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Gambling in the USA

New Jersey Sportsbooks Accepting Legal Oscars Bets for First Time in U.S. History

Zoltan Tundik

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Academy Awards should generate interest from bettors, according to PlayUSA.com analysts

For movie lovers in and around New Jersey, there has never been a better time to have a strong opinion on this year’s Oscars. New Jersey sportsbooks are the first in United States history to legally accept bets on the Academy Awards — which are set for Feb. 24 — breaking new ground on the rapidly expanding legal sports betting market, according to analysts at PlayUSA.com.

PlayUSA.com’s complete rundown of the Oscars — including odds on every major category, a pick sheet, what sites are accepting bets, and analysis on the races — can be found at www.playusa.com/sports-betting/oscars.

“This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for American movie lovers to bet on the Academy Awards — legally — for the first time ever,” said Jessica Welman, betting analyst for PlayUSA.com and a movie historian who earned a bachelor’s in Cinema-TV Critical Studies from the University of Southern California, and a master’s in Film and Media Studies from Indiana University Bloomington. “Oscars betting has been popular overseas for years, so it will be intriguing to see what the reaction here is. We suspect interest will be relatively high during a typically slow month for sportsbooks.”

In late January, New Jersey regulators opened the door to legal Oscars betting, though it is possible that this is the only year that it is offered. New Jersey sports betting operators have responded, with nine online sites currently offering odds on the Academy Awards.

Odds and contests vary by sportsbooks, and betting limits are relatively low compared with mainstream sporting events. Most books are simply offering odds on the winners of the big six Academy Awards categories: best picture, director, actor, actress, supporting actor, and supporting actress.

“The novelty alone should pique interest of bettors,” said Dustin Gouker, lead sports betting analyst for PlayUSA.com. “People already love to try to predict who will win the Oscars, and now they can actually put their money where their mouth is. Do you think Black Panther, Roma, or A Star Is Born can win it all? You can bet on it in New Jersey.”

As an event that has never been offered before, the handle for legal Academy Awards betting is difficult to predict. But this year could be ideally situated. Odds for a tight Best Picture race range from the favorite, Roma (odds are as low as 1 to 2), to the dark horse, Vice (as high as 800 to 1).

Without a clear favorite, the Best Picture race could generate significant interest.

“This is a fun year, especially for bettors, because there is no heavy favorite,” Welman said. “Looking at the classic indicators of who will win Best Picture, the results are all over the map. While Roma may be the frontrunner, it is far from a guaranteed winner, which means one of these underdog winners could result in big payday for those who back them. Take Black Panther, for example. There is a scenario that the box office smash could win Best Picture. And with some books offering +2,500 odds, a small $10 bet could result in $250 profit.”

For more information, visit www.playusa.com/sports-betting/oscars.

About The PlayUSA Network:
The PlayUSA Network and its state-focused branches (including PlayNJ.com and PlayPennsylvania.com) is a leading source for news, analysis, and research related to the market for regulated online gaming in the U.S.

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

Twin River Worldwide Signs Agreement to Acquire Two Casinos from Eldorado Resorts

Niji Narayan

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Twin River Worldwide Signs Agreement to Acquire Two Casinos from Eldorado Resorts
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Twin River Worldwide Holdings has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Isle of Capri Casino in Kansas City and Lady Luck Casino in Vicksburg from Eldorado Resorts in a cash transaction for $230 million.

The purchase price represents an implied trailing twelve month proforma earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation multiple of approximately 8.4× for the properties on a combined basis.

“This transaction continues our focus on creating long-term shareholder value as we strive to develop or acquire assets which we believe will prove accretive to our earnings,” George Papanier, President and CEO of TRWH said.

“Isle Kansas City and Lady Luck Vicksburg expand our geographic footprint with assets in attractive markets. We believe these assets are a great fit for our portfolio and see the opportunity to increase the net cash flow from these properties by our redevelopment and operating plans. In particular, in Kansas City, where the property lies within an area near downtown that has been targeted by local officials for development, we feel there is opportunity for capital investment in the property which we believe will have a transformative impact and integrate well with local development efforts in the area,” George Papanier added.

The transaction is subject to receipt of required regulatory approvals and is expected to close in early 2020.

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Compliance Updates

Victory for Lottery in Pennsylvania Casinos’ Gambling Lawsuit

Niji Narayan

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Victory for Lottery in Pennsylvania Casinos’ Gambling Lawsuit
Photo Source: post-gazette.com
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Pennsylvania casinos have lost a bid to close down online lottery games that they say are too much like casino gambling, just days before the state’s first casinos launch their own online gambling portals.

The decision of Commonwealth Court is a victory for the state lottery, although the casino owners’ 9-month-old lawsuit will continue.

Lottery officials say the games are in accordance with the 2017 state law that authorised them, but the casinos argue that some online lottery games violate it because they simulate slot machines and casino-style gambling.

The state regulators will allow Parx Casino and Penn Nation’s Hollywood Casino to launch their online gambling portals to patrons statewide as part of a three-day test.

New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada are the only other states that allow online casino gambling.

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Gambling in the USA

New Jersey Sportsbooks Show Remarkable Year-Over-Year Growth While Online Casinos Flourish in June, According to PlayNJ.com

George Miller

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New Jersey Sportsbooks Show Remarkable Year-Over-Year Growth While Online Casinos Flourish in June, According to PlayNJ.com
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New Jersey’s online casinos posted yet another near-record month in June while the state’s online and retail sportsbooks showed strength during a typically slow month. In all, June’s nearly $275 million handle was an impressive showing considering that the summer months are historically the slowest on the sports betting calendar, according to analysts from PlayNJ.com.

“To approach $275 million during a month where the only major sports betting event is the NBA Finals says something about the trajectory of New Jersey’s market,” says Dustin Gouker, lead sports betting analyst for PlayNJ.com. “Basketball clearly drives interest, but it also shows that interest in sports betting in general continues to expand.”

New Jersey’s sportsbooks accepted $273.2 million in bets in June, down 14% from $318.9 million in May, according to official reporting released Friday. The handle yielded $9.7 million in revenue, down 37% from $15.5 million in May.

June’s handle was up dramatically from $15.3 million in June 2018, and revenue has nearly tripled from $3.5 million in June 2018. Since launch, New Jersey sportsbooks have generated a handle of $3.2 billion and a win of $203.8 million. And New Jersey’s handle could surpass Nevada for the second consecutive month.

“The rate of growth will eventually level out, but I do not believe that time is at hand,” Gouker said. “The fact that New Jersey is now on par with Nevada, a market that has matured over generations, is remarkable. Competition from the launch of Pennsylvania’s sports betting apps could slow momentum, though.”

Online sports betting generated 83% — $226.7 million — of June’s handle, up from 82.6% in May. FanDuel Sportsbook/PointsBet generated $2.7 million in online gross revenue, or 28% of the state’s handle, edging Resorts/DraftKings. FanDuel Sportsbook at The Meadowlands lead the retail market with $1.7 million in June gross revenue.

“FanDuel has refused to loosen its grip on the New Jersey market,” Gouker said. “Other operators such as Monmouth Park and its associated online brands have shown plenty of growth, but at this point, it’s becoming difficult to see when FanDuel and DraftKings will will be seriously challenged.”

Online casinos

New Jersey’s online casino and poker industry generated $38.1 million in June revenue. June’s revenue was up 68% from $22.7 million gained in June 2018 and down slightly from $38.3 million in May.

The continued growth of online gambling — especially when online sports betting is factored in — shows that it could one day generate as much revenue as gambling in Atlantic City casinos. In fact, the Golden Nugget’s online casino brands — home to the Golden Nugget, Betfair, and SugarHouse online casino brands — could surpass Golden Nugget Atlantic City’s revenue before the end of the year. The Golden Nugget generated $13.6 million with its online casino games in June, down from $14.1 million in May. By contrast, Golden Nugget AC generated $15.8 million in June.

“Golden Nugget’s ability to generate nearly 50% of its revenue through its online casino without cannibalizing its brick-and-mortar operations should be a wakeup call to every state lawmaker and casino owner who still make the false assumption that such a dynamic is not possible,” said Steve Ruddock, lead online gambling analyst for PlayNJ.com. “Online and retail gambling are not simply compatible, they’re mutually beneficial.”

 

About the PlayUSA.com Network:

The PlayUSA.com Network and its state-focused branches (including PlayNJ.com and PlayPennsylvania.com) is a leading source for news, analysis, and research related to the market for regulated online gaming in the U.S.

 

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