March 16, 2023Lauren

Missed out on this week’s gambling news from the USA? Catch up with Casino Cabbie. This week, it’s all about sports betting:

- Massachusetts’ Sportsbooks Go Live and Geocomply Records 400,000 Account Registrations
- Kentucky Sports Betting Bill Passes Committee Stage
- AGA: 68 Million Americans to Bet on March Madness 2023
- Playtech Acquires Minority Stake in Hard Rock Digital
- Pariplay Joins DraftKings’ NJ Online Games Lobby
- BetMGM Launches Wheel of Fortune Casino in NJ
- Delaware’s iGaming Revenue Drops for Second Consecutive Month
- And we’re discussing the most popular slot in the US this month, Jewel of The Dragon Red Phoenix Slot from Light & Wonder.

News and Analysis

Massachusetts' Online Sportsbooks Go Live and Geocomply Records 400,000 Account Registrations

The Massachusetts legal sports betting market went live last Friday (March 10th) with FanDuel, DraftKings, WynnBet, Barstool, BetMGM, and Caesars accepting legal bets from players in the state. The online launch follows the retail rollout, which took place at the end of January and comes just six months after then-Governor Baker signed HB 5164 into force, legalizing sports betting. During the opening weekend, Geocomply recorded 400,000 new player accounts in MA - what a great start to legal online sports betting in the state!

Kentucky Sports Betting Bill Passes Committee and House Stage

HB 551, which seeks to legalize sports betting in Kentucky, has passed the House of Representatives and Committee stage, meaning there's only one hurdle left, passing the Senate Vote within the next three weeks (Kentucky's legislative session is due to end on March 30th). Should the result be favorable, sports betting will become legal in Bluegrass State. However, a similar bill was passed by the House last year, failing at the Senate stage, so it's uncertain whether this year's attempt will make it to the pass - fingers crossed for Kentucky Players.

AGA: 68 Million Americans to Bet on March Madness, 2023

An American Gaming Association survey has revealed that 68 million (a quarter of US adults) plan to bet as much as $15.5 billion on this year's NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. Of the 68 million, 31 million plan to place bets online or with a retail sportsbook, with 21.5 million planning to place casual wagers with friends. For three-quarters of bettors, it will be their first time to place March Madness bets online, reflecting the increased spread of legal sports wagering options across the US. The predictions show that 18 million more adults will bet on March Madness than last month's Super Bowl.

Playtech Acquires Minority Stake in Hard Rock Digital

Hard Rock Digital and Playtech have agreed on a deal that will see Playtech games go live at Hard Rock Digital Casinos in the US and internationally. As part of the deal, the iGaming giant Playtech has also bought a minority stake in Hard Rock Digital for $85 million, which will be used to further Hard Rock's international expansion. 

Pariplay Joins DraftKings' NJ Online Games Lobby

PariPlay (a subsidiary of NeoGames SA) and DraftKings have hashed out a content deal this week that will see PariPlay and Wizard Games titles live at DraftKings Casino New Jersey. Following the launch in NJ, PariPlay content will also launch at DK's WV and MI. Some of the studio's most popular slot games include Fruity Friends, Dragons of the North, Wolf Riches, and Spirit of Mustang. Under the terms, DK will also gain access to additional third-party game content under the NeoGames SA brand. 

BetMGM Launches Wheel of Fortune Casino in NJ

New Jersey has a new online casino, Wheel of Fortune, and it launched this week. Created through a BetMGM and IGT partnership, the NJ online casino is the "first brand-led online casino in North America" and focuses on the Wheel of Fortune franchise, delivering branded slot titles to players via desktop or Android/iOS app.

CEO at BetMGM, Adam Greenblatt, said, "We are thrilled to bring Wheel of Fortune Online Casino to players in New Jersey where they can now play for real money and experience the excitement of the beloved game show on their phones… We have a great alliance with Wheel of Fortune and IGT and look forward to offering our players innovative and diverse selections of gaming options."

Enrico Drago, CEO of Digital and Betting at IGT, added, "IGT's Wheel of Fortune slots have been entertaining players for decades as the most successful slot theme of all time…We are incredibly excited to partner with BetMGM on the evolution of this celebrated theme and witness it break new ground to become the first US brand-led online casino where players can enjoy their favorite IGT Wheel of Fortune slots games."

Delaware's iGaming Revenue Drops for Second Consecutive Month

February's figures are in, and Delaware's iGaming and sports betting Revenue has continued to decline month on month. For iGaming, player wagers were down 13.8% on January's figures (the total is still up 55.7% year on year), while the sports betting handle has fallen to a six-month low. Delaware Park Casino remained the most popular online casino for players in the state.

Which US States are Most Likely to Legalize Online Casinos in 2023?

In case you missed it, earlier this week, we published our analysis of the US states that currently have open iGaming bills and which are most likely to pass the legalization process and become law - read the article in full here.

Slot Game of the Week

Jewel of The Dragon Red Phoenix Slot: Light & Wonder, RTP: 95.97%

Released at the end of 2022, Jewel of The Dragon Red Phoenix Slot is currently sitting in the top spot as the most popular game in the US. What's making this Light & Wonder title a knock-out hit with players? Let's start at the beginning; it's a 5x3, 50-line slot with an Asian theme, wilds, scatters, free spins, jackpots, and Hold & Win feature! Plus, if you're impatient when it comes to hitting bonus rounds, there's a buy-pass feature too!

The game showcases stunning graphic design that transports players to a far east dynasty, where stakes start from $0.20 to $60.00. To begin making wins, you'll need to match 3-5 symbols on one of 50 betlines. The Princess is the slot's wild, and she can land on the last four reels; she can also land as an expanded symbol.

There are fireball scatters that trigger the free spins bonus game, but what you're really looking for is the fireball bonus symbol because if you land six (or a combination of the scatters and fireball bonus symbols), you'll get 3 Hold & Spin rounds. During the Hold & Spin feature, you'll win the Grand jackpot payout (15,000x your bet) if you can fill the reels with scatter symbols. How can you do this in just 3 spins? Well, every scatter that lands sticks and resets your spins to 3, so you'll have plenty of chances to stack up the symbols!

Ready to fire up the adventure and head to the far east? Then it's time to spin! Light & Wonder is featured at almost every online casino in the state, so you can take your pick of where to play this game - see the complete list of US Light & Wonder Casinos.

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