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Live! Casino & Hotel Executives Carmen E. Gonzales And Jennifer Kearns Earn Top Industry Honors

Zoltan Tundik

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Jennifer Kearns has been recognized as one of the Top 40 Under 40 Emerging Leaders in Gaming by Global Gaming Business magazine, a leading national gaming industry trade publication.
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Ms. Gonzales Named Among Top Women in Public Relations by PR News; Ms. Kearns Included in Global Gaming Business’ Top 40 Under 40 Emerging Leaders in Gaming.

Live! Casino & Hotel today announced that two members of its executive leadership team earned top professional honors from noted industry publications.

CARMEN E. GONZALES, Director of Communications, is among the Top Women in Public Relations, chosen by the editorial staff of PR NEWS to represent women who are making the greatest impact in the field of communication. Ms. Gonzales is a Day One team member of Live! Casino & Hotel, leading communication strategy as well as government and community relations for one of Maryland’s largest drivers of tourism and economic development. In addition to leading the successful opening of the flagship Live! Hotel in 2018 and guiding communication strategy for one of the nation’s largest commercial casinos, she has made a lasting impact on some of the region’s non-profit organizations through her leadership of the property’s philanthropic program, which has contributed millions of dollars and countless hours of support. Ms. Gonzales was recently appointed by Maryland Governor Lawrence J. Hogan to the Maryland Tourism Development Board, where she leverages her 30-year career in the entertainment, hospitality, gaming and tourism industries to assist fellow leaders in the State’s hospitality industry and members of Maryland’s General Assembly to guide efforts to develop and market the State as a top tourism destination.

JENNIFER KEARNS has been recognized as one of the Top 40 Under 40 Emerging Leaders in Gaming by GLOBAL GAMING BUSINESS magazine, a leading national gaming industry trade publication. In her role as Executive Director of Relationship Marketing, Ms. Kearns brought a unique combination of analytics and player development skills to Live! Casino & Hotel, striking a balance between fiscal soundness and guest experience. Rising quickly through the ranks in the gaming business over the last eight years, she is now mentoring others on her team to find opportunities to take active leadership roles and advance in their own careers. Ms. Kearns continues to expand her role and broaden her marketing expertise, now leveraging her creative background as Assistant Director of Advertising and Partnerships for the property.

“It’s very gratifying to see these two professionals recognized for their meaningful work and the impact they are having here at Live! Casino & Hotel and on their industries more broadly,” said Robert J. Norton, President of Live! Casino & Hotel. “Both Carmen and Jennifer bring strong leadership to our team and we are proud of their accomplishments.”

Ms. Gonzales will be honored at the PR News Top Women in PR Awards Luncheon at the Grand Hyatt in New York Cityon January 25, 2019. Ms. Kearns will be profiled in an upcoming issue of Global Gaming Business.

For information about Live! Casino & Hotel, visit www.livecasinohotel.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

Sports Betting Bill of Michigan Moves Forward

Niji Narayan

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Sports Betting Bill of Michigan Moves Forward
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A sports betting bill would allow organised sports betting in Michigan casinos and online was passed out of a state house committee. State Representative Brandt Iden of Kalamazoo is sponsoring the legislation.

“Because this is already going on in the market place so we can protect those people who want to play and want to play legally, and we can, you know, make the state a little bit of money, which I think is also a positive,” Iden said.

Iden hopes the bill continues to make its way through the legislature and onto Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s desk before Superbowl season.

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Gambling in the USA

Gaming Innovation Group extends Hard Rock’s sportsbook in Iowa

George Miller

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Gaming Innovation Group extends Hard Rock's sportsbook in Iowa
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We found in a new press release that

Gaming Innovation Group Inc. (GiG) has reached an agreement with its partner, Hard Rock International (Hard Rock), to support its market entry with sports betting in the US state of Iowa. The sportsbook will initially launch with an over-the-counter solution on the casino floor at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City in Iowa. This will be followed by the launch of online and mobile sports betting in Iowa, expected in Q4 2019.

In Iowa, Hard Rock will offer a similar seamless and engaging betting experience for its consumers as it has already delivered in New Jersey, with an omni-channel sportsbook solution based on GiG’s modern and flexible technology.

For GiG, this means the Company will be able to leverage its platform in the US adding more scale to its network and revenues to the business. GiG already has the groundwork done in New Jersey after a successful proof of concept suitable and relevant to the American audience.

Iowa is one of the 12 states in the US legalising sports wagering since the US Supreme Court overturned the federal sports wagering ban in 2018. In August this year, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) authorised the 19 casinos in the state to offer statewide retail, online and mobile sports betting to consumers aged 21 or over. Iowa has approximately 3.2 million inhabitants and should also benefit with visitors from neighboring states such as Nebraska and Minnesota. It has an estimated mature sports betting market valued at revenues of around $160 million based on the total amount of money wagered by consumers. The tax rate on the sports betting revenue is 7.5%.

GiG expects this agreement to have limited impact on its revenues in 2019, with an increasing contribution from the launch of online and mobile betting in 2020 onwards.

Kresimir Spajic, Senior Vice President of Online Gaming at Hard Rock International says, “We’re excited to extend our partnership with GiG to support sports betting in Iowa, and further grow our sportsbook portfolio.”  

“Offering sports betting through GiG provides our players and guests a new level of engagement – we couldn’t be more thrilled to be launching in Iowa,” Jim Franke, General Manager of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City.

Richard Brown, acting Chief Executive Officer of GiG says, “After a successful launch in New Jersey, I am delighted to further deepen the relationship with Hard Rock, delivering on our strategy to grow with our partner by entering a new state in the US with our sportsbook. The agreement is both a testament to our know-how and prowess to lead a land-based casino into the digital world of betting, and a strong validation of GiG’s commercial and product delivery capabilities. We are looking forward to growing with our partner long term. We have mutual ambitions to entertain consumers with a safe and exciting first-class sports betting experience.”

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Gambling in the USA

Vegas Golden Knights home opener viewing party at the Plaza Hotel & Casino

George Miller

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Vegas Golden Knights home opener viewing party at the Plaza Hotel & Casino
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The Plaza Hotel & Casino will host a free viewing party for the Vegas Golden Knights home opener against the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday, Oct. 2.

The free viewing party, open to all ages, will be held in the Plaza Events Center, which has 18 large screen high definition televisions, two projectors and a state-of-the-art sound system, making it one of the best sports viewing experiences in downtown Las Vegas.

Guests can toast the Knights with an exclusive $4 12 oz. Training Day draft beer from 7Five Brewing, Ryan Reeves’ Official Vegas Born Beer (while supplies last). A special $2 Irish Whiskey Shot will also be available with any draft beer purchase. The party will also offer pizza and wing specials from Pop Up Pizza and beer buckets: Domestic (5 bottles for $25) or Imported (5 bottles for $30).

Throughout the game, the Plaza will giveaway official VGK licensed Items, such as lanyards, car gear, hats, bags, VGK wine, and select inaugural season Items. One lucky guest will also have a chance to win a 2-night complimentary stay in one of the Plaza’s newly renovated premium Luxe rooms (restrictions may apply). Each guest will receive one complimentary drawing ticket upon entry for a chance to win prizes (21 years of age or older for certain items).

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