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
It’s customary at the end of each year to take stock of all of the top stories, trends, and changes that impacted various sectors of the gambling industry. That was no different for Sports Handle and its network of sites in closing out 2022, as well as getting a head start on 2023 with predictions for what lies ahead.
US Bets gave an account of the top 10 gambling-related stories of the past 12 months in two parts, in addition to covering horse racing’s top news.
We also highlighted the year’s top business-related news impacting sports betting, the biggest flubs and foibles in the industry, and the expansion of sports betting in Maryland, Kansas, and Canada, as well as the many changes in New Jersey’s gambling industry.
The big story at the start of 2023, of course, is Ohio’s entrance this weekend into the sports betting sphere. That will no doubt stand as one of the year’s top stories when we look back 12 months from now, and we’ll be covering Ohio’s arrival and much more in the weeks ahead, just as we did with the past week’s stories below.
Everything there is to know about Ohio
Here’s where and how you can bet in Ohio starting Sunday
16 digital platforms, 12 retail locations have approval to go live Sunday in Ohio
Caesars Set To Make Aggressive Play For New Ohio Bettors With $1,500 Bet Credit
Ohio regulator seeks improved responsible gambling advertisement practices
Waiting in the wings for its start
Some Massachusetts operators won’t get approval until late January
Another NFL rule that makes no sense
Miles Austin’s suspension shows silliness of NFL’s sports betting rules
This parlay is barely worth checking out
Nation’s first strip club sportsbook set to open in D.C.
You get a casino, and you get a casino
Illinois might see a casino boom in 2023
The more dealt in the merrier
PokerStars starts its Michigan-New Jersey player pooling Jan. 1
Michigan approves Odawa Online to offer multi-state poker
For the numbers lovers
Nevada sportsbooks held to $37.7 million revenue in November
Virginia sportsbook continue revenue roll, top $50 million again
Oklahoma governor: Let’s legalize
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt’s tenure has been marked by a fraught relationship with the state’s tribes, but he told Fox News 23 this week that he’s eager to get sports betting legalized. With 39 federally recognized tribes operating more than 125 casinos, Oklahoma is the second biggest tribal gaming state in the U.S. behind California.
Stitt in 2020 approved a pair of tribal compacts that would have legalized sports betting, but a group of 20 other tribes brought legal action, claiming the two tribes went rogue and that the governor doesn’t have the power to be “unilaterally entering into agreements that authorize violations of state law.”
Stitt said Wednesday that he’d like to see legal betting because of the revenue the state would gain. It’s also possible that Stitt and other lawmakers are feeling intensifying pressure as neighbor states legalize and go live. Four of Oklahoma’s six border neighbors have legal sports betting. Kansas, which launched operators in September, was the latest to introduce it.
— Jill R. Dorson
Will 2023 be Minnesota’s year?
Minnesota’s House of Representatives passed a sports betting bill this year that would have allowed for statewide mobile wagering, but after the Senate stripped tribal exclusivity from the bill, the tribes withdrew support and it died. In the November elections, however, the Democrats gained control of both chambers, which could give legal wagering a better shot.
No bills have been pre-filed as yet, but outgoing Sen. Karla Bigham, who previously proposed legislation, told 5 Eyewitness News this week that she’d “bet on” legalization in the new year via a bill that would favor the tribes and allow for tribal-commercial partnerships.
Minnesota is bordered by legal betting states as well as Ontario, which in April became the first Canadian province to launch mobile wagering. The Minnesota Legislature opens its new session Jan. 3.
— Jill R. Dorson
PointsBet mulls sale of Aussie sportsbook unit
PointsBet, which got its start in Australia, confirmed this week that it is exploring a sale of its Australian sports betting unit to Betr, a rival sportsbook Down Under that is not affiliated with the Joey Levy-Jake Paul microbetting outfit of that name headquartered in the U.S.
The sale price would reportedly be up to $250 million in Australian dollars, which is in the ballpark of a bid by a Rupert Murdoch-backed consortium that PointsBet rejected back in June. Murdoch also has a professional relationship with the Australian Betr.
Should a sale be consummated, it could be viewed either of two ways. It would either signal PointsBet’s intent to focus squarely on its North American operations or else slim the sportsbook down to where it would be an attractive takeover target for Fanatics, which is preparing to enter numerous U.S. markets and has long been rumored to have an interest in purchasing PointsBet.
— Mike Seely
More of the most important, interesting stories
ONE MORE STEP FOR LITTLE AMAZON: Amazon reportedly plans to launch sports app [Front Office Sports]
PAC-12 SEES POTENTIAL IN THIS BETTING THING: Pac-12 plans to consider releasing injury reports, selling data rights to capitalize on sports betting wave [CBS Sports]
SOME CONCERNS ARISE DOWN CALGARY WAY: Sports betting blitz spikes concerns over problem gambling [Calgary Herald]
THAT DAMNED PICKETT-PICKENS COMBO: Raiders cost bettor $6.1M win in loss to Steelers [Las Vegas Review-Journal]
“Maddog-2” was 46 seconds from winning $6.133M, but @CircaSports #CircaSurvivor contest will continue today, thanks to Steelers’ comeback that saved 3 other contestants. More at https://t.co/omBpOk7uvd pic.twitter.com/OqkeaAxh3J
— VSiN (@VSiNLive) December 25, 2022
THINGS ARE LOOKING UP IN ARKANSAS: Arkansas sports betting at record levels [KARK]
THINGS ARE LOOKING DOWN IN DELAWARE: Delaware sees drop in sports betting revenue [WDEL]
BAD STUFF GOING DOWN IN DEADWOOD: Probe widens into illegal Deadwood sports bets [KELO]
BETFRED COMING TO JERSEYS IN VIRGINIA: Loudoun United soccer team announces betting partnership [Inside NoVa]