Monthly Archives: August 2015

SkyCity Auckland to end zero-hours contracts

Casino operator SkyCity, the biggest single-site employer in Auckland, will provide employees with more security by ending zero-hours contracts starting next year.

Following strong revenue growth, SkyCity Auckland reached an agreement with Unite Union and the Service and Food Workers Union to give its 800 part-time and on-call staff guaranteed hours of at least 8, 16, 20 or 32 hours a week. SkyCity employees will have the option of electing a higher number of hours or remaining on their current minimum hours, depending on their individual circumstances.

SkyCity Auckland has also agreed to a 2.5% pay increase for all staff for the next two years.

Unite Union assistant secretary Tom Buckley said the agreement followed a union campaign against zero-hours contracts, which started in December. Fast food restaurants, cinema chains and two hotels have already agreed to end such contracts.

Illinois Lottery issuing IOU’s to winners; R.I.P. Minnesota Lottery online

The Illinois Lottery has stopped paying jackpot winners due to the state’s budget crisis.

The state’s fiscal year began July 1 but bickering politicians have yet to pass a budget. As such, the state is only distributing funds for essential services, which evidently doesn’t include the Lottery. But the Lottery is a state agency, and it says it has been forced to stop processing payouts of jackpots over $25k.

Lottery spokesman Stephen Rossi insisted that the money is in the Lottery’s accounts and that “all winners will be paid in full as soon as the Lottery and the Illinois comptroller have the legislative authority to do so.” Lottery winnings of $600 or less can still be cashed at participating retailers, while prizes between $600 and $25k can be redeemed at official Lottery claims centers.

Jackpot winners are understandably miffed at the Lottery’s stalling, but it’s unclear whether the bad publicity is having a negative effect on sales. Meanwhile, one local wag couldn’t help reminiscing that the infamous Chicago Outfit bookies were far better about paying their winning bettors because they knew not doing so was bad for business. Featured Conferences & Events: September 2015

Betting on Football Conference

SBC’s second annual Betting on Football Conference is taking place on Thursday, September 10th at the Arsenal FC Stadium.  This one-day event brings the football and betting industries together for a series of conference sessions covering partnership deal strategy, innovation in football betting, the Asian market and more.

Following the sessions, delegates will be treated to a tour of the facilities, a chance for picture with the FA Cup trophy and a late night networking bar sponsored by TXODDS.

What: Betting on Football Conference to cover the new Asia’s iGaming Social

Sports Betting Community (SBC) and Asia Gambling Brief (AGB) have rolled out its next Asia iGaming Social in Manila, the Asian Gaming Autumn Social, designed to bring together local iGaming professionals for drinks, food and networking.

The Asian Gaming Social will be held on September 18 at Skye Bar at Fort Bonifacio, boasting stunning rooftop views, an open air bar, comfortable lounge chairs, and sexy cocktails—a perfect location for mingling and socializing.

The one-day social event attract the who’s who of the gaming scene in Manila and beyond. We’re expecting well over 100 gaming guys and gals at the September Social, so if you haven’t registered for the event, you can do so now to guarantee your entry to one of the most anticipated iGaming socials in the calendar.

Manila iGaming Social, the first iGaming Social held in the Philippines hosted by SBC Asia and AGF, drew over 75 iGaming companies from all over the world, each of whom had many of their representatives in attendance during the event.

Macau GDP tumbles; pawn shops still processing bogus UnionPay transactions

Macau’s gross domestic product fell more than one-quarter in Q2 as the special administrative region’s casino-based economy continues to struggle.

Figures released Monday by Macau’s government showed GDP falling 26.4% in the three months ending June 30, a worse result than Q1’s 24.5% decline. That puts Macau’s economic output at a low not seen since early 2011.

The numbers come one day before Macau releases its August casino gaming revenue figures, which analysts expect to be down around 38% from the same month last year. That would reverse a recent trend during the current 14-month revenue slide that appeared to indicate a slowing pace of monthly declines.


John Juanda Returns to Poker, Wins Record EPT Barcelona

John Juanda celebrated his return to the international poker tournament circuit by winning the largest ever EPT Main Event in its history in Barcelona over the weekend. Juanda, who had taken a year off from poker in order to learn new languages and concentrate on his fitness, marked his comeback in style, charging through a record-breaking […]

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Playtech Celebrates Revenue Boosts in Everything But Online Poker, Says Global Regulatory Climate is Challenging

Playtech, the world’s largest online gaming and sports betting software supplier (according to its own website) has reported a 33 percent gain in the company’s revenues for the first half of 2015. That’s compared to the previous year, a rise that included an improvement in the company’s performance in regulated markets. But the firm has […]

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Loto-Quebec’s online gambling revenue rises one-quarter

The government-run online gambling site in the Canadian province of Quebec saw revenue rise more than one-quarter to start its new fiscal year.

Loto-Quebec reported that revenue at its site had risen 27.4% to around C$8.5m (US $6.5m) in the three months ending June 29.

The company partially credited the gains to the June 2014 launch of online bingo and the sharing of bingo liquidity with the provincially-run online sites in Manitoba and British Columbia. Loto-Quebec said online bingo attracts “a different clientele” than land-based bingo halls.

Beyond that, Loto-Quebec had bupkis to say regarding its online operations. There was no mention of its controversial plans to IP-block online operators that aren’t named Espacejeux. There was also no update on its proposal to offer licenses to select international online gambling sites, which the province abruptly decided was a good idea shortly after the Montreal-based Amaya Gaming – which supplies gaming technology to Loto-Quebec – purchased PokerStars and Full Tilt.

Richard Schuetz leaves California, joins Bermuda gaming regulator

California Gambling Control Commission (CGCC) member Richard Schuetz is ditching the Golden State to take up a similar job in Bermuda.

On Monday, Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission (BCGC) chairman Alan Dunch announced that Schuetz was stepping down from his California position effective immediately and would assume his new role as BCGC executive director on Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Dunch said Schuetz’s years of experience in the gaming industry, which includes acting as CEO of the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and a stint on the board of gaming equipment supplier Shuffle Master, would be of great use to the BCGC as it prepares to “introduce casinos to Bermuda.”

The BCGC was formed in February of this year, two months after the country passed the Casino Gaming Act 2014. The legislation, which took years to garner sufficient legislative support, calls for a maximum of three casinos to be built in Bermuda.