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.
Nevada reports Super Bowl handle Monday: There’s never a long wait to find out exactly how much handle sports bettors in Nevada put down on the Super Bowl. The state Gaming Control Board always releases those figures the Monday following the game. Last year’s game brought in $145.9 million in handle, though that was down 8% from 2018 total of $158.6 million. No doubt regulators are hoping the state gets off to a decent start for 2020 with big Super Bowl betting numbers after Nevada’s sportsbooks set a new annual handle record of $5.3 billion last year. We’ll get numbers quickly from New Jersey as well.
Maryland sports betting hearing Tuesday: HB 225 will get its first hearing next week but it’s already received support from racetrack operators in the Senate. That’s because HB 225 would open sports betting up to both casinos and tracks, not just casinos like SB 4. That would mean 11 online sports betting licenses instead of just six. The majority of casino operators testified in favor of SB 4 remaining the same, but other stakeholders including sportsbook operators said more licenses would create a better competitive environment. HB 169, which likely has less of a chance to be considered since it does not include online sports betting, will also be heard. Maryland also has a complicated constitutional situation.
Penn National earnings call Thursday: The US-listed casino operator with properties in 19 states finally pulled the trigger and bought a national sports betting brand. Penn acquired 36% of Barstool Sports with the option to own up to 50% of Barstool in three years and eventually buy the entire company. Penn already held a call to break down some of the deal’s details, but Thursday’s investor call should give some insight into how the company’s current sports betting operations are performing. Penn National has retail sportsbooks at its casinos and gets a revenue share from other operators that launched off its market-access agreements. The first Barstool Sportsbook sightings will likely be in West Virginia and Michigan.