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. Also check out this week’s Wild World of Gambling at US Bets
Nevada books booming
While New Jersey may still be the leader in terms of monthly sportsbook handle, Nevada sportsbooks had a personal best in October, writing $659 million in wagers. The previous high was just over $614 million in November 2019. New Jersey operators wrote $803 million on the month.
Nevada sportsbooks have shown year-over-year growth for three consecutive months, and mobile handle ($377 million) represented more than half of bets. The hold for all sports betting was 6.4%, slightly above the yearly average of 5.3%.
To put things in perspective, Nevada is now the No. 2 market in the U.S. behind New Jersey, which has a population that is nearly three times Nevada’s. Another key difference between the markets is that mobile/online handle accounted for more than 90% of New Jersey’s October handle, but only 57% of Nevada’s. Bettors can register remotely for digital wagering in New Jersey, but must visit a casino in person to register in Nevada.
Pennsylvania ($526 million in October) is firmly entrenched as the third-largest sports betting state in the U.S., followed by Indiana ($231 million in October), among states that have released October revenue reports. It’s possible that both states will drop down the rankings list in 2021 when digital sports betting ramps up in Illinois and operators launch in Michigan and Virginia.
Bally’s busy in Illinois, Iowa
Bally’s has taken its first step into entering the Illinois sports betting market, submitting an application for a Supplier License through SG Gaming with the state’s gaming board for Jumer’s Casino in Rock Island. Jumer’s, one of three casinos in Illinois yet to offer sports betting, was purchased by Twin River (now Bally’s) for $120 million on Oct. 1. Twin River changed its name to Bally’s Corporation effective Nov. 9.
The company also announced that it has gained market access in Iowa via a partnership with Elite Sportsbook. The company last week markedly expanded its footprint and reach with deals to acquire Bet.Works and Sinclair media. Bally’s expansion plans in Illinois came several days after the company’s transformative deal with Sinclair Broadcasting.
– Chris Altruda
— New York Post Sports (@nypostsports) November 18, 2020
More important, interesting stories this week
NJ VOICES: Some in the state weigh in on DraftKings messenger-betting story. [NJOG]
UP NEXT: Sheldon Adelson prepping to lobby for gaming in Texas? [KXAN]
UP NORTH: Single-event sports betting moving forward in Canada. [IGB]
STEEL CURTAIN: BetMGM becomes first official sports betting partner of the Steelers [Yahoo Sports]
We’re excited to be the first proud gaming partner of the @Steelers!
— BetMGM (@BetMGM) November 24, 2020
COMING TO CO: Maverick Gaming will enter CO at the “Z” casinos through IGT deal. [CDCGaming]
WHY SO SLOW? Operators, pro teams urge MA lawmakers to legalize sports betting. [SportsHandle]
HELLO, BALLY’S!: More reasons not to underestimate latest player. [BostonGlobe]
FEDERAL OVERSIGHT?: President-elect Joe Biden says he’s considering it. [Casino.org]
FOLLOW THE LEADER: A look at operators with most mobile market share by state. [SportsHandle]
ONE MORE, PLEASE: Golden Nugget announces WV access via Greenbrier deal. [CDCGaming]
50-50: Odds from one state senator on legal Ohio sports betting in ’20. [WKBN]
After working non-stop the past 10 days (including all weekend) creating, printing, and organizing every document, our Tennessee sports betting license application for @zensports is now done! 💪🎉 FedEx shipment going out in the morning. Time for a nap! 😊 pic.twitter.com/uY4SfIxfUb
— Mark Thomas (@entrepreneurSF) November 23, 2020
THE GOLDEN KID: Argentine soccer legend Maradona dies at 60. [Goal.com]
CASINO SHUTDOWNS: More than 100 casinos closed during Thanksgiving due to COVID-19 spread. [USBets]
EXPANDED MENU: Michigan regulators add new sports, leagues for betting. [MiBets]
REMEMBERING LEM: Legendary bookmaker had knack for picks, promotion. [CDCGaming]