iGaming News: End of an Era, Michigan Clamps Down on Illegal Gambling
Last week, there have been several important developments concerning the online gambling segment in the United States. We have done our best to catch you up on the milestone events between February 10th and February 14th.
Michigan Addresses the Issue of Illegal Gambling by Clamping Down on Operations
The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) has issued 14 cease-and-desist orders to businesses that have been running what the state and regulator consider to be illegal gambling operations. To clamp down on the spread of illegal gambling, the MGCB has teamed up with Michigan AG Dana Nessel.
The businesses objected that they were offering games of skill, not change, but upon sending investigators on site, multiple video slots were found. The investigation took place in 2019 followed by the issuance of the orders last week.
An End of an Era, Murren Leaves MGM Resorts International
After serving in the company for 12 years, Jim Murren, the man who spearheaded MGM Resorts International into 21st century, stepped down from the post. He is considered to be one of the most influential figures in the company’s history.
Even though Murren only served a part of his time within the company as a CEO he has been influential for some of the most significant shake-ups within MGM, embracing bold new moves to make sure that the company stays competitive.
He pioneered the company’s famous acquisition and construction model of development, pushing ahead with some outstanding projects, including the $1.2 billion National Harbor in Maryland. It was owing to Mr. Murren that the project saw the light of day amid general fears that MGM has over-extended its hand and it was about to collapse.
Yet, Mr. Murren managed to find the funding to see through what is one of the most ambitious casino resorts projects the world has known. Mr. Murren also addressed the tragedy that occurred in Las Vegas back in 2017 when a shooter killed nearly 60 people, having booked a room in one of MGM’s properties.
Moving forward, Mr. Murren has planted the seed of change for the company, which will now be focusing on divesting from its real estate portfolio and pushing forth with leveraging its brands and IP. Mr. Murren will also receive a $32 million well-deserved exit payment package by the end of 2021.
Kindred and Caesars Strike New Partnership in Iowa and Indiana
Kindred Group, one of the flagship developers of iGaming and sports betting platforms, has signed up partnership deals with Caesars, a hospitality and casino giant, for Iowa and Indian.
As per the new deal, Kindred’s flagship brand, Unibet, will set up an online betting and casino gaming shop in both states as soon as lawmakers give the go-ahead to online gambling in the states.
With this being said, Caesars’ Horseshoe in Indiana and Harrah’s Council Bluffs in Iowa have been selected as partner properties, allowing Kindred and Unibet to plan a release as soon as legislation permits. Commenting on these developments, Kindred US SVP Manuel Stan said that the company was excited to strike partnership with one of the most renowned casino operators.
DraftKings Strikes a Trio of Partnerships in NBA Teams
Sports betting and fantasy operator DraftKings has struck a number of important partnerships with some of the most influential National Basketball Association (NBA) franchises. Moving forward, the platform ill be an official partner for the Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics and the Indiana Pacers, all considered some of the best teams in the associations.
As a result, DraftKings will be able to use the teams’ official logos to push awareness for both its own offer as well as raise awareness about the organizations and drive fan engagement through social media and traditional gambling channels.
DraftKings chief business officer Ezra Kucharz said the company was excited to add some of the best NBA franchises to its list of partners.
The marriage between gambling companies and media services isn’t exactly new, but William Hill has sent ripples last week when the company announced a partnership with broadcaster CBS Sports for the United States. The deal constitutes a considerable increase in William Hill’s footprint in the United States, shifting focus on raising awareness for its own brand.
While the deal is outside the scope of online casinos, it still influences the brand in a positive light. In the meantime, William Hill is preparing for the collegiate betting season known as March Madness which will coincide with the exact activation of the partnership between the British gaming and betting company and the US broadcaster.
CBS will be able to display William Hill odds, markets and data in its live broadcasts, making for nice synergies between the two companies.
Hard Rock Goes Ahead with Live Slots Launch
In a bid to continue innovating the slot experience, Hard Rock Casino has gone ahead with the launch of its live casino, in collaboration with Softweave. As a result, players will now be able to enjoy these new and innovative games that are being streamed from Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City in New Jersey.
The launch is also a world first for the slot segment as a whole, making Hard Rock one of the brands to have innovated the iGaming experience in a significant and possibly industry-altering way.
All of the games are available at HardRockCasino.com, the iGaming skin of the gaming giant. Kresimir Spajic, SVP for Online Gaming at Hard Rock International, commented on the occasion saying that the company was excited to introduce a new form of gaming entertainment.
“With live slots, you can control real, physical slot machines located at Hard Rock Atlantic City from anywhere in New Jersey,” Mr. Spajic said.