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State of the Union: Canada, Nevada, Bally’s and more

Insight | Analysis

This week’s State of the Union, in partnership with Segev LLP, covers Canada’s single event betting bill, as well as the latest numbers from Nevada, Bally’s and Gamesys shareholders ratifying the mega-merger agreement and developments in other states. 

Canada single-event sports betting bill receives Royal Assent

A bill to legalize single-event sports betting in Canada has secured Royal Assent and will pass into law once the country’s House of Commons has been advised.

Bill C-218, also known as the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act, was reintroduced into the Canadian parliament in November last year, after several previous unsuccessful attempts to allow betting on single sports events in the country.

The bill sought to repeal paragraph 207(4)(b) of Canada’s Criminal Code, under which consumers are only permitted to wager on at least three games or more, meaning that a bet on a single match or event is deemed illegal.

Nevada revenue grows as Covid-19 controls relax

In the wake of Nevada casinos’ capacity increasing to 80% in May, state gaming revenue grew 18.9% month-over-month.

Total gaming revenue for May came to $1.23bn, according to the latest figures from the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

Gamesys and Bally’s shareholders approve mega-merger

Shareholders in Gamesys Group and Bally’s Corporation have voted to approve a mega-merger agreement between the two businesses that is set to create a leading retail and online gambling group in the US and beyond.

Gamesys announced in a statement that the court meeting to consider the scheme and the Gamesys general meeting to consider the special resolution relating to the combination — details of which were agreed by both boards in April — were each held today (30 June) and both were approved by the requisite majorities.

Scientific Games plans to divest lottery, sports betting businesses

Gambling technology giant Scientific Games has announced that it intends to divest its lottery and sports betting businesses in an effort to position the company for “sustainable growth”.

Scientific Games said that it was in the process of exploring a range of options to offload the units, including a sale, a strategic combination with another business, an initial public offering or a combination with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

Sports betting stakeholders speak out on Arizona draft rules

Representatives of leading betting operators and some top sports properties have contributed towards the first set of written comments in relation to a draft of sports wagering rules in Arizona.

The Arizona Department of Gaming said that it remains “on track” to go live with the new regulations on September 9. However, before releasing a more formal list of rules, the regulator held four open session meetings to allow stakeholders and the public to comment.

Mohegan launches new digital division

Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment has confirmed its expansion into igaming by launching a new division called Mohegan Digital.

The resort operator said that the new division’s immediate priority would be to create an igaming experience for its flagship property, Mohegan Sun Connecticut, after the state legislated for sports betting and online gaming.

Mississippi sports betting revenue reaches $3.9m in May

Sports wagering revenue in Mississippi rocketed by 4,333.8% year-on-year to $3.9m in May, while the US state’s handle also jumped 15,175.0% to $36.1m.

Mississippi’s land-based casinos and sportsbooks were closed for almost all of May last year due to state-wide novel coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions and did not resume operations until May 21.

KY Lottery announces record $1.45bn sales in FY21 to date

The Kentucky Lottery has revealed that it generated $1.45bn in sales in its fiscal year 2021 to date, between July 2020 and May 2021.

With the last month of the fiscal year still to be reported, sales have already surpassed the $1.20bn recorded in the full fiscal year 2020.

Tennessee takes $160.9m in sports wagers in May

Results published by the Tennessee Education Lottery (TEL), the body responsible for online sportsbook licensing and regulation, show that customers wagered a total of $160.9m on sports during the month of May.

The figure is down 6.7% on the $172.4m wagered in April, making May the month with the lowest total handle in Tennessee since the market launched in November 2020, when players wagered $131.4m.

Super Group continues US expansion with foray into Colorado and Indiana

iGaming operator Super Group has announced the continuation of its brand expansion with Betway going live in Colorado and Indiana.

The company also anticipates that the Pennsylvania market will open up in the near future, and two other states are expected to do the same in the coming months.

NH Lottery hails successful conclusion to Wire Act drama

The New Hampshire Lottery said it was “extremely pleased” that its challenge to the Department of Justice (DoJ)’s reinterpretation of the Wire Act had concluded in its favour.

Its comments followed the Department opting against challenging a court verdict that upheld a 2011 opinion, which stated the 1961 act only applied specifically to sports betting, and not other forms of interstate gambling.

NH sports betting revenue continues monthly decline

Sports wagering revenue in New Hampshire declined for the second consecutive month in May, despite figures released by the New Hampshire Lottery revealing a 633.1% year-on-year increase.

Revenue in May amounted to $3.1m, which was significantly higher than $424,947 in the same month last year, though all retail sportsbooks in the state were closed in May 2020 due to novel coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions.

Rhode Island sportsbook revenue falls in May

Rhode Island posted sportsbook revenue of $2.8m for May, representing a 12.5% decrease from the previous month.

However, compared to the same period last year – when sporting events were suspended by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic – the state’s revenue has skyrocketed by 1596.3% from $163,472.

May Colorado sports betting revenue rockets to $15.2m

Revenue from sports betting in Colorado amounted to $15.2m in May, while consumers in the US state spent a total of $249.0m wagering on sports during the month.

Sport betting revenue rocketed 1,500.7% year-on-year from $946,641 record during the first month of legal wagering in May of last year. However, this figure was 13.6% lower than the $17.6m in revenue generated in April of this year.

Maine moves closer to mobile sports betting

A bill to legalise mobile sports betting in Maine has been enacted by the state’s House chamber, clearing a regulatory hurdle before being passed to the US state’s Senate and then the Governor for final approval.

Governor Janet Mills will be given the chance to sign off the bill if it passes through the state’s Appropriations Table – a joint committee that is expected to convene as early as today (July 1) – and then receives the backing of the full Senate.

Fertitta amends SPAC merger terms ahead of listing

Fertitta Entertainment has amended the terms of its merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), reportedly increasing the enterprise value of the combined entity by $2bn ahead of listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

Fertitta Entertainment, the parent company of Golden Nugget operator Landry’s, announced in February that it would merge with Fast Acquisition Corporation, with Tilman Fertitta selling a minority stake in the business and retaining a 60% shareholding.

Sportradar enters ten-year partnership with National Hockey League

Sports betting provider Sportradar has announced it has entered into a 10-year global partnership with the National Hockey League (NHL).

The deal will see Sportradar become the league’s official integrity partner and official media data rights partner, as well as obtaining official betting data rights and betting streaming rights.

BCLC to reopen land-based casinos on July 1

The British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) is to reopen its land-based casinos and community gaming centers from July 1, after a period of closure that stretched back to March last year.

All BCLC casinos and gaming centers closed on March 6, 2020 in line with local novel coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions in the Canadian province of British Columbia.

CBRE Group acquires Union Gaming

US commercial real estate services and investment business CBRE Group has completed a deal to acquire Union Gaming, a boutique investment bank and advisory company focused exclusively on the global gaming market.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it was confirmed that Union’s employees and CBRE’s existing Las Vegas-based gaming investment sales team led by Michael Parks will join together to form a combined global gaming team.