It still feels like mid-winter, but sports betting action is hotting up. This weekend is Super Bowl LIII, when a mountain of money will be wagered on the Rams and the Patriots. Thanks to the Supreme Court, some of that cash will actually be wagered legally!
The Super Bowl 2019
Politicians may fiddle but sports betting is burning. VSIN forecast that over $300 million will be legally wagered on this weekend’s Super Bowl LIII. That’s the handle estimated just from the eight states where sports betting is now legal in the US.
All the money wagered on the Patriots to win will be wasted. The Rams have this one in the bag!
OK ignore my own favoritism, early lines show the match to be one of the closest Super Bowls in history. Barely a point separates the odds, with the Patriots edging ahead as the early money hits the sportsbooks.
If you want to know where you can place your bets, USBR’s Daniel Smyth lays out all the options.
Harrah’s Philadelphia launches sports betting
The new facility is known as The Book and boasts a fantastic environment for watching the big games.
Pennsylvania now has six sports betting casinos open for action:
- Harrah’s Philadelphia
- Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course
- Parx Casino and Racing
- Rivers Casino
- SugarHouse Casino
- The South Philadelphia Turf Club
DOJ Opinion should not achieve very much
Not much progress has been made understanding what the new DOJ legal opinion on the Wire Act will mean in practice. If you find the whole thing confusing, USBR sets out the situation in an easily digested article.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) sent all its operators a letter telling them to submit a compliance plan within 30 days.
The PGCB explained that it didn’t believe the new opinion would affect live sports betting, but that operators must ensure that all online gaming stays within the state boundaries.
A cynical observer might suggest that this is the most effective way of the PGCB getting free legal consultancy on what they should do next!
The odds are that the online gaming rollout will take place as planned with the first apps due to enter the market in Q2 2019.
Connecticut gets a new sports betting bill even though it already has one
Connecticut passed a sports betting law in 2017. This did not get implemented after the Supreme Court overturned PASPA in May last year, mainly because there are still disputes between the tribal and state casinos.
Now, nine Democratic senators have introduced a placeholder bill to try to ensure that something happens in 2019:
- Sen. Martin M. Looney, 11th Dist.
- Sen. Bob Duff, 25th Dist.
- Sen. Steve Cassano, 4th Dist.
- Sen. Christine Cohen, 12th Dist.
- Sen. Mary Daugherty Abrams, 13th Dist.
- Sen. Catherine A. Osten, 19th Dist.
- Sen. Dennis Bradley, 23rd Dist.
- Sen. Julie Kushner, 24th Dist.
- Sen. Norman Needleman, 33rd Dist.
The SB665 bill doesn’t say anything specific simply demanding:
“That the general statutes be amended to authorize wagering on the results of certain sporting events.”
Mississippi gets its first sports betting app
The tribal Pearl River Casino in Mississippi is launching the state’s first mobile sports betting app. The bad news is that the state regulations mean that it can only be used on the casino premises.
Sportsbook Director Chris Hopwood says that the mobile app will mean smaller lines at the betting windows, especially during weekend college football games.
The app will also make it easier to make in-game and prop bets. Hopwood explained:
“We’re also hoping with the in-play, we’ll have prop bets on the game. So the guests will be allowed to vote on their favorite props that we have throughout game. The first person to score a touchdown, next play first down, if it’ll be pass, rush. There are just many different options for the props to go with the mobile app that gives the guests another experience to bet with the sports betting.”
What we’re looking for next week
- New York sports betting regulations on view—On Monday there is a public meeting at the New York State Gaming Commission where draft sports betting regulations will be available.
- DC public hearing—The DC Council is holding a public hearing on the procurement of an operator to run sports betting. https://twitter.com/tomsherwood/status/1089890542555664386
- The Super Bowl is taking place at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium Atlanta on Sunday, February 3.
- Kick off is at 6.30 p.m. Eastern Time
- And yes, the Rams will win!!