A Bloomberg article detailed that there was a total of 5 offers exceeding $1 billion. The bids were international, with a variety of plans for the future of the waterfront land – from high-end condos or office spaces to situating an entertainment destination there. The Malaysian gambling giant hasn’t announced a final decision yet; however, it was reported that three candidates would be shortlisted before that comes to fruition.
Genting Ready for a Large Profit
Genting’s Miami property sale could be finalized within weeks. The Malaysian operator started marketing their decision to sell the 16 acres of prime real estate back in November 2022, so attracting five bids over $1 billion is an achievement in and of itself. The parcel was home to the Miami Morning Herald newspaper and sits across Miami Beach on Biscayne Bay.
The decision to sell, however, follows a failed push to legalize non-tribal casinos in Florida. As such, Genting is reportedly going to use the proceeds from the sale to fund its casino expansion into New York and further expand its extensive Las Vegas offerings. The operator at potentially very sizable profit from the sale. The land was originally purchased for $236 million in 2011.
Genting’s international status could also potentially enable the operator to distribute the sale profits across markets other than the US. However, such a decision would be motivated very differently. The Genting Casino Nottingham was closed recently, mainly due to “commercial considerations.” The operator didn’t win a Macau concession, so prospects for that market would also require further investment.
And so, although the company’s intentions to use the proceeds from the sale to further strengthen its positions in New York and Las Vegas date a few months back, this is still the more likely option. Other operators have been pouring money into their Macau businesses such as Wynn or MGM, but both won their concession bids, and Genting doesn’t have one.
Eyeing a New York Casino License
Another reason to look to New York specifically is that after Genting’s Macau push didn’t bear fruit during the concession renewal bids, the state has an ongoing bidding war over three new licenses. The competition is expected to be fierce, though, as two of the three licenses are expected to go to racing casinos, potentially leaving only one city casino license available.
The bidding process is run by the New York Gaming Facility Location Board, which said in January that it would not be imposing artificial deadlines due to the complexity of the process. While the state is looking to cash in more gaming tax revenue, the application fees themselves are at $500 million per applicant. So, that’s already a not-insignificant investment just for the attempt.
Genting operates Resorts World which sits close to the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens. The operator’s plans for expanding the slot-machine facility with a hotel, resort, and casino, could potentially cost more than $1 billion, so the Miami property sale could fill in a big chunk of that investment, or cover all its license application costs and leave some change.
Lin Chen became the latest in a long line of Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT) Main Event champions when he triumphed in the 2023 GUKPT Blackpool Main Event. A popular stop on the GUKPT calendar, Chen outlasted 305 opponents on his way to the victory, which came sooner than anticipated with the intervention of a three-way chop that concluded play.
2023 GUKPT Blackpool Main Event Final Table Results
Prize (approx. USD)
*reflects a three-handed deal
Among those who made it into the money place but fell short of making a final table appearance included Jamie O’Connor, Richard Ashby, Renee Xie, Tim Slater, the legendary Ali Mallu, Brandon Sheils, and final table bubble boy Ben Jackson. With Jackson out of the way in tenth, the nine-handed final table commenced.
Michael Howard‘s wait for a GUKPT Main Event title continues after Gregory King eliminated him in ninth place. Howard finished second in the 2014 GUKPT Leeds Main Event, the closest he has come to a victory on the long-running tour. He fell in ninth in Blackpool when he ran his pocket jacks into the pocket queens of King.
Blackpool Specialist Bows Out
Eighth place went to Will McMurray, who finished second in this very tournament in 2010 and fifth in 2019. He came unstuck when he lost a huge coinflip with pocket tens versus the ace-queen of Peter Charalambous. There is no doubt McMurray will be back at the tables for the ninth leg of the current season, as it is in the seaside town of Blackpool.
The last four-figure score went to Min Ji, who has racked up some impressive results over the past six months. Ji three-bet shoved for 18 big blinds with ace-ten over the top of an opening raise from King, and King called with the dominating ace-jack. A jack on the flop proved more than enough to send Ji to the showers.
Worthington-Leese Continues Rich Vein of Form
Sixth place went to Leo Worthington-Leese, who was fresh off the back of a tenth-place finish in the recent £1 million guaranteed GUKPT UK Open event. Last year, Worthington-Leese finished third in the GUKPT Blackpool High Roller, and he followed that result up with another final table in Lancashire. Worthington-Leese made a play for his 17 big blind stack with queen-jack, and Charalambous looked him up with a pair of queens in the hole. The ladies held, and Worthington-Leese bowed out.
Iman Sarkeshik banked the £15,140 fifth-place prize, which happens to be a career-best for the player new to the live tournament scene. Steve Warburton opened the preflop betting before snap-calling Sarkeshik’s 20 big blind shove. Sarkeshik turned over ace-ten, Warburton pocket kings, and the six-high board resulted in Sarkeshik heading to the cashier’s desk.
Warburton’s Luck Runs Out
With almost $2.4 million in live earnings, thanks partly to finishing second to John Juanda in the 2015 European Poker Tour (EPT) Barcelona Main Event, Warburton had far more winnings than anyone else at the final table. Earlier on Day 2, he was the beneficiary of a traditional Mallu blow-up when Mallu three-bet shoved for 88 big blinds with ten-five offsuit after Warburton had opened with pocket aces. Warburton’s stack had dwindled to eight big blinds before his final hand. He open-shoved with king-three, and Chen called with jack-ten. Warburton held the best hand preflop, but a ten on the flop was enough to send “Warbs” home in fourth.
Warburton’s seat had not even gone cold when the remaining three players paused the tournament clock and discussed a deal. The trio agreed on an ICM-based deal and to end the tournament there and then. That deal meant Charalambous finished third for £53,915, King was the runner-up for £57,855, and Chen became the GUKPT Blackpool champion, an accolade accompanied by £65,310.
Next Up on GUKPT Season 17
There is no GUKPT stop during April, with the tour returning from May 3-15 in Edinburgh. Last year’s GUKPT Edinburgh Main Event saw 390 players buy in for £750, and end with Gary Armstrong and Cameron Williamson striking a deal when heads-up. Armstrong clinched the title and £57,770, with Williamson walking away with £53,000.
Images courtesy of the Grosvenor Poker Facebook page
The popular operator of online casinos in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, as well as a provider of content and technology for the gambling industry, Rush Street Interactive (RSI), announced that its collaboration with the Connecticut Lottery Corporation is planned to wind down.
Announced Monday, the company said that the in-person sports betting and online partnership in Connecticut is expected to gradually come to an end. The announcement would also see the Connecticut Lottery start a search for a new company to power its operations. A statement released by RSI acknowledges that the Lottery is expected to start that process soon.
Richard Schwartz, RSI’s CEO, thanked the Lottery for the successful collaboration that has been ongoing for years. He pointed out that the partnership with the Lottery helped RSI reach customers in Connecticut. Schwartz explained that the wind-down of the partnership is in line with RSI’s long-term strategic goals. According to him, gradually ending this partnership would be in the best interest of the company, as well as its stockholders.
“Consistent with our long-term strategic goals, after much deliberation and discussions with the CLC, we believe it is in the best interest of RSI and our stockholders to wind down this partnership.“
Richard Schwartz, CEO of RSI
RSI’s CEO pointed out that the company remains committed to delivering its services for the Lottery until a new operator is selected. Finally, Schwartz pointed out: “Through the transition we plan to continue to support all player wagers and ensure a positive player experience and expect the changeover will have an immaterial impact on our guidance for 2023.”
Transition Unlikely to Impact the Lottery’s Betting Operations
Commenting on the topic, the Connecticut Lottery’s president, Gregory Smith, thanked Rush Street for its collaboration. He explained that the partnership with RSI helped establish the Lottery’s sports betting operations and this applies not only to the online but to the retail vertical as well.
“We thank RSI for working closely with CLC to establish the foundation for CLC’s sports betting operation, both online and in retail.“
Gregory Smith, president of the Connecticut Lottery Corporation
RSI explained that despite the plans to wind down the partnership, it will continue to support the online and retail betting operations of the Lottery while ensuring that bettors benefit from valid wins and wagers during the transition period. At the same time, the company vowed to collaborate with the Lottery to limit the disruptions that may be caused by the transition. The transition process to a new operator is expected to be finalized by the second half of this year.
The EGR awards are considered by many as the Oscars of the iGaming community. Hosted by the eGaming Review magazine, this ceremony is one of the most prestigious casino awards in the UK and in other countries across the world. In the table below, we have added quick links to each paragraph of this blog. Use them to navigate easily throughout the piece.
EGR Awards 2022 – How It All Started?
The EGR gaming awards are hosted by the famous eGaming Review magazine. The latter is a leading publisher of exclusive news, interviews with experts, and analyses from some of the most important people in the iGaming industry. In addition to publishing, the magazine also runs several global events throughout the year. Among them are six prestigious awards ceremonies that you can see in the table below:
📈 EGR Marketing and Innovation Awards
Most innovative and creative companies in the online gaming industry
⭐ EGR Operator Awards
Recognising B2C operators
🎖️ EGR North America Awards
Recognising online gaming companies across North America
🏆 EGR Nordics Awards
Recognising online gaming companies in the Nordic region
🎰 EGR Italy Awards
Recognising online gaming operators in the Italian market
🤵 EGR B2B Awards
Recognising companies that power the iGaming industry
All awards take place annually in different countries across the world. Over 700 online gambling operators are taking part, competing in various categories. Some of the latter include “Safer Gambling Operator”, “Diversity and Inclusion Model”, “Mobile Casino Product”, and others. The following paragraphs will provide an overlook of the awards.
EGR Marketing and Innovation Awards 2022
The EGR Marketing and Innovation Awards 2022, which took place in London, have recognised the brightest companies for their tremendous achievements in the iGaming community. As the name suggests, these awards are dedicated to praising creativity, hard efforts, and innovative solutions that the companies have put into delivering something new to the industry.
The night turned out to be very successful for several companies who took home not only an award but also the appreciation of the judging panel. Among the 20 categories that contestants compete in, some of the most desirable ones include “Brand of the Year”, “Innovation of the Year”, and “Marketer of the Year”.
EGR Operator Awards
Many anticipate the time of the year when online operators gather to look back at their achievements. It is, namely the EGR Operator Awards where all of this happens. A judging panel of gaming experts are given the task to recognise the efforts of many companies in the iGaming industry. The criteria focus on innovative solutions, great services and products, and the standards that these operators have demonstrated in the past year.
Just like the 2018 EGR Operator Awards, the 2022 EGR awards edition also took place in London with many companies competing fiercely in eight headline categories. Below we have provided a short list that outlines the categories and the respective winners for each of them:
🏆Operator of the Year – Kaizen Gaming
🤵 Affiliate of the Year – Leadstar Media
🌟 Rising Star – LiveScore Bet
🎰 Casino Operator- 888 Holdings Plc
🔢 Bingo Operator – Tombola
🃏 Poker Operator – 888 Holdings Plc
⚽ Sports Betting Operator – Kaizen Gaming
🛡️ Safer Gambling Operator of the Year – Tombola
Most of the companies who register for the awards are going after one of the most tempting categories, namely the “Operator of the Year” one. The 2022 winner for this category was Kaizen Gaming. The company is one of the fastest growing GameTech companies in the world, with market shares in countries like Greece, Cyprus, Romania, Canada, Ecuador, and more.
EGR North America Awards
Another one of the EGR Awards for 2022 is the EGR North America Awards. Like the other variants, this award is meant to recognise the leaders in the online gaming community across North America. Companies from different countries in the region are taking part in the attempt to showcase their achievements for the past 12 months.
The 2022 event was the first in-person awards ceremony since the last one, which took place in 2019. Contestants compete in 25 categories, as opposed to the EGR Operator Awards where there are only 9 categories. The winner of the “Operator of the Year” category was Rush Street Interactive, which operates some of the best online casinos in the USA.
Another highlight from the ceremony was the win in the category “Payment Provider” which was taken by Paysafe. The latter is a leading platform that specialises in payments. Some of its most notable subsidiary brands include Neteller, Skrill, Paysafecash, and Paysafecard. UK players might be familiar with some of the best Paysafecard casino sites where one of the prepaid online payment methods is accepted.
EGR Nordics Awards
The EGR Nordics Awards are celebrating the most successful and creative online gaming operators in the Nordic region. The event recognised the achievements in various aspects of the companies that stood out the most in the industry for the past 12 months. The judging panel of the 2022 edition had the hard job of determining the winners in 19 categories.
Betsson Group stole the show by taking home five awards, including “Operator of the Year” and “Customer Service Operator”. The company owns 20 brands offering casinos, sportsbooks, and other games. If you want to try out any of their platforms, browse through some of the best online casinos in Norway, which is one of the countries where Betsson Group operates.
EGR B2B Awards & EGR Italy Awards
The EGR Italy Awards are another premier event that takes place annually. As suggested by the name, its mission is to recognise the incredible work of the best Italian casinos. Focusing on the breadth and depth of the industry, this edition enables contestants to compete in more than 20 different categories.
The EGR B2B Awards is the final event that we will look at in our blog post. Last but certainly not least, this ceremony is dedicated to appreciating the companies that power the iGaming industry. The very best providers are competing in disciplines such as betting and gaming software, payments, recruitment, and more.
The EGR Awards 2022 have really impressed us with their mission of honouring brands and companies across the world for their unique contribution, creativity, and hard work in multiple domains. Year after year, gaming experts who take part in the judging panels have been given the hard task of selecting ‘t agree more with the perception of the EGR Awards 2022 as the Oscars of the gaming industry.
Frequently Asked Questions
We hope that we have managed to provide the most important information about the EGR awards and their many variants. However, once again, we would like to provide you with a brief overview of the frequently asked questions that often come up about the topic. Look at the section below to see if you will find what you are looking for.
1️⃣ What are the EGR Awards for?
The EGR Awards are celebrating excellence and overall achievements of online gaming companies. There are six different variants of the awards meant to recognise the efforts of brands across the world. Every ceremony features different categories that contestants compete in.
2️⃣ Who organises the EGR Awards?
The eGaming Review magazine is responsible for the organisation of the EGR Awards. The magazine is a leader in B2B publishing and features exclusive news, interviews with experts, analysis, and more exciting things related to the online gaming and gambling industry.
3️⃣ What are the EGR Marketing & Innovation Awards for?
The EGR Marketing & Innovation Awards are dedicated to recognising achievements in terms of creative and innovative contributions to the industry. Some of the categories featured in the 2022 edition of the awards include “Brand of the Year”, “Innovation of the Year”, and “Marketer of the Year”.
4️⃣ Who won the EGR Operator Awards for 2022?
Dubbed the Oscars of the iGaming community, the EGR Operator Awards are among the most prestigious events in the industry. One distinguished category of the EGR Operator Awards 2022 is the “Operator of the Year” one. In this edition, it was won by Kaizen Gaming, a fast-growing GameTech company operating in several countries across the world.
5️⃣ Who won “Operator of the Year” in the EGR North America Awards?
The EGR Awards edition for countries in North America is also a very anticipated event in the gaming community. World-leading companies compete in more than 20 categories to gain recognition for their overall achievements throughout the year. The big winner of the EGR North America Awards “Operator of the Year” category was Rush Street Interactive.
6️⃣ What other EGR Awards are there?
Our blog discussed in detail four of the EGR Awards ceremonies that take two other events, namely the EGR B2B Awards and the EGR Italy Awards. The latter is focused on celebrating the hard work of online gambling companies in the Italian market, whereas the other is dedicated to the companies that power the iGaming industry.
Cat Zingano is the No.1 fighter in the Bellator MMA Women’s Featherweight Rankings, sitting three spots above Leah McCourt. That said, the chances are that the winner of the Bellator 293 co-main event will get a shot at the title, which is currently held by Cris Cyborg.
Cat Zingano vs. Leah McCourt Odds
*Odds taken from BetOnline on Tuesday, March 28, 2023.
When, Where, and How to Watch?
Place: Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California
Date: Friday, March 31, 2023
Time: ~10:00 PM ET
How to Watch: Showtime
Cat Zingano Going for Her Fourth Bellator MMA Win
Cat Zingano is 13-4 in her professional career, with all four losses happening during her UFC days. Plus, all of those defeats happened to true legends of the sport.
Her first-ever loss happened to Ronda Rousey in the UFC championship fight. Rowdey beat her by submission after only 14 seconds, which does seem bad. However, keep in mind that at the time Zingano was going through a bad period of her life, with her husband committing suicide only a year earlier. Speaking of which, she did destroy Amanda Nunes by TKO just five months after her husband’s death.
Zingano suffered one more loss inside the distance – Megan Anderson beat her by TKO in round 1 in 2018, but it came after Zingano injured her eye. The remaining two losses happened by a decision – to Juliana Pena (unanimous) and Katlen Vieira (split).
The loss to Anderson was her final UFC fight. Almost two years later, she made her Bellator MMA debut. It was an easy matchup (Gabby Holloway), but she then went on to beat two tougher opponents (Olivia Parker and Pam Sorenson). Still, her toughest challenge since coming to Bellator MMA is on the program this Friday.
Leah McCourt Could be the Next Big Think in Featherweight Division
Leah McCourt is only 30 but she already has a pretty impressive MMA portfolio. She’s 7-2 since the start of her professional career back in 2017. Before that, she competed in judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, winning gold medals on the international level.
Knowing this, it should come as no surprise that she’s an expert wrestler and grappler. On top of that, she also moves very fast, not letting her opponents land too many strikes. However, the fact is that she still hasn’t fought such a good striker as Zingano. That said, there’s a big question mark on whether she can handle Zingano’s power.
Cat Zingano vs. Leah McCourt Prediction
Cat Zingano is turning 41 this summer, meaning that there’s not much time left for her to win a title (and the money that comes along with it). But if she beats Leah McCourt on Friday, she will almost certainly get a chance to take the championship belt away from Cris Cyborg in a few months’ time.
That sure seems like good enough of motivation for Zingano to go all-in at Bellator 293. We think she’s gonna fight her best fight in years this weekend, possibly even beating her opponent with ground-and-pound in round 1.
The UK Gambling Commission has finally pronounced its verdict on William Hill, slapping the operator with a gargantuan fine of £19.2 million ($23.67 million). This is notably the largest fine ever handed by the commission, exceeding the previous record of £17 million.
The commission explained that the William Hill Group will have to pay £12.5 million for its failings, while the William Hill Organization will have to pay £3 million. Mr Green, a brand in the William Hill family, will be handed a fine of £3.7 million, resulting in the aforementioned total fine of £19.2 million.
These fines come in the wake of a lengthy investigation that probed into William Hill’s business. As a result, multiple failings were uncovered and the UKGC even considered suspending the operator’s license. In the end, the regulator decided against that idea.
Andrew Rhodes, chief executive of the Gambling Commission, acknowledged that William Hill recognized its failings and worked with the commission to make improvements. It is thanks to this that the operator was able to hold to its license, Rhodes noted.
The money from the fine will be directed toward socially responsible purposes, the UKGC said. In the meantime, William Hill’s license will be subject to additional conditions that will ensure a business board member oversees an improvement plan. The operator will also be required to hire a third-party auditor to see if its safer gambling and AML procedures are up to standards.
The fine signifies trouble for 888, which acquired William Hill a few months ago. The parent company has been struggling with a lot of trouble already and is likely to be further impacted by the measure.
William Hill Violated Many Rules
The UKGC listed William Hill’s multiple failings, which saw the company breach various social responsibility and player safety rules. The company lacked sufficient controls to protect new customers, who could, as a result, spend thousands of pounds in minutes without any checks. This happened on several occasions with customers losing tens of thousands of pounds in hours or even minutes.
In addition to that, the operator was unable to identify high-risk customers and prevent gambling harm. The company failed to intervene on time and protect its customers from addiction. The lack of checks and controls made it harder for the company to spot harm.
Speaking of failing to stop harm, William Hill had allowed hundreds of self-excluded Mr Green customers to play with WHG.
William Hill also did not apply the required 24-hour delay between receiving a request for an increase in a credit limit and granting it.
In addition to its social responsibility failings, William Hill also violated AML protocols, allowing customers to deposit suspiciously-high amounts of money without conducting appropriate checks and asking players to cite their source of income.
Records show that some customers fueled their accounts with ludicrous amounts of money and placed high wagers without being monitored or scrutinized by William Hill. The operator’s policies, procedures and controls “lacked guidance on what was the appropriate action to take following the results of customer profiling and how its findings should be used to establish the appropriate outcome.”
Anti-money laundering controls were insufficient are could not put hard stops to mitigate and prevent money laundering before customer risk profiling was complete. In addition, the company’s AML staff did not have sufficient training to be familiar with risks and risk management.
The UKGC Will Continue Enforcing Its Standards
The UKGC is working hard to prevent regulatory breaches in the United Kingdom. Since the beginning of 2022, the authority has concluded 26 enforcement cases, forcing incompliant operators to pay more than £76 million ($93.57 million).
In the last 15 months, we have taken unprecedented action against gambling operators, but we are now starting to see signs of improvement. There are indications that the industry is doing more to make gambling safer and reducing the possibility of criminal funds entering their businesses.
Andrew Rhodes, CEO, UKGC
Rhodes praised his team’s active approach and said that he can already see signs of improvement. He noted that more and more operators are leveraging high-tech solutions to mitigate AML risks and identify harm.
William Hill has been fined a record £19m for “widespread and alarming” social responsibility and anti-money-laundering failures, the Gambling Commission has announced.
Three gambling businesses owned by William Hill will pay a total of £19.2m – the largest penalty in the commission’s history. The previous largest case was a £17m fine imposed on Entain, the gambling firm behind Ladbrokes and Coral, last August.
The regulator said it had considered suspending William Hill’s licence but this was avoided after the company worked rapidly to make changes.
Social responsibility failures at William Hill businesses included allowing one customer to open a new account and spend £23,000 in 20 minutes; allowing another to open an account and spend £18,000 in 24 hours; and allowing a third customer to spend £32,500 over two days – all without any checks. The commission said the company failed to carry out checks at an early stage in the customer’s journey, which meant one user lost £14,902 in 70 minutes.
William Hill was also found to have failed to identify risk of harm or intervene with certain customers earlier enough – one lost £54,252 in four weeks without the operator seeking income evidence or carrying out adequate checks. The firm also failed to apply a 24-hour delay between receiving a request for an increase in a credit limit and granting it: one customer was allowed to immediately place a £100,000 bet when his credit limit had been set at £70,000.
WHG (International) Ltd, which runs williamhill.com, will pay £12.5m; Mr Green Ltd, which runs mrgreen.com, will pay £3.7m; and William Hill Organisation Ltd, which operates 1,344 gambling premises across Britain, will pay £3m.
The Gambling Commission chief executive, Andrew Rhodes, said: “When we launched this investigation the failings we uncovered were so widespread and alarming serious consideration was given to licence suspension.
“However, because the operator immediately recognised their failings and worked with us to swiftly implement improvements, we instead opted for the largest enforcement payment in our history.”
Ineffective controls allowed 331 customers to gamble with WHG (International) Ltd despite having self-excluded from mrgreen.com.
Anti-money-laundering failures included allowing customers to deposit large amounts without conducting appropriate checks. One customer was able to spend and lose £70,134 in a month, while another lost £38,000 in five weeks and a third lost £36,000 in four days.
William Hill was bought by the online casino company 888 Holdings from the Las Vegas company Caesars in a £2.2bn deal in 2021.
An 888 spokesperson said: “The settlement relates to the period when William Hill was under the previous ownership and management. After William Hill was acquired, the company quickly addressed the identified issues with the implementation of a rigorous action plan.
“The entire group shares the Gambling Commission’s commitment to improve compliance standards across the industry and we will continue to work collaboratively with the regulator and other stakeholders to achieve this.”
Since the start of 2022, the Gambling Commission has concluded 26 enforcement cases which resulted in operators paying over £76m because of regulatory failures.
Rhodes said: “In the last 15 months we have taken unprecedented action against gambling operators, but we are now starting to see signs of improvement. There are indications that the industry is doing more to make gambling safer and reducing the possibility of criminal funds entering their businesses.
“Operators are using algorithms to spot gambling harms or criminal risk more quickly, interacting with consumers sooner, and generally having more effective policies and procedures in place.”
The amount won by the woman is $3237,000, and she went almost a month without checking the ticket. According to the winner, whose name has not been disclosed, she was in the habit of playing Fantasy 5 every day.
Forgetting about Winning the Jackpot
While she admitted to usually checking the numbers every morning, this one time – when it mattered – she seemed to have forgotten. But while visiting a convenience store, she saw that the Fantasy 5 jackpot was reset.
She was “bummed” because the jackpot was just starting to get big, and she was keen to keep trying to win it. Then, she remembered that she hadn’t actually checked her last ticket and went to a lottery machine to scam it.
It was then that the 64-year-old Montmorency County woman realized she had won the March 13 drawing of the game with 19-21-31-32-35. The winner was ecstatic with the news, calling friends and letting them know about what had happened. She went to the Michigan Lottery headquarters to pick the sum but has not revealed her identity.
“Winning the lottery is still sinking in, but now that I am here claiming my prize, it’s starting to feel a lot more real,” the winner admitted.
Unclaimed Jackpots More Often Than You Think
Lottery winnings are unclaimed with an impressive frequency, and while some states have their own rules about how to proceed in such cases, whether they rollback the jackpot into the pool, or collect it for the state, the question remains – why do people miss out on life-changing sums?
The simple question is – do they forget or misplace the tickets? Many people buy tickets in jest and never take them any more seriously than they do the possibility of winning. While the exact number of unclaimed prizes is difficult to pinpoint, there have been some massive prizes that were never sought by a winner.
A person in Georgia failed to turn up and claim $77 million in winnings in 2011. A Florida ticket would have won $50 million in 2013, but it was never collected. Even before that, a Mega Millions jackpot in New York in 2002 was never claimed.
For a while there, it was thought that a $1.37 billion jackpot in Illinois would never be claimed, but it finally was. Two people won on this occasion and they both turned up to collect.
For the first time in NCAA Tournament history, no one, two or three seeds reached the Final Four.
This year’s unprecedented bracket has had it all, from No. 1 Purdue losing to the shortest team in America, No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson, 5-foot-8 point guard Markquis Nowell playing larger than life, to now four mostly unheralded programs being two wins away from a national championship.
three of them had never reached the Final Four until now
On top of the four remaining schools – Connecticut, Miami, San Diego State, and Florida Atlantic – busting brackets, three of them had never reached the Final Four until now. Just another edition of the “Madness” of March.
Runs to the Final Four
West and Midwest Regions
Each team left standing has had a remarkable run to the Final Four, and all as underdogs. The schools’ average combined odds to win the national title on the day the bracket started was +8700 with the longest odds belong to FAU at +20500, according to DraftKings sportsbook.
opened the tournament at +1683 (now -125) to win it all
The team with the greatest expectations is UConn. It opened the tournament at +1683 (now -125) to win it all.
The Huskies kickstarted their tournament run with an 87-63 win over No. 14 Iona in the Round of 64 and a 70-55 beatdown of No. 5 Saint Mary’s two days later. It breezed past No. 8 Arkansas 88-65 in the Sweet 16, leading to its most impressive win of March Madness, an 82-54 demolition of No. 3 Gonzaga.
The other team on UConn’s side of the bracket is Miami (formerly +7667, now +475 to win the title). Ironically, their toughest battle came in the opening round against No. 12 Drake, requiring a late spurt to get past, 63-56. The Hurricanes then used an offensive masterclass to race by No. 4 Indiana 85-69 and also took out No. 1 seed and tournament favorites Houston in the Sweet 16 89-75.
The Hurricanes win that propelled them into their first Final Four in school history was a back-and-forth 88-81 result over No. 2 Texas. Senior wing Jordan Miller put up 27 points with a perfect 7-7 shooting from the field and 13-13 at the free-throw line.
South and East Regions
The left-hand side of the bracket is where the madness picks up. No. 5 San Diego State, often hidden from the national spotlight in the Mountain West Conference, has emerged as the champion of a South region that included Alabama, Arizona, and other excellent programs.
The Aztecs (once +4950, now +380) began their run to the Final Four by beating No. 12 College of Charleston 63-57. They easily handled No. 13 Furman 75-52 in the next round and then knocked off No. 1 Alabama 71-64 in the Sweet 16 behind an excellent defensive performance.
SDSU’s most recent win over No. 6 Creighton was also its most dramatic. Darrion Trammell went to the free-throw line in a tie game with one second left and, after missing his first attempt, calmly put the second one through the net and booked his team a spot in the Final Four.
down to +650 to win the national championship after starting at +20500
SDSU will now play No. 9 Florida Atlantic, who is still the biggest underdog in the field, but is down to +650 to win the national championship after starting at +20500. The Owls, who hail from a traditionally poor Conference USA, tied for the second-best regular season record in the country.
FAU, like Miami, received its toughest test in the first round when it needed a Nicholas Boyd layup with two seconds left to squeak past No. 8 Memphis 66-65. It then beat No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson 78-70 and No. 4 Tennessee 62-55 to reach the Elite Eight and set up a date with the red-hot Kansas State Wildcats.
Despite the best efforts of the previously mentioned Nowell, the Owls secured yet another win 79-76 and are a win against SDSU away from reaching the title game.
Odds and trends
According to ESPN, only 37 brackets filled out on its Bracket Challenge correctly predicted the Final Four.
The right-hand side of the bracket is more likely to win the national title, per to the odds. UConn will be favored against SDSU or FAU, barring any major developments and if it gets past Miami, whereas a line for a matchup between Miami and either of the other schools is unknown.
UConn has a 55.56% chance to emerge as the champion of March Madness
Based on implied probability, UConn has a 55.56% chance to emerge as the champion of March Madness. SDSU has a 20.83% chance, Miami a 17.39% chance, and FAU a 13.33% chance.
Miami reached the Elite Eight last year before it lost to No. 1 Kansas 76-50. UConn was upset by No. 12 New Mexico State University in the opening round of the same year, but is the only scholl remaining that has been to a Final Four. It also won the NCAA Tournament as recently as 2014, which coincidentally was the last time a non-one or two seed won it all.
SDSU lost to its first-round opponent in three straight appearances before this year, and FAU, which had only made the NCAA Tournament once before, hadn’t won a game until 2023.
Games resume in Houston, Texas on Saturday, April 1. The national championship will be held on Monday, April 3.
The post UConn, Miami, SDSU, FAU: No Top-Three Seeds in the Final Four for the First Time Ever appeared first on VegasSlotsOnline News.
Friday wasn’t a good night gambling-wise for Texas billionaire Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, but he put that aside to help officially introduce the all-new Horseshoe Las Vegas (formerly Bally’s), the site of the World Series of Poker (WSOP).
Mattress Mack, who owns the Gallery Furniture retail chain, sat next to poker legend Doyle Brunson and Jack Binion, former owner of Binion’s Horseshoe in downtown Las Vegas, the original WSOP home.
Binion, whose father Benny Binion created the WSOP in 1970, spoke to reporters at a cocktail reception from inside his iconic Jack Binion’s Steakhouse brand restaurant, a staple at Horseshoe casinos around the country. The Las Vegas Strip version, which sits just steps from the main WSOP tournament area, opened last summer to rave reviews.
Check out our Horseshoe Las Vegas Poker Room review here!
The Beginning of a New Era
At 5:30 p.m. from the casino’s valet area, executives from Caesars Entertainment officially introduced the company’s rebranded property. Although the hotel had switched everything over to the Horseshoe brand back in December, grand opening ceremonies, especially in Las Vegas, don’t typically take place until a few months later.
For those who attended the 2023 WSOP at what was then Bally’s, you may have noticed some outdated carpeting and a casino floor that needed facelift. Since the final card was dealt in the Main Event back in July, the entire property has undergone a complete transformation inside and out.
The property now has new carpeting, new restaurants, renovated hotel rooms, a newer modern poker room, a freshly painted exterior. If you haven’t been there since last summer, you might not even recognize the place. Poker fans are going to be in for quite a pleasant surprise when they arrive at the Horseshoe in May for the start of the World Series of Poker.
The @HorseshoeVegas Official Grand Opening took place last night with special guests @MattressMack @TexDolly and th… https://t.co/bfmUOnjbpI
— PokerNews (@PokerNews)
Q & A with Legendary Panel
From inside Jack Binion’s Steakhouse, three icons in their own right spoke to a host of reporters, including PokerNews. Jack Effel, the VP of the WSOP, as questions for Binion, McIngvale, and Brunson, who were seated in front of the iconic Jack Binion’s sign.
Effel’s first question was to Binion, and he asked the former casino owner how it felt to be back at the Horseshoe?
“Glad to see Horseshoe back in Las Vegas, the epicenter of gambling,” Binion responded.
Effel then turned his attention to Mattress Mack, who famously won the largest sports bet in history last fall when he put $10 million down on his beloved Houston Astros to win baseball’s World Series. The Astros defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in the Series and won the furniture store owner $75 million.
“We’d have all night poker games with my friends in high school, so that’s how I got involved with poker.”
“$76 million pays for a lot of Tempur-Pedic Mattress,” McIngvale said.
PokerNews caught up with the sports betting legend who also has some interest in poker for a brief interview. Mattress Mack backed a group of Texans during last year’s WSOP.
“I started gambling when I was in high school,” McIngvale explained. “We’d have all night poker games with my friends in high school, so that’s how I got involved with poker.”
Mattress Mack admitted he’s not very skilled at poker and doesn’t play high-stakes, but he does enjoy the game.
Friday wasn’t all good times for McIngvale, however. He showed up to the private party decked out in University of Houston gear. Prior to the start of the NCAA Tournament, he put $4 million down on a Houston winning the men’s college basketball national title. Most of that wager was placed at a Caesars Sportsbook, which he raved about.
The Houston Cougars entered March Madness as the second ranked team in the AP Top 25 poll, which meant they were among the favorites to win it all. Had they done so, the furniture store owner would have taken home $35 million. During the private party, however, it became official that his bet wasn’t going to win when the Cougars were defeated by Miami, 89-75, in the Sweet 16.
McIngvale hedges his wagers with a promotion at his store. If the team he bets on wins, customers who purchased a specific mattress valued at $3,000 or more will have their purchase refunded. He told PokerNews that all the money he won on the Astros went back to the customers.
But this night wasn’t all about Mattress Mack’s big bets. It was to celebrate the return of the Horseshoe brand casino to Las Vegas, and for Caesars Entertainment to promote its newly renovated property.
Binion was one of the first casino owners to offer free drinks to his customers at the old Binion’s Horseshoe downtown on Fremont Street. He discussed with the crowd how important it was for him and his staff to take care of customers and treat them like family. When Effel asked him what he enjoys most about the Horseshoe brand of casinos, he said he most appreciated the same great customer service he gave customers when he was in business.
Monthly Industry Poker Tournament at Horseshoe Las Vegas
The poker room at Horseshoe Las Vegas has been rebranded and will soon have a Hall of Fame wall and a wall of photos for all the past WSOP Main Event champs.
That stylish poker room will host a $160 buy-in poker industry tournament April 6. On top of the prize pool that accumulates, Effel will add on a free entry into the WSOP Casino Employees event to the winner.
Earlier this month, the ARIA in Las Vegas hosted the first monthly industry event prior to the start of the Global Poker Awards. The tournament, presented by Poker Royalty, will take place on the first Tuesday of every month.