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.

Louisiana Senate Sends Sports Betting Framework Bill To Governor

The Louisiana Senate Thursday morning concurred and accepted House amendments on SB 247, and the bill will now be sent to Gov. John Bel Edwards for approval. The bill lays out the framework for what online and retail sports betting in Louisiana will look like in the 55 of 64 parishes that legalized sports betting in November 2020.

There was no discussion when Sen. Rich Ward moved to reconsider the House amendments or when he moved to concur on them. The Senate voted 33-3 to accept the amendments. The bill allows digital wagering and betting at brick-and-mortar locations, including racetracks and existing casinos. There are 20 sports betting licenses available, and each licensee will be entitled to two skins, or digital platforms. The Louisiana Lottery will also have access to a digital license, meaning there would be as many as 41 online/mobile platforms available.

A twist in the bill is that if racetracks and casinos don’t claim all 20 sports betting licenses by Jan. 1, 2022, fantasy sports betting operators and video poker establishments can apply for any remaining licenses.

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DFS, Player Props Platform Tangled In Payment Dispute With Multiple Users

The player prop-focused daily fantasy sports platform ThriveFantasy has come under fire in recent weeks over widespread claims that the company has failed to honor user withdrawal requests. The company’s CEO, Adam Weinstein, attributes any delays to an ongoing investigation — in an unspecified number of cases — into a glitch on the platform that he says led to some users attempting to defraud the site.

The unhappy chatter about unprocessed requests for withdrawals stretches back to April and picked up in early May on Twitter, bleeding into app reviews on Apple and Google Play. The complaints generally contain iterations of this: A user requested withdrawal of funds, did not receive funds after a week or several weeks, contacted customer service, and got an evasive response or none at all. Some got paid after protracted finger tapping, while some inquired again to no avail.

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It Ads Up: Michigan Consumers Contending With Sportsbook Advertisement Overload

Brandt Iden, the former Michigan state representative who introduced the Lawful Sports Betting Act that passed in 2019, recently had a conversation with his uncle at a family gathering that shined a spotlight on one increasingly unpopular element of his legislative legacy.

“You know, thanks to you,” Iden’s uncle told him, “every time I turn on the television, there’s another sports betting ad on.”

“Now wait a minute,” Iden responded. “You complain every time there’s a political ad during election season as well.”

The conversation crystallizes two noteworthy perspectives on the flood of gambling advertisements on TV, radio, and digital media that has come to the Wolverine State since the dam broke with the first online bets in January. The public is annoyed because every other commercial, it seems, is for an online sportsbook or online casino. But at the same time, most people watching live TV or listening to live radio and lacking the ability to fast-forward through the ads will grumble about any ad once they’ve seen or heard it a few times.

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Bally’s Kim Says Company Has Chance To ‘Run In Its Own Lane’ With Sports Betting, iCasino

For people of a certain age, the Bally’s name is synonymous with health clubs, pinball machines, and during World War II, airplane parts. Today, you can’t get in a good workout, play Pac-Man or Space Invaders, or fly cross country on much with the Bally’s name. But if you’re into sports betting — or even sports — the name has probably flashed on your radar in recent months.

Beyond the iconic Bally’s Atlantic City Casino in New Jersey and its two Rhode Island casinos, the company has hit the town on what seems to be an open-ended shopping spree. Formerly known as Twin River Worldwide Holdings — which bought the Bally’s brand name and trademarks — the current iteration of Bally’s Corp. has purchased or partnered with Sinclair Media, Tropicana Resort in Las Vegas, Indiana’s Tropicana Evansville, sports betting platform Bet.Works, daily fantasy operator Monkey Knife Fight, and several other iGaming and sports betting technology companies that we all may or may not have heard of. So, what’s the plan?

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Sportsbooks Are Probably Doing (Slightly) More Harm Than Good In Paying Out Losers

Knowing what we know about COVID-19, it would’ve been a lot better if the PGA just sent Jon Rahm out by himself to play in round four of the Memorial Tournament on Sunday.

Not to diminish the disease — believe me, I’m Chicken Little in Charge when it comes to the coronavirus — but really: He was asymptomatic, and golf is a game that can obviously be played socially distant. Just give him a vaccinated caddy, wait until everyone is off the course, and let the man finish out what almost certainly would’ve been a victory, as he had a six-shot lead before he had to withdraw post-round three.

Seriously: What’s the worst that could’ve happened if Rahm got to play the round?

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Ohio Sports Betting Bill Expected To Be Voted On Next Wednesday

The time for talking is (almost) done in Ohio, as the Ohio Senate Select Committee on Gaming held its penultimate hearing Tuesday morning.

And while little in the way of testimony affecting the bill SB 176 was discussed, the chairman of the committee, Sen. Kirk Schuring, reminded fellow legislators to get any amendments to his office by 4 p.m. Friday because the time is coming to get this bill to the Senate floor.

“We will convene our last hearing on Tuesday of next week at a time yet to be determined,” Schuring said. “But our goal is to vote the bill out on Tuesday, put it on the Senate floor on Wednesday, and move it over to the House because we want to get something done by June 30.”

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