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BETTING

This Week’s Betting News July 21st – 27th

General View of Harvard University Campus
A general view of Harvard University campus in Cambridge Massachusetts Maddie MeyerGetty ImagesAFP

Let’s take a look at some of the more important stories permeating the U.S. sports betting and gambling landscape. Below, we report on those that made headlines recently and will update our readers as events unfold.

Mass Drops Hammer on Casinos

When Massachusetts green-lighted retail sports betting back on January 31st, the state’s three commercial casinos all opened their doors to sports bets. But there’s always a learning curve regardless of how prepared one might be when tackling a new venture.

According to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC), in early February all three casinos –Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, and Plainridge Park– accepted bets on in-state college events.

This practice is expressly prohibited unless those teams are playing in a tournament of four or more teams like March Madness or the Beanpot hockey tournament, annually played between the Boston University, Boston College, Northeastern, and Harvard ice hockey teams.

$50,000 in Fines

The Encore Boston Harbor in Everett was fined $10,000 for accepting a five-team parlay for $70 that included the February 2nd regular season game between the Boston College women’s basketball team versus Notre Dame.

The MGM levied a $20,000 fine on Plainridge Park Casino for taking bets on a February 2nd regular season men’s basketball game between Merrimack College and Long Island University. Merrimack College is located in North Andover, Massachusetts, but was mislabeled as a Florida team. A total of 33 bets totaling $6800 were wagered on that game.

Lastly, MGM Springfield was fined $20,000 for taking a total of $1200 worth of bets on February 3rd and 4th both involving the Harvard basketball team as they tipped off against Yale and Brown in consecutive days. Harvard was mislabeled as a Connecticut school, as opposed to one of the most prestigious and iconic universities in the world located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Indian Gaming Soars to Nearly $41 Billion

The National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) announced $40.9 billion in gaming revenue for the 2022 fiscal year. The impressive numbers were generated between July 1st, 2022, and June 30th, 2023.

The $40.9 billion gross gaming revenue (GGR) reported by the NIGC was culled from 519 audited financial reports of the 244 tribes that operate casinos in 29 states with regions including:

  • Sacramento ($11.7 billion)
  • DC ($8.9 billion)
  • St. Paul ($4.9 billion)
  • Portland ($4.8 billion)
  • Phoenix ($3.7 billion)
  • Tulsa ($3.4 billion)
  • Oklahoma City ($3.1 billion)
  • Rapid City (406 million).

“I want to say that in general Indian gaming continues to do well, despite the historic challenge of tribal casino closures that began in March 2020 due to the pandemic,” Chairman Simermeyer said.

Simermeyer also added, “This year’s historic revenue reflects the resiliency of many tribal gaming operations, and how tribal gaming continues to rebound and remain strong. Tribal governments and the operations they license continue to explore new and innovative ways to expand and deliver world-class experiences to cultivate sustainable economies.

“Across Indian country, tribes pursue economic sustainability through gaming by relying on the robust regulatory reputation for which Indian gaming is well known, and made better when supported by efficient and effective measures.”

Vermont Accepting Bids

Vermont is ready to accept Requests for Proposals (RFP) from any online sportsbook that’s interested. It has been a unique process, to say the least, as the legislation has ceded full control to the Department of Liquor and Lottery (DLL) with the instructions to choose two to six sportsbooks but would allow the DLL to go as low as one or even none.

The interested parties have until August 28th to return the RFP and a decision is slated to be rendered by September 2nd as to which gaming platforms will be allowed to operate in the Green Mountain State. A target date for New Year’s Day to launch has been discussed.

“The NFL regular season ends January 7, and that’s when the playoff season starts, so we’ll be real primed for the NFL playoffs,” Wendy Knight, the commissioner of Vermont’s Dept. of Liquor and Lottery, told WPTZ-TV of Burlington.

According to reports, each sportsbook will be graded on a 100-point scale in a revenue category as well as a technical category. In the revenue category will be two sub-categories which will be:

  1. How much revenue does the sportsbook believe it can generate annually?
  2. How much of that revenue is the sports book willing to share between 20 and 51%? The higher the percentage, the higher the grade, with 51% getting a perfect 100 score.

The technical portion of the grading process deals with several categories, but three among them are:

  1. Hardware and software used by the online sportsbook
  2. Services use, such as age verification and payment processing
  3. Plans for responsible gambling

The RFP also stresses that “products raised or manufactured in the state” will get preference, as will those companies “who have practices that promote clean energy and address climate change.”

OddsTrader will continue to monitor and track the sports betting scene in Vermont as it unfolds.


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