HPL Digital Sport’s 2021 survey of the sports betting industry found that operators and bettors have quite different ideas about what matters most to the fans. Sportsbooks are taking notice.
Like Tribes, California Tracks Wary About Mobile Sports Betting
California sports betting is usually framed as a fight between tribal casinos and commercial card rooms. But racetracks like Del Mar (l.) also have a stake in the decision, and they agree that mobile sportsbooks can wait.
The Flimsy Economics of Odds Making
The margins for sports betting are already slim so when legendary gambler Billy Walters (l.) manipulates the casinos to get an edge, profitability becomes even more elusive. Can “sharps” like Walters attack today’s online sports betting markets?
New Air Charters Grow Atlantic City Market
With a soon-to-launch charter air service, Hard Rock Atlantic City will join other AC casinos to fly in high-value customers. The flights help bring in business beyond the city’s traditional geographic pull.
Resorts World Las Vegas Opens This Week
Resorts World Las Vegas will open June 24, tapping into a mood of revival in the city. The $4.3 billion North Strip resort should benefit from post-Covid exuberance, the novelty factor and an array of innovative features.
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WEEKLY FEATURE: DraftKings Weighs Fallout from Short-Seller Attack
DraftKings shares plunged after short-seller Hindenburg Research targeted the company with allegations that its platform subsidiary, SBTech, had former “black market” dealings. DraftKings denies the report.
Genting, Sega Sammy to Invest $1 Billion in Yokohama IR
Japanese pachinko giant Sega Sammy has pledged to invest $1 billion on a planned integrated resort in Yokohama. Sega Sammy is part of a consortium led by Genting Singapore Ltd.
Affinity Gaming Merges with Daily Racing Form
Nevada-based casino operator Affinity Gaming, owned by Z Capital Partners and its CEO James Zenni (l.), has merged with Sports Information Group, publisher of the Daily Racing Form.
Report: Most Aussies Support China Tourism
A survey conducted by the Australia-China Relations Institute found that most Australians support Chinese tourism, believing it would help boost an economy undermined by Covid-19.
Ohio Senate Passes Sports Betting Legislation
In a 30-2 vote, the Ohio Senate (l.) has passed a bill legalizing sports betting in the state. The measure allows 58 sports wagering licenses, with 33 for brick-and-mortar casinos and racinos and 25 for online and mobile betting.
LVA Spent Millions on Failed Texas Casino bid
The Las Vegas Sands Corp. spent at least $10 million and hired 74 lobbyists in an effort to convince the Texas legislature to support four casinos in the state led by Andy Abboud (l.), the company’s SVP government relations. The company got very little for its efforts.
U.K. Gambling Commission Survey Measures Pandemic Impact
A survey ordered by the U.K. Gambling Commission had some unexpected results. Mobile phone bets equaled 2019 figures, and football remained the most popular mobile bet.
Hard Rock Begins Sacramento Casino Expansion
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain is adding a gas station and 2,500 seat event venue. The $65 million project is expected to be completed by May 2022.
AGS Enters Canadian iGaming Market
AGS has officially launched its first title in the Canadian real-money online gaming market, with the game Golden Wins now available through at the Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corp.’s site.
FANTINI’S FINANCE: Can DraftKings Survive Its Hindenburg?
DraftKings stock took a dive on the release of a report from Hindenburg Research alleging that a subsidiary, SBTech, dabbled in black markets with shady characters. What’s next for investors?
GLOBAL GAMING BUSINESS PODCAST: Sequoyah Simermeyer, Chairman, National Indian Gaming Commission
This week, the GGB Podcast sits down with Sequoyah Simermeyer, the chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission, about how the agency navigated the pandemic and how it’s helping tribal casinos reopen successfully.
ASIAN GAMING More
Singapore Increases Casino Capacities
Starting last week, casinos and other entertainment venues in Singapore increased their guest capacities to 50 percent. Singapore is the home of Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa.
Macau Guards Against New Covid Cases
New Covid-19 infections in Guangzhou City have decreased, but the government of Macau continues to maintain strict health and safety policies, including quarantines and mandatory mask-wearing.
China Cyber Unit Details Cross-Border Crackdown
The Cyberspace Administration of China has released details of its plan to curb offshore gambling. It will first target offshore online platforms that try to lure Chinese gamblers and mete out “severe” punishments.
EUROPEAN GAMING More
BBC, ITV Accused of Appealing to Underage Gamblers
The BBC and ITV have been criticized for attempts to normalize betting among youth and at-risk gamblers by using social media during Euro 2020. Opponents say such activities will enhance betting among these groups.
U.K. Industry Group: Calls for an Ad Ban Lack Evidence
The U.K. Betting and Gaming Council, an industry trade group, has taken exception to the pus to ban advertising of events like the Euro 2020 games. The group said there is a lack of evidence such ads cause harm.
Sweden Proposes Changes to Gambling Ads
The Ministry of Finance in Sweden has proposed changes to the way gambling operators can advertise. The proposal, similar to ads for alcohol, calls for ads to be monitored for minimal intrusion.
Spintec Consolidates Presence in France
Gaming technology provider Spintec will consolidate its footprint in France through a deal with French distributor Mascot SFM. Mascot will supply Spintec products throughout France and in French overseas territories.
ONLINE GAMING More
Pragmatic Play Launches Unibet Studio
After completing integration work, Pragmatic Play has launched its dedicated live casino for the leading online gaming brand of the Kindred Group, Unibet.
PlayStudios Partners with Peppermill
PlayStudios is partnering with Peppermill Resorts to offer its free-to-play social casino app to customers t Peppermill Reno and Montego Bay Casino, with play generating player’s club rewards.
EveryMatrix Partners with Mexican Operator
EveryMatrix has partnered with Mexican land-based operator Group Foliatti, to supply the operator with a complete iGaming software solution for the operator’s first online brand.
Germany Considers 5.3 Percent Levy on Online Gambling
A finance committee heard supports and opponents speak to the virtue of a 5.3 percent turnover tax on online gambling. Opponents say it will drive business to illegal sites. Supports say it won’t.
SPORTS BETTING More
Wyoming Sports Betting Launch Uncertain
The Wyoming Gaming Commission has forwarded the rules for Wyoming sports betting to Governor Mark Gordon (l.) for his approval. The state will be the second to offer online-only sports wagering.
Washington State Proposes Sports Betting Rules
Draft rules for operating sports betting in Washington State have been published by the Washington State Gambling Commission. The public can comment on the rules starting June 23.
Maine Legislature Ends Session Without Sports Betting
Sports betting has again died in the Maine legislature. Despite multiple hearings, the bill remained in the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee with being sent to the floor.
Sports Betting Not Dead in Massachusetts
Massachusetts lawmakers got another chance to make their case for sports betting. Last week an economic development committee revisited the issue, which has the support of Governor Charlie Baker (l.).
Philadelphia Zoning Board: No Chickie’s & Pete’s Sportsbook
The Philadelphia Zoning Board has voted to deny the request of the South Philadelphia Turf Club to set up a sportsbook inside of the popular restaurant and sports bar Chickie’s & Pete’s (l.).
USA Basketball, MGM Resorts Sign Deal
USA Basketball has expanded its partnership with MGM Resorts, hosting practice sessions and exhibition games for the men’s and women’s national teams in advance of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
WynnBET Partners with Cincinnati Reds
WynnBET has added another pro team to its growing list of marketing partners. The sportsbook will cross-promote the Cincinnati Reds to reach fans in Indiana.
New App Offers Access to ‘All Things Sports Gambling’
The Sports Gambling Podcast Network is offering an app that provides instant access to the “All Things Sports Gambling” podcast network with content from experts to assist in wagering.
DraftKings Joins AGA Responsible Gaming Campaign
DraftKings has joined the American Gaming Association’s “Have a Game Plan” public service campaign to promote responsible gaming. The sportsbook will promote the program in all its channels.
Covid-19 Boosts Esports Betting
One of the side stories to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic was the rise in popularity of esports, particularly in betting when traditional athletics ceased. The pandemic pushed popularity of esports two years ahead.
Kenyan Football Clubs Oppose Excise Tax Increase
Kenya’s top football clubs have expressed concerns about an increase in the excise tax and its impact on the sport. Gor Mahia FC and the AFC Leopards say the tax on betting stakes could impact sponsorships.
UNITED STATES GAMING More
PA Lawmakers Turn Against ‘Skill Games’
Several prominent lawmakers in Pennsylvania have returned millions of lobbying dollars and campaign contributions from manufacturers of unregulated so-called “skill games,” deeming them illegal.
Illinois VGTs Surpassing Casinos
Illinois’ 40,000 video gaming terminals, operating in more than 7,710 locations, generated $228.8 million in May—more than double the casinos’ $107 million, according to the Illinois Gaming Board.
Rivers Pittsburgh Resumes Hotel Construction
Rivers Casino Pittsburgh has restarted construction on the Landing Hotel, a 219-room facility that will be adjacent to the casino, after the project was halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Revamped Harrah’s Debuts in Las Vegas
The newly renovated Harrah’s Las Vegas has reopened. Senior VP and General Manager Dan Walsh (l.) presided over the grand reopening of the resort, which underwent a four-year, $200 million upgrade.
New Hampshire Legalizes Historic Horse Racing
On June 9, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu (l.) signed legislation to permit historic horse racing. The bill was supported by state nonprofits, which will get 8.7 percent of revenues from bets on the machines.
Chicago Bears Bid for Illinois Track
Bidding for Arlington Park International Racecourse (l.) has closed, and the Chicago Bears are using it for leverage to force the city to renovate Soldier Field Former Arlington Park President Roy Arnold’s bidding group would retain racing for the site.
Sports Bar Sues to Operate Lincoln Racino
Lincoln, Nebraska-based Big Red Keno Sports Bar & Grill has sued the Omaha Exposition Racing Inc. and the Lincoln Race Course. It claims it has a right to operated expanded gaming at the horse racing track.
Companies Accused Of Illegal Gambling Donated to PACs
Torch Electronics and Warrenton Oil of Missouri gave a total of $350,000 to political action committees associated with controversial lobbyist Steve Tilley (l.), an associate of Governor Mike Parson.
Louisiana Riverboat May Move Ashore
The Treasure Chest Casino in Louisiana can become land-based following a unanimous city council vote. In 2018, state lawmakers approved letting riverboats move onto land, up to 1,200 feet from their berths.
Hard Rock Investors Dispute Commission Requirements
Investors in Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana must submit highly detailed financial and background information to the Indiana Gaming Commission by June 21. Some investors are pushing back.
Illinois Gaming Board OKs Bally’s Purchase of Jumers
The Illinois Gaming Board has approved the ownership transfer of Jumer’s Casino Hotel in Rockford to Bally’s for $120 million. The board also gave preliminary approval to Walker’s Bluff Casino & Resort in Carterville.
Pritzker Signs Casino Labor Bill
Casino owner applicants must enter a project labor agreement under a bill signed by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker (l.). The Project Labor Agreement Act ensures casino owners can’t bring in out-of-state workers at low wages.
TRIBAL GAMING More
Mohegan Sun Fined $60K for Covid Breaches
Mohegan Sun Casino at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas will pay a $60,000 fine for violating Covid-19 rules at its grand opening party in March. The fine followed photos of maskless partiers including actor Mario Lopez (l.).
Turning Stone New York Unveils Major Renovations
Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York, operated by the Oneida Indian Nation, has announced a series of renovations and new venues across the property, which will mark its 28th year in July.
California’s Largest Casino Ends Mask Mandate
On June 14, Pechanga Resort Casino (l.) in Temecula, California announced that it will admit fully vaccinated guests without face masks. Fully vaccinated Pechanga employees can also work without face masks.
Northern California Tribe Breaks Ground on Casino
Northern California’s Elk Valley Rancheria has broken ground on its new relocated Elk Valley Casino. The property is located on Highway 101 and it will have more slot machines, gaming tables, a restaurant and RV park.
Oklahoma Nation Bars Ousted Chairman From Seeking Office
John L. Berrey (l.), former chairman of the Quapaw Nation of Oklahoma, has been barred from running for vice chairman. The tribal business committee pronounced Berrey “unsuitable for candidacy.”
Louisiana Tribe Assumes Paragon Management
After a five-year partnership, the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana has announced it will take over management of its Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville from the Mohegan Tribe.
Caesars Appoints Eastern Division Regional President
Caesars Entertainment went west to find its next Eastern Division President. John Koster will oversee the Atlantic City properties along with Maryland and Philadelphia. He comes from the Western Division.
Wynn President Spiegel to Retire
Maryland Spiegel (l.), president of Wynn Las Vegas and operator of Wynn and Encore Las Vegas, will retire at the end of the year, and Encore Boston Harbor President Brian Gullbrants will replace her.
Rush Street Execs Named Finalists for Entrepreneur Award
Rush Street Interactive executives Neil Bluhm (l.), Greg Carlin and Richard Schwartz have been named finalists for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards.
PlayStar Names COO
PlayStar has named Dan Alexander (l.), a 10-year gaming industry veteran, as the company’s new chief operating officer as it prepares to enter the New Jersey market.
Yale Rowe Named President of Hard Rock Tahoe
Yale Rowe (l.) has been named the new president and general manager of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Lake Tahoe. Rowe has 27 years of experience in gaming and is the founder of Front Rowe Hospitality.
Schenectady Casino Names New GM
Rick Richards, former general manager of Station Casinos in Las Vegas, has joined Rivers Casino & Resort (l.) in Schenectady, New York as its general manager.
Snoqualmie Tribe Names Stanford Le Casino CEO
The Snoqualmie Tribe of Washington has named Stanford Le to be chief executive officer and president of Snoqualmie Casino. He has been interim CEO during the Covid-19 pandemic and avoided letting go any employees.
HBG Design Promotes Emily Marshall to Principal
Marking the first in a series of “getting back to normal” activities for the firm, HBG Design has promoted Emily Marshall (l.) to the role of principal. Marshall has been the firm’s leading interior designer for 10 years.
Gambling Commission Taps Rhodes as CEO
The U.K. Gambling Commission tapped Andrew Rhodes to be the new CEO. Rhodes replaces Sarah Gardner. His appointment comes at a time when the spotlight shines on the gambling industry.
Incredible Technologies Announces Executive Changes
Incredible Technologies has promoted Dan Schrementi (l.) to president of gaming and Adam Kramer to president of amusement in a reorganization of senior management.
Sportradar Appoints McCreary as Chief Legal Officer
Sportradar, a global provider of sports betting products and services, has appointed Lynn S. McCreary as chief legal officer. McCreary has more than three decades of leadership experience.
Miriam Adelson Executor of Sheldon’s Will
Miriam Adelson (l., with her late husband Sheldon Adelson), has been named executor of the billionaire’s estate. Adelson, founder and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., died in January.
Danny Wimmer Presents Acquires Billy Alan Productions Booking Agency
Producer and promoter Danny Wimmer Presents has bought a booking agent headed by industry veteran and top Native American casino talent buyer Billy Brill (l.)
GOODS & SERVICES More
World Series of Poker to Go Live Again This Fall
Last year, the World Series of Poker went both digital and live. This year, it’s back to the usual format. The annual poker tournament will run September 30 to November 23 at the Rio in Las Vegas.
Japan Pachinko Giant to Launch Poker Line
Japanese pachinko developer Sammy Corp. has announced a new business line that will focus on the world’s most popular poker variety, Texas Hold ‘em. The new business arm will be called “m.”
Empire, National Table Games Create Partnership
Empire Technological Group has entered into an exclusive partnership with National Table Games to distributor its games and bonusing systems worldwide.
CPI Installs Cashless System at Viejas
Crane Payment Innovations has installed its cashless payment system at Viejas Casino and Resort (l.) in Alpine, California, including CPI’s SC Advance banknote validators and Easitrax Connect software.
Rymax Previews Exhibit for NIGA Tradeshow
Rymax has previewed the products it will be exhibiting at the Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention, slated for July 19-22 at the Caesars Forum in Las Vegas.
Aristocrat Launches Wild Buffalo, Dragon Link Progressive
Aristocrat Gaming has launched Wild Wild Buffalo and debuted the new Dragon Link high-denomination progressive in partnership with the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
YouTube Bans Gambling Ads
YouTube is banning advertising in several categories, including gambling, from its masthead ads, which is the most prominent Google advertising placement available.
Entain, BetMGM App Informs about Problem Gambling
The Entain Foundation U.S. has launched a free app to educate users about problem gambling and how to get help. The app talks about regulating habits, availability of chats, and resources.
TRADE SHOWS & CONFERENCES More
IAGR to Launch Awards at September Trade Show
The International Association of Gaming Regulators has announced an awards program for regulators “who are helping to drive the industry forward.” The awards will be given at the IAGR’s September conference.
WILD CARD More
Yukon Residents: Fine for Ex-Casino CEO a Wrist Slap
Last week, a former casino executive and his actress wife pleaded guilty to jumping the line to get Covid vaccines in the Yukon. Locals were disappointed by the punishment: $1,150 for Rod and Ekaterina Baker (l).
NEWS & NOTES
Small Nuggets of News
THEY SAID IT More
Outrageous pronouncements, simple statements and words of wisdom.