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Black Fire Innovation Highlights Opening of Debut Building at Harry Reid Research and Technology Park

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Research and innovation in Southern Nevada have taken a major step forward with the opening of the debut building at the UNLV Harry Reid Research and Technology Park in Las Vegas.

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and a host of federal, state, and local officials joined leadership from Gardner Company, UNLV, and Caesars Entertainment to formally mark the completion of a building that will serve as a catalyst to unite business, stimulate research, and advance economic development efforts in Southern Nevada.

“The economic and academic benefits of the research park are strong. Black Fire Innovation will create opportunities for collaboration between industry and academia that simply aren’t possible on many college campuses today,” Governor Sisolak said.

The four-story, 111,000 square-foot innovation building is the first project completed by Gardner Company as part of a master-planned development envisioned by UNLV, the UNLV Research Foundation, and Gardner for the tech park.

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“Gardner Company is immensely proud to commemorate the completion of Building One in the UNLV Tech Park. A campus of this magnitude will foster collaboration and innovation across businesses, UNLV students, innovators and entrepreneurs and will greatly help shape the research and innovation landscape here in Las Vegas and beyond. We are incredibly gracious for our partners and tenants who have allowed us to see our vision come to fruition,” Dan Stewart, partner and vice president of development at Gardner Company, said.

The centerpiece of the debut building is Black Fire Innovation, which brings UNLV and Caesars Entertainment, one of the world’s most diversified casino-entertainment providers, together in one space to advance current trends in hospitality and gaming technology. Black Fire is a technology hub where new gaming and hospitality concepts will be created and tested in a 43,000 square-foot innovation space that includes elements of mock hotel rooms, a casino floor and sportsbook, an esports studio, and virtual reality facilities.

“Black Fire Innovation, and the research park more broadly, exemplify the positive impact that can occur when the university and business community come together with a common goal. The park and its related partnerships provide a gateway for companies to enter our regional business ecosystem, which elevates our research potential, offers unparalleled opportunities for our students, and in turn strengthens our economy,” Zachary Miles, UNLV associate vice president for economic development and executive director of the UNLV Research Foundation, said.

Through partnerships like Black Fire Innovation, the tech park serves as a proving ground for new ideas that will expand Southern Nevada’s leadership role in hospitality and gaming. It’s also attracting the world’s leading technology companies, who want to have a presence in the region and partner with industry leaders from Caesars Entertainment and UNLV.

“Caesars Entertainment has been at the forefront of gaming and innovation for many years. Collaborating in partnership with UNLV, one of the nation’s top gaming research institutions, is the perfect recipe for success. Black Fire Innovation is unprecedented, bringing together top researchers and industry experts in a unique and dynamic environment that enables emerging student talent, technology partners and the community to work together. Caesars strives to provide the best possible guest experience, as technology evolves its exciting that these types of advancements could be conceived and perfected at Black Fire,” Caesars Entertainment CEO Tony Rodio said.

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Dr. Kelley Klein

Vermont Department of Mental Health Launches Problem Gambling Support Site

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The Vermont Department of Mental Health has launched a new website designed to assist individuals and families affected by problem gambling. The new site, VTGamblingHelp.org, serves as a valuable resource for those seeking immediate assistance and support for problems related to gambling, as well as those looking to promote healthy and responsible gaming behaviors.

Over 11,600 Vermont residents are estimated to be struggling with a gambling problem. VTGamblingHelp.org provides new and vital support services to Vermont Lottery and Vermont Mobile Sports Wagering players. Key features of the website include:

  • 24/7 Helpline: Immediate assistance through the problem gambling helpline, 1-800-GAMBLER, staffed by trained professionals.
  • Live Chat: A live chat feature available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, staffed by problem gambling peer specialists.
  • Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program: A program allowing mobile sports wagering players to opt out of playing for self-selected periods.
  • Recognizing the signs of problem gambling: Tools to help individuals assess their gambling behavior and determine if they need help.
  • Treatment Options: Access to referrals for various treatment options available in Vermont, including counseling and support groups.

“Problem gambling can deeply affect mental health, finances, and family dynamics. This website offers a space for individuals to find the resources and care they need to navigate problem gambling behavior or learn about gaming responsibly,” said Elliott McElroy, the newly appointed DMH Responsible Gaming Program Coordinator.

Vermont treatment providers can use VTGamblingHelp.org “For Providers” page to learn more about upcoming free trainings to become certified problem gambling specialists. The Vermont Problem Gambling Clinical Training offers a free 10-session, 30-hour course to develop skills in gambling disorder assessment, treatment, and recovery support. Participants can earn up to 30 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) – 3 CEUs per live class attended – while learning from award-winning experts.

“As millions of Americans grapple with gambling addiction and millions more face the risk, these services are vital in promoting responsible gaming practices within our communities and providing support to individuals affected by problem gambling and gambling addiction. We are thrilled to have launched this site and optimistic about the resources it will provide to Vermonters,” DMH Medical Director Dr. Kelley Klein said.

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Detroit casinos

Detroit Casinos Report $105.44M in June Revenue

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The three Detroit casinos reported $105.44 million in monthly aggregate revenue (AGR) for the month of June 2024, of which $104.55 million was generated from table games and slots, and $889,014 from retail sports betting.

The June market shares were:

  • MGM, 46%
  • MotorCity, 30%
  • Hollywood Casino at Greektown, 24%

Monthly Table Games, Slot Revenue, and Taxes

The casinos’ revenue for table games and slots for the month of June 2024 increased 2.6% when compared to the same month last year. June’s monthly revenue was 6.1% lower when compared to the previous month, May 2024. From Jan. 1 through June 30, the Detroit casinos’ table games and slots revenue increased by 0.4% compared to the same period last year.

The casinos’ monthly gaming revenue results were mixed compared to June of last year:

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  • MGM, up 3.6% to $48.71 million
  • MotorCity, down 3.1% to $31.47 million
  • Hollywood Casino at Greektown, up 9.0% to $24.37 million

In June 2024, the three Detroit casinos paid $8.5 million in gaming taxes to the State of Michigan. They paid $8.3 million for the same month last year. The casinos also reported submitting $12.4 million in wagering taxes and development agreement payments to the City of Detroit in June.

Monthly Retail Sports Betting Revenue and Taxes

The three Detroit casinos reported $8.4 million in total retail sports betting handle, and total gross receipts were $894,867 for the month of June. Retail sports betting qualified adjusted gross receipts (QAGR) were down by 52.2% in June when compared to the previous month, May 2024.

June QAGR by casino was:

  • MGM: $154,265
  • MotorCity: $460,693
  • Hollywood Casino at Greektown: $274,056

During June, the casinos paid $33,605 in gaming taxes to the state and reported submitting $41,072 in wagering taxes to the City of Detroit based on their retail sports betting revenue.

Fantasy Contests

For May 2024, fantasy contest operators reported total adjusted revenues of $806,636 and paid taxes of $67,757.

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Dave Kubajak

JCM Installs iVIZION and ICB System at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in New Orleans

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JCM Global (JCM) has installed its award-winning iVIZION bill validator and ICB Intelligent Cash Box system at the historic Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in New Orleans.

JCM upgraded its UBA bill validator to iVIZION and installed ICB on each of the 620 slots at Fair Grounds. Previously, JCM installed its GEN5 Thermal Printer at Fair Grounds, and now with iVIZION and ICB, the path is open for the property to take full advantage of JCM’s FUZION technology in the future.

“The storied Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots is the nation’s third-oldest racetrack, and now that history meets JCM’s leading and advanced technologies, providing a perfect blend of security, efficiency, and guest service. We are thrilled to continue our long-standing partnership with Fair Grounds,” Dave Kubajak, SVP of Sales, Marketing and Operations at JCM, said.

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