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Macau casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group(GEG) boosted its 2016 profits by more than half despite only modest gains in gaming revenue. Figures released Tuesday show GEG’s full-year revenue rising 4% to HKD 52.8b (US $6.8b) while earnings rose 18% to HKD 10.3b and net profit shot up 51% to HKD 6.3b ($811.6m). GEG chairman Lui Che Woo called the results “very credible and solid” given the well-publicized challenges of the overall Macau casino market

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Macau casino operator SJM Holdings  had a 2016 to forget, with revenue, profit and market share all in full retreat. Figures released Tuesday show SJM’s gaming revenue falling 14.5% to HKD 41.3b ($5.3b) in 2016, while earnings were off 11.5% to HKD 3.4b and profit slipped 5.6% to HKD 2.3b. SJM’s share of the overall Macau market’s gaming revenue dipped from 21.7% in 2015 to 19.1% last year.

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Casino vessels in Goa have been exempted from the Supreme Court’s recent ban on liquor sales, and they have Google Maps to thank for it.The Supreme Court recently ordered the ban of liquor sale within 500 meters of national and state highways. Casinos operating on the Mandovi River, however, are reportedly not within the minimum distance set by the court, which means it will be business as usual for the offshore vessels.

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Construction of the $950-million MGM Springfield casino resort in Springfield, Massachusetts has reached its halfway point, city officials confirmed at a press conference on Thursday. It was also understood that the property may open doors earlier than it is slated to. MGM Springfield is one of two projects for the construction of Massachusetts’ first commercial casinos, the other being Wynn Boston Harbor. Both plans were given the green light by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission after a statewide referendum authorized commercial gambling activities.

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Real innovation in poker is as rare as a witch without a broomstick. Full Tilt’s Rush Poker falls into that category. Expresso Poker by Winamax is another. And now it’s the turn of PokerStars to take the game to another level. Writing in the PokerStars Corporate Blog, Severin Rasset, PokerStars Director of Poker Innovation and Operations, has given the poker community a voyeuristic peek at a new game called PokerStars Power Up.

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Atlantic City’s casinos started 2017 off on the right foot as all seven gaming venues posted year-on-year gains in January.  Figures released Tuesday by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement show brick-and-mortar gaming revenue of $185.9m in January, up nearly 6% from the same month last year. Counting the $18.8m from the casinos’ online gambling sites and the annual gain is an impressive 15.2%.

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After the massive crackdown on drugs, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has now set eyes on illegal online gambling. The Southeast Asian country’s highest official has recently issued an order that provides clear definitions of what illegal online gambling is and how issues related to the distribution of illegal iGaming services should be coped with. Executive Order No. 13 was signed by President Duterte earlier this month and came into effect today, February 10. The legal document deems illegal all online gambling operations provided without the explicit authorization by the relevant regulatory bodies.

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South Africa’s casino industry remains the biggest player in the country’s gambling market, but sports betting is coming on fast.According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, casino revenue grew 6.7% to R18.2b in 2015 and PwC expects the casino market to be worth R22.4b by 2020. But the vertical’s share of the overall pie is shrinking. Casinos accounted for 70% of 2015’s overall gambling revenue, down from 73% in 2014 and from 81% in 2011.

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