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 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.
As most legislatures around the country have now convened, many are kicking tires, or re-booting old conversations, about possibly legalizing sports wagering and/or how. Here’s an inventory of coverage of some key events this past week.
Read the descriptions for a snapshot and hit the link if you want more detail
ARIZONA: Lawmaker says his betting bill strives for parity, teams and tribes on board
MASSACHUSETTS: Gov. Charlie Baker (again) submits his proposal for legal wagering in Bay State, home of DraftKings
MISSOURI: Contentious Mizzou hearing may net dividends in Year Four of legalization efforts
GEORGIA: Bill features statewide mobile wagering, remote registration, data mandate
OHIO: Senate committee to explore best path forward, and time stands still
NEBRASKA: Sports betting conversation pits legendary coach Tom Osborne against most everyone else
WASHINGTON: Card \-room group makes another play for expanded, non-tribal legal wagering
Super Bowl LV: Chiefs -3 vs. Bucs (o/u 56)
After a dismal performance in last year's Super Bowl, our staff aims to hit on our #SuperBowl props at a higher clip in 2021.
— Sports Handle (@sports_handle) February 5, 2021
SCALE: Research finds that a record 23.2 million Americans pan to wager $4.3 billion on “Big Game” [AGA]
RETROSPECTIVE: Let’s celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Super Bowl Sweat [US Bets]
MUTED CELEBRATIONS: Super Bowl parties are still happening in some parts, but toned down [NJOG]
"We're definitely not going to move the number just to get money on the other side. We disagree with that as a bookmaking strategy. We believe the right number is three, and we'll live with that from here to kickoff."https://t.co/PsvV5j5d3w
— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) February 4, 2021
.@BetMGM currently operates in 11 U.S. states.
In NINE of the 11 states, there are more tickets on the Chiefs to cover the #SBLV spread.
But in NINE of the 11 states, there is more money on the Bucs covering the spread.
Will be a great weekend of betting.
— Ben Fawkes (@BFawkes22) February 5, 2021
COIN FLIP: Here’s everything you (probably never) wanted to know about coin flips [US Bets]
THINGS THAT MAKE YOU HMMM: ‘Mattress Mack’ bets $3.46 million on Super Bowl, while others can’t get down $110 [US Bets]
PROMOS APLENTY: Tis the season for some Super Bowl promotions [PennBets]
Mattress Mack 3 million making headlines while so many of us are being severely limited
They are trying to sell us,the public, on this bullshit dream that you can bet whatever you want
Post screenshot of your limited bet on this thread, tag ‘em and RT
Let’s spread the reality.
— spanky (@spanky) February 4, 2021
South Dakota bill with framework heads to Senate floor
In November South Dakota voters legalized sports betting in Deadwood, the tourist town that already has casinos, and on Friday, lawmakers moved SB 44 forward when the Senate State Affairs Committee passed the bill, 8-1. It now moves onto the Senate floor. The legislature has about six weeks to take definitive action, as the session closes on March 29.
SB 44 would allow for retail wagering on pro, amateur (Olympic), and college sports, though betting on South Dakota college teams is prohibited. The application and renewal fees would be set at $2,000, and there is no tax rate indicated in the bill. Should the bill pass, the ability to offer sports betting would also extend to South Dakota’s tribal casinos.
SB 44 is one of three bills currently in the legislature. HB 1231 is a more expansive bill that would allow for statewide mobile sports betting, but also puts a $1,000 cap on wagers. It has been referred to the House Taxation Committee. HB 1211 appears similar to SB 44, and has been assigned to the House State Affairs Committee. Neither of the House bills has been scheduled for a hearing yet.
Mississippi mobile a no go this year
Mobile sports betting won’t be coming to Mississippi this year after a bevy of bills that would have expanded sports betting from retail only to digital died in committee earlier this week. It’s the second straight year in which lawmakers have tried to add digital gaming and have failed. Mississippi was the third state in which operators went live for sports betting after the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was struck down in 2018. Sports betting is available in person at 28 commercial casinos and a handful of tribal casinos across the state — and nearly every major gaming company is represented.
More important, interesting stories this week
PERSPECTIVE: Sports gambling could be the pandemic’s biggest winner [Washington Post]
MAKEOVER: Denver AM radio station recreates itself with sports betting [CO Bets]
SURPRISING ABSOLUTELY NOBODY: Sports betting hasn’t produced payout D.C. expected [WUSA9]
SPORTS BETTING AT SEA: Princess Cruises becomes first to add sports betting to menu [CruiseCritic]
SCHOOLING: UNLV, Entain aim to get women into gaming tech, sports betting fields [LV-RJ]
INTEGRITY DEAL: Sportradar partners with America East to provide sports betting education. [CDCGaming]
BIG BUCKS: Study shows sports betting operators have invested nearly $400 million in U.S. sports. [iGB]
BCLC calls on Ottawa to legalize single-event sports betting in Canada. Currently, BC players are only able to place single-event sports bets by going across the border to Washington State casinos or on unregulated offshore websites. https://t.co/Ws6IWFym70
— Canada Scotland Club (@canscotclub) February 4, 2021
Three Things With the Founders of “UDDA,” a free-to-play wagering app
The following chat between Brett Smiley and the UDDA co-founders Devin Piscitelli, Steve Calveneso, and Michael Kirschner, has been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.
I’ve downloaded and given it a spin, but tell me about UDDA in your own words?
UDDA, (pronounced “You Da” like “You Da Man” or ‘You Da Woman”) is a free-to-play wagering app that is legal and available nationwide. UDDA features all of the elements of a traditional sportsbook but also allows users to bypass the sportsbook and bet directly against their friends using the lines set on UDDA.
When users register on UDDA, they receive 10,000 free UDDA Bucks, instead of real money, to place their bets. UDDA also allows users to create custom bets (you can literally bet on anything) or users can create their own or enter into existing sports wagering contests, pools, squares or bingo games. While UDDA Bucks have no cash value, they can be redeemed for coveted prizes on UDDA.com
What’s the marketing strategy for building brand awareness and getting more people to download and check it out?
We’re currently building content channels across all social media platforms and showcasing all the ways friends can bet their friends and use UDDA to keep track. The initial numbers have far exceeded our expectations, and as of February 1, over 20 million UDDA Bucks have been bet on our app.
We are excited that UDDA is becoming an essential part of the sports and entertainment fan experience whether that’s at virtual Super Bowl parties, baby showers or reality TV watching. We’ve seen hundreds of existing users invite their friends to play on UDDA by sending them a bet or inviting them into a contest.
To drive engagement, we’re offering aggressive referral bonuses. In February, we’re offering 15,000 UDDA Bucks for every referral who registers on the app. We’re also in the process of developing and building out our content channels as an educational tool for people who are interested in wagering on sports but haven’t felt comfortable wagering with real cash.
What makes UDDA different from, for example, FOX’s Super 6 or other free-to-play betting platforms?
UDDA is designed to provide an authentic sportsbook experience while offering all sorts of social and engaging wagering opportunities. Filling a massive void in the wagering market, UDDA is the only app that enables friends to bet each other on anything they want, from the Super Bowl coin toss to the outcome of who gets the rose on this week’s Bachelor episode. Current regulations prohibit some of these bets in a real-money sportsbook, but UDDA is only limited by the user’s imagination.
While some sites create contests (like Fox Super 6), UDDA gamifies the sportsbook experience by allowing users to bet UDDA Bucks instead of cash. UDDA appeals to a more diverse audience who may not feel comfortable betting real money or want to learn and test theories in an authentic sportsbook experience.
Unlike Fox Super 6, we offer seamless bet-your-friends and custom-bet options. Also, many sportsbooks and betting apps are limited by state laws regulating sports betting and gambling while UDDA is legal and available nationwide.
Ep. 128 of the Gamble On podcast is live! @EricRaskin and @BergenBrennan talk Google lifting its ban on gambling apps in the Play Store, DraftKings' two Super Bowl ads and PokerStars launching in Michigan. Plus, special guest @RufusPeabody!
— US Bets (@US_Bets) February 4, 2021