Five Mo<span id="more-6573"></span>st Baffling Moments in the Gambling Universe 2015: Part One

A judge having a penchant for history and Shakespeare may are determined that March 15, 2016 will be a deadline that is good Caesars to get lienholders up to speed with its bankruptcy restructuring plan.

Baffling moments in gambling, you say? What?

As top gambling journalists, it’s not our job become baffled; it’s our task to cut through the presssing difficulties with razor-sharp feedback and observations.

Sometimes, however, you just have to throw your hands in the atmosphere and go WTF? Knowing that, right here are the top five many baffling gambling moments of 2015.

CSIG Rhetoric

The Coalition to Stop online Gambling CSIG) is an expert at churning out baffling statements, and in 2015, these may have struck their zenith. The coalition subscribes to the ‘it’s-true-because-it-rhymes’ brand of rhetoric, and thus phrases such as ‘click your phone, lose your home’ as well as the variation that is slightly zingier your mouse, lose your house,’ went down gangbusters at anti-gambling cocktail parties in 2010.

Representative Jason Chaffetz’ (R- UT 3rd District) assertion that RAWA is just a pro-states’ rights bill, despite all evidence to the contrary, was pretty ‘out there’ in the bafflement stakes, we thought. And meanwhile, John Kindt, a professor at the University of Illinois Law School, was keen on quoting a scholarly research from 1999, the times of dial-up Internet, as evidence that ‘Internet gambling cannot be regulated.’

Finger on the pulse here, Professor.

However, the award for the baffling that is most CSIG declaration of the year would go to a ‘news’ header on the organization’s web site which screamed ‘Online Gambling Hurts Farmers.’

The logic of why this demographic is very at risk is lost we realize CSIG is not averse to resorting to the use of emotive language to make an intellectually dishonest point or two, but farmers on us, and? The correlation that is only might make had been that spades might be used by farmers to dig things, so there you go.

The Daily Fantasy Sports Scandal

The daily fantasy sports (DFS) scandal was pretty odd whenever you contemplate it. DFS continued its unstoppable rise throughout the first nine months of the season, with the most notable two internet sites, FanDuel and DraftKings, securing vast sums of dollars in investments as the multibillion dollar industry began mulling international expansion and world domination that is eventual.

With all this on the line, you may have thought that someone at the 2 club player casino promotions kingpin businesses would have remembered to prohibit their players from playing games at rival sites.

Nope.

DFS became thoroughly unglued by the end of September, when it emerged that a DraftKings employee had accidentally released player data prior to the week’s NFL games had started. In the same week, this employee won $350,000 playing at FanDuel.

Accusations of ‘insider trading’ were perhaps overblown, and the employee was ultimately cleared of wrongdoing, but the public’s faith in DFS was shaken, and suddenly the industry ended up being attacks that are facing all fronts, from player legal actions to judicial investigations to denouncements from regulators and politicians.

Beware the Ides of March

That Caesars Entertainment’s debt stands at an unprecedented industry high of around $20 billion ended up being a fact that baffled the Nevada Gaming Commission at a meeting to discuss its messy bankruptcy proceedings in 2010.

The Commission called the situation ‘embarrassing,’ and suggested that the company refrain from ‘building any Ferris wheels for a while’ to chuckles from assembled members associated with the press.

‘Everyone throws the economy under the bus,’ snapped commission chairman Tony Alamo testily.

In searching for Chapter 11 proceedings for its main running unit, Caesars has been accused by its second lien creditors of restructuring its assets in an easy method that unfairly prefers its controlling private equity backers, who were the inventors that got Caesars in this mess into the place that is first.

Faced with lawsuits and accusations of fraudulent behavior, Caesars devised a restructuring plan that is new. Now the ongoing business is faced with the job of getting its lower bondholders on board. The deadline for this is March 15 of next year, after which Caesars will lose control over its own bankruptcy proceedings.

Shakespeare scholars among you will recognize this date as the one known as ‘the Ides of March’ in the Roman calendar and the day that is fateful of Caesar’s assassination by his previous supporter, Brutus.

Who’d have thought that a bankruptcy judge would have such a wicked sense of humor?

There were countless baffling moments in 2010, we had to get this piece a two-parter, so come back tomorrow for more gambling that is bewildering moments from 2015.

Five Most Baffling Gambling Moments of 2015, Part Two

Revel owner Glen Straub ended up 2015 saddled with the world’s biggest bill that is electric. (Image: Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Welcome back to Part Two of our operate down of 2015’s most baffling happenings, in which we ponder a few of the more mystifying occurrences of this 12 months inside and around the video gaming universe.

Chukchansi Fees

In July, previous Chukchansi leader that is tribal McDonald accepted a plea discount and was sentenced to 485 times for false imprisonment after admitting to being the orchestrator of just one of the most extremely idiotic moments in the history of the casino industry.

The earlier October, he had lead an assault that is armed the Chukchansi Gold Casino, near Fresno, California.

McDonald had stormed the home with some 20 accomplices, giving customers operating for cover, and ordering security guards at gunpoint as a protected area of this building. Guards were reportedly handcuffed and assaulted, but no casino customers had been hurt.

This it appears, was the culmination of a power that is bizarre between two rival Chukchansi factions vying for control of the casino. McDonald was in fact running the casino from the nearby business park up to August 2014, each time a rival group, led by one Reggie Lewis, resulted in the night and literally took the casino over.

While Lewis is great at surreptitiously taking over gaming properties, it seems his admin skills aren’t quite so hot, as he failed to register the accounts, which meant that the casino was dealing with a $16 million fine from the regulator and closure that is possible.

McDonald made a decision to take extreme action and charged into the casino with guns drawn. We’re perhaps not quite sure what their goal was, but he will have plenty of time to consider it in the pokey.

Straub’s Strange Energy

Eccentric billionaire Glen Straub happens to be a lively and um, interesting source of entertainment this year. The property magnate initially lost the auction to buy the distressed Revel Casino property in Atlantic City and immediately blasted the auction as ‘improper.’

Having suffered a bad bout of something, Straub explained, he previously flown from New Jersey to their house in Florida to recover his medicine, a fact that so coincidentally took him out of the picture during the final crucial phase of the bidding process.

However, when the champion for the bid, Brookfield Asset Management, got wind of Revel’s astronomical energy bill, a non-negotiable $36 million per 12 months, it bailed on the deal anyway. Straub stepped in, picking right on up the $4.9 billion home for a song, at $82 million.

The idealistic developer initially said he wanted to reopen Revel not being a casino, but as an ‘elite college’ where the world’s brightest people could spend their days ruminating on solving global issues such as for example ‘famine, cancer and nuclear waste storage.’

Once he had their hands on the home, though, he decided that he’d probably simply reopen it as being a casino after all, albeit it one devoted to ‘life expansion science,’ whatever that is.

By of this year, it was none of these things april. What it was, however, based on the Atlantic City Fire Department, had been a ’47-story fire danger,’ as Straub had been refusing to honor the contract because of the adjacent power plant and had been take off.

A lack of flowing water through Revel’s pipes, and no electricity to allow firefighters access to the floors that are upper meant that a fire outbreak could possibly be potentially catastrophic.

The apparently cursed casino property remains shuttered while Straub’s unpaid power bills come across the millions. Possibly he can’t read them while sitting in the dark.

The Fall of Macau: What took place to the Gambling Fireball in 2015?

The fortunes of Macau were already tumbling as 2015 started. The downturn actually started back in June 2014, when the gambling hub recorded the first-ever monthly dip in revenues since Stanley Ho’s casino monopoly finished in 2012, a move that had effectively opened the Asian gambling region as much as investment that is foreign.

However, no one could quite have anticipated numbers to fall so considerably, and consecutively, month-on-month, for all of those other year and throughout 2015.

Macau’s casinos were suffering from the anti-corruption drive of Asia’s president Xi Jinping (center) in 2015, which largely impacted the gambling that is asian’s junket industry this present year. (Image: Adrian Bradshaw/EPA)

Exactly What occurred?

Simply 8 weeks before the downturn that is initial Macau had reported a record-breaking Q1 for 2014, with $12.6 billion in revenues. That was up 19.8 percent from the very first quarter of 2013. And 2014 was on program to beat the entire year prior, itself a year that is watershed and Forbes ended up being calling Macau ‘one of this world’s fastest growing economies.’ The enclave had been consuming in just two months what Las Vegas scored in per year.

Macau had benefitted greatly from the explosion in Chinese tourism in the years that are preceding. A greater freedom of movement and a burgeoning new Chinese middle income had certainly contributed to the gambling boom, and, as the Chinese economy began slow, so did the flow of gamblers through the mainland.

VIP Junkets Hit the Skids

But Macau’s bread and butter had always been Chinese VIP high rollers. These whales’ trips were facilitated by Macau’s multibillion-dollar junket industry with a fondness for high stakes baccarat. In fact, the junkets accounted for many 60 percent of Macau’s revenues during the boom years.

Junket operators would act as middlemen, arranging trips and lending their clients large amounts of cash in order to suppress restrictions regarding the number of cash which could be brought from the mainland. VIPs would then settle their debts on the return to Asia.

A lot of these VIPs were, in fact, corrupt Communist Party officials whoever fortunes were produced by kickbacks or embezzlement of general public cash. Corruption had reached epidemic proportions in China, and Beijing had had enough, vowing to track fraudulent officials ‘to the ends associated with the earth.’

Fearing reprisals from Beijing, the VIPs began to steer clear of Macau, heading to Manilla in the Philippines, or even to Vietnam’s Ho Tram Strip to get their kicks instead.

Unprecedented Crackdown

The drive that is anti-corruption squeezing Macau throughout the latter 50 % of 2014. Too as scaring off the high rollers, Beijing had imposed restrictions on the use of UnionPay, China’s only bank that is domestic, which further stemmed the flow of middle-class money from the mainland.

Meanwhile, the introduction of a blanket ban that is smoking casinos failed to improve matters.

But by early 2015, Asia had ramped it up a notch, starting an ‘unprecedented crackdown’ on the junket industry, tightening regulatory controls and demanding more transparency from the junkets about their clients and the history that is criminal of workers. By September, the junket industry was ‘broken,’ according to Rob Goldstein, LVS president.

Brand New casino resorts, conceived throughout the boom time, still exposed their doors this such as James Packer’s Studio City Macau, while Steve Wynn’s Wynn Palace Macau due to open in the middle of next year.

Inspite of the general malaise and stingy dining table games allocations for new casinos from the Macau regulator which will be bowing to pressure from Beijing, Packer said he remained positive about the location’s long-term future, while conceding that Macau’s downturn was ‘worse than anyone expected.’