Chicago City chooses Bally’s for its sole casino license

Following months of proposals, public hearings, and strong opposition from local residents and officials, Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot announced Thursday that the City has selected Bally’s Corporation to be the recipient of its sole casino license, and the developer to create a world-class casino-resort and entertainment experience in Chicago on the site of the Tribune Publishing Center. With…

Ohio sports betting application window to open by June 15, regulator says

Ohio is moving forward with the launch of its legalized sports betting market. The Ohio Casino Control Commission announced on Wednesday that it will begin accepting sports betting license applications in June.
A first application window starts on June 15 for Type A, B and C proprietors, first-designated mobile management services providers (MMSPs), management services providers, and suppliers. The…

Bally’s sees revenue up to $548M in Q1; confirms Standard General’s takeover bid rejection

On the same day it was selected by Chicago City as its sole casino license winner, Bally’s Corporation announced its financial results for the first quarter of the year and confirmed the rejection of Standard General’s takeover bid. For the period ended March 31, the business delivered $548.3 million in revenue, up from $192.3 million the prior year; and a net income of $1.9 million, up from a…

Missouri Sports Betting Bill Draws Debate, Backlash In Senate

The post Missouri Sports Betting Bill Draws Debate, Backlash In Senate appeared first on SportsHandle.

Early Wednesday, there was optimism about Missouri’s chances of passing sports wagering legislation. Unfortunately for proponents of legal sports betting, the Missouri Senate discussion that started Wednesday night and bled into Thursday morning revealed some roadblocks to legalization. 

“I tried to pass a stand alone sportsbook bill tonight, unfortunately I ran into some resistance,” Sen. Denny Hoskins tweeted at 1:30 a.m. CT Thursday. “But I’ll keep working toward a compromise bill that provides funding for our veterans & education!”

Hoskins introduced sports betting legislation with a 15% tax rate, a $1.25 million annual fee per skin or platform, three skins per casino company, and one skin for each professional sports team. Hoskins’ bill excluded video lottery terminals, which is something he has previously wanted included with legal sports betting.

Hoskins worked with Rep. Dan Houx to help craft the details in the bill, using Illinois‘ legislation as a guide. The pair were in agreement that Hoskins should try to work it through the Senate on Wednesday night. 

Even with Hoskins and others doing their best to explain the benefits of legal wagering late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, there were still questions and concerns about the bill. 

Sen. Bill White was among those with myriad questions about Hoskins’ proposal. White questioned the positive economic impact Hoskins expects from legal sports betting. 

“This is a contentious bill,” White said. 

White worried about low-income Missourians losing their money gambling on sports. He seemed concerned about legalization of wagering benefiting sportsbook operators and gambling companies rather than the people of Missouri.

“We are going to have kids that are not having homes,” White said. “We are going to have kids that aren’t having food because people can’t spend [money].” 

Shortly after those comments, Hoskins decided Wednesday night/Thursday morning wasn’t going to be the time for the legislation to be approved.

“He was very passionate that we should not legalize sportsbooks in the state of Missouri and appeared to be in filibuster mode,” Hoskins told Sports Handle. “With time ticking away and it being 1:30 a.m. … I decided, ‘OK, I’m going to withdraw that amendment.’”

Still a chance?

Despite the “resistance” Hoskins referred to in his tweet, the legislative session doesn’t end until May 13. Time is running out on Missouri legislators to pass a sports betting bill, but for the glass-half-full crowd, there’s still about a week left in the legislative session for lawmakers to come to an agreement. 

“I’ve always said, ‘Never say never,’” Hoskins said. “It’s not dead. … I’m trying to do what I can.”

Professional sports teams, including the St. Louis Cardinals, are still pushing for legalized sports wagering in Missouri. There’s also the added incentive of keeping pace with Kansas, which recently sent its sports wagering bill to its governor. If Gov. Laura Kelly decides to sign the bill into law, then legal sports wagering can launch in Kansas just a few months later. 

If Missouri wants to keep pace with its neighboring state, its legislators need to come to an agreement on sports wagering in the near future. It’s not completely clear when the Missouri legislature may resume the sports betting debate, but it has to be soon if Hoskins wants to turn a sports betting bill into law. 

The post Missouri Sports Betting Bill Draws Debate, Backlash In Senate appeared first on SportsHandle.

Northern Exposure: PlayFallsview Sportsbook, Latest On Ontario, CGA News

The post Northern Exposure: PlayFallsview Sportsbook, Latest On Ontario, CGA News appeared first on SportsHandle.

Each Thursday, Sports Handle will recap all the top sports betting news in Canada, highlight the Game of the Week, and take a look ahead at some of the most intriguing games to bet on over the weekend.

Our top Canadian sports stories this week

Game(s) of the week

Canadian NHL teams in playoffs (all odds courtesy FanDuel)

Dallas Stars vs. Calgary Flames — Flames lead best-of-seven series 1-0

Series price: Flames (-720), Stars (+500)

The Flames completely locked down the Stars in Game 1, holding their opponents to just 16 shots on goal en route to a 1-0 victory. Elias Lindholm scored the lone goal, a power play marker in the first period, and Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom earned his second career playoff shutout.

Calgary is heavily favored (-230) at home in Game 2 on Thursday night and Dallas (+190) will have to find a way to generate more scoring chances. The total is set low at 5.5 goals.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning — Best-of-seven series tied 1-1

Series price: Maple Leafs (-111), Lightning (-108)

Toronto made a huge statement with a 5-0 victory over the defending back-to-back Stanley Cup champions in Game 1 on Monday, but the Bolts responded by taking Game 2 by a score of 5-3 on Wednesday night.

The scene now shifts to Tampa (-120) for Game 3 on Friday night, and Toronto (+102) will have to take a more disciplined approach. The Lightning converted on three of their seven power play chances in Game 2, making the Leafs pay for their overly physical approach.

Edmonton Oilers vs. Los Angeles Kings — Best-of-seven series tied 1-1

Series price: Oilers (-215), Kings (+176)

The Kings stole Game 1 on Monday night with a 4-3 victory and took home-ice advantage in the series away from the Oilers. But Edmonton responded in a big way Wednesday night, pounding Los Angeles by a score of 6-0 to even the series at a game apiece.

Game 3 will go Friday night in Los Angeles. Edmonton (-144) is still favored despite being on the road, as oddsmakers continue to remain sheepish on the Kings’ (+122) chances of containing Edmonton’s potent attack led by Connor McDavid.

PlayFallsview sportsbook to launch

Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment — which owns two major casinos in Niagara Falls, Casino Niagara and Fallsview Casino — has selected Kambi Group to support the company’s new PlayFallsview online mobile sportsbook brand.

The multi-year deal will allow Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment to leverage Kambi’s technology and mobile sports betting offerings for its new brand.

There’s currently no timeline for the launch of PlayFallsview, and Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment is not currently licensed with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

“It’s an exciting time for the mobile gaming industry as sports betting continues to grow, and we’re thrilled to be entering into another partnership with Kambi Group plc with the launch of PlayFallsview online mobile sportsbook,” said Rich Roberts, president of Mohegan Digital. “Once launched, this will mark MGE’s first online mobile gaming product outside of the United States and we’re really looking forward to our partnership with Kambi Group on this new venture.”

During a Gaming Americas panel last January, Roberts said Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment was also interested in hosting esports competitions in its Niagara venues in the future.

Kambi’s technology is being used in 17 U.S. states, and it recently added Ontario when the regulated market went live on April 4.

New AGCO license

Another operator, Skill On Net, was officially granted three licenses by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario this week. Playojo.ca, spingenie.ca, and slotsmagic.ca have all been registered with the regulator, and the company’s website says it will have an operating agreement with iGaming Ontario soon.

According to its website, Skill On Net was founded in 2005 and provides over 3,000 different slots and table games to many white label and full turnkey partners.

As of Thursday morning, 34 operators have been successfully registered with the AGCO and 21 websites/apps are live in the province of Ontario. More operators are expected to launch in the coming weeks and months, including DraftKings, Bet99, BetRegal, NorthStar Bets, Betway, and Pinnacle, among others.

Ontario data from earnings calls

Many sportsbooks had earnings calls this week and some interesting data regarding Ontario operations was revealed.

Firstly, the following data from theScore Bet:

TheScore’s mobile news app averages roughly 4 million monthly users from around the globe, but the numbers aren’t an indication of how many of these users are also using theScore Bet app. It will be interesting to see the conversion data from the news app to the betting app once it becomes available. The company, which is based and branded in Toronto, offered 50 free casino spins to new users upon signup, so it’s not surprising nearly half of their bettors used iCasino through the first month.

Secondly, Caesars CEO Tom Reeg said the company will be spending cautiously in Ontario due to the crowded and competitive marketplace.

Thirdly, Rush Street Interactive (BetRivers) is very optimistic about its Ontario operations. The sportsbook announced some early data after the first week of launching in Ontario last month, and surprisingly revealed basketball accounted for 36% of its weekly handle. The Masters golf tournament was also very popular with Ontario bettors. BetRivers is using former TSN Sportscentre anchor Dan O’Toole as its Canadian brand ambassador.

CGA welcomes new members

The Canadian Gaming Association, a national trade association that represents leading operators and suppliers in Canada’s gaming, sports betting, eSports, and lottery industries, announced three new members this week: GeoComply, Bet99, and FIS.

GeoComply, a Vancouver, British Columbia-based third-party location service provider that provides cybersecurity solutions to detect location fraud and verify a user’s true identity, is working with several operators that have launched in Ontario.

Bet99, which signed Auston Matthews as a brand ambassador, is expected to launch its pay site in the province of Ontario and is in the process of becoming licensed by regulators. UFC great Georges St-Pierre is also a company spokesperson.

FIS is an American multinational Fortune 500 corporation that offers a wide range of financial products and services to global gaming customers.

It was a high-profile week for the CGA, whose president and CEO, Paul Burns, was elected to the Sports Betting Hall of Fame.

The post Northern Exposure: PlayFallsview Sportsbook, Latest On Ontario, CGA News appeared first on SportsHandle.

Chicago White Sox Name Caesars Official Sports Betting Partner

The post Chicago White Sox Name Caesars Official Sports Betting Partner appeared first on SportsHandle.

The Chicago White Sox on Thursday named Caesars Sportsbook their official sports betting partner, giving Caesars a path into the third-largest city in the United States.

The deal also makes Caesars Entertainment the official exclusive casino partner of the Major League Baseball team, a new status that can be leveraged throughout the Chicagoland area at Harrah’s Joliet, Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin, and Horseshoe Hammond just over the Illinois state line in Indiana.

“It’s a perfect time for Caesars to align with an iconic franchise like the Chicago White Sox,” said Tom Reeg, CEO of Caesars Entertainment, in a joint statement with the team. “Some of the most passionate sports fans in the country call Illinois home. Caesars can provide White Sox fans and sports fans across the state with the very best in sports experiences through our world-class resorts and the recent relaunch of the Caesars Sportsbook app now available for mobile registration.”

While no plans for a retail sportsbook at Guaranteed Rate Field were mentioned in the press release, the partnership does give Caesars a needed presence in Chicago. DraftKings is in the process of building a retail sportsbook at Wrigley Field through its partnership with the Cubs, and FanDuel is constructing a sports betting lounge at the United Center, home to the Bulls and Blackhawks. PointsBet also has action in the Chicago area as the sportsbook of Hawthorne Race Course in Stickney.

Caesars originally entered the Illinois mobile sports wagering space in September 2020 as William Hill and is tethered to Grand Victoria, located less than an hour west of Chicago. Even with its recent rebrand and national advertising campaign, Caesars has struggled to gain market share in Illinois, totaling just shy of $170 million in mobile handle since launch and surpassing $20 million for a month’s handle only once.

As a point of comparison, both DraftKings and FanDuel accepted more than $200 million in online bets in February alone.

Plenty of ballpark media signage

Caesars will have access to the official White Sox logo and marks for advertising purposes, as well as LED signage and both digital and social media assets. Caesars will have a distinct in-stadium presence — it will have fixed signage in right field promoting its gaming destinations and “channel lettering” over the left field video board.

“By teaming up with a globally recognized entertainment leader in Caesars, we are delivering the combined brand reputation and shared commitment to offer our fans an extraordinary sports and entertainment experience,” said Brooks Boyer, White Sox chief revenue and marketing officer. “With energized talent on the field, our partnership with Caesars enhances the excitement for our fans with new experiences and programs.”

Sports bettors will have access to the Caesars Rewards program, and the team will integrate the Caesars brands into merchandising and marketing efforts, including invitation-only events with the team and “once in a lifetime experiences” across Caesars resorts and through its partnerships.

The post Chicago White Sox Name Caesars Official Sports Betting Partner appeared first on SportsHandle.

ICE London to open its doors on April 12

ICE London confirmed Thursday new dates after the forced postponement announced last month amid the Omicron coronavirus variant spread, and it will now open its doors on April 12, with iGB Affiliate London kicking off a day later, and both ending on April 14, 2022.
The event was originally due to take place from 1 to 3 February, followed by iGB Affiliate London from 2 to 5 February 2022, at London’s…

SharpLink acquires iGaming and affiliate marketing network owner FourCubed for $8.15M

Minneapolis-based online technology company SharpLink Gaming is acquiring certain assets of FourCubed, owner of an iGaming and affiliate marketing network comprised of over 12,000 sub-affiliates, the business announced on Wednesday.
The strategic acquisition is expected to unlock and fuel conversions and customer lifetime value of SharpLink’s 2.5 million and growing base of fantasy and sports game…

“Our first full year with our LatAm hub has been marked by exceptional growth and the accolades to match”

Pragmatic Play has analyzed and issued an assessment of its growing presence in Latin America in 2021, and especially after the opening of its LatAm hub in June 2020, based in Argentina and led by Victor Arias, Vice President of Latin America operations. 
Throughout 2021, the iGaming content supplier's focus in Latin America has “delivered extraordinary results, with our ambitious plans…

Arizona Coyotes To Launch Digital Wagering Platform Next Week

The post Arizona Coyotes To Launch Digital Wagering Platform Next Week appeared first on SportsHandle.

The Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday announced they’ll launch a digital sports betting app, and the operator should come as no surprise. The team is owned by Alex Meruelo, who also owns the Sahara Las Vegas casino and the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno. The venture will be the company’s first in sports betting outside of Nevada.

According to a press release from the Coyotes, SaharaBets.com will go live on Jan. 12, well ahead of the Super Bowl and the NCAA’s March Madness. Future customers can sign up for more info about the platform, which currently states: “YOUR NEW FAVORITE WAY TO BET ON SPORTS. Launching soon. Subscribe and receive the latest updates.” The platform appears to be the first for the company, which previously used William Hill (now Caesars) to run its Las Vegas sports betting location and online/mobile platform.

The Coyotes are the last major professional sports team in Arizona to launch a digital platform. On the opening day of the 2021 NFL season, FanDuel launched a digital platform and opened a retail sportsbook in partnership with the Phoenix Suns, Caesars went live via a deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks, BetMGM launched in partnership with the Phoenix Cardinals, DraftKings went live through the PGA Tour, and Barstool Sportsbook launched through its deal with NASCAR. Since then, BetRivers went live through the Arizona Rattlers, and at least five other platforms are available through tribal partnerships.

“The Coyotes are dedicated to providing innovative and entertaining experiences for our great fans,” said Coyotes President and CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez. “Our partnership with SaharaBets will offer next-level gaming experiences for fans who want to unleash their competitive spirit.”

Where Coyotes will play remains uncertain

The Coyotes were among 18 sports franchises/venues to get licenses from the Arizona Department of Gaming (ADG) in August, but it was unclear at the time where the team would play its games in the future — or if it would even remain in Arizona. The team currently plays at Gila River Arena through an agreement with the city of Glendale.

Meruelo, however, owed Glendale and the state $1.3 million in unpaid taxes last fall. The city wanted its money and threatened to lock the team out if the taxes weren’t paid. According to The New York Times, Meruelo paid the bill in full after the Arizona Department of Revenue put a lien on the team’s parent company.

The team’s arena lease ends on June 30, 2022, and won’t be renewed. It’s unclear where the Coyotes will play in 2022-23, but NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has indicated the team won’t relocate. The Times also reported that a deal to build an arena and entertainment center in Tempe is in the works. The Coyotes are the least profitable team in the league.

The announcement that a wagering app is coming would seem to be an indication that the team will be staying in Arizona. The license isn’t valid in any other state, and the ADG already has two unused licenses for professional sports franchises/venues. Lawmakers earmarked 10 licenses each for pro teams and tribes, but so far, there are only eight pro franchises that meet the criteria, leaving two licenses unused. The ADG doesn’t have the power to shift those to tribes, even though more of those want licenses than there are licenses available.

The post Arizona Coyotes To Launch Digital Wagering Platform Next Week appeared first on SportsHandle.