Weekly News – Weekly Roundup 4/08/2022

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This week in sports betting industry news, we're looking at Kansas, Puerto Rico, Massachusetts, and the big news this week- Ontario!

Ontario Goes Live with Commercial Sports Betting Licenses

Ontario, the most populous province in Canada, now has a fully competitive and open iGaming marketplace, including sports betting. After Canada legalized single-event wagers via C-218 in August 2021, provinces across the country were given the green light for their (often lottery-run) iGaming sites to offer bets on single sporting events.

Previously, Canadians were restricted to parlay betting: bets across more than one line that all have to post as a win for the parlay to pay out. Think of it like an exacta in horse racing: if one leg falls out, you lose the wager. Now, single event moneyline bets are available all across Canada, and Ontario decided to take it one step further by empowering the AGCO (Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario) to license third-party sportsbooks, online casinos, and poker websites.

On Monday, April 4, 2022, the licenses issued by the AGCO went online, and now a number of legitimate providers are offering legal bets to eligible Ontario residents. PROLINE+ is still operational as the AGCO's proprietary betting platform, but it's not the only show in town anymore. The following sportsbooks are now licensed in Ontario:

There are quite a few caveats to the commercial betting law in Ontario, and the big one is that promoting any offers on third-party websites, including this one, is prohibited.

Massachusetts Still Pushing for Legal Bets, But Is There A Timeline?

Massachusetts is now on the losing side of the sports betting industry, as nearly all its border states are offering legal online sports bets in some form. New York, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut all offer online sportsbooks to users in the respective states, and a lot of voices in the MA government (including Gov. Charlie Baker) are asking why bets shouldn't be legalized in the state.

2021 saw some major strides towards a legalized sports betting market in MA, but now that we're almost halfway through 2022 (sorry for the reminder), legislators are wondering what's holding up the process. One of the major proponents of legalized sports betting in the state, House Speaker Ron Mariano, voiced his frustration:

It’s extremely frustrating, the amount of money we’re leaving on the table by just this stubborn reluctance to take the bill up. 

MA House Speaker Ron Mariano to Bloomberg, March 2022

Unfortunately for Mariano, according to Senate President Karen Spilka, there is no timeline for a legal sports betting bill to be advanced, and isn't even on the agenda. With sportsbooks like DraftKings reflecting that nearly 28% of their users in New Hampshire are listing addresses in MA, many senators continue to watch the clock as the hours (and dollars) tick away.

Long story short: there's definite interest for legalizing online betting in the Bay State, but enough senators are not prioritizing the bill proposal over other matters that the bill isn't moving forward with any satisfying momentum. Still, the MA legislative session lasts all year, so there's time.

Kansas Adjourns For Three Weeks with Sports Betting on the Precipice

Senate Bill 84 had some serious speed behind it in the first months of 2022 as Kansas eyed other states pulling in sports betting revenue and wanted a piece of the pie. In addition to the revenue, lawmakers saw that legalizing sports betting could be a way to entice athletic teams to home base in the state, to further combat illegal problem gambling, and to restrict greyhound racing through the bill's text.

However, as happens with many bills, the schedule is getting in the way. The Kansas legislature is on recess for three weeks, after which lawmakers are hopeful that the stalling of discussions will not kill the bill's chances at passing. If the three-week break doesn't shatter the bill's chances at making it to Governor Laura Kelly's desk, it's likely that she'll sign, as she was quoted:

“I do think we ought to have some sort of sports betting here in the state of Kansas (...) I know so many people who go to Iowa every weekend. I’d like for them to stay here and spend their money in the state of Kansas.”

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly to the Kansas City Star

Puerto Rico Gets DraftKings Sportsbook

Puerto Rico, the US' enchanted isle to the southeast, is getting into the sports betting game just like their mainland counterparts. Interestingly, the closest mainland partner for Puerto Rico remains Connecticut's Mashantucket Pequot tribe.

There's already a Foxwoods El San Juan Casino in Carolina, Puerto Rico, and the Mashantucket Pequot have established some serious plans to open a retail DraftKings sportsbook there in the coming weeks. From DraftKings North America President Matt Kalish:

Since establishing our relationship with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and Foxwoods more than a year ago, we’ve seen immense success, which can be attributed to the collaborative efforts between the organizations and shared vision for providing customers with the very best. (...) Puerto Rico is known for its rich and vibrant sports culture and we look forward to being able to provide fans with a safe and legal form of sports betting through our retail and online sportsbooks.

Matt Kalish, President, DraftKings North America

Written by Chris Altman, our US Sports Betting Industry Expert.

The featured image for this post was sourced on Getty Images.