Cantor Fitzgerald seeks gaming license in Macau

Poker-minded finance company headed to California, then China

by , Jun 23, 2012 | 12:44 pm

Cantor Fitzgerald LP, which owns sports book operator Cantor Gaming, is seeking a gaming license in Macau as the company moves to expand its sports betting business beyond Nevada, a company executive said.

“We’re in the process of getting licensed in Macau,” Cantor CEO Howard Lutnick said in a recent interview with Bloomberg Television. “When you have these big casinos as your partners, it makes it much more easy.”

Cantor Gaming officials in Las Vegas declined comment Friday.

The company, an affiliate of the New York-based financial services company, operates seven sports books in Southern Nevada. The company announced Monday it had reached a deal to build and operate its eighth sports book at the Silverton.

If successful, Macau would be Cantor Gaming’s second regional expansion. The Las Vegas-based company recently announced a deal to provide its mobile gaming system for Colusa Casino Resort, a tribal casino in Colusa, Calif., about 70 miles north of Sacramento.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Cantor Gaming will provide a mobile gaming system for the casino-resort, along with online and mobile casino games such as Xtra Odds Blackjack and Xtra Odds Baccarat.

Lutnick said Thursday that sports betting in Las Vegas increased 13 percent this year “because we gave people something new and better.” Cantor Gaming’s mobile devices allow guests to wager on sports from hotel rooms and other areas of a casino.

The company also offers In-Running, its sports gambling technology that enables players to bet while games are in progress.

Lutnick said Cantor Gaming would run sports betting operations in Macau if gaming regulators there approved the company’s license application. Since Cantor Gaming was founded in 2004, the company has posted net losses of approximately $96.6 million.

In Macau, the only province in China where gambling is legal, revenue rose 7.3 percent in May to $3.3 billion, compared to a year earlier, according to the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.

Casino visitors to Nevada wagered more than $2.8 billion on sporting events in 2011, according to the state’s Gaming Control Board. While it was the most money wagered in the past five years, the amount of revenue generated by sports wagering is small.

Gross gaming revenues from Nevada’s sports books totaled $140.7 million last year, which is equal to only 4.9 percent of the amount wagered.

Contact reporter Chris Sieroty at csieroty@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893.
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