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 headlines, highlighting some fresh news, and rounding up key stories.
Top stories around our network this week
You bring together top executives of leading gaming companies to discuss sports betting in front of thousands of industry-connected individuals in Las Vegas, and interesting conversations are bound to occur, both publicly and privately. That was the case this week, as every year at the American Gaming Association’s Global Gaming Expo, or G2E.
The CEOs of FanDuel and DraftKings had what was described as a “kumbaya moment” during their time together on stage. In their own panel discussion, however, leaders of California’s major gaming tribes offered nothing but scorn for the major commercial operators, whom they feel disrespect them, with the pending California Proposition 27 initiative as one example.
In a broader sense, there was talk of how the sports betting industry needs to evolve to build relevance for new customers, with Uber’s own business evolution as a role model of sorts. Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini gave her take on how that company has helped transform traditional approaches to sports betting engagement on behalf of owner PENN Entertainment. She wasn’t the only prominent female speaking at the event, where panels focused on trends toward both attracting more women to betting and to positions in the betting industry.
Our reporting team was all over the convention space to monitor the key discussions in Las Vegas, and we also kept following and writing about developments in the rest of the country, as this past week’s stories show from our multiple sites.
Something to look forward to in new year
Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin targets January for company’s sports betting launch
People keep saying it’s coming … soon
Is the sports wagering world ready for esports?
Yes, no, yes, no, make up your minds
Latest polling suggests support for California wagering initiatives growing
PENN is on the move … literally
PENN Entertainment to relocate its two Illinois casinos
It’s just not their thing anymore
GeoComply unwinds nonprofit Conscious Gaming, transfers PlayPause RG tool
We plead addiction, your honor
Cuyahoga County court system creates problem gambling addiction program
You’re bad, and we’ll see you in court
Parx Casino fights back in court against skill games industry
Maybe there should be a law against it
LIV golf betting a non-starter in New Jersey?
Government’s wheels turning slowly on this
Grand River Bands still in a holding pattern thanks to the feds
There’s money to be made in all this
Hold rate for New York sports wagering remains stuck on high
Ontarians wager $6 billion (CAD) across mobile sports, casino, poker in Q2
First month yields light revenue for Kansas sportsbooks
Indiana sportsbooks post record $51.2M in September revenue
Iowa sportsbooks post record $25.4M revenue for September
NBC Sports analyst Berry joins nVenue team
Following a successful summer in powering the predictive analytics for Friday night MLB games on Apple TV+, Dallas-based technology company nVenue announced Thursday that it is expanding into NFL micro-betting.
The launch of nVenue’s micro-betting markets for NFL wagering coincides with the addition of NBC Sports analyst Matthew Berry to the company’s advisory board. Berry, a longtime fantasy sports analyst at ESPN, moved to NBC prior to the start of the NFL regular season.
Each week, nVenue will deliver approximately 70,000 football micro-betting markets to sportsbook operators and data providers through the company’s NextPlayLive API solution. While micro-betting should be viewed as a tool for fan engagement, Berry said that nVenue’s technology expertise brings the rapid form of wagering to the “next level.”
— Matt Rybaltowski
ZenSports acquired by Keystar Corp.
It was announced this week that Keystar Corp. had acquired most of ZenSports, the quirky, crypto-forward sports betting company that holds a gaming license in Nevada and had designs on launching in Tennessee and Wyoming.
The deal currently includes all of ZenSports’ assets save for its two gaming properties in Nevada, the Book at Baldini’s in Sparks and the Big Wheel Casino, a truck-stop slots operation in tiny Lovelock. In an email, ZenSports CEO Mark Thomas told Sports Handle that the transfer of those two properties to Keystar “will be coming later this year.”
In the press release announcing the sale, it was also revealed that Keystar had acquired Ultimate Gamer, an esports brand focused on live and online competitions.
– Mike Seely
Corporate moves of the week
With much of the industry gathered in Las Vegas this week for G2E, several stakeholders used the conference as a backdrop to announce new hires or moves in the C-Suite. Here’s a look at a few:
Light & Wonder’s board of directors named Matt Wilson CEO and president and gave him a spot on the board. Wilson was formerly the company’s CEO of gaming and replaces Gary Cottle. … After overseeing MGM’s acquisition of LeoVegas, Gary Fritz has officially been appointed president of MGM Resorts Interactive. He’ll oversee the expansion of digital properties, including mergers and acquisitions. … Scientific Games announced that Mona Garland is the company’s new chief human resources officer. … Former Zynga creative director Joe Kaminkow is now Aristocrat’s chief innovation officer. …SciPlay Corp. appointed Jim Bombassei as executive vice president, chief financial officer and secretary, effective Dec 1. He is currently an SVP with Light & Wonder.
— Jill R. Dorson
More of the most important, interesting stories
NOTHING WRONG HERE, MOVE ALONG: Las Vegas is partying on, never mind that ‘alleged recession’ [Bloomberg]
MAYBE BETTER FOR SOME BETTORS: Betr becomes first US online operator to ban credit card gambling [iGaming Business]
BLINK AND YOU’LL MISS THESE BETS: PointsBet launches ‘Lightning Bets,’ a new NFL live betting feature [SportTechie]
IT BEATS BETTING ON UCONN FOOTBALL: Lamont marks year of legalized sports betting in Connecticut with wager on Yankees [CT Insider]
It's been about a year since the first retail sportsbooks opened in Connecticut and online sports betting launched.
I won one of my first sports bets on the New York Giants a year ago. See who I bet big on this time around👇 pic.twitter.com/beWxOY21Kl
— Governor Ned Lamont (@GovNedLamont) October 7, 2022
ASK CANDIDATES THEIR STANCE ON PARLAYS: Online sports betting becomes political issue in Georgia 2022 midterms [Atlanta News First]
WHAT TO DO, WHAT TO DO: Format for sports wagers pivotal to Vermont’s steps in legalization [The Center Square]
IT’S ALWAYS NICE TO BE FIRST: Circa Sports Colorado first to integrate Global Payments gaming solutions [CDC Gaming Reports]
AND ANOTHER FIRST: BetMGM adds first FedExCup futures market [PGATOUR.com]