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State of the Union: NH, NASCAR, NCRG and more

Insight | Analysis

This week’s State of the Union, in partnership with Segev LLP, covers progress in New Hampshire, as well as the launch of in-race betting on NASCAR events and the creation of a new fund for responsible gaming research.

New Hampshire Lottery to consider 13 sports betting proposals
The New Hampshire Lottery has received 13 proposals from potential vendors and retailers interested in offering sports betting in the US state.

The Lottery issued a request for proposals (RFP) for operating sports wagering in New Hampshire on August 7, with responses were due by September 20.

Although the Lottery said it will not release any further details about any of the proposals at this stage, given the confidential nature of the RFP process, it did state that it expects to approve final contracts by the end of November and aims to launch the regulated market early in 2020.

It was previously stated that partners could be in place by January 1, 2020, with the market to launch by July 1 next year.

“We are pleased and encouraged at both the robust number of responses and the overall quality of proposals,” New Hampshire Lottery executive director, Charlie McIntyre, said.

NASCAR launches in-race betting at Las Vegas playoff race
The National Association for Stock Car Racing (NASCAR) launched in-race betting Sunday, at the first race of the NASCAR Cup playoffs in Las Vegas. Bets were offered on in Las Vegas as well as casinos in three other states.

Offered in partnership with NASCAR’s betting provider Genius Sports, players will be able to place wagers after the starting flag on stage winners and the final race winner in Las Vegas, or at the Resorts World Catskills Casino in New York, the Q Casino in Iowa, and the Pearl River Casino in Mississippi.

NASCAR’s managing director of gaming Scott Warfield said he felt that the launch at a limited number of sportsbooks to start with will give NASCAR the information it needs to perfect its in-race model in time for its signature event, the Daytona 500, in February 2020.

NCRG launches Fund to Support Research on Sports Wagering
The National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) has launched the Fund to Support Research on Sports Wagering, which will issue grants to researchers studying the effects of legalized sports betting on public health.

The Fund is supported financially by donations of $100,000 or more from the American Gaming Association and MGM Resorts International, with contributions of up to $99,999 coming from William Hill US and GVC Holdings.

Stock car racing series NASCAR, technology provider International Game Technology (IGT) and casino operator Hard Rock International have each donated between $10,00 and $49,999.

“This effort is bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders who are committed to ensuring that as legal sports betting options grow, the field is given the care and study consumers deserve to support responsible, healthy gaming practices,” NCRG chairman Alan Feldman said.

Caesars sells Rio Casino, retains WSOP
Caesars Entertainment has agreed the $516.3m sale of the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, the Las Vegas-based venue that has served as the home of the World Series of Poker since 2005.

It is to be sold to a company controlled by a principal of real estate investment vehicle Imperial Companies, with the deal expected to conclude in the fourth quarter of the year.

Caesars will continue to operate the property for at least the next two years and pay rent of $45m per year. At the end of the two year period, Caesars may continue to operate the Rio or provide transition services to the buying company as it seeks a new operator.

Hard Rock to launch Iowa sportsbook with GiG
Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) has agreed to extend its partnership with Hard Rock International and support the casino operator with the launch of its new sportsbook offering in Iowa.

The sportsbook will initially launch as a land-based service on the casino floor at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City, with an online and mobile offering set to follow in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Iowa’s regulated sports wagering market opened for business on 15 August and generated $2.2m in revenue from the first 16 days of legal betting.

Camelot teams up with Twin River for Rhode Island lottery bid
Twin River Management Group has partnered Camelot Lottery Solutions in a bid to wrestle the Rhode Island state lottery contract from International Game Technology (IGT).

The proposal, submitted to the offices of the Governor, Speaker of the House and Senate President, is designed to prompt the state to launch a competitive selection process for the lottery contract, rather than re-award it to IGT.

It has proposed a 12-year contract, compared to the 20 years put forward by IGT, during which it commits to provide 1,100 jobs in Rhode Island. Should it fail to do so, it has pledged to pay $100m to the state.

Illinois casino plan pledges $90m boost to community
Churchill Downs incorporated and Rush Street Gaming boasted that their bid for a casino in Waukegan, Illinois could generate $5m more for the city and local communities than the five rival casino bids from other operators on the same site.

The claims were made as the companies outlined the details of their bid at a Waukegan City Council Special Meeting.

The CDI/Rush Street proposal is for a 1,625-gaming position casino that they claim will create 1,200 permanent jobs. The proposal would also include a sportsbook and poker room. In addition, CDI and Rush Street said they planned to donate 2% of pre-tax revenues to local charities chosen by municipal leaders, which they expect to initially total around $1m per year.

New Jersey horse racing group claims victory in betting legal case
The New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NJTHA) has claimed victory in a long-running legal dispute with the leading US professional sports leagues over sports betting.

The decision by a three-judge panel of the US Third Circuit Court of Appeals clears the way for the NJTHA to claim damages from the professional sports leagues, though it remains to be seen exactly how much they may be liable to receive.

The judges ruled ruled 2-1 in favour of the NJTHA, which was appealing an earlier US District Court ruling that blocked the group from claiming financial damages from the leagues that halted New Jersey’s efforts to legalise sports wagering.