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State of the Union: Canada, Nevada, Scientific Games and more

Insight | Analysis

This week’s State of the Union, in partnership with Segev LLP, sees legal Canadian single-event sports betting get one step closer to reality, further easing of restrictions in Nevada and an acquisition from Scientific Games.

 Canada’s single-event betting bill passes second Senate reading

A bill that would legalize single-event sports betting in Canada has passed its second reading in the Senate and will now advance to the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce.

Bill C-218, also known as the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act, was passed by the House of Commons after its third reading in April, and had been waiting for Senate approval since.

If passed by the Committee, the bill will receive Royal Assent and become law, allowing operators to offer bets on individual sporting events, instead of only on multiples.

BallyBet online sportsbook goes live with Colorado launch

Bally’s Corporation has announced the launch of its mobile sportsbook BallyBet, going live in Colorado yesterday (24 May).

The move signals Bally’s latest foray into the sports betting market, following the opening of a FanDuel-affiliated sportsbook in Atlantic City in March, but marks the first launch of its own online product.

Nevada to end all social distancing and capacity restrictions on June 1

The Nevada Gaming Control Board has announced that all remaining social distancing and capacity limit novel coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions in the US state will be withdrawn from June 1.

Casinos across the state will be able to operate in line with their usual capacity limits, while customers will not be required to social distance while on the gaming floor of a casino.

Scientific Games acquires BetBuilder pioneer SportCast

Scientific Games has announced the acquisition of player engagement technology supplier SportCast, developer of the first BetBuilder product.

SportCast offers various engagement tools, but has become best known for BetBuilder, which allows for players to bet on multiple markets within the same game, created in partnership with data supplier Genius in 2017. Scientific Games has noted that single-game multiples have grown rapidly across North America as legal betting has spread across the country.

State of the Union - SotU

Arizona set for legal sports betting as DoI approves gaming compact

The US Department of Interior (DoI) has given its approval to a tribal-state gaming compact bill in Arizona, clearing the way for legal sports betting to launch in the state.

Signed in April by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, House Bill 2772 formalized an amended compact that set out measures allowing consumers to bet on sports at tribal casinos and sites owned by major league sports teams in Arizona.

William Hill opens first stadium sportsbook at DC’s Capital One Arena

Caesars Entertainment-owned William Hill has opened its full Washington, D.C. sportsbook at the Capital One Arena, marking the first sportsbook opening in a professional US sports facility.

The operator signed an agreement with the arena’s owner, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, in October 2019 to build and operate a sportsbook at the arena.

Connecticut igaming bill passed by state senate

Connecticut’s state senate has approved House Bill 6451, which would legalize online sports wagering, fantasy sports and other forms of igaming in the state through the state’s two tribal operators.

The bill, which was introduced by Representative Brian Smith, was approved by 28 votes to 6 yesterday (May 25), and now heads to Governor Ned Lamont’s office for approval after which it may be signed into law.

Bovada to block New York players after offshore gambling laws tighten

Online casino and sportsbook Bovada has announced that from June 21, it will no longer allow residents of New York state to use its services and will leave the state market.

A statement from the Costa Rica-based Bovada declared that the “future climate” of the New York’s online gambling environment, referring to the introduction of new regulations in the state, led Bovada to decide to ban its residents.

Florida gaming compact signed into law by Governor

A compact that will allow sports betting in Florida exclusively through the Seminole Tribe has been signed by Governor Ron DeSantis and will now advance to the United States Secretary of the Interior.

Senate Bill 2-A, which was signed by DeSantis on May 25, will allow sports betting in the state only through sportsbooks and online platforms operated by the Seminole Tribe, or in partnership with pari-mutuel betting operators.

Gaming Realms lands Pennsylvania igaming license

Content developer Gaming Realms has secured a license to launch its igaming solutions and products in the US state of Pennsylvania.

Issued by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, the Interactive Gaming Manufacturer License will permit Gaming Realms to roll out its content in the state.

Tennessee total betting handle surpasses $1bn in April

Results published by the Tennessee Education Lottery show that the state’s sports betting market saw players wager $172.4m in April, bringing the total sports betting handle in the state to over $1bn since the market’s launch in November.

April’s handle was down 16.3% on March’s figure of $205.9m, which was the second highest total wagering figure recorded in the state after January.

FanDuel pens exclusive odds deal with Associated Press

Sports betting and daily fantasy sports operator FanDuel Group has entered into a deal to become the exclusive provider of sports odds to non-profit news agency the Associated Press (AP).

Under the agreement, FanDuel’s sportsbook odds will now appear in AP’s daily sports odds fixtures, game previews and other sports stories where odds are mentioned.

Colorado betting brings in $147.3m in debut year as handle hits $2.34bn

Revenue from sports wagering in Colorado amounted to $147.3m during the first year of regulation in the US state, with players staking a total of $2.34bn.

Colorado opened its legal sports betting market on May 1, 2020, with both online and retail wagering options available to players across the state.

PlayOjo to enter NJ with Caesars market access agreement

Platform provider SkillOnNet is to launch its flagship PlayOjo brand in the US after striking a market access deal with Caesars Entertainment in the state of New Jersey.

Subject to regulatory approval, the arrangement will allow SkillOnNet to launch the PlayOjo brand on its own proprietary software in the state.

Esports Entertainment earns first US license after NJ approval

Esports Entertainment Group has received its first US license, after its New Jersey application was approved by the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE).

With the application approved, the operator now awaits a transactional waiver from the regulator. This may be granted once its software is submitted to testing labs, paving the way for it to start acquiring customers in the Garden State.

Louisiana betting tax bill moves to Governor after Senate approval

A Louisiana sports betting bill dictating tax rates, licensing fees and other sports wagering requirements within the state has been approved by the Senate, meaning both houses have now passed the bill.

House Bill 697 was first introduced in April, and was approved by the House of Representatives earlier this month.

DraftKings to fund new responsible gambling research with ICRG grant

Sports betting operator DraftKings has announced that it will provide a financial contribution to the International Center for Responsible Gaming’s (ICRG) Fund to Support Research on Sports Wagering.

The Fund was created by the ICRG to further research into responsible sports betting practices in the United States.

Esports Entertainment Group scores new partnership with NBA’s Cavaliers

Esports Entertainment Group has entered a multi-year partnership with National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Under the deal, Esports Entertainment will serve as the team’s official esports tournament platform provider and operate three co-branded esports tournaments each year for the Cavaliers using its Esports Gaming League (EGL) platform.

Alberta launches online lottery sales

Play Alberta, the Canadian province’s online gaming monopoly operator, is now offering online lottery ticket sales for the first time for national and local draws.

Lotto Max, Lotto 6/49, Daily Grand and Western Max are among the games available online as Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission (AGLC) seeks to expand the digital offering.

PointsBet nets first women’s league deal with WNBA

Sportsbook operator PointsBet has become an authorized gaming operator of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), its first partnership with a women’s professional sports league.

The agreement allows PointsBet to integrate WNBA games into its betting platforms, as well as gaining access to sponsorship opportunities with the league’s franchises.

Nebraska sports betting bill presented to Governor after passing legislature

A Nebraska sports betting bill has passed on its final reading in the state’s unicameral legislature, meaning it will now advance to the Governor to be signed into law.

Legislative Bill 561, which was first introduced on January 19, is set to legalize in-person sports betting at licensed racetracks in the state. It passed with an emergency clause, which will ensure it will take effect immediately after being signed instead of after three months as as typical for bills in the state.

South Dakota to accept sports wagering applications from July 1

The South Dakota Commission on Gaming has announced that the state will begin to accept applications for sports wagering licenses from July 1, along with several new rules that will become part of the sports betting bill passed in March.

Per the new rules, sports betting will also be added to the list of approved gaming types. License applications, meanwhile, were made available on the Commission site yesterday (May 20), and will be accepted by the commission from July 1.

New Hampshire sports betting revenue rockets 1,158.6% in April

The New Hampshire Lottery reported a 1,158.6% year-on-year increase in sports betting revenue to $3.3m in April, while the US state’s handle also hiked 1,129.0% to $46.7m for the month.

Revenue for the month was up from $262,393 in April 2020, though this was significantly impacted by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

BCLC urges Senate to pass single-event betting bill before summer recess

The British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) has called on the Senate to prioritize a bill that will legalize single-event sports betting in Canada.

Also known as the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act, Bill C-218 was passed by the House of Commons at its third reading on on April 22 and is waiting for Senate approval before it can advance to the next stage.

Wazdan secures transactional waiver to launch in New Jersey

Online casino games developer Wazdan has secured a transactional waiver from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) to launch its content in the US state.

The permit will enable Wazdan to roll out a selection of its online and mobile games with licensed operators in New Jersey.