Category Archives: In The Law

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.

California Could Open Door to $30 Billion in Annual Bets if Sports Betting Is Approved, According to PlayCA.com

credit: PxHere

If California voters approve online and retail sports betting in November it will open the door to a market that has the potential to generate more than $30 billion in wagers annually, according to projections from PlayCA.com, which analyzes legalized gambling in California. Those wagers would generate some $2 billion in operator revenue and $300 million in state taxes each year.

“California is the holy grail of sports betting markets, and not just because of its sheer size,” said Dustin Gouker, chief analyst for PlayCA.com. “It appears that legislators are working to put in place a structure that will make California uniquely attractive to every major operator. And because it has the potential to be the largest legal sports betting market in the U.S., ultimately it represents a seismic shift in the industry.”

The California assembly took a significant step toward the legalization of online and retail sports betting in the Golden State on Thursday by adding implementation details to ACA 16 and SCA 6. The new language in the bills, which were originally introduced in June 2019 by Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa) and Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced), would amend the state constitution to:

  • Authorize retail and online sports betting at the state’s tribal casinos and racetracks if approved by voters, but not at the state’s cardrooms.
  • Set a tax rate of 10% on gross revenue for in-person wagering and a 15% tax for mobile or online wagering.
  • Impose taxes on the platform operators rather than directly by the tribes, to avoid sovereignty issues.

The tax rates are reasonable within the context of legal U.S. sports betting jurisdictions. By comparison, New Jersey, the nation’s largest online sports betting market, levies a 13% tax on online sports betting revenue and 9.75% tax on revenue from retail sportsbooks. Pennsylvania levies a 36% rate, by far the highest in the nation.

With the proposed tax rate, California could generate $240 million in operator revenue and $36 million in state taxes annually from online sports betting and another $60 million in operator revenue and $6 million in taxes a year from in-person betting, according to PlayCA.com estimates.

“The tax rates are fair for both operators and the state, and would be competitive with many of the states that have already legalized sports betting,” Gouker said. “The rate certainly won’t scare off sportsbook operators, who are all eager to enter California. This balanced approach should help the market ramp-up quickly once the industry launches, which is ideal considering California’s budget crunch.”

The state assembly and senate still must approve the bill, and then it must be signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, before it can make its way to ballots this fall. But with a $50 million shortfall in California’s budget, and deep cuts expected, there is pressure on lawmakers to find new sources of revenue.

“The structure of these bills seems sound, and it should help the state eventually realize its revenue goals to the benefit of all of California,” Gouker said. “As for the gaming industry, if sports betting is approved by voters, it stands to change the face of sports betting across the country,”

BonusSeeker: Examining The Biggest Issue In NJ Sports Betting Law With Senator Lesniak

credit: Keith Allison

The following is an interview with Senator Lesniak, from BonusSeeker.com.

The entire sports landscape has been flipped on its head for an undetermined amount of time due to the COVID-19 outbreak across the United States and as a result, the pandemic’s impact can be felt everywhere including the betting industry.

In the college basketball world, March Madness and the 2020 NCAA Tournament are no more, and flying away with them is the opportunity to shine a light on a seldom discussed issue with sports betting in New Jersey.

From the time it was signed into law in June 2018, legal sports betting in the Garden State has been a massive benefit for all parties. The huge population of fans gets the chance to wager on sports using regulated sites, the operators generate huge amounts of revenue, and in turn, plenty of tax dollars go to the state.

New Jersey features a wide range of sportsbooks to choose from, many with a seemingly never-ending catalog of betting markets that span a huge number of sports. All of this is why it has become the blueprint for every other state entering the market over the past year-and-a-half.

But there is one thing you won’t find at any sportsbook in New Jersey: the ability to wager on collegiate teams located in the state.

This topic finally had a shot to come into full view with both of the state’s prominent Division I athletic programs, Seton Hall and Rutgers, headed to the 2020 NCAA Tournament this year. The unfortunate cancelation of this year’s event means the Garden State’s only blemish when it comes to online sports betting wouldn’t have the chance to reach the forefront of our collective consciousness unless somebody put it there.

Why Would This Matter During March Madness?

Under New Jersey law, sportsbooks aren’t legally allowed to offer lines on college games that involve schools located inside the state. Collegiate events being played inside Garden State borders, even if none of the teams involved are from Jersey, are also off-limits.

The measure seemingly hasn’t mattered much to this point, mainly serving as evidence of a legislative concession made before the original bill was passed in 2012. But the truth remains that the ban on local teams negatively impacts sports betting in New Jersey from both a financial and a customer-experience point of view.

Part of the reason why this precondition has been largely ignored is that there haven’t been many high-quality athletic programs inside the state that bettors wanted to put their money on in any serious way.

As the 2019-20 season played out, that was no longer the case. Seton Hall earned a top-10 ranking this season for the first time in two decades while Rutgers was going to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1991. The Pirates and Scarlet Knights were each having huge seasons which included bids to the Big Dance and fans of both programs wanted to wager on their favorite teams during March Madness, but couldn’t.

For a minute, let’s imagine a utopia where the 2020 NCAA Tournament was still played as it was intended just a couple of weeks ago. As a result of the current law, New Jersey could be missing out on a chance to make even more in tax dollars, which can directly benefit people in the state via the government programs that this money goes toward.

If there is any flaw in the sports betting law in the Garden State, this is it.

Collegiate Sports Betting Ban Was Practical, Not Preferred

The current policy wasn’t the original intention of New Jersey lawmakers but as former Senator Raymond Lesniak put it, “it was a matter of practicality that it turned out that way.”

To understand how this compromise wound up in place, context is important. Luckily I had a chance to speak with Lesniak, who authored and introduced the pioneering bill that would not only bring sports betting to his state, but play a huge role in the fight that eventually led to the federal repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018.

Lesniak’s book, Beating The Odds: The Epic Battle That Brought Legal Sports Betting Across America, chronicles in great detail the years-long fight against the hypocrisy of both the federal government and professional sports leagues. Lesniak will enter the Sports Betting Hall of Fame this year to cement a well-earned legacy as someone who helped regulate the industry and laid the groundwork for it to flourish as it is today.

For now, let’s go back to 2011. After drafting his legislation, Lesniak’s top priority was making sure that regulated sports betting in New Jersey could make its way into law while opponents such as basketball Hall of Famer and former Senator Bill Bradley were actively trying to derail its passage.

“It was a political choice I made to make sure that we got the referendum through the legislature and passed by the voters,” Lesniak explained to Brian Sausa of BonusSeeker. “We weren’t clear that we would be able to get the votes in the legislature to put the referendum on the ballot.”

In order to quiet the noise and avoid the type of blowback that could kill the legislation, Lesniak decided losing a battle was worth winning the war. As it turns out, throwing Bradley (who led the charge to pass PASPA in the first place) and other opponents a bone in order to make sure the bill reached the voters was the right move.

Lesniak’s legislative efforts led directly to the passing of the Sports Wagering Act on two separate occasions (2012 and 2014), the latter of which granted casinos and racetracks the right to offer sports betting without licensing and regulation from the state.

In the wake of the repeal of PASPA (which had been in place since 1992) in June 2018, the legalization of sports betting in New Jersey has brought exactly the type of financial windfall that Lesniak expected it would several years before it came to fruition.

The first full year of regulated betting in New Jersey was 2019 and it saw the state take in over $4.5 billion in wagers, which produced around $300 million in revenue. After inserting a 9.75 percent tax rate for in-person bets and a 13 percent rate for mobile wagers, that means that over $36 million went right to state and local governments in taxes.

Once you lay out the numbers from all the sports combined, it’s easy to see why Lesniak and other sports betting proponents were ultimately fine with acquiescing to cut this tiny group of New Jersey teams from the equation.

But just because this was an understandable deal to make doesn’t mean that even Lesniak believes everything about the way betting laws are written in New Jersey is perfect.

Former NJ Senator: Betting Doesn’t Hurt Integrity Of Sports

Those against the passage of sports betting legislation cited integrity as a concern and wanted contests featuring in-state teams left off the board entirely. The weather on the moral high ground might be nice but this is not the hill to die on, metaphorically speaking.

On the surface it seems like a legitimate worry, especially considering the point-shaving scandals that have marred the image of the NCAA for decades since the 1950s. But in reality, the argument holds little water. And if you don’t believe me, take it from the man who wrote the bill.

“I would have preferred to have included college sports teams [in New Jersey],” Senator Lesniak admitted. “I don’t believe it’s a threat to the integrity of the sport, that’s why I sponsored it in the first place.”

What Lesniak and others fought for is completely lawful betting regulated by the state government. Previous attempts to compromise the integrity of college athletics were largely undertaken by organized crime syndicates gaining access to players as part of an unregulated underworld of illegal activity. The two really aren’t comparable, though Bradley may disagree.

To be very fair, it wasn’t only one person clinging to this perspective, as Lesniak had other opposition to worry about as well. “We thought it would be a focal point for the NFL and the NCAA to wage a campaign against it,” the Senator said in reference to allowing wagering on New Jersey schools.

If you’re wondering just how bad the threat posed to NCAA athletics by sports betting is, let us help you. There is so little credence given to the integrity argument that after operations in New Jersey launched, almost every other state passed sports betting legislation while allowing wagers on in-state collegiate teams.

So when push comes to shove, integrity never was and still isn’t an issue when it comes to regulated gaming. Unfortunately, Lesniak doesn’t see a scenario in which this law is amended to include wagering on programs that play in New Jersey.

“I do not believe we’re going to move to change it because it would isolate that issue before the voters and I think it’s a tough issue to argue isolated from the rest. So we’re going to let Pennsylvania get the benefit of betting on Rutgers to win the Big Ten Tournament,” quipped Lesniak, a Rutgers graduate and longtime supporter prior to March Madness being shut down.

Would NJ Have Missed Out On Sports Betting Revenue During March Madness?

We know that comparatively, the money made from just a few local schools would be a drop in the bucket next to the full-on tsunami of dollars rolling in from all of the other betting options that are offered in the state. With that said, the fact remains New Jersey would still be leaving money on the table.

So yes, it would have missed out on revenue even though March Madness is a cash cow as-is, it’s just a question of whether or not it would have been enough for anyone to notice.

One question worth asking might be: with part of sports betting tax money going toward social services, education, and other government programs, is there really any amount of money too insignificant?

Perhaps 30 regular-season games plus conference tournaments aren’t enough to turn any heads. But what if Rutgers, a team which excelled in the country’s best conference, made it deep into the NCAA Tournament this year?

What if Seton Hall, a likely top-three seed capable of a run to the Final Four, had made it all the way to Atlanta? Suddenly, it would have been a much larger faction of the betting population that is turned away as opposed to just fans of those two programs.

Perhaps what nobody wants to say out loud is that there simply isn’t enough of a financial impact made by the inclusion of just a few schools, even if the majority of their fans are residents of the state.

There isn’t really a way to quantify the amount necessary to ignite the questions needed to amend the law but one can’t help but feel as though if there was enough money to be made off allowing bettors to wager on New Jersey teams, the powers that be may start to see things differently.

We should also remember that since its foray into the gaming world, no arena in New Jersey has been chosen as a host site for any NCAA Tournament games, another thing that could also produce a significant amount of money for the state.

With an amendment to the law, however, the Garden State could have its cake and eat it too. It could host a series of March Madness events to a sold-out arena while making those games available for betting, both of which the state and its resident sports fans would benefit from.

How About Improving Customer Experience In New Jersey?

While the industry is currently in a standstill, betting in the Garden State has been unmistakably prosperous. And quite simply, the only reason New Jersey has experienced such a financial boon in such a short time is because of the bettors.

If people didn’t download the app to wager or show up to the window at one of the state’s casinos, there would be no revenue or taxes to be collected. Feels like a pretty simple concept, no?

Even though there are tons of betting options, college sports are hugely popular and the law doesn’t do everything it can to help the experience of the people that essentially raised $36 million in new tax dollars in 2019. As one New Jersey resident and Seton Hall fan told us, some don’t quite understand the game of geographical gymnastics that they’ve been forced into.

“I don’t feel like I should have to drive an hour, or 90 minutes, or two hours to place a bet when I only live a couple miles from the arena where they play all the games,” Brian Flynn explained. “So I don’t really get why it’s like this, why wouldn’t you want people to bet more?” he asked.

It’s a great question. The word ‘fan’ is short for fanatic, so it makes sense that people love to wager on the teams they root for. It’s part of human nature to feel like your favorite school is going to win and for many casual bettors, wagering on your own team enhances the game-watching experience. And when a fan’s team is achieving success, many fans will continue betting on that team regularly.

But without the option, New Jersey is watching other states walk off with money from its residents, just as offshore sportsbooks were doing not so long ago.

Is It Time To Consider Amending Sports Betting Law?

As a frequent sports bettor who places his wagers legally in New Jersey, the prohibition on local teams is something that has never sat well with me.

So when I spotted a high-ranking official from the New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement leaving the 2019 Sports Betting USA Conference in Manhattan, I opted to approach him and his colleague, another important DGE employee.

I lightheartedly remarked that the state may have to take a look at some of its rules if an in-state school like Seton Hall or Rutgers made a postseason run in basketball or football postseason due to the money that could potentially be made or lost.

Both men grinned and chuckled momentarily but didn’t seem to make much of the thought, probably imagining the farfetched likelihood Rutgers’ bottom-of-the-barrel football program going to the College Football Playoff. That remains unlikely, and it’s not as though the Scarlet Knights or Seton Hall has been historically considered a basketball powerhouse of any kind, either.

A few short months later, however, and there’s little to laugh about. This precondition was necessary at the time and sports betting in New Jersey may not exist without it, but now it’s 2020 and New Jersey’s teams were about to play a significant role in March Madness. So you’d have to excuse fans and bettors in the state for not getting the joke.

New Jersey would be missing out on opportunities to pull in more tax dollars while providing a service many residents desire because of an antiquated compromise that doesn’t even protect the integrity of the sport. The entire exchange reminded me of an excerpt from Lesniak’s book, where he references DGE director David Rebuck proclaiming his goal was to make New Jersey the top market for sports betting in the country.

The Garden State has gone a long way toward achieving this goal, passing incumbent Nevada in monthly handle and revenue in May 2019 for the first time, just a year after betting was launched. In fact, in the 13 months from June 2018 to September 2019, New Jersey pulled in nearly $9 million more than Nevada in tax revenue.

Things are indeed going very well as a whole, but wouldn’t it be wise to tap all available resources and exhaust all revenue-generating options? Perhaps then, it would be just a little bit easier to attain the ultimate goal of staying on the industry mountain top.

Once things make dollars, they seem to make sense, and this has been the case with sports betting all along. For the very first time, it’s possible that allowing betting on collegiate teams and sporting events in the state could help generate revenue for New Jersey. And it’s time everyone starts paying attention.

Carousel Group Launches SportsBetting.com in US Online Gambling Market

Unsplash/Nathan Shively

Carousel Group, a privately-held holding company that operates in the regulated online gaming industry, announced today the launch of SportsBetting.com after being granted an internet sports betting operator license from the Colorado Division of Gaming on April 30.

The company’s flagship brand, www.SportsBetting.com, will serve as the web and mobile app betting odds portal for customers within Colorado state lines.

“This is our first venture in the U.S. so our resources are focused and committed to the Colorado market,” Carousel Group CEO Daniel Graetzer said. “Colorado and its residents embody what our company values – a progressive and innovative approach to business and life – so we are thrilled to be making our rookie debut in such a great state.”

Carousel Group is partnering with local TV, radio, podcasts and print, as well as restaurants and bars, to expand the brand’s reach and awareness. Local businesses are encouraged to contact the company to present sponsorship opportunities.

The group also plans to support state-run charities and non-profit organizations.

“We want to dig our heels into the grass and snow and make a lasting footprint in Colorado’s community and economy,” Graetzer said. “While some of our competitors have closed their doors and laid off employees in the U.S., we’re looking to hire local talent.”

In another atypical approach, SportsBetting.com runs on Carousel Group’s proprietary in-house platform, which allows it to bring a unique product to the market. This is in contrast to the methodology many gambling companies have taken over the last two years since sports betting became legal in the U.S.

“We have built our business behind a team with more than 50 years of experience in the gaming industry. That, combined with our own technology, gives us a huge advantage over the competition,” Graetzer added. “It’s in our DNA to be innovative and with our own infrastructure we will offer something fresh, exciting and customer-driven to the U.S. betting community.”

SportsBetting.com is in the deep development stages and will be live prior to the 2020 football season.

College Sports Challenges, Uncertainty Make NIL Debate Even More Front And Center

Wikimedia Commons/Phil Roeder

We continue in unchartered waters in sports as many enter week four of the pandemic, and the college landscape remains as fluid as any. There is no shortage of opinion and conjecture, from spring sports eligibility to moving football to the 2022 are all on the table and the angst and viability of student athletes remains in flux.

Against all of that backdrop is the ongoing and vital debate about Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) and how that will factor into the business of college athletics going forward. How have things changed or adapted, and what would the opportunities be for athletes today if NIL as in place? One of the key advocates in NIL remains Zach Segal, who founded StudentPlayer.com last year as a platform to assist and recognize college athletes for their achievements on the field while tying them to brand opportunities, or in some cases, causes.  

We had some time to connect with Segal on how NIL is evolving, and how Student Player’s business platform has changed and adapted as well.

Does the opportunity for spring sports to add eligibility positively or negatively affect the NIL debate?

Any steps taken to promote fairness given these unprecedented times are good for the NIL debate. Afterall, allowing student athletes to benefit from their name, image, and likeness is not about giving student athletes an advantage relative to other students it is about treating them the equally! We hope that the longstanding inequity will be remedied soon!

How does a platform like student player impact a player prepping for the NFL Draft? once his eligibility end could he access funds if the system was up and running in say a year from now?

Student Player will offer sponsorship deals to student athletes when they are student athletes, but only after it is legal/permissible to do so. In our view, fans must have a voice and we give them the chance to be heard. Prospective athletes will want to know what kind of opportunities are available at each school, fans can make a difference by contributing! A player prepping for the NFL draft would still benefit from fan contributions while they are in college.

If NIL is in effect now how do you think athletes currently sidelined could use their rights for something like social good?

Yes, 100%. And we bet that many would! Today’s restrictions are essentially prohibiting that which is sad. Particularly so in a time when huge numbers of Americans (and others) are struggling to cope with Covid-19. This is just one reason why we hope school/legislatures/the NCAA won’t pause the momentum that NIL is having.

Without NIL in place this spring, have those athletes who missed March Madness suffered a loss of opportunity to capitalize on brand value? Can you think of a specific example?

Yes, March Madness shines a big spotlight on the athletes that play in it and the schools that they play for. There are missed opportunities across the board. Who would have hit a buzzer beater to help a double digit seed advance to the final four? We will never know, but that individual would have become a nationally recognized star. Who knows what would have happened next!

How do you see the debate moving in the fall when some normalcy returns; should we be looking for next steps?

We hope that it will pick up with as much momentum as it previously had. NIL is a bipartisan issue and a simple one.  In our view, the next step is for the NCAA to adopt California’s Fair Pay To Play Act. The NCAA and its member schools have long held that student athletes are “students first.” We agree! Given that, the solution is simple: treat student athletes like students. There are often mentions of “guardrails” and other safeguards, but we see all of those things as unnecessary. The goal should be to afford student athletes the same opportunities that every other student already has. Guardrails and safeguards should only be included if they are applied equally to all students (athlete or not).

Sidelines Shares Insight on the Innovative Act of Legalizing Sports Betting

credit: Keith Allison

Despite how anyone feels about sports betting at this juncture, the process of legalization has begun – and there’s likely no chance of stopping it. In May 2018, when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), only Oregon, Nevada, Montana, and Delaware allowed legalized betting on sports. Now, in 2020, the number of states has grown from four to 21, with a promise of more to come.

Once upon a time, this was a topic people remained hushed about, but now, even NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has recognized that legalized sports betting is making its way “out of the underground and into the sunlight.”

This has paved the way for partnerships between the usual suspects: sports leagues, broadcasters, teams, casinos, and sportsbooks, which are being contracted almost as quickly as the legislation is being passed. Just to name a few, the MLB, NBA, NHL, NFL, and UFC have deals with MGM Resorts, FanDuel, DraftKings, FoxBet, William Hill, and Caesars. These lucrative deals entail profits, real-time data sharing, and branding in the form of logos and social media platform exposure. 

But what does this mean for bettors? 

First, sportsbooks will have immediate access to official league data in real-time. Amongst other benefits, this means better set lines/odds both before and during games, including in-play betting. Sportsbooks can also be more creative with the types of wagers they offer, providing bettors with a multitude of betting choices. 

However, because of how quickly the legalization process is occurring, one can easily be overwhelmed by the ideas of partnerships and changes. What’s more, the heightened involvement of data can be daunting for those who want to bet, despite whether they are old pros or newbies. 

There is a light in this confusing, data-driven world of sports betting, though. 

One of the first companies to arrive on the scene is Sidelines, who knew right away that users needed an easy way to learn the market. Therefore, with the idea of providing users with a distinct advantage and an excellent value, Sidelines launched an odds comparison platform, bringing together market research and analysis for real-time odds comparisons across all legal U.S. sportsbooks. 

This is only a small example of what legalized sports betting will bring. 

The countless advantages to legalization and the process will only continue to gain traction within the community as this is further realized. As a result, both bettors and sports fans should keep themselves well informed on any changes and be prepared for the exciting prospects that will accompany it. 

FOX Bet Becomes Authorized Gaming Operator of the XFL

The XFL and FOX Bet today announced a new deal that makes the mobile sports betting brand an authorized gaming operator of the league.   

FOX Bet will promote and offer XFL-centric betting markets to its customers and create a special FOX Sports Super 6 game for each week of the XFL’s 10-week regular season (Feburary 8 – April 12), and one for its postseason semi-finals (April 18-19) and Championship game (April 26). This special XFL free-to-play game will offer guaranteed cash prizes and be promoted to the FOX Sports Super 6 database of over 1 million customers each week.

“We are thrilled to be an authorized gaming operator of the XFL and part of all the excitement surrounding the league’s kickoff this February,” said Robin Chhabra, CEO of FOX Bet. “Just as they are reimagining the game of football in America, we at FOX Bet are reimagining the sports experience for fans across the country.”

As part of the agreement, FOX Bet has the right to use the XFL’s official data feed, league marks, team logos, player and coach likeness and certain league content across its FOX Bet sports betting app and FOX Sports Super 6 free-to-play game.

“FOX Bet is a leader in mobile sports wagering, and we’re proud to partner with such an important player in the sports betting community,” said Jeffrey Pollack, President and COO of the XFL. “We want what our fans want and legal sports betting is an important part of the fan experience that will allow them to connect more strongly with the XFL.”

FOX Bet, the U.S. sports betting brand of The Stars Group, is currently available in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The FOX Sports Super 6 free-to-play game is available nationwide* and gives players a chance to win hundreds of thousands of dollars each week. FOX Bet plans to expand its sports betting products into additional states as they legalize and regulate online sports betting.

*Excluding Washington State

Michigan Prepares For Potential Sports Betting Boom

PlayMichigan.com

Michigan could rival the largest legal sports betting markets in the country once it matures, attracting billions of dollars in bets each year and generating millions in tax revenue, according to PlayMichigan.com analysts.

When Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed HB 4916 on Friday, Michigan became the 13th state to legalize online sports betting statewide and just the fifth state to legalize online casino gambling. And Michigan’s potential as a market is enormous, capable of generating as much as $7 billion to $8 billion in sports bets annually and $500 million in gross operator revenue, according to PlayMichigan.com projections.

“Michigan is the second-largest state in terms of population to have legalized online sports betting and online casinos and poker, behind only Pennsylvania,” said Dustin Gouker, chief analyst for PlayMichigan.com. “Michigan’s business-friendly tax rate and competitive licensing fees will attract operators, too. And with a solid tribal and commercial casino infrastructure already in place, Michigan should be poised for quick success.”

Michigan will tax sports betting gross revenue at 8.4%, and Detroit casinos will pay an additional 1.25% tax to the city. That makes Michigan among the most competitive compared to other legal jurisdictions. By comparison, Pennsylvania levies a 36% rate, by far the highest in the nation. New Jersey charges a 9.75% tax on revenue from retail sportsbooks and 13% on online sports betting revenue, and neighboring Indiana levies a 9.5% rate on its sportsbooks.

Even with the lower tax rate, sports betting could generate as much as $40 million annually for the state, according to PlayMichigan.com.

“Some in Michigan obviously wanted a higher tax rate, but the current rate should draw significant interest from sportsbook operators,” Gouker said. “That will help the market mature more quickly than markets such as Pennsylvania, where the ramp-up has been much slower despite having the largest population among all states with legal sports betting.”

Much of the future of Michigan sports betting depends on how much the state’s 23 tribes embrace online betting, which is a significant variable in how successful the industry might be in the state.

The same can be said for online gambling and poker, which could generate millions each year in gross revenue if it’s adopted by operators statewide.

Regardless, online gambling should eventually boost the online sports betting industry once it launches. In New Jersey, a symbiotic relationship has formed, spurring growth in both online casinos and online sportsbooks. And that relationship will likely develop in Michigan, too.

“The Michigan bill has clearly set up the industry to succeed and eventually become one of the largest markets in the country, as long as everyone buys in,” Gouker said. “By securing an operator-friendly infrastructure, the state should eventually realize its revenue goals to the benefit of Michigan as a whole.”

For more information and analysis on regulated sports betting in Indiana, visit PlayMichigan.com/news.

Online Betting Helps Indiana Sportsbooks Draw $91.7 Million in Bets in October

PlayIndiana.com

Buoyed by Chicago-area bettors and boosted by the launch of DraftKings and FanDuel online sportsbooks, Indiana’s online and retail handle in October nearly tripled from the previous month, according to PlayIndiana.com analysts.

“Indiana is quickly becoming a star among legal sports betting markets in the U.S.,” Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayIndiana.com. “Indiana is so far ahead of its neighbors in Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, and Michigan, that the Hoosier State is well on its way to establishing itself as the gambling capital of the Midwest.”

Indiana’s retail and online sportsbooks combined to collect $91.7 million in bets in October, up 161% from $35.2 million in retail bets in September, according to official report released Friday. The handle, 45% of which came from football bets, yielded $11.5 million in adjusted gross revenue for the sportsbooks, up 34% from $8.6 million September. October’s win generated $1.1 million in tax revenue for the state.

One doesn’t have to look far to understand what fueled Indiana’s growth. BetRivers Sportsbook, under the French Lick Resort license, was joined by heavyweight DraftKings, under the Ameristar Casino license, in early October as the first to launch their virtual windows. FanDuel, the largest online sports betting brand in the U.S., which is operating under the Blue Chip Casino license, launched later in the month.

The three online sportsbooks combined to take in $48.01 million in bets — 52% of the state’s total handle — which netted $4.2 million in gross receipts. DraftKings led the way by posting a $39.4 million handle, followed by BetRivers ($6.3 million), and FanDuel ($2.4 million).

Much of that is new money, too. DraftKings reported last month that 58% of its Hoosier State registrants have been new customers. And there is plenty more growth to be had. In Pennsylvania, for instance, about 75% of all bets are made online. In New Jersey, online bets account for about 85% of the state’s handle.

“Online sports betting is a key accelerator in the growth of any legal sports betting jurisdiction that offers it,” Gouker said. “But Indiana’s potential online market is particularly substantial. Indiana does not require out-of-state bettors to register in person at a retail sportsbook, so out-of-state residents simply need to cross the state line to place a bet.”

And Chicago-area residents are already crossing the state line in droves, as evidenced by the retail sportsbooks leading the market. Horseshoe Hammond, near Chicago, generated an Indiana-best handle of $10.7 million, which was up from $8.98 million in September. That yielded $1.7 million in gross receipts, which was up from $2.1 million. Horseshoe Hammond was followed by Hollywood Lawrenceburg near Cincinnati ($6.9 million in bets, up from $5.2 million; $843,970 win) and Ameristar Casino in East Chicago ($6.8 million handle, up from $5.4 million in September; $1 million win).

“Indiana is a unique market because it has so many large markets without legal sports betting so close to its borders,” Gouker said. “Two of the top retail sportsbooks in the state are near Chicago, and the second largest is just over the border from Cincinnati. That shows just how much out-of-state money is flowing into Indiana sportsbooks.”

Willows Hotel & Spa at Viejas Casino & Resort

On Veterans Day, November 11th, 2019, Viejas Casino & Resort will launch the Heroes Club, a one-of-a-kind benefits program designed to give back to those who serve as well as their dependents.

More military personnel reside in California than in any other state, and San Diego County contains the greatest concentration of military personnel inside California. In addition, with the county’s shared border with Mexico and the whole of California’s increasing threat of seasonal wildfires, San Diego County is home to a prevalence of border patrol agents, law enforcement, and first responders.

”All of us here at Viejas are honored to launch the Viejas Heroes Club appreciation program this upcoming Veterans Day,” said Jim Wild, General Manager of Viejas Casino & Resort. “Because we feel an enormous amount of respect and appreciation for the brave men and women who serve our country and communities—not only because San Diego is full of service members, but also because of the significant number of Native Americans who have served.”

“A call to service is a Native American tradition,” said John Christman, Chairman of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians. “And one example of this dedication to the community is our reservation’s first-class fire department, which has a shared service agreement with San Diego County.” In fact, over half of the medical and fire emergency calls into the Viejas Fire Department are for incidents outside of the reservation. “And when it comes to military service, members of our tribe have served in all branches of America’s armed forces, and many of our tribal members are decorated, military veterans.” Viejas also holds a special place in America’s military history as California’s very first all Indian VFW Post is located on the reservation. At the time of its founding, VFW Post #7637 was the second all Indian VFW Post in the entire United States.

Today, the Heroes Club appreciation program at Viejas Casino & Resort continues the long-standing Viejas tradition of honoring service members and their dependents. The Heroes Club enrollment is available to veterans, active and retired military, law enforcement, first responders, and border patrol. Eligible Viejas Guests may sign up for the Heroes Club at any myViejas desk inside the casino.

Members of the Heroes Club will receive a BOGO buffet on Wednesdays and an automatic myViejas Players Club silver card upgrade, which includes great discounts on dining, shopping, and the spa. In addition, Heroes Club members and their dependents are eligible for $5 Free Play Cash from Sunday–Friday, a Sunday bingo package, and a bowling discount.

GAN Launches Internet Gambling for Parx Casino in New Jersey

GAN plc, an award-winning developer and supplier of enterprise-level B2B Internet gaming software, services and online gaming content in the United States, today announces that GAN and Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment, Inc. trading as ‘Parx Casino’ (“Parx Casino”) have launched Internet gaming in the State of New Jersey now available online 24/7 since Friday October 4, following a three-day soft launch period.

Parx Casino patrons can also link their Reward Card online to their counterpart Internet gambling account, enabled by GAN’s U.S. patented integration framework. This represents the second U.S. State that GAN has launched Parx Casino in, following the launch of Internet sports betting and Internet casino gaming in Pennsylvania on June 24 and July 15, respectively.

Highlights

  • Parx owns and operates the #1 land-based casino property in Pennsylvania located a short distance from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s largest City. In the most recent fiscal year ended June 30, 2018 Parx Casino generated $570m from slot machines and table games on-property representing a 18% share of the Pennsylvania’s $3.2bn gaming market.
  • GAN’s US-patented technology enables Parx Casino patrons enrolled in the on-property loyalty program, to sign up online and instantly link their reward cards to their online account permitting those guests to trade in their reward points earned from on-property gaming for cash online and/or to earn rewards points from Internet gaming and/or sports betting, to be subsequently redeemed on-property.

Management Commentary

Dermot Smurfit, Chief Executive Officer of GAN commented:

“Launching the largest casino in Pennsylvania online has now logically extended across the border into New Jersey, extending their reach into New Jersey’s fast-growing and established Internet gambling market. This represents an incremental revenue opportunity for GAN and is a logical extension of our technology infrastructure to serve Parx Casino patrons who routinely cross the invisible border between these two populous States.”

John Dixon, Chief Operating Officer of Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment, Inc commented:

“GAN has now ably demonstrated it abilities to serve our business needs in multiple States which aligns with the cross-border nature of our existing retail gaming customer base. GAN’s launch in New Jersey was a case study in on-time delivery and professional excellence and will enable our patrons to gamble online in either Pennsylvania or New Jersey, as they wish.”

Indiana To Launch Online Sports Betting

 Indiana’s legal sports betting market could become one of the largest in the country, generating billions of dollars in bets annually and millions in tax revenue for the state for years to come, according to analysts from PlayIndiana.com.

On Thursday, Indiana will become the seventh state to allow the launch of legal online sports betting, but few of its predecessors have had as much potential as a sports betting market. Already with 13 retail sportsbooks, the addition of online sports betting to Indiana could mean that the state’s best-case scenario is to generate nearly $400 million in annual revenue from a handle of close to $6 billion if neighboring states such as Ohio and Kentucky do not legalize sports betting.

“Indiana’s close proximity to Chicago, as well as other relatively large markets such as Cincinnati and Louisville, should help the state punch above its weight class,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayIndiana.com. “As long as Indiana’s neighbors continue to prohibit sports betting, the state should expect huge flows of drive-in traffic.”

The two largest legal sports betting markets in the country enjoy a similar dynamic. Nevada has long relied on drive-in traffic from California to fill its sportsbooks. And New York helps fuel New Jersey’s sports betting industry, which has accepted $3.8 billion in bets since launching in June 2018.

“Indiana most closely resembles New Jersey, where the New York City market sits just across its border, helping to propel the Garden State into a neck and neck race with Nevada,” Gouker said. “If everything goes right for Indiana, it could see remarkable growth, as was the case in New Jersey.”

Such growth would be a boost to Indiana’s state budget. With a tax rate of 9.5%, $400 million in gross revenue for the sportsbooks would inject $38 million into state coffers.

PlayIndiana.com

Indiana’s 9.5% rate could also make it more attractive to operators.

By comparison, Pennsylvania levies a 36% rate, the highest in the nation. New Jersey levies a 9.75% tax on revenue from retail sportsbooks and 13% on online sports betting revenue.

“Indiana has set itself up as one of the most operator-friendly legal sports betting markets in the country,” said Kim Yuhl, analyst for PlayIndiana.com. “That balance should help both sportsbook operators and the state realize their revenue potential.”

For more information and analysis on regulated sports betting in Indiana, visit PlayIndiana.com/news.

ThePlayer.com Goes Live – Targets Regulated US Sportsbetting Market

Tom Brady (Keith Allison)

Cyprus-based online performance marketing firm Multibrands Digital has successfully launched its global sportsbetting odds comparison and tipster service ThePlayer.com – and promises to create value for all “Players” in the business, both bettors and gaming operators.

Following a 3-year successful run with its Swedish product 1X2.se, Multibrands Digital has finally gone global with ThePlayer.com – much to the delight of it’s international fan base that had been patiently waiting for this move. 

Opening its doors 3 weeks ago, ThePlayer.com has already seen 30 000 visitors find their way to the site. ThePlayer.com offers users a comprehensive odds comparison service, expert betting tips, objective sportsbook reviews, in-depth sports data and statistics, a place to keep your own spreadsheet and track your game in detail, and much more. Most major sports are covered, but new ones are added on a regular basis, with eSports next in line. Sports data, odds and statistics are provided by data provider Sportradar – a global leader in its field – and integrated into the services on the site.

“Informed customers are good customers”, says Christoffer Erngren, COO of Multibrands Digital. The times of over-the-top and complex bonus offers as the main way of attracting new customers are more or less over – even more so in regulated markets. We believe the future belongs to services comparing actual product offering like markets, game types and odds, rather than campaigns and bonus offers. As well as giving the user powerful tools to keep track of and improve his or her own game.” 

User interest so far indicates a promising future. At the moment the platform boasts 3000 spreadsheets, 1000 new bets per day posted by its users and close to 10 000 registered members. The site prides itself on maintaining a high level of transparency, as this is key for the tracking of bets, spreadsheets, compiling data and measuring ROI. As an example, the site’s tipsters can’t go back and change bets they have “locked in” in their spreadsheet – adding credibility to the data and the service.

“Our tipsters are carefully selected based on verifiable track record, our data carefully curated, and our platform continuously developed and improved to provide our users with the best possible service. Our ambition is very clear, and that is to become a leader in this field, in multiple markets all over the world. Collaborating with our tipsters via their own social media channels, we are making use of the influencer marketing model, giving us great reach and traffic from a large number of countries already. We plan to focus our efforts on English speaking markets in general, and on the regulated US market in particular”, concludes Erngren. 

Multibrands Digital has recently been approved as an authorized vendor/affiliate in the state of New Jersey and is currently working with a handful of operators there. The company is also looking at other American states that have either regulated or are close to regulate online sportsbetting, for further expansion.

With a successful launch and an ambitious roadmap – including an app for AppStore and Google Play currently in the works, where users will be able to subscribe to their favourite tipsters and get notifications whenever they post new content – ThePlayer.com is firmly on its path to levelling the playing field for all “Players”. 

BETMAPS Launches the First Sports Betting Social Directory

BetMaps, Inc. proudly announces the launch of the BETMAPS website and mobile app. BETMAPS is a place where sports fans, interested in legal sports betting, can find and compare nearby sportsbooks. With BETMAPS, users can read reviews, compare features, find events and specials, and connect with sportsbooks directly.

Sports betting is now legal in 18 states plus Washington, DC. Mobile betting has led the sports betting scene, with up to 85% of bets placed online. That’s great news for the industry. But for some, online betting lacks that loud, exciting, and social element which only a raucous sportsbook can provide.

To attract a new generation of sports fans, sportsbooks have built up their offerings. With their “man-cave” style furniture, pool tables, bar games, and huge walls of ultra-high-definition TVs, today’s sportsbooks have a lot to offer patrons. Other venues like sports bars, taverns, and stadiums are chomping at the bit to run their own sports betting operation. Each venue has something different to offer. However, one thing is clear: for a consumer, sorting through the different options is a tough task.

BetMaps, Inc.

“Through our platform, users can easily search for that perfect place. They can find a spot to make a bet, watch a game, soak up the atmosphere, and hopefully bring home a W,” said BetMaps, Inc. CEO and Founder Isaac Khan. “We do the work, so they can focus on enjoying the game.”

Khan, a pharmacist by trade, gained valuable experience when he started a successful consulting business. An amateur sports bettor at best, Khan saw a growing industry in need of a platform. The opportunity to shake things up was too hard to pass up. So Khan banded together with a few fellow sports fans to change the way consumers choose where to bet on sports. The BETMAPS team are professionals from diverse fields including law, finance, politics, and IT. After many long nights and early morning meetings across tables at sparsely-populated coffee shops and sports bars, BETMAPS has launched a game-changing platform.

Khan concluded, “We are in the early stages of legal sports betting, what better time than now to jump in. We’ll grow and adapt with this space and provide long-term value to our users.”

Study: 2 in 3 Sports Fans Want Betting Integrated into Game Day Experiences

Ahead of the one year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), GlobalWebIndex, the leading supplier of digital consumer insights to the global marketing industry, and The Action Network, the most trusted source for sports betting news and insights, announced the findings of a robust baseline study on sports betting interest in the United States.

To date, ten states have legalized sports betting, and additional states are in the process of doing so. In the twelve months since the PASPA repeal allowed states to legalize sports betting, 68% of sports fans placed a bet, or would have placed a bet if it were legal in their state. The study also suggests mobile will play a crucial role in the continued growth of sports betting and its impact on sports networks, as 67% of sports fans are interested in betting being integrated into live viewing experiences.

Sports betting is a potential boon to established and emerging sports leagues:

  • The majority of sports fans would place a bet on the leagues they support – NBA fans are most likely to do so (88%), followed by NFL fans (86%), eSports fans (86%) and MLB fans (81%).
  • The NBA also outranks other leagues for consumer interest in player-specific bets – nearly half of sports fans (47%) would place a prop bet on Kevin Durant, 41% on Stephen Curry and 37% on James Harden.
  • Sports betting increases gameday investment and engagement – 60% of respondents say they would be more likely to watch a game they bet on.

“In the year since sports betting has been legal in the United States, we’ve seen an explosion of fan engagement and growing revenue potential for rights holders, teams and leagues,” said Patrick Keane, CEO of The Action Network,“As the study confirms, sports fans want better information and insights, and they want to bet legally, conveniently and on their phones.”

Sports Bettors Seek Real-Time Engagement Online & on Mobile

Sports betting has the potential to complement game viewership as fans increasingly tap the power of mobile as their betting habits increase.

  • The majority of sports fans seek real-time betting opportunities — the most interested being 78% of NCAAB fans who say they would place a bet while watching college basketball, followed by fans of NCAAF (75%), MLB (75%), NFL (73%) and NBA (73%).
  • Mobile betting products are rising in importance — 80% of respondents say they would prefer to bet via app or website, compared to 50% who would bet in-person.
  • Sports fans desire specialized apps — 55% are interested in using a mobile app primarily focused on sports betting, with NHL fans (67%) and NBA fans (61%) the most interested.
  • Mobile betting is likely to boost gameday viewership — 54% of sports fans say if they placed a bet, they would be more likely to follow the game through a sports news app or gambling app.
  • In-app game streaming supports real-time betting — 44% of sports fans say that, if possible, they would place a bet while following a game in-app.

“As the legalization of sports betting continues to spread throughout the U.S., our insights suggest mobile will become a predominant channel of engagement,” said Jason Mander, Chief Research Officer at GlobalWebIndex. “The ubiquity of mobile streaming, in general, leads consumers to expect and demand that what they watch on TV can be continued seamlessly on-the-go; the same need is now being applied to sports betting as fans want to stay invested no matter where they are.”

Methodology

GlobalWebIndex surveyed 3,057 U.S. internet users aged 21-64 between April 17-30, 2019. 1,069 of the respondents self-identified as ‘sports fans’ by selecting 8-10 on a 0-10 scale of their interest in sports. Surveys were collected via mobile, desktop, laptop or tablet.

Sports Betting Coming to Isleta Resort & Casino in N.M.

Isleta Resort & Casino, in Albuquerque, N.M., has announced it will bring Las Vegas-style sports gambling to its Resort. The move follows a 2017 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, which opened the door for tribes to legalize wagers on everything from college basketball to professional football. It’s a victory for those pushing for more gaming options, and Isleta Resort & Casino is thrilled to be an industry leader.

“We’re very excited to be answering the requests of our guests to bring sports gambling to New Mexico,” said Isleta Resort & Casino CEO Harold Baugus. “We look forward to unveiling all of the exciting possibilities to our patrons,” he continued.

The Supreme Court’s decision on Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, gives states like New Mexico the authority to adopt laws regulating sports betting. New Mexico is now the fifth state to follow suit. The Resort’s new Sports Betting venue is expected to open later this summer, with USBookmaking as its provider.

“We are proud to be selected by Isleta Resort & Casino to provide sports betting services for their casino. We offer outstanding service for our clients and our selection by Isleta validates the tremendous value that USBookmaking contributes,” stated Vic Salerno, President of USBookmaking.

Isleta Resort & Casino

As Isleta Resort & Casino steps up to the plate, details on when sports betting will be available will be released in the near future. More information on the Resort and its amenities can be found at www.isleta.com.

American Pharoah and Other Summer’s Top Stories

By Terry Lyons @terrylyons, Contributing Columnist for @TheDailyPayoff

In the eastern USA, it’s getting dark at 7pm, the networks have concluded their endless broadcasting of meaningless NFL preseason games and, for you Steely Dan fans out there, the Wolverine is on its way towards Annandale.

Which means, summer is almost over.

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There’s been plenty of news posted on The Daily Payoff during the past two months but maybe, like me, you’ve been preoccupied, reading those trashy paperback novels, listening to the sounds of summer at the beach or watching the Red Sox stumble to another last place finish.

To be sure you’re up-to-speed, I’m shaking the sand out of the beach chair and my reporter’s notebook to review a few important occurrences which took place during the past two months while we were all Gone Fishin’.

1. Triple Crown winner American Pharoah took the track at Monmouth Park for The Haskell and did not disappoint a New Jersey record 60, 983 horse racing fans who turned out to see the champ continue his winning ways after a 58-day lay-off from the historic win at the Belmont Stakes. Pharoah then was saddled up for The Travers at Saratoga and the track’s reputation as the “Graveyard of Champions” remained intact as longshot “Keen Ice” upset the triple crown winner. On October 31, all eyes will be on American Pharoah at the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland which is expected to be the colt’s last race before heading out to stud and a cool $150,000 per pop. What a horse! What a life!

2. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) declined jurisdiction over the plight of Northwestern University football players seeking to register as a union. The unanimous decision by the NLRB avoided involvement in the hot potato of “student athlete” rights as they pertain to the NCAA, but it noted the ruling pertained to State-run universities and did not address private schools. The issue of paying collegiate players to play remains a possibility and the case it likely to be appealed to Federal Court.

3. Speaking of Federal cases, DeflateGate was resolved, at least temporarily, when Judge Richard Berman of the US Federal Court, Southern District of New York vacated Tom Brady’s four-game suspension. The judge also took the NFL to task on various procedures of its flimsy Wells Report and subsequent hearing before “Cop-Judge-Jury” Commissioner Roger Goodell. Remember, it all began on January 18, 2015 and could have been resolved by January 20 with some foresight by the NFL and the Patriots. Overall, the entire process has been a colossal waste of time and, ultimately tax-payers money. While it’s now subject to the NFL’s appeal, the entire ridiculous fairytale was possibly a giant smoke-screen left to cover the NFL’s more problematic player image headlines, like Ray Rice and several other domestic violence cases.

4. Although dozens of popular and admirable athletes, executives and administrators have passed away in 2015, some taken far too early, it’s important to recognize the passing of former NY Giants star Frank Gifford. Known to so many as the chiseled and competent anchor of Monday Night Football from 1971 to 1998, Gifford passed away from natural causes on August 9th, a week before his 85th birthday. He was lauded for his pioneering role in transitioning from athlete to broadcaster. Rest in Peace to Giff.

5. Before the 2015 NFL season kicks-off, the two industry leaders of Daily Fantasy Sports, Draft Kings and Fan Duel, will have spent a combined $110 million dollars – just on TV ads, with a reported $86.2 million attributed to Draft Kings, according to combined reports by ispot.tv and Kantar Media. Those figures do not – repeat NOT – include the millions spent on radio, digital and traditional billboard and print advertising deals. As the popular and DFS friendly NFL season kicks-off on September 10 and continues with its full schedule on September 13, the barrage of advertising done by Draft Kings and Fan Duel, already ubiquitous, will reach spending levels only approached in prior years by the beer companies. Jason Robbins, CEO of Draft Kings, and Nigel Eccles, the head of Fan Duel, can both be crowned as the most powerful men in sports in 2015.

6. On August 25, the Third US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the State of New Jersey to uphold prior verdicts that NJ’s plans to authorize sports betting were a violation of the federal law, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. The court’s ruling points any future movement in the legalization of sports betting to Congress. Vocal NJ State Senator Ray Lesniak will need to ramp up efforts at the Congressional level, not via his own’s state government, to make any further progress. In the past, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who opposed the efforts in NJ, has written that he and the league support a federally legislated and regulated law to allow sports gambling. The late August ruling will shelve the issue for years to come, unless you believe Congress can actually get something done?

7. Boston 2024 is no longer. Since I dedicated an entire column to the issue on July 8, I will spare readers from past details of Boston’s inept bid and the politics surrounding every decision. Instead, I must note the lost opportunity of hosting an Olympic Games has most Boston and Massachusetts residents singing “Hallelujah,” while some of us wonder if our generation will accomplish anything of significance or just continue to complain about everything and do nothing? The US Olympic Committee and the City of Los Angeles quickly moved forward and have plans to nominate LA as a potential host of the 2024 Games, but the City of Angels will face very stiff competition from the likes of Rome and Paris for the IOC’s blessing to host the youth of the world in 2024. My money is on Paris.