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 is here with 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.
Vegas, baby! Vegas!
How could we possibly not lead off the inaugural edition of The Double Down without a reference to Swingers?
The Global Gaming Expo (G2E) took over Las Vegas in the second week of October, bringing together nearly all of the top execs in the industry, but even after the exhibition space at The Venetian was cleared out, Sin City kept pumping out headlines in the third week of October.
Bloomberg News wrapped up G2E with a report on how the “alleged recession” isn’t slowing Vegas’ roll, although industry experts told CDC Gaming Reports they expected “dramatically slower” growth in the third quarter of 2022 as compared to the second quarter.
Patrick Nichols, CEO of The Venetian — the home of G2E — told Travel + Leisure an investment “north of $1 billion touching every area of the guest experience” is coming to the Strip property. The Venetian is getting a new competitor on the Strip in the form of a 43-story hotel-casino developed by Tilman Fertitta, as the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
The transportation situation on and around the Strip should improve by the time Vegas hosts the Super Bowl in February 2024, with work on the Vegas Loop — Elon Musk’s 34-mile underground network that will use a fleet of Teslas to transport people — slated to begin sometime in 2023.
And closing with some news of the “Elon Musk wouldn’t bend over to pick up this amount of cash if he walked by it on the street” variety, a lucky gambler playing Three Card Poker at Bally’s in Vegas hit a royal flush and won a Mega Progressive Jackpot worth a few bucks shy of a half-million dollars on Saturday night.
Here’s hoping that gambler didn’t give it all back on a single $250,000 hand of blackjack with a double-down gone wrong.
This week on Gamble On …
Every Thursday, US Bets drops a new episode of the Gamble On podcast, and this week’s welcomed Chris Altruda, the king of industry handle and revenue data, to reflect on his G2E experience and share his thoughts on where Barstool Sportsbook stacks up relative to powerhouses FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM:
A little taste of this week’s #GambleOn podcast fun, as @BergenBrennan talks about “the chair that asses love,” @EricRaskin pats himself on the back for his segue skills, and @AlTruda73 talks @BSSportsbook in relation to its competitors in the mobile #sportsbetting space: https://t.co/d1GpKnGvyd pic.twitter.com/CoQ0k7dQXb
— US Bets (@US_Bets) October 21, 2022
Casino revenue numbers out the wazoo
Indiana Casino Revenue Ticks Down To $204 Million In September
Ho-Hum, Michigan’s Online Casinos Have Fourth Best Month Ever
Connecticut Sets New Sports Wagering, iGaming Revenue Marks
Illinois Casinos, VGTs Post Slight Revenue Dip For September
A different kind of slot receiver
Deal With Aristocrat Gaming Will Pair NFL Teams With Slot Machines
We’re feeling insecure about Live! Philly’s security
Live! Philadelphia Casino Fined For Lax Security Involving Patrons
Slamming on the tax brakes in Jersey
Judge Temporarily Halts His Order Denying Tax Break For Atlantic City Casinos
Richmond vs. Petersburg in Virginia casino competition
A recent report conducted by nonpartisan analysts and released by Virginia’s Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission determined a casino in the city of Petersburg could be viable. There’s been a continued push from some stakeholders in Richmond for a casino in the state’s capital city, and the new report suggests the debate between whether Richmond or Petersburg should be home to Virginia’s fifth designated casino will continue into 2023.
Additionally, the JLARC recommended that the state lottery become the primary gambling regulator in Virginia. The Virginia Racing Commission (horse racing) and Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (charitable gaming) don’t have the resources needed to adequately perform their regulatory jobs, according to JLARC. The lottery has a larger staff and regulates sports wagering in Virginia.
— Bennett Conlin
Caesars looking to expand empire to Times Square
While insiders continue to see Yonkers Raceway and Aqueduct as near locks to have their racinos upgraded to full-fledged casinos in 2023, a third and final casino license for the greater New York City area remains a topic of great speculation.
And according to a story in Thursday’s New York Times, Caesars Entertainment is all in on a proposed casino in midtown Manhattan’s Times Square. The casino would be located at SL Green’s skyscraper at 1515 Broadway near West 44th Street, with a hotel, a wellness center, and restaurants also located above the Broadway theater that is home to The Lion King musical.
The new bid would battle head-to-head with another by Related Companies and Wynn Resorts at the less-developed Hudson Yards, also in midtown Manhattan. Another deep-pocketed potential bid in Queens featuring New York Mets owner Steve Cohen and Hard Rock also has been reported.
The Manhattan bids face the possibility of considerable opposition from local residents as well as influential New York City elected officials, and community support is listed as an official factor by state gaming regulators who will oversee the process.
— John Brennan
More from around the gaming biz
FANDUEL HEARTS A-FLUTTER AS CASE DISMISSED: FanDuel claims victory in $1bn legal battle with founders and former directors [EGR]
METAVERSE AVERSE: Metaverse casino ‘Slotie’ hit with a multi-state cease and desist order [International Business Times]
TALE OF TWO WARHORSES: Omaha WarHorse Casino slowly progressing while Lincoln’s generates thousands [1011NOW]
NITTANY LYIN’ IN WAIT: Hearing on Nittany Mall casino delayed [StateCollege.com]
TWO NEW ADDITIONS IN ELGIN, ILLINOIS: Caesars invests $4M in Elgin’s Grand Victoria Casino to open new sportsbook, World Series of Poker room [Chicago Tribune]
DIGGING FOR TREASURE: Kenner’s Treasure Chest casino breaks ground on $100 million land-based gambling hall [NOLA.com]
VIRGINIA IS FOR CASINO REVENUE: $2.4 million for regional fund from first quarter of Bristol casino revenues [WJHL.com]
POWERBALL POWERING UP AGAIN: Powerball jackpot crosses half a billion dollar mark: NH Lottery [Patch.com]
Image: Blundell Design