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

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

Sportradar Now Valued Around $10 Billion, As SPAC Rumors Resurface

Sportradar garnered headlines last July when rumors swirled that the global sports betting data provider was contemplating a move into public markets.

At the time, a deal seemed imminent, as some Wall Street insiders expected Sportradar to go public by the start of the NFL season. After months of inactivity, Sportradar remained a privately held company in early February when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers shocked the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl. Then, out of nowhere, reports resurfaced last week that Sportradar engaged in discussions with several special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) on a potential reverse merger.

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Vegas Golden Knights Announce Stunning Partnership With A Tout Service

In some ways, it feels fitting that the city most associated with sports betting has a pro sports franchise making the first partnership with a picks service, also known as a “tout” for touting winning selections. But perhaps an entity that proffers to sell winning picks on sports contests, under the tagline “Living Off Sports,” is not fit for any reputable partner, let alone a franchise in one of the big four U.S. professional sports leagues.

The Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday announced a multiyear strategic partnership with, making the Mexican-based company an “Official Sports Pick Service Partner” of the team. It is a bold and controversial step considering the nascent sports betting industry in the United States — outside Las Vegas, of course — is still getting accustomed to pro teams partnering with sportsbooks where betting is now legal.

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Texas Bill Would Allow Pro Teams To Be Licensed Sportsbook Operators

A bill filed Tuesday in Texas would give professional sports teams the opportunity to be licensed sports betting operators provided voters approve a constitutional amendment to legalize sports wagering in the state in November.

If passed, H.B. 2070 filed by Republican Rep. Dan Huberty would decriminalize sports wagering and legalize it effective Jan. 1, 2022. The House Joint Resolution (H.J.R. 97) for a constitutional amendment tied to the bill would be on the ballot in November, allowing voters to choose for or against the resolution worded: “The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to legalize sports wagering in this state.”

Full story here.

Q&A: Rip Hamilton Talks Athlete’s View Of Sports Betting ‘Kiss of Death’, Longshot Pick To Win NBA Title, His Famous Face Mask And More

The game has changed. During his legendary career with the Detroit Pistons when he sported the now-retired 32 jersey and a trademark face mask to protect a twice-broken nose, Richard Hamilton had no awareness whatsoever about the point spread in any game in which he competed.

A three-time NBA All-Star guard, Hamilton told MI Bets that sports betting was “the kiss of death. It was something that our players association has done a great job on, speaking to us and keeping us engaged on what’s going on and what to do, and what not to do.”

Full story here.

Penn National Finds (Potential) Sports Betting, iCasino Route Into NY

Penn National Gaming announced Monday it has reached a 20-year “strategic partnership” with Capital Rivers Gaming — known as Rivers Casino & Resort — that will provide access to New York state for mobile sports betting and iCasino gaming, should legislation and regulations permit the company to deploy its platforms via the “second skin” arrangement.

Legal sports wagering currently exists in New York on a limited, in-person basis at four commercial casinos and four tribal casinos in upstate New York. It is one of the four largest states in terms of population alongside California, Texas, and Florida, all of which do not currently permit legal statewide sports betting. However, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, after expressing indifference for three years, has signaled a willingness to bring mobile sports betting to the Empire State to potentially help plug budget shortfalls created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Full story here.