Indy Gaming: Research gives AGA ammunition in fight with illegal gambling operations
American Gaming Association CEO Bill Miller said in October that the legal casino industry misses out on $300 billion annually that gamblers wager with illegal betting operations. The study conducted by The Innovation Group found that illegal gambling costs the industry $44.2 billion in potential gaming revenue. AGA asked the U.S. Department of Justice to crack down on illegal, online sportsbooks and casinos as well as unregulated “skill game” slot machines. It's unclear whether Congress will jump on the issue. A vice president of AGA said the research was sent to all 535 members of Congress.
VICI Properties bought out rival REIT Blackstone's 49.9 percent ownership of MGM Grand Las Vegas and Mandalay Bay for $5.5 billion. VICi will own the land and buildings associated with 10 Strip resorts managed by three companies. Blackstones will keep its 95 percent share in Bellagio and its 100 percent stake in Aria. VicI has 43 gaming properties across the U.S. operated by eight different casino companies and access to more than $ 5.25 billion in cash and bank financing.
Wynn Resorts completed a $1.7 billion sale of the land and buildings covering Encore Boston Harbor to a real estate investment trust. The proceeds will be used to build a gaming and hospitality resort on Al Marjan Island in Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates. EnCore Boston Harbour opened in 2019 and is Massachusetts’ largest hotel-casino.
Apollo Global Management gave $11 million in awards to Venetian complex employees. The company has operated the Venenian, Palazzo and Veneta Expo for the past 10 months. It paid $2.25 billion for operations of the complex in February. Venettian CEO Patrick Nichols took over the operations in June.
Macau's gaming revenue is down 50.9% from 2021. The market is headed for its lowest single-year gaming total in almost two decades. November's revenue of $376 million was announced days after the government tentatively renewed the gaming licenses for the market's six casino operators. J.P. Morgan gaming analyst Joe Greff thinks China may be ready to ease travel restrictions into Macau and reduce or eliminate the draconian zero-COVID measures. Jefferies gaming analysts say the policy leaves uncertainty over the Macao market’s recovery.
Sheng Thao wants to keep the Oakland A's in the city. She will replace term-limited Mayor Libby Schaaf in January.
Hyatt Hotels is acquiring Dream Hotel Group for $125 million. Dream operates 12 hotels across the Americas, Europe and Asia and 24 properties are under development. The $550 million Dream Las Vegas is on the Strip's southern end near the “Welcome to Las Las Vegas Sign”.
Truist Securities boosted its ratings covering MGM Resorts International. The firm expects the casino company to outperform its peers on the Strip due to a strong event calendar and the return of midweek business travel.