Dustin Gouker and the team at Legal Sports Report highlight some of the key US sports betting issues to look out for in the week ahead.
Is Nevada still No. 1? Sports betting revenue figures for September are due out this week for the Silver State. While New Jersey has been the top state for much of the summer in terms of amouint wagered, it’s not clear that will keep up as numbers for football season arrive. Betting on football is huge business in Nevada, and the NJ total of $445 million in handle will almost certainly be less than Nevada took in last month. Nevada routinely takes in more than half a billion in bets during the fall months. We still expect that New Jersey will take the crown of the biggest state for sports betting handle and revenue long-term because of the ease of mobile registration that Nevada lacks. But for now, Nevada will probably take back the No. 1 position.
State movement: There’s another hearing in Ohio to consider sports betting legislation after some movement earlier this month in the state. There’s still a lot of ground to cover for the state to legalize wagering, but it continues to get air time in the statehouse. We’re also watching for action in Missouri after a recent hearing, and in Michigan, where a deal to get sports betting done has remained elusive.
TV ratings and sports betting: A popular narrative is that legal US sports betting would be a boon to TV ratings. But that has not been the case so far for this year’s World Series, which has seen fairly poor ratings for the first few games between the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals. Meanwhile, NFL ratings have been largely up across the board. The truth is 1. TV ratings are driven by a wide range of things; 2. there is not such a critical mass of states with legal sports betting that it might meaningfully affect ratings and 3. a lot of people were already betting on sports before it became legal. In any event, reading anything into TV ratings vis a vis sports betting is difficult right now. We also do know that advertising for sportsbooks before, during (when allowed) and after sporting events is big business in some of the markets where betting is legal, particularly New Jersey and Pennsylvania.