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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: Prize money edition

28 Sep 2018

By Dan Ippolito
Sports betting in the U.S. remains in the news, with a Congressional hearing on sports betting having taken place yesterday morning. We heard opinions from both sides of the debate, along with questions from members of Congress.

We also had large payouts and winnings this week, and news of a new rooftop lounge opening. Finally, we have an online sportsbook with a unique offer for the upcoming UFC event in Las Vegas.

Let’s begin with the rooftop lounge.

5. Churchill Downs to construct new rooftop lounge

The legendary racetrack, where the Kentucky Derby is held, has announced plans for a $5 million capital investment that will expand the Starting Gate Suites through the construction of a new 20,000-square-foot rooftop garden, which will deliver a unique hospitality experience with exclusive sight-lines and access for more than 500 ticketed guests.

Not only will guests be able to enjoy the view from the rooftop, but they will also have access to various bar and food options.

Construction on the Starting Gate Suites Rooftop project will begin after the 2-3 November Breeders’ Cup World Championships and be completed prior to the 2019 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve, which will be staged for the 145th consecutive year on Saturday, 4 May.

4. Intertops Sportsbook adds stake-back special on UFC event

The UFC Fight of the Year continues with Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov on 6 October in Las Vegas. The online bookmaker Intertops Sportsbook has reduced the juice on its "To Win" odds for the fight, currently priced with Nurmagomedov at -155 and McGregor at +140. It has also introduced an attractive stake-back special.

Customers picking the wrong man to win on 6 October will receive the consolation of getting their stake returned as a free bet. The sum returned depends on the length of the fight, but it could be up to $100 – double the stake required to qualify for the promotion.

3. Pala gives out "Goin' Bananas for Bucks" grand prize

A $50,000 check is something we all wouldn’t mind receiving. And that's exactly what a lucky California player got after a trip to Pala Casino Spa and Resort.

Nicholas A., a player from Valley Center, CA, won the $50,000 grand prize on 26 September, in the final drawing of Pala Casino Spa and Resort’s “Goin’ Bananas For Bucks” promotion. Pala’s next promotion, “Cash Crop,” which started Monday, 24 September, will award $130,000 in prizes on 31 October.

2. PokerStars Galactic Series awards €16,973,768

The PokerStars Galactic Series concluded as the Southern European shared liquidity market’s biggest ever online poker tournament series with a total prize pool of €16,973,768, surpassing its €15 million guarantee.

A total of 50,612 players hit the virtual felt during the 186-event schedule. The series, which ran from 26 August to 13 September, was also the longest ever held in the Southern Europe shared liquidity market and featured the biggest single-event guarantee in the shared liquidity market at €1.5 million.

The Main Event had 6,430 entries and French players proved to have the most Main Event success with five countrymen making it to the final table and the top four spots taken by French players. French success characterized the whole series with players from France winning the most events — 42 in total — followed by Spain with 30 events and Portugal with 20.

1. AGA speaks to Congress on sports betting

The House Judiciary Subcommittee held a hearing yesterday to analyze sports betting. The hearing included five witnesses, one of whom was Sara Slane, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at the American Gaming Association (AGA).

Slane emphasized that federal oversight of sports betting is unnecessary in the ongoing efforts to create effective legal sports betting markets in the United States. Slane wasn’t the only one to back the legalization of sports betting in the U.S.

In partnership with teams, leagues and regulators, gaming operators have successfully protected the integrity of both bets and competitions for decades in Nevada. AGA’s continued position of support for state and tribal regulators was echoed in testimony by Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairwoman Becky Harris.

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