PlayUSA Rewind: Sports Betting In Florida Misses Target Start Date

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on October 20, 2021

Who would have thought that after seven weeks, the Arizona Cardinals would be the best team in football? Not this guy. But if you’re hoping for some Arizona news, you’re out of luck.

This week, Florida sports betting gets delayed, Rush Street Interactive has big plans for Canada, and Michigan online gaming has a big September.

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

On the rewind:

Sports betting in Florida delayed

Those waiting for the launch of sports betting in Florida will have to keep waiting

Why? Because there is a backlog of lawsuits trying to stop the Seminole Tribe from creating a sports betting monopoly.

So far, one lawsuit brought on by West Flagler Associates has already been dismissed. West Flagler, the owner of two pari-mutuels, argued that FL sports betting controlled by the Seminoles was damaging to their business.

Unfortunately, Judge Allen Winsor didn’t see things that way. 

The takeaway: The Seminole Tribe is still busy building out its sports betting product. But it appears they are playing this one close to the chest and won’t debut a product until all lawsuits are finished. 

BetRivers eyes Canadian sports betting

Rush Street Interactive has joined the list of operators eyeing Canadian sports betting.

The company launched BetRivers.net, a free-play casino and sportsbook, to build its customer base before releasing its real-money sportsbook in Ontario.

Single-game wagering became legal on August 27, with commercial operators hopeful sports betting can be up and running by the end of the year.

Thus far, PointsBet, BetMGM, DraftKings, and theScore have established a presence in Canada. 

The takeaway: Experts anticipate Canada to be the next great frontier for the sports betting market. While returns will be minimal, the number of operators will undoubtedly increase in the next few years. 

What’s next for Illinois horse racing

With the sale of Arlington International Racecourse to the Chicago Bears, Illinois is now left with one functioning race track, Hawthorne Racecourse in Stickney.

So what does that mean for Illinois’s once-thriving horse racing industry? It means upgrades are severely needed.

Luckily Hawthorne has plans for a $400 million redevelopment, including an onsite casino and state-of-the-art sportsbook.

Additionally, the new owners of Balmoral Park in Crete want to revive the racetrack, which has sat dormant since 2015. However, the new owners would need to navigate several miles of red tape before anything could happen. 

The takeaway: Horse racing in Illinois isn’t dead yet. It may appear like a shell of its former glory days, but Hawthorne’s people have big plans in store. 

Big month for Michigan online gaming

In short, the Michigan online gaming industry is booming.

According to figures from the Michigan Gaming Control Board for September, the industry collected $102.4 million in online casino revenue. 

Since launching in January, online gaming has produced between $89 million and $97 million in revenue each month. September numbers translated to $18.9 million in state taxes, with an additional $5.2 million going to the city of Detroit. 

The takeaway: Michigan online gaming has been one of the most consistent states in terms of gaming revenue. BetMGM continues to be a top performer in the state along with DraftKings and FanDuel. 

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Market Teasers

The focus of this week’s Market Teasers is on Rush Street Interactive ($RSI). The company is one of three operators with exclusive access to the Connecticut online gaming market. Out of 35 online gaming apps in the US, RSI’s mobile app was rated No. 3 by gaming research group Eilers & Krejcik.

Rush Street Interactive, Inc.

$RSI | $20.07 | 0.65% change

  • Not only has Rush Street entered Connecticut, but it has also gained market access to Canada through its BetRivers platform. Yahoo! Finance is bullish on the company long term with its share price hovering between $14-$19 since August.

From the archives

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

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Nicholaus Garcia Avatar
Written by
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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