SportsHandle: That was the year that was in US sports betting 2021

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Brett Smiley brings us a round-up of the biggest headlines from the SportsHandle stable during what’s been another transformational year for the US sports betting business.

Nine Operators, Including ‘Super Bid,’ Awarded NY Mobile Sports Betting Licenses

The New York Gaming Commission (NYGC) recommended the issuance of nine mobile sports wagering operator licenses on Monday, confirming that the industry’s largest names will likely gain entry into the market when the state intends to launch online sports betting early next year.

Of the nine winners, a “super bid” featuring industry heavyweights FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, and Bally Bet received conditional licenses from the commission at Monday’s meeting. Another consortium, led by sports betting B2B technology provider Kambi, also made the cut. The consortium consists of five operators: Rush Street Interactive, Caesars Entertainment, PointsBet, Wynn Resorts, and Genting, which owns Resorts World.

Full story here.

In Florida Saga, Seminoles Halt Wagering On Hard Rock Digital After Court Decision

Florida’s Seminole Tribe on Saturday stopped offering digital sports wagering via its Hard Rock Digital platform, less than 24 hours after an appellate court denied its appeal for a stay. The decision marked the third time in less than two weeks that a federal court had ruled unfavorably for the Seminoles after the tribe launched its sportsbook app in the state in early November.

“As a result of yesterday’s Appeals Court decision denying a temporary stay of the District Court’s decision on the 2021 Compact, Hard Rock Sportsbook will temporarily suspend operations of its mobile app in Florida,” Gary Bitner, a Seminole spokesperson, said in a statement. “Account balances for all current players will be refunded as requested.”

Full story here.

Single Game Parlays Have Taken The Sportsbook World By Storm

If we’re going to rank the most momentous moments in the history of the business of sports betting, there are a few that stand out.

PASPA being overturned certainly ranks at or near the top, as does the invention of the point spread. That was thanks to Charles K. McNeil, a Chicago fella back who came up with the idea in the early 1940s.

But in recent months, a new item on the menu for sports bettors has taken hold, and based on early returns, it’s not so far-fetched to say the single game parlay will one day be held up as a shining example of, well, massive profit for sportsbook operators, but also as a turning point for the sports betting industry.

Full story here.

Emperor’s New Clothes: How High Is The Ceiling For New Caesars Sportsbook?

The Emperor has some new clothes, as Caesars Entertainment has officially begun to shed the William Hill Sportsbook threads in favor of a new Caesars Sportsbook, donning the imprimatur of a more widely recognized brand name in the U.S.

Caesars had aimed to make the move prior to the start of the new NFL season, and in meeting that mark it has also executed before the next three states — Arizona, Louisiana, and Maryland — debut licensed online sports betting. Arizona is expected to go live by Sept. 9, Louisiana later in the year, and Maryland not later than Super Bowl LV in February.

Full story here.

My Father, The Problem Gambler, As Defined By Both The New National Report And Me

When I read the National Council on Problem Gambling’s new report describing how fully half of America views people with such issues as lacking willpower and being to blame for their problems, I couldn’t help but think of my father.

I remembered how mortified I was in childhood more than a half-century ago, to hear him loudly cursing inside Forbes Field when my Pirates scored a run and everyone around us was cheering. Garbed in a shirt given to him as a Pirates employee, he threw his usher’s rag to the ground in disgust.

He had a bet on the Cubs.

Full story here.

In Canada, Launch Of Ontario Private Sports Betting Market Expected In Early 2022

As the 108th Grey Cup approaches this weekend, the Canadian Football League championship could have been an opportune moment for Ontario to launch the private market for single-event sports betting.

On Tuesday, the Grey Cup will arrive in Hamilton at a ceremony at a Bayfront park, the first of a series of events this week culminating in the championship game Sunday between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the homestanding Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The Tiger-Cats will host The Grey Cup at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, Ontario, a multi-purpose stadium affectionately dubbed “The Donut Box.”

Full story here.

Michigan And Virginia Legal Sportsbooks Debut On Same Day 

Some big names were part of Michigan’s online sports betting and iGaming launch Friday at noon, as lawmaker Sen. Curtis Hertel made a ceremonial first bet at noon on the DraftKings Sportsbook on Michigan State basketball, while at Rush Street Interactive’s BetRivers app, longtime Detroit Pistons announcer John Mason wagered on Tampa Bay +3.5 (-110) against the Packers in this Sunday’s NFC Championship game. According to BetRivers, Mason made the bet because Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady is a Michigan alum.

Full story here.

Tennessee Action 24/7 License Suspended Due To Discovery Of Financial Crimes On Platform

Update: Following the meeting and the board’s decision on Friday, Tennessee Action 24/7’s CEO Tina Hodges provided selected media outlets with the following statement:

The Board today indefinitely suspended Action 24/7’s sports betting operator license for suspicious player deposit activity.  This suspicious activity was detected quickly by Action staff and Action swiftly suspended the involved player accounts.  Action instituted additional controls to curb the activity, and no further such activity has occurred since.  Yet, the Board relied upon unfounded fears of future speculative recurrences of the activity, and took draconian action just as the NCAA Tournament is beginning.  Obviously, we are disappointed in the Board’s decision, but will continue to work with TEL staff and seek all other avenues of relief to have the suspension lifted quickly so that the people of Tennessee may continue to enjoy wagering on the Action 24/7 sportsbook

The locally owned sportsbook Tennessee Action 24/7 had its license suspended by regulators on Thursday, multiple sources told Sports Handle Friday morning. During an emergency meeting of the Tennessee Education Lottery’s Sports Wagering Committee meeting later Friday, it was suspended indefinitely after an investigator told committee members that credit card fraud, money laundering, and illegal proxy betting had taken place on the platform, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in transactions impacting numerous victims.

Full story here.

Disney Wants To Jump Into Sports Betting, But Who Would It Partner With?

Betting a side or a total may no longer get you side-eye from Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck.

And there may even be a sportsbook wearing mouse ears soon enough.

Although Disney’s ESPN media properties have discussed and embraced sports betting for some time, what is different now, based on a Nov. 10 earnings call, is the parent company has come to the conclusion that fully opening the door to sports betting is in its best interest and will not harm its brand.

Full story here.

NJ’s Quest For $1B In Betting Handle In A Single Month Becomes Reality

The long build toward New Jersey sportsbooks handling $1 billion in wagers in a single month finally reached that mark with the $1,011,114,311 for September announced on Monday by state regulators.

The progress toward becoming the first state in the U.S. to clear that remarkable threshold wasn’t all that linear.

Two weeks of action in the launch month of June 2018 produced a modest $16.4 million in wagers, which more than doubled that July, and that more than doubled in August, only to nearly double again in September 2018, when more than $183.9 million represented the first triple-digit figure for handle.

Full story here.