NC Sports Betting Bill on the Move

North Carolina Flag

A bill that seeks to legalize online sports betting in North Carolina is expected to get a legislative committee hearing in the coming days. Although this is an early step in a long process, it’s a sign that the measure is gaining traction.

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said Tuesday after noon that SB 688 will finally move this week from from the Senate Committee on Rules and Operations, where it was referred to last April 8 after a first reading.

The movement means that the legislative measure got the nod from the Senate Republican caucus which is a key arbiter for the bill’s chances. Lead sponsor Sen. Jim Perry said that there’s a “reasonable amount of support from the caucus to move forward” with committee discussion. But he expects additions and changes, as bills often do in the House.

12 Online Licenses

Senate Bill 688 would permit 12 online licenses to be issues and allow sports professional sports facilities and venues that host more than 17,000 fans to receive licenses as well. These include facilities that are home to North American professional sports teams like the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets.

Under the bill, the operators will be regulated by the state and taxed 8% of their sports betting revenues. Legal North Carolina sports betting is expected to generate tens of millions of dollars for the state. The revenue will go to areas in North Carolina that need development.

Legal Wagers Outside Tribal Casinos

North Carolina’s current law permits sports gambling but only at tribal casinos. Harrah’s Casino, located at the mountains of western North Carolina and operated by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, recently opened a sports betting facility earlier this year inside the property.

The Catawba Two Kings Casino in Kings Mountain, currently operating at a temporary site, will also be allowed to operate legal sports betting and it is expected to do once it is completed. The Casino Two Kings Casino’s main $273M facility will open with an introductory phase at the end of this year.

Caesars Entertainment Launches New Sports Betting App

Caesars Entertainment Logo
Caesars Entertainment has launched a new mobile sportsbook called Caesars Sportsbook.

Operating on Liberty, the company’s owned and integrated stack, the new mobile sportsbook is currently live in eight states- Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Pending regulatory approvals, it is also expected to launch in Arizona, Maryland, and Louisiana.

In Illinois, Nevada, and Washington DC where sports bettors are required to be at or near a Caesars sportsbook to place a wager, bettors will now have access to the Caesars Sportsbook.

Said Tom Reeg, CEO of Caesars Entertainment:

“We are excited to launch our new comprehensive marketing campaign for Caesars Sportsbook. The rebranded and upgraded offerings for our Caesars Sportsbook will provide customized offers, flexible limits, a wide range of betting lines, and an intuitive user experience. Caesars Sportsbook also brings players into an empire of play where, win or lose, every wager gives them more through our award-winning Caesars Rewards.”

Upgraded Look and Link to Caesars Rewards

The new Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill offers users exclusive boosts on profit and flexible betting limits. To celebrate its launch, Caesars Sportsbook is offering first-time app users to place their first bet of up to $5,000, risk free. Aside from the rebranded and improved sports betting experience, app users are also linked to Caesars Rewards .

Under its rewards program, bettors will earn Caesars Rewards Tier Credits and Rewards Credits for every bet made, win or lose. Rewards Credits can be redeemed at the company’s more than 50 destinations in 16 states. This means that everything a player earns online can be used for free play, dining, getaways, and specially curated sports and entertainment experiences.

Nationwide Advertising Campaign

To ramp up the new product and to educate customers about it, Caesars Entertainment is launching a nationwide advertising campaign with actor-comedian JB Smoove embodying the legendary Caesar. As an avid spots fan, Smoove can easily line up with the vision of Caesars Sportsbook. The series of ads also features Patton Oswald as Carl, one of Caesars biggest fan who is already playing on Caesars Sportsbook while earning Caesars Rewards.

Caesars is the official casino sponsor and the official sports betting partner of the NFL. It also has partnership deals with the NBA, NHL, MLB, and other individual teams. Caesars recently became the naming partner of the New Orleans Saints’ home field which is now known as Caesas Superdome.

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.

Barstool Sports Becomes Arizona Bowl Title Sponsor and Broadcast Partner

College Football Player Next to Money and Sportsbook Board

Barstool Sports will be joining the college football scene by becoming the exclusive title sponsor and broadcast partner of the Arizona Bowl. Scheduled for December 31st, this year’s Arizona Bowl coverage will move from the traditional TV coverage by CBS to online viewing via Barstool Sports’ website, mobile app, and social media channels.

Said Barstool CEO Erika Nardini in an interview:

“We really believe that what we can do is take the best of traditional broadcast and take the best of traditional sponsorship and do both in a brand new way. We think we’ll bring new fans. We know we will bring a level of energy, and we’ll cover the game in a way that is completely unique, and uniquely Barstool.”

Not the Original Intention

With this deal, Barstool Sports will be broadcasting a college football game for the first time ever, although that was not the company’s original intention. According to Nardini, the initial conversations were about straight sponsorship but eventually, it included discussion on distribution “by virtue of that sponsorship”.

The deal was facilitated by sponsorship agency Impression Sports, a Playfly Sports company. Impression Sports also brokered title sponsorship deals for other postseason college football games including the Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl, Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl, and the Cheez-it Bowl which was formerly the Tangerine Bowl.

Emphasis on Collegiate Sports

Barstool Sports has put an emphasis on collegiate sports this year. Last spring, they organized the “Let Them Play” Classic in Chandler, Arizona after the NCAA women’s golf regional was canceled. They also launched Barstool Athletics Inc. recently to partner with hundreds of NCAA athletes as ambassadors in the wake of the NIL.

The Arizona Bowl was first played in 2015 and last year, it involved teams from the Mountain West and Mid-American Conferences. It is played annually at the University of Arizona stadium and is owned and operated by Tucson-based non-profit TD4Tucson, which donates 100% of net proceeds to charity. With the Barstool Sportsbook expected to launch in Arizona this fall, getting involved in the Arizona Bowl was a good move.

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.”

Draft of Proposed Maryland Sports Betting Regulations Released

Baltimore Maryland

A draft of the proposed regulations for legal Maryland Sports betting was released ahead of Thursday’s meeting by the Maryland Lottery Gaming Control Commission.

The commission is expected to take up the 228-page proposal in an “special exclusive meeting” covering sports betting in the state.

Maryland voters approved sports betting during the November 2020 vote. Despite time constraints during the legislative session, the legislators enacted the sports betting bill in April and Gov. Larry Hogan signed the bill into a law last May.

License Details

The draft outlines the named entities for Class A and B retail license. According to the proposal, there will be 10 Class A licenses and 30 Class B licenses, divided into four categories.

Class A1 licenses will be given to Maryland’s current three professional sports teams: Baltimore Orioles, Baltimore Ravens, and the Washington Football Team, casinos with more than 1,000 video terminals, and potential future NBA, NHL, or MLS teams in the state. These Class A licensees will pay a non-refundable $2M in application fee and $6M for a five-year license bond.

On the other hand, Class A2 licenses will be given to casinos with fewer than 1,000 video machines, Laurel Park, and Pimlico Race Course. They will be required to pay a $1M application fee and a $2M license fee. Class B-1 licensees include seven entities like the Maryland State Fairgrounds, and commercial bingo license. Their application fee costs $250K and license at $750K. For Class B, these are entities with up to 25 employees or $3M in annual gross receipts. These entities will have to pay $50K in application fees and $75K for the sports betting license.

Registration of Online Bettors

A key feature in the draft is the registration of mobile/online sports bettors. This registration process can be done in-person at a retail location if the mobile sports betting licensee also has a retain venue. It can also be processed online via a mobile app or a website that has been approved by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission.

Mobile and online bets will be accepted only in-state. Geofencing or location-based tracking will be set up to ensure that all mobile and online bets are placed within the state’s boundaries. On the other hand, in-person betting will happen at a betting window or a self-service kiosk located in a retail sports betting venue.

Class A and B mobile sports betting licenses will be worth $500K during application and $1.5M for the initial five-year license bond. Licensees will only be allowed to use one skin or online sports betting operator. The operator license requires a $1.5M bond and the operator can partner with more than one mobile sports betting licensee

DraftKings First to Get DFS Approval in Louisiana

Odds Board and Money

DraftKings became the first daily fantasy operator to get its licensed application approved in Louisiana after the Louisiana Gaming Control Board gave its nod on Thursday morning.

The effectivity of the approval is immediate and DratKings could begin DFS operations on Thursday.

By being the first DFS operator in the state ,DraftKings will have the leg up in both DFS and sports betting by being able to go live first. That’s because operators usually use their DFS databases to convert clients to sports betting, so having more time to build a DFS client base will work to its advantage.

Said Matt Kalish, co-founder and president of DraftKings North America:

“As DraftKings continues our nationwide expansion, we welcome Louisiana to the DraftKings family, an area rich with culture, heritage, and diehard fanbases in both college and professional sports. The Bayou will now have access to our world-leading daily fantasy sports product as we ramp up toward the kickoff of football season.”

$1.3M in Taxes for the State

DraftKings submitted its licensing request last February or shortly after the gaming board opened the application period. The Louisiana State Police Department conducted a background investigation and financial review of the company to ensure it complied with state regulations.

The LGCB says that DraftKings estimated that it would bring $15.5M in net revenue for the current year which would generate nearly $1.3M in tax dollars for the state.

DFS Permitted in Parishes Which Voted For Sports Betting

Louisiana residents who wish to participate in Daily Fantasy Sports activities will have be at least 21 years old and will have to be physically present in one of the parishes that voted to approve the legalization of sports betting. Those who reside in the parishes that voted in the negative will have to travel to one of the approving parishes to log-in to the online sites.

55 out of Louisiana’s 64 parishes voted to legalize DFS, sports betting on live action games but the gaming board has not yet finalized the regulations as well as the application process to start sports betting via retail betting sites, mobile apps, and online sites.

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.