Missouri Lawmakers Will Continue Push for Sports Betting

Add Missouri to the growing list of states set to consider sports betting legislation in 2019.

“I certainly anticipate it being out there (in 2019) for discussion before the House and the Senate,” Representative Dean Plocher, (R-Des Peres) told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch this week.

Plocher sponsored legislation last spring that did not advance in either legislative chamber. Multiple drafts of legislation were circulating even before the May U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned the law banning states from offering Nevada-style, single-team sports betting.

Expect Sports Betting to Be on 2019 Legislative Agenda and Missouri May Consider a Payout to the Professional Leagues

 

Read more Missouri Lawmakers Will Continue Push for Sports Betting on SportsHandle.

Delaware Sees Slight Dip in Betting Handle for October

In October, Delaware’s total sports betting handle dropped almost $2 million, from $16,830,010 in September to $14,738,223, according to the latest report from the Delaware Lottery. But that $14.7 million September handle is the second biggest since the First State became the first state outside Nevada to offer full-fledged, legal sports betting in June.

Previously the state offered parlay wagering on NFL contests only, an offering that was “grandfathered” in under the 1992 federal law ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in May. That law had banned full-fledged sports betting outside Nevada.

Delaware Park, located less than an hour from Philadelphia, remained the busiest sportsbook. Bettors placing $10.6 million in wagers there, compared to the $2.2 million handle at Dover Downs and $1.9 million at Harrington Raceway.

 
 

Read more Delaware Sees Slight Dip in Betting Handle for Octoberon SportsHandle.

KY Lawmakers Closing In On Sports Betting Bill to Pass in ’19, Hone In On Final Key Issues

Expect Kentucky to among the first movers on sports betting when the state legislature goes back into the session in January. On Friday, state lawmakers heard from a bevy of sports betting and gaming professionals during a hearing before the Interim Joint Committee on Licensing, Occupations and Administrative Regulations. It was the second such meeting before an interim joint committee ahead of Kentucky’s 2019 session.

“I think you definitely will see one if not multiple bills in Kentucky,” said Global Market Advisors’ Director of Government Affairs Brendan Bussman. “There is definitely a will within some of the active members there who want to bring this up, and there is no reason why they shouldn’t.”

Though the hearing was comprehensive and there were plenty of questions from legislators, it’s unlikely that much will happen in the next month ahead of mid-term elections. That said, a sports betting bill was pre-filed earlier this year, a second is in the works, according to a source, and there could be more to come.

 

Read more KY Lawmakers Closing In On Sports Betting Bill to Pass in ’19, Hone In On Final Key Issues on SportsHandle.

Top New Jersey Regulator Calls Out Pro Leagues ‘Fear Mongering’ on Sports Betting

New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement Director (DGE) David Rebuck on Tuesday offered his blunt assessment of the NFL’s characterization of the state of sports betting in the U.S.: “Nonsense.”

The NFL’s stance, voiced again at House of Representatives hearing on Sept. 27, was that states legalizing sports wagering are now engaging in a “regulatory race to the bottom,” which Rebuck called “fear mongering” and “nonsense.”

Rebuck’s remarks came during a Global Gaming Expo (G2E) panel in Las Vegas alongside Pennsylvania’s Susan Hensel, Director of Licensing for the state’s gaming control board, and Matthew Morgan, Director of Gaming Affairs for the Chickasaw Nation. Rebuck’s criticism focused in part on the “integrity fee” as well as Major League Baseball and NBA’s efforts at compelling lawmakers to require state-licensed sportsbooks to use “official league data” for grading wagers, which he framed as fundamentally anti-business, and a mandate that New Jersey unequivocally will not implement.

 

Read more Top New Jersey Regulator Calls Out Pro Leagues ‘Fear Mongering’ on Sports Betting  on SportsHandle.

The Analyst: Good Marketing Combo: Sports Teams, Sportsbooks

The post The Analyst: Good Marketing Combo: Sports Teams, Sportsbooks appeared first on SportsHandle.

It was not that long ago here in the United States that the idea of professional sports teams partnering with casinos, sportsbooks or online betting sites would seem as likely as seeing a dog and cat dancing the Merengue together. Part of the reason was the federal ban on sports wagering and of course the fear by the sports leagues that relationships with gaming houses would somehow taint their sport and cast a shady image on them. But wow, what a difference a Supreme Court ruling can make.

Though it was years in the making and purely a by-product of the nationwide acceptance of gaming as an everyday form of recreation that the pall and image of gambling being a back room, mob run shady operation was lifted. That lift of the social stigma fostered a change of image for gambling and probably as much as the facts of law inspired the Supreme Court to recognize and overturn the federal ban on sports wagering.

While the Court’s ruling returned certain state’s rights of self-determination, it also helped tip national acceptance of wagering as a legitimate business and made it very possible for professional sports teams and gambling houses to engage in various types of marketing relationships.

Please click here to read the remainder of the column at Gaming Today.

Legal Sports Betting In The U.S.: The British are Coming! The British are Coming!

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Historians now say Paul Revere never said it, but currently, at least in the world of expanded legal sports betting, it’s certainly true. But, just why are British-controlled betting companies making their presence so widely felt in the new U.S. sports betting marketplace?

According to insiders and industry observers speaking to Sports Handle on the condition of anonymity, U.S. gambling companies lacked the experience or the personnel to handle what will be a huge undertaking. Even the largest U.S. casinos operators, despite the general feeling that PAPSA, the law limiting sports betting largely to Nevada, would be ruled unconstitutional, seem to have been caught somewhat off guard by the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the New Jersey-led Murphy v NCAA.

Unlike this country, where bookmaking was regarded as shadow and largely illegal activity, in Britain and most of Europe, sports betting and bookmaking remain part of the societal fabric. It may take years for bookmaking, even as it becomes legal in state after state, to lose some of the social stigma associated with it.

The New Era of Legal Sports Betting: Las Vegas Is 10 Years Behind, Opening Pathway For British Operators

legal betting sites us british operators

As one industry insider told me, “How many people in the U.S. have trained for this career path? Anyone with bookmaking knowledge works for an illegal offshore, outside of that you have Vegas properties that are 10 years behind versus Europe.”

He also noted that “in-play” betting in the U.S. (often called “trading” in Europe), regarded as the major growth area of sports wagering, lags significantly behind Europe where trading floors operate as nerve centers at every bookmaking operation.

Only William Hill, the British-controlled bookmaker appeared ready to spring into action when the PAPSA decision came down in early May. However, William Hill, under the able and farsighted leadership of Joe Asher, is not a casino company in the U.S.  In Nevada and now in other jurisdictions, its business model generally calls for leasing casino space, remodeling the facility, sharing a portion of the profit and little of the risk with its landlord.

For this reason, the company was able to quickly move into Delaware where it already had the legal parlay card franchise through that state’s lottery, via its partnership with Scientific Games. In New Jersey, the company developed a close relationship with Monmouth Park, the thoroughbred track that bore all the expense and did all the heavy lifting that resulted in the PAPSA ruling. William Hill is also now operating in Atlantic City at the Ocean Resort Casino.

It seems the large U.S. casino titans readily gave lip service to the concept of being ready for sports betting. However, after the May ruling they apparently were forced to scramble to get their sports betting operations going. That resulted in new market entrants in non-Nevada states seeking out European groups to access proven wagering platforms, experienced computer programmers, and even some executives to manage the operation.

In new sports betting states that now have legal, real-money online casino games and online sports betting such as New Jersey, the casino giants were already using European-controlled companies’ software to operate online, so it made sense to further expand these kinds of relationships to include sports betting. The major casino companies remain on a mission to aggregate all of their customers’ betting activity, that now includes or will include sports betting, onto one online platform for advanced player tracking and subsequent marketing.

This is at the core of this new “British Invasion.”

The betting platforms currently used in Nevada apparently were unable to fill the needs of the major gaming companies, so they were compelled to look abroad.

Euro Operators Ready

paddy power betfair fanduel group merger and will combines us sports betting operations

As another industry insider explained, “The Euro operators are offering a turnkey sportsbook solution – platform, data, risk. The US brick-and-mortar locations – be it casinos or racetracks – have limited expertise in sports betting, such that a turn key solution is attractive to them. Many are signing short term deals though, or deals with an out clause, such that as they gain experience, they can add their own layers of risk management, data, personalization, etc.”  

He continued, “The Euro guys are ready whereas some of the home grown guys are not, with exception of William Hill.” He also relayed that Scientific Games (Las Vegas-based but with a major European presence) is still working on their U.S. version of their Open Bet” platform. IGT (now headquartered in London instead of Reno) still has programming issues. “So by process of elimination, the Euro guys are winning a chunk of the business,” he said.

Sharing the sports betting risk for the U.S. casino giants may also be a major issue prompting them to join forces with the experienced now deep-pocketed European counterparts. The spate of mergers by British-controlled bookmakers such as Ladbrokes with Coral and GVC with Paddy Power and BetFair among others, have made these bookmaking entities stronger than ever before. This strength has allowed them to swoop in to quickly compete with William Hill, the company that did not consolidate with another firm, even though William Hill has had a U.S. operation far longer than anyone else.

Although many projections pegged the U.S. sports betting market in be in the many billions of dollars and perhaps the world’s largest in five to 10 years, many of the large U.S. casino companies may not have taken these figures seriously. Apparently, now they do and are moving swiftly to access the profits that may be available.

To do this, for most, means taking in an experienced partner, so expect the “British Invasion” to continue as more states open legal sports betting markets.

The British are already here.

[Also See: William Hill Penetrates Mississippi Sports Betting, Teases Much More]

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FanDuel-Boyd Gaming Sports Betting Partnership Puts Focus On Online Wagering

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The spate of brand and technology alliances in the new national sports betting industry continues with the announcement late Thursday that Las Vegas-based Boyd Gaming Corporation and the FanDuel Group, the Paddy Power Betfair subsidiary, have entered into a strategic partnership to “pursue sports betting and online gaming opportunities across the United States.”

Earlier in the week, Boyd announced an alliance with MGM Resorts International that would allow the two major casino operators in Southern Nevada and now in an expanding number of regional gaming markets nationally, to facilitate sports betting in states where one company is licensed and the other is not.

Boyd Gaming is one of the largest companies in the gaming industry and, after completion of two pending acquisitions (Valley Forge in Pennsylvania and four former Pinnacle properties), will operate 29 casinos across 10 states.

FanDuel Sportsbook Finds Another Partner In Boyd Gaming to Pursue Opportunities Across U.S. Sports Betting States

fanduel sportsbook boyd gaming us sports betting


Boyd has a rich history in the world of sports betting as owner of the Stardust on the Las Vegas Strip. Although Boyd acquired the property several years after Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal opened a plush 9,000-sq.ft. sportsbook in 1976, the company nurtured and grew Rosenthal’s concept turning the Stardust into the preeminent legal sport betting operation in the U.S. The Stardust was demolished in 2007 to make way for a major Boyd casino project, never completed after the 2008 economic downturn.

Malaysia-based Genting Group bought the site from Boyd, with plans to open Resorts World, a Chinese-themed resort, by 2020.

Now known as the FanDuel Group, the leading Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) company after DraftKings (perhaps now its full equal), the company claims eight million customers and a presence across 45 states. FanDuel, acquired by Paddy Power Betfair in early July, currently operates the new sports book at the Meadowlands Racetrack and will operate the sportsbook operation at The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia when that state rolls out sports wagering, expected in the next few weeks.

Establishing an Online Presence.

The Boyd/FanDuel agreement, subject to state law and regulatory approvals, would quickly allow Boyd to establish a presence in the online gaming and the national sports wagering industry by gaining access to FanDuel Group’s technology and related services to operate Boyd Gaming-branded mobile and online sports-betting and gaming services.  FanDuel Group would operate mobile and online sports betting and gaming services under the FanDuel brand in the states where Boyd Gaming is licensed.

Said Keith Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Boyd Gaming:

Through this partnership, Boyd Gaming and FanDuel Group will be in excellent position to successfully capitalize as sports betting and online gaming expand across the country. By joining forces with FanDuel’s nationally-known brand, as well as their considerable technical expertise and resources, we will be positioned to build market-leading sports-betting and online gaming operations in each state as they move forward with these new forms of entertainment. We will also see immediate benefits from our cross-marketing agreement with FanDuel, introducing millions of FanDuel customers to Boyd Gaming’s properties nationwide.

Matt King, Chief Executive Officer of FanDuel Group said, “There is incredible momentum in the sports betting space and we look forward to partnering with Boyd Gaming to bring the FanDuel Sportsbook to more customers across the United States.”

The agreement will cover all states where Boyd Gaming holds gaming licenses currently and in the future, excluding Nevada. It also covers states included under Boyd Gaming’s market-access agreement with MGM Resorts International.  Upon completion of Boyd Gaming’s pending acquisitions of the four Pinnacle properties and Valley Forge, Boyd Gaming says it will have regulated operations in 15 states, representing more than 36 percent of the U.S. population.

FanDuel Group says it will market Boyd Gaming properties through its existing daily fantasy sports service and future interactive sports betting and gaming services, while Boyd Gaming will promote FanDuel’s products to its customer base.  FanDuel Group will also provide Boyd Gaming customers access to its existing product line.

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How Will Nevada Answer New Questions About Legal Sportsbook Regulation?

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Last week the Nevada Gaming Control Board posted the following notice:

“The Board recognizes the potential impact the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Murphy v. NCAA could have on Nevada’s sports wagering industry. In addition, various divisions of the Board are presently reviewing Regulation 22 (Race Book and Sports Pools) to determine which, if any, regulations need changes. As such, the Board would like comments from the industry regarding changes it feels are appropriate for Regulation 22. Please submit your comments no later than August 6, 2018.”

In the past when I would read these type of notices, I would chuckle, knowing most of the time the agency had already decided what they wanted to do and were simply following the state’s requirements to notice the industry. This time though, they might just be listening as to what regulations need to change to accommodate those Nevada bookmakers who are looking to centralize the management of their sportsbook operations, and I sincerely hope they do listen.
Sportsbooks have always been a challenge for regulators – lines made based on opinions; movements made based on recent and expected action and/or changes in team/player information; diverse lines between books – no simple basic math for the reviewing regulators to rely on, so confusing for the inexperienced.
Please click here to read the remainder of the column at Gaming Today.
RelatedMailbag Mythbusting: The Wire Act and Sports Betting, Explained
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The Analyst: Go East Young Bookie!

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Back in the 1800’s Horace Greely was credited with the popular phrase “Go West Young Man, Go West” when offering advice about going west to seek fortune and opportunity. If Horace Greeley were alive today and were offering advice to those interested in the business of sports wagering, I suspect, and would bet serious dollars, he would modify his famous quote and post to a Twitter account: “Go East Young Bookie, Go East!”

As jurisdictions on the east coast of the United States embrace and welcome full on sports wagering it will only be a function of time before the national and international gaming operators wake up and realize, no different than the stock market, they will need their line makers and risk managers for their sportsbook operations to be based on the east coast or else start making those folks get into their Las Vegas offices by 5 a.m.

Consider this simple reality: there are nearly 60 million people and the highest concentration of professional sports in the north east United States, and those bettors are not likely to want to wait until 11 a.m. or noon on the east coast to start getting their bets down.

Please click here to read the remainder of the column at Gaming Today.

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