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Jarrod LeBlanc

Jarrod serves as Casino City's associate editor and helps produce and edit all of our weekly newsletters, as well as the GPWA Times Magazine.

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Casino City’s Friday Five: Closing time for Barstool Sportsbook edition

11 Aug 2023

By Jarrod LeBlanc
Monday the online sports betting world was rocked when PENN Entertainment signed a deal with the Worldwide Leader to launch ESPN Bet, which, in turn, means Barstool Sportsbook will be no longer. Before we get to that seismic news, there is a lot of other things on the horizon in the gambling world. Snoqualmie Casino in Washington State launched a Match the Dealer Game as well as the inductees for the Gaming Hall of Fame Class of 2023 were announced, plus with the NFL preseason underway, I released my future bets for this season.

First, though, we start with an Atlantic City casino unveiling a new entertainment venue.

5. Tropicana Atlantic City introduces The Royce Social Hall

Tropicana Atlantic City unveiled its latest addition, The Royce Social Hall, a state-of-the-art entertainment destination that promises an “unparalleled experience” for visitors seeking a mix of fun, sports, and live music.

The Royce Social Hall caters to the diverse interests of its guests with an array of engaging activities. From the classic charm of bowling to the fast-paced excitement of foosball and the precision of ping pong, there's something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you're a novice or a seasoned pro, these interactive games offer endless fun and opportunities to create lasting memories with friends and family.

4. First Match the Dealer table game hits Washington State

Earlier this week, Snoqualmie Casino launched the new “$100,000 Super Bonus Match the Dealer” table game, the first in Washington state. The casino promises that this simple, but exciting game, appeals to both new players and seasoned gamblers alike.

Easy to play, this game offers a simple matching concept. The player places a wager on up to five cards dealt by the dealer; if any of the two cards dealt to the player match the wagered dealer cards, the player wins. The casino then pays 3 to 1 for unsuited matches and 12 to 1 for suited matches. Further, matching cards can qualify for Super Bonus structures, up to $100,000.

3. Gaming Hall of Fame Class of 2023 announced
The American Gaming Association announced the Gaming Hall of Fame Class of 2023, honoring four leaders for their significant contributions to the industry:

  • Bill Anoatubby, Governor, Chickasaw Nation

  • Robert Miodunski, Former CEO, American Gaming Systems; Former President & CEO, Alliance Gaming and President, Bally Gaming

  • Jim Murren, Former Chairman and CEO, MGM Resorts International

  • Ellen Whittemore, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, Wynn Resorts

“This year’s Gaming Hall of Fame class enshrines industry leaders that have positively transformed businesses and communities through their contributions to gaming,” said AGA President and CEO Bill Miller. “From leading casino and supplier operations to advancing industry regulation and tribal gaming, Bill, Ellen, Jim and Robert’s far-reaching impacts on gaming are indelible—and undoubtedly worthy of inclusion in the Hall of Fame.”

Since 1989, the Gaming Hall of Fame has recognized gaming legends, pioneers and business leaders for their lasting impacts on the industry. The Class of 2023 will be honored during an invitation-only induction ceremony at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas this October.

2. Top 10 NFL future bets for the 2023 season

I don’t know about you, but the start of the 2023 NFL season can’t get here soon enough. Yes, I know it’s only a month away, but it feels like forever. So in between conducting my mock drafts for my fantasy football leagues, today I present my top future bets for the new season. Here are just a couple of my top picks…

Best regular season record
Now I’m not saying this team will raise the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the season, but if there’s ever going to be a time to strike it’s now for the Buffalo Bills. Kansas City Chiefs (+450), Philadelphia Eagles (+650), and Cincinnati Bengals (+750) are the favorites to record the most wins this year, but they all have targets on them, plus at the moment Cincy signal caller Joe Burrow is dealing with a calf injury that he suffered during training camp.

Most sacks
The reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa is the favorite at +800 to lead the league in quarterback takedowns. After all, he led the NFL last season with 18.5 sacks. However, as of now, the San Francisco 49ers’ defensive specialist is not at camp as he waits for a contract extension, rather than play on the fifth-year option of his rookie contract. It’s not an if, but when, this contractual stalemate will get done, but until that date is known, I have to go with another sack artist.

1. PENN deal with ESPN signals the end for Barstool Sportsbook

Talk about betting on yourself.

That’s exactly what Dave Portnoy did in 2003 when he went all in on his Barstool Sports four-page sports newspaper.

Fast forward 17 years and Portnoy did the unfathomable as he sold 36% of his baby for $163 million to PENN Entertainment. Then earlier this year, Portnoy unloaded the rest of his company to PENN for $388 million.

Monday, though, the story took an unexpected twist as a result of PENN paying $1.5 million to ESPN and in turn will convert Barstool Sportsbook into ESPN Bet in the fall, according to reports. PENN is betting on the horse that is the top sports media brand in the world.

As part of this news, Portnoy purchased Barstool Sports back from PENN.

The word “purchased” in this case should be used loosely as he regained the company that he founded and sold for a total of $551 million for a whopping price of $1, according to reports.

According to the terms of the divesture, PENN sold 100% of the Barstool Sports Inc. common stock to Portnoy in exchange for certain non-compete and other restrictive covenants. PENN also has the right to receive 50% of the gross proceeds received by David Portnoy in any subsequent sale or other monetization event of Barstool, which, as part of the agreement, is now allowed to accept advertisements from sportsbooks going forward.

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