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.
World Series of Poker schedule release
Caesars dropped the full schedule for the 2023 World Series of Poker on Thursday, and one thing is clear based on the focus of the press release: Organizers are determined to break the all-time record for entrants in the $10,000 Main Event.
The number 8,773, achieved in 2006 just months before the rammed-through passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act stymied poker’s growth, remains the benchmark — but last year it was threatened when a field of 8,663 established the second-highest mark ever.
The WSOP is going all out with a series of promotions it’s labeling “Main Event Mania” to inflate this summer’s number. They include international online site GGPoker guaranteeing at least 600 satellite qualifiers, at least 112 seats being earned via WSOP.com’s regulated U.S. sites, and in-person satellites all over the world on May 20-21 in what’s being called “Global Qualification Weekend.”
Then there’s this eye-catching incentive: If the record is broken, the WSOP will hold a drawing to award one of this summer’s entrants a “Main Event for Life” package — a non-transferable buy-in for the next 30 years. Assuming the winner lives long enough to get the max value out of it, that’s a bonus worth $300,000.
There will be plenty of time to break down the full 95-event schedule between now and May 30, when the first tournaments at Paris Las Vegas and Horseshoe Las Vegas begin. For now, US Bets will be among the first to set a line for entries in the Main Event. Our sense is that 8,773.5 is too low — we’d have to place about -200 odds on the over. If you’re looking for -110 lines … we’ll say 8,950.5.
Ya going over or under?
This week on Gamble On …
Every Thursday, US Bets drops a new episode of the Gamble On podcast, and this week’s welcomed a man without whom US Bets might not even exist, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. He looked back on the fight to overturn PASPA, talked about his personal sports betting habits, shared his thoughts on the Cowboys’ and Mets’ futility and on attending his 144th Springsteen concert, and broke down the realities of legal wagering vs. what he pictured five years ago:
“I’d say to [Roger Goodell], ‘You guys are nuts. I’m going to increase the value of all your franchises if you let me do this.'”
— @GovChristie, on the #GambleOn podcast, reflecting on the fight to overturn PASPA & how closely legalized sports betting resembles what he envisioned https://t.co/jPaRzHXxys pic.twitter.com/ICISov0oIp
— US Bets (@US_Bets) February 3, 2023
Gamble On also began taking listener mail this week. Going forward, questions for the show can be asked on Twitter (to @EricRaskin and/or @JeffEdelstein) or emailed to [email protected]
How casino tax dollars get from Point A to Point B
New York Governor Hopes To Use Casino Taxes For Public Transportation
It ain’t over ’til it’s over
PredictIt Lives To Fight For Another Day, At Least For Now
Operators are standing by
Gambling Helpline Calls Climbed 25% In Pennsylvania Last Year
Michigan, we have a problem
Michigan iGaming Gets Low Marks For Problem Gambling Aid
Don’t smoke ‘em, even if you got ‘em
Hearing On Atlantic City Smoking Bill To Be Held Feb. 13
NFL and MGM find the thinnest of lines
MGM Resorts Deal With NFLPA Brings Players Closer To Shilling For Sportsbooks
Lots and lots of slots
PlayAGS Slot Titles Now Part Of Caesars Online Casino
The fix is in
Sen. Addabbo Introduces Fixed-Odds Horse Racing Bill In New York
Downtown Vegas getting a temporary ‘Mania’ makeover
Circa Resort & Casino and the D Las Vegas announced on Wednesday major March Madness plans in downtown Vegas. Their “Vegas Mania” watch parties will offer all sorts of viewing options for college hoops fans across the two long weekends that whittle the field down to the Final Four, with events scheduled March 15-19 and 23-26.
Locations for the watch parties include the Circa Sportsbook, which dubs itself “the world’s largest sportsbook” and offers assorted seating tiers for its “Mega March” parties; Stadium Swim, the massive pool venue at Circa hosting “Mania Under the Sun”; Galaxy Watch Zone in Circa’s new conference space, with its “Big Bracket” parties; the 12th floor ballroom at the D, where the watch parties are simply called “March Hoops”; and the D’s private “Man Caves,” which can be reserved for parties of eight or more.
We at US Bets assume all genders are permitted in those caves, despite the limitations suggested by their name.
The Brook honored as NH ‘Business of the Year’
The Hampton (New Hampshire) Area Chamber of Commerce has recognized The Brook, a charity casino located near the New Hampshire-Massachusetts border, as its “Business of the Year.”
The Brook, which features more than 500 slot machines, a poker room, assorted table games, and a DraftKings Sportsbook, has donated more than $8 million to local charitable organizations over the last four years.
“One of our goals from the very beginning,” said The Brook CEO Andre Carrier, “was to show this community that people and profits can not only coexist, but thrive, and we thank the Chamber for recognizing it.”
More from around the gaming biz
PETERSBURG PLAN PIPPED: Morrissey’s Petersburg casino bill fails in Senate Finance [Virginia Business]
WHEEL OF FORTUNE: New Manhattan casino bid includes a Ferris wheel near the U.N. [The New York Times]
LEARNING AT COMMUNITY COLLEGE: NCC to become training center for proposed casino resort [Long Island Business News]
‘BAMA BUMMER: Outlook murky for Alabama lottery, casino bill this year [AL.com]
FLORIDA RIDES AGAIN?: Dan Daley bill seeks to revive harness racing industry [Florida Politics]
EMPLOYEES IN CHARM CITY NOT SO CHARMED: Horseshoe Casino Baltimore workers demand raises, holiday pay in afternoon rally [The Baltimore Sun]
A LUCKY DRAGON LINK WINNER IN LAS VEGAS: $1M slots jackpot hits at Strip casino [Las Vegas Review-Journal]
AND A LUCKIER DRAGON LINK WINNER IN TAMPA: Slot player hits for $1.2 million at Seminole Hard Rock Tampa [CDC Gaming Reports]
Image: Blundell Design