Sports betting in the wild, wild West is finding a comfortable fit, with more expansion and options on the table.
Developments during the past week in Arizona and Montana brought good news for bettors seeking more opportunity.
But first, a quick look at business in the wake of Sunday’s Super Bowl.
Online data from GeoComply in a Legal Sports Report story shows an exponential increase in action over last year.
Saturday and Sunday transactions were reportedly up 236% from 9.5 million in 2020. That figure includes all legal online sports betting markets.
And those markets saw seven new players this year: Tennessee, Michigan, Colorado, Illinois, Montana (on-site mobile only), Virginia and Washington D.C.
So how much? PlayUSA forecast $500 million in legal Super Bowl bets, up from about $300 million last year, though the actual numbers won’t be available for weeks.
Let’s catch up progress from a few states.
Arizona Betting News
This could be the year for the Grand Canyon State to usher in a new era with sports gambling.
The proposal backed by Republican Rep. Jeff Weninger of Chandler and others has been anticipated since GOP Gov. Doug Ducey announced “an opportunity for a modernized gaming compact that will bring in more revenue for our tribal nations and our state budget,” in his State of the State address last month.
Ducey also told legislators he renegotiated deals with Arizona’s gaming tribes, which were set to expire in 2022.
And now, a joint proposal in HB 2772 and SB 1797 would make legal fully formed sports betting along with daily fantasy sports. So apps including FanDuel and DraftKings would be able to operate legally in Arizona.
Both pieces of legislation have been read twice and were expected to receive hearings this week. Ducey’s renegotiated compacts must be signed and approved at the federal level for sports-betting legislation to move forward.
Among the more prominent details: Sports betting can be operated by gaming tribes on their land and by professional sports teams, NASCAR and the PGA Tour off-reservation.
That means, with 20 total licenses split between the pro sports operators and tribal operators, local Arizona teams would include MLB’s Diamondbacks, NBA’s Suns and WNBA’s Mercury (both owned by Robert Sarver), NFL’s Cardinals, NHL’s Coyotes, Phoenix Raceway and the TPC Scottsdale, which hosted the annual Phoenix Open this weekend.
Teams could open sports books within their stadiums and arenas as well as within a quarter mile of those stadiums.
In addition to the standard sports-betting fare, betting on both Esports and Olympic contests would be legalized. Wagering on college sports is allowed under the proposal, but prop betting on college events is prohibited.
And bettors would be allowed to wager on in-state schools.
The Arizona Department of Gaming would set the standard for props and parlays on pro sports that could include real-time betting.
The tribes would also be able to build new casinos under an updated deal.
Both the legislation and a 20-year extension of the state’s gaming compact with tribes must be adopted for either to go into effect.
Dog tracks and horse tracks could also receive licensing.
Illinois Betting News
Eager prop-watchers in the land of Lincoln were disappointed on Super Sunday because their sportsbooks didn't offer Super Bowl betting props.
The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) does not want those odds at this point. IGB administrator Marcus Frutcher said the state would allow only “activity directly within the control or jurisdiction of the NFL and/or individuals subject to the NFL integrity policy.”
That doesn’t sound fun. The only bets involved direct action on the field, and Frutcher seemed to be grabbing some apparent moral high ground, citing “the highest standards of integrity, and without any appearance or possibility of potential impropriety.”
Montana Betting News
A pair of sports-gaming-related companies, INTRALOT and Simplebet, offered live in-game betting via micro-markets for Super Bowl 55.
INTRALOT is the supplier for the Montana Lottery and Sports Bet Montana sportsbook platform.
Gamblers were able to see their live Super Bowl wagers show results within minutes.
There are lingering concerns about the in-game broadcast delays, however.
“What you’re seeing on your betting screen is going to be about seven seconds ahead of what you see on TV,” said Joey Levy, Simplebet cofounder. “But if you’re betting on a drive, that’s fine. Drives are like five minutes. The broadcast latency issue is going to need to be solved for things like pitch result markets that are only active for like 15 seconds.”
The state has a built-in solution, given the restrictions on where to view and bet.
State law requires gamblers to be inside licensed facilities to access the sportsbook platform, so all will see the same version of the broadcast for gambling – at the same time.