Weekly News – Weekly Roundup 6/10/2022

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It's June 10th, 2022 whether you like it or not. Archetypal gravelly Blues musician Howlin' Wolf was born on this day in 1910, and we've got a spoonful of that precious sports betting industry news, if that's good enough for you.

The Red Sox's Mascot Was Inspired By A Wall, Which Is Fitting...

Wally the Green Monster went to the same school as Gritty, but Wally's parents stayed together. Getty Images

...because legal online sports betting in Massachusetts might just hit one. Also, we're going to talk about weed, if that's what you're into.

There is considerable overlap between regulating sports betting and regulating the sale of legal cannabis: they're both historically "vices", they're both still not explicitly regulated by federal law and thus up to each state to legislate, and they're both ways that state governments turn black markets into legal, taxable markets.

MA House Speaker Ron Mariano, essentially the quarterback of the MA House, is not convinced that the Senate is seeing the point of legalizing betting in the Bay State, and he seems ready to die on the hill of college betting. He argues that college betting is so big in MA that the Senate's insistence on banning bets on collegiate games that it renders any legalization of betting pointless:

There’s no bookie I know that’ll check you into a rehab to help you beat your gaming addiction. There’s no bookie in the world that’s going to give you an extension on what you owe because you have a gaming problem.

MA House Speaker Ron Mariano (D)

What's the Speaker getting at? Well, essentially, he is convinced that illegal bookies will continue to take bets on collegiate sports, and it doesn't seem like he's wrong. At any rate, the contention within legislating online sportsbooks in Massachusetts might stall the bill entirely.

An interesting thing about Massachusetts: in a rarity, the state's Governor Charlie Baker is a Republican, but both the House and Senate of MA are majority Democrat. Baker, a moderate, has been supportive of a legal sports betting plan for the better part of 2 years, and remains frustrated that lawmakers haven't been able to settle on the conditions of a bill. Recently, it was announced that a committee will be formed to reach a compromise:

Time is money, folks, and with MA bordered on all sides by states with legal online betting (excepting Vermont, but there's a plan for that), revenue is leaving the state with every bettor with a quarter tank of gas, just enough for the Pike to take them into New York. (That's the MA Turnpike. It's a toll highway.)

Caesars Goes Live with Horse Racing Bets in Ohio, FL, Indiana

This has been one of the weirdest horse racing years in recent memory, and while we're not gonna see a Triple Crown winner this year, betting on the ponies remains an American pastime.

If you're living in a state with legal betting, there's a good chance you've seen ads for Caesars Sportsbook, featuring the celebrated Halle Berry, JB Smooth, and sometimes Patton Oswalt (whom actually predicted a plotline in The Book of Boba Fett, or had it outright ripped off, from a one-off joke on Parks and Recreation. But that's beside the point).

Even if your state doesn't have legal sports betting (or if it was pulled out from under you at the last second, Florida), you still probably have the ability to bet on thoroughbreds, and Ohio, Florida, and Indiana-based bettors now have that chance with Caesars Racebook.

Those with a keen eye will note that Indiana already has legal sports betting and Ohio will launch in January 2023 (more on that later). Users in those states will be able to bet on the NBA Finals during the week and the Belmont Stakes this weekend, and that's pretty cool. If you're in Florida, though, you can place a bet on the ponies this Saturday using the Caesars Racebook, which also includes the illustrious Caesars Rewards Program. According to Dan Shapiro, Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer of Caesars Digital:

Caesars Racebook is truly differentiated as the first horse racing advance deposit wagering app to include our award-winning Caesars Rewards loyalty program.

Dan Shapiro, Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer of Caesars Digital

See? Told you.

Cleveland Rocks! Do You Guys Remember That Show? Anyway, Ohio Sports Betting Will Go Live in Jan 2023

Mimi Bobeck, Diedrich Bader: we all know and love these household names, but did you know their celebrated, Oscar-studded careers were started on the Drew Carey Show, which is based in Ohio? (Yeah, this sarcastic reference was a bit of a stretch, take it easy.)

Anyway, Ohio has dragged its feet with its established sports betting law that was signed back in 2021. Betting has been law for over six months, and regulators had every opportunity to move the needle with offering sportsbook licenses. However, the law built in a final date for sports betting to go live: January 1st, 2023.

Instead of pushing for a release by, say, the start of the 2022 NFL season, it seems Ohio betting regulators are fine with just waiting for the January deadline set in place by the law. Cleveland may "rock" according to the Presidents of the United States of America, but they could have been making money on the 46 available licenses by now!

Also, did you know Drew Carey was a US Marine? Wild stuff.

theScore Bet Bails on US Market, Will Focus on Canada

Fine, theScore. We can be the better person here, and we hope you're happy eating poutine and enjoying the world's largest bay and longest coastline in that beautiful country or whatever. We're talking about Canada, and while we can swallow the jealousy for the moment, we'll be sad to see theScore bow out of the American market to focus solely on their operations in the Great White North.

It's a cost/benefit analysis, as with most things: in terms of US market share, theScore Bet pulls in less than 1%. Let's do some math! Don't leave, it will be quick. If the US sports betting market was valued at $11.5 billion in 2021, 1% of that is about $115 million. Simple, right? Well, DraftKings had an operating expenditure of $2.85 billion last year. $115 million is a tin can full of pennies compared to that; time for theScore to redistribute their efforts.

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