Water park plans for shuttered Atlantic Club casino fail again

Local media reports that a plan by TJM Properties of Florida to sell the former Atlantic Club casino to local investors who planned to turn the property into an indoor waterpark resort has been taken off the table.

Investors had until Monday to show proof of funding, but the group was reportedly not able to show that financing was secured for the $135 million deal.

Last month, the group of investors, R&R Development Group, a company headed by Philadelphia investor Ronny Young and Robert Reilert, a former casino exec. announced the deal. The Associated Press reports that TJM is none too happy with the development.

“We were a little annoyed they would make an announcement like that without making sure they had their financing,” Dale Schooley, TJM’s director of acquisitions said.

The property is still a hot commodity according to Schooley who said several potential investors have approached them about the former locals casino that closed in January 2014.

“We showed the property four times last week, and we have two more parties interested,” said Schooley. “We’re very excited at the level of interest in this property.”

The Associated Press reports that Young has indicated he would remain in the bidding process to acquire the property.

According to a report yesterday, Young told the AP, “This is not over,” said Young. “I’m meeting all this week and next week to make a deal to go back and get The Atlantic Club. I’m not quitting. I’ll do whatever it takes to make this deal.”

Young also lamented trying to close such a big deal in too short of time, saying he had only given himself 60 days to conclude the purchase.

This is not the first time an effort to convert the former casino hotel property into a family-friendly water park and hotel has been scuttled.

In July 2015 Endeavor Property Group (Endeavor AC) announced plans for a $165 million investment as one of two new waterparks planned for the city. The Atlantic Club Boardwalk waterpark would have covered over 80,000 square feet and the plan included a host of other amenities, but no casino. That deal fell through in January 2016 even though it had the backing of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA).

The Atlantic Club was the first of four casinos to close in 2014 idling about 1,600 workers. In an effort to reduce competition for the remaining casinos in the city Ceasars and Tropicana acquired the building with players database and gaming machines going to Carl Icahn’s Tropicana.

Water park plans for shuttered Atlantic Club casino fail again was last modified: April 28th, 2017 by Lars Jones


Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians to build nation’s first inter-tribal casino in Salem

The Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians announced today that they will be heading up a tribal gaming and entertainment facility on their reservation property in North Salem that will share 25% of its revenue with state and local government, 50% to be shared among the participating tribes, and the remaining proceeds retained by the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians.

The proposed 140,000 square foot entertainment, gaming, and hotel facility is slated to open in 2021 and is expected to generate about $185.4 million in gross revenue during the first year of operation. A tribal spokesperson related that they expect to employ 1,500 people in the first year.

Readers are welcome to visit the website dedicated to the Inter-Tribal Partnership Project (The Project) here: www.OregonTribes.com.

“We know that when Tribes come together with a shared mission, we achieve more for our community,” said Dee Pigsley, tribal council chairman, The Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians. “As Tribal leaders we have a unique opportunity to make an unprecedented impact on Oregon’s economy and the lives of our Tribal members.”

According to the tribe, a recent economic study has estimated that the regional gaming market, including all of Oregon and eight southern Washington state counties, will reach $1.6 billion by 2021. The newly opened ilani Resort, a $500 million facility developed by Salishan-Mohegan LLC (Mohegan Sun et al) in collaboration with the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, may produce as much as $427 million in revenue with a large portion of that coming from Oregon residents.

“As a Tribal community, we have a responsibility to preserve and grow jobs and revenue in Oregon,” said Dee Pigsley, Chairman of the Siletz Tribal Council. “These funds directly support family wage jobs and healthcare, education, environmental, housing and transportation programs throughout the state.”

The new inter-tribal facility will be built on the Confederated Tribe of Siletz Indian’s reservation property near exit 258 off Interstate 5 in North Salem, Oregon. The tribe is currently endeavoring to expand tribal participation in the project and communicating with  policy leaders about some of the economic benefits the facility will bring to the area, the region, and individual tribes.

The Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians is a confederation of all the tribes of western Oregon. In the 1800’s Siletz ancestors were removed from their homelands and moved to the Siletz Reservation on the coast. Its tribal headquarters is located in Siletz, Oregon and the tribe has operated government offices in Salem, Portland, Eugene, Lincoln City and Siletz for over 40 years.

The tribe currently operates the Chinook Winds Casino Resort on the beach in Lincoln City.

 

This is a developing story and may be updated.

Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians to build nation’s first inter-tribal casino in Salem was last modified: May 2nd, 2017 by Lars Jones


Kansas Supreme Court dismisses challenge to Kansas Crossing Casino

A group of Wichita based investors led by brothers Brandon and Rodney Steven saw their casino hopes dashed by the Kansas Supreme Court as the Justices rejected their appeal on Friday.

In late January the court heard oral arguments in the case where counsel for Cherokee County officials and the Steven brothers argued that District Court Judge Larry D. Hendricks erred in upholding the state lottery board’s earlier decision to grant the final casino license in the state to Kansas Crossing, rather than their Castle Rock development. They stated that the judge should have sought more information and held further hearings before siding with the Board.

Pitched for Cherokee county near the border of Oklahoma and Missouri, the $145 million proposal could have possibly brought in a lot more money for the state. However, the lottery board chose the much smaller Kansas Crossing Casino & Hotel south of Pittsburg that was built for about $70 million. Kansas Crossing opened in sneak peaks and phases with a soft opening on March 31 and a grand opening on April 8.

In 2015 the lottery board hired consultants to look at the proposals and the board interpreted the findings to say that Castle Rock’s financial projections were not as strong as the smaller Kansas Crossing. The Castle Rock group was only given 3 days to prepare a rebuttal, which they did with over 100 pages citing five independent studies.

Castle Rock and the county appealed the decision in district court but in April 2016 the judge ruled that the board’s decision was not unreasonable. The group appealed that decision as well complaining that they were not given the power of discovery by the court and that the board’s original decision was not based on sufficient evidence.

In their ruling Friday the Supreme Court determined that none of Castle Rock’s contentions rose to the law, stating:

“We hold that the district court acted within its broad discretion when it denied appellants’ multiple discovery requests. We further determine that the district court correctly held that the Board’s decision to select Kansas Crossing was supported by sufficient evidence; was not error as a matter of law; and was not arbitrary or capricious.”

Kansas Supreme Court dismisses challenge to Kansas Crossing Casino was last modified: May 5th, 2017 by Lars Jones


Central New York’s del Lago Resort & Casino accepting lodging reservations

Visitors who would like to stay the night at del Lago Resort & Casino in the Finger Lakes region of New York can now book rooms for lodging beginning July 14, 2017, and beyond. A 10% advanced booking discount is available on the resort’s website for a limited time.

“We are excited to announce that we are now taking reservations for our hotel with the first bookings in mid-July,” said Executive Vice President and General Manager Jeff Babinski. “With the completion of our hotel and spa we look forward to rounding out our property, making del Lago Resort & Casino a true destination in the Finger Lakes region.”

In addition to more than 200 luxury rooms at the $440 million casino resort, the European style Spa del Lago will offer body treatments, massages, and a full service salon for men and women. Gender segregated and co-ed relaxation facilities will also be available.

Visitors can enjoy “gastro spa” cuisine and beverages at et facility, Lavazza Italian coffee shop, pastry, and gelato shop and The Sociale Café & Bar, or grab a pastry and gelato at Lavazza Italian coffee shop. The hotel will also feature a 4,200 square-foot banquet facility.

del Lago Resort & Casino opened on February 1, 2017, and offers nearly 2,000 Las Vegas style slot machines, 85 table games, and 14 poker tables spread over 94,000 sq ft of casino floor space.

Many of the resort’s offerings are focused on local trade including locally sourced elements for the Farmers Market Buffet. French Quarter-inspired food is available at The Vine – a 2,400-person entertainment venue and bar.

For high-end dining visitors may wish to frequent Portico by Fabio Viviani featuring Old World Italian fare as well as seafood, steaks and chops grilled over hardwood.

Further resort amenities include Centrifico bar in the middle of the gaming action, a 2,000 sq ft store called, “Savor NY” featuring MacKenzie-Childs and Jay Strongwater products along with a bevy of other Finger Lakes region items from craft beer to cheeses.

The food court at del Lago houses three purveyors offering pizza, burgers, and southwest grill fare.

Central New York’s del Lago Resort & Casino accepting lodging reservations was last modified: May 9th, 2017 by Lars Jones


Resorts Casino Hotel introduces online daily fantasy sports contests

The oldest land-based casino in New Jersey has reportedly taken the bold step of introducing real-money online daily fantasy sports games with the premiere on Monday of its FastPick service.

According to a report from The Associated Press news service, the FastPick innovation from Resorts Casino Hotel, which is operated by Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment, requires players to select three to ten players from a series of head-to-head match-ups across a range of sports. These picks then constitute a customer’s line-up with the remaining selections assigned to the house. A patron can then win cash if all of their selections amass more points than those allocated to the casino.

As an example, the news service reported that FastPick will allow patrons to choose whether New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady or Green Bay Packers signal-caller Aaron Rodgers will have a better statistical National Football League (NFL) day on a given Sunday.

Resorts Casino Hotel, which became New Jersey’s first casino when it opened its doors in May of 1978, reportedly revealed that its new daily fantasy sports service has initially been launched online but that it hopes to have kiosks up and running on the gaming floor before the start of the latest NFL season in early-September.

“I am very excited about this new business,” Mark Giannantonio, President for Resorts Casino Hotel, told The Associated Press. “We expect it to be exciting for our online customers and soon for those who play at our casino. The idea has always been for the bricks-and-mortar casino to be integrated as much as possible with our online business.”

Steve Doty from the American Gaming Association industry trade group told the news service that he was not aware of any casinos outside of Nevada that offer real-money daily fantasy sports games while the man behind TheFantasySportsCave.com website, Giovanni Garcia, declared that Resorts Casino Hotel may have found a way to persuade sports fans to visit.

“I won’t really want to go to a football game,” Garcia told The Associated Press. “I would rather stay at home and watch all the games. But if [Resorts Casino Hotel] make it an experience, offer all the games to watch and meet all my needs, then I’ll go to a casino and I’ll spend money on food and drinks and probably play poker and blackjack while I’m there, too.”

This sentiment was echoed by Joe Pollock from TheFantasyTakeaway.com fantasy football-focused domain as he reportedly explained that he was now interested in visiting the Atlantic City casino in order to try out the FastPick service.

“A lot of people do not know the rules of casino table games but really a lot of people know how to play daily fantasy sports,” Pollock told The Associated Press. “It is something pretty simple that can be attractive to them.”

Resorts Casino Hotel introduces online daily fantasy sports contests was last modified: July 18th, 2017 by Adam Morgan


The Dead Escape from Habanero Systems

After launching its Panda Panda title in mid-May, online casino games developer Habanero Systems has returned with its latest video slot in the five-reel and 30-payline The Dead Escape.

Described as an “apocalyptic new slot”, the horror movie-inspired The Dead Escape follows a father and daughter as they bid to get away from blood-thirsty zombies that have taken over their world. The video slot sees lines paying both ways while players that collect a trio of scatter symbols can trigger a special bonus round where 15 free spins are awarded as the family duo battle their enemies for survival.

“The Dead Escape is one of our most thrilling releases yet with players spinning their way to safety from the zombie invasion,” read a statement from Toni Karapetrov, Corporate Communications Head for Habanero Systems. “The gory graphics and spine-tingling soundtrack will keep players on a knife-edge in what is sure to be an intense gaming experience.”

The launch of The Dead Escape additionally follows recent premieres in Bird of Thunder and Fire Rooster while Habanero Systems declared that it now offers over 75 video slots alongside nine table games and 50 video poker titles, which are available at in excess of 45 online casinos that offer services in 21 European and Asian languages.

The Dead Escape from Habanero Systems was last modified: July 22nd, 2017 by Adam Morgan


“Bar fleas” not wanted; new technology makes it more difficult to get free drinks at casinos

Apart from high slot payouts and a good buffet, free drinks at a casino are a sure way to keep ‘em coming back for more. Soon, however, your favorite casino could be implementing new technology that will let staff know if your level of play qualifies you for your next complimentary round.

Las Vegas casinos are tightening their belts; it started with parking, with MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) leading the way with its $90 million parking initiative announced in April last year. Followed by Caesars Entertainment Corp. (NASDAQ: CZR) and Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ WYNN), implementing their own new parking policies not long after. Now casino operators are taking a hard look at another perk that has lured gamblers for decades to complimentary drinks.

Thanks to a Las Vegas-based company, Ardent Progressive Systems & Games, which specializes in Slot Accounting and Player Tracking Systems, High Definition Premium Games and Complimentary Validation Hardware, drink monitoring systems could be the norm, not just in Las Vegas but in Vegas-style casinos all around the U.S. that offer gamblers complimentary drinks.

The comp validations system consists of blue, green and red LED’s pointed at bartenders notifying them for comps. According to information obtained from Ardent’s website, the “standard suggested operating procedures” for its complementary validation system are:

  •  Blue Light On – Guest has inserted a total of $$ (bills/tickets) into the machine and is qualified for a complimentary beverage.
  •  Blue Light Off – Guest has inserted less than $$ (bills/and tickets) into the machine and does not qualify for complimentary beverage.
  •  Green Light On – Guest has achieved required minimum level of play and is qualified to received continued complimentary beverages up to $XX per beverage
  •  Green Light Off – Guest has not achieved required minimum level of play and is not qualified for complimentary beverages.
  •  Red Light On – Guest has achieved 10 times required minimum level of play and is qualified for premium beverages up to $XX per beverage.
  •  Red Light on and Flashing – Guest has fallen out of qualification for complimentary beverages.

The website further states that the “new comp validation system completely eliminate bar fleas that don’t deserve beverage comps 24X7”.

According to an article published by The Wall Street Journal on April 18, 2017, once again MGM Resorts International is leading the way and is piloting a program at its MGM Grand located on The Strip, where a voucher prints when a patron has spent enough playing bar-top video poker. The goal was, according to Alan Feldman, ‎Executive Vice President at the Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts, to allow bar staff to be free from having to account for who was and wasn’t playing and instead focus on hospitality.

WQAD News 8 reports that the technology’s creator, Albert Tabola, said, “It gets rid of the people that want to hang around and play a quarter and try to basically, I don’t want to use the word scam, but basically take advantage of the system.”

Tabola went on to tell WQAD that the system is already being used by Caesars Entertainment in their hotels and have reportedly seen a savings of 35 percent on comped drink costs since instituting the technology. According to the news agency, Tabola says that consistent players won’t be affected and will still receive comped drinks; only people who want something for nothing will be affected. He is reportedly working on getting local casinos on board.

“Bar fleas” not wanted; new technology makes it more difficult to get free drinks at casinos was last modified: July 26th, 2017 by K Morrison


Coingaming Group developer pens white paper on double-spending solution

Even the unhackable Bitcoin presents certain security flaws as the currency is exchanged with fiat money. One of the leading currency exchange services, Coingaming Group, is stepping out ahead of any such problems that could occur with a potential solution for those operating on the Bitcoin network.

Erich Erstu is a developer for Coingaming. He has penned a white paper for the group that addresses a possible solution for “double-spending attacks” entitled, “Disincentivizing Double-Spending by Making it Unprofitable”.

If implemented, the solution could help Bitcoin businesses reduce the costs associated with fraudulent activity and remain more efficient, and therefore more competitive. Just like it sounds, double spending means using the same money more than once. Product and service providers often provide their wares before a payment is confirmed on the Bitcoin network. Confirmation takes time and resources.

Erstu’s solution involves using the free market in such a way as to make the fraudulent activity unprofitable to cheaters. As with most elegant solutions, Erstu’s is quite simple on its face – load the double-spend TX with so many miner fees that it becomes unprofitable. This appears to be a viable solution as long as, ” the adversary is not a miner and miners, in general, remain greedy for TX fees,” according to the white paper.

In a statement released Monday, Erstu said, “I am excited to release this white paper to the wider cryptocurrency community, and I hope that it will generate constructive discussion about what I feel to be a significant breakthrough in mitigating the lost revenues associated with double-spending.

“At the Coingaming Group, we are always looking to improve both our back-office and customer-facing solutions, and any costs saved through negating fraudulent activity we intend to pass onto the customer in better margins and increased product investment.”

The white paper can be read in its entirety here.

Coingaming Group developer pens white paper on double-spending solution was last modified: August 1st, 2017 by Lars Jones


What happened to the bitcoin blockchain August 1, 2017?

The bitcoin community recently faced a critical moment with some in favor of the recent “fork” that forced the blockchain to split, and others vehemently set against it. If that’s all a foreign language to you, the change likely had no effect on you or your finances. It was still an important development in the cryptocurrency sphere of finance that will have long lasting effects. It could eventually affect everyone.

What happened on August 1, 2017, is that users activated a “hard fork” in the blockchain. The blockchain is a decentralized database, or digital ledger used to record bitcoin transactions. It is stored across multiple computers. The blockchain is the technology behind the bitcoin digital currency.

What this hard fork did was create a “node” called Bitcoin ABC. It basically split off a new digital asset called Bitcoin Cash that will operate under rules different to the ones used by the original bitcoin currency. Each has its own value. Everyone who held Bitcoins received Bitcoin Cash. Some will use it, some won’t. The new currency started off with about one-tenth of Bitcoin’s value and the price has fluctuated wildly since its creation – hitting a peak of $756.93 before falling to $284.89 earlier today.

In other words, the hard fork created an opportunity for savvy and fearless investors to make a killing if they unloaded the new currency at its peak. Many analysts suggest that the current price is not likely to hold steady. It is a volatile commodity, even more so for now than the original currency is. One year ago the bitcoin value was $588, it peaked at over $3,000 in June, fell to about $1,939 on July 16, and is currently trading at about $2,890. The value was not significantly impacted by the fork – so far.

The main reason given for bitcoin splitting is a matter of scale. As digital currencies become more popular they are traded at higher volumes. Only 1 megabyte of transactions can be processed at one time on the blockchain of July 31, 2017. As demand for transactions grows, the processing time slows down. This latency can create vulnerabilities for companies accepting bitcoin. But that is not the overriding concern of change advocates. They want the network to be able to handle transaction more efficiently as digital currencies rise in economic importance.

Bitcoin Cash increases the limits to 8 megabytes – but that too could become a limiting factor in time.  Now, after the fork, each blockchain can function with its own rules and a “civil war” may have been averted.

One of the major players in the cryptocurrency game, Coinbase, said they would not support the new blockchain – i.e. would not trade in the new currency. As of today, part of that position has changed. Coinbase now says they will support the fork next year but have not committed to trading. What that means is that users can withdraw value in Bitcoin Cash after January 1, 2018, according to a report on Tech Crunch.

Some observers are speculating that the Coinbase cold reserves fell by 50% when customers unhappy with the decision to stick with only the original blockchain made a “run on the bank” withdrawing their value. We have not been able to independently confirm that, but the Coinbase policy change may be an indication.

What the split means to online casino players depends on who they have a digital wallet with. For people who use Coinbase nothing has changed. They can still deposit and withdraw instantly and can still convert digital currency to cold hard cash. Click the following link for a partial list of casinos accepting bitcoin. One US facing casino to use the cryptocurrency is WinADay.eu.

What happened to the bitcoin blockchain August 1, 2017? was last modified: August 4th, 2017 by Lars Jones


Idaho horse racing on the rocks, racing commission with no spending authority

A legislative audit earlier this week stated that the Idaho Racing Commission ran afoul of the law when it disbursed funds from the now shuttered Les Bois Park’s historical/instant racing machines. The race track, Idaho’s only commercial racing facility, went dark in March after Gov. Butch Otter failed to deliver his veto on time to quash a bill repealing a law that allowed the slot-like devices.

The money in question went to two breeding associations in late 2015, after the machines were made illegal, leaving the commission no authority to distribute the funds. The commission still has over $140,000 in its budget, but no legal authority to dole it out. The IRC still owes public schools more than $72 million. Previous to a repeal of the law authorizing the devices, the IRC was mandated to distribute funds to the breeding associations, the Idaho Horse Council Youth Programs Account, and public schools.

Idaho lawmakers failed to craft language in the 2016 legislative session giving the commission spending authority, but new legislation slated for 2017 is expected to remedy that.

Smaller horse racing venues such as at county fairs depended on proceeds from the commercial racetrack for purses and breeders depended on the money for their industry. Les Bois Park and two off-track betting venues hosted about 250 racing machines with other venues waiting for the legal fight to settle before investing.

Les Bois Park closed for a year previous to the machines coming onto the scene but otherwise had been open for 40 years.

“We’ll never have another Gary Stevens, a Hall of Fame jockey from right here in Boise,” said Myron Amsden of the Idaho Horse Council in an interview with a local television station in March. “The dreams of the youth, that’s gone, it’s never coming back.”

The legislature’s decision to repeal a law they had already passed, and the governor’s failure to legally veto the repeal directly affected the horse tracks ability to stay in business, costing the small state over 500 jobs – about half of them full time at Les Bois Park, nearly $10 million in wages including fringe benefits, $5 million in interest, rent, taxes, and profits, and about $35 million in increased sales of goods and services – according to an economic impact study performed by Boise State University.

In October 2015, Idaho’s governor called for plans to reinstate the racing machines with more government oversight. The idea fell flat with most lawmakers.

Without Les Bois Park, the IRC is slated to receive about $80,000 for FY2017 to service the needs of the nine remaining race tracks in the state. Some reports indicate that funding is not even enough to pay part-time veterinarians. More money is needed to hire investigators and stewards to check for illegal activities, watch out for animal cruelty, and other duties.

Without enough money to fund purses no Idaho tracks are expected to draw top horses, trainers, and jockeys and attendance at the sporadic events is not expected to increase.

Similar to other states, Idaho’s horse racing industry has been on the decline for decades due to reduced interest in animal sports and competition from other forms of gambling.

Idaho horse racing on the rocks, racing commission with no spending authority was last modified: December 15th, 2016 by Lars Jones