Football betting news to cover! Week 1 of the NFL season kicked off along with fantasy football leagues and new sports betting opportunities! Also, one company is expanding its Las Vegas presence while making deals to move into online gambling! Finally, we have lost a poker legend.
Hello friends! Thanks for joining me on This Week in Gambling! Jay Todd here back after a week off for my colonoscopy. Well actually, I just got brought back into court by my ex-wife who wanted more child support… but it’s basically the same thing. And here’s this week’s big story.
Football betting season has finally kicked off here in America… I am 1-0 in my fantasy league… and all is right with the world! But do you know how many people in this country are expected to bet on NFL games this year? If you guess just north of 30 million, you’re spot on. Despite the pandemic, despite the current social issues the American Gaming Association estimates that nearly 15% of the entire US population will be placing bets on NFL games this season.
Of course it helps that the regulation of sports betting has been exploding all over this country for the past couple of years. And you may recall a story we covered about two weeks ago where William Hill completed a deal to get their sports books into Las Vegas casinos all up and down the strip. But they weren’t done yet! In addition to their six brand new Las Vegas locations Will Hill is in talks with Caesar’s Entertainment about making some sort of deal that would see William Hill expanding into American online gambling!
William Hill wants to merge their sports betting operations with Caesar’s online gambling operations in a deal that could be worth over $700 million a year. The CEO of William Hill US said he sees a lot of opportunities in this country. I bet he does! About 700 million of them! Per year!
Before we go any further with the show I wanted to slow things down for just a moment, as the world of poker lost a living legend just this past week. Commentator for the World Poker Tour and poker professional Mike Sexton has passed away. You may not know, but Mr. Sexton co-founded Party Poker, he was a philanthropist, won a WSOP bracelet in 1989, and was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2009. He has left us at the age of 72 following his brave battle against prostate cancer. Our deepest condolences to his family and his friends.
Finally this week, you know that we’ve been keeping you updated on all the Las Vegas hotels and casinos that have remained closed from the Coronavirus shutdown, and giving you updates when more and more of them reopen… including one that just reopened a few days ago. Caesar’s just reopened their Linq Hotel in Las Vegas, even though the casino floor had been open for quite some time now. That means that the only remaining Caesar’s properties that are still closed in Vegas are the Rio, the Cromwell, and Planet Hollywood.
Also, MGM Resorts has just announced plans to reopen their Park MGM Hotel and Casino no later than September 30th. And once that happens all of MGM’s properties that have been closed due to the pandemic will be back to normal. Well, maybe not “normal”. They’ll be up and running. It’s going to take a while before things ever get back to “normal”.