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State of the Union: NJ, IN, IA, NY, ME and more

Insight | Analysis

This week’s State of the Union, in partnership with Segev LLP, covers the latest revenue figures from a number of states, as well as a blow for the industry in Maine and a renewed mobile push in New York.

NJ sports wagering handle reaches $4.58bn in 2019
Players wagered a total of $4.58bn in New Jersey over the course of 2019, with operators generating revenue of $299.4m for the year.

The revenue figure represents an increase of 218.4% on the previous year. However New Jersey only opened its regulated market in June 2018, meaning operators were only active for six months of the comparative year.

Player spending on sports betting in the state also rocketed by 1,089.5% from $385.3m during the six-month period in 2018.

Online was by far the most popular form of sports betting in 2019, with players wagering a total of $3.84bn via the internet, compared to $747.4m at retail sites.

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Maine governor vetoes sports betting bill
Janet Mills, governor of Maine, has vetoed a bill that would have allowed sports betting in the state, arguing that the people of Maine are not ready for sports betting.

Mills praised the bill’s intention in bringing sports betting away from the black market, but said she did not believe such a bill at this time was the will of the people of her state.

“I believe this bill is a good effort by those who wish to bring out into the open a black market activity that is practiced by many now and who want to regulate that activity without over-regulating or overtaxing it so as to drive it back underground,” Mills said. “The bill is a step forward towards achieving that delicate balance.”

“But, respectfully, I remain unconvinced at this time that the majority of Maine people are ready to legalize, support, endorse and promote betting on competitive athletic events.”

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Indiana sets new revenue and handle records in December
Indiana sportsbooks took in a combined $12.0m on a handle of $161.8m – both new state records – as online sports betting continued to grow in the Hoosier state.

The state’s revenue was a 28.9% increase from November and 4.3% above the previous high in October, while handle rose 9.8%.

Online stakes came to $110.6m, up 14.9% from November. Online betting handle made up 68.3% of overall bets, up from 65.3% in November. Online revenue came to $7.8m, an 80.9% increase from November.

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NH punters stake $3.4m in first week of mobile wagering
Players in New Hampshire have wagered more than $3.4m in the week following the roll-out of mobile and online betting on December 30. 

As of January 6, over 16,200 players have registered with the DraftKings-powered sportsbook, which operates under an exclusive contract with the New Hampshire Lottery.

Governor Chris Sununu, who placed the ceremonial first bet when sports betting launched, said the early returns show sports betting “was absolutely the right bet for New Hampshire to make”.

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Nebraska bill would class sports betting, poker as skill games
Nebraska state senator Justin Wayne has introduced a bill that would define sports betting, paid fantasy sports and poker as games of skill.

The bill, LB990, would effectively legalise the games under Nebraska law, where most forms of gambling are not currently permitted, but games of skill are allowed.

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Kentucky sports betting bill passes first committee
A bill to legalize sports betting in Kentucky is headed to floor of the House of Representatives after passing through the Licensing, Occupations, & Administrative Regulations Committee.

The bill – House Bill 137, which was introduced by Adam Koenig – would allow horse racing tracks and the Kentucky Speedway to accept bets on sports. Sports betting would be regulated by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and taxed at a rate of 10.25% when carried out in person.

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Delaware igaming revenue reaches $3.6m in 2019
Licensed online gaming operators in Delaware generated $3.6m in revenue for 2019, an increase of 38.5% on the previous year.

Players spent a total of $127.9m on online gaming over the past 12 months, up 31.1% on the $97.6m wagered in 2018, winning $124.0m in the process.

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NY sports betting revenue hits year-low in December…
Sports wagering revenue in New York amounted to $780,418 in December, the lowest monthly figure since the state launched its legal market last July.

The figure represented a 40.0% drop on the $1.3m generated in November, which was previously the worst performing month since the roll out of legal sports betting in the state.

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… as Addabbo renews mobile betting push
A bill to allow online and mobile sports betting in New York has passed the first committee stage in the state senate by a unanimous vote.

The bill, S17, passed a vote in the Senate Racing, Gaming And Wagering Committee by a 7-0 margin and will now move on to the Senate Committee on Finance. It initially passed a vote in the Senate in June 2019 but after it did not see a vote in the state assembly, it was revived for the 2020 legislative session. Its passage through the Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee in 2019 was also unanimous.

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SG to power betting and igaming at Michigan tribal casino
Scientific Games will provide sports betting and igaming services at FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek, Michigan, a casino owned and operated by the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indians.

FireKeepers Casino will use Scientific Games’ OpenSports sportsbook solution to power both its online and retail sports betting operation.

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Tribal ballot proposal could boost California revenue – but increase costs
Should a ballot measure to allow sports betting at California’s tribal casinos and racetracks be adopted, the state stands to generate “tens of millions” in new revenue, but face higher regulatory and enforcement costs, a new report says.

The analysis of the ballot proposal put forward by a coalition of 18 Native American tribes in November last year was carried out by the  Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) and offered a mixed picture of its potential impact.

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US lawmakers relaunch Congressional Gaming Caucus
US Representatives Bennie Thompson and Guy Reschenthaler have relaunched the Congressional Gaming Caucus, a bipartisan body that aims to represent the gaming industry’s interests on Capitol Hill.

The Caucus, which will be led by Mississippi Democrat Thompson and Pennsylvania Republican Reschenthaler, will comprise of more than 30 members from states across the country.

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Iowa records lowest full-month sportsbook revenue in December
Iowa’s licensed sportsbooks took in a combined $2.9m in sports betting revenue, down 19.3% from November and the lowest for a full month since sports betting launched.

This came despite handle declining only 0.1% month-on-month as bettors in the Hawkeye State enjoying their most successful month by far, in terms of winnings.

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Responsible Gambling Collaborative launches new effectiveness principles
The Responsible Gambling Collaborative (RGC) – an umbrella organisation dedicated to responsible gambling and the prevention of problem gambling – has announced new effectiveness principles and the results of a state-by-state study on RG funding.

The body, which includes the American Gaming Association, National Center for Responsible Gaming, National Indian Gaming Association and Responsible Gambling Council, revealed six effectiveness principles, designed to to foster responsible gambling in the US.

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Greenwood Racing brings in Hausler as new CEO
US gambling facility operator Greenwood Racing has appointed Eric Hausler, previously of VICI Properties and Capri Casinos, as its new chief executive, effective from January 20.

Hausler will join Greenwood after a spell as director at VICI Properties, a real estate investment trust that owns various gaming, hospitality and entertainment properties including the Caesars Palace and Harrah’s sites in Las Vegas.

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