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MGM Resorts International may use its ownership of the Yonkers New York Empire City Casino to expand regional sports and entertainment offerings — especially if it gets a license for additional gaming.
In a recent keynote address, MGM CEO Jim Murren told local business leaders “Clearly, we are thinking very strongly about sports and entertainment, expanding food and beverage offerings, making more of a regional destination in terms of conference space and business,” according to The Journal News.
During the annual meeting of the Business Council of Westchester held in Rye Brook on Thursday, Murren suggested that Empire City could provide expanded sports franchises, additional conference space and business opportunities at or near the 97-acre property, the report said.
In June, the casino announced a sponsorship with arena football team New York Streets. The National Arena League’s new franchise plays at the Westchester County Center in White Plains.
We’re the company that brought the Vegas Golden Knights to Vegas,” Murren said at the dinner. “We host the Vegas Aces…. We’re the ones who helped the soon-to-be Las Vegas Raiders come to Las Vegas. And we work very deeply with the NBA in their summer league.
“Sports and live entertainment is a very big part of what we do,” Murren added. “We are really differentiated in how we use sports and entertainment to have a conversation.”
Casino expansion also would lead to additional jobs for the Westchester County region. If New York State approves a gambling expansion at the Yonkers venue, it could lead to three times as many jobs there over the current 1,200-member workforce, Murren said.
He said too that MGM collaborates with existing arts and business organizations to complement what is there, the report said. He wants to avoid direct competition.
“When you have 97 acres in Yonkers, the development canvas that you have to paint on is rich, diverse and exciting,” Murren said.
In January, MGM Resorts closed on a deal to acquire Empire City for $850 million from the Rooney family. MGM has attempted to get New York State officials to allow downstate casinos licenses before 2023 — when a current moratorium is set to end.
MGM Wants License for Expanded Gaming
MGM wants the Yonkers property to become a traditional casino sometime next year or in 2021. In March, MGM and another venue, Resorts World New York City, located in Queens and operated by Genting, both offered $500 million in licensing fees for expanded gaming.
They also could pay upstate casinos which are struggling financially. Belmont Park in Elmont is also rumored for a possible casino location.
We are proud that [Empire City Casino] has been able to support a tremendous amount of money for the state for many years,” Murren said at the dinner. “We are just looking for a path to do more. The question really becomes why wait for these jobs? Why wait for the economic opportunity? Why wait to provide the economic jolt this type of development would have for the local community?”
Empire City is home to 5,200 slot machines and electronic games. Empire City’s electronic offerings include blackjack, three-card poker and roulette, but the establishment does not yet feature live table versions of those games.
Yonkers is located some 15 miles north of midtown Manhattan. Locally, the effort is supported by the Yonkers City Council which in March passed a resolution supporting full table gaming, explaining that Empire City “cannot reach its full economic potential without … traditional slot machines, live gaming or sports wagering,” according to The Journal News.
Opponents Question Downstate Expanded Casinos
So far, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, is not enthusiastic. And one key political leader — Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, (D-Bronx) — has said he and some of his downstate colleagues are opposed to expanded gambling in the region.
MGM has argued that tax dollars are now going to neighboring states which instead could be used to fund education and infrastructure in New York State. If expanded, the Yonkers casino could “spark economic growth for the region,” a spokeswoman for Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano told Casino.org earlier this year.
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Iowa sports bettors put down more than $38.5 million in wagers last month, figures from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) revealed late last week. And while no new mobile sportsbooks opened, online betting made up more than half of the bets placed in the state.
Nearly $21.8 million in bets were placed online, according to the IRGC, that accounted for 56.6 percent of all wagers. Despite that, the 15 retail sportsbooks generated net receipts of $2.9 million, more than $900,000 greater than the revenue generated by the online books.
With more than $4.9 million in net receipts, Iowa collected $334,553 in taxes.
September marked the first full month of sports betting in the state, which allowed its casinos to open sportsbooks starting on Aug. 15.
Mobile sports betting dominated the market despite Iowa’s restriction that requires anyone wanting a mobile account to register physically at the casino associated with the online sportsbook. That registration requirement sunsets on Jan. 1, 2021.
Mobile Big for Prairie Meadows
Thanks to mobile betting, Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino dominated the Iowa marketplace in September. Based in Altoona, a suburb of Des Moines, Prairie Meadows reported a handle of $14.5 million. That represented nearly 38 percent of all sports bets.
The casino, one of four associated with William Hill, generated nearly $13 million of its action – or 89.2 percent – through mobile devices. Prairie Meadows got $1.2 million of its nearly $1.5 million in net revenue from online bets.
The Isle Casino Hotel in Waterloo, another casino tied to William Hill, reported that nearly $2.8 million of the $3.5 million in sports bets it accepted came from its online app.
The Riverside Casino and Golf Resort, one of three Elite Hospitality Group casinos in Iowa, announced that $2.1 million of its nearly $2.8 million in sports bets were placed online. The casino is located near Iowa City, which is the home of the University of Iowa.
Three casinos near state borders posted the strongest retail numbers in September, with casinos in Council Bluffs taking the top two spots.
The Ameristar II casino generated nearly $3.8 million in bets, while Horseshoe Council Bluffs posted nearly $2.4 million. Council Bluffs is located just across the Missouri River from Omaha, Neb., which has a metropolitan population of more than 860,000 people.
In northern Iowa, Diamond Jo Worth, which operates a FanDuel sportsbook, reported a handle of nearly $2.3 million. The Worth casino is about three miles from the Minnesota state line.
The William Hill retail book at Prairie Meadows generated nearly $1.6 million in bets to place fourth.
DraftKings Joins Iowa Market
For the first six weeks, Iowa’s sportsbooks posted a handle of $47.1 million, and nearly $25.5 million in bets placed online.
Again, Prairie Meadows serves as the top casino. Since it was the first to open on Aug. 15, the racino has taken $17.9 million in action. Of that, gamblers placed $15.2 million in bets through the William Hill mobile app.
Iowa’s handle should grow again in October as the three Wild Rose casinos in the state opened their sportsbooks on Oct. 3. Those three are operated by DraftKings, marking the company’s foray into the state.
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Four people were killed — and four others were injured — during a dice game-related argument that turned deadly Saturday in a New York illegal gambling den, police said.
Among the deceased is Chester Goode, 37, who may have initiated the shooting when he fired a gun — possibly a 9 mm handgun — into the ceiling of the Triple A Aces Private & Social Rental Place. It is in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Goode and his companions were apparently losing money during the game, according to The New York Post. He either wanted his money back or possibly attempted a robbery, police speculated in media reports.
The argument may have related to a dice game known as Cee-lo. It is typically played with three six-sided dice.
It traces its origins to China but now is also played in some US cities. In recent years, the game was made popular in hip-hop songs.
Some of the other approximately 20 people inside the private social club were playing poker at the time of the shooting, the report said. Police found numerous hundred dollars bills and hands of cards on tables at the bloody scene.
The detective told us it was a case of someone thought they were cheated and wanted their money back, plus other people’s money,” Eddie Baldwin, the brother of one of the deceased, was quoted by The Post.
One of the victims was the club’s bouncer, according to The New York Times. Identified as Dominick Wimbush, 47, he apparently died in an exchange of gunfire with Goode, the report said.
Three of the other shooting victims required medical attention after 15 or more rounds were fired, The Post said. A fourth person hurt his leg when fleeing the scene.
New York Police Department (NYPD) Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said the gambling operation was unlicensed. The location was believed to be used as a social club and the dice game was held after hours.
There are a host of these kinds of venues that are operating in NYC. Some are law-abiding, others don’t have the proper permits and operate under the radar praying that incidents like this [don’t] happen,” Community Advocate Tony Herbert of the New York Multi-Cultural Restaurant & Nightlife Chamber of Commerce was quoted by The Post.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted the NYPD “recovered two guns and is questioning persons of interest in the incident.” Security cameras are believed to have captured the incident.
Separate Dice-Related Shooting in Philadelphia
On Friday, five men were shot in a courtyard in Philadelphia’s Queen Village neighborhood during a game of dice, CBS 3 TV news reported. None of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening.
At least 17 rounds were fired, according to police. A resident told the station that the dice game takes place frequently in that Philadelphia location.
Police Charged in New York Gambling Operation
Last year, seven NYPD officers — including several vice squad detectives — were charged with abetting an illegal gambling and prostitution ring that had been operating for several years in Brooklyn and Queens.
In May, one of the officers, Ludwig Paz, 51, of Queens, a retired NYPD vice detective, pleaded guilty in connection with the $2 million a year illegal operation. In July, he was sentenced to between four and 12 years in prison, according to the Queens Daily Eagle.
The post Cee-lo Dice Game Dispute Likely Led to New York City Bloodbath appeared first on Casino.org.
The first major upset of the college football season took place on Saturday when South Carolina went down to Georgia and beat the Bulldogs between the hedges at Sanford Stadium. However, the 20-17 double-overtime loss may not be as catastrophic as it would appear for the SEC power.
Yes, the unranked Gamecocks were 21-point underdogs to the (then) third-ranked team in the country. However, the Bulldogs (5-1, 2-1 SEC East) still control their own destiny. The now No. 10 team in the Associated Press poll has games in the first two weeks of November against Florida, the current No. 9 team in the AP poll, and No. 22 Missouri.
Both of those teams are currently ahead of the Dogs in the East. If they win both of those, they’ll likely represent the SEC East in the conference championship game in December.
There’s also a game on Nov. 16 at No. 11 Auburn that now becomes a must-win for the Dogs if they harbor any national title hopes. If they indeed run that gauntlet, they’ll in all likelihood be 11-1 with a chance to face either Alabama or LSU – either of whom will likely be undefeated and possibly the No. 1 team in the country – in Atlanta for the SEC title.
“This is when you find out about yourself,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said after Saturday’s loss. “You look in the mirror and say, ‘What can I do better?’ As coaches and leaders of the team, we’ve got to do what helps our guys. … We’ll learn from it. If you let it linger, South Carolina beats you twice. Everything we want to achieve is still in front of us. We’ll work to get better.”
Down, But Not Out
Because Georgia still has a realistic albeit tough path to the playoffs, oddsmakers did not lengthen the team’s odds to win the college football national title by much.
At FanDuel, the Bulldogs started the weekend at +800, the fourth choice on its board. On Sunday, they were +1200, the board’s fifth choice. Those odds are still shorter than Oklahoma (+1600), Wisconsin (+2500), and Penn State (+6000), all of whom are undefeated.
Earlier this season, Caesars Sportsbook listed the Bulldogs at +550, the third shortest odds on its board. After Saturday’s loss, Georgia now fetches +1500, shorter odds than all but six teams.
In the end, this loss won’t matter if Georgia runs the table,” Rex Beyers, a Caesars senior sports trader, tweeted Saturday. “Beat Florida, win SEC title game to get to 12-1, make playoffs.”
Georgia’s odds at other sportsbooks are +1200 at DraftKings, FOXBet, and PlaySugarHouse/BetRivers. At BetAmerica and ResortsCasino.com, the Bulldogs are +1800.
Clemson, Alabama Remain Heavy Favorites
Clemson and Alabama remain the two favorites for the college football title. FanDuel lists Clemson, the defending national champs, at +175, with the Crimson Tide next at +230. At FOXBet, the Tigers are +195, while Alabama is +230.
Both teams are undefeated, and while the polls have Bama ranked higher, Clemson has by far the easier path to the playoffs thanks to a less-than-challenging ACC schedule. No other ACC teams are ranked in the AP poll this week.
LSU, which vaulted to No. 2 in the AP poll over Clemson this week thanks to its win over Florida Saturday, is +1000 at FanDuel. However, they’re +625 at BetAmerica and +700 at FOXBet and DraftKings.
Alabama will host LSU on Nov. 2.
The third choice at most books is undefeated Ohio State. The Buckeyes are +500 at BetAmerica and Resorts; +600 at DraftKings, PlaySugarHouse, and FOXBet; and +700 at FanDuel.
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Lockdogs, Ainsworth Game Technology and Incredible Technologies garner top spots in Casino Journal’s Top Tech Products of 2019 contest
Casino Journal is pleased to announce that key changeable lock technology from Lockdogs received top Platinum honors in this year’s Top 20 Most Innovative Gaming Technology Products contest.
Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS) had its corporate credit rating affirmed at BBB- by Fitch Ratings with the research firm saying there’s a “remote” chance the gaming company’s Macau licenses will not be extended in 2022.
Sands, which operates five integrated resorts in Macau and has had a presence on the peninsula for nearly two decades, derived nearly two-thirds of its second-quarter revenue from the Special Administrative Region (SAR).
While Fitch concedes that it’s unlikely LVS doesn’t have its Macau licenses renewed, the credit evaluator notes the issue is preventing it from boosting the gaming company’s rating to BBB and that there is the potential for burdensome extension terms.
Fitch believes that the risk of the concession not being extended is very remote,” said the ratings agency in a note obtained by Casino.org. “A more plausible risk is LVS being subject to onerous extension terms, such as a higher tax, a concession payment, or a call by the government for significant lower ROI investments.”
Macau’s next Chief Executive, Ho Iat Seng, takes office in December, prompting Fitch to say the concession extension conversation should gain momentum in 2020. Each of the SAR’s six concession holders – LVS, Galaxy Entertainment, MGM Resorts, Wynn Resorts, Melco Resorts, and SJM Holdings – must renew their licenses in 2022.
Fitch is the second ratings firm to say it’s likely operators have their Macau concessions renewed with Moody’s voicing a similar opinion in August.
While Fitch is currently somewhat reluctant to up its rating on LVS to BBB, the ratings firm does have a “positive” outlook on the company’s credit profile and rates Marina Bay Sands Pte Ltd., the gaming operator’s Singapore unit, BBB.
“LVS has operated well within Fitch’s upgrade leverage ratio sensitivities for an extended period of time, driving the Positive Outlook,” said Fitch. “Also driving the Outlook is Fitch’s increased confidence that LVS can absorb a large scale development such as a Japan integrated resort (IR) without material long-term deterioration in the leverage credit metrics or liquidity strain.”
Due to its success in Macau and Singapore, LVS is widely viewed as one of the leading contenders to land one of Japan’s prized gaming licenses. Sands, one of the best generators of return on invested capital (ROIC) in the gaming industry, said in August it’s focusing its Japan integrated resort efforts on Tokyo and Yokohama.
At the end of the second quarter, LVS had $12.02 billion in debt and $4.03 billion in cash on hand. In late July, the company sold $3.5 billion of debt, its first issue with investment-grade ratings from all three major credit agencies.
Good Vibes In Macau
Gross gaming revenue (GGR) on the peninsula has recently sagged due to the slowing Chinese economy and the trade spat with the US, among other factors, but Fitch has a bullish long-term view on the region and LVS.
“Fitch expects LVS to experience roughly mid-single digit growth at its properties and slightly exceed the broader Macau market, given their focus on the mass market,” said the research firm. “Fitch maintains a positive long-term outlook on Macau supported by the expanding middle class in China and the development of infrastructure in and around Macau. Fitch believes that the government will take a programmatic approach to renewing the gaming concessions expiring 2022.”
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Caesars Entertainment, Eldorado Resorts Investors Save The Date November 15 to Mull Casino Mega Marriage
Eldorado Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ:ERI) shareholders and their counterparts invested in Caesars Entertainment Corp. (NASDAQ:CZR) will both meet on Nov. 15 to vote on the regional gaming company’s proposed $17.3 billion takeover of the Caesars Palace operator.
In a deal formally announced on June 24, Reno-based Eldorado offered $8.5 billion in cash and stock for the gaming company behind the Harrah’s and Horseshoe brands, among others. The buyer will also take on $8.8 billion in Caesars debt.
The acquirer will hold a special meeting for investors on Nov. 15 at the Eldorado Resort Casino in Reno while the target is holding a similar meeting on the same day at the Tuscana Chapel inside Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas Strip, according to company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
ERI stockholders will be asked to approve the issuance of ERI common stock in connection with the transactions contemplated by the Merger Agreement,” according to that company’s SEC document.
The cash portion of Eldorado’s offer for Caesar’s is $8.40 per share and with the equity component, that figure rises to roughly $13 a share, a price tag some on Wall Street felt was too steep for Caesars.
Eldorado is acquiring more than 682.1 million shares outstanding in the operator of three Atlantic City, N.J. casinos and there is incentive for the regional company’s investors to expedite the transaction because for everyday after March 25, 2020 that the transaction isn’t finalized, Eldorado must pay $0.003333, according to the SEC filing.
Icahn Already Signed Off
Billionaire Carl Icahn, who amassed a 28.5 percent stake in Caesars and angled for the company to pursue a sale, has already given his seal of approval on the deal.
“This merger is the quintessential example of how an activist shareholder, working collaboratively with the Board, can greatly enhance value for all stockholders,” said Icahn in a June 24 statement. “As a combined company, Caesars and Eldorado will be America’s preeminent gaming company. It is rare that you see a merger where because of the great synergies ‘one plus one equals five.’”
The financier has already entered into an agreement with Eldorado to vote in favor of the takeover, notes that company’s filing, which dubs Icahn as the “Caesars Significant Stockholder.” The document notes that as of Oct. 4, Ichan owned 114.25 million shares, or 16.83 percent, of Caesars outstanding equity and that he “has also agreed to certain restrictions on the sale of its shares of Caesars common stock prior to the Merger.”
A Giant In The Making
The combined company, which will be run Eldorado management under the Caesars name, will have more than 60 US casinos with 71,000 slot machines, nearly 3,700 table games and over 51,000 guest rooms, making it the largest in the country in terms of gaming properties.
While Eldorado has announced the sales of eight venues leading up to and since the deal was announced and even with Caesars recently selling the Rio Las Vegas, significant pruning of the companies’ combined portfolio could still be required to realize the $500 million or more in cost savings Eldorado management is targeting.
It appears likely that the combined company could divest one or two Caesars’ Strip assets with market observers forecasting other sales in markets where the operators currently overlap, including Atlantic City and Northern Nevada.
The boards of Eldorado and Caesars both unanimously recommend that shareholders approve the acquisition agreement.
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The NFL Sunday odds feature more than a dozen games that are expected to be decided by a field goal or less. That should make for an exciting Week 6.
It all kicks off in just a matter of hours with the Carolina Panthers (3-2) playing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3) in London. The designated away team Panthers are 2.5-point favorites.
After the morning NFC South battle, a slew of 1:00 pm ET games should keep NFL fans entertained throughout the afternoon.
Cleveland (2-3) returns home after a difficult two-week stretch where they won against the Ravens and appeared to had found their identity, only to lose it a week later in San Francisco. The Dawg Pound is a 1.5-point dog to the visiting 4-1 Seattle Seahawks.
The Philadelphia Eagles (3-2) look to stay in first in the NFC East when they visit the Minnesota Vikings (3-2). The home team is spotting the Birds three points. The New Orleans Saints (4-1) play at Jacksonville (2-3), with the Jags favored by 1.5.
Another early game that should be close is Houston (3-2) at Kansas City (4-1), with the Chiefs spotting the Texans 4.5.
Someone Has to Win
Four winless teams remain in the NFL: the Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals, and New York Jets. At least one will pick up a win in Week 6, as the Skins and Fins play against one another in Florida.
Oddsmakers and NFL experts say the Dolphins are perhaps the worst team in NFL history. And that’s why the winless Redskins are 3.5-point favorites on the road.
The Associated Press explains, “This week’s worst matchup in the NFL is so bad it could be good.” Tickets for the game at Hard Rock Stadium can be had for as little as $14.
DraftKings has the Dolphins’ Super Bowl odds at 1000/1, meaning a $5 bet and that unlikeliest scenario coming true would net $5,000. The Redskins are 500/1.
The morning and afternoon games are followed by three evening and nightcap matchups that should bring a marathon NFL Sunday of nail-biting games to a close.
Fresh off their win over the Browns, the 49ers (4-0) take their defensive show on the road to Los Angeles for the 3-2 Rams. The home team is a field goal favorite.
The Atlanta Falcons (1-4) spot the 1-3 Arizona Cardinals 2.5 points in Glendale, and the 2-3 Tennessee Titans go on the road to Denver where the Broncos will spot them two.
The 3-2 Dallas Cowboys will look to keep pace with the Eagles in New York against the lowly Jets. Dallas is favored by a touchdown.
Sunday Night Football pits the Pittsburgh Steelers (1-4) at the Los Angeles Chargers (2-3). The Chargers are 6.5-point favorites. The next night, the 4-1 Green Bay Packers welcome the 2-1 Detroit Lions, and will spot the visitors four points.
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