Casino Mogul warns of the peril of online casinos


David Cordish, the legendary 81-year-old CEO of the century-old Maryland-based family game company Cordial Companies, suggested at the East Coast Gaming Congress in Atlantic City on Tuesday that he knew he was about to break with the usual sentiment in the industry.

But Cordish went ahead with his continued skepticism about the potential of online casino games, or iGaming, with a twist. As Cordish praised the late Sheldon Adelson, formerly the leader of the movement Against the legalization of this betting option, he approached the issue from a different angle.

“There are some very consistent arguments to be made that iGaming will be good for the industry,” said Cordish, including Live! operate in or near Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Baltimore. “And some very smart people do.”

But Cordish noted that only a small group of businesses – his own included – can afford to spend up to $ 1 billion or more to build a traditional casino.

“I kinda like the chances of competing in a small market,” Cordish added. “Now when you start talking about iGaming… what are the barriers? The people who can enter iGaming, once it is established in the United States, have names like Amazon, Facebook, and Google.

“I don’t want to compete with them in the ether,” Cordish said, referring to the Internet. “I don’t mind competing with them on the pitch. But they have [customer] databases that start in the tens and hundreds of millions of people that previously existed. The first thing that comes to my mind is, “Don’t wish for something too hard, you might just get it.” We don’t want to open it up to that kind of universe.

Another (younger) take on iGaming

Prior to Cordish’s speech, 37-year-old West Virginia delegate Shawn Fluharty had a different perspective. While noting that “sports betting sucks all the oxygen” in legislative discussions on gaming, he said lawmakers should “pass sports betting for show, pass iGaming for dough.”

Meanwhile, Bally’s chief marketing officer, Phil Juliano, said that looking at the developing east coast casino market, the “monster” is the likelihood that three casino licenses will be issued for sites in the. New York area by early 2023.

“How the Meadowlands will react to this, no one can guess,” Juliano said, referring to previous unsuccessful efforts to approve a New Jersey casino just outside of Manhattan. “For Atlantic City, I don’t know if that would help. Atlantic City needs to keep improving to make it a destination beyond just a gaming experience. ”

Another panelist Kevin O’Toole, chief regulator of Pennsylvania, explained that the state has 59 truck stops that have a handful of “Video game terminals” – cousins ​​of slot machines – each location meeting requirements such as a minimum of 20 trailer parking spaces and sales of 50,000 gallons of gas per month on a minimum of three acres of land.

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

The lack of diversity in the game is noted

Maryland delegate Darryl Barnes, chairman of the state’s Legislative Black Caucus, said his state’s law on gambling expansion included the “most robust” language of any state in terms of emphasis on diversity in hiring. But there’s still a long way to go, he said, indicating he was at a Monday night reception at Harrah’s.

“It was a room full of white old men,” Barnes said, adding that he had noticed only one exception other than himself. “The dynamics must change.

David Rebuck, director of the New Jersey division of games enforcement, joked: “I’m done predicting where sports betting is going in the state,” after record US $ 1.01 billion in September in the state. “I sure don’t know, but it exceeded my wildest expectations.”

Juliano said he did not agree with claims of a bleak future for casinos. He said that although young adults spend a lot of time looking at their smartphones, “young people will come to casinos when they are older – and they will come in droves.”

Murphy’s Law: Zing the Predecessor

In a virtual presentation, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy couldn’t resist a search of Gov. Chris Christie, who did not speak at the annual event during his two terms. Murphy, the fifth state governor to speak in the conference’s 24-year history, attended the event in 2018 and 2019. He also touted a bill he enacted l last year and which allows those convicted of non-violent drug offenses to obtain a license. work in city casinos.

“This state believes in second chances,” said Murphy, who was not personally on hand this year to meet a no-smoking rally in casinos outside the casino.

Other topics on the panel included the future of esports betting and more on how Atlantic City figures impacted by these Big Apple casinos.

Image: Shutterstock

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