Best US Sportsbooks · Weekly Update

August 9th, 2021 Weekly Report

This week in legal sports betting news, we saw South Dakota making moves again. Plus, North Carolina sports betting made headlines. And, we saw William Hill end its run with a bang when it comes to Iowa sports betting. Keep reading to see the most interesting happenings in legal sports betting from this past week.

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We should be seeing the launch of South Dakota sports betting next month in early September. This past week, the South Dakota Legislative Interim Rules Review Committee approved the rules for South Dakota sports betting in a unanimous move. These rules will be regulating sports betting in the city of Deadwood. Deadwood is a casino resort town located in the western part of the state.

Next, in a September 8th meeting, it is expected that the South Dakota Commission on Gaming will approve sports betting providers. This means that we could see South Dakota sports betting launching by NFL kickoff time, which is September 9th. South Dakota sports betting would take place at Deadwood’s casinos.

It is expected that ten properties in the city of Deadwood will be ready for the September launch. The casinos are aiming to launch sports betting areas that are “Las Vegas-style.” However, it is unsure whether mobile betting on Deadwood casino premises will be available that soon. Though, South Dakota legislation does allow for their casino premises to have mobile betting.

Back in November 2020, voters in South Dakota put their support behind South Dakota sports betting in Deadwood at the ballot box. Soon after, in March 2021, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem signed the legislation into law. Then, on July 1st, the law took effect. On the same day, the state of South Dakota began accepting sports betting license applications.

Last month, The South Dakota Commission on Gaming approved the set of Deadwood sports wagering rules. And, in addition, this past week, the Wyoming Gaming Commission also adopted a set of rules for Wyoming sports betting. The hope for this mobile-only sports betting launch in Wyoming is for it to happen on September 1st.

Also, Arizona sports betting is hoping to launch on September 9th, just like South Dakota sports betting. Plus, Maryland sports betting and Louisiana sports betting, both with legislation that passed this year, are hoping to launch this fall as well.


There is a bill that would legalize mobile North Carolina sports betting that is gaining traction once again. Back in April, Senate Bill 688, was first introduced in the state Senate. This bill would legalize North Carolina mobile sports betting. But, it was pushed to the backburner in the state Senate deliberations.

However, the bill was advanced a few days ago by the Senate Finance Committee to the Judiciary Committee. As of this writing, there is no looming deadline that needs to be met in order to pass the legislation. So, it could push into the next year. Though, because of the traction, it could also see its next committee very quickly, as soon as this week.

There is no guarantee that the bill will pass, but it does have prominent supporters in the state Senate. North Carolina sports betting is already legal at two of the state’s tribal-owned casinos. So, the state could stand to capitalize on sports betting even more with an expansion like this.

It is very likely that the North Carolina sports betting bill will see some alterations before it passes. The bill as it stands would allow for at least ten North Carolina online sports betting licenses, but would cap the number at twelve. And, sports betting revenue would be taxed in the state at a rate of 8%.

When it comes to licensing fees, it would be $500,000 for a five-year license. The fee to renew the license would be $100,000. In addition, sports facilities that have a capacity of over 17,000 people would be able to establish sports betting areas through computer terminals and mobile devices. The venues that meet this standard would be the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, and the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes.

The hope for mobile North Carolina sports betting is to be able to bring extra revenue into the state. This revenue could help to build up rural schools that are struggling with their budgets. Back in 2019, a bill that allowed the Eastern Band of Cherokee Native Americans the ability to offer retail sports betting passed. But, their first sportsbook did not launch until this year in March 2021.

Now, the tribe has two Harrah’s-branded casinos in operation and has also partnered with William Hill to open their sportsbooks. However, William Hill was bought by Caesars back in April of this year. And, the majority of William Hill sportsbooks saw a rebranding this week to Caesars. This included at the North Carolina casinos.


July was the last month before William Hill saw its rebranding to Caesars Sportsbook. As was previously written, back in April, Caesars acquired William Hill and is now rebranding their sportsbooks to its flagship Caesars brand. But, William Hill saw quite the farewell as it claimed the top revenue spot when it came to Iowa sports betting last month in July.

Over these past few days, Caesars has rebranded many William Hill sportsbooks to Caesars sportsbooks, and this includes in Iowa. Last week, the Iowa Gaming and Racing Commission released the numbers from July for Iowa sports betting revenue. The Iowa online sports betting market was led by William Hill with a $28.7 million online handle.

Last month in July, Iowa sports betting total handle was $88.9 million, including $77.9 million from Iowa online sports betting. But, this does mark a decrease from Iowa’s handle from June, at a rate of 20%. In June, the handle reached $111.2 million. July actually marked the first month since November 2020 where Iowa sports betting reached a handle of less than $100 million.

At the same time, revenue in the state fared a little better. It dropped from $8.4 million to $7.1 million. $11 million worth of bets were placed at retail sportsbooks. It is expected that the handle will rise in the coming months as new sports seasons launch. So, July will most likely be a low when it comes to Iowa sports betting revenue and handles and US sports betting in general.

July saw William Hill take in almost 37% of the sports betting market’s online bets. The next two sportsbooks handle-wise were the DraftKings Sportsbook and the FanDuel Sportsbook respectively.

Written by Allie Nelson, our US Sports Betting Industry Expert.

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