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State of the Union: Ontario, New York, DraftKings and more

Insight | Analysis

This week’s State of the Union, in partnership with Segev LLP, is highlighted by the launch of Ontario’s new licensed igaming market. Elsewhere, there are sports betting revenue figures from New York, Virginia, Colorado, Delaware and Oregon.

Ontario opens legal online gambling market

The Canadian province of Ontario has officially launched its legal and regulated online gambling market.

The opening follows almost three years of work after the provincial government revealed plans to end the lottery’s online gambling monopoly in April 2019. The government in 2020 introduced legislation to allow for a licensing regime.

DraftKings sets new deadline to close GNOG acquisition

DraftKings has set a target date of 31 May to close its acquisition of Golden Nugget Online Gaming (GNOG), after missing the initial Q1 target.

DraftKings announced a deal to acquire GNOG in August 2021. DraftKings pay 0.365 newly issued shares for each common share of Golden Nugget Online Gaming, in a transaction that values the operator at $1.56bn (£1.19bn/€1.42bn).

DraftKings to offer sports betting in Puerto Rico with Foxwoods deal

DraftKings and Foxwoods operator the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation have expanded their partnership in order to allow the online betting giant to take bets in Puerto Rico through a sportsbook at Foxwoods El San Juan Casino.

Subject to receiving licences and approvals, DraftKings will host a retail sportsbook at the tribe’s casino in Puerto Rico’s capital. The sportsbook is expected to open “in the coming weeks”.

FanDuel scores sports betting deal with The Sports Network in Canada

Flutter Entertainment-owned FanDuel Group has entered into a partnership with Canadian specialist sports broadcaster The Sports Network (TSN).

Under the multi-year deal, which FanDuel said was the first of its kind, the operator will serve as the official sportsbook partner for TSN and promote its sportsbook offering to consumers in Canada.

New York online sports wagers reach $1.52bn in March

Players in New York spent a total of $1.52bn (£1.16bn/€1.38bn) on internet sports betting in March, while gross gaming revenue from wagering for the month reached $109.9m.

Handle for the four weeks through to 27 March was marginally lower than the $1.54bn bet by consumers in February and was also 6.8% down from $1.63bn in the opening month of legal online betting in the first 23 days of legal betting in January.

Michigan joins multi-state shared liquidity agreement

Michigan has been accepted into the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement, which will allow the state to share liquidity among players gambling legally online within Michigan, Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey.

This means that poker players in Michigan will be able to share liquidity pools with players in these three other states.

PlayStar names Bowden as new chief marketing officer

Online casino brand PlayStar has appointed Jon Bowden, formerly of Entain and the Rank Group, as its new chief marketing officer to support its ongoing expansion plans in the US.

In his new role, Bowden will be tasked with delivering the operator’s brand proposition to the US market, with a focus on player experience.

Caesars to open in-stadium sportsbook through New York Mets partnership

Caesars Entertainment has agreed a multi-year partnership with the New York Mets, which includes plans to open a sportsbook at the Mets’ Citi Field.

Caesars will become an official sports betting partner of the team, which will allow for integrations with the operator’s VIP program as well as marketing opportunities at Mets games.

Virginia sports betting handle reaches $401.9m in February

Players in Virginia staked $401.9m (£307.5m/€368.9m) on sports betting in February, while gross gaming revenue (AGR) in the state amounted to $7.9m.

Handle for the month was 51.2% higher than $265.8m in February 2021, but down 17.2% from the record $485.5m in January of this year, figures from the Virginia Lottery showed.

Sports wagering declines 7.5% in Oregon in March

Players wagered $36.2m on online sports betting in Oregon in March, while gross gaming revenue (GGR) hit $3.6m.

Wagering fell 7.5% month-on-month, while GGR declined by 8.5%.

Georgia fails to pass sports betting bill as legislative session ends

A re-introduced bill that would amend Georgia’s State Constitution to allow for sports betting was passed by the state House yesterday (4 April), but failed to pass the Senate as the legislative session expired.

Senate Resolution 135 was first introduced in 2021, and was initially passed by the House Committee on Economic Development & Tourism.

Delaware sports betting revenue down 87% month-on-month in February

Player spending on sports betting in Delaware dropped by 37.7% from $8.4m (€7.6m/£6.4m) in January to $5.2m in February, while revenue fell even more sharply.

Revenue also dropped from $765,092 to $98,135, signifying an 87% decrease since the beginning of the year.

Colorado sports betting revenue slips to six-month low in February

Sports wagering revenue in Colorado amounted to $19.6m in February, the state’s lowest monthly total since August 2021.

Gross gaming revenue from sports betting was 88.5% higher than $10.4m in February 2021 but was 43.4% lower than the $34.6m reported by the Colorado Department of Revenue in January this year.