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,” rounding up top stories in sports betting and gaming, and the world of sports at large. You may have missed them, and they are worth reading. This is meant to be brief, so that’s it.
West Virginia Open for Sports Betting Two Days Early
In a surprise move, the Mountaineer State took its first sports bet on Thursday, two days ahead of schedule. But the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races will still have its “opening day” Saturday complete with NFL legend Joe Theismann. West Virginia will be the fourth state, behind Delaware, New Jersey and Mississippi, to take a sports bet since PASPA was overturned in May. While the plan was for all of West Virginia’s casinos to open at the same time, only Hollywood was ready. The other four are projected to open later this fall.
Congressmen Pushing for Federal Framework
Less than a week after conservative Utah Senator Orrin Hatch brought sports betting to the Senate floor, he got a bi-partisan teammate helping with the push for a federal framework. On Wednesday, New York Democrat Chuck Schumer released a memo with his wish list for federal oversight. While the pro sports leagues and some New York state lawmakers likely applauded Schumer’s call for sportsbooks to be forced to use data provided by the professional leagues and for the pro leagues to be involved in determining what sorts of bets should be allowed, he immediately got pushback from the gaming industry.
For the second time in a week, the American Gaming Association reminded the world that sports betting under federal oversight (remember PASPA?) was an “abject failure” that helped to fuel a “thriving illegal market.”
— American Gaming Assn (@AmerGamingAssn) August 30, 2018
Schumer and Hatch may have different agendas — Hatch is fundamentally opposed to sports betting and was one of the original authors of PASPA — but the end game is the same. Both appear to want to give control, and potentially additional dollars, to the pro sports leagues, while limiting how sportsbooks do business.
Since PASPA was ruled unconstitutional in May, Delaware, New Jersey and Mississippi are already open for sports betting, and West Virginia will become the fourth state to take sports bets on Saturday. Sports betting in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island is legal, but sports betting has yet to start.
The Other Most Important Stories of the Week in Sports Betting and U.S. Gaming
Can’t Miss TV: Fox Sports announced ‘Lock It In,’ the first TV show dedicated to sports betting. The show will feature “Uncle Sal” Iacono of Jimmy Kimmel Live. The first broadcast will air Sept. 10. [ Deadline ]
Pro Leagues Like Schumer’s Plan: And why not? Forcing sportsbooks to use league data will be a windfall. The NBA, MLB and PGA all support a federal framework. [ NBC Sports ]
Elsewhere in the Wild World of Sports
Aaron Rodgers on Cusp of $180 Million Contract?: The Packers reportedly signed their veteran quarterback to an extension worth up to $180 million, which would put him back among the top five highest paid quarterbacks in the NFL. The contract would take Rodgers into his 40s. [ ESPN ]
Lane Kiffin Is Full of Contradictions: An in-depth interview with of college football’s most intriguing figures. [ SI ]
Who’s the Worst Team in the NFL? There are plenty of candidates to choose from. Here’s a list. [ The Big Lead ]
Tweets of Note
At CBS’ NFL Media Day. CBS Sports President Sean McManus just told me CBS NFL announcers will not mention point spreads, teams covering the spreads, etc, during telecasts this season.
— Jimmy Traina (@JimmyTraina) August 28, 2018
.@SenSchumer, I invite you to take a look at Nevada's sports betting framework. We've already set the gold standard. We should be cautious at the federal level.
— Dina Titus (@repdinatitus) August 29, 2018
ICYMI Sports Handle Edition
Kentucky Lawmakers Get Schooled on Sports Betting: An interim committee requested a presentation about sports betting, a move that could indicate that the state’s general assembly will fast-track sports betting legislation next year.
Hatch Threatening Federal Framework Again: Conservative Utah senator Orrin Hatch is pushing for federal regulation of sports betting to preserve his legacy.
Pennsylvania Gets Another Sports Betting License Application: Greenwood Gaming became the second Pennsylvania entity after Penn National to apply for a sports betting license. Greenwood is looking to use the license at its Parx Casino and the Philadelphia Turf Club.