Each Monday, our “What’s On Tap,” series will preview the week ahead in the world of sports betting. Come here for a summary of upcoming financial happenings, legislative and regulatory meetings, industry conferences, top games scheduled for the week, and much more. Also, check out our weekly review Get A Grip and Wide World of Gambling at US Bets for a look back at last week’s relevant news.
Monday, February 15
An Arizona House bill that would allow statewide mobile sports betting is set for a heading in the Rules Committee on Monday, after passing through the Commerce Committee last week. The bill would allow for 10 sports betting licenses each for commercial entities (in this case, professional sports franchises) and tribal casinos, as well as 10 retail-only licenses for horse tracks in the state. A twin bill in the Senate is set for its first committee hearing on Wednesday.
Tuesday, February 16
Boyd Gaming reports 2020 fourth-quarter earnings
Earnings season continues this week when Boyd Gaming, one of the nation’s top regional casino operators, reports 2020 fourth-quarter and yearly earnings. Boyd is expected to report earnings per share of 33 cents, according to Zack’s Consensus Estimates, down about 50% from the same period a year earlier. Though Boyd has been hit hard from reduced visitation at retail casinos, the regional operator continues to make inroads from a sports betting perspective. Through November, online and retail sports betting handle at Boyd Gaming’s Par-a-Dice Casino in Illinois eclipsed $195 million, ranking second in the state among all operators. The sportsbook at Par-a-Dice is operated by FanDuel under a 2018 commercial agreement between the companies. Boyd Gaming operates 29 retail casino properties in 10 states, including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Nevada, and Pennsylvania — all of which allow legal sports wagering.
Barcelona faces PSG in Champions League R16 clash
The UEFA Champions League knockout stage kicks off Tuesday when Barcelona hosts Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of the Round of 16. PSG finished as Champions League runner-up last year to Bayern Munich, while Barcelona last won the European crown in 2015. Brazilian star Neymar will be out for PSG in the opening leg. Nevertheless, PSG (+1100) is the fourth choice to win the Champions League at PointsBet, behind Bayern Munich (+260), Manchester City (+380), and Liverpool (+570). Also on Tuesday, Liverpool takes on RB Leipzig, a German team which eliminated Manchester United with a 3-2 group-stage victory in December.
Deprived of Neymar, PSG look to Pochettino to take down old foe Barcelona https://t.co/upZNVuFJIn pic.twitter.com/4Zk4JmO2Il
— World Soccer Talk (@worldsoccertalk) February 15, 2021
Wednesday, February 17
Tennessee Education Lottery board meeting
Stakeholders could learn more on state regulations for patron withdrawals at Wednesday’s board meeting of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation (TELC). Last month, TELC regulators vowed to discuss a business practice out of New Jersey where several operators were accused of delaying payments back to various customers after the patrons sought to withdraw account funds in an expeditious manner. According to Tennessee sports betting regulations, sportsbook operators must process account withdrawals in “a reasonable amount of time.”
“A player’s request for withdrawal of funds (i.e., deposited and cleared funds and funds won) shall be completed within a reasonable timeframe unless there is a pending unresolved Player dispute or investigation prompted by a Player dispute or the TEL. Funds for withdrawal may be withheld from withdrawal until the funding transaction clears or the chargeback period ends.” — Tennessee regulations on patron withdrawals
Arizona Senate committee hearing
Several days after a committee in the Arizona Senate held a bill that would allow statewide mobile sports betting, the Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on the bill, SB 1797, at Wednesday’s session. The committee postponed a hearing last Wednesday, one day after a parallel bill passed by a 9-1 margin in the House. There was some concern that the Senate measure did not have enough votes, sources told Sports Handle. The bill on sports betting is listed in Wednesday’s agenda.
Saturday, February 20
Golden Knights take on Avalanche at Lake Tahoe
Although the NHL has held more than two dozen games at outdoor venues since the start of 2008, this weekend’s NHL Outdoors At Lake Tahoe event will mark the first time the league will stage regular-season contests on a golf course. On Saturday night, the Vegas Golden Knights will face the Colorado Avalanche in the first of two games on the weekend on the south shore of Lake Tahoe. A day later, the Philadelphia Flyers are scheduled to take on the Boston Bruins in the second game of the weekend doubleheader. The games will take place on an outdoor rink constructed on the 18th fairway at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course, a venue known most as the site of American Century Championship, an annual celebrity golf tournament. The Flyers, which last played on Feb. 7, could miss Sunday’s game due to COVID-19 implications. If Philadelphia is unable to participate on Sunday, the NHL is considering contingency plans, including the possibility of sending another Eastern Conference team to Lake Tahoe, ESPN reported.
A first look at Edgewood Tahoe turning into a hockey rink for the NHL Outdoors games next weekend! 🏒 pic.twitter.com/Z8KbRmgUDY
— Shannon Kelly (@shannonkelly_tv) February 9, 2021
James Madison highlights opening week of 2020-21 FCS season
Conference play for the 2020-21 NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) regular season begins this weekend with 12 games on the slate. The FCS regular season will last approximately three months before a 16-team playoff begins on April 18. James Madison, the 2019 national runner-up, will open the season at home vs. Morehead State. Several other 2019 playoff teams, including Illinois State, Wofford, and Furman will make their season debuts on Saturday. Formerly known as the NCAA’s Division I-AA in football, the subdivision was renamed as the FCS in 2006. Normally held in the fall, the FCS football season was moved to the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sunday, February 21
Australian Open men’s final
The first week of the Australian Open has been rife with chaos. A third-round match between top-ranked Novak Djokovic and Taylor Fritz was delayed for several minutes on Friday when tournament officials removed spectators from Rod Laver Arena in the middle of the match. Officials from the Australian state of Victoria allowed the tournament to continue, despite the start of a five-day Stage 4 lockdown, which began on Friday at 11:59 p.m. The tournament will proceed without fans until the semifinal rounds of the men’s and women’s draws, at a minimum. Djokovic, a seven-time champion, has battled through a nagging oblique injury in each of his last two wins. As a result, Djokovic’s odds to prevail on Sunday night in Melbourne have decreased in futures’ pools at top global sportsbooks. Rafael Nadal, the 2009 Australian Open champion, won 33 consecutive sets in Grand Slam matches, as of Monday morning.
Australian Open futures odds at DraftKings (as of Feb. 15)
Novak Djokovic — +210
Daniil Medvedev — +275
Rafael Nadal — +375
Alexander Zverev — +750
Stefanos Tsitsipas — +800
Andrey Rublev — +1400
Grigor Dimitrov — +1600