Gaming leaders are looking at leveraging the release of a feature film that depicts the seedier side of illegal Internet poker to raise awareness of the need for proper regulation of online wagering.
American Gaming Association President Geoff Freeman, in an email to the organization’s board of directors last week, said the Oct. 4 release of “Runner Runner” presents the Washington-based lobbying group an opportunity to state its case for Congress to pass regulations governing Internet gaming in the United States.
The movie, which stars Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake, centers on illegal offshore Internet poker and the cheating of U.S. gamblers. According to the plot summary on IMDb.com, Affleck portrays an online gambling tycoon in Costa Rica who is confronted by Timberlake’s Princeton graduate school student who believes he’s been swindled by the website.
“This film provides our industry with an opportunity that the AGA will capitalize upon,” Freeman said. “The AGA will leverage the certain coverage this film will receive to raise awareness about the need for proper regulation of online gaming.”
Freeman, who became the association’s president in June, said tactics could include releasing research data on the amount of illegal Internet gaming that is estimated to be taking place in the U.S.
The chief executive of Deutsche Bank Securities was elected to serve as a director of the American Gaming Association, the Washington D.C.-based lobbying arm of the casino industry.
Richard Byrne, previously director-elect, was elected for a one-year term as an at-large director.
William Newby, global head of gaming investment banking at Jefferies & Company Inc., was selected by the AGA board as a director-elect for the coming year.
Hurricane Sandy impacts casino companies, suppliers
October was one those “mixed bags” for the gaming industry.
Compared with a year ago, that average daily stock prices for 12 publicly traded gaming companies are down collectively 8.5 percent.
However, more than half of the companies followed by Las Vegas-based financial adviser Applied Analysis for the firm’s monthly gaming index, experienced moderate increases in their average daily price.
The index, which tracks some 300 market variables, grew 10.5 percent.
“The sector’s annual performance moved in an opposite direction compared to the broader equities market,” Applied Analysis principal Brian Gordon told the firm’s clients in a research report. “Gaming stocks appear to be making up ground.”
Boyd Gaming, Station Casinos, Golden Nugget ready for internet play
Three companies were granted interactive gaming licenses by the Nevada Gaming Commission on Thursday as the lineup for the state’s potential online poker market grew more crowded.
Commissioners licensed Boyd Gaming Corp. the Golden Nugget ownership and Fertitta Interactive – which includes the owners of Station Casinos and operators of Ultimate Fighting Championship – to launch online poker websites as soon as the technology is approved.
The website can be accessed only by people age 21 and older playing on computers or mobile devices within Nevada.
Boyd Gaming Executive Vice President Bob Boughner told gaming commissioners the company believes online poker in Nevada will be a $180 million a year business and would damage the state’s live poker business.
INSIDE GAMING: How a Texas company competes in a Vegas casino world
The slot machine industry’s largest manufacturers in the past year have invested billions of research and development dollars in interactive gaming prototypes, social media casino efforts and systems, hoping to capitalize on the potential for legalized Internet gambling in the United States.
Multimedia Games, meanwhile, is growing the company the old fashioned way: It’s building actual slot machines.
The manufacturer could give rivals International Game Technology, Bally Technologies and WMS Industries competition for the casino floor by next year.
One analyst recently came away from meetings with company executives convinced the manufacturer is poised for years of increased game sales as it moves into major markets, including Nevada.
What has held Multimedia Games back is that it can sell slot machines only in roughly 40 percent of U.S. casino markets, primarily those run by Indian tribes.
Not that Indian gaming is a bad base.
South Point and Bally working B2B for next gen of interactive gaming
For a guy who just recently learned how to answer and send an email, Michael Gaughan is about to have one of the most technologically advanced gaming operations in the city.
The South Point recently installed Bally Technologies’ iView Display Manager on 2,480 of the casino’s 2,600 slot machines. The system will be installed on the casino’s 120 bar-top machines by the end of the month.
The iView system offers both the South Point and its slot machine customers a variety of marketing features and options. Players, using a touchscreen slot machine display, can sit at the machines and order drinks, book show tickets and make reservations at South Point restaurants. The casino can market its events and offer various promotions through the system.
“There is a lot we can do with this system that we’ll be rolling out soon,” Gaughan said.
Not an isolated incident, NGC says, but "pattern of abuse"
Caesars Entertainment Corp. is paying the state a $100,000 fine to settle underage gambling charges, but may face a stiffer penalty if it happens again.
“This is not an isolated incident, but a pattern of abuse,” Nevada Gaming Commissioner Randolph Townsend said Thursday as the regulatory panel voted to accept the settlement with Caesars over multiple charges of gambling and alcohol consumption by underage customers at several of the company’s Strip resorts between 2010 and May of this year.
Townsend, whose comments were echoed by fellow commissioners John Moran Jr. and Tony Alamo Jr., said Caesars was getting off easy.
“If it happens again, I want a seven-figure settlement or else we will litigate it,” Townsend said. “As we enter the Internet gaming world, this becomes a significant issue.”
Las Vegas to become hub for web traffic biz?
Two of the state’s largest slot machine manufacturers received Nevada’s first interactive gaming licenses in June. Regulators could license three more suppliers this month.
Another 30-plus casino operators and gaming equipment providers have interactive license applications on file with the Gaming Control Board. If all goes as planned, gaming regulators could rule on two or three applications per month well into 2013.
Meanwhile, Nevada has handed the technology certification process for Internet gaming systems to two of the industry’s largest testing laboratories, which have certified the equipment used in legal online gaming worldwide.
Based on industry talk, Nevada could have 20 online gaming websites launched in 2013. So why must online poker players wait even longer to place their bets?
Shuffle Master, IGT, Bally and WMS ink online gambling deals
Wheel of Fortune machine maker IGT betting on online poker. (Image from IGT’s website)
Casinos were hard hit during the financial downturn, putting pressure on their gaming machine and equipment suppliers. A flurry of deals suggests game suppliers are looking to reduce their exposure to brick and mortar casinos by tapping into online gambling.
Shuffle Master sells and leases poker card shuffling machines. As Howard Stutz noted, the company posted healthy revenues last quarter. But Shuffle Master’s future growth may come from dealing virtual cards. In March, the company agreed to acquire the European online poker software company Ongame Network.
This month, Shuffle Master and gaming equipment maker Bally Technologies inked a deal to have Ongame’s poker network operate on Bally’s iGaming platform. On June 21, Bally was granted final approval for one of Nevada’s new interactive gambling licenses.
In May, gaming equipment supplier International Game Technologies (IGT) (think Wheel of Fortune) tendered an offer to pick up Sweden’s online poker network provider Entraction. One month later, IGT was another recipient of a Nevada online gaming license.
WMS, the manufacturer of Wizard of Oz and Reel’Em In, recently acquired Swedish online casino company Jadestone and the social online casino game provider Phantom EFX. WMS has secured preliminary approval from the Nevada State Gaming Control Board for an interactive gambling license.
Gaming Labs ready as Nevada Net poker nears
A move by Nevada gaming regulators to have independent testing laboratories certify gambling equipment could result in new technology reaching casino floors more quickly.
It also could mean the state’s move into Internet poker might happen on a faster pace.
Last week, slot machine makers Bally Technologies and International Game Technology were licensed by the Nevada Gaming Commission to supply potential Internet casino operators with the systems to conduct, manage and monitor online gambling.
The technology Bally and IGT executives said they would use in Nevada is already in use in Europe, where online gaming is already legal in some jurisdictions. However, the technology still needs Nevada certification. The systems should be familiar to Gaming Laboratories International and BMM International, the two private labs registered by the Gaming Control Board on Thursday to test equipment for Nevada.
Las Vegas Business Press: Gavin Isaacs dealing winning hand at Shuffle Master
CEO Gavin Isaacs, spearheading Shufflemaster’s foray into online poker.
Less than 48 hours after Shuffle Master Gaming said the company’s profits surged 23 percent in the second quarter, executives from the gaming equipment provider flew to New York City and held an “analyst day” for the investment community.
Call it a victory lap for Gavin Isaacs, who in April completed his first year as Shuffle Master’s chief executive officer.
That afternoon, Isaacs and his company’s executive team rang the closing bell at the Nasdaq National Market, celebrating Shuffle Master’s 20th anniversary on the stock exchange.
He tweeted out to his followers, “every day we’re shuffling.”
Vegas slot giant IGT gets thumbs up for approval
Executives for International Game Technology told Nevada gaming regulators Thursday they are in preliminary talks with U.S. Department of Justice officials concerning wagers placed before 2006 by American gamblers with Entraction, a Sweden-based online gaming operator.
The slot machine developer spent $115 million last year to acquire Entraction, an online poker operator in Europe with more than 4 million players.
The discussion with the Justice Department did not stop the Gaming Control Board from recommending that IGT be licensed as a manufacturer and provider of interactive gaming systems under Nevada’s newly created online gaming regulations.
Las Vegas Review-Journal
Nevada made its initial stride toward joining the Internet poker world Wednesday, but gaming regulators were quick to note that many more steps are needed before the first hands are dealt.
Slot machine maker Bally Technologies received a unanimous recommendation by the Gaming Control Board for the first interactive gaming license ever to be issued to a manufacturer of online gaming systems.
The matter will be taken up the Nevada Gaming Commission on June 21.
The hourlong hearing in Carson City marked the first time since Nevada gaming authorities approved regulations covering interactive gaming – online poker within the state’s borders – that a company was considered for licensing.
“We’re going to see a myriad of applications,” said Gaming Control Board Chairman Mark Lipparelli. “This is another step. It’s a thoughtful and diligent step, but it’s not the last step. The are no questions about Bally’s underlying suitability. The company will have the first interactive gaming license in the U.S.”
Bally's recommended for June approval
Can we actually say it yet? December 2012, we’re gonna get not just online poker but full-on online casinos, complete with slot machines and sportsbetting, and maybe even regular-ole made-for-kids video games for money. OK, maybe I’m gettin’ carried away … but it sure does seem that way when a company like Bally’s seems slated for the first online gaming license in Nevada.
Bally Technologies, of course, is the publicly traded Las Vegas-based slot manufacturer who got their start in pinball and video games (including Space Invaders and Pac-Man) and recently wowed the gaming world with introduction of their Michael Jackson slot machine in 2011. Earlier this year, Bally purchased Chili Poker’s parent company’s open-source online gaming platform.
Sorry for the lack of personal postage last week and presumably this one … I have gotten caught up in the housing crisis and am moving again over the next couple days … even though I don’t know where yet. Seriously, housing crisis is very real here — our friends at The Poker Atlas were forced to relocate due to the house they were renting going into foreclosure; Rounder Club West got evicted from their digs a couple weeks ago because their landlord decided to desperately sell. When this sorta thing happens to three homes in an isolated niche, it can’t just be coincidental.
Anyhow, so yes, content … sorry for the lack thereof and sorry for the blog-cliche post about being sorry. There’s still plenty going on out there that the poker-minded populace shouldmaybe care about, regardless of my personal battle against homelessness.
As we know, the US is currently trying to figure out how to enforce the UIGEA — the AMERICAN BANKS say they can’t really do it — so now, instead of rewriting our own bad laws, we are pressuring the UK to change theirs.
And here’s an article about EL PASO’S rich gambling history – underground or not — over the past 100+ years, starting with a mayor in 1895 known as “Poker Bob” Campbell.
A NEW BLOG (to me) I am now following semi-regularly: David Matthews’ Gambling in Space.
Through him, I learned about FRANK GAGLIARDI, a California Lottery winner who also likes to gamble and recently won his very relevant (to me and you) court case vs. the IRS:
If this case stands, then it could effectively rewrite tax law and make it easier for gamblers to report losses and more difficult for the IRS to go after gamblers.
BALLY TECHNOLOGY also won a pretty big case in court — against SHUFFLE MASTER, which up to this point has maintained an expensive stranglehold on the automatic shufflers you see in poker tables.
And CALIFORNIA JEN may have loved the poker mockumentary THE GRAND, but not everybody did.
Crap, that’s hardly everything, but I have to run …