- The Illinois betting market has been on a hot streak, continually growing and putting up big handle numbers, and is expecting the addition of a popular Vegas operator into the mix
- Ohio further work to bolster the number of markets available for bettors to wager on
- Massachusetts on the other hand is once again facing the controversy involving sportsbooks taking illegal bets
LAS VEGAS – In this week’s sports betting brief, the three primary states to take a look at are Massachusetts, Ohio, and Illinois. The latter two have some good news with expansions to either their operator list or new wagers being confirmed, while Massachusetts is undergoing what seems to be a worrying trend of having to punish sportsbooks for taking illegal bets.
This then begs many questions: will Illinois challenge giants such as New Jersey or Nevada as a top-tier betting state? Will Ohio’s commission eventually expand their catalogs even more with more interesting props? And will Massachusetts set an example that will finally free the state from sportsbook controversy? All of this and more will be looked at in this week’s legal sports betting brief.
Ohio, Illinois Continue to Grow Their Brand
Beginning with Ohio, the state has now given the greenlight for seven new props across sportsbooks, almost all being for the NFL draft bets.
Some of these interesting props include the over/under for players from a specific conference in a round, over/under position players drafted in a round, player draft position, head-to-head players that will be drafted first, and more.
There is not yet news on when this will go live but with the NFL draft just two weeks away, it can be expected that Ohio sportsbooks will have them available in the coming days.
The only non-NFL draft prop added was for the NHL MVP, which has been essentially decided as Connor McDavid features odds of -4000 or shorter.
Illinois on the other hand is working closely with well-known Las Vegas casino/sportsbook operator Circa in hopes of getting them online by the second half of this year. The operator applied for a license in May of 2022 and is now seeing that come closer to fruition just under a year later.
Circa is currently planning to open their first sportsbook in IL just outside of Chicago, with the idea of it being both an in-person retail gambling location as well as featuring an associated sportsbook.
This would greatly improve Illinois’ already booming industry that has seen four consecutive months with a handle at or above one billion dollars. With the way it is trending, Illinois’s betting industry could soon push to be considered as one of the betting giants in the country alongside names like Nevada or New Jersey.
Massachusetts Looks for Swift End to Controversy
The launch of sports betting in Massachusetts has so far been horrific for the state’s Gaming Commission, as they faced nonstop controversy from three casinos committing several mistakes by taking illegal bets.
Now the Commission will hold hearings this Friday to determine the course of action for MGM Springfield casino and Encore Boston Harbor casino. The commission has various options to punish these violations including fines, warnings, or even suspension of licenses.
However, because each mistake was self-reported, it is likely that the commission will opt to not suspend any of these major casinos’ licenses.
Many of the mistakes were chalked up to non-local agencies making mistakes in software. Regardless, the MGC will now have the opportunity to make an example out of these casinos or give them a warning and escalate punishments if they become a consistent issue for the Massachusetts sportsbooks.
Overall, as gambling legalization continues to sweep the nation, there will be no shortage of news and developments from all types of states as they each embark on their journey to become a successful and flourishing betting market. This wraps up the legal sports betting brief this time around, with more news sure to come as many more states prepare for legalization and regulation alike in the near-future.
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Jeremias is a current Florida State University student majoring in Editing, Writing and Media as well as Media/Communication studies. Primarily focused on the NFL, NBA, and NHL, Jeremias has a passion for sports statistics research that helps bettors find the blind spots in sportsbooks.