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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: The waiting is over in the UK edition

28 Apr 2023

By Dan Ippolito
The wait is finally over. The U.K. unveiled its long-awaited White Paper on gambling and we have plenty of details to discuss there. Before we do, we look at a few other top stories, including two new millionaires at a California casino, a $3.2 million jackpot win at a Toronto casino, a new bonus contest at Everygame Casino, and MSG Sphere unveils dates for its highly anticipated U2 performances in September and October.

Let’s begin with an online casino bonus contest:

5. Treasure Quest Bonus Contest at Everygame Casino
The $180,000 Treasure Quest Casino Bonus Contest that began this week will award $30,000 in prizes to top players every week until 5 June.

Everygame Casino Red players automatically earn points when they play any game in the casino’s collection. Every week, 300 players with the most points win up to $500 each and the top 20 weekly winners are entered in a final draw for a $1,000 cash prize.

In addition, until 31 May, the casino is offering a 150% introductory deposit bonus that includes 50 bonus spins on the new Jungle Jack slot.

4. Graton Resort and Casino crowns two millionaires in two hours
Last Sunday was a lucky day for two players who became millionaires at Graton Resort & Casino in Rohnert Park, California.

Sunday night at 6:51 p.m., a guest won $1,025,167 while playing an Aristocrat Progressive Autumn Moon Dragon Link slot machine.

Just two hours later, another guest won $1,002,072 while playing an Aristocrat Panda Magic Dragon Link slot machine.

3. $3.2 million progressive jackpot won at Casino Woodbine
A Casino Woodbine and Woodbine Racetrack guest Marcelo Loyola, a Toronto-based solutions contractor, won a $3.2 million progressive jackpot - a win which he credits entirely to his late girlfriend.

After celebrating his 50th birthday on 2 April, tragedy struck on 5 April, when his long-time girlfriend passed away suddenly. Just two weeks later, and reeling from the unexpected and devastating loss, he went to Casino Woodbine, a favorite entertainment spot for both of them.

After playing a few different slot games, Loyola decided to play her favorite slot machine. He said they would see the jackpot increasing, but never thought she would win it. Loyola said she liked to play the game; however, she had her own way of playing the machine.

"Rather than waiting for the wheels to stop naturally, she would press the button to stop the machine mid-spin in an attempt for the three 'Jackpot' icons to line up," said Loyola.

So that's how he played it. And that's how he won.

2. U2 announces dates for MSG Sphere in Las Vegas
Earlier this week, Sphere Entertainment and Live Nation announced dates for “U2:UV Achtung Baby Live At Sphere,” a live music experience which will see the rock band launch the new entertainment venue, MSG Sphere behind The Venetian Las Vegas.

The performances begin on 29 September but because there were over a million ticket requests, U2 announced the band would add seven more shows.

MSG Sphere is a $1.8 billion venue that sits 500 feet wide and 400 feet high. It will feature the highest resolution LED screen in the world with a 160,000-square-foot display that wraps up, over and behind the audience. There will also be environmental effects such as change in temperature and smells to make you feel as if you’ve been transported to another location.

1. UK unveils long-awaited White Paper on gambling
MP Lucy Frazer revealed the details in Parliament yesterday, including a stakes limit for online slots, increased affordability checks for operators, and a new industry ombudsman.

The measures set out yesterday aim to shield players in the grip of addiction from harm and hold gambling firms accountable when they fail in their responsibility. Below are a few examples:

- A statutory gambling operator levy to ensure that operators help fund treatment services and research, including through the NHS. Currently the size of the contribution is not mandated and not all betting companies pay their fair share - some have paid as little as £1.
- New stake limits for online slots games that will be between £2 and £15 per spin. They will also consult on measures to give greater protections for 18–24 year olds who the evidence shows are at heightened risk of harm.
- Frictionless player protection checks to protect those most at risk of harm before unaffordable or harmful losses are incurred.
- Extra powers for the Gambling Commission to enable it to tackle black market operators through court orders and work with internet service providers (ISPs) to take down and block illegal gambling sites.

Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission, Andrew Rhodes, said: "The review is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver positive change for gambling in Great Britain and for all people impacted by it. Everyone at the Commission welcomes today’s publication of the White Paper and is determined to work with government and partners to make these changes a reality."

"Given the correct powers and resources, the Gambling Commission can continue to make gambling safer, fairer and crime free. This White Paper is a coherent package of proposals which we believe can significantly support and protect consumers, and improve overall standards in the industry."

"As the detailed implementation of the review now begins, we will also be reiterating to all operators that the Commission will strongly maintain its focus on consumer protection and compliance."
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