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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: Fines, sportsbooks and jackpots

13 Jan 2023

By Dan Ippolito
Now that the NFL season is over, it is time to move away from our NFL picks for the Circa Million IV Pro Football Contest. Unfortunately, our “mythical” entry finished with a 44-41-3 record, which would have placed us T-2,130th place in the contest out of 4,862 entrants, but there’s always next year!

That said, let’s switch gears to the top news this week. We have a record-breaking jackpot, news from the Las Vegas Strip, sportsbooks openings, and Ohio handing out fines to sports betting operators, just hours after launching legalized sports betting.

Let’s begin with a crazy win in Las Vegas:

5. $6 million win on Pai Gow Poker at Flamingo Las Vegas
On Sunday morning, a Las Vegas local had a lucky start to 2023 when he was dealt a seven-card straight flush of spades while playing Pai Gow Poker at Flamingo Las Vegas.

The hand earned him a progressive jackpot win of $6,443,401 – over six times larger than the largest Pai Gow progressive payout at Caesars Entertainment Las Vegas Resorts in 2022.

Thomas Zanot had been playing Pai Gow for about three hours before his big win. He hopes to use his winnings to buy a house.

4. Maryland’s first full month of mobile wagering handle totals $478 million
December was Maryland’s first full month of mobile sports wagering, as the seven online sportsbooks currently operating all launched on 23 November.

Mobile wagering accounted for $44,791 in contributions to the state, and retail sportsbooks contributed $395,252.

Maryland’s sports wagering market launched in December 2021 and currently includes nine retail locations and seven mobile sportsbook operators. Additional retail locations and mobile sportsbooks are expected to launch in the near future.

3. TWiG: MSG Sphere and Las Vegas Grand Prix
In this week's video, J. Todd gives us the inside scoop on two big happenings coming up in Las Vegas in 2023: the opening of MSG Sphere and the Grand Prix hitting the Strip.

The legendary band U2 is scheduled to perform the first concert at the MSG Sphere Las Vegas, a sphere-shaped, state-of-the-art venue located behind The Venetian Las Vegas that will use cutting-edge visual and audio technologies. And while there is no specific date as of yet, the venue is expected to open sometime toward the end of this year.

In November, Formula 1 will light up the Strip with an actual race as cars go by some of the most famous resorts at speeds reaching 200 milers per hour over the course of nearly a four-mile track. If you are looking to watch the Las Vegas Grand Prix live, you better be ready to fork over nearly $3,000 per person. And that doesn’t include your airfare, taxi rides or food. The hefty price tag does include a three-day race ticket, along with a three-night premium stay at a resort. The package also includes an unlimited supply of food and beverages while you’re at the track.

2. Ontario’s first full-service sportsbook opens at Caesars Windsor
On Wednesday, to commemorate the opening of Caesars Sportsbook at Caesars Windsor, Hockey Hall of Fame goalie, Grant Fuhr, took part in the ribbon-cutting and ceremonial first bet, with any winnings benefiting The Grant Fuhr Foundation.

Located in front of Legends Sports Bar, the 1,618-square-foot sportsbook features three betting windows, seven betting kiosks, and 22 large-screen HD LED TVs.

Bets can be placed on a wide range of sports including professional football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, auto racing, and more.

1. Multiple sportsbooks fined in Ohio
Although sports gambling in Ohio just launched on 1 January a few sportsbooks already find themselves in trouble with the Ohio Casino Control Commission.

The Commission announced last week that it intends to fine Penn Interactive $250,000 after its affiliate Barstool Sportsbook hosted its college football show in November at the University of Toledo. In doing so, Barstool violated the state’s mandate against promoting sports gambling on a college campus as there was no way to tell if everyone in attendance of the event was of legal sports wagering age.

Also last week, the Commission notified BetMGM, Caesars and DraftKings that it intends to take administrative action against them for violations of Ohio law and administrative rules pertaining to advertising and promotions.

BetMGM, Caesars, and DraftKings all ran sports gaming advertisements on several platforms that violated provisions in both Ohio law and the Commission’s rules that require sports gaming advertisements to clearly and conspicuously contain a message designed to prevent problem gambling as well as a helpline number to help access resources.
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