iGaming Also Rises: Casino Cabbie’s Letter From America 8

Read the latest star-spangled column from our favourite US contributor, Casino Cabbie, to get the freshest take on the big moves in the booming iGaming market.

And They’re Off!

Boosted by the runaway financial success of its storied Kentucky Derby–this year’s Derby Week take: a cool US$412 million–, the Bluegrass State is all set to launch commonwealth-wide legal sports betting next month, September.

HB 551, legalising retail and online sports betting, was signed by Governor Andry Beshear in April.

To be overseen by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC), retail goes live September 7–just in time for the NFL and college football seasons–and online launches three weeks later on September 28.

Under the new rules, each of the state’s nine racetracks can offer retail betting and partner with up to three online operators, so there will be a total of 27 skins available.

BetMGM, for one, have already signed-up for market access in partnership with Revolutionary Racing Kentucky.

The agreement will see BetMGM run the online platform and build a 5,200 sq ft sportsbook at Sandy’s Racing and Gaming facility in Prestonsburg, Kentucky.

Nevada’s New Online, Off-site Grifters

The Nevada Gaming Control Board has warned all state operators about a new scam that’s seen several of the gambling state’s casinos lose millions to grifters, using fake social media profiles to pose as top level executives.

Circa Casino, alone, has lost US$1.17 million. And the Eureka Casino Resort, Mesquite and Golden Nugget Casino in Laughlin, have also been hit by the con artists who have ordered employees to withdraw cash from the casino cage on the pretext of being “emergency” payments.

Pennsylvania’s All-time Gaming High

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has announced record-breaking figures for the state’s gambling 2022-2023 Financial Year, ending June 30.

Total gambling revenue for the year was up 10 percent, Y-o-Y, to US$5.51 billion, with retail slots generating almost half the income.

Biggest move of the year was iGaming, up almost 25 percent to an all-time high of US$1.53 billion, led by Hollywood iCasino, BetRivers and FanDuel.

Adventures Beyond Wonderland

Stepping-up welcome competition for Evolution Gaming, Estonia-origin, UK-based Playtech is expanding its US market presence by rolling-out a new live casino studio in New Jersey, leading with its hit Adventures Beyond Wonderland (ABW) title.

“Live casino is not just part of the gambling industry, but also part of the entertainment industry,” affirms Playtech Live CEO Edo Hatin.

“It’s here to stay. In the current gaming landscape, players rightfully expect and deserve cutting-edge, experiential content that provides enjoyable moments of entertainment.

“[ABW] not only meets but surpasses these expectations, delivering an innovative and captivating experience that lives up to all the excitement surrounding it.”

Milt, “On Vacation”

Despite “controversial” musings from his personal Twitter account, which has seen Maine Gambling Control Unit (MGCU) Director Milt Champion placed on one week’s enforced leave, Vacationland is determined to push ahead with the launch of a legal sports betting market before the end of the year, hopefully by November’s Thanksgiving holiday.

The MGCU has been preparing the market infrastructure since Governor Janet Mills passed the new sports betting legislation last May.

Chewed Up In Massachusetts

Three commercial casinos in Massachusetts have been fined by the state’s Gaming Commission for breaking college betting rules.

MGM Springfield and Plainridge Park Casino both received penalties of US$20,000, while Encore Boston Harbour was ordered to pay US$10,000.

The casinos allowed customers to bet on regular-season games featuring college teams — when it’s only legal to bet on college games in the state when they are part of a tournament, involving at least four teams.

Fox To End The Hunt

Both Flutter Entertainment and the Fox Corporation have announced that they are planning to put their troubled Fox Bet Sportsbook joint-venture out of its misery.

Euthanasia will be completed by the end of this month, August.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Twitch competitor streaming sites, such as Kick.com, are enjoying an unearned windfall since Twitch upped the regulatory ante and banned cheaters and unlicensed casinos abusing their open site last year.

Many popular casino game streamers, attracted by higher profit shares and fewer rules, have since migrated away from Twitch.

Twitch banned content from websites offering slots, roulette, or dice games that aren’t licensed in the US or other jurisdictions that “don’t provide sufficient consumer protection.”

One year on and it’s clear Twitch is still experiencing problems, as they have announced that there are still accounts circumventing the rules and advertising unregulated gambling products.

As the old dictum says: No good deed goes unpunished.

Portnoy’s Back

Dave Portnoy, controversial founder and CEO of Barstool Sports, is back in the saddle – if he ever went away.

Following the news of their new sports betting joint-venture with Disney-owned ESPN–to be called ESPN Bet–, Penn Entertainment have also announced that they’re selling the Barstool brand back to the alleged sex pest and professional big mouth.

Casino Cabbie

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