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.
12 Billion Reasons There Is So Much Hype Around Pennsylvania Sports Betting; Launch Pad Readies at Hollywood Penn
The Hollywood Casino in Pennsylvania will make history on Saturday when it fully opens the first legal sportsbook in PA to the public. More than a year after legalizing sports betting, Pennsylvanians will finally be able to legally place a bet — and the state will begin to reap expected financial gains from sports betting. They already have, actually, in the form of $10 million application fee apiece from the six properties so far to apply for a sports wagering license.
Of the eight states that have legalized sports betting, Pennsylvania is the only that that has just about two of everything — NFL teams, MLB teams and NHL teams. The only pro sport with only one Pennsylvania franchise is the NBA.
Here is the first actual legal bet made in the Keystone State, during a testing period on Friday, by a man not yet identified. His bet? Twenty bucks on the Steelers to win the Super Bowl!
According to an Eilers & Krejcik Gaming study, shared by ESPN, $12 billion will be wagered annually in Pennsylvania. Nevada sportsbooks saw a $4.8 billion betting handle in 2017.
“I would say both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are very strong sports betting towns, with a lot of enthusiasts,” Greg Carlin, CEO and co-founder of Rush Street Gaming told ESPN’s David Purdum.
Located at opposite ends of the state, both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are sports crazy, with hard-core fans on every corner. Add in the number of big-time college football teams and big-time college basketball teams — Penn State, Pitt and Villanova, the 2016 and 2018 national champions — and you’ve got a recipe for a lot of wagering. Of course, some are skeptical about the migration from already-existing bookies and offshore books to the legal market. Time will tell.
2nd test period for sports wagering underway until midnight at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Grantville. Public is welcome to place live wagers. pic.twitter.com/A5CK6yIBxr
— PGCB (@PAGamingControl) November 16, 2018
The Hollywood Casino is currently undergoing live-action testing and is expected to open the public at 10 a.m. Saturday. Though not dates have been set for testing, Parx, Harrah’s, SugarHouse and Rivers casinos have all also been approved for sports betting and are targeting opening dates before the end of the year. On Wednesday, the Valley Forge Casino became the sixth Pennsylvania casino to apply for a sports betting license.
Ohio Lawmaker: Let’s Work Together
Ohio state senator Bill Coley doesn’t see the point of every state in the nation reinventing the wheel when it comes to sports betting. Coley, speaking at the U.S. Sports Betting Policy Summit in Washington, D.C. earlier this week suggested that states band together to create some rules that apply in multiple states.
As more and more states legalize sports betting, the idea that some rules would be shared could make implementing, monitoring and regulating sports betting a little bit easier. In addition, if states do want to create some regional rules, they will have to rejigger the Federal Wire Act to make it work.
Meanwhile there has been some talk of a “federal framework” for sport betting, which could take various forms. Such a framework might simply set certain standards, which could become more and more difficult to reconcile as more and more states legalize in accordance with what local lawmakers deem fair and appropriate.
More of the Most Important Stories in Sports Betting and Gaming:
Eli lights up the Sportsbook 🔥 pic.twitter.com/NGOytxAD3T
— FanDuel Sportsbook at The Meadowlands (@FDSBMeadowlands) November 13, 2018
REFLECTION: The 5 biggest sports betting industry surprises in the first six months post-PASPA [US Bets]
ROYALE WITH LEAGUE: NBA strikes first European gaming partnership with French national lottery [SBC]
IT’S SETTLED: Nevada regulators accept $2 million offer from CG Technologies to settle dispute. [CDCGaming]
BOOKIES’ EDGE: A Mississippi bookie says that until the state allows mobile and internet sports betting, his business will continue to thrive. [Sun-Herald]
CRYSTAL BALL: Washington Capitals, Wizards owner Ted Leonsis says arenas will ultimately morph into casinos. [USAToday]
BRING IT ON: Ohio’s governor-elect Mike DeWine says sports betting it coming to Buckeye State ‘whether people want it or not.’ [News5Cleveland]
WATCH THIS: Twin River execs take local TV station on walkthrough of construction of Rhode Island sportsbook. [WPRI12]
HIRES: PointsBet hires gambling executive Seth Young as Company’s chief innovation officer [AP]
ICMYI at Sports Handle This Week:
NEW JERSEY’S RISING HANDLE: Garden State Handle Surged to $261M in October.
DK PLANTING PHYSICAL ROOTS: New Jersey’s Resort DK sportsbook is preparing to open.
COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN: Rhode Island’s sports betting launch delayed by ongoing testing, negotiations.
LATEST NY PARTNERSHIP: Empire Resorts and bet365 preparing for legal NY sports betting.
TENNESSEE?: One lawmaker is ready to open the conversation.
In the Wider World of Sports:
WARRIORS FALLING APART? ‘We’re Not Going to Crumble,” Draymond Green said after spat. [SFChronicle]
DO’N’T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU: Steelers wipe Le’Veon Bell’s name — and belongings — from the locker room [PPG]
I CAN’T SEE: Warriors roll out new “building pass” that lets fans into arena, but with no view of the court. [WSJ]
WHO’S IN, WHO’S OUT: Your unofficial guide to the NFL playoffs. [NYTimes]