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PlayUSA Rewind: Four Operators On Shortlist For CT Sports Betting

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This week’s gambling news rewind includes a shortlist of operators to run sports betting in Connecticut, Barstool Sportsbook launching in Indiana, and yes, more talk about Florida sports betting.

For even more coverage, be sure and follow @VisitPlayUSA | @reporternickg | @brantjames for all the latest insights.

On the rewind:

Connecticut lottery down to final four to run sports betting

Although the identities of the operators vying for the chance to run CT sports betting have not been revealed, we do know the list has been chipped down to a final four.

There were 15 respondents to the Connecticut Lottery’s request for qualifications. Out of those 15, the Lottery asked five to give presentations, but only four responded to the sports betting RFP.

The CT Lottery may have asked for proposals from four operators, but the submission window remains open till May 27. The plan is for the state to operate one online sports betting skin (website) and 15 retail sportsbooks.

An official announcement on the Lottery’s official partner is expected by June 10.

The takeaway: We may not know who the final four operators are until a winning proposal is selected. However, there is a chance FanDuel, DraftKings, Caesars Entertainment, PointsBet, and WynnBet could be selected.

Florida sports betting is a hot topic

During a Special Session this week, the Florida Legislature passed a sweeping new 30-year gambling Compact with the Seminole Tribe.

The Seminoles would gain the right to offer craps and roulette at their Florida casinos and a virtual monopoly over state-wide FL mobile sports betting in exchange for a $500 million yearly revenue share payment.

Sounds simple? It’s not. Legal observers believe the language of the new Compact – which must be rubber-stamped by the Department of the Interior – will not pass legal scrutiny as the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act does not allow for tribes to offer gaming beyond their land. This deal calls for the Seminoles to serve as a “spoke” of legal sports betting market with pari-mutuel outlets that are not on tribal property. The legal question will come down to where a bet is made: is it where the servers are (Seminole land)? Or somewhere on a boat in Tampa Bay on someone’s phone? A wave of litigation is expected asking that question.

The takeaway: The odds of Floridians making legal mobile sports bets by the Oct. 15 target date set out by the Legislature are very long indeed.

Barstool Sportsbook launches in Indiana

The newest member of Indiana sports betting is Barstool Sportsbook.

Penn National Gaming announced the launch this week and now has mobile apps in four different markets including, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Illinois.

Be on the lookout for several promotions, risk-free bets, parlay insurance, and numerous other betting options.

Penn CEO Jay Snowden said the launch “leverages the building momentum for the Barstool Sportsbook app with the additional launches planned for 2021.”

The takeaway: It sounds like Penn National isn’t finished filling out its launch book this year. Colorado has seen a thriving market and might be on the Penn radar. Additionally, New York, Maryland, and Ohio are all looking to jump-start their online sports betting markets.

Two operators left in Richmond casino selection

And then there were two.

The Cordish Companies and Urban One are the two remaining developers vying for the chance to build a multimillion-dollar casino in Richmond, Virginia.

A city panel is expected to choose the winner in the coming weeks, bringing an end to a process that began in November 2020 when voters passed plans for casinos in five Virginia cities.

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, once the panel selects the winning development, its recommendation will go to the city council. The council will then decide if a citywide referendum on the project is needed.

The takeaway: Each company has its advantages going into the final selection. The Cordish Companies have experience on their side. The company operates the Live! Casino & Hotel brand. Urban One would be the first minority-owned casino in the state and brings with it community support.

Market Teasers

This week’s Market Teasers brings back a familiar face in Penn National Gaming. According to CEO Jay Snowden, the company continues its slow 2021 rollout, but they aren’t done yet. MGM Resorts International also makes the list after getting a bullish note from JPMorgan.

MGM International Resorts

$MGM | $39.48 | 1.88% change

  • JPMorgan gave MGM a boost upgrading the company to Overweight, changing its previously neutral stance. The 2021 target price is $47; combined with the advancements in online casinos and online sports betting, it makes for good momentum heading deeper into the year.

Penn National Gaming

$Penn | $79.99 | -1.06% change

  • With the addition of Indiana, Penn’s mobile app is now available in four strong sports betting markets (Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois). Let’s not forget, lead advertiser Dave Portnoy continues to drum up excitement, having just announced he will back the cryptocurrency, Safemoon.

** Market Teasers is not financial advice, nor am I a financial advisor. All figures were taken on May 18, market close.


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