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State of the Union: New York, Adelson, New Jersey and more

Insight | Analysis

This week’s State of the Union, in partnership with Segev LLP, includes New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plans for legal sports betting in the state, FuboTV’s acquisition of Vigtory and the latest figures from New Jersey and Indiana.

NY Gov proposes opening mobile betting market to multiple providers

New York governor Andrew Cuomo has laid out his plan for mobile sports betting in his State of the State address with a proposal that would could see multiple brands permitted to launch.

“Under Governor Cuomo’s proposal, the New York State Gaming Commission will issue a request for proposals to select one or more providers to offer mobile sports wagering in New York,” the measure accompanying the State of the State explained.

“This platform must have a partnership with at least one of the existing licensed commercial casinos.

Las Vegas Sands founder Adelson dies aged 87

Las Vegas Sands founder, chairman and chief executive Sheldon Adelson has died at the age of 87 from complications related to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the operator has announced.

“In Las Vegas, Macao and Singapore, Mr Adelson’s vision for integrated resorts transformed the industry, changed the trajectory of the company he founded, and reimagined tourism in each of those markets,” Las Vegas Sands said of its founder.

“While his business credentials – having started or been involved in more than 50 different enterprises – are unquestioned, his dedication to philanthropy and commitment to his family will truly be his legacy,” the operator added.

NJ gambling up 8.9% in December as sports betting handle nears $1bn

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) has reported an 8.9% year-on-year increase revenue for December, as players wagered almost $1.0bn on sports during the month.

Total revenue for the month amounted to $312.9m, up from $287.3m in the same month in 2019.

Sports betting revenue for December reached $66.4m, up 125.6% from 2019, with players wagering a total of $996.3m, an increase of 78.6% on the previous year. Some $929.3m was bet online, compared to $67.0m at retail locations.

FuboTV to acquire Vigtory amid plans for 2021 betting launch

Sports-focused streaming platform FuboTV has acquired sportsbook start-up Vigtory, a deal which the streaming service expects to allow it to launch its own sportsbook this year.

Under the agreement, Victory founder Sam Rattner and Scott Butera will join FuboTV as chief operating officer and president of gaming respectively. Butera previously served as president of interactive gaming at MGM Resorts International before joining Vigtory as co-chief executive last year.

“The proposed acquisition of Vigtory will give fuboTV the technology to build a consumer-driven sports betting product and launch it before the end of this year,” David Gandler, co-founder and chief executive of fuboTV, said.

Playtika launches $1.67bn initial public offering

Social gaming giant Playtika has launched its long-awaited initial public offering, with plans to sell 69.5m shares and raise up to $1.67bn.

The business itself will sell 21.7m shares of common stock, with a further 47.8m to be sold by majority stockholder Alpha Frontier Limited, priced in the range of $22 to $24m per share.

Entain CEO Segev to depart for Dazn

Entain is on the hunt for a new chief executive, with Shay Segev handing in his notice after less than a year in the role to become co-CEO of sports streaming platform Dazn.

Segev, the operator’s former chief operating officer who became CEO in July 2020 to replace Kenny Alexander, has a notice period of six months, and will remain in his current role for that period or until a successor is appointed.

MGM shareholder IAC outlines support for Entain deal

InterActive Corp (IAC), MGM Resorts International’s largest shareholder, has pledged to contribute up to $1bn towards the land-based giant’s bid to acquire its BetMGM joint venture partner Entain.

Entain, formerly known as GVC, announced that MGM proposed an offer worth $11.0bn for the Ladbrokes Coral and Bwin operator, something MGM later confirmed.

IGT pens extension with Iowa Lottery

International Game Technology (IGT) has signed a one-year extension to its instant ticket games and related services deal with the Iowa Lottery.

The agreement will run until December 31, 2021, with the option for the lottery to exercise three additional one-year extension options.

Lawmakers set out competing sports betting proposals in New York 

Senator Joseph Addabbo and Assemblymember Gary Pretlow have put forward a new proposal to regulate mobile sports betting in New York, days after Governor Andrew Cuomo signalled his intention to support legalization – albeit through the state lottery – in 2021.

Addabbo’s SB1183 and Pretlow’s A1257 were filed yesterday (7 January), and amends the state’s Racing, Pari-Mutuel Wagering and Breeding Law to allow commercial and tribal casinos to offer mobile sports betting.

Penn National Gaming integrates loyalty program with Choice Hotels

Penn National Gaming and Choice Hotels International, which operates the Ascend Collection brand, have agreed a deal to combine both companies’ loyalty schemes.

The agreement allows members of Penn National Gaming’s MyChoice loyalty program to earn loyalty points at Choice’s hotels and vice versa for, Choice’s Choice Privilege program.

Kentucky to reconsider online sports betting in new bill

Kentucky Republican Representative Adam Koenig has again filed legislation to legalise online sports betting in the US state.

House Bill 241 is similar to House Bill 137, filed by Koenig in the 2020 legislative session, in that its core aim is to legalise online sports wagering, but the new legislation also sets out proposals to regulate online poker and fantasy sports.

BetMGM partners with MLB’s Washington Nationals

BetMGM, the betting brand operated through the Entain and MGM Resorts joint venture Roar Digital, has secured a multi-year partnership with Major League Baseball franchise the Washington Nationals.

Under the deal, BetMGM will open a retail sportsbook inside the team’s Nationals Park home ballpark.

NCPG appoints Willard to lead policy and advocacy

The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) in the US has named Patrick Willard as its new director of policy and advocacy.

In his new role, Willard will collaborate with policymakers on measures to address problem gambling and responsible gambling in state and federal laws.

Iowa breaks handle record for fourth straight month in December

Sports betting revenue declined month-on-month in December 2020 but was up 159.9% year-on-year, as stakes hit a record high for the fourth consecutive month thanks to new highs in both online and retail spending.

The $7.5m in revenue came on handle of $104.8m, up 76.7% year-on-year and 20.2% from last month’s record.

Bojoko launches affiliate site in New Jersey

Affiliate marketing business Bojoko has launched in New Jersey after securing a licence from the US state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE).

The launch will allow players in New Jersey to filter and compare online gambling sites licenced to operate in the state.

BetRivers signs NBA and NFL legends as brand ambassadors

New York Stock Exchange-listed betting and igaming operator Rush Street Interactive (RSI) has signed up former National Football League (NFL) player Jerome Bettis and National Basketball Association (NBA) coaching legend George Karl as ambassadors for its BetRivers brand.

Bettis and Karl will both feature in BetRivers’ ‘Bet with a Winner’ marketing campaign in the US, as well as become exclusive betting endorsers of the igaming brand.

BCLC: Banks can play a leading role in harm prevention efforts

Canadian provincial lottery operator the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) has issued a call for greater co-operation between the gambling industry and financial institutions to better protect consumers from gambling-related harm.

Speaking at the BCLC’s ninth annual New Horizons in Responsible Gambling, BCLC director of player health Jamie Wiebe said the operator was keen to encourage more dialogue between the two industries in order to offer more support to players.

DraftKings signs partnership with Drone Racing League

DraftKings has been named the official sports betting partner of the Drone Racing League (DRL).

As the official sports betting partner of the league, DraftKings will gain access to exclusive marketing rights around sports betting and branding integrations.

Game Wager targets US expansion through SCCG partnership

British peer-to-peer esports betting platform Game Wager has partnered Las Vegas-based gaming consultancy SCCG Management to support its growth plans in the US.

The joint venture agreement will see SCCG advise Game Wager as it to roll out its platform across the US igaming and casino market.

Indiana sets new sports betting handle record in December

The Indiana Gaming Commission set a new sports betting handle record in December, while revenue from wagering more than doubled year-on-year.

Adjusted gross revenue for the month amounted to $24.3m, up 102.5% from $12.0m in December 2019, but down from a record $25.3m in November 2020.

Jackpocket goes live in New York

US lottery courier app Jackpocket is now live for players in New York State, with popular games such as Powerball, Mega Millions, New York Lotto and Cash4Life available to play.

The app gives New Yorkers an easy and secure way to order official state lottery tickets from their smartphones, the operator said.

theScore hails Q1 media revenue growth as betting handle soars

Canadian betting and media business theScore saw revenue fall 7.6% year-on-year in its first quarter, with a record performance from its media division offset by sportsbook losses.

Revenue fell to CAD$8.5m ($7.3m) for the three months to 30 November, 2020. This came despite its media division reporting record revenue of CAD$10.6m, up 15.2% from the prior year.

PointsBet signs latest Michigan deal with Detroit Red Wings

Online betting operator PointsBet has agreed a multi-year deal with National Hockey League (NHL) franchise the Detroit Red Wings, its second deal with a Michigan-based team in the space of a week.

The deal will see the Sport & Social sports bar at the Red Wings’ Little Caesars Arena renamed the PointsBet Sports Bar. PointsBet signage will also appear around the outside of the rink and PointsBet ads will appear on the Red Wings’ digital platforms and radio network.

Delaware igaming revenue more than doubles in 2020

Delaware igaming revenue soared 133.3% year-on-year to $8.4m in 2020, thanks largely to an increase in play during novel coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdowns.

Players staked $227.7m – up 78.8% – over the year, with high activity levels sustaining after lockdowns were eased.

New York sports betting revenue rockets in December

The New York State Gaming Commission has reported a 210.6% year-on-year increase in gross sports betting revenue in December.

Gross gaming revenue from sports betting amounted to $2.3m in December, up from $740,418 in the same month in 2019, but slightly down from $2.6m in November 2020.

PlayUp secures New Jersey market access

Australian sports betting and daily fantasy operator PlayUp has secured a market access agreement to operate in New Jersey.

The operator signed a deal with FR Park Racing, the sports wagering certificate holder and operator of New Jersey’s Freehold Racetrack.

Scientific Games extends long-term relationship with Loto-Québec

Scientific Games has signed an extension to its long-term technology partnership with Canadian provincial lottery operator Loto-Québec.

The renewed deal will run through to January 31, 2022 and extends a relationship that began 50 years ago.

Detroit casino revenue down 56.1% in 2020

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) has reported a 56.1% year-on-year drop in revenue from Detroit’s three commercial casinos in 2020, after operations were disrupted by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Revenue for the 12 months to December 31, 2020 amounted to $639.0m, down from $1.45bn in the previous year.

HyperX extends naming rights deal at Las Vegas esports arena

Video gaming hardware developer HyperX has extended its agreement with arena operator Allied Esports Entertainment, and will continue to hold naming rights for the venue in Las Vegas’ Luxor Hotel and Casino.

This means the venue will continue to operate under the name HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas, at the MGM Resorts-owned casino.