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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: Casino selling and purchasing edition

18 Oct 2019

By Dan Ippolito
This week, the 2019 edition of the World Series of Poker Europe began on Monday, with the first bracelet already awarded. Also this week, two Las Vegas resorts announced that they had been sold, FOX Bet teamed up with Major League Baseball and Intertops Poker unveiled more free spins and cash bonuses.

Let’s start off with free spins for players:

5. Intertops offers free spins and cash bonus
Until Monday, players at Intertops Poker who deposit at the online casino will receive up to 50 free spins on Betsoft’s Gemmed! and Bamboo Rush slot games.

Players will also be awarded a cash bonus that can be used to play any of the hundreds of games available under the Betsoft, Worldmatch and Lucktap tabs.

“Betsoft’s games just keep getting better and better!” said Intertops Poker’s casino manager. “This week’s free spins bonus is for their two newest games. Bamboo Rush is a 5x4 game and Gemmed has a unique 9x9 grid. Both have the kind of amazing graphics we’ve come to expect from the Betsoft design team!”

A $25 deposit will see 25 free spins on Bamboo Rush and a $30 cash bonus given to players. A $50 deposit will award 30 free spins on Gemmed! and a $50 cash bonus to players.

4. Bohdanov wins first 2019 WSOPE bracelet
The World Series of Poker Europe is underway at King's Casino in the Czech Republic again and the WSOP Player of the Year race is tight, with 15 chances for players to move up in the rankings.

The first of 15 WSOP gold bracelets to be awarded at the 2019 World Series of Poker Europe went to Ukraine.

Renat Bohdanov outlasted Norbert Mosonyi after a long heads-up to win the €350 Opener No-Limit Hold'em for €53,654 and a WSOPE Main Event ticket worth €10,350.

Eyal Bensimhon saw his attempt to add a WSOP bracelet to his WSOP Circuit Ring end in third place. Rafi Elharar, third in the 2019 WSOP's Big 50 earlier this summer, was seventh, while six-time bracelet winner Jeff Lisandro finished in eight place.

3. Phil Ruffin purchases Circus Circus Hotel Casino in Las Vegas
Phil Ruffin, a Las Vegas-based casino mogul, has purchased Circus Circus Hotel Casino - Las Vegas.

Ruffin bought the hotel property along with its 37 adjacent acres for $825 million, paid with $662.5 million in cash and $162.5 million senior notes due 2024, which will be secured by the 37 acres of adjacent land. The property’s name will remain the same.

“The opportunity to own 102 acres on the Las Vegas Strip was very interesting. From a strategic standpoint, Circus Circus is the most recognizable name on the north Strip,” said Ruffin. “Treasure Island is the crown jewel in my portfolio, and Circus Circus adds another layer of gaming customer to my holdings.”

Circus Circus contains 3,767 guest rooms, including 135 suites, along with over 100,000 square feet of gaming space.

2. FOX Bet signs deal with Major League Baseball
A new multiyear deal makes FOX Bet an Authorized Gaming Operator of Major League Baseball in the U.S.

FOX Bet is an online and mobile sports betting product that was developed through a national media and sports wagering partnership in the United States between The Stars Group Inc. and FOX Sports.

As part of the agreement, FOX Bet has the right to use MLB's official data feed and League marks across its FOX Bet sports betting app and FOX Sports Super 6.

"We continue to see a great appetite for the FOX Bet app as well as FOX Sports Super 6," said Robin Chhabra, CEO of FOX Bet. "Having a partnership with MLB enables us to use official MLB data and league marks, providing a better experience for our customers, and comes just in time as the League Championship Series and the World Series kick into high gear."

The Stars Group and MLB will also collaborate on responsible gaming and partner on best-in-class practices to protect the integrity of MLB games.

1. FOX Bet signs deal with Major League Baseball
On Wednesday, MGM Resorts International announced that it entered into a definitive agreement to form a joint venture with Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust that values the Bellagio at $4.25 billion.

The joint venture will acquire the Bellagio real estate and lease it back to a subsidiary of MGM Resorts for initial annual rent of $245 million.

MGM Resorts will receive a 5% equity interest in the joint venture and cash of approximately $4.2 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Jon Gray, Blackstone President & COO, commented, "As big believers in MGM Resorts and Las Vegas, we are thrilled to partner with MGM to acquire the Bellagio on behalf of our BREIT investors. We look forward to a long and productive partnership with this world-class company."

"This transaction confirms the premium value of our owned real estate assets, highlights the unique value of Bellagio as a premier asset in gaming and solidifies our status as a premier operator of gaming and entertainment properties,” said Jim Murren, Chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International.
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