News and Analysis
Ohio: Doubles Betting Taxes
The Ohio budget for 2024-25 is out, and Governor Mike DeWine has doubled taxes on sports betting operators from an initial 10% levy up to 20%. The legal Ohio sports betting market launched in January 2023. Since then June, Ohio bettors have placed more than $3.4 billion in wagers, with operator revenue over $500 million, equating to around $50,000 in tax revenue. 98% of this revenue goes to the Ohio Sports Gaming Profits Education fund, with 2% for responsible gambling.
PGCB: Harrah's In Trouble
Harrah's is in hot water with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board this week for allowing underage gambling on their Philadelphia casino and racetrack. The fine was for $35,000 and issued as the PGCB found that under 21s could access the casino floor and wager.
MGCB: Budget Bump for 2024
$50.7 million has been set aside in Michigan's 2024 budget proposals for the Michigan Gaming Control Board. The amount will be used for different areas, including:
- $3m to the Don't Regret the Bet MI responsible gambling campaign,
- $2.2m to employ 16 full-time staff, $2m to create a digital account received system that is compatible with the state's current financial system,
- and $63 to compensate board members, who are currently voluntary.
MGCB Director Henry Williams commented, "A well-funded gaming control agency is crucial for ensuring fair and honest gaming in the State of Michigan, preventing fraud and illegal activities, and addressing problem gambling. I sincerely appreciate the support from Governor Whitmer and the legislature of a budget that will help the MGCB continue its responsible gaming messaging campaign, support our state's growing gaming economy, and allow us to grow our team and make investments into efficient systems that help strengthen our mission and integrity while supporting those we serve."
PointsBet: Going Once, Going Twice
In our last piece of news for the week, we can draw the PointsBet bidding drama to a close, as the company's shareholders voted to approve the proposed sale of its US operators to Fanatics Betting and Gaming. PB shareholders almost unanimously approved the sale, with only 0.84% of the vote against the notion. There is currently no set date for the completion of the deal.
Slot Game of the Week
Gonzita’s Quest: Red Tiger Gaming, RTP: 95.66%
Based on the back of the massive success of NetEnt's Gonzo's Quest franchise comes Gonzita's Quest by Red Tiger (if you're instantly thinking about brand issues, don't worry; the same parent company, Evolution Gaming, owns both Red Tiger and NetEnt).
The base game is very familiar, following the same 5x3, 20-line avalanche reels (when you make a win, those symbols pay and explode, allowing new symbols to replace them and potentially a second win) set up as the original game, so what's different? The answer is the epic bonus round, that's both easy to trigger and stacked full of potential wins.
You'll enter the bonus round by collecting 3+ multiplier slate scatter symbols, which awards 3 free spins. These spins are played on separate reels, with Gonzita filling the middle reel. Only multiplier or blank slates can fall on the reels, and all the multipliers are collected during the round. Once a reel has been filled with multipliers, bigger sums can fall in their place (regular multipliers worth 1-7x, then gold 10-75x, and lastly, diamond at 100-750x). Every time a multiplier slab drops on the reels, it resets the free spins total to 3, so you've got the chance to build up some awesome wins.
Gonzita's Quest is a great slot, both familiar and yet new, and with an absolutely awesome bonus round. Don't miss out on spinning this instant hit at any of our top-rated Red Tiger Casinos. Spins start from $0.20.