Happy Monday, everyone. Sports betting enthusiasts around the US are rejoicing this week at the news of the return of major sports with MLB starting its shortened season Thursday.
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Top sports betting news: NJ, PA markets rebounding
Sports bettors in New Jersey and Pennsylvania continue to grow more comfortable with betting on sports that would otherwise get little action.
New Jersey sports betting handle jumped 40% over May to $165 million in June. Pennsylvania sports betting handle, meanwhile, is rebounding a little slower at 14.8% growth over May to $89 million last month.
Bettors in both markets have focused on sports that don’t usually dominate betting headlines. That includes NASCAR, PGA Tour golf, mixed martial arts and table tennis.
It’s no surprise to see NJ leading the rebound even though Pennsylvania has about 4 million more residents than New Jersey. The market continues to get a boost from New York City bettors, who still have no convenient legal sports betting option other than traveling to NJ to bet.
Rhode Island going fully mobile?
Sports betting in Rhode Island is a signature away from going fully mobile.
Gov. Gina Raimondo has HB 8097 and SB 2919 both sitting on her desk after they passed the lower chambers last week. The identical bills strip the requirement for in-person sports betting registration.
That means the thousands of accounts that gave up the registration process once they found out they had to visit one of the two Twin River casinos in the state to finish and bet online might finish the process now. That would total as many as 14,000 new accounts, state officials said.
Lawmakers are open to mobile registration for a few reasons this time around. First, it means less human contact in a new operating environment that has to account for the coronavirus. Second, the sportsbook is falling behind its own projections and other US states, including nearby New Hampshire, because of the in-person registration requirement.
Virginia sports betting timeline pushed back
Some slightly negative sports betting news also hit last week as Virginia finally began planning its betting industry.
An updated timeline for Virginia sports betting suggests the first legal bets will come next year. That’s because the Virginia Lottery won’t start considering applications until mid-October. The lottery has 90 days to consider each application.
It’s unclear how many operators intend to bid for a Virginia betting license, but no one is guaranteed a license. There may be just seven untethered licenses available if the five casinos authorized in the state all apply for a license.
The Lottery has to approve sports betting regulations by Sept. 15.
GVC CEO steps down
GVC CEO Kenny Alexander announced he was moving on from the position last week to spend more time with his family.
The change comes just days after GVC and MGM Resorts announced they were raising an additional $250 million for their Roar Digital US sports betting joint venture.
COO Shay Segev officially replaced Alexander after business close on Friday.