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Casino City’s Friday Five: Sports takeover edition

2 Aug 2019

By Dan Ippolito
With the NFL season opener on the near horizon, it's an exciting time for sports bettors in the U.S. now that several states have legalized sports gambling and are accepting wagers.

In fact, another U.S. state legalized sports betting in the last week, along with Puerto Rico. Also this week, we have a new lounge and casino update at The STRAT, Turning Stone Resort Casino and Point Place Casino in New York opening a brand new sportsbook, and a blockbuster deal for Penn National Gaming, which has partnered with several big-name operators.

Let’s begin with The STRAT:

5. The STRAT debuts new Link Slot Lounge and first phase casino remodel
In the new Link Slot Lounge at The STRAT Hotel, Casino and SkyPod, located at the far north end of the Las Vegas Strip, guests can play 44 games from Aristocrat Technologies. Games included in this 2,346 square-foot-area are Buffalo Grand, Buffalo Diamond, Tarzan, Wonder 4 Spinning Fortunes, Buffalo Golden 7s, Gold Stacks 88 games, Liberty Link, Lighting Link and Dragon Link games.

“Aristocrat’s Link series captures the excitement of the slot machine experience unlike any other game that is out there,” said Chris Fiumara, vice president and general manager of The STRAT. “The Link Slot Lounge takes that excitement to the next level and we’re thrilled to offer this inventive slot experience to our guests.”

The Las Vegas resort is also undergoing a casino remodel. The entire 80,000-square-foot casino is planned to be fully remodeled by the end of this year. However, the first phase is underway and spans 10,371 square feet with 236 machines.

A new casino lounge is currently under construction as well with hopes to open in the fall.

This is one of several introductions that the Las Vegas resort has made in the last year. We saw a new observation deck open along with a new Welcome to Las Vegas Gift Shop.

4. Oneida Indian Nation opens new sportsbook in New York
The Oneida Indian Nation opened The Lounge with Caesars Sports, the new sportsbook at Turning Stone Resort Casino and Point Place Casino, in development with Caesars Entertainment.

In addition to the two New York resorts, Yellow Brick Road Casino also plans to be ready for sports betting in time for the NFL regular season kick off in September.

At the two currently opened locations, guests can win an entry into a weekly drawing by placing a football future wager by 24 August. Each Monday will have 10 winners announced to receive prizes, including sports merchandise and food credits for The Lounge with Caesars Sports.

3. Penn National Gaming announces partnership with leading sportsbook operators
It was a big week for Penn National Gaming. On Tuesday, the company entered into multi-year agreements with DraftKings, PointsBet, theScore and The Stars Group for online sports betting and iGaming across the company’s portfolio.

According to Jon Kaplowitz, Penn National’s senior vice president of interactive gaming: “We’re pleased to be providing the top names in sports betting, iGaming and poker access to our Company’s non-primary licenses to conduct these operations in exchange for a combination of upfront cash and equity, one-time market access fees and ongoing revenue sharing.”

Penn National Gaming reached a 10-year agreement with DraftKings and 20-year agreements with the PointsBet, theScore and The Stars Group.

Under the terms of the agreements, each “skin” partner will have the option to own, operate, and brand real-money online sports betting, poker, and casino offerings in states outlined in each deal.

2. Sports betting now legal in Puerto Rico
Now we have several states and a U.S. territory with legalized sports betting.

Puerto Rico will have betting on sporting events, electronic games and fantasy contests for the first time after embattled and outgoing Governor Ricardo Rosselló Nevares signed the bill earlier this week.

The industry is estimated to potentially generate more than $3 billion annually by 2023 in the U.S.

As previously mentioned, video games will be allowed to be bet on, including games such as Street Fighter, Super Smash Bros., Fortnite, Rainbow Six and Gears of War.

Bets will be able to be accepted at any casino, racetrack, hotel and hostel that is authorized by the commission.

1. North Carolina legalizes sports betting
Make it 19!

North Carolina is now the 19th U.S. jurisdiction to authorize sports betting since the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 was declared unconstitutional in May 2018.

Governor Roy Cooper signed Senate Bill 154 into law last Friday. The bill does not have a provision for online or mobile wagering in the Tar Heel State. The bill also exclusively allows only the two Harrah’s properties in North Carolina to offer sports betting.

This will start the construction of new sportsbooks at two tribal casinos in North Carolina, which aim to be completed by late fall. Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort will open a temporary location in what is currently Sound Bytes at UltraStar Multi-tainment Center, while The Book at Harrah's Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel will be located near the promotions stage.

Adding sports betting and horse betting to these two locations may generate between $1 million and $1.5 million annually.
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