Dallas Police Release Video of Undercover Officer Shooting Man Fleeing Illegal Gambling Room Robbery

Dallas police have released surveillance footage of a plainclothes officer fatally shooting a man last week outside of an illegal gambling room. Law enforcement had received a call at about 1am on Thursday regarding an ongoing robbery.

The footage shows four individuals forcing people into the gambling establishment at gunpoint from the parking lot. Officers are then seen arriving, at which point the suspects attempt to flee from the establishment.

Timothy Jefferson was one of those people. Undercover officer Ruben Martinez is shown on video exiting his vehicle and confronting the 34-year-old, who had a handgun and was wearing a mask. They pointed their weapons at one another before Jefferson dropped his gun.

made a move to retrieve his firearm from the ground

Martinez attempted to grab the suspect who then made a move to retrieve his firearm from the ground, which is when the officer shot at Jefferson four times. Law enforcement carried out CPR on Jefferson until paramedics arrived on the scene, but he later died from his injuries at the hospital.

Police apprehended two of the other robbers with one remaining at large. They also arrested the gambling room’s manager and charged him with running the illegal establishment.

Dallas City Councilmember Carolyn King said these types of facilities are an issue in the area and that the authorities are actively working on shutting them down.

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UAE’s Possible First Casino Fuels Real Estate Boom in the Area

Plenty of excitement

Wynn Resorts is building a resort on the Marjan Islands in Ras Al Khaimah that will have space for a gaming floor if the United Arab Emirates (UAE) finally gets the green light for its first-ever casino.

expectation that Wynn will get a license has led to a real estate boom in the area

The General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA) formed in September to consider regulating casinos for the first time in the region and the expectation that Wynn will get a license has led to a real estate boom in the area. With developers betting on the artificial islands becoming a major destination for tourists, construction has begun on many five-star resorts and extravagant villas.

Demand on the rise

The area was largely dormant for the past decade after the plans for a football-themed resort were scrapped, until the announcement of the Wynn project. Now demand is skyrocketing, with the price per square foot nearly tripling in a short period of time.

All the lots were snapped up and cranes are dotted around the skyline. According to a report from Bloomberg, at least 20 real estate developers are working on projects in the area. A dozen hotels are currently in the planning process, with another seven already under development.

The new Wynn Resorts casino will be approximately a one-hour car journey from Dubai.

To cater to a big influx of visitors, the international airport is getting another terminal to increase its capacity from 700,000 visitors per year to 2 million by 2027. One key issue will be providing some type of public transportation between Dubai and the Marjan Islands.

Ambitious plans

The casino company plans to open its $4bn Wynn Al Marjan Island project in early 2027; work has been underway since 2023 to develop the 1,500-room resort. It is reserving 4% of the total floor size for a gaming floor as Wynn Resorts CEO Craig Billings believes securing a license is “imminent”.

Speaking about the significance of this project, Dubai Investments PJSC CEO Khalid Bin Kalban said that it is a game-changer for the area and is “essentially bringing a mini-Vegas to Ras Al Khaimah.”

Gambling is illegal under Islamic law and can lead to people getting up to two years in prison. None of the six nations that form the Gulf Cooperation Council currently have legal gaming.

Other major casino companies also have plans to get involved in the UAE casino market if and when it comes to fruition. Each of the seven emirates will likely choose if they want legal gaming or not. MGM Resorts International is already building a mega resort in Dubai and Genting Group confirmed an interest in a project once details of potential regulations become clearer.

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Casino in Hot Water Over Ad Featuring Santa Playing a Slot Machine

A casino operator in Ireland is in trouble with the country’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for an ad that showed Santa Claus playing a slot machine.

the marketing material could influence young people and normalize gambling

The ASA determined the marketing material could influence young people and normalize gambling as they would feel it was okay to gamble since Santa did. The ad for Jester’s Casinos was plastered across Dublin Bus vehicles and contained the caption “Even Santa Stops Here – Tallaght, Dún Laoghaire, Dublin City.”

The ASA ruled that the casino company can no longer display the ad in its current form and must remove it from digital and physical channels. Legal representatives for Jester’s confirmed that it immediately withdrew the ad without challenging the complaints.

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Flutter and Boyd Gaming Reportedly Considering Joint Penn Entertainment Takeover

A potential alliance

Gambling giant Flutter Entertainment is reportedly considering a takeover of Penn Entertainment, the company that runs ESPN Bet. Its focus is on digital assets, rather than Penn’s extensive portfolio of land-based casinos and racetracks across North America.

Regional gambling operator Boyd Gaming is eyeing up a potential acquisition opportunity for those physical assets and could team up with Flutter to get a deal over the line.

Boyd’s potential interest in submitting an offer worth at least $9bn

Reports first surfaced last month about Boyd’s potential interest in submitting an offer worth at least $9bn. Insiders close to the situation said that Penn’s management had doubts about Boyd’s ability to finance such a significant bid by itself.

Penn Entertainment shares jumped nearly 5% after rumors of a possible acquisition started circulating on Friday.

Taking out the competition

Flutter Entertainment owns and operates FanDuel, which dominates the US sports betting market alongside DraftKings. The entry of ESPN Bet in November in 17 states was cause for concern due to fears the Penn Entertainment-operated sportsbook might take a lot of business away from FanDuel.

Other digital assets under the Penn Entertainment portfolio include the Hollywood Casino iGaming platform that is live in four states and theScoreBet that operates in Ontario, Canada.

The results to date haven’t been overly impressive, with ESPN Bet carving out only about 6% of the market. It is still not live in the country’s biggest sports betting market, planning to launch in New York at some point in 2024 after securing a license for $25m following the exit of WynnBET.

Some hurdles to navigate

Any deal won’t be straightforward due to potential regulatory concerns in various states. This is especially true in the states where Boyd and Penn both run land-based gambling facilities.

Boyd Gaming already has a relationship with Flutter, owning 5% of FanDuel. It has also partnered with FanDuel to run sportsbooks in numerous states.

The Federal Trade Commission would also have to rubber-stamp the deal to ensure that a transaction doesn’t jeopardize competition in the sector. The sale of certain properties might be a consequence to ease these concerns.

Appetite exists among certain Penn investors over a potential sale of the company after a few years of struggles. Investor activists Donerail Group issued a public letter in May criticizing the company’s management and saying that a sale could help salvage shareholder value after the stock price dropped by more than 80% over the past three years.

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Free Food Restrictions at Macau Casinos Not Hurting Tourism Numbers

The Macau government is encouraging casinos to limit the free food and drinks they hand out on their gaming floors to try to boost sales at neighborhood businesses.

Macau Government Tourism Office Deputy Director Hoi Io Meng remarked that this move shouldn’t hurt the number of visitors to the region. He pointed toward the latest figures which show that more than 110,000 people arrive at the special administrative region each day, which is not a drop versus comparable periods.

trend of influencers on mainland China showing people how to have low-cost trips

Hoi maintained that the main reason people come to Macau isn’t for the free food, despite a recent trend of influencers on mainland China showing people how to have low-cost trips by taking advantage of these perks. The authorities are cracking down on unsanctioned tours that take in casinos and their complimentary snacks.

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Rivers Casino Portsmouth to Pay $545k in Fines for Failing to Stop Underage and Self-Excluded Gambling

The Rivers Casino Portsmouth has to pay fines totaling $545,000 for not preventing underage and voluntarily self-excluded people from gambling. It must also implement measures to keep this from happening again.

The Virginia Lottery launched an investigation after learning about infractions that occurred in 2023 and early this year. The first settlement for $40,000 dates back to September; the latest penalty in May was substantially bigger at $505,000. The money all goes into Virginia’s General Fund.

property has received numerous warnings about subpar surveillance

The Rush Street Gaming-owned property has received numerous warnings about subpar surveillance and inadequate accounting controls.

No formal hearings on these transgressions took place as the casino’s operator settled with the Virginia Lottery before that was necessary. Following the latest penalty, Rivers Casino Portsmouth General Manager Roy Corby said that the management takes these matters very seriously and has “reviewed and revised procedures to help prevent recurrence.”

This isn’t the first time Rivers Casino Portsmouth had to pay a six-figure fine for these types of failings. It got hit with a $275,000 penalty in May 2023 for the same issue.

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Mirage, Trop Closures Will See Vegas Hotel Room Rate Spike, According to Analysts

Exit opportunities

The July 17 closure of The Mirage is to follow the Tropicana’s shuttering in April, bringing an end to a combined 101 years of Las Vegas history and creating a vacuum, analysts have noted, that spells great news for Strip hotel operators.

Las Vegas Boulevard will be down a total 4511 beds

With the Mirage soon to join the Trop in closing doors, analysts predict the closures will drive a spike in room rates, considering that come July 17, Las Vegas Boulevard will be down a total 4,511 beds.

Global Commercial Real Estate Services (CBRE)’s Director of Equity Research John DeCree believes the vacuum left by the shuttered rooms will ultimately translate into a rise in earnings for the operators of mid-tier Strip properties.

The Tropicana is making way for the Oakland A’s new stadium, while the Mirage’s replacement, Hard Rock Las Vegas, is only slated for opening in 2027. Analysts believe MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment stand the most to gain from the drastic 4.9% drop in total available beds.

Welcome outcome

DeCree’s research examined how the Mirage performed in 2023, raking in almost $596m in revenue and approximately one million occupied room nights. The research exec told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the Mirage’s performance last year translates to “significant underlying demand for the Las Vegas Strip that will need to find a home.”

significant room inventory, particularly in the mid-tier asset class”

DeCree stated that the operators best placed “to consolidate displaced demand” were Caesars and MGM, because of “their significant room inventory, particularly in the mid-tier asset class on and around the center Strip.”

He crunched more numbers, noting MGM’s 37,243 rooms on the main resort corridor and Caesars’ 20,630 room count on and off-Strip. DeCree’s final analysis is that the Trop/Mirage vacuum could see MGM rake in an extra $69m-$102m and Caesars $31m-$49m in annualized EBITDAR.

While the Strip’s two largest operators stand most to gain, the DeCree said the room vacuum will bring “a clear benefit for all Strip operators with more customers chasing fewer rooms and ultimately driving higher (average daily rates).”

Other beneficiaries

There is, however, a limit to Caesars’ and MGMs’ additional room nights capacity during peak events, such as the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Picking up this peak event strain for a welcome economic boost, DeCree believes, could be The Strat via a “boost from budget-minded travelers while higher-end guests will likely flock to Wynn’s two luxury properties.”

CBRE estimates The Strat could make $2.5m-$4.5m and Wynn $8.7m-$31.4m of EBITDAR from the Mirage closure.

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Gambler Vents Anger Over Losses by Setting Fire to Casino

A man in South Korea allegedly vented his anger after losing a significant sum gambling at a casino by setting fire to the property. Law enforcement is investigating the arson attack at the Kangwon Land Casino in Gangwon Province.

using a lighter to set the beds ablaze before leaving the property

Jeongseon police believe the suspect, who is in his 50s, started the fire in his hotel room on the 14th floor in the early hours of Thursday morning by using a lighter to set the beds ablaze before leaving the property. The authorities tracked him down a few hours later to a building in the area after analyzing surveillance footage.

While it only took ten minutes for the sprinklers to put out the fire, six hotel guests had to receive treatment for smoke inhalation. An image from the scene shows significant damage to the room where the fire originated.

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Lawsuit Claims That Cherokee Nation Coerced a Judge to Help Get Pope County Casino License

Cherokee Nation celebrated last week after receiving a casino license in Pope County, Arkansas following six years of legal action. Its representatives spoke about the excitement of beginning the 18-month development that will cost about $300m.

a company that was unsuccessful with its own license bid

This enthusiasm was short-lived, however, after news broke on Tuesday that Gulfside Casino Partnership filed a lawsuit claiming that Cherokee Nation Businesses (CNB) coerced a local judge to help it get the license. The complaint comes from a company that was unsuccessful with its own license bid. Pope County Judge Ben Cross and members of the Quorum Court are also defendants in this case.

The plaintiff claims that an Economic Development Agreement (EDA) from CNB is invalid and should have been voided after Gulfside proposed a better deal. The complaint argues that the EDA bound the judge and court to issue letters of support for CNB in exchange for cash payments to local entities.

Gulfside contends that the “discretion of the County Judge and Quorum Court cannot be bought, to the exclusion of all other interested operators” and as a result, the EDA and letters of support are not valid.

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Three People Scoop Jackpots Totaling $236k on the Same Night at Mississippi Casino

Luck was a lady at a Mississippi casino as three people hit major jackpots all in the same night. The Scarlet Pearl Casino in D’Iberville was absolutely jumping Friday night, with the property’s Director of Gaming Operations Angela Black describing the winning streak as “just like pop, pop, pop all day long.”

first lucky person won almost $50,000 from a $1.80 wager on Mighty Cash

The first lucky person earned almost $50,000 from a $1.80 wager on Mighty Cash. A woman followed that up with an $86,000 jackpot playing the Lock It Link game. The craziness was topped off a few hours later when a man won almost $100,000 from a single spin of the high limits Triple Blazing 7s slot machine.

Casinos on the southern Mississippi coast appear to be a lucky place for patrons recently, as the trio of wins on Friday adds to a list of previous notable victories so far in 2024. The most significant of the jackpots saw an anonymous player walk away with over $1.2m from a $25 wager on Dragon Link at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino during the property’s 25th anniversary celebration in April.

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