News and Analysis
New Dream Team Social Casino in the Works
"When two powerhouses come together, magic happens. This collaboration will set new benchmarks and bring forth innovative solutions for gaming aficionados worldwide."
Social casinos are the US trend that's officially taken over in 2023. These sites use virtual currencies that don't have value. Players can earn coins through bonuses to legally play games online in most US states (excluding Washington and Idaho).
This week, SCCG Management and Lady Luck HQ have kicked off the rumor mill by saying they will announce news of their new US social casino in the coming weeks. Why is this news so exciting? The potential is for an exciting new platform that revolutionizes what's already available by blending each company's specialty.
SCCG is a Las Vegas-based consultancy firm, and Lady Luck is a live-streaming content creator with over 400,000 YouTube subscribers, 470,000 FB followers, and 238,000 on TikTok. While live-streamed slots have proved widely popular in other gambling jurisdictions, they've not yet entered the US gambling scene. Hence, the potential here is enormous.
Detroit Casino Workers Ready to Walk Out
Workers from across Detroit's three land-based casinos could walk out as early as next month should their negotiations regarding new worker contracts fail.
The United Auto Workers, representing most operational workers (slot and tables, maintenance, hospitality workers, etc.) at the MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino, and Hollywood at Greektown, has been discussing wage increases with the casinos since September.
The situation mirrors Las Vegas, where workers threatened to strike for wage increases just last week. Worker's contacts are set to expire in mid-October in Detroit.
The Union said, "Following COVID shutdowns, Detroit casino workers sacrificed raises and shouldered heavier workloads so the industry could recover. Now, workers are struggling to make ends meet, even as the industry generates all-time record high gaming revenues from in-person and online gaming."
AGA: Results of Gaming CEO Industry Outlook Survey
Created in conjunction with the Fitch Rating, the American Gaming Association's Gaming Industry Outlook Report is a biannual survey undertaken of 33 US gaming industry executives. It provides "a snapshot of the current and future economic health of the industry based on executive sentiment, casino-visitation plans, gaming revenue, and economic indicators."
The results showed that:
- 42% found the current business situation as good, and 55% as satisfactory
- More than half, 58%, of all respondents expect the next 3-6 months to be the same
- 26% described access to credit as hard, responding to questions about current financial conditions.
- Over half of executives cited inflation or interest rate concerns as limiting operations (58%).
- Overall, 26% of executives remain positive but expect the pace of revenue growth and hiring to slot.
- 44% of gaming suppliers remain optimistic about the pace of capital investment and the sale of gaming units for expansion and updating.
WONDR NATION $250,000 RG Pledge
The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation has pledged $250,000 towards responsible and sustainable gaming research undertaken by the University of Connecticut's School of Medicine.
The $250,000 is a two-year grant. Associate professor of medicine at UConn School of Medicine said, "I am excited to work with WONDR NATION to examine the impact of rapid changes in the gaming landscape on our community and work toward enhancing responsible gaming strategies in online gaming environments."
Anika Howard, President and CEO of WONDR NATION said, "We take responsible play very seriously and are proud to work closely with UConn researchers to increase player safety, fund critical research, and invest in our communities."
"At WONDR NATION, our mission extends beyond entertainment as we strive to pioneer a new era of responsible gaming. Teaming with UConn's medical school underscores our unwavering commitment to player safety and community development – a commitment that will redefine how we play and enjoy gaming."
The funding aims to support students and the facility to conduct research regarding effective and preventative problem gambling treatment and strategies.
NJ Reports Problem Gambling Rate 3x National Average
Responsible gambling month might've ended, but the good news keeps rolling in as the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has announced a drop in the rate of high-risk problem gamblers. However, compared with national figures, the number remains above the average.
The data was released in a Rutgers Center for Gambling Studies report for the NJDGE. It is the second-ever report (the first was published in 2017) on NJ residents (3,512 reporting via telephone and online survey), and findings show that:
- 61% had gambled in the last year, down from 70% in the preceding study.
- The number of respondents who exclusively gamble online has tripled from 5% in 2017 to 15% in 2023.
- Those partaking in mixed gambling (online and retail) doubled from 18% to 36%.
- Those exclusive gambling at land-based venues from 76% to 49%.
- The lottery was the most popular form of gambling, with 73% (down 7%) of respondents partaking.
- The prevalence rate of high-risk problem gambling, analogous to gambling disorder, remained relatively stable at about 6%, three times the national average in population samples.
To assess the rate of problem gamblers, participants completed the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) of the Canadian Problem Gambling Index.
In other top stories this week:
- Fanatics inch closer to total control of PointsBet US operations after completing the Wyoming and New York acquisitions. Fanatics will continue to close off each state individually and has already received regulatory approval in most jurisdictions.
- Kentucky's legal online sports betting market launched with mobile platforms live and taking bets from last Thursday, the 28th of September. We can't wait for the first set of figures to roll in and show the results of early betting behavior in the state.
Slot Game of the Week
Granny VS Zombies: DGC Casinos, RTP: 96%
This slot is about as silly as they come, and in a zombie horror genre that's massively oversaturated, it's also a breath of fresh air. Granny vs. Zombies Lock n Win is set on 5x4 reels with 20 lines, free spins, lock n win reels, 5 jackpot levels, and multiple bonus wilds.
If you're ready to help Granny make it for as long as she can and hopefully survive a zombie apocalypse, this is the slot for you - grab your walker, set your bet, and click to spin. Manage to line up matching symbols, and you'll start making wins.
- Wilds: This title comes packed with wilds. There are regular wilds, granny wilds, and zombie wilds. All of these replace regular symbols on pay lines to help you win. When you land a granny wild and zombie wild on the reels simultaneously, the granny will immediately activate defense mode and toss a Molotov cocktail, blowing up the zombie wild and making new ones where the body parts land. You can also land expanded walking wilds on reels 3-5, which will then move one reel right with each consecutive spin.
- Free Spins: You need three scatters to trigger free spins. The round begins with a choice of weapons, resulting in a different number of spins and damage level. During the game, you can use your weapon, which shows up on the reels as a wild symbol, to kill zombies and increase your spins and multiplier.
- Lock n Win: 6+ coin symbols trigger 3 lock n win respins. All symbols except coins are removed. Coins lock in place, and new ones can expand the reels, adding new rows and also reset the count to three. The round ends when the count runs out, or the reels are filled with coins.
- To win a jackpot, you must collect 3 star coins in a row during the lock n win round, kill the disco zombie in the free spins round, or fill the coin meter in the base game. This gets you a spin of the jackpot wheel, which has between 15x-5,000x your bet available.
Ready to play? Then, bring in the spooky season with this action-packed and fun slot game at DGC Casinos. Stakes start from $0.10 up to $50 a spin.