The Week In Sports Betting News: Illinois Stays Remote – For Now

Posted on September 21, 2020

Happy Monday, everyone. The second week of the NFL was just like the first as news of big bets across the country showed sports betting is back in earnest.

Sports betting results already started skyrocketing in August, with multiple states hitting all-time records. That rebound was one of the big discussions on the most recent LSR Podcast.

Make sure to follow @LSPReport on Twitter for breaking news updates.

Top sports betting news: IL mobile registration gets another month

Those interested in sports betting in Illinois patiently waited until late Friday afternoon for the update they hoped to hear.

There was speculation an extension was coming amongst Illinois sportsbook operators before Gov. J.B. Pritzker made it official. He extended his executive order through Oct. 17 that lets potential sports bettors to create and confirm their sportsbook accounts online.

The state law calls for in-person registration through at least next September. Pritzker has now lifted that requirement multiple times because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The move is especially significant for DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook. Neither have a physical presence near Chicago at the moment.

Illinois released its first sports betting results as well, with $52.5 million in handle for July.

Barstool Sportsbook finally launches

Penn National searched high and low for its sports betting brand and made big news when it invested $163 million into Barstool Sports.

That work, as well as additional months of work to personalize Kambi‘s technology for its Barstool Sportsbook, culminated Friday when the app officially launched in Pennsylvania.

The app was delayed from an August launch until last week to provide an improved user experience. But for now, the app has plenty of room to grow its integration of the Barstool Sports brand and influencers.

The sportsbook did introduce an exclusive bet that might show exactly who the app is targeting. Barstool offered a bet that paid out if any team to a snap from “the nice spot,” which it defined as the opponents’ 31 yard-line.

It was deemed the “nice spot” because that’s 69 yards from the offense’s end zone. That screams college kids and low-value casual bettors, which is likely less than what Penn National had in mind when it invested for access to 66 million monthly unique users.

Ohio sports betting sponsor tempers expectations

Sen. John Eklund doesn’t share the same excitement over some terms of the substitute Ohio sports betting draft bill.

That’s because Eklund considers many of the big issues, like skins, tax rate and lack of official league data mandate, as placeholders in the bill.

Eklund could really mean that, or he could be showing respect to other politicians that have yet to give input on the bill, Dan Dodd of ZHF Consulting said.

Dodd, who mentioned Ohio’s tendency to get work done in lame-duck sessions, thinks many of the big details will remain the same when the bill is passed as he expects later this year.

Intralot embarrassed in DC

Anyone that doesn’t believe important public contracts should be decided through a competitive bidding process should look at sports betting in Washington DC.

William Hill‘s retail-only temporary sportsbook at Capital One Arena easily dominated in its first full month. Handle was $9.1 million in August compared to just $2.1 million through Intralot‘s GambetDC app for the DC Lottery.

GambetDC’s poorly priced odds have been well documented, and it’s clear DC bettors are aware as well. Even though the two operators saw similar activity with 69,085 bets for William Hill and 66,831 for GambetDC, it seems obvious the expensive lines offered by Intralot kept bettors from betting big.

The average bet at William Hill was $132.16 compared to $31.90 at GambetDC.

Virginia finalizes sports betting regulations

Virginia sports betting is well under way for a launch in January.

The Virginia Lottery took one of the biggest steps in the process yet when it finalized regulations at its meeting last week. Some of the changes from the draft regulations came as a surprise. That includes giving leagues access to real-time betting data whenever requested.

Operator applications will be accepted beginning Oct. 15.

Pennsylvania breaks handle record

Sports betting in Pennsylvania hit new heights in August.

Total handle was $365 million, which was 4.8% higher than the state’s all-time record set in January. Mobile accounted for more than 88% of handle.

The market added Barstool Sportsbook last week, but it could take time to build significant market share. More than 80% of handle flowed through three sportsbook operators last month.

5Dimes confirms regulated US interest

The widow of Sean “Tony” Creighton confirmed the offshore operator is done breaking bad.

“I am working with experts and consultants to make sure that the brand that you have come to love is well represented in the regulated US market,” Lauren Varela said in a statement.

As LSR reported earlier this month, though, those efforts might not be as genuine as they could. Multiple customers have said future bets have simply rolled over to another obscure offshore site that’s noted as a sister site of 5Dimes.

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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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