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 and rounding up key stories in sports betting, gaming, and the world of sports at large. You may have missed them, and they are worth reading.
D.C. sports betting on hold … again
A D.C. Superior Court judge threw the latest wrench in The District’s plan to launch sports betting sooner than later. According to WTOP, a judge on Thursday sided with mobile-app developer Dylan Carragher and issued a temporary restraining order that will delay the rollout of sports betting.
Carragher filed suit claiming that the D.C. Council’s decision to award the city’s sports betting contract to current Lottery vendor Intralot without seeking additional bids was illegal. The Lottery is scheduled to make a $30 mm payment to Intralot by Oct. 1, but the judge’s order stops that payment. The Intralot contract is worth $215 mm.
Last week, Carragher’s lawyer, Donald Temple, said the Council, “illegally created an exemption for the D.C. Government to award Intralot with the District’s Sports Betting contract, under the D.C. Lottery.” He’s not the first one to point that out, as multiple Council members strenuously voiced their objections to allowing the Lottery to bypass the bid process. Council Members David Grosso, Elissa Silverman, Brianne Nadeau, Mary Cheh and Charles Allen all voted against the proposal to single-source the contract in a July vote.
“I do not understand why we all think we have to rush to judgment right now,” Grosso said at that meeting. “This is a bad deal for the District of Columbia.”
Turns out, he was right. Those in favor of bypassing the bid process argued that it would speed up the timeline from legalization to launch. The Council initially approved sports betting in December 2018, and as recently as this summer, D.C. Lottery officials were advancing regulations and aiming for a January 2019 launch. That goal won’t be met, D.C. Lottery spokesperson Nicole Jordan told the media Thursday.
How long will this delay be? Hard to tell, but the next hearing on Carragher’s case is set for Tuesday.
DraftKings, NFL lock arms
Today the @NFL selects @DraftKings as its Official Daily Fantasy Partner. This distinctive deal includes exclusive sponsorship of the daily fantasy sports (DFS) category and more. Full press release included here: https://t.co/lYlupZCmXa pic.twitter.com/8lCfxWlruJ
— DraftKingsNews (@DraftKingsNews) September 26, 2019
On Thursday, the DraftKings and the NFL announced that the Boston-based DFS giant would become the league’s official daily fantasy partner.
How popular is football among DFS players? Per a news release, “DraftKings has a player base of over 11 million globally and nearly 90 percent of all DraftKings’ customers have participated in an NFL daily fantasy contest.”
At this point, DraftKings is as much a sports betting company as a daily fantasy sports company, given the company’s rapid expansion of sportsbook offerings — mobile and retail — across the U.S. Put simply, it’s a gambling operator, and this partnership represents a further thawing of the NFL’s public outward opposition to sports gambling. But the NFL has moved more slowly and deliberately than the NBA and MLB, which early on launched “integrity fee” missiles.
A DraftKings spokesman offered a bit more color in an e-mail exchange with Sports Handle:
SH: What kind of content, product offerings and integrations can fans/players expect to see on NFL platforms?
DK: Being the Official Daily Fantasy Partner of the League creates all kinds of benefits for our customer base. For example, DraftKings now has access to a variety of hospitality assets that we can use in prizing like trips to the Super Bowl. We’ll start rolling out custom contests and prizing this regular season and certainly throughout the postseason as well.
SH: Is DraftKings and the NFL discussing a possible partnership around sports betting?
DK: This deal is strictly in regard to the daily fantasy category and exists as a standalone partnership. While we are always exploring business opportunities across our verticals, including sportsbook, this deal has no bearing outside of DFS.
So, there’s more embracing of sports gambling for the NFL to do another day. Maybe 2020, when the Raiders officially move to Sin City.
Mobile to go live in Indiana Oct. 3
BREAKING: Indiana mobile sports betting to begin Oct. 3. Rush Street Interactive received the green light this afternoon.
— Brian Pempus (@brianpempus) September 25, 2019
The Indiana Gaming Commission this week approved the launch of mobile sports betting at the French Lick Casino, which is partnering with Rush Street Interactive, according to the Indiana Business Journal. Bettors can register remotely.
Under Indiana law, wagers can be placed on college and professional sports. French Lick will get a head start, but apparently not much of one, on competitors, as the IGC says it has received two additional applications for operators wanting to operate mobile sportsbooks, according to the Indianapolis Star. The names of the two additional operators were not released.
More of the most important stories
"A Houston furniture salesman, facing millions of dollars in refunds if the Astros win the World Series, has enlisted the help of two high-level gamblers from Las Vegas to find an American bookmaker willing to take a giant bet."
— Ben Fawkes (@BFawkesESPN) September 27, 2019
BET, MAN: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman heads list of G2E speakers. [CDCGaming]
SOLD! West Virginia’s Mountaineer Casino being sold to Century Casinos. [MetroNews]
EXPECTATIONS: States taking in less than projected from sports betting. [Yahoo!]
INEVITABLE LITIGATION: Whose data is it anyway? Part 2 – does anyone actually own football data? [Nat’l Law Review]
Betting on sports will…
– teach you money management
– force you to control your emotions
– educate you on probability
– hone your research skills and reading comprehension
– make you question the meaning of life
See, generally speaking sports betting is a good thing
— Todd Fuhrman (@ToddFuhrman) September 25, 2019
FIELD TRIP: Wisconsin lawmakers visit Iowa to study sports betting. [StarTrib]
POSSESSED?: William Hill takes Iowa kiosks offline after they power up on their own. [AP]
LEFT BEHIND: Iowa is open for sports betting, but not at tribal casinos. [WorldHerald]
PASS: Norfolk residents against casino, and probably sports betting, too. [VirginianPilot]
Here’s my story on Nevada’s sports betting handle being topped in August by New Jersey for the 3rd time in 4 months, though it’s mostly good news for Nevada and the the industry on the whole as handle continues to grow across the country https://t.co/HB4M31vbBx @VSiNLive pic.twitter.com/EXtPqKqeUD
— Dave Tuley (@ViewFromVegas) September 27, 2019
In the wider world of sports
CFP PREDICTION: Besides Clemson and Alabama, who has a shot at making CFP? [ESPN]
WHAT NOISE? There’s plenty of drama around USC football, but team is focused on field. [SI]
PAY TO PLAY: Here’s a “reasonable” way for college athletes to earn a buck. [WSJ]
END OF AN ERA: Seattle says a bittersweet farewell to Felix Hernandez. [SeattleTimes]
AND THEY’RE OFF: Santa Anita opens 23-day meet leading up to Breeder’s Cup. [LAT]
"We were just like … are we ready to do it? And everybody was like, yeah."
KD teaming up with Kyrie and De'Andre Jordan was simple 😂 pic.twitter.com/sqCLGAsImG
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 27, 2019