eSports Wagering To Complicate Nevada Casino Regulation

eSports wagering is fast gaining mainstream attention particularly in the state of Nevada but the combination of video gaming and gambling is proving to be a tricky area in terms of regulation.

Nevada regulators are in the process of developing a set of regulations for this new form of gambling but it has come as a surprise to many that gambling has been happening in competitive video gaming events being hosted by Las Vegas casinos for several years now.

According to a news report in Las Vegas Review-Journal, since 2005 several casinos have been holding an annual video gaming tournament called the Evolution Championship Series, or Evo. Informal wagering or social betting is said to occur at these tournaments regularly though it is not well-known outside these circles.

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A.G. Burnett, chairman of the Control Board stated that betting was not illegal in a social context unless someone was taking a cut.

Earlier this month Mandalay Bay hosted a three-day tournament from 14 to 17 July which focused on a fighting genre of video games. Nick Navas a referee at the tournament stated that people often put money on the line as it added more excitement to these games. These games were referred to as money matches and the betting usually started at $ 5 but at times could go up to $ 3000 according to Navas.

Technically such wagering is banned but it seems take place as a regular occurrence at these games. Sam McMullen, CEO and co-founder of FiveGen, said that the rules are perhaps being ignored because no one wants to push away underage players who form the bulk of the audience for esports.

In a statement McMullen said,

Regardless of type — both social and informal — money matching and internationally formal bookmaking is happening. This wagering presents a huge opportunity for Nevada if we can get our arms around how to make it technologically viable and standardized to be available to a public that clearly wants us to create a way for it to be legal and possible

Burnett said that he was unaware that such gambling was going on but promised to conduct discussions with licensees and the tournament organizers to check if there was something inappropriate happening and to ensure everybody knows that wagering was occurring at the tournaments.

ChezRey Richardson, a young gamer from Austin, Texas said that players often used money matches as an opportunity to rematch. For others it was just about the money. He however said that as far as he could see no one was taking cuts from the wagers. Richardson also highlighted that the money matches were a useful way to identify players with good potential.

The vegas strip Sands Realized 62pct Profit Improvement in Q2 End result

The 2017 second quarter results for international casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp saw a 61.9 percent jump in net income over the same period last year reaching $ 638 million.

The company said that the sharp increase in revenue was primary due to the strong performance of its subsidiaries in Macau and Singapore

The total quarterly revenue for the group was $ 3.14 billion, an increase of 18.6 percent over previous year, same period. Sands China Ltd, the subsidiary in charge of casino properties in Macau stated that revenues in premium mass segment was up by almost 40 percent and mass gaming revenues grew by nearly 22 percent.

Las Vegas Sands

Revenue overall went up by 23 percent for Sands China on a year-on- year basis to $ 1.82 billion in the first quarter of the year. Net income climbed by 37.6 percent over prior year same period to reach $ 326 million.

In a statement Sheldon Adelson, the group’s chairman and chief executive said,

We are pleased to have delivered a strong set of financial results during the quarter, led by another quarter of growth in Macau and a record-setting performance in Singapore. Strong mass revenue growth, coupled with higher hotel occupancy and growth in the VIP segment all contributed to a 23-percent increase in our adjusted property EBITDA in Macau, which reached $ 600 million in the quarter

According to Morgan Stanley Research, the property EBIDTA for Sands China is largely as expected at $ 600 million. Parisian Macao saw a 29 percent quarter-on- quarter increase to $ 106 million but other major properties such as the Venetian Macao and Sands Macao saw decline of 11 percent and 28 percent respectively.

Adelson pointed out that the Parisian Macao which opened in September 2016 was enjoying strong growth and visitation trends with encouraging results for hotel occupancy, gaming volumes and average daily rate. The current quarter mass win rate of $ 2.44 million was highest since its opening.

Analysts from JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd said that Parisian Macao saw strong performance driven by relatively high VIP luck as well as high mass hold . Las Vegas Sands officials have said that the hotel rooms for the 3,000-room Parisian Macao were being upgraded to appeal to premium mass-market gamblers and is likely be completed by the end of 2018.

Marina Bay Sands in Singapore posted revenues of $ 836 million in the second quarter of 2017, a jump of nearly 18 percent over the same period last year. Adelson said that the resort had a record performance this year thanks to great programming, strong mass gaming play, and due to an increase in non-gaming revenues.

Queensland Government Rejects ASF Gold Coast Casino Proposal

The State Government of Queensland has rejected the $ 3 billion casino resort plan for Gold Coast’s Southport Spit area. Hong Kong-based ASF Consortium had submitted a proposal earlier this year to develop a five-tower integrated resort with a casino on the state-owned land.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed earlier this week that the plan was rejected and any development having beyond three floors was ruled out on The Spit.

Palaszczuk stated that the public consultation had clearly established the community’s opposition to the project. The ASF proposal for The Spit had faced strong opposition from all quarters.

In a statement Premier Palaszczuk said,

That casino license will remain on the Gold Coast but there will be no integrated resort development here on The Spit. There are big issues when it comes to transport and the building of high rise buildings … the traffic solution on this beautiful part of the Gold Coast would involve something of an eyesore. This area is what Central Park is to New York.

The Premier noted that the transport problems associated with any project on The Spit were difficult to surmount, though she did not reject the idea of a developing an integrated resort there in the future. Palaszczuk highlighted that it was now essential to develop a Master Plan to revive The Spit and turn it into a flourishing asset for the community.

This is the second time that an ASF casino proposal has faced rejection. Earlier its WaveBreak Island Cruise Ship Terminal plan was rejected by the state government in 2015. The Premier said that the government would be consulting with the Crown law in regards to whether any compensation was due to ASF for having already invested millions during the project development phase.

ASF had been named as the preferred operator for building the second casino resort in the Gold Coast and had started preliminary development work. Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Jackie Trad also stated that creating a Master Plan for the region would be ideal as it would ensure the best results for the community.

He said that plan for The Spit would be built in sync with the Gold Coast Council’s planning scheme, and it would help bring a balance between environment concerns, community value and successful commercial development. The master plan is expected to take 18 months to be finalized. Around 6500 submissions have been made regarding the future use of public land available on The Spit as well as the ASF proposal for an integrated resort.

Nomura Forecasts Casino Revenue Of $7bn For Japan

Analysts from brokerage firm Nomura have said that Japan will be able to record gross gaming revenue of around $ 7 billion per year with the development of two major integrated resorts.

The brokerage firm’s estimates assume that there will be one full scale casino set up in Yokohama and another in Osaka.

Nomura analysts mentioned in their report that both the locations were ideal for integrated resorts citing reasons like large local population, strong tourist inflows and robust infrastructure support.

In a statement analysts from Nomura said

We are bullish on the prospects of the Japan gaming industry (if they were to receive the necessary legislative approval). We believe a US$ 7 billion gaming market would allow the two IRs to each generate annual property EBITDA of nearly US$ 1.6 billion (16 percent return on invested capital), assuming VIP and mass GGR tax rate of 13 percent and 23 percent, respectively (largely in line with that of Singapore).

The report noted that an urban integrated resort is likely to require an investment of at least JPY500 billion (US$ 4.5 billion). Nomura is also expecting gaming regulations to allow Japanese nationals to able to enter the casinos on payment of an entry fee, similar to the
Singaporean model.

Currently Singapore residents need to pay either SGD100 ($ 73.5) per day or SGD2,000 per year to gamble. Nomura analysts pointed out that if the Japanese regulations levy a higher entry fee than this, the projected mass gambling revenue could be far lesser since the assumption is that the mass market will be driven by local residents.

The Japanese government is currently working on a second bill that will cover the regulatory framework to be applied to the country’s newly opened gambling industry. Public hearings are being planned across nine cities nationwide during the course of this month in order to discuss citizens’ concerns regarding the risk of problem gambling and other social ills arising from legalized gambling.

Nomura analysts said that if the Japanese government allowed the development of regional casinos, then the gaming market would be much bigger than $ 7 billion. However they pointed out that local government officials were quickly moving away from the idea.

The analysts expect the mass-market segment to form the bulk of the revenue – mass gaming tables are likely generate revenue of $ 1.7 billion while slot machine GGR will reach $ 1.0 billion per property. VIP gaming could climb up to $ 750 million per year per casino. Industry experts expect the IR Implementation Bill to be presented for legislative approval in an extraordinary session this autumn.

New Casino In Philippine’s Cebu Province Has Groundbreaking Ceremony

A Philippine company Udenna Development Corp recently carried out a groundbreaking ceremony for a casino resort development in Lapu-Lapu City, located on Mactan Island in Cebu province.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor) made the announcement this week stating that Udenna had been granted a provisional license to develop the casino resort.

Owned by Philippine businessman Dennis Uy, Udenna is headquartered in Davao City and will be investing around $ 341 million into the casino project which has been named Emerald Resort and Casino.

In a statement Andrea Domingo the head of Pagcor said

We hope that in two or three years’ time, we will be here again to witness the opening of this project. We hope that this will be a precedent for all integrated resorts that will be built outside of Entertainment City in Manila because in Cebu City, there will be a world-class resort casino that is worth taking a look.

Uy said that the project will help transform Mactan into one of the top tourist destinations in the region. He added that the project will benefit the local community with thousands of jobs being created and will increase revenue for local businesses. The casino will also provide an opportunity to showcase Filipino talent and hospitality.

The casino site is a 12.5-hectare property facing a beach and is located around 4 miles from Cebu’s international airport. The project is expected to consist of a casino, a large retail complex as well as luxury hotels. The first phase is expected to open by 2019 while the remaining facilities will be opened by the year 2022.

U.S. architect Paul Steelman has been commissioned to design the Emerald Casino Resort. Steelman has been responsible for designing several gaming projects across the U.S. and Asia including The Sands Macau and The Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Steelman said that despite including gaming, the property has been designed to be family friendly.

Pagcor had announced in March, that it was imposing a moratorium for five years for new casino licenses in Manila. However it said that it would still welcome applications for casino projects in other smaller regions of the country with lower capital requirements.

The Philippine gaming market has been steadily gaining prominence, recording gaming revenue of PHP149 billion in 2016.The country’s growing relations with China is expected to help boost the country’s tourism sector further, although the recent attack by a gunman on Resorts World Mania is expected dampen sentiments near term.

Apex Looking To Stretch Appearance Which have New Gambling Success

Las Vegas-based casino operator Pinnacle Entertainment Inc has said that it is open to acquisitions that fit into its portfolio. Pinnacle currently operates gaming properties in 10 states nationwide including Nevada.

Company officials said that they had been encouraged by the performance of their newest acquisition, The Meadows Casino in Pennsylvania, adding that the company was looking for properties that could help transform the company.

Carlos Ruisanchez, the company’s president and chief financial officer recently held a conference call with analysts to discuss the company’s financial results for the second quarter. During the call, the COO confirmed that a disciplined approach toward acquisitions would be adopted going forward. Ruisanchez listed the criteria that would be used to evaluate potential acquisition opportunities.

In a statement Ruisanchez said

There have to be three key elements. It’s got to be a business that has a competitive advantage in its market, it needs to be a positive fit within our portfolio and it has to be meaningful (with at least a 10 percent increase in operations.)

For the quarter ending June 30, Pinnacle has posted earnings of $ 106.5 million while its overall revenue was $ 653.6 million, an increase of around 15 percent. While the earnings were below analysts’ expectations, the revenue still beat their forecast of $ 645 million.

Company executives on the conference call highlighted the performance of The Meadows as promising. The company reported revenue of $ 72.3 million, the strongest performance since Pinnacle’s purchase of the property. Senior executives said that they expect the revenue to grow further with the introduction of the company’s choice loyalty card program in 2017.

On a same store basis, the company’s revenue increased by 2.7 percent. Asian gaming volume at its properties was up 9 percent. Several Pinnacle properties including the Ameristar East Chicago, the Ameristar St. Charles in Missouri, the Ameristar Kansas City and the Boomtown New Orleans posted growth of over 20 percent in Asian gaming volume.

Pinnacle officials also stated that the property in Louisiana, L’Auberge Baton Rouge was likely to face a fresh challenge with the local city council passing a law banning indoor smoking across the city. Pinnacle is countering the issue by developing an outdoor smoking terrace for its patrons. Company officials also stated noted they were already running smoke free operations in places like the Belterra Park property in Cincinnati, Ohio.

MGM Resorts Initiates Rollout Of Responsible Gaming Program

MGM Resorts International is on the verge of rolling out ‘GameSense’, a new responsible gaming program for all of its properties in the United States.

The initiative will see the use of the GameSense platform which has been developed by the British Columbia Lottery Corp (BCLC). The product has been licensed to MGM Resorts for an amount that has not been made public. The plan to introduce GameSense was announced by MGM in February 2017.

Initially, the GameSense program will be launched in MGM’s 10 South Nevada properties and later it will be rolled out to its properties at Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi and Massachusetts where a new MGM Springfield casino is being constructed.

State gaming regulators in Massachusetts had asked casino operators active in the state – MGM, Wynn Resorts Ltd. and Penn National Gaming – to review the GameSense platform which seeks to ensure that players are able to enjoy gaming within reasonable limits. MGM Resorts decided after studying GameSense, that it would be a good fit for all of its properties in the country.

GameSense MA

A training program covering its 77,000 employees is scheduled to start shortly. Under the new GameSense program, MGM employees will be required to play a nuanced role by offering players resources without seeming intrusive and encourage them to play responsibly without coming across as judgemental.

MGM Executive Vice President Alan Feldman had stated that while the company was for responsible gaming, it was a tough task to implement.

In a statement Feldman said

We should be in the forefront of defining g and promoting responsible gaming. But defining what someone’s problem is can’t possibly be the realm of casino employees. It’s just not right. This is a tough enough thing to define and to diagnose if you’re a trained therapist, counsellor, psychologist or even psychiatrist. This is a very, very tough subject to face

According to available data, roughly 2.5 million players in America suffer from compulsive gambling disorders while 3 million are problem gamblers and a further 15 million are at risk of becoming addicted. These estimates account for approximately 2.9 percent of the total adult gambling population in the country.

Under the GameSense program, MGM will be setting up signage and kiosks around its properties staffed with trained personnel who will be able to offer support to patrons who are battling gambling addictions. Over time, MGM hopes to integrate it into its loyalty card program, enabling players to set time and spending limits which would then alert them as their limits approach.

MGM Golf resorts Initiates Rollout Of Responsible Internet gaming Program

MGM Resorts International is on the verge of rolling out ‘GameSense’, a new responsible gaming program for all of its properties in the United States.

The initiative will see the use of the GameSense platform which has been developed by the British Columbia Lottery Corp (BCLC). The product has been licensed to MGM Resorts for an amount that has not been made public. The plan to introduce GameSense was announced by MGM in February 2017.

Initially, the GameSense program will be launched in MGM’s 10 South Nevada properties and later it will be rolled out to its properties at Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi and Massachusetts where a new MGM Springfield casino is being constructed.

State gaming regulators in Massachusetts had asked casino operators active in the state – MGM, Wynn Resorts Ltd. and Penn National Gaming – to review the GameSense platform which seeks to ensure that players are able to enjoy gaming within reasonable limits. MGM Resorts decided after studying GameSense, that it would be a good fit for all of its properties in the country.

GameSense MA

A training program covering its 77,000 employees is scheduled to start shortly. Under the new GameSense program, MGM employees will be required to play a nuanced role by offering players resources without seeming intrusive and encourage them to play responsibly without coming across as judgemental.

MGM Executive Vice President Alan Feldman had stated that while the company was for responsible gaming, it was a tough task to implement.

In a statement Feldman said

We should be in the forefront of defining g and promoting responsible gaming. But defining what someone’s problem is can’t possibly be the realm of casino employees. It’s just not right. This is a tough enough thing to define and to diagnose if you’re a trained therapist, counsellor, psychologist or even psychiatrist. This is a very, very tough subject to face

According to available data, roughly 2.5 million players in America suffer from compulsive gambling disorders while 3 million are problem gamblers and a further 15 million are at risk of becoming addicted. These estimates account for approximately 2.9 percent of the total adult gambling population in the country.

Under the GameSense program, MGM will be setting up signage and kiosks around its properties staffed with trained personnel who will be able to offer support to patrons who are battling gambling addictions. Over time, MGM hopes to integrate it into its loyalty card program, enabling players to set time and spending limits which would then alert them as their limits approach.

New On line casino In Philippine’s Shenzhen Region Has Revolutionary Day

A Philippine company Udenna Development Corp recently carried out a groundbreaking ceremony for a casino resort development in Lapu-Lapu City, located on Mactan Island in Cebu province.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor) made the announcement this week stating that Udenna had been granted a provisional license to develop the casino resort.

Owned by Philippine businessman Dennis Uy, Udenna is headquartered in Davao City and will be investing around $ 341 million into the casino project which has been named Emerald Resort and Casino.

In a statement Andrea Domingo the head of Pagcor said

We hope that in two or three years’ time, we will be here again to witness the opening of this project. We hope that this will be a precedent for all integrated resorts that will be built outside of Entertainment City in Manila because in Cebu City, there will be a world-class resort casino that is worth taking a look.

Uy said that the project will help transform Mactan into one of the top tourist destinations in the region. He added that the project will benefit the local community with thousands of jobs being created and will increase revenue for local businesses. The casino will also provide an opportunity to showcase Filipino talent and hospitality.

The casino site is a 12.5-hectare property facing a beach and is located around 4 miles from Cebu’s international airport. The project is expected to consist of a casino, a large retail complex as well as luxury hotels. The first phase is expected to open by 2019 while the remaining facilities will be opened by the year 2022.

U.S. architect Paul Steelman has been commissioned to design the Emerald Casino Resort. Steelman has been responsible for designing several gaming projects across the U.S. and Asia including The Sands Macau and The Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Steelman said that despite including gaming, the property has been designed to be family friendly.

Pagcor had announced in March, that it was imposing a moratorium for five years for new casino licenses in Manila. However it said that it would still welcome applications for casino projects in other smaller regions of the country with lower capital requirements.

The Philippine gaming market has been steadily gaining prominence, recording gaming revenue of PHP149 billion in 2016.The country’s growing relations with China is expected to help boost the country’s tourism sector further, although the recent attack by a gunman on Resorts World Mania is expected dampen sentiments near term.

Nomura Forecasts Casino Revenue Of $7bn For Japan

Analysts from brokerage firm Nomura have said that Japan will be able to record gross gaming revenue of around $ 7 billion per year with the development of two major integrated resorts.

The brokerage firm’s estimates assume that there will be one full scale casino set up in Yokohama and another in Osaka.

Nomura analysts mentioned in their report that both the locations were ideal for integrated resorts citing reasons like large local population, strong tourist inflows and robust infrastructure support.

In a statement analysts from Nomura said

We are bullish on the prospects of the Japan gaming industry (if they were to receive the necessary legislative approval). We believe a US$ 7 billion gaming market would allow the two IRs to each generate annual property EBITDA of nearly US$ 1.6 billion (16 percent return on invested capital), assuming VIP and mass GGR tax rate of 13 percent and 23 percent, respectively (largely in line with that of Singapore).

The report noted that an urban integrated resort is likely to require an investment of at least JPY500 billion (US$ 4.5 billion). Nomura is also expecting gaming regulations to allow Japanese nationals to able to enter the casinos on payment of an entry fee, similar to the
Singaporean model.

Currently Singapore residents need to pay either SGD100 ($ 73.5) per day or SGD2,000 per year to gamble. Nomura analysts pointed out that if the Japanese regulations levy a higher entry fee than this, the projected mass gambling revenue could be far lesser since the assumption is that the mass market will be driven by local residents.

The Japanese government is currently working on a second bill that will cover the regulatory framework to be applied to the country’s newly opened gambling industry. Public hearings are being planned across nine cities nationwide during the course of this month in order to discuss citizens’ concerns regarding the risk of problem gambling and other social ills arising from legalized gambling.

Nomura analysts said that if the Japanese government allowed the development of regional casinos, then the gaming market would be much bigger than $ 7 billion. However they pointed out that local government officials were quickly moving away from the idea.

The analysts expect the mass-market segment to form the bulk of the revenue – mass gaming tables are likely generate revenue of $ 1.7 billion while slot machine GGR will reach $ 1.0 billion per property. VIP gaming could climb up to $ 750 million per year per casino. Industry experts expect the IR Implementation Bill to be presented for legislative approval in an extraordinary session this autumn.