Mass markets opened, tax rate animosity in NY

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Today we look at Mass markets opened to bettors and tax problems in New York. With Super Bowl Sunday in the rearview, the average betting volume skyrocketed as the Kansas City Chiefs faced the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII. On the opposite end of the sports betting industry, this week has seen states strive to set new records and bring about significant transformations to the industry.

News Circulating in Texas 

Lawmakers have been busy during this legislative session in the Lone Star as the state makes its second attempt to pass a sports betting bill. Senator Carol Alvarado submitted a pre-filed resolution, SJR 17, in November. However, any modifications to this proposal will require the approval of two-thirds of the lawmakers in order to be included in the upcoming election cycle ballot.

There’s a lot of back-and-forth going on as to how the launch should be assembled. By creating “Destination resorts”, the idea was to have seven locations that could offer retail sports wagering and other amenities. The other markets would also include horse racing in these facilities.

The resolution specifically calls for the establishment of two gaming facilities in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston metropolitan areas. As well as one in each of the San Antonio, Corpus Christi, and McAllen metropolitan regions.

In contrast, two bills were filed to allow only mobile sports to be played in the state, with professional franchises being the primary license holders. Additionally, Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale has changed his stance on legalized gambling in Texas and now doesn’t expect a bill to pass.

Mass Markets Opened – Sports Betting Finally Has a Launch Date in Massachusetts

Massachusetts mobile sports betting market will finally come to fruition on March 10th, which is four days before the start of March Madness. Many reputable brands will be a part of the jurisdiction, which includes Bally Bet, Barstool Sportsbook, BetMGM, betr, Betway, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel, PointsBet, Fanatics, and WynnBet.

Before diving into the long-awaited mobile sports wagering operation, two brick-and-mortar locations in the Bay State are subject to review by the MGC’s Investigations Enforcement Bureau. For offering legal in-state college markets as the violations were self-reported. 

The locations where the violations took place were Plainridge Park Casino, the men’s basketball game at Merrimack College, and Encore, the women’s basketball game at Boston College. According to the state’s rules, consumers are prohibited from placing bets on in-state collegiate programs. The only exception where this ban is lifted is during special events like March Madness, NIT, and other marquee events.

In other news, the Massachusetts sports betting operation is projected to generate anywhere between $300-$500 million in revenue during its first full year. Although retail sports betting will certainly contribute to the numbers, Maryland’s numbers show that Massachusetts will most likely reach its full potential with an online market.

Why Is There So Much Animosity in New York?

The sports betting capital of the industry has been on a roll heading into 2023. In the state’s January 2023 monthly handle report, the handle total has already surpassed the previous record that was set during the launch month. The Empire State will most likely miss the $2 billion handle benchmark, but will most likely eclipse the $1.8 million territory when the final report is released.

Regardless of how well things seem from the outside, any business venture may have some internal discourse amongst the parties involved. Throughout the last few months, sportsbook operators that accept bets in the Empire State have expressed their concerns about the industry-leading 51 percent tax rate.

The bookmakers will take years to become profitable, and have threatened to release worse odds on their platforms. On the other side of the spectrum, lawmakers are fully aware of the problem of gambling becoming an issue not only in the state but the rest of the industry.

Rep. Paul Tonko wants to regulate sports betting the same way cigarettes are regulated because sportsbooks have been targeted for using terms like “risk-free” and “no sweat” bets. TV, radio, and the Internet are all prohibited from advertising sports betting under The Betting on our Future Act. A statement has also been issued by the NBA prohibiting its partners from using the jargon.

In states like New York, sports betting advertisements on billboards on highways. This would take a lot of effort to pass in any legislative session but could serve as a warning for future sportsbook brands that may gain market access in the future.

Illinois Has Another $1 Billion Handle Month 

The Illinois Gaming Board reported a handle of $1.03 million to close 2022 on a high note. December’s strong numbers cemented its dominance as the Prairie State crossed the $1 billion mark for the third consecutive month.

December’s total was just $41,000 short of overthrowing the record that was set in October 2022. The operators in the state combined to claim $$82.4 million in adjusted revenue, which noted a sharp decline from the previous months.

The average hold rate for the bookmakers was eight percent, which was approximately 1.4 percentage points lower than what was posted in November. However, it was more than double the revenue of $33.7 million from December 2021.

There was a 4.3 percent average hold rate at that time, which was significantly lower than the 7.2 percent national average. With the final numbers tallied in, the state received $11.5 million in tax receipts for the month, bringing 2022’s total to $118.4 million.

In the grand scheme of things, Illinois’ billion-dollar handle could contribute to another record for the sports betting industry. On a national level, Illinois has placed the commercial sports betting industry in the United States on track to surpass $10 billion in revenue for the second consecutive month. Arizona’s final report for the year has yet to be finalized, but the report should be available to the public in the next few weeks.