Fanatics Could be Aquiring a Sports Betting Company Soon

Sportsbook

Sports merchandise leader Fanatics is closing in on a deal to acquire a sports betting company as part of its expansion plans.

Fanatics officials refused to comment on the issue but industry sources say that meetings with Rush Street Interactive (RSI) and Swedish gaming company Betsson had positive results and Fanatics is likely to end up buying one of the two.

Rush Street Makes Sense

For Fanatics, Rush Sense makes sense. Despite having presence in 10 states including Illinois, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania and being among the Top 5 online revenue grossers, RSI has the weakest brand among companies of the same size. This means that they can change their name to an acquiring company like Fanatics.

There are also rumors that RSI is in the driver’s seat to land the rights to ESPN’s name in sports betting. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that ESPN was looking to sell its name to a sports betting package for $3B. That is supposedly one of the reasons why RSI worked to get the third skin in partnership with the Connecticut Lottery after DraftKings and FanDuel partnered with the state’s two Native American tribes.

On the other hand, Betsson has an excellent iGaming product but it does not operate in the United States and would be more of a back-end technology for Fanatics.

Fanatics Has Tripled its Value

Last month, it was reported that Fanatics had tripled its value to $18B over the past year. The company was valued at $13B last March before receiving a $325M funding from its existing owners while also adding funds from new investors like Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, SoftBank, Silver Lake , Eldridge, TWG Sports & Entertainment, MLB, and Insight Partners.

The company said that the additional funding would be used to transition from a vertical commerce company to an international digital sports platform while expand its technological and consumer databases to integrate new markets such as NFTs, gaming, media, and sports betting.

Before venturing to other businesses, Fanatics acquired some assets, inventory, and college licensing rights of Vetta Brands, including the Top of the World division. Last year, Fanatics also purchased the licensed sports merchandise company WinCraft.

Feds Approve Sports Betting and Online Gaming in Connecticut

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The Federal Government has signed off on the plans for the legalization of sports betting and online gaming in the state of Connecticut.

According to Gov. Ned Lamont on Thursday, the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs of the Department of Interior informed him that the gaming compacts between the state and the Mohegan Tribe and Mashantucket Peqout Tribe have been approved.

Said Lamont via Twitter:

“I just received a call from @USIndianAffairs informing me that they have given final approval to the revised gaming compacts between the State of Connecticut and the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot Tribes, allowing for sports wagering and online gaming. This critical step in the process of modernizing our gaming landscape here in Connecticut ensures that our state will have a competitive, nation-leading marketplace for wagering both in-person and online.”

“I thank @USIndianAffairs for approving these revisions, as well as the efforts of the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot Tribes. Today’s announcement puts CT on the cusp of providing a modern, technologically advanced gaming experience competitive with our neighboring states.”

Waiting to Be Published in the Federal Register

Earlier this year, the Connecticut General Assembly passed the legislation to legalize sports betting and online gambling in the state, which Lamont signed into a law. The law allows only the Connecticut Lottery Corporation and the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Tribes to conduct online and in-person sports wagering.

Thursday was the deadline for the Department of Interior to approve the compacts. While they are approved, they were not yet published in the Federal Register on Thursday and will only take effect once they are. Aside from that, the state’s Department of Consumer Protection still has to approve the vendors and suppliers that will be used by the operators.

Targeting October Launch

Once approval is secured, the operators will give the Department of Consumer Protection a 10-day notice of when they intend to go live. After that, there will be a seven-day soft launch where operations are monitored to iron out possible kinks. Once those tasks are complete, BetRivers ( Connecticut Lottery ), DraftKings( Mohegan Sun ), and FanDuel
( Foxwoods ) will be ready to launch, and according to sources, they will go live at the same time.

Back when the law was passed, supporters were hoping to launch on September 9th when the NFL’ opened its 2021 season. But since that has already passed and given the activities that still need to happen, the operators are looking to go live next month. The retail DraftKings sportsbooks at Foxwoods is also expected to open simultaneously with the launch of online sports betting while the Mohegan FanDuel brick and mortar sportsbook won’t be ready until winter.

FanDuel Joins Forces With Mohegan Gaming For Connecticut Online Sports Betting

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FanDuel gained access to the Connecticut sports betting market by partnering with the Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment on Wednesday.

The agreement, which is pending the required regulatory approvals, will bring retain and internet sports betting as well as iGaming and daily fantasy sports offering to the Mohegan Tribe’s flagship Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Said Ray Pineault, President & CEO of Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment.:

“We’re excited to work with FanDuel, one of the leading sports-tech entertainment companies in the U.S. to bring the brand’s innovative sports betting and iGaming solutions to Mohegan Sun Connecticut. Our partnership is a priority for Mohegan Digital, as we look to grow and enhance our casino, sportsbook and online operations in Connecticut – and beyond. We’re confident that FanDuel will deliver a best-in-class digital and in-person experience for our loyal guests.”

Temporary Retail FanDuel Sportsbook

Wednesday’s deal included the establishment of a temporary retail FanDuel sportsbook at the Mohegan Sun. The makeshift sportsbook will have four live-betting windows and 16 self-service betting terminals. A permanent retail shop at the casino grounds is expected to be completed during winter, pending approvals.

With the temporary shop, sports bettors and fans across the state can access FanDuel’s industry-leading online and mobile betting products. Additionally, FanDuel will provide an online casino experience under the Mohegan Sun brand and will also operate daily fantasy sports across the state.

Pending Approval of Tribal Contracts

Sports betting will not go live in Connecticut until the compact between the state and the tribe isn’t approved by the U.S. Department of the Interior. The approval could take as long as 135 days but as we saw with Arizona recently, which was approved within a month, it could be faster.

Connecticut’s recently passed sports betting law requires DFS operators to be tethered to an entity with a master sports wagering license. The country’s top two leading DFS companies received their provisional license last July 1st and FanDuel was quick to team up with the Mohegan group to position itself for the Connecticut launch.

Connecticut Sports Betting Bill Passes House on a 122-21 Vote

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Legal Connecticut sports betting may be coming very soon after the state House of Representatives approved on Thursday a long-awaited gambling agreement signed between Gov. Ned Lamont and the state’s two federally-recognized tribes.

The bill directs the Governor to amend the state’s compacts with the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes to allow both to offer legal Connecticut sports betting, online gambling, and online fantasy contests in exchange for a share of their gambling revenues.

With a vote of 122 to 21 in favor of the legislation, is now headed to the Senate. If, as expected, it passes the Senate, the amended agreements will then need federal approval.

Said Rep, Maria Horn, the co-chair of the Public Safety Committee in the house:

“This bill that we see tonight is the culmination of many, many years of work heading in many directions in Connecticut.”

Retail and Internet Sports Gambling in 15 locations

The agreement allows the State Lottery Corporation to offer online and retail Connecticut sports betting at 15 different locations, including two specifically located in Hartford and Bridgeport.

Tax rates for internet gambling will be a 18% of gross revenues for the first five years of operations, and 20% for the next five years, with an option to continue for another five years. Retail Connecticut sports betting and fantasy sports betting will be taxed at 13.75% of gross revenues.

Not Everyone is Pleased

But while the supporters of the Connecticut sports betting bill rejoiced, not everyone was pleased. East Windsor area lawmakers voted against the agreement which prevents the tribes from building a planned satellite casino in town to compete with the MGM casino in nearby Springfield during the first 10 years of the new agreement with the state.

Meanwhile, state-licensed parimutuel operator Sportech questioned the constitutionality of the agreement while expressing hope that it could reach a similar agreement with the state. According to Paul Mounds, the chief of staff of the governor, the deal allows the Lottery to sublicense the sports betting operations to Sportech.

Connecticut Lottery Says it Received 15 Applications for Sports Betting Licenses

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The Connecticut Lottery announced on Monday that it received a total of 15 applications for legal Connecticut sports betting in response to its Request for Qualifications sent earlier this month.

Said Connecticut Lottery Corporation chairman Rob Simmelkjaer:

“We are pleased to see significant interest from companies who would like to partner with the CLC to bring our online and retail sports betting offering to market. Our staff and board will now begin a process of carefully reviewing the qualifications of the submitting parties as we work towards choosing the right partner in this important initiative for our state.”

Chairman Simmelkjaer added that the Lottery will issue invitations for presentations for qualified applications after which they will choose finalists who will be required to submit formal business plans.

Deal with Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and Mohegan Tribe

Last month, Gov. Ned Lamont reached a deal with the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes that would pave the way for legal Connecticut sports betting hopefully before the start of the 2021 NFL season.

The agreement included an 18% tax rate on new online gaming for the first five years of operation and 20% tax rate for the next five years. Sports betting would be levied a tax rate of 13.5% according to a statement from the governor’s office.

The deal, which gives exclusive rights to the tribe and the Lottery to operate legal Connecticut sports betting, still has to get the approval of the State Legislature and the United States Department of the Interior.

Request for Qualifications

Last April 12th, the Connecticut Lottery sent out a Request for Qualifications package with an April 23 deadline. The solicitation was for “qualified and experienced sports betting solution providers for online and retail sports wagering systems and services.

Under the RFQ, two larger retail locations are envisioned for Hartford and Bridgeport while other locations may be withing existing off-track-betting (OTB) locations of the state’s current OTB operator, or may be coordinated within existing lottery-licensed locations.

The RFQ also predicts a tentative timeline between mid-May and mid-June for the signing of a contract with an operator with the systems to be developed and tested by summer. The expected launch of Connecticut sports betting is on September 6th.

Gov. Ned Lamont and Mohegan Tribe Agree to Expand Gaming in Connecticut

Two Laptops Showing Sports in Front of a Pile of Money
The state of Connecticut has reached an agreement with the Mohegan Tribe, the owners of the Mohegan Sun Casino in Ucansville, Connecticut, to expand gaming in the state, including online gaming and sports betting. The deal however, was made without the state’s other tribal nation.

In a written statement, Governor Lamont said:

“This agreement represents months of hard work and dedication to getting a deal that’s best for the residents of Connecticut and moves our state forward when it comes to the future of gaming. We are incredibly fortunate to have such a devoted partner in these efforts like the Mohegan Tribe, as they have been open to negotiation, honest discussion, and a positive path forward that is beneficial for both their tribe and the State of Connecticut.”

The governor’s office says that the deal is worth “tens of millions” of additional revenue to the state. Lamont is banking that iGaming and Connecticut sports betting will be legalized this year. He already included $47M in revenue from the two into his budget starting in fiscal 2022.

Details of Connecticut Sports Betting Agreement

Under the deal, a 20% tax rate will be levied on new online gaming while a 13.5% tax rate will be imposed on Connecticut sports betting. The agreement is good for 10 years and has a five-year expansion option.

As part of the deal, the Connecticut Lottery will be allowed to operate 15 retail sports betting shops, including new ones in Hartford and Bridgeport. The Lottery can also sub-license some of the operations to Sportech but Sportech will not get operations or an online skin of its own.

Eastern Connecticut Lawmakers Upset

Meanwhile, the members of the Eastern Connecticut said that the “cannot accept” any gambling expansion agreement reached by Gov. Ned Lamont and the Mohegan Tribe if it does not include the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. The bipartisan group sent a letter to the Governor urging him and the state’s two federally recognized tribes to complete an agreement by Sunday.

Rodney Butler, the chair of the Mashantucket Pequots said on Tuesday that it was “disrespectful” for the Governor to announce a gambling agreement with only one tribe when the Mashantucket Pequots have been actively participating in the discussions for months and in good faith. Butler however said that his group is open to continuing the discussions but has a financial issue with the deal.

Connecticut Governor Throws Support for State Sports Betting Bill

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Gov. Ned Lamont said last week that he is working on bringing sports betting and iGaming to Connecticut. Per Gov. Lamont, he has been talking to the state’s two tribal casino operators about adding sportsbooks and online gaming to their services.

Said Gov. Lamont about residents heading to nearby states to make sports bets:

“Connecticut should not leave these opportunities for other states to benefit from our inaction.”

Senate Bill 146

SB 146 would authorize the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and the Mohegan Tribe of Indians to conduct both retail and online Connecticut sports betting on tribal land. The two tribes would also be allowed to run online casino businesses.

Furthermore, the bill proposes that the Connecticut Lottery Corporation to sell lottery game tickets and organize online keno games. The bill also states that the legalization of Connecticut sports betting, online gambling, as well as selling of game tickets and online keno games are subject to “new or amended agreements” with the Native American tribes.

If Senate Bill 146 is accepted, a reasonable set of procedures and data security standards for internet gaming need to be set-up. Likewise, Connecticut sports betting and online gambling will provide revenue to the state in the form of taxes.

Legalization Won’t Happen Overnight

Although the bill’s proposal has been filed, it doesn’t necessarily mean that legalization will happen overnight. The Connecticut General Assembly still has to vote on the bill during the 2021 legislative session, which will conclude on June 9th or four months for legislators to decide whether or not to approval legal Connecticut sports betting.

But COVID-19 has affected badly the revenues of Connecticut, as it has the other states in the U.S. Some lawmakers said last week that legal sports betting can help the state offset revenue losses and that could be enough to convince lawmakers to help pass the bill.

If passed, the bill won’t take effect until 2022, just in time for the fiscal year 2023. According to Democratic lawmakers in the state, if legal Connecticut sports betting goes as planned and the bill is passed, they could see an increase in annual revenues by $47.3M in 2023.

Foxwoods Casino Resort is Getting Ready to Offer Sports Betting

Thinking Man Holding Money With Sports Equipment

Connecticut is one of many states that has yet to approve sports betting legislation. That isn’t stopping some of the casinos here from expressing interest in this new industry, though. Reports have just surfaced that claim the Foxwoods Casino Resort has signed a deal with DraftKings to offer online sports betting in the future.

Many expect Connecticut to finally legalize and regulate internet sports betting in 2021. The Foxwoods Casino certainly feels the launch of this industry in the state is just around the corner. Today, we’ll talk about this casino’s deal with DraftKings.

Let’s get into it!

Connecticut Fails to Approve Sports Betting Bill in 2020

The United States is now home to one of the largest and most profitable sports betting industries in the world. It’s incredible when considering this industry is only a few years old. It wasn’t until mid-2018 that states other than Nevada were able to offer sports betting options.

Several more states approved bills to legalize sports betting in 2020. That includes Louisiana, South Dakota, and Maryland. Most analysts expect these states to see major revenue earnings as soon as their regulated sportsbooks go live.

Some felt that Connecticut would choose to get its sports betting industry up and running this year. Many lawmakers here have been pointing at the potential for major earnings for the state. Unfortunately, no bills were passed before the end of the legislative session in November.

Some of the commercial gaming entities here have blamed Native American tribes for failing to approve this industry. These officials claim the tribes are looking for exclusive rights to sports betting options. It’s the same issue that’s led to delays getting California’s sports betting industry operational.

Negotiations between these two groups are ongoing. No real progress has been made yet, and hope for Connecticut to legalize sports betting in 2020 is now dead. Proponents of this industry are now pushing to get things approved next year.

It seems the Native American tribes here are expecting this industry to launch in 2021. One of Connecticut’s biggest casinos has just signed a new deal with one of the world’s biggest sports betting companies.

Foxwoods Casino Resort Signs New Deal With DraftKings

Connecticut is home to only two major Class III casinos. That includes the Foxwoods Casino Resort in Ledyard and the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville. Both of these properties are operated by Native American tribes.

New reports claim that the Foxwoods Casino has just signed a new deal with DraftKings. Under this new deal, the Foxwoods Casino will have the right to launch online sports betting options through DraftKings once legislation is approved. This deal also allows for this casino to offer daily fantasy sports options.

Foxwoods has been pushing hard to get Connecticut’s sports betting industry operational. The owners of this property are now taking matters into their own hands and clearly expect online sports betting to be approved in 2021.

Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe which owns Foxwoods, released a statement on this new deal to the media this week.

“We’ve proven our ability to shape the future of gaming time and time again, and now we’re ready to drive sports wagering and online gaming for the state of Connecticut,” Butler said. “Working through the tribal gaming compacts, we will help bolster our economy with much-needed revenue and virtual entertainment.”

Foxwoods has been hit hard by the pandemic. The casino’s revenue figures remain far lower every month this year than they were in 2019. With Covid-19 cases rising steadily in Connecticut, many expect revenue to continue dropping for the next few months.

Online sports betting could help to bring this casino some much-needed money. We’ll continue offering updates on this situation over the next few months!

States Continue to See Big Earnings From Sports Betting Options

More than half of the US has now approved bills to allow sports betting. It’s easy to see why. This is proving to be an extremely profitable industry and is helping to bring states money via taxes at a time when it’s desperately needed.

Land-based casino revenue continues to drop. Online sports betting revenue, however, has been steadily rising throughout the year. Several states have recently begun seeing record-earnings from their sports betting platforms.

That includes Colorado. Lawmakers here approved sports betting legislation back in 2019 and launched the first sportsbooks in May of 2020. In October, Colorado saw an incredible $17.4 million in sports betting revenue. That’s up more than $10 million from the month prior.

Pennsylvania also saw a major increase in sports betting revenue. New reports claim this state saw more than $47 million in revenue from this industry in October. Pennsylvania’s October sports betting industry also saw more than $500 million in sports betting handle.

Every state is taking a close look at this industry now. It seems highly likely that Connecticut will legalize and regulate this form of gambling next year. That’s great news for the Foxwoods Casino Resort and its new partner DraftKings.

Do you expect Connecticut to legalize online sports betting in 2021? Let us know in the comments section below!

Foxwoods Offering Exclusive Gaming For 55-And-Above Patrons

Foxwoods Casino Resort Logo and Exterior of Casino
In what is considered a first in the gambling industry, Foxwoods Resort Casino announced last week the opening of a dedicated gambling area for guests aged 55 year or older.

Beginning last Friday and happening every weekend through the month of November, Foxwoods’ Rainmaker Casino will cater exclusively to the 55+ crowd from 10 a.m. to midnight.

The Rainmaker will also feature a disc jockey spinning music from the 80s’ from 8 p.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturday. Complimentary cocktails plus Reagan-era novelty giveaways like rubik’s cube and leg warmers will be distributed from noon to 2 p.m. and 6.p.m. to 8 p.m.

Said Jason Guyot, interim CEO and senior vice president of resort operations for the Connecticut casino:

“As part of our commitment to providing an unmatched experience for our guests, we are thrilled to introduce this new offering for guests ages 55 and older. The safety of our loyal patrons has been our number one priority since reopening on June 1, and we are excited to offer them this exclusive experience where they can relax and play in a safe, frequently sanitized environment.”

Time To Let Grown-Ups Play

This strategy has been labeled as the “time to let the grown-ups play”. The campaign is aimed at enticing the older crowd to come back and have fun in casinos. It can be recalled that the older patrons were the first to flee the casino scene during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the Connecticut casinos open again, Foxwoods is trying to bring that market segment back.

To further encourage the 55-and-older market to return to the scene, Foxwoods is committed to maintain a safe gaming experience for this market class. With the enforcement of social distancing measures and strict adherence to all safety and sanitation protocols required by the state, it aims to provide a safe gambling haven for its 55-an-above patrons.

Tailored Solutions

Since Connecticut casinos reopened last June, revenue has been fairly good given the circumstances. However, with the health and safety requirements, traffic has decreased. So the Mashantucket Pequot tribe is looking for tailored solutions to boost customer numbers.

As mandated by state laws, Connecticut casinos continue to operate at 25% capacity. While that has for sure slowed down its economic recovery, Foxwoods has remained optimistic. Just recently, it was named as one of the best casinos outside of Las Vegas in a recent poll conducted by USA Today.

The Mohegan Sun Will Host College Basketball Next Month

Basketball Going Through Net

The NBA Finals wrapped up just a few weeks ago. That doesn’t mean the sport of basketball is coming to a standstill, though. There are a number of major college tournaments scheduled to take place throughout November and December. Today, news broke that the Mohegan Sun will host college basketball tournaments inside a bubble.

Many believe the NBA was able to successfully hold its season because it kept players inside a bubble. Officials at the Mohegan Sun believe this casino is the perfect venue to protect players. Now is the perfect time to talk about what exactly will be taking place here.

Let’s get into it!

Basketball Betting is More Popular in 2020 Than Ever Before

The popularity of the NBA has been increasing rapidly for the past two decades. In recent years, more people around the US have been betting on this league, as well. As many already know, there are a huge number of amazing basketball betting sites available throughout the country.

Bovada is widely-considered to be one of the best online sportsbooks in the US right now. It launched in 2011 and is known for offering its members a wide range of amazing sports betting odds and great promotions. There are many different basketball wagers available through this website.

Obviously, NBA betting is the most popular. Bovada allows you to bet on every game of the regular season and playoffs. It even offers future odds on the NBA Championship months before it is scheduled to take place.

College basketball betting is also hugely popular nowadays. That’s especially true during March Madness. This tournament always ends up bringing a massive surge in revenue for the online sportsbooks around the country.

Both the NBA and college basketball have seen their schedules move around this year. There are now several major college tournaments scheduled to take place over the next few months.

It appears we have a location set for these tournaments. Let’s talk about where these events will be held.

Here’s How The Mohegan Sun Will Host College Basketball Tournaments Next Month

Connecticut is home to a number of world-class casino-resorts. Perhaps none is as popular as the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville. This gambling property opened up in 1996 and is thought to be one of the best casinos on the East Coast.

2020 hasn’t been easy for this property. Back in mid-March, the Mohegan Sun was forced to close down. Thousands of employees were either furloughed or laid off. Finally, on June 1st, this hotel-casino opened back up.

News recently broke that the Mohegan Sun will host college basketball beginning in late November. The owners of this venue have come to a new agreement with both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Gazelle Group. These groups are known for holding major college basketball tournaments each year.

There will soon be a “pod” of games being held inside this property. All players will be kept in a bubble during the tournaments. That shouldn’t be too much of an issue, as the Mohegan Sun is one of the biggest casino-resorts on the East Coast.

Rick Giles, the president of the Gazelle Group, is already happy with the cooperation and believes these tournaments will run smoothly.

“We’ve been able to combine and leverage both our organizations and strengths to create something bigger than what we originally had,” Giles said. “I don’t know if either organization individually could have pulled off what we’re about to do next month.” 

It will be interesting to see how these tournaments are held. It won’t be long before odds on the games become available through Bovada. Stay tuned for updates!

Connecticut’s Casino Industry is Still Struggling

Connecticut is a small state home to less than 4 million people. Interestingly, it has one of the most successful casino industries on the East Coast. Like all other states in the area, Connecticut has seen its gaming revenue fall dramatically in 2020.

As we just mentioned, the Mohegan Sun opened back up in June. The Foxwoods Casino-Resort opened that same month. Not long ago, new reports surfaced that show slot revenue inside these venues is falling.

The Mohegan Sun posted revenue losses for the months of August and September. Foxwoods saw losses in July, August, and September. This isn’t much of a surprise when you consider the regulations set in place, though.

As of now, these venues are only operating at 25% capacity. This is making it very difficult for the casino industry here to thrive. Fortunately, analysts predict that things will improve over the next year.

Gaming analyst Adam McLaren claims that revenue from Connecticut’s casinos will jump by 45% in 2021. Allowing more guests in is expected to help to increase the revenue here. We’ll continue offering more updates over the next few months.

Are you excited to hear the Mohegan Sun will host college basketball next month? Do you plan to bet on any of the games? Let us know in the comments section below!