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State of the Union: Scheinberg, CO, TN and more

Insight | Analysis

This week’s State of the Union, in partnership with Segev LLP, includes PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg’s fine for operating an illegal gambling business, a successful month of sports betting in Colorado and Tennessee’s first sports betting licenses.

Isai Scheinberg escapes with fine for illegal gambling

Isai Scheinberg, the founder of PokerStars, has been fined $30,000 for his role in running an illegal internet gaming business in the US, but avoided jail time for the offense.

Scheinberg, who pleaded guilty to one count of operating an illegal gambling business in March, could have faced a prison sentence of between 12 and 18 months, according to Inner City Press, the only media present at the hearing. Charges of bank fraud and money laundering were dropped as part of his plea deal.

CO sports betting handle more than doubles in August

The Colorado Department of Revenue has reported a 20.8% month-on-month decline in sports betting revenue in the state during August, despite its handle more than doubling to $128.6m.

Players wagered a total of $126.6m with online operators in August, with retail sportsbooks taking just $2.0m in bets. Consumers won a total of $121.m from sports wagers during the month.

Basketball was the most popular sport to wager on, with total bets across both online and retail amounting to $38.0m – accounting for 29.6% of all bets in the month – ahead of baseball on $22.8m and17.7% of the market.

Tennessee Lottery approves first sportsbook licensees

The Tennessee Education Lottery’s Sports Wagering Committee has conditionally approved sports betting licenses for a trio of high-profile operators, as the state moves closer to the November 1 launch date for the vertical.

At a meeting yesterday (23 September), the committee provisionally approved applications from Flutter Entertainment’s FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM.

Rivers Casino Pittsburgh partners with NHL’s Penguins

The NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins has signed an agreement with Rush Street’s Rivers Casino Pittsburgh that will see it become the team’s casino and sportsbook partner and build a sports betting lounge at the Penguins’ PPG Paints Arena.

The deal will see Rivers Casino and BetRivers branding and advertising inside the arena, as well as the lounge, which is designed to resemble the sportsbook at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh. The lounge will feature rows of seating, a bar and multiple screens.

DraftKings strengthens board with Mosley and Moore

Daily fantasy and sportsbook operator DraftKings announced today (September 23) that Jocelyn Moore and Valerie Mosley have been appointed to the company’s board of directors, effective immediately.

The pair fills two newly created seats on the board, which now consists of 15 members.

MI Gaming Control Board submits igaming rules for review

The Michigan Gaming Control Board has held a meeting on proposed sports betting regulations for the state, following a public consultation on the rules.

The regulations will now be submitted to the Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules and the Legislative Service Bureau for final review.

Las Vegas bars permitted to reopen after two months’ closure

Bars in Las Vegas – including those in casinos – were permitted to reopen on Sunday (20 September) after being forced to close due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19).

Bars in the state were first forced to close alongside casinos in March. While they reopened in June, by 10 July, an emergency order from Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak forced bars in seven counties – including Clark County, made up primarily of Las Vegas and the surrounding area – to close again.

William Hill launches betting in MI with Grand Traverse Band

William Hill has launched sports betting operations in Michigan at Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel in the town of Williamsburg and at a satellite location at Leelanau Sands Casino.

The launch is in partnership with the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, who operate the casinos. William Hill and the Grand Traverse Band agreed the partnership in February. goes live in Colorado

Online sportsbook operator, owned and operated by igaming start-up Carousel Group, has gone live in Colorado.

The operator took its first bet last Wednesday, September 16, which resulted in a winning ticket for the customer.

GVC to enhance RG efforts in US with RG24seven

GVC Holdings has joined forces with responsible gambling training platform RG24seven to deliver specialist education to its staff in the US.

Under the arrangement, RG24seven will provide a range of responsible gambling training to GVC’s employees working across the US market.

BetMGM launches Playtech casino games in New Jersey

BetMGM, the brand operated through the Roar Digital joint venture between GVC Holdings and MGM Resorts, has launched Playtech’s online casino content in New Jersey.

Under the arrangement, BetMGM will roll out the software across its BetMGM Casino, Borgata Online and PartyCasino NJ brands active in the state.

GTG announces partnerships with Caesars and PNG

Melbourne-based supplier GTG Network has announced new partnerships with Caesars Entertainment and Penn National Gaming.

GTG creates products which aim to generate large-scale consumer engagement through data analytics and gamification. Its flagship product, iSport Genius, leverages data to produce content and insights for sports bettors.

Harville appointed to lead Kentucky Lottery

Mary Harville has been unveiled as the new president and chief executive of the Kentucky Lottery Corporation.

Appointed by Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, Harville will take on the role having served as senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary for the lottery over the past 16 years.

William Hill makes strong DC debut with $9.1m staked in August

William Hill’s first full month of activity in the Washington D.C. market saw players stake $9.1m at the operator’s sportsbook in the city’s Capital One Arena, far outstripping handle for the DC Lottery’s Intralot-powered online offering.

The William Hill sportsbook went live early in August through the operator’s partnership with Monumental Sports and Entertainment, owner of the arena and Washington Wizards NBA team, Washington Capitals NHL franchise and Washington Mystics WNBA outfit.

BetMGM links up with NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders

BetMGM, the gambling brand operated via the GVC Holdings-MGM Resorts joint venture Roar Digital, has entered into a new partnership with the Las Vegas Raiders National Football League (NFL) franchise.

Under the agreement, which builds on an existing relationship between MGM Resorts and the Raiders, BetMGM will serve as the team’s first official sports betting partner.

theScore Bet goes live in Indiana

Score Media and Gaming has launched its sportsbook in Indiana, the third state in which customers can wager via theScore Bet.

The launch follows the brand’s roll-out in Colorado earlier this month, with theScore Bet also live in New Jersey since September 2019.

AGA & Nascar form responsible gambling partnership

The American Gaming Association (AGA) announced today (September 17) it has signed a new partnership with the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (Nascar), to help educate racing fans on responsible gambling through the AGA’s ‘Have a Game Plan, Bet Responsibly’ campaign.

Nascar therefore becomes the campaign’s first official professional sports league partner, and will develop co-branded content with AGA, encouraging sports bettors to ‘know when to pit’ and bet responsibly.

Vigtory brings in PointsBet veteran to lead marketing

Sportsbook start-up Vigtory has appointed Steven Astrachan, former director of media and marketing for PointsBet, as its new vice president of marketing.

In his new role Astrachan has been tasked with developing integrated, consumer driven campaigns to build an audience for the Chicago-based operator, which is plotting its US roll-out later this year.

NetEnt to enter West Virginia with BetMGM

NetEnt is to roll out its content in West Virginia for the first time, in partnership BetMGM, the betting and igaming brand launched through a joint venture between GVC Holdings and MGM Resorts.

BetMGM will launch a range of NetEnt’s online gambling content, following the launch of its BetMGM Casino brand in the state, which went live last month.

NetEnt strengthens PA presence with Wind Creek

NetEnt has launched its games for a new client in Pennsylvania, with its slots live on tribal operator Wind Creek Casino’s igaming offering.

The roll-out of NetEnt content follows the launch of Wind Creek’s real-money online casino in August, powered by Pala Interactive’s platform.

PA Lottery warns consumers over prize scam

The Pennsylvania Lottery has issued a warning over a new scam being used to steal money from players in the state.

According to the Lottery, scammers call consumers to say that they have won a fictitious Mega Millions sweepstake or a prize from another lottery game with a known brand.

BetMGM signs up Jamie Foxx for new ad campaign

BetMGM, the betting and igaming joint venture between GVC Holdings and MGM Resorts, has announced that Oscar-winning actor and singer Jamie Foxx will star in its new advertising campaign.

Foxx will become the face of BetMGM’s The King of Sportsbooks campaign, which will promote the offering to players across the US.