News and Analysis
Relax Gaming Hit the Reels at BetMGM NJ
The US gaming market is heating up, with more content suppliers getting regulatory approval this year than ever before. This time, it’s the turn of Relax Gaming, which has received a transactional vendor waiver from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement and has announced its upcoming launch at BetMGM in the Garden State.
Relax Gaming is an award-winning and leading aggregator and content studio world-renowned for its unique game content, with hit titles including Temple Tumble, Money Train, Hellcatraz, and The Great Pigsby. They are also the creators of the Dream Drop Jackpots mechanic, which made 11 millionaires in the space of a year.
Here’s what Simon Hammon, Relax Gaming’s CEO, had to say, “Launching in New Jersey is a landmark moment for our company…We have enjoyed many successful launches across a number of key regulated markets in the past few years. This one is no doubt one of the biggest to date. BetMGM’s ethos perfectly aligns with our vision and we expect our partnership to truly flourish.”
Kentucky OSB Market Takes $300m+ in First Month
The figures are out, and it’s official: Kentucky residents spent $323.6m betting online in October and the final three days of September (online sports betting launched on September 28th).
Adjusted gross revenue totaled $54.2m, with FanDuel leading the market and accounting for $20.3m (total betting $131.2m). DraftKings rolled into second place at $19.5m (total bets $124.9m), and Bet365 in third, accruing $8.6m in revenue (total bets $31.2m).
The retail market, which opened earlier than online wagers, was outshined with total betting from September 7th - October 31st reaching $17.1m and revenue at $2.2m.
Fanatics Launches Straight out of the Gate and into the Connecticut Market
Just last week, we brought you news that Fanatics has been named the new official partner of the CT Lottery, taking over from Rush Street Interactive. It didn’t take long for Fanatics to make its move, as yesterday, the powerhouse operator announced its soft launch in the state.
The platform is open and accepting 2,000 customers before the full launch, which is scheduled for the 18th. Its ten new CT retail locations are also available. Since June, when Fanatics acquired PointsBet, the sports betting platform has launched in eight states, with Connecticut the ninth.
DraftKings (current frontrunner in revenue) and FanDuel (Mohegan Sun) also offer online sports betting in CT, so Fanatics is going head-to-head against some of the best US operators. We can’t wait to see how the market share levels out.
The Importance of Transparency: DKs Faces Lawsuit Over Bonuses in Massachusetts
Transparency is significant in gambling, especially regarding bonus wording, representation, and wagering requirements. However, in the US, a much younger gambling market, it hasn’t garnered the same level of attention as in other markets, but things might be about to change.
This week, DraftKings MA has found themselves subject to a class action lawsuit brought by MA’s Public Health Advocacy Institute on behalf of two players. The case accuses DraftKings of not being clear regarding the terms of their sign-up bonus, which the plaintiffs claim was “deceptive.” It goes even further, claiming DraftKings knowingly and unfairly designed its sign-up bonus to trick players into depositing and spending large amounts, knowing many would not receive it.
The terms of the deal, which the plaintiffs say they were not aware of, included that players must make an initial deposit of $5,000 to receive a $1,000 non-withdrawable bonus. According to the case, players must also stake $25,000 in qualifying bets during the promotion’s validity period.
Both plaintiffs have said they were confused after making the initial deposit when they did not receive the bonus. The lawsuit states that; “DraftKings’ advertising of the bonus is unfair and deceptive because an eligible consumer who, by definition, is a new participant in Massachusetts sports betting, like the plaintiffs, would be unlikely to understand the cost and risk involved in qualifying for the $1,000 bonus.”
“DraftKings knew, or should have known, that its advertisement and promotion was deceptive to its target customers, who were customers new to sports betting and who were extremely unlikely to understand the details of the promotion, even if it were in readable English on the company’s platform or in a font size that a reasonable consumer could be expected to actually read.”
It continues, “Marketers of a known addictive product should take special precautions to minimise addiction risk, not require $25,000 of gambling to qualify for a promotional offer to new customers who are likely to be gambling-naive. DraftKings’ promotion is an unfair business practice for this reason as well.”
For gambling to be fair and safe, players must understand what they are partaking in, which means complete transparency and player-centered, responsible terms from operators. While this is one of the first cases of its kind in the USA, bonus terms and conditions have been receiving more attention from global regulators as they are linked with gambling addiction. Last year, the UK Gambling Commission called out wagering requirements as potentially “encouraging excessive play” in that they bind players to gamble unsustainable amounts to meet bonus terms.
Problem gambling is a growing problem in the USA. We recently took a look at rates of gambling addiction in online casino states, which showed figures way above the national average. You can check out our findings here.
FanDuel on the Wrong Side of Responsibility
In another strike against responsible gambling efforts in the USA this week, it’s been revealed that FanDuel lobbied against new rules introduced to New York in October that stop the advertising of sports betting near college and university grounds.
This was not the only measure FanDuel appealed against; they also said that responsible gambling messaging on advertisements took up too much space and spoke against making operators directly accountable for false, deceptive, or misleading statements made by marketing companies advertising their services.
While there were some clear arguments regarding the practicality of some of the new rules made by the operator, it is still disappointing news. In other markets where FanDuel operates, the company has been regarded as a forward-thinking operator, often inputting responsible measures ahead of regulation. If you want to read more about this case, you can find the full text in the New York State Register.
Slot Game of the Week
Team Santa Power Combo Slot by Aurum Signature Studios, RTP 96.4%
We’re keeping on theme with the festivities and celebrating an Aurum Signature Studios Slot this week. If you’ve not heard of this studio before, don’t panic; it’s because they are distributed under the EveryMatrix label in the US.
Set on 5x4 reels with 40 lines, this game can deliver with max payouts of 10,000x available on a single spin, multiple Free Spin modes, and jackpot prizes.
The high-paying symbols are everything you’d expect from a Christmas-themed slot, and you’ll find a Jolly Santa, Reindeer, Present List, Santa’s Snacks, and a Stocking at the top paytable, followed by A-9. The Wild is a cute snow globe that can appear on reels 2-4 and sub for non-bonus symbols. There’s also a Pocket Watch, which awards a multiplier or letter symbol.
There are three Scatters: the Green, Red, and Blue Presents. These can be collected to trigger different Free Spins rounds:
- Green Scatter: This awards 5 Free Spins on 5x6 reels with 100 lines. Every Wild that lands nudges and fills that reel. Landing more Green Scatter increases the spins.
- Red Scatter: This grants 10 Free Spins with the chance to win a jackpot. Pocket Watch symbols can award multipliers between 1-10x or letters. You win the corresponding pot if you spell out a jackpot (Grand, Major, Minor, or Mini).
- Blue Scatter: This gives 5 Free Spins with a random prize multiplier (2-10x) applied to each spin.
If you land a combo of different color scatters, you’ll get a special Free Spins round that combines features for epic action on the reels!
Ready to play? Then check out Team Santa Power Combo at any of our recommended EveryMatrix US Casinos and load up the reels from $0.20 to $20 a spin.