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.
Full disclosure: I still don’t understand cryptocurrency. As a member of the poker/gambling media dating back nearly 18 years, I’ve been aware of Bitcoin and such for quite a while, and I’ve heard/read it explained countless times, and these explanations always end with me wrapping my head around it … for about five minutes, after which if you asked me to explain it back to you, I’d just make a lot of scrunchy faces and be all, “See that Bears game last week?” as I try to change the subject.
But here’s what I do know: There’s a big crypto controversy that’s been shaking out this month, and the gambling community, which has long been deep into crypto because, well, it’s just another form of gambling, is up in arms. The cryptocurrency exchange FTX filed for bankruptcy last Friday. Its founder, 30-year-old Sam Bankman-Fried, resigned. People couldn’t withdraw their money — or their pretend digital money, or whatever. Yada yada yada, Larry David is now getting sued.
Now the future of crypto is about as uncertain as the future of Twitter. So, why not combine two potential death spirals and have a look at what the gambling community has been tweeting about this FTX mess? Here are some tweets of note, either from gambling types or drawing gaming industry parallels:
if you’re in crypto you are one of two people:
1) someone who actually understands they are just a degenerate gambler
2) hopelessly delusional
— Shibetoshi Nakamoto (@BillyM2k) November 12, 2022
Let me explain what just happened in crypto to the poker people:
Pokerstars has just announced that Full Tilt is in way too bad of a situation for them to purchase and all of the player balances are completely toast. https://t.co/GJPECyac5I
— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) November 9, 2022
maybe an early indicator of the crypto crash: a few weeks ago all the pro poker players started complaining the juicy recreational players disappeared from the games and the games got really tough because they were all other pros
— John Ganz (@lionel_trolling) November 11, 2022
Go to jail, do not pass go etc https://t.co/wGsMoIlLFc
— Tom Dwan (@TomDwan) November 12, 2022
Every day look at your player wallet $ and ensure you have enough cash ring-fenced. If you don’t, move 💵 into the player account. Stop using your customer’s 💵 to leverage your growth. Don’t be Full Tilt. Don’t be any number of DFS fly-bys. Don’t be FTX BlockFi et. al. FFS. /5
— Matt Primeaux (@mattprimeaux) November 11, 2022
Anyone want to teach me how to play poker? It appears this #crypto thing didn’t work out as expected 😅📉💀
— Paulina Plazas ⚡️ (@paulinaplazas) November 11, 2022
This week on Gamble On …
Every Thursday, US Bets drops a new episode of the Gamble On podcast, and this week’s welcomed Bennett Conlin, who’s been covering every detail of the Maryland mobile betting launch for Sports Handle, to talk about the two-year wait to wager finally coming to an end Thanksgiving week:
Mobile #sportsbetting is FINALLY coming to Maryland! On Monday! Sort of! But also on Wednesday! One day before a four-day holiday weekend! Oh, and BetMGM took some bets already! @BennettConlin breaks down the Maryland Madness on the Gamble On podcast … https://t.co/cLbwPGhOBV pic.twitter.com/dbteAtCeYQ
— US Bets (@US_Bets) November 18, 2022
Could casinos be coming to Texas?
Texas Senator Introduces Resolution To Allow Sports Wagering, Casino Gambling
Ashed and answered
New Jersey Residents Say Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em In Atlantic City
Revving up the revenue reports
Connecticut Sets State Sports Wagering, iGaming Handle Records
Detroit’s Three Retail Casinos See Numbers Fall Year-Over-Year
Sportsbook Volume, Online Casino Revenue Both Hit New Highs In PA
You can’t win if you don’t spin
Divine Fortune Brings The Spoils Of Ancient Greece To BetMGM
Keeping track of horse racing news
Paquette Set To Call It Like She Sees It At Parx
Three More Sentenced In Federal Horse Doping Scheme
Cars, kids, and consciousness
PA Gaming Board Campaign Targets Gamblers Who Leave Kids Behind
Mintas joins Silicon Valley B2B venture as CEO
Nearly a year after her departure from PlayUp, Dr. Laila Mintas has resurfaced with a new Silicon Valley-based gambling venture.
Last week, Mintas announced her role as co-founder and CEO of PlayEngine, a B2B sports betting and iGaming platform provider. Among PlayEngine’s technology offerings are risk management, player account management (PAM), trading, and customer relationship management software.
Unlike most technology platforms on the market, PlayEngine has micro-service capabilities. In other words, instead of purchasing an entire platform, a sportsbook has the option of buying certain parts to integrate with its own technology. For instance, an operator may opt to purchase only the PAM platform from PlayEngine but exclude services like risk management and promotional engines.
“It makes us very agile when it comes to selling the services,” Mintas told US Bets. “We can put together the different services in an easy, agile way.”
— Matt Rybaltowski
Rivers coming to Virginia, probably next year
The Virginia Lottery Board unanimously approved Rivers Casino as the state’s second casino facility operator on Thursday, by a 7-0 count. Rivers, which will operate in Portsmouth, joins Hard Rock as Virginia’s current two licensees and previously indicated it is targeting February 2023 as an opening date.
“The gaming landscape in Virginia continues to evolve and the Lottery Board is committed to ensuring that casinos in the Commonwealth are operated responsibly, fairly, and with the utmost integrity,” said Lottery Board Chairman Ferhan Hamid. “While not all Virginians will choose to visit these facilities, all of our citizens need to be confident that they are regulated with the very highest standards.”
Hard Rock received its license to operate in Bristol in April and opened its temporary casino in July. The Virginia Lottery is continuing its reviews of applications for casino licenses for the cities of Danville and Norfolk.
— Chris Altruda
Massachusetts, Virginia release October casino numbers
Speaking of Virginia and its limited (but growing) number of casinos, the Virginia Lottery on Tuesday shared October revenue figures from the one operational property in the state, Hard Rock Bristol. The casino’s 870 slot machines generated $11.3 million in adjusted gross revenue (AGR) and its 21 tables produced $2.9 million in AGR, for a total of $14.1 million for the month. The state took in $2.5 million in taxes.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission also dropped October numbers on Tuesday for the state’s three casinos. Combined, Plainridge Park Casino, MGM Springfield, and Encore Boston Harbor generated $97 million in gross gaming revenue (GGR). Plainridge Park is taxed at 49% of GGR, whereas the other two properties are taxed at 25%. In total, Massachusetts brought in $27.2 million in October tax receipts.
— Eric Raskin
More from around the gaming biz
BRIN NICE KNOWING YA: Brin Gibson steps down as Gaming Control Board chairman [The Nevada Independent]
MIDWEST MONEY MOVING: October numbers indicate Lincoln casino may be taking slot machine dollars from Iowa [Lincoln Journal Star]
WE’RE NOT THE ONLY DOUBLE DOWN IN TOWN: Court OKs $415K settlement with maker of ‘DoubleDown’ online casino [LawStreet]
QUESTIONABLE QUINELLA: Gulfstream Park drops quinella wager after a pool appears to have been manipulated [DailyRacingForm]
MASS INCARCERATION: Former Massachusetts tribal leader gets three years in casino bribery case [Associated Press]
ALL ABOARD THE SIN CITY EXPRESS: High-speed rail project construction could begin in ’23 [Las Vegas Review-Journal]
ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS, SHOOT!: Aruze Gaming’s Rock Paper Scissors slot installed at Circa Resort and Casino [CDC Gaming Reports]
Image: Blundell Design