Bally’s Chicago Casino gains approval

The Chicago Department of Planning and Urban Development has officially accepted the proposed site plan for Bally’s Chicago Casino.

The mixed-use entertainment area’s construction is scheduled to start in late 2024. Over 3,000 full-time employments are expected to be created because of the $1.7bn development.

Renderings of Bally’s Chicago’s future permanent casino resort have also been made public.

A casino, food hall, restaurants, a theatre, an event space, a museum and exhibition area, VIP sections as well as a 500-key hotel are all part of the new casino resort development, which takes advantage of the urban riverfront site.

The more than 10 acres of outdoor space include a park for the neighbourhood, which will allow different programs like farmers markets and art fairs.

Joyen Vakil, Bally’s Senior VP of Design and Development, said: “Inspired by the city’s interplay – grit and grandeur, structure and the organic, historically-charged and cutting-edge – the design of Bally’s Chicago creates a sense of wonder and adventure accessible to everyone.

“The plan is focused on bringing in nature and wellness through the addition of numerous public plazas and parks.”

Several minority-owned enterprises with a presence in Chicago are part of the development team. The project’s master plan was created by SCB (Hotel, Rooftop Restaurant, Spa and F&B Venues) in association with V3 Companies, Gensler, and Site Design Group.

Gensler is designing the casino, museum/exhibition space, theatre/event centre, F&B venues, river walk, south park and public realm.

The construction combines green space, venues for arts and entertainment and upscale hospitality spaces.

Vakil said: “We are confident that this team will bring to life this one-of-a-kind urban space. The exciting design celebrates Chicago’s motto, urbs in horto–a city in a garden–and creates a dynamic public realm on site.”




Please can you introduce our readers to BetDEX?

The BetDEX Exchange is a sports betting exchange built on the open-sourced Monaco protocol. The exchange is fully non-custodial, meaning BetDEX never holds or touches customer’s money. Today while we are in beta we don’t charge any commissions and long term we plan to keep fees to a minimum. In addition as an exchange we welcome winning players. 

The BetDEX Exchange is fully licensed and regulated by the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commision. The founders of BetDEX were previously founders and early employees of FanDuel and the company is backed by leading investors including Paradigm, Multicoin, and Lightspeed.

 BetDEX recently launched on Solana mainnet – can you share how that launch has gone so far? What sort of volumes are you seeing on the exchange?

We launched on Solana mainnet on November 24th. This was an incredible achievement by the team to build and launch a regulated sports betting exchange in just under a year. 

It’s still early days, but the trends we are seeing are encouraging. We have had hundreds of bettors on the platform in just a few weeks who have wagered on our pre-match World Cup matches. As we add more markets and in-play we plan to more broadly market the platform. 

Why do you see web3 and sports betting as such an interesting match?

Sports betting is rife with operators who each have their own discrete and fragmented liquidity pools which results in poor odds and inability to take bets at scale. In addition because the book is the counterparty they limit winning players. As an exchange that can pool bets from around the world BetDEX offers the opportunity to take bets from anyone (winning or not) at scale.

Secondly, BetDEX is non-custodial which means we never handle customer money. Normally when you bet with a bookmaker you deposit money with them and have to trust them to pay out when you request it. With BetDEX you never deposit your money. When you bet your stake goes into a smart contract and if you win the winnings get paid directly to your wallet.

Lastly, BetDEX is built on the Monaco Protocol which is an open source permissionless betting protocol. This means that other operators can build on Monaco infrastructure and share liquidity. So instead of lots of poorly built proprietary software the industry can collaborate to build better solutions.

Left to right are BetDEX co-founders Nigel Eccles, Varun Sudhakar, and Stuart Tonner

The BetDEX team brings together huge experience in the sports betting space. What has attracted the team to a blockchain project such as this? 

The team has experience building betting products for 10 and in some cases 20 years. We saw that crypto really had the potential to solve some long standing problems in the betting industry, namely, sub standard products, split liquidity pools and lack of common infrastructure. In addition we felt we could build a company with a strong culture of technical excellence. 

BetDEX has raised significant funding. Where will this funding be invested and what’s the growth strategy for 2023? 

BetDEX raised $21M in 2021. The main investment has been and will continue to be in building an exceptional product for users. We’ve already seen that without any significant marketing users are looking for new betting solutions. In 2023 we will continue to invest in the product but also start to focus more on customer acquisition. 

Can decentralized betting go mainstream? What are the primary challenges if it is to do so, and how is BetDEX addressing them? 

We are confident decentralized betting will go mainstream. The key challenge will be to clearly communicate and prove out the benefits of betting on a web3 platform. This is a lot easier said than done given how young and (comparatively) immature the crypto ecosystem is.  

The most important thing we can do to help bring users onboard to our platform is to deliver a markedly superior user experience characterized by high liquidity and low fees on a noncustodial platform. Our internal north star is liquidity, and that’s where we’ll be dedicating our efforts to in 2023 whether it’s through content strategy, user acquisition, additional betting markets, etc.  

What were key learnings on the exchange during the World Cup? 

The most common request so far has been to offer in-play markets and expand our sport coverage, both key initiatives for us in 2023.

If you’re looking to launch your own gaming project, we are here for you to ensure a successful outcome. Let us help you learn more about our services and make your dream game reality.


Bally’s Corporation announces partnership with Minor League Baseball

Bally’s will be the debut National Media Rightsholder and Exclusive Fantasy & Gaming Partner of MiLB.

Live video feeds and exclusive gaming content will be broadcast across Bally’s digital platforms.

Soo Kim, Chairman of Bally’s Corporation Board of Directors, said, “This exciting partnership presents a remarkable opportunity for Bally’s, MiLB, and the league’s teams to come together and collaborate on delivering an exceptional experience for MiLB’s more than 30 million fans across 120 teams and ballparks.

“With a rich legacy of innovation, Bally’s is dedicated to leveraging its expertise to elevate engagement and create truly immersive experiences that are sure to captivate and delight MiLB fans.”

The recently announced Bally Live platform will also be included in the partnership.

This means both fans watching games from inside the stadium and remotely through live streams will be able to share chat rooms and watch party features.

Players who participate in these immersive tools, such as trivia and predictor games, will be able to earn redeemable Bally Bucks.

Kenny Gersh, EVP, Media and Business Development for MiLB, said: “We couldn’t be more pleased to have Bally’s Corporation as an Official Partner of MiLB.

“Since assuming operations of Minor League Baseball in 2021, we’ve focused on growing the reach and awareness of our impressive young prospects and iconic MiLB teams.

“Bally’s Corporation will be a critical partner for us in achieving that goal, providing extensive distribution of live MiLB broadcasts and enhancing the fan experience with fun and predictive free-to-play, fantasy, and real-money games that uphold the integrity of the sport.”


Acres’ Cashless Casino to be deployed at Rolling Hills Casino & Resort

Rolling Hills Casino & Resort in Corning, California, will deploy Acres’ Cashless Casino technology application, a component of its Foundation platform.

Acres noted that it expects Cashless Casino to go live at the casino in the first half of 2023, with the latest deployment resulting in the technology solution being available in 10 US states at a total of 22 casinos, across almost 31,000 slot machines.

“We always support the approach to deploying innovative technologies to provide our players with a great gaming entertainment experience, and Acres’ Cashless Casino application furthers this focus,” said Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians Tribal Chairman Andrew ‘Dru’ Alejandre.

“The deployment of Cashless Casino on our gaming floor will allow us to further improve our guest experience by providing players with a seamless, easy-to-use cashless funding option.”

Acres added that its Cashless Casino application works on any slot machine or table game, with casinos needing only to provide a mobile app and select a payment processor to deploy it. The app then becomes the user interface, ensuring that branding is fully compatible with the rest of the operator’s player-facing options.

Rolling Hills General Manager Steve Neely commented: “Cashless Casino will help us increase our engagement with players while also providing us with operating efficiencies.

“The easy and quick implementation timing for Cashless Casino was a key factor in our selection of this technology for our cashless gaming functionality, and we look forward to working with the Acres team to bring this new feature to our players in early 2023.”


Yggdrasil and ReelPlay partner for new release

Yggdrasil and ReelPlay have partnered to deliver the latter’s latest release; Festival 10K Ways.

The game features the Chinese lucky charm symbol Fu, with the 6-reel, 10,000 ways slot offering wins up to 10,000x by way of the Bonus Respins feature. It aims to ‘bring good fortune’ to players wanting to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

The game is the latest title that contains ReelPlay’s proprietary IP to be produced as part of the YG Masters portfolio. This follows on from releases Arr! 10K Ways and Bananaz 10K Ways.

“This celebratory slot promises to offer good fortune to anyone wishing to immerse themselves in this beautifully designed Asian-inspired release,” said Yggdrasil Head of Product & Programmes Stuart McCarthy.

“With up to 10,000 ways to win and thrilling chains of explosions to further post-payout potential, we fully expect ReelPlay’s latest 10K Ways game to be a huge hit with operators and players alike.”

As is the case with all YG Masters titles, the latest release is powered by Gati, Yggdrasil’s technology that enables partners to employ the standardised development toolkit to produce content, followed by quick distribution.

ReelPlay CEO David Johnson commented: “Festival 10K Ways is the latest instalment in our proprietary 10K Ways franchise. The 10K Ways series has fast become recognisable and trusted by operators and players alike. 

“Festival 10K Ways is a simple yet infinitely re-playable game offering exciting features and solid mechanics, wrapped in a sensitively considered and best-in-class production of art, animation and sound.”


Monte Carlo casino operator recharged after turbulent times

Last week, operator of Casino de Monte-Carlo, Société des Bains de Mer, reported a strong increase in revenue for the first six months of 2022/2023. Here, Gambling Insider dives into the figures and looks at what drove a successful half-year of growth for the casino operator.

Last year (2021/2022), a year still feeling the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic, Société des Bains de Mer’s H1 dip in results was no surprise. Although lower than the casino’s pre-pandemic €408.6m H1 results for 2019/2020, reporting €311.4m ($327.4m) in revenue for half-year was not as bad as it could have been given the slew of lockdowns gripping European nations at the time. 

The operator of what is arguably Europe’s most iconic casino would, therefore, have been delighted to see €432.3m reported for H1 2022/2023, an amount greater than that reported in H1 two years prior – a pre-pandemic era.  

The result of strong revenue for the latest half-year means operating profit has risen to €91.9m, an increase on the €50.1m profit reported for the first six months of last year. What’s more significant is profit, just like revenue, is up on the company’s pre-pandemic H1 2019/2020 figure of €69.4m. 

This marked difference is made evident in the casino’s impressive income for H1 2022/2023, taking €918.8m. The year-on-year upturn is vast; the Casino de Monte-Carlo only generated €45.6m for the first six months of the fiscal year 2021/2022.  

Of the operator’s segments, a rise in revenue from hotel services, understandably, saw the greatest growth. The Casino de Monte-Carlo saw hotel revenue hit €235.4m in H1 2022/2023, compared to €140m for the prior-year period. This represents a 68% rise in revenue year-on-year.  

Revenue from gaming was up, rising from €112.6m in H1 2021/2022 to €131.3m in the half year 2022/2023. Although a rise, this growth is not as impressive as that from the operator’s hotel segment, perhaps reflecting customers’ renewed willingness to travel, but not necessarily gamble.  

However, things weren’t all rosy for Société des Bains de Mer’s casino resort on the French Riviera. The operator reported a negative financial result of -€2.3m for H1 2022/2023, a larger negative amount than the -€1.5m reported for the same period last year. 

This marked difference is made evident in the casino’s impressive income for H1 2022/2023, taking €918.8m. The year-on-year upturn is vast; the Casino de Monte-Carlo only generated €45.6m for the first six months of the fiscal year 2021/2022

The operator does note, though, that the shedding of its 47.3% stake in Betclic Everest Group in June 2022 played a part in this, given the revenue losses from Betclic.  

Selling its stake to Dutch operator FL Entertainment at an agreed amount of €850m, half of the amount was paid to Société des Bains de Mer in cash, while the other half was in the form of shares in FL Entertainment.  

This also included Société des Bains de Mer receiving 4.95% of the voting rights in FL Entertainment, holding 10.39% of the company’s economic interests.  

Therefore, despite contributing to a slightly worse negative financial result of -€2.3m for Société des Bains de Mer in H1 2022/2023, the sale amount resulted in the operator generating what it calls “exceptional” profit of €813.5m on its financial statement for H1 2022/2023. This also accounted for a positive share in the revenue of €15.6m for the first six months of 2022/2023.  

These positive results for Société des Bains de Mer mean the operator had greater cash flow from its business in the first six months of the fiscal year, growing to €116.3m from €82.4m in the prior-year period.  

The after-effects of Covid still linger over the controlling company of the Casino de Monte-Carlo. Despite selling its Betclic stake and a marked upturn in hotel revenue, its debt as of 30 September 2022 stood at €470.6m, compared to a debt of €30m in the prior-year period, when the effects of Covid hadn’t fully taken its toll on businesses.  

But, although a large amount of debt to clear, Société des Bains de Mer says it remains committed to its investment programmes. With the sale of its Betclic stake refuelling its pockets with much-needed cash, the company still managed to invest €70.5m in the first half of its 2022/2023 fiscal year. 


Global Gaming Awards

The Global Gaming Awards are the most trusted and prestigious Awards in the gaming industry, recognizing and rewarding the strongest performers across the previous 12 months.

The Awards are powered by Gambling Insider and independently adjudicated by KPMG in the Crown Dependencies. BetConstruct is the event’s lead partner.

There are three Global Gaming Awards events a year.

The first event of the year is held in London, usually in early February, and rewards success achieved by operators and suppliers across Europe and Africa.

Our second event rewards companies who have been successful across the Asia region.

The flagship Global Gaming Awards event is held in Las Vegas every October and recognizes the most successful companies and individuals from the Americas region.

Companies are always nominated on merit and the reason for their nomination is made public in the official Shortlist magazine. It is also seen by the Judging Panel, together with a supporting statement, during the voting process.

A panel of C-level executives from the industry decides the winners, with KPMG in the Crown Dependencies monitoring the entire voting process to ensure full transparency and fairness.

General rules include: every company category has a consistent number of nominees across the Shortlist; only one person per company is allowed to participate in the Judging Panel; any judge who is working for/associated with a company which is shortlisted, can only vote in the categories in which said company isn’t nominated.

This month, our team will be attending the Global Gaming Awards in Las Vegas. You can contact us to make an appointment.


Asia round-up: Macau’s poor returns; ACMA’s request, Tabcorp & more

August: Macau Government collects MOP244.4m in gaming tax 

Figures from Macau’s Financial Services Bureau reveal that its Government has collected MOP244.4m ($30.2m) from direct taxes related to gaming for August 2022.

Taxes received by Macau’s Government are lower than usual, given that casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) for July only reached MOP398m, a result of intermittent lockdown policies and a legislative persistence to restrict travel.  

This June, direct tax on gambling operations in Macau stood just below MOP1.31bn. 

Most recently, Macau was closed between 11 July and 22 July 2022 as a countermeasure to rising cases of Covid-19 in the region. 

The tax rate on casino GGR is 39% in Macau; 35% of which goes straight to Government coffers while 4% is used to pay for good causes in the community. 

Recently, Macau has revised its gaming tax rate to increase welfare spending, with many of its residents suffering throughout the global pandemic.  

“We want to be customer obsessed in everything we do, and this is the first of what will be regular upgrades of our app to transform the digital wagering experience for punters”

Adam Rytenskild, Tabcorp CEO

ACMA requests further ISP blocks

Australia’s media and communications watchdog has called on internet service providers (ISPs) to block more offshore gambling websites. 

Following a round of block requests in mid-August, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found a further 15 platforms in breach of the law. 

Specifically, an ACMA investigation found the identified websites in breach of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. 

As a result, it has asked ISPs to prevent Australian users from accessing websites such as Spin Oasis, Fab Spins, RB Carnival and The GoGo Room. 

Since the ACMA made its first block request in November 2019, 614 illegal gambling and affiliate sites have been blocked. 

In addition, over 180 illegal services have withdrawn from the Australian market since the ACMA began enforcing new offshore gambling rules in 2017. 

The watchdog advised customers to avoid using unlicensed platforms, commenting: “The ACMA is reminding consumers that even if a service looks legitimate, it’s unlikely to have important customer protections. 

“This means Australians who use illegal gambling services risk losing their money.” 

Tabcorp’s “digital transformation” 

Tabcorp has released the first version of its new wagering app.

Australian bettors can now download and place bets using the Tab app, which is built on Google’s open source “Flutter” software. 

As a result, it is now faster to place a bet and easier to access personal betting information, among other new features. 

CEO Adam Rytenskild highlighted Tabcorp’s customer-centric outlook, whose feedback he said was used to develop the new app. 

“We want to be customer obsessed in everything we do and this is the first of what will be regular upgrades of our app to transform the digital wagering experience for punters,” he commented. 

Rytenskild continued: “We’ve listened to our customers and our new app has been developed with the feedback of punters front of mind.” 

“The ACMA is reminding consumers that even if a service looks legitimate, it’s unlikely to have important customer protections. This means Australians who use illegal gambling services risk losing their money”

Australian Communications and Media Authority, Official Statement

MGTO cautious on expected numbers for Golden Week 

The director of Macau’s Government Tourism Office (MTGO), Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, has expressed trepidation at the prospect of a mass influx of tourists for the upcoming national holiday, Golden Week.  

The week-long holiday includes National Day on 1 October 2022 but Fernandes, on behalf of the MGTO, has revealed she does not expect an influx of tourism.  

This is primarily due to the quarantine measures and travel restrictions still in place in Macau, which make travel to and from the region difficult.  

Missed a big gambling industry story in Asia? Don’t worry, contact us as soon as possible.


Game on: The top 10 gambling companies by market capitalisation

When discussing our industry, we throw out a lot of company names, but sometimes it’s useful to stop and put a face to them – or in this case, a price tag.

Gaming as an industry is continuing to grow, and despite macro-economic headwinds, companies continue to perform well.

But as we emerge from a pandemic and, if economists’ projections are to be believed, ride headfirst into a recession, which companies are currently on top and for how long will it stay that way?

To this end, we have broken down the top 10 gambling companies by market cap; offering a quick overview of their current financial situation and outlook.

10. Française des Jeux (FDJ) – €5.97bn (US$5.97bn)

Perhaps, to many people’s surprise, French national lottery operator FDJ has eked out a spot on this list. Like many land-based businesses, Covid-19 took a heavy toll on FDJ, but it has since executed a rebound. However, while its revenue has recovered, shareholders’ confidence has not. On a year-to-date basis, FDJ’s stock price has fallen, dropping from almost €39 to less than €32.

Currency fluctuations have naturally impacted the company’s market cap, especially given the current euro to dollar exchange rate, but a long-term pattern of diminished confidence indicates a more intrinsic problem: people do not see FDJ as a worthwhile investment. The company has struggled to regain shareholders’ trust after being hit by several headwinds in mid-2021, including an EU probe and Goldman Sachs downgrading its rating from “neutral” to “sell.”

However, market conditions are generally unfavourable right now and to earn a spot on this list is an indication that FDJ is doing something right. Ultimately, the company continues to support good causes, its primary goal as France’s national lottery operator.

Wynn Resorts’ story is a tale of two cities: Las Vegas and Macau. While the former has undergone a tremendous recovery from Covid-19, the latter continues to limp from one problem to another

9. Wynn Resorts – US$7.44bn

Wynn Resorts’ story is a tale of two cities: Las Vegas and Macau. While the former has undergone a tremendous recovery from Covid-19, the latter continues to limp from one problem to another. Most pundits don’t foresee a recovery for Macau until at least next year, and that’s if further complications do not arise.

Until this occurs, Wynn Resorts will have to hope shareholders can stick it out, relying on the company’s confidence in an eventual turnaround. But despite CEO Craig Billings’ optimism, his words may fall on increasingly deaf ears. Wynn Resorts’ stock price has ebbed and flowed in 2022. At the time of writing, it sits at US$64.02; a mild uptick when compared to last month.

However, this constitutes a considerable downturn when compared to the over US$80 its stock price opened at this year. But many analysts seem to share Billings’ optimism, albeit more cautiously. This may change if fears of a recession become a reality, but for now, the company’s position is relatively secure.

8. Entain – £7.2bn (US$8.2bn)

Entain is our first predominantly online operator, and one that has grown considerably in the past few years. But Entain’s stock is currently valued at just over £12, having fallen from nearly £17 at the start of 2022.

This is likely the result of a post-pandemic market stabilisation. As land-based operators return, Entain’s online business has, consequently, suffered. Don’t take our word for it; Entain has commented on this phenomenon itself. The company’s Q2 results reflected, what it called, “tough 2021 comparators.”

A withdrawal from the Netherlands has also impacted Entain’s performance, as well as tighter affordability measures in the UK. But improved retail trading has helped the company continue to grow and outperform analysts’ expectations.

Currently, most pundits predict a healthy growth trajectory for Entain, and one it seems determined to meet despite what CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen called an “uncertain” macro-economic outlook.

DraftKings is still very much a new kid on the block, but its youthful energy has helped the company carve out a commanding position in the US sports betting market. However, DraftKings might benefit from the age-old proverb: slow and steady wins the race

7. DraftKings – US$8.34bn

DraftKings is still very much a new kid on the block, but its youthful energy has helped the company carve out a commanding position in the US sports betting market. However, DraftKings might benefit from the age-old proverb: slow and steady wins the race.

In its quest to conquer the United States, DraftKings has spent a fortune on marketing and promotional offers. While the company has recorded double-digit top-line growth, DraftKings’ bottom line has born the brunt of its expenditure.

Q2 saw the company generate US$466m in revenue, but after deducting all costs, DraftKings reported a net loss of US$217m. Nevertheless, shareholder confidence has not wavered. Following the publication of DraftKings’ second quarter results, its share price actually rose.

Whether investors will continue to support the company’s strategy, especially as a recession looms, is perhaps less likely – but, for now, DraftKings seems content to spend, spend, spend.

6. Caesars Entertainment – US$9.67bn

Caesars, like many land-based operators, saw a surge in visitors after Covid restrictions were lifted. But, while its revenue has rebounded, investors’ confidence has unfortunately not. Caesars’ Q2 results triggered a short-lived stock bump, but on a year-to-date basis, the company’s share price has fallen from over US$89 to less than US$45.

However, this may be a mild hiccup given Caesars’ recent financial results and broader ambitions. Many analysts believe now is the time to buy Caesars’ stock, which may be sound advice if the company’s historic performance is anything to go by. Newer ventures will also offer additional revenue sources, such as Caesars’ foray into online sports betting.

Like many land-based operators, Caesars is attempting to capitalise on iGaming, though when it comes to wagering, has proven less successful than MGM Resorts. However, the company’s bread and butter is, and for the foreseeable future will be, its brick-and-mortar casinos.

5. MGM Resorts – US$13.11bn

MGM Resorts is a predominantly land-based operator with both Las Vegas and Macau operations, like Wynn Resorts. However, the similarities end there.

MGM Resorts’ operations in Las Vegas have helped offset a decrease in Macau revenue, resulting in an overall year-on-year increase of US$1bn for Q2. Where Wynn Resorts was hampered by Macau, MGM has managed to mitigate the effects.

As a result, the company’s slow climb back from Covid-19 has continued. In March 2020, amid widespread lockdowns and closures, MGM Resorts’ share price plummeted to less than US$10. However, at the time of writing, it is now worth more than US$33.

4. Aristocrat – AU$22.77bn (US$15.2bn)

Our next entry on this list is an Australian company and the first supplier. Aristocrat has narrowly missed out on a medal, posting fourth overall in terms of market cap. However, the runner up will likely feel little dismay given its considerable growth over the past five years.

As a manufacturer of gambling machines, Aristocrat was understandably hit hard by Covid-19, but like so many other companies, has executed a comeback. While Aristocrat’s share price has dropped since reaching a high of more than AU$48 late last year, it has largely returned to pre-pandemic levels.

3. Evolution Gaming – SEK 179.73bn (US$16.6bn)

We have now reached the final three. Evolution has earned itself a bronze medal, but the Swedish supplier’s lead over Aristocrat is fairly narrow.

Evolution’s evolution corresponds to the growth of online gaming more broadly, and in particular, live casino. Whether it can sustain this growth as land-based gaming returns, remains to be seen, but the company continues to post impressive quarterly results.

Nevertheless, Evolution’s stock is fairly unstable. On a long-term basis, the supplier’s share price has risen considerably, but since peaking last year, has been on a downward trajectory.

This trend looks set to continue, but it will at some point have to stabilise. However, when this will occur is hard to say and the current macro-economic outlook does not favour a plateau anytime soon.

2. Flutter Entertainment – £18.38bn (US$20.9bn)

Representing Ireland in the silver medal position is Flutter Entertainment. The bookmaker maintains a commanding position in both the UK and US betting markets, latterly through its FanDuel brand, so it comes as no surprise to see Flutter sitting pretty in second place.

At the time of writing, the company’s share price stands at nearly £104, and has, in recent months, reported sustained healthy growth. Flutter also completed the acquisition of Sisal last month, extending its dominance to Italy.

Consequently, the company is primed for future growth, with most analysts recommending investors “buy.” 

1. Las Vegas Sands – US$29.53bn

Finally, we come to first place. While online gaming has grown in recent years, and despite Macau’s troubles, Las Vegas Sands (LVS) remains number one in terms of market cap – but will the king keep his crown for much longer?

LVS stock has yet to return to pre-pandemic levels. Currently, the company’s share price is just over US$38, a considerable decrease when compared to the almost $70 it was worth in February 2020. While LVS experienced a slight rebound in March of last year, the company’s share price has, by and large, been on a downward trajectory ever since.

Ultimately, the company’s fortunes are tied to those of Macau, and consequently, the city’s recovery from Covid-19. But even though LVS remains confident that visitor levels will return to pre-pandemic norms, it may well be a while yet before Macau truly emerges from the pandemic.

A more pressing issue is whether investors share the company’s confidence, and whether they have the means, or willpower, to wait out this storm – especially as another is brewing on the horizon.


All-in-all, there are a few surprising faces here, but mostly they’re who you would expect. There is a nice balance of online and land-based, but whether this balance will be maintained in a years’ time is hard to say. There is a lot riding on Macau’s recovery, especially for Wynn Resorts and LVS, as well as MGM Resorts to a lesser extent. If the city takes too long to recover, Wynn Resorts and LVS may find themselves moving down a place or two.


Gordon Ramsay’s first Hell’s Kitchen in California

Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant brand, Hell’s Kitchen, has opened a new location in Southern California, specifically at Harrah’s Resort.

The British chef and television personality opened his first restaurant under the Hell’s Kitchen name at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

As a result, this latest location represents Ramsay’s third Hell’s Kitchen at a casino-resort and first in California.

Harrah’s Resort SoCal is owned by the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians and operated by Caesars Entertainment. It is located between San Diego and Los Angeles, in a mountain valley along the San Luis Rey River.

The new restaurant, meanwhile, occupies an over 11,000-square-foot space that can accommodate up to 332 guests.

It features a bar, full-service restaurant, exhibition kitchen, lounge, curated wine wall, two private dining rooms and two chef’s tables.

“I love Southern California,” said Ramsay. “It’s one of the best places to live, as well as visit, so it was a no brainer to bring California’s first Hell’s Kitchen to Harrah’s Resort SoCal.”

Menu items include Ramsay’s signature dishes, such as beef Wellington and sticky toffee pudding, alongside other specialty items such as lobster risotto, Wagyu meatballs and pan-seared scallops.

Harrah’s also teased future additions to its menu, commenting that diners “can expect to see new and progressive dishes specific to the Harrah’s Resort SoCal location in the coming months.”

Restaurant General Manager Sarah Ertmann said: “It is an honour to open the first Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen in the state.

“This addition to Harrah’s Resort SoCal only furthers our mission to provide guests with unforgettable experiences and Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen embodies just that.”


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