Casino Cabbie: Letter From America 7

Lucky Seven. It’s been a short hiatus since they last graced our pages, but iGF partners Casino Cabbie return with a bang–and extended column–this week featuring all the latest moves in the US gaming space.

Read on:

Iowa Bettors Welcome Bet365 to the State

Bet365 expands its US reach by going live with its sportsbook in Iowa following a licensing partnership with Casino Queen Marquette.

Iowa is the British iGaming giant’s fifth state foray into the booming online American market after Virginia, Ohio, New Jersey (online casino and sports) and Colorado.

The Bet365 site joins 20-plus other sportsbooks, regulated by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, in the Hawkeye state and opens with a new player welcome bonus worth up to US$365.

Going to Carolina

January 2024 will see big changes on the North Carolina and Vermont iGaming stage, now that online sportsbooks have been legalised in these states.

In Vermont, Governor Phil Scott signed House Bill 127 into law, which will allow up to six online sportsbooks, regulated by the Vermont Department of Liquor and Lottery, and impose a 20 percent tax rate on revenue.

North Carolina’s new sportsbook venture will have between 10-12 licences available, with tax–mostly earmarked for responsible gambling initiatives–set at 18 percent.

Responsibility Rules on the Jersey Shore

The Garden State’s regulatory New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) has launched two new impressive Responsible Gambling services for players.

The first expands the current voluntary self-exclusion programme, allowing players to register via a toll-free phone number, or by online video chat. Previously, the service was only offered in-person.

The second is an updated area dedicated to responsible gambling on the NJDGE website.

Consumers and other interested parties will now be able to access a top-notch portal on Responsible Gambling and annual reports by leading Ivy League Rutgers University, which has conducted several highly-regarded studies on the impact of online gambling in the state.

Slots U Love

A new bi-partisan bill in the US Senate proposes raising the tax threshold for slot winnings from the current US$1,200–set way back in the 70s–to US$5,000.

The bill–aptly named the Shifting Limits on Threshholds, or SLOT Act–will, no doubt, be greeted with joy by slots players everywhere.

Pulling that one-armed bandit, virtually or on the gaming floor, remains the world’s most favourite gambling time pass.

Climb Every Mountain

Big beast WynnBET has hit the reels and joined the online casino rush in West Virginia.

The site is already super busy, offering players hundreds of slots, live dealers, table games, a full sports betting suite, bonuses — and those famous Wynn Rewards. The platform is the Mountain State’s seventh licensed onliner to launch since the market opened in 2020.

Empire State’s Billion Dollar Bonus

Just as promised, and ahead of schedule, New York sports betting sites have raised a billion dollars in tax revenue to boost education in the state.

The money has been generated in a mere 17-months since mobile sports betting went live in the Empire State on January 8th, 2022.

“Having an additional US$1 billion from our nation-leading mobile sports betting business to help our students get the best education possible is a tremendous milestone,” affirmed Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr., Chair of the state Senate’s Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering.

“We should continue to build upon these solid revenue-generating opportunities in order to make many additional improvements to our state’s gaming ventures and addiction services.

“I look forward to greater results with the future eventual arrival of iGaming and iLottery in New York.”

Back to The Garden

Online continues to boost the gambling crop in the Garden State, with iCasino revenue showing an 18.7 percent increase, year-on-year, in May.

Online slots were up 18 percent.

Overall, New Jersey May revenue hit US$470.9 million, a very impressive build of 9.4 percent, YoY — despite a noticeable drop in retail.

Most popular sites by revenue generation were Borgata (US$44m), Golden Nugget (US$43.5m) and Resorts Digital (US$41.7m).

Standalone sports betting also recorded significant gains, with a 33.4 percent increase compared to May 2022.

Land-based gambling remains the state’s largest source of revenue, generating US$227.3 million. But the sector was down 2.4 percent YoY, with slots down 0.8 percent and tables by 7.3 percent.

Will Rhode Island Legalise Online Casinos?

It looks likely that Rhode Island, the smallest state in the nation, will become America’s seventh iGaming state; after its legislature voted 57-11 in favour of legalisation.

The final decision now rests firmly in the court of Governor Daniel McKee.

But don’t get too carried away.

In a controversial move, the bill will give big shot Bally’s, who run the mega Twin River casino-resort in Rhode Island, the exclusive rights to provide online gaming in the state.

Such a monopoly, if granted, only promises litigation — and yet more litigation.

Doubling Down in O-hi-Oh!

The Ohio budget for 2024-25 is out, and Governor Mike DeWine has doubled taxes on sports betting operators from 10 to 20 percent. Fast work given that the market only launched in January this year.

Since then, up to June, Ohio bettors have placed more than US$3.4 billion in wagers. Operator revenue has been US$500 million…You do the math!

Harrah’s Rapped

Storied Harrah’s is in hot water with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) for allowing underage gambling on their Philadelphia casino and racetrack.

Harrah’s was fined US$35,000 after the PGCB found that under 21-year-olds could access the casino floor and gamble.

And Finally

Michigan’s Gaming Control Board (MGCB) has been allocated an extra US$50.7 million in the state’s 2024 budget.

The money will be used to boost Responsible Gambling campaigns, employ extra staff and create a digital accounting system.

“A well-funded gaming control agency is crucial for ensuring fair and honest gaming in the state, preventing fraud and illegal activities, and addressing problem gambling,” affirmed MGCB Director Henry Williams.

A truism that applies not just to Michigan. But everywhere.

Published on:
fast track