BetMGM Offers Special Sports Bets at Buffalo Wild Wings

Closeup of Man Making Sports Bets on His Phone

BetMGM is offering a unique sports betting experience to customers who are physically present inside a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in select U.S. states. Using geolocation technology, sports fans can access custom promotions and bets when inside a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in Colorado, New Jersey, Indiana, Iowa, Tennessee, and Virginia.

Said BetMGM Chief Revenue Officer Matt Prevost:

“Our partnership with Buffalo Wild Wings is incredibly innovative and allows BetMGM to redefine how fans enjoy sports. The introduction of geolocation technology to offer bettors a customized experience in a Buffalo Wild Wings location is a great example of what we’re able to activate through this groundbreaking relationship.”

In-Bar Channel

At the same time, Buffalo Wild Wings also announced the launch of an in-bar channel dubbed as OT Odds Powered by BetMGM. The network will air on selected screens in participating sports bars nationwide. The channel will deliver sports betting contents such as live game odds, fantasy sports, and sports betting advice programs. 

In states where mobile sports betting is legal, a new and exclusive feature called Blazin’ Bets is now offered within the BetMGM app. This new promo has curated boosts, bets, and parlays available through a customer’s personal device. 

Picks and Props Upgrade

Buffalo Wild Wings’ free-to-play game Picks and Props, which is available via the company’s mobile app,  also received an upgrade in its design. The new features include a parlay-style gameplay with new BetMGM elements. BetMGM odds can be used to make picks from any state where free-to-play games are legal. Major Prizes are awarded monthly while select winners will be inducted to the newly created BWW Hall of Fame.

BetMGM and Buffalo Wild Wings entered into a strategic partnership in 2019. The agreement was the first of its kind between a gaming provider and a national sports bar. Since its launch,  there have been over 500,000 users who have played BWW and BetMGM free-to-play games.

 

Stardust Casino to Be Launched in Pennsylvania and New Jersey

Old Photo of the Stardust Sign in Las Vegas

The legendary gaming brand Stardust Casino will be resurrected as an online gaming option in Pennsylvania.

This was announced on Monday by a group led by Boyd Gaming and FanDuel. Pending regulatory approvals, the consortium plans to launch its online platform in April. At the same time, it was also announced that FanDuel’s Betfair Casino in New Jersey will be rebranded to the Stardust name.

A single Stardust App will be used for both states. This will be available via IOS, Google Play, and the website stardustcasino.com It will feature a wide range of slots and table games, including a live dealer version of those.

Said Keith Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Boyd Gaming:

“For nearly 50 years, the Stardust was one of the most famous casinos on the Las Vegas Strip. And while the resort has been gone for more than a decade, the Stardust brand is still as well-known and popular as ever. We are excited to work with our partners at FanDuel to launch our first real-money online casinos and are confident this legendary brand will give us a significant advantage in connecting with players looking for a distinctive online gaming experience.”

15th iGaming Platform in Pennsylvania

If no other iGaming platform launches between now and April, the Stardust online casino will be the 15th of its kind in Pennsylvania after BetMGM launched its Borgata brand last month.

Boyd Gaming owns the Valley Forge Casino Resort in Pennsylvania through which FanDuel operates an online platform that accommodates sports betting and casino games. That FanDuel site is expected to be retained while the Stardust online casino, which will operate without a sportsbook, uses a second iCasino skin belonging to Boyd Gaming.

Boyd’s First Venture in Online Gaming Industry

Founded in 1975, Boyd Gaming has a total of 28 gambling properties across 10 U.S. states. But despite its casino operations being geographically diversified, the Stardust Online casino is Boyd Gaming’s first venture in the online gaming industry.

Boyd Gaming owns 5% equity in the FanDuel Group so there was no surprise why it picked the sportsbetting operator as partner for this new endeavor. FanDuel’s proprietary front-end, apps, and player management system will be used in the Stardust project and those will be linked to Boyd’s B Connected player loyalty program.

One of Las Vegas’ Most Iconic Casinos

The Stardust was one of Las Vegas’ most iconic casinos and it played a big part in Las Vegas being branded as “Sin City”. Conceived by Italian-born businessman Tony Cornero who was a gambling entrepreneur during the 1920s to 1950s, Stardust began construction in 1954. After Cornero died in 1954, the unfinished casino changed ownership several times before Rella Factor acquired the resort and finished the project. The Stardust finally opened in 1958.

In 1985, the Strip property was bought by Boyd Gaming and kept ownership until 2006 when the Stardust was closed. Boyd revealed plans to build a $4.8B resort called Echelon Place on the former Stardust site but the Great Recession ended its ambitions. The former Stardust site remained a vacant lot until it was bought by the Genting Group in 2013 as the site of its Resort World Las Vegas property.

New Jersey Sports Betting Fetches $996.3M in Total Bets For December 2020

Odds Board and Money

New Jersey had another banner month for sports betting .

Figures released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement on Wednesday revealed an 8.9% year-on-year increase in revenue for December 2020 with players gambling almost $1B on sports last month.

A total of $996.3M worth of sports bets were placed in December, a record for the most amount of money bet on sports in a single month and the second consecutive month that sports bets topped the $900M mark in the Garden State.

Setting National Records

It represents a 78.6% increase from the previous year and a 6.9% increase from the state’s November 2020 numbers. New Jersey sports betting revenue for December reached $66.4M which beat out Nevada’s $61.8M November figures for the national record. It is a massive 125.6% increase from December 2019 and a significant 31.3% better than November 2020’s $50.6M.

Of the total amount wagered, $929.3M were online bets ( also a national record ) and only $67.0M were wagered at retail locations. Online bets for December were up by 6.6% versus November 2020 and up 90.1% from December 2019. Internet Gaming Win was $99.5M in December compared to $49.3M in the prior period or an increase of 101.6%.

Internet gambling revenue for the month of December 2020 amounted to $99.5M up 101.6% from December 2019. Online casino and slot games revenue totaled $96.4M for the month while online poker win was at $3.0M.

Lifting Gambling Revenues

Online gambling in 2020 help lifted New Jersey’s tax collections in a year where the coronavirus crippled the casino industry. Although the state’s nine land-based casinos have reopened last July after a four-month shutdown, business has not been back to normal. These brick an mortar casinos generated $1.5B in total gambling revenue which is down 44% from the prior year.

In contrast, revenues from online gambling doubled to $970M. New Jersey sports betting, despite sports being halted for four months too, still increased by 33% to $398M. And although the increase in online wagers didn’t make up for the lost revenues in the brick and mortar casinos, they were able to mitigate the losses because online wagers are taxed higher than their retail counterparts.

Hard Rock International Launches Exclusive Digital Venture

Casino Slot Machines, Hard Rock Atlantic City Logo
Hard Rock International announced on Monday the launch of a digital venture with three former Star Group Executives. The partnership is aimed at significantly expanding Hard Rock’s digital gaming and sports betting business, globally.

Hard Rock Digital will take advantage of Hard Rock International and Seminole Gaming database of more than 130 million customers and nearly 250 land-based properties across 76 countries and offer interactive gaming and sports betting products. Hard Rock Digital will be full capitalized by Hard Rock International, Seminole Gaming, and its partners.

Said Hard Rock International chairman Jim Allen:

“With the launch of Hard Rock Digital, we are broadening our digital business which enhances consumer experiences and offerings across our interactive gaming and sportsbook offerings. Hard Rock Digital also intends to pursue strategic branding and distribution opportunities both within the US and globally. In the US alone, the potential future market size is estimated at $7bn for sports betting and $14bn for online gaming.”

Ex-Star Group Executives

The new business will be headed by Rafi Ashkenazi, the former chief executive of the Stars Group. Ashkenazi left the Stars Group after Flutter Entertainment completed its merger with the PokerStars operator last May. He is expected to assume his new position early next year after taking a gardening leave.

Joining Ashkenazi in the Hard Rock Digital business is Marlon Goldstein who was the former Legal Officer of the Stars Group. Goldstein will serve as Hard Rock Digital’s CEO and executive managing director. He also serves on the board of Tekkorp Digital Acquisition Corporation, a special purpose acquisitions company.

Completing the Stars Group hirees is Matt Primeaux who served as senior vice president of US strategy and operation for Stars Group. Primeaux will hold the position of President and executive managing director for Hard Rock Digital.

New Independent Board

The three-man management team will report to a newly formed, independent Board of Directors of Hard Rock Digital, which will be chaired by HRI chair Jim Allen. According to the hospitality and entertainment giant, Hard Rock Digital will be based in Hollywood, Florida.

The brand is already active in the gaming industry and has launched igaming and sports betting in New Jersey and Iowa, in partnership with Gaming Innovation Group. That collaboration ended in September with Hard Rock signing a new deal with Scientific Games.

According to the New Jersey Division of Gaming and Entertainment, the operator generated a total of $6.3M from its online casino business and $418,516 from its sports betting operations.

5Dimes Officially Applies for Gambling License in New Jersey

Odds Board and Money
After heavy speculation, offshore online betting site 5Dimes has officially applied for a gaming license in New Jersey. This was revealed by Laura Varela, the widow of founder William Sean Creighton.

In an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer on Wednesday, Varela said that gambling industry lawyers in Philadelphia and Washington are currently working to transform 5Dimes into a licensed and legitimate online betting site in the United States.

Although the New Jersey Division of Gaming refused to confirm the application with the Philadelphia Inquirer, no road block is seen that will prevent the legalization of 5Dimes after a Federal investigation cleared Varela of doing illegal business.

Settlement With Feds

Last month, 5Dimes entered into a settlement agreement with the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The agreement stemmed from the federal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, specifically the EDPA for illegal gambling activities. But after William Sean Creighton’s death in 2018, Varela contacted the the EDPA to resolve any issues with 5Dimes.

Varela, who took over 5Dimes after her husband’s demise, was cleared of any wrongdoings. According to the investigation, she did not exercise day-to-day authority over the operations of 5Dimes although she claimed responsibility for its assets. As part of the settlement, 5Dimes has agreed to forfeit $46M worth of illegal property to the federal government.

In fulfillment of its part of the deal, 5Dimes stopped its U.S. operations last September 30th and since then, it has been working its way to get a legal license to operate in the United States. New Jersey is just the first stop and they are planning to get licenses in other states as well.

Murder of Creighton

West Virginia native Creighton founded 5Dimes in November 1996. Because online gambling was still illegal in the United States, it operated as an offshore betting site with its license from Costa Rica.

In September 2018, Creighton’s Porsche Cayenne was flagged by two bogus policemen. He was kidnapped and taken to San Jose. Varela was able to pay $1M of the $M bitcoin ransom demanded by the kidnappers before their line of communication was cutoff. One year later, Creighton’s dead body was found in a small fishing village 100 miles from where he was abducted.

Since his death, Creighton’s widow has taken over the reigns at 5Dimes. While her husband faced charges of tax fraud, money laundering, illegal gambling, and payment fraud, Varela worked hard to legitimize 5Dimes. With online betting sites now legal in the United States, she hopes to return with a clean slate and a new license.

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

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

Said FanDuel spokesman Kevin Hennessy via ESPN:

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

All-Time High

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

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

Record May Not Last Long

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

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

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

5Dimes Temporarily Ceases U.S. Offshore Operations

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

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

In a social media message, the sportsbook said:

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

Temporary Cessation

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

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

State By State Entry

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

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

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

View of Atlantic City Beach

Good news for Atlantic City casinos and gambling patrons.

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

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

Said Gov. Murphy:

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

A Big Relief

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

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

Booze and Smoke Now Allowed

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

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

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

theScore Bet to Run Online NJ Casino for Twin River

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

Said John Levy, founder and CEO of theScore:

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

A Long Term Deal

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

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

Contingent on Bally Atlantic City Purchase

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

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

Twin River Serious in New Jersey

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

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

PointsBet Picks Evolution to Provide Table Games

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

Said PointsBet in a statement:

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

U.S Expansion

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

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

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

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

About PointsBet

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

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

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