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Hard Rock International Names Mark Birtha President of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain

Zoltan Tundik

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Hard Rock International Names Mark Birtha President of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain
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Hard Rock International announces the appointment of Mark Birtha as president of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain. In this new position, Birtha will hold overall responsibility of the premier gaming, dining and entertainment destination.

Birtha is a seasoned veteran in the gaming and hospitality field with more than 25 years of experience, most recently as the president of Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park where he oversaw the operations for the market-leading and award-winning property.

“Mark’s experience and passion for the brand make him the ideal leader for Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain,” said Jon Lucas, chief operating officer of Hard Rock International. “While working with Mark over the past few years, I have witnessed firsthand the talent and devotion that make him an industry leader, and I am confident he will continue that track record of success in this new endeavor.”

Since the start of his career, Birtha has been dedicated to operations and development at leading casino and hotel companies across the U.S., including Hard Rock International, Mirage Resorts, Las Vegas Sands, Station Casinos, Marriott International and Starwood. He has also managed operations in destination, regional and local markets, as well as Native American Gaming enterprises.

Prior to joining Hard Rock International, Birtha was vice president and general manager at Station Casinos, the leading provider of gaming and entertainment in the greater Las Vegas area, operating nine major hotel-casino properties. Before his tenure with Station Casinos, Birtha was president of Sol Casinos and the AVA Amphitheater, where he focused on the strategic vision for the organization. In addition, he oversaw the design, construction and operations of Casino Del Sol’s $130 million Four Star/Four Diamond hotel resort expansion development.

Along with leading Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain, Birtha will also take on the important role as the main point of contact in the new partnership between The Seminole Tribe of Florida, owners of Hard Rock International, and Enterprise Rancheria – marking a historic partnership between two Native American Tribes.

“As an industry leader, Mark is the perfect candidate to bridge the exciting collaboration between the two tribes,” said Glenda Nelson, tribal chairperson of Enterprise Rancheria. “We are pleased to unite with one of the most exciting and authentic gaming, hospitality and entertainment leaders in the world and can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

Birtha holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the Hotel School at Cornell University, along with an impressive resume of honors and achievements throughout his career. He has been recognized  as a G2E “Industry Executive Ambassador,” in 2015, as one of the “Faces of Cleveland 2016,” a 2017 Human Rights Campaign Ohio honoree/speaker, the honorary chair of the 2017 Urban League of Cleveland’s100th Anniversary Gala, a 2017 Susan G. Komen NE Ohio “Pink Tie Guy” award recipient, the 2018 Employer Support of Guard and Reserve of Ohio honoree and keynote speaker and a 2018 Urban League of Akron “President’s Award for Community Leadership” recipient.

For more information on Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain, visit HardRockHotelSacramento.com.

After starting out as an affiliate in 2009 and developing some recognized review portals, I have moved deeper into journalism and media. My experience has lead me to move into the B2B sector and write about compliance updates and report around the happenings of the online and land based gaming sector.

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Gambling in the USA

Slot Revenue Decreases in Connecticut Tribal Casinos

Niji Narayan

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Slots revenue Connecticut tribal casinos
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The slot revenue of two Connecticut tribal casinos has decreased by 12% in April 2019. Both Mohegan and Foxwoods have posted year-over-year decrease in slot machine revenue and April 2019 was the worst month for the Connecticut casinos.

Foxwoods Resort Casino totalled US$36.2 million in slots revenue after paying prizes, down from the US$41.2. On the other hand, Mohegan Sun reported US$45.2 million in slot revenue, down from US$51.4 million.

Revenues from Foxwoods and Mohegan have been affected by MGM Springfield, the casino located in neighbouring Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission reported that the faction totalled US$15.5 million in slots revenue last month and US$6.3 million in table-games revenue. However, slots revenue was also down in that facility 17% over the previous month.

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Canada

Sightline Joins Forces with Responsible Gaming Solution GameSecure

George Miller

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Sightline Joins Forces with Responsible Gaming Solution GameSecure
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The partnership aims to connect payment solutions and a centralized real-time self-exclusion database for increased player protection

 

Las Vegas-based Sightline Payments (“Sightline”) and Vancouver based Bencon Technologies Inc. (“Bencon”) have entered into a partnership to bridge the current technological gap between digital self-exclusion functions and payment services. The goal of the partnership is to ensure at-risk patrons are denied access to content or payment services in real-time.

The first quarter of 2019 has resulted in a number of violations of self-excluded patrons gaining access to content in the US market, meaning regulator fines have been issued to non-compliant operators, unfortunately, the damage to the patron is already done. GameSecure’s real-time database solution will ensure these patrons do not gain access to digital content once self-excluded and by partnering with  it creates another barrier to a patron’s payment activity.

“The Sightline team has been committed to responsible gaming for more than 20 years and we are very excited to announce this important partnership,” said Cameron Conn, Co-Founder of Bencon Technologies Inc.

“We strongly believe there is not a singular solution to completely address all aspects of player protection and responsible gaming, however, partnerships like these allow for better solutions that will give continued insights into at-risk behavior for improved responsible gaming programs.”

“Sightline is in a unique position because our Play+ ecosystem, in the US, connects to nearly 100% of all digital platforms and 90%+ of all casino management systems, allowing for a uniform capability for a network-wide self-exclusion program through our SPAN Network,” said Kirk Sanford, CEO and Founder of Sightline Payments.

A primary goal of the partnership will be to work with the responsible and problem gambling communities to ensure these new solutions will work to enhance future programs for player protection.

“The Responsible Gambling Council is pleased to hear about the partnership between GameSecure and Sightline.  We believe that safeguards are imperative to the success of any self-exclusion program,” stated Shelley White, CEO of Responsible Gambling Council in Canada.

Keith Whyte, the Executive Director of the US National Council on Problem Gaming adding: “Congratulations to Bencon and Sightline for this step to further integrate responsible gaming into payment methods for the industry.  Streamlining player protection is an important goal for the National Council on Problem Gambling, and we are pleased to support this innovative effort.”

“Self-exclusion programs have been in existence for years with the on-premise ATM providers, however, until now nothing has existed for the digital world which is where the industry is moving,” added Sanford.

Bencon is currently working with multiple jurisdictions in the United States (and internationally) to integrate GameSecure into their Responsible Gaming Programs.

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Fantasy Sports

Louisiana House Committee Passes Fantasy Sports Restriction Bill

Niji Narayan

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Louisiana House Committee Passes Fantasy Sports Restriction Bill
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Louisiana House Committee has passed the fantasy sports restriction bill. Voters of 47 parishes approved fantasy sports betting last fall. The bill leaves committee with an amendment that stipulates “you can only play if you’re at card checking over-21 only in establishments like video poker stops, bars, or casinos.”

“This is obviously not what people voted for, this is not how fantasy sports works, this is not how online entertainment works anywhere, for any medium,” Fairness for Fantasy Sports Louisiana spokesperson Ryan Berni said.

“Right now the proposed tax rate does not cover the cost for the state to collect it. The state actually loses money at the proposed tax rate that they are proposing on fantasy sports,” Video poker lobbyist Alton Ashy said.

“Obviously the intention is that it is places that have video poker. It really is an end around and a subversion of what people know and like about fantasy sports,” Berni added.

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