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State of the Union: NV, CT, Puerto Rico and more

Insight | Analysis | Uncategorised

This week’s State of the Union, in partnership with Segev LLP, covers Nevada’s record-breaking revenue performance, the signature of Puerto Rico’s sports betting bill into law by its outgoing governor and the introduction of a new draft in Connecticut that would legalize online as well as retail sports betting

Nevada surpasses NJ sportsbook handle in June
The Nevada sports betting handle moved back ahead of New Jersey after the largest June intake in the state’s history, helping to bring total state gaming revenue back over $1bn for the first time since March 2019.

$322.1m was wagered at Nevada sportsbooks in June, surpassing New Jersey’s $273m handle, after the garden state handled more money than Nevada in May. The figure was a 12.4% increase from 2018.

Baseball wagers made up the majority of the sportsbook intake, totaling $208.7m for the month, 14.2% more than June 2018’s $182.8m handle. Basketball bets made up $51.4m, an increase from $32m last year, helped by the 2019 NBA Finals lasting two games longer than the 2018 Finals.

Sportsbook revenue in the state totaled $16.6m, a 20% decline from last June, after the win percentage on sports wagers fell from 7% in June 2018 to 5.2% in 2019. Baseball bets took in a revenue of $11.6m, while basketball bets took in only $946,000 on a 1.84% win percentage. The state lost $637,000 on football bets, despite a handle of just $1.1m.

Draft bill would allow online gaming, new casino in CT
Online casinos, online poker, online and retail sports betting, online lottery sales and a new tribal gaming venue may all soon be legalised in Connecticut, should a new bill be passed by the state legislature.

The bill would require the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes, who operate the Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos respectively, to spend a minimum of $100 million on an entertainment and gambling facility in Bridgeport. The tribes may also operate a casino in Hartford and two additional municipalities of the tribe’s choosing.

In return, the tribes would be granted authorisation to take sports wagers at their casinos, as well as through mobile applications, online and other locations in the state. The bill proposes a 10% tax rate for poker, both online and at casinos, a 10% tax on online sports bets and an 8% tax on retail sports bets.

The bill is yet to be filed, though a draft was published by regional news outlet WFSB on Wednesday (31 July).

Puerto Rico governor signs sports betting bill into law
Puerto Rico’s outgoing governor, Ricardo Rosselló, on 29 July signed the Betting Committee Act, which would legalize sports wagering in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Under the law, sports betting, horse race betting, fantasy contests and betting on esports will be allowed at casinos, at the island’s one racecourse, as well as at off-track betting parlors and online.

“By signing this law, we are getting ready to witness the potential it provides to transform Puerto Rico into a vanguard jurisdiction, while benefiting the local economy. With this legislation, the island will be able to market itself nationally and internationally as an attractive destination for sports betting events,” Rosselló said.

According to a report from the Innovation Group and commissioned by the Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce, estimated revenues to the Government could be $29m for 2020, $51m for 2021 and should reach $87m by 2024.

Caesars hit by losses despite revenue growth in first half
Caesars Entertainment has reported a net loss of $532m for the first half of 2019, despite also experiencing a year-on-year increase in net revenue.

The US casino giant generated revenue of $4.34bn during the six months to June 30, up from $4.09bn in the corresponding period last year.

Caesars’ casino operations remained by far the biggest source of income during the first half, with revenue rising from $2.04bn last year to $2.21bn – driven by its operations in the Las Vegas market

There was also revenue growth across all areas of Caesars’ business, with food and beverage revenue climbing from $774m to $805m and rooms revenue from $755m to $793m.

However, Caesars reported an increase in operating expenses in the first half, as it spent a total of $3.83bn during the period. Direct casino costs were up from $1.13bn to $1.25bn, while property, general, administrative and other expenses jumped from $883m to $927m.

Penn National lands multiple betting and igaming deals
US casino and racetrack operator Penn National Gaming has entered into market access agreements with DraftKings, PointsBet, theScore and The Stars Group, as well as a sports betting technology deal with Kambi.

Penn Interactive Ventures (PIV) a wholly owned subsidiary of the operator, will manage the relationships, as well as operate its primary sports betting operations through the new agreement with Kambi.

Kambi has been selected as the technology provider to power sports betting for PIV in states with active sports betting legislation, and will integrate its platform ahead of a roll-out in these jurisdictions.

William Hill to open new Iowa sportsbook at Lakeside Hotel
William Hill has announced plans to open a new sportsbook at the Lakeside Hotel & Casino in Osceola, Iowa.

Construction is already underway at the Affinity Gaming-operated property and the book will open for business on Thursday 15 August.

Guests and bettors at the sportsbook — which includes 14 65-inch viewing monitors with 4K LCD displays and two 86-inch viewing monitors with 4K Ultra HD displays — will have access to William Hill’s industry leading mobile app, kiosks, and in-play wagering menu.

Lakeside Hotel & Casino is located around 45 miles south of Des Moines.

William Hill entered in to a long-term agreement with Affinity in June 2012 to run the sportsbooks at its five Nevada properties, with the Nevada-based casino operator also running three casinos in Colorado and two in Missouri.

NFL’s Redskins launch live predictive gaming show
The Washington Redskins NFL American football franchise has linked up with its local NBC Sports affiliate to launch an interactive, predictive gaming live television presentation of its four pre-season games.

‘Predict the Game’ will feature free-to-play contests where fans can win up to $1,000 and other prizes in each quarter of the game.

Fans will be tasked with predicting various game and player performance outcomes through a series of questions that will appear on screen, alongside real-time statistics and information.

Supporters will accumulate points for making selections and correct predictions, with the top eligible scorer at the end of each quarter winning or sharing the $1,000 prize. Players will also be selected at random to win other prizes, such as game tickets and official memorabilia.