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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: Online casinos ready to blast off edition

15 Mar 2024

By Dan Ippolito
With only seven states in the U.S. offering legal online casinos, it is expected that more could be getting closer to launching this year. Before we dive into those details, let’s take a look at some other top stories of the week. We have Las Vegas kicking off a busy spring with the start of March Madness, two major jackpots from The Venetian Las Vegas, a South Dakota resort unveils an expansion and a new lounge opens at The Rio in Las Vegas.

Let’s start off with two new millionaires:

5. Seven-figure slots jackpot at The Venetian Las Vegas
On Tuesday, a guest at The Venetian Las Vegas turned a $10 bet into more than $1.6 million. The guest was playing Wheel of Fortune Gold Spin Triple Gold when the three Wheel of Fortune symbols lined up to activate the progressive jackpot for a payout of $1,635,693.

Just one day prior, another guest who wished to remain anonymous, was playing Dragon Link by Aristocrat Gaming in the new high limit gaming lounge on The Palazzo casino floor at The Venetian Las Vegas and won the Grand Jackpot for $1,037,828 from a $25 bet.

4. New Lapa Lounge to debut at Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas
Opening this June inside Rio Hotel & Casino, Lapa Lounge is inspired by the electric vibe of Rio de Janeiro's iconic Lapa neighborhood.

In homage to its namesake, the Lapa Lounge's cocktail program promises an arsenal of bohemian-inspired drinks.

Beer enthusiasts can revel in a handpicked selection, spotlighting local brewery gems and an expanded array of craft brews exclusive to the venue.

This news comes just two weeks after the resort announced it will move into Hyatt’s Independent Collection under the Destination by Hyatt brand when the $340 million renovation is completed in the fall.

3. Rocksino by Hard Rock Deadwood welcomes guests to new rooms
Rocksino by Hard Rock Deadwood in South Dakota unveiled nearly two dozen completely renovated rooms and suites and welcomed hotel guests on Monday, 11 March.

The first boutique hotel/casino of its kind in the Hard Rock International portfolio, The Rocksino by Hard Rock, located in the famed Wild West town in the highest reaches of South Dakota's Black Hills, opened in last August.

Fifteen months in the making, the 22 spacious guest rooms come in 11 different room types, including the Diamond Suite, a three-bedroom unit with a king and two queen beds, two-bedroom king and queen suites, single king and queen rooms, and units featuring two twin beds.

The property features a casino with 86 new slot machines, a full-service restaurant and bar with craft cocktails, a new menu, and authentic music memorabilia.

2. March Madness tips off a busy spring in Las Vegas
We are just two days away from Selection Sunday and then the March Madness bracket will be available for all to fill out and wagers will start flowing in. Las Vegas is filled with watch parties and opportunities to enjoy the games, Let’s take a look at just a few options.

Stadium Swim at Circa Resort & Casino will present Mania Under the Sun on select dates from Wednesday, 20 March through Monday, 8 April. The poolside venue’s 143-foot screen will play all the action, with the spot offering a variety of seating options. Other watch party options are available, including one at the Circa Sportsbook.

Fontainebleau Las Vegas will introduce Bleau Buckets, a college basketball tournament viewing experience inside the resort’s BleauLive Theater from Thursday, 21 March, through Saturday, 23 March. The theater will be fully reimagined, allowing guests to feel like they are courtside with a 70-foot-wide LED screen, an on-site satellite sportsbook, and classic arcade games.

Chéri Rooftop at Paris Las Vegas will present the March Rooftop Hoops Blowout from Thursday, 21 March through Sunday, 24 March. The rooftop lounge will transform into a basketball fan-centric space offering supersized screens, food stations, a beverage credit and reserved seating.

1. US online casino explosion is coming
Seven states have now regulated online casino games like slots, craps, and roulette. And now is the time that industry experts believe more and more states will move closer toward regulation.

Rhode Island recently became the seventh state to offer regulated online casino gambling. The first six states where Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

According to the Associated Press, the head of a national consortium of lawmakers from states with gambling interests, identified New York and Maryland as the “most probable candidates” for introducing internet gambling in the near future.

California’s name was also tossed around in discussions but many believe that the mess in the state makes the idea improbable,

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