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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: DraftKings pushes all in edition

16 Jun 2023

By Dan Ippolito
In the last week, we saw three states in the U.S. push bills forward to begin the process of setting up their respective online betting markets. While Vermont and North Carolina signed bills into law and aim for early 2024 to launch sports betting, Rhode Island has an iGaming bill that awaits a signature. We also have other news from a busy week in the industry this week, including a Downtown Las Vegas resort hosting a new poolside event next week, renovations at a Reno resort finishing up, DraftKings throwing its hat in the ring to acquire PointsBet and a new restaurant opening at Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas Strip.

Let’s begin with a new dining option at the famous Las Vegas property:

5. Guy Fieri’s Chicken Guy! opens at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas
Chicken Guy! by famed chef and TV personality Guy Fieri is now open in the Forum Food Hall at Caesars Palace. The new quick dining establishment features options like signature sandwiches, sharable sides, chicken tenders and sweet treats.

The menu includes tenders brined in fresh lemon juice, pickle brine and buttermilk and infused with fresh herbs. Guests can order them grilled or fried – in sandwiches, straight up or in meal-sized salad bowls.

4. Palace Station announces new poolside event
Las Vegas’ local's casino, Palace Station Hotel and Casino, announced the launch of a new weekly poolside event, Palace Latin Night. Beginning Friday, 23 June, guests will be welcomed to spice up their evening with an evening escape featuring live music, dance lessons, drink specials and more.

Taking place every Friday night from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., the casino will transform its pool deck into the ultimate dance destination to kick-off the weekend.

For a more exclusive party with friends, guests will be welcomed to reserve a cabana or table as they take in the sights and sounds of Vegas’ newest summertime hotspot.

3. J Resort wraps up its renovations
Last Friday, Jacobs Entertainment hosted a ribbon cutting in Reno for the newly rebranded J Resort in Reno. The event highlighted the completed renovations of the rebranded resort, including two new restaurants, expanded gaming space, and completed renovation of over 500 hotel rooms.

The new additions to the resort include:
  • Hanna's Table - a new three-meal restaurant featuring a seasonal outdoor dining area.
  • J Paul's Italian Steakhouse.
  • Expanded gaming space with new high ceilings.
  • 500 newly refurbished hotel rooms.
  • 400 new casino gaming positions.
  • Curated art, including a 20-foot-tall unique monumental sculpture currently being created in Italy by world renowned American sculptor Richard Erdman.
  • Exterior digital art that is displayed on a large 65 by 65 ft. screen on 4th Street showcasing art created by digital video artists from Europe, Asia, and the United States.
  • The Afterglow Lounge, which will host Nevada, Los Angeles, and Bay Area musicians each weekend.
2. Three U.S. states sign online gambling bills
This week has been a big one in the sports betting world for two U.S. states. Vermont and North Carolina both saw their respective governors sign bills into law that will help launch mobile sports betting in early 2024.

Yesterday, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper green-lighted a bill that will bring legalized wagering on horse racing and online sports betting to the Tar Heel State in the first half of 2024. The earliest possible date for this new market to launch is 8 January and could see up to 12 licenses issued to operators.

One day prior, Vermont joined the legal online sports wagering world when Governor Phil Scott signed HB 127 into law. With the expectation that bets will start to be accepted in January 2024, up to six operators will be granted licenses in order to operate sports betting platforms.

Outside of the sports betting circle, the Rhode Island Senate passed a bill last Thursday that would allow players 21 and older to access table games at Bally's Twin River Lincoln remotely. The bill was then sent to the House of Representatives for consideration and yesterday, the House approved the legislation by a 57-11 vote and now makes its way to Governor Daniel McKee for his signature.

1. DraftKings ups the ante in bid for PointsBet
This morning, DraftKings submitted a $195 million offer for the U.S. assets of PointsBet.

The all-cash offer not only shows the Massachusetts-based company’s desire to increase its stake in the sports-betting industry, but it also, in the interim at least, slows down Fanatics’ previous $150 million offer that it made last month.

PointsBet’s board has agreed to the Fanatics’ bid, but the official vote isn’t scheduled to take place until Friday, 30 June.

In a note to its investors, PointsBet said that it will consider DraftKings’ offer, but “subject to the outcome of the review being undertaken of the DraftKings proposal, the board continues to recommend that shareholders vote in favor of the [Fanatics] transaction” at the end of the month meeting.
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