SportsHandle and friends deliver another round-up of the week’s big developments in US sports betting.

Chris Christie criticizes Pennsylvania sports betting – ‘a rolling dumpster fire’

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for the most part Tuesday offered the standing room-only Global Gaming Expo event audience in Las Vegas more of a mix of his political and legal expertise, as well as charm, than his more combative side.

But after reaping praise on his home state for how it has handled its rollout of sports betting — shortly before state regulators announced a new record of $446 mm in wagers in the month of September — Christie turned his weapons on a neighboring state.

“Let’s take a state that has really screwed it up — Pennsylvania,” Christie said during his one-hour keynote speech. “And I mean, a rolling dumpster fire is sports gaming in Pennsylvania. They did all the wrong things — a ridiculously high tax rate, a ridiculously high barrier of entry,” Christie added, while claiming that “every Saturday and Sunday this fall, people are driving from Pennsylvania into New Jersey and sitting at our rest stops on their mobile phones and making bets, then heading back home.”

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Behind the counter: A college football day in the life of a Vegas sportsbook

A half-hour prior to kickoff for the first slate of college football games Saturday, a short, 74-year-old man whose white hoodie matches his thick shock of hair paces in the sportsbook at South Point Hotel Casino.

But he’s not preparing to make a bet. Longtime oddsmaker Jimmy Vaccaro is patrolling the casino’s side of the sports betting windows, monitoring the action of the bettors and overseeing his 12 ticket writers like an old-time general backing his row of troops in battle.

Vaccaro recognizes maybe half the faces in the betting lines five deep at the windows, knows maybe 5% of them by a first name. They are regulars at a casino that prides itself on devoting more attention to its sportsbook and its patrons than is the case for many gambling palaces, which draw far more revenue from other types of wagers.

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Sports betting injury information: 5 key factors from ‘Pro Football Doc.’

Dr. David Chao, or as he’s known on Twitter @ProFootballDoc, never expected that his passion for sports medicine and focus on film study as the former San Diego Chargers team doctor would spin him into a world analyzing video to help inform sports bettors.

After building a following of 150,000 and compiling a “record” of 95 percent accuracy in his video-based medical analyses of NFL player injuries, he’s turned a hobby into a small business — currently offering the content free — feeding a voracious audience of sports bettors and fantasy players.

“There’s no other doctor that’s crazy enough or passionate enough to want to be involved at this level,” Chao told Sports Handle, referencing his newly launched site Pro Football Doc. “And quite honestly right now, I’m most concerned about quality control of the information. It’s never 100 percent because it’s just video, and video can lie.”

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DraftKings talks about Indiana sports betting opportunity

Thanks to after-hours negotiation and some hand-wringing, Indiana’s state legislature in early May passed a broad gambling bill that legalized sports wagering within it. The result is one of the most free-market, consumer-friendly legal sports betting jurisdictions in the U.S., now in the early days of implementation of a model most akin to New Jersey’s, which has stamped itself as the East Coast sports betting leader.

New Jersey is also where DraftKings planted its flag as an actual sportsbook, after earlier speculation about the daily fantasy sports leader’s potential bifurcation into a DFS and sportsbook operator. In New Jersey in August 2018, DraftKings became the first legal mobile/online sportsbook to launch in any state outside Nevada, and quickly emerged as one of the market leaders, alongside fellow DFS competitor, FanDuel.

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Kentucky aiming for legal sports betting (again), and fixed-rate betting on horse races

What if you could bet on horse racing the same way you bet on an NFL game in the United States? That’s a proposition a Kentucky thoroughbred-racing think tank wants Bluegrass State lawmakers to consider. And it’s not really outside of the box — according to a spokesman from the think tank, bettors in Asia, Australia and Europe already bet on horse racing this way, in addition to or instead of traditional pari-mutuel betting. Fixed odds horse racing wagering has also taken root in New Jersey, via DraftKings Sportsbook and the Betfair Exchange.

According to Kentucky’s River City News, at a recent meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Licensing, Occupations and Administrative Regulations, Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer asked committee co-chairman Adam Koenig to include fixed-odds wagering on horse racing when Koenig files his sports betting bill. Koenig proposed sports betting legislation in the 2019 session, and told Sports Handle in September that he’ll file again for the 2020 session.

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