The Week In Sports Betting News: MA Pahks Sports Betting Talk

Posted on August 3, 2020

Happy Monday, everyone. Sports betting operators are hoping to avoid more news about coronavirus cases after their first full weekend slate of games in nearly five months.

As always, the biggest stories were tackled on the LSR Podcast. That includes the mess in Illinois, where Gov. JB Pritzker ended the suspension of in-person registration sooner than expected.

Keep up with breaking news and get notified when the biggest stories post by following @LSPReport on Twitter.

Top sports betting news: Massachusetts wait continues

The state House built momentum for MA sports betting last week. But that ended quickly as the Senate removed any mention of sports betting from its economic development package.

The timing and method wasn’t right, Senate leaders suggested. Sen. Michael Brady, who originally submitted sports betting language, told LSR more entities need to be involved in crafting legislation. That includes the state lottery and gaming regulators, he added.

Legislators have the rest of the year to consider sports betting legislation during an informal session. Brady said he’s been assured sports betting will be addressed in the coming weeks.

William Hill launches retail sports betting in DC

The first sportsbook operation at a US sports venue launched last week when William Hill launched retail betting in Washington DC.

The sportsbook at Capital One Arena sits in the box office temporarily while no games take place in the arena.

This gives the Washington DC sports betting market an alternative to the GambetDC app powered by Intralot for the DC Lottery.

Nevada reports sinking second-quarter handle

A lack of sports and remote registration combined to drag Nevada‘s sports betting handle figures down 86% in the second quarter compared to last year.

Handle was just $134.4 million from April through June, with $78.2 million coming in June. That means for April and May – when casinos were shut and in-person registration wasn’t widely available – handle was just $56.3 million.

That left Nevada in a distant third behind New Jersey‘s $337.4 million and Pennsylvania‘s $212.5 million in quarterly handle.

Colorado figures were stronger

Not all sports betting results news disappointed last week.

The nascent Colorado sports betting market reported $38.1 million in handle for June, up 48.8% from its first month of operations in May.

Revenue also jumped 35.8% to $3.5 million.

Sponsor: Time to end federal sports betting tax

The impact of the coronavirus on the gaming industry makes this the right time to end the 0.25% federal excise tax on sports betting handle, Rep. Guy Reschenthaler said.

Reschenthaler, who is sponsoring the bill with his Congressional Gaming Caucus Co-Chair Dina Titus, thinks the bill has a chance to pass this year, he said. Titus has tried twice before to repeal the tax.

The tax brought in less than $33 million for the government in 2019, according to the American Gaming Association.

PointsBet primed for Illinois launch

PointsBet is close to launching sports betting in Illinois after retail partner Hawthorne Race Course received regulatory approval to offer betting.

Illinois is an important market for PointsBet, even with in-person registration, because of Hawthorne’s proximity to downtown Chicago. The 20-year deal with Hawthorne also includes offering betting at three off-track facilities in the area.

PointsBet will launch in Colorado after its Illinois sports betting rollout is complete.

Unibet live in third state

Stockholm-listed Kindred launched its Unibet sports betting app in its third state, Indiana, last week.

That brings the Indiana sports betting market to eight mobile operators.

A fourth launch will come in Iowa in January, the company said. Kindred is waiting until the in-person registration requirement ends at the beginning of 2021.

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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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