iGaming in New York, Pessimism in Texas & Criticism in Colleges

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It looks like iGaming in New York won’t happen in 2023. Sports betting in Texas remains a longshot this year. Will sportsbook operators leave their lucrative partnerships with universities?  Finally, nine bookmakers will have to rethink their strategies moving forward. As usual, there’s a lot to report from the sports gaming world.

The Sports Betting Operation is Grim For Texas in 2023

Texas is the second-most populated state in the US. It is in the same position as California and Florida when it comes to sports betting. Despite the pessimism surrounding the legislative session, the sports betting initiatives made it much further than the previous year.

Getting them passed in the state House chamber is a victory in itself, but the advocates of the business venture certainly need more support. Some in the industry had hoped Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick would soften his anti-gambling stance, but that remains a roadblock.

There are several plausible explanations for this. The Lone Star State is extremely conservative, and the majority of Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick’s supporters are religious groups that oppose gambling because they believe it creates compulsive gamblers.

He isn’t ready to betray his supporting base just yet. Plus, he won re-election, which means the pressure to appease the other side isn’t a major priority anymore.

iGaming in New York Stalls, Texas Teams Push for Legalization

Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones have been supporters of expanding the gambling market in Texas. Jones believes that the operation is inevitable. Additionally, House Speaker Dade Phelan believes that creating these destination-style casinos is a must. They will create more jobs throughout the state.

Texas will not be able to pass sports betting again before 2025 unless key stakeholders can change Patrick’s mind before the end of the session on May 29. Patrick is also the barrier for Las Vegas Sands. The company is dealing with opponents in New York as the “Say No to the Casino” Civic Association is petitioning to dismantle the proposal in Nassau County.

The state of Texas has a $32.7 billion budget surplus, so gambling revenue isn’t needed, according to the numbers. A University of Houston poll, however, showed that 75 percent of Texans supported Sen. Carol Alvarado’s amendment to allow sports betting and four resort-style casinos.

There is pressure on Texas because Oklahoma is working with a coalition of tribal nations to bring legalized sports betting to the Sooner State. The group of gaming tribes would monopolize the sports betting market if a measure passes in 2023. In the Gulf Coast region, Louisiana stands as the biggest market in the area.

Sportsbooks Face Heavy Criticism on College Campuses 

Sportsbook operators have been given the green light to extend partnerships with major universities across the nation. However, college officials and faculty members have criticized these companies for pursuing such deals.

After receiving backlash, the University of Colorado ended its partnership with PointsBet recently. Caesars has a partnership with Michigan State and Louisiana State University. As part of its partnership with Louisiana State University, the company sent emails to underage students and has received backlash for it.

Professors at Michigan State University have started a petition to end the partnership with the bookmaker because of problem gambling. As a result of the recent mass shooting that occurred on campus, the petition urges the institution to reconsider the mental health risks associated with problem gambling.

Maryland is taking a stronger approach at the moment and will become the first university to pass a bill revolving around the issue. After passing the Senate unanimously on Wednesday, SB 620 is now ready for Gov. Wes Moore’s signature.

Currently, PointsBet has been advertising its platform across the University of Maryland’s campus with QR codes on the ads. Sen. Shelly Hettleman stated that the institution supports her bill and welcomes transparency because there is no penalty for noncompliance.

Other states have started to take notes. Legislators in New York are working on rules, which would ban state schools from pursuing such deals.

iGaming in New York, Bookmakers Struggle to Turn Profit

Sportsbook operators in New York have expressed their concerns about the 51 percent tax rate in the state. Their efforts to mitigate the burden may be futile this year as the iGaming bill made it to neither the Senate nor Assembly budgets.

Sen. Joe Addabbo was frustrated with the result because the operation is inevitable in the state. The online casino market would certainly create $1 billion in revenue, which could be used to combat problem gambling. Educational funds for programs and youth sports have always been a priority.

During the post-budget session, Assemblyman Gary Pretlow discussed his iGaming in New York plans. His goal is to expand the gambling market in the Empire State as consumers are prohibited from wagering on awards and draft props.

Like a few jurisdictions in the sports betting industry, he doesn’t see a middle ground for concepts like promotional deductions. Promotional deductions allow sportsbook operators to take more profit before the adjusted revenue is taxed by the state.

The bookmakers have threatened to post worse odds in the Empire State compared to other markets. DraftKings CEO Jason Robins stated, “It’s the biggest state that has sports betting, and it can be profitable. We had to (launch there), and it’s the right thing to do. I think the issue is going to be what are the measures, what are the steps that need to be in place that all the operators, in some combination, are going to have to take in order to make New York profitable? And what does that mean for the consumer value proposition that’s going to be there?”

Robins believes that the issue will eventually be sorted out. However, DraftKings and the eight other competitors will have to rethink their plans in the long run.