Business pushes again after New York Occasions sports activities betting investigation – The Nevada Impartial

Business pushes again after New York Occasions sports activities betting investigation – The Nevada Impartial

Good morning, and welcome to the Indy Gaming e-newsletter, a weekly take a look at gaming issues nationally and internationally and the way the occasions tie again to Nevada.

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Word: There won’t be an Indy Gaming E-newsletter on Nov. 30.


It wasn’t a great weekend for the sports activities betting {industry}.

On Sunday, DraftKings revealed that hackers stole some $300,000 in buyer funds via a sequence of compromising strikes to wagering accounts, which led to unauthorized financial institution withdrawals. DraftKings is dedicated to paying clients any cash misplaced in unlawful intrusions.

DraftKings’ inventory value, nevertheless, tumbled practically 10 p.c on the information earlier than regaining its footing.

Earlier that day, The New York Occasions additionally handed the sports activities betting neighborhood a foul beat.

The newspaper revealed a four-part sequence following an almost yearlong investigation into the nationwide growth of authorized sports activities betting and questioned a few of the penalties.

Throughout the articles, the Occasions questioned completely different state-by-state sports activities betting tax constructions and the lobbying practices used to affect lawmakers. The articles additionally disputed figures cited by the {industry} surrounding unlawful offshore playing operations, criticized efforts by sports activities betting operators to advance accountable gaming practices and examined questionable buyer acquisition efforts that focus on school college students.

One article lined Penn Leisure’s acquisition of Barstool Sports activities and the corporate’s continued relationship with Barstool founder Dave Portnoy, who was accused of sexual misconduct expenses by on-line publication Insider.com final 12 months and was termed a “degenerate gambler” by the Occasions within the story’s headline.

Nevada gaming regulators have questioned Penn about Portnoy. The corporate, which operates M Resort in Henderson, doesn’t have its Barstool model in Nevada and declined touch upon the Occasions article.

The response from the gaming {industry} to the tales ranged from hyperbolic to measured.

The American Gaming Affiliation, the {industry}’s Washington, D.C.-based commerce group, supplied an affordable response on social media late Sunday, saying within the first of a half-dozen Twitter posts that the Occasions had “a number of mischaracterizations” of their reporting.

“We’ll proceed our funding in advancing a secure, well-regulated setting that protects shoppers and generates profit for communities,” the AGA wrote.

David Briggs a co-founder of GeoComply, a Canada-based geolocation and anti-fraud firm that companies the gaming {industry}, wrote in a LinkedIn put up that “sports activities betting has been a profitable instance of the best way to demolish a income for organized crime.”

Las Vegas-based gaming {industry} advisor Brendan Bussmann stated the tales clearly show the {industry} wants to raised educate its stakeholders, not solely advocating the explanations for added laws and regulation however to beat “the fiction that was promulgated as a part of this story.”

Bussmann, the managing companion of B World, stated gaming is “one of the regulated industries, and the portrayal that it’s something much less on this sequence of articles is ludicrous.”

The fast progress of sports activities betting has outpaced the expansion of any type of legalized playing.

Following a Could 2018 resolution by the U.S. Supreme Court docket that opened sports activities betting throughout the nation, 31 states and Washington, D.C., at the moment have legalized and controlled sportsbooks and/or on-line sports activities wagering. One other 5 states are anticipated to launch the exercise by early 2023.

If sports activities betting was a dash, on line casino growth was a marathon.

South Dakota turned the third state behind Nevada and New Jersey to legalize casinos in 1989. Previously 33 years, the variety of industrial on line casino states has grown to 34. Tribal casinos, which began their nationwide growth in 1988, at the moment are in 30 states.

Even state lotteries, which launched in New Hampshire in 1964, lastly grew to 44 states in 2019 when Mississippi authorised the exercise.

Rising pains have been an anticipated final result of sports activities betting.

“We’re closely regulated by the federal authorities and hundreds of devoted professionals throughout authorized gaming jurisdictions set and implement rules,” the AGA wrote in its tweet thread. “There is a excessive bar to clear to obtain and retain a gaming license and any assertion on the contrary is fake.”

G2E attendees stroll previous the show for Playtech Sports activities on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. (Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Impartial)

In the meantime, accountable gaming has grown from Harrah’s (now Caesars) Leisure placing a 1-800 telephone quantity for Gamblers Nameless on slot machines to most on line casino corporations making out there data that describes accountable gaming applications, insurance policies and practices and the place to search out help.

The UNLV Worldwide Gaming Institute additionally started analysis round accountable gaming, led by former MGM Resorts Worldwide govt Alan Feldman.

In the previous couple of years, the AGA established the “Have a Sport Plan” program for sports activities betting that features partnerships with sports activities groups and leagues and promotes accountable wagering habits.

Bussmann advised the sports activities betting {industry} wants to extend that effort with school and college sports activities applications to coach college students on accountable gaming and the warning indicators surrounding offshore websites.

“Betting on school campuses is occurring as we speak,” Bussmann stated. “Having a partnership with an operator solely helps these instructional initiatives which have lacked for many years.”

The AGA stated analysis up to now 12 months discovered that 92 p.c of sports activities gamblers have been conversant in accountable gaming instruments and greater than half noticed extra accountable gaming data up to now 12 months than within the earlier 12 months.

On Tuesday, the Massachusetts-based Worldwide Middle for Accountable Gaming, which was based by the gaming {industry} in 1996, introduced a $180,000 donation from sports activities betting operator BetMGM to assist the group’s analysis and training on accountable playing and the impact promoting has on downside playing.


Attendees collect on the AGS sales space throughout G2E on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022. (Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Impartial)

Apollo executives depart AGS after the $41M inventory sale closes

Every week after non-public fairness large Apollo World Administration stated it was promoting its 22 p.c possession in gaming tools supplier AGS, its two representatives on the Las Vegas-based firm’s board departed their positions.

The resignations of Apollo Associate and Co-Head of Non-public Fairness David Sambur, who served as AGS chairman, and Apollo Associate Daniel Cohen weren’t a shock, given the agency’s inventory sale, which closed final week. The announcement got here in a submitting with the Securities and Alternate Fee.

Apollo held the possession stake in AGS since 2013. Throughout that point, Apollo directed the acquisition of 20 completely different gaming companies, the biggest being slot designer and provider Cadillac Jack in 2015. Apollo additionally took AGS public in January 2018.

Apollo’s 8.2 million shares of AGS have been bought for $41 million final week in line with an SEC submitting. Shares of AGS, traded on the Nasdaq, closed at $5.32 on Tuesday.

Stifel Monetary gaming analyst Jeffrey Stantial instructed traders within the analysis be aware that AGS shares had suffered due to Apollo’s possession stake.

“We imagine Apollo’s exit may open up further markets for AGS, as gaming licensing necessities in sure states seemingly proved too in depth for Apollo to undergo given a deliberate eventual exit,” Stantial wrote.

B Riley Securities gaming analyst David Bain stated industrial and tribal on line casino operators have elevated their buying of latest slot machines following traditionally low gross sales throughout the pandemic. The dearth of gross sales earlier this 12 months created year-end “use it or lose it” budgets for on line casino slot ground executives.

“Operators cite a extra acute deal with the on line casino ground as many hit report (money circulate) out of COVID with gaming flooring because the engine and a decrease non-gaming amenity combine,” Bain wrote in a analysis be aware.

AGS has six remaining board members, together with CEO David Lopez. Different board members embrace former Monarch Casinos govt David Farahi, former Mandalay Resort Group normal counsel Yvette Landeau, former Multimedia Video games CFO Adam Chibib, former gaming analyst Anna Massion and former American Gaming Affiliation CEO Geoff Freeman.

Within the SEC submitting, the corporate didn’t say when or if new board members can be appointed.

In February, Apollo paid $2.25 billion for the operations of the Venetian, Palazzo and Venetian Expo as a part of a $6.25 billion buy from Las Vegas Sands Corp. Actual property funding belief VICI paid $4 billion for the land and buildings.

Las Vegas Sands offered Apollo with $1.2 billion of vendor financing, with the non-public fairness firm placing up one other $1.05 billion in money and financing.

Stantial stated Apollo’s “at-times controversial historical past within the gaming {industry}” was additionally an overhang on AGS.

Apollo beforehand owned Caesars Leisure however bought the holdings in 2019, two years after the completion of a sophisticated two-year Chapter 11 chapter restructuring that modified Caesars’ possession construction and wiped $16 billion of the corporate’s pre-bankruptcy $25.6 billion in debt off the books.


Stickers for voters at Chinatown in Las Vegas on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022. (Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Impartial)

Resort Affiliation PAC endorsed candidates prevail within the election

The Nevada Resorts PAC noticed 16 of their 17 endorsed Meeting candidates win their races within the midterm elections this month.

The hassle, backed by the gaming {industry}’s main commerce group, added two extra endorsed candidates to its roster after it launched its third quarter contribution and expenditure report in October – Democratic Assemblywoman Elaine Marzola from Las Vegas and Duy Nguyen, a Democrat operating for an open seat in Meeting District 9.

Each received their elections.

Nguyen was considered one of eight non-incumbent candidates backed by the PAC who received their races. Solely Tiffany Jones, a Republican searching for election to Meeting District 35 in Reno, misplaced her race.

The group can also be on report as having backed a number of incoming Democratic leaders to the Meeting, together with presumptive Speaker Steve Yeager from Meeting District 9 in Las Vegas, who’s the Democratic Caucus Chief and speaker professional tempore.

Different incoming leaders backed by the PAC embrace Assemblywoman Danielle Monroe-Moreno from District 1 in Las Vegas, who will chair the Meeting Methods and Means Committee, and Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui from District 41 in Las Vegas, who will tackle the function of majority ground chief.

The Nevada Resort PAC raised greater than $2.35 million for its 2022 election effort. In asserting the PAC’s formation in January, the Resort Affiliation stated its membership of practically 80 casinos statewide wished to “recruit, assess, endorse, and elect state legislative candidates in 2022.” 

R&R Companions CEO Billy Vassiliadis, the resort affiliation’s longtime lobbyist, stated the week earlier than the election, “We lined the candidates that we thought deserved assist. We stated earlier than, this group isn’t going away.”


FanDuel CEO Amy Howe, proper, and DraftKings co-
founder and CEO Jason Robins throughout Government Outlook: Leaders Shaping the Future moderated by CNBC’s Contessa Brewer at G2E on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022. (Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Impartial)

Analyst report: FanDuel might be powerful to topple from its market management

Can one other U.S. on-line sports activities betting operator slice into FanDuel’s industry-leading market share?

That’s a query analysts at gaming {industry} analysis and advisory agency Eilers & Krejcik Gaming (EKG) tried to reply earlier this month.

FanDuel, a subsidiary of world on-line gaming large Flutter, has not relinquished its place atop the rankings of sports activities betting suppliers within the final 4 years. FanDuel accounts for 40 p.c of all sports activities betting income produced on-line.

“FanDuel enjoys nearly each conceivable benefit within the U.S., from institutional data to scale, from product high quality to model fairness,” EKG analysts led by managing director Chris Krafcik wrote within the govt abstract of the analysis report distributed to the agency’s shoppers.

The agency has quite a few “key success elements,” reminiscent of product high quality, which will be challenged. Nevertheless, different elements, reminiscent of model fairness and its market scale, can be powerful to match.

How profitable is on-line sports activities betting?

In accordance with EKG, income from on-line wagers accounted for greater than $5.8 billion – 89.2 p.c – of the $6.5 billion in complete sports activities betting income collected within the U.S. since June 2018.

That’s one purpose the advisory agency stated FanDuel has a goal on its again.

“FanDuel’s lead is appreciable, however not bulletproof,” EKG analysts wrote.

The advisory agency highlights eight sports activities betting operators with the capabilities of chopping into FanDuel’s market, however solely two, BetMGM and DraftKings, as vital threats.

BetMGM, a 50-50 three way partnership between MGM Resorts Worldwide and United Kingdom betting large Entain, emerged because the “clearest pound-for-pound challenger to FanDuel’s U.S. dominance.” Nevertheless, BetMGM had main caveats, notably the “at time shaky-looking” three way partnership basis.

FanDuel, together with DraftKings, first gained U.S. shopper consciousness of each day fantasy sports activities functions. The exercise turned controversial when Nevada gaming regulators decided each day fantasy sports activities have been akin to sports activities betting and operators wanted to be licensed sports activities wagering suppliers.

Nevertheless, FanDuel quickly profited from the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court docket ruling that allowed states to legalize sports activities betting and expanded its presence as new states opened up.

“FanDuel has benefited massively from its put in database of sports-mad, tech-savvy clients with funded wallets,” EKG wrote, saying the crossover fee from each day fantasy to on-line sports activities betting was roughly 50 p.c to 60 p.c.

Notably, neither FanDuel nor DraftKings operates in Nevada, though FanDuel took preliminary steps to achieve market entry. Via its partnership with Boyd Gaming, which owns 5 p.c of FanDuel, the corporate was authorised by state gaming regulators to model the sportsbook inside Boyd’s Fremont Lodge and On line casino downtown. FanDuel operates sportsbooks at Boyd’s regional casinos in eight states.

From the final three months of 2019 till the tip of September, FanDuel’s share of on-line sports activities betting income grew from 7 p.c to almost 40 p.c, regardless of the emergence of a number of manufacturers and the expanded market. FanDuel additionally accounts for greater than 20 p.c of all spending on digital adverts, together with sports activities inside social media platforms, promoting on ESPN.com, and having a presence on streaming companies with promoting, reminiscent of Hulu.

EKG expects FanDuel to lose incremental market share to a number of manufacturers, presumably over the subsequent 12 months, however not one challenger grabbing a ten p.c piece of the motion. The agency believes FanDuel may ultimately fall into the 30 percent-to-35 p.c vary.

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