It’s information overload everywhere, and there’s not time enough to sleep and eat and stay fully apprised of what’s happening on this crazy blue dot of ours (two out of three ain’t bad). Here’s the weekend (or fashionably late) Sports Handle item, “Get a Grip,” recapping the week’s top U.S. sports betting stories, highlighting some fresh news, and rounding up key stories.
Also check out this week’s Wide World of Gambling at US Bets.
New Jersey breaks own handle record by $80 million
There seems to be no roof on the monthly betting handle in New Jersey. One month after shattering the largest recorded monthly betting handle in any U.S. state, Nevada included, New Jersey bettors and sportsbooks pushed the number several stories higher with a collective $749 million in wagers across all legal NJ sportsbooks, both online and at brick-and-mortar. The sportsbooks kept (or won) $45.1 million for a hold rate of 6%.
The previous national record was $668 million in bets in a single month — in August in New Jersey, in the days and weeks after the NBA and NHL resumed their 2019-20 seasons and MLB took the diamond for a 60-game regular season after months of squabbling. Of course, September saw the NFL season kick off and some of the larger NCAA college football conferences continue or begin play with modifications in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mix all those sports and unprecedented situations together, and it spelled three quarters of $1 billion. This remains unchartered territory with a once-in-a-lifetime rejiggered sports schedule that also saw the PGA’s U.S. Open tee off at Winged Foot in mid-September. The earlier standard before New Jersey erased it in August was $617 million set in Nevada in Nov. 2019.
The clear frontrunner among the sportsbooks is FanDuel Sportsbook at Meadowlands Racetrack and by extension the online FanDuel Sportsbook as well as PointsBet Sportsbook, which is available in New Jersey through its partnership with Meadowlands. Combined, the retail sportsbook and online books (the report does not parse out the online figures) generated $28 million in revenue for the month.
After bottoming out in April at $54 million, at the height of the U.S. spread of the coronavirus, when the marquee events were table tennis, Belarus soccer, and NFL Draft wagering, this can be called a V-shaped recovery. As for the actual height of the vaulted ceilings? Probably over $1 billion. One last note, and not at all surprising, more than 90% of the $749 million in wagers was placed online, keeping with the trend in New Jersey and other big-market states for months.
Santa Claus may bring online sportsbooks to Michigan
Live online/mobile sports betting in Michigan is just a little closer than it was earlier this month after the Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules sent two sets of proposed iGaming rules to the state’s legislative Joint Committee on Administrative Rules on Oct. 8. But the clock for how long JCAR can hold the rules began Tuesday. The rules must be in the committee for 15 session days or JCAR can choose to waive the 15-day requirement. It appears that the 15th session day would be on or about Dec. 15.
What does that mean? No sports betting by Thanksgiving without a waiver. Rather, if JCAR takes no action, then the Michigan Gaming Control Board can complete a certificate of adoption, and then file with the Office of the Great Seal with an effective date after Dec. 15.
After all of that (!) the MGCB can begin issuing licenses, according to an MGCB spokesperson. The gaming board has been pointing to a late 2020 launch for iGaming and sports betting, but it’s unclear how operators will be launched — as a group like they were in Colorado and will be in Tennessee, or on a rolling basis as in Illinois or Pennsylvania.
More of the week’s top stories, happenings
According to my colleague @GaryRotstein, Pennsylvania September sports betting handle is a state record $462.8 million, up about 27% over August. Full story to come on @PennBets.
— Eric Raskin + (@EricRaskin) October 16, 2020
NEWS: Today, #FanDuel Group announced a multi-year deal with @Turner Sports, designating @FDSportsbook as the exclusive sportsbook partner for NBA programming on @TurnerSportsPR properties, including content integrations across @BleacherReport.
More info: https://t.co/UCVHFR6KC5 pic.twitter.com/Jjr4vG8MS5
— FanDuel (@FanDuel) October 15, 2020
GET OUT AND VOTE: Gaming industry shows cooperating for Maryland sports betting referendum [CDC Gaming]
$462.8 MILLION: With Barstool’s help, Pennsylvania shatters its monthly handle record [PennBets]
LOBBYING: $2 million and counting spent on push for legal sports betting in Maryland [Baltimore Sun]
TIMES HAVE CHANGED: Las Vegas among future NCAA regional sites [NCAA]
FALLOUT: STATS Perform outage wreaks havoc across DFS platforms [US Bets]
GAME ON: Virginia Lottery begins accepting sports betting applications [Sports Handle]
ADDICTION: ‘I knew my limits. Now I can’t stop’ [ABC Australia]
ON THE SCREEN: PGA TOUR integrates BetMGM odds into upcoming telecast [PGA Tour]
REFERENDUM PROBABLY REQUIRED: Bill introduced to allow wagering in NJ on state’s collegiate teams during championships [NJ Senate]
THE ART OF SPORTS: Inside the sheer beauty of a football pass [WSJ]
WHAT’S AT STAKE: A Biden-Harris administration, Democratic Senate paints rosier picture for sports betting nationwide [Sports Handle]
MATH: A case for action-reverse bets — a compelling alternative to parlays [Analytics Vidhya]
First renderings of planned @WilliamHillUS sportsbook at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., aiming to open early in 2021. pic.twitter.com/3udHyW83Yq
— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) October 15, 2020
ROUNDERS: It’s no bluff — live poker begins returning to PA casinos next week [PennBets]
LIKEWISE: Same in New Jersey, starting at the Borgata [NJOG]