Tag: Updates

Can You Still Bet On Horse Racing in The US? Live Updates, Cancellations


COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the world of sports, with horse racing and betting being no exception. A myriad of horse racing events have either been postponed or will only be held without an audience present.

While the sport of kings is in a state of disarray, Play USA readers can expect this list to keep them abreast of all cancellations, and events tabbed to proceed. States omitted are those without thoroughbred racing tracks.

Tracks and online horse betting apps generally take wagers on races outside of the US, as well.


The Turf Paradise racetrack on Saturday announced the cancellation of its season due to the Coronavirus.


Horse racing continued at Oaklawn Park on March 14, as Nadal won the Rebel Stakes. The racetrack has since announced that it will hold races without spectators through March 30.


Races at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia will proceed without an audience. The prominent California course will play host to the San Luis Rey Stakes on March 21.


As of this writing, it’s unclear whether Arapahoe Park – the state’s only active racetrack- will hold events at the start of its season on May 23.


As of this writing, it’s unclear whether Delaware Park – the state’s only active racetrack- will hold events at the start of its season on May 27.


Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach will hold horse racing events that are closed to the public. The Florida Derby is scheduled to take place at Gulfstream on March 28.

The Tampa Bay Downs will conduct races without spectators on March 18.


While it’s unclear whether Arlington International Racecourse will be in operation for its opening day on May 1, the venue has canceled several other events this month.

Fairmount Park held a full slate of spectator-free races on March 17. The park and its OTBs will remain closed to the public through March 30.

Hawthorne Race Course has ceased all live races through March 30.


Each of Indiana’s racetracks, Hoosier Park and Indiana Grand, announced plans to close for a two-week period starting March 16.


The racetrack at Prairie Meadows was shut down on March 16, along with the property’s casino and hotel. The course is next scheduled to hold races on May 1.


The 2020 Spring Race at Keeneland has been canceled, the racetrack announced Monday. The race, which was to be held from April 2-24, generated over $16 million in handle last year.

The 146th Kentucky Derby has been moved to September 5, Churchill Downs CEO Bill Carstanjen said Tuesday. This postponement represents the latest blow the sporting world has absorbed from the Coronavirus pandemic.

Turfway Park hosted the Grade 3 Jeff Ruby Steaks on March 14, which was won by Field Pass. The park announced it will continue holding races through the spring and winter without spectators.


The Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans will hold spectator-free races. The venue’s on-site OTB, Pari-Mutuel, and slots facilities are closed, though off-Site OTBs remain open.


The Laurel Park racetrack on Friday announced its intention to hold fan-free events. Laurel Park has since hosted the Harrison E. Johnson Memorial Stakes and Nellie Morse Stakes, won by Senior Investment and Arrifana, respectively.


The Suffolk Downs racetrack announced plans to suspend on-track operations from March 15 through at least April 2nd.


The Northville Downs racetrack will be closed through at least March 30.


The Canterbury Park racetrack announced plans to suspend operations starting on March 16.


Fonner Park announced the suspension of its season Monday. The racetrack’s most recent contests were held Sunday.

New Jersey

Each of the state’s racetracks – Meadowlands and Monmouth Park – announced plans to suspend operations on March 16. Meadowlands pledged to provide updates when available, and Monmouth Park updated its opening day to May 23.

New Mexico

The Sunland Derby, which was to be held at Sunland Park Racetrack on March 22, was canceled due to Coronavirus concerns. The racetrack announced it would take a three-week sabbatical starting on March 16.

New York

Events at Aqueduct Racetrack will proceed, albeit behind closed doors. Aqueduct’s upcoming races can be found here, and will air nationwide on FS1 and FS2.

It will be worth monitoring Aqueduct’s stance, as the racetrack has already received criticism from animal rights organization NYCLASS.

As of this writing, it’s unclear whether Belmont Park will hold races for its opening day on April 24.

The Finger Lakes racetrack will be closed until further notice.

As of this writing, it’s unclear whether Saratoga Race Course will hold races for its opening day on July 16.

North Dakota

As of this writing, it’s unclear whether North Dakota Horse Park will hold races for its season opening in July.


Belterra Park in Cincinnati has been closed until further notice.

The Mahoning Valley Race Course has scheduled live racing without spectators for March 17. The facility will otherwise be closed to the public.

The Thistledown Racino has temporarily closed its doors. It remains to be seen whether the course will hold races for its opening day on April 29.


The Remington Park racetrack will continue hosting spectators for live races with enhanced safety measures.


The Portland Meadows racetrack temporarily closed.


Parx Racing said its racetrack will be “temporarily closed until further notice.” This applies to its Bensalem location, the South Philadelphia Race & Sportsbook, and the Oaks Race & Sportsbook.


Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie announced plans to close doors from March 16 through March 31.

Retama Park in Selma has canceled or postponed all live events. It remains to be seen whether the racetrack will hold events on its July 3rd opening day.

Sam Houston Race Park will continue its live racing program without spectators.


The Colonial Downs racetrack closed on March 15 and will remain so through the 30.


The Emerald Downs racetrack said it would be closed to the public in a statement released March 12. As of this writing, it’s unclear whether the racetrack will hold spectator-free races in 2020.

West Virginia

The Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races has maintained live racing, completing races as recently as March 14. Play USA will relay any updates to the course’s 2020 schedule.

The racetrack at Mountaineer Casino has taken proactive safety measures in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, but none have interrupted the venue’s racing schedule. The venue’s next live race is scheduled for April 26.


As of this writing, it’s unclear whether the Wyoming Downs racetrack will hold races on its opening weekend in July.


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Categories: Gambling News


The Latest Updates On Every US Casino Closed Due To Coronavirus


This is an ongoing story and will be updated regularly 

The uncontrollable spread of COVID-19 has brought the casino industry to a grinding halt. Across the country, properties are beginning to close their doors to casual and experts bettors in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Though many gamblers will turn to horse betting, online casinos and online poker, our staff at PlayUSA wants to keep you up to date with a list of casino properties that have suspended operations in the wake of this global pandemic.

Nevada casinos

State leaders have not exactly called for a full shutdown of Nevada casinos. Rather, Gov. Steve Sisolak provided strong support for “any decision our properties make … whether or not to close.”

Wynn Las Vegas and its attached sister property Encore elected to suspend operations for at least two weeks, beginning March 17 at 6 p.m.

MGM Resorts will also close its nine Vegas casinos on March 17 “until further notice.” Those properties include:

  • MGM Grand
  • Mandalay Bay
  • Luxor
  • Excalibur
  • New-New York
  • Aria and Vdara at CityCenter
  • Park MGM
  • Bellagio
  • The Mirage

For properties remaining open, the Nevada Gaming Control Board on March 16 issued “Restrictions on Operations during COVID-19 Outbreak” to all of the state’s gaming licensees.

The board emphasized that it will enforce the following restrictions, which will remain in place until further notice:

  • There may be no more than three chairs at each table game.
  • Each gaming machine must be cleaned and sanitized at least once every two hours.
  • Patrons may not serve themselves from buffets that remain open. Similarly, employees may not
    serve themselves in employee dining areas.
  • The gaming floor and other public areas of a licensee’s property must operate under the latest
    social distancing guidance from Nevada’s medical advisory team.

For those wishing to stay home, Nevada offers online poker via the World Series of Poker website and WSOP app.

Pennsylvania casinos

As of March 16, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has provided a list of Pennsylvania casino operators that have temporarily closed their doors. (Keep in mind that PA online casinos are fully operational.) The PGCB notes, casinos not on the list remain open but may have restrictions.

This announcement will most likely affect all PA sports betting operations as well. Currently, the four major pillars of sports, NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL have suspended all play for the foreseeable future. Additionally, the NCAA, NASCAR and several other major sports leagues have all suspended operations for the time being.

Casinos and racetracks closed:

  • Oak Sports and Turf Club
  • Valley Forge Casino Resort
  • Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino
  • Rivers Philadelphia Casino
  • Rivers Pittsburgh Casino
  • Parx Casino
  • South Philadelphia Race and Sportsbook
  • Wind Creek Bethlehem
  • Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course
  • Mount Airy Casino Resort
  • Mohegan Sun Pocono
  • Lady Luck Nemacolin
  • Meadows Casino and Racetrack
  • Presque Isle Racetrack and Casino

Online casino and online poker remain up and running in PA and could see higher than normal player traffic. Here is a list of PA Casinos and their online partners:

  • SugarHouse Casino — PlaySugarhouse
  • Hollywood Casino — Hollywood Casino
  • Rivers Casino — BetRivers Casino
  • Valley Forge Casino — FanDuel Casino
  • Mohegan Sun Pocono — Unibet Casino
  • Mount Airy Casino — The Stars Group
  • Parx Casino — GAN (only Android available)

Illinois casinos

The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) announced Monday, the entire gambling industry must suspend operations for 14 days. This includes all Illinois casinos, all video gaming operations, and all Illinois sports betting. There are 35,483 video gaming terminals in the state operating at 7,307 bars, restaurants and truckstops.

Gov. JB Pritzker also announced all dine-in service will be suspended at all bars and restaurants across the state.

Casinos and racetracks closed:

  • Argosy Casino Alton
  • Casino Queen
  • Harrah’s Joliet Casino & Hotel
  • Grand Victoria Casino
  • Hollywood Casino Aurora
  • Hollywood Casino Joliet
  • Rivers Casino
  • Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino
  • Harrah’s Metropolis Casino & Hotel
  • Jumer’s Casino & Hotel
  • Fairmont Park
  • Hawthorne Casino and Race Course

Louisiana casinos

Effective March 16 at midnight, the shutdown of the Lousiana casino industry will commence. Ronnie Jones, chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, announced that state police will be working to help implement the shutdown process.

“In an effort to protect the health and wellbeing of [casino] employees and guest, the board is in the process of preparing a formal order directing the closure of the gaming operations at all 20 casinos in the state for a period of 14 days, subject to extension,” Jones said.

Casinos closed:

  • Boomtown Bossier
  • Eldorado Resort
  • Horseshoe
  • Diamond Jacks
  • Sam’s Town
  • Margaritaville
  • Isle Lake Charles
  • L’auberge Lake Charles
  • Golden Nugget Lake Charles
  • Amelia Belle
  • Boomtown New Orleans
  • Treasure Chest
  • Belle of Baton Rouge
  • Hollywood Baton Rouge
  • L’auberge Baton Rouge
  • Harrah’s New Orleans Casino
  • Delta Downs
  • Harrah’s LA Downs
  • Evangeline Downs
  • Fair Grounds

Washington casinos

The state of Washington has seemingly become a hotbed for the virus.

As such, Gov. Jay Inslee issued a prohibition of events featuring more than 250 people, as well as ordering the closure of restaurants, bars, entertainment and recreational activities.

The order itself does not apply to Washington casinos as they reside on tribal land. Many properties are adjusting hours of operation, but only a select few are closing – in their own ways.

For example, 12 Tribes Resort Casino temporarily closed for cleaning “until further notice.”

Meanwhile, Coulee Dam Casino and Mill Bay Casino remain open but will shut its doors twice a week for cleaning.


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Categories: Gambling News


Big 2019 Betting Numbers, Movement In Kentucky, NV Casino Updates


The first full year of legalized sports betting outside of Nevada is in the books.

And, according to the figures, it did not disappoint.

While Pennsylvania and New Jersey bask in the glow of titanic state-sanctioned industries, other states are continuing to find ways to integrate legalized wagering. The latest effort comes from Kentucky. Surely, more will follow.

Once again, so much to unpack, so let’s get to the Rewind.

Pennsylvania, New Jersey sports betting took off in 2019

What a year for legalized sports betting. Particularly, there were two states we expected to do well but really kicked it into high gear.

The Pennsylvania sports betting market, particularly after the advent of online wagering, shined in 2019. In December alone, the PA industry took in a state monthly record of $342.6 million in wagers. Nearly 87% of that total came via mobile sportsbooks.

Last year, Pennsylvania saw regulated online sports betting come to life and expand to eight sportsbooks. And as Play Pennsylvania detailed, monthly handle via betting apps has spiked 477% since going live in July.

In 2019 alone, bettors in Pennsylvania laid down nearly $1.5 billion with legal books. However, Pennsylvania still looks up at New Jersey.

With a whopping $557.7 million wagered in December, the Garden State wrapped up 2019 with an astounding $4.5 billion in handle.

Like Pennsylvania, New Jersey has watched online betting quickly take hold. In December, nearly 90% of all bets went through an online sportsbook.

Both states were expected to rise to prominence after the US Supreme Court repealed PASPA. Both have answered the call to this point. Now we’ll see how they can improve and escalate even higher in 2020.

Is Kentucky sports betting on the horizon?

Gov. Andy Beshear provided some fodder during his State of the Commonwealth address.

He emphasized the need to “create the new revenue to meet the growing needs” of Kentucky. He noted how the state is “watching more than $500 million in gaming revenue go across the border to states like Indiana, Ohio and Illinois.”

Then, Beshear announced that Rep. Adam Koenig has filed a bill to legalize sports betting. It has the governor’s full support.

After multiple bills arose and fell short in 2019, both Beshear and Koenig express optimism about the latest filing, which removed the previously proposed stipulation that no bets can be placed on Kentucky-based teams and events.

On top of it all, Koenig’s bill would legalize online poker and daily fantasy sports. While online casinos remain out of the picture, Beshear said there could be more conversations down the road:

“I hope that isn’t the end of the conversation, because right now all of our neighboring states — all of them — most of them Republican-led, have embraced expanded gaming while we are being left behind.”

The bill received a unanimous 18-0 vote in the House Licensing, Occupations and Administrative Regulations Committee and is expected to get approval soon on the House floor.

Nevada casinos get new owners

A new team has taken over Las Vegas real estate occupied by MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay.

MGM Growth Properties LLC and Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust, Inc. have entered into an agreement to form a joint venture and acquire the real estate assets of the two properties for $4.6 billion. MGM Growth Properties will own 50.1% of the venture, while Blackstone will possess the remainder.

Once the deal is closed, MGM Resorts International will continue to manage and operate both MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay. The deal is expected to finalize in the first quarter of 2020. With both casinos spanning some 226 acres on the Strip, MGM Resorts’ annual rent will stand at $292 million.

Blackstone continues to add Strip properties; recently the group acquired the Bellagio for $4.25 billion.

Up north, Harrah’s Reno will soon have new ownership. Caesars Entertainment confirmed that a CAI Investments affiliate will acquire the property for $50 million.

Caesars has leased Harrah’s via VICI Properties, which will split the sale’s proceeds with Caesars.

Over the first half of the year, Harrah’s will continue to be part of the Caesars Rewards network. Then, new ownership – Reno City Center LLC – will take over and the property will transition into a “mixed-use, non-gaming property.”


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