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

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

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.

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.

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