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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.

Gambling in the USA

Gaming Americas Weekly Roundup – April 26-May 2

Niji Narayan

Published

on

Reading Time: 4 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 and new partnerships. Read on and get updated.

Latest News

SLING TV, a leading live TV streaming service, has launched a new exclusive sports betting information channel in collaboration with DraftKings. SLING TV subscribers and SLING Free users can now view real-time game scores and betting odds on the DraftKings Basketball channel. SLING TV will also launch DraftKings Baseball and DraftKings Hockey channels in the coming weeks. The expansion of the DraftKings sports betting information channels on SLING TV comes after the two companies announced a strategic agreement across DISH’s portfolio of brands to bring DraftKings’ sportsbook and daily fantasy experiences directly to its customers nationwide. DraftKings is a leader in sports betting and daily fantasy sports space in the US.

Churchill Downs Incorporated has launched TwinSpires Sports mobile app in Indiana and TwinSpires Casino & Sports app in Pennsylvania. The Company also launched its online sports betting operations in Colorado with TwinSpires Sports mobile app and desktop product. TwinSpires players in Indiana, Pennsylvania and Colorado will now be able to bet on professional sports including NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL and PGA, as well as collegiate sports and events from around the world. In Pennsylvania, online casino players will be able to enjoy traditional casino games such as blackjack and roulette, as well as a large selection of online slots and “live dealer” games.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has reached an agreement with the state’s Seminole Tribe that would expand gambling in the state, including the introduction of legalised sports betting. The tribe would be allowed to offer sports gambling at its casinos in South Florida and near Tampa and will be allowed to license horse tracks, jai-alai frontons and former dog tracks to accept such wagers on its behalf for a share of the income, the Republican governor announced. The tribe will also be allowed to introduce craps and roulette at its seven casinos, including the popular Hard Rock near Fort Lauderdale. The state would get at least $2.5 billion from the tribe over the first five years and at least $6 billion by 2030.

Betway’s parent company Super Group is nearing a deal to go public through a merger with blank-check acquisition firm Sports Entertainment Acquisition Corp at a valuation of about $5.1 billion. The deal comes as Betway, which has its roots in Europe, expands in the US. Betway has also agreed to acquire Digital Gaming Corp, tapping the online sports betting and gaming market in 10 U.S. states. Shareholders accounting for more than two-thirds of Super Group’s equity will maintain their stakes under the deal. Sports Entertainment’s executive chairman Eric Grubman will become chairman of Super Group and Sports Entertainment CEO John Collins will join Super Group’s board.

The Brazilian Institute for Legal Gambling (IJL) has called for the Supreme Federal Court (STF) to set a date to discuss the decriminalisation of gambling in Brazil. Although the regulation of gaming in Brazil has been held up, it could see a good resolution with a favorable ruling from the STF. The judicial body has yet to judge resolution 966.177, which could decriminalise gambling. So far there is no official date for this to happen. The court had originally set April 7 as the date to evaluate the appeal but it didn’t have time to do so. Since then it has been delayed indefinitely. The IJL is now pushing for a new date to be set for the dispute to be resolved.

Partnerships

TikTok has partnered with Enthusiast Gaming and e.l.f. Cosmetics to launch “TikTok Gamers Got Talent”. Premiering Sunday, May 9, 2021 at 7:00 PM EST, this content series will mark the inaugural search for the TikTok gaming community’s hidden talents. This exclusive seven-week live series will follow contestants as they show off their diverse talents and compete in front of millions of fans for a chance to win $25,000 and e.l.f. products. From guitar riffs to trick shots to cooking and everything in-between, TikTok Gamers Got Talent is an opportunity for gamers and gaming fans on TikTok to showcase their most impressive skills to a panel of celebrity judges.

Global esports organisation Gen.G and American gas station brand Conoco have joined forces and hosted a first-of-its-kind college esports rivalry week between University of Colorado and University of Montana esports programmes. This marked Conoco’s first-ever activation in the esports space. Rivalry Week was a two-day event pinning the Buffaloes and Grizzlies against each other in Rocket League on April 27 and Minecraft on April 29. The livestream was distributed via Katz LIVE across CTV platforms.

A partnership between Mazooma, the gaming industry leader for bank account-based payments, and Fifth Third Bank is bringing real-time withdrawals to sports wagering and iGaming industries through the RTP network from The Clearing House. The offering, now live for all of Mazooma’s operators, enables players to receive payouts immediately into their bank accounts safely and securely. Immediate payouts are a win-win for both players and operators. Players enjoy peace of mind with the option to access their winnings instantly. For the gaming operator, real-time withdrawals offer a better user experience than any other payment method available.

New Appointment

Rush Street Interactive has appointed Lauren Seiler as Associate Vice President of Investor Relations and Development. Ms. Seiler brings to RSI over 17 years of diversified Wall Street experience, with 12 of those years being gaming-centric. As a long-time industry specialist, she brings an in-depth knowledge of iGaming, sports wagering, land-based operations and finance, along with extensive relationships within the buy and sell-side investor communities to the organisation. In this newly created role, Ms. Seiler will lead RSI’s Investor Relations efforts, while also working with the team to drive RSI’s growth, development, and M&A initiatives.

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Gambling in the USA

Gaming Americas Weekly Roundup – April 19-25

Niji Narayan

Published

on

Reading Time: 4 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 and new partnerships. Read on and get updated.

Latest News

Betsson Perch Investments AB, a subsidiary of Betsson AB (publ) (Betsson), has acquired a 50% stake in the software development company JDP Tech Ltd, which owns a proprietary technology platform for handling LatAm payments. The consideration payable for the shares amounts to EUR 8.8 million. This allows Betsson to secure customer payment flows for the continued expansion in Latin America.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak has announced that the casinos in the state can operate at full capacity from June 1. Nevada is one of the leading tourist destinations in the world and has dramatically suffered due to the coronavirus pandemic. At one point last year, the entire state was shut down for three months until mid-June. But even then capacity limits were in place and hotel casinos were begging to return to full capacity. Steve Hill, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, said the vaccines played a huge role.

According to PlayMichigan, the online sportsbooks in Michigan set fresh records for handle and revenue, reaching nearly $400 million in online and retail bets in March and surpassing $30 million in online revenue, while online casino revenue approached $100 million. The NCAA Tournament spurred Michigan’s online sportsbooks to $359.5 million in handle, according to official data released. That total was up 19.1% from $301.9 million in February. Combined with the state’s $24.2 million retail handle, Michigan’s online and retail sportsbooks collected $383.7 million in bets. That overall total is up 17.8% from $325.6 million in bets in February.

Caesars Entertainment has revealed its plan to invest $400 million into its Atlantic City resorts by 2023. In Atlantic City, Caesars owns and operates three of the region’s preeminent casino destinations – Caesars, Harrah’s Resort and Tropicana Atlantic City. The plans include remodeled room towers; freshly appointed interior design elements; enhancements to the casinos’ gaming floors; new dining concepts with acclaimed restaurant partners; and many more exciting additions within the next three years.

Argentine organisation KRÜ Esports has selected international marketing agency Vanquish as its exclusive commercial agent. KRÜ Esports was established in October 2020 and is founded by Manchester City striker Sergio Agüero. KRÜ Esports currently has three partners in the form of GIGABYTE gaming brand AORUS, streaming platform Twitch and American multinational semiconductor company AMD.

Scientific Games Corporation has signed an agreement with Gold Dust Casino to install its iVIEW displays across 233 slot games and seven table games in addition to SDS and CMP core systems. iVIEW technology enables operators to show dynamic marketing content, animations and videos on the gaming machine while providing an instant response through a sophisticated multi-touch display. iVIEW uses player-friendly graphical widgets to enable marketing teams to easily update content throughout the property, significantly enhancing the player experience.

Betsson Perch Investments AB, a subsidiary of Betsson AB (publ), has acquired a 35% stake in Strive Platform Ltd (Strive) for a total amount of USD 6.5 million. Upon launch in the US, planned for the second half of 2021, Betsson has an option to increase its shareholding in Strive by another 5% for the consideration of USD 1 million. Betsson will also grant to the company a convertible shareholder loan facility of USD 2.5 million.

Partnerships

Phoenix Suns and FanDuel Group have announced a multi-year market access partnership designating America’s #1 Sportsbook operator as the Suns’ Official Sportsbook and Daily Fantasy Sports Partner. As part of this new commercial arrangement, FanDuel will open a luxury sportsbook retail location inside the Phoenix Suns Arena. The sportsbook is expected to be completed in time for the 2021-22 NBA season.

The Professional Fighters League (PFL) has announced a new, multi-year partnership that designates DraftKings as the Official Sportsbook and Daily Fantasy Partner of the PFL. The partnership will give MMA, daily fantasy and sports betting fans a truly unique viewing and gaming experience utilising PFL’s proprietary SmartCage technology.

Ainsworth Game Technology has partnered with Konami Gaming to launch historical horse racing machines (HRMs) for Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI). Konami’s newly engineered historical horse racing machines will operate on Ainsworth’s proprietary Historical Horse Racing System. Konami’s HRMs include a suite of popular game titles and cabinet platforms. The machines will be deployed at CDI’s HRM facilities in Kentucky, including Derby City Gaming, Oak Grove Racing, Gaming & Hotel and Newport Racing & Gaming.

New Appointments

Rush Street Gaming has announced that Justin Moore, former general manager of Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady, has been named general manager of Rivers Casino Philadelphia, pending approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. Justin joined Rivers in Schenectady soon after the property opened in 2017. He helped establish the Rivers Casino brand in a new and competitive market, operated The Landing Hotel and debuted New York’s first sportsbook—all while leading dynamic teams and earning a market-leading position.

Scientific Games Corporation has announced that Victor Blanco will join the Company in 2022 as Chief Technology Officer. In this role, Blanco will oversee Scientific Games’ technology strategy to support the Company’s leadership across gaming, lottery, sports betting and iGaming as well as support the development and execution of the Company’s great games.

DraftKings has appointed Gisele Bündchen, an environmental activist, philanthropist and former super model, as a special advisor to the company’s CEO and board of directors for environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives. Bündchen has been recognised in Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World and 100 Fashion Icons lists, appeared in hundreds of campaigns for the most prominent and iconic brands, graced more than 1200 magazine covers worldwide and walked the runway in close to 500 fashion shows. She is a prominent supporter of numerous environmental and social projects.

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Gambling in the USA

Pennsylvania Online Casino Revenue Sees Drop in Early Q1 Results

George Miller

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Pennsylvania Online Casino Revenue Sees Drop in Early Q1 Results
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

2020 was a challenging year for the gambling industry due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Gambling revenue in Pennsylvania dropped by 20%. The PA gambling industry has been trying to resurface after the 2020 dip.

January

The Pennsylvania online gambling market began 2021 on the right footing with a new monthly record of $80.4 million in revenue recorded in January. That marked seven consecutive months of high revenue records.

The monthly revenue witnessed in January was an 11% increase from the $71.6 million recorded in December 2020. The numbers are even crazier when compared to January 2020, when the PA online gambling industry generated under $14 million in revenue.

The collective total revenue collected from all forms of gambling in PA, including fantasy contests, witnessed a 2.73% increase in January, hitting $311.1 million. Online slots were the major contributor to the PA gambling revenue with $51million. That was a 609% upsurge compared to January 2020. Online table games followed with $26.7 million in revenue, a 479% increase. Online poker was third with $2.7 million, a 26.35% increase.

Revenue wise, the top performer in January was Penn National Gaming’s Hollywood Casino which managed to collect $44.6 million in revenue. Valley Forge Casino bagged $38 million, and Rush Street Interactive followed closely with about $36.9 million collected in January.

February

Following the strong start of the PA iGaming industry, even the best Pennsylvania online casinos, as listed at online-casinos.com, witnessed a slight drop in revenue in the month of February. The drop was entirely due to the impact of the covid-19 pandemic.

According to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, gambling revenue collected across the state in the month of February amounted to $301.9 million, which was a $2.36 million (1%) decreased compared to February 2020.

Revenue from Online Table games and slots dropped by 26% and 27%, respectively. That translates to $20 million less in table game revenues and $53.8 million less in online slots revenue when compared to February 2020.

Every online casino in the state witnessed a drop in slots revenues in February. Only one casino in the entire state, Mount Airy Casino Resort, recorded an increase in online table games revenue by $286,610 in comparison to last year.

Meadows Racetrack and Casino saw a $5.9 million decrease in slots revenue and a $1.1 million dip in table game revenue. Rivers Casino saw a greater impact of $10.1 million in lost revenue for slots and $2.9 million losses in table games revenue. Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin also witnessed a decline, recording $65,570 less in-table game revenues and $1.3 million less in slots revenue.

Most of the impacts felt by land-based casinos were offset by the covid-19 prevention measure of social distancing, leading to low casino traffic. This has, however, resulted in growing popularity in iGaming, sports betting, and video gaming terminals.

March

iGaming poker revenue in PA dropped by 23% to $2.4 million in March. Of the five months where year-over-year comparisons were possible, March was the first to witness a decline. However, the dip does not come as a surprise. It’s now lapping one month of an increase in interest in online gambling following the impacts of covid-19 infections reported in Pennsylvania. In March 2020, online poker revenues surged by over 70% to $3.1 million.

Other verticals did not have an issue going up against the rough annual comparatives. As a matter of fact, online casino revenue exploded in March to $95.3 million – double the revenue collected in March 2020. Online slot machines recorded $66million in revenue, while online table games saw a growth of $20 million from $8.8 million in March last year to $28.8 million this year.

Online sports betting revenue is also showing a strong return. As of March, it was at $37.7 million, up by $7.5 million from February and about five-fold compared to March 2020. Online bookmakers contributed 92% of the total revenue collected from the sportsbook market.

The Revival of Online Gambling Revenue

With most players stuck at home; the popularity of online casinos has surged significantly. Statistics show that online slots revenue increased by $40.9 million, online poker by over $689,700, and online table games revenue surged by $16.6 million in the month of March. Revenues collected from video Big list of game genres gaming terminals increased by $1.17 million compared to last year.

According to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, sports betting revenue grew by $11.6 million compared to last year. Out of the total $16.3 million collected in sports wagering revenue, $13.4 million came from online bets and only $2.9 million was generated in land-based sportsbooks. Rivers Pittsburg and Meadows saw a $57,380 and $2 million increase in sports betting revenue, respectively.

Despite the growth in online iGaming revenue, local casinos in the state witnessed an overall decrease in revenues in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period last year. Rivers Pittsburgh recorded a $13 million drop, Meadows a $5 million decrease in revenues, and Lady Luck Nemacolin a $1.4 million drop.

After being forced to close their doors twice last year in response to covid-19, casinos in the state have been trying to recoup. Collectively, casinos in PA saw a drop of $759 million Fgp Games in 2020 when compared to revenue collected in 2019.

PA Gambling Market Analysis

One key trend in the Pennsylvania iGaming market is that table games are gradually outpacing slots. Revenue collected from table games exceeds that collected from slot machines in both online and land-based casinos. Monthly revenue growth has been favoring table games since July 2020.

January 2021 was not exceptional. Gamblers in PA wagered $1.55 billion at table games and $1.4 billion on slot machines. Table games contributed 34% of the total casino revenue, and their contribution surged 17.9% compared to slots’ 10.3%.

At Rivers Pittsburgh, table game revenue increased by 30.8% in January 2021 while slots grew by 3.7%. Slots are taxed almost triple the rate of taxing other gambling verticals in PA. The high taxes levied on slots revenue is one of the factors underlying this trend.

 

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