Casino Cabbie: Letter From America 15

And so we say a fond farewell to another brilliant year of US gaming with our final year-end missive from our favourite Americanophile journalist Lauren Harrison of Casino Cabbie.

2024 Already Blooming

As the year turns, what could be more apposite than the nascence of Online Sports Betting (OSB) in the Green Mountain State.

Yes, Vermont will be the first OSB market launch of New Year 2024.

Come January 11, players aged over 21-years–and located in the state–can download sports betting apps and lay bets.

Pre-registration is already open.

HB127 was signed by Governor Phil Scott, a longtime proponent of iGaming, in June this year.

Now all set for action, FanDuel, DraftKings and Fanatics, are the first of the total six online operators who will be allowed under the new gambling bill.

Hoosiers Set New Sports Betting Record

Indiana players have set a new sports betting record — the first since January 2022.

Players in the Hoosier State spent US$513.7 million betting in November, beating previous records by 2.7 percent. That’s a 13.6 percent year-on-year increase for the month, and a surge of 19.6 percent compared with October.

Flutter’s FanDuel led the market, surprise-surprise, with DraftKings taking second spot.

NJ Gambling Revenue Up Year-on-Year

Latest stats released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement show that New Jersey’s total gaming revenue for November was US$482.4 million, an increase of 9.4 percent y-o-y.

Total revenue for the year, minus December, stands at US$5.26 billion, a 10.5 percent increase on 2022.

But Sports Betting Revenue Drops In Pennsylvania

Meanwhile, total gaming revenue in Pennsylvania fell 1.74 percent in November, compared to the same month the previous year.

Sports betting saw the biggest hit, falling an astonishing 75.64 percent, year-on-year, in November 2023. Thankfully, iCasino and online slots showed growth and helped ameliorate the poor performance.

Nevertheless, the total sports handle in Pennsylvania set a new monthly record of US$934.1 million; up 18.36 percent, compared to November 2022.

The total taxable revenue was down due to “both the offering of a significant amount of non-taxable promotional play by the newly-launched ESPN Bet operated under the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course sports wagering certificate — and a low hold percentage that benefited bettors,” explained the Penn Gaming Control Board.

Hollywood online casino led the iGaming revenue charge, followed by FanDuel and BetRivers in third.

Brand new ESPN BET came second, after FanDuel, in the sports betting stakes.

Short But Sweet

MGM Resorts and Entain joint-venture BetMGM and the NFL have extended their multi-year sponsorship deal.

Fontainebleau Casino has opened on the fabled Las Vegas Strip.

Detroit Down But Back

After two months of strikes, which were finally resolved in early November, the revenues of Detroit land-based casinos–not surprisingly–were down by some 30 percent by the month’s end.

MGM Grand Detroit workers left their picket line and returned to work following 47 days of industrial action, securing an 18 percent pay rise and cluster of other benefits in a new five-year contract.

Kentucky OSB Takes US$300m In Only First Month

The figures are out, and it’s official: Kentucky residents spent US$323.6 million betting online in October and the final three days of September after online sports betting launched on September 28.

Adjusted gross revenue totaled US$54.2 million, with FanDuel leading the market and accounting for US$20.3 million (total betting US$131.2m). DraftKings rolled into second place at US$19.5 million (US$124.9m), while bet365 ran third, accruing US$8.6 million in revenue (total bets $31.2m).

Retail–despite opening earlier than online–was well beaten with a relatively modest handle of US$17.1 million and revenue of just US$2.2 million.

Fanatics “Wins” Connecticut Lottery

The Connecticut Lottery has named Fanatics its new sports betting partner after winding down their partnership with Rush Street Interactive.

Fanatics sports is now available across 10 retail locations and to players via mobile app.

“Fanatics is the only true sports brand in the gaming space and has established itself as an innovator in the industry,” affirmed Greg Smith, President and CEO of the Connecticut Lottery.

“We have been impressed with the Fanatics team, their aggressive entry into the US sports betting market and we are excited to see how they redefine the sports betting customer experience here in Connecticut.

“[We] anticipate notable market share growth as a result of this partnership.”

2023 has been an unbelievable year for Fanatics, who acquired PointsBet US in the spring and has since launched it in 14 US states.

Carolina On Our Minds

With the 2024 Super Bowl set as the date for possible launch, all sports betting eyes have turned to North Carolina, where betting on sports became legal, under HB347, in June.

Applications for operator and supplier licences, adjudicated by the North Carolina State Lottery Commission (NCSLC), are still open.

A deadline of January 8 has been set; although the exact market launch has still to be agreed.

This coming year’s Super Bowl, the biggest betting bonanza in world sports, to be held, most appropriately, at the Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday, February 11, has been mooted as a good launch date.

“[But] it’s too soon to tell when betting will start,” cautioned Cari Boyce, Chair of the NCSLC’s Sports Betting Committee.

“We want to get a fair and responsible programme up and running as soon as possible. [Yet] we also want to make sure we get as much right up front as possible.”

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