Issue #11
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
By Jake Pollard, CDC Gaming Reports

The levels of marketing and coverage of sports betting in the U.S. are above anywhere else in the world, but scrutiny of the industry is just as likely to rise in parallel.

The number of media partnerships and the level of broadcast and mass market exposure betting brands are getting in the U.S. is some levels above anything seen in other regulated markets.

A quick run through of recent agreements and product tie-ups between betting and brands and media groups: William Hill-CBS, DraftKings-Bleacher Report, BetMGM-Verizon, PointsBet-NBC, Ballys-Sinclair Broadcast; gives an idea of the level of activity and reach of the industry.

It speaks of a level of acceptance that is a huge positive for the industry. However, access to such major media platforms also raises questions around marketing scale, value and brand differentiation, whether smaller operators can really compete and if the industry can expect major pushback from gambling opponents when it comes to responsible gambling once the COVID crisis has abated.

By Deke Castleman, CDC Gaming Reports

An overview of igaming revenue in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and West Virginia, the four states where online gambling is legal in the U.S.


Due to a statewide closure of casinos on December 12 that continued through the end of the month, online-gambling revenues soared in Pennsylvania during December. Igaming set a new record of $71.6 million, easily surpassing the previous record of $59.8 million established the month before; it even eclipsed brick-and-mortar revenues for the truncated month of $59.2 million. It was also an astonishing 730% leap from December 2019, the fourth full month of igaming in Pennsylvania, with table games up even more (777%).

Total revenue from internet slots was $46.2 million for the month, up 15% from November’s $39.4 million. Online table game revenue was $22.6 million, up 20% over November’s $18 million. Online poker was up 12% at $2.7 million, compared to $2.4 million in November.

The Igaming News Revue
by Jake Pollard and Hannah Gannagé-Stewart
Bloomberg News - 6 January 2021
A $16bn budget deficit due to the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have driven New York State governor Andrew Cuomo to look more favourably on legalised online sports betting than he has in the past. Delivering his State of the State address on January 15, Cuomo proposed a regime, likely run through a state lottery, with the intention of maximising state revenue from the venture. As one of the most populous states yet to consider legalisation, New York has the potential to be the largest online sports wagering market in the US. Under Cuomo's proposal, the New York State Gaming Commission will issue a request for proposals to select one or more providers to offer mobile sports wagering in New York. It will also require operators to provide safeguards against abuses and addiction. (HGS)
CDC Gaming Reports - 21 January 2021
The Department of Justice is unlikely to appeal a ruling by the First Circuit Court of Appeals stating that the Wire Act only applied to sports bets across state lines. The Biden administration could also look to modernize the Act, including a section to “immunize sports wagers made between states where sports betting is legal,” gambling law expert Daniel Wallach told CDC Gaming. “I would expect President Biden to be supportive of a modernization of the Wire Act to permit the kind of pooled/shared liquidity that could enable smaller states, such as his home state of Delaware, to enter into multi-state compacts,” Wallach added. (JP)
CDC Gaming Reports - 5 January 2021
Churchill Downs is set to start phasing out its BetAmerica brand and consolidate its products under the TwinSpires banner. TwinSpires has been Churchill Downs' online pari-mutuel wagering business since 2007, but is soon to encompass its online and retail sportsbooks, along with its igaming platforms. Pending regulatory approval, the operator will launch its TwinSpires sportsbook in Michigan before rebranding in Colorado, Indiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. It has pledged a seamless transition for customers from BetAmerica to TwinSpires, although those with TwinSpires Horse Racing accounts will have to register for a separate TwinSpires sportsbook and casino account, and funds will not be transferrable between the two. (HGS)
Legal Sports Report - 20 January 2021
From the excitement of hearing Governor Andrew Cuomo declare that mobile betting would be regulated to the industry’s disappointment of hearing him state his preference for a lottery-run monopoly model, NY legislators could now be favoring a proposal that would see four commercial casinos and three tribal operators partner with two mobile sportsbooks each. This would enable up to 14 sportsbooks in New York even before the future downstate casinos are considered. Each online operator would have to pay a one-time $12m fee, which would bring in $168m in taxes before a single bet has been placed. Such immediate revenues could help sway legislators. (JP)
ABC12 News - 19 January 2021
Online gambling and sports betting launched in Michigan on January 22 after the Michigan Gaming Control Board authorized nine casinos and partner platforms in the state to provide online gaming and sports betting. Platform providers include: DraftKings, FanDuel, William Hill and Golden Nugget. The state charges 8.4% tax on sports betting and between 20% and 28% on online gaming. Detroit’s casinos may face an additional municipal services fee. The state’s share of revenue will go towards the running of Michigan Gaming Control Board, a Compulsive Gambling Prevention Fund, First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund and school funding. Michigan Gaming Control Board is understood to be reviewing additional applications from operators and may authorize others later. (HGS)
CDC Gaming Reports - 19 January 2021
MGM’s refusal to up its $11bn bid for Entain won’t stop the BetMGM joint venture partners from “expanding BetMGM throughout the U.S.” according to MGM Resorts CEO Bill Hornbuckle. “We believe BetMGM has established itself as a top-three leader in its markets and we remain committed to working with Entain to ensure its strong momentum continues as it expects to be operational in 20 states by the end of 2021,” he added. An increased bid wasn’t on the cards, but that doesn’t mean MGM will not renew its approach in the future. The U.S. betting market continues to grow and MGM’s aim of owning the whole of BetMGM, and 100% of the revenues it generates, will not change. (JP)
This report is edited by Brooke Pierce