State of the Union: A look at the week that was in North America

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Bally Bet aiming for June Massachusetts launch

Saying “our commitment is strong here,” representatives from Bally Bet Thursday (11 April) told the Massachusetts Gaming Commission that it is aiming for a late June launch in the Bay State. Bally’s had previously promised a “late Q2” launch, but hadn’t put a date on it. The company has had a temporary sports betting licence in the state since early 2023. When Bally Bet launches it will bring the total number of digital platforms available in Massachusetts to seven after Betr and WynnBET exited the state earlier this year.

“Having someone that we’ve started with the licensing process, a group come in and actually get going, is exciting to us,” interim MGC chair Jordan Maynard said during the meeting.

SCOTUS grants extension in Florida sports betting case

The US Supreme Court will allow the federal government until May 13 to file its response in the case brought by West Flagler and Associates. The case could change the face of sports betting in Florida, where the Seminole Tribe launched their Hard Rock Bet platform last November. The government asked for an extension 4 April citing a heavy workload. While it appears the court responded within 24 hours, the docket wasn’t updated until this week.

Porter could face NBA ban

NBA commissioner Adam Silver told reporters 10 April that Toronto’s Jontay Porter could be banned from the league. This follows betting accusations around the player’s performance.

“I have an enormous range of discipline available to me,” Silver said, according to the Associated Press. “It’s a cardinal sin what he’s accused of in the NBA. The ultimate extreme option I have is to ban him from the game. That’s the level of authority I have here because there’s nothing more serious.”

Porter, who as of Wednesday had not played in 10 consecutive games. He left games on 26 January and 20 March after brief appearances, and did not hit the numbers offered in props on him in either game. Porter would be the first banned NBA player since PASPA was overturned. The NFL so far has penalised 10 players for betting violations, and the NHL has banned one.

ESPN BET releases playoff ad

Ahead of the NBA and NHL playoffs, ESPN BET 10 April released its latest video ad featuring Scott Van Pelt:

ESPN also announced this week that it is extending its deal with Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions through 2034. Under the terms of the deal, “Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli” will continue, and ESPN will have access to other original content.

Delaware market to open up?

A pair of lawmakers have filed bills in Delaware that expand the number of sports betting platforms available in the state, according to WBOC. Currently, the only option in the state is BetRivers, but the new bill would allow for additional operators to partner with local casinos. The new bill, HB 365, was born of the Internet Sports Lottery Legislative Working Group, which was created via legislative mandate in 2023.

The bill would set a tax rate of 18 percent on adjusted gross revenue, and a $500,000 license fee. Licenses would be good for five years.

No casino for Richmond

Late last week, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin signed a package of bills that removes the city of Richmond from the list of cities in the state that could apply for a casino license. In 2020, lawmakers in Virginia legalised sports betting, and along with it, the designated five potential brick-and-mortar casino locations across the state.

Since 2020, casinos have opened in Bristol, Danville, and Portsmouth, and one is planned in Norfolk. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Youngskin also put Petersburg on the “fast track” to be the state’s fifth casino location.

NOLA casino hotel on track

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported 10 April that the new Caesars New Orleans hotel, adjacent to the only land-based casino in the state, is on schedule to open in the autumn and ahead of Super Bowl LIX 9 February 2025. The casino, which has operated under the Harrah’s banner since the 1990s, is also being completely renovated. The new hotel tower will be 15 floors with 340 rooms.

ICYMI on iGB

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California tribes reiterate that sports betting will their way

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