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Gambling in the USA

Florida legislators will try to pass gambling bill

George Miller

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Florida legislators will try to pass gambling bill
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TALLAHASSEE — After past deals have collapsed amid infighting among Florida’s gambling interests, the Republican-controlled Legislature is trying yet again to pass a comprehensive gambling bill.

There is a renewed effort in passing a bill this year because a constitutional amendment on casinos will be on the ballot in November. Additionally, there are questions as to whether an agreement brokered last year between Gov. Rick Scott and the Seminole Tribe of Florida will continue to guarantee the state a certain amount of money.

Can something get done? I don’t know,” said Sen. Bill Galvano, a Bradenton Republican involved in gambling negotiations with House leaders. “But I think it’s important to at least see what is a possibility.

Gambling is supposed to be “illegal” in Florida, but really isn’t. There’s plenty of it around the state, often tucked away from theme parks and beaches in locations known mostly to locals and retirees who flock to Florida each winter.

While the state lacks high-end casinos like Las Vegas, the Seminole Tribe operates several casinos, including Hard Rock hotels and casinos in Tampa and Hollywood. Dog and horse tracks are scattered statewide, but only those in south Florida have been permitted to install slot machines, while only the tribe is authorized to offer blackjack.

In the past few years, the Legislature has considered bills that would have opened up the state to more top-end casinos only to see the efforts fail because of competing interests, including those in the gambling industry as well as those in the state’s tourism industry who have been traditionally opposed to any expansion of gambling.

The legislative efforts could end this year, however, if voters approve an amendment that would make it clear that only voters can approve new casinos in the future. Sixty percent of voters would have to say yes in order for the measure to become law.

If we want to have a say in what gaming is going to look like for the next several decades, now is the time to act,” said Rep. Jose Oliva, a Miami Lakes Republican in line to become the next House speaker.

Another wrinkle this year is that Scott and tribal officials late last year negotiated a settlement to end a lawsuit over whether the tribe could continue to offer blackjack at its casinos. But some legislators have questioned whether the settlement is binding without legislative approval and whether the tribe will continue to make payments under the deal.

A House panel on Tuesday made its opening offer in this year’s negotiations by approving a bill that calls for a 20-year deal between the state and the Seminoles. The agreement calls for the tribe to pay the state $3 billion over the next seven years and it would allow tribal casinos to keep blackjack tables that were first approved by the state back in 2010.

But the legislation also freezes other gambling operations in place and would not allow slot machines outside of two South Florida counties. Rep. Mike La Rosa, a St. Cloud Republican and sponsor of the bill, acknowledged the House bill would “box up all gaming and gambling for 20 years.”

Some legislators contended this approach is unfair because voters in eight counties outside of South Florida have voted in favor of adding slot machines to existing dog and horse tracks. The state Supreme Court ruled last year that the referendums did not give counties legal authority to approve slots.

Some lawmakers also want to allow existing tracks to drop living racing events yet still keep other types of gambling such as poker rooms. Rep. Jared Moskowitz, a Coral Springs Democrat, said it was a “communist solution” to force track owners to keep offering live racing in order to keep their gambling permits.

 

Source: newschief.com

Gambling in the USA

Gaming Americas Weekly Roundup – May 17-23

Niji Narayan

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Welcome to our weekly roundup of American gambling news again! It was again an eventful week at the USA, despite the still-active virus attack.

The good news is that the lock-down and social restrictions to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic have been eased in many states. As a result, most of the industrial sectors are resuming their operations. Same in the case of the gambling sector too. Several gambling companies too have restarted their operations and some others are on way to resume.

We also report new partnership deals, publication of financial results, and COVID-19 relief efforts in this weekly round-up. Read on and get updated.

Partnership Deals

Evolution Gaming signed a strategic agreement with online casino operator Golden Nugget. The deal will see Golden Nugget’s existing online offering further enhanced in New Jersey, and potentially in other US states in the future, by the addition of Evolution’s US online Live Casino services. As per the deal, Golden Nugget’s online players will have access to unique Evolution game types such as Dream Catcher, Side Bet City, and Top Card, as well as other games from the Evolution portfolio.

Also, the leading sportsbook and casino platform provider BetConnections inked an agreement to obtain DS Virtual Gaming’s full list of games. The integration of the games will give players access to a selection of DS VG’s hit releases with HD video content and state-of-the-art graphics.

There was happy news about Konami Gaming too as its SYNKROS CMS has been selected by Jamul Casino to deliver comprehensive gaming enterprise management across the 200,000 square foot destination.

Konami’s SYNKROS will deliver its leading systems technology across Jamul Casino’s 39 live table games, 1600+ slot games, restaurants, bars, and more.

Financial Reports

The Delaware Lottery reported a 39% year on year increase in online gambling revenues for April 2020. While the state’s land-based venues have been forced to close due to COVID-19, players have turned to online sites instead.

Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and the Harrington Raceway generated total revenues of US$856,182, up from US$615,772 the previous year. This number was and also higher than the US$514,959 generated in March this year.

COVID-19 Relief Efforts

The Alabama Food Bank Association received support from Wind Creek Hospitality, a company owned by the Alabama-based Poarch Band of Creek Indians, to help provide 250,000 meals to Alabama families during the COVID-19 pandemic. The support comes at a critical time for food banks in Alabama as they respond to a greater need during this unprecedented crisis.

Announcements

Ulrik Bengtsson, CEO of William Hill, has revealed that the company is planning to launch online casinos in the US in the second half of 2020.

Despite taking a hit to its results in Q1 2020, William Hill is determined to power up quickly in the second half of the year.

Surveys

Fantasy sports site Monkey Knife Fight (MKF) found in a recent survey of its 1000 users that the popularity of golf will soar both on viewership and participation.

Of MKF’s users, 76% reported that they would participate in a fantasy golf prop contest once golf returns. This is in sharp contrast (181% increase) to the 27% that reported ever having played one MKF golf prop contest before the pandemic.

Compliance

The Colombian gambling regulator Coljuegos published the live casino regulations. These regulations allow the country’s licensed gambling operators to offer live casino games from casinos or studios located within Colombia or overseas, subject to the certification of games by an approved testing house.

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Gambling in the USA

Grover Gaming Surpasses $150M Raised for Charities

Niji Narayan

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Grover Gaming Surpasses $150M Raised for Charities
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Greenville-based Grover Gaming has announced that it had surpassed $150 million in monies raised for charities through their charitable gaming and partners across the US.

These partners represent hundreds of charities, organisations, and fraternal groups, including the Loyal Order of the Moose, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks, the Fraternal Order of Eagles, and many others. These organisations are responsible for the support and care of millions of Americans and Veterans through hospitals, schools, retirement homes, and research centers.

“This is another incredible milestone for our charitable gaming partners. As the past few months have shown, charities and fraternal organizations often take the lead when it comes to providing help and support during difficult times within their communities. We’re proud to help our partners fulfill that mission as we continue to provide the most entertaining gaming experiences in the industry,” Garrett Blackwelder, President of Grover Gaming, said.

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Gambling in the USA

AGS Partners with Kindred to Offer Online Real-money Games in New Jersey

Niji Narayan

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AGS Partners with Kindred to Offer Online Real-money Games in New Jersey
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AGS has partnered with the Kindred Group to provide its online, real-money games for Kindred’s Unibet brand in New Jersey.

AGS has launched on Kindred Group’s nj.unibet.com with six of its highest-performing games: Fu Nan Fu Nu, Golden Wins, Jade Wins, Longhorn Jackpots, Olympus Strikes and Rakin’ Bacon.

“It’s exciting for AGS to partner with the Kindred Group and provide our high-volatility, entertaining, and proven slot content for their Unibet New Jersey online casino. Kindred’s Unibet brand enables us to introduce our popular AGS games to thousands of new fans and to partner with one of the world’s largest online gaming operators,” Matt Reback, Executive Vice President of AGS, said.

“It has been a true pleasure working with AGS on the launch of their games. AGS game titles are certainly well-known to retail players in the U.S. and are proving to be just as popular with online slot enthusiasts who seek high-volatility thrills and popular features like pick’em bonuses, progressive jackpots, and free games. We look forward to growing our partnership with AGS as we expand our reach in the U.S.” Manuel Stan, Kindred Group U.S. Senior Vice President, said.

AGS offers its game content to seven online operators in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Rush Street Interactive, Caesars Entertainment, Golden Nugget, Kindred Group, Mohegan Sun, Resorts World and Parx Casino.

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