State of the Union: Pennsylvania, NJ, Indiana and more

18 April 2019

This week's State of the Union, in partnership with Segev LLP, looks at the performance of the regulated Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania markets, as well as the progress of bills in Indiana and North Carolina.

Strong month for PA sports betting
Pennsylvania’s regulated sports betting market has posted its strongest revenue and handle figures since its opening, boosted by additional properties launching sportsbooks in March.

Total market revenue grew 183.5% month-on-month to $5.5m (£4.2m/€4.9m), with handle up 41% from February’s $31.5m to $44.5m.

The market benefitted from full-month contributions from six properties, supplemented by the launch of sports betting at Boyd Gaming’s Valley Forge Casino in King of Prussia (on March 13) and Greenwood Gaming’s Valley Forge Race & Sportsbook (on March 14).

The Rush Street-operated, Kambi-powered Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh led the market for the month, accounting for $11.9m (26.7%) of handle, and $1.3m (24.4%) of Pennsylvania’s sports betting revenue in March.

It was followed by another Rush Street property, Philadelphia’s SugarHouse Casino, which generated revenue of $1.2m from $9.2m of handle.

The state's licensed fantasy sports operators, meanwhile, have reported a slight improvement in revenue for March, following three consecutive months of decline.

Fantasy contests revenue rose 0.35% month-on-month to $1.634m (£1.252m/€1.444m), an increase of $5,000 from February’s total.

Indiana betting bill heads back to Senate
The Indiana House of Representatives has voted through a bill that would legalise certain forms of sports betting in the US state, with the bill now returning to the Senate for further debate.

SB552 was approved with 78 Representatives voting in favour and 15 against, following a series of amendments in recent weeks. It will now return to the upper house of the state legislature, which passed the bill in February this year. With a range of amendments made in the House, there is scope for significant changes to the legislation before it may be put to Governor Eric Holcomb for final approval.

Indiana’s current legislative sessions runs to April 29, giving the state less than two weeks to pass the bill into law.

NJ sports and igaming set monthly revenue records in March
New Jersey's licensed igaming and sports betting operators set new monthly revenue records for each vertical in March, which helped the state post a 34.5% year-on-year increase in gaming revenue to $294.0m (£224.7m/€259.8m) for the month.

In terms of online gambling, revenue was up by 53% to $39.1m, surpassing the previous monthly total set in January of this year, according to figures released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

Meanwhile, New Jersey saw sports wagering revenue hit $31.7m in March, the highest monthly total since the state moved to legalise sports betting in the wake of the US Supreme Court ruling on PASPA in May last year.

Meadowlands, in partnership with Paddy Power Betfair’s FanDuel, remains the market leader with sports betting revenue of $17.6m for March. This is more than double the $8.1m in reported in February.

Wynn strikes Scientific sports betting deal
Scientific Games has agreed a deal to support Las Vegas-based casino giant Wynn Resorts with its roll out of digital sports betting and online gaming services in the US market.

Terms of the agreement have not been disclosed, but Wynn has said that it intends to initially launch its new offering only in the regulated New Jersey market.

Scientific Games will provide Wynn with a sports betting and igaming system, in addition to its managed sports trading service and content aggregation system that features more than 2,000 digital games.

Delaware market improves in March

Delaware’s legal sports betting sector has been given a significant boost after it was revealed that revenue from the state’s regulated market amounted to $1.6m (£1.3m/€1.5m) in March, up from just $22,152 in the previous month.

The figure represents the best monthly performance so far in 2019, as well as the highest monthly total since the Delaware Lottery posted sports betting revenue of $2.1m in December of last year.

Punters wagered a total of $16.1m on sports during March, which is lower than $16.4m that was bet in February, but consumers only won $13.6m compared to $15.1m in the previous month as operators proved more successful.Meanwhile, the Delaware Lottery has also revealed month-on-month growth for the state’s legal online gaming market. Revenue in this sector totalled $288,740 in March, up from $274,690 in February.

Consumers bet a total of $14.6m online during the month, compared to $9.0m in February, taking home a total of $14.4m in winnings.

Stats snaps up Perform

US sports data giant Stats has struck a deal to acquire Perform, the digital sports media and content provider that operates the Opta, RunningBall and Watch&Bet services for gaming industry partners and sports media companies.

The value of the deal, which is expected to close in the second half of 2019, was not disclosed.

Perform Group changed its name to DAZN Group in October and separated its online-streaming and B2B units with the creation of the Perform Content division, paving the way for a likely spin-off.

Vista Equity Partners has helped to fund the fund the transaction, with DAZN set to receive a combination of cash and a minority shareholding the newly formed company.

Ontario to push for igaming and sports betting regulation
Ontario’s Conservative government has revealed plans to end the current online gambling monopoly and also legalise single event sports betting in the Canadian province.

In the 2019 provincial budget, the government has said it intends to establish a competitive market for online legal gambling “that will reflect consumer choice while protecting consumers who play on these websites”.

The proposed market will include both casino-style gaming and sports betting, with the government set to consult with key stakeholders to set out how the new-look market will operate.

Ontario currently operates under a monopoly system, with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) the only approved operator to offer igaming via its PlayOGA.ca website.

In the budget, the government also sets out its desire to legalise single event sports wagering in Ontario, quoting a number of leading individuals in the North American professional sports market who have previously backed the motion. Currently only wagering on multiple events and parlay betting is permitted.

NC Senate passes sports betting bill

A bill to legalise sports betting on tribal lands in North Carolina has been passed by the state Senate, and transferred to the House of Representatives.

S154, introduced by Republican Senator Jim Davis, would allow tribal gaming facilities to offer sports betting alongside other forms of gambling currently permitted under existing compacts with the state.
It was passed by the Senate at its second reading, with 43 Senators voting in favour and seven against.

This means the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, currently the only tribe that has agreed a compact with the state, would be able to launch sports betting on its lands should the House, and Governor Roy Cooper, approve the legislation.