iGaming News Roundup: January 13th through January 18th
Read the latest news roundup reporting on events between January 13, 2020 and January 18, 2020. Here are the latest developments in the world of sports betting, iGaming and land-based casinos last week.
Washington State Reviews New Sports Betting Bills
Washington State has started 2020 with a slew of sports bills up for debate. Senate Bill 6277 has made its way to the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee. A sister bill, House Bill 2478 landed in the House Commerce and Gaming Committee in the House.
Both bills are pushing for the legalization of sports betting in the state. Under SB 6227, known simply as the Sports Wagering Act in Washington State, all authorized sports venues will be subject to 10% tax.
Key sponsors of the bill are Republican Senators Curtis King and Ann Rivers who are both looking forward to establishing the state as a jurisdiction in which sports betting is permitted.
Pennsylvania Hits $1.26bn in Total Sports Handle in First Financial Half-Year
Pennsylvania generated $1.26 billion off sports wagering in the first half of the 19/20 financial year. The revenue over the period hit $91.4 million, a fair number in line with the early estimates in the state.
The Keystone State first launched its sports wagering activities in May 2019 and it has raked up the aforementioned total handle through December 31, 2019. This means that Pennsylvania has yet not had the chance to benefit from March Madness or Super Bowl.
Players wagered $1 billion online, establishing the online segment as the biggest driver of revenue when it comes to sports betting. Retail has posted a rather modest turnout, with the state’s land-based operators generating merely $260 million, even though they had been running seven months longer.
Kentucky Headed Towards Sports Betting Legalization
Kentucky has sent House Bill 137 to the Licensing, Occupations & Administrative Committee to get the necessary approval and continue on its road to fully-legalizing the industry. If cleared and voted in, BH 137 would allow the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission to create a framework and for interested parties to apply for a license.
As the current forecasts stand, Kentucky will be charged 10.25% for retail sports betting while online betting would also be allowed, but taxed at a higher rate at 14.25%. All sports bettors would need to register in person at a land-based venue before proceeding to place their wagers remotely.
The current bill also asks for $500,000 for a license as well as a $50,000 renewal fee that will be paid upon a set period of time.
DraftKings Makes a Bolder Move on Las Vegas
As DraftKings continues to expand throughout the US market, the operator set up a new office in Las Vegas, Nevada last week. DraftKings is bringing a dedicated staff across each of its key verticals, to name casino, customer experience, sportsbook traders, fraud prevention as well as human resources and IT.
A total of 300 employees should be employed at the new venue and help the sportsbook boost its footprint and scale of operation in the United States. This comes on the tail of an agreement between SBTech and DraftKings whereby the sportsbook agreed to be acquired by the former.
DraftKings has boosted its footprint at an impressive rate. Since October 2018, DraftKings has increased its employment base by 40%.
Delaware, A Minnow in an Upswing
Delaware’s iGaming revenue has climbed up to $3.6 million posting a stable 38.5% increase year-over-year (YOY). As one of the smallest gaming markets, Delaware has very limited potential for growth, but local operators have been hoping to retain the market’s share nevertheless.
Players spent a total of $127.9 million on various online gambling activities. Delaware Park was again the leading operator in terms of revenue, keeping $1.43 million. Dover Downs was a close second with $1.39 million and Harrington Raceway posted the smallest results with $755,136.
Congressional Gaming Caucus Relaunches Backed by US Lawmakers
The Congressional Gaming Caucus, a body tasked with defending the interests of gambling companies with US lawmakers, has been re-launched, courtesy of the initiative of US Representatives Bennie Thompson and Guy Reschenthaler.
The Caucus has reunited 30 lawmakers who come from various states in the country. Commenting on this development, Rep. Reschenthaler explained that the industry in the United States has left its traditional bastions, i.e. Nevada and New Jersey, and was now spreading across the entire country.
As a result, a caucus focused on advancing mutually-beneficial policies were necessary, he concluded.
New York Mobile Betting Bill a Reality – Goes through Committee Stage
Mobile sports betting in New York is still in the process of threshing out the last details. However, as of last week, Senate Bill 17, has progressed out of the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee winning 7-0 votes and now headed to the Senate Committee on Finance.
If passed successfully, New York businesses that own a sports betting license may soon start offering mobile wagering options, boosting the overall handle and engagement. One of the key issues in the Empire State presently – in terms of fetching the best possible value from gambling activities – is to make sports betting products more accessible.
As one of the top priorities of the 2020 legislative station, Senator Joseph Addabbo, Chair of the Racing Gaming and Wagering Committee, will continue to push for a more liberal NY sports betting market, which includes mobile betting.
Sen. Addabbo has been one of the staunchest supporters of legalizing sports and mobile betting in the Empire State in the past ten years. He may finally succeed to find the political backing to do so in 2020. Presently, mobile betting is allowed on site at the Madison Square Garden (MSG), home of several NY sporting franchises.