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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: Massive jackpots and US sports betting expansion edition

4 Mar 2022

By Dan Ippolito
Sports betting continues to thrive in the U.S. and more states are getting in on the action. Before we get into sports wagering expansion news out of Arkansas, California and Missouri, we also saw 888 Holdings receive a near-record fine from the U.K. Gambling Commission, a few jackpot winners from Treasure Island in Las Vegas and a new slot jackpot available at two Pennsylvania casinos.

Let’s start it off with some slot winners:

5. Treasure Island unveils February 2022 jackpot winners
Treasure Island Las Vegas awarded major jackpots in the month of February. Visitors winning $10,000 or more during February included:

- Robert T. from Arizona won $229,368 on The Mask.

- Catherine C. from Michigan won $14,063 on Money Ball Inferno.

- Richard H. from Illinois won $25,000 on Top Dollar.

- Christopher C. from South Dakota won $24,000 on 5 Mosquitoes Tabasco Machine.

- Shelly F. from Hawaii won $33,800 on 4 Card Keno.

- Yvonne C. won $13,465 on 777 Double Jackpot.

4. New slot jackpot at Live! Pittsburgh and Live! Philadelphia casinos
Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia and Live! Casino Pittsburgh announced the arrival of Mega Jackpot Madness, a new mystery progressive slots program that guarantees jackpot wins from $10,000 up to $50,000 which launched on 1 March.

Each Mega Jackpot will start at $10,000 and grow every time an eligible guest makes a spin on an eligible slot machine with their Live! Rewards Card properly inserted.

The jackpot increases until somebody wins, and somebody is guaranteed to win by the time the Mega Jackpot reaches $50,000. Once the prize is awarded, the Mega Jackpot resets back to $10,000 and it starts all over again.

Live! Casino will award five Mega Jackpots at each location. The program will run through 30 May or until all five jackpots hit.

3. UGKC hits 888 with a £9.4 million fine
The online gambling business will pay a £9.4 million fine, the third highest in the history of British gambling regulation, after a Gambling Commission investigation revealed social responsibility and money laundering failings.

888 UK Limited, which operates 78 websites including, has also received an official warning and will undergo extensive independent auditing.

This is the second time 888 UK Limited has faced enforcement action. In 2017 they paid a £7.8 million penalty package for failing vulnerable customers.

Andrew Rhodes, Gambling Commission Chief Executive, said: “The circumstances of the last enforcement action may be different but both cases involve failing consumers – and this is something that is not acceptable. Today’s fine is one of our largest to date, and all should be clear that if there is a repeat of the failures at 888 then we have to seriously consider the suitability of the operator to uphold the licensing objectives and keep gambling safe and crime-free.”

2. Arkansas mobile sports betting launch
Just in time for March Madness, Arkansas sports bettors can expect mobile sports betting to be full launched.

In fact, the first day that casinos in the state can introduce their mobile sportsbooks is today, but it seems that it may take a few more days before the first wagers are accepted.

After casinos were given approval last week, Saracen Casino Resort will be the first property to launch its mobile sportsbook. All that is standing in its path is a few steps, including payment processing approval.

It does appear that BetSaracen will be able to accept wagers in time for March Madness which kicks off on 17 March.

Missouri also made sports betting headlines this week. Yesterday, the Missouri House Committee voted to approve legal sports betting by a 4-2 vote.

This proposal would allow each of the 13 casinos in the state to offer sports betting along with the teams in the state to have it at their stadiums.

The next step for the proposal is to be put in front of the House Rules Committee before it would advance to the Senate.

1. California sports betting dreams
This week's gambling news discusses the possibility of California sports betting as voters there may see legislation this fall, which would create one of the largest and potentially most lucrative markets in the U.S.

The latest poll of voters in California found a full 45% in favor of legalization, while 22% are still trying to make up their minds on the issue. That leaves about one third of state residents opposed to the idea. This poll did not have any consideration for just how California sports betting would be regulated, and that has the potential to be a very sticky issue.

This fall, residents may be asked to decide between as many as four California sports betting bills, with each offering separate models. The Survey Director at the Institute, Mark DiCamillo, summed it up by saying “It’s just anybody’s guess right now how an initiative might fare.”

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