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State of the Union: theScore, NIGC, Pennsylvania and more

Insight | Analysis

This week’s State of the Union – in partnersihp with Segev LLP – documents the latest step towards Penn National Gaming’s acquisition of theScore, as well as including results from Indiana, Iowa, Illinois and Oregon.

theScore shareholders approve acquisition by Penn National Gaming

Shareholders in Score Media and Gaming (theScore) have overwhelmingly voted to approve the proposed acquisition of the business by Penn National Gaming.

During a special meeting yesterday (October 12), 99.96% of the votes cast by shareholders were cast in favour of the deal, with just 0.04% against.

NIGC warns tribes of outsized vendor influence in sports betting

The National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) – a federal regulatory agency within the US Department of the Interior – has issued a bulletin warning tribal operators to ensure they maintain of sole propriety interest of sports betting operations.

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) requires tribes to maintain “the sole proprietary interest and responsibility for the conduct of any gaming activity” for any gaming facilities located on Indian lands. While it is common to partner with third parties such as suppliers and commercial operators who may act as vendors, any “management” of a sportsbook by a third party requires specific approval from the NIGC.

PGCB fines Parx Casino operator for underage gaming

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has fined Parx Casino operator Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment $10,000 for underage gaming, in addition to sanctioning parents who left their children unattended in casino parking lots.

The fine pertains to a breach in underage gaming laws, where an 18-year old was permitted to enter the gaming floor and gamble on slot machines in Parx Casino in Bucks County.

DraftKings becomes official NHL betting, fantasy and igaming partner

DraftKings has announced a new partnership with the National Hockey League (NHL), which sees the operator become an official sports betting, daily fantasy and igaming partner of the league in the US.

In addition, the operator has also reached an agreement with WarnerMedia division Turner Sports, to become the exclusive sportsbook and daily fantasy sports provider for its NHL coverage.

Aristocrat and Boyd Gaming launch cashless table game trial in Nevada

Aristocrat Gaming, part of Aristocrat Leisure, has linked up with Boyd Gaming and Genesis Gaming to trial cashless table games in the state of Nevada.

Powered by Aristocrat’s digital wallet technology, Boyd Pay Wallet is being trialled at Boyd’s Aliante Casino Hotel and Spa in North Las Vegas.

Delaware igaming revenue down in September despite higher player spending

Online gambling revenue in Delaware fell 5.4% year-on-year in September despite players in the state spending 43.7% more on igaming.

Revenue for the month amounted to $794,644, down from $840,146 in September last year and also 16.0% lower than $945,512 in August of this year.

Illinois betting revenue dips 28.7% month-on-month in August

Revenue from sportsbooks in Illinois declined again on a month-on-month basis but was up 272.2% year-on-year in August.

This revenue came on wagers totaling $394.0m. This was up 181.2% from August 2020.

Inidiana sets monthly handle record after football return

The Indiana Gaming Commission has recorded betting handle figures of $355.4m in September – a 64.8% increase from the previous month and a record for the state.

Ameristar East in Chicago and its DraftKing sportsbook had the largest share of the handle with $138.5m. The FanDuel operated Blue Chip Casino’s sportsbook was next with $78.1m, followed by Hollywood Lawrenceburg with $38.6m.

Connecticut set for online betting and gaming soft launch on October 12

Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) has given its approval for the soft launch of online sports betting and igaming in the state from tomorrow (October 12).

The Connecticut Lottery Corporation, Mohegan Tribe and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, together with their partners, will be able to commence a seven-day soft launch period from 3:00pm local time tomorrow.

Iowa betting revenue declines despite new handle record in September

Iowa reported a third straight month of sports betting revenue decline in September despite the state’s handle reaching a new monthly record of $210.4m.

Handle was up 190.6% year-on-year from $72.4m in September 2020 and 94.1% higher than 108.4% in August of this year, also comfortably surpassing the previous monthly record of $161.4m set in March 2021.

Zynga completes $525m acquisition of mobile games developer StarLark

Social gaming giant Zynga has completed its previously announced acquisition of mobile games developer StarLark from Betta Games for $525m in cash and stock.

The acquisition agreement will see staff from China-based StarLark, the company behind mobile golf title Golf Rival, join the Zynga development team.

RSI soft launches online sportsbook with Connecticut Lottery Corporation

Rush Street Interactive (RSI) has soft launched a new PlaySugarHouse online sportsbook in partnership with Connecticut Lottery Corporation.

Accessible from today (12 October), the PlaySugarHouse sportsbook will allow consumers in Connecticut to place online wagers on a range of sports and competitions.

Sharp Alpha Advisors raises $10m for betting tech startups

Sports betting startup firm Sharp Alpha Advisors has announced the closing of Sharp Alpha Fund I, a $10.0m venture capital fund that will be invested in sports betting technology startups.

The fund has already provided financial support to 11 startups, including Players’ Lounge, PickUp and Prophet.

Golden Nugget Online launches in WV and VA with Scientific Games

Golden Nugget Online Gaming (GNOG) has partnered with Scientific Games to launch an online sportsbook in Virginia, as well as internet sports betting and igaming in West Virginia.

The sportsbook will be powered by Scientific Games’ OpenBet sports betting technology in both states and allow consumers to place wagers online and on mobile.