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 stories, highlighting some fresh news, and rounding up key stories.
Top stories around our network this week
When involved in a legalized sports betting industry that has attracted billions of dollars in wagers, ubiquitous marketing, and action by some two-thirds of state legislatures since 2018, it’s easy to forget that not all Americans are so enamored with the activity. But then there are reminders.
An independent poll in Minnesota, where betting has yet to be authorized, found less than half the public ready to support legalization. Another unbiased poll in Ohio, which has legalized and will launch betting on Jan. 1, reported that 84% of Ohioans have no interest in placing bets themselves. And there’s a lot of hand-wringing over potential rejection in California of the Proposition 27 initiative that will be on the November ballot to authorize mobile sports wagering, with the operators backing it shifting an ad strategy that may have already turned off voters.
Our network of sites and team of reporters will continue monitoring the developments in those states, as well as those like Maryland and Massachusetts where regulators are preparing for new launches. We also cover far more, as this past week’s stories demonstrate.
Sports network channeling its inner bettor
In need of a better way for certain bettors
When Twitch acts, does everyone else listen?
Trying to make that ol’ spinny wheel obsolete
One more reason to like the pitch clock idea
Vermont could finally be a yes … maybe
Missouri is definitely a no … for now
Ravens fans just can’t wait for this
Patriots fans might not get it in time
Another reason to visit Manhattan?
But Mom said I could!
New Jersey’s always up for something different
And let’s tally the numbers
Pigskin betting popular around stadiums
GeoComply this week released numbers showing that betting around NFL stadiums is very popular. In particular, in the first week of the NFL season, 66,100 geolocation checks from about 7,300 users were charted at Arizona’s State Farm Stadium, home of the first retail sportsbook at an NFL venue. BetMGM opened the book on Sept. 11.
The stadium will host Super Bowl LVII in February, making Arizona the first legal wagering state to host the game. The most popular NFL stadium to bet at so far is Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, where there were 76,400 geolocation checks from 8,000 users. There’s no sportsbook there, but fans can bet on mobile devices while in the stadium.
— Jill R. Dorson
Kansans take quickly to legal wagering
The Kansas Lottery reported that from Sept. 1-11, 2.4 million bets were placed in the state during the first days of legal wagering. Kansans won $47 million, according to the lottery, which did not release handle or hold for the period.
The Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas City Royals, Kansas State, and University of Kansas were the most popular teams wagered on among bettors. The Chiefs-Arizona Cardinals game during Week 1 of the NFL season attracted the most betting action of any sporting event in early September.
— Jill R. Dorson
BetMGM in spotlight on Sunday nights
BetMGM and NBC Sports have announced a new partnership for the 2022 NFL season that includes integrations on Sunday Night Football’s pre-game show. BetMGM replaces PointsBet, which decided to opt out of the partnership deal with NBC Sports to focus on regional advertising.
BetMGM will be featured on the telecast in various forms, including a weekly segment hosted by former NFL quarterback Chris Simms and sports betting and fantasy sports analyst Matthew Berry. BetMGM’s deal with NBC Sports represents its latest move to gain market share in the NFL betting space. BetMGM also extended a deal to be an official sportsbook partner of NFL Canada.
Also, BetMGM has announced that it had signed actress/singer Vanessa Hudgens as a celebrity brand ambassador. She will be featured in marketing campaigns, promotions, and social media content for BetMGM’s iGaming and casino platforms.
— Donald Emmons
Fourth Wisconsin tribe authorized for betting
The La Courte Oreilles Tribe is now eligible to open a sportsbook after an agreement between the State of Wisconsin and the tribe was approved by the federal Department of Interior and published in the Federal Register Sept. 20.
The La Courte Oreilles Tribe owns and operates the Sevenwinds Casino in Hayward. The tribe is the fourth in the state to re-compact for sports betting, according to 500nations.com. The Oneida Nation and St. Croix Chippewa Indian tribe each operate a sportsbook, while the Forest County Potawatomi tribe is approved to do so but has yet to open one at its new casino in Milwaukee.
Mobile sports betting is not currently permitted in Wisconsin, though tribes are allowed to open retail sportsbooks at their existing casinos.
DraftKings christens Washington sportsbooks
After its initial two weeks in soft-launch mode, DraftKings had Seattle Mariners legend Randy Johnson make the ceremonial first bet Tuesday at its new sportsbook at the Tulalip Resort Casino, located 37 miles north of Seattle.
Ominously, Johnson chose to place a $10 wager on the University of Southern California to win the college football national championship (12/1 at DraftKings) rather than get down on the Mariners to do much of anything in the Major League Baseball playoffs. Another Hall of Famer, former Seahawk wideout Steve Largent, was on hand for the simultaneous opening of the DraftKings sportsbook down the road at a second Tulalip-owned property, the Quil Ceda Creek Casino.
In other Washington state news, Kambi signed an agreement to power the sportsbook-to-be at the Cowlitz Tribe’s ilani Casino Resort in Ridgefield, which is about a 30-minute drive from Portland, Oregon.
— Mike Seely
Record tribal contribution in Arizona
The Arizona Department of Gaming reported a record $41.6 million in tribal gaming contributions to the Arizona Benefits Fund for the first quarter of fiscal year 2023. The figure was a 2.2% increase compared to the same period last year, with more than $20.7 million of that amount going toward the Instructional Improvement Fund for education.
“Arizona’s tribal gaming industry continues to impress,” ADG Director Ted Vogt said in a statement. “This follows record levels of tribal gaming contributions in the last fiscal year, highlighting the growth of tribal gaming since the signing of the amended Tribal-State Gaming Compacts by Governor Ducey and the Arizona Tribes in 2021.”
In other allocations from gaming, $10.4 million was directed to the Trauma and Emergency Services Fund, while $9.7 million was allocated to ADG operating costs and the state’s Wildlife Conservation and Tourism funds. The remaining $831,437 went toward problem gaming education, treatment, and prevention.
— Chris Altruda
FanDuel makes Serrano an RG ambassador
In conjunction with the American Gaming Association’s Responsible Gaming Education Month, FanDuel has expanded its roster of responsible gaming ambassadors. The sports betting operator extended its agreement with radio host Craig Carton, who knows first-hand that gambling addiction is a constant fight, and added a new ambassador in Amanda Serrano, who knows a thing or two about winning fights.
Puerto Rican-born, Brooklyn-bred Serrano, arguably the top pound-for-pound women’s boxer in the world, will film a series of responsible gambling PSAs in English and Spanish for FanDuel. First, she will get in punches this Saturday in Manchester, England, against 13/1 underdog Sarah Mahfoud. Serrano will sport the FanDuel logo on her trunks for the Mahfoud fight and her next two bouts.
“I am delighted to be joining FanDuel and Craig as a responsible gaming ambassador,” Serrano said in a press release. “I appreciate how serious the team at FanDuel takes this issue, as it’s one of personal importance to me. Being able to use my platform to advocate to sports fans a play well lifestyle is something I’m proud to be a part of.”
— Eric Raskin
Omaha Audio Network makes additions
The Omaha Audio Network, presented by Caesars Sportsbook, has added “Cousin Sal” Iacono and Mush Media to its podcast lineup. The additions consist of all seven Mush Media shows, which include Cousin Sal’s Against All Odds and Extra Points podcasts. Video versions of the podcasts will be made available on ESPN’s YouTube channel.
Additionally, Mush and Omaha will partner with late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel to write and produce original videos and other programming for distribution across Omaha Productions’ social channels.
– Donald Emmons
More of the most important, interesting stories
IT WAS NICE WHILE IT LASTED: DraftKings to halt NFL early win, up 10 promotion on Sunday after paying out $75 million [Action Network]
A RESPONSIBLE STEP FORWARD: Online gaming operators collaborate for responsible gaming standards [CDC Gaming Reports]
HOCKEY’S NOW A TRIBAL THING: Arizona Coyotes land NHL’s first Native American jersey sponsor [ESPN.com]
2:00 PM ETThe Arizona Coyotes have announced a multi-year sponsorship agreement with the Gila River Indian Community, marking the first time that a Native American tribe will have advertising on an NHL team jersey.Players will wear patches …https://t.co/7ufIIj48La
— Shop PRO Hockey (@ShopProHockey) September 21, 2022
IN A GOOD PLACE WITH HARD ROCK: Sportradar to power Hard Rock Sportsbook’s in-app streaming [Sportradar]
LEAGUES CONSIDER TV TRIPLE PLAY: MLB, NBA and NHL may buy biggest owner of regional sports TV networks: sources [New York Post]
STRIVING FOR AN APPOINTMENT: Strive Gaming hires former DraftKings exec Jamie Shea as CMO [CDC Gaming Reports]