Bet On It: Florida Gaming Compact Faces Staunch Opposition

This week in the sports betting and iGaming space notable headlines include: Iowa sports betting enters a new fiscal year with flat June and DraftKings stock seesawed this week.


Major League Baseball and DraftKings (DKNG) announced a strategic sportsbook expansion and an extension of its existing Daily Fantasy Sports and sports betting relationship which will include expanded promotional rights and content inclusive of the sports betting category.

"Among the key components of the expanded relationship are rights to an innovative 'Bet & Watch' streaming integration where fans with open and active and DraftKings accounts will be able to watch a free, live MLB game within the DraftKings app. In addition, DraftKings and MLB plan to collaborate on future sports betting-themed game broadcast experiences that will live within the MLB.TV product. DraftKings is now a co-exclusive official sports betting partner of MLB, joining BetMGM (MGM). As part of the expanded relationship, DraftKings remains the exclusive Official Daily Fantasy Sports partner of Major League Baseball," the league and company stated.

Pursuant to the agreement, DraftKings will have on-site brand exposure and activation opportunities during all MLB Jewel Events. "While the blend of baseball, betting and branding will materialize in other ways including digital odds displays, virtual signage and hospitality packages, DraftKings will also adopt several new designations in connection with the promotions of upcoming events," the company added. Shares of DraftKings were up as much as 4% in Friday afternoon trading following the announcement. 

While shares of DraftKings stock were higher on Friday, the same could not be said for earlier in the week. Shares were down as much as 5% on Wednesday when Engine Media (GAME) announced that its Winview subsidiary commenced an action in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey against DraftKings, alleging infringement of patents owned by Winview. The lawsuit alleges that various gaming services provided by DraftKings infringe Winview's United States patent entitled "Methodology for Equalizing Systemic Latencies in Television Reception in Connection with Games of Skill Played in Connection with Live Television Programming" and a separate patent entitled "Method Of and System For Managing Client Resources and Assets for Activities On Computing Devices."

The action seeks the recovery of damages and other appropriate relief. Tom Rogers, executive chairman of Engine Media, stated, "Winview is an important operating unit of Engine Media, providing cash games of skill as part of the viewing experience of both traditional sports and esports. In addition, Winview has a growing portfolio of 80 issued United States patents, many of which relate to mobile sports betting and online gaming technologies. We will continue assessing how we can protect our intellectual property."

Gan Limited (GAN) shares exploded earlier this week after the company reported preliminary Q2 results and raised FY21 guidance. The company expects Q2 revenue to be $34M-$35M with adjusted EBITDA anticipated in the $3M-$7M range. Gan cited higher than expected revenue that more than offset strategic investments in talent and technology.

Dermot Smurfit, CEO of Gan, commented: “Momentum has carried through the second quarter and driven continued sequential top-line growth for the business. The B2B business is performing in-line with our expectations and continuing to win new clients here in the U.S. while the B2C business is capitalizing on the Latin American market opportunity, equipped with a highly social sports offering delivering viral customer acquisition. Looking back, we identified and acquired a business at the outset of this year that is now performing significantly ahead of plan. We are very pleased with where we stand halfway through the year on both our segments and look forward to providing more detail next month.” 

Genius Sports (GENI) has expanded upon its current relationship with DIMAYOR, the governing body of the premier competitions in Colombian soccer. The new contract grants Genius Sports the exclusive rights to capture and distribute official DIMAYOR data and live video streams for regulated sports betting. This will include all Liga BetPlay, Torneo BetPlay, Copa BetPlay and Superliga BetPlay games. Through the new agreement, Genius Sports' network of over 150 regulated sportsbook partners will gain unprecedented access to more official premium data and streaming content from across Latin America. To maintain the transparency and fairness of Colombian soccer, Genius Sports will continue to provide its bet monitoring system. By analyzing global betting activity on DIMAYOR's events, using predictive algorithms, Genius Sports' technology helps to automatically flag any potentially suspicious betting activity.


Owners of Magic City Casino in Miami-Dade County and Bonita Springs Poker Room in Southwest Florida have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the recently approved plan that allows the Seminole Tribe to operate sports betting in Florida, FloridaInsider reported. The pari-mutuel facilities have declared a legal fiction.  The lawsuit was filed on Friday by O.

The suit states that federal laws are violated within the sports-betting plan passed by lawmakers back in May. Lawmakers supported the plan as part of a “gambling compact” negotiated by Governor Ron DeSantis and tribal leaders.  The lawsuit argues that the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act law does not allow bets to be placed from tribal lands.

Additionally, the suit contends that the entire basis of the plan is an attempt to bypass a 2018 state constitutional amendment which requires voter approval of gambling expansions. “In an effort to circumvent this clear prohibition in the state Constitution, the 2021 compact and implementing law provide that a person sitting on her poolside lounge chair or his couch at home placing a sports bet through the tribe is ‘deemed’ not to be placing a bet that is otherwise illegal in the state,” the lawsuit said. “The 2021 compact unlawfully deems the bet to be placed on the tribe’s reservation, where the servers will be located. However, this is nothing more than a legal fiction belied by the fact that sports betting is still taking place outside the tribe’s reservations in a state where sports betting remains illegal.” While DraftKings and FanDuel already introduced a ballot referendum push that could allow voters to approve statewide mobile betting independent of the tribe, the gaming compact approved in April could likely face additional challengers other than the ones stated above.


Iowa's pace of sports wagering dropped for the third consecutive month in June, even as revenue jumped and the pace of betting per day held firm. The month closed the book on a fiscal year that brought growth and more than $1.2B in wagers in spite of a pandemic and in-person registration requirements that slowed betting for much of 2020, according to analysts from PlayIA.

Iowa's online and retail sportsbooks accepted $111.2M in June, according to official data released last night. That is down 3.2% from $114.9M in May. The pace of betting remained $3.7M per day over the 30 days of June, matching the $3.7 million per day over the 31 days in May.

"The year brought significant challenges to Iowa's sportsbooks, which made the results all the more impressive," said Jessica Welman, analyst for the Network, which includes "The best news is that with the pandemic's effects on the industry waning, and online registration firmly in place, the last year is only a glimpse of Iowa's true potential." William Hill's (WIMHY) sportsbooks accounted for 33% of Iowa's handle in June with $36.65M in total wagers, even as the operator's handle ticked down from $37.6M in May. A total of $34M of June's wagers were made online. All told, June's bets produced $1.8M in net receipts. Wild Rose, which includes DraftKings and BetRivers (RSI), tallied $31.5M in online and retail wagering, which resulted in $2.5M in revenue. June's handle was down from $33.8M in May and included $31.4M in online bets.

Diamond Jo, fueled by FanDuel (PDYPY) and BetMGM, took in $26.6M in combined wagers, down from $27.6M in May. A total of $22.6M of June's wagering came online. That was enough to net a market-best $2.6M in revenue. Iowa's menu of online operators is growing, too. Bally Bet (BALY) went live in late June, the second market the upstart operator has launched in. Meanwhile, a partnership between 888 Holdings and Sports Illustrated promises to bring the new SI Sportsbook to Iowa eventually, and PlayUp Sportsbook confirmed plans to enter the market later this year. 


Citi analyst George Choi lowered the firm's price target on Melco Resorts & Entertainment (MLCO) to $24.50 from $26 and reiterated a Buy rating on the shares. The analyst opened a "30-day positive Catalyst Watch" on the shares as his forecasts suggest that Melco is the operator with the most EBITDA improvement amongst the six Macau gaming operators during Q2. As soon as travel restrictions are lifted, EBITDA should "return swiftly" to pre-Covid levels, Choi told investors in a research note. He anticipates Macau's industry EBITDA to continue to recover in Q2, thanks to the continued improvement in Premium Mass.

B. Riley analyst David Bain initiated coverage of Golden Nugget Online (GNOG) with a Buy rating and $27 price target. Applying the company's New Jersey market share and historical margins, the analyst calculates Golden Nugget could generate internet gaming EBITDA of over $700M at total addressable market maturity. The company's internet gaming focus, combined with its experiential casino site differentiation and "strong" branding, offers investors a "more predictable, stickier, and profitable avenue to play online gaming growth than online sports betting, Bain told investors. 

Deutsche Bank analyst Simon Davies upgraded Flutter Entertainment to Buy from Hold with a price target of 16,257 GBp, down from 16,285 GBp. The U.K. online gaming sector "is on a roll" and European operators are well positioned to benefit with the U.S. now "taking off," Davies tells investors in a research note. There are a number of potential industry consolidators, and more deals are likely in the second half of 2021, said the analyst.

Disclaimer: TheFly's news is intended for informational purposes only and does not claim to be actionable for investment decisions. Read more at  more

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