Casino News Roundup: Pennsylvania Payoff, Macau Revenues, Hard Rock

This week’s casino news starts off in Pennsylvania before stopping off in Macau and coming back to Canada’s capital city of Ottawa. Here is a look at the biggest casino news of the week from around the world.

Pennsylvania’s New Gambling Law Takes Two Days To Pay Off

The state of Pennsylvania has picked up their first million dollars of revenue from gambling from their new law. The new legislation was just two days old after Governor Tom Wolf signed the bill last Monday. As a result, Valley Forge Casino paid a million dollars to ease up on its “resort” license, which meant that the only people that could be on the floor of the casino were guests, those who had a membership and paying customers. Now, people can enjoy all of the amenities at the casino, no matter what their business is there.

Pennsylvania has also decided to open 10 mini-casinos in the state, along with “casino-style” gaming at airports and truck stops, as well as online portals. As a state that is trying desperately to get rid of its deficit, Pennsylvania is open to anything and everything in terms of revenue streams.

Macau Revenues On The Rise

Recent reports out of Macau show that there was an uptick in gambling revenue in the last part of the month of October. As a result, that has pushed casino stocks up. Wynn Resorts was up 5.5 percent, while Las Vegas Sands went up 2.8 percent and MGM slightly over two percent. A major reason is that Macau didn’t get hit with any of the new regulations from the Communist Party Congress, which is a switch from the downturn that hit the Macau casino industry caused by strict rules against gambling a few years ago. That meant it was a strong end of October for casinos in Macau, which reported a revenue growth of 19 to 21 percent from last October. Wall Street had estimated growth of about 16 percent, so a beat on the numbers was a nice surprise.

Hard Rock Looking To Circumvent Restrictions In Ottawa?

The Hard Rock Casino is trying to squeeze as much as possible out of the Rideau Carleton Raceway but the question is are they circumventing laws? It appears that that’s the case as the Hard Rock Casino, which is now in charge of the daily goings-on at Rideau Carleton Raceway in Ottawa, is trying to push the boundaries on a rule that says there can’t be more than 21 gaming tables in the place. Instead of going to the city council to request more (which would probably be denied), they have instead applied for 14 more gaming tables to the committee of adjustment as they want to frame this as a zoning issue. From that perspective, as a minor change to the casino, the committee of adjustment would be the one that deals with what it calls “minor changes to zoning rules.”

Coun. Diane Deans believes that it is an underhanded way of going about this and obviously they are not impressed. There are other members on the council who believe this isn’t the right way of doing things and if the Hard Rock Casino always had these plans to expand, they should have approached the council. Instead, they are viewed now as somewhat operating in bad faith. We’ll see how peeved the city council is and what they do about it, but for now, Hard Rock is getting more tables.