Happy Monday, everyone, especially to those in Ontario that have waited patiently for April 4. Naturally, most of this week’s biggest sports betting news should come out of the Great White North as private operators launch sportsbooks and online casinos.
The latest LSR Podcast detailed what to expect at launch for private sports betting in Ontario. Stay tuned to @LSPReport on Twitter for any and all Ontario updates as they happen.
Top sports betting news: Who is live in Ontario?
There are more than two dozen operators approved for the private online gaming market in Ontario, with plenty of well-known US sports betting operators licensed:
- BetRivers, which just hired Bruce Caughill to lead the brand’s Canada sports betting push.
- theScore Bet (Penn National)
One notable omission from the list is DraftKings, which was not listed as approved as of Sunday. Sportradar CEO Carsten Koerl explained on the company’s fourth quarter call last week that it seemed like regulators might be struggling to approve everyone by April 4.
Ontario’s launch is one of the most important of the year for two reasons. First, the province would be the fifth-largest US state with its more than 14 million residents. Second, the inclusion of online casino means a more profitable product for operators that also opens up cross-selling opportunities for sports betting.
Sports betting launching at expense of DFS?
The expansion of online gaming operators in Ontario could mark the demise of daily fantasy sports in the province.
Ontario’s regulations treat DFS like gambling, which is not how the games are typically regulated in the US. That led FanDuel to end its DFS offering in Ontario as of Friday. DraftKings did not respond to LSR when asked about its plans.
The fantasy sports industry is still hoping for a potential change, said Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association board member Peter Schoenke told LSR:
“When Ontario put forth their regulations, they were just not hospitable to daily fantasy sports. I don’t think it was intentional, but our industry was caught off guard. We’re hopeful [the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario] and elected officials hear from consumers and realize the need to address this issue.”
DraftKings, Foxwoods expand partnership to Puerto Rico
DraftKings will launch online and retail sports betting in Puerto Rico through an expanded partnership with the Mashantucket Pequot Indians.
The Foxwoods El San Juan Casino is expected to open in the coming weeks after a $137.5 million makeover. The retail sportsbook will include six kiosks and two betting windows.
DraftKings could also launch daily fantasy sports in Puerto Rico.
Surprising news: MLB players involved in illegal betting ring
Three Major League Baseball players were involved in an illegal sports betting ring based in California and Costa Rica, the US Department of Justice announced last week.
None of the major leaguers were mentioned by name. The players provided a client list of current and former professional athletes for the betting ring.
Read the full story for more details on betting by those involved in pro sports, including players, coaches, analysts and broadcasters.
Does Georgia sports betting still have a chance?
Monday is the last day of Georgia‘s legislative session and there has been little chatter about GA sports betting since the beginning of last week.
That is when Rep. Ron Stephens introduced two amended gambling bills. The first offers a referendum for Georgians to approve gambling on November’s ballot with the second the enabling legislation for sports betting. Stephens’ amended Senate bill did make it out of committee but faced a decent amount of opposition for the last-second push.
The bills are left over from 2021 when they were already approved in the Senate. Both will need to be approved in the House and then re-approved by the Senate on Monday. If not, legal betting may not come to Georgia until 2024 at the earliest.
Kansas does not finish sports betting bill
Kansas sports betting is still in limbo after a Friday afternoon agreement did not translate into a passing vote Friday evening.
That is not a great sign for legal Kansas sportsbooks this year since the legislative session is nearly done. The two sides can come back in May and consider the issue again.
Online sports betting in Kansas could launch in time for NFL betting this year if the bill is approved.
Kero Gaming raises $1 million
Kero Gaming raised $1 million in its first round of external funding.
The provider of in-game sports betting products received investments from Acies Investments, Lloyd Danzig’s Sharp Alpha Fund and David Sargeant’s iGaming Ideas, among others.
The company’s real-money launch will come in the third quarter of 2022.