The Week In Sports Betting News: GVC Said What Now?

Posted on July 13, 2020

Happy Monday, everyone. Sports betting appears to be on the verge of a comeback with leagues preparing to restart, though news of hiccups – like a postponed MLS matchup Sunday morning – has some doubting whether every league and team will restart on time.

Follow LSR on Twitter @LSPReport for the latest in sports betting breaking news and updates as soon as the team has a story.

And subscribe and rate the LSR Podcast, which adds a new episode every week. Last week’s edition includes insight into this week’s biggest story: BetMGM and its chase of DraftKings.

Top sports betting news: More money for BetMGM

MGM Resorts and GVC Holdings reaffirmed their belief in the BetMGM brand as the two invested a combined $250 million into the joint venture.

That brings the total investment for the Roar Digital venture to $450 million. That could continue to grow based on what it might take to battle with market leaders DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook, GVC CEO Kenny Alexander said.

“Other people have the ammunition to really go and grab market share, and we’ve put this investment in as a sign the kid gloves are coming off,” Alexander said. “Our aspiration to be the market leader is very real.”

It’ll be years before the true US sports betting market leaders are determined, GVC CFO Rob Wood said. He expects the leaders’ market share to be somewhere in the 20% range, which is what BetMGM is trying to achieve, he added. FanDuel and DraftKings currently hold roughly two-thirds of national market share.

The story was a bit of positive news for BetMGM after a mistake in Vegas allowed $250,000 in won bets that were placed after Korean baseball games started.

RI bill would allow remote registration

A new bill would right one of Rhode Island‘s original errors of in-person registration for sports betting.

HB 8097 would remove the requirement that says sports bettors must complete registration at one of the two Twin River casinos in the state.

The requirement has led to lackluster Rhode Island sports betting results so far. As of March 4 – about 10 days before the casinos closed because of the coronavirus pandemic – just 35.2% of the 23,564 accounts created were registered in a casino and funded.

US sports betting focused too much on advertising?

The US sports betting industry could be following a trend that got European countries into hot water.

The increase in marketing deals, including team sponsorships across all leagues, media personality sponsorships, and additional cash raised for brand awareness, has some worried about too much advertising in the US.

Excessive advertising led to changes in Italy, which has an outright ban on gambling adds, and the UK. Spain is also looking to cut gambling ads by 80%.

“As someone who has lived through the online betting and gaming boom in the UK, my concern is that’s where the US is now,” said David Briggs, CEO of GeoComply. “The industry in Europe pumped far too much advertising into the general public’s eye, to the point you couldn’t watch any live sport without never-ending calls to bet.”

PointsBet remains on schedule for state launches

Illinois, Colorado and Michigan are the next states where PointsBet will launch, potentially all by the end of the year.

Illinois is up first as PointsBet really benefits from its agreement with Hawthorne Race Course and its three OTBs in the Chicago metro area, US CEO Johnny Aitken said. The state temporarily paused its in-person registration requirements but those are expected to return once the coronavirus pandemic slows down.

Colorado will follow shortly after Illinois, he said.

And Michigan could go live by the end of the year if the state works quickly enough to get the industry up and running by then. PointsBet intends to be on the starting line in Michigan, where it recently agreed to be the Detroit Tigers‘ exclusive official gaming partner.

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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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