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Five Years Post-PASPA: The Spread of Legal Sports Betting in the USA

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Five years ago, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was repealed by the Supreme Court, kicking off one of the fastest periods of gambling legalization ever seen in the USA.

The repeal of PASPA, which had prevented all but a handful of states from regulating sports betting, started a revolution in real money betting that has forever changed the US gambling industry.

Five years later, it’s time to look back at how the market has developed and the legal, economic, and social effects of this monumental change.

The Context: The Downfall of PASPA

PASPA was a federal law that came into effect in 1992. It included all states except Nevada, Oregon, Montana, and Delaware, which were excluded because their laws already had sports betting provisions.

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PASPA outlawed sports betting in all other states, effectively banning it nationwide. This didn’t mean that sports betting wasn’t happening; it was just an underground, offshore activity.

PASPA remained in force until May 2018, when the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional. This was thanks almost entirely to the efforts of New Jersey, under the leadership of Governor Chris Christie, who brought the legal challenge after trying to legalize online sports betting in 2011 and 2014. New Jersey argued that part of PASPA violated the anti-commandeering doctrine (the tenth amendment), which, in overly simple terms, prevents the federal government from coercing states to adopt or enforce federal laws.

The District Court first heard New Jersey’s case, then the Third Circuit, with both ruling against them. However, upon appeal, the case was heard by the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) on May 14th, 2018. SCOTUS agreed that PASPA violated the anti-commandeering principle, rescinding the entire act and stating that PASPA was meant to work as a whole, meaning that if part of it was not legally viable, the whole act must be struck down.

Legal Outlook: 38 States Legal, 12 To Go

With PASPA gone, each state now had the right to decide whether to legalize sports betting, with a majority opting to. As of November 2023, 38 states have said yes, passing new laws that allow retail sports betting. Online sports betting is also available in 26.

There are 12 states left to legalize. Three of them (South Carolina, Alabama, and California) face strong opposition, and the remaining nine are looking to introduce bills in the 2024/2025 legislative sessions. North Carolina and Minnesota are tipped to be the next to join the fray, and Oklahoma introduced a new proposal two months ago.

The legal landscape remains complex, with different rules, regulators, and taxation regimes in each state. On top of this, in certain locations, the presence of tribal gaming compacts has conflicted with commercial interests (the ongoing case of Florida sports betting and tribal opposition in California serve as perfect examples).

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Growth of Online Casinos – Not Going As Planned

While there was no guarantee, many industry experts and commentators hoped that the legalization of sports betting would soon be followed by online casino regulation. However, thus far, only six states have legalized online casinos: New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Michigan, West Virginia, and Connecticut, the latest to join the ranks, passing HB 6451 in 2021. Since then, there’s been no further movement for online casinos.

Players outside the mentioned states may only use land-based casinos or free social gaming sites where available. Sweepstakes casinos are also available across the country, Idaho and Washington aside. As a legitimate gaming option, sweepstakes are taking the US by storm, but just like with real online casinos, players should use a review site to find the best options.

As sweepstakes casinos don’t require a license in the USA, expert advice such as Casino Cabbie’s Wow Vegas Online Casino Review highlights any security issues and the benefits and pitfalls of each site as well before players sign up, making them an invaluable resource.

Economics: More Than $220 Billion Spent On Sports Betting Since 2018

One of the biggest drivers of sports betting legalization is the promise of potential tax revenue. The US sports betting industry is enormous, and since 2018, more than $220 billion has been spent on wagers, contributing over $3 billion in state taxes. The revenue earned by states has been instrumental in funding local projects and new initiatives, as well as responsible gambling research and support.

More in-depth and up-to-date research focusing on the exact economic contribution of sports betting is thin on the ground, and the last comprehensive study by Oxford Economics was published in 2017. At the time, it detailed that the entire sports betting industry created over 216,671 jobs.

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Due to the lack of current data, we’re left to turn to figures charting the impact of the entire gambling industry, which includes casinos and sports betting. According to statistics from the American Gaming Association in 2022, US gambling is a powerhouse industry, creating, in total, 1.8 million US jobs, with $104.2 billion in wages (these figures include the entire supply chain).

There can be no argument that over the last five years, US sports betting has been a substantial economic contributor, helping state governments recover from COVID-19, creating jobs, and stimulating economic growth.

Social: 77% of American Adults Support Legalization in their State

Legally and economically, things have changed rapidly in the States since the repeal of PASPA, but what about the social impacts?

Research shows that 85% of Americans think the removal of PASPA was correct, with 77% now supporting sports betting legalization in their state. Moreover, the number of Americans open to placing sports bets has grown by 24 million since 2019. With many enjoying the newly legal betting options available to them, public attitudes towards gambling as a whole have seemingly softened.

With many states also benefiting from increased government budgets brought through sports betting tax revenue, it’s important to recognize the benefits this has made to social provisions. Many states have used the influx to contribute more money to education funds and other social causes, like reducing homelessness.

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A proportion of the money is also used to fund state problem gambling assistance, with many running state-based hotlines and counseling services. Nonetheless, in many cases, this funding is not enough to offset the increased rates of gambling harms caused by legalization.

Future Outlook: Challenges and Concerns

Looking forward, the US online sports betting industry has a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.33% for 2023-2027, meaning there’s much more to come. However, this rapid growth will lead to some challenges.

Offshore gambling has been a considerable issue for the legal sports betting market. In 2022, The American Gaming Association estimated that Americans wagered $63.8 billion with illegal bookies, costing $3.8 billion in lost gaming revenue and $700 million in state taxes.

 

While offshore gambling is reducing, the latest data shows that 77% of online sports bets are now placed through regulated operators, compared to just 44% in 2019. However, things are not all rosy, and 48% of those who bet offshore believe they are placing legal wagers.

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Gambling addiction also poses a considerable threat to the sustainability of the entire US gambling industry, with some states recently reporting problem gambling rates over 6%, which is three times the national average (to contextualize this figure better, the UK has a problem gambling rate of 0.2%). High rates of problem gambling twinned with rapid growth potentially represent a ticking time bomb that could rock the entire US industry.

 

It’s undoubtedly been an incredible five years for US bettors and sportsbooks; as a newer gambling market, the US must now look to more mature gambling jurisdictions to see what player protection methods work best and implement them sooner rather than later.

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Plaza Hotel & Casino to celebrate summer with Friday night fireworks

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The Plaza Hotel & Casino will celebrate the start of every weekend this summer with a live fireworks show Friday nights at 9:15 p.m., beginning May 24 for Memorial Day weekend through Aug. 30 for Labor Day weekend.
Inspired by the fireworks shows at Disneyland, the Plaza’s Welcome to the Weekend Summer Friday Fireworks will light up the sky above downtown Las Vegas and be part of a festive summer block party atmosphere at the property’s Carousel Bar and rooftop pool deck.
“The Plaza is known for its great fireworks on New Year’s Eve and July 4th, but who says fireworks are only for those holidays?” said Jonathan Jossel, CEO of the Plaza Hotel & Casino. “This summer, we wanted to celebrate and give a gift to everyone downtown by sharing the excitement and fun of our fireworks shows with them every Friday night.”
“Las Vegas is the world’s destination because of all the spectacular attractions that are available here,” City of Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said. “The Plaza is adding a new weekly fireworks extravaganza this summer, and everyone is invited to visit downtown Las Vegas and enjoy the show!”
Derek Stevens, CEO and Owner of Circa Resort & Casino said “The weekly fireworks show will amp up Fremont Street’s high-energy atmosphere to a new level. It’s a terrific addition for the entire neighborhood, providing another exciting reason for visitors to come downtown. Huge thanks to Jonathan and the Plaza team for bringing this idea to life. We’ll definitely be enjoying the show every week from Circa’s rooftop lounge, Legacy Club.”
The fireworks shot from the Plaza’s towers will be visible to the thousands of tourists and locals in downtown Las Vegas as well as for miles beyond. Plaza hotel guests will be able to enjoy the fireworks from an exclusive viewing party on its rooftop pool deck where the fireworks will be “ignited” by a special guest pushing a detonator button on an oversized TNT box.
To attract even more people to stay downtown, the Plaza introduced the only all-inclusive hotel room package starting at $125 per person per night. The package includes bottomless drinks, breakfast and dinner, a free bingo session, waived resort fees, and more. Rooms must be booked online by June 30 for a stay June 1 through July 1.
The Friday night rooftop pool party for hotel guests will feature the Frozen Firecracker, a special red, white, and blue cocktail made with strawberry daiquiri, pina colada, and blue lemonade spiked with Don Q Rum. At Carousel Bar the summer party vibe continues every Friday night with a DJ and the specialty cocktail Watermelon Agua Fresca made with Mi Campo tequila, Jägermeister, rose aperitivo, watermelon juice, chamoy, and aloe leaves as a garnish.
“Downtown Las Vegas is already a vibrant, unique, and exciting destination. Our Summer Friday Fireworks paired with our all-inclusive room package and great summertime block party atmosphere at Carousel Bar and the rooftop pool deck will be even more reasons to come downtown this summer,” added Jossel.
The Plaza’s fireworks will be dependent on weather conditions and are subject to change or cancellation.

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Week 16/2024 slot games releases

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Here are this weeks latest slots releases compiled by European Gaming

Habanero, is introducing the Reel Rewards feature in its new 6×3 reel slot Golden Taj Mahal. Paying homage to Indian culture, the game sees tigers, candles, precious gemstones, the prince and princess as well as the magic lamp Wild fill the grid as the slot’s symbols. At the top of the board, there are six empty spots which can be filled by the Reel Rewards mechanic on any spin, awarding a prize ranging from 2x, 3x or 5x multipliers to a Wild, which transforms all symbols below it.

 

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After releasing the frenzy of a slot game that was Brick Snake 2000, the award-winning slot provider is now set to release Tombstone No Mercy an upgraded refresh of its 2019 hit slot, Tombstone. The 2024 refresh stays true to the original game and introduces Nolimit Bonus Buys and Nolimit Booster into the mix. With the introduction of Nolimit Bonus Buys, players can buy right into the bonus rounds; Justice Spins, Gunslinger

 

 

Games Global exclusive studio PearFiction Studios has unveiled its latest release, Cerberus Gold, incorporating three engaging LockNWin bonuses that can be combined for great win potential. This mythological title boasts an exciting triple collection mechanic that sees each collection pot protected by a head of the fearsome guardian of the underworld, Cerberus, who precariously sits above the reel set.

 

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4ThePlayer in collaboration with Yggdrasil is unveiling its new release, 4K Ultra Gold MoneyWays, through the YGG Masters platform. This game evolves 4ThePlayer’s popular MoneyWays mechanic as seen in the top-performing 4 Fantastic series where cash on the reels is won by forming ways wins without the need for additional symbols or features. In 4K Ultra Gold, every cash symbol is boosted when it lands on the reels, creating additional excitement and anticipation.

 

Push Gaming has released the second in its series of DJ games, DJ Cat, which brings a range of new features to amp up engagement. Following the success of DJ Fox, this new follow-up retains the easy-to-understand, win-what-you-see gameplay, adding in larger win multipliers. Lining up CD symbols helps players to build big prizes while VIP icons grant access to spin the decks and feed the Multiplier Meter. Arrow symbols crank the volume and unlock more reels using the iconic Push-Up feature.

 

Inspired Entertainment is thrilled to announce its latest slot game, Spin 2 Riches™, now available the UK B3/LBO market. Offering players an unparalleled gaming experience filled with mystery symbols and Fortune Spins. Spin 2 Riches invites players to embark on a thrilling adventure where every spin brings the promise of untold riches.

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PG Soft, a world-class digital mobile games company, is on target again with its latest fun-filled game release, Piñata Wins. Set against a vibrant fiesta backdrop, Piñata Wins is a five-reel and three-row title offering players a colourful gaming experience with plenty of features with an opportunity to make big returns from multipliers up to x100. The reels are brought to life with symbols that celebrate Mexican culture including tacos, maracas, skulls, sombreros and chillies.

 

Endorphina, has announced the release of its latest slot game, Moon Tiger, on April 17th. Featuring 5 reels, 3 rows, 25 fixed paylines, and cool bonuses, the slot will soon join Endorphina’s portfolio of over 150  games. Inspired by Chinese mythology, this slot embodies the legendary White Tiger, a creature born from a rare occurrence in the heavens.

Endorphina introduces its newest title - Moon Tiger!

 

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Blueprint Gaming is inviting players to live like royalty and reign over Phrygia in its latest scatter-pay release, the Greek mythology-themed Midas King of Gold. Players attempt to turn every touch into gold in this 6×5 scatter pays title, with the King himself appearing in symbols on the game’s richly coloured board alongside royal pillars and ancient artifacts.

Luxury and grandeur await in latest Blueprint Gaming title Midas King of Gold

 

Playson, the fast-growing digital entertainment supplier, has combined the striking themes of its most successful games in its latest title Energy Joker: Hold and Win. With coins, electricity and a grinning joker, this fast-paced release has lightning running through its reels. The blue Collect feature strikes the cells and gathers all values, including the Mini, Minor and Major jackpots and Bonus symbols.

Playson grants clown unlimited powers in Energy Joker: Hold and Win

 

 

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Spinomenal has released its new hit, Queen of the Amazon. Set amongst the lush rainforest, this 5×4 slot welcomes players on an adventure where treasure awaits intrepid explorers. A majestic Amazon headdress, tiger, gorilla, and snake, make up the Medium symbols on the reels. At the heart of the story stands the queen herself, representing the Wild symbol.

 

 

Embark on a thrilling journey across continents in 80 Day Escapade, the dramatic new slot from Boldplay that offers multiple features for endless excitement and rewards. With its 5×3 reels and 243 ways to win, players will enjoy a world of adventure and fortune but the real excitement begins with the set of exciting bonus features.

 

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The post Week 16/2024 slot games releases appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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Evoplay strikes distribution agreement with Light & Wonder

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Evoplay, the award-winning game development studio, has leveraged its position across Europe by taking its portfolio live with Light & Wonder’s leading aggregation platform.

Through this latest launch, over 100 of the provider’s dynamic titles will be made available on Light & Wonder’s global operator network including its Penalty Shoot-out instant game as well as top-performing slots The Greatest Catch Bonus Buy and Hot Triple Sevens.

The integration will see Evoplay boost its presence across a plethora of territories in Europe, including MGA-regulated markets, Italy, Portugal, the Balkans and the Baltics, where Light & Wonder’s platform is a top choice for tier-one operators.

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Evoplay’s latest agreement underscores its commitment to becoming a leading supplier across Europe and follows significant commercial expansion in several key markets.

Ihor Zarechnyi, CBDO at Evoplay, said: “Evoplay’s latest landmark deal serves as a testament to the power of our dynamic portfolio. As we continue to excel across markets worldwide, we are delighted that Light & Wonder recognised the quality of our games and took them live on its platform.

“Light & Wonder has a vast market reach, which allows us to greatly expand our footing in Europe. Additionally, once we obtain the Canadian licence, we look forward to introducing our innovative content to an even wider audience of players.”

James Bustin, Commercial Director at Light & Wonder, added: “Thanks to its commitment to differentiation, Evoplay’s offering has proven to captivate players across Europe and we anticipate its games will perform just as well with our operator network.

“Forging new content agreements with suppliers such as Evoplay allows us to continue delivering fresh and exciting experiences to the market whilst elevating studios to an even bigger reach.”

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The post Evoplay strikes distribution agreement with Light & Wonder appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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