Browse articles by topic

State of the Union: NJ, NY, PA, Detroit and more

Insight | Analysis

In this week’s State of the Union, in partnership with Segev LLP, the two states to benefit most from the repeal of PASPA post their first full-year sports betting reports.

Elsewhere while New York’s chances of catching its neighbors in revenue any time soon appear slim. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2020-21 budget will continue to keep sports betting confined to upstate casinos. Meanwhile, with the start of the 2020-21 legislative session, new sports betting bills have been introduced in the states of Kentucky, Nebraska and Washington.

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.

No mobile betting in 2020-21 New York budget

The state of New York’s budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year, starting 1 April, will extend sports betting outside of casino sportsbook lounges, but not beyond the confines of upstate casinos.

New York’s current sports betting legislation only allows for bets placed in person at any of the state’s four upstate commercial or seven tribal casinos.

Although Senator Joseph Addabbo has made repeated efforts to legalize online and mobile sports betting and called for their inclusion in the 2020-21 budget, Governor Andrew Cuomo opted not to include these components.

Instead, the bill will allow for casinos to take bets throughout their premises, but not from any other locations.

PA sports betting handle hits $1.26bn in first half of FY19-20

Players in Pennsylvania spent a total of $1.26bn on legal sports wagering in the first half of the state’s 2019-20 financial year, while revenue for the regulated market reached $91.4m during the period.

Pennsylvania launched its legal sports betting market in December 2018, with the first online wagering sites going live from May 2019.

During the six months to December 31, 2019, operators handed out a total of $26.6m in promotional credits, which meant that taxable gross revenue came in at $64.9m, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).

Players wagered a total of $1.0bn online, with licensed operators generating revenue of $69.2m for the period. After accounting for promotional credits, taxable gross revenue amounted to $42.6m.

Detroit commercial casinos post record $1.45bn in annual revenue

The three commercial casinos in Detroit, Michigan, posted a record $1.45bn in adjusted gross revenue for the 12 months to December 31, 2019.

Combined adjusted gross revenue for the MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino and Greektown Casino was up 0.7% year-on-year, or a $10m improvement on 2018.

Detroit was boosted by record performances by the MGM Grand Detroit and MotorCity Casino, which both reported their highest annual adjusted gross revenue totals since opening in 1999.

MGM Grand Detroit posted $623.5m in revenue, up by 0.7% on $619.2m in the previous year, making it the leading venue in Detroit with a market share of 43%.

Eldorado wins Louisiana approval for Caesars acquisition

Casino operator Eldorado Resorts has secured approval from the Louisiana Gaming Control Board to proceed with its pending acquisition of Caesars Entertainment Corporation.

Announced in June last year, Eldorado agreed to acquire Caesars in a deal worth $17.3bn, subject to certain regulatory approvals.

Clearance by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board was one of several conditions of the deal, and the approval means Eldorado takes a step closer to completing the acquisition.

Eldorado expects to finalise the acquisition during the first half of 2020, subject to all required regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.

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.

The text of the bill said that the knowledge required in sports betting and fantasy sports mean they should be categorized as a game of skill rather than chance.

“Sports betting and fantasy sports require knowledge and skill,” it said. “Knowledge of a sport and skill in analyzing and predicting the performance of athletes and the outcomes of sporting events is essential for a participant in sports betting or fantasy sports to be successful.”

Bettorlogic teams with SCCG to bring platform to US

Bettorlogic has partnered with Las Vegas-based gaming consultancy firm SCCG management to launch its sportsbook solutions in the US.

Under the agreement, American operators will have access to Bettorlogic’s technology platform, which includes customer profiling, CRM and marketing technologies.

“The US market is only just starting to take off and we’re excited to sign an agreement with Stephen Crystal and the SCCG team,” Andrew Dagnall, Bettorlogic chief executive and founder, said. “Our products will enable sportsbooks to offer a bespoke experience and shape the offering to significantly increase player engagement.”

Stephen Crystal, SCCG Management’s managing partner, said he believed Betterlogic’s platform was very impressive and appeared to be an ideal investment.

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.

Delaware Park was the leading igaming operator in the state’s market, collecting $1.43m in revenue during the course of the year.

Dover Downs followed close behind with $1.39m in revenue, while Harrington Raceway, the only other licensed operator in Delaware, was some way behind on $755,136 in revenue for the year.

Mississippi sportsbook revenue declines despite increased handle

Mississippi casinos made $3.5m in revenue from sports betting in December,  its lowest figure since August and down 43.7% year-on-year, despite handle rising 17.5% to $49.1m.

The state’s coastal casinos were again the most popular venues to bet on sports, with a handle of $30.5m, up 11.7%. However, while the region was first in revenue with $1.6m, this figure represented a 56.7% decline from 2018.

Blackstone to acquire MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay for $4.6bn

Lawmakers in Washington State are to consider bills that have been introduced to legalise certain forms of sports wagering.

Senate Bill 6277 is currently with the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee, while its accompanying House Bill, HB 2478, is with the House Commerce and Gaming Committee.

SB 6277, also referred to as the Sports Wagering Act, would permit betting at authorised tribal casinos, card rooms and racetracks, as well as online.

Sponsored by Republican Senators Curtis King and Ann Rivers, the bill sets out a 10% tax on sports betting revenue. All tax revenue collected from wagers placed on tribal land would be allocated to the tribe responsible for that area.

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.

Online betting would also be permitted, though players would need to register in person at a racetrack or the Speedway. Online betting revenue would be taxed at a rate of 14.25%.

Licence fees for sports betting would cost $500,000 initially, plus a $50,000 renewal fee.

Washington State to consider new sports betting bills

MGM Resorts International has struck a deal to sell its MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay properties on the Las Vegas Strip to private equity giant Blackstone Group in a $4.6bn deal.

The transaction will see the Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust (BREIT) strike a joint venture with real estate investment trust MGM Growth Properties (MGP) to acquire the real estate assets. MGP will own 50.1% of the joint venture, with BREIT, which will also purchase $150m in MGP Class A shares, to hold the remaining 49.9%.

Once the deal closes, MGM Resorts will enter into a long-term, triple-net master lease for both properties. The operator will continue to hold responsibility for the day-to-day management of each property, while paying annual rent of $292m to the JV.

The MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay combined comprise 9,743 rooms, approximately 3m square feet of meeting space, and around 300,000 square feet of casino space on the Las Vegas Strip.