Best US Sportsbooks · Weekly Update

August 16th, 2021 Weekly Report

This week in legal sports betting, there was movement all over the country, like in California sports betting! We also saw some moves in the Connecticut sports betting market this past week. And, New York sports betting released some more details. Keep reading to see the latest news in legal sports betting from the past few days.

If you want to find out more on some major topics not covered in this article you can check out the rest of VegasInsider with our exclusive BetMGM bonus codeCaesars promo code or DraftKings promo code for example!



There is a new California sports betting ballot initiative making its way through the California state government. In this initiative, professional sports teams, race tracks, tribal casinos, as well as cardrooms would be able to offer California sports betting. The initiative is the result of a team effort from multiple cities in the Bay state to get the language down for the ballot proposal for 2022 that has been submitted to the Attorney General’s office.

The point of the ballot initiative is to legalize California retail sports betting and California mobile sports betting. The hope is to have multiple licenses offered too. Unfortunately, the road may not be too easy when it comes to legalizing sports betting in the coastal state. Tribes have a lot of say when it comes to legal gambling in California, as it is a billion dollar industry. So, the gaming tribes hope to have control of California sports betting and its rollout, and that has created a roadblock for other measures in the past.

There is already a tribal proposal that has found its way onto the ballot for 2022. This proposal includes five years of retail-only sports betting at horse racing tracks as well as tribal casinos. This year’s and last year’s California Sports Wagering Consumer Protection Act, which bear the same name, requires 997,139 valid signatures by the due date of April 2022 in order to get on the November 2022 ballot.

There will be a public comment period for the proposal until September 13th of this year. The proposal would have California sports betting licenses tethered to land-based operations. However, this is in opposition to how the majority of sports betting operators in the US like to operate — they prefer untethered operations.

The proposal would also grant licenses to the 19 professional sports teams in the state of California. These teams are:

  • 5 Major League Baseball teams (MLB): Angels, Athletics, Dodgers, Giants and Padres.
  • 4 National Basketball Association teams (NBA): Clippers, Kings, Lakers, and Warriors
  • 3 National Hockey League teams (NHL): Ducks, Kings, and Sharks
  • 3 National Football League teams (NFL): 49ers, Chargers, and Rams
  • 3 Major League Soccer teams (MLS): Earthquakes, Galaxy, and LA FC
  • 1 Women’s National Basketball Association team (WNBA): Sparks

Each team would need to pay a $5 million fee for their initial license. They would also need to pay a $1 million fee every other year in order to renew the license. The tax rate for sports betting revenue would be 25% with an additional 1%, up to a total of $10 million, that would be due each year toward programs for problem gambling.

The California Sports Wagering and Consumer Protection Act would also legalize sports betting on amateur and collegiate sports in addition to professional sports. Betting on potential player injuries would be prohibited. And, betting on high school sports would also be prohibited.


Some of the biggest names in legal sports betting in the states were bidding for the last license for Connecticut sports betting. The third license was granted to Rush Street Interactive for a ten year sports betting contract given by the Connecticut Lottery. The four bidders that lost out on the contract are:

The other two sportsbooks that were granted licenses from the Connecticut Lottery are the DraftKings Sportsbook as well as the FanDuel Sportsbook. Rush Street was granted the license due to its retail experience and its financial offer. Rush Street offered the largest revenue share, which was the majority of its net gaming revenue. It offered $170 million guaranteed over the contract, which is almost double the $95 million minimum guarantee.

However, the brand Rush Street would launch Connecticut sports betting under has not yet been decided. This is because Rush Street cannot launch under its Rush Street River’s brand, aka BetRivers, because it is too similar to its brand of land-based casinos. This is stipulated in the new gaming agreement in the state.

Rush Street could use its SugarHouse brand to launch its own Connecticut sports betting. Both FanDuel and DraftKings achieved their licenses through partnerships with Connecticut gaming tribes. The hope for Connecticut sports betting is to launch early on in the NFL season for NFL betting.


On Friday, the New York State Gaming Commission released redacted NY mobile sports betting bids. Even though there were hundreds of pages that were blacked-out, there is still some new information to be gathered. The Empire state released this information despite a shake up last week where scandal-ridden NY Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned amongst a flurry of sexual harassment allegations.

There is a four-company consortium consisting of DraftKings Sportsbook. FanDuel Sportsbook, BetMGM, as well as Bally Bet. They do not want any other operators in the New York sports betting market if the consortium wins. However, the other big consortium that includes both Kambi as well as Caesars would welcome market competition.

The target launch date for online New York sportsbooks right now is January 2022. This would be if the winners were chosen around the December 6th due date. But, the New York State Gaming Commission has the ability to rule on the six bids earlier than that date. In that event, New York sports betting could launch during the regular NFL season in time for NFL betting.

The four-company consortium believes more than four sportsbooks that would be taxed at a 50% rate would not be sustainable, due to a study by Frontier Economics. Operators would most likely need to slash their promotional as well as marketing budgets if they had more than four sportsbooks taxed at that rate. Other operators agree that it would be hard to make money at that tax rate.

DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, Bally Bet, and BetMGM would be operating their own technology in the state of New York. So, they would have to pay a $25 million platform provider fee each. The four-company consortium is partnered with the Seneca gaming tribe. This would net them five additional points toward their New York State Gaming Commission overall score.

But, they are not the only company consortium that has tribal gaming partnerships. More information should be released as we get closer to a New York sports betting launch!

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

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