Whatever you do, don’t check your 401(k)! Or your crypto portfolio! Or bonds! It’s been a few weeks of absolute carnage out there but we all need to keep our heads up. Volatility doesn’t last, tough men and women do so buck up, buckaroos. Let’s dive briefly into the world of vice finance and tech to take our minds off the public markets meltdown. This is 3 And Out.
#1 – Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot greenlights new Bally’s casino for Chicago’s River West Neighborhood
Just last week, Mayor Lightfoot announced
that Bally’s ($BALY) has won the city’s one and only casino license. The proposed site for the Windy City’s first casino is at the former Chicago Tribune publishing center at the corner of Chicago Ave and Halsted St. The $1.74 billion project will create nearly 3,000 jobs (and commits to 60% minority hires) and expects to generate around $200 million a year in tax revenue for the state of Illinois, all of which has been earmarked for police and fire pensions (we’ll see about that 😉 ). The proposed casino resort will also boast:
- 500 room hotel
- An outdoor park
- A music venue and a 3,000 seat theater
- An extension of Chicago’s newly beloved Riverwalk
- 3,400 slots and 170 game tables
- 6 restaurants and a food hall
The casino is expected to be completed and operational by spring 2026. Bally’s proposal also beat out competitor proposals by Hard Rock and Rivers for sites near Soldier Field and Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood respectively.
#2 – 80-to-1 Underdog Rich Strike Stuns The World And Wins The Kentucky Derby; Record Amounts of Money Wagered On The Race
A surprise perhaps to all, last-second entry to the Kentucky Derby Rich Strike pulled off an unprecedented upset. At 80-1 odds, Rich Strike was the 2nd biggest underdog to win the Derby ever and was the first win for both trainer Eric Reed and jockey Sonny Leon (great jockey name btw). A $2 bet on Rich Strike to win would’ve netted a cool $163.60 to a lucky bettor. Overall, TwinSpires, the official betting partner of the Kentucky Derby, revealed a record handle of $179 million
on the races, representing a 17% increase over 2021. While it’s a matter of debate for how well marketed the Kentucky Derby is, or how accessible it is to wager on the race, setting new records in betting handle is never a bad thing and is healthy for the industry on net. We’ll see if Churchill Downs ($CHDN)) has any ambitions to enter the broader online gambling space but for now, they’ve intended to double down on horse racing. Sidenote, famed sports bettor Mattress Mack lost $2.6 million on the Derby, so it could always be worse. Bet responsibly 🙂
#3 – Stablecoin TerraUSD ($UST) Loses Its Peg To The US Dollar Amid Crypto Sell Off
TerraUSD, the stablecoin
that is largely capitalized by Terra ($LUNA), has broken its peg to the US dollar and has traded as low as $0.67. For those readers keeping score at home, stablecoins are intended to be just that, stable, and to keep a 1-to-1 peg to the dollar. Alas, as carnage ensues, the algorhtimic stable UST has struggled to stay collateralized as the value of LUNA has fallen. Do Kwon, founder of Terra, has deployed $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin to “protect the peg” to the dollar and provide liquidity to the Terra ecosystem. Many questions remain unanswered as this saga unfolds. Is LUNA truly decentralized? Is a peg worth fighting for or should the market decide the going rate? (LOL @ Iceland circa 2008). Is Bitcoin truly becoming a hard, digital asset akin to real-world gold? Will Lunatics continue to HODL? The world may never know.