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Archive for December 1st, 2018

A Second Rhode Island Casino Joins the US Sports Betting Gold Rush on Dec. 3

Tiverton Casino Hotel to cut the ribbon on sportsbook on Monday, December 3, just a week after its sister venue in Lincoln went live with sports betting

Twin River’s Tiverton Casino Hotel is set to go live with sports betting next week, local news outlet Turn To 10 announced today citing information from casino officials. The launch will take place Monday at 3 pm, or precisely a week after Twin River’s Lincoln-based casino accepted its first legal wager.

Rhode Island legalized sports betting in June as part of the state’s budget. Legal sports gambling was initially expected to go live on October 1, but setbacks of different nature delayed the official start of the practice in the state. As mentioned earlier, it was on November 26 that sports betting was finally launched in Rhode Island.

Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, Senate President Dominick Ruggerio, and Twin River Worldwide Holdings Chairman John Taylor Jr. placed the first bet at the sportsbook at Twin River Casino in Lincoln. Rhode Island is currently the only state in New England to be offering legal sports betting services and this is expected to attract a fresh wave of customers to its gambling venues.

According to estimates, Rhode Island is poised to collect $11.5 million in sports betting tax revenue from the two Twin River Casinos through the end of the current fiscal year on June 30, 2019. However, analysts have pointed out that the state has lost millions in revenue due to the delayed start of sports gambling. Early projections suggested that sports betting could have contributed $23.5 million to the state’s coffers, if it had commenced on October 1.

Rhode Island taxes sports betting at 51% on annual revenue.

Is Mobile Betting Arriving to the State?

Just a day after Rhode Island’s first sportsbook opened doors, Senate President Ruggerio said that he would make his best effort to make mobile betting happen in the state. The lawmaker, who has long been among the staunchest supporters of the legalization of sports betting in the Ocean State, told media that he is working on a bill that would allow people to wager from anywhere in Rhode Island via their smartphones. In-person betting at Twin River sportsbooks is currently the state’s only legal form of sports gambling.

Senate President Ruggerio plans to introduce his piece at the start of the new legislative session in January. The legislator said that mobile betting will provide bettors with greater convenience that will result in additional revenue being generated. He went on to point out that this type of activity could attract a younger clientèle at a time when casinos are struggling to draw picky millennials to their premises with traditional gambling offering.

Commenting on his colleague’s plans, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said earlier this week that mobile betting could certainly be “an idea worth of a thorough review” if the Senate President’s proposal includes provisions that would enhance “the gaming experience for Rhode Islanders while providing additional revenue for the state.”

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Martin Ryan Wins WSOP Circuit Harrah’s Cherokee Monster Stack for Ring Number Eight

Trinidad and Tobago’s Martin Ryan captures an eighth gold ring from the WSOP Circuit, taking down his largest poker event so far

Martin Ryan claimed last night his eighth WSOP Circuit title after topping the whopping field of the $400 No-Limit Hold’em Monster Stack at Harrah’s Cherokee. The player from Trinidad and Tobago also added a career’s highest payout of $70,226 to his WSOP Circuit bankroll, which soared to over $400,000 after last night’s triumph.

As mentioned above, Harrah’s Cherokee in North Carolina is currently playing host to the WSOP Circuit. The $400 buy-in Monster Stack took place over two days, November 28-29. The tournament drew a massive field of 1,166 entries who created a prize pool of $384,780.

Ryan built a solid stack on the first day of the event to end that day fourth in chips with 1.455 million. The player was one of 61 hopefuls who survived through all 23 levels played on Day 1. Rob Reed was leading the pack of 61 into Day 2 with 1.83 million.

The second day of action saw Ryan continue where he left off. The player pressed forward, adding to his stack. He scooped a massive pot right before the unofficial final table was set and he never looked back from that point on. Ryan was the outright chip leader at the final table, but he also led in pedigree as the player with the most gold rings from the series previously won.

Final Table

The tournament’s final table appeared to be a smooth ride for the eventual winner. Ryan navigated easily, never losing his momentum. The final table was whittled down to just two players fairly quickly. It was Forrest Raleigh from Georgia whom Ryan had to face heads-up.

That closing stage of the tournament was an equally quick and smooth ride for the champion. As for Raleigh, he had to settle for the runner-up finish and a cash prize of $43,372. Ryan collected $70,226 for outlasting the behemoth field of the Monster Stack event.

It is interesting to note that the player has been on a hot streak lately, winning three gold rings from the Circuit in as many months. Ryan actually won his latest two pieces in less than three weeks’ time. He took down a $600 No-Limit Hold’em event at Choctaw Durant earlier in November. Back in September, the player won the $1,125 No-Limit Hold’em at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek. As mentioned earlier, Ryan now has eight WSOP Circuit gold rings, which makes him a member of an elite club of just a few players who have accomplished that in the history of the series.

Despite his terrific run over the past several months, Ryan has decided to take some time off the Circuit and go back to his homeland.

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Bet365, GVC Holdings, LeoVegas among First Companies to Receive Swedish Gambling License

Bet365, LeoVegas, and several GVC Holdings brands lead the way into Sweden’s newly regulated online gambling market

The Swedish gambling authority, Lotteriinspektionen today announced the names of the first 16 approved candidates for a license for the operation of online gaming and betting services in Sweden’s re-organized gambling market.

The country’s government approved its new gambling law earlier this year, thus ending the long-standing monopoly system and clearing the path for international gambling companies to apply for a license from the local regulator and operate in a regulated environment. The new law is set to take effect on January 1, 2019. From that day on, unlicensed gaming and betting operations will be strictly prohibited and penalized by Lotteriinspektionen, which will soon change its name to Spelinspektionen in line with the new regulations.

Lotteriinspektionen launched the license application process on August 1, inviting interested international companies to submit their applications as early as possible for a chance to be among the first ones to be issued licenses. The gaming regulator said in a statement from earlier today that it has received 95 applications so far. However, it pointed out that the number of applications did not correspond to the number of companies that have submitted those as there have been companies to have applied for several different types of licenses.

The 16 approve licensees will be able to commence operations in the country’s newly regulated market from January 1, 2019.

Who Was Awarded a Swedish License?

Aside from Svenska Spel, the state-run monopoly, and several more Swedish gambling businesses that have been operating in the country for a while, a number of major international companies were, too, granted licenses from Lotteriinspektionen.

British gambling giant bet365 was issued two licenses by Lotteriinspektionen, one for the provision of online casino games and the other for sports betting. Betsson Nordic, Casumo, GVC Holdings’ online gambling brands bwin, partypoker, and partycasino, and LeoVegas were also among the foreign gambling companies to have been given the green light to operate in the country. It should be noted that they have all been part of Sweden’s thriving gray market for years now.

Lotteriinspektionen said today that more announcements in relation to the re-organization of the local market are on the way. The regulator also pointed out that it has granted and will be granting licenses with a shorter period of validity than the maximum of five years, saying that decision was based on the fact that some of the applications came from companies with previous violations in the Swedish gaming space.

Sweden’s gambling market grew 1.2% during the first three quarters of the year to SEK16.785 billion (approx. $1.8 billion). And according to data from Lotteriinspektionen, its unregulated sector was the main driver of growth during the reviewed period. Unlicensed operators generated revenue of SEK4.546 billion (approx. $500 million), up 12.4% year-on-year. In comparison, the country’s regulated market still held the largest market share, but revenue from regulated operations dropped 2.4% during the first three quarters of the year to SEK12.239 billion (approx. $1.3 billion).

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GiG to Bring Hard Rock’s Atlantic City Casino into the US Betting Fold

Hard Rock and GiG extend their existing partnership to jointly operate sports betting at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City

Hard Rock International is set to jump into New Jersey’s booming sports betting marketplace in a few months’ time, it became known yesterday. The company said in a statement that it will launch physical and Internet betting operations at its new Atlantic City property sometime in the first quarter of 2019.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City will thus become the eighth gaming property on the emblematic Atlantic City Boardwalk to be offering sports gambling following the legalization of the practice in June.

It was exactly in June when Hard Rock entered the city’s casino industry with the opening of its hotel and casino complex. The company’s Atlantic City property occupies the site of the former Trump Taj Mahal, which it bought from New York investor Carl Icahn for just over $80 million in the spring of 2017. Te gaming and hospitality giant invested more than $500 million to remake the lavish Indian-themed resort, once managed by US President Donald Trump, into a Hard Rock property. And it became known yesterday that Hard Rock Atlantic City is ready for the next chapter of its story to unfold.

Hard Rock Partners GiG for Sports Betting Launch

News emerged in October that Hard Rock has penned a letter of intent with European gambling company Gaming Innovation Group for the operation of sports betting services at the Atlantic City property. The two companies confirmed yesterday that they have signed an agreement to work together and to bring the casino resort into New Jersey’s sports gambling fold.

Under the terms of the agreement, GiG will provide Hard Rock with its full suite of omni-channel sports betting services. Hard Rock Atlantic City will thus offer over-the-counter wagering, self-service betting terminals, and online wagering via both desktop and mobile. GiG already supplies Hard Rock with online casino offering.

Commenting on yesterday’s announcement, Kresimir Spajic, SVP Online Gaming at Hard Rock International, said in a statement that the launch of sports betting at their Atlantic City property will “mark another step towards becoming a significant player in the national and international sports betting and online gaming industry.” Of their partner, Mr. Spajic said that GiG “has proven to be an innovative, capable, flexible, and trustworthy partner.”

GiG CEO Robin Reed said that Hard Rock choosing his company to power its sportsbook was “a clear statement as to the quality of [their] cutting-edge sports betting services and that he is “proud and delighted to have signed this agreement” which marks GiG’s first inroad into the US sports betting market.

New Jersey legalized sports betting just two weeks after the US Supreme Court lifted on May 14 a long-standing federal ban on wagering. Seven of Atlantic City’s nine operational casinos have rolled out a sports betting product so far, with Hard Rock and Caesars being the only two properties without a sportsbook.

There were suggestions that Hard Rock might not be able to join the sports betting bandwagon due to its naming rights deal with the Miami Dolphins’ home stadium. Hard Rock became the naming partner of the venue in 2016, signing an 18-year agreement. The NFL relaxed its gambling advertising policies early into the new football season, allowing such partnerships and clearing the path for Hard Rock to operate sports betting at its properties, subject to certain restrictions.

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