Regulated US sportsbooks on pace for record month
Legal Sports Report

The Week In Sports Betting News: Football Season Pushes US Markets To New Heights

sports betting news

Happy Monday, y’all, and welcome back to your regularly scheduled sports betting catch-up. This recurring piece does get a bit cheesy sometimes, but we hope you relish a weekly recap as much as we do.

Our team spent the week at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, roaming the floor in search of familiar faces and unfamiliar technology. And hot dogs. There were free hot dogs too.

The convention also brought everyone under one roof for the first LSR Podcast MEGAPOD, a two-hour Q&A with some of the brightest minds in the industry. Check out the guest list and have a listen:

  • Max Meltzer — Kambi
  • Scott Ferguson — Captec
  • Casey Clark — American Gaming Association
  • Dan Shapiro — William Hill
  • Keith O’Loughlin — Scientific Games
  • Charles Cohen — IGT
  • Ed Miller — DeckPrism Sports
  • Danielle Boyd — William Hill

Listen to “LSR Podcast Ep.26 – G2E ’19 MEGAPOD: The team talks with several of the major players in the industry live from the G2E floor.” on Spreaker.

The news doesn’t stop just because the world’s largest gaming conference is in town, though. Here’s a rundown of what happened last week in US sports betting.

Early returns from 2019 NFL sports betting

It takes a few weeks for most state regulators to audit gambling revenue for the previous month, so we’re just now starting to see September sports betting data. It’s really good.

Regulated sportsbooks saw well over $750 million in action last month, almost on par with September 2018 — and Nevada hasn’t even reported yet.

That handle comes from eight other markets that already published numbers, putting the US record ($1.1 billion; March 2019) within reach. If it doesn’t happen in September, it’ll happen in October without much doubt.

We track data for all states on our US sports betting revenue page, but it’s worth highlighting a couple of the biggest markets in more depth too.

NJ sports betting revenue

September was a record for New Jersey sports betting.

Operators booked a combined $445 million in wagers, holding almost $38 million in a huge uptick across both monthly and annual comparisons.

As is the case these days, FanDuel Sportsbook is responsible for the lion’s share of those numbers. The market leader saw almost $17 million in revenue across all channels, cementing its position as the go-to product in a crowded field of NJ sports betting apps.

The Resorts network, which includes DraftKings Sportsbook and Fox Bet, finished as the runner-up in September with more than $11 million in combined revenue.

PA sports betting revenue

September was also a record for Pennsylvania sports betting, though its industry is far less mature than that of its neighbor.

PA sportsbooks approached $200 million in handle, though, marking their second straight month in nine-figure territory. As is the case next door, FanDuel is driving those early returns in PA. It was responsible for more than a third of the $15 million in total combined revenue.

It’s still too early to tell how high the ceiling truly is in the Keystone State, but population alone suggests the market should eventually be larger than New Jersey. State revenue will certainly be higher thanks to the onerous 36% tax on PA sports betting — the highest in the country.

Oregon sports betting goes online

Last week, Oregon joined the list of states with legal online sports betting.

The Oregon Lottery rolled out its new Scoreboard app Monday, the product of a post-PASPA partnership with SBTech. While this exact model is untested in the US, it does resemble the state-administered framework for sports betting in Rhode Island.

More options would be better, of course, but things look pretty good so far. The platform is sharp and responsive, and while limited to pro sports, the lines appear competitive with regulated operations in other US markets.

With its launch, the Beaver State is officially the eighth with online betting and the 13th with some form of legal wagering. Chinook Winds still has the only one brick-and-mortar sportsbook open for business, though the lottery does plan to begin installing kiosks at lottery retailers in the coming months.

Scoreboard is available via the web and mobile devices, including Android and iOS.

Sports betting takes and tidbits

If you read one thing this week, let it be the op-ed from Dustin Gouker on the problem with officiating and why it’s such an issue for the leagues. As long as bad calls regularly change the outcome of games, Gouker says, the biggest threat to the integrity of sports has nothing to do with gambling.

If you read two things this week, let the second be the education on the Purdue sports betting ban from professor John Holden. ICYMI, this public university in Indiana — where sports betting is legal and regulated — recently prohibited staff and students from gambling on their Boilermakers, a move that appears utterly unenforceable (if not illegal.)

This interview with GeoComply CEO David Briggs is also worth a read, or at least a quick glance at the charts. Few companies have as much insight into US sports betting traffic as GeoComply does, and Briggs was kind enough to share some of those data points with LSR.

That’s all she wrote for last week, but we’re right back in the thick of things again this Monday. Check back often, and follow @LSPReport on Twitter for updates in your timeline.

Have a happy week!

Eric Ramsey
- Eric is a reporter and writer covering regulated US gambling, sports betting, and DFS. He comes from a poker background, formerly on staff at PokerNews and the World Poker Tour.
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