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State of the Union: Ontario, Boyd, Fanduel and more


This week’s State of the Union, in partnership with Segev LLP, includes monthly results from Nevada, Boyd Gaming’s acquisition of Pala Interactive and a number of major developments in Ontario ahead of its igaming market opening to licensed operators.

Ontario adds RGC responsible gambling accreditation to licence requirements

The Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) has announced that its RG Check Accreditation Programme has been added as a requirement for licensed igaming operators in Ontario.

Originally developed by the RGC in 2010, RG Check helps gambling venues and igaming sites evaluate, monitor and manage all aspects of their responsible gambling strategy and operations.

Boyd Gaming to acquire Pala Interactive for $170m

Boyd Gaming has struck a deal to acquire Pala Interactive, the North America-facing igaming software and services supplier that is majority owned by the Pala Band of Mission Indians, for $170.0m (£130.0m/€154.8m).

Agreed through its Boyd Interactive Gaming subsidiary, Boyd said the deal would include all Pala Interactive subsidiaries and be paid for in cash.

Nevada gaming revenue grows further in February

Gaming revenue in Nevada came to $1.11bn in February, up 44.1% from the same month of 2021 and 3.3% more than in January.

As ever, slots made up the majority of revenue with $764.4m, up by 44.0% from February 2021 on stakes of $11.06bn.

FanDuel withdraws daily fantasy product from Ontario

FanDuel will withdraw its daily fantasy sports product from Ontario from 1 April, in line with the Canadian province’s regulations for when its online betting and gaming market opens to licensed operators.

Ontario is set to launch licensed sports betting and igaming on 4 April, ending a state monopoly. Earlier this month, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) released a guide for operators that revealed that businesses which apply for registration before the 4 April launch must cease operations in Ontario from the moment their registration is approved by AGCO.

Betsson launches sportsbook under Betsafe brand in Colorado

Betsson has announced the launch of its mobile sportsbook app product under the Betsafe brand in Colorado, via a partnership with Dostal Alley.

The Betsafe app will allow consumers in the state to place bets across a range of sports and competitions, offering a number of betting and payment options.

US growth to offset Russia-Ukraine headwinds for Sportradar in 2022

Sportradar chief executive Carsten Koerl says rapid growth of the US market should ensure revenue and earnings continue to rise in 2022, regardless of potential headwinds related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking on the sports media specialist’s earnings call after the business reported revenue of €561.2m for the past year, up from €404.9m in 2020, Koerl described 2021 as a “landmark” year for the business.

Kentucky house passes betting and poker bill

A bill to permit sports betting, daily fantasy sports and online poker in Kentucky has passed the state house and been assigned to a Senate committee, after an amendment to mandate a $1,000 daily loss limit was rejected.

Kentucky House Bill 606 would allow operators to offer online and in-person sports wagering, fantasy contests and online poker.

Unibet prepares for Ontario launch after securing igaming licence

Kindred’s Unibet brand has detailed its plans to launch in Ontario, having received a licence to do so.

This marks Unibet’s seventh licence in North America.

Rhode Island handle slips to six-month low in February

Consumer sports betting stakes in Rhode Island amounted to $42.1m in February, the lowest monthly total since August of last year.

The state’s handle was 24.3% higher than $34.1m in February 2021 but 27.7% lower than the $58.6m wagered by players during January of this year.

FuboTV appoints Ahn as first chief business officer

Sports streaming service and betting operator FuboTV has appointed Henry Ahn to the newly created role of chief business officer.

Based in New York City, Ahn will oversee FuboTV’s content strategy and licensing, as well as business development. He will report directly to FuboTV co-founder and chief executive David Gandler.

WSOP online platform goes live in Michigan

Caesars has announced that its World Series of Poker (WSOP)-branded online poker site has gone live in Michigan.

This marks the fourth state now operates in, having already went live in Pennsylvania, Nevada and New Jersey.

Jackpocket appoints Vartanian as chief growth and revenue officer

Online lottery brokerage Jackpocket has appointed Jump Ramp Games founder Tony Vartanian to the new role of chief growth and revenue officer.

In this position, Vartanian will be tasked with leading new product and revenue opportunities, such as the launch of new game formats and content. In addition, he will lead the business’ geographical expansion into new markets.

WatchandWager pens long-term lease extension for Cal Expo racetrack, the US advance-deposit wagering operator subsidiary of Webis Holdings, has secured an extension to its lease of the operation of Cal Expo Harness racetrack.

The agreement will run through to May 2030, extending the current deal that was due to expire in May 2025 by an additional five years.

Light & Wonder licensed for Ontario market launch

The recently rebranded Light & Wonder is set to offer its igaming content to operators in Ontario when the province completes its highly anticipated legal market launch.

New York listed Light and Wonder – previously known as Scientific Games – has been granted a supplier licence by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), which will allow the company to enter the newly regulated Ontario igaming market on April 4.

Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment names Lin as chief legal officer

Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE) has announced the appointment of Raymond Lin as its new chief legal officer.

Reporting directly to president and chief executive Ray Pineault, Lin will be responsible for advising executive management on legal matters over a range of commercial transactions, regulatory issues, international and domestic policy-making decisions, and formulating business, operational and legal strategies.

Genius Sports scores data deal with Resorts World in New York

Genius Sports has entered a data partnership with Resorts World in New York to support the Genting Group-owned operator with the recent launch of its new sports betting app in the state.

Under the deal, Genius Sports will provide its LiveData and LiveTrading solutions, powered by official data, to Resorts WorldBET, which went live in New York earlier this month.