if he loses his battle against the casino workers’ union.
In order to include it to the November ballot, New Jersey politicians have to push the bill that would legalize casinos in the state outside Atlantic City in the following days. According to blackjack news, the administration has time until August 3 to bring the topic in, however their time is cut short by the summer break and the process won’t be an easy one either.
There is an ongoing debate about how many casinos should be approved to operate by the gambling laws and where to put them in New Jersey. Assembly Speaker Vincent Pireto revealed he supports enabling up to three casinos, which doesn’t mean that all three will be built.
Mayor Ras Baraka and fellow local politicians want one in Newark. Baraka said, Casinos are coming to North Jersey and if Newark doesn’t get it, another city will and they will net the benefits.” Meadowlands and Jersey City reportedly might be other locations for possible gaming facilities.
The New Jersey state Assembly approved five laws to help the declining Atlantic City. Their eight casinos now can make payments instead of taxes for 15 years in order to let them know how much they owe precisely. An education aid had been also granted for the city, as well as improved insurance and retirement benefits for casino workers.
A couple of other bills will help Atlantic City to pay its debt and to develop further, gambling law news reported. “This bill and the entire package was introduced to stop the immediate bleeding in Atlantic City and the surrounding region,” explained Atlantic County Democrat member of the Assembly, Vincent Mazzeo.
He added, “Casino closings coupled with large refunds due to casinos by the city have created dire challenges for the city.” Four casinos in Atlantic City were closed last year and New Jersey locals might vote in November about approving casinos to be built outside America’s Favorite Playground.
While lawmakers are working on how to save New Jersey’s gaming industry, billionaire businessman Carl Icahn was granted to purchase the Atlantic City Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort from bankruptcy court by the Casino Control Commission. Icahn also holds another gaming facility in the city already, the Tropicana Casino and Resort.
Taj Mahal’s debts toward him are exceeding USD 290 million and he only has to trade that in exchange for getting control of the company. He also plans to invest USD 100 million according to online mobile news, though he might decide to close the casino down if he loses the battle against the number one casino workers’ union in Atlantic City.
Icahn clashed with the union after he abolished health insurance and pension plans made in last October by the casino’s parent company with the permission of a bankruptcy judge. However if the final decision goes against him, forcing him to restore the benefits, he might just shut Taj Mahal down for good.
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A group of New Jersey lawmakers are backing a bill that would enable to operate up to three new casinos in the state. The regions where to put these gaming destinations would be regulated in a way to avoid competition between the casinos and also to protect Atlantic City from new challenge within the state. The politicians who introduced the bill claim that this is a way to boost the gambling industry in the Garden State. However those who object the plan argue that the only thing that would help the declining Atlantic City is a revised plan for the business and new competition for America’s Favorite Playground.
A group of New Jersey politicians introduced a bill about asking the voters whether they would agree if the state added more casinos outside Atlantic City. Democratic state Sens. Bob Smith and Linda Greenstein, and Republican Sen. Kip Bateman, all representing central NJ, are backing a plan to add one casino in northern and one in central New Jersey.
New Jersey gambling laws only approve casinos to operate in Atlantic City. However the bill introduced on Monday would permit another one to function in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, or Union counties with the other one to establish in Hudson, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Somerset, or Warren counties.
A recent plan wanted to approve up to three more casinos outside Atlantic City, but the voters have to enable the possibility to operate such businesses outside America’s Favorite Playground. Hard Rock and the Meadowlands Racetrack sure want to create one gaming destination in East Rutherford, next to the Stadium of New York’s two NFL franchises.
Before a Chukchansi reopening date in 2015 would be announced, on the other side of the continent New Jersey might have additional casinos outside Atlantic City, gambling news report. To achieve that, New Jersey residents only have to back the bill introduced on Monday by three local lawmakers.
Democratic state senator Bob Smith said, “Our part of New Jersey is one of the richest areas in America,“ backing the bill that would enable two more casinos to operate. Smith also said that the new facilities should be spread across the state, to avoid unhealthy competition, thus one should put in the central and one in the northern region of the state.
The possibilities of Meadowlands and Jersey City casinos are already considered. As the bill doesn’t set exact locations for the new gaming destinations, with Monmoth County in the list, a Monmouth Park Racetrack casino in Oceanport might be also a possibility, according to gambling news.
As Atlantic City is in decline, the state of New Jersey would need a revised plan for the casino industry. A few politicians try to push to ease the restrictions that limit casino gambling to America’s Favorite Playground within the state, however to revitalize the business, New Jersey should plan for the long instead of open a couple of new gaming facilities right now.
Atlantic City was the only place with legal gambling in the Eastern half of the United States once, however as the industry developed, AC failed to keep up with the evolution of the business. As gambling revenues have been dropping since years, a group of politicians came up with the idea of opening new casinos, gambling law news report.
The bill recently introduced would limit the new gambling sites to regions far from Atlantic City to protect its casinos from competition, but a solution like that is hopeless, as competition is Atlantic City’s only way to survive.
In 2014, Macanese gaming revenue decreased 2.6% to $54.4 billion. This is the first nose-dive of profits ever to be recorded, in 11 years, since 2002, when gambling laws liberated the casino market to competition. Revenues plunged 30.4% cent to $9 billion in the last month of 2014, making it the seventh straight month that profits have been waning.Macau, the largest gambling hub in the world, has seen its revenues steadily decline at an alarming rate last year. Analysts and gambling operators alike are speculating if the global recession is the main cause or is Jingping’s clampdown on illegal money laundering the main cause for concern.The Sidney Morning Herald: James Packer among billionaires hit by $100 billion Macau casino losses
The Chinese government crackdown on corruption in the gambling stronghold of Macau has left a whopping $100 billion hole in the market value of the six Macau casino stocks in 2014. The campaign, including the fight against debit card scams, impacted negatively on gambling activities. This has caused the gambling hub to experience its very first slump in gambling returns since 2002.
Australian billionaire James Packer, and other gambling operators, such as his joint venture partner’s father Stanley, or yet still anti-online gambling campaigner Sheldon Adelson, have all their casinos in a rut. Meanwhile analysts converge and discuss what all this could mean for the world’s largest gambling resort and its fortunes.
The Hong Kong exchange recently revealed in online mobile news, that all six Macau casino stocks listed a combined loss in market value amounting to $92 billion, in the 12 months up to December 31. The parent company Crown Resorts has 33.6 per cent of the joint venture and Ho another 33.6%.
Melco Crown alone lost a whopping $8 billion in market capitalization during last year. The fall represents a 35% decline in stock value just a year after the company’s value doubled, when gambling revenue increased 19% per cent.
However, the current decline in market capitalization has left the company opting to withdraw from the Hong Kong exchange, citing difficulties in raising funds and the need to limit share trades. Crown Resorts, said it was determined though to stick it out in the NASDAQ listings.
Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands’ subsidiary, Sands China, fared even worse. It hit a record low market capitalization of all the six stocks, with a mere $26 billion in profits. 40% loss in stock value was reported in 2014. Stanley Ho’s SJM Holdings, came out a little less scathed, with a 52 % loss in value, representing a market capitalization decline of $7 billion.
Channel News Asia: Melco Crown to delist in HK after Macau revenue slump
Hong Kong businessman Lawrence Ho and, James Packer, son of the defunct Australian media and gambling magnate, Kerry Packer, have communicated, in the latest gambling news that Melco Crown Entertainment has had its first plunge in profits ever, in Macau.
Melco Crown’s City of Dreams resort complex stock would be removed from the Hong Kong stock exchange in order to save costs and for practical reasons. For, to carry the listing would demand ‘additional ongoing regulatory compliance obligations and such requirements involve significant additional costs’.
The company went on to say that for now a solution hasn’t been found to increase profits even with a market capitalization of close to US$14 billion. However it also stated that it would keep its security on the official register of the NASDAQ in the US. Friday, 2 January, 2015 shares closed at a low 4.88% at US$24.16.
The ex-Portuguese colony reported on January 2 that gambling yields went down 2.6% year-on-year to US$44 billion last year. This has been the only decline since yearly numbers were made available to the public as of 2002.
Macau, China’s only legal casino gambling hub, relies heavily on high rollers from mainland China. However, big spenders are being scared off by the anti-corruption campaign launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping and his government to clamp down on Chinese officials accepting bribes. This has resulted in a slowdown in the mainland economy which directly affects casino earnings.
The Sidney Morning Herald: Packer’s Melco Crown set to quit Hong Kong Stock Exchange
Melco Crown Entertainment whose Macau casino is jointly owned by James Packer’s Crown Resorts and Macau gaming mogul Lawrence Ho has revealed that it will pull out of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange because of the immense pressure to raise money and limit share trades. However, it will remain on the NASDAQ, where its ‘shareholders are far more active’.
The company says it hopes that this move will not adversely affect the asset value or earnings for each share. It explains its actions by citing that “Appropriate opportunities to raise additional equity in Hong Kong have not arisen and maintaining the listing requires additional ongoing regulatory compliance obligations and such requirements involve significant additional costs and administrative burden”.
Crown Resorts who owns 33.6 % of the company and Ho, the same, now have to contend with decreased numbers of gamers from the mainland. Macau, which was once swarmed with eager punters who had just a little more than the China welfare lottery from mainland China, have had better days since public records started to reveal gambling revenues in 2002.
Chinese government’s campaign against illegal cash flow between the gaming hub and its officialdom has been blamed for the crisis at hand. Just last year October Crown Resorts hoped for a turnaround but come year end the chief executive, Rowen Craigie, admitted that “market conditions in Macau did weaken during the fourth quarter of financial year 2014”.
Some analysts speculate that gambling revenues may pick up by 10% in 2015, others think a decline of 9% is more likely to happen. Given the current worldwide financial crisis, the actual outcome will be like that of the toss of a coin – no one really knows.
The Pala Band of Mission Indians have become the first tribe to offer internet gambling services in New Jersey, one of the three US states where gambling laws allow players to access online casino games.
The website went live in mid-November, but procedure requires gambling sites to go through a testing phase before becoming fully available. During this period, the service was only open to a limited number of players, for a limited number of hours per day.
Pala Interactive chief marketing officer Jeremy Clemons explained: “Our launch in New Jersey is a huge step for the company, and we want to make sure we’re rolling out one of the best, most user-friendly casino experience on the market.”
The restrictions were gradually lifted over the course of a week and now the new Pala Casino website is in full swing, after having obtained the New Jersey gambling regulator’s permission. For this project, the Pala Band of Mission Indians partnered up with Atlantic City’s Borgata Casino, a company that already holds a license to run such operations in the state.
Jim Ryan, chief executive officer of Pala Interactive, told reporters: “We had a solid weekend and we have yet to start marketing. We believe we are breaking into the New Jersey market at the perfect time.”
Star Tribune: California-based Pala tribe becomes first to launch Internet gambling site in New Jersey
The tribe has entered the New Jersey online gambling market around the same time when the state marked its one year anniversary since its first internet casino went live. There isn’t much to celebrate, however, as New Jersey’s online gambling industry hasn’t produced nearly as much as officials had predicted a year ago.
On November 25, 2013, local authorities announced optimistic projections of $1 billion in the first year alone. Unfortunately, New Jersey’s online casinos have only managed to produce about a tenth of that – $111 million to be more precise,
The tribe operates the Pala Casino and Spa in San Diego County, California, and it created a new branch – Pala Interactive – to expand its services in the virtual realm. Since it doesn’t hold a license to operate casinos in New Jersey, the organization paired up with the Atlantic City-based Borgata Casino, to use its license to operate internet gambling sites in the state.
Furthermore, the tribe has already announced it was planning to launch an online poker site in New Jersey, in the first quarter of 2015.
PokerFuse: Phil Ivey Endorses New Jersey’s Latest Online Casino
In July 2013, Pokerfuse exclusively reported that professional poker player Phil Ivey had signed an agreement to become the brand ambassador for Pala Interactive. The tribe hasn’t had much success in launching a product in California, as the state hasn’t legalized online poker sites yet.
However, since Pala Casino went live in New Jersey, Ivey came out publicly to congratulate welcome the tribe to the state. According to the latest gambling news, the poker player used his Twitter account to encourage followers to “check out” the online casino’s gaming offer.
Owned by the Pala Band of Mission Indians and operated under Borgata’s license, this is the first regulated tribe-run online casino in the US. An internet poker site will follow sometime next year.
Earlier this month, the media speculated that the Pala tribe and Phil Ivey had gone their separate ways because of a disagreement between the poker pro and Borgata. The casino accused him of cheating and even sued him for $9.6 million, claiming that he and his accomplice exploited a flaw on the back of the cards to gain an unfair advantage over the casino, when playing baccarat.
Ivey was involved in a similar scandal with the Crockfords Club Casino in England. This time, it was the poker player who sued the gambling venue, because the company had refused to pay out his $7.7 million winnings. The Crockfords Club argued the same thing – that Ivey had deceived the dealer and won through a technique called “edge sorting”. The court ruled against the poker player.
U-T San Diego: Ringo sets Pala show for 2015
One of the two surviving members of the legendary Beatles, Ringo Starr, has announced a show at the Events Center at Pala Casino, Spa & Resort. The event will take place on March 14, 2015. The star will be celebrating his 75th birthday next year.
This will be the final stop on a 30-day tour where fans can see Starr and his All Starr Band. The event will take them through five Southern states, Puerto Rico, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and California.
Tickets for the show at the Pala Casino are priced at $125, $100 and $95. In addition to this event, the band will have concerts on March 12 in Santa Ynez and on March 13 in San Francisco.
Everyone was wondering why Chris Morris would buy a dying casino, but the businessman has big plans for the Jupiters in Townsville.
Founder of Computershare, Morris told reporters his dream was to create an exciting new package for all tourists to enjoy, and Jupiters will play an important role in his plan.
According to the latest gambling news
, he is looking to get more international tourists to come to the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree and the outback, by building a small resort complete with a gambling venue.
“Having the casino allows you the cash flow to do other things,” he explained.
Australian gambling companies have been targeting mostly Asian high-rollers and Echo Entertainment and Crown Resorts have even fought over a casino spot in Brisbane and a proposed $8 billion casino project in Cairns.
But Chris Morris is planning on focusing his attention and investing all his efforts in Townsville to draw more locals, not just foreign visitors. There are several direct flights to the regional centre and the businessman plans to take advantage of this.
Business Review Weekly: Why Rich Lister Chris Morris bought ‘worst-performing casino in Australia’
The Business Review Weekly has estimated Morris’ fortune at $700 million. The businessman built a reputation by working in the tech industry. He co-founded ASX-listed share registry business Computershare, but nowadays he’s focusing mostly on tourism.
His tourism and entertainment company, Colonial Leisure Group, owns 15 businesses, including a pubs, a brewery on Margaret River and the Daintree Eco Lodge located in north Queensland. With the Jupiters deal sealed, the total amount invested in Queensland over the past three years reaches $100 million.
In addition to these businesses and properties, Chris Morris recently bought an outback cattle station, Mount Mulligan, and owns Orpheus Island Resort plus a Queensland helicopter charter company.
While he opposes the idea of installing pokies in pubs, Morris says offering these gambling machines in casinos is okay, arguing that “people make a conscious decision to go to casinos.”
The Australian businessman doesn’t have much experience in the gambling industry, but he believes the Jupiters casino has “huge potential”, which is why he brought Brad Morgan on board, who recently ran SkyCity Entertainment’s Darwin casino.
The Australian: CLG pays $70m to snap up Jupiters
The private company owned by Chris Morris, the founder of Computershare, has offered $70 million to buy Echo Entertainment’s Jupiters Townsville casino. The deal was struck through ANZ Corporate Advisory.
The price of the casino equates to 10 times its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization for the previous financial year. The new buyer is looking to invest money in redeveloping the casino, to make it part of a large-scale integrated resort.
John Redmond, managing director at Echo, said: “Recent performance of Jupiters Townsville has been positive. However, given the scale of operations and the size of the local market, we saw more limited expansion opportunities, and therefore strategic fit, with the group’s other assets.”
The company would make an $8 million pre-tax profit on the $70 million sale.
A statement by Colonial Leisure Group added: “We are excited about the opportunities and synergies this acquisition represents. Combining our extensive expertise in hospitality management and ability to further invest, we will develop Jupiters Townsville Hotel and Casino into a leading regional resort, improving the operational and financial performance of the property.”
MyWealth News: International high rollers drive Echo’s earnings higher
According to a financial report released at the end of October, Echo Entertainment said it expects its normalized earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) to reach between $245 million and $260 million in the first half of the 2015 financial year. The figure reflects a 31% increase from the previous year.
The current financial year has already brought the company a revenue of $216 million, a 78% rise compared to the previous year within its international VIP rebate business, which was “breaking previous records” according to chief executive Matt Bekier. Between 2010 and 2013, Echo’s VIP business has expanded by 224%.
“The positive trading momentum generated in 2H FY14 continues to prevail. We are experiencing good demand in all properties, especially in domestic electronic gaming,” he said.
But Echo has bigger plans in Australia. Taking advantage of the country’s favorable gambling laws, the company recently submitted a proposal to develop a multi-billion dollar resort at Queen’s Wharf Brisbane. Echo was shortlisted for the location along with rival casino developer Crown Resorts.
“In terms of the Brisbane bid, we can’t yet disclose the details of what we are proposing to build, or the scale of the tourism, economic or job-creation benefits to Queensland,” Bekier said. “But let me assure you that we have put forward a responsible offer that delivers a truly iconic precinct.”
First, it was Macau that reported decreased gambling revenues due to a shrinking pool of big spenders, and now Singapore is dealing with the same problems.
As Chinese authorities started a campaign to crack down on corruption earlier this year, high-rollers are staying away from casinos. There are two glitzy casino resorts in the country and they both used to have special VIP tables reserved for their most loyal – and most generous – customers. Now they’re both struggling without them and things are beginning to get ugly between the two competitors.
The resorts are run by American casino operator Las Vegas Sands and Malaysia’s Genting Resorts. The former reported a 34% drop in VIP volume at its Marina Bay Sands resort, while the latter is expected to post a similarly painful slide in its third quarter financial report.
When combined, casino profits in Singapore reach $6 billion per year, and big spenders account for about half of this revenue. As gambling laws don’t allow casinos in China, players usually flee to destinations like Macau or Singapore. But in the first half of 2014, the number of Chinese visitors was down 30% to 871,000, and profits followed the same downward trend.
Business Insider: The Battle For Singapore’s Shrinking Pool Of High-Rolling Gamblers Is Getting Ugly
Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, chief executive of Las Vegas Sands, has accused its rival of offering overly generous incentives and credit to draw high-rollers to its Resorts World Sentosa.
During a company earnings call last month, Adelson said: “Maybe one day, they will get used to competing on the basis of a quality product, if they ever build one, and they won’t have to buy the business.”
Tan Hee Teck, president of Genting Resorts, admitted that the company’s casinos in Singapore will be facing some financial difficulties during the next few months or possibly even longer.
“I suppose some operators may not want to admit it, but at least from our side, we believe that the situation will continue to be quite challenging at least for the next 6 to 12 months,” he said.
Ever since they opened in 2010, these two casinos have been reporting billion-dollar revenues, mostly based on business brought in by Chinese high-rollers, a category of players which came to be vital to the success of these gambling venues.
In a note published on October 31, Fitch Ratings wrote: “Growth in Singapore gaming revenue has stalled, and is likely to contract slightly in 2014 with macroeconomic and political factors in China being the principal cause.”
TheStar: S’pore casinos brace for battle as VIP volumes fall
The two gambling venues in Singapore have been trying to rely less on casino revenue and push to earn more from entertainment, conference facilities, hotels and shopping. But even so, gambling brings in 80% of total profits for both Las Vegas Sands and Genting Resorts. They both boast profit margins of about 50%, the highest in the casino industry.
One way to lure more foreign high-rollers to a casino is to offer credit. With Singaporean players, this strategy doesn’t work because the state has set stricter rules for locals. Sometimes casinos also use commission, a small rebate on the amount of money they’ve spent.
Terence Tay, a former general counsel for Genting Singapore who now runs a consultancy explained: “Credit checks can be very fast for some gamblers – in 15 minutes or so you can probably get approval for US$1mil, and with US$1mil you can still roll up to US$8 or US$9mil.”
This plan sometimes backfires, as credit collection can turn out to be tricky. Singaporean casinos are already waiting on hundreds of millions of dollars to be repaid by gamblers who lost huge amounts of money. And the majority of these players are based overseas, so recovering the cash is even more difficult.
For Genting, “trade and other receivables” – which represents the money owed by customers – has seen a 61% rise since June 2012. In the quarter ending July 2014, player debt stood at S$1.2 billion. Total revenue has increased 7% in the same period.
Vicky Melbourne, head of industrials for South-East Asia and Australasia ratings at Fitch said: “What’s going to be the greater challenge to the Singapore operators, and certainly more longer-term, is that across the region, there’s a lot more political momentum to legalize casinos.”
The Straits Times: Luck running out for Singapore’s two casinos?
Earlier this year, UOB Kay Hian analysts have pointed out that Singapore’s casino market reached saturation in 2012. A year before that, total gaming revenue had reached a record amount of $7.92 billion; after that, it started to decline and went down 8.3% to $7.26 billion in 2012. It wasn’t until last year that casinos have started to recover, but the rebound was modest – just 3%.
Core earnings are also stagnating, with Marina Bay Sands earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) coming in at US$1.5 billion in 2013, compared to US$1.4 billion the year before. Net profit was higher during its second quarter, but VIP and mass-market business was declining.
For Genting Singapore, EBITDA dropped from $1.35 billion in 2012 to $1.15 billion in 2013. Analysts concluded the resort has reached its full growth potential. According to online gambling news, this was partially because of the local Government’s heavy regulation of the casino industry, which imposes a $100 entry fee for Singaporean players and punishes companies for marketing their services to locals.
Voters in Massachusetts rejected a question repealing a 2011 law that will bring three regional resort casinos and a slots parlor to the state.
Over the past few months, all eyes were on Massachusetts as local voters prepared for a referendum to repeal local gambling laws, which brought casino games and slot parlors to the state back in 2011. Newspapers said the vote would be “historic”, as it could have opened the door for a series of similar reactions, in other states with legal gambling.
Opponents argued that three casinos and a slots parlor would create thousands of jobs, boost the local economy and increase tax revenue. On the other hand, supporters of the repeal doubted that gambling companies would deliver their promises, but were convinced that allowing casinos would lead to more crime, addiction and other social ills.
Now that the referendum is over, casino developers got the green light to continue their projects. A slots parlor is already being built in Plainville, while MGM Resorts has planned a casino in Springfield and Wynn Resorts will build one in Everett.
Reuters: Law clearing way for Massachusetts casinos survives repeal vote
In a referendum held this Tuesday, Massachusetts voters upheld the 2011 law which allowed legal casino gambling in the state by voting down a referendum which aimed to repeal those regulations.
The battle was fought between anti-gambling activists, who argued that casinos would cause harm by increasing the number of problem gamblers. Crimes rates would also go up, they added, and the bad would outweigh the benefits of having new job openings.
On the other hand, pro-casino activists pointed out that neighboring Connecticut was already home to several large casinos, where Massachusetts gamblers play. Seeing how they spend their money there anyway, opening casinos in the state would mean all profits stay in Massachusetts, where they eventually return to the local community.
The state’s gaming commission has already handed out two of the three available casino licenses. One went to MGM Resorts International for a gambling venue in Springfield, and the other one was won by Wynn Resorts for a casino just outside Boston. The regulating body will soon rule on a third license, giving permission for a casino in the Cape Cod beach resort area.
Penn National Gaming hold the fourth license, but this one is for a slot machines-only facility on the Rhode Island border.
Boston.com: Mass. Voters Reject Casino Repeal; Expanded Gambling Will Stand
Casinos should still be allowed in Massachusetts, voters decided this week. The result was called by The Associated Press shortly before 10:20 p.m., when the counted ballots showed a 59.5% to 40.5% lead in favor of gambling in the state.
MGM’s Springfield proposal and Wynn Resort’s Everett plans were approved earlier this year. The gambling commission held off on the third license due to the referendum. The two casino developers will now have to pay an $85 million licensing fee, officially receive their licenses, and start building the venues.
Penn National Gaming had already received its license for the slot parlor, and then began construction without even slowing down when news got out that the law could be repealed. The venue is scheduled to open in mid-2015.
Once the venues open, state authorities get 49% of gambling revenues from the slots parlor and 25% of whatever profits casinos make. The third license has been delayed until next summer, but with the ballot issue now settled, the state regulator will probably pick off where it left and award it sooner.
The repeal was surrounded by controversy over the past few months, with anti-casino campaigners claiming the other side was trying to manipulate voters. But recent polls consistently showed locals did not plan to repeal the law.
Mass Live: Wording of ballot question repealing Massachusetts casino law could prove confusing in November
On the referendum held in Massachusetts in November, “no” means “yes” and “yes means “no”. Some fear the ballot question could confuse voters and cause them to approve the exact opposite of what they really want.
After Secretary of State William Galvin’s office released the official wording of the question regarding casino gambling in Massachusetts, campaigners noticed that a “no” vote would actually approve of the law which will bring three resort-style casinos to the state.
According to online gambling news, anti-casino activists first voiced their complaints in 2011, shortly after Gov. Deval Patrick signed the new gambling bill into law. But it wasn’t until 2013 that they managed to collect enough signatures to support their efforts with a ballot proposal.
Now the referendum is over and casino developers received the green light to start building their projects.
Reports say the incident was at the center of a power struggle between factions of a Native American tribe.
Prosecutors have filed charges against 15 people involved in the armed takeover and one of the defendants was arrested by Madera County authorities. Eric Domingo Flores Suniga, 30, was charged with five counts of assault with a stun gun. The other defendants were accused of kidnapping, false imprisonment and assault with a firearm.
According to online gambling news, it all started from a dispute between two rival tribe factions. They fought over who gets control over the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino, located northeast of Fresno.
After one tribal group attempted a takeover last month, authorities decided to close the gambling venue. Madera County District Attorney Michael Keitz gave the suspects two options, to either surrender or be arrested, but lawyer David Leibowitz said his clients did nothing illegal and did not endanger the lives of any casino customers.
Associated Press: 15 Charged in Armed Takeover that Closed Casino
Prosecutors have charged 15 people in an armed dispute between two rival factions of the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians, who fought to get control over the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino.
More than a dozen people stormed the venue last month, in an armed takeover that sent hundreds of gamblers running for their lives, while their chips were still on the table. Luckily, no one was hurt.
After another suspect was arrested last week, the group’s leader, 64-year-old Tex McDonald, surrendered to the Madera County Sheriff’s Office on Monday. The court set his bail at $1 million.
According to Sheriff John Anderson, three other suspects did the same, but deputies are still looking for the other 10 people charged with kidnapping, assault with a firearm and false imprisonment.
Following a federal court order and the approval of the National Indian Gaming Commission, the casino was shut down and will remain closed until the dispute is settled. The gambling business was an important source of revenue for members of the tribe. It also employed around 1,100 workers.
Fresno Bee: 15 charged with felonies in Chukchansi Gold casino armed confrontation
Madera County District Attorney Michael Keitz announced that 15 people involved in the armed confrontation at the Chukchansi Casino on October 9 have been charged with multiple felonies. Led by Tex McDonald, a faction of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians used firearms to take over the gambling venue from a rival faction overseen by Reggie Lewis and Nancy Ayala.
McDonald, his fellow tribal council member Vernon King and his tribal police chief John Olivera were among those charged with felonies including kidnapping, assault with a firearm, false imprisonment, assault with a deadly weapon, battery inflicting serious injury and assault with a stun gun.
Bail for the group leader was set at $1 million, 13 will have to come up with $800,000 apiece if they want to make bail, and Eric Domingo Flores Suniga was charged with assault with a stun gun, so his was set at just $25,000. In 1992 and 1995, McDonald was taken in for assault with a deadly weapon and making criminal threats.
The two tribal groups have been fighting over the casino for a while now. For most of 2014, the venue was controlled by McDonald and his men, but on August 24 the Lewis group entered the hotel and set up offices on the 10th and 11th floors. Their rivals forced an armed takeover on October 9.
During a hearing in U.S. District Court in Fresno on Wednesday, Judge Lawrence O’Neill referred to a declaration filed by the state Attorney General indicating that at least one member of the Lewis-Ayala security forces was armed with a gun. Other guns were found on the casino grounds, too, in the possession of the Lewis-Ayala faction’s security forces, the declaration said.
According to Madera County district attorney Michael Keitz, if convicted of all charges, the accused could face a “significant amount” of time in prison.
David Leibowitz, a spokesman for the McDonald faction, said: “We fully intend to work cooperatively with the District Attorney’s Office to bring this matter to a quick conclusion and to clear these trained professionals’ and leaders’ names, just as we will continue to pursue justice for the Chukchansi people in the eyes of the law.”
AllGov: Armed Tribal Factions Square off Inside Their Casino
The Chukchansi Gold Resort Casino in Coarsegold was shut down by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill, following an armed dispute between rival factions of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians.
The judge issued an emergency order temporarily closing the place and said that the tribe may have violated its agreement with the state by endangering the health and safety of customers at the casino. He wanted to stop both factions from using force “to change the circumstances currently in effect with respect to the operation of or control over the casino.”
Tribal police and other security personnel have to stay at least 1,000 feet from the gambling venue.
Ever since the casino opened in 2003, tribe members have been arguing and battling. The tribe shrunk from 1,800 to 900 as hundreds have been stripped of their tribal affiliation. Along with their share of casino profits, disenrolled members lose education privileges, as well as health and tax benefits.
Two sides were formed and they both have their own council. After appealing to the US Bureau of Indian Affairs for recognition and being told to work it out themselves, they started to attack each other.
The temporary order issued by Judge O’Neill will be reviewed soon.
Scientists have come up with a new theory on what causes gamblers to get addicted to casino games.
Whether we’re talking about alcoholism, drug abuse or gambling, all forms of addiction are linked to biological alterations in the brain. For many years, scientists have studied these issues, coming up with several theories explaining the various chemical reactions that cause people to lose control of their habits and fall prey to addiction.
According to online gambling news, a recent study suggests that the brain’s opioid systems may respond differently in pathological gamblers, influencing their control, motivation, emotional behavior, as well as the way they respond to pain or stress.
The study was presented this weekend, at the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology Congress in Berlin.
MedicalDaily: Gambling Addicts’ Brains Don’t Have The Same Opioid Systems As Others
The study was conducted on 14 pathological gamblers and 15 healthy volunteers, whose opioid receptor levels were measures by researchers with positron emission tomography scans.
At first, the scans showed no difference between the two groups, but when the subjects were given an amphetamine tablet and researchers scanned their brains again, the pill caused a high known as an endorphin rush, revealing that gamblers weren’t able to release as many endorphins as healthy subjects. Participants then answered a questionnaire which revealed that gamblers experienced a lower feeling of euphoria.
Lead researcher Dr. Inge Mick explained: “From our work, we can say two things. Firstly, the brains of pathological gamblers respond differently to this stimulation than the brains of healthy volunteers. And secondly, it seems that pathological gamblers just don’t get the same feeling of euphoria as do healthy volunteers.”
“This may go some way to explaining why the gambling becomes an addiction,” Mick concluded.
Gambling is very popular among US citizens. Reports have shown that about 2 to 3% of the country’s population is addicted. The population spends up to $5 billion on casino games every year, although gambling laws ban sports betting and online casinos in most parts of the US.
BBC News: Gambling addiction linked to brain reward system
A recent study concluded that the “high” or feeling of euphoria that comes from addictive behavior is less obvious in the brains of problem gamblers. This means that, for them, being a lucky punter is not enough to get an “endorphin rush”, so they have to search harder and play more in order to get a kick out of it.
Human brains have a natural opioid system which controls pain, reward, as well as addictive behavior. London and Cambridge researchers scanned the brains of 30 volunteers – including problem gamblers – in order to find out more about how their reward systems respond.
The small study involved 14 problem gamblers and 15 healthy volunteers, and used scans to measure the level of endorphins released under the stimulation of an amphetamine tablet. Lead researcher Dr Inge Mick, from Imperial College London, explained that gambling addicts have to work harder in order to get the same feeling of euphoria as the average person.
The way the opioid system responds could be different in alcohol or cocaine addiction, she added, but the findings could help researchers come up with treatments for problem gamblers. Around 300,000 UK players – less than 1% of the population – are suffering from this health problem. They are treated with drugs such as naltrexone and nalmefene.
Dr Mark Griffiths, professor of gambling studies at Nottingham Trent University, said: “This is an interesting study which backs up what we already know from previous research. Gambling is a behavioral addiction which is influenced by biological, psychological and social factors.”
MedicalXpress: Pathological gambling runs in families
Researchers at the University of Iowa have confirmed that pathological gambling runs in the family. According to the study, first-degree relatives of gambling addicts are eight times more likely to develop this problem than people who don’t have this sort of issue in their family.
Donald W. Black, MD, professor of psychiatry in the UI Carver College of Medicine explained: “Our work clearly shows that pathological gambling runs in families at a rate higher than for many other behavioral and psychiatric disorders.
“I think clinicians and health care providers should be alerted to the fact that if they see a person with pathological gambling, that person is highly likely to have a close relative with similar or the same problem. That is a teaching moment and they should probably encourage the patient to let their relatives know that help is available.”
The study involved 95 pathological gamblers and 91 control subjects from Iowa, matched for age, sex, and level of education. Researchers also studied their first-degree relatives, totaling another 1,075 participants – parents, siblings, and children.
According to the results of the research, 11% of the gambling relatives suffered from pathological gambling themselves; the health issue was present in only 1% of the control relatives.
“People have always thought pathological gambling ran in families – anecdotal evidence certainly suggested it. But when you finally do a study like this, which is the largest of its kind, and come up with figures like this, it is quite striking,” says Black, who was lead author of the study.
Between 0.5 and 1.5% adults living in the US suffer from gambling addiction at some point during their lives.
Supporters of casino gambling in Japan have agreed to consider imposing limits for local players.
After a very long debate, Japanese lawmakers are finally ready to agree on the details of the country’s new gambling laws. Politicians have long said they were considering following Singapore’s model, a state which allows casinos, but makes them off-limits for locals. This is seen as a solution to protect citizens from the potential harms of problem gambling and addiction, while at the same time making profits from a flourishing industry.
Politicians fighting for the legalization of casino games in Japan have had a lot of pressure to deal with from opponents, who threatened to block the entire process unless similar limits were set for locals. They said in order for the new regulations to pass, it was essential that lawmakers address the issue of problem gambling.
The revision would boost chances that the bill will be passed this year as proponents hope, although it is not yet clear whether enough anti-casino lawmakers will be persuaded to provide the support it needs in both houses of parliament.
Analysts have predicted that the Japanese gambling market would be worth tens of billions of dollars a year and local authorities are hoping the newly-opened industry will help revive and boost the economy. But experts added that these figures are based on the participation of Japanese players too, and without them casino resorts would struggle to make a profit.
Reuters: Japan lawmakers say open to limits on casinos in push for bill’s passage
The Japanese Parliament is expected to discuss the matter the next week. According to online gambling news, adopting the legislation would be an essential first step to unlocking a highly profitable gambling market. Amendments have been proposed to the draft bill, which was shown to reporters on Thursday.
“The government, for the purpose of preventing the negative effects of casino facilities by non-foreign visitors, will take necessary measures regarding admittance and capacity…,” said the amended section to the bill.
If the revised regulations pass, gambling venues will be limited to tourists. Japanese media wrote casino supporters might accept these terms, to make sure the law passes. But while Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is hoping that casinos will boost the economy, researchers say these businesses will struggle without Japanese players.
Sheldon Adelson, chief operating executive of Las Vegas Sands Corp said: “From our standpoint, I will say that we will not be interested in Japan or any other country on a foreigners-only basis. We can’t do that. Our business model won’t allow it.”
The Diplomat: Casinos and Japan’s Gambling Addiction
Pachinko parlors have been very popular in Japan for a long time now. These businesses make an estimated $187 billion every year, making them the most profitable leisure activity in the country.
Pachinko is considered to be “gaming” not gambling, but the Japanese are known to be huge fans of all forms of betting, which is why US investors are pushing for politicians to lift the ban and adopt new legislation favoring casinos.
Under the country’s current laws, playing pachinko for money is illegal. While parlors are not allowed to hand out cash, they have managed to find a loophole. Once players gather enough silver balls, they are allowed to trade them in for a “special prize,” usually consisting in small things like candy or a cigarette lighter. But when they leave the venue, winners can exchange their prizes for cash.
A recent government survey revealed that nearly five million people show signs that they might be addicted to gambling. The number represents almost 5% of the country’s adult population. Besides pachinko, players have the option to bet on horse racing, bicycles and speedboats, and these activities are perfectly legal.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is hoping to boost tourism by legalizing casino gambling in the country, but authorities will have to come up with a policy to minimize the negative impact of gambling. Given how problematic addiction has become, introducing casino games in addition to pachinko could be a risky move.
GamingZion: Government Task Force to Help Speed up Casino Projects in Japan
The Japanese Government doesn’t have too much time to get the country’s casino industry going, so the administration has announced it was going to set up a special task force to help push things forward. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has promised to legalize casino gambling a long time ago, as part of a reform to revive the local economy.
The casino bill has been stuck in the Diet for several months, but the administration is hoping that the new task force will help hasten the process. Some believe the initiative was meant to show foreign investors that the Government is dedicated to the cause.
Major American gambling companies said they were willing to spend billions of dollars to build resorts in Japan, once the casino bill passes. However, things need to move forward fast, in order to get everything ready for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. If politicians don’t hurry up with the new legislation, they might miss out on billion-dollar investments.
Wearing a costume when picking up lottery jackpot seems to have become a weird tradition in China.
The latest gambling news reported that a Chinese lottery winner decided to celebrate his lucky win in style. Well… we wouldn’t quite call it “style”, but it was certainly special. The man put on a bear costume for the ceremony where he was handed the lottery cheque.
He wasn’t the only one to wear a special outfit when appearing in front of the cameras. A few months ago, a person dressed up as Mickey Mouse took home 398 million yuan, and in 2011 another lucky winner took the big 565 million yuan jackpot disguised as a panda. Others wore superhero masks to look like Power Rangers, Batman or Spiderman.
Apart from the lottery, China doesn’t allow gambling. But the prizes people win with lottery tickets would stir the envy of any casino winner. The latest prize is worth $84.8 million.
Lottery Post: Chinese lottery winner claims jackpot in bear costume
After winning the lottery in China, a man from Shanxi disguised himself as a silly cartoon bear to pick up his giant check worth 520 million yuan ($84.8 million). The man provided one of the most exciting press conferences this year and consequently appeared on several online news pages.
The RMB 520 million-cheque was issued by the welfare lottery of the Shanxi province and is the third largest jackpot handed out in the country’s history. The winner told reporters that he spent between 20,000 and 30,000 RMB ($3,250 – $4,900) on lottery tickets every year.
The odd tradition of wearing ridiculous costumes when picking up over-sized checks dates back 25 or so years. In August, Mickey Mouse won 398 million yuan, and in 2011 a panda took home a 565 million yuan jackpot.
It is believed that lottery winners disguise themselves in order to avoid being recognized by family, friends, enemies or the government, when their image is broadcasted on local television.
People Daily: ‘Mickey Mouse’ in Shandong wins a 400 million lottery
On August 11, 2014, the Sports Lottery Center in Shandong handed out a 397.6 million-yuan cheque to another big winner. At the interview, the man showed up dressed in a Mickey Mouse costume. He also used a device to change his voice.
The man has been buying sports lottery tickets for years, and told reporters that participating in the draw is the first step to winning. Despite being rich now, the man said he is planning to lead a normal life. He added that he would become more involved in charitable causes and try to lend a helping hand to those in need.
Zhang Yunhai, a manger in Sports Lottery Center of Shandong told reporters: “With a good heart, the winner voluntarily donated 20 million RMB to found a Sports Lottery Fund to help people in need in the society.”
This was the biggest lottery prize won in Shandong Province so far, and among the highest awarded in all of China.
What’s On Tianjin: China’s largest lottery winner claims US$88.5m prize in panda costume
34 days after hitting an amazing jackpot, a lottery winner showed up to claim his prize wearing a huge panda helmet. The winner is a 40-year-old self-employed businessman who lives in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province and has broken several lottery records.
The panda scored the biggest lottery prize awarded in China so far, worth a total 565 million yuan ($88.5 million). After paying 109 million yuan ($17.08 million) in taxes, he was left with a prize of 436 million yuan ($68.34 million). Out of that amount, 20 million yuan ($3.13 million) were donated to local charities helping the poor children and the elderly. The man then promised to continue giving money every year.
He seemed to have a very relaxed attitude towards his huge lottery win, as he waited over a month before actually claiming the money. In an interview with the local newspaper, he added that he’d been playing the lottery for 11 years and he often forgets to check the winning numbers. For a long time, he wasn’t even aware what huge prize awaited him.
The numbers on his winning ticket were chosen according to his schedule that day: he got up at 6, had breakfast at 7 and spent 9 yuan on breakfast.
Wall Street Journal: Batman Wins Chinese Lottery
Every week, Chinese newspapers have a story on a lottery winner who showed up to claim his prize in a costume. While some of them wear simple sunglasses or face masks, or just pull their hoods over their heads to avoid being recognized, others mix things up by dressing up as Batman or a medieval knight.
This isn’t at all a practical joke, but rather a “street-smart” etiquette in China. As people can take up to tens of millions of dollars in winnings, having that much money can also attract trouble. Whether it’s because they want to avoid getting threatening phone calls, or simply don’t want to be in the public’s attention, wearing disguises is the solution lottery winners have come up with.
Ironically, wearing such ridiculous costumes has brought these people in the center of attention, as bloggers and online news sites are now talking about their costumes, posting photos and choosing their favorite ones.
A Federal Judge decided to order down the closure of Chukchansi casino in California after different groups of Indian tribes got involved in an armed altercation at the gaming center. The Judge ruled that they may have endangered lives and posed considerable healthy risks to both employees and players that were present in the casino at the time of the event.
abc30.com: 1,300 employees out of work during Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino shutdown
Gambling news reports that the popular Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino has been closed under federal orders issued by an esteemed judge. Different Indian factions came to an armed standoff as part of efforts to take control of the gaming establishment which later lead to a lockdown of the casino.
Now the owners are pushing hard to have the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino reopened as soon as possible. Every single day that is remains closed serves a blow to their finances, as massive revenue is lost. Chukchansi Indian Co-Chairman Reggie Lewis stressed that the local community and employees depend on revenues generated by the casino operations.
“A lot of people depend on the casino. And since it has been opened, that’s the way everybody looks at it; it’s an asset, and we want to keep our asset functional,” stated Lewis. The casino was closed following an event that involved 20 gunmen storming into the building in an attempt to seize control of the entire establishment.
Reports indicate that the gunmen are part of a tribal faction led by Tex McDonald who stresses the casino is in fact theirs and all of the proceeds generated by Chukchansi belong to their tribe. “They came in here about a month ago and took our casino over, and they’re illegally here. So we came in and we claimed our casino.”
The Fresno Bee: Chukchansi casino closure puts planned events, interrupted gamblers in limbo
The Chukchansi is set to miss out on a great of events due to its closure. The alumni of Hoover High School were planning on staging a reunion event this upcoming Saturday, however now they won’t be able to do so considering the recent circumstances that led to current predicament that casino is in.
Stacey Olmos is one of the members of the reunion committee and she stated that the group gathered $7,500 from 167 Hoover graduates and paid the money to host the event at the prominent casino. With the Chukchansi now closed until further notice, they don’t seem to have any viable options to get the money back.
The altercations involved two Indian factions which led to some casino personnel in receiving injures as a result of the armed struggle. Separate groups of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians have been at it for a number of years. Now the casino has taken center stage as each faction is claiming that the popular gaming establishment belongs to them.
As a direct result of the attempted takeover that involved a hostile battle, the National Indian Gaming Commission and the state attorney general gave orders for the casino to be shut down. It has been reported that the faction that tried to take the casino is led by Tex McDonald, and that in fact the business initially belonged to them and not the current holders.
Yahoo! Finance: California casino is closed after armed standoff
Following the events that occurred last week at the Chukchansi casino, there seems to be no imminent reopening date set on the agenda for the popular establishment. Tribal factions were involved in an armed standoff involving the takeover, however officials have expressed that the casino may be closed for some time as they continue to investigate the circumstances.
Over a decade ago a similar event unfolded in Iowa that also involved two Indian factions. Two leadership factions were sanctioned by the National Indian Gaming Commission which marked the last casino closure that involved a politically motivated background in the US.
A tribal faction took control of the Meskwaki Casino & Hotel, however the action was not authorized by the federal government. Once the deadline for the rogue group to leave passed, the commission chairman released an order to temporarily close the business. Later the closure turned permanent and the owners had to wait a full 7 points until it could reopen.
Phil Hogen, a former NIGC chairman, highlighted, “The ones physically running the place were not recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and could not come to an agreement to put the recognized folks in place. From what I’ve heard about (Chukchansi), it’s much more explosive than Meskwaki.”
PoliticsHome: Four bookmakers set up watchdog to keep themselves in check
Latest gambling news reports that a federal judge by the name of Lawrence O’Neill ordered the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino to shut down after tribal factions tried to take control of the business. The judge was acting on emergency request from the state attorney general and has expressed that there is no immediate date set for the casino to reopen for the public.
After deciding that the casino posed a threat to the public, the National Indian Gaming Commission issued an express order for the establishment to be closed. Reports suggest that each faction controlled a different part of the casino, and neither wanted to stand down as they each believed they had the right to seize control of what is theirs.
Madera County Sheriff John Anderson stated that around 500 people quickly rushed out of the casino once they figured what was happening. He stressed that tension were high for weeks before leading up to the event that occurred on Thursday and has sought assistance on the matter from the state and federal officials.
Despite making no arrests in the lengthy process, the Sheriff’s department was able to cool down the tensions. Anderson said, “When they move the war into the casino, it meant we had to stop this. We have not been getting closer to a solution. If anything, we have gotten farther away.”
Donald Trump got what he wanted: his name is being taken off the now-bankrupt Trump Plaza casino in Atlantic City.
This week began with good news for Donald Trump. The business magnate won his case against Trump Entertainment Resorts, where he asked to have his name taken off the Atlantic City casinos. In fact, Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka asked that the name be stripped from the company altogether.
Workers started taking down the letters spelling out Trump’s name on Monday morning. They also removed slot machines from the old Trump Plaza, after the casino shut down on September 16. Meanwhile, the Taj Mahal is also struggling and could close in November.
Trump’s lawyers argued in front of the court that the businessman doesn’t want to have his name associated with a company that left two casinos fall into such disrepair. Trump Entertainment violated quality standards that both sides had agreed upon, they said.
AP News: APNEWSBREAK: Trump Name Coming off Closed Casino
While Trump Entertainment is trying to figure out a way to save what’s left of its business, the latest gambling news
is talking about Trump’s victory in court.
“This is a very important step for us,” Ivanka Trump told reporters at The Associated Press. “It was pretty cut and dry: when we gave them a license to use our name, it was contingent on quality control and performance. They did not meet the high standards of luxury in every other asset in the Trump brand.”
The company declined to comment on the case.
Trump Plaza closed at the middle of September, but the businessman’s name was still up there. The mogul is simultaneously seeking to have his name removed from the Taj Mahal, and from Trump Entertainment Resorts. At the same time, his daughter said he is considering buying the casino, to save it from bankruptcy.
The investor sent out a statement emphasizing that he has had nothing to do with the company – other than associating his name with it – since 2009.
“I am saddened to see that the current managers and owners of the Trump Plaza and Trump Taj Mahal were unable to operate these properties to the highest standards of luxury and success as required under the license agreement and consistent with my name and reputation.”
“Because of constant defaults of the standards stipulated in the license agreement, I had no choice but to terminate the license agreement and require TER to remove the Trump name from both buildings,” he explained.
CNN: The Donald wins. Trump name coming off casino
Donald Trump got his way and his name will be peeled off the façade of the Trump Plaza Casino. A spokesperson for the company said removing the letters from the building will take a few weeks. The magnate sued Trump Entertainment Resorts, the company that runs the venue, asking that his name be removed from both the Plaza and the Taj Mahal.
“We have a very high standard and they didn’t meet it,” the businessman explained in an interview with CNN Money. “We essentially won the suit.”
The Taj Mahal is expected to shut down on November 13, after several attempts of saving it from bankruptcy have failed. Trump Plaza closed in September, becoming the fourth Atlantic City casino to go out of business this year and causing 8,000 people to lose their jobs. At this point, it seems like not even gambling laws or tax exemptions can save these businesses from bankruptcy.
“Atlantic City needs a total remake,” Trump said.
Trump built and owned both casinos in the beginning, but he decided to sell them seven years ago. Since then, he has been licensing his name and image to the new owners. The lawsuit was filed in August, when the investor accused Trump Entertainment Resorts of neglecting the venues and letting them “fall into an utter state of disrepair”.
The license agreement stipulated the brand’s “superior reputation” should be used in a “dignified manner”, offering the “highest quality”. But the business magnate said these standards weren’t met.
The Guardian: Atlantic City casino to be stripped of Trump name
Trump Entertainment has gone out of business and is in bankruptcy court in Delaware, where it is trying to get permission to terminate pension plans for the Taj Mahal’s 2,800 employees. Last week, the judge refused to allow it for now, but scheduled more hearings on the casino’s proposal to cut costs.
The company’s plans for financial recovery include the elimination of employee pensions and healthcare benefits, supported by a $100 million investment from billionaire Carl Icahn. Trump Entertainment said that it would not be able to survive without these two vital measures, and added that it would have to close either on or before November 13.
While holding most of the company’s debt, Icahn said he would be willing to consider buying the Taj Mahal by converting the debt into ownership rights. But the offer doesn’t stand if the local government doesn’t make a few serious concessions. The investor has requested that Atlantic City drastically reduce property taxes on the casino.
Donald Trump still owns a 9% stake in Trump Entertainment, but the company is virtually worthless now. He and his daughter believe having their names associated with the two bankrupt casinos bring harm to their personal and professional reputation.
The management of Trump Taj Mahal sought approval to end payments to the casino union pension fund.
US Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross in Wilmington, Delaware, said he didn’t have the authority to allow the gambling company to reject part of its collective bargain agreement, but added that he would consider a request to reject the agreement as a whole. The judge is expected to make a decision on a hearing scheduled for October 14.
Obtaining approval to end pension payments was a key requirement of businessman Carl Icahn, offered to spend $100 million to rescue the now-bankrupt casino. However, the deal comes with considerable strings attached, as the businessman expects tax breaks, $25 million in funds from a state agency, as well as givebacks from the workers’ union. Experts believe it is unlikely that his proposal will be accepted, considering New Jersey’s current taxation policy and gambling laws.
Unless a buyer is found, the Trump Taj Mahal Casino and Resort will become the fifth casino to close this year in Atlantic City. Trump Entertainment has threatened to shut it down at the middle of November.
Bloomberg: Trump Casinos Loss on Pension Threatens Bankruptcy Plan
According to the latest gambling news, the owner of Atlantic City’s Taj Mahal Casino was denied court approval to stop contributing to the union pension plan. The request was a key point in the company’s restructuring strategy, as Trump Entertainment is struggling to recover from bankruptcy.
Judge Kevin Gross ruled that eliminating just the pension from the collective-bargaining agreement is not an option. The measure would violate bankruptcy code, which states that a contract has to be considered as a whole.
“The court does not have authority to reject a portion of a CBA,” Gross ruled. However, Trump Entertainment’s efforts to scrap the entire union deal – which includes pensions, too – will be reconsidered at another hearing, on October 14.
The company is trying to figure out how to solve its financial difficulties and save the Taj Mahal. Court filings have revealed that the union contract costs about $15 million a year in health, welfare and other benefits, and an additional $5 million in pension payments. But if the casino doesn’t find a buyer or a way to cut costs, closing will be inevitable.
Trump Entertainment claims obtaining concessions from the union is “absolutely critical” in the restructuring process.
NY Post: Carl Icahn might save Trump Taj Mahal under right conditions
Businessman Carl Icahn is ready to save the Trump Taj Mahal from bankruptcy, but only under certain circumstances. The investor said he was willing to invest $100 million in the Atlantic City casino, provided the unions and local authorities are prepared to make some big concessions.
Trump Entertainment Resorts, the owner of the ailing casino, was forced to file for bankruptcy on September 9, but has come up with a restructuring plan that needs Icahn’s money, the union’s cooperation and the collaboration of Atlantic City authorities to succeed. If all plans fail, the closure of the casino will result in the loss of more than 4,000 jobs.
Trump Entertainment Resorts owns two casinos in the gambling Mecca, and both of them have failed. The Trump Plaza was closed recently, and the situation of the Taj Mahal is not too optimistic either. The business is projected to lose $7 million every month, even with just one casino in operation, and that figure doesn’t include debt payments to Icahn or property taxes.
In order to get out of the financial mess, the company wants to stop paying roughly $10,000 a year for each union employee, and to stop pension contributions.
GamingZion: Brookfield is Topping Bidders for the Revel in Atlantic City
It seems like Atlantic City financial problems are the highlight of American news, as casinos shut down one after the other in the former gambling kingdom. The Showboat closed at the beginning of September and the Revel is still hoping to find a way out of the mess it got itself into.
The casino opened its doors to customers just two years ago, and it has already filed for bankruptcy twice. An expensive investment that cost $2.4 billion to build, the venue has never succeeded in becoming a profitable business.
While the gambling business has failed, there might still be hope for the building that housed all those gaming tables and poker rooms. The casino’s owners said they intended to sell it to a customer who would be able to keep the building in use.
An auction held last Wednesday awarded the property to Brookfield Asset Management, after the company trumped Florida real estate developer Glenn Straub’s $90 million bid. The businessman threatened to challenge the outcome of the auction in court.
A British gambling venue is refusing to pay poker player Phil Ivey his GBP7.7 million in winnings, claiming that he won by cheating.
Although a talented poker player, American gambler Phillip Ivey doesn’t shy away from other casino games either. Like high-stake baccarat, for example. The game brought him almost GBP8 million in winnings in August 2012, when he risked as much as GBP1 million of his own money at a casino in London.
The Crockfords club – the venue where Ivey won the money over his two-day visit – has refused to pay out claiming that the poker player had cheated and duped the croupier, with the help of his companion Cheung Yin Sun.
The American gambler responded by slapping the casino with a lawsuit. While admitting that he had used a technique known as edge sorting, which allows players to predict the order of the cards, Ivey and his lawyers firmly believe that this is nothing but a legitimate strategy that casinos can guard against.
Mirror Online: Casino won’t pay out £7.7MILLION winnings to ‘cheating’ poker star Phillip Ivey
Richard Spearman, who represents the professional poker player, said Ivey should not be held responsible for the casino’s “mistake”.
“The technique of edge sorting involves nothing more than using information that is available to any player by viewing the backs of the cards… and making requests of the casino, which it is open to the casino to accept or refuse, as to the manner in which play is conducted.”
Spearman claims that it was the gambling venue’s mistake that this turned into an advantage for Ivey, while Christopher Pymont, who represents the casino, continued to say the scheme was quite possibly “criminal”.
According to the latest gambling news, the barrister accused the poker player of using his companion to cheat. Cheung Yin Sun allegedly spoke to the dealer in Cantonese to help keep the scheme “covert” from the rest of the staff, who spoke English.
The casino staff examined the CCTV footage, interrogated the staff, and then decided not to send Ivey the money.
Belfast Telegraph: Champion poker player Phil Ivey ‘stitched up’ London casino in £7.7m winning streak, court hears
One of the best poker players in the world, Phil Ivey, was accused of having “stitched up” a reputable London casino by taking advantage of a flaw in playing cards. The poker pro sued the gambling venue, which refused to pay him the GBP7.7 million he had won in two days.
Ivey allegedly created an “air of superstition”. He insisted on wearing a lucky hat, picked a lucky Asian card dealer, and a special pack of cards. While the game of baccarat requires little skill, all this helped him tip the odds in his favor, said the casino management.
Ivey admitted that he turned a minor flaw in the cards to his advantage, but says the casino did not take the proper security measures and went along with all his requests without questioning them. This is why he exploited the casino’s failures.
“Putting it bluntly, he played, he won and they ought to pay up,” said Richard Spearman, his counsel.
Casino staff picked up on Ivey’s unusual behavior after he asked the dealer to turn around some of the cards, “like that made any difference”. But employees figured it was nothing but a superstition. “It did make a difference. They just didn’t realize,” Spearman explained.
The counsel added that Ivey’s winning streak could have been stopped at any moment simply by changing the cards, or increasing the security on the dealer, but the casino failed to take these precautions. The customer “regards this as entirely fair play,” Spearman said, adding: “If a casino fouls up from start to finish that’s the gamblers good fortune.”
On the other hand, Christopher Pymont, counsel for the casino, considers the gambler’s actions to be “highly immoral and dishonest”. “The whole point is to stitch up the casino, to fix it, when you know it’s in ignorance of what you’re doing,” he argued.
The case is expected to last a week.
Daily Mail: Nine-time world poker champion Phil Ivey accused of cheating Atlantic City casino out of $9.6MILLION ‘using defective card trick’
This is not the first time Phil Ivey has taken advantage of defective cards to turn the odds in his favor, at the same table game. A casino in Atlantic City has sued the professional poker player after he won $9.6 million, claiming that he got the money by cheating.
Ivey and an associate allegedly exploited a defect in cards to win the money, on four occasions between April and October 2012. The cards were manufactured by Gemaco Inc., a company from Kansas City, and were defective because they didn’t have a uniform pattern on the back.
According to the lawyers who represent the gambling venue, the technique of edge sorting is forbidden under New Jersey gambling laws. Ivey and his companion allegedly instructed a dealer to flip cards in particular ways, so they could tell whether it was a desirable card or not.
Build at a cost of $2.4 billion two years ago, the Revel Casino was bought by a Canadian company at a price of just $110 million.
About 8,000 Atlantic City casino employees have lost their jobs so far this year, but there’s new hope for them now that the Revel Casino Hotel has a new owner. Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management has won the auction for the now bankrupt venue, with an offer of $110 million.
After filing for bankruptcy for the second time since it opened in 2012, the Revel finally closed its doors on September 2. The casino had been in business for just two years, and is one of four Atlantic City gambling venues to shut down this year.
According to gambling news, the Trump Taj Mahal may be the fifth one, with owners threatening to close it on November 13.
CBC News: Brookfield submits top bid for closed Atlantic City casino Revel
Brookfield Asset Management, a company based in Toronto, has won the auction for the Revel Casino Hotel located in New Jersey’s Atlantic City, with a bid of $110 million. The casino filed for bankruptcy earlier this year and was looking for a new buyer.
Although the initial deadline was Monday, the auction was extended into its third day on Wednesday. This was when Brookfield was revealed as the company that submitted the winning bid. Having $200 billion in assets under management, the Canadian company owns the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, as well as the Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas.
“Revel is a brand new trophy asset on the beachfront, which we are acquiring at a substantial discount to replacement cost,” company spokesman Andy Willis told the press.
“We’re not currently in a position to discuss the business plan as we continue to explore various options [but] we will be in discussions with all parties and partners involved to formulate a feasible plan that ensures the long term viability of this property as a resort destination.”
Along with Brookfield, several other companies have been trying to get their hands on the casino. The gambling venue cost $2.4 billion to build, so the price Brookfield paid was much lower. Its original bid was at $98 million, but the company sweetened the offer to $98 million in order to secure the deal.
RTT News: WSJ: Brookfield Among Four Bidders Vying For Atlantic City’s Revel Casino
Four bidders competed in an auction to acquire Atlantic City’s Revel casino and hotel, after the business went bankrupt this year.
Canadian company Brookfield Asset Management, who owns the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, was the front runner in the auction, according to an article published in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. The company has topped Florida-based real estate developer Glenn Straub’s $90 million bid.
Straub offered to buy Revel casino hotel in a $90 million deal that was supposed to help the casino exit bankruptcy. For some time, he was the lead bidder, but now other takers have stepped up with better solutions. Apart from Brookfield, the casino’s management has received offers from a real estate investor from the Meruelo family, Richard Meruelo, and from a New Jersey real estate developer.
According to Revel’s bankruptcy filing, the casino’s value dropped from $2.4 billion to as low as $450 million. Experts predicted that the business would not be able to get back on its feet until 2017. The Revel was never among the city’s most profitable venues; it has had financial troubles ever since it opened to huge fanfare in April 2012, with a $2.4 billion investment.
By June 2014, the Revel was filing for bankruptcy for the second time, and on September 2 the casino closed because it had received no suitable bids to recover from its financial problems.
Wall Street Journal: Four Bidders Vying for Atlantic City’s Revel Casino
Things are heating up at the auction to sell the now bankrupt Revel Casino in Atlantic City. Newspapers wrote the auction has been shrouded in secrecy from the very beginning, sparking a dispute between the casino and lead bidder Glenn Straub.
“Our topping offer of $95 million will also contain terms giving priority to workers who lost their jobs when Revel shut down,” Straub’s lawyer Craig Galle explained. According to the attorney, the Florida-based developer “is committed to helping employees and their families that were affected by the Revel bankruptcy.”
An affiliate of Brookfield Asset Management has recently entered the bidding, topping the initial $90 million offer. However, if Straub loses the auction, he is entitled to a $3 million breakup fee for serving as the lead bidder.
The real estate developer’s attorneys are claiming Revel has broken an earlier agreement to disclose information about competing bids. “Any degree of confidence in [Revel’s lawyers’] ability to conduct a fair auction is nonexistent,” they told reporters of the Wall Street Journal.
But Revel lawyer John Cunningham has disputed allegations that the auction was conducted in an unfair manner. “This is a baseless objection,” he said. “The allegations of unethical conduct are just absolutely false.”