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Dan Ippolito

As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and he writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports.

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Casino City’s Friday Five: March Madness betting edition

22 Mar 2019

By Dan Ippolito
March Madness officially kicked off with its first full day of games yesterday, and another set is coming today. This is the first March Madness in the U.S. in which sports betting is legal in places other than Nevada thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision back in May. On top of sports betting, this week we have a jackpot win, a new lounge at a Las Vegas resort, a new partnership for MGM Resorts and a Biloxi resort celebrating 20 years.

To kick things off, let’s start with a jackpot:

5. $1 million jackpot at Plaza Hotel and Casino
On St. Patrick’s Day, a player from Hawaii had the luck of the Irish at the Plaza Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Playing Monopoly Millionaire, the guest struck a jackpot for $1 million. They were only playing the penny slot machine for about five minutes before winning the massive payday.

4. All-new Trago Lounge at Tropicana Las Vegas
Tropicana Las Vegas officially opened its new contemporary bar and lounge hideaway, Trago Lounge. The venue serves an array of scotch, tequila and whiskey, as well as signature cocktails, 24 hours a day.

The 3,500-square-foot lounge has a 24-seat bar with 10 televisions and 22 video poker machines. The entire venue can accommodate 120 guests.

"It's been an exciting experience to see the entire property come together and we are thrilled to complete the property-wide food and beverage revamp with the addition of the all-new bar and lounge,” said Aaron Rosenthal, vice president and general manager of Tropicana Las Vegas. “The comfortable yet chic environment allows guests to imbibe daily with the perfect pairings of signature cocktails and high-end spirits, for both locals and tourists alike, offering an experience like no other on property."

3. MGM Resorts signs multi-year partnership with MLS
MGM became the league's first official gaming partner and Roar Digital, the joint venture between MGM and GVC, the exclusive Official Sports Betting Partner of MLS.

From the deal, MGM Resorts and Roar Digital will be given access to the following:
  • Enhanced MLS data for fans and sports betting customers.
  • Television-visible signage for all 100+ nationally broadcast games.
  • Unique MLS-themed promotions and sweepstakes utilizing MLS prizing.
  • Match footage and photography.
  • MLS talent and a host of mutually beneficial hospitality and event opportunities in Las Vegas and beyond.
The three will work on creating a free-to-play game to enhance fan engagement and build a base of potential sports bettors in states where regulation is still to be adopted.

"Major League Soccer is proud to partner with MGM Resorts to bring existing and new fans close to our sport in innovative and immersive ways," said MLS Commissioner Don Garber.

2. Beau Rivage celebrates 20th anniversary
For Casino City’s Gary Trask, Beau Rivage Resort & Casino on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi has always checked all of his prerequisite boxes for what makes a great casino.

The Beau, as it is fondly called by locals, celebrated the 20th anniversary of its grand opening last weekend.

Gary writes about the resort's history, including Steve Wynn’s original plan to have Beau Rivage reside on the Las Vegas Strip, in the exact spot where Bellagio now sits.

He also highlights several features of the Biloxi property, including the new sportsbook, MGM Park, the poker room and the prime location of the resort.

1. Sports betting makes positive strides in New Hampshire and Tennessee
On Wednesday, two U.S. states moved the ball forward in regards to legalizing sports gambling. New Hampshire saw the House approve a proposal, and Tennessee could be looking at mobile-only sports betting.

In New Hampshire, Rep. Timothy Lang’s proposal, HB 480, cleared the House by a 3 to 1 ratio, paving the way to set up no more than 10 spots in the state where sports betting will be legal and overseen by the New Hampshire Lottery Commission. This bill prohibits gambling on high school sporting events along with college teams from New Hampshire. It would allow both land-based and online sports betting.

Rep. Lang told Casino City that he feels strongly his proposal will make it through the Senate.

“I have spoken to a couple of senators and from those conversations I feel pretty good about it being approved with their support,” Lang said on Wednesday. “There was a provision in my bill that was changed to limit the number of allowed locations to 10, which seems to be liked by the senators I have spoken with."

Also Wednesday, Tennessee saw a major change in the push for legal sports betting. Originally, legislation was brought forward to bring land-based sportsbooks and kiosks to Tennessee. However, Rep. Rick Staples introduced a new proposal on Tuesday that calls for online sports betting only and does not include land-based sportsbooks. The proposal calls for the state to allow 10 licenses, at $750,000 per license, to be given to operators for the online sportsbooks.
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