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CCA in the News

Casino Future Not So Hard to Predict

In 1996 casino consultant Eugene Christiansen made a bold claim: “... look carefully at Treasure Island. You’re looking at the future—the future of Las Vegas.” He was more right than we ever could have imagined.

David G. Schwartz@unlvgaming
Directs Center for Gaming Research, teaches history at UNLV, gaming/hospitality ed. 2014 Trippie Awards Person of the Year, 6-time NPA award-winner.

New RI House leaders won't commit to IGT deal
The stakes are high. State-sponsored gambling — including the live table-game action and video-slot play at the two casinos — is Rhode island’s third-largest source of state revenue. It had been producing nearly $400 million a year for the state treasury until competitors in the region took a bite out of Rhode Island's gambling revenue and COVID-19 forced temporary casino shutdowns. In its report, Christiansen said: “It is important to remember that, in 2020, this is more than just a contract extension. By entering into this contract, the [Rhode Island General Assembly] would also be locking in gambling policy for the next 23 years.” The consultant questioned why Rhode Island continues to lease the machines at all, at a percentage of gambling revenue, when the vast majority of slot machines in North America are purchased. Of the IGT-run “central monitoring system” for the thousands of video lottery terminals at the state-run Twin River casinos in Lincoln and Tiverton, the report said: “Based upon our analysis of comparable jurisdictions, Rhode Island is paying considerably more than its peers for a VLT Central Monitoring System [CMS] only covering two facilities."

Downtown is where the action should be, casino developers tell Lightfoot
Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office asked casino developers this summer to show at least some of their cards on how — and where — they’d want to break ground on a Chicago casino. Eleven groups submitted responses to the nonbinding request for information that Lightfoot’s office put out in August, which asked for their input on everything from how big the venue should be to how gaming plans might coexist with other city attractions. Four of the 11 responses received by the city came from major casino developers: Hard Rock, MGM Resorts, Wynn Resorts and Related Midwest in partnership with Rush Street Gaming, the company chaired by Chicago billionaire and Rivers Casino Des Plaines magnate Neil Bluhm. Four responses came from real estate developers D3 Realty, Development Management Associates, JDL and R2 Companies. One response each came from casino financier MGM Growth Properties, casino feasibility consultant Christiansen Capital Advisors and the Chicago Neighborhood Initiative.

Report raises concerns about IGT contract extension
PROVIDENCE — An independent consultant has raised questions about the wisdom of giving International Game Technology a 20-year contract extension, and of doing so under terms that are likely to cost state taxpayers more than if the contract was put out to bid and the state stopped “leasing” thousands of video-slot machines. The long-anticipated analysis by Christiansen Capital Advisors was commissioned by House Democratic leaders, at the request of House Republicans, after months of off-session hearings produced starkly different accounts of the merits of the proposed 20-year, no-bid deal proposed by Gov. Gina Raimondo as a way to keep 1,000-plus IGT jobs in Rhode Island.

Ready Or Not - Sept 1 Deadline For New Gaming Taxes (Bahamas Tribune)
Christiansen Capital Advisors, in a study commissioned by The Bahamas Gaming House Operators Association (BGHOA), predicted the taxes would suck between $13.3m and $19.9m annually from the pockets of Bahamian gaming patrons and alter consumer behaviour.

"The Future is Here" Early tech adopters in gaming seen through the Christiansen Papers (UNLV Special Collections & Archives)
The widespread use of computers and the internet made an indelible mark on the world of gaming, as it did on numerous other aspects of our lives. The Eugene Martin Christiansen Papers held in UNLV Libraries Special Collections document how gaming companies, gamblers, race tracks, and casinos began looking into the forerunners of internet gaming as early as the 1970s and had been using networked computers as a resource decades before most people were online.

Notos Group names team to guide Massachusetts racetrack venture
The Notos Group LLC on Friday announced a team of experts that will help guide the development of a state-of-the-art thoroughbred racing facility in Wareham, Massachusetts, with the highest in equine safety and welfare measures. The facility is part of a proposed $300 million economic development project designed to revive the state’s thoroughbred racing industry. An important goal of the project is to revive the state’s thoroughbred racing and breeding industry, which generated $116 million in annual economic impact and 1,500 jobs, according to a study, “The Economic Impact of the Massachusetts Thoroughbred Equine Industry" conducted by Christiansen Capital Advisors LLC.

Web Shop Patrons Face $20m Tax Bill (Bahamas Tribune)
Christiansen Capital Advisors, in a study commissioned by the Association, predicted that the two five percent levies will suck between $13.3m and $19.9m annually from the pockets of Bahamian gaming patrons.

Japan looks to Singapore for ideas as Diet debate over new casino law looms (The Japan Times)
Christiansen warned that simply building a casino and waiting for people to come is wrong. “Integrated resorts are not for amateurs. Anyone can build a casino. But true IRs are the most complicated leisure entertainment products ever brought to market."

High-Tech Wagering Sees Gateway Into America: The Horse Track (The New York Times)
“They [Paddy Power/Betfair] already got very robust services in place,” said Sebastian Sinclair, president of Christiansen Capital Advisors, a research and consulting firm that specializes in gambling and entertainment. “They also have gone through the regulatory process in England and Ireland and have passed rigorous examinations. It gives them a leg up.”

Twin River wants to move Newport Grand to Tiverton; then expand (The Providence Journal)
At the state’s revenue estimating conference in November, a report by Christiansen Capital Advisors suggested that gross gambling revenues could drop by nearly 38 percent in five years if a casino was built in Taunton, Massachusetts.

In New Jersey, New Gamblers Being Sought (The Wall Street Journal)
But whether that model can succeed in working-class Bayonne is unclear, said Eugene Christiansen, CEO of Christiansen Capital Advisors.