- Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Minnesota all have sports betting legislation waiting to be heard in their 2021 sessions to legalize the market.
- Colorado, Illinois, Mississippi, and Tennessee all had stellar months for handle and revenue from sports wagering in their states while Nevada and Rhode Island saw declines in their numbers.
- Virginia and Tennessee have approved more online and mobile sportsbook operators for licenses to launch in their states.
- The Google Play Store now allows Android users to download sportsbooks apps after a policy change and BetMGM has partnered with The Athletic to offer a new outlet of sports betting centered content.
BALTIMORE – A number of things have happened this week in the world of sports betting. States all over the country have been filing new legislation in some form or another to make sports wagering a legal industry.
Maryland, Kansas, Minnesota, and Massachusetts all have new legislation waiting to be heard in their 2021 sessions for gambling on sporting events.
Sports wagering handle and revenue has fluctuated in many state markets with many of them having an uptick in activity. Virginia and Tennessee have approved new operators for mobile sportsbooks in their industries this week.
And Super Bowl 55 which is happening on Sunday is bringing in a lot of action for online sports wagering operators while retail sports betting establishments are not expecting to see as much activity due to COVID-19.
Sports Betting Bills Keep Popping Up Nationwide
Maryland legalized sports betting by vote in November but this year’s legislative session is set to draw up the rules and regulations for the industry.
With that in mind, a new bill has surfaced that would allow non-profit locations to become eligible to open sportsbooks. The proposal in question would see the Maryland State Fairgrounds as a site for a year-round sports betting venue.
The Maryland General Assembly adjourns on April 12 so a decision on all rules and regulations for the sports wagering market including whether to have non-profit sites eligible should be made by then.
Senate Bill 84 in Kansas is very similar to legislation seen in the 2020 session’s KS SB 283. The Kansas State Legislature was introduced to this new bill that would legalize mobile and retail sports betting in the state. Many hearings will be needed for this proposal which would require a lot of floor time as amendments will likely be needed for overall approval.
It’s been a past issue with Governor Laura Kelly when Kansas sports betting legislation hasn’t included iGaming in potential proposals and this one does not.
The Minnesota Legislature was introduced to a sports wagering bill that would have the pastime made legal in the state. During its first year, Senate File 410 would have brick-and-mortar establishments open sportsbooks. In year two, the market would launch mobile MN sports betting operations that could be accessed statewide. Existing racetracks and casinos would be able to apply for licensure to open up sports betting venues while mobile applications are required to be connected to one of these facilities.
Governor Charlie Baker has proposed a bill to make sports betting in Massachusetts legal. Both retail and mobile sports wagering operations would be legalized under Bill HD 678. Baker has been an advocate to legalize sports betting in Massachusetts for years.
The Massachusetts Legislature has this and other sports wagering legislation to consider during its 2021 session, however, this proposal is the one that Governor Baker has personally introduced to the Commonwealth himself.
Sports Betting Figures Have Gone Up In Most States But Not All
Colorado only launched their legal sports betting market in May but by the end of December they have posted over $1.2 billion in handle during that time. The Centennial State launched their industry during the Coronavirus Pandemic and professional sports hiatus and somehow managed to reach over a billion dollars in handle in less than a year.
Millions of dollars in revenue have been made for the state of Colorado since its sports betting industry went live.
Mississippi saw a 123.1% increase in December for sports betting revenue year-over-year. Handle month-over-month also showed an uptick from November’s figures.
The state attributes the extra activity to football which continues to be a huge moneymaker for sports wagering action. As the postseason occurred in January, the numbers should see a further surge by sports bettors of the Bayou State.
Tennessee broke its initial record for sports wagering handle in December with over $180.9 million seen in bets for the purely mobile and internet sports betting market. Revenue collected was posted at $3.1 million.
In total for it’s first two months open, the Volunteer State has brought in $5.2 million in revenue from the sports betting industry. The upswing of the market is projected to rise further as the months go on.
Illinois sports betting made a state record for the month of November with $447 million in total handle. The state is slower to report their industry numbers than other states in the nation, putting them a month behind report-wise.
Revenue collected for their sports wagering industry was at $41 million for the month. These numbers broke previous records for profits and activity for gambling on sporting events in the state of Illinois since opening the market.
Nevada had a major dip in their sports betting activity for the year of 2020 recording $4.3 billion in handle for the year. That’s a 19% decrease from 2019. They collected $268.2 million in winnings dropping 20% from the previous year.
The Silver State had a decline in activity in 2020 because of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Not only did this lead to land-based location closures of sportsbooks and a hiatus on professional sports but it took a major hit on the tourism sector as well which is where a lot of the gambling engagement comes from in Nevada.
Month-over-month, Rhode Island had a 35.1% decrease in sports wagering activity. Over $22 million was reported in handle for the month of December. More than $2.5 million was collected in revenue from the sports betting market. The reason for the drop in handle and revenue was due to the closures of land-based sportsbooks for the month from the holiday spike of COVID-19 cases in the Ocean State.
Sportsbooks That Have Launched Or Received Approvals Before Super Bowl 55
Online sports betting in Virginia recently launched and the state now has a third and platform in BetMGM and BetRivers. Now the Old Dominion has four state-sanctioned options for gambling online and through mobile devices for Super Bowl 55.
There are currently four operational mobile sportsbooks in Tennessee to take Super Bowl 55 bets. Two new companies have just been approved for licenses but will not be able to launch in time for SB 55.
William Hill and Wynn Sports are now licensed to open sportsbooks in Tennessee. But unfortunately, they will not be able to clean up on the amount of sports wagering activity that takes place on the biggest sports betting day of the year which is Super Bowl Sunday.
BetMGM Partnered With The Athletic, Google Now Allows Mobile Sportsbooks
BetMGM and The Athletic have now partnered to create “The Athletic Betting Hub.” The Athletic provides sports-related content through both written and media style podcasts and BetMGM is a sports betting platform.
The two companies will come together and create content centered around gambling on sporting events using the lines and statistics of BetMGM and the content skills of The Athletic to be provided by the new “The Athletic Betting Hub.”
The Google Play Store has now changed their policies to make sports betting applications available for download. Apple has allowed its users to download legal sportsbooks on their mobile devices since states began to legalize the markets and create the apps for them.
Android users would have to go through third-party sources to download these applications to their phones but the Google Play Store will now let users download sportsbooks through their store without involving any third-party outlets.
Super Bowl 55 betting is expected to see all-time highs handle because of the showdown happening between Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ QB Tom Brady and Kansas City Chiefs’ QB Patrick Mahomes on Sunday, February 7 at 6:30 p.m. EST on the CBS Network.
Retail sportsbooks are not projected to bring in as many bets as they normally would because of COVID-19 but mobile sports betting platforms should get an enormous amount of activity from these two athletes and their teams going head to head in the Championship.
Alabama’s legislative session begins on February 2 and sports betting will be a topic of conversation. Two bills that want to legalize a lottery for the state will be heard on the floor sometime during the session. Of the two bills, House Bill 161 wants to legalize retail and mobile sports betting.
A study done in 2020 projected over $700 million in yearly revenue from a legal gaming industry that includes a lottery, sports wagering, and casino games in the Heart of Dixie.
The Virginia Lottery will be meeting on Wednesday to discuss more applications for mobile sports betting operators. During this meeting, the Old Dominion could see more approvals of sportsbooks. Should more operators be licensed, they are not expected to launch by the time Super Bowl Sunday comes around.
News tags: BetMGM | Charlie Baker | Colorado | Coronavirus pandemic | COVID-19 | DraftKings | FanDuel | Google Play Store | Illinois | Kansas | Kansas City Chiefs | Maryland | Massachusetts | Minnesota | Mississippi | Nevada | Patrick Mahomes | Rhode Island | SB 55 | Super Bowl | Super Bowl 55 | Tampa Bay Buccaneers | Tennessee | The Athletic | Tom Brady | Virginia
Christina has been writing for as long as she can remember and does dedicated research on the newly regulated sports betting market. She comes from a family of sports lovers that engage in friendly bets from time to time. During the winter months, you can find Christina baking cookies and beating the entire staff at Mario Kart…the N64 version of course.