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Rhode Island Senate Moves to Double Outstanding Credit Limit


On a significant note for the gaming industry, the Rhode Island Senate voted on Thursday, 6th June, to increase the outstanding credit limit per player to $100,000 (£78,697/€92,973). The bill, which moved forward with a decisive vote of 28-5, represents a substantial hike from the previous limit of $50,000 that had been set back in 2014. With the gaming landscape evolving, eyes are now on the House as they review the bill this week.

This legislative decision is poised to significantly shake up Rhode Island’s gaming sector, which experienced a notable pivot with the launch of iGaming in March this year. Bally’s Corporation, a pivotal player in the gaming space, retains a dominant position following a 2021 agreement by state legislators that granted the company a 20-year contract, in partnership with supplier IGT, effectively giving Bally’s a monopoly on iGaming within the state.

The proposal to increase the credit limit was introduced by Senator Frank Ciccone III alongside Senate President Dominick Ruggerio. Within the bill’s text, the intent behind this amendment is clear: it aims to “increase Rhode Island’s competitiveness in the gaming industry”. This competitive edge is deemed essential as the gaming sector continues to expand and evolve both domestically and globally.

However, as with any significant legislation, the bill has its detractors. In a report by the Rhode Island Current, dissenting voices such as Senator Sam Bell, who voted against the increase, have raised concerns. Bell articulated his apprehensions by stating, “We should not maximise profit when it comes to an addictive product.” This highlights a critical tension within the legislative process—the balance between economic growth and the potential societal costs associated with gaming and credit limits.

In other industry news, William Hill has been named the new sponsor of the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL). As part of a landmark deal, the operator will become the title sponsor for the top four divisions in Scottish football. This partnership is set to commence with the 2024-25 season and will see William Hill not only as the title sponsor but also as the official betting partner for the league. Described as a “record-breaking” agreement, the sponsorship will span over the next five years.

Neil Doncaster, SPFL group chief executive, expressed his enthusiasm for this collaboration stating, “Everyone at the SPFL is looking forward to working with William Hill to promote the passion, drama and excitement of the league and its 42 clubs over the next five seasons.

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.” This partnership is poised to bring new energy and resources to one of Scotland’s most cherished sporting institutions.

Meanwhile, last Thursday, 6th June, Caesars Entertainment released its 2023 corporate social responsibility report. The comprehensive document details progress in several critical areas. One of the standout achievements is the implementation of a new greenhouse gas reduction target of 46.2% by 2030. This ambitious goal follows the company meeting its prior emissions reduction target three years ahead of schedule in 2022.

Caesars also highlighted strides made in diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, as well as substantial community investments. The company underscored its efforts to enhance team member support aimed at fostering self-development and professional growth. Heather Rapp, Caesars SVP of corporate social responsibility, commented on these advancements, saying, “We look forward to continuing to grow and make a difference in the communities where we live, work and play.”

Adding to the wave of executive changes in the gaming world, Nelson Parker has been appointed as Mohegan’s new chief strategy officer. Parker’s role will encompass overseeing the identification, assessment, and execution of new growth opportunities and ventures for Mohegan. His promotion from senior vice-president of strategic development to the executive leadership team marks a significant step.

Parker, who started his position as senior vice-president back in April 2022, had previously been the managing director at hotel investment firm Driftwood Capital. His career also includes notable positions at Penn National Gaming and Hard Rock International. Parker conveyed his anticipation for his new role, stating, “I am honoured to be a part of Mohegan’s executive leadership team and contribute to the company’s dynamic growth and strategic vision.”

As Rhode Island awaits the House’s decision on the gaming credit limit increase, the local gaming and sports industries are abuzz with anticipation and change. This period promises potential growth and calls for prudent consideration of the associated social impacts, a narrative that mirrors much of the transformative journeys seen across the sector globally.