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State of the Union: Caesars, PA, Tipico, AGA and more

Insight | Analysis

This week’s State of the Union, in partnership with Segev LLP, covers the conclusion of the long-awaited merger of Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment. Also in this edition are the latest figures from Pennsylvania, more on Tipico’s plans for New Jersey, and Golden Nugget sealing entry to Michigan’s igaming market.

Eldorado completes mega-merger with Caesars
Eldorado Resorts has completed its acquisition of, and subsequent merger, with Caesars Entertainment Corporation, in a deal that creates the largest casino and entertainment business in the US.

The two operators announced the deal in June last year, with Eldorado agreeing to pay $17.3bn – comprising $7.2bn in cash and around 77m Eldorado common shares – to take ownership of Caesars.

The mega-merger had been subject to a host of regulatory approvals, the last of which came from the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, which cleared the way for the acquisition to go through.

Following completion, the combined business will now operate under the name ‘Caesars Entertainment Inc.’, with a portfolio of more than 55 casino properties around the world.

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Pennsylvania boosted by casinos reopening in June
Pennsylvania saw gambling revenue more than double month-on-month as casinos reopened during June.

According to figures released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), the state accrued revenue of $132.6m for the month, which was up 116.4% on May’s $61.0m, when figures were impacted by a full month of lockdown.

Eleven of the state’s 12 casinos reopened during June and generated slot machine and table games revenue for the first time since March 16.

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Tipico selects SG Digital to power US igaming launch
German betting and gaming operator Tipico is continuing preparations for its entry to the US market, selecting Scientific Games’ OpenGaming product suite for its New Jersey-facing igaming offering. 

The supplier’s SG Digital division will provide Tipico with its Open Gaming System aggregation platform, giving it access to more than 2,000 proprietary and third party games. 

“Tipico’s decision to select OpenGaming to power its new digital casino once again demonstrates the quality of our proposition, and reaffirms our position as a leading supplier in the state of New Jersey,” SG Digital senior vice president of casino Dylan Slaney said.

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Golden Nugget seals Michigan access with Ojibwa Casino
Golden Nugget Online Gaming, the online subsidiary of the Golden Nugget chain of casinos owned and operated by Landry’s Incorporated, has sealed a market access deal in Michigan.

The operator, which is in the process of spinning off from Landry’s and listing on the Nasdaq stock exchange, has partnered the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, operator of Ojibwa Casino. 

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872 employees to be laid off by Circus Circus & Tropicana

Two properties on the Las Vegas strip, Circus Circus Hotel & Casino and Tropicana Las Vegas, have notified the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation of 252 and 620 layoffs respectively, expected to take place between now and October.

As companies with over 100 employees, both must comply with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, which requires them to provide advance warning of mass layoffs.

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Las Vegas Sands loses $1bn in H1 amid Covid-19

Land-based gaming giant Las Vegas Sands saw revenue fall 73.1% year-on-year for the six months ended 30 June, 2020 after Q2 revenue collapsed to almost zero due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The business made $1.88bn in revenue for the half-year,down 73.1% year-on-year. Most of this revenue came from casino, at $1.19bn. However, this figure was down 76.4% year-on-year.

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Senate Judiciary Committee debates college betting legality

The US Senate Committee on the judiciary heard evidence both for and against the continued legality of betting on college sports in a committee meeting titled “Protecting the Integrity of College Athletics”.

Heather Lyke, athletic director at the University of Pittsburgh spoke on behalf of the University and Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).

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FanDuel and DraftKings receive Illinois betting permits

Both DraftKings and FanDuel have received temporary sports betting permits allowing them to operate in Illinois, allowing both to launch in the state when their land-based partners receive master licenses.

Both operators received management service provider permits last week, allowing them to operate a sportsbook on behalf of a land-based license holder.

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Massachusetts Lottery sees revenue and profit fall in FY 2020

The Massachusetts State Lottery has reported a year-on-year decline in revenue and net profit for the 2020 fiscal year, primarily due to the impact of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Revenue for the 12 months to June 30, 2020, amounted to $5.25bn, a decrease of 4.7% from $5.51bn in the corresponding period in fiscal 2019.

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Oklahoma Supreme Court rejects tribal gaming compacts

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has voted to reject two tribal gaming compacts signed by Governor Kevin Stitt, ruling that both agreements are invalid under state law.

Stitt signed gaming compacts with the Otoe-Missouria Tribe and the Comanche Nation in April, allowing the two tribes to offer Class III games, including sports betting, poker, roulette, slots and blackjack.

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Rhode Island lawmakers pass remote registration amendment
A bill to remove the in-person registration requirement for bettors in Rhode Island has passed the state legislature, and is now awaiting ratification by Governor Gina Raimondo.

If approved, Amendment H 8097 will allow online gaming patrons to set up and use their sports betting accounts from outside physical gaming facilities, removing the need to visit a venue in-person to complete player registrations.

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AGA study highlights confusion over legal betting in US
The American Gaming Association (AGA) has pledged to strengthen its education efforts after new research found that over half of consumers who wagered with unlicensed operators in the US did not know they had gambled illegally.

Conducted by market research consultancy Heart + Mind Strategies on behalf of the AGA, the study ran from December 2019 to January 2020 and included 3,451 interviews with American adults aged 21 and over.

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Global Daily Fantasy Sports set to rebrand as Playgon

Software supplier Global Daily Fantasy Sports has announced plans to change its name to Playgon Games Inc., following its acquisition of Playgon Interactive last month.

The proposed rebrand is subject to a number of regulatory approvals, including authorisation from the TSX Venture Exchange stock exchange in Canada.

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TN Lottery sees revenue reach $1.84bn in FY2020
The Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation (TEL) saw revenue for its 2020 fiscal year grow to $1.84bn, the highest total since the lottery’s launch in January 2004.

The sum generated over the 12 months to 30 June represented a marginal increase on FY2019, when revenue came in at $1.81bn.

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Intralot extends with Vermont Lottery
Intralot has signed an extension to its technology and services agreement with the Vermont Lottery.

Under the deal Intralot, via its US subsidiary, will provide the Lottery with its Lotos central system, Photon terminals and Winstations technologies.

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Online shift helps GA Lottery grow charitable contribution in FY2020
The Georgia Lottery Corp. announced today that fiscal year 2020 profits transferred a record $1,.24bn (£983.9m/€1.08bn) to the State Treasury’s Lottery for Education Account.

Despite many lotteries seeing revenue decline throughout the novel Coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic, Georgia Lottery said it was able to grow sales by encouraging and educating its players to move online.

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Boyd launches new Stardust social casino app

Boyd Gaming has relaunched its Stardust brand as a free-to-play gaming product for the second time, with the offering now live for iOS and Android devices.

The app features a range of slot titles similar to those available on the gaming floor at Boyd’s land-based casinos, and playing the app offers rewards and benefits at these properties to customers.

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FanDuel marks return of US sport with $80m giveaway

Sports betting and daily fantasy sports operator FanDuel has announced details of a new initiative, where it will distribute more than $80m in site credits to its customers to celebrate the return of professional sport in the US.

All major league competitions in the country had been suspended due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, but a number of leagues are due to return within the next few weeks.

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