Another week and another chance to catch up on the latest gambling updates just in time for the weekend. So sit back and let PlayUSA take you through another series of interesting gaming topics.
This week, an Ohio sports betting bill finally arrives, another Arizona pro-sports team prepares to build a sportsbook, and Texas shelves sports betting discussions for the year.
On the rewind:
Ohio sports betting bill makes debut
It has finally arrived, the long-awaited OH sports betting bill.
Diving into the meat of things, the bill includes 40 sports betting licenses (20 mobile, 20 retail), a 10% tax rate, a $1 million licensing fee for three years, and gives authority to the Casino Control Commission.
Additionally, the Ohio Lottery Commission will also get its own version of a sports betting product in the form of sports pools where each participant will pay a fixed $20 price.
One key line item states OH sports betting cannot start until Jan. 1, 2022. While it does provide lawmakers a big window to get things ironed out, it also means customers will be jumping ship to Indiana, Michigan, PA, and WV, to place bets on the upcoming NFL season.
The takeaway: This is the first version of the bill, so don’t expect everything to stick. At first glance, there are a few alarming issues, specifically, the line where sportsbooks are not allowed at casinos or racinos. Everywhere else in the US, sportsbooks are usually located on the casino floor so customers can access other amenities like table games, slot machines, or restaurants.
West Virginia gets 4th online casino
With the addition of FanDuel, the number of West Virginia online casinos has increased to four.
West Virginia online casinos include BetMGM, BetRivers, DraftKings, and now the FanDuel online casino.
This also marks FanDuel’s fourth state in which it has launched an online casino product. The company has apps in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
In partnership with The Greenbrier, customers will have access to blackjack, American roulette, and video poker. First-time users can also take advantage of a promo where they play their first 24-hours risk-free, with up to $200 in net losses returned.
The takeaway: West Virginia is a relatively small market with fewer than 2 million people. Regardless, the online gambling market, specifically online casinos, is growing at a steady rate. Getting in on the ground floor despite population size can be considered a smart move, especially for FanDuel.
Illinois considering online casinos too
Committee hearings are set for April 28 and April 30 to discuss some gambling measures, including HB 3142 — an Illinois online gambling bill, remote registration for sports betting, and wagering on in-state college teams.
Each gambling issue has clout-heavy lawmakers both for and against. So it’s going to be interesting to see how things play out.
The takeaway: Illinois has been known to drag its feet on gaming issues. Things like in-person registration will face an uphill climb, especially since lawmakers value brick-and-mortar casinos so much.
Sportsbook planned at Diamondbacks stadium
The Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB) and Caesars Entertainment are building a sportsbook at Chase Field.
The Phoenix Suns announced the FanDuel Sportsbook would be in Phoenix Suns Arena. Plus, let’s not forget the planned “19th hole experience” DraftKings intends on building at TPC Scottsdale, home of the PGA Tour’s Waste Management Phoenix Open.
The takeaway: Things are moving fast in Arizona. It’s still unclear if the Diamondbacks sportsbooks will be physically located inside the ballpark or adjacent to the field. MLB has made it crystal clear that sportsbooks are not permitted inside stadiums.
Texas sports betting a no-go this year
We knew it was a long shot, but it appears the Texas sports betting bill is officially shelved.
Till next time Texas!
A bill to amend the state constitution would have needed a two-thirds vote to pass through the state legislature. Then, it would have required a majority of voters to be in favor of sports betting and casino-style gambling, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
Sports betting has been a hot topic in Texas, especially after several professional sports teams (Mavericks, Cowboys, Rangers) supported legislation to allow for sports wagering. Additionally, Las Vegas Sands spent roughly $3 million on 74 lobbyists to help the cause.
The takeaway: The bill’s authors, Rep. John Kuempel – R and Sen. Carol Alvarado – D, remain hopeful that something will materialize down the road. The downside, Texas lawmakers meet every two years, meaning the earliest they can try again is 2023.
This week’s Market Teasers include another company joining the SPAC craze. Wynn Resorts recently announced its interactive division would merge with a blank check company following the footsteps of rival DraftKings. International Gaming Technology is seeing significant returns with Global Lottery and extends lottery contacts across the globe.
$WYNN | $125.94 | 0.17% change
- Wynn is spinning off its interactive division into a separate public company. Wynn unveiled its merger with Austerlitz Acquisition Corp. I, a blank check company, during its Q1 earnings saying the sports betting and online gaming operation could be valued at $3.2 billion. Wynn will have access to $640 million to use for new and existing growth initiatives.
International Gaming Technology
$IGT | $18.59 | 6.53% change
- IGT’s Q1 results include the highest revenue and profit in the company’s history, fueled primarily by Global Lottery. The company also signed three key contract extensions, 7-year extension with Jamaica Lottery; 4-year extension with Kentucky Lottery; 2-year extension with Mexico Lottery.
** Market Teasers is not financial advice, nor am I a financial advisor. All figures were taken on May 11, market close.