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The Gambling Battle for Governor of Kentucky

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In November 2023, Kentucky held its gubernatorial election, which pinned Andy Beshear, the Incumbent Democratic governor, against Daniel Cameron, the Republican state attorney general. The race was won by Beshear, who attained re-election by winning 52.53% of the vote, in an election that saw the best performance by a Democrat since 2011 and the worst by a Republican. However, it wasn’t the race that generated nationwide media attention as much as the monetary contributions both parties received to back specific interests. Notably, heavy gambling interests put big money on the election.

According to the available data, in 2023, Kentucky’s horse race tracks gave sizeable funds to the Democratic Governors Association (DGA), which forked over around $19 million to back Andy Beshear’s win. Per uncovered IRS reports, the DGA received $50,000 from Revolutionary Racing Kentucky, $200,000 from Kentucky Downs, and a quarter of a million dollars from Churchill Downs in the latter half of 2023. That said, Daniel Cameron’s campaign also got a gambling fund boost, as it was revealed that the Republican candidate obtained $362,000 in contributions through the Republican Governors Association (RGA) from Georgia-based gaming machine manufacturer Pace-O-Matic in 2023 to fuel Cameron’s $12 million bid for governor.

Thankfully, both the RGA and DGA must disclose their expenses and donors to the IRS, which supplies the public with much-needed transparency regarding whose interests governor candidates will seek to look out for. Aside from gambling entities, both Cameron and Beshear noted backing from energy, health, and financial companies. Nonetheless, the gambling total came to somewhere in the neighborhood of $30 million, an impressive sum.

Differing Gambling Interests in Kentucky

As noted above, Kentucky horse race tracks supported Beshear’s second term by providing considerable donations to his campaign. That happened primarily because Beshear legalized sports betting in the state. The bill he passed allowed tracks to open retail lounges that accept wagers on sporting events. Thus, in September 2023, the Governor was the first to place a bet on an athletic competition in Kentucky. He laid a $20 parlay on two home-state college teams at the Churchill Downs track, citing this is the type of entertainment Kentuckians have been looking for for years. He added that allowing this activity will only boost local tourism and make people stay in Kentucky and not flee for Vegas once the NCAA March Madness tournament rolls around.

It should be said that once, the state’s multiple tracks, Cumberland Run, Ellis Park Racing & Gaming, Red Mile Racing & Gaming, Turfway Park Racing & Gaming, Oak Grove Racing & Gaming, Churchill Downs, and Sandy’s Racing & Gaming, established their brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, they also began exploring possibilities branching off into other types of gambling.

So, on one side, the Democrats got chiefly backed by the tracks in Kentucky. And the Republicans got aid from Pace-O-Matic, a company whose twenty-five hundred Burning Barrel games got shut down in June 2023, on the claim that they violated Kentucky law, which does not allow games of chance, even though Pace-O-Matic classifies them as ones of skill, citing that their nature does not cause any conflict with the state’s legislature.

Still, the manufacturer’s machines, widely available across the commonwealth at gas stations and bars, got disabled. That occurred by the rule of law from Governor Beshear, who signed the bill that banned them, proclaiming they feature no regulation, bring in zero in taxation, and only exist to take away hard-earned dollars from Kentuckians. However, venue owners throughout the state have rebelled against the move, stating that these machines help keep them in business, as the money they receive from hosting them is enough to cover their utility bills.

Hence, from everything explained above, it is clear that Beshear is interested in keeping his supporters happy by eliminating their gambling competitors, who looked to back someone else to take his place and change the laws to their benefit.

The Online Casino Situation in Kentucky

While Internet sports wagering is booming in the US, the same cannot be said of interactive gaming, as only seven US states have chosen to permit such gambling sites. Kentucky is not among them, as KY online casinos cannot be run from within the state’s borders. That said, for years, residents have been able to use internationally-regulated platforms based in foreign lands for game-of-chance fun.

Proposed lawsuits filed in Kentucky’s Eastern District in August of 2023 have raised eyebrows regarding whether this entertainment form is still available to Kentucky’s citizens due to a Lawrenceburg resident, Billi Jo Woods, suing Bovada and Bodog (Morris Mohawk Gaming Group), reputable offshore operators for violating state gambling law.

In the proposed suit, Woods alleged she had lost substantial amounts of money gambling at Bovada/Bodog-operated hubs and is calling about a 19th-century law that declares that Kentuckians can file legal actions against operators who they believe have unlawfully taken funds from them. The grounds for Woods’ suit is that the Morris Mohawk Gaming Group offers online casino gaming to the state’s citizens despite the state not legalizing this activity. Few believe this action will produce meaningful results for Woods, as loads of Kentuckians still use offshore platforms to satisfy their gaming needs.

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Plaza Hotel & Casino to celebrate summer with Friday night fireworks

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The Plaza Hotel & Casino will celebrate the start of every weekend this summer with a live fireworks show Friday nights at 9:15 p.m., beginning May 24 for Memorial Day weekend through Aug. 30 for Labor Day weekend.
Inspired by the fireworks shows at Disneyland, the Plaza’s Welcome to the Weekend Summer Friday Fireworks will light up the sky above downtown Las Vegas and be part of a festive summer block party atmosphere at the property’s Carousel Bar and rooftop pool deck.
“The Plaza is known for its great fireworks on New Year’s Eve and July 4th, but who says fireworks are only for those holidays?” said Jonathan Jossel, CEO of the Plaza Hotel & Casino. “This summer, we wanted to celebrate and give a gift to everyone downtown by sharing the excitement and fun of our fireworks shows with them every Friday night.”
“Las Vegas is the world’s destination because of all the spectacular attractions that are available here,” City of Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said. “The Plaza is adding a new weekly fireworks extravaganza this summer, and everyone is invited to visit downtown Las Vegas and enjoy the show!”
Derek Stevens, CEO and Owner of Circa Resort & Casino said “The weekly fireworks show will amp up Fremont Street’s high-energy atmosphere to a new level. It’s a terrific addition for the entire neighborhood, providing another exciting reason for visitors to come downtown. Huge thanks to Jonathan and the Plaza team for bringing this idea to life. We’ll definitely be enjoying the show every week from Circa’s rooftop lounge, Legacy Club.”
The fireworks shot from the Plaza’s towers will be visible to the thousands of tourists and locals in downtown Las Vegas as well as for miles beyond. Plaza hotel guests will be able to enjoy the fireworks from an exclusive viewing party on its rooftop pool deck where the fireworks will be “ignited” by a special guest pushing a detonator button on an oversized TNT box.
To attract even more people to stay downtown, the Plaza introduced the only all-inclusive hotel room package starting at $125 per person per night. The package includes bottomless drinks, breakfast and dinner, a free bingo session, waived resort fees, and more. Rooms must be booked online by June 30 for a stay June 1 through July 1.
The Friday night rooftop pool party for hotel guests will feature the Frozen Firecracker, a special red, white, and blue cocktail made with strawberry daiquiri, pina colada, and blue lemonade spiked with Don Q Rum. At Carousel Bar the summer party vibe continues every Friday night with a DJ and the specialty cocktail Watermelon Agua Fresca made with Mi Campo tequila, Jägermeister, rose aperitivo, watermelon juice, chamoy, and aloe leaves as a garnish.
“Downtown Las Vegas is already a vibrant, unique, and exciting destination. Our Summer Friday Fireworks paired with our all-inclusive room package and great summertime block party atmosphere at Carousel Bar and the rooftop pool deck will be even more reasons to come downtown this summer,” added Jossel.
The Plaza’s fireworks will be dependent on weather conditions and are subject to change or cancellation.

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Aviatrix and Vibra Solutions Agree Partnership with Focus on Latin America

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Aviatrix, the crash game that’s changing the way online casinos engage their players, has partnered with platform provider Vibra Solutions in yet another move that expands its reach in Latin America.

Aviatrix’s push into Latin America has really picked up pace over recent months and that continues with this deal.

Vibra Gaming has established itself as a major player in the region since it was founded in 2020 and later with the launch of Vibra Solutions in 2022, its platforms and content aggregation division. Now operators using its platform will be able to offer customers Aviatrix.

“We’ve long admired the fantastic work Vibra Solutions is doing in growing our industry across Latin America via innovative product development,” the Latin America Head of Business Development for Aviatrix, Gabriela Novello, said. “By working alongside it, we’re able to bring Aviatrix to more players in the region and together write a new chapter in this ongoing growth story.”

“Our commitment to our operator partners is to provide the very best portfolio of games available,” the Chief Commercial Officer for Vibra Solutions, Federico Saini, said. “Some of those we build ourselves but others we onboard via partnerships like this. Aviatrix is one of the most talked about games in the industry at the moment and we couldn’t be happier to be able to offer it to online brands via our platform.”

Aviatrix’s has enjoyed considerable success in Latin America since it was launched a little over a year ago including being named Rising Star in Casino at the SBC Awards LatinoAmerica.

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PG Soft Set to Sponsor Key SiGMA Americas Event

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PG Soft, a world-class digital mobile games company, is proud to announce its sponsorship of SiGMA Americas set to take place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, from April 23 to 25. The important iGaming event is being hosted at the Transamerica Expo Center.

As a leading event sponsor, PG Soft will benefit from prominent branding opportunities including the PG Soft logo printed on staff shirts and an exclusive PG Soft logo and video content at the registration table.

This commitment highlights PG Soft’s ambition to amplify its presence in Latin America, particularly the Brazilian market. Before expanding into the jurisdiction, PG Soft completed an in-depth research and analysis project for a true understanding of the local players’ preferences, which included consumer behaviour, purchasing habits and regulatory requirements.

PG Soft has been working on developing bespoke and localised games tailored specifically for the Brazilian audience.

“Brazil represents a wonderful opportunity for PG Soft and we’re proud to partner with SiGMA Americas for this influential iGaming gathering,” a spokesperson for PG Soft said. “We place huge importance on producing localised content, features and promotions that not only align with Brazilian player preferences, but also meet the regulatory requirements.”

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