It’s information overload everywhere, and there’s not time enough to sleep and eat and stay fully apprised of what’s happening on this crazy blue dot of ours (two out of three ain’t bad). Here’s the weekend Sports Handle item, “Get a Grip,” recapping the week’s top stories, highlighting some fresh news and rounding up key stories in the world (and industry) of legal U.S. sports betting.
A strange week in sports, sports betting and everything
To borrow a line from NBA and MLB lobbyists, there can be no sports betting without sports. In a world consumed by a pandemic that will infect millions, claim at least thousands, and force drastic changes to life and business as usual, there will be almost no live sports, too.
Today will mark an NCAA March Madness ‘Selection Sunday’ — without selections. The impact across the entire U.S. economy, up and down the chain of commerce, is going to be severe.
On Monday, as the covid-19 outbreak strengthens its grip in the U.S., millions of children will stay home from school while parents attempt to work from home productively, through an indefinite spell of social distancing.
The longer people stateside don’t take the threat seriously, as Italy and South Korea have shown with their contrasting responses, the longer it will last and graver the fallout will be. The spreading virus already has a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter, and the federal government is not exactly the Kansas City Chiefs.
For everyone wondering about why we "cancel everything" this image from @CDCgov displays that without a vaccine all we can do is socially isolate to prevent spread and remain below capacity #COVD19 #atschat #FlattenTheCurve pic.twitter.com/2OPAzlUCZm
— Graham Carlos (@GrahamCarlos) March 12, 2020
Before this introductory section veers into the political, let’s steer back to sports betting and gambling industry things.
A State-By-State Rundown Of The Coronavirus Impact On Casinos [US Bets]
No Simple Answers As Coronavirus Fears Send Gaming Stocks On A Wild Ride [CDC Gaming]
Uncertain Futures: Sportsbooks And Bettors Playing Wait And See With Wagers [SH]
World Series Of Poker Continues To Monitor ‘Fluid Situation’ With Coronavirus [US Bets]
Bettors, Sportsbooks Turn to UFC, soccer [Chalk]
Sports betting began in Illinois on Monday. https://t.co/pTshtCjjNS
— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) March 13, 2020
Montana Lottery goes live with bastardized sports betting
According to the Helena Independent Record, the Lottery plans to install kiosks in most of its 180 licensed locations, which are primarily bars, taverns and gas stations. Sports betting went live at some locations on Wednesday with plans to have all the terminals up and running by Sunday, though given the current climate, there is little available to bet on.
Once again states with lottery sports book solutions have embarrassed themselves. The lottery has absolutely no business here. Just so you know the lines on the games are
approximately a 12.5% hold. The norm is -110 on both sides or 4.5%. Don't be suckered in Montana pic.twitter.com/UNRCaWgjFY
— Robert Walker (@robertusfsports) March 12, 2020
Colorado goes virtual
Other important, non-coronavirus-related stories of the week
— MotorCity Casino (@MotorCityCasino) March 12, 2020
— Barry Sanders (@BarrySanders) March 12, 2020
BACK TO THE SCOTUS: Sports leagues seek Supreme Court intervention in $150 battle with NJ Horsemen [NJOG]
BOXING OUT: FanDuel in talks to buy Illinois racetrack, gain immediate sports betting access [SH]
BIOMETRIC: The Brave New World of betting on athletes’ data [WSJ]
BOLD MOVE: DraftKings ‘Bachelor’ couple stripped of $1M prize apparently still allowed to play on DK [USB]
YEAR-OVER-YEAR: Get the February handle, hold and revenue figures for New Jersey [NJOG]
LAKE TAHOE: Eldorado Resorts agrees to sell Montbleu Resort Casino & Spa to Maverick Gaming [KTVN]
TEAMING UP: PointsBet becomes official betting partner of La Liga North America [SportTechie]
TWEAKING: Tennessee continues ironing out kinks in sports betting rules ahead of projected fall launch [TNBets]