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HOME > > Casino City’s Friday Five: Casino construction, cruises, and ebbs and flows of US gambling

Casino City’s Friday Five: Casino construction, cruises, and ebbs and flows of US gambling

17 March 2023

By Jarrod LeBlanc

Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow used the words “one if by land, and two if by sea” to describe how Paul Revere arranged to signal if the British were coming into Massachusetts. The top news this week’s is a spin on that as we have two land-based casinos undergoing major renovations, while another casino company is pairing with a cruise line to offer rewards. In other news it’s not going to be smooth sailing for online casino and poker games in New York City, but in Massachusetts, they’re coming in from all over to place online sports bets.

In the spirit of this weekend’s March Madness, let’s get the “wrecking” ball rolling with a couple of casino remodels.

Borgata Hotel Casino in Atlantic City announces $55 million tower remodel

Just in time for its 20th anniversary, the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa is embarking on a $55-million-dollar redesign and rebranding of The Water Club. Renamed MGM Tower, the new offerings will feature more than 700 completely reimagined guestrooms to go along with a collection of luxury Vista Suites located at the tower’s corners, providing guests wraparound views of the Atlantic City skyline.

Though the MGM Tower is expected to be fully completed until Memorial Day weekend, guests can start to stay in the remodeled rooms at the beginning of April.

In addition to the tower, the Borgata is introducing a versatile 9,000-square-foot event space on the 32nd floor in the location of the former Immersion Spa.

4. Tachi Palace Casino Resort announces multiple construction upgrades

Keeping in the anniversary theme, Tachi Palace Casino & Resort in California is celebrating its 40th anniversary by enhancing multiple facets of its property.

The first-floor renovation of the casino is almost complete, which includes a 60,000-square-foot “Casino of the Moon” gaming space that gives off the vibe and energy of the moon.

The all-new Sun Table Games Pit is scheduled to open today. Half of the main tables in this room have already been upgraded to an elegant Gatsby theme.

Lastly, the brand-new Sunset Sports Bar, Pizza Hut, and new deli location have all been redesigned to feature state-of-the-art amenities.

3. Rivers Casino announces partnership with MSC Cruises

What’s better than betting on land? Betting at sea of course. This week, Rush Street Gaming and Rivers Casino announced a partnership with MSC Cruises, which is the world’s third-largest cruise brand.

As a result of the deal, Rush Reward Members will be granted an annual cruise benefit that applies to most of the company’s sailings worldwide.

The tier status of each Rewards Member determines the level of their yearly MSC Cruise reward. Black, Platinum, and Gold Card members will all receive benefits.

2. This Week in Gambling: New York online casino and poker games being proposed

This week's gambling news from J. Todd is all about how online casino and poker games in New York could become a reality. Senator Joseph Addabbo – yes, the same politician who pushed forward the sports betting legislation – is back at it, as he’s rolled out an Empire City online gambling bill that would regulate web-based casino games, including slot machines. The bill also contains provisions for live dealer and table games.

However, just like the sports betting legislation, there’s a catch. This new bill is proposing a 30% tax rate for operators, which is twice as much as the usual 15% tax in other states that have already regulated online casino games.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, this bill has zero-to-slim chances of passing this year. Traditionally, any legislation involving web-based casinos faces difficult challenges.

1. Massachusetts online sports betting off to a hot start

While there’s still a little over a month until the Boston Marathon, regulated online sports betting in Massachusetts is off and running. So much so, that since it began allowing legalized sports wagering last Friday, 10 March, at 10 a.m. Massachusetts sprinted past similar size states and ranked fifth overall out of all of the U.S. states that offer regulated mobile sports gambling over the weekend.

In total 8.1 million geolocations from 406,400 unique accounts through operators DraftKings, Caesars Sportsbook, BetMGM, WynnBET, Barstool Sportsbook and FanDuel were recorded from Friday morning through Sunday, according to GeoComply, a fraud and risk solutions provider. These weekend numbers only trailed New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York, which all have much larger populations.

When looking at states of similar sizes, Massachusetts, with a population of seven million, crushed the competition. Virginia, Arizona, Indiana and Maryland, which led the way of these four states, only recorded 5.2 million geolocations and 187,507 unique accounts at the most.

Jarrod LeBlanc
Jarrod serves as Casino City's associate editor and helps produce and edit all of our weekly newsletters, as well as the GPWA Times Magazine.

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