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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: Single-event sports betting in Canada edition

23 Apr 2021

By Dan Ippolito
The push for single-event sports betting in Canada has been going on for some time now, and yesterday we saw some more news break in the right direction. Before getting into those details, we have other news stories in the gambling world to cover, as well. Two finalists to operate a new casino in Virginia have been announced, plans are being made for a new casino-resort in Chicago, Caesars Entertainment is pouring some serious dollars into its Atlantic City properties and Resorts World Las Vegas confirmed its grand opening date.

Let’s start today off with some Atlantic City news:

5. Caesars will invest $400 million into Atlantic City resorts by 2023
Earlier this week, Caesars Entertainment shared details on its $400 million plan investment in Atlantic City where it owns and operates three casino destinations – Caesars Atlantic City, Harrah's Resort Atlantic City and Tropicana Atlantic City.

The plans include remodeled room towers; freshly appointed interior design elements; enhancements to the casinos' gaming floors; new dining concepts with acclaimed restaurant partners; and many more additions.

First phase of $170 million in guestroom and suite upgrades at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City and Caesars Atlantic City will debut summer 2021.

"My administration has teamed up with corporate, community and government partners in an effort to reestablish Atlantic City as a premier tourist destination in New Jersey," said Governor Phil Murphy. "This $400 million investment in the city supports our focus on growing the economy, continuing to support Atlantic City, and creating jobs in our state, and I applaud Caesars Entertainment for leading the recovery effort."

The news comes days after Harrah's announced it will debut five new offerings this spring that introduce a brand-new spa and four new dining, nightlife and entertainment concepts for guests to enjoy.

4. The Cordish Companies still in running for Richmond casino
The Cordish Companies' Live! Casino & Hotel Richmond was selected by the City of Richmond to advance as one of two finalists in a bid to bring a resort casino to the city.

The $600 million casino entertainment resort proposed by Live! features a 300-room luxury hotel with a resort pool, spa and wellness center, a first-class casino with 2,000 state-of-the-art slots and electronic table games and 120 live action table games, and a sportsbook.

The other finalist is ONE Resort & Casino.

Bally’s Corporation saw its proposal for a casino-resort be rejected and did not make it to the final two. Bally's Richmond offered the largest financial package of the remaining finalists.

"Though we stand by the fact that our bid was objectively the strongest, we respect the City's decision, and look forward to providing our best-in-class online sports betting platform to sports fans across the State of Virginia under our recently awarded temporary sports wagering permit,” said George Papanier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bally's Corporation.

3. Chicago issues RFP for city’s first casino-resort
Yesterday, the City of Chicago officially issued a Request for Proposal for the opportunity to apply for the sole casino license. Chicago aims to welcome the new casino-resort by 2025.

“After years of planning, we are beyond excited to begin the RFP process for Chicago’s first casino,” said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “We look forward to collaborating with world-class operators to develop a premier entertainment destination that will catalyze growth in our dynamic economy, create sustainable, good-paying jobs for our workforce and bring new financial opportunities to our businesses.”

The holder of the Chicago owner’s license can operate a temporary casino for up to 24 months (subject to a 12-month extension) and, thereafter, a permanent casino located in the City.

2. Resorts World Las Vegas announces opening date
Resorts World Las Vegas, the first ground-up resort development on the Las Vegas Strip in more than a decade, will officially open its doors on 24 June.

Through a partnership with Hilton, Resorts World Las Vegas will offer 3,500 luxury guest rooms and suites from three premium Hilton brands.

The casino floor at Resorts World Las Vegas will feature 117,000 square feet of gaming complete with slots, table games, a dedicated poker room, high-limit areas and a sportsbook.

The resort will offer additional amenities including an expansive 5.5-acre pool complex, featuring seven pool experiences including the only infinity-edge pool on the Strip, as well as a 27,000-square-foot spa experience.

1. Canadian conservatives pass single-event sports betting bill
Yesterday, Bill C-218, which would legalize single-event sports betting in Canada, was passed by the House of Commons. The bill was first introduced in February 2020 with hopes of changing the legal sports betting regulations that Canada has had in place for decades.

According to the Canadian Gaming Association, it is estimated that Canadians are spending $10 billion dollars annually through illegal sports betting operations control by organized crime. Legalizing single-event sports wagering would bring in big numbers for Canada in bets and revenue.

“We commend the members on all sides of the House of Commons for quickly passing this much-needed legislation. Today’s development is a major step forward and we are increasingly encouraged by the widespread industry and strong cross-party support that Bill C-218 has garnered. Now that Bill C-218 has been passed by the House, we look forward to the Senate swiftly carrying the ball over the goal line,” said Score Media and Gaming Founder and CEO John Levy.

TheScore estimates a market potential for online gaming in Canada of between $3.8 billion and $5.4 billion in annual gross gaming revenue, based on historical data extrapolated from legal online gaming markets in the U.S. and globally.

“Last year, I introduced Bill C-218, the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act as a common-sense change to end an outdated restriction on single-event sports betting, an industry worth $14 billion in Canada,” said Kevin Waugh, Conservative Member of Parliament for Saskatoon — Grasswood.

“Given the extraordinary amount of support that this bill received from all parties in the House of Commons, I am hopeful that the Senate will consider and pass this bill quickly. Canada’s Conservatives will continue to put forward commonsense bills that create economic opportunities and help Canadians,” he added.
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