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Sports Betting Beat - May 21, 2021

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
May/21/2021

This is your sports betting industry news for Friday May 21, 2021.

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Connecticut

In the largest expansion of gambling in Connecticut history, the state House of Representatives voted Thursday night for a comprehensive package that would allows sports betting and online gambling for the first time in the state.  Like in Florida, the measure still requires approval by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs at the U.S. Department of Interior.  Twelve Republicans joined with nine Democrats in voting against the bipartisan bill.  122 lawmakers approved.

The in-state college betting ban comes with a twist.  Betting on in-state college sports would be banned, except if a person bet on the entire NCAA basketball tournament, for example. Bets on individual games played by the University of Connecticut football or basketball teams would not be permitted, lawmakers said.

“[The bill] would knock out all the operators that are currently operating in the state and then they’d have to reapply,” said Peter Schoenke, current board member and former chairman of the Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association. “And the application process is kind of ambiguous so you might not be able to have fantasy sports in the state until later in the fall, after peak NFL season, or even well into 2022.

“The second problem is there might be as few as three or four licensees in the state for fantasy sports. And obviously, that just doesn’t really work. There’s a lot more companies than that.”

Draftkings

The sports betting bill in Connecticut explicitly outlines a licensing process for fantasy sports.  Ironically enough, once the Connecticut bill becomes law, DraftKings and FanDuel would be forced to cease operations in Connecticut until the Department of Consumer Protection develops regulations and the companies get licensed.

Florida

With Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Legislature this week approving a new deal with the Seminole Tribe that would give the Tribe exclusive rights to sports betting, including the ability to make bets from your phone anywhere within the state, questions still remain.  Amendment 3, passed by voters in 2018, said that any expansion of gambling must be approved by voters — unless those new games are on Tribe properties.  Mobile sports betting WILL happen but it is more likely to occur on the reservations and probably not beyond.  The Seminoles are hoping that having the servers on the reservation will help to make statewide mobile wagering a reality, though even they seem less confident.

The backers of Amendment 3 say they’ll sue, and everyone expects a judge, or judges, to ultimately decide.  Statewide sports betting is more likely to head to a ballot the following year should it even get to this point.

Ohio

Ohio professional sports teams are pushing for changes to a bill that would legalize sports betting in the state by ensuring they have more of a home field advantage.  As an example, Type A licenses in the bill should be amended to give the major-league teams control of one mobile license each.

Ted Tywang, general counsel for Cleveland Browns-owned Haslam Sports Group, said the current structure of S.B. 176 does not allow for “fair market access” for the state’s sports teams.

“These provisions would flat-out prevent our participation based on our business structure and league rules and also create an unhealthy monopoly,” Tywang told the committee, adding later that "we feel strongly that there must be limits on the number of sports-betting platforms so as to avoid market saturation, consumer confusion, and an overburdened regulatory structure."

PointsBet

The licensing deal with WNBA is the first pro women's sports agreement for PointsBet. The deal gives WNBA consumers a new way to watch games infused with PointsBet betting odds.Sports betting firm PointsBet agreed to a partnership with the Women's National Basketball Association.

Sports Radar

The New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens both announced partnerships Thursday with Sportradar, a leading global provider of sports betting and sports entertainment products and services.  Sports Radar had previously lost out to Sport Genius in a bidding war to remain the official data feed of the NFL.

- Chris Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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