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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 Las Vegas Strip resort edition

21 Jan 2022

By Dan Ippolito
The launch of New York mobile sports betting took over headlines last week and it continues to make news this week. However, in addition to that, we had a major announcement from Las Vegas this week regarding the opening of a new mega-casino resort on the Strip. We also have a new casino coming to Pennsylvania, two sportsbooks opening in Washington and plans for a sports experience at an Atlantic City property.

Let’s start things off with the news from the Atlantic City Boardwalk:

5. New sports experience at Ocean Resort Casino
Ocean Resort Casino will begin construction in March of a new venue that will blend a bar, lounge, and gaming experience with sports wagering.

The $4 million concept is scheduled to make its debut this summer with trading management services provided in partnership with USBookmaking.

“As Ocean continues to strengthen its position within Atlantic City, we are steadfastly dedicated to property growth and development,” said Bill Callahan, Interim Chief Executive Officer for Ocean Casino Resort.

“We are excited by the new venue’s central location and the ability to advance our product with an innovative experience for our guests to enjoy. Partnering with USBookmaking allows us to capitalize on their expertise to bolster our land-based wagering product.”

4. Casino coming to Cumberland County in Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board voted unanimously on Wednesday to award a license to Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment, Inc, operator of Parx Casino, to construct a Category 4 casino in Shippensburg Township, Cumberland County.

A Category 4 Slot Machine License permits the operation of 300 to 750 slot machines. The venue can also petition for permission to initially operate up to 30 table games for an additional fee of $2.5 million with the capability of adding an additional 10 tables games after its first year of operation. That table games certificate was also approved by the board at its public meeting.

According to information presented to the board, the 73,000 square foot Parx Casino Shippensburg will offer 500 slot machines, electronic table games, and a restaurant and sports bar.

The casino is targeting a late 2022 opening and also plans to offer sports wagering in the future.

3. DraftKings to open two retail sportsbooks in Washington
On Wednesday, DraftKings and the Tulalip Tribes of Washington announced an exclusive market access partnership that will bring the DraftKings retail sportsbook experience to the state of Washington.

Plans are underway to open DraftKings sportsbooks at Tulalip Resort Casino and Quil Ceda Creek Casino, both located just 30-minutes north of Seattle in Tulalip.

Initial design plans for the DraftKings Sportsbook at Tulalip Resort Casino, pending licensure and regulatory approvals, will feature a 5,000 square-foot space with a 50-foot video wall and more than two dozen kiosks and eight ticket windows.

The design of the DraftKings Sportsbook at Quil Ceda Creek Casino is still early in the planning phase.

Once operational, Washington will mark the 19th state in which DraftKings is live with its sportsbook product.

2. New York surpasses one million mobile sports betting accounts
New York mobile sports betting took off at 9 a.m. on Saturday, 8 January and has been on the fast-track to productivity since.

More than one million accounts have been created across the five authorized sportsbooks and the action is not slowing down.

From launch up until the end of the Monday Night Football game on Monday, 17 January, GeoComply data shows:

- 1.2 million accounts active in New York, with 878,000 unique players – more than New Jersey and Pennsylvania combined over the same period.
- Only 9.3% of New York players have placed bets previously in New Jersey, easing cannibalization concerns.
- 770,840 or 87.8% of New York players are brand new to regulated online sports betting – never before seen in GeoComply’s systems.
- New Yorkers are mostly loyal to one sportsbook so far, with an average of 1.36 accounts per player.
- New York geolocation transactions* this weekend (17.9 million), exceeded transactions from launch weekend (17.2 million).
- New Jersey is unfazed; averaged 12.6 million geolocation transactions the two weekends before New York launch and 13.1 million the two weekends since launch.

“The momentum of New York’s sports betting launch has continued and it is mostly home-grown,” says Lindsay Slader, Managing Director of Gaming at GeoComply. “The vast majority of users are brand new to regulated sports betting in the U.S. The data tell us that New Yorkers are dumping illegal sportsbooks for the new legal options and operators are also excelling at attracting first-time bettors.”

1. Fontainebleau Las Vegas to open end of next year
Fontainebleau Development, which designs, builds, owns, and operates premier hospitality, commercial, retail, and luxury properties, is targeting fourth quarter of 2023 for the opening of its recently acquired 67-story, vertically integrated luxury resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

Fontainebleau Development and partner Koch Real Estate Investments acquired the property at 2777 S. Las Vegas Blvd in February 2021. The project is 75% complete, and, upon opening, Fontainebleau Development will be the sole hotel operator of Fontainebleau Las Vegas.

“We are grateful to have the opportunity to finish what we started and finally introduce the iconic Fontainebleau brand into one of the world’s largest hospitality destinations,” says Fontainebleau Development Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Soffer. “We have been extremely selective when it comes to expanding our brand. Las Vegas has always been our number one choice. The building is in mint condition, and we have already commenced construction. We are excited to make this dream a reality.”
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