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State of the Union: DraftKings, IL, Boyd and more

Insight | Analysis

This week’s State of the Union, in partnership with Segev LLP, covers DraftKings’ efforts to raise $1.66bn, record sports betting figures for the US in August and a further round of layoffs at two Boyd Gaming Las Vegas local properties.

DraftKings targets $1.66bn from share placement

DraftKings Inc is set to raise a further $600m from the new share placement announced earlier this week, after further details were released.

The Boston-headquartered business said the 32 million new shares will be available at a public offering price of $52.00 per share for a total offering size of $1.66bn (£1.29bn/€1.41bn).

That figure is significantly more than the $1.03bn proposed maximum aggregate offering price stated on Monday (5 October).

Record betting figures boost US gaming performance in August

The US gambling industry saw a fourth consecutive month of sequential growth in August as the return of sport generated record betting handle.

Figures compiled by the American Gaming Association (AGA) show that a crowded sports calendar led players to wager $2.1bn in August, the largest monthly handle in US sports betting history. Operators generated $119.4m in revenue from August’s record stakes, the second highest grossing month on record.

The overall figures were boosted by big rises in sports betting and online gaming. The $119.4m monthly revenue figure represented a 90.2% year-on-year improvement, as the National Basketball Association (NBA) resumed, Major League Baseball (MLB) continued and punters looked ahead to the National Football League (NFL) season. Online gaming, meanwhile, grew 224.2% to $145.3m.

Boyd to lay off 284 more Las Vegas employees

Boyd Gaming is to permanently lay off 284 employees at two downtown Las Vegas properties, citing a more prolonged than expected impact from the novel coronavirus (Covid-19)

The operator will make 168 staff members at the California Hotel and Casino redundant as of 13 November, along with 116 at Main Street Station on the same date. It announced the layoffs in a letter to the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation as part of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act.

The redundancies follow a series of layoffs across Boyd’s Nevada properties, including at both the California Hotel and Casino and at Main Street Station, in July. While it didn’t reveal how many employees were laid off at this time, it said the number fell on the lower end of the range of 25% to 60% of employees that it had provided to the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation in May.

Ohio casinos register record September

Ohio’s licensed gambling premises enjoyed another record month in September with a 6.1% year-on-year increase in revenue.

The state’s casinos and racinos brought in $164.6m during September, well up on the $155.1m registered in the same month last year.

However, the figure was down on the previous two months, which had seen a surge as venues reopened following lockdown from March to June. September was down 4.7% on August and 9.4% on July.

Rush Street maintains lead as Illinois betting revenue doubles

Casinos in Illinois took in $11.8m in revenue in August, up 106.5% from July, as players staked $140.1m, up 166.7%, with Rush Street Entertainment continuing to lead the way.

Online wagers made up the vast majority of handle, at $124.0m, up 155.5% from July. From this handle, bookmakers made $9.8m online, up 82.2%. The remaining $2.0m was made through retail sportsbooks, more than 100 times the revenue posted for the channel in July.

Rush Street Entertainment and its Kambi-powered sportsbook, the first to launch in the state, continued to dominate the market, accounting for $10.7m of total revenue, up 88.5% month-over-month. This came on amounts wagered totalling $117.9m, up 127.8%.

OR sets betting handle record in September, but GGR declines

Oregon’s SBTech-powered Scoreboard sportsbook set another record for handle at $26.2m in September, but saw revenue fall by 8.1% to $1.5m thanks to a negative margin for football bets.

In total, 22,252 active players placed 839,162 bets, up 1.7%, with an average stake of $31.19, down 0.4%.

Michigan interstate online poker bill clears Senate

A bill that would allow interstate online poker in Michigan has cleared the state’s Senate and will now move forward to the House of Representatives.

Introduced in June by Senator Curtis Hertel Jr, Senate Bill 0991 comfortably passed the Senate, after it was approved by a vote of 36-1, with one excused.

Twin River Q3 earnings set to return to pre-pandemic levels

Twin River revealed the business took a step toward financial normality in the third quarter with revenue set to come in between $100m and $130m, as it announced plans to raise $125m, which may fund future acquisitions.

The $100m in revenue for the three months ended 30 September would represent a 22.7% year-on-year decline, though a $130m figure would be a 0.5% improvement on the prior year.

Local operator Action247 receives Tennessee betting license

Tennessee-based Action247 has received a conditional license to operate sports betting in its home state from the Sports Wagering Committee of the Tennessee Education Lottery Board of Directors.

In addition, five further suppliers and six new vendors have also received license approval from the committee ahead of the planned 1 November launch date for legal betting.

AGS to roll out content with BetMGM

Gaming supplier AGS is to provide its real-money online casino content to BetMGM and its brands.

The deal covers BetMGM Casino, Borgata Online and Partypoker, with the content to go live in New Jersey before explanding to Michigan, Pennsylvania and other markets.

NH Lottery appoints first director of sports betting

The New Hampshire Lottery has appointed Daniel Maloney as its first director of sports betting, as it looks to manage the expansion of legal wagering across the state.

In his role Maloney will lead sports betting sales strategies and executions, as well as identifying potential partners for new opportunities.

IGT re-certifies online and land-based divisions’ RG processes

International Game Technology (IGT)’s land-based IGT Gaming and online PlayDigital arms have both received recertification from the Global Gambling Guidance Group (G4).

With ITG Gaming initially granted G4 certification in 2017, and PlayDigital following in 2019, this marks the first time a supplier has re-certified both its land-based and online solutions.

Twin River set for Illinois expansion with Jumer’s acquisition

Twin River Worldwide Holdings is to expand its land-based presence into Illinois after agreeing to acquire Delaware North’s Jumer’s Casino & Hotel in Rock Island.

Under the deal, Twin River will pay $120.0m to purchase the property, financing the acquisition with a combination of cash on hand, cash from ongoing operations and borrowings under a revolving credit facility.

AGLC launches PlayAlberta online gaming platform

The Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission (AGLC) has launched its NeoPollard Interactive-powered regulated igaming platform for players.

The site features a range of slot and table game content, as well as integrating British Columbia Lottery Corporation’s GameSense, a responsible gambling portal which provides customers with a range of support and advice on sustainable play.

GAN and Wynn agree 10-year Michigan platform deal

GAN and Wynn Resorts have agreed a 10-year agreement in which the supplier will provide its online betting and igaming platform to the operator for its Michigan operations.

GAN said it expects it will be ready to launch Wynn’s online betting and gaming products once the verticals are permitted in Michigan, which it anticipates to be in November 2020.

DraftKings signs Philadelphia Eagles as latest NFL partner

Sports betting and daily fantasy sports operator DraftKings has entered into a partnership with National Football League (NFL) franchise the Philadelphia Eagles.

Under the multi-year deal, DraftKings will serve as the official daily fantasy sports partner and official sports betting partner of the Eagles.

Caesars offloads Harrah’s Reno to CAI Investments for $41.5m

Caesars Entertainment has completed the sale of its Harrah’s Reno Hotel and Casino property in Nevada to an affiliate of real estate development business CAI Investments.

Under the agreement, which Caesars brokered in partnership with real estate investment trust Vici Properties, the CAI affiliate will pay a total of $41.5m to take ownership of the facility.