Sports betting hits home for five US states

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Four months on from the repeal of PASPA, and five American states are already taking bets. iGaming Times takes a look at how their respective regimes have capitalised on the summer’s sport.

NEW JERSEY: A $100m month

By the end of the September, eight NJ casinos and racetracks have retail sports betting open for business – and with an average of one new mobile sportsbook launching every week since 1 August, wagers have been rolling into the Garden State at a rate of knots.

Total sports bets reached $95.6m in August alone – more than double the
amount taken in July; around of quarter of which ($21.7m) were placed online or via mobile apps.

DraftKings’ skin, under a Resorts licence, was the first online product to launch in NJ, which enjoyed an online monopoly for three weeks until PlayMGM and Sugarhouse went live on 22 August. FanDuel-Meadowlands and William Hill-Monmouth Park came a week after, soon followed by Caesars, 888 and BetStars in September. The grand total stands at eight online sportsbooks and eight retail.

According to David Reuben, NJ’s chief regulator, sports betting has driven gaming growth rates of an order “that haven’t been achieved in years.” Total yield hit $304m in August – up 24 percent on the year before.

MISSISSIPPI: Southern draw

The Hospitality State also published its first ever figures for sports betting in September, with casinos taking $6.3m in bets through August. At even a relatively low return-to-player of 90 percent, casinos kept $644,000.

With the state’s betting regultions offering no online channels, sports betting revenues were never expected to be more than amenity. But as Mississippi is the only southern state to accept legal wagers in the whole of the south, sports betting did appear to help draw more footfall from the region, and cross sell towards more high stakes games. Total gaming Sports betting, us states, paspa, us, iGaming Times yield rose to $181m in August – up eight percent on the same month last year.

WEST VIRGINIA: Still in the woods

West Virginia launched its market right in time for the college football
season on the last day of August – taking $340,000 in bets on the first Saturday.

Hollywood Casino, and FanDuel (via a Greenbrier Casino skin) have both been operating happily since the launch, and Will Hill is soon to join them – but a new hearing on the final shape of betting regulation could put the delicate maths at risk.

State lawmakers are still reportedly being dogged by the sports leagues’ powerbrokers – some of whom are said to have significant influence in the state – and are arguing (with some success) for integrity fees and data sharing to be written into law.

DELAWARE: Small packaging

The tiny state of Delaware has perhaps seen some of the most surprising levels of betting traction. It’s population doesn’t even reach seven figures, yet sports betting handle has passed $23m since its launch this summer – and that’s without any online offers.

The Delaware Lottery took $7.7m in wagers during August alone – with its bookmakers retaining 10 percent of that. Two thirds of the state’s bets were taken by Delaware Park ($16.2m).

Iowa Lottery is looking at replicating Delaware’s simplistic retail model – saying that, even without online, the system managed to “provide the convenience” needed to “beat the black market.”

NEVADA: If it ain’t broke

Nevada is the one state which is likely to suffer from state-by-state legislation on sports betting, having held a nationwide monopoly on some form of above-board betting for almost 100 years.

Proposals to update Nevada’s sports betting regulations to better compete in this new multi-state climate were issued in September.

However no suggestion was made to end the restrictive policy of forcing online punters to register their account in person. Oddly, and despite mobile become an ever more vital component, punters will still have to head to a casino before they can bet online.

Sports betting hit another peak in July (albeit one of the slowest months) with a record handle for the period of $244m. But on an incredibly tight win margin of just 1.6 percent, Vegas bookmakers bagged just $4m.


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