The Week In Sports Betting News: NFL Gets Betting Partners

Posted on April 19, 2021 - Last Updated on April 20, 2021
sports betting news

Happy Monday, everyone. There was quite a steady flow of sports betting news last week as legislatures continue and some of the first big states show how revenue reports were impacted by March Madness.

Some of those topics and more were touched on the LSR Podcast. Make sure to subscribe on your favorite podcast app before this week’s 100th episode.

Follow @LSPReport on Twitter for the latest breaking news all week.

Top sports betting news: NFL announces sportsbook partners

Caesars, DraftKings and FanDuel landed the US sports betting partnership most sportsbooks would dream about.

The three became “tri-exclusive” (yes, the NFL really did use that term in its press release) official sports betting partners of the NFL. Each of the three’s agreements include differentiated details:

  • Caesars can activate customers at key events including the 2022 Pro Bowl and the 2022 Draft in Las Vegas.
  • DraftKings will continue integrations into NFL properties, including its presence in the NFL Redzone channel.
  • FanDuel will launch content integrations including both in-game and post-game highlights in its sportsbook.

Arizona latest to legalize, MD soon to follow

One more state joined the legal US sports betting ranks last week while another is a signature away.

Sports betting in Arizona officially became legal when Gov. Doug Ducey signed HB 2772 into law Thursday. Even before the bill officially was signed, though, partnerships started to fall. DraftKings Sportsbook signed a deal for a sportsbook at TPC Sawgrass. FanDuel Sportsbook shortly followed with a deal with the Phoenix Suns.

While Arizona was a bit of a wildcard to start 2021, sports betting in Maryland was always expected to get enabling legislation this year. Voters approved sports betting last November by a nearly 2-to-1 count.

The legislature sent HB 940 to Gov. Larry Hogan‘s desk Monday, the final day of the session. The state could have more than 100 licensed sportsbook operators at maturity.

Other legislative action includes Texas, which debated sports betting last week at a committee hearing, and sports betting in Florida, which isn’t dead yet.

Connecticut Lottery wants a sports betting partner fast

An aggressive timeline that could see Connecticut sports betting launch at the start of NFL season means the Connecticut Lottery needs a partner, and soon.

The Lottery launched its Request for Qualifications last week that outlines the basics of what a potential sportsbook partner should have. The only real qualifications call for the sportsbook to be active in at least three jurisdictions, either domestic or international.

Responses are due by 3 p.m. Friday. The Lottery will ask select bidders at that point to give presentations.

Anyone that gets selected will likely offer a healthy revenue share. Lottery Chairman Rob Simmelkjaer expects to share around the 50% New York sports betting wants and New Hampshire‘s lottery is getting.

TEL tries, fails to discipline Action 24/7

The faulted final action the Tennessee Education Lottery took against Action 24/7, a suspension eventually overturned by temporary injunction, made sports betting news again last week.

Because the TEL determined that suspension was a final action concerning multiple issues of fraud from Action 24/7, it’s too late for the Lottery to hold a hearing with the company to discuss the issues.

Doing so would go against the TEL’s own rules and the jurisdiction established by Chancery Court, the court ruled.

The payday loan company turned TN sportsbook got another win last week as well. Legislation that would have prevented bettors from wagering with a company where they also have certain high-interest loans failed after Action counsel poked holes in multiple attempted amendments.

New Jersey, Pennsylvania feel March Madness bumps

Two of the biggest US sports betting states definitely reflected March Madness‘ popularity in their monthly figures.

NJ sports betting saw $859 million bet in March with $60.7 million in sports betting revenue. There was more than $434 million bet on basketball during the month, though those figures include all basketball wagering and not just the tournament.

Pennsylvania doesn’t break down individual sports but there was definitely a positive impact in March with $560.3 million in handle. That’s up from $509.3 million in February.

Circa, PlayUp, US Bookmaking all approved in Iowa

More sportsbooks are headed to Iowa after the end of in-person registration in January made the market much more attractive.

Circa, PlayUp and US Bookmaking all had their sportsbook agreements approved at last week’s Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission meeting.

Sports betting in Iowa hit a new record thanks to March Madness betting with $161.4 million in handle last month.

DraftKings strengthens KYC through Socure

DraftKings has beefed up its KYC procedures via a new deal with ID verification firm Socure.

The sportsbook will integrate the Socure ID+ identity verification suite across its sportsbook, daily fantasy sports and online gaming businesses.

Socure said its system improved DK’s auto-approval rate for new users by 4.5%. It also decreased manual reviews by 14%.

“This is a competitive advantage for online gaming operators, “ Johnny Ayers, CEO of Socure, told LSR. “If you think about each player being worth $500 and you are signing up hundreds of thousands of players, this can add tens of millions in revenue.”

Socure said it was especially effective at ID’ing young players who were sometimes failed by other systems thanks to a lack of credit history.

Ayers added: “It’s an exciting time to be working with an industry that is growing at such a tremendous pace across the country while helping online gaming operators meet compliance requirements to ensure continued, unimpeded responsible growth.”

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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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