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. Also check out this week’s Wild World of Gambling at US Bets.
Keeping track in New York
The most watched state on its way to live mobile sports betting is, hands down, New York. To that end, Sports Handle’s Matt Rybaltowski has been working sources, shaking trees, and looking under any rock to learn who’s in and who’s out. While Gov. Andrew Cuomo mentioned DraftKings and FanDuel by name during the negotiation process, it also looks like BetMGM, BetRivers, Kambi, and the Oneida Indian Nation will all be part of the Empire’s online sports wagering landscape.
NYRA Bets has announced it won’t seek licensure, and both PointsBet and theScore are still considering whether or not to join the fun. Applications are due by 4 p.m. Aug. 9.
More top stories from around our network this week
Connecticut Lottery partner coming?
Though it hasn’t released a specific timeline, the Connecticut Lottery appears closer to naming a sports betting partner after lottery chief Rob Simmelkjaer told a local television station on July 26, “We are hopeful to get something done in the next couple of weeks.” But what’s most interesting is that Simmelkjaer also told News8 that the lottery is in talks with a popular daily fantasy operator — the two biggest and most popular of which are already spoken for in Connecticut.
DraftKings has a deal with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and FanDuel recently announced a partnership with the Mohegan Tribe. Both were able to continue offering DFS in Connecticut via the partnerships, and will eventually operate retail and digital sportsbooks in the state, as well.
The third most popular DFS company in the U.S. is Monkey Knife Fight, which is owned by Bally’s. The company also has a sports betting platform, Bally Bet, though Simmelkjaer wasn’t clear if the DFS company the lottery is negotiating with will also run sports betting.
As for whom the lottery will partner with for sports betting, Simmelkjaer said: “They are a very well established company that has been very successful in a number of states around the country when it comes to both sports betting, which is what we are partnering with them on, as well as other sorts of gaming as well. So we are very excited.”
The Department of Consumer Protection confirmed that it had not received any additional applications from daily fantasy operators.
Connecticut House approves sports betting deal with tribes
'This bill that we see tonight is the culmination of many, many years of work heading in many directions in Connecticut' https://t.co/FcBMOX7hwb
— Indian Country Today (@IndianCountry) May 29, 2021
Under Connecticut’s new law, both tribes and the lottery can operate digital sportsbooks. The lottery can also have up to 15 retail locations and one digital platform. Simmelkjaer said 15 applicants initially bid on the lottery contract. The pool was narrowed to seven, all of which were asked to submit refined bids.
Connecticut’s legislature approved legal sports betting on May 27, while the tribes and state came to compact agreements March 18. The compacts must be approved by the U.S. Department of the Interior before they can take effect, and sports betting can’t launch in Connecticut until the pacts become operational.
A federal fix for tribes?
A federal bill filed by California Rep. Lou Correa and New York Rep. John Katko seeks to allow mobile sports betting on tribal lands, which are governed by federal law. Currently, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, written in 1988, does not address mobile betting on tribal lands. The key text of the one-page bill:
SEC. 3. IGRA MOBILE WAGERS.
For purposes of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (25 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.) only, a wager made through an interactive wagering platform shall be deemed to be made at the physical location of the server or other computer equipment used to accept the wager, unless otherwise agreed to by a State and Indian Tribe.
SEC. 4. PRESERVATION OF STATES’ RIGHTS.
With respect to a wager accepted through a server or other equipment located on Indian lands (as defined in section 4 of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (25 U.S.C. 2703)), the wager shall be considered to be exclusively occurring on Indian lands if—
(1) the person placing the wager and the server or other computer equipment through which the wager is accepted are in the same State; and
(2) the applicable State and Indian Tribe have entered into a Tribal-State compact under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act
The bill was filed on July 1 and text was released this week. It has not yet been assigned to committee.
Official Virginia numbers for June
The Virginia Lottery released its audited sports betting numbers for the month of June on Friday, with the most notable difference being an increase in gross gaming revenue to $22 million, which upped the hold to 9.37%. It was originally estimated GGR for June was $19.6 million from figures presented during a slideshow at the agency’s July 21 meeting, but additional deductions beyond promotional play had not been added.
The combination of promotional play and those deductions totaled more than $7 million, which resulted in adjusted gross revenue of nearly $14.9 million versus the $15.1 million originally estimated. The state’s tax receipts, meanwhile, inched higher to $2,273,995, reflecting adjustments to the revenue totals generated by the seven operators.
Virginia sportsbooks, dominated by FanDuel, have generated more than $1.3 billion in handle through the first six months of the year, ranking eighth among states and jurisdictions with legalized sports betting.
— Chris Altruda
More stories worth reading
CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE: Online sportsbooks and deceptive advertising [Trentonian]
I HEAR YOU: Radio listeners more into sports betting than TV viewers. [Westwood One]
ALREADY IS: Cowboys’ Jones says sports betting will enhance NFL. [DMN]
DELTA: Policy ins and outs: Nevada’s updated mask requirements now effective [KTNV]
STILL THE GOAT: Jason Gay on Simone Biles putting mental health first. [WSJ]
THE WINNER pic.twitter.com/JXIcKRVPLZ
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) July 30, 2021
RED SOX: Team makes DraftKings its official DFS partner. [Boston Herald]
HIRED: Louisiana sports betting regulator gets new boss. [Saturday Down South]
BRANDING: theScore’s new deal will get its logos in six Toronto arenas. [Toronto Star]
MAKING MOVES: Check out MLB trade tracker for latest. [CBS Sports]