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Resorts World Las Vegas Eliminates All Free Parking

Resorts World announced on Thursday the end of free parking even for its rewards club members. As of June 1, only club members who have attained a new “Elite Tier” status or above can park without paying.

Resorts World’s parking garages, once free for all to use, are now a perk of spending at the property. (Image: vegasfoodandfun.com)

Elite requires players to earn 3,000 tier credits from dining, shopping, or gambling at Resorts World.

For all non-Elites, self-parking will cost a flat $18.

When the glitzy $4.3 billion integrated resort, owned and operated by Malaysia-based Genting Group, opened on the Strip’s unhappening north end in June 2021, it promised perpetual free parking to all.

Resorts World broke that promise two years later, reserving free parking only for patrons enrolled in its Genting Rewards loyalty program, regardless of their spending record with the property.

Final 4

As of June 1, the only Las Vegas resorts to still offer free parking will be TI, Circus Circus, Casino Royale, and the Sahara.

The Sahara’s parking is still free. For now. (Image: KSNV-TV/Las Vegas)

However, upgrades to the Sahara’s two garages earlier this month, which, according to the resort’s website added “the latest technology to improve your safety and experience,” have cast doubt on how much longer this will be the case.

The Sahara’s website now reads that parking is free “for hotel and property guests.” This suggests that the aforementioned new technology may have been installed to prevent people from parking there to visit the adjacent Wynn and Encore, which only offers free parking for three hours to anyone not registered at their hotels.

In case you’re not keeping count, the last time we updated the list of Strip resorts with free parking, it included the Tropicana, which is currently being demolished. The next time, Casino Royale may also go the same way, since plans are being made to replace it with a 699-foot tower.

Free self-parking also remains available on the Strip at the Fashion Show Mall and the Shoppes at Mandalay Palace. Aria’s Shops at Crystals also offers free valet parking.

A bank of parking ticket machines at New York-New York on the Las Vegas Strip. MGM Resorts, New York-New York’s owner, became the first Las Vegas resort chain to charge for parking in 2016. (Image: travelzork.com)

Fee For All

Free parking was a staple of the Strip from the day it began until 2016. That was the year MGM, which operates the Bellagio, Aria, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, Park MGM, Mirage, New York-New York, Luxor, and Excalibur, became the first casino company on the charge for the Strip tradition.

For a year or two, most competitors kept their self-parking free as a selling point. Eventually, all caved. Longtime holdouts Wynn and Encore finally relented last year, blaming pressure from The Sphere.

That you once parked for free at all Las Vegas Strip casinos will be a story you tell your grandchildren one day, just like the stories you tell them about drinking in them for free and (if you’re old enough), once getting your room comped because you gambled $100.

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US DOJ Sues to Break Up Live Nation & Ticketmaster

The US Justice Department on Thursday filed an antitrust lawsuit in federal court against Live Nation Entertainment, the parent company of music promoter Live Nation and ticket sales giant Ticketmaster. The lawsuit, joined by 30 states, seeks to break up the company.

Taylor Swift was furious at Ticketmaster in 2022 for bungling the sale of her tickets to her fans. (Image: Newsweek)

At issue is Live Nation’s alleged monopoly over live entertainment in the US and the exorbitant fees Ticketmaster is able to charge as a result.

We allege that Live Nation relies on unlawful, anticompetitive conduct to exercise its monopolistic control over the live events industry in the United States at the cost of fans, artists, smaller promoters, and venue operators,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland in a statement.

“The result is that fans pay more in fees, artists have fewer opportunities to play concerts, smaller promoters get squeezed out, and venues have fewer real choices for ticketing services. It is time to break up Live Nation-Ticketmaster.”

Live Nation and Ticketmaster merged in 2010, despite concerns about a potential monopoly. The companies now control an estimated 70% of the ticketing and live event venues market — possibly even more in Las Vegas, though a city-by-city breakdown couldn’t be found.

Response Not So Swift

The precipitating incident for the lawsuit was pop superstar Taylor Swift’s “The Eras” tour, for which Ticketmaster canceled a public on-sale date in November 2022 because it screwed up and sold all 2.4 million tickets during its presale.

It was the first time in the California-based ticket distributor’s 47-year history that it has canceled a previously announced on-sale because of a lack of inventory.

It’s really difficult for me to trust an outside entity with these relationships and loyalties, and excruciating for me to just watch mistakes happen with no recourse,” Swift wrote in an Instagram post at the time. “There are a multitude of reasons why people had such a hard time trying to get tickets, and I’m trying to figure out how this situation can be improved moving forward.”

The DOJ opened its probe of Live Nation shortly following the fiasco. And, at a US Senate hearing in January 2023, several senators slammed Live Nation’s lack of transparency and inability to block bot purchases of tickets.

A Taylor Swift fan filed a class action suit against Live Nation in December 2022 over the debacle, alleging fraud, price-fixing, and antitrust violations. The lawsuit, joined by thousands of fans, claimed that Ticketmaster was “a monopoly” that “knowingly misled millions of fans.”

A year later, the fan, Michelle Sterloff, dropped her case. Although she never stated why, it was reported shortly beforehand that both sides were engaged in “ongoing settlement discussions.”

Ticketmaster’s Defense

Earlier this year, Live Nation’s head of Corporate Affairs, Dan Wall, defended his company’s policies, claiming in a blog post that ticket prices are determined by artists and their teams, while additional service charges are determined by the venues themselves.

“Fans are also told that service charges are Ticketmaster’s way of raising ticket prices,” he wrote. “In fact, Ticketmaster does not set service charges, venues do, and most of the money goes to the venues.”

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DigitalEjis and Exalogic: Pioneering Responsible Gaming in Italy

ItalyDigitalEjis, a leading software development company specializing in responsible gaming, has formed an exciting partnership with Exalogic, Italy’s premier gambling platform provider. This collaboration marks a significant milestone in the Italian gaming landscape, particularly in enhancing responsible gambling practices and preventing addiction.

Predictive Software for Safer Gaming

digitalejis-and-exalogic-pioneering-responsible-gaming-in-italyDigitalEjis has developed a groundbreaking software solution that can predict the onset of gambling addiction before a player places their first bet. Unlike existing tools that detect addiction only after compulsive behavior has begun, DigitalEjis’ predictive software allows operators to tailor the betting experience for each customer from the start. This innovative approach enables operators to offer their players the safest and most engaging environment possible, setting a new standard in responsible gaming.

Exalogic, known for its robust and reliable gambling platform, has selected DigitalEjis as its exclusive partner for predictive and anti-addiction products. This strategic alliance ensures that responsible gaming practices are deeply integrated into the Italian gambling landscape. By incorporating DigitalEjis’ cutting-edge technology, Exalogic can provide a safer, more responsible gaming experience for its users.

Embracing the Italian Market

Dr. Ian McLoughlin, Founder and CEO of DigitalEjis, expressed his excitement about the partnership: “It’s great to see how wholeheartedly the Italian market has embraced DigitalEjis through this agreement with Italy’s number one platform provider and value-added services partner to the gambling industry.” This collaboration positions DigitalEjis as a leader in the Italian market, setting a precedent for responsible gaming practices.

Responsible Gambling at the Core

The recent decree on gambling in Italy, particularly Article 14, highlights the critical importance of responsible gaming. The decree focuses on protecting players from the onset of gambling addiction by adopting software empowered by Artificial Intelligence (AI). DigitalEjis’ product aligns perfectly with this initiative, offering precise predictions and personalized protection for players.

This partnership between DigitalEjis and Exalogic signifies a major advancement in the field of responsible gaming. By integrating DigitalEjis’ predictive software with Exalogic’s platform, the two companies are setting a new benchmark for player safety and addiction prevention in Italy. This collaboration not only enhances the user experience but also underscores the commitment of both companies to promoting responsible gaming practices.

Looking Ahead

As DigitalEjis and Exalogic move forward with their partnership, they aim to continue innovating and improving their offerings to further support responsible gaming. This alliance is expected to have a lasting impact on the Italian gambling industry, providing operators with the tools they need to protect their players and foster a safer gaming environment.

Source: “DigitalEjis and Exalogic: Pioneering Responsible Gaming in Italy”European Gaming. May 20, 2024.

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GambleAware Rebuts Good Law Project’s Misleading Accusations

gambleaware-responds-to-inaccurate-and-misleading-claimsGambleAware chief executive Zoë Osmond has robustly defended the charity’s work following a recent complaint from the Good Law Project. This complaint, filed in March, questions how effectively GambleAware disseminates information and accuses its trustees of failing to provide adequate gambling harm education.

The Good Law Project argues that GambleAware’s underperformance stems from its industry ties and its “reliance on industry funding.” In response, Osmond reaffirmed the charity’s independent stance, stating to iGB that GambleAware operates independently from the gambling industry.

Osmond has once again reiterated GambleAware’s independence and expressed confidence that the complaint will not be upheld. The Charity Commission is still assessing whether it needs to take action regarding the complaint.

“Our robust governance and commissioning practices ensure that the industry has no influence over our operations. GambleAware’s independence has been widely recognised by a range of stakeholders including the government, as evidenced in the gambling white paper,” Osmond stated.

She further criticized the Good Law Project’s complaint, labeling it as based on “misleading and outdated information.” While confident that the complaint will be dismissed, Osmond voiced concerns over the potential negative impact of such claims on GambleAware’s services and their beneficiaries.

Concerns Over Impact on Vulnerable Players

GambleAware is not just dismissing the complaint as baseless but also highlighting its potential adverse effects on at-risk gamblers who rely on the charity’s support services. The charity fears that such claims may discourage individuals from seeking help.

Osmond elaborated, “The deeply stigmatized nature of gambling harms often makes it difficult for individuals to reach out for help. Maintaining the credibility and reputation of essential support services is crucial to reaching people before their gambling issues become catastrophic.”

She emphasized that undermining these services risks harming not just those directly seeking help but also the families and friends affected by their loved ones’ gambling problems.

Defending Treatment Effectiveness

To bolster its defense, GambleAware pointed to statistics from the National Gambling Support Network. These statistics reveal that nine out of ten vulnerable players who complete their treatment see an improvement in their condition. For those whose conditions did not improve, 69% did not complete their treatment.

GambleAware also highlighted the significant reach of its resources, including its website, which attracts 6.5 million visits annually. Furthermore, the charity’s national stigma public health campaign has reached over 95% of the population, showcasing its extensive efforts to address gambling harms.

GambleAware remains steadfast in its commitment to providing independent and effective support to those affected by gambling harms. The charity continues to defend its practices and reputation against the allegations made by the Good Law Project, underscoring its vital role in the fight against gambling-related issues.

Source: “GambleAware defends its position after ‘misleading and outdated claims’”iGamingBusiness. May 20, 2024.

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UK Announces Liberalising Measures for Gambling Venues

uk-to-liberalise-rules-for-gambling-venues-in-light-of-online-growthThe United Kingdom is set to introduce a series of liberalising measures aimed at enhancing the appeal of land-based gambling venues such as casinos, bingo halls, and arcades. This initiative is part of a broader strategy to ensure these establishments remain competitive with the rapidly expanding online betting and gaming sector.

In a written statement to lawmakers on Thursday, Minister Stuart Andrew highlighted the necessity of updating “the outdated and overly restrictive regulations” that currently govern land-based gambling. The objective is to align these venues more closely with modern payment practices and consumer behaviors.

Changes to Apply to Debit Card Payments Ban

One of the key changes will be the removal of the ban on direct debit card payments for gaming machines. This adjustment acknowledges the significant increase in the use of non-cash payments and aims to simplify transactions for players. Alongside this, the government will introduce new player protection measures to ensure responsible gambling practices are maintained.

Additionally, the reforms will allow certain casinos to increase the number of gaming machines they offer. Bingo halls and arcades will also benefit, with permission to host a higher number of larger stake gaming machines. These changes are designed to make these venues more attractive to patrons by offering a greater variety of gaming options.

Updating Fee Structure for Gambling Premise Licenses

An important aspect of the reforms is the adjustment of the maximum cap on fees that authorities can charge for gambling premises licences. The cap will be increased by 15%, addressing a fee structure that has remained unchanged since 2007. This update is intended to provide local authorities with more resources to manage and regulate gambling establishments effectively.

In the government statement, it was emphasized that these measures aim to support the land-based gambling sector while modernizing current restrictions. “Together we believe these measures will support the land-based gambling sector and modernise the current outdated restrictions, as well as helping to protect young people and supporting licensing authorities,” the statement read.

These proposed changes follow a series of reforms introduced a year ago targeting the online gambling industry. Those reforms included new online stake limits and enhanced affordability checks to combat problem gambling. The government’s approach underscores a commitment to balance the growth of both online and land-based gambling sectors while ensuring robust player protections are in place.

Reforms to Attempt to Revitalize the Land-Based Sector

The modernization of regulations for physical gambling venues is seen as a necessary step to keep up with technological advancements and shifting consumer preferences. By embracing these changes, the government hopes to revitalize the land-based gambling industry, making it more resilient and adaptable in a rapidly evolving landscape.

As the UK gambling sector continues to evolve, these liberalising measures are expected to provide a much-needed boost to traditional gambling venues. By addressing outdated regulations and enhancing the variety and convenience of gaming options, the government aims to foster a more vibrant and competitive environment for both operators and players.

Source: “UK to liberalise rules for gambling venues in light of online growth”. Reuters. May 16, 2024.

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