The casino industry in New Jersey is thriving and this can easily be seen by the 4.3% increase in the revenue they saw in the month of May. Atlantic City casinos’ income is on the rise in comparison to May 2016, which promises a successful summer season for the casino operators and gambling fans.
The figures become even more promising when the bankrupted Trump Taj Mahal Casino is removed from the picture, because it inevitably decreases the percentage. In this case the other seven working casinos posted an increase of 12%, making the prospects for the summer even busier. We remind that back in 2015 Trump Taj Mahal was fined $10 million by The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), due to found evidence of money laundering using slot machine tickets, which led to the casino’s eventual insolvency.
Summertime is known as the most financially rewarding time of the year for all casino owners. Matt Levinson, Chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, expressed his high hopes for this season and said he expects even bigger improvement in the field. Some of the leading Atlantic City casinos for the last one year were the Borgata with 10.6% and revenue of $71.8 million, the Tropicana with the impressive 21.5% and to $32.8 million, and Caesars which reported the highest growth – 23.6% and $29.4 million in comparison to May last year.
This comes following a harsh period of time for the Atlantic City gambling industry, during which many casinos were shut down and more than 11,000 people lost their job positions. For the moment, the market is way smaller and with less individual competitors, but the expectations for recovery are high.
On Wednesday information about the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement was published, showing a persistent increase in the online gambling revenue in one of the most prominent online markets in the U.S. The rise in the Internet gambling industry earnings is estimated to be 27% to $21 million in May. This comes close to the record figures reached in April and March, three successive months of high rates of gross revenue, exceeding $20 million. This makes online gambling one of the leading sources of fresh money, which propels the industry forward.
In real life the Golden Nugget was up by 17% to $24.5 million, but it takes the leading place in New Jersey’s Internet gambling market in May, successfully defeating its many rivals for the crown. The casino won $5.9 million from online gambling, adding to the overall tally for the first five months of this year. Atlantic City’s casinos have won $1.07 billion combined since the beginning of 2017 and guaranteed a successful summer season.
The social clubs located in Singapore are about to go through some changes when it comes to the regulations which are applied on them. The country’s government is planning to introduce stricter rules regarding the slot machines use and their availability.
Singapore authorities have come up with a new test which will determine whether or not a given social club has the right to continue providing the slot machines operations to their customers. It will test the scope of their non-gaming amenities and the ultimate aim of this test is to make sure that the areas which host slot machines are part of club social activities only.
The Ministry of Home Affairs announced in a recent statement that the casino operators which do not meet these requirements determined by the government will have to remove all slot machines from their gambling venue and cease the operations by the 30th of April, 2018. K. Shanmugam, the Home Affairs, and Law Minister made an announcement at a briefing this Tuesday, saying that there are suspicions that some of the clubs are only talking and not necessarily taking actions.
According to him and his extensive observation of the gambling industry in Singapore, there are casino operators which pay lip service and only pretend they provide a wide variety of services to their customers but primarily focus on the jackpot machines available on site. At the moment there are 82 slot machines venues operating and as many as 1,900 jackpot machines located all over Singapore.
Among the new rules which should be applied to all slot machines rooms located in Singapore, there are more stringent criteria for what can be defined as “fruit machine permits”, a reduction in the number of machines the slot machines venues can run, and also stricter rules regarding the people who can use the jackpot machines in question. Currently, the regulation gives operators the permission to have slot machines, if the club operates at least two other recreational facilities.
If the new rules and the test he is talking about are applied, this number could be reduced by a third, since there are allegedly numerous venues which do not comply with the regulations. There are also two casino resorts located in Singapore, which are a subject to many social safeguards. They are specifically designed to mitigate any risks and protect the local gamblers from any harm.
Several football clubs based in Singapore, which have not been active for quite some time now, have allegedly continued their slot machine rooms business. By running them, they amassed gross revenue amounting to between SGD165,000 (US$120,700) and SGD11.3 million.
On Monday this week, it was announced that Resorts World, a casino and resort currently under construction on the Las Vegas Strip, has appointed W.A. Richardson as a construction manager, after receiving a go-ahead from the Clark County Building Department to resume work on the project. As it can be recalled, the casino project has been postponed for a long time due to the Great Recession, which had a negative effect on the casino industry in Las Vegas. The construction is expected to begin soon and it is set to throw its doors open in 2020.
The company behind the project is the Malaysian casino developer Genting Group. It operates casinos in New York, the United Kingdom, the Bahamas and Malaysia and Resorts World is the operator’s first appearance on the Las Vegas casino market. The construction of the project has started as far back as 2015. But the unfavorable economic conditions due to the Great Recession pushed back Genting’s Las Vegas casino opening to 2020 supposing that everything goes on schedule.
Speaking of the latest announcement, the project’s President Edward Farrell said that workers have already started with the preparatory work and the tower crane bases are already fixed. He added that the tower cranes will be installed within 8 weeks. Another factor, which pushed back the opening of Genting’s casino resort in Las Vegas is the change of the initial design concept of the resort. The casino resort was initially meant to feature traditional Chinese atmosphere, but the operator decided to change the plan. Under the new design, the gambling venue will feature again a Chinese atmosphere as it aims at attracting high-end players from China, but it is to witness more modern gambling environment. It was announced that the casino is to feature first-class gambling technologies appealing to the taste of the young generation of players.
Here it is interesting to mention that Mr. Richardson was named to the position of a construction manager due to his extensive experience in the area. The company assigned the task to build Resorts World Las Vegas is known to be the building contractor for other popular gambling venues, including Mandalay Bay, Monte Carlo, the Linq and the Cromwell.
Facts Fail about Resorts World Las Vegas
The ground-breaking ceremony took place in May 2015. According to the project, the casino is to spread over 100,000 square feet, offering a bountiful selection of casino games. As for non-gambling activities, Resorts World Las Vegas is to offer dining and convention areas, bars, movie theaters, 3,000-rooms accommodation complex and others. The project is estimated to amount to $4 billion. The Malaysian operator Genting Group bought the land, where Resorts World Las Vegas is currently located from Boyd Gaming in 2013. Boyd Gaming, in fact, bought the land with the main goal to build a hotel complex but it was unable to finalize the project. Consequently, the company sold the land to Genting for the amount of $350 million.
The British Columbia-based gambling operator Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Ltd. (“Gateway”) announced that the Western Fair District and London city hall should reduce the ground-lease rental rates or sell the land to the operator supposing that their priority is the modernization of the worn-out gambling venue at fairgrounds. Gateway projected that the casino expansion is to generate a solid revenue of $140 million, but the artificial boosting of the ground-lease rental rates may obstruct the operator’s plan to develop the slots-only gambling venue.
As it can be recalled, Ontario Lottery Gambling Corp. (OLG) announced Canada’s gambling operator Gateway as the preferred operator to assume the right to operate “the Southwest gaming bundle”, which includes a casino in Point Edward and slot-machine operations at Woodstock Raceway, Western Fair District, Clinton Raceway, Dresden Raceway and the Hanover Raceway.
Under the terms of the deal, OLG is to receive a guaranteed payment on an annual basis and the host municipality is to receive a share of the revenue. At present, Western Fair receives checks from OLG every year, buying the right to operate the slot-only casino. The arrangement between OLG and Western Fair is valid until 2020 and OLG is obliged to pay $6 million per year. But Gateway disapproved this arrangement, hoping that London city hall and western Fair district will either reduce lease payments or sell the land.
Gateway’s Objections to the Lease Payments
On Monday, Gateway spokesperson Rob Mitchell informed that the gambling operator keeps its eyes peeled for other opportunities in London. He added that Gateway prefers to invest in expanding the casino venue at Western Fair District, but it does not exclude any other options. Mr. Mitchell declined to provide any details regarding the “other options”, but he outlined that the excessive ground-lease rental rates might be a good reason for the operator to redirect its attention. According to Mr. Mitchell, it is not profitable at all for a private-sector company to ink such an agreement.
In response to Gateway’s demands, Councilor Phil Squire commented that the officials should not step back from the arrangement’s terms as it brings broad economic benefits to London. He implied that the casino is not in the position to dictate the rules and the ground-lease rental rates are negotiable supposing that the city collects more revenues from the casino.
It is interesting to note that some time ago, the OLG announced its plans to open a bidding process to trust its facilities in Southwestern Ontario in the hands of a private company. This move came as a part of OLG’s attempts to modernize its gambling venues and improve the total profit of its operations. As a result, OLG selected Gateway as the service provider for Southwest Gaming Bundles. The awarded company unveiled plans to invest more than $200 million in the region and create hundreds of new job opportunities.
Richmond’s River Rock Casino has been engulfed in flames since September this year, when British Columbia’s newly-elected government made public a 2016 casino report that had been swept under the carpet by the previous government. The report revealed details regarding suspicious transactions that took place at River Rock Casino Resort in July 2015. David Eby, the new B.C. Attorney General, embarked on a money laundering hunt, determined to find out who stays behind the whole criminal organization and take punitive measures against the wrongdoers.
Paul King Jin is the main suspect in BC’s money-laundering probe, but charges are not laid against him at this moment. Reports claim that the owner of a Richmond mansion, supposedly used for illicit practices, is the former director of a Richmond spa resort run by Paul Jin. The suspect denied any allegations, saying that he was unaware of the misuse of the property. According to civil forfeiture documents, the $4.9 million Richmond mansion was most probably used for illegal gambling, money laundering practices, and kidnapping.
It emerged on the surface that Mr. Jin is, most probably, not the only one, who owns the aforementioned property. Documents allege that his sister also has a share in the mansion, which spreads over 13,000 square feet. The Ministry of Justice is currently aiming at forfeiting the property to the province.
Paul King Jin Allegedly Involved in Many Crimes
However, officials consider that Mr. Jin is the true owner of the property, while his sister is in the position of a nominee. The woman, on the other hand, refused to be aware of the fact that the property was used for illicit activities. According to her words, the property was rented out to Vancouver International Chinese Association for a period of 2 years. In a defence document, the woman alleges that “the property is not an instrument of unlawful activity” and it was used for business purposes.
The case is currently underway, but the allegations still remain unproven. Representatives from Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit BC (CFSEU) and the forfeiture office refused to answer reporters’ questions regarding the case.
Yesterday, the local news outlet Vancouver Sun reported that Postmedia’s review of civil forfeiture cases found out that Mr. Jin allegedly has connections with the Vancouver used auto dealer Lucky Eight Enterprises. The name of the latter appeared in about 10 motor vehicle crash claims. Mr. Eby appointed ICBC to investigate the car accidents.
According to B.C. Lottery Corp. documents, Mr. Jin conducted 50 large cash transactions in 2012. Apart from that, the reports claim that he worked with Silver International, a company used as an illegal an illicit banking network to loan suspected drug cash to high-rollers from Macau. Investigators claim that Jin’s alleged network is many-sided and elusive.
UK’s gambling industry is rapidly growing and the country’s gambling watchdog hurried to react to the changes. It is not a secret that the expanding industry requires tougher regulations and the UK Gambling Commission knuckled down to work to introduce a new set of gambling regulations. The creation of a framework that would regulate the provision of gambling services in a socially responsible way has turned into a major concern for the country’s gambling authority. The highly-controversial fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) soared on the news once again after figures showed that a total of £1.82 billion was lost by gambling customers, while the country is prepping a massive clampdown on the gambling devices.
The gambling devices have become extremely popular among the Brits, as the machines are located in betting shops across the entire country. The easy access, high-limit action and the fast-paced nature of the game have become highly addictive. An increasing number of people are suffering from gambling-related issues. Being aware of this fact, the UK Gambling Commission decided to launch a probe into the highly controversial fixed-odds betting terminals and introduce adequate preventive measures. In fact, it is worth to mention that a clampdown on the condemned gaming terminals has been under consideration for quite some time.
It seems that the looming crackdown on FOBTs unleashed a wave of gambling activity. A report released by the UK Gambling Commission unveiled £1.82 billion was lost on the FOBTs over the past 12 months. According to the country’s gambling watchdog, this is the highest peak, which the amount of gambled away money has reached over the past 5 years.
What Lies Beneath the Surface
The average number of FOBTs across the country has also grown. Industry experts are convinced that there is a relation between the latest statistics and the upcoming scorching crackdown. FOBTs are among the largest retail revenue contributors to the country’s coffers. According to information from the UK Gambling Commission, gross gambling yield from the betting machines amounted to £455 million.
Industry analyzers are convinced that there is a relation between the drastic increase in losses and the looming crackdown, which includes a reduction in the maximum stake. According to them, bookmakers are trying to benefits from the current situation as much as possible. Earlier this year, the media agency The Times pointed out that the UK’s biggest FOBTs owner Ladbrokes Coral loosened its responsible gambling program.
The considerable growth in the online gambling sector and the record-high amounts of lost money have appeared on the UK Gambling Commission’s radar screen. Commenting the disturbing figures, the gambling regulator explained that it keeps its weather eye open to any violations of its rules and it is not shy to impose hefty sanctions on the wrongdoers.
The insider trading trial involving former Amaya CEO David Baazov is set to proceed sometime before the end of this winter. This Monday, Quebec judge Salvatore Mascia refused to dismiss Baazov’s insider trading charges and announced that prosecutors will present evidence against the former Amaya CEO in the coming weeks.
David Baazov and his co-defendants Yoel Altman and Benjamin Ahdoot will need to appear in court, after it became clear that Quebec judge Salvatore Mascia dismissed Baazov’s plea to throw out the charges against them. In November last year, it surfaced that Baazov’s attorneys had filed a legal motion with the Court of Quebec in an attempt to stay the charges against their client due to delays in the proceedings.
According to Baazov’s attorneys, the prosecution failed to bring his case in a timely manner and the court should dismiss all charges against Mr. Baazov. Baazov’s initial hearing was scheduled to start on Nov. 20, but the court reportedly started to examine a hard drive containing 16 million documents too late, giving no time to Baazov’s lawyers to properly analyze the files before the trial.
Baazov’s lawyers pointed out to the so-called Jordan ruling, which requires all cases to be resolved within 18 months after being filed. In that sense, the attorneys claimed that all charges against their client should be thrown out. In December, Judge Mascia allowed the trial to proceed, but Mascia suggested he was still considering David Baazov’s stay request. According to the latest news, one of the biggest insider trading scandals in Canadian history is set to proceed in the coming weeks, after Judge Mascia opted to hear the testimonies of 50 witnesses.
David Baazov Insider Trading Case Set to Go Forward
In March 2016, the security regulator of the Canadian province of Quebec, and more precisely Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), filed 23 charges against David Baazov, following a trading investigation into Canadian online gambling operator Amaya Inc.
The charges relate to allegations about the use of privileged information about Amaya in an attempt to influence Amaya securities’ market price. Mr. Baazov was charged with aiding with trades while in possession of classified information about Amaya. At that moment, none of the allegations has been proven and the defendants pleaded not guilty to the insider trading charges.
Mr. Baazov’s trial will be finally underway in the coming weeks, but it is hard to predict how much time it will take for the trial to be resolved. Baazov was originally charged in March 2016, but all the delays protracted bringing his case to trial. Almost three years later, the defendant will reportedly stand trial on insider trading charges.
The development director for the Delaware Council on Gambling Problems Jeff Wasserman tackled the issue of problem gambling among the members of the military at a conference on gambling addiction, which took place yesterday at the Dover Downs Hotel and Conference Center. Mr Wasserman also assumed the role of a Program Chair at the conference which was held at a venue located in a close proximity to the Dover Downs Casino only several miles away from the military base of Air Force in Delaware’s state capital.
The conference is the first of its kind in the country and lasted an entire day. Discussions were divided into six different panels but all of them were related to problem gambling among military veterans. The day-long event attracted the interest of over a hundred attendees. One of the key speakers at the conference was Dr. Heather Chapman who shed light on gambling disorders among military members, the suitable ways of treatment, and the impact of problem gambling.
Mr. Wasserman’s main point of discussion was the increasing number of veterans and military servicemen who struggle with compulsive gambling. It is estimated that as much as 10% of the US military members develop gambling problems, but the issue is not given a sufficient amount of publicity. Because of this, Mr. Wasserman decided to address this disconcerting trend and put in the spotlight at the conference.
Mr. Wasserman explained that casino operators also recognise gambling addiction as an issue since it reflects poorly on the gaming industry. He drew a parallel between gambling and alcohol consumption explaining that both should be done for recreation. Similarly to drinking, a certain percentage of the population finds it difficult to gamble in moderation.
The focus here should be on the military population which appears to be at a high risk of developing a gambling problem. The Delaware Council on Gambling Problems’ mission is to provide information on addiction prevention as well as information on how one can seek help and receive treatment, with a special stress on tailoring a program towards the needs of the veteran community.
Veterans Are at Higher Risk of Developing a Problem
Veterans who had struggled with gambling addiction in the past shared their challenges and stories of success. One of the speakers was former military serviceman Dave Yeager who has dedicated eleven years of his life in service to the US Army. Mr. Yeager is also an author of a book dedicated to his struggles with gambling addiction as a military man and his road to recovery.
The former military officer is confident that the essence of the military lifestyle on its own is a prerequisite for the development of addiction. According to him, one of the reasons why veterans are at a higher risk of developing such a problem has to with the fact military regimen is very structured and servicemen struggle to find an outlet once they return to normal life. For some veterans, gambling appears to be that outlet.
Also, the results of recent statistics were rather alarming as they reveal around 10% of US veterans struggle with gambling addition at some level. As many as 56,000 military servicemen who are still on active duty suffer from problem gambling. Mr. Wasserman (pictured above next to Mr. Yeager) commented these results are alarming not only because addiction impacts servicemen’s lives negatively but also because the problem poses as a threat to national security.
Problem gamblers, he explained, are more vulnerable because they are obsessed with finding the funds necessary to fuel their addiction. Unfortunately, the issue does not get enough recognition because military men are often associated with traits like discipline, courage and strength, which is why their susceptibility towards developing a problem goes unnoticed.
In addition to encouraging and assisting veterans in finding help, the program of the Delaware Council of Problem Gamblers has another important focus – that of helping friends and family members of the addicted to recognize the symptoms of compulsive gambling. Supporting military men who struggle with gambling addiction on their way to recovery is also of great importance.
March appears to be a suitable time for hosting this conference as it is the month, dedicated to gambling addiction awareness in the United States. The year 2018 marks the 14th annual Problem Gambling Awareness Month, hosted by the National Council on Problem Gambling. This year, the focus falls on open dialogue and more serious discussions in regard to compulsive gambling, which is estimated to cost the country as much as $6.7 billion per year.
A new casino venue is likely to be established in the town of Wasaga Beach, Ontario.
Brian Smith, mayor of Wasaga Beach, has confirmed in a press release that a casino and entertainment complex will be built by the Canadian gambling operator Gateway Casinos and Entertainment. Mr. Smith described the announcement as an “absolutely delightful news” for the local community. He further noted that he expected the casino to create approximately 400 “well-paying” jobs for Wasaga Beach residents. Also, according to the Mayor, the casino will offer 300 slot machines and 120 gaming seats.
I am very happy to announce that Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Ltd. has chosen our great town for the location of the newest Casino. This is great news for Wasaga Beach. It will bring hundreds of well paying jobs & millions of dollars in revenue. Onward and upward Wasaga.
— Mayor Brian Smith (@mayorbriansmith) October 11, 2018
Apart from revealing the fact that the town’s officials have worked in collaboration with Gateway Casinos for several months in order to make sure that the operator chooses the town for building its new casino. He also shared his excitement with the fact that a new gambling venue established in the town would bring it an additional revenue stream to count on. According to him, the expected revenue could amount to up to CA$2 million on an annual basis.
Mr. Smith explained that the town of Wasaga Beach has been known for its beautiful waterfront but thanks to the new gambling facility it would also become popular as a great gaming and entertainment hub.
Wasaga Beach Preferred as New Casino Site over Collingwood
The news that Wasaga Beach will become home to a new casino of Gateway Casinos has been confirmed by the Director of Communications and Public Affairs at the gambling operator, Robert Mitchell. Mr. Mitchell has explained that the “central bundle” casino is now planned to be built in Wasaga Beach, which has managed to beat its major rival – the town of Collingwood – in the competition for becoming home to the newly-planned casino.
Gateway Casinos’ director of communications and public affairs shared that more information about the casino project is set to be provided in the near future.
The next town’s council will probably have to consider the location of the potential casino after Gateway Casinos and Entertainment got the contract to run a gambling facility in the region.
Reportedly, the Canadian gambling operator is expected to make a decision on the exact location of the facility soon. Rumour has it that there are five possible locations for the gambling venue in Wasaga Beach that are being considered. Once a preferred location for the casino is submitted by Gateway Casinos and Entertainment, the town council is expected to hold a vote on the proposal.
As mentioned above, the town of Collingwood was another possible site for the new gambling venue, but eventually, it was the town of Wasaga Beach which was found to be the best fit for the Canadian gambling operator’s needs.
Medicine Hat Lodge and its casino venue are going through a special time in their development, as the gaming venue was recently purchased and prepared for a rebranding and renovation. Now the new management is finally ready to announce the new name, which is going to be Copper Coulee Casino, reflecting the new ownership.
This week saw the long-anticipated announcement of the new name under which the gaming venue will operate from now on. It could be recalled that up until now the gaming venue was better known as Casino by Vanshaw. This purchase and management change has the potential to bring renovation to the gaming location and freshen it up. Plans for eventual relocation are also on the table at the moment, making this development process even more appealing.
Rebranding Brings Casino a Fresh Face
The joint venture overseeing management of the casino venue comprises of Canalta Hotel, StageWest Hospitality, and Albert Stark. There is a reason behind this particular name and Mr. Stark shed more light on the story behind it. In an attempt to preserve the true nature of the casino venue and fortify its link with the region the name Copper Coulee Casino appeared to be a good match.
Hey #medicinehat,our Casino has a new face 🦊 Come and join us for the Grand Opening on Jan. 18th & 19th #medhat pic.twitter.com/zwg1liUmie
— Copper Coulee Casino 🦊 (@CopperCoulee) December 27, 2018
Mr. Stark stated that copper and copper coulees, in particular, are an intrinsic part of the local culture and what makes Medicine Hat unique. In the weeks leading to this rebranding, the community received more and more pieces of information regarding the rebranding and all new things featured at the casino venue. This happened over many platforms, utilizing good old billboards, as well as social media outlets. A special account @WhattheFoxMH was able to provide members of the community with regular updates on the rebranding.
Our 🦊 couldn't be more excited to finally share this with you: pic.twitter.com/IPo4bKRjZP
— Copper Coulee Casino 🦊 (@CopperCoulee) December 26, 2018
The ultimate goal of this rebranding would be for the casino venue to become more appealing to members of the community and people traveling this way. Tourists might find it even more convenient, as it offers the premium accommodation offerings of Medicine Hat Lodge and they could easily make their way to the casino venue and remain for longer. The main target group for the rebranded casino facility will be the younger demographics and women in general, as the current audience is predominantly male.
Relocation to Box Springs Could Happen by 2023
With new management comes a new way of conducting business, a different approach to gaming in general. The joint venture which oversees the location promises more to the locals. Mr. Stark made it clear that the only casino venue in the town shall maintain its leading position, and even though it has gone through a rough patch, the future appears to be brighter than ever. It could be recalled that Medicine Hat Lodge and previous casino owner Kevin Van Der Kooy had some discrepancies.
They eventually led to the shut down of casino operation onsite until the dispute was ironed out. Now the renovation will be the first step towards a long-anticipated relocation of the casino venue to a more prosperous address – in the vicinity of Box Springs Boulevard. This could happen by 2023, as renovations will commence at the very first days of January. Casino operation on site will remain intact and patrons are free to make their way and have a sneak peek at what is being done.
The upgrade will also cover Elements Lounge, which was the apple of discord between Medicine Hat Lodge and the previous owner of the casino venue. The lounge will be rebranded as Cu Elements Lounge, also known as the symbol for copper in the periodic table. Brand new food offerings will be available for all guests and casino patrons. Renovations are projected to come to an end around January 18.