Sports media companies are leaning further into sports betting as more states legalize the practice and the NFL and college football seasons kick into gear.
Driving the news: ESPN has entered into separate agreements with Caesars Entertainment and DraftKings, both of which include exclusive link integrations (i.e. affiliate partnerships) across ESPN's digital platforms.
Mike Greenberg's new show, "Bettor Days," debuts on ESPN+ Thursday.
The big picture: The 15-minute show, which tells the stories behind sports betting's craziest wins and losses, is part of a larger sports betting push by ESPN. The company just debuted its new Las Vegas studio, which will host the network's one-hour weekday sports betting show, "Daily Wager," and other related programming.
When the pandemic arrived, the sports betting industry funneled bettors toward the few sports that were actually happening.
What's happening: Now that sports have returned, the industry has benefited from pent-up demand, while also capitalizing on a busier-than-usual summer, with baseball, soccer, hockey, golf and basketball all in full swing.
2020 was poised to be a big year for sports betting. Some of that momentum was lost due to the shutdown, but the industry is still surging ahead — and holding out hope for a massive fall.
The state of play: Sports betting is now legal and fully operational in 18 states, plus Washington, D.C.
Professional investors have largely abandoned the stock market amid the coronavirus pandemic, but sports bettors and bored millennials have jumped into the retail stock trading market with both feet.
Why it matters: They may be a driving force pushing U.S. stocks to their recent highs — and potentially driving them further.
Despite the lack of live games, sports betting stocks have performed particularly well over the past month, highlighted by fantasy sports/betting platform, DraftKings, and gaming operator, Penn National.
By the numbers: Since going public on April 24, DraftKings' stock is up 82%, while Penn National Gaming — which acquired Barstool Sports in January — is up 130%.
Two years ago today, the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which had prevented states from creating their own sports betting regulations.
Where things stand: 24 months later, 18 states and counting have legalized it, launching an explosive new industry that touches sports, media, technology and more (though the pandemic has slowed growth in what was set to be a big year).
Colorado became the 18th state to officially begin accepting legal sports wagers, including via online sportsbooks, at the start of May.
Why it matters: The convenience of mobile betting is the future, and with sports creeping back, Colorado can treat the next few months more or less like a beta test as it prepares for the wave of that will come when sports return in full.
DraftKings is one step closer to going public, after the SEC approved its reverse merger with blank-check acquisition company Diamond Eagle and sports betting enterprise solution SBTech.
What's next: Diamond Eagle's shareholders will vote April 23 on the merger, which is expected to go through.