Massachusetts Casinos Blame Poker’s Absence on Dealer Shortage

Encore Boston Harbor Casino
There is a shortage of poker dealers in the Massachusetts casinos.

This was revealed by a casino executive during a Thursday hearing by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. The issue was raised after the commission had received complaints from customers demanding the reintroduction of poker games at Massachusetts’ casinos.

Encore Boston and MGM Springfield, the two casinos in the state, resumed mostly normal operations last May after a difficult 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But since their full reopening, the two casinos have not brought back poker games and the commission started to notice after receiving customer complaints.

Although the two casinos said that they will make a decision on poker before the end of the year, they also insisted that they have not abandoned poker games and are currently adjusting their services based on the client demand and the capacity of their manpowe.

Said Encore Boston Harbor vice-president and general counsel Jaqui Krum to the commission:

“To be clear, we did not say never to poker. We have said just not at this time. We’re constantly readjusting our offerings based on guest demand. Throughout this difficult time, we have really tried to be agile and responsive. However, we do have limited space, and the former poker area is currently occupied by some of our highest-performing slot machines.”

“Simply Cannot Find Enough Dealers”

Krum said that reopening poker tables would cause the closure of other table games. She said that the casino just doesn’t have the staff to operate both right now. According to Krum, Encore “simply cannot find enough dealers” or other workers and has been running dealer schools almost non-stop.

The Encore executive also told commissioners that the casino has a standing offer to all of its poker dealers that the casino will pay for dealer school if they need to be trained to deal a different game in the casino. She also emphasized that Encore is not trying to cut jobs but rather to fit its offerings around the staff that it has available.

Increasing Customer Complaints

Investigations and Enforcement Bureau assistant director Bruce Band told the Commission during Thursday’s hearing that his office has received an increasing number of customer complaints. According to Band, the complaints about the lack of Poker games at Encore have grown from 4 to 5 per month to 40-50 per month in its most recent tally.

Despite that, the Commission decided that it would not take action related to poker just yet with commissioners saying that they want to give the casino operator deference to run the facility in a way that will maximize tax revenue to the state while preserving jobs that come with poker games. The commission however, asked for regular updated of the situation from Encore.

San Manuel Casino to Open First Phase of Expansion on July 24

Wheel Of Fortune Slot
San Manuel Casino will be opening Phase 1 of its expansion on July 24th, which coincides with its 35th anniversary.

The casino first opened as a bingo hall on July 24, 1986. In 1994, the bingo hall transformed to a 100,000 square foot casino that featured slot machines and table games.

Major Expansion

San Manuel Casino is in the middle of a major expansion project that will add the property’s first-ever resort with 432 rooms including 127 suites. A new entertainment venue, a pool deck with its own bar and private cabanas, a spa, expanded gaming space, new dining options, and retail stores.

The opening phase of the expansion includes a larger gaming space, a 24-hour restaurant, a high end dining venue, and 1,300 brand new slot machines. Later this year, the hotel is expected to open while the event center is expected to be completed in early 2022.

Looking to Hire For Thousands of Positions

With its large-scale project, the San Manuel Casino is currently looking to hire approximately 2,500 job employees to fill permanent positions by the end of this year. Interested jobseekers can browse the list of vacancies at the casino’s website at sanmanuelcareers.com.

Recruitment for cooks, cashiers, custodians, janitors, groundskeepers, and other hospitality jobs will begin this month. San Manuel Casino is giving $1,000 in welcome bonuses to those who will be hired while perks of up to $300 will be given to those that will be hired as cooks, kitchen workers, and custodial staff.

Gun Lake Casino in Michigan Unveils $300M Expansion

Man With Spyglass and a Gun Lake Casino Image
The Gun Lake Tribe announced on Monday a $300M expansion plan that will transform its property in Wayland, Michigan to a resort casino.

Gun Lake Casino is set to add 250,000 square feet of gaming that will extend the property west toward US – 131. The project is expected to begin after its current project is expected to complete late this summer.

Said Gun Lake Tribe chairman Bob Peters in a statement:

“We are proud of the continued growth of Gun Lake Casino which is directly connected to the outstanding effort of our team members. The tribe remains steadfastly committed to reinvest in our collective future, for the benefit of tribal citizens, team members and the local community. This will provide even more employment opportunities and enhance Gun Lake Casino’s position as a tourism driver for western Michigan.”

Biggest Expansion Ever

The Gun Lake Casino has undergone several expansions since it opened in 2011. The current $100M expansion that kicked off in 2019 involves a 72,000 square foot area where 450 additional slot machines, 12 new table games, and a larger non-smoking area inside the casino. However, the planned $300M expansion will be its largest ever.

The $300M expansion is expected to include a 250 room hotel with luxury suites, dining options, and a full service spa. The casino is also planning to recreate its version of a year-round island oasis with a glass-domed pool. Guests will be able to rent private cabanas by the pool during the day. At night, the place will have a night life public entertainment space with DJs, live music, and dancing.

Contributions to the Economy

According to a report released by the Tribe last February, the Gun Lake Casino has contributed more than $2.8B for the economy of the Wolverine State since its opening on February 20, 2011. In that report, the tribe says that they have already inverted a total of $415M in the casino while directly pays $502M in employee wages.

Nearby towns and cities also benefit from the operation of the Gun Lake Casino through revenue sharing which totaled $35M in the past decade that it has operated. Last December, it distributed a total of $5.7M to state and local governments, despite shutting down for three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

California Supreme Court Okays Madera Casino Project

Online Gambling in California

On Monday, the California Supreme Court decided in favor of the planned North Fork Rancheria Hotel & Casino Resort, clearing the way for plans to build a casino in Madera county.

According to its decision in the United Auburn Indian Community v. Newsom California Supreme Court Case, former Governor Jerry Brown acted within his authority in concurring with the federal government’s 2011 decision that led to the approval of the two “off-reservation” tribal gaming projects in Madera and Yuba counties.

Said North Fork Rancheria Tribal Chair Elaine Bethel-Fink in a press release:

“We are thrilled that the Court has finally decided this case in our favor. Our tribal citizens and local community have been denied the advantages of tribal gaming – billions of dollars in economic benefits and thousands of jobs – for far too long.”

The proposed Madera casino will be adjacent to Highway 99 at Avenue 17. It will have 2,000 slot machines, 40 gaming tables, and a hotel that is expected to have 200 rooms. It will be operated by the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians, a federally recognized Native American tribe with more than 2,200 tribal citizens and has government offices in Madera county.

Opponents Challenged Governor’s Concurrence

The North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians of California have been working to build a casino for almost twenty years now. In 2003, the Tribe signed an agreement with the Las Vegas-based Station Casinos to build a casino and the following year, they requested the federal government to take the proposed site near Madera in trust for gaming purposes.

After a federal review, the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs determined that gaming on the land would be of the best interest of of the tribe and not detrimental to the surrounding communities. The federal office then requested Governor Jerry Brown to concur, which he did in 2012.

But opponents challenged the governor’s concurrence, arguing that California’s Constitution required legislative authorization. In 2017, the California Supreme Court agreed to hear the challenges for both projects after two appeals court arrived at different conclusions.

PointsBet Picks Evolution to Provide Table Games

Evolution Gaming
Online bookmaker PointsBet has appointed Evolution Gaming as its partner for live casino games in its U.S. gambling market. Under the partnership, the two will work together to roll out live casino offerings to PointsBet’s online programs moving forward.

Said PointsBet in a statement:

“We are thrilled to partner with Evolution Gaming to launch Live Casino technology in US jurisdictions, where we plan to offer our proprietary online casino platform. The addition of Evolution Live Casino extends the appeal of PointsBet’s premium product in the rapidly growing US market.”

U.S Expansion

It can be recalled that PointsBet is aiming to rollout its online casino in Michigan late this year while also targeting a mid-2021 launch of online casino games in New Jersey. Evolution Gaming chief commercial officer Sebastian Johannisson said in a statement that the company will offer PointsBet a mix of its classic games, poker, and “game show” games. Per Johannnison:

“Evolution’s Live Casino portfolio offers PointsBet a rich mix of world-leading online Live Casino games including classic table games, online Poker variants that are big favourites with US players, and our new generation of award-winning, record-breaking game show games. In addition, PointsBet will have the option of exclusively branded dedicated tables and environments, should they require these.”

PointsBet has been in the U.S. market since last year as a mobile sports betting provider in the states of Indiana, Iowa, and New Jersey. Recently, it revealed plans for a massive expansion as it has deals to roll out in Michigan, Colorado, and Illinois.

Like PointsBet, Evolution Gaming has been expanding in the United States since entering the market two years ago in New Jersey. Evolution is scheduled to launch a gaming studio in Pennsylvania later this year and also has plans to launch one more in Michigan.

About PointsBet

PointsBet is one of the fastest growing sportsbooks in the United States. Originally from Australia, PointsBet launched in the U.S. in 2019. It prides itself in having one of the quickest and most user-friendly apps in the market while also providing the best experience for its users.

It is the only sportsbook in the United States to offer “PointsBetting”- a new and innovative way in making bets. PointsBet also offers the most markets on all four major North American sports leagues. It is an official gaming partner of several professional sports teams like the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Rapids, and Detroit Tigers.

Last week, PointsBet also added the NBA’s Indiana Pacers to its list of partner teams. One day after the Pacers deal, PointsBet also entered into an agreement with Twin River Management to provide online casino games in New Jersey.

Stars Casino Moves Table Games Outdoor Using Tented Patios

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced everyone to adjust the way they go about with their daily activities. Strict health measures have been imposed to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. While businesses have been allowed o open, they have been forced to adjust to the “new normal”. Casinos and gambling operators are no exception.

Stars Casino in Tracy, California reopened last Saturday after a five month closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the casino has implemented changes to adapt to the reality of the coronavirus pandemic.

Complying with State Health Protocols

In compliance with state health protocols on social distancing, the casino was allowed to open but at 50% guest capacity. Aside from operating under 50% capacity, one of the most significant change is moving its gaming tables to an tented outdoor patio. Yes, card games like blackjack and poker are now played outdoors at Stars Casino.

Tables are separated six feet apart while the chips and cards are replaced after a couple of hours so they can be disinfected. Table capacity has been reduced from eight to four to give ample space between customers. The tables are also sanitized before and after guests sits down while hand washing stations are readily available throughout the venue.

Likewise, all patrons are screened when they arrive. Guests are required to have their temperatures checked. They are also required to wear a mask and a wristband that signifies that they have already been inspected.

Challenge In Moving Outdoors

In addition to moving outdoors and having smaller crowds, customers will be surprised to find another major change. Although the casino secured a state permit to serve food with drinks, the latter will have to wait, for now. Said Emmanuel Macalino, a manager at the casino:

“I’ve decided to not serve alcoholic beverages until we can work out all the kinks and iron out all the wrinkles in our operations.”

According to Macalino, moving the table games outdoors has given them a challenge in maintaining social distancing. Aside from that Macalino says battling the summer heat is another trial:

“We also have to deal with the weather as you can see it’s pretty toasty out here, and we put up the shades, and we still need allow the airflow.”

But tough as adjusting moving outdoors will be, it is necessary given the situation of the pandemic in the country. And yes, Macalino says that these precautionary measures have enabled Star Casino to be the only card room operator to re-open in Tracy so far.

Learn to Play Casino Games at a Las Vegas Mall

The best casinos in the country are found in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, many visitors to this city are unaware of how to play some of the most popular table games! Soon, a business inside a Las Vegas Strip shopping mall will begin offering people the chance to learn to play casino games.

Blackjack Cards

This shop will provide you with everything you need to become a casino master. Let’s look at what’s being offered here!

What Are the Most Popular Casino Table Games?

Casino gambling is more popular now than ever before. Gambling revenue has been increasing around the world. A huge number of gamblers inside casinos choose to play table games, rather than slot machines.

Most believe that blackjack is the most popular table game today. That’s certainly hard to argue. It offers some of the best odds to win and is a fairly simple game. It’s easy to learn the rules in just a few minutes.

Roulette is another hugely popular table game. There are a huge number of betting options available, which people love.

Baccarat is another popular game. A surprising percentage of casino gamblers aren’t aware of how to play it! This game has proven to be one of the biggest revenue generators for casinos, meaning it’s not quite as easy to win as other games.

Everyone has their own gambling preferences. Now, there’s a new venue in the city that’s helping new gamblers learn to play casino games like the ones we listed above!

You Can Now Learn to Play Casino Games in Las Vegas

Many individuals make the common mistake of trying to learn to play casino games while inside a casino! This is usually a quick way to lose money. Your chances of winning will always increase when you completely understand how a game works.

One business recognizes this and is now making things a little easier. Casino Quest is opening up at the Fashion Show Mall on the Las Vegas Strip later this month. It serves as a casino game education space that allows guests to rent a table by the hour to compete against friends or learn how to play.

David Noll, CEO of Casino Quest, commented on the company’s structure to the media this week.

“There will be no money. You pay to access the space,” he said. “It’s going to be (for) people who are risk-averse. It’s going to be (for) people who want to learn the game.”

According to Noll, the business will officially open to the public on November 29th. He claims that the shop’s “soft opening” during this year’s March Madness was a massive success.

“We were packed,” Noll said. “Monday night, the mall was closing at 9 p.m., and we couldn’t close tables.”

If you want to learn to play casino games in a fun, social setting, Casino Quest might be the perfect place for you. Check it out the next time you visit the Fashion Mall!

Online Casino Gambling Offers Another Way to Learn

Some are claiming that online casino gambling is another fantastic way to learn some games. Unlike playing inside of a real land-based casino, these sites allow you to play from the comfort of home. No one will be pressuring you to make bets.

There are a huge number of fantastic online casinos in Nevada available right now. Most of them are perfectly safe and offer a huge number of different gambling options.

Some of these sites also offer the chance to make very small wagers. This will make learning the game easy without having to lose a lot of money! They’re also incredibly fun.

Feel free to check some of them out today! You’ll begin to realize why online casino gambling is growing more popular every single year.

There are many ways to learn to play casino games nowadays. Casino Quest in Las Vegas may be one of the best. Stay tuned for more Las Vegas casino news over the next few months!

Caesars Introduces Progressive Jackpots to Table Games

Caesars has been an innovative casino company for a long time, setting trends that other operators all over the world also applied later. Jay Bean is the Vice President of Caesars Enterprise Table Games, and he has announced some really exciting changes that could revolutionize the way table games work in Caesars’ casinos.

Bean admitted to being envious of all the video slot games with progressive jackpots that eventually became an essential part of many slots. Whenever you play a progressive jackpot slot, you get an opportunity to win a huge prize which is the product of many people placing bets. As long as nobody wins a progressive jackpot, the final prize will continue to rise. At the moment someone wins the jackpot, the prize resets to the lowest set value and continues to grow once again as new players come to play.

Bean stated that table games had always been a very simple product that involved only cards, dice, and chips. Unlike slots, which are continually being upgraded, table games pretty much remained the same with a couple of variants that were offered to the players. According to Bean, table games were never able to offer a life-changing sum of money to lucky players.

However, the officials at Caesars decided to put an end to such a division and, in a way, revolutionized how table games work, making them more inviting to the casino game lovers. This huge change has been happening for more than a year as Caesars has slowly been introducing progressive jackpots to table games. This concept was always associated with slot machines, but it seems that it has found its way into table games as well, and Caesars officials are very happy with how things are going when it comes to this novelty.

The History of Table Games Progressive Jackpots

The first progressive jackpot in table games was introduced after Caesars unveiled a Fortune Pai Gow Poker Progressive Jackpot all over Nevada last years. Not long after that, they did the same for all their blackjack games as well as poker derivative tables. In other words, progressive jackpots at table games were all over Nevada starting 2019.

The expansion was pretty quick and, at the moment, they have approximately 270 table games that have progressive jackpots. There is a total of 140 poker derivative tables, 90 blackjack tables, and 40 pai gow poker tables. These are spread across 12 properties in the state, becoming the biggest linked table network in the country.

If you are looking for a casino where you can play progressive jackpot table games make sure to check out Harrah’s Laughlin Casino & Hotel, Harrah’s Lake Tahoe Hotel and Casino, Harrah’s Reno, The LINQ Hotel & Casino, The Cromwell, Flamingo Las Vegas, Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Bally’s – Las Vegas, Paris Las Vegas, Harrah’s Las Vegas Casino & Hotel, Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, and Caesars Palace.

Bean also added that the officials at Caesars loved the new addition to their table games as players really seemed to enjoy it and as they couldn’t be matched by other competitors. Furthermore, he added that smaller places such as Reno and Laughlin had a huge benefit as they would never be able to make a $2 million progressive jackpot on their own. Now that they are a part of this huge casino network, the progressive jackpot created by all players from all Caesar casinos will be accessible even to the players who visit those properties.

A couple of players were also lucky enough to win the progressive jackpot, and the three luckiest ones managed to win jackpots which were over a million.