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Compliance Updates

Genius Sports Receives Temporary License to Offer Sports Betting in Louisiana

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Genius Sports Limited has announced that it has been certified by the State of Louisiana Gaming Control Board as Sports Wagering Service Provider for an initial six months. Genius Sports is currently awaiting its full license authorization.

With the addition of Louisiana, Genius Sports is now authorized to operate in 18 U.S. states, powering award-winning official data, streaming, and marketing solutions for leading sportsbooks and lotteries.

Online sports betting was authorized in Louisiana in June 2021. Certain of Louisiana’s retail sportsbooks are beginning to open and online sports wagering is likely set to launch in the coming weeks.

“We are honored that the Louisiana Gaming Control Board has awarded Genius Sports its temporary sports wagering service provider authorization to provide licensed sportsbooks with access to our groundbreaking NFL products and media solutions. As an increasing number of U.S. states legalize sports betting, Genius Sports welcomes the opportunity to work with states like Louisiana, on providing sports fans with official sports data-powered solutions,” Mark Locke, CEO of Genius Sports, said.

Compliance Updates

Scientific Games Testifies at Maryland House Ways and Means Hearing in Support of Proposed iLottery Legislation

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The Public Policy and Government Affairs Senior Vice-President for Scientific Games, Christine Wechsler, testified today before the Maryland House Ways and Means Committee to share the company’s support of House Bill 1218, State Lottery – Internet Sales Authorization and Distribution of Proceeds. If adopted, the legislation would authorize the Maryland Lottery to offer its games to in-state consumers through online sales channels.

Wechsler discussed the importance of remaining competitive and modernizing at the same pace as other gaming products offered in the market in order to maintain and grow the Maryland Lottery’s more than $714 million in profits returned annually.

“The Maryland Lottery is like all other businesses selling products to consumers; it must modernize to meet changing consumer demand,” Wechsler said in a prepared testimony. “Providing convenient and relevant experiences to consumers online and at retail will be critical to enable the Maryland Lottery’s sustainability and maximize revenue potential for the state.”

Wechsler also shared key iLottery facts with the Committee as it considers this legislation, which included:

  • iLottery doesn’t cannibalize bricks-and-mortar retail sales. Of the twelve United States lotteries selling online today, none have experienced cannibalization at retail. Retail sales have grown faster in iLottery jurisdictions than in states that do not sell online.
  • Online sales platforms provide player protections and tools that support healthy, responsible lottery play. Key platform features can include the ability to self-exclude, engage in cooling-off periods and/or set limits on deposit and play amounts.
  • iLottery is a new, convenient sales channel to offer lottery products; it is not designed to be a substitute for or compete with casino games. iLottery has proven in other states to successfully co-exist with iCasino, sports betting and other forms of gaming.

As a 27-year partner to the Maryland Lottery, Scientific Games provides the systems technology, terminals and communications infrastructure supporting sales of its lottery games at retail. The company also provides the Maryland Lottery with other key products and services including printed instant games and inventory management software as well as manages the entire interactive category which includes the My Lottery Rewards loyalty program, associated mobile app and second-chance promotions.

“Our focus has always been on delivering solutions and services to facilitate retail growth and maximize profit returned to Maryland’s beneficiaries,” Wechsler said. “And we are invested and fully committed to helping shape a successful iLottery framework for the state that responsibly drives continued growth across the Maryland Lottery’s established bricks-and-mortar retailer network while providing incremental online revenue.

Scientific Games is the global leader in retail instant games, a major provider of retail systems and technology and an industry pioneer in iLottery and digital lottery solutions that drive profits for government-sponsored lottery programs. The company is a trusted partner to more than 130 lotteries spanning 50 countries including over 30 iLottery customers.

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Compliance Updates

The Edge Interviews Steve Bittenbender: Discusses Sports Betting in Georgia, Alabama and Missouri

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Half of all SEC states do not have legal sports betting. On The Edge with Larry Henry, Gambling.com Group’s Steve Bittenbender predicts sports betting legislation could be approved during this year’s legislative sessions in Alabama and Georgia in part because of ‘more acceptance among some conservative’ lawmakers.

Sports betting then would require a public vote in Alabama and possibly Georgia. Bittenbender said those two states stand a good chance of legalizing sports betting. “Those are the two, I think, I’m most bullish on,” Bittenbender said of Alabama and Georgia.

In Missouri, ‘rancor’ in the state Senate means a sports betting bill probably won’t pass, Bittenbender said, but the state’s major sports leagues are circulating a petition among registered voters to let the public decide on the November ballot.

The pro sports teams aren’t waiting for the Legislature, Bittenbender said.

“They’ve been down that road before and they’ve seen how that story ends up,” he said. “The best chance that it’ll have is through this referendum process.”

On Alabama and Georgia:

“In Georgia, it passed the Senate and it’s now going over to the House. And in Alabama, it’s the other way around. It cleared the House first and now it’s going to the Senate. The Senate in Alabama; there’s going to be some opposition to it (sports betting legislation), some conservative opposition.

“But you’ve got Governor Ivey who’s a big supporter of this and I think that’s going to help tip the scales in gaming’s favor.

“And it’s not just sports betting in Alabama, it would give them a lottery. They’re one of five states that don’t have a state lottery so it would give them that. It would give them fully-fledged casinos. There’s a couple of tribal casinos in the state but now they would have, I think, seven Class 3 casinos across the state. And then you would also have sports betting as well.

“That kind of omnibus legislation, especially with the people that are supporting it, will help get that through in Alabama.

“Georgia is a similar situation but they’ve actually scaled it down. There had been talks in recent years about doing casino resort legislation but they’re just focused right now on doing sports betting, getting that through and maybe looking at other expanded gaming later on down the road.

“In Georgia the question is going to be whether or not it will need a constitutional amendment. There are proponents for it that cite a former Supreme Court judge from the state, who says: sports betting is a lottery game, the lottery is legal under the constitution, so you don’t need an amendment.

“Some people though are kind of concerned, they fear a legal challenge might happen. So, they want to see a referendum on it.

“If it requires a referendum, that would require essentially two votes in the legislature. One to pass the enacting legislation, which would need just a simple majority in both chambers. But a second one for a resolution calling for the referendum, that would require a two thirds majority in both chambers. That’s a little trickier.

“The way the vote came down in the Senate earlier this month, they had the votes for the two thirds majority in Georgia in the Senate, but I don’t know if they would have that in the House and that’s a key concern that needs to be addressed.”

On Missouri:

“I think it’s happening already (the sports betting petitions having success). The proponents have already started in St Louis, right around the time of the Cardinals FanFest event earlier this month.

“So, they’re not waiting for the legislature, they’ve been down that road before and they’ve seen how that story ends up. And with the way that there’s a lot of rancor right now in the Missouri Senate, not just about sports betting but a lot of things in between, there’s a real fracture between Republicans in that chamber and that’s stalling a lot of things.

“I’m not optimistic at all that a sports betting bill would pass the legislature even though there’s support for it in Jefferson City. The best chance that it’ll have is through this referendum process.”

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Compliance Updates

Gaming Americas Q1 2024 Meetup: Balancing Slot Mechanics and the US Legislation Roundup

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Gaming Americas Q1 2024 Meetup: Balancing Slot Mechanics and the US Legislation Roundup

 

HIPTHER’s Virtual Quarterly Meetups for the Gaming industry have officially returned for 2024! The Gaming Americas Q1 Virtual Meetup took place on February 28, featuring an informative panel on Innovating Slot Mechanics, and our staple US Legislation Round-up.

HIPTHER’s Co-Founder, Zoltan Tuendik, hosted the first session about Slot Mechanics, featuring Connor Blinman, Head of Games at Gaming Corps, and Raph Di Guisto, Founder at Silverback Gaming. For the Q1 US Legislation Roundup, the “usual suspects” Martin Lycka, SVP for American Regulatory Affairs & Responsible Gambling at Entain, Bill J. Pascrell III, Esq, Partner at Princeton Public Affairs Group Inc, and Jeremy Kleiman, Gaming Attorney and Member at Saiber LLC, reunited for a session that offered ample insight into the latest regulatory updates in the United States.

The first part of the Meetup primarily focused on the future direction of the gaming industry, including emerging trends in slots and game mechanics, the potential of virtual reality and multiplayer technology in the casino industry, and the game development process. The US Legislation Roundup walked us through the challenges faced by the online gambling industry due to the popularity of unregulated offshore sites, the sports betting industry, the legalization of iGaming in various states, the regulation of online gambling and sports betting, and the future of online sports betting and iGaming services.

 

Innovating Slot Mechanics: Balancing Novelty with User Experience

Connor and Raph discussed the game development process, highlighting the importance of understanding the target audience, conducting market research, and introducing innovative mechanics. They anticipate a trend towards medium volatility games with increased player engagement. They also discussed the potential of skill-based and personalized gaming experiences, as well as integrating multiplayer technology. The conversation underscored the complexities of the market and the need for continuous innovation. They discussed the challenges of introducing a new feature in the competitive slots game market and the importance of adapting and innovating. They also focused on reducing player fatigue and burnout and adapting to evolving market needs. The discussion ended with a focus on measuring the success of new game mechanics after their release using player feedback and data analysis.

 

Q1 US Legislation Roundup: Online Gambling Challenges, New Markets,Taxation, and Sports Betting Industry

Jeremy discussed the difficulties faced by the online gambling industry due to the popularity of unregulated offshore sites among players in regulated markets. He questioned the incentives for players to switch to regulated sites and acknowledged this as a challenge for both the industry and regulators.The conversation between Jeremy, Bill, and Martin revolved around sports betting, particularly in New York and North Carolina, with a focus on tax rates and policy. The need for investing in consumer protection, innovation, and improved customer experience was emphasized.

Bill Pascrell discussed the challenges and progress of online gaming in various states, including the potential tax increase proposed in New Jersey and the readiness of other states to legalize iGaming. The conversation primarily focused on the introduction of sports betting legislation in various states and its potential impact. The panelists also briefly touched on the possibility of regulating online casino and poker games in Maryland. The conversation emphasized the importance of bringing in interested operators, incentivizing them with bonuses, deductions, and reasonable tax rates.

Bill, Martin and Jeremy had a wide-ranging discussion about the sports betting industry. They highlighted the role of Senator Hoskins and his support for the industry. They also touched upon the public perception of the industry and the need for responsible gambling. The conversation explored the challenges of regulating the Black Market and the potential for increased tax revenue. The group also acknowledged the need for the industry to proactively educate the public about its benefits. Towards the end, they discussed the difficulty of creating a positive narrative around the industry.

Bill, Jeremy, and Martin discussed the regulation of online gambling and sports betting, emphasizing the need for a balance between industry growth and job creation, and addressing concerns about dysfunction and stakeholder engagement. They also touched on the potential of technological innovation and the risk of entrenched market shares. The conversation concluded with a reminder about the importance of integrity, compliance, legality, and responsible gaming in the industry. The trio discussed the need to respect tribes and engage with them in negotiations. The issue of betting on college sports was raised, highlighting potential risks for players and the need for regulation. The discussion ended with a brief mention of the NCAA tournament and the importance of commercial operators’ support for legislation.

The panel concluded with thoughts on the future of online sports betting and iGaming services. The speakers emphasized the importance of agreements with individual states and the federal government to offer these services. The role of human interaction in understanding stakeholders’ interests and pain points was highlighted, and the potential for legalizing sports betting in California and other states was discussed, while acknowledging the problems with the black market. The need for a more efficient way to engage with tribes and the necessity of regulation were stressed as next steps to drive out the black market.

 

Coming up Next:

Watch the recording of the Gaming Americas Q1 Meetup on HIPTHER TV, and keep an eye out for our next Gaming Americas Quarterly Meetups for 2024!

 

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GamingAmericas.com (part of HIPTHER AGENCY) is your one-stop portal for the latest news, insights, and analyses in the gaming industry across the Americas. From legislative updates and market trends to interviews with industry leaders, we provide a comprehensive look at the dynamic landscape of both online and land-based gaming. Whether you're a stakeholder looking to stay ahead of the curve or a gaming enthusiast eager for reliable updates, GamingAmericas.com has got you covered. Follow us on social media and subscribe to our newsletter for real-time updates and exclusive content. Make informed decisions and stay ahead in the game with GamingAmericas.com.

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