Happy Monday, y’all, and welcome back to reality.
For most of us, this is the day we drink a couple of extra cups of coffee and hunker down for another busy week of sports betting news. For you, dear reader, it’s an opportunity to catch up on the headlines you might have missed while you were doing your thing last week.
We always strive to keep theses recaps as brief as possible, but this one will be especially short-winded. There’s a lot to cover, unsurprisingly, but we’re all hands on deck for the impending launch of DraftKings Sportsbook and PokerStars in Pennsylvania.
Here’s what happened last week in sports betting, in short.
Yahoo + MGM
Yahoo is finally dipping its toe into US sports betting. Last week, the tech giant announced a broad partnership with MGM that could shape the industry for years to come.
Per the deal, MGM will power sports betting for Yahoo Sports and “create collaborative content experiences and live events.” The partnership will feature BetMGM integration and promotion across the Yahoo universe, but it will apparently not yield a Yahoo-branded sportsbook.
Real-money conversion is limited by the expansion of sports betting and MGM’s market access, of course, but free-to-play contests can be made available nationwide. Expect to see a free game, perhaps something akin to Super 6, as early evidence of this new partnership.
Read more coverage on the deal here.
Big numbers from US sports betting
It takes about a month for states to publish their revenue reports, and the numbers from September are finally in. They are quite, quite good.
Bettors wagered almost $1.4 billion across the nine states that reported losing about $140 million to regulated sportsbooks in the process. Both of those numbers are all-time highs in the US.
Nevada handle topped New Jersey handle by about $100 million, setting the stars back in alignment. It’s about time to drop the NV vs. NJ narrative, though.
The two markets are roughly the same size, and they combined for just shy of $1 billion in handle — more than 70% of the US total for the month.
You can find itemized data from all states on our sports betting revenue page.
Michigan sports betting clears House
Perhaps the biggest news of the week was the House passage of the Lawful Internet Gambling Act in Michigan. The proposal from Rep. Brandt Iden is part of a package of gaming bills, which includes online casino gambling and sports betting.
House lawmakers passed the sports component 63-45, indicating moderate support. Don’t get too excited for the prospects just yet, though.
The governor stands opposed to the bill as passed, and all signs point to a veto if it arrives on her desk in its current posture. Qualms over the fees and taxes, plus a general reticence to negotiate, still stand in the way of passage.
Here comes California sports betting?
Late last Friday, LSR caught wind of a potential sports betting hearing in California.
The sponsors of a new bill — Assemblyman Adam Gray and Sen. Bill Dodd — are working to build a roster of witnesses to testify in Los Angeles. The joint committee is tentatively looking at Nov. 20, though nothing is final, so far.
Sports betting bills are big news in any new state, but California is the proverbial white whale for the US. Legalization would essentially double the number of domestic sports bettors in the regulated market.
The proposed constitutional referendum would require a supermajority vote in the General Assembly before majority approval from California voters.
Sports betting takes and tidbits
Here are some leftovers to round out your recap:
- DraftKings wins NH: Lottery officials in New Hampshire published the results of their request for proposal last week, and DraftKings won both the retail and online categories. It was the only operator selected for initial licensure out of more than a dozen that responded to the RFP.
- On the radar: The name of data supplier Sportradar has surfaced in connection with alleged ties to illegal bookmakers and organized crime. The company published a stern statement last week refuting a recent piece from Business Insider Italy, which reported its involvement in the so-called Galassia inquiry.
- PointsBet seeking investors: US-hopeful PointsBet is scrounging around for cash to help it compete in new markets. Last Monday, the company announced plans to raise more than $80 million to help expand its business in the US.
Some additional headlines from the week that may pique your interest:
- Poll: Two-Thirds Of Americans Think Betting Influences Reactions To NFL Officiating
- Penn National Gaming Wants Another Media Partner For Online Sportsbook
- The One Factor Holding Back Rhode Island Sports Betting Handle
Also, a reminder to readers in Colorado: You can help decide the fate of sports betting in your state this week. Don’t let the wording of Proposition DD fool you on the ballot; it will facilitate legal CO sports betting if it passes by a majority vote.
That’s all we’ve got for this Monday. Have a happy week, and good luck out there.