|From: Glenn Petersen||12/20/2020 12:32:25 PM|
|As legal betting booms, journalists jump from sports page to sportsbook|
Ben Strauss, The Washington Post
Dec. 19, 2020Updated: Dec. 19, 2020 8:23 a.m.
Readers of the Chicago Tribune have come to know sportswriter Teddy Greenstein over the last two-plus decades for his coverage of golf and the Big Ten. But if they want his insights on The Masters or his weekly college football picks, they'll no longer find them in their local paper. They'll have to look, instead, to the tweets and videos Greenstein makes for PointsBet, the sports-betting company where he started recently as senior editor.
Over the last decade, the Tribune, like many media outlets big and small, has hemorrhaged jobs. This summer, in the midst of the pandemic, there were furloughs, casting its future in ever shakier terms. Greenstein headed for what looked like greener pastures, pegging his career squarely on the future of legal sports gambling.
Since the Supreme Court overturned a federal law in 2018 that limited sports gambling mostly to Nevada, 19 state legislatures and Washington D.C. have legalized sports gambling in some form, with another 27 moving toward legalization. The early returns have been encouraging. In October, for instance, the amount of money bet in New Jersey eclipsed $800 million, more than the $650 million in Nevada.
In a rush to attract these new customers, gambling operators have turned to sports media companies, which are in their own race to cash in on the legal-betting boom. ESPN and CBS have formed lucrative advertising partnerships with big-name sportsbooks. Fox Sports launched its own gambling company, FoxBet. Barstool's owners sold a large stake to a betting company. Last month, Sinclair bought a stake in gaming company Bally's and said it will rebrand its 21 regional sports networks using the Bally's name.
Sinclair CEO Chris Ripley said in a recent interview that gambling will transform a sports industry that is reeling from the pandemic, watching advertising and cable bundle fees shrink. "It's a third revenue stream to maintain the growth of the industry," Ripley said.
Greenstein's move represents one aspect of that transformation: a gambling company positioning itself as its own media company, and leveraging the following and expertise of a well-known sportswriter in that effort. It's likely to happen more as legacy and sports media brands struggle. In the days after his announcement, Greenstein said he heard from around a dozen colleagues around the industry, asking some form of the same question: "Are you hiring?"
Other gambling companies have poached talent from the ranks of sports media in recent years. BetMGM hired Ryan Spoon, ESPN's head of digital content, where he oversaw things like ESPN's app and SportsCenter's expansion into Snapchat. PointsBet has another executive, Len Meade, who used to lead programming at NBC Sports Boston and NBC Sports Northwest.
"We're all media companies," said Yaniv Sherman, the head of business development at another gambling company, 888 Holdings. "We've realized we need to be producing content."
Greenstein, in his early days at PointsBet, is not covering sports like a traditional sports reporter. He is making football picks every weekend and producing videos about best bets for events like The Masters. He's also producing tutorials for prospective customers about how to bet. The focus is to both educate prospective customers and keep them on the PointsBet site and app longer.
Sports reporters have always been crucial to the gambling industry. Brian Musberger, the CEO of Vegas Stats & Information Network, recalled stories from the 1970s and '80s, when Vegas sharps camped out at McCarran Airport waiting for newspapers to be delivered from around the country each day. Inside were news of injuries, depth charts and other nuggets that could give them an advantage versus the house.
"There is a long history of guys looking for an edge," said Musberger, who in 2017 hired his famous uncle, Brent, to host a radio show. "It's harder to have that now because information happens so fast. But guys like Teddy, who have their ear to the ground and have covered a beat, whether they know it or not, they have information that is important to sports bettors."
In an uncertain media landscape, gambling companies have lots of advertising dollars to spend. DraftKings spent more than $200 million on advertising just in the third quarter of 2020. If these companies are looking to keep customers engaged, a team of journalists to provide their platform with market-differentiating reporting could make sense. Could a gambling company employ its own Dallas Cowboys beat writer, for instance, if that reporter has unique insights into the team?
"The places that have the money to hire the best writers right now are the folks that are serving the gambling audience," Brian Musberger said. "So it's interesting."
Yet he wondered about the optics and risks of having a reporter working for a sportsbook in the locker room. One question it would raise: Would that reporting go first to the oddsmakers setting the lines or the customers trying to beat them? "I don't think the leagues will go for it," he said.
But what if they're not in the locker room? A reporter who specializes in breaking national transaction and injury news - an Adam Schefter in football, or Adrian Wojnarowski in basketball - could potentially offer up-to-the-minute information for one book's customers. Wojnarowski or Schefter could break news not on ESPN or Twitter but inside of a gambling app.
Chad Millman, a former editor in chief of ESPN the Magazine who is now head of media at The Action Network, a gambling-focused media company, thought those kinds of scoops wouldn't be that valuable to a sportsbook because so many outlets confirm or aggregate breaking news in near-real-time. But, he said, adding a personality with the huge Twitter following of one of those star reporters could be worthwhile as part of a company's quest for visibility. It could also be a better investment than paying to slap a company's name on a team's stadium or website. (Action and VSiN have their own business models, collecting subscription fees and also referral fees when they send customers to sportsbooks.)
Greenstein and other splashy hires aside, some gambling experts are skeptical that professional sportswriters will do much to drive betting's expansion the United States. Ultimately, the functionality of a company's app and how seamless the technology to make bets could trump written reporting, especially as bettors move toward in-game betting, which dominates wagering in the more mature markets of Europe. Aubrey Levy from the Canadian-based sports media and gambling company, The Score, said: "Our opinion is we can do a lot more with product than with big-name hires."
And, of course, any bettor can still shop around for better lines and odds across the marketplace regardless of who is keeping them most informed.
Sherman said 888 spends some $200 million each year on marketing and that he would prefer to partner with a media company, rather than build one. "Gaming operators aren't news desks," he said. "That reporter needs to report to someone. You need an editor."
He said he expected more partnerships to emerge, including, specifically, some gambling company to strike a partnership with The Athletic, the venture-backed subscription sports media company that boasts more than a million subscribers. (In March, the Athletic told The Washington Post it had no plans to pursue gambling content or partnerships. A spokeswoman said this week that the company is currently evaluating its long-term betting strategy.)
As for whether sports gambling would ultimately save or swallow sports media, Millman questioned the question's premise.
"Why does it have to be one or the other?" he asked. "Can't it be both?"
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|To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (159)||12/21/2020 10:00:46 PM|
|I agree that we are on a huge upward trend .. and I am an investor.|
However, I don't know how long it can go .. it's a sucker's game.
If you win too much as a player, you get banned from playing .. players will smarten up over time.
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|From: Glenn Petersen||12/29/2020 5:17:48 PM|
|LCA closed at $25.49 today; GNOG starts trading tomorrow.|
Landcadia Holdings II, Inc. Completes Acquisition of Golden Nugget Online Gaming
Tue, December 29, 2020, 11:45 AM CST
-- Changes Name to Golden Nugget Online Gaming, Inc.
-- Class A Common Stock to Commence Trading on Nasdaq Under New Symbol "GNOG" on December 30, 2020
HOUSTON, Dec. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Landcadia Holdings II, Inc. (the "Company," "we," "us," or "our") (Nasdaq: LCA) today announced that it has completed its previously announced business combination with Golden Nugget Online Gaming, Inc., a leading online gaming and digital sports entertainment company. The business combination was approved by a majority of Landcadia's stockholders.
Upon completion of the business combination, Landcadia changed its name to Golden Nugget Online Gaming, Inc. The Company's shares of Class A common stock will commence trading on Nasdaq Stock Market under the ticker symbol "GNOG" on December 30, 2020.
Tilman J. Fertitta will continue to serve as the Company's CEO and Chairman of the Board. Thomas Winter will remain as President and the rest of the Golden Nugget Online Gaming team will continue in their respective roles. Tilman J. Fertitta commented, "I am pleased to see the business combination finally close. We see tremendous opportunity in the online gaming space and are excited to be a part of it."
Jefferies LLC served as the sole financial, capital markets advisor and placement agent to Landcadia. White & Case LLP acted as legal counsel to Landcadia and Haynes and Boone LLP served as legal counsel to Golden Nugget Online Gaming.
Golden Nugget Online Gaming is a leading online gaming company that is considered a market leader by its peers and was first to bring Live Dealer and Live Casino Floor to the United States online gaming market. GNOG was the past recipient of 15 eGaming Review North America Awards, including the coveted "Operator of the Year" award in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
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|To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (161)||12/29/2020 5:28:52 PM|
|From: Glenn Petersen|
|DMYT closed at $22.76 today; RSI starts trading tomorrow.|
Rush Street Interactive Closes Business Combination with dMY Technology Group, Inc.
– Common Stock and Warrants to Change Tickers and Trade on the NYSE under the new Ticker Symbols “RSI” and “RSI WS”, respectively, Commencing on Wednesday, December 30, 2020 –
December 29, 2020 04:15 PM Eastern Standard Time
CHICAGO--( BUSINESS WIRE)--Rush Street Interactive, LP (“RSI”), one of the fastest-growing online casino and sports betting gaming companies in the United States, today announced that it has completed its previously announced business combination (the “Business Combination”) with dMY Technology Group, Inc. (“dMY”). The Business Combination was approved at a special meeting of dMY’s stockholders held today.
“In a finite competitive landscape with high barriers to entry and strong secular growth trends, we were impressed with what RSI has been building since 2012 and are excited to partner with Greg Carlin, Richard Schwartz and their talented team as they continue to expand their market-leading platform”
Tweet thisUpon completion of the Business Combination, the combined company was renamed Rush Street Interactive, Inc. (the “Combined Company”). Beginning on Wednesday, December 30, 2020, the dMY tickers will change and the Class A common stock and warrants of the Combined Company will commence trading on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) under the new ticker symbols “RSI” and “RSI WS,” respectively.
The Business Combination creates a leading online gaming company with U.S. market share in online casino that is currently among the highest in the industry and a top online sports betting offering. RSI provides customers an array of offerings, including real-money online casino wagering, online and retail sports wagering, and social gaming. RSI currently operates in six states – New Jersey, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa – as well as Colombia, and it has secured market access in three additional states, including New York, with plans to target other jurisdictions. RSI is growing quickly and has experienced a revenue increase of nearly five times from the first nine months of 2019 to the first nine months of 2020.
“Today marks a momentous milestone for RSI as we enter the public markets with a tremendous opportunity ahead of us,” said Greg Carlin, Chief Executive Officer of RSI. “With online casino and online sports betting still in the early stages in the United States, we believe there is significant growth potential for our business in both existing and new markets. Eilers & Krejcik estimates the total U.S. online casino market to be approximately $20 billion at maturity, and projects $15 billion for online sports betting. Our steadfast focus on customer experience and broad demographic reach, combined with our proprietary technology platform, provide us with what we believe are material advantages to further our leadership position as online gaming continues to mature.”
“In a finite competitive landscape with high barriers to entry and strong secular growth trends, we were impressed with what RSI has been building since 2012 and are excited to partner with Greg Carlin, Richard Schwartz and their talented team as they continue to expand their market-leading platform,” said Niccolo de Masi, Chief Executive Officer of dMY Technology Group. “Through RSI’s differentiated offerings and loyal user base driven by strong player trust and engagement, we believe RSI is ideally positioned to capitalize on the rapid growth in online casino and online sports betting. RSI is firmly committed to operational excellence, and we believe it has the best product, the best tech platform and the best customer service in the market.”
Cash proceeds from the transaction consisted of dMY’s approximately $230 million of cash in trust and approximately $160 million from a PIPE investment led by Fidelity Management and Research Company at $10.00 per share in the Class A common stock of dMY. After the payment of amounts to redeem equity from existing RSI equity holders in accordance with the terms of the Business Combination Agreement previously entered into amongst the parties, and the payment of transaction fees and expenses, the Combined Company had over $240 million of cash on its consolidated balance sheet as of the closing. The funds are expected to be used to accelerate the Combined Company’s growth in both domestic and international markets, support marketing efforts and provide additional working capital.
As previously announced, Neil Bluhm, Greg Carlin, Richard Schwartz, Einar Roosileht, and Mattias Stetz will continue in their roles as Chairman of the Board of Directors, Chief Executive Officer and Director, President, Chief Information Officer, and Chief Operating Officer, respectively, of the Combined Company, supported by a deep and talented management team with substantial expertise in the online gaming industry. In addition to Neil Bluhm and Greg Carlin, the Combined Company’s Board of Directors include dMY’s Chairman, Harry You, and CEO, Niccolo de Masi, as well as Paul Wierbicki, Leslie Bluhm, James Gordon, Judith Gold, and Sheli Rosenberg.
Jefferies LLC and Oakvale Capital LLP acted as co-lead capital markets and financial advisors to RSI. Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal advisor to RSI. White & Case LLP, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, and Greenberg Traurig LLP acted as legal advisors to dMY. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC served as financial advisor to dMY. Needham & Company and Oakvale Capital acted as placement agents for the PIPE transaction.
Founded in 2012 by gaming industry veterans, RSI is a market leader in online casino and sports betting in the U.S. RSI launched its first online gaming casino site, PlaySugarHouse.com, in New Jersey in September 2016 and was the first gaming company to launch a regulated online gaming site in Pennsylvania. With its BetRivers.com sites, RSI was also the first to launch regulated online gaming in Indiana, Colorado and, most recently, Illinois. RSI was named the 2020 Global Gaming Awards Digital Operator of the Year, and the 2020 EGR North America Awards Casino Operator of the Year and Customer Service Operator of the Year. RSI has been an early mover in Latin America and was the first U.S.-based gaming operator to launch a legal and regulated online casino and sportsbook, RushBet.co, in the country of Colombia. For more information, visit www.rushstreetinteractive.com.
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|From: Glenn Petersen||12/29/2020 7:09:17 PM|
|CLOSING TIME: FLUTTER AND CAESARS SECURE KEY APPROVALS FOR US SPORTS BETTING ACQUISITIONS|
POSTED ON DECEMBER 29, 2020
BY BRAD ALLEN
Legal Sports Report
Two of the biggest deals in US sports betting are almost complete.
Flutter will close its acquisition of the remaining shares of FanDuel on Wednesday 30 December, the company announced this week.
Around 99.99% of Flutter shareholders voted to approve the deal.
Meanwhile, Caesars announced on Tuesday it had cleared antitrust measures for its acquisition of William Hill.
It also secured approval for the deal from state gaming regulators in West Virginia and Mississippi.
The tie-up still needs rubber-stamping by other state gaming commissions including Nevada, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
The English High Court must also approve the deal, but Caesars said it expected to close in March 2021.
What does it all mean for US sports betting?
It’s not surprising that Flutter shareholders supported the $4.2 billion deal to buy up a further 37% stake in FanDuel Group.
The price gave FanDuel an enterprise value of $11.2 billion; a discount of over 40% compared to the $20.3 billion value of DraftKings.
There are several reasons the previous private equity owners agreed to sell for that discount. For starters, a minority stake without operational control is simply worth less. Plus they got the cash immediately rather than waiting until 2023.
But for FanDuel users, not a whole lot will change. Perhaps the company will be even more aggressive on bonusing now it owns 100% of the upside. But that’s not yet clear.
Closer tie-in between Caesars and William HillAs for the $3.7 billion Caesars/William Hill deal, customers might notice a bit more of a change.
Caesars said the merger would help its product in several ways including:
-- A unified wallet and customer experience across William Hill online sportsbooks and Caesars online casinos.
-- The chance for William Hill to cross-sell to 60 million customers in Caesars’ rewards database.
Of course, the tie-up may not end the M&A party for Caesars.
Some analysts think the company will spin out the combined online betting and gaming business and list it in the US. Such a company could generate $600-$700 million in pro forma net revenue in FY2021.
And given the valuation multiple assigned to peers like DraftKings and Penn National Gaming, a spin-off could be very valuable indeed.
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|From: Glenn Petersen||1/6/2021 12:25:55 PM|
DraftKings — Shares popped more than 6% after the New York Daily News reported Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to make mobile sports betting a key part of his policy proposals in his State of the State address.
More from Legal Sports Report:
GOVERNOR CUOMO TO PUSH MOBILE NY SPORTS BETTING IN EMPIRE STATE SHOCKER
POSTED ON JANUARY 6, 2021
BY ADAM CANDEE
Check the thermometer in hell: Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ready to bring NY sports betting into the modern era.
Cuomo will include mobile New York sports betting in his 2021 policy proposals for the state, according to a report from the NY Daily News. The governor consistently opposed mobile wagering in past years and contended the state needed a constitutional amendment to legalize it.
It appears a multibillion-dollar budget deficit fueled by the pandemic softened Cuomo’s opposition — and not a moment too soon for a state bleeding sports betting handle to neighboring New Jersey.
“At a time when New York faces a historic budget deficit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the current online sports wagering structure incentivizes a large segment of New York residents to travel out of state to make online sports wagers or continue to patronize black markets,” Cuomo said in the report.
While the news might stun longtime industry observers, Cuomo indicated in December that he would consider mobile sports betting and legal marijuana as potential bandages for the state budget crisis.
How big could New York sports betting be?
Mobile wagering in the Empire State could become the country’s crown jewel in the nascent US sports betting market. An Eilers & Krejcik Gaming report in February 2020 estimated New Yorkers wagered $837 million in New Jersey in 2019.
The report indicates about 20% of New Jersey sports wagering comes from New York City. Consider the increase in NJ sports betting handle from 2019 to 2020:
2019: $4.5 billion
2020: $5 billion** First 11 months
New Jersey will approach $6 billion in handle for 2020, with no March Madness betting and four months with no major professional or college sports. Now imagine a more convenient legal option for the roughly 8.4 million people in the boroughs and New York’s potential becomes obvious.
“New York has the potential to be the largest sports wagering market in the United States, and by legalizing online sports betting we aim to keep millions of dollars in tax revenue here at home, which will only strengthen our ability to rebuild from the COVID-19 crisis,” Cuomo said in a statement to the Daily News.
What mobile NY sports betting might look like
The Daily News report indicates Cuomo will ask legislators to require mobile operators to tether to an existing casino. Current law allows sports betting in New York only in-person at existing casinos.
Those include both commercial and tribal operations:
Rivers Sportsbook (Schenectady)
FanDuel Sportsbook (Tioga Downs)
DraftKings Sportsbook (del Lago Resort Casino)
Turning Stone (Syracuse)
Point Place (Bridgeport)
Yellow Brick Road Casino (Chittenango)
Resorts World Catskills (Monticello)
Akwesasne Mohawk Casino (Hogansburg; pending launch)
The initial proposal does not appear to include a suggested tax rate or licensing fee. To compete with the NJ sports betting market, New York might need to align closely with the Garden State’s 13% levy on mobile revenue.
Previous attempts stalled at multiple stops
Cuomo’s support does not guarantee that mobile sports betting will come to New York. State legislators still need to pass a bill and that proved perilous in past years, although two pre-filed bills already existed prior to Cuomo’s statement.
Sen. Joe Addabbo and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow play Sisyphus in their chambers year after year, After legislators backed a 2013 law for retail sports betting at just four existing casinos, Addabbo and Pretlow failed in multiple tries to add mobile wagering in proceeding years.
Issues including a reluctant Speaker of the Assembly, potential tribal exclusivity claims, and the definition of where mobile bets actually occur complicated efforts. But no roadblock stood as tall as Cuomo’s veto pen.
Just a year ago, Cuomo called potential new forms of gaming revenue “irresponsible” in dismissing the idea of mobile betting:
“There’s no gimmicks. There’s no new casino revenue. … This is not the time to come up with creative although irresponsible revenue sources to solve a problem which doesn’t really exist.”
It appears 2021 might just be the time to solve a problem that exists.
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|From: Glenn Petersen||2/6/2021 4:12:25 AM|
|DraftKings Jumps as Cathie Wood’s ARK Adds Stock to ETF|
By Connor Smith
Feb. 2, 2021 7:31 pm ET
The logo for DraftKings is displayed on a laptop computerGabby Jones/Bloomberg
DraftKings stock popped on Tuesday after Cathie Wood ‘s ARK Next Generation Internet exchange-traded fund disclosed it added the online sports-betting stock.
As of Feb. 1, the ETF (ticker: ARKW) owned 620,300 DraftKings shares worth about $33.9 million. As Barron’s previously noted, the stock jumped in after-hours trading on Monday despite an absence of company-specific news. ARK Investment’s exchange-traded funds have been hugely popular in recent months. Five of ARK’s actively managed ETFs trounced the broader market in 2020 thanks to bets on disrupters such as Tesla (TSLA). Even plans of a space-themed ETF from ARK Invest sent stocks in the sector rising.
DraftKings stock has soared 238% since going public via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company in April.
Shares were up 8.5% to $59.31 on Tuesday, while the S&P 500 index was up 1.4%.
In a note on Tuesday, Morgan Stanley analyst Thomas Allen wrote that he believes FanDuel and DraftKings continue to lead in app download market share, with DraftKings doing well in new states that have launched online sports betting. He cites preliminary app download data from Sensortower that showed U.S. sports betting app downloads increased 299% year-over-year in January, with DraftKings on FanDuel’s heels with 32% share, compared to the latter’s 34% share of downloads. FanDuel is owned by Flutter Entertainment.
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