Monthly Archives: March 2015

US online gambling downgraded; potential RAWA lottery carveout; Barton redux

Investment firm Morgan Stanley has once again lowered its revenue expectations for US online gambling.

On Tuesday, the formerly bullish bankers projected regulated states’ online gambling revenue will go no higher than $2.7b by 2020, barely half their most recent $5b estimate (and just one-third of previous estimates). The 2017 estimate has been lowered from $1.3b to just $410m. Morgan Stanley believes 15 states will be offering regulated online gambling by 2020 but none are expected to join New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware in 2015.

As for the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA), the federal bill that would ban most forms of online gambling except horseracing and fantasy sports, Morgan Stanley believes passage is “unlikely given legislators’ split views.” While RAWA’s recent House subcommittee hearing “suggests [RAWA] could be gaining momentum,” Morgan Stanley believes the bill “faces long odds of passing, especially without carve-outs for online lotteries and existing online gambling states.”

RAWA LOTTERY CARVEOUT COMING?

Imagine Dragons playing a Las Vegas festival would be … Beautiful

Members of Imagine Dragons, from left, Wayne Sermon, Dan Reynolds, Daniel Platzman, and Ben McKee on hand for the magazine’s cover-story party at Four Seasons in Las Vegas on Monday, March 30 2015. Members of Imagine Dragons, from left, Daniel Platzman, Wayne Sermon, Dan Reynolds and Ben McKee are pose with the Vegas magazine cover story written by John Katsilometes.

CalvinAyre.com Featured Conferences & Events: April 2015

iGaming North America #iGNA2015

Now in its fifth year, iGaming North America is an affordable three event designed by industry professionals to bring together the land based and online sides of the gaming industry in North America.  Sessions will cover a numb er of topics including regulatory updates, new technology, payment challenges, predictions for the future and analysis on iGaming results in the regulated US market.

New this year are the iGNA Awards taking place during lunch on the last day, live music entertainment on the first night thanks to iGNA’s bespoke band “Bet Beats” and a closed morning session on the first day for Government Regulators, Lottery Officials and Public Policy Makers.

 

Melco Crown Could Still See Meaningful Downside

Due to plummeting gaming revenue in Macau, shares of Melco Crown have taken a beating over the past year, falling by around half its late March 2014 share price. Some investors may find it an attractive turnaround play but with a high P/E and significant downside potential in Macau’s gaming market due to weak housing, things appear risky.

Ky. Lottery sales up but below expectations

Kentucky State Police have identified the man shot by an Elizabethtown Police Officer Sunday night as Byron Herbert, 29, of Muldraugh Kentucky. Police arrested 20-year-olds Ryan Gibson and Aaron Higgins Monday and charged them both with seven counts of theft, 16 counts of breaking into a car and five counts of criminal mischief.

After Christie's privatization, NJ lottery missing targets

When Chris Christie privatized the management of New Jersey’s lottery two years ago, he said its new overseers would “modernize and maximize” the games. Instead, a lottery once ranked among the nation’s top performers is now lagging for the second straight year, trailing its state income targets by $64 million seven months into the current fiscal year.

Sands Bethlehem wants to launch electronic table games in Pennsylvania

Las Vegas Sands wants to introduce Macau-style live dealer electronic table gaming to its Pennsylvania casino property Sands Bethlehem.

On Tuesday, Sands reps gave an informal presentation of their proposal to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). The stadium-style electronic table games (ETG) seat up to 150 gamblers at a time but require only four to eight live humans to deal cards or spin roulette wheels. Bettors place their wagers on up to four different games simultaneously and are paid any winnings electronically via individual terminals connected to the ETG.

Such ETG have proven wildly popular with casino operators in Macau, where the government has instituted a hard cap on the number of traditional live gaming tables in operation. The ETG have allowed Macau operators to skirt the table cap while also keeping costs down by requiring fewer dealers. Pennsylvania has no market-wide table cap and Sands Bethlehem is already the table game revenue leader, eclipsing its closest rival Parx Casino by a significant margin.

On Tuesday, Sands President Mark Juliano told the PGCB that, should the ETG plan be approved, Sands Bethlehem would need to relocate around 122 of the its slot machines but the casino would “not be decreasing our slot or table games count from their current configuration.” Juliano also sought to assuage concerns that the plan would involve staffing reductions, saying Sands would need to hire 50 additional staff, including 20 to 25 dealers.

Shareholders To Sue Zynga For Fraud

Facebook play-money poker giant Zynga can be sued by shareholders for misrepresenting its prospects prior to its IPO in late 2011, a US District judge in San Francisco ruled this week. Judge Jeffrey White, who threw out an earlier version of the lawsuit just over a year ago, said the testimonies of new witnesses supported […]

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Lottery changes head to governor

The Arkansas Senate on Monday sent Gov. Asa Hutchinson legislation trimming the size of lottery-financed scholarships for future recipients in their first year of college and changing the eligibility requirements. In a 27-2 vote, the Senate approved the House-amended version of Senate Bill 5 by Sen. Jimmy Hickey, R-Texarkana.

GSN Games buys Idle Gaming; PlayScreen offers to double Zynga Poker chip stacks

Social casino operator GSN Games has contributed to the further consolidation of the social gaming industry by acquiring developer Idle Gaming.

On Monday, GSN announced it had acquired the San Francisco-based Idle Gaming, which counts Fresh Deck Poker, Slots of Fun and Video Pour Tour among its titles. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

GSN COO Steve Brunell said the acquisition “aligns perfectly with our strategy of leveraging first-rate teams and leading edge technology to create outstanding game experiences for our players.” Idle Gaming CEO Stuart Lewis-Smith called the deal “a natural fit” and said his team would bring “unparalleled expertise in mobile multiplayer technologies and unwavering commitment to quality across art, design, development and production.”

The deal enhances GSN’s already burgeoning portfolio, which includes top-10 grossing iPad games GSN Casino and Bingo Bash. The latter title came via last year’s acquisition of another California development team, Bash Gaming.

Recap of RAWA House Subcommittee Hearing and What It Means for iGaming

The House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations held a hearing last week to consider bill HR 707, the “Restoration of America’s Wire Act,” or RAWA. The proposed bill would prohibit most types of online gambling, whether or not they have been legalized and regulated by any state.