Home > Casino > State of the Union: MGCB busts illegal slot parlor, Caesars completes Wynn MI deal

State of the Union: MGCB busts illegal slot parlor, Caesars completes Wynn MI deal

| By Jill R. Dorson
Welcome to iGB's State of the Union, a look at the biggest North American sports betting stories we've covered over the week and briefs on others we found interesting.
state of the union

MGCB busts illegal gambling site

Michigan Gaming Control Board agents along with the state police raided an illegal gambling site on 5 June, the agency announced on Thursday (20 June). The agents confiscated six slot-style gaming machines, $2,820 in gift cards and $5,161 in cash from the Red Horse Bar in Saginaw. Following a tip, the MGCB issued a cease-and-desist letter to bar owners Christopher and Nicholas Adams. They did not comply, resulting in the raid.

“The Michigan Gaming Control Board remains steadfast in its commitment to ensuring compliance with all state gambling regulations,” MGCB executive director Henry Williams said via press release. “We will continue to work diligently to identify and eliminate any illegal gambling activities that pose a threat to the integrity of the industry and the welfare of the public.”

The MGCB has been focused on shutting down the illegal market of late. It sent a cease-and-desist letter to black market sportsbook Bovada in May.

New owner, same look

On Tuesday (18 June) Caesars Entertainment announced it had completed its acquisition of WynnBet’s Michigan online gambling platform. Caesars is partnered with the Sault Ste Marie tribe of Chippewa Indians. According to CDC Gaming Reports, consumers won’t see any immediate changes.

The platform will continue to be branded and operated as WynnBet. Caesars said it plans to rebrand in the second half of 2024, after getting approval from Michigan regulators. At that time, existing customers will be “ported” to the Caesars platform.

Massachusetts: Operators will come to table

Last month, wagering operators jilted the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and failed to appear for a discussion about betting limits. But, on Thursday (20 June), interim chair Jordan Maynard said the six live operators had agreed to the forum. At issue is the operators’ desire to have the discussion during executive session.

Although Maynard was positive about revisiting the issue, some of his fellow commissioners voiced suspicion about the change of heart. “It can’t be a roundtable for the sake of a roundtable where they’re coming, and they’re saying, ‘We can’t talk because this is sensitive information’,” commission Nakisha Skinner said.

No date has been set for the meeting.

Shareholders OK with smoking inside Caesars

Caesars Entertainment shareholders followed the lead of Bally’s and Boyd Gaming shareholders, voting to continue to allow smoking in casinos. At its 11 June shareholder meeting, 81.1% of those voting opposed instituting a smoke-free ban. Nearly 200 million shareholders cast votes.

The vote was revealed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

State of NJ creates RG task force

Late last week, New Jersey’s governor, Phil Murphy, signed paperwork to create a seven-member responsible-gaming task force. The group will offer recommendations for responsible gaming programmes and ways to support problem gambling efforts. A final report is due to Murphy’s office by 31 March 2025.

Problem gambling statistics have been on the rise in NJ, according to a press release. A 2023 Rutgers University Center for Gambling Studies report suggests six per cent of NJ residents are at risk for problem gambling. The national average is between one and two per cent.

Worth the read

CNN’s Annette Choi explored the rise in sports betting violations by professional athletes through a series of charts. Her compilation puts a bevy of sports betting stats and scandals in one place. Take a look here.

In other news…

After more than 10 years at Caesars, David Grolman announced via LinkedIn that he is the new SVP for Retail at Fanatics Betting & Gaming. Grolman was the SVP for retail operations and chief retail sportsbook officer at Caesars.

The head of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority was questioned by the WNBA on 18 June. The LVCVA previously committed to sponsorship deals with WNBA Las Vegas Aces players. According to the Las Vegas Sun, the WNBA is investigating if salary cap rules were violated. LVCVA chief Steve Hill said the $100,000-per-year deals are “legitimate sponsorship agreement(s)”.

The 2024 NBA Finals champion Boston Celtics are the early favourites to win it all in 2025. On 17 June USA Today reported that BetMGM is giving +310 odds for the Celtics to repeat and +950 for the runners-up Dallas Mavericks to win it all. Five teams – Brooklyn, Charlotte, Detroit, Portland and Washington – have the longest odds at +50,000.

Daily fantasy provider PrizePicks has partnered with State Farm Arena. Per a 20 June company press release, PrizePicks will get “highly visible in-arena signage in State Farm Arena for every concert, hip hop show, comedy show and other sporting events”.

BetMGM this week announced a digital partnership with Brian Christopher, a slot player with a massive social media following. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that BetMGM will livestream Christopher across its platforms.

WarHorse Casino Omaha, early this week, announced plans to open its permanent casino on 6 August. The property will have 800 slot machines, 20 table games, a sportsbook and a new parimutuel facility.

North Carolina’s Catawba Two Kings Casino is now offering live table games, per WSCOTV. The casino has hired about 135 people to staff 12 tables offering blackjack, craps, mini-baccarat, roulette and two kinds of poker.

The Connecticut Lottery soft-launched its online lottery late last week. Draw games are currently available for online purchase with scratch-offs and instant-win tickets to follow. Connecticut’s lottery announced last week that it has hired DC Lottery chief Frank Suarez, who is expected to start later this summer.


Bally’s has a lot going on. Is it all too much?

US Supreme Court declines to hear Florida sports betting case

Truist: ESPN Bet undervalued?

FanDuel: We’ll terminate DC Lottery contract if market opens

Advertising, integrity monitoring changes coming in Ohio

Cyber threats are the new normal, and companies must think critically

  • Regions:
  • US

Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter