Sports Betting Roundup: The NY Lottery Option, Kentucky Derby, Alabama Update and Esports Match Fixing

Sports Betting Roundup: The NY Lottery Option, Kentucky Derby, Alabama Update and Esports Match Fixing

This week’s Betting News Roundup will look at four big stories in the world of sports betting:

New York Trending Towards Lottery Run Sports Betting

The criticism of a lottery-run sports betting system continues to face pushback among states — including New York — who say operating that way can mean good business.

Many sports betting industry leaders have pushed for the free-market sports betting model offering consumers a full range of choices, but, despite the benefits for its sports bettors, many states don’t want to go that way.

Their hesitancy is tied to giving established gambling sites a role as a partner in revenue.

New York, with its lucrative base of potential customers, appears headed toward a state lottery-run, limited-choice option for its launch next year of mobile sports betting.

“The $500 million (in projected annual sports betting revenue) will go to the state, rather than a lot of middlemen who operate mobile sports betting, which is what many of the other states have done,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said recently during a briefing at the State Capitol. “This is more like the state lottery, where we operate it and we get the resources.”

New Hampshire Lottery Executive Director Charlie McIntyre, told Sports Handle last week that – as is the case in his state – a system in which gambling operates via the state lottery can work just fine.

In 2019, New Hampshire sought proposals from applicants that listed what percentage of gross gaming revenue the operator offers the state.

DraftKings’ 51-49 split — in exchange for being the state’s sole operator – was enough for McIntyre and the state to take the deal.

“We were looking at trying to maximize revenue, and that was the best deal for us,” McIntyre said. “And we’re one of the top states in the country in per-capita betting handle.”

According to stats compiled by Sports Handle, New Hampshire was eighth among legal wagering states in sports betting per-capita handle.

  • Nevada was highest in per-capita handle at $176.48.
  • New Jersey followed at $83.64, New Hampshire came in at $37.32 wagered per resident.
  • Arkansas had the lowest per-capita handle, at $1.47, but it’s among those states legalizing only retail sports betting.

New York’s version of mobile sports betting continues to be relatively undefined, even though it is part of the recently passed state budget.

Though the Empire State’s plan is still not perfectly clear, it appears to allow for two mobile sports betting platform providers, with at least four more operators to be licensed in the state. The Request for Applications (RFA) must go out to the gaming industry no later than July 1.

DraftKings and FanDuel are mentioned by Cuomo as companies that could be suitable providers.

Alabama’s rising tide toward sports betting legalization

A bill that would bring legal sports betting to an extremely energetic fan base passed through the Alabama Senate and now heads to the House for consideration.

This bill also includes plans for casino gambling and a state-run lottery.

The measure passed the Senate by a 23-9 vote and would create a constitutional amendment to expand gaming options.

Alabama does not have a lottery or a commercial casino, reportedly one of only four states fitting that description.

An earlier bill, SB 214, was the first to gain traction; it failed by only two votes.

Improvements were made, but several details of this bill need to be worked out. There was no immediate expectation that this one had enough support to pass the House.

Casinos: Nine licenses would be awarded, with three dedicated to the current tribal properties. The remaining six would be subject to a bidding process among the counties.

And, underscoring the start-up nature of sports betting in general, an Alabama Gaming Commission would first need to be created to oversee and regulate the new industries.

The new casinos could offer sports betting, but it is unclear if mobile sports betting would be included.

Kentucky Derby focus remains on Essential Quality

The Kentucky Derby is only 12 days away.

The field of 20 is still to be determined, but the favorite for the May 1 race at Churchill Downs remains Essential Quality.

Kentucky Derby odds, via Vegas Insider, for those 3-year-olds with a number less than +2,000:

  • Essential Quality +225
  • Rock Your World +500
  • Hot Rod Charlie +900
  • Highly Motivated +900
  • Super Stock +900
  • Known Agenda +1,000
  • Bourbonic +1,200
  • Medina Spirit +1,400
  • Caddo River +1,600

Essential Quality is the still-undefeated top colt who won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and was voted the champion 2-year-old colt of 2020.

Trainer Brad Cox supervised Essential Quality’s Saturday morning workout at Churchill Downs in which the colt breezed five furlongs in 59.60 seconds.

“He feels better than ever,” said his jockey, Luis Saez, in a Louisville Courier-Journal story. “We’re so excited, and we can’t wait until that day.”

Cox also trains Mandaloun, who worked six furlongs in 1:11.40, and Caddo River.

Essential Quality is undefeated in five career starts after winning the Grade 2 Toyota Blue Grass on April 3 at Keeneland.

Esports match-fixing

The Esports boom of the past decade has come with consequences.

An element major college and professional sports have been forced to confront – match-fixing – is now a part of the Esports community, and the FBI is involved.

You know your sport (is it a sport?) has reached the big time when a scandal surfaces that involves the FBI’s sports betting investigative unit.

The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) has reported that a few North American Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) pros are under investigation from the FBI for match-fixing.

The North American tournament organizer ESEA (Esports entertainment association) has confirmed that five Counter-Strike professionals have been excluded from further participation in competitions.

Although the result of the official investigation is pending, it has been stated that voice recordings clearly indicate collusion of the match result.

As the ESEA announced in a follow-up tweet, these are the players:
  • Sebastian “retchy” Tropiano (ChocoCheck)
  • Kevin “4pack” Przypasniak (Inactive)
  • Carson “nosraC” O’Reilly (ChocoCheck)
  • Alex “vek” Voynov (OCG)
  • David “J0LZ” Jolin (OCG)
Ian Smith, the ESIC Commissioner who spoke to YouTuber Slash32, said a small number of players is under the FBI microscope.
The ESIC will assist the FBI in a few areas of the investigation, including exactly how to interpret laws governing esports betting.
The ESIC already issued one- to five-year bans to 35 Australian esports pros because of violations of betting rules.
Smith said his organization would soon offer more transparency on the progress of the case.
Large match-fixing organizations have been formed that bribe players and organizations. Although, according to the integrity officer, it is a “relatively small but significant group of players”, the marked games are organized over a long period of time.