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Mohegan Gaming, FanDuel announce sports-betting, online gaming partnership

Retail sportsbook to open in temporary Mohegan Sun location in September with permanent casino location set for winter.



Mohegan — Partners Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment and FanDuel Group announced Wednesday they’re poised to roll out retail and online sports betting, online gaming and daily fantasy sports in Connecticut this fall, “pending all licensing and regulatory approvals.”

The partnership will enable bettors throughout the state to place wagers on professional football, basketball, baseball, hockey and other sports via FanDuel, which also will provide online casino gaming under the Mohegan Sun brand and operate daily fantasy sports in Connecticut.

“We’re excited to work with FanDuel, one of the leading sports-tech entertainment companies in the U.S., to bring the brand’s innovative sports betting and iGaming solutions to Mohegan Sun Connecticut,” Ray Pineault, MGE’s president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “Our partnership is a priority for Mohegan Digital, as we look to grow and enhance our casino, sportsbook and online operations in Connecticut — and beyond.”

Mohegan Sun and FanDuel expect to open a temporary sportsbook location at the casino in September and anticipate opening a permanent sportsbook there this winter. The temporary location will feature four live betting windows and 16 self-service betting terminals.

The sportsbook at Mohegan Sun has the potential to become the largest FanDuel sportsbook in the United States, according to Amy Howe, president of FanDuel Group.

“When we combine the retail sports betting experience with the opportunity for online sports betting and iGaming, Connecticut is going to be a key state for us as we look towards the start of football season,” Howe said.

Sports betting, online gaming and daily fantasy sports were authorized in Connecticut by legislation Gov. Ned Lamont signed into law in May. The law granted the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes the right to offer the new gaming options at their respective gaming facilities — Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino — as well as online. It also allows the Connecticut Lottery Corp. to provide in-person and online sports betting and fantasy sports as well as online keno and online sale of draw-games tickets.

The tribes and the lottery cannot introduce the new gaming options until the state’s amended gaming agreements with the tribes are approved by the U.S. Department of the Interior, which has jurisdiction over tribal gaming. State and tribal officials have said they hope to have sports betting in place for the Sept. 9 start of the NFL season, a target that may prove overly optimistic.

Foxwoods announced a partnership with gaming operator DraftKings last December in anticipation of legislative approval of sports betting, online gaming and fantasy sports. The Mashantuckets are opening a new casino sportsbook, DraftKings at Foxwoods, in an area formerly occupied by a casino brewpub.

The lottery has yet to announce a sports-betting and online gaming vendor.

MGE, which recently announced the formation of Mohegan Digital, a new division overseeing the new gaming offerings, has restructured an agreement with Kambi, a European operator MGE previously had hired to launch MGE’s sports-betting operations in Connecticut. The restructuring enabled MGE to partner with FanDuel, according to Mohegan tribal officials.

FanDuel Group, which bills itself as “the premier gaming destination in the United States,” has a portfolio of brands involved in gaming, sports betting, daily fantasy sports, advance-deposit wagering and TV/media, including FanDuel, Stardust and TVG. Based in New York, it has a presence in all 50 states, and offices in California, New Jersey, Florida, Oregon, Georgia and Scotland.



McQuaid wanted to play despite COVID ‘outbreak’ but playoff game postponed. Here’s why.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said there has been a COVID-19 outbreak among one of the football teams.



McQuaid football players and coaches were about to board buses and ride to the team’s state tournament quarterfinal Saturday night in Williamsville, Erie County, when they were told the playoff game was postponed.

Robert Zayas, executive director of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, said the decision was made to postpone the Class AA Far West Regional game between Buffalo Bennett of Section VI and McQuaid at about 3:15 p.m. Saturday.

“It’s a situation that the health and safety of our student-athletes needs to be our focus,” Zayas said about NYSPHSAA’s decision to postpone. “It’s abiding by the directive from our public health service officials.

“It’s what’s going to allow us to continue to have state championships.”

No reason for the postponement was announced by NYSPHSAA at first, but Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz tweeted there is “a COVID-19 outbreak with McQuaid’s team.”

McQuaid acknowledged in a statement that “some players and an assistant coach tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week.”

“On Friday evening, the Erie County Department of Health indicated it would only permit vaccinated McQuaid Jesuit players, coaches and managers to compete in the regional final.”

McQuaid tried to force the game to be played by judicial order, in contravention of health departments standards, but to the credit of @NYSPHSAA they postponed the game until a full court hearing can be held in the next few days. I would have postponed it if necessary. 2/2

— Mark Poloncarz (@markpoloncarz) November 20, 2021

McQuaid’s statement also read the team was placed on a 72-hour pause for “contact practice,” beginning last Tuesday.

“With guidance received from the Monroe County Department of Public Health, McQuaid Jesuit tested all players and coaches for three consecutive days beginning Thursday morning,” according to the school’s statement. “All players and coaches, whether vaccinated or not, were tested Thursday, Friday, and again (Saturday) morning with negative tests each day required to participate (Saturday night).

“Testing did result in several more positive cases which have been reported to the Department of Public Health. Any members of the program who tested positive were immediately required to isolate.”

McQuaid school officials felt the team was in a position to play, but Zayas disagreed and postponed the game.

“This postponement comes after the Honorable Marc A. Montour of Erie County Supreme Court awarded McQuaid Jesuit a temporary restraining order against the Erie County Department of Health this afternoon,” according to the school’s statement.

Zayas said he is hopeful that McQuaid will play the game, instead of losing by forfeit. The Class AA state semifinal round upstate game is scheduled for next Saturday at Cicero-North Syracuse High.

“I’m hopeful that is not the case,” Zayas said about a forfeit by McQuaid. “I’m hopeful that under the guidance and the direction of our public health experts, that the student-athletes get to play this game.

“That’s certainly my goal.”

Zayas mentioned Tuesday as a possible date the McQuaid-Buffalo Bennett state quarterfinal will be played. Section VI, as the host, would determine the site and time.

This article originally appeared on Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: McQuaid football playoff game postponed after COVID ‘outbreak’

No reason for the postponement was announced by NYSPHSAA at first, but Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz tweeted there is “a COVID-19 outbreak with McQuaid’s team.”


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Video Game Nirvana in Madison Village provides fun for customers from near and far

Lukacs’ store, Video Game Nirvana, is based at 4 West Main St. in downtown Madison Village. It’s turned out that the proximity of the community’s downtown to a major regional asse…



One of the lessons that R.J. Lukacs has learned in his nearly two years as a new business owner is the importance of location.

Lukacs’ store, Video Game Nirvana, is based at 4 West Main St. in Madison Village. It’s turned out that the proximity of the community’s downtown to a major regional asset has yielded big benefits for Video Game Nirvana.

“Being that I’m right off Interstate 90, less than a half-mile from the freeway, I get people from Erie, Cleveland — everybody,” Lukacs said.

R.J. Lukacs, owner of Video Game Nirvana in Madison Village, shows some of the consoles that the store sells for classic, or “retro,” video game systems, such as Nintendo 64, PlayStation 2 and Sega Genesis. Video Game Nirvana, located at 4 W. Main St., also features a wide assortment of modern video games, and sells video game accessories. (Bill DeBus — The News-Herald)

Video Game Nirvana also regularly uses its Facebook page to keep customers up to date on what’s in stock at the store.

Customers have the opportunity to buy, sell and trade video games and accessories at the business. With Lukacs regularly taking in products from patrons, the items on display at Video Game Nirvana always are being rearranged.

“My biggest thing right now is the space,” he said. “I have so many things to sell, but limited space to put it out and show people what I have. But inventory is constantly rotating.”

Video Game Nirvana is located at 4 W. Main St. in Madison Village. (Bill DeBus — The News-Herald)

For Lukacs, owning and operating the store is a labor of love, since he’s also a longtime video-game collector and player.

He opened Video Game Nirvana on Feb. 1, 2020. About seven weeks later, he joined the legion of other Ohio business owners who were forced to either close completely or find new ways of operating because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“It was scary, to say the least,” Lukacs said, recalling the state mandates that were placed on non-essential business, such as Video Game Nirvana.

In late March of 2020, Lukacs closed the store to walk-in customers. For about the next 2 1/2 months, he accepted online orders, and would either the ship the items or safely meet customers for curbside transactions.

“I also have a large presence on eBay,” he said.

Even though the overall economy declined sharply during that stretch of the COVID-19 crisis, Video Game Nirvana still generated a decent amount of sales revenue, Lukacs said.

“People either were looking for money and wanted to sell their stuff, and I was buying, or they were bored sitting at home and they needed something to do,” he said. “So I could obviously supply them with video games.”

Lukacs decided to allow in-store shopping to resume at Video Game Nirvana in late May of 2020.

“Business immediately picked back up, to much better than it was before (COVID-19 restrictions took effect),” he said. “I was surprised. By the time June (2020) rolled around, people were really coming in and it just took off and it hasn’t slowed since.”

Right now, the top-selling items at Lukacs’ store are the “retro” video games and systems which made their debut many years ago.

“PlayStation 2, because it also plays PlayStation 1, so you have a library of about 4,000 games,” Lukacs said. “So there’s something for everybody in there.”

Nintendo 64 also is a favorite among customers.

“A lot of my clientele are at the age now where they want to get that nostalgia for what they played when they were kids,” Lukacs said. “And honestly, Nintendo 64 games are still fun, they still hold up and they’re just a good time.”

Lukacs emphasized that Video Game Nirvana also stocks a wide assortment of modern video games.

“I sell it all,” he said. “But I’d say 75 percent (of total sales) is retro versus anything made in the last 10 years.”

Along with adult customers who have a strong attachment to classic video games of yesteryear, a lot of children enjoy visiting Video Game Nirvana, Lukacs said.

“At least once or twice a week, kids come in here and this is where they want to come for their birthday,” he said. “It gives me a really good feeling, that my store has become the destination for young kids on their birthday. I can’t think of anything cooler.”

Before opening Video Game Nirvana, Lukacs worked in the corporate sector for 12 years as a customer service and supply chain specialist. Looking back over the past two years, Lukacs said he’s happy with the decision in he made to start his own business.

“I don’t think I can ever go back and have somebody micro-manage me or tell me what to do, when I can do it on my own, the results far better and I have fun doing it,” he said.


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Mr. Clutch: Riley comes up big again, Braves win Game 3

Austin Riley keeps coming up with one clutch hit after another on baseball’s biggest stage.



Published October 30, 2021 12:06AM

ATLANTA – Austin Riley keeps coming up with one clutch hit after another on baseball’s biggest stage.

Riley drove in the first run of the Braves’ 2-0 victory over the Houston Astros in Game 3 of the World Series on a damp Friday night in Atlanta.

The Braves are now up 2-1 in the series, two wins away from their first championship since 1995.


Their burly third baseman is a huge reason why.

After a breakout year in 2021 that sparks chants of “MVP! MVP! MVP!” from Atlanta fans when he comes to the plate, Riley has carried his regular-season success right to the postseason.

Riley provided the only offense that would be needed on a night when the Braves pitchers did not allow a hit until the eighth inning.


With one out and two runners aboard, Riley yanked one down the third-base line for a double that sent Eddie Rosario scooting home.

Travis d’Arnaud provided some insurance with a mammoth homer over the center-field wall in the eighth, but it’s impossible to ignore Riley’s impact on the Atlanta lineup.

During the NL Division Series against the Milwaukee Brewers, Riley went 5 of 15 with a homer to help the Braves advance to face the 106-win Los Angeles Dodgers, the reigning champs and the team that sent Atlanta packing in 2020.

Not this time.

Not with Riley in the middle of things.


He won Game 1 with a walk-off hit in the ninth. In the Game 6 clincher, Riley put the Braves ahead with a two-out RBI double in the first, yet another clutch hit that was overshadowed by Rosario’s MVP-winning performance.

Riley is at it again in the World Series.

In Game 1 at Houston, he doubled in a run in the first inning to help spark a 6-2 victory.

On Friday, he jumped on a cutter from rookie Luis Garcia, smoking it just inside the third-base bag — a huge blow in the first nail-biting game of the Series.

The big hits just keep on coming for the 24-year-old cleanup hitter.







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