PlayUSA Rewind: Washington State Sports Betting Aiming For Launch In September

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on August 4, 2021 - Last Updated on October 15, 2021

Can you feel it? The start of the 2021 NFL season is right around the corner. But before we get there, we have some gambling news to get through.

This week, sports betting in Washington is on pace to launch by football season. Also, DC sports betting wants to capitalize on retail bettors and PointsBet plans for North American expansion.

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

On the rewind:

Washington State sportsbooks expected by September

The timeline is simple. Lawmakers want WA sports betting to begin by the start of the NFL season.

The WA Gambling Commission approved sports wagering licensing rules at the end of July. This means, after a 31-day waiting period, rules will go into effect on August 30. Immediately after that, the commission can begin passing out licenses to approved applications.

On July 12, Gove. Jay Inslee renegotiated compacts with 15 of the state’s 29 tribes to include sports betting. The Department of the Interior has 45 days from the day Inslee signed off to approved compacts.

Remember, sports betting in Washington will be retail and tribal only. Sports betting must occur on tribal land, but it does leave the door open for mobile sports betting – while on tribal land, that is. (Think something similar to Mississippi sports betting.)

The takeaway: This timeline is realistic. Any state looking to roll out sports betting this year wants to go live before the NFL season. And while it doesn’t include mobile sports betting, Mississippi is doing just fine with their model. Likewise, customers in Washington should be just fine.

DC Lottery rolls out sports betting kiosks

Some exciting news for residents of our Nations Capital: the DC Lottery is rolling out DC sports betting kiosks.

GambetDC, the sports betting platform in DC, will place 2-3 retail betting kiosks at four bars around the DC area. The names of the locations have yet to be released.

According to Nicole Jordan, director of marketing and communications for the Office of Lottery and Gaming, the rollout will begin with bars, restaurants, and other venues. Eventually, betting kiosks will be placed at lottery locations.

The only in-person betting location was through William Hill, now Caesars, at Capital One Arena in the past year. Sportsbooks will also appear at National Park through BetMGM and Audi Field through FanDuel Sportsbook.

The takeaway: The Lottery appears to be making a plan centered around acquiring in-person bettors. Social settings like bars and restaurants would be the ideal place to start. Unfortunately, DC sports betting hasn’t been the most popular play in the US. In June, GambetDC only secured 17.6% of handle versus 80.4% from William Hill. And if you recall, WH (again, now Caesars) only gets a two-block radius to operate. GambetDC gets the entire city.

TwinSpires makes sports betting deal with Tonto Apache Tribe

Nine. That’s the number of AZ sports betting deals.

TwinSpires Sportsbook is the latest operator to ink a sports betting deal after securing a partnership with the Tonto Apache Tribe. The tribe owns and operates the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino, which is about an hour outside Phoenix.

The deal gives TwinSpires parent company, Churchill Downs, access to the Arizona betting market. The deal also includes both retail and online sports betting.

Again, as with all states looking to launch sports betting this year, the expectation is for a September start.

The takeaway: This is the seventh state for TwinSpires. The operator is live in Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. The company also joins a hot market that includes operators like Bally’s, Barstool, and Caesars. There will be enough sports betting to go around. The question remains, who will dominate the state?

PointsBet preparing for North American expansion

Look out US sports betting market; PointsBet Sportsbook is coming.

Technically, the betting app is already available in six states. But according to PointsBet CEO Sam Swanell, within the next year or two, the company wants to launch in eight more states.

Future states include:

  • Arizona
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming.

PointsBet also has iGaming and online casino games in Michigan and New Jersey and expects to launch in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ontario in the near future.

But like with all great empires, expansions cost money. This is why PointsBet announced a $300 million capital raise to fund its conquest of North America. The company will issue 21.5 million new shares at $10 per share to raise cash. The $300 million raised will be used for a multitude of services including, talent investment, product development, US market access and government fees.

Swanell said at the end of Q4; the company had $180.5 million in cash and cash equivalents. The money raised would add to that war chest further help bolster growth plans.

The takeaway: PointsBet sits comfortably as a top 5 operator in each state it currently operates in, and Swanell said the company would continue to invest to ensure they remain there. This is a model plan with not much risk and a wealth of rewards.

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Market Teasers

This week, Market Teasers take a look at Churchill Downs Incorporated, which set all sorts of Q2 records, and VICI Properties Inc., which plans to invest in a new property in Maryland.

Churchill Downs Incorporated

$CHDN | $182.71 | -2.60% change

  • For Q2, $CHDN set records for net revenue, adjusted cash flow (four hotel-casinos), revenue at Derby City, overall cash flow. The company also announced over $200 million in investments in Derby City and key areas of Churchill Downs racetrack. It also has the pending sale of its Arlington Park property in Illinois.

VICI Properties Inc.

$VICI | $30.17 | 1.67% change

  • The company is investing $80 million in the Great Wolf Lodge in Maryland. The $260 million resort will include a 126,000 square-foot indoor waterpark. $VICI also announced cash flow, and revenue climbed about 46% for Q2. The company also bought the Venetian and Sands Expo and Convention Center for $4 billion in 2020.

** Market Teasers is not financial advice, nor am I a financial advisor. All figures were taken August 3 at market close.

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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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