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.
D.C. won’t launch in time for NFL season
According to a Washington Post story, despite projections from projections from the Lottery that it would launch sports betting in the nation’s capital by the start of the NFL season, that deadline has been pushed back. Regulators are reviewing public comments after rolling out draft rules earlier this summer, and have not yet finalized regulations.
“I don’t know how long . . . that will throw off the launch,” Beth Bresnahan, executive director of the D.C. Lottery told the Post. “But it’s important to know that we want to ensure we are responding to comments and concerns.”
The Lottery won’t even be accepting applications from potential operators until September, and the approval process could take up to six months, unless an operator is established and operating in other states. The Lottery’s own mobile app isn’t set to launch until January 2020.
Things in Connecticut getting messy
A lawsuit filed by MGM in Connecticut makes it seem likely that sports betting won’t become legal in Connecticut anytime soon.
Early in the week, the state’s tribes, the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes said “They are not willing to walk away from the Tribal Winds Casino in East Windsor,” in response to Governor Ned LaMont suggesting the tribes abandon the project in favor of other potential venues in the state.
A few days later, MGM Resorts filed a suit with the Department of the Interior in an effort to block the tribes’ East Windsor project and a potential tribal project in Bridgeport. MGM opened a casino in Springfield, Mass., 25 minutes north of East Windsor last summer. According to the Connecticut Mirror, the lawsuit is “broader than stopping East Windsor: It argues that Interior and its Bureau of Indian Affairs have no authority to accept amendments to Connecticut’s gambling compacts with its two federally recognized tribes for any off-reservation commercial gambling.”
While potentially taking years to litigate, MGM's lawsuit is likely to have a swift political impact.
It appears geared to raise doubts about the tribes' ability to legally build off-reservation casinos or compete for exclusive sports betting rights. https://t.co/eykMY8aJrm
— Connecticut Mirror (@CTMirror) August 9, 2019
The suit is expected to have big ramifications in the state capital, and could be yet another roadblock on the pockmarked road to sports betting legalization. The tribes currently run the only two casinos in the state and have compacts through which they pay the state annually. Connecticut doesn’t want to lose that revenue. As lawmakers try to figure how to bring commercial gaming to the state, sports betting has become a bargaining chip — legal sports betting in exchange for the tribes giving up the East Windsor project.
According to media reports, the tribes already have $20 million invested in the East Windsor project and aren’t interested in renovating the XL Center in Hartford or anything else the state is offering.
All of this comes on the heels of Senator Cathy Osten filing a bill that would give the tribes exclusivity in terms of online sports betting, the right to jointly run a casino in Bridgeport and create “entertainment zones” where sports betting and other gambling could happen in Hartford and other communities.
More of the most important, interesting stories
$100 MM: Pennsylvania hits $100 mm in sports betting certificate revenue. [PennBets]
NEW PARTNERSHIP: The Los Angeles Rams and Penchanga Tribe sign 1-year deal. [KFI]
SPINOFF: El Dorado may break out its sports betting business after MGM deal closes. [Bloomberg]
ONE MORE IN NY: The Akwesasne Tribe and The Stars Group have joined forces. [NNY360]
GOING LIVE: Penn National will launch sports betting at Iowa’s Ameristar Aug. 15. [ReadingEagle]
@FanDuel Group (US) rev up 46% to £160m; @FDSportsbook took #1 position in New Jersey (50% market share) and just opened in Pennsylvania. @BetfairCasino reaching 15% market share and @TVG saw ongoing momentum and recently partnering with Breeders’ Cup #FlutterResults pic.twitter.com/GQmk8ZRlvU
— Flutter plc (@FlutterPLC) August 7, 2019
HOME SWEET HOME: Legendary bookmaker Jimmy Vacarro back at South Point. [JournalReview]
REDSKINS FIRST: Washington to offer gambling-focused telecast with prizes. [AP]
WATCH THIS: ‘Inside Game,’ about NBA sports betting scandal set for Nov. 1 release. [HollywoodReporter]
LEAVE ME ALONE: Rory McIlroy: Legal sports betting encourages hecklers. [IrishExaminer]
WE WANT SUPERCONTEST: Why doesn’t NJ have a big-dollar contest like LV? [NJOG]
In the wider world of sports
PRO BOWL IN VEGAS: Yep, Raiders new stadium could host as early as 2021. [JournalReview]
ON THE AIR: CBS and DirecTV struck a deal, bringing CBS, and NFL, back. [AwfulAnnouncing]
BOSA DONE FOR NOW: 49ers star will miss the preseason with ‘significant’ ankle sprain. [NFL]
If you build it, the Yankees and White Sox will come … for one game next season 🌽⚾️https://t.co/FGeoyuhywo
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 8, 2019
NEXT JOHN ELWAY: Broncos GM’s biggest struggle? Finding a star QB. [WSJ]
NONE AND DONE?: Some elite prep basketball players skipping college. [SBNation]