Rivers Casino & Resort Continues to Report Quality Slot Gaming Revenues

Having opened in February 2017, the Rivers Casino & Resort is still considered a relatively new casino to the state of New York. Since opening, the venue has done quite well, especially when looking at slot gaming revenues. The most recent reports are in and the gaming venue was able to see $126 million wagered last month at the venue. This is a huge increase when considering the monthly average for last year as well as this year.

Gross Gaming Revenues

Rivers Casino Schenectady New YorkThe New York Gaming Commission compiles reports of the non-Indian casinos in the state with the information made public based on monthly data releases. The April to March fiscal year of the state report was just released with the venue able to provide data for a second full fiscal year.

The gross gaming revenues for the venue were up by 11.5% with $157.1 million generated in 2018-2019. The total for the 2017-2018 fiscal year came in at $140.9 million. Of the amount earned this year, the casino paid $53.3 million in gaming taxes. This is an increased amount of just over 16% when comparing the last fiscal year.

It’s quite interesting to look at the breakdown of data for the Rivers Casino in 2018-2019. Schenectady is the host city and county of the casino, with both municipalities earning $2.68 million in taxes from the gaming revenues. This was a bit more than the $2.3 million from the previous fiscal year.

Gamblers hit the 1,150 slot machines of the venue hard, spending $1.24 billion with $1.12 billion in winnings earned. The month of March was the best one for the casino, with $15.97 million in gross gaming revenues. Interestingly enough, March was also the best year for the casino in the previous fiscal year.

Seeking Lower Tax Rate

The casino is trying to see the current tax rate they pay on gross gaming revenues reduced. They want to see the slot tax lowered. They pay 45% more than other casinos in New York as well as a competitor of Massachusetts, the MGM Springfield.

The company stated via email that they have seen gaming revenues grow recently, but expenses have grown as well. The casino operates in a highly competitive region and one that is continuing to expand on a regional basis. They pay 49% in slot taxes and other payments, which is making it difficult for the venue to compete.

Rivers Casino pointed out that other regional casinos have a competitive advantage as they can draw from the market of the venue. This then reduces the amount of revenues the casino can provide for education funding, community support and more.

It will be interesting to see if the casino will have their voice heard and a change made to the overall slot tax rate. Chances are the rate will stay the same unless the Rivers Casino can convince lawmakers that a reduction might result in more funds for the state in the long run.

DOJ States Lotteries Not Impacted by Wire Act Reinterpretation

Summary: US Department of Justice releases new memo stating lotteries are not affected by the new interpretation of the Wire Act.

When the United States Department of Justice announced that the Wire Act was being reinterpreted to include all online interstate gaming, several states began to panic. States that offered lottery gaming were worried that such games as the Powerball and Mega Millions would place their industries at risk. It seems the DOJ is now revealing that state lotteries are not impacted by the Wire Act reinterpretation, a change that could cause a federal court case against the DOJ come to an end.

New Memo

Online LotteryThe DOJ released their latest filing to the public, with the memo signed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. In the memo, the Deputy AG comments on the Office of Legal Counsel opinion that was provided earlier this year.

In the memo dated April 8th, Rosenstein states that the DOJ did not conclude that the state lottery groups are impacted by the new reinterpretation of the Wire Act, a decision that replaced the 2011 opinion.

It is believed that this memo was created in which to shutdown a federal case against the DOJ brought to life by the state lottery in New Hampshire. The scope of the Wire Act now seems to focus on online gambling, but not lottery gaming.

It is unclear how the Department of Justice can call other online gambling games different than the lottery, as the games do have an interstate component. The New Hampshire Lottery brought their case against the DOJ due to the face that multi-state lottery games exist. Data crosses state lines and payments are often interstate as well. These components would fall under the interstate gambling category as stated by the DOJ in their new ruling.

In the new memo, the Deputy AG did say that the Department of Justice is now reviewing the question as to whether or not the Wire Act applies to the state lotteries and vendors associated with the industry. Attorneys of the DOJ are to refrain from applying legalities to the state lotteries and vendors until the review has been completed.

Case Moving Forward

For now, it is unclear as to if this new memo will affecting the pending case against the DOJ involving the Wire Act. A decision in the case was set to take place in May, but if that is still the case, it is unknown. If the judge in the case chooses to dismiss the case, a state or other entity could choose to bring the case to a different federal court in the US. The DOJ could also find that the Wire Act does apply to lottery gaming and the case would start again.

It will be interesting to follow along and see how the case and the Wire Act reinterpretation go from here. For over five years, real money online gambling has thrived both in state and across state lines in the US. It seems foolish to back track after New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada have been successful. Pennsylvania has now passed legislation set to start their new online industry this year and West Virginia recently passed legislation as well.

Hopefully the industry will be able to continue as is and more states will get in on the action in the future.

Georgia Senate Creates Committee to Study Gambling

Summary: After several efforts to see gambling come to pass in Georgia, state officials have now created a committee to study the industry.

Southern states in the US are more conservative, offering less gambling opportunities than other regions of the nation. Georgia is one such state that does not currently offer casino gaming, with lawmakers trying for some time to bring some type of gaming option to the region. Efforts to see casinos created as well as horse racing have failed, so the state Senate has now decided to create a committee to study gambling. The goal is to learn more so legislation can be created that has the ability to pass into law.

New Committee

House Resolution 367 was passed by the Senate, creating a new committee that will study how gambling will affect the state. The panel will consist of 11 members, mainly involving members of the Senate. The group will be meeting over the summer and fall to study how allowing casino gambling and horse racing will affect Georgia.

GeorgiaThe move is considered a step back for Senator Brandon Beach, an individual who has continued to fight for gambling in the state. Last year, Beach created legislation to see as many as three horse racing tracks crated in Georgia. The legislation moved out of a Senate panel but no further. It seems lawmakers want to understand the gambling industry more before allowing any type of new activity within their borders.

Beach saw the need and introduced the resolution to see the committee created. The senator is disappointed that his bill did not move forward but believes that the new committee will help to provide more support during the 2020 legislative session.

According to Beach, by having the right people at the table, learning and educating everyone on the issue, will help to see progress in the next year. The senator feels that legalizing casinos and horse racing would help to create jobs as well as additional revenues for the HOPE scholarship fund.

Much-Needed Funds

The main driving force behind any gambling expansion is the consideration or the HOPE scholarship fund. Since 1993, the state’s lottery has provided funds for the HOPE scholarship which had helped thousands of college students attend private and public college. With additional gambling options, the fund would have more money to help with any shortages.

Even though additional gambling would be benefiting the HOPE fund, conservative groups and leaders of faith organizations do not want to see any change. They continually remained opposed to any expansion, stating that they find it immoral as well as addictive. Opponents fear that any expansion would see an increase in crime as well.

Lawmakers like Beach have provided information to show opponents how the option can be of benefit, but they seem to be stuck on their own beliefs. We shall see over the coming weeks and months how the committee is able to study gambling and what they findings reveal. Many lawmakers would like to see a positive outcome and bring about legislation that will pass into law, allowing Georgia to expand their gambling industry.

Las Vegas Resorts Cutting Back on Fees to Bring in Traffic

Summary: Casino resorts in Las Vegas are suffering from weakened visitors’ numbers, choosing to cut back or remove resort fees in order to entice traffic.

With every industry, there is a slow period. In Las Vegas, the slow time is now, and resorts are having to make big changes in order to bring in traffic to meet revenue needs. Visitors numbers have gone down, so many casinos have opted to cut down their fees or even offer promotions that have no fee in order to see visitors come to their venue.

Cutting Back Meets a New Low

Las Vegas CasinosIn 2018, the visitor numbers for Las Vegas hit a new low. Many resorts are considering not raising fees at all this year just to ensure visitor numbers increase. In July of last year, the Wynn Las Vegas decided to stop charging parking fees for guests who stay overnight as well as those who were visiting during the day and spend less than $50.

To the Wynn, the fees were counter acting the type of customer service the venue wanted to provide. Several venues decided to start charging fees for visitors such as parking rates in 2018 and this seems to have backfired. For decades, visitors were able to stay on-site free of charge and regulars were not happy with the new charges.

General Fees

In general, it can cost as much as $50 a day to stay on the Strip or even off the Strip by way of parking. During the slow time frames, resorts often increase the price of a room by a whopping 100% just to make up for the traffic slow down. Other services may also be charged for including WiFi service, pool usage, gyms, etc. Guests who stay at such properties have to pay the fee regardless as to whether or not they will be using the service.

On top of that, many visitors think they are getting a good deal due to booking their room online. Consumers can view casino resorts at online travel agency sites and see the least expensive option. However, the price listed is per room and not the total cost. Once fees and taxes are accumulated, the cost is much higher.

The casino hotels also pay a commission to such travel agencies based on room price and not the resort fee. This means the casinos will be more willing to increase fees as they do not have to pay on fees, but do on the room price.

So, resorts are now opting out of charging too much for the fees in order to ensure their visitor numbers. However, some are not making any changes. MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment Corp. are two of the biggest operators in the region. They have decided to maintain their current fees for parking and resort charges after they were raised a few years ago.

Mark Frissora, the CEO of Caesars, stated that the company has no plans to change the fee structure. However, they are sensitive that they may hurt their own revenue growth and profitability if they rise the prices.

Caesars Entertainment will be offering free parking to visitors at The Linq Hotel this coming August to see if visitor numbers will be increased.

Overall, changes are being made to hopefully see visitors come back to Las Vegas at all times of the year. Visitor numbers were down to 42.1 million in 2018, which is a slight drop from the 42.9 million recorded in 2016. Operators are hopeful that they will see an increase in visitors so that they will continue to bring in much-needed revenues.

Sands Bethlehem Casino to Become Wind Creek Casino Resort

Summary: Sands Bethlehem Casino to be sold to the Poarch Band of Creek Indians to become the Wind Creek Casino Resort.

The Sands Bethlehem Casino is one of the most successful in the state of Pennsylvania. The Las Vegas Sands Corp., the company behind the brand, is set to sell to the casino to the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. The acquisition will cost a total of $1.3 billion and has yet to be completed. Once finalized, the property will no longer be known as the Sands Bethlehem but will be called the Wind Creek Casino Resort.

Approved Name Change

Sands Casino BethlehemThe Poarch Band of Creek Indians may not be familiar to residents of Pennsylvania, but the tribe is very well-known in the south as a casino and resort operator. The tribe operates under the name Wind Creek Hospitality and want to use that name with the Sands Casino.

With the acquisition of the Sands Casino, the Wind Creek Hospitality group will enter the northeast gaming market for the very first time. It will also be the first time the group is operating in a state that offers online gambling in a regulated market.

Last week, the group was approved by the Bethlehem Planning Commission to change the name from the Sands to the Wind Creek Casino. The group has yet to earn the transfer of casino license approval from the Gaming Control Board but went ahead and sough the name change from the Planning Commission.

The Gaming Control Board has to hear the application of the two casino operators, the Sands Corp. and Wind Creek Hospitality. The transfer paperwork was filed back in late February and has yet to be heard by the Board. The Board doesn’t seem to ever be in a huge hurry to complete applications, as has been seen in the past with other considerations, including online gaming.

Plans for Expansion

As the Wind Creek Hospitality company takes over control of the Sands Casino, they will begin an expansion process. The group plans on spending $190 million to expand on the property’s offering. The expansion will include 300 new hotel guest rooms. The plans may also include an indoor water park.

On top of the casino acquisition, the Wind Creek group will be in control of the nearby outlet mall and events center.

Wind Creek wants to begin as quickly as possible with the casino project. Once the final approval has been given, officials will begin the construction process to get the ball rolling on the new guest rooms. With the project, as many as 400 jobs will be created on top of the 2,500 employees that are already working at the venue.

Currently the Sands Casino is the closest venue to New York City, so it stands to be profitable for the Wind Creek Hospitality group. The resort style casino is the closet option for visitors as well as residents of NYC.

For now, Wind Creek will be the best option in the region, staying on top in PA as well as a top choice for New York. However, the venue could potentially see competition as gaming operators are currently asking lawmakers in New York for a casino in the five boroughs of the state. Several operators are hoping to enter the NY market including Sands Corp.

If Sands were to get licensing in New York, then they would become a competitor to their former venue, soon to be taken over by Wind Creek.

Penn National Earns Preliminary Approval for Mini Casino

Summary: The Caernarvon Township provides preliminary approval for Penn National to develop mini casino despite resident backlash.

In late 2017, lawmakers in Pennsylvania approved an expansive gaming package that would see several changes to the gambling offerings of the state. Included in the mix were satellite casinos. Operators in state as well as outside qualified entities could bid for licensing to operate a smaller gaming venue with no more than 750 slots and 30 table games. Penn National was one such operator who was approved for licensing.

The company recently made their plans known for a $111 million facility in the Caernarvon Township. During a town hearing, the company provided their plans for approval. As many as 250 people attended the meeting with many against the plans. Residents were not happy with the decision to bring a gaming venue to the region, with fear of crime or gambling addiction.

Despite these fears, the supervisors of the township have decided to give preliminary approval for the final plans so that Penn National can move forward.

Approval Given

PennsylvaniaThe first meeting involving the casino took place in early March. This past week, another meeting took place where the supervisors gave their preliminary approval. Around 40 people attended this meeting with most giving their approval for the plans.

With the approval, Penn National has plans to move ahead with their 86,000 square foot facility, located near the Turnpike and Route 10. The plans include the maximum amount of slots and table games allowed as well as a restaurant and stage for entertainment.

Penn National wants to get started as quickly as possible so they can begin to reap the benefits of having a smaller gaming venue in the region.

Benefiting the Community

The project has been estimated to bring as much as $94 million to the local economy. During the construction phase, as many as 255 employment positions will be created. With the casino, an additional 250 jobs should be offered. In annual revenue, the township should see around $1.6 million.

According to the supervisors of the township, the planning commission recommended approving the plan with no revisions. Now, Penn National will have to provide agreements including financial security to the township. This must be completed within 90 days.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protections must also approve the project along with the Berks County Conservation District. The project still has a long way to go. The company has plans to begin construction by next year and then open hopefully by the fall of 2020.

The state already has a quality casino industry, with the twelve land-based venues bringing in over $3.2 billion in 2018 revenues. With the introduction of satellite casinos, the state should see a large increase in land-based revenues once the facilities are in working order.

The overall gambling industry of the state should see a massive increase in revenues over the coming years as satellite casinos are integrated, online gambling comes in to play, video gaming terminals launch at truck stops and more of the changes are implemented.

It will be interesting to watch and see as the state develops with the many changes coming to fruition.

Deadline for Wire Act Opinion Compliance Pushed to June

Summary: New reports suggest that the date in which gaming operators must be in compliance with the latest Wire Act opinion by the Department of Justice has been moved to June 14th.

Just a few months ago, the Department of Justice decided to change their opinion of the Wire Act of 1961. This act was first changed in 2011 by the Obama Administration after the act was found to be out of date based on internet usage of today. At that time, the Act allowed states to begin offering online gambling services. The Act placed a ban on interstate activities, but only regarding sports betting. However, the new interpretation of the Wire Act includes all interstate gambling, which has several states up in arms due to being affected.

In the beginning, it was said that operators had until April 15thto comply. However, that date has now been pushed back to reportedly June 14th.

New Deadline Set for June

The DOJ has reportedly set a new deadline when it comes to when operators have to be in compliance of the legality changes. CDC Gaming Reports obtained a memo that was signed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein which stated the new deadline was now 60 days after the previous deadline.

So far, the DOJ have yet to state what exactly they expect from operators by way of compliance. For now, states that offer online gambling are operating as normal. Once the DOJ actually makes it clear as to their position, then operators will know how to act.

The extension could be good for iGaming operators as it gives the DOJ take to change the opinion again or to limit the scope of interstate gaming. There have already been several court cases filed against the department based on the new Wire Act ruling. With the extension, the DOJ can make changes that might see such lawsuits dropped.

States Taking Preventative Action

PennsylvaniaDespite the little information as to what needs to be done regarding compliance, the ruling by the DOJ has already caused some states to act. Pennsylvania legalized online poker and casino gaming in 2017. They spent last year setting up regulations, licensing operators, etc. and are set to launch this year.

Due to the Wire Act change, the DOJ has now decided to locate all gaming servers of the industry within the state. This is an issue for some operators as they already offer services in New Jersey. Instead of using servers already located in New Jersey, they will have to find a location in Pennsylvania in order to be in compliance so to speak with the illegal interstate gambling opinion.

The World Series of Poker is also possibly hurt by the change. The WSOP takes place during the summer months in Nevada and offers players in New Jersey the opportunity to take part in online events, even Gold Bracelet options. This year, the schedule has a total of nine online gold bracelet events.

However, players in New Jersey may not be able to take part this year due to the DOJ ruling. The WSOP has yet to announce if they will still allow the players in the other state to take part or if gambling will be off limits.

Rivers Casino Set to Increase Sports Betting Efforts This March

Summary: Sports betting is in full swing in the US with Rivers Casino of Pennsylvania set to increase their efforts in the industry beginning in March.

Since mid-May 2018, sports betting has been the main gambling activity hitting the news. As many as eight states currently offer sports betting services and many more are set to get started in the future, thanks to a ruling provided by the United States Supreme Court. Beginning last summer, SCOTUS ruled that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was unconstitutional, which led to sports betting being legalized across the nation.

The ability to offer sports betting in the US has caused lawmakers to spring into action. Across the nation, casino after casino and other gambling venues are beginning to offer sports betting services. To stay in competition and to earn the most money, US online gambling operations must continue to ramp up efforts. Just recently, the Rivers Casino announced plans for next month to offer major events involving sports betting activities.

March Madness

Rivers Casino Schenectady New YorkThe Rivers Casino will be offering special viewing parties titled March Mania. These parties will take place during the first two rounds of March Madness. The NCAA basketball tournament is a popular betting event for gamblers and this will be the first time that states other than Nevada can offer wagering on the series.

The parties will take place at the Rivers Casino from March 21st to the 24th. The goal is to highlight the series and offer an exciting atmosphere at the sportsbook. The Rivers has offered sports betting for some time now and hope to capitalize on the upcoming basketball tournament.

However, the special March Mania events will not be free. Players can purchase single chairs in the sportsbook for $75 each during the first four days of the event. For a table of four, the purchase price will be $200. The rate will include vouchers for food as well as drink. The price point will not make visitors who regularly frequent the sports book very happy, but apparently charging for seats is a common practice.

According to Andre Barnabei, the vice president of gaming for the venue, well-established sportsbooks located in Las Vegas often host such events with pay per visit charges. Locals have already begun to show interest in the upcoming March Mania event as tickets for seating have already been sold.

Another Option

For those who don’t want to pay for seating in the sportsbook, the Rivers events center will also be offering wagering options as well as broadcasting of the games. Admission to this area is free. However, seating in the front of the venue has a cost, with VIPs and groups of ten able to reserve tables. The price point for tables in this area of the facility are $350 which includes credits for food and drink.

The reservations are valid for a full day of games. This means that visitors can leave the casino as they so choose and return to their seat as they like.

It will be interesting to see how well received this new event style programing is and if the casino will be successful. Players may be open to purchasing seating for big events such as March Madness or they may want to hold on to their extra cash in order to use it for placing bets!

Bet America Now Offering Online Gaming in New Jersey

Summary: Along with an online sportsbook, Bet America has launched an online casino within the state of New Jersey.

Newcomer to the online gambling industry in New Jersey, BetAmerica has decided to not limit their offerings in the state to just sports betting. The brand not only launched an online sportsbook in the state, but also an online casino. The decision matches many in the industry as the option to offer multiple avenues of online gaming is proving to be very lucrative in the region.

Getting to know Bet America

The brand BetAmerica is not new to the gambling world but is a brand that many may not have heard of before. The company offered advanced deposit wagering in the past, where players could bet on horse and greyhound races. In the summer of 2018, the parent company of BetAmerica, Churchill Downs Incorporated, announced that they would be leveraging the brand with two brand new retail sportsbooks in Mississippi. These sports books are operated via SBTech.

Fast forward to this past January, and Churchill Downs decided to expand their partnership with SBTech and create a new online sportsbook offering in New Jersey. The company can provide services in the region based on a license held by the Golden Nugget.

Online Casino Gaming

Sports BettingIn New Jersey, there are already a ton of online casino sites. So, what can BetAmerica offer that others don’t? Will they be able to obtain a fairly decent market share? It seems the brand is taking a conservative approach when it comes to what they are offering. To begin, the casino is offering a small selection of games.

They are working with such software companies as IGT and Konami, with 89 games in total at the site. Of that number, 77 are online slots. The company is currently the smallest provider of online casino games.

Since slots reign supreme, players will find the table game selection and video poker are a bit small. The site offers only two blackjack games and two roulette along with six video poker titles.

The main goal of BetAmerica was to launch an online sportsbook but adding in casino games is a smart move. As players log on to place a sports wager, they will also be able to take a break and play a slot or two. Having the option available gives players the opportunity for something more. Even the smallest of offering should gain the attention of players as they get started with sports betting via the brand.

From the sportsbook, players can access the casino page. The casino operates in instant format, which means no software must be downloaded in order to play. From the home page of the casino, players can click on the categories of games to find what they are looking for. Categories include Featured, All Slots, High Limit, Blackjack, Video Poker, Table Games, Jackpots, Ways, Steppers and All Games.

It will be interesting to see in the coming months how the brand fares with their new gaming option. Will players visit the online casino? Will the sportsbook be popular? Only time will tell as to how successful BetAmerica will be in the online gambling industry of New Jersey.

Slot Revenues Continue to Decline in Connecticut

Summary: Casinos in Connecticut continue to see poor results when it comes to slot gaming revenues

For most casinos, the slots are the most popular game on the floor. Players both young and old can spend a great deal of time spinning the reels. However, at the casinos in Connecticut, the revenues from slot games continue to be on a decline. Both the Foxwoods Casino and the Mohegan Sun are seeing decreases when it comes to revenues from slots, with experts stating the decline is a result of industry trends in the region.

Competition and Bankroll Problems

MGM SpringfieldAnalysts feel that the issue with the slot revenues is due to competition in neighboring states as well as players having less disposable income. Finance Department at Boston College associate professor Rev. Richard McGowan recently spoke with Casino.org, stating that the decline is not surprising. The MGM Springfield was clearly going to be competition and they have hurt the two gaming venues in Connecticut, even though the new venue has not done as well as expected.

The MGM Springfield earned $19.7 million in January which was the smallest amount ever earned for a month period. Players not only have the MGM venue to visit but they can also travel to nearby Rhode Island where sports betting is offered.

Another issue that is at play is the shrinking economy in Connecticut. Within the last decade, the economy has decreased by around 10%. Household incomes are smaller so there is less disposable money. Players have less money they can spend on gaming so player traffic is much lower at the gaming venues.

In the past, the two tribal operated venues relied heavy on players from Connecticut. Anywhere from 70 to 75 percent of revenues generated from slot games were from players living in the state. However, as neighboring states began to launch casino gaming, players were traveling to these venues due to location or the newness of the venue.

Potential plans for gaming venues in Bridgeport and East Windsor will also cause issue in the future, most likely. The Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun are planning on launching new casinos in these regions. Once the two new venues are in operation, it will most likely pull away even more traffic from the Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos. This will hurt revenues as well.

On top of that, MGM Resorts is trying to open a gaming venue in Bridgeport as well as soon to acquire the Empire Resort in New York. These two venues will be even more competition as MGM improve their operations.

January Revenues

The Mohegan Sun earned $40.7 million in January, which was a 9.4% decrease from January 2017. This was the lowest slot revenues for the casino in almost two decades. Foxwoods earned $31 million, which was an 8.5% drop. The total was actually the lowest monthly revenue numbers for the casino in their 25 years of operation.

While experts say income issues and competition are the problem, the casinos have a different idea. CEO of Foxwoods, Rodney Butler, has said the drop is due to bad weather and Rhode Island casinos now offering sports betting. Only time will tell if the venues will be able to improve and what the actual cause for the drop is.

Meadowlands Racetrack Announces New Jersey Mobile Sportsbook Plans

Summary: CG Technology is preparing to launch a mobile sportsbook in New Jersey, after partnering with the Meadowlands Racetrack.

Sports betting is spreading quickly across the United States, thanks to a legislative decision from May 2018. Last summer, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act is no longer valid. This opened the door for states to legalize sports betting operations within their borders.

Over the past few months, several states have already started offering services. Leading the charge is New Jersey. In the state, players have access to both online and land-based sports betting options. Just recently, an announcement was made regarding yet another mobile sportsbook in the works.

Meadowlands Racetrack

Meadowlands RacetrackThe Meadowlands Racetrack has partnered with CG Technology, a company based in Nevada, to offer a mobile sportsbook. The sports betting option will not be ready in the near future, more likely launching by the 2019 NFL season.

CG Technology’s CEO Parikshat Khanna commented on moving into the sports betting market of New Jersey, stating that the company is delighted to enter the market and bring their decade-plus experience catering to consumers in the biggest gambling market of the United States.

CG Technology is an early mover into the sports wagering industry of Nevada and always looked forward to a national expansion.

The Meadowlands is also confident in their partnership with CG Technology. CEO and Chairman of the Meadowlands, Jeff Gural, commented on the new venture stating that they are confident that the years of experience that CGT has will bring new and innovative offerings in the sports betting market that will appeal to sports betting in the mobile and online realm.

More Additions

Sports betting is already in operation at the Meadowlands as the facility has a FanDuel Sportsbook as well as PointsBets. Speaking with PlayNJ, Jeff Gural stated that the Meadowlands is installing new betting kiosks. Fourteen kiosks are being added to the FanDuel Sportsbook. The machines are being placed near the betting windows of the facility.

According to Gural, around 50% of the bets involving horse racing are made via the kiosk machines. Adding machines will allow for more options when it comes to placing wagers. The goal is to have the new machines added by early next month. This would provide new betting formats in time for the NCAA Tournament March Madness.

The FanDuel Sportsbook has been quite successful at the Meadowlands. The venue has an upper hand in the industry as the facility is located less than 13 miles from New York City. This means that traffic to the facility consists of visitors from New Jersey as well as New York. For many New Yorkers, the trip to the Meadowlands is just a few minutes away, making it easy to place wagers on their favorite sports teams or events.

With the announcement of the upcoming mobile sportsbook, the Meadowlands Racetrack will eventually offer both online and land-based offerings. While the mobile option will not be made available in time for the upcoming March Madness, it will hopefully be ready in time for another lucrative time frame for the industry, the NFL season.

PA Representative Suggests Sports Betting Revenues Help Property Taxes

Summary: A representative in Pennsylvania has proposed an amendment to see sports betting revenue taxes go towards property tax relief.

In the United States, there are many different gaming industries available. From online casinos operating in the US and Internet poker, to the lottery and sports betting, most every state offers some form of gambling. When legislation is created to legalize gambling, rules and regulations are put in place to dictate how the industry will operate.

In the mix, the way the new industry will be taxed is considered. Many states choose to use such taxes to help support education, fund programs or clean up the state. In Pennsylvania, one representative is hoping to use the sports betting tax to provide property tax relief.

House Bill 498

PennsylvaniaIn early January, House Bill 498 was introduced in Pennsylvania, sponsored by Representative Tina M. Davis. The bill has been sent to the House of Representatives for review and if passed into law, would provide property tax relief for residents of the state.

Based on Act 42 in the gambling expansion law passed in 2017, the state will take 36% in tax on sports betting revenues. Currently, six sports books are in operation. Of that amount, 34% will go to the General Fund of the state. The municipalities that host the betting venues will earn 2% which is being called a local share assessment.

With the new bill, Davis is proposing that the 34% be placed in a Property Tax Relief Fund. The 2% would remain the same. In her proposal, Davis points out that gaming was approved in the state with the intent of providing property tax relief for residents. She believes that expansions of gaming should see the tax relief provided for property owners in the state.

What Davis is referring to is the Taxpayer Relief Act, which was created in 2006. This act started the Property Tax Relief Fund. At the time, legislators made it clear that taxes from gaming revenues would go towards property tax relief in the majority. Revenues produced from slots and table games go towards this fund.

Fast forward to 2017, and voters in the state approved an amendment to the constitution that created legislation would stop property taxes altogether. However this would only happen if authorities such as school districts and counties found alternative options for property tax money. Such streams of revenue have yet to be found. However, Davis is suggesting that sports betting be the source.

Tax Issues

Oddly enough, areas in the state are actually creating new assessments of property and homeowners will actually see a tax increase. Davis has noticed the increased property taxes and has voiced her concern with the new bill proposal.

Rep. Davis has pointed out that homeowners are facing rising property taxes and seniors on fixed incomes are having serious issues with the change. Davis feels that because of the problems surrounding property taxes, public officials have to do something to provide property tax relief for citizens.

Now, it is up to lawmakers to decide if they want to approve the change and provide such relief to taxpayers or keep the tax payments the same. It will be interesting to see how this plays out and if lawmakers choose to help their constituents.

Sports Betting Discussions Continue in Maryland

Summary: Sports betting is currently under discussion in Maryland, with a bill on the table set to assist the state lottery in the process.

Like many states in the US, Maryland is considering the legalization of sports betting. A bill was introduced by Delegates Jason Buckel and Kevin Hornberger, set to authorize the state’s lottery to be in charge of the new gaming industry. However, lawmakers are still trying to determine if voters of the state need to approve the option first.

Maryland Sports Betting

With the bill, the Maryland Lottery would be in charge and facilities that have horse racing licenses as well as those who operate the video lottery terminals, would be eligible to obtain a sports betting license. The bill will see 80% of the revenues go towards the licensees and then 20% would go towards the lottery. The language of the percentages was backwards at first and Delegate Buckel has stated that the change is being made now within the bill to rectify the issue.

The bill is three pages long and would have a licensing fee for sports betting of $300,000. The license would be good for one year and then required an annual renewal fee of $50,000. The fee paid for licensing will see 80% of that amount go towards an education trust fund. The remaining 20% would be split evenly, with half going towards a problem gambling fund and the other half going towards impact grants.

Is a Referendum Needed?

MarylandIn some states in the US, a referendum is needed in order for legal changes to be made. In 2007, voters of Maryland choose to greenlight a measure that would allow a commercial gambling expansion to be placed on the ballot for consideration. This brings about the question as to if the sports betting bill will need to be approved first via referendum before it can become law.

This requirement however, is not set for the state lottery. Because the sports betting bill involves the state lottery, it may not require the referendum. If so, then the state would be able to move forward without any issue as to waiting on voters to approve the option or not.

If the bill passes into law, bets would not be offered immediately. The bill would take effort on July 1st, but sports wagering providers would have to be contracted first before operations could begin. Rules and regulations would also need to be put in place to govern sports betting for the state. For lawmakers, it seems that a launch would most likely occur by 2020, if the bill moves forward in a timely manner.

If passed into law, Maryland would be one of many states to offer sports betting in the US. Over the past few months, several states have passed legislation or continue to discussion to be able to start the new industry.

Lawmakers will continue discuss this bill and determine if the referendum is needed. If not, hopefully the measure will pass and see the state become the next to begin offering the new wagering option within their borders.

Sports Betting Moves Forward in Washington D.C.

Summary: Lawmakers continue to push sports betting legislation forward in Washington D.C.

The District of Columbia is one of many regions in the United States that is focused on legalizing sports betting services. In Washington D.C., lawmakers are focused and continue to push forward legislation to approve and regulate the industry. A recent legislative meeting saw lawmakers approve a proposal with a vote of 7-6. The decision will see a competitive bidding process avoided for the DC lottery contract.

The passage of the proposal will help to push sports betting into fruition in a much faster manner. The current supplier of lottery gaming will be able to launch the option quickly. Intralot would be the operating company, with a rollout set for the first of September. Because the bidding process is being bypassed, the region can get started much sooner if approved by Congress.

No Bidding Process

Washington DC CasinosThe sponsor of the sports betting legislation is Councilmember Jack Evans. The bill was pushed forward with the help of information provided by a study that supported claims that the standard process of procurement would cost around $60 million and there would be 27 months where the region would miss out on revenues.

Evans pushed his agenda yet again during this recent meeting, highlighting a recent shooting to try and see his proposal move forward. Evans reminded fellow lawmakers that a portion of the money from sports betting would go towards violence prevention.

As long as Intralot provides a reasonable proposal, they would become the only supplier to the district for mobile sports betting. With the passage of the measure, it cuts down on the competition from IGT and Scientific Games.

While the sourcing aspect will be expedited based on this new legislation, there is an issue as to how much competition the product will create as the sports betting industry in the US starts to mature. Sports betting permits in the region will be available for other venues including the sports arenas of the area. However, such operators will be restricted to offering services only within their property.

Strong providers of sports betting in other areas of the US, like DraftKings and FanDuel, will not be able to offer services in D.C. Intralot is expected to hold 20 to 30 percent of the handle in the district. The DC General Fund will benefit from the revenues earned.

Moving Forward

Now the proposal just has to move forward in order to come to fruition. A primary bill was passed back in December to legalize sports betting. Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the bill and it must now be reviewed by the United States Congress. A 60-day review window is set before any decision will be made.

If D.C. sees their legislation approved, they would become the latest region to offer sports betting in the United States. Several states are already in operation with sports betting including West Virginia, New Jersey and Delaware. This week, other states saw sports betting legislation introduced including Texas and Iowa.

Sports betting is quickly becoming the top choice for states that want to expand their gambling industry. For years, sports betting has been banned from most every state in the US. Upon the SCOTUS ruling in May, lawmakers quickly began to focus on legislation to see their individual state enter the new industry.

This year will see several states get in on the action, but just how many will actually get started with operations is anyone’s guess. We will watch anxiously to see which states begin offering sports betting services, be it online, in land-based form or in both formats.

Baton Rouge Riverboat Casinos Suffer Losing Year

Summary: The riverboat casinos in Baton Rouge suffered in 2018, seeing a decrease in revenues of 15% from the previous year.

As the New Year is in full swing, we are starting to get an inside look as to how gaming operations fared across the United States in 2018. Gaming commissions and lottery groups are compiling data from gaming operations in their respective areas and releasing the info to the public. Some states have seen great success with their gambling industries, while others have suffered a bit. The Louisiana Gaming Control Board recently provided the revenue totals for riverboat casinos in Baton Rouge, venues that suffered quite a drop when compared to 2017.

Riverboat Revenue Plummet

Louisiana CasinosIn Baton Rouge, there are three riverboat casinos in operation. Players can visit the Belle of Baton Rouge, the Hollywood Casino or the L’Auberge Baton Rouge, when in the area. In 2018, the casinos brought in a total of $256 million. This was a 15% decrease when compared to the over $300 million earned in 2017.

The decline was not that much a surprise for the operators as the riverboat casinos have suffered from revenue decreases for about a year and a half now. Month after month, the casinos have seen a drop in earnings, having many wonder how much longer the venues will be in business.

The worst month in 2018 for the casinos was July where just over 26% less was earned than in the same time frame from 2017. March was the best month, where the region earned just over $27 million, but this was still 8% less than what was earned the previous March.

The Belle of Baton Rouge was the biggest loser in 2018, having dropped just over 23% in 2018. The casino earned $44.4 million which is much less when compared to the $57.9 million earned in 2017. This year, it doesn’t appear that the venue is going to fare any better. The new parent company of the facility, Eldorado Resorts, has decided to drop plans to upgrade the property and move it onshore.

The Hollywood Casino was also down in revenues, earning just $58.1 million. This was a 14.7% drop from 2017. The L’Auberge venue was down just over 12% with only $153.2 million in earnings. This was much less than the $174.4 million from 2017.

Moving on to Land

The riverboat casinos do have the option now to move on to land. A new state law was enacted that allows the operators to move their facilities on to land if they meet certain investment thresholds. Eldorado Resorts had plans to move the Belle onto land but they are now reconsidering the option. It seems that they may not feel that the investment would be worthwhile.

The other venues have yet to announce plans to move from water to land. With the lowered revenues, it may be some time before any equity is freed up in order to make the move. It is disappointing as new venues might be able to bring in more revenues to the state if larger facilities were created.

Overall, the riverboat casinos Louisiana were able to bring in $1.92 billion in revenues. This is about the same as the revenues earned the previous year, when considering all riverboat casinos in the state.

Virginia Casino Legislation Could Be Pushed Back One Year or More

Summary: Legislation to approve casinos in Virginia could be pushed back a year or more based on a study requirement.

Casino gaming is still not available in every state within the US, despite lawmakers and citizens being more open to the industry. Efforts have been on the table for quite some time in Virginia, with legislation being considered that would authorize casinos in the state. However, the legislation may now stall as a study is being required before gaming can begin.

Study on the Horizon

Virginia CasinosThe Senate Finance Committee has approved a bill introduced by Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment that requires a study to be conducted before the legislation can be considered further. The study must be completed and reviewed before the General Assembly will be allowed to consider the measure in 2020.

Several cities in the state have already been working on possible casino plans including the area of Portsmouth. Mayor of the city, John Rowe, has stated that he is disappointed with the decision as the city will have to wait even longer before they can get started with gaming. However, the mayor was pleased that the legislation is still alive and will bring a casino to the region.

Earlier in January, the leaders of Portsmouth announced their plans for casino gaming. The city would like to create a waterfront venue located at former Holiday Inn. Additional plans have been introduced for other areas of the state including Norfolk. The Pamunkey Indian Tribe announced back in December their plans for a resort casino in the region.

The legislation for casino gaming will now move on to the Join Legislative Audit and Review Commission. The study will be conducted and then brought to the General Assembly in 2020. An earlier version of the bill included the study but it would have been conducted while the process could continue, including allowing local referendums to take place.

Bristol was another area where casino gaming was being considered. Officials there hoped to see the referendum taking place this fall. Neal Osborne is a Virginia City Councilor of Bristol who stated that the decision was disappointing but not unexpected. There is an urgency to get the option ready sooner instead of later so the tax revenues can be brought to the region.

The cities interested in casino gaming certainly need the revenues. Beth Rhinehart, the CEO and President of the Chamber of Commerce in Bristol, an area looking to add casino gaming, has called the delay frustrating as well because the city has mounting debt. The money created from casino gaming would have removed a portion of the financial burden from the taxpayers.

For now, proponents are happy that at least the conversation is ongoing. The legislation is moving forward, so the potential is there, it’s just going to take time. Now, all eyes will be on the study as it is conducted. The hope is that their results will find the option is great for the state and the General Assembly will be happy with the findings.

It’s going to take some time. The delay of one year will cause the state to loss out on potential revenues. But, hopefully, the legislation will move forward next year so casinos can begin to be constructed.

Sports Betting Moves Forward in New York Without Mobile Betting

Summary: Sports betting regulation is in the works in New York, but without mobile wagering, which might harm the industry.

Over the past few months, sports betting legislation has been popping up across the United States. State after state is either discussing the option or working on legislation. In New York, sports betting has been under discussion for a very long time. The first phase of regulation has now began but mobile betting is not included. This may not be the smartest decision for the state as mobile wagering is desired by gamblers, something that players want to see when they make sports bets.

The New York State Gaming Commission has now provided a preliminary approval for rules involving ports betting as well as regulations. With the approval, the four casinos located in the upstate region of the state will be able to offer sports betting with regulations to follow.

What’s to Come?

New YorkThe commission has six members and the topic of regulations was not discussed within the group before the proposed rules and regulations were voted upon. The information will now start a public comment period that will last 60 days. Once this time frame is done, the commission will be able to give their final approval.

The proposal has thirty-three pages and was provided to the public via Legal Sports Report. The draft includes information on how the licensing application process will be completed along with requirements for operations, wagering types and more. The goal of the info is to get the casinos in operation with sports betting as soon as possible. The facilities that will be able to offer services includes the Tioga Downs Casino, Resorts World Catskills, Del Lago Resort & Casino as well as the Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady.

What Wasn’t Included?

With the information, there were some areas that were left out of the rules and regulations. A major component was mobile wagering. The proposed rules does not include mobile wagering. During the reading of the regulations, it was made known that the rules remain within the scope of activities that were authorized by legislature.

In 2013, sports betting was authorized and approved for the casinos but not racinos in the state or off-track betting sites. Mobile apps is also not included.

The regulations also do not cover an integrity fee. This has been a major point of contention over the past few months. Sports leagues want to be paid a small fee as they feel the money would help them to better ensure gaming integrity. So far, states have not included this fee and New York is one such state. Leagues are already supposed to ensure gaming integrity and the fee is not something that states feel they should provide, especially since leagues are already responsible for integrity.

It was expected that New York would be one of the first states to offer sports betting in the United States when the Supreme Court ruled to overturn PASPA back in May. The state already had the law on the books so only the final steps needed to be completed once this federal ruling was made. However, the state has lagged behind a bit and several others have gotten started before them including neighbor New Jersey, West Virginia, Mississippi and other states.

The commission in New York was silent as these other states got started. It is believed that the commission was taking a wait and see approach before they began working to get the industry started. Hopefully now it is go time and the state will be among the next to begin offering this wagering option.

Will SugarHouse Be Affected by New Jersey Fine for Underage Gambling with PA Operations?

Summary: The SugarHouse online casino in New Jersey, PlaySugarHouse, was recently fined for underage gambling. Will the fine cause issue in Pennsylvania as the brand looks to operate in another state?

The state of Pennsylvania is said to be starting their online gambling industry this year. The option was legally approved in late 2017 and last year, lawmakers began setting up regulations and operators obtained licensing and created partnerships to get started. One such operating entity in the region is to be Rush Street Interactive. The company operates the SugarHouse Casino, a land-based venue in the state. They are already operating online gaming in another state, New Jersey, with their PlaySugarHouse site. The online gaming site was recently fined for underage gaming and many are wondering if the brand might have trouble in Pennsylvania due to the incident.

Underage Gambling

Sugarhouse Online CasinoIn the US, states that offer online gaming has an age limit restriction of 21. Players must verify their age and be 21 or over to take part. This month, it was made public that Rush Street Interactive was fined by the Division of Gaming Enforcement in New Jersey for an underage gambling incident that took place back in June of last year.

The company was fined $30,000 for allowing underage users to access the online casino from November 2016 until January 2018. In a report by the DGE, thirteen individuals aged 18 to 20 were able to create accounts at the online gambling site and place wagers. Three of the individuals made deposits while the remaining 10 used bonus cash for wagering.

In total, just under $5,000 was spent by the players in wagers. It was reported that the individuals were able to open accounts due to a software defect in the RSI code. The problem started with the Know Your Customer age verification system of the SugarHouse. A birthdate must be provided to verify age. When operating correctly, the program stops underage players from creating an account.

The problem was that the software was using a three year variation of the birthdate entered. This allowed the younger players to be considered of age and granted an account.

Pennsylvania Ramifications

Rush Street Interactive has taken measures to fix the problem and do not anticipate any issues going forward. However, it now begs the question as to if the company will be affected in the future with operations in Pennsylvania as they plan to provide online gaming here as well.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has to be aware of the issue ad spokesman for the group, Doug Harbach, commented recently via email as reported by PlayPennsylvania that the group would not comment on a violation outside their jurisdiction and its effect on a gaming license in their state, particularly since Pennsylvania has yet to launch online games.

In response to the issue coming to light, Rush Street Interactive has commented on the fine. In a statement, the company stated that they take the matter very seriously and as soon as the team found the misconfiguration, it was self-reported to the Gaming Commission and immediate action was taken to correct the issue as well as stop any recurrence.

The company pointed out that responsible gaming is a top priority for them. It seems for now, the operator will still be able to function in Pennsylvania once online gaming comes to pass, but it would not be surprising to see the DGE keeping a close eye on the operator once gaming is live online.

Mississippi’s First Sports Betting App on the Way

Summary: The Pearl River Resort is preparing to launch a sports betting app, a first for the state of Mississippi.

Mississippi is one of the first states to begin offering full service sports betting in the United States after the US Supreme Court ruled in May 2018 that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act is no longer valid. Sports betting has taken off across the nation with several states already offering online wagering as well as land-based options. This week it was announced that the Pearl River Resort will become the first casino in Mississippi to offer a mobile application designed specifically for sports betting.

On-site Application Only

Mississippi CasinosOne drawback to the new application set to launch at the casino for sports betting is that it will only work on-site. Players will only be able to use the app if they on the premises. The gaming regulations in the state prevent any online wagering outside of a host property.

While there is the stipulation, the Pearl River Resort expects the application to do well. Management has pointed out that the value of the app is that patrons will not have to be in the sportsbook to place wagers. No longer will there be a need to wait in line to place a bet.

In an interview, the sportsbook director for the facility, Chris Hopwood, commented that on Saturday and Sunday, the facility is quite busy. During the college football season, the weekends were jam packed with lines forming for wagers to be placed. With the new app, there will no longer be a need to wait in line which will mean more wagers placed and happy customers. Hopwood pointed out that players can post wagers within their hotel room, or from anywhere onsite.

Details about the application have been hush-hush. The name and launch date have yet to be revealed as well as how the app can provide wagering. However, we do know that the app will be available for Android and iOS users. In-game proposition betting will be made available so guests will be able to vot on their favorite props during sports games, according to Hopwood.

Unlikely Launcher

With the Pearl River Resort announcing the upcoming application, it comes as a surprise to the industry. Other big name players are in operation in the state, including MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment. It is odd that the tribal property was able to launch before their competitors, but they most likely wanted to get a jump start on their online gaming options.

Interestingly enough, the property is actually home to not one but three casinos. The Silver Star Casino, Golden Moon Casino and Bok Homa Casino are all located within the resort. There is one sportsbook, the Timeout Lounge, which is located at the Golden Moon. With one sportsbook, the lines would certainly get busy when it comes to placing sports bets.

Each of the three casinos stay busy so having the new app in action will give players the ability to be at any casino and place a sports wager. With the launch, Mississippi will join just three other states that offer applications for sports wagering. West Virginia, Nevada and New Jersey are the only ones currently offering such sports betting options.

Michigan iGaming: Can It Still Happen This Year?

Summary: Does Michigan still have a chance to legalize online gambling this year?

The state of Michigan was one that showed promise in 2019 when it comes to online gambling legislation. Last year, lawmakers worked hard to craft legislation involving the industry and both the House and Senate were on board. The bill managed to reach the desk of the outgoing Governor, Rick Synder, and everyone expected the bill to be signed. However, the legislation was vetoed and lawmakers were left to pick up the pieces and essentially start over with their efforts.

An Unexpected Veto

Michigan CasinosSenator Mike Kowall was heavily involved in the process, having worked tirelessly on the online gambling legislation, in the hopes of seeing the activity come to pass in the state. It came as a big blow when the Governor decided to veto the option as he was leaving the office. Having spoke with Online Poker Report recently, Senator Kowall stated that he is still trying to understand why the governor chose to veto the bill. He is trying to give him the benefit of the doubt, but having spent so much time crafting the bill, it was disheartening that it was not signed into law.

The reason Snyder decided to veto the bill was due to feeling that real money online gambling would be considered an illegal expansion of gambling for the state. The Governor also stated that the lottery revenues need to be protected because it helps the public schools of the state.

Kowall feels that the argument of the governor is weak because the state already has online gaming via the lottery. The games are online lottery and not sports betting or poker. In other states, such industries have proven to be successful because each game is played by a different grouping of people.

Moving Forward

Lawmakers like Kowall must now move forward, trying yet again to se legislation passed into law. The new governor of the state, Gretchen Whitmer, has officially taken office, but has yet to announce to the public if she is in favor of online gambling. During her campaign for governor, she did say that she was supportive of sports betting for the state.

It seems that if legislation is reintroduced within the House, it will have the support needed to move forward. If the Senate and House stay on the same page, then it could lead to the bill moving quickly to the new governor’s desk. Hopefully, she will sign the bill into law and the state can get started with the new industry.

Representative Brandt Iden has been a strong supporter of online gambling, having introduced legislation as well. Kowall is no longer in office within the state but will continue to help support the mission of legalization. Iden will continue to push for online gambling but does feel that the new lawmakers coming into office due to the midterm elections may need to learn more before being agreeable to legislation.

For now, efforts will have to begin anew in the state. This will be a setback, but if legislators are able to move quickly, the state could still see online gambling come to fruition this year. All eyes will be on Michigan as they try to make it happen as well as any other states that might be able to see iGaming come to pass.

New Jersey Online Gambling Industry Surpasses $1b in Revenues Milestone

Summary: After the December online gambling totals were tallied in New Jersey, the state was able to surpass the $1 billion mark in lifetime revenues.

New Jersey continues to be the top operating state when it comes to online gambling. Offering online casino, poker and now sports betting, the state continues to be the top producer when it comes to revenues earned as well as wagers placed. Top brands operate in the region and help to solidify large numbers month after month by way of revenues. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has now released the December 2018 totals, with the state having finally reached a new milestone, earning over $1 billion in lifetime revenues since starting in 2013.

December Totals:

New JerseyFor the month, the state was able to earn over $29 million via casino and poker online gaming. They surpassed their previous monthly record amount by over $2 million. The state continues to hit records when it comes to online gaming revenues. With the numbers being so large for the month, it allowed the state to finally surpass the $1 billion mark when it comes to overall lifetime earnings.

In total, the state has brought in $1,013,752,368 in revenues. Online gambling came in at just over $29 million, the highest monthly total ever since the industry launched in 2013. For online casino gaming, revenues came in at just over $27.2 million, which was also a record setting amount.

Add in the poker gaming numbers and the state was able to surpass the $25 million mark for the fourth month in a row. When compared to 2017, the state was up almost 40% with year-on-year revenues.

Individual Breakdown

Every month, there are operators who outdo the others in the online gaming industry. Time and time again, the Golden Nugget holds the number one position, easily outpacing the competition. For December, the Golden Nugget, was the first to earn an eight figure earning, bringing in just over $10.1 million. This is the most ever earned in a single month by an operator.

Not to fall too far behind, the number two operator usually is the Borgata and they were again in December. The brand was able to reach a new milestone for the month, finally surpassing the $5 million mark. The Borgata continues to do well, but remains millions behind the Golden Nugget regarding monthly earnings.

Caesars and Resorts were up to over $4 million for the month, while the Tropicana continued to struggle, sitting around the $3 million mark in earnings. Online poker remains a low earner for the state, but December did see the industry up for the first time in several months. Total online poker revenues came in at $1.7 million.

When reviewing the overall totals, the online gambling industry of the state was up 4.2% from November and a whopping 39.75% from December 2017. For online casino gaming, the state was up 3.9% from November and 44.8% from the previous December. Online poker saw the highest monthly jump, increasing by just over 9% but surprisingly, this was a decline from December 2017, by about 8.9%.

Overall, online gabling continues to be strong in New Jersey and is showing no signs of slowing down. It will be interesting to see how they fare in 2019 and if the industry continues to break their own records month after month.

West Virginia Representative Introduces Online Gambling Legislation

Summary: After legalizing sports betting last year, West Virginia is now going to consider online gambling as Representative Shawn Fluharty introduces a new bill.

In 2018, the state of West Virginia decided to legalize sports betting, following in the footsteps of several other individual states in the US. This year, the state is now going to consider online poker and casino gaming, as Representative Shawn Fluharty formally introduced a new bill this week. Fluharty was part of the sports betting push and seems to be using that momentum to see iGaming come to fruition in the state.

Understanding the New Bill

West Virginia CasinosThe new bill has information listed within that provides details for the new online gaming industry. A licensing fee would be set at $50,000 with gross gaming revenues taxes set at 14%. Any of the gaming facilities located in the state will be able to get started offering services. Currently, there are five gaming facilities in the state: Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, Wheeling Island Hotel, Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort, Mardi Gras Casino and Resort as well as The Casino Club at The Greenbrier.

Sports betting is currently overseen by the West Virginia Lottery Commission and the group would be put in charge of online gaming as well. For the state, this is the third time in three years that legislation has been introduced. Last year, similar legislation was unable to move forward, but now that sports betting has been legalized, the opportunity may be there for online gaming to be approved.

The state has launched online sports betting with the BetLucky app, so after seeing the success of this app, lawmakers may be more open to passing online gaming legislation for additional revenues in the state.

Joining a Small Club

If West Virginia was able to pass an online gambling bill, they would become the fifth state in the US to legalize online poker and/or casino gaming. New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada have offered services since 2013, with the first two states providing both online poker and casino games while Nevada has solely been focused on online poker games.

Pennsylvania passed legislation in 2017 and 2018 was basically a setting up phase. The state spent the year working on creating regulations and licensing operators. This year, the state should launch their online gaming sites, but no date has been provided for launch.

Other states may use 2019 as a way to bring online gaming within their borders. Michigan came so close to passing iGaming last year, with a bill gaining full support in the state. However, Governor Rick Snyder decided to veto the measure, which has caused lawmakers to start over with legislative efforts. Representative Brandt Iden already has plans to introduce new legislation so that players can access online gaming as soon as possible.

The changes made by the United States Supreme Court in May of last year regarding sports betting, when the Professional & Amateur Sports Protection Act was struck down, has paved the way for change across the nation. As states begin to look at sports betting legislation, they are also open to other additions within the gambling industry including online casino games, as well as poker. It will be interesting to watch and see how the bill moves forward in West Virginia and if any other states introduce legislation in the coming weeks, months.

New York Senator Introduces iPoker Bill

Summary: Senator Joseph Addabbo has introduced a new online poker bill in New York State.

It seems like it has been forever since an online poker or casino bill has been introduced in the United States. For months now, all eyes have been focused on sports betting. State after state have been creating legislation that will be considered to get started in the new industry. Thankfully, this week, we have seen a senator in New York State decide to introduce legislation involving online poker gaming.

Senate Bill 18

New YorkSenator Joseph Addabbo formally introduced Senate Bill 18 this week, seeking to legalize online poker in New York. The bill sits within the Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering, a committee in which Addabbo is a member.

The bill is quite similar to legislation that was introduced in the past, seeking to authorize poker only and not focus on sports betting application or online casino gaming. The state is expected to consider sports betting in the future, possibly within discussions of the state budget.

The new bill would see operators of online poker gaming paying a one time fee of $10 million for licensing. A 15% tax rate would be set on gross gaming revenues with 11 licenses up for grabs. Once the law is passed and in effect, the state would have six months to establish regulations for the new industry.

Operators who are eligible to apply for licensing include those who have a license for video lottery gaming as well as a Class III license for gaming.

Will They Succeed in 2019?

Year after year, lawmakers in New York have continued to shoot down any possibility for online poker gaming in the state. Going back as far as 2013, the state saw online poker gaming included in the state budget only to see the idea fail to move forward. A bill was passed in 2016 in the Senate as well as one in 2017, only to be unable to move forward within the Assembly.

Surprisingly, not a single online poker bill has been able to make it to the Assembly floor for a vote. However, this year might be the exception. Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, a lawmaker who has been vocal on online gaming in the past, and is in support of online poker and reportedly is prioritizing his efforts to see it come to pass this year.

Even though he is in favor of online poker gaming, Pretlow is more in favor of sports betting. He even told Online Poker Report late last year that he would give up trying to see online poker come to pass if it meant that sports betting would move forward.

Now, it seems that it will all come down to what is wanted more, online poker or sports betting. It seems the state would be open to both options and lawmakers could create a omnibus package that would allow for both options and even more, like online casino games. However, the state has been unable to see any legislation move forward involving gambling expansions, so lawmakers may be iffy about creating legislation covering several aspects.

Only time will tell what will come of the Senator’s new online poker bill. Hopefully, the measure will be able to move out of committee and venture further within the legal system. All eyes will be on the state, as well as several others, as gambling efforts continue to emerge across the United States.

Online Gaming Update for Pennsylvania

Summary: iGaming was approved in the state of Pennsylvania in late 2017, with 2018 used to get regulations and licensing in order. Will operations begin in 2019?

It seems like Pennsylvania lawmakers approved online gaming ages ago and residents of the state have been patiently waiting to see when gaming will get started. With the gaming package approving online gaming taking place in 2017, it was expected that 2018 would be the year for online options to get started. However, regulations and licensing took some time, so now we wait to see if 2019 will finally be the year.

Licensing Delay

PennsylvaniaIn early 2018, the application process for interactive gaming licensing opened up, yet operators seemed leery to apply. In the beginning, operators had to purchase each license, once for online poker, online table games and slot games at a price of $10 million. After a short time frame, operators were open to purchasing individual licenses but the price went up to $4 million each.

Operators finally began applying for online gaming licensing and the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board got busy reviewing the applications. One would think that this process would be sped up in order to see the industry begin, but that is not the case. In general, the Board seemed to only approve around two applications per month.

The Board would take one monthly meeting to decide on which application would be reviewed and if approval was given. This meant that operators would slowly find out if they were approved. As of this month, all operators who have applied for online gaming have been approved, except for the Presque Isle Casino, as the venue is awaiting approval for sports betting.

The casinos of the state who have been approved for online poker, online slots and table games along with sports betting include:

  • Harrah’s Casino
  • Hollywood Casino
  • Parx Casino
  • SugarHouse Casino
  • Valley Forge Casino

Additional casinos applied and were approved for varying categories, opting out of certain offerings including online poker and sports betting. Casinos with minimal approvals include:

  • Mohegan Sun (Table,Slots)
  • Mount Airy (Table, Poker, Slots)
  • Presque Isle (Table, Slots)
  • Rivers Casino (Sports)
  • Stadium Casino (Table, Slots)

Creating Partnerships in 2018

Last year was spent by land-based casino operators working to create partnerships with companies to set up online operations. With each operator, they are allowed to partner with several interactive platforms. The only restriction is with sports betting as they are limited to one brand per license.

As operators set up their online gaming sites, they have the option to choose an established third-party brand or hire a supplier or developer to create a native platform.

An example of what operators are choosing to do lies within the Harrah’s Philadelphia partnerships. The casino has decided to partner with two companies for online gaming, 888 Holdings and Scientific Games. For sports betting, the company will be working with Scientific Games. The owner of the casino, Caesars Entertainment, has partnered with 888 for some time, working with the brand in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware. This partnership in Pennsylvania helps the two brands to extend their reach into a new market.

Other operators who have been approved for online gaming as well as sports betting have made similar partnership deals to be ready to launch services. This year, we wait to see when each company will launch their online services. As of yet, there have been no dates revealed, so there is no idea as to what when online gaming sites will go live in Pennsylvania. We will stay tuned and update as any new information is provided.

DraftKings Sportsbook Adds New Online Casino Games

Summary: Daily Fantasy Sports operator DraftKings is becoming an all-around gambling operator, having recently launched online casino games via the New Jersey sportsbook.

Sports betting continues to grow in the United States, with more and more states becoming involved in the industry. Casinos, sports teams and other stakeholders are seeing the benefits of sports betting from every angle. Daily fantasy sports operator DraftKings was one of the first to begin offering sports betting services, quickly benefiting from the real money gaming option. The company launched a sportsbook online in the state of New Jersey and just a short time ago, decided to add online casino games to the mix.

A Well-Rounded Offering

DraftkingsThe DraftKings Sportsbook now offers not only sports betting options, but they also provide casino games including blackjack, video poker, roulette, and the slot games Wheel of Fortune and Cleopatra. The slot machine selection may be small, but the games will give players a nice option for additional gaming when visiting the online casino and placing sports bets.

With the DraftKings casino games, the options are listed right in the sports betting application, which makes it easy for players to take part. In the beginning, the provider launched only blackjack, making the game available just before the Christmas holiday. The response to the product was a good one so the provider decided to offer even more with the additional gaming selection.

According to the Chief Revenue Officer and Co-Founder of DraftKings, Matt Kalish, the company is creating a one-stop destination for skin-in-the-game American sports fans. The new games are simply an early preview as to what the company plans to offer regarding online gaming products this year.

DraftKings began as a daily fantasy sports betting company and quickly rose to fame as a top provider of the contest option. Their only competitor was FanDuel and they both did quite well in gaining a stronghold on the DFS industry. With their sports knowledge, the company quickly began working on offering a sports betting product, once it became legal to do so in the United States.

The decision has been a smart one as the company has been able to make deals in several states. New Jersey was an obvious choice as the state led the charge when it came to sports betting expanding in the US. The company now has their sights on West Virginia and are currently operating land-based business in Mississippi and of course, New Jersey.

The company also be operating in Pennsylvania in the future as the state is preparing to begin allowing online casino and poker gaming as well as legalized sports betting. It is unknown as to if the company has a partner in the state, as they have yet to make any such announcement.

Expanding Industry

As sports betting continues to grow in the US, it will not be uncommon to see such offerings combined with sports wagering services. Gaming is big business and most gaming operators want to offer as much as they can. As operators began to get started with sports betting, particularly online, it will not be farfetched to see others join the DraftKings bandwagon and provide online casino gaming content along with the sports wagering options.

It will certainly be interesting to see if DraftKings has success with their casino games and if players spend equal time playing the online games as well as placing sports wagers.

Michigan Rep. Disappointed with iGaming Legislation Veto

Summary: Representative Brandt Iden is not happy with the outcome of his online gambling package, still unsure as to why the Michigan Governor decided to veto the bills.

Online gambling has been in the works for the state of Michigan for around four years now with efforts finally seeing a legislative package that had the chance to become law. Representative Brandt Iden worked tirelessly on a set of online gambling bills, taking on the responsibility of sponsor, pushing other lawmakers to get on board.

The state was able to see an online gambling bill package pass within the House and Senate, only to be shut down by Governor Rick Snyder, who choose to veto the bill as he prepared to leave office.

Snyder Goes Out With a Bang

MichiganGovernor Synder will not be retaking his place as Governor of the state and decided to use his last decisions in the position to veto the online gambling package. Now, the state will be set back at least one more year as they try to work on legislation that will allow for online casino and poker games, sports betting and more.

In speaking with Online Poker Report, Iden stated that the veto pen was out for the entire package and he is disappointed with the outcome. The Rep. had no idea that the veto was coming, as stakeholders were in support and any concerns about online gaming had been eliminated. For lawmakers in the state, online gaming was basically a done deal and they expected that the governor would sign his name on the dotted line.

According to the Rep. Iden, the office of the governor supplied reasons for the veto which included concerns about how online gaming would impact revenues within the state-run lottery. Concerns also include an overall expansion of the gambling industry for the state.

Iden now has plans to reintroduce the bills when the new legislative session begins next month. Along with his original plans, the Rep. also will be focusing to see the state become involved in the sports betting industry.

Protecting the Lottery

According to Iden, a big reason behind the veto was to protect the lottery, which is run by the state. A portion of lottery revenues go towards public schools in Michigan, with the money much-needed for educational purposes.

In defense of online gaming, Iden pointed out that other states have been successful with their lottery gaming despite offering online gaming as well. New Jersey is one such example that the Rep. pointed out. The state has seen lottery revenues actually increase with online gambling.

However, it must be considered that Michigan already offers online lottery gaming and there is no state to compare to when considering online lottery games and online casino and/or poker games.

As far as calling the changes a gambling expansion, Rep. Iden sees the changes as a new platform instead of expanding. The state already has 23 tribal casinos in operation and commercial gaming venues. With online casino and poker gaming, players will have a new platform to access that only accentuates the existing offerings.

For now, Michigan lawmakers like Iden will have to start over and hope that support remains so that legislation can become law in 2019, allowing for online gaming to take place, plus sports betting too. All eyes will be on Michigan as efforts renew to see the iGaming industry come to fruition within the state.

DraftKings Continues to Increase Sports Betting Presence in US Casinos

Summary: Switching from DFS to sports betting, DraftKings is making a name for themselves in the United States as a top provider of services via casinos.

DraftKings has been known for years as a top provider of Daily Fantasy Sports. The brand has helped players enjoy fantasy sports contests, providing prizes and fun in states across the US. When sports betting became a reality in the early summer, the brand decided to expand their business and offer sports betting services. The operations have been a success as DraftKings have been able to secure partnerships with top operators in the industry. Most recently, the company has announced a new deal with Penn National.

West Virginia Sports Betting

DraftkingsDraftKings has signed a partnership deal with Penn National, set to launch online sports betting via the Hollywood Casino, a venue located at Charles Town Races in West Virginia. According to a press release, DraftKings will be providing a ‘superior and engaging online sports betting experience’. This offering will include live and in-game betting, wagering on major US sports as well as niche international options.

Penn National is the operator behind the West Virginia casino but they also operate the Hollywood Casino located at the Penn National Race Course in Pennsylvania. Now that the WV casino is set to launch sports betting online, analysts are wondering if DraftKings will launch online at the Pennsylvania venue as well.

Conflicting Partnerships

In Pennsylvania, Penn National has partnered with William Hill to offer sports betting within their casino. The brand is the owner of the Hollywood Casino as well as the Meadows Casino. While the Hollywood has sports betting licensing and is offering services, the Meadows has not applied for such licensing as of yet.

Penn National is also working with William Hill to launch sports betting in West Virginia. The company announced the land-based services in conjunction with the brand at the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races. It seems that Penn National is relying on William Hill for their onsite sports betting services and are looking to use DraftKings for their online options.

It is interesting to consider, particularly since William Hill also operates online sports betting services, internationally, and has vast experience when it comes to such services. It seems that Penn National has decided to stick clos to home when it comes to online gaming and work with DraftKings, however, no information has been revealed as to if the company will be providing online services in Pennsylvania for Penn National as of yet.

While DraftKings is known for their daily fantasy sports offering, they are making headway in the sports betting industry. The company was the first to launch an online sportsbook in the state of New Jersey, launching before any of the established casinos got their services off the ground.

Revenue reports provided by the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement have shown that DraftKings is the top performer when it comes to sports betting in the region. For last month, DraftKings, along with Resorts Casino and BetStars, their partner companies, were able to generate over $7.1 million in revenues. The majority of that number came from DraftKings.

It will be interesting to see how DraftKings fares when services start online in West Virginia. We expect additional partnerships will continue for the company in other states as they continue to build a stronghold in the sports betting industry.

Is Virtual Reality the Future of Casino Gaming?

Summary: As casinos try to gain the attention of the millennial generation, are virtual reality games the wave of the future?

Live Hotel & CasinoOver the past few years, casino operators have realized that gaming tastes of consumers has changed. For decades, players have been happy with traditional table games and slots but now, as technology has changed rapidly and continues to change, consumers want more. Because we use technology on a daily basis, younger consumers are not attracted to the classic style of casino gaming. For a few years, casinos focused their efforts on adding an element of skill to game play. Now, it seems casinos are shifting gears and looking into virtual reality as a way to bring in gamers to their venues.

Virtual Reality

Several companies are working on virtual reality technology to be able to attract the younger audience to the casino venues. Such companies as International Game Technology have developed virtual reality options where money can be wagered during game play. At IGT, booths known as Virtual Zone are being offered to allow players to try VR games that feature archery theming. The company wants to provide fresh content for consumers as the gambling habits of players are changing.

Back in the spring, the company added VR booths to two casinos in the Las Vegas area to see how well players responded to the offering. The feedback was mixed. The product is now being refined to meet the needs of players.

Caesars Fan Zone

Caesars Entertainment Corp is taking a different approach to the player experience, including VR in the mix. The company launched what they are calling Fan Caves back in October to allow players to have a more social experience at the casino. Each cave can house as many as ten people, offers several television screens, VR gaming and more.

Players can kick back and relax with friends, play VR games or just enjoy drinks and food. The goal is to create and interactive experience where players can be social and enjoy a variety of gaming options. Today’s patrons want to be more involved with technical aspects when it comes to gaming, with a more interactive experience. With Caesars new offering, players can easily find a spot to hang out and enjoy gaming at the same time.

The mindset of casinos online and offline will have to change especially as technology continues to evolve. Think about the 30 to 20-year-old consumer group. These individuals have been able to access mobile technology, computers and video games. Traditional slots and table games like blackjack and craps seem minimal and do not offer as much excitement as other types of gaming content.

For casinos to be successful in the future and gain a stronghold with the younger generations and consumers going forward over the next few decades, changes will have to be made by way of what is presented for entertainment. Currently, casinos are focused on skill games and virtual reality. While traditional games will still be a staple at casinos, the venues will have to offer something new and exciting to keep players interested.

Gaming companies will still create new cabinets that feature slots or tables with games like craps and baccarat, but new elements may be included to offer a flashier way to play. Companies like IGT will continue to look for new and innovative ways to present gambling games that will be accepted by players of the younger generation, implementing skill as well as mobile aspects along the way.

Michigan iGaming to Bring Jobs and More to the State

Summary: As online gambling becomes even closer to becoming a reality in Michigan, the state prepares to bring more jobs to the region along with other benefits.

As sports betting has taken center stage in the United States, online gambling has taken a step back. States are more focused on passing legislation involving sports wagering instead of focusing on online casino and poker gaming. However, last week, Michigan brought online gaming back to the forefront by passing an online gambling bill during the final hours of their legislative session.

The bill just needs to be signed by Governor Rick Snyder and sports betting will become law. It is very likely that the bill will become law, which will see Michigan become the 5th state in the US to legalize the online option.

What’s to Come?

MichiganIf sports betting is legalized, then Michigan expects to see similar earnings to that of New Jersey. The state of New Jersey has been the most successful when compared to Delaware and Nevada, as they are the top earner each and every month.

Victor Strategies Executive Vice President Gene Johnson recently spoke with Online Poker Report discussing the incoming sports betting industry for Michigan. Johnson stated that online gaming has generated close to $1 billion over the first three years of operation. Michigan should see similar benefits, according to the analyst.

Because New Jersey was one of the first to launch online gaming, other states can benefit from their struggles. Michigan can avoid early on issues and benefit from learning what New Jersey went through and making the appropriate changes or decisions with their operations.

Online gambling will not only provide options for players but it will also boost the land-based gaming industry of the state. Jobs will be created, which will benefit residents of the state who need employment. According to a paper titled Economic Impact of New Jersey Online Gaming: Lessons Learned, co-authored by Johnson, the new industry will bring jobs to Michigan.

The paper reported that just over 3,300 jobs were created in New Jersey due to online ambling and employee wages came in at just over $218 million. The numbers include info from 2014 to 2016, with the paper produced in 2017.

Ready for Gaming

Residents of Michigan are certainly ready for gaming. In the region, there are only a few options for land-based casinos, with three commercial casinos located in Detroit. There are tribal venues in the state, but of course no online options. With online gaming in place, Michigan residents would be able to access gaming from any region in the state. Visitors as well, as long as they are located within the borders of the state.

In New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada, there are top iGaming operators in business, including such companies as Caesars Entertainment Corp., 888 Holdings, PokerStars, WSOP, Golden Nugget and more. Such operators should have the opportunity to take vie for licensing to offer services in the state once online gaming is passed into law.

We imagine that as 2019 begins, such operators will begin to apply for licensing or seek partnerships with the gaming venues of the state. We should see a mix of operators working with commercial as well as tribal venues to begin online operations. The New Year will certainly be exciting as we get to see just how Michigan will be implementing their new online gaming industry.

Betfair Casino and FanDuel Sportsbook Link Apps for Shared Wallet

Summary: This week, Betfair Casino and FanDuel Sportsbook linked their two apps for a shared wallet, providing players with access to casino and sports bets with one seamless payment option.

FanduelOnline gamblers usually like to take part in several gaming options. At an online casino, players have access to slots, table games and more. Most operators who offer online casino games also dabble in other areas such as sports book, poker and even bingo. To help provide players with seamless access, the operator will provide one wallet for all operations. This means that players can use the money they deposit for table games in the casino, for placing sports bets or playing poker in the poker room. Just this week, it was announced that Betfair Casino in New Jersey and the FanDuel Sportsbook have linked their apps to offer one wallet for their members.

Sports Bets and Casino Gaming

The linking of the two applications took place quietly this week, allowing players to use their deposited funds within the online casino of Betfair or the sportsbook of FanDuel. The shared wallet will make it easy for players to access both options without having to log into a separate wallet for wagering.

Both brands operate under the FanDuel Group. With the linking, players will need to log in with their username and password. The apps are still separate but players will use the same log in details for both applications. A new log in does not need to be created for players to take part in both gaming options.

Customers of the FanDuel Sportsbook now have access to hundreds of casino games where real money can be wagered. Once an account has been created via FanDuel, players will need to deposit funds. There are several methods on offer for depositing. Online bank transfer, wire transfer, credit card, debit card, PayPal, PayNearMe, FanDuel prepaid card and cash at the counter or check can be used.

Once the wallet has funds, players can place sports wagers or play casino games from the same amount of cash. Players of FanDuel now have access to a special deal at Betfair Casino. Games can be played risk-free with up to $100 provided to new members on their first day.

After placing the first real money wager, net losses from the first 24 hours will be given at the casino as a credit, worth up to $100. The deal is only good for new players at the casino.

Operating Under Paddy Power Betfair

The parent company of FanDuel and Betfair is Paddy Power Betfair. The company took over operations of FanDuel back in July, with PPB now having access to sports betting operations, daily fantasy sports and TVG of the brand.

FanDuel has been quite busy in New Jersey, working quickly to offer sports betting after it was legalized in the state. In mid-July, the sportsbook began offering wagering options at the Meadowlands Racetrack, with the application for online gaming launching on the 1st of September. The brand has done quite well in the sports betting sector, having earned $4.4 million in November, this strongest month so far.

Now that the wallet of FanDuel has been combined with Betfair Casino in the state, the brand should see even more earnings fairly quickly. Online casino fans will see promos for the sportsbook and be prompted to place a wager. It will not be surprising to see totals increase in the coming months as players have a more seamless experience with Betfair and FanDuel operations.

Michigan Senate Approves Online Gambling Legislation

Summary: Late last night, members of the Michigan Senate decided to approve legislation that will allow online gambling in the state.

Over the past few months, we have watched as state after state has moved from considering online casino gambling to sports betting. It seems that lawmakers want to take advantage of what sports betting can provide and lawmakers are more willing to allow this expansion of gaming rather than focus on other elements. In a surprising turn this week, lawmakers in Michigan decided to pass legislation that will allow online gaming to come to pass in the state, operated via the casinos in Detroit as well as tribal venues. The bill now moves on to the House for consideration.

Moving Forward

MichiganThe upper chamber approved online gambling legislation with several bipartisan votes during the final night available during the lame-duck session. Essentially, the decision was made at the very last minute. The measure was sent to the House for final approval. The Senate decided to add amendments to the measure to ensure that Detroit will still earn a minimum of $179m each year via gambling tax revenues, even if less players decide to visit the brick and mortar properties once online gambling is operational.

If the House approves the measure and the bill comes to pass into law, Michigan will become the fifth state to legalize online gambling. The state would join Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada, states that have been in operation since 2013 and Pennsylvania, a state that approved online gaming in 2017 and has worked to set up their industry this year. Gaming is expected by early next year in PA.

The plan would see online gaming revenues taxed at 8%. This is far less than the states 19% tax for casino gambling at land-based venues. Of the total amount, 55% will be dedicated to the state gaming fund, with 30% going to Detroit. Additional monies will be placed in funds to assist with certain programs in the state, including schools, horse racing, and roadwork.

When it comes to tribal gaming, the online operations will be allocated in a different way. The revenues will see 75% going to the state gaming fund and 25% going to the Michigan Strategic Fund. This fund helps with job creation and economic development in the state.

Additional Details

The proposal will not directly authorize online sports betting but sets the groundwork for this category. With the legislation, a special division would be created by the Michigan Gaming Control Board to regulate the industry. Casinos that offer the online gaming option will have to limit gaming to players who are 21 years of age or older. Only players in the state of Michigan will be able to take part, or individuals located in a state where online gaming is legal.

Casinos that want to take part will need to obtain a special online gaming license. The application fee will cost $100,000 with a $200,000 fee paid for initial licensing and a $100,000 renewal fee. For an online gaming platform provider license, operators will have to pay $100,000 and then $50,000 each year thereafter.

For tribal casinos, an amendment can be added to their compact agreement to be able to offer online gaming. A chairperson of a tribe can request the amendment in letter form to the state governor and then the changes would be negotiated.

It will be interesting to see how the House votes on the measure and if players will have access to online gaming in the state, possibly as soon as next year!

Federal Lawmakers Ready to Regulate Sports Betting

Summary: As more states begin to legalize sports betting, federal lawmakers look to create sports betting regulations.

In May, the gambling landscape of the United States changed dramatically, with the United States Supreme Court striking down the Sports & Amateur Sports Protection Act, allowing each state to pass sports betting legislation. Several states have already passed legislation and are offering sports betting for real money. Now, it seems the federal government has been watching and certain lawmakers have decided to propose sports betting regulations that will have to be followed nationwide.

New Proposal Coming

Senator Charles Schumer and Senator Orrin Hatch have plans to introduce a measure involving sports betting regulation on a national level. The bill will be titled Sports Wagering Market Integrity Act of 2018 and will allow the United States Justice Department to set the minimum standards that states will have to meet to be approved to provide sports betting.

Federal lawmakers are not going to provide integrity fees, a payment that professional sports leagues have requested from each state. In commenting on their plans, Senator Schumer stated: “As a lifelong sports fan I treasure the purity of the game. (after the SCOTUS ruling) I knew that Congress had an obligation to ensure that the integrity of the games we love was never compromised. That is why I believe the time is now to establish a strong national integrity standard for sports betting that will protect consumers and the games themselves from corruption.”

Senator Hatch stated that once the Supreme Court made the decision, he began to work with stakeholders to make sure that Congress what doing everything possible to protect sports from corruption. The legislation introduced by the Senators is begin done after eight months of meetings, negotiations and discussions.

Eight States in Operation

Several states already offer sports betting and they will be affected by any federal changes. These states include: Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Council members in Washington D.C. have approved a bill legalizing sports betting, becoming the next area in the US to offer the wagering activity.

Other states have already pre-filed sports betting bills to be considered in 2019. These states include Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia and Missouri. These states will consider legislation next year and hopefully more states will get in on the action.

It is estimated that as many as 30 states will be considering legislation in the New Year. State after state are seeing the value of offering sports betting. The industry can bring millions to each state every year and local governments can certainly benefit from the addition of new revenues.

With the new federal measure, the integrity fee wanted by the leagues would not be paid but operators would have to obtain data that is provided or licensed by the leagues. The professional leagues, like the NBA, NHL, NFL and MLB have asked for one set of rules that every state will follow nationwide.

If the measure is passed into law, the leagues will at least get a portion of what they would like. On top of this section, a self-exclusion list will be created that will be available nationwide. Players who have a ambling problem will be able to add their name to the list and operators will know to not allow players to take part.

We will be watching over the next few days, into next year, to see what becomes of this bill and if federal regulations will be put in place.

Sports Betting Legislation Moves Forward in Washington D.C.

Summary: The District of Columbia, council members are continuing to move forward with plans to legalize sports betting.

Over the past few months, sports betting has continued to grow in the United States. Once the US Supreme Court decided to rule that the Professional & Amateur Sports Protection Act was invalid, states began pushing to get started so that they could begin to take advantage of the millions yet to be made with the new industry. The latest area to possible be next to pass sports betting legislation is the District of Columbia. The D.C. Council continues to move forward with plans to legalize the industry.

Moving Legislation Forward

Sports BettingA bill was presented to the D.C. Council a few weeks ago, set to allow five professional sports betting venues to be created. The Lottery will run the gambling option, maintaining a monopoly within the city. A second reading is set to take place soon by the Council to hopefully see the legislation move forward even more.

The bill was first proposed back in September, changing several times over the past few months. Changes made to the legislation include removing a payment for professional leagues, something that many are calling an integrity fee. The bill has been listed on the legislative agenda for the Council under the heading ‘non-consent’, so this means that there will be more discussion and possible more changes to the bill before it comes up for a full vote within the council.

It seems that more discussion will be had on the topic of the DC Lottery running the operation and if they will be able to have a monopoly and stop any competition from taking place when it comes to online and mobile sports betting.

Interactive Gaming App

The Lottery would be creating an interactive gaming app in D.C., based on language in the bill, and this would be the only app offered in the region, aside from what stadiums or other businesses that have been given sports betting licensing. The DC Lottery is recommending the single-app model as they feel it will be the most lucrative option for the city.

The bill has included language that will give the Council the authority to break the monopoly with the Lottery and allow for commercial competition if a single vendor option does not help the city when it comes to sports betting.

In the past, a bill would have been approved by the Council, then signed by the mayor of D.C. then approved in Congress before becoming law. Congress can take 60 days to act on a Council bill. If they do not take action, then the bill automatically becomes law.

The Council can also create an emergency measure that will allow the bill to become law if the measure is signed by the mayor. The Council will take this step tomorrow to ensure the bill can become law quickly. If both are able to pass, the bill will become law immediately and the Lottery will start to prepare the industry for operation.

Several regions in the US near D.C. have already begun offering sports betting or are in the process of starting services. West Virginia began services in the summer and advertise in the region, with Virginia and Maryland also considering services. Council members would like to see any revenues from sports betting stay in their city rather than be spent elsewhere.

Senator Lindsey Graham Still Trying to Fight Online Gambling

Summary: Senator Lindsey Graham is set to continue his fight to see online gambling come to an end in the United States.

Since 2013, when online gambling came to fruition in the United States, there have been lawmakers as well as gambling operators who have not been a fan of the activity. Despite New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada seeing success and other states showing interest, effort still emerged in trying to put an end to online gambling. Senator Lindsey Graham is one lawmaker who continues to be against the activity and he plans to use an upcoming hearing in the federal government to push his agenda.

AG Confirmation Hearing

Online Gambling BanThe federal government will be hosting a confirmation hearing for the next attorney general of the United States, which is exactly where Graham plans on trying to rally against online gambling. According to Gambling Compliance, Graham plans on asking the AG nominee, Bill Barr, his stance on online casino, poker and lottery games.

During the hearing, lawmakers get a chance to ask questions of Barr as they decide if he is fit for the position. Graham apparently told sources that he has plans to ask for an updated stance on the 1961 Wire Act, an act that was changed in 2011 to allow states to legalize online poker and casino gaming if they so choose.

Hung Up on Anti-Gambling Stance

Since 2013, Graham has remained hung up on his anti-gambling stance. Over the years, Graham has used such hearings to discuss online gambling and how he is opposed. He even did the same with Loretta Lynch during her confirmation hearing three years ago. Graham got nowhere with Lynch so he tried with Jeff Sessions when he was nominated by Donald Trump in 2017.

Now that another Attorney General is in the works, he plans on continuing his push to see online gambling come to an end. However, his efforts will most likely be fruitless. There are too many proponents of gambling in the states and he does not seem to have the support needed to push for an anti-gambling federal bill.

Moving Forward

Currently, New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware are the only states that offer online casino and/or poker gaming. Pennsylvania should get started early next year. Several states offer online lottery gaming and online sports betting are starting to get into the mix. With so many states offering some type of online gaming, it will be difficult for any type of anti-gambling legislation to pass.

In the states were gambling is offered, hundreds of millions have been earned. This money is being used to fund programs and other efforts, money that would be sorely missed if the industry was taken away. As more states become involved in sports betting, the big boom in gaming this year, we should see not only additional land-based services but online as well.

It seems Senator Graham needs to come to grips with the fact that online gambling is taking place, legally and illegally. States might as well continue to have the ability to pass legislation and offer online casino, poker and/or sports betting, lottery gaming, etc. if they so choose.

It will be interesting to see what happens as Graham starts questioning the Attorney General nominee. Will Barr agree or will he be willing to let the current climate stay as it is?

Bad Actor Becomes Issue with Federal Sports Betting Legislation Consideration

Summary: As sports betting continues to be a hot topic of debate in the US, the federal government is now weighing in and bad actor clauses are in the mix.

Since May, every state in the US has the ability to pass legislation to offer sports betting. So far, over eight states have passed legislation with others considering their options. The United States Supreme Court paved the way for sports betting across the US after striking down the Professional & Amateur Sports Protection Act earlier in the year. Now, it seems the federal government is considering getting involved once again and it might not be a good outcome for operators.

Hatch Amendment

PokerStarsFor the past few days, a draft has been moving through the federal government regarding sports betting. Created by Senator Orrin Hatch, the draft, being known as the Hatch Amendment, is set to make changes to the current sports betting landscape and some of the these changes are not good.

As part of the language of the bill, there is a portion that discusses who is suitable for sports betting operations. In this section, the term bad actor is used. This harkens back to the days when online poker was being more heavily discussed and is a term that proponents of online poker are familiar with.

Bad Actor Clauses

When it comes to suitability in the legal sense, the term bad actor clause is used to describe a section in a bill where operators are considered unsuitable for certain reasons. Over the past few years, the term has popped up in online poker discussions, particularly in California. If you have followed online poker legislation at all, you will remember that California has been unable to pass an online poker bill due to issues with bad actor clauses.

Such clauses will keep such companies as PokerStars from operating in the state. PokerStars was a company that functioned in the United States despite their being laws against their operations. They were considered a ‘bad actor’ in the poker world and would not be able to offer such services if a bad actor clause is included in legislation. Lawmakers in California could not agree on the topic, so efforts have thus far failed.

Back to sports betting, the new draft for the federal sports betting legislation discusses suitability and lists several reasons as to why an operator would be considered unsuitable. Such issues include criminal convictions, delinquency involving taxes and providing false or incomplete information regarding licensing.

When it comes to bad actors, the bill lists several reasons for denying licensing as well. This includes if the company has participated in knowingly or they should have know that they were taking part in illegal online gambling activity, including taking an illegal online wager, paying winnings on an illegal wager that was placed online, promoting an illegal online gambling site or service provider or collecting payment for an entity that operators online gambling illegally.

On top of the bad actor section, the legislation also includes tainted asset provisions. A company that has acquired tainted assets will most likely not be considered. This would include such companies as The Stars Group as they acquired PokerStars, a company that was in operation when online gambling was considered illegal.

If such legislation were able to pass, it would cause issues with the current gambling landscape. Such companies like PokerStars would not be able to take part in sports betting via their brand BetStars. I do not imagine that this bill will be well-received and only time will tell if the measure has a chance to pass into law.

Stadium Casino Presents Plans for New Mini-Casino in PA

Summary: During a recent Board meeting, Stadium Casino presented their plans for a mini casino in Westmoreland County, set to place the new location in a shopping mall.

Stadium CasinoSince late 2017 and the passage of a major expansion bill in Pennsylvania, many changes have been afoot in the state. From online gambling to satellite casinos, operators now have more opportunity than ever before. With the satellite casinos, existing operators could vie for licensing with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, placing a bid during scheduled auctions. The auction process is now over and those companies that obtaining licensing are now showing off their plans for the smaller casino gaming venues. Stadium Casino, a group associate with The Cordish Companies, recently presented their plans to the Board on what they would like to create for their mini casino.

Westmoreland Mall Installation

Stadium Casino plans on using their Category 4 license for a satellite gaming facility to create a venue in the Westmoreland Mall in Westmoreland County Pennsylvania. Located in the Hempfield Township, the mall has an empty spot where a former Bon-Ton department store used to be located.

The space is quite large and the location off Route 30, just a short drive from Downtown Pittsburgh, provides easy access to the locals as well as tourists. The facility will have 100,000 of gaming, dining and entertainment options, according to the information provided by the company during the Public Input Hearing.

The project will have an investment of $150 million and feature world-class gaming along with options for dining as well as entertainment. The facility will hopefully bring in all demographics, appealing to the younger and older generations. Gaming will include 750 slot machines and electronic table games plus 30 live action table games.

Local Impact

The new addition to the region of the state is set to have a large impact. First, the project will bring in temporary jobs during the construction phase as well as permanent positions as the venue opens for business. Once operational, the new casino is set to bring in as much as $200 million in annual revenues.

As part of the construction process, Stadium Casino plans on utilizing companies that are local, minatory and women owned as well as businesses owned by veterans. The goal is to include the community in the project as a whole, in all aspects of development and operation.

The plans are now going to be reviewed by the Board and Stadium Casino must wait for approved. Once they are given the green light, the company can begin the construction phase.

What’s To Come

In Pennsylvania, there are several new developments in the works for the gambling community. Players will soon have access to online casino and poker games, sports betting and satellite venues. It is expected that the majority of newer services will begin in 2019. This year, the state has worked on licensing operators, while operators have been developing partnerships to ensure that they are ready to offer services once the go-ahead is given.

It is still unclear as to which option will launch first, but it is believed that online gaming will be first as licensing has been approved for several operators are sites are currently being set up, not taking too much time to prepare before launching can occur. However, operators must have their online gaming sites tested before they are allowed to launch full services.

Several States Could Legalize iGaming in 2019

Summary: Take a look at which states could pass online gambling legislation in the United States in 2019.

As December is upon us, it signals the ending of yet another year. For online gaming, the United States has seen the progress of Pennsylvania, as the state gets closer to launching their online casino and poker gaming options, however, no operator is live as of yet. The state passed legislation in 2017 and has spent the last year working on licensing, partnerships, etc. When 2019 begins, it seems several states will have online gaming under discussion and we could see new legislation popping up across the nation.

Sports Betting Plays a Hand in Changes

Boomtown CasinoEarlier this year, the US Supreme Court decided to legalize sports betting, allowing states to pass their own legislation to offer the option if they so choose. State after state has begun to offer sports betting including Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, West Virginia, Rhode Island and more. When it comes to sports betting, many states are looking to offer online wagering as well as physical sportsbooks. Because of this, states that do not already offer online gaming are looking at legislation as a whole thanks to sports betting.

In New Jersey, online gaming has been in operation for five years now so it was not surprising to see the state launch sports betting in both formats. Other states would do well to look at New Jersey’s progress to see just how online gaming can make a difference.

With so many states considering sports betting this year and into next year, we should see several states moving forward with proposals and hopefully passing legislation involving sports betting as well as online gambling next year.

Which States Are Likely to Consider the Option?

As with any new year, lawmakers will be considering legislative changes involving gambling. It is expected that online gambling bills will surface from one end of the country to the next. Sports betting is also a likely option.

In general, we expect to see a few states stand out above the rest when it comes to legislation. These states have tried this year with discussions or legislation proposed in the realm of online gaming. Included in the mix are New York, Connecticut, Michigan and Illinois.

Illinois is looking into an omnibus bill, one that would offer online gambling as well as sports betting and possibly more. in the past, efforts have failed but lawmakers as well as gamblers are hoping 2019 is a successful year. It appears the state will try to add in daily fantasy sports as well to make as many gambling changes as possible in the future.

New York has continually tried to pass legislation as well, only to fail in their efforts. The Assembly has been the issue in the state, stopping any legislative momentum to see a bill come to pass. Online poker has been a major point of discussion in the state, but nothing has occurred from the discussions.

As 2018 comes to an end, we will be watching and waiting to see which states begin 2019 with new legislation involving online gaming, sports betting, daily fantasy sports and a host of other possibilities. Hopefully, several states will be able to create legislation that gains momentum, with all lawmakers on board, ready to pass a bill to see their state begin offering services. Players want to be able to enjoy online casino and poker games and the restrictions that are in place keep players in the majority of the US from taking part. It would be nice to see more states become involved so that players across the nation have access to online gambling options.

PokerStars Approved for Online Poker in Pennsylvania

Summary: Online poker will have a new player in the game for Pennsylvania, with PokerStars having been approved by the Gaming Control Board this week.

This past Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board hosted a meeting where several operators were approved for online gaming. It was just recently made known that PokerStars was approved for online poker licensing in the state, set to offer a full suite of online gambling products, with sports betting included.

So far in the US, PokerStars has been limited to their offerings with services only provided in New Jersey. Now, the brand will be able to operate in Pennsylvania and they will certainly be welcomed. The brand is the most recognized in operation today and they provide only the best online poker services via their parent group, The Stars Group.

Working with Mount Airy

PokerStarsPokerStars is able to operate in Pennsylvania via a partnership with the Mount Airy Casino. The two announced their partnership back in August, stating that they would be working together to offer sports betting via The Stars Group BetStars brand.

The Stars Group and Mount Airy have yet to apply for a sports betting license but, both have now been approved for interactive gaming licensing. Regulators have signed the appropriate paperwork, with Mount Airy approved months ago and PokerStars now ready this week.

With PokerStars in the mix, the online gaming landscape of Pennsylvania is looking good. PokerStars is a big name to have and players are already wanting to get started with gaming. The name will help to push even more players to give online poker gaming a try.

Mount Airy also has a relationship with 888 so it could be that the brand is able to offer both PokerStars and 888 branded online poker gaming. However, no announcement has been made as to how the relationship with 888 will play out involving online gaming in the state.

Removal of Online Poker Licensing

While PokerStars is raring to go when it comes to online poker gaming, other operators have decided to forgo the option for now. Three casinos have decided to remove the option or withdraw their petition for online poker as of late.

The Mohegan Sun just recently decided to remove their petition for online poker licensing while the Stadium Casino developer also removed online poker from their iGaming plans. Rivers Casino is also not interested in online poker just yet, withdrawing their petition last month.

Interactive gaming in Pennsylvania is getting closer and closer to coming to fruition. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has approved all pending petitions except for the sports betting petition of Valley Forge and their partner FanDuel.

Right now, the industry still has licensing remaining. Twelve permits in total are still up for grabs with qualified gaming entities now having the ability to apply for licensing. There are six online poker licensing remaining as well as three for online slots and table games. With so many poker licenses up for grabs, if PokerStars can get started quickly, they could gain a stronghold in that category.

It will be interesting to see as the year comes to a close and a New Year begins, if online gaming will be up and running and if any other operators snatch up licensing. Players want to get started and the industry has the potential to bring in hundreds of millions of dollars, helping the state as well as the operators who offer the gaming options.

Gaming Operators Form New Monitoring Association for Sports Betting Industry

Summary: With sports betting in full swing, gaming operators have created a new monitoring association to help with betting fraud and identity theft issues.

After a ruling by the United States Supreme Court in mid-May involving federal regulation of sports betting, the industry was opened up to all states in the US. Casino gaming operators were eager to get started in offering the new activity both online and offline within sportsbooks. Several states began offering services very soon after the ruling and even more are set to begin offering services by next year. Because of the need for regulation and monitoring, top gaming companies Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts have announced the formation of a new monitoring association dedicated specifically for the sports betting industry.

SWIMA

Caesars Entertainment CorpThe two companies have come together to create the Sports Wagering Integrity Monitoring Association, a non-profit organization. The group will be working with regulators as well as law enforcement and stakeholders in the industry to help cover identity fraud as well as betting fraud. The organization will work as a collaborator with state as well as tribal gaming regulators along with federal law enforcement and state and local groups, etc. to ensure that fraud is detected and discouraged in the new industry.

The group will also focus on monitoring illegal activity as well as unethical behavior taking place in the sports betting industry involving events. The main goal of the group is to protect consumers as well as operators and other stakeholders of the industry. SWIMA hopes to be able to protect the industry from fraudulent behavior caused by the manipulation of events that are involved in betting.

According to the group, they must take a multi-jurisdiction approach, working with operators located in states around the US as well as within tribal jurisdictions to ensure the integrity of the industry. The Chief Integrity Officer of the group is George Rover, the former AG of New Jersey as well as the Deputy Director of the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement. As the new CEO, Rover will be acting as the overseer of the daily operations.

Rover stated that the new group is ready to roll out, ensuring the safety and security of the betting environment for consumers in the United States. SWIMA is looking forward to creating partnerships with regulators as well as law enforcement in every state where sports betting is legalized to stop fraud and manipulation, working to protect sports betting’s integrity.

How the Group Works

SWIMA will work with states so that every operator can detect any unusual or suspicious activity. Operators will have to report such behavior and the group can work to alert the entire gaming industry of any incidents such as match fixing or fraud. Having a system in place that everyone can work together with can help the sports betting industry succeed.

The American Gaming Association has shown their support for the new association with the group stating that the new organization is yet another milestone toward the US realizing the benefits of legal and regulated sports betting in the nation.

Over the new few months, it will be interesting to see how the new organization will be implemented into the current sports betting landscape. Hopefully, the new organization will be able to be a driving force to help the industry maintain integrity and provide consumer protections as the industry continues to grow and expand, in other states as well as into the online sector.

Arizona Casino Claims Light-bulb Issue Caused Gambler to Believe He Won More

Summary: The Talking Stick Resort and Casino of Arizona has stated that a gambler thought a $4,000 win was worth $50,000 due to a faulty lightbulb in a slot machine.

When visiting a land-based casino, players usually head right to their favorite games. From slots to table games, casino facilities offer a wide range of gaming options, with varying buy-ins and stake levels.

For most visitors, they know what to expect with game play and what should happen if they win. The Talking Stick Resort of Arizona recently was highlighted in the news when a player thought he had won $50,000 but ended up earning only a $4,000 prize when the payment was provided by the cashier.

The issue apparently was that a lightbulb in the machine was faulty, causing the player to think he had won more than he actually had.

Faulty Lighting

Arizona CasinosRyan Sherry, a 47 year old gambler, was visiting the facility recently when he played a slot game on the casino floor. After betting $100, Sherry thought he had won $50,000 but his ticket was paid only a $4,000 prize.

The win took place on a slot machine with the lightbulb appearing to be red on the seven inch screen instead of orange with the win. The orange win would have signified the smaller payout but with it glowing a red color, the player thought he had earned the bigger win.

Sherry was not happy with the win and the player told the press that the casino said that the slot machine was still out on the floor, despite the blown lightbulb.

The casino said that the machine does not have to be removed from the floor as long as the algorithm is paying properly. The player felt that if the machine said it was going to pay a certain amount, then it should pay that prize money. He will not be returning to the casino due to the machine error.

Errors Do Happen

This is not the first time that a player thought they had earned a large jackpot prize only to be disappointed. It happens more often than you think. In most cases, the casino is legally allowed to pay what they are supposed to based on a win rather than what a machine displays. There are laws in place that help a casino not be liable when it comes to machine errors.

Take for example, a gambling case from New York. Just two years ago, a lady was visiting the Resorts World Casino in New York City when she thought she had earned a jackpot prize of $42.9 million. However, the staff of the casino determined that the machine had malfunctioned.

In the state of New York, there is a disclaimer in place that says any payouts are voided if a malfunction occurs. In the case from two years ago, the machine the lady was playing on only offers a top payout of $6,500, so the employees knew the issue was a malfunction.

Even though casinos are not at fault for malfunctions, it can lead to bad business practices depending on how they handle the situation. If a casino is not friendly and offer something in return for a massive payout change, it can lead to customer service issues.

This most recent example of machine malfunction is one where the casino is somewhat at fault, in the opinion of many. It seems that the lightbulb error should have been repaired so that players would not be deceived or feel that they are being treated unfairly after a win occurs.

Rhode Island Set To Launch Sports Betting This Monday

Summary: One more state will be added to the list of those in the US offering sports betting next week, as Rhode Island will officially launch services at the Twin River Casino.

Sports betting is steadily growing in the United States, as individual states pass legislation to get started offer online as well as land-based gambling options. So far, there are seven states that officially offer sports betting in the nation. By next week, that total will increase by one. Rhode Island has confirmed that they will enter the industry as the Twin River Casino in Lincoln is set to open their sportsbook Monday afternoon.

Opening Ceremony

Rhode Island CasinosAccording to Twin River Casino, the facility will have an opening bet ceremony beginning at 3pm on Monday. Nicholas Mattiello, the Speaker of the House, will be on hand to kick off the new gambling option along with Dominic Ruggerio, the Senate president. Twin River Worldwide Holdings, Inc., executive chairman, John E. Taylor, Jr., along with Mattiello and Ruggerio will place the first wagers at the facility. The ceremony is set to take place on the third floor of the gaming venue in the Simulcast area, known as Phase 1.

Sports betting has been in the works for Rhode Island for quite some time. Back in June, a law regarding sports betting was enacted and it was expected that the state would launch services by the fall season. It was originally believed that the state would be up and running by October but that was pushed back to December. Now, it seems that the first venue is ready to go and will launch just before the final month of 2018.

The state will earn 51% in taxes from the revenues generated from the sportsbook of Twin River. The venue is being operated by the lottery of the state along with William Hill and IGT. So far, the offering will only be on-site as Rhode Island has yet to legalize any online gambling for the sports betting industry. Players will not be able to place wagers via desktop or mobile device.

The sportsbook will most likely change in the future after the opening ceremony. Since the facility is being referred to as Phase 1, it is most likely that more changes are being made to the property to ensure the sports book is an enjoyable one.

Current Sports Betting Landscape

With the changes made by the United States Supreme Court back in May involving the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, every state in the nation had the ability to pass legislation to legalize sports betting and regulate the new industry. Several states had already passed laws involving the betting option in the hopes that SCOTUS would rule in favor of the gambling option.

Very quickly, states began to get started with single-game wagering. Delaware and New Jersey were among the first, followed by Mississippi and West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Mexico and of course Nevada is able to offer the gambling option.

Just this week, a new sports book went live in West Virginia and the very first facility opened in Pennsylvania. With Rhode Island in the mix, there will be a total of 8 states that can legally offer sports betting.

The industry is set to bring hundreds of millions to the nation in a very short time frame. Players have wanted sports betting for quite some time and have taken part in black market wagering. With legalized options, players can now feel more comfortable placing sports wagers from home or even on the go!

Online Gambling Revenues Increase in New Jersey for October

Summary: The month of October was a good one for the iGaming industry of New Jersey as the online casino and poker gaming sites brought in a record-setting $26.75 million for the month.

If you pay any attention to the online gambling industry in the United States, then you know that New Jersey is the top performing state regarding online poker and casino gaming. For years now, no other state has been able to produce the revenues that iGaming operators report in the state. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement just released the online gaming revenue numbers for October, with the state setting a new monthly record and increasing their earnings when compared to the same month last year.

A Successful October

New JerseyOctober was a great month for online poker and casino gaming. In total, operators were able to bring in over $26.75 million. This amount was better than the previous monthly record set in July. Online casino gaming was of course the dominating factor, creating over $25 million of the total monthly amount.

In total, $26,753,878 was earned in October, with online casino revenues coming in at $25,100,132. Total revenues were over the $20 million mark for the 20th month in a row! This is an amazing achievement and seems to prove that online gaming is not going to slow down any time soon in the state.

When looking at numbers from October 2017, the online gaming industry was up over 30%. Last year, the state saw only $18.6 million in total earnings.

Highlights of the Month

Overall, month to month, the online gaming revenues were up 0.5%. For online casino gaming, the totals were up 0.6% month to month and over 34% year over year. With online poker gaming, the month to month and year over year totals had dropped, but $1.65 million was still earned.

The Golden Nugget continues to be the operator to beat when it comes to online gaming. The brand continues to earn massive revenues online and set and break their own records. For October, the brand brought in just over $9.6 million which is a new record for the brand as well as for the state based on single license holder earnings.

The Borgata continues to come in at 2nd place, and did so again this time with $4.4 million in earnings. They remain so far behind the Golden Nugget it seems like they will never get close to the top earning brand.
The Hard Rock Casino was able to surpass the $1 million mark, the first time to do so in four full months of operation. The brand just recently opened its doors in the summer with their land-based venue and didn’t waste much time offering online gaming options.

Even though poker did poorly in October, the Resorts Casino was a silver lining. The casino was able to see month to month gains in the industry, while the PokerStars NJ offering moved back ahead of the WSOP/888 operations. This was a first since May when interstate gaming began.

Overall, New Jersey is dominating the online gaming industry. With Pennsylvania set to start in the future, it will certainly be interesting to see if their neighbor will be able to give them a run for their money. Odds are New Jersey will stay on top for many months and possibly even years as other states try to play catchup!

Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma Launches Online Poker Room

Summary: Years in the making, the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma has finally been able to launch their online poker room, Grey Snow Poker.

The Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma is the operating group behind four land-based gaming venues in the state of Oklahoma. The group has been working for some time to offer online gaming and just this week, announced the launch of their Grey Snow Poker online poker gaming site. The site may be up and running but players located in the US cannot take part legally. When the site was created, stipulations were put in place to prohibit individuals from accessing the site illegally for real money gameplay.

Isle of Man Licensing

Grey Snow Poker has received their licensing from the Isle of Man, with international players accepted. Based on the terms and conditions, the online poker site states that their servers are located on sovereign land and are regulated by their own Gaming Commission. The site is licensed and regulated by the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission.

Based on local regulations, gaming servers are permitted to be located on sovereign land, which allows for remote operations. In the Isle of Man, the tribe is the first to apply for a gaming license as well as the first to be approved.

Legal Grounds Verified

Iowa CasinosBefore the tribe began their online gaming site venture, they worked to ensure that they had legal grounds to offer such services. The group first consulted with Judge Chapel, an arbitrator appointed by the state, who decided that online poker was not prohibited based on federal or state laws.

The tribe then headed to a local United States District Court to gain federal certification. The approval given says that the tribe can offer covered games based on their Class III gaming compact with the state of Oklahoma and they would not be violating any laws by offering online options.

This process took quite a long time and along the way, the tribe would set several launch dates only to change them due to having to complete varying steps in the process. Once they were finally launched, Bobby Walkup, the chairman of the group stated:

We are thrilled to have launched a great new poker site that focuses on fairness. It’s time for a new type of poker room to come along, made by poker lovers, and recognizing what’s best for poker.

The new online poker room is a bit different from other sites as they do not charge a rake for cash games. For the most part, online poker rooms will take a percentage from each pot. At the Grey Snow Poker site, only 3% is taken as a flat free from the players when they decide to leave the table. The site also has a low tournament fee which is a nice change of pace from traditional online poker gaming options.

Because the site does not have a rake on cash games, many expect it to have problems. Other sites that have tried a rake-free approach, have shut down. For the Grey Snow Poker site, the operator feels that they will shake up the industry by creating a better playing experience. According to George McIntosh, the Grey Snow Poker managing director, stated that the rake free approach known as FairPlay service fee, as well as the automatic table seating will make the experience more user-friendly for recreational players.

We shall see in the coming weeks just how appealing the site is to players and if the brand will be able to pull in traffic due to offering services for international players only.

SugarHouse Online Casino Rewards Player with Six-Figure Prize

Summary: A New Jersey resident is now a lot richer thanks to a recent jackpot win via the SugarHouse online casino.

In New Jersey, there is no shortage of online casino gaming options. Players have a plethora of operators to choose from, with each offering quality gaming options like slots and table games. Players who live or are visiting the state can easily create a new player account with any operator they choose, make a deposit and play their favorite games for real money. On a regular basis, players are able to hit jackpots or win prizes, both small and large. Just recently, it was announced that a player from the SugarHouse online casino was able to earn a prize, a massive six-figure payday!

Divine Fortune for the Win

Sugar House CasinoThe lucky player is a woman from New Jersey who decided to log on to the SugarHouse online casino and play the Divine Fortune slot game. The single mom of two is from Hunterdon County and decided to take a few minutes of rest after arriving home from her first job before leaving for her second job. While resting, she decided to get on her computer and log into the PlaySugarHouse online casino.

This decision was a smart one for the 51 year old as she was able to win a prize of $160,256 after just two minutes of gaming! Remaining anonymous, the lucky woman stated in a press release that she couldn’t believe the win, feeling like she was not seeing the screen right. The winner stated:

At first I thought am I seeing this right? The kids will have a great Christmas this year, but honestly, I’m putting nearly all of it towards paying off my mortgage and house repairs. I had a broken furnace and was worried about the winter.

The big win could not have come at a better time for the single mom. The small decision to play the game will pay off handsomely as she will be able to take care of much needed bills and repairs around her home.

Exciting Game With Progressive Jackpots

Divine Fortune is an online slot game that offers a Greek mythology experience. The game first launched at online casinos in New Jersey last year and has easily become a top favorite among players. The 5×3 grid has 20 fixed lines and offers three different jackpots, which includes a mega jackpot progressive. The game is available at several online casinos in the state including the Golden Nugget.

Because so many online casinos offer the game and it is popular, the title continues to see its progressive jackpot grow until its hit by a lucky winner. The game is popular due to the jackpots being earned. According to statistics by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, the title has been able to award just over $2.1 million in 2018 alone.

Interestingly enough, the game has paid out over $1 million via eight Mega Jackpots from PlaySugarHouse alone. The more the jackpots hit, the more popular the game is with players. The most recent prize isn’t even the largest for the title. With one prize win, a player from the Betfair online casino was able to earn over $300,000!

Players in New Jersey should definitely give the game a try. The PlaySugarHouse casino is a good choice as well as the many other online casinos available in the state. The jackpot has been reset and is now awaiting its next big winner!

Two Amendments Pass in Florida Affecting the Gambling Industry

Summary: Amendment 3 and Amendment 13 were passed in Florida, making major changes to the gambling industry of the state.

This week, the mid-term elections took place, with several states considering changes to their gambling industries. In the mix was Florida, with two amendments up for consideration. Both were approved by voters, creating new changes to the overall Florida gambling industry as well as greyhound racing.

Amendment 3

Florida CasinosWith this amendment, voters were considering the Voter Approval of Casino Gambling Initiative. A total of 64.4% of the voters in the state approved the measure, which will eventually put any decision involving casino gambling changes in the state in the hands of the voters.

Currently, lawmakers were able to make changes without public approval. The Seminole Tribe has a monopoly when it comes to casino gaming and they pushed heavily to see this amendment passed. The group along with Disney, hoping to maintain their stronghold in the tourism sector, spend over $20 million to try and lobby voters to choose yes.

While it sounds good to put the decision into the hands of the voters, it will make it much more difficult to make changes if the state wants to expand the gambling industry. Take for example online gambling. For Florida to begin online casino gaming, the state would have to first gain voter approval. If the majority does not approve, then the consideration of such an expansion would end.

Amendment 13

The second amendment to make changes in the gambling industry, amendment 13 will see greyhound racing end in the state. There are 17 total dog tracks that will soon be out of business, which leaves a ton of dogs without a home. People are now wondering what will happen to the greyhounds now that the tracks will be shut down.

Amendment 13 requires that the dog tracks shut down service by the last day of December 2020. In the language of the measure, there were no provisions in place to care for the greyhound dogs. Groups opposing of the measure did their best to provide voters with the information so that it could be seen that help is going to be needed to provide the dogs a home.

According to Greyhound Pets of America Emerald Coast, a group that helps retired racing dogs find homes, when the tracks are out of service, there will be 8,000 to 15,000 dogs that will need a home. Groups are coming together to help, but more will need to be done in 2019. Foster families will need to be found along with adopters and sponsors. Money will be needed in order to expedite this process.

These changes in Florida could have major consequences that were seemingly left unknown to the average voter. Amendment 3 places the majority of gaming at the helm of the Seminole Tribe, making it difficult for any competition to take place in the state. Amendment 13 will see issues in the future as the tracks shut down and thousands of animals have no where to go.

It will be interesting to see how these changes affect the state in the coming years. Florida may soon fall behind when it comes to gambling as they are unable to get started offering sports betting or online gaming options due to the need for voter approval, while other states begin to reap the benefits of what additional gaming can provide.

Online Gambling Still Hopeful in Michigan as Representative Iden Gains New Term

Summary: With the November mid-term elections having ended, a representative of Michigan is in office once again, hopefully set to see the state get started with online gambling.

Yesterday in the United States, the mid-term elections took place, with individuals across the nation vying for a position within Congress as well as Governor and other positions. Amendments were placed on the ballot involving gambling, with certain individuals vying for a spot as a politician with their eye on gambling as well.

In Michigan, proponents of online gambling enjoyed a sigh of relief as Representative Brandt Iden was able to maintain his seat, hopefully pushing yet again to see iGaming coming to pass in the state.

Close Call In The Elections

NJ GamblingIden was able to maintain his seat within the statehouse by a super small margin. The Rep won with less than 1,300 votes, narrowly beating out democrat Alberta Griffin for the position. Each time that Iden has ran, the vote was a close call. It took until this morning before the official announcement was made that he would be keeping his seat.

For the gambling industry, this is a good sign. Iden has been steadily working to see gambling expand in this state, including vying for sports betting as well as online gambling. Rep Iden created H 4926 in 2017, an online gambling bill that has experienced serious consideration in the state as a way to see online gambling come to pass.

The bill is titled the Lawful Internet Gaming act and it was voted upon by the House during the summer, earning a positive 68 to 40 vote. However, once it moved on to the Senate, it was stalled. A measure that is similar to the legislation was created in the Senate but failed to move forward.

So, What Happens Now?

Now that Iden will maintain his seat, it appears as though he will continue the fight for online gaming. Expanding the industry in the state will not be easy. Constitutional language remains in the way and stakeholders are worried that the online lottery of the state as well as the casinos in Detroit will create cannibalization.

Such concerns have been knocked away by the success in the state of New Jersey, however, the doubts still remain. Iden will have his hands full trying to persuade other lawmakers to see the benefits of online gaming as well as starting over legislation wise. The state requires bills from odd years to be removed so he will have to start the process fresh if he wants to see a bill considered in 2019.

For states to get the ball rolling with online gambling, there needs to be a strong leader in place with support. It is a positive note that Iden has been able to maintain his position but having to start over could mean that online gambling efforts in the state could backslide.

However, it could also mean that lawmakers will have more time and resources to consider when crafting new legislation. Either way, the hope is that online gambling will continue to be considered in the state and that operators will eventually have a chance to provide such gaming options for visitors as well as residents in the state.

With the ability to offer sports betting in play, it seems that states have shifted to looking towards this new industry and taking a step back from online gambling. However, the two could go hand in hand. It will be interesting to watch as 2019 begins to see if any states move forward in either category when it comes to crafting and passing legislation.

Pennsylvania Lottery Changes Require Winners Pay Financial Obligations Before Earning Win

Summary: A new change in lottery regulations for Pennsylvania sees winners paying financial obligations before they earn their winnings.

Pennsylvania is one of several states in the US that offers several options for gambling, including the lottery. Each of the gambling options offered in the state have rules and regulations that must be followed, by players as well as regulators.

For the lottery in Pennsylvania, a recent change may have some players wishing they hadn’t won any lottery games. The state will now be taking out a portion of the winnings for those who have financial obligations, such as back child support or taxes.

Pay What You Owe

PennsylvaniaIf players who win the lottery have a financial obligation to the state, they will now have to pay up before they see any of their earnings. Back in 1992, the lottery was given the green light to collect back child support from a prize won by an individual who had not paid what they owed. Just recently, the Intercept Program saw an expansion which lead to the lottery having more authority to take prize money to pay off debt before it is given to the player.

Last year, a law signed by Governor Tom Wolf went into effect that impacts winners of the lottery who earned prizes larger than $2,500. Once any back child support payments are made or unpaid tax debts are cleared, a winner will be given whatever remains of the prize. Financial obligations like court costs, fines, etc. will all be covered under this regulation change.

An additional change affects big winners who take part in public assistance programs. The Department of Human Services now have the ability to review winners and see if they receive public assistance benefits from the state. If they do, the Department can then decide if the winner should continue to receive assistance after the lottery prize has been paid.

State Representative Adam Harris spoke out about this change recently to Penn Live. The Representative discussed how the bill change is important because there are people who really need the assistance. The change helps to protect the less fortunate and ensures the welfare systems integrity.

Winners who are on public assistance and earn a large payday will be at risk of losing their benefits. Such an instance has not happened yet but could in the future.

Most players are open to the changes involving child support and tax benefits. It seems only fair that those who have skipped out on their responsibilities will have to make these payments first before being able to enjoy their spoils.

Online Casino Gaming Next?

With the lottery making such changes, it begs the question as to if the online casino gambling industry might come up with a similar rule change. Players will be able to take part in real money gaming once the industry is live, able to win large jackpot prizes via slots and other games. Will the state decide to make a similar ruling in the future regarding such prizes and financial obligations?

It will certainly be interesting to see how the lottery handles these changes and if lawmakers decide a similar rule should apply to online gaming as well. Only time will tell if similar changes will be made to see players held accountable for payments that need to be made to the state when they earn a major prize from an online casino game.

National Council For Problem Gambling Pushing for Responsibility

Summary: As professional sports teams start to make deals with casinos due to the recent changes in sports betting laws, experts on problem gambling preach caution.

888 HoldingsIt wasn’t long after sports betting was no longer banned in the United States due to a Supreme Court ruling in May that professional sports teams began to sign deals with gambling companies.

It was inevitable that these types of partnerships would take place as sports betting is now a legalized activity. Several teams have created sponsorship deals as of the past few weeks, with the National Council on Problem Gambling now pushing for responsibility to be more prevalent in the newly regulated US gambling market.

Examples of partnerships that have been created include Caesars teaming up with the New Jersey Devils and the Philadelphia 76ers, along with William Hill working with the Devils as well and the Vegas Golden Knights hockey team.

Caesars has also partnered with the Baltimore Ravens and the Dallas Cowboys will be working with the WinStar World Casino.

Keith Whyte, the executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling has commented on such partnerships, stating he understands why they are being created to maximize potential for both industries, but he also wants to see responsibility a prevalent factor.

With such deals, casinos would be advertising the sports team within their venue and vice versa for the sports teams. When it comes to sportsbooks, the partnership has to be a bit different. The New York Jets are reportedly set to announce a deal with 888, a major gambling brand. With this deal, it will be the first of its kind involving a team and an actual sportsbook, not a casino.

The NFL actually prohibits their teams from advertising sportsbooks directly. This would include the 888 Sportsbook of New Jersey. The point is to not advertise at games for sportsbooks so that children will not be enticed to gamble.

There is a worry that the kids who go to the professional sports games will be more inclined to see gambling as part of the game rather than a separate activity for adults only.

Casino/Sports Team Deals

The difference with the other casino/sports team deals is that the agreement includes data. The NHL and NFL have seen teams sign deals with casinos where they will be providing real time data for sports betting services.

The deal is lucrative for the casino because it provides them with real time statistics that can be used for betting while the sports teams earns money for providing the info. It’s a win/win situation and doesn’t have to involve any type of promotion or advertising per say.

The National Council on Problem Gambling is hoping that the gambling companies and sports teams will be responsible in their partnerships together. By being responsible, both sides can help to avoid any major issues with the new industry and preserve their new revenue stream.

For now, this industry is new in the US on this large of a scale and there will be things to work through. We shall see over the coming months as the year comes to an end and into next year what measures are taken to ensure safe gambling habits while incorporating this new industry in states that pass legislation.

So far, only a handful of states offer sports betting. However, more are set to get started in the industry and sport teams are increasing their partnership deals with companies in the hopes of seeing a monetary gain from this blossoming industry.

Churchill Downs Focusing on Online Gaming Launch in PA

Summary: After revealing Q3 earnings, Churchill Downs Inc. has reported they are doing well and ready for online gaming in Pennsylvania.

Churchill Downs Inc. is a major gaming company in the United States with their business in several areas across the nation. Based in Kentucky, the company operates in five states outside of their home area and is looking to get started soon in the online gambling industry in Pennsylvania. Yesterday, the company held a presentation providing information regarding their Q3 earnings, showing favorable numbers for their overall business dealings.

Report Info Shows Excellent Growth

Churchill DownsThe Q3 report showed all positive numbers when reviewing the earnings from the quarter in regard to the same time frame last year. Net revenue came in a $221.3 million which is a 12% increase from 2017. Net income came in at just over $56 million which is up a staggering amount when compared to the $16.7 million reported in Q3 last year.

The adjusted net income for the company came in at almost $22 million which is up considerably from the $13.6 million reported last year. The adjusted EBITDA came in at just over $62 million which is a 7% increase from last year.

The gains as far as net income is concerned came about due to moves by the company involving real estate. Several million was paid towards tax obligations which was a boost to the company. the operating income came down just a bit thanks to the Lady Luck Vicksburg termination fee of $5 million as well as certain expenses.

During the Q3, the company was quite busy. Churchill Downs acquired Ocean Downs, a casino and racetrack in Maryland, as well as liquidated their equity within the Saratoga Casino Holdings. The brand opened a sportsbook at two casinos in Mississippi, operating under the BetAmerica brand. In Kentucky, the company opened Derby City Gaming.

Also during the quarter, the company signed a definitive agreement to be able to acquire the majority share of the Rivers Casino Des Plaines. The Illinois casino is one owned by Rush Street Gaming. The percentage of the final ownership of the company will be based on decisions made by minority shareholders.

Ready for Pennsylvania Online Gambling

Churchill Downs is also ready to get started with online gambling in Pennsylvania. The state has steadily been working towards launching online casino and poker gaming with Churchill Downs set to take part. The company is working to finalize transactions with Eldorado Resorts and will then be operating the Lady Luck Nemacolin and the Presque Isle Downs casinos.

To get ready to enter the online gaming industry, Churchill Downs decided to create a partnership with SBTech, with the new agreement covering all formats of online gambling. Presque Isle Downs has already been approved for table games and slots online as the current owner, Eldorado Resorts, secured online gaming licensing as part of the acquisition deal.

The company is not interested in online poker but will be offering table games and slots. The company is also looking to offer sports betting in the state. The company will actually be focusing their efforts on sports betting, set to build from the exiting TwinSpires product and team of horse betting to offer even more to bettors.

It is expected that Churchill Downs will be launching sports betting as well as an online casino during the first quarter of next year. This will be reliant on current transactions closing in a timely manner.

More Operators Approved for Online Gaming Licenses in Pennsylvania

Summary: During their most recent hearing, the PA Gaming Control Board approved two new casinos for online gaming.

Pennsylvania continues to get closer and closer to online casino and poker gaming, as operators continue to be approved for licensing. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is taking their time approving land-based operators for online game play, reviewing each application and approving only a few each month. The latest meeting took place on October 31st, with the board approving Presque Isle Downs and the Stadium Philadelphia development to offer online gaming.

New Approvals For Operators

Executives of the Presque Isle Downs came to the hearing this week to provide a presentation as to what they want to offer when it comes to online gaming. The property owned by Churchill Downs will be offering online casino and sports betting, hopefully by the end of the year in NJ and they also have plans for Pennsylvania. The company has an existing partnership with the Golden Nugget and will be able to launch in New Jersey before the year’s end.

For their Pennsylvania operations, the company wants to offer online slots and table games, but not going after online poker gaming. The brand would like to offer traditional casino games online as well as live dealer options.

The online gaming platform of the company will be operated by SBTech, with plans to use the BetAmerica brand of Churchill on a larger national scale. The company also has plans to integrate something called Reality Checks, where players will be given a popup, letting them know how long they have been online, promoting responsible gaming.

For Stadium Casino, a representative was on hand during the meeting but did not provide a presentation or details on what would be offered. The brand doesn’t even have a land-based venue, as the project is in the works, so it would be some time before the brand would be able to offer gaming.

The rep actually asked the board for a few requests as the company has come into a bit of trouble with their operations. The developers of the project had to meet the application deadline to secure permits for online gaming, but without a casino in place, any further details were withheld. There is also rumors that the project may be sold to another company, which could lead to more issues.

The rep asked the board if they would amend their petition to just slots and table games instead of all three, removing poker from the initial application.

Operators Set to Offer Online Gaming

Along with Stadium and Presque Isle Downs, there are several operators who have been approved for online gaming. Harrah’s Philadelphia, Hollywood, Mount Airy, Valley Forge, Parx Casino, Sands and SugarHouse have all been approved to provide gaming based on their application.

For now, there are still 11 permits remaining. Gaming companies can apply to obtain one of three online slot and table game licenses, with five permits remaining for online poker gaming. The licensing process is also now open to qualified gaming entities, providing operators other than only land-based operators in Pennsylvania from applying.

Several companies may look to enter the industry after already operating in other states. Such companies could include PokerStars, Bet365, the Golden Nugget, among others. It will be interesting to see which companies vie for the remaining licenses up for grabs. The new industry is taking shape and it is certainly exciting for operators as well as players as the market begins to gain group and hopefully will launch quickly.

California Tribes Ready to Sue State Over Banked Games Issue

Summary: Tribal gaming operators of California are preparing to sue the state as regulators are preparing to stop banked card games from operating within card clubs.

House-banked card games like Pai Gow Poker and Blackjack, are games that have been offered by card rooms in the state despite tribes feeling the games are in violation of their compact exclusivity. Card clubs in the state have been able to work around the existing laws to offer such games which have only caused the tribes to become furious at the gaming operators.

New Recent Developments

California CasinosThe house-banked games have been a hot point of contention in California for years. The tribes feel that the card rooms offering such games are in violation of their tribal exclusivity based on their Class III gaming compacts with the state.

Back in September, a memo was sent by the director of the Bureau of Gambling Control, Ms. Stephanie Shimazu. The memo has since been released to the public, showing that the bureau is promising to rescind game rule approvals for games that are similar to blackjack and prohibited by laws of the state. Card rooms are to be notified by the bureau and enforcement deferred for a specific time frame to allow the card rooms to make the necessary changes.

Card rooms feel the games are perfectly legal as they use shills from third-party vendors to take the place of the position held by the dealer-player. The tribes disagree and state that a banked game is a banked game no matter who the dealer is.

The California Nations Indian Gaming Association feels that the memo is a tactic for stalling by the bureau and they plan on moving ahead by filing a lawsuit with the state. The organization is ready to fight and have even decided to bring sports betting in the mix.

The group has decided to show opposition towards sports betting regulation while banked games are being offered at card rooms. This will keep the state from getting started with sports betting, something that could be quite lucrative for the state, not to mention the possibility for online casinos in California which would add even more incremental revenue.

The tribal gaming operators will be opposed to a ballot measure that proposes to bypass the legislative process by allowing voters a say in whether or not sports betting should be legalized in the state.

Relying on Card Club Revenues

In the meantime, the areas where card rooms are in operation are relying heavily on revenues generated by the clubs. The clubs are taking the threat by the bureau seriously and are wondering how such a request can be made without consultation with the public or the industry at large.

The drastic change requested by the bureau would require the card rooms to make significant adjustments to their operations, changes that could have a negative effect on revenues. According to some operators, the crackdown against banked games could be crippling.

California has long had issues with seeing changes to their gambling landscape due to conflicts between card rooms, tribal interests, lawmakers, etc. Over the years, the state has failed to pass any legislation involving online poker gaming as the card rooms, horse tracks and tribal operators could not agree on how the industry should operate.

It will be interesting to see how this latest clash progresses. If the tribes will file their suit and the state make the changes quickly to see card rooms stop offering banked games or if other changes will be made to the gaming industry. Only time will tell what will happen regarding what can legally be provided by the card rooms in the state and if the tribes will be in agreement.

Penn National Prepares for Online Gaming with New Partnership

Summary: Penn National has announced a new partnership with IGT for online gambling.

By 2019, the state of Pennsylvania is expected finally launch online gambling sites within their borders. In late 2017, legislation was passed into law that allowed both online poker and casino gaming to take place. Land-based operators have been forging partnerships and gaining the necessary approvals to get started. Penn National, a land-based operator in the state, has recently announced a new partnership with IGT to work together in the new online gambling industry.

New Plans for Penn National

Penn National GamingOn Thursday, Penn National announced they are going to be working with IGT for a five year time frame in the online gambling industry of the state. Penn National operates the Hollywood Casino and they will have an online gaming site of the same name. The brand will be launching a full suite of IGT’s products, including the PlayCommand options. These products include PlayCasino, PlayPoker and PlayBingo.

Commenting on the new partnership, Chris Sheffield, an executive of Penn, stated:

We’re excited to leverage IGT’s platform and content for our online gaming launch in Pennsylvania. The flexibility and reliability of the PlayCommand platform, coupled with the proven game library within IGT’s PlayCasino, give us confidence that HollywoodCasino.com will deliver the same caliber of world-class gaming entertainment that our players have come to love in our land-based casinos.

Players located in Pennsylvania are anxious to get started. Casino operators in the state have the ability to purchase a license to offer online slot games, table games and video poker. For the most part, operators have decided to go with each option, set to offer a wide variety of content to players.

The new IGT deals marks the first time the company will be operating in the United States. IGT is a top operating company on an international level, providing gaming content to providers around the world. The company applied for a license in June but kept their new partner a secret until this week. It was believed that Penn National was working with Scientific Games, but now we know they are going to use IGT as their content provider.

With IGT’s PlayDigital portfolio, Penn National will be able to meet customer’s needs when it comes to online gaming as well as on site mobile gaming. IGT is excited to enter the new market, as they will be able to extend the success of their PlayCommand content.

Additional Partnerships On The Horizon

Online gaming partnerships in the state have been growing strong for some time now. Five other casino operators have been able to make new connections in preparation of launching services. SugarHouse will be working with Rush Street Interactive while Parx has chosen GAN as their provider. The Presque Isle Downs offering will be powered by SBTech, which Harrah’s will work with 888. PokerStars and 888 will be helping out Mount Airy with their gaming.

It is believed that Valley Forge will be working with partypoker/GVC but the rumored partnership has yet to be announced officially.

For now, these are the only partnerships that have been announced and what players can look forward to when it comes to online casino and poker gaming. A nice selection of top software companies are in the mix, so players should have much to consider when choosing an online gaming home. It will be interesting to see who the top operators are once the sites are up and running and players are signing up for new gaming accounts.

Online Casino Games Reportedly Putting Young People at Risk

Summary: A new study has linked a higher risk of developing gambling problems in young people with free online casino games.

Online casino sites that are reputable work hard to create a safe game play environment. Operators who are licensed and regulated must adhere to certain laws and regulations within their gaming offerings. Such regulations include banning minors from taking part in gaming. From geolocation services to strict signup procedures, online casinos are supposed to do what they can to keep minors from participating.

However, there are free online casino games that youngsters can access and according to a recent study, it seems that such games are being connected to a higher risk of developing gambling problems among young people.

CAMH Study

NJ GamblingA new CAMH study was recently conducted in Canada in which online casino games were studied as played by young people. Free games that are themed after casino games are easy to find and apparently seem to be the gateway for gambling with real money involving young people. The results of the recent study showed that free games that are associated with casino games like slots and table games have created a higher risk of gambling problems among young people.

Free online games are open to anyone and are known as social casino games. These games allow players to try casino table games as well as poker, bingo, slots and more. Players can try the free games, betting with play chips, and getting the experience of playing a casino game. Rewards will be offered, like prizes and points. Such games are not legally classified as a gambling game because there is no real money wager.

CAMH Institute for Mental Health Policy Research scientist Dr. Tara Elton-Marshall, stated: “Adolescents’ participation in seemingly risk-free social casino games is a concern because we know that early exposure to gambling activities is a risk factor for developing gambling problems in the future.”

Study Findings

In the study, the group found that 12% of teenagers in three Canadian provinces played social casino games for a three-month time frame. Over 10,000 students aged 13 to 19 were surveyed, found to have played the games including poker, online slots and social casino games.

Adolescents were playing the social casino games and found to be more likely to participate in gambling for money. It is believed that the free games build excitement for gambling and encourage players to transition to gambling with money.

In the study, it found that 37 to 50 percent of the younger crowd gambled for real money and played the social casino gaming options, exhibiting that they had a low to high possibility of a gambling addiction. In the group, young people who just played gambling games for real money did not have a high a degree of potential for problem gambling.

Within the study, questions were asked related to gambling as well as if the teens were missing activities such as band or team sports to gamble. It was found that players were missing out on such activities to gamble. The study also determined that the social casino games offer higher odds of winning when compared to real money gambling games of the same type and it gives the impression to young people that they can win at the games. This causes teens to take part in the real money games and develop a gambling addition at an early age.

Overall, the study proved that parents, teacher and even young people need to be aware of the risk and take great care when playing social casino games. Real money games should be avoided until reaching the age of 21, when participating is legal.

Online Poker Revenue Suffering In NJ

Summary: Online poker has been doing poorly in New Jersey, with September and October resulting in low earnings and player traffic.

Online poker has yet to become as popular in the state of New Jersey when compared to online casino gaming. Since online gaming launched in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware in 2013, online casino numbers have continually grown, while poker has fell to the wayside. Players seem to be drawn to casino games and while they are taking part in poker gaming, the numbers are less than stellar. In New Jersey, online poker continues to fall flat, with revenue numbers dwindling and online events failing to meet prize pool guarantees.

Online Poker Traffic

New JerseyFor September, the Division of Gaming Enforcement released the financial report for the state’s online poker industry, which showed a big dip in earnings. Only $1.6 million was generated for the month, with the Borgata network earning the most at $399,978. This is an almost 37% decrease from the online poker earnings in September 2017.

Players just seem to not be interested in online poker gaming and instead, are opting to play slots and table games. Even major events cannot seem to generate enough traffic to increase revenues, much less reach guaranteed prize pools.

This month, the partypoker NJ Garden State Super Series finished up its Fall Edition with two events failing to reach their guaranteed prize pools. The online poker operator decided to increase their total prize pools but this still did not attract players as one might expect.

The GSSS was set to offer 24 events with a total of $450,000 in guaranteed prize money up for grabs. The Main Event of any series is usually the most anticipated and this one was set to offer nice value. The guaranteed prize pool was $100,000 with players having a moderately low buy-in of $320. With only 274 entries, the site had to pick up quite a bit of cash to reach the $100,000 prize pool.

The $1,060 High Roller event had a guaranteed prize pool of $50,000 and also failed to meet the guarantee. Partypoker had to come up with extra funds for both of these events, which was not anticipated.

The traffic numbers are just not getting to where they need to be when it comes to online poker gaming. It seems no matter what operators try, they cannot seem to be able to generate enough traffic to push the industry to the next level.

Can Pennsylvania Help?

For years now, only New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware offered online poker gaming. Hopefully before the year ends, Pennsylvania will join in. The state legalized online poker and casino gaming in late 2017, set to offer the online gaming options possibly before the year ends. Many are wondering that once online poker starts in the state, it if will help the others to see better traffic numbers.

Interstate compacts are allowed in Pennsylvania, so analysts expect that players will be pooled in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, which could help NJ to see larger traffic with their online poker gaming. New Jersey already works with Nevada and Delaware but due to lower populations, the end result has been underwhelming. Hopefully, sharing liquidity with Pennsylvania, a larger state, will help to bring in more players for the online poker industry and the state will see a nice turnaround, one that is long overdue.

Will Illinois Pass Online Gambling Legislation This Year?

Summary: Lawmakers are currently deliberating online gaming legislation in the state of Illinois. Is the lack of information a good thing when it comes to the potential of the state becoming the next to get started in the online realm?

In 2018, the state of Illinois still has a shot at passing online gambling as well as sport betting legislation. Just this past week, a comprehensive gaming expansion package came one step closer to becoming law after a joint hearing took place within the House of Representatives. Two subcommittees came together to talk about the bill, a subject that has been discussed among lawmakers for around two years now.

In January 2017, SB 7 was first introduced as a casino bill for the Chicago region. The proposal would then later become an omnibus gaming package, offering several ways in which the state can expand upon their gambling industry. Amendments were made by Representative Robert Rita to include online gambling, sports betting and daily fantasy sports, among options being considered.

With little information being provided, it has many wondering if the state will be able to pass a bill before the year’s end. During the hearing, the right questions were being asked to see the bill hopefully move forward. Part of the discussions included lawmakers understanding the topic at hand, focusing on the best practices and policies that would work in the state, instead of just focusing on theoretical ideas.

Omnibus is the Right Approach

IllinoisIllinois lawmakers are taking a page out of the book first used by Pennsylvania when it comes to pushing for an omnibus gaming package. Pennsylvania was able to pass such legislation last year, paving the way for several changes within their gambling industry. The state is set to offer online casino and poker gaming, build satellite casinos, and add gaming in other areas.

In Illinois, an omnibus bill is on the table. However, during the recent hearing, online poker and casino gaming were discussed very little. During the opening remarks of the hearing, Representative Lou Lang stated that online gaming and daily fantasy sports are vetted well in the state. Now, it seems that lawmakers are shifting their focus to sports betting, as other states are doing as well.

During the hearing, several witnesses as well as legislators spoke, talking about several aspects of expansion within the gaming industry along by way of one bill, which makes sense. Sports betting, casino and poker games, as well as DFS all would take place online, if the state is going to be successful. Jim Ryan, the CEO of Pala Interactive, stated during the hearing that 50% of online gaming revenue will come from sports betting and only legalizing sports betting would do half the job.

Players want to be able to play online, particularly with mobile devices. Gamers are set on being able to play from wherever they are, be it at home, at work or on the go. With online capabilities, the state will be much more successful with their endeavors in the sports betting industry as well as within any other realm of gaming they hope to add to the region.

It will be interesting to watch as the year comes to an end, if the state moves forward with proposed legislation and if online gaming will become a reality in the state. Only time will tell if Illinois will become the next to offer online casino, poker and/or sports betting options.

West Virginia Shows Strong Sports Betting Numbers After Two Months of Operation

Summary: After offering sports betting for almost two months, sportsbooks in West Virginia have been able to see close to $10 million in wagers.

West Virginia is one of a handful of states in the US that offers sports betting services. The state launched their sports betting industry around two months ago and since that time, have been able to earn around $10 million in wagers. Weekly totals continues to climb as the sports calendar gets even more busy.

Since starting their offering, the state has been able to collect over $200,000 in taxes. The state has estimated that after a year in operation, they will be able to bring in as much as $5.5 million. It does seem like the state will meet this projection as right now, only one operator is functioning in the state during the peak season.

Doing Well

West Virginia CasinosThe Hollywood Casino was the first in the state to get started with sports betting. They began hiring individuals to work within their sports betting industry by the end of August and with their location near Washington D.C., the gaming venue is in a prime spot to see visitors for sports betting.

The casino has already seen over $9 million in wagers since starting and they are basically the sole earner for the state. The sports betting tickets have provided $2.3 million in revenues, even though the number does include outstanding future wagers.

Since opening week, the casino has been able to see an increase in their betting handle, week after week. The most recent reporting period came in from October 6th until the 12th with the brand earning over $2 million.

The first week hit just under the $500,000 mark and each week thereafter the brand has hit over $1.1 million and climbing every week after. In total, the brand has earned just over $9 million in handle and seen almost $2.3 million in total revenues.

FanDuel Sportsbook Lower Numbers

The Greenbrier is a location that also offers sports betting via a FanDuel Sportsbook, a spot that opened just a couple weeks after the Hollywood Sportsbook. However, the numbers of the Greenbrier are much lower. The brand was only able to earn just over $87,000 their first week and even less than that their second week at $75,222. Weeks thereafter were better at $178,666 and $105,422.

In total, The Greenbrier’s sportsbook has earned just over $447,000 in total handle with $75,697 earned in revenues. Taxes to be paid by the venue come in at just over $7,500. The property does have a positive in its favor as they are partnered with a major sports brand, FanDuel. While the land-based venue is not doing well, the online version is sure to do much better.

In New Jersey, FanDuel has already launched an online and mobile platform and the launch of the same offering should be ready for West Virginia in the near future. Once the online capabilities are ready to go, the brand should do much better in the state and possibly eclipse the Hollywood when it comes to total betting handle and revenues earned.

The only other venue in the state that could offer sports betting is the Mountaineer Casino. They have yet to submit an application to get started, though they apparently plan on doing so in the future.

Mount Airy Files Plans for Mini Casino

Summary: Mount Airy Casino Resort has decided to make Big Beaver their home when it comes to their new mini-casino venue.

Since last year, changes have been taking place in the state of Pennsylvania regarding the gaming industry. A gaming package was passed into law that would create new gaming options, including satellite casinos. These mini-gaming venues will be home to slot and table gaming, but in smaller quantities than the larger full-scale casinos. Several existing operators applied for licensing for a mini-casino, including Mount Airy Casino Resort. Located in Mount Pocono, the gaming operator has now chosen a location for their mini site.

Big Beaver

PennsylvaniaLast week, plans were filed by Mount Airy with the state’s Gaming Control Board for their satellite casino. The company plans on turning 100 acres in the area of Big Beaver into a mini casino/ entertainment complex. The project has been titled Mount Airy Pittsburgh.

A mini casino license was given to Mount Airy after they had the highest bid during a February auction hosted by the Gaming Control Board. The winning big came in at $21,888,888.88. The plans submitted show the new smaller casino will be located 15 miles from the New Castle region, which is where Interstate 376 meets the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

A mini casino in the state can be home to as many as 750 slot games and 30 table games. It was recently made known that such venues may also soon be able to offer sports betting thanks to recent changes in federal law. However, for such a venue to be able to offer sport betting as well, an additional $10 million would have to be paid to the state for licensing.

Mount Airy does have plans to create as sportsbook but it will be located at their main casino, the Mount Airy Casino Resort. The parent company of the Mount Airy has signed a deal with The Stars Group to launch an online poker site branded with the PokerStars name as well as an online and mobile sports betting offering under the BetStars brand. No word as to if this partnership might extend to the mini casino as well for sports betting in the future.

Looking to Other States

The site for the proposed mini casino is located near the state of Ohio which would help the venue to bring in even more customers. The facility will be located close to Youngstown, which is home to around 500,000 people. The only gaming in the area is the Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Racetrack, but they only offer video lottery gaming. The new mini casino will offer more and be a big draw among residents of that region.

Mount Airy has plans to begin groundbreaking in early 2019 and then open late in the year. There are still several steps the company has to complete before they will even be able to get started with the process.

Reportedly, the Board is still reviewing the application of the company and will make their findings public in the near future. A hearing for public comment will then have to take place in Big Beaver. The meeting date for this hearing has yet to be revealed. Mount Airy has completed a study on traffic as well as completed a report on the impact that the facility will have on the locals. Beaver County officials are now set to begin discussing workforce development and educational partners involving the project. The area seems to be very welcoming of the facility coming to the region.

888Poker Set to Mix Things up in New Jersey

Summary: With online poker losing ground in New Jersey, 888Poker has decided to launch a new game and new look later on in the year.

When online gambling became a reality in the United States, three states were at the forefront; New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada. Each of these states have been offering services since 2013, with Nevada focused strictly on online poker while Delaware and New Jersey offer both online poker and casino gaming. Online operators in each state have struggled to see their online poker industry gain any ground, while online casino games have proven to be the more popular factor.

New Jersey has been able to at least earn around $1 million or more each month with online poker gaming but this amount continues to be far less than estimated. Players just seem to be drawn to online casino games more than they do poker. Operators constantly try to remedy the issue by offering new gaming options, promotions, tournaments and more. Nothing seems to be working as they would like.

888 Holdings888Poker is the latest operator to announce a few changes, set to offer not only a new game later on in the year but also revamp their look. 888 Holdings announced the new changes coming to the online poker room with the Poker 8 client set to be revealed in the near future. With the new client, players will also have access to a new game known as Pik’em Poker.

The launch will be global and will include New Jersey. Hopefully, the changes will give 888 the push they need to be able to increase the number of players logging on to enjoy online poker. However, the details are scarce, and it is unclear as to just what online poker players will be able to expect with the launch.

Very few details have been provided as to what the new Pik’em Poker game will entail. We can of course speculate but that’s about all we can do. From the name of the new game, one could assume that some type of picking will be involved with the cards. It will definitely be interesting to see how the game is played and if it will be a new variant that catches on with players.

Benefiting From Combined Player Pools

As online poker continues to struggle across the United States, including in New Jersey, 888 is the only platform that is actually benefiting in some way. The brand’s platform in New Jersey, the WSOP.com NJ site, has combined player pools with gamers from Delaware and Nevada able to compete. With shared liquidity, the brand has the potential to see an increase in traffic however, it seems that numbers are pretty much near the same as they were before player sharing was a thing.

It really seems as though online poker will continue to struggle unless poker is legalized in other states and player sharing is in place since it relies on a pool of players unlike online casinos in the US markets. For smaller states, this would create larger player pools and more variety for larger regions. However, it seems as though any new states offering online poker is a long way from now. Currently, states focus has shifted from online poker and casino games to sports betting.

For now, we shall have to wait and see what 888Poker brings to the table in the near future when they launch their new platform and poker game. Hopefully, the new option will be something that players enjoy and there will be an increase in gaming within the industry.

More Gambling in Pennsylvania? It Could Happen!

Summary: Gambling has expanded quite a bit in Pennsylvania over the past year and even more could be on offer if a new candidate earns the House of Representatives seat.

It’s been less than a year since Governor Tom Wolf signed the Pennsylvania gambling expansion bill, paving the way for several changes to the gambling industry of the state. Having been passed into law in late October, the bill legalized online poker and casino gaming, online lottery games, satellite casinos and more. Now, it seems the gambling industry could grow even more, if a candidate running for a Republican position within the House of Representatives earns the seat.

Gambling Platform

PennsylvaniaMilton Street is running for a position within the House of Representatives and to earn the spot, has created a platform that centers around gambling. The goal of Street is to see school districts no longer have a budget deficit. His plans are to provide gambling games in public spaces within the 181st district, the area in which he would serve.

The district in question is part of a portion of Philadelphia as well as surrounding areas. Street has plans to introduce his proposal in January and outlined his plans to Jim Kenney, the mayor of Philadelphia. As reported by the PhillyVoice, the proposal would see video poker machines as well as bingo machines added to public areas including hotel lobbies, bars, the airport, barber shops and beauty shops.

In his outline, Street stated that the machines could bring as much as $360 million to the district on a yearly basis. Once expenses were paid, the remaining portion of the funds could then be used in the local school district.

Street feels that his idea would help to eliminate the estimated $700 million deficit that the school budget will face by 2022. The machines would remove any need for an increase in real estate taxes as well as a beverage tax to be used for preschool funding.

Street is very confident that his proposal will be accepted and that he will win the position as a new Representative for the state. He has decided to take a strategic approach to his efforts. He will first hold public hearings in the new year to include testimony by key officials such as the mayor, city council, school board, etc. He also plans on including testimony from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board discussing the impact of US online gambling on tax revenue.

Skepticism Abounds

While Street is confident in his plan, there are skeptics, including Mayor Kenney. The mayor still has questions about the proposal and wants to learn more. Scott Wagner, a republican gubernatorial candidate of Street has rebuffed the idea.

In the past, the district where Street is running has always sent a democrat to the House of Representatives. He is currently running against Malcolm Kenyatta and odds are that Kenyatta will earn the seat.

Mayor Kenney has yet to comment on the proposal by Street, but his spokesman, Mike Dunn did comment. Mr. Dunn stated that Mr. Street might want to look at what is being done in Harrisburg as video gaming was approve last year for airports and other types of facilities with a portion of revenues going towards education.

Dunn also pointed out that the mayor is reluctant to allow any more gaming in areas of Philadelphia where residents are struggling with poverty and gambling is a predatory practice.

It will be interesting to see if Street is successful in his efforts in gaming the House seat and moving forward with additional gaming. The time is ripe to see more gaming added, but it may be difficult for a republican to take the democratic seat in the current political climate.

Hard Rock Atlantic City to work with GiG for Sports Betting

Summary: The Hard Rock Atlantic City has partnered with Gaming Innovation Group for sports betting services.

Sports betting is booming across the United States, particularly in areas where the activity is legalized. In New Jersey, several operators have already begun offering services with others set to get started in the future. Today, it was announced that the Hard Rock Atlantic City has found a sports betting partner in the Gaming Innovation Group. Also known as GiG, the group announced today that they have signed a letter of intent to work with the casino to provide sports betting services to patrons of the venue.

Online Casino and Sports Betting

It is not surprising to find that GiG has decided to work with Hard Rock Atlantic City for sports betting as the brands already work together regarding the casino’s online gaming offering. The expanded agreement now covers both retail sports betting as well as online and mobile wagering options.

Hard Rock will need to hurry if they want to gain any ground within the sports betting industry. The casino just opened in June along with the Ocean Resort Casino. Ocean Resort has already been offering sports betting since the summer when they began working with William Hill.

According to CEO Jim Allen, when the Hard Rock first opened, they would need a month or two to get going with sports betting. The casino would have to have a partner when it came to sports betting because the brand is tied to the Miami Dolphins and cannot make their own sports book.

It has taken far longer than expected to get started. However, now the brand is ready to get going. According to a press release by GiG, the group signed a Letter of Intent with Hard Rock International to provide an omni-channel sportsbook platform in the casino. The end goal is to launch a sportsbook by the 4th quarter.

GiG will be providing the platform as well as risk management for the Hard Rock. The new deal will mark the first time the company has been involved in sports betting within the United States.

Setting Sports Betting Deals

Hard Rock Atlantic CityIn New Jersey, the sports betting industry allows for each casino that has a permit to launch three online/mobile brands within their license. If the venue launches with GiG, then they will have used all three of their options. Back in July, it was announced that Hard Rock was partnered with bet365 after documents were filed within the Division of Gaming Enforcement.

In August, the company had signed a deal with the Kindred Group. This company is known for operating the Unibet brand in international markets. This is a skin deal which should see a Unibet brand debut in the United States.

If the sportsbook of the Hard Rock manages to be the next one to launch, it will mark the 9th platform to be made available in the New Jersey market.

Strong Gambling Market

From online casino and poker gaming to sports betting and the lottery, New Jersey offers it all. Players have access to a strong selection of online as well as land-based options in the state and revenues show that players are taking part. New Jersey is gearing up to move up on the list of top operating states in the US when it comes to gambling.

We shall see by the end of the year just how much the state has been able to benefit from the addition of sports betting as well as with the growth of their land-based and online gaming markets.

New Mexico Casino Set to Launch Sports Betting Next Week

Summary: As sports betting takes the nation by storm, yet another state is preparing to launch services.

It seems almost every day, new information surfaces on the subject of sports betting in the United States. Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi and West Virginia were among the first to begin offering the new gambling activity within their borders and other states are taking notice of the revenues being earned. Earlier this week, it was announced that a casino in New Mexico is now preparing to offer sports betting with the state’s Attorney General set to monitor the action.

Santa Ana Star Casino to Begin Services

New Mexico CasinosThe Santa Ana Casino & Hotel is set to begin offering sports betting services beginning on October 16th. The announcement was made yesterday morning when USBookmaking, a company based in Las Vegas, stated they had signed a partnership deal with the Santa Ana Pueblo tribe to install a sports book within the casino gaming venue. Gamblers will be able to visit the sportsbook and place wagers on sports ranging from the NFL to NASCAR.

US Bookmaking Director of Operations, John Salerno, commented on the new offering by stating that there will be action take on college sports, including the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State. Everything will be fair game except for high school sports.

The offering is being compared to a Las Vegas sportsbook, with employees being trained to write tickets and take bets as well as pay off any wins. The state of New Mexico is one of the more recent states to offer legal single game wagering.

No Help For the State

Because the casino is operated by a recognized Indian tribe, the venue does not have to provide revenues to the state. So, while the option will not have a monetary gain for the state, it should be beneficial in helping to bring in more tourism.

The gaming compacts of the state with the Native American tribes do not address sports betting specifically which opens the door for the Santa Ana casino to be able to offer the activity without having to see any regulation changes made. Sports betting is considered a Class III option, so the casinos are allowed to go ahead without any approval from the state.

Representative Moe Maestas has commented on how the sports betting options at the facility will not help the state. He also pointed out that there is relatively no legislation involving the matter and reportedly more tribal-run casinos are looking to get in on the action.

The new sportsbook is set to debut next week, so the traffic of the venue will be a strong indicator as to how well sports betting will do in the state. There seems to be a strong interest across the United States for the activity and the New Mexico casino already does very well as far as gaming revenues are concerned. This will just be yet another way that the venue will be able to make a profit.

Overall, the focus of the gambling industry in the United States has shifted greatly since Mid-May when the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was invalid. States have stopped focusing on online gaming and other elements to get started quickly in offering sports betting.

Lawmakers are seeing the value of sports betting, setting up legislation and regulations in order to get started in this new gambling market. It will be interesting to see how New Mexico fares and which states will be next to get started offering sports betting in the US.

SugarHouse Sees Success with Sportsbetting Thanks to Unified Wallet

Summary: SugarHouse Sportsbook of New Jersey did quite well in September, with figures more than double of what was earned in August.

Sports betting has certainly been increasing in the United States over the past few months. The states that have legalized the option are up and running with more and more operators getting in on the action over the past few weeks. In New Jersey, players have had access to sports betting longer than in other states like Mississippi and West Virginia as NJ was one of the first to begin offering services.

The SugarHouse brand operates an online casino in the state and of course, wanted in on sports betting as well.  The brand has reported that revenue earnings from last month were quite good, actually over 50% more than their figure from August. PlaySugarHouse.com offers online casino and sports betting options, with the brand stating it’s a great time to be a sports betting fan in New Jersey.

Mobile Betting and Unified Wallet

PlaySugarHouse Online CasinoThe progress of SugarHouse Sportsbook can be attributed to two things; mobile wagering and a unified wallet. With mobile betting, players can be on the go and place a sports bet, any time they like. The SugarHouse Sportsbook was the third to launch in the state and opened in time for the NFL season, which helped to increase overall revenues.

According to SugarHouse, over 80% of their wagers take place via their mobile application. Rush Street Interactive, the company behind the casino and sportsbook of SugarHouse, have commented on the performance of the company. Chief Operating Officer of Rush Street Interactive, Mattias Stetz, stated that they are happy with the numbers and that the player base continues to grow as the word is spreading about the volume of different live in-game betting options the brand provides as well as quality of their offering.

Unified Wallet

A second reason for the brand’s success is their unified wallet. Players can easily reach the sportsbook or casino from one place. The same wallet can be used to place wagers on each, which makes it simple for members to go back and forth from one online gaming option to the other. According to SugarHouse, their online casino wagers have actually increased since they launched sports betting.

The integration of both on Android and iOS systems plus the desktop site have helped players to have access. Add in the same account and wallet, both sectors are seeing growth across the board. The company has been able to recognize that easy access to sports betting for their base of customers at the casino was integral in seeing success with the new wagering option.

To take things to another level, SugarHouse decided to offer even more for their sports bettors. Players can access tutorials if they are unfamiliar with sports betting, to get to know their options. The brand has also launched a show hosted by David Tuchman, a professional sports bettor, that offers players insight into the industry. The show is called Tuck’s Tales and has been quite a hit among bettors.

Overall, sports betting is booming, particularly in New Jersey and especially with the SugarHouse Sportsbook. We will continue to watch over the coming months as the year comes to an end to see just how much the sportsbook grows and if their online casino continues to see growth as players sign up for new accounts via the online casino and sportsbook, integrating between both for an overall quality gaming experience.

NFL Games Help Propel Delaware Sports Betting

Summary: The kickoff of the NFL season has paid off well for sports betting in Delaware

One of the first states to get started with sports betting in the United States after the opportunity became available was Delaware. Over the past few months, the new industry has blossomed, but it wasn’t until the NFL season was in full swing that the bets really started rolling in. For the month of September, the state was able to earn $16.8 million, a major improvement for the industry.

NFL Pays Off

DelawareFor September, regulators have revealed that Delaware saw a total sports betting handle of $16.8 million. This was an increase of over $7.7 million. In Delaware, there are racinos in operation, instead of the traditional casino. Dover Downs, Delaware Park and Harrington Raceway all offer sports betting with their handle vastly improving last month thanks to the NFL season being in full swing.

The largest portion of the total monthly handle belongs to Delaware Park. The operator saw $11.6 million with Dover Downs and Harrington making up the difference. Dover Downs brought in a $3.2 million handle while Harrington had $2 million. The net proceeds for the state came in at $3.15 million, which considers wagers placed as well as those pending. This amount is just over $700,000 more than what was contributed in August.

The betting handle for the state does not include the parlay sports betting offering by the Lottery, which has been in operation for many years. Delaware was one of just four states, including Nevada, that was grandfathered in to be able to offer certain types of sports betting in the US. With the reversal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, states can now offer single-game wagering if legislation is in place within their state government to do so.

New Additions

The sports betting market of Delaware has grown some since first launching in June. This coming weekend, the Dover International Speedway will welcome a temporary retail sports betting station. The launch will come at the same time as the Sea Watch International NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff begins as well as the Gander Outdoors 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoff.

Those attending the events will be able to take part in sports betting as the station is located next ot the Delaware Lottery station at Victory Plaza. The station will be open on Saturday from nine in the morning until three in the afternoon. On Sunday, the area will open earlier at eight and close down at seven in the evening.

So far, NASCAR has not been a lucrative option for sports betting in the state. However, the upcoming events paired with the opportunity to wager could see that change. According to Vernon Kirk, the director of the Delaware Lottery, betting on NASCAR has only attracted around $60,000 in wagers since the option launched in June.

Kirk does expect that this number will increase once NASCAR fans realize they can wager at the Speedway. It will be interesting to see if the attendees take advantage of the new wagering station. The area will not only cater to NASCAR but other sports as well.

Sport betting has really taken off in the US, with Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi and West Virginia in full swing. Pennsylvania is gearing up to launch soon and even Washington D.C. is looking to get in on the action. As the year comes to an end and a new one begins, we are sure to see even more sports betting options on offer across the nation.

Eldorado Resorts Inc. Reportedly Fires Online Casino Staff of Tropicana AC

Summary: After acquiring the Tropicana Entertainment company, Eldorado Resorts reportedly decided to fire the staff that operates the online casino for the brand.

Online casino gaming is big business in the state of New Jersey. Since 2013, the state has allowed licensed operators in their borders to offer such services, providing poker and slot games, table games and more. The online casino industry has been particularly successful, with monthly revenue figures coming in at $20 million each and every month or higher. The Tropicana Atlantic City has been in the mix, offering online gaming to players in the state, though they have not been at the lead when it comes to traffic or revenue numbers.

Reportedly, the new owners of the brand has no plans to continue with online gaming as the staff that runs the internet options have been let go.

Online Staff Members Fired

Tropicana Atlantic CityAccording to Online Poker Report, an inside source has revealed that employees who run the online casino for the Tropicana brand in Atlantic City have been terminated. The source stated that they felt that the new owners, Eldorado Resorts Inc., have either no interest in operating online or they do not have confidence in the industry.

Comments by the company have yet to be made regarding the information by the source. It’s really unclear as to why the brand would move so quickly to eliminate the online gaming employees. The Tropicana tends to bring in around $3 million or more with their online operations. There is money to be made and since the brand is already earning with the option, it seems like it would have made more sense for the new owner to at least give it a try or even rebrand or revamp the offering in the future.

It was expected that the Eldorado Resort entering the markets of New Jersey and Pennsylvania as of late meant that the company was interested in online gaming and would participate. However, this recent admission by the source that is not really the case.

In Pennsylvania, Eldorado Resorts purchased the Lady Luck Nemacolin, however it is one casino that has yet to vie for online gambling licensing in the state. So, thus far, the brand has not made moves to offer online gaming in PA and they are doing the opposite in New Jersey it seems.

Focusing on Sports Betting

While the Eldorado Resorts company does not seem to be focused on online gaming, they are showing an interest in sports betting. The company already has a partnership with William Hill and are set to work with the brand in several states. It makes sense that the Tropicana would offer sports betting and that Eldorado Resorts would rely on their William Hill partnership.

The casino was already working on creating a retail outlet for sports betting and Eldorado Resort will no doubt continue their work. The sports betting business is going to be huge in the US, and New Jersey already has an early start. By being involved quickly, Eldorado Resorts will be able to hopefully push the Tropicana to the forefront of this blossoming industry.

While Eldorado should be using the Tropicana for land-based sports betting, it is still unclear as to if the brand will be providing online sports betting. If they are shutting down the online casino, it may be that they decide not to focus on online options in the beginning. Only time will tell exactly what will take place in the future with Eldorado Resorts at the helm of the Tropicana.

Sports Betting Possibly Coming to DC by Next Year

Summary: If recent sports betting plans are put into motion in D.C., the capital of the US could offer the activity as soon as next year.

A ruling by the United States Supreme Court back in May has had a major effect on the gambling industry in the states. Since SCOTUS decided to rule a federal ban on sports betting invalid, states across the nation have begun to pass legislation and begin offering the wagering option within their borders. State after state now offer the activity, including Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi and West Virginia. Just recently, talks began in the nation’s capital of Washington D.C., which could result in gambling as soon as next year.

What’s on the Horizon?

Washington DC CasinosIn speaking with Legal Sports Report, Jack Evans, a Council member in DC, stated that if everything goes according to plan, then sports betting would be live by Major League Baseball’s opening day in 2019. The Committee on Finance and Revenue is set to host a public hearing on the 17th of this month to discuss a measure introduced by Evans last month titled the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018.

It is interesting to note that the capital city is talking about passing sports betting legislation at the same time as the lawmakers of Congress are debating as to whether or not oversight should be provided by the federal government now that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act is no longer in play.

A hearing took place last week to discuss sports betting’s current state in the nation and nothing is really expected to come of this meeting. Many felt that lawmakers might try to push for some federal legislation but so far, nothing is happening.

Moving Forward

For the sports betting measure to move forward in D.C., it will need to be voted on and approved by the Finance Committee as well as be approved by the 13 member council. Any bill that is passed by the council and the mayor gives a signature, must then be given to Congress for a review that can last 30 days.

If the bill is sent to the House and not acted on in the 30 day time frame, then the measure will automatically become law in the capital city.

Within the measure, it states that the Office of Lottery and Gaming will be the authority on the new industry and the chief financial officer of the group will be the overseer.

A license to operate sports betting would come at a $50,000 price tag, with the license good for a two year time frame. Operators will then have to pay a 10% tax on their gross sports betting revenues. Revenues paid to the District will be used to fund early childhood development programs as well as arts and humanities programs.

If the bill were to become law, the nation’s capital would be able to offer sports betting in several settings including online gaming. For a region to be successful, online gaming is a must. Because consumers use their mobile devices more frequently than ever before, it just makes sense to make the option available online.

According to the bill’s creator, Evans, sports betting could take place at sports bars in the region as well as within hotels. Evans actually wants to focus on hotels, creating a model bill that the rest of the country can use to create their own sports betting environment.

Only time will tell if the measure will gain approval and if D.C. will become the next region of the US to offer sports betting.

Atlantic City Casino Industry Continues to see Growth

Summary: Despite two new casinos now operating in the market, Atlantic City continues to thrive, with no signs of cannibalization or saturation.

For some time now, Atlantic City has seen tremendous growth. Just a few years ago, the area had been subject to casinos shutting down and other venues threatened by continually low revenue numbers. However, over the past two years, the region has seen an increase in the industry, as casinos begin to thrive. Just a few months ago, two new casinos opened up in the area, which caused many to worry if the market would become cannibalized or saturated. Surprisingly, with two more casinos on the market, Atlantic City continues to thrive, with growth showing no signs of stopping.

August Revenues

Atlantic CityLast month was one of the best in the state when it comes to the casino industry of Atlantic City. Total gaming revenue reached close to $300 million for the second month running. In most every aspect of the industry, year-over-year growth was seen.

Land based casinos were up by just over 20% while online gaming was up 16.6%. Total gaming revenues were up by 1%. The overall growth was due to several factors including online gaming revenues continuing to soar, the two new land-based casinos launching and the launch of sports betting in brick and mortar venues as well as online.

Both the Ocean Resort Casino and the Hard Rock Atlantic City venues opened in June and have quickly been busy with traffic as players get to know what the two properties have to offer. In August, both casinos generated over $50 million. This helped to push land-based casino revenues up by just over 20%. The two venues were able to generate new revenue which helps to see even more earnings for the state. Instead of grabbing a market share, the two venues have created new earnings.

Of the two, the Hard Rock has pushed forward as a real contender in the market. The brand appears to be a competitor and should rise quickly within the ranks of gaming operators in the state. The venue has earned over $30 million in July and August and should continue to show growth as the year comes to an end.

Going Forward

As 2018 comes to an end, New Jersey continues to reach new milestones. There are currently nine casinos in operation in the state, with players having access to land-based gaming, online casino and poker gaming, and sports betting in land-based and online formats.

The casinos are showing no signs of slowing down when it comes to revenue earnings. The properties continue to earn millions in revenues each month, surpassing the $20 million-mark time and time again. If the state continues to keep up this pace, they could very well reach even more milestones by the end of the year.

If the state continues to do as well as they are currently, they may surpass Nevada as the top gaming state in the US. So far, New Jersey continues to be the top state when it comes to online gaming, offering more than Nevada as they provide only online poker.

New Jersey should be able to remain supreme for quite some time. The state does not have any stiff competition as of yet, though Pennsylvania may give them a run for their money when they launch.

Borgata Announces Added Value to Online Poker Series

Summary: The Garden State Super Series Fall Edition will now offer even more events and guaranteed prize money.

In New Jersey, gamblers have access to several activities when it comes to online gambling. The state provides options for online poker and casino gaming as well as sports betting. When it comes to the online offerings, operators are finding that their online casino games are far more lucrative then online poker. For some reason, online poker traffic numbers are on the low end. To try and combat the low earnings of poker, operators have to provide something new and interesting. This week, it was announced that the Borgata has upped their game when it comes to online poker, increasing the number of events as well as guaranteed prize money for their popular Garden State Super Series Fall Edition.

This Edition

Borgata Casino Atlantic CityFor the fall edition, the Garden State Super Series will offer 24 total tournament events with over $450,000 in guaranteed prize money up for grabs. Both the number of events and cash on offer is higher than last year’s series. Registration to compete is already open for players located in New Jersey, with partypoker, the Borgata and playMGM all offering the ability to register.

The series will run from October 14thuntil the 21st, offering eight days of tournament game play. Of that number, four of the events are satellites. There will be $0.25 qualifiers taking place, with players able to win seats to the Sunday tournaments during each weekend of the series.

There will be 20 primary events taking place during the series, offering buy-ins on the low end at $35 and the highest being $1,060. One of the higher buy-in events will include a purple chip bounty which will see $500 paid to the players who knock out an opponent. For fans of bounty events, there will be three on the schedule.

The most anticipated event is sure to be the Main Event, offering the largest prize pool guarantee at $100,000. The buy-in is relatively affordable at $320. Players will also find a High Roller event on the schedule, with a $50,000 guaranteed prize pool and a $1,000 buy-in.

Offering More

In 2017, the Garden State Super Series offered only 14 events and a guaranteed prize pool total of $375,000. This year’s schedule offers more in both categories, but will there be enough interest to see each event meet its guaranteed offering?

In the United States, New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware are the only states that currently offer online poker. Of those three, New Jersey is the one that sees the most traffic, however, they struggle to earn even $1 million a month in revenues. Players have seemingly taken to playing online casino games rather than online poker.

So, will there be enough interest in the Garden State Super Series Fall edition for the guarantees to be met? Or will the Borgata have to meet overlays? With the lower buy-in events, it is expected that the player numbers will be high enough to meet the guarantees. For the higher buy-in events, it might be a little more difficult, such as the ones with the $1,060 buy-in.

Hopefully, there will be enough participation and guarantees will be met. Players are usually excited about online poker tournament events, especially when they can win their seat to a large event. We shall see by November just how the series impacted the industry and if it helped the online poker portion see higher revenues than normal.

Online Gambling Opponents to Attend Upcoming Sports Betting Hearing in Congress

Summary: Opponents of online gambling are scheduled to speak during an upcoming Congress hearing on sports betting.

This Thursday, a hearing is set to take place in Congress involving the subject of sports betting. Since the May ruling by the US Supreme Court allowing states to legalize and regulate the industry, lawmakers have since been discussing if some sort of federal oversight is needed. The hearing is set to discuss the current climate with the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations hosting the meeting.

This same group hosted a hearing for online gambling in the US, discussing the Restoration of America’s Wire Act, a thorn in the side of every online gambling proponent. With this new hearing on sports betting, there will be five speakers in attendance. Included on the list is Professor John Kindt, of the University of Illinois. Mr. Kindt attended the hearing in 2015 on RAWA and was part of the problem involving the discussions. He is anti-gambling and will be joined by Jon Bruning, a Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling counselor, also anti-gambling of course.

Both will be in attendance during the meeting and will be doing their best to see sports betting be nonproductive and potentially harmful. Thankfully, there will be real experts on hand as well who will be able to show the benefits of a regulated and legalized industry.

Also on the schedule are Sara Slane, the Senior VP of Public Affairs for the American Gaming Association, Jocelyn Moor, the Executive VP, Communications and Public Affairs for the NFL and Becky Harris, a Nevada Gaming Control Board Chair.

What is the Goal of the Hearing?

The hearing that will take place this week is not about trying to prohibit sports betting, so that’s a plus. It is also not focused on stopping any other type of gambling in the states, such as online gaming. The goal is to determine if the federal government needs to have a role in sports betting. Of course, Kindt and Bruning will try to prove otherwise, so the other three speakers will have to continue to prove why online gambling as well as sports betting should be allowed in the states.

It’s really a wonder why the two men are being allowed to speak during the hearing. Hopefully, they will continue to spew information that is considered invalid and they will not be asked back again during any future hearings or discussions on such matters.

Most experts feel that the result of this week’s meeting will be nothing and that it is virtually taking place to make people happy. In most cases, nothing will happen during the hearing and states will continue to have the option to create legislation involving sports betting and regulating the industry within their borders.

However, there is a chance that discussions might progress and the scope of a potential framework bill within the federal government may be considered. But, for the most part, it is anticipated that the hearing will take place and nothing will happen afterwards.

We will watch and see what takes place during the upcoming hearing and report any pertinent information. It will be amusing to see if Kindt or Bruning make fools of themselves by trying to bring up old arguments involving online gaming, trying to relate them to sports betting, though the opponent’s arguments basically do not hold up. Only time will tell what will happen after this week’s hearing comes to an end.

PokerStars Introduces New VR Technology

Summary: Top online poker giant PokerStars has decided to create a new VR experience that they are currently testing.

PokerStars is known for providing quality online poker gaming around the world. The brand operates in several countries around the globe, including in the United States. The PokerStars NJ site is one of the most popular in the region, offering players a vast mix of gaming options, from cash games to tournaments and more. Just recently, it was announced that the brand is working on a VR experience, which could bring a whole new realm of possibilities to the online poker world.

PokerStars VR

Virtual Reality will be brought to the online poker world via PokerStars with their new VR option. The brand has decided to work with Lucky VR to create a new experience in their social gaming. With PokerStars VR, players will find that both online and live play options have been added to take the gaming experience to a new level.

Earlier this week, the PokerStars director of Poker Innovation and Operations, Severin Rasset, spoke to the press about what to expect with PokerStars VR. Mr. Rasset stated:

PokerStars VR is a chance for us to take this amazing technology and bring something totally unique to poker players. Poker is about interaction. It’s been bringing people together for well over a century. We’re really excited to invest in the next generation of the game and to give players the opportunity to meet in a brand-new virtual reality dimension.

In the press release by the company, PokerStars explained that the new experience will be a way for players to be able to come together from all areas around the world in a virtual space where the card room avatars can interact in the game as well as dress how they like, socialize, chat and entertain each other. The goal seems to be to create an experience that would be similar to if the players were actually in the same room with each other.

What to Expect

PokerStarsWith the new VR option, players can expect game play to be brought to life. The VR option actually responds to voice commands, so players will have to be careful when they respond outloud during the game. You don’t want to go all-in when you aren’t ready! Or fold for that matter!

The games will offer a fully-immersive experience, with players being able to watch for tells, shuffle their chips and more. The way that people play and respond in real life will be available in the virtual reality card room, making for quite the unique online poker experience.

Players can act nice or act out, however they like. In the VR information provided by PokerStars, it even mentions that players can smoke a cigar, throw food or own a pet if they like. Players can choose to act crazy during game play or be civilized, or even a mix of both!

With the VR gaming, players have the ability to choose their location. PokerStars has offered five locations thus far: the Macau 2050, The Macau Suite, The Showdown Saloon, the Monte-Carlo Yacht and The Void.

The VR experience lists player leaderboards as well as private tables and the ability to earn free chips each day after spinning a fun wheel. The new product is also included in Twitch and Oculus Rift so players can keep track of gaming that way as well.

So far, the new option is closed as it is in the beta testing phase. Once this phase is complete, PokerStars should provide more info on what’s next for the product.

New Hampshire Quietly Begins Online Lottery Gaming

Summary: After rolling out lottery products online this week, the state of New Hampshire becomes the 6thin the US to go online with lottery gaming.

The lottery is one of the oldest forms of gambling found in the United States. Several states offer such lottery products as the Powerball and Mega Millions, with players hoping to be the next big jackpot winner. Across the United States, the lottery provides hundreds of millions in revenues as well as prizes, being one of the top gaming money makers in the nation.

Because land-based lottery was so popular, it was only a matter of time before online gaming would come to pass. Just this week, the state of New Hampshire quietly decided to launch their online lottery products, offering several gaming options to players. The state is the 6thin the US to launch instant win lottery tickets online.

What’s On Offer?

New Hampshire CasinosThe New Hampshire Lottery decided to work with NeoPollard Interactive for their platform, with the company offering a turnkey online lottery solution. The company already offers the same services in other jurisdictions of North America. NeoPollard will be providing the platform as well as managing several areas of the online lottery for New Hampshire.

New Hampshire Lottery Executive Director Charlie McIntyre commented that the lottery decided to go with NeoPollard Interactive because they wanted to get it right when it came to the online launch. McIntyre stated that the experience of NeoPollard both domestically and internationally in the industry demonstrated the best practice technology and enhanced player experience in the online space.

On the launch, McIntyre stated:

We have long viewed ourselves as a player-centric lottery. Our focus in everything we do is how best to make our products entertaining and accessible to our customers by creating a strong and positive play experience. Launching iLottery is the critical next wave component in enhancing our players direct interaction with our games.

The online lottery offers only a select few instant win and draw games with their initial launch. The list of games will grow over time, however for the beginning, the New Hampshire online lottery offers only the following:

  • 10x The Cash
  • Blazing Red 7’s
  • Diamond Payout
  • Jackpot Cash
  • Multiplier Max Out
  • Pot O’Gold
  • Wizard Of All
  • VIP Black

Players also have the option of purchasing Powerball tickets and Mega Millions tickets online. Numbers are easily selected, or players can choose a quick pick option. To be able to purchase lottery tickets online, players must have an account with the NH Lottery and be at least 18 years of age or older. Players have to also be physically located in the state to participate. Creating an account requires players to submit their name, address, date of birth and last four digits associated with their Social Security account.

Online Lottery Gaming in the US

New Hampshire actually passed online lottery legislation in the summer of 2017, so it has taken some time for the gaming to be implemented. The first states to offer full online lottery gaming in the US were Illinois, Georgia and Michigan, followed by Kentucky, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. New York and Main also offer online lottery gaming but it is a subscription service.

It is expected that other states will begin to offer online lottery services in the future. It is unclear as to if any other states will begin offering such services this year as 2018 is about to come to an end. We should see 2019 begin with several states getting in on the action, as lawmakers begin to see just how much in revenues can be earned with online lottery gaming.

Pennsylvania Casinos Revenue Trends Upwards In August

Summary: The 12 casinos operating in Pennsylvania saw a nice increase in revenues for August, after a slow July.

In July, the 12 operating casinos in the state of Pennsylvania saw a decrease in revenues, which was not what the gaming venues wanted to see. Thankfully, the month of August saw a turnaround, with the facilities bringing a nice monthly gain. In total, slot machines were up as well as total gaming revenues while the table games took a small hit.

August Numbers

Pennsylvania Online GamblingFor the month of August, the slot machine totals for the 12 gaming venues came in at just over $201 million. This was an increase of 4.42%. For table games, the totals came in at just over $73 million which is a slight 1.33% drop. Total gaming revenues were up 2.82% with $275 million earned.

Last year, the state saw a huge issue with slot gaming. It seemed as though month after month the state was seeing lower slot revenue numbers. Thankfully, this year, there has been a turn around. August is just another example as to how the state has been able to bounce back via the slot games.

In late 2017, the state was brining in between $181 million and $189 million each month. This year, the numbers have been well over the $200 million mark with March being super successful, bringing in a total of more than $221 million.

For August, the slot numbers continued to surpass the $200 million mark with the seven of the casinos in the state seeing an overall increase for the month with slot and table games combined. Parx Casino held the lead in revenue increases with 8.51% while Rivers Casino was close behind at 8.16%. Valley Forge Casino, SugarHouse and Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course all saw increases in the 6% range.

So far this year, the casinos in the state continue to do well and should see a solid total by the end of 2018. On top of the traditional land-based casino gaming, the state is also preparing to get started with online gaming as well as satellite casinos.

Online Licensing

In Pennsylvania, yet another round of online gambling licensing has completed. Now, there are a total 11 casinos out of the 13 potential brands that have obtained some type of online gambling licensing. Up for grabs in the state are online poker, online slots and table games. Operators can apply for one of each licenses or apply for all three.

Just recently, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board decided to open the licensing process up to other operators, not just those who are already licensed in Pennsylvania. Such operators just have to meet certain qualifications before they will be approved for licensing. However, so far, there have not been any operators who have applied that do not have licensing.

Two operators, the Meadows and Lady Luck are the only existing operators who have not applied for online gaming licensing in the state. So far, it has yet to be revealed if the operators will be applying in the future.

Remaining is two slot licenses, two table game licenses and three for online poker. We shall see in the coming weeks if outside entities decide to vie for the remaining licensing or if they remain unclaimed.

There has yet to be a date announced for when the online gaming operations will be live but as operators are being approved, they can then begin the process of starting up sites and working on geolocation technology.

MGM Springfield Successful in August Generating $9.4m in revenues

Summary: Having just opened a short time ago, the new MGM Springfield resort casino is already generating a massive amount of gross gaming revenues.

The MGM Springfield is the newest casino resort in the state of Massachusetts, having first opened on August 24th. The casino had a construction cost of $960 million and already has been very popular among guests after only a few days of operation. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has released the gross gaming revenue report for the venue for August, and after only being open just over a week, the property managed to earn just over $9.4 million.

Busy First Week

The MGM Springfield was very busy during their less than eight days of operation in August. The property offers both slots and table games, with both seeing nice revenues for the days last month that the venue was open. Slots brought in just over $7.3 million while table games generated just over $2.1 million. From that amount, $2.3 million in taxes was generated for the state.

Michael Mathis, the President of MGM Springfield, commented on the opening numbers by stating:

While these gaming revenue figures represent less than eight days of operations in August, they demonstrate MGM Springfield’s tremendously successful opening week, when we welcomed more than 150,000 visitors in our first weekend alone. We are pleased our efforts to design a resort to complement Downtown Springfield is being so enthusiastically received.

Before opening officially, the MGM Springfield hosted two testing days with gaming on offer. Once the property passed the testing phase, then a VIP celebration was hosted before the grand opening event. The facility has seen large crowd numbers since opening and is sure to boost the overall gambling revenues as well as taxes paid in the state when added to what is already being produced at existing venues.

Other Operator Totals

The MGM Springfield joins an already robust gambling industry in Massachusetts and will only help to see the industry continue to grow. The revenues generated by MGM Springfield are divided in a particular way due to the property being a Category 1 resort casino. A total of 25% of the gross gaming revenue is taxed and the revenues are then place towards state funds that are determined based on state law.

Since the MGM is located in Springfield, they have signed a Host Community Agreement with the host city. The MGM property will pay $17.6 million in annual taxes, with that total beginning this fiscal year.

A ‘Minor’ Problem

While the MGM Springfield has done well with revenue earnings and visitor numbers, there have experienced a small problem since opening. Underage gambling has become an issue as patrons under the legal gambling age have been able to access the gaming floor. In the state, the legal gambling age is 21. However, patrons under that age have been seen on the gambling floor, which is a big no-no.

The property has recognized the problem and alerted the Gaming Commission. They have been given time to try and eliminate the issue. Officials of the property feel that part of the problem is that patrons are unaware that anyone under 21 is not allowed on the casino floor because the community is not used to having gaming facility access.

The property will have to come up with a solution that works or face stiff penalties in the future if children are found on the gaming floor, especially if an underage individual is allowed to gamble.

Gaming Control Board Opens Up Interactive Licensing to Any Qualified Gaming Entity

Summary: The Gaming Control Board of Pennsylvania has approved two applications for interactive licensing and opened up the process to any qualified gaming entity.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board met today, deciding to approve the Hollywood Casino and SugarHouse Casino for an interactive license. The approvals are still subject to conditions that must be met, but both casinos are expected to have their online gaming offerings launched as quickly as they can.

As far as the remaining licensing options up for grabs, the Gaming Control Board decided they will now let any qualified gaming entity apply. The licenses that remain will be given at random with a drawing taking place at a later date.

Online Gaming Operator Update

Pennsylvania StateBefore today, the Gaming Control Board met on August 15th and decided to approve Mount Airy Casino, Harrah’s and Parx for online gaming. All three were approved for slot gaming, table games and online poker. The SugarHouse and Hollywood were also approved for all three categories.

Now, there are seven interactive gaming licenses that have yet to be paid for. This includes three for online poker, two for online table games and two for online slot games. The remaining licenses are uneven due to the fact that the Presque Isle Downs only applied for table gaming and slots, deciding to avoid taking on an online poker license.

So far, only two casinos in Pennsylvania have not submitted an application for online gaming. This includes the Lady Luck Casino and The Meadows Racetrack. The soon to be operator of the Lady Luck, Churchill Downs, is also the owner of Presque Isle Downs. The brand can offer the games via the Presque Isles and use the Lady Luck to promote, instead of paying more for licensing.

Penn National leases The Meadows and they were recently approved for online licensing via the Hollywood Casino. They will most likely not apply as well, especially since each license costs $4 million.

With the licensing that remains, the Gaming Control Board announced during today’s meeting that any qualifying entity can enter the random draw to hopefully be chosen. This means that a company that does not currently have licensing for casino gaming in the state can now apply.

Qualifying Gaming Entities

So, what does being a qualifying gaming entity mean? There are certain criteria that an operator must meet in order to be viable for licensing. First of all, the operator has to be licensed in another gaming jurisdiction and be in good standing. The other gaming jurisdiction licensing standards must be comprehensive and have similar safeguards like those in Pennsylvania.

Company’s interested in licensing must also have business experience and expertise in operating an interactive gaming system. By meeting this criteria, a company will be considered in the state and be able to submit their name in the upcoming drawing once it is scheduled.

As far as the up and coming operators are concerned, the Hollywood Casino has plans to offer online poker and live dealer games by next year. Online slots and table games are expected to launch by later on this year and at the latest early next year. The company is working with IGT as well as GeoComply and Aristotle to ensure quality technology, geolocation and age/ID verification processes run smoothly.

Players have been anxiously awaiting the online gaming offerings in Pennsylvania to begin. It will be interesting to see who launches first and how well received they are by players once online gaming is up and running in the state.

WSOP To Launch New Online Poker Series in New Jersey and Nevada

Summary: The WSOP will be launching a new online poker series this month, available to players in the United States.

Online poker is alive and well in the United States, though revenue numbers are not what they were estimated to be when states like Nevada and New Jersey launched gaming sites. Over the past few years, the online poker scene in the US has struggled, despite big players like the World Series of Poker and 888 offering services. We have now learned that the WSOP is making efforts to push their online poker brand in New Jersey and Nevada by launching a new series beginning this month.

WSOP Online Circuit

WSOP Online PokerKnown as the WSOP Online Circuit, the new online poker option will be a first for the brand, at least online. The WSOP already offers a circuit, with tournaments offered across the United States at various casinos. Players who take part in the WSOPC earn rings and now, players will be able to do the same, but online.

The first ever WSOP Online Circuit will take place from September 18th until the 30th. There will be 13 events on the schedule, each offering up a coveted gold ring. Over $700,000 in guaranteed prize money will be up for grabs. Because multi-state poker gaming is in play, poker fans of New Jersey and Nevada will both be able to compete at the same time during the circuit events.

The tournaments on offer will have buy-ins ranging from $200 to $1,000, making the events relatively affordable. The high end is reserved for the High Roller event on the schedule. For the most part, players will be paying $200 to $300 to take part.

There are several notable events on the upcoming scheduling including a Monster Stack and of course, the Main Event. The Monster Stack will have a buy-in of $320 with a prize pool guarantee set at $100,000. Players will be given 20,000 in starting chips with blind levels increasing every 12 minutes.

The Main Event is sure to be a popular tournament during the new series. The event will have a buy-in of $525 and will offer $200,000 in guaranteed prize money. Chip stacks are set at 15,000 with blind levels increasing every 15 minutes.

Upping Their Online Presence

Over the past few years, the WSOP has worked hard to maintain a strong online presence. The brand has provided multiple online events during the land-based WSOP so that players can be at the WSOP but also compete online. Within the past few years, the WSOP has increased the number of events they offer players online so that gamblers can compete online when in Las Vegas. Most players who are at the WSOP May through July do not have access to online gaming, so this gives them an opportunity to give it a try. Players are sure to enjoy the upcoming tournament series which starts in just a few days.

Caesars Mobile Sports Betting App Launches Hours Before NFL Season Begins

Summary: Just hours before the NFL season began, Caesars launched their online sports betting app in New Jersey.

Over the past few months, sports betting has been booming in the United States. After the US Supreme Court decided to rule in favor of New Jersey in their case taking on the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, sports betting began a reality for every state in the nation. Lawmakers worked quickly to launch services, especially with the NCAA and NFL starting in September. New Jersey was one of the first states to begin offering services, with one operator launching online services just hours before the NFL season began.

Let’s Get Started

Caesars EntertainmentOnce sports betting was a reality in the states, existing gaming operators in every state began to look for partnerships and licensing opportunities to get started. Because the legality change took place in May, states had time to get the ball rolling with activity before football season began. In the US, football is the most popular sport, considering both the NCAA and NFL. The goal of each state that had passed legislation for sports betting was to get started before the two football seasons began.

The NCAA actually kicked off last weekend with several New Jersey operators already offering services. However, Caesars had yet to launch their online option. The NFL kicked off their season last night with the Philadelphia Eagles taking on the Atlanta Falcons. Just hours before the game began, Caesars launched their new online sportsbook platform.

The application was ready just in time to launch before the NFL season officially kicked off. The app provided by Caesars is powered by Scientific Games, and the launch marks the 6th online/mobile option to launch in the state within the last five weeks.

Caesars NJ actually added their sportsbook to their existing online casino app, which can be downloaded via Android and iOS devices. Gaming can be accessed via app as well as mobile browsers.

The brand cut it super close to providing their app before the National Football League season began. Players should find the app offers smooth transactions from the very beginning, as the option is connected to the existing online casino. Players can use PayPal and/or credit cards to fund their sports betting transactions.

The application is also connected to Caesars Total Rewards program which allows players to earn rewards for their activity. The addition of the reward program access is sure to be an enticing factor for players as they want to be able to earn incentives while wagering from home or on the go.

Continually Growing

The sports betting industry of New Jersey is continually growing. In the beginning, the industry included only a few retail sportsbooks. As football season drew near, more operators began a soft launch in preparation. By kickoff, eight land-based sports books had launched services. The option to offer sports betting is also no longer tied to just casinos and racetracks. Online options have now launched with DraftKings launching a sportsbook on the 1st of August followed by SugarHouse, playMGM, FanDuel and William Hill.

With sports betting in full swing, over the new few months, we should be able to see just how the new industry will impact New Jersey’s gambling environment. The beginning of NCAA and the NFL ensures that the state is about to make a nice profit with players having access to sports wagering now that their favorite teams will be in action.

United States Sports Betting Update

Summary: FanDuel and William Hill have launched mobile betting options in the states, along with updates in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Since mid-May, the United States has been booming when it comes to sports betting options. As soon as the United States Supreme Court decided to rule in favor of New Jersey with the state’s sports betting case, lawmakers jumped at the chance to introduce regulations and begin offering the wagering action within their state borders. Several states had already legalized the activity in anticipation of a positive ruling. Such states including New Jersey and Delaware, the first two to offer services. Now, several updates have been made, including the launch of new mobile betting services and other states getting in on the action.

FanDuel and William Hill Go Live

United StatesOver the weekend, both William Hill and FanDuel launched mobile betting options in New Jersey, providing gamblers with the ability to wager online. Now, the state has five total operators offering online gaming options in the sports betting sector.

The FanDuel Sportsbook can be used via iOS and Android devices, as well as with a desktop. William Hill only provides their app via Android but will most certainly offer more formats in the future. The weekend saw the two companies launching a soft test of their products, with wagering offered to only a select few punters until they are given the go ahead to launch fully by the Division of Gaming Enforcement.

Additional online gaming options available in New Jersey involving sports betting include PlayMGM NJ Sports, DraftKings and SugarHouse Sportsbook.

Pennsylvania Sports Betting

While FanDuel is live in New Jersey online, they are also preparing to be active in Pennsylvania as well. Reportedly, the company is set to announce a sports betting deal with Valley Forge Casino, a gaming venue in the state. The company also is operational in West Virginia via Greenbrier Resort.

In August, FanDuel announced they had signed a new partnership with Boyd Gaming, which is the new owner of the Valley Forge Casino. The gaming venue has yet to submit an application to offer sports betting, but they are expected to do so. In the state, any operator who applies for sports betting licensing must wait a 90 day time frame before launching, with the time period starting with the filing of paperwork.

Betting Kiosks in the Mix

Other areas where sports betting is coming in to play is with betting kiosks. Both New Jersey and Mississippi now have betting kiosks in operation, thanks to SBTech. The company is based in Europe and focuses on creating betting technology. They have now launched on-property sportsbetting technology in both states, via three casino operators.

The products created by SBTech are available at Harlow’s and Riverwalk in Mississippi, two gaming venues owned by Churchill Downs Inc. The Golden Nugget and the Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City also offer the new betting kiosks.

In Mississippi, SBTech is able to operate via a gaming license. In New Jersey, the company is currently offering services via a transaction waiver. The self-service kiosks allow players to place bets on their own, helping to free up the betting windows of the sports books.

Just like Mississippi, New Jersey and Delaware, West Virginia is yet another state that offers sports betting in the United States. The first venue to offer sports betting in the state is the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races. The venue actually started offering sports betting two days ahead of schedule on August 30th.

Pearl River Resort Launches Sports Betting in Mississippi

Summary: Having launched sports betting this week, the Pearl River Resort becomes the first tribal run casino offering the activity outside the state of Nevada.

After the United States Supreme Court decided to rule that states could begin to legalize sports betting back in May, lawmakers wasted no time getting regulations in place to offer the option. Mississippi was one of the first states to pass legislation and one of the first to begin offering wagers on sports to their residents and visitors. Just this week, the Pearl River Resort of Choctaw began providing sports betting services, the first tribal operated venue to do outside of the state of Nevada.

Sports Betting Launch

MississippiThe Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians operates the casino, which hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday to commemorate the new offering. The sports betting facility is now fully operational and offers players the ability to place wagers on a variety of sports genres. The launch comes just a short time after the Choctaw Gaming Commission gave their approval for new sports betting regulations which allowed the venue to begin offering the new option.

The casino operator decided to place the sports book within the Gold Moon Casino with the title Timeout Lounge. The lounge has twenty televisions where sports fans can watch the big games after placing their wagers. There are three wagering stations on offer, making it easy for visitors to place bets. The bar of the lounge has charging stations for mobile devices which will come in handy as players are going to be able to take part in mobile betting soon.

The tribe has announced that they plan on offering mobile betting so that visitors of the Pearl River Resort will be able to place bets from anywhere on-site. With mobile betting, the resort will be able to offer their visitors even more. Players will be more likely to take part in the mobile wagering if they are more apt to play casino games and not wanting to spend all their time in the sports book.

Third State to Offer Sports Betting

Mississippi became the third state to get in on the sports betting action, launching services soon after Delaware and New Jersey. The first two casinos in the state to offer services were the Gold Strike Casino of Tunica and the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino located in Biloxi. Properties owned by MGM launched their services when August arrived.

Mississippi is the only state in the south to currently offer sports betting. With the NCAA season kicking off and the NFL not far behind, the gaming venues of the state are sure to see visitors from Alabama, Tennessee and other nearby states get in on the sports betting action. The state should be able to gain a good stronghold in the new industry and earn quite a bit during their first few months of operation.

It is interesting to note that tribes in Mississippi are able to provide sports betting services due to their existing state compact. The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act notes that tribes who are federally recognized can offer Class III products which would include sports betting, if the state in which they are located allows such options, which Mississippi does.

It will be interesting to watch in the coming months how well the state does in the new sports betting industry. It will not be surprising to see millions added in monthly gaming revenues as players begin taking advantage of the new gambling option.

888 Casino New Jersey Adds Live Dealer Roulette

Summary: Online gamers in New Jersey can now access two live roulette variations when visiting 888 Casino.

Live dealer gaming is perhaps the most popular option when it comes to online gaming in the United States. Players love being able to take part in live dealer games in real time, rather than with a computer generated game format. In New Jersey, the first operator to offer live dealer gaming was the Golden Nugget and they remained the only option for live dealer for some time. However, over the past few months, additional operators have been getting in on the action. 888 Casino was one such operator to focus efforts on live dealer and now the brand has even more to offer with the launch of live dealer roulette.

Two Variations

New Jersey888 Casino in New Jersey offers players two variations of roulette gaming, American Roulette and Slingshot Roulette. With the American version, players are competing in the basic roulette game with the two-zero wheel. With Slingshot, players will be competing in the game where an automated system launches the roulette ball.

The live dealer roulette games at 888 Casino are very immersive. Players genuinely feel like they are at the casino, even though gaming is taking place at home. The casino uses the finest tools to create the life-like experience. From camera angles to the dealers interacting with every player, gaming is of the highest quality and quite enjoyable for everyone.

Players who are familiar with the game of American Roulette will easily be able to enjoy this option. All of the wagering options are listed on the site, including Straight options, Split Bets, Corner Bets, etc. Inside and Outside bets are covered. Players who are new to the game can use their mouse to hover over a bet type to learn more about the option before making a decision.

With the addition of roulette, 888 Casino now offers Baccarat, Three Card Poker, Blackjack and Ultimate Texas Hold’em within their live dealer category. 888 worked with Evolution Gaming to provide the next option in their live dealer section. Players can easily get started enjoying the 888 Casino live dealer games by visiting the online casino and reviewing the live dealer tab.

Busy Gaming Provider

Evolution Gaming is quite busy in New Jersey, as they are not only a partner of 888 Casino but also the Hard Rock AC, SugarHouse and Ocean Resort Casino. The company already provides live dealer for Hard Rock and SugarHouse and Ocean Resort will be adding the option in the near future.

While 888 and the other mentioned online casinos are investing in live dealer gaming, it will be some time, if ever, that they are able to compete with the Golden Nugget. Having started live dealer gaming in the state, the Golden Nugget continues to reign supreme. The online casino continues to reach new milestones, having more recently hit the $9 million mark in monthly earnings.

The brand is at the forefront when it comes to live dealer gaming, being the first to introduce a live dealer option straight from their casino floor instead of a studio. The introduction of Casino Floor Roulette was quite innovative, allowing players to compete at the roulette table of the casino floor, instead of using a studio to provide live game play.

It will be interesting to see if the new content elevates 888 Casino further and just how successful they will be now that they offer even more live dealer gaming options.

Illinois Lawmakers Continue to Consider Gambling Expansion

Summary: After Senate and House committees met last week to hear gambling expansion ideas, lawmakers are set to continue discussions in October.

Like every other state in the US, Illinois is trying to figure out how to bring in more money. Last week, a joint hearing took place involving House and Senate committees where testimony was heard involving a gambling expansion bill that would see several changes in the state. Included in the mix is six new casinos as well as more gaming options added to the existing casinos and horse track allowed to add slot machines.

Movement Tends to Stall

IllinoisThe gambling expansion bill was passed by the Senate last year but never came up for a vote in the House. The goal of the discussions was to help push for some type of movement regarding the possible expansion of gambling in the state. Back in the spring, the House decided to add an amendment to the legislation to allow race tracks to provide table games as well as slots. The amendment would also see more video gaming terminals added to businesses that offer this option.

The state is set to host another hearing in October, this time in the capital of Springfield. During this meeting, lawmakers are to consider sports betting along with fantasy sports legislation. While discussions are a good starting point, Illinois has a long track record of presenting legislation for expanded gambling only to see efforts fail.

Representative Mike Zalewski, House Revenue Committee chair, was part of last week’s meeting and stated that there is ‘enough wind at our backs’ that if the right balance is struck, many lawmakers would say the expansion is worth doing. According to Zalewski, no matter who wins the election in November, the state is still going to be behind financially, and a solution must be found.

Proponents Exist

An expansion for Illinois as far as gambling is concerned has been on the table for some time. There are lawmakers on board as well as stakeholders. Chris Stone is a developer and lobbyist of Springfield who hopes to see the changes come to pass. Stone would like to create a casino in the downtown area of Springfield and provide video gaming to the state fairgrounds.

Currently, a casino for Springfield is not included in the gaming expansion bill. For now, Stone will continue to have discussions and hopefully see his plans come to fruition, or at least be considered.

And of course, along with proponents, there are those who are opposed. The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability was asked to review the gaming expansion bill and determine what the impact would be on existing gaming revenues.

In the hearing last week, the group noted that the adjusted gross receipts for the existing casinos have continued to decline each year over a six year time frame. Tax revenues that are derived from casino gaming has declined while video gaming terminals continue to rake in an increase in profits.

The nearby state of Indiana has also seen a drop in their casino earnings and video gaming in Illinois is apparently the culprit. It seems that video gaming is the top option in the state and the casino games are taking a hit.

The report by the group also estimated that new casinos for Illinois would create around $12 million in annual revenues for the state.

For now, it will be interesting to see what lawmakers decide and how the October hearing will play in to the decision making process involving several aspects of casino gaming.

Playtech Vying for Licensing in the US

Summary: Top software company Playtech is looking to move into the United States with licensing application.

Playtech is a top-rated software company that supplies gaming content for major gambling companies around the world. For years, Playtech has been known for creating top-notch content and their most recent half-year results show their business relies heavily on the Asian market. However, the gaming division is now starting to focus their efforts on the United States.

Looking for An Opportunity

Playtech currently operates the iPoker network, a network that is used by top poker companies like Bet365, William Hill and Paddy Power Betfair. The network was set to try for US operations but never was able to become involved in states that had legalized online poker gaming.

Betfair launched an online poker room in the state of New Jersey but decided to use the Ongame platform instead, keeping the iPoker network for their global offerings. Online poker has continued to do poorly in the US, with New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada unable to come up with enough traffic to bring in high revenues.

Now, it seems Playtech is focusing on moving into the US, not by way of poker, but sports betting. Since a May ruling by the United States Supreme Court, sports betting has skyrocketed in the nation. State after state has passed legislation to begin offering sports betting, be it online or via land-based casinos. Playtech has a product suite known as Playtech ONE which would work well in the United states to provide sports betting as well as other products like poker.

The sports betting option of Playtech is operated by Playtech BGT Sports, a subsidiary of the brand. The company is active around the world and provides sports betting services in regions like Mexico. During a recent earnings call, CEO Mor Weitzer discussed the ambitions of the company with the United States.

Weitzer stated that the Playtech BGT Sports has the capability to provide a compelling offering in the US. The sportsbook is ready now and is already one of the largest traders involving sports in the US due to their offering in Mexico. A popular market for the country is US sports.

Currently, Playtech is working to apply for a license in New Jersey to get started in the sports betting industry. They also have their eye on other states to expand their footprint across the nation. During the earnings call, Weitzer explained further that the sportsbook of Playtech BGT Sports is suitable for the US market as it is scalable for state to state. One casino looking to offer sports betting could use the process of adding the sportsbook, helping to avoid any development cost or issues starting from scratch.

Links in the US

Playtech already has links in the United States that should prove useful when trying to enter the country for sports betting or other online activities. The brand started to build relationships years ago when online gaming first launched in 2013. In June of 2017, Playtech announced a deal with Caesars Entertainment EMEA.

With the deal, Playtech would work with Caesars eight UK properties to provide their Neon Enterprise system. Caesars of course operates land-based and online gaming sites in the US, so they could inevitably decide to partner up with Playtech in the future to focus on sports betting or other aspects, if the brand is able to obtain licensing in the US. It will be interesting to see if they are approved by New Jersey regulators and just how they plan to get started in the US once any approval is given.

Pennsylvania Casinos Take Action Against State Lottery

Summary: After airing their grievances against the new games launched by the state lottery, a group of Pennsylvania casinos have now taken legal action.

For the past few weeks, a coalition consisting of seven Pennsylvania casinos have been talking about how they are not happy with the latest additions to the state lottery. Now, this group has decided to act against the Pennsylvania Lottery and have filed a lawsuit against the Lottery and their new selection of online gaming options.

Fighting Against the Online Lottery

Parx Casino and GANOn Wednesday, the coalition filed a suit within the Commonwealth Court, seeking an injunction to stop the Lottery from providing what they are calling illegal, simulated casino-style online games. The group has noted that players of a land-based or online casino in the state must be 21 years of age to take part. However, with the online lottery games, players can be as young as 18 and the new games being offered are similar to slot games.

Defendants listed in the suite include the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue and its Secretary C. Daniel Hassell. A spokesman for the coalition, David La Torre, commented on the suit, summing up the casino group’s side by stating that the actions of the Lottery are illegal and to make matters worse they are promoting casino style games to teenagers.

La Torre pointed out that the casinos of the state have to follow strict regulations involving underage gaming or they have to pay millions in fines. The group is accusing the Lottery of openly being in violation of the law and marketing the games to individuals who are 18 years of age.

The casinos feel they will lose revenue due to the similarity of the games, which will hurt the tax collection for the state that provides property tax relief as well as funds local improvement projects.

First Mention of an Issue

The casinos in Pennsylvania first became upset with the Lottery back in May when the group started offering their selection of games within the iLottery. The games are available online as well as via application. The games include casino-style options that the casinos feel are too similar to what they plan on offering via online casino gaming in the future.

Seven casinos decided to band together at that time and sent a letter to Governor Tom Wolf to ask for the games to be stopped. The group mentioned at that time that they would consider taking legal action if nothing changed.

The group has now followed through and filed a suite based on Act 42, which involves the online gambling legislation that was passed into law last year. Also mentioned in the filing is that the casinos had to pay a $10 million fee to offer slot gaming and pay a high tax rate of 54%, something that the lottery does not have to do.

The casinos involved in the lawsuit include:

  • Harrah’s Philadelphia
  • Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course
  • Mohegan Sun Pocono
  • Parx Casino
  • Stadium Casino
  • The Meadows Casino Racetrack Hotel
  • Valley Forge Casino Resort

The group has pointed out several games that have similar themes and titles of slot games found at the casino gaming floors, including Monster Wins, Big Foot, Robin Hood, Volcano Eruption Reveal and Super Gems, are being played online.

It will certainly be interesting to see what comes of this case and if the lottery will be forced to stop offering the online games. The online casino industry has yet to launch and this may somehow play a role as to what can be offered or what the Lottery will be allowed to provide.

Two Pennsylvania Casinos Hit with Fines from the GCB

Summary: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has announced two casinos of the state were fined due to various infractions.

With 12 casinos currently in operation, Pennsylvania is one of the top states in the US when it comes to casino gaming. The state’s gambling industry is regulated by the Gaming Control Board, a group that works to ensure operators are providing services based on rules and regulations. Any infractions can result in fines as well as the loss of licensing. Just recently, the Gaming Control Board announced that two casinos in the state were hit with major fines after the Office of Enforcement Counsel was able to reach an agreement with the operators who were found to have completed several infractions.

Meadows Racetrack & Casino

The first venue hit with a fine was the Meadows Racetrack & Casino. The operator of the venue, Washington Trotting Association, Inc., was handed an $80,000 fine as a penalty based on an investigation conducted at the venue.

It was found that employees of the racetrack had provided more than $830,000 in complimentary services for an eight year time frame. The services were given for free starting 2009. Based on state law, only certain employees are authorized to provide complimentary services and there is a cap as to how much can be given to patrons. The authorization to offer such incentives are approved by the GCB and must be maintained as such.

Valley Forge Casino Resort

The second operator to face a fine by the Gaming Control Board is the Valley Forge Convention Center partners, L.P., the owner of the Valley Forge Casino Resort. A fine of $50,000 was issued by the regulator after the venue was found to have been subject to a few infractions. Such issues included failure to maintain accurate and reliable financial records as well as failure to safeguard their revenues and assets.

Additional issues included conducting regular audits and ensuring the segregation of audit functions and responsibilities. The issues were realized by the regulator after an employee of the casino tried to collect reimbursements connected to his employment in a fraudulent manner. The employee is now subject to criminal charges.

The casino was also issued another fine, this time for $30,000. This fine was issued based on non-compliance regarding guidelines. The Gaming Control Board found the operator guilty of failing to follow their framework and rules regarding Spanish 21, a blackjack game.

Pa LotteryIn the state, there are ten commercial casinos and racetrack venues in operation along with two smaller resort facilities. A 13th casino will be constructed in the future as a gaming venue is planned for Philadelphia. Currently, the casinos of the state provide $1.4 billion in revenues via taxes every year. The majority of these funds are used to reduce taxes for property owners in the state.

These gaming venues are constantly under scrutiny by the Gaming Control Board, as the regulators check to make sure that the operations are running smoothly and in accordance to the regulations and rules in place. Venues that are found to be in violation of the regulations, like The Meadows and Valley Forge, are subject to fines due to the type of violation.

Operators must make sure that they follow the guidelines set and avoid having to pay any outrageous fees. The state is gearing up to offer an additional gaming option with sports betting, which will cause operators to make sure that additional regulations are followed to ensure proper operations with the new activity.

Evolution Live Dealer Goes Live at Hard Rock Online Casino

Summary: Evolution Gaming has been given the final approval to launch live dealer games at the Hard Rock Online Casino in New Jersey.

Online gaming is doing well in New Jersey, with the state continuing to see massive revenue earnings month after month. The state offers a nice selection of online gaming content, including table games, poker, slots and more. Live Dealer games are also on offer but they have been limited as far as the amount of these games on offer. It was announced this week that the Hard Rock Atlantic City will now be offering live dealer content after Evolution Gaming has received the final regulatory approvals to get started.

Live Dealer including Exclusive Tables

Live dealer gaming first launched in New Jersey at the Golden Nugget via a partnership with Ezugi. The casino held the online monopoly for some time before other brands began to offer the gaming option. On Thursday, Evolution Gaming was given the regulatory approval needed to be able to begin streaming live dealer games at their studio at the Hard Rock Atlantic City casino.

Most of the live dealer games on offer by Evolution will include shared player pools. There will also be exclusive tables. The partnership between the casino and Evolution was first announced back on August 9th. Now with the launch, there are several games on offer including American Roulette with Double Zero, Automated Slingshot Roulette, Blackjack including Bet Behind and side bets, plus three exclusive tables at the Hard Rock.

The live dealer games will also include baccarat, Ultimate Texas Hold’em Poker and Three Card Poker. Director of Product, iGaming, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, Lee Terfloth, commented on the new offering by stating:

As well as building Atlantic City’s premier destination casino, we want Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City to be the number one online destination for New Jersey players. Evolution is the ideal partner to help us achieve that. They have a proven track record in multiple European markets that they are the Live Casino leaders.

Additional Evolution Partners

Evolution Gaming is no stranger to the online gambling industry and the company has already secured additional deals in New Jersey. The brand will be working with SugarHouse, Ocean Resort Casino and 888 Casino for live dealer content. 888 Casino was actually the first official partner for Evolution in the state.

For some time now, the Golden Nugget has been the online casino operator that offers the best in live dealer gaming and runs the show when it comes to this type of gaming content. However, they will soon be given a run for their money as there will be several operators offering such content. With more operators offering such games, players will have a larger selection of the live dealer games like baccarat, blackjack, etc.

It will be a bit difficult for the other operators to give the Golden Nugget a run for their money. The casino continues to reach massive heights when it comes to online gaming. Just last month, the online casino operator hit the $9 million mark. The online gaming operator is far above the competition with the Borgata coming in second, usually earning around $4 million revenues.

For now, the Hard Rock Atlantic City is ready to offer live dealer gaming and it will be interesting to see in the coming weeks just how well the casino does with the new gaming options. Players of the brand are sure to give the new gaming option a try!

Online Casinos Hit New Record in New Jersey for July

Summary: Online Gambling numbers are in for the month of July in New Jersey, showing the online casino and poker sites of the state brought in just under $26 million for the month, a new total revenue record.

Online gambling is alive and well in the United States, particularly in the New Jersey region. As one of the first states to offer online casino and poker gaming, New Jersey has done quite well in this sector of their gambling industry. Over the past few months, online gambling operators have continued to hit record highs, with the latest instance being seen in July. Last month, the casino and poker online operators generated a total of $25.9 million, coming in just under the $26 million mark.

A Hot July

NJThe month of July was a hot one for iGaming in the state. New monthly records were set for both online and casino revenues. The total online gaming revenues surpassed the $20 million mark for the 7th month running, and year-over-year revenues were up over 25% from July 2017 when $20.6 million was generated. Online gambling revenue totals since the industry first started come in at a whopping $875 million with the state set to reach the $1 billion mark sometime this year.

In total, the state was able to generate $25.9 million for the month, which is an increase of 14.2% month over month and a year-over-year change of 25.8%. The online casino sector earned the bulk of that amount at $24 million which is a 14.9% increase from last month and a whopping 29.5% uptick from last July. For poker, $1.85 million was earned which is a 5.2% increase from June, but a decrease of 8% from last year.

Individual Breakdowns

It is always interesting to look at the totals from an operator perspective. Every month, it seems the Golden Nugget is the one to beat and July is no exception. Last month, the Golden Nugget was able to reach the $9 million mark for the very first time ever, yet another record for the state. The market leader generated a total of $9,328,814 in revenues for the month.

The Golden Nugget is the only operator that has been able to generate more than $5 million a month. Their only competitor is the Borgata who narrowly missed out on reaching that milestone last month. The casino earned $4.93 million in online gaming revenues, continuing to secure that second place spot. Ocean Resort Casino was in on the online gaming action in July, generating $250,000 since launching on the 10th. Hard Rock AC was also new for the month, generating a little more with $330,000 in revenues.

Caesars is doing well when considering online poker, as the brand has seen their WSOP/888 poker network move into the top spot in the market after an expansion in May. The multi-state poker options are doing well for the brand as they were able to secure $728,000 in online poker revenues in July.

Despite the record setting month, some operators did see a decline in earnings. The Tropicana was the only operator that managed to see a decline in year-over-year as well as month-over-month totals. Despite this fact, the brand still earned $3.35 million in July, which helps them stay in competition with other operators.

The Borgata unfortunately saw aa big dip in online poker revenues, dropping over 27% year-over-year. However, the monthly revenue was up 20%, a positive for the brand. Resorts AC took the 3rd spot in overall revenues in the state, having brought in $3.9 million. The casino saw both online casino numbers increasing in the monthly and yearly categories.

Golden Nugget Offering Up $50,000 Points Race for August

Golden NuggetOnline casino visitors of the Golden Nugget can access the points race this month, with $50,000 in total prize money up for grabs.

The Golden Nugget continues to be the number one online operator in the state of New Jersey when it comes to casino gaming. The brand continues to offer only the best gaming options, including live dealer, table games, slots and more. The casino has been offering a $500,000 annual points race for 2018, where players can earn points for game play and be able to earn cash each month. For August, the casino has upped the ante so to speak and is offering up a total of $50,000 for players to compete for!

August Earning Potential

For the month of August, the Golden Nugget has doubled the amount of cash that players can earn via the points race. In general, the brand usually provides $25,000 in cash each month. However, this month, that amount has been doubled. On top of that, the casino will be offering players a mini-race where twice the leaderboard points can be earned.

Players who are on a quest to win a prize at the end of the year with the points race, this month should be devoted to game play. Over the new few weeks, the site will be taking players on a global adventure. Players will be able to earn enough cash to go anywhere they like in real life! Players will be competing for a jackpot prize worth $10,000, a definite game changer.

In total, the Golden Nugget will be offering 500 prizes in August. All players have to do is earn points. The more points you earn, the higher up the ladder of prizes you will reach!

Earning Points

Because you need to earn points to win, it is important to be able to know which games provide the most points. There are several ways to earn points. For starters, you will be given 25 points for every $250 you wager on any game. you will then earn 5% of your total daily winnings in points. You also earn for your losses, with the Golden Nugget providing 10% in points from your daily loss total.

For every $100 wagered on slot games, you will earn 20 points. $500 spend on table games earns 20 points. $500 on video poker also earns 20 points. One point is provided on a single bet from $5 to $49. Players earn 10 points for every single bet placed worth $50 to $99.

Wager $100 to $199 on a single bet and earn 20 points, while a $200 to $499 single wager earns 40 points. Get a whopping 100 points for every single bet of $500 or more and 20 points for every deposit from $50 to $99. Deposit $100 to $299 and earn 40 points, while a deposit of $300 or more will provide 100 points.

With so many ways to earn points, it’s pretty impossible not to climb the ladder in some form or fashion. Players have until the end of August to earn points and hopefully earn one of the better prizes.

At the end of the month, the top 500 players will be given bonus credits worth $5 to $10,000. First place earns the highest bonus of $10,000 while second is rewarded with $7,500 and third earns $5,000. With any of the bonus credits, the wagering requirements are only 1x, making it easy to clear and cashout any winnings.

Golden Nugget Atlantic City Moving Poker Room; Adding Sportsbook

Golden Nugget Atlantic CityThe Golden Nugget is staying busy, providing their customers with the best in gaming content, including moving their poker room and creating a sportsbook.

New Jersey continues to be the top provider of gambling content in the United States, easily gaining ground on Nevada. The state is number one when it comes to online casino and poker games as well as seeing the revitalization of Atlantic City. The state is also now offering sports betting, so players have access to even more gaming options than ever before. The Golden Nugget continues to be the top operator in the state, earning a ton of cash each month via online and land-based services. The brand has recently announced a few changes to their property to offer visitors even more.

What’s Going On?

The Golden Nugget is working on several changes to be able to offer their visitors a quality experience. The Poker Room of the brand is going to move to the fourth floor where a lounge area that was known as Wine & Wifi will be replaced. The poker room shut down on the 1st and will reopen tomorrow, hoping to improve the customer experience.

The new room will be an upgrade to what was originally offered, featuring free Wi-Fi and food service table side. There will be ten poker tables, offering poker games like Pot Limit Omaha, Texas Hold’em 3/6 Limit and Texas Hold’em No Limit 1/3 and 2/5. Promotions will also be on offer so that players can get the most for their money, such as Rake Back and a High Hand featuring a Money Wheel.

So, what is to come of the old poker room? Many visitors who frequent the Golden Nugget felt that the casino was going to use the old poker room as their new sportsbook. The brand had yet to announce any news on what they would be providing via sports betting, so many began to wonder if that was the case. After players began asking on Facebook, the Golden Nugget AC officials replied that yes, they were making the change.

Moving Forward with Sports Betting

The option to be able to offer sports betting came about in mid-May when the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was unconstitutional, opening the door to allowing individual states to begin creating legislation to start the industry within their borders. It was not until July that the Golden Nugget began working with the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement to get the ball rolling to offer the services themselves.

The Golden Nugget is expected to offer a physical sports book as well as a mobile one, but when they will launch either is still anyone’s guess. The fact that they seem to be moving their poker room to make way for the sportsbook is a good sign.

Once the Golden Nugget begins to offer sports betting, they will join several other gaming venues in the state that offers the option. Sports betting began in the state on June 14th when Governor Murphy made the first bet at the Monmouth Park William Hill Race & Sports Bar. On the same day, the Borgata Hotel & Casino began offering bets.

As far as online gambling is concerned, the state’s first and only operator is DraftKings. The brand began offering online options on August 1st with a soft launch and fully launched their offering on the 6th of this month. Other operators are expected to begin offering online gaming in the near future.

New Jersey Online Sports Betting: What Players Need to Know

New JerseyOnline sports betting is live in New Jersey, with players having access to wagering now and hopefully even more options in the future.

Sports betting is in full swing in New Jersey, with players first having access to land based options at physical sportsbooks then in online form. Just recently, DraftKings launched their sportsbook, which offers players the ability to place wagers online. After signing a sports betting bill into law on June 11th, Governor Phil Murphy signaled that wagering was a-go, and after 30 days, online wagering could begin as well. However, the actual rolling of online sports betting has been slow going.

The Lowdown

In New Jersey, both racetracks and casinos are allowed to offer online sports betting. One venue can have as many as three partnerships each for online gaming. There must be a physical sportbook in place first then online gaming can occur.  Currently, six gaming venues in the state have a physical book in play.

Partners of land-based venues must also have a supplier license from the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement. This can take some time and is most likely the reason behind the slow start to online betting.

So far, only one operator has been able to meet all the requirements and get started offering betting, Resorts AC in partnership with DraftKings.

The Online Sportsbook

Resorts AC has already signed several partnerships for sports betting in New Jersey, including one with DraftKings. Known for daily fantasy sports, DraftKings has decided to become involved in sports betting now that it is fully legalized in the US. A smart move as the brand already has an established player base. The partnership has resulted in an online sports betting site and application that can be accessed by individuals located in the state of New Jersey.

DraftKings soft launched their sports betting application last week and on Monday, the full launch was announced. The app as well as the browser-based option are functioning at full capacity, with players having access to a nice variety of betting options such as in-play.

Additional partnerships for Resorts Atlantic City include a new one with The Stars Group and SBTech. Resorts has decided to expand their existing relationship with The Stars Group to focus on sports betting by using the BetStars brand. With SBTech, Resorts will be provided land-based and online/mobile bookmaking services.

Racetracks Working on Services

Both Monmouth Park and Meadowlands Racetrack offer sports betting and were among the first to do so in the state. Both offer land-based services and are expected to get in on the online action as well. Monmouth Park began offering sports betting on June 14th and are currently partnered with William Hill. A date for online gaming to launch at the venue has yet to be revealed but it is expected to take place as soon as possible.

For the Meadowlands, the property is prime for sports betting. Located near the MetLife Stadium, the venue plans on working with the home of the New York Giants and Jets to bring in sports bettors. The racetrack has a partnership with Paddy Poker Betfair, a company that recently acquired FanDuel. So, the sports book at the track is titled the FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The book opened on July 14th and has already seen great success.

Casinos that have yet to jump into the ring, like the Golden Nugget, are supposedly going to do so in the near future. Sports betting has already done quite well in the state just for the few weeks it has been available. By the end of the year, we should have a clearer picture of what will be offered in the state and how it will affect the bottom line of the gaming market.

New Jersey Player Wins Major Jackpot Prize

Divine Fortune SlotA player of PlaySugarHouse.com in New Jersey has won a huge jackpot thanks to a small $2 wager.

Online casino gaming is extremely popular in New Jersey. There are tons of online casinos to choose from, so players are not lacking when it comes to having access to quality table games, slots and more. Players must be physically located in the state to take part, so sites are often frequented by residents of the state on a regular basis while visitors to the region also give the online gaming option a try.

With online gaming, players hope to earn a big jackpot win. One of the best ways to win a jackpot is to take part in slot machine gaming. In New Jersey, the online casinos on offer provide a wealth of slot content, including games connected to progressive jackpots. A progressive jackpot is a jackpot that is connected to one or more games, requiring a side bet to be placed in the hope of winning. A small percentage is placed in this jackpot from gaming wagers and over time, the jackpot grows and grows. Just recently, a player at the PlaySugarHouse.com site was able to earn a massive progressive jackpot by playing Divine Fortune, with a wager of just $2.

Small Bet Pays Off

Players of slot machines try different tactics when it comes to gaming. Some players keep it simple and wager just a few dollars while others go for broke and wager the full amount on ach spin. For the lucky player at PlaySugarHouse, the unidentified female decided to play the Divine Fortune slot game, a title based on an ancient Greece theme.

The lucky player wagered just $2 and managed to win a jackpot of $287,945. The big win took place while the player was at work on a conference call and she had to stop herself from screaming out loud when she won.

According to a spokesperson, the win was actually the largest to take place in New Jersey to date. The win was also the largest at the PlaySugarHouse site. SugarHouse Online Casino, the operator of the site, first entered the online gaming market of New Jersey back in September of 2016.

Popular Progressive Game

The Divine Fortune slot game is a popular progressive video slot game found in the state. The title is known to hit Mega Jackpots for players of the PlaySugarHouse site, with the first win taking place on the game back in May of 2017. The win was a little small at $13,950 but the second and third win were much bigger at $91,680 and $46,096 each. Back in March, a jackpot of just over $193,000 was earned while April rewarded a player with $61,266.

President of Rush Street Interactive, Richard Schwartz, commented on the big win by stating:

Richard Schwartz Statement

The big win is just one example of how players can profit from online gaming in New Jersey as well as other states in the US that offer such wagering options. Delaware is home to online casino and poker gaming while Nevada focuses strictly on online poker. In Pennsylvania, online gaming is set to start sometime this year hopefully, if regulators are able to finish up the licensing and regulation process, allowing operators to get started.

The Stars Group Ready for US Sports Betting via New Jersey

The Stars GroupThe Stars Group will make their debut in the United States sports betting industry via a new partnership in New Jersey.

It seems almost every day a new partnership is formed involving sports betting in the US. State after state are getting ready to begin offering sports wagering options, thanks to a decision the SCOTUS in mid-May. Sports betting has basically replaced online poker and casino gaming as a way to bring in additional revenues for individual states. One example of how sports betting is already active is in New Jersey. The state has already begun offering sports betting, via such venues as the Borgata, Ocean Resort, Meadowlands and more. Today, it was announced that The Stars Group is ready to get in on the action, set to partner with Resorts Atlantic City for mobile and online sports wagering.

The Stars Align

The Stars Group already works with Resorts via their PokerStars NJ site and online casino gaming. The brand will now begin offering online and mobile sports betting with their BetStars brand. The announcement is one of many for the Resorts Casino. This week, it was announced that the casino was the first in the state to offer online sports betting via a partnership with DraftKings.

The Stars Group will start off in the sports betting market of New Jersey with a great deal of experience. The company is one of several that already offers services internationally and is working their way into the US now that the activity has been legalized. SVP Strategy and Operations, USA at The Stars Group, Matt Primeaux, commented on the new partnership by stating that they believe the company is uniquely qualified with the experience and insight needed to make sports betting successful in New Jersey.

Resorts Casino is excited to be extending their partnership with The Stars Group further by working with the company on their sports betting operations. Resorts President and CEO pointed out the advanced technology used by the brand along with their superior customer experience and cutting-edge security safeguards.

What’s to Come?

Now that the partnership has been made known, what’s to come in the future? Well, The Stars Group plans on offering a single shared wallet across their BetStars and PokerStars brands. This will make it easier for the existing customers of the online casino to be able to take part in the sports betting offering.

The company also provided a little hint as to what will come in the future. Subject to regulatory approvals, The Stars Group plans on offering a nice range of products within their sports betting site, including in-play wagering, live streaming, bespoke accumulators and more. free-to-play products are to be included along with sports content for several sports, promotions and more.

The brand plans on covering a wide range of sports including soccer, football, basketball, horse racing, basketball, tennis and more. In the United States, live streaming with sports content is basically uncharted territory. MGM Resorts has mentioned a new deal with the NBA that could explore this option, something that The Stars Group may be considering as well.

Now, players will have to wait and see what The Stars Group will offer via their sports betting brand. It is sure to do quite well as players are already enjoying the online casino and poker room of the brand. We are sure to see more promotion on the other gaming sites to try and bring players to the new online and mobile sports book offered by The Stars Group in the US.

Parx Casino and GAN to Work Together for iGaming in Pennsylvania

Parx Casino and GANThe Parx Casino and GAN will continue their relationship by working together for online gaming as well as sports betting in Pennsylvania.

After sports betting became an option for states in the US, it seems it got the wheels of motion turning as state after state has begun to offer the option or work on legislation to legalize sports betting within their borders. In Pennsylvania, sports betting has been legalized but is not on offer as of yet as operators begin to build partnerships to get started. Parx Casino is one venue that has decided to extend their partnership agreement with an existing partner, GAN, to work together for online gaming as well as sports betting in Pennsylvania.

Continuing a Gambling Partnership

On Monday, GAN and Parx Casino announced they have signed an extended contract agreement that will see the two working together to offer sports betting in a retail and online setting within the state. GAN will be providing the software for the company, based on a petition filed by Parx within the state Gaming Control Board.

CTO of the Parx parent company, John Dixon, commented on the partnership extension within a press release by stating:

John Dixon Statement

First Retail Sportbook

The deal involving sports betting is a big one for both companies. Parx will be providing the location and GAN will be powering the retail sportsbook offering and being the sole provider of online casino and sports betting for the casino. This means that visitors will be using a single account for wagering. Players can use a unified online wallet to have funds for playing online casino games and placing sports bets. The funds can be used for in-person betting as well as online.

According to the chief commercial officer of GAN, Jeff Berman, the company will now be offering clients a Platform that is equipped with multiple options that can be used for sports betting alongside the GAN online casino product. The company looks forward to delivering sports betting via a retail channel at the Parx as well as online with the unique Platform that GAN has created using patented technology.

Additional Partnership Agreements

The Parx Casino and GAN are not the only operators in the state that are preparing for additional gaming, be it online or sports betting, or both. The Rivers Casino has announced a partnership agreement with Rush Street Interactive while SugarHouse will be working with Rush Street as well. Valley Forge will be working with GVC once the sale of Boyd Gaming has been finalized.

All of these groups are ready to get started offering online gaming and/or sports betting. So far, a total of nine casinos in Pennsylvania, out of 12 in operation and one pending, have applied for online gaming licensing. Along with the Parx, Mount Airy, Hollywood Casino, Harrah’s Philadelphia, Sands Bethlehem, Rivers Casino, Stadium Casino and SugarHouse Casino have all sent in the appropriate paperwork. Of that group, Stadium Casino is the only venue that does not have a physical location as of yet. The casino will be located in the area of Philadelphia.

It will be interesting to see how well the state fares once online gambling and sports betting are in full operation. Will they give New Jersey a little competition?

Stadium Casino Announces Plans for Satellite Casino

Stadium CasinoStadium Casino has announced their location for an upcoming satellite casino, the Westmoreland Mall.

Additions to the gambling industry in Pennsylvania are slowly coming along, after a package was passed last year to allow for such changes as online gaming, satellite venues, online lottery and more. As far as the satellite casinos are concerned, the first of the year saw a great deal of interest and licensing acquired, yet operators have been slow to reveal their plans. This week, Stadium Casino announced they have chosen the Westmoreland Mall as their location for a mini-gaming venue.

Let’s Go to the Mall

Aside from shopping at Westmoreland Mall, visitors will eventually get to take part in casino gaming. The new operator to the state’s gaming market has announced that they will be moving into the section of the mall that is now home to Bon-Ton. In August, the Bon-Ton store will close due to liquidation, leaving behind the perfect amount of space for the smaller gaming venue. The space is 100,000 square feet in size, plenty of room to house as many as 30 table games and up to 750 slots.

According to a press release involving the casino, the new spot will create over 600 jobs and provide millions in annual revenues to the local community. The state Gaming Control Board must still approve the development so any moving forward with plans will have to wait until the go ahead is given.

Stadium Casino partner Joe Weinberg commented on the new plans by stating that the location is situation in an area that already has excellent infrastructure and road networks in place. The new gaming facility will be in a spot where there is already existing dining and retail amenities which will be appealing to visitors.

Second Winning Bidder

Stadium Casino won the second license for a category 4 facility, paying $40.1 million for the opportunity to open a smaller gaming venue, known as a satellite casino. The company has joined forces with Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment as well as The Cordish Companies to develop the new facility. CBL Properties will be taking on the development stage of the project.

CBL is actually the owner of the mall, one that has been in existence since 1977. The company is excited to be working with the casino brand, stating they are continually looking to reinvest their properties by bringing in something new and exciting for shoppers. In their portfolio, there will be hotels, dining, fitness and more. The addition of the casino will then make the mall that much more enticing, creating the ultimate combination of entertainment, dining and experience.

It does seem like an odd choice to create a casino in a mall, but everyone seems to be on board. Adults who visit the mall for shopping will be able to pop into the casino for a quick game or just visit the casino in an easy to reach location. CBL feels that the addition of the casino will help to bring in new traffic from across the region, which will position the property for long-term success as well as growth.

The location of the mall is a good one for the gaming venue. Off Route 30, the mall is close to 30 miles from Pittsburgh, which is a major city, plus is close to the borders of West Virginia and Maryland. The new gaming venue has the potential to bring in gamers from not only neighboring cities but also states.

It will be interesting to see how the mini casino progresses over the next few months and hopefully there will be an opening at the beginning of 2019.

Sports Betting Issues Arise at Meadowlands Racetrack

Meadowlands RacetrackBettors at the Meadowlands Racetrack were left without their winnings after the cashier cages shut down at the venue before a MLB game was over.

When a player visits a casino, they expect to be paid when a big win is earned. At the Meadowlands Racetrack, a new FanDuel sportsbook has been visited quite frequently, having just opened a short time ago. Sports fans have flocked to the sportsbook and have already been wagering on MLB games. Just this week, a game took place longer than expected and the sportsbook cashier cages were close at the end of the game. This resulted in several bettors not earning their paydays.

What Happened?

The Dodgers and Phillies went head to head this past Tuesday night and the game went into extreme extra innings, with a total of 16 innings played. By the time the game was over, the FanDuel sportsbook had shut down. Bettors began tweeting about how the windows were closed and some tickets were paid while others were not, due to not enough cash being on hand.

The company has denied the claim that they did not have enough cash on site by Wednesday morning, when reports began coming in about the incident. The sportsbook also stated that all outstanding bets have been paid.

The incident is unfortunate as it sheds a negative light on the new sports book. According to the Meadowlands, the FanDuel Sportsbook business hours are until 1 am. The hours of operation are posted within the facility and once the 1 am time hits, the cashier cages are closed. Wagers cannot be taken at this time nor will wagers be paid out. The Sportsbook went on to state that there was not a problem with having cash on hand but simply that the book was closed. Customers were invited to return the next day to collect winnings or a winning ticket could be mailed in for payment.

Time Frame Problem

While the sportsbook seems to have taken care of the issue, the problem still remains. MLB games as well as other sports will take place in varying time zones. The sports book will see this situation arise again if a game runs longer than expected or is set to finish after the sportsbook shuts down. So, how the sportsbook fix this issue?

Monmouth Park, is a venue in New Jersey, that has seen this issue and figured out a solution. The racetrack offers a William Hill branded sportsbook that will remain open later if need be. According to Monmouth Park’s Dennis Drazin, the sportsbook will watch as a game is close to being over and if there are enough people watching in the book or the game will end soon after closing time, they will remain open.

This way, those who remain can be paid. If only a handful of people are in the book, William Hill reserves the right to ask the patrons to come back the next day to cash in their tickets. So, will the Meadowlands take this same approach? It makes sense to. If word starts spreading that the sports book is not paying up or players are continually having to come back for their payouts, it would be bad for business.

It seems all operator are having to adjust to growing pains as these new sports books are coming to life. It will be interesting to see what changes the Meadowlands puts in place in order to ensure their players are happy and return time and time again to continue to place their bets.

Muckleshoot Casino Launches New Online Gaming App

Muckleshoot CasinoMuckleshoot Casino creates a new online gaming app, a first in the industry, as it requires wins to be paid out at the venue.

Across the United States, gamblers have access to online gaming. In some states like Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey, online casino and poker gaming are on offer for real money game play. In other states, casinos have social gaming apps that offer casino style gaming but for reward points instead of real cash. In Washington state, a casino has just recently launched a real money online gaming app with a twist; players must obtain their winnings on-site rather than cash out online.

Something New

Muckleshoot Casino is located in Auburn and recently launched a new online gambling application that players can use on their smartphones. Games must be purchased on site and any winnings must be redeemed on site as well. The casino worked with Playport Gaming Systems to create the new app, which is set to debut in the fall. The application will focus on games like Bingo where players are not competing against the house.

So far, the casino is the first to offer a real money online gambling app with the stipulations of on site activities. Players will have to purchase any games they wish to play on site and then cash out at the casino as well. This could prove to be a point of failure for the casino, but it might actually work. The outcome will be dependent on who actually uses the app. Will the casino only see their regular patrons take part or will they be able to bring in new gamers to give their venue a try via the casino app?

Playport already offers their application services in Mexico via retail locations. The partnership with the Muckleshoot Casino will allow the company to bring the product to tribal casinos in the US. Casinos can choose to custom design their app and games will be easily integrated within a venue’s POS system or loyalty system.

Launching Amidst Lawsuits

The new application will launch at a time when many gaming companies are facing lawsuits in state courts of Washington. Casinos are being sued for casino-style games they offer. The companies facing litigation do not provide real money wagering, yet the lawsuits argue that they are in violation of gambling laws of the state.

Muckleshoot has nothing to worry about though. The application they have created will focus on bingo style games and will be classified as a Class II offering. This means the casino is subject to oversight by federal and tribal laws rather than the laws of the state. The casino is located around 30 miles from Seattle and has worked for years to be considered an advanced casino when it comes to technology used on-site. The casino is home to a wireless virtual reality lounge and offers innovative video slots within their game floor.

The casino is not the first to launch an online gambling app and certainly won’t be the last. As technology advances and casinos look to cater to the newer audiences, even more changes should be expected. For gaming venues to provide the new generation of gamblers what they want, more detail will need to be provided to tech used, with new and innovative ways to gamble provided.

Las Vegas is a prime example of this movement as casinos are leaning more towards offering new entertainment, from eSports to more skilled based gaming. Younger gamblers, those in their 20s and 30s, want to experience more with their gambling, instead of what traditional slots, blackjack and other table games offer.

Parx Casino Working on Online Gaming Launch

Parx CasinoAs Pennsylvania gets ready to launch online gaming, one operator is setting themselves up for success.

Online gaming is slowly growing in the United States, as Pennsylvania is setting up to be the 4th in the nation to offer casino and poker gaming online. Land-based casino operators have finally started to file the proper paperwork to gain licensing to offer such games and one operator is already working on setting up a team for their online operations. The Parx Casino is moving ahead with their venture into the online gaming world by applying for licensing and hiring new employees.

Moving Forward

The Parx Casino is owned by Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment, a company that was the very first to apply for licensing in Pennsylvania for online gaming. After that announcement, the company then got to work preparing their team that will cover their iGaming sector. Just two days ago, the company announced the hiring of an individual named Matthew Cullen. Mr. Cullen was named the Senior Vice President of Interactive Gaming & Sports, set to take care of sports betting and online gaming operations of the business.

Mr. Cullen has many years of experience in the gambling industry, 25 to be exact. In the past, he has served as the VP of US New Ventures for Paddy Power Betfair as well as within other positions with other gambling companies.

In speaking about the new appointment in a press release, CTO John Dixon, commented:

John Dixon's Statement

Dixon went on to comment on Mr. Cullen’s unique professional pedigree when it comes to online gaming as well as marketing, business strategy, product strategy and more, and how he is the ideal individual to lead the company’s expanding business footprint.

Online Partnerships

Parx Casino will be working with GAN for their online gaming operations, as reported by GAN themselves. GAN will be providing the online gaming platform for Parx, and this will not be the first time the two have worked together. In 2015, Parx Casino began working with GAN as they launched a free play gaming site. The social gaming site will remain on offer until the online real money gaming site has been launched.

With the partnership, Parx will be able to link their land-based casino rewards program to a player’s online account. This will be an enticing feature that players are sure to appreciate. Players will then be able to go online or be at the casino and earn rewards for the opposite offering. Rewards can be earned onsite or online, making the option enticing to everyone.

GAN is also working with other casinos based in the US. Most recently, the brand partnered with the new casino in New Jersey, Ocean Resort Casino. They have helped the brand launch their online casino as well.

Online gaming has yet to come to fruition in Pennsylvania, but players are ready. Once the sites start to launch, it will not be surprising to see players signing up for new accounts in record time. Hopefully, the gaming will get going over the next few months so we can at least see a few figures showcasing just how much is earned via the online gaming option during the first month of game play. Will the state be able to outperform competitors like Nevada and Delaware? Will they give New Jersey, the top online gaming state in the nation, a run for their money?

FanDuel Sets Sights on Online Casino Gaming

FanduelDaily Fantasy Sports operator FanDuel may be set to create an online casino in the state of New Jersey.

New Jersey is the number one state in the US when it comes to online gaming. There are several online casinos to choose from when it comes to playing table games, slots and poker online, with two new options having just launched via Ocean Resorts Casino and Hard Rock Atlantic City. Now, it has been revealed that possibly, yet another new casino will be launching, but this time from an unexpected brand.

From DFS to Online Casino

FanDuel is a name that is associated with daily fantasy sports. As one of the top operators in the DFS industry, the brand is well-recognized by sports fans. With the ability to now offer sports betting legally, FanDuel has now begun to enter into the betting industry, extending their reach within the gambling market. Now, it seems the brand is also considering moving in to the online casino arena as well.

Sources have told Online Poker Report that FanDuel has plans to apply for an online casino in New Jersey, set to offer table games and slots. How this will be done is still anyone’s guess. FanDuel was recently acquired by Paddy Power Betfair and will be used as the company’s face in the United States. PPB plans on using FanDuel for horse betting, online gambling and more.

PPB operates the Betfair online casino in New Jersey, so it makes sense that they would consider using their new acquisition to create yet another online casino brand in the state. The brand of FanDuel is recognizable and already has a database of players, which would be helpful in getting started with an online casino site.

FanDuel already operates a sportsbook in New Jersey and is set to offer sports betting in New York along with West Virginia. Even further evidence suggests that FanDuel will be the main driving brand in the US for PPB. It was announced earlier in the month that Betfair US will be renamed to the FanDuel Group.

Third Party Suppliers

The FanDuel Group has been able to secure deals with third-party suppliers to be able to offer online gaming and sportsbetting in the US. For the sportsbooks of FanDuel, the bookmaking services will be completed via IGT, the company that will provide the gaming platform. According to PPB:

PPB Statement

IGT also supplies platforms for online casino sites. So, the FanDuel Group could actually use IGT for online casino gaming as well. Additional partnerships were inherited by the FanDuel Group within the PPB sale, including ones with the Golden Nugget and GAN. Both of these entities have been responsible for Betfair to have an online casino. These same partnerships could also be used to allow FanDuel to offer an online casino in New Jersey.

So, now we just wait and see if FanDuel will launch an online casino, what it will offer and how it will provide services. We should expect to see the brand offer more information in the coming weeks. It will be interesting to see if the brand will find a following in an already crowded market. There are so many online casinos in operation, but every one on offer continues to do well, as the market earns over $20 million each and every month from online casino gaming. FanDuel’s offering will hopefully be able to contribute to the overall bottom line, helping the state to increase their overall monthly earnings even more.

Golden Nugget Maintains Stronghold in NJ Online Gaming Market

Golden NuggetBy earning $8 million yet again, the Golden Nugget continues to be the top earner when it comes to online gaming in New Jersey.

The state of New Jersey continues to be the top earner when it comes to online gaming revenues. Each month, the casinos offering online services in the region earn over $22 million. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has released the June performance totals, showing a total of $22.7 million earned between online poker and casino operations.

Strength Remains

The New Jersey online gaming market continues to show its strength, exceeding the $20 million for the 16th month running when looking at casino and poker online revenues combined. Online casino gaming revenues hit the $20 million mark by itself for the 6th month running and was up a whopping $2.5 million from last June.

As online gambling continues in the state, the market is set to reach $1 billion in total revenues since internet wagering began in 2013. The Golden Nugget continues to dominate the industry, generating over $8 million for four months running.

It seems no one can beat the Golden Nugget, with their nearest competitor being the Borgata, a venue that has brought in around $4 million in monthly earnings. The Golden Nugget has been basically doubling the Borgata’s earnings each month and has earned over $5 million every month going as far back as January 2017.

As far as online poker is concerned, Caesars saw a nice year-over-year gain due to a new liquidity sharing agreement with Delaware and Nevada. However, poker still is lacking when it comes to generating revenues, especially when compared to online casino options.

Overall Totals

When looking at overall totals, the state brought in $2.7 million for June. This was a 3.6% decrease from May and a 12.1% increase when compared to June of last year. With online casino revenues, the total amount earned for the month was $20.9 million. This was a decrease from the previous month of 3.4% but an overall increase when looking at June 2017 totals of 13.1%. For online poker gaming, the month saw $1.8 million in revenues which is a 5.9% decrease from month to month but a 1.3% increase year-over-year.

July and Beyond

By the end of the month, the online gaming revenue reports will include data from the Hard Rock Atlantic City and the Ocean Resort Casino as both have launched online gaming sites. The addition of the two sites should help the region to earn even more with their monthly revenues, which will help the state become that much closer to the $1 billion milestone.

Many analysts felt that with two new online casinos, the market of New Jersey may become over crowded. There still seems to be some room, but the additions just add to the long list of sites now on offer. By next month, the new totals should be revealed and we will get to see just how the two new sites affect the market and if any oversaturation is present.

With these totals, New Jersey continues to dominate the online gambling industry in the United States. They certainly have a leg up on their current competition of Nevada and Delaware. Pennsylvania will eventually be a competitor, but the process of getting their online gaming industry is still slow going. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board just closed their first round of the application process and nine operators have submitted applications for consideration.

Over the next few months, if operators are approved, the state may soon give New Jersey a run for their money when it comes to online casino and poker gaming.

Public Data Involving Sports Betting and New Casinos Released in New Jersey

NJSports betting and the two new casinos now open in New Jersey have only been in operation for a short time, with data already being revealed as to how everything is running.

Sports betting has only been around for a short time in the state, after lawmakers approved legislation to allow operators to begin offering such wagering options. On June 14th, two existing venues in the state began to offer sports wagering while a third began on June 28th. Since that time, just over $10 million was wagering on major league baseball, $2.7 million wagered on soccer and $281,000 on the NFL. This is a staggering around for just a few days of operations and shows just how successful the state can be with this new industry.

Sports Betting Exceeds Expectations

The Monmouth Park, Borgata Casino and the Ocean Resort Casino are the only three venues that currently offer sports betting in the state. However, more will be entering the market in the near future. The new industry can certainly provide even more revenues for the already booming gaming industry of the state.

Monmouth Park earned $2.28 million during the first few weeks of sports betting in the state while the Borgata saw much lower earnings of $987k. Ocean Resort offered the wagering option for a much shorter time frame and generated only $192k.

Ocean Resort and Hard Rock AC

Both the Hard Rock Atlantic City and the Ocean Resort Casino were able to get started on the Boardwalk on the same day. June 27th was the official opening day and the Division of Gaming Enforcement has now revealed how the two casinos have fared during the first few days of operation. In a four day time frame, both casinos earned around $7.2 million in revenues. This would be an average of almost $900,000 a day, a little under what the other casinos of Atlantic City have been averaging per day, of around $50,000.

The Ocean Resort Casino is located in the former Reveal Casino building while the Hard Rock is located in the former Trump Taj Mahal. Both gaming venues are a welcome site to the region as they offer even more opportunity for the region to bring in tourists as well as generate revenues from the gaming industry. Hard Rock had the upper hand when comparing the two new venues, bringing in $4.17 million compared to Ocean Resorts $3.01 million. Visitors to the Ocean Resort did complain somewhat, with the majority of issues being long lines, which is to be expected.

June revenue figures included the few days the two new venues were open as well as the entire month for the existing casinos. In total, revenues for June were up 7.3% from last June with $233.6 million earned. The numbers are a good sign for the region that the revival is well on its way.

Once the month of July comes to an end, we will have a better comparison of year-over-year totals for the state, which will give a clearer picture of what should be expected from the gambling industry in the region. The month will signify the first full one where all nine casinos are in operation. Once the monthly totals are revealed, we should be able to see how the Hard Rock and Ocean Resort will contribute.

The state has been averaging around $20+million in revenues each month. With how the two casinos fared over the past few days could see the state reaching the $30 million mark or beyond.

Sports Betting in New Jersey: What’s On Offer?

New JerseySports betting has been legalized for about a month now in New Jersey, with several options for wagering on offer in the state.

In mid-May, the opportunity to offer sports betting became a reality in the United States. The US Supreme Court decided to strike down PASPA, which now opens up each state to legalizing sports betting. New Jersey saw sports betting legalized on June 11th as Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill into law. While sports betting is in full swing at certain venues, online gaming has yet to begin. A 30-day time frame had to be completed before online gaming could begin.

This week, that waiting period ends so sportsbooks will have the option to begin offering online gaming as of now. Race tracks and casinos will be able to have three skins for each physical sportsbook, whether the book is in operation or being constructed.

So, what’s on offer via sports betting in New Jersey? Let’s take a look at what you can find when visiting New Jersey to take part in sports wagering.

The First to Begin: Monmouth Park

The first venue to begin offering sports betting in New Jersey is Monmouth Park. For years now, the race track has tried to see sports betting become a reality in the state. The venue needed something to help their facility stay afloat, even trying to see casino gaming coming to the northern region of the state to no avail.

In 2013, Monmouth Park was able to create a partnership with William Hill and now that partnership has helped the venue to begin offering legalized sports wagering. The UK based bookmaker has helped the venue to provide a boosted sports betting option, with players already taking part in wagering.

Since Monmouth is working with William Hill, it is expected that the provider will be launching an online gaming app or site now that the option is available. It will be interesting to see just how long it takes Monmouth Park to get the ball rolling with online sports betting.

Borgata Sportsbook

On June 14th, the Borgata Casino opened their sportsbook. The casino decided to use their racebook as a temporary space for sports betting in New Jersey. Last year, it was announced that the owner of the casino, MGM, has plans to spend as much as $7 million to create a new sportsbook. However, there has yet to be any announcement as to when the project will get started.

A Second William Hill Partner

William Hill has been quite busy gaining partners for sports betting in New Jersey. The brand has also partnered with Ocean Resort Casino for sportsbook gaming. When the new casino opened on June 28th, they were ready with a William Hill branded sportsbook along with their casino gaming options.

The physical sportsbook is open within this venue, though it is still under construction. Players can place wagers while enjoying a tour of the brand new facility.

What’s To Come

Now that online sports betting can begin, we should see an influx of operators beginning to offer online services. The operators who already focus their efforts on online casino and poker gaming have been able to earn solid revenues. With sports betting added in, the online gaming industry as a whole should see a nice increase in their already high profit margins.

It will be interesting to see who gets started first and just how much online sports betting can bring to the online gambling landscape in the state of New Jersey.

Meadowlands Racetrack to Feature FanDuel Sportsbook

Meadowlands RacetrackThe Meadowlands Racetrack will offer sports betting in a few days with their new sportsbook to be branded via FanDuel.

Jeff Gural, the owner of the Meadowlands Racetrack, has wanted to expand his gaming operations for some time. For the past few years, Gural struggled to see casino gaming come to the northern region of the state, only to see efforts fail. Now that sports betting is an option, the racetrack owner wasted no time getting started setting up a sportsbook and in just a few days, the new venue will open for business. The Meadowlands has made Betfair US their partner in sports betting and the new sportsbook will be a FanDuel branded location.

FanDuel Sportsbetting

The new sportsbook will be a FanDuel location, a brand that is in the process of being acquired by Paddy Power Betfair. The process of the acquisition began back in May, and soon after, it was announced that Betfair US would be working with the Meadowlands. The US arm of Paddy Power Betfair will be using their new acquisition by creating the FanDuel sportsbook at the racetrack venue.

According to PlayNJ, Kevin Hennessy, the publicity director for FanDuel, stated in an email that the new sportsbook will be named the FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The racetrack looks forward to offering sports betting and hopes to cash in as a northern facility, where gaming is not as prevalent as in Atlantic City. Bettors in the northern portion of the state will have an option for sports betting instead of having to travel to the known gambling city.

Gural pointed out that the Meadowlands is the only place one can go to wager near the city of New York, northern New Jersey and Westchester. The goal was to get the sportsbook up and running as quickly as possible and they have.

Ready for Business

On Saturday, the Victory Sports Bar & Club of the Meadowlands will open at 11am to the public with ten teller windows open for sports betting. Two windows will be reserved for horse race wagers. When asked about how many wagers might be placed or how much revenue would be earned, Gural was more concerned about overcrowding. The owner stated that he was worried about overcrowding the space and that players might not come back due to overcrowding.

Visitors to the Meadowlands will be able to place wagers on baseball, the World Cup, Wimbledon and Golf. Futures wagers will be made available on NBA and NFL games, as well as other sports categories. The Meadowlands is targeting football season to go live, and the venue is certainly in an area to take advantage of sports betting wagers.

When asked about nearby competition, such as with Pennsylvania and New York, Gural had this to say:

Jeff Gural Statement

Sports betting is live in New Jersey on Wednesday and it will certainly be interesting to watch as operators begin to offer wagering opportunities within this new industry. New Jersey is poised to do well in an already booming gaming market.