This week, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and The Stars Group (BetStars) announced a new multiyear gaming partnership. The Stars Group is now an authorized sports betting operator of the NBA in the US.
This partnership is the first for the Stars Group with a professional sports league in the US. As of this announcement, BetStars is only operating in New Jersey.
Inside the deal
The deal between the NBA and The Stars Group is similar the partnership the NBA and MGM Resorts International agreed on earlier this year. Here’s the part of the deal that should effect NBA bettors.
- The Stars Group has the right to use official NBA betting data and league marks across their digital sports betting offerings.
Additionally, both entities will help market each other.
The Stars Group will be promoted across the NBA’s digital assets including NBA TV, NBA.com, the NBA App and NBA social media platforms. In return, the NBA will be promoted across The Stars Group’s gaming platforms.
This deal will include BetStars in the US, and PokerStars, which operates the world’s most popular online poker sites outside of the US.
The bottom line with this deal is that the NBA is paid for their name and data while The Stars Group and BetStars get promotion from the league and official data.
Data Deals: BetStars vs. MGM Resorts
In theory, this partnership puts BetStars on the same level as MGM Resorts International. The online and mobile sportsbook operator now has a similar deal with the NBA that the major worldwide casino operator has.
The marketing is good for the NBA and The Stars Group, but it’s really not something that’s useful for sports bettors at this time. The league could implement some kind of wagering opportunities in their games but it doesn’t seem as though that’s a priority.
Data deals with professional leagues in the US have great potential for sportsbook operators. The speed and uniqueness of the information should allow sportsbook operators to improve their betting product. Unfortunately, MGM Resorts International hasn’t used the data to offer new gambling experiences just yet.
While the mammoth casino operator has been slow to act with their league data, BetStars should be nimble enough to shake up NBA betting in New Jersey. Smaller and focused companies can often move quickly.
A casino operator has the challenge of selling various channels at multiple properties. For example, MGM Resorts, as a company, is selling a casino, entertainment, dining, nightclubs, spas, etc.
To date, MGM Resorts is signing deals and not improving their sports betting product for customers. That should come in time.
Meanwhile, The Stars Group only offers gambling products. This limited scope should allow BetStars to find ways to use the NBA data sooner than later.
BetStars is already offering more pre-game NBA wagering options than some other sportsbook operators in the US. On Tuesday night, BetStars had as many as 75 ways to wager on the Portland Trail Blazers vs. Houston Rockets. For comparison, MGM Resorts had 11 pre-game options for the game.
Official data from the NBA should allow both BetStars and MGM Resorts to offer unique In-Play wagering opportunities that other sportsbooks don’t or won’t offer. Sports bettors are eagerly awaiting new ways to gamble on their favorite games.
On Wednesday, the NBA announced a first for a professional sports league in America. The league is now the first professional sports league in America to sign betting data partnerships related to the US market. The first two betting NBA data partners are Sportradar and Genius Sports.
This deal is a nonexclusive, so in theory, there could be more NBA betting data distribution partners in the future. This comes just a few months after MGM Resorts and the NBA signed a nonexclusive deal for data (and marketing). Coincidentally, or not, Sportradar is already providing data to MGM Resorts.
The first of its kind deal will begin with NBA and WNBA data distribution this year. Partnering with reputable data distribution services to provide official data to licensed sportsbooks could be a major step for legal sportsbook operators to separate from illegal bookies.
Legal sportsbooks moving forward
Data distribution deals by the NBA and other leagues can potentially leave illegal bookies in the Dark Ages. One benefit of sports bettors gambling with illegal bookies is the ability to bet on credit. This won’t go away. But while offering better lines for pre-game wagering is beneficial, there’s a whole lot more to betting on sports today.
Legal sportsbooks receiving data the quickest will allow them to offer in-play betting and some player propositions that won’t be accessible to illegal sportsbooks. In-play wagering has anecdotally been about 20 percent of the sports betting market in Nevada. That number is multiplying in New Jersey.
During a sports betting conference this week, Niall Connell, of FanDuel Sportsbook in New Jersey, said around 40 percent of their handle (amount of money wagered) is coming from in-play wagering. Having access to the best data will continue to grow that revenue stream and help advance legal sports betting around the country.
US sports betting worldwide
Sports betting in the US may never be the same. New international companies are changing the game. Sportsbook operators in New Jersey are already offering different options for US sports bettors thanks to their European influences.
Irish sportsbook operator Paddy Power is the brains behind the FanDuel Sportsbook in New Jersey. Kambi, another European company, is already powering sportsbooks in multiple states outside of Nevada.
US sports betting data distribution will also use experience from European companies. Carsten Koerl, chief executive officer of Sportradar, says that with “sports betting being so new to the United States, we will look to utilize our vast global experience in the space to implement innovative feeds and products to give fans and partners an amazing experience.”
Sports betting is evolving
For better or worse, sports betting in the US is changing. Between data deals with professional sports leagues and sportsbook operators with a different point of view than Nevada casinos, there are a lot of changes happening to sports betting in the US right now.
There are new ways to bet on sports popping up nearly every week. Thanks to new companies, new data deals and new wagering options, there’s no end in sight to the evolution of legal sports betting.
The college basketball season tipped off this week with more than 100 teams in action across the country. Before the season started most bettors were focused on getting down futures wagers for the team that will win the NCAA basketball championship in 2019. Now that there’s game action, the focus on betting is changing.
College basketball fans and bettors are now looking to wager on the many games that will take place until a champion is crowned at March Madness. This will be the first college hoops season where people outside of Nevada can wager on the games.
Since the repeal of PASPA, states have created different regulations for sports betting. Placing wagers on college basketball games this season will be different depending on where you watch and wager on the games.
Different rules for different states
Delaware and Mississippi do not allow sports bettors to wager online from a computer or mobile device. Gamblers must physically be inside of a sportsbook to place a wager in these two states.
New Jersey allows bettors to wager in a sportsbook and on a computer or mobile device. Nevada allows bettors to wager in a sportsbook and on a mobile device. Even though both states allow mobile betting there’s a difference on which games they can wager on.
No college sports betting on home teams in New Jersey
New Jersey residents can wager on college sports as long as the game doesn’t involve a university or venue in the state. Seton Hall, Princeton, and Rutgers fans in New Jersey won’t be able to place wagers on their team unless the leave the state.
Likewise, college basketball fans won’t be able to wager on the Air Force Reserve Boardwalk Classic in Atlantic City on Dec. 15 or the Boardwalk Battle on Dec. 21 and 22. Of course, bettors who need action can drive 90 minutes to Delaware Park Casino.
Missisissipi, Delaware, and Nevada don’t have restrictions on betting on college sports.
Betting on college hoops in Nevada
Nevada college basketball fans and bettors have the best scenario. Anyone with a mobile sports wagering account can wager on all college sports. Bettors can even wager on college sports while watching the games in person.
UNLV and University of Nevada games are just the tip of the iceberg for betting on college basketball in Nevada. Once again Las Vegas will be home to the Pac 12, West Coast Conference, Mountain West, and WAC conference tournaments. Conference tournament week in a casino is great. Being able to watch and wager on some of those games in person is even better.
Derek Stevens recently announced that he’s submitted paperwork with the Nevada Gaming Control Board to start taking sports bets at The D, Golden Gate, and his soon to be built 18 Fremont casinos.
William Hill currently operates The D sportsbook while the Golden Gate offers guests a William Hill kiosk.
TheLines sat down with Stevens to discuss the new sportsbooks. He expects to receive regulatory approval from the Nevada Gaming Control Board in the second quarter (April, May, June) of 2019.
Shortly after receiving approval from the Nevada Gaming Control Board, the Golden Gate casino will open a new sportsbook and begin taking bets on sports. A few days later The D sportsbook will begin taking bets on sports.
Our biggest takeaway from talking to Stevens: The Golden Gate and The D sportsbooks will no longer take bets on daily horse races.
Horses leaving Downtown Las Vegas
The changes mean that when 18 Fremont opens in 2020, 25% (three of 12) of casinos in downtown Las Vegas will not show horse racing daily. Stevens says his casinos will still book action on the bigger races like the Kentucky Derby and the Breeders Cup but they will not offer horse racing in any of his three sportsbooks on a daily basis.
Downtown Las Vegas is sometimes seen as a part of Las Vegas where older tourists migrate when the Vegas Strip skews a little too young. On the surface, casinos that cater to tourists no longer showing horse races continues a trend that we’ve seen on the Vegas Strip.
In the past two years of sportsbook openings, The Cromwell, Park MGM, and The Linq sportsbooks are not showing daily horse racing in their sportsbooks. The horse racing section at the Cosmopolitan still operates but features sports when there are big games.
Why dump the ponies in Downtown Vegas?
Stevens says the decision comes down customer demand. While guests love to watch the big horse races because they’re events, there isn’t enough demand to show and take wagers on every race, every day.
We talked a little bit about the history of horse bettors and sports bettors. There was a time when these gamblers were the same individual bettor. The sports and horse betting customer over the years. The majority of sports bettors no bet on the horses.
Times change and so do casino guests. If customers are only wagering significantly on horse racing four or five days a year, it’s difficult to justify keeping the horse races because that’s the way it has always been.
New Downtown Las Vegas sportsbooks
If all goes as planned, the new sportsbook at the Golden Gate casino should be open sometime in the second quarter of 2019. Stevens says he will refresh the sportsbook at The D with eyes on a new sportsbook down the line.
Construction is just getting beginning on 18 Fremont and its multi-level sportsbook. The plan is to have that casino open with the world’s largest sportsbook screen. We should here updates on progress throughout 2019.
The Mega Millions jackpot on Tuesday, Oct. 23 will be an all-time high of $1.6 billion.
Winning the Mega Millions is a pipe dream and it’s getting even more difficult according to the Washington Post. The newspaper reminds us that last year lottery officials changed the rules and odds to make winning Mega Millions jackpots larger and more difficult to win.
Whatever. It’s always been difficult to win the Mega Millions. So, what’s the big deal? Lottery officials or newspapers don’t have to worry about people trying to win the next big jackpot. There will be plenty of people will be buying lottery tickets with visions of grandeur.
Winning a huge lottery prize can be a blessing and a curse. People will come out of the woodwork looking for money. There will even be people looking to do harm to the winners. One of the safest ways to protect your newfound riches might be to commit to investing the money.
Buy an NFL team
The $1.6 billion Mega Millions prize could go a long way to buying a professional sports franchise. Sorry football fans, the only franchise NFL you’ll be able to afford with your jackpot win is the Buffalo Bills.
They are the least valuable NFL franchise at $1.6 billion on the annual Forbes NFL franchise value list. The Bills Mafia might be fun, but living in the land of lake effect snow might not. Another pro sport might be a better option.
Buy an MLB team
Baseball and basketball fans will have their choice of franchises to purchase with the $1.6 billion Mega Millions prize. There are 17 Major League Baseball franchises valued at $1.6 billion or less according to Forbes.
After a great season as runner-up in the National League, you might have to fork over more than the $1.03 billion the Milwaukee Brewers were valued at earlier this year. Have no fear, the Mega Millions jackpot should give you a little more than the Forbes value.
Here’s a list of the Major League Baseball teams you can buy if you win the $1.6 billion Mega Millions prize
- Texas Rangers – $1.6 Billion
- Chicago White Sox – $1.5 Billion
- Seattle Mariners – $1.45 Billion
- Toronto Blue Jays – $1.35 Billion
- San Diego Padres – $1.27 Billion
- Pittsburgh Pirates – $1.26 Billion
- Detroit Tigers – $1.225 Billion
- Arizona Diamondbacks – $1.21 Billion
- Baltimore Orioles – $1.2 Billion
- Minnesota Twins – $1.15 Billion
- Colorado Rockies – $1.1 Billion
- Cleveland Indians – $1.045 Billion
- Milwaukee Brewers – $1.03 Billion
- Oakland A’s – $1.02 Billion
- Kansas City Royals – $1.015 Billion
- Cincinnati Reds – $1.01 Billion
- Miami Marlins – $1 Billion
- Tampa Bay Rays – $900 Million
Buy an NBA team
The NBA is probably the hottest professional sport in the United States right now. You’ll be able to afford one of 20 teams if you win the $1.6 billion Mega Millions prize. Even as sales prices increase there are still more NBA franchises valued at less than $1.6 billion than any other league according to Forbes.
You might not be able to pry the 76ers away from their owners but the Pelicans and Grizzlies might not be too difficult to acquire with your newfound riches. Here are the 20 NBA franchises that you can afford with your $1.6 billion from Mega Millions.
- San Antonio Spurs – $1.55 Billion
- Toronto Raptors – $1.4 Billion
- Sacramento Kings – $1.375 Billion
- Washington Wizards – $1.35 Billion
- Cleveland Cavaliers – $1.325 Billion
- Portland Trail Blazers – $1.3 Billion
- Phoenix Suns – $1.28 Billion
- Oklahoma City Thunder – $1.25 Billion
- Orlando Magic – $1.25 Billion
- Utah Jazz – $1.2 Billion
- Philadelphia 76ers – $1.18 Billion
- Indiana Paces – $1.175 Billion
- Atlanta Hawks – $1.15 Billion
- Denver Nuggets – $1.125 Billion
- Detroit Pistons – $1.1 Billion
- Milwaukee Bucks – $1.075 Billion
- Minnesota Timberwolves – $1.06 Billion
- Charlotte Hornets – $1.05 Billion
- Memphis Grizzlies – $1.025 Billion
- New Orleans Pelicans – $1 Billion
So, who ya got?!
The repeal of PASPA is changing sports betting forever. Nevada no longer has a monopoly on single-game sports betting. Not only are more states offering sports wagering, but there are new sportsbook operators in the United States.
These new operators in the US have a different way of doing business behind the counter and in front of the counter. For better or worse, new sportsbook operators are offering different kinds of odds for bettors.
There have been hiccups like FanDuel Sportsbook glitch in New Jersey and the high vig at DraftKings sportsbook when it opened. While experienced sports bettors are up in arms, the new sports bettors in New Jersey are lining up to fire away at both sportsbooks.
Sportsbooks on social media
At the same time, the competition in new states is strong. The new sportsbook operators like FanDuel, DraftKings, and SugarHouse are regularly offering odds promotions. In fact, FanDuel offers a Daily Odds boost on certain bets.
🚨Daily Odds Boost🚨
Who doesn't like a Home Run prop?!
How about one that pays off if only one of two players succeed?
Do you think Machado or Yelich leave the yard tonight? If one of them do we're paying out +160!
— FanDuel Sportsbook (@FDSportsbook) October 12, 2018
These regular promotions are a new tactic in the United States. Casino sportsbook operators in the United States rarely offer odds promotions. In Nevada, you’ll have to keep up on personal Twitter accounts of sportsbook workers to see the occasional deals. Sometimes they’ll share the information with the media but that’s not very often.
— DraftKings Sportsbook (@DKSportsbook) October 12, 2018
This DraftKings Sportsbook tweet is just a heads up on what they’re offering bettors. There’s nothing fancy — just a reminder that customers won’t be able to wager on the playoffs for much longer.
The new sportsbook operators aren’t just using Twitter to promote themselves. Bettors will receive odds promotions straight to their mobile device if notifications are turned on. FanDuel sends out special wagering opportunities before a variety of big games.
Between mobile and social media marketing, the new companies are reaching customers where they are at all times. They’re not waiting for bettors to find them. This active approach is helping the companies out of the box.
New Jersey sports betting revenue
September sports betting revenue in New Jersey was big. You can already see a difference between traditional casino sportsbook operators and the operators with a focus on mobile wagering.
Legacy Casino Sportsbook Operators
Bally’s (Caesars Entertainment)
Retail – $394,046
Digital – $106,463
Borgata (MGM Resorts)
Retail – $2,394,106
Digital – $120,938
Harrah’s (Caesars Entertainment)
Retail – $310,766
Digital – NA
New Sportsbook Operators
SugarHouse (Golden Nugget)
Retail – $619,030
Digital – $499,414
Retail – $4,377,474
Digital – $2,852,548
Resorts (DraftKings and BetStars)
Retail – $279,492
Digital – $8,505,940
Ocean Resort (William Hill)
Retail – $999,858
Digital – $292,081
Monmouth Park (William Hill)
Retail – $2,138,097
Digital – $70,785
This isn’t about winners and losers but there’s a noticeable trend that sportsbook operators who actively promote their sportsbook product online and via mobile are seeing plenty of business. As expected, FanDuel and DraftKings combine for the vast majority of mobile wagers in New Jersey. Their mobile apps are great and combine for 87% of digital revenue in the state.
MGM Resorts’ Borgata is the shining star of the traditional casino sportsbook operators. Caesars Entertainment’s properties are lagging behind the competition.
Marketing to a new customer
The new sportsbook operators use twitter the same way their customers do. Sometimes they’re sassy, other times they just share a video clip of the game that’s on, and maybe they’re just sharing silly (sometimes obnoxious) gifs about the games.
Most importantly, the new sportsbooks are in touch with current events in sports. FanDuel Sportsbook will frequently retweet a news article with betting odds at their sportsbook. This isn’t rocket science. They’re just being relevant and marketing to their customers.
Meanwhile, the main social media accounts for casinos have a bit more broadly focused. Casinos have restaurants, traditional gaming, shows, and more to market than just sports betting.
A few casino sportsbooks have their own social media accounts but aren’t very active. You’ll typically find more information about the sportsbook by following the people who work at the properties.
What’s the right strategy for sportsbooks?
We’re still in the beginning stages of expanded sports betting so there’s no right or wrong here. There are just different approaches. However, it does seem that aggressive marketing and promotions by the new sportsbooks in New Jersey is attracting attention and business from the new sports bettors.
If the new sportsbook operators are onto something, the casino sportsbook operators better move quick or they’ll be left in the dust. Legacy brands mean less to younger customers than older customers because they’ve had less time to form a bond.
Fans and customers can be captured quickly online. Once a customer finds a sportsbook brand that they like they may never leave. If casinos want their sportsbook operations to reach their full potential they may have to change social and marketing tactics.
This is a new day for sportsbooks and sports bettors. The legacy companies better act fast or they could lose the market they once had to themselves.
The Global Gaming Expo (G2E) is an annual gathering of gaming manufacturers and casino employees. There are thousands of people from casino companies looking at new games for their properties. At the same time, there are hundreds of companies shilling their products to be placed in those casinos.
Altogether, G2E is casino porn for the average gambler. This year there has been one main theme at the expo and seminars at the expo. Sports betting are the two words being discussed more than anything. There are way more sports betting products than ever before at G2E.
Not only are there more sports betting products on display, but they’re actually in casinos and will be in more casinos. This is a far cry from previous G2E shows where there was just a handful of sports betting exhibitors showing products from Europe that haven’t been regulated in America.
Casino sportsbooks are changing
Sportsbooks evolving in casinos isn’t a new topic. The evolution shown at G2E fits the physical change to the sportsbook experience we’ve been seeing. Sports betting tech is real and it’s fantastic. More importantly, the technological advances from overseas are finally in US casinos.
The sports betting kiosks that punters from overseas have been using for years are now available to American casinos. Bettors can find SB Tech betting kiosks at the Golden Nugget in Mississippi and New Jersey and other casinos in both states.
Younger bettors in the US have been waiting for the day where they can place bets in the sportsbook without dealing with other humans. The lines for a kiosk tend to be shorter since older gamblers still prefer dealing with a person.
Later this year or early next year, IGT will have their PlayShot sports betting kiosks in casinos in both states as well. They work with MGM Resorts and FanDuel so there are potentially a plethora of properties where you can place your wagers without dealing with a human.
Just about every tech company operating in the US has a sports betting kiosk available should they find a partner. SB Tech and IGT have those partners and will make the sportsbook experience in their casino just a little better for some gamblers.
The IGT kiosks are more casino oriented than other manufacturers. Their PlayShot kiosks have an area where a gambler might be able to use a mobile players club card if available. IGT’s Cardless Connect technology is awesome but isn’t available at all casinos just yet.
In-play in casinos
Each station allows bettors to customize their screen to show specific games they prefer to watch. The screen also shows in-play odds, and wagers can be placed directly on the screen. Bettors can even play the audio from the game they’re watching instead so they’re not stuck with whatever the sportsbook deems the important game.
Unlike most mobile apps, a bettor can populate the CrystalBetting Terminal with the amount they want to wager. For example, bettors who only want to make $20 wagers throughout the game just have to enter the information once instead of each bet. This speed will make placing a wager quicker for fast-paced sports like football.
The CrystalBetting Terminal still has to undergo a field trial before it’s in casinos. The tech here is great for bettors that love in-play action but are frustrated with current mobile apps.
The American in-play problem
In-play wagering may be very popular in Europe but it’s still just catching on in America. There are multiple reasons for this. Most bettors in the US have grown up only wagering on games before they start. It will take some time to grasp this “new” way to bet.
One of the biggest issues with in-play wagering in the United States is because of the technology. Mobile betting in Nevada is still less than 10 years old. Many of the older app platforms are too slow for in-play wagering. Trying to get down a wager during a football game can be very frustrating.
Some of the European apps in other states are better but overall, the tech in the US is still a bit behind other countries. Between newer and better mobile apps and betting stations like the CrystalBetting Terminal American sports bettors could well be on the way to joining the rest of the world with in-play wagering. Just be patient.
The Vegas Golden Knights went from longshots to sweethearts in their first NHL season. The Golden Knights aren’t quite the longshot as we head into their second season. Odds for the Vegas Golden Knights range from the very short favorite in Nevada to a respectable Top 10 in New Jersey.
Vegas Golden Knights Stanley Cup Championship Odds
Vegas Golden Knights Odds In Las Vegas
- +450 at Station Casinos
- +800 at William Hill
- +800 at Westgate (2nd favorite)
Vegas Golden Knights At National Sportsbooks
- +400 at Boyd Gaming
- +800 at MGM Resorts
- +800 at Golden Nugget
- +900 at Caesars Entertainment
Vegas Golden Knights Odds In New Jersey
Looking back at the 2017-2018 season
Last year, the Vegas Golden Knights started their first season in the NHL as a 300-1 longshot to win the Stanley Cup at the Westgate before reaching a peak of 500-1. The team started off the season strong and they never stopped.
Vegas locals poured into sportsbooks banging away on the local favorite. Nothing stopped bettors from taking the Golden Knights during the season. The success of the expansion team was unprecedented on the ice and in the sportsbooks.
The Golden Knights went from an underdog in games for the first part of the season to favorite in most games as the season went on. Sportsbook operators couldn’t slow down the influx of bets. In Nevada sportsbooks, the Golden Knights became the favorite to win the Stanley Cup last season.
TheLines spoke with Jay Kornegay from the Westgate about the Vegas Golden Knights’ inaugural season. Bettors were betting on the Golden Knights without a care in the world about the odds. There were mixed emotions for the staff as many are season ticket holders and everyone wanted to see the hometown team do well.
The only people that could stop the action for the Vegas Golden Knights were the eventual Stanley Cup champions. The Washington Capitals saved the Nevada sportsbooks from paying out a big winner in the Vegas Golden Knights.
Vegas Golden Knights in 2018-2019
The new season for the NHL brings new places to wager on professional hockey beyond Nevada. Sportsbooks are now open in New Jersey, Mississippi, and West Virginia. Betting markets will sometimes show a regional bias and we’re seeing that in Las Vegas for the Golden Knights.
The Vegas Golden Knights are as low as 4-1 to win the Stanley Cup at Boyd Gaming sportsbooks in Nevada and Mississippi. Let’s assume there isn’t much hockey futures wagering in Mississippi just yet and the majority of wagers on hockey are coming from Las Vegas. The Golden Knights are also a large +450 (4.5-1) favorite to win the Stanley Cup at Las Vegas locals casino operator Station Casinos.
When you move east, there’s a decided bias against the Vegas Golden Knights in the sportsbooks. Rather, there’s no bias towards the Western Conference finalists. The Golden Knights are 11-1 at FanDuel and 14-1 at SugarHouse and DraftKings, respectively, to win the Stanley Cup at the sportsbooks that don’t operate in Nevada. The Golden Knights are still among the Top 10 favorites to win the Stanly Cup but they aren’t prohibitive favorites.
Will other cities bet the same way?
Nevada residents love their local NHL team and the futures odds show that. NHL teams on the east coast aren’t seeing the same love…yet. The Philadelphia Flyers and New Jersey Devils are the closest franchises to New Jersey sportsbooks. However, bettors aren’t running out to wager on the teams in the region. They’re not betting on the New York Rangers or New York Islanders either.
Kornegay says that bettors really took to the Vegas Golden Knights after they started to look good on the ice. He thinks that we’ll see a similar reaction on the east coast if those teams can catch fire like the Vegas Golden Knights did last season.
Thursday’s Post-PASPA: An Examination of Sports Betting in America hearing was held to see if there is a need for federal sports betting oversight. The current regulations call for individual state oversight.
This was the first hearing since the Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn PASPA, a decision that allowed states the choice to offer legal, regulated sports betting.
The list of expert witnesses to offer different viewpoints included the following:
- Jocelyn Moore, Executive Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs of the NFL
- Les Bernal, National Director of Stop Predatory Gambling
- Sara Slane, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs of the American Gaming Association
- Jon Bruning, Counselor for Coalition to Stop Online Gambling
- Becky Harris, Chair of the Nevada Gaming Control Board
These hearings can be quite the fiasco at times. The government officials usually don’t have much knowledge of the topics. The meetings can sound like a bunch of old men trying to learn or just go off the rails on a semi-related topic.
About this hearing
Thursday’s hearing about sports betting was a little bit of both. The NFL submitted seven pages of testimony that’s largely comprised of things you’ve probably heard before. They want to protect the integrity of the game, force official data on sportsbook operators, and then mentioned something about ghost games.
For some reason, the NFL doesn’t think states can keep people under 21 from betting on their games. The NFL’s commentary wasn’t new and was fairly useless. However, it did get the Senators thinking about federal regulation for sports betting.
The Wire Act (1961) and Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (2006) were mentioned throughout the 90-minute meeting. While internet and mobile are important in regulating sports betting, that’s not what this hearing is about. Thanks to the NFL and Coalition to Stop Online Gambling, the topic devolved into that topic.
Apparently, the Republicans at the hearing walked away thinking that something must be done on a federal level. It’s probably not a coincidence that Sheldon Adelson funds the Coalition to Stop Online Gambling. Earlier this year he donated $30 million to the Republican party. Funny how their thoughts mirror Adelson’s thoughts.
The hearing on Thursday was informational. There is no plan to create a federal framework for sports betting and there are no more hearings to discuss it. While the NBA and NHL are forging ahead with partnerships with casino and sportsbook operators, the NFL is standing firm with its thoughts on integrity and data.
This shouldn’t be a hot topic for the Senate as the year comes to a close. Mid-term elections and Supreme Court nominations will probably be the focus of the government for the time being. Nothing was accomplished. The Senators just sided with lobbyists and political donors. There’s no plan moving forward. The hearing was really a waste of time for just about everyone.
On Sunday, Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus booted a game-winning field goal against the Oakland Raiders.
Just before the McManus kick, several bettors in New Jersey made in-play wagers with the FanDuel Sportsbook on the Broncos to win — the most prominent being a $110 bet. This bet should have paid -600 odds if the Broncos won, according to FanDuel. However, the tickets issued had a price of +75000 because of a glitch in the pricing system.
At first, FanDuel refused to pay Anthony Prince of Newark, NJ the erroneous $82,000 price listed on his ticket. FanDuel was more than willing to pay the intended price of $18 that the wager should have paid.
The news of FanDuel’s refusal made national news and found its way to McManus, who let his opinion known via Twitter on Thursday.
Pay The People!!! They put their hard earned money on me to win that game https://t.co/I7bJMj5ypd
— Brandon McManus (@thekidmcmanus) September 20, 2018
Well, maybe the new American sportsbook operator took McManus’ words to heart. Maybe it was tired of the negative publicity. Whatever the reason, FanDuel decided to pay the man the full price on his wager. Four days after the game and hours after the kicker tweeted, FanDuel agreed to pay Prince the full $82,000 payout that was on his $110 betting ticket.
Athletes are paying attention to sports betting
For years, it’s been easy for professional athletes to brush aside their understanding about sports gambling. They’ve claimed ignorance to betting odds and point spreads. After all, the only place to legally wager on sports in the United States was the small state of Nevada.
It won’t be so easy to claim ignorance now that larger states are legalizing sports betting. The FanDuel Sportsbook is located at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey. The sportsbook shares a parking lot with the New York Jets and New York Giants. East Rutherford, New Jersey is part of the New York City media market as much as it’s part of the northern New Jersey media market.
Expanded legalized sports betting is becoming part of mainstream media like never before. There’s really no way to avoid major sports betting news. Brandon McManus retweeted an article about the FanDuel error from Yahoo. He could have shared the story from a number of mainstream media outlets, including ESPN, Forbes, and NPR.
Athletes and coaches are aware that people are gambling on their games. They’ve known that for years but no longer can they hide from this admission. In the past, athletes may have been able to pass off sports betting due to legality. That’s no longer possible.