The sports betting revolution shows no signs of slowing down, and as 2021 begins, five more states have entered the reckoning for possible legalization this year.
In Arizona, Governor Doug Ducey has called for an overhaul of the current gambling sector in the state. That sector includes tribal casinos, but the gaming compacts relating to those venues expire next year, and Ducey seems keen to seize the opportunity.
In the east, efforts to bring in sports betting in Connecticut have been pushing ahead with a new sports betting bill. The bill that would give permission to the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes to run online and retail sports betting facilities has the support of 17 lawmakers.
On the west coast, Oregon governor Kate Brown is reportedly pushing a bill that would significantly overhaul the state’s sports betting sector, which is currently run by the state lottery.
And progress is also possible in two unlikely southern states. In Georgia, six state representatives have filed a bill that would permit six online sports betting platforms to operate under the control of the state lottery, while in Texas, it has been reported that the governor’s office has been in discussion with regulators and lobbyists in other states on the best approach to sports betting legalization.
Michigan Online Betting Imminent
Meanwhile, the state of Michigan is poised to launch online sports betting. Last Tuesday, the Michigan Gaming Control Board said that they were close to launching, with online casino games also included alongside sports betting.
There is likely to be a delay of up to five days following official authorization before any sports betting operator can take any bets due to a number of tests that still have to be completed, which means that the state’s operators could miss out on the NFL Conference Finals, although the Michigan sports betting market could be in a good position to take Super Bowl bets.
Billion Dollar Garden State
In New Jersey, the trailblazer for US sports betting, the sector almost cracked the $1 billion figure for the monthly betting handle, recording a $996.3 million take in December. Sports betting revenue also soared, hitting $66.4 million, with $7.6 million paid to the state in taxes.
In total, the handle figure of 2020 was $4.58 billion, which is an impressive rise of 31% on last year, with online handle taking up 94% of the market, although that figure is due in part to the closure of retail sportsbooks during the coronavirus pandemic.
Wynn Expands Reach
WynnBET, which runs the sportsbook service of Wynn Resorts, is gaining ground after a slow start in the sports betting market. The company has struck a deal with Elite Casino Resorts in Iowa, which will also give WynnBET sports betting access across seven states. At the same time, the company is said to be fast-tracking negotiations in a number of other states.
WynnBET is already operating in New Jersey and Colorado and expects to be launching in Michigan shortly. It also has access to Indiana, Massachusetts, and Nevada and has submitted applications to run sports betting platforms in Tennessee and Virginia.
Golf Partnerships and PointsBet Expansion
The American Gaming Association has also signed up with the PGS Tour as part of its responsible betting campaign. Entitled ‘Have a Game Plan, Bet Responsibly,’ it aims to promote safe gambling, and the PG will join NASCAR and the NHL as supporters of the scheme.
Finally, sports betting company PointsBet has continued to increase its foothold in the city of Detroit. The Australian-based firm has signed up as the official betting partner of the NHL franchise the Detroit Red Wings, following their deal with the Detroit Tigers of the MLB last year.