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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: Opening and sports betting edition

26 Apr 2019

By Dan Ippolito
Two weeks ago, we had our latest edition of casino openings and expansions. Since then, we have seen more two opening announcements hit headlines. Also this week, we have sports betting news from several states, the 2019 World Series of Poker Europe schedule announced and Intertops Poker hosting satellites. Let’s begin with Intertops and a chance to win a trip to play poker in Austria: 5. Intertops Poker hosting poker satellites Intertops Poker is hosting online satellites for the $770,000 Poker EM European Poker Championship in Velden, Austria. The satellites final is on 4 May, and the winner will receive a $6,500 prize package and a €2,700 buy-in to the Main Event in Velden from 24 to 27 July. The satellites are currently held daily. The winner will also be awarded with five nights at a hotel, some cash for travel expenses, and a welcome dinner with the other satellite winners. “Oh yeah, it’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it!” said Intertops Poker’s manager as he anticipated another summer trip to the beautiful Carinthian lakes and mountains. “We’ve taken players to Velden a few times now and they’ve loved the casino and the tournament and of course the awesome lake and mountain setting!” 4. Choctaw Casino in Durant breaks ground on expansion Yesterday, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma announced that ground was broken on the expansion project for Choctaw Casino Resort – Durant. The number of rooms in the hotel will see an increase of 1,000, making it the largest hotel room count in the state. Along with the increase in room capacity, the Durant property will see an expanded gaming floor and new amenities such as a new pool and lazy river, parking garage, retail space, entertainment options and dining venues. “Today is a special day for the Choctaw Nation as we embark upon an expansion journey that will result in a top-tier entertainment offering for our region and will spur economic growth for Durant and our state, plus new employment opportunities for our tribal and community members,” said Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Chief Gary Batton. This is the fourth expansion project since the casino opened in 2006, and Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma plans to invest more than $500 million on this project. 3. 2019 WSOPE schedule finalized Returning to King's Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, the 2019 World Series of Poker Europe will take place from 13 October to 4 November. This year’s edition will feature 10 WSOP gold bracelet events and over €14 million in guaranteed prize pools. This is the third straight year that the WSOPE will be held at King’s Casino. “We are eager to return to King’s Resort in October for the 11th edition of WSOP Europe,” said WSOP Director Gregory Chochon. “King’s Resort has become the center of the poker world in Europe and they are once again bolstering this series with €14 million plus in guarantees to ensure players find plenty of value and opportunity.” WSOP Europe in 2019 will include the €10,000 buy-in Main Event, featuring a €5 million guarantee, and new events including a Mini Main Event, plus the new opener. 2. Sports betting news To start off the sports gambling news this week, we saw Isleta Resort & Casino in New Mexico announce it will bring Las Vegas-style sports gambling to its resort. “We’re very excited to be answering the requests of our guests to bring sports gambling to New Mexico,” said Isleta Resort & Casino CEO Harold Baugus. “We look forward to unveiling all of the exciting possibilities to our patrons,” he continued. More details on when sports betting will be available to bettors at Isleta Resort & Casino are expected in the near future. Along with a resort in New Mexico, Tennessee and Indiana made big moves in legalizing sports betting on Wednesday. On Wednesday night, a bill to allow Tennessee to become the first U.S. state with mobile-only sports betting was approved and now awaits a decision from the Senate. The bill was approved by a 58-37 vote and does not call for retail sports betting at all. The online platforms for sports betting would be run by the state lottery. The sports betting bill in Indiana is a step ahead after being approved by both the House and the Senate and is now just waiting for Governor Eric Holcomb to sign off on it. Unlike Tennessee, Indiana would have both online and retail sports betting. 1. Encore Boston Harbor to open this summer Encore Boston Harbor, the $2.6 billion resort in Everett, Massachusetts, is ready to open its doors on 23 June. This is the second casino in Massachusetts to open in the last year, after MGM Springfield opened in August 2018. The resort will feature a 210,000-square-foot casino, 15 dining and lounge venues, 671 guest rooms and suites, 50,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space, and more. The casino will include over 3,000 slot machines, 143 table games and an 88-table poker room on the second floor. The hotel rooms range from 650 square feet for the king and double guest rooms all the way to the 5,800-square-foot villas.
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