Welcome to our weekly roundup of American gambling news again! It was again an eventful week in the USA, despite the still-active virus attack.
Here, we are going through the weekly highlights of the American gambling industry which include the latest news, new partnerships and compliance updates. Read on and get updated.
Rush Street Interactive (RSI) has launched its flagship brand and award-winning online casino platform BetRivers.com in West Virginia. Through RSI’s partnership with Century Casinos Inc.’s (Nasdaq: CNTY) Mountaineer Park Inc., West Virginians can now play a fun array of online slot games and popular table games such as blackjack, roulette and baccarat. Similar to other markets where it operates, BetRivers.com plans to consistently add fan-favourite casino games to its site in West Virginia to provide players with fresh content and the same robust library of games it is known for in other states.
Rhode Island-based Bally’s Corp has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Tropicana Las Vegas Hotel and Casino from Gaming & Leisure Properties Inc for about $308 million. The agreement for the nearly 1500-room hotel, casino, theatre and convention property also involves a sale-and-leaseback transaction relating to Bally’s Black Hawk, Colorado and Rock Island, Illinois, casino properties. The Bally’s-Tropicana transaction is expected to close early next year.
Leaders from the global games industry who participated in #PlayApartTogether have committed to reactivate the initiative launched one year ago, which encourages gamers everywhere to follow World Health Organisation (WHO) health advice on COVID-19 prevention. As part of #PlayApartTogether, a large number of gaming companies agreed to disseminate evidence-based health messages from WHO to help slow the spread of COVID-19. To promote these messages, hundreds of game industry leaders in the interactive entertainment space have encouraged their vast network of users to follow the WHO’s health guidelines.
Wynn Las Vegas has announced a new COVID-19 vaccination and testing policy for its employees. As per the new policy, all employees must get vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 tests. The company said that 60% of its employees have already been vaccinated. The announcement comes as the Nevada Gaming Control Board says it will only consider expanding capacity beyond the current 50% limit if casino-resorts take “measurable and material steps” to get employees vaccinated.
Sports wagering revenue in Iowa reached a new record of $13.5m in March, while the US state’s handle also hit a new monthly high of $161.4m. The revenue total represented a 1,025.0% increase on the $1.2m reported in the same month 2020, the month in which the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic shuttered the state’s casinos and saw major leagues suspended. It also marked a 75.3% month-over-month rise on the $7.7m posted in February this year, as well as breaking January’s $11.3m revenue record.
The casinos in Atlantic City saw an 80% drop in profits last year. According to the state Division of Gaming Enforcement, Atlantic City’s nine casinos collectively posted $117.5 million in gross operating profits in 2020, down from nearly $594m in 2019.
Online casino content developer Spinmatic has entered into a new partnership deal with the Mexican operator BigBola. Through the deal, Spinmatic has strengthened its presence in Latin America, particularly in Mexico, where Big Bola has twenty casinos, apart from the Big Bola Online platform. Spinmatic has a strong interest in the Mexican market, with several of its games already dedicated to this country’s culture. Some of these Mexican-themed slots are El Fuego, Mayanera Return, Día de los Muertos and the most recent 3 Amigos.
Appointments and Promotions
Leading US gaming company DraftKings has appointed Brian Angiolet as its first-ever Chief Media Officer. Most recently, Angiolet served as SVP and Chief Business Officer at Verizon Communications. During his tenure at Verizon, Angiolet spearheaded a number of high-profile, multi-billion-dollar content and advertising initiatives including broadcasting, sports and digital entertainment deals across Verizon’s Fios and media properties, partnerships with premier sports leagues like the NFL and NBA, and oversight of Verizon Wireless’ advertising and media portfolio.
Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) has announced multiple promotions within the company. Promoted to senior vice president are Christine Gallo, Compliance and Quality Assurance, and Kevin Mullally, Government Relations and General Counsel. Promoted to vice president are Elizabeth Harrison, Human Resources; Mackenzie Haugh, Engineering; Sangeeta Reddy, Engineering; and Angela Zografos, Vice President, Legal, Corporate and Regulatory Compliance. Throughout the company’s global laboratories, dozens of engineers have also been promoted.
A pair of bills in the Florida Senate would create a state gaming commission and allow pari-mutuel facilities to offer certain forms of gambling without holding live horse races or jai alai games to bet on. Senate President Wilton Simpson announced that the Regulated Industries Committee will consider SB 7076 and SB 7080 during their meetings next week. The move comes while officials are engaged with negotiations with the Seminole Tribe over a new gaming compact. SB 7076 would create a five-member “Gaming Control Commission” which would oversee all of the state’s gaming activities. Currently, the Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering oversees Florida’s commercial gambling market.
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