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Archive for January 10th, 2019

Former Nevada Governor Joins MGM to Drive Casino, Betting Expansion

Nevada’s former Governor assumes a new role at MGM as part of the company’s casino, sports betting expansion plans

Former Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has returned to the private sector just days after he surrendered power to his successor Steve Sisolak. Mr. Sandoval has joined Las Vegas casino and hospitality powerhouse MGM Resorts International as its new President of Global Gaming Development, the company announced yesterday.

Formerly Nevada’s top legislator, Mr. Sandoval’s responsibilities at MGM will include driving the gambling operator’s global expansion, most importantly in Japan where it will be bidding for one of three integrated resort licenses.

The newly appointed President of Global Gaming Development will also focus on “state public policy efforts around sports gaming” as MGM is looking to cement itself as a leader in the growing sports betting field.

Commenting on the latest addition to the MGM’s management team, company Chairman and CEO Jim Murren said that Mr. Sandoval “brings an unparalleled level of skill, leadership, and experience,” and that they will “benefit greatly from his in-depth expertise in gaming, public policy, and economic development.”

The former Nevada Government also previously served as a member of the state’s Gaming Commission. At the age of 35, he was appointed as the regulator’s youngest-ever Chairman in 1999.

Japan Expansion Push

Of his new role, Mr. Sandoval said that it was really important to him to find the right professional opportunity that best suited his experience as a lawmaker, gaming regulator, Attorney General, federal judge, and most recently as a Governor of Nevada.

Mr. Sandoval also praised Mr. Murren for forming “critical relationships in Japan and in sports” and said he is looking forward to building upon that strong foundation.

The newly legalized Japanese casino market is actually a core element in MGM’s international expansion strategy. Japanese lawmakers are expected to open the bidding process for three licenses for the operation of casino resorts in the country by the end of the year. And MGM has long ago pitched massive plans for the development of such resort to enter that nascent gaming market. Many believe that Japan could quickly become one of the world’s largest casino jurisdictions in terms of revenue generated, but it will not be before the early-to-mid 2020s when the nation’s first gambling venue opens doors.

MGM has previously said that it could spend up to $10 billion to build a “uniquely Japanese” integrated resort, in case it wins a coveted license.

As Mr. Sandoval is assuming the role of President of Global Gaming Development, MGM’s President Bill Hornbuckle will now lead global casino marketing and will be tasked with leveraging the company’s worldwide assets to “drive revenue growth and maximize the value contributed from [its] assets”, it also became known on Tuesday.

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The post Former Nevada Governor Joins MGM to Drive Casino, Betting Expansion appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Pennsylvania Gambling Regulator to Consider Presque Isle Casino Sale at First 2019 Meeting

Presque Isle Downs & Casino awaits regulatory approval on Churchill Downs takeover, launch of legal sports betting

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is set to consider the sale of Presque Isle Downs & Casino in Erie to Churchill Downs at its first meeting of this year. If the transaction receives the necessary regulatory approval, it could officially close as early as Friday morning, local news outlet Go Erie reports.

Churchill Downs first announced its plan to buy Presque Isle Casino in February 2018. The company said back then that it had entered into two definitive agreements with Eldorado Resorts to buy the Erie property as well as Lady Luck Casino in Vicksburg, Mississippi for a total consideration of nearly $230 million.

Casino takeover deals typically require approval from the gambling regulators that oversee the activities of the venues that are being sold. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is set to meet today for the first time this year and the Presque Isle Casino sale occupies the top spot on its agenda. If Churchill Downs receives regulatory approval to buy the Erie-based gambling venue, the deal could be finalized as soon as Friday.

Presque Isle Casino opened doors in 2007. The property operates 2,000 slot machines and a number of table games. According to information from Pennsylvania’s gambling regulator, the property recorded slot machine revenue of $114 million and table game revenue of $125 million during the fiscal year ended June 30, 2018.

Sports Betting Could Soon Arrive to Erie

Presque Isle Downs & Casino is also seeking approval from the Gaming Control Board to operate sports betting at the property. The gambling venue filed its sports betting petition with the regulator on December 7. Kevin O’Sullivan, General Manager of the casino and horse racetrack, told local media that they hope to be on the board’s February docket to “present [their] sports wagering format.”

Mr. O’Sullivan went on to say that they are currently looking at “carving out space” on their existing gaming floor to make room for a designated sports betting facility. Some of the lower-performance slot games at the casino will be replaced for the purpose, it also emerged.

The Presque Isle Casino GM further dwelt that customers have been excited and have been asking how long it will take before the sportsbook becomes operational and whether it will go live for March Madness.

Pennsylvania was the seventh state to launch legal sports betting following last year’s SCOTUS ruling that lifted a federal ban on the activity. Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course was the first state property to file a sports betting petition with the Gaming Control Board and the first to open a sportsbook. That happened in mid-November.

Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh and SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia went live with sports betting a month later, and Parx Casino in Bensalem soft-launched its sportsbook this past Tuesday. The property is currently undergoing a 48-hour testing period and if it goes as planned, it will open officially its sports betting facility on Thursday. Valley Forge Resort Casino and Harrah’s Philadelphia have both been given the green light to operate sports gambling but are yet to undergo a testing period.

Commenting on the anticipated launch of betting, Mr. O’Sullivan said that they do not believe it will overtake slot machine and table game revenue, but it will still appeal “to a strong niche and carry over to additional revenue.”

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Oneida Nation, Caesars Offer Peek into Future New York Sportsbooks

Oneida Nation reveals details about future sportsbooks as sports betting legalization debate gains momentum in New York

The Oneida Indian Nation released on Tuesday renderings of th planned sportsbooks at its casinos across New York. The tribe unveiled last week a partnership with Las Vegas gaming and hospitality giant Caesars Entertainment for the provision of sports gambling at its properties.

The deal is yet to be approved by the National Indian Gaming Commission. The Oneida Nation will also not be able to go live with sports betting before the practice is regulated in New York, which many believe will happen this year.

Gambling on sports became possible in the country after the US Supreme Court struck down in May 2018 a long-standing federal ban on the practice. Seven states legalized sports betting following the landmark SCOTUS ruling and more are expected to follow suit this year.

The Oneida Nation said yesterday that The Lounge with Caesars Sports at its Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona will feature a 48-by-9-foot curved screen that will be visible from three sides. There will also be 12 65-inch and five 85-inch screens around the facility to make sure that visitors are all at the center of sports action.

Point Place Casino’s sportsbook will feature a 24-by-6.75-foot primary video wall as well as 23 65-inch and 11 85-inch screens. The casino floor will undergo an expansion to accommodate the betting facility.

Last but not least, Yellow Brick Road Casino in Chittenango will see a complete renovation later this year, including the addition of a betting lounge, upgrades to the existing table games, and other features that will aim to improve gamblers’ experience.

In addition, all three future sports betting facilities will offer full-service bars, betting windows, VIP areas with dedicated screens, and many more, the Oneidas said on Tuesday.

Status of Sports Betting in New York

The Oneida Nation’s partnership with Caesars will allow the federally recognized tribe to delve into the lucrative US sports betting market and will secure the Las Vegas casino giant with entry into the New York gambling space.

However, despite ongoing preparations the two parties will have to wait for a little while before being able to launch sports gambling in the three New York-based casinos. Their partnership needs regulatory approval from the National Indian Gaming Commission. It is believed that the regulatory body will give the deal the green light.

In addition, while residents of the state voted back in 2013 to legalize sports betting via a referendum, the actual regulation of the practice is yet to take place. Following the referendum, the New York Legislature enacted a law that legalized sports betting at the state’s four commercial casinos that were yet to be built at the time.

Under that law, casinos can only accept in-person bets and cannot take wagers on New York college teams and on sporting events that take place in the state.

Last year’s SCOTUS ruling prompted the introduction of a sports betting bill that aimed to clarify important details and allow the start of sports wagering in the state. That bill failed in the Legislature, but Sen. Joseph Addabbo pre-filed a bill back in December to have it considered during this year’s legislative session, which starts on today, January 9.

Among other things, the bill calls for the authorization of digital betting, includes a payout to professional sports leagues, and mandates that locally licensed sports betting operators purchase official league data from leagues and their partners.

The Oneida Nation has previously said that it does not need a new legislation to provide sports betting as under its compact with New York, its casinos are allowed to add new gaming services to their existing offering as long as these are offered elsewhere in the state. The tribe plans to adopt sports betting under this provision in its compact.

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Scott Baumstein Leads 38 Into PokerStars Players Championship Day 4

Scott Baumstein won the tournament’s largest pot so far to build a solid stack and eventually bag into the night as the chip leader

The record-breaking 1,039-person field of the inaugural PokerStars Players Championship was reduced to just 38 players over the course of the past three days. And Day 3 of the tournament was just as thrilling as the previous two days of action.

The third day of the $25,000 buy-in event kicked off with 207 players who had survived from Day 2. They were all looking to secure a paid spot as the money bubble was dangerously close at the start of Day 3 action.

Speaking of money, the PSPC generated a massive prize pool of $26,455,500, including $1 million from PokerStars for the future champion. The top 181 finishers are getting to split the money into payouts starting from $25,450 and going all the way up to $5.1 million for the winner.

That explains why it took a while before the money bubble burst. Players, both professional ones and poker enthusiasts, were striving to survive and secure a payout from this record-smashing tournament. It was eventually Paul Leckey who scooped the unfortunate bubble boy title after an unsuccessful confrontation against Tianle Wang. Yet, Leckey did not leave the tournament empty-handed as he received a package for the EPT Monte Carlo this spring as a consolation prize.

Action quickened from that point on and bustouts took place at a high clip. During that time, start-of-the-day chip leader Farid Jattin managed to maintain his advantage. However, he lost some of his momentum later into the day and Luigi Knoppers, Ramon Colillas, and Jason Koonce each took a turn at the top of the temporary leaderboard.

Scott Baumstein Wins the Tournament’s Biggest Hand, Takes the Lead

All of the above three players could not keep their chip lead for long enough. And it was shortly after 9 pm local time when US poker player Scott Baumstein began building his stack to eventually complete Day 3 as the overnight chip leader.

Baumstein participated in, and won, the tournament’s largest hand so far. The player called a five-bet jam by Jattin. Baumstein’s pocket queens held up against his opponent’s ace-king and the player scooped a massive amount of chips that helped him pass the 4 million mark. He took the chip lead shortly after and never looked back all the way through the end of the day when he bagged and tagged the largest stack.

Jattin himself secured a seat into Day 4 of the tournament. The player put 640,000 in his bag last night and currently ranks among the short stacks in the temporary chip counts chart. Notables still in contention include Mikita Badziakouski, who won a Platinum Pass into the PSPC last year, Griffin Benger, Kristen Bicknell, and Marvin Rettenmeier, among others.

Action is set to resume today at noon local time at the host venue – Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas – with the 38 survivors from the previous day.

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