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

Washington D.C.’s Online Monopoly Will Put Lottery Run Sportsbook Model To Ultimate Test

Two years of sports betting regulatory turf wars across the United States has produced several species of legal sportsbooks. There’s some shared DNA, but the quantity and quality of sportsbooks varies wildly among jurisdictions, with their ecosystems created unequally and the logic behind them disparate.

The nation’s capital, currently mired in its own identity crisis, is the site of a legal sports betting model that will provide a fantastic case study in what it means to be a “lottery sportsbook” jurisdiction versus one with “casino sportsbooks.” That’s because the mayor and D.C. Council are due to receive a study in May 2021 evaluating the lottery model’s performance, and officials will have the opportunity to pivot. According to the law, the study is due 24 months after the effective date of May 3, 2019.

Full story here.

Virginia’s Proposed Sports Betting Regulations Don’t Raise Major Red Flags

The Virginia Lottery on Wednesday rolled out its proposed sports betting rules, and it appears to be taking direction from legal sports betting states regulated by gaming boards, rather than lotteries.

Before the proposed regulations were even presented at the Lottery Board meeting, one member asked if the Lottery was considering a payout cap similar to what the Tennessee Education Lottery is imposing on licensed TN sportsbooks. The unequivocal answer was no.

“The Tennessee model is closest to ours,” Lottery Executive Director Kevin Hall said during the meeting. “We’re still working through lots of details, but it’s safe to say we won’t (have a required hold). It’s somewhat controversial, and the criticism is that margins (in sports betting) are so narrow … that by guaranteeing a 10% hold, it makes the odds worse than” what a consumer could find in the illegal market.

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Rumors Abound As Sports Betting Data Provider Sportradar Weighs Potential IPO

With the NFL regular season scheduled to begin in less than two months, Sportradar made waves earlier this week when a report surfaced that the global sports betting data provider is considering plans to go public, through a so-called reverse merger.

The Switzerland-headquartered company is pondering a move into public markets, according to Sportico,  potentially through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, commonly known as a SPAC. After SPACs raised record levels of IPO money last year, blank check companies have increased in prominence within sports gambling circles in light of DraftKings‘ tri-merger with SBTech and Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corp. (DEAC), a public acquisition vehicle led by former media executive Jeff Sagansky and founding investor Harry Sloan.

Sportradar, meanwhile, has partnerships in place with all four major North American professional sports leagues, most notably the NFL. Over the last month, two sportsbook operators — FanDuel and Penn National Gaming — have gained access to NFL official data through partnerships with Sportradar.

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PA Casinos Reopen To Strong Revenue Figures Validating Views Of Pent-Up Demand

June revenue figures just released for Pennsylvania’s partially reopened casinos show that the suggestions gamblers would have pent-up demand proved true: The casinos earned even more than a year ago per day they were open.

Eleven of the state’s 12 casinos were open, to varying degrees, during part of June after getting a reprieve from mandated COVID-19 shutdowns. Combined, they earned $74.1 million from slots and table games for the month, according to Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board data released Thursday afternoon.

While that’s far less than the $267.7 million from those forms of gambling in June 2019, the casinos only had a collective 112 days of operation this June instead of 360. Also, the state’s two biggest revenue producers, Parx and Wind Creek Bethlehem, were only open two days of the month, and another large casino, Rivers Philadelphia, did not open at all.

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Colorado’s First Sports Betting Report Reveals ‘Bright Future’

More than 10 weeks after the first legal sports bet was placed in Colorado, the Department of Gaming released its first official sports wagering revenue report, showing that the state’s commercial mobile sportsbooks took in $25.6 million in handle. During the first month, four sportsbooks were live beginning May 1, while two others joined the fray mid-month.

There was little to bet on given the shutdown of major professional sports amid the COVID-19 crisis, so the first report is like none we’ll likely see going forward — $6.6 million was wagered on table tennis, followed by $3 million on parlays, about $1.6 million on MMA and baseball, $1.5 million on soccer and $1.3 million on golf. The biggest category, with $7.9 million wagered, is labeled “other.”

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