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: dean bertoncelj/Shutterstock

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

Calvin Ridley Betting Suspension Brings Out All The Twitter Takes

Commissioners of sports leagues use the word “integrity” like stoners use the word “partake.” (Think about it: You ever hear anyone use the word “partake” besides people offering you a bong hit?)

Anyway, the “integrity” bomb went off Monday, as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell dropped it in a strongly worded letter to the parlay betting (Pro athletes! They’re just like us!) Calvin Ridley.

Full story here.

NFL Suspends Calvin Ridley Indefinitely For Betting On Games

Calvin Ridley, a wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons, has been suspended indefinitely and will miss at least the entirety of the 2022 season for betting on NFL games this past season. The news broke Monday afternoon, revealing that Ridley wagered on NFL games during a five-day period in late November, during which Ridley was away from the team.

Full story here.

NFL Personnel Routinely Discuss Gambling Policies With Players

On Monday, the NFL suspended Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley for at least one season for betting on his own team in a league where all employees — players and staff alike — are prohibited from wagering on pro football.

Responses on social media ranged from criticizing the NFL for its doublespeak on sports wagering to “So what if he bet on his own team?” A former league official says there’s good reason to be concerned about the latter.

Full story here.

What Will Fanatics Do In The Sportsbook World? We Have Odds On That

You know how Pete Davidson has somehow Netflixed and chilled with every Hollywood actress?

Yeah, well, Michael Rubin, the CEO of Fanatics, is kind of like the Pete Davidson of the sportsbook world. Is there a corner of the business he and his company haven’t been linked to? I mean, Fanatics hasn’t booked a bet yet, but the company is easily one of the most talked-about sportsbooks in the land, even though they are, you know, not a sportsbook. At least not yet.

Full story here.

MAC, Genius Sports Announce Five-Year Data Partnership Deal

Genius Sports and the Mid-American Conference (MAC) are joining forces in a “first-of-its-kind” five-year partnership related to official sports data, the two sides announced Wednesday morning. 

An exclusive supplier of official NCAA data, Genius Sports will manage and distribute official MAC statistics. Sports betting companies can pay for the MAC’s data to receive official stats in real time, opening up a new revenue stream for the conference.

Full story here.

Monthly Stock Watch: Are Books Ready To Curtail High Ad Spending?

Caesars Entertainment CEO Tom Reeg addressed Wall Street analysts on Feb. 22 against a backdrop of profligate spending across the legal sports betting industry, spending that had spun out of control in the months leading up to Super Bowl LVI.

Stuck far behind a bevy of competitors in the race to acquire new sports bettors, Caesars upped the ante following the completion of its acquisition of William Hill US. The resulting rebrand of William Hill’s U.S. segment to Caesars Sportsbook included a vow from the company to spend $1 billion on the expansion of its digital assets comprised of online sports betting and iCasino offerings.

The strategy featured a glitzy ad campaign accentuated with ubiquitous commercials featuring the Manning family and actor J.B. Smoove. But Reeg abruptly slammed on the brakes last month when he announced that Caesars planned to shelve the commercials for the time being.

Full story here.

Caesars Enters Partnership With NYRA Bets To Offer Horse Racing ADW

The New York Racing Association is doing its best to position itself for a world where horse racing is fully integrated with the modern American sportsbook.

With the announcement Thursday that it will partner with Caesars on an online advance-deposit wagering platform to launch in the spring, NYRA now has two “white label” agreements to operate its ADW, NYRA Bets. NYRA reached a similar deal with BetMGM in May, and BetMGM’s online racebook is now operational in Florida, Louisiana, and Ohio. NYRA also entered a marketing partnership with Caesars in January.

Full story here.