200+ US Casinos are Now Smoke-Free Following COVID-19 Shutdown

Dr. Brian King from the CDC has recently confirmed that more than 200 casinos around the US have returned from the COVID-19 shutdown as smoke-free facilities. King, who is the deputy director for research in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Office on Smoking and Health, called this fact “a silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

However, King shouldn’t be too optimistic about it as most of those casinos are planning to return to their old ways once the coronavirus is completely out of our lives. At least that’s according to gaming historian David Schwartz, who believes smoking and gambling go hand-by-hand.

Still, the fact is that the US gaming capital Las Vegas now has more smoke-free casinos than any time before, the most notable example being Park MGM.

Park MGM Casino Leading the Way

According to the president of MGM Resorts Las Vegas Portfolio, Anton Nikodemus, there is a strong desire among non-smokers to gamble at smoke-free casinos. As a result, the company has decided to make one of its Las Vegas properties entirely smoke-free.

The casino in question is Park MGM, which has been a smoke-free zone since returning to business on September 30, 2020. When it re-opened its doors, the casino became the first property on the Las Vegas Strip where smoking is banned.

The no-smoking rule, however, was in force in other Las Vegas casinos in the past. Probably the best example is the old Silver City Casino, which banned smoking in 1991. However, gamblers did not react very well to that decision, so the ban lasted for only a couple of months.

More examples of short-lived casino smoking bans come from Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Last summer, when those two states decided to allow the casinos to return to business after the COVID-19 shutdown, one of the rules was to ensure a smoking-free environment on the premises.

The rule, however, did not last too long. One of the reasons why casinos lifted the ban as soon as the state officials allowed them is that gamblers seem to have a love affair with smoking.

Gamblers Say Yes to Smoking

Over the last couple of decades, smoking prevalence has declined sharply in the US. According to the CDC, only about 14% of Americans smoke, or roughly 34.1 million people. What this means is that a big majority of people living in the United States are non-smokers.

The data differs a lot when casino gamblers are concerned. As it turns out, a large percentage of US casino patrons are smokers. Former UNLV professor who specializes in gaming history, David Schwartz, thinks that smokers generate more revenue to the casino industry than non-smokers.

He believes that that’s the reason why most casinos are going to allow indoor smoking to return as soon as the pandemic is over. Still, casinos might come up with a different solution. Rather than banning/allowing smoking entirely, they might decide to separate the gaming floors to smoking and non-smoking ones.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Wynn Resorts Stocks Now Up for Sale at $118

Last year was “annus horribilis” for practically everyone involved with the casino business. However, some have managed to rebound in the last couple of months of 2020. One of those companies is Wynn Resorts, which closed out the last year on a relatively high note – they reported a positive adjusted property EBITDA of about $39.4 million.

The casino operator now wants to cash in on the euphoria, for which, Wynn Resorts decided to put a portion of its stocks up for public sale.  About 6.32 million Wynn Resorts stocks have been made available for purchase, which is expected to raise as much as $5.5 million.

The money collected through the sale of Wynn Resorts stocks is going to be used for “general corporate purposes.”

Wynn Stocks Traded at ~$118 on Robinhood

The timing is great for Wynn to sell its stocks. At the same time, it also seems that it’s still a good time for investors to start buying them. At the moment of writing, the price of one Wynn Resorts stock on Robinhood.com is $118.

Wynn stocks at Robinhood
Screenshot: Robinhood

The lowest price of Wynn Resorts stocks was recorded in late January. On Friday, January 29, the price for one stock was $99.53. Since then, the price has been constantly going up.

Last week, we saw the price for one stock going above $116, while this week, it went over $117 before reaching the current price on early Saturday morning.

The reason why buying Wynn Resorts stocks at $118 seems like a good business move is that the price is still way below $136.82, which was its price before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last spring.

Wynn Stock Improvement Led by Macau Rebound

Things still aren’t in order in Las Vegas, with COVID-19 still causing troubles for the casino industry. Good days seem to be ahead as, from February 15, Nevada will ease its COVID-19 measures. As a result, casinos will be allowed to increase their capacity from 25 to 35%. Not a very big improvement but knowing that the vaccination is ongoing, the end of the crisis seems to be on the horizon.

What this means for Wynn Resorts is that their two properties on the Strip (Wynn Las Vegas and Encore) are expected to return to their full glory within a couple of months. Once that happens, millions of dollars will start pouring in the company piggy-bank, which is bound to make its stocks go up.

Until that happens, the main driving force behind Wynn Resorts will continue to be the operation in Macau. Wynn’s CEO Matt Maddox was full of praise for the company’s property in Macau, calling it “the sweet spot of our company.”

In addition, the company has big plans for its online sports betting brand WynnBET. According to Maddox, the internet operation saw its “revenues growing almost 50 percent over the last three months.” WynnBET was recently made an official sponsor of the Memphis Grizzlies in an effort to make the brand a household name among American sports fans.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Las Vegas Sands Hires 51 Lobbyists to Push for Casino Legalization in Texas

Even though there were speculations about the future of Las Vegas Sands following the death of its founder Sheldon Adelson, the company seems to be on the same route. At least, that’s the case when it comes to its involvement with casino legalization in Texas.

For the last couple of years of his life, one of Adelson’s main preoccupations was to persuade Texas lawmakers into ditching the laws that ban casino gambling. In late 2020, he hired 10 lobbyists with the intention of pushing his Texas casino agenda.

After Adelson’s passing, his successors in Las Vegas Sands decided to up the ante – they hired 51 lobbyists with the same intention.

Sands Becomes Second-Largest Lobbying Group in Texas Behind AT&T

With Adelson gone, the man in the spotlight is Andy Abboud. The vice president of government relations at Las Vegas Sands is the man in charge of the lobbying operation the aim of which is to make casinos legal in Texas.

In Abboud’s words “Texas is considered the biggest plum still waiting to be out there in the history of hospitality and gaming.”

The lobbying team has never been this big – with 51 people involved and about $4.5 million spent, the Las Vegas Sands lobbying group is the second-largest of its kind in the Lone Star State. The only other company with a larger and more powerful lobbying group is AT&T.

With so many invested in this project, Las Vegas Sands is expecting results. However, Texas legislators remain silent on this matter for the time being. However, all the signs are there that there’s a bright future for the Texas casino industry.

What’s the Destiny of Casino Legalization in Texas?

Old Westerns might have given you the idea that gambling plays a pivotal role in the culture of Texas. Add to that the fact that one of the most popular variants of poker bears the name of the state and you’re in for a surprise – casino gambling has been banned in Texas since 1903.

Still, there are some notable exceptions. Parimutuel wagering is legal at racetracks, while there are also a couple of tribal casinos within the state borders. Commercial casinos, however, remain banned. The question is for how long?

The tide seems to be moving in favor of casino legalization in Texas, and it’s not just because of Las Vegas Sands lobbying. It’s also because the COVID-19 pandemic has created a big hole in the state’s budget that gambling tax could fill.

Another reason is that the establishment of land-based casinos in Texas would mean more jobs for locals. The thing is that the unemployment rate in Texas is pretty high and casinos could solve the problem for at least a couple of thousand people.

Finally, it appears that Texans are in favor of casino legalization. A public poll by the University of Houston this January showed that about 70% of people are in favor of casino legalization. Knowing all this, it seems like a safe bet to say Texas is going to get its first commercial casinos real soon.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

The Future of Sands/Crown Deal in Question After Adelson’s Passing

On Monday night, the owner of Las Vegas Sands and one of the richest men in the world, Sheldon Adelson, passed away at the age of 87, following complications from his cancer treatment.

Adelson will be remembered as one of the most powerful people in the gaming industry, whose company owns and operates a number of luxury casinos around the world, including properties in Las Vegas, Macau, and Singapore, where the iconic Marina Bay Sands resort is located.

Adelson’s empire has been constantly growing since 1989 when he launched Las Vegas Sands after purchasing the struggling business of the Sands Hotel. The company did suffer during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, but not too much – Las Vegas Sands continued paying salaries to its employees as if they were working.

Not only that but the world’s largest casino operator also reportedly planned to spread its empire to Australia through the purchase of a 36% stake in Crown Resorts. There’s a big question mark hovering over that deal, following the death of Adelson.

Rumors About Sands/Crown Deal

As reported by the UK’s Daily Mail, Shane Adelson spent New Year’s Eve with James Packer, one of the owners of Crown Resorts. The two casino magnates were seen docking their superyachts next to one another – Packer’s $200m-worth Arctic P and Adelson’s $70m-worth Queen Miri.

Although there’s nothing strange in two billionaires socializing on their superyachts, the rumor about Sands acquiring a share of Crown Resorts doesn’t seem too farfetched. The thing is that Packer and his casino group are currently under an investigation in New South Wales, where officials are checking whether the company was suitable to hold a gaming license.

There’s speculation that the Aussie businessman is looking to get rid of his 36% stake in Crown Resorts. However, there aren’t too many companies in the world that have the kind of money for this kind of purchase. But, Las Vegas Sands definitely has!

The trouble is that with Sheldon Adelson gone, it’s not sure whether the new decision-makers in Las Vegas Sands will be willing to start off with such a big investment.

The Future of Online Gambling in the US After Adelson’s Death

Sheldon Adelson was arguably the most important person in the gaming industry. We’re not talking just about the United States, but the entire world. It’s not only because his company owned properties around the world, but also because Adelson was a very influential person in world politics.

Adelson will be remembered as one of the main backers of Israel’s current PM Benjamin Netanyahu. With Adelson’s help, Israel persuaded the United States to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

This happened during Donald Trump’s Presidency, who was also responsible for brokering a deal that would see two other countries moving their embassies to Jerusalem, namely, Serbia and Kosovo.

Speaking of Trump, Adelson was one of his main supporters. In fact, ahead of the 2020 Elections, Adelson donated $75 million to Trump’s campaign. One of the reasons behind Sheldon’s love for the leaving President is that Trump was his ally in the crusade against US online gambling.

There’s no surprise that the owner of land-based casinos was one of the main opponents of the legalization of online casino gaming in the United States. However, unlike many other casino owners, who have been trying to adapt to the modern world by embracing internet gaming, Adelson wanted to ban it entirely.

Over the last 15 years, he had been pushing for the reenactment of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which would make internet gambling illegal again. Still, despite his efforts, it seems that good days are coming for American online casinos. The number of states that are working on making this gambling form legal keeps growing.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Pornstar Stormy Daniels Asking for Your Help to Blow Up Trump’s Casino

One of the worst years in history for the gaming industry (and otherwise) is finally over. And over in Vegas, they’ve blown the sign saying “2020” with dynamite. Speaking of blowing things up, Stormy Daniels wants to be the one to push the demolition button on Donald Trump’s former casino in Atlantic City.

To do that, she will need to enter an auction organized by the government of Atlantic City. The bids are still coming in, but at the moment of writing, the highest one stands at $175,000.

Stormy doesn’t feel too good about paying the money on her own, which is why she’s asking for your help – anyone who wants to see Stormy blowing up Trump Plaza can fund her GoFundMe campaign.

So far, Stormy’s campaign has raised only $1,935 thanks to 91 donors. Still, the goal of the campaign is to reach $1,000,000. For those who think it’s a bit much to pay to see Trump’s former sex partner blow up his former casinos, we need to remind you that the money is going to charity. All the proceeds from the auction will go to Atlantic City’s branch of Boys & Girls Club.

Philadelphia Casinos to Return to Business on Monday

In other casino news, Philadelphia Governor Thomas Wolf has signed a decree allowing all of 14 casinos located within the state borders to return to business starting Monday, January 4. They’ve been closed for three weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic that’s been making a comeback in the Commonwealth.

Once they re-open their doors, casinos will have to operate under different conditions. They will have to make certain adjustments inside the venue in order to adhere to the social distancing rules. Casinos are also required to use high-tech air purification systems, as well as clean the premises on a regular basis, while also providing hand sanitizers for the guests.

The biggest change that Pennsylvania’s casinos will go through over the next period is 24/7 surveillance. At any given moment, the state police and the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) need to have a presence in each of the 14 casinos, either in-person or through surveillance cameras.

Casino Industry Hopeful of a Big Comeback in 2021

The return of Pennsylvania’s casinos is definitely very good news, but more good news are expected to follow in the upcoming weeks. With the COVID-19 vaccine available, the end of the pandemic is near.

Sure, it might take some time for things to get back to normal but a general consensus is that 2021 is going to be much, much better than the last one.

Some of the things casino aficionados should be excited about include the opening of Resorts World Las Vegas and Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

Over in Hawaii, officials are thinking about changing their stance on gambling. If everything goes according to plan, the construction of Kapolei casino resort.

Finally, more and more states are going through the process of sports betting legalization. There are also some that plan to make online casino gambling legal in 2021.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

You Can Now Bid on Auction to Blow Up Trump’s Casino

Formerly owned by former President, Trump Plaza is to be demolished in 2021. You have a chance to be the one to press the button. For that to happen, all you got to do is bid the highest bid at the auction.

The Trump Plaza demolition auction has already attracted a lot of media attention, with comedians like Jimmy Fallon talking about it in their shows.

However, the auction wasn’t meant to be a dig at the former President. Instead, the purpose of it is to raise money for charity. As announced by Atlantic City Mayor Marty Smalls Sr., the city is going to give all the proceeds from the auction to the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City.

Atlantic City is Auctioning the Demolition of Trump Plaza

Atlantic City officials have put an independent auction house in charge of the auction regarding the destruction of Trump Plaza. Bodnars Auction is the name of the organization that will take care of the auction, which has already started on the internet.

Anyone with a couple of hundred thousand dollars to spare can enter the online auction through this link. At the moment of writing, the highest bid is $28,000, with 11 people taking part so far. However, the Trump Plaza demolition auction has only just started this week, with more than a month left to go.

The auction will end on Tuesday, January 19, 2021, just 10 days before the previously-planned date of demolition. However, as confirmed by Atlantic City Mayor, the implosion of the 39-floor building (the 15th-highest building in Atlantic City) is going to be postponed for a couple of weeks. The most likely time for it to happen is mid-February.

The End of Trump’s Reign in Atlantic City

At one point, Donald Trump owned some of the most successful casinos, not only in Atlantic City but the entire country. However, those days are long gone, with the ex-US President offloading some of his New Jersey businesses, while others fell apart on their own.

One of those that belong to the latter category is Trump Plaza. Located on the iconic Atlantic City boardwalk, it was Trump’s first investment in the casino business. The year was 1984 when it was launched, just a couple of years after Atlantic City became East Coast’s gambling hub.

After the initial success of Trump Plaza, Trump’s Castle was opened. In, 1990, Trump and his associates decided on an even bigger project – the construction of Trump Taj Mahal. In fact, their ambitions didn’t end there. They launched Trump World’s Fair six years later.

At one point, almost half of all casinos in Atlantic City had something to do with Donald Trump. The problem was that they turned out to be each other’s competitors. When profits started dropping, Trump decided to sell Trump’s Castle (renamed Trump Marina in 1997).

For the other three casinos, he decided to file for bankruptcy. Trump Taj Mahal closed down in 2016 (reopened as Hard Rock Casino in 2018). Trump World’s Fair was demolished in 1999, and the same faith awaits the last remaining Trump-branded casino in Atlantic City.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Michigan to Get Online Casinos and Sportsbooks by the End of 2020

On Wednesday, December 1, the Michigan Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) approved the regulations proposed by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB). The regulations in question are meant to regulate online casinos, sportsbooks, and daily fantasy sports (DFS) platforms in Michigan.

As a result, Michigan bettors are going to be able to bet and gamble online as soon as land-based casinos launch their web-based platforms. That’s something that’s expected to happen by the end of the year.

Everyone seems to be cheering for this to happen as soon as possible. The reason is that Michigan’s land-based casinos have been closed due to COVID-19 regulations. As per Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) orders, casinos will remain shut down until at least December 9.

Three Detroit Casinos to Go Online

In Q2, the three land-based commercial casinos in Detroit – MGM Grand, Greektown Casino, and MotorCity Casino Hotel – reported a gross gaming revenue (GGR) of $0.

Over summer, they rebounded, albeit only slightly. Then, in November, COVID-19 came back with a vengeance, with the number of new cases going above 16k near the end of the month. That prompted Governor to put the state in another lockdown.

As a result, Detroit’s casinos are suffering again. However, their suffering might come to an end by the end of December. The thing is that they are given the green light to launch their online casino and sportsbook apps.

In order to be allowed to do that, the three casinos need to team up with providers of online gaming software. This is why we’ve seen the creation of some new partnerships in Michigan’s casino landscape.

MotorCityCasino & FanDuel

MotorCity Casino Hotel formed a partnership with FanDuel, which is going to result in an all-in-one platform, allowing the players to bet, play casino games, and take part in daily fantasy sports, using a single account.

According to FanDuel, the sportsbook/online casino will launch soon, with the launch date still not being released. However, the operator has already started accepting registrations from users based in Michigan. Those who do it will receive $100 worth of free bets ($50 for casino and $50 for sportsbook) to use up once the platform goes online.

Greektown Casino & IGT & Barstool

Greektown Casino is going online with the help of IGT and Barstool. The role of IGT is to power Greektown’s online casino, while Barstool will provide sportsbook solutions.

MGM Grand Detroit & BetMGM

MGG Grand Detroit and BetMGM are both owned by the same company, hence it’s no surprise they’re working together on launching a Michigan online casino and sportsbook.

Once these three online casinos launch, Michigan is going to become only the fifth state in the US where this gaming activity is legal and licensed. At the moment, the states where online casinos are permitted are New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

When it comes to online sportsbooks, there are nine when this activity is legal, but that number is going up in the near future. It’s because, in November, Americans voted to liberalize gaming laws in several US states.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Atlantic City Casinos Expecting a Big Thanksgiving Feast Despite COVID-19 Worries

This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has dominated all aspects of life, including leisure and entertainment. Once again, the virus is in the news, with the outbreak threatening to cancel Thanksgiving celebrations in the United States. A number of states have already decided to go with new measures, some of which include shutting down non-essential businesses such as land-based casinos.

New Jersey, however, still does not belong to those states. According to Governor Phil Murphy, the state has no plans of shutting down the Atlantic City casinos. Gaming fans will be welcome at all nine AC casinos, but there won’t be any turkey on the menu. At least not in the evening as bars and restaurants in casinos now have to close every night at 10 pm.

Governor Phil Murphy Backing Atlantic City Casinos

With the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 going up in New Jersey, a question arose regarding shutting down Atlantic City casinos. Governor Murphy shut them down on March 18 and kept them closed until July 2, but this time, he believes there’s no need for such a measure.

Even though the number of new COVID-19 cases per day is considerably higher than it was in March when casinos ended up closed, Murphy thinks these sorts of venues do not add to the coronavirus risk.

“We believe, based on the evidence that we have, that they’ve been able to responsibly manage their casino floors” – Murphy said during a briefing with other state officials.

The thing is that Atlantic City casinos seem to be doing a very good job keeping the environment coronavirus-free. Furthermore, recent stats show that casinos rank #44 in the list of places where you’re most likely to catch the disease.

Atlantic City Casinos Would Not Survive Another Lockdown

Another incentive to keep the Atlantic City casinos open is the local economy. The gambling industry has suffered big losses as a result of the outbreak, especially in parts of the United States that rely on this industry.

Atlantic City definitely belongs to this category, as the city’s gaming revenue is keeping the local economy healthy. At least it was in the times before the pandemic. Since COVID-19 came to Atlantic City, the gaming revenue plummeted.

As evident from the figures released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, Atlantic City casinos generated $186.1 million in revenue this October, which is an 8% decline compared with October 2019.

Not everything is doom and gloom in New Jersey’s gaming world. Online gambling sites have been making a lot of money during the pandemic. Last month, online casinos and sports betting sites generated $118 million.

As a reminder, New Jersey is one of only four US states where online casino gaming is legal and regulated at the moment of writing. The other three states are Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

American Voters Approve Sports Betting and Casino Gaming Expansions

On Tuesday, Americans weren’t just choosing their new President between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Some of them were also casting votes that would decide the future of the US gaming industry. Three states voted to make sports betting legal, while three decided to approve/expand casino gaming.

The states in question are the following:

  • Maryland
  • South Dakota
  • Louisiana
  • Virginia
  • Nebraska
  • Colorado

Of those states, the top three listed have made sports betting legal. In Virginia, the voters decided to approve casino gaming in four locations. Nebraska voters approved adding casino games to the racetracks in the state, while the voters from Colorado made their state’s casino gaming laws more liberal.

Three New Sports Betting-Friendly US States

The voters in Maryland, South Dakota, and Louisiana voted to make sports betting legal in their states. As a result, the United States is going to have at least 25 states, together with the District of Colombia, where sports betting is legal in some form.

Online betting still remains illegal or unregulated in most of those states, although many are working on changing that. At the moment of writing, there are nine states where internet/mobile betting is legal.

The road to sports betting legalization in the US started in 2018 when the Supreme Court struck down PASPA, a federal law that practically made this gaming form illegal everywhere apart from Nevada and tribal lands. The Supreme Court’s ruling made it possible for individual states to decide the legality of sports betting on their own.

Three States Expand Casino Gaming

The voters from Colorado, Nebraska, and Virginia decided to liberalize their casino gambling laws. Virginia is going to make gambling legal in four casinos within the state. Over in Nebraska, the voters have decided to allow racetracks to turn into racinos, that is, racetracks that have certain types of casino games on the premises.

In Colorado, the voters decided to get rid of some wagering limits, while also expanding the list of casino game types available at land-based casinos. From now on, Colorado casinos will be allowed to add craps and roulette to their gambling offers.

Online gambling was not on the ballot, although the voting results are certainly putting wind in its sails. At the moment, here’s only a couple of states where internet casino gaming is possible. New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia are the states that already have online casinos, while a few more will get their gaming websites in the near future.

Online casinos remain illegal in Nevada, a state that relies on land-based casinos. The state’s stance towards internet gaming probably isn’t going to change anytime soon, partially because of the pressure legislators are getting from Las Vegas casino owners. One of biggest opponents of online casinos in Nevada is the owner of Las Vegas Sands, Sheldon Adelson, who’s recently gotten in news headlines for making a $75 million donation to Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Saracen Casino Resort Makes an Unofficial Debut before Oct 20

The Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff, Arkansas made an unofficial opening on Thursday, October 15 and is tipped to open to the general public tomorrow Tuesday, October 20.

Saracen Casino Resort Completed, Grand Opening for October 20

Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, made an unofficial opening Thursday night, welcoming special guests and residents from the state. The casino resort which has been developed by the Quapaw Nation since August 2019, announced its grand opening will be October 20.

Billed as the largest commercial construction project in Arkansas, the casino resort soft opening attracted interest from Gov. Asa Hutchison, as well as other elected officials, among which Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington and Jefferson County Judge Gerald Robinson, along with Quapaw Nation’s Chairman Joseph Tali Byrd and Tribal Princess Kristal Glass.

The 200,000 square foot casino will house 80,000 square feet of gaming space, offering 2,000 slot machines, 30 table games, a poker room and a sports book. The resort will offer amenities such as a 300-room hotel tower with luxury accommodation options, 6 restaurants, an outdoor venue for special events, as well as 15,000 square feet of event facilities for indoor concerts, special events and banquets.

The casino resort built in a region which was once home to the Quapaw Nation has already hired over 700 people and is further looking for around 100 more, as the tribe wants to contribute to the thriving of Pine Bluff and Jefferson County by its homecoming, feeling proud of the economic development it would bring to the region.

Divvying up the Tax Revenue

According to a constitutional amendment voted by residents in Arkansas, Pine Bluff will receive 19.5% of the gaming revenue from the casino resort, while Jefferson County will get 8% of it. Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington noted that further infrastructure projects will be funded by the increase in receipts due to the addition of the casino.

“I think this money is going to help us give those increases to our first responders that we’ve been looking to for so many years so we can have that level of retention that we need.” Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington

Shirley Washington further outlined that the city could not attract a lot of industries and should make the most of this opportunity by making Pine Bluff a destination city. Furthermore, the Mayor expressed hopes that due to the new jobs created and the opportunities for people to afford nicer homes crime levels would be driven down.

Jefferson County Judge Gerald Robinson expressed his expectations things would start to evolve fast around Pine Bluff, as due to the revenue from Saracen Casino Resort, “we’re building three new buildings, the new health department, a new veterans service building and were also building a new coroner’s office”.

The casino will open following strict guidelines for health and safety, and wearing of masks will be mandatory, as well as temperature checks at the entry. Slot machines are divided by plexiglass barriers and table games are limited to 3 to 4 seats.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Trump Receives a Major Cash Injection From Las Vegas Sands Owner

The COVID-19 pandemic has finally stepped from the throne of the most discussed topic in the world. The topic that took its place is the 2020 Presidential Election. Even in the world of casino gambling, the Trump vs Biden race is heavily discussed, especially after the news that the owner of Las Vegas Sands Sheldon Adelson has donated $75 million to the current President’s campaign. Will this cash injection help Trump save his job?

According to offshore sportsbooks, the chance is very low that Trump will stay in the White House for another four years. Instead, with the odds of -210, Joe Biden is the favorite. Still, an even more drastic situation was back in 2016 when Trump took on Hillary Clinton, who was, at one, point a -500 favorite, America did not get its first female President.

Can Trump upset the odds once again? He might, but he’ll need more money for that as his opponent’s campaign currently has way more funds on their hands. This is why Adelson’s donation of $75 million is certainly appreciated in the Blue part of the US.

Who is Sheldon Adelson?

With an estimated net worth of $33.5 billion, Sheldon Adelson is one of the richest men in the United States. The 87 years’ old businessman is the owner of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, which has several iconic casinos in its domain, including the following:

  • The Venetian Las Vegas (a luxury hotel and casino where the company’s headquarters are located)
  • The Venetian Macao (the second-largest casino in the world)
  • Marina Bay Sands in Singapore (the world’s most expensive integrated resort at the time of the opening in 2010)
  • Sands Macao (the first Vegas-style casino to open on Chinese soil)

The casino magnate used to be a member of the Democratic Party until 1996, before establishing himself as one of the biggest backers of the Republicans.

What’s Behind Trump’s Relationship With Adelson?

According to an article published in the New Yorker in 2013, Adelson changed his political affiliation after having trouble with labor unions in Las Vegas. The same article quoted him complaining about the current tax system in the United States, which makes taxes higher for those with more money.

Why is it fair that I should be paying a higher percentage of taxes than anyone else?

An even bigger reason for Adelson to back the Republican candidate lies in the Wire Act. The proposed bill is supposed to reverse the current online gaming laws in the United States, practically outlawing online slots and all the other popular internet casino games. Adelson is famous as the #1 proponent of this bill, which would secure a prosperous future of his land-based casinos.

The relationship between Adelson and the Republican Party is not a one-way street. Donald Trump has previously called Adelson his friend on many occasions, not to mention that Sheldon’s wife, Miriam Adelson, received a Presidential Medal of Honor from Trump in 2018.

The Trump-Adelson relationship reached its lowest point in August when the President reportedly berated the casino magnate for not donating enough money to his cause. Adelson eventually decided to pay-up, but the question is whether it’s already too late?

 

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

GGPoker Banishes 40 Players Over RTA Use, Seizes $1,175,305

Earlier this week, the online poker platform GGPoker announced its investigation on the use of real-time analysis (RTA) has concluded. Following the results of the investigation, the company decided to ban a total of 40 accounts, 13 of which had their winnings seized. The total amount of money seized from those accounts is $1,175,305.43, all of which will be returned to the players who fell victim to the RTA-using players.

One of the players who’s found guilty of using the RTA is the German player Fedor Kruse. Even though the poker platform did not mention its name explicitly, it’s almost certain that he’s lost all of his recent winnings as a result of the GGPoker RTA investigation.

The player who made a name for himself playing Call of Duty on Stream has been playing big-money poker lately on the GGPoker platform, with stakes as high as $200/$400. And he won most of them! Unfortunately for him, it wasn’t his poker skills or his luck that brought him the fortune. Instead, it was an RTA tool that he nicknamed the Dream Machine.

The Story Behind the GGPoker RTA Ban?

As per the rules set up by the GGPoker platform, it is forbidden to use any sort of RTA software. Players know this, so using such tools is going to result in account suspension every time GGPoker notices it.

“At GGPoker Network (‘GGPN’), we firmly believe Poker to be a battle of wits that is meant to be experienced without the use of any Real-Time Assistance (‘RTA’) whatsoever. To this end, we were among the first to prohibit heads-up displays, and we have been quick to ban players in the past that were using prohibited software.“

The problem is that figuring out who’s using it is not easy. However, since recently, it seems that GGPoker has cracked the code, as evident from the fact that 80 players have found guilty of using the RTA, half of which ended up with their accounts suspended.

GGPoker is definitely an enemy of RTA, but many poker players believe it should be the case. For many people involved with online poker, the use of real-time analysis is not a form of cheating. They argue that the use of RTA is no different from having a rules book by your side while playing.

How it works is that the RTA is actually a database of pre-solved poker hands, with literally thousands of potential scenarios. The software gives the player an opportunity to compare the hands similar to the one that’s currently on in the game. This way, the RTA can give the player an edge over others.

PokerStars to Help Little Fish

GGPoker wasn’t the only poker platform in the news headlines last week. Its main rival, the largest poker platform in the world, Poker Stars, has also decided to do some good deeds recently. The company has decided to help out “fish,” that is, inexperienced players who often lose their money to pro poker players looking to make some easy money.

The solution to prevent predatory behavior is to keep inexperienced players separated from experienced players in cash games. To do that, PokerStars has created Active Waiting Lists, which should prevent poker experts from robbing newcomers of their money. How it’s meant to work is that in order to be allowed in a waiting list, a player needs to have played games with the same stakes.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Las Vegas Gets Its First Smoke-Free Casino on September 30

Once it reopens on the last day of September, the Park MGM Casino on the Las Vegas Strip is going to become the first smoking-free casino in the area. No other casino in this part of the United States has ever made such a decision, even after Las Vegas came out of the COVID-19 shutdown.

In other parts of the country, casinos did have to ban smoking temporarily as per the state orders. The decision to banish smoking out of the casino was not forced to the Park MGM casino by anyone. Instead, the casino management decided on this step following “guest demand.”

Casino Patrons Want Non-Smoking Environment

According to the president of MGM Resorts’ Las Vegas Portfolio, Anton Nikodemus, the reason behind this decision lies in “recurring guest demand for a fully non-smoking casino resort on The Strip.”

Nikodemus insists that this thought has been on the casino executives’ mind since the casino resort opened in 2018. The COVID-19 pandemic just confirmed that a non-smoking Las Vegas casino would be a good idea.

Anti-smoking advocates have been calling for an indoor smoking ban in Las Vegas casinos after the COVID-19 shutdown. The main reason cited was the fact that smoking simply doesn’t go together with the face mask rule. One can’t smoke and weak a face mask at the same time.

Nevertheless, all the Las Vegas casinos that have reopened do allow indoor smoking, while still requiring the patrons to wear face masks inside the venues. This includes all the other MGM-owned casinos in Nevada, including the MGM Grand Las Vegas, The Mirage, and Mandalay Bay.

Las Vegas Entering a New Era

Smoking in casinos has been the imagery associated with Las Vegas since its early days. The author of 11 books on Las Vegas, David G. Schwartz, agrees, but also adds that times are changing in Sin City. One of the sins that the city might get rid of in the future is smoking.

According to him, banning indoor smoking in Las Vegas casinos is something several companies have tried in the past. It’s needless to say that all of them failed in the endeavor. An example he points out is the old Silver City Casino, which went smoking-free in 1991 but decided to give up on that decision after only a couple of months. The reason to back down was a drastic decrease in the number of visitors.

Almost two decades later, smoking is no longer trendy, but many casino patrons still seem to indulge in it. For many of them, smoking is something they do only when on vacation, following the mantra of “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”

Still, recent experiences have shown that smoking is not as an essential part of the casino experience as previously believed. The anti-COVID-19 measures set up in many states have banished indoor smoking in casinos, something which most patrons did not mind.

Smoking Is Back in Atlantic City Casinos

Atlantic City casinos reopened just before the 4th of July weekend, but in the first two months after the shutdown, they had to do business differently. Until early September, the AC casinos had to work at 25% capacity, as well as banish drinking, dining, and smoking out of the premises. However, starting Friday, September 4, those bans are lifted.

Indoor smoking is officially back in casinos in Atlantic City, but the same is not the case in other parts of the US. Commercial casinos in New York have returned to business earlier this month but will have to fulfill certain anti-COVID-19 conditions in order to remain open. One of those conditions is the smoking ban.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

New York Casinos are Back in Business After COVID-19 Shutdown

Starting this week, New York casinos are back in business after a shutdown that lasted for months. To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a decree on March 16 that made all commercial casinos in the state close down.

However, starting September 9, New York casinos are letting the players in once again. In addition to commercial casinos, the Empire State has also seen racinos getting back to business. Cuomo’s decision to let the gambling establishments reopen comes some three months after New York tribal casinos decided the same.

Four Commercial NY Casinos Reopen Their Doors to Public

Tribal casinos do not have to follow the guidelines of individual US states when it comes to casino gambling. This is the reason why some of them have reopened long before the New York Governor gave commercial casinos the heads up.

Some of the Indian casinos located within the state borders have been back in the casino game since June. Non-tribal casinos in New York, however, had to wait until September 9 to get back to work.

At the moment of writing, all four commercial casinos in New York are back in business. Those casinos are, namely, the following establishments:

  • Del Lago Resort & Casino in Tyre
  • Jake’s 58 Hotel & Casino in Islandia
  • Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady
  • World Catskills Resort in Monticello

Even though they’re back in business, the business is not going to be as usual for these casinos. The same as their tribal-owned counterparts, NY commercial casinos will also have to take some measures in order to minimize the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

Anti-COVID-19 Measures in New York Casinos

Governor Cuomo’s directive allows commercial casinos to reopen, albeit at limited capacity. The number of patrons allowed inside the casinos needs to be no more than one-quarter of the full capacity, which was also the case over in New Jersey when Atlantic City casinos reopened in July.

The role of the casino staff is to make sure the number of visitors does not go over. Another role of the casino employees is to ensure everything present in the casinos wears a face mask. They also need to make sure that social distancing guidelines are respected by the patrons.

All the commercial casinos that have returned to business had to install new air-filtration systems, as well as physical barriers between players’ seats in an effort to prevent the spread of the disease.

New York Gaming Commission to Monitor the Situation

As per the Governor’s instructions, the duty of the New York Gaming Commission is to monitor the situation. Together with the New York State Police, they are obliged to do regular check-ups on the casinos in order to confirm all the anti-COVID-19 measures are carried out properly.

If they spot rule-breaking, they have the right to fine the casino. And if the situation goes out of hand, Cuomo has the right to reverse his decision at any given moment. That said, it’s in the interest of both the casino management and the patrons to respect the newly-set guidelines.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

BetMGM Online Casino Goes Live in West Virginia

  • BetMGM has launched its WV online casino on Thursday, August 28, 2020
  • The launch comes just six weeks after the birth of West Virginia’s online gaming industry
  • BetMGM also plans to launch an online casino in Michigan in the fall

BetMGM online casino has launched earlier this week in West Virginia, doubling the internet gaming offer available to gamblers from the Mountain State. Less than two months after the launch of the first online gambling platform in WV, players from this state have two online casinos at their disposal.

The first WV internet casino to launch was DraftKings Casino. BetMGM followed, and so should two more casinos. Their launch should happen by the end of the year.

What do the WV Gamblers Get from the BetMGM Online Casino?

BetMGM is a gambling company owned by two companies – MGM Resorts and GVC Holdings. The role of GVC is to provide software solutions to the online casino. MGM Resorts provides funding, as well as the basis for the operating license of the WV BetMGM online casino. Without the MGM-owned land-based casino in West Virginia, the BetMGM online operation would not be possible.

Basically, the casino that’s launched on Thursday is an online version of Greenbrier Casino, a brick-and-mortar business owned by MGM. The internet casino has a pretty similar gaming offer as its real-life counterpart. We’re talking table games like blackjack and roulette, as well as a large number of slot titles.

Speaking of online slots, BetMGM is currently the only online casino that has a progressive jackpot game in its offer. The main prize of this slot will keep growing until a lucky player hits the jackpot. Depending on how long it goes, the winner might hit a jackpot worth millions of dollars.

Second Online Casino in West Virginia

At the moment, West Virginians can play progressive slots only at BetMGM. However, that’s likely to change in the last couple of months. It could happen if the only other operational internet casino in West Virginia, DraftKings Casino, decides to include such a game in its game library.

If DraftKings doesn’t do it, other casinos might. There are at least two more online casinos ready for launch in this state. The cooperation between FanDuel and Betfair is expected to produce a new WV online casino by the end of the year. PokerStars Casino WV should also get viral in the upcoming months.

BetMGM Online Casino to Launch in Michigan This Fall

With MGM Resorts suffering huge financial losses in the retail casino industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company seems to be looking for other sources of income. That’s why it’s not surprising that the BetMGM online casino has turned into such an ambitious project.

Apart from being available in West Virginia, the online casino also operates in New Jersey. It’s also working on a launch in Pennsylvania, as well as Michigan, the state that’s only recently signed a bill that makes online gaming legal.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer did sign the bill a few months ago, but there still aren’t any online casinos in this state. The casino that’s expected to launch first is BetMGM online casino. The cooperation between GVC and MGM Grand Detroit is supposed to go online in November 2020.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Macau Reopens: World’s #1 Gaming Hub Is Back In Business

The largest gambling hub in the world has started to reopen after a long COVID-19 lockdown. Macau has taken some baby steps on the road to complete reopening, something which still is not on the horizon. Nevertheless, China’s gambling paradise has started issuing tourist visas once again, albeit only for the visitors coming from other parts of the country.

When will Macau reopen for international visitors stays a mystery as the coronavirus still remains a serious threat. Another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic would wreak havoc on the city that relies heavily on tourism and gaming. According to BBC, Macau casinos have been losing $15 million every day during the crisis.

Macau Reopens Only to Visitors from Mainland China

The COVID-19 global pandemic started out in China, with the total number of cases being just short of 85,000 at the moment of writing. Macau, however, has been doing much better than mainland China.

Even though there are about 700,000 people who call Macau their home, only 46 COVID-19 cases have been reported in the region. An even more impressive fact is that all of the infected people have recovered successfully.

One of the main reasons behind Macau’s success with handling the crisis is that the region closed down to visitors early on. The Macau travel restrictions were introduced in January, practically turning the biggest gambling hub in the world into a ghost town.

The restrictions lasted until this Wednesday, causing a serious blow to the city’s economy. The worst is behind, but the Macau casino industry has a long road to recovery ahead. There’s no doubt it’s going to be slow as at the moment, as only visitors from mainland China are allowed in. It’s still unknown when the things are going to go back entirely to normal.

On the bright side, a big majority of visitors to Macau are those coming from mainland China. It’s been like that since always, even though this city is home to some prestigious casinos owned by American companies, e.g., Wynn, MGM, and so on.

Macau Casinos Recording Huge Losses

Macau went on lockdown in late January, which included the closure of the regional borders, as well as the shutdown of all the casinos in the area. After only 15 days, Macau casinos returned to business in February.

In comparison, Las Vegas casinos stayed shut down for several months. Nevada shut down all the venues on March 17, and after nearly three months of hiatus, casinos were allowed to go back to business on June 4.

Nevertheless, the Macau gambling industry had to rely on locals as the only source of income, as regional borders stayed closed until this Wednesday. Furthermore, Macau casinos also have to adhere to certain social distancing measures, such as the 50% reduced capacity. It’s needless to say that the limited number of gamblers has caused a gigantic loss in profits.

In 2019, Macau casinos saw nearly 110,000 visitors a day on average. During the 2020 pandemic, that number was more than ten times lower. Last week, for example, it’s estimated that the total number of casino visitors in the whole of Macau was below 50,000.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

MGM Appoints Bill Hornbuckle as the Permanent CEO

Bill Hornbuckle has been appointed as the permanent CEO of MGM, after being in the role of the interim CEO for more than four months. MGM Resorts International announced their decision this week, saying that they expect Hornbuckle to continue doing a good job.

Hornbuckle stepped in as the interim boss of MGM in March, after the former CEO Jim Murren retired. The interim CEO had been given a very tough challenge, but he’s managed to see the company sail safely through an unprecedented crisis. As a result of a good job done during the COVID-19 pandemic, MGM awarded Hornbuckle with a permanent contract.

Who is Bill Hornbuckle?

A graduate of UNLV, William J. Hornbuckle IV has more than 30 years of experience working in Las Vegas. His first major breakthrough in the ranks of MGM Resorts International came in 2012 when he led the company to develop the $800 million-worth resort MGM Springfield.

When Jim Murren decided to retire in March 2020, Hornbuckle was appointed the interim CEO. At first, the idea was that he’d stay in the role until a more experienced CEO was found. However, the COVID-19 pandemic happened then.

Being able to lead the company through the hardest times in its history made MGM realize Hornbuckle was the right man for the job. In the official statement, the company spokesperson praised his handling of the crisis, saying:

“There are few tests of leadership greater than what Bill has faced… (His) steady hand has provided reassurance and confidence to our employees, partners, guests, and shareholders…”

Even though Hornbuckle did a fine job to guide the company through the crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic did cause huge losses to MGM Resorts International.

COVID-19 Ruins MGM’s Revenue

The same day MGM announced their decision to appoint Hornbuckle as the permanent CEO, the company also released revenue figures for the period before June 30.

As it turns out, MGM’s total revenue generated from April to the end of June was only $289.8m. We say “only” because that’s a 91% drop compared to the same period last year.

In Las Vegas, which is one of the company’s main sources of revenue, the profits have dropped by 90%. Things would be even worse if it weren’t for the fact that Las Vegas casinos returned back to business on June 4.

Over in Macau, MGM China saw a revenue drop of 95%. The company’s three-month revenue was only $33 million, the main reason being the COVID-19 travel restrictions imposed in Macau. As a result of it, visitors from China and Hong Kong haven’t be able to come to Macau for the last couple of months.

MGM Casinos Reopening Around the US

The worst seems to have passed for MGM, as most of the company’s properties are back in business. There is a total of 18 casinos within the United States that are owned by MGM, 14 of which have already reopened after the COVID-19 hiatus.

MGM Grand Detroit should be the next one to reopen as Michigan governor has okayed the casino return in this state. If everything goes according to the plan, MGM’s casino will reopen on August 7. MGM Empire City would be the one to follow next, although much still remains unclear with the COVID-19 situation in New York, whose governor still hasn’t announced the exact reopening dates.

Mirage and Park MGM in Las Vegas, however, will probably remain closed until next year, as suggested by Hornbuckle. The reason for this decision is that the reopening at 50% capacity would not bring desired profits, while potentially cannibalizing other casinos on the strip, including MGM Grand.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

West Virginia Becomes 4th US State to Legalize Online Casinos

As of Wednesday, July 15, there are four states within the US where online casino gambling is legal. The most recent addition is West Virginia whose lawmakers have recently okayed this gambling form. Previously, the only states where online gambling was permitted were New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.

DraftKings Casino is the first gambling platform to go online in this state. In partnership with Penn National Gaming’s Hollywood Casino, DraftKings has launched its casino website, as well as its WV mobile app, which is available in two versions – one for Android and one for iOS devices.

DraftKings Embraces Online Casino Business

DraftKings is perhaps best known as a daily fantasy website, which is how this company started out back in 2012. Once the sports betting ban got lifted as a result of New Jersey’s case in front of the US Supreme Court, many states started passing laws to make online betting legal and regulated.

DraftKings wanted to get on the bandwagon right away, applying for a license in a number of betting-friendly states all across the United States.

After the company’s decision to branch out its business proved successful, DraftKings decided to get in on the online casino business. Pennsylvania and New Jersey were the first two states where DraftKings online casino launched.

Pennsylvania saw the birth of the DraftKings Casino on May 1, 2020. In New Jersey, the standalone casino app launched on June 24, 2020. Before that, the casino was a part of the NJ DraftKings Sportsbook. Exactly three weeks later, DraftKings Casino West Virginia went online for the first time.

What Games Can You Play at DraftKings Casino West Virginia?

Real-money online slots make up most of the DraftKings Casino game library in the other two states. There are slots of different types to be found there, including 3-reel, 5-reel slots, 3d games, progressive jackpot slots, and so on. The games are developed by some of the world’s most reputable software companies, such as NetEnt, IGT, and Spin Games.

You might not get to play slots straight away at DraftKings WV Casino as these guys are typically regulated the last. In the meantime, West Virginia players can quench their casino thirst by playings table games like blackjack, baccarat, roulette, and others.

Are Other States Expected to Follow West Virginia’s Example?

Right now, only four states within the Union are when gaming fans can play online casino games legally. The number of states is expected to go up drastically, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With social distancing measures preventing people to go to land-based casinos en mase, online gaming seems like a better alternative.

Furthermore, the experience from the states that have already made online gambling legal shows that during the pandemic, this industry can serve as an important source of income for the state budget. For example, online slots in Pennsylvania created a $38m revenue last month. Land-based casinos in coronavirus-ridden Nevada probably aren’t going to get anywhere near that number.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Atlantic City Casinos Are Back in Business After 100+ Days

Slot machines are finally spinning in Atlantic City casinos after exactly 108 days. That’s how long venues in New Jersey were closed down due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Atlantic City casinos started reopening on Thursday/Friday in order to get themselves ready for the 4th of July weekend. Things, however, aren’t exactly the same as they were before the pandemic. Casinos are now working at 25% capacity, with no dining, drinking, or smoking allowed within the premises.

Eight Out of Nine Atlantic City Casinos Reopen

Atlantic City, the gambling capital of the Atlantic coast, was a casino-free zone for 108 days. This is the longest the AC casinos were closed since gambling became legal in this part of the USA, back in the 1970s. However, since this week, the state’s government has decided to loosen up its anti-COVID-19 measures and let the casinos reopen their doors to visitors.

New Jersey is another state that has decided to reopen its casinos. Previously, the same was done by several other states, including Nevada, where Las Vegas casinos returned to business about a month ago.

Speaking of Las Vegas, Sin City saw practically all of its casinos reopening the moment the state’s government okayed it. The same is not the case over at the East Coast. In Atlantic City, eight casinos have returned to business, but one still hasn’t.

Hard Rock, Ocean, Resorts, Tropicana, Golden Nugget, Caesars, Bally’s, and Harrah’s – these are the eight Atlantic City casinos that have reopened this week. Borgata is the only Atlantic City casino that has decided not to go with the flow.

Borgata Atlantic City Refuses to Reopen

New Jersey’s Governor Phil Murphy postponed the decision to resume indoor dining in venues across the state, as well as ban indoor drinking and smoking. This decision was announced on Monday and was met with disagreement from casino officials.

Nevertheless, most Atlantic City casinos decided to accept the decision. Actually, Borgata was the only casino to decide to scrap is reopening place due to this ruling.

Apparently, the casino management believes that reopening Borgata under the current conditions would not be a profitable decision. Borgata Atlantic City is more than just another casino. This venue isn’t just about gambling; it also relies on other leisure activities, which could be smothered by the aforementioned measures.

Miami Casinos Have to Close Down Again

Over in Florida, casinos have been in the business since mid-June, but another suspension is imminent. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez has signed a decree that would shut down all the casinos in the area apart from tribal-owned casinos.

This measure comes as a reaction to a dramatic increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases. Florida is one of the first states to loosen up the restrictions, after the initial shut-down back in March. Since May, this state has hosted a number of big sports events, including several UFC fights.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

PA Online Slots Record a $38m Revenue Last Month

  • On Thursday, Pennsylvania released its casino revenue data for May.
  • Last month, online casinos in Pennsylvania recorded a revenue of $55,838,789.
  • Revenue from PA online slots accounts for about 70% of this state’s total internet gaming revenue.

Yesterday, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board released the official revenue figures for May. As expected, online casinos made more money than their land-based counterparts, which has been the case since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. What’s interesting is that PA online slots were responsible for more than two-thirds of the total internet casino revenue in Pennsylvania in May.

The total internet gaming revenue in May was $55,838,789, which is an increase of about 30% compared to April. A big percentage of that money came through video slot games. PA online slots made a revenue of $38,822,857 for casinos, which is nearly 70% of the overall revenue.

Pennsylvania Casinos Report a Total Revenue of Over $55m

Pennsylvania is one of only three states in the US where online casino gambling is legal and regulated. The other two gaming-friendly states are New Jersey and Delaware. West Virginia has also approved online gambling, but internet casinos are yet to launch in this state.

Interestingly enough, Nevada, which is thought to be a gambling paradise, has not made online casinos legal. The reason for this is that legalizing online gambling could have a negative effect on the business of land-based casinos in Las Vegas.

Judging by the experiences from Pennsylvania, the legalization of online casino gambling is guaranteed to bring profits. In times when it’s impossible to go to a real casino, such as a global pandemic like the one we experienced this year, players have no other option but to turn to internet gaming platforms.

As a result, Pennsylvania’s online casinos have recorded a significant revenue increase over the course of the last few months. Each of its nine licensed online casinos has made big profits in May, the leader being Rivers Casino Philadelphia, which recorded a revenue of $17,584,381. What’s interesting is that this casino’s online slots revenue was $15,096,662.

PA Online Slots Brought in Almost $39m

Each of PA online casinos has online slots in the game library. The reason is that slots are the most popular type of casino game. This is why it’s not surprising that PA online slots have made a total revenue of nearly $39m in May.

All the other games combined made about $17m. Those include everything from table games like roulette, craps, and blackjack to lottery-like games like keno.

The popularity of online slots is not unique only to Pennsylvania. Players from all over the United States seem to love these sorts of games. The evidence for this is that most of the internet gaming revenue in Delaware and New Jersey is also created by slots.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.