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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: US gaming records, jackpots and acquisitions edition

19 May 2023

By Dan Ippolito
We are two months into the baseball season, but the biggest MLB news is about the future and the Oakland Athletics move to Las Vegas. In addition to the new ballpark hitting Sin City, we have two jackpot winners, Caesars teaming up with two major horse tracks, U.S. commercial gaming breaking records and an apparel company throwing its hat in the sports betting ring.

Let’s begin this Friday with a couple of massive wins:

5. Nearly $750,000 won at Agua Caliente Palm Springs
Last Wednesday, a Coachella Valley local won $741,73 on the Zoltar slot machine at the California casino.

Christina is a regular slot machine player and was visiting Agua Caliente Casino Palm Springs for a casual night out with her family when she hit the winning combo, a $9 bet on a 3x Zoltar Wild Progressive.

“I am so excited, and this all happened so quickly, that I don’t even know what I’ll do with my winnings yet,” said Christina.

Four days later, Las Vegas saw a lucky winner leave with six-figures, as well. On Mother’s Day, Angelica Veronica Alejandro of Nuevo León, Mexico won $239,054 after landing a Mega Jackpot on Three-Card Poker at The LINQ Hotel + Experience.

Alejandro was visiting Las Vegas on vacation and was playing at the poker table for two hours before placing down a royal flush. She plans on using her winnings to pay for her child's college education.

4. Caesars Sportsbook partners with two racetracks ahead of Kentucky sports betting launch
After the bill was signed in March, legalized sports wagering is coming to Kentucky and Caesars Sportsbook announced agreements with Keeneland and Red Mile Gaming & Racing in Lexington.

The agreements grant the operator access to offer legalized mobile sports wagering in Kentucky and include plans to open Central Kentucky’s only brick-and-mortar sportsbook locations.

As part of this relationship, Caesars Sportsbook will be an official sports betting partner of Keeneland and Red Mile and offer on-track hospitality and VIP experiences at both racetracks to members of the Caesars Rewards program.

3. Clark County votes to support Las Vegas ballpark package
A new poll, conducted by the Mellman Group, shows two-thirds of Clark County voters support Major League Baseball’s Athletics plan to build a new ballpark in Las Vegas.

This survey came out after Bally’s Corporation reached an agreement with the Oakland Athletics to build the new ballpark on a portion of the current Tropicana Las Vegas property. The ballpark is expected to welcome more than 2.5 million fans and visitors annually.

The proposed 30,000 capacity ballpark will host A’s regular and postseason games, as well as concerts and other special events.

2. Fanatics acquires PointsBet US business for $150 million
Fanatics, the world’s largest sports apparel company that is backed by a $350 million investment from rapper Jay-Z , announced on Monday that it’s purchasing the U.S. business of Australian-based PointsBet for $150 million.

PointsBet is currently live in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Virginia. Fanatics also plans to launch in Massachusetts later this month.

“Fanatics and PointsBet are excited to enter into an agreement for Fanatics Betting and Gaming to acquire PointsBet’s U.S. business,” according to a joint statement from Fanatics and PointsBet. “While there are still several steps in the process to complete the acquisition, both parties are confident in the outcome.”

1. US commercial gaming revenue sees eighth straight record-breaking quarter
U.S. commercial gaming revenue reached a quarterly record of $16.60 billion in Q1 2023, marking the industry’s eighth straight record-breaking quarter. The quarter was highlighted by the industry’s highest-grossing month ever of $5.90 billion in March, according to the American Gaming Association.

Across the country, 18 of 35 commercial gaming markets set new revenue records for the quarter, with only Mississippi trailing its quarterly revenue from Q1 2022.

Retail gaming accounted for 75.3% of total revenue while online gaming represented its largest share ever, 24.7%.

“After two full years of successive growth post-COVID, the U.S. gaming industry has never been stronger,” said AGA President and CEO Bill Miller. “With records across every gaming vertical—from brick-and-mortar casinos to mobile gaming—American adults continue to choose gaming as one of their top entertainment options.”
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