Congress to Inspect Federal Gambling Laws and October’s Gambling Industry Recap
There have been some interesting headlines in the world of gambling over the past month, with more news trickling in as October drew to a close.
We’ve gone back and picked out our favorite gambling and casino stories to catch you up if you’ve missed out:
Federal Gambling Laws to Be Updated?
Probably the biggest gambling news piece of the month of October comes out of ESPN.com, where reports suggest Congress desires to look into federal gambling laws:
— Yahoo Finance (@YahooFinance) October 21, 2016
Per the report, lawmakers feel that current federal gambling laws are obsolete and there need to be clearer laws and more obvious language concerning various gambling avenues.
This is precisely the case with online gambling, as well as the daily fantasy sports industry. Probing into new federal gambling law could be worrisome for fans of online casinos and other gaming, but Congress taking a closer look at regulations and United States gambling stances could also end up being a great thing.
Perhaps this toe-dip into the gambling law pools will ultimately lead to online poker and all sports betting being legalized. We can only hope.
DraftKings & FanDuel Merger Coming?
Daily fantasy sports could look a lot different in just a matter of weeks, as DFS giants DraftKings and FanDuel are reportedly progressing in merger talks.
Should the two daily fantasy sports sites indeed merge, DraftKings CEO Jason Robbins is currently expected to maintain that role ahead of the new conjoined company, while FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles would slide in as the company’s chairman.
Nothing is official, but reports suggest the DraftKings-FanDuel merger is “imminent”.
William Hill & Amaya Gaming Merger Dies
Speaking of massive company mergers, there was a lot of chatter regarding a potential merger between huge gaming conglomerates William Hill and Amaya Gaming.
Unfortunately, the talk hasn’t led to anything successful, despite both company’s admitting recently that they were in talks to join forces.
Per reports, the projected merger was fairly one-sided, with the financial aspect seeming to greatly favor Amaya shareholders, over William Hill.
The merger, which would have been worth up to £4.6 billion, has officially been called, with both companies admitting publicly that a deal will not be reached.
NetEnt Keeps Up Strong Run
NetEnt, the premium online gaming company, continues it’s meteoric rise with impressive third quarter reports that point to a 27% rise in revenue.
The company’s success dates back to 2012, when current CEO Per Eriksson began heading the company. Since then, NetEnt has strived to be diverse while expanding its reach to new products and fresh markets.
NetEnt has thrived in the stock market, as well, with shares increasing by a mind boggling 712% since its inception. With Eriksson running the show, the company remains one of the premiere online gaming entities and doesn’t figure to slow down anytime soon.
Macau Casino Revenue Rises
Macau casinos delivered in October, with their gross revenue rising approximately 8.8%. That makes three strong, positive months in a row for Macau, which had previously been struggling badly through 26 straight months of year-on-year declines in revenue.
Per Gambling Insider, China’s Golden Week holiday to kick off the month likely contributed to this past month’s growth, but the openings of Wynn Palace and The Parisian have also played a big role in the recent growth.
New Jersey Expansion in Doubt
New Jersey has been trying hard to move ahead with casino expansion in the state, with plans set to build two new casinos in the northern part of New Jersey.
Those plans could be denied by state citizens, however, with recent poll results suggesting that over 70% of New Jersey citizens would vote against the casino expansion proposal.
— NYT Metro Desk (@NYTMetro) October 29, 2016
The proposed casino expansion could provide a financial – and in turn economic – lift to the state, but reports suggest that New Jersey residents don’t like the idea of “another Atlantic City”.
Atlantic City Loses Trump Taj Mahal
Sticking with Atlantic City news, the gambling community took another large hit in October, when the Trump Taj Mahal closed after two years of bickering between ownership and employees.
The Taj Mahal had been struggling ever since declaring bankruptcy in 2014 and becomes the fifth AC casino to close over the past two years. That drops Atlantic City’s casino number to just seven.
In addition to the casino number dropping, the Taj Mahal going under also delivers a hit on jobs, with an estimated 2,800 people going unemployed due to the shutdown. That just adds to the jobs being lost with the casino closures, bringing the number to a starling 11,000 jobs since 2014.
GameCo Launches Skill-Based Gaming
There is more news coming out of Atlantic City in October, but for this one the news is positive and even quite interesting. Per CalvinAyre.com, New York startup GameCo has been granted permission to begin showcasing skill-based video gambling games at Atlantic City casinos.
This is the first known approval of skill-based video slot machines, which GameCo is being allowed to move forward with 21 gaming positions.
The move marks a potential shift in casino gambling, with both a targeting of a younger audience, as well as a greater emphasis on one’s ability, rather than just luck or chance.
Nevada Revenue Sees Boost
Nevada reported solid gains in September, with casino revenue jumping up 4% a month ago. The increase provided a whopping $949 million in profit for state casinos across September.
While September was productive for Las Vegas, that wasn’t the case in August, when casino revenue was down 5%. The uptick in September looks to give Vegas hope moving forward (October numbers aren’t known yet).
DraftKings Makes Changes to NBA Games
While DraftKings may ultimately end up in a marriage with FanDuel, they for now are already starting to look more like their top DFS competitor.
DK made changes to their NBA DFS contests prior to the opening of the 2016-17 NBA regular season, with the biggest switch up being the removal of their “late swap”. Users were able to create their teams and edit them as the night went on in the past – a clear roster building advantage that has never been available at FanDuel.
That extra lineup edge is gone – only for daily fantasy basketball contests – as the company cited it being a distraction from the games. While the actual motivation is unclear, NBA gamers will have to adjust on the fly moving forward, while paying special attention to injuries and possible late-night scratches.
The site also added positional versatility to their lineup – something FanDuel has never offered. For the NBA games specifically, users can plug NBA players in at multiple positions, provided they are available for more than one predetermined position.
It’s unclear if the changes will be received positively by the DraftKings community, but the move at least shows DK’s desire to improve the product.
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