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Caesars Entertainment and Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Expand Relationship to Offer Mobile Sports Betting Throughout North Carolina

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Mobile sports wagering is on its way to North Carolina, and Caesars Entertainment Inc. announced an expansion of its relationship with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to bring the Company’s flagship sports wagering platform online in the Tar Heel State for the launch of legalized mobile sports wagering. The agreement furthers the partnership, granting Caesars Sportsbook with mobile sports betting market access via a license held by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Tribal Casino Gaming Enterprise, subject to all required regulatory approvals.

Caesars Sportsbook intends to go live with mobile sports wagering when North Carolina launches online sports betting on March 11, 2024. Ahead of the official launch, the Caesars Sportsbook mobile app will begin accepting sign-ups and deposits starting on March 1.

The launch builds on the success of the two in-person Caesars Sportsbook locations at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in Cherokee, N.C., and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel in Murphy, N.C. As part of the expanded relationship, Caesars Sportsbook will have exclusive rights to mobile sports wagering at the two casinos and on Eastern Band of Cherokee tribal lands in western North Carolina.

“Our relationship with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has spanned more than two decades. Expanding this longstanding partnership allows us to build on the premier sports wagering experience enjoyed at our in-person sportsbooks by bringing a responsible way to enjoy sports at a deeper level to the hands of North Carolinians 21 and older across the state. We’re thankful to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and to the North Carolina State Lottery Commission and its Sports Betting Committee for making this possible and we look forward to the launch of mobile sports betting in the Tar Heel State,” Eric Hession, President of Caesars Digital, said.

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“We are excited for this new venture with Caesars Entertainment and the enhancements it provides to our Tribal enterprise. We look forward to the continued opportunities that will benefit the future of our membership,” Michell Hicks, Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, said.

Caesars Sportsbook will immerse sports fans 21 and older in North Carolina into a customized online sports wagering experience that emphasizes local sports and showcases the amenities and experiences they can enjoy at Harrah’s Cherokee and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River through exclusive offers and marketing on the app that showcase the two properties. The Caesars Sportsbook app delivers premium rewards via one of the industry’s largest loyalty rewards programs, Caesars Rewards. Every wager placed with Caesars Sportsbook earns Tier Credits that contribute to status and Reward Credits redeemable for unique Caesars experiences like discounted getaways at various Caesars destinations across North America – including at destinations in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip – extraordinary culinary and entertainment experiences, as well as bonus cash in the app and unique sports experiences.

Caesars Entertainment and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians have maintained a status as industry leaders in Responsible Gaming throughout the duration of their partnership. As a trailblazer in Responsible Gaming, Caesars enforces an enhanced 21+ gaming policy that ensures Caesars Rewards accounts are only available to individuals 21 and older, where permitted by law. This 21 and older policy will apply to all in-person and online sports wagering operations conducted by Caesars Sportsbook in North Carolina.

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MGM Resorts International and Playtech Announce Strategic Partnership

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Playtech and MGM Resorts International announced a strategic partnership that will offer new and unique live casino content to operators in the iGaming industry.

Streamed directly from the gaming floors of two of MGM Resorts’ most iconic Las Vegas Strip properties, the live casino content, branded as “MGM Live,” will be available for licensing in regulated markets worldwide, outside of the US.

The live casino offering will include single and double-zero roulette and baccarat games. These games will be broadcast live from the casino floors at both MGM Grand and Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

As the partnership evolves, the plan is to broaden the portfolio with exclusive access to a variety of Playtech games, branded TV game shows, celebrity-hosted trivia shows, and the one-of-a-kind entertainment experiences for which Las Vegas and MGM Resorts are known.

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“The launch of this new and exciting live casino offering, in partnership with Playtech and directly from Bellagio and MGM Grand in Las Vegas, furthers our strategic vision to be the world’s premier gaming entertainment company. This collaboration amplifies our commitment to providing unparalleled experiences and expands our global reach to our customers. We believe the content, celebrity talent and sophisticated gaming experience that we will offer – all from the trusted and highly reputable brands of MGM Resorts – will be unmatched in the industry,” Bill Hornbuckle, CEO and President of MGM Resorts, said.

“We are thrilled to partner with MGM Resorts, a world-renowned gaming and entertainment brand. This alliance combines the strength of MGM Resorts’ global prestige with Playtech’s extensive international market knowledge and innovative games. As a leading technology provider in regulated markets, we are delighted that this partnership is pioneering a new live entertainment category and product offering for players in these regulated territories. Our alliance is built on a shared vision to create an innovative and unique customer experience alongside our commitment to safer gambling. Both Playtech and MGM Resorts are dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of player protection and ensuring our offerings are enjoyed responsibly,” Mor Weizer, Chief Executive Officer at Playtech, said.

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Compliance Updates

NJ Governor Murphy Establishes Task Force to Support Responsible Gaming

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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has signed Executive Order No. 360, establishing a Responsible Gaming Task Force responsible for providing advice and recommendations to the Governor’s Office and to the Attorney General regarding reforms to support responsible gaming and to address problem gambling in New Jersey.

A rise in problem gambling has been observed over the past few years, according to a 2023 report from the Rutgers University Center for Gambling Studies. The Rutgers study estimated that 6% of New Jersey residents are at high risk for problem gambling, which is significantly higher than the national average of 1-2%, with the highest rates affecting Black/African American or Hispanic residents.

“New Jersey is known to be a gaming destination with historic locations like Atlantic City, amusement gaming at the Jersey Shore, notable horse racing venues, and more. This Task Force will see to it that we maintain our global leadership in gaming by ensuring that we have the tools needed to address problem gaming for our residents,” said Governor Murphy.

“I applaud Governor Murphy for his leadership in elevating responsible gaming initiatives through the establishment of a statewide task force. New Jersey has been a national leader in casino and sports wagering for many years, and we owe it to our residents to review and expand our existing efforts on problem gambling. This task force demonstrates that ‘responsible gaming’ is not merely a buzzword in New Jersey, but a critical issue that demands the attention of government entities, industry, and stakeholders. As Chair of the task force, I’m eager to get underway in examining ways to help bring attention to and support the prevention and treatment of gambling disorder,” said Attorney General Platkin.

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The responsibilities of the Responsible Gaming Task Force will be to review several areas of the problem gambling landscape, including the effects on underage and vulnerable communities; develop strategies to achieve responsible gaming; and make recommendations for policy changes to address the issue of problem gambling.

Members of the Task Force will consist of seven government representatives or their designees, including:

The Attorney General, who shall serve as Chair;

The Chair of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission;

The Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs;

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The Director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement;

The Director of the Division of State Lottery;

The Executive Director of the New Jersey Racing Commission; and

The Commissioner of the Department of Human Services.

The Task Force may consult with experts, representatives of regulated entities, or other knowledgeable individuals in the public or private sector with respect to any aspect of its mission.

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Interblock Gaming Installs its Award-winning Smart Pit at Boomtown Casino Biloxi

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Interblock Gaming, the developer and supplier of luxury Electronic Table Games (ETGs), has installed its award-winning Smart Pit at Boomtown Casino Biloxi, a PENN Entertainment Inc. property.

This state-of-the-art gaming setup, prominently positioned at the casino’s entrance, went live on Tuesday, June 11.

To celebrate the innovative addition, Boomtown Casino Biloxi will host a Grand Opening event on Thursday, June 27 from 3 pm to 5 pm. The event will feature delicious hors d’oeuvres, exciting giveaways, and a variety of activities for guests to enjoy. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 3:30 pm, marking the official launch of the Smart Pit.

“We are thrilled to partner with Boomtown Casino Biloxi for the launch of our Smart Pit technology. This installation marks a significant milestone in our mission to revolutionize the gaming experience, combining advanced technology with traditional gaming elements to enhance both player engagement and operational efficiency,” John Connelly, CEO of Interblock, said.

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The Smart Pit at Boomtown Casino Biloxi provides players with an unmatched gaming experience, featuring Live Craps, Dual Roulette, and two Blackjack tables. This cutting-edge setup merges the excitement of traditional table games with the advantages of sophisticated technology. The chip-less technology ensures seamless play and accurate payouts. Players can anticipate immersive gameplay with interactive dealer experiences, a variety of side bets, and the thrill of participating in multiple games simultaneously. The Smart Pit is designed to appeal to both seasoned players and newcomers, guaranteeing a captivating and enjoyable gaming experience for all.

Barry Regula, VP and GM of Boomtown Casino Biloxi, said: “We are excited to launch Boomtown’s EZ Play Zone, powered by Interblock’s Smart Pit solution. The EZ Play Zone offers our guests the convenience and flexibility of wagering electronically on Blackjack, Roulette, and Craps while still having the fun and camaraderie of interacting with a real dealer and other guests.”

Interblock’s Live Craps transforms the traditional game by allowing players to step into the shooter’s role, adding the excitement of live dice recognition for a truly immersive experience. Dual Roulette heightens the action with two synchronized, color-coded wheels, offering up to 120 spins per hour for a fast-paced and engaging game. For Blackjack enthusiasts, the Smart Pit tables include a variety of thrilling side bets, making each hand more exciting and interactive than ever before. This innovative setup allows players to enjoy more game time, quicker rounds, and smarter gameplay, redefining their casino experience.

“Once again, PENN Entertainment’s properties on the Gulf Coast are proud to be the first to offer cutting-edge gaming technology with the first regional installation of an integrated Smart Pit suite. In addition to being the first to offer linked multi-property table games baccarat progressive jackpots and the first property in Mississippi to offer cashless gaming at Hollywood Gulf Coast, we are now the first property outside of Las Vegas to offer Smart Pit blackjack, roulette, and craps,” Tosha Tousant, VP of Casino Operations at Boomtown, said.

“The launch of Smart Pit at Boomtown Casino Biloxi showcases our commitment to transforming the gaming landscape. By integrating advanced technology with classic table games, we are setting a new industry standard. This innovation is a game-changer that both players and dealers will enjoy,” Jeff Kowalchuk, SVP of Innovation at Interblock, said.

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The Smart Pit also enhances the dealer experience, making operations more intuitive and streamlined. The system’s dealer console provides clear instructions, reducing the need for extensive training and enabling a broader hiring pool. Dealers can manage multiple games simultaneously, increasing efficiency and player interaction. This user-friendly approach ensures that new dealers can quickly adapt and thrive in a dynamic casino environment.

Mandy Ladner, VP of HR at Boomtown Casino Biloxi, said: “Smart Pit opens the door to new potential team members who may have been intimidated by the handling of cash, chips, and the requirement to perform real-time calculations as a ‘live’ dealer. Now, if you are interested in a career in the fun, fast, and social environment of the casino, you don’t need months of dealer’s school and practice to break in, just a great personality and desire to entertain and delight our guests.”

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