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
It’s not always sunshine and rainbows in the sports betting world, and this week provided some good examples.
While revenue was strong in Pennsylvania and Illinois in April, it took a nosedive in Louisiana and overall handle also took a hit in Michigan (although it was a significant improvement over last April).
There were also ample controversies to report on this week, and although they may not qualify as full-blown scandals, they’re not … great.
Phil has been having a rough go of it
Polarizing Portnoy at it again
Minnesota slipping away
The waiting game
It’s Preakness week, hon!
Complications in Kentucky
Rep. Adam Koenig, who has spearheaded the legislative effort to legalize sports betting in Kentucky for several sessions, lost his bid for reelection in Tuesday’s Republican primary to Steven Doan. He was one of three prominent House members in the state who lost out to challengers from the “Liberty Caucus.”
On the "liberty" challengers, it looks like all 3 impeachment petitioners (Cooperrider, Wheatley and Clark) lost their races, BUT…
…it looks like Doan, Rawlings & Procto knocked out THREE committee chairmen in NKY, in Reps. Koenig, Massey and Santoro.
— Joe Sonka 😐 (@joesonka) May 18, 2022
What does that mean for the sports betting movement in Kentucky, considering Koenig’s bill got out of the House for the first time in 2022 but died in Senate committee? Lawmakers are mum for now, and while Koenig declined to indicate House members who might take over, he still found an optimistic tone in defeat. Koenig has served in the Kentucky House since 2007.
“We’ve shown sports betting is wildly popular in Kentucky, and I think someone will pick up the mantle and run with it,” Koenig told Sports Handle. “And who knows, maybe they’ll be better at it than me, and I’ll be OK with that if it passes, as long as they invite me the day they open.”
Mass madness continues
The American Gaming Association on Thursday sent a letter to Massachusetts lawmakers urging them to allow wagering on all college sports, agree on a “reasonable” tax rate, and rethink the “excessive” restrictions on advertising and marketing that are part of a bill that has been sent to conference committee in an effort to find a consensus.
Also on Thursday, Sens. Eric Lessor, Patrick O’Connor, and Michael Rodrigues were appointed to the conference committee, after the House on Tuesday failed to concur with the Senate version of the bill and the Senate then insisted its amended version be accepted.
The bill, now H 3933, would allow for statewide mobile wagering, but the chambers haven’t agreed on a tax rate, whether to allow wagering on all college sports, and other details. Reps. Aaron Michlewitz, David Muradian, and Jerald Parisella were appointed this week as House members of the conference committee.
— Jill R. Dorson
NFL contests offering more money, options
Circa Sports announced this week that it will increase the prize money for its Million IV and Survivor NFL contests to $12 million, up from $11 million last season. Both contests have a $1,000 entry fee.
Among other changes, according to the Las Vegas Journal-Review, is that in the Circa Survival contest, players are only eligible for the $1 million undefeated bonus if they do not pick a 2022 Super Bowl competitor (Rams, Bengals) in any week.
Registration for this season’s contests opened Tuesday, and players can register in person at the Golden Gate, D Las Vegas, Circa, Tuscany, or The Pass. Those not residing in Nevada can enter and make weekly picks via local proxy.
SuperBook, which runs the SuperContests, will offer 12 ways to win in its contests and will also increase the number of in-season contests. Bettors will be able to participate in the full-season SuperContest or first- or second-half contests, each of which lasts nine weeks. SuperBook will offer a total of 11 in-season contests. In addition, the SuperContest Gold and Reboot will also be back.
SuperBook expects to open registration July 1.
— Jill R. Dorson
Colorado tweaks budget, reissues licenses
The Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission on Thursday voted to increase the state’s wagering budget by about $9,640 to cover increased vehicle costs as the state moves to electric vehicles. It also reissued vendor major licenses for Deck Prism, Amelco, and Banach Technology, as well as about three dozen vendor minor licenses.
Division of Gaming Director Dan Hartman also updated a legislative change that extends the sunset date on wagering from five years to 10 years. According to a source, the state legislature reviews most divisions in the state on a regular basis.
More of the most important, interesting stories
”ALEXA, METS -1.5”: Voice-activation product allows drivers to bet on live sports [Forbes]
TAKE THAT, WOJ: Silver says NBA fan aggression not caused by sports betting [Sports Illustrated]
C’MON MAN: Man tries ‘jackpot switch’ to avoid casino slot prize going to child support [JG-TC]
BREWING: Federal lawsuit over new sports betting rule could jeopardize tribal sovereignty [KUOW]
HELP WANTED: Arkansas group suing over lack of gambling addiction resources [THV11]
SHUT DOWN: ND Commission halts Vegas-style games at gas stations, stores [AP]
AT LEAST YOU HAVE POTATOES: Idaho isn’t planning to legalize sports betting soon [Idaho Press]
NICE HIT, EH: Drake says he cashed in $2.6 million NHL, NBA sports bet parlay [UPI]
SWITCHING TEAMS: DraftKings adds ex-Flutter exec as VP of platform product [EGR]