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.
Image source: Shutterstock

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

Was FanDuel’s Half-Million Dollar Parlay Winner A Kid? No, But …

Sportsbooks are fond of highlighting big parlay wins on Twitter. And why shouldn’t they be fond of it? It’s basically the best form of free advertising: “Look here, rubes! You too can win hundreds of thousands of dollars by placing insane longshot bets, never mind the fact we profit by like 30% on your silly parlay bets compared to about 6% on straight bets!”

Yep. Parlays are cash cows for the sportsbooks, and the constant, daily barrage of showing us the “big winners” is certainly an effective way to get us to try and do the same.

But late Sunday night, in its rush to highlight the latest big win, FanDuel got itself a little twisted up.

Full story here.

Penn National CEO Stands By Portnoy And Barstool In Planning Full Acquisition

Unfazed by the latest sexual misconduct allegations against Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy, the head of Penn National Gaming affirmed in a quarterly investment call Thursday morning that the gaming company will proceed toward full ownership of Barstool.

Penn National acquired a 36% share of Barstool Sports for $163 million in January 2020 in a deal calling for additional investment of $62 million within three years to attain 50% ownership. Penn National also received the right to acquire full ownership afterward of the Boston-based sports media company then valued at $450 million.

Full story here.

To Save A Life: What Happens When Someone Calls A Problem Gambling Hotline?

As executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, Keith Whyte doesn’t spend too much time answering calls from people struggling with gambling addiction. But every so often, the phone rings after hours at the NCPG offices in Washington, D.C., and Whyte gets a reminder of why he got into the business of helping people to battle addiction.

Whyte recalls one woman in Maine who called the NCPG after being turned away from other help lines, whose personnel advised they couldn’t assist because her issue was gambling — not alcohol or drugs or suicide.

Full story here.

Sports Wagering In Louisiana Gets Off To Strong Start

In a well-timed coincidence, online sports gambling launched in Louisiana before a weekend in which a former LSU quarterback and a former LSU receiver happened to be competing to make it to their first Super Bowl together. And now that Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, and the rest of the “Bayou Bengals North” have made it to the big game, you can expect another active spurt two weekends from now.

Full story here.

Ask A Bookmaker With Johnny Avello: Tackling The Winter Olympics

Welcome to our weekly “Ask a Bookmaker” feature, which answers many of the common (and uncommon!) questions gamblers and enthusiasts have about how sportsbooks operate in the modern age of sports betting.

Respected bookmaker Johnny Avello has been involved in the betting industry since the 1970s and previously managed the Las Vegas sportsbooks at Bally’s and the Wynn. Now the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, Avello was recently inducted into the Sports Betting Hall of Fame.

Full story here.

OLG’s PROLINE Announces Revamped Retail Platform In Ontario

Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG) announced some big changes to its retail PROLINE sports betting operation Tuesday. Players can now place single-event wagers at roughly 10,000 retailers across the province, bringing the retail experience up to par with its online sports betting platform, PROLINE +.

In addition to single-event wagering, the new PROLINE at retail locations will give players access to expanded event offerings, dynamic odds, system bets, and novelty betting, and will give them the opportunity to build their tickets using the new PROLINE Bet Builder App, which produces a barcode for quick and easy scanning at stores. Bettors can cash winning tickets for wins of $1,000 or less at these retail locations, and no signup or account is required to play.

Full story here.

Monthly Stock Watch: M&A Rumors Swirl As Sports Betting Stocks Remain At Low Levels

Sports betting-related stocks remained at depressed levels in January, as the industry continues to recover from an inflation-driven sell-off over the final months of 2021.

A bevy of industry heavyweights traded at near 52-week lows on the month, far below levels from late 2020 when online sports betting operators capitalized from a surge in activity near the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The industry-wide correction has ignited speculation that several top companies could be ripe for takeover at bargain-basement prices.

Full story here.