Weekly News – 02/16/2021


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February 16th, 2021 Weekly Report

So, the first major sporting event of the year has come and gone, what does that mean for legal sports betting? We saw a lot of activity in the first few weeks of the year as sportsbooks tried to open in as many markets as possible before the Super Bowl. Now, we can dive into the motion that has happened in the legal sports betting world as a result!

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Indiana sports betting came out with a bang in January, managing to set new figures for both handle and revenue. December has already been a record setting revenue month for the Hoosier state, but January’s share has managed to top it right out of the gate. In fact, January’s record marks the fifth month in a row that Indiana sports betting has set a new handle record.

Most of the sports betting in the state was online in January, with online sports betting making up 85% of the share. Daily fantasy sports sites turned online sportsbook champions DraftKings and FanDuel saw the majority of the Indiana online sports betting action. However, retail sportsbooks have seen a rise in bettors since last January.

It should come as no surprise that the most bet on sport in the state was basketball. 38% of the wagering for Indiana sports betting was on basketball games. In addition, a strong showing from the Indianapolis Colts definitely helped boost Indiana football bets last month as well.

The state of Indiana managed to have a record breaking month despite competition from neighbor Michigan, who just launched its own sports betting. Indiana has proven itself to be a firm competitor in the legal sports betting market in the United States.


Unfortunately, the path to legal Hawaii sports betting has not been an easy one. And, it would appear that HI sports betting will not be a reality in the state any time soon. This past week, a House Economic Development Committee meeting took place where a few gambling bills were on the docket. And, unfortunately, these bills were met with more opposition than support in the committee.

The bill HB 736 ended up being deferred by the committee. However, the committee chair, Representative Sean Quinlan, has voiced his support for the bill that would implement a pilot program for Hawaii sports betting. Representative Quinlin would like to see the state take in revenue from sports betting as many other states have been able to do.

If the bill were to be approved, the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism would be able to create the pilot program that would monitor and implement Hawaii sports betting. The bill deals with mobile sports betting. The pilot program would give the state of Hawaii the ability to issue licenses to operators for mobile betting on the Hawaiian islands. The pilot program would end in the year 2025.

Tricia Nakamatsu, the Deputy Prosecutor from the Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney's office has voiced opposition to the bill. The Deputy Prosecutor is worried about studies that have seen a correlation between legalized gambling and higher rates of crime. As of right now, Hawaii has legalized social gambling, which allows for activities like betting in office pools.

In the bill’s favor is the fact that Hawaii already sees large amounts of illegal gambling. The argument for legalized gambling points to the revenue that could be coming into the state if residents are going to be gambling anyway.

Two other Hawaii legal gambling bills were also deferred last week. One, HB 772, would have granted a ten year license for a members-only casino in Waikiki. The other, HB 383, would have created a Hawaiian poker commission for the state. The week before last, HB 359 was also deferred indefinitely.

HB 359 would have given a resort-casino that would have benefitted the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. In addition, SB 595 would create a sports betting task force. As of this writing, it is making its way through multiple Senate committees.


The governor of Connecticut, Ned Lamont, has recently filed the legislation that paves the way for Connecticut sports betting in 2021. This past Wednesday, Connecticut Governor Lamont set tongues wagging with his inclusion of sports betting revenues into his budget. In addition, in order to enact this inclusion, Governor Lamont filed a bill that would expand the gaming compacts with state tribes to include both online casinos as well as sports betting.

Governor Lamont feels that it is important for the state of Connecticut to keep up with its neighbors when it comes to legal gambling. He feels that the revenue that could come into the state through expanded legal gambling could be extremely beneficial. Lamont is especially interested in bringing legal online gambling to the state of Connecticut.

The move by Governor Lamont last week appears to be a step toward compromise or even concession to the tribes in Connecticut. Connecticut tribes have held fast that they do not want to lose control over the gambling market in the state. Connecticut tribes have sole gaming rights in the state in exchange for 25% of slot revenue. The tribes are hoping to successfully make the claim that these existing rights should also be extended to sports betting.

Governor Lamont had voiced his support for Connecticut sports betting and expanded legal gambling last year. But, the compromise with the tribes in the state is an even bigger sign that CT sports betting could be on the way in the very near future.

So, where does legal sports betting in the state of Connecticut stand? As of right now, the legislators in the state will still have to approve legislation that would officially both legalize as well as regulate Connecticut sports betting. Bill SB 146 already has movement on that front, with seventeen sponsors from both chambers already.

Sports betting king DraftKings already has a deal in the works to operate sports betting for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, who happen to be the owners of the Foxwoods Resort Casino in the state. At the same time, operator Kambi has a deal in the works with Connecticut legal gambling staple Mohegan Sun.


As you can see, some major markets are making moves in the sports betting world. We may be seeing Connecticut sports betting in the next few months. However, Hawaii sports betting definitely needs to drum up more support. The success of legalized sports betting in states like Indiana are sure to inspire more supporters for legalization in other states. We will just have to wait and see who will be the next state to legalize sports betting and other forms of legal gambling.

Written by Allie Nelson, our US Sports Betting Industry Expert. You can learn more about our author's expertise.