It’s been an interesting week in the global gaming industry, as most of them are. There is never any shortage of activity, all of which is leading to something even bigger for everyone from players to operators to regulators. More than ever, everyone has to be on their toes to stay on top of the changing environment.
FanDuel Slows Down
FanDuel was close to becoming a separate entity, but Flutter Entertainment put the brakes on a proposed split. One of the reasons is the strong performance coming out of the sportsbook and iGaming operator, but it could also be because Flutter and Fox Corp. are involved in a major dispute.
While Flutter tries to figure out what to do, FanDuel will look at its New York options. The state has finally released its request for applications from sportsbooks, and FanDuel is one of several that would love to get in on the market. Amy Howe, who just took over as the operator’s CEO as Matt King stepped down, can help figure things out.
Figuring things out could also mean taking a look at how the future sports betting market in the US is regulated. There are no federal sports betting laws in place – but they could come – and tax policy nonprofit organization Tax Foundation thinks the rules on gaming taxes should be rewritten.
The Paddy Power Party Pooper
Stewart Kenny is the co-founder and former CEO of Paddy Power, what would ultimately become a major sports betting operator out of the UK. He helped build the company into the massive success it became, but, despite over 20 years in the industry, now believes that gambling is a social problem. He didn’t mind it so much most of the time he was at the helm but, to be fair, he started trying to make the company more socially responsible toward the end of his tenure.
On the other side of the world, Singapore is cracking down on the gambling industry. It’s been a little too relaxed for regulators and government officials, but that is going to change very soon. More restrictions will be implemented and more penalties will be made available to rule-breakers. It would be a good idea to fly straight in the country.
Canuck Casinos Crave Customers
They’re back! Casinos in Ontario, Canada are, as of today, back in business. The province has begun to ease COVID-19 restrictions and casinos were given the green light to open fully as of today. It’s going to be a great weekend for the province’s properties as they welcome back customers and pitch the upcoming launch of sports betting.
Almost directly south of Ontario and across the border, the US sports betting market is truly becoming an international affair. Australia’s own BlueBet sports gambling operator has landed in Iowa and cleared customs, bringing its operations to the Q Casino. Next up, it plans on finding other states to conquer.
Las Vegas Sands Learns to Shuffle
Las Vegas Sands (LVS) has finally pulled its head out of the sand. Although the company’s late founder and former boss, Sheldon Adelson, was adamantly opposed to the idea of iGaming, LVS isn’t as blind. It has begun to explore the online gaming market segment, but with an emphasis on investing and not operating. Still, Adelson is probably turning over in his grave after spending tens of millions of dollars – if not more – in a failed attempt to keep iGaming out of the US. He’s probably happier to know that the company is spending his money trying to secure a casino in Florida, even if it is a long shot.
Elsewhere in the country, Pennsylvania gamblers have figured out that they like online casinos more. iGaming continues to be a strong source of revenue – more than the brick-and-mortar alternative. While some industry insiders believe this will hinder the state’s gaming growth, what it really means is that more emphasis is going to be placed on iGaming operations around the US.
Exactly a week from now, the Summer Olympics will kick off in Tokyo, Japan. This is going to be an interesting year, with the games already having been delayed 12 months because of COVID-19 and concerns still high that more issues might arise. In the meantime, gamblers can start getting ready for the competitions, which are expected to produce a massive handle. This is the first instance the Olympic Games have been held since PASPA was killed in 2018, and sportsbooks are breaking out the chalk and the keyboards to put up lines on just about everything.