The Week In Sports Betting News: Florida, Seminole Finally Agree

Posted on April 26, 2021
sports betting news
Posted By on April 26, 2021

Happy Monday, everyone. Sports betting news was again dominated by one of the crown-jewel states after New York owned headlines for so long.

Sports betting in Florida looks like it is actually happening with a new compact signed between Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Indians.

Be sure to follow @LSPReport on Twitter for any breaking news from other key states still debating sports betting.

Top sports betting news: Florida latest surprise of 2021

The two sides coming to a compact agreement was considered a coin flip at this time last week. Now it is a special session away from becoming Florida law.

A memo from Sen. President Wilton Simpson said “statewide online sports betting in partnership with the parimutuels” is part of the compact but didn’t define exactly what that means. A report from the Miami Herald suggests pari-mutuels might have to give up 55% of revenue to the Seminole for a license.

More details will come during May‘s special session. There is plenty of motivation to get this compact passed through the legislature: the multiple gaming changes in the compact would bring in $6 billion in revenue to the state in the next decade.

Canada even closer to single-game betting

The Canadian House of Commons approved C-218 Thursday, which would legalize single-game Canada sports betting.

Sponsor Kevin Waugh praised the passage later that evening:

“Since I brought it this could prove to be a historic day for our country, the passage of C-218 would be a clear indication that the elected representatives of the people of Canada believe this is in the best interest of all Canadians, I am hopeful that the colleagues in the Senate will take up this legislation in haste so this outdated prohibition can finally be removed from the Criminal Code of Canada. It is well past time we do so.”

C-218 would legalize an activity already happening throughout Canada. The Canadian Gaming Association estimates C$14.5 billion is bet on sports annually in the country but just C$500 million is through legal channels.

BetMGM plans to stay aggressive

BetMGM expanded its operations from being live in three states to 12 in just a year and does not expect to take its foot off the gas.

The joint venture between Entain and MGM Resorts expects to take 20% to 25% of market share in the US. That’s based on an estimate of $32 billion in revenue from US and Canadian sports betting and iGaming.

Launching the same day a new market opens remains important to BetMGM, CEO Adam Greenblatt said.

“As we look to the future, we expect new states to look like Michigan and Colorado,” he said. “BetMGM has demonstrated the ability to launch on Day 1 effectively.”

Caesars finally closes William Hill acquisition

It took longer than expected but the $4 billion acquisition of William Hill by Caesars Entertainment is finally official.

The acquisition was delayed by an investor lawsuit that took three weeks for a decision, but William Hill announced a victory Tuesday.

The deal was official Thursday, which brought on another bit of news: William Hill US CEO Joe Asher stepped down.

Asher told LSR he’s off to pick some winners at Del Mar Racing and that time will tell what his next steps are.

Arizona could launch sports betting by NFL season

Chalk Arizona up as the latest state looking to launch sports betting by NFL season.

The Arizona Department of Gaming outlined its launch process that looks to get betting live in the state by the season start in early September.

AZ sports betting passed the legislature with emergency status in hopes of a quicker launch. There will be 20 licenses available in Arizona: 10 for the state’s tribal gaming partners and 10 for professional sports teams.

More sportsbooks coming to FanDuel-led Virginia

Up to five more Virginia sportsbook licenses could be handed out after hopeful operators apply next month, the Virginia Lottery said.

The Lottery also broke out operator-specific information for the first time since the market launched in January. FanDuel Sportsbook is the handle winner, taking 53% of the $628.7 million bet through March. DraftKings Sportsbook remains second with 24% share.

The Lottery also approved another operator last week – Kindred‘s Unibet brand. It’s the 10th total license and seventh standalone mobile license handed out so far. Unibet joins Bally’s, Barstool Sportsbook and Golden Nugget as licensed sportsbooks waiting to launch in Virginia.

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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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