Happy Monday, y’all, and welcome back. We hope you survived this weekend’s sports betting equinox with minimal damage to your bankroll and/or relationship.
Last week was a busy one for both sports and betting, including a FanDuel Sportsbook launch in Indiana and a much-anticipated legislative hearing in Missouri.
As we’re accustomed to doing on Monday, let’s run back through a few of the most notable stories from the week in US sports betting.
While you read, listen along to the most recent episode of the LSR Podcast. Last week’s show features a worthwhile interview with FanDuel founder Nigel Eccles.
Missouri sports betting hearing
It’s been a while since we’ve had a good sports betting hearing to watch, and the one in Missouri last week delivered.
The Special Interim Committee on Gaming met Thursday, fielding a few solid hours of testimony from direct stakeholders and independent experts. The leagues were noticeably absent from the proceedings — they’ll testify at another hearing in Jefferson City next month — and their presence in the legislative process appears less welcome.
Witnesses and lawmakers unanimously rejected the concept of an integrity fee, as well as any requirement that sportsbooks purchase official league data. Few groups have demonstrated such a clear understanding of how these costs trickle down to customers (and the state itself.)
For extra credit, committee members acknowledged that the success of sports betting largely hinges on their ability to foster competition — both within the state and against the existing offshore market. Their recommendations almost certainly will feature moderate taxes and fees, plus remote registration for online betting.
Such a framework could generate close to $300 million in annual sports betting revenue in Missouri, according to Eilers & Krejcik analyst Chris Krafcik.
Washington sports betting hearing
Those league requests were on full display in the state of Washington earlier this month, however. Regulators there held a public meeting Oct. 10, and it was well-attended by stakeholders from the sports side of the aisle.
Pro baseball @MLB and @Mariners are here at the @WAGambling to testify on #sportsbetting.
– Marquest Meeks, Senior Counsel #MLB
– Fred Rivera, General Counsel, #Mariners
– also, WSGC’s Brian Considine pic.twitter.com/dhoUEVE2Pg
— Chris Stearns (@stearnsauburn) October 10, 2019
Marquest Meeks laid out the five pillars of the model MLB framework, all of which you’ve seen before. The most notable takeaway is that pro baseball — speaking in alliance with the NBA and PGA Tour — is still requesting an integrity fee based on the total amount wagered.
The leagues also maintain that forcing operators to purchase their data is the only way to ensure the integrity of the results.
Not surprisingly, the trio believes that Illinois and Tennessee represent the states with the best legislation so far. While no state law includes any direct royalty, those two did enact a limited mandate which monopolizes data pricing and distribution.
Anyhow the conversation is officially under way in Washington. Its neighbor Oregon began regulating sports betting earlier this fall, and California seems to be stirring to life along the Pacific Coast too.
Connecticut sports betting struggling
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: lawmakers in Connecticut might hold a special session this fall, but sports betting won’t be part of the conversation.
Something similar happened last year, with former Gov. Dannel Malloy abandoning plans for a special session on gambling altogether. This year, Sen. Cathy Osten worked to bring a new proposal to the table.
Osten’s Connecticut Jobs and Revenue Act would give the state’s two tribes — the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot — full control over expanded, modernized gambling in the state.
The sponsor hoped for a special session to discuss the specifics, which include new tribal casinos plus online casino gambling and sports betting. Both Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun are in Osten’s district.
Neither new Gov. Ned Lamont nor Rep. Joe Verrengia, the legislative gatekeeper for gaming issues, support a tribal-exclusive model though. And considering Lamont is the man who sets the agenda for special sessions, it’s unlikely to include any work on sports betting this time around either.
Better luck next year, Connecticut. Again.
Sports betting takes and tidbits
Last week’s leftover morsels are still nice and juicy:
- NY sports betting sponsor: In an interview with LSR this week, Sen. Joesph Addabbo said that failure to pass a bill is costing New York millions of dollars in missed revenue. Addabbo has been the Senate spearhead for the recent efforts to legalize online sports betting in his state.
- Visit Rhode Island: We know anecdotally that in-person registration hinders customer activation, and now we have some data from Rhode Island to prove it. Officials say only 45% of the 12,000 users who’ve downloaded the RI sports betting app have visited a Twin River casino to complete registration so far.
- The Golden Nugget Rule: As the NBA season begins, it’s worth reminding you of a rule change for Golden Nugget this year. Ties with Tilman Fertitta and the Houston Rockets precluded the NJ casino from booking NBA action last year, but an updated law puts everything except Rockets games on the board.
- Breaking up with William Hill: Speaking of changes, those are afoot for Penn National too. Proof of its new partnership with Kambi surfaced last week in Pennsylvania when the new supplier took over sportsbook operations at Hollywood Casino.
That’s plenty of recapping for now, but we’re right back into the news cycle this morning. Check back often, and follow @LSPReport on Twitter for updates in your timeline all week.
Have a happy Monday.