Macau Drops Again, IRS Considers Decreasing Jackpot Reporting, and Iran Behind LVS Hacking

Macau Posts 49 Percent Drop in Gaming Revenue

Macau posted a February 2015 gaming win of $2.44 billion. That was down 49 percent from February 2014, the peak of gaming revenue in Macau.  The world’s largest gaming market won $4.8 during the same month last year.

The market is suffering from restrictions that burden the ability for high rollers to bring substantial amounts of cash to Macau from mainland China.  This has created a drop in gaming revenue every month since June 2014.  The previous six months have all been down double digits on a percentage basis against the same month in the previous year.  That is still more than double the gaming win in Nevada.

IRS Considering Lowering Reported Slot Win

The IRS has proposed requiring slot wins of $600 or more to be reported on a Form W2-G.  The current minimum win for such requirement is $1,200 for slots and $1,500 for keno.  This has drawn the ire of the casino industry that feels this new reporting requirement would drive players away from its slot and video poker machines.

Regardless of the amount reported on W2-G forms, the amount won must be reported by gamblers, even if not documented by the casino.  Gamblers may itemize gambling losses, although this creates a tax burden for payers that would otherwise take the standard deduction.  The additional requirements could prove to be a nightmare for middle-roller slot and video poker players.

Revel Sale on Hold Again

The $82 million proposed sale of Revel to Glenn Straub, the second attempt at a sale between the two parties, is on hold.  That is because a second potential interested party has emerged.  Los Angeles developer Izek Shomof has expressed that he would like a chance to bid on the failed casino.  Judge Gloria Burns postponed the current sale contract to Straub, pending more information about the new party’s interest.

Revel cost $2.4 billion to build and has been unable to sell for four cents on the dollar.  The casino opened in April 2012 and shuttered in September 2014.  Issues with existing tenants and the utility plant built specifically to power Revel have become problematic in its ability to be sold out of bankruptcy.

Las Vegas Sands Hacking Attributed to Iran

U.S. officials have named Iran as the party that hacked servers belonging to Las Vegas Sands in February 2014.  The parent company of Venetian and Palazzo saw its entire website system come crashing down.  Access to employee information was gained by the attacks.  Personal information of those employed by the company was posted online.

Iran is thought to have perpetrated this due to Sheldon Adelson’s backing of Israel.  Adelson is the founder and CEO of Las Vegas Sands and a large political contributor on positions that include foreign policy and banning his competitors from offering regulated online gambling.