It was a busy week in the world of casino news as a number of different gaming-related cases were under investigation. We'll start in the United Kingdom where a lack of mention of rollover requirements has pushed regulators to crack down on casino advertisements.
United Kingdom to Crack Down on Misleading Online Casino Ads
Following an eight-month probe, the United Kingdom has said they'll crack down on casino advertisements that overpromise and under deliver. There have been a slew of recent ads where online casinos say they'll give their players cash and free bets, but don't mention that they'll have to gamble to get it. It is a breach of consumer laws in the country and regulators will be cracking down because they feel it lures in vulnerable victims. Of course, that's what the casinos are looking for but the regulators would like the ads to be more transparent.
The ads in question say that they'll give a player free money - something along the lines of 10 pounds when they wager that amount - but the kicker is that they have to play a number of times before they can make that withdrawal. To experienced online bettors, this is simply referred to as a rollover and is standard practice. However, governments aren't aware and feel that without the mention of the rollover, customers are being misled.
Live! Hotel and Casino Stalls Due to Supreme Court Investigation
The Live! Hotel and Casino project was approved in December 2015 but it's been a long, challenging process to get the wheels in motion. That's because there have been - and continue to be - a lot of obstacles in the courts. The latest news is that the Supreme Court will take a closer look at the ownership of the casino, specifically where there is any involvement from Watche "Bob" Manoukian. He also owns about 85% of Parx Casino and they're concerned that he could be gaining too great of the casino share. Regulators are investigating whether he would be owning a third of the Live! Hotel and Casino. The $450 million project is slated to become the 13th casino in Pennsylvania and fifth that is around the city of Philadelphia.
Pennsylvania would like to get it going as it is supposed to post about $300 million a year in revenue, and it would make about 1,000 jobs, including 2,000 permanent jobs. SugarHouse Casino has been a thorn in their side as they accused Manoukian of hiding his involvement in the project, so they're going to investigate whether that's a legitimate claim or whether it's a competitor trying to throw a stick in the spokes.
There are supposed to be about 2,000 slots games and over 100 table games at Live!, but it is on the backburner right now.
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City Gets Opening Date
The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City finally has a date in place to open next year as the resort will target Memorial Day weekend. As you may recall, this was the casino that was known as the Trump Taj Mahal, which was owned by current United States President Donald Trump and then later billionaire investor Carl Icahn. There have been $400 million in renovations done to the casino, which was closed in 2016 as there was a decline in gambling. There was also a rift with employees, which led to a strike.
The Seminole Tribe, which now owns it, are hoping to restore the facility to its past glory as the Trump Taj Mahal was the highest grossing casino in the city until the Borgata came along. We're still about a year away from seeing what the new venue will look like but at least the casino won't completely disappear off the Atlantic City map as had been feared before.