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Gambling in the USA

Colorado’S Sports Betting Industry Market Should Thrive When Games Are Back On

Zoltan Tundik

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Breckenridge, Colorado - Image by David Mark from Pixabay
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Set to launch on May 1, Colorado could attract as much as $6 billion in sports bets annually, according to PlayColorado analysts

Colorado’s fledgling sports betting industry will eventually generate billions of dollars in bets annually, hundreds of millions in operator revenue, and tens of millions in tax revenue, according to estimates by PlayColorado.com, which researches and analyzes the state’s newly regulated sports betting market.

Despite the sports world being indefinitely shuttered in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, regulators are preparing for a May 1 launch of online and retail sports betting. When it does, Colorado will become the 18th state to have some form of legal sports betting. And the Centennial State has a bright future, capable at maturity of generating as much as $6 billion in sports bets annually, $400 million in gross operator revenue annually, and $40 million in annual tax revenue, according to PlayColorado projections.

“With a significant base of existing land-based casinos, a regulatory framework that will be attractive to operators, and one of the largest metropolitan markets in the country to draw from, Colorado is well-positioned to capitalize on sports betting,” said Dustin Gouker, chief analyst for PlayColorado.com. “But assuming the industry does launch on May 1, it will be doing so in unprecedented circumstances with almost no sports to wager on. There are some advantages to a forced soft opening, but it also means that it will be some time before we learn with confidence just how Colorado’s bettors will respond to legal sports betting.”

Colorado regulators have been deliberate in creating a regulatory framework for casinos, opting for a later start date to ensure that the state gets sports betting right. Its 10% tax on net revenue is comparable to some of the most successful sports betting markets. New Jersey, which is neck and neck with Nevada as the nation’s largest sports betting market, levies a 9.75% tax on revenue from retail sportsbooks and 13% on online sports betting revenue. Indiana, the No. 4 sports betting market in the U.S., taxes sports betting at a 9.5% rate.

In addition, Colorado has avoided some of the pitfalls of earlier adopters, such as imposing maximum bet limits, a decision state regulators left to operators.

“Colorado legislators and regulators have made many smart, measured decisions based on input from casinos, operators, and bettors, and that has led to the adoption of an excellent collection of rules and restrictions,” Gouker said. “They have also had the undeniable benefit of seeing what has worked in other states. Colorado’s methodical approach might have been frustrating to bettors by slowing the launch, but there is plenty to be encouraged about. Sports betting operators have inked partnerships and regulators are listening to stakeholders. That will serve Colorado well.”

Until the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, bettors will largely have to wait to wager on anything other than futures on pro sports and a handful of international sports.

In other states, legal online casino and poker wagering has meant millions in additional revenue for operators and states, helping to bolster bottom lines during a difficult time in the gaming industry.

“There is no question that the revenue from online casinos and poker rooms has helped operators in states such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania weather the shutdowns of land-based casinos and essentially all sports,” Gouker said. “Coloradoans will likely someday decide if and when the time is right to legalize online casino wagering. In the meantime, it has put the right framework in place for its sports betting industry to thrive once sports are played again.”

For more information and analysis on regulated sports betting in Colorado, visit PlayColorado.com/news.

Gambling in the USA

Gaming Americas Weekly Roundup – April 12-18

Niji Narayan

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

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

Here, we are going through the weekly highlights of the American gambling industry which include the latest news, new partnerships and compliance updates. Read on and get updated.

Latest News

Rush Street Interactive (RSI) has launched its flagship brand and award-winning online casino platform BetRivers.com in West Virginia. Through RSI’s partnership with Century Casinos Inc.’s (Nasdaq: CNTY) Mountaineer Park Inc., West Virginians can now play a fun array of online slot games and popular table games such as blackjack, roulette and baccarat. Similar to other markets where it operates, BetRivers.com plans to consistently add fan-favourite casino games to its site in West Virginia to provide players with fresh content and the same robust library of games it is known for in other states.

Rhode Island-based Bally’s Corp has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Tropicana Las Vegas Hotel and Casino from Gaming & Leisure Properties Inc for about $308 million. The agreement for the nearly 1500-room hotel, casino, theatre and convention property also involves a sale-and-leaseback transaction relating to Bally’s Black Hawk, Colorado and Rock Island, Illinois, casino properties. The Bally’s-Tropicana transaction is expected to close early next year.

Leaders from the global games industry who participated in #PlayApartTogether have committed to reactivate the initiative launched one year ago, which encourages gamers everywhere to follow World Health Organisation (WHO) health advice on COVID-19 prevention. As part of #PlayApartTogether, a large number of gaming companies agreed to disseminate evidence-based health messages from WHO to help slow the spread of COVID-19. To promote these messages, hundreds of game industry leaders in the interactive entertainment space have encouraged their vast network of users to follow the WHO’s health guidelines.

Wynn Las Vegas has announced a new COVID-19 vaccination and testing policy for its employees. As per the new policy, all employees must get vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 tests. The company said that 60% of its employees have already been vaccinated. The announcement comes as the Nevada Gaming Control Board says it will only consider expanding capacity beyond the current 50% limit if casino-resorts take “measurable and material steps” to get employees vaccinated.

Financial Results

Sports wagering revenue in Iowa reached a new record of $13.5m in March, while the US state’s handle also hit a new monthly high of $161.4m. The revenue total represented a 1,025.0% increase on the $1.2m reported in the same month 2020, the month in which the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic shuttered the state’s casinos and saw major leagues suspended. It also marked a 75.3% month-over-month rise on the $7.7m posted in February this year, as well as breaking January’s $11.3m revenue record.

The casinos in Atlantic City saw an 80% drop in profits last year. According to the state Division of Gaming Enforcement, Atlantic City’s nine casinos collectively posted $117.5 million in gross operating profits in 2020, down from nearly $594m in 2019.

New Partnership

Online casino content developer Spinmatic has entered into a new partnership deal with the Mexican operator BigBola. Through the deal, Spinmatic has strengthened its presence in Latin America, particularly in Mexico, where Big Bola has twenty casinos, apart from the Big Bola Online platform. Spinmatic has a strong interest in the Mexican market, with several of its games already dedicated to this country’s culture. Some of these Mexican-themed slots are El Fuego, Mayanera Return, Día de los Muertos and the most recent 3 Amigos.

Appointments and Promotions

Leading US gaming company DraftKings has appointed Brian Angiolet as its first-ever Chief Media Officer. Most recently, Angiolet served as SVP and Chief Business Officer at Verizon Communications. During his tenure at Verizon, Angiolet spearheaded a number of high-profile, multi-billion-dollar content and advertising initiatives including broadcasting, sports and digital entertainment deals across Verizon’s Fios and media properties, partnerships with premier sports leagues like the NFL and NBA, and oversight of Verizon Wireless’ advertising and media portfolio.

Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) has announced multiple promotions within the company. Promoted to senior vice president are Christine Gallo, Compliance and Quality Assurance, and Kevin Mullally, Government Relations and General Counsel. Promoted to vice president are Elizabeth Harrison, Human Resources; Mackenzie Haugh, Engineering; Sangeeta Reddy, Engineering; and Angela Zografos, Vice President, Legal, Corporate and Regulatory Compliance. Throughout the company’s global laboratories, dozens of engineers have also been promoted.

Compliance Update

A pair of bills in the Florida Senate would create a state gaming commission and allow pari-mutuel facilities to offer certain forms of gambling without holding live horse races or jai alai games to bet on. Senate President Wilton Simpson announced that the Regulated Industries Committee will consider SB 7076 and SB 7080 during their meetings next week. The move comes while officials are engaged with negotiations with the Seminole Tribe over a new gaming compact. SB 7076 would create a five-member “Gaming Control Commission” which would oversee all of the state’s gaming activities. Currently, the Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering oversees Florida’s commercial gambling market.

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Gambling in the USA

Gaming Americas Weekly Roundup – April 5-11

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 in the USA, despite the still-active virus attack.

Here, we are going through the weekly highlights of the American gambling industry which include the latest news, new partnerships and compliance updates. Read on and get updated.

Latest News

Scientific Games has launched Mural cabinet, the most visually dramatic gaming cabinet in the company’s range of industry-leading products. The Mural cabinet captures the imagination with its stunning dual 55-inch, 4K resolution curved display, immersing the player in the game and creating an eye-catching attraction on the casino floor. Following the successful launch of Kascada, the next generation of the top-selling TwinStar J43 cabinet, the Mural cabinet’s massive display takes the evolution of Scientific Games’ cabinet building prowess a step further.

Sinclair Broadcast Group and Bally’s Corporation have formally rebranded Sinclair’s regional sports networks as Bally Sports. The rebrand comes on the heels of the November 2020 announcement of the enterprise-wide, long-term strategic partnership between Sinclair and Bally’s.

Scientific Games has launched its online iLottery subscription programme, Subscription Spot, for its longtime Canadian customer, Western Canadian Lottery Corporation. Subscription Spot is available via the WCLC website and is the first instance of a true digital offering for players, allowing the online purchase of lottery games and creating a pathway to digital modernisation with a larger online presence for the lottery.

New Partnership

BetMGM has become an official gaming partner of the Detroit Tigers under the terms of a multi-year sponsorship agreement. Highlights of the sponsorship deal include BetMGM branding on scoreboards throughout Comerica Park, fan-focused promotions, integrated social media content and more.

New Acquisition

Simplicity Esports and Gaming Company has acquired the assets of a gaming centre previously owned by a PLAYlive Nation franchisee in Vancouver. The gaming centre was originally opened in 2013 and has a database of over 17,000 unique customers. The venue is expected to reopen in mid-April.

Compliance Updates

The Brazilian authorities have launched an inquiry aimed at banning loot boxes in the country, on the recommendation of the National Association of Child and Adolescent Defence Centres. The association argued that randomised monetisation mechanics are a form of gambling, which is illegal in Brazil. The inquiry targets companies that sell loot boxes, including Activision, EA, Konami, Nintendo, Riot Games, Ubisoft, Tencent and Valve. If the ban is approved, Brazil could fine violators up to $706,000 per day.

The state of New York has announced it approved a budget for its fiscal year 2022 that would allow for legal online wagering in the state for the first time. Further reporting from the Action Network and the Buffalo News indicates the plan to implement online sports betting will be some form of a limited-operator model that has been championed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The Governor said he wants to run the state’s sports betting industry through the New York Lottery, which is run by the government.

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Gambling in the USA

SoftSwiss Sportsbook launches in-play bets for American leagues

George Miller

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SoftSwiss Sportsbook launches in-play bets for American leagues
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

SoftSwiss announces the introduction of the new functionality on its recently launched Sportsbook solution. Now the platform will allow players to place live bets on the most popular American leagues such as NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB.

The National Basketball Association (NBA), The National Hockey League (NHL), The National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB) are some of the most popular leagues which attract audience from all over the world. Previously, American league odds were available only as a pre-match bet option — now it is also provided as a live betting option (in-play betting), diversifying player engagement. As odds fluctuate a lot more frequently with in-play, it brings more variables to the game, whilst also increasing the value delivered when odds drift. The newly extended Sportsbook functionality will be of particular interest to both SoftSwiss B2B clients, as well as their players. The main odds feeds provider behind the platform is the industry leader Betradar.

Alexander Kamenetskyi, Product Owner of SoftSwiss Sportsbook noted: “We are continuously expanding the functionality and enhancing the interface of our product, making SoftSwiss Sportsbook even more versatile, reliable and secure for our clients. With this new in-play bets option SoftSwiss Sportsbook will be able to maximise player engagement, as well as increase interest in the product from the side of operators. Our platform is actively expanding geographically and we would like to thank our partners for their trust”.

SoftSwiss Sportsbook continues expanding its horizons — just since its official launch in December 2020, the solution already signed 5 clients, and is currently in the process of launching several more in April, including third-party clients.

SoftSwiss Sportsbook Platform is an all-in-one solution for managing sports betting operations. The solution comes with full risk management, fraud prevention and high-quality customer support. Sportsbook inherits the company’s extensive experience in the iGaming market and all crucial functionality from the SoftSwiss Online Casino Platform: security, stability, advanced player segmentation, and adaptability to operators’ marketing needs.

About SoftSwiss
SoftSwiss is an international tech brand supplying widely acclaimed, certified software solutions for managing iGaming operations. The company has a vast product portfolio, which includes an online casino platform, game aggregator with thousands of casino games, an affiliate system, and a recently launched sports betting platform. SoftSwiss holds a number of gaming licenses, providing a “one-stop-shop” White Label solutions by taking care of all technical, legal, and financial processes on behalf of its customers. In 2013 SoftSwiss was the first in the world to introduce a bitcoin-optimized online casino solution. The company has thus been regarded as the leading technical expert when it comes to the use of cryptocurrencies in online gaming.

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