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 (or fashionably late) 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.
Friday surprise in IL
Illinois political winds have kept everyone, chief among them sports fans/bettors eager to open legal accounts without having to venture into mask and sanitizer land, on their toes. On Friday evening, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed an executive order reinstituting a policy from a couple months ago, which allowed of-age persons to register for IL sports betting accounts online. The order may only last until Sept. 19, but as have just learned, again, expected the unexpected in Illinois (including FanDuel’s audible from Fairmount to Par-A-Dice.)
Less than 2 hours after being notified last night that mobile registration is back in IL, @DKSportsbook was ready to go. Moments later, the marketing machine turned on. So proud of the #DKNG team for rallying late on a Friday to get this done. Game on Illinois!
— Jason Robins (@JasonDRobins) August 22, 2020
Tennessee sets sights on Nov. 1 launch
Tennessee officials have taken the long, bumpy, scenic route fromthe spring 2019 passage of legislation to allow legal sports betting to having a licensee actually begin taken bets. Of course, that has yet to occur, after protracted negotiations and regulation-making involving the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation (primary regulatory oversight), the nine-member, appointed Sports Wagering Advisory Board, concerned stakeholders and key members of the legislature unhappy about the pace as well as certain proposals under consideration.
But the rules governing legal sportsbooks in Tennessee are now approved, operator applications received, and a new Vice President of Sports Betting, Danielle Boyd, who was instrumental in the 2018 launch of sportsbook under the West Virginia Lottery’s watch, is at the helm.
“We’ll go live with all four on the same day,” TELC CEO Rebecca Hargrove said on Wednesday, referring to sportsbooks by BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Tennessee Action 24/7. “If everybody can be ready two weeks early, then we’ll go early.” Hargrove also added that if one operator was going to lag behind the others for any reason, the TEL would launch those who are ready on the same day.
PointsBet set to land in multiple Chicago-area locations
Hawthorne Race Course is positioned to be the first horse racetrack in Illinois to have a live sportsbook, though it hasn’t yet filed a “request to commence wagering” with the Illinois Gaming Board. When Hawthorne does launch, it will have also house PointsBet sportsbooks at three of its nine OTB locations — Crestwood, Prospect Heights and Oak Park Terrace. All three are in the Chicago metro area, and patrons will be able to place bets and register for mobile/online sports betting at the sites.
Hawthorne was awarded its Organizational License on July 30, and PointsBet its Temporary Operating Permit on July 14. From here, Hawthorne must make a request to the IGB to begin offering sports betting. The IGB has been taking two-three weeks to approve such requests. While the goal is likely to be live by the start of the NFL season, that is less than three weeks away.
Here’s a look at where you’ll be able to place wagers through the Hawthorne/PointsBet partnership:
Another Illinois sneak peak
When DK opened its DraftKings at Casino Queen Sportsbook on Aug. 5, it did so with a temporary sportsbook at the East St. Louis location. The company has plans to build out a higher-end, more permanent facility, but here’s a look at what’s up-and-running now:
The number of live sportsbooks in Illinois reached six Thursday when Hollywood Casino in both Aurora and Joliet accepted their first wagers.
— Sports Handle (@sports_handle) August 20, 2020
More of the most interesting, important sports betting (and some sports) stories of the week
— VSiN (@VSiNLive) August 20, 2020
THIRD WHEEL: Questions surround DraftKings deal with Caesars as William Hill looms large. [CDC Gaming]
ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT: David Minter used to work at a casino. Now he owns two. [Co Bets]
WATCH YOUR MOUTH: With no fans the stands, we’re hearing more foul language on the field. [WSJ]
EXPOSURE: Las Vegas-based Circa Sports’ NFL contests may have 7-figure overlay. [US Bets]
MARKET SHARE: Unibet looking to establish presence in Indiana. [HSB]
STATE OF CONFUSION: Proposed Puerto Rico sports betting regs unusual, quirky .[SH]
VIDEO GAMES: Madden, FIFA games contain illegal gambling, federal lawsuit claims. [Sportico]
PointsBet's launch of online casino gaming in NJ in the next 4-6 months will drop them into a pool of three dozen competitors, some with a 7-yr head start: https://t.co/KaR9IJJ1Uf plus updates on PB status in MI, CO, IA, IL, and IN + today's PGA Tour partnership announcement
— John Brennan (@BergenBrennan) August 18, 2020
.@mkf has another big team partnership in Florida.
As we outlined in @Sportico, the company's strategy is to saturate the big states that don't have sports betting (FL, CA, WI), then offer betting once they come online.
— Eben Novy-Williams (@novy_williams) August 19, 2020
🚨 SPORTSBOOK USERS 🚨
Having trouble finding lines for the NBA Playoffs with other sportsbook apps?
— DraftKings Sportsbook (@DKSportsbook) August 17, 2020
Wonder how all those sportsbooks that spent Monday taking shots at a competitor’s tech issues are feeling after NBA, MLB and NHL favorites combined to go 20-1 yesterday … …
— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) August 18, 2020
"It's looking like LA Fitness at 3:00 right now." 😂😭 pic.twitter.com/NAw4LVS4Fz
— ESPN (@espn) August 17, 2020
Also check out US Bets‘ weekly round-up.