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Archive for September 14th, 2018

Paradise City Casino Resort Unveils New Entertainment Facilities Next Week

South Korea’s Paradise City integrated resort is set to unveil its second phase of development on September 21, owner Paradise Segasammy Co. said earlier today. The property is located in the city of Incheon, known to be one of the country’s main transportation hubs.

Its second phase, the opening of which will be celebrated next week, includes a new boutique hotel, a spa and wellness center, a retail arcade, and a number of new entertainment facilities that will complement the 330,000-square-meter integrated resort.

Paradise City was originally launched in April 2017. The property featured a hotel, South Korea’s largest foreigner-only casino, and a convention center. Located at a 15-minute walking distance from the Incheon International Airport, the resort drew 1.2 million visitors during its first year of operation. With the launch of its second phase, the property believes it will be able to attract nearly 5 million visitors a year and to generate sales of KRW500 billion a year by 2019.

The plan for the construction of the Paradise City integrated resort was originally introduced in 2011. Back then, local hospitality company Paradise Group announced that it has partnered Japanese gaming machine manufacturer Sega Sammy Holdings to jointly build a KRW1.5 trillion property that would feature casino gambling, hotels, food and beverage and multiple entertainment facilities.

Focus on Entertainment

Paradise City owners said at a press conference held earlier today that the new phase of the resort will focus on the provision of quality entertainment services. Among other things, the new additions to the property’s existing offering will feature a differentiated structure and will contain references to the booming Korean pop culture and other popular movements in a bid to attract customers from Paradise City’s both domestic market and international markets.

Similarly to most of its South Korean rivals, Paradise City has suffered a heavy blow from the chilling Sino-Korean relations over South Korea’s deployment THAAD missile system which China has billed a threat to its security.

Following last year’s deployment of the system, the number of Chinese tourists to Korea dropped significantly last year. As a result, the country recorded a third consecutive year of a drop in the number of visits to its foreigner-only casinos. The properties drew 2.22 million international visitors last year, down 6.2% year-on-year.

Last spring, Mainland China prohibited the sale of package tours to Korea, but partially lifted that ban later in 2017. According to official data, a total of 410,337 Chinese tourists visited South Korea in July, which reflected a 45.9% increase from the same month in 2017. However, the reported figure still falls short of the 917,519 Chinese tourists who visited the country in July 2016, ahead of the political row.

Paradise City officials said today that they do not expect that the number of Chinese visitors to grow quickly in the next few years and this is why the property will look to draw visitors from other countries and to ramp up its marketing efforts in a bid to attract more VIP customers.

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The post Paradise City Casino Resort Unveils New Entertainment Facilities Next Week appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Abraham Meyers Wins WSOP Circuit Thunder Valley $400 No-Limit Hold’em Big-Blind Ante

Sacramento player Abraham Meyers scooped the $400 No-Limit Hold’em Big-Blind Ante title in the ongoing WSOP Circuit Thunder Valley poker festival for his first cash in the series as well as his first gold ring. The brand-new WSOP Circuit champ collected $14,969 for his run in the tournament.

Meyers’ participation in the event was marked by great ups and downs and successful navigation through a stacked final table.

The Big-Blind Ante event drew 168 entries to create a prize pool of $55,440 and beat the $50,000 guarantee. There were payouts for the top 18 places and minimum cashes were worth $743. The tournament was played over a single day. It featured 30-minute levels and registration remained open until the start of the thirteenth level of play.

The unofficial ten-handed final table of the event was reached late into the night. Jordan Meltzer was leading the pack of ten survivors with 614,000 in chips. Bob Mather was trailing not far behind with 596,000. Bohao Zhu held the third largest stack at the time with 352,000. It should be noted that Meltzer maintained his chip lead throughout the final table and all the way down to the heads-up match.

Meyers’ Run in the Tournament

Meyers did not enjoy a good start to the final table. The player was among the short stacks and dropped even further down the chip counts chart over the course of play. Despite that, he managed to avoid elimination and to successfully navigate through a stacked final table. As mentioned earlier, it was Meltzer who dominated action during the final stage of the tournament.

And it was him who Meyers had to face for a final heads-up match. Even though he started at a great disadvantage, the eventual champion won a key pot to double up and take the lead shortly after. The player quickly extended his lead and finished off his opponent within the course of several hands. Meltzer collected $9,251 for running deep into the tournament.

In his post-victory interview, Meyers said that he got lucky. Luck was indeed involved, but it should also be noted that the brand-new WSOP Circuit champion was the only one to avoid elimination and to survive Meltzer’s aggressive approaches, which certainly requires a great amount of skill, as well.

Of his choice to enter the Big-Blind Ante tournament, Meyers said that he loved the format and that he was happy it had gained so much popularity in recent years.

The $400 Big-Blind Ante was marked as Event #6 on the schedule of the Thunder Valley Casino stop of the WSOP Circuit. There are seven more tournaments set to be played as part of the festival, including the $1,700 Main Event with a guaranteed prize pool of $500,000. The tournament is scheduled to take place from September 15 through September 17.

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Sports Betting Helps Atlantic City to 24% Increase in August Gambling Revenue

“It is an exciting time for Atlantic City”, David Rebuck, Director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, said on Wednesday after the publication of the August report about the performance of the city’s gambling industry.

Legal sports betting boosted monthly results and helped Atlantic City’s nine operational casinos record their biggest growth in several years. Total gaming revenue amounted to $303.9 million last month, up 24.1% year-on-year. Casino revenue accounted for the lion’s share of overall revenue. Atlantic City’s nine operational casinos generated $269.9 million last month, reflecting a 20.7% increase from the same month a year earlier. Online gambling operations brought in revenue of $24.8 million in August, up 16.6% year-on-year. Revenue from sports betting totaled $9.2 million for the month.

The Borgata was once again the casino to account for the largest portion of total revenue generated. The property reported revenue of $76.4 million for the month of August. It is also important to note that the Borgata was among the first properties to launch sports betting in New Jersey, following the May 14 SCOTUS ruling that struck down the long-standing federal ban on wagering. The casino launched its physical sportsbook on June 14. It also went live with an online wagering operation on August 22. The casino generated betting revenue of $855,152 last month.

New Jersey’s Sports Betting Industry in August

As mentioned above, sports betting revenue amounted to $9.2 million last month. The figure includes revenue generated by Atlantic City’s sportsbooks and the sports betting facilities at the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park racetracks as well as by online/mobile wagering operations.

Meadowlands was the property to generate the largest amount in sports betting revenue last month. The property reported betting proceeds of $3.06 million. Resorts’ digital division posted the second largest revenue figure last month. The operation generated a total of $2.97 million in August. Resorts launched online sports betting on August 1.

Overall sports betting handle, or the total amount wagered at New Jersey’s brick-and-mortar and digital betting outlets, totaled $95,634,048 in August. The amount of $73,919,891 was wagered across the state’s physical sportsbook, and $21,714,157 were placed in online bets. The state has thus recorded sports betting handle of $152,727,069 since first legal wagering operations began on June 14.

In comparison, Mississippi, which legalized sports betting in July and saw its first sportsbooks go live on August 1, reported betting handle of $9.8 million for the first full month of legal wagering. More than 20 of the state’s casinos opened sportsbook in the period between August 1 and September 3. It is important to note that Mississippi is home to nearly 3 million people, while New Jersey’s population stands at over 9 million people.

Delaware and West Virginia were the other two states to legalize betting following the mid-May SCOTUS ruling. Pennsylvania and Rhode Island are also set to go live with sports betting by the end of the year, and more states are expected to join the US legal wagering scene next year.

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Hedge Fund HG Vora Builds Stake in Caesars, Presses for Asset Divestment or Sale

New York hedge fund HG Vora Capital Management LLC has quietly built a 4.9% stake in Las Vegas casino and hospitality giant Caesars Entertainment Corp. and is pressing for the company to consider divestment of assets or an outright sale, Reuters reported on Wednesday citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

HG Vora was founded in 2009 and has since accumulated assets worth about $4 billion. According to sources, the hedge fund has achieved a 14% annualized return since being established.

This is not the first time that HG Vora has invested in a gaming or a hospitality company. The firm bought shares in Penn National Gaming and Pinnacle Entertainment ahead of their merger last year. In addition, earlier this year, HG Vora backed the sale of LaSalle Hotel Properties to Pebblebrook Hotel Trust. The New York hedge fund was the hotel chain’s third-largest stakeholder at the time.

Caesars emerged from a lengthy and complex Chapter 11 bankruptcy last fall and has been trying to catch up with its major rivals MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts, among others, as it is gradually paying down its debt and looking to improve its profitability.

The company said last year that its post-bankruptcy growth strategy would involve diversification and expansion across different markets. Caesars, like its rivals, has been investing in sports betting and is planning to focus further on the provision of that type of activity as more and more states are looking to legalize wagering, following mid-May’s lifting of the federal PASPA ban that prohibited betting on professional and college sports leagues.

Expansion and Consolidation

The legalization of gambling in several states where it used to be prohibited started a wave of consolidation within the US casino industry, and sports betting is expected to further shake it up. Similarly to its competitors, Caesars has been looking to gain foothold in as many states as possible in a bid to improve profitability and offset revenue declines caused by the fact that its main customer group is aging.

Last winter, the company announced that it would purchase privately owned gaming and horse racing company Centaur Holdings for the total amount of $1.7 billion. The move allowed Caesars to expand its Indiana operations. As pointed out earlier, HG Vora might be pressing for the company to engage in further consolidation deals or to divest itself from some of its existing assets.

Caesars currently operates nearly 50 properties across the US, United Kingdom, Canada, and Africa, among others. Its market capitalization stands at $7.2 billion and its total debt amounts to around $9 billion.

The company is exploring several new markets to expand its footprint into, including Japan where the local government is set to issue three gaming licenses that would authorize the operation of casinos within larger integrated resorts.

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