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State of the Union: Coronavirus, NV, Apple, RI, DE and more

Insight | Analysis

This week’s State of the Union, in partnership with Segev LLP, once again covers the impact of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic on the US gambling industry. Elsewhere, we look at the latest revenue figures from Nevada, Rhode Island and Delaware, as well as Apple relaxing the deadline for App Store compliance and Clarion Gaming shifting ICE North America online. 

Clarion Gaming launches ICE North America Digital
Clarion Gaming has launched a free digital version of its flagship US event ICE North America, which will provide a comprehensive selection of discussion, expert insight and thought leadership for attendees.

With the New Orleans show postponed to spring 2021, it will be replaced with a week of online events featuring high-profile speakers that had been due to participate in that event.

“We’re delighted to be able to offer this fabulous content for free and are confident that now more than ever is a great time for the industry to pool its thoughts,” ICE North America Digital event director Rory Credland said.

“We’ve seen real interest from people in not only taking part but tuning in to find out what’s next and share knowledge on best way forward. Sadly, it’ll be without the jazz and fantastic Southern hospitality – but we’ll save that for spring 2021.”

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NV sportsbooks bring in $38.1m in last month before shutdown
Nevada casinos brought in $1.04bn in revenue while sportsbook revenue grew to $38.1m in the last full month before the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic led to a near-total shutdown of casinos and global sport.

The state’s revenue of $1.04bn for February, up 3.1% year-on-year, came on total player stakes of $12.61bn in the last full month without casino closures in the US. In the second half of March, all commercial casinos in the US closed in order to limit the spread of the virus.

Bettors wagered $491.8m at Nevada sportsbooks, up 7.2% year-on-year but down 2.2% from January, and brought in $38.1m in revenue, up 6.3% from last year and 88.6% from January. This figure came on a full schedule of sporting events for the month, before almost all major sports globally were suspended in mid-March.

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CDI furloughs employees at closed locations
Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) has temporarily furloughed employees at venues closed by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

In addition, all remaining salaried CDI employees will have their salaries reduced by an amount depending on their current salary, with the most senior executives having the largest salary reductions by percentage.

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MGM revenue declines in first two months of 2020
MGM Resorts issued an earnings update amid the Covid-19 pandemic, reporting that revenue has declined for the first two months of 2020, but net income increased more than 500-fold because of the sale of the MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay venues.

The pandemic has led to the closure of all commercial casinos in the United States this month as well as all casinos in Macau for 15 days of February.

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Delaware sports betting revenue soars in February
The Delaware Lottery has revealed that sports wagering revenue in the state amounted to $159,800 in February, representing a huge year-on-year increase, but a sharp decline on the total generated in January 2020.

Revenue in the four weeks through to February 23 was significantly higher than the $22,152 collected in the same month in 2019, but was also 89.4% lower than the $1.5m posted for the January 2020.

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PNG sells Tropicana Las Vegas property, furloughs 26,000
Penn National Gaming (PNG) has taken measures to mitigate the effect of the novel coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) on its business, selling and leasing back its Tropicana Las Vegas property and furloughing around 26,000 staff members.

The operator has agreed to sell the Tropicana Las Vegas casino to its principal landlord Gaming & Leisure Properties (GLPI), real estate investment trust spun off from PNG in 2013. GLPI will then lease it back to Penn, for $337.5m in rent credits.

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SBTech-powered sites taken offline by cyberattack
SBTech is close to completing the process of bringing its clients’ websites back online after a cyberattack saw more than 50 sportsbooks powered by the technology provider go offline over the weekend.

iGB understands that SBTech’s monitoring system flagged a potential security threat late on March 27.

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Rhode Island sports betting revenue rises to $2.3m in February
Sports betting revenue in Rhode Island totalled $2.3m in February, representing a significant improvement on the loss of $890,623 posted in the same month in 2019.

February’s revenue total was 30.3% lower than $3.3m in January of this year, but the amount wagered by players was up 4.5% month-on-month to $28.1m. Consumer spending was also up 35.8% on a year-on-year basis.

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SG management cuts salaries in Covid-19 mitigation plan
The executive leadership of Scientific Games has voluntarily reduced its salaries by 50%, with chief executive Barry Cottle going without pay, as part of the solutions giant’s efforts to mitigate the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

This comes as part of a broad range of cost-saving measures to preserve jobs and protect the company’s operations. 

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Apple once again extends native app deadline
Technology giant Apple has once again extended the deadline by which developers must ensure their apps are fully native to iOS.

Having originally extended the deadline to 3 March in September last year, it has once again pushed it back six months, to 30 June.

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GAN prepares for Michigan market entry
Gambling software provider GAN has stepped up preparations for entry to Michigan’s igaming market from 2021, in partnership with the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians and an anonymous casino client.

The market access deal with the tribe, which operates five venues under the Kewadin Casinos brand, was first announced earlier this week. It will see GAN provide its technology platform and operational services to the Kewadin properties, and to an existing US casino operator client. 

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Wildwood Casino scores sports betting deal with ISI
American Gaming Group, (AGG), operator of Wildwood Casino in Cripple Creek, Colorado, has entered into a sports betting technology partnership with ISI Race & Sports (ISI).

Under the deal, ISI will provide hardware, software and marketing services for Wildwood’s new sports wagering offering, powered by sportsbook solutions specialist Amelco’s betting platform.

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Leadstar Media approved to launch in New Jersey
Affiliate services provider Leadstar Media has secured approval from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement to commence operations in the state.

Leadstar will use its new license to initially launch two of its primary products in New Jersey, in the form of and

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