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Casino City’s Friday Five: Fourth of July celebrations return to Las Vegas edition

2 Jul 2021

By Dan Ippolito
Here in the U.S., Fourth of July Weekend is upon us. The National Hot Dog Eating Contest will be in full form again this year in Coney Island, N.Y. While eating 70 or so hot dogs like Joey Chestnut may not be on your menu, Las Vegas is serving up plenty of Independence Day specials this weekend.

Before we dive into some of those we have some other headlines, including a major jackpot from the Las Vegas Strip, sportsbooks coming to Wisconsin, a mobile sportsbook launching in Iowa and U.S. poker ready for another explosion.

Let’s start our long-weekend off with a massive payday:

5. $1.5 million jackpot win at The Venetian Las Vegas
On 28 June, a guest who wished to remain anonymous, turned a $5 bet into more than $1.5 million at The Venetian Las Vegas, when the lucky Wheel of Fortune symbols lined up to activate the progressive jackpot.

4. Bally’s Interactive launches mobile sportsbook in Iowa
Bally's Interactive announced on Tuesday the beta launch of its mobile sportsbook, Bally Bet, in Iowa.

The launch expands the sports betting platform's presence into its second state, following last month's launch of BallyBet in Colorado.

Bally Bet includes, among other things, betting options for all major sports, exclusive in-app parlay games and integrated social features.

Adi Dhandhania, Bally's Corporation's Senior Vice President, Strategy and Interactive, said, "We are very excited to have achieved yet another milestone with the expansion of our mobile sports betting platform in Iowa. As a state that has embraced legalized sports betting since 2019, Iowa was an attractive market for Bally Bet. We look forward to integrating Bally's into Sinclair's broadcast and digital programming in Iowa, providing Iowa sports fans with an engaging and creative sports betting experience, and continuing our work towards solidifying Bally's as a leading retail sportsbook brand with the third greatest reach in terms of U.S. legalized market access."

3. Sportsbooks coming to Oneida Nation casinos in Wisconsin
Yesterday, Gov. Tony Evers and Oneida Chairman Tehassi Hill signed a historic compact amendment that expands allowable gaming at Oneida Nation casinos and affiliate locations in the state of Wisconsin to include “event wagering,” which, as defined by the compact amendment, can include sports and events betting on everything from professional sports to nationally televised award shows. The current compact amendment does not allow for wagering on Wisconsin college athletics.

“We are grateful to be able to work closely with the Oneida Nation leadership on this historic agreement,” said Department of Administration Secretary Joel Brennan. “We also appreciate the thoughtful work from the team within the Division of Gaming that helped make this agreement possible.

2. US poker set to explode again
In our latest This Week in Gambling video, J. Todd discusses a great week of gambling news for online poker in the U.S.

After years of claiming that online poker was illegal, the U.S. Department of Justice has finally given up its crusade to criminalize the activity. Now, states are free to regulate online poker and set up pacts across borders. That means we are set for a new online poker explosion.

When it comes to U.S. online poker and gambling, the U.S. Department of Justice has finally raised the white flag. It will not appeal its most recent loss in the Federal Wire Act case, and that means we could be in for an explosion of legal online poker across the country.

On 21 June, the DOJ released a statement that day which read quite plainly: “The government is not planning to seek Supreme Court review of the First Circuit’s decision”. Now Pennsylvania online poker and Michigan online poker could be set for an online gambling explosion with cross border play.

1. Las Vegas lights up with Fourth of July events
To declare the Entertainment Capital of the World has returned, Las Vegas will celebrate Fourth of July weekend by honoring the red, white and blue with live entertainment, fireworks, poolside parties and more.

Beginning at 11 p.m. PDT on Sunday, a themed coordinated fireworks spectacular will erupt from the rooftops of Aria Resort & Casino, Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood Las Vegas, Resorts World Las Vegas, The STRAT Hotel, Casino and SkyPod, The Venetian Las Vegas and Treasure Island.

The Plaza Hotel and Casino is providing three full nights of Independence Day fun from 2 July through 4 July with Downtown’s only fireworks show.

Comedian Dave Chappelle hits the stage at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino Las Vegas Garden Arena, Bill Burr provides laughs at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, and Tom Segura performs as part of the Aces of Comedy at The Mirage Hotel & Casino today and tomorrow.

For those ready to revel in upbeat music, Encore Beach Club at Wynn Las Vegas will host Alesso (today), KYGO (tomorrow) and The Chainsmokers (Sunday).

There is plenty to do this year in Sin City to celebrate a weekend that was forced to be quite dull last year due to COVID-19.
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