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Monday, May 21, 2018

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Chinese Government Unlikely to Allow Casino Gambling in Hainan, Experts Say

Casino News Daily
Chinese Government Unlikely to Allow Casino Gambling in Hainan, Experts Say

Last week, casino industry experts refuted rumors that the island of Hainan, also known as “China’s Hawaii”, is set to become the next casino hub in the country. Still, they confirmed that the island could open doors for several kinds of sports lotteries.

In February 2018 it became clear that the Chinese Government has been mulling the legalization of some gaming options on Hainan Island – a step that could end the gambling monopoly of Macau. Then, in April, the Government revealed that it would officially legalize horse racing and some new types of sports lotteries on the Island as part of its effort to turn Hainan into the largest pilot free-trade port.

However, the South China Morning Post revealed that Su Guojing, the founder of the China Lottery Industry Salon and a gambling sector expert, explained in an interview at the Macau-based Global Gaming Expo Asia 2018 that casino gambling contradicted to the overall ideology and legislation of China. According to Mr. Su, for the time being, it was almost impossible for the Government to permit land-based casinos to be established outside the gambling hub of Macau.

According to Mr. Su, the legalization of horse racing in Hainan could take a very long time to develop. He further explained that the country’s Government should pay much more attention to Sanya and its development to a global home port for cruises.

China to Keep Its Gambling Ban Almost Intact

For the time being, all forms of gambling, except for two types of lotteries, are officially suspended under a gambling ban imposed by the Chinese Government. As mentioned above, horse racing operations are permitted to a limited extent. However, sports betting services are fully banned in the country. Other forms of gambling are currently permitted only in the autonomous region of Macau, which is currently the only place in China where gambling in casinos is allowed.

Recently, rumor has it that the country’s authorities have been considering whether to lift some of the restrictions imposed on gaming operations on land and allow them on boats.

Sanya currently attracts the largest number of tourists in the province of Hainan as a whole. According to a report issued by the online travel booking agency Ctrip, a total of 18 million visitor arrivals were registered in Sanya last year. Up to date, the city offers about 14 cruise routes traveling to various countries and is also a stopping point for some of the largest cruise operators which could help it become a global cruise destination.

As far as opening Hainan to gambling operations is concerned, the Chinese Government has been considering such a step as part of its efforts to help the economy of the ailing southernmost province. For many years, the administrative region of Macau has kept a monopoly on casino gambling operations, with the region having attracted some of the largest casino operators on a global scale.

The post Chinese Government Unlikely to Allow Casino Gambling in Hainan, Experts Say appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Ionut Rusu

Andorra to Announce Winning Casino Bidder within Weeks

Casino News Daily
Andorra to Announce Winning Casino Bidder within Weeks

Andorra is set to announce the winning bidder for the principality’s first land-based casino by the end of June. A total of 13 proposals from 9 gaming operators have been submitted during the bidding process.

The winning bidder will be issued a license with a maximum duration of 20 years. The license will allow for the construction of a gaming resort. The property will have to be of minimum investment of €10 million.

When finally operational, Andorra’s first-ever land-based casino will have to comply with the regulations set out in the Principality’s gambling law from 2016. Gambling services provided in the facility will be taxed accordingly.

According to unnamed sources, Andorra’s government will announce the winning bidder for the new property within weeks. As mentioned above, there were 13 different offers submitted for review from 9 international companies, with Malaysia’s Genting Group and Spain’s Cirsa being among those.

Multi-Million Investment Proposals

Both Genting and Cirsa pitched €140-million plans for the construction of a casino resort in Andorra. While the Malaysian gambling and hospitality giant came forward with a single proposal, its fellow bidder submitted bids for two different schemes.

Genting is bidding through its UK subsidiary, which has previously formed a partnership with Andorran businessman Marc Giebels van Bekestein, Arc Resorts President Mark Vlassopulos, and British investor David Gray. The Malaysian operator currently holds a 70% stake in the joint venture.

Genting is planning to build a casino resort with a gaming floor, food and beverage facilities, a spa, and two floors dedicated for accommodation of the resort’s visitors. If the company’s proposal wins the single license available, it is planning to construct its complex in the Clot d’Emprivat area. According to initial estimates, Genting’s resort could create about 1,000 new jobs – 600 during construction and 400 full-time ones, once the property is launched.

It was understood that Spanish gambling giant Cirsa has submitted two bids. Both included a plan for the construction of a casino resort but in two different locations across the Clot d’Emprivat area. The company has recently been acquired by American private equity firm The Blackstone Group for the approximate amount of €1.6 billion. Cirsa has partnered with French casino operator Groupe Tranchant to bid for the Andorra casino license.

While one of the proposals includes a smaller-scale casino complex, the other, if approved, will provide for the construction of a larger mixed-use property. It will feature a 2,500-square-meter casino spreading across three floors, restaurants and bars, conference and event rooms, facilities for entertainment and live music events, and an underground parking, among others. According to original estimates, the resort could be launched by 2020 and would create hundreds of new jobs, both direct and indirect ones.

French gaming group Partouche, Andorran group Cierco, and Gauselmann Group’s Merkur are among the other bidders for the casino license.

The post Andorra to Announce Winning Casino Bidder within Weeks appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Ionut Rusu

Will Atlantic City’s Two New Casinos Oversaturate Its Recovering Gaming Market?

Casino News Daily
Will Atlantic City’s Two New Casinos Oversaturate Its Recovering Gaming Market?

After several weeks of speculations over the opening of what would be Ocean Resort Casino, it was recently confirmed that the property, formerly known as Revel, would swing its doors open on June 28. And Hard Rock International had previously picked that exact date to reopen the former Trump Taj Mahal as a Hard Rock-branded casino resort.

The emblematic Atlantic City Boardwalk will thus welcome two new stars to its existing seven casino properties. This year is very special for the city as its celebrates the 40th anniversary of its first-ever commercial casino.

For a very long time, Atlantic City was the only place on the East Coast where commercial Las Vegas-style were allowed. And during that time it maintained fervently its spot as America’s second highest grossing gambling hub, with Las Vegas being the largest such hub by annual revenue produced.

However, the decade after 2006, when a number of states in the northeast part of the country opened new casinos and expanded quickly their gambling industries, turned out to be a complete disaster for Atlantic City. It could not manage the growing competition from neighboring states and, as a result, many of its casinos struggled to stay afloat.

The culmination of Atlantic City’s disastrous decade was represented by the closure of five of its 12 casinos in the period between 2014 and 2016 (Revel closed in 2014, while Trump Taj Mahal was shuttered in 2016).

It seems, however, that the popular casino hub might be ready to turn over a new leaf. In 2017, its seven surviving casinos posted a second consecutive year of revenue growth. They generated a total of $2.66 billion, up 2.2% from 2016. The results came as a much needed encouragement.

The opening of the city’s two new casinos is just over a month away and many see that as a sign that recovery is around the corner. On the other hand, less enthusiastic analysts have warned that Atlantic City’s gambling industry might not be ready for expansion yet.

Who are the owners of the two new properties and what have they promised to bring to the city? How will the opening of two casinos impact Atlantic City’s industry? And is the decision for the openings to take place on the same date a reasonable one? Here is Casino News Daily’s view on the topic.

Details about the Two Casinos

Hard Rock International, the Florida-based gaming and hospitality giant, bought the former Trump Taj Mahal from Carl Icahn in the spring of 2017 and just several months after the property’s closure. Hard Rock paid only a fraction of the original prize of what had been dubbed as the eighth wonder of the world by its original owner, US President Donald Trump.

The company then announced that it would spend over $500 million to bring down Trump Taj Mahal’s iconic minarets and replace those by rock’n’roll-style elements the Hard Rock brand is well-recognized for.

Hard Rock obtained the necessary license for the operation of casino gambling from the state Casino Control Commission on May 9, which was actually among the final regulatory steps needed to be completed before the opening of what would run as Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.

The resort will feature a 120,000-square-foot casino with 2,144 slot machines and 120 table games, a hotel with nearly 2,000 rooms, a number of food and beverage options, and a 7,000-seat event center, among other facilities.

Property owners have pointed out repeatedly that they aim to create a unique entertainment destination that will attract different groups of visitors. Hard Rock has revealed plans to book more than 300 concerts and other events at its Etess Arena over the resort’s first year of operation and has announced quite a lineup, with tickets for some of the upcoming events now being sold.

As for Ocean Resort Casino, it will operate at the site of the former Revel, which sadly closed doors in the summer of 2014 after just two years of operation. The hotel and casino resort cost $2.4 billion to be built, but was then sold to Florida-based businessman Glenn Straub for just $82 million. After failing to reopen the property, Mr. Straub sold it to its current owner – Colorado-based real estate developer Bruce Deifik for $200 million. Mr. Deifik invested another $200 million into the property’s renovation and preparation for opening.

News emerged in April that Ocean Resort Casino would open on the same day as Hard Rock Atlantic City. However, it was not until mid-May that it was confirmed the property would launch namely on June 28.

In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Mr. Deifik said that they wanted to learn from and avoid Revel’s mistakes, and to debut Ocean Resort Casino as a friendlier property than it predecessor was. The new resort would thus offer designated areas at its casino for smokers, unlike Revel which banned smoking inside the gaming floor.

Ocean Resort Casino will also welcome pedestrian traffic to its gambling facility. Construction workers recently brought down the wall that separated the casino from the Boardwalk. That wall is set to be replaced with a door and stairs that would allow visitors into the gaming floor directly from the Boardwalk.

Mr. Deifik’s casino is yet to receive a license from the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. This is expected to happen at the regulators meeting on June 6.

Expectations

Many were perplexed by the announcement that Atlantic City’s new casinos will open doors on the same date. However, industry representatives explained that the decision might actually prove to be a move in the right direction.

Global Gaming Business magazine publisher Roger Gros has explained that while the opening of Hard Rock Atlantic City is the event mainly focused on, Ocean Resort Casino will thus be able to feed on and draw attention to itself on the opening date.

Experts also believe that the opening of two properties on the same day will certainly attract greater attention and visitors, as many would want to witness such a historic moment. It is also important to note that the launch of the two casinos will take place just days before July 4. The holiday is traditionally among the busiest periods of the year for Atlantic City’s casinos and as it lands on Wednesday this year, the city’s two new properties will surely hope to cash in during the weekend before and after.

There have also been concerns that two new gaming venues might not be the best scenario for Atlantic City, now as its revenue has been recovering with seven operational properties. According to many, Hard Rock Atlantic City and Ocean Resort Casino might oversaturate the local market and pull it back where it was several years ago when many of its gambling floors were struggling to stay afloat.

It is yet to be seen whether the new resorts will help the once thriving casino hub recover at least part of its former glory or bring a new wave of financial and other related issues. One thing is important to note, both new properties are looking to provide visitors with unique experience and this could certainly be of great help at a time when customers, both gambling and non-gambling, are looking namely for diverse experience.

The post Will Atlantic City’s Two New Casinos Oversaturate Its Recovering Gaming Market? appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Ionut Rusu

Biggest World Series of Poker Main Event Winners

Casino News Daily
Biggest World Series of Poker Main Event Winners

The World Series of Poker is peeking from the corner with brand new tournaments and more gold bracelets up for grabs. This year the world’s largest and longest running tournament poker series will take place from May 29 to July 17.

The 2018 WSOP will feature 78 official gold bracelet events, including the fourth edition of the now very popular $565 buy-in COLOSSUS. It is also interesting to note that this year the poker festival will feature a record number of 13 tournaments that will kick off after the beginning of the $10,000 Main Event.

And speaking of one of the biggest highlights of the series, the World Championship, it is slated for July 2-14, when its champion will be crowned. This year, for a second straight year, the official nine-handed final table will be played within the series and not in November.

To celebrate the start of what poker fans around the globe hope will be an extremely exciting and successful edition of the WSOP, Casino News Daily has prepared a list of the biggest WSOP Main Event winners throughout the years, or those brave warriors who have outlasted massive fields to eventually scoop the largest prizes to have been awarded in the history of the series. Here they are.

Jamie Gold – $12,000,000

Gold won the 2006 edition of the WSOP Main Event. The player bested a field of 8,773 entries to win the largest ever Main Event prize in the history of the series. It is also important to note that the 2006 World Championship was the largest one by prize pool not just within the WSOP but also within poker history as the amount of $82,512,162 was generated in prize money.

Gold became the last man standing after a heads-up match against five-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Allen Cunningham. His winning hand was [Qs][9c].

Martin Jacobson – $10,000,000

The Swede outlasted the 6,683-strong field of the 2014 WSOP Main Event. As mentioned above, his share of the event’s total prize pool of $62,820,200 amounted to $10 million. In fact, the 2014 edition of the tournament was the first one to feature a $10-million guarantee for the champion.

Jacobson emerged as the victor after an all-Scandinavian heads-up against Norway’s Felix Vincent Stephensen. A winning hand of pocket tens secured the Swede with the sweet victory. It is also interesting to note that top three of that year’s edition of the Main Event was rounded out by another European player – Dutch poker star Jorryt van Hoof.

Peter Eastgate – $9,152,416

Eastgate was the player to outmaneuver the 6,844-strong field of the 2008 WSOP Main Event and walk away with a first-place prize of $9,152,416 from a total prize pool of $64,333,600. Eastgate, who hails from Norway, is another member of the elite club of Scandinavians to have won one of the world’s most prestigious No-Limit Hold’em Tournaments.

The player secured his victory after a heads-up duel against Ivan Demidov. On what turned out to be the final hand of the tournament, Eastgate held [Ad][5s] to be crowned the 2008 Champion.

Jonathan Duhamel – $8,944,138

Canada’s Jonathan Duhamel emerged victorious over a field of 7,319 fellow tournament entries to collect $8,944,138 in prize money. The player took the largest share of a prize pool that amounted to $68,798,600.

Duhamel faced John Racener, quite an accomplished player himself, heads-up. The two players clashed for the title, but on the last hand in action it was the Canadian to table the winning [As][Jh] and bust his fellow contender in second place.

Pius Heinz – $8,715,638

The German claimed the 2011 WSOP Main Event title for a payout of nearly $8.8 million. He was the last player standing from a massive field of 6,865 entrants. They generated a prize pool of $64,531,000.

Heinz ran pretty well over the course of the tournament to eventually become one of the two final players at the official final table. The German clashed against Martin Staszko from the Czech Republic in a final battle for the title. Heinz eventually locked that important title with a winning hand of [As][Kc].

The post Biggest World Series of Poker Main Event Winners appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Ionut Rusu

Harrah’s New Orleans Series High Roller Promises Top Players $100K Guarantee

Casino News Daily
Harrah’s New Orleans Series High Roller Promises Top Players $100K Guarantee

Hundreds of poker enthusiasts have gathered at Harrah’s New Orleans casino for the final stop of the 2017/2018 WSOP Circuit taking place this week. One of the most exciting events during the festival, the $2,200 High Roller, launched Thursday, promising top players a guaranteed prize pool of $100,000. The final and, certainly, the most anticipated tournament of the series kicks off today – this is the $750K GTD Main Event which will crown its winner Monday, May 21.

Attracting 128 high-stakes poker pros, the $2,200 No-limit Hold’em High Roller generated a total prize pool of $256,000. Registration closed with the start of level 13 on Day 1 of the tournament and eliminations quickly followed, cutting the field in half. After entries were calculated, organizers announced that only the 16 finalists would receive money for their finishes, while the first place in the event would come with a prize of $71,680. Along with the cash, the champion will also take a WSOP Circuit Ring. The minimum cash given to players would be $3,502. By the end of Level 15, only 18 entrants remained for Day 2 of the High Roller tournament.

Day 1 chip leader, David “Barth” Melius, would return to the tables as one of the final 18 players on Friday with a stack of 455,000. The leaderboard continues with Robert Hankins and Peter Viantonio, each holding 377,500 in chips, B.J. McBrayer (272,000), and Michael Horchoff (199,500). Among the 18 survivors of Day 1 are also Maurice Hawkins (112,500), Nadya Magnus (83,400), Alex Rocha (69,000), Marshall White (62,500), and Mark Dube (47,500).

Other notables could not make to the second day of the tournament, nor did they come close to the money. These were nine-time WSOP ring winner Ari Engel, as well as two players who already claimed victory at previous events at Harrah’s New Orleans series, Valentin Vornicu and Abraham Araya.

More Titles and Rings Awarded at Harrah’s New Orleans

The current season of the WSOP Circuit comes to an end with Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans chosen as its host venue. The festival has nine tournaments and two side events, namely the $250 Ladies Event No-Limit Hold’em Re-Entry taken down by Cyntia Compton and the $250 Seniors Event No-Limit Hold’em Re-Entry won by Scott Roberts. The NLH High Roller is the 8th event of the series, while the next tournament is the final one for this season, the $750K GTD Main Event.

It starts Friday morning at 11.00 a.m. local time and has an entry fee of $1,675. Players will be able to enter during the two starting days and re-enter one time while registration is open until the start of Level 13 on Sunday. They will start Day 1A on Friday with 20,000 in chips during 40-minute levels. Last year, the tournament attracted 758 entrants who contributed to the total prize pool of $1,137,000. After several days of poker action, Jason Baldridge emerged victorious and took home the first-place prize of $227,412.

Several other events ended Thursday, one of which was the single-day $365 No-Limit Hold’em Single Re-Entry tournament. It was won by Terry Melancon who banked a cash prize of $13,556. The NLH MONSTER STACK Re-Entry event also crowned a champion – it was Raymond Curran who defeated the impressive field of 707 entrants and claimed the title for $43,479.

The post Harrah’s New Orleans Series High Roller Promises Top Players $100K Guarantee appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Ionut Rusu

Zitro Announces Zitro Experience Argentina

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Zitro Announces Zitro Experience Argentina

During the last year, Zitro has significantly increased its presence in the casinos of Argentina. Currently, more than fifty casinos in the country have Zitro's Bryke video slots, in addition to their popular Video Bingo games.

Ionut Rusu

Leading gaming brands Pitch in for Juegos Miami

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Leading gaming brands Pitch in for Juegos Miami

The initiative consists of three 15-minute slots in each conference room and will feature leading international gaming brands including BetConstruct, BetGenius, Dynamic Messaging, Quixant, SBTech and Skilrock.

 

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