PlayUSA Rewind: Michael Jordan Increases Investment In Sports Betting Data Company

Posted By Nicholaus Garcia on September 22, 2021

Football is in full swing both professionally and collegially. But instead of feeding you news about how good or bad your favorite team is, PlayUSA instead has some gambling news to help ease you into week 3.

This week, the GOAT ups his investment in Sportradar, Missouri discuss sports betting, and Fanatics eyes a new sports betting power play.

For even more coverage, be sure and follow @VisitPlayUSA | @reporternickg | @brantjames for all the latest insights.

On the rewind:

Michael Jordan increases investment in Sportradar

It appears Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan is upping his investment in sports betting company Sportradar. 

Sportradar provides software and data to sports leagues and other various companies. A few of its top clients include DraftKings and ESPN. 

Although specifics on how much Jordan’s investment will increase remain under wraps, the news was big enough that company shares rose 3.4% on Sept. 20. Sportradar did say Jordan’s advisory duties will include the US sports betting market, product development, and marketing. 

The takeaway: Sportradar managed to land the biggest fish in the sea, at least name-wise. If Jordan sees an investment somewhere, others should take notice.  

Missouri gaming officials discuss sports betting

Gaming officials in Missouri believe state revenue would increase if lawmakers legalize alternative forms of gaming, including sports betting in Missouri

Missouri Lottery Executive Director May Reardon and Edward Grewach, general counsel for the state gaming commission, told a Senate committee revenue would “drastically” increase if lawmakers allowed new products, such as sports wagering, and took steps to “modernize our channels of distribution” through online lottery ticket sales.

Sen. Denny Hoskins spearheaded previous efforts to pass a sports betting bill and pledged to sponsor another bill in 2022. 

Last year, Hoskins sponsored Senate Bill 98, which would have allowed the commission, not the lottery, to license casinos to offer sports wagering. According to The Center Square, a fiscal note in the bill estimated legal sports gaming would generate $200 million annually for education programs.

The takeaway: As experts have pointed out year after year, revenue generated from sports betting should not be used to balance budgets. While it does provide additional revenue, it’s no silver bullet.

Michigan iGaming has successful August

Online gaming operators in Michigan enjoyed a stellar August thanks in part to MI online casinos and online sports betting.

Operators generated just over $113 million in revenue, according to figures from the Michigan Gaming Commission.

Of the $113 million, iGaming accounted for $97.2 million, with online sports betting representing $15.9 million. The success of August translated to $17.9 million in tax revenue for the state, while sports betting added another $541,000.

The takeaway: It’s another good month in the books for the Wolverine State. Although numbers were not astronomically huge, Michigan continues to show other states how beneficial a successful rollout of online gaming can be.

Fanatics aiming to acquire a sports betting company?

Fanatics, the leader in sports merchandise, might be on the hunt for a sports betting company to acquire, and the target might be Rush Street Interactive.

Rush Street has sports betting operations in 10 states, including Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. The company also won the right to operate Connecticut sports betting in a partnership with the CT Lottery.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that ESPN was looking to sell its naming rights for roughly $3 billion. It appears like Rush Street might be the lead contender to secure those naming rights.

Fanatics is valued at around $18 billion and has mega-name investors like Jay-Z attached to the brand. The company is also part of a super-bid to operate NY online sports betting.

The takeaway: If Fanatics can get this deal done, it would be a game-changer. The company has been flirting with the sports betting market recently, but it would take too much time to create a product from scratch. So instead, acquiring a lesser-known brand like Rush Street and switching the name to Fanatics would be easier.  

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Remember to follow @VisitPlayUSA | @reporternickg | @brantjames for even more insights.

Photo by Thibault Camus / Associated Press
Nicholaus Garcia Avatar
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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick has had stints in Chicago and Washington, D.C., writing about politics, financial markets, and sports betting. He graduated from Texas Tech University and completed his master's degree in journalism at Columbia College Chicago.

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