New Jersey Online Casino Revenue Down in November - Best ...
New Jersey Online Casino Revenue Down in November - Best ...
NJ Online Gambling Revenues Shoot up to $60.3 Million, Led ...
State of New Jersey
New Jersey Casinos Can Thank Online Gambling For Their ...
New Jersey Online Gambling Revenue By Operator And Game
NJ Online Gaming Revenue Steady At $88 Million In September
Atlantic City Casino Revenue - Play NJ
Casino Revenue Fund Advisory Commission
NJ Online Casinos Hit Record High In October 2020
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Ballot questions: casino gambling and NJ Transportation Fund revenue
Any thoughts about the two ballot questions this year: permitting casino gambling in two counties and dedicating NJ gas tax to the transportation fund? I should have posted this earlier but I'm interested in hearing opinions pro and con. My wife's suggestion is to find how Christie feels about each one and vote the opposite (!), but I'd like to go on more than that. ;) Thanks.
Albeit a week late, I want to share my 2021 portfolio for documentation purposes and for whoever is interested. I aimed to balance risk in this portfolio with some growth names and legacy plays. Down to brass tacks, I am putting my money in the highest quality companies (in my view) across a diverse set of industries I find attractive. Some of these names are overvalued in the short term. However, I have realized I am not in the business of beating Wall Street’s pricing, but would rather hold high-quality companies that I believe will grow faster that the market in the long term. In other words, I am totally fine paying a short-term premium for growth and quality. Below is a summary of the portfolio and big picture reasoning behind each investment. I'm definitely open to any feedback.
ARK Genomic Revolution ETF
Evolution Gaming Group
ARK Genomic Revolution ETF (BATS: ARKG) - Invests in companies advancing genomics. The companies held in ARKG may develop, produce or enable: CRISPR, Targeted Therapeutics, Bioinformatics, Molecular Diagnostics, Stem Cells, Agricultural Biology.
Innovative industry. Since 2003 the cost to sequence a human genome has dropped from nearly $3bn to less than $1,000. ARK believes that as costs continue to drop, genomic sequencing will become a standard of care in oncology. It will introduce more science into healthcare decision making, enable personalized medicine, and accelerate drug discovery. ARK estimates that genomic sequencing revenues will grow 43% at an annual rate, from $3.5bn last year to $21bn in 2024.
Cathie Wood. She’s a beast stock picker. Out of all the ETFs she runs, her closest competitor trailed by 60%. Her worst ETF still doubled investors' money. Her strategy is to make investments into companies that she considers incredibly transformational and she has seen success doing it.
CrowdStrike (NASDAQ: CRWD) - Cybersecurity technology company that provides endpoint security, threat intelligence, and cyber attack response services.
Best in class technology. Remember about a week ago a bunch of Russian hackers breached SolarWinds? The same hackers also tried to hack CrowdSrike at the same time but were unsuccessful. I’ve wandered on to a bunch of cybersecurity forums, and the general consensus is CrowdStrike has developed the best cybersecurity solution by miles. CRWD is the undisputed leader in cybersecurity.
“Pick-and-shovel” investment into the world’s increasing digitization. Even in the absence of COVID, cybersecurity remains a key component of the world’s increasing digitization as cyberthreats have been an ongoing issue from the onset of the internet. In the last decade we have seen a bunch of hacks where companies have exposed sensitive customer information. It seems companies are just starting to realize the importance of cybersecurity.
Disney (NYSE: DIS) - Worldwide entertainment company that you all are probably familiar with.
Reopening trade. In 2019, parks generated 45% of total operating income for DIS. Full reopening and attendance in parks will be slow, but certainly benefit DIS when it happens. The company has been executing on several other segments in the meantime (i.e. streaming). It has proved competitive, increasing the margin of safety if parks take longer to reopen.
Fast-growing streaming division. DIS has proved agile as it successfully launched a streaming service, Disney+, that has already gained 86mn+ subscribers which was the company’s original 5 year target. This is promising as it shows management can adapt to rapidly changing technology trends.
Enphase Energy (NASDAQ: ENPH) - Designs and manufactures software-driven home energy solutions that span solar generation, home energy storage and web-based monitoring and control.
Shift to clean energy; ENPH emerging as market leader. Going into 2021, sentiments towards solar have been at an all time high. This trend is expected to continue, especially after the Georgia run-off results. Solar firms are expected to benefit from extended tax incentives on both the consumer and producer ends.
Technological advantage. ENPH has developed the industry leading solution and is rapidly taking market share from its primary competitor, SolarEdge. Pricing reflects this, but it's expected to continue. Among key competitors, Enphase has been one of the lowest cost producers. Its low-cost structure is a major contributing factor to its improving margins.
Evolution Gaming Group (OTC: EVVTY) - Swedish company that develops, produces, markets and licenses integrated B2B live casino solutions for gaming operators.
Early mover advantage. Evolution’s lack of competition enables it to rapidly grow in new markets and create a loyal customer base, with high switching costs. The company has effectively grown EBITA margins from 41.6% in 1Q18 to 64.8% in 3Q20. Margin expansion is expected to continue.
Massive untapped markets. Europe is estimated to be around $2.5bn (EVVTY has 50% market share), Asian market is ~15x the size of Europe (150% YoY growth for EVVTY in Asia). North America’s market is ~$210mn, a 42% increase YoY, with NJ and PA the only states currently operating (NY looks promising). Management thinks the US will be the largest in the long-term.
Undetected from Wall Street. Evolution has almost no analyst coverage in the US and very minimal coverage in Europe, presenting opportunity for additional growth as institutional money managers recognize this opportunity and draw attention to the stock. Additionally, Evolution has a founder-led management team that is highly aligned with shareholders (mgmt owns over 30% of the stock).
Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) - Enables people to connect through devices. It’s products include Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and Oculus.
Zuck. It’s not a question of who is the next Jobs/Bezos/Gates/Zuck, because Zuck is super young. He has a history of being able to execute: IG acquisition / transition from desktop to mobile / denying multiple acquisition opportunities in his twenties.
Undervalued. FB is the cheapest among the FAANG stocks, yet has some of the highest growth rates. This is mainly because of its continuous political scandals. With Trump out of office, I think FB has a chance to stay out of trouble and start to realize higher multiples. The antitrust lawsuit is not a threat imo, it is actually an opportunity. If the govt forces FB to break up, we would get shares in the spin-offs, which would be valued at a higher multiple than FB. For example, if Instagram spun off from FB and traded at the same multiple as SNAP, Instagram’s market cap would be larger than FB’s.
Digitization of Real Estate (i.e. “iBuying”). Technology in RE is moving from being informational to transactional. Redfin’s iBuying service is dubbed “RedfinNow.” The service basically buys homes from sellers looking for a quick and convenient sale (close deals within 10-30 days). This segment isn’t profitable yet as it is just getting started, but promising as the management adapts to technology trends.
Inter-US Migration and housing outlook. People are moving out of the cities because of COVID / trying to avoid taxes / etc. which increases demand for Redfin’s services. With interest rates extremely low (and no expectation for them to increase), homebuying demand should continue to grow.
RDFN most attractively valued compared to Z and OPEN, with the most upside potential given its market cap ~$7bn. Some are predicting RDFN might start offering rental services as well. RDFN has the best LT margin potential.
Teladoc Health (NYSE: TDOC) - Provides virtual healthcare services on a B2B basis to its clients and provides services to consumers directly and through channel partners.
Competitive positioning in industry ripe for disruption. Healthcare is a huge market yet to be significantly disrupted. COVID has accelerated this disruption. Providers who were once opposed to telemedicine now realize its benefits and several regulatory changes are promising for telemedicines growth potential. Medicare and other government-sponsored coverage is expected to include telemedicine benefits, increasing TDOC’s TAM.
Livongo acquisition. From the consumer POV, this will increase access to healthcare at a lower cost. Teladoc will have access to a larger amount of data it can interpret to refine its services and monetization strategies.
Sea Ltd (NYSE: SE) - Digital entertainment, electronic commerce, and digital financial services. The Company operates three business segments: Garena, Shopee, and SeaMonkey. The Company’s digital entertainment business, Garena, is a global game developer and publisher with a presence in Southeast Asia, Taiwan, and Latin America. Garena provides access to mobile and personal computer online games. Shopee provides users with a shopping environment that is supported by integrated payment, logistics, fulfillment, and other value-added services. SeaMonkey business is a digital financial services provider. SeaMonkey offers e-wallet services, payment processing, credit related digital financial offerings, and other financial products.
Diversified consumer internet company with market-leading position. Sea caters to Southeast Asia and Taiwan, providing its online gaming, e-commerce, and payment platforms. Shopee has overtaken competitors, it is widening its market share lead. ESports is a rapidly growing market (15.7% YoY to $1.1bn in 2020) and Sea is outpacing market growth.
Pay for quality. The best companies keep going up for years in a row, and I think Sea is in the early stages of being classified as such a company. It’s worth $100bn but has effectively proved its ability to identify opportunities and expand business lines.
Still early stages of developing its consumer banking business, so we get the security of a bigger, established company with upside for an additional, lucrative business line such as fintech.
Waste Connections Inc. (NYSE: WCN) - Waste services company that provides non-hazardous waste collection, transfer, disposal and recycling services.
Recession resilient; re-opening trade. The waste management industry is recession resilient, it will always be around.
Non-hazardous waste collection. With a progressive government likely to push climate initiatives, recycling and non-hazardous waste collection are likely to benefit on the back end.
WCN has a large moat; there isn’t much of a competitive threat the way the industry operates. Management’s strategy is to generally only spend what FCF is available. This enables the company to make acquisitions while handling its debt load. Great for stable growth.
P.S. I have two other accounts - one with about 40 growth stocks and another with about 10 big names / ETFs. However, this portfolio has the largest allocation for 2021. My first time trying a more concentrated approach.
Here on a Sunday night to give you autists some time to cross-check my info, start your RH instant deposit, and let your wife's bf know you're coming back with a vengeance. Here's an in-depth analysis on DraftKings and how to maximize profits over the foreseeable future to squeeze this for every tendie we can. Now that many states face revenue shortfalls due to the coronavirus pandemic and wider budget deficits, there needs to be a push to fill that gap and nothing is better positioned than sports betting. As you all know, $DKNG came to market through a SPAC merging with Diamond Eagle back in April, at the worst of the pandemic when live sports were dead and there was more uncertainty than ever for what was to come. Jason Robins, Draft Kings CEO, has balls of steel and knew that they needed to get to market quickly for a sports betting run-up the likes of which we've never seen. Sports are now on their way back, with a huge amount of positive catalysts coming up in the next few months to skyrocket this stock to the moon and beyond.
I want to clarify that a large amount of my conviction from this play comes from the incredible management team leading the company. CEO Jason Robins is a stand-up guy and has led the company through a huge amount of scrutiny since its founding in 2012. He comes from a data analytics background which could not be a better fit for the sports betting business. He prioritizes the high speed data that fuels the DraftKings platform as its most valuable asset and speaks often on the commitment his team has to ethical values and encouraging a trustworthy environment for its users to gamble their paychecks on the DraftKings platform. I've linked a great interview to get to know the CEO and give further insight into DraftKing's plans moving forward below and highly recommend anyone going in on this play give it a quick watch. Jason is optimistic about the future of state's legalizing mobile sports betting moving forward and says they will continue to invest boatloads of money into customer acquisition costs through TV ads and billboards on a state-by-state basis. Link: https://youtu.be/2OVFB9piEC0 Any of you who have come across DraftKings commercials, YouTube ads, billboards, know that their marketing is on point. This is a great play because DraftKing's expansion has occurred thus far on a state-by-state basis. This means that there's a large part of the nation (actually the majority) that is still ignorant to the sports betting wave that is coming in 2021. DraftKings is positioned extremely well to lead the way into the ~25 states still waiting to pass the bill.
The fact that the top 4 states in the country still have not legalized online sports betting presents a HUGE opportunity to ride this wave with little downside risk. Sports have already gone through the worst-case scenario during COVID shutdowns and survived—now we’ve got a great amount of positive catalysts coming up (NBA season, March madness, Super Bowl, etc.) that the general population is begging for some action on, paired with more money in their pocket from significantly less entertainment costs since the pandemic started. The Wuhan Virus gave DraftKings a shot in the arm to streamline its way into most (if not all) of the remaining state's ballots during Q1 and Q2 due to the huge cut in tax revenues that the lockdowns caused across the country. Governor Cuomo of New York released a statement last week stating he is now considering the passing of mobile sports betting in order to raise the state's tax revenue during a time where Congress completely skipped them over in terms of providing aid through the stimmy. New York is a huge catalyst moving forward. In my opinion, this is a make or break for how things look for DraftKings moving forward, and will largely influence how other states react. Mobile sports betting scares states as it is new and so accessible, but if you do research into the Powerball and other loterry companies, it just took a push in the right direction for states to realize how much money they are leaving on the table by not participating in these emerging markets. Sports betting has already benefited the 9 states which passed the bill (NJ leading the way) and has NY as well as every other governor, feeling major FOMO. Current states where online (mobile) sports betting laws have passed:
Legislation aside, the other huge catalyst is DraftKing's unique approach to owning its own data and proprietary tech stack. I believe that this will be where DKNG separates itself from the competition that is rushing to this space and will give it the upper hand in acquiring, and retaining, a large percentage of new users across opening states. From investor presentation:"Upon close of the business combination, DraftKings will become the only vertically-integrated pure-play sports betting and online gaming company based in the United States. Through the business combination, DraftKings expects to realize synergies by transitioning its risk and trading sports betting platform to SBTech’s, instead of relying on a third-party platform. In addition to reducing costs, DraftKings will control its backend system and product roadmap, differentiating the company from other U.S. operators and giving it the ability to tailor its sports betting product to U.S. sports and users." "SBTech is a global leader in omni-channel sports betting and gaming, with more than 1,200 employees in 10 offices worldwide. Since 2007, the group has developed the industry’s most powerful online sports betting and casino platform, serving licensees in more than 15 regulated territories. SBTech’s clients include many of the world’s premier betting and gaming operators, state lotteries, land-based casinos, horse racing companies, and iGaming start-ups. The group supplies highly flexible betting and gaming solutions to clients looking for exceptional configurability and the quickest route to market, complemented by proven business intelligence and reporting capabilities. The SBTech offering includes its seamless sportsbook, Chameleon360 iGaming platform, managed services, on-property sportsbook and omni-channel solutions that provide players with constant access to sports and casino products across all online, mobile and retail channels. Supported by unrivaled expertise in trading and risk management, acquisition and CRM, and the highest standards of regulatory compliance, SBTech’s partners consistently achieve rapid growth, enhanced brand loyalty and record revenues." DraftKings prioritized OWNING their own backend technology via this merger with SBTech, making them the first, and only company in this space to own their risk and trading platform. This gives DraftKings a huge edge to the rest of the market. It forked up the cash to keep everything in house not only to provide a better customer experience, but also to widen the moat against competitors as new states come onboard. The key here is to clarify that DraftKings and SBTech combined to be the only player in the market with 100% vertical integration and control of their own backend. Jason Robins and the rest of the management team are placing their efforts on having the best technology and the best product and really going all in on owning the U.S. landscape opening up, with as little need for cross-platform interaction as possible. This acquisition of SBTech was a complete game changer because it allowed them to be independent from paying revenue share to a third-party for betting lines and risk management services. Clarification: no other sports betting/fantasy sports/casino company currently has 100% vertical integration on the level that DraftKings has established.
This is where the market is missing the mark. Take the time to read over analyst reports, news articles, and interviews and you'll quickly notice 99% of the general market is completely glazing over DraftKing's iGaming sector. This industry has been a CA$H COW in Europe for awhile now, and is only getting started in the United States. Out of the companies that occupy this space, DraftKings is the only one to create one synergistic platform for Fantasy sports/Sportsbook/iGaming. This will be a huge value proposition that will ultimately rocket DraftKings to the top of the gaming market and solidify it as THE gaming powerhouse moving forward. The infrastructure driving DraftKing's products and Tech (all in one platform) Anyone that's watched the run of Skillz and the hype pushing PaySafe, knows how much anticipation there is for iGaming to become the new norm in the world of gambling. DraftKings has emerged as the market leader in each state they've launched in, and continue to gain more and more market share. Once new users get introduced to their platform, the cross-selling opportunity is limitless and creates an extremely sticky customer acquisition cycle. Competitors like Penn and MGM are dinosaurs in this space and have been playing catch-up to DraftKings since 2012. The new age of gamblers don't want to drive to a physical casino location or buy a home desktop to gamble. Everything will be mobile and run in real-time. DraftKings has been building an incredible live-sports ecosystem (first to market) and innovates the possibilities of what you can bet on a daily basis. Just download the app for yourself and do some exploring. I believe this is going to boom in the TikTok/millennial crowd as more states start to hop onboard.
Pulled from the investor presentation, $DKNG has smashed every one of their 2020 assumptions listed below. For any stats guys out there, I would love to see some models at how much of this market is still up for grabs. DraftKings has positioned themselves to be at the head of this movement, and I believe that 2021 will be the year we really see them take off into triple digits share prices. The catalysts are there, and the market is ripe for the taking. Their projections are extremely conservative and management lets the numbers do the talking. In my opinion, this is a bet on the management putting the dots together to EXECUTE as state legislation starts to go their way, once NY happens this shift will occur rapidly. https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgadata/1772757/000110465920032214/tm2012476d1_425.htm The management is incredible and truly displays a vision for wanting to prop up shareholder value in the long-term through valuable data, a fully integrated platform, and aggressive customer acquisition to take control of this market as states realize the economic deficits which they are facing going into a new year. This along with the unprecedented hype that is going to be involved with sports events this year, will skyrocket DraftKings to new heights. This is not a bet on sports betting alone, it is a play on a data-heavy and analytically driven behemoth, with strategic partnerships (league, team, and celebrity partnerships) and one of the most aggressive marketing strategies I have ever laid eyes on. The stock soared earlier this years upon news of the Michael Jordan partnership (https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/02/investing/draftkings-michael-jordan-deal/index.html) and there is many, many more big moves in the pipeline.
Long-term I am extremely bullish on people wanting risk to make up a daily part of their lives. The psychology of sports betting resembles that of the lottery and is becoming a must-have for people to have the choice to place bets from the convenience of their mobile phones. We are moving into a future where if risk and leverage are not involved, people will have little interest in dedicating their time to things. This shift can be seen with the boom in retail options trading (shoutout wsb gang) and will have a similar effect in sports, iGaming, and random prop bets/surveys that Draft Kings is innovating heavily in. This is not to mention the infrastructure that DKNG is continuing to build out to rival that of Europe in terms of live sports betting (which makes up three quarters of revenue for online sports books in the UK) and expanding their horizons to lesser betted on sports such as tennis, golf, soccer, etc. If you've gotten this far, congrats you're just a few steps away from striking gold. Any feedback, comments, rebuttals, bear scenarios, etc. please comment. Good luck.
DraftKings has state legislation action coming, incredible management, is data-driven, is vertically integrated/owns its tech stack, has exposure to the full range of new world gaming (Fantasy/Sportsbook/iGaming), and is ahead of its competition forming league, team, and celebrity partnerships. $70c 1/21/22 $90c 1/20/23
Make DKNG Great Again DraftKings is on the bill for legalization in NY and could be passed soon, potentially by the end of the year if politicians aren't cucks for once.. As states are desperate for revenue look for more and more of them to legalize sports betting, and DKNG is the market leader with projections of close to 50% market share in 2021. Disney says that sports wagering is a "key opportunity" and "important area of growth for the company". Guess who owns about 6% of DKNG? DIS. ESPN + DKNG ='s many autists. Sports ratings are down, Covid-19 still exists and it doesn't matter. $936.1 million in autist money is a record for NJ and they only have one hockey team. Upcoming events: NY bill, NBA season, NFL playoffs It's been hovering around 50 for a couple of weeks now and looks like it's ready to breakout again and hopefully retest the ATH of around 64. I'm in for a little over 5000 shares. TL;DR - politicians suck, dis owns 6%, people are betting on sports
I haven't seen a lot people who have talked about GNOG on this sub. GNOG is golden nugget online gaming and it's a great company to look into. They currently have a market cap of $2 billion but I think there is room for a lot of growth. The best thing is... THEY ARE PROFITABLE!! GNOG is in a fast growing sector. More and more states are allowing online gambling. They are mainly focussed on online casino but they do also offer sports wagering. Online casino is more profitable than sports wagering They have a very high growth rate. They grew revenues 55% just over the months of januari to april while the overall NJ market grew 40% in that time. This means they are taking more market share. https://preview.redd.it/itsfa0s22j861.png?width=1043&format=png&auto=webp&s=a0a92a105679b7303a7c4c70c107eddceb0d143a Golden nugget already is a well known name so they already have a ton of brand recognition. The owner is also Tilman Fertitta so you can expect a ton of pumps when he is on CNBC. Papa fertitty will get GNOG to the moon. The company just started trading under the ticker GNOG so it's still going to have huge price swings. But in the long run, if we look at what multiples DKNG is trading, this has potential. I got 1500 shares of GNOG cuz I'm way to big of a pussy to trade options.
LCA's online gaming in new Jersey has 69% YOY from October 2019 to October 2020. $28 MILLION in October 2020, nice! This is awesome, because thats they have focused their efforts on online gambling. Sports betting is not as big a revenue generator and as we know physical casinos have been hit hard because of the pandemic. I am bullish because I love YOY growth and I believe they are focused on the right sector within the gambling/gaming industries. https://www.nj.gov/oag/ge/docs/Financials/PressRel2020/October2020.pdf OPES apparently has approved the extension. As we know, they are planning to open over 30 stores in 2021. They are also hoping to reach 25 ghost kitchens by end of 2021. They recently named a former Burger King exec as their CEO and I expect him to bring a great deal of expertise, as well as contacts in the marketing/PR world as well as nice vendors with good pricing options (if need be). BurgerFi is a better burger option in terms of quality, which is in sync with people who are somewhat health conscious but still want a good burger or red meat. Also, they cater to vegetarians with their Beyond Burger. I also like the Air Force Services deal, the fact that they are international already (Kuwait and Puerto Rico according to the presentation), and the benefits behind ghost kitchens (i.e. very low start-up cost) Check out their updated investors presentation here: https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgadata/1723580/000121390020036538/ea129618ex99-2_opesacq.htm
Not Financial Advice (NFA) Warning: Wall of Text. If you hate reading just skim through the bolded/italicized Ever since I publicized my findings on DKNG, the stock has underperformed & probably has fucked a lot of people here, especially given the overly bullish stance back in June. Unless you took my advice & got into Puts then, congrats, welcome to tendie town. For the ADHD retards, here’s what the next wall of text is going to summarize: I believe at the current price of ~$30, the stock is oversold. A tech-focused, high-growth Company that has made sports betting easy to understand with an aesthetically pleasing interface similar to how Robinhood has neatly laid out stock market gimmicks so even high-schoolers can make sense of it I believe, is underpriced at these levels. Let’s get into some details as to why the stock has underperformed: First off, the news slate revolving sports with the rumored delay/cancellation of the MLB season & the NFL watching from the sidelines is in my view, just a part of why the stock has underperformed. We’ll revisit this later in this post, but I want to focus on the drivers of the stock’s recent underperformance, & why these factors are now in the rearview mirror. Part I – The Past Has Passed – SPAC-related Equity Dilution History lesson first: DKNG went public via a SPAC merger, which has exploded in popularity recently. Anyone serious about analyzing stocks going forward needs to do their homework on this, Google is your friend. A feature of most SPAC merger to public listings that creates a headwind to near-term share prices are embedded equity dilution events, usually in the form of earn-outs (stock bonuses to execs, the SPAC sponsor) & conversion of Warrants. On 5/24, the earn-outs were triggered, adding 6m shares to the share count. On 6/26, 16.3m warrants converted to DKNG, netting them ~$188m of cash. Stepping back a little, in addition to the above, on 6/18 DKNG launched a follow-on equity offering of 16M shares @ $40/Share , receiving $621M in proceeds. The last part is tricky to understand from a dilution perspective. To simplify, historically it’s almost a coin toss whether a Company’s shares outperform on the onset of an equity offering. While issuing shares does dilute the existing shareholder base, it theoretically shouldn’t, if the proceeds from the offering are earmarked for investments/projects that yield outsized returns. This is the reality for the long term, theory for the short-term. For the short-term, the ‘reality’ isn’t that the proceeds will be used for investments/projects that yield outsized returns, it is more about how convincing management is to investors that the investments they intend to pursue with the proceeds will outweigh the dilutive effects of issuing incremental shares. That’s a mouthful, but hopefully you get what I’m trying to convey. All of this stuff put together – the Company has increased its share count by ~39M, but now has a whopping ~$1.4Bn of cash . More on this in the next section. Part II – MLB News Should Not Fucking Matter & DKNG Is Positioned As the Leading Online/Mobile Sports Platform DKNG should not be so tied to MLB news or any of this shit as the ongoing success of the NBA/NHL season + Soccer in Europe has effectively created a blueprint on how to regulate player behavior so that they maintain professionalism amidst the pandemic. I’m going out on a whim here, but I truly think the MLB threatening a cancellation of the season is pure posturing to get these fuckers to behave appropriately. Maybe a ‘bubble’ is what it takes to get these players to focus on their jobs instead of going out & contracting COVID, but I argue that isn’t necessarily required given Soccer in Europe. So there’s already a proven path here without the need for a bubble in Soccer, so MLB/NFL should be fine, and execs need to study how they got it done in Europe. Okay, back to some facts. Anecdotally, I’ve kept in touch with a handful of sports bookies from California to New York & even internationally about what they’re seeing – all of them say that since the NBA season started on 7/30 & since Soccer (especially the Premier League) resumed in June, along with other leagues like La Liga & Serie A, they’ve seen massive increases in betting. These numbers are also showing up in the official data :
Average % increase in sports betting handle from April 2020 to June 2020 (handle is the total $ wagered in sports bets) from the states that reported up to June 2020 (NJ, PA, MS, RI, WV, IA, IN, NH) of +258%!
Note: NV is left out due to the site I sourced showing a weirdly negative number – so I dug into the official filings & show specifically, Sports Mobile betting growth from June since April has growing by at least +73% 
REMEMBER: This is for June only! No NBA, No NHL, No MLB, just Soccer, Golf, NASCAR & UFC. The data clearly shows that there was a ton of pent-up sports betting demand, which leads one Wall St. analyst to think that betting on the NBA/NHL could ABSORB the MLB’s sports betting handle (handle = total $ size of sports bet) . Remember, the MLB season is still ongoing, with games being played. The entire focus is on the Miami Marlins & St. Louis Cardinals. Fucking retards. Additionally, I want to remind everyone that DraftKings.com is the #1 Fantasy sports website in the U.S. . Also, since April 2020 site visitations are up +86%  & Google Search Trends for “Draft Kings” is up ~3xcompared to PRE-COVID levels . What does this mean? They are piquing more people’s curiosity than prior to COVID/ongoing slate of sports. This is important because remember that ~$1.4Bn chest full of cash I mentioned DKNG had assembled earlier? Well, that money is being put to work & results are already coming in, which is exactly what DKNG intended to do with it. Part III – Legalization of Sports Betting in the U.S. I could write a fucking bible on this topic alone, but for now we’ll stick to some basics. Due to COVID, it’s easy to understand that each State’s financial situation is clearly in shit. Because of this, you better believe that these guys are going to start taking a hard look at how they can extract additional tax revenues, & what’s one of the easiest ways to do this? Legalization & taxation of gambling. The big players: CA, TX, FL & NY. First, CA pushing its legislation out to 2023 was fucked up, but here’s a twist I want to add to this: Anything that has to do with gambling in CA you better believe is lobbied against by not just the Tribal casino owners in CA, but by the deep pockets of Las Vegas money. Similar thing can be said for FL, but let’s take a look at some actions by LV/nationwide gambling companies that are starting to align financial incentives with guys like DKNG.
MGM / GVC Holdings JV in BetMGM - $450m total invested
PENN invests $163m into BS Sports
Caesars has a 20% stake in William Hill plus partnership deals with The Stars Group (TSG) & our winner DKNG for operating its sports books
So it’s safe to say going forward, nationwide legalization of sports betting will reap rewards for everyone involved, & no longer be something LV money is completely focused on safeguarding. Let’s also not forget that DKNG didn’t become the Company they are today because of their fancy app, but because their management team has a HISTORY of navigating the U.S.’s legal framework to get what they want out of it.
The Crown Jewel – The Internet Gambling Prohibition & Enforcement Act: I said it in a previous post, but I want to emphasize that them getting Fantasy Sports to be labeled a ‘game of skill’ by FEDERAL Law as opposed to gambling is just something for the history books. Fucking genius shit. When this happened I bet every casino from LV to every Indian Tribe that has one was against it, yet DKNG & other DFS providers won.
There’s more, but more recently: Getting into IL:
In IL, there’s an 18-month ‘penalty box’ for Companies that offer DFS to offer sports betting. Our guys at DKNG created a workaround to this situation with their partnership with Casino Queen . DKNG being savvy again.
N; *#; D; A; Q (misspelled deliberately for those algo scanners) reports this week on 10/21 pre market. Not to be confused with QQQ. This is the exchange itself reporting. Every co. that lists on the QQQ has to pay them a fee. But they're primarily a data company. We've got an explosion in trading activity flow especially in QQQ stocks so they should generate more fees from clearing and transactions. It drives more than 62% of its revenues from market services which include Equity Derivative Trading and Clearing, Cash Equity Trading, FICC and Trade Management Services businesses. Tech has been on fire all year. Good FY guidance too from all the new etfs they keep spinning off (QQQM, QQQJ, etc). They're like the house in a casino, they just collect a % of every bet and collect admission price tickets. Fundamentals for those who care. P/E has been on a steady uptick. Recently broke the 50 MA on the daily chart. Recently there was news that they would move from their data centers in NJ to a more tax friendly state. This was quickly shot down once they threatened to do so. The plan has been shelved by state legislators in NJ. "Nasdaq's exploration is being driven by New Jersey's proposed tax on every financial transaction for firms with annual transactions of more than 100,000, the report said. Abbott confirmed the talks with the exchange in a tweet following the report. "They want to flee high taxes," he said. "I let them know that we just passed a constitutional amendment banning an income tax in Texas." - Source: MT Newswire; 10/7/20. The sell side has price targets all over the map from $95-$150/share. The most recent issued was from Loop capital for $145. My own take is that the summer high was 137.5. So picking a price between 130 and 137.5 seems reasonable. Price target: 11/20 130-135c vertical spread. IV remains low (in the ~20% range) b/c there is no weekly. Only monthly options. Problem is the spreads are thinly traded so bid ask is wide. Tread carefully and commit only a small bit of capital for now.
This is an example of fundamental DD that takes place at ‘smart’ money institutions based on my professional experience in IBD, Private Equity & most recently at a HF (mods can message me for proof). Not thoroughly fleshed out b/c you autists have limited attention spans, but a summary. Figured I’d take the time to give back to this community that has provided many lolz, & should be a good measuring stick when evaluating other forms of fundamental DD posted here. NFA. DKNG - DraftKings, Inc.: vertically integrated US mobile betting operator that also provides retail sports betting & back-end betting solutions through SBTech. Think of SBTech as the tech ‘market-maker’ for traditional sports betting, they do all the funny math to set the betting odds & seem to be working on back-end solutions for DKNG Casino The Big Picture
Total annual US Gambling Revenue: ~$90Bn 
Illegal Sports Betting: ~$13Bn
Horse Racing: ~$0.8Bn
Daily Fantasy Sports: ~$0.4Bn
Only ~2% of the ~$90Bn gambling revenues were placed online which is the lowest in the world where betting online is legal. For example, in other countries online gaming activity represents ~6% - ~52% of total gambling revenues, with ~12% being the average. Wall Street expects online gaming revenue to be $20Bn-$40Bn within the next 10 years. For this to be achieved, the online gambling market will have to achieve a ~30% penetration rate on total country gaming revenues. There is an expectation that this is could be easily achievable given penetration trends overseas - see page 11 of this: https://s1.rationalcdn.com/vendors/stars-group/documents/presentations/TSG-Investor-Day_March-27-2019.pdf Other catalysts include increasing adaptation of sports betting in more states. States that have both legal sports betting + online sports betting permitted: NV, NJ, WV, PA, IA. Sports betting permitted but no online: DE, MS, RI, MO, AR. Prior to COVID there was ongoing discussions across many States, especially ones with growing deficits to explore how permitting sports betting could create a fresh avenue of tax dollars. Post COVID there is an expectation that these discussions will be given extra focus as many States will be hungry for incremental tax dollars. Important to note that currently 43/50 States allow DFS, but given the small share DFS has on total Gaming Revenues, it increasingly looks like DKNG is banking on traditional sports betting for a variety of reasons, more later. There are entire articles on Google arguing this catalyst so I’ll end this here. Digging Deeper DKNG’s main offerings are Daily Fantasy Sports (“DFS”) products & traditional sports book products to its clients. Long story short, a metric to look for in my opinion (that is curiously not reported by management or remarked on) is the hold % in traditional gaming sector parlance or the ‘rake’ & compare it to the ‘traditional’ gaming products like sports betting & Blackjack. For DFS: DKNG takes ~15% of the prize pool (note: used to be ~6-11% ). Curiously, their main competitor FanDuel also has moved up to a ~15% rake recently. Google searches show the smaller competitors have a rake in the ~13% range. This ‘rake’ has grown ~2x in 6 years, but it has been a delicate move on behalf of management. Why? B/c the more ‘sophisticated’ DFS players (equal to autistic day traders on Robinhood) have noted this increase & based on some Googling, some have moved down market to the smaller players. As a side note, many live casino games have their rules altered to grow the Hold %. For example, Blackjack games with 6:5 payouts on 21 have materially higher Hold % than the traditional BJ rules that pay out 3:2. Given the findings so far, DKNG may not have much room to materially increase its hold % in DFS games in the near-term from current of 15%. More on this later. Now why the fuck is this important? This is important b/c the typical sports book (ex-Parlays) have a ~5% hold %/rake. Parlays have up to a ~30% hold (which is why it’s commonly known as the sucker’s bet), & just for reference, the average Blackjack table clocks in 14.5%. What this means: Every dollar put into these games, the “House” or DKNG, will take 15% of your money for DFS games, for sports bets they will be pocketing ~5%, up to ~30% if you’re into parlays, & we’ll just use the standard 14.5% BJ hold for the DraftKings Casino platform. So why the acquisition of SBTech & a foray into the traditional sports gambling market? As you can see previously, the illegal sports betting market is >30x the size of the current daily fantasy sports market. So it’s clear that the DFS providers including DKNG are foraying into the space to capture this user base & hopefully convert them into games that have a higher hold %, such as DFS/DKNG Casino. As of May 2020, DKNG has achieved a 30% penetration rate on its ~4mm ‘monetized’ DFS clientele to its Online Sports Book (OSB), from the OSB+DFS clientele, DKNG has converted 50% into its DraftKings Casino platform. Including non-monetized users, user base totals at 12mm. Based on these unit economics: every 1mm of additional users -> 333k monetized users for DFS -> 100k users for OSB -> 50k users for DraftKings Casino. Some Numbers – Italicized/Bolded the important
In total, DKNG has DFS paying clientele of ~4mm, the metric management focuses on is “Monthly Unique Payers (MUP)” which spans across DFS & online sports betting***. As of Q1’20 they reported 720,000*** MUPs, representing +16% YoY growth 
Average revenue per monthly user (ARPU) of ~$41, +11% YoY
Based on previous observation of Hold %, looks like ARPU growth will be limited
Since ’17, MUP has grown at a ~11% CAGR & ARPU has grown at a ~19% CAGR
As a side note: the ~4mm monetized user base was acquired at ~$122/user over 3 years. Total users cost them $41/user over the last 3 years .
They are currently EBITDA negative & Wall St expects them to be positive by 2023
I took a dive into the math driving this, here is a summary:
Based on their current cost structure they will need to have ~1.7mm MUPs at an ARPU of ~$46 to break-even. This implies total monetized users of ~10mm from ~4mm currently
Numbers that represent Risks to Long Thesis
DKNG’s user base of ~12mm is on the low end of the sector vs. its ‘brick & mortar’ competitor's user bases (online betting platforms with physical casino presence)
CZR with 55mm, MGM with 33mm, ERI with 10mm (in pending merger with CZR, could have a lot of overlap), FanDuel with 8.5mm
Is there a concern for increased marketing costs to increase user base? Let’s look at a case study of NJ, the first state to open both mobile & retail sports betting:
FanDuel + DraftKings have held 80%+ of the OSB market share since 12/2018 which is estimated to be driven by the conversion opportunity from DFS that is unique to both companies 
On the flipside, a case study to examine going forward is how DKNG can get OSB customers in a State that does not allow DFS. Nevada. Home to Las fucking Vegas. Prior to NV pushing FanDuel/DKNG out (highly likely due to casino lobbying), NV was a top-15 State in terms of revenue for them. NV is home to the fattest sports book in the US, & recently the gaming commission started to parse the data on sportsbook wagers done online vs. in-person, & it came out to roughly 50/50. It will be interesting to see how they try to capture market share in a state with no DFS
Long-term EBITDA margin target of 35% requires huge growth in MUPs
Based on their estimated '22 cost structure: Holding ARPU of ~$46, MUPs will have to be ~5.2mm, a 7x increase from current to achieve a EBITDA margin of 35%
A focus on future earnings will be management's ability to shift to a more fixed-cost structure which would effectively lower the MUP requirement for profitability
Things to look for when going Long - Progress of additional States legalizing sports betting – specifically, States with DFS already legalized - Cost structure evolving to a more fixed mix vs. the mostly variable mix currently as this will be the forward figure that determines profitability - Increasing User Base (Curr.: 12mm) -> Monetized Base (Curr.: 4mm) -> MUP (1Q’20: 0.7mm)
Management seems to be focused more on the first step, but one thing to note is that the 33% monetization rate is very high when compared to something like League of Legends which isn’t entirely comparable but in 2013 had a ~4% monetization rate . This, combined with the below implies that this conversion rate may be the ceiling for now
As a side note, ~6 years ago FanDuel had ~300k monetized on an ~800k user base for a monetization rate of ~37% 
Share Price Target Given the cost structure of the company, I’m going to base the price targets around Enterprise Value / Revenues (driven by MUPs & ARPUs).
MUP sensitivity of 5mm - 6mm
ARPU sensitivity from $41 - $47 for an average of $44, just a $3 increase from current of $41.
Share Price targets based on 2.0x - 4.5x EV / Sales.
Note: Flutter Entertainment (FanDuel ParentCo) trades at ~3.6x EV/Sales
Bear Case MUP: 5mm -> $20.32 - $45.73 Base Case MUP: 5.5mm -> $22.27 - $50.10 Bull Case MUP: 6mm -> $24.21 - $54.47 These MUPs imply a monetized customer base of 28mm – 33mm. At the high-end, this implies that DKNG monetized customer base will equal MGM’s current total user base. At yesterday’s close of $43.70, DKNG is trading at 3.5x – 4.5x forward Revenues on an expected >5,000 MUPs. Share Price drivers / considerations: - Continued multiple expansion
Consideration: A 1x premium to FanDuel's 3.6x, implies a ~15% upside to current. They're bigger than FanDuel, do they deserve the premium?
- MUP Growth exceeding beyond targets
Consideration: Stock currently implies that they should on average be growing at 40% QoQ – during 2018 they had on average +30% growth QoQ in MUPs, marking their best year
Management Team Jason Robins, 39 – Co-Founder & CEO. Duke BA, started DraftKings from day 1 in 2011. The 2 other buddies he started the Company with are still at DKNG. Dude navigated the Company through the scandal that rocked them in ’15 & ’16, and was the trailblazer in getting DFS labeled as a non-gambling product that enabled it to open in States without a gaming designation. This shit is the stuff that gets people in history books. His accomplishments make him seem like a very competent guy. Has 3 kids now, and only ~3% economic ownership in DKNG but has 90% of the voting power through his Class B share ownership. Also he actively participates in venture investments, sitting on 10 boards. His comp plan performance bonus target is pretty murky, but main drivers are EPS growth, revenue growth, then a bunch of margin & return metrics, along with share price returns. Overall, very open-ended & it’s safe to say as long as shit doesn’t hit the fan, he will be eligible for his max payouts year over year. I’m assuming the lawyers tried to encompass everything possible for maximum flexibility to justify him earning his max comp as long as DKNG is still around. Since he’s got voting control of 90%, I’ll end the specific-person overview here, but want to note that they have a very bloated C-suite. 12 folks at DKNG, 8 folks at SBTech, all with C-suite designations. Whereas their main competitor FanDuel, has 3 guys with a C-suite designations & 1 EVP, but is a sub under a larger ParentCo that has its own management team of ~5 guys. Looking through glassdoor you can see the biggest complaint among employees giving bad reviews is based on management, all of the specific issues they point out IMO are a result of a top-heavy company. Seems like a good starting point to optimize their cost structure, but given Robins' history of sticking this entire thing through with his co-founders since '11 stuff like this doesn't seem to be a part of his playbook. They’re a public company now though, so it’s going to be interesting to see going forward. TL;DR: If I were to initiate a position in DKNG, the stock would have to fall to the $35-$37 range for me to be a buyer of the stock, and based on this rough intro analysis I'll be considering Put options if it breaches $50. I would not touch Calls at this level.  Wall Street Research - 6/27/19  https://rotogrinders.com/articles/bang-for-your-buck-a-look-at-dfs-industry-rake-153302  https://draftkings.gcs-web.com/static-files/8f3a5c5a-7228-45bf-aab2-63604111c48d  Wall Street Research - 5/19/20 https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/223071/Dont_monetize_like_League_of_Legends_consultant_says.php  https://rotogrinders.com/threads/how-many-people-actually-play-dfs-regularly-252044
LCA looking strong in New Jersey 👀 - July ‘20 vs. July ‘19
NJ July 2020 Gaming Revenue 3rd page shows Golden Nugget’s Internet Gaming up 111%. I would imagine $LCA stock would have reacted better to this release today. Only good news for more states to open up online casino gaming!
The true winner from NJ's July gaming revenue report
Everyone is hyped up about LCA/GNOG. Guess who's behind LCA/GNOG 's online casino operation? The true winner is $DMYT aka Rush Street Interactive aka PlaySugarHouse. Golden Nugget provides the license and get a cut from PlaySugarHouse's revenue. https://www.njonlinegambling.com/play-sugarhouse-license-swap-nj/ Also because of conflict of interests, GNOG can't have a sportbook on NBA. I guess this limitation on their sportbook shows in the tiny revenue of 98,464 from sportbetting in July.
Disclosure: This is not a comprehensive breakdown, and it's not meant to be. Just some key points and context that I thought you'd find interesting. DraftKings is technology stock meets gambling Three main products: Daily fantasy sports or DFS, Sportsbook, iGaming DFS is OG DraftKings. Fantasy sports are where players make fantasy teams and battle each other to win money. However, sportsbook is where the money is: betting actual money on actual sports against the house. iGaming is basically an online casino with some online games you can gamble on, in addition to the classics like blackjack and Russian roulette. In addition to DraftKings, there’s also SBTech, the online gambling technology company that had an arranged marriage as part of the DKNG merger. Landmark Case In 2018, the Supreme Court knocks down the federal law prohibiting sports gambling throughout the United States. Pandora’s box is open. Each state has to decide what it wants to do with gambling on its own. The Path to Legalization Map of Sportsbook legality DFS legality is more widespread Currently, 36% of the USA population lives in a state with some form of legal gambling and 24% in a state with legal online gambling. The population living where DraftKings is live or going live is only 13% of the country. There’s a lot of ground to cover. NJ is the posterchild for sports betting legalization at the moment, and it’s DraftKings promised land. Generating 30% of DraftKings total revenue, it is a testament to the money waiting to be made if sports betting is made fully legal. The Risks for DraftKings Regulation: Gambling is a money-maker, but it’s also a social disease. States will want to cash in with taxes of 6.8 to 36% but it will be a tough battle to make it happen. And that battle will unfold state by state. Just like with the marijuana industry, the fate of the market is undeniably shaped by how legalization unfolds. It could end up being a niche hobby in select states, or it could end up like gambling in the United Kingdom, where there’s a gambling shop on every corner. Or there could be a huge gambling market, but one that is monopolized by the States exclusively. If they’re going to allow gambling, why not take all the profits, right? Competition: FanDuel and DraftKings once considered a merger before the FTC played tough. Now, together they own 95% of the DFS market in the USA with a slight majority going to DraftKings. However, there will be fierce competition as new states open up, and missteps could be stifling for either company in the early stages. The lifeblood fueling this battle? Cold hard cash burned up in advertising and incentivizing dollars. Maybe it’s not as bad as Uber since gambling has a chance at being profitable, but if you don’t like to see money burning, think twice about entering the online sports betting market over this coming decade. Technology: The hardware of gambling is a liability. Paying for the bandwidth needed at the exact moment of a match when everybody checks their bet is expensive. Payment processing, user validation, server hosting, sports data, app store placement: these are all areas of vulnerability and cost that you can minimize but can’t eliminate. With SBTech in the fold, having complete vertical integration is the aim and strength of DraftKings. The House Always Wins…Usually: Writing bets means risk. Thankfully, the DFS is player versus player, so DraftKings always wins, taking something like EDIT: up to 15% of what players put in. It's a bookkeeper's wet dream. But Sportsbook and iGaming have classic gambling risks which should be fine over the long-term. The Good Side (and Oh God They’re Beautiful) Growth Potential: It’s a technology stock. The PE Ratio is over 600. When you buy DraftKings, you’re buying the dream of an America where gambling is as American as the Ford F150. A matured Sportsbook market in the USA would be around $20 billion, about $85 per adult. It’s a beautiful untapped (and non-existent) market with lots of money waiting to be taken. With Coronavirus, the slice of the sports betting pie that goes digital is bound to be more than ever before, if the sports happen COVID19: The only thing that can stop a sports betting company from making money is getting rid of sports. Thankfully, new sports like Table Tennis, eSports, and a host of other betting topics have allowed DraftKings to get by. With lots of cash on hand ($450 million plus) and a monthly burn of $15 million, there’s enough to weather the storm. And if sports reopen with empty stadiums, fans may turn to online gambling to get their authentic sport experience. Turnaround Time: The largest expense that DraftKings has is conquering new markets. Every time a state opens up, it’s a massive investment. That’s why analysts and executives don’t think DraftKings will run net positive for years to come. However, DraftKings experience in New Jersey has shown an average turnaround time of about two years is all it takes to recoup their initial investment when entering a new market. Some pretty tasty data to have coming in. The Numbers Revenue was up to $323 million in 2019 from $226 million and $191 million the years prior. NJ made up $86 million of that, growing by 8.5x after sports betting legalization in late 2018 to make up over a quarter of revenue in 2019. Net loss however was $146 million in 2019 from $76 million and $73 million the years prior. Cost of Revenue was $103 million, Sales and Marketing was $185 million, Product and Tech was $55 million, and General and Administrative was $124 million of that. DraftKings has never been in the green. They attribute the accelerated burn in 2019 to growth in new markets so whether its aggressive or reckless is up to you. To be fair, if you’re investing in this stock, you should be expecting them to burn every single dollar they get at this point. Average monthly unique players was up to 684k in 2019 from 601k and 574k with the average revenue per monthly unique player up to $39 from $31 and $28. As of March 31st 2020, there were 720k monthly unique players with average revenue of $41 per. So continued growths in the midst of the early Coronavirus pandemic. Q2 will be revealing for certain. The stock just skyrocketed to $34+ yesterday meaning a market cap of over $10 billion and a PE ratio of over 600. Take it for what it’s worth to you. Some Quirks DraftKings revenue is seasonal. Q4 is the best when the NFL and NBA coincide, with Q3 and Q1 being roughly equivalent, and Q2 basically being garbage. With COVID mainly taking out Q2, perhaps there’s hope for sports by Q3 and Q4 to hit those high-earning months? Controlled Structure: You get 1 vote for 1 stock, but CEO and Founder Jason Robins gets 10 votes for each stock. So whatever you do, he has 90% of the voting power. Good for long-term growth in a highly reactive landscape, but being powerless is never a fun feeling. SBTech offers B2B solutions for other gambling companies looking to offer online sports betting and iGaming, so there’s that added benefit. In fact, the share of B2B has been growing from 1% in 2018 to 5% in 2019, so some diversification is happening. DraftKings’s ticker symbol DKNG reminds me of Donkey Kong
Everyone talks about DKNG, PENN, MGM and in some cases RRBYD but the real gem is GAN. I have worked and know people who work with them so this is coming from personal experience seeing their product. You have one of if not the best online gaming platform. Their offering is top notch and will only grow. Their partners in the USA will only grow. Especially Fanduel and newly acquired Churchill Downs. Look at the market share Fanduel has in the states they are in. It's basically DK vs FD as states legalize. Speaking of states legalizing. It's projected 45 states will have online gambling by 2024. Think of the revenue GAN will be raking in being in 45 states. Draftkings has SBTech running their casino/sports now which is a subpar cheap product and you bet other books will take notice of GAN when they look to enter new states. Don't be surprised to see Draftkings, Pointsbet, etc look at GAN down the road. Brick & Mortar is another revenue source they have which will only expand as states legalize. They won't only be dominating the online world. They aren't just in the USA. Their global presence is expanding as well and will only get bigger. This isn't a pump a dump. There is a real demand for this and nobody is better equipped than GAN. They are severely under valued and their revenue numbers are only going to grow. They went up $1.50 AH today off NJ numbers. Just wait until you see them in 8 states with online casinos by the end of the year and the numbers rolling in are all green and exceeding expectations. Remember states are looking for revenue sources and when legislators are back in session sports gambling bills will be at the top of the list as they know if they tax it at the right rate it can be a profitable venture for the state. https://gan.com/about-us/customers-and-partners If you have any knowledge about gambling you will know by going through their portfolio that the sky is the limit for them. Sportsbooks are partnering with arenas, hooters servers are taking your bets, cable companies are building interactive tv's focusing on gambling....online gambling is going nowhere.
My notes from Governor Baker's Press Conference today (5/11)
These are notes I took while watching today's press conference. They are not perfect or comprehensive, but rather a brief summary for anyone who couldn't watch. If you want to watch the recording of the press conference, it's available onyoutube. All press conferences are broadcast live onwww.mass.gov/covid19-updates(the page is usually updated with the time of the press conference some time in the morning). Most hospitals are asking for donations ofpersonal protective equipmentsuch as N95 respirator masks, safety goggles and paper gowns. The American Red Cross says it is facing a "severe blood shortage" because of canceled blood drives, and it's asking healthy individuals to donate blood, platelets or AB elite plasma. Please consider donating tothis fundraiserfor the Greater Boston Food Bank, which is being run by The Paper Mouse (a gift shop in West Newton). The shop is matching donations up to $5000 in addition to donating 20% of their May revenue. Notes in brackets [Example] are notes of my own and don't represent what was said in the press conference Governor Baker
Yesterday we processed almost 12,000 tests, bringing the total amount of tests done in the commonwealth to 388,389
1,050 new Covid-19 positive tests, 9% positive
Current hospitalization rate down to 4%
Distributed our 10 millionth piece of PPE yesterday
The Reopening Advisory Board has now met stake holders from 44 different industry associations and community coalitions representing over 2 million workers.
Met with Regional Chambers of Commerce, Labor Representatives and Industry Associations representing constructions, hospitals, museums, dentistry, cultural institutions, sports arts and entertainments, cannabis, casinos, fitness, hair salons and manufacturing to name a few
Received written comments from over 2,200 employers
The Boards are going to develop a full report available on May 18th that will outline plans including the activities and industries that are safe to resume by phase, mandatory workplace safety standards, PPE and cleaning protocols and sector specific protocols
Announcing a 4 phase approach MA will use to re-open, and the mandatory workplace safety standards that all employers will need to comply with
Will be releasing industry specific guidance in the next few days
Phase 1: Industries that are more naturally set up for little face to face contact
Phase 2: More industries with more face to face interactions will resume operations
Phase 3: Loosening some of the restrictions if the data maintains a good rate
Phase 4: The new normal
Timing and details could change depends on how the virus moves forward
We will have to reconsider approach if there are any unexpected spikes or large community infections
Everyone must play their roles: face coverings, staying home if sick, washing your hands, staying 6-feet apart if you can
Will continue working with our neighboring states to be consistent and unified. Lt. Governor Karyn Polito
3 levels of guidance for every sector
First is overall social guidance on how people should conduct themselves, such as limiting capacity, requiring face masks and instructing those entering the state to quarantine for 14 days
Second is mandatory workplace safety standards
Third is industry specific protocols that we will release in the coming days
In phase one all business reopening will be required to follow these guidance's
These standards were mad by the Reopening Advisory Board working with the Department of Public Health
All persons including employees customers and vendors should remain at least 6 feet apart both inside and outside
Establish protocols to make sure employees can practice social distancing
Provide signage about social distancing
Require face coverings or masks for all employees
Provide hand washing capabilities through the workplace
Ensure frequent hand washing by employees
Provide regular sanitation of high touch areas
Provide training for employees regarding social distancing and hygiene protocols
Employees displaying symptoms must remain home
Establish plan for employees who get ill with Covid-19 at work and a return to work plan
Establish cleaning protocols specific to the business
When an employee is diagnosed with Covid-19 cleaning and disinfecting must be performed
Disinfecting of common surfaces must be cleaned at intervals appropriate for the work place
Q: When are we going to know who is in what phase?
It is expected that the report will lay out 4 phases and people will need to be ready to deliver on the general criteria today
Q: How concerned are you moving into this next phase?
There are a variety of employers that have been operating during the essential criteria, they are now going to have to comply with the universal guidance and for some there will be industry specific guidance. Part of the reason to have all these conversations the Advisory board had is to get employers into the dialogue and the discussion to what an operating model to prevent a virus looks like. That comes with a certain set of new skills. Trying to get everyone comfortable with how this is going to roll out
Q: An ice cream stand in the cape opened up and people turned up and created pandemonium are you concerned this might be common?
I've actually been there, it is an enormously popular place and i feel terrible for the owner who everyone says he is one of the most decent people you would ever want to meet, i feel awful for the young kids who were just trying to serve a product that everyone wanted which is kinda a right of rival of the warm weather and summer.
Q: How are you going to deal with the people that aren't going to play by the rules?
I think signage and awareness is apart of it. This is part of the reason the Advisory board set up a criteria for all employers so people think of it as standard operating procedures
Q: With some of our neighboring states in a further place in reopening there are reports of a lot of MA license plates in NH and RI is that a concern for you?
Different states got hit differently. MA took a much bigger blow that any of the states around us until you get to NY and NJ. I don't think it makes sense for us to make a decision to do something else just because other states are doing it. I do want to know and that's a reason these conversations between the Governors happen
Q: Do you envision a certain amount of time for these phases?
The way other states have done it is saying its going to be X amount of time between these phases unless the data changes. In the end we will work off a similar model.
Q: Is it fair to say its about a month for each stage?
There isn't going to be a hard and fast on all this.
Q: Some of the hospitals say they are set to resume some elective surgeries today, i was wondering as a whole where elective surgeries stand on the reopening plan?
We have been talking to the hospital community about living in a post surge world. There are a lot of important elements that have to get ironed out. We put in a lot of emergency orders to the hospital community, to go back to a new normal we have to re-look at these orders.
Q: They are allowed to resume some right?
I'm not familiar with what you are speaking to but we have made clear to the public that while our health care committee and community has been focused on Covid-19, if people have other medical conditions they are concerned about they need to call their clinician or go to the hospital. Some of it is a tough call, we have to decide what is elective and it is a decision that needs to be made by a clinician and their patient
Q: Plan for day care re-openings?
That is going to end up phased.
Q: Where has testing been a factoring? Do you see a expansion?
I think there will be a significant expansion in testing all the way through the fall.
Q: What can you say to the business in the first phase? [I think that is what he said not too sure on this one]
All i would say is the conversation has been that in first phase you should start with the things that don't have a lot of direct contact or direct contact you can manage and write guidance that is relatively easy to comply with
Q: We have seen good progress in Western MA have you thought about reopening business sooner than the rest?
The 18th is a week from now, the thing about this virus is that it is unpredictable and that is a reason why you need to see a sustained trend
Notes from me:
I will continue to stream me taking notes on my twitch channel, and will be gaming after if you want to stop by and ask any questions or just hang out :)
Does anyone else think this is pure insanity how it’s gone up 60% since they did the recent stock and debt offering at $18 per share? If PENN had a clue this would happen they never would have done the offering last week. Their own CEO said they have enough cash on hand now to make it through the year with their burn rate of $83m per month. What he failed to mention, and what is written in their 10-K and 10-Q, is that the $83m burn rate is them operating with only a core of 850 employees, all locations closed, and almost no operating expenses when they typically employ around 25,000. Once casinos open up, with social distancing, they should expect half or less of their usual revenue with leaving every other seat empty. Plus 50% of their revenue comes from the northeast (NJ/NY etc) which will be the last to open! Even if their expenses are also somehow cut in half (even though it’s more likely they’ll be around 75% because of costs not tied to employee salaries) they’ll still be spending significantly more than the “$83m per month” that he was touting. There is no way they make it 6 months without either doing another huge offering of stock and debt OR selling more of their properties to GLPI. Either way the value goes down. Realistically a fair value for them now is $15 per share at best.
Since there was a lot of positive response to my comment on the KD thread about The Garden, I floated the idea of a thread, and you all asked for it, so here it is! Here at reddit, there can be a lot of LOL this (Knicks) and LOL that (Knicks again), and while MSG certainly has its own shortcomings to say the least, there is a true story to be told about the buildings and how it came to be where it is today. Known as ‘The Worlds Most Famous Arena’, MSG played a direct roll in making sports in America what it is today, and while many people criticize the current incarnation of the building, most people don’t know the full story - or that the current one is actually the 4th version (and 3rd location) of the building. The college basketball history at MSG, which I won’t give away yet, is one of if not THE main reason we have our beloved NBA and professional basketball in general today. This is going to be a very long read, like, very very long.But I’m going to try and throw all the really juicy facts in there that I picked up along my years of research from working in the tour department. I thought of splitting it up, but I wanted this post to be a comprehensive history of The World’s Most Famous Arena! If you’re only concerned with the history of the joint once basketball enters into the picture, skip to MSG III. If you want the juicy details on the controversy of tearing down old Penn Station then skip to MSG IIII. If you have any questions on anything or want me to elaborate on anything that I only mention briefly, please feel free to ask! MSG’s history is full of not only amazing moments, but vengeful murders, and a whole lot of sketchy stuff. This is the story of how a small train station on the north east corner of Madison Square Park eventually led to the demolition of an iconic NYC train station some 100 years later. It’s not on Madison Avenue, it’s not square, and it’s not a garden, but there is a good reason for all of this - or at least a good explanation - I promise! MADISON SQUARE GARDEN I Ironically, just how this story’s climax involves tearing an iconic train station down to build the current arena, the beginning starts in much the same way. Just with a significantly less iconic train station. In the mid 1800’s there was a small railroad depot on the north east corner of Madison Square Park, occupied by New York and Harlem Railroad on East 26th street and Madison Ave and owned by Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt. For those of you not familiar with the city (yes, we call it ‘the city’) that location is pretty central and throughout time has had a lot of important events happen there, which is a thread for another time. The park was named for president James Madison, just like the street, which was very common at the time. People loved that guy. The railroad opened up another location you may have heard of, by the name of ‘Grand Central Station’ in 1871, therefor leaving the smaller rail depot on 26th street abandoned. After a few vacant years, the building was leased to PT Barnum, who converted it into what he called the ‘Great Roman Hippodrome’. This place was a big open air oval ‘arena’ where he did exactly what you’d expect. Circuses etc. What happens next is where things start getting interesting. Then the building was leased to a band leader named Patrick Gilmore. Some historians in that field feel like Gilmore is a forgotten guy compared to the likes of John Phillips Sousa, who is really the only person we common modern folk recognize in terms of old timey band leaders. But Gilmore was a very important figure of his day. Gilmore purchased the building and…wait for it…called it Gilmore’s Concert GARDEN. ‘Garden’ was a semi-popular add on to entertainment centers in NY during that era, starting with what I can tell from my research when Castle Clinton (aka, the old fort turned venue turned place you buy your tickets to go out to the Statue of Liberty now) was converted into a venue called Castle garden in the 1820s. The other notable contributions Gilmore made to The Garden are holding the first Westminster Kennel Club dog show, the longest running garden event obviously still held there today, and even doing the first boxing matches there. I always found this bit fascinating, because boxing matches were technically illegal at the time. He called them ‘illustrated lectures’ and as any good New Yorker trying to make a buck does, found a way around the rules and got away with it. This is a common theme within the history of The Garden as you will see. The arena changed hands a few more times, first to an administrator with the dog show, who also started to do more sporty things like tennis and installing one of the first ‘indoor’ ice rinks in the US. The building went back into Vanderbilt control when Commodore died, by his grandson William Vanderbilt. He was the one who decided, the ‘garden’ part was cool, but since it wasn’t leased by Gilmore anymore, he would rename it after the park which it shared a border. Hence the name, Madison Square Garden. He expanded the range of events that were held there including adding bicycle racing. This would be by far the most widely beloved event held at the Garden, including a long running race called ‘Six Days of New York’ where an insane SIX day bike race would be held. These were basically just endurance contests, with a single bicyclist doing as many laps as possible, they could sleep whenever and join back in whenever. This was all the rage, but also dangerous for not only the participants but the spectators. People who wanted to soak up all the action were easy targets for crooks who were also in attendance. These events were so popular nationwide however, that there is even a bicycle discipline called ‘Madison’ named after the OG garden. The building however ran its course, because of its lack of roof and decaying infrastructure. What I mean by decaying can probably best be summed up by the disaster which many people now a days don’t know of, when part of the building collapsed falling outward into the street and some of the roof also caving in with 800 people inside. Apparently it was chaos, and 20 something people were killed or injured. It’s pretty brutal, and if you want to know more about that incident you can read the newspaper article from the time here. Vanderbilt sold the spot to who's who collection of rich white men. JP Morgan, Carnegie, Astor etc. So they decided to tear it down and build a new extremely extravagant arena on the same spot. They got renowned architect Stanford White (more on him later) and they demolished the building in 1889. After spending more than half a million dollars, MSG II was built. Madison Square Garden II By this point, MSG was still not the household name it would become in the future. This building was supposed to change that narrative, which is why these rich guys went all in on it. You’ll see, that they were maybe in over their heads. However, this might be the most fascinating of all the MSGs for several reasons. Firstly, the building was extremely extravagant. That can not be overstated. I would encourage you all to just google pictures of the building, it was massive and you’ll see all the features I’m describing here. It featured a huge 32 story tall bell tower, which was good for the 2nd tallest building in the city at the time. The bellower was topped by a sculpture of the goddess Diana the huntress, which was sculpted by famous artist Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and was gilt in copper. They moved the statue not soon after, and you can see it today at the Philly Museum of art! It spun around in the wind, and their original brilliant idea was to have an actual cloth scarf draped on it, but since wind exists, it got blown away not too long after its installation. Its main hall was the largest in the world. It had not only the main hall which sat 8,000 but just like today’s garden, had a small theater which sat 1200, and even another concert hall which sat 1500. Of course they also had the largest restaurant in the city, because why not. And because it is ‘The Garden’ they decided there should be a roof garden cabaret. They thought this would be a landmark the likes of central park, and it was certainly grandiose enough. They had the same kind of events that the first garden did, including sports, concerts, and all the random stuff they found fun before the invention of TV (not to mention radio, or at least the widespread broadcast of radio). But the problem was, the building was so damn extra, that they had a hard time making enough money to upkeep the place. Now let’s talk about the architect. Stanford White is probably best remembered for designing the Triumphal arch in Washington square, but then closely followed by being murdered in his own building, MSG II, in a lovers quarrel. This was huge news at the time, and so was the trial that ensued, they called it ‘The Trial of The Century’. The building, being as ridiculous as it was, of course housed an apartment for White, and millionaire Harry Kendall Thaw was not too happy with White who apparently had an affair with his actress wife when she was 16. So he came through, and shot him dead in his own building. It’s all incredibly sketchy and simultaneously intriguing, involving major names of the day, which is probably why the trial was so juicy and gripping in the eyes of the general public. Anyways, the building was ultimately a failure, and didn’t last very long in retrospect. Everyone knew what Madison Square Garden was, and it was a landmark from 1890-1926, but the building failed to live up to expectations, much less make money. A 36 year run is really nothing to write home about, especially with the illusions (or better yet delusions) of grandeur its rich owners had in mind. There were some important sporting events that happened there, but what would happen in the next building would be the reason The Garden is now known as, The Worlds most Famous Arena. Interestingly the building there today, the New York Life Insurance Company, was built on that plot directly after MSG II was demolished. They owned the mortgage on the building, so they just built their headquarters there. It’s an iconic building in its own right, and if you’re on the NE corner of the park, there’s a plaque on the building which notes that it was the location of the first 2 Gardens. The only thing MSG still had was, well, the name.And in walked Tex Rickard, to seize an opportunity that proved to be golden. Madison Square Garden III If you’ve never heard of Tex Rickard, think PT Barnum, Don King, etc. He was the leading boxing (and more) promoter of the day, and was a very successful businessman, operating saloons, hotels, casinos, and the like. He was a country boy, born in Missouri and raised in Texas, but had a knack for business and promotion. Tex saw the opportunity to buy the name, and incorporated the ‘New Madison Square Garden Corporation’ in 1923. It was smart, although MSG II didn't make money, it was still a household name in NYC. The purpose was to build a less extravagant arena, but a place that would be iconic in its own right and host major sporting events, including NHL games. This is where MSG started to make a name for itself as a major player in venues, and eventually THE most famous arena in the world. So Tex bought a big block of land quite a bit of a ways away from the original site of The Garden, on 8th avenue between 49th and 50th street. He basically built a big box, designed by theater architect Thomas Lamb, at the cost of almost 5 million dollars and in a remarkable 249 days. I think it’s sufficient to say that ol’ Tex knew how to get things done. He had a bunch of rich backers, plenty of clout, and he threw his arena up in sharp contrast to the old garden. It did however have a very iconic marquee, and if you talk to anyone who was around at the time they will note that the marquee was the distinguishing feature of the building. The main draw originally was boxing, as that was Tex’s bag. They had major fights, and drew much larger crowds than the older gardens, mostly because they could cram almost 20,000 people in there. The site lines were apparently terrible, but by all accounts the energy that still haunts the current garden, was the main draw. Then, hockey happened. This was the idea from the start, as fellow sports promoter Thomas Duggan had options on three expansion teams for the NHL, to be established in the US. One became the Bruins, and then one was arranged to be given to NYC’s most-celebrated prohibition bootlegger Bill Dwyer, who arranged with Tex to have the team play at MSG III. Tex had an agreement with the first team they started, The New York Americans, aka The Amerks (ever heard of them?), that they would be the only hockey team to ever play at The Garden. Although there was a clause in the contract that Tex claimed he would never exercise, that claimed if Tex and MSG ever made a bid for a team, the Amerks would support it. Tex kept his word for approximately one year, when due to the American’s success, he went out and got himself a hockey team. The tabloids dubbed this team Tex’s Rangers, an obvious play on words, and you can guess what that team that became today. The Rangers soon eclipsed the Amerks in success, and The Garden’s lore began to grow as the place to be in NYC. One more note on Tex, and maybe the most important in my biased Knicks ‘no other arena is THE GARDEN’ mind.he started 7 other Madison Square Garden’s around the country. Including ‘Boston Madison Square Garden’ which as you may guess, became known as Boston Garden.Thats right Celtics fans, your building was named after ours.Thanks Tex, for unknowingly providing another iconic building, that the future inhabitants of your NYC building would lose in over and over again! Anyways…now is where basketball becomes the star - so you can all start paying attention! At the time, nobody thought professional basketball was a viable way of making money. Rickard passed away in 1929, and during the great depression things stayed somewhat status quo, but also there were now a lot of days where the giant arena wasn’t being used at all. Then, in walked Ned Irish, a successful sports journalist who quit his job covering basketball games for the World-Telegram, to start promoting basketball games at MSG III. The Garden let him promote and hold games there, as long as he would just cover the rent, that’s how bad things were economically. To everyone’s pleasant surprise, the college games became a lot more financially successful than anyone had anticipated. Along with making money, these college games were probably the number one factor in growing the game nationwide in general. College ball became the marquee (pun intended) event at MSG III, especially the double headers. This was a time, before the infamous point shaving scandals, that NYC college basketball was a force in the college game. It’s hard to believe now, but teams like NYU and CCNY were the equivalent of today’s Duke and UNC. By 1946, they were selling out the arena, and the city (and country) had fallen in love with the game of basketball. The NIT was started during this time, and even the first televised basketball game happened there in the form of a Fordham-Pitt / Georgetown-NYU doubleheader. The previously mentioned point shaving scandal involving the NYC schools hamstrung Irish’s ability to put on marquee matchups at MSG III, as a lot of the major teams were banned from playing there, and the NCAA reduced its use of the arena as a result. Ned, being the promoter genius that he was, saw the success of the college game, knew his limitations with that now, and thought…Why can’t we do this with professional athletes and start a league? There had technically been professional basketball being played at MSG III since its inception, but it was traveling teams like the original Celtics, which weren’t associated with a league. People just didn’t think there was enough money in it, or a means and arenas to have such a league. So with other owners of hockey arenas around the US (and Canada!) They started the NBA in 1946. It wasn’t instantly as popular as the college game as you may suspect, with the Knicks even having to play at the 69th (nice) regiment armory when a college game was on that took priority over the NBA. Ironically, the armory was a few blocks away from the original location of MSG I and II, on Lexington between 25th and 26th, it’s still there for those NYers who happen to walk by and notice the building. There were other major nationally news worth events that happened at MSG III, including a host of politically themed ventures including both a packed Nazi rally (really, and people were NOT happy about it as you may imagine) and an anti-nazi rally. There are some very famous photos and press about the pro Nazi rally, which happened in 1939 and was organized by the ‘German American Bund’. As Nazi's were wont to do, they recorded the thing, and for what it's worth, its some of the best and most crisp footage of the old garden although the Nazi's really spoil it - Here are the receipts. If only they put their efforts into making beautiful videos of basketball games instead of hate. Too bad the guy who charged the stage didn't do any damage, and I hate to think of what they did to him. Anyways before I get too riled up, a few years later this group would be banned, but MSG certainly took some heat for allowing this to go down, and deservedly so. The tradition of MSG doing anything for a buck holds strong! Probably the most noteworthy event ever held in that venue was also somewhat a political event.The most famous version of ‘Happy Birthday’ ever sung took place at JFK’s birthday party, sung of course by Marilyn Monroe, at MSG III.Most people probably had no idea where this took place, and it may be realistically the most famous moment from any of the incarnations of MSG. Another one of my favorite stories from that time is when they had first built MSG III there was a boxer, who’s name escapes me but this is the NBA sub so you all don’t care, that didn’t realize there was a new venue, so he showed up at the site of MSG II only to see that it had been demolished. He scooted uptown as quickly as he could, and won his fight. There is a whole host of boxing history that went down there, but I won’t bore you all with the details, just go look it up if you’re interested! The boxing events most of you have heard of, such as The Fight of the Century, would happen at the building that stands today, MSG IIII. Now, on to the controversy. Madison Square Garden IIII (current arena) This is all just fact, and I won’t get into my biased opinion on why or why not this was the right thing to do. I’m going to lay out the full controversy before I get into some fun facts about the current arena…So here goes… Yes, there was an above ground Penn Station.It was thought of as one of the most iconic and beautiful landmarks in NYC.Look up some pictures, it’s very cool. In 1959, Graham-Paige bought a 40% stake in MSG for $4 million. Then, in 1960, Graham-Paige president Irving Felt (old NYers will recognize the name, the Felt Forum, which was the original name for the theater under the arena floor) bought the right to Penn Station. The idea was always that he would tear the old station down, and build the sports complex. The Pennsylvania Railroad company sold the air rights to the property because passenger traffic was on the decline after WW2, and they weren’t making enough money to upkeep the station. I’m sure the Penn Railroad company wasn’t too keen on tearing the building down, but Felt made them an offer they couldn’t refuse. In exchange for the rights of a building they couldn’t support anymore, the Penn Railroad company got a brand new, smaller station completely below the street at no cost, and also a 25% stake in the new MSG complex. That probably worked out ok for them. People tried to save the old station, as it was a beautiful and a lot of people were outraged that the city would let this happen. At the end of the day, the city voted to demolish the building in 1963. A lot went into this, it was simply too much for the railroad company to upkeep, and like I said, they got a pretty great offer. Also, they had at first optioned the air rights to William Zeckendorf in 1954, and he had some plans which would reconfigure the train station into several different things including a ‘world trade center’ and a ‘Palace of Progress’. These things didn’t come to pass, again, this was a MASSIVE building. Now it should be noted, if NYC wanted to save the building, they could have saved the building. It would not have been cheap, but they could have done it. However the city thought that since it was originally intended to be a ‘cost-effective and functional piece of the city’s infrastructure’ it was now mostly just a ‘monument to the past’. Pretty cold, but the city had a history of destroying historic buildings to build even more historic ones. A lot of the criticism from people after MSG4 was built, was that this was not the case in this instance, as opposed to say - tearing down the original Waldorf-Astoria to put up the Empire State Building. That one in retrospect, doesn’t have as much contention. The city thought they were being ‘progressive’ and from what I can gather, people didn’t believe they were actually going to tear the building down until they actually started doing it. When they actually started tearing it down, it sparked international outrage. As another user pointed out on the other thread, this led to the establishment of the NYC landmarks preservation commission, which did in fact save Grand Central from demolition in 1968. So that’s a silver lining to all of this. NYC didn’t step up to save the old Penn Station, but its demolition was not in vain. The outrage that it caused has surely saved plenty of other historic buildings from their demise. Like I said, I’m not trying to say it was right or wrong, this post is simply to state the facts on what happened and why it all happened. (((I realize that I may have been typing hastily and drunk when I responded with why the old landmark Penn Station building was torn down for the new MSG. Admittedly, my timeline was slightly off, as the ‘no property tax’ thing happened afterwards to keep the Knicks / Rangers / MSG in the city. I went back into my research and wanted to make sure I explained what happened 100% accurately. Even though nobody disputed this in the thread, my post may have been confusing and the timeline in my head was a bit skewed, as I said the threat of moving to NJ was a factor in them originally tearing the train station down. This was the reason for the property tax cut, but not the original demo of the train station, as you've just read. I wanted to make sure the accurate story was told. So this should clear up the timeline, and why and when things happened the way they did.))) The next big controversy is what I had a little mixed up in my original post, as I clumped it together with the original controversy, and that is the threat of the teams moving to New Jersey. This did happen and this is where it gets very, very, VERY sketchy. In 1982, when Gulf and Western owned MSG, they threatened to move the teams to NJ, as the Giants and Jets had done, and also the Devils although they didn’t come from Manhattan. NJ had proven a more than viable option for professional sports teams, as it was just a short train ride away to the new Meadowlands Sports Complex. The Garden was in need of renovation, so they made then mayor Ed Koch an ultimatum - give us a tax break to help us renovate the arena and add the new fangled luxury boxes that all the newer arenas had. That led to a full property tax exemption for the next 10 years. Koch ‘didn’t realize’ that no one put in a sunset date for the tax exemption. Some think he confused the clause that stated the teams would be locked in for at least 10 more years, for a clause that said the tax exemption would only last for 10 more years. The first part of that is true, so interestingly enough the Knicks and Rangers are not allowed to play home games anywhere else but MSG, or they would break the agreement, so things like the NHL winter classic that the Rangers play in, even if in NY they have to be the away team. Knicks in London? Away team. Not that those teams would give up a home games worth of revenue, but still they technically have to be the away team. So the garden has saved somewhere around half a billion dollars, yes BILLION dollars in property tax payments. It’s around $50 Million now, and although there have been bills, most notably in 2014 to try and get this changed, so far it’s fallen on deaf ears. The argument against this is pretty plain to see, the Knicks and the Rangers are the most profitable teams in their respective sports, and that they don’t need this tax break. Let’s make one thing clear, Jim Dolan definitely does NOT need the tax break. Everyone has to pay property taxes. Except, Dolan and MSG. It’s a hard pill to swallow, even as the most diehard Knicks fan. The City Council almost unanimously voted to take it to state legislature in 2014, which has authority over the cities tax rules. There is sketchy stuff all through this, like state assembly leader at the time Sheldon Silver having his daughter and one of his former top aides on MSG payroll. Oh yeah, Sheldon Silver was convicted of federal fraud and extortion charges sometime after that focused on large payments that Silver received for years from Goldberg & Iryami, a law firm that specialized in seeking reductions of New York City real estate taxes for real estate developers. Silver was alleged to have persuaded developers who had business with the state to use the firm, which in turn generated $700,000 in referral fees to Silver. Totally not sketchy at all. Here’s where it stands today, as controversy will be back to a fever pitch in a few years. In 2013, the NYC council voted unanimously to give MSG a ten year permit, as opposed to their current agreement which gave them operating rights in perpetuity. This means that MSG’s operating permit is up in 2023. Penn Station is in dire need of renovation. Like, more-so than the Knicks are in need of talent. Dolan also spent a couple billion on renovating the arena into the state of the art facility it is today. He’s not planning on moving it. If the city wants Dolan to move the garden so they can renovate the station, it would be massively complicated, and the city would be forced to offer huge subsidies to get MSG out of the way. So chances are, everything goes on, status quo. Now I will say, from my time receiving internal emails at MSG, Dolan does not want a fight with the city. They realize that there can potentially be a compromise here. Also, he has a ton of money, and politicians tend to respond to that. One thing that is a step in the right direction, is the massive building across 8th avenue, the iconic post office, which just like the old Penn Station has gone largely unused but BECAUSE of Penn Stations demolition has been protected itself from demolition. It has already begun to be repurposed for the train station, and by 2021 they are supposed to finish the construction on the inside to a huge, new, modern train hub. This will do a lot honestly in reducing the congestion in the old underground station. The other internal rumblings, were that Dolan was going to let them build into the theater. Cuomo actually announced this plan, which would leave the arena intact. I will explain the layout of the current building later, but underneath the arena floor up on the 5th floor, sits the 2nd largest theater in all of NYC. In my time there it was being used less and less, mostly because the garden also owns Radio City and The Beacon theater, which are much nicer venues. There have been iconic events down in the theater also, including many NBA drafts, and some epic Eddie Murphy stand up specials, but it is in need of renovation. It is the only area that they didn’t touch during the renovation, because the thought process is that they’d just be competing with themselves in Radio and The Beacon. So The idea is that Dolan will throw the city a bone, and let them build up into the theater, in exchange for keeping the status quo, which would give Penn a much larger footprint. Admittedly, I’m not sure what progress has gone into this plan, and if the Amtrak plan for the post office has changed any of that. Basically, we’re just going to have to wait until 2023 to see what the future really holds for MSG, but knowing a bit about NYC politics, I wouldn’t count on anything changing. Ok, now that that’s all out of the way, lets talk about the fun side of MSG4, if it hasn’t already left too sour of a taste in your collective mouths. The new building is actually a pretty fascinating piece of architecture in its own right. Some people think the facade is ugly, and that’s fair, but the inner workings are pretty cool. Charles Luckman was the architect, and he also designed the Forum out in LA, owned now by MSG as well. In my opinion, the most fascinating part of the structure is the cable system which supports it. 48 cables connect from the outer circumference of the building, meeting at the middle in a center tension ring. This allows the arena to not have visual support beams, like the arenas before it all boasted. No visual beams means better sight lines, and less obstructions. This is a cool article from the time about it if you care to know more about the actual construction. If you’re ever at The Garden, look for little circular plaques on the wall, numbered 1-48. These mark where the cables line up in the arena, and security can actually use these to dictate where they are in the building. You’ll probably never notice them, unless you’re looking for them. The other cool thing about the roof, is that if you look closely you’ll see that the actual ceiling which sits between the cables, you’ll see that it has tiny holes all through it. Thats because the ceiling is designed to absorb sound, its filled with sound absorption material so when the sound passes through the holes it helps deaden the room. Usually arenas are the worst place to see a concert, and the general rule of thumb is - the bigger the room, the louder and boomier it will be. It’s certainly not as good sounding as a smaller concert venue but it is better than any arena you’ll find. As opposed to oracle arena, which has a concrete ceiling meant to amplify sound for sporting events etc. Which makes it even more impressive how loud it gets in there, despite the ceilings best efforts. When the building was built there was a 48 lane bowling alley, an art gallery, a hall of fame, and a 501 seat cinema. Thats right, a 48 lane bowling alley. It closed in the 80s, but had a lot of bowling events including some sort of bowling TV show apparently. I haven’t been able to confirm this, but this was what I was told by a reliable source! Someone older than myself can probably speak to that. Unlike most arenas, the arena floor of MSG is actually 5 floors above street level, which allows for the theater underneath the arena floor. Although the Felt Forum Theater at Madison Square Garden doesn’t have as many events as it used to, they still have events and even at the same time that there are events going on up in the main arena. When I was working there, we had plenty of instances where there were crazy concerts or games going on upstairs, and other events going on in the theater. You would have never known the other was going on, and there is no sound transmitted from one venue to the other. Also if you’re familiar with the theater, the rumor is the lights (probably its defining characteristic) that pattern the theater ceiling, equates exactly to the number of seats in the theater. I never was bored enough to count, so that’ll just have to be a rumor for now! The floor of the arena itself is pretty cool, and if you’re not familiar with how these multi-sport arenas work, the ice lives underneath the court all through hockey and basketball season. It’s pretty remarkable to watch the ice crew make the ice, and pretty sad when it gets melted. The fun fact here is, not only can they switch over in under 3 hours from one sport to the other, but they WILL do it and have to do it several times a year to do a Knicks and Rangers home game on the same day. All four sides of the arena have expandable seating, think high school gym, which allows for almost 2 thousand more seats during Knicks games as opposed to rangers games. They cover the ice with a fiberglass/plastic compound material, and then the floor fits together like a giant puzzle over top of the material. This current material has been used since the renovation, and the ridiculous thing is before the new material, supposedly they had to melt the ice once during the season - to accommodate for the longest running event in MSG history, the dog show. Apparently the dogs could sense the ice! I wasn’t there at that time, but that was what I was told was the scenario. Another ridiculous thing is seeing them set up for professional bull riding. It’s insane, they bring in literally 20 something dump trucks of dirt and they do a ‘running of the bulls’ where all the bulls run up the ramp that goes to the street, and into their pens. It’s probably the wildest thing you’ll see being set up there, and also leaves the arena smelling like, well, you know, for several weeks. Not as bad as it smells after Phish comes through for NYE, and no I’m not talking about reefer. That would be one thing, but it just smells…grimy. As much as we all collectively have some disdain for James Dolan, it hasn’t been all bad. He has hosted 3 of the biggest benifit concerts of all time, for 9/11, Katrina, and Sandy. All the proceeds from these shows went towards victim relief. But what people don’t realize is that the first ever benefit concert happened at MSG, in George Harrison’s ‘The Concert For Bangladesh’. As for the new renovation, they really did a nice job in a lot of ways. It took 3 years, from 2011-13. First of all, if you’ve never sat on the bridge for a game, do it. It’s truly a one of a kind view. If you’re not familiar with the bridge, they are 2 suspended walkways that were added during the renovation, with several rows of seating that stretch across the arena. One side is the ‘Media bridge’ where there are TV’s with full cable, all kinds of plugs for laptops and internet and all that. They will sell tickets to this side when it’s a game that the media isn’t hogging the whole thing. I like hanging up there during games because there are advanced stats on some of the channels, anything you would need to be covering the game from a journalistic perspective, so it’s pretty cool. Also that’s where the radio, and the hockey TV broadcast booths are, since the vantage point is better up there for hockey than on the glass. Pro tip - sometimes on stub hub or wherever, those seats can be cheaper than the ones further back not on the bridge. This is because they’re the ‘300’ level, where as the seats all the way up on the sides are the 200 level. However there really isn’t a bad seat in the house. And there are bars INSIDE the seating area, so if you’re up in the top of the 200’s, you can hit the bar without ever leaving the arena bowl and missing a single second of that can’t miss Knicks basketball. The 400 level is cool too, that’s the blue seats, which were the original color of all the 400 level seats. Back in the day, when there were paper tickets, the seats in the different levels were different colors, and the tickets for those seats would be the same color as your seats! The suite situation is very insane now a days. There are the event level suites, which are 20 suites located literally on the arena floor, underneath the seating. They have no view of the game, but they come with 8 seats each right in the first few rows. It’s the best of both worlds, so you’ll see the first few rows CLEAR OUT during half time to go into their little luxury caves. There are also suites all through the mid level of the arena, and then a 3rd level of suites up on the 9th floor, facing the stage. There are also luxury clubs, including the Delta Club, which if you’ve never had a ticket with access to it, and can afford it - I highly recommend it. Everything (minus alcohol of course!) is free, and the food is honestly ridiculous. Further down the hall and down the stairs is the JP Morgan club (throwback!) where an even more elite club (closest 100 or so seats) can hang out. And even more so, there is a place called ‘suite 200’. I never knew about this until I worked there. You can only go there if you’re invited, which means you’re very famous. For some reason, my keycard had access to this, and I explored it a few times. It’s ridiculous. Original trophies, huge original paintings, etc. Speaking of trophies - everyone used to ask me where the Knicks championship trophies are - and the truth is, back when the Knicks won it was so long ago, that the NBA trophy was like the Stanley cup and changed hands every year. So…no Knicks championship trophies. However if you go to MSG you’ll notice the defining moments collection, the top moments in MSG history that line the walls of the 2 main concourses. There is one dedicated to the 1970 championship, and it has the eastern conference trophy in it.Now this I can confirm is true - if you examine the trophy you’ll notice that the little basketball player on top is a different hue than the rest of the trophy.That’s because apparently when they were compiling these displays a few years ago, they found the trophy in storage with the basketball man broken off the top of it, so they had to replace it.That’s why you can visibly tell that there is a difference between him and the rest of the trophy, if you really examine it. Obviously there have been so many huge events at The Garden, I don’t really need to get into that here. Also if you ever get the chance, visit the 9th floor where the signature suites are located. The coolest memorabilia in the building is up there, including one of those signed 50 greatest lithographs, Patrick Ewing and Wayne Gretzky’s locker, and even the statue of Joe Gans, a legendary African American boxer. This statue has the patina pretty much gone from his outstretched left arm is it was tradition for boxers to tap gloves with Joe for good luck before they took the ring. Now it sits up there, right next to the scale that was in use during the time of the fight of the century featuring Frazier and Ali. They also have an old school ice resurfacer up there, which is pretty cool. Well, I’m sure there’s a ton that I left out - If you made it this far, you’re a champ. TL;DR - Boston Garden was originally called Boston Madison Square Garden and was named after the arena in NY. There is only one 'The Garden' and it's super duper important. ;) Edit - I should have mentioned wrestling. It’s intimately tied to MSG, but really deserves its own thread and I have no more characters!
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