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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: More casinos reopening edition

10 Jul 2020

By Dan Ippolito
The first casino in Massachusetts began welcoming back guests this week, while the other two following suit in the next few days. In the poker world, the World Series of Poker continues to give out gold bracelets through online events.
Also this week, we have online casino promotions from Intertops Casino Red and BitStarz, and DraftKings launching a retail sportsbook in Colorado.

Let’s start with the folks at BitStarz:

5. Pirate Gold Level Up adventure at BitStarz
A 1kg gold bar is up for grabs together with a €10,000 cash payout, another €50,000 in individual prize pools and a bunch of BitStarz merchandise.

In Pirate Gold Level Up Adventure, players fight their way through 40 levels, snatching up shares of the individual €50,000 prize pool for an extra boost for the next level.

At Level 15 and 25, players will find a hoodie and a backpack for themselves.

The first to cross 40 levels will get €10,000. Anyone who finishes the race before time runs out will get access to Level 41, where a battle for the main prize will take place. The winner of Level 41 will take home the treasure containing a 1kg gold bar.

4. Summer Dreams competition at Intertops Casino Red
The online casino is giving away over $250,000 as players compete for $30,000 in weekly bonuses. When the summer draws to a close and the contest wraps up on 7 September there will be a final draw for $1,000.

“More than a quarter million dollars – that’s a lot of money to give away!” said Intertops Casino’s manager. “But competing for the biggest weekly bonuses adds a lot of extra excitement so it’s worth it!”

Intertops Casino players automatically earn points when they play and players with the most points win the biggest weekly prizes – up to $500 each.

3. Gamble captures second WSOP bracelet
The $600 PLO8 Six-Max marked the first non-Hold'em event on the 2020 schedule, and after more than 12 hours of play it was Nathan "surfbum" Gamble coming out on top to win $89,424.21.

Gamble, an army veteran who hails from North Richland Hills, Texas, won his first gold bracelet back in 2017 when he topped an 830-entry field to win the WSOP Event #46: $1,500 PLO8 for $223,339.

"I started playing [poker] when I was 13, so poker has always been a big part of me," he said in 2017 after his first WSOP win.

Gamble battled back in heads up play against Shane "danish01" Daniels. He managed to seal the deal in a big all-in preflop hand. Daniels had gotten it in with kings and queens while Gamble had both high and low options. Gamble would end up making a seven-high straight and that was good enough to earn him his second WSOP bracelet.

2. DraftKings retail sportsbook makes Colorado debut at Golden Mardi Gras Casino
DraftKings announced the opening of its retail sportsbook at the Golden Mardi Gras Casino in Colorado.

Guests were able to begin placing bets at the DraftKings Sportsbook beginning today. The temporary book features eight self-service betting kiosks, a cashier window and several large flat screened TVs throughout the space.

“As our partners at Mardi Gras Casino work to expand their current operations and location, we are thrilled to come together to provide the most exciting, real time gaming opportunities as sports begin to make their return,” said Ezra Kucharz, DraftKings’ Chief Business Officer.

Construction of the permanent sportsbook location is underway. Once complete, DraftKings and Mardi Gras Casino will unveil the sportsbook, which will include a large feature bar, an expansive wall of TVs and VIP Lounge area access.

1. Massachusetts casinos begin to open again
On Wednesday, the first casino in Massachusetts welcomed back guests when Plainridge Park Casino reopened its doors to the public.

On Sunday, Encore Boston Harbor is going to reopen with several new guidelines in place.
  • Non-invasive thermal temperature scans at all guest and employee entrances (no guest or employee with a temperature of 100.4 or more will be allowed in the resort);
  • Mandatory face coverings for all employees and guests, with complimentary face coverings available for guests;
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of guest areas throughout the day;
  • Multiple hand sanitizer stations and disinfecting wipes available throughout the resort; and
  • Appropriate and comfortable physical distancing in all gaming and dining areas.

Lastly, on Monday, MGM Springfield will be the final Massachusetts casino to reopen after temporarily shutting down due to COVID-19.
Some of its new regulations are as follows:
  • Employee screening, temperature checks and COVID-19 specific training
  • Employees and guests will be required to wear masks in public areas. Masks will be provided free of charge.
  • A physical distancing policy will be implemented, with floor guides serving as reminders
  • For areas where physical distancing presents challenges, plexiglass barriers will be installed, or other measures will be used to reduce risks
  • Standalone handwashing stations designed by MGM Resorts conveniently located on the casino floor
  • In addition to increased and enhanced routine cleaning of guestrooms (where applicable) and public spaces based on CDC guidance, electrostatic sprayers will be utilized in many large public spaces so that disinfectant is applied efficiently
  • Digital menus will be available to view on personal mobile devices via QR codes in the resort’s food and beverage outlets
  • To minimize groups congregating while they wait, restaurant guests will receive text message notification when their tables are ready
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