The Week In Sports Betting News: Crunch Time Coming For Sports Betting Bills

Posted on March 8, 2021

Happy Monday, everyone. Last week included a variety of sports betting news – legislative movement was a big focus, but earnings reports and a new state’s first revenue report also made splashes.

The LSR Podcast touched on a few of those topics but kicked off with a deeper dive into the quickly-killed tout sponsorship of the Vegas Golden Knights. That story is far from dead, as the Knights and the NHL still have more questions to answer, which they’ve both ducked so far.

Make sure to follow @LSPReport on Twitter for breaking news updates from all around the country as multiple legislatures continue to work toward legalizing sports betting.

Top sports betting news: Multiple legislatures advance betting bills

There’s a whole lot happening in states looking to legalize sports betting:

DraftKings jumps onto TV screens with DISH

Sports betting is officially coming to more televisions across the US … sort of.

DraftKings announced it would team up with DISH to let bettors initiate bets on their televisions. The bet would have to be completed on the DraftKings Sportsbook app for it to be an official wager.

This isn’t a new concept, of course. Sky Bet spent millions on similar technology that didn’t really take off. Fubo TV also wants to integrate betting into its live streaming service.

FanDuel sees no end to marketing anytime soon

FanDuel spent $484 million on sales and marketing in 2020 as Flutter Entertainment‘s US operations reported a $237 million EBITDA loss for the year.

Don’t expect to see those ads stop anytime soon, though. Management said customer economics are too strong to slow down its marketing push. The average value of a US player over its first 12 months is 80% higher than that of a European player, the company said.

FanDuel reported a 40% online sports betting market share and 20% of iGaming market share in the fourth quarter.

Caesars points to sports betting for optimism

Caesars Entertainment lost more than half a billion dollars in the fourth quarter, so naturally it’s ready to spend more.

The US casino operator will soon close on the $3.7 billion acquisition of William Hill. That could lead its sports betting business to generate between $600 million to $700 million in revenue this year.

William Hill has been in a holding pattern since the deal was announced. But Caesars CEO Tom Reeg made it clear the company will what it needs to be better involved in US sports betting:

“And if the answer is we need to invest more money to build market share, you should expect we would consider that.”

Bally Bets launch delayed by regulatory schedule

The quarterly meeting schedule of Indiana’s gaming regulators led to a delay in Bally‘s launch of its Bally Bets sportsbook.

The launch is waiting on the acquisition of sportsbook platform provider Bet.Works to close. Once that is accomplished after a June regulatory meeting in Indiana, the company can start its push.

That will first start in the states where Bet.Works is already live:

  • Colorado
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • New Jersey

More states will then follow with an ambitious push expected through 2022, Executive VP of Strategy and Operations Marc Crisafulli said.

Virginia market starts strong

The Virginia sports betting market was only open for 11 days in January but its four operators got off to a hot start.

VA sportsbooks took $58.9 million in bets and kept $3.6 million in revenue for a 6.1% hold. Virginia got the short end of the stick, though, as operators gave out more than $6.3 million in promos. That left the state with just $39,710 in tax revenue for the month.

There should be more operators approved to launch soon. After more than a month delay, WynnBET received its approval to launch Thursday. The company received the third mobile-only sportsbook license awarded by the Virginia Lottery.

Conscious Gaming aids legal sportsbook identification

Conscious Gaming, a responsible gaming body spun off from GeoComply, wants bettors in legal states to better identify legal operations.

The organization launched Bettor Safe, which aims to help new bettors tell the difference between those illegal offshore operators and sportsbooks licensed to operate in certain states.

There’s clearly work to be done: 75% of consumers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey either can’t or don’t know if they can tell the difference between an illegal sportsbook website and a legal one.

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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