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Sports betting in N.H. will be available before Super Bowl, governor says

A sports betting parlor at Twin River Casino in Rhode Island, currently the only New England state with legal sports betting.
A sports betting parlor at Twin River Casino in Rhode Island, currently the only New England state with legal sports betting.Steven Senne/Associated Press

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu called into WEEI radio last week to talk up his state’s sooner-than-expected entry into sports betting. The Granite State sports betting bill has been signed into law, so now it’s a matter of contracts and licenses being granted to operators.

Sununu said he expected legal sports betting to be available in New Hampshire before the Super Bowl — as soon as January, possibly December.

Sununu could not resist getting in a few digs at Massachusetts, where several sports betting bills, including one filed by Gov. Charlie Baker last January, have languished in the State House.

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“It’s always baffled me why Massachusetts put the brakes on this one,” said Sununu. “We’re going gangbusters here.”

Rhode Island is the only state in New England where legal sports betting is taking place right now.

“I know Rhode Island jumped into it; they’ve been doing very well with it,” said Sununu. “Massachusetts seems to be this black hole, so we’re just going to pick up the slack until Massachusetts figures out what to do.

“Until then, in the next few months, you’re going to see it up here and I think it’s going to be an awesome opportunity for us.”

R.I. numbers

September numbers are in, and Rhode Island just had its highest monthly revenue total since legal sports betting began last November.

Revenue of $2,516,060 was gleaned from a handle (total dollars bet) of $22,195,789 last month.

The handle was the second-best monthly total, but with the Twin River and Tiverton casinos having a higher 8.47 percent hold last month, there was a bigger pot to be split between the state and the sportsbooks.

Rhode Island gets 51 percent, which meant a total of $1,283,191 for the state last month.

Since sports betting began in Rhode Island, the state has collected $4.36 million in revenue.

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Mobile betting began Sept. 4, and as of a couple of days ago, 12,000 mobile accounts were registered, with 45 percent of them activated, which has to be done in person at one of the two casinos.

The NFL is dominating the attention of the Rhode Island sports bettor, with 49 cents of every dollar bet dedicated to an NFL wager.

College football was next at 27 percent, followed by Major League Baseball at 16 percent.

T ball

Former Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez inked an apparel deal with Bleacher Report, and anyone wanting to wear Martinez-approved clothes now has three options. The first is a rock concert-like “World Tour” T-shirt with a list of his career accomplishments on the back. There is also a long-sleeve T-shirt honoring his epic 1999 season. And then there is the “Pedro & 3 Amigos” T-shirt, the amigos being Martinez’s signature pitches: changeup, fastball, and curveball . . . Boston Uprising still has a few months to locate a home venue for its matches in the esports Overwatch League. For the first time, the 20-team Overwatch League will feature teams playing on home turf instead of primarily flying to California for matches. The Uprising are owned by the Kraft Group. The season begins in February.

A price on Fenway

If Fenway Park ever were to sell naming rights — there are no plans — they would be worth $19.8 million-$21.8 million a year, according to Van Wagner Sports & Entertainment (Sports Business Journal). That trails the Cubs’ Wrigley Field ($21.9 million-$23.9 million), New York’s Madison Square Garden ($22.3 million-$24.3 million), where the Rangers and Knicks play, and Yankee Stadium ($27 million-$29 million). Among already-named MLB ballparks, the Mets’ CitiField has the biggest deal, worth $400 million over 22 years, which works out to $18.18 million a year . . . According to SBJ’s MVPindex, the Celtics/TD Garden duo led all others last season in social media value with 187 posts and 2.6 million engagements worth $1.47 million. Among venues with multiple named sites or that house multiple teams, the TD Garden/Bruins/Celtics combo had a $1.999 million social media value last season, second only to AT&T’s $2.251 million, which includes the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center and the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.

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College rankings

In rankings put out by USA Today, Boston College’s Steve Addazio ranked 55th in the country in salary among college football coaches at $2,643,012 last year. UMass coach Walt Bell makes $635,000, which puts him in 103rd place . . . DraftKings CEO Jason Robins was named one of the “Power Players” in the sports betting world by Sports Business Journal.