Business By The Books: So The NY Times Has Its Own Sports Betting Promo?

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The New York Times published multiple stories in November 2022 critiquing sports betting industry practices. One of those stories specifically discussed promotions with risk-free bets:

Few imposed restrictions on companies using promotional offers — such as “risk-free” wagers, in which customers are reimbursed for losing bets — to lure neophyte gamblers. Those tactics have been banned in some countries because of their potential to hook people predisposed to compulsive gambling.

That language has changed, of course, with many sportsbooks opting to use bonus bets instead of free or risk-free bets. In fact, the bonus bets language even shows up in a promotional offer between BetMGM and The Athletic, which is owned by the Times.

The promotion, shared on Twitter, follows the same concept as the promotions the New York Times identified as predatory in its reporting. Bettors who sign up with BetMGM can get $200 in bonus bets and a free one-year subscription to The Athletic just for making a $10 bet.

Q1 earnings season in full swing

There is a first-quarter earnings call every day this week for those who want to stay tapped into the business of sports betting (all times Eastern):

Sports betting fines levied in Iowa

Three fines were approved at April‘s Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission meeting for sportsbooks that failed to follow the rules.

BetMGM agreed to the highest fine of $20,000 after allowing 36 self-excluded players to open accounts. Another two players self-excluded after opening an account, though BetMGM did not restrict those accounts as required.

The Kambi-powered DRF Sportsbook was fined $15,000 over three counts. The first was for not updating the self-exclusion database in a timely manner, while the second and third concerned offering individual prop bets on college football games at both its retail and mobile sportsbook.

PointsBet was fined $12,000 total for three counts. The first count included offering bets on when a penalty might be awarded by soccer referees, which garnered 22 bets. The second and third counts included offering markets on leagues that were not approved, including LIV Golf and a “subordinate soccer league in England.”

Circa eyes August IL sports betting launch

Circa plans to launch its Illinois sportsbook in August, according to the company’s official Twitter account.

The company partnered with Full House to gain access to the Illinois sports betting market.

There were questions asked about when Circa will enter other states, but most were given generic answers. Circa Director of Operations Jeffrey Benson did specifically mention Tennessee and Massachusetts, though.

Benson noted that Tennessee has “particularly onerous” rules to operate. Circa would, however, entertain a launch in Massachusetts, he said.

ClutchBet live in second US state

ClutchBet, the US product from Australia-listed BlueBet, is now live in Colorado, its second state following a launch in Iowa.

The brand also expects to go live in Indiana and Louisiana later this calendar year. BlueBet set about $20 million aside for its US launch and initial licenses with $8 million used so far.

The company has seen interest in both potential partners and customers for its B2B sportsbook tech.