Station Casinos is $62 million richer after unloading $56.5 acres of land near South Point to HCA Healthcare, a hospital chain. Don’t worry about Station’s plans to challenge Michael Gaughan for sub-Strip supremacy: It’s still harboring 126 acres of scrubland near the locals-casino behemoth (South Point, not Gaughan). Despite the flurry of Cactus Lane dealmaking, we still expect Station’s next thrust to be deeper into Henderson, with its much-bruited Inspirada resort.
OSB operators in New York State saw $142 million in revenue on $1.6 billion in handle last month. Before taxes, the big winner was FanDuel with $68 million. DraftKings came next with $45 million, then Caesars Sportsbook, the erstwhile leader, now with $16 million. Then came BetMGM ($9 million), BetRivers ($3 million) and Drew Brees-less PointsBet ($1 million). Barely registering were WynnBet and Resorts World, while BallyBet didn’t make a dime.
Some wishful thinkers in the gaming universe predict that the New York Lege will reduce the state’s usurious 51% tax rate on OSB this session. Considering that the Empire State just booked $700 million in revenue from OSB taxes ($200 million more than expected), we say: Not bloody likely. What politician worth their salt is going to give away monies that are going to fund education in order to help Jason Robins fatten his bottom line? Take funding from school kids to send it back to FanDuel? Political suicide. Big Gaming made a very bad bargain to get into New York and now it will have to live with it.
Making the obvious point that the Missouri Lege is “essentially leaving money on the table,” the St. Louis Post Dispatch weighed in as favoring legalized sports betting—provided it is coupled with taxation and regulation of black-market slot routes. (Our sentiments almost exactly.) “There are certainly societal downsides to gambling, but the debate over whether it should be legal is effectively over,” editorializes the Post Dispatch, waving the white flag and contending that slot-route taxation could fund problem-gambling treatment. (Amen.) As for the scofflaw slot operators, “Their only real argument is Jefferson City clout.” While we prefer a hard-line bill that would ban the devices outright, the newspaper favors a more moderate one that would couple taxation of rogue slot routes with adoption of sports betting. Either measure would constitute an improvement on the lawless status quo.
You would never have heard of hyper-obscure Tipico Sportsbook were it not for football great Bernie Kosar placing a $19K ceremonial bet at Tipico’s OSB application. It was one bet too many for the former Cleveland Browns QB, who has been bounced from Cleveland Browns Radio Network. The NFL said Kosar had violated official policy—though it continues to countenance CBS football analysts promoting FanDuel, as well as Steve Kornacki’s beyond-annoying probability charts on NBC, which are oddsmaking in drag. While we agree with Kosar’s firing, the league needs to have a serious meeting of the minds about what its position on the sports-celebrity endorsement of sports betting really is.
As Mike Florio put it, “the deeper problem is that the NFL profits significantly from its relationships with sports books that its employees are strictly prohibited from utilizing.” Lord knows, it needs people making bets to stir up interest in games like Sunday’s footnote-at-best tilt between the putrid Houston Texans and the wretched Indianapolis Colts. The Texans eked out a win by the narrowest possible margin but that wasn’t enough to save head coach Lovie Smith‘s job. (We just wanted an excuse to type “Lovie.”)
Tomorrow night brings the Golden Globes, now sufficiently diverse to be allowed back on TV. SportsBettingDime.com likes The Fabelmans to win Best Drama (-175), Best Director (-275) and gives Michelle Williams +275 for Best Actress, still well behind Tar‘s Cate Blanchett (-300). Austin Butler (Elvis, -110) is picked to pull a narrow upset over The Whale‘s Brendan Fraser (+125), who has feuded with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in the past. GoldDerby.com concurs with these predictions. It goes further by projecting a near-sweep by Everything Everywhere All At Once in the Musical/Comedy category, taking Best Picture, Best Actress (Michelle Yeoh), Best Supporting Actor (Ke Huy Quan) and Best Supporting Actress (Jamie Lee Curtis). The Banshees of Inisherin is favored to take home Best Actor (Colin Farrell) and Best Screenplay, while Top Gun: Maverick gets Best Song as a consolation prize and Guillermo Del Toro‘s Pinocchio trounces the Animated Feature competition. Even mega-stinker Babylon is thought to have a Best Score trophy locked up. (Well, the music was good.)
There’s still time to play long shots and upsets. LegitGamblingSites.com likes Everything‘s Daniel Kwan‘s (+325) chances for Best Director (Steven Spielberg is at -350) and advises not to bet against Del Toro (-800). It also likes Maverick (+250) to knock off weak favorite (+175) Fabelmans for Best Drama. Best Screenplay is between the Kwan/Scheinert Everything script (even money) and Banshees (+225). Sorry, James Cameron. Even GamblingSites.com has you a distant third (+700) to Spielberg (-350), although though the latter has won only two Globes despite a record 14 nominations. The screenplay trophy is predicted to go to Everything (+100) over Banshees (+225) and, yes, Del Toro is again heavily favored at -400. So will we see tiny Tom Cruise taking home a Golden Globe as co-executive producer of Maverick? He returned his previous Globes last year to protest lily-white HFPA membership, so it’s question of how quick people are to forget and forgive in Tinseltown.
Jottings: Las Vegas Sands has confirmed that it is looking at potential casino sites on Long Island. A good thing, too, as the market could use Sands’ product … In a move both symbolic and substantive, ferry service from Hong Kong to Macao will be resumed at a rate of 10 round-trip voyages per day, according to the Macanese government, which is hurting for gamblers. In related news, hamster imports have been restarted.