Australian inquiry starts into alleged Crown Resorts improprieties | Investors file US class action over 500.com's Japanese bribe claims | Atlantic City mayor urges demolition of Trump Plaza casino "eyesore"
January 21, 2020
Casino & Gaming SmartBrief
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Australian inquiry starts into alleged Crown Resorts improprieties
Australian inquiry starts into alleged Crown Resorts improprieties
Crown Resorts founder James Packer (above) sold a significant number of shares to Melco Resorts' Lawrence Ho last year -- just one concern authorities are investigating. (Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
Money laundering, organized crime and more are among concerns involving Crown Resorts' suitability to continue as a casino operator, according to an inquiry that just got underway in Australia. A counsel suggested today that Crown Resorts may have violated its casino license by publicly announcing the sale of shares to Melco International before telling authorities.
The Guardian (London) (1/21) 
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Gaming Industry News
International Gaming
New Venezuelan casino must use only cryptocurrency, Maduro says
The Humboldt Hotel in Caracas, Venezuela, may move forward with a casino, but Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says all wagers must use the country's 2-year-old, oil-backed cryptocurrency called petros. The digital currency has not gained as much traction as the president would like.
Casino (1/20) 
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Online and Social Gaming
Online gaming allows GVC to profit despite 11% retail downturn
Recent British regulations trimming the maximum stake in high-speed slots and a plan to prevent wagerers from using credit cards to bet has left GVC -- owner of Ladbrokes, Bwin and others -- happy it has several online gaming options. Online revenue has helped the company cope with an 11% decline in retail sales.
Reuters (1/17) 
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Sports Betting
Pa.'s first full year of sports betting leads to record revenue haul
Pennsylvania casinos realized a record $3.4 billion in revenue in 2019, a 4.5% increase over 2018, and $84 million was from sports betting. Of the state's 12 casinos, Valley Forge scored the most total wagers in dollars and best revenue, followed by Rivers Philadelphia.
The Business Journals (tiered subscription model)/Pittsburgh (1/17) 
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Hospitality Trends
Expansion plans move forward at Island Resort in Harris, Mich.
Work to expand the Island Resort & Casino in Harris, Mich., is expected to start in June with completion set for 2021 after the Hannahville Indian Community Tribal Council approved the project. The $30 million expansion will feature a pool with water park features, a high-end dining venue and convention space and more than 100 new hotel rooms.
WLUC-TV (Negaunee, Mich.) (1/15) 
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