By the time we see you next week, it will have been three full months since the US Supreme Court ended the federal ban on sports betting.
To say things have moved quickly in the time since is understating the fury of the news machine. Last week was especially frantic, but the headlines have had zero chill since May. Four states now offer regulated sports betting, a list that could grow to six or seven before the end of the year.
It’s usually around this point on a Friday afternoon when we begin to catch our breath and look back at what we’ve learned over the last seven days. Any good sprint should finish with a cooldown lap, so here’s what you missed if you weren’t paying attention.
DraftKings has (chicken) skin in the game
FanDuel has dominated the crossover news between daily fantasy sports and sports betting for months, but DraftKings has caught up quickly. It may have even taken the lead in the market over the last 10 days.
The DraftKings Sportsbook became publicly available this week, the first online and mobile NJ sports betting platform to hit the market. It’s a good one, too. Our friends at TheLines caught up with co-founder Matt Kalish to get his thoughts on the early-going.
DraftKings also announced a new marketing deal, partnering with notorious sports bettor (and basketball player) Charles Barkley. The first ads featuring Sir Charles and “Dr. Aftkings” will begin airing on TV on Monday.
It also appears that a partnership might be in the works between DraftKings and — apparently Buffalo Wild Wings? That … can’t be right. It is, though. B-Dubs wants sports betting at 1,200 locations, and rumor has it DraftKings wants in on the fun.
The possibility of a DraftKings online casino still lingers, too.
If you want to know which operators will be next to offer mobile betting, Marty Derbyshire has the full rundown here.
West Virginia rarin’ to go
West Virginia was the first state to pass legal sports betting in 2018, but it was fairly quiet during the spring and early summer. In the meantime, Delaware, New Jersey and Mississippi each have launched their own industries.
WV sports betting is tentatively a few weeks away, and things have shifted into high gear. The start of the licensure process indicates that regulators are moving forward despite self-serving pushback from the governor’s office. All systems are go.
The first interim permit went to GeoComply this week, which supplies geolocation services that determine a customer’s true location via smartphone. On Friday, Penn National and FanDuel secured the first operator permits.
Hollywood Casino Charles Town will open a sportsbook powered by William Hill on or before Sept. 1. If our intuitions are any good, the deal figures to be the start of a broader partnership between the two parties.
The Greenbrier has a confirmed partnership with FanDuel Sportsbook.
Bits of sports betting news popped up in a few other states this week, too:
- Delaware: An updated revenue report reveals that bettors wagered more than $15 million through the first 55 days of Delaware sports betting — about $275,000 per day. Those bets have generated more than $1 million in total revenue.
- Mississippi: Under a new partnership, IGT announced it will power sports betting at the two casinos owned by Boyd Gaming (IP and Sam’s Town). Mississippi sports betting launched last week.
- Colorado: An attorney general opinion lays the first brick in the path toward Colorado sports betting. AG Cynthia Coffman opined that legalization would not require a voter referendum under constitutional definitions.
Takes and tidbits
As usual, there are a few things worth mentioning that don’t fit elsewhere:
- Hot takes: At a gaming conference in Saratoga this week, NBA lawyer Dan Spillane told attendees that a league royalty on sports betting “pays for itself” in the form of increased betting handle. OK, Dan.
- Hard Knocks: The decision-makers at HBO chose the Cleveland Browns for this year’s edition of Hard Knocks, which almost certainly will have an impact on their appeal at the betting windows.
- Golden Nugget: Bad news — the Golden Nugget closed its old poker room in Atlantic City. Good news: it’s quite possible the move is designed to create more room for a sportsbook!
- White flag: Analyst Steve Ruddock supposes that the blockbuster partnership between MGM and the NBA all but ends the league’s push for integrity fees. We’ll see about that.
- Giant ground sloth: Contributor Derek Helling notes that sports betting will force the NCAA to adopt more modern policies concerning the flow of information used by bettors. Bookies will seek out any edge they can get.
- What are the odds?: Wizard Joss Wood runs through some of the factors influencing the odds in newly regulated markets. Hint: it’s the economy, stupid.
Sorry. You’re not stupid. You’re a loyal and hopefully better-informed reader now than you were at the top of this page.
Thanks again for checking out all our words this week. Or some of them. Or none of them except these, whatever.
Let’s start it all up again on Monday, shall we? Who knows, maybe Taco Bell will announce plans to offer sports betting by then.
Enjoy your weekend.