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Breaking down the week in US Sports Betting

21 February 2020

Colorado edges closer to launch. PA & WV markets soar. And might we see mobile betting in Mississippi? Exciting news from Alaska and Wyoming too as we break down this week’s news in US Sports Betting.

Colorado Calling

Legal online sportsbooks in Colorado remain on track to launch on May 1 and in time for the Stanley Cup Finals.

That’s after the Colorado Limited Gaming Commission finalized the rules for CO sports betting and issued “master licenses” to the casinos that will allow retail sports betting.

The licenses will also see each casino link-up with sportsbook operators to roll out a mobile and online sports betting platform.

Here are the sportsbooks confirmed in Colorado already:

  • PointsBet (Double Eagle Hotel & Casino)
  • BetFred (Saratoga Casino)
  • FanDuel (Twin River)
  • DraftKings (Twin River)
  • theScore Bet (Jacobs Entertainment)

Mobile moves PA and WV

Though there was less football to fill bet slips, Pennsylvania reported record figures for January.

PA sportsbooks took more than $348 million in sports wagers, an increase of almost six million from the previous high. Given around 89% of wagers are placed online in PA sports betting, those numbers will without a doubt continue to rocket.

The first month of the new year also contributed to a positive return for sports betting in West Virginia.

Every week in January brought over $8.5 million in betting handle for WV sportsbooks. Like Pennsylvania, the figures are more impressive considering the football season was winding down.

And as in PA, the influence of online sports betting apps are starting to tell. Betting at retail sportsbooks significantly decreased in three out of the first four weeks of the year. With BetMGM joining FanDuel and DraftKings the 56% of mobile sports betting handle will go only one way.

MISS-ing out no more

Mississipi sports betting launched in 2018 but with wagering restricted to on-site wagering only. That could be a thing of the past however if one legislator gets his way.

House representative, Cedric Burnett, has filed a bill that would see the Magnolia State expand to full mobile wagering. The proposed change to the law would permit any licensed casino to launch an online MS sports betting platform.

Since there are 24 casinos, the potential for MS online sports betting is enormous and leaves one questioning why this change wasn’t considered sooner.

More and more US states are beginning to recognize the need for mobile wagering. Mississippi is just one example of a state operating with one hand tied behind its back.

Can we join? Alaska & Wyoming want a piece of the action

Even states without the slightest bit of interest in sports or gambling are taking notice of the legal sports betting juggernaut.

Thus, two new names you wouldn’t necessarily expect have added themselves to the list of states with active bills on the table.

Alaska, one of the most conservative states when it comes to gambling as proved with its lack of a state lottery - one of only five states without one - would implement a full lottery commission to oversee a range of scratch games and sports betting. Even better it’d be solely an online market seen as there are no land-based casinos to speak of!

Meanwhile, Wyoming was one of a few states to yet show its hand. The ‘wait and watch’ approach many states have employed before committing themselves, plus the lack of a professional sports team in WY put the brakes on any real urgency initially. As with Alaska, the absence of any land-based gambling facilities means an online-only market appears the most likely option.

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