Matthew Waters and the team at Legal Sports Report highlight some of the key US sports betting issues to look out for in the week ahead.
Pennsylvania sports betting figures: We should know by the end of the week whether Pennsylvania broke its sports betting handle record for the third straight month. Handle hit $241.2 million in October with a healthy 82% coming from mobile. The figures will likely be helped by a bit of inorganic growth as DraftKings Sportsbook and Kindred’s Unibet brand both launched in November. DraftKings no doubt tapped its list of daily fantasy sports players in the state to get started on the right foot. Unibet is a much smaller brand in the US, of course, but should be helped by an online casino agreement with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Illinois applications should launch: The lengthy process of launching sports betting in Illinois should take its next step by Thursday as sports betting applications should go live before the state’s next regulatory meeting. It will be interesting to see who jumps in first as casinos, race tracks, stadiums and lottery vendors can all offer sports betting in the state. There will also be up to three standalone mobile operators, though those applications don’t open until 18 months after sports betting actually goes live. Those three licenses also come with a hefty $20 million one-time license fee.
Caesars applying for table games in Indiana: Caesars will formally ask for permission to operate real table games with live dealers Tuesday. Currently, Caesar’s Indiana Grand and Hoosier Park only have electronic table games, but received permission under the same bill that legalized sports betting to add live tables starting in January. Since table games like blackjack and roulette are typically games played by sports bettors, this could lead to sports bettors staying in the casino for longer and potentially betting more. That will benefit not just Caesars but Scientific Games as well, which operates retail sports betting for Caesars in the state through its OpenSports technology. The two casinos combined for just $3.5 million in handle last month.