Rivers Casino Portsmouth Starts Strong in Virginia, GGR Reaches Nearly $25m in First Full Month

"Start Strong" spelled out on wooden blocks

Rivers Casino Portsmouth generated almost $25m in gross gaming revenue during its first full month of operations. The Rush Street Gaming-owned property opened its doors on January 23, becoming Virginia’s first permanent casino. The Virginia Lottery reported revenue figures for the property this week.

$17.1m from slots play and $7.5m from table games

Breaking down the $24.6m in gaming revenue for February, Rivers Casino Portsmouth won $17.1m from slots play and $7.5m from table games. The total does not include the revenue generated through the BetRivers Sportsbook; the Virginia Lottery will report those figures at a later date.

The resulting tax revenue from the first full month of operations was over $4.4m, with the city of Portsmouth getting about $1.5m of this sum.

The Rivers Casino Portsmouth was developed for $340m and offers 1,420 slot machines, as well as over 80 table games.

There has been some controversy since the casino opened. Many patrons weren’t happy with the extensive cigarette smoke around the facility, which led to the property announcing on January 30 that it would reserve about half of the gaming floor for non-smokers.

The post Rivers Casino Portsmouth Starts Strong in Virginia, GGR Reaches Nearly $25m in First Full Month appeared first on VegasSlotsOnline News.

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Sports Betting back in Georgia Senate after previous losses

Sports Betting back in Georgia Senate after previous losses

After the failure of legislation that would have permitted sports wagering in the state, involving horse racing, the official legalization of sports wagering is up for a vote again Thursday in the Georgia senate.

However, this time the main focus of the legislation is to allow sports wagering in the state without legalizing horse racing betting.

Sports wagering added to a separate bill:

Senators revisited the act by attaching it to a separate soapbox derby bill, then quickly enacted it in the Senate Economic Development and Tourism Committee on an 8-1 vote.

Moreover, a new rewritten bill, House Bill 237, could soon be voted on by the full Senate.

On that note, Lt. Gov. Burt Jones, who helped bring the bill back to the Senate, said: “I want the Senate to render a verdict on the idea.

“We either put it to bed so we don’t have to talk about it anymore, or we’ll get it passed and it will just be like picking up $75 million in the street.”

In addition to the two acts that were defeated in the Senate, a third proposal to permit sports wagering didn’t even reach the level of a vote in the House. It is House Bill 380 which doesn’t involve a provision requiring a constitutional change.

If it had passed, it would have sent the proceeds to the HOPE scholarship and the state’s pre-K program.

In this regard, Lt. Gov. Burt Jones added: “The new revenue would help bolster the lottery-funded HOPE scholarship and allow Georgia to join 36 other states that allow sports betting.”

Prediction that the sports wagering proposal will fail again:

However, other senators expect the newest sports wagering proposal to fail again, after its addition to a two-page bill primarily aimed to define the Southeast Georgia Soap Box Derby as Georgia’s official soap box derby.

Commenting on that, Georgia Senator Mike Dugan, Republican from Carrollton, said: “When you hijack a soap box derby (bill) and put sports betting on the back of it, every person that was on the fence in the state of Georgia has just now picked a side of the fence.”

Purpose of the act:

Under the legislation, sports wagering would be permitted under the state Lottery without changing the state Constitution, which would require a two-thirds vote of members in the state House and Senate and the support of Georgia voters in a referendum.

This latest sports betting bill could become law if it receives majority validation from the state House, state Senate and Gov. Brian Kemp.

However, Kemp and Jones have backed sports wagering in the 2022 campaign.

In this regard, Senator Billy Hickman, said: “I like the odds of sports betting passing on its third try.”

He added: “I think its chances are great. It’s an opportunity to bring additional money into the state of Georgia that is going to other states. 

“I personally use a person in Tennessee to do my sports betting, and I use a person in Florida to do my horse racing. So this is a great bill for Georgia.”

Opinions are divided:

The act cannot move forward amid debate over whether it should move forward as a constitutional amendment and decide how the new profit it would raise should be spent.

“It’s immoral, addictive and breeds crime,” according to opponents of gambling.

In this regard, Jon Burns, House Speaker, said: “I prefer the legalization of sports betting over a broader expansion of gambling.”

On the other hand, Jeanne Seaver, a Savannah Republican activist who runs Moms Against Gambling, said: “The bill is a disgrace.

“Georgians don’t want any expansion of gambling, and the legislative leaders are just not listening” after previous bills didn’t pass.”

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Dave Portnoy Calls Out President Biden for SVB, Bank Bail Out

Dave Portnoy

Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy condemned President Joe Biden for moving to bail out failing financial group SVB Financial, parent of Silicon Valley Bank.

SVB, which has many prominent politicians and figures on its long client list, won’t be bailed out with taxpayer money, according to Biden. Still, Portnoy believes that the group’s state is a result of the roadmap that it followed as a business.

Nobody rescues me when I run out of money.”

“When banks fail, it’s a tough one, because, again, the average ‘Joe Schmo’ puts their money [in], I want to get their money back, but I don’t think banks should necessarily be rescued because you’re running a bad business,” Portnoy said in an interview with Fox Business Thursday. “Nobody rescues me when I run out of money.”

SVB is not the only bank facing a serious liquidity issue. Roughly $152.9bn was borrowed by institutions across the country during the traditional discount window that closed on March 15, well above the $111bn borrowed during the 2008 financial crisis. 

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is attempting to restore order by guaranteeing all deposits at SVB, which includes patrons with more than $250,000 in their accounts. The previous guarantee limit was capped at $250,000. 

Portnoy is pleased that money is being guaranteed but believes that SVB’s real issue is the amount of risk it took on.

“They were basically attracting risky companies, startups, crypto companies. That’s their wheelhouse. And you have more risk when you do that,” told Fox host Stuart Varney. “I’m glad people are getting their deposits back because I don’t think the average Joe Schmo knows what they’re getting involved in.”

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Saskatchewan Gambling Laws ▷ SK Legal Gambling Age Canada

Canadian Flag with Gambling Implements on Top

Saskatchewan online gambling is just the icing for the land-blocked Canadian province. Punters living there have had the opportunity to play at First Nation casinos for quite some time. There’s also a fully operational Saskatchewan lottery you might want to learn more about. Things are panning out for real money players in the province, giving a lot of topics to discuss. Pick one from the element above if you have something particular in mind.

Saskatchewan Gambling Regulators

There are two main institutions that dictate pace and direction regarding Saskatchewan online gambling laws. Those are the Indian Gaming Authority and the Liquor and Gaming Authority. Learning from the past, legislators have come up with a robust regulatory structure which strikes a balancing act between user safety and better employment rates in the First Nation community. Here’s more information on the two authorities we mentioned.

Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority

One of the gaming regulators in charge is the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA). SIGA was instituted with the idea of creating employment for First Nation residents in the province, and it was a complete success. It’s worth emphasising that the mission of SIGA extends far beyond the creation of jobs.

The authority has a social responsibility function, releases annual reports, and regulates all First Nation casinos in Saskatchewan. As it is, SIGA became the operator of the only locally regulated online gaming site, though other Saskatchewan casino sites, regulated abroad, are also available.

Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority

The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) is a state-owned enterprise established to keep gaming operators and liquor vendors in check. SLGA enforces the law in line with the legal gambling in Saskatchewan, which also is the legal drinking age in the province. The regulator is the sole owner of all video lottery terminals in the province and licenses all other forms of real-money betting. These are the main obligations of the SLGA in a nutshell:

🏠 Location Regina
🕹 Controls Alcohol, Cannabis, Gambling
🧔🏼 Owns All Video Lottery Terminals
🎰 Regulated Gambling Types Bingo, Raffles, Casinos, Breakopen Tickets, Poker, Horse Racing
✅ Operates 70+ Liquor Stores

All that said, the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority will be reinstituted in April of 2023 under a new name – Lotteries and Gaming Saskatchewan. The new legal entity will take the reins on the same areas of expertise the SLGA is controlling now, while the SLGA will take a back seat and continue to have a say only on charitable gambling.

British Columbia Lottery Corporation

SIGA – operator of PlayNow.com, chose to lean on the expertise of the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) by selecting it as its official vendor. As the name suggests, BCLC is a British Columbia organisation feeding profit back to the province to help communities and improve healthcare, education, etc. It’s also the operator who runs PlayNow.com in British Columbia. After a three-way agreement between the BCLS, the SIGA, and SaskGaming, the former was officialised as the operator of PlayNow.com

Big Administrative Building

Anti-money laundering, security, and compliance are at the core of the value system of BCLS. The corporation was established on the foundation of fairness and caring for players. How much the organisation cares about the impact of what it does is materialised in the form of GameSense – a dedicated player health service. GameSense educates players betting real money on sites like the best Canadian online casinos on the risk of problem gambling.

What Can You Bet on?

The big question everyone is asking themselves is what you are signing up for as a legal user of the gambling sites in Saskatchewan. If we look at the big picture, we see a well-functioning industry where the last significant update was the addition of legal online gambling in Saskatchewan. Fans of lottery games, sports betting, and casino games are all attended to. All persons 19 and above are eligible to:

  • Play online casino games
  • Play In-person casino games
  • Play poker tournaments and cash games
  • Bet on sports
  • Participate in the lottery

Legal Land-Based Casinos

Physical casinos are in the scope of legal establishments as per the Saskatchewan gambling laws. The advantage is given to native Canadian tribes who are in charge of six of the active land-based casinos in Saskatchewan. Only two are not under the control of First Nation people. Below we listed the legal casino facilities to visit in Saskatchewan:

  • Casino Regina (1880 Saskatchewan Drive, Regina, SK)
  • Dakota Dunes Casino (204 Dakota Dunes Way, Whitecap, SK)
  • Gold Eagle Casino (11902 Railway Ave. E., North Battleford, SK)
  • Moose Jaw Casino (21 Fairford St. E., Moose Jaw, SK)
  • Living Sky Casino (1401 North Service Road E., Swift Current, SK)
  • Gold Horse Casino (3910 41 St., Lloydminster, SK)

Casino Regina comes across as being the classiest of all six facilities cited above. It was built in 1912, and despite not working around the clock (it’s closed between 2 am and 9 am), the casino packs an impressive 1000 slot machines. This is also one of the few places where poker tournaments are organised.

Casino and Sportsbook Sites

The federal government approved single-game sports betting in August 2021. Sports gamblers, however, had to wait up until November 2022 for legal online betting to go live. PlayNow – the managed by SaskGaming site – is now the only online option for SK punters. It has a full package of betting features alongside casino games and responsible gambling functions. Online poker is out of reach at the moment, but you can find cash games and tournaments at some of the legal casinos in Saskatchewan.


Despite the gambling age in Saskatchewan being 19 years, buying lottery tickets requires only 18 years of age. Sask Lotteries runs the lottery in Saskatchewan and is a very basic-looking form of sports betting. Young-looking visitors are asked for a picture ID per the “ID under 25” policy the operator places on record. The games you can play include Daily Grand, Lotto 649, Western 649, MAX, Western MAX, Poker Lotto, and Pick.

Legal Gambling Age

The legal gambling age in Saskatchewan is 19, as in most Canadian provinces where games of chance are not outlawed. The age requirement is an important deterrent for the prevention of gambling addiction in Saskatchewan. This is why for milder forms of gaming, such as the lottery, the age requirement is lowered to 18.

Hand Gesture Telling You to Stop

All operators, be it the lottery or casino ones, are very local about the dangers of problem gambling and use every opportunity to advise players to seek help if they sense they need such. We want to take the occasion to do the same. Visit the site of Saskatchewan’s problem gambling help service or call 1-800-306-6789.


We keep hearing certain questions get asked more often than others like is online gambling legal in Saskatchewan? So, after doing our research, we were able to put together an informer response to the five most frequently asked questions concerning SK gambling laws.

1️⃣ Is gambling legal in Saskatchewan?

With two SK gambling regulators, it’s safe to say that activities of this kind are not only legal but heavily regulated. Take the lottery as an example. Even a benevolent act such as buying a lottery ticket is subjected to an age requirement. On top of that, only licensed operators can host games of chance.

2️⃣ What’s the legal gambling age in Saskatchewan?

The legal SK gambling age is 19 years. Attempting to bet real money at a younger age will constitute underage gambling, which is punishable by law. Both parties – player and operator – are both subjected to punishment in the case of an underage gambling count.

3️⃣ Can I bet on sports from Saskatchewan?

The most recent development in regard to sports betting in Saskatchewan is the launch of the online sportsbook PlayNow.com operated by the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority. It allows for betting on sports. The sportsbook even partnered with the Roughriders in order to promote its offering to sports bettors.

4️⃣ When was SK online casino gaming legalised?

On 3 November 2022, was the launch of PlayNow.com – the first legal online casino and betting site in Saskatchewan. The operator promises to upgrade its website with an online poker offering in 2023. The website is property of the British Columbia Lottery Corporation – known to be a licensed firm.

5️⃣ Who operates bingo establishments in Saskatchewan?

That would be the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gambling Authority. Since bingo cannot be played online, the mission of the SLGA is to provide SK residents with a clean land-based alternative. There are more than a dozen bingo halls in Saskatchewan following the compliance requirements of the SLGA.

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Strazynski and von Zweigbergk Showing Love to Poker’s Elephant Men

The Elephant Man

Elephant men

High stakes poker gets love and rightly so. Those players put a lot on the line. Whether it is their own money or their backer’s, vast sums are passed back and forth, a money dance on the upper tier of the great poker pyramid.

Mid-stakes tournament players get love and rightly so. They battle it out on the “felt of dreams,” where great multiples of the buy-in can be won. The amateurs and professionals, the recs and regs, the enthusiasts and the battle-hardened are all swimming in a sea of variance, their edge unrealizable but their optimism intact. 

The TV cash game players get love and rightly so. They straddle. They play Seven-Deuce. They splash the pots. They make high wire bluffs and calls that are scrutinized endlessly by the “chat pros.” They risk more than just their money. They risk their reputations as their characters under pressure are laid bare. 

they are poker’s innovators, inventing new games for a sparse audience

But what about the mixed game players? They sit in the dark corner of the casino or perhaps, if they are lucky, tucked away in a private room. Out of sight, out of mind, they are poker’s innovators, inventing new games for a sparse audience. Poker’s all-rounders, they have sacrificed specialization for the wonder of variety. Poker’s elephant men, they are the loveless. Until now. 

A five-day feast of miscellany

From March 19-23, Cardplayer Lifestyle and their affable leader Robbie Strazynski will be hosting the fourth edition of the Mixed Game Festival, a five-day feast of miscellany at Resorts World Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. PokerStars sponsors the festival and they have added a €3,000 ($3,204) EPT Prague Mixed Game package to be awarded to winner of the H.O.R.S.E. tournament. 

The cash game action will be non-stop throughout the festival at stakes as low as $4/$8 with higher stakes available upon request. At previous Mixed Game Festivals, there was just one tournament to accompany the plethora of mixed game cash tables. This time, there will be two: a $260 Omaha 8/Stud 8 tournament on Monday, March 20 whetting the whistle for the $260 H.O.R.S.E. Main Event on Thursday, March 23.

Beyond the EPT Prague prize package, the Mixed Game Festival has organized a trio of book signings to enhance the party atmosphere. On Tuesday, March 21, WSOP bracelet winner Dylan Linde will be signing copies of his book, Mastering Mixed Games. Then, on Wednesday, March 22, WSOP bracelet winner Chris Wallace will be signing copies of his book, Getting Started With HORSE. Meanwhile, Poker Hall of Famer Eli Elezra will be on hand to sign copies of his autobiography, Pulling the Trigger for a discounted price of $10.

Director of partnerships & PR at PokerStars Rebecca McAdam was emphatic about the importance of events such as this. “It provides players who love to dabble in a variety of games a home-game type atmosphere and environment, but of course with some serious competition,” she said. “We are very happy to be a part of it by giving the community something that continues the journey onwards after the Vegas shenanigans!”

On the other side of the pond

Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, The Festival Series and its good-humored leader Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk are building up to their second event of the year in Malta. Satellites on Unibet Poker are already underway and pumping out €1,600 ($1,709) packages for a trip to the sunny archipelago from May 15-22. 

PLO, Sviten Special, and Chinese Poker tournaments peppered in

The Festival Series had a hugely successful stop in Nottingham’s Dusk Till Dawn in February. Ignacio Menedez took home first prize money of £38,595 ($41,214) in that one after a heads-up deal with Sean O’Donnell in the 609 runner £450 ($481) No-Limit Hold’em Main Event. However, a key feature of The Festival Series is the mix of formats with PLO, Sviten Special, and Chinese Poker tournaments peppered in. There is also some crossover with the other casino game tournaments: roulette, blackjack, slots, and even sports betting.   

Head of poker for Unibet Kris Bergvall highlighted the player-centric aspect of The Festival Series:

“Malta is one of Europe’s great poker destinations and Unibet Poker is delighted to be creating pathways for our players to go there to play a festival with a diversity of formats that prides itself on player experience.”

Strazynski and von Zweigbergk Q & A

VegasSlotsOnline News reached out to both Strazynski and von Zweigbergk to ask them a couple of questions about their respective events. 

VSO: These types of festivals are important in and of themselves, but what kind of turnout would you say is a success? 

Strazynski: So ours is a hybrid festival, incorporating both cash games and tournaments. I’m hoping to have at least 50 players show up for our Omaha8/Stud8 tournament, which I’d personally consider a decent turnout for a “random Monday in March.” I’d like to believe we’ll hopefully get double that for our Thursday HORSE tournament, which carries with it the added EPT Prague Prize Package for the winner. 

For the cash games on Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, I’d love if we could get three low-stakes dealer’s choice tables running simultaneously throughout.

we are still the new kid on the block

von Zweigbergk: Success is always when friends and players are happy with the events and tournaments that we host. In numbers terms, an increase in total entries versus the same tournament in the previous event means we are making progress and spreading the word. 

The Festival Series is not even two years old, so we are still the new kid on the block. Nonetheless, In absolute numbers, I would like to quote my hero Dr. Evil: “One million dollars!”

VSO: What’s your elevator pitch to players who play Hold’em and not much else to give the other games a try?  

Strazynski: While “Hold’em” and “poker” might appear to be synonymous terms, poker encompasses dozens of variants and I’d argue strongly that you’re not a “complete” poker player until you have achieved proficiency at the full gamut of draw, flop, and stud games. 

What I tend to love about the mix, beyond the games themselves, is that most games are played fixed limit, which means that it won’t “cost you your bankroll” while you learn each game. You can sit on the same $200 for hours at a $4/$8 game, having an absolute blast with the other players, while learning all the games, and never have to worry that your money will be gone in an instant. 

I can’t go back to Hold’em; it’s too boring!”

If that’s not enough to persuade you, I’d say that changing the game every orbit keeps the mind fresh and active. So many folks who have tried mixed games for the first time at our Mixed Game Festival have told me “I can’t go back to Hold’em; it’s too boring!

von ZweigbergkDo you like whining when your AA doesn’t hold up? I can guarantee that when you play PLO 4/5/6 you will enjoy it even more.

VSO: Mixed game players are poker’s elephant men. Discuss.

Strazynski: I don’t know about elephant men, but poker is full of characters and we are always looking for more. I promise that if you sit down at a table at the Cardplayer Lifestyle Mixed Game Festival, you will find plenty.

von Zweigbergk: Hahaha, the mixed game crowd are definitely a special breed. I remember back in the EPT days when Finns started to have bigger pots playing Chinese poker at the bars or at parties after hours. We invented amazing games like Sviten Special, Thriller, The Pyramid, Indian poker, and we added gambling elements like three boards and point systems. We also introduced more joker or wild card variations. If you can imagine it, we played it! 

We may be elephant men but I think we deserve the center stage! 

The mixed game players are indeed worthy of love and thanks to Strazynski, von Zweigbergk and their ilk, they are getting some. In the words of John Merrick when played by John Hurt in “The Elephant Man”: 

“I am not an elephant! I am not an animal! I am a human being! I am a man!”

The post Strazynski and von Zweigbergk Showing Love to Poker’s Elephant Men appeared first on VegasSlotsOnline News.

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Playtech Announces Strategic Partnership With Hard Rock Digital

The Hard Rock Hotel in Florida at night, lit up by pink neon lights

Industry pioneers Playtech, the long-term friends of Casino.com, this week announced a strategic partnership with another iconic brand – Hard Rock Digital. The deal has seen Playtech invest some $85million in Hard Rock Digital, with these funds already earmarked to help fund the expansion of the legendary Hard Rock’s youthful gaming business.

Hard Rock’s Digital Expansion

The growth of Hard Rock into the entertainment powerhouse it is today is staggering. Incredibly, it was the lack of American style burgers in 1970’s London that sparked the emergence of one of the most recognisable brands in the world. In 1971, annoyed that they couldn’t find a burger that was on the same delicious level as at home, American duo Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton decided to open their own diner. They found the perfect location in a former Rolls Royce dealership and the Hard Rock Café was born! Now, more than 50 years later, there are over 200 Hard Rock Café’s in 68 countries – and that’s not all!

Under the stewardship of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the Hard Rock Café brand has ambitions to become an industry leader in both land-based and digital gaming. They already have eleven Hard Rock Casino’s across North America, and their planned renovation of The Mirage in Las Vegas is going to take their classic guitar-shaped design to all new levels!

Since 2020 they have also expanded into the digital world, providing both gaming and sportsbook platforms in selected American states. By leveraging the power the of the Hard Rock brand, they expect to be one of the three biggest sportsbook brands in North America by the end of next year- and this partnership with Playtech will only help boost their international ambitions too!

In exchange for their $85 billion investment, Playtech have received a small stake in Hard Rock Digital. Whilst the stake is small, the knowledge and experience that Playtech will bring to the fledging operator is not! Playtech has a proven track record in developing significant brands within the gaming market. One only needs to look at the runaway success of the Age of the Gods franchise to see evidence of that! In addition to providing their cutting-edge software, Playtech will also provide accompanying support in marketing, payments, and other operational services. Mor Weizer, the chief executive of Playtech, stated that the agreement will also benefit his company’s growth strategy by providing a significant improvement of their position in North America.

Playtech and Casino.com

Whilst the partnership between Hard Rock and Playtech is a very recent development, the relationship between Playtech and Casino.com certainly is not! Playtech’s games have been an almost constant presence in our casino lobby since we opened our doors in 2007, and we are proud to have hosted some of most loved games in the industry.

Playtech and Casino.com have combined to bring you quick and easy access to almost every type of casino game you can imagine. From the epic Age of the Gods franchise to the beloved Cash Collect series, the variety of slots on offer in Casino.com lobby is second to none. Amongst the 100 live games that Playtech have provided are roulette, baccarat, blackjack and Caribbean stud poker, while traditional games have been reimagined in Quantum Roulette and Quantum Blackjack. Casino.com is also the only online casino to give you the very, very special opportunity to play baccarat and roulette live from the most exclusive casino on the planet – Les Ambassadeurs!

You don’t have to take our word for it, you can view check out our Playtech games in the Casino.com lobby for yourself! Don’t forget, all new members are also eligible to receive our generous Welcome Package!

The post Playtech Announces Strategic Partnership With Hard Rock Digital appeared first on Casino.com Blog.

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Chicago Mayor Candidates for Legalization of Video Gambling

Chicago Mayor Candidates for Legalization of Video Gambling

Both candidates for Chicago mayor – Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson – would support the legalization of video gambling machines within their city limits if elected in the April 4 election. The candidates would thus change the practice of previous Chicago majors, who exclusively opted to have a brick-and-mortar casino established in the city limits, and expect to create an important revenue source for public investments.

Important revenue source:

According to WBEZ Chicago, former CPS CEO Paul Vallas said he would use ”a fair share” of the gambling revenue to fund investments in the city developments and considers the revenue ”the developer fee money.”  Also, Brandon Johnson stated that he supports legalized video gambling ”as an important revenue source for critical investments in public safety, transportation, housing, and other public accommodations.”

Casino under construction:

These initiatives are made as the first-ever casino in the City of Chicago is being constructed after a successful mediation of Mayor Lori Lightfoot in the deal with the state regulators in 2019. The selected operator is Bally’s and the city officials expect that the casino to be located in the River West area will cash in close to $200 million in revenue to significantly stimulate public funding.

Video gambling proponents and opponents:

The source also reports that local casino operators have mostly been opposed to video gambling machines as they fear that this gambling form will affect the land-based casino revenue. The gambling mogul billionaire Neil Bluhm, who runs Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, is one of them. But his son, Andrew Bluhm, has already made some poker machines investments to testify to the market trends. He also donated $150,000 to the 2019 mayoral campaigns that supported legalized video gambling.

A veil of silence:

In the 2019 mayoral campaign, Paul Vallas had also supported video gambling but said through a spokesperson that he has not spoken to Andrew or Neil Bluhm about his post-election plans regarding the legalization of video gambling machines. At the same time, Andrew Bluhm said that he no longer has an interest in a video gambling terminal business in which he had been involved.

Chicago market potential:

According to data from the Illinois Gaming Board, the state of Illinois had a roughly $10.5 billion handle in video gambling machines in 2022. Out of the total amount wagered, the respective income generated by the municipalities with the machines amounted to $135.5 million in tax revenue. The Board also reported that the state currently has more than 45,100 video gambling terminals across more than 8,200 venues.

Video gambling has been growing rapidly since it began in 2012, and competent state bodies have noted that the legalization of terminals would significantly increase video gaming revenues. The mayor candidates Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson think the same and await the April 4 election to make the move.

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Best New Online Slots of the Week | March 17, 2023

Slots of the Week feature image March 17 2023

We’re expanding our horizons with our latest look at the best new online slots of the week. We travel to the Middle East with Rival Gaming and its Cobra King slot, and encounter some killer bunnies in Rabbit Royale from ELK Studios.

But we start our regular report on the best new online slots of the week with a Hacksaw Gaming release: Stormforged. This sumptuous Norse-themed slot boasts expanding wild portals and two exciting bonus features. Are you ready to venture to fiery Muspelheim?

We head into the farmer’s field next with Rabbit Royale from ELK Studios. Win up to 2,500,000.00 as you collect carrots and trigger walking wilds.

Pop O’Gold is the latest Avatar UX game in the Popwins range. Experience the StickyPop mechanic and enjoy enchanted bonuses in a high-variance slot with an Irish vibe.

Finally, we round off our look at the best new online slots of the week with Cobra King from Rival Gaming. This exotic trip to the East features some incredible graphics, plus a free spins bonus with 20 games up for grabs.

Remember, you can test out all these great new online slots for free, right here at VegasSlotsOnline. Click on the links below to get started.

Venture into a world of Norse mythology with Hacksaw Gaming’s Stormforged slot. Open the expanding portals or trigger Storm Reels to reveal new prize multipliers!  

We’re always hopeful that new Norse-themed slots can introduce something new to the slots market. In Stormforged, Hacksaw Gaming may have launched a game to give Vikings Go Berserk a run for its money.    

In Norse mythology, Muspelheim was ruled over by the evil fire giants. The king of the giants, Surtur, appears as a scatter in the game. It activates a portal to Muspelheim whenever Surtur lands on the reels. Portals act as wilds that substitute for all regular symbols in the game.

In addition, the Hand of Surtur may tear a wild to reveal a prize multiplier. Multipliers range from 2x up to 200x. Surtur’s hand can also tear through treasure chests that make an appearance on the reels. The chest will split open to reveal a cash prize worth anywhere from 5x–2500x stake.

The Surtur scatter triggers free spins in the game if you land 3–5 in any position. You win 10–14 free spins, while sticky wilds can land on the reels to enhance your payouts.

Look out too for the Ice Brand scatter, which opens a portal to Midgard, and a path to wild payouts. You may also retrigger free spins by landing extra scatters on the reels.

Vikings make a welcome appearance in Stormforged too. You win 10–14 free spins by landing three or more Viking scatters. Plus, the Hammer of Thor scatter can appear to turn one reel wild. The wild ‘Storm Reel’ can add multipliers worth 2x to 200x.  

An RTP of 96.14% and some great bonus action: no wonder Stormforged is a hit in the VSO offices. Give it a spin for free today.

Are you ready to take on the cyborg bunnies in Rabbit Royale from ELK Studios? Activate rabbit respins or trigger free spins with sticky rabbit wilds!

ELK Studios were easily one of our favorite developers of 2021 and 2022, with exciting releases such as Nitropolis 3 and 4. The Swedish slots manufacturer is going back to rabbits for its latest release, and this game is sure to be a winner with ELK fans.

Rabbit Royale is a five-reel online slot where sticky rabbits and free spins are the name of the game. But first, there are wilds to check out.

Every wild that contributes to a winning spin turns into a carrot with a random prize value attached. Rabbits collect the values of the carrots, then trigger a respin. Rabbits then move positions and may trigger more respins. You collect the total prize cash displayed when there are no more respins.

You can also trigger 3–5 free spins by landing 3–5 bonus symbols anywhere. Plus, you may activate 1–3 rabbits during your first free game. However, you can never have more than five rabbits in view at any one time.

The bonus features are just part of the draw of Rabbit Royale. The graphics, atmosphere, and music all make up for another superb ELK Studios release. If you loved the Nitropolis range of slots, you’re bound to love Rabbit Royale. Give it a play for free today.

Summon the luck of the Irish with Pop O’Gold from Avatar UX. Trigger the Stickypop feature and watch symbols turn sticky to activate cash wins!

Pop O'Gold slot reels by Avatar UX

It’s been a while since we featured Avatar UX in our report on the best new online slots of the week. But with Boosted Reels, split symbols, and the exciting Stickypop feature, Pop O’Gold has been worth the wait.

You’ll love Pop O’Gold if you’re a fan of multiway slots that can change on each spin. You being with 486 ways to win. However, the reels “pop” after every winning spin and grow to create new ways to win.

It’s possible to create up to 16,807 ways to win if you expand the reels to full height. Plus, winning symbols become sticky and remain in place for a free re-spin, while a multiplier is applied to the payout. Stickypop ends when there are no more consecutive winning spins.

Look out for some random boosters during the main game, too. There is a random chance at the beginning of every spin that two or more reels will boost to include split multipliers. You may boost up to five reels in this way.

You may trigger five free spins by hitting three or more scatters in any position. However, you have the option to gamble your spins up to a maximum of 12.

Plus, you can unlock fully the free spins bonus by growing the reels to their maximum height. A 2x multiplier is applied across the board, and this grows by +x1 for every winning spin to hit until the end of the feature.

Looking for some hot, new Irish-themed slots action? Look no further than our free-play version of Pop O’Gold, available here now.

Travel to the East in our final new online slot as you play Cobra King from Rival Gaming. Trigger Super Round Spins, but look out for magic lamps for even bigger bonus thrills.  

Cobra King slot reels by Rival Gaming

Rival Gaming have established a firm reputation for no-nonsense slots with simple graphics and lots of bonus action. And in Cobra King, you certainly get more bonus bang for your buck.

This new Rival Gaming slot has a solid Arabian Nights vibe. There are magic carpets, minarets, and monkeys galore. You can even listen to the Arabesque music as you spin the reels.

You collect magic lamps on the reels as you play. These light up on a meter at the side of the screen. And once you collect 15 lamps, you progress to the next prize round.

Just like the classic Genie legend, this feature comes with three “wishes,” one for each “prize round.” For the first wish, the Cobra King himself appears as an expanding wild. He also brings a 3x multiplier for any wins he helps complete.

The Second Wish free spins features drop symbols with a 3x multiplier. Finally, the Third Wish free spins features sticky 3x wilds with a respin added.

You may trigger free spins by landing 3–5 genies on the reels at any time. You’ll win 10, 15, or 20 free games this way.

The beauty of the Cobra King meter is that it remains lit as long as you play the game. So, it can pay dividends to keep playing the slot until you trigger the First Wish bonus.

Cobra King may not score points for slick animation, but it certainly delivers on bonuses. Give it a spin for free and see what you think.

For more exciting games, make sure you visit our New Online Slots page!

The post Best New Online Slots of the Week | March 17, 2023 appeared first on VegasSlotsOnline News.

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Anti-Gambling Protestors in India Mail Human Ashes to State

Handful of ashes

Strange protests

Activists in Tamil Nadu – the southernmost state of India – are part of an unusual form of anti-gambling protest. The activists, members of the political organization Thanthai Periyar Dravidian Kazhagam (TPDK), claim to have sent human ashes to their governor Ravindra “RN” Ravi.

According to TPDK, the packets sent to Ravi contain ashes taken from the cremations of four individuals who died by suicide. The rest of the postal ash is representative of the other 38 deaths which TPDK attributes to gambling on online rummy.

Gambling is subject to strong regulation the world over, and to equally strenuous debates about that regulation. However, few debates have gotten quite as strange as this one in Tamil Nadu.

Ashes to ashes

India’s approach to online gambling is very similar to the approach of the US. India’s federal government has no law regulating or prohibiting gambling, which means it is up to the 28 states and eight territories to set their own rules.

Online gambling is explicitly legal in Goa, Daman, and Sikkim, while several other states have explicitly outlawed it. In areas where the local government has not established laws for or against online gambling, players may be able to access grey market sites that are legal but unregulated.

The new law would ban games of chance (as opposed to skill) when played for money.

Tamil Nadu’s legislative branch drafted and approved a law banning online gambling in October 2022. The new law would ban games of chance (as opposed to skill) when played for money. Governor Ravi has not signed the bill into law yet, sending it back to the house for amendments on March 8.

The bill included games like rummy and poker as games of chance. These games have traditionally been test cases for what counts as “games of chance” due to their significant skill elements.

TPDK spokespeople claim that the 42 suicides can be blamed on this period of delay in approving the law. TPDK is a pro-Dravidian party (a party which aims for the Dravidian-speaking states to secede from India and form a new nation) with a reputation for headline grabbing protests. This protest is certainly of that category.

The post Anti-Gambling Protestors in India Mail Human Ashes to State appeared first on VegasSlotsOnline News.

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Playtech Acquires Less Than 10% Stake in Hard Rock Digital for $85M

Playtech Acquires Less Than 10% Stake in Hard Rock Digital for $85M

Playtech has entered into a wide-ranging global partnership with Hard Rock Digital (HRD), the iGaming and sports arm of Hard Rock International and Seminole Gaming.

HRD’s customers in the US and Canada will have access to a selection of Playtech slots, live dealer table games, and random number generator games through HRD’s existing proprietary platform and technology offering.

Outside the US and Canada, HRD will have access to HRD’s player management platform and other solutions including operations management, payment advisory, and marketing, as well as customer support services.

Playtech Purchases Minority Equity Share

In support of the deal, Playtech has purchased a single-digit minority share of equity in HRD for US$85 million from Hard Rock International and Seminole Gaming.

Playtech has purchased a minority equity ownership stake in Hard Rock Digital (HRD), the interactive gaming and sports betting division of Hard Rock International and Seminole Gaming, as part of a wider deal between the two businesses.

Hard Rock currently operates online and retail sports betting in the US inside the borders of Arizona, Indiana, Iowa, New Jersey, Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia and expects to expand the offering internationally.

Revenue Sharing Part of the Deal

In addition to the equity share purchase, additional long-term agreements include revenue sharing with Playtech in return for offering its products and services through HRD.

Mor Weizer, Playtech CEO said: “The Playtech team is thrilled to announce our strategic partnership with HRD. Hard Rock International has cemented itself as a marquee name worldwide, not just in gambling, but more widely in entertainment.

HRD will combine the strength of this global brand with a proven management team, some of whom we at Playtech have known for many years and believe to be among the strongest in the online gambling industry.

For Playtech, this partnership significantly advances our position in the North American market and is very much in line with our B2B strategy.

Hard Rock International and HRD chairman Jim Allen added: “This partnership will act as an accelerator to Hard Rock Digital’s planned strategic initiative to expand its online gaming offerings to international markets, becoming the first operator with a global omnichannel offering under a singular, irreplaceable brand.

This announcement only reinforces our commitment to lead innovation in the gaming industry and expand the ‘Hard Rock’ experience worldwide. We look forward to providing an authentic, digital experience for Hard Rock’s global fan base within a comprehensive, omnichannel offering.”

Source: Hard Rock Digital, Playtech Enter Strategic Partnership, Hard Rock Digital News, March 14, 2023

The post Playtech Acquires Less Than 10% Stake in Hard Rock Digital for $85M appeared first on Casino News Daily.

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