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The week winds up with positive news and important developments coming in from the rapidly growing sports betting industry in the U.S. The Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in New Jersey has launched its much-awaited online sports betting platform, BorgataSports.com, while Iowa became the 11th state in the country to legalize sports betting after Governor Kim Reynolds signed his approval on SF-617.
Casinos in New Jersey continued to rake in high revenue growth for the 11th consecutive month. In April, the state’s casinos generated revenue of $265.4 Million, a massive 23.8% year-on-year jump!
However, all is not well in the sports betting, especially in New York where several pro teams including the National Football League (NFL) have written to the New York gambling regulators expressing their concern on the industry’s future and demanding that sports leagues be paid integrity fee on sports wagers.
Even as the debate between the pro teams rages on, the Horseshoe Southern Indiana has been rebranded to Caesars Southern Indiana after being taken over by Caesars Entertainment Corp and will soon offer sports betting on the venue.
Borgata Casino Launches its Own Sports Betting Platform in New Jersey
The Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in New Jersey has become the latest property in New Jersey to launch a mobile and online sports betting platform. On May 14, the casino unveiled details of its new sports book, BorgataSports.com that will complement the firm’s casino and poker offerings.
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Announcing the same in an official statement President & Chief Operating Officer for Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Marcus Glover said, “We are excited to launch BorgataSports.com. With our customers in mind, we have delivered the ability for existing BorgataCasino.com and BorgataPoker.com account holders to use their current credentials to sign in and access all platforms, allowing for a seamless transition between products.”
The casino’s sportsbook is now live on desktop as well as available for download on iOS and Android devices.
The new sports betting site offers a wide range of sports including all the major U.S. leagues and international sports such as rugby, boxing, football, cricket, tennis, and golf.
The range of sports bets that can be made on the platform remains the same as the casino’s land-based sportsbook which means that customers can make straight bets, future bets, live game (in-play) bets and daily boosted parlays over multiple sports. Customers can also make multiple deposits and withdrawals, and all new players get a risk-free first wager up to $250 cash back and $25 in bonus dollars at Borgata’s casino brand.
Iowa Becomes 11th State to Legalize Sports Betting
The long drawn efforts of the lawmakers in the U.S. State of Iowa to bring in regulated and legal sports betting have finally borne fruit. SF 617 – the sports betting bill that gives Iowa’s 19 casinos the legal permit to offer legal sports betting on college and professional sports in Iowa and wagering on daily fantasy sports has been given the go-ahead by Iowa’s governor, Kim Reynolds. Reynolds signed his approval on the bill on Monday, making Iowa the 11th state to legalize sports betting.
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Following Reynold’s approval, his spokesperson released the statement, “Gov. Reynolds believes that legalizing sports betting will bring this practice out of an unregulated black market. This law will regulate, tax, and police sports betting in a safe and responsible way.”
This makes Iowa the 11th state to legalize sports betting, while similar legislation is pending in several other states.
The bill does define a few parameters that will be implemented for legal sports betting. While the tax rate on sports betting revenue would be 6.75%, casino operators will have to pay $45,000 as license fee and $10,000 as an annual renewal fee thereon. Mobile betting is allowed intrastate only. There’s a ban on prop bets involving in-state college teams, but betting on college teams will be allowed.
Now that the bill is approved, the state will have to work its way to have the other details in place and issue licenses to operators. It is the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission that will oversee the regulation of sports betting.
Currently, the commission is working towards drafting the rules that will govern the licensing process, posting of odds and payouts, as well as the structure for payment by players.
“For right now, nothing really has changed. If everything goes smoothly, then I think it is reasonable to expect that bets will be taken before football season,” said Brian Ohorilko, administrator of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.
Fantasy sports platform FanDuel is reportedly expected to be one of the first companies to apply for a license to offer fantasy sports betting in Iowa. The company also plans to offer sports betting through its partnership with Boyd Gaming that operates the Diamond Jo casinos in Iowa.
In the meantime, residents of the U.S. state can register for a FanDuel account and play free fantasy sports.
New Jersey Casinos Post High Revenue Growth, Online Gaming Segment Continues to Grow
The casino industry in the U.S. state of New Jersey has been growing at a brisk pace. If recent numbers released by New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement are anything to go by, the state’s casinos generated $265.4 Million in revenue in April, a massive growth by 23.8% year-on-year. This is the 11th month in a row that the Garden state’s casinos have raked in growing revenue.
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With the revenue of the casino industry accrued in April taken into account, the numbers have crossed $1 Billion in the first four months of the year alone, which translates to a 27.3% jump if one looks at the same period in 2018.
A big reason for this impressive growth is the growing online gaming sector that includes casino and poker. The online business generated $36.6 Million in April, with the Golden Nugget Atlantic City alone generating $13.8 Million, that is, more than one-third of the total revenue.
The bulk of revenue for the casinos in April, i.e., about $207.6 Million came from slot machines and table games. The figures represent an 8.4% year-on-year increase, and the major contributor here was the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, while the rest of the revenue came from the Hard Rock Atlantic City and Oceans Resort Casino.
Online sports betting in New Jersey added another $21.2 Million in the revenue tally, of which the FanDuel sportsbook at the Meadowlands raked in a whopping $12.1 Million.
Overall in the state, sports bets worth $313.7 Million were handled, 81% of them coming through online and mobile apps. Here as well, Borgata came out as the biggest earner with $53.4 Million in revenue, while Resorts Casino that has recently forged a partnership with Amaya Gaming contributed $12.8 Million in revenue. BetStars NJ, the online sportsbook of Resorts, however, performed exceedingly well, bringing in $4.77 Million from sports betting.
Pro Sports Reams Raise Their Voice Against New York’s Sports Gambling Efforts
A letter written by the National Football League (NFL) and signed by several football teams was recently sent to the New York gambling regulators. In the letter, the teams have expressed their concerns regarding the future of the sports betting industry and wanted their voices to be heard. However, only one of the teams that signed the letter belonged to New York, while the rest were from New Jersey.
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The New York Giants, the New York Jets, and the Buffalo Bills may be linked to New York, but the Jets and the Giants play in New Jersey. Given that the state`s sportsbook is one of the most successful, it seems a little strange that the teams would come out against sports gambling.
The letter speaks in favor of sports leagues deserving integrity fees on sports wagers. According to the letter, “There is no greater priority for the NFL than protecting the integrity of our sport and the welfare of our players. Fans, players, coaches and personnel deserve to know that we are doing everything possible to ensure no improper influences affect how our games are played and that we are taking all appropriate steps to ensure that their participation in our games is not subjected to unfair and unwarranted allegations relating to sports betting.”
The NFL wants to try to convince New York to add “four core standards” to its sports gambling legislation. The first, stronger consumer protection, is understandable, as is the desire to eliminate “the illegal sports betting marketplace.”
The league wants to ensure that legal sports gambling in New York incorporates official league data and that the data comes at a fair price. The letter asserts, “An essential component of consumer protection is a requirement that the information used to settle these wagers is correct and timely, something that can only come from official data provided by the sports leagues themselves.”
Caesars Entertainment Corp. to Rebrand Horseshoe Southern Indiana to Caesars Southern Indiana
Caesars Entertainment Corp. is planning to rebrand a property in Southern Indiana in conjunction with a multimillion-dollar expansion and as per reports, wants to start sports gambling operations at the venue.
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On May 15, Horseshoe Southern Indiana revealed the name of its new land-based casino – Caesars Southern Indiana. Horseshoe Southern Indian is currently undergoing renovation and expansion – at a project cost of $85 million. The project was launched last June and is expected to wrap up sometime next year.
The 100,000 square foot land-based casino will open under its new name and will include slots, table games, and poker. Guests can also expect a slew of restaurants in the facility and a sportsbook for on-site betting.
Assistant General Manager Norris Hamilton said, “So many of us will travel to Las Vegas and other areas to actually bet on sports. And so now you can do it right here in your own back yard legally, and I just think it’ll be another great amenity for people to come and enjoy.”
The sportsbook at the new Caesar’s will allow guests to watch and bet on their favorite sporting events. This comes after Indiana state legislature passed a law allowing it.
“We always plan for any number of scenarios and this one that we had thought about,” General Manager Brad Seigel said. “We’re ready to go. We’re in construction, and so the timing was perfect.”