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Jarrod LeBlanc

Jarrod serves as Casino City's associate editor and helps produce and edit all of our weekly newsletters, as well as the GPWA Times Magazine.

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Casino City’s Friday Five: Records, jackpots and Big Apple online poker edition

20 Jan 2023

By Jarrod LeBlanc
They say good things come in threes, and it’s clear by the top news this week that gambling is no exception to the rule. We have not one, not two, but three all-time gambling records; three major jackpots, and last, but not least, a bill introduced in New York to legalize online poker.

In the spirit of this weekend’s Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs, let’s kick things off with a U.S. record that hasn’t even hit its peak yet.

5. New York bill aims to legalize online poker
A bill proposed in the New York State Assembly on Wednesday aims to legalize online poker in the Empire State by reclassifying it as a game of skill, if passed by the Assembly and State Senate and signed into law by the governor.

The purpose of the bill is to amend pari-mutuel wagering and breeding laws, so that Omaha Hold’em and Texas Hold’em are categorized as games of skill rather than games of luck, which would make them legal. Going forward, any other poker games the commission determines to be similar to these games would also be covered under the bill.

The bill is structured similarly to the bill that led to fantasy sports being categorized as games of skill.

4. Three major jackpots won at Caesars Las Vegas
Last weekend, three Caesars Rewards members won jackpots at Caesars Entertainment's Las Vegas resorts, totaling nearly $450,000.

On Saturday, 14 January, Gabriel Moreno of Pensacola, Florida, hit the Major Progressive jackpot on Three Card Poker for $199,281 at Paris Las Vegas. With the winnings, Moreno and his wife plan to remodel their house and invest the rest.

While celebrating a birthday, a guest won the gift of a lifetime after landing a six-card straight flush on I Luv Suits Poker on Sunday, 15 January at Harrah's Las Vegas Casino & Hotel. The winner received $130,831, 10% of the Progressive Jackpot.

The third winner of the weekend took a lucky chance and hit a $119,000 jackpot on a slot machine on Sunday, 15 January at Caesars Palace.

3. Circa Sports NFL contests award $12 million in payments
Last week, we told you how the Casino City Press team finished “mythically” T-2,130th place in the Circa Sports Million IV Pro Football Contest, but this week the real winners received their record paydays.
In total, Circa Sports paid out $12 in total prizes for their Circa Million IV and Circa Survivor contests.

Circa Survivor broke professional football contest records with two checks for over $3 million each. Circa Million IV delivered $6 million in prizes and awarded $1 million to the first-place finisher.

Circa Survivor:
BROWNA-1 and JED-4 received individual checks of $3,066,500 for finishing in first place.

Circa Million IV:
CHIEF-3, consisting of four friends from Michigan who entered the contest together, received a $1 million check for coming in first.

SEAN 1923-2 took home $500,000 for finishing second.

Booty Juedys-1 received $100,000 as the booby prize for finishing in last place.

Pisces1326, STONEY-1, Sunday Best-1 and Super Frog-2 all took home checks for $12,500 as the second-place booby prize winners.

2. Pennsylvania exceeds gaming revenue by half billion dollars from 2021
It was another record year for legalized gaming in Pennsylvania with revenue nearly a half billion dollars higher than the previous year.

In calendar year 2022, the combined revenue of slot machine, table games, sports wagering, iGaming, video gaming terminals (VGTs) and fantasy contests totaled $5,211,303,191 compared to $4,734,552,201 in 2021.

This also resulted in record combined tax revenue production from gaming in 2022 of $2,123,015,118 compared to $1,931,219,603 in 2021. Tax revenue figures reflect amounts generated prior to any adjustments by the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue.

1. US gambling sets all-time record
In the latest This Week in Gambling video, J. Todd breaks down the record-breaking U.S. gambling numbers from the American Gambling Association.

With December's numbers still pending, revenue for gambling in the U.S. in 2022 had already reached more than $54.9 billion. The previous record was set at $53 billion in 2021.
What’s even more impressive is that these numbers do not include the figures for tribal gaming, which left a representative for the AGA to say, “To have already surpassed the record numbers we hit in 2021 with a month to spare is really remarkable.”

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