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Archive for September 1st, 2018

West Virginia Quietly Becomes Fourth State to Launch Sports Betting

West Virginia quietly became the fourth state to launch legal sports betting after the US Supreme Court struck down in May a federal ban on wagering on professional and collegiate sports leagues.

Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in Charles Town, West Virginia accepted yesterday its first bet, thus soft-opening its sportsbook. The casino’s wagering facility is operated by the US division of British bookmaker William Hill.

House Delegate Jason Barrett put the first bet on Thursday to participate in a historic moment for the state’s and the US gambling industry. Delegate Barrett placed $50 on the West Virginia Mountaineers to win the football national championship. He will win nearly $3,000 if that happens. The state lawmaker told local media that it was extremely easy to bet and that it really reminded him of betting on horse racing.

The General Managing Counsel of the West Virginia Lottery, Danielle Boyd, has confirmed the opening of the state’s first sportsbook and has pointed out that the despite the facility’s grand opening on Saturday, it is “officially open” now.

Hollywood Casino, which is owned and operated by Penn National Gaming Inc., will host a larger-scale opening ceremony for its sportsbook tomorrow at 11 am local time. A mobile app that will allow the casino’s patrons to wager while at the property via their mobile phones is expected to be rolled out in the next couple of weeks.

Commenting on the launch of their sportsbook, Hollywood Casino Head of Sports Erich Zimny told local media on Thursday that they are happy that West Virginia has jumped on the betting bandwagon quickly and has thus secured a competitive edge over neighboring Maryland.

A bill allowing sports betting at Maryland’s gambling venues was introduced last year but was voted down by legislators. It is believed that it will be reintroduced next spring. If it gains the necessary support in the state Legislature, it will then have to survive a statewide referendum in order to be enacted.

Exemplary Regulatory Framework

West Virginia was actually among the states that passed a legislative framework ahead of the US Supreme Court ruling in May that allowed individual states to legalize sports betting, if they felt inclined to do so. This facilitated the early launch of sports betting services at the state’s existing gambling facilities.

Commenting on the state’s wagering regulatory framework, Delegate Barrett said that it should be model for the rest of the nation and that he believes they have done it right.

According to preliminary estimates by the West Virginia Legislature, the state’s sports betting industry would contribute additional revenue of around $5.5 million to the coffers during the first year. However, a separate, Lottery-commissioned study presented a much more optimistic picture for additional revenue of between $9 million and $17 million.

Five of the state’s casinos have lodged interest in operating sportsbooks. They were all required to pay a $100,000 licensing fee. In addition, they will have to contribute a 10% tax on adjusted gross sports wagering receipts.

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The post West Virginia Quietly Becomes Fourth State to Launch Sports Betting appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Florida Casino Amendment Sees Support from 71% of Likely Voters in Latest Poll

Amendment 3 will see support from 71% of Florida’s residents who are likely to cast their vote in the upcoming General Election in November, the results from a recently conducted poll show.

Spearheaded by the Voters in Charge organization, Amendment 3 aims to modify Florida’s existing law in a manner that will prevent any gambling-related decisions from being made by the state Legislature without those being approved by 60% of all voters first.

The latest poll on the matter, the results of which were published earlier this week, was commissioned by Voters in Charge and was conducted by Hill Research Consultants. The research firm interviewed 1,209 people in the period between July 18-24. Interviews were conducted online as well as via mobile and landline phones. Hill Research found that 71% of all respondents were likely to vote ‘Yes’ for Amendment 3, meaning that they would support control over gambling-related decisions to be handed to residents of the state. Of all interviewed individuals, 18% said that they would cast a ‘No’ vote.

A similar poll carried out by Hill Research in January showed relatively similar results. As many as 1,235 likely voters were interviewed back then and 76% said that they would support Amendment 3, while 19% responded that they would vote ‘No’.

Why Will Amendment 3 Probably Succeed?

According to analysts, Amendment 3 will likely succeed in the upcoming November vote for several important reasons. In the first place, Florida voters had long been the ones to decide on gambling expansion matters, following the legalization of certain gambling services in the state in the early 1900s. It has actually been only recently when lawmakers assumed full control over those decisions.

Amendment 3 has thus been promoted as a measure that would reinstate something that had previously belonged to the people of Florida.

In the second place, the proposed constitutional amendment is pretty straightforward and easy to understand what will change exactly if it gains the necessary support from more than 60% of all Floridans who cast a vote at the upcoming mid-term General Elections on November 6. To better illustrate this, here is the Amendment 3 ballot title and summary:

Voter Control of Gambling in Florida

This amendment ensures that Florida voters shall have the exclusive right to decide whether to authorize casino gambling by requiring that in order for casino gambling to be authorized under Florida law, it must be approved by Florida voters pursuant to Article XI, Section 3 of the Florida Constitution. Affects articles X and XI. Defines casino gambling and clarifies that this amendment does not conflict with federal law regarding state/tribal compacts.

Last but not least, Amendment 3 has two huge businesses as its main supporters. News emerged earlier this month that of the total amount of $27 million poured into the measure’s promotion, $26 million has come from Disney and the Seminole Tribe of Florida, which owns and operates a number of casinos through its Seminole Gaming and Hard Rock International entities. Both have no interest in any form of gambling expansion in the state due to competition concerns. They have thus teamed up to support the Voters in Charge’s cause and thus prevent any new gambling entities from being established to steal clientèle and cannibalize revenue.

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Pearl River Resort Becomes First Tribal Casino to Offer Sports Betting Outside Nevada

Pearl River Resort in Choctaw, Mississippi has become the Magnolia State’s latest casino resort to launch a sportsbook following the mid-May annulment of the federal ban on sports betting and the recent legalization of the activity in Mississippi.

The property, owned and operated by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, held on Thursday a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of its sports betting facility, the newest addition to its existing gambling products. The launch of the sportsbook comes shortly after the Choctaw Gaming Commission approved new sports betting regulations to give Pearl River Resort the green light to operate a wagering facility. It is also important to note that the sportsbook is the first tribal one to be launched outside Nevada since the recent US Supreme Court ruling that lifted a long-standing ban on wagering on sports.

The sportsbook is located at the recently launched Timeout Lounge at Gold Moon Casino at the Choctaw-based resort. The facility features 20 televisions, three wagering stations that make it possible for customers to place in-person bets, a bar with charging stations for mobile devices, 12 odds boards displaying games and scores, and different other amenities.

The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians confirmed plans to launch mobile betting that will allow visitors of Pearl River Resort to place bets anywhere on casino grounds.

Mississippi was the third state to legalize and launch sports betting after Delaware and New Jersey. Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi and Gold Strike Casino in Tunica were the first two casino properties to go live with sportsbooks. The two MGM-owned gambling venues launched their wagering facilities on August 1.

It is important to note that Mississippi is currently at a great advantage as it is the only state in the southeastern part of the United States where sports betting is legal and already offered by local gambling venues. Neighboring states are discussing the legalization of wagering on professional and collegiate sports leagues, but it will not be before next year that actual steps will be taken in that direction. And by that time, Mississippi will have gained quite some momentum and experience to be able to react to competition adequately.

Friendly Laws Make It Possible for Tribes to Join the Sports Betting Mix

Mississippi’s tribes are able to offer sports betting (and so quickly after the legalization of the activity in the state) due to its existing compact with the state. It is first important to note that under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, federally recognized tribes are allowed to offer Class III gambling products (sports betting included) as long as the state they reside in permits such products.

In addition, the existing compact between Mississippi’s tribes and the state explicitly allows the provision of Class III gambling services.

As mentioned above, Pearl River Resort is looking to launch mobile betting on property. However, unlike other states where mobile betting will be available even off-property, Mississippi betting customers will only be able to place wagers via their mobile devices only while they are at the gambling property.

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Mark Buckley Leads 56 Players into EPT Barcelona Main Event Day 4

The record-breaking 1,931-strong field of the EPT Barcelona Main Event was reduced to just 56 survivors during Day 3 of the tournament. The remaining players are set to resume play today at noon local time at Casino Barcelona. They will be led by Ireland’s Mark Buckley, who emerged as the chip leader after the dinner break last night to eventually squeeze 2.65 million chips into his bag.

Day 3 of the tournament kicked off with 259 runners and Canadian Ben Wilinofsky as the chip leader. The player is vying for his second EPT title after topping the field of the EPT Berlin Main Event in 2011. Wilinofsky kept his momentum from the previous day of play for a while, but two losses, both caused by Renato Kaneoya, reduced his stack significantly midway through Day 3.

Once Wilinofsky sunk, there were several players who claimed the chip lead throughout the rest of the day. And as mentioned earlier, Buckley began gaining momentum after dinner break. On one particular hand, the Irishman called an all-in bet from Yi Ang Lin with a set of deuces. Lin, holding [Ac][Qs], was one card away from a wheel straight. However, he only managed to pair his ace, which was totally insufficient to keep him in play.

Scooping Lin’s chips, Buckley rocketed himself at the top of the chip counts chart with 3.6 million. He lost some of that stack throughout the night, but never let go of the chip lead.

What’s Next for the EPT Barcelona Main Event?

Buckley is topping the chip counts chart but he has several players right behind him in the chip counts chart and will have to step up his game early on Day 4 in order to be able to pull ahead. Late-night doublers Fabiano Kovalski from Brazil and Matthias Tikerpe from Estonia will too enter Day 4 of the tournament with considerable chip stacks. Kovalski bagged 2.65 million last night and is trailing closely behind Buckley. Tikerpe is, too, not far away with his stack of 2.35 million.

Day 4 is scheduled for noon local time. Each of the 56 remaining players are guaranteed a minimum cash of €19,760. Needless to say, the €1,611,500 first-place prize is what they will all be going after.

There are three more days left to be played within the EPT Barcelona Main Event. The tournament’s eight-handed finale is scheduled for Sunday, September 2018.

This year, the tournament attracted a record number of contenders. By the time registration was closed, there were 1,931 entries to have registered in the €5,300 buy-in event, including 457 re-entries. The massive field generated an equally impressive prize pool of €9,365,350. The money was split into payouts for the top 296 finishers, min-cashes starting from €8,150.

After the conclusion of the EPT Barcelona, the EPT will next be heading to Sochi, Russia for the EPT Open Sochi festival. The exciting poker event will run from September 21 through September 29.

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