Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Atlantic City Gets a Warning

New Jersey governor Chris Christie is laying down the law on Atlantic City's casinos.  He is giving them the year of 2014 to make strides to improve their financial health.  The Press of Atlantic City story quotes Christie:

"It's obviously a critical year because we need to begin to see progress in Atlantic City or we're going to start considering alternatives," and, "It's a year when we have to show some significant results."

Can't be much clearer than that.  So, what happens if results aren't obtained?  Well, Atlantic City's casino gambling monopoly would be at risk.  Competing interests, such as the horse racing industry, are desirous of getting casino gaming at their properties.  Another lackluster year out of Atlantic City would only fuel that fire.

How Atlantic City will intend to meet this hurdle is to consolidate - reduce the number of casinos and to an extent, reduce the number of hotel rooms.  The remaining casinos would hopefully be in better shape as they will make more money on a per property basis, even if the result would be less overall revenue, from both gaming and non-gaming sources.  If not, the competing interests will want to move casino gambling outside of Atlantic City to make their venues more competitive with increased casino gaming in adjoining states like New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

Time may be running out on Atlantic City's casino monopoly.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Common Sense: Casino Gaming Needs to Return to Cuba...Viva Casino!

Professor Nelson Rose, an expert on gaming law, penned a recent article entitled, "Cuba Needs Casinos."  In it, he describes past and recent history and noted how when liberalization comes to Cuba (it will, just a matter of time), that casino gaming and the revenues generated therefrom, will help bring Cuba back economically.

They had gambling back before Castro, but organized crime took in the lion's share of the revenues.  Now, with regulated wagering in place, all parties will benefit.  Notice that governments, even authoritarian ones like Vietnam and China, have casino gambling.  It is become apparent that the issue with gambling from governments is not the right or wrong with gambling; it's who is getting the money.  If the government is getting enough money, in its view, gambling is fine.

That fact bodes well for Cuba.  Proper regulated gambling, coupled with the great resort venue Cuba was, and will be again, makes Cuba an excellent bet for gambling reintroduction.  I'm betting on Cuba reintroducing gambling within the next ten years.

Another venue that is a great opportunity for casino gambling is Hawaii.  Why there aren't a casino resorts on Waikiki, Kona, Maui and Kauai is a travesty.  If Macao and Singapore are enjoying great casino gambling success, just think what success a resort venue like Hawaii would enjoy?  They do well now with regard to tourism, but add casino gambling and Hawaii would rival Macao and Singapore with regard to casino revenues.  This similar resort locale profile is why there was interest in opening casino gambling in Miami a couple of years back.  Sooner or later government will see the light and make a play for that revenue.

As gambling becomes even more mainstream, gambling will be increasingly viewed as a painless tax.  If locales like Havana, Miami and Maui embrace casino gambling, Las Vegas will have even more worries.

To check out more of Professor Rose's excellent articles, go to his website.