MGM Resorts has proposed a casino in Atlanta, one of the largest cities in the U.S. without legalized gambling. The proposal includes a $1 billion investment that would be used to construct a Las Vegas-style resort with hotel rooms, restaurants, and other amenities. MGM estimates that it would add $250 million in taxes per year to the HOPE Scholarship. This is the fund operated by the Georgia Lottery that administers scholarships to qualified college students with lottery proceeds. It also funds other education initiatives.
Legalizing casinos in Georgia is a long shot. It would require a two-thirds vote in both houses of the General Assembly. It would then require a statewide referendum to change the state constitution. Georgia is a very conservative state where the topic of gambling is a heated topic. The Georgia Lottery is the only form of legalized gambling in the state.
Macau Travel Restrictions Eased
The Chinese government eased visitation rules that allow mainland residents to visit Macau for seven days, up from five. It also permits residents to visit twice per month. The previous policy only allowed two visits every 60 days. Macau has struggled since a corruption crackdown hurt the ability for Chinese residents to move money and visit for extended periods. Macau posted its 13th straight month of declining revenue in June.
Boyd Gaming to Expand Delta Downs
Boyd Gaming announced that it will add 167 hotel rooms to its Delta Downs Racetrack and Casino located in Vinton, Louisiana, located just west of Lake Charles. It is the closest casino market to Houston. The Delta Downs expansion is expected to be completed in 2016. Delta Downs will host 370 rooms when the addition is finished.
New Jersey Casino Ballot Initiative Likely Dead
An attempt to get a constitutional amendment allowing for the expansion of casinos in New Jersey to the Meadowlands appears to be dead. State Senator Jim Whelan, also former mayor of Atlantic City, told the Associated Press that he was 98 percent sure the attempts to get a ballot initiative would miss the deadline to get it on the November ballot. Whelan cited a lack of consensus on stakeholders as the reason.
Cosmopolitan Defendant in Suit by Georgia Law Firm
The Georgia law firm Morris Schneider Wittstadt filed suit against Cosmopolitan Las Vegas alleging the casino received improper wire transfers from an account owned by the firm. The suit alleges $3.4 million was transferred to Cosmopolitan in 2012. The law firm states that the funds were not approved and sent by a partner, Nathan Hardwick IV, for personal gambling purposes.
South Dakota Launches Craps and Roulette
South Dakota law changed on July 1 that approved three new games; craps, roulette, and keno. Two of these games went live on July 1 at 8am in Deadwood, the only location for casino gaming in South Dakota. Roulette is now available at Silverado, Franklin, Gold Dust, Tin Lizzie’s, and Cadillac Jack’s. Craps is spread at Silverado, Tin Lizzie’s, and Cadillac Jack’s.
While the new law permits these new games at the state’s reservation casinos, none currently spread them. Live keno is not yet available at any South Dakota casino. Video keno is spread at virtually all casinos in the state and at the more than 1,000 video lottery casinos in South Dakota.