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.
Rhode Island mobile now live
Following no action at a court hearing on Wednesday, the Rhode Island Lottery went live with sports betting via its app and SportsBetRI.com website. Would-be bettors must register in person at either the Twin River or Tiverton casino before being able to use the app or website. Downloadable forms are available on the website. However sources and observers say things were not quite working as planned on launch day.
Was done there last night. A lot of technical issues to work out especially if you have an android phone. Very little response on the first day. People I talked to don't like having to link a debit card to your account.
— Chris Barton (@grandrouge56) September 5, 2019
Still, when it went live, Rhode Island became the fifth state since the fall of PASPA to launch state-wide mobile sports betting, following Iowa, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. It’s also the first New England state with live, legal sports betting. Patrons will be able to bet on professional and college sports, though there is a carve out for Rhode Island college teams and college events taking place in Rhode Island.
There will be another hearing in Rhode Island Superior Court next week for the case, in which a former Providence mayoral candidate claims the state illegally legalized sports betting. He believes the decision should have been put to voters.
AGA Chief: Nothing wrong with pumping brakes
Iowa and Indiana raced to the finish to launch sports betting in time for the NFL season, but the Oregon Lottery and Montana Lottery decided to slow their rollouts. The Oregon Lottery is continuing testing, while Montana lawmakers are now requiring an RFP process. Though the NFL and college football season are definitively the hottest time of the year for sports betting, there’s something to be said for taking it slow.
“There is probably nothing more important than the NFL season with regard to sports betting,” American Gaming Association chief Bill Miller on a media conference call earlier this week, “but the motive for them to not race ahead was the appropriate course of action.”
The Oregon Lottery appears about a month out from going live while Montana is likely looking at early 2020.
During the call, the AGA shared numbers from a survey by Morning Consult that back the idea that the NFL — which kicked off on Thursday night with a Packers 10-3 win over the Bears at Chicago in an NFC North punt fiesta — is king:
- 38 million U.S. adults plan to bet on the NFL this season;
- 24 percent of Americans say they would sports bet, if it were legal in their state;
- 39 percent of avid NFL fans plan to place a bet on the NFL this season;
- 75 percent of NFL bettors say they are more likely to watch a game they bet on;
- 28 percent are more likely to attend a game they have bet on;
- 51 percent are more likely to watch pregame shows and commentary.
The sun rises on our 100th season.
— NFL (@NFL) September 5, 2019
More of the most important, interesting stories
LISTEN UP: Discussing the inherent conflict with betting content. [BizOfBetting]
WINGS AND THINGS: MGM and Buffalo Wild Wings partner on sports betting. [ESPN]
EXCHANGE: Smarkets CEO on the launch of its sportsbook app and taking on Betfair [EGR]
TV ratings numbers from last night’s Packers-Bears game that will most interest league and network execs: some markets with legalized sports betting were up big. Pittsburgh (+23%) and Providence (+36%) are two markets with statewide mobile betting.
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) September 6, 2019
MAKING MOVES: FOXBet squeaks in a PA launch just ahead of NFL kickoff [PennBets]
DATA BATTLES: As data deals proliferate, turf wars are sure to develop. [SBCNews]
RACKET: Sports Betting Ponzi took $29.5 million from investors, SEC says [Bloomberg]
Press Release: Today @DraftKings has partnered with @SBNation to launch DraftKings Nation for providing fans with original content, key insights, analysis and lifestyle coverage from all angles of daily fantasy and sports betting. Full details here: https://t.co/q9btqQdMxx pic.twitter.com/8tWUhZ6j8p
— DraftKingsNews (@DraftKingsNews) September 5, 2019
PHILLY: SugarHouse and the NHL Flyers, Wells Fargo center team up. [NBCSports]
INDEED: States that prohibit mobile sports betting leaving money on the table. [WSJ]
HMM, THAT DIDN’T WORK: South Dakotan tries using Iowa mobile app near border. [ArgusLeader]
MORE OPTIONS IN NM: Tribal Route 66 Casino will offer full service sportsbook. [BizJournals]
MONTANA LAUNCH DELAYED: Sports betting in the Big Sky State won’t start until 2020. [AP]
THIS AGAIN: Report: Romney to carry federal sports betting bill torch with New York’s Schumer [SH]
IOWA SPORTS BETTING: Just talked with state gaming administrator Brian Ohorilko RE: daily fantasy. He told me DraftKings and FanDuel have each applied for fantasy sports operator licenses here and are working with state staff to "demonstrate compliance" with new laws. (1/2)
— Danny Lawhon (@DannyLawhon) September 5, 2019
In the wider world of sports
NFL PREDICTIONS: From long shots to coaches to watch. [MMQB]
BYE, BYE BROWN?: What will the Raiders do if Antonio Brown does get suspended? [CBSSports]
SAN FRANCISCO SWOON: The 49ers tasted glory before falling to garbage heap. [SBNation]
Sept 4th, 2019: @dallascowboys sign Ezekiel Elliott to a 6-year, $90M extension.
Sept 5th, 2019: Ezekiel Elliott donates $100K to the Salvation Army.🙌🙌🙌 pic.twitter.com/uZ7k1u0lXJ
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) September 5, 2019
DIDN’T SEE THAT COMING: 11 MLB contender surprises. [MLB.com]
NEW NORMAL: Graduate transfer quarterbacks are taking college football by storm. [NYT]
SIBLING RIVALRY: Marlins’ Brian Moran strikes out his brother in historic MLB debut [Yahoo!]