Casino Watch - August

19 July 2007

Macau Revenue Surpasses Own Record

Macau's gambling revenue for the second quarter has jumped 50 percent to $2.45 billion compared to Q2 2006. During H1 2007, the special administrative territory's gambling revenue rose 47.5 percent to $4.7 billion from $3.2 billion in H1 2006, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau said. The former Portuguese enclave has seen marked growth in recent years as some of the Las Vegas gambling industry's most well-known names--Las Vegas Sands, MGM Mirage and Wynn Resorts--have broken ground on large casino and resort projects. Jorge Costa Oliveira, who oversees legal matters for the Macau Gaming Commission, said in February that the passage of I-gaming regulations could happen within the next year or two.

Russian Ban Begins Phase One

The first restrictions under a Russian gambling law passed in December, which bans all gambling businesses except for bookmaking offices and betting shops in all but four zones, came into force on July 1.

The restrictions outlaw all slot machine halls less than 100 square meters in size, housing fewer than 50 slot machines.

"As of July 1 about 20 regions will close down gambling," Kovtun, the industry expert, said. Slot machines will be banned completely in the Moscow region and St. Petersburg as of January 1.

Full restrictions, set to begin on July 1, 2009, will allow casinos in only four regions in Russia. Furthermore, the owner of a gaming hall will also be required to have capital totaling at least $23 million, and casinos will need to occupy at least 800 square meters and have at least 10 gambling tables.

Slot Survey has launched its first Online Slot Machine Player Survey, hosted by wants to know where and when people play, what their habits are, what the average age of a slot puller is, how slots vary by region and various other questions. Results will be published in the September issue of the monthly newsletter and on

Brown's Reversal of Fortune

New U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown is reportedly reviewing plans to allow betting shops and gambling Web sites to advertise on television and radio, which would enable gambling companies to run advertisements on all forms of media, including broadcast, with strict guidelines.

Brown's review may result in once again banning the broadcast of such ads.

The announcement comes just days after Brown said he was reconsidering plans to build a Las Vegas-style supercasino as a source of urban regeneration. He plans to wait for the results of a problem gambling study, to be published in the fall, before moving forward with the 16 smaller casinos across the country.

"In September, we will have a report that will look at gambling in our country, and at the incidence and prevalence of it and its social effects," Brown said. "I hope that during these summer months, we can look at whether regeneration in the areas for the super-casinos may be a better way of meeting their economic and social needs."


The Daily Mail's Internet gambling Web site,, is getting heat from both church groups and gaming firms for purportedly neglecting to provide responsible gambling advice to vulnerable gamblers and using youngsters as a vehicle to promote games.

The Observer reported that the site had failed to meet guidelines outlined by gambling advisory groups GamCare and the Responsibility in Gambling Trust.

Cashcade, the company that operates, said the neglect was an oversight which would be immediately corrected.

Online Gambling Still Popular in US Despite Ban

Internet information provider and marketer comScore has found that online casino activity in the United States rose 13 percent in June. A study of America's top Web activities conducted by the firm found that 12.4 million unique U.S.-based Web users took patronized an online gambling site, putting it in third place behind music sites and gay/lesbian sites.

NetEnt Releases New Casino Module

Net Entertainment (NetEnt) has released its CasinoModule 3.8 software platform, which includes five new games and updated management capabilities. "Player expectations constantly grow, driving the need for increasingly complex games," said NetEnt CEO Johan Ohman. "Net Entertainment is taking an active role in meeting this demand, assuring that our licensees at all times can offer the latest in online gaming."