Las Vegas Sun

October 4, 2015

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J.D. Morris

Gaming Reporter

After graduating from UC Berkeley in 2014, J.D. moved to Nevada to be a reporter for the Sun. Previously, he spent four years working for Berkeley's student newspaper, The Daily Californian, where he was the managing editor his final year. He has also reported for The Orange County Register as an intern. He grew up in Salinas and Bakersfield, Calif.

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Story Archive

Look to the future: Games on display at G2E show transition to skill-based products
Friday, Oct. 2, 2015
Set against the backdrop of Nevada’s recent moves to regulate the development of skill-based slot machines, the conference’s showroom provided a window into ...
Competitive video gaming meets gambling at Global Gaming Expo
Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015
An entrepreneur who runs a company that allows people to bet on video games told a casino industry audience today that he has seen firsthand its problem with attracting young gamblers. Rahul Sood, chief executive of ...
New Caesars CEO ‘shocked’ gaming industry doesn’t do more to lure Millennials
Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015
New Caesars Entertainment Corp. CEO Mark Frissora, in his most high-profile appearance since taking the helm of the casino giant, said today that casinos can do more to spur technological advancements that attract younger customers. Frissora’s comments ...
DraftKings CEO says less than 15 percent of his customers place sports bets
Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015
The relationship between regulated sports wagering and the booming daily fantasy sports industry, a widely debated subject, was explored but by no means settled at ...
Illegal gambling threatens casinos, association leader says
Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015
The persistence of illegal gambling in the United States is a major threat to the casino industry that must be addressed, the head of a major casino lobbying group said today. Geoff Freeman, president of the American Gaming Association ...
Beyond latest products, what to expect from this year’s Global Gaming Expo
Monday, Sept. 28, 2015
The Global Gaming Expo, an annual gathering that brings together professionals from across the industry, starts today at the Sands Expo Center. As always, expect the conference — also known as G2E — to highlight the newest games ...
Coming soon to casinos: Betting on yourself
Monday, Sept. 28, 2015
An attorney representing gaming manufacturers talks about regulating skills-based slot machines ...
Las Vegas would be better off with bigger stadium, tourism committee is told
Friday, Sept. 25, 2015
“There isn’t a city in the world that has the venues, has a system in place to do events like we do events. The only missing component is ...
Las Vegas to host general election presidential debate next year
Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015
Las Vegas will host the general election’s third and final presidential debate on Oct. 19 next year. The Commission on Presidential Debates this morning announced the cities that will host debates, just after ...
Former Nevada Congressman Horsford among two political hires by gaming association
Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015
Horsford will be a strategic communications consultant for the gaming association, and his work will include helping the group’s efforts around diversity and workforce development. He was elected to represent Nevada’s 4th Congressional District in 2012 but ...
Departing Fremont Street Experience president to join Stevens’ downtown casino business
Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015
Stevens announced in a statement today that Victor would join his business as vice president of operations beginning Nov. 1. Victor said Sept. 9 that he would step down from his current position at the end of the month ...
Gambler who turned $50 into $40 million added to Nevada ‘black book’
Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015
The famous Nevada “black book,” a list of individuals barred from entering any of the state’s casinos, has received its latest entry. The Nevada Gaming Commission approved placing the well-known gambler ...
Regulators OK $1.5 million fine against Caesars for weak anti-money-laundering procedures
Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015
FinCen called the resort's private salons a “blind spot” and said that even though they posed a greater risk of being used to mask the movement of illicit funds, Caesars Palace “allowed some of the most lucrative and riskiest financial transactions to go unreported.”
Gaming Commission approves regulations for skill-based slot machines
Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015
Nevada’s foray into skill-based slot machines took a big step forward today when state regulators gave final approval to the rules that will govern ...
Four more PT’s are coming to Las Vegas next year
Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015
About a month after wrapping up a big merger that transitioned it into a publicly traded business, Golden Entertainment Inc. said today that it is adding four locations to its Las Vegas empire next year. The additional locations include three taverns under the PT’s Ranch and PT’s Gold brands, as well as a new brewery concept. The expansion ...
Turnaround for downtown casinos: Gaming revenue up two fiscal years in a row
Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015
More than a third of tourists polled in an authority survey last year said they visited downtown, up 6 percent from the year before ...
Affinity Gaming elects new board chairman
Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015
Affinity Gaming, a Las Vegas-based casino company with properties in Nevada, Colorado and the Midwest, announced on Tuesday that it has elected a new board chairman. David Reganato has replaced ...
Construction of Lucky Dragon resort advancing on ‘aggressive schedule’
Friday, Sept. 11, 2015
The Lucky Dragon has progressed largely under the radar, but Penta Building Group celebrated the completion of the hotel structure Friday and offered a glimpse inside ...
Slot players hit $1 million-plus jackpots at Fiesta Henderson, Caesars Palace
Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015
A woman visiting the Fiesta Henderson for the first time last week hit a $1.9 million jackpot on the Zoltan’s Fortune slot machine. The ...
3 reasons why Wynn Las Vegas is a singular choice for first Democratic debate
Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015
The Wynn resort is a unique spot for Democratic presidential candidates to debate each other next month, and not just because it keeps Las Vegas in the spotlight during ...
Union criticizes Palms decision to ‘outsource’ more than 200 jobs
Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015
A third party company will take over some of the food and beverage outlets at the Palms resort, a change a Las Vegas union says threatens the jobs of hundreds of people who ...
Wynn Las Vegas to host Oct. 13 Democratic debate
Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015
The Wynn will host next month’s Democratic presidential debate, the resort said in a statement today. The Democratic Party had previously announced that it would host ...
Fremont Street Experience president to step down, move on to new challenges
Jeff Victor, who is also the Fremont Street Experience chairman, plans to still be involved in downtown
Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015
The president of the Fremont Street Experience will step down at the end of the month, the organization announced today. Jeff Victor has been president and general manager of the organization since ...
Wahlburgers to open in late 2015 on the Strip
Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015
The Strip is getting another big celebrity-backed restaurant later this year. Grand Bazaar Shops, the outdoor shopping area in front of Bally’s that opened this year, announced today that a Wahlburgers restaurant will open ...
Caesars Palace to pay $9.5 million in fines for money laundering violations
Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015
The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network today announced Caesars Palace will pay $8 million for “willful and repeated violations” of federal anti-money laundering law. A.G. Burnett, chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, said Caesars Palace will pay the state a separate $1.5 million penalty for the same violations ...
Icon of Old Vegas will live on
Monday, Aug. 31, 2015
The Riviera has closed, but it will not be forgotten. Parts of it will remain on display elsewhere, and for now the building is still being put to use ...
Nevada gaming revenue dragged down in July by decrease in Clark County
Friday, Aug. 28, 2015
Nevada gaming revenue dropped slightly last month, led by a more significant year over year decrease in Clark County ...
Will court ruling on N.J. gaming stop spread of legal sports books? Don’t bet on it
Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015
Efforts to open legal sports books outside Nevada suffered a major setback Tuesday when a federal appeals court denied New Jersey’s attempt to bring betting on athletics to its ...
Steve Wynn: From ultimate Vegas insider to outsider in Boston
Monday, Aug. 24, 2015
Casino mogul Steve Wynn, who many credit with transforming Las Vegas, has faced pushback in Massachusetts, where he plans to build a new resort. Boston and two nearby cities ...
Gaming regulators give final approval to Penn National’s purchase of Tropicana
Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015
The Nevada Gaming Commission unanimously agreed that Penn National can buy the Strip resort for $360 million, which the casino company said it would do in April. The Gaming Control Board gave the sale initial approval about two weeks ago ...
Tighter slot machines might be hurting revenue, industry research suggests
Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015
Casino markets in many states have tightened their slot machines over the years, and that could be hurting revenues, according to recent industry-backed research. The Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers ...
Las Vegas Club, one of downtown’s oldest casinos, closes
Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015
By the time the Las Vegas Club shut down just after midnight today, there wasn’t much left to which customers and employees could say goodbye. Many parts of the historic casino had already closed ...
SLS Las Vegas reports a loss of $48.7 million in second quarter
Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015
SLS opened last August as a reincarnation of the former Sahara hotel-casino, and its first year has been financially difficult to say the least. The most recent SEC filing reaffirms ...
Drugstore plan motivated casino owners to purchase Las Vegas Club
Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015
Last month, Derek Stevens signed on to a strongly worded letter opposing the Las Vegas Club casino’s plan to open a drugstore that would sell packaged liquor. Now, Stevens and his brother are the new owners of the Las Vegas Club. And the casino is not debating ...
Las Vegas Club sold to owners of the D casino
Friday, Aug. 14, 2015
The Las Vegas Club, an aging Fremont Street casino that was partly closed more than two years ago, has been sold to a pair of other downtown casino owners. Jonathan Jossel, CEO of the company that operates ...
Revenue, earnings up for Stratosphere parent company in 2nd quarter
Friday, Aug. 14, 2015
The company that controls the Stratosphere, the two Arizona Charlie’s locations and the Aquarius in Laughlin reported its second-quarter earnings today. The company ...
International Game Technology working on deal to sell Las Vegas headquarters
Friday, Aug. 14, 2015
CEO Marco Sala said IGT has entered into a letter of intent to sell the southwest valley headquarters, although the company will probably set up a lease-back ...
Fresh off merger with Gtech, IGT reports higher revenue, loss in second quarter
Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015
This was the first time the combined version of IGT and Gtech has reported its earnings as one company ...
Station Casinos’ revenue up 5 percent from second quarter of last year
Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015
Station’s Las Vegas operations did well in the second quarter, leading one of the company’s top executives to again point to healthy trends in ...
Tourism board approves $42 million Riviera demolition plan
Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015
The Riviera will be destroyed under a $42 million plan approved by Las Vegas tourism officials. It’s still unclear ...
Big changes ahead for MGM Resorts
Monday, Aug. 10, 2015
From Nevada to the East Coast and beyond, the empire of properties controlled by casino juggernaut MGM Resorts International is in the midst of a major evolution ...
Cosmopolitan reports first-ever quarterly profit
Friday, Aug. 7, 2015
This was the first profitable quarter for the resort, which was purchased by Blackstone last year for $1.73 billion. While net revenue ...
Gaming board continues work on rules for skill-based slots
Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015
Nevada officials are continuing to craft regulations that could bring big technological changes to state slot machines, but it will be a while before any of the new games ...
Penn National’s Tropicana purchase gets first regulatory approval in Nevada
Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015
Penn National Gaming’s purchase of the Tropicana cleared its first major regulatory hurdle today. The Gaming Control Board said the casino company can buy the classic Strip resort for $360 million, a plan that ...
Caesars boosts revenue, turns around loss in second quarter
Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015
Caesars said its revenue increased because of recent renovations to the Linq hotel, growth in the company’s interactive division, “strong hospitality performance” and ...
MGM Resorts revenue drops 7.6 percent in 2nd quarter; CEO says Mirage not for sale
Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015
MGM Resorts International, the casino giant whose Strip properties include Bellagio, MGM Grand and Aria, reported its second-quarter earnings today. Macau continued to be problematic for MGM, as it has been for other casino companies that operate there. Revenue from the MGM China subsidiary dropped 33 percent from ...
Scientific Games, recently merged with Bally, grows revenue and loss in second quarter
Monday, Aug. 3, 2015
The Bally merger produced about $150 million in annual cost savings through the end of the quarter, the bulk of which came from eliminating duplicate positions and trimming overhead costs, according to a company statement. Chief Financial Officer Scott Schweinfurth said ...
Merger complete, Golden Gaming becomes publicly traded Golden Entertainment
Monday, Aug. 3, 2015
Golden Gaming, a major operator of Nevada taverns, casinos and grocery store slot machines, has completed its transition from a family owned business to a publicly traded company that also runs a casino in Maryland. The company announced today ...
Co-founder of Real Gaming bullish about online potential
Monday, Aug. 3, 2015
Real Gaming co-founder Lawrence Vaughan sees online gaming becoming a much bigger deal in the future. In the meantime, his site is focused on doing the best it can in the limited market. Vaughan recently sat down with VEGAS INC to discuss Real Gaming and the state of the online gambling industry ...
5 things to keep in mind as the Caesars bankruptcy progresses
Friday, July 31, 2015
More than six months after a major division of Caesars Entertainment Corp. filed for bankruptcy, it’s still unclear exactly how the company will emerge on the other side. Caesars wants a Chicago bankruptcy court to ...

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