Casino News Roundup: Live!, Las Vegas Tourist, Bloomberry

From Philadelphia to the Philippines with Las Vegas in between, there were a number of key headlines in the casino world this week. Here is the latest casino news to get you up to speed.

Live! Hotel and Casino Philadelphia Gets Green Light

Live! Hotel and Casino Philadelphia has been trying to open a facility there for a couple years while other casinos have tried to put a stop to it. However, in a unanimous 7-0 vote last week the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board finally gave the go-ahead for the Live! Hotel and Casino Philadelphia to start building in South Philadelphia.

The biggest obstacle was the involvement of Watche "Bob" Manoukian, with the debate focused on whether or not he would have more than a third of ownership. Why that's relevant is because Manoukian is also involved with Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment and the Live! Hotel and Casino Philadelphia is rumored to be a partnership between Greenwood Racing and Cordish Companies. There were some concerns related to either collusion or having one entity with such a significant stake in multiple properties. However, after an investigation, it seems that everything is on the up-and-up and this facility can get started.

It is slated to cost around $600 million with 220 rooms in the boutique hotel, along with restaurants and shopping outlets. As for the casino, there will be around 2,000 slot machines and 125 table games.

Tourist Collects Record $11.8 Million Slot Payout

A Las Vegas visitor got quite a treat as he pulled up to a Megabucks machine at the Fremont Hotel and Casino. A man named Rodolfo T. got to the machine around 6:30pm on August 8 and wound up winning a jackpot of $11.8 million with a max-bet wager. Talk about having a lucky day, Rodolfo T. ended up reeling in the biggest jackpot won in 2017 under the Megabucks banner. Specifically, Rodolfo won his jackpot on the Megabucks Double 3X4X5X pay machine.

The Fremont Hotel and Casino has been around for 61 years and it has been called "a place where players win" by their Vice President, Jim Sullivan. A tourist winning a jackpot of $11.8 million goes a long way in proving that to be correct. Expect a lot of tourists to follow suit to see if they can win games.

Bloomberry Resorts Reports Strong Second Quarter

Bloomberry Resorts, one of the top gambling destinations in the Philippines, has reported a very good second quarter. Their net income from April to June for 2017 went up 47%, which comes out to $38.62 million. That is up $3.76 million from the same period in 2016. A major reason for this is a wave of Chinese tourists visiting the country. Much of this is due to President Rodrigo Duterte, who has been working with China to try and make some connections so the two can boost their tourism economy. It seems to be working - particularly at the Solaire Resort and Casino -  which has seen growth in a lot of major categories. Its VIP volume has gone up 14.5%, its mass table drop has increased by 20.1% and its slot coin-in has bumped up 29.4%. The mass table revenue was reported to be just over $63 million, and the slots revenue came out to be just over $55 million.

While Macau has rebounded, it's still not back to what it used to be, and Chinese players have looked for other destinations. It looks like the Philippines has been one of the beneficiaries. They'll try and build on this momentum as President Duterte aims to build an even stronger relationship with China.