Industry News of the Day for December 19, 2023

Industry News

  • CDC Gaming Reports: ESPN Bet Growing Sports Betting Market By Attracting Women Customers: Analyst
    • A Bank of America Global Research analyst said Monday ESPN Bets appears to be growing the nation’s sports-betting market by attracting more women. He also touted the newly opened Durango Casino & Resort in southwest Las Vegas that’s attracting 25,000 visitors a day. Shaun Kelley reported that state data released last week indicate a strong share for ESPN Bet and that its reach is “proving to be bigger than anticipated.” Beyond helping ESPN Bet, Kelley surmised that the new platform was attracting more women. In the states that have reported November data, handle is up about 15% month over month compared to about 2% month over month last year, Kelley said.
  • Business News: Short Seller Jim Chanos Says Americans Are So Bad At Gambling That He’s Now Bullish On The Industry
    • Famous short seller Jim Chanos has relinquished his bearishness towards the US sports betting sector after highlighting a major theme among American gamblers: they’re not very good at it. This is because online gambling platforms offer riskier forms of betting during sports. “Betting figures in the US continue to be strong, much stronger than we thought,” he told the Financial Times in a recent interview. “The thing that we underestimated — which I think is going to be beneficial to all of these companies for some time — is the American gambler.” Chanos first opened a short position against gambling platform DraftKings in mid-2021 over doubts about its business model, noting that its marketing expenses exceeded the firm’s revenue.


  • US Bets: Marylanders Support Online Casino, Keeping The Commanders In State
    • A recent poll in Maryland suggested that Marylanders not only favor legal online casino apps, but that they value the horse racing history in the state and their professional sports teams. According to a survey of likely voters by Victoria Research, taken between Nov. 9-14, more than two-thirds of those surveyed support legalizing and taxing online casino, reported Maryland Matters. Maryland is the state that many gaming stakeholders have been pointing to as having the best chance at legalizing iCasino in 2024. In mid-November, a report commissioned by the Maryland Lottery stated that the state stands to take in $200 million in tax dollars with legal online gaming.


  • PlayUSA: Massachusetts Gaming Revenue Tops $142 Million In November
    • Massachusetts casino revenue showed a monthly decrease in November. The total taxable gaming revenue for the month was $142.98 million. That figure is an 8.26% decrease from October’s $155.8 million. During last month nearly $48.95 million came through retail and online sports betting, a 17.29% decline from October. Additionally, a little over $94.03 million came from Massachusetts’ three casinos, a 2.73% monthly drop. As a result, the state collected $36.06 million in taxes in November, with $26.2 million coming from the three retail locations.


  • SBC Americas: Mississippi Task Force Issues Online Sports Betting Report
    • The Mississippi Mobile-Online Sports Betting Task Force has submitted its final report to the state legislature regarding the idea of expanding sports betting in the state from retail to online. Most of the 99-page report gives a comprehensive lay of the land when it comes to US sports betting, offering up just about every variant of model states have come up with so far. When tasked with projecting the revenue impact of online sportsbook expansion, the task force took a look at a few different options. The report looked at taxing online betting at rates of 8%, 12%, and 15%, noting that sports betting tax revenue would increase tax revenue across five years by $12.6 million, $15.9 million, and $18.6 million respectively. These numbers do not factor in the potential reduction in the size of the retail market.

New Jersey

  • PlayNJ: NJ Sportsbooks Stay Hot In Winter With Record-Setting $1.6 Billion In Bets
    • Any lingering concerns about New York taking business away from New Jersey sportsbooks can officially be put to bed. November also put a pin in pundits’ predictions (for now) that ESPN Bet would just be a repackaged Barstool Sportsbook. Legal sports betting in NJ generated more than $1.62 billion in legal wagers last month, according to the Division of Gaming Enforcement. It is the state’s largest monthly handle (the total amount gambled) since legal sports betting was introduced in summer 2018. November’s handle bested the Garden State’s previous all-time monthly high of $1.35 billion set in January 2022 by nearly $275 million.

New York

  • PlayNY: On Heels Of Strong Start, ESPN Bet Now Looks For Ways To Launch In New York
    • No legal sports betting industry can compare with that of New York. Number one in lifetime revenue ($2.86 billion), number one in lifetime tax revenue ($1.46 billion), number two in lifetime handle ($33.25 billion). All in a matter of less than two years. And while many did not like – and still aren’t fond of, surely – the sky-high 51% tax rate, outsiders still want in on the NY sports betting industry. That includes ESPN Bet, as PENN Entertainment continues to search for ways to gain Empire State access for the newly launched sportsbook.

North Carolina

  • NC Sharp: Fanatics Inks Deal With The Carolina Hurricanes To Enter NC Sports Betting Market
    • On Friday, Fanatics became the fourth sportsbook to form the necessary sports betting partnership required to entire the North Carolina sports betting market. As first reported by Sports Business Journal, Fanatics partnered with the Carolina Hurricanes to gain NC market access. The details of the partnership have yet to be publicized, but they could include the development of a retail sportsbook in or near PNC Arena in Raleigh. The recommended deadline for online sportsbooks to submit their applications for North Carolina online sports betting licenses is Dec. 27. Meeting that deadline would ensure that operators would be approved to launch on the earliest go-live date.


  • Sports Handle: Virginia Attorney General: Pick’Em Contests Should Be Regulated, Taxed
    • Virginia’s attorney general last week issued an opinion that falls in line with what decision-makers in other states have been saying throughout the fall — fantasy sports pick’em contests “constitute sports betting as defined” by state law. The opinion won’t immediately change how fantasy sports are regulated or taxed in Virginia, but it may lay the groundwork for the state legislature or the Virginia Lottery to follow what regulators in Michigan and New York have done and ban the contests. Pick’em-style contests, in which the consumer plays against the house rather than a group of peers, have been under fire this year.