Dustin Gouker and the team at Legal Sports Report highlight some of the key US sports betting issues to look out for in the week ahead.
Here comes FanDuel…: The biggest US sportsbook outside of Nevada is now coming to a new state. FanDuel got authorization to go live in Indiana early Monday morning; for other sportsbook apps in Indiana in the state — DraftKings and BetRivers — that has meant imminent launches. FanDuel is the dominant force, currently, in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Will it have the same edge in Indiana? Given what we’ve seen so far, that should be a resounding yes, but DraftKings will hope its early go-to-market will help stave off its biggest rival.
Will anyone else go live this year? With the launch of the Oregon sports betting app, we’re up to eight states with statewide online sports betting. And that might be the last state we add to the roster in 2018. Tennessee has legalized online betting, but it doesn’t seem particularly close to a launch. An online sports betting app is on the way in Washington, D.C., but it’s been mired in court. Still, even without any new states this year, it’s been a breakneck pace for legalization, especially online. We’re still watching the Ohio and Michigan legislatures this year, and also keep an eye on California for possible movement.
The World Series is here: The biggest betting event for baseball has arrived, as the Houston Astros take on the Washington Nationals. Several sportsbooks — including FanDuel and DraftKings — have a huge liability on the Astros, thanks to the Houston furniture salesman making big bets all over the country. Betting on the World Series should be big business for US books, although it will probably still pale in comparison to just a normal Sunday of NFL football in terms of volume. But this is the first time we’ll have sports betting widely legalized for the Fall Classic, and baseball will hope to avoid some of the umpiring nonsense we saw in the American League Championship Series.