A lot is going on in the sports betting industry already in 2021. Lawmakers are back in session and are looking to use sports betting as a revenue booster in the coming year. Multiple states are looking to move on to industry expansion, and other states are getting close to launching. Here are the biggest stories in sports betting this week.
Monday: BetMGM Partners with the Washington Nationals
On Monday, BetMGM and the Washington Nationals formed an exclusive sports betting deal between the two parties. The partnership will allow BetMGM display signage across Washington Nationals media platforms and around Nationals Park. BetMGM will also launch its mobile betting app around Nationals Park and create a sportsbook at the stadium. The BetMGM sportsbook will replace Center Field Social just outside the stadium. This will allow Nationals fans to use the mobile betting platform before and during games to get their Nationals bets. Nationals Park was the last D.C. stadium that did not form a partnership with a sports betting operator.
Tuesday: Virginia Sports Betting to Launch by Super Bowl Sunday
Virginia sports bettors received great news this week. Virginia Lottery Executive Director Kevin Hall said he expects the state to go live with sports betting by Super Bowl Sunday. The Commonwealth is expecting to go online sports betting only in the state. Virginia does not have casinos in the state, so it will follow Tennessee‘s method and go online wagering only. The state expects to have 12 online casinos operating in Virginia, and experts are projecting to see $400 million in revenue in the first year of sports betting.
Wednesday: Oregon Looks to Move From Lottery Sports Betting Model
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has seen enough of the Lottery running Oregon sports betting. On Tuesday, Oregon lawmakers submitted another sports betting bill to allow the Oregon Racing Commission to take over sports betting. This would completely expand the industry from one online sports betting operator to multiple operators competing. Oregon has the 27th largest population in the U.S. and has a larger population than Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. However, Oregon has consistently had a smaller sports betting handle than all five states with how sports betting is run in the Beaver State. Oregon will have a full revamp of the industry to bring in more revenue to the state.
Thursday: James Harden Trade Shakes Up NBA Title Odds
The NBA saw a blockbuster trade on Wednesday with James Harden going to the Brooklyn Nets. Houston, in return, received eight draft picks and Victor Oladipo in the process. The Pacers and Cavilers were also involved in the deal to make it happen. If you woke up Wednesday morning, you could have bet the Nets to win the NBA Championship at +600. After the deal was done, the Nets dropped to +275, the second-highest odds behind the Lakers to win it all. The question now becomes whether or not the Nets can mesh with the three superstars. Rookie head coach Steve Nash has a lot on his plate trying to facilitate the ball between Durant, Irving, and Harden.
Friday: Minnesota Plans to Submit Sports Betting Bill Next Week
Minnesota Sen. Karla Bigham tweeted Thursday that she planned to file a sports betting bill into legislation. The second time the North Star State tried to pass sports betting, which failed due to tribal groups not wanting to back the previous bill. Now, Minnesota will make another attempt hoping tribal casinos will be on board. Minnesota faces a $1.2 billion budget deficit due to COVID-19, and now would be a good time to move forward with industry expansion. The state could turn to Colorado for help, with only 120,000 people operating the two in population.