STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Gambling, tech firms scramble for foothold in sports betting

Casinos, race tracks, daily fantasy sports companies and others are itching to offer bets in person and online after the Supreme Court ruled Monday that states could begin allowing wagers. That’s led companies all over the world to seek ways to team up.

Posted: May 17, 2018 9:37 PM

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — The prospect of legal sports betting throughout the United States has prompted a flurry of deals among gambling and technology firms who want a foothold in the billion-dollar industry.

Casinos, race tracks, daily fantasy sports companies and others are itching to offer bets in person and online after the Supreme Court ruled Monday that states could begin allowing wagers. That’s led companies all over the world to seek ways to team up.


Some casinos need mobile apps or someone to set lines and run sports books that operate much differently than slot machines and table games. Many tech firms, daily fantasy sports companies and others need gambling licenses and experience with significant regulation. Other companies that handle data security and payment processing are also joining the fray.

The industry is preparing for most of the betting to happen on smartphones, just like in Europe. That would also be new for most U.S. states, as internet gambling has been limited to just three states in recent years.

“This is a multibillion-dollar industry that has been operating in darkness and can now be brought into the light with legalization and regulation,” said Richard Schwartz, president of Rush Street Interactive, which operates SugarHouse Online Casino, a gambling site for New Jersey residents that offers slots and table games.

Churchill Downs, the race track that runs the Kentucky Derby, said Wednesday it inked deals with a tech company for its platform and the Golden Nugget casino in Atlantic City for its license in New Jersey. It bought Presque Isle Downs & Casino in Pennsylvania in March and owns two casinos in Mississippi, with plans to offer sports betting in all three states.

Dublin-based gambling firm Paddy Power Betfair has an online casino in New Jersey but is considering merging its U.S. business with FanDuel, the popular daily fantasy sports company, in a deal with clear upside for both sides. Betfair would gain a well-known American brand with millions of customers built on technology that could be used for sports betting. FanDuel, meanwhile, would need expertise on complex regulation if it hopes to gain a casino license, a move that most fantasy sports companies tried for years to avoid by arguing that fantasy sports doesn’t amount to gambling.

Anticipation of the ruling even prompted some companies to squash their differences and focus on the potential windfall. London-based bookmaker William Hill had threatened to use its stock to derail a buyout between two online gambling infrastructure firms in Las Vegas. But it later agreed to support the purchase of NYX Gaming by Scientific Games.

The opportunities are vast for companies that can help customers turn from illegal bookies and offshore operations, said Laila Mintas, deputy president of Sportradar, a New York company that works with more than 70 sports federations and leagues around the world on fraud detection, including the NBA, NHL and MLS.

“It opens the door for all different stakeholders such as the states, the leagues, the casino and lottery industry to act quickly and to benefit,” she said.

Mattias Stetz, Rush Street’s chief operating officer, said it plans to offer traditional betting on final scores, along with betting on developments within each game like which team will score next or who will commit the next foul. That’s the fastest growing segment of sports betting and popular in Nevada, the only state that had been taking single-game sports bets before the Supreme Court ruling.

Major casino companies MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment and Tropicana Entertainment (recently bought by Eldorado Resorts) all announced plans to offer sports betting outside Nevada, as did the soon-to-open Hard Rock and Ocean Resort casinos in Atlantic City.

David Katz, equity analyst at Jefferies, said Penn National Gaming and Caesars Entertainment are in a better position than their peers because of their many locations in multiple states, “particularly where there is a high probability of sports betting becoming legal sooner rather than later.”

Caesars is in a particularly advantageous position, he said, because it has been doing its own bookmaking for years, combining experience with a large amount of volume.

Huntsville/Redstone
Partly Cloudy
73° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 73°
Muscle Shoals
Partly Cloudy
74° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 74°
Huntsville/Madison
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 72°
Decatur
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 73°
Fort Payne
Partly Cloudy
72° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 72°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 522512

Reported Deaths: 10790
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson755371494
Mobile39129799
Madison34124500
Tuscaloosa25408444
Montgomery24059573
Shelby23225242
Baldwin20730302
Lee15638166
Calhoun14358311
Morgan14171273
Etowah13705348
Marshall12012220
Houston10416279
Elmore10024203
Limestone9862148
Cullman9509191
St. Clair9486236
Lauderdale9280233
DeKalb8762183
Talladega8127173
Walker7151276
Autauga6763106
Jackson6762110
Blount6532133
Colbert6236132
Coffee5436113
Dale4781111
Russell431239
Franklin421382
Chilton4130110
Covington4069115
Tallapoosa3922148
Escambia390374
Dallas3528150
Chambers3519122
Clarke347360
Marion3076100
Pike306676
Lawrence296395
Winston273272
Bibb256761
Marengo248561
Geneva246475
Pickens233259
Barbour227155
Hale218675
Butler213268
Fayette209660
Henry188444
Cherokee182744
Randolph177841
Monroe173140
Washington165538
Macon156548
Clay150255
Crenshaw149557
Cleburne147041
Lamar140034
Lowndes137353
Wilcox124727
Bullock122040
Conecuh109728
Perry107726
Sumter103332
Coosa99428
Greene91434
Choctaw58824
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 835842

Reported Deaths: 12081
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby930851587
Davidson88030924
Knox49813624
Hamilton43402485
Rutherford42319420
Williamson27545216
Sumner23492341
Montgomery19623224
Wilson18472229
Out of TN1803295
Unassigned16760132
Sullivan16184287
Blount15180194
Bradley14599147
Washington14177242
Maury13211169
Sevier13166175
Putnam11168173
Madison10789241
Robertson9607130
Anderson8627171
Hamblen8498171
Greene7739152
Tipton7226104
Coffee6831121
Dickson6734109
Cumberland6568127
Carter6468156
Bedford6426129
Gibson6402144
McMinn636597
Roane6191102
Jefferson6073121
Loudon601669
Lawrence580686
Hawkins5781106
Monroe570995
Warren551381
Dyer5361104
Franklin508688
Fayette492178
Obion450296
Cheatham444454
Cocke443798
Rhea431275
Lincoln430663
Marshall411158
Campbell409662
Weakley402862
Giles395399
Henderson372975
Macon358077
Carroll357582
White354868
Hardin349766
Hardeman346464
Lauderdale314444
Henry312475
Marion309946
Claiborne306273
Scott305545
Overton296961
Wayne294334
Hickman280546
McNairy276854
DeKalb275653
Smith274838
Haywood268361
Grainger259149
Trousdale249022
Morgan246039
Fentress238546
Johnson231638
Bledsoe209711
Chester209451
Crockett201048
Polk200024
Unicoi194549
Cannon188931
Union186034
Grundy177933
Humphreys174221
Lake169526
Sequatchie166728
Benton163240
Decatur157338
Lewis155826
Meigs134823
Stewart130828
Jackson129935
Clay109031
Houston108533
Perry105728
Moore100017
Van Buren83421
Pickett75624
Hancock54912

Community Events