‘Twas week before Christmas, and all through the nation, sports betting bills passed through state legislation.”
With the swoop of a pen, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer made wolverines cheer, as the leader in Michigan gave legalized wagering the all-clear.
Another state, Pennsylvania, hung its stocking with braggadocios care. You would, too, if you took in $1 billion over the past year.
Many states and stakeholders have much to boast about. When Christmas day arrives, most will see gifts and joy abound. But one stocking is drooping, nearly touching the floor; with this much coal already for Steve Wynn, could it take much more?
End of obligatory holiday poem. Let’s get to the biggest news of last week.
Michigan sports betting is officially a go
Once again, the week’s biggest news involves Michigan. And fittingly, the week’s biggest news came on a Friday.
In addition to regulated wagering, Michigan saw the legalization of online casinos, online poker and daily fantasy sports. Big day for the Big Mitten. All told, the package of bills became the largest gambling expansion in the state’s history.
As it’s laid out, Michigan’s three commercial and 23 tribal casinos would be permitted to pursue sports betting licenses, shelling out a combined $150,000 for application and licensing. They would also be obligated to pay an 8.4% tax on adjusted gross sports betting receipts; commercial casinos would pay an additional 1.25% tax to the city of Detroit.
The man who correctly predicted Whitmer would sign off on legislation before Christmas, Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr. also told Legal Sports Report that Michigan could roll out retail sportsbooks in time for March Madness.
Pennsylvania’s sports betting capital? Billa-delphia
Pun stretch or not, facts rarely tell lies.
A year after Hollywood Casino opened the doors to Pennsylvania’s first retail sportsbook, the Keystone State has exceeded $1 billion in handle. Total wagers in November set a single-month record in Pennsylvania as the public laid down over $316 million.
That total actually pushed PA’s lifetime handle to some $1.1 billion. And with more operators still expected to join the market, that second billion should come in short order.
The likes of FanDuel Sportsbook, a relatively late-comer to the PA party, has taken control of about 36% of the marketplace. For perspective, Rivers Philadelphia accounts for around 21% of wagers placed.
Pennsylvania’s lofty tax rates (a 36% take) obviously provides a hit to the wallet of operators. Even so, they still registered $75 million in profits during that first year. So, not too shabby.
Nearby New Jersey will always remain the standard, especially for Pennsylvania. As PlayPennsylvania laid out, the Garden State crossed the billion-dollar finish line seven months into operations. But Pennsylvania continues to expand. It boasts 12 retail sportsbooks and eight betting apps. But those numbers will surely change in the coming months.