The Week In Sports Betting News: More Suitors, More Cash For This Op

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Happy Monday, everyone. Everyone interested in the US sports betting industry is eagerly waiting for news out of Nevada this week to see if the NFL betting the helped state top the recent handle record set in New Jersey.

There was plenty that happened last week, though, that’s worth recounting as well. Start with the LSR Podcast where the team looked at the launch of Penn National‘s Barstool Sportsbook app in PA.

Make sure to follow @LSPReport on Twitter as well. That’s where we’ll push out all of our updates on breaking news as it happens.

Top sports betting news: Bidding war for William Hill

William Hill‘s stock got a solid bump Friday after announcing both Caesars and former Caesars investor Apollo Management were interested in buying the business.

The first proposal came more than a month ago from Apollo, William Hill confirmed on Friday. Under UK regulations, both Caesars and Apollo had 28 days from Friday to announce a firm offer for the company.

Caesars made its bid official Monday. The move makes sense for the US gambling operator. The company already owns 20% of William Hill US, which also manages all of Caesars’ betting operations.

Barstool Sportsbook off to fast PA start

Many expected Barstool Sportsbook to get off to a decent start. Now it looks like the book could be jockeying for a top-three spot in the PA sports betting market.

The recently-launched Barstool Sportsbook took $11 million in handle over its first weekend in Pennsylvania.

That included 12,000 first-time depositors with an average first deposit of $243.

It’s unclear how much Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy is affecting those figures. Portnoy bets through the sportsbook himself and posted screenshots of multiple five-figure bets.

The first week of operations went without any regulatory smackdowns despite some questionable messages from Barstool. We’ll see how long that streak lasts.

First TN sports betting operators announced

The first operators were announced for sports betting in Tennessee, which is set to start just over a month from now on Nov. 1.

BetMGM, DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook received the first operator licenses in the state last week. More licenses will be handed out Oct. 5 and Oct. 16 before launch.

There should be plenty of others jumping at the chance to enter Tennessee. There’s no limit on licenses for the online-only market and just a $750,000 annual license expense.

Of course, there’s the tricky 10% hold operators are required to keep in the state. So far, no operator has offered any clues as to how they will handle that while remaining competitive with offshore operators.

Colorado sports betting boosted

Sports betting in Colorado launched at a less-than-ideal time on May 1 while most major sports were shut down from the coronavirus pandemic. But those interrupted seasons resuming play this summer has ultimately helped the new market.

Handle more than doubled from July to $128.6 million in August. There’s no question that the unusual scheduling of the NBA and NHL playoffs helped boost that total, in addition to the natural growth of a competitive new market.

Surprisingly, table tennis was still the fourth-most bet sport in the state. It topped other pandemic favorites like golf, soccer, tennis and mixed-martial arts and only ranked behind basketball, baseball and hockey for the month.

We’ll see the true strength of the market once betting on NFL games is added into the mix for September’s report.

Other news out of Colorado last week include two stories from DraftKings Sportsbook. The operator agreed to be the official sports betting operator of the Colorado Rockies and launched a retail sportsbook at Mardi Gras in Black Hawk.

Rhode Island gets boost from remote registration

If any legislator is considering requiring in-person sports betting registration, just send them these stats on Rhode Island sports betting.

Gov. Gina Raimondo signed a bill in July to end the in-person requirement in Rhode Island. Nearly 15,000 accounts were fully activated since then through Sept. 22, giving the state 25,372 fully-activated accounts.

Those 15,000 new sign-ups clearly included people that never took the final step of visiting a Twin River casino. There were only 4,004 new accounts registered over the period.

The reversal in Rhode Island means Nevada is the only state with a permanent in-person registration requirement. Those requirements eventually expire in both Illinois and Iowa.

Louisiana campaign promotes sports betting for schools

Another state is pushing education funding to get approval for sports betting.

Louisiana Wins is calling for voters to approve LA sports betting through this November‘s referendum. The campaign suggests taxes from an eventual $330 million in annual revenue could fund education and infrastructure improvements throughout the state.

That $330 million figure is the high side of annual operator revenue estimates by Spectrum Gaming Group. Spectrum forecasted between $237 million and $332 million in annual revenue.

This is the second state campaign to use funding for kids as a hook to legalize sports betting, following Maryland.