The Week In Sports Betting News: Crashes During NFL Deal Apps Rough Week

Posted on October 26, 2020

Happy Monday, everyone. The industry is awaiting news of Nevada‘s sports betting results this week to see just how big of a month September was across the US.

The surging US sports betting industry is one of the topics covered on the most recent LSR Podcast. The team also touches on other big topics from last week, like a daily fantasy sports stat outage and the impending launch of sports betting in Tennessee.

Be sure to follow us @LSPReport on Twitter as well for breaking news updates. If you did, you’d already know Colorado sports betting topped $200 million in handle for September after it was released late Friday afternoon.

Top sports betting news: Apps struggle during NFL games

There’s only one thing that’s worse than multiple sportsbooks crashing during NFL betting. That’s when those books go down multiple times during the same NFL week.

Betting on Thursday night’s matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants was interrupted because of an outage by geolocation provider GeoComply.

GeoComply tracks where bettors are physically located. When bettors are found to be in a legal betting jurisdiction, they can then bet on those apps licensed in that jurisdiction.

BetRivers, DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook all felt the pinch on Thursday during the second half. The issue was particularly frustrating for DraftKings and FanDuel users, which already dealt with a daily fantasy sports stats outage the prior week.

As if going dark during one of the most important football games for two of the top US betting jurisdictions wasn’t bad enough, more operators had trouble on Sunday for undisclosed reasons:

Is William Hill-Caesars deal closing?

Some activity around William Hill’s stock suggests shareholders are pricing in the possibility that Caesars might have hurdles to clear to close its proposed $3.7 billion acquisition.

Caesars offered 272 pence ($3.45) per share, but the stock is still hovering higher than that, even after weak third-quarter results.

Institutional investor HG Vora added additional shares at 277 pence shortly after the deal was announced and now owns 9% of the company. Millennium Management has also added to its stake at prices higher than the Caesars offer.

The deal is still likely to get done considering Caesars threatened to end its market access deal with William Hill otherwise, Harry Barnick of Third Bridge said.

Are sportsbooks inflating revenue through promos?

The record $463 million Pennsylvania sports betting handle isn’t the only relevant news from that release.

Operators reported $13.1 million in online revenue. That’s not exactly a precise number, though, as operators also gave out $12 million in promo credits.

That dropped online taxable revenue to just $1.1 million last month.

Newcomer Barstool Sportsbook gave away the most promo bets with almost $2.2 million in just two weeks. DraftKings paid out $2.3 million in promos while Unibet gave out $1.5 million in promo credits.

Tribe bringing sports betting to Wyoming

The state of Wyoming decided not to act on mobile sports betting during the 2020 legislature. That won’t stop sports betting from launching there, though.

The Northern Arapaho Tribe intends to launch sports betting at its casinos without enabling legislation passed. It believes it’s clear to do that under the Code of Federal Regulations, which defines sports betting as a Class III gaming activity.

The Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians is taking a similar route to launch sports betting in South Dakota as well.

Reps for the Northern Arapaho did not respond when asked about potential sports betting partners. The Chippewa Indians will partner with IGT in South Dakota.

MA sports betting chances dwindle for this year

Sports betting in Massachusetts should be legal by next year, Sen. Michael Brady told LSR. The chances of legalization happening this year, though, are getting slim.

Brady was one of a few senators who submitted sports betting language to an omnibus economic development bill earlier this year. There’s still time for sports betting to be included, though Senate leadership at the time suggested it wasn’t the avenue to legalize sports betting.

Brady wasn’t sure about allowing betting on college sports. He noted pushback from his constituents, which falls in line with what eight Massachusetts schools asked of the legislature.

The American Gaming Association wrote to the Massachusetts legislature to plead its case on why college betting is necessary.

“Everything is open for discussion obviously, but that is a little concern I’ve heard from constituents about college sports betting,” Brady said. “But I think either way we’ve got to move forward and get this rolling. We’re in desperate need of revenue.”

Other noteworthy news from the week

Other important news and notes from last week:

  • The AGA and the National Hockey League agreed to partner on responsible gaming. The two will co-brand and actively promote the AGA’s Have a Game Plan: Bet Responsibly campaign.
  • BetRivers partnered with IMG ARENA to launch the first-ever UFC Event Center. The product includes official data delivered in under two seconds, live stats and betting data points and a mobile-first design.
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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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