CNBC’s new sports channel, live-dealer in DE

Welcome to iGB’s State of the Union, a look at the biggest North American sports betting stories we’ve covered over the week and briefs on others we found interesting.

CNBC getting into sports

Per Steve Ruddock’s “Straight to the Point” substack, CNBC is adding a sports channel. What does that mean for sports betting? “That coverage includes sports betting, an area CNBC’s Contessa Brewer has been in the thick of for several years,” Ruddock wrote on Wednesday (3 July). Overall, the channel will focus on the intersection of sports and business.

Brewer has been among a handful of national news voices to cover the sports betting industry since PASPA was overturned in May 2018. She “will continue to focus on the money, data statistics and strategy behind the sports gaming industry” according to the press release.

Betting on colleges coming to NJ?

The one thing missing from the market often considered the gold standard of US wagering is the ability to bet on college sports in New Jersey. A bill currently in the legislature is yet another attempt to try to change that. Last week, Representative Michael Venezia introduced ACR140, which would allow such betting. The bill is in the tourism, gaming and arts committee.

Voters in 2021 rejected a ballot measure that would have opened the market. And at least one operator has been fined for taking bets on a college event since the market launched in 2018. New Jersey’s legislature meets year-round, so lawmakers have plenty of time to consider the bill. In the meantime, those in the state who want to bet on colleges must go elsewhere.

Cost of doing business just went up

Operators in Illinois began paying a higher tax rate at the start of the week. Lawmakers in June voted to increase the 15% sports betting tax rate to a sliding scale of between 20% for the smallest operators to 40% for the biggest. The change will likely most affect DraftKings and FanDuel, both of which earned enough in FY 2024 to fall into the 40% category.

Governor JB Pritzker, who initially proposed a flat rate of 35%, spearheaded the increase. The new sliding scale means that Illinois is the now the second most expensive competitive market to do business in. New York charges a 51% tax on gross gaming revenue. The next closest is Pennsylvania, which charges 36% (34% state, plus 2% local).

Indiana says bye-bye to BlueBet

Operating as ClutchBet, BlueBet announced this week that it is exiting Indiana, but will remain live in Colorado, Iowa and Louisiana, according to the West Island Blog. In April BlueBet merged with another Australian operator Betr. BlueBet is the second platform in a year to leave Indiana. As part of a nationwide shutdown, WynnBet left the market in 2023.

While two operators have left the state this year, two other have launched. Bet365 went live in January and Fanatics launched in February.

Check out Vermont’s new RG website

Regulators in Vermont, where legal sports betting launched on 11 January, this week debuted their problem and responsible gambling website, VTGamblingHelp.org. The site has a “Get Help Now” button that points bettors to the 1-800-GAMBLR hotline or a chat on the site. It also includes a section that defines what a gambling problem looks like and a checklist for bettors to use. The site also links to the state form bettors can use to self-exclude.

In other news…

A bill that would have opened Delaware’s gambling market died on Sunday (30 June) when the legislative session closed with no action. BetRivers remains the only digital sports betting operator in the state.

Former liquor executive Rodney Williams was appointed to the Caesars Entertainment board of directors, the company announced on 1 July. Just a few days earlier, Caesars was named Casino Operator of the Year at the EGR North America Awards.

BetMGM was named Sports Betting Operator of the Year and Employer of the Year at the EGR North America Awards.

ICYMI on iGB

Flutter may join Boyd in potential bid to buy Penn Interactive assets

US federal prosecutors prep to charge Jontay Porter with a felony

Evolution launches live-dealer games in Delaware

Mayors, cardroom employees protest California bill that would allow tribes to sue

Kentucky judge upholds ban on skill games

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Welcome to iGB’s State of the Union, a look at the biggest North American sports betting stories we’…

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