Caesars Entertainment and UNLV Join Forces

A new education center is being created in the southwestern region of Las Vegas. The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) and Caesars Entertainment have partnered up to build a hub that will focus on gaming and hospitality technology. The goal is to push the gaming industry forward with an educational setting, emphasizing the technical aspect of gaming.

New Education Hub

The education hub will be 43,000 square feet in size and focus on several aspects of gaming. The hub space will have simulated hotel rooms as well as a casino floor and sportsbook. The Harry Reid Research & Technology Park of UNLV will house the new hub. Titled Black Fire Innovation, the academic location will include virtual reality facilities along with an e-sports arena.

The new space should be open before 2019 comes to an end. The goal is to provide an educational hub where emphasis is placed on technology in the gaming industry to help push the industry forward. Black Fire Innovation will be situated in a four-story building on the UNLV campus. Caesars Entertainment has a four year lease on the space and two automatic extensions for a four year time frame. The Black Fire space will take up about a flour and a half. The total price for the hub project has been estimated at around $35m. This is a huge investment and will hopefully be lucrative for investors.

UNLV President Marta Meana said:

This collaboration with Caesars Entertainment will strengthen UNLV’s role as a research leader and further elevate Las Vegas as the global intellectual capital for gaming and hospitality. Collaborations like Black Fire also give our students unparalleled access to experts at the forefront of the industry.

Hub Details

Caesars Entertainment CorpAccording to UNLV’s associate vice president for economic development, Zach Miles, the fourth floor will be home to a mock resort. The space will have a casino and hotel rooms as well as a café, all of the future. Reportedly, there will be robots moving about the facility, with testing taking place as to how they engage within the facilities.

The project is a step by Caesars to be a leader in innovation when it comes to casino gaming. The company plans on using the hub to work with emerging student talent as well as technology partners. According to Les Ottolenghi, the chief information officer and executive vice president for Caesars, the facility is being designed to spur both creativity and entrepreneurship that will shape the future of the industry.

Research is expected to be conducted within the facility that will include several technologies that are emerging in the gaming industry, including ideas involving artificial intelligence and blockchain. By conducting research on the emerging technologies within the industry, Caesars will be able to remain on the edge of development. The company will be able to stay ahead of competitors and hopefully provide fresh ideas to the industry.

The education hub is a unique idea that should help to spur development in several sectors. The gaming industry, particularly in Nevada and primarily Las Vegas, is focused now not only on gaming but also on additional amenities. The younger generations are not as apt to play the slots and table games like the older generations. Newer amenities are being added to casinos to focus on offering something for the younger crowd.

The new educational hub should help Caesars be able to develop products and/or amenities that will meet visitor demand. It will certainly be interesting to see how the expensive development of an educational center will assist the industry and what comes from the research and experiments completed onsite.

Casino Self-Ban Program a Hot Topic In Louisiana

Summary: The self-exclusion program for Louisiana casinos is being discussed after a lawmaker admitted a gambling addiction and using the program.

In states where gambling is legalized, programs have been created where casinos can choose to exclude players from gambling or players can choose to self-exclude. The programs are available to help those who are addicted to gambling. In Louisiana, a self-exclusion program has been available for over ten years but is not well-known among residents of the state. A lawmaker recently admitted being addicted to gambling and using the program, which has now brought the program to life.

Issues Arise

Louisiana CasinosSenator Karen Carter Peterson of New Orleans recently disclosed that she has a gambling problem. This information came to light in an email from March. Peterson was outed by a television station in New Orleans, stating that the senator had violated her casino ban. The senator placed herself on the list and went to a casino, which she was not supposed to do. She was called out by the news station which now has proponents of the program worried that players will not be as willing to sign up as they will be afraid of keeping their identity private.

State Police are in charge of the self-exclusion program and keep the information private, for the most part. Lt. Nick Manale stated after the news broke that the Louisiana State Police will not comment on the process of the program out of respect to those who use it for personal challenges.

The police were contacted by the media and refused to provide information about the program including how many people are self-banned. Some members of the agency are worried that the news of the senator being on the list and being called out will keep addicts from placing their name on the list.

In February, Peterson went to the L’Auberge Casino which is located in Baton Rouge. She received a misdemeanor summons after gambling at the casino since she is on the self-ban list. A recent post on Facebook by the senator revealed that she has been an addict of gambling for many years, calling the condition a disease.

According to the senator, she was in the program and consented the officials to escort her out if she was spotted in a gambling facility. Her actions resulted in the court summons. She violated the voluntary ban due to what she called challenging times. The senator admitted that the program works as it should and she regrets failing to uphold her end of the self-ban agreement.

Gambling Addiction in Louisiana

In the United States, program gambling affects around 1% of the adult population. In Louisiana, the state has a gambling hot line that receives around 700 calls a year. The calls are completed by individuals who feel they have a gambling problem.

According to experts, the self-exclusion option to ban oneself from a casino establishment is an effective way to deal with problem gambling. However, there are doubters who feel that the program is hard to enforce and question if the program is even effective.

In Louisiana, to self-exclude, players have to schedule a formal meeting with a state police gaming operations field office. During the meeting, the individual has their picture taken and the photo is given to gaming officials at the casino facilities across the state. Facial recognition software is often used to find individuals who are not supposed to be on site.

Hopefully the recent introduction of the self-exclusion program in the news involving the senator will be a way to positively highlight the program and show others how it can be used as a beneficial tool.

Wire Act Case Arguments to Begin Soon

Summary: The arguments in the case involving the recent Wire Act opinion change by the Department of Justice will begin soon with reports suggesting a decision will be made by May.

When the United States Department of Justice decided to change their opinion of the Wire Act, it sent gaming operators scrambling. When the Wire Act was changed in 2011, after decades of remaining the same, the change allowed states to legalize online gambling. The only stipulation was that interstate sports betting online would not be allowed. Now, the DOJ has changed that opinion to include all interstate online gambling.

Wire Act is being challenged in court soon

Because of the decision, several stakeholders have filed a suit against the DOJ. The New Hampshire Lottery Commission is one such group, ready to take on the federal government and ensure their iGaming industry stays intact. Arguments in the case begin in less than two weeks and according to the executive director of the NH Lottery Commission, a decision could be made as early as May.

Legal Challenge

Charles McIntyre, the executive director of the New Hampshire Lottery Commission, recently spoke with Online Poker Report on the case. McIntyre expects the judge to make a decision before May comes to an end.

According to McIntyre, the issue is a statutory one. There is much to consider because the law was put on the books before the internet was created. Most older laws in the US have been updated to reflect the changes in technology. This one has not. McIntyre feels that Judge Paul J. Barbadoro, the one presiding over the case, will be considerate and take 30 to 40 days to come to a decision.

It was in January that the updated opinion was made public to include all forms of interstate gaming. The Wire Act was first created in 1961 to fight activities of the mob, including illegal sports betting operations. With the 2011 opinion, the DOJ made changes so that the internet was considered and states could legalize online poker, casino and lottery gaming.

Now that the new opinion has been made, states that offer online gaming are at risk. The New Hampshire Lottery Commission wasted no time in challenging the ruling. They filed a lawsuit in district court in the city of Concord. Other states and groups can tag along by filing an amicus brief.

What’s the Deal?

With the change, interstate gambling is at risk. Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada all work together to offer interstate online poker gaming. With the new Wire Act ruling, this would have to come to an end. Several states also take part in online lottery gaming. Such games as the Powerball can be played in multiple states. The DOJ’s new opinion of the Wire Act now puts hundreds of millions of dollars at risk as lotteries are unsure if they are in compliance or not with the changes.

Several possible issues have been under consideration, including payment problems and server locations. Several companies that operate in New Jersey are planning on offering online gaming services in Pennsylvania as well. Before the rule change, the operators could have used servers for iGaming in New Jersey to service Pennsylvania sites. Now, such operators will have to set up servers in Pennsylvania to be in compliance.

With payment issues, operators are worried that financial institutions will once again be leery of processing deposits based on the DOJ ruling. If this occurs, sites will have a problem providing financial options for their members.

The hearing is set to begin on April 11th. Hopefully we will know something soon as to what will happen to the online gambling industry in the US. Will the Wire Act be changed back to its 2011 format, or possibly changed yet again?

Pennsylvania Truck Stops May Lose VGTs Via New Bill

Summary: Truck stops may not be able to operate video gambling terminals if a new bill banning the option is approved.

In Pennsylvania, a gaming reform package was passed into law in late 2017. The package allowed for several expansions within the state’s existing gambling industry, including video gambling terminals at truck stops that met certain criteria. Now, a lawmaker has decided that VGTs do not need to be allowed and has introduced legislation to try and stop the games from being placed in the local truck stops.

Bill Would Stop VGTs

PennsylvaniaSenator Scott Martin introduced a bill in January that would give the local communities of the state more control over VGT placement. The bill has five cosponsors already and has sat within a Senate committee for some time.

If the bill is able to move forward, a municipality would be able to decide if they do not want to allow the video gambling terminals in their community. The area would have to alert the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board of their decision.

If a municipality decides to void VGT options, they can reverse their decision in the future. A new resolution would need to be sent to the Gaming Control Board to reverse the decision. If a license has been provided in a region for VGTs at a truck stop and a municipality decides to void the option, then the Board will have to provide a refund to the license holder.

Gambling at truck stops has already been in operation since the decision was made in 2017 to allow VGTs. Senator Martin has not been a fan of how the gaming option has progressed. In speaking with Transport Topics, Martin stated that the applications for VGTs are propping up everywhere.

Facilities such as rest stops are making requests to change their property in order to meet criteria to offer the gaming option. According to the Senator, the local governments and citizens are not happy that the applications of VGTs continue to pop up.

Pushing for Support

Since last year, Martin has been pushing for support of his measure. he sent a letter to lawmakers in December 2018 that cited the gaming reform package allowed local governments to choose to opt out of category four gaming, the satellite casino portion of the bill. He felt that the same should be allowed for the VGTs as well.

An opt-out was provided for VGT gaming but it was only offered to counties where there was already a casino of a category 1, 2 or 3 variety. A total of 10 counties out of 12 decided to opt out.

According to Martin, municipalities that do not wish to have such gaming expansions in their community should have the option to say no if they so choose. The senator feels that the people of the state should have the ability to maintain their individual culture as well as protect their community.

The bill now sits within the Community, Economic and Recreational Development committee in the senate. As of yet, the committee does not have any meetings scheduled to review the bill.

It would seem the lawmakers will not really be on board for banning the VGTs when they were already agreeable to the 2017 gaming package. However, if Martin can garner enough support, the bill may push forward. We may see the state fall back when it comes to gaming expansions, despite the fact that they were able to move forward in several areas when the gaming package was first approved.

Only time will tell what will happen with VGTs in Pennsylvania. It may be weeks or even months before we see any movement with the bill sponsored by Martin.

Sugar House Sportsbook Planning March Madness Parties

Summary: With sports betting in full swing, SugarHouse Sportsbook is planning to offer March Madness viewing parties.

Sports betting is in full swing in several areas across the United States and is only expected to get bigger. After the United States Supreme Court ruled in May 2018 that sports betting was no longer an illegal activity, states wasted no time passing legislation and getting started offering services.

In Pennsylvania, several casinos are offering sports betting options, as they also prepare to launch online casino gaming. Sugar House is a land-based venue that already offers online gaming in New Jersey and they have a sportsbook in Pennsylvania. The brand’s sportsbook in PA is set to offer something special this month due to March Madness.

March Mania

Known as March Mania, the SugarHouse Sportsbook will be offering betting options on all games during the Division one championship series. The option will include the bracket format, even offering wagering on the first four games of the tournament series.

During the tournament, the casino will be hosting viewing parties titled March Mania. During these parties, players will be able to win tickets to the final game along with airfare and accommodations. During the series, the casino will offered seats at their sportsbook and Fishtown Hops.

Guests of the casino will be able to watch each game for free, including the championship event on April 8th, but only at Fishtown Hops. The sportsbook will require a paid reservation.

Sports Betting on March Madness

Sugar House CasinoEvery state that currently offers sports betting expects the NCAA tournament to be a big draw for bettors. Aside from the Super Bowl, the March Madness basketball tournament should be the next big producer of revenues for sportsbooks.

During the event, players will be able to place wagers on games via the six betting windows of the sportsbook as well as kiosks. Two of the kiosks will be removed from the sportsbook during the series and moved to Fishtown Hops so viewers there can place wagers.

Players who wager on the games from now until March 24th via the QuickBet function will be given a chance to win the prize package on offer. With QuickBet, players can place wagers at a fast pace, creating a betting slip at their own convenience.

Estimates have been made as to how much money will be generated by NCAA March Madness betting, but we will only know for real once the betting slips are in. It is expected that hundreds of millions will be placed on the NCAA games. Depending on the outcome of the bets, the casinos in Pennsylvania like the SugarHouse, as well as venues across the US, will be able to benefit from the popular tournament series.

In general, fans of March Madness will take part in work place pools or betting with friends, where maybe $10 to $20 is wagered per person. Now that the option to bet on the event is legalized, it will not be surprising to see much money spent by bettors. After March Madness comes to an end, we will get to see just how popular the series really is and how it will affect the new sports betting industry in the US.

Online Gambling Legislation Steams Ahead in West Virginia

Summary: Legislation involving online gambling is quickly gaining ground in West Virginia, with only two more stops until it becomes a legal activity.

Online gambling has been available in the United States on a restricted basis since 2013. That year, Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware began offering iGaming and have not looked back since. Hundreds of millions have been earned and within the past few years, more states have considered joining in. Back in 2017, Pennsylvania passed online gambling legislation and should get started sometime this year. Now it seems that another state could be in the mix, if the final two steps in the legislative process prove to have a positive outcome.

West Virginia Steaming Ahead

After passing sports betting legislation and launching services a few months ago, West Virginia is now making headlines again. The state is the next in line to potentially join the handful of others who offer online poker and casino gaming. The state was able to see a bill pass within the House last month that will authorize poker and casino games online.

West Virginia CasinosHouse Bill 2934 was approved by the House and then sent on to the Senate. The West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act was then changed a bit by senate members and voted upon. The bill was approved by a vote of 26 to 7. The bill must now go back to the House for consideration and if approved, will sit on the desk of Governor Jim Justice for signing.

The House will have to approve the minor changes before it can move on to the Governor’s desk for approval. If signed into law, West Virginia will become the 5th state in the US to legalize online poker and the fourth to offer online casino gaming, as Nevada is strictly an online poker state.

Details of the Bill

Under House Bill 2934, the state’s Lottery would be in charge of regulating online gambling. The five casinos in the state would have the ability to apply for licensing. The state will set a tax rate of 15% on gross online gaming revenues. It is anticipating that West Virginia will be able to earn $5.9 million every fiscal year by way of tax revenues once the new industry is fully implemented.

A license would be good for five years and come at a cost of $250,000. To renew the license, operators would have to pay a $100,000 fee. With the help of technology partners, the land-based casinos in the state can offer online slot games, table games and poker based on the language of the bill.

To make sure gaming is taking place within state borders, geolocation technology would be used. The technology ensures that players are located in West Virginia and not another state.

Before, the tax rate was set at 10%. However, an amendment was made to push the rate a bit higher at 15%. There was a debate to increase the tax even further, to 35%. This was not done though as lawmakers felt that the bill would die due to the high rate.

If passed into law, the bill would take time to implement. It is expected that online casinos could launch by the end of the year, as the bill would take effect in a 90 day time frame. However, it was expected that Pennsylvania would launch rather quickly and we are still waiting on those sites to launch.

With the West Virginia bill, the Lottery will have to examine regulations that other states have implemented involving online gambling and adopt a similar plan. For now, the bill must be considered once again before moving on to the Governor. We will certainly keep an eye on these developments and report as details are provided.

Texas Representative Introduces Casino Legislation

Summary: A representative for the state of Texas has introduced new legislation that would create 12 destination resorts.

While many states offer casino gaming, there are still some in the United States that shy away from the activity. Texas is one such state, not home to traditional casino gaming. One representative would like to see that change. State Representative Roland Gutierrez has introduced House Bill 3043, a measure that would see 12 destination resorts created in Texas.

New Legislation

Texas CasinosAccording to Gutierrez, House Bill 3043 would bring commercial casino gaming to Texas. According to the Rep. the state has to change and lawmakers are open to gaming discussions. The request is not for casinos on every corner, but to see the state become involved in the industry.

Gutierrez has stated that Texas is currently losing out on billions as neighboring states offer full-scale gambling and residents of the state are taking advantage of slot and table gaming. Players from Texas can easily visit Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma to take part in tribal and/or commercial casino offerings. Arkansas just recently approved commercial casino gaming.

Texas does have one casino that is operated by the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle, but the vast square footage of the state makes the venue far away from most consumers. With his bill, Gutierrez would make casino gaming more accessible in all areas of the state.

Legislation Specifics

House Bill 3043 does not list specifics, such as how much a license would cost. However, it does set the Texas Lottery Commission as the one in charge of the new industry. They would set the price points for fees in order to cover the costs to the state for the administration of casino gaming.

Revenues from license cost, the renewal of licensing and taxes would go towards the general revenue fund. It could then be used from there for whatever is deemed necessary. Gutierrez would like to see gaming used as a way to bring new revenues to the state instead of relying on other means such as raising the property tax paid by residents of the state.

If the bill were to pass into law, it would have to still go through a voter referendum process. Voters would have to choose if they want to see a casino created in their community. However, the bill would first have to be signed by Governor Greg Abbott. In the past, Abbott has stated his opposition of casino gaming, so he might not be willing to approve such legislation.

For now, the legislation will have to be considered and go through the process of moving forward. Gutierrez is hopeful that the bill will be accepted by his fellow lawmakers. If Texas is to stay competitive with their neighbors, they will have to offer some form of gambling aside from the slim pickings they already provide.

Most states are looking at gambling in some form or fashion to be able to create revenues needed for education, funding road work, senior care and other programs. Millions of dollars stand to be gained and states that have budget shortfalls can certainly stand to gain by having the extra income.

Golden Nugget of AC Making Move to Be Top Overall Operator

Summary: While the Golden Nugget is the top earner with online gambling in the New Jersey, they have recently made moves to take over the number one spot regarding gambling as a whole in the state.

Over the past few years, the Golden Nugget has cemented themselves as the top earner when it comes to legal online gambling. Holding the majority market share, the Golden Nugget was the first to hit the $5 million monthly revenue mark as well as surpass the $10 million mark and show no signs of slowing down. The brand has done so well and have continued to grow in other ways, now with the potential to surpass the Borgata as the number one overall operator in NJ.

Hoping for First Place

Golden Nugget New JerseyThe month of January was a good one for the Golden Nugget as the operator was able to reach the number two spot for overall gambling revenue in Atlantic City. They are gaining closely to the Borgata and hope to take over the number one spot soon. For 2018, the Golden Nugget ranked 4thamong the nine operating casinos in the state so the move to number two in January is promising.

It is interesting to note the progression of the Golden Nugget over the years. Back in 2008, the casino was in bad shape, under the operation of Trump Entertainment Resorts. The company has come a long way in the past few years, easily becoming a dominating force in the industry.

Owned now by Tilman Fertitta, a billionaire from Texas and the owner of the Houston Rockets NBA team, the casino has been under his direction since 2011. With the acquisition, Fertitta paid $38 million for the facility. He then invested $150 million to make the venue competitive in the region. The casino was redone within the interior as well as the exterior, creating a more comfortable and enticing environment.

During the first year of operation, the casino was able to earn just over $130 million. This was the first time the venue experienced double digit growth in many years. Fast forward to January, the Golden Nugget earned $26.7 million in gambling revenues. This is not too far behind the $55.8 million earned by the first place Borgata.

It is unclear as to if the Golden Nugget will be able to catch the Borgata when it comes to overall gambling earnings. The brand is far superior when it comes to online gambling, but lag behind when considering land-based earnings. In the fall and winter, casino visitors are lower than they are in other months, so unless the Golden Nugget can come up with a way to bring in traffic, they may continue to be in second place when compared to the Borgata.

The Golden Nugget is also the smallest casino in Atlantic City, offering only 720 guest rooms. They do not have the capacity as other venues do, such as the Borgata, which can hurt the bottom line.

Overall, the Golden Nugget is doing quite well for themselves, but if they have the ability to move into the number one overall spot is yet to be seen. Hopefully, the casino will continue to see success and we will see an even larger rivalry emerge between the casino and the Borgata as they battle it out for the top spot.

West Virginia Online Gambling Bill Continues to Move Forward

Summary: An online gambling bill in West Virginia continues to move forward, passing yet another hurdle late last week.

While most states in the US seem to be focused on sports betting legislation, West Virginia has their eye on online gambling. The state has seen quick progression of legislation involving online gambling. Already offering sports betting within their borders, West Virginia lawmakers now want to get in on the online gambling market.

H 2934

West Virginia CasinosIn the state, lawmakers of the House passed H 2934 with the lower chamber approving the measure with a vote of 72 to 22. The bill would legalize online casino and poker gaming in the state. Titled the West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act, the measure is now headed towards the Senate. The House was in heavy favor of the measure and it is believed that the Senate will be just as approving.

If the State Senate approves the measure, the online gambling bill will move on to Governor Jim Justice’s desk to be signed into law. If signed, West Virginia would become the 5th state in the US to have legalized online gambling.

The bill was introduced by Delegate Jason Barrett and has 10 fellow co-sponsors. The bill would allow existing casinos in the state to offer online casino and poker gaming. Players would have to be physically located in the state to take part in gaming online.

The bill will set a tax rate at 15% for revenues generated and operators will have to pay a relatively low fee of $250,000 for licensing. All around, the bill seems to be accepted by lawmakers and gaming operators alike, with the potential to pass before the current session comes to an end.

Will the New Wire Act Opinion get in the Way?

Many analysts are pondering whether or not the new opinion of the Wire Act by the Department of Justice will play a role in the online gambling bill’s passage. Just a few months ago, the DOJ announced that the Wire Act no longer applied to solely online interstate sports betting but all online interstate gambling.

Concerns were raised that the change would cause lawmakers in West Virginia to move forward with caution. However, the opinion does not seem to have affected the efforts of lawmakers to see online gambling come to pass in the state. Other states are also considering online gambling legislation including Michigan and Kentucky.

Hopefully, as West Virginia continues their efforts, it will encourage others to do the same. Certainly, if lawmakers legalize online gambling in the state, it will push others to follow suit.

In the US, Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware have established successful online gambling industries and have been in operation since 2013. Pennsylvania passed legislation in 2017 and should get started sometime this year. If West Virginia were to pass legislation as well, it might have a snowball effect. We could see several states begin to propose online gambling legislation to see iGaming offered within their borders.

All eyes will be on West Virginia in the coming days and weeks as the Senate begins reviewing the measure. Supporters are sure to go crazy if the Senate votes in approval of the measure. If that is the outcome, the governor will simply have to sign the measure for online gaming to become a reality in the state. Hopefully that is outcome we will see and the online gaming market in the United States will become just a little bit larger!

We will stay up to date on the latest developments and report as new information is provided.

Online Gambling Bill Moves Forward in West Virginia

Summary: Legislation involving online gambling in West Virginia moves forward

After becoming one of the first states in the US to legalize and launch sports betting, West Virginia is now on the path to legalizing online gambling. A new bill has emerged, paving the way for the state to become involve in iGaming. H 2934 has seen a substitute bill advance within the House Judiciary Committee during a scheduled hearing yesterday. The bill now moves on to a second committee.

Moving Quickly

West Virginia CasinosThe bill was able to pass within the House committee and will now be reviewed in a second committee. To be legalized, the bill will have to move fast as the regular session ends on March 9th, only a few weeks away.

The primary sponsor of the West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act is Delegate Jason Barrett. With 10 other co-sponsors, the bill is supported by both republicans and democrats. The bill would allow the five casinos in the state to offer online gambling. Included in the mix would be table games, slots and poker.

The West Virginia Lottery Commission would be in charge and licensing would cost $250,000 each. In a statement, Delegate Barrett said that West Virginia seeks to lead the charge once again by permitting their land-based casinos to provide gaming online via electronic devices. If approved, the option would bring millions of dollars in revenues to the state.

Within the bill, criminal penalties have been created for any online gambling operators who are not authorized to offer services in the state. This could include such brands as Bovada and Ignition, online casinos that offer services in the US.

Tax Percentage Increased

In the initial bill, a tax was set for online gambling at 10%. Yesterday, the committee decided to change that number to 15%. However, there were still some lawmakers who felt that the number was still too low. Delegate Tom Fast wanted to see the tax rate increased to 35%. Others argued that the 15% was on point with other states that have passed online gambling legislation.

In New Jersey, the tax is set at 15% on the high end and Nevada has a lower tax of 6.75%. The amendment was moved forward in the end with a 15% tax rate.

Now that the bill has passed within the subcommittee, it still has a way to go before it can become law. The bill moves on to the Finance sector next, where it will be reviewed by more lawmakers. Of the committee set to review, Delegate Eric Householder is the chair. Householder is a cosponsor so it would not be surprising to see the bill advance directly to the floor.

If the House passes the measure, it will then move on to the Senate. It would have to pass within the Senate as well to then reach Governor Jim Justice’s desk. The current session is short so lawmakers will have to act fast in order to see the bill pass into law.

Hopefully, we will see the measure continue to advance at a rapid pace and online gambling will become a reality in the state. It has been over a year since Pennsylvania approved online gambling and the state has yet to start offering services. It would be great to see another state in the mix.

NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement Approves Netent Permanent License

Summary: The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has approved NetEnt has a permanent license holder when it comes to online gambling.

The state of New Jersey is the top earner when it comes to online gambling. The state continues to hit new milestones and set new records when it comes to online casino and poker gaming. The state now offers online sports betting, which is only going to propel the monthly revenue totals even higher. Operators and game suppliers from around the world as well as inside the United States want to offer their services in New Jersey. The market is a golden one, set to be successful indefinitely. For NetEnt, their license as casino supplier was recently updated, allowing the company to permanently offer services in the region.

Permanent Casino Supplier

NetEntNetEnt has secured a permanent license to remain as a casino supplier in New Jersey indefinitely. The company is now focusing their efforts on their New Jersey offering and also securing an expansion into the online gambling market of Pennsylvania.

The Swedish provider offers quality online gaming content that is offered to players from around the world. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement decided to give the company permanent licensing after they had been in operation for other three years in the region.

NetEnt was given a Casino Service Industry Enterprise license that is now permanent. The license is the first one for company in the United States of this kind and they hope to continue to expand into other areas in the nation.

The company first applied for a license in the state back in 2015. Regulators gave the company a transactional waiver to be able to provide products and services while their application remained under review. During the three+ years that the company was in operation, they were able to create partnerships with several casinos in Atlantic City to further their reach within the region.

In Atlantic City, NetEnt was first operational via Resorts Casino. They then formed partnerships and launched online via such operators as the Borgata, Ocean Resort Casino and the Hard Rock Atlantic City and more.

Moving into Pennsylvania

Because NetEnt has been so successful in New Jersey, they hope to see the same success as they move into other markets. Pennsylvania is the latest state in the US to be ready to start offering online gaming. The state legalized iGaming in late 2017 and 2018 was spent setting up regulations, approving licensing and setting up partnerships.

This year, the state is set to launch digital services and NetEnt wants to be involved. Executives of the company feel that

Pennsylvania will be launching later on as regulatory requirements have been changed. NetEnt is also taking a look at the recent Wire Act changes and want to see how the federal government plans on enforcing their new ruling where all interstate online gambling is considered illegal.

While the change is something to consider, the company does not feel that the new opinion will affect their plans to further expand within the US. It will be interesting to watch as the company continues to offer services in New Jersey and hopefully gets started in Pennsylvania in the future.

New York Online Sports Betting Might Not Be Easy to Accomplish

Summary: New York gaming regulators are considering mobile and online sports betting, but voters might not be on board.

In New York, legislation to allow sports betting to take place in the state was passed back in 2013. However, at the time, a federal ban was in place regarding the industry. In May 2018, the United States Supreme Court decided to rule that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was invalid. This decision allowed states like New York to get started with sports betting.

The state has been slow going in their efforts to launch the new wagering option. The New York Gaming Commission has been busy crafting rules and regulations, with the option only available to casino venues. Mobile gaming and online options are not considered legal based on state law.

Mobile Gaming

New YorkNew York can add mobile gaming to the mix, but Governor Andrew Cuomo believes that the option can only come about if an amendment is added to the constitution. With this route, the state would have to see an amendment approved by the Assembly and Senate, then placed on a ballot for voter consideration.

This could take as long as three years to complete. In the meantime, the state would be restricted to on-site sports betting. This restriction would definitely put a damper on the amount of revenues the state could bring in. Mobile usage is basically a given when it comes to gambling these days. Players want to have access to their games on the go and mobile allows them to do so.

Neighbor to New York, New Jersey, offers mobile options and will most likely take on a little New York traffic as visitors cross state lines to place wagers online.

Would Voters Approve?

If an amendment to the constitution is required, voters would essentially have to approve the idea. As of right now, approval might not be so easy to secure. Based on a recent Siena College poll, voters are split as to how they see mobile gambling via sports betting.

44% are for and 44% are against. A remaining 12% have no opinion on the matter. So, it seems the proponents of mobile sports betting will have to convince voters that the option is a good one to see it come to fruition, if an amendment is needed.

Other lawmakers do not feel that the decision needs to require an amendment. For now, discussions are ongoing as to how the state can proceed in general with land-based offerings as well as how to move on with online options.

The state is only going to fall further and further behind if they cannot get started in general. Having land-based sports betting will be a good starting point, but will not bring in the large amount of revenues as can be seen with mobile gambling.

It seems over the next few weeks or even days, we should see the state legislature decide how they wish to proceed. We may see land-based gaming stay at the forefront and mobile options be pushed to the wayside as the state just wants to get the ball rolling with the new industry.

Ohio Senator Feels Optimistic for Sports Betting Legalization

Summary: Sports betting legislation is up for discussion in Ohio, with one senator optimistic that the option will come to pass in the state.

Senator John Eklund of Ohio is a strong supporter of sports betting for his state. He has plans to introduce legislation involving the gambling industry, and feels hopeful that the bill he creates will be able to move forward.

Getting Started:

OhioEklund spoke with Legal Sports Report recently, stating that he feels the chances of a bill passing are better than 50/50. The Senator feels that the number of groups and organizations that support the option are far more than those who are opposed.

S 316 is a placeholder bill created by Eklund and Senator Sean O’Brien, one that would at least get the subject on the table for discussion. In the House, a companion bill has been created by Dan Greenspan. Eklund plans on having the details of S 316 ready by the end of the month to hopefully get the ball rolling with sports betting legislation.

The Senator began discussing sports betting in 2018 and at the time, was not in favor of mobile wagering. In the beginning, Eklund believed that the safeguards were not in place and mobile wagering would be unsafe for the younger generation. However, he is now aware of how the option can be offered with security measures in place.

Are Integrity Fees Considered?

Eklund understands that professional sports leagues are interested in integrity fees and want to be given a payment for protecting their games. Eklund is not so sure that the integrity fees need to be paid. For now, it seems the Senator is not going to offer this option. However, he has said that he will see about what will be done in the future.

Currently, leagues are not being paid integrity fees from the billions wagers legally as well as illegally in the United States. So far, the majority of the states offering sports betting are not providing integrity fees and they feel that the leagues are already ensuring integrity so why should they pay now?

Big revenues should be on the way if sports betting is approved in Ohio. To get the ball rolling, Eklund will be filling in his placeholder bill from 2018. However, the process has taken longer than the Senator has expected it to.

Stakeholders are agreeable that Ohio should have regulated sports betting. There are limitations as to how much the new industry would create for the state, but it would be new revenues none the less. There will be issues that will have to be dealt with involving the new industry such as what type of betting will be allowed, who will be able to offer wagering, who the regulator will be and if online gaming will be offered.

According to Eklund, he has already received four different drafted bills from stakeholders involving sports betting. Shareholders include fraternal organizations, racetracks and casinos. It seems several groups are interested, so all the details will have to be hammered out before the bill can move forward.

It will be interesting to see how the state progresses once the bill is filled in by Senator Eklund. Ohio might soon be the next state to get started in the sports betting industry.

Online Gaming Continues to Be A Success in New Jersey

Summary: 2018 was a stellar year for New Jersey regarding online gaming and 2019 is setting up to be just as successful.

In 2018, the online casinos of New Jersey enjoyed a record-breaking year. The industry was able to break revenue revenues six times out of 12 months and came close to hitting the $30 million mark in December, just narrowly missing out on yet another milestone. The state saw many highs last year and 2019 is setting up to be no different!

Highlights of 2018

New JerseyLast year, several factors contributed to the state’s success involving online gaming. New Jersey offers both online casino and poker gaming, having also just recently entered into the realm of online sports betting. The state saw great success as many changes came to the overall gambling industry last year.

First, two new casinos opened in the summer, both offering online gaming. The Hard Rock Atlantic City and Ocean Resort Casino opened and started offering both land-based and online services, which helped to increase the overall revenue numbers.

The state’s large portfolio of online casino games has played a large role in the success of iGaming. Players have a nice selection of table games, slots and more, along with live dealer, which makes for a more enticing experience online. Players continue to log in on a regular basis to enjoy the online casino and poker content, which only helps to push the revenue numbers further.

Sports betting legalization and launch also helped to create a stellar 2019. Sports betting is providing both land-based and online gaming revenues, as players can place wagers on site as well as online. It seems that if 2019 continues as 2018 did, the state will only continue to break records.

What’s To Come?

For 2019, it has been predicted by Eilers & Krejcik that as much as $401.5 million will be earned in revenues. The prediction is that the industry will continue to grow and reach new heights, increasing in total growth by over 35%.

The large percentage of growth does seem quite high but could be doable. One must consider that the state will continue to see new online casinos created, additional sports betting operations, and casinos integrating mobile sports betting options.

Sports betting is expected to be huge in the United States and because New Jersey already does quite well with online gaming, sports betting should be a big hit via mobile and online as well. It is expected that the new industry alone will bring in large numbers both online and via land-based wagering.

As to just how much the state will see by way of sports betting is yet to be determined. The new industry is in the early stages. Online sports books as well as land-based offerings are still in the customer acquisition phase. Such players may have gambled online in the past or this may be their first time.

Sports betting reaches a different audience than casino and poker does, so it could be that New Jersey reaches even greater heights when it comes to how much they can earn via sports betting services.

Just like 2018, all eyes will be on New Jersey this year as they continue to dominate the online gambling sector. Be it online casino gaming, poker or sports betting, New Jersey has the perfect formula. Month after month, the state continues to see gains and improvements, showing other states in the US just how online gaming is done. Hopefully, the state will continue to set new records and encourage other states to begin offering services online.

Indiana Gambling Legislation Moves Forward

Summary: A bill involving a casino license and sports betting has moved forward in Indiana.

The Senate Public Policy Committee recently heard testimony supporting a bill involving a casino license and sports betting, choosing to push the bill forward. The bill will allow for Gary’s Lake Michigan casino license to move inland and provides a license to Terre Haute. Also in the mix is sports betting. If passed into law, the bill would allow wagering on professional and college sports.

Moving Forward

IndianaThe bill has a fiscal impact, so it will now be considered by the Senate Appropriations Committee. Gary sent several officials to the hearing to be able to push for support. The mayor of the city, Karen Freeman-Wilson, was on hand along with city council members, senators and more. The officials wanted to show that moving the casino inland would be a huge opportunity for the city.

The mayor has wanted to see the two riverboat casinos move inland so that the Buffington Harbor will be open for development. Now that the casino licensing has been moved, the city will have a blank area in which to use for economic development. The city will be able to provide jobs as well as increase the amount of tax revenues brought to the city.

Senate Bill 552 would provide the city of Gary with a large increase in gaming revenues, money that is much needed. The casinos already 800 jobs will be increased by 400 with construction jobs also available as the inland building is constructed.

The region of Gary has been undergoing a transformation as of late in order to change the perception of the region as well as the reality for the community. According to Mayor Freeman-Wilson, the city is trying to return to a time when they were prosperous. Already, around $1.7 billion has been invested over a seven year time frame in the region.

More than 1,300 vacant buildings or abandoned structures have been demolished or deconstructed to focus on reducing crime in the region and see overall community success.

Sports Betting Component

SB 552 also covers sports betting, an industry that Indiana can also benefit from. States across the US have continued to legalize sports betting after the option became available last May. In Indiana, the bill would allow casinos in the state to offer sports betting.

The measure places rules for the casinos to provide the new wagering option. The Indiana Gaming Commission is also given the ability to create additional regulations. Sports betting is supported by lawmakers as well as professional sports teams in the state including the Colts and IndyCar.

It seems the bill has the full potential to pass into law. Already close to a dozen states have legalized sports betting in some form or fashion. If Indiana is able to pass the legislation, they would be yet another state that gets in on the newest industry in the nation.

Now, we just wait and see what happens to the measure in the Senate Committee. Hopefully, the bill will continue to move forward and we will see Indiana become the next to offer sports betting along with the quality casino changes to the region.

Sports Betting Overtakes Online Gambling Legislation Efforts

Summary: In the US, sports betting legislation efforts have far surpassed online gambling legislation changes.

New YorkIn May 2018, the US Supreme Court decided to rule that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was invalid. This Act was what was keeping most every state in the nation from taking part in sports betting activities. Over the past few months, state after state have begun or completed the process of legalizing the new industry. This year alone, several states have moved forward with legislative efforts to get in on the action. Lawmakers are much more receptive to sports betting than online gambling legislation with sports betting now tracking much more action than iGaming.

Busy Year

2019 is already setting up to become a stellar year for sports betting. So far, several states have started the discussion or introduced legislation to get the ball rolling with sports betting. Texas, Arizona, Iowa, Oregon, Massachusetts, Washington D.C. and many other states are focusing on sports betting legislation. But what about online poker or casino gaming? Thankfully, there are still states that are interested in launching these industries as well.

New York is one such state that is still considering online gambling. Lawmakers in NY are focusing on trying to see online poker move forward, though progress has been slow going. Senator Joseph Addabbo has taken over as the chairman of the Senate Gaming Committee and is the newest sponsor of legislation involving online poker.

Senator Addabbo has decided to reintroduce legislation first created by former Senator John Bonacic. S18 would legalize online poker and regulate the activity as a game of skill. However, sports betting is currently taking center stage, being considered in the House and Senate in mobile and online form.

Virginia is also a state still considering online gaming. Currently, the topic of debate is sports betting but one bill on file focuses on online gaming as well. Several sports betting bills are on the table with one focused on allowing the state lottery to sell tickets online and take sports bets online as well.

H 2210 was able to move past the Committee on Rules last month with a strong vote of 14 to 2. However, the legislation is on hold at the moment. The state does not have any land-based casinos, so how online gaming and sports betting would take place is still being worked out.

Still Being Considered

Even though the sports betting has taken center stage, there are states that are still considering online gambling. Even with sports betting legislation efforts, some states are adding in other elements, such as online gaming in generalized form. This could open up the door for online casino and poker gaming in the future.

So, as we continue in the New Year, all eyes will be on states that are focused on enhancing their gambling industries. How many more states will legalize sports betting in the coming months? Will states focus on online casino and poker gaming as well? Only time will tell what will happen. As always, we will stay tuned to all new updates and keep our players in the know as to what’s going on around the nation by way of newly introduced legislation.

Caesars Atlantic City Properties Affected By New Competition

Summary: The two new casinos in Atlantic City as well as neighboring state competition have caused Caesars three properties in New Jersey to decline in guest hotel stays as well as revenues.

In June 2018, the Hard Rock Atlantic City and the Ocean Resort Casino both opened for business, on the same day no less. With the launch of two new gaming properties in Atlantic City, current operating casinos were expecting to be affected in some manner. There were seven casinos operating in the region and this would bring about even more competition. Caesars Entertainment Corp operates three properties in Atlantic City and all three were subject to lower guest stays as well as a decrease in revenues due to the new competition.

AC Casinos Affected

Caesars Entertainment CorpCaesars owns the Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City, Caesars Atlantic City and the Bally’s Atlantic City casinos. Each venue has operated in the region for decades and has been successful. However, once the new casinos opened up, the three began to see issues. When looking at the seven total properties operating in the region before the two new venues were opened, the Caesars properties were hit the hardest.

When looking at hotel stays, the numbers were down. Bally’s even downsized the number of rooms they offer, and they still saw a decrease in overall stays. Before the two new venues opened, the Caesars Entertainment Chief Financial Officer, Eric Hession, stated that he felt the properties would take a hit. The new casinos would cause issues along with the competition that continues to build in neighboring states such as New York and Pennsylvania.

Number Breakdown

Looking at the individual numbers for each casinos, the declines can easily be seen. Harrah’s Atlantic City earned $332.9 million in gaming revenues for 2018 which is a decrease from the previous year of 8.4%. However, despite the decline, the casino still came in 3rd place among the nine total venues for last year’s earnings.

Caesars earned $326.9 million and Bally’s earned the least at $191.9 million. Caesars was down 11.2% and Bally’s was down 9.1%. The results saw Caesars finish in 4th place while Bally’s was in 6th by the end of the year.

Expert analysts suggest that the Caesars properties are struggling due to the lack of investment by the parent company. Caesars and Bally’s are two of the oldest properties in the region and could benefit from capital investment. Harrah’s has seen an investment by Caesars, with $56 million being spent this year on renovating and rebranding the Harbour Tower, the oldest hotel tower of the facility.

For Caesars and Bally’s to see a turn around, some type of investment will have to be made. The company is making efforts to revitalize their operations in Atlantic City, having spent around $200 million within a four year time frame with more changes yet to come this year.

Along with their land-based operations, the company also focuses on online poker and casino gaming. It will be interesting to see how the brand fares with their three land-based facilities as well as with online services in 2019. Competition will continue to build as Pennsylvania begins to offer online gaming as well as satellite casinos, VGTs are added and sports betting.

Caesars may continue to see declines if competition continues to be a factor.

Online Sportsbooks Launches via Hard Rock Atlantic City

Summary: The Hard Rock Atlantic City Casino has launched their online sports book this week.

Sports betting is fully operational in New Jersey, with several operators offers land based as well as online gaming options. The state continues to soar above the rest of the nation by way of gambling offerings, with online gaming taking center stage. New Jersey is one of only a handful of states that offers online sports betting along with casino and poker games. This week, the Hard Rock Atlantic City launched their online sportsbook, offering one more option for visitors to the state.

Soft Launch Begins

Hard Rock Atlantic CityBefore a sportsbook can be fully operational, they must complete a soft launch. The online sportsbook did so over the weekend, going live soon after they were given conditional approval by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. The testing phase is basically done with the sportsbook operating in full force.

The site opened just in time as the Super Bowl is this weekend, the busiest weekend of the year for sports betting companies. With the launch, the Hard Rock sportsbook becomes the 10th online offering in New Jersey. The option is the first for the Hard Rock, as the brand decided to go online first before opening their land-based option.

Partnered with Gaming Innovation Group

The Hard Rock sportsbook is being powered by the Gaming Innovation Group, a company based in Malta. The company is also behind the brand’s online casino, an offering that launched not long after the land-based casino opened in June of last year.

For Hard Rock customers, the sportsbook and the casino have a shared walled. This makes it easy for players to enjoy online casino games as well as sports betting. Players can easily switch back and forth to whatever they wish to enjoy.

Several sports are available for wagering at Hard Rock including the popular sports of auto racing, basketball, baseball, boxing, golf, tennis, MMA, football, soccer and more.

As for the retail sportsbook, the Hard Rock has provided information since last year on what they will be providing. Officials targeted this year as the opening date, but it will most likely be some time before the land-based venue is ready to open.

In the past, the Hard Rock International SVP of online gaming, Kresimir Spajic, commented that the partnership with GiG has shown the company is innovative, capable and flexible, with the qualities coming together to ensure a quality sportsbook for the casino. Hard Rock felt that their extension with GiG involving their partnership will enable the brand to reach their goal of beginning the online gaming and sports betting leader in New Jersey.

Now it will be interesting to see how the online sportsbook fares. By the end of February, there will be a full month of operation figures to review. How much the sportsbook takes in will be a good indicator as to how successful the brand will be in this new venture.

The sportsbetting option will bring about even more revenues to the state, as the gambling industry continues to grow at a rapid pace with no signs of slowing down. We will report on the figures as they are released so that our readers can see how the state is progressing with their huge gambling industry, both online and land-based.

Tribal Sports Gaming Being Considered in Arizona

Summary: Legislation has been introduced in Arizona to legalize tribal sports betting, an option that would be a first for the United States.

Across the United States, Native American tribes operate casino gaming. Tribes that have been federally recognized have the right to operate casinos on reservation lands. With changes taking place in the gambling landscape of the US, with sports betting now an option, tribal groups want in on the action. In Arizona, a new bill was introduced last week that would legalize sports betting for tribes. This would be a first in the US, distinguishing the option for Native Americans.

New Bill

Arizona CasinosLast Wednesday, three state officials of Arizona introduced a bill that would allow federally recognized tribes to offer electronic sports betting kiosks. These kiosks could be located off reservation lands, in venues such as stadiums, clubs and bars. The tribes that could operate such sports betting options would have to have a state gaming compact with the state to be approved for sports betting operations.

The legislation would allow anyone over 21 to lease the machines from the tribe and offer the kiosks in their establishments. Examples of such facilities include the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Affairs, private clubs that often offer gaming.

An existing law would place a cap on the amount of machines a tribe can offer. Additional machines are not included in this legislation. State lawmakers see the option as a great way for the state to be able to have more revenues.

Wagers placed within a casino would be taxed at 8.5% as set in a gaming compact sharing agreement. Wagers from the kiosks that are located off-site would be taxed at a lower 6.5% rate based on adjusted gross receipts.

Estimated Revenues

Studies have been conducted as to just how much revenue the sports betting machines could bring to the state. A study from 2017 by Oxford revealed that as much as $26 million could be created from a 10% tax rate. Another study estimated a wider range, from just over $480,000 to $2.3 million.

There is worry that the new sports betting option, if approved, would hurt the lottery. Research has suggested that sports betting takes away from other items such as the lottery. This may hurt the legislation going forward if some lawmakers are worried that the new option would take away from lottery earnings.

The bill’s language also may leave off-track betting venues from taking part in sports betting, which may also cause a problem. The bill restricts the kiosks to facilities that have a 6, 7 or 14 liquor license. Venues without such licensing are unable to apply for the new gaming option. This restriction as put in place to keep such machines out of restaurants and grocery stores to protect families.

The type of wagers allowed via the new option have yet to be determined. The Arizona Department of Gaming will be in charge of determining what will be offered. The bill has an emergency clause so that it will go into effect immediately once the governor signs it. Even if the measure does pass, it may be some time before the department determines what type of gaming can be offered in the state.

All eyes will be on the new bill and if this will be the first time a Native American tribe is given such rights to operate sports betting games.

Online Lottery Better Be Legalized with Online Sports Betting Says Massachusetts Treasurer

Summary: As online sports betting is being considered in Massachusetts, one official says that online lottery gaming better be included as well.

Since the United States Supreme Court ruled in May of 2018 that sports betting can now be legalized in individual states, lawmakers have been rushing with legislation to get in on the action. Several states have already legalized sports betting, both online and in land-based form. In Massachusetts, online sports betting is under consideration and the state treasurer is now calling for online lottery gaming as well.

With One Should Come the Other

The Massachusetts Gaming CommissionDeborah Goldberg, the State Treasurer, commented recently after a Lottery Commission meeting that if sports betting goes online then the lottery needs to be able to offer online services as well. The state almost passed legislation three years ago to allow online ticket sales but the proposal being considered died without moving forward.

Now, sports betting is being considered and it seems online lottery gaming may soon be back in the mix. Goldberg supports online sales and wants to see the state get started in offering this option. As consideration has been given to online casino and poker games, Goldberg has urged online lottery sales as well. The treasurer says that the state cannot continue to be successful unless they modernize their offerings.

And she is right. As gambling continues to evolve, players are more likely to access services if they can do so online. Players want to be able to enjoy their favorite games on the go and not be tied to a desktop computer. The wave of the future involving online gambling is mobile usage and those who do not offer such options will fall behind.

With an online lottery selection, players would be able to purchase tickets via mobile device or desktop. Players who purchase their tickets in store would still do so, but an online option would open up the market to a new group of participants. Or perhaps more sales as players would not have to be out and about to buy tickets.

Online Lottery Gaming

Several states have passed online lottery gaming legislation and are offering services. States that have passed such legislation include: Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Illinois, Kentucky and Georgia. For Massachusetts to join the pack, it would be huge for the state. The lottery in Massachusetts already generates $1 billion in annual revenues. So much more could be earned if online sales were allowed.

For the most part, online lottery ticket sales include the Mega Millions, Lotto and Powerball. Players can easily access sites that offers online ticket sales and purchase what they wish. If Massachusetts began offering online sales, the lottery site would have to add a section that offers tickets online.

Even though the treasure is pushing for online lottery gaming, the road ahead will be difficult. It seems lawmakers are more centered on sports betting and adding in online lottery sales might be tough. However, we may see that the state ends up combining sports betting, lottery online sales, online casino and poker gaming all in one package.

If Massachusetts were to do so, they would be the second state in just over a year to pass legislation combining several aspects. The last to do so was Pennsylvania, when they passed a large gaming expansion package in 2017.

Former New Jersey Senator To Fight Recent Wire Act Changes

Summary: Former senator of New Jersey, Raymond Lesniak, is preparing to fight for a declaratory judgement on the recent opinion by the Department of Justice involving the Wire Act.

Online gambling operators were hit with a major blow just a few days ago when it was made public that the Wire Act had been changed to now make all interstate online gaming illegal. The change will create significant complications for the online gaming industry, affecting the location of servers, financial transactions, live dealer gaming and more. Former Senator of New Jersey Raymond Lesniak played a major role in this home state in starting iGaming operations and now it seems he will be back in action to try and stop these recent changes.

Declaratory Judgement

New JerseyLesniak along with other lawmakers are working to see a declaratory judgement on the new opinion, in the hopes of straightening out the new changes. Lesniak recently spoke with Online Poker Report, calling the new opinion ‘outrageous’ and stating that it puts state revenues at risk as well as lotteries. If Congress does not move to fix the issue, then he will do so via the judicial process.

In 2013, New Jersey became the second state in the US to offer online gambling. The change was made due to the 2011 ruling by the Justice Department in which the Office of Legal Counsel ruled that the scope of the Wire Act only reached sports betting.

According to the former senator, the new opinion is a threat to the boost that the state’s casinos have enjoyed over the years as well as a threat to the revenues and jobs of the state produced via online gambling. Sports betting at racetracks and casinos may also be impacted in a negative manner. The former senator does not want to see the state lose the gains they fought so hard for over the past few years.

Lesniak commented that it is unclear as to why the DOJ decided to make the change after seven years of allowing the state and lotteries to take part in online gaming. The name Sheldon Adelson has come up, but it is unclear if the Las Vegas Sands has pushed for this change. He has been very vocal in his stance against online gambling and has spent millions in support of campaigns against iGaming as well as in support of republican candidates.

Slowing Down Progress

Over the past few years, online gambling has progressed. The states that already offer the option are growing in their operations and other states are looking at getting started in the industry. Pennsylvania passed iGaming legislation in 2017 and spent last year working to set up their new industry. They are expected to begin operations this year, however, operators are now having to create plans of action to present to the Gaming Control Board, showing that all aspects of their operations will remain within the state’s borders.

It could be that this new decision will affect online gambling in the US going forward. States may be leery once again to get started, as they may be afraid of federal prosecution. Now, all is reliant on how the DOJ will be enforcing the new opinion. Only time will tell if the change will fully affect online gambling and in what manner.

We will stay abreast of the details and provide info as soon as it is made public.

West Virginia Officials Agree to Delay iGaming Discussions

Summary: While West Virginia seemed to be on the fast track to legalizing online gaming, officials of the state have now decided to consider the issue in the future, instead of now.
A meeting was held within the House Finance Committee last week which discussed several avenues of gambling expansion in the state of West Virginia. Many subjects were on the table, with some moving forward and others being delayed. Unfortunately for online gambling proponents, the process of seeing casino style gaming available online in the state has now been delayed.

Approved, Not Approved

West Virginia CasinosOfficials involved with the lottery of the state decided to throw their support behind bills that would expand keno gaming as well as allow for limited video lottery gaming in retail outlets. Online gambling however, did not receive such approvals. During the House Finance Committee meeting, the Director of the state Lottery, John Myers, stated that the agency wants to be able to reconsider online gaming in the future.

The Lottery reportedly sees potential with online gaming, but wants to halt discussions and come back to it in the future. This year, a bill has already been filed to see online gambling come to life in the state. Delegate Shawn Fluharty along with four other democrat lawmakers filed the H 3067 measure, proposing online gaming for the state.

The legislation has showed up during the last three meetings of the committee but has yet to move forward. Language in the bill would allow the existing casinos in the state to operate iGaming. The state Lottery would act as overseer. The industry would have a $50,000 licensing fee set per license with online gaming gross revenues taxed at 14%.

While the lottery may not be interested in the industry just yet, that doesn’t mean it won’t come to fruition. Another legislative effort may be in the works that could spark new life into the idea. No such legislation has been proposed yet, but reportedly, a committee chair is showing support on the matter.

Additional Gaming Legislation

While the lottery officials are not on board with iGaming just yet, they are still agreeable to changes within the existing gambling industry. Right now, the players of the lottery can cash in their winning keno tickets with any retailer in the state. However, tickets must be purchased only at venues where the Alcohol Beverage Control Administration has approved licensing.
With legislation H 2184, keno tickets would be up for purchase at new locations, including convenience stores. The option would certainly make gaming easier and will most likely produce a nice new addition to the stream of keno revenues.

A second bill, H 2191, was also introduced, one that would allow the limited video lotteries to take place. Distributors of such games could be retailers which would help the outlets remain viable.
In the meantime, the state has been busy setting up their new sports betting industry. Regulators continue to work on mobile applications for the industry. All five casinos want to offer mobile wagering so players can bet on the go. The land-based services have been successful thus far and are only expected to see an increase in revenues as the industry continues to grow.
Right now, there are two gaming venues that offer online and mobile wagering platforms. Both the Mardi Gras and Wheeling Island facilities were able to get their mobile offerings up and running to begin online operations.

Wire Act Changes Require 90 Day Compliance

Summary: After a change to the Wire Act by the Department of Justice was made public this week, a memo has been released giving businesses 90 days to make changes.

Sports BettingThis week, it was made known that the Department of Justice has decided to rule that the federal Wire Act applies to all forms of interstate gaming. In the past, the Act applied to only sports betting. With the change, online poker and lottery gaming will be affected and possibly the online casino industry as well. Now, a memo has been issued by the US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that states the new opinion will take effect in 90 days. In this time frame, the office will be making guidelines.

90-Day Time Frame

During the 90-day time frame in which the federal government will be making prosecutorial guidelines, there will be no safe harbor so to speak for those who are in violation of the law based on the new opinion. All types of legalized online gambling may be affected with this new change, as any online gambling is considered illegal if it takes place across state lines.

In several states, online casino gaming, lottery, sports betting, poker and daily fantasy sports takes place. Sometimes, the transactional data involved will travel across states lines. Yet the actual gaming will take place within a single state. However, there are some instances where gaming does take place across state lines and payment systems as well. Due to the new interpretation, even the payment methods may be an issue which could leave some online gambling operators in hot water.

In the memo, Rosenstein has designated the Organized Crime and Gang Section of the Criminal Division to review the Wire Act and approve any proposed charges. The Justice Manual will soon include the findings of the review and approval process for prosecutions to be made based on the Wire Act interpretation. Further guidance can be provided for department attorney’s who have any questions regarding the implementation of the Wire Act.

Confusion Remains

Since the new opinion has been provided, there has been much confusion as to what will happen. It is believed that action will be taken to take the matter to court. Experts feel that the issue will be in litigation within the 90 day time frame set for the guidelines to be created. States may decide to sue the federal government in the hopes of obtaining a judgement that the Wire Act still only applies to sports betting.

As of the release of the Wire Act change, there has yet to be any change in a state offering online lottery ticket sales or online gaming. It seems that states are pushing ahead with any new changes, such as Rhode Island, one of the latest states to put forth legislation that will legalize applications for sports betting within their borders.

In reality, there was great clarity as to what was allowed for online gambling with the Wire Act from the changes made in 2011. This new opinion simply creates more obscurity and a sense of unknowing that only causes confusion instead of actually helping.

For now, it seems that operators are going to continue as normal. As the guidelines are created by the federal government, we will have a clearer picture as to what is expected of operators. Hopefully, the online gambling industries will not be affected in such a way that will cause strain or the ceasing of operations.

New Wire Act Opinion by the DOJ Could Spell Trouble for iGaming Industry

Summary: The United States Department of Justice has changed their opinion on the Wire Act of 1961, ruling that all interstate online gambling is illegal.

In 2011, the Department of Justice, under the Obama Administration, ruled that the Wire Act of 1961 was to be changed. The new opinion was that the act only applied to sports betting. This paved the way for individual states to begin legalizing online gambling. New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada have been successful in offering online casino and/or poker gaming. Pennsylvania has legalized the option too, and should start sometime this year.

This week, the DOJ decided to rule that the Wire Act was not interpreted correctly in 2011 and have now applied it to all interstate online gambling. It is rare for the DOJ to issue a new opinion on a subject when it was recently changed, but this administration seems to be set on making changes to the overall landscape of US legislation.

The new opinion was dated the 2nd of November and states that the Wire Act applies to gaming beyond sports betting. It also states hat the 2007 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act does not change the Wire Act.

The UIGEA legislation created an exception for fantasy sports involving restrictions of online gaming. With the new opinion, it states that based on the Wire Act, there is no such exemption. With this decision, daily fantasy sports operators need to be worried.

Daily fantasy sports companies and lotteries in the states sell tickets for multi-state draw games. Examples of this would be the Mega Millions and the Powerball. These legal gambling activities would be in violation of the law now based on the change to the Wire Act. But, what action will the federal government take?

Online poker gaming will also be affected. In Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware, online poker player pools are shared. Players in Delaware can access sites in New Jersey and vice versa. The online poker industry in the United States is already struggling so if the player pooling is taken away, revenue numbers will dwindle.

It is possible that the Department of Justice will not take action against states that offer interstate gaming. But why make the change then? The current administration is real chummy with anti-gambling activists like Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson. It could be that the change was made to try and shake up the online gambling industry, in any way possible.

Possible Issues

Because we have no idea how the DOJ will move forward now that the new opinion has been made public, it’s anyone’s guess what could become an issue. Take for example banking. In the past, online operators had trouble getting banks and financial institutions to allow payment processing for online gaming sites. Over the years this issue has been resolved. However, now that interstate change is in play, banks might not be too willing to process payments for gaming in one state when they are based in another.

It could be that payment processing could become a big issue for operators. Banks want to avoid any federal issues. To avoid any risk of prosecution, the financial institutions may stop processing payments in specific states for that reason.

I imagine over the coming weeks we will learn more about what the new opinion of the DOJ on the Wire Act will entail. We will keep our readers updated on any changes and how it affects online gambling in the US.

Penn National to increase presence in Pennsylvania via video gaming terminals

Summary: Operator of the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, Penn National has announced plans to further their presence in Pennsylvania by operating video gaming terminals.

Since late 2017, Pennsylvania has seen a boom within their overall gambling industry as operators and partners begin to set up for various expansions within the industry. Online casino and poker gaming is set to begin this year, with operators setting up partnerships last year and gaining licensing in preparation. Penn National is a gaming operator in the state who is preparing to provide additional gaming options, including video gaming terminals. The company announced last week that they had partnered with Rutter’s convenience stores to get started.

VGT gaming

Penn National GamingAs an operator of the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, Penn National had the ability to apply for video gaming terminal licensing, or VGTs for short. The company has announced a deal has been signed with Rutter’s, with the company set to provide five VGTs within 20 locations of Rutter’s convenience stores throughout the state of Pennsylvania.

VGTs were part of a gaming expansion package created in 2017 that was signed into law. Because so many new aspects of the gaming industry were approved, it has taken some time for gaming to get started. Now, it seems Penn National will be the first to get started and in a big way.

Senior Vice President of Regional Operations for Penn National, John Finamore, commented on the new deal, stating that the company is looking forward to working with Rutter’s to introduce VGT gaming to the state. Penn National is excited to be combining their expertise with the established success of Rutter’s convenience stores to offer the new gaming option via qualified locations.

VGTs were an issue when legislation was being considered back in 2017, as some casinos were opposed, afraid the machines would cut into their slot profits. However, in the end, the option was added to legislation and will begin this year.

Qualifying Properties

To be able to offer VGTs, locations have to meet a certain set of criteria. The VGTs must be added to locations that meet certain standards. The property must sell 50,000 gallons of diesel fuel on average per month. The property must also have 20 parking spots minimum that are dedicated to commercial vehicles. The property must also be located on three acres of land or more.

VGTs are similar to slot machines as players will be wagering and see the outcome based on a random number generator. Players can wager $5 max on the machines and the top payout cannot exceed $1,000.

Back in May, the Gaming Control Board began excepting applications. Since that time, a total of 60 locations have requested to house the machines. Each location can have as many as five machines. Over 20 locations have been given conditional approval.

Penn National was one such group that was given conditional licensing by the Board. Rutter’s still has to be approved before the gaming option can begin.

Hopefully, the new games will be up and running in the next few months. It will certainly be interesting to see if the games provide an additional source of revenues and just how much time and money players will spend on this new type of gaming in the state. We should see more interest from operators once the VGTs are up and running and they have an example to go by to see just how the machines will fare.

New Hampshire House of Representatives Introduce New Sports Betting Bill

Summary: A new sports betting bill has been introduced in New Hampshire that would create the first standalone retail shops for the industry in the US.

In the United States, sports betting continues to be the hot topic of discussion. State after state are introducing legislation as the New Year begins to get in on the action. Close to ten states already offer the activity and several have already introduced legislation this year to get the ball rolling to join in. This week, New Hampshire lawmakers decided to introduce a bill that will not only start offering services in their borders but they will also see retail shops added, which would be a first for the United States.

HB 480

New HampshireThe New Hampshire House of Representatives saw HB 480 introduced this week, a bill with a goal of establishing a system within the Lottery Commission to see sports betting legalized in several formats. Online, mobile and land-based are being considered. A Division of Sports Betting would be created inside the Commission, helping to regulate the new industry.

The legislation essentially puts the Commission in charge, allowing the group to decide if wagering will be offered directly via an authorized Sports Betting Agent or through the agent via mobile devices and physical retail facilities.

It is the physical retail facility portion of the bill that is getting headlines. The state currently does not have any land-based casino facilities. In other states, casinos are the platform for sports betting. Existing operators are able to apply for sports betting licensing and then use their existing facility to open a sports book. That luxury is not available in New Hampshire.

So, the state will have to do something similar as to what is found in the United Kingdom known as betting ships. This would be a first for the United States and certainly something that other states who do not offer casino gaming could consider.

According to the legislation, the cities and towns of the state would have to approve any betting shop installations with a ballot referendum before any sports betting would be authorized in a region. Any anti-gambling municipality will not be allowed to interfere with the digital wagering operation of the state.

Players who took part in sports betting would have to be at least 18 years of age and wagering would not be allowed for college events involving teams of the state or games that take place in the state in general.

Progressing Forward

If the option is approved, the Commission created could decide to launch their own wagering option. If they do, then they would be given the ability to hire vendors to manage the operations. If a betting agent were to be hired, the agent would have to give a percent of revenues back to the state. The amount is unknown at this time. 10% of that amount would be placed in a fund going to responsible gambling initiatives.

The timeline for the new industry would hopefully see the bill approved by July 1st. Then the process of selecting a betting agent could begin by the first of next year. Legal wagers would then be in operation possibly by the summer of 2020. It will certainly be interesting to see how the legislation progresses and if New Hampshire will be one of the next to launch sports betting services in the US.

Washington D.C. Decides to Halt Sports Gambling Legislation

Summary: While Washington D.C. quickly moved sports betting legislation through the system, it seems the region is now halting their efforts.

In the United States, efforts have shifted from online gambling legislation to sports betting. After the US Supreme Court ruled that individual states could legalize sports betting when the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was shut down, state after state began to pass bills to get started. Late last year, Washington D.C. was one region that proposed legislation and moved quickly to see the option become a reality. However, it seems that efforts have now stalled, with a decision by the city council being postponed.

Halting Efforts

Sports gambling legislation has come to a stand-still in Washington D.C. as the city council decided this week to postpone a decision involving the measure that will allow competition when it comes to the management of sports betting in the city. The council stated that they want to give the community additional time to provide their opinion before making a final ruling.

The concern regarding sports betting in the region is that the council will be choosing an entity to manage the industry instead of allowing companies to bid to be the provider. In the United States, it is typical for the bidding process to be open so that there are not any deals made that are considered shady or unfair to the industry.

According to council members, months may be lost in progress. The area may be delayed in offering sports betting, but the process would be more in line with what is currently going on the nation, instead of setting up a group without competition beforehand.

In December, the city council of D.C. approved sports betting. With the approval, they became the first jurisdiction to give approval in the Washington area for the wagering activity. There are no casinos in the region that would be able to offer sports betting, but D.C. is home to the lottery.

The lottery is operated by Intralot and the D.C. Lottery is the overseer. The group has pushed to see Intralot in charge of sports betting, with the organization stating that delays in this decision will cost the region millions of dollars. According to Beth Bresnahan, the Executive Director of the D.C. Lottery the process of bidding could take three years and cost tens of millions of dollars of lost revenues.

Bresnahan also pointed out that if nearby Maryland and Virginia begin to offer sports betting in the meantime, then the District would be behind when it comes to establishing customer relationships with residents in these regions as well as their own. Because of the location of the district, commuters from other states could easily begin taking part in the activity, if the lottery is able to have control now.

Council Members Stand Strong

Despite the argument by the Lottery, the members of the city council have remained firm in their decision to allow the public to have a say so. The council wants to see what the public has to say on the matter and ensure that the D.C. residents understand what will take place before moving forward.

The Chairman of the Council has agreed to withdraw an emergency measure involving sports betting and a bill will be introduced next week that will look to approve public bidding.

Parx Casino Set to Launch Sportsbook This Week

Summary: Sports betting continues to grow in Pennsylvania, as the Parx Casino prepares to launch their sportsbook this week.

Sports betting continues to grow in the United States, as individual states continue to pass legislation to legalize the new industry. Several states approved the option last year either before the Supreme Court ruling involving the Professional & Amateur Sports Protection Act or after the Act was struck down, ready to offer sports wagering services. Pennsylvania was one such state that approved the industry, with the Parx Casino set to begin offering services this week.

Four Operating Sportsbooks

PennsylvaniaWith the launch of the Parx Casino sportsbook, the state will be home to a total of four operators offering land-based services. The Parx Casino is the market-leader, so all eyes are on the operator and how well they will fare with the new industry.

Last Friday, owner of the casino, Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment, announced that they would begin the soft launch of their land-based sportsbook beginning Tuesday at 2pm. A soft launch is mandatory for a 48-hour time frame before full wagering is allowed. The sportsbook will be powered by Kambi and full wagering should be offered by the provider by 1pm on Thursday, as long as the soft launch runs smoothly.

When the sportsbook opens at the Parx, the facility will be a smaller version offering only temporary space until the permanent sportsbook is completed. The temporary option is located in the former 360 bar and lounge. The permanent location should be ready by summer to be able to prepare any changes before the next NFL season begins at the end of the year.

Greenwood Gaming also operates another facility in the state of Pennsylvania. Owner of the South Philadelphia Turf Club, the operator has yet to state if they will be offering sports betting at the venue. Online gaming is also in the mix. The Gaming Control Board has not approved any online betting product and Parx has plans to get started online as well. The casino has stated that they will be offering a mobile betting application soon, but details of the new option have not been revealed.

The first sports betting facility opened in the state back in November via the Hollywood Casino at the Penn National Racecourse. The SugarHouse Casino along with the Rivers Casino began offering services once month later, in December.

Focus on Sports Betting

For the past few years, any changes to the gambling landscape have involved discussions that include online casino and poker gaming. However, the SCOTUS decision involving the PASPA quickly saw all eyes focused on sports betting. The industry has huge potential and states are already earning millions as players place their sports wagers day after day.

The Hollywood Casino was able to see a betting handle of $1.4 million with revenues over $500,000 within just two weeks of operations in November. The industry is set to be big business and the total number of revenues and bets placed will only continue to increase as more states get in on the action.

This year, several states have already either started discussions or legislation is set to be considered beginning this week. Tennessee, Missouri and South Dakota are just a few examples of states that are looking at sports betting as a new way to bring in revenues to the state. We will continue to monitor any changes and report any new legislation or efforts in the US involving sports betting as well as other changes in the gambling industry as a whole.

Danville City Council Tries to Get the Ball Rolling for Virginia Casino Gaming

Summary: The Danville City Council has approved a resolution to try and bring casino gaming to a minimum of three cities in the state of Virginia.

While several states have expanded to offer online gaming and sports betting, states like Virginia are struggling to even get started with traditional casino gaming. There are still states in the US that do not offer casino gaming or they have limited options for players to enjoy. In Virginia, the state have several cities that could benefit from casino gaming and the Danville City Council are hoping to use gambling as a way to bring in much-needed funds.

Approving Casino Resolution

Virginia CasinosThe Danville City Council approved a resolution this week that could see at least three cities in the state adding casino gaming. The vote was unanimous in support of an effort to legalize casino gambling in the state. The push to see casinos come to the state began in Bristol as a group of investors were seeking the ability to create a $150 million casino resort in the area where the Bristol Mall was formerly located. The city council of Bristol approved a resolution for casino gaming back in September, and argued that the facility could give a huge boost to the city.

In October, Portsmouth was in on the idea, with their city council approving a casino resolution as well. Now that Danville is on board, along with two state legislators, the idea is to work together to see changes within state Legislature to allow residents in each community to vote on whether or not they want to see a casino added to their city.

Both Senator Bill Carrico and Delegate Israel O’Quinn have announced they plan on introducing a bill that would cover the cities casino ambitions. The piece of legislation would have to pass within several areas before it would make it to the governor’s desk. Then, of course, residents in each region would have to vote yes on a referendum for the option to be legalized. It will take a great amount of effort to see any legislation move forward and be approved.

Are Residents Interested?

So now the question becomes, are residents interested? Even if the bill is able to move forward within the legislature and signed by the Governor, will voters say yes? An independent report on the matter has been conducted by Chmura Economics and Analytics, showing that a casino in Bristol would create more than 5,400 direct employment positions and just over 1,400 indirect positions.

By the year 2028, the report suggests that such gaming could bring in as much as $1 billion in that time frame. It seems that the casino gaming would have a strong impact on the economy, which is something that voters could get behind. Danville, Portsmouth and Bristol are all strapped for cash and the massive revenues that would be created from casino gaming would certainly be helpful.

In Danville, residents are reportedly in strong support of the idea. The majority of the citizens in the region are in support. But just like with any change, there are those who are opposed. Some residents are concerned that crime will increase as well as social problems arising due to gambling.

For now, the legislators on board are working on their bill and should introduce it soon. Lawmakers in the state will be back in session on the 9th.

Looking Ahead: Which States Could Legalize Sports Betting in 2019?

Summary: 2018 ended with several states legalizing and beginning sports betting services. Which states could join them in 2019?

Over the past few years, all eyes have been on the online casino and poker industries of the United States. Since 2013, New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware have offered online casino and/or online poker gaming. Pennsylvania passed legislation in late 2017 and should begin offering online gaming services sometime this year. In May of last year, the United States Supreme Court struck down a federal ban on sports betting, which led to several states legalizing the option and starting services as quickly as possible. For 2019, there are several states that are set up to possibly legalize sports betting, helping the overall industry to continue to grow and expand.

Who’s In the Mix?

Sports Betting in New JerseySo, which states are in the mix to possibly pass sports betting legislation this year? Several states have bills on file so they will be ready to consider legislation as soon as their next legislative sessions begins. One such state that has a bill on file is Kentucky. The state is already known for wagering, being home to a strong horse racing industry.

The state created a panel last summer to study sports betting and to draft legislation for the industry. A public hearing took place in October with the state’s AG announcing he was for the option in November. This year, there are two bills that will be considered; BR 15 and BR 320. Both proposals include the Kentucky Lottery Corporation as the group building the framework for the industry. One bill would see the state’s Gaming Commission in charge while the other would see the Horse Racing Commission in charge of regulation.

Surprisingly, Tennessee is also on the list of state’s that have introduced legislation. The state is one that does not have any gambling on offer, with casino and poker gaming prohibited. Late last year, H1/S16 was pre-filed in the House to be considered this year. The bill would see a state Gaming Commission created to regulate retail as well as online and mobile wagering.

Missouri is also a state to watch as they were very active last year in trying to see sports betting come to pass. Lawmakers introduced six bills, but progress was limited. The issue for the state is in the details as lawmakers cannot seem to agree on what a bill should entail. The subject of an integrity fee has been one issue of contention, as with other states.

For 2019, the state has a bill pre-filed. S 44 will be considered this year, with language not including a fee to any league as well as placing a 0.5% fee on the sports betting handle to be applied to construction as well as the maintenance of sports and other facilities.

Will Online Casino and Poker Gaming Be Back?

With sports betting so heavily considered in 2018, it seems that online casino and poker gaming has been pushed to the side. Some states are looking at all areas of gambling, including online casino/poker gaming along with sports betting, but for the most part, the sports wagering industry is taking center stage.

For proponents of online gaming, the hope is that states will see the benefits of online gaming along with sports betting and decide to legalize it all. If this were to happen, the US would begin to see a gambling boom, one that has not been seen in some time.

New Sports Betting Operations Begin in West Virginia

Summary: Two more casinos in West Virginia are now offering sports betting, including online wagering.

Sports betting has been steadily increasing in the United States, as state after state passes legislation to legalize the gaming option. West Virginia was one of the first states to pass legislation and casinos in the region are slowly beginning to start operations. The Wheeling Island Hotel Casino Racetrack and the Mardi Gras Casino & Resort are the latest to begin sports wagering in the state.

Delaware North Properties

West Virginia CasinosBoth casinos are owned by the same parent company, Delaware North. Along with land-based sports betting, the company has decided to launch an online option, available via desktop and mobile application. BetLucky.com allows players across the state to access the sports betting product of Delaware North.

The timing of the sports betting launch was perfect as the state’s University team is preparing to compete in the Camping World Bowl this weekend as well as the semifinals and finals of the College Football Playoff are set to take place.

Three other casinos in the state already offer services. They are the Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort, The Greenbrier Resort and the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Racetrack. These were the first venues to offer sports betting in the region.

When the state passed the legislation, it was estimated that sports betting would create around $5.5 million in revenues during the first year of operations. It is expected that the majority of the revenues will be generated from mobile applications.

Partnered with Miomni Gaming

Back in October, Delaware North made their partnership with Miomni Gaming made known. The gaming company is well-known for providing mobile sports wagering technology in the United States as well as providing mobile and turnkey retail solutions. After the announcement was made, the companies have focused their efforts on launching in land-based venues as well as online.

In West Virginia, the BetLucky site is the first to offer online as well as mobile gaming in the state. The app is free and can be downloaded at the BetLucky site or via the Apple App Store. Players located anywhere in the state can take part.

Commenting on the new application, Delaware North’s Vice President of Marketing for the Gaming Division, Luisa Woods stated: “We think West Virginians and visitors to the Mountain State are going to love how easy it is to register and use the app. The platform was designed to be flexible, easy to use and reliable, with innovative features designed specifically to engage and entertain U.S. sports fans. Patrons at the casinos can use the app or the betting tellers in the sportsbooks.”

Within the two land-based venues owned by Delaware North, the sports betting experience is one that offers a casual atmosphere with social interaction. Players are located near bars, food and beverage options as well as a heavy event calendar that focuses on major sports events.

The goal is to provide a casino experience along with a sports environment. Players can choose to enjoy casino games along with placing sports bets with options for drinks and food in the same vicinity. Taking part in events provides an added level to the overall experience.

It will be interesting to see how sports betting increases over the next few months as players begin to take part in the new offerings. The state should see a solid revenue increase as the new land-based and online options begin.

Video Gambling Terminals Finally Moving Forward in Pennsylvania

Summary: Video gambling terminals were legalized in late 2017 with the first of next year to signal the first machines becoming operational.

Towards the end of 2017, lawmakers in Pennsylvania decided to pass a gaming reform package that gave the gambling industry a huge expansion. Along with online casino and poker gaming, the state allowed for satellite casinos to be created, sports betting and video gambling terminals, among other changes. The video gambling terminals approval has been swept to the wayside for some time as the state focused on sports betting and online gambling. Now it seems that VGTs are back in the spotlight as the state prepares to launch machines at the first of the year.

VGTs are Coming

PennsylvaniaWhen 2019 begins, players in Pennsylvania can expect to see video gambling terminals being placed at truck stops in the state. The games are expected to be installed during the first quarter of the year, according to Doug Harbach, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

The machines offer various games all in one tiny vessel. Players will be able to enjoy a quick game or two when stopping at a truck stop for gas, a snack or rest. So far, 62 venues that have a truck stop have applied for licensing to be able to offer video gambling terminals. Only 23 of that number have been able to gain conditional approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

Truck Stops have to meet certain criteria before they will be approved by the Board. The facility must sell 50,000 gallons of diesel fuels each month as well as have a minimum of 20 dedicated parking spots for commercial vehicles. The facility must also be located on three acres of land. Back in May, the state Board began accepting applications for the VGTs. The applications that have been received so far are requesting to offer as many as five machines at each facility.

The truck stops have to create areas where the machines can be placed for gaming. The games will only be available for players 21 years of age or older. Live surveillance or video surveillance must be installed at the venue to watch the play area. Employees have to be trained to recognize any problem gambling issues to help consumers enjoy themselves.

Opting Out

Counties in the state that already host a casino could chose to opt out of video gambling terminals at truck stops in their area. Each county that is home to one of the 12 casinos decided to opt out. Counties with qualified truck stops that do not have gaming venues in place do not have the ability to opt out. If a facility in such a region wants to offer VGTs they can apply to do so.

Opponents do exist regarding VGTs despite their legality in the state. Opponents have been hard at work to try and deter facilities from offering such gaming options. Advertisements were created to condemn the machines when lawmakers starting suggesting the option within the 2017 bill. The ads along with opinions that were published led to a certain belief about the games.

The games were represented in a negative fashion, with opponents stating that the games would line the streets, being placed near schools, in nursing homes, in restaurants, and more. However, the games are legal and will be regulated by the Board, ensuring player safety.

The truck stops can only offer five machines or less. With all 60 applicants being approved, this would only be 300 machines, a low number when compared to casino games.

It will be interesting to see how the games fare once the VGTs are up and running. It won’t be long before we see the games installed and operational.

Two NJ Casino Operators Violate State Gaming Regulations

Summary: Caesars Entertainment Corp. and the Golden Nugget have been penalized by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement for taking wagers that involved teams from the state.

Gaming operators in New Jersey have to follow strict regulations when it comes to the real money betting options they offer. Regarding sports betting, casinos are not allowed to offer wagers that involve college teams in the state. Two casinos operators in Atlantic City recently got in trouble for accepting wagers on college games involving teams in the region.

Illegal Sports Bets

Golden NuggetThe Golden Nugget and Caesars Entertainment Corp. were charged with accepting wagers back in September on games involving teams of New Jersey. The regulations involving sports betting in the state prohibit college teams in New Jersey or games involving a college team that take place in a venue within the state from being wagered on.

Caesars Entertainment Corp. was fined $2,000 for accepting wagers on a game that took place on September 10th involving the Kansas Jayhawks and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. The company was alerted of the violation back in November and were reviewed earlier their month with an assessment of the civil penalty.

The Golden Nugget, the second operator involved in the illegal wagering issue, were forced to forfeit a small amount of $390 from wagers placed by ten players on various college football games in the state, also taking place in September. The Division of Gaming Enforcement revealed that the wagers were cancelled by the casino when they were found out, but the money could not be returned to the players because their identity is unknown.

Division of Gaming Enforcement Spokesperson, Kerry Langan, commented on the incidents by stating: “Prohibited sporting events were posted, and wagers were placed on those events. All improperly posted bets were voided and if the gamblers were known, those funds were returned to them.”

“The casino licensees are required to have internal controls in place to prevent prohibited games from being posted for wagering. When these controls fail, there are regulatory sanctions.”

The Golden Nugget must follow the college regulations as do the other sports betting operators in the state. The Golden Nugget does have an additional prohibition since the property is owned by Tilman Fertitta. Mr. Fertitta owns the Houston Rockets NBA team, so the Golden Nugget is not allowed to offer wagers on professional basketball games.

Following Regulations

All operators in New Jersey must follow the regulations set by the Division of Gaming Enforcement, and those who do not, will be subject to some form of punishment, usually a fine. The two gaming operators in this instance got off relatively scot free. In the past, regulators have had to pay tens of thousands of dollars when violating such regulations as underage gaming or allowing a restricted player to access real money games.

For sports betting operators, changes will have to made in training of employees as well as ensuring all wagers that are offered are meeting the state’s requirements. By catching any issues early, operators can avoid heavy fines or other punishment. The DGE does have the right to remove licensing, but a violation by an operator would have to be pretty severe in order to see the group remove a gaming license.

Many sportsbooks in New Jersey are temporary as the venues are create permanent sports for wagering. As the permanent facilities are created and services are launched, training will help to ensure that such instances of illegal wagering do not happen again.

Former NJ Senator Says ‘Stay Out of Our Business’ Regarding Gaming and Sports betting

Summary: Former Senator of New Jersey, Raymond Lesniak, has come forward, stating the federal government needs to leave the state alone when it comes to sports betting and gambling.

Over the past few years, states of the US have been left to their own devices when it comes to gambling legislation, particularly, online gambling laws. Recent changes this year to sports betting legalities have paved the way for sports betting in every state as well. Because of these changes, the federal government have now seemingly decided to stick their nose back in the states business and this is not faring well with certain former lawmakers. Former State Senator of New Jersey Raymond Lesniak, spend decades as a lawmaker in New Jersey, helping to set the state up for success. The former senator has now come forward are news broke that sports betting regulations are in the works on a federal level.

Stay Out of Our Business

New JerseyJust a few days ago, it was made known that several lawmakers are working to create federal regulations involving sports betting in the United States. The developments are a concern in several states where sports betting is already in operation, particularly in New Jersey.

Commenting on the developments, Former Senator Lesniak stated: “Any time Congress gets involved in something that we’ve fought so strongly for so long to achieve for the state of New Jersey, it’s going to cause us great concern. In terms of the DOJ opinion, I’m not quite sure what it means and what its effect will be. We’ll have to wait and see. But the less the federal government interferes with our gaming and sports betting, the better it is for us. I wish they would just stay out of our business.”

For New Jersey, the state’s online gambling industry is set to push past the $1 billion revenue mark for lifetime earnings. Having launched in November of 2013, the state continues to earn massive amounts of cash each month from online casino and poker gaming. If changes are made on a federal level, it would greatly affect how New Jersey operates and may cause harm.

With sports betting, the state has seen success instantly. Having started in June, the state has already seen close to $1b in sports betting handle. Senators Chuck Schumer and Orrin Hatch are the two who introduced the federal sports betting bill, a measure that would not stop New Jersey from providing sports betting, but the oversight by the federal government could have an impact on the already established industry.

It doesn’t seem as though the bill will be able to pass into law this year, and it seems that New Jersey has proponents in the Senate that would stop such an effort from moving forward. According to Lesniak, Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez are both on the side of the state and would fight to ensure the measure would not move forward.

For many, the goal is to see the states maintain their right to offer sports betting, online gaming, etc. based on how they would like. It makes more sense to allow each individual state to be in charge of what they would like to offer and how they go about it, instead of creating federal oversight as this could be harmful for the states that are already offering online casino gaming and/or sports betting.

Iowa Lawmakers Look to Online Lottery Sales for More Revenues

Summary: Lawmakers in the state of Iowa are considering allowing ticket sales online via a website and mobile application.

Online gambling continues to be a hot topic in the United States. From online casino and poker gaming to lottery ticket sales and sports betting, states across the nation are considering different ways to expand their gambling industry with the internet. Just recently, lawmakers in Iowa have begun considering moving lottery ticket sales online, offering games via the lottery website as well as a mobile application.

Going Online

Iowa CasinosJust last week, Mary Neubauer, the Vice President of the Iowa Lottery, stated that the $371 million in 2017 sales puts the lottery in a strong position. The program is quite strong but adding in modern technology could help to bring even more to the industry. In a briefing, the VP said that the lottery has introduced products over the years that have enhanced their long-term product lines to keep the game selection fresh.

She pointed out that no one would say that paper products are going to stand the test of time by themselves. And while players like to purchase paper tickets and will continue to do so, the online market opens up the lottery to even more gamers. The younger generation of individuals that meet the age requirements for gaming, are constantly on mobile devices. Adding a mobile element will keep players engaged for longer periods of time.

Working on an Online Lottery Bill

Currently, lawmakers in the state are working to create a bill that will be considered in the next legislative session. What the legislation will entail exactly is anyone’s guess. However, the bill should cover website and mobile gaming, including which devices can be used to purchase tickets as well as how players can pay for their lottery purchases online.

According to Neubauer, the legislation is needed to stop illegal sales and to provide an option for players who want to purchase tickets in a cashless method. Millennials as well as other groups of consumers are no longer carrying cash. It is important to have a seamless option such as an e-wallet for transactions involving the lottery.

The younger demographic, individuals ages 18 to 25, rarely have cash, which is a common form of payment for lottery tickets. Having online sales should only help to increase the number of tickets sold as the younger demographic will be more willing to play.

Online Lottery Gaming

In the United States, six states currently have laws in place to allow online ticket sales. Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania all offer online lottery sales. Of that number, Pennsylvania does not offer players the ability to purchase draw games tickets online, such as with games like the Mega Millions.

Additional states offer an alternative to online lottery sales, with an online subscriptions service. In these states, players are limited to the number of times they can purchase tickets. New York, Virginia, Maine, North Dakota and North Carolina all offer the subscription service option.

As 2018 comes to an end, we look to 2019 to see more changes to the gambling landscape in many states. If Iowa passes online lottery gaming legislation, it will start the path for even more states to begin to offer this option. As additional industries like sports betting and online casino games grow, even more options for online play should become available in the United States. We look to next year as a big one for gambling as a whole and will be interested to see what changes are made.

Draft Kings Moves Into Online Casino Gaming in NJ

Summary: DraftKings has added to their offerings in New Jersey by launching online casino gaming.

DraftKings was once known only for their daily fantasy sports offering. As a top operator in the DFS industry, the company quickly expanded to sports betting once the option became available. Now, the company has extended their reach even further by creating an online casino and offering traditional casino games.

Draft Kings Casino

DraftKingsAs of Monday, the DraftKings Casino was integrated into the sportsbook application offered in New Jersey. The company has started the first phase of the launch, offering blackjack to visitors. The casino will offer more games but as of right now, this is the only option available. Currently, the app is only accessible via Android for online casino gaming, but an iOS option should be offered in the near future.

The launch is huge news for the online gambling industry and shows just how operators can offer a multitude of gaming options. While sports betting will be lucrative for the company, DraftKings should fare well when it comes to casino gaming. In New Jersey, when it comes to online gaming, casino games reign supreme.

The online casino industry tends to bring in around $25 million in revenues each month, from table games and slots. DraftKings is also to offer their online casino gaming options via their partnership with Resorts Atlantic City. While the company has launched an online casino brand, it is unclear as to if they will be offering online poker as well.

Will FanDuel Follow?

DraftKings easily made the switch to sports betting from daily fantasy sports and should be successful with online casino operations. So now the question arises, will FanDuel follow? The two are bitter rivals when it comes to DFS gaming and are sure to continue their rivalry with sports betting as FanDuel is already offering sports betting in the US. However, they are behind when compared to DraftKings by way of what they offer.

So now, many are wondering if FanDuel will consider adding an online casino as well. It could happen. The brand is now part of Paddy Power Betfair, a company known for a plethora of gaming. FanDuel was acquired by PPB during the summer and at the time, company executives stated that the plan was to use FanDuel as their US facing brand.

Because of this, one could assume that FanDuel will focus on sports betting and casino gaming in the states. However, no plans have been mentioned as of yet for FanDuel to begin offering casino games online.

Either way, DraftKings will now have to compete against major powerhouses when it comes to online casino gaming, The Golden Nugget continues to dominate the industry, bringing in as much as $9 million in one month alone. The brand has what it takes to deliver huge revenues by way of online casino games. Borgata is their nearest competitor and they barely manage to reach $4 and $5 million a month, so a huge gap remains between the top two operators.

It will be interesting to see how well received the blackjack games of DraftKings are and what games they will launch in the future. Will the brand be successful and see even more traffic with their casino site? Or will sports continue to be the main attraction of the brand, as players stick to DFS and sports betting options?

US Sports Betting Push Continues: Two New States Considering Legislation

Summary: Missouri and Ohio are the latest states to announce consideration of sports betting legislation, with both revealing they are not against integrity fees, like other states have been.

Since May, states in the US have had the ability to legalize sports betting. A ruling by the United States Supreme Court made the change possible and states are taking advantage. Sports betting is a multi-million dollar industry, providing states with tons of revenues via land-based venue services as well as online. As legislation has passed, states have been bombarded by professional leagues who are now for sports betting but want a piece of the action.

Leagues like the NBA and NFL would like to see an integrity fee paid by the states as they begin to offer sports betting. The leagues argue that the fee would help them to protect the integrity of the games, though this is something that they are already supposed to be doing. For the most part, states have not included integrity fees in their legislation and have no plans to pay the leagues a portion of their earnings. However, two new states that have announced ambition to consider legislation are seemingly going to pay this fee to the leagues.

Missouri

A bill has already been created in the state of Missouri regarding sports betting. Senate Bill 44 was proposed to allow sports betting to take place within riverboat casinos in the state. Online gaming would also be allowed. Sportsbooks would pay 12% in taxes based on their adjusted gross receipts and a 2% tax has been placed in the bill, being called an administrative fee. This amount would be paid along with an integrity fee set at ½ percent.

To offer sports betting in the state, operators would have to pay a $10,000 fee for a land-based license as well as pay for an interactive license. $10,000 will be paid for each interactive license acquired. $5,000 will have to be paid by operators to the Gaming Commission as a separate integrity fee along with $10,000 paid each time a license is renewed.

Ohio

In Ohio, the state is looking to start discussions involving sports betting. The state is actually considering an option where several states could come together and offer services. However, some lawmakers are not happy with this plan. Senator Bill Coley has stated that a multi-state arrangement would give sports leagues one-quarter of 1% as an integrity fee.

According to Coley, if they go about sports betting legislation in the right manner, the winner will be the leagues and the franchises will be able to double in value. While growth within these sectors are good, for the most part, states do not want to include integrity fees within their legislation.

Sports leagues in the United States continue to argue that they should be given a piece of wagers because they have to make sure that resources are in place to keep games fair and avoid any match-fixing. States argue that leagues do not need this fee as they are already having to ensure the integrity of games.

While integrity fees are not being praised by states, leagues are able to cut deals with gaming operators to provide data for sports betting. Being a data supplier will give leagues a piece of the action without the integrity fee in place. Leagues can provide data they already collect to help operators be able to set their odds for upcoming events and games.

888 Holdings Increase Reach in US with New Acquisition of AAPN

Summary: 888 Holdings, a top online poker operator in the United States and abroad, has announced the acquisition of the All American Poker Network, helping to further their reach within the nation.

888 CasinoOnline poker is offered in three different states in the US currently, Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware. Pennsylvania recently approved legislation to offer online poker as well as casino gaming but have yet to launch services. One operator that offers online poker in the states is 888Poker. The parent company of the 888 brand, 888 Holdings, recently became the sole owner of the All American Poker Network, also known as AAPN. The ownership came after they bought out their investment partner Avenue Capital for $28 million.

Long-Term Success

The acquisition of the stake in AAPN is considered a strategic step for 888 to be able to achieve long-term success in the United States. According to Itai Frieberger, the CEO of 888, the company has taken over 53% of the interest in the company of which Avenue Capital held. According to the CEO, the acquisition gives the company additional operational, technological and commercial flexibility to be able to develop innovative and exciting partnerships with new companies and launch services in new states.

Currently, 888Poker is the only site that offers online poker services in the three states that have legalized the activity. The brand provides software for the World Series of Poker sites for both Nevada and New Jersey. With the new acquisition, the brand will be able to further their reach in the US as additional states legalize online poker gaming.

AAPN

The AAPN is a network created by 888 and Avenue in 2013. The network was created as Nevada and New Jersey prepared to create online poker gaming sites. The goal of 888 is to use the network when other states legalize online poker and take part in interstate agreements. So far, the focus in the US is on sports betting. As sports betting is now available across the US, if states pass legislation, lawmakers are moving away from focusing on online poker and casino gaming and shifting to considering sports betting.

Over the past five years, online poker gaming has yet to gain any ground while online casino gaming continues to expand. Players have taken to online casino gaming, playing table games and slots, bringing in millions each month in revenues. Online poker gaming barely reaches $1 million a month in New Jersey and other states have struggled to earn minimal revenues.

Analysts feel that Pennsylvania might help the online poker industry. Once operations are launched, we could see an increase in participation. However, pooling players with other states will not happen until 2020 so it will take some time for the state to be able to assist their neighbors.

For now, 888 Holdings has a good standing in the US when it comes to online poker. They have a network that can easily be integrated in any state that decides to pass online poker legislation. It seems that 2019 will be a big year for gaming but as to if interest will involve online poker is anyone’s guess.

Sports betting seems to be the hot topic under consideration and online poker as well as online casino gaming have been pushed to the side, at least for the moment.

Seattle Seahawks Create Online Partnership with Snoqualmie Casino

Summary: The Seattle Seahawks have signed a new partnership with the Snoqualmie Casino, allowing the venue to use their logo for advertising, working together for promotions on-site.

With the launch of sports betting in several states in the US, it has started a chain of events. Sports teams have realized that sports betting is already here so they better get on board. As soon as states began to offer services, professional sports teams began to cut deals with casinos and gaming venues to get in on the action. Just this week, it was announced that the Seattle Seahawks have now signed an online partnership deal with the Snoqualmie Casino, a venue close to the Seattle area.

New Deal

The partnership is a first for the franchise of the Seattle Seahawks and the casino, located near Issaquah. Several representatives of the team as well as the casino were on hand this week at the CenturyLink Field to make the announcement of the new partnership. With the deal, the casino will be allowed to use the logo of the NFL team to create advertisements as well as promotions.

The casino has already been a sponsor of the team and a suite holder since 2008 so they are happy to now have increased their partnership with the team. In a press release, Amy Sprangers, the senior president of revenue for the Seattle Seahawks, stated: “We are proud to formally announce an expanded partnership with our long-time partners at the award-winning Snoqualmie Casino. We look forward to working together with Snoqualmie Casino to create exciting new activations for the 12s for years to come.”

Partnerships such as this one are popping up across the United States as professional sports teams can see how they can benefit from merging with gambling facilities. The new deal between the Snoqualmie Casino and the Seahawks should be profitable on both ends.

Other Partnerships

Once the United States Supreme Court decided to rule in favor of sports betting and strike down the Professional & Amateur Sports Protection Act, the deals began rolling in. The first to sign was the Dallas Cowboys, who choose to work with the WinStar World Casino of Oklahoma. Other teams followed soon after including the Baltimore Ravens, a team who will be working with the Horseshoe Casino.

The New York Jets announced two months ago that 888 Holdings will be a sponsor of their organization. This marked the first time a team would be partnered with an online organization. The deal includes advertisements featuring casino, poker and sportsbook operations.

With 2019 close at hand, the next year will see major changes across the gambling industry in the United States. As more states enter the sports betting genre, expect to see even more deals between casinos and online gambling operators with NFL teams, NHL, MLB, NBA and more. Such partnerships will ensure that the teams are benefiting from the sports betting operations and it won’t be surprising if a flurry of deals are signed at the beginning of the year.

There is still plenty of time for new deals to be announced in 2018 as well. For sports betting, both land based and online, this year has been a whirlwind. We expect that 2019 will be just as busy as casinos work to launch services to hurry up and get in on the action as legislation is made law.

Golden Nugget’s $500,000 Annual Race Coming to An End

Summary: The Golden Nugget’s online casino Annual Race featuring $500,000 in prize money is coming to an end this month.

In the state of New Jersey, players have a nice selection of online gaming options. There are several online casino and poker operators providing services in the state that help players have a nice variety for game play. Month after month, the Golden Nugget has proved to the be top operator, as they continue to blast the competition, earning $8m or more with every monthly reporting. The online casino knows what players want, offering the best games and competitions in the region. The Golden Nugget’s $500,000 Annual Race is set to end this month, bringing to a close a very lucrative competition for the online gaming operator.

Tons of Cash All Year

Golden NuggetSince January, the online casino has provided added value for players who take part in the annual race. Every month, a certain amount of price money was up for grabs along with potential prizes. Since December has started, it marks the last month of the race, with plenty of value remaining. Players can compete this month for $250,000 in bonus prize money as well as the opportunity to become the newest owner of a Bentley Continental G.T.

The online casino is offering their Holiday Giveaway, which provides players with the ability to earn a piece of $250,000 in bonus cash. Players will need to play as many casino games as they can online in December to have a shot at winning bonus cash.

Every time a deposit is made or a real money bet placed, players earn points. The points then accumulate and place each player within the leaderboard. The higher on the leaderboard a player is listed, the more bonus cash they will receive.

Players will have to have an account at the Golden Nugget online casino and log in then select the Opt-In button for the contest to take part. Players will need to deposit at least $20 to take part and leaderboard points can then be earned.

Earning Points

There are a few ways that players can earn points while playing at the Golden Nugget online casino. First, points are earned from slots, table games, blackjack, roulette and video poker. Five Golden Points will be earned for every $100 wagered on slot machines. Players will earn 1 Golden Point for every $100 wagered on video poker, table games, roulette or blackjack.

Players who place a real money wager each day between a time frame of 1am ET to 1am ET the following day will earn 10 Golden Points. Earn 20 more Golden Points by depositing $50 to $99. This can be earned daily. Earn 40 Golden points every day you deposit $100 or more.

Players who had the opportunity to take part in the annual leaderboard will see the competition come to an end this month. A total of twenty five exclusive prizes are up for grabs including $1,500 in bonus cash, a 12 month lease of the Bentley and more.

The Golden Nugget will also be providing five random prizes as the competition comes to an end. Each prize is worth $1,500 in bonus cash. It will be interesting to see who earns the bonus cash and the major prizes of the competition, including the Bentley lease. There is still plenty of time to compete in the monthly contest as December has just begun. Players have to be located in the state of New Jersey to take part in the contest as well as any online gameplay.

Will Online Poker Struggle in Pennsylvania Once Services are Live?

Summary: Online poker has continued to struggle in the United States. Will the industry be successful in Pennsylvania once services are live?

Pennsylvania

Since 2013, online poker gaming has been offered in three states within the US; Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware. Each state has offered the activity for five years but none have been able to see great success in their online poker offering. Players are not as drawn to iPoker as they are with online casino games and the numbers have shown this struggle. New Jersey has the largest online poker market in the US currently and they barely manage to hit the $1 million mark in revenue each month for the industry. With Pennsylvania set to offer online poker soon, along with online casino gaming, it has many wondering if there will be a turn around for poker in the new state.

Is Interest There?

If you go back to the early 2000s and think about the poker boom, when Chris Moneymaker won the WSOP after earning a seat from an online qualifier, the interest was there. Players wanted to be like Moneymaker so they got online to play cards for real money. However, a few years later, Black Friday took place and the options to play online poker became nonexistent.

It seems that the shift from the poker boom to no poker at all has led the US to suffer when it comes to online poker revenues today. New Jersey has top operators in the mix, from the WSOP/888 alignment to PokerStars, yet the industry continues to barely cross the $1 million mark time and time again. Neighboring Pennsylvania will be launching services soon and it was just announced that PokerStars will be operating in the state as well. So, now experts are considering if Pennsylvania’s online poker scene will be busy and if the industry will succeed. Because so far, no state has seen great success with online poker.

To put things in perspective, month after month, New Jersey brings in over $20 million a month in online casino revenues. This is from table games, slots and live dealer. Basically, the online casino industry in the state is bringing in $19 million or more A MONTH when compared to online poker. This is a huge difference.

Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement

To try and make things better, Nevada and Delaware created and joined the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement. New Jersey would take some time but they eventually joined in as well. Now with Pennsylvania about to offer online poker, they have also decided to join the group. Basically, poker operators pool players, allowing individuals from one state to take part in gaming in another state. The goal is to create more traffic for everyone.

With another state in the mix, we could see online poker revenues begin to climb, though in the beginning it may be slow going. PokerStars will most likely be the first to launch, which will be good because the brand is recognizable. We have learned that PokerStars is investing in customer acquisition in the region, hopefully bringing new players to Pennsylvania once gaming is launched.

Only time will tell what online poker will turn in to with another state in the mix. All eyes will be on Pennsylvania as they begin to offer online poker services and move forward with providing players in their state with both online poker and casino gaming options.

New York Assemblyman Ready to Give Up Poker To See Sports Betting Pass

Summary: After fighting for years to see online poker come to fruition in New York, Assemblyman Gary Pretlow is ready to throw in the towel if sports betting would be approved.

Since 2013, online poker and casino gaming has been a reality in the United States. New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada were able to pass legislation in that time frame and have been able to offer services for a five year time frame.

Over the past few years, several states have considered online casino and poker legislation, but only one has been able to pass a bill. Pennsylvania is set to launch services at any time, increasing the number of states offering services in the northeastern region of the US. New York has tried and tried to get the ball rolling with online gaming, only to fall short each and every time.

Assemblyman Gary Pretlow has spent three years of his time the Assembly to try and see online poker come to pass in the state. Now it seems he would throw it all away if sports betting legislation could be passed in the state. In speaking with Online Poker Report, Mr. Pretlow stated that he would give up online poker for sports betting if he had a choice. The revenue stream for sports betting is actually doing better than what online poker could provide.

Working for Years on Legislation

Mr. Pretlow began his efforts with poker online gaming in New York back in 2016. He introduced legislation trying to see New York join New Jersey in offering some form of online gaming. However, all efforts failed. The state was able to see legislation pass in the Senate, but the Assembly was unable to move any bill through.

New YorkOver the years, New Jersey has proven to be successful with online casino gaming but has struggled with online poker. It seems New York might have made a good decision in not offering online poker just yet, but casino gaming and sports betting are booming in neighboring states. With Pennsylvania set to start offering online services at any time, to stay competitive, New York has to do something. 2019 needs to be the year that the state becomes involved in online gaming in some form or fashion if they do not want to fall behind when compared to neighboring states.

In New York, it has been estimated that $20 million to $25 million could be generated from online poker. However, with sports betting, the low end is $150 million. The state would fair much better by offering sports betting instead of focusing on online poker. It seems the monetary argument could push lawmakers to focus their efforts on sports betting to make some type of change in the state.

New Year

As 2019 begins, Mr. Pretlow has plans to continue his online gaming efforts. According to his interview with Online Poker Report, Mr. Pretlow will be introducing an online poker bill, but he will be working to prioritize his efforts and do one thing at a time. The thought now is that sports betting is too important as it can bring in much needed funds and it could be messed up if focused on with online poker gaming.

It will be interesting to watch as the New Year begins to see if New York will be able to pass legislation and what they will start with by way of a gaming expansion, online poker, sports betting or both.

West Virginia Sports Betting to Launch Mobile Wagering Soon

Summary: Recent reports indicate that the sports betting industry of West Virginia will be ready to offer mobile wagering in the near future.

Sports betting is in full swing within the state of West Virginia, as the region is one of the first to offer the new services thanks to a recent ruling by the United States Supreme Court. Acting quickly, West Virginia lawmakers wasted no time getting legislation and regulations in place, so operators could start taking sports bets. Now, it seems that the new industry is preparing to offer mobile wagering soon, ensuing players can post their wagers from anywhere in the state.

State Lottery Confirms

West Virginia CasinosThe state lottery director John Myers has confirmed that mobile sports betting is coming soon for the state. According to Myers, the Mardi Gras Casino and Wheeling Island gaming venue, both owned by Delaware North, are going to be offering retail as well as mobile sports betting in the near future. According to the director, the lottery has completed testing of the owner and both locations have a mobile application that will be taking online wagers.

Current Offerings

In September, West Virginia started offering sports betting with the Hollywood Casino being the first to launch services. After that, FanDuel Sportsbook at the Greenbrier was able to get started as well. It would be two full months before another casino would start offering services. Just last week, Mountaineer Casino began offer sports betting. Once the other two venues get started, all five sports betting licenses will be in operation.

Mountaineer, Hollywood and Greenbrier will not offer mobile sports betting. The two new operators should be able to gain a strong market share once they launch their app for sports betting. To offer sports betting in general, operators have to pay a $100,000 licensing fee.

So far, the sports betting industry in the state has been slow going. The state has seen low returns, which can be expected when there are few operators offering services. During the first two weeks of this month, just over $22 million was taken in Handle while the Revenue generated was just over $2.7 million.

With the current pace, the state’s sports betting industry is short of the estimated $5.5 million in tax revenues, earning only $273,254 so far this month. Much less will be brought in at this rate. However, once mobile gaming is in full swing, then the amount should soar.

Take for example, New Jersey. The industry earned $175 million just from online and mobile wagering for the month of October. This a staggering amount and the new section of the sports betting industry has helped to ensure that the state is successful in their wagering efforts.

West Virginia may not make as much as New Jersey, but they should see a huge upswing in bets once mobile is a go. Players may be interested in sports betting but might not make the trip to a venue to place a bet. With mobile wagering, players can easily place a bet. State residents as well as visitors will be more willing to place wagers when they can do it from home at any time they like.

It will be interesting to see how the industry changes once mobile wagering is launched. Will West Virginia see a strong increase in wagering? Only time will tell if mobile betting will cause an increase or if the numbers will stay relatively the same.

Mohegan Sun Pocono Approved for Online Gaming in PA

Summary: During the recent Gaming Control Board meeting, the Mohegan Sun Pocono was approved for licensing involving online table games and slots.

Yesterday, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board hosted a monthly meeting. The board meets about two times a month to deal with licensing and other issues. During this most recent meeting, the board decided to give licensing approval to the Mohegan Sun Pocono. The venue is now free to add table games as well as slots online for players in the state to enjoy.

Withdraw Poker Interest

PennsylvaniaThe Mohegan Sun initially applied for licensing for online poker, casino table games and slots. Each license had an individual cost and had to be paid for the brand to be considered. The group asked the board to withdraw their application involving online poker and now they will no longer be offering this option and will receive $2 million back of what they paid for licensing.

When a company presents their case for online gaming in Pennsylvania during a board meeting, they must provide information as to what they plan on offering. This information can include who the casino will be working with for online gaming. During their presentation, the Mohegan Sun did not name who their partner will be. However, they did say that who they are working with is a public company based in Europe and that partner has filled out an application in New Jersey, set to work in both states.

So, who is this mystery partner? It really could be anyone. A smart guess, as mentioned by Play Pennsylvania, is Kindred Group. The Kindred Group is the owner of Unibet and are currently partnered with New Jersey casino the Hard Rock Atlantic City. They are also a public company. It seems we won’t find out who the partner is officially until the Mohegan Sun decides to give us the news. It will be interesting to see if it is the Kindred Group or possibly another company that is not on the radar.

Current Landscape

In Pennsylvania, several operators have been approved for online gaming and have set up partnerships to get started. It seems as 2018 is about to end, we might not see online casino and poker gaming in the state officially until next year. Players in the state are certainly ready and proponents of online gaming want to see another state join in with Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware in being in full operation in the United States.

Operators who have been approved for licensing include Harrah’s, who has partnered with 888 and Scientific Games. Hollywood Casino and Penn National has partnered with IGT and William Hill to offer online gaming and sports betting.

Mount Airy has decided to partner with 888 and PokerStars, set to offer gaming online including sports betting via the BetStars brand. Parx Casino has partnered with GAN and Kambi while Rivers is partnered with Kambi as well along with SugarHouse/Rush Street Interactive.

SugarHouse will be operating with their Rush Street owner and Kambi while Valley Forge has created partnerships with FanDuel and GAN as well as partypoker and GVC. Presque Isle Downs will be working with several partners including SBTech, IGT and NetEnt.

Everyone is ready for Pennsylvania to begin offer online gaming services. Hopefully by the end of this year or next year, at least one online operator will launch services, allowing players to get started enjoying their favorite games online!

Rhode Island Launches Sports Betting via Twin River

Summary: Eight states now have operating sports books in the US as Rhode Island began this week via Twin River Casino.

Sports betting is booming in the United States as casinos across the nation begin offering the new activity thanks to a ruling from earlier in the year by the US Supreme Court. Several states started quickly with the new industry including New Jersey and Delaware. This week, Rhode Island became the 8th state to launch sports betting services, as the Twin River Casino of Lincoln started offering services.

Slow Start

Twin River CasinoThe Twin River Casino was supposed to begin offering sports betting on October 1st but were delayed in launching their sportsbook. It would take another two months almost before the casino was ready to begin. On Monday, the sportsbook was open for business with several big wigs on hand to throw out the ceremonial first bet. At the event was John Taylor, the Chairman of Twin River, as well as Senate President Dominick Ruggerio and Speaker of the House, Nicholas Mattiello.

With the new industry, the state will be able to receive 51% of revenues with the vendor earning 32% and the casino keeping 17%. The sports betting facility at Twin River is located on the third floor of the casino where players have been able to wager on greyhound and horse races for many years. The racino underwent a $100,000 renovation phase in the existing area to change it to add sports betting terminals as well as update the area.

The space now includes televisions that have been mounted to the countertops of the facility as well as on the wall. Customers of the sportsbook can place wagers on games involving Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League and the National Hockey League along with the NCAA sports teams. However, teams located in Rhode Island are excluded from wagering.

Future Plans

In the future, the Twin River sportsbook will offer even more, if plans fall into place. The property hopes to provide hand-held devices that can be used to place wagers. The venue has plans to create a second phase of their sports book experience by spending $1.5 million to create a 3,600 square feet space for sports betting that will include 100 television screens. The area will also be home to a bar and food and beverage area.

John Taylor, the Chairman of Twin River, commented on the upcoming next phase by stating:

Phase 2 is where the market is heading. It will be a comfortable place where guests can come in and make a bet, sit down on couches, have a beer and enjoy themselves.

Mr. Ruggerio, the Senate President for the state, commented as well, stating that he has waited 40 years for this day and he is confident that sports betting will help to provide Rhode Island with a steady stream of new revenue that will be helpful for initiatives that lawmakers are hoping to accomplish in 2019.

The state will look ahead with the new industry, set to offer online and mobile wagering, probably by the summer. It is expected that this side of wagering will begin with the new fiscal year. It is important to include online wagering as players want to be able to use their mobile device to place bets. With mobile and online offerings, the state will be able to bring in even more revenues that are much-needed.

New Virginia Sports Betting Bill Limited to Online Gaming

Summary: Virginia is the latest state to propose sports betting legislation, with the language limiting the industry to online play.

In states across the US where casino gambling is allowed, players have access to land-based gaming while online options are limited. Only a few select states offer both online casino and land-based gaming.

As states begin to consider the new industry of sports betting, lawmakers are placing an emphasis on offering online options as well as land-based facilities. It makes sense to offer the new industry in both formats because players want to be able to wager from home as well as at the sportsbook.

While most states are focusing online sports betting and physical sports books, the most recent state to propose legislation is looking to offer the new option only online.

Virginia Introduces Sports Betting

Virginia CasinosA bill was recently drafted in the state of Virginia that would regulate sports betting in the region, set to be filed officially in January when the new legislative session begins. Once information of the new bill was made public, it quickly became apparent that the legislation would focus on online platform sports betting and makes no mention of physical venues.

Titled House Bill 1638, the new bill was created by Delegate Mark Sickles. In the bill, it states that a sports betting platform is one that is a website, application or other platform that is available via the internet or a wireless, mobile or similar connection.

To be able to offer sports betting operations in the state, operators would have to apply for a permit that would be three years long.

The Virginia Lottery Board would have to approve the legislation. The Board would also be in charge of the regulatory side of operations and there may only be five permits up for grabs initially.

Applicants for the new industry would have to pay $250,000 to get started and undergo a screening process to be approved as an eligible provider.

Once in operation, the industry would have a 15% tax set on the adjusted gross revenues and then once the three year initial time frame is up, permits would have to be renewed and have a price tag of $200,000.

Allocations of Funds and Additional Info

The new industry would see the creation of a Sports Betting Operations Fund. The proceeds of the industry will see 2.5% going towards this fund.

The Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund will also be created with 2.5% allocated to this category. The remaining 95% will go towards the Major Research Project Subfund.

Players will have to be 21 years of age or older to take part. College as well as youth sports will be prohibited from being part of wagers on offer.

The industry would also include a voluntary exclusion program that would place a permanent ban on those who are added to the program keeping them from taking part in sports betting activities.

Additional sports betting legislation may be in the works in the future. Senator Chap Petersen has expressed interest in proposes his own legislation. With his measure, the bill would not limit sports betting to online game play.

He wants to see the activity more open and creating a social environment where bettors can go to a location, interact with others and spend money. He also would like to see the proceeds go towards the state community colleges. Sickles bill will see money going towards Universities.

Law Approved in Louisiana Set to Protect Skilled Gamblers

Summary: Individuals who are considered skilled gamblers are set to be protected further based on a recent law approved by lawmakers earlier in the year.

Earlier this year, the lawmakers of Louisiana decided to approve a law with the idea that protections would be established for individuals who are considered skilled gamblers.

This would include individuals who play blackjack and count cards. Known as Act 451, the bill was able to move through Legislature with no opposition.

Act 451

Louisiana CasinosThe new legislation will ensure that a player cannot be excluded from a gaming venue just based on their skill level. At the time, lawmakers felt that the bill would protect individuals from being kicked out of a casino for taking part in activities that are legal under law but not approved by operators of the casino.

Gaming venues across the country have continued to ban players who they feel are taking part in card counting, although the activity is not illegal.

With the new law, now in effect, skilled players will be able to continue to play their games, including blackjack, without being banned. Or so it was thought. It seems that the law is not actively being enforced in the state.

According to reports, it seems that players are still being asked to leave the premises of a casino when taking part in such activity as card counting. According to Doug Cain of the State Police, the Gaming Division of his department has received a few calls regarding the issue.

As the law is written now, it does not require the division to take action against a casino licensee who decides to exclude players from certain games. For now, it seems the issue is one that is being considered a civil matter between the casino and the player.

Player Frustration

The law that was enacted was supposed to help players but it without enforcement, there is no reason for it to be on the books. Players are becoming frustrated at trying to take part in card counting and continually being thrown out of venues.

Take Don Loehr for example. According to houmatoday.com, Loehr is kicked out repeatedly or ignored by dealers due to his card counting skills. For years he has had to deal with issues by security and floor bosses due to his skilled gambling.

According to Loehr, even players who are on a hot streak and not card counting have been asked to leave or to switch games. To the professional, it seems the casino is becoming paranoid about the wins and taking action even if the individual is not card counting.

Without any opposition by the gaming industry and the fact that the law was passed should indicate that action should be taken against a gaming venue that decides to kick someone out for what the government has called skilled gaming.

The act was one of several gambling bills addressed by the state government this year and it seemed as if players would be protected further. However, without action taken by a governing body, casinos will continue to be able to push players out if they are suspected of card counting.

For skilled gamblers, they still feel like they are being pestered for how they play their favorite card games. According to Loehr, there was hope with the new law but it seems that nothing has changed and why are laws such as this even being passed.

Sports Betting Efforts Moving Forward in Virginia

Summary: Efforts to see sports betting come to pass in Virginia are moving forward as several lawmakers are deciding to show their support.

Across the United States, efforts are being made to see sports betting come to pass. Several states have already implemented legislation to pass sports betting and are already offering services. Such states include New Jersey, Delaware, Mississippi and West Virginia. Since the federal government decided to strike down a federal ban on the activity, states have been able to offer the activity once legalizing the option within their borders. Virginia is the latest state to see news released that legislation is being drafted, however no efforts will be made until 2019 as the year is about to come to an end.

Filing a Bill

Virginia CasinosSenator Chap Peterson announced this week that he will be filing a bill to see sports betting come to fruition within his home state. The bill created by Peterson will seek to legalize the gambling option as well as create a state authority that will be in charge of regulating the activity. The bill will also see direct tax revenue placed towards reducing tuition costs at the community colleges in the state.

In an interview, Petersen stated that his bill would recognize the reality that sports betting is a reality and the state has already done their work when it comes to daily sports fantasy and that activity is widespread. The bill would take the sports wagering to another level, something that other states are already doing.

Delegate Mark Sickles made a sports betting proposal this week, projecting that the state could earn as much as $41 million via tax revenues. The money could then be used to fund research projects at the universities in Virginia.

Bill Language

With Petersen’s bill, college betting would not be allowed. This could be frustrating to fans of Virginia college sports, but Petersen tries to put any opposition to rest by stating that this caveat would save them money in the long run.

Petersen feels that sports betting will be legal in every state within the US in a five year time frame. His efforts are to get the concept out there in Virginia and hopefully see the gaming option come to pass. A key issue in the state will be to determine where sports gambling will go. Currently an off-track betting site is being set up in New Kent County, set to feature machines that offer wagering on historical horse races.

The General Assembly is also supposed to be considering a piece of legislation that would allow a casino to be created in Bristol. For Petersen, his bill would not require a sports betting operator to have a casino. Established tracks like Colonial Downs would be able to do it automatically while off-track betting sites will be able to offer services as well.

Local areas would be able to license a sports betting facility if the city or county government decides to pass an ordinance and approves the option via a voter referendum.

The Virginia Lottery has stated that they are interested in being in charge of sports betting if legalized. Petersen stated that he would like to see sports betting separate, however other lawmakers want to see the lottery become involved with a new industry.

For Sickles, his bill would create a 15% tax on the revenues from sports betting and the industry would be overseen by the lottery, ensuring that a trusted brand while the private sector can continue to do well.

It will be interesting to see which path is taken and if any of the sports betting bills are able to move forward in the state.

Pennsylvania Needs Sports Betting to Increase Overall Gaming Revenues

Summary: As gaming revenues decline in Pennsylvania, the state is ready to add sports betting in the mix to see an overall increase.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has released the revenue numbers for the gambling industry in the state for October, revealing a significant drop in earnings from slots and table games. Overall, revenues are down, and operators are ready to get started with sports betting to see an increase in total gaming revenue numbers. Online gambling will soon be in the mix as well along with satellite gaming venues, so hopefully the future will signify a turnaround for the gambling industry as a whole.

October 2018 Totals

PennsylvaniaFor the state, total gaming revenues came in at just over $252.7 million. This is a 3.49% decline when compared to the October 2017 totals. Slot machines dropped only 1.7% to $186 million while table games were down 8.12% at only $66 million earned for the month. Over the past year, slots have been on an increase, but have been unable to keep a steady incline for a several month time frame. The industry is up then down and back up again.

Breaking down the gains and losses individually, only four casinos out of the 12 operating venues in the state were able to see an increase in revenue numbers for October. The Valley Forge Casino Resort saw the largest gain, earning just over a 10% increase for the month. The Rivers Casino was up over 5% while the Parx Casino was up 4.16%. The Presque Isle Downs and Casino was up 3.16%.

The remaining casinos all saw declines. The largest was seen by the Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin, with an 11.56% decline in earnings. The Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem was not far behind with a loss of 11.30% when compared to October 2017.

As far as gains are concerned, the Valley Forge Casino continues to the be dominating venue. Month after month since November 2017, the casino has continually seen an increase in revenues when comparing the month from the previous year. It was only April that the venue saw a decrease in earnings, at just over 5.6%. Other than that, the casino has been quite successful, earning positive numbers for months on end.

Enter New Gaming Revenue Sources

For some time now, the state has suffered from losses, either in the slots or table games category. It is high time that additional sources of revenue are provided from the gaming industry. The state has somewhat launched sports betting as Penn National has already opened their sports book at the Hollywood Casino. Parx, Rivers and the SugarHouse Casino are all supposed to launch in December. Those should be followed by Harrah’s in Philadelphia and the South Philadelphia Turf Club.

On top of that, the state is preparing to launch online casino and poker gaming as well. These two options, along with sports betting should definitely increase the bottom line of gaming as a whole. Operators of land-based venues have been approved for online gaming, having obtained licensing and are setting up partnerships to get started.

By next year, several new aspects should be in full swing within the state regarding gaming additions. With the new options, the overall gambling revenues should increase significantly. There is a great need for online gaming as well as sports betting, and with the population size of the state, it should not take long before steady revenues should come rolling in.

Online Gambling Bill Might Be on Michigan Governor’s Desk by Year’s End

Summary: As 2018 comes to an end, the state of Michigan might send an online gambling bill to the governor’s desk before December is over.

Online gambling is under discussion in several states within the US, with some further along in their efforts than others. Leading the pack, Michigan has been preparing to introduce online gambling legislation and moving the bill along as quickly as possible.

Representative Brandt Iden has been leading the charge, just recently stating that a bill might reach the governor’s desk before the year’s end.

Working on Passing Legislation

MichiganRepresentative Iden attended the US Sports Betting Policy Summit this week, stating that he has been working with fellow Senate members to see a gambling bill come to fruition during the lame-duck session in the state. During the event, Iden stated that he feels that his bill, H 4926, will make it to the governor for signing by the end of the year.

The bill is currently sitting in the Committee on Government Operations in the Senate, having already passed within the House earlier in the year.

Known as the Lawful Internet Gaming Act, the bill would place the Gaming Control Board of the state in charge of setting regulations for online sports betting operations.

Within the board, a Division of Internet Gaming would be created, with the group being in charge of overseeing online casino and poker gaming.

With all the details covered in the bill, there is still time for it to move forward. This month, three days remain in session while nine are set for next month.

If the bill does not move forward and pass into law this year, efforts will have to start over. In an odd year, the state does not allow bills to carry over.

In the unfortunate event that the bill does not move forward, the Iden would have to start from scratch.

The Representative has his eye on several areas of gaming, including working on another bill that will be focused on sports betting. He must create any legislation involving gaming with a focus on commercial needs as well as tribal interests, plus keeping in mind the state lottery.

At OnlinePokerReport, Iden had stated that he was looking at what was done in New Mexico regarding gaming. The state created compact amendments recently that allowed sports betting within tribal venues. Iden has stated that this is similar to what Michigan will need to implement to ensure that the tribal interests are met.

Current Online Gambling Landscape

In the United States, online gambling is only operational in Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey. Pennsylvania passed legislation in late 2017 but has yet to get started. Efforts are being completed to get the ball rolling, but operators might not get going until early 2019.

If Michigan is able to pass legislation this year, they could get started in 2019, becoming only the 5th state to begin offering online gambling in the US.

As far as sports betting is concerned, if Michigan is able to pass legislation, they would become the 9th state to offer legal sports betting in some form or fashion. States that have already passed legislation include: Delaware, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia.

We shall see over the coming weeks if Rep Brant is able to get his bill passed on to the governor’s desk and if the state will be able to see online gambling come to fruition before the year ends.

Representative Jim Sensenbrenner Asks DOJ to Review Federal Sports Betting

Summary: Wisconsin Representative Jim Sensenbrenner has called upon the United States Department of Justice to review the sports betting landscape on a federal level.

Since mid-May, sports betting has been booming in the United States due to the United States Supreme Court ruling that a federal ban against the activity was null and void. State after state has either started looking into legislation or already passed laws to allow the activity to take place.

While the past few months have been good for sports betting, it seems one representative of Wisconsin is not too happy and wants the Department of Justice to weigh in regarding potential oversight of the industry via the federal government.

Letter Sent to Deputy AG

Representative Jim Sensenbrenner sent a letter to the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein this week, stating that the Department of Justice needs to provide a fresh perspective when it comes to laws involving sports betting, including the Wire Act.

The Rep has his hands in the fire so to speak as the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations. The Subcommittee recently took testimony on the subject of sports betting back in September.

When the hearing ended, as the chair, Sensenbrenner stated that intervention is necessary by Congress to harness the industry as it emerges.

The concerns of the representative involving sports betting include the striking down of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act along with the Wire Act and how it was reinterpreted. The Rep is not a fan of the changes and wants to see something done about it.

Sensenbrenner has voiced concern over terrorism, identify theft and money laundering in connection with sports betting. While there are issues with any industry, such problems have been shot down time and time again when brought up by those who are opposed to such gambling options.

By simply taking a look at New Jersey, the most successful state involved in online gaming and recently launched sports betting, it is clear to see the positive effects.

Just this past month, the state was able to record revenues via online gaming and an increase in wagers placed via sports betting operations. The state continues to do well and is a prime example as to how such gambling should be conducted in the US.

What Congress Should Do

According to the letter, there are three possible solutions that Sensenbrenner thinks that the federal government should do involving sports betting. First, they could chose to re-enact a federal ban on the activity. I doubt this would happen because so many states have already passed legislation and are offering services.

Second, federal standards could be created for the industry, across the board, with each state having to follow to offer sports betting. This seems unlikely as well. Third, the Representative suggests that states will be deferred to regarding regulation of the gambling activity.

This seems the most likely in the scenarios. States have already been regulating their gambling industries for many years and do a good job of avoiding any illegal activity.

According to Sensenbrenner, the worse choice that Congress could make is to do nothing. However, he does feel that if any changes were to take place, it would be months or even years before legislation could be developed and enacted.

DraftKings Ready to Open Sportsbook at Resorts AC by Month’s End

Summary: After launching a sportsbook in Mississippi this week, DraftKings is now preparing to open a sportsbook in New Jersey via Resorts Casino Hotel of Atlantic City.

The DraftKings brand is well-known in the United States for daily fantasy sports contests. Once sports betting became a reality in the states, the brand worked quickly to enter the new marketplace. The company is set to open a sportsbook this week in Mississippi and they have now announced that their book at the Resorts Casino Hotel of Atlantic City will launch by the month’s end.

Draft Kings Ready to Open

DraftKingsThe sportsbook has been under construction for some time now and is almost ready to go. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement will need to provide their final approval before the facility can start offering services. It is expected that the venue and approval will be given by the end of November. The launch will come just a short time after DraftKings gets started in Mississippi with their sportsbook at the Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort.

Mark Giannantonio, the CEO and President of the Resorts Casino Hotel, commented on the new sportsbook, stating that the casino is proud to have partnered with who they consider an industry leader in the sports betting industry. Once completed, Giannantonio says that on-property retail space will provide an immersive and entertaining experience for guests as well as sports fans.

The venue at the casino will have five betting windows and offer 12 kiosks. For sports fans, the sportsbook will include ultra-HD video walls where games will be highlighted. A VIP area will also be included, ensuring that players feel taken care of. Stadium-style seating will be included, with chargers, so bettors can spend a long time relaxing and wagering in the book.

Along with the sports betting options, the sportsbook will include a full bar that includes drink menus and food. When players want to play additional games, the sportsbook will have electronic slots included on the bar top.

Matt Kalish, the Co-Founder and Chief Revenue Officer of DraftKings, commented that the company has been working with the Resorts team to ensure the retail sportsbook will meet the highest quality of standards and customer experience.

Online Offering In The Works

DraftKings has been offering online gambling options in New Jersey for some time and reports of the online gaming earnings should be released this week. It is expected that DraftKings will be the leader when it comes to sports betting earnings online.

Back in September, it was Resorts Digital Gaming that came out on top when it comes to revenues, earning just over $8.5 million. Almost 100% of those earnings were generated by DraftKings. The brand has easily been able to surpass their competitor FanDuel, who earned $2.85 million for the month. However, when it comes to land-based sports betting, FanDuel reigned supreme. For September, the brand was able to earn just over $4.3 million.

It will be interesting to see how the DraftKings land-based book compares to FanDuel once the first full month of operations is in the books. If the sportsbook opens by the end of the month, it will be January before we will know the full details of operations. It takes a few weeks after the month has ended before the results are made public by the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement.

For now, all eyes will be on New Jersey as DraftKings awaits approval from the DGE and gets ready to launch land-based services.

Kambi Group Ready for Online and Kiosk Betting in Pennsylvania

Summary: Awaiting operating licensing approval, the Kambi Group is already focusing their efforts on being prepared to offer online as well as kiosk style sports betting in Pennsylvania.

In Pennsylvania, several changes are coming for the gambling industry. Sports betting as well as online gaming is about to begin and operators of land-based venues are quickly creating partnerships with companies that can help them get started. The Kambi Group is one such company that has plans to offer sports betting in the state, having already partnered with three casinos. The company is currently waiting to be approved for licensing before they can begin to offer services.

For now, the brand is working to set up their mobile betting operations as well as over the counter betting, which will take place via kiosk. Kiosks are already used in Europe for wagering and will be something new in the United States. With a kiosk, players will have instant access to wagering options, not having to wait in line at a sports betting window.

What to Expect

Pennsylvania Online GamblingThe Kambi Group is already functioning in the United States via a partnership with the SugarHouse Casino. The brand operates the betting app of PlaySugarHouse, so they already have a solid footing in the states. Despite this experience, the brand does not have any when it comes to the new sports betting kiosks.

Speaking with Play Pennsylvania, the Kambi Group gave the news outlet an inside look into what the kiosks will look like and how they will operate. Before a kiosk can be used, the player will need to deposit funds. This can be done one of three ways. Players can use the casino or an online account to load a player account card which can be used at the kiosk.

Players can choose to use a voucher which would require visiting a teller and paying for the voucher. Or, players can use cash at the kiosk. With the card and voucher, the item is inserted into the machine to get started.

With the card, a password is used for access.

Once the payment is provided, the user will then select which event they want to wager on. The amount of wager is also selected at this time. The chosen event will then move to a new screen which shows the pending bets. Once the betting process is complete, the player will end their gaming session and a receipt prints out.

When the event finishes up, the bettor can cash out by taking the receipt they received to a betting counter. However, the winnings can also be used to place more wagers at the kiosk. The betting slip is used in the kiosk to wager once again.

Kiosk Wagering

All US online casinos that have been given approval for sports betting will be allowed to have the kiosks within their facilities. The self-service option can be located in the sportsbook but also throughout the casino floor. Players are sure to take advantage of this option as it will be a new element and a convenient one at that.

Currently, there are six venues that have conditional approval to offer sports betting. The first to get started is expected to be Hollywood Sportsbook which has said they will open this month. Next month, the Rivers Casino and the SugarHouse hope to have their sportsbooks operational.

It will be interesting to see how Pennsylvania fares once their sports betting operations are functioning fully. They are sure to take a strong lead in the US as a top provider of the new gaming industry.

Golden Nugget Online in PA: What To Expect

Summary: As the Golden Nugget seeks approval for online gaming in Pennsylvania, what should we expect from the top-operating brand from New Jersey.

Unless you have been living under a rock or avoiding online gambling news in the United States, then you already know that the most successful operator in the nation regarding online gambling is the Golden Nugget of New Jersey.

The brand continues to surpass their previous month when it comes to player traffic and revenues earned, dominating the New Jersey market as well as topping the charts overall in the US. The brand has now applied for online gaming licensing in Pennsylvania and all eyes are on what they will do once live in the new region.

Applied and Waiting for Approval

Golden NuggetWhen the online gambling licensing stage was opened up by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, operators could apply for three licenses, paying $10 million total to offer online slots, table games and poker. Only operators in the state with licensing for land-based services could apply. When little interest was shown and a certain time frame completed, operators could begin applying for individual licensing at $4 million each.

Over time, the state saw applications submitted but licensing still remained. The board then decided to open up the process to qualified gaming entities located outside the state. When this happened, the Golden Nugget jumped at the chance to submit an application.

The brand now awaits a decision by the board. It may be this month’s meeting where we find out if the company is approved to offer their services in Pennsylvania while based in New Jersey.

It would be silly for the board not to approve the company based on their proven success in New Jersey. The Golden Nugget is the only operator to surpass the $9 million mark in monthly revenues from online casino gaming and their closest competitor is the Borgata, a brand that may reach the $5 million mark from time to time.

For now, the Golden Nugget is untouchable in New Jersey and should see the same success in Pennsylvania. If approved, all eyes will be on the brand as they begin to launch services in the region.

What to Expect from the Golden Nugget

The Golden Nugget already has established partnerships thanks to the services they provide in New Jersey. In Pennsylvania, it would not be unheard of for the brand to use those partnerships as well. The company is already teamed up with Betfair and Play Sugarhouse, offering the largest library of online games in NJ including live dealer options.

It is believed that the Golden Nugget will set up a skin with the Sugarhouse brand in Pennsylvania but not confirmed. The brand uses SG Digital for their online gaming offerings, so they should use this same brand in PA as well.

As far as additional options, the Golden Nugget should provide something like their New Jersey offering, providing a loyalty program along with additional incentives such as leaderboard competitions. It would be silly for the brand to do anything different than what they offer in New Jersey as they are seeing massive success.

It is also expected that the PA offering will include live dealer. The Golden Nugget was the first to offer live dealer gaming in New Jersey and they already have a full portfolio of unique options including a live roulette version offered straight from the casino’s gaming floor.

It will certainly be interesting to watch and see what the Golden Nugget ends up offering if they are approved for licensing. We should hopefully find out by the end of this year if the operator is approved to move forward.

Missouri Casino Faces Heavy Fine for Cheating Incidents

Summary: The Mark Twain Casino of Missouri is facing a large fine due to several incidents of cheating.

Casino operators across the United States have sets of rules they must follow in order to provide quality gaming to patrons. In every state that offers casino gaming, there are groups in charge such as gaming boards or commissions. These groups must maintain oversight of the industry and report on any issues, setting fines or punishments for venues that do not follow rules and regulations as they should. It is not uncommon for a casino to face a fine or action from a board based on issues that are discovered. This week, it was announced that a casino in Missouri is now facing a $50,000 fine due to issues with cheating.

Fine Determined By Gaming Commission

Missouri CasinosThe Mark Twain Casino of Missouri has been issued a $50,000 fine by the state’s Gaming Commission due to several incidents of cheating that took place in December 2016 until August 2017. During their monthly meeting last week, the Commission decided to approve a preliminary order for disciplinary action recommending that the casino pay the fine due to failing to take action against the cheating individuals and not reporting the incidents after the gaming laws were violated.

The casino now has 30 days to decide to appeal the ruling or the action will be final and the penalty will need to be paid. During the meeting documentation was presented that detailed incidents of cheating at the venue involving table games. Reportedly, employees of the venue and patrons were working together to take money from the casino during game play.

The casino’s department over table games reportedly knew that cheating was taking place but did nothing to stop it. The incidents came to the attention of the Commission in August of last year by the surveillance manager of the casino along with the casino operations director. With an investigation, it was found that the violations involved employees aiding in cheating as well as lack of supervision. The venue was found to have failed in reporting such violations to the Commission.

Once the Commission found out about the incidents of cheating, three individuals were fired from the venue and arrested on charges related to cheating. The supervisor of table games and the pit manager pled guilty to cheating. A table games dealer still has charges pending.

Coming Before the Commission

The issue did not come before the commission until now, pretty much a year later, due to the criminal investigation that was taking place involving the incidents. According to the Commission, they questioned 20 to 25 people who were witnesses connected to the incidents. The information was sent to the prosecutor in the case and then they were able to come forward with disciplinary action against the administrative side of the matter.

In the document provided during the meeting last week, examples were given as to how the cheating took place. In some instances, the dealer would change the outcome of a game of craps by not cleaning the losing bets. The dealer would also say from time to time that the craps dice went bad, which means the player rolled a seven. He would then give the dice back to the player without collecting the losing bet.

The roll was also manipulated from time to time by the dealer to see the outcome be anything but a seven. In other instances, players were allowed to add a wager after the outcome of the roll was known.

Golden Nugget of NJ Applies for Pennsylvania Online Gaming License

Summary: The Golden Nugget has applied to provide online gaming in the state of Pennsylvania.

Some time ago, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board decided to open up the online gaming licensing process to what they are calling qualified gaming entities. Such an entity could be one located outside the state, but one that is licensed in another jurisdiction that has proven themselves in the industry. No company has proven themselves as much as the Golden Nugget of New Jersey. Consistently breaking records when it comes to online game traffic and revenues, the brand is now setting their sights on Pennsylvania.

New Applicant For The State

Golden NuggetThe Golden Nugget provided their application for online gaming to the board right before the deadline cutoff yesterday. The board confirmed that they had received the application to new sites PlayPennsylvania. The Golden Nugget is reportedly interested in offering online slots and table games, set to pay $4 million each for licensing in each category.

MGM Resorts also applied this week, as an out of state operator, set to offer all three gaming categories, online poker gaming, table games and slots. If both operators are approved by the board, then that will leave six licenses up for grabs in the state.
While both companies are sure to be successful in their endeavor, all eyes will be on the Golden Nugget. The company is currently the most successful when it comes to online gaming in the state of New Jersey as well in the United States. The company has been able to sit in the number one spot month after month in NJ as their gaming platform continues to reach record numbers.

In September, the brand was able to take in $9.3 million in online gambling revenues, the largest portion of the $24.1 million earned from online casino and poker gaming combined. Surprisingly, the Golden Nugget only offers online casino, so they are able to hit such high numbers without any help from online poker gaming.

Next Step in the Process

Now that the two new applications have been submitted, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will now review the applications for approval. The applications are multiple pages long and will take some time to review. However, both MGM and the Golden Nugget are established and well-known in the gambling industry, so it would not be unreasonable for the two to be provided approval fairly quickly.

However, a decision most likely will not be made until the next meeting of the board, which takes place on November 28th. Once approval is given, the process of setting up the online gaming site can begin. It will most likely be in 2019 when the two begin offering services in the state.

It was supposed to be this year when Pennsylvania began to offer online gaming, but the process of setting up the new industry has been slow going. It took some time for the licensing process to begin and then it seemed interest was minimal. Once applicants began to submit their paperwork to be considered, the board then slowed down the process to review information provided carefully.

It has only been a short time since operators have been gaining approval for online gaming licensing and most of those who have been approved have stated that launch will be in 2019. For now, we will have to wait and see, hopefully with players having access to online gaming in the very near future. Even if the first launch is in 2019, the New Year is only a few short weeks away!

NFL Team Partners with 888 Casino in New Jersey

Summary: As sports betting continues to grow in New Jersey, online casino operator 888 has announced a partnership with the New York Jets.

Sports betting has been a hot topic in the United States over the past few months, gaining ground after the United States Supreme Court decided to rule the Professional & Amateur Sports Protection Act unconstitutional.

With the ruling, states blasted off with sports betting operations, with New Jersey one of the first to get started. As sports betting has started, professional sports teams are partnering up with gaming companies. This week, online casino operator in NJ, 888 Casino, has decided to announce a new sponsorship deal with the New York Jets.

New Deal Signed

NFLThe online casino operator announced this week that they are a proud sponsor of the New York Jets, as can be seen on the home page of the New Jersey gaming site. With a little investigative work on the part of Online Poker Report, it was found that that Jets website had discussed 888 in a post from October 21st, stating that players could meet brand ambassadors during the home game, and have the opportunity to download the app of the brand to gain an entry into a drawing to win merchandise of the NFL team as well as other prizes.

In the information on offer, it does not seem that the 888 Sportsbook will be promoting the NFL brand directly. However, we may see 888 begin to promote the NFL team via their sports betting site.

It’s odd to see that the Jets have signed a deal with 888 as they already have an arrangement with FanDuel via daily fantasy sports. FanDuel has a sportsbook in the same area in which the NFL team has their home games. The sports team also promotes FanDuel during their games, telling players to visit the brand’s tent before the game to take part in exclusive contests. Players can try to win special merchandise and tickets via the tent.

Other NFL Deals

The Jets are not the only teams to have signed deals with gaming groups. The Dallas Cowboys were the first to do so, having signed a deal with the WinStar Casino of Oklahoma. The Horseshoe Baltimore has also recently signed a deal with the NFL Team the Baltimore Ravens. These deals will see the teams promoting the gaming brands within their venues while the casinos will be promoting the teams within their gaming floors.

However, these deals differ from the one signed by the Jets and 888 Casino because this deal is online exclusive. It marks the first time an NFL team has become involved directly with a casino in New Jersey, not to mention in the United States. None of the deals also involved sports betting, which is odd as well. It seems the NFL teams are taking it slow, opting to begin with promotion and not be directly involved in sports betting, at least for now.

For now, these are the only deals in the works involving NFL teams. The NHL recently announced a deal with MGM Resorts while Caesars has partnered with the New Jersey Devils and the Philadelphia 76ers. As sports betting becomes more readily available, we should see more deals signed that will see gaming venues working with sports teams to promote their offerings, particularly sports books.

It will be interesting to watch and see how the partnerships evolve over time as more professional sports teams and casinos decide to team up.

Tropicana Casino & Resort Atlantic City Launches Sportsbook

Summary: Better late than never, the Tropicana Casino & Resort has finally launched their sportsbook.

Sports betting is in full swing within several states in the US including New Jersey. Players have access to online sports betting as well as land-based with several operators already offering services. This week, it was announced that the state is now home to a total of nine sportsbooks, as the Tropicana Casino & Resort of Atlantic City has launched services. The company is working with William Hill to offer sports wagering.

Wagering Starts Now

Tropicana Atlantic CityThe new sportsbook is operated by William Hill and was able to get started while football season is still in full swing. The North Tower Casino is where players will be able to place their bets, with a new sportsbook in the works that will offer 5,000 square feet of gambling space.

The launch of the new sportsbook was announced via the casino’s website yesterday, with a new section added to promote the new offering. The physical sportsbook is the only option open right now as there is no mobile or online option available yet.

Tropicana was slow to start as several other casinos already launched land-based as well as an online sportsbook. The state has already been able to see over $330 million wagered on sports since the new industry launched in the summer months.

Late Start for Tropicana

So, why did it take the Tropicana so long to get started? Several sports betting operations were in working order by June, with the legal change taking place in mid-May. William Hill was able to launch a sportsbook at Monmouth Park with others following over July and August.

The situation involving the Tropicana was a bit different because the property was undergoing a pending acquisition. Icahn Enterprises was selling the property to Eldorado Resorts in a $1.85b deal. The sale did not close for several months with the final approval not taking place until early this month.

In a surprising turn of events, the new owner decided to fire the online casino staff and focus on sports betting instead. In September, before the sale was finalized, William Hill announced they were the new partner of the Tropicana, announcing the new book would launch this year. It wouldn’t be much longer after the announcement that the decision would be made to go ahead and launch services.

Sports betting has already shown promise for the state in the few short months that it has been in operation. Gaming regulator David Rebuck stated that the numbers for revenues are stunning when looking at the recent September report. Released just last week, the state showed that expansion is happening rapidly, thanks in part to football season.

Casinos in the state took in over $184 million for September, keeping close to $24 million in revenues. The handle recorded is over double what was earned in August. In September, it marked the first time that all eight sportsbooks were in operation for one full month. Online sports betting was also added, which helps to increase the total numbers.

With the Tropicana now in operation and possibly more to come, the state is only going to see these numbers continue to climb. New Jersey has easily become the top state to provide sports betting in the US, both online and in land-based format. It will be interesting to see how the state continues to perform as the year comes to an end and how well they continue to do into 2019 and beyond.

Mega Millions Continues to Make History

Summary: With a jackpot that continues to climb, the Mega Millions continues to grow, waiting on a big winner.

Playing the lottery is something that most everyone in the United States enjoys doing. While not every state offers the lottery, many do, and players will purchase tickets where they live or travel to nearby states to do so, especially when jackpot prizes begin to grow to massive proportions. Currently, the Mega Millions is in the billions range, with players buying tickets in record numbers, the prize only continues to grow.

Million Dollar Winner

Just recently, a player from New Jersey managed to win $1 million by playing on October 19th. The player purchased a lottery ticket at a 7-Eleven in Morris County, with the store reporting that the ticket was able to match five of the six numbers that had been drawn. The winner has yet to come forward and they may honestly not know that they even won the prize.

During the drawing, the numbers that came up were 15, 23, 53, 65 and 70. The 7 was the Mega Ball. The player did not choose the Mega Ball, so they ended up earning the smaller prize instead of the big one. During the recent drawing, there were 15 big winners but only one saw their prize multiplied by choosing the Megaplier option, earning $2 million in the process.

Main Jackpot Keeps Growing and Growing

Online LotteryTonight, a drawing will take place for the Mega Millions yet again and the jackpot is currently the largest in history. The jackpot is estimated at $1.6 billion. If one player earns the big win, they could choose to take the lump sum payout which would equal $904 million. The previous record for the largest Powerball jackpot was $1.586 billion, a jackpot set in 2016.

That prize was split between three players, one from Kentucky, one from Florida and one from California. Each were given $533 million. A single winner tonight would easily eclipse the previous record jackpot.

Today’s lottery environment is much different than that of just a few years ago. Many states have opted to offer online lottery ticket sales, which allows players to purchase tickets whenever they like. The ease of online sales is helping to increase jackpots considerably. When the amount of prize money increases as it has of late, payers come out of the woodwork to be able to buy tickets in the hopes of being the next big winner.

This of course increases the jackpot which only fuels the buying process even further. The jackpot continues to increase until hit, then resets to build again until another winner is named.

Over the past few months, the winner of the jackpot has taken place in New Jersey. Back in March, a man won the Mega Millions to earn $175 million from a total jackpot of $533 million, after paying taxes. Just two months later in May, a player selected the right numbers in New Jersey as well to earn $183 million in cash.

It will be interesting to see if tonight’s drawing will result in a big win or if the prize will continue to grow until the next drawing, and so on. Players are all hoping their numbers are picked tonight so they can be the next big winner, earning almost $1 billion in the process!

Horseshoe Casino of Maryland Finds New Partner with the Baltimore Ravens

Summary: The Horseshoe Casino of Baltimore, Maryland has signed a new partnership agreement with their hometown National Football League.

In the United States, sports betting is the new hot subject when it comes to gambling. Casino operators in states around the country are hoping to get started in the new industry as it becomes available. So far, several states have already implemented sports betting legislation and already offer wagering options, including New Jersey, Delaware, Mississippi and West Virginia. With the new industry, comes new partnerships, including casinos signing deals with professional football teams.

The Horseshoe and the Ravens

Horseshoe Casino BaltimoreIn the state of Maryland, the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore has decided to sign a deal with the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, to create a new marketing partnership. This is the second partnership of its kind after the United States Supreme Court ruled that federal legislation that banned sports betting in the majority of the country was no longer valid.

Last Friday, the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore announced their official partnership with the Baltimore Ravens. The casino is owned in part by JACK Entertainment and Caesars Entertainment. The new agreement is a multi-year deal, with the terms yet to be revealed.

With the deal, the Horseshoe Casino will be able to use the logos of the Ravens as well as trademarks within the gaming floor. This will include displaying the brand in their three level bar. This area will be rebranded as a Ravens venue after being previously known as 14Forty. The casino will also be creating new loyalty cards for customers that will feature the NFL team.

For the casino, the Ravens will be displaying the venues logo at their home field, the M&T Bank Stadium. The casino will be highlighted at all games, helping to hopefully bring about more traffic to the venue. The casino has seen their revenues decrease each month over the past few months, especially after the National Harbor casino opened in late 2016. The venue continues to finish behind MGM and the Live! Casino.

In the official press release discussing the new partnership, Erin Chamberlin, the General Manager of the Horseshoe, stated that the new agreement will see two strong Baltimore brands coming together, each offering a unique entertainment product that has broad and complementary appeal.

According to Kevin Rochlit, the VP of the Ravens, the Horseshoe has become a popular spot for football fans to visit before and after the Raves games.

More Deals To Come

The deal between the Baltimore brands is just the latest in what is expected to be many deals struck between gaming venues and professional sports teams. The Dallas Cowboys were the first to cut a deal, having partnered with the Winstar World Casino in Oklahoma. This deal came quickly after the Supreme Court ruling and more are expected to follow.

As the sports betting industry continues to blossom in the United States, it is expected that even more deals will be made involving NFL teams, the NBA, MLB and other professional sports organizations. Sports betting is going to be big business in the US, especially as more states become involved. We may not see any additional states pass legislation this year, but it is expected that 2019 will bring with it many more proposals that will see more states begin offering sports betting within their borders once legislation is passed into law.

New Jersey DGE Cracking Down on Illegal iGaming Sites

Summary: The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement is taking action against online gambling sites in the state that are operating illegally.

New Jersey is one of only a handful of states that currently have legalized online gambling in operation in the US. Despite the legal means to offer services, illegal gaming sites are still at play in the US, including in New Jersey. The Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) has stated that they are now getting serious about taking action against online gaming sites that are illegal operating in their state.

Warning Sent

New Jersey DGEAccording to the OPR website, A letter was sent by the agency warning affiliates about the consequences that will arise from marketing to customers in their state. The illegally operating sites most likely received the same or a similar letter.

The issue first came to light when David Rebuck, the head of the DGE, began to become more vocal about the problem of illegal operations. As sports betting becomes more prevalent, the issue of illegal competition will only continue to grow in the state.

Rebuck stated during the Global Gaming Expo last week that the illegal market is ‘massive’ in the US and that it has been for quite a long time. Rebuck pointed out that it is easy for a player to look up how to bet in a state, such as sports betting or casino. They are then taken to an illegal website and the site is readily available. In a short time, the player has opened an account and placed bets at the illegal site.

In September, Rebuck made it known that the DGE had determined that over 108 offshore gambling sites were currently providing services to customers in the US. The sites are usually based in Costa Rica or Antigua and operate out of the reach of state officials.

Stopping Affiliates

It seems the DGE is taking a creative approach and setting their sights on the affiliates of the illegal online operators. The affiliates are the promoters behind such brands and the DGE is letting them know that its not okay and that any affiliation with such sites needs to stop. In the letter, the DGE stated:

“This letter shall serve as official notice that your website, by offering unauthorized gaming links, is promoting activity that is contrary to New Jersey and federal law. We request that you immediately remove any online gaming links that are not authorized under federal law or the law of any State.”

It seems the only operator that Rebuck has mentioned by name when discussing illegally operating sites is Bovada. The Bovada brand has been active in the United States for several years and they have offered services without obtaining licensing. It seems Rebuck is now ready to take on any brand that is not licensed and make them have to obtain an operating license if they are to offer services in his state.

Regulators have decided to send copies of the letters they sent out to affiliates to the Division of Criminal Justice. This was done so that the group can consider taking legal action. Violators are at risk of breaking state and federal laws regarding racketeering and gambling advertisement.

Affiliates who continue to work will illegal sites will be banned from associating with those who are licensed in New Jersey. This would definitely have a negative effect on those affiliates in the state who work with both licensed and unlicensed operators.

We shall see in the coming weeks if further action is taken and if any more details are provided by the DGE as to what they plan to do about illegal operators.

Online Gaming Continues to Thrive in New Jersey

Summary: The online gambling revenue numbers are in for September, with New Jersey operators falling just short of setting a new record.

Online gaming is alive and well in the state of New Jersey, the current top operating state in the US when it comes to casino and poker games. The state has easily surpassed Nevada and Delaware, with no additional competition as of yet.

Pennsylvania will be starting online gaming soon, but in the meantime, NJ continues to dominate. The New Jersey Gaming Control Board has released the September figures and the numbers show that the online gaming operators of the state came close to breaking another monthly record.

Falling short of a record month:

New JerseyIn September, the combined revenues for online poker and casino gaming came in at just over $25.75 million. Online casino gaming contributed to over $24 million of that number. The total amount of revenues earned marks the second-highest monthly total for the state since launch. For online casino gaming, coming in at $24,142,472 is the most the state has ever earned in this category since launching in 2013.

The month also marks the ninth one running where the online casino industry has surpassed the $20 million mark. In total, the state has been able to earn more than $20 million in total revenues for 19 months in a row. With the September revenues, the state has been able to see an over 26% increase in revenues when comparing September of last year.

Monthly Highlights:

Overall, the total gaming revenues came in at $25.75 million, which is a 7.3% increase month to month and a 26.3% increase when comparing September of last year. For online casino earnings, the state saw $24.1 million earned, which is an 8.5% increase month to month and a more than 30% increase when looking at yearly totals. For poker, the total gaming win came in at $1.6 million, which is a drop in both month to month and yearly totals. When compared to August, the online poker earnings were down 8.4% while yearly totals came in at 15.4% less.

For the month, the Golden Nugget continues to be the top operator. The operator earned over $8 million for the 7th month running, coming in at just over $9.2 million. The numbers mark the second time the state has surpassed the $9 million mark for monthly earnings.

Other operators are far behind, but still doing well. The top earners seem to get near the $5 million, such as the Borgata. None have been able to reach that milestone as of yet, though. The Borgata came close last month, earning $4.5 million in overall revenues.

As far as poker is concerned, Caesars is doing quite well. The brand is able to see a nice gain due to multi-state poker as they are associated with the WSOP/888Poker partnership. The brand earned just over $670,000 in revenues for online poker, which is pretty good considering poker does not do very well overall in the state.

The Hard Rock AC and Ocean Resort Casino are still considered newbies to the industry and were unable to earn $1 million when their totals were combined. The Ocean Resort continues to be at the bottom when it comes to revenues.

Overall, the online gambling industry is thriving. It will be interesting to see how October, November and December fair. The state is easily on track to break new records and continue to be the dominating state when it comes to online gambling in the US.

Ocean Resort Casino Launches New Android Mobile App

Summary: New Jersey online casino players now have one more Android option as Ocean Resort Casino launches their new version.

Online gaming options abound in New Jersey, as players have access to a great deal of casino and poker options. Atlantic City casinos like the Golden Nugget and Tropicana offer online gaming to help further their bottom line and offer their players more. The Ocean Casino Resort is one of two casinos that opened in the area during the summer and they also offer online gaming. The brand quietly launched their Android app for their online gaming site this week.

Android Offering

New JerseyOn the promotions page of the brand, the announcement of the new Android App was provided for visitors of the site. Players will need to visit the announcement page and click the Download for Android button to get started. Once logged in, players can choose a game to get started with real money play.

The Android application includes all functions of the site, so players will not find the experience different from the traditional gaming site. Players can choose from the full list of games as well as take part in leader board competitions and promotions.

With the announcement, Ocean Casino Resort made it known that they would be launching an Apple version soon. No date has been announced as to when that app might be released.

Mobile Gaming is Essential

For an online casino to be successful, it needs to cater to mobile devices. Be it an app or be compatible with a mobile browser, players want to be able to access gaming via mobile. Consumers use their mobile smartphones for everything these days from shopping to dining and more. Having an option for mobile with online casino gaming is essential to a casino’s overall success.

Research has shown that young people are more likely to use a mobile device than a traditional method of internet connection, such as a computer. Most young people do not even own a desktop computer and use chromebooks or their smartphone to access the internet. Casinos have to be able to cater to the younger demographic as well as the generations that will be gaming in the coming decades.

As technology continues to advance, casinos have to stay with the times. Online offerings need to reflect what consumers are doing and right now, mobile usage is key. According to a report by the Pew Research Center, over 20% of individuals ages 18 to 29 only use their smartphones to connect to the internet.

The legal age to gamble in New Jersey is twenty-one and that number fits into the demographic of consumers who use mobile devices. For casinos to be successful with their online gaming, their offering needs to be compatible with smartphone devices. The best way to do this is to offer a mobile application.

With the new option, the Ocean Casino Resort should see somewhat of an uptick when it comes to their online gaming traffic numbers.

The state is also starting to see a steady stream of sports betting earnings as well. With mobile options popping up for sports betting as well, the overall gaming numbers in New Jersey should soar over the coming months as the year comes to an end.

It will be interesting to see if the Ocean Resort has more success in October, November and December, revealing if the app is a big driver of traffic as it seems to be.

Satellite Casinos Could Offer Sports Betting

Summary: With satellite casinos in progress in Pennsylvania, the new venues may end up offering sports betting along with table games and slots.

Gaming is rapidly expanding in the state of Pennsylvania as operators prepare to begin providing sports betting, satellite casinos and online gaming to residents as well as visitors. After a gaming reform package was passed into law last year, all of these changes and more were approved. Now, the state has been busy preparing to begin offering their new options for gambling. Several operators have applied for a satellite gaming license and have been approved. Satellite casinos are miniature versions of a land-based casino that can offer a smaller number of slots and table games. Now, such venues may also be open to sports betting in the future, yet another wagering element to provide gamers.

Sports Betting Too?

Penn National GamingOperators who were approved during an auction process for satellite casino license were paying to offer slots and table games. Now, it seems sports betting is on the table too. According to Penn National, the Gaming Control Board has stated that a land-based sports book can be provided at a satellite casino.

In speaking with the York Dispatch, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Communication Director Doug Harbach, stated that a sports book can be offered, and that Penn National would have to apply for sportsbook approval. There is no time frame on such approvals, so it would most likely be some time before the option could be launched at mini casinos.

At the time when the satellite casino legislation was passed into law, sport betting in Pennsylvania was not a reality. The original language of the law stated that as many as 10 satellite casinos could be created in the state and they could offer up to 30 table games and 750 slot machines within the first year.

Now, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act has been eliminated, the state is able to focus on sports betting if they so choose, and they want in on the action. In the gaming package, lawmakers did have a little information set aside in case the PASPA was struck down. They set a $10 million licensing fee and a 36% tax rate, which many feel is very high compared to other states like Nevada offering more reasonable tax platforms.

Casinos are now interested in offering sports betting at their satellite casinos, providing a fresh space for the activity. The board are having to consider the option, along with a ton of other offerings, as many changes are taking place in the state. Satellite casinos are a good option for starting sports betting as most operators are starting from the ground up and can include a sportsbook in their plans.

Penn National’s Plans

Penn National is preparing to launch their satellite casino in a mall where a Sears store used to be located. The brand will be calling their venue Hollywood York and will be spending as much as $120 million on the renovations of the building. When it comes to licensing, the company will be spending over $50 million.

The facility is in a good location for sportsbetting as there are not many casinos in the area. It will be interesting to see how the brand fares once they get going with operations. It will be some time though before the facility will be up and fully functioning, offering slots and table games, along with the possibly of sports betting.

With this revelation, it will also be interesting to see which venues follow suit and look to launch sports betting within their satellite casinos as well.

Rivers Casino Withdraws Application for Online Gaming

Summary: The Rivers Casino of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has decided to withdraw their application for online gaming.

In Pennsylvania, licensed gaming operators in the state have been applying for the opportunity to offer online gaming. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board must receive an application and then approve an entity for online slots, table games and/or poker. So far, a few casinos have been approved, including the Sands and Valley Forge. Today, we learned that the Rivers Casino of Pittsburgh has decided to no longer apply for online gaming, having removed their application from consideration.

No Longer Interested

Sugar House CasinoWith the application withdrawn as of yesterday, the state now has three additional interactive gaming certificates available. The total number of open options now in the state is 10. The news of the application withdrawal is odd as no official comment has been made on the matter. The brand did speak to Online Poker Report, stating that the property is still interested in offering sports betting.

In a statement, a Rivers Casino spokesperson said that the company is taking time to explore online gaming options, set to actively pursue a sports betting license for land-based and mobile gambling. The owner of the Rivers Casino, Rush Street Gaming, is also the owner of the SugarHouse Casino, that will still offer online gaming. It seems that perhaps the SugarHouse venue will be the online gaming access point for the owner while the Rivers will be the sports betting hub.

For Rivers Casino to be able to offer sports betting and online casino gaming, they would have to pay $20 million total. The brand could save $10 million by sticking with the SugarHouse as their online gaming destination and then using the Rivers as their sports betting venue. It makes sense to be involved in both areas of gambling but not overwhelming so, spending a great deal of money on licensing for both properties.

More Licensing Available

For some time now, the state has been offering up the online licensing to entities located outside of Pennsylvania. Now with the Rivers withdrawing their application, even more outside entities could become involved. A total of 29 out of 39 have been claimed which now leaves four online poker licenses on offer, three online slot licenses and three online table game licenses.

The Gaming Control Board has announced that entities that are considered qualified for gaming will be able to seek the certificates that are available by filing a petition starting on October 15th. Such operators will have until October 31st to complete the petition process. Companies do not have to have a presence in the state to be considered.

Once the petition process has ended, the board will then choose entities at random to be able to offer online gaming. Now with more licenses up for grabs, there is more potential for outside entities to be able to operate in the state via online slots, table games and poker.

Over the next few weeks, we should see companies stepping forward and vying for the available licensing. Will it be companies that are based in other states? Or will we see operators from other regions, such as Europe, hoping to get started in Pennsylvania?

Players are ready to be able to enjoy online casino and poker games from their home or on the go in the state. Since the gaming reform package was passed last fall, allowing online gaming to be legalized in the state, players have been waiting in anticipation for the opportunity to wager online for real money. Hopefully, the operators who have licensing will begin to offer services shortly.

Two Operators Approved for iGaming in Pennsylvania

Summary: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has approved two casino operators for online gaming licensing.

Online gambling was approved in the state of Pennsylvania thanks to a gaming reform package that passed in late 2017. So far this year, the state has seen several operators fill out applications to earn licensing to offer online poker, table games and slots. Just this week, the board approved two operators for licensing, the Sands Bethlehem Casino and the Valley Forge Casino.

The Sands Applied?

If you know the name Sands associated with the gaming industry, then you know the company has no intentions of offering online gaming. The Sands Bethlehem Casino is currently owned by the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, which is associated with Sheldon Adelson, a strong opponent of online gambling in the United States. So, it seems odd the brand would apply for licensing.

The Sands will not be offering online gaming but did apply as the brand is about to be taken over by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, a group based in the state of Alabama. As part of a deal agreement announced earlier in the year, the tribe agreed to acquire the property for $1.3 billion but stipulated that an online gaming license had to be secured for the deal to be complete.

During the board meeting, as reported by Online Poker Report, Michael Magazzu, general counsel for the Sands, stated:

We are only applying for the interactive gaming certificates because of the pending sale of the Sands Bethworks Gaming assets to PCI Gaming. If not for that pending acquisition, Sands Bethworks Gaming would not be applying for these interactive gaming certificates.

Because the new owner cannot apply yet, the Sands agreed to do so for them. Known as PCI Gaming, the new owner of the Sands will need to meet several conditions that were created by the Office of Enforcement Counsel to be able to move forward with the online gambling activities.

The application of the Sands were approved.

Valley Forge Also Earns Approval

Pennsylvania Online GamblingUnlike the Sands, Boyd Gaming does want to offer online casino gaming and were ready to present their reasons to the board during the meeting this week. The group is just a few weeks away from acquiring the Valley Forge Casino.

The casino is already partnered with the FanDuel Group with IGT set to provide the gaming platform for the casino. The operator wants to be able to provide gamers table games, slots and poker options online. Online sports betting will also be provided in the future.

The board heard the Valley Forge presentation and decided to approve them for online gaming under certain conditions, the same as with the Sands. Partners of both casinos will have to be vetted before gaming can officially begin online.

So far, eleven casinos of the 13 located in Pennsylvania have applied for online gaming in some form or fashion. Most have decided to purchase the full set of gaming permits. The Presque Isle Downs was the only casino to avoid applying for an online poker license.

Other operators who have been approved by the board to offer online gaming include Mount Airy, SugarHouse, Harrah’s, Parx and Hollywood Casinos. The Mohegan Sun, Stadium Casino (still under construction) and the Rivers Casino are still waiting to be approved by the Board.

It seems that soon, the state of Pennsylvania will finally launch online gambling, offering residents and visitors to the state a wealth of options including slot games, table games and poker.

Golden Nugget Offers More with Haunted Mansion Challenge

Summary:  The online casino of the Golden Nugget continues to offer players more with the exciting Haunted Mansion Challenge.

In the state of New Jersey, online casino gaming has been on offer since 2013. Over the years, certain operators have been able to stand out above the rest. The Golden Nugget provides an online casino for gamers to enjoy, providing slot games, table games, live dealer and more. For 2018, the online casino of the brand has continued to dominate the market, bringing in at minimum $8 million or more per month in revenues. Their closest competitor is the Borgata and they usually only reach the $4 million mark.

To continue to be the best and offer players more value, the brand has decided to provide a special event this October. Players who visit the site will be able to take part in the Haunted Mansion challenge, set to offer players with monster value and big prizes.

Haunted Mansion

Golden NuggetPlayers who want to take part in the Haunted Mansion need to be located physically in the state of New Jersey. An account must be created at the Golden Nugget and real money deposited. Once you are ready to go, you can think click on the Haunted Mansion to begin.

Inside the mansion, players will find many twists and turns, as well as prizes! The Victorian house is filled with horrors, set to offer a full month of incentives. There will be 500 winners in total with the grand prize winner earning a $10,000 prize!

The top ten players in the leader board challenge will be given bonus prizes. The competition is part of a year-long option, so players who participate in October will be able to compete for double the points. The Golden Nugget has decided to award double leader board points for the month.

In October, there will be a total of $50,000 in bonus prizes up for grabs. The $10,000 prize will be a free play bonus that the winner can use at the Golden Nugget online casino. Every month, a new race will start, offering at minimum $25,000 in prizes. October is a special month, so the brand decided to go all out with their offering!

Yearly Race

The Haunted Mansion is part of the Half-Million Dollar Yearly Race currently taking place at the online casino of the Golden Nugget. The yearly race will offer more than $500,000 in prizes as well as an additional $175,000 year-end giveaway. The top prize of the contest is a Bentley lease for one year or the $30,000 bonus equivalent.

Second place in the contest will earn a Live the Dream prize package or they can choose to take $15,000 in bonuses. Third place is a year of fine dining or $12,000 in bonus cash. For the month of October, the race offers more value and will be even more exciting as it is spooky themed to coincide with the Halloween Holiday.

Once the month comes to an end, the site will reward the Haunted Mansion prizes. It will be interesting to see just how many players take part. The Golden Nugget is already a very popular online gaming site and the addition of the Haunted Mansion plus the yearly contest is sure to drive up traffic. We may see the brand move up by way of revenues and traffic numbers if players decide to play even more to be able to take part in the special leader board challenge.

William Hill Launches iOS Sports Betting

Summary: New Jersey sports betting operator William Hill has now launched an iOS version of their mobile sports betting offering.

On September 1st, William Hill began offering sports betting in New Jersey, with a quiet launch of a land-based sports book at Monmouth Park. The first sports bet of the brand took place at the retail outlet and once online betting was launched, Will Hill would offer Android options but did not offer an iOS version. Owners of iPads and iPhones were unable to wager on sports games via William Hill, that is until this past week. The brand has now launched an iOS option so that owners of such devices can take their gaming on the go.

Smaller Market

For most online gaming operators, mobile gaming is offered quickly as players like to be able to wager via mobile devices. For the most part, operators will launch options via Android and iOS to be able to provide access to everyone. For William Hill, the brand decided to launch via Android first, then move on to iOS. Just over 50% of mobile users choose Android devices over iPads and iPhones. Because of this, it seems the brand decided to go with the majority first, then launching via iOS.

Strong Mobile Options in New Jersey

William HillIn the state of New Jersey, mobile sports betting is quite common. Several operators are offering the option, more than not. Right now, playMGM and 888 Sport are the only remaining operators who offer sports betting that have yet to launch both an iOS and Android version of their mobile offerings.

DraftKings was the first to enter the market, offering a linked wallet that provided access to sports betting and daily fantasy sports. The brand just recently announced they have added the PayPal option as a way of deposit.

Competitor FanDuel also has launched sports betting services in New Jersey, offering a land-based sportsbook via the Meadowlands. Another option for players can be found via SugerHouse Sportsbook. Offering an online app, players can easily access sports betting on the go when using the SugarHouse format.

For gamers who wish to enjoy sportsbetting and casino in one place, Caesars is a great option. A single wallet is available for both, which helps players to have access to casino and sports betting gaming, all in one place. Players will also find that this app offers access to the Total Rewards Program which is linked to three casinos in Atlantic City.

Additional sports betting options can be accessed via BetStars, 888 Sport and playMGM. Players can easily find an option for sports betting in the state, be it onsite or online via mobile devices.

So far, there is no further apps or online sports betting options coming to New Jersey. It will be interesting to watch going forward how the industry fares as the year comes to an end.

While New Jersey sports betting is fully operational, another state is preparing to offer services. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board recently approved several gaming operators for sports betting in the state. So far, Harrah’s Philadelphia, Hollywood Casino, Parx Casino and SugarHouse Casino have all applied for a sports betting licensing. Approvals could happen as early as next month and hopefully Pennsylvania will be able to get started in the industry just as New Jersey has.

Sports Betting Continues to Thrive in the United States

Summary: Sports betting is in its infancy in the US, but states are continuing to thrive as more become involved in the new industry.

Since May, sports betting has become a booming industry in the United States. Once the US Supreme Court decided to strike down the Professional & Amateur Sports Protection Act, states began to work quickly to create regulations to get started with sports betting or crafted legislation to get the ball rolling to enter the industry. In the beginning, it was Delaware and New Jersey offering services, then followed by Mississippi and West Virginia. Reports have been revealed in West Virginia showing that the state is already doing quite well in seeing revenues from the new industry coming in at over $1 million. Close to $3.4 million in total wagers were placed during the first three weeks of operations in the state.

West Virginia Thus Far

West Virginia CasinosSports betting in the state thus far as fared very well. The West Virginia Lottery Commission recently published the figures, so the public can see just how the new industry is evolving. During the first full week of operations, the state earned just over $457,000 which ran from September 1stto the 7th. During the next week of wagering, from September 8thuntil the 14th, a total of $1,104,008 was wagered. The final week of totals, September 15thuntil the 21st, saw even more wagered, at $1.8 million.

The majority of the wagers were placed by patrons of Hollywood Casino as they were fully operational early on. The casino opened a William Hill operated sports book at the end of August, able to offer sports betting without any competition for some time.

By mid-September, The Greenbrier opened a FanDuel Sportsbook. The revenue from this venue was counted as well, but only eight days of data were available. The state should see even more revenues in the coming weeks/months as more operators begin offering services and one online betting starts, via desktops and mobile devices.

WV Gaming & Racing Association President John Cavacini stated that the early numbers are promising and they were consistent with what operators were expecting. From sports betting thus far, the state has been able to collect more than $100,000 in taxes.

Problems Ahead

While the revenues and wagering numbers are strong in West Virginia casinos, the state still has a few problems in West Virginia. Regulators are currently working to finish up temporary regulations dealing with permanent legislative rules. Right after the Hollywood started offering services, Alan Larrick, regulating director, stepped down from his position. The new director if John Myers and he is now working to finish up the regulation needs.

Another part of the issue is the integrity fees wanted by professional sports leagues. Leagues like the NFL and MLB have asked for such fees in an effort to be able to earn revenues from sports betting. West Virginia was against integrity fees from the very beginning, but now Governor Jim Justice seems to be pushing for the gaming option to add in the fees.

Lawmakers believe that the Governor is catering to private interests instead of what is needed by the state. It will be interesting to watch the state as the year continues, seeing just how much sports betting evolves, and how much is earned by way of revenues and wagers. Only time will tell if the state will continue to succeed with what they are offering to the public by way of this new industry.

Online Gaming Licensing Remains Unspoken for in Pennsylvania

Summary: A total of seven licenses are still up for grabs in the state of Pennsylvania involving online gaming, but will there be any takers?

Online gambling has been slow going in the state of Pennsylvania. Late last year, the state approved online slots, table games and poker, but the licensing process and actually seeing operators go online is taking forever. Once the application process was opened up for licensing, it was slow going and now, seven licenses still remain. It now begs the question as to if the remaining licenses will be applied for and by who?

Slow Process

Pennsylvania StateWhen the licensing process began in the state, operators were slow to begin their application process. Many analysts felt that operators were slow to apply due to the high tax rate, with 54% set for online gaming. The price point per license was also an issue. Operators first had to pay $10 million for all three or they could wait until the licensing process was open per license which led to a $4 million per license payment.

Over the past few months, a few operators have been approved and things are starting to move along. During a meeting of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board on September 12th, the board decided to provide the remaining seven licenses up for grabs via random draw. The licenses are not only offered to existing operators in the state, but now, any qualified gaming entity can apply.

There are certain regulatory requirements that a company considered a qualified gaming entity must meet. First, they must have licensing in another gaming jurisdiction and be in good standing. They must also be located in a jurisdiction that has licensing standards that are comprehensive and have similar safeguards in place as those that are required in Pennsylvania. The entity must also have business experience and expertise to be able to operate an online gaming system.

What’s Left?

The online gaming licensing options that remain include 3 for online poker gaming, 2 for online table games and two for slots. Operators can apply and pay a $4 million licensing fee to offer services in the state.

Current operators in the state have all applied for online gaming except for two; the Meadows Racetrack & Casino and Lacy Luck Casino. The owners of both casinos have already applied via other Pennsylvania properties, so it doesn’t make sense for them to apply with another venue.

We may see either The Stars Group or MGM deciding to vie for licensing. The Stars Group is currently partnered with Mount Airy, who is also partnered with 888. In the future, we may see an online license obtained by the two online gaming operators as they already have established brands and could do well in the region as a stand-alone operator.

MGM may also show interest in licensing as they have a partnership with Boyd Gaming. The Valley Forge Casino has now been approved for a takeover by Boyd Gaming, so we may see online gaming becoming a subject of interest once the acquisition has been completed.

The process is also now open to foreign gaming companies that do not have a vested interest in the United States as of yet. Basically, the door is wide open for anyone to try and obtain licensing from the

seven that remain in the state. The Board should be announcing a date soon for the upcoming drawing for the remaining licenses, so by that time, we should find out who is interested and what they might provide in the state.

MGM Resorts International Worried About New Stadium Parking

Summary: MGM Resorts International is currently concerned about the parking situation involving the upcoming Las Vegas Stadium, worried that the stadium visitors might try to use their casino parking for events at the venue.

Las Vegas, Nevada will soon be home to the Las Vegas Stadium, a sporting and event venue that is set to bring in an influx of even more visitors to the gambling city. Because of the larger numbers of visitors to the region, certain gambling operators are worried about parking. MGM Resorts International is an operator that is stating their concern about patrons of the stadium trying to park at their casinos.

Parking Problems

MGM ResortsDuring a recent board meeting with the Las Vegas Stadium Authority, President of MGM Resorts International, Bill Hornbuckle, was on hand to discuss his concern over the potential parking issues. Mr. Hornbuckle used the meeting to talk about how the company feels that the stadium parking may be an issue

MGM is worried that people who attend games at the new stadium will use the parking at their gaming venues to have access to the property. MGM has several properties near the stadium including the Luxor, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, New York-New York and Excalibur. The company is worried that the stadium will take parking spaces from their patrons, which would be bad for business.

According to Hornbuckle, MGM is ‘petrified’ that they will be ‘choked out’. The company is extremely concerned about where they are and what will happen once the stadium is fully functioning.

The stadium will be home to the NFL’s Raiders and will cost $1.8 million to complete. The 65,000 seat stadium will be domed and has 2,700 parking spaces onsite. The venue also has 12,000 parking spaces located off site. The offsite parking is located within satellite parking lots. Fans who use the offsite parking spaces will be shuttled to the stadium for a fee that has yet to be determined.

The nearby resorts have parking garages and these garages have been mentioned within the proposal by the Raiders for the stadium. In the proposal, it stated that it was reasonably assumed that the parking garages of the venues would be used on game days and it would reduce the need for dedicated parking for the stadium.

Hornbuckle pointed out in the meeting that the company had helped with the opening of the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas which is located in the Strip, that the problem was a parking plan. The company ended up building the Excalibur garage because of issues involving parking.

MGM pointed out additional concern about parking, as the monorail extension for the Mandalay Bay is not progressing as it originally was planned, and it will not be ready once the stadium opens in two years. This will add to the problem with parking and transportation as the venue begins hosting Raiders games and other events.

Raiders Input

Marc Badain, the President of the Raiders, commented on the remarks of MGM, stating that they are not surprised over the concern. The two sides have already had conversations involving parking over the past year and he understands the issue at hand.

Badain pointed out that the parking plan will be worked on and modified as needed for the first kick off in 2020 with the stadium. Parking is an important part of game day, says Badain and it will remain an important part, so the brand will continue to revise the plan to ensure it gives fans what they want.

Westgate Las Vegas Unveils Plans To Expand Sportsbook Outside Nevada

Summary: Westgate announces plans to open more Superbook’s outside Nevada.

Largely regarded as the best sportsbook in Las Vegas, The Westgate recently announced their intentions of opening more “Superbook” brands in new US states outside of Nevada, as current legislative changes continue to pave the way for more regulated sports betting in many states.

A Current Market Leader

For those that are unfamiliar, The Westgate currently offers the largest sportsbook in Las Vegas featuring over 30,000 square feet, 350 seats and a 220 foot by 18 foot video wall that simultaneously streams hundreds of sporting events from around the world.  It is also home to the world’s largest handicapping contest “Super Contest” and is a favorite amongst sports bettors visiting the city.

Discussing the expansion plans, CEO Diana Bennett said:

The Superbook brand has been the leader of the sports book industry for more than 30 years. Gaming regulators across the country will now have a trusted partner as they move forward, and casino operators will be able to draw on the experience and expertise that has made Superbook the benchmark for sports betting.

Although WestGate and their operating company Paragon Gaming have not yet revealed any of the future locations of the SuperBook, it’s thought that they’ll partner with local casino and racetrack operators in other states – similar to how many of the recent legal sports betting options have been setting up in places like New Jersey and Mississippi.

Jay Kornegay, the Vice President of the Westgate Sportsbook is thought to be an integral part of the expansion, and Westgate is in a unique position due to their operational expertise to build a significant stronghold if they move swiftly to secure venues across the United States.

Licensing Route Most Likely

It’s though that the deal will mostly be in a licensing and operations capacity, where WestGate won’t own the new sportsbook venues, but rather provide licensing of the Superbook brand as well as management oversight to ensure that operations go smoothly.

The news of Westgate expanding is just one of many recent stories in the sports betting space ever since the Supreme Court ruling in May that overturned previous rules prohibiting sports betting nationwide.

We expect many more announcements of Vegas based betting companies expanding around the country in the next few months as slowly but surely new states open up.

New Jersey Online Gambling Industry Continues to Grow

Summary: Over the past few years, New Jersey has experienced continual growth within their online gambling industry. Will the growth continue or eventually even out?
Since 2013, online gambling has been a reality in the United States. Only three states currently offer online casino and/or poker gaming options, including New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada.

Pennsylvania will begin offering services soon, but in the meantime, New Jersey is the market leader in the US when it comes to online gaming. For five years, the state has held the top spot and shows no sign of slowing down. The market continues to grow, and it seems that there is no slowing down in sight.

Five Years and Counting

New JerseyThis year marks the 5th anniversary of online gaming in the state of New Jersey. For five years, the state has reached several milestones and been able to achieve accomplishment after accomplishment. Perhaps the most remarkable feat of the industry is that they have been able to see sustained growth over the five year time frame. Since the state began offering online gambling services the state has seen an increase in revenue every month.

This is quite the accomplishment considering the industry should have reached maturity at this point. Online operators continue to join the fray and instead of seeming revenues spread out among the existing and new operators, the revenues just continue to grow. It is important to point out that not only has the revenue grown each month but it has grown considerably, increasing at around 10% or more every month for the past several years.

So why is New Jersey so successful? What are they doing that Nevada and Delaware aren’t? For starters, the state’s online gaming law and regulatory oversight was created to be able to maximize the revenues earned. New online casinos and operators to the market helped to see continual growth. New casino products on offer, such as live dealer games and virtual sports helped solidify growth as well.

Of course, the increase in revenues will have to stop at some point, but when? Even if the revenues do reach a flat point, the state continues to bring in over $20 million a month with online gaming. At that point, that is close to half a billion in one year. And of course, $20 million is basically a low point. The state has been reaching $25 million on a consistent basis.

With the introduction of sports betting, operators are set to earn even more in the coming months.

Depending on how online gaming revenues are broken down, sports betting would add even more to the monthly totals. Operators have already launched land-based sports books and online options are available as well.

In August, online sports betting began in New Jersey and this month, the revenues showed that during the first month of operation, over $3 million was earned. Now, even more operators are offering sports betting online so this number is only going to increase, and most likely in a significant manner.

If online gambling totals include the sports betting numbers, the state should see their monthly revenues increase by several million dollars. It will be interesting to watch as the year closes out, just how much is earned via legal online gambling, including with the introduction of sports betting.

New Jersey will continue to be the number one state when it comes to online gambling for the year and most likely continue to have a stronghold into 2019 and beyond as the continue to see massive online gaming success.

PokerStars Launches Online Sports Betting in NJ Via BetStars

Summary: New Jersey now has eight online/mobile operators offering sports betting services thanks to the introduction of BetStars, the sports betting brand of PokerStars.

Taking a break from online casino and poker action, New Jersey, as well as other states in the US, are working on their sports betting services. Since mid-May, states across the US have been busy integrating regulations for sports betting or passing legislation, after the US Supreme Court ruled that a federal ban on the activity was no longer valid. New Jersey has been at the forefront of the sports betting boom, with yet another operator now offering online services in the state.

Enter PokerStars

PokerStarsThe PokerStars brand is synonymous with poker, but they also offer casino and sports betting services. In New Jersey, the brand has an online casino and poker room, so it was only natural for the company to focus their efforts on sports betting as well. BetStars is the sports betting arm of the company that went live this past week, offering an online/mobile platform for sports bettors.

With the launch, BetStars becomes the 8th online/mobile platform to enter the market in the state. Currently, BetStars is only offering their platform via Android mobile devices. The iOS platform works via the PokerStars NJ client. Standalone platforms for iOS as well as browser based options should be released in the near future.

Internationally, the BetStars brand is a highly recognizable. The Stars Group, parent company of PokerStars, BetStars, etc., already operates several sports betting options in jurisdictions around the world. After years of service in other markets, BetStars knows what they are doing and will provide a solid choice for sports betting in New Jersey.

The platform offers players a strong selection of sports to choose from as well as bet types. Players will even have access to in-play betting. For some events, betting starts at just one penny, making placing sport wagers super affordable.

PokerStars operates in New Jersey thanks to the license of the Resorts AC casino. Currently, PokerStars now operates PokerStars NJ, the online poker room, PokerStars Casino and BetStars. Players can now use a single account to access all PokerStars content, making it easy to wager, deposit and withdraw funds.

Nice Variety for Players

Sports bettors in New Jersey now have a nice variety of sports betting platforms to choose from. While land-based sports betting launched first, it is the online option that will truly allow the gaming industry to flourish. Players want to be able to enjoy their gaming online with eight operators already offering services, sports betting via the internet is a breeze.

Back in August, the first full month of sports betting operations, online sports betting revenues accounted for one third of the total number. At that time, only three operators were offering online services. Now that eight companies are in the mix, that number should increase significantly in the coming weeks. It is anticipated that online sports betting will outpace the land based gaming, providing the state with much needed tax revenues.

Current sportsbooks available in New Jersey include:

  • Bet Online
  • 888
  • William Hill
  • BetStars
  • SugarHouse
  • Caesars
  • playMGM
  • DraftKings
  • FanDuel

With online gaming, each licensed property in the state can create as many as three online partnerships. With the sports betting industry, this means that many more online sportsbooks can be launched in the state. We shall watch in the coming weeks just how many more sportsbooks go live online and how it affects the overall industry. It will not be surprising to see gaming revenues skyrocket as more operators go online.

Caesars Parking Fees Not A Visitor Issue CEO Says

Summary: In Las Vegas, Caesars Entertainment has issued parking fees some time ago, with the CEO of the company stating that the fees are not hindering visitor numbers.

For decades, visitors to Las Vegas, Nevada could park at a casino and not have to pay a fee to do so. This was a perk of visiting a casino in the region. A short time ago, several gaming companies in the region decided to start charging for parking with many analysts estimating that the parking fees would result in lower visitor numbers. According to Caesars Entertainment Corp. CEO Mark Frissora, the introduction of such fees has now led to a decrease in visitors to the Caesars properties.

Parking Fees Not a Problem

CaesarsThe CEO attended an investor conference in New York City this past week, where he made the comments on the parking fees in Las Vegas. According to Frissora, the company has reviewed the parking fees, looking at whether or not properties on the Las Vegas Strip were affected. A 30 day promotion was provided for the LINQ Hotel, where complimentary parking was on offer.
The goal of the promotion was to test the reaction of customers and if more visitors would show up due to the free parking. Or if regulars would increase the number of visits to the property.
The company first introduced parking fees last year and this past February, resort fees were increased at some properties located on the Strip. Customer feedback that has been accumulated over the past few months has revealed that people are not avoiding Caesars properties, even though these new fees have been created.

Caesars is not the only company to create such fees. MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts have both instituted fees for parking. MGM Resorts is the largest operator when it comes to casinos and hotels on the Strip, becoming the first to implement such fees for parking. Wynn Resorts tried a different tactic and while they charge for parking, players who spend over $50 at the gaming venues will be given free parking.

Criticism of Parking

Even though Frissora stated that parking fees have not been a problem, customers of the brand are complaining. Customers are not happy with the fact that they have to pay for parking and have decided to air their grievances on social media sites like Facebook. Some have stated that they will be traveling to the area less now that such fees are in place.

With the LINQ Hotel parking promo, there have been complaints about this as well. Many consumers are stating that the brand did not make the deal known, promoting the deal so players could take advantage of it. According to Caesars, the company has the info of the promotion on their website and they have advertised via travel websites.

So, did Caesars not make the promotion readily known? If not, would the impact of the free parking be a bigger deal than the CEO makes it out to be? It seems that the short time frame of the free parking as well as customers being unaware could have resulted in a different outcome for the test.

So far, Caesars has seen a drop in their stock. July was a rough month and August is not expected to be any better. Las Vegas actually saw a decrease in visitor numbers in July, with a drop of 1.2%. The decrease of tourism to the area has been attributed to the mass shooting taking place in October with visitors nervous about travelling to the region.

Record iGaming Revenues in New Jersey for August

Summary: Online gaming totals continue to soar in New Jersey with the state hitting almost $25 million in revenues for August.

Online poker and casino gaming continue to do well in New Jersey, with the state being to top operator when it comes to both industries. It seems almost every month, some portion of the state’s online gaming sector is hitting some type of record. For August, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has released the monthly totals, showing that close to $25 million revenues were generated from poker and casino online gaming combined.

Highlights of the Month

New JerseyOnline gambling came in at just over $24.8 million in August, the third highest month for the state since online gaming began back in 2013. Total revenues were over the $20 million mark for the 18th month running. This is an amazing feat and just goes to show that there is a need for online gaming and that players are not going to quit logging online to enjoy their favorite games.

Online casino revenues by themselves were up over $20 million, with August marking the 8th month running that the state was able to reach this milestone. When comparing August 2018 to the same month last year, the revenues were up over 16%, another great achievement for the state.

Individual Breakdown

When looking at each casino operator individually, you can really see how each brand contributes to the overall online gambling industry. The top contributor month after month is the Golden Nugget. The Golden Nugget continues to set the standard when it comes to online gaming. For August, the brand earned just over $8.1 million, surpassing the $8 million mark for the 6th month in a row.

The Golden Nugget continues to surpass the competing, easily outpacing the second place Borgata, by millions of dollars in earnings. For August, the Borgata came in second with revenues coming in at a little less than $4.7 million. While this is still an accomplishment, it seems that operators are a long way from giving the Golden Nugget a run for their money.

When it comes to online poker, Caesars is the top operator. Last month, Caesars earned $725,020 with their WSOP/888 Poker network. While this is not much compared to the millions generated via online casino gaming, it is a positive note to see the revenue increase.

New Kids on the Block

For August, the year-to-year comparisons included the Ocean Resort Casino and Hard Rock Atlantic City venues. Last year, these two casinos were not in operation, so for 2018, they certainly help to push the revenue totals up, even if they have not been in operation long. Together, the two earned just over $860,000, not much, but enough to help bolster the overall numbers.

The Tropicana is one operator that tends to be at the bottom of the list when it comes to online revenues. However, the brand has been making a comeback. In July and August, the Tropicana was able to see growth. For August, revenues came in at $3.6 million which is a 7.3% increase when compared to August of last year.

Overall, online gambling is doing quite well in the state. Combined with the land-based revenues and the recent sports betting additions, the state continues to outpace many other states in the US. It will be

interesting to watch as the year plays out just how much the online gaming sector as well as land-based and sports betting industries fair in the state. Gambling revenues could continue to come in at record numbers!

PA Casinos Might Not Be Handling Their Attack on iLottery Well

Summary: A group of casinos in Pennsylvania are attacking the online lottery based on the games they offer, but they might be harming themselves in the process.

A battle between a coalition of casinos in Pennsylvania and the state Lottery continues to heat up. The coalition feel that the lottery are infringing on their online gaming rights by offering online lottery games that are very similar to what they will be providing once online casinos are launched in the state. The coalition has used several points in their argument, including the fact that online lottery games are offered to players 18 and up while they will only be able to provide online games to players 21 and up. Now, a recent op-ed might have the casinos in a little hot water as they are using ammunition that actually affects them as well.

Thus Far

PennsylvaniaBack in July, all 13 casino license holders in Pennsylvania decided to apply their signature to a letter addressed to Revenue Secretary Daniel Hassell. In the letter, the casinos asked the state to remove the instant win games provided by the lottery for online game play that had launched back in May as they claimed the games were too similar to online slot content.

The Lottery did stop advertising such games, no longer calling them, slot-style games, but they continued to offer them to players. This action wasn’t enough so two months later in August, a coalition of seven casinos emerged and filed a lawsuit against the Lottery stating they were breaking the law.

Based on state law, the online lottery gaming options cannot simulate casino-style games. This would include slot machines, roulette, poker and blackjack.

David La Torre Comments

Fast forward to last week and the CEO and President of La Torre Communications, David La Torre, wrote an op-ed at Penn live, coming at the state online Lottery in a completely different way. The communications group is a public affairs firm that is currently representing the coalition.

Mr. La Torre stated in the article that because the PA online lottery is allowing anyone to demo the games if they check a box stating they are 18 years of age or older is making it easy for kids to play the casino style games without any type of proper identification or age verification.

The state is strict about their gambling industry, focusing heavily on underage gambling. The casinos of the state have to pay major fines if a player under the age of 21 is found gambling on the casino floor. according to the underage rule for casinos, Mr. La Torre feels that the public should be concerned that the lottery is not keeping kids from playing the online lottery games.

Now, here’s the problem. If the coalition starts to shine a light on the age issue, then the casinos will be in trouble. Social casino sites currently use the same age verification methods that the online lottery does and they will be using these same sites to market their real money online gambling offerings.

Basically, they will be doing the exact same thing and being hypocritical will get the casinos nowhere. It seems that Mr. La Torre did not think his argument through before writing the op-ed. It will be interesting to see if the Lottery retaliates and how they decide to move forward with the lawsuit they face from the coalition.

PokerStars NJCOOP Offering Massive Value for Players

Summary: The NJCOOP starts soon, offering players in New Jersey the ability to compete in tournament action with massive value and incentives.

In New Jersey, one of the most popular online poker sites on offer is provided by online poker giant PokerStars. The highly recognizable brand provides poker fans with cash gaming and tournament action, along with special online events. One of the most anticipated series that the brand provides gamers in New Jersey is the New Jersey Championship of Online Poker (NJCOOP). This series offers several events and provides massive value to participants. New details of the upcoming series emerged this week, including information on the number of events to take place along with Platinum Pass incentives.

NJCOOP Kicks Off September 29th

PokerStarsThe next NJCOOP will begin on September 29th and continue through October 15th. The series will include 47 events with $1.5 million in prize money up for grabs, guaranteed. During the series, players will find tournaments with buy-ins ranging from $25 to $1,000. The schedule includes events for every player, including Pot Limit Omaha, mixed games and No Limit Hold’em.

Players will find several top events on the schedule including the Main Event and High Roller options. the Main Event has a buy-in of $500 and will guarantee $150,000 in prize money. The NL Hold’em High Roller event is another anticipated tournament on the schedule, with a $1,000 buy-in and a $50,000 guarantee.

Players can choose to buy-in directly to each event or try to earn their seat for a lower buy-in by taking part in an online satellite. Players will find traditional satellite options as well as special edition $4 Spin & Go’s. The Spin & Go’s are offering players seats to the Main Event, so players who earn a spot via the satellite will pay much less than the $500 buy-in to participate.

On top of satellites, PokerStars NJ is also providing freerolls. Players who bust out of a NJCOOP event, without earning a payday will be provided a ticket to a Second Chance Freeroll. The freeroll event will include prizes such as tickets to events of the NJCOOP and satellites for the series.

PokerStars is also offering a $10K Main Event Depositor freeroll. This event is open to players who deposit $50 or more by October 13th. The code NJCOOP needs to be used to access the deal. The top 20 of the freeroll will earn an entry to the Main Event.

Platinum Passes

PokerStars has plans to host a massive event in January, titled the PokerStars Players Championship in the Bahamas. This event will be the largest ever offered by the poker brand and to allow players to attend, the brand has been giving away Platinum Passes to the tournament. During the NJCOOP, there will be three passes up for grabs.

The first pass will be given to the winner of the $86 Moneymaker Tour Event. This tournament takes place on September 30th. On October 16th, the Main Event Entrants All-in Shootout takes place. The winner of this event will earn a pass as well. On the same day, the Entrants All-in Shootout takes place, with the winner earning a Platinum Pass.

Players can check out the full schedule now for the upcoming New Jersey Championship of Online Poker. By reviewing events, players can decide which events they will be buying in to directly as well as determining any satellites they wish to take part in. The turnout for the NJCOOP should be quite large and it would not be surprising to see the $1.5 million in guaranteed prize money easily surpassed.

DraftKings Searches for Cyber Attack Culprit

Summary: After a cyber attack took place at their website, DraftKings is seeking permission to find out who attacked them via a federal court filing.

DraftKings is a brand synonymous with daily fantasy sports that recently began a foray into the sports betting world. After the United States Supreme Court ruled in May that sports betting could be legalized across the nation, the brand wasted no time getting started in this new industry. Last month, the company was hit with a cyber attack, rendering their online gaming activity useless. The company filed a document this week within federal court of Massachusetts to gain permission to look in to who was responsible for the attack.

Taking Action

DraftKingsIn the court filing, DraftKings noted the cyber attack and how it prevented the users of their site from taking part in activities they offer. Personnel of the brand spend many days trying to contain the attack and working preventing any further damage from taking place at the site due to the attack.

Chief Legal Officer of DraftKings, R. Stanton Dodge, commented the DraftKings is trying to identity the perpetrator to be able to better protect their interests in the future. In speaking with the Boston Herald, Mr. Dodge stated that the distributed denial of service or DDoS attack was detected in August and responded to immediately. No information regarding customers or the company was compromised during the attack.

The company is taking the attack very seriously and the filing in the court is the necessary next step to identifying the individual or individuals responsible and then holding them accountable. It is important for DraftKings to find out who attacked their site. They not only offer daily fantasy sports now, but also sports betting. The company has only grown in recent months and stopping any such attacks is imperative for secure operations.

The Attack

It was just one day after DraftKings opened their mobile sportsbook in New Jersey that they were subjected to a cyber attack. Taking place right before midnight on August 7th, the attack started, with the security protocols of the company stopping the attack from affecting service.

On August 8th, a second attack took place, this time with the site seeing three times the average volume of requests. Service for lost for just under 30 minutes. According to DraftKings, the responsible party sent thousands of packets of information or commands to their website with the intent of damaging and impacting the company in a negative manner.

The filing by DraftKings was approved by Judge Mark L. Wolf. With the approval, the company can now subpoena information from the IP addresses associated with the attack. User information as well as usage logs are being requested to find out who the 10 people are that are reportedly associated with the attack. The company is asking several companies for information including Google, T-Mobile, Verizon, NetActuate and the American Registry for Internet Numbers.

The company must determine who was behind the attack, particularly now that they are involved in sports betting. With the football season beginning, the brand will accepting an influx of wagers on NFL and NCAA action. If an attack like this were to happen again, even more people could be affected which could set the company in a negative light as they begin their foray in this new industry.

As the investigation continues, we shall hopefully see who was involved and why they decided to attack

DraftKings and what they hoped to gain.

Pennsylvania Poker: Will the State Partner with Other States?

Summary: Online poker will be launching soon in the state of Pennsylvania, with operators have a chance to offer services in other states via a multi-state gaming agreement?

In the United States, Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada all offer online poker gaming. Each state has struggled to gain a foothold in the online poker industry, so lawmakers in Nevada and Delaware decided to create the Multi-State Internet Gaming Association. This group allowed states with online poker legislation to join together to offer services across state lines. In the beginning, it was just Nevada and Delaware involved. Then, New Jersey finally decided to join in. Now that Pennsylvania is about to offer online poker services, will they decide to become part of the group as well?

Signs are Unclear

Every time a state begins to discuss online poker legislation, the idea of interstate gaming is thrown in the mix. For Pennsylvania, the ideas has been discussed but it has yet to be determined if the state will actually get on board. Online Poker Report spoke with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Director of Communications Doug Harbach who stated that it is unclear as to whether or not the state will join the group.

According to Harbach, an interstate compact could occur, but at this time, he cannot predict or make a comment as to whether or not it will actually happen. It does seem that there may be legislative issues that could cause the state to have a delay in becoming involved with the Multi-State group, if they choose to.

Right now, the Gaming Control Board is focused on creating regulations for the new sports betting industry as well as trying to figure out what to do with the Category 4 Satellite casino licenses that remain. The state still have five available with no one showing any interest in becoming involved in this segment of gambling expansion.

The Current Multi-State Poker Environment

PennsylvaniaCurrently, the Multi-State group consists of New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware. In May of this year, player pooling began involving the World Series of Poker and 888. The rules of regulation for multi-state gaming include having an open membership, meaning any state can join if they choose. State revenues are based on the player’s location, which means states will earn cash based on gaming that takes place in their state.

Pennsylvania would make a great addition to the group as they are in the top ten in the United States when it comes to population. If they were to become involved in multi-state online poker gaming, it would add more players to the other states that offer the option, and they desperately need the traffic.

While online casino gaming is thriving in states like New Jersey, online poker has yet to gain a stronghold. In most months, New Jersey fails to surpass the $1 million mark for generated revenues. In comparison, the online casino market earns $20 million or more each month.

For now, the focus in Pennsylvania is actually setting up the online gaming industry. Operators have been establishing relationships and applying for licensing to be able to get started. Hopefully, in the coming months, the industry will be up and running and lawmakers will decide if they want to give interstate poker a try. For now, regulators have a bit of an issue as a group of casinos have taken legislative action against the state regarding online gaming launched by the state lottery. The coalition of casinos is arguing that the lottery is offering games online that are similar to what they will be providing, which is illegal based on the gaming reform package. This issue will most likely have to be cleared up before any other changes are made.

Hollywood Casino Launches Sports Betting Early in West Virginia

Summary: With an anticipated launch this weekend, the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races decided to offer sports betting services early.

Over the past few months, the United States has seen a boom in gambling activity thanks to the US Supreme Court ruling that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was unconstitutional. Even before the ruling was made, states were prepping just in case the activity was opened up to the entire nation. Thankfully, in mid-May it was and states like Delaware, New Jersey and Mississippi have already begun offering sports betting services.

West Virginia was the next in line, set to launch this weekend, only to find that one venue began providing the wagering option today.

Let the Betting Begin!

Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races took their very first bet this morning, two days earlier than anticipated. The staff members of the West Virginia Lottery Commission took to Twitter to share the good news. An image of the first legal wager was shared on the social media outlet, letting players know that sports betting is official in the state.

The first bet was placed at the venue on the Marshall and West Virginia University game. Players can wager on this and many other games at the casino now that sports betting is official a go. Right now, a $50 futures bet on West Virginia University to win the National Championship will pay out $30,050 at 60 to 1 odds.

The odds at the sports book are provided by William Hill as the venue has partnered with the UK sports betting giant to offer their services. William Hill and Hollywood were the first partnership in West Virginia to be approved for interim licensing earlier in August.

This past Monday, gaming regulators in the state began to test the systems the casino would be using for sports betting in the state. The process ran smooth apparently as the casino decided to open today instead of waiting until Saturday. The state is certainly excited to get started. Operators are looking forward to having another option for revenues while bettors are happy to be able to take part in sports action.

In 2018, West Virginia was the first to legalize sports betting in the US. Lawmakers of the state began considering legislation before the SCOTUS decision in May and actually passed legislation in March.

More to Come

With the Hollywood Casino launching sports betting services today, there is only more to come in West Virginia when it comes to the new activity. The next operator to launch should be The Greenbrier, which plans on offering a sportsbook in conjunction with FanDuel. The operator is currently working on their application for online and mobile wagering, set to launch most likely in September.

DraftKings also has plans to offers sports betting in the state, but has yet to find a land-based gaming partner. Delaware North owns the Mardi Gras Casino and Wheeling Island Casino, both having obtained sports licensing, however, when the activity becomes available is yet to be made known.

Mountaineer Casino is another venue in the state that is expected to apply for licensing, according to regulators. So far, the casino has yet to do so.

With the launch of sports betting in West Virginia, there are a total of five states that have legalized the option. WV joins the likes of Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi and of course Nevada. It will be interesting to watch in the final months of the year which other states become involved in the industry as well.

Washington-Baltimore Area Emerges as 4th Largest US Gambling Market

Summary: The American Gaming Association has released a new report on the gambling industry, showing that the 4th spot now is held by the Washington-Baltimore region regarding revenues generated.

The American Gaming Association stays abreast of the latest dealings within the gambling industry in the United States, publishing reports to keep players as well as shareholders in the know. Just recently, an industry report was presented by the AGA, showing that the 4th spot for the largest gambling market now belongs to the Washington-Baltimore region.

Continued Growth

Last year, the Washington-Baltimore area was able to generate $1.77 billion in gambling revenues. This was quite a bit higher than the $1.57 billion generated in New York. The MGM National Harbor casino, the newest in the state of Maryland, was the leader when it came to revenues, earning just over $608 million. The venue first opened in December 2016.

According to information in the report, Las Vegas is the largest market, followed by Atlantic City and Chicago when considering the generation of gambling revenues. It seems that once the MGM National Harbor was approved and offering services, the region of Baltimore-Washington began to boom. This region was identified in the report due to the revenues generated from the MGM Grand Harbor, Live! Casino, the Horseshoe Casino of Maryland and the Hollywood Casino in West Virginia.

This region is booming with activity and residents and visitors from several states take part in gaming at the various venues. The gaming venues are close to the highly populated Washington D.C. as well as New York City and Philadelphia, which helps to push visitor traffic even higher.

Maryland gambling revenues increased 34.2% when compared in 2017 and 2016. The state earned $1.61 last year and just $1.2 billion in 2016. The state is also on track in 2018 to see continued growth by way of revenues. So far, the state looks to be on pace to earn $1.68 billion.

To help matters, the Live! Casino opened a new hotel tower this year, able to take in more overnight guests. The MGM Grand Harbor also opened a new gaming space on the second floor to accommodate more visitors.

A Look at Nationwide Commercial Gambling

In the report, the AGA also discusses the commercial gambling industry nationwide. As a whole, the industry was able to generate $40.28 billion with gross gambling revenues. This excludes revenues earned from entertainment, dining, accommodations and amusement parks. This was a 3.4% increase for the US in 2017.

Because of the revenue increase, additional gambling tax revenues were earned. In total, states were able to see $9.23 billion in total tax revenues and that’s just from gambling. Even more was brought in when reviewing taxes on other activities in the regions.

Enter Sports Betting

Next year’s report will be able to include even more gaming options as states in the US are now open to offering sports betting if legislation is in place. Already, states such as Delaware, New Jersey and Mississippi are offering sports betting and more states are set to become involved in the near future. For 2018, the next report will have a boost from sports betting and by the 2019, even more states should be in on the action, helping to push the overall gambling industry totals up even further.

For now, it is interesting to see that the Baltimore-Washington area has taken the number four spot as one of the largest gaming markets in the US. The area is on pace to maintain this position next year or even move up a spot!

Will Monmouth Park Be Ready to Offer Online Sportsbetting for NFL Season?

Summary: The New Jersey racetrack Monmouth Park is trying to offer sports betting by the start of the upcoming NFL season.

The state of New Jersey is the reason why sports betting is now a reality across the United States. Monmouth Park along with other stakeholders played a major role in helping sports betting to become legalized in New Jersey. For years, the state fought to be able to offer sports betting and back in May, the United States Supreme Court decided to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act which led to the ability for states to create their own sports betting regulations.

By June, Governor Phil Murphy had signed legislation allowing the activity to begin and the race track opened their William Hill branded venue fairly quickly. Monmouth Park has been a leader when it comes to sports betting and the brand wanted to be one of the first to launch online betting as well. The state had a 30 day hold on offering online wagering and now that the time period is up, Monmouth Park cannot seem to get their mobile product ready to launch.

Will They Be Ready by Football Season?

Atlantic CityOnce sports betting was a go in the state, operators rushed at the chance to get started. The main reason was that the NCAA and NFL football seasons would be starting soon and this is the busiest time for sports betting in the states. While Monmouth Park has a physical location, they still may not be ready online when the new football seasons begin.

The majority of wagers placed each year will come from football betting. For the racetrack to truly make a profit, they must have their online sportsbook up as quickly as possible. The park has to be approved by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement and according to CEO Dennis Drazin, this approval should be given soon.

According to the CEO, he spoke with the CEO of William Hill US, Joe Asher, who stated that they are very close to approval and the DGE is working as hard as they can to get the facility running online sports betting as quickly as possible. They are aware that the brand needs and wants to open by football season.

In anticipation of the sports betting action for the football season, Monmouth Park has already expanded their seating available as well as added more video monitors for sports fans.

Overall Sports Betting Numbers

Monmouth Park was the first to offer sports betting in New Jersey, accepting wagers starting on June 14th. During the opening month, the facility brought in just over $2.2m in revenues for just 17 days of operation. However, in July, the brand only saw $856,280 in revenues. This was a huge drop in revenues when comparing June to July.

Of course, when football season begins, it would help the track to see more activity. Fans of football as well as sports betting in general, are sure to visit the track to place their wagers. Monmouth Park feels they will have a better chance to see an increase in revenues if they can offer online wagering as well. Sports fans who cannot or don’t want to travel would still be able to place their wagers with the brand, just in online form.

Competition is certainly heating up in the state as operators continue to launch online and land-based services. If Monmouth Park does not act quickly, they could lose out on revenues as other operators snag up their traffic.

Online Sports Betting Live at PlaySugarHouse.com

Summary: Online casino PlaySugarHouse.com has launched online sports betting this week.

After the United States Supreme Court decided to rule that the Professional & Amateur Sports Protection Act was unconstitutional in May, there has been a sports betting boom across the nation. States began to pass legislation left and right to be able to get in on the sports betting action. Delaware was the first to launch sports betting, followed closely by New Jersey. Now, an online casino in New Jersey has announced they are providing online sports betting via their online gaming site.

New Sports Betting Site on Offer

New JerseyPlaySugarHouse.com has integrated online sports betting options with their online casino this week. The addition to the sports betting market is just one of many new additions taking place over the past few months. Known as the SugarHouse Online Sportsbook & Casino, the new book is the first online site dedicated to sports betting that is associated with the Golden Nugget licensing.

The Golden Nugget is the top provider of online gaming in the state, already having an established partnership with the SugarHouse casino brand. The casino is operated by Rush Street Interactive, a brand that operates a mobile and online sports book in Columbia.

Commenting on the new offering, Richard Schwarz, Rush Street Interactive president stated that being the first gaming operator based in the US to launch a regulated online sportbook outside the US was helpful during the establishing process of the sportsbook for SugarHouse. According to the company, player accounts will be unified so that money and bonus points can be switched up between the online casino and sports book.

Sports Betting in New Jersey

Once legislation and regulations were in place, operators in New Jersey who already had licensing for casino gaming could begin applying for sports betting licensing. However, there was a 30 day time frame in which online sports betting was not allowed. Thankfully, that time frame has past and now the PlaySugarHouse.com and the Borgata, who began offering online mobile sports betting yesterday, can provide services to customers.

The Borgata was actually the first casino in the state to offer sports betting, beginning their services in June. Since the summer, the Ocean Resort Casino, Golden Nugget, Bally’s Harrah’s and Resorts have all launched sports betting options. Additional operators are awaiting approval by regulators before they will be able to launch services.

Most are vying for an opportunity to offer sports betting before the new football season begins. The NFL are set to play their first games during the first week of September. Along with the casinos, there are two racetracks that currently offer sports betting, the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park.

The Garden State Park racetrack, a nonfunctioning facility in Cherry Hill, is currently fighting a battle in court to be able to see this venue offer sports betting as well. But it seems the fight will be quite drawn out and tedious.

Gambling facilities in the state were able to bring in $40.6m in sports bets in July, during the first full month of legal operation. This number is only expected to climb as new operators begin to offer services.

It will be interesting to watch over the coming weeks to see just how much the new industry brings in.

The state certainly needs the revenues and with plenty more operators in motion to get in on the action, we are sure to see the most recent figures double and even tripe in the future.

Caesars Ready to Launch Online Gambling in Pennsylvania

Summary: Caesars Entertainment is ready to get started with online gaming in Pennsylvania after recently being approved for licensing.

Caesars Interactive Entertainment is one of the latest operators in Pennsylvania that is preparing to launch online casino games. The brand’s Harrah’s Philadelphia was recently one of three casinos in the state that was approved for online gambling licensing. The state’s Gaming Control Board has been busy reviewing applications and then approving those who have made the cut.

Ready for Operation

Caesars Interactive Entertainment is now currently the only operator in the United States who has online gambling products in New Jersey and Nevada and soon to be Pennsylvania. Chris Albrecht, the General Manager and Senior Vice President of Harrah’s Philadelphia, commented on the approval, by giving thanks to the Gaming Control Board and stating the company looks forward to continuing to work together during the next steps of bringing online gaming to Harrah’s in Philadelphia.

The brand sees the ability to go online as a great opportunity to bring new customers to the Total Rewards network and for customers to be able to enjoy both land-based and online gaming options provided by the facility.

The company’s Vice President of Online Casino, Melanie Gross, commented in a press release on the matter, stating that the company is ready to offer online gaming in Pennsylvania, able to use the knowledge and experience gained over the past six years in Nevada and New Jersey to be able to ‘hit the ground running in Pennsylvania’.

What Will Harrah’s Offer?

Caesars EntertainmentIt is not clear as to who Harrah’s will be working with when it comes to online gaming platforms. Reports have suggested that 888 will be used for online poker and Scientific Gamaes/NYX will be the provider for online casino options.

In the press release by the company, it was announced that Caesars Casino and World Series of Poker Brands should be among those that are offered in Pennsylvania. So, it makes sense for the casino to provide online poker gaming via 888 with a WSOP branding. This would be a smart move for Caesars, particularly if Pennsylvania decides to join in on multi-state online gaming. 888 plays an integral role in the shared player pools of Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey, so Harrah’s would be ready to join in, if the option became available.

Because the press release mentions Caesars Casino, it is likely that Harrah’s will be using a platform powered by Scientific Games/NYX. Pictures and links used in the press release by Caesars included images from the SG/NYX platform, which could be yet another indicator that they plan on using this brand.

The company also included information on what would be available via the online casino. The gaming list included blackjack, baccarat, roulette, video poker and video slots. However, the full scope of what will be on offer has yet to be seen and only time will tell what the provider will be set to offer.

The licensing process for online gaming in Pennsylvania has been slow going. The application time frame was open for several weeks before casinos began filing their paperwork to be considered. Many felt the

high tax rate of 54% on slot games and 16% on table games plus the licensing fees were a deterrent. Licensing started at $10 for all three options (slots, table games, poker), then was offered up at $4 million per option.

Now, at least 11 operators have applied for licensing and three have been approved. More approvals are expected in the coming months as the Gaming Control Board hosts more meetings.

Pennsylvania Lottery Launches Simulated Sports Betting Despite Casino Concerns

Summary: The Lottery of Pennsylvania has started offering simulated sports games, even though the land-based casinos of the state are not happy with the gaming option.

On Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Lottery decided to roll out the newest addition to their line-up by providing players with simulated sports games. Such games will most likely appeal to racing and football fans which has land-based casinos of the state concerned.

New Games On Offer

The lottery launched the Xpress Football and Xpress Car Racing games this week, offering realistic animations of sporting events that can be wagered on. Players are to choose the outcome they feel will take place, with the end of the race determined at random by a computer drawing every five minutes.

Every lottery retailer will be offering these games for sale, giving patrons the ability to purchase and check the games on-site. A big-screen in over 1,500 locations will provide the drawing results of the races and more venues should be offering the screens for viewing in the future.

To play the new games, players will need to choose a selection or selections on a play slip. Wagers can be placed on football games that will depict the outcome of a drive or the first, second or third place finishers of a car race. The slip is turned in to the retailer or place in a vending machine. Then the race or game is watched to see if the right outcome was chosen.

With the new football games, players can win for choosing the correct outcome in one of 16 options. For just $1, players can earn a prize up to $250. With the racing games, players can win for choosing the right car number finishes with $250 given to the player who choose the top three correctly.

The new games are expected to generate as much as $55 million during the 2018-19 fiscal year. The games are the third expansion for the lottery this year, with the first being keno games then the online lottery.

Casino Opposition

The online lottery in Pennsylvania now offers a total number of 18 games. The land-based casinos of the state are not happy with the recent additions to the lottery, including the sports games. The Pennsylvania Casino Gaming Coalition is created of land-based operators in the state who are opposed to the changes. The group sees the new Xpress Sports games as an infringement on their turf based on the expansion law passed last year that gave the land-based venues exclusivity.

David La Torre is a spokesman for the coalition who stated that the new sports games combine elements of online casino games, sports betting and slots. These areas are restricted with legislation to the casino operators only. The group has plans to continue to oppose the lottery and what they are calling ‘illegal attempts to cannibalize the state’s casino industry’.

The coalition of casinos have already started considering taking legal against the administration of Governor Tom Wolf due to their objections of the online games. The casinos feel that the online offerings are too similar to the online casino games the land-based venues will be offering in the future, something that the lottery is banned from offering based on state law.

It will be interesting to see if the coalition moves forward with any legal challenge against the lottery or the governor based on their feelings towards the new games. The group seems to feel they have legal standing and will be able to fight the changes in some manner.

Three Casinos Approved for Online Gaming in Pennsylvania

Summary: Three land-based casino operators have been approved for online gambling in Pennsylvania.

In July, the state of Pennsylvania saw nine land-based venues applying for an online gaming license. During the most recent state Gaming Control Board meeting, three of these venues have gained approval. Mount Airy Resorts Casino, Chester Downs and Marina LLC as well as Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment, Inc. were the recipients of licensing.

Ready to Start

Parx Casino and GANMount Airy Resort Casino just announced a new partnership with PokerStars, to launch online poker, casino and sports betting. Because they have now gained approvals, they are even closer to launching online gaming. Chester Downs is the operator of Harrah’s Casino in Philadelphia, with Greenwood Gaming owning the Parx Casino.

All three of the gaming venues were approved to offer slot machines, table games and poker online. The six remaining applicants as well as any others who submit applications will be considered during the September and October meetings of the Gaming Control Board.

Mount Airy signed a deal with The Stars Group, the owner of PokerStars, who should be ready to offer online poker in 2019. A Q2 earnings call for The Stars Group earlier in the week saw CEO Rafi Ashkenazi express that he feels online poker will be ready to go during the first quarter of 2018. However, a full schedule date has yet to be revealed.

WSOP and Harrah’s

While Mount Airy will be working with PokerStars, Harrah’s Casino should be working with the WSOP as the brand has partnered with 888 Holdings. It is unclear as to what 888 plans to do with the online poker gaming that Harrah’s will provided. It is believed that the brand will be launching a branded online poker room via the 888 moniker or possibly the WSOP.

888 already has a close relationship with the World Series of Poker in Nevada and New Jersey. Because of this relationship, it is naturally implied that the WSOP will be coming to Pennsylvania regarding online poker.

Parx Casino has decided to partner with GAN for online casino gaming and sports betting. It does not look as though the brand has an online poker partner as of yet. Because 888 and PokerStars have already partnered with other land-based venues, Parx may end up bringing in a unique partner, one that is not expected.

Another big global brand is off the table as Partypoker is set to come into the state once the deal with MGM and Boyd is complete.

For now, it is nice to see progress in the state regarding online gaming. Late last year, online gambling was legalized and the licensing process was slow going. It took many months before the Gaming Control Board opened up the licensing applications and then it took even more months before operators began to even show interest.

The first deadline set by the Gaming Control Board was almost reached before operators began to apply for licensing. Many felt that the pricing of licenses along with taxes on online gaming revenues were keeping operators from wanting to apply. Licensing first cost $10 million, which gave operators access to poker, table games and slots. This was a hefty sum to pay to just get started in the industry.

Now that operators are being approved, we should begin to see even more progress. Hopefully, at least one online gaming site will launch by year’s end. If not, we should see several offerings begin to emerge in the state as 2019 begins.

Churchill Downs Incorporated to Enter Pennsylvania Casino Market

Summary: Louisville-based Churchill Downs Incorporated has announced they soon will be officially part of the casino market in Pennsylvania.

In a press release on Monday, Churchill Downs Incorporated announced they are moving into the gaming market of Pennsylvania. Based in Kentucky, the company will be taking on the management of the Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin as well as purchasing the Presque Isle Downs & Casino.

Closing the Eldorado Resorts Deal

The announcement by Churchill Downs this week brings and end to the discussions with Eldorado Resorts. Earlier in the year, Churchill Downs had agreed to purchase the Lady Luck Vicksburg and Presque Isle Downs gaming venues of Mississippi, with a goal to enter the sports betting industry. This acquisition did not come to pass. However, Eldorado Resorts proposed a new deal that would give the brand managing rights of another Lady Luck venue, the one in Pennsylvania.

In July, it was announced that Churchill Downs would be managing the Nemacolin property, but they would have to acquire the property and the waiting period terminated before the Presque Isle Pennsylvania deal could go through. Early termination was awarded by the Federal Trade Commission on the 3rd of August, with the transaction requiring the approval of the regulators in Pennsylvania.

The transactions involving both gaming venues should close by the fourth quarter of this year. The two deals must see the receipt of gaming licensing from the Gaming Control Board and the Churchill Downs group will need to obtain a racing license from the State Horse Racing Commission. Once the deal is closed, the company will have casino properties in seven states in the eastern region of the US. The Eldorado Resorts company will still be the owner of the Lady Luck venue, but the operations will be leased to Churchill Downs Incorporated.

Online Gaming and Sports Betting under Consideration

When Churchill Downs Incorporated began discussions with Eldorado Resorts, the goal was to enter Mississippi to hopefully offer online gaming. When this deal fell through, the company did not give up their goal of going online. Back in February, Churchill Downs revealed that Presque Isle will give the company a foothold in Pennsylvania that will help the brand to begin offering real money online gaming. The state is already moving forward with the process of licensing land-based venues to enter the new industry.

Along with online gaming, Churchill Downs is also considering sports betting. After the United States Supreme Court decided to rule that the PASPA was no longer valid, Churchill Downs got busy, so they could enter the new industry as it developed in the US. To operate in Pennsylvania, the brand will need to pay up to $10 million for a sports betting license and be prepared to pay 36% in taxed revenues.

Soon after the SCOTUS ruling, the company signed a partnership agreement with SBTech to create an online gaming platform that would provide a consumer website, back office systems and mobile applications for online gaming and sports betting. The company is relying on the deep expertise of SBTech to help Churchill Downs enter a new sector of the online gaming industry.

On top of that, the brand is also planning on entering the online gaming market of New Jersey with the help of the Golden Nugget. Churchill Downs will be using the casino license of the Golden Nugget to go online. The brand could not have a better partner as the Golden Nugget is the number one operator in the state of New Jersey when it comes to online gaming.

PokerStars to Launch New Rewards Program in New Jersey

PokerStarsA new rewards program is coming to PokerStars in New Jersey based on technical issues.

PokerStars is an online poker brand that is revered across the globe. The brand is considered the number one provider of online poker gaming and is currently offering their services in the US via the state of New Jersey. After technical issues arose within their iPoker site, the brand announced that they would be changing their rewards program.

PokerStars had already announced that they would be launching a global version of their reward program known as Star Rewards in the future, but now that program is going to be launched sooner than expected. Dylan Coady, the Head of Customer Loyalty of PokerStars, recently posted information about the technical issues and spoke about the new program.

TwoPlusTwo Info

Coady took to the popular online poker forum TwoPlusTwo to discuss the issues going on with the site and what was to come. An update was provided about the VIP Club/VIP Steps on the forum, with Coady explaining that players are aware of the problem and the brand has been unable to fix the lack of surfacing of the rewards program for the NJ platform.

The issues were brought about by the need to maintain the VIP Club in New Jersey and Stars Rewards in other areas across the globe at the same time. The issue is not set to be fixed before the brand is able to launch a new Stars Rewards Program in New Jersey later on in the year.

Coady went on to state that PokerStars appreciates the understanding of their players and they will be investigating players suggestions to see if there is a solution that will be helpful to players needs. News source PlayNJ reached out to PokerStars on the topic and were told that Stars Rewards will be launching in New Jersey by the end of the year. PokerStars plans on offering rewards to all customers in New Jersey for their activity with poker, casino and sports betting, however a specific date for launch could not be provided.

Once the Stars Rewards program is live, it will offer value to New Jersey players. The program focuses on the stakes of the game as well as how frequently players are competing and the amount of deposits they are making to create their player level. Players can also earn points that can be used to open a chest filled with prizes. Prizes are tailored to the player and their activity.

Once active, the program should benefit everyone who takes part in PokerStars gaming, from online casino games to sports betting and of course, poker. It was just last week that the Resorts Casino of Atlantic City announced they had extended their partnership with The Stars Group to launch sports betting via BetStars, with both online and mobile options on offer.

BetStars is the online sports betting brand of PokerStars, one with a European focus. The brand shouldn’t have any trouble moving in the to US to get started with sports betting in New Jersey. PokerStars has plans for the new industry, looking to offer in-play wagering, live streaming, bespoke accumulators and more.

The brand will be covering a wide selection of sports for wagering, including NCAA football, NFL football, baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey, horse racing, tennis and more.

It will be interesting to see when the Stars Rewards program goes live just how much value it will provide players, those who enjoy online poker plus casino and sports betting fans.

California Tribe Continue to be Disappointed with Online Gaming Efforts

Iipay Nation of Santa YsabelThe Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel lose yet another court battle in their efforts to offer online poker and bingo games.

California tribe the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel have been trying for several years to win a battle in court to be able to offer online bingo and poker gaming. The tribe launched an online bingo site known as Desert Rose in November 2014 as well as talking about plans for an online poker site that never came to be. Just last week, the tribe lost yet another court battle as the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decided to uphold a judgement by a district court that favored California, leaving the tribe with little room to work on their online gaming goals.

Argument by Tribe Not Working

The tribe has tried again and again to use their argument to be able to provide insight into why they feel that they should be able to provide online bingo and poker gaming. Gambling laws in California are quite gray and in the case involving the tribe, the issue is particularly confusing. Online gambling laws, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act plus state and federal laws must be considered when reviewing the tribe’s efforts to offer online gaming.

In 2014, when the online bingo site was launched, the tribe argued that tribes are considered sovereign nations in the US and inter-tribal gaming over the internet has been legal for many years. The tribe also pointed out that Class II gaming, like poker, is regulated by tribes in the state since 1999. Without a specific state prohibition in place on the gambling activity, as is in California, the tribe is free to offer this activity as long as they regulate the gaming activity based on the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Courts Disagree

So far, the tribe has yet to find a court that agrees with them. The latest ruling was handed down by the Ninth Circuit Judge Carlos T. Bea. In this opinion, the judge stated that the panel held that the tribe’s operation of the Desert Rose Casino was in violation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. The panel also said that the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act protected the gaming activity that was conducted on tribal lands but the patron’s act of placing a wager on a game at the casino while located in California was in violation of the UIGEA and is not under the protection of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

After further deliberations, the panel determined that even if the gaming activity connected to the casino took place on tribal lands, the placing of wagers or bets online based on the patrons act while the jurisdiction of gaming was illegal made the decision to accept payments associated with said wagers by the tribe was also in violation of the UIGEA.

Because of the violations to the UIGEA according to the court, the tribe saw the Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruling affirmed by the district court judge. The summary judgement was granted to the Government, in this case in favor of the state of California.

One question was left unanswered in the case, whether or not the online casino would be in violation of the UIGEA if they accepted bets from individuals located in areas where online games are legal, such as Delaware or New Jersey. This could give the tribe an opening to continue their pursuits in the online gambling industry.

William Hill Emerging Within United States Sports Betting Industry

William HillAs sports betting is being legalized across the US, William Hill is taking advantage, having signed deals in several states already.

William Hill is a name that is synonymous with sports betting in the United Kingdom. For decades, the brand has offered online and land-based wagering options, a trusted name in the industry. Once sports betting began to be legalized in the United States, the brand saw potential in the nation and began to work on cutting deals. For William Hill, they have already formed partnerships in several states, set to offer sports betting in several regions.

Signing Sports Betting Agreements

Over the past few weeks, William Hill has been working hard to secure sports betting agreements with companies in the United States. Late last week, the brand announced they would be launching risk management services as well as mobile wagering technology for a minimum of eleven casinos in the state of Mississippi. The company will also be working with a gaming venue in West Virginia, but the name of the casino has yet to be revealed.

In Mississippi, William Hill will be offering services for the following casinos:

  • WaterView Casino in Vicksburg
  • Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi
  • Treasure Bay Casino in Biloxi
  • Island View Casino Resort in Gulfport
  • Palace Casino of Biloxi
  • And more

Philip Bowcock, the CEO of William Hill, commented on the new sports betting agreements in both states are tangible proof that the company is cementing their goal of expanding their presence in the US. Currently, the brand operates just over 100 sports books in Nevada and a racebook in Iowa. The company also has plans to launch a mobile sports betting application in New Jersey soon as well as already operating in Delaware.

And they’re not done. William Hill has also signed a new partnership with International Game Technology, also known as IGT. The New York-listed company will be working together in Rhode Island and discussions are also in the works for the brand to be working in four more states in the US, with similar agreements involving sports betting.

PASPA Overturned

The ability for William Hill to expand out of Nevada and Iowa is due to the overturning of the PASPA ban. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act came into effect in 1992 and basically eliminated the ability for any state to offer sports betting, unless grandfathered in.

The United States Supreme Court decided to strike down PASPA back in May, which opened the door for states to begin to pass legislation allowing for sports betting to be legalized within their borders. The first to legalize sports betting and offer services was Delaware followed by New Jersey.

William Hill has estimated that they will be able to surpass their earnings in the UK with the new US operations. In the UK, the company posted a loss of $918.13 million in the first six months of the year. Reportedly, the loss was due to the stricter regulations put in place by the government of the UK on fixed-odds betting terminals.

The restrictions have been so severe that William Hill may have to shutdown hundreds of betting shops and layoff many employees. In the US, the new sports betting options should help the company to make up for losses in the UK due to the clampdown.

Gamblers in the US are certainly ready for sports betting. Players have already been spending money in Delaware and New Jersey via sports betting outlets and millions are expected to be spent as other states get in on the action.

Pennsylvania Lottery Enjoys Record-Breaking Fiscal Year

Pa LotteryThe 2017-18 fiscal year for the Pennsylvania Lottery was a success, with record breaking numbers released by the state.

The official numbers for the 2017-18 fiscal year regarding lottery gaming in Pennsylvania have been released with the state seeing a solid return, with a 4.6% increase when compared to last year’s figures. For the fiscal year that started on July 1st, 2017 and ended this past June 30th, the state lottery earned $4.2 billion with traditional game sales. This was a nice increase from the $4.13 billion earned last year.

The State and Players Win

With more lottery sales, means more winners were produced. The Pennsylvania Lottery gave players over $2.7 billion in winnings during the year, which is a 5% increase from last year. A total of 67 players were made millionaires.

Sales continued to grow last year which created more winners but also helped to benefit the lottery retailers. More than 9,300 Lottery retailers shared sales commission of just over $224 million. This was a 5.6% increase from the commission total from the last fiscal year.

Drew Svitko, the Lottery Executive Director, commented on the results of the year by stating that the figures were encouraging as they show the ongoing modernization efforts of the lottery are succeeding. The lottery faces increasing competition from sports betting, satellite casinos and other forms in the state, so they must continue to work hard to see revenues grow to benefit the older residents of the state.

Individual Game Totals

Breaking down the lottery revenues by individual game, the scratch-off games were the highest producer. The games were able to set a new sales record for the last fiscal year and would account for more than 67% of the total sales produced. The Fast Play option was able to provide a full year of sales and managed to exceed the projections made by a whopping 14%.

Keno was added in May of this year along with online lottery interactive games. Both have made an impact despite only being in operation for a few weeks before the fiscal year ended. Keno brought in $7.6 million while online lottery sales surpassed the $20 million mark.

With the lottery games, each dollar in sales is broken down a specific way. Of one dollar, $0.65 will go to the winner of the game, $0.26 will be placed in the Lottery Fund, $0.07 is placed as a commission for the Lottery retailers and $0.02 goes to expenses for operation.

With the record-breaking total of sales for the fiscal year, the Lottery Fund was able to see $1.1 billion contributed. This money goes towards the older residents of the state. This was 4.3% more than what was contributed last year, which is a promising result. It also marks the seventh year running that the state has been able to contribute more than $1 billion to this fund thanks to lottery gaming sales.

Programs that benefit from the Lottery Fund contributions include PACE and PACENET, low-cost prescription plans provided by the state as well as eldercare services, transportation services offer free or reduced fares along with property tax and rent rebates.

The Pennsylvania Lottery has caused some criticism this year as they began offering online gaming options. Land-based casinos in the state complained that their offerings were far to similar to what they would be providing once their online gaming industry launched later on this year. Despite filing complaints against the lottery, the casinos have yet to see any changes made to the online lottery gaming options.

Caesars Entertainment Partners with Scientific Games for Sports Betting

Caesars EntertainmentCaesars Entertainment has announced they are preparing for sports betting in New Jersey and Mississippi by partnering with Scientific Games.

On Monday, Caesars Entertainment announced a new deal with Scientific Games as they prepare to offer sports betting in the state of New Jersey. The goal is to roll out sports betting offerings in the state via Bally’s and Harrah’s gaming venues. Both have temporary sportsbooks already and have launched the option this week. Caesars is also prepping for sports betting in Mississippi to begin this week.

In a press release, CEO and President of Caesars Entertainment, Mark Frissora, commented that the recent decision by the Supreme Court allows the company to expand their sports betting offerings both digitally and mobile in new markets. The CEO commented that the company recognizes the exciting new experiences that customers expect and that is why they continue to offer new products via the mobile and digital platforms as well as within their properties.

New Partnership

As competitors began to announce who they would be working with when it came to sports betting Caesars remained quiet. The silence of the brand seems to have been taking place as they tried to find the best partner to begin offering such wagering options. With the new partnership, Caesars sportsbooks will be powered by OpenBet, the digital arm of Scientific Games. OpenBet will be providing players of Caesars with intuitive and sleek solutions.

CEO and President of Scientific Games Barry Cottle commented on the partnership as well by stating that they are thrilled to be working with Caesars to help bring about the best-in-class sports wagering opportunities for their players. With OpenBet, Caesars will have an open platform and end-to-end product suite that will deliver flexible solutions. According to the CEO, the platform has proven success by being able to manage the largest share of the world’s online bets, with over 2 billion placed annually online.

Caesars is certainly ready to begin their foray into sports betting in New Jersey and Mississippi. According to multiple news outlets, the Wild Wild West Casino began offering a sportsbook at Bally’s on Monday. Harrah’s goes live with their sports betting today. A retail sportsbook is still in the works, but Caesars has yet to provide details on this option.

Caesars has plans to launch a mobile application which will be titled Caesars Casino & Sports. The app will be quickly introduced by Caesars in New Jersey and Mississippi to be able to provide a mobile option to customers.

The NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement set a deadline of July 16th for operators to submit their bids for sports betting services. Operators seemingly waited until the last minute to be able to fill out the appropriate paperwork. Caesars Entertainment was one of the operators who waited until the last minute to file.

The goal of the deadline was to give operators plenty of time to have their paperwork in order and authorization given to begin offering sports betting services before the upcoming football season. The NFL season begins on September 5th, so those who are ready will be able to offering wagering at the busiest time of year.

For Caesars Entertainment, the company plans on spending the next few months building the facilities needed to create a world-class betting experience as found in their properties in Nevada. Despite not having the full facilities on offer, Caesars still will be able to provide a quality wagering experience for their visitors to New Jersey as well as Mississippi properties.

Boyd Gaming and MGM Resorts International Announce Major Partnership Deal

Boyd Gaming & MGM PartnershipWith a focus on online gambling and sports betting, Boyd Gaming and MGM Resorts International have decided to team up and work together for a major launch.

On Monday, the news broke that MGM Resorts International and Boyd Gaming have signed a major partnership deal. The two will be working together to focus on online gambling and sports betting services in the United States. Both gaming companies are major providers in the industry, having casinos in 15 states. The two are set to create an online casino, poker and sports betting options in the future in new states.

Working Together

According to an MGM press release, the goal of the partnership is to significantly increase the market access for each company as well as customer base in the US. Right now, online gambling is legalized in four states and sports betting has been made legal in six states with more set to legalize the option in the future.

According to MGM, the partnership will see both companies having the ability to offer online and mobile gaming platforms, that will include poker, casino games and sports betting in jurisdictions where Boyd Gaming or MGM is licensed with physical gaming and online as well.

The two companies have worked together in the past, having both been stake holders in the Borgata casino of New Jersey. MGM bought out Boyd’s stake in the company in 2016. Both were able to see that online gambling revenues can be beneficial as the Borgata is one of the top online gambling companies in the state.

The new deal could impact several states as Boyd and MGM are involved in gaming in several areas. Such states include Nevada, New York, Maryland, Mississippi, Massachusetts, Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Ohio, Louisiana, Missouri and New Jersey.

Pennsylvania is one state that has legalized online casino and poker gaming as well as sports betting. The new partnership should bode well in this region as players are ready to get started. The only hold up is that regulation are still being finalized and applications are being reviewed.

New GVC Holdings Partnership

MGM has proven they are serious about online gambling. They just recently signed a partnership deal with GVC Holdings, the company that will provide the online gaming platform for the brand. The two companies have agreed upon a 50/50 venture to create a sports betting and online gaming platform in the US.

MGM Resorts Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Jim Murren commented on the new partnership via press release by stating:

Jim Murren Statement

The new venture will be set to offer online casino, poker and sports betting across the United States as MGM begins to offer services in various regions. Headline brands to be used will include partypoker and playMGM.

User experience will be enhanced via the integration of the GVC and MGM Resorts loyalty programs.

As Miami Looks to Regulate Gambling, A Proposed Poker Facility Might Be in Trouble

Magic City CasinoAfter proposing a poker room and jai alai facility in Edgewater, Magic City Casino might have issues offering such services if the city of Miami moves forward with plans to regulate gambling.

During a City Commission hearing in Miami, Florida this past week, things got heated as a casino owner was incensed by moves made by commissioners to regulate gambling in the state. Magic City Casino recently proposed a plan to create a poker room and jai alai facility in the area of Edgewater. A permit was given by state gaming regulators to do so, but now Magic City may be at risk if regulations are made for gambling in the region.

Regulators Mount Up

The city’s zoning code, Miami 21, was approved for gambling regulations by the commission with a vote of 4 to 0. With this vote, the commission made an agreement that for new gambling establishments to be created in the region, four votes are needed for approval out of the five member group instead of the normal three.

Commissioners Ken Russell and Willy Gort proposed the change while Keon Hardemon, the chairman of the commission, was not in support of the change, decided not to vote. It seems he would have voted against to try and sway others to his side, but instead conceded.

The city attorney’s office will now move to draft an ordinance for the commissioners to consider later on in the year. The vote was reportedly not targeted at the Magic City Casino to try and block their proposal to offer gaming in the region. However, the city attorney’s office stated that the vote gives notice to Magic City that their owners will be seeking approvals at their own risk and they are not guaranteed to be considered for approval based on existing zoning laws.

Arguing the Point

Ron Book, a lobbyist for Magic City, commented that letters provided to the owners of the facility from the planning department of the city state that gambling they will offer falls under a zoning designation known as entertainment, based on the code of the city. The venue owner applied for permits based on the fact that they say city zoning in Edgewater allows for a gambling establishment.

The city attorney’s office says differently. They feel that the zoning verification letters are just that, letters that do not grant particular rights and they can be challenged and discussed further. A challenge may be in the future as Book has said that Magic City would take the city to court to solve the matter.

Magic City Casino owners want to create the gambling establishment as part of a development, with state regulators having approved a permit to do just that. The owners feel that the zoning laws were changed just to target the future business. Isadore Havenick is the West Flagler Associates vice president, the company behind the project, who said that he is deeply disappointed and saddened that the city would change the rules of the game.

Commission members reportedly say they did not propose the changes as a way to take on the gaming venue but as a way to provide residents with notification that a proposed gambling facility in their vicinity would be made known and they can then weigh in with the commission before any changes are allowed.

It will be interesting to see how Magic City Casino will proceed after this recent commission vote. Will the group take the city to court over the matter? Will they will be able to offer gaming in the future? Only time will tell.

Penn National No Longer Suing Mini Casino Licensing Process

Penn National GamingPenn National has dropped their lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and Governor involving mini casino licensing.

In the fall of 2017, Pennsylvania lawmakers passed a gaming package that will see many changes coming to the gambling industry of the state. Included in the mix are satellite casinos, or mini casinos. These smaller gaming venues can be created by land-based operators in the state who are approved for a Category 4 casino license via a bidding process. Since the first of the year, the licensing process has taken place with several venues receiving a license, including Penn National. Operator of the Hollywood Casino, Penn National decided to sue the state Gaming Control Board and Governor Tom Wolf, stating that the new casino gaming option would harm their already existing business. The company has now withdrawn their lawsuit.

Changing their tune

Penn National was the first to win a Category 4 license in the state, having bid a whopping $50.1 million in January. The company wanted to secure a gaming license as there were only so many on offer, one per operator that already offers land-based services in the state. The company went on to secure a second license once the process was opened up to those who had already been given approval for a mini casino.

All the while, Penn National had a lawsuit in progress to sue the state based on the fact that they felt the new mini casinos would be harmful to their business. In the case, the company alleged that the new casino licensing provisions should be blocked as they treat existing operators unfairly and use language that is unconstitutional.

The Penn National venue would be in a worse position in comparison to other casinos when mini casinos are to be created. The Hollywood Casino at Penn National Racecourse is basically on its on the region of the state where it is located. Mini casinos cannot be constructed within a certain mile marker point of existing gaming venues. Other casinos are located near other venues, so the area in which mini casinos can be created is further from these sites, making for less competition. However, Hollywood is on its own, so mini casinos could be constructed that would not be as far away.

Dropping the Lawsuit

In the decision to drop the lawsuit, Eric Schippers, a spokesman for Penn National, stated that the company made a business decision to withdraw the lawsuits and while they continue to believe that their arguments have merit, they have chosen to focus their efforts on developing the two new mini casinos instead, avoiding a long and expensive legal battle.

The goal of Penn National in obtaining the Category 4 licensing was a defense mechanism as they were working to protect their investment at the Hollywood Casino from new competition and being on the offense by penetrating more deeply into the populous market areas in the south and eastern region of the gaming venue to drive incremental value to shareholders.

The process of seeing the mini casinos come to fruition has been slow going. With Penn National now dropping their lawsuit and focusing efforts on their smaller venues, we may seem this brand be the first to launch a satellite casino in the state. Other companies have received licensing but are behind on getting the ball rolling to start services. Mount Airy is one such company that has licensing but is not ready to get started. The company recently asked for an extension to reveal their plans for the mini venue to the Gaming Control Board and were granted until October to do so.

Sports Betting to Be Delayed in Mississippi

Sports betting will not be launching any time soon in Mississippi, despite being a legalized activity.  

Residents and visitors to Mississippi will have to wait a little bit longer before being able to take part in sports betting in the state. Over the weekend, it was reported that gambling operators can now offer sports betting, thanks to regulators authorizing the industry one month after the option was legalized back in June. However, operators were not done with prepping for wagering, so bettors cannot place wagers just yet.

Setting up Sportsbooks

Allen GodfreyOperators are still working on sports bar and sportsbook construction as well as meeting other requirements set by the state to be able to offer the games. Allen Godfrey, of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, has estimated that it will take a few more weeks before sports betting will be fully operational within the casinos of the state. According to Godfrey, the operators who want to start offering sports betting are still working on renovations.

The state Gaming Commission approved the final regulations on June 21st for the new sports betting industry, allowing each of the 28 land-based gaming venues to offer the wagering option. The law called for a 30-day time frame in which bets could begin. The July 21st date has now come and gone, with operators unable to be ready to offer services by the opening date.

So far, 13 of the 28 venues have applied for a sports wagering license. This includes riverboat casinos. The remaining casinos are expected to ask for permission to offer sports betting as well. The first gaming venues to apply for licensing include the Palace Casino, Beau Rivage, Harrah’s Gulf Coast, Boomtown Biloxi and Hollywood Casino.

Mobile Online Gaming

Mississippi has approved land-based sports betting as well as online mobile wagering within their new legislation. The Gaming Commission has reported that not a single operator has applied to offer mobile sports betting. With the online wagering legalities, operators can only offer mobile wagering within their facility only. It may be this stipulation that has caused operators to delay in requesting for permission to offer mobile gaming. While players would probably log online to place wagers while visiting, it would not be as lucrative as full-on online wagering allowed throughout the state would be.

Mississippi will be the third state in the US to offer sports betting once they finally launch services. Delaware was the first to legalize and offer the gaming option, followed by New Jersey. The option to offer sports betting first became available back in May when the United States Supreme Court ruled to strike down the Professional & Amateur Sports Protection Act, deeming the federal ban unconstitutional.

Since that ruling in mid-May, state after state have begun to create or discuss legislation involving sports betting. By the end of the year, it is expected that even more states will be involved in the industry and next year, it would not be surprising to see states continue to push for legalization and pass bills into law to begin offering the wagering option.

The hope of many is that as sports betting creates a huge increase in overall gaming across the United States, online gaming will move back into the forefront. Many proponents feel that sports betting being so readily accepted state after state will see online gaming legislation begin to pop up again and the industry will begin growing once again. It will be interesting to watch over the coming weeks if this were to come to fruition.

Mount Airy Given More Time for Mini Casino Application

Mount AiryAfter winning a bid to create a satellite casino in Pennsylvania, Mount Airy #1 LLC has been granted an extension for their application submission.

Last year, the state of Pennsylvania approved several changes to their gambling industry based on the passage of a gaming package. Within the package, several additions were made to the overall industry including the creation of satellite casinos, or mini casinos. The licensing process took place during the first half of this year, with the Gaming Control Board hosting auctions where current land-based license holders could bid on a satellite casino license. Mount Airy #1 LLC, the owner of the Mount Airy Casino, was one of the first to receive a license and they have since been approved to submit their application at a later date.

Approval Given

On Wednesday, the Gaming Control Board held their monthly meeting where board members choose to approve a request by Mount Airy to see their application for a Category 4 casino be postponed until October 12th. The board acted on their decision without discussion and there were no representatives from Mount Airy in attendance.

Mount Airy won a bid for a Category 4 license on February 8th, during an auction where they paid $21.2 million for the license. Bidding starts at $7.5 million so the company paid a pretty penny to have the ability to create one of the mini casinos in the state.

With their bid, Mount Airy stated they would be creating the venue east of New Castle. Within the initial terms of the auction, Mount Airy had six months to provide plans for their new casino which would include the location. The due date for this information was August 12th. However, the operator requested more time and was given one more month to provide the requested details.

Where Will the Venue Be Located?

Mount Airy is reportedly looking at several locations within a 15-mile radius of the initial point they selected. Locations include New Castle, Beaver County, Butler County and the Grove City Outlets. In June, a rumor began circulating that the Lancaster Township was one of the areas being considered. supervisors of the township met this past week and had no new information to provide residents of the region who were asking if a gaming venue would be added to their town.

New Castle wants to be the location of the mini casino, with the mayor of the town sending a letter to the Mount Airy Casino asking to continue to be considered. Mayor Anthony Mastrangelo pointed out in his letter that the area is the second largest city in the region, with more than 24,000 residents and how the spot is located near Ohio as well.

It will be interesting to see which region is chosen by Mount Airy and when they begin construction and the initial launch of the mini casino is planned for.

Pennsylvania gaming operators have been quite busy as of late trying to stay on top of all the changes coming to the state. Sports betting, online casino and poker gaming, mini casinos and the lottery are just a few of the changes that have taken place in the state over the past few months.

The online lottery has already been quite successful, and sports betting should help the state to earn even more funds. Once online gambling is fully operational, Pennsylvania may overtake New Jersey and become the top state when it comes to overall gambling earnings, be it online or land based!

Ocean Resort Casino Eyes Live Dealer Gaming Online

Ocean Resort CasinoAfter opening just a few weeks ago, Ocean Resort Casino is now preparing to launch live dealer games via their online casino.

Right before the month of June came to an end, Ocean Resort Casino was opened to the public. The new Atlantic City casino is located in the former Revel building and offers players a premium experience including gaming options, hotel stays, dining and more, plus an online casino. To increase their gaming offering online, the casino has now announced they will be adding new content via a new partnership deal with Evolution Gaming.

New Deal for Live Dealer Content

Evolution Gaming has a full suite of live dealer games that Ocean Resort Casino will soon be adding to their online casino and gaming floor. The studio’s games should be added in the third quarter of this year, if all aspects of the deal fall into place. Live tables will soon be added to a studio for online streaming as well as one option to the game floor with Dual Play Roulette.

Additional games the online casino will be offering via Evolution Gaming include:

  • American Roulette
  • Blackjack with side bets including Bet Behind, Perfect Pairs and 21+3
  • Baccarat
  • Slingshot Roulette
  • Three Card Poker
  • Ultimate Texas Hold’em

It is not surprising that Ocean Resort Casino will begin to offer live dealer gaming online. The sector is extremely popular around the world, including in New Jersey. Live dealer options first came to fruition in New Jersey back in 2016 when the Golden Nugget and Betfair launched games that August. Golden Nugget eventually launched a new live floor version of roulette that was a first for the industry and one of many reasons why the brand is still the top online gaming operator in the state.

With live dealer gaming, the Ocean Resort Casino will have a studio where the games will be played and footage of live game play streamed to those taking part at home. The Dual Play Roulette game will be added to the casino game floor, where players can compete online with those who are playing at the same table in the casino.

Creating live table games that operate on the casino floor are becoming the latest innovation in live dealer games. Players love being able to compete online with players on-site at the casino, joining in on the fun as players earn big wins.

Ocean Resort Casino Continues to Grow

The Evolution Gaming deal is just one of many that the Ocean Resort Casino has completed in a short time frame. The brand recently partnered with SportAd to provide FastFantasy to players, a hybrid of fantasy sports and sports betting options. The sportsbook of Ocean Resort is in operation based on a deal with William Hill, yet another option the brand is offering to their visitors.

The casino is sure to continue to forge new partnerships to be able to continue to offer visitors the best options when it comes to all aspects of gaming, entertainment and guest services.

Once the live dealer games are launched, Ocean Resort Casino will be one of only a few of the online casino gaming operators in the state that offer this section of entertainment online. As mentioned, the Golden Nugget and Betfair offer live dealer games along with the Borgata, which just began offering such content this year.

It will be interesting to see how big of an impact the live dealer games have with the overall revenue earnings of the Ocean Resort once the option is live and data of game play has been released.