May 16, 2024Lauren

Welcome back to the Casino Cabbie News Digest, where you get all the latest headlines wrapped up in one neat package. This week:

- 888 Holdings emerges with a new name and new hope.
- FanDuel takes the top spot in the US gambling market.
- New York’s monthly betting handle hits new highs.
- Senator Addabbo is at it again.
- The DoJ weighs in on the side of the Seminoles in Florida’s Supreme Court betting case.
- 1x2 Network goes live at BetMGM Michigan.
- And Vegas’ Mirage Hotel & Casino is getting a revamp and a new name.

Goodbye 888, Welcome Evoke plc

888 Holdings has officially rebranded to evoke plc as part of a plan to reset the business and improve falling profits. The rebrand follows a challenging year for 888, which saw revenue rise by 37% but continued year-on-year losses.

Finances have not been the only issue, and the company was also subject to a UK Gambling Commission investigation after the attempted takeover as CEO of Kenny Alexander (who has reappeared from retirement and established FS Gaming). While Alexander, whose reputation remains in tatters from his time at Entain, did not make the top spot, FS Gaming now holds 6.6% of the company's shares.

888 Holdings becomes evoke plc

Announcing the rebrand on LinkedIn, evoke said, 

"Today, we officially start our next chapter as evoke plc. Evoke is a symbol of our new direction. A direction that builds on our strengths and allows us to move forward as one multi-brand group with a united strategy, vision, and identity. 

"It also better reflects our mission to make life more interesting and vision to delight players with world-class betting and gaming experiences."

FanDuel Takes the Top Spot in the US Market

FanDuel has officially become the USA's number one sportsbook and iGaming operator. According to its gross gaming revenue share, the operator now accounts for 27% of the market.

The news comes at the same time FanDuel has announced the launch of its new FanDuel TV Extra free sports streaming channel. FanDuel claims the new ad-supported channel shows more sports than competitors, making it the premier destination for bettors. The channel is available via Pluto TV, Roku, and FanDuel TV+. 

New York Online Betting Handle Hits New High of $1.96bn

Bettors in the Empire State have raised the stakes, betting more in April than any other month with an online sports betting handle of $1.96bn (£1.56bn/€1.82bn). That's a massive 27.3% year-on-year uptick for the month and a 6% month-on-month increase. 

FanDuel remained the most popular choice by player spending in New York, followed by DraftKings trailing in second and Caesars in third. Since the launch of legal online sports betting in January 2022, the New York market has gone from strength to strength despite having the highest rate of operator tax in the country, at 51%.

Moreover, last week, an online poker bill was introduced to the state Senate by, you guessed it, our favorite gambling advocate, Senator Joseph Addabbo. 

The Bill, SB9226, proposes to authorize the "New York State Gaming Commission to license certain entities to offer for play to the public certain variants of internet poker which requires a significant degree of skill, specifically 'Omaha Hold 'em' and 'Texas Hold 'em.'"

If passed, the bill would create ten licensees (valid for ten years and costing $10m), taxed at 15% on gross revenue.

DoJ Weighs in on Florida Supreme Court Betting Case

On Monday, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) filed its response in the Supreme Court regarding Florida's disputed gaming compact. 

In its response, the DoJ stated that the case had no place before the Supreme Court and that the compact was within the law, not violating the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act, or the Fifth Amendment as argued by the appellant (West Flagler and Associates).

If you're behind on this protracted conflict, it boils down to the 2021 Seminole-Florida gaming compact, which was brokered at the state level and approved by the Department of the Interior (DoI). The compact gave tribal operators exclusive rights to online gaming, which did not sit well with commercial forces, hence the ongoing legal challenge.

In Other News

  • Hard Rock has announced plans to redevelop The Mirage Hotel & Casino, which will be renamed Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and Guitar Hotel Las Vegas after the development. Work is scheduled to begin after July 17th.
  • 1x2 Network is now live at BetMGM Michigan with further plans to expand into Ontario.
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