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State of the Union: NJ, PA, Sands and more

Insight | Analysis

This week’s State of the Union, in partnership with Segev LLP, covers another month of record figures from both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, as well as Las Vegas Sands’ third quarter revenue figures.

NJ revenue up in September as sports wagers reach $748.6m

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) has reported a 6.5% year-on-year increase in gambling revenue for September, aided by ongoing growth in sports betting and igaming.

Total gambling revenue for the month amounted to $323.3m, up from $303.5m in September 2019 and only slightly lower than $323.6m in August this year. September marked the second full month of activity for casinos following their novel coronavirus (Covid-19) shut-down, though they remain limited to 25% capacity.

The return of major sports events had a major impact on New Jersey’s market, as sports betting revenue climbed 19.0% year-on-year to $45.1m, with this total also 14.2% higher than in August.

Record igaming performance drives PA revenue up in September

A record performance from Pennsylvania’s online gambling market in September helped push overall market revenue in the state up 1.1% year-on-year.

Total revenue for September amounted to $284.2m, slightly up from $281.2m in the same month last year, but down 8.4% from $310.4m in August this year.

This growth was down to the stellar performance of igaming, with revenue here rocketing 1,290.2% from just $4.1m in September 2019 to $57.0m this year. This surpassed the existing $55.9m record set last month.

Sands begins recovery in Q3, but revenue still down 82%

Las Vegas Sands showed signs of recovery from the second quarter’s novel coronavirus (Covid-19) disruption, but revenue was still down 82.0% and third quarter losses came to $731m.

Of the operator’s $586m in revenue generated in the three months to 30 September, $340m came from casinos, 85.4% less than in 2019.

Malls, the most resilient revenue stream, became Sands’ second-largest moneymaker for the quarter, bringing in $83m, down 52.6%. A further $79m came from hotel rooms, an 82.7% decline, while food and beverage revenue declined 72.9% to $54m and convention, retail and other revenue was down 71.6% at $33m.

Playtika prepares for US initial public offering

Social gaming giant Playtika has filed a draft registration statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ahead of an initial public offering of its common stock.

The registration statement has been filed confidentially, and the number of shares to be offered – and their price range – is yet to be determined.

However, reports from Reuters earlier this year suggested that the business would look to raise $1bn from the IPO, which would value the business at around $10bn.

DraftKings lands betting deal with Turner Sports

Sports betting and daily fantasy sports (DFS) operator DraftKings has entered into a wide-ranging partnership with the Turner Sports arm of WarnerMedia.

Under the agreement, DraftKings will serve as the exclusive sportsbook and DFS provider on select Turner Sports and Bleacher Report properties.

The deal, which excludes National Basketball Association programming, will see DraftKings provide sports betting information and DFS content across Turner Sports telecasts and Bleacher Report digital channels, including the popular sports news site’s app.

TN lottery revenue grows to $492.8m in first quarter

The Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation (TEL) transferred $114.0m to the Lottery for Education Account following a record performance in the first quarter of its 2021 fiscal year.

For the three months to 30 September 2020, the lottery generated revenue of $492.8m, a $70.9m improvement on the prior year, and the highest first quarter figure since the lottery’s inception in January 2004.

NY sports betting revenue falls 38.5% following September relaunch

New York’s four commercial casinos generated sports betting revenue of $1.4m after reopening on September 9, once the state’s novel coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown measures were eased.

The total for the 22 days to 30 September represents a 38.5% decline from the sports betting revenue of $2.3m posted for the full month in 2019.

iGaming veterans’ SPAC targets major M&A after $250m Nasdaq listing

A special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) formed by a host of leading igaming and social media executives, begins trading on the Nasdaq Capital Market today (22 October), as it hunts for major M&A opportunities.

Tekkorp Digital Acquisition Corporation will make its Nasdaq debut after an initial public offering that saw it offer 25m units – comprising one Class A share and half a redeemable warrant – priced at $10 apiece.

Mississippi sees further sports betting growth in September

The Mississippi Gaming Commission has reported a 17.9% year-on-year rise in sports betting revenue in September, while the US state’s handle also increased during the month.

Revenue in the month amounted to $6.6m, up from $5.6m in September of last year, while the total also represented a 78.4% increase on the $3.7m posted in August this year.

GAN launches social casino with California’s Agua Caliente

GAN has rolled out its free-to-play Simulated Gaming product for Agua Caliente Casinos, the Californian casino business owned by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.

The Play Agua social casino website and accompanying mobile application will enable players in the state to access a range of free-to-play casino games.

OLG selects Hannay as new president and CEO

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) has appointed banking sector veteran A. Duncan Harvey to replace Stephen Rigby as its president and chief executive, effective 26 October.

Hannay served as president and chief executive of Street Capital Bank of Canada from September 2017 up until its acquisition by RFA Capital Holdings in October 2019.

MGM to resume Las Vegas entertainment next month

Casino operator MGM Resorts International has announced that it will resume entertainment events at its properties in Las Vegas, Nevada from November 6.

All casinos in the state were forced to cancel entertainment for almost eight months due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, with regulations banning events introduced in mid-March.

Angela Ruggiero appointed to the theScore board of directors

Score Media and Gaming has appointed Angela Ruggiero, a four-time Olympian and chief executive and co-founder of market research firm Sports Innovation Lab, to its board of directors.

Ruggiero joins the board with immediate effect and will support theScore as it continues to grow its media and gaming operations across North America.

PointsBet appoints Len Mead as new content lead

PointsBet has selected longtime sports media executive Len Mead as its new vice president of content for its US business.

Mead, who had previously served as vice president of broadcasting and media partnerships for the XFL, spearheading the league’s gambling integrations on broadcasts, until it filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis in April.

DC’s Gambet grows in September, but WH extends lead

The DC Lottery’s Intralot-powered Gambet app saw stakes jump 53.3% month-on-month in September, but it still lags far behind William Hill’s retail sportsbook, in terms of both handle and revenue.

Amounts wagered via Gambet, which is available across the city, grew to $3.3m. Customers won $2.8m, which suggests revenue of $498,896, or a 79.4% improvement on August’s figure.

NBA to launch new lottery game with EquiLottery

Sports lottery games developer EquiLottery Games has brokered a deal with the National Basketball Association (NBA) to launch a new officially licensed game based on the outcome of the league’s matches.

Scheduled to run throughout the 2020-21 NBA season, Slam Dunk Dollar$ will be based on the EquiLottery Games platform and developed in the same format as its other team sport games.

Eldorado properties join Caesars Rewards program

Caesars Entertainment has added Eldorado Resorts’ casino properties to its Caesars Rewards loyalty program, following the operators’ merger.

Eldorado acquired Caesars Entertainment Corporation in July for $17.3bn, with the combined business, now operating as Caesars Entertainment, having a portfolio of more than 55 casino properties around the world.

Delaware igaming revenue grows again in September

Online gambling revenue in Delaware climbed 118.3% year-on-year to $840,146 in September, the second consecutive month of growth for the market.

The month-on-month increase comes despite consumers wagering less, with the total amount spent on online gambling in September standing at $18.1m, which was 8.6% lower than in August.

Evolution extends US reach with Wynn Interactive deal

Live gaming supplier Evolution has entered into a partnership with Wynn Sports Interactive (WSI), the digital arm of casino operator Wynn Resorts, to supply its live casino content and related services for the US market.

The partnership will see Wynn offer Evolution’s live dealer games in New Jersey, with additional states to follow.

FanDuel signs multi-year NBA agreement with Turner Sports

Daily fantasy and sportsbook operator, FanDuel, has entered into a multi-year partnership with Turner Sports, designating the operator as the exclusive sportsbook partner for National Basketball Association (NBA) programming throughout the Turner portfolio, including Bleacher Report.

The deal grants FanDuel access to exclusive integrations within NBA content, such as TNT live telecasts and Bleacher Report digital channels, including its app. As the exclusive operator associated with Turner’s NBA content, FanDuel’s sportsbook will give basketball viewers sports betting insight and analysis integrated into the NBA viewing experience.

World Lottery Association re-elects Hargrove as president

The World Lottery Association (WLA) has re-elected Rebecca Paul Hargrove, chief executive of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation, as its president.

Hargrove, who will now serve her second two-year-term, has held a number of leadership positions within WLA, including senior vice president and chair of its corporate social responsibility committee.

DraftKings issued $5k Iowa penalty over self-exclusion issue

DraftKings has agreed to pay a $5,000 penalty to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) for a breach of self-exclusion rules.

The stipulated agreement between DraftKings and the regulator states that the IRGC updated its self-exclusion list on December 26, 2019, and licensees had until January 2, 2020 to revise their own lists in line with this update.

William Hill grows Iowa presence with new retail locations

William Hill US has expanded its footprint in the state of Iowa by opening new sports betting facilities at two Caesars Entertainment properties in Council Bluffs.

This has seen a full service sportsbook launched at the Horseshoe, featuring five ticket windows and four self-service kiosks, while two self-service kiosks will go live at the Harrah’s property in the city. lands igaming license in WV

Performance marketing business has further enhanced its presence in the US by extending its license in West Virginia to cover igaming.

The new license will allow to collate and display a range of bonus offers from online casino operators that are licensed in the state.