Indiana Gaming Commission Raises Concerns Over NeoGames 2020 License Application

Posted on: March 10, 2023, 07:49h. 

Last updated on: March 10, 2023, 07:49h.

The Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) pulled from its meeting Thursday a decision to act on a vendor’s license application that has been in review for nearly three years. However, that move appears to be the last time the application for NeoGames will get extended.

An aerial shot of the Indiana State House in Indianapolis. The Indiana Gaming Commission on Thursday delayed taking action on the license application for NeoGames, a vendor that applied for its license in September 2020. IGC officials said there are concerns about one of the owners of the company. (Image: Massimo Catarinella/Wikimedia Commons)

NeoGames provides player account management (PAM) services in the state for Caesars Sportsbook. It applied for its Indiana license on June 8, 2020, according to IGC records. It received a temporary license three months later and has received two renewals of that temporary license.

IGC Executive Director Greg Small told commissioners that IGC staff has raised issues about its suitability for permanent licensure. In particular, the concerns regard a “substantial owner” of the company headquartered in Tel Aviv.

“Staff and applicant have been working to resolve these concerns, but I regret to inform the commission that we do not have a resolution at this time,” Small said.

The continued delay frustrated IGC Chairman Milton Thompson, who said the review seemed to be taking “abnormally long.” Other commissioners felt the same way.

This looks like a matter that we’ve been kicking the can down the road, or all parties have, and it’s time for everybody to show their hands,” Commissioner Michael Williams said.

Thompson called on the commission staff to provide “a definite plan of action” by the time it comes before the body in June.

Messages sent Thursday to NeoGames and Caesars seeking comment were not returned.

NeoGames Expanding in US

The partnership between NeoGames and Caesars dates back nearly five years. In October 2018, NeoGames reached a deal with William Hill to provide PAM services for the company’s online sportsbooks. Two years later, Caesars Entertainment announced its acquisition of William Hill. Last year, Caesars sold William Hill’s non-US assets to 888 Holdings.

When it purchased William Hill, Caesars acquired a 24.5% ownership share in the iGaming and iLottery services provider. It divested from that position by March 2022.

While NeoGames has not been able to complete its license application in Indiana, it has moved forward to expand its US operations. On Friday, NeoGames announced its iGaming content-providing subsidiary Pariplay agreed to provide games to the DraftKings online casino platform in New Jersey.

“Launching our content with them in New Jersey is a huge statement of intent for us regarding our plans for North America, and we very much look forward to developing this relationship,” NeoGames President Tsachi Maimon said.

NeoGames mentioned Pariplay also expects to provide content for DraftKings iGaming operations in Michigan and West Virginia, with the possibility for additional states pending regulatory approvals.

IGC Fines Ameristar, Horseshoe Casinos

Also at Thursday’s IGC meeting, commissioners approved disciplinary actions against 20 vendors, companies, casinos, and sports betting operators.

The two biggest fines were levied against Ameristar Chicago, which operates a casino in East Chicago. The IGC charged the Penn Entertainment Casino on five counts and fined $37,000. The most serious violation stemmed from a sportsbook supervisor accepting wagers from players via text messages without collecting payment.

Horseshoe Hammond agreed to a $34,000 fine covering five counts against it. The most serious charge was the Caesars casino laying off 16 individuals without first seeking IGC approval. The order stated the casino notified IGC about its intent to lay off workers. Commission staff responded that such a move would only be approved if casino leadership followed the routine procedure.

Last August, Horseshoe reported the positions to be eliminated, including a marketing director and an executive sous chef. However, by the time Horseshoe filed its report with the IGC, those positions were already eliminated and the workers in those roles were let go.

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