Casino News Roundup: Chicago Proposal, SugarHouse History, Dominoes Game

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This week’s news focuses on three different American states making headlines in the casino world for different reasons. We’ll start in Chicago with the all-too-common story of a government that’s looking to introduce a casino to help with a struggling state budget. 

Chicago Mayor Makes Casino Proposal

Before he leaves office next May, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to get a new casino built to provide revenue for the city and the state of Illinois. It’s not surprising that the city is looking at all avenues of helping the budget as there is grave concern about how it’ll cover future pensions. 

What’s excited the city of Chicago – in terms of potential revenue gains – is that Chicagoans reportedly spend near $40 million per month at casinos in Indiana. In other words, it’s money that’s leaving the state just across the Illinois-Indiana border. That has persuaded Emanuel to push a casino project in the southeastern part of the greater Chicago area. Illinois state lawmakers will have to pass a budget by May, which means that the budget for the casino will be hard to insert into upcoming budget projections. 

SugarHouse Casino Makes History

The SugarHouse Casino recorded a first this past weekend: It became the first casino to take a bet in a licensed sportsbook in the city of Philadelphia. The opening bets were made and activity began as the city became part of the state of Pennsylvania’s efforts to raise revenues now that the legal doors have been opened to sports betting throughout the United States.

Philadelphia has been watching a neighboring state like New Jersey flourish in this realm, so it is hoping to see some business on its end too.  

UNLV Grad Creates Dominoes Game

There’s a new casino game in Las Vegas making a buzz and it could spread to casinos worldwide if this continues. A UNLV graduate has created a new game that has been the talk of the town recently.  

Howard Moret, 42, devised a Casino Dominoes game, which successfully completed a 45-day trial. The game is now awaiting official approval from the Nevada Gaming Commission. The game is still being played on a continued basis from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the Plaza Las Vegas as Moret and casino operators are waiting to see if the game will gain approval.

The game sees the dealer hand out four cards face up to each player in up to six positions at a table. The last of the four cards dealt is the “connector.”  

The goal for each player is to bridge the three domino cards to the connector. For instance, if the connector card is a 3 and a 6, any of those three dominoes connect to the other three cards if they have a 3 or a 6. Points are determined based on the value of the unconnected ends and doubles are counted on both ends.  

The challenge is that most casino games are well-known already and generally understood. Introducing something new involves a learning curve, which is a challenge both for the casino and for new players. 

Moret spent a lot of time talking to casino bosses around the state and laying out a detailed plan that would show that casino floor-based dominoes could be highly profitable for casinos, even more than blackjack.