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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: Jackpots, openings, and the Kentucky Derby edition

10 May 2024

By Dan Ippolito
Last weekend, the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby took place. While Mystik Dan took home the win, record betting amounts came flying in. Also this week, we saw news of the Moneymaker Poker Tour coming to Las Vegas, a massive slot win out of Michigan, a new sportsbook coming to Monmouth Park and a Toronto resort celebrating its grand opening.

Let’s begin with a six-figure hit:

5. Four Winds New Buffalo awards six-figure slot win
The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi’s Four Winds Casinos announced that a guest from Schaumburg, Illinois won a $536,614.25 progressive jackpot on 28 April while playing a Dollar Storm Wild Ninja slot machine at Four Winds New Buffalo in Michigan.

The winner, who chose to remain anonymous, won while making a $5 bet.

4. The Moneymaker Tour set to hit Las Vegas
Twenty one years after Chris Moneymaker sparked the poker boom, The Moneymaker Tour is heading to Las Vegas. An agreement with MGM Grand Hotel & Casino Las Vegas will see the Tour’s first edition in the city that witnessed the original arrival of its founder to the poker scene.

The Moneymaker Tour will join the summer poker action in Las Vegas from 28 June to 6 July at MGM Grand with a series guarantee of $1.3 million across six trophy events.

The feature event of the stop will be the $1,700 Main Event which boasts a $1 million guarantee and will run from 3-6 July.

3. Monmouth Park and Caesars break ground for trackside sportsbook
Monmouth Park and Caesars Entertainment celebrated the start of construction on a trackside sportsbook and entertainment complex that is set to open in 2025.

The New Jersey venue will feature 16,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor sports viewing with wall-to-wall flatscreen televisions, food from nationally known restaurant partner Shake Shack, and more than 25 self-service betting kiosks.

A ceremonial groundbreaking event was held on Tuesday, featuring representatives from Monmouth Park, Caesars Sportsbook, and local dignitaries who planted golden shovels in the ground to mark the occasion.

2. Betting records at the Kentucky Derby
On Saturday, a crowd of nearly 157,000 Derby fans gathered at Churchill Downs to witness Mystik Dan claim the Garland of Roses at the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve at 18-1 odds.

Wagering from all sources on the Kentucky Derby Day program set a new record of $320.5 million, beating last year’s record of $288.7 million. All-sources handle for Derby Week rose to a new record of $446.6 million, beating last year’s record of $412.0 million.

TwinSpires, the official betting partner of the Kentucky Derby, handled a new record of $92.1 million in wagering on Churchill Downs races for the Kentucky Derby Day program, compared to last year’s record of $75.5, including all settled future wagers and affiliate wagering.

1. Six-figure Pai Gow Poker win at Treasure Island in Las Vegas
The anticipated grand opening festivities for Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto at Woodbine Racetrack took place last weekend.

The weekend kicked off with sensational back-to-back concerts by three-time Grammy Award winner Gwen Stefani and five-time CMA Male Vocalist of the Year Blake Shelton, hosted in the resort's 5,000-person theater.

On Friday, festivities in the lobby of the 328,000 square foot casino commenced with a lion and dragon dance symbolizing prosperity, good luck, and success.

Canada’s largest casino includes a Vegas-style casino, a 400-room hotel, 5,000-person live entertainment venue, and an array of on-site dining options.
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