The Week In Sports Betting News: The More States, The Merrier

Posted on November 9, 2020

Happy Monday, everyone. We finally have an answer to the big news from last week: voters around the country approved sports betting at every chance.

Oh, right – the presidential election was significant too. The team broke down all the talk of election odds and whether those will be listed on a US sportsbook anytime soon on the most recent LSR Podcast.

The @LSPReport Twitter feed was also a great spot to stay up-to-date on just how the sports betting world was impacted by last week’s elections.

Top sports betting news: Three more states legalize

It was a significant week for US sports betting as a majority of states now allow sports betting.

Sports betting was approved by voters in Maryland, Louisiana and South Dakota last Tuesday, but it’ll take some time before legal bets are placed. The referendum questions in the three states were yes/no approvals without any specific details behind them.

All three legislatures will work on defining rules and regulations through bills in the 2021 session. That will leave all three states likely rushing to meet a September 2021 deadline to capitalize on NFL betting, though any of them could slip to a 2022 launch.

Uh-oh, Ohio

News out of Ohio hasn’t been great for sports betting over the last week.

Ohio sports betting still has a chance to legalize this year but could be in trouble if it doesn’t: three of the four sponsors aren’t returning in 2021. Rep. Dave Greenspan and Sen. Sean O’Brien lost their races while Sen. John Eklund termed out.

The potential terms of sports betting in Ohio also took a hit last week. The most recent draft of HB 194 cuts the available licenses to two per casino/racino, down from three. That would see the market limited to 22 sports betting operators.

Other smaller details were tweaked, but significant issues like the tax rate (8%), regulator (Casino Control Commission) and license fees ($100,000 every five years) remained the same.

DraftKings Sportsbook denies proxy agreement with bettor

DraftKings Sportsbook confirmed there was no agreement that allowed the use of a proxy in New Jersey between a whale who bet $3 million on a three-leg parlay and Sportsbook Director Johnny Avello.

The unnamed bettor alleged this was the case in the initial report from SportsHandle.

The bettor claimed he used to place bets through a proxy at Wynn Las Vegas when Avello was there. DraftKings’ NJ sports betting house rules outlaws anyone other than the account owner using the account to place a bet.

Canada takes another swing at single-game sports betting

Our neighbors to the north sound like they might have enough momentum to expand their sports betting industry.

MP Kevin Waugh filed C-218 in February to legalize single-game sports betting at the federal level. The country only allows betting on parlays of two or more events currently.

According to the Canadian Gaming Association, of the C$14.5 billion bet on sports in Canada just C$500 million of that comes from the legal parlay market.

The bill was heard in the House of Commons last week with multiple members and parties speaking in support of the legislation. It’ll be a little while until we hear about it again, though. Its second hour of debate is scheduled for Feb. 2, according to the Canadian Gaming Association.

Virginia staying quiet on sports betting applicants

The next state to take its first legal sports bet should be Virginia in January. For now, though, the industry has no idea who could accept that bet.

The Virginia Lottery is not releasing the list of operators that applied last month to offer VA sports betting “at this time,” a lottery spokesperson said.

Through public reports and sources with knowledge of industry plans, LSR knows of five Virginia applicants:

  • BetMGM
  • DraftKings Sportsbook
  • PointsBet
  • theScore Bet
  • WynnBET

Virginia could be one of the first sports betting markets with a significant presence from Wynn. Even though the company is live in New Jersey, the launch was relatively quiet. But the company signed an agreement with NASCAR to serve as the official online sportsbook of two Virginia tracks if approved in the state.

Wynn invested $80 million into its interactive joint venture with BetBull as it looks for additional income while land-based gaming in the US and Macau is hurt by the coronavirus pandemic.

FanDuel, NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies partner

FanDuel picked up its first NBA sports betting partnership, becoming the official sports betting partner of the Memphis Grizzlies.

The timing of the announcement is no surprise considering FanDuel Sportsbook was one of the first four operators to go live in the Tennessee sports betting market.

FanDuel will also serve as the exclusive official daily fantasy sports partner of the Grizzlies.

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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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