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.
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Some view the idea of a casino in Times Square as a natural, positive evolution in the gaming industry. Others view it as a symbol of America’s trajectory on the darkest possible timeline. Either way, there’s no bigger story in the casino business these days than those three downstate New York licenses and, specifically, the one that may or may not go to a developer in Manhattan.
Nothing is official regarding the first two licenses, but it’s widely accepted as a formality that one will go to Yonkers Raceway in (duh) Yonkers and the other will go to Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens.
That third license? As The New York Times reported last week, Caesars Entertainment is part of a bid for a casino in Times Square.
State Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. told US Bets that, whatever is decided, he’d like to see the process keep moving along at a brisk pace. Gov. Kathy Hochul is of a similar mind. Even though the Times Square bid has been met with some highly vocal opposition, Hochul is focused on the positives such as job creation, and if that means Caesars Palace Times Square becomes a reality, so be it.
However, there are also reports of interest in opening a third casino near Citi Field in Queens, in the Hudson Yards neighborhood on Manhattan’s West Side, and on Coney Island in Brooklyn.
One form of NYC gambling that will not be made legal anytime soon is informal pop-up “casinos” in Columbus Park in Chinatown. That little operation was shut down last weekend by the NYPD and the city’s parks department after they got word of outdoor table games such as blackjack and Pai-Gow poker being dealt.
Now, if the folks in Chinatown want to partner with a major gaming company and make a serious bid for a casino license …
Political machinations, in more ways than one
Did Kalshi Kill PredictIt? Friday’s Decision On Election Wagering Will Be Revealing
A ‘Swift’ response to a mainstream take
Men In Soft Shorts: The New Yorker Tackles Sports Betting And The Lottery
No mo’ Pocono
Latest Casino Name Change: Just Call It Mohegan Pennsylvania
Meanwhile, in Atlantic City …
Atlantic City Summer Recap: Visitors Tightened Belts This Year
Majority With It Or Not, Proposed Atlantic City Casino Smoking Ban Remains Stalled
Numbers down at Northville Downs
Northville Downs To Offer 52 Live Horse Races In 2023
‘Addams Family’ Cartoon Scratch-Offs Are Way Too Kid-Friendly
Poker ‘cheating’ scandal twist: Chip thief vanishes
Since US Bets first analyzed the hotly debated high-stakes poker hand between Garrett Adelstein and Robbi Jade Lew, there have plenty of twists and turns. Most notable among them: Hustler Casino Live employee Bryan Sagbigsal was spotted on video stealing $15,000 in chips from Lew’s stack, and Lew declined to press charges — at least initially. After the poker community collectively jumped to the conclusion that Sagbigsal could have been Lew’s eyes on her opponents’ hole cards in the control room and was taking his cut (all conjecture, mind you), Lew told a Los Angeles Times reporter she’d filed a complaint against him after all.
On Thursday, the LA Times reported a new development in the Sagbigsal subplot.
New scoop in the poker “cheating” saga: Police tried to arrest the casino employee who took $15k in chips from @RobbiJadeLew but he pulled a Keyser Soze. @byandreachang has details. https://t.co/F87KLiJO07
— Jeff Bercovici (@jeffbercovici) October 27, 2022
According to the Times, the Gardena Police Department attempted to arrest Sagbigsal on suspicion of grand theft, but officers couldn’t find him over the course of an all-day search Wednesday. The tweet above went with a The Usual Suspects reference. We’ll go with a different beloved film from the mid-’90s: Sagbigsal up and vanished like a fart in the wind.
— Eric Raskin
Florida gaming chief on list for judicial appointment
In May, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed John MacIver to head the state’s new gaming commission, and just six months into the job, MacIver is on a short list to become a judge in the state, according to the Miami Herald. Among MacIver’s recommendations for the job, one was written by heavyweight gaming lobbyist Nick Iarossi, who represents Las Vegas Sands in the state. The Sands Corp. is aiming to build a brick-and-mortar casino in Jacksonville. Iarossa, according to the Herald, is also “close to the governor.”
There are four open state appellate court judge vacancies that DeSantis must fill. Naming a pro-gaming judge to the bench could ultimately work in favor of not only the Sands Corp. but other gaming operators interested in breaking into a state in which the Seminole Tribe currently has a monopoly on casino gaming.
— Jill R. Dorson
More from around the gaming biz
PALMS’ HELPING HAND: Palms launches community outreach program with $1.2M in grants [Las Vegas Review-Journal]
MGM GIVING TOO: MGM pledges $1 million to Las Vegas autism foundation for job training [Las Vegas Sun]
SHORT SUPPLIES, NO SURPRISE: Analyst: Gaming equipment providers still having supply chain concerns [The Nevada Independent]
TEXAS CANDIDATES ARE TALKING GAMBLING: What are chances for casino gambling in Texas? Here’s what the candidates say [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]
DEADWOOD DECREASE: Downturn returns to Deadwood’s casinos in September [Rapid City Journal]
BOFFO FOR BOYD: Boyd Gaming reports strong third quarter; no signs of inflation slowing revenue [CDC Gaming Reports]
POST-PANDEMIC REOPENING — FINALLY! Horseshoe casino opening Dec. 12 [KPLC News]
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