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Gambling in the USA

INDIANA SPORTSBOOKS LOSE OUT ON $165 MILLION IN APRIL BETS

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With retail sportsbooks shuttered and few events to draw bets, April could be low point, according to PlayIndiana.com

Indiana sportsbooks suffered their worst month ever in April — including a retail sector that did not produce a single bet — costing sportsbooks an estimated $165 million in bets, according to estimates from PlayIndiana.

With a minimized schedule of sports to bet on and casinos closed for the entire month, Indiana generated just $26.3 million in wagers, according to official reporting released Monday. During a month in which online and retail sportsbooks would have expected to draw at least $190 million in bets, April’s handle was down 64.8% from $74.8 million in March. That’s the lowest monthly handle ever for Indiana sportsbooks, which launched in October 2019 with $35.2 million in bets.

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“April’s results are shocking, but not at all surprising,” said Dustin Gouker, chief analyst for PlayIndiana.com. “Bettors have very few places to turn in Indiana. In some states, online casinos have driven significant revenue. But that isn’t possible in Indiana. So the industry’s results will continue to be grim until the sports world figures out a way to reopen.”

April’s wagers still produced $5.5 million in adjusted gross revenue, essentially even with March. That yielded $522,085 in tax revenue for the state.

Without legal online casino games and poker, and no esports betting, bettors in Indiana have largely been limited since mid-March to fringe international sports and futures betting. In fact, $21 million of the state’s handle was generated by “other” sports, far more than football, basketball, and baseball.

The NFL Draft, and to a lesser extent the WNBA Draft, gave bettors some reason to engage with sportsbooks in April. Indiana, the first state to allow betting on professional sports drafts, generated $1.3 million in football-related wagers in April, most of which came from the NFL Draft.

“The shut down of sports has led to some creativity by Indiana’s bookmakers, and that creativity was rewarded with interest in the NFL Draft,” said Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayIndiana.com. “Even though Indiana has missed out on some opportunities, regulators have at least been nimble enough to allow some unconventional ideas.”

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There are reasons for cautious optimism. NASCAR is planning on revving up in May, which could draw betting interest. The PGA Tour is planning a June tee off while baseball and the NBA continue to search for a workable solution to restart their seasons. In addition, Indiana’s casinos and retail sportsbooks could open as early as June 14.

“It could be that April is the low point in what will undoubtedly still be a struggle until sports can resume with their regular schedules,” Gouker said. “If sports do resume relatively soon, online sportsbooks should recover quickly. In the meantime, sportsbooks will continue to look for creative ways to drive revenue.”

Because retail sportsbooks were shut down entirely in April—costing an estimated $40 million in in-person bets—online sportsbooks accounted for the entire handle in the state. DraftKings/Ameristar Casino led the market with $13.6 million in bets, up from $33.1 million in March. That generated $908,322 in gross receipts, down from $2.4 million. FanDuel/Blue Chip Casino was second with a $9.7 million handle, down from $21.6 million. That resulted in a $558,155 win, down from $1.5 million.

The market leaders were followed by:

  • BetRivers/French Lick Resort ($2.1 million handle, down from $3.6 million; $116,726 win, down from $343,482)
  • Hollywood Lawrenceburg/PointsBet ($449,638 handle, up from $334,237 handle; -$4,768 handle, down from $65,390)
  • BetMGM/Belterra ($418,195 handle, down from $2.1 million; $48,043 handle, down from $370,669)
  • BetAmerica/Rising Star Casino ($3,886 handle, down from $132,568; $3,519 win, down from $8,233)

The shutdown may have slowed the development of some sportsbooks apps, too. BetIndiana is still sorting through issues. And familiar brands such as William Hill, which operates a retail sportsbook at Tropicana Evansville, as well as Caesars, Fox Bet, and Unibet have yet to enter the market.

“The legacy of this shut down for the market could be in the way it has stunted its growth,” Welman said. “From lost revenue to less competition, the effects of this unprecedented shutdown will be felt well after sports resume.”

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Gambling in the USA

MGM Resorts International Announces Agreement to Acquire Tipico’s U.S. Sportsbook

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MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) (“MGM Resorts” or the “Company”) today announced that its subsidiary, LeoVegas Group (“LeoVegas”), has entered into an agreement to acquire the product and technology platform constituting the U.S sportsbook and online casino from Tipico Group Ltd (“Tipico”).

This acquisition is the second major investment by LeoVegas, following the acquisition of game developer Push Gaming in 2023. The acquisition will allow LeoVegas to operate a purpose-built proprietary sportsbook across all international markets and brands, with the exception of those exclusive to the BetMGM JV, with a focus on a clean, fast consumer experience with top-class product, pricing and functionality.

Tipico will wind down its U.S. operations prior to the closing of the acquisition. As part of the transaction, LeoVegas will acquire certain of Tipico’s U.S. facing management, technology and trading teams across the U.S., Colombia and Europe.

“The acquisition of Tipico’s award winning U.S. platform marks a significant milestone in the strategic development of MGM Resorts’ global digital gaming business, allowing us to operate a proprietary sports betting platform,” said Gary Fritz, President, MGM Resorts International Interactive, “This acquisition gives us control of our entire technology ecosystem, and we are delighted to bring Tipico’s U.S. team, with their track record of developing high quality product and pricing capabilities, into our business.”

LeoVegas CEO Gustaf Hagman added: “By controlling our own sportsbook technology, we ensure that we will deliver the world’s greatest iGaming experience to customers across all our markets and brands. Powering our strong brands with a competitive and innovative sports product will enable us to grow and strengthen our sportsbook offering in both new and existing markets. I look forward to welcoming the talented teams from Tipico’s U.S. business into the LeoVegas Group very soon.”

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The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2024.

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Gambling in the USA

ComOps Accelerates Employee Experience Solutions, in Partnership with Medallia

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Utilizing Actionable Insights to Redefine the Future of Employee Experience 

ComOps, a leading customer experience (CX) and professional service solutions provider for the hospitality and casino industries, today unveiled its accelerated Employee Experience (EX) Solutions in partnership with Medallia, a pioneer in experience management. This collaboration is poised to transform employee feedback, a crucial yet frequently underestimated asset for improving a company. By harnessing employee insights, organizations can streamline operations to foster a more productive and satisfied workforce.

The partnership with Medallia enables ComOps to integrate Medallia’s advanced experience management platform into its suite of services, providing clients with unparalleled insights into employee satisfaction and engagement. Drawing on ComOps’ strong foundation in EX, the program includes a suite of services from implementation to program management to advisory services. Notably, the EX surveys feature a transparent, tiered structure based on the number of employees, ensuring flexibility and scalability for organizations of all sizes.

“We are thrilled to partner with Medallia to bring these innovative solutions to our clients,” said Robert Levine, CEO of ComOps. “Our combined expertise will allow us to deliver actionable insights that drive meaningful change, improve employee engagement, and boost operational efficiency. When you realize that less than half of organizations quickly take action based on employee feedback, this presents an enormous opportunity to build employee trust and foster innovation.”

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George Polyard, Vice President of Customer Experience at ComOps, added, “Emphasizing Employee Experience has been shown to boost employee satisfaction, reduce turnover, and improve retention rates. Additionally, research indicates that satisfied employees are more inclined to deliver superior service, an essential factor for industries heavily dependent on customer service.”

The new Employee Experience Solutions by ComOps are designed to address the unique challenges faced by various industries, including hospitality, healthcare, and commercial operations. By leveraging Medallia’s powerful analytics and ComOps’ strategic expertise, organizations can expect to see notable improvements in employee retention, productivity, and overall workplace satisfaction.

ComOps is officially unveiling the Employee Experience Solutions at the Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC), the world’s largest, longest-running hospitality technology event, June 24-27, 2024. Attendees can stop by ComOps at Booth #817 for more information.

 

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Red Rake Gaming Partners with DraftKings in the U.S.

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Red Rake Gaming, a prominent developer of high-quality online casino content, is excited to announce a new strategic partnership with DraftKings, a leading name in the U.S. sports betting and online gaming industry.

This landmark agreement will see Red Rake Gaming’s innovative and engaging casino games integrated into DraftKings’ platform, offering their extensive player base access to a rich selection of top-performing titles.

The partnership will initially focus on key states, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania including Ontario in Canada, where Red Rake Gaming aims to establish a strong presence and contribute to the vibrant online gaming markets. This collaboration is a significant step in Red Rake Gaming’s broader North American expansion strategy, highlighting its commitment to delivering exceptional gaming experiences to American and Canadian players.

“We are thrilled to partner with DraftKings, a true leader in the U.S. online gaming sector,” said Nick Barr, Managing Director of Red Rake Gaming Malta. “DraftKings’ extensive reach and dedicated player base provide a fantastic platform for us to showcase our innovative games. We are confident that our diverse range of content will resonate well with DraftKings’ players and enhance their gaming experience.”

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This collaboration with DraftKings is one of several strategic alliances that Red Rake Gaming has planned as part of its entry into the U.S. markets of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. By partnering with leading operators in these states, Red Rake Gaming aims to replicate its European success and deliver its captivating gaming experiences to a new audience.

Players across these states can anticipate an influx of engaging and innovative games, characterized by Red Rake Gaming’s trademark high-quality graphics, unique game mechanics, and player-centric features. As Red Rake Gaming continues to expand its footprint in the U.S., it remains committed to pushing the boundaries of online casino gaming and setting new standards in player entertainment.

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