In its year-in-review Christmas special, the Legal Sports Report trio gathered again to sum up what they thought was the biggest story in sports betting for 2022. 

In Adam Candee’s viewpoint, last year’s highlight was that promotions throughout the US aiming to attract the biggest flock of customers gradually began to die down. 

He explained: “The industry is maybe starting to get out of the insanity of huge promotional offers and just constant willingness to lose money in service of trying to gain customers when it became clear that only certain sportsbooks were successful in gaining customers and retaining them. 

“That did prove to be maybe the biggest story of 2022 in the world of sports betting. The craziness did die out with the exception of just around a couple of launches like New York in particular where there were some major offers.”

Candee also brought up the shenanigans Barstool has been allegedly involved in as reported in a series of New York Times investigations. This has had a direct impact on the operator’s presence in Massachusetts, attracting huge amounts of scrutiny when it was handed a temporary in-person sports betting licence despite being cleared for it by state law. The licence was only awarded conditionally, with it contingent on certain marketing limitations and an investigation into its media arm, Barstool Sports. 

In another chain of events, Candee’s co-host Dustin Gouker described California as the biggest and most embarrassing story of last year. Two sports betting propositions failed to get past voters in November, neither even gaining the support of 30% of ovters despite over $600m spent on campaigning.

Dubbing it as a “colossal failure” for sports betting, Gouker added: “The whole thing is an embarrassing stain on the sports betting lobbying effort, which was so successful up until now. We see under 20% approval of the ballot measures in California, which is hard to imagine.”

California’s handling of sports betting was so dire for Gouker in fact that he shared he finds it difficult to see a starting point anytime soon. And although hopes are still up for a ballot measure in 2024, Gouker pointed out that “two years is a lot of time” in the world of legal sports betting. 

And finally, LSR’s last-but-not-least podcast co-host Matt Brown proved to be the person with the most positive outlook from the bunch, saying that the biggest story of the year for him is that the industry had a good all-round year overall with no major screw ups threatening US sports betting.

The few exceptions like the suspension of NFL player Calving Ridley and the DraftKings and BetMGM hacks were then addressed by Candee for whom although “not terrible”, 2022 is definitely the year “that marks where you’ve got to watch out”.

Watch the full episode for the cast’s watchlist predictions for 2023. 

LSR: 2022 in review