Welp, the Legal Sports Report crew didn’t win the Mega Millions jackpot this week. And you better believe we tried. Maybe not as hard as this guy, but we tried.
Our loss is your gain, though, as we’ve retained our day jobs reporting on the sports betting industry. So instead of spending Friday afternoon picking out upholstery for our new private jets, we’re here scribbling out a rundown once again.
If you’d prefer to listen to your news rather than read it, TheLines Podcast covered most of the headlines this week (with a few spicy takes thrown in for good measure.)
For the avid readers in the group, let us continue.
This week’s recap will heavily feature New Jersey as if often does, even dropping into Newark for one of two huge sponsorship deals. First though, some news from the world of student athletics …
NCAA prioritizing sports betting education
The NCAA filed sports betting testimony with a panel of lawmakers, its first public stance since a short statement in May. The collegiate sports body expressly omitted the integrity fee as it asked Indiana committees for a list of “core regulatory standards.”
The proposal amid renewed internal efforts to fortify education and awareness within collegiate sports. Over recent weeks, the NCAA has formed a new committee tasked with studying the industry as it relates to students and athletic integrity.
An excerpt from a Thursday announcement explains the goals:
The committee will work with the national office staff, student-athletes and other organizations to build upon the NCAA’s existing efforts related to sports wagering rules, policy, research and education.
The NCAA Sport Science Institute also plans to conduct a Sports Wagering and Well-Being Summit in March.
Sports and sports betting getting to know one another
As sports betting expands, teams and leagues are starting to explore opportunities to work cooperatively with the industry. Well there’s a novel idea. Three such deals have fallen into place in recent months:
- NBA + MGM
- Dallas Cowboys + WinStar World
- Vegas Golden Knights + William Hill
This week, two more:
First, the Baltimore Ravens expanded their relationship with Horseshoe Baltimore, allowing the property to use team marks in branding and promotions. Maryland sports betting likely won’t be legal until at least 2020, so this deal doesn’t directly involve the industry for now.
The other one very much does.
On Thursday, William Hill announced another NHL partnership, this time with the New Jersey Devils. A dedicated lounge inside Prudential Center will serve as the anchor for broad on-site branding presence. Though the lounge won’t have ticket writers, NJ sports betting is available statewide on mobile devices.
More from NJ sports betting
Cleaning up the rest of the state’s headlines for the week:
- Tropicana opened its sportsbook, the ninth brick-and-mortar betting facility in the state. William Hill powers the operations, adding another toe to its NJ footprint. It also makes book for Monmouth Park and Ocean Resort.
- The jackpot-winning Mega Millions ticket didn’t come from NJ, but one lucky gambler did match five of the six balls to win $1 million. That seems decent. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania players are cleaning up in Powerball.
- Three more NJ betting apps hit the App Store shelves this week. BetStars, playMGM and 888 finally received their approvals from the Apple machine after a lengthy delay for reasons that were never really clear.
News from other states
It’s a short list this week, so we’ll just hit it:
- Mississippi: Revenue from Mississippi sports betting soared during the first month of football season. The 10 sportsbooks took in almost $32 million in wagers, churning out a profit of $5.5 million.
- Pennsylvania: From late last week, it appears the developers of the in-progress stadium casino project might be looking to sell. One potential buyer? MGM. While the property doesn’t yet have an application on file, it occupies the prime location to take advantage of PA sports betting.
- Louisiana: This one relates more to daily fantasy sports, though Louisiana is on the list of candidates to legalize sports betting. In fact, the upcoming vote on DFS could be a good indicator of the appetite for its bigger, badder brother.
Over on PlayUSA, the sports betting power rankings showed no change in this week’s update.
Takes and tidbits
The “tidbits” aren’t the tiny little morsels we’re used to this time around. The week’s leftovers feature a few large bites — including some movement in a long-running DFS lawsuit and a laughable copyright caper.
- Almost settled?: The lingering DFS suit involving the right to use player names and statistics appears to be all but decided. This week, the Indiana Supreme Court set a new precedent in favor of DraftKings and FanDuel, who are listed as the defendants against three former college football players.
- Copy & haste: In the most absurd industry news in recent memory, FanDuel Sportsbook literally stole the William Hill betting guide. Allegedly stole it, sorry. They didn’t even bother to remove the other company’s name, though, so the allegations look pretty airtight from here. William Hill has filed suit.
- Survey says: Another chunk of data from the American Gaming Association and Nielsen Sports. Their research projects the NBA and MLB will see a combined revenue boost of $1.7 billion from legalized sports betting. That’s billion with a “b” even without any direct compensation from the industry.
- Talk the talk: Once again, we’re reminded what a treasure Al Michaels is to sports and broadcasting. The ol’ legend continues to top the very short list of those who can work insightful sports betting references into his in-game conversation.
- NHL: Late Friday, the NHL sent out media invites to a special “sports betting announcement” to be delivered Monday in New York City. We intend to spend the whole weekend speculating, but the reliable Chris Johnson says the league will announce a new official partner.
That’s about all she wrote for the week that was.
If you’re speculating on the NFL games this Sunday, TheLines has begun compiling a weekly betting guide with NJ price comparisons. And PlayPicks offers DFS tips across the two big sites, if that’s more your thing.
Have a happy weekend, y’all.