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
The biggest story in the sports betting industry last year was undoubtedly New York’s arrival as the largest state to implement mobile wagering, generating far more cash and tax revenue than anyone thought possible. One of the biggest stories of 2023 could well be various changes in the Empire State’s gaming laws to increase the number of digital sportsbooks, reduce their tax rate, and add online casino games and poker to what is permitted.
Those forms of expansion were proposed this week as either bills already introduced or legislation that is still being drafted in Albany, with the changes being initiated by the same two lawmakers — Sen. Joe Addabbo and Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow — who fought for years to legalize mobile sports betting. The mere fact that the pair are introducing the measures is no guarantee that anything will be voted on or enacted, but the influential roles played by Addabbo and Pretlow in the state Capitol suggest that the topics will at least be seriously discussed.
Gaming issues were already certain to be at the forefront of many New Yorkers’ minds this year as a result of plans to license three casinos in the New York City area, with heavy jockeying among influential developers for the rights to do so. How that discussion plays out alongside debate over further sports betting and iGaming expansion will be quite interesting to follow. We at Sports Handle and our network of other sites will be monitoring the developments closely, just as with all of the other issues covered in stories below from the past week.
Massachusetts getting closer every day
Modern tools aim to keep out the hackers
More from the when-bettors-go-bad file
When in doubt, ask Jay
The great trifecta: sports, TV, and betting
Caesars takes its punishment
Diversity remains Maryland priority
Finally, Betfred gets its day in Nevada
Never hit a woman, unless you’re a woman
Eureka, the money keeps pouring in
Fanatics reportedly interested in betPARX
Fanatics is looking to make a big push into sports betting this year, though it has been short on publicizing details of just how exactly it will do that. CNBC may have the answer, as it reported Friday — based on information from unidentified sources — that Fanatics is in discussions to acquire the betPARX digital sportsbook operation.
CNBC reported that while the deal isn’t certain to be completed, Fanatics has signed a letter of intent to buy the sportsbook that is owned by Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment, which operates Parx Casino in suburban Philadelphia. The betPARX sportsbook originated in 2019 in Pennsylvania, where it shares an online casino platform, but it has since branched out to other legal states, including New Jersey, Michigan, Maryland, and Ohio, with its entry to Massachusetts forthcoming.
BetPARX has been a relatively small player in the highly competitive states in which it operates — it has about a 2% market share in its home state of Pennsylvania — but the better-known Fanatics brand could be more competitive, and the sports merchandiser’s executives may deem it advantageous to take over a sportsbook that’s already up and running in multiple states.
More of the most important, interesting stories
THIS YEAR’S GAME IN GLENDALE IS JUST A WARM-UP: Super Bowl is in a betting state for the first time — Vegas is watching [The Nevada Independent]
NOW THAT THAT’S SETTLED …: Ex-Georgia chief justice: Sports betting doesn’t require constitutional amendment [The Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
WE WERE BETTING THEY’D CHANGE THEIR MINDS: Ontario’s regulator reinstates wagering on UFC after organization revamps gambling policy [Canada Sports Betting]
NEW on CSB: UFC is back on the betting menu in Ontario! This is thanks to new regulations within the sport that calm fears of match-fixing risk. Here's @GregwarrenBC with all you need to know. https://t.co/lnHXwdSZZo
— CanadaSportsBetting.ca (@CANSportbetting) January 19, 2023
THAT DIDN”T LAST LONG: CU Boulder discontinues controversial sports betting incentive [CU Independent]
THINGS ARE COOLER DOWN IN MEXICO, IRONICALLY: Coolbet brings sports betting and iGaming offering to Mexico [SBC Americas]
SURVIVAL OF THE BETTING FITTEST: “Definitely got very lucky.” Circa Survivor winners tell $6.1M story [Las Vegas Review-Journal