Weekly News – Weekly Roundup 4/22/2022

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Let's round up this week's sports betting industry news!

Maple Leafs Partner with FanDuel, PointsBet

In Ontario, the commercial sports betting licenses just recently made available are now in full effect, and a number of athletic teams across the province are partnering with legal sportsbooks to promote legal betting (and get a few bucks on the back end of the deal). FanDuel and PointsBet are two such operators that are now partnered with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE).

FanDuel will provide rink-board and on-court signage for Maple Leafs and Raptors games, and in return be able to benefit from marketing collaborations and other deals that will put them at the front of the legal sports betting market in Ontario.

PointsBet, too, is getting in on the Toronto action in a similar partnership with MLSE. Senior Vice President of Global Partnerships with MLSE, Jordan Vader, had this to say:

We happily welcome PointsBet as a partner of the Maple Leafs, Raptors, TFC and Argos as they enter the Ontario market with a well-stablished reputation in the sports betting industry. We look forward to utilizing our partnership to provide 19+ fans of our teams with new and different ways of interacting and engaging with the sports they love with a trusted operator in PointsBet that prioritizes responsible gaming.

Jordan Vader, SVP of Global Partnerships, MLSE

Tribal Amendment Increases Chances of Maine Sports Betting Bill

Governor Janet Mills of Maine was famously opposed to sports betting. but now, it's looking like we're getting closer to a signed bill on the governor's desk.

The main (no pun intended) issue with legalizing sports betting in ... well, Maine, was that the tribal entities present in the state were not being given their proper piece of the pie. State Senator Joseph Baldacci had made amendments to LD 585, but Maine-area tribes (collectively known as the Wabanaki, and includes the Micmac, Maliseet, Penobscot and Passamaquoddy tribes) and the governor agreed that the amendments were not sufficient. Chief of the Penobscot Nation Kirk Francis had this to say:

This tribal bill is about trying to overcome decades of issues around access to gaming by tribes. This was a negotiated bill with the Governor’s office and we tried to be as inclusive as possible. This amendment will basically render the bill meaningless for the tribes. This is a tribal bill that is attempted to be hijacked by the casinos.

Kirk Francis, Penobscot Nation Chief

Pushback from the governor's office and the Penobscot Nation, among other voices, convinced lawmakers to lean towards the bill promising tribal exclusivity, and that's just the bill that passed both House and Senate. Now it's on to Governor Janet Mills' desk, whom is expected to sign.

Indiana Posts High Numbers for March Madness Betting Volume

Indiana has had legal sports betting since 2019 when Governor Eric Holcomb signed that year's push for legal betting into law. Numbers steadily increased since the outset of the program, but hadn't seen record highs until January 2022 when the handle surpassed $500 million. March 2022 saw numbers that nearly rivaled the January totals, with the handle reaching $476.8 million.

Of course, Indiana is massive basketball territory, and it's expected that March Madness contributed to the near record-breaking handle for March. In fact, basketball betting accounted for $274 million of that $476.8 million handle total.

It's unlikely that Indiana will ever be able to touch the handle covered by massive states (by population) like New York and NJ, but the state's lawmakers are certainly happy with the revenue take from legalized online sports betting, often tucking in a few million dollars per month for Indiana's coffers.

Written by Chris Altman, our US sports betting industry expert.

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