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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: Daily fantasy sports edition

2 Nov 2018

By Dan Ippolito
Sports betting continues to be a top story in the gambling industry. This week, a judge rules on daily fantasy sports for New York, William Hill offers to buy Mr Green, Caesars Entertainment signs a deal with teams in different professional leagues, MGM Resorts and the NHL partner up, and Gold Strike Hotel & Gambling Hall gets a name change.

Let’s begin with the name change:

5. JETT gaming upgrading and renaming Gold Strike Hotel and Gambling Hall
JETT Gaming, Inc., a division of Terrible Herbst, is rebranding The Gold Strike Hotel & Gambling Hall in Jean, Nevada, changing the name of the property to Terrible's Hotel & Casino. JETT Gaming, Inc. purchased the property in 2015 and recently completed a series of upgrades and remodeling initiatives. The name officially changed yesterday.

Since buying the property, JETT Gaming has invested in numerous updates and upgrades throughout the hotel and casino, including hotel room updates; a new Konami slot and club system, which rewards gamers for their play; a refurbished lounge featuring live music; new slot machines; Mini Baccarat; a movie car display; and the Off-Road Hall of Fame.

The new Terrible’s Hotel & Casino is located across the freeway from the recently opened Terrible’s Roadhouse and World’s Largest Chevron, which features 50,000 square feet of retail space, 96 gas pumps, a drive-through White Castle, a Red Bull lounge, a Monster Energy lounge, a candy village, an Advance Auto parts store and much more.

4. NHL announces sports betting partnership with MGM Resorts
The announcement naming MGM Resorts the NHL's first official sports betting partner was made on 29 October by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and MGM Resorts Chairman & CEO Jim Murren in New York City.

"The new sports betting landscape presents a unique opportunity for fan engagement utilizing technology and data that are exclusive to our League," said Bettman. "As a leading global gaming operator and entertainment company, MGM Resorts is the perfect partner for us to begin our transformative entry into this space. Fan engagement, technological advancement and innovation are paramount to our progressive approach and will be at the forefront of everything we do."

As an official sports betting partner as well as an official resorts partner of the NHL, MGM Resorts will have the ability to market many of MGM Resorts' products and services to the League's millions of fans via the League's various media platforms and events.

As part of the relationship, MGM Resorts will receive access to previously unseen enhanced NHL proprietary game data that will be generated by the league's tracking systems currently under development. Access to this data will allow MGM Resorts to provide its customers with specialized NHL game insights, as well to unlock new and innovative interactive fan engagement and betting opportunities for its U.S. customers wherever legally available.

3. Caesars Entertainment is first gaming company to sign deal with NBA and NHL teams
Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment announced a multi-year partnership with Caesars Entertainment and the Philadelphia 76ers, the New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center.

This historic partnership will introduce New Jersey sports fans to Caesars Entertainment's new sportsbook experience, now available at two of its Atlantic City properties and The Caesars Casino & Sports app through special promotions and activations inside the exclusive Caesars Club at Prudential Center.

The 5,000-square-foot premium restaurant and bar will be located on the main concourse, providing Caesars Entertainment's signature VIP hospitality to Premium Seat members for all New Jersey Devils home games, and will be open to all event attendees during more than 175 live events, games and concerts held at the Prudential Center.

Tri-state area gaming customers can access the mobile app in the state of New Jersey. Sports fans can also place bets inside the new dynamic sportsbooks at Caesars Entertainment properties in Atlantic City, including Bally's - Atlantic City and Harrah's Resort Atlantic City.

2. Bookmaker William Hill offers to buy Mr Green for £242 million
Sweden-based online betting firm Mr Green has an offer on the table to be bought by U.K.-based bookmaker William Hill for £242 million, in an attempt to increase its presence in European markets.

Mr Green operates in 13 markets, with gambling licenses in Denmark, Italy, Latvia and Malta under brands such as Redbet.

The Board of Directors of MRG has recommended the offer for acceptance by the shareholders, and shareholders in MRG Henrik Bergquist, Hans Fajerson, Fredrik Sidfalk, Martin Trollborg, Karl Trollborg, Tommy Trollborg and Anita Trollborg representing in aggregate 40.04% of the total number of issued shares and votes in MRG.

There is expected to be an acceptance period from 10 December to 11 January, with the goal of having the deal complete not too long afterward.

1. Daily fantasy sports ruled gambling in New York
Two years after a law was passed allowing regulated daily fantasy sports in New York, a judge ruled on Friday that these daily contests are a form of gambling and therefore violate the gambling ban in the state's constitution.

The ruling was made by Acting Supreme Court Justice Gerald Connolly.

“[Interactive fantasy sports] participants have no control whatsoever of the performance of the selected players, though the experience, research and related skill involved in selecting an IFS team can sharply impact an IFS participant’s chances of prevailing,” Connolly wrote. “As such, the first legislative finding proffered, that is, the rationale for why ‘IFS is not a game of chance,’ does not lead to the conclusion that there is not, to a material degree, an element of chance to IFS competition.”

DraftKings and FanDuel are being allowed to continue their services because they are based on players' skills. Both have been active in New York since the 2016 law was signed and passed.

Connolly's ruling is subject to appeal, but it is not clear whether the Gaming Commission plans on doing so.
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