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Archive for March 17th, 2019

Rhode Island Casinos Add Self-Betting Kiosks

Rhode Island’s two sportsbooks install self-betting kiosks to streamline the betting process right ahead of this year’s March Madness

Rhode Island’s sportsbooks are getting an important upgrade ahead of this year’s March Madness, news emerged Friday. The state’s two casinos – Twin River Lincoln and Twin River Tiverton – are adding self-betting kiosks to reduce lines at their ticket windows.

The two gambling venues, both owned and operated by Twin River Management Group, have begun installing self-betting kiosks in anticipation of the upcoming March Madness. The Rhode Island Department of Revenue has said that testing of the devices is on schedule and they aim to get them running for this year’s edition of one of the most popular sporting events.

Twin River Lincoln will feature 17 self-betting kiosks, while its sister property in Tiverton will have five of the devices. As mentioned above, they will provide a faster alternative for bettors who want to skip waiting in lines at the two casinos’ ticket windows to place their wagers.

Rhode Island gained important competitive advantage by becoming the first state to go live with legal sports betting in New England. The two Twin River properties launched their in-person sportsbooks just a week apart late last year. The sports betting facility at Twin River Casino Lincoln opened doors in the last days of November, while the Tiverton-based property welcomed its first bettors in the first days of December.

Mobile Betting Coming to the State

According to preliminary projections, Rhode Island would reap $11.5 million in sports betting tax revenue during the first year of legal sports gambling in the state. However, figures from the Rhode Island Lottery show that the state might not be able to meet those early estimates.

According to official data, the state’s two casinos handled $32.8 million in wagers between late November and the end of January, and paid out $31.6 million in winning bets. That left $1.2 million in revenue. Under Rhode Island’s sports gambling law, the state collects 51% of the two properties’ betting revenue, which means that the amount of $612,000 has so far gone to state coffers. February figures are yet to be released by the Lottery.

A bill calling for the authorization of online and mobile betting passed its final hurdle in the state Legislature – the House of Representatives, earlier this week. The piece now needs to be signed by Gov. Gina Raimondo in order to take effect as a law. The state’s top official has included betting tax revenue in her new budget, so she is not likely to veto a measure that is intended to boost sports gambling activity.

Analysts believe that the legalization of mobile betting could generate up to $8 million in additional tax revenue for the state by the end of the year. Lawmakers have not provided a specific timeline on when exactly bettors will be able to wager via desktop or their smartphones yet.

The legislation literally swept through the Legislature. It was first introduced in the Senate in February. However, some lawmakers warned that it could face legal troubles, as there are members of the state’s Legislature who believe the legalization of mobile betting is a form of gambling expansion.

There were also warnings that a provision in the bill that requires bettors to complete a registration at the state’s two physical sportsbooks in order to be able to place bets online could impact betting activity negatively.

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The post Rhode Island Casinos Add Self-Betting Kiosks appeared first on Casino News Daily.

PAGCOR, Quezon City Officials Quarrel over Proposed Casino

Quezon City casino project puts Philippine gambling regulator and City Council at odds over whether residents should be allowed to gamble

A legal dispute between the Philippine gambling regulator and Quezon City officials over a proposed casino in the city now seems imminent. City officials passed earlier this week an ordinance that, among other things, would restricts residents’ access to the new casino when it becomes operational.

However, PAGCOR, the regulator tasked with overseeing the Philippines gambling industry, argued that the ordinance violated national laws, and threatened to sue the city for trying to interfere in matters that fall under the regulatory body’s purview.

Philippine casino resort developer and operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp. revealed last summer plans to expand its Solaire brand with a property in Quezon City. The company, which is owned by Philippine business mogul Enrique Razon Jr., currently operates Solaire Resort & Casino, a $1.2 billion integrated resort located along the Bay City area of Parañaque, Metro Manila. The luxury hotel and casino complex opened doors in 2013 and was the first of four properties of this kind within Entertainment City, a larger government-spearheaded project aimed at boosting the nation’s tourism industry.

Last month, Bloomberry announced that two of its subsidiaries have secured a PHP40 billion (approximately $767 million) loan to partly fund the development and operation of their planned Quezon City resort. Bloomberry expects to break ground on its new resort later this year and to launch it in 2022. The property will be located at the Vertis North Complex.

What Prompted the Dispute between PAGCOR and Quezon City Officials?

Earlier this week, the City Council of Quezon City passed an ordinance that gave the nod to Bloomberry’s project, but included provisions aimed to restrict the access of residents of the city to the future gambling venue.

Quezon City officials thus revealed plans to either impose a high entry fee for city residents or an outright ban that would prevent them from gambling at the facility. The ordinance was reportedly largely based on measures introduced in Singapore. The city-state collects a daily entry fee of S$100 or an annual fee of S$2,000 from nationals and permanent residents who want to gamble at one of its two casinos – Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa.

Quezon City officials pointed out earlier this week that they expect PAGCOR to contest their ordinance and seek a temporary restraining order. However, Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte noted that while they agreed the hotel and casino complex would bring numerous economic benefits, they felt it was their duty to “look after the welfare” of the city’s residents.

In response to the ordinance’s passage, PAGCOR said in a statement that it would be a “dereliction of its duties as gaming regulator” not to take the important step of challenging the measure in the nation’s courts.

PAGCOR cited the nation’s Presidential Decree 1869 and Republic Act No. 9487 to stress the fact that the regulation of casino operations on the territory of the Philippines fell entirely under the government agency’s purview, and that local government units have had their authority to “issue license permit or any form of franchise to operate, maintain, and establish forms of gambling” revoked by Presidential Decree 771.

Vice Mayor Belmonte told local media that she would welcome a court challenge of their ordinance as it would be decided once and for all whether “it’s PAGCOR charter or the local government code that has precedence” in matters of this nature.

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The post PAGCOR, Quezon City Officials Quarrel over Proposed Casino appeared first on Casino News Daily.

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