The Week In Sports Betting News: Washington Legalizes First in 2020

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Welcome to another socially distant Monday, everyone. We at LSR hope you and yours are safe and healthy as you digest our recap of last week’s sports betting news.

While news about sports and betting on sports is limited these days, we’re still here covering anything happening in the industry. Make sure to follow LSR on Twitter @LSPReport to stay up to date on whatever news breaks.

Also, tune into last week’s episode of the LSR podcast, where the team discusses the current state of sports betting.

Top sports betting news: Washington first in 2020

The state of Washington was the first to cross the sports betting legislation finish line when Gov. Jay Inslee signed ESHB 2638 into law.

The bill is limited, however. Only Indian casinos get access to sports betting with mobile geofenced to tribal properties.

ESHB 2638 included an emergency clause that made it law immediately upon Inslee’s signature, skipping a referendum. Maverick Gaming CEO Eric Persson told LSR before the bill passed he would sue if Inslee signed with the emergency provision.

Persson has a vested interest in seeing the law overturned in court. His company operates 19 of the state’s 44 cardrooms, which were left out of ESHB 2638.

SBTech, Oregon’s contract details revealed

We finally know the details of SBTech‘s agreement to run sports betting for the Oregon Lottery. They certainly help to explain how the lottery has lost almost $2 million since the Scoreboard app launched in October despite nearly $6 million in net revenue.

LSR and The Oregonian both filed a petition for details of the contract, which eventually landed in court. SBTech dropped its right to appeal after Superior Court ruled the details should be released.

It turns out that SBTech gets a bit more than the 9% to 11% of net gaming revenue the lottery initially suggested.

The operator also gets 16% of net revenue for managed service fees with a minimum of $300,000 over the first six months and $350,000 after. That rises to 17% after three years.

The contract also includes pass-through expenses that include payment gateways, affiliate systems and data providers. The lottery reimburses those expenses.

Nevada approves Counter-Strike esports betting

Nevada sports betting operators got some help from the state’s gaming regulator when the Gaming Control Board approved betting on the ESL Pro League‘s 11th season of Counter-Strike.

All books can take bets on the matches as long as they inform the regulator first.

Only Nevada and New Jersey have taken bets on esports, so far, in the US. Most states don’t specifically outlaw the games, however, and could approve betting on them at any point.

Esports betting operator Unikrn‘s CEO Rahul Sood told LSR that regulators are willing to move quickly on esports right now.

Nevada also announced what will likely be its last month of sports betting handle growth and revenue growth for a while. February’s handle rose 6.7% to $489.1 million compared with the previous year.

Kentucky sports betting likely dead this year

Despite having the votes, Kentucky‘s sports betting bill is likely done as the coronavirus pandemic has shortened the session.

The only issue the legislature is working on in the last days until April 1 is the state budget. That likely won’t include sports betting revenue, Rep. Adam Koenig told LSR.

Next year is a possibility, but it’ll be tougher. Odd-numbered years feature a shortened 30-day legislature, and bills require a three-fifths majority to pass.

“I’m optimistic about next year, but I was optimistic about this year, so what the hell do I know,” Koenig said.

NJ sports betting revenue drop estimated

Sports betting revenue in New Jersey will be an estimated $225 million this year, down 14% from last year from the impact of the coronavirus.

Those figures came from Regulus Partners and were announced by GAN, which solicited the research. The forecast assumes US sports begin to return substantially by August.

But those gambling dollars which typically go toward sports betting could wind up elsewhere.

GAN also reported a 719% increase in first-time depositors at Ocean’s online casino the first day Atlantic City‘s casinos were shuttered. The daily deposit value jumped 57% that same day.