Macau: hints of tougher regime, but MGM is still committed
acau could become less dependent on gaming as new Chief Executive Fernando Chui seeks to diversify the Chinese special administrative
region’s economy and allocate more land to public housing. In his first policy address since taking office in
December, Chui said that his government could repossess land earmarked for casino development and use it for housing instead if there are no clear plans to construct casinos on it. Chui – influenced, according to some, by Beijing’s
concern over the dominance of gaming – also said that he would emphasise economic diversification into tourism, logistics, Chinese medicine, and the international meetings and exhibitions trade. A new policy research unit under Chui’s direct control
will be set up, and a regulatory body for gaming is also being considered. However, this first hint of a potentially chillier
atmosphere for gaming in Macau has not stopped MGM Mirage from tying its future to the region’s fortunes.
New York racino plans in tatters as regulators veto Aqueduct investors
lans for a casino at the Aqueduct racetrack in Jamaica, New York, have collapsed after state licensing officials refused to approve the firm
chosen to develop and operate it by Governor David Paterson. State regulators were unwilling to license some of the
investors in Aqueduct Entertainment Group (AEG) and were provided with inadequate financial data on others, according to reports. Amid accusations that his choice of AEG was
politically motivated, Paterson now appears to be indicating that the process of choosing a firm for the site near John F. Kennedy International Airport will start again from the beginning. But horse-racing interests – eager for the revenue that
the racino will bring to their industry – are urging that the choice should be made quickly among the remaining bidders, which include Penn National Gaming and two separate consortia involving Hard Rock Entertainment and MGM.
When New Jersey regulators recently forced MGM to
make a choice between continuing to do business with gaming mogul Stanley Ho – the firm’s partner in Macau – and retaining its half share in the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, MGM opted to stick with Ho despite the regulators’ accusation that Ho has been involved with organised crime in Macau. He controls 20 of the 33 casinos there. MGM has now put its stake in the Borgata – Atlantic
City’s highest-grossing venue – into a trust while a buyer is sought, and abandoned plans for another $5bn casino development there. It is also going ahead with plans for an initial public
offering (IPO) of shares in its Macau joint venture with the Ho family, likely to take place in August or September. And the Macau gaming sector appears to be in rude
health. While revenue shrunk in the U.S., it grew nearly ten percent in Macau to a record $15bn last year. One operator, Sands China, saw 2009 net profit soar 22 percent, to $214m.
DEQ tops 200 installations
evelopment of tribal casinos continues, with Nevada and Manitoba among the next to get new facilities.
Construction could begin this autumn on the third First
Nations casino in Manitoba. Spirit Sands, approved by the provincial government and operated by the Swan Lake First Nation, will be located near the Trans-Canada Highway between Brandon and Winnipeg. The casino will house 300 slots and five tables. Other facilities will include three restaurants and, later, a small
6 APRIL 2010
anada’s DEQ installed 67 new systems in the fourth quarter, bringing its 2009 total to 207 across North America.
The firm, which makes gaming technology such as
electronic side betting units for live tables, numbered Chukchansi, Commerce and Pala Casinos in California as well as Las Vegas’s MGM Grand, Monte Carlo and Treasure Island among its customers. It is licensed in 23 North American jurisdictions.
MD adds mystery jackpot
taly’s Magic Dreams has added a mystery progressive jackpot to the multireel games on its new X10 platform. The Captain Ca$h jackpot features five win levels. All
bets are eligible for all win levels, although probabilities increase with higher bets. Captain Ca$h is available for the games Egyptian
Mysteries, Happy Fish, The Jungle II, Oriental Secrets, Return of the Phoenix, and Xcalibur.
More tribal casinos on the way for Nevada, Manitoba
hotel. Annual revenue is expected to be about $30m, with profits shared among all Manitoba’s 64 First Nations. In the U.S., meanwhile, the Navajo Nation will this
autumn start building a $180m casino, resort and spa near Twin Arrows, Arizona. It is expected to open around a year later. In Arizona, however, other tribes have opposed an
application by the Tohono O’odham Nation to extend its reservation near Glendale and use the extra land to build a casino resort.
News in brief
What Whelan wants
Former Atlantic City Mayor Jim
Whelan, now a New Jersey Senator, is introducing legislation to allow a further four small casinos in the state. They would be permitted to operate with just 200 hotel rooms, requiring much less investment than the current 500-room minimum for New Jersey casinos necessitates, although they would be taxed at a higher rate. Slots-only venues would be allowed to further ease costs. Whelan believes the proposed law would help New Jersey compete with the growing number of casino developments in neighbouring states. In Iowa, meanwhile, Governor Chet Culver also wants to add four more casinos to that state’s 17, to raise revenue.
Entertainment has launched Caesars Bingo Online in the UK. Featuring slots, Baccarat, Blackjack and Roulette as well as Bingo, with free-to-play and real-money options, the Website is powered by Gamesys technology. Harrah’s also offers CaesarsCasino.com in the UK.
FutureLogic has obtained four
new patents in the U.S. and Australia for gaming and promotional printer technology.
Online affiliate marketing
programmes EGO, Expekt, DoylesRoom and Mainstreet Affiliates have received community certification from CasinoAffiliatePrograms.com, which lets its 10,000 members vote on candidates for such recognition.
Britain’s got Bingo
UK online Bingo operator
Meccabingo.com has become official online gaming partner of the Britain’s Got Talent TV contest. The three-year deal with FremantleMedia gives Meccabingo.com, part of Rank Interactive, the right to create an online Bingo room using Britain’s Got Talent branding such as graphics and music.
| Page 2
| Page 3
| Page 4
| Page 5
| Page 6
| Page 7
| Page 8
| Page 9
| Page 10
| Page 11
| Page 12
| Page 13
| Page 14
| Page 15
| Page 16
| Page 17
| Page 18
| Page 19
| Page 20
| Page 21
| Page 22
| Page 23
| Page 24
| Page 25
| Page 26
| Page 27
| Page 28
| Page 29
| Page 30
| Page 31
| Page 32
| Page 33
| Page 34
| Page 35
| Page 36
| Page 37
| Page 38
| Page 39
| Page 40
| Page 41
| Page 42
| Page 43
| Page 44
| Page 45
| Page 46