PlayUSA Rewind: Tennessee Mobile Sportsbook Total Climbs to Seven

Posted By Nicholaus Garcia on May 5, 2021 - Last Updated on August 17, 2021

Ready for another edition of the PlayUSA Rewind? Of course, you are.

This week, another mobile sportsbook debuts in Tennessee, new online poker apps in Pennsylvania, and Alabama lawmakers consider sports betting.

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

On the rewind:

Tennessee gets its seventh online sportsbook

The new addition to TN sports betting is WynnBET.

With the launch, the state now has its seventh mobile sportsbook behind DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and several others.

WynnBET is relatively new to the online sports betting market, having previously launched in New Jersey, Colorado, Michigan, Virginia, and Indiana.

The takeaway: Tennessee is a unique market in that everything is mobile-based. Despite this, since its inception, customers have wagered over $905.9 million. That’s some serious coin. WynnBET may have missed out on March Madness, but its strong user base and the fact that only seven sportsbooks exist in the state will keep it competitive.

Two more online poker apps launch in Pennsylvania

The number of PA online poker apps has increased to three with the addition of BetMGM Poker and Borgata Poker.

Both operators are live in New Jersey, and BetMGM is also live in Michigan. Additionally, both brands operate PA online casinos and have a strong user base in the state.

BetMGM is live through its partnership with Hollywood Casino Grantville, while Borgata is live through Rivers Philadelphia.

The takeaway: The online poker market is still growing, but the more options, the better. Both mobile apps are user-friendly and have their own digital wallets. Customers will also enjoy benefits tied to Borgata Hotel in Atlantic City, NJ, and other MGM Resort properties across the US.

Sports betting on the agenda in Alabama

High on the watch list is an Alabama sports betting bill that is expected to receive a vote by the House of Representatives.

Rep. Chris Blackshear said several meetings had taken place, and Alabamians deserve “the chance to vote on gambling.”

The State Senate passed the bill earlier this year, and it would create a state lottery and legalize sports betting. Alabama is still a very conservative state, and sports betting will face opposition.

The takeaway: Alabama is the heart of SEC country and college football betting the South. There are only a few days left in the legislative session, so not much time is left on the clock. Does it really want to watch its tax dollar bleed into Tennesse, Arkansas, and potentially Florida?

Illinois considers lifting betting ban on in-state schools

A few IL sports betting laws are up for debate, including the ban on betting on in-state collegiate teams.

The House Executive Committee discuss a bill that would, among other things, legalize online casinos. But Rep. Mike Zalewski also wants his colleges to revisit the law which prohibits IL residents from betting on teams like The University of Illinois.

The law is common in states like New Jersey and New York. However, states like Colorado, Indiana, and Iowa allow guests and residents to bet on hometown teams.

The takeaway: Inadequate laws like these will keep the illegal market alive. Die-hard fans will find a way to bet on their favorite teams, whether that’s through legal sportsbooks or offshore betting sites. It’s that classic battle between the illegal betting market and the corruption of collegiate athletes. Who will win?

Extra innings: Maryland sports betting

As you may have known, MD sports betting is coming, although Gov. Larry Hogan has yet to sign the bill into law.

However, that doesn’t mean things aren’t happening behind the scenes.

We know the state’s six casinos, three professional sports teams, Laural Park, and Pimlico Race Course can all operate retail sports betting. These are known as Class A licenses. There is no reason they can’t start doing their homework to streamline the process.

We also know there are 30 Class B sports betting licenses, and the Maryland State Fairgrounds, four off-track betting parlors, and two commercial bing halls will all receive betting licenses.

Lastly, we know there will be 60 mobile sports betting licenses that both Class A & B license holders can apply for.

All of this is to ensure a competitive market for big-name operators and minority and female-owned businesses. Lawmakers also hope sports betting can begin in time for the 2021 NFL season.

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Market Teasers

After the Run for the Roses, it’s only customary to put Churchill Downs on this week’s Market Teasers. We can also add Gaming and Leisure Properties which just announced its Q1 earnings, along with a major sell of one of its Las Vegas properties.

Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc.

$GLPI | $46.69 | 0.04% change

  • Not only did the company post revenues of $301.54 million for the quarter and beat estimates by 1.51%, but it also found a buyer for its Tropicana Las Vegas property. Bally’s Corp. said it plans to buy the Vegas casino for $308 million in a deal that will close in early 2022.

Churchill Downs Incorporated

$CHDN | $207.04 | -0.82% change

  • Sports betting handle for the 147th Kentucky Derby totaled $314.6 million up 79% from 2020 across all platforms. TwinSpires, the online betting platform for Churchill Downs recorded $62.7 million in betting handle.

** Market Teasers is not financial advice, nor am I a financial advisor. All figures were taken on May 4, market close.

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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