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 stories and rounding up key stories in sports betting, gaming, and the world of sports at large. You may have missed them, and they are worth reading.
Illinois seeks input
Illinois legalized sports betting in early June, but it’s lagging to launch in the Midwest. Iowa debuted its first sportsbooks in mid-August, and three Indiana sportsbooks will start a parade of openings there on Sunday. Illinois regulators aren’t moving with the speed of their counterparts, but on Tuesday, a month-long public-comment period opened. The Illinois Gaming Board is seeking input everyone from citizens to stakeholders, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“This public comment period is an important step in a process to ethically and expeditiously establish a regulatory framework to allow sports wagering in Illinois,” gaming board administrator Marcus Fruchter said in a statement in a Sun-Times story.. “In order to make the process of rule creation as transparent and independent as possible, it is important that the public and various stakeholders have an equal opportunity to submit comments about the Sports Wagering Act.”
— Gaming Intelligence (@GamingIntell) August 29, 2019
Sports betting was legalized as part of a massive capital bill in an extended session of the general assembly, and signed less than a month laster by Governor J.B. Pritzker. The new law allows for state-wide mobile sports betting, but not until 18 months after sports betting at physical locations starts. Lawmakers had hoped sports betting would go live by the 2020 Super Bowl, but given that the IGB is still very early in the process of drafting regulations, that goal seems unreachable.
Looks like 2020 at best for Maine to legalize
Governor Janet Mills for the second time made her position on sports betting clear — according to a tweet from Maine attorney Steve Silver earlier this week, Mills used a “pocket veto” to kill sports betting after a one-day special session. Mills failed to sign the sports betting bill (a very good one, too) that had passed through the state legislature in June. The veto means sports betting can’t be considered again this year.
Mills’ decision to quash sports betting will New Hampshire a leg up when it goes live next year. The Granite State was the second New England state to legalize when it did so over the summer, and the state lottery is currently seeking operators. NH legalized both in-person and state-wide mobile sports betting. It’s likely mobile will go live first, hopefully in the first half of 2020, as towns and cities have the right to approve — or not — brick-and-mortar locations.
Will RI mobile launch before NFL season?
When Rhode Island lawmakers legalized mobile sports betting earlier this year, the goal was to launch ahead of the NFL season. That’s still the goal, but according to a Lottery spokesman, it’s not a sure bet — the state’s mobile app is currently undergoing testing by an “independent, third-party testing laboratory. ”
“Because the App is in the testing phase, an exact timeframe or date by which mobile sports wagering will begin is uncertain,” Rhode Island Department of Revenue Chief of Information and Public Relations Officer Paul Grimaldi told Sports Handle. “The hope is to have the mobile sports wagering begin on or before the National Football League season begins on September 5, 2019; but that date is subject to change based on testing results.”
For those who are counting, the season kicks off in six days.
More of the most important, interesting stories
RIBBON CUTTINGS: Indiana’s first legal sportsbooks to open Sunday [Hoosier Bets]
MORE DRAMA IN D.C.: Key Intralot subcontractor has no employees, but a big contract. [WashPo]
BET ON IT: Illinois Lottery prepping to roll out sports betting parlay cards. [Sun Times]
VEGAS, BABY: Vegas set to bid to host numerous NCAA events [AP]
BALLOTS: A Georgia lawmaker says citizens should weigh in on sports betting. [WABE]
Grizzlies official tapped for Tennessee sports betting panel https://t.co/z3Xyz3xwU6
— Commercial Appeal (@memphisnews) August 27, 2019
CHALLENGER: Why bet365 is poised to challenge FanDuel and DraftKings for NJ supremacy [NJOG]
MO’ MONEY: Study shows global sports betting market will top $155 billion by ’24. [Yahoo!]
To confirm, yes, 55% of all World Series handle has been placed on either the Yankees or the Mets. https://t.co/s80FqZWnZT
— DraftKings Sportsbook (@DKSportsbook) August 26, 2019
TALK ABOUT IT: NBC to allow at least a little sports betting talk on NFL broadcasts. [Larry Brown]
TRY, TRY AGAIN: Another pre-filing push in Kentucky [State-Journal]
IT’S OFFICIAL: Oregon’s first sportsbook at Chinook Winds, launched on Tuesday. [NewsGuard]
"This is a big win for the hospitality and tourism industries of Iowa….the lack of legislative action in Minnesota regarding a popular item like sports gambling makes zero sense. Iowa is smart to capitalize on the stupidity at Minnesota's State Capitol."https://t.co/HOZqN4WcMo
— Representative Pat Garofalo (@PatGarofalo) August 29, 2019
In the wider world of sports
JUST LAUGH, BABY: Soon to be Las Vegas Raiders aren’t what you remember. [WSJ]
COMING OUT: NFL veteran Ryan Russell tells world he’s bisexual. [ESPN]
WALKING AWAY: What happens to athletes like Andrew Luck, who retire early? [Ringer]
CHANNELING ROCKY: Leonard Fournette put himself into exile to get his game back. [B/R]