The Week In Sports Betting: Sports And Gambling Tighten Their Embrace


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Sports betting partnerships

With the disclaimer that your writer is sometimes prone to hyperbole, thus concludes one of the busiest weeks of sports betting news since the US Supreme Court decision in May. It’s hard to exaggerate, though. Even Congressional-subcommittee-hearing week didn’t have much on this one.

In addition to impending launches in both Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, it’s also earnings season for publicly traded gambling companies. As you’d expect, the expansion of sports betting has been a focal point of investors’ calls across the industry.

But really, this week was about one thing alone — the sudden breakout of sports/gambling partnerships. Let’s recap what we can in brief. Brace yourself, though; there is a bunch to get through.

Sports and betting: perfect partners

After a tentative feeling-out period, the sports industry is beginning to embrace the sports betting industry in a meaningful way. This week’s news was one long chain of partnership announcements — both at the league and team level — involving sportsbooks and gambling companies.

MGM might not be done, either. During its Q3 call, CEO Jim Murren said the company is in discussions with “a vast number” of other teams. Here’s more on this week’s announcements:

Do you know the way to PA?

It’s still tough to tell exactly how near the starting line is, but Pennsylvania is moving purposefully toward the launch of legal sports betting and online gambling.

This week, regulators approved PA sports betting petitions for three more casinos — Harrah’s Philadelphia, SugarHouse and Rivers. The last two are Rush Street Gaming properties with plans to open their sportsbooks on Dec. 1., though mutual supplier Kambi is not yet approved.

That’s now five authorized sportsbooks, though, adding to previous permits for Parx and Hollywood Casino.

William Hill quite notably received its permit to operate as the supplier for the latter, satisfying a major launch condition. Timelines are still TBD, but Hollywood says it could have a book up and running before Thanksgiving. Construction is well under way.

Parx is spending $10 million to build out its massive sportsbook while also waiting on Kambi’s approval.

Churchill Downs has not yet applied as it works to finalize the acquisition of Presque Isle Downs and Lady Luck Nemacolin, but it will. During the CHDN call, CEO Bill Carstanjen indicated they’re aiming to launch their SBTech platform in Q1 2019.

Here’s everything else we know about the PA interactive industry-in-waiting, including online gambling.

A lap around the map

Those partnerships and the PA Gaming Control Board meeting occupied the bulk of the headlines, but plenty of betting news originated elsewhere, too. There was even a big decision for daily fantasy sports in one key state, a rare thing these days.

Since we have about one big story out of each, let’s just lump everyone else together here:

Takes and tidbits

A bunch of big stories consumed all but a few tiny crumbs of news this week, but they’re still worth a quick nibble.

The guys on TheLines Podcast did what they do this week, too, running through the news on the 28th (and arguably best-ever) episode. Have a listen if you’re so inclined:

That’s all, y’all. Have a happy weekend. And remember that Todd Gurley doesn’t care about your betting tickets and DFS lineups.



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