Spin Cycle: Fanatics And Marino’s Respective Arrivals In New Jersey Highlight Week In Gambling

Eric Raskin

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Welcome to “Spin Cycle,” Casino Reports’ weekly Friday roundup of all things impactful, intriguing, impressive, or idiotic in the gambling industry. Pull up a chair, grab a stack of chips and a glass of your beverage of choice, and take a spin with us through this week’s news cycle …

Finally, Fanatics

New Jersey is usually the first state where things happen in the online gambling world. But in the case of Fanatics Sportsbook and Fanatics Casino, they went live in the Garden State on Wednesday, making Jersey the last state to transition from PointsBet and launch the Fanatics-branded platforms.

Fanatics Sportsbook is now live in 20 states, while Fanatics Casino is live in four, with New Jersey joining Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

For the casino app, the operator is partnered with Boom Entertainment, Evolution, IGT, and Light & Wonder for slots titles, digital table games (like Multi-hand Blackjack, pictured below), and live-dealer offerings.

For existing PointsBet customers, all user data, settings, and funds transferred over directly to Fanatics Sportsbook and Casino.

Dan the man

Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino entered the gaming universe this week, appearing in a keynote session at the SBC Summit North America conference in Secaucus, New Jersey, Thursday morning, for a one-on-one chat with Light & Wonder CEO Dylan Slaney.

Marino did not disappoint — unless you were hoping for his deep insights on gambling topics. Or any comment at all on gambling topics.

His appearance at a gaming conference, though partially to promote the new Dan Marino Hail Mary casino game for Pixiu Gaming, focused instead on his charitable foundation, his former teammates and coaches, making Jim Carrey’s career, and his love of football and baseball as a kid.

Oh well. If Marino won’t talk gambling, we will. The Dolphins are +2500 at ESPN Bet, BetRivers, and BetMGM to win Super Bowl 59. (Fun thought experiment: Over/under 1.5 Super Bowls Marino would have won if he’d had Tyreek Hill to throw to?) 

WV iCasino revenue levels off

After setting state records in March, iCasino revenue in West Virginia cooled off a bit in April. The West Virginia Lottery reported total revenue for the month of $16.2 million, down more than 30% compared to the previous month, though still up a modest 3.4% over April 2023.

There are nine casino apps operational in the state. West Virginia’s monthly revenue generally ranks it well ahead of Delaware and the newly launched Rhode Island, but behind Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.

After a 15% administrative fee was deducted, iCasino gaming produced about $2.1 million in tax revenue for West Virginia in April, down from $3.1 million the previous month.

New England gambling ‘huddle’ coming Tuesday

Industry conference alert: The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) and the Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health (MCGH) announced this week that next Tuesday, May 14, they will host an event in Worcester, Massachusetts called “Using Research to Write the Playbook: Examining the Social Impacts of Sports Betting and the Changing Gambling Landscape.”

With every state in New England having now legalized sports betting and with online casinos beginning to enter the region, the MGC and MCGH are looking to address consumer protections, responsible gambling, and other topics, while analyzing findings from the Connecticut Impact Study and a third-party report on GameSense.

Check back with Casino Reports next week for coverage. And spend your weekend praying that the workshops and panels move along at a faster pace than your average MGC meeting.

The Shuffle: Other news and views

MIAMI TREAT: Florida lottery player scores $215 million Powerball jackpot

LOCATION COLLABORATION: IC360 partner with Radar to harness geolocation services

BAMA-BOOZLED: Alabama legislature stalls on lottery and gambling bills, Gov. Ivey says no special session

HI, IQ: DraftKings acquires Sports IQ Analytics

DEAL ‘EM IN: New online poker bill introduced in New York

AGA PERSPECTIVE: Legal sports betting is here, and it’s sustainable

LIGHT UP: Light & Wonder sees Q1 revenue up 13%, powered by SciPlay

ULTIMATE THRILL: MGM National Harbor guest wins $1.3 million at Ultimate Texas Hold’em

FRIENDLY COMPETITION: Lottery courier CEOs come together, share expectations for growth of digital sector

ABOARD THE ARK: Commission approves new Arkansas casino license application period

CAUGHT STEALING: Shohei Ohtani’s ex-interpreter to plead guilty in $17 million embezzlement case

CRAB COUNT: Maryland casinos generate over $163M in state revenue in April, slight decrease from 2023

YOU’RE MY BOY, BLUE: Schuetz: Okay, I am officially old school

ENTER THE OCTAGON: Games Global partners with the UFC to develop online slots

M&A SURPRISE: AGS to sell to Brightstar Capital Partners for $1.1 billion

PENN MAKES PUTT: ESPN Bet, PGA Championship strike sports betting deal

CAPITAL UPGRADE: New official DC Lottery mobile app arrives, modernizes experience for players in nation’s capital

SUPER, INDEED: Super Group hits record revenue, deal to acquire platform revealed

SLAP ON THE WRIST: Former MGM Grand boss Sibella avoids jail in illegal betting case

SEPARATE WAYS: Mohegan out as Virgin Hotels Las Vegas casino manager by year’s end

The Bonus Round

Completing the Spin Cycle with some odds and ends and our favorite social media posts of the week:

  • Horse racing is not exactly what you’d call a healthy, thriving, growing sport, but it ain’t getting sent to the glue factory just yet, as evidenced by the betting numbers on last weekend’s Kentucky Derby. Churchill Downs reported that $210.7 million was wagered on the race, setting a new record — by a margin of about $20 million over the 2023 Derby. You didn’t need a still-frame photo at the finish line to see that this year’s handle was the biggest ever.
  • While the music world mourns the untimely death this week of producer Steve Albini, so too does the gambling world, as the man best known for recording the likes of Nirvana, the Pixies, and Bush was also a two-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner. Albini won a seven-card stud title in 2018 and a H.O.R.S.E. bracelet in ’22. He died Tuesday night of a heart attack at the far-too-young age of 61.
  • What better place than Las Vegas for the ultimate sporting spectacle in which nothing is real? After hosting F1 and the Super Bowl, Vegas is now lined up to bring WWE’s signature event, WrestleMania, to Allegiant Stadium, on April 19 and 20, 2025. The last time ‘Mania came to Vegas? WrestleMania 9, in 1993, which ended with Hulk Hogan pinning Yokozuna in 22 seconds in an impromptu match to claim the (then-WWF) title. Let’s hope there’s serious integrity monitoring surrounding WrestleMania 41, as the last thing anyone needs is a scandal and accompanying allegations of match-fixing.
  • Nobody was more distressed about the Dallas Mavericks leveling their series with the Oklahoma City Thunder at 1-1 Thursday night than Wayne Shelton, the sports bettor who, last year, used a 50% profit boost offer from DraftKings to place a $100 three-leg futures parlay that would pay $1,714,600. The bet was on the longshot Texas Rangers to win the World Series (check!), the not-so-longshot Kansas City Chiefs to win the Super Bowl (check!) and the extreme longshot Thunder to win the NBA championship (still in the running with eight teams remaining). With the boost, Shelton got odds of 17,145-to-1. Will he cash out? Will he sell the ticket on a site like PropSwap? Will he continue placing hedge bets (as he did for about a $10,000 payout if the Mavs beat OKC)? The gambling world is watching …