Casino mogul warns of online casino danger

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David Cordish, the legendary 81-year-old CEO of centuries-old Maryland-based family gaming company, The Cordish Companies, said at the East Coast Gaming Congress in Atlantic City on Tuesday that he knew he was going to break with the usual industry sentiment.

But Cordish continued his ongoing skepticism about the potential for online casino gambling or iGaming with a twist. While Cordish praised the late Sheldon Adelson, the former leader of the movement against legalizing this betting option, he approached the subject from a different angle.

“There are very strong arguments that iGaming will be good for the industry,” said Cordish, whose Live! Casinos operate in or near Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Baltimore. “And some very smart people advocate that.”

However, Cordish noted that only a small group of companies – including himself – can afford to spend up to $ 1 billion or more building a traditional casino.

“I like the opportunities to compete in a small market,” added Cordish. “Now when you talk about iGaming … what are the barriers? The people who can get into iGaming once it’s established in the United States have names like Amazon, Facebook, and Google.

“I don’t want to compete against them on the airwaves,” Cordish said, referring to the Internet. “I don’t mind going up against them on site. But you have [customer] Databases starting in the tens and hundreds of millions of pre-existing people. The first thing that comes to mind is, ‘Don’t wish for anything too hard – you could just get it.’ We don’t want to open this up to such a universe. “

Another (younger) take on iGaming

Prior to Cordish’s speech, 37-year-old West Virginia delegate Shawn Fluharty had a different view. While noting that “sports betting is sucking up all the oxygen in legislative gaming discussions,” he said lawmakers should “pass sports betting as a show, iGaming as a thing.”

Meanwhile, Phil Juliano, Bally’s chief marketing officer, said the “monster” is the likelihood of three casino licenses being issued to sites in the New York City area by early 2023, considering the evolving casino market on the East Coast .

“How the Meadowlands will react is one can only imagine,” said Juliano, referring to earlier failed efforts to get approval for a casino in New Jersey just outside Manhattan. “For Atlantic City, I don’t know if that would help. Atlantic City needs to keep improving to be a travel destination beyond just a gaming experience. “

Colleague Kevin O’Toole, Pennsylvania’s top regulator, stated that the state has 59 truck stops with a handful of “video game terminals” – cousins ​​of slot machines – with each location meeting requirements like at least 20 truck parking spots and sales from 50,000 gallons of gas per month on at least three acres of land.

O’Toole added that several of the five state-approved mini-casinos – two of which are already open – are replacing large department stores as anchor tenants of shopping malls.

A lack of variety in playing is noted

Maryland Delegate Darryl Barnes, chairman of the state’s Black Caucus Legislature, said his state’s gambling expansion legislation contains “the most robust” language of any state in terms of insisting on diversity in recruiting. But there was still a long way to go, he said, indicating his time at a Monday night reception at Harrah’s.

“It was a room full of old white men,” said Barnes, adding that he saw only one exception besides himself. “The dynamic has to change.”

David Rebuck, director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, quipped, “I’m sick of predicting where sports betting will go in the state” after the state broke the record $ 1.01 billion in September. “I certainly don’t know, but it has exceeded my wildest expectations.”

Juliano said he disagrees with claims about a bleak future for casinos. He said that while young adults spend a lot of time looking at their smartphones, “young people come to casinos when they are older – and they will flock”.

Murphy’s Law: Zing the Predecessor

In a virtual presentation, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy couldn’t resist approaching Governor Chris Christie, who did not keynote at this annual event during his two terms in office. Murphy, the fifth state governor to speak in the conference’s 24-year history, attended the event in 2018 and 2019. He also campaigned for a law he signed last year that would allow people convicted of nonviolent drug offenses to get a license to work in the city’s casinos.

“This state believes in second chances,” said Murphy, who wasn’t there in person to face this year a rally to ban smoking in casinos outside the casino.

Other podium topics included the future of eSports betting and more on how these Big Apple casinos will affect Atlantic City numbers.

Image: Shutterstock



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