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Gambling in the USA

PARX CASINO persuades the Keystone states regulators to confine the number of IGOs in the state

Athira A

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In an effort to confine the number of Interactive Gaming Operators (IGO’s — aka skins) that can establish shops in the State of Pennsylvania, Parx Casino Bensalem, the largest casino complex based in Pensylvania owned and operated by the Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment (GGE), persuaded the regulators of the state.

Parx: One skin per certificate holder

As per a  letter discovered by Gambling Compliance Research Director, Chris Krafcik, on January 30th, GGE  beseeched the keystone state’s  Gaming Control Board (paywall) to confine specifically each incoming internet gambling certificate holder (understood to be the land-based casinos that currently possess a license to conduct brick & mortar business in PA) to one skin per establishment; and that all branding should directly correlate to the main license holder.

GGE argued “The contrary scenario — whereby a Certificate Holder can have unlimited skins with it bestowing the ability to operate with any number of Interactive Gaming Operators (“IGOs”), some perhaps in partnership with third-party Qualified Gaming Entities and utilising the third party’s brand — creates a sublicensing regime that essentially transfers licensing authority from the PGCB to the Certificate Holder.”

In addition, GGE clings to the belief that the Board “should require that any branding associated with those skins match the brand of the Certificate Holder’s commercial casino operating under its PGCB slot machine license.” The entire email correspondence from GGE to the Gaming Control Board is available here.

The mandates suggested by GGE would essentially block sub-licensees (such as PokerStars, Betfair, and WSOP) from marketing their brands in Pennsylvania while locking-down the state’s future iGaming market in favour of a handful of large casinos with major brand power and customer databases in Pennsylvania. Parx Casino would, of course, be a primary beneficiary of such a policy, as it is the long-standing revenue leader in the PA brick & mortar casino industry.

Parx Casino is joined by Hollywood Casino Grantville, parent company Penn National, in its view that Pennsylvania should not adopt a similar strategy to neighbouring New Jersey, where iGaming revenue has consistently risen as more IGOs have entered the picture.

Response from iDevelopment and Economic Association

The iDevelopment and Economic Association (iDEA – which encompasses iGaming power brokers such as The Stars Group, GVC Holdings (parent company of Party Poker), Resorts Interactive and Tropicana Entertainment) has responded to GGE’s lobbying efforts with its own communication to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

Not surprisingly, iDEA points to the current New Jersey iGaming model which has provided clear benefits for the health of the industry as well as Garden State residents through additional tax revenue.

“By allowing multiple skins per license, Pennsylvania will encourage robust competition among operators,” iDEA states in its letter to the PGCB.

“To compete with larger casinos, smaller casino operators might partner with both poker and table game operators under separate skins to provide innovative products under larger brand names,” iDEA adds. “Without the availability of multiple skins, they would be unable to do so. That competition and innovation will result in higher revenue for the state and greater satisfaction for players.”

 Thoughts and analysis

There is truth to iDEA’s arguments, as the allowance of multiple skins does encourage competition, ultimately resulting in a healthier environment for both operators and players. In New Jersey, there’s been a clear appetite for more sites than there are casinos, with brands such as Betfair and Play Sugar House gaining significant market share, all while bolstering the revenue of smaller Atlantic City brands.

In Pennsylvania, limiting the number of skins will be highly discouraging to smaller casinos, as the licensing fee to become an iGaming certificate holder for slots, table games, and poker is set at an outlandish $10 million (or $4 million per vertical). It is hard to foresee lesser land-based casinos getting too excited about paying this exorbitant amount for just one or two sites, especially for online gambling services that offer slots, which will be taxed at an unprecedented 54 percent of Gross Gaming Revenue.

Not to mention, if the sites are required to be self-branded, big brands like Parx will have a built-in advantage at launch, further discouraging smaller brands from taking a shot. This will be a shame, as smaller brands have proven more successful than the top dogs in New Jersey over the long haul — a fact we assume Parx is well aware of.

Ultimately this feels like a power grab from Parx, who will be a reluctant participant in the iGaming industry, and is looking to protect its industry-leading brand by all but preventing its competitors from entering the space.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will have the last say on this developing story as Keystone State residents anxiously await the 2018-2019 rollout of real money internet gambling.

Athira is a self-described “logophile” – a lover of words. She loves updating her vocabulary and playing around with words, to frame a sensible world of letters. Letters come alive when they become words and when words become sentences. And that’s her job, to put them together in a meaningful way without loosing its essence. She has written content for websites, articles and poems for an international magazine, and press releases as well. She also loves writing on social media. She holds a Masters degree in bio-technology, but she has always been interested in the organic farming of words. Besides writing content for our daily news feed, she is also working as staff writer/editor with Impressions Content Management, based in Kerala, India, which offers writing and editing services to clients around the world.

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Gambling in the USA

Innovative Technology Americas recruits new Office Manager

George Miller

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Innovative Technology Americas recruits new Office Manager
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Innovative Technology Americas, Inc. is pleased to welcome Beth Clark, Office Manager, to their Wisconsin office.  Beth joins Innovative Technology’s US operations at a crucial time of growth and is an integral part of ensuring excellent customer service provision to its extensive US customer base.

Rebecca White, VP of Sales & Business Development commented, “I am delighted to welcome Beth to the US team. Beth has been with us for a few months now and she has made a real difference to the running of the office. Beth has a long work history of office management in the manufacturing and distribution industries making her an ideal fit for the role. The role is varied with responsibility for customer service, order processing, data entry, accounts and sales assistance and Beth has made improvements in all areas already.”

Commenting on her new position Beth said, “I joined the company back in June and I am settling in well, enjoying the job and getting to know the broad range of cash validation products we offer. I am applying my extensive office management and purchasing skills to the role and I have already put in place new procedures to fulfil customer orders as efficiently as possible. I am excited about the opportunity and growth potential here at Innovative Technology Americas and look forward to working with the rest of the US team and my international colleagues as we to expand our reach in the region.”

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Gambling in the USA

GameOn, A First-Of-Its-Kind, Free, Zero-Risk Sports Betting App With Real Cash Prizes, Available For Download Today

George Miller

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GameOn, A First-Of-Its-Kind, Free, Zero-Risk Sports Betting App With Real Cash Prizes, Available For Download Today
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

GameOn’s 100% FREE App Allows Sports Fans of all Levels – Casual & Hardcore – to Compete, Watch and Win Prizes of up to $1 Million During LIVE Sports

 

Available on the App Store and Google Play, GameOn App Inc. has launched GameOn – a new and free way for fans to compete, watch and win during live sports! FREE to play with real cash prizes of up to $1 Million!

To celebrate Thanksgiving and Americans love of football, GameOn will give away a $1 million prize for Perfect Picks across all three Thanksgiving NFL games. Any players who get all picks right, including the game winners and first touchdown scorers, will take home a share of the $1 Million prize!

GameOn takes the free-to-play model of trivia apps and applies it to the sports world with game predictions. Unlike fantasy and gambling, GameOn is simple and completely free. No player drafting or hard-to-understand points systems.

Just three simple steps:

Before the game
Make picks from player and team-related questions. For example, “Who will win?”, “Who will score the first touchdown?” and “Who will hit the most three-pointers?”

During the game
Accumulate points for each correct pick. The riskier the picks, the more points up for grabs!

After the game
Fans with the most points wins cash and brand partner prizes. A tie-break question will split winners if multiple fans finish equal, so no $0.80 grand prizes like trivia apps.

GameOn’s free platform is also designed to be social, connecting you with other fans in your circle. The app features a group chat and leaderboard where you can follow, engage and keep tabs on how friends are tracking for bragging rights.

A recent GameOn player, Gabriel from Brooklyn NY, won $1,000 on his first time trying the app. Gabriel commented: “I played after a good friend of mine referred the app to me, and the experience was great. Real-time updates on the score, and being able to chat with other app users throughout the game was pretty cool, too.”

“We’re shaking up the sports and betting industries by providing a completely free and legal way for all sports fans – even casual” said Matt Bailey, Founder and CEO of GameOn App Inc. “We’re removing the barriers that casual fans experience when engaging in fantasy and gambling. GameOn is free, intuitive and riskless, with real cash prizes up for grabs thanks to our partnerships with major brands.”

GameOn’s exclusively advertiser-funded gameplay means no risk for players, only rewards, including real cash. Burger King and Motorola are the first brands to integrate the app as strategic partners, offering cash prizes and rewarding products – such as free Burger King menu items and Motorola devices. GameOn has also partnered with Global Sports Data Leader, Sportradar, as part of their Acceleradar program, leveraging their stats and scores data, as well as their relationships with major sports leagues.

In just two weeks since launching, GameOn has driven more than 5,000 installs, with 1,500+ playing in each game who’ve won a total of more than $10,000. The demographic is predominantly millennial, with 25% being female – significantly higher than seen in fantasy and gambling, and a testament to the casual fan-friendly gameplay.

To learn more or to download GameOn, visit gameon.app.

 

Source: GameOn App Inc.

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Gambling in the USA

Penn National Gaming Enters into Definitive Agreement to Acquire Operations of Greektown Casino-Hotel

George Miller

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Penn National Gaming Enters into Definitive Agreement to Acquire Operations of Greektown Casino-Hotel
Photo Source: sugarbushtavern.com
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Penn National Gaming, Inc., announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the operations of Greektown Casino-Hotel in Detroit, Michigan for approximately $300 million in cash.

Simultaneous with the closing of the transaction, Penn National will enter into a triple net lease agreement with VICI Properties Inc. for the Greektown facility. The lease will have an initial annual rent of approximately $55.6 million and an initial term of 15 years, with four 5-year renewal options. The rent coverage ratio in the first year after closing is expected to be 1.8x.

Timothy J. Wilmott, Penn National’s Chief Executive Officer, stated, “The acquisition of the Greektown Casino-Hotel operations from JACK Entertainment, LLC will further expand Penn National’s already diverse operating base with a facility that is extremely well-positioned in one of the nation’s largest regional gaming markets. At the same time, Greektown and its customers will benefit from becoming part of a larger gaming operator, with access to properties in Las Vegas and across the country. We are pleased to partner again with VICI Properties to structure this transaction in a manner that is immediately accretive to Penn National’s operating results upon closing.

“Detroit is undergoing an exciting renaissance as a result of billions of dollars of new investments in the city’s residential, commercial, entertainment and cultural center, all of which are driving new residents, businesses, tourists and employment to the downtown area. Greektown is the only casino in the heart of downtown, and we look forward to welcoming patrons from the many nearby attractions, such as Comerica Park, Ford Field, Little Caesars Arena, the city’s theater district, GM’s Renaissance Center and the Cobo Conference Center. We also look forward to working with JACK Entertainment and VICI to ensure a seamless transition for all of our constituents including customers, employees, vendors, local government and Michigan regulators.”

The transaction will be financed with a combination of cash on hand and debt. On a pro forma basis, and reflecting the October 15, 2018 completion of the acquisition of Pinnacle Entertainment and expected late fourth quarter close of Margaritaville Resort Casino, the Company continues to forecast to be at its target debt levels within 12 -18 months.

Mr. Wilmott added, “Greektown Casino-Hotel further strategically diversifies our revenue, operating and customer base, and presents well-defined paths to the realization of significant synergies. With an OpCo purchase multiple of 6.3x anticipated annual run-rate adjusted EBITDA and including synergies to be realized within eighteen months, we believe this transaction again highlights our commitment to enhancing shareholder value. With the expected increase to our free cash flow, we remain well positioned to reduce leverage, evaluate additional accretive strategic growth investments and opportunistically return capital to shareholders.”

Opened in 2000, Greektown Casino-Hotel features 100,000 square feet of casino space, approximately 2,700 gaming machines and 60 table games, a poker room, three restaurants, seven fast casual food outlets, four bars and a coffee shop. In addition, the casino boasts a AAA Four Diamond 400-room, luxury high-rise hotel with 14,000 square feet of event and catering space. The property employs approximately 1,700 team members and has partnered with nearly 20 local restaurants to offer fine dining rewards to guests.

Upon closing the Greektown transaction, Penn National’s portfolio of regional gaming facilities will increase to 41 properties in 19 jurisdictions.

The transaction, which is expected to close in mid-2019, is subject to the approval of the Michigan Gaming Control Board and other customary closing conditions.

 

About Penn National Gaming:
Penn National Gaming owns, operates or has ownership interests in gaming and racing facilities and video gaming terminal operations with a focus on slot machine entertainment. Reflecting the recent completion of the Pinnacle Entertainment transaction the Company now operates 40 facilities in 18 jurisdictions. In total, Penn National facilities feature approximately 49,000 gaming machines, 1,200 table games and approximately 9,000 hotel rooms. The Company also offers social online gaming through its Penn Interactive Ventures division and has leading customer loyalty programs with over five million active customers.

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