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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 wagering and casino restrictions

27 Aug 2021

By Dan Ippolito
Over the last couple of weeks we have seen casinos bringing back some COVID-19 restrictions that we thought and hoped were in our rearview mirror. This week, we are seeing more locations follow suit and even some others shutting down again. Before getting into that we have some other news to cover. Canada has welcomed the launch of single-event sports betting, a popular Las Vegas casino will reopen its doors, a new sportsbook will debut at an Arizona resort and a California horse track saw a betting record be broken.

Let’s begin with a new record:

5. Del Mar sets new single day betting record
Who says horse racing is dead?

Del Mar in California established a new single-day betting mark Saturday when $36,024,030 was wagered on its 11-race TVG Pacific Classic Day card smashing the old mark of $25,870,431 set on TVG Pacific Classic Day in 2018.

The track also had the benefit of a massive 20¢ Pick Six Single Ticket Jackpot pool that finally topped out at $10,751,767. The pool consisted of a $1,874,996 carryover and “new” money of $8,876,771. Each winning ticket – and there were 822 of them – paid $10,521.

TVG Pacific Classic Day had been designated as a “mandatory payout” day, meaning all monies would be paid out to those with the most winners.

4. Main Street Station Casino set to reopen
Downtown Las Vegas’ Main Street Station Casino Brewery and Hotel announced that it will reopen to the public on Wednesday, 8 September. Main Street Station will once again be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“We are thrilled to announce the reopening of Main Street Station, and to welcome back our team members and guests who have been eagerly awaiting our return,” said Steve Thompson, Boyd Gaming’s Executive Vice President of Operations.

Upon reopening, Main Street Station will bring back guest-favorite amenities, including gaming entertainment on the nearly 27,000-square-foot casino floor, hotel accommodations, dining at the property’s two restaurants and more than 2,500 square-feet of Victorian-inspired meeting and event space.

3. New sportsbook coming to Casino Del Sol in Arizona
Casino Del Sol is announcing its new sportsbook, SolSports, where guests will have the opportunity to wager on a variety of sporting events. This new addition is the result of the expanded gaming legislation passed by Arizona lawmakers in April 2021.

Instead of partnering with an out-of-state third-party operator, Casino Del Sol will serve as the sportsbook’s operator and bookmaker to deliver a signature, on-brand sports betting experience to guests.

The 4,000-square-foot venue will surround guests with more than 60 televisions including flat screens and a high-definition video wall to allow viewing from every angle. Seating more than 100 people, the sportsbook will also feature a full bar, food service, new booths and tables with luxury seating and six live betting windows.

The opening date of the SolSports sportsbook is tentatively planned for September 2021.

2. Casinos closing and some requiring vaccinations
Earlier this week, Chinook Winds Casino Resort announced that it will be temporarily closed until 2 September, "in the face of COVID-19 and the Delta variant."

All hotel reservations at the Oregon property prior to 2 September will be automatically cancelled. The closure includes the casino, hotel and golf course operations.

A casino resort in Wisconsin has also announced it will be closing its doors for the time being. Following an outbreak of COVID-19 in the Sokaogon Chippewa Community, the tribe announced on Wednesday that it will close the Mole Lake Casino Lodge & Conference Center until 24 September.

“Their belief is that we’re going to have people from all over the state around Labor Day weekend,” the tribe’s public information officer, Jacob Godin, told WXPR Radio. “So [tribal leaders] figured it was better off to keep the reservation shut down to make sure we don’t have any more cases.”

While some casinos are closing temporarily, other casinos are going to be requiring proof of vaccination in order to enter.

Starting 13 September, proof of vaccination will be required in British Columbia for people attending certain social and recreational settings and events, including casinos. By 24 October, entry to these settings will require people to be fully vaccinated at least seven days after receiving both doses.

We saw New York casinos and Harrah's New Orleans Casino put this into play in the U.S. already. Could Las Vegas be next on the list?

Some residents may get a little extra spending money, as they could be paid for getting vaccinated. As strange as it sounds, the Clark County Commission is pushing a pilot program in which people living in and around Sin City would be given $100 for receiving the COVID vaccination.

Commissioner Tick Segerblom stated “Going from the Raiders stadium to MGM, there’s going to be lots more places where you can’t work or go visit unless you can show you’re vaccinated.”

1. Single-event sports betting in Canada launches
Today marks the first day that single-event sports wagering is legal in Canada.

Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation welcomes Ontario’s sports bettors and would-be players to its new online sportsbook, PROLINE+. PROLINE+ from Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation and PlayNow from British Columbia are the only two that are available at the moment.

Thousands of new betting options are available at any time across all major North American sports leagues and major international sports, including soccer and exciting additions like tennis, golf, boxing and mixed martial arts. And, for the first time ever in Ontario, players can place a legal bet on a single event with PROLINE+.

The Canadian legal sports betting market could eventually generate $25 billion in retail and online wagering annually in a best-case scenario that would include legalization of single-game wagering in every province and territory.

"Like the U.S., the Canadian market will be decentralized, leaving each province and territory to adopt legal sports betting and then create their own regulatory frameworks," said Gouker, lead analyst for the Play Network and "Because of that decentralization, many questions remain about what the Canadian market will look like once it has been built out. It is safe to say that at the moment sportsbooks view Canada as one of the largest single remaining opportunities in North America."
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