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 (or fashionably late) Sports Handle item, “Get a Grip,” recapping the week’s top U.S. sports betting stories, highlighting some fresh news, and rounding up key stories.
Top stories in very brief
Record setter: Usually just the dog days of the summer and only regular season MLB action, late July into late August 2020 delivered quite a different thing in a very different year: an all-time monthly betting handle record for the entire U.S. The number dropped on Monday: bettors placed $668 million wagers in August at legal NJ sportsbooks, reflecting in part lots of interest in the adjusted scheduling for the NBA and NHL playoffs Breakdowns here on the betting and more broadly on the casino/gambling industry in NJ here. Numbers out of PA showed showed similar high notes.
Pritzker Punts: Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday afternoon renewed an Executive Order that suspends the state law’s requirement for patrons to register in person for an online betting account in Illinois. Meaning people can continue to do so via mobile devices or online — until the next Groundhog Day this time next month, when the order will expire again if not renewed, shipping Chicago back into the Dark Ages.
Ohio: Will they or won’t they? It sounds like Ohio will be legalizing sports wagering in the last few months of 2020, with the Casino Control Commission tapped as regulator, which is overall good news for people who want access to a market more like Indiana’s and less like Washington D.C.’s. single-app debacle.
Worldwide Leader: ESPN (Disney/ABC) inked “co-exclusive” agreements with DraftKings and Caesars this week, giving DK Sportsbook and William Hill (via Caesars/Eldorado ownership) promotion and visibility across all ESPN apps/platforms. Here’s a quick overview of all the deals involving the other major networks — CBS, ABC, NBC.
A little color on what it takes to do a media deal with $DKNG… pic.twitter.com/zpp0aZ1EwH
— Alfonso Straffon 🇨🇷🇺🇸🇲🇽 (@astraffon) September 18, 2020
William Hill’s D.C. book writes $9.1M in August
William Hill’s retail sportsbook at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., the first of its kind in the U.S., took in $9.13 million in handle on just over 69,000 wagers in August, according to a financial report released Wednesday by the D.C. Lottery. William Hill recorded a pretty high hold (nationwide industry standing about 7-8%) of 15.6%, and paid the District $142,527 in taxes. The William Hill book opened on July 31.
Comparatively, bettors wagered $2.13 million in August on the Lottery’s GamBetDC, the only mobile/online option available citywide in the District. GamBetDC debuted in May and so far has taken $3.1 million in bets and paid out $1.85 million. A total of 105,332 bets have been placed.
Early returns and the logic behind the DC Council’s decision to deploy a single app monopoly have come under local scrutiny, meanwhile here’s an earlier story I wrote on the subject that’s about 2,001 words too long.
Washington DC @MayorBowser when asked about how sports betting is going so far in the District at a @SportTechie event today:
"I just read some very cursory returns about how it’s going, so let me just say it may be too early for me to make a comment on it.”
— Matt Carey (@MattCareyGC) September 17, 2020
Mass colleges don’t support sports betting
AGA launches ‘responsible marketing’ code
Last week at this time, I was waking up from surgery to remove a blood clot on my brain from a stroke…
A week later, I am tweeting to say thank you to my family, my doctors, my friends and my guys
Talk about feeling lucky?🙏🏼🙏🏼
-900, boys & damn glad to be here
— Sportsbook Consigliere (@SportsbkConsig) September 18, 2020
— 5Dimes 🐐 Sportsbook (@5DimesSB) September 14, 2020
Nugget from most recent @BetTheBoardPod @ToddFuhrman podcast…@FDSportsbook (now available in NJ, IN, PA, CO, 10 total states) saw $50 million (!!) in betting handle on **NFL Week 1 alone** (from @jsheeran1981)
(Of course, the demand and opportunity has always been there…)
— Sports Handle (@sports_handle) September 19, 2020
Important court victory today. California tribes get another 62 days (Dec 14) to gather signatures for their sports betting initiative.
— Victor Rocha (@VictorRocha1) September 16, 2020
Complete list of potential outcomes when wagering on the Cleveland Browns:
1. Lose money
End of list.
— Joe Fortenbaugh (@JoeFortenbaugh) September 18, 2020
THE BLOCK pic.twitter.com/xJVQKiC5LJ
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) September 16, 2020
Have a good weekend, folks.