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Best of Dan Ippolito

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Casino City’s Friday Five: COVID-19 edition

13 March 2020

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has had an impact on the global economy, including the casino and gaming industry. Trade show cancellations are pouring in, sportsbooks that would have been jam packed next week for March Madness will now be empty, and with a travel ban to the U.S. in place, visitation numbers will plummet.

However, before we get into more detail on the negative side of the news, let’s take a look at some sports betting progress, online casino promotions and more.

5. Japan Level Up Adventure at BitStarz
With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics one, if not the only, sporting events remaining on schedule, BitStarz is giving players the chance to be there on top of winning money.

Not only are two tickets up for grabs (plus a €50,000 prize pool) BitStarz is also throwing in travel and luxury accommodation too, making this the ultimate Tokyo 2020 Olympics experience.

Every player will have a €50,000 individual prize pool to play for, plus plenty of BitStarz merchandise is also waiting to be won.
The first person to reach level 40 by playing casino games will win the two-ticket prize.

4. $240,000 Bunn Run contest at Intertops Casino Red
Every week until 4 May, players at Intertops Casino Red will compete against each other to win a total of $30,000 in bonuses. Players automatically earn points when they play and players with the most points win the biggest weekly prizes.

“Oh yes, it’s time to deliver that Easter candy so those bunnies are hopping,” said Intertops Casino’s manager. “Meanwhile our players are getting an extra shot of adrenaline by competing with each other for top dollars every week!”

Players compete against each other to win up to $500 each, every week. Then, in a final draw, one of the weekly winners will win another $1,000.

3. MGM Resorts unveils new sports betting experiences in Las Vegas
Last Friday, MGM Resorts unveiled new sports betting experiences across its Las Vegas properties, as well as announced the launch of BetMGM in Nevada.

The launch of BetMGM in Nevada includes a mobile betting app, the rebranding of MGM Resort's sportsbooks and more than 100 gaming kiosks across MGM's Las Vegas properties.

In the coming weeks, rebranded BetMGM sportsbooks will debut at Bellagio, Aria Resort & Casino, MGM Grand Hotel & Casino Las Vegas, Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, The Mirage, Park MGM, New York-New York Hotel & Casino, Luxor Hotel and Casino, and Excalibur Hotel and Casino.

2. Sports betting arrives in two US states
Bettors in Michigan can finally place legal sports wagers. Greektown Casino Hotel and MGM Grand Detroit Casino accepted the first legal sports bets on Wednesday.

Yesterday, MotorCity Casino opened its FanDuel Sportsbook. The recently opened venue leverages IGT’s proven PlaySports platform and features 54 of the company’s self-service PlaySports Kiosks.

Michigan was the 13th state to legalize online sports betting and just the fifth state to legalize online casino gambling.

On Monday, Illinois beat Michigan to the punch by opening the BetRivers Sportsbook at Rivers Casino in Des Plaines.

The state could generate from $9 billion to $11 billion in wagers annually and $650 million in operator gross revenue, according to projections from PlayIllinois.com.

Significant hurdles remain, particularly for online sports betting, which isn't expected to launch until later this year. And when it does it will require in-person registration for mobile accounts. Online sports betting is by far the most significant revenue driver in major U.S. markets. In New Jersey, 87% of all sports bets in January were made online.

1. COVID-19 impacts the iGaming and sports worlds
As more and more people are testing positive for the coronavirus, the industry is taking the necessary precautions to ensure safety. Below are just a few examples of what companies and conferences are doing to do their part in preventing more spreading.

CasinoBeats Malta will now be on 22-24 June and Betting on Sports America in New Jersey has been moved to 1-3 December.

On top of conferences being postponed, casinos are speaking out and taking action as well.

MGM Resorts was informed of a case of the coronavirus involving an employee of the Standardbred Owners Association, the harness horsemen racing association, who was based in the Empire City at Yonkers Raceway race office. In addition to its pre-existing high standards of cleanliness, maintenance and sanitation at its properties, MGM Resorts in recent weeks implemented temporary enhanced cleaning procedures and protocols.

Foxwoods Resort Casino is taking extensive preventative measures including, the addition of 330 hand sanitizer stations, provide free on-site flu shots and more. The Connecticut casino is remaining open for business, but I can’t say the same for all other casinos.

Boyd Gaming announced that it will be temporarily closing Valley Forge Casino Resort until 27 March. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf ordered the closure of all public schools, entertainment venues and community centers in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, as a precautionary measure due to local cases of COVID-19, which includes Valley Forge.

Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox announced safety program and policy updates related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We've further reflected on the responsibility that businesses such as Wynn Resorts must play during a time like this. In combination with what my team has learned through our meetings with our public health consultants and officials, I've recognized we need to temporarily implement fundamental changes to our business.”
Casino City’s Friday Five: COVID-19 edition is republished from GamingMeets.com.
Dan Ippolito

As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports. Email him at daniel@casinocity.com, or follow him at @casinocity_dan on Twitter.
Dan Ippolito
As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports. Email him at daniel@casinocity.com, or follow him at @casinocity_dan on Twitter.