Mobile Sports Betting Begins In Massachusetts

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Each week, our “What’s on Tap” series previews the week ahead in the world of sports betting. Come here for a summary of upcoming financial happenings, legislative and regulatory meetings, industry conferences, top games scheduled for the week, and much more. Also, check out our weekly review “Get a Grip” for a look back at last week’s notable news.

Monday, March 6

Prominent state regulators appear at Seton Hall bootcamp

Each year, the Gaming Law, Compliance, and Integrity Bootcamp at Seton Hall Law School brings together leading compliance and chief legal officers from top gaming companies, as well as state regulatory agencies. The two-day conference, beginning Monday, features a regulator fireside chat with New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement Director David Rebuck, Colorado Division of Gaming Director Dan Hartman, and New York State Gaming Commission Executive Director Rob Williams. In light of stringent proposed regulations on sports betting advertising in Massachusetts, compliance standards in advertising may serve as one of the hottest topics at the conference.

Tuesday, March 7

Will Ravens end stalemate with Lamar Jackson at franchise tag deadline?

Ravens coach John Harbaugh has gone to great lengths in recent weeks to lobby for quarterback Lamar Jackson’s return to Baltimore. Nevertheless, negotiations between the Ravens and Jackson could go down to the wire before Tuesday’s NFL franchise tag deadline. Jackson, the 2019 NFL MVP, reportedly turned down a $250 million extension from the Ravens last September. The five-year offer, according to ESPN, included $133 million guaranteed.

By signing Jackson to the exclusive franchise tag, the Ravens could ink a one-year deal with the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner for $45 million. The franchise tag also gives the two sides the flexibility to negotiate a longer deal. At bet365, the Ravens have odds of +1400 to win the AFC, sixth-best in the conference.

Another quarterback who may be hit with the franchise tag is Giants signal caller Daniel Jones. The Giants have reiterated throughout the offseason that it is their preference to get a long-term deal completed with Jones, the No. 6 overall pick in the 2019 draft. If the Giants do not place the tag on Jones, the team has the option of using it instead on running back Saquon Barkley. The Giants have odds of +500 at PointsBet to win the NFC East, far behind the Eagles (+100) and Cowboys (+175).

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Wednesday, March 8

iGaming NEXT NYC 2023

A coterie of C-suite executives, Wall Street analysts, media executives, and venture capitalists from around the world will converge upon Midtown Manhattan for this iGaming conference. In total, more than 650 financiers, sports betting executives, and iCasino execs are set to appear at the two-day event.

On Wednesday afternoon, BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt is scheduled for a keynote fireside chat with CNBC’s Contessa Brewer. BetMGM is coming off a strong year in 2022, posting net revenue of $1.4 billion. Still, Entain’s future in the 50/50 joint venture with MGM Resorts remains in question after the U.K. conglomerate announced last month that it will discontinue financial support of the venture if BetMGM is profitable over the second half of the year. 

Thursday, March 9

Golfers tee off at The Players without defending champ Smith

Often deemed the “fifth major,” this year’s Players Championship boasts a talented field that includes former champions Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, and Webb Simpson. One golfer who will be conspicuously absent is defending champion Cameron Smith, who jumped to LIV Golf last August. Smith captured The Players last year with odds of 40/1. Notable longshots in this year’s field include Keith Mitchell (+6000), Si Woo Kim (+6500), and Sam Burns (+7000). Jon Rahm is the favorite at DraftKings, with odds of +750.  

Friday, March 10

Top books set to make mobile debut in Massachusetts

More than a month after the launch of three retail sportsbooks, Massachusetts is scheduled to go live with mobile sports wagering on Friday. Last week, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission indicated that a host of online sportsbooks are on pace to make their Massachusetts online debut Friday during the state’s universal launch of mobile betting.

Of the 10 companies that have received temporary licensure required for launch, seven are poised to roll out online platforms on Friday. The list includes industry heavyweights FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM, as well as microbetting platform Betr. Two others expected to launch Friday, Barstool Sportsbook and WynnBET, also maintain retail sportsbook operations in the state.

There’s a chance UConn will appear in Friday night’s Big East conference tournament semifinals at Madison Square Garden. If so, the proximity of the school to the Massachusetts border could make UConn a popular choice among Massachusetts bettors on launch day. As of Monday, the Huskies had odds of 20/1 to win the national title.

Sunday, March 12

A jittery Selection Sunday for Tar Heels, Wolverines

At the start of the college basketball season, traditional powerhouses North Carolina and Michigan appeared to be candidates to book a trip to Houston for the Final Four. But with losses last week, each team will be on edge during Selection Sunday if they do not prevail in their respective conference tournaments. North Carolina, which enters the ACC tournament at 19-12, could become the first AP preseason No. 1 to miss the NCAA Tournament. The Tar Heels have odds of 150/1 at FanDuel to cut down the nets in Houston, while the Wolverines have even steeper odds at 400/1.

Without a definitive favorite, the NCAA Tournament could be replete with double-digit upsets over the three-week event. As of Monday, Houston, Alabama, UCLA, and Kansas occupied the four No. 1 seeds on a predicted draw from ESPN’s Bracketology. Houston is the top choice at BetRivers, with odds of +700, followed by Kansas and UCLA, the co-second choices at +900. Alabama, the SEC regular-season champion, is the fourth choice at +1000.

A clear favorite on Oscars night

Everything Everywhere All At Once has emerged as the definitive favorite to clean up at the Academy Awards. The film documents the travails of a struggling laundromat owner as an audit from the IRS sends the proprietor on an emotional roller coaster. Michelle Yeoh, who plays the laundry owner, is a -125 favorite to win Best Actress at FanDuel, slightly ahead of Tar actress Cate Blanchett (-115). The two have separated themselves from the field, with third choice Andrea Riseborough (To Leslie) at +2900.

The film has odds of -700 at FanDuel to win Best Picture, ahead of The Banshees of Inisherin and All Quiet on the Western Front, which have odds of +1100 and +1400, respectively. Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, the film’s directors, are also overwhelming favorites to win the Best Director award. The duo has odds of -1800 to capture the award, with Steven Spielberg (The Fabelmans) the second choice at +850.

Have a good week, everyone!


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