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This Week In US Sports Betting January 29 To February 4

Starting at the end of the week for a change, Super Bowl LIII turned out to be the lowest scoring Super Bowl ever. The Patriots inhumanely executed the Rams 13-3. Early reports suggest that viewing figures were particularly low.

This isn’t how it was supposed to be. After state-legal sports betting was introduced, the American Gaming Association (AGA) forecast higher viewer figures. The thesis is that sports betting increases fan engagement, which should mean more people watching the game.

The AGA predicted that sports fans would wager $6 billion on the game. Most of that money will have gone to offshore books rather than to legal US sports betting sites.

Let’s hope this is an early anomaly, and that 2019 will see greater viewing figures, more fan engagement and a lot of that money staying onshore in the USA.

For good news we need to go back earlier in the week, where is a flood of great sports betting stories.

New sportsbooks in New Jersey

New Jersey picked up three new sportsbooks in time for the Super Bowl.

  • The Resorts Casino added a sportsbook to its ResortsCasino.com site.
  • The Hard Rock Atlantic City launched its online sportsbook at HardRockCasino.com. Notably the Hard Rock doesn’t yet have its live sports betting up yet.
  • Under the umbrella license of the Golden Nugget, BetAmericaSport launched online and immediately took a bet on the Super Bowl.

More states get sports betting bills

There are now 8 states with legal sports betting, and three more with a pending launch.  There are now 25 states with sports betting bills at some stage of the legislative process. Movement looks to be accelerating.

The four states in the news this week were:

Texas— Rep. Eddie Lucio III filed House Bill H1275. The bill aims to legalize sports betting both on and offline.  Lucio is a Democrat and the Texas Republicans, who are already opposed to online gambling, will almost certainly not support the bill. This one is for the long term only.

Oregon—When PASPA passed, Oregon was grandfathered in, so no new laws are required for it to begin offering sports betting. The state lottery now says that it wants to have mobile sports betting in operation by the time the next NFL season starts. All the lottery needs now is an online sports betting partner.

Virginia—A Senate committee vote on bill S1126 has added a delay to legal sports betting in the state. The vote amends the bill to require a gambling study before the bill can get out of committee:

“The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission shall conduct a review of casino gaming laws in other states and report any findings and recommendations to the Chairmen of the Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology and the House Committee on General Laws on or before November 1, 2019.”

South Dakota—The legislature passed Joint Resolution 2 which will give voters a chance to approve a constitutional amendment to allow sports betting. State-regulated betting will be limited to the town of Deadwood, although the 11 tribal casinos would also be able to offer sports betting. The best guess as to a launch date would be early 2022.

What we’re looking at this week

Penn National reports its Q4 results on Feb 7. The earnings call is likely to discuss the impact of the revised DOJ opinion on the Wire Act. The big question is whether Penn National will postpone or cancel its planned launch of online sports betting.

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