September 17, 2021
Connecticut Sets a Launch Date for Sports Betting
Connecticut’s sports betting package is a bit of a hybrid: while it isn’t a lottery-run monopoly like Rhode Island or Oregon, it does only provide for three sports betting licenses. These include a license for the CT Lottery, a license for the Mashantucket-Pequot tribe, and a license for the Mohegan tribe.
Each of the previously mentioned entities have chosen their partner, the latter of which will provide the platforms for the license holders above. Those three are PlaySugarHouse, DraftKings, and FanDuel respectively.
Governor Ned Lamont announced last week that CT had received tacit approval from the US Department of the Interior to amend their tribal compacts and offer legal online sports betting, which was the last hurdle to said legalization in the state.
Licenses are already established, and Connecticut says that it’s ready for a launch date of October 7th for in-person and online sports betting with one of the above providers. CT will be the first state in the New England region to offer online betting with some competition: New Hampshire has sports betting, but only through DraftKings, who is not incentivized to offer competitive promotions there.
DC Auditor Wants Competition
A legislative auditor essentially evaluates legislation, programs, and governmental spending to make sure, simply, that the people’s money is not being wasted. The District of Columbia Auditor’s Office recently released a report about Washington DC’s relatively stringent sports betting package, and it may be good news for bettors in the area.
Essentially, the report confirmed what a lot of industry professionals and experienced bettors already knew: competition is good, and a market that allows for numerous operators to provide users with their full offering of services leads to more revenue for the state (or district, in this case).
GamBetDC, the district’s only licensed and fully-online provider, isn’t pulling in the revenue that the state had hoped. With the exception of GamBetDC, users have to physically be present at a few select sporting venues (Nationals Park and Capitol One Arena) in order to use a licensed sportsbook app (BetMGM and Caesars, respectively).
Because of these limitations, and the fact that GamBetDC does not have to compete with other sportsbooks to provide district-wide online sports betting without having to physically be at an arena or stadium, the Auditor’s Office suggests that DC grants licenses to more private sportsbook providers like DraftKings, FanDuel, or many others.
We’re watching this situation closely: if the nation’s capital itself legalizes online sports wagering, it will be an easy case for legislators in states without online wagering to argue for online bets there.
South Dakota Launches Sports Betting
It’s been a long time coming, but the city of Deadwood, South Dakota officially offers sports betting in-person at local casinos. November 3rd, 2020 saw a South Dakota vote for legalized sports betting get the citizens’ approval, and now, bets are live in the state.
So far, only one town within the state has legal and regulated casinos, and thus, has legal sports betting: Deadwood. Three sports betting providers have been licensed as of September 2021 at five local casinos in the area: the betting will take place in-person at licensed sportsbooks.
Only two providers have secured license approval in the state so far: BetMGM and Internet Sports International, the latter of which is a provider of proprietary betting solutions and has not gone nationwide with its own brand. However, BetMGM is a powerhouse of online and in-person gambling, so users in SD can expect a well-oiled machine offering retail bets at two local casinos.
Users will also be able to use the BetMGM app while on-site at select South Dakota casinos. Testing the use of a mobile app on-site may very well be the first attempts at convincing legislators of the value of an online sports betting package, so fingers crossed, SD may also legalize online betting statewide in the future.
Pennsylvania Senator Wants Retail Sports Betting Kiosks
Pennsylvania was one of the first states out of the gate to offer legal sports betting after the overturning of PASPA in 2018. For those not in the know, PASPA was the federal law banning states from establishing new sports betting legislation since 1992, and was only reversed in the late 2010’s.
Once states were able to legislate sports betting on their own, Pennsylvania jumped at the chance to capture gambling revenues that normally would have crossed state lines over to New Jersey's Atlantic City. Since May 2019, Pennsylvania has offered legal online betting both online and in-person at select casinos.
Now, after a few years of a massively successful online betting market, some legislators are thinking of expanding the scope of legal betting in the Keystone State.
Spearheading this effort is state Senator Wayne Fontana, suggesting that sports betting kiosks be made available at select bars and taverns in the state. Says Fontana:
"I believe this proposal will help bolster both state revenue and the incomes of these small businesses."
Any establishment with a valid Pennsylvania liquor license would be able to partner with an in-state casino to offer a sports betting kiosk on-site, keeping 25% of the revenue while casinos cover a $10,000 licensing fee.
Whether or not bars, taverns, and in-state casinos will be eager to pay the fees associated with this potential revenue source remains to be seen, but it’s an important note in the expansion of retail and online sports betting opportunities. We’ll see in the coming months whether or not Fontana’s proposal gains the necessary momentum.
Written by Chris Altman, our US Sports Betting Industry expert. You can learn more about our author's expertise here.