Sports Betting News: NY Hits $40 Billion; Missouri Cracks Down On Pick Em Games

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Written By Giovanni Shorter | Last Updated
Sports Betting News

In sports betting news across the industry, New York’s online betting market surpassed $40 billion in all-time betting handle (dollars wagered). In Missouri, lawmakers have pushed for the removal of fantasy sports Pick Em games, offered at operators like PrizePicks and Underdog. In Mississippi, sports betting saw a major decline in wagers in February.

Let’s break down all the recent sports betting news in these markets.

New York Sports Betting Success Continues

Following the recent sports betting report from the NY State Gaming Commission, it is revealed New York has become the second market to surpass the $40 billion mark in online betting. Prior to New York, only New Jersey had seen more than $40 billion in wagers, and NY has managed to do so in less time. It took New York just over two years to reach this milestone, whereas NJ cleared this mark in approximately five years.

New York’s pace will likely see the market overtake New Jersey in all-time betting handle in the coming years. New York sportsbooks reported $445,274,135 in bets for the week ending on March 17. This is the sixth consecutive week of more than $400 million in wagers and the 22nd time out of 23 weeks that mark has been met.

The New York betting market is a testament to how big sports betting can become. How long will it take NY to Surpass $50 billion in wagers?

Missouri Moves To Ban Pick Em Games

The Missouri Gaming Commission (MGC) has alerted local DFS apps to stop hosting pick ’em contests. Missouri joins markets in New York, Michigan, California, Florida, and Maine, which have pushed for similar bans. In the memo penned by the MGC, lawmakers highlight that pick ’em fantasy games are only allowed for peer-to-peer contests under Missouri law.

“Accordingly, if any MGC-licensed Fantasy Sports Contest Operators are presently offering platforms that consist of player vs. house contests in which the operator could ultimately be the winning participant, Pick Em contests, parlay-type contests, or other contests that have the effect of mimicking sports wagering, the Commission would direct that these Operators cease and desist those offerings and only offer peer to peer contests in Missouri that are consistent with state statutes, rules, and regulations.”

Memo To Missouri Fantasy Sports Operators from Nikki D. Evans, Deputy General Counsel, Missouri Gaming Commission

Missouri is just the latest market to target Pick Em style games as being against gaming regulations. Should this trend continue, there will be very few markets that allow the popular gaming practice.

Mississippi Sees Sports Betting Dip In February

Mississippi lawmakers are still working to launch mobile betting as March Madness rages on. However, locals, for now, only have access to regulated betting at local Mississippi casinos. With the lack of online betting options, it is unsurprising that the local betting market has seen a decline despite the overall betting industry growing nationwide.

The official report for February 2024 shows that $31,374,401.97 was wagered on sports, with $2,297,096.12 in taxable revenue. These figures represent a 21.1% decrease in activity year over year. Additionally, betting is down 45.1% month over month.

Lawmakers are likely taking notice as the legislative session continues. A major talking point of being in favor of online sports betting is how Mississippi’s betting numbers compare to those of its neighbors who host online options. It is likely that millions are going across the border as locals travel to bet on sports online.

“We had $20 million wagered on March Madness last year. $20 million is kind of our number of what’s been wagered…I look at our surrounding states that have mobile, and what they have wagered is significantly more than that,” said Jay McDaniel, Executive Director, MS Gaming Commission.

With the drastic dip in sports betting in February, bill supporters have more fuel to motivate lawmakers to pass the legislation.