Live! Casino Pittsburgh Set to Open on November 24th

Roulette Wheel and Row of Slot Machines

The $150M Live! Casino in Pittsburgh is scheduled to open on Thanksgiving weekend.

According to a press release, the new Pittsburgh casino is slated for a November 24th opening, pending the approval of the Pennsylvania Gaming Board. Prior to the opening, Live! Pittsburgh will host a few invitation-only charity events on November 14-15, 2020 to benefit the Westmoreland County Food Bank and Sage’s Army. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is also being planned for November 17th.

Said Live! Casino General Manager Sean Sulllivan:

“We’re going ‘Live!’ to the general public on November 24th. Live! Casino is the latest world-class venue to be opened by The Cordish Companies. It’s going to up the ante on entertainment for everyone in the Greater Pittsburgh region.”

Cordish Group’s $40.1M Bid

It can be recalled that the Cordish Group won a Category 4 satellite license during the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s second auction round in January 2018. The Baltimore-based company and gaming firm beat its competitors with a $40.1M bid.
Almost three years later, the Live! Casino in Pittsburgh is set to open.

The project employed a total of 960 people during its construction phase and is expected to hire 500 employees when it commences operations. The new Pittsburgh casino is expected to be worth $188M in economic impact for the state.

Former Bon-Ton Department Store

Live! Casino Pittsburgh is located in Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County, some 30 miles from downtown Pittsburgh. It is built in the former Bon-Ton Department Store at Westmoreland Mall. The 100,000 square foot facility will host 750 slot machines, 30 gaming tables, It also has a 455-seat sportsbook operated by FanDuel.

The 22,000 square foot Sports & Social Steel City will be the main venue for dining and entertainment. The two level venue hasa 45-foot LED video screen and will host a variety of interactive social games like bowling, golf simulator, ping pong, darts, & more. It will also have a 7,000 square foot of space available for social and corporate gatherings. Among the restaurants that will open is Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen+Bar.

COVID-19 Preparations

The new Pittsburgh casino opens at a very interesting time when some businesses have closed and other are incurring heavy losses due to the pandemic. But Live! Casino Pittsburgh it determined to make it $150M project work.

Live! Casino Pittsburgh will adapt the “Play it Safe” COVID-19 response strategy that is currently employed at the Live!Casino Maryland. The plan focuses on the wearing of face masks, temperature checks, social distancing, and continuous cleaning of high-traffic areas, slot machines and gaming tables.

Playtika Confidentially Files for IPO in The U.S.

Mobile Phone With Slot Game Playing and Slots Background

Mobile gaming company Playtika Holding Corp. announced last Friday that it has confidentially submitted documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering. According to the company, the size and and price range of the offering has not yet been determined.

To underwrite the IPO, Playtika has hired Morgan Stanley and other banks. Sources say that they are planning to go public at the end of the year or in early 2021. If things go according to plans, the company will be valued at an estimated $10B as a result of the IPO.

Interesting Time

The move comes at an interesting time for a Chinese-owned company like Playtika. Tension between the White House and Beijing are once again running after the Luckin Coffee Fiasco. The Chinese-owned Luckin coffeehouse chain was recently delisted in the Nasdaq after it was found to have falsified its revenue declaration.

In the aftermath of the Luckin farce, Chinese firms trading in the US markets are facing more scrutiny. There are rumors that some large companies are thinking about pulling their New York listings. Last week, the US Senate passed a legislation that would require listed Chinese companies to be held to the same accounting and regulatory standard as US companies.

Sold in 2016

Playtika is the mobile gaming supplier behind the WSOP’s social platform. It is also the game developer of popular slot titles such as Bingo Blitz, Poker Heat, and Caesars Slots. It was founded in Israel in 2010 and was owned by Caesars Interactive Entertainment from 2011-2016.

When Caesars field for bankruptcy protection and tried to sell its assets in 2015, Playtika ended up being sold for $4.4B to Chinese investors in August 2016 as part of its cash raising efforts. Among the investors were Alibaba founder Jack Ma who joined the group via the Yunfeng private equity group.

Looking To Cash In

Last June, Playtika announced that it was considering an IPO in the United States, as part of its efforts to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its business. At that time, the Giant Network Group Co Ltd. and Yunfeng Capital group owned mobile gaming company was anticipating a $1B offering.

Playtika is the latest mobile gaming company looking to cash in on the increasing demand for mobile gaming as more customers are preferring to play at home due to pandemic-related restrictions. Previously, DraftKings and Gan Ltd., which are also direct players in the iGaming and online gambing market, completed their IPOs and their stocks are doing very well right now.

Details of Biloxi’s UMUSIC Hotel Revealed

Poker Chip and Roulette and Casino Card Background
The details of the $1.2B Gulf coast resort project of the Universal Music Group and Dakia Global U-Ventures were revealed during a press conference held on Thursday.

Dakia chairman Robert Lavia, Governor Tate Reeves, and Biloxi Mayor Fofo Gilich were also present in the event where the timeline and vision of the Biloxi casino report were disclosed to the public.

According to Gov. Reeves, the Biloxi casino resort is the kind of “bold project” that his state needs. It will boost the image of Mississippi and provide life-changing investment for its people.

Said Gov. Reeves:

“Getting a project like UMusic Broadwater means we can compete with anyone around the world. We need to set our sights as high as possible because we can compete, and we can win.”

New Details Emerge

For his part, Lavia revealed that the construction of the resort will begin next year and is expected to be completed in 2023. Lavia added that the hotel will have 1,500 hotel rooms, a 12,000-seat entertainment venue, an 18-hole golf course, music-themed decor, and celebrity restaurants. Construction is expected to generate 1,000 jobs and when it is completed, there will be 2,500 permanent jobs created.

According to Mayor Gilich, the UMUSIC Broadwater hotel and casino is expected to bring in more than two million visitors per year. Gilich added that the soaring glass music venue at the front and center of the hotel tower will be rated for 160 mph winds. He even joked that people from miles ways Ship Island would be able to watch concerts from its massive video board.

First Foray in Hospitality Industry

Earlier this week, the Universal Music Group announced that it will be building three hotels under what it called the UMUSIC brand. Universal chose Biloxi, Orlando and Atlanta as the areas where they will develop their first three hotels. The Biloxi project will be built on the 266 acre property that was once the Broadwater Resort, the gem of the Gulf Coast.

During a previous announcement, the Universal Music Group said that the Biloxi project will recreate the old Broadwater Resort by including a hotel, marina, golf course, and casino. In addition, the investors of the project said that they will also build a state-of-the-art musical experience as they aim to seamlessly integrate a stunning performance venue and a luxury hotel with immersive architectural design.

The Universal Music Group is one of the largest music company in the world. It has an impressive portfolio that includes Abbey Road Studios, Capitol Records, and Def Jam Recordings. Last year, it reported a revenue of $7.7B which was 20% higher than its 2018 figures.

New Jersey Breaks Own Mark With $748M in Sports Bets Made in September 2020

Odds Board and Money
September was another record-breaking month for the Garden State. After shattering the all-time high for the total number of sports bet taken during a month for a US state, New Jersey eclipsed the mark for the second consecutive month.

Last month, New Jersey shattered the United States record with a total betting handle of $668M for the month of August 2020. That number topped the Garden State’s previous mark of $562.7M which it set in November 2019. The August 2020 figures of New Jersey sports betting also topped the national standard of $614.1M which was set by Nevada in November 2019.

Return of Professional Sports Leagues

On Thursday, figures released from the New Jersey Division of Gaming enforcement revealed that the state raked in an aggregate of $748M in sports bets for September 2020. That’s easily $80M better than the previous month’s totals and represents a 12.1% increase from the August numbers. More impressively, New Jersey sports betting total handle for September 2020 was 68% higher than the September 2019 mark of $445M.

The record-breaking numbers were fueled by the return of America’s major professional sports leagues after their forced shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Major League baseball resumed its season on July 23 while the NBA restarted its campaign on July 31st. Meanwhile, the NHL also returned to the ice on August 1st. The NFL opened its 2020 season on September 10th and that is one of the main reasons why last month’s figures were even higher.

New Jersey Has Overtaken Nevada

New Jersey took the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 to court in 2018, winning the case in May of the following year with the U.S. Supreme Court repealing the PASPA and allowing the 50 states to created their own legislation allowing legal sports betting. New Jersey was the third state behind Nevada and Delaware to legalize sports betting. Now it has overtaken Nevada sports betting with the highest and second-highest bet taking months in U.S. legal sports betting history.

So far New Jersey sports betting has taken a total of $3.2B in sports bets for the year 2020 and the state has generated a total of $223.1M in revenues off those bets. The September figures from the states of Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Nevada have not yet been reported. Some experts believe that once the numbers of those three states are in, the total sports betting handle in the United States for the month of September 2020 could reach $3B for the first time ever.

Cache Creek Casino and Resort Now Open After Cyberattack

Casino Text With a Roulette Wheel Dice and Chips

After September cyberattack that crippled its system and forced it to close, the Cache Creek Casino Resort near Sacramento, California reopened its doors last Monday.

Said Kari Stout-Smith, chief operating officer and general manager of the resort:

“In a year that’s been so full of ongoing challenges, I am grateful to put this temporary closure behind us,”

Indeed, the year has been full of challenger. Cache Creek was forced to close for three months ending June 8 due to the COVID-19 virus. When they were allowed to reopen, strict health and safety protocols were implemented, affecting the number of guests allowed inside the California casino. The last month, Cache Creek admitted to being a victim of a cybercrime. On Monday it opened its gates once again.

Still Work To Be Done

Last September 20, the Cache Creek casino temporarily closed it doors after what officials initially called a major systems outage. Later, it was revealed that the California casino was hit by a cyberattack on its systems and that there was possible compromise of client and employee information.

The Information Technology department of the California casino worked round the clock to restore their system and make it more secure. This week, Cache Creek finally reopened in what it termed as a “soft opening” but it says that there is still work to be done with the investigation still ongoing. Despite that, Cache Creek says that they are confident that guests can now get the four diamond experience that they have come to expect from the California casino.

Cyberattack on Casinos

Cyberattacks on casinos are not new. The Las Vegas Sands Corp. was a victim of an enormous attack by hackers with suspected links to the Iranian regime. The attack shut down servers and wiped out data drives, while stealing data, and causing an estimated $40M in damages. The breach was reportedly a retaliation for Las Vegas Sands CEO and Chairman Sheldon Adelson who made “nuking” comments on Iran.

In 2018, MGM Resorts International fell prey to a casino hack that led to the leak of the personal data of 10.6M guests on the black web. Before its sale to Virgin Hotels, the Hard Rock Las Vegas was the victim of several breaches beginning 2015. On three different occasions, hackers were able to steal card holder names, card numbers, and CVV Codes from Hard Rock customers.

Universal Music Group To Put Up Casino Resort in Biloxi

Open Wallet Full of 20 Dollar Bills With Las Vegas Resort Background

The coastal city of Biloxi in Mississippi will be one of three sites to launch al music-based experiential hotel.

The $1.2B BIloxi resort will boast a 1000-room luxury hotel, a casino, and a large performance venue.The project, which is expected to create more than 2,500 jobs in the area, will “seamlessly integrate a stunning performance venue and a luxury hotel with an immense architectural style.

Said Mississippi Gov. Tate Reese:

“We are excited to welcome this new property to Mississippi! The gaming industry has provided countless opportunities for good work in our state, and brought in a tremendous amount of revenue. It attracts visitors from all over the globe. Universal Music Group is a natural fit, considering the rich musical legacy of Mississippi and Biloxi in particular. This will be a great partnership that will provide a lot of fun and economic growth for the people of Mississippi.”

Collaboration Between Universal and Dakia

Renderings of the planned Biloxi casino resort show a waterfront venue that looks to compete with the Beau Rivage Casino, Resort and Spa, at leas in scale. The design includes a concert hall which is larger than that of the Beau Rivage, Hard Rock Biloxi, and other Biloxi casino properties.

The Biloxi casino project is a collaboration between the Universal Music Group and Dakia U-Ventures. Universal will take care of the music part while Dakia is going to build a resort experience around it. Meanwhile, the property will be managed by the Pyramid Management Group.

The Old Bridgewater Resort

The Biloxi hotel will be built on a 266 acre property that was once the President Casino Broadwater Resort. That property used to have a hotel, a marina, golf course, and later a casino. The owners closed resort and casino 2005, right before Hurricane Katrina struck and destroyed them. Last June, the Biloxi City Council approved a tourism tax incentive to redevelop the property.

Previous announcement on the new project revealed that the investors would rebuild all of Broadwater’s facilities along with a state-of-the-art musical experience. More details about the UMUSIC Hotel in Biloxi will be known on Thursday when the Universal Music Group holds a news conference. Aside from Biloxi UMUSIC Hotels will also be launched in Atlanta and Orlando.

Resorts World To Build 400-Room Hotel in Aqueduct

Resorts World Las Vegas

Resorts World Casino NYC announced on Monday plans to build a new $400M Hyatt Regency hotel next to its gambling facility near the JFK Airport at Aqueduct in Queens, New York. According to the announcement, the hotel will be dubbed as Hyatt Regency JFK at Resorts World New York.

The proposed eight story, 400 room, four-star hotel is expected to open in 2021. It will include new restaurants, state of the art conference and meeting areas, retail stores, and additional gaming space. Genting’s Resorts World in Caskill also features a hotel.

Said Genting Americas East President Bob DeSalvio:

“Hyatt’s global brand recognition will give Resorts World an even greater opportunity to tap into the travel and tourism market worldwide and showcase our unparalleled hospitality, gaming, dining and entertainment offerings. We are proud to work with such an iconic brand as we move NY Forward, and we are excited that guests will soon be able to enjoy an integrated casino resort experience right here in Queens.”

Genting’s Gamble

Building a hotel is considered a gamble given the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many New York businesses are experiencing big losses due to the coronavirus outbreak. Even though they have been allowed to re-open, New York casinos have been forced to operate with restrictions. Resorts World in Aqueduct is no exception.
According to Sen. Jose Addabbo, Jr. who represents the Aqueduct communities, Genting’s proposed hotel creates hundreds of job opportunities for residents and adds revenues to the state while also improving the gaming experience in the Queens area.

Always in the Plan

Building a hotel adjacent to its New York casino was always in the plan of Genting Americas’ the Malaysian-based owners of Resorts World, when they opened the gambling facility a decade ago. Genting has a strong global presence, especially in Asia, which could help bring in more customers from the JFK airport to the proposed hotel.

Prior to this plan, Genting even had an ambitious plan to build a convention center at Aqueduct and the thought was even briefly considered by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The idea folded after state lawmakers and Manhattan-based tourism industries refused to allow it to replace the Javits Center on Manhattan’s West Side.

Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Implements New Security Protocols

Table with Poker Cards and Casino Chips, Welcome to Las Vegas Sign

In the wake of the recent incidents of violence at the Las Vegas Strip, the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is stepping up its security procedures.

Beginning last Friday, the Las Vegas casino implemented new several new security features for guests and employees. The heightened security measures will be applied every Fridays and Saturdays around the casino property.

Per statement from the Cosmopolitan:

“In a continued effort to ensure the safety and security of our guests and employees, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas has implemented increased security measures on Friday and Saturday evenings at all Las Vegas Boulevard entry and exit points. In partnership with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, these new procedures are effective immediately, beginning tonight from 6:00PM to 6:00AM and every Friday and Saturday thereafter for the foreseeable future.”

Designated Entrance and Exit Points

The highlight of the new rules is the establishment of designated entrance and exit points. Under the scheme, the Las Vegas Boulevard doors facing the East will be designated as entry points only. Meanwhile, the doors on Las Vegas Boulevard facing north are assigned as exit areas only. Guests who will enter here will be redirected to the doors near Starbucks.

Meanwhile, the Sky Bridge doors will allow both entry and exit of authorized persons. The heightened measures also restrict entrance to the resort with only hotel guests with reservation, F&B guests with reservation, casino guests, and Identity rewards members allowed inside the resort.

Safety Screening

Aside from the designated entrance and exit points, the policy also calls for safety screening upon entry. Each guest will be checked via metal detector with all bags, purses, and backpacks required to be searched too. Likewise, all open and oversized alcoholic drinks or glass products will not be allowed inside the Las Vegas casino. These will have to be consumed or disposed of before the guest’s entry.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department will assign officers at every entry point to observe and assists resort security personnel. According to officials of the Las Vegas casino and resort, these enhanced security procedures are being implemented to protect the health and safety of the property’s guests.

MGM Resorts Announces $750M Public Offering of Senior Notes

Outside of MGM in Las VegasLast week, MGM Resorts International announced a $750M public offering of senior notes due in 2028. The move is seen as an act from MGM to boost its liquidity with the company suffering significant losses this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Per an official statement from MGM:

“The notes being offered will be general unsecured senior obligations of the Company, guaranteed by substantially all of the Company’s wholly owned domestic subsidiaries that guarantee the Company’s other senior indebtedness, and equal in right of payment with all existing or future senior unsecured indebtedness of the Company and each guarantor.”

An Increase From $500M

Last Thursday, MGM initially announced plans for a public offering of $500M in aggregate amount of 4.750% senior notes due in 2028 at par. The gambling company later upsized the original aggregate principal to $750M. The transaction is expected to close on October 13, 2020 but subject to customary closing conditions.

BofA Securities, Inc., J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Barclays Capital Inc., Citigroup Global Markets Inc., BNP Paribas Securities Corp., Citizens Capital Markets, Inc., Fifth Third Securities, Inc., Scotia Capital (USA) Inc. and SMBC Nikko Securities America, Inc. will act as joint book-running managers and Credit Agricole Securities (USA) Inc., Truist Securities, Inc., Comerica Securities, Inc. and Union Gaming Securities, LLC will act as co-managers for the proposed offering.

According to a press released from MGM, the company intends to use the net proceeds from the offering of the notes for general corporate purposes. This could include the refinancing of existing debts and investment in short-term interest-bearing accounts and/or securities.

Significant Losses

Last June 30th, MGM’s total indebtedness was valued at $11.4B. This included an aggregate of $3.7B at the MGP Operating Partnership and an outstanding balance of $2.5B at MGM China. The company’s liquidity was placed at $8.1B and these consisted of cash, cash equivalent, and amounts under its revolving credit facilities.

For the second quarter of 2020, MGM reported a net loss of $857M which was a stark contrast from the $43M income in posted for the period of April-June 2019. Likewise, diluted loss per share was at $1.67 as compared to earnings of $0.08 per share for the second quarter of last year. For the first half of 2020, MGM reported a total net loss of $50.4M. During the same period last year, the company posted a net income of $74.9M

The company is set to release its third quarter results later this month. But despite their casinos returning for operations after months of stoppage, the company is expecting significant losses due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent imposition of health and safety measures.

BetMGM Doing Well

But while MGM’s land-based casinos have struggled due the pandemic, MGM’s online betting venture BetMGM is doing well and continues to show significant growth with punters shifting to online gamblig during these pandemic-hit times.

In a trading update released by GVC last week, BetMGM is performing better than expected so far for the current year. The estimated net revenue for 2020 is now in the vicinity of $150M-$160M. MGM’s betting app is now live in a total of 8 states and has captured a market of 17% in those areas.

MGM and GVC launched BetMGM in 2018 and relaunched it last year with a new platform. The new look seemed to work and aided by the pandemic, it has doubled its market share in Las Vegas to 22% from the start of the year through August 2020. In New Jersey, BetMGM also captured 10% of the market share in online sports betting and 24% of retail sports betting.

Mohegan One Step Closer to Becoming First Tribe to Operate in Vegas

Table with Poker Cards and Casino Chips, Welcome to Las Vegas Sign

Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment received a unanimous recommendation from the Nevada Gaming Control Board on Wednesday. The recommendation moves Mohegan one step closer to becoming the first tribe to operate a Las Vegas casino.

Deal to Operate Former Hard Rock Las Vegas

It can be recalled that in September of last year, Mohegan announced that it had struck a deal to operate the gambling site at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. The deal is contingent on the renovation and the regulatory approval of the Nevada Gaming Commission. The remodeling of the property began last February and continued even with the COVID-19 pandemic as construction was deemed as essential business. It is anticipated to finish on time. Meanwhile, the Nevada Gaming Commission is expected to meet on October 22 to consider the recommendation of the Control Board.

JC Hospitality, the owners of the Las Vegas casino property, will serve as the landlord. JC Hospitality has also called on Virgin Hotels to manage and operate the property’s 1,110 guest rooms, which will become part of the Hilton Curio Collection. The property also brought in AEG Presents to assume the management, operations, and bookings for The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.New casino general manager Joe Hasson also said that celebrity chefs will be sought to operate its restaurants.

Mohegan Sun at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas

The renovated Las Vegas casino will be rebranded as the Mohegan Sun at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas and is expected to open on January 15, 2021. According to Hasson, the Mohegan brand won’t appear in the building but the electronic signage outside the property will market the brand name.

The new casino will not have a poker room and the proposed sports book which will be operated by Betfred USA Sports isn’t expected to be up and running when the Las Vegas casino opens in January. GM Hasson said that they are still going through the process of securing a license.

About Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment

Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment is the business enterprise of the Mohegan Indian tribe of Connecticut. They currently manage the gaming operations for Resorts Atlantic casino, the Fallsview Casino on the Canadian side of the Niagara Falls, Indian casinos in Washington state and Louisiana, and its flagship Mohegan Sun Resort in Uncasville and Mohegan Sun Poconos in Pennsylvania.

Aside from expanding in Las Vegas, Mohegan has also set its sights on international gaming. It is currently developing a $5B resort at Incheon International Airport in South Korea which is targeted to open in late 2022. It also has a bid for a potential integrated resort license on the former Hellenikon International Airport near Athens in Greece.

Ilani Casino Announces Expansion Plan

Roulette Wheel and Row of Slot Machines

A 14-storey hotel, two new restaurants, and additional gaming space are among the components of a major expansion announced by ilani Casino Resort. The Washington casino also revealed that its 2,700-space six storey parking garage is set to open next month.

The expansion will begin on October 15th with the addition of about 17,000 square feet of gaming area. According to ilani President Kara Fox-LaRose, workers will remove an existing wall of the casino near the foodcourt. The area, which is currently a dirt floor with beams, is already under the same roof as the casino. According to Fox-LaRose, the project will cost $30M.

Roughly 200 jobs, 200 slot machines, and additional gaming tables will be added to the Washington casino as a result of the extension of its gaming area. This project was originally scheduled to open this summer together with the parking garage but has been moved to next summer after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two New Restaurants

One of the restaurants will be an open kitchen format eating house that will serve authentic Asian cuisine. Fox-La Rose added that ilani Casino is designing an Asian-themed gaming area to complement the new Asian restaurant. The second restaurant is still in the planning stage but according to Fox-La Rose, it will incorporate sports betting which the Washington casino plans to offer in the coming years.

The ilani big boss added that they are currently working with the state on the possibility of including electronic table games in the future. Fox-La Rose added that there are a lot of fun products in the market as the gaming industry continues to evolve. The Washington casino is currently going through the selection process in picking which ones to add to their stable.

The ilani Hotel

The planned hotel will employ a few hundred new employees. It will have 300 guest rooms, a swimming pool, spa, and fitness center. It will also feature a top-floor restaurant and a patio on the south side. Ilani also has a design to add a second tower in the future, if that becomes possible. The Las Vegas based Friedmutter Group, which designed all of ilani, is the new hotel’s architect.

The 14-storey tower will be wrapped in a curtain of royal blue glass. It can bee viewed by commuters who are traveling on Interstate 5. Per Fox-La Rose, the goal is to build a (AAA) Four Diamond Hotel since they are no hotels ranked that high in Clark County. Ilani’s current primary customer base come from within 80 miles of the Cowlitz Indian reservation but it also lure a secondary market that lives beyond Southwest Washington.

PointsBet Deal Worth at Least $1.625M for CU Buffaloes

Colorado State Seal With a Casino Hotel Background
The University of Colorado stands to receive at least $1.625M as part of its five-year advertising agreement with sports betting company PointsBet.

According to a copy of the contract obtained by sources, PointsBet will make quarterly payments to CU until June 2026. The payments are due every 1st day of July, October, January and April. They escalate every year, beginning with $76,250 in the first year to $86,250 in the fifth year. The five year annual totals are $305,000, $315,000, $325,000, $335,000, and $345,000.

Aside from the quarterly payments, the University of Colorado will receive a referral fee of $30 for every new customer it sends to PointsBet. The more Colorado sports betting client that CU can get, the more money it will receive under its “affiliate” role. These new customers are required to enter a CU promo code which then triggers $30 to the school’s account.

In exchange for the payments, PointsBet will receive advertisement at Sporting events in Colorado, including the school’s football stadium. Every CU football broadcast must include a segment featuring the gambling company and a 10-second live mention during football games. The football stadium will have the PointsBet logo on both videoboards during home games plus a four-minute exposure on CU ribbon boards and end zone LED screens. The agreement is for regular season games with every 30-second exposure during the postseason costing $600 for PointsBet.

First Gambling Partnership

Last month, CU signed the first partnership between an NCAA College and a gambling company. The deal was a major turnabout for the NCAA which has fought very hard against the legalization of sports betting. Although Colorado sports betting was approved last November, the NCAA’s rules ban sports wagering among athletes, coaches, and administrators.

Impending legislation on compensation of athletes could cause more inequality as it relates to gambling. The NCAA may also prohibit athletes from endorsing gambling companies in its legislation governing NIL or name, image, and likeness.

However, there is no prohibition on universities entering into gambling agreements. But the University of Colorado consulted the NCAA and the PAC-12 Conference before it signed the PointsBet deal. Under the deal, PointsBet is prohibited from using a CU athlete’s name or image without approval from the university, and the school is not liable if an athlete files a claim against PointsBet for using their name, image, and likeness (NIL).

5Dimes Agrees to a $46.8M Settlement With Feds

Man Handing Out Money With a Sportsbook Background
Costa Rica-based sportsbook 5Dimes had reached a $46.8M settlement with the United States government after a money-laundering investigation.

According to sources who obtained a copy of the settlement agreement with the U.S. District Attorney’s Office for the East District of Pennsylvania, 5Dimes agrees to pay the U.S. government $15M in cash while also forfeiting more than $30M of assets.

The deal also absolves Laura Verola of any criminal conduct alleged against 5Dimes, stating that she did not have authority of the sportsbook’s operations. Verola is the widow of 5Dimes founder Sean Crighton. She assumed responsibility for 5Dimes’ assets after her husband was kidnapped in 2018. Crighton was later found dead one year later.

Said Maria M. Carillo, assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania:

“We achieved the objective, which is, she is compliant with U.S. federal law right now. What that means for her is she is not operating in violation of U.S. law, and she is not actively taking bets from U.S. bettors. Whether she’s positioned well for regulators, that’s up for the regulators to decide. 5Dimes certainly is no longer in violation of federal law.”

Pursuing A U.S. License

Likewise, 5Dimes also agreed stop accepting bets from customers in the United States while operating with a Costa Rican license. This part of the settlement explains why 5Dimes announced last month that they would stop taking wagers from U.S. customers starting October 1st.

The non-prosecution agreement also allows 5Dimes to expand to pursue a U.S. license and expand to the legal sportsbetting market in the United States. Per the settlement, Varela has made “significant changes” to 5Dimes’ operations that would make it qualified to participate in lawful gaming operations across the word.

Federal Investigation

West Virginia native Creighton founded 5Dimes sometime around the year 2000, when legal sportsbetting still did not exist in the United States. It grew to become one of the most popular US sportsbooks that took bets from American customers and eventually caught the attention of federal investigators.

5Dimes used third-party payment processors to accept illegal wagers from U.S. customers. The District Attorney’s Office said that third parties processed the sportsbook’s credit card transactions that concealed the nature of charges. The payment processors then transferred the credit card proceeds to bank accounts of shell companies operated by Creighton.

Verola’s Cooperation

In 2016, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Attorney’s Office in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security conducted an investigation on 5Dimes for money laundering. In the seizure warrant filed before the U.S. District Court, agents detailed how they believe 5Dimes instructed U.S. sports bettors to use gift cards as a way to place bets. Creighton was never formally charged but the investigation continued for years.

Verola’s attorney’s contacted the East District of Pennsylvania in 2019, and offered her cooperation to resolve the case. According to the settlement, she helped retrieve Creighton assets which were forfeited in favor of the Federal government. These include gold coins, cryptocurrency, funds from the sale of season tickets to the Pittsburgh Pirates, and West Virginia college basketball and football, and a George Mikan rookie basketball card which he purchased for $400,000.

Caesars Appoints New General Manager For Harrah’s New Orleans

Caesars Entertainment
Caesars Entertainment has appointed a new general manager for Harrah’s New Orleans as the New Orleans casino is about to break ground on a $325M expansion.

Samir Mowad’s appointment as senior vice president and general manager of Harrah’s New Orleans was announced on Wednesday. The Louisiana native has a 15-year experience in the industry. Most recently, he served for five years as general manager for Caesars’ Entertainment in Iowa. Mowad has also overseen Harrah’s Council Bluffs, the Mid-America Center, and Hilton Garden Inn Council Bluffs.

According to Mowad, the new assignment is a dream job for him. Said Mowad in a press release:

“As someone who grew up in New Orleans and worked extensively in the hospitality industry, the opportunity to return home as the GM of Harrah’s New Orleans is the culmination of a journey I set out on when I joined the property 15 years ago to open Masquerade. This is nothing short of my dream job.”

No Easy Task

Mowad’s dream job though is no easy task. New Orleans casinos have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and Harrah’s is no exception. The casino was forced to close in mid-March and was allowed to reopen at 25% capacity only last June.

Aside from running the show in the New Orleans casino, Mowad will oversee Harrah’s $325M expansion which is expected to break ground soon. The development will include a new hotel, restaurants, and interiors and exteriors of the existing casino.

$325M Expansion

Last year, Caesars Entertainment successfully negotiated a 30-year license extension for Harrah’s New Orleans. In exchange for the approval of the Louisiana and New Orleans governments, Caesars Entertainment agreed to invest $325M in the property.

Harrah’s current license is set to expire in 2024 and by virtue of the agreement, it will be automatically renewed for 30 years. While the other details of the deal have not been ironed out yet due to the pandemic, the city hall of New Orleans is expected to get the project back on their agenda.

A Standalone Casino

When Harrah’s New Orleans opened in 1999, it was allowed to do so as a standalone casino. The purpose was to use the New Orleans casino as a tourist attraction to help the other hotels in the area. The city eased their stand in 2006 and allowed Harrah’s to build their current 450-room hotel located at Poydras street.

But the present hotel is always full booked, leaving Harrah’s to book tens of thousands of hotel rooms annually at nearby hotels for player comps. Because of that, Harrah’s New Orleans has lost millions of dollars in revenues each year on third-party room accomodations.

Cyber Attack Declared As Reason Behind Cache Creek Casino Closure

Online Gambling in California
Ten days ago, Cache Creek Casino announced its temporary closure due to a “widespread outage.” But what was first thought to be just an innocent systems error has turned out to be a malicious assault.

On Wednesday, a spokesperson for the California casino revealed that the problem has been traced to an “external attack” on their computer network. As per statement from Cache Creek:

“The privacy of our guests and employees is our highest priority and we want to make certain they have some peace-of-mind. We are working closely with independent experts who regularly investigate incidents of this type to determine any risks to data security. Attacks like these are significant and can take weeks to research thoroughly.

Major Cyberattack

The incident has been labeled as a major cyberattack after it was determined that the ransomware attack not only affected the casino’s business operations but it possibly compromised the electronic information of the California casino’s employees and patrons.

Although investigation is still on-going, the casino spokesperson said that if it is determined that personal information of the resort’s employees and guests was exposed, they will notify the affected individuals in writing.

Meanwhile, Cache Creek Casino Resort will remain closed while its technicians strengthen its infrastructure and restore all operations. The Yocha Dehe Golf Club is unaffected by the situation and remains open. The Cache Creek mini mart is also open but only for cash transactions and no fuel is currently available.

Not The First Time

The closure isn’t the first time for California casino. Earlier this year, the Cache Creek was closed for about two months because of the coronavirus pandemic. The casino reopened last June 6th but under restrictive requirements for both staff and guests. Employees were paid during the two month closure and they still are during the current stoppage of operations.

Temperature checks, and cleaning protocols were put in place. Social distancing was implemented to minimize the chance of infection and this included increased distance between gaming tables and slot machines.

Cache Creek Casino is one of Northern California’s largest casino resort destinations. It is located in the town of Brooks and is owned and operated by the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation. The casino had been working on an expansion before the COVID-19 outbreak and was undergoing renovations in response to the pandemic.

Nevada Gaming Revenues Decline By 22.1% in August 2020

Nevada Sign On Highway

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to plague the gambling industry in Nevada as the gaming win for August was down by 22% from the same month one year ago and below the July 2020 figures.

According to a Wednesday report from the Nevada Gaming Control Board, Nevada casinos reported a gaming win of $743M for August 2020 which is way below the $954M they collected from gamblers in August 2019. It also fell short, but not by much, of July 2020’s $756M gaming win.

Strip Takes Biggest Hit

The Last Vegas Strip took the biggest monthly hit as the gaming revenues fell to $317.M of 39.2%. Strip gaming wins decreased by 99% in April and May but improved to a 61% decline in June and 39.2% in July. For the month of August, the Las Vegas Strip contributed 97.1% of the state’s total decline.

Properties in Downtown Las Vegas also experienced a 22% decline in gaming wins. Revenues also fell 14% in Reno, 9.5% in Laughlin, and 7.6% in South Lake Tahoe. However, there were some bright spots like the Boulder Strip in Southern Nevada which saw an increase of 29.6% and North Las Vegas which had an increase of nearly 2%.

Record Sports Bets

Nevada sportsbooks were also a bright spot in August as they wrote a record number of sports bet for the month. With the NBA and NHL playing in a month where their season would’ve been over in previous years, sportsbooks in Nevada took a total of $475.1M in bets or a 64.9% increase from 2019.

64.3% of the total sports bets were made via mobile betting apps where casinos won $11M on a total of $305.5M in bets. Overall, revenue from sports betting totalled $17M which was a 9.3% decline from a year ago. The decrease was attributed to the cancellation of college football games and the lack of an NFL preseason.

Lifting Ban on Gatherings

Gov. Steve Sisolak said on Tuesday that the state would lift the 50-person cap on public and Private gatherings beginning Thursday. Venues with a capacity of more than 2,500 can submit proposals to operate at 10% capacity while smaller venues will be allowed to have a crowd of up to 250. The state is hoping that the move will kick-start conventions, concerts, sports events, and trade shows that not only power the state’s economy but help bring people to casinos as well.

August was the second full month of operations for Nevada casinos. The state’s gambling industry was shut down for 78 days starting March 18th due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. They have since been allowed to reopen but subject to health, safety and cleaning protocols. Guidelines like social distancing and limited operating capacity have hampered their operations, thus affecting revenues.

BetMGM Named Inks Sports Betting Deal With Tennessee Titans

Flag Of Tennessee
BetMGM became part of Tennessee Sport Betting history on Monday when it scored the first ever gambling partnership with a Tennessee professional sports team in the NFL’s Titans.

BetMGM, FanDuel, and DraftKings were the three sports betting operators who were given a conditional license by the Tennessee Education Lottery Board’s Sports Wagering Committee last September 23. The three gambling companies are slated to launch their online betting platforms on November 1st, pending the approval from the Tennessee Education Lottery Company.

Gil Beverly, Titans Sr. Vice President, Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer, said in a press release:

“We are thrilled to bring BetMGM to the state of Tennessee. BetMGM will deliver new experiences and levels of engagement to our fans and we’re excited to welcome them in as an official partner.”

Official Partner

As official partner, BetMGM receive brand visibility across the Titans’ different digital platforms. The BetMGM logo will appear in crucial parts of the live game including field goal attempts and video board replays.

BetMGM will also be the sponsor of a forthcoming raffle which will benefit the Titans Foundation. The betting company will likewise become the exclusive naming rights partner of the Titans’ Saint Thomas Sports Park television studio and Titans’ content shown throughout Tennessee.

The joint venture between MGM Resorts International and GVC Holdings first launched its sportsbook in New Jersey in July 2018. Also known for its online casino and poker services, the BetMGM app is now available for download in seven U.S. states.

Online Tennessee Sports Betting

Although brick and mortar casinos are still prohibited in the state, online Tennessee sports betting became legal on July 1, 2019 and it became such without the signature of Gov. Bill Lee who at that time did not believe that legalizing sports betting would be of the state’s best interest.

Tennessee sports betting is regulated by the state lottery officials who approved the rules last April and started reviewing applications for operators last June. The Tennessee Lottery board continues to review applications for additional sports betting operators, vendors, and suppliers. There is no limit as to the number of licenses the board can issue but they must meet specific requirements.

The law allows sports betting in Tennessee only via the internet, mobile devices, and telecommunications platforms. Bettors must at least be 21 years of age and they must be physically present within the state borders when their bets are placed.

Michigan Eyeing To Fast-Track Online Gambling

Michigan State Flag
When Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s House Bill 4311 turned into the Lawful Internet Gaming Act, the original plan was for mobile gaming in Michigan to go live in early 2021. However, it looks like the launch will come sooner, even perhaps in late November.

Michigan online gambling looked like a longshot for 2020. There was no rush at all because sports betting was already allowed in retail shops starting last March. But when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, it forced the casinos to close. With establishments and the state losing millions in revenues, authorities found the need to fast track online gaming.

Fast-Tracked

The Michigan Gaming Control Board discussed the proposed mobile gaming laws in a public hearing last week. According to executive director Richard S. Kalm, they expect to submit the final proposal to the Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules within the next few days. Once approved or after they are amended, they will go to the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules in October.

Once the proposal reaches the legislature, they will do one of two things: pass them or go through the process of passing a law that would reject the rules. Per State Senator Curtis Hertel, it’s more likely to approve the rules as they are and once that is done internet gambling will go live. For the state, the sooner it is rolled out, the better as Michigan online gambling is expected to generate millions of dollars in revenue for the state.

Ready For Online Gaming

The biggest names in the industry are ready for Michigan online gambling. Gaming companies like BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel are already operating in Michigan. Barstool Sportsbook is planning to launch with Greektown Casino in 2021. More are expected to follow.

Once Michigan legalizes online betting, the state is expected to see exponential growth in that industry, just like what happened to Illinois. Online wagering is going to be a game changer in the gaming business in the state. The pandemic has made it difficult for punters to place bets at retail shops. Having the ability to do so online will change that.

William Hill Receives Offer from Caesars and Apollo For a Potential Takeover

Caesars Entertainment
William Hill Plc announced last Friday that it has received separate offers from Caesars Entertainment Inc. and Apollo Global Management Inc. for a potential takeover.

The U.K.-based sports betting company said that talks on the two different cash proposals are ongoing but added that it remains uncertain if there will be a formal offer presented. William Hill said in a statement that both Apollo and Caesars have until October 23rd to make a formal offer or walk away from a potential deal as per UK takeover rules.

Per William Hill:

“Following an initial written proposal from Apollo on 27 August 2020, William Hill received a further proposal from Apollo and proposals from Caesars.”

Shares Surge

Shares of William Hill surged as much as 41% in London trading on Friday, which was an intraday record. The UK bookmaker now has a market value of about $4B. Rival betting companies also saw their stock rise last Friday with GVC Holdings Plc putting on an extra 15.5% and Flutter Entertainment Plc gaining 6.7%. Similarly, shares for Apollo was up by almost 3% while Caesars jumped by as much as 8.4%.

Apollo has a history of making investments in the gambling sector. In 2008, it joined forces with TPG for the buyout of Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. which was subsequently renamed as Caesars. Last year, the buyout firm also acquired a share in Italy’s Gamenet Group SpA.

Partnership With Caesars

William Hill already has a partnership with Caesars. Earlier this month, it was announced that Caesars had forged a deal with ESPN to link William Hill’s sports betting app in states where sports betting is already legalized in the United States. William Hill has also been appointed as the official odds provider of ESPN and as such, it will appear in all of ESPN’s platforms.

Last month, ESPN opened a high-tech studio at the Linq Hotel + Experience. The 6,000 square foot facility has been tabbed as the epicenter of ESPN’s sports-betting themed content. ESPN’s “Daily Wager” program was also transferred to the new studio which will broadcast Las Vegas-exclusive sports betting and entertainment news.

One of the World’s Largest Sportsbooks

William Hill is one of the largest sportsbooks in the world with offices in 10 different countries. Since Chief Executive Officer Ulrik Bengtsson took over last year, the company has been focused on building its online business.

Since the United States Supreme Court repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018, William Hill has been building up its presence in the U.S. The American market has become more attractive for the company after UK gambling regulators slapped a stake limit on betting machines. This regulation led to the closure of 700 shops in Great Britain.

Sahara Las Vegas and Grand Sierra To Pay $75K in Fines

Sahara Las Vegas Logo
The Sahara on the Las Vegas Strip and the Grand Sierra in Reno will pay $75,000 as a joint settlement for violating the state’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

According to settlement documents, the Los Angeles-based Meruelo Group, which owns both Sahara and Grand Sierra, did not “admit nor deny” the allegations. However, the Nevada casino operator agreed on the joint settlement because they believe that the Nevada Gaming Board “could meet its burden of proof if these matters were to proceed to the evidentiary hearing before the Commission.”

In a statement, the Meruelo Group said:

“Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our guests and team members and we will continue to work cooperatively with government agencies to meet these high standards and ensure compliance across our resorts.”

Various COVID-19 Related Violations

The Board filed a case against the Sahara Las Vegas last August, alleging that the resort hosted a July 23 luncheon event which was attended by an estimated 135 people. The state’s coronavirus guidelines permit Nevada casinos to host gatherings with a maximum of 50 people. Another case filed alleged that the hotel-casino allowed its customers to break social distancing rules at blackjack and craps tables last June 16.

On the other hand, a three-count case was filed against Grand Sierra last August 7th. In the complaint, Nevada regulators claimed that on three different occasions, state gaming agents witnessed guests not wearing masks inside the casino-hotel premises. The agents also said that casino officials and employees didn’t do anything to correct the practice.

Gaming Regulators File Complaints

Since Nevada casinos reopened last June 4th, gaming regulators have filed a total of six disciplinary complaints against Nevada casinos for COVID-19 related violations. Four of the cases have already been settled and were due for consideration on Thursday.

Bowl Incline in Lake Tahoe will pay $5,000 for not closing its bar top games on July 10. Slot operator Century Gaming is set to pay $15,000 for the same infraction involving Cheers Bar. Hotel Ely agreed to pay $15,000 after several employees were seen not wearing face masks. Meanwhile, the owners of the C.O.D. Casino also settled for a $30,000 payment for face mask violations.

Nevada casinos were allowed to open again last June with the state enforcing strict COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. The restrictions include reduced occupancy, more space between gamblers, head count limit for meeting and convention spaces.

Barstool Sportsbook App Makes A Splash in Pennsylvania Launch

Icon Displaying Variety of Sports, Hand Holding Cash
Penn National Gaming’s Barstool Sportsbook app shattered download marks by DraftKings and FanDuel over the weekend. The much-publicized sports betting app created by Penn National and Barstool Sports had a three-day soft launch in Pennsylvania last week before going live during the weekend. Preliminary data on Pennsylvania sports betting were very impressive.

Better Opening Numbers Than FanDuel and DraftKings

According to market intelligence firm Sensor Tower, the Barstool Sportsbook app was downloaded 63,000 times during the weekend or an average of 21,000 downloads per day. The numbers are significantly higher than the 4,000 downloads that DraftKings got during its first weekend in 2018 and its single-day high of 15,000 downloads during the opening of the NFL earlier this month.

Similarly, the Barstool Sportsbook app’s weekend numbers topped FanDuel’s inaugural weekend total of 9,000 downloads during the opening weekend of the 2018 NFL season. FanDuel established a single-day high of 19,000 downloads last September 13 as the NFL’s 2020 season opened but Barstool’s 21K downloads per day last weekend was still better.

Expanding The Industry

Per Morgan Stanley analyst Thomas Allen, the app’s downloads started out “extremely strong” yet the download numbers for its competitors didn’t seem to slow “meaningfully”. That bodes well for Pennsylvania sports betting as Allen notes that the Barstool Sportsbook app isn’t “cannibalizing” the industry but merely expanding it.

Allen downgraded Penn National and DraftKings last month from overweight to “equal-weight”. The Morgan Stanley analyst cited valuation as the reason for the downgrade with both stocks going sky-high this year. DaftKings went public last April and as of Monday’s closing, the stock had risen 194% since then. Meanwhile, Penn Gaming had a gain of 416% during the same period.

Too Early To Tell

Obviously, it’s too early too tell whether Penn Gaming’s new app will become a national force. Sure, Pennsylvania sports betting is a major wagering market but it is only one state. Penn Gaming plans to launch in several states in the first quarter of 2021. DraftKings and FanDuel are etched in the other states as well with other major competitors like BetMGM, William Hill, FoxBet, and PointsBet contending for market shares as well.

Barstool’s launch was well-timed and it debuted in a mature betting market. On the other hand, DraftKings and FanDuel launched without the same fanfare and before the U.S. Supreme Court thrashed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. Despite these apples to oranges comparison, there is no question that the Barstool Sportsbook app made a splash during its opening weekend.

Cache Creek Casino Forced To Close Due to “Widespread Outage”

Online Gambling in California

Cache Creek Casino remained close on Monday due to a systems infrastructure failure that forced the resort to shut down operations beginning 7 pm of Sunday. Said the management on its website:

“Due to an unforeseen systems infrastructure failure, Cache Creek Casino Resort is unable to operate fully at this time. We have made the unfortunate, but necessary decision to close the resort. The technical teams are working to identify the issue and to implement a resolution, in the meantime, guests are discouraged from visiting the property as all systems are currently impacted by this outage.”

Widespread Outage

The casino began experiencing widespread outage at around 3:30 a.m. last Sunday. The issue became “problematic” so the resort discouraged guest from visiting the property, located at Brooks along Highway 16 about an hour east of Sacramento. When the problem could not be resolved later during the day, the Northern California casino decided to shut down the entire resort.
Cache Creek remained closed as of 9 am on Monday. Based on its social media posts, there is no definite timetable as to when it will reopen. The casino says that it will inform its patrons via social media and its website as soon as they are able to estimate the reopening of the resort. Cache Creek also said that it will directly contact any guests whose reservations at the resort may be affected.

Not COVID-19 Related

In a post on its Facebook page, Cache Creek Casino denied speculations circulating around social media that the closure of the resort was related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It added that the adjoining Yocha Dehe golf course is not affected by the outage and remains open.

The Cache Creek Casino is owned and managed by the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation. It is one of the largest Northern California casino resort destinations. This AAA Four Diamond Award winner has over a thousand slot machines including more than 300 in a non-smoking area. It also has over 100 table games and a high limit room which offers black jack and baccarat.

Caesars Obtains $400M Loan From VICI Properties, Inc.

Eldorado And Caesars Logo
VICI Properties Inc. announced last Friday that it has provided Caesars Inc. a mortgage amounting to $400M. The loan was in accordance with the LOI entered upon by the contracting companies last June 15, 2020 and is secured by the Caesars Forum Convention Center.

The mortgage has an initial interest rate of 7.7% and a term of five years. It is pre-payable starting in year 3 subject to certain conditions. The Caesars Forum is subject to an amended Put/Call Agreement between VICI and Caesars Inc. with the former’s call option being accelerated to 2025 in connection with the entry into the mortgage agreement.

Conditioned to the Merger

Last June, VICI Properties agreed to loan Eldorado Resorts Inc.$400M via a Letter of Intent (LOI). The loan was to be secured by the recently opened Caesars Forum Convention Center in Las Vegas. It was conditioned to completion of the $17.5B merger between Eldorado and Caesars Entertainment which was completed in July 2020. Additionally, VICI agreed to purchase 23 acres of underdeveloped land near the center of the Las Vegas Strip for $103.5M.

Prior to the merger, Eldorado operated 23 properties in 11 states, including the Eldorado Resort in Nevada and Louisiana, Tropicana properties in New Jersey, Nevada, and Indiana, and the Isle of Capri or Isle properties in Louisiana, Florida, Colorado, Missouri, Iowa, and Mississippi.

Largest CAsino and Entertainment Company in the U.S.

Meanwhile, Caesars Entertainment primarily operated under Caesar’s, Harrah’s and the Horseshoe brands, with properties all over the world including Dubai. The surviving entity is known as Caesars Entertainment, Inc. and is now the largest casino and entertainment company in the United States.

VICI Properties Inc. is one of the largest real estate investment trust companies in the United States. Its geographically diversified portfolio of 31 gaming companies includes the world-famous Caesars Palace and has a total of 50 million square feet. The properties are leased to leading gaming operators like Caesars, Hard Rock Casinos, Century Casinos Inc., JACK Entertainment, and Penn National Gaming.

3D Model of Hard Rock Bristol Unveiled For Public View

Hard Rock International Logo
Officials of the proposed Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Bristol unveiled to the public on Thursday the architectural 3D model of the project which will be built on the former Bristol Mall property. The model will be on display to the public at the former Bristol Mall from September 17-19, 2020.

The project is being spearheaded by local business leaders led by Jim McGlothlin, CEO of The United Co. and Clyde Stacy, the president of Par Ventures and owner of the 46 acre property where the proposed casino and hotel will be built. Florida-based Hard Rock who will manage the facility.

More Than Just A Casino

According to Hard Rock International Senior Vice President of Business and Casino Development Sean Caffrey said that the project will cost upwards of $350M. He emphasized that the development is more than just a casino. As the 3D model revealed, there is a hotel with a rooftop bar and a cabana flanked resort pool.

Seven restaurants and four bars are being planned for the project. Retail shops will also be an attraction while there are other areas like a sports betting shop, golf simulators, and a racing facility for children.

The other side of the property is a huge concert venue for big-name acts. Caffrey said that they’re thinking of something like the Hard Rock Live concept which would have a 3,200-seat capacity for indoor entertainment with a dual-sided stage that opens up to an amphitheater which can accommodate 20,000 people in an outdoor setting

Perk Up The Economy

Before it can be built, the project has to be approved by a public referendum on November 3rd. If the project is approved after the November 3 vote, licensing will follow and that is expected to take three to six months to complete. Once it has obtained a license, the project could take up to two years to complete. Caffrey noted however that entertainment and dining options could be offered at a temporary facility after 90 to 100 days after the licensing period.

The Hard Rock project comes to Bristol at a time when the economy is bleeding due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the long-term benefits, including a $15M annual tax revenues for Bristol, won’t be there until the project is completed, the construction will help perk up the local economy. Construction costs are expected to directly impact up to $20M to the city and it’s going to provide 2,000 direct jobs as well.

Montana Sports Betting Gains Momentum From Start of NFL Season

Montana Casinos
Montana sports betting arrived at the wrong time. Sports Bet Montana launched on March 9th but barely six days later, bars and casinos in Montana were ordered closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The shutdown effectively put legal sports betting in Montana at a standstill.

But since sports has returned, the figures have slowly improved and as of September 16th, Sports Bet Montana has taken a total of $5M in bets this year, not bad considering the three months where there was literally no sports betting action in the state.

Montana Sports Betting Took Off With the NFL

When sports resumed in May, there were few events to bet on. Events like Korean baseball and the UFC were the first to come back and both didn’t appeal to Montanans and they did very little to perk up real money sports betting in Montana.

The return of Major League Baseball in July started a good streak for Montana sports betting. But after the NFL’s 2020 season opened earlier this month, legal sports betting in Montana took off.

A total of $189,000 was wagered on the NFL in Montana during opening week. For the week of September 7-13, 52% of the total sports wagers in Big Sky County was made on the NFL. Last Monday, a total of $36,629 was wagered in the game between the Denver Broncos vs Tennessee Titans.

Looking at $500K in Total Bets Per Week

Lottery officials predict that if the current momentum of Montana sports betting continues, the state can generate a weekly total bet amount of $500K. Officials are looking at expanding their retail base and the number of places where people can place bets in order to achieve this lofty target. But with the NFL season going full steam ahead, the target is very achievable.

The sportsbook for Sports Bet Montana is managed by Intralot which is a Greek integrated gambling, transaction processing system, and sports betting company. Intralot receives a percentage of the total amounts bet via Sports Bet Montana.

All of the money made by Sports Bet Montana came from wagers placed within the state. The state takes 12% of the total betting handle and gives 6% of that back to the businesses where the wagers were made.The other 6% goes to the State of Montana STEM scholarships. According to Montana Lottery, a total fo $364,000 has been returned to businesses offering legal sports betting in Montana. Similarly, the same amount has gone to scholarships.

Philadelphia Eagles Announce Sponsorship Deal With FOX Bet


Tuesday saw another professional sports team in the U.S. sign a deal with a gambling company as the Philadelphia Eagles signed a multi-year sponsorship agreement with FOX Bet. The deal was announced on Tuesday via the Eagles website.

Said Fox Bet CMO Andrew Schneider:

“FOX Bet enhances the fan experience in a big way, and this is a fanbase that knows and appreciates big things. They’re passionate, tough and willing to do whatever it takes to win. To connect our offering to this one-of-a-kind fanbase is a game-changer. Eagles fans are going to love this, and we’re honored to have this association with a team that is primed for a successful 2020 season.”

Sponsorship Agreement

The sponsorship agreement involves broadcast, digital, and social media advertising on all team channels, custom promotions, and a strong branding presence during Eagles’ games. The deal also includes messaging on the stadium’s LED and end zone boards. FOX Bet signages will also be placed on the concourse levels

FOX Bet will also serve as the presenting sponsor of Eagles Edge, which is a new program that airs on the team’s digital channels after each of their games. Filmed on game days when the Eagles are playing at Lincoln Financial Field, this series will be broadcast via the Eagles Official YouTube Channel, Eagles Official Mobile App, PhiladelphiaEagles.com, Eagles social media channels, and the team’s other digital channels.

Premium Lounge and Interactive Studio

The Eagles also revealed that it includes the construction of a FOX Bet-branded premium lounge and interactive studio at Lincoln Financial Field. The lounge will feature exclusive content across all platforms and will be presented by Eagles on-air personalities, Eagles Legends, and FOX Bet contributors.

Once fans will be be allowed to watch the games, the lounge will be open to ticketed guests on game day. The 4,000 square-foot studio can accommodate up to 380 persons. Guests will enjoy all-inclusive food and beverage options. They will also be entitled to behind-the-scenes premium access, prime locations to watch player arrivals, and live post-game press conference. Fans can access the studio two and a half hours before kickoff and one hour after post-game.

Betting-related deals in the NFL

The Eagles are the second professional sports team to sign a sponsorship deal with FOX Bet. Last year, the Philadelphia 76ers also entered into a multi-year sponsorship contract with FOX Bet.FOX Bet is a mobile casino that was formed from the partnership between The Stars Group and Fox Sports.

Since the NFL cleared its clubs to sign betting-related deals last spring, some NFL teams have been busy making deals. The Denver Broncos have signed pacts with BetMGM, Betfred, and FanDuel. The Detroit Lions also have a deal with BetMGM. Likewise, the NFL has inked betting partnership contracts with BetCris, 888Holdings, and SkyBet.

New Jersey Registers All-Time High of $667M in Bets Taken for August 2020

New Jersey
New Jersey had its best betting month ever in August 2020. According to the latest revenue data released by the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement on Monday, New Jersey’s sportsbooks took a total $667.9M in bets for the month of August 2020. That’s double the amount they received in August 2019 and it is also an all-time record for monthly bets taken by any state with a regulated betting market.

Said FanDuel spokesman Kevin Hennessy via ESPN:

“It was good to have sports back in August. The NBA and NHL bubbles and MLB’s strong return gave sports betting in New Jersey the needed boost to a record month.”

All-Time High

The previous all-time high for a state with legal sportsbetting  was $614.1 which was achieved by Nevada in November 2019., it was highest betting revenue since sportsbetting was was introduced in the Silver State in the 1950s. But New Jersey’s August 2020 figures topped that, even without the NFL, America’s favorite sport to bet on.

According to the report, the “other sports” category picked up the bulk of the August revenue with a total of $204.9M. Other sports are classified as sports other than baseball, football, basketball, and parlays. The NBA took in an estimated $166M bets while MLB accounted for around $150M in wagers. Parlay bettors were glad to see major sports return and the total handle for these events was $144.9M.

Record May Not Last Long

Despite the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic health restrictions limited New Jersey’s casinos to 25% capacity, betting action picked up. According to the report, 90% of the total amount wagered was placed in online platforms in the Garden State. New Jersey sportsbooks won a net amount of $39.5M on sporting events that took place in August 2020.

With the NFL and college football seasons beginning last week and the NBA, MLB, and NHL continuing with their seasons this month, New Jersey’s numbers are even expected to get better and August’s record figures may not last long. The Garden State’s sportsbooks have amassed $2.5B from January to August 2020, despite the pandemic. Last year, New Jersey’s sportsbooks saw a total of $2.53B placed bets over the same season.

The Garden State isn’t the only state to report all-time high numbers during the month of August. Indiana’s betting handle jumped by $100M from July to a total of $169M last month. Likewise, Iowa’s handle rose 120.1% to $53M. On the other hand, West Virginia reported that its sportsbetting handle tripled last month.

ParkMGM to Reopen as the Strip’s First Non-Smoking Casino Resort

Las Vegas Park MGM Building
The Las Vegas Strip will have its first smoke-free casino at the end of the month.

MGM Resorts International announced on Monday that Park MGM will be a smoke-free facility when it reopens on September 30, 2020. The tobacco smoking ban covers the entire property, including the NoMad Las Vegas boutique hotel located at the upper floors of the resort building. The 5,200-seat Park Theater, which remains closed due to the COVID-19 ban on public gatherings, will also be a no smoking area when it opens its doors again in the future. Smoking areas will be provided outside Park MGM, and tobacco smoking is permitted at nearby MGM Properties like New York-New York and Aria.

Park MGM President Anton Nikodemus says that while it is the first in the Strip, it is not the first of MGM’s properties to be smoke-free. He noted that properties in other states like MGM Springfield in Massachusetts and MGM National Harbor in Maryland also ban smoking. Added Nikodemus:

“We’re making the facility completely non-smoking because of continued guest requests. We believe there is a high level of pent-up demand to have a non-smoking casino, especially here in Las Vegas.”

A Milestone, Not A Gamble

MGM’s move is seen as a milestone and not a gamble.The move is a turning point in a city known for its bright lights and heavy smoking, especially on the gaming floors. Before the pandemic struck, visitors could find ashtrays on every gambling table and and servers parading across the gaming area peddling cigars and cigarettes.

In the past, smoking and second-hand smoking have sparked political debates and even lawsuits. But the pandemic has forced the world to rethink a lot of things. For Sin City, this is one of them. There has been an increasing demand to have non-smoking casinos on the Strip. It’s but fitting that the biggest operator in the city is the first to provide that.

New Slogan

The Park MGM is the property that used to be the Monte Carlo casino-hotel. It has 2,993 rooms and several restaurant’s including Las Vegas’ only Eataly. It has been closed since March when casinos and hotels were shutdown by the government to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. It is the last of MGM Resorts International’s 29 U.S properties to reopen.

Earlier in the summer, there were rumors that the property on New York-New York and City Center would ban smoking. These stories floated when MGM and other companies started reopening their doors. There were whispers that Park MGM would be the first smoke-free casino in the Strip. On Monday moning, the resort’s website was updated with a new homepage that read: “Let’s Clean the Air: Park MGM is Smoke-Free.”

Judge Orders Ex-Borgata Executive to Return Mobile Phone

Borgata Hotel-Casino
Borgata Casino got a shot in the arm from Lady Justice last Thursday as a federal judge in Nevada ordered a former Borgata casino executive, among others, to return a company-issued mobile phone which contained valuable information on Borgata’s top players and highest rollers.

Aside from instructing the former Borgata exec to return the cell phone, U.S. judge Gloria Navarro also issued a temporary restraining order preventing the two former executives who left Borgata this summer to work for the Ocean Casino Resort from contacting any past, present, or prospective clients of the Borgata Casino. Navarro also ordered the two former Borgata executives not to share trade secrets or confidential information to their new employers.

Poaching Accusation

However, the judge did not order the two executives removed from their jobs at Ocean Casino despite violating unfair competition laws and agreements. In not terminating the two, Navarro reasoned that the plaintiff did not present evidence that proved Ocean knew that the two were using Borgata trade secrets in their current employment.

Last month, Borgata Casino accused Ocean Casino of “poaching” six former executives in what it called an “attempt to cripple “ it by using trade secrets and sensitive information about its top clients. Borgata proceeded to filing a lawsuit after it asserted that the hiring of their former officers violated New Jersey’s unfair competition laws.

Attempt To Cripple Borgata

The case centered on William Callahan and Kelly Ashman Burke, who worked with Borgata’s top clients, and who were recently hired by Ocean Casino. Borgata took exception of Callahan for his failure to return a company-issued cell phone which was said to contain top secret information regarding Borgata’s high-rollers. Borgata claimed that Callahan refused to return the phone even after he had resigned from his post at their casino.

Callahan worked with Borgata’s highest-level customers who spent around $1.5M-$4M per visit. Borgata claimed that these clients were worth a collective $25M per year and Ocean was “crippling” their business using the information that Callahan took from Borgata using his cell phone. The case was filed in Nevada because MGM Resorts International, Borgata’s parent company, is located there.

Virgnia’s “Sports Bettor Bill of Rights” Draws Flak From Major Operators

Virginia Sign

The public comment period on the proposed rules and regulations of sports betting in Virginia ended last Wednesday and some of the initial policies have received opposition from major gambling operators.

During the review process, major platforms like DraftKings and FanDuel have taken issue with some of the consumer protection rules that officials are proposing. One particular regulation that has received negative feedback is the one that requires the betting platforms to provide players with information that can help them make “informed decisions about their gambling”. These information include how the odds were calculated, odds of winning a bet, and the handle and payout amounts.

Other Issues That Drew Negative Reactions

According to the gambling operators, no other sports betting state in the United States has imposed a similar requirement. FanDuel in particular, noted that it recently offered 24 different bets on an NBA playoff game and that had nearly 300 potential outcomes and even more possible parlay wagers. Presenting the required information under Virginia’s proposed Sports Bettors Bill of Rights in real time will cause logistical problems on both processing power and screen space.

Other issues that drew negative reactions include the process of allowing players voluntarily ban themselves from sports betting for two years, five years, or for life if they feel they are losing too much money or if they feel they are getting addicted to gambling. The regulations also requires gambling operators to submit all marketing and advertising materials to the Lottery for pre-approval. The advertising rules also prohibit them from targeting minors and ads that violate “good taste” are disallowed.

Additionally, there is a proposed rule that bans betting on the Olympics, something which was not included in the legislation of the General Assembly. For this issue, the operators argued that excluding some sports evets would defeat the purpose of the legislation. Several companies also requested for a more lenient advertising policy where they won’t need a formal sign-off in advance.

Laying The Foundation of Virginia Sports Betting

The public review is being conducted by the Lottery to lay the foundation of the sports betting rules in Virginia. The outcome of the review will determine how quickly or not sports betting will launch in the state and what the bettors expect to see in the betting apps when they are officially launched. If all goes well, sports betting is expected to start next year in Virginia.

This year, the General Assembly passed a legislation authorizing the Virginia Lottery to hand out between four to 12 sports betting licenses in the state. Sports betting in Virginia will start online, largely via sports betting apps. However, it could eventually expand to the brick and mortar casinos being planned in different cities and the Colonial Downs operated Rosie’s gambling places.

The Virginia Lottery Board is expected to meet on Tuesday to vote on the new rules on sports betting. Once the rules and regulations are in place, the Lottery will begin accepting applications for sports betting licenses next month. Sports betting is expected to bring in an annual $55M in state tax revenues.

Developers of Isle Casino Property to Add Industrial Space to Their Project

Isle Casino Racing Pompano ParkCordish Companies and Caesars Entertainment, the two companies redeveloping the Isle Casino Racing property in Pompano Beach, announced their intention to add an industrial space to their project.

The request was approved by the commissioners 4-2 during the first reading, with a second reading scheduled for October 27. If approved on the second reading, the change could be enacted sometime next year after a review by county and state authorities.

Request to Change

The two companies submitted a request to change the zoning and approved land use for Isle Casino. In a meeting last Tuesday, Cordish Companies chairman David Cordish told commissioners that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused offices to work remotely. Because of this, the developers want to reduce the office area and introduce an industrial space at the 777 Isle of Capri Circle project.

The proposal cuts the maximum office space area of 2 million square feet to 1.35 million square feet. This will allow a total area of 1.5M square foot to be available for industrial space. The other components of the redevelopment plan will be unchanged.

Cordish also said during the virtual meeting that his company and Caesars Entertainment already have a non-disclosure agreement with a prospective tenant who would occupy more than 1M square feet of industrial area and employ an 1,200 workers at the Isle Casino property. Sources are saying that the possible renters are Amazon or Walmart.

Residents Express Concerns

However, Pompano Beach residents expressed their concerns about the proposed warehouse in their area. The group mentioned the lack of details regarding the proposed change . They claim that more information should be revealed regarding truck traffic and operating hours as these could significantly impact the traffic in the area. Furthermore, Cypress Bend and Palm Aire residents are complaining that they were not consulted on the proposed logistics center.

Last year, the city approved a proposal by the Cordish group and Caesars to triple the number of residential units at the Isle Casino property and double the office space requirements. The Pompano Beach property was part of a $1.7B purchase of the Isle of Capri Casinos in 2017 by the Eldorado Resorts. Eldorado merged with Caesars Entertainment last July.

Upon its completion, the property will be rebranded as Live!Resorts Pompano. It will include a racetrack, casino, 950 hotel rooms, 300,000 square feet of retail area, and 4,100 residential units.

William Hill and CBS Rollout New Fantasy Football Offerings

William Hill
William Hill US and CBS Sports announced on Wednesday that they are rolling out new product offerings to kick off their partnership ahead of the fantasy football season in the US.
The fantasy football season follows the schedule of the current NFL Season which begins on Friday, September 10, 2020 and ends on January 3, 2021.

In a statement released on Wednesday, William Hill President of Digital Ken Fuchs said:

“Our partnership is a first-of-its-kind, creating an experience geared to the sports fan and fantasy player that showcases William Hill content and products across the CBS Sports Digital landscape. We’re ready for fantasy football season to begin and can’t wait to introduce fans to the future of sports betting while taking their game to the next level.”

Educating Sports Fans

The rollout includes a new parlay free-to-play game as well as extensive odds and data coverage across all CBS platforms. Product integration also involves fantasy game enhancements, interactive betting markets within scoreboards, and extensive betting content. It also gives sports bettors access to educational tools such as prop and bet calculators.

According to William Hill, most of the offerings are intended to educate sports fans on how to make picks for fun, understand the sports betting market, and go directly to William Hill’s products to complete their betting transactions seamlessly in states where it is live.

Currently, William Hill US is available in 11 states where sports betting has been legalized plusThe Bahamas and the District of Columbia. Its mobile offerings are available in Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, New Jersey, and West Virginia.

Exclusive Sportsbook and Wagering Data Provider

Last February, William Hill took a huge step in its US expansion when it announced that it had forged a strategic partnership that would make it the exclusive sportsbook and wagering data partner of CBS Sports across all platforms, including CBS Sports Fantasy which is one of the largest fantasy platforms in the world.

Under the agreement, CBS Sports will utilize William Hill’s odds, experts, and more than 140 sportsbooks to solidify its digital presence. In return, William Hill will receive exclusive rights to promote its brand across all CBS Sports’ range of digital properties, including CBS Sports Fantasy.The deal kicked off with the initial integrations last March and with the start of the NFL season, the full rollout is now live.

The new betting experiences are currently rolled out across all CBS platforms including CBSSports.com, CBS Sports Fantasy, SportsLine, CBS Sports HQ, and CBS Sports Fantasy Mobile Apps.

5Dimes Temporarily Ceases U.S. Offshore Operations

Icon Displaying Variety of Sports, Hand Holding Cash
Costa Rica-based online sportsbook 5Dimes has issued a notice to its customers informing them that it will be temporarily ceasing its U.S. operations effective September 25, 2020.

The move is seen by industry experts as part of a bigger plan by 5Dimes to legitimize its operations in the United States. 5Dimes has operated in the United States an an offshore sportsbook. But with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018, states have been allowed to pass their own legislation that will legalize sports betting. Since then, more than 20 states have legalized sports betting in their jurisdiction and that number is expected to increase further. With the legal sports betting market growing in the United States, 5Dimes is aiming to be among the legal gambling operators in the country.

In a social media message, the sportsbook said:

“5Dimes is excited to announce that it is embarking on a new business venture. With the evolving legal landscape in the United States, we want to take advantage of the opportunity to offer an improved online sports betting experience to our many US customers. In order to do this, we need to suspend temporarily our service of the US market so that we can launch our new operations with a fresh start.”

Temporary Cessation

To facilitate the temporary cessation, 5Dimes will stop accepting best from U.S. markets at 12am ET of September 21, 2020. Customers have been informed to withdraw their balances until 12 am ET of September 25, 2020.

All customer funds remaining on 12 am ET of September 30th will be transferred to a third-party claims administrator who will attempt to deliver the funds to the account holder. All funds undelivered by 12 am ET of September 30, 2021 or one year from now,  will be deemed abandoned by the owner.

State By State Entry

After its temporary closure, sources say that 5Dimes will attempt to re-enter the U.S market state by state, seeking the approval of state regulators. The United States is one of the biggest sports betting markets in the world. But American punters have always been wary of offshore betting sites. 5Dimes hopes that becoming legal in the U.S. will help it earn a bigger share of the pie.

Also, Mature U.S. markets like Nevada and New Jersey are strict in their laws against offshore gambling operators in the last five years. Offshore betting site Bovada and BetOnline have stopped accepting New Jersey customers since last year because of issues with state regulators. Once 5Dimes gets its U.S.licenses, they will no longer have to worry about suffering the same fate.

Shinnecock Nation and Seminole Hard Rock Join Forces For Casino Venture

Flag Of New York
The Southampton-based Shinnecock Nation has entered into an agreement with the Seminole Hard Rock Entertainment and developer Tri-State Partners for a casino venture in New York. The Shinnecock Nation have long wanted to build and operate their own casino to advance an economic agenda for tribal employment and gaming revenues. Now, they have moved closer to that ambition.

A Fully Vested Partnership

In a statement made last Wednesday, the Shinnecok Nation announced that they have forged a “fully vested” partnership with the tribal gaming giant to develop “world class entertainment destinations”. The treaty is expected to create hundreds of jobs and and revenue sources not just for the Shinnecock Nation but also for the State of New York.Tribal casinos generally pay a tax of 25% of their gaming revenues to the state under existing tribe-state covenants.

The tribe also revealed that the U.S National Indian Gaming Commission has approved its tribal gaming ordinance this summer. It’s application was deemed approved after the NIGC chairman took no action to approve or disapprove the Shinnnecock Nation’s application within the 90-day deadline. With the validation, they are now permitted to operate class II gaming on tribal land, and class III gaming on tribal land or land taken into trust in behalf of the tribe.

Long Wanted a Casino

After their federal recognition in 2010, the 660-member tribe worked with the Detroit-based Gateway Casino Resorts to build one or more casinos in the state but eventually, their discussions failed to materialize. The tribe also explored a 97-acre property Westwoods property in Hampton Bays but the facility isn’t expected to be used for gaming purposes.

The Shinnecock Nation also operates the first solar oyster hatchery in the East Coast. In 2019, they also unveiled the first of two electronic billboards along Highway 27 ( also known as Sunrise Highway) in Newhampton. The 61-foot billboard features advertisements that change after a few seconds. Aside from outdoor advertising, they also have prime real estate in the area.

Ex-Harrah’s GM Files COVID Related Case against Caesars Inc.

Harrah's Las Vegas Casino Logo
A former executive at Harrah’s Resort Southern California has filed a lawsuit against Caesars Entertainment Inc., claiming that he was forced to resign after management ignored his concerns that the decision to reopen the casino was dangerous and could expose clients to the COVID-19 virus.

Former top officer Darrell Pilant alleges that the company’s decision to reopen last May caused “serious adverse health and safety consequences involving employees and customers contracting COVID-19. Pilant worked as the Valley Center casino’s general manager and senior vice-president but resigned one day before the reopening of Harrah’s after it was shut down by the pandemic.

Constructively Terminated

In his lawsuit, which was filed before the San Diego Superior Court on Monday, Pilant says that he was repeatedly assured that the county was “on board” with the reopening. Despite voicing his concerns to the management, he stated that the company gave him an “illegal and dangerous” directive to reopen the casino in May.

Pilant argued that he was “constructively terminated” and under his contract, he is eligible for severance equal to one year of his salary. Aside from that, he is also suing for several damages. Pilant resigned on May 21, or one day before the casino reopened to the public.

He worked for nearly 23 years with the company and held several positions in other states before coming to Harrah’s South California in 2011. In 2016, he was promoted to general manager and oversaw all casino operations. Pilant also served on the community board of the San Diego Food Bank and Palomar Health Foundation.

217 COVID-19 Patients Visited Casinos

The San Diego County confirmed that a total fo 217 COVID-19 local patients reported being at a local casino within two weeks of falling ill to the virus. Twelve of them were hospitalized while one, a casino patron, already died.

The 217 cases are tied to seven of the county’s nine tribal casinos and they involve 76 employees and 141 guests. Country spokeswoman Sarah Sweeney noted that even though those who tested positive visited a casino during the period where they were potentially infected, it doesn’t mean that they caught the virus there.

The country has refused to name the specific businesses and casinos where the local transmissions occurred. Like other casinos, the reopening of Harrah’s included health and safety measures that include social distancing, wearing of face masks, and limited operating capacity.

Detroit Lions Name BetMGM as Their Official Sports Betting Partner

Detroit State Flag With the MGM Grand Detroit

The Detroit Lions announced on Thursday that they have entered into a sports betting partnership with MGM Resorts International and GVC Holdings. The join venture will make BetMGM as the Lions’ first and official sports betting partner and it comes just in time for the start of the 2020 NFL season later this month.

The agreement will make BetMGM as the official sponsor of Lions Bingo and Lions Perks. It also includes other “fan-focused assets” such as team broadcast programming, digital marketing assets, and in-stadium promotions and signages.

Said Detroit Lions President Rod Wood in a statement:

“The Detroit Lions historic relationship with BetMGM has been years in the making and we’re proud to announce details of our official partnership. We’re continuously seeking new ways to entertain and involve our fans which is especially important during such unusual times; this partnership with BetMGM will provide additional and exciting opportunities to engage our fans.”

Lions Bingo and Lions Perks

Lions Bingo is a free to play game which was introduced in 2019. The game, which is available via the team’s mobile app, is a bingo game where fans can guess what plays happen next or which stats the team can achieve during games for a chance to win non-cash prizes. With BetMGM as partner, Lions Bingo players now have a chance to take home cash prizes or all-expense paid trips to MGM Resorts properties across the country.

Lions Perks was introduced during the 2018 NFL season and it is the team’s rewards system for fans at their home games. Available also via the Detroit Lions’ app, Lions Perks cards can be scanned during in-stadium purchases to earn points and join sweepstakes. Points can either be redeemed for rewards or donated to the Lions’ charities.

Long Standing Partnership

While sports betting was passed into a Michigan law only in late 2019. BetMGM and the Detroit Lions have a long standing partnership that isn’t betting related. MGM Resorts’ MGM Grand is one of the three commercial casinos in Detroit and it has been the sponsor of the MGM Grand Detroit Tunnel Club at Ford Field, the home of the Lions.

BetMGM started operating a sports betting lounge at the MGM Grand Detroit on March 12. Three months later, BetMGM also entered into a similar sports betting pact with the Denver Broncos. Michigan and Colorado both entered the sports betting arena earlier this year.

Bet.Works Launches Self-Service Betting Terminals in Colorado

Shape of Colorado State, Red Casino Chip on Top of State
U.S. sports betting technology provider Bet.Works has launched its own branded self-service betting terminals in Colorado. The devices, called Elite Sportsbook, are positioned at the Red Dolly Casino in Blackhawk, Co.

Said Bet.Works CEO David Wang:

“Bet.Works is continuously innovating and leading the way in creating the best sports entertainment products available on the market. Our self-service betting terminals featured at the Red Dolly Casino provide Colorado players with a convenient and simple platform to wager on-property. Bet.Works is very proud to add this guest service technology to our U.S. entertainment portfolio.”

Self-Service Betting Terminals

The GLI certified self-service betting terminals were designed and built by KIOSK Information Systems, a leading provider of self-service kiosks in North America. The ELITE Sportsbook has a dual 22” PCAP displays and a programmable colored LED lighting. It boasts of an intuitive user interface and a comprehensive transaction component. The kiosk integrates scanning, cash acceptance, ticket in/out for independent wagering.

The devices are a product of the partnership between Bet.Works and Elite Casino Resorts. These two companies previously teamed up to bring sports betting technology to Iowa. Last month, the two Iowa casinos where they launched their product contributed a combined 15.2% of the sports betting revenue in The Hawkeye State.

Sports Betting Picking Up in Colorado

Sports betting became legal in Colorado at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2020 when almost all of sports was shut down. Despite U.S. professional sports leagues like the NBA, MLS, and MLB suspended, it was able to generate a total of $946,741.34 revenue during its maiden month.

With games returning in recent months, Colorado’s sports betting activity has picked up quickly. Revenue grew by 35.8% from the first month or $3.M during June. In the month of July, the total sports betting revenue in The Centennial State totaled $5.2M. With the NFL set to start its 2020 season this month, the numbers are expected to increase further.

Atlantic City Casinos to Resume Food and Beverage Operations on September 4

View of Atlantic City Beach

Good news for Atlantic City casinos and gambling patrons.

On Tuesday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 183 which states that food and beverage operations in the state’s casinos may resume operations but at a 25% capacity. The order, which takes effect on Friday, September 4th at 6 am, is expected to boost casino operations during the coming Labor Day weekend.

The move came after New Jersey continues to improve its COVID-19 figures. The state has seen a total of 3,989 COVID-19 positive cases with 245 deaths and 2,697 recoveries as of last Tuesday. However, according to the Atlantic County Division of Public Health, there were no COVID-19 related deaths for a six-day period ending last Tuesday.

Said Gov. Murphy:

“Given the progress we continue to see statewide, and with the proper precautions and limitations in place, I am proud that we can take this step today to allow our restaurants to once again welcome patrons back for indoor dining services.”

A Big Relief

The news came as a big relief to the Atlantic City casino industry which as been reeling since the coronavirus pandemic forced them to shut down for four months beginning March this year. They were allowed to reopen last July but at a limited capacity and without food, drinks, and smoke.

Atlantic City casinos are coming off a three-month period where they suffered an aggregate loss of $112M with the Golden Nugget as the only gambling operator to have a positive result. The negative figure was an 85% decline from their performance for the same quarter in 2019.

Booze and Smoke Now Allowed

Under the Executive Order, casinos will be allowed to serve drinks to its customers on their gaming floors. However, booze must be ordered through a server and guests are prohibited from leaving their seats while consuming their beverages. E.O. 183 also permits gamblers to resume smoking on the gaming floors although casinos are given the option to maintain their smoking bans.

Casinos have been smoke-free since their reopening and while smokers find this decision as a relief, those who advocate smoke-free gambling will most certainly be disappointed, especially since many of them thought that the temporary ban would eventually become permanent.

The legislation also allows the operation of “indoor performance-based entertainment centers” but subject to the 25% capacity limit, a cap of 150 non-staff guests in any single venue, plus health and safety protocols. However, it remains to be seen if the casinos will open their entertainment venues since the income from limited operations may not compensate the cost to produce the shows.

California Supreme Court Okays Madera Casino Project

Online Gambling in California

On Monday, the California Supreme Court decided in favor of the planned North Fork Rancheria Hotel & Casino Resort, clearing the way for plans to build a casino in Madera county.

According to its decision in the United Auburn Indian Community v. Newsom California Supreme Court Case, former Governor Jerry Brown acted within his authority in concurring with the federal government’s 2011 decision that led to the approval of the two “off-reservation” tribal gaming projects in Madera and Yuba counties.

Said North Fork Rancheria Tribal Chair Elaine Bethel-Fink in a press release:

“We are thrilled that the Court has finally decided this case in our favor. Our tribal citizens and local community have been denied the advantages of tribal gaming – billions of dollars in economic benefits and thousands of jobs – for far too long.”

The proposed Madera casino will be adjacent to Highway 99 at Avenue 17. It will have 2,000 slot machines, 40 gaming tables, and a hotel that is expected to have 200 rooms. It will be operated by the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians, a federally recognized Native American tribe with more than 2,200 tribal citizens and has government offices in Madera county.

Opponents Challenged Governor’s Concurrence

The North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians of California have been working to build a casino for almost twenty years now. In 2003, the Tribe signed an agreement with the Las Vegas-based Station Casinos to build a casino and the following year, they requested the federal government to take the proposed site near Madera in trust for gaming purposes.

After a federal review, the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs determined that gaming on the land would be of the best interest of of the tribe and not detrimental to the surrounding communities. The federal office then requested Governor Jerry Brown to concur, which he did in 2012.

But opponents challenged the governor’s concurrence, arguing that California’s Constitution required legislative authorization. In 2017, the California Supreme Court agreed to hear the challenges for both projects after two appeals court arrived at different conclusions.

Catawba Nation Reveals Name and Logo of North Carolina Casino

North Carolina Casinos

The Catawba Nation announced last Friday that the name of their gaming project in Kings Mountain, North Carolina will be Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort. The name and the casino’s logo were unveiled last August 28, 2020 at a private event attend by citizens of the Catawba nation, casino partners, city officials of Kings Mountain.

Said Catawba Nations chief Bill Harris:

“Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort celebrates our rich history and hopeful future in our ancestral lands in North Carolina – where our people were established hundreds of years ago, as the names Catawba River, Catawba County and Catawba College suggest. The name pays tribute to the 18th century Catawba Chief King Hagler and to the City of Kings Mountain, which will be home to the new casino resort. It also symbolizes the unique relationship that the Catawba people have historically had – and will continue to strengthen going forward – with fellow residents of the region.”

Tribute To King Hagler

King Hagler was the Catawba Chief from 1750-1763. Under his rule, the Catawba Nation forged a peaceful relationship with the American colonists in the region while also strongly defending the rights of his people. The Catawba tribe helped protect the colonists during the Revolutionary War, French War, and Indian War. In return, the Catawba got the support from them.

The logo of the proposed casino depicts King Hagler against a representation of Kings Mountain. The logo was developed in consultation with Delaware North. The New York-based hospitality and entertainment company is an adviser of the Catawba in the ongoing project.

First Phase Opening in 2021

Last March, the Catawba Nation received approval from the U.S. Department of the Interior to use 15.76 acres of land from Dixon School Road and I-85 to build the casino. The project has gotten disapproval from local groups and other counties in the state. In July, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians filed a lawsuit to stop the construction. But a week after the case was filed, the Catawba broke ground with the goal of opening the first phase of the casino in 2021.

The proposed casino’s gaming area is expected to have more than 1,700 electronic games and 54 gaming tables. The resort will also have a 940-seat restaurant space plus a service area/player’s club in the main gaming area.

Budget Shortfall Looms in Atlantic City Due to PILOT Bill

View of Atlantic City Beach

The crippling effect of the coronavirus pandemic to Atlantic City’s casinos will have a direct impact in the Garden State’s 2021 budget. That’s because the casinos’ total direct revenue is the basis of their annual payment to the city based on the 2016 PILOT bill.

Under the bill, which was enacted in 2016, casinos make annual payments to the city based on revenue rather than pay property taxes based on property value. Last year, Atlantic City’s casinos had a total revenue of $3.2B and they made a total of $150M payments to the city in 2019.

But with the pandemic halting casino operations for four months starting March 2020 and the imposition of health and safety restrictions that limited gaming operations since they were allowed to reopen, the casinos in Monopoly City are unlikely to duplicate last year’s performance.

Unlikely to Duplicate 2019 Performance

From January to July 2020, Atlantic City’s nine casinos have reported a total gaming revenue of $1.2B. That’s well off the $1.845B they made through the first seven months of 2019. Also, the casinos reported an average revenue increase of 11.48% per month beginning August 2019 to the end of the year.

But with the current restrictions, it’s not expected that they will overperform their previous month’s income and because of that, they are expected to come up very short of last year’s totals. Casino win has been down by more than 58% through July and is not expected to pick up with the prohibitions and restrictions currently in place.

Need For Tangible Solution

The PILOT Bill was passed to put an end to the casinos’ property tax appeals filed before the city. It was seen as a means to stabilize Atlantic City’s tax base. The bill was projected to bring a steady $120M in annual payments from the city’s nine casinos and it had been working before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

Sen. Chris Brown (R-Atlantic) who voted for the PILOT bill in 2016, recognizes the need to modify the legislation. Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D-Atlantic), a prime sponsor of the PILOT bill, recognized the need to do something but noted that the city has to “be careful on how to navigate” through the looming shortfall. Meanwhile, the absence of a tangible solution has made locals fear of an imminent increase in property taxes or a decrease in municipal services.

NGCB Approves William Hill’s Takeover of CGT Operations in Las Vegas

William Hill

British company William Hill has received the green light to purchase CG Technology’s operations in Nevada. On Thursday, the Nevada Gaming Control Board approved Wiliam Hill’s takeover of CGT’s assets in the Silver State.

William Hill CEO Joe Asher said that he was excited with the approval of the acquisition. He added that they have started discussions with Las Vegas Sun for the renovation of the Venetian sportsbook. Asher also said that they are looking to renovate Silverton:

“There are some things we will do a little differently. We just wanted to get the finish line. We’ve invested millions into sportsbooks in this state.”

Significant Presence on the Strip

The approval will allow William Hill to take control of the sportsbooks of The Venetian Las Vegas, Palazzo, Tropicana Las Vegas, Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Palms, and Silverton. All casinos are on or near the Las Vegas Strip which is a market where William Hill can grow.

Willam Hill announced the planned takeover last year. As one of the largest sportsbooks in the world, William Hill already has a strong presence in Nevada. Prior to the news of its proposed acquisition of CGT’s assets, William Hill operated 113 race and sportsbooks in the Silver State. However, it lacked a significant presence on the Strip.

The deal effectively removes one competitor from the picture and puts William Hill brand in some of the Strip’s most shiny casino gems. Nevada is currently home to around 200 sports betting locations and the British company continues to grow its presence in the U.S. market.

End of The Road For CGT

Asher was the managing director of CG when it came to Nevada during the mid-2000s. It was then known as Cantor Gaming and was the sports betting branch of the financial company Cantor Fitzgerald. Asher quit in 2007 to form his own sportsbook firm called Brandywine Bookmaking which quickly grew into 16 race and sportsbooks in Las Vegas under the name Lucky’s Race and Sports.

For its part CG has a history of being penalized by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. It has been penalized three times for various violations including allowing out-of-state wagers, accepting bets after the conclusion of events, and paying out too much and too little on some wagers. CG paid a total of $10M across those violations.

ESPN also reported that CG was involved in in an “illegal gambling and money laundering scheme” which cost it another $22.5M in federal penalties. The NGCB had threatened to revoke CGT’s license as recently as last year but it survived the storms. However, this latest development does look like the end of the road for CGT in Las Vegas.

Borgata Casino Files Lawsuit Against Ocean Casino

Borgata Hotel-Casino

Atlantic City’s top casino has filed a lawsuit against one of its competitors, claiming that the rival hired half-a-dozen of its former Marketing Executives in an effort to steal trade secrets.

The case was filed on Thursday by MGM Resort International’s Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa against Ocean Casino after the latter allegedly poached former Borgata executives in an attempt “to cripple” it by using details of its most profitable customers. According to Borgata, Ocean Casino violated unfair competition laws and agreements that prohibit at least two of the highest ranking executives from working for a competitor for a year after leaving.

High-Roller Customer Data

At the center of the complaint is former Borgata exec William Callahan who now works for Ocean Casino. It is alleged that Callahan has retained his Borgata-issued phone which contains valuable information about Borgata costumers. The lawsuit states that Callahan has refused to return the phone as recently as Monday this week.

Callahan was in charge of Borgata’s high-roller customers. These were patrons who spent $1.5M to $4M per visit and who would be flown in and out of the casino’s events using Borgata’s private jet. According to Borgata, these individuals were worth at least $25M per year to the company.

Aside from Callahan, Borgata also mentioned the name of former executive Kelly Ashman Burke in the document. The plaintiff also said that four other ex-marketing personnel have been hired by Ocean Casino in an attempt to “cripple” Borgata’s casino operations in Atlantic City.

Direct and Primary Competitor

The Borgata leads the nine-casino market in the area but in the lawsuit, it asserts that Ocean City is a direct and primary competitor for high-level customers in Atlantic City. Interestingly, Ocean Casino ranks just sixth among the nine Atlantic City casinos in terms of total revenues, making just one-thirds of what Borgata has raked in over the period.

The Ocean City Casino is the former Revel Casino which was shut down in 2014. The Revel operated for over two years and never came close to making a profit. But the casino reopened in 2018 under a new name and ownership and it has improved its ranking in the market.

Last month , Ocean Casino ranked second in Atlantic City casino win with its revenue of $23.6M a 23.1% increase against its July 2019 figures. Ocean saw nine straight months of slot pay growth before the coronavirus pandemic hit last March. Borgata was closed for the most part of July but in terms of income, it still makes three times more than any of its competitor.

theScore Bet to Run Online NJ Casino for Twin River

Twin River Casino
Score Media and Gaming Inc has been given access to run an online casino for Twin River Worldwide Holdings Inc. in New Jersey.

Said John Levy, founder and CEO of theScore:

“The addition of an online casino offering to our award-winning and truly differentiated mobile sports betting platform broadens our reach and deepens our strong portfolio of assets. This is yet another step towards providing theScore’s media and betting patrons with a completely holistic and tightly integrated media and gaming experience.”

A Long Term Deal

In an announcement made on Thursday, Score Media subsidiary theScore Bet said that it signed a long term deal with Twin River for the opening of an online casino in the Garden State. The launch is expected to be in the second half of 2021, subject to the procurement of the necessary permits and licenses from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

Under the agreement, Twin River will receive a percentage of the revenue made by theScore Bet in its online casino operations in New Jersey, subject to minimum guaranteed amounts and an upfront fee.The contract is for 10 years but theScore Bet has the option to extend the pact for another five years plus five more years if both parties consent.

Contingent on Bally Atlantic City Purchase

Score Media has been taking bets in New Jersey since 2019 when it launched its sports betting app there. The Canadian betting company is close to opening its doors in Colorado and is in the process of securing regulatory approvals in Indiana. theSports Bet was named as the Best Online Mobile Sports Betting Experience at the Cynopsis Sports Media Awards earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Twin River is entering the Garden State via a $25M acquisition of Bally’s Atlantic City in Boardwalk. The deal, announced in April, is currently under works but has not been finalized. Twin River’s covenant with theScore Bet is contingent on the completion of the purchase.

Twin River Serious in New Jersey

Based on its recent moves, Twin River is serious in New Jersey and it is looking to maximize the potential of its purchase of Bally’s. The treaty with theScore Bet is its third big move in two weeks that is related to its Garden State business.

Twin River entered into a sports betting contract with Esports Entertainment Group last week. Just this Tuesday, the gambling company also revealed a similar accord with Philadelphia-based sports betting startup Sporttrade.

BetMGM to Launch “Betting Across America” Show in Collaboration with VSiN

BetMGM in iPhone
BetMGM announced a partnership with the Las Vegas Stats and Information Network (VSiN) for a daily sports betting show starting next month. The show entitled “Betting Across America” will use the latest sports betting data and and analytics to provide expert betting commentary and insights from some of the most credible experts in the business.

Said BetMGM chief marketing officer Matt Prevost:

“VSiN has been a great media partner for BetMGM and we look forward to continuing to work with the VSiN team to produce engaging sports betting related content. By giving VSiN unprecedented access to BetMGM Sportsbooks, there will be no shortage of interesting story lines and excellent opportunities for betting enthusiasts and sports fans to get an inside peek.”

BetMGM recently got a $1B boost from the IAC earlier this month. The influx of new money is expected to help BetMGM increase its presence in the U.S. sports betting industry market and this TV deal with VSiN is seen as one of the first steps to achieving that.

Betting Across America

“Betting Across America” will be broadcast by VSiN will be broadcast live from the BetMGM studios in large sports betting markets across the country. Pending approval, it will air on weekdays from 3-5 pm ET/ 12noon-2pm PT starting August 31 and weekdays from 1-3 PM ET/10am-12noon PT beginning September 5th.

The show will feature BetMGM’s oddsmakers and experts who will be joined by VSiN’s top hosts including former NFL player and Las Vegas personality Mike Pritchard. Former NBC The Daily Line host Tim Murray and famed sports bettor James Salinas will also be among the VSiN personalities who will appear on the new show.

Aside from VSiN.com, sports fans and bettors can watch Betting Across America and VSiN’s other sports betting programs via Sirius XM, Comcast Xfinity, Sling TV, fubo TV, and RSN’s across the U.S. and Canada.

Sports Betting Going Mainstream

Since its legalization in the United States in 2018, Sport Betting has come a long way. Aside from new states following the lead of those before them, the sports betting industry has taken a major leap in 2020 and is going mainstream.

We have seen TV and sports betting provider relationships established recently. In January, Penn National Gaming finalized its purchase of Barstool Sports. CBS and William Hill formally announced their partnership in February.

Earlier this week, ESPN announced the opening of its Las Vegas Studio at the LINQ, where it will produce sports betting content in cooperation with Caesars Entertainment. Aside from moving its “Daily Line” show there, the collaboration is expected to come up with a new sports betting digital show this fall.

Twin River Could Lay Off 1,300 Workers Next Month

Twin River Casino
Twin River has notified the Rhode Island labor officials that it could be laying off a total of 1,300 employees next month .

According to Twin River spokeswoman Patti Doyle, the company filed a layoff notice with the State Department of Labor and Training last August 11th. Doyle clarified that 1,043 furloughs in Lincoln, and another 296 in Tiverton are set to become permanent at the end of next month.

Doyle added that the workers who are facing layoff are currently furloughed by the company and they continue to receive health insurance benefits. She added that the number of workers let go could still change, depending on the on the business conditions at that time.

Numbers Could Still Change

In a call with analysts, Twin River CEO George Papanier revealed that the company tried to bring back as many employees as possible after the coronavirus pandemic forced the closure of their establishments. However, he said that with the current restrictions they are faced with since reopening, they don’t know how many will ultimately be brought back. Said Papanier:

“While we have been able to welcome back a large percentage of those affected, there are still a large number of employees affected on furlough while we await the ability to increase capacity and amenities.”

Last August 11th, Twin River reported a $24M second quarter loss as a result of the casinos being forced to shutdown in March due to the coronavirus pandemic and also by the decreased capacity it has operated with since they were allowed to reopen.

Rhode Island Slow to Recover

However, CEO Papanier said that Twin River is pleased with the results they have seen since they were allowed to reopen in June. Out of their $24M Q2 loss, only $2M came in the month of June and the initial figures for the month of July were encouraging for a return to profitability. Added Papanier:

“While we continue to be willing to spend money to capture market share and drive revenue, we don’t expect to simply return to the old way of doing business. We believe many of the efficiencies we have realized are sustainable over the long term and will result in improved profitability for our properties even while increased sanitation and cleaning costs become the norm.”

Business in the South and West casinos of Twin River have picked up faster than their Rhode Island flagship with states like Colorado and Mississippi faster to ease COVID-19 health restrictions. However, Twin River Rhode Island President of Operations Marc Crisafulli is optimistic because he hopes that they will be allowed to return to 24-hour operations in the coming weeks.

ESPN Opens Vegas Studio for Sports Betting Themed- Content

Caesars Entertainment
ESPN’s Las Vegas studio at the LINQ Hotel and Casino opened on Monday, more than a year after the sports media conglomerate entered in to a sports betting pact with Caesars Entertainment.

The studio will serve as ESPN’s home in sin city and it will be responsible for creating sports-betting related content across ESPN’s platforms. Under the agreement, Caesars will also serve as ESPN’s official odds data supplier across TV and digital.

Said ESPN EVP of Content Connor Schell:

“The appetite for sports betting content continues to grow among fans. Our new studio will not only operate as the headquarters for that content, but it will also anchor our year-round presence in Las Vegas – a city that has become a destination for the biggest events in sports. The LINQ studio allows us to meaningfully cover the lineup of major events on the horizon with our league partners like UFC and Top Rank, the NFL regular season with the Las Vegas Raiders – beginning with the Monday Night Football home opener on Sept. 21 – the Las Vegas Bowl, the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights, NBA Summer League, and the rescheduled NFL Draft in 2022.”

State of the Art Studio

The 6,000 square foot facility includes three state of the art studios and features 12 cameras, including two exterior robotic cameras. It is the first ESPN studio to fully support 4K resolution and will be launched in Full HD. The studio will operate via ESPN’s REMI production workflow, with 24 transmit and receive paths to ESPN control rooms around the country.

The new studio will bring Vegas-exclusive sports betting and entertainment content to ESPN. The channel’s sports betting show Daily Wager will move to the LINQ studio starting September 8th. Aside from being the channel’s hotbed for sports betting-related content, it will also play a key role during major sporting events, especially in the Las Vegas area.

ESPN is also eyeing to launch a new digital show this fall. The show is a sports betting related content which will be distributed in in multiple platforms. New episodes of this still untitled show will be available three times a week on the ESPN app, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. It will also include content from Caesars.

Sports Betting Deal

ESPN’s expansion to the sports betting industry came after the legalization of sports betting across the country. Interestingly, ESPN and Caesars Entertainment announced their deal during the first year anniversary of the legalization of sports betting across the country.

In the past, Nevada had been the only state where sports betting was legal. But last year, states like Iowa, Indiana, Montana, Tennessee, and Washington D.C. joined the scene after seven states legalized it in 2018 following the Supreme Court’s decision to allow states the option to legalize sports betting.

According to the American Gaming Association, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018 has helped create a sports betting market of $8B in 2019, including a total of $3B which was wagered outside Nevada.

Las Vegas Sands Named as One of the Best Employers in the U.S.

Las Vegas Sands Corp
Las Vegas Sands Corporation was named as one of the best employers in the United States. In an article published by Forbes on Monday, Las Vegas Sands was officially included in its list of America’s Best-in-State Employers.

Said Sand chairman and chief executive officer Sheldon G. Adelson:
“Our company has built an enduring reputation as a global hospitality and business leader, due in large part to the dedication of our Team Members and leadership team. Our inclusion on the Best-in-State Employers list reinforces and validates that that reputation is well-earned. We set the standard for delivering an exceptional guest experience, maintaining consistently solid financial operations and being a responsible corporate citizenship in our communities, making them better places to work and live.”

Convention-Based Integrated Resort Pioneer

Las Vegas Sands Corporation is the largest developer and operator of world-class Integrated Resorts. It is considered as the trail blazer in the convention-based Integrated Resort Model model which combines state of the art convention facilities with luxury hotel rooms, world class gaming, and a wide-range of other attractions and offerings.

Its properties include two Las Vegas Strip attractions in The Venetian and The Palazzo. It is also the owner of the iconic Asian resort Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. The casino operator also owns the largest properties on the Cotai Strip in Maco, including The Venetian Macao, The Plaza, and Four Seasons Macao.

The company was established by Sheldon Adelson in 1988 when he and his business partners bought the famous Sands Hotel and opened the Sands Expo and Convention Center across the hotel. The 1.2M square foot property is the largest privately owned convention facility in the world.

Best-Liked Companies List

Forbes collaborated with market research company Statista to identify companies that are best-liked by employees. To come up the list Forbes and Statista conducted an independent survey of 80,000 Americans working for businesses with at least 500 employees. The respondents were asked to rate, on a scale of 1 to 10, how likely they would recommend their employer to others.

The first survey was held last year and a ranking of the top 1,430 employers that received the most recommendations in each of the 50 states, as well as in the District of Columbia, was published. On Monday, Forbes released the 2020 list on its site. The list based on surveys conducted from the period of October 2019 to May 2020.

Two IAC Top Execs Added to MGM Board

MGM Resorts International LogoCasino giant MGM Resorts International named two top officers from the InterActiveCorp. (IAC) to its Board of Directors following the latter’s $1B investment in MGM.

In an August 20 release MGM Resorts said that IAC Chairman and Senior Executive Barry Miller and CEO JOey Levin have joined MGM’s board., which now consists of 14 members.

Said MGM Chairman of the Board of Directors Paul Salem:

“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Barry and Joey to our board and to benefit from their collaboration as MGM Resorts continues developing innovative products and elevating our leadership in digital experience. IAC’s significant investment, expertise and support come at a pivotal time and will play a key role in MGM’s strategy to seize emerging opportunities and lead the industry with unparalleled in-person and digital experiences.”

Experienced Executives

Diller served as the Chairman and CEO of IAC from 1995-2010. He boasts of a vast experience across several senior executive positions at the likes of Fox, Paramount Pictures, and Prime Time Television. He is also the Chairman and CEO of Expedia, serves on the Board of The Coca-Cola Company, and is a member of The Business Council.

Meanwhile, Levin joined the IAC in 2003 and he previously served as director of numerous publicly traded consumer technology companies like The Action Network, Groupon, and LendingTree. Levin is also the Chairman of the Board at ANGI Homeservices and MatchGroup. He also sits on the board of Turo, a privately held peer-to-peer car-sharing service.

IAC Had Eyes on BetMGM

IAC bought a 12% stake of the Casino Operator worth $1B with its eyes on MGM’s online gambling app BetMGM. Diller had long wanted to join the online gambling industry and he felt that BetMGM has the “immense potential” to emerge as a top plyer in the billion-dollar online betting business despite its small contribution to the overall revenue figure of MGM.

MGM President and CEO Bill Hornbuckle recently told analysts that its sports betting and online gambling platform is projected to earn $130M this year which is a very negligible amount compared to MGM’s casino earnings of $6.5B for the year 2019.

But MGM has become the premier sports betting outfit since sports wagering was legalized in 2018 in the United States. BetMGM, which was established with the collaboration of GVC holdings, is expected to pick up with the influx of funds from IAC. With the coronavirus pandemic also forcing brick and mortar casinos to close or operate at limited capacity, the online gambling industry is expected to rise this year.

Wilmorite To Build Casino In Danville

Illinois
Wilmorite Management Group secured an approval from the Danville City Council last Tuesday night to build and operate a casino the Central Illinois town near the Indiana state line.

The approval came after a presentation made by Danville Development LLC, an Illinois registered company owned by the Wilmot family which owns and operates the Wilmorite Management Group in Rochester, New York.

Location Has Been Selected

During the presentation, Wilmorite vice president of gaming Jimmy Wilmot said that they have chosen 204 Eastgate Drive as the location for their casino. The area is the former Morris Flamingo site. The building is owned by Shaheen and Co. and it was once targeted for a cannabis cultivation center.

The site is on the north side of Interstate 74 and west side of Lynch Road. Wilmorite has committed to spend $600,000 to help the city address the sewer capacity issues that are on the north side of the interstate along that corridor.

The former Morris Flamingo site was a distribution site and warehouse. It has a total area of 110,643 square feet on 11.5 acres. The proposal is for Wimorite to build a new connection between Eastgate Drive and Lynch Road at the front of the parcel.

Phase 1 Expected To Start in Fall of 2021

The proposed casino would have a gaming floor of around 17,000 square feet. The plan also included the construction of a steak house, food court and a parking space with a capacity of over 500 vehicles. The group is also eyeing a 15,000 square foot Phase 2 expansion and a Phase 3 renovation that will include a 100-room hotel, additional restaurants, and a conference center.

The first phase of construction is expected to begin in the fall of 2021 and would be completed before the end of the year. The initial phase includes 500 slot machines and a total of 10 gaming tables including one for craps. Overall, the entire project is estimated to be completed in six years.

According to Wilmorite, they will spend around $30M when they break ground and $100M by the time they open their casino doors for the first time. Upon the approval of its license by the Illionis Gaming Board, Wilmorite will give $3M to the city who will use the amount for its riverside development project, the Boys and Girls Club, and other projects within the city.

IGT Inks Sports Betting Pact With Boyd Gaming Corp.

IGT

International Game Technology PLC announced on Wednesday that it has inked a sports betting technology deal with casino operator Boyd Gaming Corp.

Under the agreement, IGT will cover the equipment for Boyd Gaming’s retail sportsbooks in the state of Nevada and the technology for the mobile app ans sports betting site of the casino operator. For its part, Boyd has agreed to deploy IGT’s PlaySports self-service betting kiosks throughout its Las Vegas-based casinos. Both companies have agreed to a phased rollout for the services and features covered in this long-term agreement.

Said IGT PlayDigital Senior Vice President Enrico Drago:

“IGT and Boyd Gaming will create a dynamic omnichannel sports betting product that is sure to stand apart in Nevada, the most mature and high-volume sports betting destination in the U.S. IGT’s PlaySports platform enables Boyd Gaming to differentiate its sports betting product in meaningful ways that position them to attract new players and grow revenue in the segment.”

Not their First Partnership

Aside from offering Boyd’s clients with a more progressive sports betting platform, the PlaySports agreement will allow the US. casino operator to have an improved back office navigation, and the ability to update its app in line with real-time data and betting trends. Likewise, players will enjoy new features on the app as well as a wider variety of bets.

This isn’t the first time that Boyd Gaming and IGT have partnered. Since 2018, PlaySports has been powering Boyd Gaming’s sports betting facilities in its gaming properties in Iowa, Indiana, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania.

Boyd Casino operates a total of 29 casinos in 10 different states. When it comes to Nevada, three of its three Las Vegas casinos remain closed since they were ordered by the government last March to shut down operations as part of the health and safety measures during the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this week, one of those Casinos–Eldorado, was granted approval by the Henderson City Council to make its gaming and liquor license non-operational until 2021.

IGT and FanDuel

Boyd Gaming’s regional casinos have a sports betting partnership with FanDuel. The latter runs the sportsbook in seven of Boyd’s regional casinos and mobile sports betting apps in Pennsylvania and Indiana. They are expected to launch a digital sports betting app at Boyd’s Par-A-Dice Casino in Illinois. 

Earlier this month, IGT and FanDuel extended their U.S. partnership through 2024. Through this agreement, FanDuel sportsbooks in eight states will utilize the IGT platform. Meanwhile, FanDuel will offer IGT’s online casino games in Pennsylvania and New Jersey where the former currently operates.

IGT is a global leader in gaming solutions including gaming machines, lotteries, sports betting and digital. It has established relationships with governments and regulators in over 100 countries worldwide. 

Boyd Gaming’s Eldorado Casino Granted Non-Operational License Until 2021

Boyd Gaming

The Henderson City Council approved on Tuesday Boyd Gaming Corp.’s request for a non-operational license for its Eldorado Casino until June 2021.

It can be recalled that last July, Boyd Gaming filed with the Council documents requesting to change the gaming and liquor license of its Water Street property to non-operational until June of next year. With the approval, Eldorado Casino will be able to keep its licenses while remaining closed until June 2021.

In its letter to the City Council, Boy Gaming Corp.’s Vice President for Regulatory Compliance and Compliance Officer Michelle Rasmusson wrote:

“When a decision is made to reopen the property, we will submit a reopening plan prior to reopening. We look forward to working with the City of Henderson on reopening the property safely and in compliance with all applicable requirements at a future date.”

One of Three Boyd Properties That Remain Closed

Eldorado Casino is one of three Boyd properties in the North Nevada territory that remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, with Eastside Cannery and Main Street Station being the other two.

Established in 1961, Eldorado Casino underwent major renovations in 1997 and 2007. It has a gaming floor of 30,000 square feet and has more than 400 slot machines. Eldorado also offers Keno and Bingo in its venue while also housing a sportsbook. The property was shut down last March 17th following the order of Governor Steve Sisolak as part of the state’s effort to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Many Nevada Casinos are Still Closed

Boyd Casino isn’t the first gambling operator to make a similar request to the City Council. It can be recalled that Station Casinos also requested for the closure of three casinos-Fiesta Rancho, Fiesta Henderson, and Texas Station. All three requests were approved by North Las Vegas and Henderson City Councils.

Even major companies like Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts International still have some properties closed to date. Among these are Caeasars’ Planet Hollywood Resort, The Linq, Rio, and Cromwell. Park MGM is still closed while the Mirage is still scheduled to open before the Labor Day weekend.

Visitor numbers in the state are down and that coupled with the casino’s reduced capacity due to extensive health and safety measures has made it non-viable for some Nevada casinos to open at the moment. And in the light of the continuing pandemic, there is no guarantee that all casinos who are temporarily closed will eventually resume business activity in the future.

NBA Launches NBABet Steam in Orlando Bubble


The NBA used the bubble tournament in Orlando to showcase NBABet Stream, a new and experimental betting-focused broadcast option which is available via NBA League Pass and NBA TV Networks.

A Betting-Focused Broadcast Option

NBABet Stream features tailored commentary, different camera angles, and enhanced graphics. The stream also has real-time betting odds and stats provided by BetMGM. The league used nine seeding games for the first run of this betting-driven telecast. Said NBA head of Fantasy and Gaming SVP Scott Kaufman-Ross:

“The point of an alternate broadcast is for it to be different from the primary telecast. We didn’t feel we needed a perfect professional play-by-play person. We wanted to provide a group of people that would simulate you and your friends talking about the game from a betting perspective. It’s light. It’s fun. It’s supposed to be much more conversational and provide a different way of viewing the game — specifically, in this case, targeted at those thinking through betting concepts as they are watching NBA content.”

Aside from the alternative camera angles, betting odds, and stats, NBABet Stream also showcases betting analysts from the likes of Bleacher Report, Yahoo Sports, and Action Network to provide commentary and analysis throughout the broadcast. The alternate broadcast also gives fans a more engaging option to watching the games, especially since they are not allowed to watch inside the venue due to health and safety protocols.

New Sports Betting Landscape

Teams in other sports have experimented with alternate broadcasts centered on betting. But as far as the NBA is concerned, NBC Sports affiliates, beginning in Washington D.C., started offering alternate telecasts while focusing on in-game betting. But other than that, this is the first step for the NBA at a league level. It’s the NBA’s latest step in its approach to the new sports gambling landscape in the United States.

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 in May 2018. The Act restricted and regulated sports betting primarily in the state of Nevada. Since the 2018 ruling, legal sportsbooks have opened in a total of 18 states plus the District of Columbia. There are several other states which are waiting to launch sports betting in their areas. Last month, William Hill USA opened inside the Capital One Arena, complete with betting windows and self-serving kiosks. It is the first ever physical sportsbook to open inside a U.S. sports arena venue.

As for NBABet Stream, it is an experiment for the league this season but according to Kauffman-Ross, the league thinks that this is where the nature of the game broadcasts are headed to. It may be a secondary screen option right now but they are looking at the possibility of integrating watching a game and betting in the near future.

Cordish Launches PlayLive! Site in Pennsylvania

Maryland Live! Casino
Cordish Companies’ PlayLive! became the first branded internet gambling site to launch before its brick and mortar facilities have opened.

The online gambling business was launched on Monday, ahead of the opening of the company’s two casino projects in the Keystone State. Cordish’s Live!Casino Pittsburgh and Live!Casino Philadelphia are set to open in late 2020 and early 2021, respectively.

Said Cordish Gaming Group President Rob Norton:

“As a leader in the gaming industry, Cordish understands the importance of innovation and this site certainly illustrates our ability to enhance the traditional launch timeline of our new casino projects.”

Extensive Content

Developed in partnership with Game Account Network (GAN), PlayLive! has an extensive content of more than 100 gaming options, including classic slot games like Cleopatra, Crazy Money, Game King Video Poker, and Wheel of Fortune. It also carries popular titles like Gonzo’s Quest, Starburst, and Twin Spin.

Aside from online slots, PlayLive! Also offers interactive table games like blackjack, roulette, and baccarat. Players are also allowed to join Jackpot games like Divine Fortune, Mercy of the Gods, and Wheel of Fortune Hawaiian Getaway. The leaderboards show the players’ current rankings, creating an extra level of excitement for gamblers.

All games have been configured in such a way that players will get the same experience online as they do when they are at Live! Casino floors. In celebration of its launch, PlayLive! is offering welcome bonuses and free spins.

Live!Rewards Enrollment

The site was also launched so that Pennsylvania residents can enroll ahead of time in the Live! Rewards® customer loyalty program,. The rewards will be used by customers when the Keystone State’s Live! Hotels become operational but it can also be used in all Live! Casino and Hotel properties in the United States.

The rewards program is free to join with all players receiving the red Classic Live! Rewards® Card. All card members accumulate points to enjoy a variety of benefits and perks on PlayLive! and Live! Casino and Hotels.

About Live! Casino and Hotels

Live! Casino and Hotels are owned and operated by companies affiliated to the Cordish Companies. The flagship property is located in the Baltimore/Washington DC area and it is the top tourist destination in Maryland with a AAA Four Diamond rating.

The soon to open Live! Casino and Hotel in Philadelphia is located in the Stadium Entertainment District of the city. It will feature 2,200 slots and games plus more than 150 live action table games. On the other hand, the second Live! Casino and Hotel is located in Westmoreland near Pittsburgh has over 100,000 square feet of gaming space with 750 slots and 30 live action table games.

Seneca Gaming Lays Off 150 Employees

Seneca Niagra Resort and Casino
The Seneca Gaming Corporation announced last Friday that it has eliminated 150 job positions across its three casino properties.

In a statement, Seneca Gaming pointed to the slow recovery of its casino business as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The job cuts were made from its operations department and the company is looking to redirect the affected employees to other positions within the company. Per the company’s statement:

“The challenges presented by the pandemic, notably the closure of our three Seneca Resorts & Casinos properties for 90 days, have been dramatic. While we have begun the initial stages of our phased reopening, the pandemic has unfortunately not made it possible to restore all areas of our operations to date.”

Closure Has Affected Operations

Seneca Gaming’s properties have been back in business since July 1st but the three month closure has already affected its operations. And even now that they are open, the volume of costumers has decreased due to government restrictions plus health and safety protocols.

While Seneca’s casinos have been open, they have been at reduced capacity in order to maintain social distancing measures. Most restaurants are still closed while some slot machines are unavailable to allow social distancing.

Tribal Gaming Open Since May

Non-essential businesses have been allowed to re-open in New York but Governor Cuomo ordered commercial casinos to remain closed earlier this month. However, tribal gaming companies in New York have started to reopen since last May and most of them are already open right now. Seneca gaming began its phased opening in June.

Seneca Gaming Corporation was established in August 2002 by the Seneca Nation of Indians. The latter is one of three federally recognized Seneca entities in the United States. Its sovereign government has 7,800 members or tribal residents. The Nation owns five reservation casinos in Western New York and runs three gaming resorts in New York, namely the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino, Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino, and the Seneca Allegany Resort and Casino.

DraftKings Falls 10% After Reporting Larger Than Expected Losses

Baseball Icon, Football Icon, Soccer Icon, Green Money Bag with Dollar Sign

Sports betting company DraftKings fell by as much as 10% during Friday’s trading after it reported a larger-than-expected loss for the second quarter of 2020 and even after its revenues exceeded expectations.

Effect of COVID-19 Shutdown

The Boston-based gambling company posted a loss of $164.1M for the second quarter, or 55 cents per share which is steeper than the $28.11M loss, or 15 cents per share, which it reported for the same period last tear. Analysts polled by Dow Jones pegged the expected loss to be at 20 cents per share.

DraftKings’ losses emerged as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to bring havoc to sports. Professional and collegiate league schedules have been derailed and games have been suspended as athletes and fans have been forced to stay at home.

Most sporting events were suspended in mid-March, meaning the top professional sports leagues like the NBA, MLB, and NHL were forced into a hiatus during the second quarter of 2020. Recently, NCAA college leagues like the Big 10 and Pac 12 have also announced the cancellation of their respective seasons due to concerns about the coronavirus.

New Offerings

The NBA, MLB, and NHL have since returned and DraftKings says it has seen a revenue boost. But aside from that, the company said that it is focused to deliver new and innovative offerings that will lead to healthier financial figures as sports continues to gradually resume. Said CEO and co-founder Jason Robins:

“In the second quarter, while several major sports leagues including the NBA, MLB and the NHL remained on hiatus due to COVID-19, the Company worked creatively to engage fans with new fantasy sports and betting products for NASCAR, golf, UFC, and European soccer.”

DraftKings also announced its full 2020 outlook, revealing that it expects a pro forma revenue of $500M to $540M, which is an equivalent of 22% to 37% growth for the second half of the year. In its report, the company reported $1.2B in cash and no debt on its second quarter balance sheet.

DraftKings went public last April after it combined with special purpose acquisitions company Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corp. and gaming technology provider SBTech. The move allowed DraftKings to circumvent the typical processes for initial public offerings.

Salsa Technology Signs NetGaming Content Deal

Slots on a Laptop
Salsa Technology signed an agreement with NetGame Entertainment to integrate the content provider’s titles to its Game Aggregation Platform (GAP). The deal expands Salsa’s gaming portfolio which has added over 30 brand new titles over the last two years.

Integrating NetGame Titles To GAP

GAP already features proprietary titles and 50-third party content providers. With this integration, its customers will even have more. Said Salsa Technology CEO Peter Nolte of the agreement:

“NetGame Entertainment has curated a wonderful selection of casino titles and we cannot wait to welcome these to our GAP. Our leading position in the LatAm market will enable NetGame to expand further into this incredibly exciting region.”

With this new partnership GAP will now carry NetGame Entertainment’s top slot titles like Golden Skulls, African King, Magic Tree, Hit in Vegas, Clover Stones, MMA Legends, Magic Dragon, Diamond Shot and others. These games have some of the industry’s best in-game features like extra spins, progressive jackpots, pick ‘em bonus, win both ways, fortune wheel, tumbling reels, the revolutionary Totalizer feature, and many more.

Expansion By Both Brands

The partnership between Salsa and NetGame Entertainment is seen as an expansion move by both brands. NetGame recently introduced a new online slot called Fruit Burst. It was released in late July and it has a fruity theme with a smooth jazz soundtrack.

In a statement, NetGame Entertainment Hed of Business Technology Andrey Vajdyuk revealed:

“Our partnership with Salsa Technology and their GAP presence is an excellent opportunity to expand NetGame’s presence in the LatAm market which is full of potential. We are pleased to sign a partnership with Salsa and are expecting years of valuable experience and achievements together.”

NetGaming has an engaging portfolio that is available in 26 languages and can be played in over 40 currencies. After focusing mainly on Europe, Africa, and the CIS countries, NetGaming expanded its business to Asia earlier this year.

About Salsa Gaming

On the other hand, Salsa announced a deal with Tom Horn Gaming last May. Under the deal, Salsa’s GAP will now be able to offer top Tom Horn games like 243 Crystal Fruits, Joker Reelz, and many more. Last February, Salsa also engaged in a content deal with Gamshy for the integration of the latter’s nine HTML5 omni-channel games to GAP.

Over the past seven years, Salsa has grown to become the leading force in Latin America iGaming market. It has since expanded globally and just this year, changed its name from Patagonia Entertainment to Salsa as part of its dedication to globalization and innovation in the iGaming industry.

Mirage Set To Reopen on Aug. 27

Mirage
MGM announced on Friday that The Mirage will reopen on August 27th.

The opening comes ahead of the long labor day weekend and the integrated resort is eyeing to capitalize on the expected traffic during that three-day break. Labor day 2020 will be on September 7, 2020. 

The Mirage has been closed since March of this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. When Nevada allowed casino gaming to return last June 4, MGM Resorts said that it would open its Las Vegas properties in phases, and as the travel demand returns.

Said MGM CEO Bill Hornbuckle:

“As we have slowly and thoughtfully reintroduced our properties across the country, we have placed the health and safety of our guests and employees first at all times. Reopening The Mirage allows us to bring many more of our employees back to work, which is critical in the recovery of our community.”

One of the Last To Reopen

The Mirage Casino resort ushered the transformation of the Las Vegas Stip when it debuted in 1989. The 3,044-room resort is part of casino giant MGM Resorts International and is well-known for its iconic volcanic show. It was also the longtime home for world famous magicians Siegfried and Roy. The Mirage has also hosted the popular Cirque du Soleil show “The Beatles LOVE” for years.

Like the other MGM hotels, The Mirage will have complimentary self-service parking by no valet parking. MGM’s health and safety protocols will also be in place. These include the wearing of face masks, use of plexiglass barriers, and the strict implementation of social distancing.

The first MGM hotels to open in the state were Bellagio, New York-New York, and MGM Grand. Aria, Vdara, Mandalay Bay, the Signature at the MGM Grand, Delano Las Vegas, Excalibur, and Luxor followed. The Mirage is one of the last of MGM’s 13 hotels to reopen. After August 27th, only Park MGM and NoMad, a boutique hotel inside Park MGM, will be the only two MGM hotels closed.

Good News

The Mirage did not mention how many employees will return for work during the reopening. However, gaming establishments all over the United States are operating at a decreased capacity as part of the health protocols imposed due to the pandemic, which means lower staff count.

Still, the announcement of the reopening of the Mirage is good news for the Silver state’s depleted economy. The Nevada Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation reported a jobless rate of 15% last June, one of the highest in the entire country.

Last year, Mirage contributed a total of $615.17 in revenue to the Las Vegas economy, an increase of almost $20M from its 2018 income figures. The Mirage ranked fourth among Las Vegas Strip hotels and resorts in revenues, behind only Bellagio, MGM Grand, and Mandalay Bay.

 

PointsBet Picks Evolution to Provide Table Games

Evolution Gaming
Online bookmaker PointsBet has appointed Evolution Gaming as its partner for live casino games in its U.S. gambling market. Under the partnership, the two will work together to roll out live casino offerings to PointsBet’s online programs moving forward.

Said PointsBet in a statement:

“We are thrilled to partner with Evolution Gaming to launch Live Casino technology in US jurisdictions, where we plan to offer our proprietary online casino platform. The addition of Evolution Live Casino extends the appeal of PointsBet’s premium product in the rapidly growing US market.”

U.S Expansion

It can be recalled that PointsBet is aiming to rollout its online casino in Michigan late this year while also targeting a mid-2021 launch of online casino games in New Jersey. Evolution Gaming chief commercial officer Sebastian Johannisson said in a statement that the company will offer PointsBet a mix of its classic games, poker, and “game show” games. Per Johannnison:

“Evolution’s Live Casino portfolio offers PointsBet a rich mix of world-leading online Live Casino games including classic table games, online Poker variants that are big favourites with US players, and our new generation of award-winning, record-breaking game show games. In addition, PointsBet will have the option of exclusively branded dedicated tables and environments, should they require these.”

PointsBet has been in the U.S. market since last year as a mobile sports betting provider in the states of Indiana, Iowa, and New Jersey. Recently, it revealed plans for a massive expansion as it has deals to roll out in Michigan, Colorado, and Illinois.

Like PointsBet, Evolution Gaming has been expanding in the United States since entering the market two years ago in New Jersey. Evolution is scheduled to launch a gaming studio in Pennsylvania later this year and also has plans to launch one more in Michigan.

About PointsBet

PointsBet is one of the fastest growing sportsbooks in the United States. Originally from Australia, PointsBet launched in the U.S. in 2019. It prides itself in having one of the quickest and most user-friendly apps in the market while also providing the best experience for its users.

It is the only sportsbook in the United States to offer “PointsBetting”- a new and innovative way in making bets. PointsBet also offers the most markets on all four major North American sports leagues. It is an official gaming partner of several professional sports teams like the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Rapids, and Detroit Tigers.

Last week, PointsBet also added the NBA’s Indiana Pacers to its list of partner teams. One day after the Pacers deal, PointsBet also entered into an agreement with Twin River Management to provide online casino games in New Jersey.

Massachusetts Gaming Commission To Reconsider Roulette and Craps

MGM SpringfieldRoulette and Craps games may be coming back soon in the Bay State.

This development emerged after the  Massachusetts Gaming Commission announced that it will consider a request by by casinos to allow the restart of roulette and craps games which have not been permitted since the casinos were allowed to reopen early last month.

Reconsidering The Request

State regulators have been working with Encore and MGM on how the games can be played while maintaining social distancing between players and casino staff. The Commission is expected to  tackle the matter during a meeting scheduled for Thursday, August 13, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. via teleconference. 

In a statement last Tuesday, MGM said:

“We appreciate the Gaming Commission’s consideration of our request as we progress through a phased reopening with the health and safety of our employees and guests at the forefront of any decisions.”

MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor have asked the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to allow roulette and craps games at their establishments. The two are the only casinos in the state that offer table games. Despite the absence of roulette, craps, and poker, the casinos in Massachusetts have been able to handle the reopening well.

Massachusetts casinos were ordered closed by the state since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic. They have since been allowed to re-open but subject to the strict guidelines set by the Gaming Commission. The guidelines have not permitted casinos to offer roulette, craps, and poker games.

Re-Opening Guidelines

The re-opening guidelines have resulted in the gambling establishments reopening with an estimated one-third of their pre-COVID 19 capacities. The Commission’s guidelines include plexiglass dividers, spacing requirements, wearing of masks when not outdoors, eating, or drinking, and other health safety precautions.

The guidelines also called on the casinos to disable some of their slot machines and remove chairs in order to keep their guests separated. The distance required was four feet apart if there is a plexiglass and six feet apart if none. The table games that were allowed were restricted to three players per table.

Food service has also been limited to designated areas and they are allowed to operate according to the state rules for restaurants. Casinos were also told to consider non-contact temperature checks and prohibiting entry to any guest who registered 100.4 or higher on two consecutive checks.

MGM Springfield reopened over the weekend of July 10-13 after four months of closure. Encore and Plainridge Park reopened several days earlier. Plainridge is a slots parlor that does not offer table games. In Springfield, that meant 919 gaming positions from 810 slot machines and 90 seats at table games. MGM later expanded its offerings to 855 slot machines while still maintaining social distancing.

BetMGM and NASCAR Forge Partnership for In-Race Betting

BetMGM in iPhone
MGM Resort International’s BetMGM App and NASCAR have entered into a multi-year sports betting partnership that will offer in-race betting options for racing fans across the United States.

Authorized Gaming Operator

In an announcement made on Tuesday, NASCAR Managing Director for Gaming Scott Warfield said that NASCAR will be collaborating with MGM to create and promote engaging sports betting experiences. Said Warfied:

“Partnering with a best-in-class operator like BetMGM positions NASCAR to build on the positive energy and momentum we’re seeing around gaming and in particular the live in-race experience. We’re excited to have such an iconic brand on board to expand our offerings and deepen our engagement with the most passionate fans in sports.”

As an authorized gaming operator, BetMGM will have the rights to use NASCAR marks and will promote NASCAR betting markets on BetMGM’s mobile app, BetMGM.com, BetMGM social media channels, and in BetMGM retail sportsbooks. BetMGM and NASCAR will offer cross-promotional opportunities that could include the promotion of BetMGM on NASCAR’s digital platforms, NASCAR.com, the NASCAR mobile pp, and NASCAR’s social media channels.

BetMGM will expand the betting markets currently available on its mobile app throughout the NASCAR season. The inclusion of pre-race and in-play bets are among the top markets being discussed. Other bet types that are being explored include top-finishing drivers, drivers matchups, stage bets, and over/under bets tied to the winning car’s number.

In Race- Betting Option in 2021

To strengthen its position around in-play sports betting, live betting on NASCAR races will be offered in 2021. This live betting option will be established by BetMGM with the partnership of Betgenius, the sports betting division of data company Genius Sports. Aside from this, BetMGM and NASCAR are also working on developing a free-to-play NASCAR game.

Said BetMGM Chief Marketing Officer Matt Prevost:

“We’re excited to work with the Nascar team to build immersive sports betting experiences that 21st-century racing fans crave.BetMGM’s unparalleled betting technology combined with Nascar’s iconic races will create a superior betting experience for racing fans all over the US.”

BetMGM is the gambling app of MGM Resorts International and GVC Holdings. It is the only betting app to offer sports betting, online poker, and online casino game all under one login. Established in 2018, it is currently available in seven states in the U.S. and will be up in an additional four more states next year.

BetMGM’s growth has lagged but it has began to pick up over the last year with improved selection of bets, live betting menu, and mobile app. Earlier this month, BetMGM also entered into an agreement with golf’s PGA Tour to become an official betting partner. MGM Resorts International got a fresh $1B investment from Fox Broadcasting founder Barry Diller recently.

Fox Founder Barry Diller Invests $1B in MGM

MGM Resorts International Logo
MGM Resorts International got a huge boost after Fox Broadcasting founder Barry Diller invested $1B in the gaming giant.

Diller’s IAC/Interactive said on Monday that it had bought a 12% stake in the MGM Resorts International. In a letter to the shareholders, Diller wrote that the gambling operator’s online gaming business was initially what attracted him. Said Diller:

“We believe MGM presented a ‘once in a decade’ opportunity for IAC to own a meaningful piece of a preeminent brand in a large category with great potential to move online.”

Interest In Online Gaming Business

Diller added that he has followed the online gaming business for a while and his company has been looking for a venue to enter the $450B industry. MGM’s online gaming business comprises just a small portion of its revenue but in his letter, Diller said that it is poised to thrive and develop.

“MGM also is an aspirational brand, which could be delivered with daily accessibility and offer gaming consumers (including the 34 million M-life Rewards members) a wider range of services, both physical and digital, than any competitor.”

MGM Resorts and the U.K. based sports betting giant GVC Holdings partnered to form Roar Digital in 2018, with each company investing $100M. Their product is the BetMGM app which is currently live in seven states and is expected to be available to a total of 11 by the end of 2020.

Last July MGM and GVC put in an additional investment totalling $250M. BetMGM’s progress has lagged but it is expected to accelerate, especially with IAC coming up with a $1B investment in MGM.

MGM’s Shares Soar

Diller’s purchase comes at a time when when the gambling industry has been severely affected by the government restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the people’s fears about mass gatherings.

MGM saw its entire U.S. fleet of two dozen resorts in six states close at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic last March. All of its regional casinos have reopened except Empire City in New York while only The Mirage and Park MGM in Las Vegas are still closed.

MGM shares, which are traded in the New York Stock Exchange, closed up $2.62, 13.8% on volume or more than two-and-a-half times the daily average on the news of the deal. It retreated by $20 cents, 0.9 percent to end at $21.45 per share. Early trading saw the shares peak at $23.76 per share.

IAC Background

IAC acquired more than 59 million shares of MGM Resorts International over a nine-week period starting from the start of June 2020. The $1B purchase took some 34 stock transactions to be complete.

The 78-year old Diller founded Fox Broadcasting Co. and USA Broadcasting. He is currently ranked 168 in the Forbes 400 list with a net worth of $3B. Diller founded IAC in 1995 and is also the chairman of online travel titan Expedia, which acquired its holding company Liberty Expedia in 2019 for $2.6B.

IAC is a New York-based investment company with vast experience in media and online commerce. The portfolio of IAC includes Vimeo, Dotdash, and Care.com. It also owns a majority stake in ANGI Homeservices whose products include HomeAdvisor, Handy, and Angie’s List.

Resorts World Las Vegas Gets Nod to Connect to Tesla-Powered Tunnel

Resorts World Las Vegas
Resorts World Las Vegas has received approval from the Clark County Commission to move forward with its plans to build an underground passenger station and tunnel.

The tunnel will connect the resort to the Las Vegas Convention Center using Elon Musk’s innovative Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) Loop station. This project will transport passengers from the new integrated resort to the LVCC campus in under two minutes via Tesla Model X, Model 3, and modified Model 3 for 16 passengers.

Said Resorts World Las Vegas president Scott Sibella in a press conference:

“We are thrilled to receive approval from the County Commission to move forward with our proposed passenger station and tunnel and are eager to take the next steps in creating an innovative transportation solution for our convention guests and visitors.”

The LVCC Loop

The LVCC Loop is located directly below the Las Vegas Convention Center. Upon its completion in January 2021, it is expected to ferry more than 4,400 passengers per hour from the West Hall to the South and North Halls (and vice versa). The $52.5M project will cut the 15-minute trip across the convention center campus to just one friction-less minute via Tesla’s electric cars.

With the approval to add Resorts World Las Vegas as a stop in the transport system, guests and gamblers will be given direct access to the resort’s hotel, casino, and nightlife offerings. It will also offer travelers a convenient entry to the Las Vegas Strip. Additional details about the Resorts World tunnel will be revealed by the company in the coming months.

Resorts World Las Vegas To Open Next Summer

It can be recalled that both Resorts World Last Vegas and Wynn Las Vegas announced earlier this year that they would file an application for a tunnel and passenger station underneath their respective hotel-resorts. In early June, Resorts World Las Vegas submitted land-use applications and design plans to the Commission. With the approval, it is expected that construction will start by the end of the year.

Resorts World Las Vegas is still on target to open its doors to the public in the summer of 2021. The ongoing $4.3B project will 3,500 Hilton, LXR, and Conrad rooms plus a 117,000 square foot casino with slot machines, table games, private rooms, a poker room, and high-limit areas. A massive Entertainment Zone will include a race and sportsbook plus the integrated resort will have an extensive food and beverage portfolio. Resorts World Las Vegas will also have a 220,000 square foot pool complex that includes a 1,800 square feet infinity pool.

Stars Casino Moves Table Games Outdoor Using Tented Patios

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced everyone to adjust the way they go about with their daily activities. Strict health measures have been imposed to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. While businesses have been allowed o open, they have been forced to adjust to the “new normal”. Casinos and gambling operators are no exception.

Stars Casino in Tracy, California reopened last Saturday after a five month closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the casino has implemented changes to adapt to the reality of the coronavirus pandemic.

Complying with State Health Protocols

In compliance with state health protocols on social distancing, the casino was allowed to open but at 50% guest capacity. Aside from operating under 50% capacity, one of the most significant change is moving its gaming tables to an tented outdoor patio. Yes, card games like blackjack and poker are now played outdoors at Stars Casino.

Tables are separated six feet apart while the chips and cards are replaced after a couple of hours so they can be disinfected. Table capacity has been reduced from eight to four to give ample space between customers. The tables are also sanitized before and after guests sits down while hand washing stations are readily available throughout the venue.

Likewise, all patrons are screened when they arrive. Guests are required to have their temperatures checked. They are also required to wear a mask and a wristband that signifies that they have already been inspected.

Challenge In Moving Outdoors

In addition to moving outdoors and having smaller crowds, customers will be surprised to find another major change. Although the casino secured a state permit to serve food with drinks, the latter will have to wait, for now. Said Emmanuel Macalino, a manager at the casino:

“I’ve decided to not serve alcoholic beverages until we can work out all the kinks and iron out all the wrinkles in our operations.”

According to Macalino, moving the table games outdoors has given them a challenge in maintaining social distancing. Aside from that Macalino says battling the summer heat is another trial:

“We also have to deal with the weather as you can see it’s pretty toasty out here, and we put up the shades, and we still need allow the airflow.”

But tough as adjusting moving outdoors will be, it is necessary given the situation of the pandemic in the country. And yes, Macalino says that these precautionary measures have enabled Star Casino to be the only card room operator to re-open in Tracy so far.

Playtech Games Now Available In New Jersey Via Bet365

New Jersey CasinosOnline gambling aficionados in New Jersey can now enjoy Playtech’s casino content. This development came after the British online casino games developer signed a long-term deal with Bet365 last Thursday to make its portfolio available to customers in the Garden State.

Significant Moment For Playtech

Playtech’s partnership with Bet365 is its first major step in United States territory, and it plans to partner with other suppliers in the coming months. The launch comes after just over a month after it secured the necessary regulatory approvals from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE). It can be recalled that it was only last June when Playtech got the go signal to offer its casino games via Bet365.

Said Playtech chief operating officer Shimon Akad:

“This is a significant moment for Playtech and our development in the US. Launching Playtech’s software in the US is a landmark, and we are very pleased to be taking this step with one of our most trusted partners in bet365.“

Bet365 is another British online gambling company. It has its own distinctive content but will be the first to launch the Playtech content. Bet365 entered the U.S. market in 2019 and has since been offering its sportsbook and online casino services to customers in New Jersey in a partnership with Hard Rock Atlantic City.

Exciting Times Ahead

During a press release held last week Playtech said that the launch will see the locally licensed Bet365 go live with a large selection of its games such as the top-rated five reel Frankie Dettori’s Magic Seven, White King, and Great Blue. Akad added that more titles and content are going to be added to the portfolio very soon:

“With more titles and content launching in the coming weeks and months, there are exciting times ahead. This launch also serves as a prime example of our commitment to partnering with leading operators to bring leading software services and great content to new and growing markets.”

Founded in 1999, Playtech is the industry’s technology leader in gambling software, services, content, and platform technology across the industry’s most popular markets. It is listed in the London Stock Exchange and is also the pioneer of omni-channel gambling technology via Playtech ONE.

PointsBet Inks Online Casino Deal in New Jersey

Australian-based online bookmaker PointsBet has been busy solidifying its presence in the United States this week.

PointsBet Logo

After becoming an official gaming partner of the NBA’s Indiana Pacers franchise, PointsBet inked a multi-year partnership with Twin River Management Group on Thursday to serve as an iGaming skin in the state of New Jersey.

Primary Skin Agreement

The 10-year “primary skin” agreement with Twin River will see PointsBet provide iGaming and online casino services in New Jersey via its mobile app and website. The deal, however, is contingent on Twin River completing its purchase of Bally’s Atlantic City and PointsBet obtaining the necessary state approvals and licenses.

“PointsBet is thrilled to partner with Twin River to offer its flagship online casino product in New Jersey as a complement to its critically acclaimed sportsbook,” noted Manjit Gombra Singh, the firm’s President of Product & Technology. “PointsBet continues to innovate and iterate upon its proprietary technology profile and this agreement is yet another signal that PointsBet remains focused on providing a modern gaming experience for modern times.”

Under the contract, PointsBet will pay Twin Rivers a percentage of the net revenue from iGaming and casino operations in the state. PointsBet will also shoulder all the licensing and regulatory costs during the decade-long partnership. Prior to the deal, PointsBet already had a presence in the state of New Jersey with its sportsbook app, serving as a skin for the Monmouth Park Racetrack in the Meadowlands.

PointsBet is still in the process of developing its online casino products. The company is currently in advanced discussions with numerous live dealer table games and online slot providers. The New Jersey launch is expected to take place in the first half of 2021, or after the debut of its online casino product in Michigan later this year.

Pacers’ Gaming Partner

One day earlier, PointsBet announced that it had signed a multi-year pact to become an official sports gaming partner of the NBA team Indiana Pacers.

The Pacers’ deal will put the PointsBet logo in the “apron” of the Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The “apron” is the out-of-bounds part of the court between the baseline and the team bench. PointsBet is the first sports betting company to get its logo displayed on that part of the stadium. Earlier this year, PointsBet also announced a deal to become an official sports betting operator of the NBA.

The PointsBet logo will also appear throughout the Pacers’ home court, including in phone charging stations and along the scorer’s table. The Pacers are also eyeing to showcase the Aussie sportsbook on their digital platforms as well.

William Hill Opens First Legal Sportsbook in Washington DC

William Hill US entered the history books more than once on Monday.

William Hill Sportsbook Logo

The London-based sportsbook became the first legal sportsbook to open in the nation’s capital. And by opening at the Capital One Arena, it also became the first sportsbook to be located inside of a sports stadium. The first one was monumental, but the latter is temporary.

Temporary Location

The gambling conglomerate’s permanent location inside the arena is the space that used to be occupied by The Greene Turtle Sports Bar and Grille. But with the recent lockdown restrictions, construction has been delayed and isn’t expected to be completed until fall.

With the recent return of most sports though, William Hill and Monumental Sports and Entertainment—who own the arena—decided that DC’s long-awaited sportsbook should be up and running. And since the Wizards and Capitals won’t be playing at their home arena anytime soon, they decided to convert the ticket box area into a temporary betting site.

Joe Asher, William Hill’s chief executive commented:

“It was really driven by the announcement of when sports would resume. Baseball just started up, and the NBA and NHL are starting again…and so with sports back, we wanted to try to get a temporary facility open as soon as we could.”

The temporary sportsbook has seven ticket windows and a total of 10 kiosks. It will be open seven days a week from 11 AM to 11 PM. The space opened last Friday afternoon, shortly after the sportsbook secured its license from the city and hours after the Wizards played their first game in the NBA’s bubble tournament in Orlando.

Ceremonial Bets

Last October, Monumental first announced the plan for William Hill to operate a Las Vegas-style sportsbook at the Capital One Arena through its US subsidiary American Wagering Inc. After nearly one year of waiting, legal sports betting has finally arrived at the nation’s capital.

Jim Van Stone, president of business operations for Monumental Sports had this to say:

“We think it’s certainly an exciting moment for us, and we think it’s a really great engagement opportunity for our fans.”

And so, on Monday, the first bets were placed. The ceremonial bets were made by inaugural season ticket holders of Washington’s sports teams. A Wizards fan who has been a season ticket holder since 1973, a Capitals supporter who’s held season tickets since 1973, and a Mystics follower who’s had a season package since 1998 were chosen as the three lucky fans to place the first-ever bets at the sportsbook. All three placed bets on their respective favorite teams.

More Betting Heading to DC

More betting is expected to come to Washington with the city approving two other provisional licenses. Sportradar Solutions and NYX Digital Gaming, a subsidiary of Scientific Games Corporation, have been given provisional supplier licenses which will expire on January 31st, 2021.

Handle19, which is planning to put up a sportsbook at Capitol Hill, submitted a Class B license application that covers venues which are located more than two blocks away from the city’s major arenas. It plans to open in the fall.

Last February, Washington’s MLS team DC United struck a promotional deal with Caesars Entertainment. Although there has been no announcement of any plans to open a sportsbook at Audi Field, William Hill’s opening at the Capital One Arena on Monday could be a sign of great things to come.

If you want to follow along DC’s journey or learn about how other cities are tackling the sports gambling landscape, feel free to bookmark our site for more news updates. Keep up with what’s going on in the US when it comes to all things gambling and sports betting.

5 Tips for How to Bet on March Madness

Player Shooting Basketball Into Basket, March Madness Logo
February is drawing to a close, which means it’s almost time for the NCAA Tournament. While the NBA is king in terms of popularity in the US, millions of Americans will suddenly transform into college basketball experts at some point over the next few weeks. Filling out a bracket is essentially a rite of passage for Americans nowadays.

March Madness Betting

The NCAA Tournament is also one of the more popular events for betting on the American sports calendar. Americans reportedly wagered more than $8 billion on the 2019 NCAA Tournament, which was a new record. One would imagine March Madness will continue to set records in that regard moving forward, especially with the way sports betting is expanding in popularity and legality throughout the United States. About 47 million Americans bet on March Madness last year, which comes out to one of every five adults in the country.

If you’re going to find yourself in Las Vegas for the event, we’ve listed the best sportsbooks in Las Vegas that offer March Madness betting. Now, this leads us to the next thing that all bettors should take into account:

Everyone has their own strategy when it comes to filling out their brackets. Some take a deep dive into the numbers in an attempt to become as educated as possible about every team in the tournament. Others take a more simplified approach, like choosing which mascot they prefer or picking a team based on how cool the uniforms look.

Filling out a bracket is hardly an exact science, and the same can be said for betting on the Big Dance.

That said, there are steps you can take in order to give yourself an edge. If you’re new to betting on the NCAA Tournament, be sure to take heed of the following 5 tips that can help you become a profitable college basketball bettor in March.

1 – Seeding Matters in March Madness Betting

68 teams qualify for the tournament on a yearly basis, but all teams are not created equal. In an attempt to keep things interesting, the NCAA convenes a committee of experts in order to seed all 68 teams based on perceived quality. The best teams in the country get higher seeds, while lesser teams get lower seeds.

Duke University Basketball Game

A well-known program like Duke, North Carolina or UCLA is generally going to be better than the Austin Peay States, UTEPs and Florida Atlantics of the world. This obviously isn’t the case every year, but high seeds generally make for smart bets when it comes to the NCAA Tournament. In fact, no team seeded No. 1 in a region lost their first-round game until Virginia fell at the hands of UMBC in 2018. Before that upset, No. 16 seeds were 0-132 all-time against top seeds in first-round matchups. As of now, the record for 16s is 1-139 against teams seeded No. 1.

In the history of the Final Four, the higher seed has covered the spread a whopping 75 percent of the time. Upsets happen every year, but the smart money is still behind the favorites.

2 – Take Note of Defense

The college game is generally less fluid than the one we see at the professional level. College games are only 40 minutes long as opposed to 48-minute NBA games, and scoring is at a premium. Teams that coast through the regular season thanks to a high-scoring offense usually come to find that breaking down a top-tier defense is more complicated once you get to the tournament.

So, betting on teams that excel on defense is a wise move. Teams that rely too heavily on offense while ignoring the other end of the floor are prone to falling flat in the tournament. One poor shooting performance can lead to an early exit. The defense is all about the hustle. A team that plays with a defense-first approach is more able to grind out a result despite a rough shooting performance than a team that doesn’t give as much effort on that side of the court.

If you’re betting on a quality defensive team, it’s also smart to bet the under in those same games.

3 – Take Personal Bias Out of the Equation

This tip applies to betting on all sports, not just college basketball. In most cases, people like to back their favorite teams to win. If you went to college in Oregon, for example, you’re going to have a hard time not betting on the Ducks to win every game they play. That’s just the nature of being a fan.

Oregon Ducks Mascot Crowd surfing, Oregon Ducks Basketball

However, betting with your heart is an easy way to lose money in a hurry. Fans generally think their own favorite team is better than it really is, which can lead to some disastrous betting decisions. The smartest thing you can do as a bettor is to either avoid betting on games involving your favorite team or take an honest approach to it.

Frankly, the games involving your favorite team will be more fun to watch if you aren’t also having to sweat a point spread along the way. Personal biases also apply to fill out your bracket. Don’t bet on a team to win a game just because you previously picked them to advance to the next round in your office pool.

4 – Don’t Bet on Every March Madness Game

With 68 teams in the field, there are plenty of betting options when it comes to March Madness. The fact that it’s a single-elimination tournament makes the stakes incredibly high. There are also enough games to where you can take a more disciplined approach to the action you want to get.

It can be easy to get caught up in the spectacle of the NCAA Tournament. If you do a basic level of research, you’ll probably start to feel as though you’re an expert. However, part of the charm when it comes to March Madness is the uncertainty. Needless to say, nobody saw UMBC beating Virginia in 2018 before it actually happened. Upsets are the hallmark of the NCAA’s signature event.

While betting on every game might seem fun at first, it won’t take long for you to realize that it was a mistake. Not every game is going to have great value from a betting perspective, which is why you have to be diligent about picking the right bets. Avoiding doubling down and chasing your losses is also a smart way to manage your bankroll.

5 – Location Matters

The NCAA Tournament takes place at a variety of sites all over the United States, and often times the locations are chosen strategically to help higher seeds.

For example, it’s never surprising when a team like UCLA will get a favorable regional schedule that includes games in Los Angeles, San Diego, or some other nearby city.

Home court advantage matters during the regular season, and it’s even more meaningful at “neutral site” tournament games. Fans are more likely to travel in support of their favorite team if the tournament games happen to be located conveniently close to campus. Oddsmakers are on top of things, but any little edge can help you as a bettor.

Conclusion

There are no tried-and-true methods to ensuring that you’ll be profitable in your March Madness betting endeavors. However, following these easy tips will at least give you a head start if you’re dipping your toes into the NCAA Tournament betting pond for the first time.

5 Best Las Vegas Sportsbooks for Betting on March Madness

Basketball Court, March Madness Logo
February is drawing to a close which can only mean one thing: It’s almost time for March Madness.

College basketball is a sport that may have waned in popularity compared to some others in the United States in recent years, but everything changes once the calendar flips to March. There are plenty of people that pay zero attention to college basketball during the regular season that suddenly become experts once the NCAA Tournament brackets are released. Funny how that happens.

While filling out your work bracket and trying to win your office pool is plenty of fun, nothing beats the experience of enjoying March Madness from Las Vegas. While most think of Super Bowl Sunday as the optimal time to head to Las Vegas with your buddies, the NCAA Tournament is on a whole different level. All of Vegas’ best sportsbooks roll out the red carpet for the Big Dance, and with good reason. Americans wagered over $8 billion on the NCAA Tournament last year, and an even higher number is expected in 2020.

Let’s say you’re interested in heading to Sin City for March Madness this year. Where should you go? The following are the 5 best sportsbooks in Vegas for betting on the NCAA Tournament.

The Palazzo

The Palazzo may not be as well-known as some of the other options on this list, but watching sports at Lagasse’s Stadium is an experience that is well worth your time. The sportsbook features stadium seating and a phenomenal food menu from star chef Emeril Lagasse. Hence the name, Lagasse’s Stadium.

The sportsbook features a huge central video screen as well as a number of smaller screens flanking it on either side.

The Venetian’s sportsbook, powered by CG Technology, spans 10,000 square feet. The venue includes 118 reservable seats and a bevy of food and drink options, to boot.

You’ll find the betting kiosk on the Palazzo casino floor. If the lines are too long, you can simply fire up the CG Sportsbook app, which is functional anywhere in the state of Nevada.

You won’t be the only one with the bright idea of catching March Madness in Vegas, which means crowds will gather in a hurry. Be sure to reserve your seats and tables ahead of time to make sure you have the best vantage point for taking in all of the action.

Caesars Palace

Caesars Palace is one of the most iconic properties on the Las Vegas Strip, and with good reason. The resort has just about everything you could ever want in a destination, and that includes a top-tier sportsbook.

Towers From Caesars Palace Casino in Las Vegas

Caesars’ sportsbook features an easily-accessible ticket window, and a massive LED video board that ensures you won’t miss a single second of basketball. The sportsbook is also conveniently located right next to the poker room, so you can try your hand at a few card games while you wait for the next basketball game to tip off.

The room at the Caesars Palace features over 140 leather recliners right in front of the aforementioned 143-foot LED screen, so you can sit back, relax, and watch your cash roll in.

Wynn

The sportsbook at the Wynn isn’t as spacious as some of its competitors’. That said, what it lacks in space, it more than makes up for it with an unrivaled atmosphere. Watching the games with dozens of your not-so-closest friends may not be what you’re looking for if you’re looking for a relaxed environment, but the intimate nature of the Wynn’s sportsbook makes watching the games all the more enthralling.

The sportsbook was also recently renovated, which makes it one of the newer you’ll find on the Las Vegas Strip. The renovations produced a brand-new restaurant as well as a massive 1,600 square foot LED video screen. You’ll find various seats equipped with their own viewing monitors, which give you a close-up view of the action during March Madness.

The sportsbook itself offers a wide variety of props and other betting options like the ones you’ll find in most sportsbooks dotting the Strip. The newly-renovated room gives the Wynn’s sportsbook a different feel, but there are few better places to watch and bet on the NCAA Tournament.

Mirage

The Mirage is one of the more well-known resorts on the Strip, and its stellar sportsbook is one of the reasons the Mirage is still one of the most glamorous destinations in Vegas.

As is the case with the sportsbooks at Mandalay Bay and Bellagio, the Mirage sportsbook is a smoke-free environment. That alone helps to separate it from plenty of the competition. The book at the Mirage also features enough cashiers to keep the lines moving even on busy days, which is obviously hugely important for an event like March Madness. Bettors will also have no shortage of TV screens, both small and large, to accommodate their basketball viewing needs.

Mirage Casino in Las Vegas

There’s a ton of seating, as well. The sportsbook features 48 desk seats that include their own personal TV screens. Several leather chairs can be found behind the desk seats, with hefty couches lining the back walls. Finding yourself a seat shouldn’t be an issue if you decide to bet on March Madness at the Mirage.

Westgate SuperBook

We’d be remiss to identify the best March Madness sportsbooks in Las Vegas without mentioning the crown jewel known as the Westgate SuperBook. The Westgate isn’t located on the Strip, but it won’t take you long to get there, either. Once you’re there, you won’t want to leave.

The Westgate is always among the first in the industry to update their betting odds, which includes an array of props and other wagering options. The SuperBook is called the SuperBook for a reason. This venue accounts for just about 25,000 square feet of space with the biggest LED video wall in all of Las Vegas.

The Westgate’s mobile app is also user-friendly and convenient if you don’t want to spend time waiting in lines at the ticket counter.

The atmosphere speaks for itself, and it’s another place you’ll want to get to early if you want to find the best seats. The greatness of the Westgate is no secret, and the SuperBook has everything a March Madness bettor could ever want and more.

Conclusion

Frankly, you can’t really go wrong when it comes to watching and betting on the NCAA Tournament in Las Vegas. Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world for a reason. The 5 sportsbooks listed above have separated themselves from the pack, though, and each of them offers a unique experience you won’t find anywhere else.

5 Common Basketball Betting Mistakes to Avoid

Los Angeles Lakers, Money
The spring is a busy time of year for basketball bettors. College basketball season is winding down, which means the NCAA Tournament is right around the corner. March Madness is one of the most popular sports betting events of the year on an annual basis. In 2019, Americans wagered over $8.5 billion on the men’s NCAA Tournament alone.

The NBA season is also entering its stretch run, with the playoffs on the horizon. The NBA playoffs are a two-month marathon that typically come to a close with the Finals in June. Nowadays, basketball is essentially a year-round sport. You can almost always find some sort of basketball competition going on, even in the middle of the summer, when international tournaments, the WNBA and the NBA’s Summer League are in action.

Betting on basketball can be a profitable endeavor if you’re careful. Avoiding common mistakes is one of the most important things you can do if you want to embark on a successful basketball betting endeavor. Steering clear of the following landmines won’t guarantee success, but it will put you on the right track, at the very least.

The following are 5 easy mistakes to avoid when betting on basketball.

Betting With Your Heart

This rule applies to all sports. Fandom is a very real thing, and people get emotionally tied to their favorite sports teams. As a result, people can be blinded by their fandom, which can lead to some questionable decisions when it comes to betting. One thing you absolutely must do if you want to be a successful bettor is eliminate all personal biases, both positive and negative.

This means you have to disassociate from your fandom when it comes to betting. A lot of people put money on a game in order to make the stakes more interesting.

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If you’re a die-hard fan of the Boston Celtics, for example, you will probably want to blindly put money behind them. Placing a successful bet on your favorite team winning is a win-win, right?

Betting with your brain instead of your heart is a winning strategy, though. Far too many bettors let their fandom decide where to put their money when it comes to betting on basketball. Frankly, the best path you can take is to bet on games that don’t happen to involve your favorite (or least-favorite) team.

Ignoring Injury Situations

Injuries play a huge role in all sports betting, and basketball is no exception. Oddsmakers are constantly keeping an eye on the news, as injury situations can change the entire complexion of a game’s odds.

Basketball injury situations tend to be somewhat fluid. In the NBA, we often don’t know whether a certain player is going to play until just moments before the game tips off. The league has tried to crack down on star players missing games for rest purposes, but teams are still engaging in questionable practices when it comes to actually revealing injury information.

Basketball Player Lying Down, Basketball Injury

Waiting to place your bets until all injury news is reported is likely the best option, if you can make it happen. If you want to take a more risky approach, you can try to take advantage of an early betting line before news officially breaks. If a star player is listed as “questionable” to play in a game with an injury, it’s a 50/50 proposition that he’ll play. That will be reflected in the odds. Placing a bet before the injury news becomes official is one way to potentially get an edge over the books.

Be cognizant of any and all injury information before placing your bets, though. Bettors that ignore such info are subjecting themselves to getting burned.

Ignoring Schedules

Basketball season is a long one. Every team in the NBA plays 82 regular season games every year, and that doesn’t include preseason or playoff action. The league has tried to ease the scheduling concerns by stretching the season out over a longer period of time, but things like travel will always complicate the schedule.

As a bettor, checking the schedule before betting is a must. Let’s say you want to bet on a game between the Pistons and Bulls. The Bulls haven’t played in 2 days, while the Pistons are set to play the second night of a back-to-back after playing the night before. Obviously, the Bulls would have an advantage from a rest perspective here. The Pistons, after playing a game the previous night, won’t be as well-rested.

This may sound minor considering professional athletes are capable of handling a rigorous schedule, but you need to take advantage of every potential edge as a bettor. Knowing whether a team is at the end of a grueling road trip or whether a team has had a number of days off really does impact the outcomes of the games.

Chasing Losses

This is another rule of thumb that applies to betting on all sports. Even the best bettors are going to endure their fair share of losses. One of the main tenets of being a successful bettor is bankroll management. One way to make your bankroll decline in a hurry, though, is to double-down and chase your losses.

Players on Basketball Court

No bettor has a 100 percent success rate. Part of what makes sports betting fun is the uncertainty. Picking your spots and identifying value in the odds is hugely important. Some bettors may have a tendency to try and make up for their lost bets by placing an ill-conceived bet on another game that they normally may not have bet on at all. These decisions can often be made in haste without taking everything into account, which is an easy way to lose money in a hurry.

Manage your bankroll smartly. Every bettor endures ebbs and flows when it comes to winnings, but having enough discipline to avoid chasing losses is key to long-term sustainability.

Overlooking Game Location

Home-court advantage is real. Just about every basketball team is going to have a better success rate on their home floor than they will on the road.

Having the support of the home crowd plus the familiarity of the home arena is no small factor.

This goes hand-in-hand with the mistake bettors make when it comes to ignoring the schedule. Let’s say the 32-10 Lakers are set to face the 22-20 Rockets in Houston. The Lakers may have the better overall record, but Houston boasts a solid home record of 18-4. The Lakers, meanwhile, are just 13-8 away from home. You may think the Lakers are the clear better betting option due to their overall record, but Houston’s track record of success on their home court should not be overlooked.

Conclusion

There are plenty of factors in play that you have to consider if you want to make money betting on basketball. There is no single golden rule to follow that will automatically turn you into a winning bettor, but keeping all of these aspects in mind before placing your bets will prove fruitful in the long run.

Taking these factors seriously and treating your basketball betting like a job rather than a hobby will help you inflate your bankroll over the course of the long season.

Is Joe Biden a Viable Bet to Win the Democratic Presidential Nomination?

Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Michael Bloomberg, Tom Steyer, Bernie Sanders

Things could be going better for Joe Biden. The former vice president was listed as the presumptive favorite to secure the Democratic Party’s nomination for president when he entered the race in April of last year. Biden has maintained a steady place at or near the top of most polls for the entirety of his campaign to this point, but things don’t seem to be trending in the right direction.

Heading into the Iowa caucuses a couple of weeks ago, most believed it would come down to a 2-horse race between Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who had been polling in first place in Iowa as recently as November, had slid all the way to third.

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In case you hadn’t heard, the Iowa caucuses turned out to be a mess. The state’s Democratic Party operatives botched the entire process, and Sanders and Buttigieg wound up finishing in a virtual tie for first place. One thing we also found out was that Biden fared absolutely terribly.

Biden finished a distant fourth in Iowa. That puts the former VP just slightly ahead of Senator Amy Klobuchar (12.2 percent), who is still considered to be a major long shot just to earn the nomination.

Things didn’t get much better in New Hampshire. Sanders and Buttigieg once again finished in the top-two spots, while Klobuchar actually leapfrogged Biden to finish third. Biden wound up in fifth behind Senator Elizabeth Warren with just 8.4 percent of the vote in the primary.

Biden’s Odds Take a Huge Hit

Could Biden bounce back at next week’s Nevada caucus? It’s possible, but momentum doesn’t seem to be in his favor. When I initially broke down the Iowa caucus in early-February, Biden was at +200 to win the Democratic nomination at BetOnline, and he was at +275 to win Iowa. Buttigieg, meanwhile, was at +1000 to win Iowa.

Things have changed quite a bit in the days since.. Sanders, who was a +140 favorite to win the nomination, has seen his odds take a slight hit, as well. Bernie is now at +160, while Buttigieg has improved to +800. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has actually risen all the way to +225 to earn the nomination.

Biden, meanwhile, has dropped to +600. Here are the updated odds to win the nomination at BetOnline:

Candidate Odds to Win Democratic Nomination
Bernie Sanders +160
Michael Bloomberg +225
Joe Biden +600
Pete Buttigieg +800
Amy Klobuchar +2000
Elizabeth Warren +2500
Hillary Clinton +2500
Tom Steyer +6600
Michelle Obama +8000
Tulsi Gabbard +8000

As you can see, Biden has slipped from +200 to be the nominee down to +600 in the span of a couple of weeks. He’s now third behind Sanders and Bloomberg. Buttigieg has seen his odds improve from +1000 to +800 thanks to his strong showings in Iowa and New Hampshire. Interestingly enough, Warren has dipped quite a bit from +1000 to +2500 following poor results in the first two states.

Biden’s campaign was dealt a serious blow in the first contests of the 2020 election. While Biden has been among the odds-on favorites throughout the entire campaign, it’s not like this result is completely shocking. To put it mildly, Biden’s support has appeared to be downright tepid compared to some of the other candidates vying for the nomination.

Sanders has built a strong coalition that includes many of the voters that supported his surprisingly popular 2016 campaign that fell just short of the nomination. Bernie has essentially trounced Warren’s claim to the progressive vote among Democrats. Buttigieg and Klobuchar are making gains in the moderate lane, which is the space Biden has occupied for most of the campaign thus far. Bloomberg is still something of a wild card.

Is Biden Done?

This is the third time Joe Biden has run for president. He did so in 1988 and 2008, as well. Biden is still in search of his first win in a primary or a caucus despite having run in several different elections. Needless to say, he’s going to actually have to start winning states if he wants to actually challenge for the presidency.

Biden has maintained solid support among minority voters for the duration of his campaign. His status as the former vice president to Barack Obama, a person that remains an incredibly popular figure within the party, is really the only thing left propping up his candidacy.

Joe Biden and Barrack Obama

Iowa and New Hampshire are not the most diverse states. 90.7 percent of the Iowa population is white. 93.2 percent of the populace in New Hampshire is white, too. Things will really get interesting this weekend, when the Nevada caucus takes place.

A week later, we’ll have the South Carolina primary. Both Nevada and South Carolina are a lot more racially diverse than Iowa or New Hampshire, which should help to provide an interesting contrast. Candidates like Buttigieg and Klobuchar have consistently polled poorly among minority voters. While both fared well in white-heavy Iowa and New Hampshire, things could take a turn for the worse for both once a broader group of voters starts to be heard.

If Biden’s claims of support among minority voters are true, then he should be able to make some headway in Nevada and South Carolina. If not, his campaign may well come to a shockingly early end.

Sanders Favored in Nevada

Political betting sites have been handicapping the early-state races thus far. Fresh off a strong showing in New Hampshire, Bernie Sanders appears to be a pretty sizable favorite to pick up another win in Nevada this weekend. Here are the latest odds to win the Nevada caucus, courtesy of BetOnline:

Candidate Odds to Win Democratic Nomination
Bernie Sanders -400
Joe Biden +500
Pete Buttigieg +700
Amy Klobuchar +2000
Elizabeth Warren +3300
Tom Steyer +5000

A new poll conducted by the Las Vegas Review-Journal and AARP Nevada shows that the odds should be in Bernie’s favor. 25 percent of likely caucus-goers support Sanders, while 18 percent are backing Biden. Warren is at 13 percent, followed by Steyer (11 percent). Buttigieg and Klobuchar both earned 10 percent of support among those polled, with another 8 percent still undecided.

While he’s still a +500 long shot in Nevada, that poll should be somewhat encouraging for Biden. He fled New Hampshire to begin campaigning in South Carolina before the NH results had even come in, which was a pretty grim sign of how he expected to fare in the results.

Joe Biden

The fact that Bloomberg isn’t on the ballot in either Nevada or South Carolina should be a good thing for Biden. Bloomberg has been steadily rising in recent polls amid his outlandish spending on TV and radio ads. The billionaire entered the race because of fears that Biden was underperforming. As a result, it is absolutely vital for Biden’s long term viability that he get some sort of a positive result before Bloomberg appears on Super Tuesday ballots.

Given the massive -400 odds on Sanders to win Nevada, it’s tough to have too much confidence in any of the other candidates from a betting perspective. Biden could challenge for second, but that won’t do a whole lot for his odds at securing the nomination.

Biden All-In on South Carolina

Biden isn’t likely to win Nevada, which means he’ll have to put just about all of his eggs into the South Carolina basket. Oddsmakers are a lot more bullish on the former VP’s chances of faring well in the Palmetto State than they are about his odds in Nevada:

Candidate Odds to Win Democratic Nomination
Joe Biden -130
Bernie Sanders +140
Pete Buttigieg +1400
Tom Steyer +1400
Amy Klobuchar +2000
Elizabeth Warren +5000

Biden is a minus-money favorite, but he doesn’t have nearly as big an advantage over Bernie as Sanders has over Biden in Nevada’s odds. I would describe Biden’s early lead in South Carolina as tenuous, at best.

Over the weekend, Biden basically admitted that his campaign is hinging on South Carolina. When asked about whether South Carolina will represent his last chance during an appearance on “Meet the Press,” Biden replied,

“Well, I think I have to do really well in it, but right. We’re just getting to the meat of getting to the number of delegates you need to be able to win this election. And I’m confident we’re going to be in good shape.”

While Biden is putting on a brave face, the fact that some noteworthy black leaders have switched allegiances from Biden to other candidates in recent weeks can’t be a positive sign.

A poll released by Quinnipiac University earlier this month showed that Biden had 27 percent support among African-Americans, which is a slip of 22 points from where his support was before the Iowa results came in. That is an absolutely disastrous number.

Can Biden Rebound and Win the Nomination?

At this point, it’s going to take a Herculean effort for the former vice president to roar back to win the Democratic nomination. Getting decent results in Nevada and South Carolina won’t help. It is absolutely crucial to Biden’s campaign that he win at least one of them. At this point, I don’t have much confidence in either thing actually happening.

While he’s currently leading the polls in South Carolina, what happens a week prior to the primary in Nevada is going to have an effect one way or the other. If Biden finishes anywhere lower than second in Nevada, I would imagine some South Carolina voters that may have been leaning in Biden’s direction may go in another direction. People don’t like to waste their votes on campaigns that look to be sinking ships.

The latest odds suggest that the race to the Democratic Party’s nomination is shaping up to be a 2-man race between Bernie Sanders and Mike Bloomberg.

Bernie Sanders and Michael Bloomberg

Bloomberg’s expected gains on Super Tuesday have to be looming over Biden’s entire campaign at this point. If Biden fails to come up with a win in either of the next two states, I wouldn’t be all that surprised if the ex-VP threw in the towel before Super Tuesday even arrives.

I can’t advocate for a bet on Biden to win the nomination until he actually gets a positive result. Taking a flier on Biden to win South Carolina at -130 makes for decent value, but it’s hard to have a ton of confidence in his campaign at this point.

How to Bet 2020 NBA All-Star Weekend

The NBA’s All-Star Weekend is here. That means the only real basketball available to us for the next week or so will be of the college variety, which makes this arguably the darkest time of the year on the sports calendar. Here’s hoping we can all get through it together.

Fortunately, the internet is a wonderful thing. All of the top online sports betting sites have props and lines available in anticipation of the NBA’s All-Star festivities, which get underway on Friday night in Chicago.

Friday brings us the Rising Stars Game and the All-Star Celebrity Game, which features only a handful of actual celebrities. Saturday brings the Skills Challenge, the 3-Point Shootout and the highly-anticipated Slam Dunk Contest. And then the All-Star Game itself goes down on Sunday night.

Let’s break it all down from a betting perspective using the odds available at BetOnline. We’ll get things underway with the least-anticipated activity on the schedule, the All-Star Celebrity Game.

All-Star Celebrity Game MVP Odds

“Celebrity” Odds to Win MVP
Quavo +200
Famous Los +300
Common +400
LaRoyce Hawkins +500
Chance the Rapper +700
Jidenna +700
Kane Brown +1000
Marc Lasry +1000
Alex Moffat +1200
Taylor Bennett +1200
Anthony “Spice” Adams +1500
Hannibal Buress +1500
Jon Batiste +2000
Lil Rel Howery +2000
Bad Bunny +2500
Katelyn Ohashi +2500
Quentin Richardson +2800
A’ja Wilson +3300
Chelsea Gray +3300
Darius Miles +3300
Ronnie 2K +3300
Chef Jose Andres +5000

See? There are a minimal number of celebrities playing in this so-called “All-Star Celebrity Game.” Those that have won All-Star Celebrity Game MVP in the past include such luminaries as Kevin Hart (4 times!), Justin Bieber, Michael Rapaport, Terrell Owens and Win Butler.

Quavo took home the honors two years ago, while Famous Los won it last year. So, it’s no surprise that Quavo (+200) and Famous Los (+300) are the favorites to win it this year in the Windy City.

If you want some value, I don’t mind taking a shot on some of the actual professional basketball players that will be playing. Former NBAers Quentin Richardson (+2800) and Darius Miles (+3300) are a couple of long shots, as are the WNBA’s A’ja Wilson (+3300) and Chelsea Gray (+3300). Each of these 4 people has more basketball talent than all of the other players in this game combined, so there’s the value. I’d take Wilson first out of that group.

Hannibal Buress is a recognizable name, but a heavyset 5’10” fellow doesn’t necessarily profile all that well as a basketball player. I think Chance the Rapper is an interesting candidate at +700. The Chicago native is going to want to put on a show for the home crowd.

Betting on Celebrity MVP is obviously a total crapshoot, but Chance at +700 makes for a solid value option. Otherwise, give me A’ja Wilson to steal the show if you want a long shot at +3300.

The Pick: Chance the Rapper (+700), A’ja Wilson (+3300, for value)

Rising Stars MVP Odds

Player Odds to Win MVP
Zion Williamson +250
Ja Morant +300
Luka Doncic +500
Trae Young +500
Kendrick Nunn +900
RJ Barrett +900
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander +1200
Collin Sexton +1400
Jaren Jackson Jr. +1400
Devonte’ Graham +2000
Nicolo Melli +2500
Brandon Clarke +2500
Eric Paschall +3300
Josh Okogie +3300
Miles Bridges +3300
Moritz Wagner +3300
PJ Washington +3300
Rui Hachimura +3300
Svi Mykhailiuk +3300
Nickeil Alexander-Walker +3300

Now we can get to some actual basketball players. This year’s Rising Stars Game features plenty of big names. We have a pair of actual All-Stars in the game in Luka Doncic and Trae Young, as well as a couple of future All-Stars in Zion Williamson and Ja Morant. You can certainly argue that others, like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Devonte’ Graham and Jaren Jackson Jr. have All-Star appearances in their respective futures, as well.

It’s hard not to be attracted to the star-level players when it comes to betting on which of these guys will take home MVP honors at the Rising Stars Game. However, the list of recent players that have won MVP at this game is hardly laden with superstars. Kyle Kuzma won it last year. Bogdan Bogdanovic did so the year before. Jamal Murray, Andrew Wiggins, Kenneth Faried and DeJuan Blair are others that have done so in recent years.

The starters will likely play a few more minutes than the bench players, but it’s worth wondering how much Doncic and Young will feature in this game at all considering they’ll be in action on Sunday. Both are capable of putting on a show in the Rising Stars Game, of course, but I expect both to take a back seat here.

Zion certainly stands out, even as a +250 favorite. Williamson has wasted no time in acclimating himself to the NBA game, and a defense-free environment like the one we’ll see in this game means we’ll be seeing plenty of Zion highlights here. I expect him to put monster numbers on the board here, so I’m having a hard time going against the chalk.

People will be watching for Zion dunks. I expect Zion to comply.

I think there’s decent value in Graham at +2000, while I don’t hate SGA at +1200. I think the American team will likely win this game considering how lopsided the rosters look, which makes me like Williamson even more.

It’s the boring pick, but I think it’s the obvious one.

The Pick: Zion Williamson (+250)

Rising Stars Winner

Teams Point Spread
USA -7.5
World +7.5

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that 5 of the 6 best players in this game will be taking the court for the American side. Trae Young, Zion Williamson, Ja Morant, Devonte’ Graham and Jaren Jackson Jr. is a fearsome fivesome. Luka is on the other side, but the Team World roster thins out in a hurry.

All-Star contests like this are inherently unpredictable, but I’d be a little surprised if the Americans didn’t trounce the World team here. U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

The Pick: Team USA (-7.5)

Skills Challenge Winner

Player Odds to Win Skills Challenge
Spencer Dinwiddie +300
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander +400
Jayson Tatum +500
Pascal Siakam +500
Khris Middleton +600
Patrick Beverley +600
Domantas Sabonis +800
Bam Adebayo +1200

We typically associate the Skills Challenge with point guards, but we’ve seen a few big men fare well in the competition in recent years. Karl-Anthony Towns, Kristaps Porzingis and Jayson Tatum have all won this competition within the last 4 years. Spencer Dinwiddie won it a couple of years ago as the lone exception.

I think Bam Adebayo could be a dark horse here at +1200, but his lack of range could prove costly in his quest for the title. You have to make a 3-pointer in this competition, and Adebayo is just 1-11 from downtown on the season. That could be the undoing for both Bam and Domantas Sabonis.

Tatum is intriguing at +500 as the defending champion. Dinwiddie (+300) and Gilgeous-Alexander (+400) are obvious frontrunners, while Patrick Beverley is lurking at +600. Beverley is the most fierce competitor in the field, and he’s another guy that could feed off the crowd’s energy in his hometown of Chicago.

Betting on the Skills Contest winner is obviously difficult, but I’ll take a shot on Beverley at +600. I still generally like point guards in this competition, and there’s plenty of value in those odds.

The Pick: Patrick Beverley (+600)

3-Point Shootout Winner Odds

Player Odds to Win 3-Point Shootout
Duncan Robinson +400
Trae Young +400
Davis Bertans +450
Joe Harris +475
Buddy Hield +500
Devin Booker +550
Devonte’ Graham +1000
Zach LaVine +1000

Former Slam Dunk champion Zach LaVine will be gunning for the 3-point contest trophy for the first time. While the Chicago Bull may have a home-court advantage, I’m not overly bullish on his chances of winning at +1000. Joe Harris (+475) and Devin Booker (+550) are the only participants in this year’s competition that have won it in the past.

Duncan Robinson is probably the least-well-known player on this entire list, but I love him as a +400 favorite here. Robinson leads all competitors in 3-point percentage (43.8 percent) on the season, which puts him narrowly ahead of Davis Bertans (42.4) and Harris (40.8).

I wish Robinson wasn’t the favorite, but the +400 odds are still appetizing enough. I expect the household names like Young, Booker and Buddy Hield to garner most of the betting attention, but give me Robinson at +400. He’s going to put on a show here.

The Pick: Duncan Robinson (+400)

Slam Dunk Contest Winner Odds

Player Odds to Win Slam Dunk
Derrick Jones Jr. +135
Aaron Gordon +150
Pat Connaughton +400
Dwight Howard +450

This year’s field of Slam Dunk competitors features just one former winner, Dwight Howard. Howard returning to participate makes for a nice story, but I’m having a hard time envisioning the the 34-year-old managing to outdo any of the 3 competitors here. Big men have a hard time winning the Slam Dunk Contest to begin with, so I’ll pass on Superman at +450.

Connaughton is the obvious sleeper at +400 considering he’s not a household name, but I think this comes down to Derrick Jones Jr. and Aaron Gordon. Gordon and DJJ both had legitimate claims to victory in their previous appearances in the competition, and I have a hard time imagining one of them not winning it this time around.

Gordon famously dueled with Zach LaVine in arguably the greatest Slam Dunk Contest of all-time back in 2016. Gordon eventually came out on the short end in what amounted to a highway robbery. Jones lost a close contest against Glenn Robinson III 3 years ago.

I think this is Gordon’s contest to lose. Just look at what he did on that memorable night in ’16. If we get more of this, I don’t see how he can’t win it.

The Pick: Aaron Gordon (+150)

All-Star Game Winner

Teams Point Spread
Team LeBron -5
Team Giannis +5

For the second year in a row, LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo got to pick their teams by virtue of being the leading vote-getters for the All-Star Game. I understand that Antetokounmpo wants to play with a bunch of his fellow Europeans in the All-Star Game, but what is he doing? LeBron picked a way better team!

The starting 5 for Team Giannis will feature Antetokounmpo, Kemba Walker, Joel Embiid, Pascal Siakam and Trae Young. Team LeBron has James, Anthony Davis, James Harden, Luka Doncic and Kawhi Leonard. I mean…

Even the reserves look lopsided. LeBron’s bench includes Nikola Jokic, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and Devin Booker. Giannis has Kyle Lowry, Khris Middleton, Donovan Mitchell and Bam Adebayo.

There will be no defense in this game, but based on sheer talent how can you go against Team LeBron here? 5 of the 6 best players in the teams’ respective starting lineups happen to play for Team LeBron.

The Pick: Team LeBron (-5)

All-Star Game MVP Odds

“Celebrity” Odds to Win MVP
Anthony Davis +400
LeBron James +500
Giannis Antetokounmpo +500
James Harden +600
Luka Doncic +900
Trae Young +1000
Joel Embiid +1400
Kawhi Leonard +1400
Jimmy Butler +2000
Kemba Walker +2000
Pascal Siakam +2000
Russell Westbrook +2000
Devin Booker +2500
Jayson Tatum +2500
Ben Simmons +3300
Donovan Mitchell +3300
Nikola Jokic +3300
Brandon Ingram +4000
Chris Paul +4000
Rudy Gobert +5000
Khris Middleton +5000
Kyle Lowry +5000

Russell Westbrook won’t be a starter this time around, but as a 2-time All-Star Game MVP it’s hard not to like the value on Russ at +2000. We know Westbrook is always hunting to pad his stat line, and the defense-free nature of the All-Star Game suits his skill set very nicely. I would definitely be happy to take a stab at Westbrook at the +2000 odds.

Anthony Davis topped the 50-point plateau in winning All-Star MVP 3 years ago as a member of the Pelicans, and now he’ll be taking the floor in his hometown. Hometown narratives are always in play with exhibition games like this one, so I get it if you want to bet on AD at +400.

Luka Doncic makes for an interesting option at +600. This will be his first All-Star experience, and it’s safe to expect the Mavs’ phenom to be included in no shortage of highlights on Sunday night. He and Trae Young (+1000) both profile very well for the All-Star experience.

I’d bet on Giannis (+500) before taking LeBron (+500) at the same odds considering James has won All-Star MVP 3 times in the past. I could see LeBron taking a backseat to others considering he’s been down this road before. Getting his Lakers co-star, Davis, involved early and often wouldn’t be a surprise.

If you want a safe pick, take Davis (+400), Giannis (+500) or Luka (+600). If you want a long shot, I love Westbrook at +2000. It’s the All-Star Game Why not go big with your betting risk?

The Pick: Russell Westbrook (+2000)

Are the Houston Rockets a Viable Bet to Win the 2020 NBA Championship?

NBA Finals Logo, Houston Rockets Logo, Houston Rockets Game
The 2019-20 NBA season is wide-open. Now that football season is over, we can expect the NBA to move to the front and center of the American sports betting landscape. The Golden State Warriors, who have ruled the league for the last half-decade, saw their 2020 championship hopes dashed when the roster was essentially dismantled over the summer.

The dissolution of the Warriors has led to some fresh NBA betting opportunities. Let’s not forget that Golden State spent the entirety of last season as a minus-money favorite to win the title. The championship ultimately didn’t come to fruition for the Warriors, but their odds of getting back to the top of the mountain were dashed when Kevin Durant decided to leave for Brooklyn in July. That combined with injuries to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have resulted in Golden State plunging to the bottom of the Western Conference.

So, we’re going to have a new Western representative in the NBA Finals. The prevailing assumption for months has been that one of the two Los Angeles teams will take Golden State’s spot atop the conference.

So far, those prognostications are looking smart. As of this writing, the Lakers (38-11) and Clippers (35-15) are occupying the top-two spots in the West.

A title isn’t a foregone conclusion for either team, though. The Western Conference has been deep for years, and there are a few other teams out there capable of making some noise in the playoffs. The team that gave Golden State the most trouble over the past few seasons is among them. That would be the Houston Rockets, who are sitting at 32-18 and in the No. 5 spot as of now.

Houston is basically all-in on this season. The Rockets would have been good enough to win a title back in 2018 were it not for the Warriors, and this season likely represents Houston’s best shot of winning a title with James Harden still in his prime.

Late Tuesday night, Houston reportedly swung a deal that sent center Clint Capela to the Atlanta Hawks in a 4-team trade that landed Robert Covington with the Rockets. After the trade, the Rockets saw their odds of winning the 2020 NBA at most basketball betting sites title improve to +1400. Does Houston make for a viable betting option to win it all?

NBA Title Betting Odds

Houston’s roster shakeup improved their odds, but the Rockets are still quite a ways behind the top-3. The teams with the best odds of winning the championship this season at BetOnline are listed as follows:

Team NBA Title Odds
Los Angeles Lakers +200
Milwaukee Bucks +300
Los Angeles Clippers +375
Houston Rockets +1400
Philadelphia 76ers +1400
Denver Nuggets +1600
Utah Jazz +1600
Boston Celtics +1800
Toronto Raptors +1800
Dallas Mavericks +2500
Miami Heat +2500

As you can see, the Rockets share their +1400 odds with the Philadelphia 76ers. Denver and Utah aren’t far behind at +1600 apiece, while Boston and Toronto are both at +1800.

Still, there is a very clear gap between the field and the top-3. The Lakers (LeBron James), Bucks (Giannis Antetokounmpo) and Clippers (Kawhi Leonard) arguably feature the 3 best players in the league. Basketball is a team game, but star power tends to reign supreme in the NBA.

Can Houston Get Past Denver and Utah?

A trip to the NBA Finals has eluded the Rockets since the mid-1990s when they won back-to-back titles. Houston has come close during the James Harden era, but the Warriors have thwarted the Rockets’ title dreams on multiple occasions.

The Rockets have been in wobbly form of late, but Houston is still a lock to make the playoffs. Their chances of making it to the Conference Finals likely depend on which seed they wind up with.

As mentioned, Houston is currently fifth. However, the Rockets are just 3 games behind the Clippers for the No. 2 seed, 2.5 games behind Denver for No. 3 and a half-game adrift of Utah for the No. 4 spot.

Denver Nuggets, Logo, Utah Jazz Logo

It’s worth mentioning that Denver and Utah have had almost zero success against the Rockets during Harden’s tenure. The Jazz were easily beaten in 5 games by the Rockets in the first round of last year’s playoffs. 2 years ago, they lost to Houston in 5 games in the conference semis.

Since drafting Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets have gone just 5-11 against the Rockets. Denver does have a 2-2 head-to-head record against Houston this season, but Harden sat out of the Nuggets’ second victory due to injury.

How the Rockets fare without a true center in Capela remains to be seen. Rudy Gobert and Nikola Jokic have struggled to defend Capela in the Rockets’ screen-and-roll offense over the years. That component missing from Houston’s offense could play into the hands of both Denver and Utah.

NBA Western Conference Title Odds

By trading Capela, the Rockets are fully embracing center-less basketball. The team has been playing the 6’5″ PJ Tucker at the 5 during Capela’s recent injury absence. While Houston is still widely expected to add another center before the trade deadline, one would imagine the Capela trade is a sign that Tucker will be the team’s starting center moving forward.

How that works against teams with legitimate bigs (Jazz, Nuggets, Lakers) remains to be seen. The Rockets have won each of their last 3 games despite having no player over 6’6″ (other than 3 minutes of Isaiah Hartenstein) play a single minute.

Houston has the third-best odds to win the West despite being behind Denver and Utah in the current standings:

Team Western Conference Title Odds
Los Angeles Lakers +125
Los Angeles Clippers +250
Houston Rockets +700
Utah Jazz +900
Denver Nuggets +1000
Dallas Mavericks +1200

The Rockets are going to try and barrage teams with 3-pointers. For all intents and purposes, Russell Westbrook may wind up being the team’s biggest rim-running threat now that Capela is gone. Guys like Tucker, Covington, Danuel House and Ben McLemore are going to have all sorts of open looks with defenses keying in on stopping Harden and Russ.

The tiny Rockets may be better-equipped to deal with the Clippers in a playoff series than anybody else. Covington gives the Rockets another wing defender with the size and athleticism to bother the likes of Leonard or Paul George in a playoff series. Covington, Tucker, House, McLemore and Austin Rivers have shown capable defensive chops, while Harden has proven to be an underrated post defender.

Betting Value is There in Houston

Houston may have the fourth-best title odds of any team, but getting through the deep Western Conference before even having to potentially face a dangerous Bucks team in the Finals is an awful lot to ask.

Time will tell if the Rockets have enough firepower beyond Harden offensively. Some teams have opted to throw an extra defender Harden’s way, essentially daring the rest of the Rockets to try and beat them.

Westbrook has been in phenomenal form of late, but teams like Denver, Utah and the Lakers can pack the paint and try to keep him from getting to the bucket at will.

At the very least, I would be willing to take a low-dollar flier on the Rockets’ current +1400 odds. We have never seen a team try to play center-less basketball quite this boldly, and I do think the small-ball could prove to be a difficult matchup for a more slow-paced team like the Lakers over the course of a long series.

The Lakers, Bucks and Clippers are understandable favorites, and all 3 make for solid value bets themselves. If you want more profit potential in your NBA title bet, though, I don’t think it’s crazy to look to the new-look Rockets at +1400.

2020 State of the Union Odds: Betting on President Trump’s Speech

Donald Trump Giving State of the Union Address
The political news cycle since Donald Trump took office in January of 2017 has been a whirlwind, but this week in particular is shaping up to be a doozy on that front. On Monday, both sides made closing arguments to the Senate in Trump’s impeachment trial. Later that day, Iowa held its hilariously disastrous caucuses, and we still haven’t heard the results as of this writing.

Those results should come out at some point on Tuesday, but we’ll see. On Tuesday night, Trump will take centerstage as he delivers his annual State of the Union address. On Wednesday, the Senate will officially vote on whether to remove that very same president from office just under 2 months after the House of Representatives voted to impeach him. The Democrats will have a debate on Friday, and then next Monday we’ll have the New Hampshire Primary.

So, there’s a lot going on. Those interested in the political betting scene have a lot to digest, as well. While Trump is essentially a lock to avoid removal from office on Wednesday, this could still be his last State of the Union speech as his first term in office comes to a close in a little less than a year’s time. Trump’s speeches are unique in plenty of ways, which makes trying to peg what he’ll say something of an adventure from a betting perspective.

Oddsmakers have tried their best, though. BetOnline has a slew of new political prop bets posted surrounding what Trump will say at the lectern on Tuesday night. Let’s dive in and try to identify some value.

Trump’s State of the Union Mentions

Will Trump Refer to Nancy Pelosi as “Nervous Nancy” or “Crazy Nancy”?

  • Yes (+550)
  • No (-1000)

Trump likes to talk down to people, and his weapon of choice is typically Twitter. Trump fires missives from his @realDonaldTrump account all day, every day, and many of them are slams against his political opponents. Along the way, he has come up for nicknames for just about everyone. During the 2016 campaign, we all heard about “Lyin'” Ted Cruz and “Little” Marco Rubio. Then, it was “Crooked” Hillary Clinton. Now, we are constantly hearing about “Sleepy” Joe Biden, “Crazy” Bernie Sanders and “Mini” Mike Bloomberg.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi drew Trump’s ire when she lead his impeachment charge late last year. She hasn’t been exempted from Trump’s witticisms, either. Trump has referred to Pelosi as “Crazy” and “Nervous” multiple times. While Trump’s campaign rally speeches have a way of flying off the rails, one would imagine a more serious setting like the State of the Union will result in Trump giving a more measured speech.

Of course, this is still Donald Trump we’re talking about. When have restraints and political norms ever applied to the 45th president? Trump will likely use some of his time on Tuesday night to try and declare victory and total exoneration despite his impeachment. Pelosi will be sitting right over his left shoulder for the speech, as well. Trump’s speechwriters surely won’t actually put “Crazy” or “Nervous” Nancy in the TelePrompTer, but Trump has been known to go off-script plenty during his time in the spotlight. I wouldn’t mind taking a flier on the “yes” side of this prop, simply because we never know what Trump will say. “Yes” at +550 is good value.

As for the other props, Trump will almost surely rattle off a list of some of his accomplishments during the speech. That’s what the State of the Union is typically about, anyway. It gives the president the platform to brag, and we know this particular president certainly isn’t one to shy away from those kinds of opportunities. Trump has long touted his summits with Kim Jong-Un as progress on the North Korea front, while he has maintained that having a friendly relationship with Vladimir Putin and Russia would be good for the United States on a long-term basis. Here at the odds on other people Trump is going to mention during the State of the Union:

Will Trump Say Kim Jong-Un?

  • Yes (+110)
  • No (-150)

Will Trump Say Vladimir Putin?

  • Yes (+600)
  • No (-1500)

Will Trump Mention the Super Bowl?

  • Yes (+600)
  • No (-1500)

Trump has been derided for his seeming favorability when it comes to Putin, so he would be smart to avoid bringing up the Russian president’s name on Tuesday night. As you can see in the odds, the likelihood that Trump brings up the North Korean Supreme Leader is much greater. I’d definitely be willing to take a shot on “yes” at the +110 odds what we get a Kim mention at the SOTU.

Trump might try to talk about how the Kansas City Chiefs will soon visit him at the White House after winning Super Bowl 54, but I can’t see it. He caught plenty of flack for mistakenly tweeting that the Chiefs play in Kansas on Sunday night, but he’d be smart to try and act like that never happened.


Political Betting Picks:
Yes on a Pelosi Nickname (+550)
Yes on a Kim Jong-Un Mention (+110)

Trump’s Non-Person Mentions

Number of Times Trump Says Iran – (4.5)

  • Over (-120)
  • Under (-120)

Number of Times Trump Says China – (6.5)

  • Over (-120)
  • Under (-120)

Number of Times Trump Says Democrat (3.5)

  • Over (-120)
  • Under (-120)

Number of Times Trump Says Economy – (4.5)

  • Over (-120)
  • Under (-120)

Trump’s speeches are known to last a long time. The State of the Union address almost surely won’t stretch as long as some of his campaign speeches, but you never know. One thing’s for certain, though. Trump will try and make the most of his time as the center of attention.

Iran and China have been in the news quite a bit lately for different reasons. We’re about a month removed from Trump nearly starting a war with Iran, while China is in a state of panic over the spreading coronavirus. China is also looming as the most threatening economic adversary to the US, and the 2 sides have been involved in a “trade war.”

I’m not overly optimistic that Iran or China will be major focal points of the SOTU on Tuesday night. At least 7 mentions of China is an awful lot to ask. While there is plenty of China-related subject matter, I’d steer clear of both of these props.

Trump will also take plenty of time to tout the economy. Many believe that nothing is more helpful to an incumbent president’s chances of reelection than a strong economy. Despite all of the controversies in which he has found himself, Trump does have favorable economical numbers about which to brag. Trump can help his odds of getting reelected by focusing on the economy rather than getting himself dragged into all of the extracurriculars.

Betting the over on 4.5 mentions of the economy looks like the smart play at -120. If nothing else, Trump’s speechwriters will know that hammering the economy would be a wise strategy to take tonight.

I would also expect the over on 3.5 mentions of Democrats. Trump is embarrassed that he got himself impeached, but he certainly won’t take the blame for himself. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he decided to try and lambaste the Democrats for what he thinks was a politically-driven impeachment process, and I wouldn’t put it past him to try and take a jab at the Dems for the disastrous Iowa caucuses, either.

Political Betting Picks:
Under on Iran Mentions (4.5)
Under on China Mentions (6.5)
Over on Mentioning Democracts (3.5)
Over on Mentions of the Economy (4.5)

How Many Lies Will Trump Spout?

Number of Non-Truths – (27.5)

  • Over (-120)
  • Under (-120)

Let’s just say that President Trump has been a little loose with the facts at times during his time in the Oval Office. The Washington Post has actually kept a running count. As of December 16, 2019, Trump had issued a total of 15,413 false claims or lies over the course of 1.055 days in office. The paper said that Trump lied 1,999 times in 2017, 5,689 times in 2018 and 7,725 in 2019 up to that aforementioned date. That’s an average of 14.6 lies per day!

As you may expect, some of Trump’s prospective opponents in the 2020 presidential race like to point out the president’s willingness to stretch the truth. On Sunday, after Trump made fun of Mike Bloomberg’s height, Bloomberg’s campaign spokesperson told CNN, “The president is lying. He is a pathological liar who lies about everything: his fake hair, his obesity, and his spray-on tan.” Shots fired!

Being called out on spouting all those mistruths hasn’t affected Trump’s strategy. He’s been lying this whole time, so why would anyone expect him to stop now? The over/under of 27.5 non-truths expected for the SOTU trumps (no pun intended) Trump’s daily average of 14.6, but I still think it might be a little on the conservative side.

Political Betting Pick:
Over on Number of Non-Truths Trump Will Say (27.5)

Designated Survivor Odds

There will be an awful lot of powerful people all congregated in one place to listen to the president on Tuesday night. Fortunately, the US government has plans in place in case something incredibly disastrous takes place. While most of Trump’s staff and cabinet members will be in attendance, there will be one member safely situated outside of the chamber in case tragedy strikes. This person is called the Designated Survivor. Former energy secretary Rick Perry was the Designated Survivor for last year’s State of the Union. 2 years ago, it was Sonny Perdue, the secretary of agriculture.

Designated Survivor Odds
Ben Carson +500
Betsy DeVos +550
Alex Alzar +600
Wilbur Ross +600
Dan Brouillette +900
Robert Wilkie +900
Chad Wolf +1000
Eugene Scalia +1000
Chuck Grassley +1200
Dave Bernhardt +1200
Sonny Perdue +1500
Steve Mnuchin +1500
William Barr +1500
Mark Esper +1800
Mike Pompeo +2000
Mike Pence +2500
Nancy Pelosi +2500

Here’s hoping Wilbur Ross isn’t the choice. No offense, but this man is 82 years old, going on 210. Ben Carson is one of the few members of Trump’s cabinet that has been here from the start. The vast majority of the people that started 2017 in Trump’s orbit have come and gone. Perhaps Carson’s loyalty will be rewarded, and he’ll get the Designated Survivor tag for Tuesday night. At +500, you can certainly do worse.

Politcal Betting Pick:
Ben Carson Becoming the Designated Survivor (+500)

Should You Bet on Bernie Sanders to Win the Iowa Caucus?

Iowa State Flag, Bernie Sanders
The 2020 election is still about 9 months away, but the official process will begin in earnest today. If you have been even casually following the presidential campaign to this point, you’ll have noticed that most of the candidates have been spending an awful lot of time in Iowa. That’s because the Iowa caucus, the first official competition in the campaign process, is set to go down on Monday night.

Whichever candidates wind up winning the Iowa caucus will have a leg up on the competition as the race heats up over the next few weeks. The New Hampshire primary will come next, followed by South Carolina and Nevada. 13 other states will cast their votes on Super Tuesday, which is slated for March 3. By then, we should have a pretty good idea as to which candidate will be atop the Democratic Party’s presidential ticket in the fall.

While the Democratic race is garnering most of the headlines, the Republican Party will also be represented in Iowa. Of course, there’s a lot less drama on that side, where Donald Trump is widely expected to cruise to an easy victory. He has a few official competitors, but there’s essentially a zero percent chance the incumbent president does not come away with all of Iowa’s delegates at the end of the night.

i
While land-based sportsbooks in the US are legally prohibited from offering bets on American politics, there are no such restrictions on foreign or offshore betting sites.

We have already seen numerous shifts in the odds over the past few months, with the campaign having ramped up in intensity.

The Iowa caucus will give us the first glimpse into how the Democratic primary process may ultimately pan out. BetOnline is one of the aforementioned betting sites that has been keeping tabs on the race to this point. Former vice president Joe Biden has been among the odds-on favorites to secure the nomination since he entered the race last April, but he has since seen his odds decline.

A number of other candidates that were expected to be major players have already withdrawn from the race before the first vote has even been cast. Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Beto O’Rourke and Julian Castro are some of the candidates that didn’t wind up garnering enough support to even make it all the way to the Iowa caucus.

Here is how BetOnline has the field set when it comes to the Democratic nomination for president:

Candidate Odds to Win Democratic Nomination
Bernie Sanders +140
Joe Biden +200
Michael Bloomberg +600
Elizabeth Warren +1000
Pete Buttigieg +1000
Andrew Yang +1400
Amy Klobuchar +5000
Hillary Clinton +5000
Tom Steyer +8000
Deval Patrick +8000
Tulsi Gabbard +8000
Michelle Obama +8000

Senator Bernie Sanders, who became a very prominent figure in the Democratic Party after his surprisingly effective challenge to Hillary Clinton back in 2016, has been rising in the polls in recent months.

The 78-year-old is gunning for the Oval Office in 2020 with the same message he was preaching 4 years ago when he nearly upset Clinton to win the nomination. Bernie’s hyper-progressive and big campaign proposals have once again resonated with prospective voters, particularly young voters.

Sanders’ rise has resulted in Biden’s fall. Biden’s campaign has not taken off the way many believed it would, and he’s certainly not being helped by the fact that he has still not gotten an endorsement from President Barack Obama.

An Obama endorsement would go a long way toward helping Biden reclaim some momentum in the race, but so far that endorsement hasn’t come. That could change at some point, but the 44th president has remained coy about where he will ultimately lend his support in the race. Obama campaigned hard on behalf of Clinton last time around, but he is reportedly against the idea of Sanders representing the party on the ticket later this year.

Long Shots

The Democratic field is a crowded one, and it’s safe to assume that some of these people will drop out of the race after Iowa votes on Monday. Candidates like Tulsi Gabbard (+8000 to win the nomination), Deval Patrick (+8000) and Tom Steyer (+8000) seem to be hanging by a thread. None of these 3 are even close to viable betting options to win the nomination.

There are 2 people listed above that aren’t even in the race. Hillary Clinton (+5000) and Michelle Obama (+8000) are both among those listed with odds, yet neither has indicated much of a desire to join the fray. Clinton has certainly been outspoken against a Sanders nomination, but she has (thus far) resisted any potential temptation to mount another charge for the White House.

Hilary Clinton, Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama is among the most popular figures in the Democratic Party, but she, too, has passed on the idea of running for POTUS. Obama could potentially cruise to the nomination if she did randomly decide to jump into the race, but it’s likely too late for such a move.

The only halfway-viable betting option among the candidates listed with odds of +5000 or worse to win the nomination is Amy Klobuchar. The Senator from Minnesota shared the New York Times’ endorsement with Elizabeth Warren, and she has gained a little momentum in recent weeks. Klobuchar is certainly still what you’d call a long shot, but a low-dollar flier on her at the +5000 odds isn’t the worst idea.

Klobuchar is a moderate, which is something that appeals to plenty of voters. At the very least, she is a potentially viable alternative to someone like Biden.

Who Will Win the Iowa Caucus?

Firing the first salvo in the race is certainly important from a morale perspective. Whichever candidate winds up claiming Iowa’s delegates will have a head start, but winning Iowa certainly doesn’t guarantee a path to the nomination. Look no further than 2016, when Ted Cruz beat Trump to win the Iowa caucus. Or, perhaps you’ll remember that Rick Santorum somehow beat Mitt Romney in Iowa back in 2012. Needless to say, neither Cruz nor Santorum went on to win their party’s primaries in those years.

Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg was listed as the odds-on favorite to win the Iowa caucus a little more than a month ago. Once Mayor Pete started to surge in the polls, though, other candidates started to go on the offensive against Buttigieg in very public ways. Warren, for example, lambasted Buttigieg at a recent debate for accepting big-money donations from corporate interests.

Buttigieg has fallen back into the pack almost as quickly as he rose to the top of it. He now has the fourth-best odds to win the Iowa caucus after being a minus-money favorite in early December. The updated odds from BetOnline are as follows:

Candidate Odds to Win Iowa Caucus
Bernie Sanders -275
Joe Biden +275
Elizabeth Warren +1000
Pete Buttigieg +1000
Andrew Yang +2200
Amy Klobuchar +3300
Tom Steyer +10000
Tulsi Gabbard +10000

Complicated Process

The Iowa caucus is unique in that Iowans don’t simply show up and vote for their preferred candidate. Instead, the state’s citizens will gather at local centers and essentially hang out with groups of people backing specific candidates.

Candidates must generate at least 15 percent of the vote in order to achieve viability. If a candidate doesn’t reach that threshold, caucusers are allowed to join other groups featuring viable candidates. Or, they can leave. There is nothing forcing people to support a candidate if their initial choice fails.

This process makes Iowa generally less predictable than other states that simply decide who wins based on the total number of votes.

However, you can glean some insight from polling numbers. There are plenty of polls out there that take down a voter’s first and second choices.

Candidates like Sanders or Warren, who are more left-leaning than the rest of the field, are not particularly popular second-choice options for voters whose preferred candidate is a moderate like Biden, Klobuchar or Buttigieg. However, Sanders and Warren are popular second-choice options whose first choice is the other.

Candidates like Buttigieg or Klobuchar figure to fare decently well as second-choice options for some, which keeps both of them somewhat relevant in the race to win the caucus.

Sanders is a minus-money favorite for a reason, though. He has consistently generated the most favorable poll numbers of any candidate in the field in recent weeks, and his rise has caused optimism around Biden and Warren to wane. Sanders has picked up a number of high-profile endorsements along the way, which can’t necessarily be said about some of the other candidates.

As of now, Bernie looks like the safest option to come away with Iowa’s delegates. Unfortunately, there isn’t much profit potential in the latest -275 odds. I think Biden is a fine alternative from a betting perspective at +275, while Warren offers the best value of any candidate in the field at +1000 to win Iowa. The prospects for both candidates aren’t great, but betting on Sanders at -275 offers limited return, as well.

Bet on Bernie?

Sanders seems to be the most popular candidate in the field, and it remains to be seen how the party’s establishment will handle his potential nomination. There has already been talk of a potential contested convention later this year if the party’s brass is not willing to embrace a Sanders nomination.

Pile of Money, Bernie Sanders Giving Speech

Figures like Clinton and Obama may try to get involved. Whether either will be able to affect change is unknown. If Sanders dominates the primary cycle, how can the party reasonably take away his claim to the top of the ticket? If Sanders wins Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada before Super Tuesday, he has a legitimate gripe if the powers that be try to thwart his nomination.

One potential wild card is former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg was a late entrant in the race, and he isn’t even on the ballot in Iowa. Instead, Bloomberg is pumping millions of dollars into his campaign with the strategy of trying to make headway on Super Tuesday while passing on the early states.

As a result of all of the different factors in play, betting on Bernie to win Iowa is a lot safer than betting on him to win the nomination as things stand today.

While I ultimately think the Democratic Party will be smart enough to avoid potentially torpedoing their own nominee by trying to strip his nomination, it’s also risky depending on the Democrats to do the right thing.

Biden (+200), Bloomberg (+600) and Warren (+1000) are the best alternatives against a favored Sanders to win the nomination. I think Warren may be the best value here. She seems to be able to bridge the gap between far-left Sanders supporters and middle-of-the-road voters that may feel more comfortable with someone like Biden.

Sanders is the clear top option if you’re betting on the Iowa caucus. If I were betting on the nominee, I’d take a shot on Warren at the current +1000 odds. Bernie is the “safe” choice at +140, while I’d take Bloomberg’s odds (+600) before betting on the lesser value in Biden (+200).

How to Place a Bet on Super Bowl 54

The Super Bowl is the most popular sporting event in the United States on a yearly basis. Super Bowl 54 between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs in just over 24 hours will draw hundreds of millions of eyeballs from all over the world. In the United States alone, the American Gaming Association says nearly $7 billion will be wagered on the game.

Super Bowl 54 Logo

Let’s say you’re new to the world of sports betting, and you want to get your feet wet with Super Bowl 54. Well, you’ve picked the right event. Betting on the Super Bowl is a unique experience that offers all sorts of options and profit potential.

Placing a bet on the game at a sportsbook is pretty self-explanatory. Doing so online, though, is a different matter. That said, placing a bet on the Super Bowl has never been easier. Read on for the steps you need to take in order to bet on Super Bowl 54.

Find a Safe Super Bowl Betting Site

You might take this for granted if you’re just embarking on a sports betting career, but finding a safe, reputable betting site is arguably the most important step you can take. There are all sorts of sketchy betting sites populating the web. Unfortunately, not every site out there has your best interests in mind.

On the bright side, there are plenty of big-name sites out there that you have probably heard of.

Bovada, BetOnline and MyBookie are 3 of the best sports betting sites in the industry, and you can’t go wrong with any of them from a safety perspective. Check out our list of the best Super Bowl betting sites in order to find the site that best suits your interests as a bettor.

Sign Up and Create an Account

You’ll need to create an account if you want to bet on Super Bowl 54 online. Unless you’re new to the internet as a whole, you’ll be quite familiar with the sign-up process. Signing up for a betting site is hardly any different from signing up for a Facebook account or an online banking account.

Just about every reputable betting site will have a “Join” or “Sign Up” prompt right at the top of the home page. Click that, and you’ll be taken to a screen at which you can enter some personal information, such as your name, password, etc. Verify that you’ve entered the information correctly, and then click your account. It’s really that easy.

Deposit Money and Claim Your Bonus

Betting requires risking money. If you’re going to bet online, you have to have money in your account to start with. Every reputable Super Bowl betting site will offer some sort of sign-up bonus these days. For example, you can earn a bonus of a percentage of your initial deposit up to a certain amount.

So, if you deposit $100 into your account at a site that offers a 50 percent welcome bonus, the site will fund your account with an extra $50 with which to bet. You can’t simply withdraw the extra cash they give you, though. The money is essentially a credit to be used on the site.

You can deposit money into your account via a debit card, credit card, or an eWallet service like PayPal. Lots of betting sites these days even accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a deposit method.

Once you have your account set up and funded, you are ready to get started with the fun part.

Browse Betting Options

As mentioned, betting on the Super Bowl is different from doing so with most other sporting events. Betting sites and sportsbooks tend to go all-out with their offerings in anticipation of America’s biggest sporting event every year. Sites are constantly updating their odds to reflect the latest trends when it comes to the Super Bowl.

Under a site’s “Football” tab, you’ll suddenly see a bevy of betting options. Regular game lines, alternate betting lines, team prop bets, player prop bets, halftime prop bets, you name it. If it exists, you can bet on it.

If you’re just getting started, you’ll probably want to kick off your betting career with more standard options like the point spread, moneyline or over/under. As you get more comfortable and figure out how you want to bet, you can move on to other options like props.

Bet!

The Chiefs have been listed as 1-point favorites to beat the 49ers in Super Bowl 54. This is one of the tightest spreads we’ve seen in any Super Bowl, and both teams have seen their fair share of betting action as a result. Most of the bets have been placed on the Chiefs to cover, but the 49ers have emerged as a very popular option among sharp bettors in the build-up to kickoff.

Let’s say you want to take a risk on the underdog 49ers to win the game outright on the moneyline. All you have to do is find the moneyline tab on the standard betting line for the game, and click the box next to 49ers +105. You selection will be automatically highlighted by the site.

Scroll to the right side of the page to find your “Bet Slip.” Choose “Straight Bet.” After that, you can enter the amount you wish to risk on this particular bet.

The site will confirm your bet before giving you the chance to finalize it. Then, you have to sit back, relax, and hope you’re on the right side of your wager.

Conclusion

Different Super Bowl betting sites have different layouts, but all of them are comparable in terms of what they offer. Navigating your way through the array of odds may be a bit dizzying at first, but you’ll eventually find that placing a bet online for Super Bowl 54 is an incredibly easy and pain-free process.

Good luck with your Super Bowl betting endeavors!

The 10 Biggest Bets on Super Bowl 54

Sportsbooks Moneylines, Super Bowl 54 Logo, Money Pile
The Super Bowl is the most-watched television even in the United States each and every year. In fact, the Super Bowl accounts for 19 of the 20 most-watched TV programs in the history of the US. The only exception was the series finale of MASH, which aired in February of 1983. Super Bowl 49 between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks, which took place in 2015, accrued a record 114,442,000 viewers.

While viewership was way down for Super Bowl 53 between the Patriots and Los Angeles Rams last February, it still ranks as the 12th most-watched program ever. So, even when Super Bowl ratings are down, they still crush the competition on a yearly basis.

The Super Bowl is also the most popular sporting event from a betting perspective in the US every year. This year’s game between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs is expected to set a new record on that front.

A survey conducted by the American Gaming Association revealed that over 26 million Americans will bet on Super Bowl 54 in some form or fashion, with nearly $7 billion expected to be wagered on the game.

We can expect new Super Bowl betting records to be set in the years to come with the way sports betting is forcing its way into the American mainstream. 14 states currently accept sports bets, and more are set to follow suit in the months and years to come. Sports betting has exploded in the US since the Supreme Court made it legal for states to offer legal sports betting in May of 2018.

Massive bets on Super Bowl 2020 keep coming in. The following are the 10 biggest Super Bowl 54 bets on Chiefs-49ers as of Thursday afternoon.

10. $110,000 on Over 52.5 Points (Westgate Las Vegas)

It’s safe to say the over has been the most popular bet at this year’s Super Bowl. Oddsmakers initially set the over/under for the game at 51 points, but the betting public has been hammering the over ever since. That has caused land-based sportsbooks and Super Bowl betting sites to keep raising the number.

The over/under as of this writing is set at 54 points. A whopping 85 percent of all money wagered on the total has come in on the over, so the increased number hasn’t led to a whole lot of interest in the under. One well-timed bettor was able to get the over on 52.5 points at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas just a few hours after odds went live.

This bettor slapped $110,000 on the 49ers and Chiefs combining to score at least 53 points in Super Bowl 54 at -110 odds. If the over hits, that bettor will net another $99,990.

9. $115,000 on Chiefs Moneyline (Rampart Casino Las Vegas)

Most sportsbooks labeled Super Bowl 2020 as a pick’em immediately after the matchup was set back on January 19. However, massive amounts of money instantly came in on Kansas City to win the game, which caused oddsmakers to shift their strategy. Ever since, the Chiefs have been listed as slight favorites to win. Most betting sites currently have Kansas City as a 1-point favorite.

Chiefs Patrick Mahomes, Rampart Casino in Las Vegas

The game having such a tight spread means the moneylines are attractive options. You can get the 49ers as plus-money underdogs, but the Chiefs’ ML is still a very alluring bet. One bettor at the Rampart Casino in Las Vegas threw down $115,000 on the Chiefs to win the game outright at -115 odds. If Kansas City wins, the bettor will earn a profit of $10,005.

8. $120,000 on Chiefs -1 (CG Technology Sportsbook Las Vegas)

The Chiefs own the best against-the-spread record in the NFL this season. Kansas City has gone 12-5-1 ATS, playoffs included. That’s a cover percentage north of 70 percent, which is certainly hard to beat. For the sake of comparison, the 49ers are 11-6-1 ATS, which is the fourth-best mark and a cover percentage of 64.7 percent. So, something has to give in Super Bowl 54.

The Chiefs winning the game by exactly a point would obviously be a push. However, 3 of the 10 biggest Super Bowl 54 bets have come in on KC to win by at least 2 points. This CG Technology bettor would earn $109,080 in profit if the Chiefs cover the spread.

7. $120,000 on 49ers Moneyline (Rampart Casino Las Vegas)

I am guessing this bettor is not the same Rampart Casino patron that wagered $115,000 on the Chiefs’ -115 moneyline. Both Super Bowl bets came in last Friday, but this bettor is a bit more optimistic. San Francisco finished the season 13-3 overall, which is slightly better than the Chiefs’ 12-4 regular season mark.

While the other bettor took the Chiefs’ slightly safer -115 odds, this one is taking a shot on the underdog 49ers at +120 on the moneyline. This bet offers way more profit potential, of course. If the bet hits, the bettor will earn a hefty profit of $144,000 on top of his or her $120,000 initial wager.

6. $150,000 on Chiefs Moneyline (MGM Sportsbook Las Vegas)

While the other bettor that took a shot on the Kansas City moneyline got decent -115 odds, this bettor that threw down $150,000 on the Chiefs at the MGM Grand and got -125.

MGM Grand Las Vegas

Of course, a wager this large is still going to offer a solid payout, even at minus odds. If Patrick Mahomes, Andy Reid and co. are able to lead the Chiefs to the franchise’s first-ever Super Bowl title, this better will still earn another $120,000 on top of their initial risk.

5. $187,000 on the 49ers Moneyline (Hollywood Casino West Virginia)

Here we have our first high-risk bet to come down outside of Las Vegas. One bettor at the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in West Virginia put a hefty sum of $187,000 on the underdog 49ers to win the game as plus-money ‘dogs.

The odds aren’t as favorable (+107) as the moneyline odds our aforementioned Rampart Casino bettor got (+120), but plus-money is plus-money. If San Francisco wins its sixth Lombardi Trophy on Sunday, this West Virginia resident will pocket a cool $200,090.

4. $200,000 on Chiefs -1 (MGM Sportsbook Las Vegas)

A 1-point spread isn’t a pick’em, but it might as well be. One of the good things about prognosticators expecting Super Bowl 2020 to be a tight game is that you can really feel decent about whichever Super Bowl 54 betting wagers you make.

Sure, it will make the final result a lot more gutting if you come up on the wrong side of things, but there isn’t much more risk in betting Chiefs -1 than there is in betting the 49ers as 1-point underdogs.

This MGM bettor in Vegas is the first on our list to crack the $200,000 threshold. If the Chiefs win by at least 2, this guy or gal will take home a profit of $181,800 on top of the $200,000 risk at KC’s -110 odds.

3. $550,000 on Chiefs -1 (Bellagio Las Vegas)

Now we’re talking. I would imagine you have to be pretty confident to be willing to risk nearly half a million dollars on anything, let alone something as unpredictable as Super Bowl 54. The betting public is basically split on what is going to happen on Super Bowl Sunday. 53 percent of the money has come in on the Chiefs to cover the 1-point spread, while 47 percent is on the 49ers.

Las Vegas Bellagio Casino

A lot of that money is coming from this Bellagio patron, who slapped $550,000 on Kansas City to take care of business. If the Chiefs get the job done, this person will bank $499,950.

2. $684,000 on 49ers +2 (DraftKings Sportsbook New Jersey)

The Chiefs have been 1-point favorites for the majority of the last couple of weeks, but some sportsbooks took so many Super Bowl 54 betting wagers on KC that they had no choice but to push the spread even further. The DraftKings Sportsbook in New Jersey had the 49ers as 2-point underdogs at times earlier this week.

One bettor is trying to capitalize on the opportunity. They got -114 odds on San Francisco to cover the 2-point spread, which obviously offers a bit more leeway than the +1 number we’re seeing just about everywhere else. If the Niners do cover, this risk-tolerant bettor will profit $599,868.

1. $1 Million on 49ers Moneyline (MGM Mirage Las Vegas)

As of now, we have just one bettor on record that has been willing to risk at least $1 million on a single Super Bowl 54 bet. As it turns out, you’ve probably heard of him if you have been keeping up with betting news over the past few months. Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, the Houston-based furniture salesman that made headlines for betting around $11 million on his hometown Astros to win the World Series last fall, is the person putting $1 million on San Francisco to win the Super Bowl outright.

Mirage Casinos in Las Vegas

Mattress Mack also placed two separate Super Bowl bets worth $500,000 apiece on the Titans to beat the Chiefs as underdogs in the AFC Championship Game. The Chiefs beat the Houston Texans in the AFC Divisional Round, so perhaps that’s what has caused Mattress Mack to take such an anti-Chiefs stance over the past few weeks. His other recent bets obviously haven’t gone well, but if he hits on the 49ers’ moneyline at +120, McIngvale will win an extra $1,200,000.

Here Are the Best Super Bowl Betting Apps Right Now

Super Bowl LIV is now just days away. Football fans across the country are flocking to different online sportsbooks to make their last-minute wagers on the big game. Fortunately, there are more Super Bowl betting sites and apps available in the US than ever before. Today, I’m going to breakdown some of the best Super Bowl betting apps available throughout the country.

A huge number of fantastic online sportsbooks offering odds on the 2020 Super Bowl. It’s important to note that none of the platforms listed below are true apps that you will find in the Apple or Google Play store. Instead, the sites offer incredible mobile platforms that make it feel as if you’re wagering using an app.

The mobile sites listed below have gained fantastic reputations for offering safe payment options and a wide range of different wagering options.

Let’s check them out!

Best Super Bowl Betting Apps

Bovada – $250 Sports Welcome Bonus

There’s a good chance you’ve heard of Bovada before. This is without a doubt the most popular online sportsbook in the country right now, with massive fan bases in almost every single state. It’s easy to see why exactly this site is such a massive betting platform right now.Bovada Circle Logo

One thing that’s helped the site grow is its modern design. Bovada is one of the best-looking online sportsbooks in the world and is incredibly easy to navigate. Finding the sporting event that you want to bet on is incredibly easy.

There are a couple of reasons why this is one of the best Super Bowl betting apps available right now.

First, it offers a huge list of Super Bowl betting options. The prop bets, in particular, are fantastic here. You’re able to bet on just about everything including the halftime show and color of Gatorade thrown on the winning coach.

The other reason why Bovada is such a fantastic app for betting on the Super Bowl is its quick and easy payment system. Making both deposits and withdrawals are extremely easy with this site. Check it out for yourself today to see what I mean.

MyBookie – 50% Sports Sign-Up Bonus Up to $1,000

Over the past few years, MyBookie has grown to become one of the very best sports betting websites in the country. It’s interesting, considering this is one of the oldest online sportsbooks in the country. There’s no doubt that this is one of the best Super Bowl betting apps currently operating.MyBookie Circle Logo

MyBookie.ag is a site with a hardcore fan base. At first glance, you’re able to see just how many amazing wagering options are available. This includes more than just sports, too. MyBookie allows you to make bets on things like movie outcomes and award shows.

You’re able to easily locate the odds that you plan to use. Unsurprisingly, Super Bowl betting options are located prominently on the homepage of this website.

This is another one with a wide range of different wagering options for the big game. A simple bet on the winner is easy. Want to bet on things like the total rushing yards? That’s easy too.

The mobile platform of this site is even better than its desktop version.

MyBookie has gained a massive fan base around the country, and for good reason. It’s modern, safe, and offers odds on just about everything you could think of. Check for yourself why so many consider this one of the best Super Bowl betting apps in the US.

BetOnline – $1,000 Welcome Bonus

Sometimes, a simple betting site is just what you need. That’s what BetOnline offers. It’s not the flashiest online betting site currently operating, yet it provides bettors with a clean, simple platform to wager on a variety of different sports.BetOnline Circle Logo

There are some that criticize the site for its appearance. It’s not difficult to see why. Unlike Bovada and MyBookie, this site doesn’t look incredibly modern. Don’t let that turn you off, though!

BetOnline is a fantastic desktop site. Interestingly, more people are choosing to make wagers through this betting platform using their phones now. The simplicity of this website is what’s helped it grow so popular.

There are some fantastic Super Bowl betting options here, too. Prop bets are available on things like how many field goals are scored and what the margin of victory for either team is.

If you’re not into all the bells of whistles, BetOnline is likely one of the best Super Bowl betting apps available. It’s safe, easy to use, and odds some fantastic odds.

I think most US sports bettors would agree that these are the three best Super Bowl betting apps currently available. There’s no way to say which of the three is the best. Take out your phone and check to see which one is your favorite.

Good luck with your online Super Bowl bets!

Best Las Vegas Sportsbooks to Bet on Super Bowl 54

Two Players From San Francisco 49ers, Sportsboook, Super Bowl 54 Logo
Are you ready for some football? Super Bowl 54 is just over 72 hours away. Millions of Americans will gather around to watch television’s biggest spectacle on Sunday evening when the Kansas City Chiefs take on the San Francisco 49ers in Miami.

While plenty of people will host Super Bowl parties at their homes, many will decide to watch the game at a bar or restaurant. The Super Bowl also happens to be the biggest betting event in the US on a yearly basis. As a result, thousands will make their way to visit Las Vegas in order to get some action on the game.

If you’re not a die-hard fan of the Chiefs or the 49ers, putting some money on the game is a way to make things more exciting. Sportsbooks all over Sin City will be showing the game’s live broadcast on CBS. You’ll have to make a reservation at most casino viewing parties considering these events fill up quickly, so don’t hesitate to get your name on the list.

The following are the best sportsbooks in Las Vegas for betting on Super Bowl 54.

Westgate SuperBook

The Westgate may not be located on the famed Las Vegas Strip, but the SuperBook is perhaps one of the best places to watch the 2020 Super Bowl in town. The SuperBook calls itself “The World’s Largest Las Vegas Sportsbook” for a reason.

The SuperBook’s oddsmakers are constantly updating their 2020 Super Bowl odds and they’ll be taking bets on the game all day long. The massive venue occupies more than 30,000 square feet of space that includes over 350 seats and a massive 220-foot video screen.

The SuperBook boasts the largest wagering menu in the entire state of Nevada, and you can keep track of the super bowl betting you do using the Westgate’s easily-navigable mobile app.

You can also make a reservation to catch the game in the SuperBook’s VIP Section. The venue includes VIP Booths and VIP Pods with ample seating for you and your entire viewing party. A fully-stocked bar and a special food menu will keep you satisfied as you sweat your bets on Super Bowl 54 Sunday.

Caesars Palace

The sportsbook at Caesars Palace isn’t the biggest one you’ll find in town, but it does feature a recently-reimagined viewing screen comparable to the aforementioned facade at the Westgate.

Outside the Caesars Palace in Las Vegas

Caesars renovated its sportsbook a couple of years ago, and the new product is one of the best viewing and Super Bowl betting experiences in Las Vegas. Every seat for the Super Bowl 2020 at Caesars is reserved, and they’ll cost you a minimum of $100 just to get in. While the price is a bit high, it’s worth it. One of the Super Bowl 2020 packages available to guests features all-included food and drinks. If you don’t want that package, Caesars’ sportsbook is conveniently located right next to one of the best food courts in Vegas.

While the sportsbook doesn’t offer as many lines for betting on Super Bowl 2020 as the Westgate, the VIP seating arrangements makes for an intimate Super Bowl 54 viewing experience unlike any other on the Strip.

Wynn Las Vegas

You’ll find the Wynn at the north end of the Las Vegas Strip. While the sportsbook here may still lag behind the Westgate in terms of sheer number of options, the Wynn Las Vegas is likely the most comparable sportsbook you’ll find on the Strip itself.

The Wynn features no shortage of big screens and ample, comfortable seating.

i
There are plenty of prop bets available, and you can get a seat at the bar without having to pay for a reservation. Those seats are limited, though, so get there early if you want to find a spot.

Drink vouchers are expensive, but likely worth your while if you’re planning on sticking around for the entire game. They can run as much as $250. The overall vibe at the Wynn is a bit more relaxed than the one at the Westgate SuperBook, so if you’re in the market for a more laid-back Super Bowl 54 betting and viewing experience, the Wynn could be right up your alley.

Lagasse’s Stadium at The Venetian

The Venetian may not be as synonymous with 2020 Super Bowl betting as some of the other options on this list, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more impressive overall experience. The Venetian is conveniently located right in the heart of the Strip, so you’re essentially within walking distance regardless of where you’re actually staying.

The Venetian Casino in Las Vegas

The sportsbook at The Venetian is larger than the one at Caesars or the Wynn, and Lagasse’s Stadium features stadium-style seating that makes it easy to see the game regardless of where you’re sitting. You have to wager at least $300 in order to get a drink voucher, which is a hefty price, but putting more money on the game is a good way to make Super Bowl 2020 a lot more exciting.

Lagasse’s Stadium is often rated among the best sports bars in Vegas. You’ll need to make a reservation ahead of time if you want to get in, but if you’re bringing a big party it’s well worth your while. You can bet from your table while enjoying some of the best food in town. What’s not to like?

Mandalay Bay

Mandalay Bay is situated on the complete opposite side of the Strip from the likes of the Wynn and Venetian. So, if you happen to be on the south side, you’ll probably prefer to check out the Mandalay Bay. It’s not as easy to get here, but you’ll be pleased with what you find when you do.

The Mandalay Bay features one of the biggest sportsbooks in Las Vegas with tons and tons of 2020 Super Bowl betting options. There is also no shortage of seating and TV screens just about everywhere you look.

As a result, there isn’t a bad seat in the house. If you’re staying at the Mandalay Bay, there is literally no reason to watch Super Bowl 2020 anywhere else.

Best of all, catching the game at the Mandalay Bay is a good way to avoid massive crowds. Because crossing Tropicana Avenue can be a difficult endeavor, most people choose to watch the Super Bowl at some of the Strip’s more central locations. The sportsbook, food and bar offerings aren’t lacking, to say the least.

Online Betting

The American Gaming Association expects Americans to wager nearly $7 billion on Super Bowl 54. The vast majority of that money will be bet at various Las Vegas sportsbooks and casinos. If you can’t make it to Vegas for the Big Game, you can still get in on the action via some of the premier Super Bowl online betting sites.

One of the best things about Vegas is that you don’t need to actually go to a casino or a sportsbook in order to bet on the 2020 Super Bowl. BetOnline, for example, has hundreds of prop bets and alternate lines in anticipation of the big game in addition to the standard point spread, moneyline and over/under options. These mobile apps and sites are accessible from anywhere in Las Vegas and are available in all 50 states.

So, you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home or your hotel room if you want to bet on Super Bowl 54 in Vegas. If you’re not interested in dealing with noisy crowds, just fire up your favorite mobile betting app to do some Super Bowl betting instead.

Conclusion

There is nothing quite like watching the Super Bowl in Las Vegas. You have plenty of options at your disposal, so choose wisely! Whether you prefer the experience of catching Chiefs-49ers at a real sportsbook or betting online, Vegas is the place you need to be for Super Bowl 54.

Where to Bet on the Best Super Bowl 54 Props

Pile of Money, Guy Using Laptop with Hands Up, San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs
Prop betting has become synonymous with the Super Bowl betting experience. Super Bowl prop bets have exploded in popularity in the years since William “The Refrigerator” Perry plunged into the end zone for the Chicago Bears against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 20. Perry, a 320-pound defensive lineman, scored an offensive touchdown in the game despite oddsmakers slapping 8-to-1 odds on it actually happening.

Super Bowl 54 between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers should be a fun one. The Chiefs have been installed as 1-point favorites at most Super Bowl betting sites, and public money is split nearly down the middle. 44 percent of the money wagered on Super Bowl 54 has come in on the 49ers to cover the spread, with 56 percent coming in on the Chiefs.

The American Gaming Association expects nearly $7 billion to be wagered on the game in the United States alone. If that comes true, Super Bowl 54 will be the most heavily-wagered single game in American history.

While most of that money will be bet on the game’s outcome, many Americans will try their hands at trying to hit on some of the more popular prop betting options.

Prop bets are a fun way to make the game more interesting, especially the things that happen during the game that don’t necessarily have a meaningful impact on the game’s final outcome. Prop bets can make you care about the minutiae, for better or for worse. Bovada, BetOnline and MyBookie all have a slew of props posted online.

Let’s snoop around some of the best Super Bowl 54 betting sites in order to find the best prop bets available as Super Bowl Sunday approaches.

Which Team Will Kickoff First?

Which Team Will Kickoff First? Odds at MyBookie
Kansas City Chiefs -115
San Francisco 49ers -115

Obviously, this prop comes down to the coin toss. The team that wins the coin toss obviously isn’t a lock to choose to receive the ball first, either. You’re not getting much upside with both teams owning identical -115 odds. Considering it’s the Super Bowl I would imagine both teams would choose to receive first if given the choice, but time will tell.

In case you’re curious, the 49ers have won the coin toss in 4 of their 5 Super Bowl wins. The Chiefs lost the coin toss in their only Super Bowl appearance to date.

Will the Opening Kickoff Be a Touchback?

Will Kickoff be a Touchback? Odds at MyBookie
Yes -190
No +150

The NFL has prioritized safety in recent years, which caused the league to alter its rules when it comes to kickoffs. Kickoff returns are inherently dangerous plays considering the running start both sides are able to get. So, the league pushed the kickoff up to a team’s own 35-yard-line. The move has resulted in the vast majority of kickoffs resulting in touchbacks, and returns are way down.

San Francisco 49ers, NFL Live Game

60 percent of the Chiefs’ kickoffs this season resulted in touchbacks. 50 percent of the 49ers’ kickoffs resulted in touchbacks. San Francisco ranked near the bottom of the league in that department (26th), while the Chiefs were 15th. There is pretty good value on the first kick not resulting in a touchback at +150, especially if the Niners happen to kick first. If the 49ers do kickoff, you’re getting +150 odds on what is literally a 50/50 proposition, based on the aforementioned touchback percentage.

Which Will Be the First Offensive Play?

First Offensive Play? Odds at BetOnline
Pass +120
Run -160
Sack +1000

This is another prop that depends on the result of the opening kickoff. The Chiefs ran passing plays 61.4 percent of the time during the regular season, which was the 10th-best mark in football. The 49ers, meanwhile, passed just 48.1 percent of the time, which ranked 31st. Jimmy Garoppolo infamously threw just 8 passes in the NFC Championship Game win over the Packers because Green Bay had absolutely no answer for San Francisco’s rushing attack.

It’s safe to assume the 49ers will start things off with a run play if they get the ball first. If the Chiefs receive the opening kick, one would imagine Andy Reid will want the ball in the hands of Patrick Mahomes.

So, if you think the Chiefs will get the ball first, bet pass play at +120. If you think San Fran will receive first, opt for run play at -160.

There’s value in the first play turning into a sack at +1000, but run or pass obviously make for far safer bets.

First Scoring Play of Super Bowl 54?

First Scoring Play? Odds at BetOnline
Chiefs Touchdown Pass +250
49ers Touchdown Pass +300
Chiefs Field Goal +300
49ers Field Goal +375
49ers Touchdown Run +500
Chiefs Touchdown Run +700
Any Other Chiefs Touchdown +2800
Any Other 49ers Touchdown +3300
49ers Safety +4000
Chiefs Safety +4000

The option that seems to stand out the most here is the first score of Super Bowl 54 being a 49ers touchdown run at +500. As mentioned, the Niners are a run-heavy offense, and one would imagine they’ll stick with that strategy as long as it works for them in the Super Bowl. If Kansas City struggles to stop Raheem Mostert and co., there is little reason to believe San Francisco won’t just pound the ground game, as usual. So, the first score being a 49ers touchdown run at +500 makes for a pretty solid, high-upside option.

A Chiefs touchdown pass is understandably the favorite at +250. Patrick Mahomes threw 5 TD scores in the team’s Divisional Round triumph over the Texans, and he followed that up with 3 more in the AFC Championship Game against the Titans. The Chiefs are happy to take to the air, and we know Andy Reid will come in with an aggressive game plan. Seeing Mahomes connect on a big play to Tyreek Hill or Travis Kelce early in the game wouldn’t be a surprise, so the +250 odds on a Chiefs TD pass being the first scoring play of the game also makes for a strong bet.

Total Touchdowns

How Many Total Touchdowns? Odds at BetOnline
5 +400
6 +400
7 +400
4 +600
8 +600
10+ +700
3 +800
9 +900
2 +2000
0 +4000
1 +4000

If you have the misfortune of remembering last year’s Super Bowl, you’ll remember that the Patriots and Rams combined to muster just one touchdown. Sony Michel plunged into the end zone for a 2-yard score to give New England a 10-3 lead, and that was the game’s lone touchdown. If you want to bet on a repeat performance, you can get the 49ers and Chiefs combining for 1 score at favorable +4000 odds.

This game will be more high-scoring, though. As you can see, BetOnline oddsmakers are more confident that the teams will combine for double-digit TDs than they are that we’ll get another one-touchdown Super Bowl. Thank goodness for that.

The Chiefs and 49ers have combined for 19 total touchdowns through 4 combined playoff games to this point.

Super Bowl 52 between the Patriots and Eagles saw 9 total touchdowns, while Super Bowl 51 between the Pats and Falcons produced 8 scores. 9 touchdowns to be scored in Super Bowl 54 is awfully appealing at +2000, while 8 is perfectly fine at +800, as well. I would certainly bet on 5 or more TDs being scored before considering 4 or fewer touchdowns for this game.

Will Either Team Go Without a Punt?

Will Either Team Avoid a Punt? Odds at Bovada
Yes +650
No -1400

Last year’s Super Bowl turned into a punting contest, which was absolutely awful. The Pats and Rams combined to punt the ball 14 times. I’m confident in assuming we won’t get a repeat performance, but I’m also not convinced the game will be so offense-heavy that either team will be able to avoid a punting situation altogether.

Both the Chiefs and Niners have punted 6 times through the 4 combined playoff games to this point. As well as both offenses have played all year long, it’s hard to imagine things go smoothly enough for either of them to avoid a punt over the course of the full 60 minutes.

How Many Penalties Will be Called?

Total Number of Penalties? Odds at BetOnline
Over 12.5 +130
Under 12.5 -150

One unfortunate side effect of the NFL’s focus on improving player safety has been a spike in the number of flags we see during the games. The NFL has tried to lessen the impact that officials have on the outcomes of the games, but it’s safe to assume we’ll see a steady stream of yellow flags on Sunday.

Football Referee Pointing

The Chiefs ranked 15th in the league with an average of 6.8 penalties per game. The 49ers were more disciplined during the regular season, as they were flagged 6.2 times per game. The teams have combined to commit 28 penalties during these playoffs, though, with both going over their regular season averages. I’m optimistic that we won’t see the game marred by too many flags, but I could also see the referees choosing to crack down on shenanigans during the biggest game of the year.

The betting value, as you can see, lies with betting the over on 12.5 penalties at +130.

How Many Chiefs Will Catch a Pass?

Total Number of Receivers? Odds at Bovada
Over 7.5 +145
Under 7.5 -165

Patrick Mahomes is known to spread the wealth. While Hill and Kelce are clearly a couple of his favorite targets, one of Mahomes’ best attributes as a quarterback is his ability to see the entire field. 6 different pass-catchers caught a pass from Mahomes in the AFC Championship Game, while 8 did so in the previous round against Houston.

Blake Bell (2 catches) and Deon Yelder (1) caught passes in that Texans game. It’s not impossible to think that either of them could find their way into a target in the Super Bowl, but those guys combined to catch just 11 passes during the regular season. They’re not typically heavily involved in the Chiefs’ passing attack.

The over is the value at +145, but the under on 7.5 is the most likely outcome (-165).

How Many 49ers Will Run the Ball?

Total Number of Rushers? Odds at Bovada
Over 5.5 -200
Under 5.5 +170

The Chiefs like to throw, and the 49ers prefer to run. Mostert accrued 220 yards in the shellacking of the Packers in the last round, while Tevin Coleman topped 100 yards in the Divisional Round against Minnesota. Part of what makes the 49ers such a dangerous offense is the fact that the defense never knows who is going to get the ball. Matt Breida, who is as explosive as any player on the 49ers’ roster, has just 9 carries through 2 games.

Jimmy Garoppolo doesn’t have the wheels that Mahomes does, but it’ll count as a rushing attempt if he scrambles out of the pocket or if the Niners run the QB in a dive play in a short-yardage situation.

The Niners can also try something fancy with Emmanuel Sanders or Deebo Samuel running an end-around from the wide receiver positions.

Mostert, Coleman, Breida and Garoppolo are near-locks to attempt at least one rush apiece. That puts us close to the over, but I’m not convinced the Niners will run multiple end-arounds with multiple receivers, either. The under on 5.5 at +170 looks like a strong value bet.

Will a Non-QB Throw a Touchdown Pass?

Non-QB TD Pass? Odds at Bovada
Yes +340
No -580

One of the most infamous plays in Super Bowl history came just a couple of years ago when Eagles quarterback Nick Foles hauled in a touchdown pass from tight end Trey Burton when the Eagles ran the “Philly Special.” Earlier this season, Emmanuel Sanders connected on a touchdown pass to Raheem Mostert in the 49ers’ win over the Saints in New Orleans.

San Francisco 49ers Player Vernon Davis

These offenses are both so good that they rarely need to rely on gimmicks in order to surprise the opposing defense. Trick plays are nothing new in the Super Bowl, though, so I could also imagine both teams being willing to dive into their bag of tricks on the NFL’s biggest stage. I’d prefer this bet if it were merely a non-QB completing a pass, but I suppose betting through Bovada on a non-QB throwing a touchdown at +340 is appealing enough from a value perspective.

Who Will Win Super Bowl MVP?

Who Wins Super Bowl MVP? Odds at Bovada
Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs) +105
Jimmy Garoppolo (49ers) +260
Raheem Mostert (49ers) +700
George Kittle (49ers) +1400
Travis Kelce (Chiefs) +1400
Tyreek Hill (Chiefs) +1500
Damien Williams (Chiefs) +2000

It obviously comes at no surprise to see both quarterbacks listed with the best odds of claiming the Super Bowl’s MVP trophy. Betting on Super Bowl MVP is essentially a bet on which team you think will win. The quarterback of the winning team is the most likely candidate, of course. If the Chiefs win, Mahomes will likely have had an awful lot to do with it.

That isn’t necessarily the case for the Niners, though, as Garoppolo is a less-crucial part of San Francisco’s offensive attack. Mostert and the running game will likely get the Niners across the finish line, which makes Mostert an appealing option at +700 to win MVP. Garoppolo isn’t a bad bet in his own right at +260, but there’s a reason Mahomes is such a heavy favorite. He’s the best player in this game, and Kansas City is the betting favorite to win.

Top Super Bowl 54 Betting Sites Tailored to Your Experience

Laptop Computer, Kansas City Chiefs Logo, San Francisco 49ers Logo
It’s hard to believe that Super Bowl 54 is only a few days away. It feels like only yesterday that the 2019 NFL regular season was just getting underway. Yet, here we are, with the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs getting set to square off in one of the most highly-anticipated Super Bowls in quite some time.

There has been rampant betting action on Super Bowl 54 in the build-up to the game, and that will obviously continue through Sunday. More money is expected to be wagered on this Super Bowl than any other single-game sporting event in American history, so there is obviously an awful lot on the line. This is a record we can expect to be broken with each passing year as legal sports betting becomes more prevalent throughout the United States.

You still have plenty of time to get in on the action if you haven’t yet. Kickoff isn’t scheduled until 6:30pm ET on Sunday evening, so you still have time to browse the web in search of the best Super Bowl 54 betting sites.

Top Online Betting Sites for Super Bowl 54

If you want a one-stop shop, though, you’ve come to the right place. You have no shortage of options when it comes to betting on the biggest game of the year. Frankly, the number of options can be a bit overwhelming. That’s why I’m here to try and help you navigate through it all in order to find what you’re looking for in a betting site.

All of the best sites have different strengths and weaknesses. Some sites offer plenty of prop betting options, for example, while others may offer quicker payouts. Let’s find you the best Super Bowl betting site that suits your needs as a football bettor.

Best Site for Super Bowl Prop Bets – Bovada

The Super Bowl has helped prop betting break into the mainstream. While the vast majority of bets on Super Bowl 54 will come in on the point spread, moneyline or over/under, many choose to focus on the minutiae. You can bet on just about anything Super Bowl-related these days thanks to the popularity of prop betting.

Bovada certainly has you covered if you’re in the market for game-related or off-the-wall prop bets. Bovada is one of the leaders in the online betting industry for a reason. The site offers traditional props such as the passing yardage totals for Patrick Mahomes and Jimmy Garoppolo or whether the first score in the Super Bowl will be a safety. If you’re looking for something a little different, Bovada also has a prop on whether Nike will air a commercial featuring Colin Kaepernick during the game, or whether President Donald Trump will issue a congratulatory tweet to the winning team after the game is over.

Referee at Super Bowl Flipping Coin

Whether the opening coin toss will land on heads or tails has been the most popular prop bet in the lead-up to the game. You can also wager on whether Demi Lovato’s pregame rendition of the national anthem will run over or under 2 minutes, or which color Gatorade will be dumped on the winning coach. Will a Doritos or Pop Tarts commercial air first? Will Andy Reid eat a cheeseburger before the end of the Super Bowl broadcast? Will Floyd Mayweather bet over or under $1 million on the Super Bowl?

Yes, these are all real prop bets, and you can find them all (and many, many more) at Bovada right now.

Best Site for Fast Payouts – BetOnline

Different bettors have different goals when it comes to betting on the Super Bowl. Some wager just to make the game a little more interesting. Others bet because they’re good enough to be professional gamblers. Others do it because it’s fun. Regardless of your motivations when it comes to betting on the Super Bowl, everyone can certainly agree that getting your winnings quickly is of the utmost importance.

The last thing you want to do after placing a successful bet is to wait around for your well-deserved winnings to show up in your account. Unfortunately, some betting sites can take well over 24 hours to get your winnings to you. Some take longer. Back in the day, you could have to wait several days before you could see your winnings in your bankroll. The Stone Age wasn’t that long ago, really.

That isn’t the case at BetOnline, however. The site is one of the more well-known in the American betting landscape for a variety of reasons, one of which is that it is second to none when it comes to offering fast payouts.

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Your winnings at BetOnline will typically be available in your account no later than an hour after your bet cashes.

BetOnline is also among the leaders in the industry when it comes to withdrawal options. Seeing your winnings in your account is one thing, but transferring that money into your actual bank account is another matter. BetOnline affords players the chance to withdraw cash via PayPal, or your money can be wired directly into your checking account. If you prefer snail mail, you can also have an actual check mailed to your address within a few business days of your withdrawal request.

If you want to bet on Super Bowl 54 and get your winnings quickly, BetOnline is the site for you.

Best Site for Betting Bonuses – BetNow

The Super Bowl represents the last chance to bet on football for several months. You can always try your hand at the XFL when that gets going in a few weeks, but Super Bowl 54 will be the last NFL game until September. The football offseason is a long one, to be sure.

So, if you’re betting on Super Bowl 54, you’re probably going to go a little harder than you normally might. This is your last chance to bet on pro football for about 7 months. While you definitely shouldn’t go overboard and bet more than you’re willing to lose, having a fat bankroll is useful at this time of the year. That’s why betting on a site that offers big-time bonuses is a must for Super Bowl bettors.

Screenshot of Promotion at BetNow

All NFL betting sites offer deposit, reload and referral bonuses, but BetNow trumps the rest of the field when it comes to bonus offerings. If you’re a new customer, you can get a 50 percent bonus on your initial deposit up to $1,000 if you choose BetNow. Some of the site’s competitors have much lower limits on their maximum bonus offers.

BetNow’s refer-a-friend bonus is also generous. If you refer someone to the site and they use your referral link in order to sign up and deposit, you will receive a bonus of 10 percent of that person’s initial deposit into your account. It’s a win-win. You can’t beat the bonuses offered over at BetNow.

Best Site for Alternate Betting Lines – SportsBetting.ag

Oddsmakers are expecting a hotly-contested game in Super Bowl 54. The line for Chiefs-49ers opened as a pick’em at most reputable NFL betting sites, but a flood of public money coming in on Kansas City forced the oddsmakers to quickly adjust. The Chiefs have been a slight favorite leading up to the game. As of this writing, Kansas City is listed as a 1-point favorite at most sportsbooks.

If you’re looking for a slightly different experience, check out the alternate lines offered at SportsBetting.ag. The Chiefs and 49ers are generally considered to be evenly-matched teams, which explains the tight spread. However, SportsBetting.ag has a tab featuring a number of alternate spread betting options on Super Bowl 54.

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Alternate betting lines are different from the standard lines you’ll find just about everywhere. Alternate lines adjust the spread slightly by a few points on either side, which effectively affords bettors safer or more risky options, based on the bettor’s preferences.

At SportsBetting.ag you can find lines like Chiefs -3, Chiefs -7.5, 49ers -3.5 or 49ers -9.5. You can even bet on Chiefs -14.5 or 49ers -13.5, if you’re convinced that the game will turn into a blowout in either direction. Alternate lines give bettors a chance to bet on Super Bowl 54 from a different angle, which is a fun and unique experience you won’t find at every Super Bowl betting site.

Best Super Bowl 54 Site for Scoring Props – MyBookie

As is the case with every other site on this list, MyBookie has no shortage of options when it comes to betting on Super Bowl 54. You can bet on standard lines, props, player futures, etc. One aspect of the MyBookie experience that sets it apart from other sites is the array of score-based betting options.

At MyBookie, you can bet on whether the Chiefs or 49ers will win the game by 6 points or more. The 49ers winning by 6 or more is listed at +140, while the Chiefs doing so is at +120. You can also bet on “any other result” at +160.

There is a separate prop for winning margin, where you can wager on whether either team will win by 1-6 points, 7-12 points, 13-18 points, etc. You can bet on whether the first score of the game will be a 49ers touchdown, a Chiefs touchdown, a 49ers field goal, a Chiefs field goal, 49ers “any other method” or Chiefs “any other method.”

You can bet on which team will be the first to get to 10 points, 15 points or 20 points. You can bet on Which team will have the highest-scoring half in the game. As you can see, you can really get down into the weeds with the crazy number of score-related props offered at MyBookie.

Conclusion

Betting on the Super Bowl is supposed to be a fun experience. Super Bowl 54 is expected to be a close, high-scoring game, which opens up countless possibilities for bettors. Each of the top Super Bowl betting sites offers something a little different, so here’s hoping you’re successful in finding the one that suits your betting needs.

5 Reasons the Underdog 49ers Can Beat the Chiefs in Super Bowl 54

San Francisco 49ers Team on Field, Super Bowl LIV Logo
Super Bowl 54 is expected to be one for the ages. A year after last year’s snoozer between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams, we have what figures to be a thrilling matchup between a couple of teams that have been among the NFL’s elite all season long.

The San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs have never met one another in a playoff game. Despite being two of the league’s oldest and most iconic franchises, the Niners and Chiefs have rarely crossed paths at all. San Francisco is 7-6 all-time across 13 regular season meetings with Kansas City. The Chiefs picked up a 38-27 win over the Niners in their most recent clash in September of the 2018 season.

Despite the Niners having finished the season with a better record than the Chiefs, the vast majority of the betting action has come on Kansas City to win Super Bowl 54. The game opened as a pick’em at most sportsbooks and NFL betting sites, but oddsmakers quickly shifted the spread in favor of the Chiefs after a massive amount of early money came in on Kansas City.

The betting amounts have evened out since then, but the Chiefs have steadily maintained their status as favorites in the days leading up to the game. As of this writing, BetOnline has the Chiefs listed as 1-point favorites to beat the 49ers.

You can get San Francisco at +105 to win the game outright, while the Chiefs’ moneyline is at -125.

While the Chiefs have the edge, there is clearly plenty of merit to betting on the Niners to pull the upset. Here are a few things that make San Francisco an appealing underdog betting option to win Super Bowl 54.

Nobody Has Stopped This Running Game

Just ask the Green Bay Packers what the 49ers’ strength is. This is a team without many holes, but their offensive game plan is simple. They’re going to run the ball right down your throat, and you’re probably not going to be able to stop them.

The Niners cruised to an easy 27-10 win over the Minnesota Vikings in the Divisional Round thanks to a dominant showing on the ground. Tevin Coleman racked up 105 yards with a pair of rushing touchdowns as the Niners rushed for 186 yards on a whopping 47 attempts. Jimmy Garoppolo threw just 19 passes. They didn’t need to throw the ball, so why should they even try?

Raheem Mostert NFL San Francisco 49ers

The NFC Championship Game was one for the ages, as Raheem Mostert racked up 220 yards with 4 rushing scores of his own in the 37-20 demolition of Green Bay. In all, the 49ers accrued 285 yards on 42 attempts for an average of nearly 7 yards per carry. Garoppolo had to attempt just 8 passes all game long.

The Chiefs’ defense is vastly improved over the one we saw a season ago, but I’ll believe someone can slow this running game down when I see it. The Niners have gotten this far without having to really use Matt Breida, who happens to be the most explosive of the 3-headed monster the Niners typically rely on in the backfield. Breida has 9 carries for 19 yards so far in these playoffs.

Kansas City did a good job of slowing down Derrick Henry in the AFC Championship Game, but the Titans were also forced to take to the air more often than they would have liked after falling into a halftime deficit.

The 49ers rushed for 144.1 yards per game during the regular season. Only Lamar Jackson’s Ravens, who ran for an absurd 206 yards per game, were more prolific in the ground game. Suggesting the Chiefs should force Garoppolo to beat them is an easy thing to say, but it’s a much more difficult thing to actually do.

If Mostert, Coleman and co. are able to gash the Chiefs early and often, Sunday could be a long, grueling and unpleasant afternoon for the Kansas City defense.

The 49ers Can Keep Patrick Mahomes Sidelined

Other than taking a physical toll on the opposing defense, controlling the game with the ground attack can also help the 49ers set the tempo of Super Bowl 54. If this game turns into a track meet, the Niners are in trouble. San Francisco has plenty of playmakers, but they’re not an offense designed to run-and-gun with the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill and the rest of the Chiefs’ high-octane attack.

Slowing the game down and controlling the clock is something the 49ers absolutely have to accomplish offensively if they want to pull the upset. One of the main reasons the Chiefs have garnered so much of the early betting interest is because of Mahomes. Garoppolo is a nice player, but the Chiefs clearly have an edge when it comes to the quarterback position.

I’m not saying Garoppolo is the second coming of Trent Dilfer, but transcendent quarterbacks like Mahomes tend to win games like these.

So, a key for San Francisco will be to ensure that Mahomes will have limited opportunities to inflict damage. The best way to do so is to keep him on the sidelines as the 49ers’ offense manages the game with the rushing attack.

Time of possession is a telling stat in the NFL. San Francisco held the ball for 38 of the game’s 60 minutes in the Divisional Round against Minnesota. The Packers had more possession in the NFC Championship Game, but that had more to do with the Niners being able to break off a number of massive scoring plays that killed possessions early. San Francisco led 27-0 at the half.

The Niners Can Rush the Passer

The 49ers have endured several lean years since losing at the hands of the Ravens in Super Bowl 47. In fact, this was the team’s first season since 2013 with a winning record. Over the course of their 5-year playoff drought, the 49ers have consistently used premium draft picks on players capable of rushing the passer.

Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead are all former first-round picks. Bosa, Buckner and Armstead were all first-round picks by the 49ers, while Ford was ironically the Chiefs’ first-round selection in 2014.

Eli Manning and the New York Giants pulled off two of the biggest Super Bowl upsets in history over the Patriots thanks to the team’s ability to generate pressure on Tom Brady. Brady is a master of picking teams apart when he’s given enough time to see the field. The Giants were one of the few teams capable of rattling the future Hall of Famer.

NFL San Francisco 49ers Team

Obviously, the 49ers need to take a similarly aggressive approach when it comes to squaring off against Mahomes in Super Bowl 54. If the Chiefs’ offensive line is able to protect Mahomes and give him enough time to go through his reads, the Chiefs’ offense will be incredibly difficult to slow down.

According to Football Outsiders’ rankings, the 49ers had the second-best defense in football this season in terms of Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA). Only New England was more prolific on that side of the football. San Francisco ranked fifth in the league with 48 sacks. Kirk Cousins was sacked 6 times in the Divisional Round by the 49er defense, while Aaron Rodgers was sacked 3 times in the conference title game.

San Francisco Generates Turnovers

Rushing the passer is typically thought of as the best way to slow down an elite offense. Obviously, taking the football away is the other. The 49ers are elite in terms of pressuring opposing quarterbacks, and they also happen to be elite in terms of generating turnovers.

Winning time of possession is important to an offense. Winning the turnover battle is often even more indicative of how a game will pan out. Whichever defense gets more takeaways has a clear advantage. The 49ers have been a whole lot better than the Chiefs in that regard.

Kansas City employs a bend-don’t-break type of defense. While opportunistic takeaways are nice, the Chiefs’ defensive success is a lot more predicated on luck than that of the 49ers.

The Niners have forced 5 turnovers through their first 2 postseason games. The Chiefs have only forced one, and it came on a kickoff return against the Texans. The defense is still looking for its first takeaway of these playoffs.

The 49ers ranked sixth in the league in takeaways during the regular season with a higher interception and fumble recovery rate than the Chiefs. Kansas City intercepted just 5 passes all season long, while the 49ers picked off 13.

The Super Bowl 54 Betting Value is Obvious

As mentioned, oddsmakers see this game as a toss-up. There’s a reason the matchup began as a pick’em. The only reason the Chiefs are favored is because the majority of the betting public sided with Mahomes and Kansas City early on.

Would either result truly surprise you? Certainly not. The 49ers have shown that they’re capable of beating anybody. So have the Chiefs. This figures to be one of the more closely-contested Super Bowls in quite some time, which is why there is so much anticipation.

Prognosticators seem to think this game could go either way. If that’s the case, the odds clearly don’t reflect it. The deluge of cash coming in on the Chiefs has left the 49ers in the enviable position of being plus-money underdogs.

NFL Game, San Francisco 49ers, Pile of Money

Betting on a plus-money ‘dog in a game that seems to be a 50/50 proposition is generally appealing. The 49ers have looked like a championship-caliber team since Week 1, and they have been able to overcome a steady stream of injuries along the way. The Chiefs have been more up-and-down. Kansas City has Mahomes, but let’s not forget that the Ravens were the talk of the AFC all year long. Kansas City flew under the radar, for better or worse.

If Kyle Shanahan and Jimmy Garoppolo can execute an efficient game plan and stick to the script, it’s going to be very hard for Mahomes and the Chiefs’ offense to find a consistent rhythm.

Combine that with Robert Saleh’s aggressive and ruthless defense and you have all the hallmarks of a Super Bowl-winning squad.

The game having a 1-point spread is just silly. Who on earth would bet on the Niners to cover a 1-point spread at -110 when you can simply bet the San Francisco moneyline at +105? The 49ers literally cannot cover a 1-point spread and lose. So, if you think they’re going to win, just take the plus odds that come with the moneyline. The conversation shifts if the line moves to KC -1.5, but as of now that SF moneyline just stands out as an obvious value.

The 49ers look awfully tempting as a betting underdog heading into Super Bowl 54.

Six of the Best Sites for Betting on Super Bowl 54

Guy on Computer, Super Bowl 54 Logo, 49ers Game
Super Bowl 54 is just over a week away. On Sunday, February 2, millions of Americans will gather around the TV set to watch the Kansas City Chiefs take on the San Francisco 49ers. The NFL couldn’t have asked for a better matchup. The league’s biggest game features two of the NFL’s oldest franchises going toe-to-toe in the Super Bowl for the first time ever.

Television ratings for Super Bowl 54 are going to be massive. There will also be no shortage of betting interest. Sportsbooks all over the United States are expecting Super Bowl 54 to smash all sorts of records. Billions of dollars will be wagered on Chiefs-49ers, with the vast majority of that coming via online betting.

Let’s say you can’t get to Vegas to watch the Big Game, but you still want to get in on the action from a betting perspective. Which are the best online betting sites for Super Bowl 2020?

Best Betting Sites for Super Bowl 54

We’ve done our research and found these sites to be fast paying, and most reputable sports betting sites on the market today. You can dive right in and start betting today or continue reading our in-depth write up of each sportsbook and what makes them the best.

We’ll break down each site into different categories such as payout speed, banking options, different bonuses available, and site reputation.

Get Super Bowl 54 Winning Payouts in 24 Hours on Bovada

Super Bowl 54 Logo and Bovada LogoBovada has been one of the leaders in the American sports betting scene for years. With more and more states now legalizing and regulating sports betting, it’s safe to assume that Bovada will continue to grow in the US. So, it should come as no surprise that Bovada checks in as one of the best betting sites for Super Bowl 54.

New customers looking put some money down on the Super Bowl will receive a 50 percent welcome bonus on their first deposit up to $250 at Bovada. So, if you deposit the full $250 into your account, you stand to earn an extra $125 just for signing up. Not too shabby! This is only good for your first deposit onto the site, but Bovada also offers certain reload bonuses for subsequent deposits. Players can deposit with all major credit cards (American Express, Visa, MasterCard) as well as Bitcoin, if they so choose.

Customer service and fast payouts are absolute musts when it comes to finding the best Super Bowl 2020 betting sites, and Bovada checks both boxes. Bovada has live agent on call and ready to help you navigate your way around the site or answer any questions you may have about their offerings. Bovada will also pay out all winning bets within 24 hours, which is something that sets them apart from much of the competition.

Most importantly, Bovada has no shortage of options when it comes to betting on Super Bowl 54. Oddsmakers have been tweaking the odds ahead of the game with each passing day in order to keep up with trends. In addition to the standard bet types (spread, moneyline, etc.) Bovada is also offering countless prop bets and live betting options.

Super Bowl 2020 Bonus on Every Deposit on BetOnline

Super Bowl 54 Logo and BetOnline LogoWhile Bovada offers a healthy first deposit bonus, BetOnline offers a bonus on every deposit you make on the site. That’s hard to beat. BetOnline has a clean, simple and easy-to-navigate layout, which is obviously a plus if you’re in the market to bet on Super Bowl 54. You don’t need to be wasting your time trying to find your way around a confusing betting site.

Whether you want to bet on the spread, moneyline or total of Super Bowl 2020, BetOnline has you covered. You can also combine multiple selections into a parlay via their user-friendly display. Parlay payouts top out at $150,000.

BetOnline is a trusted site accessible to American bettors interested in getting some action on the Super Bowl. After creating your account, submitting your deposit and collecting your deposit bonus, all you have to do is scroll over to the “NFL” tab on the left side of the page, where you’ll find their numerous Super Bowl betting options. BetOnline is offering a number of props related to the game as well as in-game betting for those interested in keeping the action going after kickoff.

BetNow Offers Sign-Up Bonuses

Super Bowl 54 Logo and BetNow LogoThose that bet on last year’s snoozer of a Super Bowl between the Rams and Patriots will be hoping for a better outcome this time around. The two teams combined for just 16 points and one total touchdown in one of the most boring Super Bowls in recent memory. On the bright side, most are expecting more fireworks this time around between the 49ers and Chiefs.

First-time depositors at BetNow will receive a sign-up bonus of up to 50 percent on deposits up to $1,000. That’s more bang for your buck than you’re getting for your initial deposit onto Bovada, and it can set you up perfectly to enjoy your Super Bowl 54 betting experience.

BetNow customers can also reap the benefits of the site’s refer-a-friend bonus. If your friend signs up and deposits at BetNow via the link you shared, you will receive a 10 percent bonus on their deposit from the site.

You can bet on almost anything Super Bowl 54-related at BetNow. Touchdown props, field goal props, Super Bowl 54 MVP, quarter props, you name it. The site even has tabs for all Patrick Mahomes and Jimmy Garoppolo prop bets. As is the case with every Super Bowl 2020 betting site on this list, BetNow’s interface is easily-navigable and aesthetically pleasing.

Earn by Referring Super Bowl 54 Bettors to SportsBetting.ag

Super Bowl 54 Logo and SportsBetting.ag LogoSportsBetting.ag is offering an appealing referral bonus specifically geared toward Super Bowl 54. You can earn up to 200 percent on your friend’s initial deposit up to $200, which will certainly come in handy ahead of the biggest football game of the year. New customers can also receive a first deposit bonus of 50 percent up to $1,000.

SportsBetting.ag accepts online customers from all 50 states, and they’re one of the few sites left in the industry that offers live poker and casino games in addition to their wealth of sports betting offerings. The site doesn’t have a spotless track record, but it does seem to have turned things around since 2012. Since then, there have been very few noteworthy complaints about the site’s reputation, which is certainly a plus if you’re looking for a safe, reputable and quality Super Bowl 2020 betting site.

The layout is extremely similar to the one you’ll find at BetOnline, and the site is yet another that features countless Super Bowl betting options. Prop bets, player props, halftime show props, alternate Super Bowl betting lines, you name it.

Great Deposit and Withdrawal Options on MyBookie

Super Bowl 54 Logo and MyBookie LogoMyBookie is one of the biggest names in the American sports betting industry. The site boasts that its oddsmakers have come up with the most prop bets available ahead of Super Bowl 54. In addition to the usual props you’ll find just about anywhere, MyBookie has props  such as total touchdowns by both teams, exact number of touchdowns scored and whether either the Chiefs or 49ers will score a defensive touchdown in the Super Bowl.

Clearly, MyBookie is going all-out for the Big Game. First-time depositors can secure a sign-up bonus of 50 percent up to $1,000. The site is also offering its own version of the popular party game Super Bowl Squares. You can purchase any number of squares across a number of different buy-in tiers. You can find Squares contests with buy-ins as low as $1.25 per square and as high as $275 per square, so there is something for everybody.

Quality customer service, quick payouts and a variety of deposit and withdrawal options make MyBookie a prime spot to bet on Super Bowl 54.

Try the New Betting Site XBet for Super Bowl 2020 Wagers

Super Bowl 54 Logo and XBet LogoThe first-time deposit bonus at XBet (50 percent up to $300) may not be quite as attractive as the one you’ll find at some of the site’s competitors, but it is still one of the best and cleanest sites at which to bet on Super Bowl 2020. The refer-a-friend bonus can also net you an additional $100 to throw into your Super Bowl betting bankroll.

XBet is relatively new on the scene compared to some other more established names in the industry. Even so, the experience is generally a pleasant one, and the site offers competitive and constantly-updating odds. The site has seen consistent improvement over the past few years, as well.

You won’t find quite as many prop bets for Super Bowl 54 as you will elsewhere, but XBet is a safe site that checks just about all necessary boxes.

Conclusion

You obviously have plenty of options out there if you’re interested in betting on Super Bowl 54 online. The sites listed above all have their pluses and minuses, but all of them are also among the industry leaders in quality and reputation.

If you’re looking for fast payouts, a variety of deposit methods, quality customer service and countless Super Bowl 54 betting options, these 6 sites have you covered.