Borgata Casino Files Lawsuit Against Ocean Casino

Borgata Hotel-Casino

Atlantic City’s top casino has filed a lawsuit against one of its competitors, claiming that the rival hired half-a-dozen of its former Marketing Executives in an effort to steal trade secrets.

The case was filed on Thursday by MGM Resort International’s Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa against Ocean Casino after the latter allegedly poached former Borgata executives in an attempt “to cripple” it by using details of its most profitable customers. According to Borgata, Ocean Casino violated unfair competition laws and agreements that prohibit at least two of the highest ranking executives from working for a competitor for a year after leaving.

High-Roller Customer Data

At the center of the complaint is former Borgata exec William Callahan who now works for Ocean Casino. It is alleged that Callahan has retained his Borgata-issued phone which contains valuable information about Borgata costumers. The lawsuit states that Callahan has refused to return the phone as recently as Monday this week.

Callahan was in charge of Borgata’s high-roller customers. These were patrons who spent $1.5M to $4M per visit and who would be flown in and out of the casino’s events using Borgata’s private jet. According to Borgata, these individuals were worth at least $25M per year to the company.

Aside from Callahan, Borgata also mentioned the name of former executive Kelly Ashman Burke in the document. The plaintiff also said that four other ex-marketing personnel have been hired by Ocean Casino in an attempt to “cripple” Borgata’s casino operations in Atlantic City.

Direct and Primary Competitor

The Borgata leads the nine-casino market in the area but in the lawsuit, it asserts that Ocean City is a direct and primary competitor for high-level customers in Atlantic City. Interestingly, Ocean Casino ranks just sixth among the nine Atlantic City casinos in terms of total revenues, making just one-thirds of what Borgata has raked in over the period.

The Ocean City Casino is the former Revel Casino which was shut down in 2014. The Revel operated for over two years and never came close to making a profit. But the casino reopened in 2018 under a new name and ownership and it has improved its ranking in the market.

Last month , Ocean Casino ranked second in Atlantic City casino win with its revenue of $23.6M a 23.1% increase against its July 2019 figures. Ocean saw nine straight months of slot pay growth before the coronavirus pandemic hit last March. Borgata was closed for the most part of July but in terms of income, it still makes three times more than any of its competitor.

BetMGM to Launch “Betting Across America” Show in Collaboration with VSiN

BetMGM in iPhone
BetMGM announced a partnership with the Las Vegas Stats and Information Network (VSiN) for a daily sports betting show starting next month. The show entitled “Betting Across America” will use the latest sports betting data and and analytics to provide expert betting commentary and insights from some of the most credible experts in the business.

Said BetMGM chief marketing officer Matt Prevost:

“VSiN has been a great media partner for BetMGM and we look forward to continuing to work with the VSiN team to produce engaging sports betting related content. By giving VSiN unprecedented access to BetMGM Sportsbooks, there will be no shortage of interesting story lines and excellent opportunities for betting enthusiasts and sports fans to get an inside peek.”

BetMGM recently got a $1B boost from the IAC earlier this month. The influx of new money is expected to help BetMGM increase its presence in the U.S. sports betting industry market and this TV deal with VSiN is seen as one of the first steps to achieving that.

Betting Across America

“Betting Across America” will be broadcast by VSiN will be broadcast live from the BetMGM studios in large sports betting markets across the country. Pending approval, it will air on weekdays from 3-5 pm ET/ 12noon-2pm PT starting August 31 and weekdays from 1-3 PM ET/10am-12noon PT beginning September 5th.

The show will feature BetMGM’s oddsmakers and experts who will be joined by VSiN’s top hosts including former NFL player and Las Vegas personality Mike Pritchard. Former NBC The Daily Line host Tim Murray and famed sports bettor James Salinas will also be among the VSiN personalities who will appear on the new show.

Aside from VSiN.com, sports fans and bettors can watch Betting Across America and VSiN’s other sports betting programs via Sirius XM, Comcast Xfinity, Sling TV, fubo TV, and RSN’s across the U.S. and Canada.

Sports Betting Going Mainstream

Since its legalization in the United States in 2018, Sport Betting has come a long way. Aside from new states following the lead of those before them, the sports betting industry has taken a major leap in 2020 and is going mainstream.

We have seen TV and sports betting provider relationships established recently. In January, Penn National Gaming finalized its purchase of Barstool Sports. CBS and William Hill formally announced their partnership in February.

Earlier this week, ESPN announced the opening of its Las Vegas Studio at the LINQ, where it will produce sports betting content in cooperation with Caesars Entertainment. Aside from moving its “Daily Line” show there, the collaboration is expected to come up with a new sports betting digital show this fall.

Twin River Could Lay Off 1,300 Workers Next Month

Twin River Casino
Twin River has notified the Rhode Island labor officials that it could be laying off a total of 1,300 employees next month .

According to Twin River spokeswoman Patti Doyle, the company filed a layoff notice with the State Department of Labor and Training last August 11th. Doyle clarified that 1,043 furloughs in Lincoln, and another 296 in Tiverton are set to become permanent at the end of next month.

Doyle added that the workers who are facing layoff are currently furloughed by the company and they continue to receive health insurance benefits. She added that the number of workers let go could still change, depending on the on the business conditions at that time.

Numbers Could Still Change

In a call with analysts, Twin River CEO George Papanier revealed that the company tried to bring back as many employees as possible after the coronavirus pandemic forced the closure of their establishments. However, he said that with the current restrictions they are faced with since reopening, they don’t know how many will ultimately be brought back. Said Papanier:

“While we have been able to welcome back a large percentage of those affected, there are still a large number of employees affected on furlough while we await the ability to increase capacity and amenities.”

Last August 11th, Twin River reported a $24M second quarter loss as a result of the casinos being forced to shutdown in March due to the coronavirus pandemic and also by the decreased capacity it has operated with since they were allowed to reopen.

Rhode Island Slow to Recover

However, CEO Papanier said that Twin River is pleased with the results they have seen since they were allowed to reopen in June. Out of their $24M Q2 loss, only $2M came in the month of June and the initial figures for the month of July were encouraging for a return to profitability. Added Papanier:

“While we continue to be willing to spend money to capture market share and drive revenue, we don’t expect to simply return to the old way of doing business. We believe many of the efficiencies we have realized are sustainable over the long term and will result in improved profitability for our properties even while increased sanitation and cleaning costs become the norm.”

Business in the South and West casinos of Twin River have picked up faster than their Rhode Island flagship with states like Colorado and Mississippi faster to ease COVID-19 health restrictions. However, Twin River Rhode Island President of Operations Marc Crisafulli is optimistic because he hopes that they will be allowed to return to 24-hour operations in the coming weeks.

ESPN Opens Vegas Studio for Sports Betting Themed- Content

Caesars Entertainment
ESPN’s Las Vegas studio at the LINQ Hotel and Casino opened on Monday, more than a year after the sports media conglomerate entered in to a sports betting pact with Caesars Entertainment.

The studio will serve as ESPN’s home in sin city and it will be responsible for creating sports-betting related content across ESPN’s platforms. Under the agreement, Caesars will also serve as ESPN’s official odds data supplier across TV and digital.

Said ESPN EVP of Content Connor Schell:

“The appetite for sports betting content continues to grow among fans. Our new studio will not only operate as the headquarters for that content, but it will also anchor our year-round presence in Las Vegas – a city that has become a destination for the biggest events in sports. The LINQ studio allows us to meaningfully cover the lineup of major events on the horizon with our league partners like UFC and Top Rank, the NFL regular season with the Las Vegas Raiders – beginning with the Monday Night Football home opener on Sept. 21 – the Las Vegas Bowl, the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights, NBA Summer League, and the rescheduled NFL Draft in 2022.”

State of the Art Studio

The 6,000 square foot facility includes three state of the art studios and features 12 cameras, including two exterior robotic cameras. It is the first ESPN studio to fully support 4K resolution and will be launched in Full HD. The studio will operate via ESPN’s REMI production workflow, with 24 transmit and receive paths to ESPN control rooms around the country.

The new studio will bring Vegas-exclusive sports betting and entertainment content to ESPN. The channel’s sports betting show Daily Wager will move to the LINQ studio starting September 8th. Aside from being the channel’s hotbed for sports betting-related content, it will also play a key role during major sporting events, especially in the Las Vegas area.

ESPN is also eyeing to launch a new digital show this fall. The show is a sports betting related content which will be distributed in in multiple platforms. New episodes of this still untitled show will be available three times a week on the ESPN app, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. It will also include content from Caesars.

Sports Betting Deal

ESPN’s expansion to the sports betting industry came after the legalization of sports betting across the country. Interestingly, ESPN and Caesars Entertainment announced their deal during the first year anniversary of the legalization of sports betting across the country.

In the past, Nevada had been the only state where sports betting was legal. But last year, states like Iowa, Indiana, Montana, Tennessee, and Washington D.C. joined the scene after seven states legalized it in 2018 following the Supreme Court’s decision to allow states the option to legalize sports betting.

According to the American Gaming Association, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018 has helped create a sports betting market of $8B in 2019, including a total of $3B which was wagered outside Nevada.

Las Vegas Sands Named as One of the Best Employers in the U.S.

Las Vegas Sands Corp
Las Vegas Sands Corporation was named as one of the best employers in the United States. In an article published by Forbes on Monday, Las Vegas Sands was officially included in its list of America’s Best-in-State Employers.

Said Sand chairman and chief executive officer Sheldon G. Adelson:
“Our company has built an enduring reputation as a global hospitality and business leader, due in large part to the dedication of our Team Members and leadership team. Our inclusion on the Best-in-State Employers list reinforces and validates that that reputation is well-earned. We set the standard for delivering an exceptional guest experience, maintaining consistently solid financial operations and being a responsible corporate citizenship in our communities, making them better places to work and live.”

Convention-Based Integrated Resort Pioneer

Las Vegas Sands Corporation is the largest developer and operator of world-class Integrated Resorts. It is considered as the trail blazer in the convention-based Integrated Resort Model model which combines state of the art convention facilities with luxury hotel rooms, world class gaming, and a wide-range of other attractions and offerings.

Its properties include two Las Vegas Strip attractions in The Venetian and The Palazzo. It is also the owner of the iconic Asian resort Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. The casino operator also owns the largest properties on the Cotai Strip in Maco, including The Venetian Macao, The Plaza, and Four Seasons Macao.

The company was established by Sheldon Adelson in 1988 when he and his business partners bought the famous Sands Hotel and opened the Sands Expo and Convention Center across the hotel. The 1.2M square foot property is the largest privately owned convention facility in the world.

Best-Liked Companies List

Forbes collaborated with market research company Statista to identify companies that are best-liked by employees. To come up the list Forbes and Statista conducted an independent survey of 80,000 Americans working for businesses with at least 500 employees. The respondents were asked to rate, on a scale of 1 to 10, how likely they would recommend their employer to others.

The first survey was held last year and a ranking of the top 1,430 employers that received the most recommendations in each of the 50 states, as well as in the District of Columbia, was published. On Monday, Forbes released the 2020 list on its site. The list based on surveys conducted from the period of October 2019 to May 2020.

Two IAC Top Execs Added to MGM Board

MGM Resorts International LogoCasino giant MGM Resorts International named two top officers from the InterActiveCorp. (IAC) to its Board of Directors following the latter’s $1B investment in MGM.

In an August 20 release MGM Resorts said that IAC Chairman and Senior Executive Barry Miller and CEO JOey Levin have joined MGM’s board., which now consists of 14 members.

Said MGM Chairman of the Board of Directors Paul Salem:

“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Barry and Joey to our board and to benefit from their collaboration as MGM Resorts continues developing innovative products and elevating our leadership in digital experience. IAC’s significant investment, expertise and support come at a pivotal time and will play a key role in MGM’s strategy to seize emerging opportunities and lead the industry with unparalleled in-person and digital experiences.”

Experienced Executives

Diller served as the Chairman and CEO of IAC from 1995-2010. He boasts of a vast experience across several senior executive positions at the likes of Fox, Paramount Pictures, and Prime Time Television. He is also the Chairman and CEO of Expedia, serves on the Board of The Coca-Cola Company, and is a member of The Business Council.

Meanwhile, Levin joined the IAC in 2003 and he previously served as director of numerous publicly traded consumer technology companies like The Action Network, Groupon, and LendingTree. Levin is also the Chairman of the Board at ANGI Homeservices and MatchGroup. He also sits on the board of Turo, a privately held peer-to-peer car-sharing service.

IAC Had Eyes on BetMGM

IAC bought a 12% stake of the Casino Operator worth $1B with its eyes on MGM’s online gambling app BetMGM. Diller had long wanted to join the online gambling industry and he felt that BetMGM has the “immense potential” to emerge as a top plyer in the billion-dollar online betting business despite its small contribution to the overall revenue figure of MGM.

MGM President and CEO Bill Hornbuckle recently told analysts that its sports betting and online gambling platform is projected to earn $130M this year which is a very negligible amount compared to MGM’s casino earnings of $6.5B for the year 2019.

But MGM has become the premier sports betting outfit since sports wagering was legalized in 2018 in the United States. BetMGM, which was established with the collaboration of GVC holdings, is expected to pick up with the influx of funds from IAC. With the coronavirus pandemic also forcing brick and mortar casinos to close or operate at limited capacity, the online gambling industry is expected to rise this year.

Wilmorite To Build Casino In Danville

Illinois
Wilmorite Management Group secured an approval from the Danville City Council last Tuesday night to build and operate a casino the Central Illinois town near the Indiana state line.

The approval came after a presentation made by Danville Development LLC, an Illinois registered company owned by the Wilmot family which owns and operates the Wilmorite Management Group in Rochester, New York.

Location Has Been Selected

During the presentation, Wilmorite vice president of gaming Jimmy Wilmot said that they have chosen 204 Eastgate Drive as the location for their casino. The area is the former Morris Flamingo site. The building is owned by Shaheen and Co. and it was once targeted for a cannabis cultivation center.

The site is on the north side of Interstate 74 and west side of Lynch Road. Wilmorite has committed to spend $600,000 to help the city address the sewer capacity issues that are on the north side of the interstate along that corridor.

The former Morris Flamingo site was a distribution site and warehouse. It has a total area of 110,643 square feet on 11.5 acres. The proposal is for Wimorite to build a new connection between Eastgate Drive and Lynch Road at the front of the parcel.

Phase 1 Expected To Start in Fall of 2021

The proposed casino would have a gaming floor of around 17,000 square feet. The plan also included the construction of a steak house, food court and a parking space with a capacity of over 500 vehicles. The group is also eyeing a 15,000 square foot Phase 2 expansion and a Phase 3 renovation that will include a 100-room hotel, additional restaurants, and a conference center.

The first phase of construction is expected to begin in the fall of 2021 and would be completed before the end of the year. The initial phase includes 500 slot machines and a total of 10 gaming tables including one for craps. Overall, the entire project is estimated to be completed in six years.

According to Wilmorite, they will spend around $30M when they break ground and $100M by the time they open their casino doors for the first time. Upon the approval of its license by the Illionis Gaming Board, Wilmorite will give $3M to the city who will use the amount for its riverside development project, the Boys and Girls Club, and other projects within the city.

IGT Inks Sports Betting Pact With Boyd Gaming Corp.

IGT

International Game Technology PLC announced on Wednesday that it has inked a sports betting technology deal with casino operator Boyd Gaming Corp.

Under the agreement, IGT will cover the equipment for Boyd Gaming’s retail sportsbooks in the state of Nevada and the technology for the mobile app ans sports betting site of the casino operator. For its part, Boyd has agreed to deploy IGT’s PlaySports self-service betting kiosks throughout its Las Vegas-based casinos. Both companies have agreed to a phased rollout for the services and features covered in this long-term agreement.

Said IGT PlayDigital Senior Vice President Enrico Drago:

“IGT and Boyd Gaming will create a dynamic omnichannel sports betting product that is sure to stand apart in Nevada, the most mature and high-volume sports betting destination in the U.S. IGT’s PlaySports platform enables Boyd Gaming to differentiate its sports betting product in meaningful ways that position them to attract new players and grow revenue in the segment.”

Not their First Partnership

Aside from offering Boyd’s clients with a more progressive sports betting platform, the PlaySports agreement will allow the US. casino operator to have an improved back office navigation, and the ability to update its app in line with real-time data and betting trends. Likewise, players will enjoy new features on the app as well as a wider variety of bets.

This isn’t the first time that Boyd Gaming and IGT have partnered. Since 2018, PlaySports has been powering Boyd Gaming’s sports betting facilities in its gaming properties in Iowa, Indiana, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania.

Boyd Casino operates a total of 29 casinos in 10 different states. When it comes to Nevada, three of its three Las Vegas casinos remain closed since they were ordered by the government last March to shut down operations as part of the health and safety measures during the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this week, one of those Casinos–Eldorado, was granted approval by the Henderson City Council to make its gaming and liquor license non-operational until 2021.

IGT and FanDuel

Boyd Gaming’s regional casinos have a sports betting partnership with FanDuel. The latter runs the sportsbook in seven of Boyd’s regional casinos and mobile sports betting apps in Pennsylvania and Indiana. They are expected to launch a digital sports betting app at Boyd’s Par-A-Dice Casino in Illinois. 

Earlier this month, IGT and FanDuel extended their U.S. partnership through 2024. Through this agreement, FanDuel sportsbooks in eight states will utilize the IGT platform. Meanwhile, FanDuel will offer IGT’s online casino games in Pennsylvania and New Jersey where the former currently operates.

IGT is a global leader in gaming solutions including gaming machines, lotteries, sports betting and digital. It has established relationships with governments and regulators in over 100 countries worldwide. 

Boyd Gaming’s Eldorado Casino Granted Non-Operational License Until 2021

Boyd Gaming

The Henderson City Council approved on Tuesday Boyd Gaming Corp.’s request for a non-operational license for its Eldorado Casino until June 2021.

It can be recalled that last July, Boyd Gaming filed with the Council documents requesting to change the gaming and liquor license of its Water Street property to non-operational until June of next year. With the approval, Eldorado Casino will be able to keep its licenses while remaining closed until June 2021.

In its letter to the City Council, Boy Gaming Corp.’s Vice President for Regulatory Compliance and Compliance Officer Michelle Rasmusson wrote:

“When a decision is made to reopen the property, we will submit a reopening plan prior to reopening. We look forward to working with the City of Henderson on reopening the property safely and in compliance with all applicable requirements at a future date.”

One of Three Boyd Properties That Remain Closed

Eldorado Casino is one of three Boyd properties in the North Nevada territory that remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, with Eastside Cannery and Main Street Station being the other two.

Established in 1961, Eldorado Casino underwent major renovations in 1997 and 2007. It has a gaming floor of 30,000 square feet and has more than 400 slot machines. Eldorado also offers Keno and Bingo in its venue while also housing a sportsbook. The property was shut down last March 17th following the order of Governor Steve Sisolak as part of the state’s effort to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Many Nevada Casinos are Still Closed

Boyd Casino isn’t the first gambling operator to make a similar request to the City Council. It can be recalled that Station Casinos also requested for the closure of three casinos-Fiesta Rancho, Fiesta Henderson, and Texas Station. All three requests were approved by North Las Vegas and Henderson City Councils.

Even major companies like Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts International still have some properties closed to date. Among these are Caeasars’ Planet Hollywood Resort, The Linq, Rio, and Cromwell. Park MGM is still closed while the Mirage is still scheduled to open before the Labor Day weekend.

Visitor numbers in the state are down and that coupled with the casino’s reduced capacity due to extensive health and safety measures has made it non-viable for some Nevada casinos to open at the moment. And in the light of the continuing pandemic, there is no guarantee that all casinos who are temporarily closed will eventually resume business activity in the future.

NBA Launches NBABet Steam in Orlando Bubble


The NBA used the bubble tournament in Orlando to showcase NBABet Stream, a new and experimental betting-focused broadcast option which is available via NBA League Pass and NBA TV Networks.

A Betting-Focused Broadcast Option

NBABet Stream features tailored commentary, different camera angles, and enhanced graphics. The stream also has real-time betting odds and stats provided by BetMGM. The league used nine seeding games for the first run of this betting-driven telecast. Said NBA head of Fantasy and Gaming SVP Scott Kaufman-Ross:

“The point of an alternate broadcast is for it to be different from the primary telecast. We didn’t feel we needed a perfect professional play-by-play person. We wanted to provide a group of people that would simulate you and your friends talking about the game from a betting perspective. It’s light. It’s fun. It’s supposed to be much more conversational and provide a different way of viewing the game — specifically, in this case, targeted at those thinking through betting concepts as they are watching NBA content.”

Aside from the alternative camera angles, betting odds, and stats, NBABet Stream also showcases betting analysts from the likes of Bleacher Report, Yahoo Sports, and Action Network to provide commentary and analysis throughout the broadcast. The alternate broadcast also gives fans a more engaging option to watching the games, especially since they are not allowed to watch inside the venue due to health and safety protocols.

New Sports Betting Landscape

Teams in other sports have experimented with alternate broadcasts centered on betting. But as far as the NBA is concerned, NBC Sports affiliates, beginning in Washington D.C., started offering alternate telecasts while focusing on in-game betting. But other than that, this is the first step for the NBA at a league level. It’s the NBA’s latest step in its approach to the new sports gambling landscape in the United States.

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 in May 2018. The Act restricted and regulated sports betting primarily in the state of Nevada. Since the 2018 ruling, legal sportsbooks have opened in a total of 18 states plus the District of Columbia. There are several other states which are waiting to launch sports betting in their areas. Last month, William Hill USA opened inside the Capital One Arena, complete with betting windows and self-serving kiosks. It is the first ever physical sportsbook to open inside a U.S. sports arena venue.

As for NBABet Stream, it is an experiment for the league this season but according to Kauffman-Ross, the league thinks that this is where the nature of the game broadcasts are headed to. It may be a secondary screen option right now but they are looking at the possibility of integrating watching a game and betting in the near future.