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State of the Union: Maryland, Caesars, BetMGM and more

Insight | Analysis

This week’s State of the Union, in partnership with Segev LLP, features progress in Maryland’s mobile sports betting saga, a new appointment from Caesars and BetMGM’s launch in Kansas.

Caesars snaps up igaming executive Sunderland from BetMGM

Last week, Caesars appointed former BetMGM VP of gaming Matt Sunderland to the role of senior vice president of igaming.

His new role will begin on 1 October.

Before his new appointment, Sunderland worked as an igaming consultant for GVC, now known as Entain. He also worked for MGM resorts.

BetMGM marks Kansas launch with Chiefs deal

BetMGM announced its partnership with the Kansas City Chiefs, which marked the operator’s entry into the Kansas sports betting market.

BetMGM is one of six operators licensed to launch in Kansas, joining Barstool Sports, Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel and PointsBet.

Kansas’ sportsbook market went live on 1 September.

Caesars rolls out updated PA platform, expands Louisiana retail presence

Caesars launched its updated sports betting and online gaming platform in Pennsylvania, as well as opening new retail sportsbooks in Louisiana.

Bettors in Pennsylvania can now download the new-and-improved app.

The sportsbooks are available at two locations in Louisiana – Harrah’s New Orleans and Horseshoe Bossier City Hotel and Casino.

Colorado sports betting handle continues to decline in July

For the fourth month in a row, spending on sports betting fell in Colorado, amounting to $258.4m – down by 17.5% month-on-month.

This was the lowest amount recorded in 2022 so far.

But it was also 42.5% higher than in July 2021, when handle was $181.3m.

Virginia betting handle falls for fourth consecutive month in July

Similarly, handle fell in Virginia in July, also for the fourth consecutive month.

Handle was $266.0m in total, a drop of 9.9% compared to June.

However, gross gaming revenue – which is the total bets minus winnings, bonuses, promotions and other deductions – rose by 64.6% to $21.4m.

Kalamba enters Ontario with Bragg Gaming

Turning to Canada, Kalamba Games entered the Ontario market through a deal with Bragg Gaming Group.

In June, Kalamba and Bragg furthered their partnership and decided to incorporate North American markets.

The deal will see a number of Kalamba games – which are distributed in Europe through Bragg’s wholly owned subsidiary, Oryx – become available in Ontario.

Arizona betting handle declines again in June

Player spending in Arizona fell by 30.9% in June, totaling at $318.8m.

Of this, $316.0m came from mobile sports betting, while $2.6m was bet at sportsbooks.

In total, $306.2m was won by players during the month.

Bet365 goes live in Colorado with Century Casinos

Bet365 went live in Colorado, as part of a deal with Century Studios.

The agreement – which spans 10 years – will allow Bet365 to offer online sports betting to residents of Colorado, using Century’s master licence. The partnership was first announced in May this year.

Hard Rock continues sportsbook roll-out with Indiana and Tennessee launches

Hard Rock Digital – the digital arm of Hard Rock International – has launched its online sportsbook in Tennessee and Indiana.

Players will be able to download and access the Hard Rock Sportsbook mobile app in both states.

Maryland opens mobile sports betting applications

Applications have been opened by the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) for mobile sports betting licenses in Maryland.

The application period will run from 6 September to 21 October. The application fee for licenses is $500,000.

Although retail and mobile sports betting were legalized in Maryland last year, mobile sports betting is not yet up and running, while retail sports betting has been active for 9 months.

AGA expects record 46.6 million Americans to bet on NFL 2022 season

The American Gaming Association (AGA) expects a record number of Americans to place bets during the 2022 NFL season.

In total, 46.6 million people are expected to place wagers, which would be a rise of 3% year-on-year.

This was based on a survey of 2,210 people conducted by the AGA.

Celebrities to feature in DraftKings’ new responsible gambling campaign

DraftKings have launched a new responsible gambling campaign, featuring skateboarding legend Tony Hawk and professional wrestler The Miz.

Titled Practice Safe Bets, the campaign consists of two adverts and will air across the US on radio and TV as well as DraftKings’ social media.

GiG finalizes Crab Sports deal as Maryland opens licensing process

Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) finalized its deal with Crab Sports, just as the mobile sports betting licensing process opened in Maryland.

This is GiG’s first US-facing deal since acquiring SportnCo in April this year.

The deal will see GiG offer its platform and sportsbook for Crab Sports’ use.

Fubo Sportsbook goes live in New Jersey

Fubo launched its Fubo Sportsbook brand in New Jersey, after a soft play phase that adheres to the state’s regulations.

The sportsbook allows players to wager on pre-event and in-play actions. This includes out-of-state collegiate sporting events.

The launch occurred through a standing agreement with Caesars Entertainment.