A judge by having a penchant for history and Shakespeare may are determined that March 15, 2016 could be a good deadline for Caesars to get lienholders up to speed with its bankruptcy restructuring plan.
Baffling moments in gambling, you say? What?
As top gambling journalists, it is not our job to be baffled; it’s our job to cut through the presssing problems with razor-sharp commentary and observations.
Sometimes, though, you simply need certainly to throw your hands in the atmosphere and go WTF? Knowing that, here are the top five many gambling that is baffling of 2015.
The Coalition to Stop online Gambling CSIG) is a specialist at churning out baffling statements, and in 2015, these may have hit 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 house’ plus 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 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 class, was keen on quoting study from 1999, the days of dial-up Internet, as evidence that ‘Internet gambling can not be regulated.’
Finger on the pulse there, Professor.
However, the award for the most baffling CSIG declaration of the entire year goes to a ‘news’ header on the organization’s site which screamed ‘Online Gambling Hurts Farmers.’
The logic of why this demographic is very at danger is lost on us, and we realize CSIG is not averse to resorting towards the use of emotive language to make an intellectually dishonest point or two, but farmers? The only correlation we might make was that spades might be utilised by farmers to dig things, so there you go.
The Daily Fantasy Sports Scandal
The daily fantasy sports (DFS) scandal had been pretty odd once you contemplate it. DFS continued its unstoppable rise throughout the first nine months of the season, with the top two internet sites, FanDuel and DraftKings, securing billions of bucks in assets as the multibillion dollar industry started mulling international expansion and world domination that is eventual.
With all this on the line, you may have thought that someone at the two kingpin companies would have recalled to prohibit their players from playing games at rival sites.
DFS became thoroughly unglued at the conclusion of September, when it emerged that a DraftKings employee had accidentally released player information before the week’s NFL games had started. In identical week, this employee won $350,000 playing at FanDuel.
Accusations of ‘insider trading’ were perhaps overblown, and the employee was fundamentally cleared of wrongdoing, but the public’s faith in DFS was shaken, and suddenly the industry had been facing attacks on 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 appears at an unprecedented industry high of around $20 billion ended up being a proven fact that baffled the Nevada Gaming Commission at a meeting to discuss its messy bankruptcy proceedings this present year.
The Commission called the problem ’embarrassing,’ and suggested that the ongoing company refrain from ‘building any Ferris wheels for a while’ to chuckles from assembled users associated with the press.
‘Everyone throws the economy underneath the coach,’ snapped commission chairman Tony Alamo testily.
In seeking Chapter 11 proceedings for its main operating unit, Caesars happens to be accused by its second lien creditors of restructuring its assets in a way that unfairly favors its controlling personal equity backers, who had been the inventors that got Caesars in this mess into the first spot.
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 because of this is March 15 of next year, after which Caesars will totally 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 fateful day of Julius Caesar’s assassination by his previous supporter, Brutus.
Who’d have thought that a bankruptcy judge would have this type of sense that is wicked of?
There were so many baffling moments in 2010, we’d to make this piece a two-parter, so come back tomorrow for more gambling that is bewildering moments from 2015.
Five baffling that is most Gambling Moments of 2015, Part Two
Revel owner Glen Straub finished up 2015 saddled with the entire 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 number of the more mystifying occurrences associated with year inside and around the gaming universe.
In July, former 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 one of the most extremely idiotic moments in the history of the casino industry.
The prior 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, sending customers running for cover, and ordering security guards at gunpoint as a protected area regarding the building. Guards were reportedly handcuffed and assaulted, but no casino customers had been hurt.
This it seems, was the culmination of a power that is bizarre between two rival Chukchansi factions vying for control of the casino. McDonald had been running the casino from the nearby business park up until August 2014, whenever a rival group, led by one Reggie Lewis, turned up the evening and literally took the casino over.
While Lewis is very good at surreptitiously taking over gaming properties, it appears his admin skills aren’t quite so hot, as he failed to register the accounts, which meant that the casino was facing a $16 million fine from the regulator and closure that is possible.
McDonald chose to take drastic action and charged into the casino with firearms drawn. We are maybe not quite sure what their goal ended up being, but he’ll have plenty of time to consider it in the pokey.
Straub’s Strange Energy
Eccentric billionaire Glen Straub has been a lively and um, interesting source of activity this year. The home magnate initially lost the auction to buy the revel that is distressed home in Atlantic City and immediately blasted the auction as ‘improper.’
Having suffered a bout that is bad of, Straub explained, he previously flown from New Jersey to their house in Florida to retrieve his medicine, a proven fact that so coincidentally took him out of the picture during the final crucial stage of the bidding process.
However, when the champion of this bid, Brookfield Asset Management, got wind of Revel’s astronomical energy bill, a non-negotiable $36 million per it bailed on the deal anyway year. Straub stepped in, picking up the $4.9 billion property for the song, at $82 million.
The idealistic developer initially said he wanted to reopen Revel not as being a casino, but as an ‘elite university’ 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 space.’
Once he previously his hands regarding the home, though, he decided that he’d probably simply reopen it as a casino after all, albeit it one devoted to ‘life expansion technology,’ whatever that is.
By of this year, it was none of these things april. What it ended up being, however, based on the Atlantic City Fire Department, ended up being a ’47-story fire danger,’ as Straub had been refusing to honor the contract with all the power that is adjacent and had been take off.
A not enough flowing water through Revel’s pipes, with no electricity to allow firefighters access to the upper floors, implied that a fire outbreak might be potentially catastrophic.
The apparently cursed casino property continues to be shuttered while Straub’s unpaid energy bills run into the millions. Possibly he can’t read them while sitting in the dark.
Nov Macau: What Happened to the Gambling Fireball in 2015?
The fortunes of Macau were already tumbling as 2015 began. The downturn actually started back in June 2014, as soon as the gambling hub recorded the first-ever monthly dip in revenues since Stanley Ho’s casino monopoly finished in 2012, a move which had efficiently opened the Asian gambling region up to foreign investment.
However, no one could quite have anticipated numbers to fall so considerably, and consecutively, month-on-month, for the remainder 12 months and throughout 2015.
Macau’s casinos were afflicted with the anti-corruption drive of China’s president Xi Jinping (center) in 2015, which largely impacted the gambling that is asian’s junket industry this year. (Image: Adrian Bradshaw/EPA)
Simply two months ahead of the initial downturn, 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 course to beat the season prior, itself a watershed year, and Forbes ended up being calling Macau ‘one of this planet’s club player casino authorization form quickest growing economies.’ The enclave had been ingesting in only two months what Las Vegas scored in per year.
Macau had benefitted significantly from the explosion in Chinese tourism in the preceding years. A greater freedom of movement and a burgeoning new middle that is chinese had certainly contributed to the gambling growth, 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 VIP that is chinese high. With a fondness for high stakes baccarat, these whales’ trips were facilitated by Macau’s multibillion-dollar junket industry. In reality, the junkets accounted for many 60 percent of Macau’s revenues during the boom years.
Junket operators would work as middlemen, organizing trips and lending their consumers large amounts of money in order to curb restrictions regarding the level of cash that may be brought from the mainland. VIPs would then settle their debts on the return to Asia.
Many of these VIPs were, in fact, corrupt Communist Party officials whose fortunes were derived from kickbacks or embezzlement of general public cash. Corruption had reached epidemic proportions in China, and Beijing had had enough, vowing to trace fraudulent officials ‘to the ends for the earth.’
Fearing reprisals from Beijing, the VIPs started to steer clear of Macau, heading to Manilla in the Philippines, or even to Vietnam’s Ho Tram Strip to instead get their kicks.
The drive that is anti-corruption squeezing Macau throughout the second half 2014. Also as scaring from the high rollers, Beijing had imposed restrictions on the usage of UnionPay, Asia’s only domestic bank card, which further stemmed the movement of middle-class money from the mainland.
Meanwhile, the introduction of a blanket ban that is smoking casinos did not improve things.
But by early 2015, Asia had ramped it up a notch, starting an ‘unprecedented crackdown’ regarding the junket industry, tightening regulatory controls and demanding more transparency through the junkets about their clients and the criminal history of their employees. By September, the junket industry was ‘broken,’ according to Rob Goldstein, LVS president.
Brand New casino resorts, conceived throughout the boom time, still launched 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.
Regardless of the malaise that is general stingy table games allocations for new casinos from the Macau regulator that will be bowing to pressure from Beijing, Packer said he remained positive about the region’s long-term future, while conceding that Macau’s downturn has been ‘worse than anyone expected.’