Let’s kick off this week’s PlayUSA Rewind with some notable sports highlights.
NFL training camp begins July 27, the 2021 Summer Olympics are in full swing, the Chicago White Sox are 8.5 games ahead in the AL Central, and the Chicago Cubs remain 8.5 games behind the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers.
This week, sports betting talks end in Maine, Chicago lawmakers put a dollar amount on city casino, and Caesars Entertainment lands the naming rights to the Superdome.
On the rewind:
Caesars lands naming rights for Louisiana Superdome
Casino and sports betting conglomerate Caesars Entertainment has secured the naming rights to one of the state’s most historic sites in a bid for Louisiana dominance. Locking in a 20-year deal with the New Orleans Saints (NFL), the football stadium will henceforth be known as the Caesars Superdome.
Online publication nola.com says specifics of the deal will not be made public; however, lawmakers value the deal at $138 million. The stadium’s previous 10-year deal with Mercedes-Benz expired this year.
It’s a smart move considering legal sports betting in the state will kick off this fall (definitely retail, mobile should follow ASAP). It probably doesn’t hurt either that Caesars was the NFL’s first official casino partner, so there’s been long-brewing synergy between these two top brands.
The takeaway: Caesars in Louisiana has easily positioned itself as the face in terms of branding. The Caesars Superdome will host the 2022 NCAA Men’s Final Four and several marquee NCAA Bowl Games. Lastly, the name will be front and center at Superbowl LIX in 2025.
Maine sports betting taps out for the year
It looks like sports betting in ME won’t be happening this year.
The state’s 2021 legislative session adjourned with LD1352 stuck in committee. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Louis Luchini, remains against the tethering requirement attached to the bill.
In June, Luchini said, “Tethering is bad for our constituents. It’s anti-competitive. It makes the casinos the gatekeepers of who will be able to operate in Maine.”
Lawmakers remain optimistic that a bill can get passed next year and will reintroduce a bill in January 2022.
The takeaway: With Maine essentially fumbling the snap, New Hamshire will once again capitalize on Maine residents crossing the border to wager on sports.
Questions still surrounding Massachusetts sports betting
This isn’t the first time the state has held its breath for the Senate. Last year, the Senate rejected a similar economic proposal from the House.
For now, everything remains a waiting game, but House representatives have urged their Senate colleagues to move quickly.
“I hope that House 3977 is passed, and I hope that the Senate takes it up in an early fashion so that we can finally start placing bets on sports here in the Commonwealth, Rep. Dan Cahill said. “So we don’t miss another football season, another college basketball season, World Series, Super Bowls – which we have now missed at least three of those opportunities. We need to get this done.”
The takeaway: The Northeast is slowly becoming a hotbed for sports betting activity. New York, Connecticut, Maine, and New Hampshire have all passed or are looking to pass sports betting bills.
How much would a Chicago casino cost?
A recent article from the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) says a megaresort in Chicago could cost operators upwards of $1 billion. That number sounds about right. New properties in Las Vegas and Boston have cost $4.3 billion and $2.6 billion.
Recently, at the National Council of Legislators from Gaming State (NCLGS), Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she wants the planned casino to anchor an entertainment district. But, unfortunately, that doesn’t sound cheap.
Gambling was expanded in 2019 to allow legal sports bets in Illinois and a casino in Chicago, which came with a monstrous 70% tax rate. However, that rate has since been reduced to 40%. Lightfoot also said the casino would open its doors by 2025.
A few high-profile operators have already pulled their name from contention, which begs the question, who is willing to dish out top dollar for a casino in the Windy City?
The takeaway: Even with the reduced tax rate, any operators willing to spend upwards of $1 billion to obtain the city’s casino licenses must have deep pockets. Caesars, Las Vegas Sands, Rush Street Gaming — we are looking at you.
This week’s Market Teasers include a pair of financial juggernauts. First up is Caesars Entertainment, Inc., which, as we know, just secured the rights to the Louisiana Superdome. Then we have Bally’s Corp., whose interactive division inked a 5-year deal with sports betting company, Sportradar.
Caesars Entertainment, Inc.
$CZR | $89.90 | -3.57%
- The New Orleans Saints and Caesars announced a 20-year partnership that the state has valued at $138 million. The newly named Caesars Superdome will host Super Bowl LIX in Feb. 2025 and the NCAA Men’s Final Four in 2022.
$BALY | $48.20 | -1.35%
- Bally’s Interactive, a division of $BALY, which operates the sports betting and iGaming divisions, secured a partnership with Sportradar. As a result, the company will provide Bally’s Interactive with access to “pre-match betting services, live-betting services, and content solutions portfolio.” Bally’s will report Q2 financial results on August 9.
** Market Teasers is not financial advice, nor am I a financial advisor. All figures were taken July 27 at market close.
From the archives
- Nevada casinos have a big month in May — sports betting on pace to surpass $1 billion in revenue for the year.
- Wynn Las Vegas is introducing a new loyalty rewards program — Wynn Rewards — which includes upgraded benefits.
- Has your favorite athlete inked a lucrative sports betting ambassador deal? See if they made the PlayUSA Power Poll.