Big Red Keno Launches a Lawsuit to Open a New Casino

A fight is building over who will run the casino Lincoln’s horse racing track, authorized by voters.

Big Red Keno claims to have a written operating agreement demonstrating its authority to conduct any increased gambling there.

Big Red Keno cites a contract with Omaha Exposition Racing Inc. and the Lincoln Race Course from 2013 in a complaint filed in Lancaster County District Court last week.

Part of the contract said:

If additional gambling activities are legalized in the future, and you wish to offer those activities at the premises, we agree to use our best efforts to make those activities available to you on mutually agreed terms.

And in view of our significant capital investment… you agree not to permit anyone other than us to offer, supply, or install gambling activities under any circumstances before the scheduled expiration date of the agreement.

The deal, according to Big Red Keno, is valid until 2033. However, the Winnebago Tribe’s Ho-Chunk Inc. and the Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association revealed plans in March to develop a 220$million hotel, casino, and event center on the Lincoln site. The horsemen’s group owns the area.

Despite Big Red Keno’s efforts to discuss the matter with Lincoln’s racecourse, Lincoln racecourse refused to honor the contract and has proceeded to breach the contract by moving forward with services from another provider

said Big Red Keno’s attorney Stephan Mossman in a statement.

Big Red Keno is seeking the court to prohibit anybody other than Big Red Keno from offering, supplying, or installing gaming activities at the premises “under any circumstances” before 2033. It also seeks payment for any monetary damages.

Chris Jerram, an attorney for Omaha Exposition and racing, stated in a letter to Big Red Keno that the OER is not the one increasing gaming. It just rents the land and runs the races. The lease does not give OER sole possession of the land, and it expires in January 2024.

The new casino will be built, owned, and operated by Ho-Chunk.

Morgan is unconcerned that the legal action will cause them to change or postpone their plans.

The Benevolent and Protective Association of Nebraska Horsemen declined to comment on the case.  


Sullivan County Casinos Resume Operations on Wednesday

After being shut for almost 6 months, the US economy is slowly resuming its operations. Amongst many other business activities, casinos are also being operational with a reduced capacity along with a few restrictions on social distancing.

On Wednesday, Sullivan County casinos were also seen reopened with capacity limited to 25%. The permission was granted to the state’s four non-tribal casinos last week on September 9. All these casinos were shut down since March due to the Covid-19 breakout. After meeting local leaders and press, the casino operators convinced the New York government to resume operations safely. The safety measures (in the wake of Coronavirus) such as installing thermal imaging machines, ultrasonic cleaning technology, and medical-grade filters, etc. are now mandatory in several institutions and business establishments.

Additionally, all visitors are required to wear masks while playing inside the casino. On the opening of casinos, Genting Americas East has posted a 21-point Safety Plan online. Genting Americas East is the major stakeholder in the Resorts World. It will be subject to create and ensure the implementation of strict safety protocols across the casinos. The 21-point safety plan released includes social distancing, thermal-scan for a temperature check, intensified cleaning at casinos, over 200 stations for hand-sanitizing, face mask, and much more.

According to Bob DeSalvio (president of Genting Americas East), their team at The Resorts World has been waiting for reopening since long with great hope. No doubt there are tough times of pandemic going on. But, we take up the responsibility of staying safe while having fun and entertainment in the casinos, he added.

At the moment, the visitors will have access to only 100,000 square feet of the gaming floor including slot machines and around 150 table games. To maintain social distancing, the tables are separated from plexiglass dividers. For the visitors, the view of the casinos will be a bit different as it used to be. However, they can surely have some fun.


Rivers Casino And Resort Postpones its Reopening

New York-based Rivers Casino & Resort will have to wait beyond September 9, 2020, to resume operations. According to Rivers’ General Manager Justin Moore, the casino is still working with state regulators on some aspects of the casino reopening guidelines, which is causing the delay.

All state-approved casinos except Rivers are set to reopen on September 9 following an order issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo on September 3. In his announcement, Cuomo gave many relaxations to casinos, such as operating at 25% occupancy. He also instructed casinos to have specific health safety protocols in place to prevent coronavirus spread, such as installing enhanced air filtration systems.

Rivers is taking all the steps required to provide its guests with a safe gaming environment. Moore adds that the health safety of casino occupants is their utmost priority, and they are prepared to comply with state guidance in this regard. He assures that the casino would adhere to Cuomo’s instructions of social distancing, mandatory face mask-wearing, and no eating or drinking on the gaming floor.

This is the first time since March 2020 that New York casinos will be open to the public. With their reopening, casinos are hoping to make profits again. Moore says that Rivers would announce its reopening date soon after getting approval from the state for activities like table games and sports betting. He clarifies that if the state does not allow table games, then Rivers will not reopen.


South Korean Casinos to Remain Shut Down as New COVID-19 Cases Emerge

Coronavirus cases are once again on the rise in South Korea, which is forcing many casinos, Kangwon Land and Paradise City, in particular, to extend the shutdown of their operations.

Paradise City announced to close all its gaming operations for an indefinite period with its non-gaming services to reopen on September 9, 2020. One of the foreigner-only casinos in South Korea, Paradise City, was forced to undergo closure after reporting six new COVID-19 cases among its staff.

In a statement released by the casino, Paradise City reiterated its commitment to protect its guests, staff, and the public.

Similarly, Kangwon Land decided to have all its operations remain shut down until September 21, 2020. Kangwon Land, which is for locals only, somehow managed to operate for a month after being reopened in July 2020 and facing closure since February 2020.

Such a prolonged closure is resulting in heavy losses for both casinos. In their earnings report released for 2020, Paradise City reported a yearly drop of 51.4 percent year-on-year, while Kangwon Land witnessed second-quarter revenue declining to 91.4 percent year-on-year.

Though Paradise City seems to be faring well than most of the casinos in the country, the extended closure is undoubtedly going to hurt it more in terms of business revenues.

Earlier, both Paradise City and Kangwon Land planned to reopen on September 7, 2020. Until reopened, these casinos will work with quarantine authorities over disinfecting and inspection protocols at their gaming venues.

Casinos have suffered significant losses in revenue after months-long closure due to the pandemic. After being allowed to reopen, they were hoping to rebound. To see the South Korean businesses thriving again, the government needs to work in tandem with the casinos over safety measures and keep a check on COVID-19 cases.


Elements Casino Announces Reopening on Sept 28 2020

After getting hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, Ontario is following a well-planned framework to implement an economic reopening plan to normalize operations and revenue flow. As per its stage 3 framework, Casinos are allowed to reopen given that they adhere to safety measures.

Great Canadian Gaming Corporation has announced the opening of all of its eleven properties on September 28. With this announcement, Elements Casino in Brantford is also restarting its operations on the same day.

In the wake of Covid-19, there have been some health and safety guidelines for the casinos to be operational. The total number of guests allowed in the casino is limited to 50 at a time. As of now, only slot machines in use will be operational and there still will be a restriction on table games. The food and beverage outlets in the casino will also remain closed.

In the upcoming weeks, there will be an online reservation tool available on the main page of Elements’ website. All the guests who are willing to play need to book an online play session prior to their visit to the casino. It is notable that all the promotional offers including free slot/match play and other gifting offers issued before April will no longer be valid. On the contrary, the existing free play balances and loyalty program points will be carried forward on the accounts.

With regards to safety measures, a spokesperson of Elements Casino said that the health and safety of their guests is always their priority. They are working diligently to develop a comprehensive health & safety plan for all of their sites, in collaboration with gaming regulators and provincial health officials. The casino business has been hit hard by almost 6 months-long shutdown. And, now it is time to reinitialize the businesses for recovering the losses.


Encouraging Results for SkyCity’s Online Casino in First Year of Operation

SkyCity Entertainment Group, a New Zealand-based casino operator, has shown remarkable results in its first year of operations. The whole planet witnessed a complete lockdown for a major part of this year because of the pandemic. The country closed its borders in March, and the gambling establishments had to do without their regular tourist clientele.

The annual financial report released on Thursday showed very encouraging results. For the 12-months ending June 30, revenues shot up by 36.8% year-on-year to reach NZ$1.125b (US$761m). Earnings and net profit after tax were equally positive, showing NZ$348.3m (a rise of 17%) and NZ$235.4m (rise of a staggering 62.8%), respectively.  

What makes these figures particularly laudable, are the adverse conditions that the SkyCity Entertainment Group went through last year.  Its under-construction New Zealand International Conventional Center (NZICC) at Auckland was almost razed to the ground in a major fire. Further, its three casinos in New Zealand and the one at Adelaide, Australia were closed since March because of Covid-19.

An analysis of the figures shows that business was booming at the casinos; however, this is entirely not true. It shows a different picture if the normalized stats discounts are excluded from the calculations. Certain variables that lie outside the purview of operational revenue and profits are included in the balance sheet. Firstly, the SkyCity’s long-period concession car park sale, followed by the non-cash compensation of 150m AUD for the under-renovation Adelaide casino license and a revised time limit to achieve durable potential earnings post-expansion.

When the concession-type “normalized” level is taken into account, the picture changes radically – revenue down by a quarter to NZ$779.5m, earnings drop by 37.7% to NZ$200.7m, and profit after tax crash by nearly 60% to NZ$66.3m.


California Supreme Court Grants Permission For Casino Near Madera

After almost two decades of struggle, North Fork Rancheria Resort Hotel & Casino near Madera gets a green signal from the state supreme court.

Elaine Bethel-Fink, Chairperson of North Fork Rancheria Tribe, showed immense pleasure on the court’s approval for their project. In a press release, he said that it had been too long that their tribal community was kept away from 1000s of jobs and economic benefits of billions of dollars that would have come from tribal gaming casinos. However, the community is now thrilled with this decision of the California state court, he added.

It was 2003 when the tribe signed an agreement with Station Casinos of Las Vegas. Under this agreement, the tribe proposed an idea of the development and management of a tribal gaming casino near the city of Madera along Highway 99. Following this, the tribe sought permission in 2004 from the federal government to commence the development of this casino, solely meant for gaming purposes.

The federal review took almost seven years to present its statement in favor of the Madera casino. It requested Gov. Jerry Brown to move forward with his concurrence. The review found this proposed casino project to stand in favor of the tribe and would not disturb the surrounding community of Madera. A year later, in 2012, Brown approved this off-reservation tribal casino project in Madera county.

The New Madera County Casino

The new casino in Madera county by the tribal community will be located at Avenue 17 (adjacent to Highway 99). The site is spread in a 305-acre area in the tribe’s ancestral lands. The plan is to build a 200-room hotel, an entertainment lounge that will be a house to 40 table games and 2,000 slot machines. Additionally, there will be restaurants and meeting spaces available in the building.

Now when the State’s court has granted permission for tribal casinos, the Mono Indians can move ahead with the design, construction, and financing of the casino. Although there was a long-drawn drama for granting permission to a tribal gaming casino, the Mono Indians of North Fork Rancheria are delighted with the State court’s decision in their favor. They are happy with a plethora of financial opportunities associated with this project, as it would benefit their tribe in multiple ways.