Betting laws, derailed bills, strange handle numbers

Between betting laws and bills, there’s always something to talk about when it comes to industry news. As is always the case, it was another busy few days for the U.S. sports betting industry in terms of breaking news stories.

A couple of states announced some sports betting revenue and handle numbers, while another state failed to get a bill passed.

This industry now has more attention paid on it than ever before, and not all of the news stories have been positive over the past few days. Here is a look at some of the biggest stories that are currently impacting the industry.

DraftKings Violates MA Sports Betting Laws

DraftKings is a company that is based in the state of Massachusetts. And now it’s currently in hot water with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. Betting laws you say? This is an operator that comes with a terrific reputation. But it recently made a big mistake that has regulators looking to punish the company. 

This violation dates all the way back to March when DraftKings accepted wagers on UTR Pro Tennis matches. It looks like that’s not an approved betting market by the MGC. DraftKings did self-report the violation. But this was still a critical mistake that shouldn’t be happening. Betting laws are passed for a reason.

According to the report from DraftKings, the operator simply copied over the list of available betting markets from another state and then allowed for those bets in Massachusetts. That didn’t sit well with the commission. However, it’s unusual for DraftKings to make such a mistake. 

The MGC has been extremely cautious with rolling out legal sports betting as the group has tried to make sure that there are no mistakes. This action by DraftKings should have been prevented. It got the state off to a bad start during the first days after launch.

There currently hasn’t been a punishment announced by the MGC. But a separate hearing will be held to announce what that punishment might be. Watch those betting laws guys!

Sports Betting Fails Again in Minnesota

There was plenty of optimism entering 2023 that a sports betting bill would pass in the state of Minnesota. Things appeared to be trending in the right direction as well. But things got derailed in a hurry. Now sports betting will have to wait until next year. 

There was a sports betting proposal introduced earlier this year that would have allowed Native American tribes to have control over the industry. When some Democrats eventually bailed on their support of that bill. A bipartisan group attempted to revive it with some amendments. 

If the legislative session were to extend a few more weeks then sports betting might be passed. It seems that lawmakers are simply running out of time. With more time between now and introducing the bill again in 2024, it’s unclear where lawmakers will stand when they return. 

Native American tribes have been willing to give up a little bit of their control in order to get sports betting passed. But there are other groups that are pushing back in a big way. Race tracks in the state are trying to get a piece of the puzzle as well. Now there are some lawmakers who are looking out for that group. 

2024 is an election year in Minnesota. Some lawmakers will be busy worrying about other issues. The recent proposal would have allowed for up to 11 online sports betting operators in the state. Minnesota could have emerged as a large market. 

Minnesota is losing out on millions of dollars each month as sports bettors are leaving the state to place bets. This state is a part of the Midwest, and every other state except Missouri has already passed a bill to legalize the industry. 

Michigan Posts Interesting April Numbers

The Michigan Gaming Control Board has announced the sports betting handle and revenue numbers for April. However, it looks like the numbers don’t exactly line up. April sports betting handle was lower than it was in March, but the state was able to post a higher sports betting handle revenue. 

The total sports betting handle was just $338.1 million in April. That was also a significant decrease from the April 2022 numbers. Sportsbooks will gladly take a dip in the total handle for the increase in revenue that was seen.

Watch For Betting Laws in PA

Michigan sportsbooks posted a hold rate of more than 10% during the month of April to bring the revenue total to more than $36.3 million. April is typically a slower month when it comes to handle, but the state continues to put up impressive tax revenue numbers as well. 

FanDuel and DraftKings continue to lead the way in the state of Michigan, and that’s typically been the case throughout the United States. 

These numbers are more impressive now that Michigan has still been able to see an increase in revenue despite the state of Ohio also having legal sports betting. Ohio has emerged as a much larger market, but Michigan has been able to keep up. 

Pennsylvania Remains a A Large Market

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board just recently announced April sports betting numbers as well. PA remains one of the leaders in the industry, and not even breaking any betting laws. Almost 95% of all bets placed in Pennsylvania came from online sportsbooks. Those in the know know that’s typically been the case since launch. 

The total sports betting handle for the month of April was $572.1 million. It put Pennsylvania over $21 billion in all-time sports betting handle. This is now the fifth state to get to that mark. Pennsylvania is only slightly behind Illinois. 

Pennsylvania is another state in which sportsbooks posted huge revenue totals after the hold rate was much higher than normal. The sportsbooks in the state were able to post a revenue of over $51 million. You know, a good chunk of that will be heading to the state as well. 

The top operator for the month of April was once again FanDuel as the market share was right around 40 percent. DraftKings is a sportsbook that has seen a significant boost in action over the last 12 months as market share has now climbed to 27%.