SportsHandle: the week that was in US sports betting

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It’s Friday on SBC Americas so once more our colleagues over at SportsHandle and friends deliver another round-up of the week’s big developments in US sports betting.

Gambling diversity is something that comes from the top down

Every major US operator is concerned about diversity and more inclusive hiring is on the rise, but there is still plenty of room for improvement in the industry. Jill Dorson spoke with FanDuel’s Senior Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Keita Young about the challenges and rewards that come with growing a diverse community within the FanDuel workplace.

She also sought comment from consultant Bill Pascrell III on just how far the industry has come in the past 20 years but how far it still has to go to get to a point where diversity isn’t a bullet point but a presumed and necessary part of business plans.

DraftKings is shrinking FanDuel’s market share lead

Newly released numbers from Ohio showed that DraftKings surpassed FanDuel in handle in the Buckeye State. Of the $319 million in wagers in July, $116 million were placed on DraftKings compared to $106.7 million on FanDuel.

FanDuel retained its lead when it came to revenue, as the operator tends to produce higher hold than many of its competitors.

Meanwhile, the next tier of operators lagged behind the top two, with overall bets declining from June to July. That is not unexpected given the month is one of the slowest on the US sports betting calendar.

Schuetz makes the sell for BetBash

The upstart conference BetBash may be designed for end-users, but industry consultant Richard Schuetz made the case that this is something those within the industry should be making time for as well. He equated it to the days before online sports betting where the counter was an opportunity for back of the house to hear from customers.

“What I don’t understand is why the conversations have stopped taking place. Why does it seem algorithms are more important than human interaction? Why don’t operators care about bettors who are trying to learn more about how to bet, and why don’t they assist with a bettor’s education? Why don’t regulators want to hear the complaints real-life people are experiencing?”

Kentucky plays it safe with betting catalog

The Kentucky Sports Wagering Advisory Committee held its first meeting and got down to business this week, approving the initial catalog of events bettors in the state can get action on.

There are roughly 35 categories of sports but Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Sports Betting Director Hans Stokke assured the catalog will grow with additions coming before the launch of online betting at the end of September.

“Those (NCAA, beach volleyball) are a couple more things that we will consider, even possibly in time for our mobile launch,” Stokke said when asked about what sports might be coming. “There were some that were left off of there that we didn’t feel we had adequate time or research to add to our initial offering, but would be happy to consider even in time for that Sept. 28 launch.”

Hopeful NYC casino owners get a few answers about licensing process

The New York State Gaming Commission and the Gaming Facility Location Board provided quite a few answers in the 103-page packet it dropped this week. Potential applicants submitted more than 600 questions related to the RFP. While the process of answering RFP questions usually only takes a month or so, the group took closer to seven before this week’s release.

While some were hopeful the regulators might allow temporary casinos while the permanent structures, which required at least $500 million of investment, were developed. The commission shot that idea down but did say once finished the properties could offer retail sports betting.

The group also let it be known that bidders are welcome to try to improve their applications by offering to pay a licensing fee in excess of the $500 million minimum.

DOI provides its response to latest motion in FL sports betting case

The Department of the Interior used every day alloted to file its response to West Flagler Associates’ motion for an en banc rehearing in the case featuring the two parties and determining the fate of sports betting in Florida.

The DOI echoed many of the arguments put forth in the decision from the Circuit Court, namely that West Flagler should not be challenging the compact in federal court, as the compact only covers what happens on tribal grounds. Should the group want to challenge the state’s decision about sports betting beyond that scope, the proper venue would be a state federal court.

While both parties wait for a response on whether or not the court will grant the en banc rehearing, the Seminole’s Hard Rock Sportsbook remains offline in Florida.