April US Sports Betting Round-Up, by Ryan Knuppel, CEO, Knup Solutions
The sports betting industry has cooled off a bit in 2021 as most of the states in the US saw a drop in both handle and revenue during February. Those numbers are expected to bounce back in March, but only a handful of states have reported those figures at this time.
A number of states are attempting to legalize sports betting in 2021, and one state has recently been able to get a bill signed into law. Larger mergers and partnerships are still being formed by companies, and sports betting should once again see huge growth this Fall.
Here are some of the biggest iGaming sports betting news pieces from the last few weeks.
Wyoming Legalizes Sports Betting
Wyoming is the latest state to legalize sports betting as Governor Mark Gordon officially signed HB 133 into law on April 5. Both the House and Senate passed the bill at the end of March, sending it to Gordon’s bill for approval.
Wyoming is now the second state to legalize sports betting in 2021 after South Dakota did so in the middle of March. The Wyoming Gaming Commission is targeting September 1 as a potential launch date, but that date could be moved back if necessary.
This state has specific rules in place for operators looking to obtain a license, and there will be a minimum of five online sports betting licenses available. In order to apply, an operator must be offering sports betting in at least three other states.
The initial licensing fee in Wyoming is set at $100,000 and that license will be good for five years. Operators can then renew the license for a $50,000 fee if they so choose.
The Northern Arapaho Tribe in Wyoming will also be launching sports betting at it’s casino properties in the state. All other sports betting must be done online through a licensed and regulated sportsbook.
Maxim Magazine Breaking Into Sports Betting
Maxim is looking to break into the growing sports betting industry, and the men’s magazine has partnered with Carousel Group. Together these two companies are forming MaximBet.com that will offer both sports betting and online gambling options.
MaximBet.com was recently listed as being for sale by Google, and this group must first purchase the site to secure the name. This new site is expected to be available both internationally and in the United States, and mobile apps for both Android and iOS devices will also be available.
Carousel Group CEO had this to say about the new partnership, “Maxim has established itself as a preeminent lifestyle brand over the last 25 years, and with Carousel’s strong experience in the online betting space, together we will be able to establish a powerful new gambling brand.”
Carousel currently has market access in Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, and New Jersey. These are four of the largest sports betting markets in the US, but only New Jersey also offers online casino gambling options.
As part of this announcement, the companies announced that launch of the site is expected within the next 90 days.
Two Sportsbooks in Tennessee Having Issues
Tennessee sports betting has been extremely successful since a launch on November 1, 2020, but there has also been some recent controversy. The Tennessee Education Lottery (TEL) is now investigating two of the online sports betting apps in the state.
Action 24/7 was the first sportsbook to come under fire, and the TEL actually suspended the license of that company temporarily. A judge placed an injunction on the suspension, and Action 24/7 was able to resume taking bets.
This punishment came after more than 20 accounts were found to be conducting illegal activity on the site. An employee of Action 24/7 alerted the TEL of the wrongdoings, but not until a few days later.
Action 24/7 actually became the first sportsbook in the United States betting industry to have its license suspended.
Recently, William Hill is being questioned after it was revealed that it accepted a prop betting wager on a college sporting event. This is a prohibited betting market in the state of Tennessee, but it’s unclear if any punishment will be coming to the sportsbook.
No Sports Betting In Georgia
Georgia was another state looking to legalize sports betting in 2021, but lawmakers in the state will now focus their efforts on passing a bill in 2022. Sports betting appeared to have plenty of momentum at one time earlier this year, but a bill died on the final day of the legislative session.
The House of Representatives in Georgia was looking at a pair of bills, SR 135 and SB 142. Both pieces of legislation would have been necessary to launch sports betting, but only one was needed at this time.
SR 135 aimed to amend the Georgia Constitution by placing a referendum on the ballot in November 2022. SB 142 outlined how the new sports betting industry would work in the state, but lawmakers could have continued to make changes to that bill.
The House Committee on Rules sent these bills back to the House at the end of March, but representatives did not take any further action. The passing of a new voter law by Governor Brian Kemp caused Democrats to withdraw support from sports betting.
This topic will be revisited in 2022, and Georgia is ultimately expected to pass sports betting at that time.
The following article was written by Ryan Knuppel of Knup Solutions LLC. They focus on creating high quality sports betting writing for affiliates, operators and startups in the iGaming space.