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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: MGM Resorts edition

3 Aug 2018

By Dan Ippolito
MGM Resorts International dominated the gaming headlines this week, as the move to regulate and legalize sports betting gained even more momentum in the U.S. this week. We also saw Caesars Entertainment and William Hill get more involved in this evolving new market. But first, we start with a couple of big jackpot winners. 5. Las Vegas player wins jackpot at Sam’s Town A local Las Vegas slot player, Michael M., decided to take a stop at Sam's Town Hotel & Gambling Hall. Little did he know, this quick stop would turn into a $762,479.60 payday. Michael placed a $5 wager on the Aristocrat’s Buffalo Thundering 7's at the Las Vegas casino on his way to a jackpot win early Tuesday, 31 July. 4. €179,000k score at Casumo A Finnish player managed to win a total of €179,669 with a single deposit of €100 spread out over eight days. To take home the six-figure score, the anonymous player played four slot games: Wild Swarm, Fat Rabbit, Diamond Mine and Sakura Fortune. The Finnish player says he plans to invest a small portion of his winnings from Casumo and enjoy this life-changing jackpot. 3. MGM Resorts and GVC announce joint venture The two companies announced the establishment of a 50/50 joint venture to create a world-class sports betting and online gaming platform in the U.S. Under the agreement, MGM Resorts and GVC have agreed to capitalize the agreement with initial commitments of $100 million per partner. The deal will establish a separate headquarters to be located in a major U.S. technology hub, select a leadership team comprised of best-in-class talent from each company and additional new hires, and form a four-person board of directors with equal representation from MGM Resorts and GVC to oversee ongoing operations and growth. The new venture will have exclusive access to all U.S. land-based and online sports betting, online real money and free-to-play casino gaming, major tournament and online poker, and other similar future interactive businesses – facilitating entry into multiple digital gaming verticals under the playMGM Casino and partypoker headline brands. The two are very excited about the partnership with football right around the corner. 2. Sports wagering continues to make strides Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi and Gold Strike Casino Resort in Tunica, both part of the MGM Resorts International portfolio, now share the distinction of taking the first sports wagers in Mississippi under newly created state regulations permitting licensed casino operators to establish legal sportsbooks. Beau Rivage and Gold Strike launched sports wagering operations with the strong support of MGM's more than 25 years of sports wagering operations experience in Nevada, where the company's resorts combine to write more than 4 million sports wagers each year, with an annual handle of more than $1 billion. MGM Resorts wasn’t the only one getting involved in sports betting this week. Caesars Entertainment Corporation announced on Monday that it would introduce sports betting into its Atlantic City, Gulf Coast and Tunica properties. The sports betting offering began with facilities at Wild Wild West at Bally's - Atlantic City on 30 July and Harrah's Resort Atlantic City on 1 August. Caesars plans to follow the retail openings with the introduction of mobile sports betting throughout New Jersey on the Caesars Casino & Sports mobile app. In Mississippi, sports betting locations are targeted to be available at Horseshoe Casino & Hotel - Tunica and Harrah's Gulf Coast in mid-August, just in time for football season. William Hill U.S. also got into the action this week with the announcement of a major expansion. The company has announced the signing of sports betting agreements with 11 casinos in Mississippi and a casino partner in West Virginia. The company is also in discussions with operators about sports betting deals that would cover a further 14 U.S. states. William Hill will provide sports betting risk management services and its proprietary technology for both retail and on-premises mobile sports betting to the following casinos: Hard Rock Casino Hotel & Casino - Biloxi, Island View Casino Resort (Gulfport), Palace Casino Resort (Biloxi), Treasure Bay Casino and Hotel (Biloxi) and WaterView Casino and Hotel (Vicksburg), in addition to six other casinos in Mississippi. All properties are expected to be live by the end of August pending granting of licenses. In West Virginia, William Hill will provide retail and mobile/online sports betting to a soon-to-be-announced casino partner. 1. MGM Resorts becomes official gaming partner of the NBA A new multi-year partnership that will make MGM Resorts the official gaming partner of the NBA and WNBA was announced Tuesday afternoon. The partnership is the NBA’s first with a sports betting operator in the U.S. and is the first of its kind between MGM Resorts and a major professional sports league. As part of the partnership, MGM Resorts will use official NBA and WNBA data and branding, on a non-exclusive basis, across MGM Resorts' land-based and digital sports betting offerings throughout the United States. The sports betting partnership is the NBA and WNBA’s latest collaboration with MGM Resorts. In 2017, MGM Resorts purchased the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces after receiving unanimous approval from the WNBA and NBA Board of Governors. The Aces are Las Vegas’ first professional basketball team and play their home games at MGM Resorts’ Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino's Events Center. Additionally, MGM Resorts has been the title partner of the MGM Resorts NBA Summer League the last two years.
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