November 9, 2023Lauren

Sports betting action is hitting high notes and headlines again this week as:

- Maine launches legal betting with DraftKings and Caesars live straight out of the gate
- The Seminole Tribe and Hard Rock Bet take advantage of a legal hiatus, relaunching sports betting in Florida
- Oklahoma’s Governor, Stitt, releases new plans for online and retail sports wagering
- Las Vegas workers get ready for tomorrow’s strike
- Wazdan Joins Tipico Casino in NJ, providing its whole suite of games
- And our game of the week is ​​​​Merlin: Journey of Flame by Play’n GO

News and Analysis

Maine legal online sports betting is live! DraftKings and Caesars launched on the first day of legal betting, November 3rd, almost 18 months since Gov. Janet Mills signed LD 585 into law. Genius Sports has also secured temporary approval from the Maine Gambling Control Unit (MGCU) but is yet to launch.

LD 585 allows Maine tribes to apply for online sports betting licenses or to partner with one online operator per tribe. Meanwhile, racetracks, retail wagering operations, and off-track services may apply for retail licenses.

A spokesperson from the Maine State Police thanked local authorities and the sports betting industry for their patience and input in creating the state's gambling rules and infrastructure. 

Meanwhile, Caesars Digital President Eric Hession said, "Maine sports fans deserve an elevated sports wagering experience that matches the pedigree of sports fandom in New England. The launch of Caesars Sportsbook delivers on that pedigree.

We have a platform built for the modern sports fan 21 and older with exciting ways to wager responsibly on the sports they love. 

We'd like to thank Governor Janet Mills and the Maine legislature for making this launch possible, as well as the Maine Gambling Control Unit (MGCU) for all they have done throughout this process."

This is excellent news for players and the state coffers, which will be significantly bolstered by tax revenues generated from sports betting legalization.

Wazdan Games Live at Tipico NJ 

Wazdan content (via Light & Wonder) has gone live at its third New Jersey online casino this week after striking a deal with Tipico Casino. The games provider is already available at BetRivers and DraftKings, with this new deal extending its presence in the Garden State.

Chief Commercial Officer at Wazdan, Andrzej Hyla, commented, "Our partnership with Light & Wonder has been a vital part of our growth in North America, and we're confident that this will be another boost to all parties."

The entire Wazdan suite will be available at Tipico NJ, including hit titles like Power of Gods: Hades, Magic Spins, 9 Lions, 9 Coins, Sizzling Eggs, and Mighty Wild Panther. Alongside the studio's proprietary mechanics, like Hold the Jackpot and Cash Infinity. 

Wazdan is well-known in the slot industry as an innovative creator favoring bold and engaging themes. Thus far, their games have proved wildly popular with BetRivers and DraftKings NJ players.

Seminole Tribe, FL, Relaunches Sports Betting

Despite ongoing legal challenges, the Seminole Tribe in Florida has made the most of a window provided by the Supreme Court to relaunch sports betting under Hard Rock Bet. 

Early access has been open since Tuesday to any player who has previously held an account with Hard Rock Bet FL, with the complete service planned to go live between December 7-11th.

Since Hard Rock Bet made the early access announcement on X (formerly Twitter), the pari-mutuel betting companies involved in the ongoing legal challenge in the Sunshine State have petitioned the Supreme Court to "immediately suspend the sports betting provisions."

Oklahoma Online Sports Betting Proposal

In more sports betting news, Oklahoma has joined the movement, announcing plans for legal sports betting. This week, Governor Stitt set out his proposals to legalize both online and retail betting.

In line with the state's tribal gaming compacts, retail betting would be limited to the 38 Federally recognized tribes. For online betting, all operators can apply at an initial cost of $500,000 (+$100,000 annual renewal fees) and a 20% tax rate on revenue.

Oklahoma is one of only 15 US states yet to legalize sports betting. Plans include protections for college sports banning prop bets on college competitions. Stitt has also contacted the National Collegiate Athletic Association for their input and guidance.

A similar bill (HB 1027) was introduced in February 2023, passing the House of Representatives but failing to progress through the Senate. Thus, it's uncertain how this new proposal will fare.

Las Vegas Workers Ready to Hit the Picket Line

Despite Caesars reaching a provisional agreement with The Culinary and Bartenders Unions, Las Vegas workers are ready to walk out tomorrow, November 10th, in response to stalled contract negotiations. 

The Union has warned as many as 35,000 workers from 18 casinos will take action in what has been called the "largest hospitality strike in US history" if further headway is not made. The negotiations have been ongoing for seven months, with workers demanding better pay and benefits.

The Union has been busy preparing for tomorrow's strike, which looks ready to go ahead, with 45 strike stations and multiple picket lines set up throughout the strip.

Slot Game of the Week

​​Merlin: Journey of Flame, Play'n GO: RTP 96.26%

Looking for a red-hot new online slot to spin? Then it's time to check out our game of the week, Merlin: Journey of Fire by Play'n GO. Set on 5x3 reels with 10 pay lines, the backstory to this slot is the famous magician Merlin. 

As the young wizard, Merlin traverses an unforgiving, mysterious land, uncovering a series of dragon eggs in a swampy, enchanted lake. Using his Spell Book, Merlin uses his skills to crack open the winged hatchling – only to end up in a trial by fire. Your mission is to assist Merlin in surviving his quest. You'll have several features in your spellbook to help you:

  • Magic Ruins: The Magic Ruins, Spell Book, Staff, Potion, and Merlin symbols make up the main game characters. You'll need to match 3+ to make a win. There's also a Dragon Egg Wild and a scalier version, the Scatter symbol.
  • Free Spins: Land three Hacked Dragon Egg Scatter symbols anywhere on the reels, and 8 free spins are yours. These come with an extra reel and expanding symbols in play. Plus, the round is retriggerable with an unlimited number of times if you land an additional 3 scatter while playing.
  • Expanding Symbols: Before the Free Spins start, a special expanding symbol is chosen to add more magic to the round. Anytime this symbol features in a win, it expands to cover the entire reel.
  • The Gamble Spell: Lastly, any time you make any win under 2,500 coins, you can try your luck casting a spell to double or quadruple your win. Simply hit the gamble feature and guess the color or suit of the next card. Be careful how you wield this power, as it may not pay off, leaving you with nothing.

What's at stake if you succeed and help Merlin survive? Up to 7,500x your bet in fiery golden coins. Where can you play? At these Play'n GO online casinos at the cost of 10 cents up to $100. But remember, if you want to make it out alive, don't wake up the dragons!

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram