Casino Cabbie: Letter From America 14

With gambling records tumbling across most metrics, and the take bigger than ever before, there’s rarely been a better time to take stock with our special correspondent Lauren Harrison of our US partners Casino Cabbie, as we deliver her latest unmissable Letter From America.

Simply The Best

Gambling in the US of A remains on course this year for its best year ever, predicts the American Gaming Association (ASA).

They’ve just released the revenue figures for Q3, the industry’s best third quarter on record and the 11th quarter of consecutive growth in the nation – which generated US$16.17 billion of revenue and was up 6.1 percent, year-on-year.

Revenue surged across all verticals; notably iGaming, which increased 26 percent y-on-y.

Boosted by newly opened state markets in Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska and Ohio, in-person and online sports betting increased by a splendid 22.8 percent.

“We are delivering career opportunities for millions of Americans and strong economic contributions to communities across the country through increased tax revenue,” affirmed AGA President and CEO Ben Miller.

October’s State-of-Play

Gambling revenue in New Jersey was up 9.3 percent to US$487.1 million for the month. Revenue from online games grew by 13.3 percent. Sports betting revenue increased 18.4 percent, year-on-year.

In Pennsylvania gambling revenue, dominated by slots, increased 7.3 percent, y-on-y, hitting US$483 million; iGaming was up 24.3 percent, taking-in US$154.8 million, although short of September’s record-breaking US$159.5 million. Hollywood Casino was the most popular site, followed by FanDuel and BetRivers.

Record busting–despite ongoing labour unrest in Detroit (see below)–continued in lake state Michigan, where online sports bettors placed a massive US$533 million in bets — the first time digiteers have broached the half-a-billion benchmark.

Lastly, Delaware witnessed a super impressive 173 percent monthly hike in sports betting revenue — US$2.6 million, compared to September’s US$958,547.

Sadly the same magnificent metric evaded iGaming, with revenue dropping 18 percent, year-on-year, and 11.3 percent compared to the previous month.

Detroit Casino Strikes Continue

The 2,100 employees of Hollywood Casino and Motor City Casino, on strike for 32 days, have returned to work after accepting an 18 percent pay rise.

But workers at the MGM Grand have turned down the deal and have decided to stay on the picket line.

Caesars Online Casino Ups Its Game

It’s been a busy week for Caesars Online Casino as they’ve added not one but two iGaming giants to their online platform. Both IGT and EveryMatrix have joined the ranks and bolstered the number of games available to US players.

The deal with EveryMatrix sees titles from the aggregator’s substantial collection alongside its in-house studio, Armadillo, go live at Caesars in New Jersey, Michigan, and West Virginia. Pennsylvania and Connecticut will follow once full regulatory approval has been secured.

EveryMatrix President Erik Nyman commented: “Caesars is one of the most iconic brands in the US and we are very excited to bring our unique games and aggregation capabilities onboard with them enabling them to elevate their already strong momentum in iGaming.”

Meantime, IGT and Caesars have also joined forces to provide West Virginia players with access to the studio’s vast and iconic suite of games.

The partnership–alongside an agreement brokered earlier in the year between Caesars and Inspired Gaming–is excellent news for WV players as, to date, the platform has only been offering under 100 titles.

New York’s Double-safety Lock

New York’s Responsible Play Partnership has doubled down on its Voluntary Self-exclusion (VSE) program to better direct people experiencing compulsive gambling disorders to support services.

According to a 2020 survey by the New York Office of Addiction Services and Support (OASAS), 4.4 percent of adults in the Empire State were at risk of “developing a gambling problem and an additional 0.7 percent met the criteria for problem gambling or a gambling disorder”.

Now, since the launch of online sports betting in the state last year, problem gambling rates have likely grown, says the OASAS.

Providing a support program alongside VSE programs is the right way to go, as gambling support charities recommend that additional support with longer-term exclusion leads to a higher success rate in reducing return gambling.

“Assisting those in need of help through providing care and concern is at the core of what the New York Council on Problem Gambling (NYCPG) does,” said NYCPG Executive Director James Maney. “And the launch of this new program exemplifies that care and concern by breaking down barriers.

“The new online notary services make it easier for individuals to complete remote VSE, while also connecting to one of our caring staff members who are knowledgeable about the process.”

Added OASAS Commissioner Dr. Chinazo Cunningham: “Voluntary self-exclusion can be an effective prevention strategy to reduce gambling harms, and this new support program not only provides a way for people to complete the self-exclusion process, but also offers an opportunity to connect to OASAS local problem gambling community support services to assist in mitigating further harm.”

From Nuggets Do Giants Grow

And in our last nugget of news this week, International Omnichannel Playtech–reportedly behind an abortive £700 million bid to buy the UK’s troubled 888 in July this year–has launched its third live casino studio in the US, this time in Pennsylvania.

The studio started streaming on the 28th, beginning with Blackjack and Roulette tables.

Playtech already offers live content to online casinos in Michigan and New Jersey.

Yes, yes, “from small acorns mighty trees do grow” and “take care of the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves…”

That’s all folks!

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