The Week In Sports Betting News: To Pay Or Not To Pay For FanDuel?

Posted on August 10, 2020

Happy Monday, everyone. Sports betting appears to be back in full swing after a packed weekend schedule but news of major college football programs potentially postponing their seasons could dampen that resurgence.

For now, the current sports betting environment – one that includes playoff basketball and hockey while NFL training camp takes place – is a welcome change from the last few months.

Of course, it wouldn’t be US sports betting without some level of controversy, this time fueled by another palp situation with FanDuel Sportsbook. That’s the main topic of the latest LSR Podcast, which includes other top stories of the week as well.

As always, follow @LSPReport on Twitter for the latest breaking news coverage.

Top sports betting news: Another FanDuel palp leads to investigations

The largest US sports betting operator, FanDuel Sportsbook, again made news because of a pricing error.

A mistakenly-priced MLS game led to disputed bets in New Jersey and canceled bets in Indiana. New Jersey gaming regulators are investigating the matter. Indiana’s regulator, meanwhile, said its compliance committee is reviewing the canceled bets for review and potential disciplinary action against the book.

This time, however, the mistake was up for more than just the 18 seconds its last major pricing error was up in 2018. Then, FanDuel decided to pay out its mistake to New Jersey bettors, including one payout of more than $82,000.

Elsewhere, FanDuel Group President Kip Levin confirmed to LSR the strategy is still to run both of its brands, FanDuel Sportsbook and Fox Bet, in the US.

DraftKings Sportsbook makes IL debut

The Illinois sports betting market finally expanded to two online operators when DraftKings Sportsbook launched last week.

The brand struck a deal with the rebranded DraftKings Sportsbook at Casino Queen. The new name allows the DraftKings brand to be the leading brand on the sportsbook.

Of course, the environment looks a little different than what DraftKings thought it was getting. Gov. JB Pritzker ended his suspension of in-person registration suddenly at the end of July.

That means DraftKings might not pick up as much market share as it could have. The casino is located on the Missouri border, which is more than four hours from the state’s highest population area near Chicago.

Another sportsbook jumped into the Illinois market as well. But William Hill only launched retail operations when it went live at Grand Victoria in Elgin.

DraftKings also added to its team ahead of its departure from the Kambi platform to its SBTech-powered book. The company hired Stephen Baumhol as its new director of trading for the US.

Barstool Sportsbook prepares for PA launch

The Pennsylvania sports betting market will be the first to get Penn National‘s Barstool Sportsbook app when it launches in September.

That launch will be followed by other states through the first quarter of next year, CEO Jay Snowden said on Penn National’s latest earnings call. Michigan and New Jersey are both potential targets, Snowden added.

The app was originally scheduled for an August launch. But Snowden noted the company wanted to make a strong first impression.

Penn National could have launched the app earlier this year if it didn’t care about launching something competitive and differentiated, Snowden added.

“What’s more important? Rushing it and getting to some MLB and NBA games in August? Or doing this right, launching it in September when we know it will deliver a great experience, [user interface, user experience] for the end user?” Snowden said. “We’re in this for the long game.”

DC sports betting reportedly has atrocious two months

The larger US sports betting market knew Intralot wasn’t offering competitive odds in the Montana and Washington DC sports betting markets when both launched earlier this year.

But it looks like even novice sports bettors know to wait for something better than what GambetDC offers.

The DC Lottery‘s sportsbook app reportedly took just $1.2 million in handle from launch at the end of May through Aug. 3, according to WTOP-FM.

That’s an abysmal amount of action for any US jurisdiction even despite the lack of major sports throughout that period.

Fortunately for the DC market, more operators are beginning to launch. That started with a William Hill sportsbook at the Capital One Arena, which launched last month.

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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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