Happy Monday, lads and ladies, and welcome back for another rundown of the week’s sports betting news. A busy week yields a thick summary.
When last we spoke, Indiana and Oregon were both on the cusp of graduating from retail-only operations into mobile sports betting. “If everything goes to plan,” we wrote, “news of a successful mobile launch in Indiana should lead this recap once again next week.”
That Indiana sports betting launch was indeed successful, but another headline (or two) has already stolen the spotlight. We clocked out on Friday still trying to digest some big news that figures to shape the long-term future of US sports betting.
So we’ll start the new week there instead …
Stars in your eyes, heart a-Flutter
The Stars Group and Flutter Entertainment are two of the very biggest online gambling companies in the world, and they’re about to become one. Early Wednesday, the duo announced a $6 billion tie-up structured as a Flutter takeover of TSG.
It’s too early to fully grasp how all of the pieces will fit together, but those pieces include some of the most valuable brands in US gaming:
This might be bad news for everyone else.
The new company should generate around $5 billion in worldwide revenue next year. Few US-facing competitors have the resources or the market access to pose an immediate threat to that empire-in-waiting. Flutter’s US blueprint might also include a renewed focus on online casino gaming if the early signs are any indication.
The takeover took up the bulk of the most recent LSR Podcast episode if you’re looking for more banter on the topic:
In-arena sportsbooks coming to DC … eventually
Plans to put sportsbooks in stadiums and arenas in the District of Columbia are coming together.
Monumental Sports announced a deal with William Hill on Thursday that will facilitate sports betting at Capital One Arena. The arena is most notably the home of the Wizards (NBA) and Capitals (NHL), making it a first-of-its-kind deal in the US.
While a handful of other stadiums and arenas have allowed “sports lounges” to serve as activation points, Capital One will be the first with betting windows on-site. Time will tell how profitable this partnership will be for either party, but it’s certainly an eye-catcher of a deal.
More balls in the air in DC
That said, their agreement is just about the only thing set in stone for DC sports betting right now.
A restraining order issued last month temporarily precludes the DC Lottery from making payments to Intralot under the terms of their $215 million agreement. Councilmembers and local residents expressed concern that the no-bid contract covering lottery and sports betting might violate the District’s Home Rule Act, landing the issue in court.
A judge will determine the next steps for District-wide sports betting at an Oct. 18 hearing, and prospective private licensees remain in limbo in the meantime. Lottery officials have offered no updated timeline for launch, nor have Monumental or Will Hill.
Indiana sports betting goes online
The fact that Indiana is buried this far down the page is unfortunate because its online rollout is big news.
BetRivers opened its virtual windows Tuesday, christening IN online sports betting just ahead of DraftKings Sportsbook. The Hoosier State is the seventh in the US with online/mobile betting, entering phase two about a month after the first retail sportsbooks opened in early September.
Those two are, so far, the only operators serving bettors statewide. The BetRivers platform is the product of Rush Street Interactive, while DK operates in Indiana under the license of Ameristar East Chicago. Both use Kambi trading.
Movement in the Midwest?
Michigan and Ohio are both in play to pass sports betting bills this year, and both are about to dig in.
In Michigan, Rep. Brandt Iden is prepared to sacrifice online casino gaming for the sake of sports betting. While he intends to keep pushing the two bills in tandem, Iden told LSR last week that he’s decoupling them from each other to grease the wheels of passage. The governor stands opposed to both as written, but the sponsor says he has the bipartisan support to get it done.
The MI sports betting bill awaits a hearing in House Ways and Means, which Iden chairs.
Ohio lawmakers have come to a fork in the road, contemplating one bill that would put regulation under the lottery’s oversight and another that would create a framework beneath the casino commission.
The former, sponsored by Rep. Dave Greenspan, is up for a two-day hearing in House Finance this week. Greenspan told LSR he intends to use the hearing to introduce three amendments aimed at protecting the integrity of OH sports betting.
It’s too early to handicap the odds there, but the sponsor does not expect any opposition from his colleagues in the lower chamber.
Sports betting takes and tidbits
A few other morsels of sports gaming news for your enjoyment:
- Here, it’s Pepsi: The deals don’t stop. It might seem like relatively small potatoes, but the partnership between DraftKings and Pepsi includes a free-to-play prediction game that gives the DK brand immense reach. Pepsi is also an official sponsor of the NFL, with which DraftKings has a new deal of its own.
- Parx + 76ers: Like that one, this deal isn’t exactly a sports betting deal. But it’s not NOT a sports betting deal either. The NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers last week announced Parx Casino as its Official Winning Partner, an agreement that includes cross-promotion with Parx online casino.
- That was quick: Less than a month after debuting as a sportsbook, Fox Bet now offers mobile casino games in New Jersey. TSG has added its PokerStars Casino games to the Fox Bet app, making blackjack and roulette available in the same interface as sports betting. DraftKings and FanDuel also offer similar all-in-one NJ online gaming apps.
- More Mattress Mack: The Houston bedding entrepreneur makes our recap for the second week in a row. A few days after getting $3.5 million down on the Astros in Mississippi, mighty Mack McIngvale backed it up with another $1.5 million in New Jersey. He’s now wagered $5 million with a potential payout of $16 million across DraftKings and FanDuel sportsbooks.
That’s all she wrote, folks. Bookmark the homepage for more news and analysis throughout the week, and follow @LSPReport on Twitter for updates in your timeline.
Have a happy week!