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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: New Jersey sports betting boom edition

15 Jan 2021

By Dan Ippolito
This week, we received the news that Sheldon Adelson, chairman of Las Vegas Sands passed away, as did Las Vegas entertainment legend Siegfried Fishbacher. These two left their mark on Sin City in very different ways, but before getting into that we have some other news.

New Jersey sportsbooks again find themselves breaking records, while operators in the state need to clean up their act when it comes to making timely payouts. Also this week, we have several jackpot wins at Treasure Island located on the Las Vegas Strip and a first look at a new Nebraska gaming facility.

Let’s begin with some big payouts:

5. Treasure Island jackpots
Slot players won major jackpots last month at Treasure Island Las Vegas.

Visitors hitting jackpots of $10,000 or more, amid other significant wins, in December included:
  • Jeffrey W. tried his luck on the Wheel of Prosperity and took home $15,226.
  • Christine O. from Texas won $12,648 on the Buffalo Grand Progressive slot machine.
  • Sarah C., a California resident, played Lock It Link Grand Progressive slot machine and went home with $13,164.
  • Texas resident Lizabeth A. played the Ultimate Fire Link Bonus and won $13,924.
  • Visitor Maria A. tried her luck on Jade Wins Progressive and took home $19,056.
  • Playing the Keno 7/7 slot machine, Glenn F. took home $28,000.
  • Billy D. took home $15,922 playing the Quick Hits 8 Progressive slot machine.

4. New Jersey operators receive warning for withdrawal delays
Online gambling operators in New Jersey have been issued a warning from the Division of Gaming Enforcement regarding the processing times for withdrawals from online gaming accounts. There have been a number of complaints by patrons mentioned in the Director's Advisory Bulletin from Division of Gaming Enforcement's Director David Rebuck.

"Specifically, patrons have complained that after requesting a withdrawal, it can take up to two weeks for the funds to be available to them," Rebuck wrote.

There were cases of bonuses being offered in order to cancel out the withdrawal requests.
"It has been reported by some patrons that they were even offered bonus money to reverse a pending withdrawal request," Rebuck added to the bulletin.

3. Lincoln Casino provides animated glimpse of new $200 million casino
WarHorse Gaming released a 3-D animation conceptual rendering of a future casino at Lincoln Race Course in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The animation is a glimpse of the exterior and interior of the casino and racecourse facilities after a proposed $200 million investment into the complex to expand casino gaming.

WarHorse Gaming will be responsible for casino management and gaming operations at the Lincoln Race Course, Horsemen's Park in Omaha, and Atokad Park in South Sioux City.

Warhorse Gaming - Lincoln Casino / Racecourse from LSE Architects, Inc. on Vimeo.

2. The passing of Sheldon G. Adelson
The Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO, a long-time opponent of online gambling, was 87 and died earlier this week from complications related to treatment for non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

This news came shortly after it was announced that Adelson was taking a leave of absence from his role in the company shortly after resuming his cancer treatment.

Despite being an opposer to online gambling, Adelson had his company, Las Vegas Sands, backed by a great reputation. In August, the company was officially named to Forbes' second annual list of America's Best-in-State Employers. "Our company has built an enduring reputation as a global hospitality and business leader, due in large part to the dedication of our Team Members and leadership team. Our inclusion on the Best-in-State Employers list reinforces and validates that that reputation is well-earned," said Adelson.

In the beginning of the COVID-19 struggles, many had to furlough and lay-off workers during the tough times. Las Vegas Sands announced that it would pay its 10,000 employees at The Venetian Las Vegas and The Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino in addition to the 1,200 employees working in the resorts’ 14 third-party restaurants.

On Wednesday night, the entertainment industry lost one of its icons when Siegfried Fishbacher passed away from pancreatic cancer. Fishbacher was known for his famous Siegfried and Roy duo show with Roy Horn, who died of COVID-19 complications in May.

Together, Siegfried & Roy redefined live magic by combining remarkable stagecraft with rare and endangered animals. In doing so, the duo created the modern era for Las Vegas entertainment.

1. New Jersey hits $6 billion in sports bets in 2020
New Jersey fell just short in December of becoming the first state to accept $1 billion in sports bets in a single month, but still extended a streak of record-setting months while reaching a record $6 billion in wagers for the year.

New Jersey's sportsbooks collected a record $996.3 million in December wagers, according to official data released Wednesday. That surpassed the record $931 million bet in November, and marked the fifth straight month the state has set an all-jurisdiction record.

Looks like it’s only a matter of time that the Garden State will reach $1 billion in bets in a single month.

December's bets generated a record $66.4 million in revenue. Year-over-year, handle was up 78.6% from the $557.8 million bet in December 2019 and revenue was up 125.6% from $29.4 million in December 2019.

For all of 2020, New Jersey's retail and online sportsbooks produced:
  • $6.02 billion in bets.
  • $5.5 billion in online wagering.
  • $398.5 million in operator revenue.
  • $65.1 million in state and local taxes.
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