SugarHouse’s New Event Space Opens This Weekend

sugarhouse-event-space-opening

SugarHouse opens its new events space to the public this weekend with a LeAnn Rimes concert. And, the casino announced this week the second performer to appear: Comedian Trevor Noah, the new host of The Daily Show, will perform on April 23rd.

“This will be a powerhouse concert with an intimate feel, and we can’t wait to show off the new Center,” said Wendy Hamilton, general manager of SugarHouse Casino, said in a release. “LeAnn Rimes is the perfect vocalist to introduce Philadelphia to the city’s newest venue.” Read more »

N.J. Announces Regulations for Skill-Based Casino Video Games

Attack from Mars pinball

The Attack from Mars pinball machine at the Silverball Museum in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Based on the skyline, this pinball game is set in Philadelphia.

New Jersey gambling is going to get a little more exciting soon.

Today, the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement today legalized more ways to gamble: Namely, it announced temporary regulations for skill-based gaming: Instead of sliding bills into a slot machine where you have no control over whether you win, you’ll be able to play skill-based games for real money in Atlantic City casinos.

“This is another important step towards implementing skill-based gaming in the Atlantic City gaming market,” DGE director David Rebuck said. “Although the Division has had the authority to authorize these games for some time and announced in October 2014 an initiative for manufacturers to bring their skill-based games to New Jersey, the industry requested specific regulations to guide their efforts to create innovative skill-based products.”

The regulations allow game outcomes to be “dependent in whole or in part upon the player’s physical dexterity and/or mental ability.” Slot machines with skill-based elements must pay out at least 83 percent, while games that are entirely skill-based do not have a hold minimum. Games can’t be altered during play in order to make it tougher for a skilled player to win. Read more »

There Will Be an Atlantic City Segment on New Year’s Eve the Next 3 Years

"Miss America 1953 swimsuit competition" by Fred Hess & Son - This image is available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID pan.6a24762.This tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. A normal copyright tag is still required. See Commons:Licensing for more information. العربية | čeština | Deutsch | English | español | فارسی | suomi | français | magyar | italiano | македонски | മലയാളം | Nederlands | polski | português | русский | slovenčina | slovenščina | Türkçe | українська | 中文 | 中文(简体)‎ | 中文(繁體)‎ | +/−. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Miss America 1953 swimsuit competition” by Fred Hess & Son. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Yesterday, the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority agreed to pay $12.5 million to keep Miss America in Atlantic City for the next three years. That’s a lot for the city that once ceremonially renamed the street called Miss America Way when the pageant left town for a decade, especially when the event lasts just one week a year.

But wait until you see what the city got for it: Dick Clark Productions, which runs Miss America, is required to produce a live performance from Atlantic City during the Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin Eve TV special for the next three specials. The Inquirer reports the contract even goes through January 1st, 2019. Read more »

Appeals Court: Trump Taj Mahal Can Strip Union Benefits

Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City

Photo | Dan McQuade

A federal appeals court has ruled that Trump Entertainment — the parent company of the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City — can strip pension and health benefits from about 1,100 union workers at Trump Taj Mahal. The fight may not be over: Previously, UNITE-HERE Local 54 said it would appeal to the Supreme Court if it lost at the appeals level.

Trump Entertainment Resorts no longer has a connection to Donald Trump other than an agreement to use the name. If the union decides not to appeal to a higher court or exhausts its appeals, the company will execute its plan to emerge from bankruptcy: Trump Entertainment’s chief lender, Carl Icahn, will take over the company. Read more »

Board to Monitor South Philly Casino’s Lofty Diversity Promises

The most recent artist's rendering of the Live! Casino at Packer Ave. and Darien Streets in South Philadelphia. (Photo courtesy of Stadium Casino LLC)

The most recent artist’s rendering of the Live! Casino at Packer Ave. and Darien Streets in South Philadelphia. (Photo courtesy of Stadium Casino LLC)

Last week, Stadium Casino announced ambitious diversity goals for its soon-to-be-built casino in the South Philadelphia. It promised that 50 percent of the post-construction workforce will be minorities and 40 percent will be women. It promised that 47 percent to 58 percent of construction contracts will be awarded to companies deemed Minority Business Enterprises or Women Business Enterprises. It promised no dress code in any part of the facility — following a lawsuit claiming that Cordish Co. (one of the casino owners) used restrictive dress codes and other methods to limit black visitors at a facility in Kentucky. Read more »

Why Pennsylvania Should Follow Nevada’s Lead and Regulate FanDuel and DraftKings

fanduel-draftkingsNevada is rarely a pillar of morality or model lawmaking.

However, the state’s decision last week to shut down daily fantasy sports operators such as DraftKings and FanDuel until they obtain gaming licenses is a path Pennsylvania should emulate.

By classifying daily fantasy sports as gambling — because that’s what it really is — rather than a game of skill, Nevada determined that a proper license from the Gaming Control Board is necessary to do business in the state. Nevada is now the sixth state to outlaw or limit daily fantasy sports — and there are plenty of others seeking to regulate or ban the increasingly popular contests. Currently, New York, Delaware, Illinois, and even the U.S. Congress are investigating the legality of daily fantasy sports. Read more »

These 2 Bills Would Allow Sports Gambling, Airport Slots in Pa.

Slot machine with basketball and planes

Original photo by Garry Knight used under a Creative Commons license.

A Pennsylvania lawmaker is in a mood to expand legalized gambling. Not only does he want to make it legal for you to gamble on sports, he wants airports to be allowed to install slot machines in boarding areas.

Those are the two bills pushed by State Rep. Nick Kotik, a Democrat in Allegheny County. Kotik is the Democratic chair of the gambling oversight committee. Yesterday he introduced HB1606, a bill that would legalize sports gambling in the state.

Under federal law, sports betting is illegal in all but four states: Nevada, Oregon, Delaware and Montana. Only Nevada offers betting on individual games. The only option in Delaware is technically a “sports lottery” and offers parlay cards. But New Jersey passed a bill legalizing sports gambling in 2012 and is challenging federal law in court; today the 3rd circuit vacated its previous ruling against the state and the full third circuit will re-hear the case in a few months. Read more »

Shaq Invented a New Form of Blackjack and He’s Debuting It at Parx

ShaqBLACKJack

Photo via PRNewsFoto/Parx Casino

Shaquille O’Neal is a man of many talents. Basketball, acting, rapping, trying to build apartments in Atlantic City, tweeting, et cetera.

And now, perhaps, he’s made his greatest accomplishment: Shaquille O’Neal and Dynamic Gaming Systems have invented a new form of blackjack. It’s officially called ShaqBLACKJack, but most of the logos seem to make you want to call it Shaq Jack.

According to a release, Dynamic Gaming Systems and O’Neal literally spent four years developing this game. One pictures O’Neal in his basement, furiously flipping through a deck of cards and coding different games on a UNIX machine. Read more »

Stockton: Icahn Wanted 1,331 Hotel Rooms to Waive Casino Pact

Showboat Casino

Showboat Casino on September 1st, 2014, the day after it closed. (Photo: Dan McQuade)

Yesterday, an independent report commissioned by Stockton University about the school’s disastrous purchase of the former Showboat casino was released. The report blamed many, but mostly former Stockton president Herman Saatkamp, who was forced to resign in the wake of the sale.

Stockton bought the former Showboat casino from Caesars last year for use as a branch campus. But Trump Entertainment Resorts, which owns the nearby Trump Taj Mahal, said it would enforce a 1988 pact that said the Showboat could only be used as a casino. (There is also a deed restriction on the property that says it can’t be used as a casino; this will probably be hashed out in court now that the property will reportedly be sold to Bart Blatstein.)

The company said the reason for enforcing the deed restriction was because the college would attract underage gamblers who would attempt to gamble at the Taj. “[W]e believe that having a college located next door to the Taj will hurt our business and create numerous problems for us going forward,” Trump Entertainment Resorts said in a statement in March. “The scenario of young college students residing full time in a dormitory a few steps away from the Taj is entirely different from allowing families to dine in our restaurants.”

The report, however, says Trump Entertainment (which no longer has a connection with the GOP frontrunner other than the name) was willing to waive the deed restrictions — if Stockton would give them all its hotel rooms each summer. Read more »

Insider: African-American Leadership Is Rolling Over for Casino Deal

live-casino-rendering-10th-street-perspective.0.168.4000.1914.752.360.c

[Update: Wednesday, Sept. 23, 3 p.m.] After publication of this op-ed, Philly mag learned that the author performed public relations work for the National Action Network, an organization that is a central player in this controversy. That fact should have been disclosed to readers. Citified regrets the omission.

[Original]

(Editor’s note: This is an opinion column from a Citified insider. McCalla is a policy consultant who has provided pro bono advice to mayoral candidate Anthony H. Williams and other candidates this election cycle.) 

To quote the lyrics of famed Rapper Flo Rida, “It’s goin’ down fo’ real”!

At the August 18th meeting of the City Planning Commission, fat-cat executives and exquisitely dressed lobbyists from the Cordish Companies presented their preliminary plans for Live! Hotel & Casino, to be located in the South Philly Sports Complex.

It was there and then that Paula Peebles, local founder and chair of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, informed commissioners that her organization was aware of and concerned by unresolved lawsuits alleging racial discrimination at casinos Cordish operates (eight have been filed since 2010, in which plaintiffs say, for instance, the company used dress codes as pretense to keep black patrons out). Peebles warned that NAN would conduct its own probe and, if the group found the allegations credible, she would lead it in a battle to oppose commission and City Council approval of the gambling house.

This put NAN nose to nose with the politically potent Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity. Read more »

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