Spin Cycle: Election Odds Action, Delaware iGaming Traction 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 …

Election betting: One debate leads to another

Entering Thursday night’s presidential debate, PredictIt, a political betting site of sorts that is available (somewhat legally?) to U.S. customers, had Donald Trump a 55-cent favorite (the equivalent of a -122 sportsbook bet) over Joe Biden, who was at 45 cents (+122). The market also had Biden at 86 cents (-614) to be the Democratic nominee come November.

Oh what a difference 90 minutes can make. Or even the first 10.

On the heels of a performance in which Biden looked and sounded every bit of his 81 years, the markets went nuts. Actually, the markets didn’t wait until the end of the debate. Minutes in, offshore odds moved from Trump -150/Biden +130 to Trump -200/Biden +265, with California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Vice President Kamala Harris, and former first lady Michelle Obama all shortening from extreme longshots to live underdogs.

With the debate between Biden and Trump now over, attention shifts to a different debate: whether the current president should be the Democratic Party’s nominee.

On Friday morning on PredictIt, the election winner odds showed Trump slightly improved at 59 cents (-144), Biden way down at 32 cents (+213), Newsom up from 5 cents to 14 cents (+614), and Harris up from 4 cents to 7 cents (+1329).

On the question of who will be the Democratic nominee, Biden fell from 86 cents to 61, while Newsom spiked from 8 cents to 23 and Harris rose from 5 cents to 13.

Party vs. party, the Republicans went from a 55-47 edge Thursday morning to 60-42 Friday.

Rush Street means Revenue Street in Delaware

The May iCasino revenue numbers in Delaware tell a similar story to that told by the numbers in January through April: With Rush Street Interactive holding the monopoly in the state instead of 888 since December 2023, far more people are playing online casino, and much more revenue is coming in.

The three sites operated by RSI produced casino win of just under $3.9 million in May — right in line with the previous four months, which each generated between $3.4 million and $4.7 million.

Those are crumbs compared to the monthly numbers out of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or Michigan. But they’re a massive increase over 888’s numbers. In May 2023, Delaware iCasino revenue was $1.23 million, meaning the win went up 216% year-over-year.

Going forward, Rush Street holding onto its monopoly in the First State (which was, incidentally, the first state to launch online casino) is no sure thing. Legislation introduced in April, HB 365, seeks to open the state up to up to six operators. The bill is specifically geared toward online sports betting, but there is speculation that it could eventually expand the iCasino options as well.

A bridge to helping the military

Gambling addiction is a very real problem in the military, and this week the Kindbridge Research Institute announced the establishment of the Military Gambling Awareness Committee (MGAC), an initiative “dedicated to addressing and mitigating gambling-related harms within the military community.”

“The establishment of the Military Gambling Awareness Committee marks a pivotal step in Kindbridge Research Institute’s mission to support the mental health and well-being of our service members,” said Kindbridge Research Institute Executive Director Dr. Nathan D. Smith in a press release. “By bringing together a diverse group of experts, we aim to identify and address the gaps in current policies and provide comprehensive solutions that will enhance the overall health and readiness of our military personnel.”

The “diverse group of experts” referenced by Smith, comprising the MGAC, includes Mark Lucia, Brianne Doura-Schawohl, Richard Taylor, Joe Solosky, Joseph Martin, Caroline Ponseti, and David Yeager. 

The Shuffle: Other news and views

POOR FORM?: Tensions running high in Michigan as regulators attempt to parse legal and illegal market activity 

HOLLYWOOD SHUFFLE: Pennsylvania casino launches live poker for the first time

NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS: California tribes react with optimism to Supreme Court decision on Florida sports betting

THE WAIT DOWNSTATE: NY Facility Location Board extends downstate casino bid deadline to June 2025

WELCOME TO NEO HAMPSHIRE: NeoGames takes center stage in New Hampshire’s iLottery expansion with multi-year deal

UNDERGRADS AND UNDERDOGS: Sports betting money won’t bail out cash-hungry college athletic departments

MONEY TALKS: Asymmetric warfare and the question of who is looking out for the bettors

PULLING PUNCHES: Hearn reveals Fiaz-Baker fight was pulled following ‘irregular betting activity’

KEYSTONE COPS: Pennsylvania Gaming Board bans 11 customers, fines Philadelphia casino for taking proxy bets

RESOURCES AND REGULATION: Michigan Gaming Control Board to increase regulatory capacity with additional staff

STEVESDEBTS: A closer look at Steven Jacobs, the New York lawyer and alleged problem gambler accusing DraftKings of extortion

ONLY IN FLORIDA: Petition collector in gambling amendment drive charged for signing up dead people

FREEBIE JEEBIES: UNLV study finds low correlation between bonus money, casino visit spend

CHAIR FILLED: Governor Landry announces appointment of chairman of Louisiana Gaming Control Board

TIPICO SITUATION: MGM Resorts purchases Tipico US assets as consolidation run continues

MILT DOWN: Maine casino inspectors clash with executive director of Gambling Control Unit

WHOLE LOTTER LOVE: Lottery courier theLotter to launch in New York

VIRGINIA IS FOR GAMBLERS: Virginia lawmakers to re-introduce bill that could bring casino to Fairfax County

TRIBE AND TRUE: Tribal gaming reaches new high, tops out at $41.9 billion for FY23

SKILL OF THE NIGHT: Gov. Shapiro wanted to regulate skill games in this year’s budget, but talks aren’t going well

TAKING RESPONSIBILITY: California to join national self-exclusion program, offering free support for responsible gambling

BLAST FROM THE PAST: Would a 1988 Congress have included digital betting in IGRA? Without a doubt.

FANDUEL AND FRIENDS: DC Council approves FY2025 budget, opens up digital sports betting market to more than just FanDuel

The Bonus Round

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

  • This week in “pairings we didn’t see coming”: Neil Patrick Harris is the new pitchman for Golden Nugget Online Gaming, starring in a pair of commercials for the iGaming brand of the venerable casino name. (Feels like there’s a “the Howser always wins” joke to be made here, but I’m not going to be the one to make it.) NPH posted one of the new ads on his social media:
  • It was a busy week for those covering the Sphere news beat. According to an SEC filing on Monday, New York Mets owner (and possible future NY casino operator) Steve Cohen has taken a 5.5% stake in Sphere Entertainment, a company principally controlled by fellow New York sports team owner Jim Dolan. And when the Sphere itself, located just off the Vegas Strip, officially turns one year old on July 4, it will celebrate with a show on the Exosphere (the outside LED screens) featuring audio for the first time. The best part: You don’t have to endure the Vegas July heat to enjoy the show, as it will also be livestreamed on the Sphere website and YouTube.
  • History will be made on July 23, when Stacie Stern becomes the first woman inducted into the Fantasy Sports Hall of Fame, the Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association (FSGA) announced Wednesday. The first 25 members of the Hall were all male, but Stern, an executive with first FanDuel and then Underdog, will bust up that all-boys’ club. “I’m overjoyed to not only be recognized by the FSGA, but to also become the first female inductee into the Fantasy Sports Hall of Fame,” said the woman nicknamed “The First Lady of Fantasy Sports.”
  • Here’s a weird and ugly one that thankfully for our industry is an online gaming story, not an online gambling story. New Jersey man Edward Kang, 20, was arrested Sunday and charged with attempted second-degree murder after he flew to Florida and attacked another young man with a hammer as a result of a dispute over an online role-playing video game. Next time you lose, Edward, just throw your controller across the room and yell a few obscenities like the rest of us do.
  • Ending this week’s Spin Cycle on a happy/emotional note: Congrats, Kid Poker!