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Casino News - July 2023

Online Casino Gambling in NJ Nears $1 Billion in 2023

Online Casino Gambling in NJ Nears $1 Billion in 2023 (July 14, 2023)
Online casinos in New Jersey are way ahead of last year's record-setting pace with data released on Friday by the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement showing the activity generated $149.3 million in revenue in June, an increase of 12.1 percent year-over-year for this month.

Online casinos netted more than $930 million in revenue, which represents a 12.1 percent year-over-year clip growth compared to 2022.

June’s numbers are coming in below May’s $161.4 million. Casino gambling to some extent will likely come down with fewer people betting sports during the last spring and summer months.

The DraftKings-owned Golden Nugget has reclaimed the top spot for all NJ online casinos, knocking off Borgata, which is part of the BetMGM group of casinos.

Golden Nugget took in over $41.7 million.

Half of the Recent 850 Referred Gambling Addicts at One Clinic Are Children (July 14, 2023)
More than 850 people have been referred to a clinic for video game addicts since it opened in 2020 and half of those were children, according to a report appearing in the Guardian on Friday.

The National Centre for Gaming Disorders (NCGD), a London clinic, was originally given NHS funding based on seeing just 50 people a year. That nunber, however, ballooned to 30 people a month since the end of March this year – more than seven times anticipated demand.

Loot boxes were among the chief culprits and accounted for about a quarter of those seeking treatment. These comprise of gambling-style features offering randomised rewards.

Almost 12% of patients who played video games compulsively referred to playing Fortnite, with 10% citing Minecraft, 8% mentioning Call of Duty and 4.7% using the gaming platform Roblox.

Of the 855 referrals, 408 were gamers, of whom 227 were under 18.


Maine's Head of Sports Betting Claims White Supremacist Sympathizing Tweets 'Meant to Be Humerous' (July 12, 2023)

Maine's top gambling law officer, Milt Champion, returns to work on Monday after serving a 40-hour suspension. He was also expected to undergo in-person state training on workplace harassment and social media policies.

This all stemmed from a series of tweets back in May deemed to contain racist and misogynistic subject matter.

"While the two tweets were intended to be humorous, I recognize they were anything but. They were a mistake and an error in judgment, and I apologize for my actions," Champion said in the release. "I thank the employees of the Unit for their hard work and commitment in my absence."

On May 6, Champion expressed frustration about being told “ladies” was an unprofessional term for females, and suggested “Bitches” would be more appropriate.

Sure that could be viewed by some perhaps as a bad attempt at humor.

But as also noted at the time, Champion somehow felt compelled to defend a tweet by Brian Krassenstein describing the Patriot Front as a "hate group in the United States that espouses white nationalism and neo-fascist ideologies".


Kentucky Sports Betting to Go Live September 7 (July 10, 2023)


Steve Bittenbender breaks things down following today's meeting in Kentucky regarding the upcoming launch of regulated sports betting in the commonwealth.

"Monday was really just a checkpoint for Kentucky officials responsible for rolling out sports betting statewide. They still have 59 more days of work ahead of them and that's just to get brick/mortar sportsbooks up and running and 80 to get online apps live."

He had a few key takeaways:

1. Tracks and operators will be able to start applying for sports betting licenses in Kentucky as soon as tomorrow (July 11, 2023).

2. The Sept. 7 brick/mortar launch date appears to be universal, according to the KHRC, if the tracks are ready.

3. The KHRC also tells me that tracks could theoretically have one brick/mortar operator at their track and another at their HHR satellite parlor. Remains to be seen how many (if any) may take advantage of that.

As many as 27 licensees could have the ability to operate in Kentucky apparently. It's not likely we'll get anywhere close to that number.

Unibet Vows Fixes Following Gambling911 Scathing Reports (July 10, 2023)

Unibet appears to have finally recognized it can't keep allowing its website and retail sportsbook business in Pennsylvania to keep going down and making as if nothing is wrong.

The company advised its PA customers over the weekend that "site improvements are on the way".

It's about time.

Unibet has already switched over to proprietary software in neighboring New Jersey.

Our own Thomas Somach had highlighted how folks were unable to place bets with the Unibet mobile app over extended periods of time in the state. The walk-in book at The Downs at Mohegan Sun in the Lehigh Valley, which is run by Unibet, also was shuttered during this time.

The company appeared to be more concerned about customer cleanliness than they were about keeping their website and sportsbook operational.

Somach also reported on how the company’s facility at the Downs at Lehigh Valley had erected signs warning customers that if they don’t get the smell out, they can get the hell out.

Man Charged With Riding Motorcycle Through Vegas Casino (July 6, 2023)
A motorcyclist is facing numerous charges after doing wheelies along Las Vegas Boulevard and riding through a casino, and on stairs and escalators.

Las Vegas Metropolitan police posted the arrest on one of the department’s social media accounts. It said R.A.I.D. officers took the man they referred to as the “reckless rider” into custody.

The rider is yet to be identified. He was wearing a shirt that read “Till the (expletive) wheels fall off.”

“The rider thought he would never get caught,” the police post stated.

He is facing the following charges:

3 felony counts of driver disobeying police officer, endangering person or property

4 gross misdemeanor counts of disregard for the safety of person or property

4 misdemeanor counts of reckless driving

1 felony count of assault with a deadly weapon

1 felony count of child abuse and/or neglect

1 felony count of coercion with force or threat of force

Pro Sports Care More About Gambling Than Violence Against Women and Racism (July 6, 2023)

Deadspin's Carron J. Phillips writes that "if you’re talented or rich enough, it’s becoming clear what will and won’t be forgiven in sports."

Gambling on games or in team facilities will not.

"Greg Hardy got to play football again. Antonio Brown keeps hanging around. Donald Sterling and Robert Sarver made millions after selling their teams," Phillips writes.

He points out that the Titans Hassan Haskins was arrested last month for allegedly strangling his girlfriend.

"Society didn't blink," he writes.

Wouldn’t it be great if sports took racism and violence against women this seriously from the jump? Imagine where we would be if that happened.

But, for something like that to occur it would mean that society, let alone sports, would have to take a stand against both transgressions — and we know that’s a pipedream.

Now, it seems like the rest of the sports world is following the NFL’s lead — as it often does. And once you realize that the NFL is usually a mirror of society, it becomes quite clear why racism and violence against women are easily forgiven while “gambling” is a blasphemous offense.

Last week, the NFL suspended indefinitely more players for violating the league's gambling policy. They included Isaiah Rodgers, Rashod Berry, and Demetrius Taylor.

“The gambling policy, which is annually reviewed with all NFL personnel, including players, prohibits anyone in the NFL from engaging in any form of gambling in any club or league facility or venue, including the practice facility,” read the NFL’s statement after the latest round of suspensions.

Phillips does note that the New York Yankees suspended relief pitcher Jimmy Cordero on Wednesday for the rest of the season for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy.

ASA Bans Jake Paul Ladbrokes Tweet (July 5 2023)
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has determined that a Ladbrokes tweet violated its terms and conditions.

They claim that boxer and YouTube influencer Jake Paul was featured in the tweet and that his appeal is too geared towards minors. It's not immediately clear now many of his more than 20 million subscribers are actually teenagers. Paul does appeal to adults as well, thanks in no small part to his boxing skills.

Of course the irony in all of this is that Jake Paul now has an ownership interest in a sportsbook, Betr.

The tweet in question appeared back in February.

"@TommyTNTFury beat @JakePaul by split decision last night. So, we've got to ask the question… What's next for Jake Paul? Vote here now."

At the bottom of the tweet, the gambling company also linked to a poll with the options: "Win the re-match", "Head to the MMA", "Return to YouTube" and "Join the WWE".

it's not immediately clear what fine, if any, will be imposed.

Churchill Downs Extends Baffert Ban Through 2024 (July 3, 2023)

Churchill Downs Inc. has decided to extend Bob Baffert's two-year suspension for at least another 18 months, per a release. That would keep the Hall of Fame trainer from running horses in next year's 150th running of the Kentucky Derby.

“Mr. Baffert continues to peddle a false narrative concerning the failed drug test of Medina Spirit at the 147th Kentucky Derby from which his horse was disqualified by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission in accordance with Kentucky law and regulations," Churchill Downs said in a statement. "Prior to that race, Mr. Baffert signed an agreement with Churchill Downs which stated that he was responsible for understanding the rules of racing in Kentucky and that he would abide by them. The results of the tests clearly show that he did not comply, and his ongoing conduct reveals his continued disregard for the rules and regulations that ensure horse and jockey safety, as well as the integrity and fairness of the races conducted at our facilities.

"A trainer who is unwilling to accept responsibility for multiple drug test failures in our highest-profile races cannot be trusted to avoid future misconduct. Mr. Baffert will remain suspended from entering horses at all racetracks owned by CDI through 2024. After such time, we will re-evaluate his status.”

Ohio Will Reportedly Double its Tax Rate on Sports Betting (July 2, 2023)
Mobile gambling analyst Steve Brubaker tweeted this weekend:

"Lots of chatter about Ohio doubling the tax rate on the already nearly destitute OSBs. Boo hoo. Don’t forget that this same industry marched all over the country telling legislators that the hold was only 5% and to keep taxes and fees low. Hold rate is now 8% and climbing. 60% (up arrow)."

His tweet comes after that state's House and Senate reached an agreement on a budget for the state and that budget with the budget conference committee agreeing on a version doubling the current tax rate of 10% on sports betting to 20%.

Jessica Wellman had this to offer:

Alex Cane, CEO of Sports Trade responded:

"Horrible precedent. What other businesses in Ohio are taxed by revenue, much less *over 1,000% of revenue*?"

These costs will almost certainly be passed onto gamblers in the form of less competitive lines and bonus offerings.


West Virginia House Minority Whip Foresees Sports Betting Content Creator Oversight Bill Passing in Next Session (July 2, 2023)


West Virginia House minority whip Shawn Fluharty foresees the sports betting content creator oversight bill passing in the next session.

This is proposed regulation that applies to content creators in the industry. Such concerns were in the spotlight over the past week after it was revealed that an NBA insider, Shams Charania, forced a line change based on his wrongful information while employed by a sportsbook.

Maryland already requires disclosure and independent evaluation of influencers and media partners by its regulated sportsbooks.

Fluharty tells Legal Sports Report this is bigger than the Shams controversy.

“I’m not saying FanDuel had any unclean hands here. But if they wanted to, they certainly could. That’s because there is no regulatory boundary in place,” Fluharty told LSR on Monday. “… This is kind of the forecast of what’s next in the regulatory and legislative realm. And it shines a light on something we’ve been talking about for months. You just needed a clear example, and this is a clear example.

“I think really what the Shams thing did was it blurred the lines of influencer and reporter,” Fluharty said. “ … It used to be, in Las Vegas, the public drove the lines. Now, the sportsbooks are driving the lines 100%. They have the ability to do that now. Because they can influence the public using their own people.”

Casino Theft Cage Scheme Involves at Least 3 Properties, Mexican Phone Numbers (June 30, 2023)
A scheme to dupe casino employees into thinking they were transferring money from cages to a legitimate business involves at least three casinos and Mexican phone numbers, the 8 News Now Investigators have learned.

Documents the 8 News Now Investigators obtained Friday reveal the allegations involve thefts at Circa Hotel & Casino, Eureka Casino Resort in Mesquite and the Golden Nugget in Laughlin — as well as federal investigators, including the U.S. Secret Service.

SpankOdds Free Indefinitely (June 29, 2023)


SpankOdds to be Free for All Eternity - Well, at least indefinitely. At some point the nearly one-year-old line service is likely to begin charging, but its founder, Gadoon “Spanky” Kryollos, announced via Twitter there will be no charge entering this football season (2023) at least.

SpankOdds is one of the few line services incorporating US regulated books and those out of Vegas along side offshore mainstays.

The platform bills itself as "a real-time odds monitoring and injury alerting software that gives sports bettors an advantage".

CBS Sports: Isaiah Rodgers Among Those to be Suspended for Violating League Gambling Rules (June 29, 2023)
Colts veteran Isaiah Rodgers is one of several NFL players facing full-season 2023 suspensions as part of the league's latest investigation into gambling allegations, according to CBS Sports NFL insider Jonathan Jones - Read More
Kim Zolciak’s Estranged Husband Has His Own Issues Amid Controversial Claims (June 29, 2023)
Kroy Biermann claims he and Zolciak's financial debts are because of her gambling problem, but he has his own personal gambling bills to worry about. Zolciak appeared on The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Biermann, she claims, owes the Baha Mar Casino in the Bahamas $52K in unpaid gambling debts. The casino filed suit and the complaint has since been obtained by TMZ. According to the suit, Kroy obtained a $100,000 line of credit for use at Baha Mar Casino in advance of a November 2021 trip, and he ended up using $52,500 to gamble. The company in charge of handling Baha Mar Casino's credit line allege the reality TV star and NFL player drew $52,500 in chip markers at the casino and didn't repay the amount before leaving. Ugly divorce allegations continue. The couple's marriage fell apart after 13 years. Read More
More Gambling Suspensions Coming: Colts Isaiah Rodgers Among Them
(June 28, 2023) - Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (an arm of NBC Sports) has been doing an admirable job of covering the hypocrisy surrounding the National Football League's gambling policy and its attempts to reign in players while reaping the rewards of US regulated sports betting partnerships.

ESPN warns of more suspensions coming by week's end. We don't know who or how many, though Indianapolis Colts' Isaiah Rodgers is being named in media reports.

The good news is that the league seems to be trying harder, when it comes to properly educating players. The bad news is that flaws seem to remain.

Florio writes:

And they surely will. As previously mentioned, it becomes difficult for the NFL to have true moral authority when it comes to properly enforcing “thou shalt nots” when the NFL is stuffing its pockets full of cash from those who shalt continue to lose it.

Only when the league creates a true firewall between football and wagering will the league truly be equipped to create safeguards that players can understand, honor, and accept — especially since the entire situation currently oozes with hypocrisy.


Current Hot Headlines


Report: Colts' Isaiah Rodgers Among NFL Players Facing Yearlong Gambling Suspensions
Charles Barkley on His Gambling: 'I Wanna Be Dead Broke When I Keel Over'
DraftKings Drops Bid for PointsBet
$35K Fine Imposed After Underage Gambling At Harrah's Casino
Philadelphia Man Sentenced in Stabbing Death of Girlfriend at Atlantic City Casino


Holy Smoke! Circa Casino Scammed Out of $1 Million

(June 27, 2023) - A popular Las Vegas casino has reportedly been scammed out of $1 million in what's being called a "fire extinguisher scam".

Say what?

Erik Gutierrez, 23, has been charged with theft of more than $100,000.

He is alleged to have contacted Circa’s casino cage claiming to be the owner of the property and said he needed $320,000 for an emergency payment to the fire department in order to check fire extinguishers and other gear.

Ultimately, a cage supervisor ended up allegedly handing over $1.17 million during off-site exchanges believing they were giving it to Circa’s owner.

While Las Vegas police have recovered $850,000, $314,000 remains missing.

The casino’s CEO Derek Stevens said, “Although I love a good PR story, this isn’t one of them. Circa Resort & Casino is cooperating with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in this investigation. We greatly appreciate their efforts to date and cannot comment further due to an ongoing investigation.”

Joe Theismann Backs NFL's Gambling Crackdown
(June 27, 2023) - "We can't have fans believing games are 'fixed'," said football legend Joe Theismann, noting that he supports the league's crackdown on sports betting.

The NFL policy reinforcements and "re-education" come in response to the sport-wide surge of athlete suspensions for violating gambling rules. Sports analysts like Mike Florio still point to the hypocrisy.

"It better work. I think the NFL, because of the stringent nature of these rules that have been put in place, realizes that you just don't want to let anything seep into the game to give people the perception that the games are fixed, they're really trying to make sure of that," Theismann said Thursday during an appearance on "Varney & Co".

"From an NFL player standpoint, you think of the millions of dollars that the players are making. If you wanted to go into a facility, I guess in the off-season, it might be okay. But I don't think they're going to say if you play in the NFL, you can't gamble. But they certainly want to protect the integrity of the game as much as they possibly can. And I can certainly understand it," he continued.

Current Hot Headlines

Could Sportsbooks Stop Taking Bets on Drafts After NBA Controversy in Light of Shams Scandal?
How Reporters Can Affect Betting Lines
Survey Confirms Worst Clichés About Lottery-Loving ‘Crypto Bros’
Bare-Knuckle Fighting, Disc Golf, Futsal, Snooker, and Water Polo Bets Among 17 New Sports Betting Markets Approved in Arkansas
New Jersey Senator Proposes Bill to Regulate Sports Betting and Casino Advertising
Marcin Horecki Denies Mike Matusow as he Captures Poland's First-Ever Live WSOP Bracelet
PrizePicks Sued

(June 25, 2023) - PrizePicks has fast become a behemoth on the Daily Fantasy Sports scene with its hybrid DFS product that comes the closest to sports betting without requiring a license in most US states.


Now that the company is so big, it's also a target for what some say are frivolous lawsuits.

Case in point, a lawsuit filed this week alleges PrizePicks stole technology to use on its prop product, an accusation the company denies.

“After years of trying unsuccessfully to get us to buy its technology and intellectual property, Vetnos has now apparently resorted to a frivolous lawsuit to change our minds. That is not a good business or legal strategy. We intend to aggressively defend against this lawsuit and point out its many errors and outright falsehoods,” said Jason Barclay, Chief Legal Officer and Head of Public Policy at PrizePicks.



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