The reels are always spinning in the gambling industry, and “The Double Down” is here every Friday to catch you up on all of the week’s biggest news. Sports Handle’s “Get a Grip” rounds up everything on the sports betting side, and US Bets provides the best of the rest: brick-and-mortar happenings, online casino developments, poker headlines, and more. So pull up a chair, crunch the numbers, and slide forward another stack of chips.
What a rush!
It’s Super Bowl week, so what better topic could there be for The Double Down than a story at the intersection of NFL news and casino news?
Plenty of attention has been paid since the widespread legalization of sports betting to professional athletes’ gambling restrictions. It’s been particularly relevant in the NFL, which has handed down suspensions to two (inactive) players for betting on NFL games and even to New York Jets assistant coach Miles Austin for gambling not on NFL games. Austin got punished for betting on NBA games, and reports also noted that he had played iCasino.
Fortunately, casino gambling isn’t against the rules for any NFL player or employee. If it were, Rams rookie running back Ronnie Rivers would be out about a half million bucks (or in a lot of trouble for winning a half million bucks).
The 24-year-old Rivers played in eight games for the Rams this season and got nine carries and five receptions.
Is he a good runner? That’s relative.
Does he run good? Undeniably.
Rivers sat down Saturday at a Three Card Poker table at Caesars Palace, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported, and proceeded to hit a mega jackpot for $514,837. Not a bad add-on to his salary, considering the NFL minimum for rookies is $705,000.
Congrats on the score, kid. One piece of advice: Stay away from the sportsbook. Even if you’re not planning to bet on the NFL, it’s not worth the potential risk of just being spotted there.
This week on Gamble On …
Every Thursday, US Bets drops a new episode of the Gamble On podcast, and this week’s welcomed Caesars Sportsbook brand ambassador and wisecracking former ESPN anchor Kenny Mayne to talk about his personally endorsed Super Bowl prop bets, the sports betting presence this week in Arizona, and the backlash over excessive sportsbook ads.
“The advertising’s rather ubiquitous,” Mayne said on the pod. “But so is it for cars and insurance, and we don’t talk about that very much, do we: ‘Why are there so many insurance ads all the time?’ There’s probably more insurance ads than gambling ads. But I think because [sports betting is] a little controversial and it’s all kind of new … it’s a little more jarring.”
Super Bowl Week edition of #GambleOn! @CaesarsSports ambassador @Kenny_Mayne joins us to talk props & more live from Phoenix, plus @jeffedelstein & I break down AGA SB numbers, NJ DGE intrusiveness, hypocrite Mattress Mack, SB bets galore + listener mail:https://t.co/eZyNnUVks5
— Eric Raskin + (@EricRaskin) February 9, 2023
Making some Illi-noise
Internet Casino Gaming Bill Filed Once More In Illinois State Senate
What the ‘I’ in ‘SI’ really stands for
Sports Illustrated Becomes 15th Online Casino In Michigan
A series of potentially fortunate events
WSOP 2023: 50 Days, 95 Bracelets
Multiple approaches to addressing problem gambling
Michigan Senator Introduces Bill To Combat Teen Gambling Addiction
New Jersey Mandating Operators Use Hard Data To Identify Problem Gambling
Start spreading the New York news
Potential Freedom Plaza Casino Touted As Jolt For Manhattan After Pandemic
ICasino Might Prove Too Lucrative For New York To Pass Up
Smitten with the Mitten
MGM’s Hornbuckle Trumpets Michigan Success In Quarterly Earnings Call
Nevada takes flight with records broken in 2022
Final 2022 numbers are in on a variety of fronts in Nevada, and a couple of key figures are higher than they’ve ever been.
The single-year gaming revenue record in the state actually fell in November, and with the Vegas Strip taking in a single-month record $814.1 million in gaming revenue in December, as CDC Gaming Reports noted, it pushed the state to a staggering $14.8 billion in total 2022 gaming revenue — $1.4 billion more than in 2021. Of the $14.8 billion statewide, $8.2 billion was generated by properties on the Strip.
And if record amounts of money are being lost in the casinos, it figures that record numbers of tourists are coming to town. Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas served a record 52.6 million passengers in 2022, breaking the mark set three years earlier — before the COVID-19 pandemic slowed travel — by a little over a million travelers.
International travel through Las Vegas enjoyed a particularly pronounced boost, up 235% over 2021 to 2.5 million passengers.
MGM National Harbor leads way in Maryland in January
Up 8.8% over January 2022, Maryland’s six casinos combined to generate $167.3 million in revenue from slots and table games last month, Maryland Lottery and Gaming reported Monday. Of that revenue, $70.7 million went to the state.
MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill was the revenue leader as usual, at $72.3 million, followed by Live! Casino & Hotel in Hanover with $58.2 million.
From there, the revenue drop-off was significant, although it’s worth noting that the property ranking last in revenue, Rocky Gap Casino in Flintstone, enjoyed the biggest year-over-year percentage increase, improving 17% over January 2022 to $5.03 million in revenue.
More from around the gaming biz
CYBORG SECURITY: Robot joins security team at Henderson casino [FOX 5 Vegas]
LAY DOWN YOUR GUNS: New Jersey casino owners say guns will not be permitted in casinos [New Jersey Monitor]
A BILL WORTH TRACKING: Online racetrack betting bill out of the gate in SC statehouse [The Post and Courier]
HAWAII 5-NO: Hawaii bill would ban Nevada casino ads in Aloha State [Las Vegas Review-Journal]
HOWL ABOUT THAT: Mashantucket Pequot, Foxwoods leaders break ground on $300 million Great Wolf Lodge [NBC Connecticut]
SHIFTING SANDS: With Las Vegas in the past, Sands sets sights on New York and Texas [The Nevada Independent]
FOR PETE’S SAKE: Petersburg casino bill passes Virginia House [Virginia Business]
FROM THE CASINOS TO THE KIDS: South Philly casino gives $750K to help finish city rehab of recreation center [KYW Newsradio]
Image: Blundell Design