It’s information overload everywhere, and there’s not time enough to sleep and eat and stay fully apprised of what’s happening on this crazy blue dot of ours (two out of three ain’t bad). Here’s the weekend Sports Handle item, “Get a Grip,” recapping the week’s top U.S. sports betting headlines, highlighting some fresh news, and rounding up key stories.
Top stories around our network this week
Following in the footsteps of Illinois, another Midwestern state whose residents have proven to have an unusually large appetite for sports betting, Ohio has not only joined the smorgasbord of legalized states, but quickly taken a very prominent seat at the table.
The Buckeye State’s $1.11 billion in January sports betting handle was second only to New York, and its sportsbooks’ $208.9 million in gross revenue — on an astronomical 18.8% hold — dwarfed anything seen in any state in any month before, even in New York. True, that first month of betting was vastly inflated by the $320 million in promotional credits major online sportsbooks like FanDuel and DraftKings gave away, but even with an overall net loss of $111.1 million as a result of those bonuses, Ohio made a statement about its impact within the industry.
Ohio might have a hard time matching such numbers anytime soon, if ever, but it already helped push the volume of legal national sports betting above $200 billion in the post-PASPA era. The pace of growth in the overall sports handle keeps accelerating, and it’s about to get another boost with Massachusetts’ launch of mobile betting on March 10.
The industry’s spread has certainly created some unprecedented regulatory concerns about excessive marketing and potential for problem gambling, but there’s no denying the public popularity of an activity that had to be kept underground in so many places for so long. With Ohio now in the fold in a big way, sports betting is increasingly a part of everyday life in America.
Sports Handle and its network of sites and staff will be tracking further expansion closely, along with all other gambling-related developments, as our stories of the past week show.
Hope you don’t have a problem with this
Hard to argue with this data
It’s decision time in Georgia
Minnesota getting a bit closer
New Yorkers know how to get tough
Affiliates just want to be helpful
Fanatics rarin’ to go in Tennessee
Betway taking it a bit slower up north
No longer monkeying around with this
A bookie can only love March
Getting personal with Ken Rosenthal
Let’s put out some numbers
Flutter plans no headquarters change
Weeks after Flutter disclosed that its board is considering a secondary listing in the U.S., the U.K.-headquartered company provided more color on a potential FanDuel IPO. Flutter officials indicated on a quarterly earnings call Thursday that a U.S. listing would not change where the company is headquartered or domiciled. In terms of tax implications, a listing would not change the manner in which Flutter pays taxes on both continents, the company noted.
“The only feedback from shareholders has been supportive, and we’ll be meeting many more of our shareholders over the coming weeks,” a Flutter spokesman said. “At the end of that process, we’ll announce results for the shareholder consultation.”
FanDuel, the definitive leader in the U.S. online sports betting market, increased its nationwide market share to 50% in the fourth quarter of 2022. With higher levels of revenue and player retention than its peers, FanDuel is generating four times the level of contribution profit as its nearest competitors, JMP Securities analyst Jordan Bender wrote in a research note. Contribution profit is generally defined as gross profits in a given jurisdiction minus advertising and marketing expenses.
— Matt Rybaltowski
Caesars adopts strict 21-and-over policy
Caesars Entertainment announced Thursday that it would be limiting all domestic gaming, parimutuel, sports, and iGaming options to customers 21 and older. Additionally, Caesars said it would give problem gamblers the option to add themselves to a “universal exclusion” list, whereby they would not be permitted to wager at any Caesars property or online entity.
Caesars and its foundation donated over $300,000 last year to the International Center for Responsible Gambling, National Council on Problem Gambling, and various responsible gambling nonprofit organizations for research, education, workforce development, and problem gambling treatment.
“Problem Gambling Awareness Month is the perfect time to recognize the significance of responsible play and what we are doing to create a better environment for our communities,” Heather Rapp, Caesars’ senior vice president of corporate social responsibility, said in a press release.
— Mike Seely
EPIC renews NFLPA partnership
To kick off Problem Gambling Awareness Month, EPIC Risk Management announced Wednesday that its partnership with the NFLPA’s Professional Athletes Foundation and the U.S. arm of the Entain Foundation had been renewed.
According to a press release, EPIC, self-described as a “gambling harm prevention consultancy,” will “provide workshops, seminars, events, and customized projects using in-person lived experience facilitators in an ambitious calendar of delivery that looks to cover NFLPA members and their support networks, from the Locker Room to the Board Room.”
“We are glad that the funding provided by Entain Foundation U.S. has helped EPIC, the global leaders in delivery of gambling harm prevention education and advisory, to have such a huge impact on one of the highest-risk populations,” said Martin Lycka, Entain’s senior vice president for American regulatory affairs.
— Mike Seely
More of the most important, interesting stories
COLLEGE IS SUCH A GAMBLE: Sports betting grows on campuses with few restrictions [Associated Press]
BEFORE THE DELUGE IN THE BAY STATE: Program meant to prevent gambling abuse in Massachusetts gearing up for sports betting [New England Public Media]
OKLAHOMA’S THINKING ABOUT IT: Sports betting bill moves out of Oklahoma committee [KOCO]
NO ONE TO BLAME BUT HIMSELF: Jake Paul laughs off Drake curse after rapper loses $400K bet on him [New York Post]
Jake Paul reacts to Drake losing a $400,000 bet on him to beat Tommy Fury… pic.twitter.com/Vz54CyDTji
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) February 27, 2023
ONE OF THESE DAYS, ESPORTS: Casino Esport Conference panelists remain bullish on esports wagering despite slow start [CDC Gaming Reports]
TEXAS IS FUN TO THINK ABOUT, BUT …: GLPI CEO skeptical on Texas casino legislation passing this year [The Nevada Independent]
IN A RUSH TO SEE GOOD THINGS: Rush Street Interactive highlights growth, predicts positive returns [CDC Gaming Reports]
BETTING THEY’LL MAKE GOOD PARTNERS: Kambi partners with Potawatomi Casino Hotel for Wisconsin sportsbook launch [Gaming America]