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
One manner in which Sports Handle and its key numbers analyst, Chris Altruda, excel is in summing up and providing context to the national sports betting picture with detailed information it would be hard to find anywhere else. One Altruda story this week reported on how a threshold of $250 billion has now been cleared in the volume of legal U.S. sports betting since the PASPA decision of 2018 began opening up the activity across the country.
Chris followed that up with another story analyzing the legal sportsbooks’ collective holds across the legalized states, explaining how they achieved a 9.4% hold rate in the 12 months from July 2022-July 2023 that was more than 2 percentage points higher than in the prior year. That represents good news for operators, who have greatly benefited from increased parlay betting, even if it may be saddening bettors saddled with the losses.
Not confining himself to sports betting, Chris produced another story for our sister site, US Bets, detailing how online casino revenue in July collected by operators in the six states where it is allowed represented a 23% increase over July 2022. Whatever part of the industry he is covering, Chris is assembling and providing invaluable information tracking industry performance.
His reporting is but one piece of the broad coverage provided by Sports Handle and our affiliated sites, as shown by the linked stories below from the past week. Also be sure to check out US Bets, including its weekly Double Down column and Gamble On podcast.
Combo of 4-letter names has potential
A ban that’s been hard to get behind
Another idea hurting for support
Facing the seamy side of bettors
If you missed Bet Bash, you missed out
A chance to bet in person? Yes, no, maybe
Kentucky is ready and waiting
Fanatics looks forward to Pennsylvania
Sporttrade makes Colorado a get
Now we’re talking expansion
Punishment delivered in two states
Fanatics taking in-person bets in Columbus
Fanatics Sportsbook is finishing a busy month in Ohio by opening a retail sportsbook Friday in Columbus, just outside of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Nationwide Arena. The new sportsbook comes on the heels of Fanatics last week opening a smaller sportsbook adjacent to the Cleveland Guardians’ Progressive Field and announcing official launch of its mobile betting platform in Ohio and three other states.
The in-person sportsbook with a full-service bar and restaurant in Columbus’ Arena District will be be open until 10 p.m. seven days a week. It spans more than 5,000 square feet with four betting windows, 14 self-service betting kiosks, a giant LED video wall, and 20 TV monitors.
Ohio’s law enables the state’s sports teams to partner with sportsbooks in opening retail betting locations, and the Blue Jackets have joined the Guardians, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Cincinnati Reds among those doing so since Jan. 1. This was the last week, however, for a little-utilized sportsbook created in a Cincinnati brewpub by SuperBook Sports and FC Cincinnati.
— Gary Rotstein
FanDuel adds pickleball state, NFL TV offer
Hours after FanDuel announced that it would begin offering wagering on pickleball in 10 U.S. states and Ontario, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission agreed to add the sport to its bet menu, meaning it will be available for wagering in 11 states. FanDuel requested the addition in Massachusetts, and it was unanimously approved.
FanDuel earlier Thursday announced that it would allow betting on Professional Pickleball Association matches beginning with the Vulcan Open in Kansas City, which started Thursday. It is taking pickleball bets in Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington, and Wyoming.
“Pickleball is huge,” Brad Hill, a Massachusetts gaming commissioner, said during Thursday’s meeting. “I can’t go to any tennis court in my area anymore without there being some type of pickleball.”
In addition, FanDuel rolled out an offer this week in which new and existing customers who place a $5 bet will be able to receive a $100 discount when ordering the NFL Sunday Ticket package from YouTube and YouTube TV. YouTube took on the rights to NFL Sunday Ticket this year, and FanDuel is one of the NFL’s official betting partners. The offer for a package that typically costs $449 is available through Sept. 18.
— Jill R. Dorson
Big 12 signs on with ProhiBet
The Big 12 this week became the first Power 5 football conference to partner with U.S. Integrity on its ProhiBet product, which will help the conference provide sportsbooks and regulators with a list of prohibited bettors. The Mountain West also signed a deal.
The NCAA has mandated that college athletes cannot bet on their own sport or school, though they can bet on other events. U.S. Integrity, in partnership with Odds on Compliance, has spent the summer testing ProhiBet, which will enable professional leagues and NCAA members to share encrypted lists of prohibited bettors.
Among the teams in the Big 12 is Iowa State, which along with Iowa has been under investigation by multiple agencies for sports betting violations. Schools from the Big 12, SEC, Conference USA and several other colleges and the UFC have signed on for the service, but so far, none of the major professional leagues have.
— Jill R. Dorson
Tweet of the week
— Dustin Gouker (@DustinGouker) August 23, 2023
More of the most important, interesting stories
SOME GET IT, SOME BET IT, SOME DON’T: Amid gambling violations, NFL players debate betting policy [ESPN.com]
RADIO PLAY STILL COMES IN HANDY: Sports bettors show “steady consumption” of radio, with PM drive reaching 71% [Inside Radio]
JUST SIGN THE PAPER, PLEASE: Tulane to require coaches, staff to sign NDA as precautionary move against sports betting [Sports Illustrated]
SHHHHH — GOLFERS AT WORK HERE: PGA Tour says it sees no uptick in fans aiming to distract golfers [ESPN.com]
Jon Rahm is worried about the effects gambling could have on the future of golf. https://t.co/jab8IxCfuR
— BroBible (@BroBible) August 22, 2023
MISSOURI REMAINS ON THE BACK BURNER: Cardinals president has not given up on lawmakers passing sports gambling bill [Missourinet]
AND MORE OKLAHOMA HEMMING, HAWING: Sports betting remains stalled in Oklahoma, home to the most casinos in the country [Tulsa World]
TAKE IT FROM BILLY, HE KNOWS: How can you improve in sports betting? Legendary Billy Walters shares his top tips [Yahoo Sports]
CHECKING IN ON THE MEN WHO BET: New survey highlights impact on health of male sports bettors [EGR]