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Gambling in the USA

Online Gambling in Illinois Scrutinized in House Committee Debate

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Online Gambling in Illinois Scrutinized in House Committee Debate
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Illinois legislators have pushed forward with their promise of considering the legalization of online betting. In a recent House Executive Committee meeting, they talked about matters regarding sports betting.

The proposed Internet Gambling Act could change the landscape of sports betting in the state. Some of the proposed issues are getting rid of in-person registration, and betting on collegiate sports. During this meeting, the committee discussed almost a dozen proposals.

 The Future of Illinois Online Gambling

From the eyes of onlookers, the future of online gambling in Illinois is bright. The Illinois General Assembly seems to be favoring the act. If there is any cause of doubt, it probably is regarding the launch date. Even though sports betting was legalized in 2019, the first app wasn’t launched until June 18. Illinois is looking to speed up the timeline for iGaming legalization. Some of the best Illinois online gambling sites can be found here.

The law on sports betting demands that gamblers register at local retail casinos within the first six months. This law is contained in the Internet Gambling Act. Betting enthusiasts in Chicago will be forced to travel out of the municipality to register.

The city has been considering proposals to establish its first retail casino. However, it won’t be choosing a winner until the beginning of 2022. It isn’t clear how long the construction process may last. Luckily, there are a few casinos close to the official city limits.

 In-Person Registration Still Receiving Critical Support

The head of William Hill government relations, Trevor Hayes, proposed the removal of in-person registration requirement. His proposal was backed by John Pappas, a spokesperson of the trade group iDEA Growth.

Both of them believe that in-person registration is unnecessary and a waste of time. According to Hayes, 75 percent of all the bets at William Hill are placed online. In some states, the number goes beyond 90 percent. Penn National Gaming official, Jeff Kaplan also proposed the removal of this registration requirement.

In-person registration isn’t good for the market. As an illustration, Gov. JB Pritzker suspended these registrations twice during the peak of the pandemic.  The suspension may have propelled the growth of sports betting in the state. The numbers quickly surpassed Pennsylvania in February. It is pretty clear that in-person registration is not necessary anymore.

Iowa, the state next door, is another great example of in-person registration and why it is bad for the industry. Its handle leaped to $149.5 million in January. It was a 42.7 percent increase from $104.8 million in December. This improvement was only recorded after ending the in-person registration requirement.

 The House Committee Chairman Concerned Over Retail Casino Layoffs

In a long sitting, Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Rita stated that the opinions of stakeholders were welcomed. They would shape the gaming package of Illinois. The chairman specifically raised concerns that the Internet Gaming Act may cause many employees to be laid off.

When pandemic restrictions were enforced, retail casinos were forced to either close or lower their capacity. This caused a massive loss of employment. Speaking on behalf of iDEA Growth, John Pappas acknowledged that the question of layoffs was difficult to speak answer.

The association represents sports betting and online gambling operators. It supports the idea of legalizing online poker and iGaming.

Before the hearing, John Pappas expressed his appreciation for input from industry representatives. These representatives were from 30 companies in the association. They include Sports radar, and Daily Fantasy Sports leaders FanDuel, and DraftKings.

According to Pappas, iGaming may actually increase employment opportunities. Jeff Kaplan agrees that iGaming is unlikely to cause the ‘cannibalization’ of retail casino revenue. He points to Pennsylvania as an example of this. According to Kaplan, it will actually be beneficial to land-based casinos.

Trevor Hayes of William Hills explains that iGaming may be great for land-based casinos. Since online bettors are generally young, they are likely to visit casinos to supplement their online play.

 Some Representatives Aren’t Receptive

A few representatives, including committee chair Rep. Robert Rita, aren’t in support of the new legislation. They continue to defend the 2019 legislation requiring in-person registration.

The 2019 law had an 18-month period within which you could sign up in person. The committee chairman insisted on the importance of supporting land-based casinos. However, there is no evidence that online registration may hurt their operations.

  The Possible End of In-State College Sports Betting Ban

Rep. Michael Zalewski is proposing the removal of the ban on in-state college sports. He reports that even though the prohibition may be well-intentioned, it isn’t meeting its goal. He uses offshore books and the neighboring states as examples to illustrate his point.

According to Pappas, this ban limits the betting market by up to 15 percent. He supports Zalewski’s remark that the ban isn’t meeting its purpose. It isn’t upholding the integrity of betting or protecting college players.

However, Josh Whitman, University of Illinois Athletic Director, opposes these sentiments. According to him, student-athletes are susceptible to bad influence. They need to be protected. According to him, the ban is good for protecting athletes’ mental health. It limits negative messages from fans.

 IGaming Could Help Illinois Generate $1 Billion In Five Years

According to Pappas, the revenue from Illinois operators may hit $250 million in the first year if iGaming is legalized. He anticipates that the state may receive direct and indirect benefits amounting to $1 billion within the first five years.

These sentiments are echoed by Kaplan, who also believes that iGaming will be profitable to the state. He estimates that the revenue may surpass Michigan’s. He believes that it will be a good way to make up for the money lost when the pandemic struck.

Brendan Bussmann of Global Market Advisor, has the same testimony. He believes that the demand for iGaming is high, and it is time for the State to meet it.

Even though the bill has received a lot of support, it has received its share of criticism. However, the most appealing part of it, for most proponents, is the removal of the in-person registration requirement.

They believe that bettors shouldn’t have to travel when they need to register. Since online operators have plenty of safety measures in place, there is no need to believe that in-person registration will make bettors safer.

Gambling in the USA

Celebrate Fast Times! Sonic Dash Surpasses 500 Million Milestone as Fans Honour 30th Anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog

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Celebrate Fast Times! Sonic Dash Surpasses 500 Million Milestone as Fans Honour 30th Anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog
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Beloved IP continues to drive mobile game download growth from loyal global fan base

SEGA of America, Inc. today announced that its hit mobile game Sonic Dash has surpassed a major milestone on mobile devices. Since initially launching in 2013, the game has achieved more than 500 million downloads worldwide. The endless runner game, which stars the famous blue hedgehog running, dashing, jumping, and spinning across stunning 3D environments, is the most played Sonic mobile game ever!

Sonic Dash’s major milestone also falls during the 30th Anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog, which SEGA is celebrating with fans around the world! From the small mobile screen to the silver screen, the Blue Blur is still capturing the hearts of audiences. Last year saw the first live-action movie release of Sonic the Hedgehog, and now the next chapter of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is hotly anticipated to release next year in 2022.

Sonic Team’s Takashi Iizuka: “Achieving over 500 million downloads is a huge testament to the endurance of the Sonic brand and the truly fun, timeless gameplay of Sonic Dash. We appreciate our loyal fans as well as our partnership with both Apple and Google for their enduring support in showcasing Sonic Dash in the App Stores. This milestone could not have been achieved at a better time!”

SEGA HARDlight’s Studio Director, Neall Jones: “We continue to be amazed at Sonic Dash’s loyal fans and how the game is still driving millions of new downloads every month. A massive thank you to all Sonic Dash fans. We look forward to continuing to provide you with new and innovative in-game events built around the ever-expanding Sonic universe, for years to come.”

Sonic Dash was developed by HARDlight, a SEGA of Europe studio. The studio is also behind another wildly popular mobile multiplayer runner: Sonic Forces. HARDlight produces regular events in Sonic Dash, featuring collaborations with highly recognized IP. Starting Friday, September 17, fans can also join a special event in Sonic Dash, honoring this 500 million milestone.

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Gambling in the USA

Gaming Americas Weekly Roundup – September 6-12

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Welcome to our weekly roundup of American gambling news again! 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 has launched its own branded online live casino studios in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The studios will supply live dealer games to the BetRivers online casino in Pennsylvania and PlaySugarHouse online casino in New Jersey.

888 Holdings has announced the launch of SI Sportsbook in Colorado. SI Sportsbook combines 888’s world-class proprietary and scalable technology with Sports Illustrated’s iconic brand to create a unique value proposition for sports fans.

Gaming Realms has announced that its first Slingo game has now gone live in Pennsylvania, following the company’s recent award of an interactive gaming manufacturer license in the state.

Tipico Sportsbook has selected Colorado as the site for its new technology hub. The sportsbook expects as many as 441 jobs to be brought to the area over the next eight years.

International Game Technology has announced that its world-class PlaySports platform footprint will expand into Wisconsin through an agreement to power sports betting at Oneida Casino, on the Oneida Nation Reservation.

Internet Vikings has launched its iGaming hosting services in Colorado. This follows its recent launch in West Virginia. This new launch is just the second step in Internet Vikings’ expansion into the US with 11 more states expected to come onto their map by the end of the year.

DraftKings has announced the addition of its new and exclusive game DraftKings Rocket to the DraftKings Casino product suite. The game is currently available in New Jersey with Michigan and West Virginia to follow pending regulatory approval.

New Partnerships

BetMGM has entered into a strategic partnership with Casino del Mar at La Concha Resort in Puerto Rico. Subject to regulatory approvals, BetMGM will expand its retail and mobile sports betting offerings to Puerto Rico, signifying the company’s first market access agreement outside of the U.S. mainland.

MegaFans, a mobile gaming company headquartered in Southern California, has partnered with Launchpool Labs and joined their first incubator programme which kicked off Sept. 1, 2021.

As the Denver Pioneers prepare for a new sports season, Denver Sports Properties has announced a multi-year agreement with its first corporate sports betting partner, SuperBook Sports. The agreement, facilitated by Playfly Sports, will include branding, media hospitality and social media assets with a focus on responsible gaming and education for student-athletes.

Baltimore Ravens and Caesars Entertainment announced a partnership in which Caesars Sportsbook will be the NFL club’s “premier sports betting partner” while also expanding the Ravens’ relationship with Horseshoe Baltimore casino.

Esports Entertainment Group has signed a partnership agreement with Game Fund Partners LLC to become a part of their Venture Capital Arm and a new planned $300 million game fund.

Genius Sports has expanded its existing agreement with WynnBET to provide the operator with official National Football League sportsbook data, content and fan engagement solutions.

Compliance Updates

Genius Sports Limited has announced that it has been granted a long-term Online Sports Wagering Vendor Permit by the Wyoming Gaming Commission.

The company has also secured a temporary event wagering supplier license from the Arizona Department of Gaming.

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Gambling in the USA

High 5 Games Gets Social With NetEnt

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High 5 Games Gets Social With NetEnt
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Titles from NetEnt are available on High 5 Games’ social casino in free-to-play markets including the United States

 High 5 Games announced the addition of NetEnt games to its social casino. Players in the United States and other free-to-play markets now have access to all NetEnt titles. Games are available to play at High5Casino, on Facebook, and via the High 5 Casino app on iOS and Android.

Yana Tsyganova, VP Operations of High 5 Games, commented: “We’re thrilled to bolster our relationship with Evolution Group and bring our social casino players in the United States the same NetEnt titles that real-money players all over the world can’t get enough of. With the addition of these new NetEnt slots, we’re doubling down on our commitment to the social casino scene and giving players what they want, no matter where they choose to play.”

Titles from NetEnt are already available on High5Casino.com for real money in a number of international markets. With the expanded Evolution Group partnership, players accessing the free-to-play casino in the United States and other jurisdictions where real-money games aren’t available will have access to NetEnt’s most popular slots.

 

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