Hitting The Reset Button
Nobody wants to hit the reset button, but sometimes you don’t have a choice in the matter, and that's where Penn Entertainment, Bally’s, and California find themselves.
2023 was an intriguing and tumultuous year on the US sports betting front.
Several operators threw in the towel, others pulled back on the reins, and legalization efforts went up in flames in several locales. the shifting landscape resulted in the reset button being hit.
In this column, I’ll look at three 2023 resets: Penn Entertainment, Bally’s, and the state of California.
Resets Are Scary… Trust Me
Nobody wants to hit the reset button, but sometimes you don’t have a choice in the matter. I dealt with my own version of a reset just before this newsletter launched.
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In July I ran into a computer problem, and no, it wasn’t the dreaded blue screen of death. My computer nightmare began with an innocuous Windows update.
Following the update my laptop asked for a BitLocker code. I had no idea what this was, never mind where to find it, so I headed over to Google.
It turns out BitLocker is a security feature, and the code (a unique 48-digit code) is only available through the Windows account that registered the computer. Simple enough, or so I thought. I checked the emails I might have used to register the computer and found one with the laptop attached, but no BitLocker code.
After a brief panic, I contacted my “computer guy” relative, who seemed unvexed. After he tried a few things and spent a day talking to colleagues, he concluded that without the BitLocker code, the computer couldn’t be unlocked. And seriously, there is no way to get that code. No recovery email, no Windows support, no nothing. That’s when the panic set in.
My laptop had pretty much everything I’d worked on to launch my Substack in August, and I hadn’t backed it up to my external drive in more than a month. I was about to lose a good deal of work and, more importantly, the time spent getting the Substack ready.
The only solution was to reinstall Windows, a complete wipe. A full reset. Maybe the files would be recoverable, but most likely not.
Not backing up my files or sending them to the cloud was about to be a very costly mistake, and I resigned myself to the fact that I would be putting in 80-hour weeks for a couple of months as I played catchup.
That’s when things went from bad to worse. When I tried to wipe the drive (weeping slightly when I hit reformat), the BitLocker block was still there, so it looked like I was about to be down a laptop, too.
Then I realized something: there was another email that I might also have registered the laptop with… and there it was the BitLocker code! The bad news is I had already wiped the drive, so I proceeded to cry and curse my stupidity.
Long story short, my “computer guy” relative was able to recover many of the files.
Hitting the reset button was still costly as I lost a lot of files and it was a multi-day ordeal, but it taught me several valuable lessons about backups and keeping track of important information like BitLocker codes.
The three subjects of this reset column, Penn, Bally’s, and California, will also feel the sting of lost time and money, and if they’re lucky, they’ll be able to recover some of the files and hopefully have learned some lessons along the way.
The Bronze Medal Reset: Bally’s
Bally’s (nee Twin River) was late to the online gambling party, but when it jumped, it jumped in headfirst, acquiring assets like it was a contestant on Guy’s Grocery Games.