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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: 2019 opening edition

4 Jan 2019

By Dan Ippolito
Now that 2018 has come and gone, 2019 will surely bring just as much excitement and entertainment in the gaming industry. To kick off the new year, we have a Christmas jackpot, a new regulatory framework in Sweden, the NFL choosing its first casino sponsor, a casino expansion and — here comes the bad news — a governor vetoing an online gambling bill in the 12th hour.

Let’s get started with a big win on Christmas.

5. Dover Downs online player wins nearly $214,000 on Christmas Day
In the early hours of Christmas Day, a Dover Downs Hotel & Casino Online player received an unexpected Christmas gift by winning $213,969.83.

With just a $7.50 bet on his phone at home, the player tried his luck on Santa's Super Slot as he won the progressive jackpot.

The online player has been an active player since the initial launch of Delaware’s online casino sites in 2013.

The jackpot on this Christmas-themed slot is awarded randomly and does not require any matching of symbols.

4. New regulatory framework in Sweden
On Tuesday, bwin Casino and partypoker went live in Sweden after being were awarded Swedish gaming licenses.

bwin Casino will use the feature-set and content from the GVC’s flagship European sports betting brand, offering both pre-event and in-play betting on a wide array of sports.

Swedish players will be able to take advantage of partypoker’s expansive tournament schedule including The Power Series, Daily Majors and Super Sunday, as well as its Sit & Go Jackpots, where three hands can net a prize of over $1 million.

Microgaming joins partypoker and bwin on the list as well. Microgaming's top operators have already received their licenses and are now live with Microgaming's content in Sweden, following the new regulatory framework that came into effect on 1 January.

The new dedicated domain will provide operators with a portfolio of Microgaming’s top performing games, optimized across mobile and desktop, including table games, classic and branded slot titles such as Game of Thrones and Immortal Romance, as well as access to a jackpot network, which has paid out over €973 million to date.

3. NFL selects Caesars Entertainment as official casino sponsor
The National Football League announced yesterday it has selected Caesars Entertainment Corporation as the first-ever official casino sponsor of the NFL.

Caesars will have the exclusive right to use NFL trademarks in the U.S. and the U.K. to promote Caesars casino properties and activate at key NFL events including the Super Bowl and NFL Draft.

Seven NFL teams have relationships with Caesars Entertainment, including the Falcons, Ravens, Bears, Colts, Saints, Raiders and Eagles. These partnerships, along with the new League deal, are for the Casino category only and do not include sports betting, daily fantasy or hotels/resorts.

Caesars, alongside other properties on the Las Vegas Strip, will host elements of the 2020 Draft in coordination with the City of Las Vegas.

2. $260 million expansion at Sycuan
Sycuan Casino Resort and Clique Hospitality announced a partnership as a part of Sycuan's $260 million expansion. Clique is set to open and operate a steakhouse, a luxury cocktail lounge and a pool experience.

Elicit Bar & Lounge is a high-end cocktail lounge serving artisanal cocktails, craft beers, wines and Asian-inspired appetizers.

Retreat Pool and Cabanas is an outdoor venue featuring two pools, a lazy river and an expansive pool deck furnished with oversized daybeds and cabanas.

Sycuan General Manager John Dinius said, "We were all familiar with Clique's successes in Las Vegas, but our collaboration to create venues true to San Diego is what will stand out most. Guests are going to love the unique vision for these spaces."

The action from Snyder came just days before he gave up his office to Gretchen Whitmer on 1 January.

The action from Snyder came just days before he gave up his office to Gretchen Whitmer on 1 January. (photo by Wikipedia)

1. Governor Rick Snyder vetoes Michigan online gaming bill
Just before Christmas, Michigan’s state legislature approved an online gambling bill. However, last Friday, Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed nearly 40 bills, including House Bill 4926 which would have legalized intrastate gaming from Michigan’s state commercial and tribal casino operators.

Gov. Snyder gave his response to the matter in a letter, saying, “I do not think it is appropriate to sign legislation that will effectively result in more gambling, with a reasonable chance that the state could lose revenue that could be helpful in dealing with social service issues that are ordinarily attendant to increased gambling behavior.”

If Snyder had signed off on the legislation, Michigan would have joined the list of U.S. states to approve online gambling. Another factor that Snyder referred to influencing his decision to veto was to protect the Michigan Lottery.

Snyder's action came just days before he gave up his office to Gretchen Whitmer on 1 January. It is likely that another attempt at an online gambling bill will occur once the legislation’s new session begins on 9 January.
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