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 stories and rounding up key stories in sports betting, gaming, and the world of sports at large. You may have missed them, and they are worth reading.
Mississippi making mobile moves
When Mississippi launched legal sports betting last summer, the understanding was that on-site mobile would also be legal. This summer, that could become a reality. According to Mississippi Gaming Commission Executive Director Allen Godfrey, one or two of the state’s 23 sportsbooks plan to “experiment” with on-site mobile ahead of football season. In Mississippi, on-site mobile would be allowed anywhere on a property that has a sportsbook, meaning that patrons could bet from hotel rooms, pool areas, or restaurants on the property.
“Right now, you can only bet in person at a kiosk or at a teller window,” Godfrey said. “I think it will be to the point where you can’t roll up into the parking lot, I think you’ve got to be at the property.”
In order to have on-site mobile sports betting, operators will have to incur the cost of installing geofencing technology. In this case, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology would likely be the geofencing of choice, as it can be accurate to within feet of, say, a doorway.
Going forward, Godfrey expects Mississippi lawmakers to take up state-wide mobile more seriously. During the 2019 session, a handful of mobile sports betting and gaming bills died in committee — likely in part because it’s an election year in Mississippi and gaming is a hot-button topic.
In D.C., question will be what app in what place
Washington, D.C. will be a test case for hyper-specific geolocation, and a test of sports bettors’ patience. As the District, which legalized sports betting in December, gets closer to launching mobile sports betting, it’s becoming clear that dealing with the high number of exclusion zones within the city as well as the city-wide app vs. site-specific apps are going to be challenging.
With regard to exclusion zones, consumers won’t be able to bet on federal property, or use the city-wide app in certain locations like Nationals Park, where the team can have its own mobile and physical sportsbook operator. All of the exclusion zones will mean that geolocation provider GeoComply will have to use a combination of Bluetooth hardware in small spaces, like buildings or even pro sports venues, and GPS technology to fence in the city as a whole.
“D.C. does present a very unique geolocation challenge,” John Pappas, public affairs officer for GeoComply, told WTOP.com.
Beyond that, the decision to have a city-wide app that can be blacked out in stadiums or even bars means that bettors could be in a situation where they have to download multiple apps and then figure out which one to use where.
More of the most important stories
INTERESTING: Sports betting isn’t legal in Michigan, but Penn National gets OK to buy casino. [MIBets]
DISNEY AND DK: As part of the Fox deal, ESPN parent Disney now has stake in DraftKings. [SportTechie]
BANNED: “Vegas Dave” prohibited from entering sportsbooks for three years. [ReviewJournal]
In my interview with Gary Bettman this morning, the NHL commish was bullish on sports betting, upcoming TV rights negotiations and CBA talks; bearish on NHL players competing in the Olympics. (Thanks @laurafrofro for the photo.) pic.twitter.com/tjE93LAMbU
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) May 21, 2019
SLIPPERY SLOPE: Are media companies risking credibility with sports betting deals? [LAT]
CHECK THIS OUT: The Borgata in NJ announced its new $12 mm sportsbook will open June 29. [PressofAC]
CLEARING A PATH: Nevada, Ohio trying to find a way to mitigate latest Wire Act interpretation. [USBets]
DFS MOVING: The North Carolina House moved forward a fantasy sports bill. [AP]
1989: Apprentice jockey Nate Hubbard hung on for second, literally, when his horse, Sweetwater Oak, stumbled near the finish line at Golden Gate Fields pic.twitter.com/mzVO6vut0E
— Sport & Betting History (@CDCHistory) May 23, 2019
ICYMI on Sports Handle
In the wider world of sports
REVISITING REPLAY: The NFL owners could overturn the replay rule … again. [WSJ]
Packers lineman David Baktieri chugs three beers. Challenges his quarterback Aaron Rogers sitting across the floor from him to follow suit. Rogers might be a great quarterback but he sucks at chugging beer.
— Mike Ganter (@Mike_Ganter) May 24, 2019
FREE LEBRON: James deserves a better ending than the Lakers are giving him. [NYT]
KD OUT? Warriors “hopeful” star will be back for NBA Finals. [BleacherReport]
ALL-NBA: Giannis, Harden unanimous selections to the first team. [NBA.com]
LOSING TO A GIRL: WNBA’s male practice teams are OK with it. [SBNation]
REMEMBERING OWEN HART: How wrestler’s death exposed human side of sport. [SI]
Photo by Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock.com