PlayUSA Rewind: NFL Pairs With Top Sports Betting Operators

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on April 21, 2021
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It’s time for that mid-week shuffle where we catch you up on some important gambling news heading into the weekend.

This week, the National Football League (NFL) fully embraces sports betting, top Flordia lawmaker braces for a special session, and Texas holds a hearing to discuss – drum-roll – sports betting.

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

On the rewind:

NFL strikes triple deal with sports betting operators

The NFL has finally sunk its fangs into US sports betting by partnering with DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesars Entertainment.

Yes, the most powerful and most influential professional sports league has finally embraced sports betting, as first reported by ESPN. The partnerships are for five years and could be worth upwards of $1 billion combined.

With the deal comes perks. Each sportsbook has the exclusive right to integrate sports betting content into NFL media properties like the NFL app. Additionally, the sportsbooks will each use the league’s official data feed and collaborate on several other initiatives.

The takeaway: This is by far one of the most significant partnerships in sports history. After sitting on the sidelines for the better part of three years, the NFL has now thrown its weight into sports betting. The writing was on the wall, embrace the atmosphere or be left in the dust.

Florida might hold a special session with betting implications

It’s no secret that the most coveted future sports betting states are California, Texas, and Florida.

Sports betting in Florida has been discussed for years, but nothing has materialized, mostly due to ongoing conflicts between the state and Seminole Tribe.

But recentlyFlorida Senate President Wilton Simpson has said he’s “hopeful” the state can strike a new gambling deal with the Seminole Tribe sometime this year.

“We’re in a reasonable place that a compact could get finished sometime this year. Maybe in the next week or two, maybe in a special session,” Simpson said.

The crux of the issue is, the state wants the Seminole Tribe to resume its revenue-sharing agreement. In return, the Seminoles want exclusive rights to operate new forms of gambling and designated poker player games at pari-mutuels to stop operating.

The takeaway: Huge step in the right direction. The fact that the senate president is open to the idea of a special session means everything is on the table. If Florida can get a deal done, it puts the ball in the hands of California and Texas to follow.

Texas sports betting gets committee hearing

Lawmakers in Texas heard testimony in support of a sports betting bill from powerhouse operators BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Penn National Gaming.

The sports betting in Texas bill also has support from the Texas Rangers and Houston Rockets.

The meat and potatoes – Texas professional sports teams and Class 1 racetracks become official license holders. All would be able to partner with a sports betting operator of their choosing. Additionally, they would have the ability to offer retail betting and kiosks at the stadiums and state-wide online sports betting.

The bill also is beneficial to minor league teams, smaller racetracks, motorsports tracks, and golf courses that host PGA Tour events.

The takeaway: Sports betting has powerful allies in its corner. But equally enough, there are those with extreme clout that are against it. In the past, a sports betting bill wouldn’t even receive a committee hearing. Texas could be a pioneer if it legalizes sports betting. Perhaps more money for political campaigns might do the trick.

World Series of Poker Makes triumphant return

If you are a fan of live poker, then the return of the WSOP Main Event is something you have been waiting for since last year.

The WSOP announced the main event would begin on November 4 and run for four days. However, the event is subject to state and regulatory approval before anything can be set in stone.

For those who enjoy online poker in the age of COVID-19, then you will be happy to hear WSOP Online 2021 begins July 1.

The takeaway: People are excited to return to live events, and poker is no exception. Who doesn’t miss the drama poker has to offer, and hopefully, with proper safety protocols, the event can proceed without any complications.

AZ sports betting becomes a reality, Phoenix Suns strike deal with FanDuel

The Phoenix Suns are getting into the AZ sports betting business. The team recently announced a partnership with sports betting operator FanDuel, to build a sportsbook inside their arena.

“FanDuel is the perfect partner as our missions are fully aligned. Simply put, FanDuel is committed to making sports more exciting while the Suns are focused on delivering exciting sports and entertainment and engaging fans at the highest level possible,” Sun’s President and CEO Jason Rowley said in a statement.

But wait, doesn’t sports betting have to be legal first? As a matter of fact, it is!

Gov. Doug Ducey recently signed a bill legalizing sports betting in Arizona. The bill gives tribes the ability to expand gambling while also providing 10 mobile sports betting licenses and 10 retail sports betting licenses for professional sports teams.

The takeaway: This is one of the most inclusive sports betting bills in the US. It checks all the boxes, including a reasonable tax rate and licensing fee. This bill clearly was not about the money, yet it provides a reasonable revenue stream to the state.

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Market Teasers

This week’s Market Teases include a familiar face in Caesars Entertainment, which just closed a significant sports betting deal mentioned above. Newcomer Roundhill Sports Betting &iGaming ETF is in a position for strong dividends given some of the major deals floating around the US.

Caesars Entertainment

$CZR | $92.65 | 3.10% change

  • Caesars has the go-ahead to complete its $4 billion acquisition of William Hill. The stock saw a bit of a bump upon announcement jumping from $86 and change up to around $92. With the acquisition, the Caesars sports betting portfolio looks strong, heading into the tail end of 2021.

Roundhill Sports Betting & iGaming ETF

$BETZ | $30.85 | 1.45% change

  • The Roundhill ETF comprises several heavy hitters that benefit from the recent NFL deal and the legalization of New York mobile sports betting. Its holding includes DraftKings, FanDuel, Kambi, Penn National, and PointsBet, to name a few. Over the past year, the EFT has seen steady growth, including a 92.13% change increase from June 2020 to April 2021.

** Market Teasers is not financial advice, nor am I a financial advisor. All figures were taken on April 21, market open.

Photo by Rick Osentoski / Associated Press
Nicholaus Garcia Avatar
Written by
Nicholaus Garcia

Nick Garcia is a senior reporter for PlayUSA. Garcia provides analysis and in-depth coverage of the gambling industry with a key focus on online casinos, sports betting and financial markets. Garcia has been covering the US gambling market since 2017. He attended Texas Tech University as an undergrad and received a Master of Arts in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago.

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