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Gambling in the USA

Empire Resorts and bet365 Forge Strategic Alliance to Offer Sports Betting and Online Gaming in New York State at Resorts World Catskills

Zoltan Tundik

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  • Collaboration Between New York’s Premier Integrated Commercial Casino Resort Destination and World’s Largest Online Sports Betting Operator Positions Resorts World Catskills as Leading NY State Sports Betting and Gaming Destination
  • bet365 to Invest up to $50 Million to Become Empire Resorts, Inc.’s Second Largest Shareholder
  • Kien Huat Realty III, Ltd. Commits up to $126 Million Investment via Convertible Preferred Stock

Empire Resorts, Inc. (NasdaqGM: NYNY) (together with its subsidiaries, “Empire”) and an affiliate of bet365 Group Limited (“bet365”) today announced a strategic alliance to develop a physical and online sportsbook in New York State at Resorts World Catskills, New York’s newest and largest integrated commercial casino resort destination with closest proximity to Manhattan. Empire and an affiliate of bet365, the world’s largest online sports bookmaker, entered into a 20-year agreement (the “Sports Wagering Agreement”) to offer retail sports betting, an online sportsbook and online gaming at Resorts World Catskills if and when permitted by applicable law. Under the Sports Wagering Agreement, Empire and bet365 will establish New York’s premier sports betting and online gaming option. This agreement provides for the companies to share profits 50/50 after bet365 recoups its start-up and other costs.

In connection with the Sports Wagering Agreement, an affiliate of bet365 will acquire up to $50 million of Empire common stock at a price of $20 per share in two tranches, making it Empire’s second largest stockholder.

Additionally, Kien Huat Realty III, Ltd. (“Kien Huat”), Empire’s largest stockholder, has committed to purchase up to $126 million of convertible preferred stock, with a conversion price of $20 per share. The investment by bet365 and the commitment by Kien Huat strengthens Empire’s financial position and underscores Kien Huat’s view of the potential for value creation in Empire’s Resorts World Catskills.

Resorts World Catskills is one of only four commercial casinos in New York State currently authorized by statute to offer retail sports betting pending the promulgation of regulations. Resorts World Catskills is ideally positioned to offer sports betting with the expertise of bet365, which is ranked No. 1 in sportsbook revenues globally with annual revenues of over $3 billion and No. 1 in the EGR Global Power 50 rankings from 2010 to 2017. bet365 operates a highly successful in-play betting product with a scalable and growing mobile platform.

“Joining forces with bet365 positions Empire and our flagship Resorts World Catskills to lead a potentially enormous new market,” said Manny Pearlman, Executive Chairman of Empire Resorts, Inc. “bet365’s global expertise in effectively developing and executing world-class sportsbooks strongly complements Empire’s leadership in commercial casino operations in New York. This collaboration, which will enable Resorts World Catskills to be a leading destination for sports wagering in New York State, highlights our commitment to the continued growth of Resorts World Catskills, as well as our dedication to working with the best, most innovative pioneers in the industry to provide world-class gaming options.”

The alliance provides bet365 access to the New York State sports wagering market, which, according to market estimates by Eilers & Krejcik Gaming LLC, is expected to be the single largest market jurisdiction for sports betting in the United States other than California, with projections for more than $1 billion in annual revenues from sports betting within five years of legalization.1 Following the announcement of a market access deal in New Jersey earlier this year, bet365 is well positioned for sports betting expansion into New York State.

“This landmark agreement, which combines Empire’s gaming operating skill with our expertise in providing best-in-class online sports betting, allows bet365 to tap into what we believe will be one of the most significant online and sportsbook markets in the United States,” said Simon Betteley, President of Hillside (New York) LLC, a bet365 affiliate.

The alliance with bet365 is the next phase of Resorts World Catskills’ growth, including the addition of a new hotel with two dining and entertainment venues by the end of the year. In 2019, two additional hospitality venues are expected to open at the destination resort in which Resorts World Catskills is located. The Kartrite Hotel and Indoor Waterpark is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2019, and a Rees Jones redesign of the well-known Monster golf course will debut in the second half of 2019.

Following its initial investment, which closed today, an affiliate of bet365 will own approximately 4.9% of Empire’s outstanding common stock. Pursuant to the Sports Wagering Agreement, the parties expect to use the bet365 brand and online consumer facing sports betting and digital platform.

Moelis & Company LLC acted as financial advisor and Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP, Sidley Austin LLP, Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP and Fox Rothschild LLP acted as legal counsel to Empire Resorts, Inc. Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP acted as legal counsel to bet365 Group Limited.

After starting out as an affiliate in 2009 and developing some recognized review portals, I have moved deeper into journalism and media. My experience has lead me to move into the B2B sector and write about compliance updates and report around the happenings of the online and land based gaming sector.

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Gambling in the USA

US domestic casinos record a revenue of $42.7 billion in 2018

Niji Ng

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US domestic casinos record a revenue of $42.7 billion in 2018
Photo Source: booking.com
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Domestic commercial casinos in the USA posted a revenue of nearly $42.7 billion in 2018, marking an increase of 4 per cent year on year. This is also the highest ever total for the country’s gambling industry.

The Adams Revenue Revue, prepared by Reno-based gaming analyst and consultant Ken Adams for CDC Gaming Reports, indicates that 23 commercial casino markets reported gross gaming revenue (GGR) totalling $42.69 billion.

Adams termed 2018 as “a good year,” with increased earnings stemming from the opening of new casinos in Atlantic City, Massachusetts, and New York. The $42.7 billion win is a $1.5 billion premium on 2017’s total haul.

December revenue was fuelled by the introduction of new casinos, more (slot machine-like) VLTs, and, in the last half of the year, by sports betting, Adams wrote.

Despite the US gaming industry’s best casino revenue win in the nation’s history, associated stocks do not reflect the same prosperity. A downward second half for the US stock market pushed shares lower for major operators including MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, Wynn Resorts, and Las Vegas Sands.

Nevada, the richest casino state in America, reported $11.9 billion in GGR last year, its third highest mark in history. Despite the Silver State losing its monopoly on sports betting following the Supreme Court’s repeal of the federal ban last May, Nevada sportsbooks recorded a record $5 billion handle, and record $301 million win.

Pennsylvania commercial casinos enjoyed their best year in history, with GGR totaling $3.24 billion.

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Gambling in the USA

Scientific Games to Reschedule Investor Conference Call on Thursday, February 21, 2019 to 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time

George Miller

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Scientific Games to Reschedule Investor Conference Call on Thursday, February 21, 2019 to 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time
Photo Source: OJO Images / Rex Features
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Scientific Games Corporation announced it is rescheduling the release of results for its fourth quarter ended December 31, 2018 on Thursday, February 21, 2019 to before the market opens. The Company will host an investor conference call and simultaneous webcast that day at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time to discuss these results. The call was originally scheduled for Thursday, February 21 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Analysts and investors on the conference call will have an opportunity to ask questions.

We encourage participants to pre-register for the conference call by using the following link. Callers who pre-register will be given a conference passcode and unique PIN to gain immediate access to the call and bypass the live operator.  Participants may pre-register at any time, including up to the call start time. To pre-register, click here: Scientific Games Investor Call.

Investor Conference Call

Thursday, February 21, 2019

8:30 a.m. Eastern Time / 5:30 a.m. Pacific Time

Those without internet access or unable to pre-register may dial in by calling: 

All participants:  +1 (412) 317-5420

Conference ID: Scientific Games Corporation Investor Call

Webcast:

To access the live webcast of the call, please visit the Company’s website at www.scientificgames.com and click on the webcast link under the investor information section. A replay of the webcast will be available approximately one hour after the webcast and will be archived on the Company’s website.

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Gambling in the USA

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain Holds Historic Topping Off Ceremony

George Miller

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Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain Holds Historic Topping Off Ceremony
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Commemorates partnership between The Seminole Tribe of Florida and Enterprise Rancheria

 

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain held a topping off ceremony on Feb. 13, 2019, to celebrate reaching this major construction milestone in the project. The highly-anticipated property is slated to be the premier entertainment destination in Northern California once it opens in fall of 2019.

“I want to thank everyone involved in this momentous development,” said Mark Birtha, president of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain. “It is such an incredible feeling of pride and excitement seeing it coming to life. I know this property is going to be a landmark in the region and a shining representation of all the Hard Rock brand has to offer.”

During the event, the final beam, signed by tribal members, was grandly lifted up by a crane to the top of the structure. As part of the ceremony, Hard Rock executives and tribal council recognized the construction workers’ incredible efforts and commitment to the project. The topping off event also commemorated the historic partnership between two Native American Tribes — The Seminole Tribe of Florida, owners of Hard Rock International and Enterprise Rancheria.

“This is truly a great day for our Tribe and community and for the workers, customers and business partners of our region,” said Enterprise Rancheria Tribal Chairperson Glenda Nelson. “Partnering with Hard Rock and the Seminole Tribe is a real game changer with their world-recognized brand, commitment to premium quality experiences across a full spectrum of hospitality and entertainment options, and unique corporate values make them a dream partner for us.”

Situated in the North Sacramento Valley, the property will offer the latest in live music and entertainment, hospitality, world-class gaming and exceptional cuisine. It will feature a hotel with multiple suite offerings, a large gaming facility with over 1,800 slot machine and table game positions, along with an outdoor pool and deck area, large meeting space and a great selection of bars and restaurants. The property also includes signature brand amenities like the Rock Shop® and Body Rock® fitness center.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain is expected to create more than 2,000 construction jobs upon its completion, with nearly 750 working at peak times on the project any given day. The development includes approximately 1,500 tons of steel (1/10th the weight of the Brooklyn Bridge steel), 15,000 cubic yards of concrete (if paved, would stretch to downtown Sacramento), 550 tons of rebar steel (laid from end to end, would stretch to San Francisco), 120 miles of electrical conduit, as well as 380 miles of wire and cabling (would stretch from Sacramento to Los Angeles) being used for the project. Upon opening later this year, the hotel-casino will employ over 1,000 full-time and part-time team members.

 

Source: Hard Rock International

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