PointsBet ready for the NBA

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If you’ve read my column in the past, you know we’ve pointed out New Jersey’s record-breaking handle streak. Well, they’ve done it again. The Garden State set the all-time high for handle in any state for the fourth straight month, taking in a whopping $931.6 million in bets in November.

Sports betting revenue hit $50.6 million for a hold of 5.4%, according to the state’s report. That marks the third-highest total for New Jersey behind October’s $58.5 million and January 2020‘s $53.6 million.

As a whole, November’s results pushed the state’s sports betting handle above the $5 billion mark for the year. Yes, another first. The $5.02 billion in handle is up 9.6% compared to 2019‘s $4.58 billion total.

Category wise, football led the way, as betting on the pigskin accounted for $433.3 million in handle last month. New Jersey bettors do love their parlays, as the parlay category ranked third with $194.3 million in handle.

The NBA is back

With the NBA set to return, sportsbooks are ramping up for the action. Even with a short turnaround and the NFL still booming, it looks like it will be business as usual for the books.

“In terms of action, anticipating the NBA to do numbers as per usual — always a very strong driver of turnover, we don’t expect things to be any different in this coming season,” per Patrick Eichner, Director of Communications at PointsBet.

Gambling companies are also creating more regional based promotions to help tip-off the season. For example, PointsBet has a “Make It Rain” promo, where you can place a $50+ bet on their highlighted player’s total points on the games listed and receive $1 in Free Bets for every point that the player you bet on scores. On Dec. 23, bettors in the New Jersey market will be able to partake in this promotion, when the Washington Wizards visit the Philadelphia 76ers and Joel Embiid will be the said highlighted player

Hard Rock making moves

Hard Rock International announced the launch of Hard Rock Digital, a joint venture that will serve as its vehicle for both internet gaming and sports betting on both a national (East Coast-wise in Virginia) and international level.

Hard Rock Digital will provide an “omni-channel offering for interactive gaming and sports betting.” The company is looking to do this by leveraging the databases of Hard Rock International and Seminole Gaming which contain more than 130 million customers from its 250 land-based venues which span 76 countries. The venture will be funded by Hard Rock International, Seminole Gaming, and its partners.

“With the launch of Hard Rock Digital, we are broadening our digital business which enhances consumer experiences and offerings across our interactive gaming and sportsbook offerings,” said Jim Allen, chairman of HRI. “Hard Rock Digital also intends to pursue strategic branding and distribution opportunities both within the U.S. and globally. In the U.S. alone, the potential future market size is estimated at $7 billion for sports betting and $14 billion for online gaming.”

New East Coast DraftKings partnership

DraftKings announced a sports betting partnership with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, the owner of Foxwoods Resort Casino, in Connecticut. This is still pending state legalization and approvals, but this partnership would allow DraftKings to run sports betting for the tribe.

In their press release, DraftKings noted the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes had exclusive rights to operate gaming within Connecticut’s borders.

“This is a landmark deal in collaboration with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation as well as a critical next step to bringing America’s top-rated sportsbook app to sports fans in Connecticut,” said Matt Kalish, co-founder and president of DraftKings North America.

“The national expansion of regulated sports betting is among our top strategic priorities. DraftKings today is live with mobile sports betting in 10 states, more than any other operator in the US. Teaming up with the tribe will allow us to extend our reach even further.”

North Carolina a step closer

While sports gambling is legal in the state of North Carolina, there is still no way to legally place a sports wager in the state. Yes, you read that right.

Governor Roy Cooper signed SB 154 into law in July of last year. The bill lets the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians operate sportsbooks at their two casinos. But there are still more sign-offs needed, as the new law required an amended tribal compact that included the sports betting details approved first by Cooper and then by the Department of the Interior.

After delays stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, the Cherokee’s Tribal Council finally approved those necessary amendments last week, according to the Cherokee One Feather.

While a step in the right direction, Q2 of 2021 looks more realistic for the people of Carolina to legally place wagers in their own state.

Goodbye and thank you

Last but not least, I wanted to take a moment to give my thanks since this will unfortunately be my final column with Gaming Today.

Thank you to all the readers for consuming my content the past few months. Writing this column has been the highlight of my week. A big thank you to G.M. Howard Barish for the opportunity, and a special thank you to Steve Carp, GT’s senior editor. He is the guy that turns my work into fire after adding his magic.

I am moving on, but who knows? Never say never!

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