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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 sports betting and the return of NFL edition

5 Aug 2022

By Dan Ippolito
Last night, the National Football League officially began its 2022-2023 season with the Hall of Fame preseason game. The Las Vegas Raiders defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-11 and the season is now underway.

We have some NFL future bets to look into for this season, but before that, we have more top stories in the gaming industry to cover. A Massachusetts sports betting bill was passed at the 12th hour earlier this week and we also have several jackpot winners, a sportsbook opening and a groundbreaking for a new casino.

Let’s begin with a few big winners:

5. Mega jackpots in San Diego and Las Vegas
On 25 July, Jamul Casino awarded $1.2 million to Phuc Nguyen from San Diego. Phuc, who plays several times a month at his hometown casino, bet $5 to win the jackpot while playing Super 4 Blackjack Progressive. The winning hand occurred when the Royal Flush in Diamonds was deal. With the winnings, Phuc plans to spend time with his family and go on vacation.

Phuc wasn’t the only recent lucky player. A Las Vegas local resident made a trip to The Orleans Hotel and Casino he’ll never forget, after hitting Boyd Gaming’s regional linked Pai Gow Poker progressive jackpot for a payday of nearly $340,000 on Friday, 29 July.

The Orleans regular, who requested to remain anonymous, was playing Face Up Pai Gow Poker with his wife when he hit a seven-card straight flush, capturing a Pai Gow Poker progressive jackpot of $338,703.

Then on Tuesday, a player won the mega progressive jackpot for $147,490 playing High Card Flush at The Cromwell. The guest also chose to remain anonymous.

4. WarHorse breaks ground on Omaha Casino
WarHorse gaming held its second groundbreaking in as many weeks last week during an event at Horsemen's Park, the future site of WarHorse Omaha.

The groundbreaking kicks off 18 months of construction, leading to a casino with more than 1,200 slots machines, 20 table games, sportsbook and both live and simulcast horse racing. The final build out also will include a variety of dining options, a sports bar and a café.

3. Bingo World officially opens BetRivers Sportsbook
On Monday, Bingo World and Rush Street Interactive announced the launch of in-person sports betting at the BetRivers Sportsbook at Bingo World in Maryland.

Eligible bettors, 21 and over, will be able to place bets at the new retail sportsbook on a variety of U.S. and worldwide sporting events, including parlays, prop bets and in-game bets, through 12 self-service kiosks as well as three over-the-counter machines to place bets.

The 3,000 square-foot sportsbook features a lounge area with 32 theater-style seats, a bar with seating and high tops, 21 hi-def video screens that surround the space airing multiple sporting events concurrently and streaming BetRivers odds boards.

2. Top 10 NFL future bets for the 2022-2023 season
Last night brought us a step closer to the regular season of the NFL as the preseason kicked off with the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio.

The Las Vegas Raiders looked good and while it was mainly played by backup players for both sides, it was still nice to see them get in the win column considering they are one of my future bets.

Adding Davante Adams to a passing threat of Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller for Derek Carr makes any opposing team fear this offense. I think the Raiders should be able to win at least nine games and complete their over/under of 8.5 wins.

Another bet I looked at is, of course, Super Bowl winner. The Buffalo Bills, my pick to win it all, were taken out of the playoffs last season in one of the wildest fourth quarters and OT in the Divisional Round against the Chiefs. Buffalo had Super Bowl aspirations and definitely were left with a sour taste in their mouth.

The Bills already have an explosive offense with Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs alone. Now, the defense looks even more terrifying as the Bills added Von Miller to the defensive edge who has been a pain for QBs throughout his career.

1. Massachusetts sports betting bill crosses the finish line
For sports bettors in Massachusetts, Monday felt like Christmas as they read a tweet from Speaker of the House of Representatives Ron Mariano.

“I am proud to announce that the Sports Betting Conference Committee has reached an agreement on legislation that will legalize wagering on professional and collegiate sports in Massachusetts, bringing the immense economic benefits of a legal sports betting industry to MA,” Mariano wrote in his Tweet.

The House and Senate somehow found middle ground on debates regarding sports betting after midnight struck on Sunday, the last scheduled day of the formal legislative session.

The Senate voted 36-4 to approve Bill H5164 and it awaits a signature from Governor Charlie Baker, who has long been a proponent of bringing regulated sports betting to Massachusetts, which means he’s a heavy favorite to sign it well within the available 10-day window.

Betting on college sports will indeed be available to wager on – except for in-state colleges and universities. This is not unusual – New Jersey, one of the most prolific sports betting markets, has a similar clause – but schools like Boston College and Harvard will be fair game to bet on when playing in a “collegiate tournament” such as March Madness.

As for the number of operators, casinos and racetracks will each receive a license and there will be seven other mobile licensees.

As for the retail sportsbooks that will be popping up in Massachusetts, Encore Boston Harbor, the magnificent Wynn Resorts property that opened just outside Boston city limits three years ago, already has a space ready to roll. When the WynnBET Sports Bar was unveiled last year in September, the betting windows – albeit dormant – were installed with hopes that what transpired today would become reality.
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