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State of the Union: Louisiana, New York, Bally’s and more

Insight | Analysis

This week’s State of the Union, in partnership with Segev LLP, includes the launch of online sports betting in Louisiana, and early returns from New York’s own launch, plus Standard General’s bid to acquire the remainder of Bally’s.

Louisiana to launch mobile sports betting on January 28

The US state of Louisiana is to launch its regulated mobile sports betting market tomorrow (January 28), with a number of licensed operators set to go live on opening day.

Sports wagering was legalized in Louisiana in November 2020 following a parish-by-parish referendum. However, the market’s launch was delayed until 2021 due to Louisiana only permitting the passing of a new tax in an odd-numbered year.

New Yorkers stake $600m in opening nine days of mobile betting

Consumers spent more than $600.0m during the first nine days of regulated mobile sports betting in New York, while revenue surpassed $48.0m.

A total of $603.1m was wagered in the period from January 8, when the state’s legal market opened, through to January 16, the last day of the first full week since legalization.

Sands to “wait patiently” for online opportunities

Robert Goldstein, chief executive of resort operator Las Vegas Sands, said the business would continue to “wait patiently” for opportunities to invest in the online gaming sector, rather than jumping in quickly.

During the operator’s investor call following its 2021 results, UBS analyst Robin Farley noted that the valuations of many online businesses have dipped since Sands first expressed its interest in the sector and asked what this meant for its current plans.

Intema Solutions agrees to acquire Loot.Bet owner

Esports igaming group Intema Solutions has signed a definitive share purchase agreement to acquire Livestream, owner of the Loot.Bet server-based real-money gaming platform and esports betting brand.

The deal could be worth as much as $14.8m, with this to be settled as $8.0m in cash, $4.0m by the issuance of a secured vendor take back note and the issuance of 6,470,588 common shares of Intema.

Standard General makes $2bn Bally’s acquisition proposal

Bally’s shareholder Standard General has submitted a proposal to acquire the remainder of the US gaming operator, valuing the entire business at more than $2bn (£1.48bn/€1.77bn).

In a letter to the Bally’s board, Standard General – which currently owns more than 20% of the business – said it would pay $38.00 for every share of the business that it does not own. This would price Bally’s as a whole at $2.07bn.

DraftKings appoints early employee Sherman as CMO

DraftKings has appointed Stephanie Sherman – one of the operator’s first 15 employees – as its new chief marketing officer.

With the new role, all marketing functions at DraftKings will be placed under Sherman’s leadership.

PointsBet launches sports betting in New York

PointsBet has become the sixth operator to launch mobile sports betting in New York after it secured full approval from the state’s regulator.

The operator processed its first wager in New York at 10:09pm local time yesterday (January 25), going live in the state alongside Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel, Rush Street Interactive and BetMGM.

Bally Sports pens broadcast deal with BetMGM

Bally Sports, a division of Sinclair Broadcast Group, has entered into a partnership with sports betting and igaming operator BetMGM.

Under the arrangement, Bally Sports will broadcast a new sports betting program – ‘Live on the Line, Powered by BetMGM’ – across its 19 regional sports network brands in the US and the accompanying Bally Sports app.

Arizona betting operators bring in $31.8m after free bets in November

Operators in Arizona reported adjusted sports betting revenue after free bets of $31.8m for November, up more than 200% month-on-month, despite lower spending.

Across both retail and mobile, $466.7m was wagered throughout the month, a monthly loss of 4.0%.

Rivalry commences trading on OTCQX

Esports betting platform Rivalry has announced that its subordinate voting shares will begin trading over-the-counter on the OTCQX Best Market today.

The shares will trade under the symbol RVLCF.

Pennsylvania smashes revenue and handle records in 2021

Pennsylvania set a host of new records across a number of areas in its regulated gambling market in 2021, with total revenue in the state reaching $4.73bn.

The overall total was 78.5% higher than the $2.65bn generated in 2020 and up 38.7% from the previous year-high of $3.41bn in 2019, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).

Better Collective secures partnership with New York Post

Affiliate business Better Collective has entered into a sports betting partnership with US daily newspaper the New York Post.

Under the agreement, Better Collective will deliver its technology and commercial content for online sports betting through its Action Network platform to help educate New York Post readers about wagering.