Independence Day gave us an excuse to gather around the cooler, char hot dogs on the grill, and light some low-grade explosives on fire. On a weekday!
Hopefully you ate fewer hot dogs than Joey Chestnut did, and hopefully you didn’t rip up your “Over” tickets before the scorers fixed their counting error. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, keep reading.
The news was kind enough to take the holiday pretty easy, but the rest of the week was as active as any other in the post-PASPA era. It’s been eight weeks since the US Supreme Court overturned the federal ban on sports betting, and one month since Delaware took first advantage.
A great many things have happened since, enough that we’re reducing thousands of words to mere bullet points these days. Here’s what happened this week, in short:
Full-court press from FanDuel
The Paddy Power Betfair acquisition of FanDuel should be finalized in the near future, and its US sports betting conquest will soon begin. The group already has partnerships in three states, including what is presumed to be an imminent launch for The Meadowlands in New Jersey.
The PPB/FanDuel deal didn’t close this week, but a few corollary headlines surfaced:
- Documents from the sale reveal that many of FanDuel’s founders and shareholders will get exactly zero dollars in the transaction. That includes former CEO Nigel Eccles, while current CEO Matt King stands to receive a few bucks — $11,342,688, to be exact.
- King has moved into the role of CEO for Betfair US, charged with overseeing the group’s expansion into new state markets.
- An email to customers confirms what was widely presumed during acquisition. PPB will rely on the FanDuel brand to carry its US-facing sports betting products with FanDuel Sportsbook.
DraftKings didn’t make much sports betting news this week, but it did roll out the first daily fantasy tennis contests for Wimbledon. So that’s cool.
The sports betting triangle
At the state level, we should probably start with the three that have legal, live sports betting.
Nevada is king, of course, looking to build off a strong revenue report in May. The guys on TheLines Podcast spent some time running through the Nevada sports betting numbers, which included a strangely poor showing for the books in parlays.
Down in mighty Delaware, the lottery released a revenue report covering the first 20 days of Delaware sports betting. From July 5-24, sportsbooks held $1 million of the $7 million in total wagers — more than 14 percent. The state takes the largest cut, keeping almost $440,000 of that revenue.
We dug into the numbers a little deeper here.
As for New Jersey, it’ll be a few more weeks before we know how revenue is looking.
Let’s make a deal
Speaking of NJ sports betting…
We’ve had new partnerships to talk about nearly every week since the SCOTUS ruling, and this week was no exception. We got lucky, in fact, with two big ones out of Atlantic City.
- Resorts AC + SBTech: The Boardwalk is getting crowded, and Resorts is not monkeying around with sports betting. In addition to its online deal with DraftKings Sportsbook, the property has struck a land-based partnership with B2B heavyweight SBTech.
- Hard Rock AC + bet365: This one looks to be a straight-up skin deal, and it’s a huge move for bet365. The UK bookmaker is one of the largest in the world, and it will use the Hard Rock casino license as its entry point into the US market.
Of the nine Atlantic City casinos, we now know something about the sports betting roadmap for four. Borgata and the new Ocean Resort Casino have opened brick-and-mortar books with plans for online/mobile platforms in the works, as well.
What about [insert state here]?
You know what? The map has actually quieted down a bit now that we look back at the week. Most states have resolved sports betting for the immediate future in one way or another.
Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Rhode Island and Mississippi are preparing to launch in the coming months, and that’ll pretty much round out the list for 2018. The rest have either adjourned or are too far from the finish line to be in immediate contention.
There was only news worth highlighting in two states this week, frankly:
- Pennsylvania: A month in, regulators are still waiting for the first applications to come in the mail. The pieces are in place and PA sports betting is fully legal, but the framework appears to be slowing the industry already — as anticipated. Meanwhile, PA casinos are squawking about the iLottery’s early success.
- Iowa: Nothing will happen this year, but the push toward legalization continues to gain momentum during the legislative recess. Most recently, the state lottery has expressed support for Iowa sports betting conducted at retail outlets.
We also have another reminder about the general importance of tribal-state relationships, regarding both sports betting and other forms of gambling expansion. This week, Martin Derbyshire explored how the success of tribal gaming affects leverage in several states.
Somewhat trivial things left over
July 4th isn’t exactly a holiday of leftovers, especially if you have the appetite of a competitive eater. We have a few delicious morsels remaining on the plate, though:
- Clusterf*ck: How about a betting anomaly in a friggin’ hot dog eating contest? Major League Eating (which we all probably know as MLE), couldn’t count to 74, resulting in some offshore bets being settled incorrectly for a short time. Somehow people are wagering on eating, and somehow this is the second-consecutive week it’s made our recap.
- Tiger v. Lefty: Golf’s two biggest superstars, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are reportedly eager to play a $10 million heads-up match. I don’t know if there’s sports betting in heaven, but if there is, all the legends play eight-figure rounds up there.
- ‘Bron: The king has taken his talents to Hollywood, and betting markets are going nuts. Following the LeBron James signing, the Los Angeles Lakers are now the second-favorite team to win the NBA title at 7/2 odds.
- WSOP: Lots of poker people in the house, so it’s worth noting that this year’s World Series of Poker Main Event was quite large, but not quite as large as the record-setter in 2006. The winner from the field of 7,874 players will get $8.8 million.
All right, if we’ve gotten to the poker news, we must be running out of things to talk about. Until next week, then.