SPORTS BETTING BUSINESS HAS HIGH HOPES DESPITE TAKING A HIT

States that have legalized sports betting haven’t been seeing the wagering action like they are used to. COVID-19 has affected businesses across the country, and sports companies are some on the top of the list.

New Jersey is among those that have seen their handle drop in the last couple of months. Between February and March, they were at $187.9 million, which is a 36% drop.

“It’s a good chance for us to reset,” said Johnny Aitken, the U.S. CEO of PointsBet, which is based in his native Australia and operating in New Jersey, Indiana, and Iowa. “As a technology-based company, this reset will help us as we grow into more markets.”

Colorado was a state that recently passed sports wagering legislation. They were geared up for a big couple of opening months after the state legislative session. However, companies were met with operating restrictions after the reaction from the coronavirus.

“We were gearing up,” said Jay Kornegay, executive vice president of the Westgate, the Las Vegas sportsbook that was all set to open a shop at The Lodge Casino in Black Hawk, 27 miles west of Denver. “Next thing you know, we had all these restrictions. We’re looking at June, but I wouldn’t be surprised now if it’s not until July 1.”

They were planning on having 15-20 sportsbook up and operating by now. But there are currently only four, with those operating via mobile app.

The Upside

But with sports coming back, there will be an opportunity for these companies to cash in., The UFC has been receiving a lot of action, especially in Colorado.

“We don’t have previous Colorado data to compare it to, but in our other markets, we received more betting action on this event than any regular-season NFL game,” said Mattias Stetz, chief operating officer of BetRivers parent company Rush Street Interactive. “It was even 33% more popular than Conor McGregor’s return to UFC this past January.”

The UFC was the most popular event in the state of Colorado for FanDuel as well. This was followed by table tennis.

Even in this questionable time for sports, the country saw a sports betting company go public. DraftKings has seen its market cap go over $7 billion since they listed, compared to their projection of $3.3 billion.

The question is, which sports betting company will be the next to go public. Many think that William Hill could be the next to make the move.

State Revenue

The revenue generated from sports wagering is going to be a topic of discussion for more states moving forward. As states look for more income after the public health crisis, sports betting could help budgets.

“As states return to some semblance of normal and look at increased budget shortfalls, sports betting gives them an opportunity to do something about that,” said Casey Clark, senior vice president of the American Gaming Association.

Sports betting is going to be trending upwards as sports make a comeback.

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