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 US sports betting stories, highlighting some fresh news, and rounding up key stories. Also check out this week’s Wild World of Gambling at US Bets.
Top stories from around our network
CHAOTIC: Arizona senators call out governor, but vote to move sports betting forward [Sports Handle]
LONG LEGS: Sportsbooks are hell-bent on pushing parlay betting [Sports Handle]
OVAL OFFICE: A President’s Day look at who the betting markets say will win in 2024 [US Bets]
NORTH AND FORWARD: Canada’s single-event sports betting bill to Justice Committee [Sports Handle]
SUPER WHOA: Over 70 betting accounts in TN closed due to illegal Super Bowl wagering [TN Bets]
NEW MARKETS: Illinois Rep. Rita files bill to legalize internet casino gaming [Sports Handle]
Flood of handle and revenue reports
This week saw a slew of reports from the top sports betting markets, by population and competition-wise. Not surprisingly, the trajectory remains upwards across the board. These stories also consider the iGaming markets, where they exist.
ILLINOIS: Nearing entry into the $500 million-handle club [Sports Handle]
MICHIGAN: It’s a small sample taken during the Super Bowl run-up, but the late-January data indicates DNA for a big market [MI Bets]
MISSISSIPPI: In the non-mobile Mississippi market, both new monthly handle ($66.7M) and revenue ($9.1M) highs in January [CDC Gaming]
PENNSYLVANIA: Handle but not revenue highs for NJ neighbor, as PA now has 12 active books [Penn Bets]
Progress in North Dakota
ND 3032, a bill that would send the decision to legalize sports betting to the voters, passed the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday with a “do-pass” recommendation, 9-5, and moves to the House floor for a vote. Like most referendum bills, it is light on details, and a second bill, HB 1234, which lays out some infrastructure, also moved out of committee, with an amendment.
Mark Hagerott, the chancellor for the North Dakota University System, asked the committee to disallow betting on North Dakota college sports teams and events. Though he didn’t get into specifics, Hagerott said representatives from all of the schools in the system had concerns, and despite a plea from bill sponsor Rep. Michael Howe, who explained that college athletes are better protected with legal wagering than without, the committee amended the bill.
The bill(s) would need to pass out of the House and Senate before landing Gov. Doug Burgum’s desk. According to the Associated Press, Burgum is neutral on sports betting and would approve (or let become law) a measure sent to him by the legislature.
— Jill R. Dorson
Mobile-only sports betting bill filed in Wyoming
Wyoming lawmakers are the latest to file a sports betting bill — and this one appears to be a mobile-only proposal, that would allow a minimum of five stand-alone digital platforms, and would allow betting on college, professional, and Olympic sports. The only other state to legalize mobile-only wagering is Tennessee, which did so in 2019 and launched operators in late 2020.
HB 133, which was filed Friday, names the Wyoming Gaming Commission as the regulator, and would require potential operators to be in good standing in five other U.S. jurisdictions to be considered for a license. In essence, that requirement would knock out independent operators, and draw major national and regional sportsbook operators to the state.
According to the bill, the tax rate would be 10% of gross gaming revenue, and the application fee will be $2,500, but operators would then have to pay $100,000 for an initial permit, which is valid for five years. The renewal fee would be $50,000. The minimum age for wagering would be set at 18.
— Jill R. Dorson
More of the most interesting, important stories
LINKING UP: BetMGM tees up with Topgolf, in attempt to broaden brand [MI Bets]
HARDWOOD: W. Carolina meltdown forces emergency edition of ‘Bad Beats’ on SportsCenter [The Big Lead]
SHORT SQUEEZE: The beach bum who beat Wall Street and made millions on GameStop [The Ringer]
COURSE CHANGE: TN law makes it easy to gamble with borrowed money. Change coming? [Tennessean]
HMMMM: Over 70 accounts in TN closed due to illegal Super Bowl wagering [TN Bets]
ADDING IT UP: Another national monthly high for sports betting handle [US Bets]
How did @theScore get into the sportsbook game? Aubrey Levy explains the company’s transition to becoming an operator in the industry.
Full Gamble On podcast with @EricRaskin and @BergenBrennan here: https://t.co/aArptqxAII pic.twitter.com/I4lUeR6Jrv
— US Bets (@US_Bets) February 19, 2021
VALUATION: Data firm Sportradar being valued at $10+ billion in talks to go public [Sportico]
NEW ENGLAND: New Vermont sports betting bill would allow up to six online sportsbooks [IGB NA]
The Utah Jazz are 18-1-1 against the spread in their last 20 games. It’s the second-best 20-game ATS run in @ESPNStatsInfo’s database (2014-15 Hawks: 19-1 ATS).
— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) February 16, 2021
Dana White says he is a ‘degenerate gambler’ and admits losing $1m boxing bet https://t.co/u37GWK5aTp
— Sun Sport (@SunSport) February 18, 2021
STILL NOT LEGAL: Professor says legal sports betting will make or break MGM Springfield [Mass Live]
DIGITAL MEMORABILIA: A look inside how “NBA Top Shot” works. [BleacherReport]