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MLB games are now faster—and handle is growing
MLB handle is up, VC in sports gaming is down, and MLB adds swing data.
Welcome to your weekly round-up! The scramble to avoid the NBA's play-in tournament continues with what's likely to be a wild weekend coming up—while many other teams are resting their players to prepare for the play-offs. Meanwhile, MLB is off to the races...
MLB handle is growing: Many of the big sportsbooks are adding MLB player props this year. (HotStreak has been offering live in-game players since 2021). While MLB was just 12% of overall handle last year, operators believe consumers will stay after baseball season for NFL season. Three baseball teams now have sportsbooks in their stadiums and two more are planning to add them this year. MLB handle increased an estimated 70% in 2022 compared to 2021, per Sports Business Journal.
VCs giveth, VCs taketh: Venture capital funding for sports gaming startups has screetched to a halt after a pandemic-fueled wave of funding. Only six deals were announced in the first quarter, per Earnings+More.
One year of iGaming in Ontario: After one year of legalized iGaming in Ontario, Canada, wagers were C$35.6 billion making it one of the top five in North America. Sports gaming is included in the total but not broken out separately. There are 36 operators licensed in Ontario, compared to nine in New York.
Texas bills advance, for now: Two sports gaming bills advanced in the Texas House. One is a mobile sports betting bill and the other is for casino resorts with sports betting. But they don’t currently have the votes in the Senate.
MLB adds swing data: Statcast has new metrics including the batter’s swing, including things like “swing speed”, “attack angle” and “squared-up rate”. This is the result of new 200 fps video from Hawk-Eye.
WWE merges with UFC: is betting next? The combined company will be 51%-owned by Ari Emanuel’s Endeavor. This opens the door to WWE betting, as Endeavor also owns OpenBet, a provider to FanDuel and DraftKings among others. WWE had reportedly previously tried to turn on gambling in Colorado and Michigan with match results held beforehand by an accounting firm, similar to the Oscars.
BetCrunch is sponsored by HotStreak:
E-Sports betting possible in North Carolina: A sports gaming bill which passed the state’s House also allows e-sports betting. New Jersey already has e-sports betting and Pennsylvania has a bill, per Sharpr.
What we’re reading:
Maryland passed a bill to ban college deals with sportsbooks amid increased scrutiny. PointsBet has a deal with the University of Maryland.
New York operators hope for iGaming bill to alleviate a high sports gaming tax relative to other states. But it's not likely this year.
How much does an MLB team's April record predict its full season record?
Harassment of pro athletes is a problem for the whole industry.
How does MLB pitch shape data work? (2022)
Thanks for reading!