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 U.S. sports betting headlines, highlighting some fresh news, and rounding up key stories.
Top stories around our network this week
In Maryland, Ohio, and Massachusetts, there’s new discussion seemingly every week about their upcoming sports betting expansion or launches. Operators and the public have significant interest in a triumvirate that represents a huge step forward for easy access to legal wagering, as combined they have a population of about 25 million (or at least 5 million more than New York, which has spun heads with its level of new mobile wagering in 2022).
In Maryland, which already has retail wagering, state officials dangled hope this week that the digital version could be available in November, and if not then, almost certainly by December. That would be right before things get started Jan. 1 for both mobile and retail in Ohio, where regulators have been issuing sports betting service provider licenses for companies such as Caesars and PointsBet.
Officials in Massachusetts, where legislators acted more recently to legalize, finally figured out on Friday a tentative schedule for both retail and mobile launches early next year, with the physical sportsbooks to open first.
Massachusetts: After a marathon meeting on Thursday and protracted one today, the MGC voted to launch retail sports betting in "late January" and online sports wagering in "early March."
— Sports Handle (@sports_handle) October 7, 2022
All three of those states’ additions to the sports betting industry are big news, but those aren’t the only developments our national staff is focused on. This past week’s stories across multiple sites show the spectrum of issues we’re on top of.
Remember that time the polls were wrong?
Despite $167 million in new contributions, latest poll says California initiatives will fail
If true, I want to be at that wedding
DraftKings shares jump in response to rumors of ESPN sports betting deal
These profs aren’t grading on the curve
Academic paper shines light on America’s sports betting failures
Things are bound to get better … maybe
Sports betting stocks extend 2022 stumble in September
OK, you’ve had long enough
Ontario’s regulator to end transition period for unregulated operators and suppliers
A lot to talk about in Illinois
Hard Rock and Rockford start prepping for the headline act
Tekkorp to end talks with Playtech, wind down SPAC
Beiser looking for horse racing to find stride in Illinois
Where’s that new NY casino going?
New York casino board adds members as new proposal emerges
No one says ‘less is more’ about iGaming
Report states up to 10 more online casinos are coming in Pennsylvania
When Rebuck speaks, people listen
The RG evolution of New Jersey’s gambling regulations czar
Why didn’t we think of that?
Ex-legislator says Nevada’s gambling court is a good idea for Michigan
Poker and integrity — a volatile mix
Poker, the high-stakes game that is left to police itself
The odds of this show being good are …
‘How to Be a Bookie’ starring Sebastian Maniscalco coming to HBO Max
PENN, Kambi prepare for severance
Kambi Group and PENN Entertainment have reached an agreement to begin migrating the sports wagering platform from Kambi to PENN’s proprietary platform. The online migration will begin during the third quarter of 2023, while the retail migration is expected to take place at some point in 2024. Both parties will continue to collaborate on additional launches of Barstool Sportsbook during the transition period.
The agreement also covers ongoing revenue-sharing payments for both online and retail wagering throughout both migrations. Kambi will receive a one-time payment of $12.5 million for early termination and a $15 million payment for transition services. The pair have launched operations in 15 states, spanning 13 online launches and 25 at retail properties.
PENN Entertainment CEO Jay Snowden said in a statement, “Kambi’s well-proven, high-quality technology and services have empowered PENN as we pursued our differentiated sports betting strategy, and I’m pleased to have secured our partnership to ensure a seamless transition for both companies.”
— Chris Altruda
New round of appeals in Florida case
The federal government and a Florida parimutuel this week filed briefs in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in the ongoing case between West Flagler and Associates and the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Three days after the DOI filed its brief, West Flagler filed a brief affirming its belief that the DOI should never have approved the Seminole Tribes’ compact with the state of Florida because the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act does not allow for gaming off tribal lands, nor does it contemplate digital wagering. “IGRA does not authorize the Secretary to approve a compact that purports to authorize gaming off Indian lands,” lawyers wrote.
In its approval, the DOI did not actively approve the compact, but rather let a deadline pass and allowed the compact to become “deemed approved.” West Flagler’s lawyers went on to argue that the Seminole compact would violate UIGEA, the Wire Act, and the Administrative Procedures Act.
— Jill R. Dorson
Caesars aims to go mobile in Maryland
Horseshoe Casino Baltimore (Caesars Sportsbook) announced Thursday that it had submitted a mobile sports betting license application in Maryland, and that female and minority partners will hold a 40% ownership interest in the mobile license. Maryland legislation stressed the importance of diversity and inclusion in the state’s sports betting industry.
“Caesars’ success in bringing on significant minority ownership in their sports wagering program is tangible proof that the General Assembly’s intentional pursuit to create diversity in new markets can be successful,” Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates Adrienne A. Jones said in a press release.
The application for Caesars Sportsbook will be reviewed by the Maryland Lottery as well as the Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission after the mobile application window closes on Oct. 21.
— Bennett Conlin
FanDuel connects with Gaming Society
FanDuel became Gaming Society’s first sportsbook partner with Thursday’s announcement that it would sponsor the upstart sports betting outfit’s weekly NFL-focused newsletter.
As noted in a press release, “responsibly onboarding more women to the betting category” is a priority for both companies, which are led by female CEOs Amy Howe (FanDuel) and Jaymee Messler (Gaming Society).
“Leading into this season, we found that nearly two-thirds of female NFL fans in live sportsbook states were aware of FanDuel,” said Howe. “We are excited to be the first sports betting operator to partner with Gaming Society. FanDuel knows that women are sports fans, and we want to tap into already established communities that are seeking out sports betting content in environments that speak directly to them.”
— Mike Seely
Wisconsin tribes progress toward sportsbooks
The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin had its revised compact approved by the federal Department of the Interior and published in the Federal Register Oct. 5, paving the way for the tribe to open a retail sportsbook at its Menominee Casino Resort in Keshena.
Additionally, according to WLUK TV, the Sokaogon Chippewa Community and the state of Wisconsin agreed to an amended gaming compact to allow for the tribe to open a sportsbook at its Mole Lake Casino & Lodge in Crandon. The revised compact must still be approved by DOI and published in the Federal Register. The Menominee and Skaogon tribes are the fifth and sixth tribes to sign agreements with the state to open sportsbooks on tribal lands.
— Ted Dahlstrom
More of the most important, interesting stories
WHAT’S WRONG IN YOUR WALLET?: Regulators fine three more sports betting operators for credit card use [Radio Iowa]
MORE SKULDUGGERY: South Dakota: Deadwood casino, worker lose licenses for proxy bets [CDC Gaming Reports]
AUSSIES TIGHTENING UP ON ADS: Three Australian sporting franchises sign agreements to steer clear of sports betting ads at games [Inside Asian Gaming]
HE SHOOTS AND iSCORES!: BetMGM launches NHL-themed iGaming titles [CDC Gaming Reports]
.@BetMGM today launched @NHL-branded casino games including roulette, blackjack, baccarat and the new live Money Wheel game, Dream Catcher. All games are available to players in New Jersey, Ontario, Pennsylvania and Michigan. pic.twitter.com/CG5yudRelw
— Barry Janoff (@barryjanoff) October 6, 2022
THE FUTURE IS NOW: Sightline Payments wagers that $300 million collaboration will increase access to cashless payments [CDC Gaming Reports]
HOPING NOT TO GAMBLE WITH THEIR LIVES: Kindbridge partners with NFLPA’s Professional Athletes Foundation for first-of-its-kind mental health program [Kindbridge]
THERE’S A NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN: Nevada Gaming Control Board appoints Kristi Torgerson as new chief of the Enforcement Division [Yogonet]
THINGS COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE: Italy avoids turnover tax on betting [iGB]