LegalSportsBetting Brief: MI, VA Launch Online Sportsbooks 01/26/2021

  • Virginia and Michigan now have live mobile sports betting platforms for residents to use.
  • Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, and Texas have all filed and/or introduced new legislation for legal sports betting.
  • Pennsylvania and New Hampshire ended 2020 with new records in handle for the month of December.
  • MGM Resorts failed to acquire Entain Plc. while Ballys’ was able to purchase Monkey Knife Fight.

DETROITLegal sports betting and all things surrounding the market continue to swirl with various news happening daily. The biggest news from the past week was that Virginia and Michigan have both launched their mobile and internet sports betting platforms just in time for Super Bowl 55.

Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, and Texas are all introducing new bill proposals to either open legal sports wagering industries or expand on existing ones in their 2021 legislative sessions.

Pennsylvania and New Hampshire have hit records in their sports gambling handles for the month of December as the NFL season was heating up.

MGM Resorts and Ballys’ tried to expand their businesses with MGM failing at their attempt but Ballys achieving the acquisition of their own Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) platform in Monkey Knife Fight.

Online Sportsbooks Launch In Virginia And Michigan

FanDuel officially debuted its application for the mobile and online sports betting market in Virginia on Thursday when their sportsbook platform went live for signups to the public.

Users must be 21 or older to be able to join the outlet and wager on sporting events as the activity has now become available to residents of the Old Dominion with this launch. However, the monopoly on the Virginia market by FanDuel did not last long as DraftKings entered the industry only days later.

DraftKings entered the Virginia mobile sports wagering industry on Sunday, just in time for the influx of NFL sports betting action due to the AFC and NFC Championship games happening that same day. Currently, FanDuel and DraftKings are the only two applications available for Virginians to gamble on sports matchups via mobile outlets.

It was rumored that BetMGM will roll out their sports betting platform in time for Super Bowl 55 on February 7, giving the people of Virginia three state-sanctioned online sportsbooks to utilize for game day. Those rumors have been confirmed as the app will launch on Wednesday.

On Friday, Michigan unveiled their internet and mobile sports wagering industry with ten licensed operators. While retail locations for gambling on sports opened earlier this year, it took some time to get mobile gaming off of the ground.

One reason for this was that both internet casino gambling and sports betting went live at the same time. But either way, Michiganders now have multiple mobile sports wagering applications to choose from to gamble on the upcoming Super Bowl and any other sports that interest them.

New Sports Betting Bills Coming Out In 2021

Mississippi already has legal sports betting but new legislation is being proposed in the 2021 session that would make mobile sportsbooks legal in the state. Not much detail has been put into Senate Bill 2396 as it looks to iron out the finer points once hearings begin.

The only things that have been set within the draft proposal is the legalization of internet and mobile sports wagering as well as any licensed location being allowed only one operator a piece, No cap on how many mobile applications will be eligible to open within the industry has been mentioned.

Legislation has been introduced in Texas for a strictly internet and mobile sports betting market. This industry would be very similar to the structure of Tennessee’s legal sports wagering operations as they are the only state without retail sportsbooks opting for sportsbook applications instead.

Texas would be able to legalize sports betting much easier through House Bill 1121 because it would be a statewide online market rather than being confined to a few retail locations in the state that other proposals are going for.

Massachusetts has filed Senate Bill 177 that would make land-based and online sportsbooks legal in the Commonwealth. The bill has a tax rate of 15% on all revenue from handle collected by licensed sports betting operators.

College sports wagering for state schools is prohibited under this bill. The Massachusetts Legislature has until the end of the year to decide on whether or not sports betting legalization in Massachusetts will happen in 2021.

Legislative Bill 560 and Legislative Bill 561 are looking to make sports bets legal in Nebraska. Casino gambling was legalized by a majority vote in November and while rules and regulations are being constructed in 2021 for the industry, these bills would add sports wagering to the menu. Under these proposals, gambling on sporting events is being called a “game of chance” and therefore would be categorized as a casino game that is already legal in the state of Nebraska.

More States Close Out Their Sports Betting Revenues’ On High Notes

Pennsylvania made a record in sports betting handle for the month of December with $548.6 million. Their previous record was over $20 million less than that with $525.8 million posted in October. The bulk of all gambling on sports matchups was done via mobile and internet sportsbooks, seeing 97.6% of all of December’s action. Revenue for the month came in at $45.3 million.

New Hampshire set a new high in sports wagering activity seen but didn’t bring in as much revenue due to the number of winning bettors for the month of December.

The state took $51.6 million in wagers on sporting events in December. Mobile sports betting operators took the most wagers with $43.6 million in bets taken of the $51.6 million. Over $4.5 million was seen in revenue for the month which is 6.3% down from the overall revenue record of New Hampshire’s sports wagering industry.

MGM And Bally’s Make Important Moves With Their Businesses

MGM Resorts has ended their attempts at acquiring Entain Plc after multiple tries to obtain the company. MGM’s final offer to purchase Entain was $12 billion but the company still felt that number was too low considering the growth that the sports wagering market in the U.S. is expected to see in the coming years.

MGM and Entain are the parent companies of the sportsbook BetMGM and through this proposed acquisition MGM would’ve been the sole owners of the sports betting platform. However, they are no longer trying to buyout Entain and will continue to be partners for the BetMGM operation.

Bally’s bought out Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) company Monkey Knife Fight for $90 million. Monkey Knife Fight has a presence in 37 states in the country and continues to grow at an alarming rate in popularity which is why Bally’s bought the platform because DFS is not only gaining more fans but it is also becoming a legal industry in more and more states. Through this buyout, Bally’s has become the third gaming business to own both a sports betting and DFS platform individually.

What’s Coming Up In The Sports Wagering Markets Of The U.S.

Colorado’s legal sports betting market keeps getting larger and larger as they have just posted $1.2 billion in handle made in a year with a lack of sports. The handle recorded for bets placed was done from May through December.

That is a milestone for the sports wagering industry of the Centennial State which looks to get even bigger in 2021 as the sports world normalizes to regular schedules and more sportsbook operations enter the state.

Ohio will be looking to get a legal sports betting market during their 2021 session as their 2020 session got close but couldn’t cross the finish line. With the legislative year lasting through December, there is plenty of time to focus on sports wagering legalization.

A sports betting study on the pros and cons of the industry will be introduced as well as a mirrored bill of one that was amended to appease all sides of lawmaker suggestions. The study will happen first and is backed by Representative Brigid Kelly who has been an advocate for legal sports betting.

Super Bowl 55 is starting to take shape with the Kansas City Chiefs taking on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa. The game will be held on Sunday, February 7 at 6:30 p.m. EST and will be televised by the CBS Network. Now that the teams are locked in, Super Bowl betting odds and betting props are flooding sportsbooks.

News tags: Ballys | BetMGM | Colorado | Coronavirus pandemic | COVID-19 | DraftKings | Entain Plc | FanDuel | Kansas City Chiefs | Massachusetts | MGM Resorts | Michigan | Mississippi | Monkey Knife Fight | Nebraska | New Hampshire | NFL | Pennsylvania | Super Bowl | Super Bowl 55 | Tampa Bay Buccaneers | Texas | Virginia

Christina Monroe

Christina has been writing for as long as she can remember and does dedicated research on the newly regulated sports betting market. She comes from a family of sports lovers that engage in friendly bets from time to time. During the winter months, you can find Christina baking cookies and beating the entire staff at Mario Kart…the N64 version of course.

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