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 stories, highlighting some fresh news, and rounding up key stories.
Top stories around our network this week
If there’s a growth industry in the U.S., then sports betting is it. October proved to be a rich month for operators across the country, with New Jersey leading the way. Bettors there wagered a whopping $1.3 BILLION in a single month to eclipse the previous national record of $1 billion in September.
And while New Jersey’s number is far and away the biggest, it wasn’t the only best in October:
Hard-fought approval of the week
Money maker of the week
Deals of the week
Rounder of the week
Plenty happening in Canada
Figuring it out
Digital in Louisiana still a work in progress
While Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Johns won’t point to a specific date, he said Thursday that his office is “continuing to work on that process” of launching digital sports betting operators. The LGCB so far has approved and launched eight retail sportsbooks spread across the state, and according to the state police, who handle vetting applications, there are seven more applications under review.
On the mobile front, “it’s going to be al little bit more complicated, little bit more difficult than rolling out these on-property licenses because of the nature of the beast, but I can assure you that everyone is moving fervently to get online moving because that’s where the real, true interest is,” Johns said during the monthly meeting. “We want to do it quickly, but we want to do it the right way.”
Johns said the LGCB has a special meeting planned for Nov. 30 by Zoom to handle a “time-sensitive item,” and will next meet in person Dec. 16.
Casino digital ID verification coming in Nevada?
The Nevada Gaming Control Board on Thursday moved forward a request from Sightline Payments to allow for digital identity verification for casino accounts. The issue will now be considered as a rule change. The idea behind the proposal, according to those at Sightline and the gaming control board, is to remove a “friction point” and allow customers to sign up for accounts without visiting a casino or waiting in line.
“Nevada has been a leader in cashless gaming, and we look forward to continued discussions that will enable us to provide Nevada residents and visitors to Nevada with the most innovative, safe, secure, compliant and responsible gaming experience in the United States,” Sightline Payments Co-CEO Joe Pappano said.
Nevada regulators made rule changes last year that enhanced cashless gaming and updated policies around cashless gaming technology. This has led to multiple casinos, most notably Resorts World on the Strip, introducing cashless systems through which customers can play, eat, shop, and spend otherwise at the property without ever using paper money.
FanDuel approved for entry in Wyoming
On Friday, FanDuel became the third sportsbook operator to be cleared for takeoff in Wyoming’s mobile sports betting market, joining fellow powerhouses DraftKings and BetMGM. FanDuel’s entry was unanimously approved by Wyoming’s Pari-Mutuel Commission, which would be known as the state’s “Gaming Commission” were it not for a “scrivener’s error” committed earlier this year.
It’s not yet known when FanDuel will launch in the sparsely populated, fiercely libertarian state, which requires no brick-and-mortar tether and is crypto-friendly. On Friday, the commission’s project manager, David Carpenter, told Sports Handle that “PointsBet and Barstool appear on track to follow” FanDuel into the market “very soon.” Carpenter also said he’s been approached by another prospective applicant that currently operates in just two jurisdictions. In Wyoming, an operator is required to be active in three outside jurisdictions before they’re eligible to be licensed.
— Mike Seely
Washington tribe soft-launches onsite mobile
On Thursday, Washington State’s first onsite mobile sports betting app launched — very softly — at Snoqualmie Casino near Seattle. The casino’s CEO, Stanford Le, told Sports Handle that 20 users have been given access to the app “by invitation only” and will effectively be beta testing it for the first few weeks. During that time, the casino will make the necessary “user-experience improvements” to the app before gradually increasing its availability, Le said.
Snoqualmie Casino is currently home to the state’s lone retail sportsbook, with Northern Quest expecting to open its retail book within the next few weeks on the east side of the state. Per state law, mobile wagering is required to be geofenced and restricted to tribal gaming properties.
— Mike Seely
Canadian bet of the week
Canada vs. Mexico – World Cup qualifying
The Canadian men’s national soccer team made headlines this week with a thrilling 2-1 victory over Mexico Tuesday night on a frozen, snowy pitch in Edmonton, Alberta. Temperatures dropped to just 16 degrees Fahrenheit, giving the Canadians a distinct advantage over their Mexican counterparts, who are accustomed to playing in much balmier weather.
In three-way betting at PROLINE+, Mexico was a slight (+260) favorite over Canada (+265) with odds on a draw at +285. Canada now shockingly sits atop the World Cup qualifying standings with 16 points, and six games to play, as it continues its quest to qualify for the event for the first time since 1986.
— Greg Warren
— Canada Soccer (@CanadaSoccerEN) November 17, 2021
And more of the most important, interesting stories
CHECK IT OUT: DraftKings opens state-of-the-art book at Foxwoods. [The Day]
MASS STUDY: Sports betting isn’t moving, but gaming commission commissions study. [WWLP]
NEW FUNDING: Ex-FanDuel execs raise $21 million for new sports betting exchange. [Forbes]
BIG AWARD: Rush Street Interactive named top iGaming operator. [WSILTV]
GETTING READY: DraftKings makes a deal for market access in Kansas. [KWCH]
EPIC Risk Management is delighted to announce that VP of US Policy and Strategic Development Brianne Doura-Schawohl is named one of the Top 100 Lobbyists of 2021 from the National Institute of Lobbying and Ethics.
— EPIC Risk Management (@epicpgc) November 17, 2021
NEW AZ ENTRY: Casino del Sol opened Tucson’s first sportsbook Thursday. [KOLD]
TWITTER MAKING WAVES: Social-media platform finding NFL pays. [FrontOfficeSports]
GIVING BACK: Entain, former NBA star Charles Oakley partner on RG programs. [CDCGaming]