Surprise Announcement by Dan Gilbert

Rocket Mortgage stock skyrockets!

It’s taking off like a bullet!!


  • Sharon Lee Davies-Tight 5/5/2023

The one and only Dan Gilbert of Converting Cities fame and previous owner of the Cavaliers basketball team in Cleveland, Ohio recently announced that his successful Rocket Mortgage Company will convert to a totally not-for-profit mortgage enterprise (details to be released).

Former owner of JACK Casino explained to Sharon Lee, artist, author, animal-free chef and activist, of Cleveland, that it’s his way of servicing the poor of all demographics across the board in all communities throughout the nation.

Way’da go Dan! 


Rocket Mortgage stock skyrockets! It’s taking off like a bullet!!


Take Your Medicine Rice – Ultimate Seed Explosion


The perfect non-sticky rice. Dry is good. Lots of nutrients. Just what the rice doctor ordered. Serve as is, or with sauteed veggies. Your choice!

Makes 12 cups

Continue reading “Take Your Medicine Rice – Ultimate Seed Explosion”

Steve’s Morning Wood



ALMOST RAW oats, dried fruit – cherry-berry blend, walnuts, flaxseed, cinnamon, cocoa, flaxseed, vegan yeast for B12.

MAKES 11-12 cups

Continue reading “Steve’s Morning Wood”

And Then There’s Detroit Where It All Started

Detroit’s native son, billionaire Dan Gilbert, makes the case for his town

Connie Loizos

Thu, April 15, 2021, 9:30 AM

Dan Gilbert loves his hometown of Detroit. He loves it so much that the billionaire founder of what would eventually become the mortgage lender Quicken Loans has poured at least $2.5 billion into rehabilitating buildings in the heart of the city.

He has also invested in many companies that are now tenants in those buildings, along with the restaurants and retailers that have made the scene far livelier than before Gilbert began his campaign to reestablish Detroit as one of the most important cities in the country.

We had a chance to talk with Gilbert, a father of five whose other notable interests include the highly valued e-commerce marketplace StockX, which he co-founded in 2015, and the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA team, which he acquired — along with their arena in downtown Cleveland — for a reported $375 million in 2005.

He shared why Detroit should be top of mind for founders from across the U.S. We also talked a bit about sports and why he chose a traditional IPO path for Rocket Companies, the parent company of Quicken that he took public in August of last year. Excerpts from that conversation follow.

TC: As a native Clevelander and longtime Cavs fan, I’m curious about your connection to Cleveland.

DG: When the Cavs came up for sale in 2005 or 2004, the banker who was selling them called us up because our group had made an attempt at the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team, and they thought we may want to buy the team. And the seller at the time [businessman Gordon Gund] wanted a very simple, non-complex process with one buyer. So they called us up, and we decided to do it.

TC: Well, you got us back in the game, so to speak, so thank you. In the meantime, you’ve obviously been very focused on Detroit, where you grew up and went to college. What’s the case for Detroit over other Midwestern cities?

DG: First of all, one of the metrics that companies use when they decide on a city is how many people they can reach within a five-hour drive, because they figure that talent within that five-hour circumference is willing to drive in or at least explore that city. And there are 60 million people within five hours of Detroit, including in Chicago, Toronto, all of Michigan, all of Ohio, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh — I could go on and on.

The same is true of universities. There are something like 30 major universities within a five-hour drive, including the University of Michigan, Michigan State, Wayne State, Carnegie Mellon and Ohio State, and those are just the bigger schools. There are also a bunch of great schools in Canada that specialize in software development. Collectively, that’s a huge advantage when it comes to tapping into possible talent.

Detroit has had so many decades of bad PR that it’s hard to get over that image without seeing it for yourself, but once you spend two hours here, you get it. You feel the energy. You feel the passion. You see the young people.

TC: Do you think Detroit is better suited for companies of a certain size? Things are changing quickly but there’s a learning curve in some cities regarding the specific needs of startups. I talked with Drive Capital in Columbus recently, and they said they’d had to do a lot to educate landlords. Of course, you’re among the biggest landlords in Detroit.

DG: That’s a really great insight from Drive. At this point, Detroit is home to both [big and small companies]. We first moved around 1,400 people from the suburbs into downtown Detroit in the summer of 2010 and we now have more than 20,000 people at this tech company, which Quicken Loans clearly is. And [that kind of hub] allows you to create an ecosystem of people and ideas that interest VCs, so that’s become one part of it.

We control a couple million square feet of real estate ourselves, but then we have another four or five million square feet that we’re building or that’s already bought, so we can accommodate startups and be flexible around their growth. But on top of that, we have three locations in downtown Detroit that companies like Pinterest and Snap have used; you’ve got existing big tech companies with locations here like Amazon, which has an engineering office with more than 500 people downtown, and Google, which has a 50,000-square-foot office, and Microsoft, which has 50,000 square feet in the same building I’m in. So it’s not just the startup scene.

TC: Are there enough venture dollars in Detroit to support what you’re trying to build? The Drive team also talked about missing opportunities because they don’t have the bandwidth to fund everything they are seeing. They need backup. Do you?

DG: Certain VCs have discovered us. Ron Conway of SV Angel, for example, fell in love with Detroit a couple of years ago and he has exposed us to everybody in his network. He has invested in a lot of our deals here. And there are others. Google Ventures and Battery Ventures came in early. DST Global, General Atlantic, GGV Capital, Altimeter, Whale Rock Capital, Tiger Global have put money into startups here.

It’s kind of a new thing for us. Quicken Loans just went public after 35 years, and we never really raised much VC money because we never had to because of our cash flow. So it’s a little bit of a new thing for us with StockX; we never really had a startup blow up that suddenly. But every brick in the wall helps.

TC: Speaking of StockX, its tagline is the “stock market of things.” Might one of those things be non-fungible tokens at some point? A lot of people are suddenly buying and selling digital items.

DG: Like NBA Top Shot? We love that model. We have some similar models that we’re working on right now. We’re in research and development on some things that are very close to it. I have four teenagers out of five kids at home, and I can tell you that’s definitely the hot thing right now.

TC: What is the next step for StockX? Is it an IPO?

DG: I think the next step for StockX will probably be an IPO. It’s just a matter of when. Probably sometime in 2022. I’m not saying anything official here; I’m just saying there’s a good chance it will.

TC: Do you have strong feelings about traditional IPOs versus other ways that companies are going public? You took Quicken public through a traditional IPO. Another Detroit-based mortgage company, United Wholesale Mortgage, more recently took the SPAC route instead.

DG: I think [a StockX offering] would probably be traditional only because, to be honest with you, I don’t know much about the complications and all the details of trying to do it a different way. We had success with Quicken Loans, so that’s what we’re coming off of.

Source: Detroit’s native son, billionaire Dan Gilbert, makes the case for his town

Canada Is Embracing Single-Gaming Sports Betting, Coup for the Score

Canada Green Lights Single-Game Sports Betting, Win for theScore, Other Gaming Companies

Posted on: February 17, 2021, 07:41h.

Last updated on: February 17, 2021, 07:41h.

Todd Shriber

Expertise: Financial, Gaming Business, Mergers and Acquisitions.

In a highly anticipated move, Canada’s parliament on Wednesday approved wagering on individual sporting events, paving the way for eventual introduction in provinces and territories.

Bill C-218, legislation introduced last year by Member of Parliament Kevin Waugh (Saskatoon-Grasswood), was voted on and easily passed upon second reading in the House of Commons with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau voting in favor of the motion.

Bill C-13 was previously introduced by the federal government and would legalize single-game betting at the national level. The House of Commons is expected to take up that legislation over the near-term. With Wednesday’s decision, Canada modernizes a sports wagering system in dire need of refreshing. For years, sports wagering was essentially “legal” in the country, but gamblers could only wager on parlays.

We expect that the legalization of single event sports betting will facilitate the introduction by provinces and territories of a much-needed modernized sports betting framework in their respective jurisdictions that can include important consumer protections and the ability to generate new revenue streams for provincial and territorial governments,” said Score Media and Gaming CEO John Levy in a statement.

C-13 is slated for its second reading on Friday and like C-218, it’s widely expected to pass. From there, it will be left to Canada’s 10 provinces and three territories to decide how single-game wagering will be rolled to prospective bettors.

Boon for Select Operators

As is the case in the US when various states join the legal sports betting fray, Canada’s decision is a win for some operators.

Score Media, the company behind the theScore mobile betting app, immediately comes to behind because it holds dominant market share in its home country. In fact, the timing of parliament’s decision couldn’t be better for the gaming company. Last week, the operator said it’s engineering a reverse split of its over-the-counter-traded stock in hopes of landing a listing on the Nasdaq or New York Stock Exchange.

When Waugh’s bill was introduced last year, Wall Street analysts speculated that among US-based companies, Bally’s (NYSE:BALY), DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG) and Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN) are potential winners.

Penn holds a 4.7 percent equity stake in Score Media. For its part, DraftKings has been preparing for Canada movement, recently announcing a deal with the NFL to expand a daily fantasy sports (DFS) and content agreement into the country.

Big Market Potential

Score Media estimates Canada’s online gaming market could be worth $3.8 billion to $5.4 billion, a forecast “based on historical data extrapolated from legal online gaming markets in the U.S. and globally.”

If the high end of that forecast is translated to handle, the country would have outpaced every live and legal US state last year except for New Jersey.

Canada has 37.59 million citizens, or nearly two million fewer than California. With its own football league, six NHL teams and one team apiece in Major League Baseball and the NBA coupled with Canadians’ affinity for US teams, the country is a potentially fertile market for sportsbook operators.

Source: Canada Is Embracing Single-Gaming Sports Betting, Coup for theScore

High Speed Victorville, California to Las Vegas Rail Line Targeted for Spring Construction Start

High Speed Victorville, California to Las Vegas Rail Line Targeted for Spring Construction Start

Posted on: January 15, 2021, 02:04h.

Last updated on: January 15, 2021, 03:03h.

Larry Henry

Expertise: Commercial Gaming, Gaming Business, Legislation, Politics, Regulation.

Construction on a high-speed rail line connecting Victorville, Calif. to Las Vegas could begin this spring.

Brightline West said in a status update this month the company is “on target” to begin building the $8-billion rail project this spring.

The line would connect Victorville, Calif. to Las Vegas with rapid trains running along the I-15 corridor. Victorville is 85 miles east of Los Angeles and in San Bernardino County. The status update was spelled out in a Jan. 4 letter from Brightline West President Sarah Watterson to the Nevada High-Speed Rail Authority, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. 

The project stalled late last year when a proposed $2.4-billion bond sale to finance the early stages of the rail line did not attract investors. Watterson said the coronavirus pandemic was partly to blame.

In the status update, she said that “election uncertainty, the lack of approval of a COVID-19 vaccine, and lack of liquidity in the market did not allow us to price the bonds to provide long-term stability for the company.”

Watterson said there is support this year for a bond allocation, according to the Review-Journal.

However, Terry Reynolds, director of the Nevada Department of Business and Industry, told the newspaper the state has a limited amount of time to address the bond proposal. He said that decision probably won’t happen until this summer.

Past Failures

Longtime residents of Southern Nevada have heard discussions for decades regarding a high-speed rail line from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. 

When construction on the latest venture was delayed last year, KSNV-TV reporter Tom Hawley said during a broadcast, “Shelving high-speed rail plans is not exactly new here. We’ve been hearing variations going back three-and-a-half decades.”  

Hawley hosts a news segment called “Video Vault” on the Las Vegas NBC affiliate. In a segment last month about the Brightline West delay, Hawley showed a December 1985 news clip featuring reporter Donna Cline. As the reporter speaks, viewers see file footage of a high-speed train zipping through empty terrain.

You’re looking at a super-speed train similar to one that as early as 1992 could connect Las Vegas with cities in Southern California,” Cline says.

Hawley then tells viewers the current proposal would be ready to provide rail service from Los Angeles to Las Vegas in 2029 “under the most optimistic scenario.”

Tourism Woes

As Hawley noted, the effort to improve ground transportation between Southern California and Las Vegas has been a long-term goal for the Nevada tourism industry. Three years ago, nearly a fifth of visitors to Las Vegas was from Southern California, according to media reports.

Because of its remote desert location, Las Vegas has relied upon air travel to bring in large numbers of people. The nearest large metropolitan areas, Los Angeles and Phoenix are at least four to five hours or more away by car. 

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March, air travel to and from Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport has declined by millions of passengers.

With air travel in a pandemic-related slump, the visitor volume in Las Vegas has been slow to recover. In response, some hotel-casinos on the Las Vegas Strip have shut down part or all of their operations during the slow midweek days.

Source: High Speed Victorville, California to Las Vegas Rail Line Targeted for Spring Construction Start – High Speed LA-to-Las Vegas Rail Line Targeted for Spring Construction Start

Las Vegas Era From Movie ‘Casino’ Gone Forever: Former Mobster 

Las Vegas Era From Movie ‘Casino’ Gone Forever: Former Mobster

Posted on: January 10, 2021, 04:26h.

Last updated on: January 12, 2021, 10:17h.

Larry Henry

Expertise: Commercial Gaming, Gaming Business, Legislation, Politics, Regulation.

Near the end of his life last summer, former mobster Frank Cullotta said Las Vegas as depicted in the movie Casino will never come back.

Former mobster Frank Cullotta tapes an episode of “Coffee With Cullotta” for his YouTube channel. On the show, he answered questions about life in the underworld. He died Aug. 20, 2020. (Image: KTNV-TV)

Dennis N. Griffin, who has written several books about the Mafia in Las Vegas, said the retired mobster told him before a final trip to the hospital that “the Vegas of his day was gone.”

Cullotta died Aug. 20 in a Las Vegas hospital of complications from COVID-19. He was 81. 

“I believe that Frank’s passing marked the end of that era of Vegas history,” Griffin told

Cullotta moved to Las Vegas in the late 1970s to help his Chicago boyhood friend, Tony “The Ant” Spilotro, operate a criminal enterprise in Southern Nevada. Spilotro was the Chicago Outfit’s overseer in Las Vegas.

During this period, money skimmed from casinos was sent illegally to Mafia crime families in the Midwest. This era is depicted in the critically acclaimed 1995 movie Casino. Cullotta appears in the movie as a hit man.

Griffin cowrote three books with Cullotta about this period in Southern Nevada. Griffin also is coauthor of two books published after Cullotta’s death, including Frank Cullotta’s Greatest (Kitchen) Hits: A Gangster’s Cookbook. Cullotta once ran a Las Vegas pizza restaurant called the Upper Crust. It was located east of the Strip near the UNLV campus.

The second new book is Bringing Down Cullotta: The Story ‘Casino’ Couldn’t Tell You, by David Bowman and Griffin. The book is being released this month

‘Like No Place on Earth’

Griffin told that Las Vegas’ aura and history “will last forever.”

It is truly like no place else on earth,” Griffin said. “The Casino movie, and all the other movies and books about Vegas, will keep it alive.”

Nicholas Pileggi, who cowrote the movie Casino with director Martin Scorsese, told that Las Vegas these days is “spectacular.” However, Pileggi said he misses the period when walking into a smaller casino on the Strip was like “seeing a friend.”

Pileggi said Las Vegas once was a town for gamblers. Now gambling is just another amenity that larger casinos offer, he told 

Several hotel-casinos in Southern Nevada from this earlier period have been demolished. Corporate casino ownership in Las Vegas led to a megaresort boom that began in the 1980s.

Griffin said he doesn’t know if corporations can bring back the way it was.

“I’m not even sure they want to,” Griffin said. “It’s an entirely different world now, and some might say not for the better.”

The Rat Pack Era

Gaming historian David G. Schwartz of UNLV told that casinos can recapture some of the magic of the Rat Pack era by focusing on “personalized attention.”

Rat Pack stars such as Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and Dean Martin hit their stride in Las Vegas during the 1960s with performances in the Copa Room at the now-demolished Sands hotel-casino on the Strip. The stars sometimes mingled with guests. The Venetian and Palazzo were built where the Sands once stood.

Schwartz has written several books about gaming, including the recently published At the Sands: The Casino That Shaped Classic Las Vegas, Brought the Rat Pack Together, and Went Out With a Bang.

“I think that, for Las Vegas at least, the brand has overshadowed the experience,” Schwartz told “Casinos will tell you how awesome they are. But they don’t always do such a good job of communicating what will make the experience inside them unique and worthy of a trip.”


Trump Plaza Implosion Symbolic Ending to Donald Trump Casino Career

Trump Plaza Implosion Symbolic Ending to Donald Trump Casino Career

Posted on: February 17, 2021, 12:59h.

Last updated on: February 17, 2021, 02:40h.

Devin O’Connor

Expertise: Commercial Gaming, Entertainment, Politics.

Today’s implosion of Trump Plaza in Atlantic City is the unofficial end to former President Donald Trump’s business dealings in the gaming industry.

A few minutes after 9 am ET, a series of loud explosions were heard at the Trump Plaza site. The 39-floor original hotel structure was leveled seconds later.

“I got chills,” Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small said of the implosion. “This is a historic moment. It was exciting.”

Billionaire Carl Icahn acquired the shuttered Trump Plaza when he bought Trump Entertainment Resorts (TER) in 2016. It had sat vacant since it closed on Sept. 16, 2014. The corporate raider never had plans to renovate and reopen the Boardwalk casino, and the property continued into deeper disrepair.

In recent years, parts of the building’s façade fell to the Boardwalk below. Local officials said the structure had become a public safety hazard.

After unsuccessfully fighting for financial assistance from the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, Icahn finally agreed to pay for the implosion.

Symbolic Ending to Trump Casinos

Former President Donald Trump hasn’t actually been in the US casino business for more than a decade. The billionaire stepped away from Trump Entertainment Resorts in 2009 during the casino operator’s second bankruptcy.

Under Trump’s 13-year ownership, TER lost around $1.1 billion. When Avenue Capital, a private investment firm, took over TER and its debt, Trump was forced out.

However, under the corporate reorganization, Trump was afforded a five percent stake in the new Trump Entertainment Resorts, and another five percent for the continued use of his name and likeness in perpetuity.

In August of 2014, Trump filed a lawsuit that ineffectively sought to have his name removed from Trump Plaza and Trump Taj Mahal. He said the properties were allowed to fall into poor shape, and they were no longer representative of his name and brand.

“Since Mr. Trump left Atlantic City many years ago, the license entities have allowed the casino properties to fall into an utter state of disrepair and have otherwise failed to operate and manage the casino properties in accordance with the high standards of quality and luxury required under the license agreement,” the lawsuit said. “The Trump name has become synonymous with the highest levels of quality, luxury, prestige, and success.”

When it opened in 1984, Trump Plaza indeed oozed of luxury. It’s where the stars stayed and played in Atlantic City.

“You had Madonna and Sean Penn walking in, Barbra Streisand and Don Johnson, Muhammad Ali would be there, Oprah sitting with Donald ringside,” Bernie Dillon, the Trump Plaza’s events manager from 1984 to 1991, told the Associated Press. “It was a special time. I’m sorry to see it go.”

Implosion Fundraiser

Trump Plaza’s demolition did some good for the area.

A fundraiser to hit the implosion button that was called off. However, Icahn’s people still raised money for the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City. Icahn agreed to match the high bid, which was $175,000 at the time of the auction’s cancellation.

Atlantic City launched a new fundraiser in response. Twenty packages were auctioned, with an overnight stay at the Hard Rock, $200 dining credit, and two tickets to an implosion viewing party at One Atlantic. The auction raised $6,375. Hard Rock added on another $10,000.

Source: Trump Plaza Implosion Symbolic Ending to Donald Trump Casino Career

JACK Management Buys Two Ohio Casinos from Dan Gilbert

Billionaire businessman Dan Gilbert is out of the Ohio casino

Expertise: Financial, Gaming Business, Mergers and Acquisitions
Billionaire businessman Dan Gilbert is out of the Ohio casino businesses. That’s after reportedly selling his JACK Entertainment to the company’s management team last month.

JACK Chairman Matthew Cullen confirmed to the Cleveland Jewish News (CJN) that the gaming company no longer has ties to Gilbert’s sprawling business empire. However, the enterprise’s headquarters were moved from Detroit to Cleveland, home of Gilbert’s Cavaliers NBA franchise.

The JACK management team, who have been with the company since its inception, remains in place and now owns the controlling interest of the company,” Cullen in said in a statement to CJN.

Financial terms of the transaction weren’t disclosed. It’s estimated that JACK Casino in downtown Cleveland and JACK Thistledown Racino in North Randall, Ohio combine for $400 million to $500 million in annual revenue.

There are 11 commercial gaming venues in the Buckeye State, and with JACK’s move there, it’s the only operator with Ohio casinos that’s based in the state.

Gilbert’s Gradual Casino Exit

Ohio voters approved casino gaming in 2009, and Gilbert was instrumental in opening the first gaming property in the state, Horseshoe Casino Cleveland. three years later in partnership with Caesars Entertainment.

JACK’s gaming roster eventually grew to six venues. But by 2018, Gilbert signaled a desire to exit the casino business. Sale partners included Churchill Downs and gaming real estate investment trust (REIT) VICI Properties. The Greektown Casino in Detroit was sold by JACK in late 2018 for $1 billion to VICI and Penn National Gaming, stoking speculation Gilbert was looking to divest his gaming assets to make a run at the Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Detroit Tigers.

Gilbert, worth an estimated $49.6 billion as of last August, is a Motor City native. His most well-known enterprises are Quicken Loans and the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers.

Ohio Casinos Slumping

Currently, Buckeye State casinos are open following a multi-month closure in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, the health crisis took a big bite of the state’s gross gaming revenue (GGR).

Last year, the state’s four casinos — the other seven gaming venues are classified as racinos — combined for $643.37 million in revenue, down from $850.98 million in 2019. The four casinos are JACK Cleveland, Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati, and two Hollywood venues. The racinos are Belterra Park in Cincinnati, Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs in Columbus, MGM Northfield, Hollywood Gaming Dayton, Hollywood Mahoning Valley in Youngstown, JACK Thistledown in Cleveland, and Miami Valley Gaming in Lebanon.

A potential catalyst for Buckeye State operators, including JACK, is sports betting. Last week, Gov. Mike Dewine said he’s optimistic sports wagering will be approved in the state this year. Each of the 11 gaming venues in the state would be eligible for one skin, and there is room for mobile betting operated through those skins.

Source: JACK Management Buys Two Ohio Casinos from Dan Gilbert

Casino Parking Garages Continue to Be Settings for Violent Crimes

Casino Parking Garages Continue to Be Settings for Violent Crimes

Posted on: September 19, 2020, 09:00h. 

Last updated on: September 19, 2020, 11:27h.

Ed Silverstein

Ed SilversteinExpertise: Crime, Legal, Tribal Gaming.

Multiple US gaming property garages were the scenes of shootings in recent months. In the latest incident, a shooting took place last Monday at the Agua Caliente Casino garage in Palm Springs, Calif.

The victim is expected to recover from the wounds. The violent attack at the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians’-owned casino is being investigated as an attempted homicide.

Last month, a fatal shooting took place at an Emerald Queen Casino garage in Tacoma, Washington. In July, another fatal shooting occurred at Winner’s Way parking garage in Florida’s Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood.

It is not surprising these crimes take place in parking garages, said Brad Bonnell, a principal of the Hotel Security Group, to, given their “isolation” and how they provide criminals “anonymity. Predators know that casino-hotel garages … [have] well-funded tourists.”

Bonnell is a former vice president of loss prevention for Extended Stay America, and ex-global director of security for InterContinental Hotels. Earlier, he was chief of staff for the Georgia State Patrol and an agent for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

It is often difficult to prosecute defendants in casino crimes. Bonnell says victims may not want to repeatedly return to the location of the casino to testify in drawn-out court proceedings. That is especially true of guests who live in another state than where the casino is located, Bonnell said.

Garage Design Can Encourage Crime

He says that a garage’s design can make a property more inviting for criminals. Bonnell notes how many garages are enclosed, have multiple levels, and sloping ramps. They have stairwells and elevators, he added.

The large number of parked cars can make a garage darker by blocking light. Most garages are open to the public, Bonnell said, so entry and exit are easier.

Smarter building design can lower crime risk in garages. Via “Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design” (CPTED), hotels and casinos can lower the risk for garages to become targets for crime, Bonnell said. Lighting and the design of elevators and stairways can be improved.

Pedestrian access to a garage can be discouraged by installing fencing or another type of screening. Also, having multiple signs and graphics will allow visitors to move quickly throughout the garage.

He also recommends that any restrooms should have maze-type entrances. Visitors, this way, will be at lower risk for muggings or other attacks.

Panic buttons, intercoms, sound surveillance, surveillance cameras, and security personnel patrolling in the garage — especially uniformed officers — will also lessen the risk for crime, Bonnell said.

To further reduce the risk of crime, Bonnell recommends hotels and casinos develop a security strategy. A key part of any plan is for hotels and casinos to analyze relevant data.

Some data relates to past crimes in a garage or hotel/casino. Other data includes the number and types of calls made to local police.

More complex numerical analysis can come from the CAP Index Scoring System. It offers scores for crime risk using an algorithm.

Casino Visitors Should Play It Safe

Players and other casino visitors should remember to take items with them after locking their cars in garages, or hide items in cars (such as in trunks), the Las Vegas Metro police said in 2018 after a series of incidents.

Women should keep purses close. Men should carry wallets in a front pocket instead of a back pocket. Security staff at gaming properties often will walk visitors to their cars if requested, KSNV, a Las Vegas TV station reported.

Be aware, too, if anyone is watching you getting cash at a cashier’s cage. They may try to follow you as you exit the casino.

Source: Casino Parking Garages Continue to Be Settings for Violent Crimes

Joe Biden 2020 Odds Shorten Following Contentious Debate

Joe Biden 2020 Odds Shorten Following Contentious Debate with President Trump

Posted on: September 30, 2020, 12:24h. 

Last updated on: September 30, 2020, 01:13h.

Devin O’Connor Expertise: Commercial Gaming, Entertainment, Politics.

The odds of former Vice President Joe Biden becoming the 46th president of the United States are shortening following the first of three planned presidential debates.

Joe Biden 2020 odds Donald Trump
Joe Biden exited the first debate stage with the 2020 betting momentum. (Image: CNN)

Prior to the debate showdown between Biden and President Donald Trump, UK bookmakers had the 2020 US presidential race close. William Hill had the 77-year-old Biden at 5/6 (implied odds of 54.5 percent), and Trump at even money.

Oddsmakers believe Biden fared better last night in the interruption-filled back-and-forth. The Democrat’s odds of winning the November 3 election are now at 8/13 — implied odds of 61.9 percent. Meanwhile, Trump’s odds have lengthened. William Hill has adjusted the president’s line to 11/8 (42.1 percent).

Bettors on the PredictIt betting exchange also saw value in Biden in the wake of the debate. His shares of winning the 2020 election have increased in value from 58 cents to 62 cents over the past 24 hours. Trump’s shares have gone south, dropping from 44 cents to 41 cents.

The Commission on Presidential Debates, which organizes all presidential debates, said changes will be made ahead of the second round.

“Last night’s debate made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues,” a statement from the Commission explained.

DraftKings Pool

In an effort to sign up new customers, DraftKings offered a free-to-play $50,000 pool on the debate. Players were asked 10 questions, with the winners recording the highest score splitting the pot.

DraftKings Debate Recap:

  1. When the candidates walk onto the stage, how will they greet each other? A: No touching.
  2. Who will be the first to speak? A: Trump
  3. Who will say the word “China” first? A: Trump
  4. Which of these listed former candidates will be mentioned first? A: Bernie Sanders
  5. Who will be mentioned first by either candidate? A: Kamala Harris
  6. Will Donald Trump say the exact phrase “Law and Order”? A: Yes
  7. Who will be mentioned first by either candidate? A: Barack Obama
  8. Who will mention Dr. Anthony Fauci first? A: Trump
  9. Will Joe Biden mention his Corvette? A: No
  10. How many of his children will Donald Trump mention by name? A: 0.

There were 1,957 players who successfully answered all 10 questions, which resulted in DraftKings awarding them $25.55 each.


The debate began with a discussion on Trump’s nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the US Supreme Court.

The President argued that he won a four-year term, and the GOP-controlled Senate was put in power by the people. The Senate confirms Supreme Court nominees. The Republicans say that is their reasoning for moving ahead with Barrett’s nomination.

The odds are heavily in favor of Barrett becoming the next SCOTUS justice. On PredictIt, the market asking when will the Senate vote on her confirmation has “Before November 3” the strong front-runner at 84 cents. “November 3 to January 2” is next at 16 cents, and “January 3-9” at three cents.

Source: Joe Biden 2020 Odds Shorten Following Contentious Debate

Las Vegas Court Approves $800M Settlement for 2017 Shooting Victims

Posted on: September 30, 2020, 02:20h. 

Last updated on: September 30, 2020, 03:20h.

Devin O’Connor Expertise: Commercial Gaming, Entertainment, Politics.

A Las Vegas court has signed off on MGM Resorts and its insurers settling with October 2017 shooting victims for $800 million.

$800 million has been approved for victims’ families and survivors of the Route 91 Harvest mass shooting that occurred three years ago on the Las Vegas Strip. (Image: Getty)

A day before the third anniversary of the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history, the Associated Press broke the news that Clark County District Court Judge Linda Bell has approved the settlement agreement. Bell cited “near-unanimous participation in the settlement among potential claimants.”

On October 1, 2017, Stephen Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay. He sprayed bullets at a crowd of concertgoers below and across the Strip from his suite, which was packed full with an arsenal of semiautomatic weapons, some of which were equipped with now-banned bump stocks.

The roughly 10 minutes of horror left 58 victims dead and more than 850 injured. Paddock committed suicide once law enforcement approached his suite. The FBI was never able to determine a motive for Paddock’s actions.

MGM Not GuiltyMGM Resorts, operator of Mandalay Bay, additionally owned Las Vegas Village, where the Route 91 Harvest country music festival was held.

The casino company’s legal liability was called into question after the attack, attorneys asking why Paddock was afforded the use of service elevators to transport his large pieces of luggage that were filled with guns, ammunition, and surveillance equipment. Legal experts also asked why Paddock’s room went unchecked by the hotel staff for numerous days.

But when MGM Resorts reached its settlement a year ago this month with plaintiffs, the agreement excused the casino operator from admitting guilt.

“The proposed settlement is not an admission of liability by MGM Resorts,” the company said in 2019. Instead, the settlement offered victims’ families and survivors the option to participate in the resolution agreement. Nearly all are.

Some 2,000 plaintiffs were represented by attorney Robert Eglet.

There’ve been no objections and we expect no appeals,” Eglet told the Associated Press today regarding the settlement approval. “We’ll send out notices of the order. After 30 days, the $800 million will be deposited.”

MGM Resorts has told investors that its insurance companies will pay $751 million of the payouts, and the casino operator the remaining $49 million.

A total of approximately 4,400 relatives and victims are included in the settlement and will receive a disbursement. The payouts will be based on the severity of the injury, the highest payout being for families of those dead, and survivors with permanent life-altering injuries.

Massacre AftermathOctober 1, 2017, forever changed Las Vegas. The days of someone putting a “Do Not Disturb” sign on their door and the room going uninspected for days are over.

Unions have successfully fought for better security protections for workers, one example being housekeepers are now equipped with panic buttons. Casino resorts are scanning visitors and their luggage, not unlike at the airport, and bollards have been installed up and down the Strip to protect pedestrians.

MGM Resorts formed an Emergency Response Team, and the Las Vegas Metro Police Department has taken steps to make sure their radio and communication troubles experienced three years ago don’t fail again.

That’s being accomplished by the Clark County Fire Department, which is addressing “dead zones” inside casino resorts. Police and first responders reported poor or no radio communication inside the stairwells of Mandalay Bay on the night of October 1, 2017.

Source: Las Vegas Court Approves $800M Settlement for 2017 Shooting Victims

Japanese Police Arrest Top Yakuza Boss Over High Stakes Baccarat Den

Japanese Police Arrest Top Yakuza Boss Accused of Running High-Stakes Tokyo Baccarat Den

Posted on: September 30, 2020, 02:49h. 

Last updated on: September 30, 2020, 03:20h.

Philip Conneller

Philip ConnellerExpertise: Crime, Regulation, Retail betting.

Tokyo police said this week they had arrested a high-level yakuza boss who they accuse of operating an illegal casino in the bustling Roppongi area of the Japanese capital.

Yakuza casino
Roppongi is a part of Tokyo popular for its nightlife, which included an underground high-stakes casino until it was busted in July. (Image: Japan Times)

Chizuka Yamamoto, 70, is a reputed “executive” of the Takumi-gumi organized crime group, a subgroup of the Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan’s largest Yakuza organization.

According to a police statement, Yamamoto had been running the members-only high-stakes baccarat den in a room of a multitenant building since January 2019. In that time, the business had generated revenues of around JPY480 million ($4.5 million USD), they added.

Customers Detained

The operation was busted in July when nine people, including the manager, were detained by police. Subsequent investigations resulted in the arrest of Yamamoto on Monday, along with three Yakuza associates, police said.

In addition to seizing two tables, chips, and playing cards, investigators also detained five customers, aged between 37 and 72.

The casino stayed open throughout the state of emergency called by then-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Some customers told police they had been frequenting the illegal establishment only because they could not travel abroad to gamble because of coronavirus.

Police said they believe the profits from the venture were used to fund other criminal enterprises. Yamamoto denies any involvement with the casino.

Yakuza Gambling Origin  

The Takumi-gumi was founded by Masaru Takumi, a powerful Japanese crime figure and number 2 of the Yamaguchi-gumi until his assassination in 1997. The Yamaguchi-gumi is one of the largest criminal organizations in the world, with more than 20,000 members.

It’s also among the wealthiest, amassing billions of dollars a year from extortion, gambling, the sex industry, drug dealing, arms trafficking, stock market manipulation, and construction kickback schemes.

As the Japanese government lays the groundwork for its new, liberalized casino market, it’s determined to keep the Yakuza out. But the Yakuza have other ideas.

Many of today’s modern Yakuza groups evolved from itinerant gambler societies of the 18th to 20th centuries, known as bakuto. These groups peddled games of chance and loaned money, and were considered social outcasts, living outside the norms of society. For many Yakuza, spiritual descendants of the bakuto, they “own” gambling in Japan.

Poised to Infiltrate Casinos

In July 2018, an unnamed high-ranking member of the Yamaguchi-gumi told respected left-leaning national newspaper Ashai Shinbun (AS) that the Yakuza were determined to profit from the regulated casino market, and there was little that anyone could do to stop them.

Once rules are decided on how to place restrictions on organized crime, we can begin thinking about ways to get around those legal barriers,” said the source.

Yakuza would infiltrate the new sector most likely through loansharking and junket operations, just as the Hong Kong triads did in Macau in the 1990s, he claimed.

Source: Japanese Police Arrest Top Yakuza Boss Over High Stakes Baccarat Den

5Dimes Settles with Feds, Forfeits $46 Million as Offshore Sportsbook Seeks Path to US Legitimacy

5Dimes Settles with Feds, Forfeits $46 Million as Offshore Sportsbook Seeks Path to US Legitimacy

Posted on: September 30, 2020, 11:58h.

Last updated on: October 1, 2020, 12:04h.

The US Department of Justice announced Wednesday it reached an agreement with 5Dimes, with the offshore sportsbook forfeiting more than $46 million to settle a federal criminal investigation that began in 2016.

5Dimes US
William McSwain, the US Attorney for Pennsylvania’s Eastern District, claimed victory in reaching an agreement with offshore sportsbook 5Dimes. (Image: WHYY.Org)

Shortly after the feds release, 5Dimes issues one of its own announcing what had been anticipated for most of this month. The Costa Rican book made the deal in an attempt to position itself to enter the US market legally. It already has filed incorporation papers in Delaware.

Along with a team of trusted advisors, I am exploring how we might relaunch 5Dimes as a legal sportsbook and casino in the legal, regulated U.S. market to continue serving our many loyal customers,” said Laura Varela, widow of 5Dimes founder William Sean “Tony” Creighton.

Creighton established 5Dimes in 2011 in the Latin American country. Over the years, he got scores of US bettors to create accounts with the illegal offshore book. Federal authorities said 5Dimes use of third-party payment processors allowed US bettors to make deposits and hide the true nature of the transaction. They also claim he laundered money through the purchase of gold bullion, coins, rare and expensive sports cards.

Creighton led 5Dimes until kidnappers abducted him two years ago. His body was found a year later. Varela eventually took responsibility for 5Dimes but did not have a managerial role with the sportsbook.

Widow Initiated 5Dimes Settlement Talks

Both parties said Varela took it upon herself to resolve the matter with the feds, contacting the US Attorney’s Office in Pennsylvania’s Eastern District, which initiated the investigation in 2016.

In all, 5Dimes and Varela agreed to surrender goods and money totaling more than $46.8 million for violations of wire fraud, money laundering, and transmission of gambling information. In return, the feds agreed to neither pursue criminal penalties or seek a civil suit for any crimes committed before Wednesday.

The lone exception to that is possible corporate tax violations, which are out of the US Attorney’s office’s purview.

In a statement, US Attorney William McSwain said the settlement is a victory for the country as it stops a company that was conducting several crimes, including a “sophisticated money laundering” scheme.

McSwain’s office was assisted by the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Philadelphia Police Department, and the Pennsylvania State Police.

“Through our 5Dimes investigation, Homeland Security Investigations illuminated a massive global network of criminals whose profession was to launder proceeds for drug cartels, kleptocratic regimes, illegal mining operations, and fraudsters,” said Brian A. Michael, HSI’s special agent in charge for its  Philadelphia office.

How Bettors Can Get Their Money

On Sept. 21, 5Dimes suspended US accounts from being able to wager on the site. On the 5Dimes website, the sportsbook said that decision was a “direct result” of the agreement between it and the US Attorney’s Office.

“We recognize that the timing was less than ideal, but it was out of our control,” the sportsbook’s statement read.

In addition, Sunday was the last day for US customers to request payouts. The sportsbook is processing those requests and said in the Wednesday post that customers should have their payments “within the next seven days.”

US bettors who did not submit their withdrawal request in time now have had their funds transferred to a third-party claims administrator. Starting Thursday, 5Dimes customers can go to and learn more.

“We look forward to relaunching 5Dimes as a sportsbook and casino in the legal, regulated U.S. market and bringing the same great experience to all our customers,” 5Dimes statement read.

Source: 5Dimes Settles with Feds, Forfeits $46 Million as Offshore Sportsbook Seeks Path to US Legitimacy –


Two teens, man charged in fatal shooting of Cleveland police officer, informant


Sharon’s View: Three teenagers, 15, 17, 18 years old (2 juveniles 1 adult). Approach two old guys (53 & 50 years old) sitting in a car “behind a mostly abandoned strip mall on West 67th Place near West 65th Street and Storer Avenue.”

To most teenagers, people in their fifties are old. Old white people are targets.

Two fiftyish aka old men. In an area that was protected from view. Probably gay they may have thought, given the circumstances, location and optics. Easy prey.

  • The fact of gender doesn’t matter. It matters if the shooters thought they were gay.

But to just open fire? If they thought they were gay, because they were sitting together behind abandoned buildings, then they must hate gay people – to take their lives so callously. Just open fire like that.

Maybe they knew Scott Dingess was an informant. His daughter says he wasn’t. Maybe they knew the car. And those inside the car. Maybe this wasn’t a negotiable hit.

Windows open?

Did all three have guns?

When are black African parents going to take the reigns and raise their own children? Someone who does what they did, without much thought, have been raised by the street, which means raised by the government.

So this is what happens when you give your kids to the government to raise.

Why do black African parents take care of themselves and let the government take care of their kids? Most white European parents go without, so their children can have more. I don’t see much of that in black communities. That’s why so many black children have voiced that they wish they had white parents. It’s not the opportunity; it’s the caring nature of the parents.

When is society going to demand more of black African parents? Teach their children some values, morals, responsibilities. A conscience? Do any of them have one? Can entire races of people be born absent a conscience?

Two people shot dead to make a statement about Black Lives Matter? What were they saying? We hate white people. We hate cops. We hate people who look like gays. We hate white dudes trying to hang with black dudes?

This is a hate crime.

Terrorists come in all ages.

If it was a robbery, what did they take? Why not scare two old men into giving up their wallets? They know how. But to kill them at close range, where they sat? They left the car too? They shot and ran?

What were the shooters doing behind the abandoned buildings?

Why meet where other people meet, if you’re undercover? Buying drugs? Somebody wasn’t buying them. But to murder them? Dingess had a drug history.

Three cop-killers. Black Lives Terrorists must be dancing in the streets.

This is a hate crime. Murder is Hate.



CLEVELAND, Ohio— Two boys and an 18-year-old man are charged in the fatal shooting of Cleveland police Det. James Skernivitz and a police informant.

Prosecutors filed charges against all three Tuesday, one in Cleveland Municipal Court and two in Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court. All three are between the ages of 15 and 18.

David McDaniel Jr., 18, is charged in Cleveland Municipal Court with two counts of aggravated murder. He will make his first court appearance Wednesday.

Two boys, ages 15 and 17, face charges of aggravated murder, aggravated robbery and felonious assault in Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court. The 17-year-old boy pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on Tuesday and a magistrate judge ordered him held in the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center while his case is pending.

The U.S. Marshals and officers with Cleveland police’s NICE unit arrested the 15-year-old boy about noon Tuesday at a gas station on Broadview Avenue and West 28th Street. He is expected to be arraigned on Wednesday.

McDaniel and the 17-year-old boy were arrested late Sunday. Investigators arrested three people — two juveniles and one adult– on Friday in connection with the shooting. Those three will not be charged in connection with the shooting, according to a statement from Cleveland police.

The charges filed on Tuesday give the first indication of what police believe is a possible motive, that the shooting is the result of a robbery. A detective wrote in court records that the trio shot and killed Skernivitz and Scott Dingess, 50, during an attempted robbery. The documents, however, do not say if any of the suspects took anything during the incident.

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams issued a statement on Tuesday praising investigators work.

“I want to commend the investigators in this case who dedicated every waking moment to ensure that the individuals responsible for this terrible crime were properly identified and taken into custody,” Williams’ statement said.

FBI Special Agent In Charge Eric Smith said numerous tips to the FBI hotline helped investigators’ investigation. The FBI, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and U.S. Marshals helped Cleveland police in the investigation.

“These three individuals will be held accountable for their heinous actions,” Smith said.

The shooting happened about 10 p.m. Thursday on West 67th Place near West 65th Street and Storer Avenue.

Skernivitz was working undercover and investigating drug dealing in the area. He sat with Dingess in his unmarked car behind a mostly abandoned strip mall, according to law enforcement sources.

Three people walked up to his car opened fire, killing him and Dingess, identified by the sources as a police informant.

A bullet hit Skernivitz in the chest, and several shots hit Dingess, killing both, according to the sources. Skernivitz drove forward and crashed into a fence outside a school.

Surveillance video recorded the shooting, according to law enforcement sources.

All three have no felony records in Cuyahoga County. The 17-year-old boy pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in October 2019 and was sentenced probation through March 3. The 15-year-old boy was charged in 2018 with stunt riding on public roadways, but never showed up to court, according to juvenile court records. McDaniel has not been charged with any prior crime in juvenile or adult court.

Skernivitz was sworn in the day before the shooting to work with federal agents in the Northern Ohio Violent Crimes Task Force, according to FBI spokeswoman Vicki Anderson. That unit works with federal agents sent to Cleveland as part of Operation Legend, a federal initiative to combat crime in several cities experience an uptick in violence.

Skernivitz’s funeral is set for 10 a.m. Friday at The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist on Superior Avenue in downtown Cleveland.

Visitation will be held from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10, at A. Ripepi & Sons Funeral Home on Bagley Road in Middleburg Heights.

Skernivitz, a 22-year police veteran, is survived by a wife and three children.


David McDaniels Jr., 18, is charged with aggravated murder in the fatal shooting of Cleveland police Det. James Skernivitz.


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Source: Two teens, man charged in fatal shooting of Cleveland police officer, informant –


Two more arrested in slaying of Cleveland police officer, informant, sources say

Two more arrested in slaying of Cleveland police officer, informant, sources say

Cleveland police Det. James Skernivitz was shot and killed during a drug investigation.

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Police arrested two more people in connection with the slaying of Cleveland police Det. James Skernivitz and a police informant, according to four police sources.

The sources said officers arrested the duo late Sunday. One is a juvenile and one is an adult, the sources said. Formal charges have not been filed in the case.

Three others — two juveniles and one adult — were arrested Friday. All three are being held on unrelated warrants. No charges have been filed against them either in connection with the shooting.

Cleveland police spokeswoman Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia did not respond to a message seeking comment. She later sent an email that said no new information on the investigation would be released and asked for the public’s help in providing information on the shooting. She also noted the FBI is offering a $35,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.

The shooting happened about 10 p.m. Thursday behind a mostly abandoned strip mall on West 67th Place near West 65th Street and Storer Avenue.

Skernivitz was conducting an investigation into drug dealing in the area at the time of the shooting.

The 22-year police veteran and member of the department’s gang investigation unit sat in his unmarked car with police informant Scott Dingess, 50, of Cleveland, according to police. Officers in the gang unit wear plain clothes, drive unmarked cars, and do not wear body cameras.

Several people walked up to the car and opened fire, according to police. A bullet hit Skernivitz in the chest and several bullets hit Dingess, killing both, according to the sources. Skernivitz drove forward and crashed into a fence outside a school.

Skernivitz was sworn in the day before the shooting to work with federal agents in the Northern Ohio Violent Crimes Task Force, according to FBI spokeswoman Vicki Anderson. That unit works with federal agents sent to Cleveland as part of Operation Legend, a federal initiative to combat crime in several cities experiencing an uptick in violence.

Skernivitz is the first on-duty Cleveland police officer to die since Vu Nguyen died July 7, 2017, after he collapsed of heatstroke during a training exercise and the first to be fatally shot on duty since Derek Owens on Feb. 29, 2008.

Lamidi Kafaru fatally shot Owens as Owens chased after him after breaking up a party and witnessing a drug deal. Kafaru is serving a sentence of life in prison without parole eligibility.

The last Cleveland officer working in the field to die was officer David Fahey. A man high on cocaine hit Fahey with his car on Jan. 24, 2017, while Fahey set road flares to divert traffic from a previous crash. The driver, Israel Alvarez, was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Skernivitz’s funeral is set for 10 a.m. Friday at The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist on Superior Avenue in downtown Cleveland. Visitation will be held from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10, at A. Ripepi & Sons Funeral Home on Bagley Road in Middleburg Heights.

Skernivitz is survived by a wife and three children.

Read more from

Funeral plans set for Cleveland police detective killed in line of duty

Source: Two more arrested in slaying of Cleveland police officer, informant, sources say –

US Casinos Push for Cashless Gambling Payments, Citing Virus

By Associated Press, Wire Service Content June 16, 2020, at 10:06 a.m.

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — The American casino industry wants gambling regulators to make it easier to adopt cashless payment transactions on the casino floor, citing a desire to help customers avoid handling money during the coronavirus outbreak.

In a report released Tuesday, the American Gaming Association, the gambling industry’s national trade group, called on regulators in states where gambling is allowed to update their rules or laws to integrate cashless options for gamblers.

The push follows an 18-month study of the issue by both commercial and tribal casinos, and equipment suppliers to try to pave the way for cashless transactions on a wider basis.

Presently, a small number of casinos use such payments, which include debit or credit cards, as well as apps like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal. Wider acceptance of these options has long been a goal of the gambling industry.

“Advancing opportunities for digital payments has been one of our top priorities since my first day at the AGA,” said Bill Miller, the gambling group’s president and CEO. “It aligns with gaming’s role as a modern, 21st century industry and bolsters our already rigorous regulatory and responsible gaming measures. The COVID-19 pandemic made it all the more important to advance our efforts to provide customers with the payment choice they are more comfortable with and have increasingly come to expect in their daily lives.”

Health officials say the coronavirus can survive on paper currency, but that risk is low compared to person-to-person spread, which is the main way people get infected. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says using touchless payment methods is a good idea where possible.

So far, there has not been widespread adoption of digital payment options at casinos or other gambling facilities in the U.S. Industry executives say this is due to several factors including limits imposed by state legislators or gambling regulators.

A handful of casinos in Nevada and some tribal casinos across the U.S. have digital options, but the technology is a new concept in many places.

The Nevada Gaming Commission has a hearing scheduled for June 25 where it is expected to accept the state Gaming Control Board’s recommendation for amendments to state regulations that would streamline the approval and testing process for modern payment methods.

David Rebuck, director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, said cashless transactions are already legal, adding, “We await products to be submitted by the casinos for approval to use on site.”

Nevada gambling regulators are “open to looking at new ways of how technology, including cashless wagering, can help attract new customers and be beneficial for not only the industry but even for responsible gaming measures as well,” said Sandra Douglass Morgan, chairwoman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

Among the benefits of cashless transactions cited by the AGA are the ability for gamblers to more easily follow and set limits on their gambling activity, and cutting down on the number of currency transaction reports that casinos have to file with the government regarding some customer transactions at the casino.

The continued spread of the coronavirus in parts of the country as many casinos reopen after months of being idled due is another reason the industry wants to ramp up cashless payments quickly.


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With bets off during coronavirus, Ohio’s casino, racino revenue down $112 million – 


With bets off during coronavirus, Ohio’s casino, racino revenue down $112 million

MGM Northfield Park, JACK Thistledown Racino and JACK Casino Cleveland. (Rich Exner,

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The record start to the year for Ohio’s casino and racino industry came to a crashing stop with mid-March closings because of the coronavirus, and now revenue reports released Tuesday show a dropoff of $112.3 million gambling revenue.

This is the money “won” by the casinos and racinos after paying out winnings. A third then goes to the state in the form of taxes and fees.

Gambling revenue for March at the four casinos and seven racinos was $71.9 million, down 61% from $184.2 million March 2019, reports released Tuesday by the state’s Ohio Lottery and Casino Control commissions showed.

The industry had been off to a roaring start in 2020, with monthly records of $167.5 million in January and $171.4 million in February.

The facilities had remained open during the early days of coronavirus-related restrictions on gatherings imposed by Gov. Mike DeWine. That changed with a directive on March 13 to close or present a plan on how to remain open while keeping the total number of workers and patrons in the buildings below 100.

All 11 facilities were closed by the next day, Saturday, March 14. This left the industry for the month with just one full weekend, normally their busiest times.

The gambling revenue reported by the lottery and casino control commissions does not include money from horse racing that comes under separate regulations. Horse racing continued, without fans, until stopping on March 20.

In the Greater Cleveland area, gambling revenue was:

* $9.6 million at MGM Northfield Park, down from $24.5 million in March 2019.

* $7.6 million at JACK Casino Cleveland, down from $19.8 million.

* $5.6 million at JACK Thistledown Racino, down from $13 million.

Rich Exner, data analysis editor for, writes about numbers on a variety of topics. Follow on Twitter @RichExner. Follow casino coverage at

Below are details for each Ohio casino and racino.

Ohio casinos

Statewide March. 2020 March 2019
Revenue $30.9 million $81.1 million
Table games $9.9 million $25.3 million
Slots $21.1 million $55.8 million
JACK Cleveland Casino
Revenue $7.6 million $19.8 million
Table games $3.6 million $9.5 million
Slots $4.0 million $10.3 million
Slots payout 92.1% 92.2%
JACK Cincinnati Casino
Revenue $7.2 million $19.9 million
Table games $2.7 million $7.2 million
Slots $4.5 million $12.7 million
Slots payout 92.4% 91.7%
Hollywood Toledo
Revenue $7.7 million $19.8 million
Table games $1.3 million $3.3 million
Slots $6.3 million $16.5 million
Slots payout 90.9% 90.4%
Hollywood Columbus
Revenue $8.4 million $21.5 million
Table games $2.2 million $5.2 million
Slots $6.2 million $16.3 million
Slots payout 92.2% 91.9%

Source: Ohio Casino Control Commission

Ohio racinos

Statewide March 2020 March 2019
Slots $41.0 million $103.1 million
Pct. payout 90.9% 90.8%
JACK Thistledown Racino
Slots $5.6 million $13.0 million
Pct. payout 90.4% 90.4%
x-MGM Northfield Park
Slots $9.6 million $24.5 million
Pct. payout 90.7% 90.9%
Hollywood Mahoning Valley
Slots $4.8 million $11.9 million
Pct. payout 90.4% 90.0%
Scioto Downs
Slots $6.9 million $17.4 million
Pct. payout 90.9% 90.6%
Miami Valley Gaming
Slots $6.6 million $17.4 million
Pct. payout 91.7% 91.7%
Belterra Park
Slots $3.1 million $7.9 million
Pct. payout 90.6% 91.1%
Hollywood Dayton
Slots $4.3 million $10.0 million
Pct. payout 91.1% 90.1%

Source: Ohio Lottery Commission


Source: With bets off during coronavirus, Ohio’s casino, racino revenue down $112 million –


Ohio’s casinos, racinos must shut down or keep customers, workers below a total of 100 



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