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State of the Union: Mississippi, Nevada, BCLC and more

Insight | Analysis

This week’s State of the Union, in partnership with Segev LLP, includes attempts to bring sports betting to Mississippi, a change of leadership at the British Colombia Lottery Corporation (BCLC), and record sports betting revenue in Nevada. Group completes $27.5m purchase of RotoWire

The Group has completed its acquisition of Roto Sports, the operator of US-facing fantasy sports news and advice site, for $27.5m.

Under the deal, agreed last month, Group paid an initial $20.0m at closing, consisting $15.0m in cash and $5.0m in newly issued, unregistered ordinary shares.

Mississippi lawmaker tries once again to legalise online sports betting

A Mississippi lawmaker has filed a bill that would permit operators in the state to accept online sports bets, the fourth such attempt to legalise the vertical.

Representative Cedric Burnett introduced House Bill 184, which would amend the Mississippi Code to allow a “digital platform” to also accept sports wagers, on 4 January when the 2022 legislative session opened.

Nevada sets new betting revenue record as handle reaches $1bn again in November

Sports betting revenue in Nevada reached a new record total of $72.0m, while handle exceeded $1bn for the second consecutive month in November, as total gaming revenue reached $1.32bn.

The month saw the US welcome international travellers from a number of countries for the first time since March 2020, after travel restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic were eased.

BCLC confirms departure of CEO Lightbody

Canadian provincial lottery operator the British Colombia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) has announced that Jim Lightbody has stepped down as its chief executive and president after a two-year period of medical leave.

Lightbody had been on leave since September 2019 after receiving a cancer diagnosis and will now leave both roles, but will officially remain on medical leave from the organization.

Colorado sports betting revenue reaches record $36.8m in November

Colorado set a new monthly sports betting record of $36.8m in November 2021, while the US state’s handle fell just short of the all-time high total achieved in the previous month.

Consumers in the state wagered $475.4m on sports during November, which was 3.3% less than the record $491.5m spent in October 2021, but more than double the $231.2m bet in November of 2020.

SaharaBets partners NHL’s Coyotes for Arizona launch

Meruelo Gaming, an affiliate of the Sahara Las Vegas and Grand Sierra Resort in Nevada, has partnered National Hockey League (NHL) team the Arizona Coyotes in order to launch its new SaharaBets brand in Arizona.

The digital sports betting platform is scheduled to go live in the state on January 12, with consumers able to place bets on a wide range of sports events and competitions.

Rhode Island sets new sports betting revenue record in November

Rhode Island saw sports betting revenue reach a new monthly high of $6.7m in November, while players wagered a total of $52.7m during the month.

Player spending was up 50.1% year-on-year from $35.1m in November 2020 and while this fell short of the record $60.2m set in October 2021 by 12.5%, it was the second-highest monthly handle total since the market launched.

MGM Resorts to launch revamped rewards programme

MGM Resorts will launch a reimagined and rebranded loyalty rewards program on 1 February, which it claims will offer “unprecedented” access and new benefits to guests at its properties across the US.

The programme will be rebranded from M Life Rewards to MGM Rewards, and extended to let customers earn MGM Rewards Points when they play, stay or dine at its properties.

Delaware betting revenue up 34.4% in 2021 but still below 2019 levels

Sports betting revenue in Delaware totaled $11.2m (£8.3m/€9.9m) for 2021, a year-on-year rise of 34.4% as the state recovered from the effects of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Despite the rise from 2020, revenue was still 9.9% less than the revenue generated in 2019, which totaled at $12.4m.

Virginia sports betting revenue triples to $29.9m in November

Sports wagering revenue in Virginia came to $29.9m in November, up 205.1% from October and taking revenue beyond $100m since the state launched sports betting in January.

Adjusted gross revenue was more than three times the total recorded in October, but was still slightly below the $31.0m record set in August.