SportsHandle: 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.

Ontario Bettor Hopes To Set Precedent With Caesars Suit On Hamlin Settlements

As with many hardened NFL bettors, Matthew Buchalter grappled with the possibility that the league could cancel the Week 17 regular-season game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals when Damar Hamlin laid motionless on the ground after an unimaginable emergency that gripped the sports world just after New Year’s.

At the time, the outcome of a series of futures wagers he placed before the start of the regular season wasn’t at the top of his mind. In the tense minutes following Tee Higgins’ hit on the Bills safety, it was unclear if Hamlin would even survive. Buchalter, an actuary with an Ontario insurer, felt a considerable amount of sympathy for Hamlin.

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Dear Keith: Do I Have A Gambling Problem?

Hi Keith,

I will admit, I was caught slightly off-guard when my phone informed me a few weeks back that I had spent 12 hours and 13 minutes looking at the Underdog app in the week leading up to the NFL wild card round. I’m quite confident the 12 hours is a personal record for viewing any one single app.

This does, however, kind of track, as I drafted 172 teams, mostly $5 a pop into their “Mitten” best ball playoff contests.

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The Integrity Of The Game Is Everything! (Except When It Isn’t)

Pete Bayer is not the most famous Pete ever to bet on baseball games. But he has to stand out as the most sympathetic figure named Pete ever to get busted for doing so.

Bayer’s story, brought to light because he shared it on Twitter on Feb. 15, resonated with me. Here’s a minor-league pitcher whose window for making a run at the majors was rapidly closing, who did something objectively wrong and stupid and against the rules by betting on MLB games.

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Gambling + Indoor Waterpark + Texas = Someone From Hell Bucking For A Raise

Despite all the hoo-ha over sports betting since PASPA got trashed — and we’re chief hoo-ha-ists over here at US Bets — it’s remarkable to think that only 44% of the nation (according to GeoComply) has access to legal sportsbooks, be they in person or mobile.

Of course, one of the big states that we’re all still waiting on is Texas, home to nearly 10% of the nation’s population and, if Gov. Greg Abbott is to be believed, also home to people who love a good dip in a lazy, highly chlorinated, and, quite probably, urine-filled river.

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The History Of Historical Horse Racing

Do you know what a Historical Horse Racing machine is? Probably not — even if you’ve sat down and gambled at one.

Like pull tabs and other obscure forms of legal gambling, Historical Horse Racing (HHR) machines can only be found in a handful of states — in this case, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Hampshire, Virginia, and Wyoming. To the untrained eye, present-day HHR machines are indiscriminate from slot machines. But because the success of an HHR wager is dictated by the result of an actual horse race — often from the distant past, at a track far, far away — and the prize money is doled out from a parimutuel pool, the slot lookalikes are widely considered to be games of skill.

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Ohio Shatters Monthly Sports Wagering Revenue Record At $208.9 Million

O-hi-o? More like O-HIGH-O!

The Ohio Casino Control Commission reported taxable sports wagering revenue of $208.9 million for January on Tuesday, obliterating the post-PASPA era record set earlier this month by New York as part of a stunning set of data points for the launch month in the Buckeye State.

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How Sustainable Are Ohio’s Hefty Sports Betting Numbers?

The numbers connected to Ohioans’ first month of sports betting were mind-boggling, and you could take your pick of which best fit that description.

The $208.9 million in gross revenue collected by sportsbooks in January was more than in any other state in any month ever.

The $1.11 billion in total bets taken was the second most in any state’s first month of mobile sports wagering opportunities, exceeded only by New York in January 2022.

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