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In Post-Shutdown US, Will A Bigger Value Be Placed On Legal Online Gambling?

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In May 2018, the US Supreme Court repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, opening the door for state-sanctioned legal sports betting.

That was just two years ago, but doesn’t it feel like much longer? It feels as if legalized wagering (outside Nevada) has existed as long as the traditional casino.

There’s no doubt that perceived longevity stems from the country embracing and expanding sports betting with such vigor that it seems as if decades of industry growth has been crammed into a brief window.

Indeed, legalized sports betting in America has grown rapidly over the past two years, particularly online. Without question, it will follow the same trend over the next two years. And the acceptance of online gaming — sports betting, casino and poker — will help states capitalize even more.

Sports betting has had rapid-fire expansion in US

Less than a month after SCOTUS repealed PASPA, Delaware became the first state to accept a legal wager outside Nevada. New Jersey followed soon after and quickly became a power player that now keeps see-sawing back and forth with Nevada for the most lucrative sports betting state.

Its operator-friendliness fueled the fire, and the state’s readiness to allow online gaming resulted in some 84% of $4.6 billion in legal wagers placed over the internet in 2019. Not to be outdone, online casinos and poker have perked up in 2020, as the two verticals have combined for nearly $210 million this year.

Since the PASPA repeal, 18 states and Washington, D.C., have gone live with legalized wagering with 13 of them featuring some variation of online betting. They have combined for more than $20 billion in handle since May 2018, a total that expects to grow exponentially in the near future.

More states appear ready to offer legalized sports betting

Four other states have enacted wagering legislation and await launch. And 16 states have active legislation, a total that seemingly continues to increase with each passing day.

All told, all but 12 states in the country are at least exploring regulated betting.

In late 2019, expansion began out west. Since that time, Oregon and Montana joined Nevada as states with legal sports betting. After Washington passed legislation to do the same, Colorado launched online wagering in May 2020. Then, a big domino fell, as California introduced a bill that, theoretically, would appeal to cardrooms and tribal casinos — though the jury is still out on how successful that compromise will become.

Back east, activity abounded as Virginia and Tennessee targeted summer launches for their respective sports betting industries while Louisiana and Ohio pushed legislation forward.

This all came after Michigan and Illinois introduced retail wagering and as the nation’s capital debuted its mobile platform.

Even before summer officially starts, the nation is abuzz with legalizing wagering, many of which are including the online aspect.

That vertical holds significance, and it is one that states still considering legalization or that already have operational industries need to consider implementing.

Pandemic sheds light on value of online gambling

Without question, the coronavirus pandemic has sent shockwaves around the world. It has hit both the US retail and online gambling industry hard.

Across the US, hundreds of properties were forced to shutter for the better part of two months. Only recently have they begun to reopen. Major sports leagues and organizers elected to suspend and cancel seasons and events, such as the NCAA tournament, the Masters and the Kentucky Derby.

The pandemic caused an experience no one wanted, but one that added more proof to the value of legalized online gambling.

Land-based casinos take a big hit

Consider Michigan and Illinois, two states that unfortunately went live with legalized retail sports betting just before the coronavirus pandemic — and two states that legalized but have yet to launch online platforms.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board announced revenue numbers for the first four months of 2020, and they were not pretty: reflecting a 39.2% drop compared with the same timeframe of 2019. Similarly, the state pocketed $24.2 million in taxes from its three commercial casinos — nearly $16 million less than the first four months of last year.

Land-based casinos that were closed hurt Michigan. And the same went for Illinois, where the state’s Casino Gaming Association estimated that casinos lost $100 million during the shutdown since mid-March.

Certainly, states in similar situations felt the same blow.

Online gambling shoulders the load elsewhere

While online sports betting provided just a drop in the bucket compared with previous months, what with sports being sidelined, other verticals have picked up the slack.

Only three states offer legalized online casinos and four have online poker. Those areas have seen massive spikes in recent weeks.

In April, New Jersey watched as monthly online sports betting revenue dropped nearly 90% year over year. Again, a byproduct of few sports on which to wager.

The state’s online casinos, though, saw their numbers skyrocket. In March, for example, New Jersey operators collected a whopping $64.8 million to set a state record. Online poker also peaked, coming in at $5.1 million in April. Nearby Pennsylvania experienced a similar trend.

Sports betting handle in the Keystone State plummeted 65% from March to April. And while land-based casino revenue dropped 51% from February to March, online operators combined for a state-record $43.1 million in April. Of note, online poker drew $5.3 million to set a US record for single-month revenue — beating New Jersey’s April total.

Of course, these totals will not make up for the massive losses properties have taken in recent months, but obviously they ease the blow.

Experts weigh in on the need for online gambling expansion

For years, stakeholders and some lawmakers have advocated for online expansion. The common argument against this move has long been the fear of cannibalizing land-based casinos; the fear that a mobile product would prevent potential customers from visiting brick-and-mortars.

Really, though, digital platforms will create more footfall.

“If you produce a good online experience, they’re going to be much more associated to your brand … than if not,” Max Meltzer, COO of Kambi, said during a recent teleconference. “I just think there’s more of an educational piece, and I think COVID’s done a bit more of a kick-start to that.”

Yaniv Sherman, head of commercial development for the online gambling company 888 Holdings, told the Associated Press that the coronavirus pandemic “has highlighted the need for revenue diversification. “The future is around online growth, and it’s right now, not in 5 or 10 years. We hope to get additional states on board.”

Matt King, CEO of FanDuel, agreed with that sentiment and even went further with it.

“When legislatures return in earnest, we firmly believe the number of states ready to consider accelerating mobile sports betting and online gaming legislation to drive tax revenue will expand substantially,” King told ESPN. “And we also see the industry recognizing this is a unique moment in time, and working more collaboratively to set aside minor differences and get bills across the finish line. Across the board, it’s a time for pragmatism, and we see that producing a real opportunity for significantly expanding the map.”

More states could consider expanding online

Over the next two years, online expansion will accelerate, as estimated by Chris Krafcik, a managing director with Eilers & Krejcik Gaming. “Both activities provide states, whose economies have been massively disrupted by the outbreak, the opportunity to capture new revenue immediately in the form of upfront license fees, and over time through taxes.”

While sports betting and other forms of online gambling reflect a minute percentage of most states’ budgets, that small portion — as well as other forms of online gambling — is much preferred to nothing.

The perception of online gambling has shifted, assured Meltzer during a recent teleconference. The “real trailblazers” have shown an understanding that moving online will generate more revenue and even attract more foot traffic at land-based casinos.

“I think people should be grasping onto the fact that, either way, however you want to run it, there’s a huge opportunity to generate revenues,” Meltzer said. “If I was having a strong coffee with someone … I’d certainly recommend to consider the revenues, just to consider what it can do in terms of retaining staff and growing an environment to attract more customers into your casino. That’s regardless of size. Regardless of size, there’s a model out there that can work for you. That’s my strong belief.”

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When Gambling Hot Spots Reopen Casinos, How Will Things Look Different?

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It’s been a hellish two months for the land-based gaming industry following wide-spread casino closures due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Though online casinos seem to be picking up some of the slack, people are out of work, state and local economies are holding on by their fingertips, and people are left wondering when and if things will ever return to normal.

In states like Nevada, where the gambling and entertainment industry are pillars of economic security and held together by travel, the situation is a bit more complex. The numbers speak for themselves: 219 casinos closed and over 206,000 gaming workers jobless.

Other areas of the US, where the gambling industry also provides necessary capital needed to fund state budgets, are also searching for answers. Lawmakers, health officials, and gaming executives are scrambling to figure out how and when doors can reopen safely.

As consumers of entertainment, and those employed by it, we must trust that our questions will be answered. When will Vegas casino doors open? Will all casinos around the country have similar guidelines? These types of specifics are still being sorted out across the US but a picture is beginning to take shape as to when and how things might look.

When will Las Vegas casinos reopen?

Many properties including some on the Las Vegas strip are considering Memorial Day as a (very) tentative reopening date. MGM Resorts International said it plans to reopen in early June. However, nothing is set in stone, given the approval process.

First, each property must create a plan to ensure safety for customers and employees. Casinos must implement new guidelines adopted by the Nevada Gaming Commission into their plans, which among them include half the occupancy and frequent cleaning of surfaces and gaming devices.

Joe Bertolone, executive director of the UNLV International Center for Gaming Regulation, expect Las Vegas to open at a slower pace than other gaming markets.

“Clearly, the association with air travel in Las Vegas and other integrated resort markets like Singapore and Macau that have transportation as a key component to their gaming offerings, they are just going to open more slowly than other markets,” Bertolone said in an interview.

Caesars Entertainment Chief Executive Officer Tony Rodio echoed this statement during the companies quarterly earnings call.

“I think we’re all in agreement that we think regional markets are going to bounce back quicker because of the lack of needing to fly,” Rodio said. “When the governor in Las Vegas announced the move toward Phase 1 and the Raiders schedule came out, we actually had a pretty significant bump in reservations booked for the fourth quarter of this year.”

Right now there is no exact date or time when Las Vegas casinos will reopen.

Nevada operating and safety protocols

The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) released both operating guidelines and health and safety policies that casino properties must follow prior to reopening. The policy memorandum specifically states a “plan must be submitted at least seven days before reopening occurs or as soon as reasonably possible thereafter.”

A few of the operational policies include:

  • A schedule for the replenishment of funds, including cash, chips, and tokens in all areas of casino accountability.
  • Licensees must take measures to pay receipts and wagers that may have expired during temporary closures.
  • Club venues will be allowed to reopen in compliance with any directive issued by the Governor’s office.
  • Licensees must comply with all prescribed local, state, and federal COVID-19 health requirements.

A complete list of all operating guidelines can be viewed here.

NV Governor Steve Sisolak issued policies and procedures to notify gaming operators of new operational requirements to “mitigate and reduce risk of exposure to COVID-19 for all employees, patrons, and other guests.” According to the release, these constitute the “minimum” requirements that should be followed and does not stop operators from implementing their own additional requirements.

Here are a few, but not all, of the new safety and health policies:

  • Occupancy will be limited to no more than 50% in each gaming area.
  • All reopening plans must include how disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer will be available to everyone.
  • Floor plans for slot machines must meet social distancing requirements.
  • Table games maximums: only three players per blackjack table, six players per craps table, four players per roulette table, and four players per poker table.
  • Extensive cleaning of all items including, dice, chairs, chips, and numerous other items when a new player or employee comes in contact with any item.

A complete list of all health and safety guidelines can be viewed here.

Bertolone said one of the important takeaways from the new guidelines is their ability to change.

“The thing that stands out the most is the recognition by regulators that this is a dynamic and fluid situation. While today there might be these standards, tomorrow they may change. Regulators are putting plans in place that allow for change,” he said.

Health and safety protocols are determined by local and state health officials, not the gaming board.

A new look at the casino experience

All of these new rules — which will likely become universal, give or take — bring us to how the whole casino experience will initially change for gamblers. At least, in the beginning, gone will be the dozen people hovering around a craps table rooting for someone on a hot streak. No longer will there be 10-12 high rollers sitting at a poker table stacking chips to look like city skylines. There won’t be groups of friends playing slot machines side by side or lines forming to enter new night clubs and eateries.

Based on the guidelines released by the NGCB, noise levels will be reduced by the lack of customers, spacing will be mandatory, and sanitation best practices will be heavily enforced.

George Rover, managing partner at Princeton Global Strategies and former deputy director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, anticipates similar policies around the US.

“All properties must comply with whatever executive order is handed down by their governor,” Rover said in an interview. “I can see maybe two out of every three slot machines closed or only three people at a blackjack table.”

Many of the policies in states like Nevada and Louisiana have mirrored Rover’s assessment. Expanding upon his comments, Rover said one thing that may cause a hold up in properties reopening is physical space.

“Some will be limited by their physical architecture,” he said. “They are all on equal footing but depending on their layout, some may be on better positioned when it comes to adopting what the executive order requires.”

Regional regulators weigh in

Experts may be focused on Las Vegas, but when reopening casinos begins, it will begin in the South. As first reported by Bloomberg, Louisiana casinos are set to begin reopening May 18, subject to approval by state-police.

“It will be a slow start and a conservative approach,” said Ronnie Jones, chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board (LGCB). “I think what will be proposed here will mirror Nevada and is pretty much what was proposed in Mississippi.”

According to plans released by LA Gov. John Bel Edwards, which can be viewed here, guidelines in Louisiana do in fact mirror some of the policies implemented in Nevada with a few exceptions.

Some but not all of the LA guidelines include:

  • Gaming positions will be reduced to 25%
  • Casino capacity will be reduced to 25%
  • Customers will be offered masks and be encouraged to wear them on the gaming floor
  • Temperatures will be taken by gaming employees

Fielding a workforce

Another potential issue is rallying employees to come back to work. According to a first-hand account written by Jones in Fantini’s Public Policy Review, he notes how severe Louisiana was hit by the pandemic.

“On a per capita population basis, Louisiana ranks 3rd behind New York and New Jersey in the number of infections and the number of deaths. In fact, one parish actually has the highest per capita death rate in the country, even higher than New York. Of the 25 counties throughout the country with the highest per capita death rate, ten are Louisiana parishes.”

In an interview, Jones said he continues to speak with general managers throughout the crisis and some a fearful even if they wanted to get to 100 percent, they don’t think they could.

“I’ve been speaking with general managers and a few are nervous their employees won’t be coming back to work,” he said. “They are either concerned for their own health or they are getting more from unemployment.”

Expected outlook on the casino industry

As with the reopening of any industry, policies and procedures will change. But according to Bertolone, “it’s too early to tell what will be the new norm.”

“Consumers are smart. Gambling is a very practical industry and without safety, the industry won’t recover,” he said. “The basic feelings of safety and cleanliness will be revisited whether you own a casino or a restaurant.”

Rodio said the company continues to work closely with regulators, and government and tribal officials to ensure operations upon reopening follow their directives.

“We will ensure that our operations are in compliance with applicable government directives and tribal mandates,” Rodio said. “While we don’t know the duration or the severity of the economic downturn — we recognize that recovery will take time.”

For now, the best the gambling industry or any industry affected by the pandemic can do is wait. In the grand scheme of things, two months is better than two years.

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New Jersey, Pennsylvania Online Gambling Revenue See Big Uptick In March

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This was supposed to be a landmark time of the year.

Two of the biggest and flourishing legal sports betting industries were supposed to be reaping the rewards of one of the sporting year’s busiest times: March MadnessMLB, the Masters, and postseason pushes for the NBA and NHL.

What an incredible month — certainly one that would produce record-breaking sports betting handle and revenue numbers for both New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Yet we were left wanting. The coronavirus pandemic shut it all down. All that’s left is what could have been.

That said, online gambling did not completely suffer. Rather, both online casinos and online poker saw an uptick. And last month, industries in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania seemingly compensated for a lack of sports.

New Jersey online gambling flourishes

Believe it or not, online gambling has been a mainstay in New Jersey for going on seven years. No month, however, has ever been as prosperous as March 2020.

Online casinos and poker operators reported a jaw-dropping $64.8 million in revenue. How big is that? Well, it sits nearly $13 million more than the previous month, for starters. More important, though, that total is the industry’s first month exceeding $60 million. And it’s actually nearly $10 million more than the state’s previous best monthly report.

If those feats aren’t enough, March 2020 numbers reflect an astonishing 65.6% increase year over year.

The kicker, though, lies with online poker. Entering March, this sector had not eclipsed $2 million in monthly revenue since August 2017. It hadn’t seen more than $3 million since October 2016. In January 2014, the state enjoyed its best poker month with $3.4 million in revenue.

You see where this is going: In March 2020, New Jersey online poker posted a whopping $3.6 million in revenue. Month over month, that’s a 101% spike.

All told, all but one online casino in the state reported record-setting revenue figures in March.

Certainly, these online platforms benefited from stay-at-home orders. Gov. Phil Murphy ordered the closure of Atlantic City casinos midway through the month. And when leagues began suspending and canceling events, online casinos and poker filled the void.

PA online gambling shows a similar trend

New Jersey was not alone in rewriting the history books.

Neighboring Pennsylvania was coming off a record-setting February. As the Keystone State nears the anniversary of its first online casinos, the industry put up yet another historic month.

Already trending upward, what with revenues up over 31% month to month since December, operators in March reported some $24.3 million in online revenue, marking a 24.5% increase from February. That total breaks down to a $12.4 million/$8.8 million/$3.1 million slash line for online slots/table games/poker.

It’s not just the revenue that stands out, but also the action. Consider players in Pennsylvania accounted for $871.6 million in total wagers, up nearly $170 million from the previous month. Staggering.

Like in New Jersey, the uptick in Pennsylvania can assuredly be attributed to mass shutdowns. With casinos closing down amid the coronavirus pandemic, overall gambling revenue in Pennsylvania actually dropped by 51%.

Takeaways from NJ, PA online gambling reports

Leagues and organizers suspending and canceling events sent a shockwave across not only the country but the world. What were fans and bettors to do?

From jump street, operators who integrated online casinos with online sportsbooks or vice versa made sure to cross-promote. The two industries appeal to different demographics. Get your slot players to notice the NFL lines, for example, or market table games to the everyday sports bettor.

March 2020 emerges as the most significant example of such strategies paying off.

What’s more, online gambling in New Jersey and Pennsylvania could open the eyes of lawmakers in other states. After all, those states could certainly use revenue from somewhere, right?



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Responsible Gambling Measures Set Now Could Benefit Post-Pandemic Industry

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The shutdown of most sporting events due to COVID-19 presents problems and possibilities for the nascent legal gaming industry in the US.

Most importantly, whether responsible gambling initiatives will take root or set back measurably during this critical time.

So what makes this a potentially dangerous period? Bettors venturing into markets to wager on sports they’ve never seen and can’t even watch on television. Online casino gamblers with newfound free time because of sheltering orders or unemployment. Some unscrupulous operators picking at the edges of unethical business practices. That’s all according to Amani Toomer, a former New York Giants wide receiver and member of the GVC Holdings Global Foundation, which is tasked with addressing such issues as problem gambling.

“I just imagine people at home, with lots of free time, and sometimes people let things get out of hand,” Toomer told PlayUSA.com. “I think that could be a problem because people have more time to waste and it’s more exposure to a person who is prone to these types of illnesses. It just can really snowball because it just opens people up to more opportunities to fall into a trap.

“We feel like there’s a good opportunity to have people become aware of it and want to get help out there for people with all this extra time or find themselves getting in a hole that they don’t want to and we don’t want them into, just getting to a point where it’s just not productive and not entertainment anymore. We want it to remain entertainment.”

Toomer says problem gamblers, including those who may not realize or admit a problem could soon fall into peril if they “think irrationally that they could make up their extra income by gambling online and start gambling in patterns that are irregular to them.” Many people now have copious amounts of unoccupied time either because of sheltering orders or because they’re among the more than 17 million laid off in the United States in the current economic morass.

Exotic options problematic for bettors and books?

Sportsbooks themselves are hammered by the economic fallout. Global power GVC Holdings estimated COVID-connected losses could total 150 million pounds by July. The American Gaming Association (AGA) estimates that around 625,000 casino and resort employees have lost jobs.

Sportsbooks have turned to the unusual and scant few options to attempt to maintain some semblance of volume until mainstream sports return. That’s meant Russian table tennis, Nicaraguan soccer, sumo wrestling and esports so far.

Whereas many bettors have probably played ping-ping, bet on an English Premier League game or humored a few minutes of Sumo wrestling highlights at some point in their lives, they’re not as versed in these sports as the NFL, NBA or college football in terms of what they know and how they could be reasonably assumed to wager astutely.

“People like to bet what they know,” observed William Hill trading director Nick Bogdanovich.

They don’t know Russian ping pong, and this, Toomer said, creates more concern.

“If you find yourself betting on stuff you know nothing about, you’re gambling on Russian table tennis, you might want to think about the relationship you have with responsible gambling,” he said, “because it’s just one of those things where you find yourself doing things that you ordinarily wouldn’t do, not because of boredom, but out of because of a need to fill a hole in something that should be entertaining, should be fun.

“And it becomes more than that when you are looking outside of your normal comfort zone, or trying just to get that fix. The problem gambling becomes bigger than everything else. And that’s kind of one of the definitions of a problem, is when you start taking chances that are detrimental to your lifestyle and your life.”

GVC Foundation hopes to advance responsibility now

GVC Holdings, which owns Ladbrokes Coral Group in the United Kingdom and in 2019 formed Roar Digital with MGM Resorts in the U.S., launched a global foundation in September.

They began to address multiple issues pressing the gaming industry and drilled down specifically on responsible gambling in October by forming a group in conjunction with the National Council on Problem Gambling. Toomer, Martin Lycka, director of regulatory affairs at GVC Holdings, and William J. Pascrell, III, partner at Princeton Public Affairs Group were named trustees.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has hammered the gaming industry, there is something to be made of the grinding halt, Lycka said. And, he added, this period underscores the industry’s need to engender responsibility in its customers.

GVC has burnished its pre-existing “Markers of Harm” problem gambling-evaluation with two additional elements specifically germaine to the COVID-19 situation and increased communications with customers, Lycka told PlayUSA.

The “Markers of Harm,” Lycka explained, are a collection of data points GVC or any other company could use to identify potential reckless behavior. This includes the frequency of a customer’s play, whether they tend to play after midnight, have a strong tendency to play on payday or chase losses.

“All these triggers give us a very, very good overview of behavior patterns of individual customers and based on those triggers, we take action in relation to the individual account,” Lycka told PlayUSA. “But the practical upshot is that if a customer triggers out of those nine, let’s say two off those alert mechanisms, then somebody in GVC’s responsible gambling or customer services team picks up a phone to the customer and checks on the customer to find out that everything’s all right. There could be a perfectly logical explanation for the change in the customer behavior. They could be shift workers and these people may for legitimate reasons bet after midnight, for example, or if it turns out that a customer has started spending more money on our sites, the customer might have had a pay rise, for example. So that would be an example of a perfect legitimate explanation of perfectly legitimate reasons for the change in customer behavior.”

A slow but steady improvement in responsible gambling

Lycka acknowledged that the American market is “getting there” in terms of responsible gambling measures, but remains not as “sophisticated” as its more mature and expansive European counterpart.

Sports betting is currently legal in 23 American states or jurisdictions and underway in 18 (nine with full mobile), bringing market share and tax revenue away from unlicensed offshore operators. This is also a facet of the problem and solution, Lycka said.

“US regulation has not necessarily captured the most recent responsible gambling trends just yet. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not not trying to blame anyone,” he said. “I believe that to some extent it actually makes sense because the market is potentially not yet sophisticated enough for all those tools. So definitely the focus needs to be on channeling the previously unlicensed offer into the regulated market. And of course that needs to go hand-in-hand with consumer protection that can be progressively ramped up.

“I believe that the US industry is on the right track, but it will still need some time to get there. I don’t mean to sound cynical, but perhaps the current crisis provides the US with an opportunity to step up its efforts in that regard as well, all linked to … people being isolated at home and potentially being tempted to play online.”

The industry must also do better, Lycka said, in policing the handful of operators who sought to exploit the crisis in its early stages.

“There has been some exploitation of the current crisis for greedy revenue purposes by some operators,” Lycka said. “They are usually much smaller operators whom I would call rotten apples in our little industry barrel that would simply choose to not have any responsible gambling tools.”

Measures taken now can later benefit the industry and gamblers

Eventually this will be over. It will not happen instantly, but at some point, the 989 casinos now closed nationally (according to the AGA) will reopen and customers will be allowed to return.

Some may be reticent, as they would be with a restaurant or movie theater. Some will toe-tap at the front door awaiting the deadbolt to be clicked open. Whether their state had a legal online option for their casino, poker or sports betting tastes will likely factor into their response.

Like GeoComply CEO David Briggs, Lycka thinks mobile gambling can be a responsible gambling tool because it allows for better monitoring of player habits, specifically destructive ones.

“I also see it as an opportunity from the responsible gambling best practice standpoint. And, hopefully that’s also a part,” he said. “I believe it may help the potential floodgate issue that we could have at the end of the crisis. In a state that has not yet regulated online, punters who would normally go to a casino but now are confined to their home, they would have an opportunity to open an online account, which would also mean that they would get access to do additional information about how to gamble in a responsible way.

“They would familiarize themselves with [responsible gambling] tools and perhaps when they’re back in the casino, I would think, perhaps naively, when they come back to their favorite slot machines, they might be thinking, ‘All right, I can limit myself online. So how about I try to self-impose those restrictions when playing in a casino?’”

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Diverse Gambling Offerings Make DraftKings, FanDuel Built To Last

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The physical gambling world represents something of a nationwide ghost town: brick-and-mortar casinos shuttered, retail sportsbooks void of traffic, a general eeriness permeating the gaming world.

Online, however, another story unfolds: Business is carrying on, mostly for online casinos. And while established brands — such as Golden Nugget and Borgata in New Jersey — have flourished, newcomers have thrived.

That includes DraftKings and FanDuel, two companies that were solely dedicated to daily fantasy sports just a few years ago. Now, both are also legal sports betting powers and rising online casino operators. The two have seemingly been built to last and to sustain any situation.

“When you have multiple verticals like we do, it’s a big advantage,” said Johnny Avello, director of DraftKings Sportsbook. “We do have retail (sportsbook) locations, in New York and Mississippi and New Jersey and we were just about to open up one in New Hampshire and Colorado shortly.

“But we are an online company. That makes us a little different than a lot of others. We do have the casino, which is actually doing fantastic. I must say there’s been a shift from sportsbook to casino. … It’s nice to know that when one’s not doing so well, another area can pick up the slack.”

Online casinos pick up in popularity

The online casino industry — even online poker — has become more popular of late as regulated wagering has been sidelined due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Many still want gambling opportunities and the likes of DraftKings and FanDuel have obliged.

Near the end of March, DraftKings saw an 8% spike in iGaming bets over a week. From March 10 on, DraftKings Casino enjoyed a 34% increase in active players.

It only makes sense for any business to have some sort of backup plan in its arsenal. Just in case some relatively unexpected situation arises, said business can push forward, following that new track.

Yet as everyone will tell you, including Avello, nobody could have predicted the coronavirus pandemic.

“You could have contingency plans and lay them out in case ‘X’ happens,” Avello said. “But nobody expected ‘Z’ to happen. When you lose (all the sports), all pertinent content that you offer and that everybody’s used to, especially surrounding some of the bigger events that were coming up … you lose all of that and you have to scramble what you’re going to offer your patrons.”

FanDuel, DraftKings catering to online casino customers

FanDuel Group, which runs FanDuel Sportsbook as well as online platforms Betfair Casino in New Jersey and FanDuel Casino in Pennsylvania, noted how it — like every other sports fan — looks forward to the return of sports.

In the meantime, FanDuel said, “we remain as committed as ever to giving our fans more ways to win. We’ve seen a jump in new casino players in NJ and PA as casino games become some of the most appealing content within our sportsbook app.”

In part, that spike in casino participation stems from brand familiarity and loyalty. Bettors who have no sports turn to other FanDuel offerings, for example.

However, FanDuel continues its quest to offer a wide range of products to best accommodate as many people as possible. In essence, like its counterpart DraftKings as well as other online gaming operators, FanDuel is built to last.

“We’re always looking to build on our offering and provide the best possible experience to FanDuel/Betfair players. We’re evaluating lots of different options for how to enhance the FanDuel Casino experience in PA. Since we launched with a limited set of games in PA, we were already working on adding more games and given the recent activity/interest in casino, we’ve accelerated that effort and plan to have new games in market in the very near future.”

Not about revenue for some operators

Not all sports are lost. Avello, for example, pointed to Pennsylvania and West Virginia, where DraftKings offers markets surrounding Taiwan’s Super Basketball League.

Books have also listed lower-tier soccer, darts cricket. Table tennis has become quite popular, even. Some sportsbooks have expanded into esports betting, which included wagering on the likes of Counter-Strike ESL Pro League.

Sports betting, though, appeals to only a fraction of the public. Cross-selling with DFS and online casinos allow DraftKings and FanDuel to reach other demographics. Once again, both are seemingly built to last.

“Being around sports as long as I have, being in the casino industry for over 40 years, being in the sportsbook arena for 35, I know that sports is something that people lean to, migrate to, especially when things aren’t going well. It’s nice just to be able to watch it and get your mind off of things. So I’m glad that we can still offer things for people to do that.

“It’s not about the revenue right now for us. We just want to make sure those people are safe and staying on board with us, knowing that we’re there to support them. We’re all in a tough time right now, but you don’t just drop the ball. You keep plugging forward.”

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Gambling Professionals In Nevada Can File For State Unemployment

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The coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the country. Every industry is affected by business closures and there are record numbers of people being furloughed or laid off. Due to these times, even professional gamblers in Nevada are now allowed to file for unemployment.

From Las Vegas to Reno and everywhere in between there are more than 200 casinos in the state of Nevada that will remain closed until April 30 or later to help contain the spread of COVID-19. The 206,000 casino employees aren’t the only people feeling the effect of the closures.

Professional gamblers are feeling the pinch as well. Poker players don’t have a venue to make a living. Sports bettors only have four sports betting apps with limited wagering options available. Blackjack and other advantage gamblers don’t have casinos in Nevada and around the country to use their skills.

Unemployment for Nevada gamblers

Gambling isn’t a traditional job but it’s a way for some Nevada residents to make a living. Normally professional gamblers wouldn’t be able to file for unemployment — but these aren’t normal times. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, professional gamblers may qualify as independent contractors or self-employed under the CARES Act for the time being.

Professional poker player Chris Konvalinka tells the newspaper “I’m going to give it a shot.” In true poker player lingo, he went on to say that “It seems like a freeroll to me. Worst case, they say no.”

Anecdotally, only about 1% of all gamblers consider themselves professionals. An even smaller portion of those gamblers are full-time professionals. A portion of professional gamblers keep a regular day job while using their gambling skills part-time.

Many full-time professional gamblers are truly self-employed and report income and file taxes just like many freelancers who work for themselves. As Konvalinka said, this is a freeroll to make up for revenue lost while the casinos are closed and sports betting options are limited.

Gambling in Nevada during the quarantine

Gambling options for professional and recreational gamblers in Nevada during the quarantine are limited. Governor Steve Sisolak has ordered all casinos and non-essential businesses to close until at least April 30. Additionally, all gaming machines have been turned off. This means that not even slot machines inside essential businesses like supermarkets are available.

There’s only one gambling option for table game players. World Series of Poker‘s web site is open for poker players throughout the Silver State. The games at WSOP include a pool of players beyond Nevada. The website allows players from New Jersey, Delaware, and, of course, Nevada.

Most professional sports leagues remain closed so the options for sports bettors are very limited. Placing wagers on future events is always popular but not everyone wants to tie their money up for months in something that may or may not take place.

There are still a few sports to wager on such as esports, table tennis, UFC, and small division international soccer, hockey, and basketball. Some sportsbook operators even offer in-play wagering for select events.

Sports bettors in Nevada still have access to a few sportsbooks that are active because of their mobile sports wagering apps:

  • BetMGM
  • Caesars
  • Circa Sports
  • William Hill

Only players with an existing account can wager. Three of the four apps accept mobile deposits for anyone looking to wager on current and future events. Circa Sports is the only Nevada sports wagering app that doesn’t accept deposits outside of the casino.

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5 Positive Gambling News Stories To Read Right Now

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Amongst the backdrop of a global pandemic and the uncertainty currently plaguing the casino industry, there are a few bright spots to be had. Yes, a majority of casino properties across the US have shut down for a minimum of two weeks, all professional and collegiate sports are on hiatus, and social distancing is begin fed to the masses.

But you have read enough of that. To break up the bad headlines, here are some slivers of good news to enjoy:

#1 Some casino corporations are still paying employees

Over the years, there have been some truly dark moments in the casino business — and with most casinos closed nationwide, we are perhaps currently witnessing the darkest. But there are also moments where the industry puts its best foot forward.

Just look at the two historical cities known for gambling: Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Some of the big-name casino operators have decided to continue to pay employees and help ease the financial burden associated with properties shutting down.

Wynn Resorts started first and it seems they are going above and beyond most other casino companies. Wynn is paying both full and part-time employees plus paying estimated tips for 30 days.

Caesars Entertainment is offering two weeks’ pay to all employees across its vast network of properties around the US. Eldorado Resorts (who Caesars is currently merging with) also announced it would compensate all employees with their standard rate of pay for two weeks.

MGM Resorts International is paying furloughed employees (part-time and full-time) for two weeks, with benefits through June 30.

Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City are more properties that are extending pay and benefits for a few weeks to aid their employees.

This is just a small glimpse of how casinos in various states are helping their employees in an industry that employs thousands of people.

Research by the American Gaming Association (AGA), says property closures will directly impact 644,000 casino and resort employees or 98% of the total US casino workforce.

Casinos have no playbook to reference, no industry standards to fall back on. One day they are operating and the next, ordered to close. It’s good to know some companies are taking the necessary steps to ensure their employees are taken care of in a time of crisis.

#2 Sports betting apps are still live in Nevada

Despite the complete shutdown of the Las Vegas strip, casual and expert bettors can still use Nevada online and mobile sports betting apps. (There was confusion for a while regarding the apps, regarding whether they would remain if the physical casino component closed.)

Although the betting menu may be limited, some people may find it comforting to know a finite amount of odd, diverse, sports are still chugging away.

Unfortunately, there is a caveat to this. In Nevada, you must register for an online account in-person. With properties closed, this means no new customers can sign up. Sportsbooks also require that you fund your account in-person. So if you find yourself on a string of bad bets, and hit that zero balance mark, you’re out of luck.

William Hill, however, announced updates to its app allowing for electronic deposits. Whether other sports betting operators follow this path is yet to be known.

#3 Strong February for East Coast sportsbooks

It may be the last good month for sports betting for a while, but damn was it a great high point. Pennsylvania operators reeled in a whopping $10.8 million in revenue off of $329.8 million in bets.

Neighboring New Jersey saw similar results with sportsbooks generating $17 million in revenue off of $494.8 million in bets. The percentage of bets placed online (88.2%) was also up from January and accounted for $436.5 million in bets.

These numbers will before forever linked to pre-quarantine times and while the numbers may not directly affect you, the consumer, they are a bright spot as the sports betting industry goes more and more mainstream.

#4 Maryland sports betting is moving along

In the fall, Maryland residents will have the chance to vote on if sports betting should be legalized. The issue will be placed on the November ballot and if approved, will give the legislature the go-ahead to craft suitable legislation.

One of the key issues holding back a full-blown sports betting bill was the lack of representation of women and minority-owned businesses. The issue directly mirrors what happened in neighboring Washington, D.C. Instead of sports betting licenses only being held by major companies, bars and restaurants (some of which are owned by women and minorities) can apply for a class-B license to operate sportsbooks.

Regardless of when sports betting comes to Maryland, the issue is being discussed and moving in the right direction.

#5 Virginia sports betting may soon be a reality

Lastly, Virginia sports betting is a governor’s signature away from becoming a reality. While the bill is limited and includes no betting on colleges in Virginia and no prop bets on any college sports at all, it does represent bi-partisanship and brings sports betting to the Commonwealth.

Not all sports betting bills are perfect. Some bills restrict who can and can’t operate a sportsbook. Others limit the types of wagers you can place, provide no responsible gaming protection or limit betting to retail only.

The common thread, however, is providing customers a legal and safe way to bet on sports. And in doing so, slowly chipping away at the illegal market.

In due time

The gaming industry may be in crisis mode right now. But in time, slot machines will be plugged back in. People will hover around a craps table once more. Sportsbooks will switch on tv screens. Casino resorts will welcome back their employees and their guest.

We will usher in the post-COVID-19 gaming world but we must remain optimistic that that day will come sooner rather than later.

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Brother Of Bears Linebacker Busted For Offshore Gambling Ring

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Stop us if you’ve heard this: Legalized sports betting is expanding. Quickly.

A few more states, namely Alaska and Wyoming, have introduced legislation to regulate wagering, bringing the country’s total to 21 states with standing legislation.

One byproduct of legalizing the industry is to crack down on illegal betting. Of course, eradicating offshore gambling seems an impossible task.

That has not stopped law enforcement from continuing those efforts, however. And now they have proven that no one is safe – regardless of status or family name.

On to the Rewind:

Chicago-area mayor arrested in illegal gambling ring

The name Urlacher carries legendary status in Illinois. Unfortunately, that name won’t carry much weight now.

Casey Urlacher, the brother of legendary Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, has been charged as part of a federal indictment going after 10 individuals who allegedly operated an offshore sports gambling ring. To boot, Casey sits as the mayor of the small Chicago-area town of Mettawa.

Casey was charged with conspiracy and running an illegal gambling business, one that authorities say generated millions of dollars from hundreds of area gamblers. Urlacher is accused of “acting as an agent” for the gambling ring, which involved recruiting bettors in exchange for a cut of their losses.

Urlacher, mayor of Mettawa since 2013, allegedly worked under a man known as “Uncle Mick,” collecting cash from bettors and paying out winnings. He then received kickbacks from gamblers’ losses.

All told, agents searching the home of “Uncle Mick” seized nearly $1.1 million in cash and nearly a half-million dollars in silver bars, gold coins and jewelry.

NHL games streaming at select legal sportsbooks

While the NFL and NBA attract much of the betting attention among professional leagues, the NHL will not be left behind.

As a way to drive fan engagement, IMG Arena has secured the rights to stream live NHL games to US sportsbook partners. The agreement allows operators to air “select out-of-market” matchups.

IMG has streamed NHL games to European markets for a few years, and it also provides official data for tennis, UFC and the PGA Tour.

In Europe last year, over 56 million unique viewers worldwide consumed more than 175 million hours of IMG content. Certainly, IMG is no slouch in this area.

The NHL commented that this deal is part of a “progressive approach” to legalized sports betting and that IMG Arena “provides another innovative touchpoint for fan engagement.”

Washington sports betting bill faces an uphill battle

The latest effort to regulate wagering in Washington passed through the House. But in no way does that mean the road is wide open for the bill to pass.

In fact, it could face quite a legal fight.

An emergency amendment from Rep. Jim Walsh would legalize sports betting right away rather than requiring a minimum 60% voter approval. Opponents believe the amendment was included because legislators are well aware they won’t receive that approval.

The amendment notes that that immediate action to legalize sports betting “is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately.”

Regardless, some have the means to put up a legal fight, and they have threatened to do so should the legislation pass.

After all, there’s no real “emergency” for this amendment to be included, some argue. As one opponent detailed, gaming legislation alone does not qualify as emergent. To boot, the bill does not add revenue to state government, meaning there is really no true immediate need to enact this legislation.

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Pennsylvania Online Gambling Had A Big 2019, But What Can Be Improved For 2020?

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It feels like the awareness and legalization of online gambling did not exist until the repeal of PASPA in 2018, which opened the door for state-sanctioned sports betting.

Certainly, that is not the case. Prior to that historic decision by the US Supreme Court, several states enacted legislation to launch (or even went as far as launching) regulated online gaming markets. That includes Pennsylvania.

In 2017, the Keystone State passed into law a gambling expansion package that allowed online casinos, online poker and online sports betting. It was not until well over a year later that any of the verticals rolled out.

The lengthy waits have been well-documented, and so too have the drawbacks of such delays. Regardless, Pennsylvania stands as one of just three states with all three regulated markets operational.

And despite prolonged holdups, PA online gambling appears well on its way to a bright future. The Keystone State could get their faster, though, by addressing several issues while continuing to perpetuate its assets.

The good of Pennsylvania online gambling

PA sports betting off to strong start

Start with the obvious: Pennsylvania sports betting has boomed.

In its first year, legalized wagering in the state generated more than $1.1 billion in bets. And despite facing a sky-high tax rate of 36%, operators pocketed nearly $75 million in revenue.

Overall handle has increased in each month since April, a credit not only to thriving competition but also to the advent and swift takeover of betting apps. (Online wagers account for better than 80% of overall bets placed in Pennsylvania.)

Of course, football season helped: Each month between August and November featured handle totals exceeding $100 million – including November’s record total of $316 million.

With eight betting apps and 12 retail sportsbooks, Pennsylvania continues to expand its sports betting industry as it attempts to rival New Jersey and Nevada as legal sports betting powers. (For perspective, nearby New Jersey needed seven months to eclipse $1 billion.)

PA online casinos, poker establishing footholds

The other two online verticals in Pennsylvania operate in the shadows of sports betting. Like regulated wagering, though, online casinos and online poker remain in their infancy.

That said, the group of Pennsylvania online casinos has increased to five operators since going live in July 2019. In November, that collective totaled some $7.6 million in revenue, reflecting a $2.75 million increase from October. Since launching with three operators, online casinos in Pennsylvania have spiked $6.88 million in revenue.

As for online poker, November marked the first month of the vertical in the Keystone State. And it did not disappoint, as PokerStars debuted with rake and tournament fees totaling near $2 million.

Big names, big competition, big appetite for PA online gambling

Fear abounded that Pennsylvania’s high tax rates and licensing fees would prevent the state from reaching anything close to full maturity.

Who could blame them? Even today, PA’s rates stand as the highest in the country.

Operators, however, flocked toward the Keystone State; those who saw rising success in New Jersey opened up shop in PA. The likes of DraftKings SportsbookFanDuel Sportsbook and Fox Bet (among others) have thrown their hats into the Pennsylvania sports betting ring. As has Unibet, which, like SugarHouse and Parx, also powers an online casino.

Competition gradually swelled as 2019 wore on, seemingly in stride with the PA public’s growing hunger for and acceptance of online gambling.

How hungry has the public been? Of the state’s top five properties in terms of revenue during November 2019, four enjoyed noticeable boosts year over year – in part because of online gambling products:

  • Parx Casino: +12.58%
  • Rivers Pittsburgh: +14.48%
  • Rivers Philadelphia: +23.35%
  • Hollywood Casino: +9.13%

To boot, properties such as Valley Forge (+71.38%) and Mount Airy (+31.64%) saw big spikes from November 2018, again in part to the advent of online gambling.

The not-so-good aspects of Pennsylvania online gambling

In hindsight, not much was terrible about Pennsylvania’s modernization.

Initially, the state’s gouging tax rates and licensing fees didn’t sit right with stakeholders or analysts. They still don’t, of course, what with Pennsylvania’s rates still sitting as the highest in the country. That said, while that certainly has affected the bottom line for some, those rates have yet to scare off operators, who continue to hold an optimistic outlook for the potential of online gambling.

Then, of course, there was the whole Wire Act debacle of 2019. Just before the close of 2018, the Department of Justice issued an updated opinion of the act, essentially noting that the Wire Act should pertain to all forms of online gambling and thus prohibited under federal law.

As the New Hampshire Lottery started mounting its case against the DOJ (one that is still circulating through the courts), Pennsylvania maintained a cautionary approach. The state required operators to establish in-state servers and to submit plans to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board explaining how they would come into compliance should the new Wire Act opinion become enforced.

Such tactics no doubt delayed the debut of online casinos and online poker in Pennsylvania. Additionally, it restricts the title selection in the state.

How Pennsylvania online gambling could improve

Simply because Pennsylvania has opened up all three online verticals does not mean the state’s work is complete. These industries want to grow more. They want to become innovative. These are the paths Pennsylvania can take to help each industry reach its full potential – or at least close to it.

As such, moving forward, it would be ideal for Pennsylvania to be looking out for its casinos. While the safe bet is the following will not occur, it would sure help online gambling become even more profitable.

First, revisiting the tax rates would allow for industry stakeholders to open up their wallets more. Obviously the state claiming a larger take does not allow operators to take advantage of marketing and promotional tools. In such marginal industries, operators are already left with low percentage profits. These rates only dig into those pockets even more.

Certainly, Pennsylvania is unlikely to make any changes soon (if ever) surrounding tax rates. But what about its stance on the Wire Act opinion? One court has already ruled in favor of the NH Lottery condemning the DOJ’s take on the Wire Act. And now the DOJ is appealing that ruling. As such, that opinion appears a far cry from being enforceable.

Regardless, Pennsylvania remains cautious. And as a result, operators in the state are limited in what games and titles they can offer, while others can’t even get a foot in the PA door because of a lack of in-state servers.

Looking forward, what price could Pennsylvania pay by requiring so much of stakeholders? Under status quo, could Pennsylvania fall well short of its potential?

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie essentially said as much in 2019, noting that these fees “are not going to encourage innovation” or “investment in the properties.”

“Every dollar you pay in licensing fees or in taxes is a dollar you don’t have available to bring new types of betting to the floor, to have state-of-the-art products to allow the experience to be more enjoyable. That’s why I think they are missing the boat.

“In the end, it’s a short-term problem and a long-term problem. The long-term problem is they’re not going to invest in getting Pennsylvanians the best technology because they spent all they are going to spend on the licensing fees and the taxes.”

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Ten Tips to Use the Law of Attraction to Win at Casino Gambling

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The Law of Attraction is the Law of the Universe that states that what you think about and focus on is what you will physically draw into your life to experience.

But what if you wanted to create more money for yourself by winning agen sbobet indonesia at gambling. Will the Law work for you then? The answer is Absolutely! — as long as you are vibrating in the right place mentally while you are doing it.

You see, I know this for a fact because I have been both studying the Law of Attraction for 20 years as well as enjoyed gambling for approximately the same amount of time; and I can tell you without a doubt that as my studying and learning has progressed, so has my winnings and jackpots!

While this article will mostly be focused on winning at Video Poker games in casinos (because it is personally my favorite to play and I know the most about it) I am sure you will find a lot of tips here that can help you win at other games as well.

Here are a few simple tips to help you get into vibrational alignment with winning as well.

1. Don’t gamble with money you cannot afford to lose.

Now, this may sound like typical “moral” advice that anyone would tell you, but from a Law of Attraction standpoint it is especially important. The fact of the matter is, if you are playing with rent or bill money then you are playing with scared or guilt money! Playing with scared money will put you in a negative vibrational place right from the start and will make it much more difficult to draw more money to you.

If money is a little tight right now – start a JACKPOT JAR in your home. (Be sure to write Jackpot Jar on it by the way. This way every time you look at it you are giving yourself a positive affirmation. Eventually you will come to believe that that is exactly what it is. ) Put some money in it every week. It doesn’t matter if it is $2, $5 or $10. Just put a little aside until you have accumulated the amount you would like to bring to the casino with you. Maybe you can cash in the penny or change jar you have sitting in the corner of your bedroom that is doing nothing.

The point is to go on your trip with “guilt-free” or “fear free” money. You will automatically be in a better vibrational place knowing that it really doesn’t matter if you win or lose it, as long as you have fun!

2. Visualize Winning Before You Go

My father was one of the luckiest Video Poker players I have ever met. When he hit, it was usually for some pretty big amounts. I remember a $13,000 jackpot, a few $8,000 jackpots and too many $4,000 and $1,000 jackpots to count.

Now the funny thing is my father didn’t technically believe in the Law of Attraction per se, but a favorite hobby of his was to daydream (or visualize) about his next trip to Atlantic City and how he was going to win. He would say things like “First I am going to go to the quarter machine and hit $1,000 there, then I am going to take that money and go play the dollar machine and hit $4,000 there and then I am going to sit for an hour or two winning smaller amounts until I hit the big one.” (Is it any wonder I am a fan of Video Poker when I see someone win at it so easily?)

Now again, he didn’t do these visualizations as a “technique” to help him win, he just did it because it was fun for him think about. Regardless of the reason why he was doing it – I can tell you it absolutely worked!

It got to the point where if he won less than 3 jackpots in a weekend, it was considered a “slow” weekend.

Eventually he got so good at winning – the thought of losing didn’t even enter his mind. And Law of Attraction being what it is (what you think and believe is what you get) he hardly ever did lose.

So start visualizing winning before you even go. Start small if a “huge jackpot” seems too unbelievable to you. Say O.K. first, I’ll win $100 here, then win $300 there. Imagine the perfect hands that will be dealt to you. Feel the excitement you would feel as if you had really won. Envision yourself counting a huge wad of bills on your trip home and how good it feels. Do this as often as possible before your trip so you are already on a great vibrational level before you even arrive at the casino.

3. Practice at Home

If you are reading this, chances are you have access to the internet. The internet has tons of free sites where you can practice “winning.”

Find your favorite game free online and practice how winning feels. (Don’t pay attention to any losing hands in your free play) just focus on how “easy” it is to win. Feel as if you are playing with real money. Feel the excitement, feel your confidence grow as you get one winning hand after another.

Now that you are fully prepared for your trip, here are more tips for when you get there:

4. Watch Your Words

While negative thoughts can keep you from winning, those thoughts spoken aloud can be ten times more powerful. Be careful not to fall into typical “casino talk” that is so common for players. For instance:

How much are you down?

How much money do you have left?

Nobody seems to be hitting today (or the opposite).

Everybody seems to be hitting today except me.

I’m never lucky in this place.

I can’t get any play.

I can’t seem to do anything

I hate this placev

This place Sucks!

Remember, Universe is following your lead. When you utter these kinds of thoughts and feelings, universe responds as always by bringing more of it to you.

Try more positive statements such as:

My winning machine is calling to me right now, I just have to listen.

My jackpot is waiting for me here somewhere and I am going to find it.

The right machine is going to jump right out at me.

I love coming here, I always have such a good time!

5. Truly Enjoy The Game While You Are Playing

Stop focusing on the credits that are going in and out or the amount of chips left on the table and bring your focus back to the enjoyment of the game itself.

There have been many times, especially in Video Poker where I have gone into “auto-mode”. I have been playing the game for so many years, that not much thought is needed to automatically hold certain cards that are dealt in a hand. Unfortunately this leaves my attention open to focus on the amount of credits in the machine instead, and if the amount is going down, my vibration goes with it.

I have since learned to refocus on the fun of the game itself. I now slow down my auto response. I sometimes pretend to be a novice to the game. I get myself deliberately excited over something as little as a pair of 2’s that are dealt to me, wondering how cool it would be to draw another one –possibly even two more of them! Yeah! I no longer wait for only the “big” hands to get me excited. I purposely enjoy the game. The more I enjoy, the more I am vibrating positively. The more I am vibrating positively, the more good hands I bring to myself that give me something to be genuinely happy about.

So slow it down. Remember why you are there. To have fun. If you are focused on having fun, the money will come naturally.

6. Switch Up Your Game

Did you ever wonder why “beginners luck” occurs so often? I firmly believe it is because a person who doesn’t know how a game is played, can’t have any negative thoughts or resistance associated with it.

An experienced video poker player may know that 9 out of 10 times that 5th card for the Royal Flush will not come up, but a novice has no idea. So where an experienced player might not believe it is going to happen because it is usually difficult, a novice has no such mental resistance.

If you feel you are not having any luck at your usual game of choice, go play a game you have no clue about. I can’t tell you how many times I have won money and didn’t even know what I hit or did to get it. What fun! Then I take the winnings from that and go back to my usual game with a whole new winning vibration.

7. Go on a Good Luck Charm Treasure Hunt

So, do good luck charms really work? We are talking about Law of Attraction here, so obviously they will work if you believe they will.

Does it have to be a certain charm? Not at all. My mother and I have been going to Atlantic City together for years. One of our favorite things to do when things are going slow is go on a Good Luck Charm Treasure hunt.

When someone wins a machine jackpot, the casinos place little white cards in the coin slot that says “Congratulations! You are a winner!, as the person is getting paid. Quite often people leave these lying around and I love to find them and use them as my good luck charm because they already have winning associated with them. If however, after 4 or 5 hands they haven’t brought any luck, we look for other things.

Sometimes it can just be a swizzle stick lying around. I will pick it up and hold it out as if it is the Holy Grail and claim “This is it! This is the one!” and gently place it on my machine. We’ve had more fun coming up with the strangest of charms to use and experiment with.

One time we drew a little Kilroy figure on a piece of paper. (You know the guy with the big nose and hands looking over the wall?). We put him on the top of our machine and had all sorts of fun with him. We would rub his little bald head before hitting the play button. My mom would turn him over and make him face the wall if he didn’t give us the second hand we wanted. We ended up having such a good time and so many laughs, that we ended up doing very well that day.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it was “Kilroy” who made us win, but we were having so much fun playing with him, our mood and vibration so light and happy, that Universe had no choice but to respond in kind and matched our vibration with lots of winning hands and money. Remember it is all about the vibration you are sending out. Abundant good feelings brings more abundance in other ways.

8. If You Can’t Change Your Negative Vibe – Walk Away For Awhile

Sometimes no matter what you do, you can’t shake a losing attitude. If you find this happening to you it is time for a little mental distraction. You know the saying “No sense in throwing away good money after bad”

If you are operating from a negative place, it will only bring more negative (i.e. more losing). So it is time to walk away for awhile and change your mood in other ways. If you are lucky enough to have a hotel room go there for awhile. Rent a $10.00 comedy on the television (believe me you would lose a lot more than that if you kept playing negatively for 2 hours on the casino floor) and lighten your mood.

Maybe go window shopping in the Casino mall, listen to the live band playing in the lounge, go for a walk on the boardwalk or the strip. Go get yourself a great snack or meal you would normally not eat at home. Up your vibration, feel better and then go back and play. Again, it is all about vibration.

9. Put Your Emotion Into Your Winning Hands – Not Your Losing Ones

Let’s say you have 4 cards to a winning hand dealt to you and you do not pull the last card that you need. What is your immediate first response? Do you feel hopeful that at last the cards are starting to line up for you and a winning hand is on its way soon or do you feel disappointment or anger that you “missed” it and find yourself fuming for the next 20 minutes.

Again, your vibrational reaction makes all the difference. If you focus only on the hands you didn’t win guess what you will get? More non-winning hands. If you put your emotion into the excitement of the winning hands, no matter how small, guess what you will get? More winning hands.

Learn to change your focus and put more of your happy emotion into the winning hands only. This leads us to the last and most important tip to winning more with the Law of Attraction.

10. Gratefulness

Personally I have found that nothing helps me win more than constant gratefulness while I am playing. If I win even as little as 5 coins I will say “Thank you Universe and more of that please!” Like I mentioned above, I purposely get myself more excited about the wins and have learned to feel little or no emotion at the losses. I also make a concentrated effort to appreciate every thing around me. I am grateful for the air conditioned casino in the summertime. The fun sounds and lights I am surrounded by. The free drinks. The shouts of people winning at the craps table across the casino ( I love hearing the excited sounds of others winning! It boosts my spirits and makes me want to win even more, so I can share in the excitement.) I enjoy the company of the people I go down to the casino with, the food in all the restaurants, the clean hotel room.

Remember the reason you went was to have fun. Make that your priority and Universe will respond in kind and make sure it is fun for you.

Happy Creating!

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Source by Janeen Clark