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State of the Union: Canada, California, Arizona and more

Insight | Analysis

This week’s State of the Union, in partnership with Segev LLP, includes the legalization of sports betting in Canada, and major sports betting developments in California, Arizona and Wyoming.

Single-event sports betting officially launches in Canada

Single event sports betting is legal in Canada as of 27 August, following Bill C-218’s passage into law last month.

The bill was designed to repeal paragraph 207(4)(b) of Canada’s Criminal Code, under which consumers were only permitted to wager on at least three games or more. As a result, betting on a single match or event was prohibited.

Operators launch ballot measure to bring sports betting to California

A number of leading US commercial operators have announced a new ballot measure that would bring legal statewide online sports betting to California.

The measure, titled the the “California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act”, would allow for legal online sports betting, which it claims would “generate billions of dollars in revenue” to go towards fighting homelessness and increasing mental health support.

Four leading operators receive Arizona licenses before sports betting launch

A group of high profile operators are set to launch in Arizona, as DraftKings, BetMGM, FanDuel and Penn National Gaming and have all obtained operating licenses.

DraftKings confirmed that it had received a sports betting license, allowing the company to launch its mobile sports betting app in the state by the time Arizona sports betting launches in September. 

Nevada gambling revenue reaches record $1.36bn in July

Gambling revenue in Nevada reached a new all-time high of $1.36bn in July, partly due to a record performance by sportsbooks in the US state.

July’s total surpassed the previous record of $1.23bn set in May this year, making July 2021 the most successful month for the state since it legalized gambling in 1931.

DoubleDown Interactive aims to raise $126.3m as US IPO launches

DoubleU Games subsidiary DoubleDown Interactive launched its initial public offering (IPO) on the Nasdaq exchange in the US with the aim of raising up to $126.3m.

The business offered 5,263,000 in American depositary shares (ADSS) – each made up of 20 common shares – as part of the IPO, while an unnamed selling shareholder also offered 1,053,000 ADSs.

Bragg commences trading on Nasdaq

B2B gaming technology and content provider Bragg Gaming Group today (27 August) began trading its common shares on the Nasdaq Global Select Market.

Shares are now trading under the ticker symbol ‘BRAG’ after Bragg earlier this week secured approval to launch on Nasdaq.

Sports betting legalized in Washington after tribal compacts approved

Sports betting has officially been legalized in Washington after the US Department of the Interior approved nine tribal sports betting compacts yesterday (September 1).

The approval has been published in the Federal Register, meaning it is officially part of Washington State law.

DraftKings, Genius, BetMGM receive Wyoming sports betting licenses

The state of Wyoming has granted sports betting licenses to major operators as its sports betting market launches, with DraftKings, Genius Sports and BetMGM among the recipients.

DraftKings has announced the launch of its online sportsbook in Wyoming, which becomes the 13th state to offer the product. The operator has also rolled out its online sportsbook in Virginia and Michigan in January.

Connecticut approves provisional sports betting regulations ahead of market launch

The Connecticut General Assembly’s Regulation Review Committee has approved regulations for sports betting and online gaming within the state.

If all requirements are met for obtaining a gaming license, the commissioner will be able to give a master wagering license to the Connecticut Lottery Corporation, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe (or an affiliate owned by the tribe), and the Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut.

Flutter takes battle over Kentucky damages to US Supreme Court

PokerStars owner Flutter has filed a petition to the US Supreme Court, appealing what it calls a “monstrous” $1.3bn damages claim it has been ordered to pay to the state of Kentucky, for offering illegal gambling.

The case began as the state claimed PokerStars offered online gambling to 34,000 Kentucky players between October 2006 – when the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was introduced – and April 2011, when its US operations were shut down by authorities.

Kindred launches Unibet mobile sportsbook in Iowa

Unibet, Kindred’s flagship brand, has expanded into Iowa as part of its multi-state partnership with Caesars.

Kindred has launched its mobile sportsbook in partnership with Caesars-owned Iowa’s Harrah’s Council Bluffs Casino, making it the fifth US state Kindred has expanded into since its 2020 agreement with Caesars. The states Kindred has previously expanded into are New Jersey, Indiana, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

NFL announces “select group” of approved sportsbook operators

The National Football League (NFL) has reached agreements with FOX Bet, BetMGM, PointsBet, and WynnBET to become approved sportsbook operators for the 2021 NFL season and show ads during NFL games.

These agreements allow this group of operators to purchase NFL in-game commercial units and other select NFL media inventory.

DraftKings to replace Scoreboard as Oregon Lottery sportsbook brand

The Oregon Lottery Commission has approved a measure to migrate its sports betting product Scoreboard from its legacy SBTech platform to DraftKings’ framework.

This will see the offering operate under the DraftKings brand in the state going forward, though a timescale for this change has not yet been announced.

Esports Entertainment Group links up with NFL’s Colts

Esports Entertainment Group has entered into a partnership with National Football League (NFL) franchise the Indianapolis Colts.

Under the multi-year agreement, Esports Entertainment will serve as the official esports tournament platform provider of the Colts.

North Carolina video lottery bill referred to House committee

A bill that aims to regulate video lottery terminals in North Carolina has been referred to the the House of Representatives’ Committee on Rules, Calendar, and Operations.

House Bill 954 is sponsored by Representatives Harry Warren, Timothy Moffit, Howard Hunter and Michael Wray.

Grand Central to launch Elys-powered sportsbook in Washington DC

Interactive gaming company Elys Game Technology (Elys) and independently owned operator Grand Central have received a Class B operator license from the District of Columbia’s Office of Lottery and Gaming.

This paves the way for Grand Central to operate a sportsbook within its Grand Central Restaurant and Bar, with Elys providing turnkey solutions on kiosk hardware.

VA sports betting revenue drops in July as handle hits low

Sports betting revenue in Virginia slipped 14.8% month-on-month as the state saw its handle fall to the lowest monthly total since the market launched in January.

Adjusted gross revenue for July amounted to $12.7m, down from $14.9m in June and the smallest amount since $11.8m was generated in April.

XLMedia acquires US-focused Saturday Football for $23m

Affiliate giant XLMedia acquired online US college football news publisher Saturday Football for a total consideration of $23.0m.

XLMedia agreed to pay $11.0m up front and the remaining $12.0m over three years, while the founders of Saturday Football will also receive $1.0m in long-term incentive shares of XLMedia.

Sightline Payments names founder Sattar as co-chief executive

US-facing digital payments provider and mobile app developer Sightline Payments named co-founder Omer Sattar as co-chief executive alongside existing CEO Joe Pappano.

Sattar will oversee internal operations including product and compliance, with Pappano to continue to lead Sightline’s strategy, sales, client success and marketing organizations.