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 developments.
Top stories around our network this week
The marquee is lit up and it says New York, New York. Hope became speculation, and then rumor, and then it metamorphosed to reality on Monday when the New York State Gaming Commission recommended bids for nine online sportsbook operator licenses in NY. They are:
- Bally Bet
- Rush Street Interactive (BetRivers and PlaySugarHouse brands)
- Caesars Entertainment
- Genting (owner of Resorts World)
More on the what will be the biggest online market to date when the Empire State sportsbooks go live in the coming months:
Controversy of the week
It’s getting windy
Bar is raised
Changing of the guard
How the sausage gets made
Better shop around
Fixed in their ways, kinda
More the merrier, perhaps
— Sports Handle (@sports_handle) November 12, 2021
Laissez les bon temps rouler
The good times continue to roll in Louisiana, as two more retail sportsbooks went live Wednesday in Lake Charles, and on Thursday, two more casinos were issued licenses. DraftKings made its debut in the market via the Golden Nugget Casino, and Penn National Gaming (PNG) opened its third sportsbook at the L’Auberge Casino. While New Orleans is the biggest city in the state, Lake Charles is a key gaming destination serving southeast Texas, and is about a two-hour drive from Houston.
According to the Shreveport Times, the Louisiana Gaming Control Board issued licenses to the Magaritaville Casino and the Boomtown Casino, both operated by PNG and located in Bossier City. LGCB Chairman Ronnie Johns said he expects Margaritaville to begin taking bets Friday, and Boomtown to take its first bets Monday.
L’Auberge and Golden Nugget are the fifth and six sports betting licenses to be issued in Louisiana. Licenses went into effect last week at Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans, Boomtown Casino in Harvey, L’Auberge Casino in Baton Rouge and Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City. #lagov https://t.co/LDXmc9LVwF
— John Guidroz (@JohnLaDOTD) November 8, 2021
The Louisiana State Police continue to review applications as they come in, with the gaming control board issuing temporary permits as approvals are confirmed. Every existing casino and racetrack is eligible to apply for retail and digital licenses, and there could be as many at 40 commercial platforms when all is said and done. The lottery will have those one of those platforms, and is entitled to offer wagering via kiosks.
— Jill R. Dorson
On-site mobile in Mississippi
As lawmakers start to reconsider adding statewide mobile wagering in Mississippi, BetMGM on Wednesday announced that it has launched on-site mobile wagering at its Beau Rivage-Biloxi location. The company already offered on-site mobile at the Gold Strike-Tunica. Guests at both locations can now bet from the spa, restaurants, or their hotel rooms, and those using the app can integrate their M Life Rewards programs.
“Beau Rivage is proud to be the first Coastal Mississippi casino resort to offer mobile sports betting for customers,” MGM Southeast President and COO Travis Lunn said via press release. “The BetMGM app not only offers in-game bets and expanded promotions, players can earn M Life Rewards for playing.”
— Jill R. Dorson
Maddox steps down as Wynn CEO
During an earnings call with Wall Street analysts on Tuesday, Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox announced that he would be stepping down at the end of January and would be replaced by the company’s CFO, Craig Billings.
As The Nevada Independent noted, Maddox became Wynn’s CEO in February 2018 after the resignation of Steve Wynn in the wake of sexual harassment allegations. While his departure announcement struck some observers as a bit premature, Wynn’s stock outlook held steady as Maddox also revealed that he’d remain on the boards of Wynn Interactive and Wynn Macau through the end of 2022.
Last month, while sharing a stage with fellow head honchos Bill Hornbuckle of MGM Resorts and Jim Allen of Seminole Gaming at the G2E conference in Las Vegas, Maddox reflected on navigating his company through COVID-19 closures by saying, “Everyone in this room has rethought work-life balance during the pandemic. The pandemic was a wakeup call for me.”
— Mike Seely
And more of the most important, interesting stories
Here is what Disney CEO had to say about sports betting on earnings call… pic.twitter.com/i2dsAHlu5b
— Alfonso Straffon 🇨🇷🇺🇸🇲🇽 (@astraffon) November 11, 2021
COURSE CHANGE: Wynn Interactive SPAC agreement terminated [CDC Gaming]
WAR CHEST: Ballot campaigns plow another $22 into signature drives [FL Politics]
TABLOID FODDER: Big brands apparently didn’t want to get into bed with Barstool/Portnoy [NY Post]
ABOUT MOUSE: Disney CEO: “We have to seriously consider getting into gambling.” [FoS]
TECH SUPPORT: Consumers complaining about “glitchy” Seminole app. [CBS 12 News]
ONE MORE: NH’s biggest city now has a retail sportsbook. [Journal Inquirer]
STATEWIDE: In Arkansas, a rules change could allow for statewide mobile wagering. [TVH11]
VARIANCE: A look into why there have been so many upsets. [NYT]
If you ever:
-Were called “husky” as a child
-Defined as a “big guy” as an adult
This picture should be your screensaver forever. pic.twitter.com/TOxpGDFgEw
— Ross Tucker (@RossTuckerNFL) November 12, 2021