AGA President expects Supreme Court to rule in favor of New Jersey, with exceptions
With a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision expected this spring in the case of Christi vs. NCAA, American Gaming Association President Geoff Freeman expects things will go New Jersey’s way, but with a few restrictions.
The case itself revolves around the issue of whether a 2014 New Jersey law, partially relaxing its own ban on sports betting and intended as a work around to the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which bans sports betting with a few exceptions (Nevada sports betting was allowed to continue), is legal. New Jersey had hoped to be able to allow the Garden State’s casinos and racetracks to take sports bets, as is done in Nevada. The NCAA, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL and Major League Baseball banned together to challenge the New Jersey law in federal court and have won consistently.
The case is now before the U.S. Supreme Court, with New Jersey challenging the constitutionality of the PASPA. Experts say there are three possible outcomes. 1. That PASPA is constitutional and the New Jersey law is in violation of this, i.e. New Jersey loses. 2. That PASPA is unconstitutional, the federal law would be overturned, i.e. New Jersey wins. 3. That PASPA is consistent with New Jersey’s partial repeal, but is still constitutional and applies to all other states.
Freeman, for his part, speaking to the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States, put the odds at 60-40 in favor of a New Jersey win. However, Freeman does not think the Supreme Court is likely to overturn the entirety of PASPA and rule it unconstitutional. Instead he believes it is likely that the Supreme Court will allow New Jersey’s partial repeal of PASPA to stand, while maintaining that the law is still valid for other states (option 3 above).
This, however, is likely to create a flood of legislation in states seeking to imitate New Jersey. “This issue could move very quickly into each of your states,” Freeman said during his keynote, as reported by CDC Gaming Reports. “The train is down the tracks.”
Cyprus expects new mega casino resort to pull in $838 million per year from 2022
The President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, has said he expects The City of Dreams Mediterranean casino resort, set to open on 2021, to bring in up to $838 million per year into the cash strapped island nation.
The casino, set to be one of Europe’s largest, will create some 4,000 construction jobs, 2,500 permanent positions, and draw 300,000 tourists per year. The massive casino resort complex will include 136 gaming tables, 1,200 gaming machines (slots and video poker), 11 restaurants and cafes, a 500-room five-star hotel and a convention center.
Anastasiades said that the casino resort will help fuel tourism and stimulate foreign investment in a country that needed a multi-billion euro rescue to avoid bankruptcy in 2013.
A temporary casino is set to open this June, in the costal town of Limassol where the casino resort will eventually be built. A consortium of Melco Resorts and Entertainment and Cyprus Phassouri Ltd is behind the project, with Melco Chairman Lawrence Ho saying that the resort will mirror the company’s other existing resorts in Macau and the Philippines in terms of architecture, design and entertainment offerings.
MGM Cotai finally set to open in Macau
After repeated delays, it seems at last the MGM Coati, a new $3.46 billion mega venue in Macau, will open in February. Developed by US casino industry giant MGM Resorts International and its subsidiary MGM China Holdings Limited, the MGM Cotai will be located on the Coati Strip near Macau. The mega resort is set to offer 1,500 rooms and suites, 500 gaming tables, 2,500 slots, a high-end spa, retail outlets, restaurants and a convention center.
Architects Kohn Pedersen Fox and David Rockwell were behind the design, with Rockwell creating a retail and entertainment complex space called “The Spectacle”, featuring world-renown brands such as Chanel, Fendi, Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton.
The launch had been repeatedly delayed due to market uncertainty, accidents on the construction site and the devastating effects of Typhoon Hato last August.
“On February 13, in anticipation of Chinese New Year, we will host the official grand opening ceremony and gala dinner to be officiated by our government officials and celebrated with our community and partners from all over the world who served an integral role in helping us successfully develop and bring this spectacular resort to the market,” read a statement from MGM China Holdings Limited.
Las Vegas breaks ground on $1.4 billion convention center expansion and renovation
Sin City has long been a favorite destination of convention goers from all walks of life. The city regularly hosts some of the world’s largest conventions, including the Consumer Electronics Show, with 4,000 exhibiting companies drawing some 180,000 industry professionals to Las Vegas each year. The city also hosts the National Association of Broadcasters, pulling in some 100,000 attendees, as well as the National Finals Rodeo, which draws over 175,000 spectators from around the world each year among a host of other major events.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the $1.4 billion convention center expansion and renovation project saw the sky fill with fireworks, despite a light rain and chilly weather. The three-year project is set to create approximately 13,000 construction jobs, 8,000 new permanent jobs and attract some 600,000 people per year.
With the project set to generate some $850 million per year in revenue for the city, a confident Gov. Brian Sandoval vowed Las Vegas would never be overtaken as the nation’s top trade show destination despite recent challenges from Chicago, Orlando and New York.
Phase 1 of the project saw the $182.5 million acquisition and demolition of the Riviera to make way for the center’s expansion. Phase 2, coming in a $860 million, will see the center’s column free main hall filled with new public space and technology, including an outdoor exhibition space extending all the way to the Strip. Phase 3 of the project will only begin after the renovated hall opens and will involve the restoration of the four existing halls.
The $1.4 billion financing package for the expansion and renovation was approved by the Nevada legislature in Senate Bill 1, in a special legislative session, in 2016. The same bill also included $750 million in funding to build a 65,000-seat football stadium to house the city’s newest acquisition, the Oakland Raiders, who are expected to start playing in the city in 2019, changing their name to the Las Vegas Raiders and moving into the new stadium in 2020.
Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board levies fines
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has issued four fines, totaling $62,500 against four different casinos for various violations.
The fines as approved by the PGCB include a $40,000 fine for Holdings Acquisition Corp., the owner and operator of the Rivers Casino in Allegheny County, for table game procedure violations, a $10,000 fine against Woodlands Fayette, LLC, former owner of the Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin in Fayette County, for a self-exclusion list violation, A $7,500 fine levied against Mount Airy #1, LLC, owner and operator of the Mount Airy Casino Resort in Monroe County, for a self-exclusion list violation, and a $5,000 fine for Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment, Inc., operator of the Parx Casino in Bucks County, for a table game procedure violation.