MLB + NCAA = Euphoria

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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

To some involved in the sports betting industry, nothing surpasses the Super Bowl and the days of frenzied activity leading up to it. Then again, a case could be made for attaching still higher superlatives to the week when the calendar turns from March to April. The pent-up demand for MLB’s regular season dovetails perfectly with the NCAA’s always-captivating Final Four.

Things have been particularly interesting this week for sportsbooks and bettors, considering baseball is lightheartedly explaining rules changes that could add all kinds of new betting twists, including most notably the impact on microbetting from the new pitch clock. It’s the time of year when everyone loves to talk baseball, whether on podcasts or with best buddies. And any dolt, including this site’s stable of sports betting analysts, can try to get an edge on a six-month-long futures bet.

The final games of the NCAA Tournament present their own enticing intrigue, both on the court and for bettors, from a madness unlike anything seen in decades in terms of the unexpected. We have bettors out there holding tickets with odds of up to 2500/1 on Florida Atlantic University, for gosh sake, to win the whole thing. In some places, there’s a heavy bias on favored Connecticut to cut down the nets, unlike the first-timers it’s competing with.

Longtime Vegas oddsmaker Jay Kornegay calls it “the most unpredictable tournament ever,” but Sports Handle Editor-in-Chief Brett Smiley finds one thing predictable — the points total for Florida Atlantic-San Diego State. We’ll know by Saturday night if he was right, and whether to rely on him in the future. One thing we already know is how well Sports Handle and its network of sites give all the content you need describing developments in the sports betting world and broader gambling industry, as this past week’s stories show.

Welcome to the club, Kentucky

It’s official! Kentucky governor signs sports wagering bill into law

Kentucky Senate sends legal sports betting bill to governor

North Carolina making some moves

North Carolina mobile betting bill wins House approval

North Carolina mobile wagering bill nears House passage

Surprisingly, South Carolina might want in

South Carolina digital wagering bill passes subcommittee

It’s a no-go in Georgia, though

Georgia sports wagering legalization efforts officially dead for 2023

Only certain kinds of affiliations OK

Massachusetts regulator bans revenue-sharing deals with affiliate marketers

College campuses stirring some controversy

American Gaming Association updates marketing guidelines for sportsbooks

PointsBet, University of Colorado end their partnership after two years

MSU-Caesars partnership in spotlight after AGA code change

PointsBet, University of Maryland maintain existing relationship

Connecticut Lottery needs dance partner

Connecticut seeks new sportsbook operator as Rush Street winds down partnership

Any given Sunday, you might bet at stadium

Rule change: NFL teams can open in-stadium sportsbooks on game days

We ask if the future is here, and if it’s good

Are betbots about to disrupt the sports wagering ecosystem?

If it’s numbers you want …

Nevada sports wagering handle slips in February as 2023 betting continues to lag

Virginia sports wagering revenue dips under $40 million for February

Arizona puts bow on record-setting January for U.S. sports betting

Bill would OK tournament betting on RI teams

A bill backed by Rhode Island Senate President Dominic Ruggerio that would partially lift the ban on betting on the state’s college sports teams passed the Senate Tuesday and has been referred to the House Finance Committee. Ruggerio was a key sponsor of legal betting, which was authorized in Rhode Island in 2018.

The bill, S3, would allow for wagering on Rhode Island college teams that are participating in a tournament, which is defined as having four or more participants. The language of the bill mirrors a Massachusetts regulation that allows the same carveout. More than a dozen legal sports betting states prohibit wagering on local teams.

“Ultimately, when residents of our state seek to place wagers during college tournaments, we shouldn’t be forcing them to go to Massachusetts or Connecticut. We want to keep those fans, and those dollars, here at home,” Ruggerio said this week.

— Jill R. Dorson

Illinois pop-up RG bill advances

A responsible gambling bill that would require licensed online sports wagering operators in Illinois to have pop-up notifications at least once every hour unanimously passed the state Senate Thursday. The measure sent to the House calls for notifying gamblers of how much time they’ve spent on the website and their amount wagered, with hyperlinks to gambling addiction services provided.

The current version of SB 1508 is notably different from the one introduced by state Sen. Bill Cunningham that came out of committee March 9. That iteration called for a pop-up notification to appear after every 10 wagers placed by an individual. The bill had 15 sponsors in the Senate and will be sponsored in the House by Rep. Daniel Didech, chairman of the Gaming Committee.

The Senate passed two other gaming-related bills in near-unanimous fashion for House consideration: SB 0323, which would reduce the license renewal fee for suppliers to $50,000 for a four-year period versus a $150,000 annual renewal fee; and SB 0327, which would allow the Illinois Racing Board to have the director of mutuels serve as director for inter-track and simulcast wagering. The bill would also remit all parimutuel tax directly to the IRB instead of the state’s Department of Revenue.

— Chris Altruda

Tweet of the week

More of the most important, interesting stories

THIS QUESTION SURE TAKES DEAD AIM: Will online sports gambling kill America? [The Hill]

A MARCH TO THE SOUND OF MONEY: March Madness in Vegas provides sportsbooks with another betting bonanza [The Nevada Independent]

NOBODY SAW THIS COMING: Final Four demonstrates systemic expert prediction problems [JohnWallStreet]

IT ALL USED TO BE SO INNOCENT: Raptors’ Chris Boucher thinks sports betting has worsened NBA fan criticism [Yahoo! Sports]

BEAL’S INNOCENCE MAY BE QUESTIONED: Bradley Beal under police investigation after spat with fan []

SOME THINGS BEST LEFT UNSAID: Calvin Ridley appears to brag about his gambling in deleted tweet [Larry Brown Sports]

A BILLION HERE, A BILLION THERE: Is $1B monthly gaming win the new normal for Nevada? [Las Vegas Review-Journal]

NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT: Surprise! Potawatomi Hotel & Casino’s sportsbook opens on Friday [WTMJ]


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