D.C. Council Quashes Pro-League Fee, But Sports Betting Bill Moves On

The professional sports leagues struck out again on Wednesday when the D.C. City Council opted to remove language from its sports betting bill that would have payed the leagues a royalty. Entering Wednesday’s “mark-up” hearing in the Finance and Revenue Committee, a revised version of Bill 22-944 included a one-quarter of 1 percent cut of gross sports wagering revenue as a payout to the professional leagues. But the council unanimously agreed to cut the amendment that added that fee.

The net result is that the committee agreed to move the bill along to a first reading, set for Dec. 4. The goal is to get the bill voted on at a Dec. 16 meeting.

During the one-hour hearing, several other bills were discussed, but the committee spent about half an hour discussing sports betting. Key changes to the original bill included creating a two-block no-competition zone around designated gaming facilities; removing the mandate that sportsbooks use official league data and replacing that with the royalty; language reaffirming that the D.C. Lottery would regulate sports betting; and allowing mobile bettors to use the D.C. Lottery sports betting app around the city, but requiring them to use only the app approved by a gaming facility in said facility.


Read more D.C. Council Quashes Pro-League Fee, But Sports Betting Bill Moves On on SportsHandle.

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.

DraftKings CEO Robins Reveals Sports Betting Already Crushing For Company Overall

The numbers are beginning to show that DraftKings’ metamorphosis from a daily fantasy sports operator to sportsbook-first company is moving at Ludicrous Speed. The DFS aspect of the company isn’t going anywhere, but the revenue and obviously growth potential in the U.S. is in legal sports betting.

At the ICE Sports Betting USA conference in Manhattan on Wednesday, DraftKings Co-Founder and CEO Jason Robins told Darren Rovell (who himself switched jerseys from ESPN to Action Network mid-conference) that 20 percent of the company’s business is currently being generated through sports betting. In New Jersey, where the DraftKings Sportsbook was first to market in the state in August, Robins said sports betting represents 80 percent of the company’s revenue.

In other words, the sports betting revenue being generated in just one state*, roughly four months post-launch, is currently accounting for 20 percent of the company’s overall revenue coming nationwide via daily fantasy sports contests.

DraftKings Sportsbook Already Driving 20 Percent of Company’s Revenue; Full Speed Ahead For Familiar Players As Expansion Continues



Read more DraftKings CEO Robins Reveals Sports Betting Already Crushing For Company Overall on SportsHandle.

MGM Adds MLB to Its List of ‘Official Partners’

Major League Baseball is following in the footsteps of the NBA and NHL, and on Tuesday announced a partnership with MGM, which now becomes baseball’s official gaming and entertainment partner. MGM already has similar deals with the NBA and NHL, and now will have access to official data and sponsorship rights from three of the four U.S. professional sports leagues.

The deal gives MGM non-exclusive rights to the MLB’s official stats, but the company will have exclusive rights to some of the league’s advanced stats.

“We are pleased to partner with MGM Resorts International, a clear industry leader in the sports gaming area, to work together on bringing innovative experiences to baseball fans and MGM customers,” said baseball commissioner Robert Manfred in an press release. “Our partnership with MGM will help us navigate this evolving space responsibly, and we look forward to the fan engagement opportunities ahead.”

MLB Falls Into Line With NBA, NHL in Naming MGM Its ‘Official Partner’ in a Non-Exclusive Deal



Read more MGM Adds MLB to Its List of ‘Official Partners’ on SportsHandle.

MGM, Caesars Among Founding Members of Sports Betting Integrity Monitoring Group

MGM and Caesars are among the members of a new not-for-profit that will monitor integrity in sports betting. The organization, the Sports Wagering Integrity Monitoring Association, will bring together key gaming stakeholders, including state and tribal regulatory bodies, federal, state and tribal law enforcement, in an effort to uncover and prevent fraud and other illegal activities related to sports betting and sporting events.

The group is modeled after the Europe Sport Security Association which monitors sports betting and sports events for fraud. 888Sport, PaddyPower/BetFair and William Hill are among ESSA’s members. According to SportTechie.com, ESSA was involved in the creation of SWIMA and the two organizations plan to work together to monitor integrity.


Read more MGM, Caesars Among Founding Members of Sports Betting Integrity Monitoring Group on SportsHandle.

They’re Off: Rhode Island Becomes First New England State to Take Legal Sports Bets

Five months after legalizing sports betting and nearly 60 days after the projected opening date, a group of lawmakers and a corporate executive placed the ceremonial first sports bet at Rhode Island’s Twin River Sportsbook on Monday. In so doing, Rhode Island became the sixth non-Nevada state post-PASPA to open up for legal sports betting, and the first in New England.

Rhode Island Senate President Dominick Ruggerio, House Speaker Nicholas Matiello and Twin River Worldwide Holdings Chairman John Taylor Jr. placed the first bets after making remarks.

The sportsbook officially opened at 3 p.m. local time with an opening ceremony — in time for Monday Night Football. Rhode Island has only two casinos, Twin River and Tiverton, both owned by the same company. The Tiverton sportsbook is scheduled to open in December.

Rhode Island Becomes First in New England to Offer Sports Betting as Twin River Casino Hotel Opens Sportsbook

Read more They’re Off: Rhode Island Becomes First New England State to Take Legal Sports Bets on SportsHandle.

South Dakota Special-Interest Group Wants Sports Betting Initiative

The fifth smallest state in the nation by population, South Dakota doesn’t want to be left out of the sports betting game. Known for Mount Rushmore and the scenic Black Hills, South Dakota has more than 30 commercial and tribal casinos, and if the Deadwood Gaming Association gets its way, sports betting will be on the menu by 2021. The association is working on a ballot measure and is going to ask state lawmakers to put it on the 2020 ballot.

South Dakota has had legal gaming since 1989 and 22 of the state’s casinos are located in Deadwood. Gaming is only legal in Deadwood and at tribal casinos, though the video lottery is legal across the state.

“We want to keep Deadwood a competitive gaming destination,” Mike Rodman, executive director of the Deadwood Gaming Association told Sports Handle. “A few years ago (2014), we put in craps and roulette for just that reason.”

Rodman said the goal would be to have legal sports betting in South Dakota beginning on July 1, 2021. His group has already submitted the ballot initiative to the state legislature’s research council and it is now being considered by the state attorney general’s office. Rodman said that so far, state lawmakers support the idea, as long as sports betting is limited to Deadwood and tribal locations.


Read more South Dakota Special-Interest Group Wants Sports Betting Initiative on SportsHandle.

Get a Grip: The Week In Sports Betting: More Things Keep Happening, Everywhere

It’s information overload everywhere, and there’s not time enough to sleep and eat and stay fully apprised of what’s happening on this crazy blue dot of ours (two out of three ain’t bad).

Here’s the weekend Sports Handle item, “Get a Grip,” recapping the week’s top stories, and rounding up key stories in sports betting, gaming, and the world of sports at large. You may have missed them, and they are worth reading.

Top happenings and developments this week:

Keepin’ it brief this week because you people are either unplugged this weekend, shopping, avoiding shopping,  watching college football, de-fatting from Thanksgiving, or some combination.

1) After some stops, starts, testing and unrealized projections, sports betting is finally set to launch in Rhode Island on Monday at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln.

2) This week in Virginia, home to zero casinos and a few racetracks, emerged a bill pre-filed for 2019 that would grant the state lottery authority to licenses up to five sportsbooks (and itself). The lottery would have regulatory authority and would have to decide how it’ll work. In other words, whether to permit online-only operators and/or allow them to establish a brick-and-mortar presence as well. Very early stages here but we didn’t expect Virginia to enter the conversation heading  in 2019.

3) The Mississippi Gaming Commission released the October revenue report his week and while the betting handle was static at about $32.8 million, the hold dropped to just 3.59 percent as the Gulf Coast casinos got hammered on football, losing a combined $600,000.

4) Last Friday DraftKings opened a brick-and-mortar sportsbook in Mississippi (near Biloxi), and this week, on Tuesday, it opened its second U.S. physical sportsbook, at Resorts Casino in Atlantic City. The leader so far in New Jersey’s online sportsbook handle and revenue, DraftKings had been working on the project with Resorts (quietly) for at least a couple months. One interesting footnote: The small, Resorts-branded, SB Tech-run book that opened in the summer closed up shop, coinciding with the launch of the DK book.

5) Like Mississippi, Delaware’s October handle dipped a bit, too. Perhaps they should both consider regulations allowing patrons to make wagers via mobile devices/online, not exclusively on premises.


Read more Get a Grip: The Week In Sports Betting: More Things Keep Happening, Everywhere on SportsHandle.

Expect North Carolina Lawmakers to Talk Sports Betting in ’19

North Carolina lawmakers haven’t officially broached the subject of legal sports betting, but that doesn’t mean ideas and conversations about the topic aren’t circulating around the state.

“This is an issue that’s on people’s minds, but I don’t know where our caucus stands, particularly the new members. I expect that the proper role for the state will be discussed as we enter the new session next year,” North Carolina senator Phil Berger told the Charlotte Observer in an email.

Several North Carolina lawmakers introduced legislation in 2018 to legalize daily fantasy sports, but none got to a vote. In neighboring South Carolina, at least one sports betting bill was filed in the state legislature, but did not reach a vote. Lawmakers, there, though, are enthusiastic about the possibility of legalizing sports betting.


Read more Expect North Carolina Lawmakers to Talk Sports Betting in ’19 on SportsHandle.

‘Pro Football Handle’: NFL Week 12 Breakdown, Thanksgiving, Steelers-Broncos and More

On The Pro Football Handle, brought to you by PropSwap.com, Las Vegas-based sports talk voice Matt Perrault and veteran bookmaker Robert Walker of USBookmaking dive into select NFL games, line movements and bookmaker liabilities, plus greater sports betting topics and stories that may have nothing to do with football. Walker has seen it all behind the counter and Perrault the same from behind the microphone, so they’ll have you prepared for anything.

It’s Thanksgiving Week! None of these are marquee games, but it’s one of the three biggest handles of the year. Everyone’s on the favorite and the over.  Then on Sunday, Robert wonders, have the Texans rattled off the most fraudulent 7-game winning streak in the history of sports, including Little League baseball? Steelers-Broncos will probably be the biggest decision of the week. Get the full breakdown.

Spotify fans go here to listen. Download the PropSwap app for iOS systems here and Android here. Time codes for the episode follow below.

1:18: The most exciting time of year to be a bettor.

1:46: Few words on college basketball.

2:34: Thanksgiving Day games and handle

3:25: Washington Redskins QB Alex Smith’s potentially career-ending injury and legacy.

7:44: Chicago Bears -3 at Detroit Lions: Chase Daniels makes the third start of his career.

8:40: Washington Redskins +7.5 at Dallas Cowboys: Too many points for this game.

9:49: More bets on Atlanta or the under? No one wants to bet against New Orleans.

10:31 — PropSwap.com Futures Focus  — More than just a futures marketplace, check out PropSwap for favorable real-time betting opportunities and get 10% off your first purchase by visiting PropSwap.com/Handle.

15:01: Jacksonville Jaguars -3 at Buffalo Bills — The Shock Bowl: This game only matters to sports bettors. Blake Bortles is a problem and the Bills are in tank mode.

18:39: Oakland Raiders +10.5 at Baltimore Ravens — The public does not like the Falcons.

23:33: San Francisco 49ers +3.5 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers — What are the Bucs even doing? Tampa needs to tank. If

26:48: New York Giants +6 at Philadelphia Eagles — The Eagles the worst defending Super Bowl Champions ever and the Giants are looking much better.

30:25: Cleveland Browns +3 at Cincinnati Bengals — The wheels are falling off for the Bengals and expect an increase in Cleveland money.

33:29: New England Patriots -9.5 at N.Y. Jets — NE doesn’t care what the score is as long as they win. Every parlay and teaser is on the Pats.

37:40: Arizona Cardinals +12 at L.A. Chargers — Anyone taking Arizona?

40:50:  Miami Dolphins +8 at Indianapolis Colts — Ryan Tannehill back but Andrew Luck hasn’t been sacked in about 5 weeks! He can pick ‘em apart with that kind of time.

42:00: Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers — Seattle always a public team when getting points.

42:30: Pittsburgh Steelers -3 at Denver Broncos — Robert says this will probably be the book’s biggest decision of the week. Late money will all be on Pittsburgh.

43:30: Green Bay Packers +3.5 at Minnesota Vikings — Packers are live dog.

44:20: Tennessee Titans +6 at Houston Texans  — Robert loves Titans in this spot.

Have a profitable Week 12, folks. Have a profitable Week 10, folks. Thanks for listening and see you back next week, tell a friend, sign up for our newsletter and also check out the Cover City Podcast, featuring sports bettor Eric Rosenthal.



Hear more ‘Pro Football Handle’: NFL Week 12 Breakdown, Thanksgiving, Steelers-Broncos and More on SportsHandle.