The Week In Sports Betting: Michigan Nears Finish Line; FanDuel In Philly

Posted on December 16, 2019

Happy Monday, everyone, and welcome to one of the most stressful weeks of the year: fantasy football championship week. It’s also the last full week before Hanukkah and Christmas, too. So whether you’re losing sleep over shopping for gifts or waiver-wire saviors, it’s all almost over.

Let us distract you from those last-minute worries as we recap some of the biggest sports betting news from last week.

Michigan sports betting in final stretch

It looks like Michigan will become the 20th state to legalize sports betting this week.

The bills were voted through the state Senate and House last week. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is expected to sign those bills into law this week.

It’s not just sports betting, either. Michigan will also get legal iGaming, which has proven to be an impressive partner to sports betting so far in New Jersey.

Michigan’s passage seemed unlikely earlier this month until Sen. Curtis Hertel told LSR he helped bring Whitmer to the negotiating table to get a deal done.

The only downside to the bill appears to be the mandated use of official league data for in-play betting. Time will tell whether the leagues and operators can come to a deal. Operators can petition the Michigan Gaming Control Board if it believes the data is being priced at commercially unreasonable terms.

FanDuel Sportsbook gets Philly fan exposure

Philadelphia‘s sports fans won’t have to walk far after games to cash their winning tickets.

FanDuel Sportsbook announced it will provide online and retail sports betting to Cordish Companies, which is building a $700 million casino in the heart of Philadelphia’s Stadium District.

The casino will be within walking distance of Philadelphia’s stadiums and arena that are home to the city’s four professional teams.

Cordish CEO David Cordish believes sports betting needs to be used as an amenity to bring bettors to the land-based casino. To that end, special promotions and engagement opportunities will only be available at the casino.

The proximity to those teams and the thousands of fans that adore them should be another boost for FanDuel. The operator is already the top dog in terms of Pennsylvania sports betting handle. FanDuel accounted for 48.9% of the state’s $241.2 million in handle for October.

NJ sports betting handle tops half a billion

November marked a third straight historic month for New Jersey’s sports betting handle, topping $562 million. It was the first time the state broke the half-billion mark.

New Jersey’s sports betting market has its open and competitive mobile market to thank for the record. More than 86% of that handle came online.

The total should lead to another $1 billion in handle combined between NJ and Nevada. Nevada’s reported more than $540 million in handle in September and October so far.

Open mobile markets proving strength

It’s becoming increasingly clear that limiting mobile sports betting in any way can really limit handle.

Just look at Indiana, which closed in on $150 million in handle last month. Even with just three mobile operators, handle jumped 60.6% over October as operations continue to ramp up.

That’s compared to Rhode Island, where another ramping mobile market is having trouble capturing bettors. That’s because the state requires in-person registration, which has resulted in bets left on the table.

Rhode Island’s handle grew 27.4% to $28.3 million in October with mobile accounting for just 20.7%. As of Dec. 2, less than half of the potential bettors that started the mobile registration process completed the in-person step at one of the state’s two Twin River casinos.

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Matthew Waters

Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.

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