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Casino City’s Friday Five: Spy edition

5 April 2019

Encore Boston Harbor is scheduled to open in June 2019, but that isn’t the headline this week for Wynn Resorts. During the Massachusetts Gaming Commission's hearings this week, the Commission heard two sexual harassment complaints as well as reports that Steve Wynn's ex-wife Elaine Wynn, who co-founded Wynn Resorts and is the company's largest shareholder, and other employees in the company were spied on. Also this week, we look at another jackpot win, a casino opening date announced, a Las Vegas casino remaining open and Puerto Rico getting involved in the sports betting movement.

Let’s begin with the jackpot:

5. Fish Party player makes a €117,000 score
Last Friday, the Fish Party Sit & Go progressive jackpot was hit for €117,341.17, which was the fourth-largest payout on the network since the game was released in July 2016.

The amount will be split among three players who took part in the three-seater tournament for a €10 buy-in.

A player named ‘miika295’ from Finland, who has been playing at Coolbet for about a year, took the top spot and the largest portion of the prize pool worth €58,670.59. NordicBet player ‘Stoffeloco’ from Sweden came second with €35,202.35, followed by Coolbet player ‘Jalihi’ in third place, who pocketed €23,468.23.



4. Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas to remain open into 2020
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Las Vegas revealed it will stay open into early 2020. The design plans for the upcoming Virgin Hotels Las Vegas have been brought to near completion with a construction schedule already determined. The Las Vegas property is currently offering a full slate of world-class entertainment, dining, hospitality and gaming options.

“Based on the additional improvements that we have identified, the deadline to begin work has shifted to early 2020,” said President and CEO of JC Hospitality LLC and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Richard Bosworth. “Significant construction activities remain ten months away and the property will remain open for business without any disruptions to our guests and team members through Super Bowl of 2020.”

3. Harrah’s Northern California announces opening weekend
Harrah’s Northern California will celebrate its grand opening from 17-19 May. Once the property is completed, the 71,000 square-foot destination will be home to 950 slot machines, 20 table games, a full-service restaurant and three fast-casual dining concepts.

Construction on the Amador Country property began in April 2018 and has been establishing partnerships with local hotels.

When Harrah’s Northern California opens later this spring, more than $20 million will have been gifted to the community for improvements such as fire protection, police and schools. Also, an annual donation for community projects of $1 million per year will be made as a result of the casino’s development.


2. Puerto Rico governor introduces sports betting legislation
On Monday, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló introduced legislation to regulate sports gambling on the island. The legislation includes a reorganization with a new public policy in favor of gambling.

One study estimated revenues to the government at $29 million for 2020, $51 million for 2021, $68 million for 2022, $77 million for 2023 and $87 million for 2024. These projections are based on authorizing sports betting on casinos, racecourse, galleries, horse agencies and online games.

Spectrum Gaming conducted a study as well, which estimated that sports bets, both physical and online, could generate between $44 and $62 million annually.

“Our administration is committed to new and creative ways to improve the lives of all Puerto Ricans, especially as we continue our reconstruction in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria,” said Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló. “This legislation, made possible by a Supreme Court decision last year, will make Puerto Rico an attractive place to visit, which will greatly benefit our tourism industry.”

1. Wynn Resorts under the microscope in Boston
In a series of hearings this week in Boston, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) investigated whether Wynn Resorts remains suitable to hold the casino license, just months before its $2.5 billion Encore Boston Harbor casino resort is set to open in Everett, just outside Boston.

The hearings are as of a result of last year's highly publicized sexual misconduct allegations against Wynn founder and former CEO Steve Wynn, who was forced to resign. The MGC is trying to determine why it was not informed by Wynn Resorts about the settlement of those sexual assault allegations against Steve Wynn in 2013.

According to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission's 209-page report that was made public on Tuesday, "over a course of years, a limited group of executives and employees in positions of authority at the Company, including the legal division, were aware of certain allegations of sexual misconduct against Mr. Wynn involving employees, but they disregarded Company policies when it came to handling those allegations."

In addition, it is alleged that FBI agents were hired by Wynn Resorts’ head of security to spy on Elaine Wynn and other Wynn Resorts’ employees.

The MGC is expected to announce its verdict on the matter after meeting behind closed doors.
Casino City’s Friday Five: Spy edition is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.
Dan Ippolito

As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports. Email him at daniel@casinocity.com, or follow him at @casinocity_dan on Twitter.
Dan Ippolito
As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports. Email him at daniel@casinocity.com, or follow him at @casinocity_dan on Twitter.