August 3, 2023Lauren

In this week's US iGaming news:

- Michigan online gambling revenue hits third consecutive month of decline
- Three Massachusetts commercial casinos get fines for offering illegal college bets
- Fox Bet announces it will cease operations by the end of August
- 2023's Kentucky Derby smashes records
- White Hat Studios partner with betPARX
- Bragg Gaming extends to FanDuel Michigan and Connecticut
- And our slot game of the week is Red Tiger's The Wild Hatter

News and Analysis

iGaming Revenue: Michigan Slips for June

Revenue figures are in from Michigan for June and show a month-on-month decline in overall online gambling revenue, with figures down 8.9% compared with May 2023. However, when compared year on year, the figures are up 23.7%. 

Michigan online casino revenue showed a YoY growth rate of 24%, while sports betting grew by 18.8%. Nether-the-less, compared with May 2023, sports revenue fell by 48%, making it Michigan's third consecutive month of dropping revenue this year.

Regulation: Massachusetts Casinos in Hot Water

Three commercial casinos in Massachusetts have received fines this week from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission for breaking college betting rules. MGM Springfield and Plainridge Park Casino both received penalties of $20,000, while Encore Boston Harbour was ordered to pay $10,000. 

Each casino broke state rules by allowing consumers to bet on regular-season games featuring college teams. It's only permitted to bet on college games when part of a tournament, where there are at least four teams. In all cases, betting was allowed due to data errors that misclassified the events. Kudos to Plainridge Casino, which self-reported the error to the Commission.

Sports: Fox Bet to Close by End of August

On Monday, Flutter Entertainment and Fox Corporation announced that a phased closedown of the Fox Bet Sportsbook has begun, with a completion date set for August 31st. Fox Bet forms part of The Stars Group (now owned by Flutter, with Fox Sports holding a minority, 4.99% stake) and provides sports betting in the US via Fox Bet and the PokerStars Casino platform. However, the relationship between Fox and Flutter hasn't been plain sailing (including a lawsuit brought by Fox), so the news of the closure won't surprise many.

Kentucky Derby Breaks Records for Total Handle and Attendance

According to the parent company, Churchill Downs, the 149th Kentucky Derby, which took place on May 6th, has generated record revenue figures. The entire program, spread across Derby Week, created a total handle of $412 million, surpassing 2023's $391.8 million, with Derby Day responsible for $288.7 million ($188.7 on the Derby Race, which saw Mage win, and a further $100 on other Derby Day races). Additionally, the event saw more attendees than the previous year.

Despite recent safety concerns regarding the Kentucky track, which caused Churchill Downs to relocate races earlier in the month, the record-breaking event went without a hitch.

Software: White Hat Studios Partners with BetParx and Bragg Gaming with FanDuel

White Hat Studios is now live at betPARX Casinos PA and NJ, and Play Gun Lake Casino MI after striking a deal with betPARX. The provider's most popular titles will go live across the following months and include Ted, Super Lucky Frog, Almighty Buffalo Megaways, and table games with the Jackpot Royale progressive mechanic (providing three jackpots, the lowest seeded at $5,000, the highest at $75,000 with 1% contribution rate).

Meanwhile, Bragg Gaming has also been busy, expanding its FanDuel partnership to Michigan and Connecticut and providing players with access to the company's proprietary content, titles from the Bragg Studio brands', including Atomic Slot Lab, Spin Games, and Indigo Magic, and third party content. 

Game of the Week

The Wild Hatter by Red Tiger Gaming, RTP: 95.79%

If you're looking for something a little different to spin this week, follow us down the rabbit hole and meet The Wild Hatter for some superb slot spins on 5x4 reels with 30 fixed lines and potential wins of up to 3,333x your bet!

The Wild Hatter was first released by Red Tiger in 2020, but it's brand new to US audiences, and it's the kind of fantasy-themed casino game you don't want to miss, especially if you're a fan of more straightforward slots; hence we're making it our game of the week. 

The gameplay takes place in the base game, with line wins awarded for 3-5 matching symbols (5 higher and 5 lower paying symbols), but you're looking for the wild symbol, the Hatter. When a wild lands, it triggers a re-spin with a progressive multiplier and one locked symbol. Only that symbol can land during the round, and each new one continues the re-spins, locks in place, and increases the multiplier by +1. If you land a wild during a re-spin, it upgrades the locked symbol to a higher option and gives another re-spin. You're limited to 3 upgrades per round.

It might not sound like a lot is going on with this slot, but it's got a 4/5 hit rate, so it guarantees some great action on the reels. Plus, the graphics are to die for. Are you ready to play? Then take it for a spin at these top-rated Reg Tiger Gaming Casinos. Spins start from $0.20, maxing out at $20. 

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