A lot has happened this week in the sports betting industry. PointsBet launches in Colorado, and multiple headlines come out of Illinois from FanDuel, moving locations to casinos closing. States are suffering from the second wave of coronavirus and again will hurt the gaming industry. There is also a lawsuit that uncovered a gambling ring at Tyson Foods. Here are the biggest stories from this week.
Monday: FanDuel IL Moves to Fairmount Racetrack
Last week, the Illinois Gaming Control Board granted Fairmount Racetrack a sports betting license, which triggered FanDuel to move its Illinois operations to the new location. Before FanDuel was in Illinois, the sportsbook was looking to purchase Fairmount and launch its sportsbook at the racecourse. Fairmount had issues obtaining a license early on in the process but are now allowed to take bets. FanDuel will purchase Fairmount and renovate the whole facility to make it more modern. This is a huge move for FanDuel as it puts them in the St. Louis suburbs on the Illinois side of the Mississippi.
Tuesday: PointsBet Launches in Colorado
PointsBet has officially launched in Colorado, making it the 15th sportsbook to enter the Centennial State. Colorado is also the fifth state PointsBet has entered after New Jersey, Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana. PointsBet has launched a headquarters in the Denver area, which will help its market share in the state. The sportsbook has also made multiple partnerships in Colorado, including a partnership with Colorado University’s athletic program. The Australian sportsbook is looking to continue expansion after Colorado but ensures that each state can earn at least 10% of the market share for PointsBet. It should be able to see those numbers increase over the next few months.
Wednesday: Illinois Casinos Close
COVID-19 cases are spiking across the U.S., and Illinois took the initiative to close casinos as the state sees a significant increase in cases. Illinois is going back to tier 3 in coronavirus protection, meaning that casinos will close, and multiple entertainment venues, restaurants, and gyms will be limited to 25% capacity. The Land of Lincoln has been more proactive in shutting down the state when cases spike, which is why casinos are getting the short end of the stick. Mobile sports betting has been able to keep the state afloat, bringing in some revenue from online wagering. In October, the Illinois betting handle hit over $300 million for the month and should continue to increase as the market matures.
Thursday: Ohio Sports Betting Stalls Again
The Ohio Senate put together a sports betting bill to be discussed in the Congress sessions this week, and the bill continues to stall. The discussions were roughly 10 minutes, and it did not gain much traction over it. The Ohio sports betting bill still needs to be tweaked before it has a chance of going through. Lawmakers applaud some proposals like mobile betting and the tax rate but will need to tweak other parts of it. Ohio is falling behind other midwest states with sports betting legalization. Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Indiana all border Ohio and have legalized sports betting and mobile betting. Michigan will soon launch its mobile betting platform, making Kentucky the last bordering state of Ohio to pass the new industry.
Friday: Tyson Foods Plant Manager Suspended for Gambling Ring
A lawsuit filed against Tyson Foods uncovered that a plant manager for the Waterloo, Iowa facility started a gambling ring at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak. The manager began taking bets on which employees would get sick from the virus as multiple people were involved. This was discovered as Tyson Foods received a lawsuit regarding its employees’ treatment during the COVID outbreak. Over 1,000 employees contracted the virus at the Waterloo plant, and 18 death were linked to the meat packaging company. The lawsuit claims that Tyson Foods employees did not have proper protocols in place for employees to work during the pandemic.