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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: Sports betting, fines and massive jackpots edition

24 Mar 2023

By Dan Ippolito
As March Madness sweeps across the U.S., a couple more states in the U.S. have made progress toward legalized sports betting. Before we get into details about Maryland and Missouri, we have news about cashless gaming is making its way to a casino in California, a lucky winner taking home a six-figure payday from a Reno casino, and the U.K. Gambling Commission dishing out another large fine.

Let’s begin in the U.K.:

5. UKGC fines 32Red and Platinum Gaming £7.1 million
Two online operators 32Red Limited and Platinum Gaming Limited, both part of Kindred Group, will pay a £7.1 million penalty for social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures.

Kindred agreed to pay the fine and acknowledged the Commission’s recognition that the group’s U.K. operation is in an improved position since the assessment took place and that it remains suitable to hold an operating license.

32Red Limited, which runs 32Red Online Casino on, will pay £4,195,655, while Platinum Gaming Limited, which runs Unibet Casino on, will pay £2,937,599.

One of the failures was 32Red customer gambling session times should have prompted earlier identification of customers who may have been experiencing gambling related harm.

Another was Platinum Gaming failed to have effective policies and procedures designed to identify separate accounts held by the same individual. For example, self-excluded or blocked customers were able to register on Platinum Gaming after being blocked or self-excluded on the 32Red platform.

4. Grand Sierra Resort and Casino awards $544,000 payout
Jessy from East Palo Alto was playing at Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno for the first time on Sunday.

After just 10 minutes, the Wheel of Fortune game dished out $544,663 on just an $8 bet.

3. IGT grows cashless solutions at Graton Resort and Casino
International Game Technology announced that it signed a multi-year agreement with Graton Resort & Casino in Rohnert Park, California to enable cashless gaming via Resort Wallet and IGTPay solutions.

With Resort Wallet and IGTPay, Graton can offer its Graton Rewards loyalty club members the option to create a Cashless Wagering Account and then fund that account from their mobile device using a range of sources such as personal checking and credit accounts.

To apply available funds to a slot game session, a player simply taps the smartphone to the game's card reader and via Bluetooth technology, the player's balance and loyalty rewards instantly populate on the game's service screen.

"Cashless commerce is the way of the future across business sectors and we're finding that slot players who adopt IGT's cashless casino technologies are readily embracing it and reporting high satisfaction with the experience," said Ryan Reddy, IGT SVP Global Video Poker, VLT, Systems and Payments.

2. Maryland approves qualifications for three sports wagering applicants
Yesterday, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission approved the qualifications of one mobile sports wagering applicant, one sports wagering facility applicant and one online sports wagering operator applicant.

Veterans Services Corporation was found qualified for a mobile sports wagering license, Whitman Gaming was found qualified for a retail sports wagering facility license, and iGamingCloud qualified as an online sports wagering operator.

Veterans Services Corporation entered into an operator service agreement with Bee-Fee Limited, which will provide its online sports wagering platform. Whitman Gaming plans to launch a retail sportsbook facility in North Bethesda and FanDuel will serve as the sports wagering operator for the facility. iGamingCloud entered into a service agreement to provide its Sportnco online wagering platform to Crab Sports Maryland.

Prior to launching, each sports wagering business must work with Maryland Lottery and Gaming staff to fulfill operational requirements, including a controlled demonstration to ensure that all systems and internal control procedures are functioning correctly.

1. Missouri sports betting bill passes House, heads to Senate
After the Missouri House voted 118-35 for a bill Wednesday that would allow for legalized retail and online sports betting, the Missouri Gaming Association released the following statement as the bill heads to the Senate for the next step in the process.

"On behalf of the Missouri casino industry, we thank Rep. Dan Houx and Phil Christofanelli, sponsors of HCS HB 556 and 581, and the House Representatives for passing the sports betting bill. As the Senate takes up the bill, we urge Senators to keep issues unrelated to sports betting from being added to the bill. These unrelated issues have brought sports betting legislation down in the past and would likely do so again. Our citizens deserve and are ready to join our nation’s capital and the 36 states that have passed sports betting and kept tax dollars in their state."
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