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Plaza Hotel & Casino to host second annual Las Vegas Pickleball Open, Sept. 24-28

Vlad Poptamas

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LAS VEGAS – With more pickleball courts than any Las Vegas hotel/casino, the Plaza Hotel & Casino is again the official hotel and title sponsor of the Las Vegas Pickleball Open, Sept. 24-28. The annual competition saw registration more than double in its second year and expects to welcome nearly 650 players in 2019.

Due in large part to the success of last year’s tournament, hundreds of amateur and professional pickleball players from across the United States and around the world, including Japan, Mexico and Canada, will participate in next month’s event. Players also span multiple generations, from 12 to 81 years of age. Many players from last year are also returning, including top pros Simone Jardim and Kyle Yates to defend their mixed doubles title.

The Las Vegas Pickleball Open offers professional players a competitive prize package of $25,000 split between grand prize, silver and bronze medalists. The Plaza will again construct special grandstand seating for championship matches that will be streamed live on the event website.

“Pickleball continues to grow in popularity for players young and old,” said Jonathan Jossel, CEO of the Plaza Hotel & Casino. “Since we debuted the permanent pickleball courts on the rooftop pool and recreation deck in 2016, the Plaza has built a unique reputation as a premier pickleball destination. Now, we are welcoming hundreds of players from around the globe for this unparalleled tournament that offers players everything: top-notch competition as well as delicious dining options, exciting entertainment and relaxing accommodations, all in the heart of downtown Las Vegas.”

The tournament will offer men’s, women’s, and mixed amateur doubles matches as well as men’s, women’s, mixed and senior (50-plus) professional doubles matches. Matches will be played from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, with the scheduling of the championship matches to be announced. Spectators can attend any of the matches, including the semi-finals and championships, for free.

Players can register for the tournament online at www.lasvegaspickleballopen.com. Participants can also book hotel rooms at the Plaza at a special tournament rate, starting at $40 per night on the event site or at https://www.plazahotelcasino.com/entertainment/pickleball-open/.

A cross between tennis, badminton and ping pong, pickleball is the fastest growing racquet sport in the U.S., boasting more than three million players – a number that has been growing by more than 10 percent each year over the past decade.

Vlad Poptamas is a Junior Content Editor at European Gaming Media and at PICANTE Media and covers a large variety of industries among which the gaming industry. Vlad has a background and possesses skills that enable him to do creative content writing and editing.

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Gambling in the USA

Sports Betting Bill of Michigan Moves Forward

Niji Narayan

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Sports Betting Bill of Michigan Moves Forward
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A sports betting bill would allow organised sports betting in Michigan casinos and online was passed out of a state house committee. State Representative Brandt Iden of Kalamazoo is sponsoring the legislation.

“Because this is already going on in the market place so we can protect those people who want to play and want to play legally, and we can, you know, make the state a little bit of money, which I think is also a positive,” Iden said.

Iden hopes the bill continues to make its way through the legislature and onto Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s desk before Superbowl season.

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Gambling in the USA

Gaming Innovation Group extends Hard Rock’s sportsbook in Iowa

George Miller

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Gaming Innovation Group extends Hard Rock's sportsbook in Iowa
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We found in a new press release that

Gaming Innovation Group Inc. (GiG) has reached an agreement with its partner, Hard Rock International (Hard Rock), to support its market entry with sports betting in the US state of Iowa. The sportsbook will initially launch with an over-the-counter solution on the casino floor at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City in Iowa. This will be followed by the launch of online and mobile sports betting in Iowa, expected in Q4 2019.

In Iowa, Hard Rock will offer a similar seamless and engaging betting experience for its consumers as it has already delivered in New Jersey, with an omni-channel sportsbook solution based on GiG’s modern and flexible technology.

For GiG, this means the Company will be able to leverage its platform in the US adding more scale to its network and revenues to the business. GiG already has the groundwork done in New Jersey after a successful proof of concept suitable and relevant to the American audience.

Iowa is one of the 12 states in the US legalising sports wagering since the US Supreme Court overturned the federal sports wagering ban in 2018. In August this year, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) authorised the 19 casinos in the state to offer statewide retail, online and mobile sports betting to consumers aged 21 or over. Iowa has approximately 3.2 million inhabitants and should also benefit with visitors from neighboring states such as Nebraska and Minnesota. It has an estimated mature sports betting market valued at revenues of around $160 million based on the total amount of money wagered by consumers. The tax rate on the sports betting revenue is 7.5%.

GiG expects this agreement to have limited impact on its revenues in 2019, with an increasing contribution from the launch of online and mobile betting in 2020 onwards.

Kresimir Spajic, Senior Vice President of Online Gaming at Hard Rock International says, “We’re excited to extend our partnership with GiG to support sports betting in Iowa, and further grow our sportsbook portfolio.”  

“Offering sports betting through GiG provides our players and guests a new level of engagement – we couldn’t be more thrilled to be launching in Iowa,” Jim Franke, General Manager of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City.

Richard Brown, acting Chief Executive Officer of GiG says, “After a successful launch in New Jersey, I am delighted to further deepen the relationship with Hard Rock, delivering on our strategy to grow with our partner by entering a new state in the US with our sportsbook. The agreement is both a testament to our know-how and prowess to lead a land-based casino into the digital world of betting, and a strong validation of GiG’s commercial and product delivery capabilities. We are looking forward to growing with our partner long term. We have mutual ambitions to entertain consumers with a safe and exciting first-class sports betting experience.”

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Gambling in the USA

Vegas Golden Knights home opener viewing party at the Plaza Hotel & Casino

George Miller

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Vegas Golden Knights home opener viewing party at the Plaza Hotel & Casino
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The Plaza Hotel & Casino will host a free viewing party for the Vegas Golden Knights home opener against the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday, Oct. 2.

The free viewing party, open to all ages, will be held in the Plaza Events Center, which has 18 large screen high definition televisions, two projectors and a state-of-the-art sound system, making it one of the best sports viewing experiences in downtown Las Vegas.

Guests can toast the Knights with an exclusive $4 12 oz. Training Day draft beer from 7Five Brewing, Ryan Reeves’ Official Vegas Born Beer (while supplies last). A special $2 Irish Whiskey Shot will also be available with any draft beer purchase. The party will also offer pizza and wing specials from Pop Up Pizza and beer buckets: Domestic (5 bottles for $25) or Imported (5 bottles for $30).

Throughout the game, the Plaza will giveaway official VGK licensed Items, such as lanyards, car gear, hats, bags, VGK wine, and select inaugural season Items. One lucky guest will also have a chance to win a 2-night complimentary stay in one of the Plaza’s newly renovated premium Luxe rooms (restrictions may apply). Each guest will receive one complimentary drawing ticket upon entry for a chance to win prizes (21 years of age or older for certain items).

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