Here are the top stories shaping sports and business for Wednesday, July 15.
Tiger Woods Golfs Again
The Memorial Tournament is one of the biggest events on the PGA Tour each summer, and while it’s not technically a Major, it will feel like one on Thursday. Tiger Woods will once again be on the course as he looks for his 83rd win on tour. Woods last played in a PGA Tour event for “The Match” when he joined Phil Mickelson, along with NFL greats Tom Brady and Peyton Manning to raise money for COVID-19 relief.
Nine of the top ten golfers in the world will be playing in the Memorial Tournament.
A Coronavirus Update
The U.S. has over 3.4 million cases and 136,000 deaths.
Oklahoma governor Kevin Stitt announced that he tested positive for COVID-19. He’s the first known governor to have become infected with the virus. Oklahoma had over 990 new cases on Tuesday.
And Walmart announced that it will require all customers to wear a face mask when shopping in Sam’s Clubs and Walmart’s starting on Monday, July 20. This will include stores in locations where mask-wearing is not being enforced by the state government. This decision follows Starbucks, which announced Tuesday that it would start requiring face coverings in its stores starting July 15. Best Buy has also announced that it will require shoppers to wear masks and Costco started requiring masks back in May.
The National Retail Federation called on retailers to adopt a nationwide policy to require face masks when shopping.
NJ Sports Betting Revenue Climbing in June
Even with the spread of COVID-19 continuing to keep sportsbooks and casinos closed around the country, we may be seeing more positive news when it comes to gaming numbers. According to Legal Sports Report, New Jersey sports betting operators saw their handle reach $165 million in June. That’s 40% higher than May, and more than triple the total in April.
With no football, baseball, or hockey to bet on, the bulk of the betting dollars came in on sports like the PGA Tour, NASCAR, and international soccer.
Assuming sports are fully back with the NBA, NHL and MLB at the end of the month, those numbers should continue to climb in New Jersey as well as other states with legalized sports betting.
Meanwhile, in Louisiana, Governor John Bel Edwards has signed a bill to establish the daily fantasy sports tax rate. Voters in the state chose to legalize daily fantasy sports back in 2018, so while it’s taken almost two years to go through, this likely opens up the market for publicly traded companies like DraftKings and FanDuel to operate ahead of the 2020 NFL season.
DraftKings (DKNG) - Get Report is up 7% in intraday trading and is up 109% in the past three months. It went public back in late April. Penn (PENN) - Get Report is up 15% in intraday trading to $33 a share. It’s up over 141% in the past three months. MGM (MGM) - Get Report is up 10% to $17 a share. It’s up 23% in the past three months. And, finally, Wynn (WYNN) - Get Report is up 6% to $84 a share in intraday trading. It’s up 17.9% in the past three months.