The Week In Sports Betting News: Handle Records Continue To Fall

Posted on October 19, 2020

Happy Monday, everyone. Sports betting handle continues to make news across the country as bettors dropped record amounts in September.

That was one of the big stories covered in the most recent LSR Podcast. The team also dove into the ever-changing story at Barstool Sportsbook and its leader, at least in his mind.

Remember to follow @LSPReport on Twitter for breaking news updates across the industry, like from late Friday afternoon when sports betting in Illinois again got a mobile betting registration extension.

Top sports betting news: NJ, PA repeat handle records

There was bound to be pent-up demand from sports bettors following the coronavirus pandemic that shut down much of the sports world.

The schedule created by the pandemic, which saw all sports but football in action by August before NFL betting came into play in September, turned that demand into a record-breaking stretch for a few states.

Sports betting in New Jersey once again hit new heights for not just the state but the entire US. Its nearly $750 million in handle set a new US sports betting record just a month after NJ set the top US handle mark at $668 million.

Pennsylvania sports betting, which does not see as much action from New York bettors as NJ does, also topped its previous handle record from August with $462.8 million in September.

With the NBA and NHL seasons over, that US handle record might be untouched for a while. The US sports betting original, Nevada, still has to report, but the state would need handle to jump 57.6% from August to match NJ’s mark.

Who runs Barstool Sportsbook?

Dave Portnoy seems to think he’s calling all the shots when it comes to a sportsbook that uses the brand name of a company he founded.

At least, that’s what the Barstool Sports founder said on a recent self-titled podcast as he ranted about failing to get a hat promotion live on the sportsbook:

When I call you, you better get back to me quicker than two hours,” Portnoy said. “The whole company depends on it.  [Penn CEO Jay Snowden] has been very clear, I should be treated as he should be treated. When I call you, you answer. They [Penn staff] can listen to this. They answer to Jay, and they answer to me.”

Portnoy is no longer tweeting about his five-figure bets on the platform and mentioned he was told to be careful with what he says by Penn National execs in another podcast.

The Barstool Sportsbook brand also made headlines after Snowden announced it would only be launching sports betting in Michigan this year. The mobile app should be live in 12 states by the end of next year, Snowden said.

PGA Tour adds live BetMGM odds to broadcast

The PGA Tour continued its embrace of gambling last week when it integrated live BetMGM odds into its CJ Cup broadcasts.

BetMGM provided updated live odds on potential winners, head-to-head matchups, and who would make or miss the cut.

It isn’t the first time the PGA worked with live odds as it’s been working those into digital platforms since August. This was the next step in engaging fans in new and creative ways, the PGA’s SVP for media and gaming, Norb Gambuzza, said.

BetMGM, meanwhile, gets exposure to potential golf fans while also adding real-time PGA Tour highlights to its app.

DraftKings, FanDuel sign media deals with Turner

The two biggest sports betting brands in the US both signed deals with Turner Sports last week.

FanDuel Sportsbook will have its odds and content integrated into NBA coverage, while DraftKings Sportsbook gets the rest of Turner’s sports portfolio. That includes the MLB and PGA Tour.

It wasn’t all fun for the two brands last week, however. Their daily fantasy sports businesses were hit by a ransomware attack on their state provider Stats Perform.

William Hill still rules DC sports betting

We’re beginning to wonder whether it’s accurate to report William Hill is winning the DC sports betting battle. It’s probably more on-the-nose to say Intralot and the DC Lottery are losing.

William Hill took $12.2 million in handle at its temporary, retail-only sportsbook in the Capital One Arena box office in September. That smashed the $3.3 million bet with GambetDC, the only mobile sportsbook available throughout most of the district.

Bettors are spending hours in line before the William Hill location even opens to place their bets. That says a lot considering they could just pick up their phones and place their bets in a few taps. But with NFL lines juiced to almost double the standard lines, it’s easy to see why.

That being said, there were still plenty bettors using the GambetDC app last month. William Hill took 113,052 bets while GambetDC had 92,315 bets.

Matthew Waters Avatar
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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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