Casino Cabbie: Letter From America 18

In a cornucopia of fascinating featurettes from our favourite US partner, Casino Cabbie, iGF takes great pleasure in bringing you the latest–and this week extended–missive from America. Read on!

Down Home Alabama

Alabama’s House of Representatives has just passed HB 151–that seeks to approve legal casinos, lottery and sports wagering–by the considerable margin of 70-32.

It now moves to the state’s senate.

Because the bill requires a constitutional amendment, it will also require approval via public referendum later in the year if it gets upper house backing.

If Alabamans vote in favour of the bill, it will create a regulated gambling industry in the state for the first time.

HB 151 is accompanied by HB 152, which provides provisions for a gambling tax regime, with proposed revenue distribution and regulatory enforcement.

Wynn (Inactive)

Wynn Interactive has agreed to sell its coveted New York operator license to Penn Entertainment and ESPN BET, the new sportsbook combo which plans to launch in The Empire State later this year.

The move caps a punishing 12-months for Wynn Bet.

Last August they admitted their US division was “underperforming” and folded digital platforms in Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, New Jersey, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

The transfer of its New York State licence, the impending closure of its Massachusetts online operations (March 13), and the additional transfer of Wynn Bet’s Michigan licence to Caesars Interactive, now leaves Wynn Interactive active in only Nevada.

Walt Disney and PENN Entertainment-backed ESPN BET, now actionable in 17 states, marches ever forward.


Games provider Stakelogic has secured provisional supplier approval in Rhode Island ahead of the iGaming market launch, expected next month, April.

Already approved in Michigan and Pennsylvania, Rhode Island is Stakelogic’s third operational US state.

“Gaining the Rhode Island licence is a significant achievement in our ongoing US market journey,” affirms Stakelogic CEO Stephan van den Oetelaar.

“This expansion is a testament to our commitment to excellence and our strategy to be at the forefront of the online casino industry in North America.

“We are grateful to the Rhode Island regulators for their trust and cooperation and look forward to making a positive impact on the local gaming scene.”

X Marks The BetMGM Spot

In the first-ever partnership of this kind, BetMGM has become the official ‘US Live Odds Sports Betting Partner’ of social media platform X.

The agreement will see X integrate BetMGM’s odds on the platform, with live betting links and a seamless user experience.

“X is the [center] of the sports world’s conversation 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week,” underlines BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt.

“Being directly accessible within that forum is an unprecedented opportunity to expand our reach to a passionate and engaged audience. We look forward to adding intel, and content, that enhances the platform’s interaction around sports.”

But–and in a major rider–, while the link-up may provide an unparalleled opportunity for BetMGM, currently the USA’s third-largest sports betting provider with some 17 percent of the addressable market, it also sparks questions regarding Responsible Gambling and age-gating on social media, say some observers.

For example, are X’s current age-gating practices on content up to the job of protecting underage audiences? And how does the platform aim to protect vulnerable users from this seamless, 24/7 service?

What this space, dear reader.

USA Gaming’s Knock-out Year

Latest stats from the American Gaming Association (AGA) show a third consecutive year of growth for the US gambling industry.

Total revenue in 2023 hit a fabulous US$66.5 billion and contributed US$14.4 billion in taxes, up 10 and 9.7 percent, respectively, on 2022.

Q4 was the biggest quarter of all, with US$17.4 billion of revenue; US$6 billion in December alone — the highest grossing month ever recorded.

Traditional casinos were up 3.3 percent, year-on-year, to US$49.4 billion; sports betting surged 44.5 percent to US$10.9 billion and iGaming–still only legal in six states–grew 22.9 percent to contribute US$6.2 billion to the gambling pot.

Comments AGA President and CEO Bill Miller: “From the traditional casino experience to online options, American adults’ demand for gaming is at an all-time high.

“Sustaining our momentum will take unified industry efforts around combating pernicious illegal operators — and growing Responsible Gambling.

Revenue isn’t the only metric that’s been growing in the USA: Unfortunately, so have rates of problem gambling.

Hopefully, with bigger tax revenues, gaming states will be able to double-down on their support and education systems for gamblers — and help their jurisdictions grow sustainably.

New Jersey’s Joy Division

In a double header from New Jersey this week, the Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) has announced that iGaming revenue for January has smashed previous records. And that it is dropping controversial misconduct charges against Evolution Gaming.

Finances first: Total gambling revenue for January reached US$559.1 million, 28 percent more than January 2022.

Amongst many impressive monthly metrics, sports betting was up an incredible 136.1 percent, year-on-year, to a record of US$170.8 million.

What a fantastic way for New Jersey sports fans to start the year.

Turning to Evolution Gaming: the NJDGE has dropped a misconduct case against the live games provider dating back to November 2021 that alleged the company was sanctions-busting by providing products in multiple countries where US trade sanctions existed, among them: Iran, Syria, and Sudan.

Evolution fiercely denied the claims, saying they were a smear.

The NJ gaming regulator now agrees and has “found no evidence that Evolution sanctioned, promoted, permitted, or otherwise materially benefitted from its content offered by operators in any market that the NJDGE considers a prohibited jurisdiction”.

And finally, Gizza Break

A new Bill, 719, seeking to lower casino taxes–to become more competitive with neighbouring states–has been passed by Iowa’s House, and now moves to the Senate for further consideration.

The Bill suggests dropping the tax rate by one percent annually until 2027. The current rate is 22 percent; and the bill, if rubber-stamped, could reduce it by three points.

There is significant support for lower casino taxes; while Iowa’s Republican governor Kim Reynolds, is also seeking tax breaks for individuals and corporations.

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