Bet On It: Maine Starts Legal Sports Betting Process As Louisiana Nears End

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This week's news and activity in the sports betting and iGaming space featured a fast-tracked NYC casino plan that sputters, an Arizona event wagering timeline, and other notable stories.


An attempt to fast track a New York City-area casino license from 2023 to 2021 has fallen flat due to strong objections from Manhattan legislators, Josh Kosman and Carl Campanile of The New York Post reported, citing sources. Wynn Resorts (WYNN), Bally's (BALY) and Las Vegas Sands (LVS) have reportedly been gearing up for the opportunity to compete for a New York City-area casino license. “I adamantly oppose any casino in Manhattan,” Manhattan Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, who represents the Upper West Side, told The Post. “I believe it would be seriously detrimental to the residential and commercial quality of Manhattan.” Freeman Klopott, a spokeswoman for the New York State division of the budget, teased a revival of the bill later down the road. “With the influx of federal funding, there was less of an imperative to change the status quo, however we are continuing to work with the Legislature to see if there is a path forward this year.” A source cited in the Post story pointed to January as a likely time to bring it up again.

Churchill Downs (CHDN) announced the suspension of trainer Bob Baffert for two years effective immediately through the conclusion of the 2023 Spring Meet at Churchill Downs Racetrack. The suspension prohibits Baffert, or any trainer directly or indirectly employed by Bob Baffert Racing Stables, from entering horses in races or applying for stall occupancy at all Churchill Downs-owned racetracks. "This decision follows the confirmation by attorneys representing Bob Baffert of the presence of betamethasone, a prohibited race-day substance, in Medina Spirit's bloodstream on the day of the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby in violation of the Commonwealth of Kentucky's equine medication protocols and CDI's terms and conditions for racing," the company stated.

Macau's Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau reported May gross revenue from games of fortune in the region increased 492.2% year-over-year to 10.445B patacas. The bureau said gross revenue from games of fortune was the highest yet monthly total of 2021. This compares to a 1,014.4% year-over-year increase in April to 8.4B patacas and a a 58% year-over-year increase in March to 8.31B patacas. Year-to-date GGR is 42.487B patacas, a 28.7% increase from 33.004B patacas last year. Revenue in May was aided by the five-day Labor Day Golden Week. According to the Macau Government Tourism Office, 167,000 visitors came to Macau during the holiday, with more than 93% from China. Average daily visitor arrivals during the five-day holiday rose 158% compared with the Spring Festival in February, and climbed 25% from last month. JPMorgan analyst DS Kim called May's GGR a "respectable print... modestly above consensus." Kim stated that "the daily run-rate has risen sequentially for six consecutive months to the highest post-pandemic print of MOP337 million versus MOP263 million in first-quarter 2021." Stifel analyst Steven Wieczynski said that while May Macau GGR results were slightly better than consensus, he doesn't "believe that really means much" given the continued uncertain backdrop around the market. However, at this point the analyst believes the worst is behind Macau in terms of virus issues and he expects a gradual, slow, steady recovery from here on out.


The light at the end of the tunnel for three pieces of legislation to legalize sports betting has appeared in Louisiana. Appropriations bill SB 142 passed the Senate on Wednesday, regulatory bill SB 247 is scheduled for a third and final reading in the House on Thursday and tax bill HB 697 is all the way through both chambers as it awaits Gov. John Bel Edwards‘ signature, Pat Evans of Legal Sports Report reported. There is confidence that all three bills pass during the NFL betting season in the fall. Temporary licenses will reportedly help launch online betting while casinos build retail sportsbooks. The main regulatory bill SB 247 would establish 20 licenses in Louisiana: one for each 15 riverboat casinos, four racetracks and one land-based casino. Each license can operate a retail sportsbook and take advantage of up to two online skins. Bettors will be able to register online or in-person for mobile sports wagering. HB 687 introduces a 10% tax on retail sports betting and a 15% tax on online sports betting in Louisiana. There would be a $250,000 application fee and $500,000 initial five-year license fee. Annual estimates for tax revenue are as much as $20M.


The Arizona Department of Gaming, or ADG, provided a timeline for fantasy sports and event wagering rule drafting. After governor Doug Ducey signed the bill on April 15, the ADG has 60 days to draft rules for sports wagering. The sixty day period ends on June 14 which commences the public comment period. The public has until June 21 to express its questions or concerns. Consequently, the ADG will amend rules as necessary and gear up for the operational start date. The tentative date to begin sports wagering is September 9, which is also the official start date for the 2021 NFL regular season. LSR noted Arizona is likely to see most major sportsbook operators. Executives from BetMGM (MGM) and theScore (SCR) have reportedly expressed interest in the market.


The Maine State Legislature has selected LD1352, sponsored by Senator Louis Luchini, as the bill that it will move forward with for hearings this year, Christina Monroe of reported that the two concerns with the current bill are it prohibits Maine college sports from betting which is a large market seeing as there are no professional teams in the state and lawmakers want to include the aspect of tethering to the bill that is not yet part of the current draft. Various items in the bill include:

  • 16% tax rate for mobile sports betting operators
  • 10% tax on all gross gaming revenue from retail venues
  • $100,000 fee on a two-year license
  • no betting on college sports
  • language around protecting minors from sports betting advertising
  • prop bets may be excluded

Monroe reported, "There are a total of eight locations for gaming in Maine; four OTBs, two casinos, and two race tracks. These would be the locations for land-based sportsbooks. However, an amendment request for tethering to these businesses is being asked of the bill when it comes to mobile platforms. The present draft does not require mobile sportsbooks to be tethered to a retail sportsbook. But lawmakers would like this to become a stipulation put into the measure. To sweeten the deal for such an amendment, each facility could have up to three digital sports wagering applications apiece, for a total of 24 mobile sportsbooks available statewide. Two years after the launch of the market, there will be a limitless number of mobile sports wagering operators that could join the regulated sports betting industry in Maine as the cap of 24 would be withdrawn at that time."


Macquarie analyst Jordan Bender raised the firm's price target on Accel Entertainment (ACEL) to $14 from $13 and maintained a Neutral rating on the shares post the company's investor day. Accel was optimistic on its growth opportunities in Illinois identifying 7,500 potential new locations, and outside the state, "where there are several shots on goal to see growth in future years," Bender tells investors in a research note.

Morgan Stanley analyst Thomas Allen lowered the firm's price target on DraftKings (DKNG) to $58 from $63 and reiterated an Overweight rating on the shares, stating that he has been "surprised" over the past few quarters by the company's level of stock-based compensation, higher share count and lower than expected cash. During the same time, however, Allen said he has also been positively surprised by DraftKings' revenue performance and he still views it as having a "compelling" long-term growth story aided by what he calls "a unique customer acquisition advantage."

Goldman Sachs analyst Stephen Grambling initiated coverage of Genius Sports (GENI) with a Buy rating and $31 price target, equating to 34% upside. Genius Sports is a business-to-busier provider of technology-led products and services to the sports, sports betting, and sports media industries, says the analyst, who forecasts the company's revenue growing at 31% annually through 2025 to $578M. He believes Genius is a "best-in-class provider" of "pick-and-shovels" to the "rapidly growing" global online sports betting industry.


Boyd Gaming (BYD), Caesars (CZR), Flutter Entertainment (PDYPY), Gan Limited (GAN), Penn National (PENN), Rush Street Interactive (RSI), Scientific Games (SGMS), Score Media (SCR) and Wynn Resorts (WYNN).


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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