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Possible day for re-launch of legal sports betting passes, lawyering ensues. Circle Sept. 25
Folks around Florida eager for a way to give money to Hard Rock - without having to eat a $25 burger - awaited Tuesday as the supposed re-launch date for legal sports betting in the state.
But West Flagler Associates and the owners Bonita Springs Poker Room had kept litigating into the wee hours of the previous week.
Attorneys for the two Florida parimutuel outlets filed a request for a stay with the US District Court of Appeals, DC Circuit at 10:04 p.m. last Friday, asking that the Seminole Tribe of Florida be barred from taking wagers on its Hard Rock Bet app as they prepared to petition the Supreme Court to take up the case.
Because court rules dictate that the Department of the Interior had to respond within ten days, the new circle-it-on-the-calendar-if-you-still-use-those date became Sept. 25.
So, forget Week 3 of the NFL season, aspiring Florida sports bettors. Hold up as best you can.
If you live in Florida, you know everything’s complicated on the peninsula. If you don’t, well, enjoy whatever that thing is you call autumn … and betting on your fancy phones.
Country Roads … to the future of sports fandom?
I made it back to the alma mater this weekend to watch West Virginia face archrival Pitt (17-6, Mountaineers. Thanks for asking) and with one minute and 57 seconds left in the third quarter, I might have witnessed the future of sports fandom.
The probably-sorta-looked-like-it-let’s-hope-he’s-21 kid in the Pitt shirt three rows down had forsaken his efforts to taunt the home faithful surrounding him after Michael Hayes drilled a 42-yard field goal to secure what would be the final result.
In a statistically and aesthetically bad football game for both teams, the kid resigned himself to the prescient fact that his Panthers weren’t coming back.
So out came his phone, and even from a distance, the green interface of a DraftKings app was obvious. He thumbed through a couple of screens, winced at his friend, and jammed the phone back in his pocket.
Maybe he’d jumped on whatever odds were left on the under. Maybe he bet on the Mountaineers. Whatever it was, he’d obviously chosen to hedge the emotional loss of a fan by recouping a couple of cents on the result.
At first, I snickered. But I think it made me sad. Ish.
Has mobile sports betting ushered in a jaded new generation of sports fans?
Do a couple of bucks comfort us at the cost of, if not changing allegiances in the middle of a game, using them to assuage the ache? Or to fire that screw-you-guy kind of hurt for the team you adore?
Certainly, this phenomenon of ultra-partisanship has been eroded in the last 20 years with the explosion of fantasy sports. If your team is driving and you’ve started a couple of their players, it’s an easy emotional and financial parlay to hope one of them scores.
But, man, you know what you’re thinking when your fantasy player is facing your real-life team … and you really, really need the points.
Filling in the sports betting map
The Hard Rock Bet app limbered up just fine in allowing me to make a few monetized speculations in Cincinnati. The last bet I’d placed on it had come nearly two years previously in Florida before sports betting there was shut down.
An aside: for reasons I still don’t understand, while I haven't been able to deposit on Hard Rock Bet in Florida since 2021, I was somehow able to do so in Georgia (which has no legal sports betting at all) and North Carolina (state-wide won’t launch until 2024) within the last two months.
Anyway, the Ohio bet allowed me to cross another state off my scavenger hunt list of states where I’ve made a legal sports bet. I couldn’t nab Kentucky because the closest retail shop - online launches Sept. 21 - wasn’t available when I needed to leave Newport for Morgantown.
I made up for it on Sunday by sliding across the border from West Virginia into Maryland (thanks for the good cell reception, Friendsville Exxon) and nailing a sweet “Kenneth Walker III, 2 TDs” bet at +650.
That made the really circuitous route to Cleveland worth it.
Anyway, here’s my list so far. I have 20 of 36 (counting some that haven’t launched yet):
Share how many states/jurisdictions you’re up to in the comments.
The Nick Chubb Effect
How much does one player move odds?
A lot, if it’s a quarterback.
If it’s a running back, even a great one like Nick Chubb … not that much, at least ATS.
When the Cleveland stalwart went down with an apparent season- (at least) ending knee injury against Pittsburgh on Monday, the Browns lost the engine of their offense and bettors lost faith in those futures wagers they’d made on division titles and beyond.
Sportsbooks soon began adjusting, too.
Here’s a look at what happened at DraftKings on Tuesday morning.
But as far as impacting future point spreads, one sportsbook head told Gaming Today:
“RBs, even good ones simply don’t matter that much.”
So how much will Chubb’s absence impact the Browns’ point spreads?
“Maybe 0.25-0.75 pts if that.”
Chubb will apparently be worth a little more at Fanatics. Barely.
“Running backs generally don’t move a number. A QB change has the potential to move it a lot more,” spokesperson Kevin Hennessy told Gaming Today, “but Chubb is special and is an elite RB, so he's worth around a point.”
Here’s some expertise from the Gaming Today team for the weekend:
Spit-ballin’ here: You can bet on losers
Remember when you were the smartest one in the virtual room for drafting this guy in the third round? No, me either. Now your backup is playing on Thursday, Burrow’s hurt and may not even play on Monday. Oh, wait, that’s me.
Mickelson’s impromptu responsible gambling message and claims he’s not betting anymore
Famous golfer and infamous gambler Phil Mickelson issued a combination RG message and an open letter to his support system, imploring those with a problem to find the strength within and around them to get better.
It was a powerful statement from a very public figure, although the fact he’s been able to stay rich and employed during his now very public gambling indulgences will certainly temper the message for some.
The real hope here is that this was a genuine effort and not a damage-control branding exercise in the wake of Billy Walters’ new book, “Gambler: Secrets from a Life at Risk,” in which the convicted felon alleges that in 2012 Mickelson attempted to place with him a $400,000 bet on the United States Ryder Cup team while playing for it.
Walters also claims the six-time major winner amassed almost $100 million in gambling debts.
Mickelson in the corporeal and social media realm has often played something of a wrestling heel, notably recently with the huge payday he walked away with after LIV and the PGA TOUR decided to bury the putter and merge.
That makes the contemplation of an ulterior motivation easy.
Whatever the motivation, if it helps another person, it is a laudable gesture.
FanDuel paid out upwards of $20 million in Week 2 of the NFL season when scores of bettors hammered a field goal parlay that was originally priced at +20000. Every team playing in the afternoon games needed to split the uprights for the bet to cash.
Do not weep for the national sports betting market share leader, however.
This will ultimately be worth far more in publicity and losing bets from dabbling bettors who believe these kinds of markets pay off frequently.
If you were among the winners, please feel free to brag in the comments below.
North Carolina politicians still writing sports betting rules in pencil, by Rebecca Hanchett.