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Updated: 38 min 48 sec ago
Orange Capital, an investment fund which owns a 4.4% stake in Pinnacle Entertainment, said the gaming company should spin off its real estate into a real estate investment trust (REIT.) "Based upon management's track record and its past communications with investors, we believe Pinnacle is open to ideas that enhance shareholder value," said Daniel Lewis, managing partner of Orange Capital. REITs offer tax advantages for companies because REITs are exempt from federal income taxes. Las Vegas Review-Journal (4/21)
Martin Luther King Jr., American civil rights activist
According to PartyPoker.com, 15% of its registered online poker players live outside New Jersey. Because out-of-state poker players must travel to New Jersey to play, the state has seen a boost in "poker tourism," and allowing the state to reap the benefits of hotel stays and players' in-state celebratory splurges. Most out-of-state players come from New York, followed by Pennsylvania, with small percentages coming from California, Florida, Texas and Connecticut, and many sign up for the activity when they know they'll be in the state. The Record (Hackensack, N.J.) (4/20)
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission said Chairman Stephen Crosby will participate in the hearing on Boston's status as a host community for two proposed casinos, despite Boston Mayor Martin Walsh's call for him to recuse himself from the proceedings. "The commission has frequently been presented with complex matters of law requiring fair and judicious decision-making by the five appointed commissioners," said Elaine Driscoll, a spokeswoman for the commission, in a statement. "This matter is no different." The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model) (4/19)
Prince George's County, Md., is working with MGM National Harbor to allow construction of the $925 million complex to begin as quickly as possible. A zoning law went into effect the day it was passed, rather than following the standard 45-day delay. A county planning meeting is set for May 8, and the county council has yet to approve a bill requiring a certain percentage of casino employees to come from the county. Construction crews could begin as early as July, said Gordon Absher, a spokesman for MGM Resorts International, and the casino resort on the banks of the Potomac River is slated to open in July 2016. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (4/20)
Harrah's Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack in Chester, Pa., is facing the prospect of a $5 million payment for property tax bills -- its first assessment since opening seven years ago. Delaware County assessed the property at a value of $218 million, but the casino is expected to file an appeal by its Friday deadline. The Philadelphia Inquirer (4/20)
As the first medical marijuana dispensaries prepare to open in Nevada, the legalization of medical marijuana presents some questions for casinos. While the Gaming Control Board is tackling the issue for operators interested in investing in medical marijuana dispensaries, many other questions arise in human resources departments. Some casinos require drug screenings as part of the employment process. "This new and very complex issue brings difficult questions on many fronts for us as Nevada's largest private employer," said Gordon Absher, vice president of public affairs for MGM Resorts International. Las Vegas Review-Journal (4/20)
Casinos in Atlantic City, N.J., are looking at ways to attract Asian gamers, largely from New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Some hotels are offering tea kettles in rooms along with coffee pots, creating Vietnamese-, Chinese- and Korean-language versions of their websites, and marketing themed performances. "The Asian market is the one that's growing the fastest, and it has been for quite some time," said Tariq Shaukat, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Caesars Entertainment. The Press of Atlantic City (N.J.) (tiered subscription model) (4/20)
Atlantic City, N.J., is betting on airline service to encourage tourism to the gaming mecca. The city's Casino Reinvestment Development Authority approved $5 million in grants for airlines, which will go toward buying unused seats on flights and therefore reducing airlines' risk when they add additional flights. The Atlantic City airport currently is served by United Airlines and Spirit Airlines. TravelPulse (4/17)
Macau Business Daily (4/21)
This week, the GGB Podcast features a discussion with Mike Mitchell, Bally Technologies' vice president of game development and engineering, about the convergence of games at Bally and SHFL entertainment, which recently merged.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has proposed legislation in Russia's lower parliamentary house to create a gaming zone in Crimea. Russia currently permits gaming in four designated zones, and Crimea would become the fifth such zone under the bill. Russia recently annexed Crimea from Ukraine. International Business Times (4/21)
AGA has added three members to its executive leadership and public affairs teams. These additions will bolster membership engagement, media outreach and ally development. Along with the team members hired in January, the new staff additions will enhance AGA's efforts to champion gaming.
G2E Asia is happy to announce that Gamal Aziz, President of Wynn Macau will speak at the 2014 G2E Asia Conference. Mr. Aziz oversees the Company's current Macau business operations and future resort developments on Cotai and will speak on the seminar "Mass in Macau: Growth Prospects for Asia's Gaming Capital." At this session, conference delegates will learn why the mass market is growing faster than VIP and discuss what the expansion of Cotai and development of Hengqin Island will mean for the market. For a full description of this session and to see the G2E Asia conference program, please visit www.G2EAsia.com.
Christian Nestell Bovee, American writer
Casinos in Deadwood, S.D., and Atlantic City, N.J., linked slot machines Thursday for the first multi-state progressive slots jackpot in the U.S. Deadwood's machines are linked through Powerbucks to Caesars and Boyd Gaming properties in New Jersey. International Game Technology led this effort. "To be able to bring this new gaming experience to our customers first in the country, giving them before unimaginable jackpots at any bet level is an exciting opportunity for our industry," said Mike Rodman, executive director of the Deadwood Gaming Association. The Rapid City Journal (S.D.) (4/18)
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has decided to keep a September deadline for a casino license for southeastern Massachusetts. The commission had previously pushed back the deadline from July 23 to at least Sept. 23. The panel also ruled that infrastructure costs can be included in the $500 million minimum investment. "Time is not the problem. The marketplace is the problem," said Stephen Crosby, chairman of the commission. Taunton Daily Gazette (Mass.) (4/17)
The Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission voted against a proposed casino in Cedar Rapids. Commission members voted 4-1 to nix the Cedar Crossing Casino project. Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett said he feels that he and the community were misled into believing they could get a license. Sioux City Journal (Iowa) (4/17)
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said Stephen Crosby, the chairman of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, should recuse himself from a hearing on Boston's host community status for two proposed casinos. Crosby is accused of making "prejudicial" statements against Boston, said Elizabeth Dello Russo, an attorney for the Walsh administration, in a letter to the commission. Crosby and other commission members have not responded. The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model) (4/17)
The Tioga Downs racino in upstate New York has inked an agreement with a country club three miles away. The 99-year lease is contingent upon the racino receiving a casino license. The racino will take over the operations of the Tioga Country Club and make renovations its members have long sought if a license is awarded. WIVT-TV (Binghamton, N.Y.) (4/17)