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 happenings.
Top stories around our network this week
Just this week, CEO Michael Rubin divested his stake in the parent company of several professional sports franchises, Fanatics received initial approval for a sports wagering facility operator’s license in Maryland, and the company is reportedly in talks to acquire U.S. sportsbook operator Tipico.
What’s next for the e-commerce giant, as it inches closer to being a full player in sports betting? Stay tuned.
Say it ain’t so, North Carolina
Booking drafts ain’t easy
Now we know why
Get better or get beaten
That’s a good question
Slow and steady wins the …
Where do I sign?
MGC preparing for sports betting legalization
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission met Wednesday, and toward the end of the meeting, MGC Executive Director Karen Wells led a discussion about the commission’s potential approach to determining technical standards and conducting compliance testing for sports betting.
A pair of Massachusetts sports betting bills name the MGC as the state’s sports wagering regulator, and the group wants to be prepared, should either bill become law in 2022. The state’s legislative session ends at the end of July, which gives legislators a few more weeks to come to an agreement.
Wednesday’s discussion was just preliminary, but the group is considering the possibility of implementing Gaming Labs International technical standards, should wagering be legalized. The MGC also seems interested in speaking with other jurisdictions about the types of vendors they use to help regulate sports wagering.
– Bennett Conlin
PGA Tour partners with bet365
The PGA Tour announced Tuesday it reached an agreement with bet365 to be an official betting operator through 2024. It is the first outreach into Europe for sports wagering for the PGA Tour, which made DraftKings its first official betting operator in the U.S. in July 2020.
That agreement expanded a deal between the sides that started with daily fantasy sports in 2019. Bet365, which operates in New Jersey and recently launched in Canada, is one of the predominant sportsbooks in Europe.
— bet365 (@bet365) June 21, 2022
Bet365 will serve as the exclusive source for odds on the leaderboard and player pages at PGATour.com and on TOURCast in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia. It will also have a brand presence at Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) under their strategic partnership with the tour and appear on WBD platforms, such as Golfdigest.com in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and Canada.
“We are excited to work with bet365 to expand the tour’s sports betting initiatives outside of North America,” said Scott Warfield, vice president of gaming at the PGA Tour. “Bet365 was the first operator to integrate the tour’s official in-play betting product, and they are poised for tremendous growth, being on the forefront of in-play sports betting in golf. The tour continues to look for opportunities to innovate in new areas, with a goal of engaging with fans.”
– Chris Altruda
Caesars Racebook launches in Montana, Oregon
On Wednesday, Caesars announced it has made its mobile racebook available to horse racing bettors in Montana and Oregon. These mark the fourth and fifth states in which the app — a white-label version of the New York Racing Association’s advance-deposit wagering platform — has launched, following Florida, Indiana, and Ohio.
As NY Online Gambling reported in March, NYRA also powers BetMGM’s ADW, through a white-label agreement. Back when the Caesars partnership was announced in that same month, NYRA President and CEO David O’Rourke said of the sportsbook alliances, “Racing right now is offered in a strip mall on a side street. These guys are building mega malls. We just want a store in the mega mall.”
– Mike Seely
Four Winds pays out ‘bad beat’ poker prize
Four Winds Casino had a seven-way “bad beat” payout of more than $320,000 on no-limit hold ’em at its South Bend venue in Indiana earlier this month.
A bad-beat jackpot is paid out when a sufficiently strong hand is played but then beaten by another player with a stronger hand. The bad-beat loser receives 50% of the jackpot, the winner receives 25%, and the rest of the table splits the remaining 25%.
In this instance, a player from Granger, Indiana, had a hand of four 2s, only to be topped by a player from South Haven, Michigan, who pulled out four 7s to trigger the bad-beat jackpot. The player from Granger claimed the top prize of $161,052.40, while the player from South Haven received a payout of $80,526.20. The five others at the table received payouts of $16,105.24 apiece.
– Chris Altruda
More of the most important, interesting stories
GOOD QUESTION: What happens if Californians pass two sports betting initiatives? [Cal Matters]
BATTEN DOWN: How sports betting companies are weathering the economic storm [Yahoo! Finance]
JUST PEACHY: An ongoing saga of legalizing sports betting in Georgia [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
INFLUENCERS: Vegas sports betting giants roll the dice on Hollywood talent [Hollywood Reporter]
BE QUICK BUT DON’T HURRY: Kansas sports wagering aims to beat Jan. 1 deadline [Kansas Reflector]
A bettor in Louisiana placed $600 on Jameis to win MVP at 150/1 ⚜️
Potential win: $90K 💰 pic.twitter.com/jetTummCUe
— Caesars Sportsbook (@CaesarsSports) June 20, 2022
ONLY BEGINNING: Dueling sports betting ad campaigns ramping up in California [KSBY]
NOT JUST A ‘GUY THING’: MaximBet reaches out to an underappreciated market – women [CDC]
BEAM ME UP: DraftKings, Cubs host beam-signing ceremony for sportsbook at Wrigley Field [MLB.com]
FROSTED TIPS: Caesars Sportsbook, Guy Fieri restaurant open at Chase Field [Cronkite News]
FANCY: Sports Illustrated wants to build a $410M mega resort in southern Mississippi [SunHerald]