Legal Sports Betting News: Arizona, Massachusetts, And Kentucky
Here is the latest sports betting news from across the United States. Arizona has cleared $10 billion in lifetime betting handle. Massachusetts passes a new rule to require sportsbook to include 21+ language on ads and branding. In Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear declares the best sports betting sites will launch in the state by Week 1 of the NFL season, and Churchill Downs has partnered with FanDuel.
Let’s take a closer look at all latest sports betting news from states with legal wagering.
Kentucky Sports Betting Launch Updates
Governor Confident In NFL Launch Timeline
“I am thrilled at the speed at which sports betting is moving to become operational here in Kentucky,” said Beshear. “We set a very aggressive goal to have it up and running before the first game of the NFL season and I believe we’re on track to do that.”
According to the governor, locals can expect to place wagers in Kentucky by Week 1 of the NFL season. This would give a timeline of September 7, 2023, to launch. While optimism is high in the Bluegrass State, there is still much to be done.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission is meeting in July to discuss and set the rules surrounding the industry. These rules will then be posted for public comment. Assuming the public is in agreement with the rules, the commission will then be able to begin reviewing and approving sportsbook licenses.
The commission has already laid out a plan for this process, hiring 14 employees in preparation. Based on everything we have heard from the governor and other officials in Kentucky, everyone expects the market to launch by Week 1.
FanDuel Lands Churchill Downs Partnership
As Kentucky’s sports betting launch looms, FanDuel Sportsbook and Churchill Downs have partnered. This partnership will see both a FanDuel retail and mobile sportsbook launch in Kentucky.
“We have entered into contracts to provide certain online wagering platforms including FanDuel access to the Kentucky market in connection with which we receive a revenue stream,” said Bill Carstanjen to WDRB.com back in April.
FanDuel is the second sportsbook entity to partner with a Kentucky racetrack. Back in May, Caesars Sportsbook partnered with Keeneland and Red Mile to bring its operation to Kentucky. Deals like these will continue to happen as the market gets closer to the official launch date.
Arizona’s $10 Billion Sports Betting Milestone
Arizona has joined an elite club of the biggest sports betting markets in the country. Local sportsbooks in Arizona have now seen $10.16 billion in lifetime handle. The Grand Canyon State is now the 10th market to surpass $10 billion in handle.
It took AZ only 20 months from its September 2021 launch to reach this milestone. This comes following the release of the April 2023 sports betting revenue report. Arizona operators saw $535,712,027.03 wagered in April. This is the 11th time Arizona has seen more than half a billion dollars wagered in a single month.
Year to date, Arizona has seen $2.38 billion in sports betting handle. This places the market top seven in the U.S. so far this year. The huge betting numbers are impressive considering the football season has not begun yet. AZ is sure to reach even more betting milestones before the year ends.
Massachusetts Cracks Down On Gambling Ads
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) passed a new rule to require sportsbooks to include 21+ on all advertising and branding. This includes promotional ads as well as signages in stadiums and posters showing Massachusetts mobile sportsbooks logos. Members voted in favor of the rule 3-2 with the rule just barely passing.
The cause for deliberation was the broadness of the regulatory language. MGC Chair Cathy Judd-Stein discussed her concern about the language during the deliberation phase.
“Is this something we are adopting in knee-jerk fashion?” said Judd-Stein. “Will they be required to create a new logo just for use in Massachusetts? Where have any of our peers (regulators in other states) done this same thing?”
The language raised issues with an operator such as Fanatics Sportsbook. Fanatics is already a popular apparel brand and its logo is used for both its sports betting operation and its apparel line. The concern was whether or not the language would require Fanatics to include 21+ even when promoting the non-gambling side of its business.
To avoid such a stipulation, language was clarified in the final rules: “advertising, marketing, branding, and other materials shall state that patrons must be 21 years of age or older to participate, AND where providing only a logo it will not be required, EXCEPT where used in a sporting venue where it may be seen by people under the age of 21.”
Sportsbook operators now have 90 days to comply with the changes.
Thank you for reading our weekly round-up on the latest sports betting news.