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State of the Union: California, Congress, PokerStars and more


This week’s State of the Union, in partnership with Segev LLP, covers the inclusion of a measure to permit online gambling on the California ballot this November.

Online gambling proposal confirmed for California’s November ballot

A measure to permit online gambling in California – backed by a number of commercial operators but opposed by many tribes in the state – has been confirmed for November’s ballot.

The Secretary of State in the US’s most populous state announced on Monday that the proposed law, which is backed by major gaming groups such as BetMGM, has attracted around 1.1 million valid signatures – well above the 997,000 required to make the ballot.

US representatives call on DoJ to shut down Bovada, MyBookie and BetOnline

A total of 28 US representatives have signed a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Department of Justice, calling for a crackdown on offshore operators, particularly Bovada, MyBookie and BetOnline.

The effort was led by Dina Titus and Guy Reschenthaler, co-chairs of the Congressional Gaming Caucus, and was signed by 26 other representatives.

PokerStars launches in Ontario

Online poker giant PokerStars has officially launched in Ontario, having been granted a full registration to operate by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).

The AGCO approved the business’s parent company, TSG Interactive Canada, for an internet gaming licence earlier in the month; detailing that the licence would be in effect from 8 June 2022, with an expiration date of 7 June 2024.

Atlantic City casinos could lose $1m in EBITDA daily during strike, says union

Labour union Unite Here Local 54 has estimated that Caesars Entertainment and MGM each risk losing $1m (£813,153/€943,067) per day in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) if casino workers go on strike in Atlantic City.

Unite Here’s members provide cleaning services for hotel rooms, gaming floors and restrooms across Atlantic City.

Bally’s signs $1bn sale leaseback deal for Rhode Island casinos

Bally’s Corporation has agreed to sell two more casino properties to Gaming and Leisure Properties (GLPI) in a sale-leaseback agreement worth $1bn.

The Bally’s Twin River Lincoln Casino Resort and Bally’s Tiverton Casino & Hotel properties in Rhode Island are being acquired by GLP Capital, the operating partnership of the gaming real estate investment trust.

FansUnite approved for Toronto stock exchange listing

FansUnite Entertainment has received conditional approval to list its shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX).

The Vancouver-headquartered sports betting and igaming operator and supplier said the approval, which sees it switch from the Canadian Securities Exchange, will assist its growth plans and offer an opportunity for investors seeking to benefit from North American regulated gambling growth.

Super Group casino brands including Spin approved for Ontario launch

Super Group has been approved to launch four online casino brands in Ontario, including its main gaming brand Spin, and is set to receive licences for each from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).

AGCO approved licences for each of Jackpot City, Royal Vegas, Ruby Fortune and Spin Casino, all owned by Super Group subsidiary Cadtree Limited. While many licences in the market are for only one year, each of these will last two years, until June 2024.

React Gaming appoints interim CEO Leigh Hughes

North American esports and gaming group React Gaming has appointed Leigh Hughes as its interim chief executive.

Hughes takes up the position at the Toronto-listed owner of the brand immediately, replacing Laurent Benezra, who is stepping down from his current role as president and chief executive as well as director of the corporation. Benezra, who took over at React – then Intema Solutions – in 2019, will remain in a consultancy capacity.

Allied Esports boosted by return of live events in Q1

Allied Esports Entertainment achieved its best revenue and adjusted earnings performance since it sold its poker operations during the first quarter of 2022.

In a trading update to 31 March, Allied – which sold assets including World Poker Tour for $105m last July – said total revenues from continuing operations of $2.4m had increased by 381% for the first quarter of 2022, compared to the first quarter of 2021.

DraftKings launches new igaming products in West Virginia

DraftKings launched a new set of igaming products in West Virginia today (June 24), including roulette, baccarat and infinite blackjack.

These new online games are in addition to DraftKings’ original offerings, which first launched in West Virginia in July 2020 after legislation to introduce sports betting in the state was passed one year prior. It was the first operator to enter the state’s market.