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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 sports betting revenue records edition

19 Jan 2024

By Dan Ippolito
The big casino industry news this week saw a pair of U.S. markets set new sports betting records at the end of 2023, while more recently, iGaming in Ontario also saw an increase. But all was not positive this week in the headlines as New York saw iGaming left off the state’s budget. In addition to these stories, we have a $100 million poker series starting up at GGPoker, a 60th birthday in Las Vegas that took a turn for the best, and a Las Vegas airport slot paying out massively.

5. Two slot wins out of Las Vegas
On Monday, 15 January, a Michigan resident won a mega progressive jackpot for $155,328 on his 60th birthday, after hitting a royal flush playing Three Card Poker at Flamingo Las Vegas.

Last weekend got off to a wild start for one traveler at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas on 12 January when he hit the $1,031,199 jackpot on the Wild Wild Buffalo slot game by Aristocrat Gaming.

4. $100 million Bounty Hunters Series unveiled by GGPoker
Running through 5 February, the series includes $100 million in total prize guarantee along with the $210 Mystery Bounty Main Event and the $25 Mini Main Event.

Players’ skills are tested not only in winning but also in strategically eliminating opponents, thereby earning additional bounties.

Another highlight of the series is the $5.25 Mystery Bounty Million tournament, featuring a hefty $1,000,000 guaranteed prize pool and a top bounty reaching $100,000.

3. New York iGaming left off budget
After Senator Joseph Addabbo filed a revised iGaming bill last week, New York Governor Kathy Hochul omitted the bill from the 2025 executive budget, marking a significant setback for the 2024 iGaming prospects in the Empire State.

Addabbo’s iGaming bill called for a 31.5% tax on revenue from iGaming. The state’s sports betting market brings in massive numbers because the tax on sports betting is 51%. In December, New York set a new record for online sports betting revenue, reaching $188.3 million. Also last month, the state's handle of $2.04 billion narrowly missed surpassing the all-time high set in November 2023.

This isn’t the first time New York has taken a step back in the iGaming world. In 2016, a bill that would’ve provided up to 11 online poker licenses to operators was shot down and another bill that was similar was also knocked off a year later. Just last year, several bills were put on the table to try to change online poker to a skill game in hopes of legalizing it in New York but those efforts did not succeed.

2. Q3 2023 shows rise in iGaming in Ontario
Total iGaming wagers in Ontario reached $17.2 billion in Q3 2023, a 21% increase compared to Q2. In addition, iGaming revenue also increased 22% to $658 million.

One of the reasons these numbers rose was due to about 1.2 million player accounts being active during Q3.

Casino games, including slots, live and computer-based table games and peer-to-peer bingo, accounted for nearly $13.7 billion (79%) of total wagers and $471 million (71%) of gaming revenue.

Betting, including on sports, esports, proposition, and novelty bets, as well as exchange betting, accounted for nearly $3.1 billion (18%) of total wagers and $171 million (25%) of gaming revenue.

1. Massachusetts and Michigan sports betting records
In Michigan, gross sports betting receipts for December totaled $61.1 million, the highest to date. The previous high was $54.1 million achieved in November 2021.

Total internet sports betting handle at $583.0 million was up by 2.5% from the $568.8 million handle recorded in November 2023. December was the highest internet sports betting handle to date for Michigan.

Michigan wasn’t the only state having such success, as the Bay State also got in on the action.

Sports betting in December set the Massachusetts handle record when $658.7 million was wagered, and $643.2 million of that figure was bet at online sportsbooks.

Approximately $60.55 million in taxable sports wagering revenue was generated across the eight mobile/online sports wagering licensees and the three in-person licensees for the month of December.
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