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Waukegan (Illinois) approves new video gambling regulations

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Waukegan approves new video gambling regulations

New rules aimed at stopping the proliferation of video gambling cafes were approved by the Waukegan City Council (Illinois) last week.

The council had put in place a moratorium on video gambling licenses, set to expire March 1, while it worked on the new regulations.

The ordinance approved last Monday evening requires new businesses seeking a video gambling license to be at least 1,500 feet, or about three blocks, from each other. Businesses with existing licenses will be grandfathered in.

Aldermen had been hearing from the public that “there’s just too much of it,” said Ald. Lisa May, 7th, who heads the judiciary committee that initially reviewed the proposal.

The ordinance will prevent two or three establishments with video gambling from opening in a single strip mall, but the council could still grant exceptions in business districts like Waukegan’s downtown, May said.

“It leaves us a lot of discretion,” she said.

The new ordinance also mirrors the state’s regulations, giving the city the local authority to enforce those rules and to revoke a license if the holder fails to pay taxes or any bills it owes to the city, or doesn’t take adequate steps to prevent crimes from occurring at the location.

“There’s really not a lot of new regulation in here for local business owners,” City Attorney Douglas Dorando said.

The ordinance was approved in a 5-3 vote, with Ald. Sylvia Sims Bolton, 1st, Patrick Seger, 2nd, and Edith Newsome, 5th, voting no. Ald. Bill Valko, 8th, was absent.

Attempts by the News-Sun to reach Newsome, Bolton and Seger were unsuccessful.

The proposed ordinance would have also upped the fee businesses pay per machine to $1,500 from $1,000 to help cover the added administrative costs of having to take each application to the council for review, as well as the new enforcement efforts, Durando said. But, a 50-percent increase was just too much for May and Ald. Greg Moisio, 3rd.

Moisio said he would be in favor of gradually increasing the fee each year, and he also backed May’s suggestion of a rebate program where, perhaps, businesses that reach a certain amount in food and beverage tax would be partially reimbursed.

Video gambling, something May said she’s generally not a fan of, has helped some of Waukegan’s struggling businesses stay open, she said. She doesn’t want a fee increase to hurt those businesses.

What she’s more concerned about are video gambling cafes, especially franchises that are not locally owned, she said. They offer limited menus, employ very few people and are “strictly a place for people to gamble.”

Video gambling cafes offer players a “calm, cool environment” to play, said Bridget Weber, the manager for the locally owned Lucky Jack’s Gaming Café.

Unlike some restaurants where the games are just an extra feature thrown in a back corner, video gambling cafes strictly monitor who’s playing and ensure a safe environment, Weber said.

“It’s not the casino,” she said. “It’s more intimate in a gaming café. It’s less of a crowd. It’s more quiet. We can cater more one on one with people.”

May suggested keeping the fee the same for now and sending the issue to the council’s finance committee for consideration, though the new ordinance provides for a 3-percent increase in the fee each year.

The finance committee is led by Valko, who has been a strong advocate for revisiting how much the city charges and regularly points to how much money some businesses are earning off the machines.

For example, one of Waukegan’s biggest earners for video gambling is Lucky Jack’s where nearly $900,000 was gambled in December, according to city records. That resulted in $80,000 in taxable income, of which the city got $4,000 and the state took $20,000. The business also operates locations in Zion, Park City and North Chicago.

But those numbers don’t reflect the business’s other costs — payroll, utilities, rent, taxes, phone bills and alarms — which all add up, Weber said.

 

Source: chicagotribune.com


Source: European Gaming Media and Events

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DAO.Casino is launching Sandbox for game developers

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DAO.Casino is launching Sandbox for game developersReading Time: 2 minutes

 

Game developers will be able to become pioneers in the development of decentralized games for the gambling industry using DAO.Casino protocol.

 

On September 17, 2018, DAO.Casino is opening Sandbox for developers, independent teams and game development studios that choose to harness the power of the rapidly developing DApp industry.

Since Monday everyone may submit their application for Sandbox on the official Sandbox page.

The Sandbox project is designed by DAO.Casino developers. Participants of Sandbox will learn the basics of decentralized applications development on DAO.Casino protocol. Developers participating in Sandbox will learn to create, design and deploy decentralized games and applications on Ethereum blockchain.

DAO.Casino is planning to reward most active developers for their constructive feedback on the improvement and optimization of the SDK and related documentation. The company will separately announce the details of the rewards program later this fall.

“We are confident that the Sandbox project will play an important role in our collaboration with studios and independent game developers. We cannot wait to see our product helping developers unleash their creative and entrepreneurial talents and apply those to one of the most groundbreaking technologies of the XXI century. — states Ilya Tarutov, CEO, DAO.Casino. – I am sure that the products we’re developing will transform the online gambling into a fair and transparent industry for all of the involved parties: casino operators, developers, and affiliate marketers. “

“We are launching the Sandbox with the goal of enabling as many developers as possible to learn to create decentralized games. We have achieved an important milestone by starting to accept applications from developers all around the world who share our idea to make online gambling fair and transparent. With our technology, developers can take the whole gambling industry to the next level” – says Alexandra Fetisova from DAO.Casino.

DAO.Casino disrupted the online gambling industry in 2017 by starting the development of the protocol based on Ethereum blockchain technology. DAO.Casino protocol ensures the automation of transactions and facilitates interactions between all the industry participants: casino operators, game developers, and affiliate marketers. DAO.Casino team is fully dedicated to developing the best products and making the gambling industry a better place.

 


Source: European Gaming Media

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Big Time Gaming licences patented mechanic to Storm Gaming

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Big Time Gaming licences patented mechanic to Storm GamingReading Time: 1 minute

 

BTG licences its patented and trademarked MegaWays™ mechanic to UK-based developer Storm Gaming Technology Ltd

 

Pioneering online slot developer, Big Time Gaming, has struck yet another deal to licence its patented and trademarked MegaWays™ mechanic to Storm Gaming. Storm Gaming will be combining this with some of its brand licenses including I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, The Chase and Tipping Point to take its slots to the next level and deliver a superior player experience. The partnership will allow Storm Gaming to design and develop its own games using MegaWays™, which debuted in Big Time Gaming’s Dragon Born over three years ago.

Blueprint, another licensee of MegaWays™ has had great success leveraging BTG’s ground breaking IP, and Storm are sure to follow suit with a range of interesting products penned for land-based and online deployment Q1 2019.

MegaWays™ is a random reel modifier system that allows any given spin to produce a different number of symbols across the reels, allowing players to experience a totally different game with every spin. Big Time Gaming has cornered the market with this innovation with games like Bonanza, White Rabbit and Extra Chilli, and will be launching Who Wants to be a Millionaire in November – the most anticipated branded slot launch in history.

Nik Robinson, Big Time Gaming CEO, said: “We’re looking forward to seeing how Storm use the MegaWays™ mechanic. Storm has some highly entertaining IP licenses that will work seamlessly with MegaWays™.”

Steve Murray from Storm Gaming, said: “The MegaWays™ concept is remarkable; it provides for and delivers exciting game play on a whole new level. “We shall be using MegaWays™ on new Storm concepts and licensed IP with a number of launches set for the coming months.”


Source: European Gaming Media

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AGA Releases New Research On Economic Impact Of Gaming Industry

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AGA Releases New Research On Economic Impact Of Gaming IndustryReading Time: 1 minute

 

Report shows 9.5 percent increase in economic output; industry now supports 1.8 million jobs nationwide

 

the American Gaming Association (AGA) released a new study examining the striking impact the gaming industry has on the U.S. economy – providing stable jobs to nearly two million Americans and generating billions of dollars in tax revenue. This is the first comprehensive report on the gaming industry’s national economic impact since 2014.

Oxford Economics’ 2018 study found that the U.S. gaming industry:

  • Contributes $261 billion to the U.S. economy, a 9.5 percent increase since 2014;
  • Supports nearly 1.8 million jobs, up from 1.7 million jobs in 2014; and
  • Generates $40.8 billion in tax revenues to federal, state and local governments.

“Gaming companies across the country are enabling long-lasting careers for their employees and making a huge impact on their communities through innovative partnerships with local nonprofits, volunteerism and the generation of revenue that supports critical services. The industry’s tax revenue alone provides enough funding to hire 692,000 new teachers,” said Sara Slane, senior vice president of public affairs for the American Gaming Association. “Since our last study in 2014, casino gaming has expanded into new markets, offered innovative new entertainment options and enhanced its position as a key contributor to local, state and federal economies.”

The research was commissioned by AGA and conducted by Oxford Economics. More information about the study can be viewed here.

About AGA: 

The American Gaming Association is the premier national trade group representing the $261 billion U.S. casino industry, which supports 1.8 million jobs nationwide. AGA members include commercial and tribal casino operators, gaming suppliers and other entities affiliated with the gaming industry. It is the mission of the AGA to achieve sound policies and regulations consistent with casino gaming’s modern appeal and vast economic contributions.


Source: European Gaming Media

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