The Week In Sports Betting: DraftKings Going Public With SBTech

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DraftKings goes public

Welcome to the final day of the decade. The entire Legal Sports Report team sends its best wishes for the new year to all.

Plenty of people have taken time off to enjoy the holidays but it hasn’t affected the flow of sports betting news. Let’s recap some of the top stories from last week.

DraftKings going public, bringing SBTech with it

DraftKings likely interrupted many early holiday vacations for those in the sports betting world when it announced last Monday it was going public and acquiring platform provider SBTech.

The combined company will have a $3.3 billion valuation when it lists on the Nasdaq. The two are technically being acquired by a special-purpose acquisition company, Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corporation, which already has a public listing.

There are multiple benefits to the deal, both for DraftKings as well as the public. DraftKings will get its own proprietary sports betting platform, meaning costs should fall while offering a better overall product. And the public will finally get to track the financials of one of the biggest sportsbook operators in the US.

The acquisition should close in the first half of 2020. It could take significant time before the SBTech platform is integrated with DraftKings.

LSR first reported on a potential DraftKings-SBTech merger in June.

Nevada sets new monthly record

Nevada gifted the sports betting world a new record for monthly handle last week.

The Silver State took $614.1 million in bets during November, topping its previous record from March by 2.9%.

Nevada and New Jersey also combined for more than $1 billion in sports betting handle for the second straight month.

The continued growth of Nevada’s sports betting market has gone against much of what many in the industry expected. Regional casinos getting sports betting was supposed to stop people from traveling to Nevada to place their bets.

Whether sports betting handle continues to grow in Nevada will be a closely followed story throughout 2020.

Bill clarifies tribal sports betting

A New York congressman is the first to try and spell out at the national level how exactly gaming tribes can offer online sports betting.

The bill from Rep. Anthony Brindisi essentially states any sports bet accepted online will be treated as if it was placed at the location of the server supporting the betting platform.

That means as long as the server is on tribal land, a gaming tribe could offer online sports betting to anyone in the state.

While some tribes already hold that belief, others do not. For instance, tribal sports betting operations in Oregon only allow online bets to be placed while the bettor is physically on tribal grounds.

This bill would clarify the laws and put all gaming tribes on the same ground.

DOJ’s Wire Act case looks iffy

It appears the Department of Justice knows it doesn’t have a very strong case to support its recent reinterpretation of the Wire Act.

The DOJ filed its opening brief in an appeal of the lawsuit filed by the New Hampshire Lottery Corporation and its online lottery provider NeoPollard Interactive.

The brief focused on technical arguments rather than the actual matter at hand – that the DOJ believes the Wire Act should apply to all online gaming and not just interstate sports betting.

The New Hampshire Lottery Corporation and NeoPollard should file their briefs by Jan. 21.