Category Archives: In The Law

Robust H1 performance with strategic focus on broader customer appeal delivering record level of activesLaunch of Entain CEE and acquisition of SuperSport in Croatia

Entain plc (LSE: ENT), the global sports-betting, gaming and interactive entertainment group, today reports its Interim Results for the six-month period ended 30 June 2022 (“H1”).

Strategic progress

  • Group’s strategic focus on a broader recreational customer base delivering record level of actives, up 57% versus H1 2019, and higher quality earnings
  • Greater customer engagement driven by innovative new products and enriched experiences
  • Further geographic expansion with five transactions this year to date consistent with our strategy of expanding into regulated markets
    • Creation of Entain CEE and acquisition of SuperSport announced separately today, provides a strategic springboard to unlock the clear expansion opportunity in Central and Eastern Europe (“CEE”)
    • Acquisition in June of BetCity in the Netherlands to deliver growth in the newly regulated Dutch market
    • Completion of Avid Gaming (Canada), Klondaika (Latvia) and Totolotek (Poland) transactions
  • Ongoing ESG leadership and further progress made across our Sustainability Charter
  • Expansion of Advanced Responsibility & Care (“ARCTM “) player protection trials into international markets
  • Founding partner of Global Gaming Alliance (“GGA”), awarded GamCare’s Advanced Safer Gambling Standard, and received numerous awards for safer gambling, including from S&P, SBC & EGR
  • Pitching-In Volunteer Hub for the UK Trident Leagues launched to connect volunteers and local clubs
  • Appointment of Rahul Welde as an independent Non-Executive Director

Financial highlights

  • Robust Group performance during H1, reflecting the diversified business model and underlying momentum of the online business
  • Total Group net gaming revenue (“NGR”) growth of 18% (+18%cc2)
  • Online NGR down 7% (-7%cc2) reflecting strong prior year comparators driven by Covid lockdowns, temporary closure in the Netherlands, affordability measures in the UK and customers responding to the economic backdrop
    • Excluding the Netherlands, NGR was down -3%cc2
    • Strong underlying momentum with H1 Online NGR 3yr CAGR up 13%cc2
  • Retail perfomance ahead of expectations with a more interactive digital experience across gaming machines and betting terminals driving greater customer engagement
  • BetMGM continues to perform strongly and is on track to deliver FY22 NGR of over $1.3bn
  • H1 NGR of $608m, 65% ahead of 2021
  • Established number two operator with 23%7 market share where BetMGM operates (excluding New York)
  • Consistent leading iGaming operator with 30%7 market share
  • Reiterate expectation to reach positive EBITDA during 2023,8
  • Group EBITDA4,5 up 17% at £471m
  • Group profit after tax from continuing operations £28m, down £63m
  • FY 2022 Group EBITDA4,5,9 expected to be in the range of £925m to £975m, in line with current consensus10
  • New progressive dividend policy announced:
  • Full year payment of £100m split evenly between Interim and Full Year
  • Interim dividend of 8.5p per share

Jette Nygaard-Andersen, CEO of Entain, commented:

“We continue to make excellent progress on our strategic priorities, with momentum in our business remaining strong as a result of putting the customer at the heart of everything we do.  I am delighted that more customers are choosing to play with us as we focus on providing them with even better products, engaging content and exciting experiences.  This has resulted in our highest ever level of actives in H1, up 57% versus the same period two years ago.  Not only is this approach great for our customers, but it also provides us with a broader, more recreational customer base that will support more sustainable long-term revenues.

Underpinned by the Entain platform, we continue to expand our growth opportunities, and have already announced five transactions so far this year.  This includes today’s announcement of an innovative growth strategy for Central and Eastern Europe, starting with the acquisition of SuperSport in Croatia.  In the US, BetMGM goes from strength to strength and continues to demonstrate its market leadership with a 23%7 market share.

We continue to lead our industry on responsibility and sustainability as we deliver further progress on our Sustainability Charter.  ARC™ continues to be rolled out into international markets and our efforts have been recognised in the UK and internationally with awards from GamCare, S&P, SBC as well as our inclusion in the Global Sustainability Yearbook 2022.

As ever, I would like to thank each and every one of our talented colleagues around the world for their hard work and dedication in helping deliver these results. We have established a meaningful runway for sustainable and high-quality growth.  While we remain vigilant to the consumer backdrop, our geographic and product diversity provides resilience which, together with our proven ability to drive superior returns, gives us confidence that we will continue to deliver benefits for our stakeholders.”

Entain plc Acquisition of BetCity, one of the Netherlands’ leading online sports betting and gaming operators

Entain plc (LSE: ENT), the leading global sports betting, gaming and interactive entertainment group (“Entain” or the “Group”), today announces that it has agreed to acquire the entire share capital of BetEnt B.V., which trades under the BetCity.nl name (“BetCity” or the “Company”), from Sports Entertainment Media B.V. for an initial consideration of €300m (approximately £257m1) and deferred contingent consideration of up to €550m (approximately £472m1).

BetCity is one of the Netherlands’ leading online sports betting and gaming operators. Headquartered in Amsterdam, BetCity received an online sports betting and gaming licence from the KSA (Kansspelautoriteit), the Dutch Gaming and Gambling Authority, in October 2021.

The newly regulated Netherlands online market is highly attractive and fast-growing across both sports betting and gaming.  Since its licensing in October 2021, BetCity has delivered rapid growth, establishing a leading position with approximately 20%2 market share during the fourth quarter of 2021.  This acquisition will create a strong market operator with significant growth opportunities, in line with the Group’s strategy.

BetCity’s offering is highly complementary to Entain’s bwin and Party brands which are awaiting approval for a licence to operate in the Netherlands – now expected during the latter part of this year as the KSA has recently requested additional documentation as part of the ongoing application process.  The combination of BetCity’s local expertise, strong brand and large diverse user-base, with Entain’s global scale and market-leading platform will provide customers with a broader offering of engaging products, fresh content and new experiences.

Melvin Bostelaar, BetCity’s CEO, along with other key members of the leadership team, will remain with the Company.
Consideration structure:
•       Initial consideration of €300m (approximately £257m1) is payable in cash at completion, with a balancing payment to be paid in early 2023 based on the actual performance of BetCity in the financial year 2022;
•       A further contingent payment will be paid in early 2024, based on 10x BetCity’s EBITDA for the financial year 2023, less amounts already paid out;
•       In addition, a final contingent payment of €50m (approximately £43m1) will be paid on delivery of synergies and successful migration to the Entain Platform;

The total consideration payable on current expectations is €450m (approximately £386m1).  However, dependent on the performance of BetCity, the maximum consideration is capped at €850m (approximately £729m1).  The combination is expected to deliver approximately €28m (approximately £24m1) of cost synergies, predominantly from technology, content and royalty benefits, by the end of 2026.

The initial consideration will be funded from existing cash resources and drawings on the Group’s revolving credit facility.

The acquisition is expected to complete during H2 2022.

Jette Nygaard-Andersen, CEO of Entain, comments:
“We are delighted that BetCity is joining Entain and are excited by the significant opportunities in the newly regulated Dutch market.  This acquisition will provide customers with an even better experience as we combine BetCity’s local expertise and brand alongside Entain’s market leading, customer focused platform.  This transaction further underpins our growth strategy of operating in attractive regulated markets. We look forward to working with Melvin and the BetCity team.”

Melvin Bostelaar, CEO of BetCity, comments:
“We are happy to be joining forces with a world-class group in Entain. Together we will be well-placed to maintain a strong market position in the Dutch market for the coming years. Entain’s market leading platform, technology, established brands and global scale provides a fantastic opportunity to expand and enrich our customer offering. Both BetCity and Entain position the customer at the heart of everything we do, with Entain’s core values and philosophy in responsible gaming, compliance and company-culture seamlessly aligning with those of BetCity. We look forward to a bright future together.”

TheScore Bet Plans To Discontinue Sports Wagering In U.S. On July 1

Flourishing in its home nation since the debut of the Ontario iGaming market in April, theScore alerted customers on Wednesday that it will discontinue its U.S. sports betting operations effective July 1.

With the closure, theScore will shift focus to accelerating its growth in Ontario and expanding its technology roadmap north of the U.S. border, with the ultimate goal of migrating Barstool Sportsbook onto the company’s in-house risk and trading platform in the relatively near future.

The move comes nearly eight months after Penn National Gaming completed a $2.1 billion cash-and-stock acquisition of theScore. While Penn asserted at the time that it sought to operate theScore as a standalone business, Wednesday’s move allows theScore to strategically deploy resources in Canada, where it ranks as the nation’s most popular sports media app.

Since the acquisition was announced last August, Penn has taken a bifurcated approach to expanding sports betting operations in North America, with Barstool taking the lead in the U.S., while theScore Bet remains out in front up in Canada.

“This move enables us to maximize the value of both brands through our organic media and gaming approach. Key to our strategy is integrating theScore media app with Barstool Sportsbook, which we’re currently working towards,” Benjie Levy, president and COO of theScore, told Sports Handle. “Bringing together theScore’s powerful mobile sports media platform with Barstool Sportsbook in a unified ecosystem, supported by our in-house technology and custom integrations, will strengthen the overall U.S. product offering and broaden its reach.”

Short-Term Roadmap

When theScore made its U.S. sports betting debut in New Jersey three years ago, it became the first media company since the historic PASPA decision to launch sportsbook operations in the U.S.

Following the New Jersey debut, theScore began accepting sports wagers in three other states: Colorado, Iowa, and Indiana. The company also disclosed on Wednesday that by June 15, theScore Bet will no longer accept customer deposits or new wagers in the U.S.

By the time theScore plans to fully cease its U.S. sports betting operations, both the NBA and the NHL are scheduled to complete their respective postseason campaigns. The NHL’s Edmonton Oilers opened Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday against the Colorado Avalanche, the Oilers’ first trip to the conference finals since 2006.

Although it appears that theScore will encourage U.S. customers to open a new account at Barstool, it is not currently possible for customers of theScore to transfer their account or remaining balance with theScore over to Barstool Sportsbook, according to a source familiar with the situation. It is also immediately unclear if the respective sports betting skins theScore obtained to gain market access in the four states will transfer automatically to Penn National.

But the transition could be smooth in states such as Iowa, where theScore received market access through a partnership with Penn.

Larger industry consolidation

In the same month (August) that theScore announced the proposed merger with Penn, theScore launched its own player account management (PAM) trading and promotion engine.

During the third quarter of this year, theScore Bet plans to transition to the company’s proprietary in-house risk and trading platform in Ontario, Penn previously disclosed. The transition will lead to expanded betting markets and parlay options, Penn National Gaming CEO Jay Snowden explained at last month’s quarterly earnings call.

Penn anticipates that Barstool Sportsbook will transition to theScore’s PAM and trading platforms by the third quarter of 2023.

Over the first month of sports betting operations in Ontario, roughly 79% of sports bettors used theScore’s app, Snowden noted. All told, theScore exceeded Penn’s early expectations with its performance in Ontario, underscoring Snowden’s belief in the brand a year ago.

“A large part of what we love about Barstool and theScore is their authentic voice, their scrappy nature, and their entrepreneurial spirit,” Snowden said in 2021.

Beyond theScore, the decision may serve as a harbinger for a larger pattern of consolidation across the industry. The top three mobile sportsbook operators in the U.S., DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM, control at least 70% of the overall market share, according to various estimates.

By forging strategic partnerships, companies such as Penn National Gaming and theScore are able to carve out a niche across various segments of the North American market. In 2021, Penn projected adjusted EBITDA accretion of at least $200 million by 2023, with incremental long-term synergies of at least $500 million from the partnership. In M&A transactions, accretive acquisitions are defined as those which cause the company’s earnings to increase as a result of the deal.

“As we approach a major undertaking this summer with the launch of our proprietary risk and trading service, the timing is right to focus our U.S. efforts on marketing Barstool Sportsbook and our Canadian efforts on marketing theScore Bet,” Levy said.

SportsHandle.com Unveils Comprehensive Betting Partnerships Tracker 

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was judicially overturned on May 14, 2018, and with the four-year anniversary of the decision approaching, SportsHandle.com today has launched a first-of-its-kind tracker with more than 250 sports betting partnerships formed since the initial ruling.  

A leading source for information on sports betting legalization in the United States, SportsHandle.com has created the go-to-resource to monitor all sports betting partnerships across professional sports leagues, teams, colleges, sports venues, athletes, celebrities, and more. 

Accessible under SportsHandle.com’s drop-down menu under “Tools,” the Sports Betting Partnership Tracker lists all agreements involving U.S. sportsbooks and sports entities. To date, 29 sportsbooks have entered into at least one partnership.

SportsHandle.com’s Sports Betting Partnership Tracker will be updated regularly with the latest agreements. As of today, the following number of partnerships exist in each of the below categories:

  • 133 – Professional sports teams 
  • 50 – Professional sports leagues 
  • 36 – Celebrity endorsers
  • 18 – Sports venues
  • 15 – Media properties or companies
  • 4 – Colleges and universities

Additional noteworthy statistics in Sports Handle’s Sports Betting Partnership Tracker include: 

  • 37 – Partnerships are the most by any one sportsbook (Caesars and DraftKings are tied) 
  • 24 – Individual DraftKings’ deals with pro sports teams (most of any sportsbook)
  • 22 – League with most individual teams partnered with a sportsbook (NBA), followed by the NFL (18), NHL (16) and MLB (11)
  • 2 – Sportsbooks have entered partnerships with major colleges and universities (Caesars and PointsBet)
  • – Sportsbook has at least one team partnership in the MLB, MLS, NBA, NFL, NHL and WNBA (FanDuel) 

“The sports betting landscape is constantly evolving, and we are proud to unveil this all-encompassing resource that provides the most up-to-date partnership and sponsorship information in one convenient location,” said Brett Smiley, Co-Founder and Editor-In-Chief at SportsHandle.com. “Although there are currently more than 250 sports betting sponsorships, new partnerships and categories are being established on a weekly, if not daily, basis. We look forward to maintaining the most robust database for this information on the internet and we are extremely proud of the Sports Handle editorial and research team for making this valuable resource a reality.”

Buffalo Sabres Name FanDuel Group An Official Sports Betting Partner

Today, the Buffalo Sabres and FanDuel Group announced a multi-year partnership, designating FanDuel as an official sports betting partner of the Buffalo Sabres and giving FanDuel the exclusive rights to include branding, sports betting odds, and promotions during Sabres broadcasts.

As part of the partnership, FanDuel will receive end-to-end broadcast integration exclusivity in all phases of Sabres broadcasts, including pregame, in-game, intermissions, and postgame. Sabres broadcasts will include FanDuel in sports betting segments during the pregame show and after the first and second-period intermissions. At the same time, real-time betting odds from the FanDuel Sportsbook will be integrated throughout the broadcast.

FanDuel will also have the right to use official Sabres marks and logos in marketing and in-arena signage for all Sabres home games as part of the partnership.

“On the heels of bringing America’s #1 Sportsbook to the great state of New York, we’re excited to partner with the Sabres to infuse sports betting content into the hockey viewing experience,” said Mike Raffensperger, CMO of FanDuel Group. “This is just the beginning for New York sports fans, and partnering with a fellow leader in the sports and entertainment industry lets us collaborate to take things to the next level.”

“We’re proud to expand our relationship with FanDuel and extend its engaging content to Sabres fans,” said Dan Misko, Pegula Sports & Entertainment Sr., Vice President of Business Development. “FanDuel has built a strong reputation as a premier sports betting destination for sports fans, and we’re very excited for all that this partnership will offer our valued fans throughout the state of New York. We look forward to working with FanDuel for many years to come.”

To celebrate the partnership, FanDuel is running a unique promotion, “Sabres Correct Score Bonus,” for the Buffalo Sabres games on February 23 and February 25 this week. To participate in the promotion, FanDuel Sportsbook customers can place a pre-live, straight “correct score” wager of $25 or more and get a $5 bonus in FanDuel Sportsbook site credit for each goal the winning team scores in the game (up to a max bonus of $25 per game) regardless of if your bet wins or loses.

Sabres fans and New Yorkers new to FanDuel can also sign-up for FanDuel Sportsbook and get their first bet risk-free up to $1,000. FanDuel will refund in site credit the amount of a new customer’s first wager, up to $1,000.

cover image: credit Doug Kerr

SportsHandle.com: N.Y. Handles A Quarter Of All U.S. Super Bowl Action

After New York set numerous national records in its first month of mobile sports betting, the Empire State faced lofty expectations for last weekend’s Super Bowl, the marquee event on the annual U.S. sports calendar.

In the wake of Super Bowl LVI, the first Super Bowl ever for New York mobile sportsbooks, there are indications that the state may have shattered those expectations. Vancouver-based geolocation security firm GeoComply identified 80.1 million Super Bowl-related transactions among U.S. sportsbook clients, well over double the amount from last year’s Super Bowl. In total, New York activity represented about one-quarter of the company’s U.S. sports betting traffic, ranking first in the market, GeoComply Managing Director of Gaming Lindsay Slader told Sports Handle.

At the same time, about 5.6 million accounts accessed legal online sportsbooks on Super Bowl weekend, a 95% increase from the previous year, according to GeoComply. New York also ranked first in that category, representing around 20% of nationwide accounts identified by GeoComply.

The figures likely would have been higher had the Buffalo Bills ended a two-decade-plus Super Bowl drought. The Bills, one of the top favorites to reach the Super Bowl, suffered a crushing overtime defeat to the Chiefs in the AFC divisional round, a game in which they took the lead with 13 seconds left in regulation. On Monday, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul disclosed that New York handled nearly $2 billion in online sports wagers over the market’s first 30 days of operations.

Will New York top $200M in Super Bowl handle?

When the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) issued conditional licenses to nine mobile sportsbooks last November, New York state Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. pressed the commission to roll out online sports wagering before the Super Bowl. Addabbo, chairman of the Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee, lauded the NYSGC for the expedited rollout in launching online sports wagering before the start of the playoffs.

“I always knew New York had this kind of potential, being one of the sports meccas and capitals of the world,” Addabbo told the Gamble On podcast on Wednesday. “But I’m quite surprised sometimes at some of these numbers.”

At present, seven of the nine licensed mobile sportsbooks are live in New York, led by industry heavyweights FanDuel, Caesars Sportsbook, BetMGM, and DraftKings. BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt told the Financial Times on Monday that BetMGM took more digital bets in New York than in any other state in which it operates.

Ahead of the Super Bowl, the American Gaming Association predicted that a record 31 million Americans were expected to bet on the event, resulting in a handle of about $7.6 billion. It is important to note that the estimates also included projected betting on the unregulated black market, consisting of offshore sportsbooks and wagers placed with illegal U.S. bookmakers.

The NYSGC indicated on Monday that it will not report a separate breakout for Super Bowl wagering activity. The commission, rather, will include Super Bowl-related betting activity in Friday’s weekly mobile sports betting report.

Nevertheless, there appears to be a strong likelihood that New York reached $200 million in Super Bowl handle, even by conservative estimates. On Tuesday, neighboring New Jersey reported a Super Bowl handle of $143.7 million, second only to Nevada’s $179.8 million on the event. New York’s population is more than double that of New Jersey.

Turning back to GeoComply’s data, there are further indications that New York may eclipse the $200 million threshold. If New Yorkers averaged $12.50 per bet on 20 million wagers placed, the handle would approach an astounding $250 million. According to GeoComply’s figures, about 20.02 million transactions were identified in New York.

The average wager at DraftKings’ Illinois sportsbook in December came in at $47.80 (on a sample size of six million wagers). The Illinois metrics are gleaned from a mix of pro and college football on the month. Over the first 30 days of online sports wagering in New York, the sportsbooks handled more than $600 million on football, the NYSGC disclosed. The handle includes last month’s College Football Playoff national championship, contested on the third day of mobile sportsbook operations in the Empire State.

Next up: March Madness

Following the Super Bowl, the sports betting industry enters a relatively quiet period before the start of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament on March 15. The KeyBank Center in Buffalo will serve as one of eight regional sites for the first and second rounds of the tournament, more commonly known as March Madness.

By then, it’s possible one of the two remaining holdouts, Bally Bet and Resorts World, will have made its New York debut.

Addabbo, who pushed for an open market with more than a dozen mobile skins in New York, is impressed with the early returns considering that the state only has seven online sportsbooks.

“I’m amazed at those numbers, given the circumstances,” Addabbo added.


SportsHandle: California, Ohio Wagering Could Have Reached $400M for Super Bowl

Bettors in California and Ohio potentially could have wagered as much as $400 million on Super Bowl LVI Sunday were sports betting live in either state, according to an in-depth report issued today by SportsHandle.com, a leading news source of information on sports betting legalization in the U.S.

If bettors had the opportunity to wager on this year’s Super Bowl, featuring the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals on Feb. 13 at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, Sports Handle projects that handle in California could have reached $300 million with gross gaming revenue reaching $21 million, and the state potentially taking in $2.1 million in tax revenue on a single event.

In Ohio, where fans will watch the Bengals make their first Super Bowl appearance since 1989, handle could have reached up to $100 million, with gross gaming revenue of up to $7 million, and tax revenue of up to $700,000. Both sets of gross gaming revenue projections come from using the industry-standard 7% win rate or “hold” that operators claim in wins against bettors from handle wagered.

The Sports Handle research and subsequent article were compiled by managing editor and sports betting legislation expert Jill R. Dorson and by legislative analyst and wagering revenue researcher Chris Altruda. The research and analysis assume that operators in both states were offering live, legal digital wagering with remote registration for at least one full NFL season ahead of the Super Bowl, that a minimum of 10 digital platforms would be live, that the game would be competitive into the fourth quarter, and that all wagering platforms and the live broadcast would not have any major technical glitches. The tax revenue projections are based on a 10% tax rate, which will go into effect in Ohio when wagering goes live, and is also the proposed tax rate put forth by a group of seven sports betting operators working to qualify an initiative for the November 2022 ballot in California.

The SportsHandle.com article entitled “What If California and Ohio Had Legal, Live Sports Wagering For Super Bowl LVI?” can be accessed here: https://sportshandle.com/california-ohio-super-bowl-projected-handle

In December, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine legalized sports betting when he signed HB 29 into law. State regulators are currently crafting rules, and the law calls for betting to go live no later than Jan. 1, 2023.

In California, a tribal retail-only sports betting initiative has already qualified for the November 2022 ballot. There could potentially be three others, but the most likely is a proposal from a group of seven operators, including BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel, that would allow for statewide mobile wagering with a 10% tax rate. The projections are based on voters approving the operators’ proposal.

Currently, legal online wagering is live in 20 U.S. jurisdictions, with up to three more — Maryland, Ohio, and Puerto Rico — to come online before 2023. In seven other states, retail-only wagering is available.

Founded in May 2017, Sports Handle is an elite sports betting industry news site that covers legislative and regulatory developments through original reporting, features, and analysis.  Sports Handle is owned and operated by Better Collective, a leading sports betting media group that includes The Action Network, US Bets, and RotoGrinders.

National Lacrosse League And BetMGM Extend And Expand Sports Betting Partnership

The National Lacrosse League (NLL) today announced an extension and expansion of its partnership with BetMGM, a leading sports betting and iGaming operator, as an Official Sports Betting partner of the NLL. The two companies have extended their partnership agreement for an additional year, with greater investment and a focus on innovation.

“We are proud and honored to continue our partnership with BetMGM,” said NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz. “BetMGM has been an incredible partner in helping us build the NLL sports betting platform. This extension shows the value of our partnership and what we both bring to the table for each other, which is what partnering is all about. Our shared like-minded vision will continue to increase the relevance of the league and draw a wider audience of fans, while providing BetMGM access to a new audience of NLL fans on television.”

As part of the agreement, BetMGM and the NLL will work together to provide odds for regular season and post-season NLL games in the 2021-22 season. In addition to receiving exposure through the NLL’s expanded broadcast partnership with ESPN and ESPN+, BetMGM will have significant in-arena presence in NLL venues. BetMGM also will be fully integrated into the league’s social media and digital activities. The partnership will be activated through organic broadcast integrations, redefining the way sports betting is supported through league partnerships.

Matt Prevost, BetMGM’s Chief Revenue Officer, said, “We’re pleased to elevate our partnership with the NLL and look forward to growing the League’s sports betting audience. The NLL’s passionate fan base will appreciate the new and engaging experiences only offered by BetMGM.”

As BetMGM continues to expand its sports betting platforms to new states, responsible gaming education remains a key focus. BetMGM is proud to provide resources to help customers play responsibly. For more information on BetMGM follow @BetMGM on Twitter.

For the most up to date information and breaking news, sign up for the NLL newsletter at NLL.com. You can also follow Deputy Commissioner Jessica Berman and Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz on Twitter @JessicaBerman1 and @NLLcommish, respectively.

FanDuel Group Bringing America’s #1 Sportsbook to New York

oday, FanDuel Group announced its industry-leading Sportsbook is coming to the State of New York. Per the New York State Gaming Commission, launch of FanDuel’s mobile sportsbook app is scheduled for Saturday, January 8. FanDuel’s retail Sportsbook at Tioga Downs Casino Resort has been open since 2019.

Launch of the FanDuel Sportsbook in New York comes on the heels of the Buffalo Bills designating FanDuel as its official mobile sports betting partner.

Ahead of launch on Saturday, sports fans can celebrate the arrival of the FanDuel Sportsbook in New York with $100 in site credit when they sign up early for a FanDuel Sportsbook account. For more information, including offer restrictions and terms, head to: https://www.fanduel.com/sportsbook-ny.

FanDuel Sportsbook, America’s #1 Sportsbook, is bringing its best-in-class online sports betting experience to the passionate sports fans of the Empire State who will now be able to place wagers anywhere in the state across professional and college football, basketball, baseball, hockey, golf, MMA, boxing, boxing, soccer, and tennis with a variety of betting and payment options available. The FanDuel Sportsbook app in New York is simple, secure, and convenient with a number of key features, including:

  • New Way to Parlay: FanDuel is the only U.S. sportsbook with Same Game Parlay Plus, where players can combine Same Game ParlayTM bets from one game with bets from other games.
  • An Innovative Spirit: FanDuel was the first U.S. sportsbook to offer Same Game ParlayTM bets, the first to offer live streaming of sporting events inside a betting app, the first to offer Bad Beat Relief and early payouts for championship teams, and the first to offer its crowdsourced Spread the Love promotion.
  • Absurdly Customer Focused:  FanDuel Sportsbook offers safe and secure banking, lightning-fast payouts, a Cash-Out early feature, and 24/7 customer service.
  • Responsible Gaming: FanDuel is the industry leader in promoting responsible play, including in-app tools that allow customers to set time, deposit, and wager limits, as well as its PlaySafe site where customers can find additional support services.
  • Sports Betting 101: FanDuel Sportsbook has an online betting guide to help customers learn the ins and outs of legal sports betting.

With tomorrow’s launch, New York becomes the thirteenth state in the United States where the FanDuel Sportsbook will be available for iOS and Android, including Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Sports fans in New York can download the FanDuel Sportsbook app for iOS and Android., or visit https://www.fanduel.com/sportsbook-ny. For more on the FanDuel Sportsbook and sports betting content, follow @FDSportsbook on Twitter.

Cover Image: All-Pro Reels

Caesars Sportsbook App is Now Live in Louisiana

Legalized sports betting is on its way to Louisiana and today, Caesars Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: CZR) (“Caesars”) announced its best-in-class Caesars Sportsbook app is officially available for download and sign-up by eligible sports fans in Louisiana. In celebration of its longstanding presence in Louisiana, and in advance of the launch of mobile sports betting in the state, Caesars is excited to offer local sports fans an early chance to download the Caesars Sportsbook app, register, deposit funds, and explore a deep array of pre-match and live markets and odds – including for every local team.

In addition, early registrants will receive special benefits. Starting today, customers can combine offers for a first bet experience unlike any other:

Register early to get a $100 Free Bet bonus:
Download and register prior to the first day of sports betting to receive a $100 Free Bet bonus the day mobile wagering goes live
Plus, deposit and have funds in an account at launch, and for every point scored by select local teams during launch week, receive an additional $1 in Free Bet bonuses:
Deposit and retain in your account $50 or more by mobile launch date to earn a Free Bet bonus equal to the points scored by top Louisiana teams during our mobile sports betting launch week
“Louisiana and the entire Gulf Coast region are a special part of the Caesars family. We couldn’t be more excited to build on our longstanding commitments in the state with the launch of legal sports betting,” said Eric Hession, Co-President of Caesars Digital. “We know how passionate Bayou State sports fans are about their teams and we’re confident our brand-new Caesars Sportsbook app and the exciting offers we have for launch can offer them a sports experience that can’t be matched.”

The Caesars Sportsbook app links the excitement of mobile sports betting with the industry-leading loyalty program, Caesars Rewards. Every wager, win or lose, rewards the bettor with Tier Credits and Reward Credits that can be used to unlock unbeatable experiences within the Caesars portfolio of properties and partnerships. Customized offerings, a wide range of betting lines and flexible limits allow Caesars Sportsbook to treat every sports bettor like royalty.

Every bet earns – win or lose, every wager gives you more with Caesars Rewards. Each bet earns Caesars Rewards Tier Credits and Reward Credits. Caesars Sportsbook links with Caesars Rewards, making it as easy to earn and redeem online as it is in person at one of Caesars’ more than 50 destinations across 16 states. Reward Credits earned within the Caesars Rewards network can be redeemed everywhere, meaning everything you earn online can be used for free play, dining, getaways, and specially curated sports and entertainment experiences

Thousands of ways to wager – Caesars Sportsbook provides extensive odds and flexible limits, including live in-play betting, player props, and same-game parlays, making it the most dynamic way to bet sports

Easy to play – Caesars Sportsbook makes it easy to get a bet down, and to deposit and withdraw funds securely through a wide variety of industry-leading wallet options

A trusted name in casino entertainment – Caesars Sportsbook has best-in-class partnerships with some of the biggest leagues, teams, and media companies in Louisiana and nationally
In addition to mobile sports wagering, sports bettors in Louisiana can soon enjoy in-person sports betting at iconic Caesars properties Harrah’s New Orleans and Horseshoe Bossier City. Each casino will soon take in-person bets at temporary retail locations inside their properties, before the unveiling of their new Caesars Sportsbooks, pending regulatory approval in the state. In the fall of 2022, Isle of Capri Lake Charles will be renovated into Horseshoe Lake Charles and reopen with an additional Caesars Sportsbook location.

Caesars’ commitment to Louisiana includes the recent 20-year, exclusive naming-rights partnership with the New Orleans Saints to rebrand New Orleans’ iconic downtown stadium as the Caesars Superdome. Caesars Sportsbook is also the official sportsbook partner of LSU Athletics, the official casino sponsor and an official sports betting partner of the NFL, and has partnerships with the NBA, NHL, MLB, and several individual teams.

For betting insights, a fresh take on the day’s action as games unfold, and special promotions and offers, follow the Caesars Sportsbook social handle @CaesarsSports on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. The Caesars Sportsbook app is available for download on iOS or Android.

Entain Foundation Backs American Gaming Association Responsible Gaming Initiative

As part of Responsible Gaming Education Week 2021, global sports betting and gaming operator Entain is backing the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) Have a Game Plan.® Bet Responsibly.™ public service campaign through its not-for-profit organization, the Entain Foundation U.S.

Entain’s “Gamble Responsibly America” app will feature the campaign, which educates sports fans on responsible sports betting, while HaveAGamePlan.org will highlight the first-of-its-kind app. BetMGM, which is jointly owned by Entain and MGM Resorts International, are also backing the AGA Have A Game Plan campaign. 

“Our Responsible Gambling programs and AGA’s initiatives, including Have a Game Plan, are completely aligned,” said Martin Lycka, Entain Senior Vice President for American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling and trustee of the Entain Foundation U.S. “The more we can repeat the message of responsible gambling across multiple channels—like the Gamble Responsibly America app and Have A Game Plan—the better our customers’ experience will be.”

“Working with the Entain Foundation to provide consumer education tools and resources benefits both customers and the long-term sustainability of the legal, regulated market,” said AGA Senior Vice President Casey Clark. “Enabling this market to continue its growth requires a collective, balanced approach to fan and bettor engagement. We are excited that Have a Game Plan continued to be adopted by a wide-array of businesses with an interest in getting sports betting right.”

The AGA launched Have A Game Plan in late 2019 and includes partners DraftKings, FanDuel, Monumental Sports and Entertainment, NASCAR, New York Jets, NHL, PGA TOUR, SeventySix Capital, Sightline Payments, Sinclair Broadcast Group, UFC, Vegas Golden Knights, and Washington Football Team.

Entain and EPIC Risk Management and RG24/7, which partner with the Entain Foundation U.S. on responsible gambling education and projects, launched the Gamble Responsibly app in the U.S. in June. The free app, available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, features a series of educational resources and tools to anonymously help and support anyone facing potential issues with problem gambling. The unbranded app is an educational resource with no commercial benefit to Entain or BetMGM, the U.S. sports betting and gaming business it jointly owns with MGM Resorts International.   

“Gamble Responsibly America” offers assets and information to help people gamble responsibly and provide guidance for those struggling, or who would like to understand the behavioral patterns or symptoms associated with problem gambling. It is the first free app to do this and is available in both English and Spanish, to maximize its accessibility to all communities in America.

AGA’s Responsible Gaming Education Week, from Sept. 19-25, educates consumers on responsible game play and highlights responsibility’s central role to the industry.
Sports betting is currently legal and operational in 26 states and the District of Columbia providing 113 million Americans with access to sports betting in their home state.

NFL Announces Official Sports Betting Partners

The National Football League (NFL) today announced their first-ever U.S. sportsbook partnerships naming three exclusive partners. As part of the multi-year agreement, FanDuel becomes an Official Sports Betting Partner of the NFL and will have the ability to leverage NFL marks within the sports betting category and activate around retail and online sports betting. The company will also engage with fans through NFL-themed free-to-play games.

FanDuel, becomes the NFL’s newest partner and will have a series of content integrations including both in-game and post-game highlights directly available within its sportsbook and fantasy sports platforms this coming season. The company will have access to footage rights that bring the NFL’s excitement to FanDuel’s owned and produced content across its various platforms and will work with the League on pre-game integration opportunities on the NFL Network for the seven regular season games the network will air in 2021.

“On Superbowl Sunday we got a glimpse at how powerful the combination of the NFL’s excitement and our platform can be in delivering an enhanced fan experience. We are delighted to make that combination official by pairing America’s #1 sportsbook with America’s #1 sports league,” said Matt King, Chief Executive Officer at FanDuel. “This partnership provides our shared customers with a new level of innovation and unmatched premium content directly within our platform ultimately enhancing every gameday.”

Additionally, FanDuel will have the right to integrate relevant sports betting content directly into NFL Media properties including NFL.com and the NFL App. FanDuel will enhance fan experiences with NFL highlights, footage and Next Gen Stats content.

“As the sports betting landscape has continued to evolve in the United States, we have been thoughtful with our strategy and are excited to announce three partners who share the NFL’s vision and goals,” said Renie Anderson, Chief Revenue Officer and Executive Vice President of NFL Partnerships.

Entain Foundation Partners with Responsible Gambling Council on Research to Inform Regulatory Approach to Gaming & Sports-Betting in Canada

Entain, the global sports betting and gaming entertainment group, today announced that its non-profit Foundation will fund research into consumer practices, preferences and behaviours in Ontario, Canada as regulators prepare to legalize gaming and sports betting for the first time. The research will be conducted by the Responsible Gambling Council (RGC), a Toronto based non-profit organisation and one of the world’s leading advisors on responsible gambling practices.

The Canadian federal government introduced a bill at the end of last year which could pave the way for legalisation of single-event sports betting, with licences for online operators.  Entain has already expressed interest in applying for a licence in Ontario if, and when, they are available.

The research project, led by the Responsible Gambling Council’s RG Plus – a global consultation service that offers research and strategic consultation services –  aims to draw on consumer insights in Canada and experiences across other international jurisdictions to help regulators to make evidence-based recommendations that balance the mandates of online operators with the identifying behaviours and risk factors for consumers.

International experience shows a vast majority of people enjoy sports betting and gaming with no issues, but regulation helps to protect those potentially at risk.

Martin Lycka, Senior Vice President for American Regulatory Affairs & Responsible Gambling at Entain said: “We know from similar research in many markets in which we operate, including the United States, that regulators value research which supports an evidence-based approach to decision-making and effective regulation from a wide range of other international jurisdictions.  Entain, which operates across five continents and over 20 countries, has unparalleled experience with different regulatory approaches taken around the world in the past 15 years. “

The research will focus on a sample of approximately 4,000 adult bettors and gamers (18+ years old), providing the most comprehensive and up to date evidence into responsible online sports betting and gaming needs and interests. The work will also review other key international jurisdictions to assess regulatory approaches, using informant interviews to identify effective responsible betting and gaming practices.

Shelley White, CEO of RGC expressed “As a global leader in responsible gambling, RGC is committed to working with regulators, operators and the public to establish the development and implementation of a robust responsible gambling culture. RGC’s work with Entain will contribute to vital advancements in consumer safeguards.”   

Research work is expected to begin shortly with the full report due later in the year.  Assuming the regulatory process continues, Ontario is expected to become the first Canadian province to introduce online gambling, with initial licences expected to be granted in 2022.

Boyd Gaming, Fanduel Group Announce Plans To Launch Stardust Online Casino In N.J., Pa.

Boyd Gaming Corporation and FanDuel Group today announced plans to launch Stardust-branded online casinos in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, marking the iconic gaming brand’s return to real-money gaming.

FanDuel and Boyd Gaming anticipate launching the Stardust casinos in April, pending final regulatory approval from each state. FanDuel plans to rebrand its existing Betfair Casino in New Jersey under Boyd Gaming’s Stardust brand, while launching a Stardust online casino in Pennsylvania.  A single Stardust Casino app will be available for iOS and Android in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. 

Keith Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Boyd Gaming, said: “For nearly 50 years, the Stardust was one of the most famous casinos on the Las Vegas Strip.  And while the resort has been gone for more than a decade, the Stardust brand is still as well-known and popular as ever.  We are excited to work with our partners at FanDuel to launch our first real-money online casinos and are confident this legendary brand will give us a significant advantage in connecting with players looking for a distinctive online gaming experience.”

The Stardust Casino will be built on FanDuel’s proprietary front-end, apps and player account management system.  Both the Pennsylvania and New Jersey online casinos will be linked to Boyd Gaming’s B Connected player loyalty program, allowing players to earn B Connected points and tier credits for their play on Stardust Casino.

The new Stardust Casino experience (www.stardustcasino.com)will include a number of key features, including:

  • A robust offering of players’ favorite casino games, including slots, blackjack, roulette, video poker and baccarat, as well as live dealer games.
  • The ability to securely and quickly cash out winnings, with the same level of customer support, convenience, safety and security that customers have come to expect from FanDuel.
  • Numerous account protections will be available to players, reflecting Boyd Gaming’s and FanDuel’s strong shared commitment to responsible gaming.

“The new Stardust Casino will retain all of the great games that customers love on Betfair Casino, while incorporating a new stylish look that captures the glitz, glamour and nostalgia of old Las Vegas,” said Amy Howe, President of FanDuel Group.  “Stardust Casino allows us to take a market leading product to the next level, creating a unified platform across New Jersey and Pennsylvania and integrating Boyd Gaming’s B Connected player loyalty program to provide even more value to our customers.”  

Stardust Casino will be available for download on iOS and Android or via web at www.stardustcasino.com pending regulatory approval.  New Jersey and Pennsylvania players will be able to sign up for a new account or login using either their existing Betfair Casino credentials in New Jersey or their FanDuel fantasy/sportsbook credentials in both states.

In addition to Stardust Casino, the FanDuel Sportsbook & Casino app is currently available to customers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan. 

While players must be in New Jersey or Pennsylvania to access the real-money Stardust Casino, customers across the country can access Boyd’s Stardust Social Casino.  Stardust Social Casino is free-to-play and available for download on the Apple app store or the Google Play store.

MSG Networks to Unveil Free-to-Play Gaming App for Sports Fans

MSG Networks Inc. (NYSE: MSGN) today announced that it will launch a new, free-to-play app – MSG Networks Pick ‘Em – developed in partnership with Boom Sports, a leader in online sports-gaming technology.  The new prediction gaming app, expected to be available on iOS and Android starting in March, will offer sports fans the chance to win cash prizes during Knicks, Rangers, Islanders, Devils, and Sabres games.

“MSG Networks is thrilled to partner with Boom Sports on our new free-to-play app.  We’ve been offering trivia and pick’em games on our MSG GO streaming app since 2018 and have seen firsthand how interactive games can help increase viewer engagement – including how long and how often they tune in,” said Peter Tulloch, Senior Vice President, Digital Products and Distribution, MSG Networks. “MSG Networks Pick ‘Em will further deepen our connection with viewers, providing sports fans with a fun and, potentially, rewarding way to enjoy MSG Networks’ live coverage of their favorite sports teams, while providing MSG Networks with new revenue opportunities.”

“We are excited to be working with MSG Networks to create an app that will enrich the viewing experience, and also offer unique value in the form of user insights and a strategic digital asset,” said Greg Viverito, VP of Partnerships, Boom Sports. “We’re also a New York City-based company so we embraced the opportunity to create a product that adds to the fun of being a fan of New York sports teams.”

MSG Networks’ Pick ‘Em games will have a series of predictive questions rewarding fans with cash prizes for every basketball game, and for hockey games, the jackpot will be progressive.

MSG Networks Pick ‘Em is the latest example of MSG Networks’ commitment to innovation and creating engaging content for its viewers. MSG Networks is the first regional sports network (RSN) to announce a standalone app for free-to-play pick ‘em-style contests.  In 2018, MSG Networks was the first RSN to integrate live stats and interactive games on its MSG GO streaming app, which encourages fans to play along with the actual game broadcast for a chance to win prizes.

The free-to-play app is expected to build off of engagement with the gaming fan that MSG Networks has cultivated over the past few seasons, starting with a daily-fantasy focused simulcast in 2018 and evolving to sports-betting focused programming blocks, short-form content acting as previews for the game, and the aforementioned fan contests on MSG GO.

MSG Networks’ exclusive coverage of the NBA’s New York Knicks, and the NHL’s New York Rangers, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres can be seen on MSG, MSG+ and on the MSG GO streaming app for phones, tablets and computers.  Official rules, scoring, prize and other information for MSG Networks Pick ‘Em will be available when the app launches.  

Online Gambling Comparison Site Compare.bet Awarded Colorado Vendor License

Jamal Murray (Flickr/All-Pro Reels)

Compare.bet has successfully completed the registration process in Colorado and is now able to operate in the newly regulated US state.

Colorado is the second state license obtained by Compare.bet, following the company’s earlier New Jersey vendor license award.

Compare.bet has been assigned vendor ID 94452979.

“Sports betting in Colorado has started with a bang this year – handle has climbed impressively despite COVID-19, and we’re seeing plenty of appetite from both customers and bookies in the state,” said Luke Eales, founder of Compare.bet.

“We have a number of license applications in progress for other regulated US states. We are excited to serve the expanding US market with the best offers, fresh sports content and a range of comparison tools.”

Colorado betting handle hit new heights in December, surpassing $200m. The figure represented the State’s fifth month in a row of record-beating betting activity, and was almost double the handle recorded in August 2020.

It has been forecast that most US states will offer some form of licensed sports wagering in the next 2-3 years*. The impressive growth in revenue of newly-regulated states like Colorado continues to make a strong case for wider legalization across the country.

More information on Compare.bet US is available at the official site.

HeadsUp Entertainment to Enter the Regulated Canadian Online Sports Betting Market

Mark Scheifele (Lisa Gansky from New York)

HeadsUp Entertainment International Inc. announces today its strategic plan to enter the regulated sports betting market in Canada.  In November 2020, the Canadian federal government introduced a bill (C-218) to the House of Commons that, if passed by both House and Senate, would legalize single-game sports wagering within the country’s 10 provinces and three territories.  It is anticipated that this bill will pass in the spring of 2021 and HeadsUp is positioned to be a major player in the sector.

The forthcoming legislation and subsequent changes to the Criminal Code of Canada will allow for HeadsUp to be positioned for rapid growth, taking to market platforms in sports betting, into an industry estimated to be over $14 Billion in annual gross gaming revenue as estimated by the Canadian Gaming Association.

HeadsUp is currently negotiating with 2 sportsbook software providers and is in negotiations with a strategic media partner as a potential merger candidate or acquisition to create unique market access and lower than industry standard costs for player acquisition.

“The rapidly evolving opportunities in the Canadian market, as well as in other countries, are very encouraging and our team has been anticipating licensing and government regulation that we are strategically poised to take advantage of” commented HeadsUp President and CEO Doug Wilson.

The Company will be launching its media content delivery platforms the first week of January which are designed to target viewers and build its base of players in anticipation of the launch of its online gaming products once the path to legalization and licensing in Canada is complete.

Canada is an explosive market for sports wagering and the country is following the lead of New Jersey, Nevada and Pennsylvania as US States that have legalized sports betting.

Boyd Gaming, FanDuel Group Launch Sports Betting In Illinois

In a continued expansion of their successful nationwide partnership, Boyd Gaming Corporation and FanDuel Group today announced the debut of the FanDuel Par-A-Dice Sportsbook in the state of Illinois.

Sports bettors across the state of Illinois now have access to FanDuel’s industry-leading online and mobile sports-betting platform, with wagering options available in professional football, basketball, baseball, hockey and more.  Additionally, FanDuel will operate a retail sportsbook located at Boyd Gaming’s Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria, Illinois, pending regulatory approval.

Keith Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Boyd Gaming, said: “Given the tremendous success of our existing FanDuel Sportsbooks, we are confident that the FanDuel Par-A-Dice Sportsbook will quickly become Illinois sports bettors’ mobile app of choice.  We are excited for the opportunity to offer both mobile and retail sports betting in one of the most populous states in the country, as we continue to expand our strategic partnership with FanDuel Group.”

“Sports are back and FanDuel, America’s No. 1 sportsbook, is coming to Illinois with our friends at Boyd Gaming and the Par-A-Dice Casino,” said Matt King, Chief Executive Officer of FanDuel Group.  “Boyd Gaming and the Par-A-Dice are perfect partners for us to bring our innovative sports-betting app and retail sportsbook experience to sports fans in Illinois.”

Since launching their partnership in mid-2018, Boyd Gaming and FanDuel have introduced mobile sports-betting apps in Indiana and Pennsylvania, as well as retail FanDuel Sportsbooks at eight Boyd Gaming properties in five states.  The FanDuel Sportsbook has an online leadership position in Pennsylvania, and is one of the top retail sportsbooks in Iowa at Diamond Jo Worth.

The partnership between Boyd Gaming and FanDuel Group includes collaborative efforts between the two companies in mobile and online sports betting and casino games, where permitted by law. The agreement includes states where Boyd Gaming holds gaming licenses, excluding Nevada, as well as additional states covered under Boyd Gaming’s current market-access agreements.  Boyd Gaming currently has access in 15 states nationwide, representing more than 36% of the U.S. population.

In addition to their retail and online sports-betting partnership, Boyd Gaming and FanDuel also operate an online casino in the state of Pennsylvania. The companies are also engaged in extensive co-branding and cross-promotional efforts, as the two companies actively market each other’s properties and products to their respective customer bases nationwide.

Colorado’s $25.5 Million Sports Betting Revenue And Survey Results Indicate The State Is Ready For Gambling’s Return

During a time of casino closures and league shutdowns, Colorado bettors have shown their willingness to engage with the state’s newly regulated sports betting offer. Since launching on May 1, the state has generated $25.5 million in gross, unaudited sports betting revenue. In a recent survey by ColoradoSharp.com, 75% of respondents said they would return to casinos “as soon as they’re open.” All signs point to a statewide boom for betting revenue when full-fledged gambling returns to The Centennial State.

“Colorado’s month-one results cement the state as a leader in the US gambling arena. $25 million in revenue is impressive on its own, and it’s even more impressive when you consider how sparse the gambling options are during a globally trying time,” said Chris Nesi, Managing Editor for ColoradoSharp.com. “This first month showcases the strength of the Colorado gaming industry, and I think we’ll continue to see impressive numbers from the state in the future.”

The Covid-19 pandemic hit Colorado hard. Related closures resulted in revenue loss nearing $100 million through April 30 alone. However, amid a challenging time for the state, Colorado’s successful first month of sports betting generated more than $25 million. Compared to Indiana’s launch month, the number is particularly impressive: Indiana earned $35 million in October 2019 when it debuted sports betting absent any casino closures. Colorado’s success in light of league cancellations and virtually no casino activity bodes well for the future of sports betting in the state. The first month’s $25 million signals a general desire for betting in Colorado, a conclusion supported by ColoradoSharp.com’s recent casino reopening survey.

In the survey, three-quarters of participants said they would return to casinos as soon as they reopen, even though the state has no current timeline for reopening land-based casinos or sportsbooks. The survey showcased Colorado’s excitement for gambling’s return, though not without some caution. 75% of survey takers intend to wear a mask when visiting a casino, and 50% said it is “very important” that casinos take social distancing safety measures upon reopening.

For complete survey results, visit ColoradoSharp.com.

Are States Getting Sports Betting Right? Reported By BonusSeeker.com

Wikimedia/Chensiyuan

The following is about legalized sports betting and its future in the US, by BonusSeeker.com’s Brian Sausa.

It has been over two years since the legalization of sports betting in the United States and in that time, the industry has quickly entered the mainstream and begun an expansion that is seemingly boundless. In total, 22 states (plus Washington D.C.) have legalized wagering on sporting events in some form or another and now, that revenue will come in handy.

Across the U.S., states are enduring financial hardship due to the response effort required to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. The approach that some states have taken toward the legalization of sports betting has enabled the industry to be a vehicle toward financial recovery during trying times.

But while some states have done all they can to help open up revenue streams and bring in tax dollars, others aren’t maximizing the revenue potential of the industry.

Of the nearly two-dozen states with legislation enacted, only six offer full mobile (or online) sports betting, which allows players to wager from any geographic location inside state lines. The rest have partial online betting or physical-only wagering, which forces players to be present in a casino in order to wager and generally leads to far less revenue and tax dollars.

Whatever the reason for not including online wagering via mobile devices, the states are missing out on additional sources of tax income. And any states that choose to stay out of the industry entirely or legalize betting without the mobile component will be doing the same thing.

Mobile Sports Betting Advantages

Whether you look at it from the point of view of the bettor or a state looking to generate revenue from the industry, it doesn’t take much detective work to uncover the benefits of online sports betting for all parties. Of the 22 states with legislation in place, the following six have full online sports betting:

New Jersey
Pennsylvania
Colorado
Indiana
West Virginia
New Hampshire
Simply put, the above states are able to offer a few things that the rest cannot, and it’s led to substantial taxes being raised via sports betting revenue.

In comparison to the seven states with only physical sportsbooks, the operations running in states which allow mobile betting are unsurprisingly reaping more monetary benefits. There are several pros to allowing folks to wager from anywhere, but here are the three key benefits:

Convenience

Online sports betting is by far, the most convenient way to wager. This means bettors can place wagers from any location of their choosing whether in the comfort of their own home, out at the supermarket, or anywhere else.

As long as you are physically located inside the state, which is verified by the sportsbook’s geolocation feature, you’re eligible to bet. There’s absolutely no contest between being able to bet from anywhere and being forced to drive all the way to a brick-and-mortar casino and line up at the window just to place a wager. It also saves bettors some money right off the bet by removing travel costs.

Live Betting

The growth of mobile betting has paved the way for new ways to wager, including live betting. Previously, bettors could only get action before a game, or possible at intermissions such as the end of quarters or halves.

Thanks to live betting, constantly-adjusting lines are available to wager on throughout the length of an entire game. The ease with which players can wager on live odds via mobile is unmatched, making this another feature of online betting that cannot be replicated by a land-based venue.

More Betting Options

In addition to live betting, the emergence of online sports gambling has led to an explosion in the number of markets offered across a wide range of sports. Bet types such as props and futures have catapulted into an entirely new stratosphere in terms of both quantity and specificity, providing options for every kind of bettor.

The usage of online sports betting apps is also a boon for the players themselves, who are given the option of shopping around for a specific market or the most advantageous line possible.

All of the above factors add up to make online sports betting with mobile devices a much more lucrative way to do things for states hoping to add revenue. But rather than taking it from us, let’s allow the numbers to do the talking.

New York vs. New Jersey – The Case For Mobile Sports Betting

If you’re wondering about the difference between a state which has full mobile sports betting and one that doesn’t, look no further than the tri-state area.

New York and New Jersey are not only neighboring states with nearly equal populations. A comparison between the two also serves as the perfect example of just how lucrative online betting can be to the areas which allow it, and what the states without it are missing out on.

New Jersey Thriving With Online Sports Betting

New Jersey online sports betting first launched live during June 2018, shortly following the federal repeal of PASPA, which gave states the ability to decide for themselves whether to allow legal wagering on sports.

In the time since then, the Garden State has emerged as the blueprint for states looking for healthy revenue creation via sports betting.

In its first few months since going live, New Jersey closed 2018 by generating nearly $54 million in revenue. Now compare those numbers with New York, a state in dire need of revenue streams. Empire State sportsbooks began taking wagers almost exactly one year later in July 2019 and in the six months which closed 2019, New York produced just under $7 million in revenue.

Now let’s look at the first full year of mobile sports betting in the Garden State was 2019, and this is where the gap between the two widens by an almost laughable margin. New Jersey saw nearly $4.6 billion in sports wagers, which resulted in around $300 million in total revenue.

Once factoring in taxes, $36 million went straight to the state and local governments to help with addiction issues, educational programs, and job creation. Keep in mind that nearly 90 percent of the state’s wagers are placed online.

It’s bad enough that New York only has in-person sports wagering, but it adds insult to injury that the simplicity of the mobile component actually has the Empire State losing out on the potential for revenue from its own residents.

Nobody knows this better than state Senator Joseph Addabbo, who is the author of the legislation to legalize mobile wagering in the state and chairman of the New York Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee.

“People look for convenience. They look for what’s safe for them, what’s legal, but they look for convenience…they go across the border to [New] Jersey because it’s simple,” Addabbo told BonusSeeker.com’s Brian Sausa. “That’s why Jersey took $837 million of our money last year. Because it’s easy.”

What Addabbo is referring to is a study conducted by Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, which estimated that New Yorkers accounted for over $837 million of the sports wagering handle in New Jersey. That means operators in the Garden State earned almost $60 million while the state pulled in about $6 million in tax revenue from New York residents alone.

The study also estimated that New York, which is on its way to being $13 billion in debt, is missing out on over $200 million per year by leaving online sports betting off the table.

Revenue Says Online Is The Future Of Sports Betting

It should come as no surprise that when looking at places with the most sports betting revenue generated, most of the states littering the top of the list are ones with online wagering as part of the equation.

Even Nevada, the state most synonymous with land-based gambling, has partial sports betting. The Silver State pulled in a massive $5.3 billion handle from sports betting in 2019 with revenues nearing $330, although there’s no way of knowing just how much came from online since the state doesn’t release breakdowns.

The point remains that if a state making hand-over-fist cash at brick-and-mortar casinos can still see value in the inclusion of mobile sports betting, what is everyone else waiting for?

Due to Nevada’s intertwinement with the industry and it only having partial online betting, there are better models to look at. As mentioned, New Jersey has become the poster child for what a sports betting launch is supposed to look like.

The Garden State’s total earnings are second only to Nevada, and New Jersey even became the first state to take in a higher betting handle in the Silver State during May 2019. In the first two months of 2020 (prior to COVID-19), New Jersey pulled in over $60 million in total sports betting revenue to just barely out-earn Nevada.

While New Jersey is a difficult target to aim at, several states have copied the blueprint and as a result, seen positive results thanks to online wagering.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is largely regarded as third behind Nevada and New Jersey. Its extremely high 36 percent tax rate has resulted in a huge boon for the state, even if one could argue it has limited the number of operators to launch. Even still, the state saw a $3.4 billion handle and $84 million in revenue, although mobile betting didn’t launch until the summer of 2019.

For a clearer picture, let’s look at some 2020 Keystone State sports betting revenue numbers according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. In January, online wagering brought in a handle over $150 million while the retail handle was about $3 million. In February, it was $138 million spent online and just $2.5 million in person.

That means that in just the first two months of 2020, online made over $10 million in revenue while land-based sports betting acquainted for $1.3 million.

New Hampshire

Things aren’t much different in New Hampshire, where a massive 51 percent tax rate on mobile wagers (50 percent on retail wagers) means that the Granite State benefits more from sports betting than any other.

At first, the state went live without mobile wagering before DraftKings joined the party as the only non-lottery operator. Until COVID-19, New Hampshire was the latest state to surpass early expectations following its December 2019 launch.

West Virginia

West Virginia introduced sports betting in 2018 but it disappeared before reappearing in August 2019. Due to only having a few months to work with, it is the only state with full mobile wagering to make more revenue from retail.

In 2020, however, early signs point to online wagering pulling in much more than land-based in its first full year. As of mid-April, about two-thirds of the handle and revenue has come from online.

Colorado & Indiana

Sports betting in Colorado just launched as the calendar flipped to May 2020 so there are no official numbers, although projections say the state could eventually take billions of dollars every year in handle and dozens of millions in potential tax revenue.

Indiana sports betting went live in 2019 just before the start of NFL season and the timing could not have been better. The Hoosier State saw $436 million in wagers during its first four months to close the year, with nearly 70 percent of bets coming online and that number expected to rise.

Will Mobile Sports Betting Be Included Going Forward?

The past two years are sufficient evidence that sports betting is more popular than ever before, and it’s unlikely to end anytime soon. Rather than slowing down, the industry is more like a freight train moving downhill.

By 2022, most states will have at least voted on legislation regarding the industry, and much sooner rather than later, the number of states without legal wagering will be in the minority. It is believed that by 2024, 80 percent of the country’s states could allow some form of sports betting.

Before we get too far ahead, however, let’s focus on the states that are launching next. Since the summer of 2019, there are five additional locations which passed sports betting legislation but haven’t yet gone live:

North Carolina
Tennessee
Virginia
Washington
Washington D.C.
Just by looking at the legislation that has passed, we can determine which states have the brightest future ahead.

Despite all the evidence pointing to online wagering being the best way to generate the most revenue possible, some states are unfortunately still leaving considerable money on the table.

New States Are Limiting Sports Betting

Both North Carolina and Washington have passed bills and should be able to commence operations shortly, although it won’t be living up to its potential.

Sports betting won’t do much for North Carolina, which is limiting wagering to just two tribal casinos that are in the western half of the state. They are both over three hours from Charlotte and over five hours from Raleigh, the state’s two most populous cities.

Washington became the first state to pass betting in 2020, although this some more pretty restrictive legislation. Following lobbying from tribal casinos to pass the bill, wagering is limited to those locations. To make matters worse, bettors in the Evergreen State won’t even be able to wager on teams that play in Washington.

Sports Betting Launching The Right Way In Tennessee, Virginia, And Washington D.C.

Thankfully, there are a few locations that are passing sports betting in its most ideal form and including the online component, starting with our nation’s capital. Washington D.C. approved sports betting back in 2018 but amended its original plans to include mobile wagering and should launch in the wake of COVID-19.

Tennessee is set to become the first mobile-only sports betting state by the time it launches and should see massive success due to its proximity to several states that don’t yet have betting. Virginia is launching both mobile and in-person sports betting and is expected to attract similar operator competition as New Jersey, which has nearly 20 sports betting sites.

If all goes according to plan, the three territories above will make it nine of the 23 in total with full online sports betting included in its legislation. While the percentage of states with the mobile feature included is improving, there are still far too many millions being left on the table.

At a time where nobody should be turning down new streams of revenue, future states would do well to follow the money and the blueprint laid out by those which are pulling in the most tax dollars.

Undoubtedly, mobile sports betting will continue being a common denominator among the most successful in the industry.