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 Gnjip,” recapping the week’s top US sports betting stories, highlighting some fresh news, and rounding up key stories. Also check out this week’s Wild World of Gambling at US Bets.
NY mobile betting coverage highlights
Mobile sports betting will be coming to New York. That’s one of the few things we can say at this point with some clarity. The headlines (below) from Albany native Matt Rybaltowski and John Brennan throughout the week tell the story here.
A scandal-stained yet intractable Gov. Andrew Cuomo appears to have gotten his way with a state-run model limiting competition, with a revenue sharing percentage in the range of 50-55%. However the key phrase “platform provider” in the enabling legislation is now seeing a level of scrutiny typically applied to deciphering phrases such as “medically necessary” and “a well regulated militia.”
The apparent front-runners for access to the coveted New York State online sports betting market are DraftKings, FanDuel, and IGT, if only based on the company’s public statements. But at this point nobody is exactly sure what or who the language in the budget bills is seeking to empower. To be untangled and continued, and probably litigated with the Oneida Nation in Central New York, which is threatening to discontinue payments for regional exclusivity over the bill.
New York’s mobile sports betting framework, established this week, is:
— Sports Handle (@sports_handle) April 9, 2021
More top stories from our network
One of the most important (& best) stories our group has ever published:
A personal account by @GaryRotstein about his father -a sports gambling addict- and scars left.
— Sports Handle (@sports_handle) April 8, 2021
Maine: Take II
On Wednesday, we reported that a new bill dropped in Maine, same as the old bill. Except the old bill hadn’t died in committee the previous year — it passed both chambers resoundingly only to get vetoed by Gov. Janet Mills for the eyebrow-raising reason that “I remain unconvinced at this time that the majority of Maine people” are ready for legal sports betting.” As a matter of whispered fact, the bill that nearly overcame the veto through an override effort in the statehouse was vetoed by the casino lobby, namely Penn National Gaming and Churchill Downs, Inc., owners of the only Maine casinos. The issue? The bill would have allowed a widely competitive market that did not require an online sportsbook to be “tethered” to an existing gambling entity, preventing the casinos from serving as gatekeeper. PNG would not have to beg entry to its own quarters in order to launch its own Barstool Sportsbook online.
On Thursday, a near-carbon copy of that bill was filed striking only the clause that would have allowed the non-tethered commercial freedom (as well as directing tax funds to education instead of the general fund) to a “qualified gaming entity.” The legislation comes from Sen. Joe Baldacci of Penobscot and Rep. Barbara Cardone of Bangor, who hail from the region that’s home to PNG’s Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway Bangor.
We’re not sure where the compromise resides here, but perhaps based on the (very murky) New York situation that favors DraftKings and FanDuel, it’s possible PNG is not in a charitable mood further up the Atlantic. A special session of the legislature convenes on April 28.
N.C. statewide mobile bill filed
A North Carolina senator on Wednesday filed a commercial sports betting bill that would earmark revenue to build schools in the state. North Carolina already has legal retail sports wagering at two tribal casinos, both of which went live with William Hill sportsbooks ahead of March Madness.
SB 688 filed this week would legalize statewide mobile sports betting, and would allow “any sports governing body on whose sporting events sports wagering is authorized” to partner with a sports betting operator, which points to professional teams or venues being among the locations that sports betting would be legal under the bill. The proposal allows for a minimum of 10 sports betting operator licenses and a maximum of 12. There is an official league data requirement in the bill.
Other key points in the bill:
- The legal age to wager would be 21;
- The North Carolina Education Lottery would be the regulator;
- Bettors would be able to wager on professional, college, and Olympic sports;
- The license fee would be $500,000 with a $100,000 annual renewal; and
- No tax rate is mentioned in the bill.
An interesting twist in the bill is that it would allow bettors to wager using not just credit or debit cards, but cryptocurrency.
— Jill R. Dorson
More of the most important, interesting stories
In sworn testimony, the NFL once insisted sports betting was bad for business, and would harm its reputation with fans. Today, Jerry Jones, Jim Haslam, and Dan Snyder are leading the charge to dominate online gambling in their states. @TheAthletic https://t.co/Ad3weBcCf4
— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) April 8, 2021
AZ IMPASSE?: An impasse AZ on legislation possibly resolved [AZ Central]
EXCLUSION TOOLS: Number of gamblers trying to block themselves online surges [Guardian]
EQUITY: NFL gets $450M of Genius Sports stock in global data deal [Sportico]
SUSQUEHANNA: How trader Jeff Yass parlayed poker, horse handicapping into $12B fortune [Forbes]
RESISTANCE: Community protesting Bally’s Richmond casino plan [ABC8]
“It’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen,” casino owner Jeff Gural said of New York's mobile sports betting plan. “I consider this a gift to New Jersey and to me at the Meadowlands, and my only regret is that Andrew won’t be around to see this totally fail.”https://t.co/HEu0K2X2bM
— Jimmy Vielkind (@JimmyVielkind) April 7, 2021
UP AND DOWN: Delaware handle down, but revenue up year-over-year [iGB]
FAIR MARKET VALUE: Fox sues Flutter over FanDuel stake as IPO looms [CNBC]
NO MA’AM: Looking a lot like AL doesn’t have an appetite for lottery, legal gaming [AL.com]
IMPETUS: Increased fan engagement from betting fuels sports media deals [CDC Gaming]
— Nick Yahl (@NickYahl) April 10, 2021