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State of the Union: NFL, Penn National, RI, NH and more

Insight | Analysis

This week’s State of the Union, in partnership with Segev LLP, covers the first National Football League (NFL) player to be suspended for breaking sports betting rules. Elsewhere, Penn National has signed up a platform provider and reshuffled its executive team, while there have been further developments in New Hampshire, and new revenue figures from Rhode Island.

NFL player suspended for betting on games
Josh Shaw, a defensive back for the Arizona Cardinals National Football League (NFL) franchise, has been handed an indefinite suspension after he was found to have wagered on a number of games during the current season.

Shaw, who has not played this campaign due to a shoulder injury, will serve a suspension until at least the end of the 2020 season. He will not be able to apply for reinstatement until February 2021.

NFL rules and regulations state that NFL players, coaches or other personnel at a team are not permitted to place bets on league games. Reports state that Shaw placed the bets in Las Vegas, as sports betting is not currently legal in Arizona.

The NFL said Shaw placed bets on games on multiple this season, but did not find any evidence that he received inside information nor that any of the games were compromised.

Penn National signs up platform partner…
Penn National Gaming has selected Malta-based supplier White Hat Gaming to provide a player account management platform as it prepares to launch real-money betting in multiple states across the US.

The operator is aiming to leverage its land-based presence to make a push to become a leading sports betting operator in the market, having selected Kambi as its sportsbook technology partner in July this year. 

This solution will be integrated with the White Hat platform, with the first state launches scheduled for the third quarter of 2020.

The supplier’s chief executive Phil Gelvan said it was an “honor” to be selected as a supplier to an operator of Penn National’s size and reputation following a competitive tender process.

… and reshuffles executive team
Penn National Gaming has made a number of changes to its executive management team to coincide with the transition of Jay Snowden to the role of chief executive next month.

Snowden will take up his new position on January 1, following the retirement of PNG’s current CEO Timothy Wilmott.

In preparation for the move, Penn National has promoted Todd George to executive vice president for operations and also changed Chris Rogers’ job title to senior vice president, chief strategy officer.

Rhode Island sports betting revenue declines despite record handle
Rhode Island’s sports betting revenue for October declined slightly from a record September despite its highest-ever handle, as operators took in $2.5m from the vertical.

Players wagered a total of $28.3m on sports in the state, exceeding the previous record handle of $23.6m, set in March. However, after a payout to players of $25.8m, also a state record, October’s revenue figure ended up 2.3% behind the same figure in September.

Online sportsbook handle increased 78% from September, in its first full month of activity after the online market opened on September 4.

Washington D.C. to open sports betting license applications on Dec 3
The District of Colombia’s Office of Lottery and Gaming (OLG) has revealed that it will launch the application process for new sports betting licenses in Washington D.C. on December 3.

Applications will be available via an online portal on the OLG’s new sports wagering microsite, as well as through the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affair’s business licensing portal

Intralot pens sports betting deal with New Hampshire Lottery
Intralot has agreed to expand its existing deal with the New Hampshire Lottery in order to provide it with retail sports betting solutions at locations across the state.

Under the agreement, Intralot will offer sports wagering at over 1,300 existing lottery retailers in New Hampshire. Intralot that said it expects to roll out the service in early 2020.

New Jersey warns media outlets against promoting unlicensed sites
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) has written to news and media outlets in the state urging them not to publicise unlicensed sports betting websites.

Writing in an open letter, DGE director David Rebuck said unlicensed sites lack consumer protections, integrity protocols and money laundering controls, which in turn puts players’ safety at risk.

Nevada gaming market tops $1bn for sixth time in 2019
Nevada’s gaming market generated revenue of $1.02bn in October, and while this represented a 3.9% year-on-year decline, it marked the sixth time in 2019 that the monthly total surpassed $1bn.

The largest single source of revenue was slot machines, which accounted for $699.1m of the total, an 0.8% improvement on the prior year, with table, counter and card games revenue (including race and sports betting) falling 12.6% to $322.8m.

Fornaro to depart as chief financial officer of IGT
International Game Technology (IGT) has announced that Alberto Fornaro is to step down as its chief financial officer, with Timothy Rishton set to take on the role on an interim basis.

Also an executive vice president at the supplier, Fornaro will remain with the business until January 31, 2020, after which he will exit in order to pursue other professional opportunities.

Harrah’s Philadelphia scores marketing deal with NFL’s Eagles
Caesars Entertainment-owned Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack in Pennsylvania has entered into a marketing partnership with the Philadelphia Eagles National Football League (NFL) franchise.

Specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but it was confirmed that the casino will benefit from branding on signage inside the team’s Lincoln Financial Field home stadium.