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
New York has dominated the sports betting headlines for almost all of 2022, but we won’t stop looking ahead. Legal sports betting in the United States will continue to proliferate, but where does your state stand?
Drama surrounding Florida gaming expansion continues to escalate
Missouri pro teams, casinos make deal to back sports betting
Maryland mobile sports betting launch timeline still murky
Wagering bill remains on Maine’s Appropriations Table, but it’s unclear what happens now
Iowa has taken in $13 million in wagering revenue and has to figure out how to appropriate it
First peer-to-peer wagering platform launches in Tennessee
Indiana could bring in $100 million in tax revenue per year in a mature iGaming market
Nevada regulators approve digital identity verification for casino accounts
But we didn’t forget about New York
A recently introduced bill seeks to freeze the state’s 51% tax rate on sports betting
Addabbo joins chorus of those criticizing Caesars for its lack of response
Annoyed by ads? Get used to it
Sportsbooks continue to spend millions on radio advertising
The Olympics are on the horizon…
… and Colorado plans to offer wagering on all the events
Women in the lead
For NCAA basketball, women have received more money in NIL deals than men
And the Oscar goes to…
DraftKings is offering pre-nomination Academy Awards markets
Casino openings and renovations
Parx mini-casino expected to open in late 2022
Indiana Grand is now Horseshoe Indianapolis
Tennessee becomes eighth state to reach $3 billion mark with $342 million wagered in December
Michigan sportsbooks set another monthly handle record in December
Sportsbooks didn’t do as well in December, but that didn’t hold Pennsylvania back from record
Video gaming terminals generated nearly $720 million in tax receipts for Illinois in 2021
Michigan online casinos shattered a previous monthly record by nearly 11%
COVID and competition from newcomers impact PA casino revenue
A big week in Canada
Private operators wishing to do business in Ontario will require geofencing solutions
BetMGM confirms plans to participate in Ontario’s open market
Ontario’s government could lose $550 million per year by shifting to an open market
Ontario plans to ease some COVID restrictions as early as Jan. 31
News from Atlantic City
Borgata again king among AC casinos in 2021
Almost $100 million in development is on the books for Ocean Casino
Colorado fixed-odds horse racing talks will continue in February
Virginia introduces a few sports betting bills
A few sports betting bills have been introduced in Virginia since the start of 2022, including one that would prevent operators from excluding bonuses and promotions from gross gaming revenue after their first year of business in the state. That piece of proposed legislation is HB1103, and it figures to draw some pushback. The bill, which was introduced by Mark Sickles, also wouldn’t allow operators to carry over losses on a monthly basis.
Another bill, SB576, would allow Virginia sports bettors to wager on colleges based in the state. Currently, bets on schools like the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech are prohibited within state lines.
Finally, SB96 aims to prohibit sports betting and casino operators from using “Virginia” or “the Commonwealth” in advertising materials. If the proposed legislation becomes law, operators could incur fines of $50,000 for failing to comply.
– Bennett Conlin
DraftKings gains market access in Washington St.
On Wednesday, DraftKings announced that it had gained market access in Washington state as the sports betting partner of the Tulalip Tribes, which operate two casinos in close proximity to each other about 35 miles north of Seattle.
In a press release, DraftKings said its plans for the sportsbook at Tulalip Resort Casino include a 50-foot video wall and more than two dozen kiosks and eight ticket windows. Meanwhile, DraftKings is “still early in the planning phase” for its sportsbook at Quil Ceda Creek Casino, the other Tulalip property. Once the first of these sportsbooks opens, Washington will become the 19th state in which DraftKings is operational.
Among the other big-name players to gain entry in the state, BetMGM opened its sportsbook at Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma in late December, while Caesars (Muckleshoot Casino) and FanDuel (Suquamish Clearwater Casino) have yet to open — although a FanDuel spokesperson told Sports Handle that they’re “looking at February” and working with regulators to settle on a precise date. While these operators are well-known for their mobile products, only onsite mobile is permitted in Washington, where the entire sports betting industry is controlled by the tribes.
– Mike Seely
Arkansas sportsbook in the red
Southland Casino Racing became the first Arkansas sportsbook to report a loss in a month unaffected by the pandemic since its July 2019 launch after the Arkansas Racing Commission reported that the venue paid out nearly $160,000 more than the $3.6 million in wagers accepted for December.
Southland is the largest of the three retail sportsbooks in Arkansas, having accounted for 46.1% of the $67.7 million in wagers placed in the Razorback State in 2021. Oaklawn posted losses twice in 2020 during the pandemic, losing $115 in May on $509 in handle and $19,633 on $179,315 in July. Southland had posted double-digit win rates in 12 of the previous 14 months before December’s -4.4% hold, and the rough close to 2021 dropped the venue’s win rate for the year to 11.9%, approximately two-thirds of a percentage point lower than the 12.6% overall hold in the state.
– Chris Altruda
Mississippi introduces another sports betting bill
At the beginning of 2022, Rep. Cedric Burnett introduced HB184, a bill aimed at allowing mobile sports wagering in Mississippi. The state currently allows retail sports betting, while mobile betting isn’t yet allowed, but the state may opt to legalize mobile betting in part to keep pace with Louisiana.
Earlier this week, Sen. Philip Moran introduced SB2462, which also would legalize mobile sports betting. Both HB184 and SB2462 would allow digital sports betting and racebooks within the state.
– Bennett Conlin
More of the most important, interesting stories
LET’S MAKE A DEAL: Better Collective enters partnership with New York Post [SBC]
HOW MUCH NOW?: BetMGM to receive $450 million investment [Front Office Sports]
GOLDEN STATE: The political battles over sports betting in California [New York Times]
Today, @DraftKings announced a $1 million+ responsible gaming initiative, offering financial support to state problem gambling councils of @NCPGambling around the U.S. More details: https://t.co/HCqYhq1WZz pic.twitter.com/5KmuO90yPl
— DraftKings News (@DraftKingsNews) January 20, 2022
BETTING AGAINST YOURSELF?: Leading Parx jockey suspended [Paulick Report]
PITCHMAN: Rush Street names Bobby Valentine brand ambassador [CDC]
NEW VENTURE: DraftKings alumni launch early-stage fund [Forbes]
BIG SCREEN: Three Rivers Casino installs largest sports betting screen in Oregon [Indian Gaming]