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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: Massachusetts online sports betting goes live edition

10 Mar 2023

By Dan Ippolito
It’s finally here! At 10 a.m. this morning, Massachusetts online operators began accepting mobile sports bets in the Bay State for the first time. We also have both Minnesota and Oklahoma making moves in hopes to get sports wagering legalized in their respective states. In addition to sports betting progress in the U.S., we also have a new casino coming to Toronto, a major jackpot win at a California casino, and Las Vegas gearing up for another pool season.

Let’s begin with a life-changing win:

5. $3.3 million win at Graton Casino in California
Last Sunday, a slots player at Graton Resort & Casino became the California casino’s latest jackpot winner, taking home more than $3,307,754 on a MegaBucks Progressive Gold Forge machine on a $3 bet.

4. Las Vegas ready for 2023 pool season
As more resort pools continue to open for this season in Sin City, there will be nonstop day-life experiences for guests to enjoy throughout Sin City. Here are some a small sample of what guests to Las Vegas can expect:

Opening today, DAYLIGHT Beach Club at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino is a space with a main pool complemented by two private pools for cabana guests. The venue offers an array of programming on its stage with a video wall, including DJ sets and special events like LIT Sundays, which features live performances from hip-hop artists like Too Short.

Launching Monday, 22 May, Dive-In Movies will be back at Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas for another season. Visitors can go for a swim while watching classic films and current blockbusters on the resort’s marquee sign, with this season’s offerings including Aquaman, Elvis, and Grease. The rooftop retreat also features Strip views, in-pool lounge chairs and a menu of bites and beverages.

Opening next Friday, WET24 Pool & Bar at The STRAT Hotel, Casino and SkyPod is an intimate space situated on the resort’s 24th floor. In addition to panoramic views, the venue also offers music from DJs, daybeds, poolside bites and cocktails.

3. Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto to open in summer 2023
Great Canadian Entertainment announced that its $1 billion, new entertainment resort will be known as Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto when it opens its doors at the intersection of Highways 401 and 427 this summer.

The destination adjacent to Woodbine Racetrack will feature a modern Vegas-style casino, integrated 400-room hotel, 5,000-seat live entertainment venue, and multiple on-site dining options. The existing Casino Woodbine and Woodbine Racetrack will continue to operate with no interruption until Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto debuts.

"We see this as an unprecedented opportunity to introduce an entirely new, world-class experience in Canada that will bring together the best in casino gaming, exceptional live entertainment, dining, and accommodation in one very special place," said Matthew Anfinson, Chief Executive Officer, Great Canadian Entertainment.

2. Two more US states make sports betting pushes
Massachusetts wasn’t the only U.S. state to make sports betting headlines recently.

Last week, Representative Zack Stephenson’s House Bill 2000 was moved forward by the Minnesota House Commerce, Finance, and Policy Committee. HB 2000 would allow mobile sports betting in the state along with in-person sports wagering. If approved, tribal casinos in Minnesota would be allowed to team up with an online operator to obtain an online sports betting license along with opening a land-based sportsbook at the property.

The bill will now be put in front of the House Public Safety and Finance Committee for approval.

Oklahoma had a similar bill gain some traction, but the shot clock is running down in the Sooner State. Oklahoma House Bill 1027, just like in Minnesota, would give tribes in the state the opportunity to open a sportsbook and allow them to partner with an online operator for an online sportsbook launch.

Now headed to the House floor, Representative Ken Luttrell’s bill needs to be approved before the 23 March deadline if Oklahomans want to see sports betting move forward. Just last year, Luttrell, the Cherokee nation citizen, introduced a similar bill but it did not survive. For sports betting enthusiasts, hopefully HB1027 sees more success.

1. Mobile sports betting launches in Massachusetts
If you are a sports betting fan such as myself, today has been long overdue in the Bay State, but as the saying goes, better late than never.

This morning at 10 a.m., six online operators, DraftKings, Caesars Sportsbook, BetMGM, WynnBet, Barstool Sportsbook and FanDuel, went live with online sports betting and began accepting wagers. Two others, BallyBet and Fanatics, while approved already, will launch in May.

Also on Wednesday, Betr announced it would hold off on its planned launch in Massachusetts.
“At Betr, it is our priority to give our users the best possible experience while using our app,” the company said in a statement. “As we continue to work to ensure we can deliver that in Massachusetts, we now plan on launching sometime over the next month.

PointsBet originally appeared on the list for operators in the Bay State when they were approved in late 2022, but it decided to pull out of this race just over two weeks ago.

We saw land-based sports betting in Massachusetts go live just over a month ago, but not everything is smooth sailing early on, but hopefully online betting has a cleaner launch.
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