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NJ’s Top Gaming Regulator Invites International Sportsbook Operators to Begin Licensing Process

NJ’s Top Gaming Regulator Invites International Sportsbook Operators to Begin Licensing Process

New Jersey’s top gambling regulator has invited international sportsbook operators to get in on the ground floor should sports betting become legal in the Garden State.

David Rebuck – the longest serving director in the history of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) – made the comments February 8 during the ICE Totally Gaming expo in London. With a roomful of representatives from established European, Asian, and Australian sports betting firms on hand, Rebuck instructed companies to begin the licensing process sooner rather than later:

“Don’t sit back and wait for the regulations. If you sit and wait you will be left behind.”

The regulations referenced by Rebuck would go into effect immediately after the U.S. Supreme Court rules on New Jersey’s ongoing challenge to federal sports betting prohibition. Voters and lawmakers alike have approved regulated sports betting in the state, with Governor Chris Christie also signing the bill into law, but a coalition of sports leagues sued to rebuff those reforms.

The resulting case, known as Christie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, was heard in oral arguments before the Supreme Court last December.

Based on a consensus of legal analysis on those arguments, most observers believe the Supreme Court will find in New Jersey’s favor when their final ruling is rendered sometime this year. If so, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 – a federal law which limits legal sports betting to just four states – would be effectively repealed.

Since the first voter-approved referendum to regulate sports betting was passed in 2011, New Jersey has been preparing for legalization to arrive. Those efforts include the construction of sports bars within brick and mortar casinos in Atlantic City, with the establishments designed to be converted into sportsbooks should the law change.

And as one of three states to offer regulated online gambling, along with Nevada and Delaware, New Jersey would also be poised to capitalize on the popularity of online sports betting.

Rebuck mentioned how online sportsbook operators would be required to follow the same procedures as casino and poker providers, which involves partnering with an existing gaming company already doing business in the state:

“That is completely different to the UK. So B2C operators and B2B suppliers will need to partner with casinos, racetracks or lotteries.

Even if you don’t have a partner, nothing stops you from submitting your application for a license to do sports wagering.”

Given the controversial history of online sportsbooks based offshore accepting action from American customers, Rebuck warned that so-called “rogue” operators will not be welcomed in his jurisdiction.

He also offered advice on how to effectively capitalize on the emerging marketplace for regulated sports betting in states like New Jersey:

“You need to convince operators and regulators that you are willing to commit to the US.

It is not just about flicking a switch and adding a new market to your existing market. That does not show commitment.

Most of you, from an integrity standpoint, will be able to get in the door now. And if you can’t, we will tell you you’re not going to make it.”

Rebuck’s bullish stance on a sports betting renaissance was contrasted by Susan Hensel, who serves as director of licensing for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). Speaking as part of the same panel discussion, Hensel revealed that Pennsylvania is not ready to accept sportsbook licensing applications just yet:

“There will be a patchwork of regulations. We are not going to have a federal system.

So where does the monitoring system sit? What standards will apply? And who is going to pay for it?”

Pennsylvania passed a comprehensive gambling expansion bill last year, one which included iGaming regulations along with additional brick and mortar casinos.


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News and Notes from the 2018 ICE Totally Gaming Trade Show

News and Notes from the 2018 ICE Totally Gaming Trade Show

Billed as the largest gaming technology trade show in the world, the 2018 ICE Totally Gaming expo in London concluded February 8 after three days of demos and displays.

Official attendance numbers for this year’s edition haven’t been tabulated as of yet, but the exhibition was widely expected to top last year’s record mark of 30,000 guests.

ICE Totally Gaming is the modern incarnation of the International Casinos Exhibition, which parent company Clarion Gaming updated to include the iGaming space. Among the sectors covered in this year’s show were Casino, Lottery, Sports Betting, Online, Social, and Payments.

Over 500 exhibitors were on hand, including leading iGaming product developers like NetEnt, Scientific Games, Real Time Gaming (RTG), Microgaming, Playtech, Novomatic, Konami Gaming, Pragmatic Play, and Habanero.

In a press release issued ahead of the expo, Clarion Gaming’s managing director Kate Chambers offered a glimpse into the event’s consistent growth over the years:

“We have been very careful to grow ICE at a manageable pace and avoid the boom bust scenario you might associate with an overheating economy.

The expansion of ICE has been driven by demand and reflects the dynamics of the international market, which views London as the once-in-the-year opportunity to engage with a really significant and influential community of buyers and influencers.

This is great news for gaming organisations who we know want a flagship event that showcases the world’s leading innovators from every gaming vertical. Gaming is a global industry and ICE is its global event.”

One cornerstone of ICE Totally Gaming is the annual Gaming Intelligence Awards, where Las Vegas-based Scientific Games bagged two of the industry’s highest honors. The company – which consists of major subsidiaries like Bally Technologies and WMS Industries – took home “Lottery Supplier of the Year” for the fourth time in as many years, while adding “Social Casino Supplier of the Year” to their haul.

Kevin Sheehan, who serves as president and chief executive officer of Scientific Games, issued a statement celebrating the company’s achivements:

“It’s a great honor to win so many awards from such distinguished industry award programs.

We are extremely proud that our hard work and industry-leading innovation continues to be recognized throughout the international gaming, lottery and digital industries.

We are building momentum as an industry leader, offering our customers the broadest gaming portfolio, engaging content, innovative technology platforms and excellent service.”

ICE Totally Gaming also provides a venue for iGaming operators to showcase their latest product launches, and U.K.-based upstart Blue Print Gaming didn’t disappoint.

Speaking from a display booth with industry outlet Calvin Ayre, Blue Print Gaming’s chief executive officer Matt Cole hyped the company’s plan to fuse live dealer gaming with online slots:

“We’ve got a game called ‘Flames of the Phoenix’ live multi-play.

It’s all about multiple players getting the same result, it’s bringing live play to slot environment, so if you imagine mixing live dealer with slots, that’s what we’re trying to achieve.”

Swedish payment processing titan Trustly was also on hand to demonstrate Pay ‘N Play, a new product designed to streamline deposits and withdrawals made to iGaming sites.

Trustly’s chief product officer Josef Darmark commented on Pay ‘N Play’s potential impact on the iGaming industry in an interview with Calvin Ayre:

“The Pay ‘N Play product is our latest innovation and it’s extremely interesting to launch it because it changes the way companies and people experience payments, removing the payment part away from the cashier on to the first thing that happens on the site.

And we also remove the fact that you have to register to start playing on a betting site.”

Trustly is utilized by online casinos such as Mr. Green, Betsson, and SlotsMillion.


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Alabama Mother Receives a hundred dollars,five hundred Perk Internet gaming Gambling Animals

Alabama Mother Receives a hundred dollars,five hundred Perk Internet gaming Gambling Animals

After scoring $ 100,000 playing lottery games online, a mother in Michigan can finally bring her kids to meet Mickey Mouse.

The woman, who has chosen to remain anonymous at this time, fired up the 25 Card Cash game offered online by the Michigan Lottery. While wagering $ 10 per ticket, she watched her card fill up with five of the “gold coin tree” symbols connected together – triggering the game’s grand prize payout.

Here’s how she described the incredible moment during a winner’s interview with the Michigan Lottery:

“I was playing the 25 Card Cash game on my son’s laptop, and when I saw I won $ 100,000 I didn’t think it was real.

I had the strangest feeling come over me. It was like I died and came back to life!”

The 25 Card Cash game begins with wagers of just $ 0.20, but players can up the ante to $ 0.50, $ 1, $ 2, $ 5, or the $ 10 maximum bet.

The game scrambles 25 playing card graphics, along with special symbols, before revealing their random arrangement to determine a winner. Players hope to string three or more matching symbols together along horizontal, vertical, or diagonal lines. The game offers overall odds of 1 in 3.85 to win any prize, but the anonymous mother managed to beat a much bigger longshot.

Winning the top prize in 25 Card Cash – a multiple of 10,000X the wager amount – is a one in a million lightning strike.

The winner seemed to know just how improbable her jackpot was when recounting the big win to the Michigan Lottery:

“I’m still in shock. I work two jobs to make ends meet, and this helps take a lot of pressure off my shoulders.”

She told lotto officials that her plans for the windfall include purchasing a new home, sharing the luck with her parents, and taking her kids on a trip to Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

In late 2014, the Michigan Lottery began selling tickets to major draws like Powerball, Mega Millions, and Lotto 47, along with instant games like 25 Card Cash. Players can enjoy the action for as little as $ 0.05 per play, with betting capped at $ 20.

According to the Michigan Lottery, over 718,000 players have registered online lotto accounts, and in 2017 alone, online games paid out more than $ 535 million in prizes.

The new year has been highlighted by several six-figure scores landed online, with the anonymous mother joining a Genesee County man who pocketed $ 100,000 two weeks ago.

Matt Goss of Flushing was playing the Multiplier Max Out game when the stars aligned for a life-changing jackpot.

As he told the tale, Goss kept grinding and added another payday before closing out the session:

“I was playing online and when I won, I shouted ‘No way! I think I just won $ 100,000!’

I had to look at my phone a few times and I even took a screenshot to make sure it was real. After I won, I played a little more and won another $ 7,500 on a Keno game!”

The 38-year old also explained why online games are a perfect fit for modern players:

“It’s nice to be able to play at home and not have to go out for entertainment.

I like the games that have the bonuses and I like playing Mega Millions and Powerball online because when you win, the money is deposited automatically into your Lottery account.

Winning $ 100,000 online was a great experience, and it will be nice to have the extra money to invest in my business.”


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Region Legislature Direct Written request Recommending Department of justice to maintain Online gaming Constitutionality

Region Legislature Direct Written request Recommending Department of justice to maintain Online gaming Constitutionality

Members of the Congressional delegation from New Jersey wrote to the Department of Justice (DOJ) last week, advising the agency to uphold a current policy which legalizes online gambling on the federal level.

In a jointly written letter dated January 11, a group of 10 Senators and Representatives from the Garden State defended the right of individual states to run regulated iGaming industries.

The letter was signed by a bipartisan coalition of legislators, including U.S. Senators Bob Hernandez and Cory Booker (both Democrats), along with Representatives Frank LoBiondo (R-02), Leonard Lance (R-07), Tom MacArthur (R-03), Josh Gottheimer (D-05), Albio Sires (D-08), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-09) and Donald Payne, Jr. (D-10).

The lawmakers addressed their letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who was appointed in January of 2017 by President Donald Trump to serve as the DOJ’s second in command under Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

During his own Senate confirmation hearings, Sessions expressed willingness to revisit a 2011 ruling by the DOJ. That ruling reinterpreted the federal Wire Act of 1961, limiting its scope to online sports betting only – thus allowing individual states to legalize other forms of online gambling.

Sessions was forced to recuse himself from any DOJ rulings pertaining to online gambling based on those comments. As a result, Rosenstein has become the political point man for the controversial issue.

In the wake of the 2011 reversal, a lobbying effort led by Sheldon Adelson – the Las Vegas Sands casino mogul and billionaire donor to conservative causes – has been launched to “Restore America’s Wire Act (RAWA).”

In December, four Republican congressmen sent a letter to the DOJ supporting the RAWA movement. That missive followed a RAWA-favorable letter written by Senators Lindsey Graham (SC) and Dianne Feinstein (CA) last November.

The December letter sent to Rosenstein included several talking points criticizing online gambling, all of which have been proven to be erroneous through intrastate legalization:

“With the stroke of a pen, an unelected lawyer in an obscure office fundamentally changed our nation’s gambling policy – taking an activity previously confined to distinct, controlled, and monitored physical locations and permitting it to be offered 24/7 on mobile devices, laptops, tablets, and home computers.”

Internet gambling carries with it significant law enforcement implications, as the pervasive nature and anonymity of the internet makes it ripe for exploitation by criminals.”

The New Jersey delegation sought to counter the pro-RAWA messaging with their letter, which pointedly observed that online gambling bans have been proven to be ineffective:

“Placing a blanket prohibition for online gambling would be an antiquated approach to a 21st century issue, punishing states like New Jersey – which have invested in creating a safe and secure online gaming structure – while also permitting black market operators to put millions of Americans at risk.”

Following the DOJ’s reinterpretation of the Wire Act, New Jersey authorized brick and mortar casinos in Atlantic City to operate iGaming platforms – including online casinos, poker rooms, and slot parlors – in 2013. Per the most recent financial reports released by the New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE), the state’s iGaming industry generated record-breaking revenue of more than $ 245 million throughout 2017 – good for an increase of 24.9 percent year-on-year.

Lawmakers offered the proven economic contributions derived from legalized iGaming as justification to preserve the current DOJ interpretation of the Wire Act:

“This growth in revenue is in large part due to significant capital investments by the state in online gaming facilities, equipment, and technology that makes online gaming safe and secure.

New Jersey has some of the strictest online gaming regulation protocols in the world, featuring technologies which were developed or implemented for state-mandated requirements, including precise geolocation and regulatory monitoring of all operated platforms. Additionally, players are guaranteed that the online games in the state meet regulatory standards and requirements, thus ensuring that they are protected from cheating and fraud.”

Late last year, Pennsylvania became the fourth state to legalize online gambling. Several states, including New York, California, and Illinois, have explored similar measures in recent years.


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Pennsylvania Adds Possibility iGaming Sportsman as Boyd Casual gaming Gains Valley Form Internet casino

Pennsylvania Adds Possibility iGaming Sportsman as Boyd Casual gaming Gains Valley Form Internet casino

As part of a series of acquisitions completed to close out 2017, Boyd Gaming Corporation has added Pennsylvania’s Valley Forge Casino Resort to the company’s burgeoning portfolio.

Per a press release issued on December 20, the Las Vegas-based Boyd Gaming acquired the casino from Valley Forge Convention Center Partners for a purchase price of $ 280.5 million. As a result, Boyd Gaming makes its first entrance into the lucrative Pennsylvania market – which has been built into the second-largest statewide commercial gambling industry in the United States, trailing only Nevada.

Valley Forge Casino Resort is located in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, a small township 20 miles northwest of the Philadelphia metropolitan area. Despite its status as one of the state’s smaller casinos, Valley Forge is home to 600 slot machines and 50 table games spread throughout 35,000 square feet of gaming space.

With the addition, Boyd Gaming will operate 29 casino properties throughout 10 states. Of those, the majority are located in Las Vegas (Gold Coast, Orleans, Sam’s Town), with others in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio.

Boyd Gaming announced the terms of its Valley Forge deal just two days after another major acquisition moved forward. On December 18, the company agreed to pay $ 575 million to purchase four casino properties – Ameristar St. Charles (Missouri), Ameristar Kansas City (Missouri), Belterra Casino Resort (Indiana); and Belterra Park (Ohio) – from Penn National Gaming, which had only recently acquired them from Pinnacle Entertainment.

In a statement, Keith Smith – who serves as president and chief executive officer for Boyd Gaming – commented on the company’s casino shopping spree:

“With the successful completion of our acquisitions of Valley Forge and the Pinnacle assets, Boyd Gaming will gain direct access to four of the nation’s largest gaming markets – Philadelphia, St. Louis, Kansas City and Cincinnati – with a combined population of nearly 10 million adults.

We believe this expansion will help drive additional growth throughout our nationwide portfolio, as we market our destination properties to these new customers in the Midwest and Northeast.”

And while the Valley Forge deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018, Boyd Gaming is already being mentioned as a potential player in Pennsylvania’s newly legalized online gambling industry.

In late October of last year, Governor Tom Wolf signed a comprehensive gambling expansion bill into law – regulating online casinos, poker rooms, slot parlors, daily fantasy sports (DFS) platforms, and lottery ticket sales in the process. As a result, Pennsylvania became the fourth state to legalize online gambling, joining Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware.

The new law stipulates that any of Pennsylvania’s 12 brick and mortar casinos, Valley Forge included, can apply for an online gaming license.

As the former part-owner of the Borgata casino in Atlantic City – the license-holder behind several successful online casinos and poker rooms in New Jersey – Boyd Gaming has prior experience in the iGaming industry. The company sold off its share of the Borgata in 2016, but as Smith alluded to in his public comments on the Valley Forge deal, Pennsylvania’s recently passed legislation provides another entry point to an online presence:

“The acquisition of Valley Forge Casino Resort is another excellent opportunity to further grow and diversify our nationwide portfolio.

And thanks to Pennsylvania’s recent passage of gaming expansion legislation, there are new opportunities to drive incremental growth at Valley Forge through the expansion of the property’s slot capacity and the introduction of new forms of gaming.”

And back in 2014, while praising the Borgata’s newly launched iGaming properties, Smith set Boyd Gaming apart from fellow brick and mortar casino operators by refuting the “cannibalization” argument routinely used against iGaming expansion:

“Online gaming is growing our database creating a long-term opportunity to market Borgata to an entirely new group of customers.”

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is currently crafting a regulatory framework for iGaming in the state, and the industry is expected to launch in the second half of 2018.



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Penn National Gaming Acquires Pinnacle Entertainment in $2.8 Billion Deal to Expand Casino Empire

Penn National Gaming Acquires Pinnacle Entertainment in $2.8 Billion Deal to Expand Casino Empire

Penn National Gaming, the parent company behind the Hollywood Casino brand, has put the finishing touches on a $ 2.8 billion acquisition of fellow American casino conglomerate Pinnacle Entertainment.

The terms of the takeover bid were confirmed in a press release dated December 18, with Penn National Gaming absorbing 12 of Pinnacle Entertainment’s 16 casino properties.

Pinnacle Entertainment previously operated several well-known casino brands, including Ameristar, Belterra, and Boomtown. Under the terms of the deal, Penn National Gaming has already agreed to sell four casinos – Ameristar Kansas City (Missouri) Ameristar St. Charles (Missouri); Belterra Casino Resort (Indiana), and Belterra Park (Ohio) – to Boyd Gaming at an approximate cost of $ 575 million per property.

Shareholders of the former Pinnacle Entertainment are set to receive $ 20, along with 0.42 shares of Penn National Gaming common stock, per share owned. The implied total purchase price per share of Pinnacle Entertainment stands at $ 32.47, as based on the closing price of Penn National Gaming stock as of December 15.

As a result of the deal, Penn National Gaming shareholders will hold 78 percent of the new entity’s outstanding shares, while Pinnacle Entertainment shareholders will control the other 22 percent.

Timothy J. Wilmott, who serves as chief executive officer for Penn National Gaming, issued a statement addressing the major merger’s implications:

“By combining our highly complementary portfolios and similar operating philosophies, we will be able to leverage the strengths of both our companies and create an unparalleled experience for our regional gaming customers, while generating significant value for our shareholders and business partners.

“The combined company will benefit from enhanced scale, additional growth opportunities and best-in-class operations, creating a more efficient integrated gaming company.

Going forward, we will have the financial and operational flexibility to further execute on our strategic objectives, while maintaining our track record of industry-leading profit margins and generating significant cash flow to reduce leverage over time.”

Anthony Sanfilippo, his counterpart at Pinnacle Entertainment, praised Wilmott and the Penn National Gaming team as the perfect partners for an acquisition:

“Pinnacle is a terrific company whose success is due to the efforts of our more than 16,000 team members that focus every day on providing great service and memorable experiences for our guests.

Tim and the Penn National team lead a high-quality organization that, like Pinnacle, has a long track record of operational excellence and accretive growth.

We believe the combination will produce an even stronger gaming entertainment platform that builds on the individual accomplishments of both companies and benefits our collective team members, shareholders and guests.”

Per the press release, both companies expect the deal to close in the second half of 2018.

When it does, Penn National Gaming will oversee 41 casino venues covering 20 jurisdictions across North America, with more than 35,000 employees on the payroll.

Along with its Hollywood Casino brand, which includes venues in Mississippi, Ohio, and Missouri, Penn National Gaming has acquired several additional properties in recent years.

In 2010, a $ 231 million debt transfer acquisition added the M Resort in Las Vegas to the Penn National Gaming portfolio. And in 2015, the company purchased the Tropicana on the Las Vegas Strip for $ 325 million.

In absorbing most of Pinnacle Entertainment’s properties, Penn National Gaming adds popular regional casinos like Boomtown New Orleans, River City Casino in St. Louis, and Ameristar Casino Resort in Black Hawk, Colorado.


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Baseball bat Commish Silver Says Sports Betting Regulations Will Change; Anticipating Online gaming Pretty sure

Baseball bat Commish Silver Says Sports Betting Regulations Will Change; Anticipating Online gaming Pretty sure

Speaking alongside his fellow commissioners from North America’s “big four” professional sports leagues, Adam Silver of the National Basketball Association (NBA) continued his league’s steady support for federal sports betting legalization.

Silver appeared at the Paley Center for Media in New York City on July 18, joining his counterparts Rob Manfred of Major League Baseball (MLB), Gary Bettman of the National Hockey League (NHL), and Roger Goodell of the National Football League (NFL).

The foursome formed a joint panel entitled “GameChangers: Creating the Future of Sports,” with each Commissioner taking questions on the evolution of their respective leagues.

Asked about his stance on the federal sports betting ban known as PAPSA – or the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 – Silver expressed confidence that repeal was an eventuality, and not mere possibility:

“My sense is the law will change in the next few years in the United States.

People want to bet throughout the game … It results in enormous additional engagement with the fans.”

Silver has been an outspoken critic of PAPSA since assuming the role of NBA Commissioner in February of 2014. Later than year, he famously penned an op-ed for the New York Times which was titled simply “Legalize and Regulate Sports Betting.”

In the piece, Silver outlined his opposition to PAPSA – and his support for legalized sports betting – thusly:

“Times have changed since PAPSA was enacted. Gambling has increasingly become a popular and accepted form of entertainment in the United States. Most states offer lotteries. Over half of them have legal casinos. Three have approved some form of Internet gambling, with others poised to follow.

There is an obvious appetite among sports fans for a safe and legal way to wager on professional sporting events. Mainstream media outlets regularly publish sports betting lines and point spreads.”

Silver has stepped up his public support for sports betting reform in recent months, as the state of New Jersey has seen its own challenge to PAPSA taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court. That case originated in 2011, after New Jersey’s voters passed a statewide sports betting referendum, which was later signed into law by Governor Chris Christie.

In response, the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) joined forces with the four major professional leagues to sue Christie and New Jersey. Six years later, following a series of rulings against the state, the Supreme Court will decide once and for all whether PAPSA holds the authority to ban statewide sports betting industries.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, who assumed office in 2015 well after his league joined the lawsuit, has also joined the chorus with public statements in support of sports betting reform. Earlier this month, he made headlines by stating that MLB would want input on any federal regulations overseeing the sports betting industry.

During the Paley Center panel, Manfred echoed Silver’s comments regarding so-called “in-game” or “live” wagers – which concern single moments during a game and not the final score:

“There’s a difference between someone betting on whether the next ball is a strike or betting on the outcome of a game.”

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, who last year approved the league’s latest expansion franchise being placed in Las Vegas, was also asked about sports betting, but his response was tepid compared to Silver and Manfred:

“We’re a small part of betting compared to football and basketball. I don’t worry about fixing games.”

As for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who approved the relocation of the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas in May of this year, he elected to offer a strict no comment on the subject. Back in April, Goodell stated publicly that the NFL remains opposed to any PAPSA repeal efforts, despite adding a second professional sports franchise to the Sin City landscape.


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