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.
Bye-Bye Bally’s, Hello Horseshoe
The World Series of Poker at the Horseshoe? It’s been nearly two decades since we’ve seen one of those. And, no, this isn’t exactly your grandfather’s Horseshoe, but when the 2023 WSOP gets started in May, the Horseshoe will be one of the two host casinos.
The rebrand from Bally’s Las Vegas to Horseshoe Las Vegas was made official on March 24, and there is now a Horseshoe on the Vegas Strip. In conjunction with Paris Las Vegas, the property will play host to the WSOP for the second consecutive year.
Caesars Entertainment organized an official grand opening last Friday and invited two of the most iconic names in poker: Jack Binion, whose family opened the original Horseshoe (at times rebranded “Binion’s Horseshoe”) in downtown Las Vegas in 1951, and 89-year-old 10-time bracelet winner Doyle Brunson, who won the Main Event in both 1976 and ’77.
The downtown version of the Horseshoe was home to the WSOP from its inception in 1970 through 2004, until the event outgrew the ‘Shoe and was moved to the much larger Rio, where it remained through 2021.
“The arrival of Horseshoe on The Strip marks a significant moment for Caesars Entertainment, the Horseshoe name, and the entire destination,” said Horseshoe Las Vegas SVP and General Manager Jason Gregorec. “Not only are we excited for guests to experience the redesigned resort and its latest offerings, but we are also proud to reintroduce the historic gaming brand to Las Vegas.”
New additions to the property include a 7,000-square-foot arcade, new restaurants (one them a steakhouse named for Jack Binion), and the 4,900-square-foot World Series of Poker Hall of Fame Poker Room.
Noted sports bettor/hedger Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale also made an appearance at the grand opening, and while in town, he made the short trip to Caesars Race & Sportsbook at Caesars Palace to place a $1.9 million wager on his hometown Houston Astros to win the next World Series at +600 odds. Assuredly, this bet serves as a hedge against the furniture magnate’s latest promotion that would have him on the hook for freebies if the Astros do indeed repeat as MLB champs.
Courtesy of Caesars Entertainment
This week on Gamble On …
Every Thursday, US Bets drops a new episode of the Gamble On podcast, and this week’s welcomed veteran baseball writer and US Bets Senior Analyst Mark Saxon to share his insights as the whole crew celebrated MLB Opening Day:
Dodgers to miss playoffs at +650!
Angels to win World Series at +4500!@markasaxon breaks down a few futures ⚾️ wagering options as #MLB season gets underway: https://t.co/XVwyX3lkdW pic.twitter.com/xtQtuSd5VS
— US Bets (@US_Bets) March 31, 2023
Not going to table this idea
California Bill Would Allow Some Card Rooms To Add Tables
Moving slowly, like a terrapin
Maryland iCasino Legalization Efforts Thwarted In 2023, Shifted To 2024
Hard to handle
Nevada Sports Wagering Handle Slips In February As 2023 Betting Continues To Lag
I’ve got a golden ticket
Michigan Woman Wins $327,985 After Forgetting To Check Lottery Numbers
Are you ready for some baseball?
The Six-Month Sweat Begins: Our Staff’s Favorite 2023 MLB Futures Bets
Are you ready to listen to some baseball talk?
Sports Gambling Podcast Review: The MLB Gambling Podcast
New York still fine-tuning fantasy
The New York State Gaming Commission is in the process of discussing changes to proposed rules for daily fantasy sports contests in the state.
At a scheduled meeting on Monday, the commission said it was refiling its regulations following input from stakeholders and would open the topic up to another round of public comments this summer. Among the objections being weighed: DraftKings is opposing a rule that would limit its ability to add bonus money to fixed prize pools, while FanDuel wants to clean up the language surrounding the maximum number of entries in some contests.
New York currently licenses 15 fantasy sports operators. The New York General Assembly first authorized DFS in 2016, but it was stricken from the books in 2018 by a decision of the New York Supreme Court. Last year, the Court of Appeals reversed that decision, with Chief Justice Janet DiFiore writing that lawmakers did not overstep their constitutional authority by classifying fantasy sports as a legal game of skill.
— Mark Saxon
DraftKings launches horse racing ADW in 12 states
Just as it said it would in November, DraftKings has launched its standalone advance deposit wagering (ADW) platform for horse racing, DK Horse, ahead of May’s Kentucky Derby.
On Tuesday, horse bettors in 12 states — Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming — were able to start betting through DraftKings’ TwinSpires-powered parimutuel product. Unlike at FanDuel, which has a shared wallet for sports and horse betting customers, existing DraftKings users will initially have to open a separate DK Horse account to wager on the Derby and other races.
While FanDuel is thus far the only U.S. sportsbook to offer a shared wallet for the two disciplines, others have launched standalone horse betting ADWs within the past year, including BetMGM, Caesars, PlayUp, and PointsBet. Additionally, DRF Bets (for horse bettors) and DRF Sportsbook (for sports bettors) are both Daily Racing Form products, although the sportsbook is live in just one state (Iowa).
— Mike Seely
More from around the gambling biz
SHOW YOUR CARDS: Bill seeks to shine a light on cheating in online poker [The Nevada Independent]
A LEGAL GRAY AREA: Pace-O-Matic files lawsuit to block new Kentucky ‘gray machines’ gambling ban [Yahoo! News]
LIVE DEALER DEBACLE: Norwalk man used multiple accounts to bet in casino games in which he was dealer [FOX 61]
SIX YEARS LATER, SPECULATION ON MOTIVE: FBI documents give new view into Las Vegas shooter’s mindset [Associated Press]
STRATOSPHERIC COSTS: Another Las Vegas resort to charge some guests for parking [Las Vegas Review-Journal]
MILE-HIGH HEIST: Monarch Casino theft in Black Hawk under investigation, $500,000 heist is biggest since legalization [The Denver Post]
HISA BOUT TIME: Horse racing’s national anti-doping program starts Monday [Associated Press]
Image: Blundell Design