Delta Corp to open Casino Deltin Denzong in Sikkim Jan 14

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In a much-anticipated announcement coming through unconventional channels, Delta Corp of India has reportedly confirmed that their new Casino Deltin Denzong will open January 14, 2017.
The launch announcement came via a tweet from ET Now news channel and was pick picked up by local media. The head of research at ET Now, Darshan Mehta, shared a copy of an opening invitation on the social media site. According to reports local dignitaries including government ministers will also be attending the event with Tourism & Civil Aviation Minister of Sikkim, Ugen Gyatso, as the chief guest.
The casino will open in the WelcomHeritage Denzong Regency, a luxury 5-star mountain retreat overlooking Sikkim’s capital, Gangtok near Mt.Kanchenjunga.
Delta Corp Ltd (NSE: DELTACORP), is the largest gaming company in India. After several earlier reports, the company finally confirmed they had inked a licensing deal for the property in late July 2016. The casino will offer some 150 gaming positions and establishes Delta in the region which includes two other casinos; Casino Sikkim at Hotel Royal Plaza and Casino Mahjong at Mayfair Spa Resort.
Amid tumultuous political wrangling between pro and anti-casino forces, India’s only publicly traded gaming company continued its success in 2016 with unprecedented profits and gaming expansion. In addition to the company’s first Sikkim casino, the Delta Daman hotel-casino is expected to open soon adding to its Goa land casinos along with three offshore casinos and the Deltin Caravela which the company secured a license for in June 2016.

Sites for third Connecticut casino narrowed to East Windsor and Windsor Locks by tribes

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Efforts by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and Mohegan Tribal Gamin Authority to select a location for what would be Connecticut’s third casino have resulted in the elimination of three municipalities, with the choices being narrowed to include East Windsor and Windsor Locks, according to the Hartford Courant.
After extending the application deadline in September to accommodate the growing number of municipalities that have shown interest in garnering the right to host a possible third casino in the state, the tribes announced on Friday, the elimination of three municipalities from consideration; South Windsor, Hartford, and East Hartford.
MMCT Venture is the joint effort by the owners of Connecticut’s two tribal casinos; Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino. The unlikely and historic alliance between the competing tribes formed in an attempt to keep gambling dollars in the state, rather than lose jobs and revenue to MGM Resorts International‘s $950 million Springfield casino slated to open in 2018 near the Connecticut, Massachusetts border. MMCT began its search on October 1, 2015 with the deadline for choosing a location being December 8 last year. However, the chairmen of the tribes that run Foxwoods and the Mohegan Sun casinos said in November last year that the decision deadline can be flexible.
Site proposals by East Windsor and Windsor Locks, which includes Bradley International Airport, were first submitted in November 2015. Evaluations by the tribes include the economic impact of each site proposal received. Once MMCT Venture chooses a site location, a third casino must still be approved by the legislature, along with the expansion of commercial casino gambling beyond federal tribal reservations. Proponents of the casino planned on seeking approval last year, however, MMCT said at the time it needed more time to decide.
MGM spokesman Bernard Kavaler said, “The fact that we are where we are speaks volumes about the process or lack of process,” and, “This really gets to the process: it’s a sham. It’s being run by the tribes for the tribes, not the taxpayers. Instead of having a very public process that is competitive, fair, reliable and transparent, everyone seems to be waiting for an announceent from the tribes for what they want to do next,” according to the news agency.
MGM filed a lawsuit in August 2015 arguing that newly-passed laws in Connecticut that allow the tribes to pursue a new casino project are unconstitutional and they eliminate any opportunity MGM, or anyone else, has to compete fairly with the tribes.
MMCT officials said on Friday that additional time was needed to conduct an “exhaustive review” of the sites proposals for Windsor Locks and East Windsor. Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council Chairman Rodney Butler, said, “After a detailed economic analysis, we’ve determined that East Windsor and Windsor Locks align best with our development models and preserved more jobs and revenue for the state,” and, “Ultimately, wherever we build this facility, we are committed to be excellent neighbors, dedicated to helping the Capitol Region succeed,” according to the report.
While the release on Friday failed to identify the specific locations that are now being considered by MMCT, East Windsor, which was initially eliminated in the first round, proposed Wal-Mart and Showcase Cinemas located along I-91 in its second attempt. In Windsor Locks, property was proposed that contains Bobby V’s Restaurant and Sports Bar and an off-track betting parlor as a location.
MMCT initially said that it wanted the satellite casino opened prior to the opening of MGM Springfield, however, with that expected by the end of next year, it’s not likely to happen. On Friday, MMCT said forums will be held in East Windsor and Windsor Locks for public comment, with details to be released “in the coming weeks,” as reported by the news agency.

Shorelines Casino Belleville to open on Wednesday

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After less than a year of construction, Great Canadian Gaming Corporation has announced that the first new casino for the province of Ontario is set to open tomorrow offering a selection of 450 slots alongside 18 gaming tables and a VIP mixed-games area.
The $31 million Shorelines Casino Belleville, which is also set to have a patio area, a small stage for live entertainment, a lounge and an all-glass buffet restaurant complete with outside views, will welcome its first players from 5pm local time on Wednesday following a special ceremony featuring a variety of live acts as well as commemorative giveaways and promotions.
“We are absolutely thrilled about the grand opening of Shorelines Casino Belleville and are excited to showcase the best of entertainment, gaming and dining the Shorelines Casino brand will offer within the regional marketplace,” said Craig DeMarta, Operations East Vice-President for Vancouver-based Great Canadian Gaming Corporation.
The Canadian operator via its Ontario Gaming East Limited Partnership subsidiary spent approximately $38.7 million in September of 2015 in order to acquire the eastern gaming bundle for Ontario from the Ontario Lottery And Gaming Corporation. This gave the firm the rights to operate the Shorelines Slots At Kawartha Downs facility near Peterborough and the Shorelines Casino Thousand Islands in Gananoque along with permission to construct a new casino for the area around the city of Belleville.
“We are so very honored to be in the position to open a gaming entertainment facility of this magnitude in Ontario, especially considering the last casino opened in the province ten years ago, said DeMarta. “As a company with over 30 years of gaming experience, we are confident in our ability to create and deliver an exceptional overall entertainment experience.”
In an effort to address problem gambling concerns, Great Canadian Gaming Corporation explained that Shorelines Casino Belleville it to additionally offer the interactive PlaySmart Centre. A first of its kind in Ontario and due to be operated in partnership with the independent and non-profit Responsible Gambling Council, this area has been designed to give players more information and support than is usually afforded via brochures and static signage.
“It will be first of its kind in Ontario,” Andy LaCroix, Ontario East Executive Director for Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, told The Belleville Intelligencer newspaper. “No other property has it right now. This one is more interactive with displays. It’s the first of that brand in the province. Most of them use brochures and flyers [but] this will have televisions and interactive pods.”
In return for hosting the 48,000 sq ft Shorelines Casino Belleville, the city of some 93,000 people is reportedly due to receive 5.25% percent of the first $49 million generated from electronic gaming along with 4% of table gaming revenues to spend as it sees fit.
“It’s good for employment and the economic component,” Belleville mayor Taso Christopher told The Belleville Intelligencer. “It will be interesting to get our first check. [We are] looking forward to the end of April to get our first check.”

Malaysian firm announces plan to build world’s largest cruise ship casino

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In Malaysia, a firm named Podiumspot Capital Group has reportedly announced plans to build the world’s largest floating casino as part of a new cruise ship set to be christened the Crusino.
According to a report from The Sun Daily newspaper, the new vessel is to measure just short of 968 feet in length with a width of 118 feet and feature 1,330 state rooms capable of carrying up to 3,200 passengers along with 900 crew members.
“The construction cost is estimated [to be] about $560 million and will be carried out at shipyards either in China or Vietnam,” read a statement from Kuala Lumpur-based Podiumspot Capital Group. “The project is undertaken by Podiumspot Capital Group, which is a company incorporated in Malaysia. Podiumspot Capital Group is the owner of Crusino Cruise Services Limited.”
Podiumspot Capital Group reportedly explained that the Crusino, which is scheduled to embark on it maiden voyage by April of 2020, will offer two special casino decks featuring a wide range of slots, gaming tables, live games and sportsbetting outlets. The firm further declared that each stateroom is to come complete with a pair of plasma screen televisions, one of which is to give occupants the ability to participate in live casino games while the second will provide more traditional entertainment options.
“A host of other facilities will also be available on Crusino and include a swimming pool, jaccuzzi, restaurants, cafes, bars, shopping outlets, a theatre, a library, a spa, sauna and a fitness center,” read the statement from Podiumspot Capital Group.

Chile comptroller releases new guidelines for gambling machines

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Last week, the office of the comptroller general in Chile released a statement in which the clarification of gambling machines was provided to be used by municipal governments in regards to defining when the machines should be classified as gambling in neighborhood casinos.
Within the guidelines, it says that municipalities should ask interested parties in gaining permission to operate electronic gaming machines to speak with the Gambling Control Board and obtain a report. This report states the prizes will not be handed out at random via the electronic gaming machines.
The Gambling Control Board now has the right to determine what is considered random and what is entertainment machines via the new rules. Only certifications provide by gaming laboratories that have been approved by the Board will be able to verify if a machine is a gambling one or has an element of skill. The Board actually requested that the Comptroller General issue the new ruling.
If the Board has established that that machine is one of chance, then the municipality will not allowed to give the operator permission to run the machine. The municipal governments of Chile must now follow these new guidelines as the only way in which to define gambling as well as non-gambling machines in their jurisdictions.
The new guidelines were created and released just after the Board conducted a survey for the very first time into gaming machines and how they operate outside of casinos. The study had a wide range and revealed that over 33,000 machines operate in an illegal manner in Chile. The study results were provided to 88 municipalities where the machines were in operation so that measures could be taken to prevent illegal gambling.
Researchers who conducted the study would visit over 3,000 businesses that had been given a municipal license to be allowed to run the gaming machines via arcades. Of this number just over 1,300 were offering machines that produced a cash prize for a win. This was a violation of gaming laws. Slot machines are only allowed in casino venues.
The gaming law of Chile from 1995 states that any slot machines located outside of casinos are prohibited. Slot machines are only to be offered in the seven municipal casinos that are located in the country, plus any privately-run casinos.

Ownership change at Osceola casino nears completion

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Lakeside Hotel & Casino in Osceola will soon have new owners after Iowa gambling regulators approved the change during a meeting last week, as seen and heard on Radio Iowa.
The sale, which according to Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission administrator Brian Ohorilko, involved a company that was already active in the Iowa casino, is near completion. Ohorilko said, “The private equity company Z Capital had previously owned about 40 percent of the company. There was a transaction announced a few months back where Z Cap would be purchasing all of the shares,” according to the report.
Investors in the Las Vegas-based Affinity Gaming LLC, which in addition to Lakeside owns eleven casinos in four states throughout the U.S., purchased the outstanding shares. According to Ohorilko, while part of the casino is already owned by Z Capital, the acquisition required a review by the Racing and Gaming Commission. He said the purchase resulted in a new ownership group, which passed the gaming commission background checks to enable the transition.
According to reports, Ohorilko said that he doesn’t anticipate any material changes, and, “They have committed to try and spruce that property up a little bit — so it is good news anytime there is discussion about putting capital expenditures into one of the Iowa properties.” He added that the sale has already been approved by regulators in Colorado and Missouri and that the company expects to receive the nod from regulators in Nevada this week. Ohorilko said, “Within the next few weeks, I would anticipate that it would become official,” according to the report.
Affinity Gaming LLC was established in 1987 as a slot services firm prior to opening its first casino a decade later.
In addition to the Lakeside Hotel and Casino in Osceola, the company currently operates Missouri’s St Jo Frontier Casino and Mark Twain Casino and its Nevada properties include the Silver Sevens Hotel and Casino, formerly Terrible’s Hotel and Casino; Whiskey Pete’s Hotel and Casino, Primm Valley Resort and Casino, Rail City Casino; and its largest, Buffalo Bill’s Resort and Casino, in Sparks. The company’s three Colorado properties are located in the town of Blackhawk and include the Golden Gulch, Golden Gates, and Mardi Gras casinos.

Shawnee Tribe appears to be on fast track for Golden Mesa Casino in Guymon, OK

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Nearly two years after announcing plans to build the $25 million Golden Mesa Casino near Guymon, Oklahoma, it appears that the Shawnee Tribe is on the fast track to approval by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) according to local and niche news reports.
In a November Notice of Availability for Shawnee Tribe Casino Environmental Assessment from the BIA the agency stated that “Based on the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Shawnee Tribe Casino project dated November 2016, it has been determined that the proposed action will not have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment, therefore, an Environmental Impact Statement is not required and a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) has been proposed for signature of the Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Indian Affairs,” effectively clearing a major hurdle for the off-reservation casino.
According to Indianz.com, casino land-into-trust applications typically require a full environmental impact statement which can take several years depending upon the complexity of environmental issues involved along with legal and political issues.
Under the two-part determination process outlined by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), Oklahoma’s governor would still have to approve the casino in order for it to go forward. The Kaw Nation is the only tribe in the state so far to accomplish that feat with their Southwind Casino Braman – which could soon be renamed Rock & Brews Casino Resort in a recently announced partnership with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS rock and roll fame.
The 42,309 sq ft casino is planned to be located about 3.5 miles southwest of Guymon in the panhandle region of Oklahoma over 400 miles from the tribe’s headquarters.
Although the first step for the Shawnee Tribe took less than two years, there is controversy and opposition to the move.
State Sen. Bryce Marlatt, a republican from Woodward is one of those opposed to the action according to a Jan 6 report in The Oklahoman. “This would be a terrible precedent by the federal government to allow tribal gambling in lands where tribes have no historical ties,” he said. “This could open a floodgate of casinos and other tribal ventures on almost every corner in Oklahoma. This move is also concerning to citizens in the Panhandle because of the societal ills associated with the proliferation of gambling.”
The Shawnee Tribe has no jurisdictional lands of its own so in 2000 U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe championed a bill restoring the tribe’s federal recognition and giving them the right to secure land outside the lands of any other tribe in the state as long as the land is essential to the tribe’s economic well-being.
The tribe’s previous efforts to create casinos near Oklahoma City caused a political backlash and were not approved.
The Golden Mesa Casino plans call for a restaurant and bar along with a casino floor offering 600 slots and 8 gaming tables located on about 100 acres on Highway 54. According to the 2010 Census, the Texas County Seat had a population of 11,442 and 3-star hotel rooms go for about $90 per night.
The incoming Trump administration would need to approve of the two-part determination under the IGRA before returning the issue to Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin for final approval. Indianz.com reports that the governor met with Trump in November and discussed Indian issues with the president-elect. She reportedly concurred on the Kaw Nation’s off-reservation casino.
The casino would be operated in partnership with the Chickasaw Nation.

This article has been updated to reflect the fact that the Golden Mesa Casino was first announced in February 2015, rather than “less than a year ago” as we originally stated.

Paradise profits back in the black in South Korea

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In the 12 months ending December 31, 2016, casino revenue of South Korean operator Paradise Co Ltd (034230.KQ) increased by 6.2 percent to KRW603.1bn (US $509m), compared to KRW567.88 billion for full-year 2015, according to figures released last week to the Korea Exchange.
South Korea’s largest foreigners-only casino operator reported table game revenue at KRW567.7bn, an increase of 7.2 percent, while slot revenue was reported at KRW36bn, a 7.3 percent decrease. Four of the country’s 17 casinos, including Jeju Grand on Jeju Island, Walkerhill in Seoul, Incheon Casino at Incheon, and Busan Casino in Busan, are operated by Paradise.
In 2015, revenue had taken a 14.7 percent dive from 2014’d figures. However, with December 2016 casino revenue at KRW 43.7b, Paradise ended the year in the black.
Next year also promises to be a big one for Paradise, with the launch of Paradise City, the country’s first integrated resort (IR). The co-venture with pachinko operator Sega Sammy Holdings Inc. broke ground in November 2014 near Incheon’s international airport and is slated to open in April.
Phil-Lip Chun, Chairman/CEO at Paradise Co Ltd, said Paradise City  “will be a milestone in the tourism industry of Korea. Now, we have an opportunity to move beyond a second advance and become a global player. To be prepared for such possibility, we are promoting innovation of corporate management to break out of the old paradigm and practices across the business structure, business methods, and corporate culture. With a vision of becoming Korea’s representative IR (Integrated Resort) by 2020 through such efforts, all executives and employees of Paradise Group including myself share the same dream of shaping the future through innovation with sweeping change,” according to the G3Newswire report.

Macau casino workers demonstrate for pay increases

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In Macau, about 200 casino workers reportedly held a demonstration on Monday calling for a 5% pay rise and legislation that would allow trade unions to call strikes and better represent their members.
According to a report from GGRAsia, the rally was organized by Professionals For Gaming Of New Macau in an attempt to force the government to call on casino operators to grant staff pay increases.
“We’re calling for a salary hike for not only the table game workers but also for the rest of casino employees,” Cloee Chao, President for the Professionals For Gaming Of New Macau told GGRAsia.
Chao reportedly explained that most members of her activist group are dealers or casino supervisors with the group delivering a petition to the government two months ago calling for a pay hike to help mitigate the effects of local inflation. Citing official figures from the city’s Statistics And Census Service, she declared that the average composite consumer price index had swelled by 2.56% year-on-year since November of 2015 while only Sands China Limited, which is a subsidiary of Las Vegas Sands Corporation and operates The Venetian Macao Resort Hotel, Sands Macao, The Parisian Macao and Sands Cotai Central, had so far announced a pay rise.
“We are demonstrating at this time because this month is when the gaming companies conclude their earnings for the whole [prior calendar] year and usually, if they do have any plan to raise their salaries, they would announce it around the time of Chinese New Year,” Chao told GGRAsia. “We’ll collect signatures from our gaming worker members to back the pay hike call again if we still do not hear any news about it after Chinese New Year. We’ll even initiate a bigger action. What we mean by this bigger action is that we might express our call via demonstrating at the casinos.”
Chao declared that her group is also calling for the introduction of laws to better regulate trade union activities, which is a sentiment backed by local legislators Au Kam San and Antonio Ng Kuok Cheong. Although Macau gives people the freedom to establish and join unions and to withdraw their labor in the event of a dispute, there has yet to be enabling legislation passed that guarantees workers have the right tools to negotiate with their employers.
GGRAsia reported that the Macau Gaming Enterprises Staffs Association, which is affiliated with the influential Macau Federation Of Trade Unions, has also joined the call for a pay rise for the city’s casino workers. At a separate Monday event, the group’s Director General, Choi Kam Fu, reportedly told the Teledifusao De Macau radio and television broadcaster that his union was set to propose a 5% to 7% salary increase for 2017.
“As the gaming industry has stabilized, we think there are conditions for casinos to adjust [the salaries of workers] to cover inflation,” Choi told Teledifusao De Macau.

Federal judge again declines to reconsider Florida “banked” card games decision

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In Florida, a federal judge has reportedly rejected a second motion asking him to reconsider a previous ruling that gave the Seminole Tribe Of Florida the exclusive rights to offer blackjack and other “banked” card games in the southern state until 2030.
According to a report from The News Service Of Florida, judge Robert Hinkle from the United States District Court For The Northern District Of Florida declined an appeal from the Florida Department Of Business And Professional Regulation in December and has now snubbed a petition from Gretna Racing, which operates a parimutuel cardroom and dog racing track in Gadsden County.
The Seminole Tribe Of Florida inked a 20-year gaming compact in 2010 that gave it the exclusive rights to operate slots outside of Miami-Dade County and Broward County while additionally granting five years of exclusivity regarding “banked” card games, which see casino players compete against the house unlike in “player-banked” competitions such as poker.
When the five-year “banked” portion of the deal expired in 2015, the tribe attempted to negotiate a new agreement but was twice rebuffed by legislators in Tallahassee despite having come to arrangements with Republican governor Rick Scott. It then filed a lawsuit alleging that the state had failed to negotiate a new accord in “good faith” and as a result it should be permitted to carry on as usual for the entire length of its compact.
In a November 9 ruling, Hinkle agreed with the Seminole Tribe Of Florida, which operates seven casinos in Florida including the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel And Casino Hollywood and the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel And Casino Tampa, that the state’s authorization of “banked” games had triggered an exception to the five-year portion of the compact and ordered that the tribe be permitted to continue providing such offerings until 2030.
Gretna Racing, which is operated by the Poarch Band Of Creek Indians, is among numerous parimutuel cardrooms in the state that offer “player-banked” games and it had reportedly argued that Hinkle’s ruling could put its future in jeopardy.
“Any form of player-banking could be construed to be a crime subjecting Gretna [Racing’s] officers to potential criminal prosecution and possible imprisonment,” read the December 15 filing from attorneys David Romanik and Marc Dunbar, who are also part-owners of the facility near the small city of Gretna.
However, Hinkle reportedly disagreed via a two-page order and wrote that Gretna Racing had no standing in the case and should not intervene as it would not be affected.
“And even if Gretna [Racing] could have qualified for permissive intervention on a timely application, [which is] not an obvious proposition, I would exercise my discretion to deny intervention at this late date as both untimely and otherwise inadvisable,” wrote Hinkle on Wednesday. “The judgment in this case has no binding effect on Gretna [Racing] and the order explaining the judgment will have a practical effect only to the extent a future tribunal finds the reasoning persuasive. If, as Gretna [Racing] seems to believe, it has additional evidence that will persuade a judge to reach a different result, Gretna [Racing] will be free to present the evidence if ever its own interests become the subject of a judicial or administrative proceeding.”
In connected news, The News Service Of Florida additionally reported that Gretna Racing is still awaiting a decision from the Florida Supreme Court regarding the lawsuit it filed after the southern state’s gambling regulator refused to grant it a license to operate slots.
Gadsden County is one of eight counties in Florida along with Brevard County, Duval County, Hamilton County, Lee County, Palm Beach County, St Lucie County and Washington County that saw voters approve a local referendum to allow slots inside their parimutuels but the state has argued that such a move would require the approval of legislators in Tallahassee.