Casino News Roundup: BC, Michigan, Bellagio

From Canada to the United States, there was plenty of news in the world of casinos in the past week. Let's take a closer look at three of the major gaming stories we've been following.

B.C. Government Partners With Evolution Gaming

The British Columbia government has signed a contract with Evolution Gaming, a company from Sweden that offers a live casino service. The contract is for five years and it will offer video of tables featuring blackjack, baccarat and roulette via their PlayNow website. There will be a live dealer feature as well.

Evolution Gaming is also building a studio in Vancouver that will be in the 16,000 square-foot range while creating over 170 jobs. These table games will be ready for play for about 16 hours per day. If this works out for the BC Lottery Corporation, Evolution Gaming could be made available to other provinces as well.

Michigan Making Progress With Online Gaming?

Michigan is still in the running to join Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey for legalizing online gaming, but the process has been moving quite slowly. Michigan first passed online lottery sales in 2014 but it wasn't until October 2016 that a bill looking to regulate online gaming and poker by State Senator Mike Kowall was said to have moved the needle. Now they've taken another step forward. There is a plan to use the major casinos in the state (the Greektown Casino, the MGM Grand and the Motor City Casino, as well as Native casinos) as the outlets for online gaming. This means you could only go to these casinos to play these games, which is a middle ground for the casinos that feel they'd lose business by people playing online.

While it may seem odd to have to go to a land-based casino to play online casino games, that model has worked well. The formula has produced solid revenues in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. As a matter of fact, Atlantic City's gambling revenues are on the rise mostly in part to casinos being allowed to offer online gaming. Michigan looks like they are trying to follow that model.

Bellagio Blaze Caused By Faulty Light Fixture

The Las Vegas Strip had to be closed as the rooftop at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino caught on fire. Although there were some rumors that the blaze had been started maliciously, officials are now saying that a faulty light fixture was the cause of the flames. It first began on an exterior wall of the north retail wing. Although it may seem odd that the outside material of a building would be flammable, a lot of the places on The Strip use a building material called Exterior Installation and Finish System, which is a plastic that can be highly flammable.

The Clark County Fire Department was quick to respond to the blaze as reports indicated that the firefighters arrived within five minutes of being called to the scene. They managed to put it out in 19 minutes. The challenge was that where the fire was located, it still took some time to get on the roof. As a precaution, they figured it was best to close the entire Strip. The fire obviously drew a crowd in front of the world-famous water fountain at the Bellagio.