Business By The Books: Sports Betting Proponents Face Key Deadlines

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This is a big week for two hopeful states that have battled and lost on legalizing sports betting in the past few years.

Both Georgia (Wednesday) and Kentucky (Thursday) will see their legislative sessions end this week.

Sports betting in Georgia appeared to be dead earlier this month when HB 380 was not advanced on legislation crossover day. Lt. Gov. Burt Jones continued to push the issue, though, and there are now two late attempts to move sports betting forward.

GA sports betting has two chances

The first is HB 237, which is a gutted bill replaced with sports betting language.

That is on the Senate calendar Monday and would go back to the House for final approval should it pass.

The second is SR 394, but it would not legalize sports betting for this year. It instead would create a committee to study gaming in Georgia.

Kentucky sports betting waits on Senate

Even though Kentucky has a later stop date than Georgia, there are actually only two days to pass HB 551 in the Senate.

The legislature ends a 10-day veto period Tuesday, which leaves just Wednesday and Thursday to get the KY sportsbooks bill across the finish line.

Nothing is guaranteed, though, as Rep. Michael Meredith told LSR. The bill needs 23 votes to the Senate.

Meredith had 20 votes before the veto period began. He hoped the break would create opportunities for negotiations and explanations for undecided senators.

Aristocrat taps INSE for NFL virtuals

Australia-listed Aristocrat selected virtual sports provider Inspired (INSE) for an NFL-branded virtual football game.

Aristocrat has a multi-year, global licensing agreement with the NFL.

“As part of our overall NFL strategy, we are thrilled to tap into the global appeal the NFL offers to current and new fans and casino, sports betting, and lottery players,” Aristocrat CEO Hector Fernandez said.

The games will feature similar betting markets to a standard football game with money line bets, over/under totals and total touchdowns.

Barstool tops E&K iGaming ranks

PENN Entertainment‘s Barstool-branded online casino topped Eilers & Krejick‘s latest US Online Casino App Rankings report.

DraftKings and BetMGM ranked second and third, respectively. Revenue share is not overly correlated with ranking, the E&K team noted, since most casino acquisition has come from online sports betting cross-selling.

For instance, BetMGM is the top in terms of iGaming revenue share while Caesars, ranked 12th in the survey, is fifth in revenue share. According to Eilers, it uses “proprietary methodology and nationwide testing group to test, score, and rank the performance of U.S. casino apps.”

Elsewhere, the Barstool Sportsbook app had some failings in Pennsylvania. PENN was fined $45,000 by PA regulators for letting five individuals enrolled in the state’s iGaming self-exclusion program gamble.

IGT’s Asher gets presidential appointment

Joe Asher is the president of sports betting at IGT, but he recently got a new position from a different president. President Joe Biden appointed Asher as chair of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Board of Trustees.

Asher and President Biden share Delaware roots. Asher graduated from both the University of Delaware and Delaware Law School of Widener University.

He founded Brandywine Bookmaking in 2007, which was bought by William Hill in 2012. He served as CEO of William Hill US until Caesars bought the company in 2021.

Asher is a previous donor to Biden’s two presidential runs. He donated $1,000 in two 2007 donations and $5,600 over two donations in 2019.

Will Jake Paul have to answer for crypto failings?

Jake Paul, the celebrity name behind micro-betting-focused Betr, made headlines last week for something other than boxing.

Paul was one of eight celebrities charged by the SEC for “illegally touting TRX and/or BTT without disclosing that they were compensated.”

Paul and five others agreed to pay a total of $400,000 in fines without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings. Whether that flies with gaming regulators is a completely different story, though.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission noted three issues surrounding Paul when Betr had its MA sports betting application examined in February, one of which includes a crypto lawsuit likened to a Ponzi scheme.

DraftKings opens new LV office

DraftKings opened a new 90,000-square-foot tech hub in Southwest Las Vegas at the UnCommons, a 40-acre mixed-use workplace.

The office will be home to more than 1,000 DraftKings employees and is the company’s second-largest office in the US.