Following in one long scroll are thirty stories on sports betting. Probably TMI! So you might scroll through to look for the stories most relevant to you.
Sports betting in Mass. gains momentum, but betting on college sports and credit card bets remain friction point
Published: Apr. 23, 2022
The Senate is poised to debate legislation Thursday to legalize sports betting in Massachusetts, but the bill that emerged Friday afternoon from a Senate committee differs in several important ways from the sports betting bill that has already cleared the House.
The long-awaited wagering bill was advanced favorably out of the Senate Ways and Means Committee late Friday afternoon, according to a Senate source. If it passes the Senate next week, lawmakers would have about three months to reconcile their differing approaches and get a bill to Gov. Charlie Baker, who has supported legalizing sports wagering for years.
“I am pleased to see the committee has come to agreement on a strong proposal and I look forward to discussing it with my colleagues next week,” Senate President Karen Spilka, who for months resisted calls to debate sports betting while citing a desire to first solidify consensus among senators, said Friday.
The House passed a sports betting bill 156-3 last summer and approved sports betting legalization as part of an economic development bill the year before, but the Senate has been far less interested in tackling the issue since the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018 gave states the ability to legalize sports wagering.
More than 30 states — including neighboring Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Connecticut and New York — have taken action to allow betting on sports contests since May 2018.
There appear to be a number of significant differences between the bill the Senate Ways and Means Committee advanced Friday and the legislation that easily passed the House in July, most notably the Senate bill’s prohibition on wagers on collegiate athletics.
Even before the House took its vote, House Speaker Ronald Mariano drew a line in the sand on Bloomberg Baystate Business and declared that leaving collegiate betting out of any bill “probably would be” a dealbreaker for him.
“I find myself having a tough time trying to justify going through all of this to not include probably the main driver of betting in the commonwealth,” Mariano said last summer.
The Senate’s approach of banning betting on college sports is in line with a request from the presidents and athletic directors of the eight Massachusetts colleges and universities that have Division I sports programs.
Officials from Boston College, Boston University, Harvard University, Northeastern University, The College of the Holy Cross, Merrimack College, and the University of Massachusetts (Amherst and Lowell) in 2020 urged lawmakers to leave college betting out of any legalization bill.
Legal betting on college athletics, the presidents and athletic directors said, will lead to “unnecessary and unacceptable risks to student athletes, their campus peers, and the integrity and culture of colleges and universities in the Commonwealth.”
If the House bill were to become law, the chamber’s leadership estimated it could produce about $60 million in annual revenue for the state. But Mariano said the revenue estimate would drop to between $25 million and $35 million annually without college betting.
The Senate Ways and Means Committee estimated that its version of the sports betting legislation would produce $35 million in annual revenue for the state.
The use of credit cards to place bets is another issue that could emerge as a possible friction point between the House and Senate. Sen. Eric Lesser, who as chairman of the Economic Development Committee has largely led the Senate’s efforts around sports betting, pointed out during a News Service forum in October that his own betting bill — and the version that advanced with a favorable report Friday — would explicitly prohibit the use of a credit card to make a wager, unlike the House bill.
“The idea that somebody somewhat impulsively could rack up massive credit card bills from their couch who might have an addiction issue or otherwise have a gambling problem — that’s a big concern, and it’s a big concern to our caucus,” Lesser said.
Like the House’s sports betting bill, the Senate plan would put sports betting under the purview of the Mass. Gaming Commission, require that all bettors be at least 21 years old and physically present in Massachusetts, and implement numerous consumer safeguards to protect against problem gambling similar to those put in place for casinos when Massachusetts expanded gaming in 2011.
The Senate bill would establish a framework with two categories of licenses: one that would allow the state’s gaming licensees — Plainridge Park Casino, MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor — to take bets at their physical establishments and via one digital or mobile platform, and another that would allow up to six other operators to take both in-person and mobile bets.
All licenses would be for five years and would carry a fee of $5 million with another $5 million due for each 5-year renewal.
The Senate envisions taxing operators at a rate of 20 percent of gross sports wagering receipts from bets placed in person and at a rate of 35 percent of gross sports wagering receipts from bets placed via a mobile or digital platform. The House bill calls for a sportsbook’s revenue from in-person bets to be taxed at 12.5 percent and revenue from mobile wagers to be taxed at 15 percent.
The Senate’s proposed tax rates would put Massachusetts at the high end of tax rates on sports wagering revenue. Connecticut, for example, taxes sports betting revenue at 13.75 percent for retail bets and at 18 percent for online bets, while Louisiana levies a tax of 10 percent for in-person wagers and 15 percent for mobile bets and Arizona taxes in-person betting revenue at 8 percent and mobile betting revenue at 10 percent, according to the Tax Foundation.
The Senate bill would also make changes to the Race Horse Development Fund, an account fed by casino and slot gaming revenues and intended to support each side of the horse racing world: the standardbreds that run at Plainridge Park Racecourse in Plainville and the thoroughbreds that used to run at Suffolk Downs.
Starting in 2025, revenue from MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor that under current law will flow into the RHDF would instead go to an education fund unless at least 20 live racing days are held in the previous calendar year at a thoroughbred track. The bill would also allow all of the RHDF money to be used to benefit the standardbred side of the industry unless at least 20 thoroughbred races are held in the preceding calendar year.
Against the odds, Maryland sports wagering panel offers more help for minority businesses
April 23, 2022
Maryland gambling officials hope to bring mobile betting to the state in time for the kickoff of the National Football League’s 2022 season.
If regulators are successful, fans will be able to bet on professional and collegiate events on their phones, an advance that is certain to super-charge the state’s new, and still relatively sleepy, sports betting industry.
In virtually every state that has legalized sports gambling, mobile has left bricks-and-mortar betting in the dust, accounting for approximately 90% of the handle.
Also true just about everywhere: The big-name firms, those with the massive advertising budgets, rake in the lion’s share of the action — and, therefore, the profits.
That scenario — in which FanDuel and Draft Kings, the Coke and Pepsi of sports betting, dominate — is precisely what the General Assembly sought to avoid after voters approved sports wagering in 2020. More so than in any state in the country, analysts say, Maryland has gone the extra mile to give minority- and female-led businesses the opportunity to crack into the new industry.
“For me, the concern is really how do we make sure that — from the intent of the bill — we are really looking to diversify those applicants that would not necessarily have an opportunity,” said Del. Darryl Barnes (D-Prince George’s), head of the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus.
Given the mandate to give Maryland-based and minority businesses the chance to compete, the state’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission is hosting an educational seminar in early May.
The three-hour event will feature industry experts who have navigated the regulatory and financial hurdles. According to the SWARC, participants will get a “window into the true costs of running an online or brick-and-mortar sportsbook” as well as insight into the types of small businesses that are conducive to sports betting, such as “restaurants, sports bars, and other entertainment venues.”
Other experts will discuss the financial costs of operating a sportsbook, security considerations and “the impact of competitive promotions.”
The promotions offered by FanDuel and Draft Kings are perhaps the biggest obstacle newcomers to the industry face, according to experts. With their deep pockets and years of marketing experience, the firms have proven adept at luring new customers.
“They have an expertise in this all over North America that gives them a leg up,” said Zach Hall, an industry analyst and spokesperson for the network of sites that includes PlayMaryland.com.
Promotions routinely include “risk-free” wagers for first-time customers that run into the thousands of dollars. (Customers are advised to read the fine print on such offers before jumping in.)
Hall said even “well-established casino brands” like Caesar’s and BetMGM “have difficulty eating into the market leads of Draft Kings and FanDuel.”
Tennessee is one of the rare states that has a home-grown operator, Tennessee Action 24/7, that is still competing for bettors’ business, but the company is “way down on the market-share list,” Hall said. “They’ve survived, so far, so it’s not impossible. But the idea that somehow they would compete toe-to-toe with FanDuel or Draft Kings and win is unfathomable at this point.”
Tennessee Action 24/7 had an advantage unavailable to any Maryland firm — they were cleared to operate in November 2020, when sports betting was legalized.
Maryland’s law set up a multi-tier process in which existing casinos and race tracks were able to open first, because they were already heavily regulated enterprises. Entrepreneurs who want to operate bricks-and-mortar or online sportsbooks here will spend months getting approved, ceding the field to better-known rivals who will have had a months-long head-start.
Barnes knows that home-grown start-ups face long odds. He helped organize the May 6 seminar and is an opening speaker.
“It’s almost like getting into medical cannabis,” the lawmaker said. “It takes a lot of money to really be in this industry, and that is why I am trying to do my part to educate folks that want to get into this industry.”
Barnes said minority business owners need to be aware of the capital outlays that will be required “and to really figure out what true partnerships look like in a way that we’re still forging some of ownership for minorities to create generational wealth.”
Maryland law includes four funds that new businesses can tap to help them recoup some of their start-up costs. Members of the SWARC were told on Thursday that two companies have received three grants from the funds so far.
James R. Nielson, deputy director of the State Lottery & Gaming Control Agency’s regulatory division, told the panel that some new arrivals are finding the application process to be time-consuming.
“What we’re seeing is what we expected,” he said. “Some of the entities who have less experience in the gaming segment are learning that it’s more complicated than they had anticipated. There’s a learning curve for anybody new to the industry and we’re trying to over-communicate.”
Kansas Sports Betting Bill Set For Final Sprint Next Week
April 22, 2022
While the Kansas legislature is likely to pass a sports betting bill when it reconvenes April 25, it is not without a peculiar component.
Before the House advanced SB 84 in the early hours of April 2, a provision was inserted that dedicates 80% of KS sports betting tax revenue to a fund to attract a professional sports team to Kansas. The late addition gave some representatives pause and the sports betting bill was nearly sent back to conference committee, which likely would kill it.
“For me, that was annoying, why did you have to put it in?” Rep. Stephanie Clayton, who voted for the bill, told LSR. “I represent a border district. We’re OK with the Chiefs or Royals coming to the Kansas side to a certain degree, but they don’t want to spend too much. I didn’t like the last-minute addition, do it above board.”
Senate likely to pass Kansas sports betting bill
Following the close call in the House, the Senate ended up adjourning for its three-week veto break before taking up the bill. Senate President Ty Masterson recently told a local radio show the bill will pass.
“The latest version of the bill that came across from the House probably will cross the line,” Masterson told the Pete Mundo Mornings show. “It will see the end of the day. There are those who are fully against it, but I’m anticipating it won’t be that contested of an issue.”
The fund proposal in Kansas largely comes from a recent report that the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs might look at a move from Missouri to Kansas. Masterson said the fund component was a last-minute curveball, but that Kansas would love to see the Chiefs change states.
Kansas sports betting money could go to general fund
Clayton said the up to $10 million the state might make annually from sports betting is not much to the overall budget. But it is also not pocket change, especially if a team does not end up coming to Kansas.
If that is the case, she said the funds can be swept into the general fund.
“It’s a small amount of revenue, but there are provisions in place with legislators I trust implicitly that they’ll do the right thing,” Clayton said. “I don’t see it as that high of a risk. If that makes us more attractive to a sports team in the future, I see it as low-risk, high reward.”
Sports betting attraction fund ‘terrible governance’
Throughout the legislative session in both Kansas and Missouri, legislators have attacked the other state as they race to potentially legalize sports betting. There is a long history of incentives used to attract companies from over the border, which College of the Holy Cross Economics Professor Victor Matheson said is “wildly stupid and destructive.”
The companies then take advantage of the states, switching back and forth. While the sports betting tax revenue will be new, it could be better used elsewhere, Matheson said.
“It’s tempting to say it’s new revenue and it’s sports related, but that doesn’t make a difference,” Matheson said. “No one is going to bet more on the Chiefs and Royals because they’re on this side or the other. It’s not like you can’t go to the games on either side.
“What you’re doing is taking a good new revenue source that could pay for things across the Red-Blue spectrum.”
Different than Buffalo situation
Matheson often works to temper economic impact expectations that come with public funding proposals for sports stadiums and events. He said the Kansas fund is a bit different than the recent plan for a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills in New York.
Without a new stadium in Buffalo, there could be a credible threat the team will actually move away from New York, Matheson said. In Kansas, moving a stadium “10 miles down I-70,” however, does nothing extra for the local fanbase.
Missouri, Kansas border war truce not applicable to Chiefs
In 2019, both Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly and Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed bills restricting tax breaks and incentives to lure companies from the other state. Those bills, however, did not include the Chiefs, according to Kelly.
“You know, I would be all for it, obviously. When I signed the border war truce with Missouri, it didn’t include the Chiefs,” Kelly told local reporters at a recent event.
While Kansas lawmakers appear excited about the potential to draw the Chiefs over the border, a recent committee hearing in Missouri, however, disputes the recent report.
Missouri wants to keep Chiefs
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas tweeted his support of retaining the Chiefs in Missouri.
“Kansas City has proudly hosted the Chiefs since the early 1960s,” Lucas tweeted. “We look forward to working with the Chiefs, our state of Missouri partners, and local officials to ensure the Chiefs remain home in Kansas City and Missouri for generations to come.”
Parson also recently told local media he would not let the team move without a fight.
Kansas sports betting bill details
Kansas lawmakers finalized a sports betting deal April 1, helping set the stage for the two chambers to potentially pass it before adjourning for the veto break.
The deal legalizes retail sports betting at four Kansas casinos and gives them each three online skins. The casinos can also partner with up to 50 retailers and professional sports venues to offer kiosks. A casino can also request an additional online skin to partner with a professional team.
Kansas will levy a 10% flat tax rate on sports betting revenue.
NCAA TO ALLOW SPORTS BETTING DATA DEALS FOR SCHOOLS, CONFERENCES
April 28, 2022 3:31pm
The NCAA is further loosening its long-held opposition to sports betting, paving the way for individual schools and conferences to sign lucrative deals with data companies that sell that information on to sportsbooks.
The Division I Interpretations Committee met Wednesday to discuss the topic, and determined that an individual, school or conference can provide stats to sports wagering companies if that information is also available to the general public, according to an NCAA spokesperson. Membership was informed of the ruling Thursday afternoon.
The decision will likely open the door for conferences large and small ( and maybe individual schools themselves) to capitalize directly on the rush of money being spent by betting operators and data middlemen as more states legalize gambling on pro and college games.
The move comes amid major changes inside college sports and its main governing body. As new NIL rights, anti-trust lawsuits and conference realignment take center stage, the NCAA is increasingly ceding more rule-making and enforcement obligations to individual divisions or conferences. The upheaval claimed a high-profile job this week, as NCAA president Mark Emmert agreed to leave his role in the middle of his contract, giving the association a chance to assess its future under new leadership.
The NCAA’s memo is a response to a formal rules interpretation request filed earlier this year by the Mid-American Conference, which was looking for clarity about the organization’s sports betting restrictions. More specifically, the conference asked about Section 10.3 of the NCAA’s Division I manual, which states that athletes, university staffers and conference employees cannot “provide information” to anyone associated with sports wagering. That sentence could be interpreted as forbidding conferences from signing pricey data distribution deals.
Those deals have become one of the prominent ways that pro leagues like the NBA and NFL are profiting off the booming U.S. sports betting industry, and the MAC took a major steps toward replicating them last month, when it inked a wide-ranging deal with Genius Sports. That partnership doesn’t allow Genius to sell data to sportsbooks right now, according to someone familiar with the status, but that could change now that the NCAA has provided more clarity.
It’s unclear what Genius agreed to pay the MAC, but it will pale in comparison to what the biggest college conferences, like the Big Ten and SEC, could make from similar deals. Their football and basketball games are often more popular (and attract more bettors) than established U.S. pro leagues. Bidding that led to the NHL’s recent deal with Sportradar, for example, eclipsed $250 million, and the league’s eventual deal included the right to purchase about around $90 million worth of equity.
This is just the latest area where the Indianapolis-based governing body appears to be loosening its grip on how college sports is governed and policed. In January the NCAA approved a new slimmed-down constitution that will cede more control to individual divisions, and likely to individual conferences themselves. That came as the NCAA faces public, legal and legislative challenges to its long-held version of amateurism.
For decades the NCAA and the major U.S. leagues fought the push for more legal sports betting in America, citing fears over the integrity of their games. The seminal case on the issue, Murphy v. NCAA, eventually landed at the Supreme Court, and in May 2018 the court struck down the federal ban on sports betting.
Professional leagues like the NBA, NFL and NHL were quick to reverse course, signing lucrative commercial deals with operators, and data deals that give them a second revenue stream. The NFL’s partnerships in those two realms include at least $2 billion worth of cash and equity. The NCAA, however, has been slow to adapt. There is no official sports betting partner of the NCAA, and its current data deal with Genius Sports only covers media, not distribution to sports books. At the governing body’s annual convention in 2019, Emmert told hundreds of college administrators that sports betting will “threaten the integrity of college sports.”
That said, the NCAA has already made subtle moves in this direction. In January 2020, the Division I council voted to change its legislation to eliminate a paragraph that explicitly restricted advertising from “organizations promoting gambling” at championship events. The language was moved—and watered down—to give the NCAA more flexibility to align its rules with those of the pro sports leagues.
College sports are more susceptible to match-fixing than the NFL or NBA. The players are compensated significantly less, and beyond major conferences like the Big Ten or SEC, there are dozens of smaller leagues and smaller schools where there is significantly less oversight.
That said, college sports has gradually warmed to the industry on the edges. UNLV and Nevada, the only two Division I schools in a state with comprehensive legal sports betting prior to the Murphy decision, have long allowed casinos with sportsbooks to advertise at games.
More recently a handful of schools like Colorado, LSU and Maryland have begun signing broader partnerships with sportsbooks. Colorado’s deal, with PointsBet, pays the Buffaloes at least $1.625 million over the five-year term, plus a $30 referral fee for every new customer the school directs to PointsBet, according to the contract.
Last year the Fiesta Bowl signed a partnership with Caesars (Nasdaq: CZR) that included a fan lounge at the game and title sponsorship to some live events. The 2022 Final Four was played in Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, where the NCAA covered some advertising but didn’t directly avoid using the building’s full name.
How Are US Sports Betting Operators Appealing To Women Bettors?
April 28, 2022
Women are becoming sports bettors in the US in record numbers, according to new data gleaned from smartphones.
More than 4.6 million women joined US sports betting apps in 2021, according to mobile insights firm Global Wireless Solutions (GWS.)
Those 4.6 million signups reflect a 115% increase year-on-year. For comparison, 7.5 million men joined sportsbook apps in the same period, up 63% year-on-year.
How the study worked
The estimates were extrapolated from nearly 200,000 smartphones across the US.
GWS said the phones surveyed were distributed across betting and non-betting states to accurately reflect the national picture.
It is also worth noting that app downloads do not necessarily equal betting. Women bettors were generally less active than their male counterparts, GWS said.
Who signed up the most female bettors?
FanDuel Sportsbook attracted the most new female users in 2021 per the study, with an estimated 1.7 million sign-ups over the year. DraftKings was second with an estimated 900,000 new female users.
Those numbers may reflect a deliberate strategy from FanDuel. CEO Amy Howe said before the Super Bowl that women bettors were a “huge opportunity” for the company.
Howe said women made up 50% of sports fans but less than a third of sportsbook users.
“This is a big priority for us,” Howe said. “There s a lot we’re doing to really try own this.”
How is FanDuel going after women bettors?
That includes more sponsorship of women’s sports, including the WNBA and women’s tennis.
Likewise, just last week FanDuel sponsored female boxer Amanda Serrano for her world title fight at Madison Square Garden on April 30.
“I think it starts with supporting female athletes,” Howe said. “As for the consumer, we’ve done some great things to try and make sports betting less intimidating to female consumers. There’s lots more runway there, and a really exciting untapped opportunity.”
Work to be done to appeal to women bettors
Scarlet Robinson, a gaming industry advisor at Wildcat Advisory, suggested operators were smart to appeal to female bettors but could do a better job.
“It is only smart to focus on expanding market share where others are not even paying attention,” Robinson said. “And it helps with image around diversity, especially when states like MD and VA want to see it demonstrated by licensed operators.
“But it’s not as if there are ready-made sports betting communities for women going into this. I mean look at some of the brand names; DraftKings, Barstool, MaximBet and SI. So, I expect it would take some time to build up.”
Messaging is important
Industry consultant Brianne Doura Schawohl suggested the industry could also appeal to women by changing the tone of advertising and presenting women in a “less sexualized way.”
She identified FanDuel as the most female-friendly brand in the market at present.
“They clearly get input from women on their product. You want to attract female bettors? Get a woman’s input,” Doura Schawohl said.
What else did we learn from GWS?
The GWS research also reiterated some long-held truths about the betting industry.
For one, it is reliant on a small number of power users for a big chunk of revenue.
Per GWS, the “vast majority” of gamblers use the apps intermittently. Two-thirds engage with them for no more than five weeks across the year. Meanwhile, the top 5% of users make up over half of all app usage.
Everyone’s a winner, baby
Elsewhere, users also had an inflated sense of their own sports betting skill.
Across a survey of 663 US gamblers, 29% of bettors said they won more than they lost. That was the exact same percentage that said they lost more than they won.
Either bettors are lying to themselves or to the surveys — or maybe the sports betting industry really is doomed.
The Lull Before the Storm for Maryland Sports Betting
| April 28, 2022, 06:00 PM
When it comes to the revenue earned in Maryland from betting on sport, It’s the lull before the storm. Retail sportsbooks are making good progress, but the gambling revenues won’t take off until online sports betting finally arrives in Maryland.
That isn’t expected until later in the year. September is a possibility and that would be a great time to launch online sports betting. Gamblers would be keen to place bets on the new NFL season. 2022 ends with the USA playing in the soccer World Cup, an event any gambler would love to bet on.
It was in December of last year that retail sports betting was launched in Maryland. Casinos had been waiting for the go-ahead and finally it arrived. The hope is that the state will receive $15 million in the first year with revenue of $100 million anticipated.
The tax revenue is one reason why states are so keen on legalizing gambling. They know only too well though that the revenues will be much higher when companies such as DraftKings and FanDuel are allowed to run online sports betting sites in Maryland.
Other states are well ahead of Maryland in terms of handle, revenue earned and tax/jurisdiction revenue for the state. Maryland has gone through the $105 million mark for handle and that has created revenue of $12.2 million and state earnings of $1.82 million.
That’s compared to New York where the handle is over $5 billion with revenue of $361 million and state earnings of $167 million and they only launched in January. New Jersey who legalized sports betting four years ago has seen a handle of over $26 billion and over $222 million state earnings, according to offers.bet
Last month was known in the USA as ‘March Madness.’ It saw gamblers place legal bets at the five retail sportsbooks in Maryland of over $31.5 million. The Maryland Lottery and Gaming figures showed an increase of $6 million on the February results. That March figure is just below the best 2022 result of $32.5 million in January.
All that wagering led to gross gaming revenue in March of $3.9 million. That’s much better than February’s $955,00. In terms of tax revenue received by the state, the month produced $577,019.
February saw a lack of NFL action once the Super Bowl had taken place, though the NBA is still going strong. Imagine the betting revenues if the Baltimore Ravens had been playing in the Super Bowl, especially with online betting available. Another reason of course is February is the shortest month of the year with only 28 gambling days available.
January had gone well because of the NFL play-offs. It was the second month of retail sportsbooks in the state. December 2021 had seen revenue of $16.5 million. The first retail sportsbook to open was at the MGM National Harbor on December 9, so the figure recorded was an impressive opening.
In March, Live! Casino had the highest handle with $13.6 million, $258,402 of which went to the state in tax revenue. They held several March Madness events and this proved popular with gamblers. Their sportsbook is in partnership with FanDuel who will expect further expansion in the state when online sports betting does finally become legal.
MGM National Harbor produced a handle of $9.3 million. That put them ahead of the other retail sportsbooks at the Horseshoe Casino, Ocean Downs Casino and Hollywood Casino.
More licenses have been given to Riverboat-on-the-Potomac, Long Shot’s, Greenmount Station, and Bingo World but no launch dates have been confirmed.
The figures are going well but everyone knows they can be higher. The arrival of online sports betting is the answer to the problem. Since the landmark US Supreme Court Judge ruling in 2018, a steadily increasing number of US states have legalized betting on sport though it’s taken Maryland a while to do so.
We live in the age of the internet and much improved mobile phone technology. These have contributed to the success of online sports betting. That’s particularly been seen this year in New York. Maryland can only look on with envy at the betting revenues that are being produced in that state and of course, the tax revenue.
Why the delay considering the benefits of online sports betting? No rules can be set by the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission at the time of writing. They won’t be able to do so until a new disparity study is received by them. This looks at areas such as the effort needed to include businesses owned by minorities and women in the gambling industry.
South Carolina Sports Wagering Bill Allows Cryptocurrency Funding, Esports Betting
April 26, 2022, 07:33h.
New bipartisan legislation aimed at bringing regulated sports wagering to South Carolina contains some unique provisions, including permitting the use of digital currencies for account funding.
House Bill 5277 (HB 5277), sponsored by Rep. William Herbkersman (R) and Rep. Todd Rutherford (D), explicitly highlights cash and cash equivalents as account funding options and as ways for winning bettors to be paid. In addition to standard definitions, the legislation defines cash equivalents as foreign currencies and “digital, crypto, and virtual currencies.”
HB 5277’s unique traits don’t end there. The bill also calls for permitting regulated esports wagering — something many of the states that currently have live and legal sports betting do not allow.
Wagering on competitive computer gaming is viewed as a future growth driver for the US sports betting industry. But it’s one that hasn’t been tapped into in a significant fashion yet. Esports is one of the most widely watched sports in the US, and analysts expect it to eclipse all traditional sports, except the NFL, in terms of television viewership over the next several years.
The bill would allow eight to 12 online sportsbooks to operate in the state.
Some Operators Keen on Crypto
Currently, sports betting is live and legal in 30 states and Washington, DC – none of which permit digital currencies as a form of payment for opening accounts or paying bettors.
Should South Carolina prove successful in altering that landscape, the idea is likely to gain traction among gaming companies. For example, DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG) CEO Jason Robins said last year he’d be in favor of his company accepting cryptocurrency as a form of payment. But state regulators don’t allow it.
The South Carolina legislation doesn’t mention which digital assets would be permitted for use. But it’s likely to be confined to bitcoin and a small number of other cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin use is gaining traction at some internet and land-based casinos. But it’s yet to crack the regulated US sports betting landscape.
South Carolina Sports Betting Particulars
If passed in current form, HB 5277 would tax sports betting revenue at 10% of adjusted gross — mostly in line with the national average — and require operators to pay a $500,000 annual fee. The legislation also requires 80% of the proceeds garnered by the state to go to the education lottery fund, while 15% would go to the general fund and 5% would be allocated to responsible gaming and gambling addiction efforts.
Professional sports franchises and venues hosting NASCAR and PGA Tour events in South Carolina could apply for betting licenses and partner with commercial operators under the terms of the legislation.
The state’s current legislative session runs through June 15, indicating there could be enough time to advance the sports betting bill, which enjoys bipartisan support.
If South Carolina passes mobile sports betting, it’d have a leg up on neighbors North Carolina and Georgia. The former only permits in-person betting at tribal casinos, while gaming legislation frequently stalls and fails in Georgia.
Kyle Schwarber Bad Call A Warning Sign For Sports Betting & MLB
APRIL 25, 2022
Kyle Schwarber’s epic outburst after being called out on a bad third-strike call Sunday night is a warning sign for baseball as it further embraces MLB betting.
Bad calls have been a part of baseball for 150 years.
In 2022, they can no longer hide when every MLB game is televised, streamed live, and offers real-time analysis of each pitch using cutting-edge 21st Century equipment.
With sports betting now available live and mobile inside 11 major-league ballparks, not to mention in 30 states and Washington DC, the public demand for 100% perfection 100% of the time is only going to grow.
Phillies outfielder Schwarber squawked for every player and manager in both leagues, in addition to those who wagered on the game Sunday night, when he lost it via an epic, bat-slamming tantrum.
Umpire Angel Hernandez called Schwarber out on strikes after a pitch that was clearly low and outside. It was the final whiff of many on the night for the optically-impaired man behind the plate clad in blue.
Schwarber held back nothing, demonstrating with words and gestures how Hernandez had missed calls both inside and outside. He was the designated hitman of outrage.
The combination of light-speed growth in available and affordable technology, the prolific spread of legal sports betting, and the immense amount of revenue available between MLB and sports betting apps has made what happened Sunday night in Philadelphia unacceptable, not just avoidable.
The Phillies trailed Milwaukee 1-0 in the bottom of the ninth before Schwarber rode Brewers reliever Josh Hader to a full count.
A potential swing of millions of dollars rode on the pitch.
’HUMAN ELEMENT’ NO LONGER ACCEPTABLE
Hader’s pitch missed badly. Instead of being awarded first base, Schwarber was called out on strikes, exploded in immediate rage, and was quickly ejected.
Hernandez was consistently inconsistent throughout the game Sunday, as he has been for years across baseball.
“Schwarber is speaking for both sides tonight,” intoned ESPN’s Karl Ravech, succinctly describing the obvious. “We saw a lot of those demonstrations. None like that. We certainly saw them as the players were going back to the bench.”
The “human element” is a nifty default position, until you happen to have money on the MLB spread and your ticket becomes worthless because of an obviously blown call by an umpire whose face appears next to “incompetence” in your favorite online dictionary.
Human officials have already been rendered obsolete by currently available equipment. Balls and strikes could be easily discerned by a pre-determined strike zone negotiated ahead of time by the players’ union and MLB baseball, as per the details of the new CBA.
The same already holds for calls on the bases, thanks to replay. But even that takes too much time when technology can determine the outcome quicker than humans are able to process the same information.
The current setup has technology as a backup to whatever umpires call. The best solution is to let humans have the final say over any issue involving the technology.
Of course, Hernandez’s reputation as a terrible umpire preceded the 2018 Supreme Court ruling that legalized betting. That he is still allowed to call games in the major leagues is an affront to every player.
‘HE’S AS BAD AS THERE IS’
In 2017, the delusional Hernandez sued Major League Baseball claiming discrimination because of his Hispanic heritage.
“He’s as bad as there is,” Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez said of Hernandez after the umpire’s disastrous performance in Game 3 of the 2018 ALDS between the Red Sox and Yankees.
While Hernandez has become the face of terrible calls across the majors, he’s not alone in missing the obvious.
Baseball and its players have chosen to embrace the money and potential for growth of the game that legal betting creates.
They must also accept the increased scrutiny it brings, along with a new non-existent margin for error.
Schwarber earned his walk last night. The look on Hader’s face after “strike three” tells you as much.
It would have given the Phillies a runner on first with just one out in the bottom of the ninth in a one-run game, increasing the pressure on Hader and forcing him to throw out of the stretch.
Instead, Hader and the Brewers faced Alec Bohm with the bases empty. Bohm meekly flew out to right field, ending the game.
Missed calls are inherent in any endeavor when people are involved. That was long tolerated by fans and players. They make mistakes, too.
That is no longer acceptable in a world where each pitch is digitally preserved forever, and 72-inch, 4K screens give viewers in your favorite sportsbook or family room a better view of the action than those on the field.
An aggressive embrace of technology and rules to remedy the obvious is imperative now that real people have real money on the line with the blessing and support of Major League Baseball.
Until that happens, players on the field and bettors on the sidelines will continue racking up unnecessary losses.
Vital Partnerships Underline the Momentum Behind the Sports Betting Marketplace
Apr 25, 2022
NEW YORK, April 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- As the sports betting market continues to grow in the United States, more and more companies are transitioning from the traditional gambling & casino business model to one that includes sports betting. And now, a growing number of advancements are being made by the sports betting industry in the United States. Perhaps most notably, mobile or online sports bets can now be placed in New York State, the state Gaming Commission announced earlier this year. In addition to advances in technology, which now allow easy access to various betting services, more states are adopting a friendlier legal approach to the market as well. According to a report by wagers.com, data from GeoComply showed that betting volumes on Day One in New York have eclipsed those from the next biggest state of Pennsylvania. In fact, during the first weekend of operations, New York saw 5.8 million bets hit between 9am-9pm on Saturday versus just 2.3 million in Pennsylvania and 2.1 million in New Jersey. Snipp Interactive Inc. (OTC: SNIPF) (TSX-V: SPN), MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM), Bally's Corporation (NYSE: BALY), Rush Street Interactive, Inc. (NYSE: RSI), GAN Limited (NASDAQ: GAN)
Moving forward, as the legal infrastructure continues to become friendlier towards online gambling, and sports betting in particular, the trend of partnerships with various leagues and teams across the country is expected to accelerate. "When legislatures return in earnest, we firmly believe the number of states ready to consider accelerating mobile sports betting and online gaming legislation to drive tax revenue will expand substantially," said Matt King, CEO of FanDuel, according to ESPN.
Snipp Interactive Inc. (OTC: SNIPF) (TSX-V: SPN) announced last week breaking news that, "a subsidiary of Bally's Corporation ("Bally's") (NYSE: BALY) has signed an agreement to invest US $5,000,000 in Snipp (the "Investment"). As part of the Investment, Bally's will be entitled to nominate one director to Snipp's board of directors, which is expected to be increased in size to five directors. Bally's will also be provided with a right of first refusal in respect to any offer to purchase all or substantially all of Snipp's assets received by Snipp from any competitor of Bally's. Completion of the Investment is subject to the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange ("TSXV") as well as the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions. Following completion of the Investment, Bally's is expected to own approximately 9% of the issued and outstanding common shares of Snipp, having subscribed for 25,000,000 common shares of Snipp at US $0.20 per share (CAD $0.25 per share)* as part of the Investment.* Bank of Canada closing FX Rate on April 11, 2022
Bally's and Snipp will also enter into commercial agreements (collectively, the "Commercial Arrangements") whereby Bally's will become Snipp's exclusive gaming partner for Snipp's loyalty gaming platform ("Gambit"), recently acquired in connection with Snipp's February 22, 2022 acquisition of Gambit Rewards, Inc.
As part of the Commercial Arrangements, Bally's will also receive a three-year term license of the SnippLOYALTY software platform at arm's length rates, intended for implementation across Bally's physical and online properties. Work will begin on the first two deployment locations in the second quarter of 2022. In addition, Bally's will be granted an option to license the source code for the specific version or versions of the SnippLOYALTY software platform actually implemented in any of Bally's properties for a price of US$10,000,000.
'Bally's is one of the most forward-thinking companies in the gaming industry and their investment illustrates the value that they see in SnippLOYALTY as well as our SnippCARE customer acquisition, retention, and engagement platform,' said Atul Sabharwal, Founder & CEO of Snipp Interactive. 'Our acquisition of Gambit was intended as a way to better align ourselves with the Gaming world. Now, only a couple of months later, we're entering a deep relationship with Bally's. We welcome their presence on our board and look forward to tapping their deep expertise in this high-growth industry.'
'Working together with Snipp furthers our strategic goals around omnichannel integration with well-established technology that can combine rewards platforms across the Bally's brand and thereby provide our customers with a seamless user journey,' said Adi Dhandhania, Chief Operating Officer of Bally's Interactive, North America.
As part of the deal, Snipp will also license certain free-to-play games and trademarks from Bally's for inclusion in the Gambit Rewards platform. Gambit free-to-play tokens, now available in 48 states, are offered as a point redemption option through participating loyalty sites. Bally's members will soon have access to Gambit's unique free-to-play mode and Gambit members will soon be able to redeem their Gambit Prize Tokens in the form of Bally's loyalty points at arm's length rates…"
MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) reported earlier this month the launch of its online sports betting and iGaming platforms in Ontario, Canada. Ontario is BetMGM's first international market and the 23rd overall in which a BetMGM product is available. "Today marks a significant milestone for BetMGM and a momentous occasion for sports fans and online players in Ontario," said BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt. "We're confident that customers in Canada will enjoy the unique, interactive and world-class experience that only BetMGM can provide." The BetMGM Sportsbook app offers a user-friendly mobile gaming experience, giving sports fans in Ontario the opportunity to customize pre-game, live in-play, futures, and parlay wagers. The BetMGM Casino app features a wide variety of casino games including slot tournaments, progressive jackpots, blackjack, and roulette.
Bally's Corporation (NYSE: BALY) announced last year that it has been awarded one of nine licenses to conduct online sports betting in the State of New York. With New York's major professional sports franchises consisting of some of the most storied teams in all of sports, as well as a diverse base of devoted sports fans, this license provides Bally's with significant opportunities to showcase its best-in-class sports betting platform and augment its player database. Soo Kim, Chairman of Bally's Corporation's Board of Directors, said, "Bally's is pleased to have been awarded an online sports betting license from the State of New York -- the most populous state to enable OSB -- and would like to thank the New York State Gaming Commission for including Bally's in this exciting endeavor. This license advances our overall market footprint and marks the latest milestone on our journey towards becoming the leading omni-channel gaming provider in the U.S. Above all, we look forward to providing New York's devoted fan base with engaging, best-in-class, sports betting experiences."
Rush Street Interactive, Inc. (NYSE: RSI) reported earlier this month announced that its award-winning BetRivers online casino and sportsbook are live in Ontario, Canada. Eligible players aged 19 and older across the province can sign-up now and begin wagering at BetRivers.ca and on the BetRivers mobile applications. BetRivers, which is a two-time winner of both the Online Casino Operator of the Year and Customer Service Operator of the Year award for North America from the respected eGaming Review publication, operates an innovative online casino that includes over 350 of the latest slot machines and table games. The BetRivers online casino also offers fun and unique loyalty and bonusing features for qualifying players, while the BetRivers online sportsbook offers sports fans the opportunity to place single-game bets and single-game parlays on numerous leagues worldwide such as the NHL. Core features of the BetRivers online platform include its intuitive yet innovative user interface, strong transactional performance and speed, and automated withdrawal approvals, all supported by a professional, friendly, and award-winning customer service. iOS users can access the BetRivers online casino and sportsbook via iOS app in the Apple App Store, affording easy access to a comprehensive selection of gaming options.
GAN Limited (NASDAQ: GAN) announced last week the launch of iGaming and online sports betting for Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan, who own and operate Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort ("Soaring Eagle"). Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort is the largest casino in the State of Michigan, with an expansive 210,000 square-foot casino facility that offers thousands of slot machines and the widest variety of floor games available in the Midwest. It also possesses an extremely sizeable database of patrons, who the parties anticipate converting into active online players via GAN's patented iBridge loyalty platform. As previously announced under the terms of the agreement, GAN has deployed the Company's GameSTACK™ enterprise software platform onto the client's technical infrastructure deployed on-property. GAN has collaborated with the client to design and develop their iGaming and sports betting front-end web application together with counterpart native Apple iOS and Android apps. GAN will deploy the Company's patented iBridge Framework to optimally monetize the Soaring Eagle patron database and leverage their on-property retail loyalty program later this year. Lastly, the scope of the previously announced agreement has been expanded to include fully managed marketing by GAN via the Company's Marketing Services team specialists employed to drive online user acquisition and player retention acting in collaboration with Soaring Eagle's on-property retail marketing and player development teams.
Kansas Legislature Sends Statewide Mobile Wagering Bill To Governor
Amended bill would allot 80% of sports betting tax revenue to attract professional sports teams
April 29, 2022
Twenty-four hours after its counterpart in Missouri killed a pair of legal sports betting bills, the Kansas Senate early Friday morning approved and sent to Gov. Laura Kelly a bill that would allow for statewide mobile wagering.
The Senate approved the hotly debated bill 21-13 after the House had approved it 73-49 Thursday.
The Kansas Legislature becomes the second this year to send a sports betting bill to its governor, and the first to send a broad bill that would allow for an open, competitive marketplace. Maine lawmakers last week passed what is essentially a limited tribal sports betting bill that locks out casinos in the state from offering digital wagering. Gov. Janet Mills has not yet signed it.
By this time last year, three states had approved sports betting. So far in 2022, lawmakers in Georgia, Kentucky, and Missouri have failed to legalize despite a measure of support in all three states. In other states Thursday, the Massachusetts Senate approved a bill different from a House-passed version, setting up a conference committee to sort out differences, and a Minnesota committee voted in favor of a bill that moves the issue forward there.
Debate bled into Friday
After hours in recess much of Thursday night, Kansas lawmakers came back at about 11:45 p.m. local time for debate, some of which centered around whether historical horse racing machines are considered parimutuel wagering or casino gaming, like slot machines.
Debate continued for 90 minutes in what began to feel like a filibuster effort. Senators opposed to the legislation asked questions about if and how people would be able to bet on a mobile device; what a white-collar crime related to wagering would be; whether legalizing would make the black market disappear; and how many jobs would be created. There was also comment on the floor that wagering would “destroy lives.”
At one point, a senator opposed to the bill asked, “Instead of becoming the 33rd state to legalize this, why don’t we become the second state to legalize prostitution? Talk about job creation … ”
Happy Friday to everyone except the Kansas Senate, where they technically consider it to still be Thursday as they continue to debate sports betting. #ksleg #kslegafterdark
— Jason Tidd (@Jason_Tidd) April 29, 2022
But at 1:15 a.m. Friday, the Senate president closed debate. After discussion of a public health bill, a roll call vote at 1:38 resulted in passage of the sports betting legislation.
The bill, which the House initially passed in early April, requires that sports betting launch by Jan. 1, 2023, creating what could be a tight timeline for the regulator, depending on when Kelly signs it. In most states, it take about six months to promulgate regulations and approve applications, though a handful of states have moved faster.
Conference committee solves issue
The bill, originally approved in the House, was amended by a conference committee. It earmarks 80% of wagering tax revenue for a fund designed to attract professional sports teams to the state and also directs 2% of tax revenue to problem and responsible gambling programs.
The bill requires that digital platforms be tethered to existing casinos, sets a 10% tax rate, awards up to three skins (digital platforms) to each of the state’s casinos, and allows up to 50 qualified private entities to contract with license holders to offer wagering via kiosks.
There are four commercial casinos in the state, including ones operated by Penn National Gaming (Barstool Sportsbook) and Boyd Gaming..
On one issue that is becoming more and more prevalent nationwide, the bill would allow sportsbooks to write off promotional play from gross gaming revenue before being taxed. Coincidentally, Colorado lawmakers Thursday discussed a bill that would reduce the percentage of promotional play eligible to be written off in that state.
Kansas wants to use sports betting to attract NFL Chiefs from Missouri
April 28, 2022
Missouri lost the Rams to California. Missouri could next lose the Chiefs to a state much closer to home.
Via the Associated Press, legislators in Kansas are crafting a law that would both authorize sports wagering and use the revenue to get the Chiefs to cross the river for a new stadium.
The Kansas House already has approved the bill. The Kansas Senate was close to creating its own version, but an unexpected filibuster on Wednesday night has delayed the measure.
If signed into law, the proposal would allow sports wagering in Kansas, with a 10-percent tax on each bet and 80-percent of that revenue funding incentives to lure pro sports teams to Kansas. Target include the Chiefs, the Royals of Major League Baseball, and pro basketball or hockey teams.
One impediment to the law seems to be the absence of any clear link between authorizing sports wagering and attracting the Chiefs. One lawmaker called it a “slush fund,” arguing that it won’t ever be enough money to successfully attract a team.
The Chiefs declined a request for comment from the AP. Team president Mark Donovan recently said all options are on the table for a new venue to replace Arrowhead Stadium.
Update on Louisiana sports gambling numbers after first 5 months
Wednesday, April 27, 2022
In the first five months of sports betting being legalized in Louisiana, $628 million was wagered, generating $7.4 million in taxes, Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Johns said Tuesday.
Johns provided information to the Senate Judiciary B Committee on legislation by Senate President Page Cortez, R-Lafayette. Senate Bill 290 passed with amendments and cleaned up some language related to sports betting. It heads to the Senate floor for consideration.
The bill makes sure that all aspects of sports betting comply with a program that allows residents to voluntarily exclude themselves from gambling.
Casinos can share information from that database with the platforms that take actual bets.
The bill also clarifies that sports wagering platform providers cannot claim more than $5 million in eligible promotional play per licensee in any calendar year. The legislation also specifies that the taxes going to local governments of the 55 parishes that approved sports betting will be based on population.
When discussing promotional play, Johns said it will take at least a full year to track how well it will work and to get a clear picture of how many new customers will come on board. States vary when it comes to promotional play, with some offering no credits, others having unlimited credits and some having a tiered system.
He mentioned how casinos are putting up millions of dollars to build out permanent, first-class sports betting facilities.
L’Auberge Casino in Lake Charles was the first one to build out a permanent facility, spending $4.8 million, he said.
Golden Nugget Casino plans to spend close to $9 million on its permanent facility. L’Auberge Casino in Baton Rouge is spending $6.5 million, and Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans is spending $12 million.
Johns said he went to the L’Auberge sports betting area at 10:30 a.m. on the first week of the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament and found a packed house.
“It will seat 225 people, and there was not a seat available,” he said.
Johns said he is excited about how sports betting was implemented.
“We’ve done it the right way, and we’ve had zero problems with the program as we rolled it out,” he said.
Cleveland Browns partner with Bally's in advance of sports betting in Ohio
April 26, 2022
The Cleveland Browns have partnered with Bally’s Interactive to bring sports betting to First Energy Stadium. The Ohio law is scheduled to go into effect in January of 2023.
It is possible that it is implemented sooner but the current timeline would limit it to the end of the 2022 NFL season and playoffs.
The Browns and Bally’s partnership follows many others around the league as teams get ahead of the impending legislation. Bally’s has been involved in the gaming industry for a long time including hotels and casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
The two partners released details on what to expect when the Ohio law allows:
Pending appropriate licensing and regulatory approvals, the collaboration will be highlighted by a branded lounge at FirstEnergy Stadium, the launch of the mobile Bally Bet Sportsbook app in Ohio and free-to-play gaming opportunities for fans in the state.
As with most things in business, the two sides are set to profit from partnering together. Bally’s gets to connect to the passionate Cleveland fanbase while the Browns get to tap into the infrastructure already in place for betting with Bally’s.
As with all gambling, bettors must be 21 years old or older. It is likely that the gameday experiences may involve betting to get more fan engagement.
Massachusetts Senate poised to debate sports betting legislation — but ban on college wagers could be dealbreaker
: Apr. 27, 2022
State Sen. Eric Lesser isn’t willing to place any bets on when exactly sports betting might finally become legal in Massachusetts.
But the end of the year — possibly sometime late into the NFL season — could be a safe wager, depending how the Senate’s formal session plays out Thursday.
The Senate is now poised to hash out a deal on professional sports wagering nearly nine months after the House overwhelmingly passed its own version of the bill. Lesser, who’s helmed sports betting dialogue as the Senate chairman of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, said passing a bill would ensure Massachusetts attains a level playing field with neighboring states including Connecticut, New Hampshire and New York where gambling on sports is already legal.
“I personally think it’s time to get this done,” Lesser, a Longmeadow Democrat running for lieutenant governor, told MassLive. “I don’t want to prejudge what happens on Thursday, but we’ve worked pretty diligently and pretty hard over a long period of time to really build consensus within the Senate. Hopefully that’s reflected on Thursday.”
But the proposed ban on collegiate sports betting in the Senate bill could be a deal-breaker for some elected leaders, including House Speaker Ron Mariano.
“I find myself having a tough time trying to justify going through all of this to not include probably the main driver of betting in the commonwealth,” Mariano said during a Bloomberg Baystate Business interview last summer. The House bill would allow wagers on the outcome of college sports contests, but not on the performances of individual college athletes.
If college betting is not allowed, Mariano said, the revenue estimate would drop to between $25 million and $35 million annually.
The thorny provision honors a request from the presidents and athletic directors of the eight Massachusetts colleges and universities that have Division I sports programs. Lesser, in an interview with MassLive, defended the prohibition tied to college athletes, arguing they are not paid or protected through collective bargaining agreements — unlike their professional counterparts.
“My feeling is let’s continue the momentum and moving this forward,” Lesser said. “And let’s get some traction going where we have consensus, which is pro sports.”
Senate Majority Leader Cindy Creem told MassLive Tuesday afternoon that she remains “uncomfortable” with what she sees as a “regressive” bill that may ultimately hurt the people who can least afford to lose their savings to sports betting. Torn by how to vote, Creem said if an amendment legalizing collegiate sports betting successfully passes, she cannot support the legislation.
“I’m not a fan of college betting because the universities and colleges have written to us,” Creem said.
For his part, Gov. Charlie Baker would support college sports betting — depending on the legislation’s wording.
“I’ve learned the hard way that saying I support a particular thing without actually seeing it in writing is not always a good idea, but I’m certainly open to it,” Baker said during an unrelated press conference Wednesday at the Massachusetts State House.
States have adopted varying shades of restrictions on betting on college teams, including outright banning wagering for in-state programs or limiting bans to only teams and not individual players.
But gaming experts say Massachusetts lawmakers should be wary of a burgeoning black market if they do not allow collegiate sports betting.
“In a regulated, legal market, everything is tracked and monitored,” said Bill Pascrell III, a partner at Princeton Public Affairs Group and trustee at responsible gaming nonprofit Entain Foundation U.S. “If you’re concerned as a college president or athletic director about bets being placed on your athletics, you should be working very hard to advocate for legislation allowing those bets because the black market doesn’t allow you to track it ... You’re not stopping people from betting on in-state college play.”
Martin Lycka, Entain’s senior vice president for American regulatory affairs and responsible gambling, said restrictions on college sports betting are “ill-considered” decisions that do not enhance the integrity of wagering laws.
“I would suggest that as long as it’s properly supervised, college sports is something that betting should be allowed on of course, within reason,” Lycka said.
A string of amendments seek to incorporate collegiate betting into the Senate bill, paving the path to compromise to avoid the legislation floundering in a conference committee among House and Senate leaders. Sen. Adam Gomez, who filed one of the proposals, said Massachusetts runs the risk of “leaving money on the table.”
“Collegiate sports is part of the DNA if we want to kill the black market,” Gomez told MassLive.
Boston is also one of the “greatest college towns in the country,” lamented Daniel Wallach, founder of gaming and sports betting law firm Wallach Legal, LLC.
Aside from black market concerns, Wallach said Massachusetts will keep forfeiting sports betting revenues to surrounding states — with no tangible gains in protecting Bay Staters.
“The inclusion of a collegiate sports betting ban in Massachusetts will be unlikely to dissuade any person who wishes to bet on collegiate sports and that will come at the cost of channeling activity either out of state or offshore,” said Wallach, who’s also the co-founding director of the University of New Hampshire School of Law’s Sports Wagering and Integrity Program.
“It will not effectively prevent the activity,” Wallach added. “It will simply inconvenience those that wish to bet on collegiate sports but not eradicate it.”
Maryland’s Online Sports Betting Rollout Is Longest Delay in US History
Apr 27, 2022
It’s been nearly 18 months since Marylanders legalized online sports betting, and it’ll likely be another six before they have access to it, according to gaming regulators.
Now the longest delay of any state to legalize sports betting since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a ban on the industry, Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director, John Martin, said he’s not surprised it’s taken this long.
“Our law was far more comprehensive than another other jurisdiction’s, so it’s really not a fair comparison,” Martin said. “If we had the same rules as any other state, we most likely would have been up and running by now.”
The ballot referendum approved by Maryland voters in November 2020 requires the newly formed Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) to study market-inclusion opportunities for minority- and female-owned businesses.
Martin’s agency is still waiting on that study, which likely won’t come until at least summertime. Only then can the Maryland Lottery begin the rules and applications process, which will take even more time.
Sometime During NFL Season
It took the SWARC half a year to approve the first licenses for retail betting, which is now live at five casinos across the state, with at least four more on the way. Last week the SWARC held a meeting but declined to give an update on the study.
Martin had targeted Maryland’s launch in time for the 2022 NFL season, which starts in September. Now, he’d be happy if the state could just launch during football season.
“A lot has to happen, and I supposed it could, but looking at the track record we have over the last 18 months, it seems unlikely that it would happen by the start of football season,” Martin said. “As soon as we get handed the baton, we’re ready to go out of the blocks.”
Losing Out on Revenue
Maryland has made $1.8 million in four months of retail sports betting, but that’s a drop in the bucket compared to what’s expected from online betting.
Virginia, its neighbor to the south, has already made $24.6 million in taxes off of sports betting. About 86% of wagers comes from online.
Both states tax gaming revenue at the same 15% rate.
Virginia legalized just six months before Maryland, though it did so through traditional legislation. Maryland’s route to legalization, as Martin referenced, set it up for a lengthy process.
Maryland legalized via the ballot, as its attorney general suggested gaming changes require a constitutional amendment.
In Maryland, those proposals reacquire 60% approval from both legislative chambers as well as from a simple majority of voters. It also requires codifying legislation afterwards.
It was the same case in Louisiana, where voters approved sports betting in most parishes the same day as Marylanders. Despite technological challenges associated with parish-by-parish legality, Louisiana online market launched in January.
Before Maryland, Tennessee held the title for longest online delay, at 17 months. With regulators now targeting mid-NFL season, Maryland is poised to smash the record.
PointsBet Wins Top Sports Betting Operator Honors at EGR North America Awards 2022
Apr 27, 2022
PointsBet, a premier global online gaming operator and the leading sportsbook for live betting, was recently honored by eGaming Review (EGR) as the top sports betting operator at the EGR North America Awards 2022, marking the second consecutive year the company has won the award. The recognition follows PointsBet's notable exhibition of scale and growth, ability to innovate and differentiate, commitment to responsible gambling, quality of marketing, and quality of product.
"Being recognized for the second consecutive year as the top sports betting operator at the EGR North America Awards is a tremendous honor the PointsBet team does not take lightly," noted Johnny Aitken, PointsBet USA CEO. "We extend our sincere thanks to the judges, sponsors, industry colleagues, and entire EGR team for the recognition and validation of our hard work in the past year, which featured PointsBet extending its operations further across North America to jurisdictions like New York, Pennsylvania, and Ontario. Looking at the opportunity ahead, we are excited to continue proving our vision and ability to execute."
EGR's team of independent, external judges is updated each year and selected to bring a diverse range of in-depth egaming expertise to the award process. All judges were required to keep submitted information and winners confidential, and were obliged to declare they had no conflicts of interest prior to judging. The adjudication by a third-party, Deloitte, ensured the process was completely transparent, and the winners clearly demonstrated the innovation and commercial success required to be rewarded with honors.
After launching in the United States in New Jersey in January 2019, PointsBet is now live with sports betting operations in 10 U.S. jurisdictions plus Ontario, Canada, and is also live with its proprietary iGaming offering in five North American jurisdictions.
California sports betting initiative backed by FanDuel, DraftKings would block small competitors
APRIL 27, 2022
Of the different efforts to legalize sports betting in California, one would require over $100 million in fees — a move experts say limits competition in what is forecasted to be a multi-billion dollar industry.
One of the measures Californians will likely get to vote on this fall does more than just allow betting on sports: Critics are concerned it will effectively block smaller gaming companies and startups from operating in the state.
Those are high stakes for an industry that could rake in over $3.5 billion each year from California bettors — and for a state that prefers to see itself as the startup capital of the world.
Of the four sports betting initiatives competing to make November’s ballot, one, paid for by online sports betting giants FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM, would allow gaming companies and Native American tribes to provide sports betting online across the state.
But embedded in the initiative are requirements that would be very difficult — if not impossible — for the companies’ smaller competitors to meet, experts say.
If the initiative passes, gaming companies would have to pay a $100 million licensing fee to do business in the state, as well as already be licensed in 10 states, or be operating in five states and running 12 casinos.
“I think it’s absolute nonsense,” said John Holden, a professor at Oklahoma State University who studies sports gambling policy. “I think what’s effectively happening is, basically, the 5 to 10 frontrunners in the market have decided ‘Alright, let’s ensure that there’s no one else who can compete by agreeing to pay these exorbitant license fees.’”
The $100 million fee, Holden said, essentially ensures no startups will be able to operate in California.
The fee is one way the measure generates “significant revenue to fund homelessness housing and mental health treatment and provide financial support for California Tribal nations,” Nathan Click, a spokesperson for the initiative’s campaign, wrote in a statement.
“California is best served by creating a safe and tightly regulated sports betting market, one where customers can know they are working with experienced platforms with a proven track record of safe and responsible operation in other markets,” Click wrote.
FanDuel and BetMGM did not respond to CalMatters’ request for an interview. DraftKings directed CalMatters’ interview request to Click, the campaign spokesperson.
Here’s what the initiative does
The initiative backed by sports betting companies would:
Allow adults 21 or older to bet on sports events online, as well as on some non-athletic events like awards shows and video-game competitions, outside of Native American lands
Enable tribes to offer online sports betting under the tribe’s name and branding. Tribes would have to pay a one-time $10 million licensing fee to the state and $1 million renewal fee every five years
Allow gaming companies such as Fanduel and DraftKings to offer online sports betting if they strike a deal with a tribe to access the California market, pay a one-time licensing fee of $100 million plus a $10 million renewal fee every five years, and they are also licensed to operate in 10 states (or are licensed to operate in five states and operate 12 casinos)
Create a new division within the state’s Justice Department to regulate online sports wagering
Impose a 10% tax on all companies or tribes offering sports betting. After covering the state’s regulatory costs, most of the revenue from the tax and the licensing fees would be used to address homelessness and create interim and permanent housing. Of the funds, 15% would go to Native American tribes that aren’t involved in online sports betting.
The state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office wrote in its assessment of the measure that it’s uncertain how much money the new taxes and fees would generate for the state, but it could reach the mid-hundreds of millions per year.
The measure hasn’t qualified for the ballot yet — it’s still gathering signatures. But Click, the spokesperson for the campaign, said the measure is well ahead of where it needs to be to qualify.
Other measures that legalize sports betting could make the ballot — or are already eligible. One, backed by a coalition of tribes, would allow sports betting at tribal casinos and four horse race tracks only, while another, backed by a separate coalition of tribes, would allow tribes to offer online and in-person sports betting exclusively. Native American tribes have long had the exclusive right to offer certain forms of gambling in California. Many tribes are campaigning against the gaming companies’ initiative arguing, among other things, that it would threaten tribes’ sovereignty and self-reliance.
If one of the initiatives passes, California would become one of over 30 states to legalize betting on sports. The industry could generate $3.57 billion per year in net revenue for entities offering sports betting to people in California if online and in-person betting is legalized and many companies are able to operate, according to projections from Eilers & Krejcik Gaming LLC, a research firm. That’s larger than the firm’s projections for Texas, New York, or Florida.
So much for the sports betting startups
The $100 million licensing fee is much higher than what any other state has on the books, said Becca Giden, director of policy for Eilers & Krejcik. Now, New York’s $25 million licensing fee is the highest, she said. Most states that have legalized sports betting have licensing fees in the low single-digit millions or hundreds of thousands — and no other state requires companies to already be licensed in other states, according to Giden.
The requirement that a company already be licensed in 10 states would cut off smaller companies and startups that are only licensed in a few states, Giden said. That, combined with the fee, would “meaningfully limit the ability of small companies and startups” to participate in the market, she said.
Early-stage startups that get money from venture capitalists generally raise around $5 million to $20 million in their first round, said Olav Sorenson, a sociologist at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management who studies entrepreneurship. But only about 1 out of every 100 startups get any venture capital money, Sorenson said. When you include startups that rely on credit card loans and other sources of funds, the amount of money new companies have at their disposal shrinks.
“Very, very few startups would be able to afford that kind of fee,” Sorenson said. “I think it’s going to dramatically limit competition.”
A few companies already dominate online sports betting. FanDuel commands 31% of the U.S. market, followed by DraftKings with 26%, BetMGM with 16% and Caesars with 12%, according to research from Eilers & Krejcik.
“Very, very few startups would be able to afford that kind of fee. I think it’s going to dramatically limit competition.”
OLAV SORENSON, SOCIOLOGIST, UCLA ANDERSON SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT
“The goal of this seems to be to create an oligopoly market for sports betting,” said Marc Edelman, a law professor at Baruch College who specializes in sports, gaming, and antitrust law. It would, he said, benefit a limited number of companies “to the detriment of smaller companies and consumers.”
MaximBet, a sports betting company launched in 2021, is so far licensed in one state: Colorado. The company tries to set itself apart by offering bettors in-person experiences — glitzy masquerade parties, meet-and-greets with pro players, or the opportunity to drive a Ferrari around a race track, said Doug Terfher, vice president of marketing for the company.
Because the company is licensed in just one state, it wouldn’t be able to operate in California yet under the initiative backed by the gaming companies — or the initiatives backed by the tribes. “We want (California) to be as open and available to as many operators as possible with where we are in our growth journey,” Terfher said.
MaximBet is working on getting licensed in 10 states and in Ontario, Canada, but the process is slow. If the company is able to get licensed in five states this year, “it’ll be an amazing year,” said Terfher.
Most states are restricting the number of companies that can offer sports betting, said Daniel Wallach, a Florida-based gaming lawyer who has testified in front of state legislatures considering legalization. States do this with other forms of gambling too. It’s commonplace, he said, for gaming not to be a free for all, where any company can participate. There have to be some baseline standards, he said, that ensure that a company’s integrity, experience, and track record are closely scrutinized.
Historically, organized crime groups have been involved in the gambling industry, Wallach said, so state legislatures and gaming agencies “are very careful to limit who can operate in this heavily regulated industry.”
What are the practical effects?
If smaller companies can’t do business in California, that means fewer options for would-be bettors and potentially less innovation.
“You’d basically end up with a lot less choice,” said Holden.
One up-and-coming product Holden cited is exchange-based wagering, where bettors can trade wagers with each other throughout a game, similar to how day traders buy and sell stocks.
Sporttrade, a Philadelphia-based startup that offers stock-market-like sports betting, is working on getting licensed in New Jersey, Colorado, Indiana, and Louisiana. Could it cough up $100 million and get licensed in 10 states in order to come to California?
“No chance,” said Alex Kane, the company’s CEO. He’s all for regulations that protect consumers, he said, but thinks a $100 million licensing fee doesn’t have anything to do with that. Instead, Kane said he thinks the bigger companies writing the initiative don’t want to face competition. “They’re looking at ‘What would we be willing to pay to get rid of competition altogether?’” Kane said. “You can see that it’s worth a lot of money to them.”
And if it’s difficult for new companies to reach customers in California, that could wind up shaping not just what services are offered, but who offers them. “Such a high financial barrier to entry makes it nearly impossible for minority-owned businesses — or new businesses or entrepreneurial ventures — to even attempt to compete,” said Edelman, the law professor at Baruch College. If there’s not a lot of competition between sports betting vendors, that might also lead to worse prices for customers, he said.
“To presume that a company that could spend a lot of money is ethical and a company that could spend a small amount of money is not ethical is very dubious logic.”
MARC EDELMAN, LAW PROFESSOR, BARUCH COLLEGE
If the initiative backed by the gaming companies passes, California wouldn’t be the most restrictive state — not even close. Delaware has essentially limited sports betting to three casinos. Washington D.C. enabled one app, run by the DC Lottery, to offer online sports betting city-wide, while other companies are limited to the geographic areas surrounding sports arenas they’ve cut deals with. Somes states have set limits on the number of licenses they’ll offer. Washington state made sports betting the exclusive domain of Native American tribes, and Maine seems poised to make a similar decision.
Regulators can make rules that protect consumers and ensure gaming companies act responsibly without limiting the number of companies that can operate. The fact that many states have limited the number of licenses they’ll give out isn’t necessarily because that’s the optimal set up for consumers. It’s because they’ve been lobbied by casinos, racetracks, and other groups that already have a stake in gambling, said Giden.
If the goal is to ensure that companies operate ethically, then regulators should be reviewing companies’ past business practices across all lines of business, said Edelman, the gaming and antitrust law professor.
“To presume that a company that could spend a lot of money is ethical and a company that could spend a small amount of money is not ethical is very dubious logic,” he said.
Basketball powered Colorado’s $505M sports betting handle last month
Apr 27, 2022
(The Center Square) – Colorado’s total sports betting handle surpassed $505 million in March thanks to pro basketball and the NCAA tournament, according to the state's most recent figures.
The total handle represents a year-over-year climb of 68% from March 2021, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue's (DOR) data. It's also up from $440 million wagered in February.
For the current fiscal year, more than $3.7 billion has been wagered on sports in Colorado, an 86% increase from the previous year.
Massachusetts One Step Closer to Legalizing Sports Betting After Senate Vote
A total ban on collegiate betting would make Massachusetts an outlier among states that offer legal sports wagering
April 28, 2022
The Massachusetts Senate has passed its own version of a sports gambling bill, bringing it one step closer to legality.
After years of discussion and pressure from both inside and outside the State House, the Massachusetts Senate voted Thursday to legalize sports wagering here, but lawmakers will have to reconcile the many differences between the Senate's bill and the one that passed the House last summer before any bets can be placed.
Senate President Karen Spilka took heat in recent months, including from House Speaker Ronald Mariano, for seemingly slow-walking sports betting through the Senate. She said she wanted to ensure that there was consensus around any legislation she brought to the floor and it appears she secured some kind of understanding: senators unanimously agreed to let the bill (S 2844) pass on a voice vote, meaning that senators were not called to individually vote 'yes' or 'no.'
"I am proud to say that this bill is a product of a thoughtful, deliberative process that takes into account the lessons learned in other states who rushed into legalization. Some may wish we had acted sooner, but I am convinced that the time we took resulted in a final product that will be a national model for responsible sports wagering," Senate Ways and Means Chairman Michael Rodrigues said at the start of debate Thursday. "The Senate Ways and Means proposal maximizes the benefits for the commonwealth and minimizes harms to consumers and the general public."
The Massachusetts Senate will finally vote Thursday on its version of sports betting legislation after the House overwhelmingly passed a sports betting bill last summer.
The Senate bill would generate an estimated $35 million in annual tax revenue for the state by allowing people 21 or older to bet on professional sports at the state's casinos, slot parlor and up to six other brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, and through online or mobile platforms while physically present in Massachusetts.
The Mass. Gaming Commission would regulate sports betting and license the operators in Massachusetts, and the Senate bill would require numerous consumer safeguards to protect against problem gambling similar to those put in place for casinos when Massachusetts expanded gaming in 2011.
But the bill the Senate passed differs from the legislation the House approved 156-3 last summer in a handful of significant ways: its prohibition on betting on collegiate sports, its substantially higher tax rates, and its whistle-to-whistle ban on sports betting ads during live sports broadcasts. As soon as next week, the House and Senate could appoint a conference committee to hash out the differences with the goal of having a compromise bill that could be approved before the July 31 end of formal lawmaking for the year.
"There are always differences on complicated pieces of legislation between the House and the Senate. My hope would be that they would both work to get something to our desk that we can sign by the end of the session," Gov. Charlie Baker, who first filed his own sports betting bill in January 2019, said Thursday.
Since the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018 gave states the ability to legalize sports wagering, 33 states -- including neighboring Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Connecticut and New York -- and the District of Columbia have authorized sports betting, according to the American Gaming Association. Thirty states and D.C. have begun to accept bets.
"Because we waited, we learned a lot," Sen. Eric Lesser, the Economic Development Committee chairman who has been the Senate's point person on sports betting, said. "We learned what works, we learned what doesn't work. We learned what you need to do to make sure you've got a competitive market and a really good product, a high-quality product, for consumers. That's really important."
But Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, one of a handful of senators who have publicly clamored for the branch to consider a betting bill, said Thursday that while he was glad a bill finally emerged, the Ways and Means Committee bill was not the best possible product.
"It is important that we do take this step ... so that we can reap the benefits of an industry that is happening all around us and by many accounts, one that's happening illegally within the borders of the commonwealth of Massachusetts. But in order for us to do that successfully, we have to have legislation that authorizes a viable industry," Tarr said. He added, "On that front, this bill does demand improvement in the way that it handles the taxation rate, in the way that it deals with advertising and in the way that it deals with collegiate sports, to name a few."
While a handful of amendments to expand the Senate's bill to allow for betting on college athletics were filed, only Sen. Patrick O'Connor spoke about his on the Senate floor. He offered three amendments: one that would have allowed for betting on college sports, eSports and amateur athletic events like the Olympics, one that would have just expanded the underlying bill to allow for college betting, and one that would allow betting on college sports when there is no Massachusetts team involved.
"To expand this bill and to allow [betting] on college sports, eSports and commission-approved amateur sporting events, I think, is imperative. Bettors in Massachusetts are currently betting illegally on college sports, largely in the black market or offshore websites which have no obligation to detect or report concerns regarding the integrity of the games," the Weymouth Republican said.
A few hours after asking that the three amendments be put on hold to allow for more discussion, O'Connor withdrew all three without further comment.
A total ban on collegiate betting would make Massachusetts an outlier among states that offer legal sports wagering. Oregon does not allow any collegiate betting through its commercial operator, but most states that have legalized betting allow at least some wagers on college sports.
The three New England states that have legalized sports betting limit which collegiate events bettors can wager on. Rhode Island and New Hampshire both prohibit bets placed on games played within their states and on games that involve an in-state team. Connecticut has a similar restriction, but the Nutmeg State allows "futures" bets on in-state teams, so residents can bet on the UConn Huskies to win the NCAA basketball tournament, but cannot bet on individual UConn games.
The Senate's collegiate betting prohibition also puts the branch at odds with the Massachusetts House and Mariano, who drew a line in the sand on Bloomberg Baystate Business last summer and declared that leaving collegiate betting out of any bill "probably would be" a dealbreaker for him.
Though Baker's own sports betting bill proposed to exclude college sports, he reiterated Wednesday afternoon that he could accept a framework that included betting on college sports because it's already happening in neighboring states.
A survey conducted by the National Council on Problem Gambling in 2018 found that professional football was far and away the most popular sport to bet on in Massachusetts, with 83 percent of Bay State sports bettors surveyed reporting having put a wager on a pro football game in the previous year. The next most popular sport to bet on in Massachusetts was baseball (32 percent), followed by college basketball (31 percent), college football (28 percent) and professional basketball (19 percent). The survey, however, did not speak to how much money was wagered on each sport.
As released by the Ways and Means Committee, the Senate's betting bill would tax operators at a rate of 20 percent of gross sports wagering receipts from bets placed in person and at a rate of 35 percent of gross sports wagering receipts from bets placed via a mobile or digital platform, rates that would put Massachusetts at the high end of tax rates on sports wagering revenue.
The House bill called for a sportsbook's revenue from in-person bets to be taxed at 12.5 percent and revenue from mobile wagers to be taxed at 15 percent, and Tarr offered an amendment Thursday to change the Senate's tax rates to match what the House adopted.
"The economics are very simple. If you want to have a successful sports wagering business in the commonwealth of Massachusetts, the rates that are in the bill have to be abandoned and we have to adopt more realistic rates that are reflected in this particular amendment," Tarr said.
Rodrigues asked that senators vote the amendment down and said "one of the missions of this particular bill was to provide the best benefit for the commonwealth's citizens and taxpayers, not the best benefit for the online gaming operators that want to work here."
The minority leader's amendment was rejected on a 4-35 vote with Democrat Sen. Walter Timilty joining the Senate's three Republicans voting in favor.
Sportsbooks operate with small profit margins and most of the money bettors plunk down is returned to them or others in the form of winnings. That dynamic often leads to eye-popping dollar figures when the handle (or total amount wagered) is reported and less-impressive numbers when states report their take from the activity. New Jersey, which has the most robust sports betting market outside of Las Vegas, reported a monthly handle of $1.12 billion in March, which meant $66.4 million in revenue for operators and about $8.2 million in revenue for the state.
The Senate bill would ban sports betting ads immediately before, during and immediately after live broadcasts of sporting events, similar to an ad ban that has been employed in the United Kingdom.
The legalization of sports betting has led to a deluge of sports betting ads around the country. For the operators, aggressive advertising is a fact of doing business in a growing field in which numerous deep-pocketed companies are competing to keep their existing customers and attract new ones. But for expanded gambling opponents and public health advocates, the ad surge is a warning of the consequences that could come as a result of legalizing sports betting in Massachusetts.
The Gaming Commission has already taken notice of the relentless ads and in October the agency's director of research and responsible gaming recommended that Massachusetts consider a whistle-to-whistle ban on betting ads. "So if we head down that path, it's something that I think should be really closely considered," Mark Vander Linden said.
O'Connor attempted unsuccessfully to strip the bill of its ad ban and replace it with the same advertising and marketing restrictions as were included in the House bill, telling colleagues that "the language in the underlying bill simply goes too far."
"First, there's a practical problem. Legal sports betting occurs in almost all of our neighboring states, all of which share television markets with the commonwealth. How do we stop ads from reaching Massachusetts residents? Are we going to regulate NESN and tell them, 'OK, you can broadcast DraftKings to your fans in New Hampshire, Connecticut and Rhode Island, but not in Massachusetts'?" O'Connor said. He added, "The second problem with this legislation is a legal one. We know the limitations this Legislature has on the regulation of free speech. The fact that not one other state of the 32 states that legalized sports betting has anything even similar as far as the limitations that the underlying bill has, is very concerning and cuts against any justification, in my opinion, for the restrictions that we're putting in place."
Early in Thursday's session, Sen. Lesser requested that the Senate take a recorded roll call vote on passing the bill, but later in the session Lesser asked for unanimous consent to withdraw his roll call request and none of his colleagues objected, leading to the voice vote. Lesser was unavailable for comment after session.
Amendments due on Massachusetts’ Senate’s sports betting bill
April 25, 2022
Sports betting could finally become a reality in Massachusetts as members of the Senate have until 5 p.m. Tuesday to file amendments to a long awaited wagering bill up for debate Thursday.
The Senate bill advanced favorably, and suddenly, on Friday out of the Senate Ways and Means Committee without opposition from its 17 members.
Twelve senators voted in favor, four — Sens. Barry Finegold, Patricia Jehlen, John Keenan and Ryan Fattman — reserved their rights and did not weigh in either for or against, and Sen. Adam Hinds did not vote, according to committee voting information made available Monday afternoon.
Bettors have been eagerly awaiting Senate movement around sports betting for more than a year.
The House has twice approved language to legalize the activity, including as a standalone bill that passed 156-3 in July, but the Senate has long appeared far less interested in the topic.
A survey of senators last month found at least 60% support for the concept and no senators said they were outright opposed.
Senate President Karen Spilka said she was waiting for consensus to form among senators before bringing a sports betting bill to the floor.
On Friday, when the bill advanced, Spilka said, “I am pleased to see the committee has come to agreement on a strong proposal and I look forward to discussing it with my colleagues next week.”
There appear to be a number of significant differences between the bill the Senate will debate Thursday and the legislation that easily passed the House in July, most notably the Senate bill’s prohibition on wagers on collegiate athletics and the Senate’s higher proposed tax rates.
The college betting piece could be a stickler in the House.
Speaker Ronald Mariano said last summer on Bloomberg Baystate Business that leaving collegiate betting out of any bill “probably would be” a dealbreaker for him.
“I find myself having a tough time trying to justify going through all of this to not include probably the main driver of betting in the commonwealth,” Mariano said at the time.
The Gaming Commission, which both branches would put in charge of regulating sports betting, has flagged the House bill’s allowance for slot machines in veterans posts around the state as something that would add a “lot of complexity” to its work.
Differences between the House and Senate bills would likely have to be ironed out by a six-person conference committee before July 31.
Officials from Boston College, Boston University, Harvard University, Northeastern University, The College of the Holy Cross, Merrimack College and the University of Massachusetts (Amherst and Lowell) in 2020 urged lawmakers to leave college betting out of any legalization bill.
MLB legend Pete Rose on sports betting: 'I came along at the wrong time'
Rose said he wasn't trying to tell baseball how to run its business
April 25, 2022
MLB legend Pete Rose joined the OutKick 360 crew on Monday. The OK360 panel discussed a variety of topics during the interview, including modern sports betting and how it changes the narrative on Rose’s legacy.
OutKick 360’s Chad Withrow asked Rose what he thought of the stark contrast in the attitude toward sports betting now and during his time in baseball.
"For years, pro sports would not embrace Las Vegas," Withrow said. "You couldn’t have a team there because guys were gonna be on the take, and it was gonna look bad for the league and everyone was gonna think the game is fixed."
Withrow asked, "Does that make you look around and think, ‘What are we doing here with baseball’s view of me,’ and what happened years ago when you see their willingness to embrace it now?"
"Not really because I just came along at the wrong time," Rose admitted.
"I’m not here to tell baseball what to do," Rose noted. "As you know, baseball is all about making dollars. I’m not here to try to tell baseball how to run its business, and I’m certainly not going to tell the casinos how to run their business."
"In the end result, I just hope everyone’s happy," he added.
Solana Beach seeks to reverse Del Mar Fairgrounds’ sports betting decision in California
April 25, 2022
SOLANA BEACH — As the Del Mar Fairgrounds looks ahead to a possible future of increased revenue from onsite sports betting, the neighboring city of Solana Beach has filed a lawsuit to stop it before it can begin.
Back in September 2021, the 22nd District Agricultural Association, the board which manages the Fairgrounds, voted unanimously to make sports betting a permitted activity at its off-track wagering center, pending California voters’ approval of a new initiative allowing sports betting at private racetracks and tribal casinos in November 2022.
Thirty U.S. states, as well as the District of Columbia, have legalized sports betting in some form since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a federal ban on state-authorized sports betting in 2018. The California initiative proposes a 10% tax on all sports betting revenue from racetracks.
While the Fairgrounds see sports betting as an enticing revenue source –– particularly as factors including the devastating financial impacts of COVID-19 make the future of horse racing uncertain –– Solana Beach officials filed a suit on March 10 seeking to reverse the district’s September approval, arguing that it will bring adverse effects to the environment and local community including increased traffic, noise, and air pollution.
Specifically, the petition alleges that the 22nd DAA failed to conduct an environmental review before approving sports betting, therefore violating California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) guidelines. The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club is also named as a defendant, due to their proposal to develop and operate a “first-class sportsbook” at the Fairgrounds by early 2023 if the ballot measure is approved.
“The city is beneficially interested in the issuance of a peremptory writ of mandate by virtue of the fact that the city and its residents and visitors will be harmed by the adverse environmental consequences that will occur if the proposed project is allowed to proceed. The significant adverse environmental effects of the proposed project will cause substantial and irrevocable harm to the city’s and the surrounding area’s environmental interests,” the city’s petition states.
Both the city and the 22nd DAA declined to comment on the litigation. The 22nd DAA also declined to provide a comment regarding the current status of plans for the sportsbook development at this time.
This marks Solana Beach officials’ third lawsuit against the 22nd DAA in approximately the last decade and another example of the city’s frustration about potential local impacts from expanded activities and operations at the Fairgrounds.
In 2011, Solana Beach was joined by the City of Del Mar and the San Dieguito River Park in suing the 22nd DAA over the adequacy of environmental plans related to a facilities upgrade, which ended in a settlement.
The city also filed a 2017 suit opposing the construction of a nearly 2,000-seat concert venue at the Fairgrounds due to concerns about noise, traffic and air quality, resolved by a memorandum of understanding between the two parties.
The current case has been assigned to San Diego County Superior Court Judge John Meyer, with no upcoming hearings scheduled thus far, according to court records.
Ohio State voices concerns about roll out of sports betting in Ohio
Apr. 25, 2022
COLUMBUS — With the deadline for sports betting to go into effect in Ohio getting closer, one university is voicing concerns about its roll out.
What You Need To Know
Legal sports betting is scheduled to begin in Ohio no later than Jan. 1, 2023
Ohio State University officials have voiced concerns about it
University officials asked for regulations like limiting sports betting to just football and basketball and the outcome of the games, and not prop bets and no club sports
Legal sports betting is scheduled to begin in Ohio no later than Jan. 1, 2023, but Don Emmonds, senior analyst for ohiobets.com, said it could happen sooner.
“Indications are, it would be much earlier than that,” said Emmonds. “Maybe late fall.”
That’s just in time for college football season, something Ohio State University officials have voiced concerns about.
“With student athletes, you want them to stay focused on whatever sport they are involved in and as well as their education,” said Emmonds.
University officials wrote a letter to the Ohio Casino Commission in January, asking for regulations like limiting sports betting to just football and basketball and the outcome of the games, and not prop bets and no club sports.
University officials did not respond to Spectrum News 1 for comment.
“I think one aspect you might say is if you limit it just to football and basketball, you don’t have to worry about the student athletes involved in the other sports,” said Emmonds. “So, that narrows down the number of athletes you have to be concerned getting caught up in sports betting.”
With prop bets, he said they make it easier for students and fans to be involved in cheating.
“The scenario that’s been brought up to me is, hey if you have a roommate who’s a student athlete you, throw that out at them like, ‘Hey are you playing or not?’ So they don’t want those kind of influences involved.”
Gov. Mike DeWine signed sports betting legislation in December. It’s expected to bring in millions for the state.
Emmonds said a few more things need to happen before sports betting is a reality in Ohio.
“Really, the net biggest stage is to receive the sports betting license requests from potential stakeholders,” he said.
South Carolina lawmakers introduce bill to legalize sports betting
Apr 25, 2022
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD)- Two lawmakers are making another attempt to legalize and regulate sports betting in the Palmetto State.
Reps. Herbkersman (R-Beaufort) and Rutherford (D-Richland) introduced a bipartisan bill in the S.C. House on Thursday that would allow the operation of eight to twelve online sports betting platforms.
Under the proposed legislation, any person age 21 or older would be able to bet on professional sports, collegiate sports, and e-sports. There are only four states in which e-sports betting is fully legal.
Only “designated sports wagering operators” including professional sports franchises, PGA tour facilities, and promoters of national associations for stock car auto racing national touring races would be licensed.
Professional athletes or others involved with professional sports organizations would be prohibited from engaging in betting “if the wager is based on a sporting event overseen by the person’s sports governing body.”
The introduction of H.5277 is just the latest effort in the fight to legalize sports betting.
Gubernatorial candidate Joe Cunningham announced a proposal in February that would allow South Carolinians to bet on sports online, in brick and mortar locations, and on mobile apps. He estimates the move could generate $40 million a year in tax revenue.
H.5277 calls for operators to pay a “privilege tax” at a rate of 10% of their adjusted gross revenue. Of the tax revenue collected, 80% would be deposited in the South Carolina Education Lottery and 15% would be allocated to the general fund. The remaining 5% would be allocated to the Department of Mental Health to treat gambling addictions, among other uses.
30 states and Washington, DC currently have live, legal sports betting and another 9, including South Carolina, are considering legislation that would legalize it, according to the American Gaming Association.
With three weeks left in the legislative session, the bill sits in the House Judiciary Committee.
FANDUEL EXPANDS ITS PARTNERSHIP TO BECOME AN OFFICIAL SPORTS BETTING PARTNER OF THE NEW YORK YANKEES
NEWS PROVIDED BY FanDuel Group via press release from PRNewswire
Apr 25, 2022-- Agreement Brings America's #1 Sportsbook Together With Sports' Most Iconic Brand --
NEW YORK, April 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- FanDuel Group, the premier sports gaming destination in the United States, announced today a multi-year partnership renewal to become An Official Sports Betting Partner of the New York Yankees. The expanded partnership ensures that America's #1 Sportsbook remains aligned with the world's most iconic sports franchise.
Under the terms of the agreement, FanDuel will be permitted use of New York Yankees' marks. Additionally, FanDuel will have premium VIP hospitality accommodations at Yankee Stadium along with integrated FanDuel signage in right-field and rotational signage behind home plate during television broadcasts.
"There is no more globally recognized sports brand than the New York Yankees, and as a New York-based company we're delighted to remain partners with our hometown team," said Mike Raffensperger, CMO of FanDuel Group. "One of our company values is to be absurdly fan-focused and there is no fanbase more passionate about their team than Yankees fans which makes this a natural fit."
"We are very excited to be continuing our relationship with FanDuel—our Partner since 2020," said Michael J. Tusiani, New York Yankees Senior Vice President, Partnerships. "We hope that FanDuel's Yankee Stadium presence and customer engagement will continue to strengthen its brand as a sports betting operator within the tri-state area."
How sports betting works in Hungary
APRIL 24, 2022
In the past, foreign gambling operators had difficulty getting a license to operate in Hungary. Hungary had always been adamant about protecting its citizens from irresponsible gambling and unscrupulous sites. This stance did not augur well with foreign operators who felt that its laws were highly prohibitive. Moreover, its citizens were antsy about the reduced opportunities to place wagers and make good money. It was only a matter of time before Hungary had to bow to the pressure and ease its laws.
What Has Changed?
While foreign operators did not have the right to operate in Hungary, they often found ways to reach the Hungarian market. But now, they do not need to do so illegally. According to the new proposals in Hungary's recent gambling law changes, foreign operators can now operate in Hungary. That means that Hungarians can now look forward to scrolling through more options on Globusbet.com when deciding where to place a wager. However, there are some caveats to the new laws:
As such, the market is not fully open to all gaming operators, but it is a step in the right direction. Currently, the laws are not clear on how many permits will be available to the public. But the new proposals dictate that credit and debit cards will only be accepted if linked to authorized payment providers. It will be a while before Hungarians can enjoy the benefits of cryptocurrency payments on gaming sites.
Why the change of heart? Hungarian laws are in place to protect players. Even so, the authorities recognize that they cannot keep their heads buried in the sand. Citizens have continuously devised ways to gamble on offshore sites, some of which have not held up their ends of the deal. And some citizens have fallen victim to theft, while others have developed problem gambling. The authorities hope that by permitting some of these foreign sites to operate, they can control gambling to a greater extent and thus protect their people.
The license will not come easily to operators. They will need to part with about $3 million in capital, $2 million in fees, and an undetermined tax amount. While these new proposals are not yet in effect, foreign operators are already gearing up for the opening of the market. It’s expected that by mid-2022, the authorities will start processing the new license applications.
How Can You Take Advantage of These Changes?
Even before the 2022 gambling proposals, online gaming was rife in Hungary, with many international bookies targeting the citizens. And this works in your favor as bookies must now offer you lucrative bonuses to get your attention. So, take advantage of the free bets offered to all new and returning players. If used right, the winnings from these bets can carry you through an entire season and give you enough bankroll to keep playing for the next one. Of course, this requires a lot of strategies coupled with a sound bankroll management system. You should also consider the wagering requirements tied to each offer as they determine what you can make out of them.
The other thing to note is that you will receive all your winnings because Hungarian laws tax the operators and not the players. How great is that! But to ensure that this applies to you, always use banks or credit card providers with favorable processing fees.
Outgoing BoyleSports CEO Mark Kemp to lead DAZN's upcoming sports betting brand
Following last week's announcement of sports media and streaming business DAZN Group's entry into the sports betting market, the company has confirmed that outgoing BoyleSports CEO Mark Kemp will lead the new sportsbook brand as Chief Executive Officer of DAZN BET.
Kemp has served in leadership positions in Entain, where he led the UK digital business for both the Ladbrokes and Coral brands. He served as Managing Director of the UK Tote Group, and in April 2021 was appointed CEO of BoyleSports, starting in July. However, in February this year, the operator announced Kemp's departure, to become effective at the end of July 2022.
DAZN, led by former Entain CEO Shay Segev, announced a new partnership with Pragmatic Group —parent of Pragmatic Solutions and Pragmatic Play— to develop a new sports betting platform. Under this exclusive, multi-year agreement, a new business headquartered in Gibraltar will launch and operate a new betting service under the DAZN BET brand, which is expected to soft launch a beta product to coincide with the start of the new NFL season in September.
DAZN BET will leverage the DAZN customer base and brand under a licensing agreement with DAZN Group. Pragmatic Group will supply the underlying platform and content and be responsible for the ongoing product development.
Earlier this month, sister company Pragmatic Play announced its product offering expansion with the debut of its brand-new sportsbook, the fifth vertical in which the supplier has a presence. It follows offerings for virtual sports, slots, live casino, and bingo.
Kemp commented: “I am delighted to be joining DAZN BET to launch such a new and exciting international brand. With the strength and expertise of DAZN in sports media, we will deliver something recreational and relevant to today’s audience. I am looking forward to working with the new team and DAZN to build an engaging and responsible new entertainment proposition for sports fans across the world.”
DAZN made its expansion plans for the betting industry clear last year, appointing former Entain executives Ian Turnball as EVP of Betting, and Sandeep Tiku as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to coordinate its strategy.
Turnbull commented: “Sports betting partnerships are just one of the ways in which DAZN is going to deliver more exciting and richer content for its customers. We know that fans want more integrated, immersive, and interactive experiences as they enjoy long form content. DAZN is giving them that.”
$76 Million Gambled in Wyoming Since Online Sports Betting Was Legalized; 28,000 People Have Tried
April 28, 2022
Although online sports betting is still in its infancy in Wyoming, at least 28,000 residents have taken part in the activity since it became legal in September 2021, according to state officials.
As of February 2022, there were 27,744 unique users of sports wagering programs in Wyoming. But that number is probably below the actual count, Charles Moore, executive director of the Wyoming Gaming Commission, told the Legislature’s Revenue Committee on Thursday.
“That was in February,” said Moore, who delivered a report on gaming in the state to the committee. “(The number) has moved up quite a bit from that point.”
Online sports wagering was legalized in the Wyoming Legislature in 2021. The state law that allowed it required the first $300,000 of revenue raised through a 1% tax on bets go to the Wyoming Department of Health to equip the agency to combat gambling addictions and other associated maladies.
After that, tax revenues are to go toward the general fund.
There were only two licensed sports-wager operators cataloged on Moore’s February report, but he told the committee that the number has since grown to four, “soon to be six, next week.”
“DraftKings” and “BetMGM” were the first licensed operators; “PointsBet” also is licensed but has not yet launched due to supply chain issues, experts told the committee. “FanDuel” was licensed in late December and launched roughly in time for the March Madness college basketball tournament.
“Barstool Sports” and “Caesar’s” are expected to be licensed by next week.
The commission hopes to 10 online sports betting operators will eventually be operating in Wyoming.
Health Department Wins
Together, gaming sites “DraftKings” and “BetMGM” handled about $76 million worth of Wyomingites’ wager moneys since the activity was legalized. From that, the companies have drawn gross revenues totaling about $2.2 million over the 14 months – $408,257 to BetMGM and $1.8 million to DraftKings.
The tax of 1% on the companies’ gross revenues to the state yielded $222,363 to the Wyoming Department of Health, and nothing to the state’s main bank account, the general fund, so far.
The tax rate represents a yield of about $4 per user, per year.
David Carpenter, sports wagering manager for the Gaming Commission, said he expects that yield to grow, ideally to about $15 in taxes per user, per year.
State Rep. Chuck Gray, R-Casper, said the taxable revenue seems “astoundingly low,” though he conceded that the 2022 figures only included the first two months of the year.
Carpenter said sports wagering is a “tight” or more patron-friendly activity than other gambling games, such as slot machines.
“The good bettors are mostly between 50% and 55%” win rates, said Carpenter. “The bad bettors, for lack of a better word, are going to be kind of 50% down to 45 %.”
In other states that have legalized sports betting, sports bettors make up about 10% of the population, whereas in Wyoming, about 3% of the population engages the activity, said Carpenter.
Moore attributed the lag in part to an error in Wyoming’s gaming laws which was corrected during the recent legislative budget session, but which essentially deleted the Gaming Commission last summer, fall, and winter.
Historic horse racing, or bets via machine on horse races that have already occurred, has amassed about $36.8 million in tax revenues for Wyoming since the practice was formalized under the Gaming Commission in 2020.
One percent of the total “handle” goes to city and county governments. Another 0.25% each goes to the state’s general account and the state’s savings account, respectively.
Historic horse racing operators have handled $2 billion of Wyomingites’ money and have drawn a profit of about $161 million.
Simulcast, or off-track betting, and live horse-racing have contributed $165,894 to state coffers.
Skill-Based Amusement Games
Skill-based amusement games have raked in about $8.7 million since their regulation began in 2020, legislators were told.
Colorado Sports Betting Rebounds in March After Slow February
After a down month in February, Colorado saw a rebound in sports betting handle to $505.6 million in the month of March thanks in large part to the betting landscape around professional and college basketball.
Apr 28, 2022
The Colorado Division of Gaming reported Wednesday that the state’s retail and online sportsbooks registered a total handle of $505.6 million, a 14.8% increase from February’s $440.5 million.
March’s figure also represented a year-over-year increase of 67.98% from March 2021, when the state reported a handle of $301 million.
It was still well short of January’s record-setting handle of $574 million, the most in state history. March did, however, register as the second-best month since sportsbooks started accepting bets on May 1, 2020.
Voters approved legal sports betting in Colorado in November 2019.
Taxes, YTY increase sharply
Taxes collected by the state from sports betting wagers in March 2022 totaled $1.313 million, representing a 317.21% increase over February's take of $314,731.
Fiscal year taxes to date, through March 2022, are $9.28 million, which is a 78.3% increase from the fiscal year-to-date taxes for the same period in 2020-21 of $5.2 million.
Meanwhile, total wagers for the current fiscal period, July 2021-March 2022, are at $3.74 billion, an 85.96% increase from the same period 2020-2021.
Basketball bounces Colorado back
Professional basketball led the way with $218.3 million, representing 43.2% of all wagers. That was an increase from February’s mark of 35.3%.
That figure should hold steady next month. The Denver Nuggets were active in the NBA Playoffs throughout April despite being eliminated by the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night.
Parlays and combination bets were the next biggest market in handle, bringing in $99.7 million. That's up $21 million compared to February and it also represents 19.7% of all bets in March.
NCAA Basketball was third, pulling in nearly $97 million.
Together, the NBA and NCAA accounted for 62% of all sports wagers in Colorado, totaling $314 million.
Hockey and tennis have strong months
Hockey was fourth in handle at $26 million, an increase of $2 million from February. With the Colorado Avalanche the betting favorite to win the Stanley Cup, those numbers should increase in April and May.
Tennis was fifth with $23.4 million in handle, an increase of $7.6 million from the month prior.
Soccer came sixth at $18 million for March but was one of the few sports that suffered a decrease from February after earning $18.9 million a month earlier.
Other sports that reported wagers to the state were MMA ($3.4 million), table tennis ($1.3 million), motorsports ($887,765), and baseball ($537,365).
Legal sports betting coming to the Glass Bowl? 'Anything could happen'
Ohio will launch sports betting on January 1
APR 27, 2022
Not long ago, college sports and gambling went together like toothpaste and bread.
Mixing them was a non-starter, with schools fearing the kind of racket that once infiltrated the University of Toledo, where a point-shaving scandal rocked the football and basketball programs in the mid-2000s.
Hell, I’m old enough to remember way back when the NCAA was so wary of any ties to the betting industry that it had a rule against holding its championship events in Las Vegas.
That was 2019.
Fast forward three years, and how much has the landscape changed?
I asked Toledo athletic director Mike O’Brien if he could envision a day when the Glass Bowl has a betting window.
“Oh, boy, I don’t know about that,” he said. “But I think we’re almost to the point where anything could happen now.”
Indeed, welcome to the never-say-never world of college athletics.
For all the changes that have upended the ecosystem — from the booming (and lawless) NIL market to the transfer portal — no evolution would have been more unimaginable than universities hopping into bed with gambling companies.
But here we are.
Since the Supreme Court shot down the federal ban on sports betting in 2018 — and with wagering on games now legal in 30 states and Ohio set to join the club by New Year’s Day — the wall has come crashing down.
Like the pro leagues, schools are throwing up their hands and cashing in.
The Mid-American Conference just signed a lucrative deal that cleared the way for its stats and data to be sold to sports books, while at least a half dozen universities have reached deals with betting companies, including Michigan State and LSU, the latter of which blasted out an email from its official athletics account that offered students, fans, and anyone else on their mailing list $300 in free bets at Caesars Sportsbook. (Yep, 21-year-old students and a gambling app, what could go wrong?)
Next, no one will be surprised by the first school that opens a sports book inside its stadium or arena.
“The NCAA has really just said, ‘OK, this is happening everywhere, we’ve lost the battle. ... We might as well make some money off of it,’” said John Holden, a professor at Oklahoma State who studies sports gambling.
For college leaders, it’s an extraordinary about-face, a dive into the deep end of a pool fraught with uncertainty.
I called up O’Brien for the perspective of someone who has seen it all, including the very real danger of gamblers preying on young athletes in an attempt to fix the score of games.
No need to wallop a dead horse, but you’ll probably recall that seven Toledo football and basketball players pleaded guilty for their role in a point-shaving scheme that authorities said took place from 2003 to 2006. Former running back Quinton Broussard, for instance, admitted in court that he accepted more than $2,000 in cash and free groceries from two Detroit-area businessmen, including $500 to intentionally fumble in the 2005 GMAC Bowl.
“It's so easy for young people, no matter the age, to be swayed by individuals who don’t have their best interests in mind,” said O’Brien, who is retiring this week after 20 years at UT. “That’s what occurred at that time.”
And, of course, that case — and others of its kind elsewhere — came in an era when sports betting was illegal outside Nevada.
What will it mean now that gambling on games is ever-present? It’s one thing for millionaire pro athletes to resist an untoward overture, another for college kids who will now be surrounded by a raft of new bettors.
“They're living amongst the people who are betting on them,” Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman told lawmakers last year, “which is strange to know that somebody who lives in the dorm room right next door might be betting on them.”
To that end, several states have justly banned betting on in-state college teams, including New York, New Jersey, and Washington.
The guess here is Ohio will follow the lead of Michigan, where there’s betting on local college games, but no prop bets on individual player performances.
Stacy Rastaukas, vice president of government affairs at Ohio State, suggested this compromise in a recent letter to the Ohio Casino Control Commission, asking the rule makers to limit college betting to football and basketball games — and only on final scores, meaning no props of in-game wagering.
“Our concern is for the student athlete,” she wrote. “Allowing an in-game bet on a kick or a free throw can lead to very bad outcomes for the athlete regardless of his/her success due to the ability of angered bettors to anonymize threats and ridicule via social media platforms.”
O’Brien agreed, calling the prospect of bets that go beyond the outcome of the game “really dangerous.”
Actually, he thinks everything about this new ballgame could be really dangerous.
But if we’re going to concede the train has left the station — and spare the moral debate on the human costs of gambling for another day — the longtime AD said, “You better be willing to adjust.”
The hope is that the anything-goes new world will be something of a paradox and reduce the threat of corruption, given that college athletes now have sanctioned avenues to earn extra money (NIL) and the widespread legalization of sports betting will mean less under-the-table action (it’s the Vegas sports books that alert the authorities to irregular bets, not the bookie behind the Qwik-E-Mart). Also, schools will no doubt step up their education programs on the dangers of sports gambling, perhaps using the money they get from ... sports gambling companies.
In any case, welcome to Never-Say-Never Land.
See everyone at the Glass Book?
“I'm not saying that will or won't happen,” O’Brien said of a day when Toledo fans can place bets on campus. “I’m also at the point where nothing surprises me.”