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
Ever since PASPA’s repeal almost five years ago, it’s become an annual guessing game with the turn of the calendar and start of new legislative sessions: Which state is going to legalize sports betting this year?
For us at Sports Handle, it’s a question always at the forefront of our minds. Our latest look at the topic identified Georgia, North Carolina, Minnesota, and Vermont as very viable entrants to the ever-growing field.
In Georgia, it could be a matter of legislators attempting a standalone sports betting bill rather than wrapping that aspect into a broader, more challenging gambling bill that has to go before voters as a constitutional amendment. In North Carolina, there are thoughts that the younger group of lawmakers resulting from turnover in the legislature could enable passage of a mobile betting bill similar to one that passed the Senate but not the House in the last session.
Missouri lawmakers were among the first to file another round of wagering bills on Dec. 1, and in Kentucky, HB 106 was filed this week seeking to legalize retail and digital wagering as well as online poker. A bill in Hawaii, meanwhile, would allow for the creation of a standalone sportsbook and poker room. In North Dakota, lawmakers have agreed to send to the voters a referendum that would expand access to legal wagering beyond the state’s tribal casinos.
Of course, with two-thirds of states already legalizing, the low-hanging fruit has already been picked. The states yet to legalize each present their own special challenges for sports betting advocates, and that includes the big three of California, Florida, and Texas, where nothing seems imminent in 2023 despite some new lobbying efforts in the latter.
Rest assured that the Sports Handle staff will continue following all of the developments closely and reporting on progress in the various states, just as is the case with all sports betting and gambling-related stories, as reflected in the following.
A mass of stuff going on in Massachusetts
Want to hear a good bad beat story?
New kids are on the block
This kid is leaving — see ya later
Ex-NFL stars making gambling news
Ohio is for bettors, here’s the proof
Legislators have their concerns, naturally
Shaking the money tree
Circa awarding $12 million from NFL contests
Circa Sports CEO Derek Stevens will hand two $3,066,500 checks in Las Vegas Friday night to the co-winners of this year’s Circa Survivor competition and award $1 million to the victor in the sportsbook’s Circa Million NFL pick ‘em tournament.
In the annual Circa Survivor competition, participants pick a different team every week to win straight up, but they can’t pick the same team twice for the duration of the NFL season. In the Circa Million contest, each contestant makes five picks against the spread each week, accumulating points along the way, with a total of $6 million in cash prizes awarded to the top 100 finishers.
While Circa Million ended up with a modest $1.3 million overlay, a flood of final-hour entries brought the Survivor contest into the black, to the point where Circa was able to dole out more than the promised $6 million pot.
— Mike Seely
Maine readies its regulations
Maine regulators this week published proposed sports betting rules eight months after lawmakers legalized wagering. A public hearing on the regulations is set for Jan. 31. The 56-page rules packet covers everything from licensing to house rules to what kinds of wagers will be legal. Gambling Control Unit Director Milt Champion has indicated that wagering will begin in the state in the second quarter of 2023 or later.
Maine’s law puts control of wagering in the hands of the state’s four federally recognized tribes. It does not directly allow the two commercial operators in the state — PENN Entertainment and Churchill Downs Inc. — to participate in digital betting.
— Jill R. Dorson
Kambi extends deal with Rush Street
Still smarting from Fanatics Sportsbook’s decision to use source coding by Amelco to power its in-house betting platform, Kambi Group investors this week received news that was more encouraging.
Kambi announced Monday that it had signed an extension to its North American partnership with Rush Street Interactive, the parent company of BetRivers. Under the partnership, Kambi will continue to provide sports betting trading services to RSI sportsbooks in more than a dozen states, as well as in Mexico, Canada, and Colombia. Kambi and RSI initially signed their partnership in 2018 after the PASPA decision.
Kambi shares fell as much as 14% in the opening week of the year on the news about Fanatics.
— Matt Rybaltowski
More of the most important, interesting stories
NEWSPAPER ENDORSES BETTING WITH CAVEAT: Editorial: Legal sports betting could be a winner, but only with video gambling reform [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
WHO CAN MAKE A HOCKEY PLAYER TALK?: NHL stars mum on gambling endorsement deals [CBC]
NO BETTING YET, BUT LET’S FIX IT ANYWAY: Nebraska introduces bill to legalize in-state college sports betting [SBC Americas]
When the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers play football at home, the stadium becomes the third largest city in the state. pic.twitter.com/b2ahbiUyGV
— Steve Keating (@LeadToday) November 5, 2022
HIS GLASS MORE THAN HALF FULL: Analyst “still positive” on gaming despite economy [CDC Gaming Reports]
ALL WE WANT IS WHAT’S OURS: Chairmen of Colorado’s two Native American tribes ask legislature to remedy sports betting inequity [Colorado Sun]
NEW LEADERSHIP ALL AROUND IN NEVADA: Nevada: Lombardo naming Vegas attorney Kirk Hendrick as Gaming Control Board chair [Nevada Independent]