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
There were no major moves in the sports betting world this week, and that’s OK. But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t action. Plenty is still going on, as the the unstoppable freight train of sports betting continues to power through North America, but speed bumps can still appear.
California politicians piping up on legal sports betting, while tribes say “trust us”
Legal sports betting is not coming to Georgia in 2022
The race between Kansas and Missouri to legalize sports wagering will be competitive this month
Arkansas bettors still waiting for legal iOS sports wagering platforms
Las Vegas Sands quits on fight to keep Florida gaming referendum alive
PointsBetting option prohibited in Ontario by regulators
DraftKings joins BetMGM and FanDuel with plans to open online sportsbooks in Puerto Rico
Michigan welcomed into multi-state internet gaming agreement
Esports betting launches in New Jersey
What sportsbook might replace TwinSpires after it exits Michigan?
As cool as the other side of the pillow
Coolbet lives up to its name in Canadian sports betting kerfuffle
Let there be baseball
A look at some live MLB futures
Sportsbooks adjust for Jacob deGrom’s injury, while Yankees prep for 90-plus wins again
Illinois sports betting handle slumps to $679 million for February
The 51% tax rate in New York contributed to a national monthly record for states’ receipts
Meadowlands Racetrack proving its worth with strong handle in March
Changes in the racing world
TVG discontinues betting on greyhound racing with new Oregon law looming
PlayUp launches horse racing ADW with aim to create smarter bettors
New Hampshire loved March Madness
The New Hampshire Lottery announced Friday that it saw an $8 million increase in handle for March Madness compared to last year.
According to a press release, more than 300,000 wagers totaling $23 million were placed during the tournament on the state’s DraftKings platform. Of that handle, $1 million was wagered on the title game between Kansas and North Carolina.
For the fiscal year that began in July 2021, the New Hampshire Lottery and DraftKings “have seen New Hampshire players place more than 11 million bets, totaling more than $575 million,” according to the release.
— Jill R. Dorson
Maine making a mess … again?
Nearly since the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was overturned in 2018, the issue of sports betting has been contentious in Maine. It was poised to become one of the first states to legalize a truly open, competitive marketplace in 2019-2020, but Gov. Janet Mills vetoed a bill that had wide support of lawmakers, stakeholders, and residents.
Since then, according to the Press-Herald, Mills has tried to go around the traditional legislative process by adding sports betting to a larger tribal-related bill. Based in Portland, the Press-Herald is the biggest newspaper in the state.
The newspaper this week called Mills out, saying she is “venue shopping” for a bill that would ultimately help to repair a rift between the state and its tribes, but would also severely limit who could offer wagering and where it could take place. Worth the read.
— Jill R. Dorson
No-go in Alabama this year
In one of only five states with no lottery and which is bordered on two sides by legal sports betting states, Alabama’s legislature closed Thursday with no action on gaming. The Senate put off hearing two gaming-related bills on the second-to-last day of the session.
It’s the second consecutive year that lawmakers there have tried to legalize a statewide lottery and sports betting. This year the issues didn’t get out of the Senate, with one senator saying it was, in large part, because keeping gaming unregulated is a boon to many.
“I was optimistic, because I felt the arguments would win the day,” Sen. Greg Albritton told AL.com. “But the money won the day.”
— Jill R. Dorson
More of the most interesting stories
RED FLAG: MMA event flagged for suspicious betting activity on taped broadcast [ESPN]
TOO BAD: Braves CEO “incredibly disappointed” sports betting bill failed [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
YOU’RE OUT: UK to ban gambling ads featuring sports and reality TV stars [The Guardian]
BIG MONEY: NFL’s $320 million investment led Fanatics funding round [Front Office Sports]
MO MONEY: NFL now largest U.S. shareholder in Genius Sports [Sportico]
STARTING POINT: Betting companies looking to cash in on college fans are just getting started [Fortune]
KEEPING WATCH: Sportradar’s Integrity Exchange to combat dubious betting activity [CDC]
FOR THE LADIES: Gaming Society wants to get more women to bet … on women [Fortune]
YOU’RE HIRED: Tina Griffin appointed Washington State Gambling Commission director [Indian Gaming]
M&A: DraftKings’ purchase of Golden Nugget Online Gaming nears completion [Nevada Independent]