Happy Tuesday, everyone. It’s officially bill-watching season with more states trying to legalize sports betting dominating the news last week.
The team took a look at some of those legalization efforts on the latest edition of the LSR Podcast.
News breaks quickly this time of year so make sure you’re following @LSPReport on Twitter for all the latest updates.
Top sports betting news: Legalization efforts start in five states
Five more states tossed their hats into the ring to legalize sports betting this year:
- Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey called for a revamped gaming landscape in his state, which currently includes tribal casinos. Those gaming compacts expire in 2022.
- Seventeen legislators support a Connecticut sports betting bill that would allow the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Indians to operate online and retail sportsbooks.
- Georgia Rep. Ron Stephens and five others filed HB 86, which would authorize six online sportsbooks to operate under the state lottery.
- Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is behind a bill that would open up OR sports betting to more than just the lottery-operated online monopoly.
- Out of all of the states, the news on sports betting in Texas is most significant. Sources told LSR Gov. Greg Abbott‘s office has reached out to lobbyists and regulators in states with sports betting for advice on how to best legalize the industry.
Michigan could launch online sports betting this week
The authorization to launch online sports betting in Michigan could come any day now.
The launch was “very, very close” as of last Tuesday according to Richard Kalm, executive director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board. Online casino games are also included in the launch.
It’ll be four or five days after the official authorization is given before any operator can take a bet because of various tests that still need to be completed, Kalm added.
That means there’s a chance online betting on the NFL conference championships could be missed. Bettors should have a few choices of where to place their Super Bowl bets, though.
NJ handle inches away from $1 billion
Sports betting revenue also hit a new high at $66.4 million, good for a 6.6% hold. The sportsbooks paid $7.6 million in taxes to the state.
Handle for all of 2020 was $4.58 billion, up 31% from the prior year. Online handle accounted for 94% of the market, though that may be inflated because of retail sportsbook closures forced by the coronavirus pandemic.
It wasn’t all good news for the state’s sportsbooks last week, though. State regulators warned they would fine any sportsbooks that try to incentivize bettors to cancel withdrawal requests after getting complaints about withdrawal processing times.
Wynn expands its sports betting reach
WynnBET, the sportsbook arm of Wynn Resorts, is making up for its late start by working to quickly expand its market access.
The company landed an agreement with Elite Casino Resorts in Iowa, giving WynnBET confirmed access in seven states. The company is also fast-tracking conversations in “more than a dozen other large jurisdictions to be announced.”
The sportsbook is already live in Colorado and New Jersey and expects to launch shortly with Michigan. Along with Iowa, WynnBET also has access in Indiana, Massachusetts and Nevada.
Applications were also submitted in Tennessee and Virginia. Tennessee should be a sure thing since it has no license cap. Virginia, though, is still up in the air even though the brand has an agreement with two NASCAR tracks in the state to be their official online sportsbook pending application approval.
theScore considers US listing
The publicly-traded parent company of theScore Bet could soon find itself available to a much larger pool of interested investors.
Score Media and Gaming‘s management team has considered an additional public listing in the US. That would mean more potential investors and available capital, a higher average trading volume and potentially an increase in valuation, the company said.
There’s no doubt the US is interested in sports betting stocks with stocks like DraftKings and Penn National seeing their valuations grow rapidly last year.
The dual-listing announcement came as part of Score Media’s earnings update, which saw its first quarter EBITDA loss nearly double compared to last year.
AGA, PGA partner up
The PGA Tour is the newest partner of the American Gaming Association‘s Have a Game Plan, Bet Responsibly public service campaign.
The PGA will put its own spin on the campaign. Content will be developed encouraging fans to “Know When to Lay Up” when it comes to betting responsibly.
NASCAR and the NHL are other league partners of the AGA’s campaign.
PointsBet adds another Detroit partnership
Australian-listed PointsBet secured a second partnership in Detroit as the official gaming partner of the Detroit Red Wings and Little Caesars Arena.
The sportsbook will have the PointsBet Sports Bar, which will include a full-service menu, TVs, VIP access and live betting odds.
PointsBet signed as the official gaming partner of the Detroit Tigers last year.