The Week In Sports Betting News: Is March Madness Booming?

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Happy Monday, everyone. There is no shortage of sports betting news these days, especially with a 15 seed decimating brackets across the country.

As always, the LSR Podcast broke down some of last week’s weightiest topics, including a ruling that keeps daily fantasy sports alive in New York.

Set an alert for tweets from @LSPReport to stay on top of sports betting’s biggest news as it happens.

Top sports betting news: New York grows modestly with March Madness

Ever since mid-January, all eyes turn to the New York State Gaming Commission‘s website on Fridays for the latest weekly report on mobile NY sports betting.

That report did not come on Friday, though, and instead posted early Monday morning. The report showed a 5.3% handle increase to $428 million for the week ending March 20, which included the first week of March Madness betting. That is not a huge jump but the prior week also included elevated college basketball betting with conference tournaments.

FanDuel noted its total handle over the first two rounds of the tournament was double that from Super Bowl betting.

Last push for Ontario licenses before launch

Some operators are still waiting to be licensed before private sportsbooks can launch online sports betting in Ontario on April 4.

There were multiple licenses handed out last week, including an operator license for BetMGM and a supplier license for Kambi. Penn National‘s theScore Bet also started the pre-registration process.

Google also began accepting ads from regulated sportsbooks throughout Canada.

NJ in-state betting ban burns BetMGM twice

BetMGM ran afoul of the ban on in-state college betting for New Jersey sportsbooks twice in March 2021. NJ has some of the strictest laws on in-state events, banning bets on both NJ-based colleges and on any college event that takes place in the state.

First, a game played in Atlantic City was allowed to be bet on for about 40 minutes. The game was listed as played at a neutral site and the automated system that should cross-check those sites was not working.

Then, a trader in Australia created a pre-made parlay that involved Rutgers, as the trader did not realize the college was based in New Jersey. That trader later was let go from the company.

BetMGM agreed to pay $25,000 as a fine.

California sports betting fight ramping up

There will be at least one option to legalize sports betting in California on November‘s ballot and cardrooms are fighting to make sure it does not pass.

A new push funded by multiple California cardrooms says the proposed initiative puts more than 32,000 jobs and $5.5 billion in total economic impact at risk.

That is not all because of sports betting, of course. The initiative would also give California’s tribes more power to sue cardrooms for offering certain types of card games.

Meanwhile, three tribes recently launched an ad campaign against the operator-backed online sports betting initiative still gathering signatures.

Legislative roundup

Multiple pieces of sports betting legislation saw action last week: