Colorado, DC Stick To Launch Timelines
Legal Sports Report

The Week In Sports Betting News: Coronavirus Not Stopping These Launch Plans

sports betting news

Welcome to Monday, everyone. Reduced sports betting news seems like it will continue for the foreseeable future, but LSR will always be here to round up the prior week’s happenings.

Check out the latest LSR Podcast for the team’s insights into what the coronavirus pandemic means for sports betting in general.

Also, make sure to follow @LSPReport on Twitter for up-to-date alerts on sports betting news.

Big sports betting news: Colorado, DC move ahead

It’s hard to imagine sports betting launching with no major sports on which to bet. But that’s exactly what will happen in Colorado and Washington, DC, if they remain on their current timelines.

Colorado’s gaming regulators continued to hand out sports betting licenses last week as they work toward a May 1 launch.

That said, Colorado Division of Gaming Executive Director Dan Hartman said discussions will continue into April on whether that date will work.

There are now 31 companies that have received some type of sports betting license in Colorado.

DC Lottery, Intralot launch expected in days

The DC Lottery‘s sports betting app operated by Intralot will launch by the end of the month, the Office of Lottery and Gaming confirmed last week.

What that launch looks like is still undetermined, given the few sports that remain available for betting.

Intralot’s first sports betting launch came in Montana earlier this month just as most major American sports were shutting down. The first odds posted on Sports Bet Montana gave an ugly look at what DC might face when sports return.

Kentucky Derby postponed until September

Essentially all American sports are currently shut down, except for the sport of kings. Horse racing continues at many tracks throughout the US without spectators.

But one of the biggest races of the sport, the Kentucky Derby, will not run without an audience, Churchill Downs CEO Bill Carstanjen said. The race will now run Sept. 5, the Saturday of Labor Day weekend.

NBC reportedly is talking with the other participants of the Triple Crown, the Preakness and Belmont stakes, to postpone those races until after the Kentucky Derby runs.

Voters will decide on Maryland sports betting

Maryland‘s legislature managed to pass a sports betting bill at the end of a session shortened by the coronavirus. But it looks nothing like the bills LSR reported on throughout the session.

Instead, the bill was essentially gutted from all previous details. This was partially because of the lack of inclusion for women and minorities in ownership positions of potential licensees.

The bill now just calls for the referendum in November. Should voters pass it, the legislature will decide next year on details. It’s similar to the legislation approved in South Dakota earlier this year.

PA sports betting handle again above $300M

Pennsylvania’s sports betting handle hit $329.8 million in February, down 5.3% from January’s record but with nine fewer NFL games.

Online handle accounted for 89.2% of the state’s total.

FanDuel Sportsbook‘s online platform accounted for 42% of the state’s total handle, though the handle amount was down 9.6% from January.

Meanwhile, DraftKings Sportsbook closed the gap for second in the state as handle jumped 23.3% from January.

Leagues still fighting NJ on sports betting

The five leagues that fought New Jersey on sports betting – the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL and NCAA – are still pushing in court.

The recently filed petition for certiorari concerns fees and a bond posted by the leagues when a temporary restraining order against sports betting was granted in 2014.

The New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association is seeking millions of dollars for being “wrongfully enjoined” in the lawsuit.

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- 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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