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 wasn’t a huge news week in the sports betting world, but there appears to be plenty in motion.
Fanatics is signaling that they are getting ready to enter the sportsbook game, Underdog is also inching closer, and Michigan has has entered into the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement, which will allow poker enthusiasts in the state to compete against players in New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada.
A bumpy road
Why am I sweating already?
It’s OK to have a laugh
Things will be great when you’re … downtown
Horse racing never stops
Maryland city seeks retail wagering opportunity
In Maryland, Mayor Ray Morriss and the Cumberland City Council voted earlier this week to allow a sports gambling establishment within city limits. It appears Morriss is hopeful the city will add a retail betting location, and changes to zoning guidelines were adopted to make that a possibility.
Maryland legislation named 17 entities that would receive retail sports wagering licenses, but there are also an additional 30 retail licenses available for locations across the state through a competitive application process. Maryland also allows for the distribution of 60 mobile sports betting licenses.
“I’m very hopeful someone in Cumberland will be licensed,” Morriss said. “I hope the state spreads them out and puts one in Cumberland. I think it would be a great asset to have here. Any kind of entertainment offering that comes to the area can only bring more people and money into our community.”
– Bennett Conlin
‘Always a new generation’ to be educated
In the last week, theScore Bet rolled out a unique responsible gaming program in Ontario, the Mohegan Tribe in Connecticut donated $2 million to Yale University to combat problem gambling, and the Oregon Council on Problem Gambling opened an RFP for new research opportunities.
While problem and responsible gaming are intertwined, they are distinctly different initiatives addressing different populations. Problem gambling programs work with individuals who are already addicted, while responsible gambling programs provide tools to help consumers identify and prevent problems from developing before they take root. That education, according to advocates, is critical and should be ongoing.
When asked how long operators should advertise responsible gaming initiatives, Keith Whyte, the executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, told Sports Handle, “Until it’s effective. How much do we need to make sure that every player in a jurisdiction has seen it and understood the message? You can figure that out by using focus groups and polling, but it’s probably like a lot of campaigns, like drunk driving — you can always reinforce it. There is always a new generation that can hear the message. It’s a public health issue.”
– Jill R. Dorson
South Dakota takes an L in April
In just its eighth month of sports wagering, South Dakota reported its first monthly loss, as bettors came out $13,735 ahead on nearly $370,000 wagered in April.
Retail sportsbooks in Deadwood continued to pay out winning NFL tickets, as operators posted a net loss of nearly $5,400. But where bettors pounded the book was in golf, which had been dominated by the house in the first seven months. Bettors collected close to $32,965 off only $14,295 wagered, resulting in a staggering -133.3% hold for the house.
Prior to April, operators posted an 89.9% win rate in golf, as they paid out only $648 on $6,435 wagered, and there was not a winning wager statewide until February — for all of $9. It is the first monthly net revenue loss for a state with legal wagering since Delaware finished $969,519 under in December.
– Chris Altruda
More of the most important, interesting stories
NO SURPRISE: College sports eye gambling money amid safeguard concerns [AP]
GET IT TOGETHER: MA bill sits in limbo as House leader wants college sports included [Mass Live]
NOW THAT’S A PROMO: Drivers line up for free gas giveaway at Snoqualmie Casino [KOMO News]
WORTHY CAUSE: OCPG announces Research Center funding opportunities [CDC]