MGM Recovery, Death at Bellagio & PA Casino Smoking Bans

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MGM Recovery, Death at Bellagio & PA Casino Smoking Bans is ready to cover casino news in a whole new way. And while we’re just getting started, here’s a rundown of stories that caught our attention this week, in Las Vegas and around the world:

Hack Attack Relief?

After nearly two weeks, MGM Resorts insists the devastating cyberattack that has hobbled casino operations (to the tune of nearly $8 million/day) is under control. And while most has come back online at the properties of the world’s second-largest casino company, nothing is completely back to normal. (IG/VegasStarfish)

Bravo systems show empty MGM poker rooms

All MGM-operated poker rooms were inoperative as of Monday. (Bravo Poker Live)


An amazing part of this story: Caesars Entertainment, the biggest casino company in the world, also was hit in early September -- but they paid a negotiated $15 million ransom and received a promise from the Scattered Spider, the Russian-backed hacking group claiming responsibility for the cyberattacks, that they destroyed the data. (AP News)

MGM has gone the other route – refusing to engage with the purported hackers and instead trying to rebuild their systems. Are you an IT administrator willing to work double-shifts to solve all of MGM’s problems? Then they’re hiring! (

MGM will presumably get this all under control, but that doesn’t mean the costs will stop. Already we’re seeing lawyers ready to swoop in and take their cut.

Lawyers going after MGM - Instagram

Hackers aren’t the only ones looking to profit off of lax casino security. (Instagram)

F1 Construction Fatality

Earlier last week people were complaining about the removal of mature trees in front of the Bellagio fountains and general construction taking away one of the Strip’s most pleasant strolls at one of the most beautiful and walkable times of the year -- to make space for massive VIP grandstands for the highly anticipated F1 Las Vegas race. That conversation changed on Saturday when a worker, since identified as Tizoc Antonio, 37, died from a severe neck laceration. Neither F1 nor MGM are commenting on the details of the death, but OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, will be investigating. (Fox 5 Vegas)

North Korea’s $41M Casino Heist

The infamous North Korean-sponsored Lazarus Group allegedly stole $41million in cryptocurrency from an online casino, according to the FBI. The theft, which occurred earlier in September, is part of a series of high-profile hacks attributed to the group, totaling over $200 million in crypto thefts this year alone. The stolen funds are speculated to be funneled into North Korea's nuclear weapons program. (Vice)

Breath of Fresh Air in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania’s State House Health Committee held a hearing on Wednesday to discuss closing loopholes in a statewide ban that still allows smoking in the state’s 17 casinos. “Pennsylvania’s workers should not have to sacrifice their health for a paycheck,” Committee Chairman Dan Frankel said.” HB 1657 aims to ban all indoor smoking, which brought opposition from private clubs and cigar bars fearing potential revenue loss. The state’s casino industry did not send anyone to testify for or against the measure at the hearing. (WTAE)

Windy City Winnings and Whinings

Chicago opened its first casino earlier this month -- with Bally’s Chicago welcoming patrons to the former Medinah Temple, a beautiful and historic 111-year-old building downtown. The location is only temporary while a $1.7 billion property at the Chicago Tribune Freedom Center is built. Despite the long-awaited arrival of casino gaming in Chicago, not everyone seems happy about its pop-up appearance. Complainers include local residents and critics from as far away as Pakistan, who incorrectly believe the building used to be a mosque and thus shouldn’t be a gambling den. (

North Carolina Casino Expansion Stuffed

The expansion of gambling in North Carolina hit its end this week when lawmakers dropped a proposal to add four new casinos from a state budget proposal. At issue wasn’t so much opposition to gambling -- North Carolina legalized retail and online sports betting in June -- but opposition to mashing it up with a must-pass Medicaid expansion measure. Supporters of more casinos in North Carolina insist this doesn’t mean proposals for expanded gambling are dead. (So keep sending those lobbyists your casino-interested cash!) (Port City Daily)

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