Proposal To Build Casino in Kapolei on the Table

Hawaii City CoastlineThe Hawaiian Homes Commission is scheduled to meet on Monday to consider a legislative proposal that would allow gambling in Hawaii, but only for the limited purpose of casino gaming and only on Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) land in Kapolei. If the proposal passes, it will next go to the governor then to the legislature.

Under the bill, gambling would be legalized in Hawaii, at least as far as a Kapolei casino is concerned. A Hawaii Gaming Commission would be set up and it will have the power to approve or revoke gaming licenses as well as investigate gaming companies. The licenses would be restricted to DHHL lands in Kapolei that are set aside for commercial use and DHHL will get tax payments on gaming revenues.

In a statement, DHHL Deputy chair Tyler Iopeka homes said:

“Given the impact of COVID-19 on our economy, the Department is proposing a bold measure that’s proven successful for indigenous groups in generating critically needed revenue to improve the lives of their people. We are at a pivotal moment in the history of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act and resources to develop infrastructure and acquire lands will be needed to fulfill the vision of Prince Kuhio.”

Not Enough Funding

Even before the pandemic began, DHHL said that the state wasn’t providing it the right amount of funding to fulfill its function. Currently, there are about 28,000 Hawaiians on the wait list for a homestead lot. But at the state’s current funding level, the DHHL says it would take them “one hundred years” to fulfill the needs of its beneficiaries. The DHHL is hoping that legalizing gambling would help them build more homes for Hawaiians.

The proposal did not specify a location for the casino. However, speculations have centered on a land near the DHHL’s Ka Makana Alii Shopping Center. In recent years, there have been several hotels built near that area and these establishments would benefit from the establishment of a Kapolei casino.

Unlikely to Get Legislature’s Approval

DHHL notes in a bill summary that the proposal is still under review for inclusion in the governor’s administrative package of bills for the next legislative session which will begin on January 20, 2021. Just like any proposed change in law, it will still have to go through the legislature for approval, which right now seems unlikely.

Last Monday, Senate President Ron Kouchi said that he will not support any plan to legalize gambling any form of gambling in Hawaii. Kapolei representative Sen. Mike Gabbard also opposes the proposed bill saying that gambling is well outside the DHHL’s mandate of providing housing for Hawaiians. Moreover, Gabbard says that a Kapolei casino will only lead to poverty, substance abuse, and other negative impact on Hawaiian families.

Trump vs. Biden Betting Revenue is Set to Break Records

Trump Biden Odds

The 2020 US Presidential election is now just over a week away. A huge number of people around the country are now flocking to different online sportsbooks to place their bets on the outcome. New reports have recently surfaced that indicate Trump vs. Biden betting revenue is likely to break records.

This election is being watched around the world. There are now many sites offering different betting options for the possible outcomes. Today, we’ll take a look at how much betting revenue this year’s election is expected to produce.

Let’s get into it!

Analysts Remain Divided Predicting US Election Results

Prior to election night in 2016, the vast majority of analysts predicted that Hillary Clinton would become president. She seemed to hold a wide lead in almost all polls and was the pick from most mainstream media outlets. Of course, Donald Trump ended up winning one of the biggest political upsets of all-time.

Four years later, and many analysts remain torn on who will win the election on November 3rd. Most polls seem to indicate that Biden holds a lead in several key states. As we saw in 2016, however, polls can oftentimes be deceiving.

The race seems to be tightening. Over the weekend, Trump gained in national polling averages and in nine of the 12 swing states. New reports from USA Today claim that Biden’s lead is now just 3% or more in several important states including Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

It’s been fascinating to see how these predictions have changed over the past few months. Even the top politician analysts cannot accurately say with certainty how things will play out. Interestingly, there’s been a massive surge of US residents betting on the election this year.

There are now many fantastic online sportsbooks available throughout the entire country. The majority of them are offering odds on the US presidential election. Based on the way things are moving, this will be one of the most-wagered-on events of all-time.

A massive amount of money on these political bets has been flowing in recently.

Trump vs. Biden Betting Revenue is Surging Right Now

Political betting has always been popular. There’s no doubt that the popularity of this form of gambling has been increasing rapidly since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Many people around the country have been wagering on the many political events this year.

It’s difficult to track exactly how much money is being placed on the presidential election. Today, more than 20 states have regulated sports betting industries set in place. Sports betting is available in most of the other states, yet it’s not directly-regulated by the state governments.

We’re now hearing the Trump vs. Biden betting revenue in regulated states is surging right now. Betfair, one of the most popular online sportsbooks in the world, has already collected $215 million in bets on the election. Sam Rosbottom, a spokesperson for the company, claims it’s shaping up to be the most-bet-on political event in history.

Bovada is another one of the most popular and safest internet sports betting websites in the US right now. Recent reports claim this company is seeing 55% more bets placed on this year’s election compared to 2016. It’s an incredible statistic to hear and many believe this money will continue to increase leading up to election night.

Odds vary from site to site. As of now, Bovada lists Joe Biden as the -190 favorite. Trump currently comes in as the +145 underdog. There’s still a chance that these odds could change over the next week.

Stay tuned for more political betting news over the next few days!

2020 Proves to be a Successful Year for US Sports Betting Operators

It’s not completely surprising to see how much money is being placed on the presidential election this year. Over the past few months, there’s been a massive surge in sports betting across the country. As more sports leagues began operating again, revenue from the industry has been increasing.

This is great news for the many different sports betting companies now in the United States. The US now has the most profitable sports betting industry in the world. Many of the biggest sports betting operators in Europe have recently broken into the US market.

That includes William Hill. This company has now been operating in the United States for years and is now present in several different states. Just a few weeks ago, news broke that Caesars Entertainment had agreed to purchase William Hill for $3.7 billion.

It’s easy to see why so many companies are trying to jump on this train. Several states are now seeing their highest sports betting revenue figures ever. New Jersey even set an all-time US record in September with $748 million in sports betting handle.

Trump vs. Biden betting revenue is increasing right now. Some feel we’ll see another major upset. It will be fascinating to see how much money has been made off this election once it’s concluded next month.

Do you plan to bet on the election this year? Who do you think will win? Let us know in the comments section below!

Caesars Appoints New General Manager For Harrah’s New Orleans

Caesars Entertainment
Caesars Entertainment has appointed a new general manager for Harrah’s New Orleans as the New Orleans casino is about to break ground on a $325M expansion.

Samir Mowad’s appointment as senior vice president and general manager of Harrah’s New Orleans was announced on Wednesday. The Louisiana native has a 15-year experience in the industry. Most recently, he served for five years as general manager for Caesars’ Entertainment in Iowa. Mowad has also overseen Harrah’s Council Bluffs, the Mid-America Center, and Hilton Garden Inn Council Bluffs.

According to Mowad, the new assignment is a dream job for him. Said Mowad in a press release:

“As someone who grew up in New Orleans and worked extensively in the hospitality industry, the opportunity to return home as the GM of Harrah’s New Orleans is the culmination of a journey I set out on when I joined the property 15 years ago to open Masquerade. This is nothing short of my dream job.”

No Easy Task

Mowad’s dream job though is no easy task. New Orleans casinos have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and Harrah’s is no exception. The casino was forced to close in mid-March and was allowed to reopen at 25% capacity only last June.

Aside from running the show in the New Orleans casino, Mowad will oversee Harrah’s $325M expansion which is expected to break ground soon. The development will include a new hotel, restaurants, and interiors and exteriors of the existing casino.

$325M Expansion

Last year, Caesars Entertainment successfully negotiated a 30-year license extension for Harrah’s New Orleans. In exchange for the approval of the Louisiana and New Orleans governments, Caesars Entertainment agreed to invest $325M in the property.

Harrah’s current license is set to expire in 2024 and by virtue of the agreement, it will be automatically renewed for 30 years. While the other details of the deal have not been ironed out yet due to the pandemic, the city hall of New Orleans is expected to get the project back on their agenda.

A Standalone Casino

When Harrah’s New Orleans opened in 1999, it was allowed to do so as a standalone casino. The purpose was to use the New Orleans casino as a tourist attraction to help the other hotels in the area. The city eased their stand in 2006 and allowed Harrah’s to build their current 450-room hotel located at Poydras street.

But the present hotel is always full booked, leaving Harrah’s to book tens of thousands of hotel rooms annually at nearby hotels for player comps. Because of that, Harrah’s New Orleans has lost millions of dollars in revenues each year on third-party room accomodations.

William Hill Receives Offer from Caesars and Apollo For a Potential Takeover

Caesars Entertainment
William Hill Plc announced last Friday that it has received separate offers from Caesars Entertainment Inc. and Apollo Global Management Inc. for a potential takeover.

The U.K.-based sports betting company said that talks on the two different cash proposals are ongoing but added that it remains uncertain if there will be a formal offer presented. William Hill said in a statement that both Apollo and Caesars have until October 23rd to make a formal offer or walk away from a potential deal as per UK takeover rules.

Per William Hill:

“Following an initial written proposal from Apollo on 27 August 2020, William Hill received a further proposal from Apollo and proposals from Caesars.”

Shares Surge

Shares of William Hill surged as much as 41% in London trading on Friday, which was an intraday record. The UK bookmaker now has a market value of about $4B. Rival betting companies also saw their stock rise last Friday with GVC Holdings Plc putting on an extra 15.5% and Flutter Entertainment Plc gaining 6.7%. Similarly, shares for Apollo was up by almost 3% while Caesars jumped by as much as 8.4%.

Apollo has a history of making investments in the gambling sector. In 2008, it joined forces with TPG for the buyout of Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. which was subsequently renamed as Caesars. Last year, the buyout firm also acquired a share in Italy’s Gamenet Group SpA.

Partnership With Caesars

William Hill already has a partnership with Caesars. Earlier this month, it was announced that Caesars had forged a deal with ESPN to link William Hill’s sports betting app in states where sports betting is already legalized in the United States. William Hill has also been appointed as the official odds provider of ESPN and as such, it will appear in all of ESPN’s platforms.

Last month, ESPN opened a high-tech studio at the Linq Hotel + Experience. The 6,000 square foot facility has been tabbed as the epicenter of ESPN’s sports-betting themed content. ESPN’s “Daily Wager” program was also transferred to the new studio which will broadcast Las Vegas-exclusive sports betting and entertainment news.

One of the World’s Largest Sportsbooks

William Hill is one of the largest sportsbooks in the world with offices in 10 different countries. Since Chief Executive Officer Ulrik Bengtsson took over last year, the company has been focused on building its online business.

Since the United States Supreme Court repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018, William Hill has been building up its presence in the U.S. The American market has become more attractive for the company after UK gambling regulators slapped a stake limit on betting machines. This regulation led to the closure of 700 shops in Great Britain.

Caesars Obtains $400M Loan From VICI Properties, Inc.

Eldorado And Caesars Logo
VICI Properties Inc. announced last Friday that it has provided Caesars Inc. a mortgage amounting to $400M. The loan was in accordance with the LOI entered upon by the contracting companies last June 15, 2020 and is secured by the Caesars Forum Convention Center.

The mortgage has an initial interest rate of 7.7% and a term of five years. It is pre-payable starting in year 3 subject to certain conditions. The Caesars Forum is subject to an amended Put/Call Agreement between VICI and Caesars Inc. with the former’s call option being accelerated to 2025 in connection with the entry into the mortgage agreement.

Conditioned to the Merger

Last June, VICI Properties agreed to loan Eldorado Resorts Inc.$400M via a Letter of Intent (LOI). The loan was to be secured by the recently opened Caesars Forum Convention Center in Las Vegas. It was conditioned to completion of the $17.5B merger between Eldorado and Caesars Entertainment which was completed in July 2020. Additionally, VICI agreed to purchase 23 acres of underdeveloped land near the center of the Las Vegas Strip for $103.5M.

Prior to the merger, Eldorado operated 23 properties in 11 states, including the Eldorado Resort in Nevada and Louisiana, Tropicana properties in New Jersey, Nevada, and Indiana, and the Isle of Capri or Isle properties in Louisiana, Florida, Colorado, Missouri, Iowa, and Mississippi.

Largest CAsino and Entertainment Company in the U.S.

Meanwhile, Caesars Entertainment primarily operated under Caesar’s, Harrah’s and the Horseshoe brands, with properties all over the world including Dubai. The surviving entity is known as Caesars Entertainment, Inc. and is now the largest casino and entertainment company in the United States.

VICI Properties Inc. is one of the largest real estate investment trust companies in the United States. Its geographically diversified portfolio of 31 gaming companies includes the world-famous Caesars Palace and has a total of 50 million square feet. The properties are leased to leading gaming operators like Caesars, Hard Rock Casinos, Century Casinos Inc., JACK Entertainment, and Penn National Gaming.

Judge Orders Ex-Borgata Executive to Return Mobile Phone

Borgata Hotel-Casino
Borgata Casino got a shot in the arm from Lady Justice last Thursday as a federal judge in Nevada ordered a former Borgata casino executive, among others, to return a company-issued mobile phone which contained valuable information on Borgata’s top players and highest rollers.

Aside from instructing the former Borgata exec to return the cell phone, U.S. judge Gloria Navarro also issued a temporary restraining order preventing the two former executives who left Borgata this summer to work for the Ocean Casino Resort from contacting any past, present, or prospective clients of the Borgata Casino. Navarro also ordered the two former Borgata executives not to share trade secrets or confidential information to their new employers.

Poaching Accusation

However, the judge did not order the two executives removed from their jobs at Ocean Casino despite violating unfair competition laws and agreements. In not terminating the two, Navarro reasoned that the plaintiff did not present evidence that proved Ocean knew that the two were using Borgata trade secrets in their current employment.

Last month, Borgata Casino accused Ocean Casino of “poaching” six former executives in what it called an “attempt to cripple “ it by using trade secrets and sensitive information about its top clients. Borgata proceeded to filing a lawsuit after it asserted that the hiring of their former officers violated New Jersey’s unfair competition laws.

Attempt To Cripple Borgata

The case centered on William Callahan and Kelly Ashman Burke, who worked with Borgata’s top clients, and who were recently hired by Ocean Casino. Borgata took exception of Callahan for his failure to return a company-issued cell phone which was said to contain top secret information regarding Borgata’s high-rollers. Borgata claimed that Callahan refused to return the phone even after he had resigned from his post at their casino.

Callahan worked with Borgata’s highest-level customers who spent around $1.5M-$4M per visit. Borgata claimed that these clients were worth a collective $25M per year and Ocean was “crippling” their business using the information that Callahan took from Borgata using his cell phone. The case was filed in Nevada because MGM Resorts International, Borgata’s parent company, is located there.

William Hill and CBS Rollout New Fantasy Football Offerings

William Hill
William Hill US and CBS Sports announced on Wednesday that they are rolling out new product offerings to kick off their partnership ahead of the fantasy football season in the US.
The fantasy football season follows the schedule of the current NFL Season which begins on Friday, September 10, 2020 and ends on January 3, 2021.

In a statement released on Wednesday, William Hill President of Digital Ken Fuchs said:

“Our partnership is a first-of-its-kind, creating an experience geared to the sports fan and fantasy player that showcases William Hill content and products across the CBS Sports Digital landscape. We’re ready for fantasy football season to begin and can’t wait to introduce fans to the future of sports betting while taking their game to the next level.”

Educating Sports Fans

The rollout includes a new parlay free-to-play game as well as extensive odds and data coverage across all CBS platforms. Product integration also involves fantasy game enhancements, interactive betting markets within scoreboards, and extensive betting content. It also gives sports bettors access to educational tools such as prop and bet calculators.

According to William Hill, most of the offerings are intended to educate sports fans on how to make picks for fun, understand the sports betting market, and go directly to William Hill’s products to complete their betting transactions seamlessly in states where it is live.

Currently, William Hill US is available in 11 states where sports betting has been legalized plusThe Bahamas and the District of Columbia. Its mobile offerings are available in Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, New Jersey, and West Virginia.

Exclusive Sportsbook and Wagering Data Provider

Last February, William Hill took a huge step in its US expansion when it announced that it had forged a strategic partnership that would make it the exclusive sportsbook and wagering data partner of CBS Sports across all platforms, including CBS Sports Fantasy which is one of the largest fantasy platforms in the world.

Under the agreement, CBS Sports will utilize William Hill’s odds, experts, and more than 140 sportsbooks to solidify its digital presence. In return, William Hill will receive exclusive rights to promote its brand across all CBS Sports’ range of digital properties, including CBS Sports Fantasy.The deal kicked off with the initial integrations last March and with the start of the NFL season, the full rollout is now live.

The new betting experiences are currently rolled out across all CBS platforms including, CBS Sports Fantasy, SportsLine, CBS Sports HQ, and CBS Sports Fantasy Mobile Apps.

Bet.Works Launches Self-Service Betting Terminals in Colorado

Shape of Colorado State, Red Casino Chip on Top of State
U.S. sports betting technology provider Bet.Works has launched its own branded self-service betting terminals in Colorado. The devices, called Elite Sportsbook, are positioned at the Red Dolly Casino in Blackhawk, Co.

Said Bet.Works CEO David Wang:

“Bet.Works is continuously innovating and leading the way in creating the best sports entertainment products available on the market. Our self-service betting terminals featured at the Red Dolly Casino provide Colorado players with a convenient and simple platform to wager on-property. Bet.Works is very proud to add this guest service technology to our U.S. entertainment portfolio.”

Self-Service Betting Terminals

The GLI certified self-service betting terminals were designed and built by KIOSK Information Systems, a leading provider of self-service kiosks in North America. The ELITE Sportsbook has a dual 22” PCAP displays and a programmable colored LED lighting. It boasts of an intuitive user interface and a comprehensive transaction component. The kiosk integrates scanning, cash acceptance, ticket in/out for independent wagering.

The devices are a product of the partnership between Bet.Works and Elite Casino Resorts. These two companies previously teamed up to bring sports betting technology to Iowa. Last month, the two Iowa casinos where they launched their product contributed a combined 15.2% of the sports betting revenue in The Hawkeye State.

Sports Betting Picking Up in Colorado

Sports betting became legal in Colorado at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2020 when almost all of sports was shut down. Despite U.S. professional sports leagues like the NBA, MLS, and MLB suspended, it was able to generate a total of $946,741.34 revenue during its maiden month.

With games returning in recent months, Colorado’s sports betting activity has picked up quickly. Revenue grew by 35.8% from the first month or $3.M during June. In the month of July, the total sports betting revenue in The Centennial State totaled $5.2M. With the NFL set to start its 2020 season this month, the numbers are expected to increase further.

Catawba Nation Reveals Name and Logo of North Carolina Casino

North Carolina Casinos

The Catawba Nation announced last Friday that the name of their gaming project in Kings Mountain, North Carolina will be Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort. The name and the casino’s logo were unveiled last August 28, 2020 at a private event attend by citizens of the Catawba nation, casino partners, city officials of Kings Mountain.

Said Catawba Nations chief Bill Harris:

“Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort celebrates our rich history and hopeful future in our ancestral lands in North Carolina – where our people were established hundreds of years ago, as the names Catawba River, Catawba County and Catawba College suggest. The name pays tribute to the 18th century Catawba Chief King Hagler and to the City of Kings Mountain, which will be home to the new casino resort. It also symbolizes the unique relationship that the Catawba people have historically had – and will continue to strengthen going forward – with fellow residents of the region.”

Tribute To King Hagler

King Hagler was the Catawba Chief from 1750-1763. Under his rule, the Catawba Nation forged a peaceful relationship with the American colonists in the region while also strongly defending the rights of his people. The Catawba tribe helped protect the colonists during the Revolutionary War, French War, and Indian War. In return, the Catawba got the support from them.

The logo of the proposed casino depicts King Hagler against a representation of Kings Mountain. The logo was developed in consultation with Delaware North. The New York-based hospitality and entertainment company is an adviser of the Catawba in the ongoing project.

First Phase Opening in 2021

Last March, the Catawba Nation received approval from the U.S. Department of the Interior to use 15.76 acres of land from Dixon School Road and I-85 to build the casino. The project has gotten disapproval from local groups and other counties in the state. In July, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians filed a lawsuit to stop the construction. But a week after the case was filed, the Catawba broke ground with the goal of opening the first phase of the casino in 2021.

The proposed casino’s gaming area is expected to have more than 1,700 electronic games and 54 gaming tables. The resort will also have a 940-seat restaurant space plus a service area/player’s club in the main gaming area.

Budget Shortfall Looms in Atlantic City Due to PILOT Bill

View of Atlantic City Beach

The crippling effect of the coronavirus pandemic to Atlantic City’s casinos will have a direct impact in the Garden State’s 2021 budget. That’s because the casinos’ total direct revenue is the basis of their annual payment to the city based on the 2016 PILOT bill.

Under the bill, which was enacted in 2016, casinos make annual payments to the city based on revenue rather than pay property taxes based on property value. Last year, Atlantic City’s casinos had a total revenue of $3.2B and they made a total of $150M payments to the city in 2019.

But with the pandemic halting casino operations for four months starting March 2020 and the imposition of health and safety restrictions that limited gaming operations since they were allowed to reopen, the casinos in Monopoly City are unlikely to duplicate last year’s performance.

Unlikely to Duplicate 2019 Performance

From January to July 2020, Atlantic City’s nine casinos have reported a total gaming revenue of $1.2B. That’s well off the $1.845B they made through the first seven months of 2019. Also, the casinos reported an average revenue increase of 11.48% per month beginning August 2019 to the end of the year.

But with the current restrictions, it’s not expected that they will overperform their previous month’s income and because of that, they are expected to come up very short of last year’s totals. Casino win has been down by more than 58% through July and is not expected to pick up with the prohibitions and restrictions currently in place.

Need For Tangible Solution

The PILOT Bill was passed to put an end to the casinos’ property tax appeals filed before the city. It was seen as a means to stabilize Atlantic City’s tax base. The bill was projected to bring a steady $120M in annual payments from the city’s nine casinos and it had been working before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

Sen. Chris Brown (R-Atlantic) who voted for the PILOT bill in 2016, recognizes the need to modify the legislation. Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D-Atlantic), a prime sponsor of the PILOT bill, recognized the need to do something but noted that the city has to “be careful on how to navigate” through the looming shortfall. Meanwhile, the absence of a tangible solution has made locals fear of an imminent increase in property taxes or a decrease in municipal services.