Fanatics Could be Aquiring a Sports Betting Company Soon

Sportsbook

Sports merchandise leader Fanatics is closing in on a deal to acquire a sports betting company as part of its expansion plans.

Fanatics officials refused to comment on the issue but industry sources say that meetings with Rush Street Interactive (RSI) and Swedish gaming company Betsson had positive results and Fanatics is likely to end up buying one of the two.

Rush Street Makes Sense

For Fanatics, Rush Sense makes sense. Despite having presence in 10 states including Illinois, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania and being among the Top 5 online revenue grossers, RSI has the weakest brand among companies of the same size. This means that they can change their name to an acquiring company like Fanatics.

There are also rumors that RSI is in the driver’s seat to land the rights to ESPN’s name in sports betting. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that ESPN was looking to sell its name to a sports betting package for $3B. That is supposedly one of the reasons why RSI worked to get the third skin in partnership with the Connecticut Lottery after DraftKings and FanDuel partnered with the state’s two Native American tribes.

On the other hand, Betsson has an excellent iGaming product but it does not operate in the United States and would be more of a back-end technology for Fanatics.

Fanatics Has Tripled its Value

Last month, it was reported that Fanatics had tripled its value to $18B over the past year. The company was valued at $13B last March before receiving a $325M funding from its existing owners while also adding funds from new investors like Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, SoftBank, Silver Lake , Eldridge, TWG Sports & Entertainment, MLB, and Insight Partners.

The company said that the additional funding would be used to transition from a vertical commerce company to an international digital sports platform while expand its technological and consumer databases to integrate new markets such as NFTs, gaming, media, and sports betting.

Before venturing to other businesses, Fanatics acquired some assets, inventory, and college licensing rights of Vetta Brands, including the Top of the World division. Last year, Fanatics also purchased the licensed sports merchandise company WinCraft.

Atlantic City Casino Jobs are Available at Borgata and Hard Rock

Atlantic City Casinos

Atlantic City is home to some of the biggest and best casinos in the United States. It seems that some of the gambling venues here are now looking for more workers. New reports surfaced this week claiming a variety of Atlantic City casino jobs are now available at Borgata and Hard Rock Atlantic City.

This is exciting news for many residents in the area. The casinos here have been seeing some major revenue increases here lately. Now is a great time to talk about why these properties are looking to bring in more workers.

Here’s what you need to know!

More Atlantic City Casino Jobs are Becoming Available Right Now

Atlantic City has been one of the country’s top casino destinations for decades. In 2020, this city was badly affected by the mass casino shutdowns and subsequent drop in tourism. Things have improved throughout 2021, however, and many of the casino operators are seeing major surges in revenue.

It now appears that several of the most popular casino-resorts are now looking for more employees. That includes the Borgata and Hard Rock Casino Atlantic City. These two properties recently held job fairs in the hope of attracting qualified employees. Hard Rock Casino President Joe Lupo spoke about this situation to the media this week.

“We’ve been looking for people all summer long,” Lupo said. “We’re looking at a strong fall ahead with some conventions and live entertainment coming back, so we’re looking to continue providing some jobs to the local community. A lot of the college kids have gone back to school, so it’s not uncommon here in the Atlantic City market for the fall to take a different approach without the seasonal help.”

More Atlantic City casino jobs are becoming available every week. Both the Borgata and Hard Rock Casino seem determined to bring in more employees. It’s not easy right now, particularly as cases of Covid-19 begin to increase around the country.

Casinos have seen solid earnings throughout the year. What do the next four months have in store for this industry?

US Casino Revenue May Begin to Decline Over the Fall Months

The events that began to unfold in 2020 proved that the US casino industry is a fragile one. Intense health regulations can essentially cripple casino companies. Some are fearful that a new wave of these types of regulations could be around the corner.

Rates of Covid-19 have been declining throughout much of 2021. Unfortunately, new variants have caused yet another spike in many areas of the country. Various health officials are now once again recommending similar health measures to the ones seen last year.

This is causing concern amongst US casino operators. Some analysts are beginning to predict a decrease in casino revenue over the fall months. This is almost a guarantee if casino hubs such as Las Vegas begin ordering capacity limits and more specific health rules for guests inside casinos.

It’s a difficult situation. Various state officials need to weigh public safety while attempting to keep businesses that cater to large groups of people operational. For now, tourism rates into major casino destinations appear to be holding steady.

Not all gambling companies are anticipating revenue declines over the next few months.

Sports Betting Revenue is Expected to Surge Soon

The entire US gaming industry has been posting impressive figures this year. Certain casinos have hit all-time revenue records this year. Sports betting companies have also seen huge surges in their monthly revenue figures.

July proved to be a poor month for the US sports betting industry. Several states with large sports gambling industries reported large decreases in their revenue figures. Most analysts expect to see things turn around over the next few months.

Much of this is due to the start of the 2021/2022 NFL season. The American Gaming Association anticipates 45 million Americans to bet on the season at least once. Sports betting revenue is expected to surpass $12 billion thanks to football betting.

This football season is now officially underway. We’ll be sure to continue reporting on sports betting revenue figures around the US.

Are you excited to see more Atlantic City casino jobs opening up? Are you interested in applying for a job inside one of the city’s casinos? Let us know in the comments section below.

New Jersey’s Casino Revenue Continues to Surge Through 2021

Atlantic City Casino Image

New Jersey remains the biggest and most profitable gambling destination on the East Coast. It seems that 2021 is proving to be an exceptionally good year for the casinos here. Today, we’ll take a close look at New Jersey’s casino revenue figures through the first seven months of the year.

The casino companies here have reason to celebrate. Some fear still remains that the spread of the Delta variant could end up halting the progress being made here.

Here’s what you need to know!

Most US Casinos Avoid Major Restrictions

There has been a huge amount of attention put on the US casino industry over the past two years. For months in 2020, this industry was completely shut down. Casinos began to reopen over the summer of last year, yet tourism rates to casino hubs remained extremely low.

This was largely due to the restrictions set on casinos around the country. Health experts ordered casinos to implement measures such as mask mandates and significantly reduced capacity limits. On the casino floor, plexiglass barriers were installed to separate players.

Most gambling fans chose to avoid casinos while these restrictions were set in place. Once these rules were lifted, however, tourism rates to casino hubs have been rapidly increasing. That has been apparent throughout 2021.

In recent months, a new Covid-19 variant has been spreading around the country. This Delta variant has been worrying health experts and has led to a new surge of cases. Some casino hubs have ordered a limited set of new rules including mandatory mask-wearing on the casino floor.

Fortunately, none of the serious restrictions set in place last year have been set in any US casinos. State officials recognize how devastating this will be for casino companies and the cities these venues are in. It seems unlikely that these types of regulations will be set in place at all.

Things are still going very well for casinos around the country. That is more apparent than ever after new revenue reports have been released. Here is a quick look at how much money the casinos in New Jersey have been able to generate recently.

Breaking Down New Jersey’s Casino Revenue Figures

Atlantic City was one of the cities truly devastated by the mass casino shutdowns in 2020. Officials in this city were instrumental in getting casinos reopened. The economic situation here has changed recently and casinos are seeing consistent increases in their earnings.

Not long ago, reports surfaced that shed light on New Jersey’s casino revenue figures over the course of the year. These reports give the casinos in the state reason to celebrate. In fact, 2021’s second quarter was the best in history for Atlantic City’s casinos.

The American Gaming Association has confirmed that the casinos in Atlantic City managed to bring in $13.6 billion in gross gaming revenue in 2021’s Q2. Total gaming revenue in the state is up more than 30% when compared to 2019. Jane Bokunewicz, an official within the Levinson Institute for Gaming, Hospitality, and Tourism at Stockton University, offered some insight into what has led to this revenue surge this week.

“When they lifted the restrictions (this spring) a lot of the amenities still had not returned to normal. Like the concerts, the shows, the conventions. All the special events had just started coming back online,” Bokunewicz said. “From February on, each month was a little better than the previous month, so people are returning to the casinos and we’ve seen that the internet gaming has stabilized.”

This trend of major revenue surges is likely to continue as the year goes on. That is, of course, assuming that casinos are not ordered to shut down again anytime soon.

Things appear to be going smoothly over in Las Vegas right now, as well. Now is a great time to look at how the casinos in this gambling hub are faring so far this year.

Nevada Continues to Break the $1 Billion Monthly Revenue Point

No city was as economically affected by the events that unfolded last year as Las Vegas. The country’s biggest gambling hub has since recovered and continues to set new revenue records. This past June, Nevada’s total gaming revenue once again passed the $1 billion point.

In total, gambling revenue in the state came out to $1.19 billion. That represents a slight dip from the state’s all-time high of $1.23 set in May. It’s still a very impressive figure and one that gives the casinos here reason to be optimistic.

Slots have been one of the primary driving forces in these revenue surges. Slot games have grown considerably more popular over the past year. This past June, slots in Nevada managed to bring in $868.1 billion.

The opening of new properties has also led to a tourism boom in cities like Las Vegas. It wasn’t long ago that Resorts World Las Vegas finally opened to the public. At $4.3 billion, this is the most expensive casino-resort ever built in the city.

2021 is shaping up to be the best year in history for the US casino industry. Tens of billions in total gross gaming revenue have already been brought in. Stay tuned for more updates on these revenue figures as the months go on.

Are you surprised to see New Jersey’s casino revenue continue to increase? Will 2021 be the most successful year in history for the US gambling industry? Let us know in the comments section below.

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.