Author Archives: Robert McCabe

Federal Regulators Approve Florida Sports Betting Compact

On Friday, Federal regulators allowed the controversial gambling agreement between the state of Florida and the Seminole tribe to take effect. With the approval from the feds, sports betting in the state can now begin taking bets as early as October 15, assuming the deal can successfully navigate the many hurdles that remain. The deal has received a lot of criticism from officials throughout the state, including scrutiny in the form of lawsuits. Now, a number of challenges stand between the proposed sportsbooks and the launch of sports betting in the Sunshine State.

The Deal and the Controversy

The deal under question was ratified by legislators and signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis and Seminole tribe Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr. in May. The compact was the result of tireless efforts from law makers and gaming enthusiasts who have been pushing for some form of gaming expansion in the state over the past few years. Under the deal, anyone over the age of 21 will be able to place online wagers on sporting events through online sportsbooks or mobile applications. Brick-and-mortar sportsbooks would also be permitted at existing Seminole casinos, which currently operate on reservation lands.

Under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and Florida law, all gambling in the state must be conducted on reservation land. The new compact, however, would bypass this law by giving the Seminole tribe control over the servers that would be handling all the mobile and online sports wagers. With online and mobile sports betting, bettors would be able to place their bets remotely, even from the comfort of their own homes. In return for complete control over sports betting, the Seminole tribe will guarantee at least $500 million in annual revenue payments to the state for the next 30 years.

Under the new compact, sports betting can begin in October. At that time, the tribe will be able to take sports bet at the six casinos located on their tribal lands. In addition to these brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, Florida’s existing racetracks and jai-alai frontons will be given permission to develop their own mobile sportsbook apps and conduct their own sports betting using the Tribe’s servers.

The deal has caused quite the stir, as it gives the Seminole tribe complete control over sports betting through a questionable loophole in the law. So far, the deal is already facing a lawsuit that is pending in federal court. Additionally, there are at least two ballot initiatives that have been launched in an attempt to counteract the deal, offering alternative sports betting options and blocking some of the expansion of casino games. Despite these hurdles, the Department of Interior did not lend their voice to the rising concerns surrounding the compact.

The Seal of Approval

The Department of Interior officially released a 12-page letter outlining their opinion of the State’s controversial deal with the Seminole tribe on Friday. The letter revealed that the department will neither approve nor deny the compact. Yet the letter went on to state that “the Compact is considered to have been approved by operation of law to the extent that it complies with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and existing Federal law.” The letter is expected to be published in the Federal Register sometime next week, making the compact effective immediately after.

Bryn Newland, principal deputy assistant secretary of Indian Affairs, shared that the department’s decision should come as no surprise given the way that evolving technologies have spurred the growth of sports betting throughout the United States. Other states have faced similar questions about where betting should be permitted, given the fact that mobile wagers open the door for bettors to place their bets on land that was not previously set aside for gambling. Newland noted that many states have already enacted laws that deem a bet to have occurred at the location of the servers, meaning that Florida’s new compact would not be in violation of any existing laws.

Challenges Ahead

The Department of Interior may have paved the way for the deal to finally bring sports betting to Florida this October, but not without a catch. The department raised a few minor concerns with the compact, as detailed in the letter they released. The first of these is that the department does not support the idea that the Seminole tribe should contract with “Qualified Pari-mutuel Permitholders” in order to provide marketing for the Tribe’s sportsbook. The department was also critical of the deal’s handling of tort remedies for patrons, claiming that the proposed processes for handling patron disputes could not be upheld under the state’s existing laws.

Among those questioning the compact are some of the industry’s leading sports betting companies, including Las Vegas Sands, FanDuel, and DraftKings. The trio of gaming giants have put millions of dollars into various ballot efforts to influence the direction of sports and casino gambling in the Sunshine State. Las Vegas Sands is working to get voter approval on three new casinos, while also expanding card rooms to offer casino games. Meanwhile FanDuel and DraftKings have been working on a constitutional amendment that would allow voters to vote in favor of alternative sports betting options other than the ones made possible through the State’s deal with the Seminole tribe.

A sports betting expansion remains a priority for lawmakers and officials throughout the state, however many are fearful that if the compact could give the Seminole tribe a monopoly in an industry where everyone wants a piece of the pot. Even if the compact makes it to launch without facing significant challenges in court, it is possible that other challenges could still lie ahead.

DraftKings to Open Sports Betting Bars in Detroit and Nashville

On Thursday, DraftKings announced a new partnership with Sports & Social, a company that specializes in sport-centered entertainment venues. With the new partnership, the sports betting giant plans to launch two new venues that would couple top-of-line sports bars with sports betting. Chief Business Officer Ezra Kucharz said that DraftKings plans to bring its existing sports betting products “to life by offering engaging, interactive fan-first destinations.” The partnership means that new DraftKings venues will be coming to Nashville and Detroit in the near future.

About the New Partner

DraftKings made a name for itself back in 2012 with the launch of their daily fantasy sports platform. Since then, the company has grown significantly, becoming a household name for anyone who is a fan of professional sports in the United States. With the Supreme Court’s decision to lift the ban on sports betting in 2018, DraftKings has grown even more, launching mobile and brick-and-mortar sports betting locations throughout the country. The company is now looking to grow even further, taking its nearly 10 years of experience into its new partnership. The new relationship will couple sports betting products with an all-around entertainment experience for its customers, thanks to the help of Sports & Social.

Sports & Social is renowned for creating unique luxurious gaming establishments in the form of social lounges throughout the country. The company successfully joins state-of-the-art sports viewing with a quality dining experience and an enticing cocktail menu. While visitors dine at these locations, they can watch and enjoy live sporting events from around the world, all while placing bets through retail or online sportsbooks that have partnered with Sports & Social. The company is a brand of Live! Dining & Entertainment, which is a division of The Cordish Companies. The Cordish Companies venues attract more than 55 million visitors to their dining and entertainment venues in the United States every year.

Two Lucky Destinations

According to the release, DraftKings and Sports & Social have chosen Detroit and Nashville as the two destinations for their new sports entertainment venues. In fact, Sports & Social already has a location in Detroit that will become the home of the new partnership. Sports & Social Detroit is located at Woodward Square in downtown Detroit in the area known as District Detroit. As it stands, the venue does not have a retail sportsbook, but the new partnership will change that. The existing location is positioned perfectly for a sports entertainment venue. As it stands, the venue is within reach of Little Caesars Arena, home to the NHL’s Red Wings and the NBA’s Pistons, as well as Ford Field and Comerica Park, home to the NFL’s Lions and the MLB’s Tigers respectively.

Despite the strong foothold in Detroit, Sports & Social does not yet have a presence in Nashville, leaving the anticipated location up for debate. It’s possible that the venue could make its new home in Nashville’s Music Row district, a popular tourist destination that is conveniently located near Bridgestone Arena, home of the NHL’s Predators, as well as Nissan Stadium, home of the NFL’s Titans. It is likely that the Nashville location will not include gambling kiosks, as brick-and-mortar gambling venues are still prohibited in Tennessee. That being said, DraftKings and Sports & Social will surely use DraftKings’ existing online platforms to create a unique customer experience in their latest venture.

An Evolving Sports Betting Industry

The partnership between DraftKings and Sports & Social is representative of the ever-evolving sports betting industry in the United States. The two companies are taking their existing success and looking to build upon it by adding a new and unique experience in Detroit and Nashville. DraftKings’ sports gambling platform already operates in 14 states with its online and mobile app, with 10 retail locations as well. Their fantasy sports app is available in seven countries, while their gaming technologies are used by more than 50 operators across 17 countries. Sports & Social currently operates sports entertainment venues like the two proposed in Atlanta, St. Louis, Arlington, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Baltimore.

Louisiana Approves First Fantasy Sports License

On Thursday, the Louisiana Gaming Control Board approved DraftKings as the first fantasy sports betting company to do business in the state. The license approval has been a long time coming as the Bayou State has been working on introducing sports betting for years. DraftKings officials were ecstatic about the decision, working to go live within 24 hours of the board’s unanimous approval. The launch is a step in the right direction for sports betting in the state, and is a sign of things to come, as other companies prepare to have their licenses approved. The launch of fantasy sports is a timely one, as Louisiana also plans to introduce other forms of sports betting later this year.

Fantasy Sports with Draft Kings

Now that DrafKings’ license has been approved, the company is set to launch their renowned fantasy sports products for residents within the state. Fantasy sports differs from traditional sports betting and online sportsbooks. Instead of placing wagers on moneylines, spreads, futures, or prop bets, fans will access the DraftKings app or website to create their own rosters and compete against other players in a variety of sports. The most popular example of fantasy sports betting would be fantasy football with the National Football League. With DraftKings fantasy sports, residents of Louisiana will be able to play over an entire season, or a single day of games in the sport of their choice, including baseball, basketball, football, or even a golf tournament.

The introduction of fantasy sports betting is the first step for the Bayou State into the world of sports betting. As DraftKings becomes the first to receive a license to operate, a number of competitors are waiting to leave their mark on the gaming landscape. While Louisiana has welcomed a variety of gaming options for years, the introduction of fantasy sports and sports betting marks a significant shift that will inevitably have an impact on the state’s gaming revenue.

The Path to Fantasy Sports Betting

Louisiana is currently home to 13 riverboat casinos, which have provided an enticing gaming option for residents, as well as a tourist attraction for people throughout the United States. However, the state has recently felt the pressure to expand their gaming options, as southern states like Mississippi, Georgia, and Alabama have legalized or proposed sports betting legislation. Since the Supreme Court’s decision in 2018 to overturn the ban on sports betting, the industry has gained significant traction throughout the country, generating millions in revenue. Louisiana voters were quick to approve fantasy sports betting, as voters in 47 parishes voted to approve fantasy sports betting in November 2018, but despite the early vote to approve sports betting it has taken years for tangible sports betting to materialize.

Now that fantasy sports are set to launch, officials are setting lofty revenue goals. Gaming experts have shared that the industry could produce as much as $15.5 million in net revenue in the first year of operations. Out of that figure, nearly $1.3 million in tax revenue would go directly to the state. In the coming years, it is expected that Louisiana will continue to expand sports betting in the state. With this expansion, officials estimate that the market could fall between $2 billion and $2.6 billion over the next decade.

Looking to Expand Beyond Fantasy Sports

DraftKings isn’t the only industry leader set to launch fantasy sports in Louisiana. Earlier this year FanDuel submitted an application to the gaming board to begin operating fantasy sports options of their own, hoping to go live before the upcoming NFL season. Daily fantasy sports are just the first step for sports betting in Louisiana, as both DraftKings and FanDuel hope that their platforms will help build a strong customer base before other forms sports betting begins later this year.

Louisiana has yet to launch any brick-and-mortar or online sportsbooks within the state, but the approval of DraftKings fantasy sports license could suggest that a physical or online presence for the industry-leading sports betting company could become a reality in the future. The company has already branded sportsbook wagering at 13 casinos throughout the United States, so the transition to a physical presence in Louisiana would be a smooth one. DraftKings also has a partnership with Casino Queen, who has already announced their intentions to buy the Belle of Baton Rouge and Hollywood Casino Baton Rouge, opening the door for a DraftKings sportsbook once that deal is done. With such a strong foothold in the industry, as well as the state, it is likely that online and brick-and-mortar sportsbooks will successfully launch later this year.

Wagr Makes Sports Betting a Social Experience

A new sports betting app is looking to flip the world of sports betting on its head by making it a social experience and introducing sports wagering to an entirely new fanbase. Since the Supreme Court lifted the ban on sports betting in the United States in 2018, residents have found a plethora of sports betting options. Up to this point, those interested in sports betting have placed wagers at traditional brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, as well as online and mobile sportsbooks. All of these wagers have been placed against the “house” or the casino responsible for operating the sportsbook, with little to no interaction between those wagering; Wagr is looking to change this model. The new sports betting app has set out to make sports betting an inviting experience, where users can place wagers with and against their friends. Recently the app has recently received the funding to make this dream of coupling sports betting and social interaction a reality.

About Wagr

Wagr is a gambling app that was founded in April 2020. The app is unique in that it allows fans to bet on sports with friends, rather than betting against the house. The goal is to revolutionize sports betting in an attempt to tap into an entirely new market of customers who may feel intimidated by the traditional sports betting experience. The app will also give users the opportunity to engage in new and unique sports betting opportunities that allow them to place wagers against their friends, while talking trash and engaging in friendly banter across their app.

Mario Malave sat down and spoke with Yahoo Finance about the revolutionary app, and the company’s plans to change the way people place wagers on their favorite sports. Malave shares that there are three components of traditional sportsbooks that Wagr hopes to change. First and foremost, traditional sportsbooks pit users against the house, meaning the house only makes money when the user loses it. Secondly, these sportsbooks are not intuitive enough to provide an inclusive experience to new users. Finally, these sportsbooks have primarily been marketed exclusively to men. Wagr has set out to address these challenges in a way that no other sportsbook has.

Since the legalization of sports betting in the United States, an entire culture of sports betting has emerged. Professional sports throughout the country are flooded with sports betting advertisements and promotions, and professional sports teams and venues have struck partnerships with prominent sportsbooks and apps. This culture has created a buzz of social conversation, and Wagr hopes to provide a more tangible home for that conversation. In recent months, the app has received significant funding to make these dreams a reality.

Funding the Change

Reddit Inc. co-founder and founder of Seven Seven Six Alexis Ohanian is heading a $4 million seed-funding round for Wagr. Ohanian shared his own belief in the app’s future, saying it provides a platform for the culture that has already been established throughout the country. Ohanian also spoke with Yahoo Finance, sharing his interest in sports betting. “I don’t consider myself a gambler but my friends and I really enjoy just thew thrill of talking trash and backing it up with a few bucks.”

Wagr’s goal is to take this exact experience and market it to casual gamblers throughout the country, and they could not have found a better partner than Ohanian, whose Reddit platform thrives under peer-to-peer interactions. Ohanian shared his belief that Wagr is a reflection a larger social phenomenon that has brought about the intersection of community and capital, or social media and finance. The proof of this phenomenon is most evident in the influence that Reddit has had on “meme stocks,” causing seemingly irrelevant stocks like GameStop rise to unprecedented numbers through buzz created through social interaction on the site. However, Ohanian and Wagr believe that this new phenomenon is much more than a meme, and that the next decade could bring about an even greater overlapping of finance, including sports betting, and community engagement.

In addition to funding from Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six, Wagr is also backed by Greycroft, Pear Ventures, Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen, and former chairman and chief executive officer of Saks Inc. Brad Martin.

Betting on Wagr’s App

Malave shared that the goal for Wagr is to start slow, with simple wagering options and steadily build the platform based on user interactions. Initially, Wagr will only offer point-spread bets. Users who are looking for an entry point to the world of sports betting will not be bombarded with an overwhelming number of wagering options that are often found on other apps or sportsbooks. The goal is to make it simple to pick a team and the amount you want to wager, and then place your bet.

Wagr will offer lines for a number of major sports and plans to introduce prop bets or money-line wagers in the future. The reason that the app is focusing on points-spread first, according to Malave, is because they lend themselves to the peer-to-peer model that the app aims to create. With the app, users will place a wager on one point spread or the other, often with a friend, family member, or another person in their social circle, setting the stage for the ensuing banter. If a user is unable to find a friend who is interested in taking a bet, then the app will match them with someone in their state who does.

Wagr plans to have users pay a platform fee for using the app, giving them access to an app that offers the odds, payments, and platform for trash-talking. The app’s fees will be comparable with traditional sportsbook or casino fees. The app currently has pending license applications to operate in Tennessee and Virginia.

BetMGM Launches Sportsbook at Nationals Park

BetMGM announced last Thursday that it will officially be launching its mobile sports betting app at Nationals Park, as part of its partnership with Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals. The announcement makes BetMGM the official exclusive sportsbook of Nationals Park and is part of a larger deal that will also bring a retail sportsbook to the ballpark later this year. The launch of the mobile sportsbook marks a significant milestone for the Nationals, but also the MLB, who has had a complicated past with sports betting.

Details About the App and Sportsbook

BetMGM’s mobile sportsbook is officially available for download for both iOS and Android devices in Washington, D.C. However, the app is unique in that it can only be accessed within range of Nationals Park. Due to local gambling laws, those interested in placing wagers on the BetMGM app must do so within a two-block radius of the ballpark. That being said, the BetMGM app and sportsbook will integrate with MGM Resorts’ M life Rewards program, giving fans the opportunity to redeem gameplay for rewards at MGM Resorts properties throughout the country. Both the Washington Nationals and BetMGM hope to use the app to revolutionize the fan experience, giving them access to sports betting lines that make them feel like they are part of the action.

Adam Greenblatt, CEO of BetMGM, has shared that the new partnership is part of the company’s plan to continue expanding within the region, building on the success they have found at their new Virginia locations. Both BetMGM and the Washington Nationals feel that the launching of the new sportsbook is a monumental moment for innovating the fan-experience. Alan Gottlieb, Chief Operating Officer of Lerner Sports Group, praised BetMGM for giving fans a mobile app that will allow them to directly interact with what’s happening out on the diamond, and went on to express that the retail sportsbook will provide fans in the community with “a first-class gathering place to celebrate their passion for sports.”

Continuing the New Trend for Professional Sports

Later this year, a team merchandise store will be converted into the retail sportsbook location that will be open seven days a week, year-round. The sportsbook will be connected to the stadium with a street entrance, but fans at the game will not be able to enter the sportsbook from inside the stadium. Per MLB rules, the retail location may not be accessible from within the stadium. The rule is a lingering reminder of the league’s previous stance against sports betting, but that stance may change even more in the coming years.

BetMGM’s sportsbook at Nationals Park is the second sportsbook to open at a professional sports venue in the District this year. In late May, the Capital One Arena, home of the Washington Capitals and Washington Wizards, opened their William Hill sportsbook. At the time, it was the first of its kind in Washington D.C., but now the Washington Nationals are getting in on the action. Illinois has also approved legislation that will allow for sportsbooks to become operational within professional sports venues, and Wrigley Field in Chicago has partnered with industry leader DraftKings to launch a sportsbook of their own. The increased interest in the cross-over between sports and gambling is relatively unchartered territory and marks a significant shift that indicates the wider social acceptance of sports betting in the United States since the Supreme Court’s 2018 decision to allow states to create legislation allowing sports betting.

Professional sports in the United States have traditionally shunned the idea of this cross-over, fearing that the mingling to sports and sports betting could lead to infamous issues like the controversy that surrounded Pete Rose, after he was involved in a betting scandal that impacted his career in the MLB. Now the league is trying to balance the lure of sports betting revenue, while maintaining the integrity of the game and avoiding turning away fans and families who may have no interest in gambling.

Representatives for the Nationals and the MLB are now toeing that line with the introduction of sports betting into Nationals Park. Their ability to maintain the balance could have larger implications for the future of sports betting and professional sports venues throughout the country.

UK-Based Smarkets Pushing for Expansion in US

Smarkets, a London sports betting startup, is hoping to start a major expansion into the United States after receiving a recent boost from a US investment firm. Smarkets was founded in London in 2008 and has operated primarily in the United Kingdom since then. The company offers a unique betting exchange but has most recently launched more traditional sportsbooks, which have become increasingly popular in the United States since the Supreme Court lifted the sports betting ban in 2018. Now Smarkets is looking to launch some of their latest products in the US, adding their name to the long list of sportsbooks in the country.

An Injection of New Funds

The foray into the US market has been inspired by a major investment from US-based Susquehanna Investment Group. SIG is a major global quantitative trading firm, and their Susquehanna Growth Equity investment fund is responsible for the latest investment in Smarkets. Scott Feldman, managing director at Susquehanna Growth Equity, shared that the investment was inspired by Smarkets’ focus on new technologies. The exact terms of the deal have not been revealed, but it marks the first time Smarkets has raised money outside of the company since 2013.

Smarkets has been profitable since 2014, and the latest investment shows their intent to increase their profitability in the coming years. It’s safe to assume that the terms of the latest investment are quite substantial, resulting in the company’s position to extend themselves beyond the UK for the first time. Jason Trost, Smarkets founder and CEO, cited the fact that the company owns their own technology as a huge advantage over potential competitors in the US.

A New Competitor

In the UK, Smarkets boasts more than 50,000 monthly active users. In the past year, the company handled more than $5.3 billion in bets on its platform. Their betting exchange allows users to wager against each other in a variety of markets, from sports like soccer and horse racing, to things as unique as politics and current affairs. Most recently, the company launched a more traditional mass market sportsbook, SBK.

The sports betting industry has been growing exponentially since the ban was lifted in 2018. Since sports betting became legal, more than half of the states have legalized some form of sports betting, attracting the attention of big names who are looking to generate millions in revenue. What’s more, the industry shows no sign of slowing down. Recently, professional sports teams and leagues have even begun making deals with major sports betting companies like FanDuel and DraftKings. Such a competitive industry may seem difficult to break into, but Smarkets have the advantage of owning the technology that their sportsbooks operate under, while other big-name competitors may not.

A Background in Finance, a Future Investment

Popular sportsbooks like DraftKings have made a serious effort to gain ownership over the technology that makes their applications tick. Overtime, DraftKings did successfully acquire its tech provider, SBTech, but Smarkets is unique in that they are responsible for both the sportsbooks they operate and the technology they operate with. While other sportsbooks may work to acquire the companies that offer this tech, much like DraftKings did, Trost has shared that his intention is to remain unique in the fact that Smarkets will not be striking any partnership deals with major sportsbook operators.

Trost previously worked as a stock trader before founding Smarkets in 2008 and believes that his background has given him the upper hand in identifying the similarities between the betting and financial markets. Evidence of this is apparent to anyone who has explored Smarkets sportsbooks, which offer a unique interface that more closely resembles a financial website or application rather than a traditional sportsbook. Trost believes that in 10 years the company’s expansion in the US will be part of a larger financial technology plan, that will be successful for many years to come.

Ohio Sports Betting Bill Introduced by Senate Republicans

On Thursday, Ohio senators proposed a sports betting bill that could bring a wave of sports betting options to Ohio residents in the near future. Ohio Senator Kirk Schuring introduced Senate Bill 176 during a press conference on Thursday afternoon, outlining the details of the bill which has taken months of planning and preparation. The Ohio Senate Select Committee on Gaming worked tirelessly to create what many state Senators believe is a comprehensive plan for rolling out sports betting in the Buckeye State. Supporters of the bill are now hopeful that legislation could be passed as early as this summer.

Details of the Bill

The proposed bill offers 40 three-year sports betting licenses; 20 of these licenses would be offered to applicants who have an existing brick-and-mortar gambling operation, such as the 11 casinos and racinos already operating in the state. These existing locations would be given permission to use their licenses to partner with popular online and mobile application sports betting companies like DraftKings or FanDuel. The proposed legislation would limit any given entity to five online licenses, to prevent them from gaining too much control over the industry within the state.

The remaining 20 licenses would be reserved for in-person sports betting operations. These licenses are called type B licenses and could be awarded to casinos, sports bars, and other locations. Professional sports teams in the state would also be allowed to apply for a license, giving them the opportunity to open live sportsbooks within their stadiums and professional venues. Other states have made similar decisions, opening the door for professional teams throughout the country to begin offering sports betting at live events.

The Senate’s proposal calls for the Ohio Casino Control Commission to regulate sports betting in the state. The Commission would also be responsible for imposing a 10% tax on all sports betting, directing the revenue toward both public and private schools, as well as gambling addiction services. The 40 available sports betting licenses come with a $1 million a-piece price tag, and the revenue generated from these would be directed to the same avenues as the tax revenue.

Pressure from Neighboring States

Since the Supreme Court lifted the ban on sports betting in 2018, more than half the states in the country have legalized or proposed sports betting legislation. In fact, every state neighboring Ohio, with the exception of Kentucky, has already legalized some form of sports betting. This has left many officials in the state of Ohio feeling as if they’re missing out on the action. Now that a proposal has materialized, it seems as though Ohio has taken inspiration from other states to help offer legal sports betting.

Schuring, who is responsible for crafting much of the Senate’s proposal, suggested that the bill is needed to prevent illegal sports betting from growing within the state. As more and more states legalize sports betting, states like Ohio become more susceptible to illegal gambling practices. Schuring feels that a well-structured proposal like his addresses these concerns and gives lawmakers the opportunity to take immediate action to help stop illegal practices, while also generating revenue for important programs in the state.

Time is of the Essence

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has already publicly shared that legal sports betting in the state is “inevitable.” DeWine has also acknowledged that Ohio does face a challenge when dealing with illegal sports gambling, meaning that sports betting legislation could be coming sooner rather than later. After reviewing Schuring’s proposal, House Speaker Bob Cupp shared that the goal is to make a decision about the bill before they recess on June 1st.

Before the decision is made, however, there are still a number of concerns that need to be addressed. Since the proposal was announced, 14 of the state’s public universities have asked lawmakers to exempt collegiate sports from gambling in the state. If officials are able to come to a consensus, sports betting could be available by Jan. 1st. There is the chance that the passing of sports betting legislation could face a legal challenge for violating the Ohio Constitution’s ban on gambling. However, given the support and the momentum the bill has gained, it seems that some form of sports betting will be arriving in Ohio in the very near future.

NFL Partners with Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings, and FanDuel

The National Football League has officially announced a new sportsbook partnership with Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings, and FanDuel. The partnership is both groundbreaking and unsurprising, as the NFL has previously taken a strong stance against sport betting but has recently adjusted their stance as many professional sports teams have come to embrace the budding industry. Now, as sports teams, stadiums, and professional leagues throughout the country strike lucrative sports betting deals, the NFL is looking to use a new deal to increase fan engagement and add to their existing revenue streams.

A New Perspective on an Age-Old Debate

Professional and collegiate sports leagues have been at odds with sports betting for decades. Many league officials, athletes and fans throughout the country have questioned whether or not gambling could damage the integrity of the games that they have grown to love. The NCAA, NBA, NHL, MLB, and the NFL even went as far to engage in a six-year battle with the state of New Jersey over sports betting legalization. The result of that debate was the decision in 2018 from the Supreme Court, which lifted the ban on sports betting, allowing states to begin planning their own legislation for legal sportsbooks.

Since the decision from the Supreme Court, professional sports leagues have skillfully repositioned themselves to not only accept legal sports betting but also embrace it. Throughout the country, professional sports teams are striking new deals with legal sports books; many electing to engage in lucrative partnerships that allow for sports betting at their very own venues. NFL chief revenue officer and executive vice president of NFL partnerships Renie Anderson announced this month that the NFL is looking forward to working closely with Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel to provide fans with a new way to engage with the sports that they love.

A New Consumer Experience

Details of the financials surrounding the new deal have not been made public, but sources have suggested that the new 5-year deal could be worth nearly $1 billion. That $1 billion gives Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings, and FanDuel the right to use NFL intellectual property and use its trademarks for betting promotions. This partnership is not only monumental in its price tag, but also the impact it could have on sports betting and the league itself.

The new deal between the popular sportsbooks and the NFL will bring a number of immediate changes to the upcoming NFL season. The betting companies will now have access to a content-sharing model with the league. Through this model, the betting sites will be able to use NFL highlights and Next Gen Stats data to help set betting lines and help push promotional content on their sites and betting apps. The NFL confirmed that Caesars will keep it league sponsorship, while DraftKings and FanDuel could get more brand exposure on league media properties like the NFL Network and NFL RedZone channels. Fans could even see point spreads integrated into coverage, with additional evidence of sports betting influence throughout each broadcast.

The New Partnership

Anderson cited that the new deal will not only prove to be lucrative, but it will also evolve and change to amplify consumer engagement. The league recently agreed to media rights for the upcoming season as well, partnering with NBCUniversal, Fox Sports, ESPN, CBS Sports and Amazon for an 11-year deal worth over $100 billion. The NFL ultimately hopes that the new sportsbook deal will provide the already football-obsessed fanbase with a new take on the game they love. Under the deal, the NFL has exit options at the end of the third and fourth years.

Sources close to the deal said that the revenue structure will not be tied to the outcome of bets on league games, and that the deal resembles a more traditional sponsorship partnership. The announcement has already had a big impact on DraftKings, whose stock rose 4% on Thursday. As the season approaches, the NFL may continue to use the deal to make changes to integrate sports betting into the fold of day-to-day life in the NFL, as fans continue to help the sports betting industry grow throughout the country.

Wyoming Lawmakers Move Forward with Sports Betting

A bill that could bring legal sports betting to the state of Wyoming is making its way through the House and Senate and many believe Wyoming residents to place wagers within the year. On Monday, Wyoming HB 133 passed in the Senate after receiving a 24-5-1 approval vote. The Cowboy State is typically known for its rural landscape, scenic views, and breathtaking national parks. Now Wyoming, like many other states in the country, is looking to capitalize on the budding sports betting industry.

A Bump in the Road

Wyoming’s sports betting bill has already faced a number of challenges, but it has made some significant progress after a relatively rocky start. Earlier this month, the House voted against the bill, leaving many doubtful about sports betting’s immediate future in the state. However, Rep. Landon Brown, a bill co-sponsor, called for a reconsideration vote and promised to answer any lingering questions that officials had about the proposal. Initial concerns about the bill were related to whether or not the state’s tribes would have the opportunity to voice their opinion about introducing a new form of gambling revenue into the fold. In a somewhat miraculous turnaround, the reconsideration vote passed by a count of 32-28, as representatives vowed to give tribes a voice in the new legislation.

After passing in the House, the bill progressed seemingly unopposed through the Senate Appropriations Committee and also the full Senate. A few minor amendments were made to address some concerns surrounding gaming license applicants, like those that were brought to the table regarding the state’s tribes contributing to the new legislation. Now that the bill has passed in the Senate, it will face two more votes before being forwarded to Gov. Mark Gordon. Many believe that in the coming months lawmakers will be able to iron out the rules and guidelines for legal sports betting, with residents placing wagers before the new year.

Details of the Bill

Wyoming’s sports betting bill is unique in that it exclusively offers online sports gambling. Under the bill, anyone over the age of 18 would be able to place wagers on their favorite sports teams. The Wyoming Gaming Commission will be responsible for regulating all online sports betting, which could launch as early as July 1. In a recent committee hearing, Wyoming Gaming Commission Director Charles Moore stated that a more realistic launch date would be September 1.

Bettors in the state could have access to a minimum of five sportsbook operators. In order to be considered for a license to operate in Wyoming, applicants must have active sportsbooks in at least three other states. To operate, sportsbooks must pay a $100,000 new permit fee, with a $50,000 renewal fee. All sports betting revenue would be taxed at a rate of 10%, and the revenue generated would go toward the state’s general fund and county health programs. Early estimates from the Gaming Commission suggest that the sports betting market in the state could bring in nearly $450 million annually.

Existing Gambling Laws

Those opposed to the bill argue that the introduction of sports betting could lead to significant gambling addiction in harm, while others believe the pros outweigh the cons. Sen. Jeff Wasserburger, R-Gillette was quoted in the Star Tribune suggesting that the introduction of a legal sports betting market could help mitigate issues surrounding the black market of sports betting. Others noted that the bill does more than enough to help address gambling addiction, by directing revenue toward gambling addiction programs.

As states throughout the country continue to roll out sports betting legislation, Wyoming residents may be turning elsewhere to place wagers on their favorite sporting events. Neighboring states, including Colorado and Montana, have already embraced sports betting, causing residents from Wyoming to cross state lines to place wagers. Many lawmakers in Wyoming view this as revenue waiting to be had and are looking to capitalize with this new bill.

Wyoming is already home to a number of legal gambling activities, including blackjack and poker rooms, as well as racetracks and pari-mutuel wagering. In the near future, Wyoming lawmakers hope to add online sports betting to that list.

Illinois Embracing Sports Betting with New In-Person Sportsbook

Over the past two years, the gambling landscape in Illinois has evolved to welcome a number of new wagering options for residents, including the introduction of online and in-person sports betting. The trend is a reflection of a national acceptance and embracing of sports wagering throughout the United States, as the industry continues to boom. A year after the first sports wager was placed in the state, Illinois is now opening a new sportsbook at Fairmount Park, just in time for the NCAA March Madness Tournament.

FanDuel at Fairmount Park

FanDuel, one of the most popular online sportsbooks in the budding industry, held an opening ceremony on Monday for its new sportsbook at Fairmount Park in Collinsville, Illinois. Over the past year, in-person sports wagering has fallen to the wayside due to sweeping health restrictions put in place to combat the pandemic. Now, as the country slowly begins to rebound and many people are getting vaccinated, restrictions are loosening, and businesses are beginning to reopen. Although Monday’s opening ceremony was not a traditional grand opening, it was a step in the right direction for the new sportsbook, which is officially accepting wagers.

Fairmount owner William Stiritz and Associates agreed to a partnership with FanDuel back in November. Under the agreement, the two pledged to expand the horse track and rebrand it as “FanDuel Sportsbook & Horse Racing.” FanDuel agreed to a multimillion-dollar investment that includes the sportsbook, and a number of other upgrades that they have since made to the facility. Many improvements have already been made, and the horse track and sportsbook now span nearly 2,500-square-feet, with a 98-inch video screen, 24 65-inch video displays, five live betting windows and 22 self-service betting kiosks.

The ceremonial first bet was officially placed by Baseball Hall-of-Famer Ozzie Smith, who placed a $20 bet on the St. Louis Cardinals to win the 2021 World Series at +2200. If the bet hits, the total payout would be $460.

A Budding New Industry

The timing of the opening FanDuel Sportsbook & Horse Racing could not have been better, and it’s a savvy move from an industry-leader like FanDuel. Jeff Lowich, FanDuel’s senior director of retail operations, referred to the opening as a way to “strike while the iron is hot,” referring to the March Madness tournament, which starts late this week. The tournament is one of the most lucrative opportunities for sports betting in the calendar year, and after last year’s tournament was canceled due to the pandemic, many people are eager to make up for lost time. According to the American Gaming Association, nearly 47 million Americans are expected to make wagers on the March Madness tournament, and Fairmount Park is going to be one of the many places they can place their wagers.

Three years ago, betting on the tournament would not have been possible. The legislation for sports betting in Illinois was official signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker in June 2019, paving way for the first wagers to first be placed on March 9, 2020. The timing of the first wager seemed to bode well to the start of a new industry that could hit the ground running with March Madness starting. The COVID-19 Pandemic had other plans, however, and health restrictions limiting in-person betting led to another change in Illinois gaming laws, permitting bettors to create online sports betting accounts through an executive order signed by Pritzker. Now Illinois hopes that the 10 retail locations for sports betting can finally begin to open safely, so that residents can finally take advantage of the relatively new legislation.

Illinois has already had a record-breaking start to 2021 in terms of sports betting. In January, the state handled $581.5 million in wagers, generating $49.4 million in revenue. From that, the state was able to collect $7.2 million in taxes. Although sports betting is still in its infancy in the state of Illinois, many big contenders are already making a name for themselves. DraftKings, BetRivers, PointsBet, and Barstool Sportsbook have already gained a foothold and contributed to the big revenue numbers in 2021, and many believe that these numbers will continue to grow, as Illinois gaming expands throughout the year.