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.
See you in court, Florida edition
A timeline for filings and a hearing date request were laid out Tuesday in the U.S. District Court case in which West Flagler Associates (Magic City Casino) and Bonita-Fort Meyers Corp. (Bonita Springs Poker Room) are suing the U.S. Department of the Interior and Secretary Deb Haaland. In the original filing, the plaintiffs said the DOI and Haaland should not have “deemed approved” the Seminole Tribe-Florida gaming compact, calling it “contrary to law, arbitrary, and capricious.”
The compact and a new Florida law would allow statewide mobile and retail wagering in Florida, but all bets must go through the Seminole tribe. While the compact allows other operators to enter the state through partnerships with parimutuels, the tribe effectively has a monopoly.
While the Seminoles have been pointing to an October go-live date, the plaintiffs ask for a decision by Nov. 15, “which is the date that Plaintiffs contend that the relevant provisions of the tribal state compact at issue in this case are scheduled to be implemented.”
According to the schedule, plaintiffs must file a motion for summary judgment or preliminary injunction by Sept. 21, and a hearing is requested in time for a Nov. 15 decision.
The parimutuels aren’t the only entities contending that Florida’s sports betting landscape should be more open — a group of digital operators, led by DraftKings and FanDuel, filed in June for the chance to put an initiative on the 2022 ballot allowing for statewide mobile not connected to the Seminoles. And even some of the lawmakers who approved the new law and agreed to the compact aren’t sure it’s best for the state.
“I think it was a good deal for Florida. Do I think it was the best deal we could have gotten? Probably not,” Rep Dan Daley told 12News on Thursday. “When you compare [the compact] to some other states that have gone down the sports betting avenue, they’ve seen a lot more of a return.”
PointsBet partners with Austin FC
Digital sports betting operator PointsBet this week announced a partnership with Austin FC, the latest addition to the MLS. Under the agreement, PointsBet will have signage at the team’s new Q2 Stadium and will open a branded PointsBet Sports Bar on the second level of the the stadium’s North Building, which is open to anyone holding a game ticket on game days. The bar will feature 18 televisions, table games, food, and beer options.
Sports betting is not yet legal in Texas, and the state legislature there will not be back in session until 2023. The issue came up during the 2021 session, but lawmakers failed to make much progress. Neighboring states Arkansas and New Mexico already offer limited in-person wagering options, and Louisiana voters legalized betting in most parishes in November 2020. Statewide mobile is expected to be live there ahead of the 2022 Super Bowl.
PointsBet has signed a multi-year deal with Austin FC, making it a founding partner of the new MLS team and giving them the opportunity to growth their brand in the state prior to legalisation of gambling. $PBH.AX https://t.co/dQFdSSKohm
— Waterhouse VC (@WaterhouseVC) September 15, 2021
Instead of real-money wagering, those in Texas can use PointsBets’ free-to-play “Lone Star Pick’Em” contest courtesy of NBC Sports.
“As the city’s only major league sports team, Austin FC has excited global soccer fans and is setting a new standard for what it means to deliver for their supporters and their community by putting a laser-focus on experience,” said PointsBet USA CEO Johnny Aitken via press release. “That’s exactly what we’re doing in the sports betting industry, and we simply couldn’t be more thrilled to align with the club in its inaugural season as a Founding Partner. We look forward to a future when our groundbreaking technology will be in the hands of Austin FC’s passionate and tech savvy fan base.”
Four Washington tribes gain federal approval
The federal government approved four more Washington state tribal gaming compacts this week, clearing the way for the tribes to open sportsbooks in their casinos whenever they’re ready. On Sept. 9, the Snoqualmie Tribe opened the state’s first-ever sportsbook at its suburban Seattle casino, while Northern Quest Resort & Casino near Spokane is expected to open the second in mid-October.
The Kalispel Tribe, which operates Northern Quest, was among the four new tribes to gain approval, along with the Muckleshoots (Muckleshoot Casino in Auburn), Shoalwater Bay Tribe (Shoalwater Bay Casino in Tokeland), and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, which owns three rural casinos in the northern part of the state. The feds have now approved compacts from 13 Washington tribes, with the Swinomish (Swinomish Casino & Lodge in Anacortes), Skokomish (Lucky Dog Casino in Skokomish), and Jamestown S’Klallam (7 Cedars near Sequim) tribes still awaiting the green light to move forward with sports betting.
— Mike Seely
More top stories from around our network
To quote Pres. Biden circa 2010, this is a big f-in deal.@LSU announced a partnership that makes the SEC powerhouse an exclusive sportsbook/gaming partner of @CaesarsSports, which is making LA a priority.
— Sports Handle (@sports_handle) September 17, 2021
Breaking: The New York Gaming Commission has determined to proceed with application evaluation of mobile sports wagering platform providers and mobile sports wagering operators without oral presentations, a @NYSGamingComm spokesman told @sports_handle. pic.twitter.com/GvzyBpPc5o
— Matt Rybaltowski (@MattRybaltowski) September 15, 2021
Circle the date of the week
Public markets of the week
ESPN and the Roman Forum
Boxing at the ballots
Fighting words of the week
Feature story of the week
It’s not that complicated, people
Great to see the @Patriots back!
We filed a bill in 2019 and again this year to legalize sports betting in MA – it’s time to act and get this done. MA is losing out to many of our neighbors on this one.
— Charlie Baker (@MassGovernor) September 12, 2021
Where else to debut but Colorado?
Came for the crown and didn’t miss
First look at first casino(s) in Virginia
The biggest market in Canada by far
Semi-calm before the football storm
And more of the most important stories
— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) September 15, 2021
NJ August sports betting handle: $664.7M, w revenue of $52M marking sixth straight month of $50M or higher for industry
— John Brennan (@BergenBrennan) September 16, 2021
The WynnBET sports bar is open at Encore Boston Harbor. Capacity for about 400 people. This place is going to be hoppin’ once betting is legal. pic.twitter.com/nViL1c99GC
— Sammy P (@spshoot) September 16, 2021
PROGRAMMING NOTE: Sports reporter Stormy Buonantony joins VSiN, full schedule released [CDC Gaming]
INVENTORY: NFL sportsbook sponsors splash ad pool with $21.4M in Week 1 [Sportico]
CITYCASTS: BetRivers betting on hometown vibes with local betting shows in Chicago, Pittsburgh, etc. [BSM]
SOMEDAY: Mizzou lottery officials pushing for legalization in ‘22 [MO INDY]
CALI: That’s what Del Mar Fairgrounds is hoping for in 2023 [ABC10]
UP IN THE AIR: Nebraska sports betting rules still a work in progress [1011Now]
BETTING ON BOOKIES: Investors are snapping up, driving up sports betting stocks [Yahoo! Finance]
NORTH CAROLINA: Sports betting bill gets House committee assignments [WRAL]
TWINSPIRES LIVE: Platform launches in Arizona with the Tonto Apache Tribe [InkedIn]
(The kicker was right.)https://t.co/LtGUePEbDA
— Sports Handle (@sports_handle) September 17, 2021