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.
More corruption in the capitol?
It seems that every step of the way, Washington D.C.’s move to legalize and now launch sports betting has been controversial. Earlier this week, yet another questionable decision has come to light — the city will award $215 mm in sports betting contracts to people with key political connections.
According to the Washington Post, D.C. Chief Financial Officer Jeffery DeWitt sent a proposed five-year contract with existing D.C. Lottery vendor to the Council for approval. Among the subcontractors that are set to be awarded, Emmanuel Bailey, a subcontractor on the city’s lottery contract, will have a similar role when it comes to sports betting, and the law firm of Goldblatt, Martin and Pozen, which Bailey hired to lobby for sports betting, will also be a subcontractor. Then there’s Life Deeds, a company that the Post says is known to have questionable hiring practices, and public relations pro Everett Hamilton, who worked on Mayor Muriel Bowser’s first campaign, are also being awarded contracts.
All this after the D.C. Council rushed sports betting through, and agreed to bypass the traditional Request for Proposal process and make Intralot its sports betting vendor without considering other proposals.
The Council has until July 25 to approve the contract.
The Council pushed sports betting through in late December, arguing that it needed to be a “first mover” in the region and legalize ahead of neighbors Virginia and Maryland. Turned out, there was no need to rush — both states adjourned without taking any action on sports betting.
And now D.C. is looking toward a fall launch that wreaks of corruption.
New York, New York, it’s something
While state Senator Joseph Addabbo continues to beat the drum for legislation and a vote on mobile sports betting with one week left in New York’s session (most recently with the amended S17-C), earlier this week, we saw the state gaming commission approve regulations for a bit of legal sports betting. The regulations will allow four upstate casinos, as well as Native American gaming facilities, to offer brick-and-mortar sports betting.
Those properties are all eyeing launches in time for football season. The four commercial casinos are: del Lago Resort and Casino in Seneca County, Tioga Downs in Tioga County, Resorts World Catskills in Sullivan County, and Rivers in Schenectady County. Each of them has a partner to aid in the management and rollout of sports betting operations. They are:
- del Lago Resort and Casino: DraftKings Sportsbook (sportsbook already under construction)
- Tioga Downs: FanDuel Sportsbook
- Rivers: Rush Street Gaming (sportsbook already under construction)
- Resorts World Catskills: bet365
We’ll continue to watch developments in New York as there’s a possibility for a provision for mobile sports betting in an omnibus bill. Lawmakers are preparing to be in session over the weekend, per a Wall Street Journal report.
More of the most important, interesting stories
LIVE FREE: New Hampshire lawmakers send sports betting bill to governor [SH]
GOING ONLINE: Panel says 90 percent of sports betting may be online in 5-10 years. [StarAdvertiser]
ALMOST THERE: Online sports betting more than 82 percent of NJ’s May betting handle [NJOG]
Numbers are in for MAY:
Total betting handle for the month: $318.9 million
Sports wagering revenue: 15.5 million
Sports betting hold: 5.9%
Total handle coming ONLINE: $263,552,319
Percentage of bets online: 82.6%**
(**TAKE NOTE ANY STATE LOOKING TO OMIT ONLINE!)
— Sports Handle (@sports_handle) June 12, 2019
BOLD WORDS: Gov. Phil Murphy says NJ will soon dethrone Nevada as sports betting capital. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
BALLOT BOX: Survey: Just 29% of CO residents would vote for sports betting in November. [BizWire]
NAME CHANGE: The SugarHouse Casino in Pennsylvania is rebranding as Rivers. [Penn Bets]
DUMPSTER FIRE: Louisiana lawmakers managed to kill sports betting and DFS. [US Bets]
QUESTIONABLE BEHAVIOR: Reporter’s suspicious bets beg questions. [Daily Beast]
CT SAGA CONTINUES: CT Governor: tribal interests must be part of Bridgeport casino talks. [Courant]
BET ON IT: Baseball is embracing legal sports betting. [Baseball America]
MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM: Iowa regulators aiming for August launch. [Courier]
New: Mount Airy Casino, in partnership with The Stars Group, plans a poker room/sportsbook. Poker and sports betting would be in the same space, and not separate. Couldn't be any easier for poker players to bet on sports. pic.twitter.com/wXJHuNNAbu
— Brian Pempus (@brianpempus) June 12, 2019
In the wider world of sports
BROKEN CURSE: The St. Louis Blues broke a 52-year Stanley Cup drought in Game 7. [Post Dispatch]
DYNASTY DONE: Raptors unseat defending champion Warriors in six games. [Globe and Mail]
sports are great.
game of inches pic.twitter.com/xpBxV38Vxm
— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) June 14, 2019
PIECE OF ICE: Billionaire Alex Meruelo owns casinos and more. He wants an NHL team. [AZ Sports]
STOP IT!: How many ways can we say, ‘Stop racing at Santa Anita?’ [LAT]
LOOK DEEPER: Ex-NFL tight end Kellen Winslow isn’t what you think he is. [SI]
And thus my least favorite time of the sports year begins in earnest pic.twitter.com/wemZmXFwMU
— Dave Rappoccio (@DrawPlayDave) June 14, 2019
ICYMI on Sports Handle
MLB makes pitch for sportsbooks to become ‘official league data licensees.’
Tennessee sports betting inches closer to being a reality.
Q&A: William Hill’s Joe Asher focused on ‘deeply ingrained black market.’
Rhode Island on track for NFL-season mobile sports betting launch.
Montana lawmakers fail to override governor’s veto.
Legal sports betting officially coming to New York’s upstate casinos.
Oregon senators file bills that would kill sports betting.
Does Tennessee’s sports betting data mandate enjoy antitrust immunity?