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Gambling in the USA

Florida governor announces deal with Seminole Tribe on gambling money

Niji Ng

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Florida Governor Rick Scott has announced an agreement between Seminole Tribe and the state, which would see the company extending its payment of more than $300 million a year as casino money to the state. The announcement comes in the wake of legislative leaders holding behind-the-scenes talks about revamping the gambling industry.

The tribe would keep on making the payments, as per the 2010 gambling agreement, through the 2019 legislative session. In exchange, the tribe will have exclusive rights to offer games such as blackjack at its casinos and will remain the state’s only slot-machine operator outside of Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

Scott, who will leave office in January after eight years, said “Today, I am proud to announce that the state of Florida has reached an agreement with the Seminole Tribe which ensures the tribe’s current commitment remains intact.… Since I took office, the Seminole compact (the 2010 agreement) has generated more than $1.75 billion which has helped our state make historic investments in things like Florida’s education and environment.”

This announcement is not expected to scuttle negotiations between House and Senate leaders as they try to enforce a sweeping gambling bill before the November election, when voters will decide whether to allow a constitutional amendment that would make it difficult to expand gambling. The proposed amendment, subject to approval, will allow the voters to decide on future gambling expansions, as opposed to the present system that is controlled by the legislature.

Rep. Jose Oliva and Sen. Bill Galvano, who will take over as House speaker and Senate president after the fall elections, have been in talks for weeks — without the Seminoles at the table — about a possible special session on the gambling issue.

The two leaders are reportedly close to agreement but have not closed out a deal that likely would encompass slot machines, controversial “designated player” card games and myriad other gambling-related issues. Lawmakers’ efforts to reach agreement on major gambling issues have repeatedly failed over the years.

“It’s a positive development but does not rule out a special [session]. There are still many questions regarding the statewide framework of gaming,” Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, said in a text message, referring to the agreement that Scott announced Wednesday with the tribe.

The ongoing discussions between the Republican legislative leaders are “more of a conversation than a negotiation,” Oliva said.

The agreement announced Wednesday would guarantee until May 2019 the continued flow of Seminole cash into the state budget — ostensibly one of the reasons legislative leaders have been floating the idea of holding a special session. But the agreement also could be part of an effort to head off attempts by lawmakers to expand gambling through steps such as allowing slot machines outside of Broward and Miami-Dade.

“It certainly is a positive step. However, we are continuing discussions regarding a special session,” said Galvano, a Bradenton Republican who has been instrumental in negotiating agreements with the Seminoles over the past several years.

The announcement from Scott’s office came after a series of developments that began with the 2015 expiration of one of the critical provisions of the 2010 compact. That provision gave the tribe exclusivity in being able to offer banked card games, such as blackjack.

While the tribe continued making payments to the state after the provision expired, the money was put in jeopardy because of a dispute about lucrative designated-player games at state-regulated pari-mutuel facilities.

A federal judge sided with the tribe in a dispute over whether designated-player games breached the Seminoles’ exclusivity over offering banked card games. The tribe agreed to continue making payments to the state, and gambling regulators promised to “aggressively enforce” the manner in which cardrooms conduct the designated player games.

But a temporary deal between the state and the Seminoles, in which the tribe agreed to continue making the payments, expired late in March, sparking the push for a new round of negotiations.

The Seminoles have never threatened to stop making payments to the state, although their Tallahassee lawyer, Barry Richard, has repeatedly said that is something they could do, given the federal judge’s ruling.

The new agreement “was intended as a level of comfort to anybody in the Legislature or the governor’s office or anywhere else that had any concerns that the tribe was intending to end the payments, which we never intended to do,” he said Wednesday. “So we gave people comfort.”

Source: orlandosentinel.com

Niji has been in the writing industry for well over a decade or so. He prides himself as one of the few survivors left in the world who have actually mastered the impossible art of copy editing. Niji graduated in Physics and obtained his Master’s degree in Communication and Journalism. He has always interested in sports writing and travel writing. He has written for numerous websites and his in-depth analytical articles top sports magazines like Cricket Today and Sports Today. Besides reporting industry headlines from all around the globe, Niji is also head of the content management team at Impressions Content Management, based in Kerala, India, which offers writing and editing services to clients around the world.

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Gambling in the USA

Rivers Casino posts gains in first half of 2018

Niji Ng

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Rivers Casino posts gains in first half of 2018
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Rivers Casino & Resort (located in Schenectady, New York) has shown better financial performance in the first half of 2018  than in 2017.

The casino started functioning at the Schenectady waterfront in February 2017, reported gross gaming revenue – money gambled minus winnings paid to gamblers – was up 15 per cent for the February–June 2018 period.

Taxes paid on the gross gaming revenue in February–June 2018 were up 19.7 per cent from the same period in 2017. So far this year, Rivers has paid $25.64 million in gaming tax; 80 per cent went to the state; 5 per cent each was paid to Schenectady and Schenectady County; and 10 per cent was divided among seven nearby counties.

Officials at Rivers would not comment on what the casino has been doing to improve its financial performance.

Rivers in some ways is a leader among the four non-Indian casinos recently opened in New York.

It has more slot machines, table games and poker tables than Tioga Downs Casino but far fewer than either Resorts World Catskills or del Lago Resort and Casino. Yet, Rivers has brought in more gross gaming revenue so far this year than any of the others. It also has paid more in taxes, in part because it has a higher tax rate on its slot machines than the other three casinos.

From opening day through June 30, 2018, $1,585,349,128 was gambled at Rivers Casino. That compares with $2.08 billion at del Lago, which opened just several days before Rivers in 2017.

But gross gaming revenue is sagging at del Lago even as it grows at Rivers: del Lago was down 2 per cent in February–June 2018 over the same period in 2017 while Rivers was up 15 per cent.

Del Lago’s general manager resigned in March and the casino announced a new director of sales last week.

Meanwhile, gross gaming revenue at Tioga Downs is up 10.5 per cent so far in 2018.

Resorts World, the most ambitious and expensive of the four casinos, has been open only five months, so there are no 2017 data for comparison.

None of the four casinos has met the host community benefit projections made when the casino developers were trying to build support for their proposals and the state was seeking voter approval of limited legalisation of non-Indian casino gambling.

In Schenectady, Rivers projected $3.32 million to $4.07 million in gaming taxes for the city in the first year the casino was open. The city budgeted $2.75 million on the assumption the casino would reach its low-end projection but be open only 10 months.

The city got only $2.07 million in 2017, so it lowered its expectations and budgeted $2.3 million in gaming tax revenue from the casino in 2018.

The city has received $1.29 million so far in 2018; if the casino maintains its performance for the second half of 2018, taxes paid to the city will exceed the projection.

Source: dailygazette.com

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Gambling in the USA

Resorts World Catskills report dismal revenues

Niji Ng

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Resorts World Catskills report dismal revenues
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The Resorts World Catskills, a New York-based casino, has posted disappointing revenue since its re-opening on March 1. It has even failed to post half of its projected revenue.

The average monthly gross gaming revenue (GGR) generated is US$11.9 million.

“The results are indicative of a challenging marketplace,” Empire Resorts CEO Ryan Eller said and added: “There’s a huge market out there, and we’re developing better ways to go after it.” He remains confident that the casino will end up thriving and hopes to get – at least – to US$150 million for the year.

Despite the disappointing figures, Mr Eller says it is still early to judge the venue. He believes the “brutal” winter the east coast went through affected the venue’s performance, which also opened without all its hotel rooms, gaming, and other attractions. According to the company’s CEO, the casino needs time to get a promotional campaign to play out and get things going for business.

 

Source: focusgn.com

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Gambling in the USA

IGT Announces Sports Betting Agreement with FanDuel Group

George Miller

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IGT Announces Sports Betting Agreement with FanDuel Group
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July, 2018 — International Game Technology PLC (“IGT”) (NYSE: IGT) announced that IGT will be FanDuel Group’s sports betting platform provider for the newly regulated U.S. market in the state of New Jersey.

The partnership brings together the technological expertise in U.S. sports betting of the largest B2B gaming company in the world – IGT, with that of the largest sports gaming companies in the U.S. – FanDuel Group. FanDuel is a subsidiary of Paddy Power Betfair, a leading international sports betting and gaming operator.

FanDuel will leverage Paddy Power Betfair’s leading pricing, trading and risk management capabilities, which have been integrated into the IGT platform, along with a bespoke user interface to offer a best-in-class consumer experience. The joint solution operates under the widely known FanDuel brand as FanDuel Sportsbook.

FanDuel will initially operate at Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, N.J., enabling guests to place sports bets over the counter via IGT technology. The offering will be expanded over the coming months to include self-service kiosks and other retail services, as well as FanDuel Sportsbook-branded online and mobile wagering, also using the IGT technology.

“We are delighted to choose IGT’s leading platform for our sports betting platform in New Jersey, starting with the recent ‘go live’ at the Meadowlands Racetrack,” said Matt King, FanDuel Group CEO. “When we evaluated sports betting platform provider partners in the U.S., IGT was the ideal choice, based on the Company’s proven history in the space and the quality, reliability and flexibility of the sports betting technology that it has deployed for customers around the world.”

“IGT’s sports betting technology combined with the expertise of FanDuel represents two experienced, complementary sports betting companies coming together to create a reliable, world-class sports betting experience in New Jersey,” said Enrico Drago, IGT Senior Vice President Interactive, Sports Betting, Licenses. “As sports betting in the U.S. continues to evolve, IGT is prepared to address the needs of its partners through proven solutions and technologies that can be deployed today to advance sports betting across land-based and mobile platforms.”

About IGT
IGT (NYSE:IGT) is the global leader in gaming. We enable players to experience their favorite games across all channels and regulated segments, from Gaming Machines and Lotteries to Interactive and Social Gaming. Leveraging a wealth of premium content, substantial investment in innovation, in-depth customer intelligence, operational expertise and leading-edge technology, our gaming solutions anticipate the demands of consumers wherever they decide to play. We have a well-established local presence and relationships with governments and regulators in more than 100 countries around the world, and create value by adhering to the highest standards of service, integrity, and responsibility. IGT has over 12,000 employees. For more information, please visit www.igt.com.

About FanDuel Group
FanDuel Group is an innovative sports-tech entertainment company that is changing the way consumers engage with their favorite sports, teams, and leagues. The premier gaming destination in the United States, FanDuel Group consists of a portfolio of leading brands across gaming, sports betting, daily fantasy sports, advance-deposit wagering, and TV/media, including FanDuel, Betfair US, DRAFT, and TVG. FanDuel Group has a presence across 45 states and 8 million customers. The company is based in New York with offices in California, New Jersey, Florida, Oregon, and Scotland. FanDuel Group is a subsidiary of Paddy Power Betfair plc, a leading international sports betting and gaming operator and a constituent of the FTSE 100 index of the London Stock Exchange.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release may contain forward-looking statements (including within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) concerning International Game Technology PLC and its consolidated subsidiaries (the “Company“) and other matters. These statements may discuss goals, intentions, and expectations as to future plans, trends, events, dividends, results of operations, or financial condition, or otherwise, based on current beliefs of the management of the Company as well as assumptions made by, and information currently available to, such management. Forward-looking statements may be accompanied by words such as “aim,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “plan,” “could,” “would,” “should,” “shall,” “continue,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “future,” “guidance,” “intend,” “may,” “will,” “possible,” “potential,” “predict,” “project” or the negative or other variations of them. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which such statements are made and are subject to various risks and uncertainties, many of which are outside the Company’s control. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should any of the underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may differ materially from those predicted in the forward-looking statements and from past results, performance, or achievements. Therefore, you should not place undue reliance on such statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include (but are not limited to) the factors and risks described in the Company’s annual report on Form 20-F for the financial year ended December 31, 2017 and other documents filed from time to time with the SEC, which are available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov and on the investor relations section of the Company’s website at www.IGT.com. Except as required under applicable law, the Company does not assume any obligation to update these forward-looking statements. You should carefully consider these factors and other risks and uncertainties that affect the Company’s business. Nothing in this news release is intended, or is to be construed, as a profit forecast or to be interpreted to mean that financial performance of the Company for the current or any future financial years will necessarily match or exceed the historical published financial performance of the Company, as applicable. All forward-looking statements contained in this news release are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. All subsequent written or oral forward-looking statements attributable to International Game Technology PLC, or persons acting on its behalf, are expressly qualified in its entirety by this cautionary statement.

 

© 2018 IGT. All other trademarks used herein are owned by IGT or its affiliates, may not be used without permission, and where indicated with a ®, are registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

 

Source: IGT

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