Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear helped open the doors Thursday at Sandy’s Racing & Gaming – a $75 million entertainment facility in Eastern Kentucky that creates nearly 250 new jobs and millions of dollars in new tax revenues.
With nearly 700 historical horse racing games, two performance stages and a BetMGM Race & Sportsbook, the 75,000 square-foot facility is unlike anything else in the area.
“Last year, we promised to bring a first-class facility to Boyd County,” said Larry Lucas, Chairman of Revolutionary Racing Kentucky, which is making the investment together with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. “Today, we can say – promises made, promises kept.”
The project will also include Kentucky’s only quarter horse racetrack and an equestrian center, located on 182 acres behind Sandy’s. While track construction is officially set to begin in early 2024, Thursday’s festivities included a ceremonial blast, leveling some of the hills at the track site. The first races are set to happen there in 2025, marking continued growth for Kentucky’s thriving horse racing industry.
“Sandy’s Racing & Gaming is bringing top-tier racing, gaming and entertainment to Northeastern Kentucky, along with hundreds of new jobs for the people who call Boyd County and the surrounding region home. Congratulations to Revolutionary Racing and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians for creating this exciting destination,” Gov. Beshear said.
Last summer, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission awarded the state’s ninth and final horse racing license to Revolutionary Racing Kentucky. Construction began in April and was led by Lexington’s D.W. Wilburn Construction and the Tri-State Building Trades. More than 300 local union workers were employed throughout the project and 90% of all materials and supplies were made in the US.
Amenities include a 5200 square-foot sportsbook, which features dozens of leather recliners and three cinema-sized screens. Daily entertainment will take place on two stages, which include dueling pianos, as well as local and national performers. Country star and Boyd County native Cole Chaney starred as the opening-night headliner, while last year’s “American Idol” winner Noah Thompson delivered a surprise performance.
A craft-focused kitchen offers multiple dining options, with all meat locally sourced from AW Meat House in Argillite. Menu highlights include the Big Sandy Burger, flatbreads, root beer floats made with The Peddler in Huntington, West Virginia and Sandy’s Ale – a craft beer made by Mikerphone Brewing in Illinois, which is only available at Sandy’s.
Colorado’s Sports Betting Market Surges, Attains Third Largest Status in the United States
Sports Betting in 2023: States that are wagering the most
New Jersey has spent the most per capita out of all states so far on sports betting in 2023 while New York has the second highest spend per capita followed by Colorado in third.
Currently between January and July this year, America has wagered over $59 billion. This is a 176% increase from the entire of 2020 and a 4% increase from 2021. Last year Americans wagered $85 billion so projections would suggest that in 2023 the total amount wagered may surpass over $100 billion.
Research by NoDepositRewards analyzed the state-wide reported figures up to July of 2023 and calculated how much has been wagered per capita (only including the population that is over 18) in every state.
Nevada has a handle of $1,766.44 per capita however we decided to not include this state in the rankings due to not being able to differentiate how much of this handle is from gambling tourism within Las Vegas.
1 – New Jersey
Legal online sportsbooks began taking bets in August of 2018, two months after the law was signed by Governor Phil Murphy. Since then, New Jersey has seen a huge increase in wagers. New Jersey so far in 2023 has wagered over $7.7 billion, which is equal to $1,069.30 per person. Handle per capita: $1,069.30.
2 – New York
It hasn’t taken long for New Yorkers to show their love of sports betting. With nine sportsbooks kicking off online betting in 2022. New York has seen the most money wagered in sports betting across all states with over $13 billion already wagered in 2023; that’s a 59% increase from the entire of 2022. New York does have a much higher population so this equates to $828.90 per capita. Handle per capita: $828.90.
3 – Colorado
Colorado legalized sports betting in 2020 and since then has seen huge growth in the market. With over $13 billion in total handle, $3 billion of that has been in 2023. Divided by the total adult population of around four million it equates to $685 per person. Handle per capita: $685.
4 – Illinois
Residents of?Illinois in 2023 have so far wagered just over $6.6 billion, which is a 40% increase from the first half of 2022. This means that each adult could have wagered $678.53 so far this year. Handle per capita: $678.53.
5 – Arizona
Arizona is also experiencing a surge in sports betting with $3.9 billion already wagered this year; that’s a 124% increase on 2021’s yearly figures. Arizona’s adult population is around 5.7 million, which means that each person could have wagered $677.27. Handle per capita: $677.27.
6 – Iowa
Iowa in total has wagered over $6.7 billion since sports betting was made legal. $1.5 billion of that total has been in 2023. Iowa has one of the lowest populations in this list with around 2.4 million adults. That means that between January and July this year each member of the population could have wagered $643.27. Handle per capita: $643.27.
7 – Maryland
Maryland began sports betting in 2021. Between January and June of 2022 residents of Maryland wagered around $173 million. So far in 2023 over $3.9 billion has been wagered, that’s a 18,166% increase. With just over 4.8 million adults in Maryland, that’s equal to $627.55 per person. Handle per capita: $627.55.
8 – Kansas
Kansas began sports betting in 2022 and so far in 2023 there has been over $1.3 billion in wagers, that’s equal to $601.53 per capita. Handle per capita: $601.53.
9 – Massachusetts
Massachusetts began sports betting in 2023 and already there has been over $3 billion, one of the largest figures achieved within the first year out of all states. When adjusted to the population this equates to $550.26 per capita.?Handle per capita: $550.26.
10 – Indiana
In 2022 Indiana wagered over $4.4 billion. So far in 2023 there have been over $2.8 billion in wagers, which shows that Indiana, although hasn’t experienced the same growth as some other states, is maintaining a solid baseline for possible future growth. Handle per capita: $549.36.
“Sports betting has been growing exponentially in America since its legalization in many states,” Mason Jones from NoDepositRewards said. “In just two years wagers have gone from $21 billion in 2020 to 85 billion in 2022. So far in 2023 there has been a total of $59 billion, this is a 176% increase on 2020 figures and a 3% increase on the whole of 2021 and it’s only halfway through the year. Sports betting seems to only be growing in popularity and trends suggest it will only continue to grow, especially as more states legalize it.
“This increased revenue from gambling has shown positives for governments as they have been able to tax it – over $3 billion has been made in tax revenue since 2018 – and utilize Americans’ love of betting to build and improve the nation at local and national levels. It’s important, however, to be aware of the risks of gambling and never gamble if you can’t afford to lose the money.”
GAN Announces Definitive Agreement to be Acquired by SEGA SAMMY CREATION
Purchase price of $1.97 per share represents over 120% premium to latest closing price
All-cash transaction subject to customary closing conditions, regulatory approvals, and approval of GAN shareholders
GAN Limited, a leading North American B2B technology provider of real money internet gaming solutions and a leading International B2C operator of Internet sports betting, today announced that the Company has entered into a definitive Agreement and Plan of Merger (the “Merger Agreement”) with Sega Sammy Creation Inc., (“SSC”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sega Sammy Holdings, Inc. (“Sega Sammy”) an international conglomerate operating in the entertainment, gaming and resorts businesses.
Under the Merger Agreement, at the effective time of the merger, each of GAN’s issued ordinary shares will be converted into the right to receive in cash $1.97 per share, which reflects a premium of 121% over the closing price of GAN’s ordinary shares on November 7, 2023, the last trading day prior to the date of this announcement.
Seamus McGill, Chairman and Interim Chief Executive Officer of GAN, commented: “After a thoughtful review of value creation opportunities available to us, we are pleased to have reached this agreement with SSC. Market share concentration in the U.S. B2C space, a slower than expected adoption of regulated online gaming in the U.S., along with changes to key customer contracts make the near-term operating environment challenging without ample capital resources. Sega Sammy has those resources and GAN is a strategic complement to their existing gaming portfolio. We believe this all-cash offer, at a substantial premium to recent trading prices, is the value-maximizing path for our shareholders.”
Approvals and Timing
The proposed merger is subject to the approval of GAN shareholders. The Company will ask its shareholders to consider and vote to approve the Merger Agreement at a Special Meeting of Shareholders, which is expected to be held no later than March 31, 2024.
Better Collective Enters into Definitive Agreement to Acquire Playmaker Capital
Better Collective has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Toronto-based Playmaker Capital, a leading digital sports media group that owns and operates a number of strong sports media brands in the US, Canada, and across South America. Upon closing of this transformational transaction, Better Collective is expected to become the market leader in South America with the largest audience across its sports media brands and will also strengthen its leading position in North America.
- Better Collective’s second largest acquisition with a total price consideration of 176 mEUR
- Transformational acquisition to take market leadership in South America and enhance North American market leadership
- Acquiring strong digital sports media brands with a combined monthly audience of more than 200 million visits from across the Americas
- Experienced leadership team to stay onboard to help drive the business forward
- Clear path to synergies post integration bringing EV/EBITDA of 2026e to below 5x, implying an EBITDA margin in line with Better Collective’s publishing business of +40%. Positive synergistic effects are expected to expand further in the years thereafter
- The transaction will be funded by 65% Better Collective shares (partly by the transfer of 1,387,580 treasury shares and up to 1,713,300 newly issued shares) and 35% cash, corresponding to a dilution of approximately 3.1%. Better Collective shares will be settled at 270.48 SEK/share
- Upon closing of the transaction Better Collective will revisit its long-term financial targets for the period 2023-2027.
Playmaker Capital is a leading digital sports media group operating a strong portfolio of sports media brands across the Americas. Following the closing of the transaction, Playmaker Capital will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Better Collective. Once integrated, Better Collective expects to significantly ramp up its media capabilities and expand its audiences across its sports media portfolio.
Jesper Søgaard, Co-founder & CEO of Better Collective, said: “Acquiring Playmaker Capital is in many ways transformational for Better Collective and will be an important milestone in our journey towards becoming the leading digital sports media group. Upon closing of the acquisition, we will significantly grow our audience and reach a larger segment of generalist sports fans. For years, Playmaker Capital has built incredibly strong sports media brands and excited sports fans across the Americas with high-quality sports content, cultivating a loyal and dedicated following. The skilled team behind Playmaker Capital brings a unique set of media competencies that will boost our organization. Saying that I am excited to welcome the new team to the Better Collective group would be an understatement.”
Jordan Gnat, Co-founder & CEO of Playmaker Capital, said: “Over the past 12 months I have been talking a lot about a transformational deal for Playmaker and its shareholders that will take this company to the next level. Today’s announcement does exactly that and I could not be more excited for the Playmaker family to join the Better Collective family. Their success is undeniable and their vision to become the leading digital sports media group aligns with us exactly. The cultures of our companies are very similar and I see the integration and synergies to be incredibly accretive to shareholders.”
The closing of the transaction is subject to approval by the shareholders of Playmaker Capital, court approval, applicable regulatory approvals and certain other closing conditions customary in transactions of this nature. The transaction is expected to close before the end of Q1 of 2024, whereafter Playmaker Capital will be consolidated into the Better Collective group.
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