The Las Vegas Strip's largest casino operator, MGM Resorts International, is bowing to pressure from activist investors and discussing a sale of Circus Circus to Phil Ruffin, sources say. It also may sell the MGM Grand and Bellagio to Blackstone Group.
The University of Nevada Las Vegas hosted a session on responsible gaming last week, with panelists noting that with 13 states now allowing sports betting, the problem may increase. The industry needs to keep it part of the conversation, reach out to younger people to stop it before it starts, and invest in and encourage more responsible gaming research, panelists say.
Apple has extended its deadline from September to March for mobile gaming developers to make apps native for iOS. Developers are not pleased, as the current HTML5 versions work on all platforms, the cost to change for one phone system is expensive, and developers may have to involve multiple coding companies for their various games.
Tilman Fertitta, owner of the Golden Nugget casino and NBA's Houston Rockets, says his casino is playing catch-up to competitors since his dual role resulted in a temporary prohibition of sports wagering at the Nugget. Also, he says he doesn't believe integrity fees for sports betting will become mandatory: "I think it will be more partnership-based."
The country's more than 500 tribal gaming operations had gross gaming revenues in the US of $33.71 billion for 2018, about a 4% increase over 2017. Sports betting likely will push the number to more than $35 billion for 2019.
Louisville, Ky.'s iconic Pink Palace -- constructed of red brick in 1891 and originally home to the Gentlemen's Club and Casino -- will be up for auction Oct. 1-15. The building near Churchill Downs has 4,170 square feet, six bedrooms, three turret rooms, a basement with private living quarters, seven fireplaces, a fenced backyard, in-ground pool and two-car garage.
Fifteen people were charged related to illegal gaming this week in Oahu, Hawaii, after FBI, ATF and local police broke up their operation this week. The agents confiscated 60 gaming machines and $150,000 in cash from two residences.
About 33% of resort hotel spas and 16% of day spas -- or nearly 20% of total spas -- featured cannabidiol, or CBD, in some of their treatments last year, according to the 2019 ISPA US Spa Industry Study due out this month. Jamison Stoike of the International Spa Association, who was impressed recently with his first CBD treatment, noted how important it was to have a knowledgeable therapist, especially "for a product that arouses as many questions as CBD."
Golden Nugget casino owner Tilman Fertitta says the addition of the Hard Rock casino to Atlantic City in 2018 may have been the tipping point for the city, which in 2015 and 2016 saw five casinos shutter for financial reasons. "It's not a nine-casino market, and I don't understand why nobody realizes that," Fertitta said this week, noting that "none of the casinos have the cash flow that they did."
Magic City Casino owner West Flagler Associates will head to court in May for its lawsuit against Miami, which claims the city changed a zoning code requirement to target a proposed jai-alai fronton and card room. The company invested money after the city tacitly and the state definitively had approved the project, only to have the City Commission change the rules after a community uproar.
- Page 1