SportsHandle: That was the week that was in US sports betting

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

Exclusive: DraftKings And $3 Million Parlay Bettor Battling Over Frozen Funds

A Florida bettor who placed a highly publicized $3 million parlay wager is considering legal action against DraftKings after the company froze the customer’s New Jersey mobile sports betting account late last month, Sports Handle has learned.

The patron dispute carries widespread ramifications for the emerging U.S. sports betting industry, while calling into question how often top sportsbooks engage in selective enforcement regarding the practice of messenger betting. The dispute could also shed light on whether major sportsbooks are operating in a gray area by condoning a practice that may run afoul of numerous federal and state laws. Messenger betting, while difficult to enforce, occurs when an out-of-state bettor transmits information through a proxy, instructing the proxy to place a wager in another jurisdiction, typically one with legalized gambling.

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Virginia Lottery Vetting Sports Betting Applicants

Less than 12 hours after Virginians in four cities approved new casinos, the Virginia Lottery says it’s still aiming to launch mobile sports betting operators in early 2021. It’s been a busy year for the Virginia Lottery — it first had to craft sports betting regulations in less than three months, is currently vetting applications, and it will now have to develop a regulatory framework for retail casino gaming.

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Maryland Voters Legalize Statewide Mobile Sports Wagering

With 100% of Election Day results reported early on Wednesday morning, a referendum that asked voters to decide if they backed legal sports betting in Maryland led by a considerable margin. The referendum allows for statewide digital and retail sports betting. Five other states considered gaming-related initiatives Tuesday, and all passed.

As of 12:03 a.m. ET on Nov. 4, roughly 1.23 million voters selected “yes” on Question 2, a measure that will expand commercial gaming in the state to include sports gambling. Proponents of the measure led detractors by a nearly 2-to-1 margin with provisional ballots yet to be tallied, according to the Maryland State Board of Elections. Among votes counted, there were 635,923 votes against the referred law, representing about 34% of the total votes.

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Nebraska Voters Approve Major Gaming Expansion

As of midnight CST, and with nearly 80% of precincts reporting, Nebraska was poised to approve a massive expansion of gaming that could ultimately allow for legal retail sports wagering in the state. Nebraska is one of six states that had some sort of gaming-related initiative on the ballot. Marylanders approved statewide mobile and retail sports betting while voters in more than 50 Louisiana parishes approved retail sports wagering.

According to the Associated Press, more than 65% of Nebraska voters favored all three constitutional amendments required for the expansion, with 79% of votes counted.

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Most Louisiana Parishes Approve Retail Sports Betting

For the second time in two years, Louisianans legalized some form of sports betting. This time around, sources say, voters in 56 of 64 parishes voted to allow in-person sports betting at existing casinos and racinos at horse tracks as of 11 p.m. CST. Local media outlets were reporting landslide victories throughout the state. In 2018, voters in 47 of 64 parishes approved daily fantasy sports — but can’t yet play them.

“We’re thrilled Louisianans have approved sports wagering, and look forward to working with the legislature to implement a common-sense sports wagering framework,” FanDuel Vice President, Government Affairs and Product Counsel Cory Fox told Sports Handle Tuesday night. “We hope to see FanDuel Sportsbook live in Louisiana in 2021.”

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