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
Last week, Get a Grip focused on the wide range of legislative proposals afoot across the land relating to sports betting. Sports Handle’s network of staff and sites continued that work this week, as lawmakers mull potential legalization in Georgia, Missouri, Kentucky, and Minnesota, among other states.
Far rarer is the need to devote much coverage to goings-on in Congress, which has pretty much left the topic of sports betting untouched since PASPA’s rejection by the U.S. Supreme Court in May 2018. But that changed with U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko’s introduction of a bill that would ban all sports betting advertising from television, radio, and the internet.
There’s nothing to indicate that the New York congressman’s Betting on Our Future Act, as he calls it, is headed for passage — or even a vote or hearing. But the draconian sweep of the proposal is sufficient to have quickly united the industry against it, as Sports Handle’s Jill R. Dorson noted in an in-depth look at the reactions of operators, consultants, state regulators, and other stakeholders.
Even if there are inherent flaws with a system that has every state doing legalization and regulation in its own way — if it chooses to do them at all — it will surprise us if federal powers-that-be decide they’re ready to step in with some of the strict regulations that have been tried in European countries. We’ll be watching, though, and reporting on any key developments, just as with these other stories below from the past week.
A little trip around the states
Georgia legislator seeks responsible gambling input on betting bill
Georgia sports wagering bills garner attention in Senate, House
Missouri committees move sports betting bills forward in House, Senate
War of words: Is Missouri betting bill unconstitutional?
Kentucky sports betting bill would have Horse Racing Commission as regulator
Minnesota bill: Tribal exclusivity and pushing the bounds of IGRA?
And then there were seven …
PointsBet withdraws its Massachusetts digital application
Things looking rosier for Caesars
Caesars guides toward 2023 profitability in sports betting division
Bally’s has some things to work out
New Bally’s CEO eyes data-driven approach to revive sports betting division
Chiefs won, Kansas sportsbooks lost
Kansas sportsbooks lose $14.5 million on Super Bowl LVII wagers
Betting: not as easy as you’d think
World Cup 2026 should be a betting bonanza for America’s sportsbooks, except … it won’t
Regulator says ixnay to legally betting on XFL in Ohio this year
No betting on Oscars slapping either
Oscars betting all shook up at sportsbooks after BAFTA, DGA awards
Time to rein in the touts?
Bills in Maryland, West Virginia would lead to audits of betting handicappers
Maverick not ready to give up
Judge dismisses lawsuit challenging tribal control of sports betting in Washington state
Yep, Ohio, you’ve got problems
Spike in problem gambling calls dominates legislative discussion
Machinations in Mississippi
Since passing the House 140-4 on Feb. 9, a Mississippi sports betting bill has been sitting in the Senate Gaming Committee. The measure originally would have allowed for statewide mobile wagering, but it has been altered to become a proposal to study the industry.
One of the first states to launch any form of legal wagering in 2018, Mississippi lawmakers have been slow to embrace mobile betting. Bills to expand beyond in-person wagering have failed during multiple sessions. HB 606 would create an 11-person task force to study mobile betting, with a requirement to report back to the state legislature by Oct. 15. The Mississippi Legislature adjourns April 2.
— Jill R. Dorson
Operators oppose changes in Connecticut
Operators in Connecticut are pushing back against a Senate bill that would change some sports betting rules. The proposed tweaks include banning promotional advertising that offers “financial enticement” to participate in wagering and requiring that credit cards used to fund accounts be in just one person’s name.
According to The Day, Michael Ventre of FanDuel wrote that promotional advertising “is an effective tool to incentivize consumers to break up with their bookie and transition onto regulated platforms.” He also said banning the ads would make it difficult for operators to get responsible gaming messages out.
On the subject of limiting credit card funding to “sole account holders,” DraftKings submitted testimony that “it is simply not possible for sports wagering operators to comply with such a requirement.” While some states ban funding accounts with credit cards altogether, none has such a provision concerning ownership of the account.
— Jill R. Dorson
Wagering expands on mini-golf
On Halloween, Colorado became the first state to authorize legal betting on U.S. ProMiniGolf Association (USPMGA) events. This coming Monday, Betfred and DraftKings customers in Colorado, Oregon, Wyoming and Connecticut will be able to wager on the USPMGA’s inaugural World Putting League Championship. The two-day tournament will feature 26 of the world’s best mini-golf putters and will be livestreamed at TheWorldPuttingLeague.com.
According to a press release, the two sportsbooks will offer markets for putters’ stroke totals in each round, top 8 finishes, and outright winner, among other bet types. At odds of 2/1, USPMGA Hall of Famer Olivia Prokopova opened as the favorite to win the Myrtle Beach tournament.
— Mike Seely
More of the most important, interesting stories
THE FUTURE IS NOW, OR IS IT?: Peek into the future of live betting [Unabated]
IT SHOULD MAKE A FUN HOST, BUT …: Las Vegas confronts obstacles as Super Bowl host [Las Vegas Review-Journal]
VERMONT THINKING THIS ONE OVER CAREFULLY: Committees continue review of sports wagering legislation [The Center Square]
WAITING FOR THE BIG ENCHILADA: How Governor Greg Abbott sees casinos in Texas [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]
Here’s what Abbott has in mind if Texas were to expand legal gambling. https://t.co/k8N6m6p5f8
— Fort Worth Star-Telegram (@startelegram) February 24, 2023
WHAT ARE THE ODDS ON SOUTH CAROLINA? SC horse industry needs help. Is legalizing gambling the right bet? [The Post and Courier]
THIS IS NO CASH COW, YOU KNOW: Grand Island Casino not sure if it will have a sportsbook [The Grand Island Independent]
KIOSKS ARE OK BY THIS TRIBE: Casino launches first in-person sports wagering on tribal land in northwest Iowa [KTIV]
WE’D WAGER IT’S AT LEAST PARTLY TRUE: Does the betting market hold the answer as to why NHL ratings are down? [Action Network]