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.

Florida Becomes Biggest State By Population To Legalize Digital Sports Betting

In what seemed very much like a predetermined outcome, the Florida House of Representatives on Wednesday ratified the new gaming compact between the state and the Seminole Indian Tribe, 97-17. The approval came after an hour of debate and attempts at multiple amendments, making Florida the biggest state by population to legalize sports wagering since the fall of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act on May 14, 2018.

The compact all but creates a monopoly for the Seminole Indian Tribe, which is already the driver of gaming in Florida. Any and all sports bets — even if made on mobile devices or via parimutuel partners — must “go through servers” placed on tribal lands, and the tribe gets a cut.

Full story here.

Game, Bet, Match: Europeans Love to Wager on Tennis. Will US Gamblers Ever Follow Suit?

A funny thing happened during the darkest days of the coronavirus pandemic. When the vast majority of major sports suspended play for a prolonged spell, a semi-pro table tennis league, the Russian Liga Pro, streamed matches around the clock. They attracted millions of dollars in wagers from bettors who were bored out of their minds, desperate to gamble on something.

American gamblers were not immune to this unlikely Soviet sensation, but common wisdom dictated that the frenzy would die down considerably once the bigger sports came back online. Strangely, that never happened—especially in Colorado.

Full story here.

It All Adds Up: NCAA Tournament Leads To Record $4.6B Handle In March

There was little surprise March delivered a record sports betting handle for the seventh time in the last eight months as bettors across states that generate large handles were able to wager on NCAA tournament games for the first time — including four in the Midwest that missed out on the chance to do so last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The $4.61 billion in wagers for March likely will stand as the high-water mark until September, when the juggernaut that is the NFL begins play. The next marquee sporting events are across the Atlantic: the all-English UEFA Champions League final between Premier League champion Manchester City and rival Chelsea takes place May 29, followed by the month-long, 32-nation UEFA European Championship across the continent starting June 11.

Full story here.

Ohio Sports Teams, Grocers, And Bowling Alley Owners Not Happy With Proposed Sportsbook Bill

Ohio’s grocery store owners are not happy. Neither are the bowling alley owners. And lottery operators aren’t exactly humming a happy tune either.

Spokespeople for all three organizations spoke in front of the Ohio Select Committee on Gaming Wednesday afternoon, complaining that the sports betting bill, as crafted, is a rotten egg. Or a 7-10 split. Or a misread scratch-off (lottery metaphors are objectively difficult to conjure up).

David Corey, the executive vice president of the Ohio Bowling Centers Association, was borderline livid when describing what he sees as the “unworkable” portion of the bill that deals with the Ohio Lottery and the betting “pools” the bill proposes.

Full story here.

BetMGM So Far Dominating Michigan Online Casino Market

BetMGM has been on a roll in Michigan when it comes to online casino.

The platform raked in $36.8 million from its online slots and table games in April, 41.4% of the statewide adjusted gross revenue of more than $88.8 million. In the online space, MGM is also competing against tribal casino operators, which have their own online gambling offerings.

The 41.4% market share in online casino isn’t far off from MGM Grand Detroit’s 2019 commercial casino market share of 42.8%, but that market share doesn’t include more than 20 tribal casinos in the state. MGM Grand generated $623.5 million of the $1.45 billion in adjusted gaming revenue the three Detroit casinos saw collectively that year. Through the first four months of 2021 in retail casino revenue, MGM Grand is just under 40% of gaming revenue among its Detroit competition.

Full story here.

Vaccination, Lifted Restrictions Setting Up A Hot Summer In Vegas

Las Vegas is gearing up for one of its strongest summers in history, and if this past weekend is any indication, that’s just what the city is going to get.

The Centers for Disease Control announcement Thursday that vaccinated people can forgo masks in most indoor settings prompted Nevada regulators on Friday to loosen the mask-wearing requirement in casinos. Casino resorts, most of which were greenlighted to return to 100% of their capacity last week, saw huge crowds, including an influx of drive-in traffic from California and Las Vegas residents celebrating with family and friends to mark the apparent winding down of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Full story here.