Hey, it’s Friday, and you know that that means! It’s time for our weekly recap of sports betting news from across the country — nay, the world.
What’s that?… Saturday, you say?… Ha, no no, that can’t be right, can it? Sorry, these past few days have been pretty hectic. Let’s just roll with it.
Much of the gambling world was in Las Vegas this week for the Global Gaming Expo (G2E), the hard-to-explain-how-big-it-is conference showcasing the industry’s newest toys. Some of our crew was there, too, so we’re running a bit behind schedule on content. Sorry about that.
This week’s recap will feature plenty of news from G2E, but we’ll pretend everything is normal and begin where tradition dictates. Let’s go to New Jersey, shall we?
New Jersey numbers and such
During a panel appearance, top NJ regulator David Rebuck teased the upcoming NJ sports betting report.
NJ top regulator David Rebuck on @G2Eshows panel: September sports betting numbers “will not disappoint” the industry. “I think they’ll be stunned.” #G2E2018
— Legal Sports Report (@LSPReport) October 9, 2018
The numbers dropped on Friday, and they were… well, a bit underwhelming in the context of Rebuck’s build-up.
Sportsbooks took in around $185 million in wagers for the month, leading to $24 million in revenue. Online/mobile betting has taken control of the market as expected, responsible for well over half of those numbers.
DraftKings Sportsbook was the big winner, booking a September win of about $8 million — a third of the total for all operators, onlione and retail included. FanDuel Sportsbook generated just under $3 million in revenue.
Those numbers certainly aren’t small, it should be said. Any letdown is mostly our own fault for expecting handle north of $300 million, and these figures will only grow as the sports calendar fills in this fall.
Also in NJ this week:
- Hard Rock has apparently found its sports betting supplier. Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) confirmed on Friday that is has signed a letter of intent to power operations for the new Boardwalk property.
- Gov. Phil Murphy signed new legislation approving an additional 1.25-percent tax on sports betting revenue. The monies will be allocated by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority for the marketing and promotion of Atlantic City.
- Industry insiders are not especially worried about competition from neighboring states. The general sentiment is that AC is too much of a destination to be too concerned about nearby markets.
News from other states
NFOS starts in a strange land this week. Quite suddenly, a sixth state finds itself on the cusp of legal sports betting.
- New Mexico: Told you it was a strange land. A tribal gaming group plans to open a sportsbook next week — next week! — at the Santa Ana Star, with operations powered by USBookmaking.
- California: All right. This list is getting pretty weird now. Despite there being no clear path to CA sports betting in the immediate future, MGM and GVC have struck a placeholder deal with one of the state’s tribes.
- Pennsylvania: Less than a year after the last gaming expansion law passed, a PA House candidate wants to add a bingo machine in every bar and barber shop.
- Kentucky: Lawmakers held another KY sports betting hearing this week to discuss the framework for upcoming legislation. Given the local roots of gambling heavyweight Churchill Downs, it seems like a favorite to pass in 2019.
Takes and tidbits
What else is there to say? A few things, actually. Here’s what spilled over into the back pages of this week’s sports betting newspaper.
- G2E: A couple more bits from the expo in Vegas:
- Marc Meltzer wandered the floor looking for some of the most notable sports betting innovations this year.
- Grant Lucas sat back and digested a week full of panel discussions that covered the industry from top to bottom.
- Jessica Welman explored testimony from the head PA licensor, who doubled down on the high fees.
- Don Best: This week, Scientific Games announced plans to buy one of the leading suppliers of real-time betting data and pricing. The Don Best acquisition drew broad praise within the industry, even appearing as an occasional topic of conversation between G2E panelists.
- BetBull: Welcome another aggressively animalian sports betting brand to the market alongside the likes of EagleStrike. This week, Wynn Resorts formed a strategic alliance with European supplier BetBull.
- Congress: We all watched that sports betting hearing on Capitol Hill a couple weeks ago, but sports law professor John Holden watched it more intently than most. In the first part of a series, Holden breaks down the NFL testimony.
- ESSA: Many of the smartest folks in the industry are unconvinced sports leagues deserve a significant role. A study of Australia sports betting integrity provides a cautionary tale for the emerging US market.
That’s it, believe it or not — at least for the textual stuff.
With much of our team in attendance at G2E, though, a “very special episode” of TheLines Podcast broke out. A group of five recorded this week’s episode live at Lagasse’s Stadium. Check it:
Have a good weekend, ladies and gents. What’s left of it, anyhow.