It’s information overload everywhere, and there’s not time enough to sleep and eat and stay fully apprised of what’s happening on this crazy blue dot of ours (two out of three ain’t bad). Here’s the weekend Sports Handle item, “Get a Grip,” recapping the week’s top U.S. sports betting headlines, highlighting some fresh news, and rounding up key stories.
Top stories around our network this week
In a perfect world, we’d be able to tell you three days after Tuesday’s launch of ESPN BET just how successful it’s gonna be. But it’s not a perfect world: There are terrorists and daily weather catastrophes and congressmen who fight and lie. Even worse, we learned this week that there are also sideline reporters who lie.
But one thing we can say for certain about the joint online sportsbook venture between PENN Entertainment and ESPN is it got a lot of attention. Sports Handle was Exhibit A for that in outlining customer experiences on the first day, reviewing the quality of the app compared to its predecessor and peers, and assessing its potential for achieving the lofty ambitions of the PENN executives who abandoned Barstool Sports to place a billion-dollar wager on ESPN’s brand.
ESPN, meanwhile, has its own issues to deal with in its new connection to legal wagering, including what lines its employees are not to cross that would question their integrity and raise concerns about impropriety. One thing the Disney-owned company did in advance to demonstrate it has a sense of ethical commitment is donate $200,000 to UNLV’s International Gaming Institute to fund research into responsible gambling.
These stories from the past week were just the start of our coverage of how ESPN BET fares now that it’s in operation. Many more will come as part of Sports Handle’s commitment to covering all of the key developments in the sports betting business, as other stories linked below from the past week demonstrate. And for additional gaming industry news, be sure to check out US Bets, including its weekly Double Down recap column and Gamble On podcast.
Mind your own business, please
California tribal executive committee formally opposes sports betting proposals
No pause in Florida
Florida Supreme Court says no to taking Seminoles’ Hard Rock platform offline
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They start so young these days
Wisconsin teen pleads guilty to conspiracy in sports betting hacking case
When in doubt, pivot
Fantasy operators innovate as regulators continue to call current contests illegal
At the top of responsible gambling
NCPG’s new board president a “rock star” with a plan
Mixed news about DraftKings
DraftKings announces “progressive parlay” feature coming soon to online sportsbook
Will a miscommunication cost DraftKings nearly $600,000 in Massachusetts?
Getting ready for the celebrity ban
Ontario regulator, stakeholders begin discussions around new ad guidelines
In North Carolina, it’s just a matter of time
North Carolina Lottery approves first set of mobile betting rules
North Carolina mobile sports wagering to launch after Jan. 8
We don’t want you here — really
Ohio plans to ban former ‘Bama baseball coach over betting scandal
If it’s good for West Virginians, then …
Fanatics debuts its online casino product in West Virginia through its sportsbook
We hadn’t expected these complications
Michigan, JMU eligibility questions create challenges for betting operators
There’s a lot to talk about in Maryland
Report provides details about potential for Maryland’s iGaming market
It all adds up
New Jersey sportsbooks cooled off in October, but still claimed $92 million
Pennsylvania bettors wagered more than $800M for first time last month
Maryland sportsbooks reap $58.7M in gross revenue for October
DraftKings shines as Massachusetts sportsbooks top $60M in October revenue
Arizona sportsbooks claim record $60.1 million in September revenue
Indiana sportsbooks continue roll in October, claiming $45.2M in revenue
Louisiana sportsbooks continue pounding bettors in record-setting October
DraftKings offers bullish projections
At its annual Investor Day presentation, DraftKings provided full-year 2026 revenue guidance of $6.2 billion, an amount that translates to projected Adjusted EBITDA of $1.4 billion. By 2028, DraftKings anticipates further upward trajectory with full-year revenue and Adjusted EBITDA of $7.1 billion and $2.1 billion, respectively.
The projections may prove to be conservative given the number of projected new state rollouts over the next five years, JMP Securities analyst Jordan Bender wrote in a research note. DraftKings also touted its customer acquisition and retention capabilities, informing investors that rapid customer acquisition continues to drive a metric known as “contribution profit” on the state level.
While analysts from The EKG Line lauded DraftKings for a strong period, they cautioned that acquisition and retention are easier when competition is light. DraftKings’ stock is up more than 200% this year.
— Matt Rybaltowski
FanDuel adds BetVision product
FanDuel has signed an expanded deal with Genius Sports to become the fourth major U.S. sportsbook to add the company’s BetVision streaming solution.
Genius, the exclusive provider of the NFL’s official sports betting data feed, signed partnerships in September with Caesars Sportsbook, Fanatics Betting and Gaming, and BetRivers to provide the companies with the “Stream & Bet” solution. Genius will continue to provide FanDuel with the NFL’s proprietary Next Gen Stats data under the expanded partnership.
Moving forward, the deal will give FanDuel the chance to use other features of BetVision, including integrated betting odds, in-game betting alerts alongside data-driven augmentations, and the ability to place live bets within the streaming platform. During the third quarter of 2023, Genius Sports generated group revenue of $102 million, a jump of 29% from the year-ago period.
— Matt Rybaltowski
Tweet of the week
.@Bengals odds to win Super Bowl at @BetMGM
1600: Before Joe Burrow’s season-ending injury
— John Ewing (@johnewing) November 17, 2023
More of the most important, interesting stories
THEY’RE STILL LONGSHOTS IN CALIFORNIA: High-stakes poker player, crypto whiz pitch tribes on California sports betting plan [The Mercury News]
IF IT COULD WORK IN ONTARIO … : ESPN Bet’s “blueprint” for success has an unexpected origin story [Front Office Sports]
ANOTHER TRY IN THE DEEP SOUTH: Through regulation, Alabama House leaders begin crafting gambling strategy for 2024 session [AL.com]
VEGAS READY TO PLAY BALL: A’s owner “gratified” as Las Vegas relocation approved by MLB owners [The Nevada Independent]
It looks like the Oakland A’s are moving to Las Vegas. And the giant Sphere is already welcoming the team.
MLB owners approved the franchise’s relocation on Thursday.
The A’s will play at least one more year in Oakland. The team plans for a new Vegas ballpark to open in 2028. pic.twitter.com/gnDwoq4Btl
— ABC News (@ABC) November 16, 2023
SOME COSTLY SLIPUPS: New Jersey casinos, track forfeit $77K in money won by prohibited gamblers, many of them underage [Associated Press]
JUST TRY A LITTLE HARDER: PayNearMe report indicates payments for sports betting and iGaming can be improved [CDC Gaming Reports]
BIG GAMBLES IN FLORIDA: Notable bets: Legal betting makes wild return to Florida [ESPN.com]
TERRITORIAL EXPANSION: IGT enters Puerto Rico online sports betting market with Ponce Plaza [iGaming Business]
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