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Casino City's Friday Five: Back to the ol' grind edition

1 December 2017

It's another Friday. Now that we at Casino City are back from our extended Thanksgiving break, let us update you on the latest gaming industry news. We've got the obligatory jackpot story, a question and answer session regarding the upcoming nail-biter of a sports betting court case between New Jersey and the NCAA, and yet another 10-year celebration for a casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

There's more, of course—but you'll have to read on.

5. Scottish player hits 6.4 million GBP jackpot at Casumo
We figure a jackpot story isn't a bad way to start off the day.

Neil from Aberdeen, Scotland, won almost 6.4 million GBP (or 7.1 million EUR) with his first deposit – just 30 GBP – at Casumo. By his account, it sounded like he was having a very chill day playing Hall of Gods when his win snuck up on him.

Neil plans to donate some of his cash to charity and is drawing up plans to take his kids to Disney.

4. Santa Fe Downs property to undergo revitalization
Originally opened as a horse racing track in 1971, this 300-plus acre tract of land is up for a refresh, according to the Pueblo of Pojoaque Development Corporation, which is now soliciting bids for a land use plan.

Since the horse track's closure in 1997, the land has hosted various public events, but Pueblo officials say it's time for a more permanent solution.

"Our goal is to develop the property for the benefit of the Pueblo and the surrounding community," said Christine Gabaldon, Director of Marketing for the Pueblo of Pojoaque and Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino. "We envision a land use plan that will fully integrate our natural resources and unique landscape, and protect our cultural values and heritage."

3. Planet Hollywood celebrates 10 years on the Strip
With 10 years comes the completion of a $100 million room renovation—all 2,496 guest rooms have been touched up with a fresh color palette, modern artwork and plush furniture.

Not only that, highly-rated restaurant Gordon Ramsay Burger is serving a special – what else? – burger, made with a dry-aged beef patty and some fancy ingredients. An obligatory birthday cocktail is also available.

To top things off, Planet Hollywood recently debuted Café Hollywood, a 5,500-square-foot space whose prime directive is to bring guests back to the golden age of Hollywood – with a modern twist, of course.

2. Massachusetts Gaming Commission receives preliminary analysis of PlayMyWay
PlayMyWay's release in June 2016 at Plainridge Park was a big deal, as it was a highly anticipated project from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, and quite unlike programs seen in other casinos. Essentially, it's a budgeting program. Players can set spending limits and are notified as they approach those limits.

Last week, the Cambridge Health Alliance, Division on Addiction supplied a preliminary analysis of the efficacy of the PlayMyWay program. The comprehensive report, just one part of a multi-year research initiative, held some interesting key findings, such as:
  • About 8.8% of players at Plainridge Park enrolled in PMW, with 85% of those players remaining enrolled for the duration of the study.
  • PMW users were cash-happy, inserting more dollar bills into slot machines than non-users.
  • PMW users also wagered less and lost less than their non-PMW counterparts.
In the end, about 63% of PMW enrollees avoided outspending their budgets. So, call it a success.

MGC Chairman Steve Crosby said, "Evaluation is a key component of any responsible gambling program to ensure that objectives are initially met and, most importantly, remain effective. I would like to commend Plainridge Park Casino for their extraordinary commitment to the successful implementation of this pilot program and their ongoing cooperation on this evaluation."

For those who want more info, the full report is available online.

1. Top 10 questions and answers regarding New Jersey's sports betting US Supreme Court hearing
Since Monday is fast approaching, consider this your primer on the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court hearing on sports betting. Gary Trask spoke with Christopher L. Soriano, partner at Duane Morris LLP and future attendee of the case, asking 10 key questions.

Essentially, the case will deal with whether New Jersey should be able to legalize sports betting, despite a federal law banning the practice in 46 states. Should New Jersey come out on top, it would be able to provide sports betting inside casino venues. The ruling would also set a precedent for other states, who may be inspired to try their hands at legalization.

For now, there's really no telling how the hearing will go, but we have our fingers crossed.
Casino City's Friday Five: Back to the ol' grind edition is republished from
Abby Messick

Abby served as an associate editor for the Casino City editorial team for three years, between 2015 and 2018.
Abby Messick
Abby served as an associate editor for the Casino City editorial team for three years, between 2015 and 2018.