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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: Poker, jackpots and sports betting edition

14 Apr 2023

By Dan Ippolito
As you can tell from the title of this week’s article, we have a range of topics to cover. To kick things off, the Casino City team covers some new slots that were released for players to take a look at. In addition, there was a six-figure win at a California casino, Maryland sports betting reporting record figures, Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady is hosting a poker tournament, and the WSOP registration for the 2023 tournament is underway.

Let’s begin this week with some new games:

5. Top 10 new online slots
Since our last edition in February, tons of new slots have been released from providers as games are debuted every day. Below are just a few from our top 10 selection on Monday.

Hot Hot Honey is a 5x3 row slot, featuring the bee trio, the Anna sisters, who have banded together to provide enough hot honey to satisfy everyone’s appetites. Armadillo Studios’ Trail Bonus mode is present in the game and is triggered when three or more special bonus symbols land on the screen. The new slot adds a twist to the mode, adding money-awarding prizes including flower credit awards, super wings, mystery prizes, and a victory prize pot for those who make it to the end.

Progressive collect pots grow in value during the base game of The Funky Boombox, being awarded when five or more Funky Boombox symbols land anywhere on the reels. The more Boombox symbols that land, the bigger the prize, and the bigger the multiplier. When three Funky Wheel symbols land on the first, third and fifth reels, the Funky Wheel Bonus begins and awards a Funky Wheel spin. Landing three bonus spins symbols on the reels activates the Pick and Match mechanic, where choosing three matching tiles reveals up to 20 bonus games. Plus, any wild tiles during the bonus can substitute for other tiles and award an extra five bonus spins.

Played across 3x3 reels, Legendary Beasts adds a twist to the gameboard with splitting symbols, which can divide into two or four parts, creating additional ways for players to win. The multiplier reel is present throughout and helps to boost wins, landing on a multiplier for each spin of up to 9x, raising the stakes and providing 1,728 ways to win.

4. Thunder Valley Casino Resort awards $130,000 jackpot
Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln, California announced a Thunder Strike Jackpot win of $130,064 on Sunday, 9 April.

The winning guest, Debra Taylor, was playing the slot machine Dragon Link – Genghis Khan when she hit the massive jackpot.

3. Rivers Casino Schenectady hosting Electric City Poker Series
Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady hosts its first-ever Electric City Poker Series, which began on 13 April and is running until Sunday, 23 April.

The series includes 11 tournaments and is taking place in the River Casino Event Center and Poker Room. Every event has a guaranteed prize pool, with $290,000 in total guarantees, and every event champion will be awarded a winner's trophy.

The Electric City Poker Series Main Event is an $800 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament with a guaranteed prize pool of $150,000.

2. Maryland sports wagering turns in its best month
Maryland’s sports wagering market had its best month in March, as the retail and mobile sportsbooks combined to generate a single-month record of $5,310,057 in contributions to the state.

Statewide handle in March totaled $385,967,195, with mobile handle accounting for 95.9% of the total at $370,290,622.

Maryland’s sports wagering market launched with five retail locations in December 2021. As of the end of March 2023, there were 10 retail locations and eight mobile operators. Additional retail locations and mobile sportsbooks are expected to launch in the near future.

1. 2023 WSOP registration now open
The 54th annual World Series of Poker announced that online registration for its return to the Las Vegas Strip at Horseshoe Las Vegas and Paris Las Vegas officially opened yesterday. For the first time, prospective WSOP players have an additional option to save more by booking an entire trip package, including resort accommodations and airfare.

The 2023 WSOP, which is from 30 May 30 to 18 July, will feature the largest slate of bracelet events in its history. With 608 tables, the series will also have the largest capacity to date and the expectation to shatter records becoming the biggest WSOP of all time.

The 2022 WSOP set records for the most prize money ever awarded at nearly $350 million and the Main Event hosted the second-largest field in the history of live poker with 8,663 entrants – just 110 entries short of the record set in 2006.
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