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Archive for November 17th, 2018

Mississippi Gaming Regulator Delays Vote on Proposed Long Beach Casino Site

Gaming commissioners say they need more time to review and investigate before deciding on the proposed casino site

The Mississippi Gaming Commission decided on Thursday to postpone its vote on an application for a site approval for the construction of a casino resort at the site of Kmart in Long Beach, just north of U.S. Route 90 and east of Jeff Davis Avenue, news outlet the Sun Herald reported.

Commenting on the gaming regulator’s decision, Chairman Al Hopkins said that they have more to consider and investigate before voting on the site approval application. Commissioner Jerry Griffith said during yesterday’s meeting that delaying the site approval was not something unusual and that it gave the Commission the opportunity to review the casino proposal in detail and make sure it was following state regulations.

The regulatory body is set to meet again on December 20 in Jackson when it might eventually vote on the proposed site for the casino resort.

Developers plan to build the property on a 12-acre site previously occupied by Kmart and the Sav-A-Center grocery store. The resort will include a 40-000-square-foot casino with 1,200 slot machines and 20 table games. The gaming facility will be located within 800 feet of the mean high water line, as required under Mississippi gaming regulations.

The complex will also feature a seven-story 300-room hotel. The hotel tower will meet the city’s height restrictions, as noted by developers. Under state law, the complex will also have to include a fine dining restaurant.

First Renderings Revealed

During the Thursday meeting, developers presented gaming commissioners with the first pictures of the proposed casino resort, noting that those were only renderings and that construction documents were yet to be submitted, pending site approval by the Commission.

First news about the casino plan emerged two years ago when Long Beach Harbor Resort LLC was registered. The company which will develop the property, if it wins the necessary permissions, is headed by businessman James (Jim) Parrish. Mr. Parrish owns several businesses across South Mississippi.

While site approval is an essential step, it is only the first of many. As mentioned above, it has been two years now since the project was first introduced and it could take years before it materializes, as developers usually need quite some time to sort out site plans and secure financing.

Long Beach voters approved the construction of a casino north of U.S. 90 in a special election that took place in the summer of 2006. During yesterday’s meeting, six city residents said that they favored a gambling venue, while three were against it and two said they were neutral.

Those opposing the construction of the casino cited concerns about increased crime, traffic, and property values.

Long Beach Mayor George Bass was among those to speak in favor of the proposed casino, saying that it would have a positive impact on the city and its stagnant economy, generate millions of dollars for its schools as well as revenue for infrastructure improvements.

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Bellagio Craps Scammers Banned from Nevada Casinos

The two men participated in a cheating scheme that involved placing high-risk phantom bets at Bellagio’s craps tables

Two men have been added to Nevada’s “black book” of banned casino players after scamming Bellagio of nearly $1.2 million by placing the so-called hop bet in a series of craps games, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

Anthony Grant Granito and James Russell Cooper will no longer be able to play at any of the state’s casinos after their names have been placed on the list of banned gamblers maintained by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

Granito and Cooper were part of a group of four men who jointly carried out a sophisticated scheme to cheat the glitzy Strip casino. The scam took place between August 2012 and July 2014 and also involved Jeffrey Martin and Mark Branco. Branco and Cooper were craps dealers at the Bellagio at the time. According to court papers, it was Branco who led the group of four and concocted the scheme. The scam was discovered and reported by another craps dealer who noticed suspicious behavior and reported it to casino officials.

The scheme involved Branco and Cooper working at the same table. When a shooter tossed the dice, Martin or Granito had to mumble something that very much sounded like a hop bet (a risky oral proposition in which players wagered that a specific number would fall next). One of the dealers participating in the scam would pay out as if Martin or Granito had wagered correctly on whatever came up next.

It is important to note that at the time, the felt on the craps tables at the targeted casino had no designated spot for hop bets. To avoid attention and prevent their wrongdoing from being discovered, the two players would lose thousands of dollars on actual bets they placed. However, they would always walk away with a profit thanks to the phantom bets.

All four participants in the fraudulent scheme were charged with theft and cheating at gambling and sentenced to prison by the Clark County District Court in 2016. As mentioned above, Granito and Cooper have recently been placed on the list of people banned from gambling at Nevada’s casinos.

How Was the Scam Discovered?

As mentioned earlier, it was believed that Branco was the mastermind behind the fraudulent plan. The group of four accomplices carried out with the scam for two years between August 2012 and July 2014.

A third craps dealer at the Bellagio reported suspicious activity to the casino’s management. Casino authorities themselves noticed a winning streak of wagers they said defied 452-billion-to-1 odds. According to a statistician employed by MGM Resorts International, Bellagio’s parent company:

Granito’s average bet was $4,400. He played 1,624 rounds and wagered $7.1 million. He would have been expected to lose $459,539. Instead, he won $498,500. Martin wagered $5.1 million over 2,295 rounds. Bellagio should have expected to come away with $252,490 of his money. Instead, he won $587,900. Overall, they would have been expected to lose $712,029…but they won a total of $1,086,400.

Casino officials examined every roll of the dice visible on surveillance while Branco and Cooper were at the tables to find enough evidence about their wrongdoing. Cooper eventually cooperated with authorities, revealing the scam’s details.

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Steffen Sontheimer Claims partypoker CPP $250,000 Super High Roller Championships Title

Sontheimer beats a field of 34 seasoned high rollers to win his largest career cash

A little over a year after claiming the inaugural Poker Masters title, German player Steffen Sontheimer has climbed another tournament poker peak. The player emerged victorious in the partypoker Caribbean Poker Party $250,000 Super High Roller Championships last night to capture his largest career cash of $3,685,000 and a shiny partypoker trophy.

The player’s hike to victory was not an easy one. He had to outwit 34 of the world’s best high rollers over three days of play. Sontheimer surged into the chip lead on the second day of action after winning a key pot against Nick Petrangelo. The German kept his advantage into Day 3 and throughout that final day.

The third day of action kicked off with six survivors who represented the event’s official final table. While Sontheimer was the chip leader at the beginning of Day 3, it was Petrangelo who was the short stack. And it was Petrangelo who kicked off the action-packed finale at Baha Mar Casino in Nassau.

The player put some pressure on his opponents to improve his stack shortly after cards were thrown in the air to mark the beginning of the day. Petrangelo managed to stay alive for a while, but his momentum proved short-lived. Poker pro Isaac Haxton was the first player to bust out of the final table only to be followed by Petrangelo. The latter became the unfortunate bubble boy or the last player to leave the tournament without a payout.

Four-Handed Play

Each of the final four players was guaranteed a minimum payout of $710,000. But given the fact that they were all accomplished high rollers, they were certainly eying the first-place prize of over $3.6 million. Aside from Sontheimer, the group of final four also included Mikita Badziakouski from Belarus and US players David Peters and Sean Winter.

It took four hours of action before another player left the race. It was Badziakouski who busted in fourth place, good for the minimum cash. David Peters was the next to go for $1.42 million, leaving it to Winter and Sontheimer to determine the champion.

It should be said that it was namely the final two players who dominated action throughout the final day. While the young German was still the chip leader at the beginning of heads-up, Winter himself was pretty deep. With nearly 200 big blinds in play, everyone expected a lengthy duel. However, it was sealed within 15 minutes of play.

On what turned out to be the final hand of the $250,000 buy-in tournament, Winter limped the button, while Sontheimer raised to 700,000. Winter then three-bet to 2 million and Sontheimer shoved with [Ah][Kh]. Winter snap-called with [Ac][Qh]. The board ran out [10s][5d][3h][4s][9h], forcing Winter out in second place. Although the player could not win the title, he left with not a bad payout of $2.43 million.

Including his latest cash, Sontheimer now has more than $12.5 million in live tournament earnings and has moved up in the all-time money list to become one of the world’s top 50 winningest players.

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New Jersey Gambling Revenue Spikes in October Thanks to Sports Betting and Internet Gaming

New Jersey’s sportsbooks handle nearly $600 million in wagers during first four and a half months of legal sports betting

Sports betting and online gambling helped New Jersey to a double-digit increase of the state’s gambling revenue for October, the latest figures released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement showed.

Total gaming revenue amounted to $239.1 million last month, up 15.8% year-on-year. Revenue generated by Atlantic City’s nine operational casinos totaled $200.6 million for the month of October, reflecting an increase of 8%. Internet gambling revenue stood at $26.8 million, up 30.1%. Revenue from sports betting was $11.7 million.

The US Supreme Court ruled in May in favor of New Jersey as the state was seeking to have a long-standing federal ban on sports betting lifted. The move allowed all 50 states to legalize wagering on professional and college sports if they felt inclined to do so. New Jersey itself legalized the practice in early June and first legal betting operations were launched in the state in mid-June. As many as six states have legalized and are now offering wagering services on their territories since the SCOTUS ruling, including Pennsylvania which took its first legal bet on Thursday, November 15.

In New Jersey, almost all of the state’s nine operational casinos and two of its racetracks offer sports betting, both at physical sportsbooks and online. The properties generated overall revenue of $52 million since June 14, 2018 when first legal bets were placed in the state.

New Jersey’s Sportsbooks Handle Nearly $600 Million in Wagers in First 4 ½ Months

According to the figures released by the Division of Gaming Enforcement, New Jersey’s sportsbooks processed $260 million in sports bets last month, thus bringing the overall betting handle to $597 million since mid-June. Football and baseball accounted for most of October’s wagers, boosted by the playoffs and the World Series.

The amount of $296.4 million was wagered at the state’s physical sportsbooks since sports betting became legal. Internet wagers amounted to $300.9 million since mid-June.

As mentioned above, year-to-date betting revenue totaled $52 million. Resorts’ Digital division took the lion’s share of the revenue bundle with $16.6 million, followed by the Meadowlands racetrack with $15.2 million.

A new player is set to join the New Jersey sports betting space next week. Daily fantasy sports operator DraftKings will further venture into the sports betting space by launching a physical sportsbook with its New Jersey partner Resorts Casino. The 5,000-square-foot facility is set to open doors on November 20. It will be located off the casino floor in a space where customers will be able to enter directly from the Atlantic City Boardwalk. Resorts Casino and the newly minted betting operator have been working together since August when their Internet wagering product went live.

Caesars and Hard Rock are the only two Atlantic City casinos that do not offer sports betting. However, thing might change soon for Hard Rock, as the casino’s owner has recently filed a petition with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement to be permitted to operate “sports pool and online sports pool.” It is not clear yet when and if Caesars will join the New Jersey sports betting mix.

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The post New Jersey Gambling Revenue Spikes in October Thanks to Sports Betting and Internet Gaming appeared first on Casino News Daily.

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