September 14, 2023Lauren

Missed out on this week's gambling news? Grab your coffee and catch up on the latest industry headlines. In edition 149, we're discussing:

- MGM's cybersecurity shutdown
- Missouri's latest sports betting proposals
- DraftKings' apology after creating a 9/11 "Never Forget" promo
- The latest results from an NCAA survey reveal worrying increases in college sports betting harms and harassment
- And our game of the week is ARRR! 10K Ways from ReelPlay

News and Analysis

MGM Out for the Count After Cyber Attack Takes Down Services

MGM Resorts has announced on social media platform X (previously Twitter) that it has identified a cybersecurity threat, forcing the company to shut down some of its systems, including the main MGM Resorts site, which has been down since Monday.

The company hasn't released the full details of which systems have been shut down or what type of cyber security threat/breach has been detected. Still, the issue has been reported to law enforcement and cybersecurity specialists. 

The post read: "MGM Resorts recently identified a cybersecurity issue affecting some of the Company's systems. Promptly after detecting the issue, we quickly began an investigation with assistance from leading external cybersecurity experts. We also notified law enforcement and took prompt action to protect our systems. 

Our investigation is ongoing, and we are working diligently to determine the nature of scope of the matter."

The attack comes one week after revealed a hack that facilitated unauthorized transfers on the crypto-based casino and sportsbook user accounts.

Missouri on the March: New Petitions Filed

Four petitions to change the State Constitution have been filed in Missouri (2024-135, 2024-136, 2024-137, and 2024-138), once again kicking off the sports betting debate in the Show-Me State. 

Alixandra Cossette, a state-based attorney in law, has submitted all four proposals. They propose legalizing retail and online sports betting at a license cost of $250-500,000, a tax rate of 10% on gross gambling revenue, and making provisions for one license per operator. The proposed launch date would be before December 31, 2025. 

While many of Missouri's neighboring states have already permitted legal betting, the latest attempt in this state failed in April this year despite support from casinos and the professional sports sector. 

DraftKings Issue Apology Over Inappropriate NY Promo

DraftKings' has formally apologized to NY players after an advertising stunt on Monday, which marked the 22nd anniversary of 9/11, used the tagline "Never Forget" and the text "Bet on these New York teams to win tonight on 9/11". 

The brand quickly drew hoards of negative criticisms on X for misusing the messaging and taking advantage of the date, which saw over 3,000 US citizens lose their lives.

DraftKings took down the promo and issued a statement on X, saying, "We sincerely apologize for the featured parlay that was shared briefly in commemoration of 9/11. We respect the significance of this day for our country and especially for the families of those who were directly affected." 

The National College Athletic Association released the results of a survey conducted of 546 compliance administrators at schools from July 18 to August 1, 2023, which collected usable data from 500 participants. The findings were compared to the results of the same survey undertaken in 2019.

The survey findings reported:

  • There is a "substantial increase" in sports wagering issues at Autonomy Schools (AG5), with 27% answering yes to the question, "Has your athletics department dealt with a sports wagering and/or problem gambling issue within the past year?" Comparatively, only 3% answered yes in 2019.
  • 25% of AG5 schools also answered yes to "During the past year, did you become aware of any student-athletes on your campus who were harassed (online or in person) by someone with gambling interests?" This question had not been included in the 2019 version of the survey.
  • The survey also confirmed that 100% of all schools gave responsible gambling education to student-athletes in 2023, up from an average of 96.5% in 2019.

The survey continued, asking further questions about the frequency, topics, and delivery methods of responsible gambling education (read the complete results and data).  It's Responsible Gambling Month in the US, so this survey, which provides an educator perspective, will prove insightful for the industry and regulators.

Game of the Week

ARRR! 10K Ways Slot: Reel Play, RTP 96.1%

Set on 6x4 cascading reels, with 10,000 ways to win, a bootyful max haul of 20,000x the bet, and a charming pirate theme. Symbol payouts start from 3-6, and there are two high-paying Pirates, a Parrot, Kraken, and various lower-paying coins.

Jolly Roger wilds sub for other symbols to help you make wins. They can also have random 1-5x multipliers attached. Wilds can only land during cannon wild rounds. At the end of any non-winning spin, you might get a wild bonanza if the Cannon Wilds feature triggers, changing 1-3 symbols Wild with a multiplier. 

4+ Treasure Chest Scatter trigger 3 Bonus Re-Spins. Only prize symbols land during the round. Treasure chest symbols come with mystery multipliers of 1-100x. Kraken symbols get a multiplier value that's the total of the adjacent prize symbols, and Captain symbols get a multiplier worth the total value of all prize symbols on the reels at the time. The round starts with the triggering symbols revealing multipliers to get things rolling.

All prize symbols that land are sticky for the game during the round. When the round ends, because you've filled the reel with coins or run out of spins, you'll get your bet x the total prize symbol values. If you filled the reels, the round re-triggers.

Lastly, there's a Gamble Feature. Now, if you play like a real pirate, this chance to substantially increase your wins or equally decrease them based on a red/green wheel spin will be irresistible. Ready to play? ARRR! 10K Ways Slot is available at these ReelPlay Casinos from $0.20 to $25 a spin.

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