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Gambling in the USA

MGM Resorts International Executive Chris Kelley Named Future President & COO Of Northfield Park Property

Zoltan Tundik

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In this photo: Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park - Source: architectmagazine.com
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Kelley to oversee operations at Ohio resort currently known as Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park upon its acquisition by MGM Resorts

MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) (“MGM Resorts” or the “Company”) announced today that it has appointed Chris Kelley as the new President & COO of the Ohio resort, currently known as the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park. The Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park will be rebranded when MGM Resorts acquires the property, which is expected to occur in the first half of 2019. In this role, Kelley will oversee daily operations at the property while providing strategic direction and leadership.

“We are thrilled to have the Northfield Park team joining the MGM Resorts family and look forward to Chris’ leadership and strategic vision driving the Company’s success as we expand into a new market in Ohio,” said Anton Nikodemus, Chief Operating Officer of Regional Operations of MGM Resorts. “The Rocksino already cemented itself as a market leader in gaming and entertainment and, with Chris at the helm, we are looking forward to building on that successful foundation and driving further growth.”

Kelley joined MGM Resorts as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of MGM Grand Detroit in 2017. During his time in Detroit, he acted as a key player in the development of the property’s strategic plan and the implementation and management of continuous improvement efforts, in addition to ongoing enhancements to guest experience. Prior to joining the MGM Resorts, Kelley held numerous leadership positions with Viejas Casino & Resort near San Diego, including several years as the Chief Financial Officer. Kelley holds bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Political Science from Connecticut College and received a master’s degree in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Northfield Park, which will be integrated into the MGM Resorts portfolio of best-in-class gaming and entertainment destinations, is a market-leading gaming, dining and entertainment facility located in Northfield, Ohio, a suburb approximately 17 miles southeast of downtown Cleveland and 18 miles north of Akron.

Kelley will assume his new role at Northfield Park upon closing of the acquisition and the completion of licensing requirements.

ABOUT MGM NORTHFIELD PARK

Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park is Ohio’s award-winning gaming, dining, and entertainment destination, located on the Northfield Park harness racing grounds, which offers more than 200 live harness races each year. True to Cleveland’smusical history as a birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll, the Rocksino offers the legendary vibe of the Hard Rock brand, including more than 2,300 gaming devices offered both inside and outside, varied dining options and unparalleled live music events. The Hard Rock Live music venue, the fifth of its kind, hosts sell-out crowds of up to 2,100 guests for live entertainment by renowned musicians, in addition to hosting guests for a variety of functions and banquets. Hard Rock fans enjoy phenomenal dining at the world-famous Hard Rock Cafe; Kosar’s Wood-Fired Grill, football legend Bernie Kosar’s finest steakhouse; Concerto Italian Kitchen, a fast-casual restaurant, featuring personal pizzas, creative pasta dishes, gelato, and more; Fresh Harvest, an endless buffet with seven action stations; and Constant Grind, a bistro with sandwiches, sweets and more. In addition, the Rocksino offers a Rock Shop with famed Hard Rock merchandise to take home memories of the Rocksino experience, as well as a 350-seat live venue, Club Velvet, features comedians and illusion acts, dance parties, special events and is also readily available for private parties and events. As a focal point for the Center Bar leading into Hard Rock Cafe, Van Halen’s red hot motorcycle makes “everybody want some” as one of many “arena rock” pieces from Hard Rock’s unmatched, priceless memorabilia collection at the Rocksino.  On October 18, 2017, the Rocksino opened ROCKSTOP GAS & WASH, a new Hard Rock branded and first of its kind, state-of-the-art gas service station and car wash. For more information about Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park, please visit www.hrrnp.com.

ABOUT MGM RESORTS INTERNATIONAL
MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) is an S&P 500® global entertainment company with national and international locations featuring best-in-class hotels and casinos, state-of-the-art meetings and conference spaces, incredible live and theatrical entertainment experiences, and an extensive array of restaurant, nightlife and retail offerings. MGM Resorts creates immersive, iconic experiences through its suite of Las Vegas-inspired brands. The MGM Resorts portfolio encompasses 28 unique hotel offerings including some of the most recognizable resort brands in the industry. Expanding throughout the U.S. and around the world, the company in 2018 opened MGM Springfield in Massachusetts, MGM COTAI in Macau, and the first Bellagio-branded hotel in Shanghai. The 81,000 global employees of MGM Resorts are proud of their company for being recognized as one of FORTUNE® Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies®. For more information visit us at www.mgmresorts.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

Plaza Hotel & Casino to host second annual Las Vegas Pickleball Open, Sept. 24-28

Vlad Poptamas

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LAS VEGAS – With more pickleball courts than any Las Vegas hotel/casino, the Plaza Hotel & Casino is again the official hotel and title sponsor of the Las Vegas Pickleball Open, Sept. 24-28. The annual competition saw registration more than double in its second year and expects to welcome nearly 650 players in 2019.

Due in large part to the success of last year’s tournament, hundreds of amateur and professional pickleball players from across the United States and around the world, including Japan, Mexico and Canada, will participate in next month’s event. Players also span multiple generations, from 12 to 81 years of age. Many players from last year are also returning, including top pros Simone Jardim and Kyle Yates to defend their mixed doubles title.

The Las Vegas Pickleball Open offers professional players a competitive prize package of $25,000 split between grand prize, silver and bronze medalists. The Plaza will again construct special grandstand seating for championship matches that will be streamed live on the event website.

“Pickleball continues to grow in popularity for players young and old,” said Jonathan Jossel, CEO of the Plaza Hotel & Casino. “Since we debuted the permanent pickleball courts on the rooftop pool and recreation deck in 2016, the Plaza has built a unique reputation as a premier pickleball destination. Now, we are welcoming hundreds of players from around the globe for this unparalleled tournament that offers players everything: top-notch competition as well as delicious dining options, exciting entertainment and relaxing accommodations, all in the heart of downtown Las Vegas.”

The tournament will offer men’s, women’s, and mixed amateur doubles matches as well as men’s, women’s, mixed and senior (50-plus) professional doubles matches. Matches will be played from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, with the scheduling of the championship matches to be announced. Spectators can attend any of the matches, including the semi-finals and championships, for free.

Players can register for the tournament online at www.lasvegaspickleballopen.com. Participants can also book hotel rooms at the Plaza at a special tournament rate, starting at $40 per night on the event site or at https://www.plazahotelcasino.com/entertainment/pickleball-open/.

A cross between tennis, badminton and ping pong, pickleball is the fastest growing racquet sport in the U.S., boasting more than three million players – a number that has been growing by more than 10 percent each year over the past decade.

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Gambling in the USA

Expectations on Online Gambling in the US

Niji Narayan

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Photo source: rightcasino.com
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The U.S. casinos have already entered into the list of the burning issues of the United States. Nevada is a national gambling symbol in the US, while some of the states impose strict restrictions even on the online casinos. The recent tendencies in the American online gambling market look quite promising.

Around 90% of the American gamblers easily switched from a traditional casino to the online platforms introducing the same services. At the same time, 85% of the US gambling niche income is generated by its online segment. On average, the industry of sports betting reaches the exorbitant figures – $400 billion a year.

It is obvious that the US cannot impose a strict federal ban on online gambling. The only obstacles may exist on the state level, where the situation is quite paradoxical. Depending on the state, the national operators have to satisfy a long list of the legal requirements to get a proper license.

It seems that the endless war between the operators and the state laws is getting tense: many of the gambling icons keep pushing the respective bills about partly legalisation of online casinos.

The milestone to block the decision-making process on a state level is taxation rates for the online casino operators. Some of the fees make it clear that the government would like to benefit from the business as much as the actual providers.

Despite a few legal opportunities, the online gambling niche in the US is blossoming. This business will soon reach its peak and will demand some more room for expanding its influence and audience.

In the nearest future, we can expect some further improvements. There is nothing to hold the industry from further development. Recognising the providers’ needs will resolve lots of issues related to illegal gambling. This should be a minimum benefit the federals cannot resist.

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Gambling in the USA

DOJ Appeals the District Court Decision on Wire Act Case

Niji Narayan

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Photo source: nodepositkings.com
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The Department of Justice has filed its intent to appeal a district court decision on the Wire Act to the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

In June, a federal judge in the New Hampshire District ruled that the Wire Act applies only to sports betting and not to other forms of interstate gaming.

The New Hampshire Lottery and its vendor had filed the federal case because of the DOJ’s change in stance on the interpretation of the Wire Act.

The DOJ in 2011 had stated that the Wire Act applied only to sports wagering. But it reversed the course with a memo from 2018, expanding the possible reach for federal prosecution which triggered worries about its applicability to online gambling, lotteries and other forms of gaming that potentially cross state lines.

The New Hampshire District judge had forecast that the case would likely reach the US Supreme Court. While the case is going on, the DOJ has said it would not enforce the new interpretation of the Wire Act until 2020.

“The Department’s action, while hardly unexpected, is certainly unwarranted. DOJ generally files appeals of adverse district court decisions as a matter of course. We hope that, rather than engaging in a protracted, expensive and ultimately unsuccessful legal fight, the Department will take this opportunity to negotiate a settlement which will focus the Wire Act and DOJ’s enforcement resources on the right targets – the unlicensed illegal offshore Internet gambling operators who do not create jobs or tax revenue in the U.S. and do not appropriately protect consumers,” Jeff Ifrah, founder of iDEA Growth (an online gambling lobbying group) said.

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