DraftKings Named as Boston Red Sox Official and Exclusive Daily Fantasy Sports Partner

Large Picture of Baseball With a Baseball Field Background
Boston-based DraftKings has entered into an agreement to become the official and exclusive daily fantasy sports partner of the Boston Red Sox.

Said Ezra Kucharz, the chief business officer of DraftKings in a statement:

“We are thrilled to team up with a historic franchise like the Red Sox and bring DraftKings closer to this passionate fanbase, which is even more special given our hometown Boston roots. As a Boston-born company, we are well-acquainted with the devotion of Boston sports fans, and we believe the engagement possibilities of this integration are only just beginning.”

The Red Sox is the latest deal that DraftKings has entered into in the area. Previously, it signed similar pacts with the New England Patriots and Boston Celtics.

In-Stadium Branding

The in-stadium branding privileges of the deal include the DraftKings logo will be displayed throughout Fenway Park, in addition to it current signage above the iconic Green Monster. DraftKings will also have field level home plate signages and LED branding along the first and third baseline for one inning at every regular season home game.

Aside from those, DraftKings will be promoted as the official daily fantasy partner of the Red Sox Foundation through emails, social media posts, and the Red Sox Foundation. To further its CSR efforts, DraftKings will also have title sponsorship to to the 50-50 raffle for all home games. This includes branding on raffle sales team paddleboards, raffle tickets, and email blasts.

Massachusetts Sports Betting Closer to Being Legalized

The announcement of the deal comes one week after the Massachusetts House of Representatives voted 156-3 in favor of a bill that would legalize sports betting in the state. The bill was a comprehensive one, as it was the product of 19 different gambling bills from at least a dozen lawmakers. Before it got the nod last week, a total of 13 amendments were added to H 3974.

With the approval of H 3974 in the Massachusetts House, the bill is now headed to the Upper Chamber and from the Senate, it is hoped that it will smoothly sail to the desk of Gov. Charlie Baker, who is one of the leading proponents for the Massachusetts sports betting bill.

Bally’s Corp and SportRadar Announce Five-Year Sports Betting Deal

Odds Board and Money

Baly’s Corp, through Bally’s Interactive, has entered into a five-year sports betting agreement with sports betting provider SportRadar.

The deal gives Bally’s Interactive access to SportRadar’s comprehensive suite o betting data as part of its plan to their online betting capabilities.

Said Bally’s Corp. senior vice president of strategy and interactive Adi Dhandhania in a statement:

“This partnership provides us with a comprehensive suite of betting data, which will allow us to enhance our products and content offerings. We look forward to continuing to execute on our online sports betting and interactive gaming expansion strategy.”

Access to SportRadar’s Sportsbook Technology

In a statement, SportRadar says that Bally’s would receive access to its complete pre-game betting services, live betting services, and content solutions portfolio. Bally’s Interactive will incorporate that data portfolio as part of its expansion plans.

Under their agreement, SportRadar will provide pre-game and in-game odds for Bally’s and will also offer it additional assets like stats packages and live score widgets. Integrated in that technology is SportRadar’s data suite which includes live information and news from leagues and sports governing bodies around the world.

Online sportsbooks Bet365 and William Hill both have the same business relationship with SportRadar. Online publication The Athletic also uses SportRadar’s service, using it to provide in-depth statistical analysis to their content. SportRadar is also the official integrity partner of the NHL.

Bally’s is Just Getting Started

Bally’s Corp. is just getting started in the sports industry business. They launched at their first market in Colorado last May and have a beta version of their Bally Bet technology which began operating in Iowa last month.

With more and more bettors making bets using their mobile phones and desktop PCs instead of going to brick and mortar shops, the online sports betting industry is picking up steam and more and more competitors have sprung up. Bally’s Corp hopes that its brand recognition will help its sports betting app.

Bally’s logo can be seen on highlights and game broadcasts on a consistent basis after the company purchased the naming rights to 21 of Sinclair’s regional sports networks. Aside from that Bally’s also bought sports betting platform Bet.Works for $125M and fantasy sports platform Monkey Knife Fight for $90M within the past year.

Cliff Castle Casino Partners With PointsBet for Entry in Arizona Sports Betting Industry

Arizona State Flag and an Arizona Casino

Arizona’s Cliff Casino Hotel has entered into a partnership with online gaming operator PointsBet for entry in the state’s newly legalized sports betting industry.

Under the deal, the two parties will work to seek a license to operate online sports betting in Arizona’s newly regulated market.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed the Arizona sports betting bill into a law in April, paving the way for up to 20 sportsbooks to operate in the state with professional sports teams and tribal casinos eligible to apply for a license. So far, six partnerships have been formed in an industry that is expected to launch on September 9th to coincide with the start of the NFL season. Now AZ has its 7th player in Cliff Castle Casino and Points Bet.

Said Aaron Moss, general manager of Cliff Castle Casino:

“Cliff Castle Casino Hotel and PointsBet are excited to partner and initiate our process of offering event wagering in the state of Arizona. PointsBet’s experience and reputation have made them a perfect fit in pursuit of an event wagering license. This partnership allows for Cliff Castle to work alongside PointsBet’s truly first-class brand and product, which we are thrilled to ultimately help make available to the Arizona market.”

10-Year Market Access Deal

According to reports, the agreements is for a 10-year market access deal to legal Arizona sports betting. Under the deal, PointsBet will pay a fixed fee of $850,000 as initial license fee. The Arizona sports betting bill also calls for an 8% tax rate on retail wagers and 10% of net gaming revenue online sports bets.

PointsBet will also help fund a branded sportsbook inside the Cliff Castle Casino Hotel which will be operated by the Yavapai-Apache nation. The online gaming operators has also agreed to make an annual donation to a public interest fund designated by the Yavapi Apache Nation that benefits the youth of the tribe.

The Arizona market represents the 16th state in which the fast-growing online sports betting operator has presence in. PointsBet also plans to utilize its partnership with NBC sports to help promote the brand in their latest market.

Exclusive Sports Betting Partner of NBC

As the exclusive sports betting partner of NBC, PointsBet will make use of the network’s TV and digital assets to help promote the PointsBet brand in the new market.

As part of their agreement, NBC Sports will provide PointsBet with a year-round multi-platform media and marketing opportunities across its portfolio of sporting events, including exclusive gameday integrations across NBC’s regional sports networks.

With a full Spanish language functionality, PointsBet will also be able to reach Hispanic sports fans via Telemundo Deportes and Telemundo broadcast stations.

Massachusetts House to Debate Sports Betting Bill on Thursday

Two Laptops Showing Sports in Front of a Pile of Money

The Massachusetts House is getting ready for a debate on the legislation that would legalize sports betting in the state.

According to a memo sent by the office of House Speaker Ronald Mariano to the House of Representatives, legislators were told to prepare for a debate at Thursday’s formal session on the revised version of Rep. Dan Cahill’s sports betting bill.

Cahill’s bill was redrafted by the Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies and favorably reported out by the committee over the weekend. It could still be edited by the House Ways and Means Committee before it hits the debating floor on Thursday.

In-Person and Mobile Sports Betting

Under the 38-page bill reported by the committee, legal sports betting in Massachusetts would be regulated by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission with casinos, slot parlors, simulcasting facilities, and horse racing tracks in the state allowed to apply for licenses to accept in-person sports wagering.

Operators will be allowed between one to three mobile sports betting platforms. Those who wish to offer mobile-only sports betting are also welcome to apply for licenses and all bettors must be at least 21 years old and physically present in Massachusetts to make place a legal bet.

Entities who wish to apply for a sports betting license will be required to pay an application fee of $100,000. Approved applicants will pay an initial $5M in initial fee for the license and another $5M to renew after five years. The first time fee will be reduced to $4M for companies which paid $1M for a temporary license to start taking bets while their request is pending with the commission.

Details of Massachusetts Sports Betting Bill

Bets on professional and collegiate sports contests would be allowed. However, wagers on the individual performances of college sports athletes are not permitted. The provision to allow bets on college sports has been a recurring theme in the three years that lawmakers have been discussing sports betting.

Although fantasy sports isn’t covered by the legislation, it also permits legal bets on motor race events, e-sports, competitive video games, and any other sporting event that is approved by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

Mobile bets will be charged 15% under the bill while in-person wagers will be taxed at 12.5%. An additional 1% tax would be levied for bets made on events in Massachusetts and this additional fee will be distributed proportionately between the facilities that hosted the said events to be utilized for “sports wagering security and integrity.”

FanDuel and DraftKings Pour in $20M for Florida Sports Betting Initiative

Florida Flag With a Casino Background
Sports betting industry leaders FanDuel and DraftKings contributed a massive sum last month to back a proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize sports betting in Florida.

According to campaign finance records reported by Florida Education Champions to the Florida Division of Elections on Monday, FanDuel and DraftKings poured in $10M each during the month of June to back its campaign to allow sports betting platforms to operate in the state.

Established in June, the Florida Education Champions is the sports betting political action committee ( PAC ) that is pushing for the legalization of Florida sports betting.

Said David Johnson, committee chair of the Florida Education Champions:

“Thank you to DraftKings and FanDuel for stepping up to the plate in an incredible way to kick off our amendment process that stands to help all Floridians. Our amendment will direct hundreds of millions of additional dollars toward Florida’s Educational Enhancement Trust Fund and open up the market for online sports betting to competition.”

Contribution Cap Blocked

The $20M funding came in before the expected effective date of a new law that would cap contributions made to committees sponsoring initiatives up to $3,000 until the constitutional amendment they are backing makes the ballot. That initiative however, was blocked by a federal judge on the day it was supposed to take effect.

After spending approximately $160,000 for research, marketing software, website management, and legal services, Florida Education Champions entered July armed with a $19.84M bank account which will be used as it war chest to push for their initiative with education as its selling point.

Legalization of Sports Betting in Florida

If approved, the amendment will legalize sports betting in Florida stadiums and other venues including pari-mutuels all over the state. It specifically authorizes online sports betting by entities authorized to conduct online sports betting and by Native American tribes with a gaming compact with the state.

The initiative would authorize the Legislature to tax legal sports betting with all revenues going to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund, an account funded by the Florida Lottery and which pays for various educational programs such as the Bright Futures Scholarships.

PlayStar Casino Gains Access to Pennsylvania via Caesars Entertainment

Pennsylvania Symbol With a Slots Background

Online casino brand PlayStar has secured market access to Pennsylvania through a multi-year partnership with Caesars Entertainment.

Its launch in Pennsylvania, targeted for Q2 of next year, will double its reachable market in terms of population and gaming revenue.

Per Adam Noble, co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer at PlayStar Casino in a statement:

“We are thrilled to have secured market access in Pennsylvania through this multi-year deal with Caesars, allowing us to double our addressable market. This is the second market access deal we have secured after announcing our entry into New Jersey earlier in the year and will continue to seek such partnerships as we expand the PlayStar Casino brand. We are looking forward to working through the regulatory process with the Pennsylvanian Gaming Control Board (PGCB) and all going we’ll look forward to launching to players in Pennsylvania in the first half of next year.”

Powered by the GiG Platform

PlayStar will be powered by the GiG platform after announcing a long-term partnership with the Gaming Innovation Group last February. Under the agreement, GiG will supply its iGaming platform technologies to PlayStar as was seen during the latter’s entry into New Jersey earlier this year.

The addition of Pennsylvania as its second market will allow PlayStar to use the spill over effects of its marketing and brand awareness campaign in the Garden State to help its local campaigns in the new market.

2nd Largest Gaming Market

Pennsylvania is the 2nd largest gaming market in the United States with the Keystone State reporting a third consecutive record breaking month the last time out. Gross gaming revenue across all legal channels totaled $413,182,161 for the month of May, eclipsing the previous record of $403M set by April 2021.

Despite its current performance, industry experts believe that the Pennsylvania gaming market is far from reaching its full potential. With its personalized and exemplary customer service strategy, PlayStar hopes to get a god share of the pie in that emerging Pennsylvania market.

Betway SportsBook On Test Launch in Pennsylvania

Two Laptops Showing Sports in Front of a Pile of Money
European online gambling operator Betway is currently on a three-day test launch in Pennsylvania to determine whether it will be granted approval for a permanent online sports betting and gambling license in the Keystone State.

If everything goes well and without a hitch during the trial period, Betway can start permanent operations beginning next month.

Test Period

According to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, the test period for Betway will run from 1pm to 9 pm of Monday, 11 am to 9pm of Tuesday, and 9am to 9pm of Wednesday, June 30th. The PGCB is expected to give Betway its final grade on Thursday, and if it gets a passing mark, the sports betting operator can start operations on the same day.

If Betway secures approval, which is expected, it will become the 13th sportsbook operator and 17th online casino operator in Pennsylvania. The global online gambling operator gained access to the Pennsylvania market by virtue of an agreement with the Cordish Gaming Group’s Live! Philadelphia Casino.

Strong Market for Online Gambling Operators

After initial concerns that fees might drive operators away, the Keystone State has emerged as a strong market for online gambling operators. It started 2021 with a huge $80.4M revenue and has continued to grow although it took a dip in April when major sports events concluded during the first quarter of the year.

Based on PGCB figures, Pennsylvania’s May 2021 online casino revenue reached $98.6M which was a slight increase from the April figure of $90.3M. These numbers were much bigger than its retail gambling market which made just $4.7M in total gaming revenue last month.

Strengthening its U.S. Position

Betway is currently strengthening its position in the U.S. sports betting market which has exponentially grown since the U.S. Supreme Court repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 three years ago. With Pennsylvania’s stature in that market,

Aside its pending launch in Pennsylvania, Betway is already live in Colorado, Indiana. Overall, it has market access to 10 states in the U.S. Earlier this year, Betway has also forged deals with the NHL and the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers as official sports betting partner.

Arizona Department of Gaming Working to Meet Fall Launch of Sports Betting

Arizona State Seal With a Casino Hotel Background
Arizona sports betting became legal last April, when Gov. Doug Ducey signed HB 2772 into a law. But it won’t be operational until the Arizona Department of Gaming can formulate and finalize the rules and regulations governing Arizona sports betting.

With state leaders wanting to launch Arizona sports betting by the time the NFL’s 2021 season starts, the Department of Gaming is working double-time in formulating the rules.

Said Max Hartgraves, public information officer of the Arizona Department of Gaming:

“We do need to set up a whole new regulatory structure and develop these rules. So, we are on a pretty tight timetable. Luckily, we do have that emergency clause, so we’re able to kind of expedite that rule-making process. But, just putting that whole regulatory structure in place, because this form of gaming has never been legal in the state.”

20 Licenses Have Been Issued

So far, a total of 20 Arizona sports betting licenses have been issued. 10 of these were given to Arizona tribal casinos while the other 10 were awarded to Arizona professional sports teams. Positioning has been quick with sports betting companies partnering with different sports teams in recent months.

The Arizona Diamondbacks of the MLB have partnered with Caesars Entertainment to build a retail sportsbook in the plaza adjacent to Chase Field and will launch their mobile sports betting app. The NBA’s Phoenix Suns will team up with FanDuel to bring a sportsbook to the Phoenix Suns Arena. Meanwhile, golf’s TPC Scottsdale has paired with DraftKings for the establishment of a sportsbook at its facility.

Approval by Bureau of Indian Affairs

Last month, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Indian Affairs gave the final nod for the legalization of Arizona sports betting by approving the amended tribal state gaming agreement between Gov. Ducey and the state’s tribal leaders. The tribes fought to protect their exclusive rights to most gambling in Arizona and they got that under the new agreement.

Aside from operating Arizona sports betting, the new law allows the tribal casinos to expand their gaming offerings by adding games such as baccarat and craps. They were also permitted to increase the number of slot machines while maintaining their existing offers for poker and blackjack.

Maine Lawmakers Strike Down Three Sports Betting Bills To Focus on One

Person Browsing a Sports Betting Site on a Tablet

The Legislature’s Committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs struck down three Main sports betting bills last Friday in order to work on a fourth one which they hope Gov. Janet Mills will sign into a law.

Lawmakers renewed their call to legalize Maine sports betting this year by introducing four bills at the start of the year. All four had one common goal – legalization of sports betting in the state. But with Gov. Mills rejecting a Maine sports betting bill passed by the legislature in January 2020, lawmakers want to make sure that this time around, they will be presenting the governor with a legislature that she will sign.

Appeasing Gov. Mills

In rejecting the 2020 Maine sports betting bill, Mills said that she was concerned that it did not contain provisions that would assure that the underage constituents would not be able to access the online betting sites. To appease the governor, the legislature says that they will work collaboratively to develop a sports betting bill that ensures the protection of minors.

Another issue of Maine sports betting is whether it should be linked to brick and mortar casinos and parimutuel betting facilities, which is what the state’s two casinos, the Hollywood Casino Bangor and Oxford Casino Hotel, have lobbied for. However, the proponents of the Maine sports betting bill favor a “free-for-all” market where sportsbooks could apply mobile sports betting licenses even without brick and mortar presence.

Potential Revenue

According to the model of Hancock Sen. Louis Luchini, the sponsor of the surviving bill, each online sportsbook operator will be required to pay the state $20,000 per year for Maine sports betting privileges. For those with retail properties, they will only be required to pay $2,000 per year with both types of licenses valid for two years.

The state’s existing casinos and parimutuel venues, the gross gaming tax is only 10% of their total revenues. Meanwhile, online sportsbooks will be required to remit 16% of their gross revenues as taxes to the state.  Projections say that Maine sports betting could generate $5M annually in new tax revenue from the legalization of Maine sports pbetting.

 

Florida Gov. De Santis Signs Seminole Sports Betting Bill

Odds Board and Money

Gov. Ron De Santis signed a legislation on Tuesday that would allow Florida’s Seminole tribe to offer sports betting while adding roulette and craps to their casino offerings.

The bill, which could be worth a potential $20B in taxes over the next 30 years for the Sunshine State, was approved by the Florida House and Senate last week. It still needs the confirmation of the U.S. Department of Interior, which oversees tribal gaming operations in the United States.

Seminole Sports Betting Could Start on October 15th

Under the agreement, Seminole sports betting could commence by October 15th. Wagering on sports at horse tracks, jai alai frontons, and former dog tracks will also be allowed for a share of the income. The Seminole tribe would also be permitted to operate legal online sports betting.

DeSantis also signed a bill on Tuesday that would establish a gambling commission that would regulate pari-mutuels and investigate illegal gambling in Florida. The Governor also signed another bill that allows jai alai frontons, dog tracks, and a harness racing track in the Miami-Dade and Broward counties to continue operating slots and card rooms even without holding live events. Under the deal, only thoroughbred race tracks are required to hold live racing events.

Critics Say Seminole Sports Betting Bill Violates Constitution

However, critics of the Seminole sports betting bill argue that it violates the state constitution on the ground that sports bets can be made outside tribal lands. However, supporters of the bill contended that since the servers used to operate online sport betting are located within Seminole property, then it is legal.

Meanwhile, Democrats who opposed the bill say that it also violates Amendment 3 of the state constitution passed by voters in 2018. That amendment prevents the expansion of gambling outside tribal property without the approval of voters.