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Gambling in the USA

The Stars Group Announces Complete Reversal of $870 Million Kentucky Judgment

Zoltan Tundik

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The Stars Group Logo
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The Stars Group Inc. (Nasdaq: TSG; TSX: TSGI) today announced that the Kentucky Court of Appeals has ruled in its favor and reversed in its entirety the $870 million judgment issued against it by a trial court judge in December 2015. The Court of Appeals stated “[a]llowing a complaint, like the one put forth by the Commonwealth, to move forward would lead to an absurd, unjust result.”

“We applaud the decision of the highly-respected three-judge panel of the Kentucky Court of Appeals,” stated Marlon Goldstein, Executive Vice President & Chief Legal Officer of The Stars Group. “The merits of the case prevailed and we look forward to putting this matter behind us as we sharpen our focus on executing on our growth strategy going forward.”

The litigation that is subject to the appeal was initially filed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 2010, approximately four years prior to The Stars Group’s acquisition of the PokerStars business, and sought recovery of alleged losses by Kentucky residents who played real-money poker on PokerStars’ website during a period between 2006 and 2011. To bring the action, Kentucky relied on a centuries old statute that was intended to allow individuals who incurred gaming losses to bring an action against their winning opponents, but was never intended to authorize the Commonwealth to sue and collect such losses from the operator of the games for the Commonwealth’s own benefit.

As a result of the ruling, The Stars Group intends to petition for the release of the $100 millionsupersedeas bond posted by it to stay enforcement of the trial court’s order during the pendency of the appeals process, which includes$5 million in cash collateral and $65 million in letters of credit securing the same.

As previously disclosed, approximately $300 million continues to be held in an indemnity escrow fund established under the merger agreement governing The Stars Group’s acquisition of the PokerStars business. The Stars Group previously filed an indemnification claim relating to the Kentucky litigation, which is currently pending against the sellers of the PokerStars business, for all losses, costs and expenses related to the litigation. This claim and the release of the outstanding escrow funds will be resolved in accordance with the provisions of the merger and escrow agreements related to the acquisition. There can be no assurance that such claim will result in any amounts in the escrow fund or otherwise being remitted to The Stars Group or that any of The Stars Group’s estimates of potential losses will reimbursed by the sellers or otherwise.

The Stars Group expects the Commonwealth to either petition the Court of Appeals for a rehearing or seek discretionary review of the Court of Appeals decision by the Kentucky Supreme Court and intends to vigorously dispute any and all liability in the event the Kentucky Supreme Court grants review and hears the appeal.

About The Stars Group

The Stars Group is a provider of technology-based product offerings in the global gaming and interactive entertainment industries. Its brands have millions of registered customers globally and collectively are leaders in online and mobile betting, poker, casino and other gaming-related offerings.  The Stars Group owns or licenses gaming and related consumer businesses and brands, including PokerStars, PokerStars Casino, BetStars, Full Tilt, BetEasy, Sky Bet, Sky VegasSky Casino, Sky Bingo, and Sky Poker, as well as live poker tour and event brands, including the PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship, European Poker Tour, PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, Latin American Poker Tour, Asia Pacific Poker Tour, PokerStars Festival and PokerStars MEGASTACK. The Stars Group is one of the world’s most licensed online gaming operators with its subsidiaries collectively holding licenses or approvals in 21 jurisdictions throughout the world, including in EuropeAustralia, and the Americas. The Stars Group’s vision is to become the world’s favorite iGaming destination and its mission is to provide its customers with winning moments.

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

Legal Sports Betting Begins in New York Casinos

Niji Narayan

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Legal Sports Betting Begins in New York Casinos
Photo Source: sportsnet.ca
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

New York Casinos have started legal sports betting. Bettors placed their first wagers on pro sports games following the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a ban on the practice last May. Gamblers at the Rivers Casino near Schenectady plunked down bets on the New York Yankees, Seattle Mariners and tennis phenom Varvara Lepchenko.

“We’re going to get mobile sports betting before the middle of next year, it just has to be, because right now New Jersey is cleaning our clock when it comes to sports betting. I think New York should always be at the forefront of everything and right now we’re a little bit behind them,” Assemblyman Gary Pretlow said.

Sports betting is expected to raise millions of dollars as tax revenue. But proponents say the state is losing out on millions more because bets can only be placed at four upstate casinos rather than online and via mobile phone as is allowed in New Jersey.

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Gambling in the USA

Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady Makes History with Opening of New Sportsbook Lounge

George Miller

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Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady Makes History with Opening of New Sportsbook Lounge
(L to R) Rush Street Gaming Co-Founder and CEO, Greg Carlin; Schenectady, New York Mayor, Gary McCarthy; Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady General Manager, Justin Moore
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

 Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady officially launched legal sports betting in New York State with the opening of its new Rivers Sportsbook lounge.

 

“We’re so proud to be the first gaming operator in New York to take legal sports bets,” said Rivers Casino & Resort Acting General Manager Justin Moore. “Many people worked very hard to make legal sports wagering a reality in New York State, and we thank all of them for their tireless efforts and dedication. Sports fans and bettors from across the Capital Region and beyond will be thrilled with our new state-of-the-art Rivers Sportsbook lounge. We look forward to having them as guests at Rivers Casino & Resort and the City of Schenectady.”

Casino representatives, guests, and area dignitaries gathered at Rivers Casino today to cut the ribbon on the state’s first legal sports betting location. Opening Day of the sportsbook also included appearances by Super Bowl Champion and former New York Giants punter, Sean Landeta; Pro-Bowl safety and former New York Jet, Erik Coleman; and World Series MVP, New York Yankee great, Bucky Dent.

“We couldn’t be happier for our great community partner Rivers Casino & Resort,” said Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy. “It is indeed an historic day not just for the state of New York, but for the City of Schenectady. As Rivers Casino grows, so does its positive impact on our community. The opening of Rivers Sportsbook will surely attract even more guests to the property and to our great city. Looking ahead, we are also hopeful that our leaders in Albany will see how hard Rivers Casino is working to keep up with growing regional competition and recognize how important it is for them to address structural tax disadvantages in the market.”

The new Rivers Sportsbook, which was designed by DMAC Architecture of Chicago, is a luxury sports lounge and occupies just over 5,000 square feet.  Club chairs and table seating accommodate approximately 80 guests and include five private booths with TV monitors – each accommodating up to 6 people. The lounge also includes18 individual VIP seats and 32 tabletop seats.

Rivers Sportsbook has an impressive state-of-the-art 53′ x 9′ LED video wall that anchors the sportsbook viewing area, along with 22 additional TV monitors. The sportsbook also includes 14 betting kiosks and 6 staffed betting windows to accommodate guests. Rivers Sportsbook is located directly off the casino’s main gaming floor – adjacent to Van Slyck’slounge.

Rivers Sportsbook will offer betting on a wide array of sporting events including professional football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, college sports and more. Bets are expected to include, but not be limited to, straight bets, parlays, totals, and in-game betting. Wagers can be placed at the betting counter with a live sportsbook writer during Rivers Sportsbook hours of operation or at a sports betting kiosk 24 hours a day.

Rivers Casino’s sports wagering supplier is Rush Street Interactive LLC (RSI), an award-winning gaming company that develops and operates real-money in-casino and online sportsbooks. Rush Street Interactive will bring the same high quality in-casino sportsbook solution to Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady as players in the state of Pennsylvania have been enjoying since 2018. RSI provides its in-casino sportsbook service to the top two performing retail sportsbooks in the state of Pennsylvania; Rivers Casino Pittsburgh and SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia collectively account for over fifty-percent of all retail sportsbetting handle in the state since the market opened.

Recently recognized as the number one tourist destination in the Capital Region, the sportsbook lounge will complement the wonderful amenities already offered by Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady. Sports betters and fans alike will not only enjoy a world-class sports book, but they will also be able to experience top entertainment, premium dining, and  The Landing Hotel – Rivers’ luxurious riverfront hotel.

The Rivers Sportsbook hours of operation will be Monday – Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.; Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.; Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.; and Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m., but are subject to change to accommodate athletic seasons.

There is a $5 minimum wager amount and all bets are cash only. Betting sheets with odds will be printed and available at Rivers Sportsbook. Must be 21 years of age or older to access the gaming floor and wager at Rivers Sportsbook.

 

ABOUT RIVERS CASINO & RESORT SCHENECTADY:
Located at the picturesque Mohawk Harbor near the heart of downtown Schenectady, Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady features 1,150 slots, 67 live table games and a 16-table poker room and a live, in-casino luxury sportsbook lounge.

The casino offers five distinctive restaurants—among them are Dukes Chophouse, Flipt, Johnny’s To-Go and Mian. Rivers features a multipurpose Event Center space, a lively entertainment lounge—Van Slyck’s, live music performances, free parking and daily promotions and giveaways.

The Landing Hotel is a 165-room, six-story boutique hotel with riverfront views located adjacent to the Event Center. Rivers, which opened in 2017, employs approximately 1,200 team members and has been voted a great place to work in Schenectady.

Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady is owned and operated by Rush Street Gaming and its affiliates. For more information, visit riverscasinoandresort.com

ABOUT RUSH STREET INTERACTIVE:
Rush Street Interactive (RSI) was founded by pioneers in the internet gaming industry with decades of collective experience in developing, supplying and operating online gaming sites. The Chicago-based business launched its first casino site, PlaySugarHouse.com in NJ, in September 2016 and made history in August 2018 as the first online operator in the United States to offer an integrated online sportsbook and casino.  Rush Street Interactive is also the service provider of the sportsbooks at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh and SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia. RSI made history once again by next launching Pennsylvania’s first online sportsbook, PlaySugarHouse.com, and on its heels followed that with a second online sportsbook site, BetRivers.com.   

Additionally, RSI is the only U.S. gaming company to launch a regulated online sportsbook in Latin America. Rush Street Interactive is also the developer and operator of a leading social gaming platform that is currently deployed at Rush Street-affiliated casinos (Rivers Casino in PittsburghSugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia, Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, Illinois and Rivers Casino and Resort in Schenectady, New York), as well as selected third party partners.

Rush Street Interactive was named “Mobile Operator of the Year” in North America at the EGR North America Awards 2019 and “American Operator of the Year” & “Casino Operator of the Year” by Gambling.com for their inaugural American Gambling Awards in 2019.

 

Source: Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady

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Gambling in the USA

John James the New CEO and President of Foxwoods Resort Casino

George Miller

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John James the New CEO and President of Foxwoods Resort Casino
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Resort Casino Veteran Brings Over 25 Years of Native American Gaming Leadership to Foxwoods

 

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council announces tribal gaming executive John J. James has been named the new President and CEO of Foxwoods Resort Casino. James currently serves as Chief Operating Officer for Morongo Casino Resort & Spa located in Cabazon, California and will be taking the helm at Foxwoods beginning August 12.

James succeeds Felix D. Rappaport, whose untimely death in June of 2018 led to Tribal Chairman Rodney Butler taking over as the resort’s interim CEO shortly thereafter. With over 25 years of highly successful Native American gaming resort operations experience, James is uniquely positioned to lead Foxwoods into its next evolution as the premier entertainment destination in the Northeast. His expertise and vision will help build on Foxwoods’ solid foundation and maximize the tremendous growth opportunities that lie ahead.

“Over the past decade, Foxwoods transformed the traditional gaming model through a relentless pursuit of guest-first experiences resulting in the only true all-encompassing resort destination,” said Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Chairman Rodney Butler. “With his proven track record for innovation, John is the right leader to continue that commitment to our guests, fulfill our vision and ignite our passion for delivering a resort that excites and surprises. John perfectly represents our team’s values and beliefs, and we are ready to drive the future of Foxwoods together.”

James’ deep expertise across key business units including finance, innovative marketing and award-winning design and development allows him to take a “whole-brained” approach to growth and profitability.

“Foxwoods is the premier destination in the Northeast and a pioneer in the tribal gaming community, and I’m thrilled to be joining their stellar team,” said James. “Over the past 27 years, Foxwoods and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation have built a world-class resort casino with an unparalleled array of offerings for guests, and I look forward to working with the entire team to continue fortifying Foxwoods’ position as one of North America’s premier resort destinations.”

Prior to joining Morongo Casino Resort & Spa, James was Chief Executive Officer for Gila River Gaming Enterprises, Inc. where he led the tribe’s three casinos in achieving the highest recorded earnings in the State of Arizona. He also held chief executive roles at Seminole Gaming, Inc. and Pechanga Resort and Casino. Additionally, James served as a Vice President and General Manager for various successful Station Casinos properties in Las Vegas.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, James attended the University of Nevada where he graduated from the accounting program. As he assumes his new role at Foxwoods, he and his wife Giselle will be relocating to Mystic, Connecticut.

 

About the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation:
The Mashantucket (Western) Pequot Tribal Nation is a federally recognized Indian tribe located at one of America’s oldest Indian reservations, Mashantucket, in Southeastern Connecticut.  As pioneers of the Indian Gaming casino industry, the history of the Mashantucket Pequots reveals one of America’s greatest come-back stories, featured at the Tribe’s world renowned Mashantucket Pequot Museum. Today, the Tribe owns and operates one of the largest Integrated Resort Casino destinations in North America, Foxwoods Resort Casino, along with a variety of complementary businesses including a world-class golf course, luxury spa, Pequot Pharmaceutical Network, and Pequot Plus Health Benefit Services.  As one of Connecticut’s highest revenue contributors and largest employers, the Mashantucket Pequots have provided the state more than $4 billion in slot revenue through a first-of-its-kind agreement, established in 1993.  Likewise, the Tribe has contributed hundreds of millions in donations and sponsorships for the benefit of communities and tribes in need, locally and throughout the U.S.

About Foxwoods Resort Casino:
As the largest resort casino in North America, Foxwoods Resort Casino offers guests a premier destination resort experience throughout its six world-class casinos; AAA Four-Diamond hotels featuring over 2,200 rooms; dining options for all tastes; luxurious spas; award-winning golf; state-of-the-art theaters; Tanger Outlet Mall; conference space for groups of all sizes; and free online casino games at FoxwoodsONLINE.com. There is always something new at Foxwoods, most recently the arrival of Foxwoods Extreme Adventures. Adventure knows no limit as guests can zipline, free fall, catapult or race around on a European-style indoor karting track. Foxwoods Resort Casino truly is The Wonder Of It All, providing a personalized and exciting escape for everyone. Foxwoods, opened in 1992, is owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. For a detailed look at Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation visit Foxwoods.com.

 

Source: Foxwoods Resort Casino

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