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 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.
Top stories from around our network
Louisiana just waiting on governor
In what turned out be a kind of crazy week in Louisiana, the Senate sent a sports betting framework bill to conference committee and then voted it on with no amendments or discussion two days later. The bill that got sent to Gov. John Bel Edwards would create the most open, competitive marketplace in the South. There could be up to 41 digital sports betting platforms — 40 commercial platforms and 20 retail locations — and betting on lottery kiosks at bars, restaurants, and elsewhere. All this in a state where it was unclear if digital wagering would even be allowed when voters approved sports betting on the November 2020 ballot.
The legislative session ended June 10, and Edwards is expected to sign the bill, SB 247. He’s already signed a tax bill related to sports betting, and with any luck, bettors in the state will be able to place wagers sometime during football season.
Jason Robins rings NASDAQ bell
A bevy of DraftKings executives participated in Nasdaq’s opening bell ceremony on Friday to celebrate the company’s 10th anniversary. DraftKings CEO Jason Robins, President North America, Matt Kalish and President, Global Technology and Product Paul Lieberman were joined by board members, advisors, employees, and investors at Friday morning’s ceremony.
The event celebrated DraftKings’ transition into public markets last spring. Upon DraftKings’ public debut in April 2020, Robins took part in a virtual bell ringing ceremony away from the Nasdaq floor. DraftKings closed on Friday at $53.14 a share, producing a market capitalization above $21.3 billion. While DraftKings is down considerably from March highs of $74, shares in the Boston-headquartered company have more than doubled from its public debut of around $20.
“It’s hard to say no when you have an opportunity to ring the bell at the Nasdaq,” Robins told CNBC. “It’ll be a fun time to remember the last year, and really the last 10 years.”
Online gambling took off during the pandemic. What happens now as casinos reopen? "We've really not seen any slowdown in our numbers and in our business," DraftKings CEO Jason Robins says. pic.twitter.com/tDxLQScOZD
— CNBC (@CNBC) June 11, 2021
Earlier in the week, DraftKings announced that it joined forces with the American Gaming Association (AGA) to promote the organization’s “Have A Game Plan,” responsible betting public service campaign. The initiative marks the first time that a major sportsbook has collaborated with the AGA on a framework associated with responsible gaming.
“We are excited to join forces with the American Gaming Association to promote their forward-thinking public service campaign, Have A Game Plan,” DraftKings Director of Responsible Gaming Christine Thurmond said in a statement. “Customer safety is paramount, and we are confident that implementing Have A Game Plan alongside our own responsible gaming messaging and tools will enable us to increase customer exposure to responsible gaming practices and ultimately foster safer play.”
South Dakota draft rules available
South Dakota regulators released draft sports betting rules, including sections on definitions, internal controls, authorized events and wagers, tournaments or pools, integrity monitoring, financial and auditing requirements, anti-money laundering guidelines, self-exclusion plans, technical standards, location or servers and cloud storage, and more.
The Commission on Gaming will hold a hearing July 14 at 9 a.m. local time to vote on the rules.
Some key points:
- The rules do allow for sports governing bodies may request that certain events or bet types be prohibited
- Advance deposit wagering will be allowed for sports betting
- Accounts can be funded with cash, cash equivalent, credit or debit cards, promotional credit, value gaming chips, funds already in a wagering account, and any other funds regulators deem appropriate
Sports betting venues will be required to submit a plan for a retail sportsbook to the regulator, and must include the location of kiosks and bet windows. There does not appear to be a limit on the number of kiosks allowed at each sports betting location.
A sports betting services provider application is available on the Department of Revenue website, and regulators are hoping sportsbooks can take their first bets during football season. South Dakota voters legalized retail sports betting in the tourist town of Deadwood on the November 2020 ballot.
EPIC announces unique C-suite symposium
EPIC Risk Management announced this week a first-of-its-kind “player protection symposium,” at which the company will bring together high-level gaming executives to begin building a “robust gambling harm prevention ecosystem.” The event, set for Nov. 30 in New York City will feature WFAN personality Craig Carton as the keynote speaker. Former Michigan lawmaker Brandt Iden, now head of government affairs for Sportradar, is also confirmed. According to a press release, EPIC expects to have panels featuring professional sports and high-level gaming executives.
The event will be by invitation only.
“The importance of having a good player protection strategy cannot be underestimated at this stage of development for the industry,” said Brianne Doura-Schawohl, vice president of U.S. policy and strategic development for EPIC. “Hosted alongside SBC Summit North America, the player protection symposium provides a perfect opportunity for executives to get up to speed with the latest methods of tackling problem gambling.”
More of the most important, interesting stories
The sports betting gold rush is on.
ESPN- branded sportsbooks could be on the drawing board as the Worldwide Leader in Sports goes all-in on sports betting.
— Michael McCarthy (@MMcCarthyREV) June 10, 2021
NORTH CAROLINA MOVING?: Lawmakers hoping for hearing this month. [CC-Online]
HELP WANTED: Louisiana gambling chief quits ahead of confirmation hearing. [AP]
DIAMOND NOTE: BetMGM’s mobile app now available in Nats Park [CDC Gaming]
WE MADE IT!: Iowa sports betting handle tops $1 billion. [Herald Leader]
WE’LL SEE: Sports betting talk one again to resume in Massachusetts [NBC Boston]
FINE DINING: D.C.’s in-stadium sportsbook has bar food from a Michelin Star chef [Eater]
PIGSKIN: A 12-team model leads the way for looming CFB Playoff expasion [Yahoo]
WARM EMBRACE: NFL teams begin to dabble in realm of sportsbook “affiliate” [Sportico]
Have a good weekend, folks.