New Sports Betting Opportunities for Kansas Discussed

  • Kansans’ lawmakers continue to pursue the idea of legalizing sports betting
  • Mobile betting and the remit of the State Lottery discussed
  • Tax gains for the state not a pre-determined amount

Kansans will be going over proposed sports betting plans once again with Rep. Stephanie Clayton supporting the move.

Kansas Lawmakers to Look into Sports Betting Opportunities

Kansas has long been on pins and needles about adding sports betting to the state. After all, a lot of other states have pushed ahead with such a move already. Worst of all, Missouri is going to get its own sports betting rolled out before Kansas and that’s the sort of twist that makes the blood boil.

Virginia’s Sports Betting Bill Gets Senate Approval

Rep. Stephanie Clayton is quite determined to show Missouri that Kansas is just as capable of mastering its own sports betting plans:

I don’t like getting beaten by Missouri. It’s a Kansas trait. I think a lot of people share that.

There’s plenty of reasons for Kansas to want to be in the open when it comes to sports betting. First, the offshore industry is no small part of the daily expenditures of the state’s residents. Gambling is very much alive in Kansas, only the sportsbooks to sweep up all the cash are located offshore.

Kansas House Panel Meets to Discuss Sports Betting: What a Twister!

Kansas both loves and hates sports betting, but at least now a debate is on the way. The state’s House Panel met on Friday, February 8 to discuss the possibility of specific facilities being authorized to accept sports betting wagers, including:

  • Restaurants & bars
  • Dog racetracks
  • Lottery retailers

Quite a few topics were broached, which just only goes to show that lawmakers are very serious about pondering the question in its depth. For instance, some of the topics discussed included whether professional and college sports are entitled to a revenue from sportsbooks, i.e. the notorious royalty/integrity fees. Mobile betting was also examined.

A Matter of Chance – The Kansas Lottery

An interesting development though can be how any sports betting bill would co-exist with the Kansas State Lottery. The question of mobile apps came up with the attendees trying to determine whether each individual property should have its own app or if the entire network can be controlled by the state.

In fact, there were more unknowns that any concrete solutions with the Lottery question remaining open-ended.

Play Your Cards Well Now

Kansas is definitely not intent on taxing the industry too steeply. The rate is established at 6.75% and additional 0.25%that would go for royalty fees, as per a bill introduced earlier.

There’re no exact estimates as to how much the state stands to win from legalizing the industry, which is another reason for rather divided legal factions.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

The UK Gambling Commission Recommends New Measures

  • The UK Gambling Commission toughens identity measures and verification process
  • Measures intended at protecting children and vulnerable individuals
  • No free products available without registration & verification
  • Depositing funds will now require to verify a customer’s indentity

The UK Gambling Commission, the country’s regulator, has released a new set of rules and measures intended at better regulating the industry and protecting individuals from gambling harm.

The UK Gambling Commission’s Latest Security Measures

The UK Gambling Commission is the UK’s governing authority when it comes to iGaming, land-based gambling operations, sports betting, bingo parlours and poker cardrooms. The watchdog’s remit extends to issuing and enforcing regulations as well as investigating and issuing penalties to wrongdoers.

The Commission announced a new set of measures focusing on protecting consumers from various age groups by demanding from operators to identify individuals who register faster, ultimately for consumer’s best interest.

Making Gambling Safer for Everyone – Children Protected

In one of its latest surveys, the UK Gambling Commission revealed that the number of child gamblers quadrupled. The worrying trend has been reason enough for the country’s governing body to seek a way to bolster security measures when it comes to preventing underage gamblers from participating.

One such way, the UKGC believes, is by slashing the 72 hours grace period given to casinos to carry out verification checks confirming the identity of gamers. Up until now, customers were allowed to deposit funds and play, but not withdraw without proper verification. Here’s what UKGC Chief Executive Neil McArthur had to say:

These changes will protect children and the vulnerable from gambling-related harm, and reduce the risk of crime linked to gambling. They will also make gambling fairer by helping consumers collect their winnings without unnecessary delay.

Some industry leaders have applied the measure indiscriminately asking from players to verify their identity and address before they can proceed with gambling activity of any sort. Under the latest changes, the operators will have to conduct these mandatory checks before users can:

  • Deposit funds into an account
  • Gamble with the license with either their own money or a free bet or bonus

In other words, even the so-called free bets, free play and free spins are off limits for individuals who haven’t confirmed their identity. The Commission also requires all customers to be registered and confirm their identity before they can access even the free play version of any game.

Toughening Up on Identity and Criminal Activity

By introducing the new set of measures, the UKGC is hoping to effectively slash some of its own workload by creating very clear rules whereby operators and customers will be fully-informed what the depositing and withdrawing procedures are.

In the official press release, the UKGC wrote that 15% of all complaints regarding customers withdrawals were linked to operators requesting additional information from customers before they clear a transfer.

No such miscommunication will be possible once the new rules hit. The new measures will also help with keeping the national self-exclusion scheme, GamStop, in line. GamStop has been coming under additional scrutiny after BBC investigators confirmed that the system can be gamed rather easily, too.

Not least of all, operators must be readier to turn gamers from their betting shops, casinos and card rooms, after they’ve established that a person

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Slovakia President Vetoes Gambling Regulatory Bill

  • Slovakia’s President vetoes proposed regulatory gambling framework
  • Fears over transparency and integrity cited
  • Lawmakers need to look for a solution

Restrictive gambling laws in Slovakia may not soon the case, with new salvos of exchanges between lawmakers and President Andreja Kiska. President Kiska is now looking at a stiff opposition.

Slovakia’s Presidential Veto on Gambling Won’t Stick

Slovakia was one of the countries in 2018 to work towards a from-head-to-toe regulatory framework for its gambling industry. The government agreed to elaborate a framework that would allow everyone to benefit from the changes introduced therein, helping business, customers and the state’s coffer.

With a vote that passed on December 4, 2018, the proposed gambling regulation was sent to President Andreja Kiska for ratification. This is the first time since 2005 when Slovakia has decided to change its gambling laws.

The President refused to play his part, citing genuine concerns about the transparency and safety of the bill and the people it would affect.

President Kiska said that the bill failed to outline how it would protect customers and how the self-exclusion scheme would work. Funding to social causes was also muddled in the legalese, the President noted.

Lawmakers have designed the law to conform with active regulation in other European Union member states, including Romania, Denmark, and the recently-regulated Swedish market which became active on January 1, 2019. But the state will need to address this last hurdle before the market truly opens up.

Slovakia Is Close to Signing Gambling Act into Law

Based on the now vetoed bill, Slovakia will open up its market in July 1, when the first operators will be allowed to start developing their products. Application, though, would start as early as March with actual operations deferred by 2020 at the earliest.

The law is quite comprehensive, though, accounting for the location of gaming venues as well as the allowable number of games that can be found on the premises of such establishments. Casinos wouldn’t be able to operate within 200 meters of schools and hospitals as well.

All gambling machines and table games will have to be relocated to the venues allocated for the purpose.

A Few Final Touches

The rift between lawmakers and President Kiska doesn’t seem significant. By vetoing the bill, the President Kiska signals provisions that need and can be worked through. Funding from the industry is a fair remark.

In most states in the United States, any new bill seeks to outline how precisely any proceedings from gambling would be used to bolster the state’s coffers. Some states have even decided to use legalized poker and sports betting to support their pension funds.

A similar referendum was held in Switzerland in 2018, with Swiss voters deciding to adopt a series of measures safeguarding domestic companies contributing to the pension system of the country, bolstered largely by gambling proceedings.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Osaka Has Head Start in Japan’s IR Bidding

  • Three locations in Japan to bid for an Integrated Resort (IR) rights
  • Osaka Prefecture and the city of Osaka seem to have a head start
  • Dozens of companies undecided, Kyodo News reports

Despite the initial strong demand for hosting an Integrated Resort (IR) in Japan, only three local governments have expressed determined interest to host the future casino resort.

Japan’s Future Casino Resort is Down to Three Prefectures

After much deliberation in 2018, the Integrated Resort (IR) in Japan was finally approved by the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Admittedly, there was a lot of lobbying, though the support of the government seemed to be motivated by the future economic windfall for the country rather than anything else.

As soon as the news was announced, multiple prefectures started tentatively suggesting that they would be open to the idea of hosting the Integrated Resort (IR), which would in turn see three international brands open their casinos there.

After the Initial Excitement, Time for Some Impassionate Consideration

Now that the dust has settled and it has become clear that the IR wouldn’t be a reality until mid-2020s, the prefectures to openly express their determination to be part of the project have become fewer. Presently, only three entertain the idea of hosting the IR:

  • Osaka
  • Wakayama
  • Nagasaki

Overall, there are 47 prefectures and 20 major cities that are eligible for the development of the multi-billion project. According to Kyodo News Agency, after consideration, none other officials wanted to get involved with the IR project, citing public safety concerns.

It’s important to note that the Osaka Prefecture and the city of Osaka will bid together alongside the other two competitors. Nothing is carved in stone, though, as more companies are now entertaining the idea of developing the IR, although concerns abound.

Choosing a Partner and Building the Resort

As per the legislation that was adopted in 2018, in order for a prefecture to host the IR, it would need to choose a casino partner. Once they’ve chosen, lawmakers will have to submit their proposal to the national government for further evaluation.

Kyodo News also revealed other regions and cities that are reportedly considering to host an IR, including Nagoya (a city) along with Tokyo, Hokkaido, Chiba and Yokohama. Almost 20 other local governments have been cited as undecided on the matter.

Osaka has made the biggest progress so far with plans to start the application process by first identifying commercial partners that will help it successfully introduce the IR on its territory.

Meanwhile, casinos have not been twiddling their thumbs either. Hard Rock, a North American casino & hotel brand, has already revealed their model of a possible Integrated Resort (IR).

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Wynn Successful Sues Fund Manager over Owed Money

  • Wynn Macau successfully wins case for $4.3 million in Malaysia
  • The guilty party will have to pay out the owed money, plus interest
  • Meanwhile Wynn and Genting are getting closer to a court battle due to begin on January 29

Wynn Macau Ltd. has successfully concluded a court case against a fund manager who owed the company money. The guilty party had been paid in the form of a credit, which Wynn has now successfully recuperated in court.

Wynn Settles Legal Challenge in Malaysia

In a rare turn of events, Wynn Macau Ltd. managed to win a court case against an individual, identified as Paul Poh Yang Hong, who owed the company money in the form of a line of credit. Based on the active legislation in the country, gambling contracts are not legally binding, and this is precisely what made the case interesting.

However, Wynn specified that it wasn’t looking to collect gaming proceedings, but rather – honor a credit agreement, which proved to be the winning argument in court. The sum of the contract was substantial with the individual previously requesting HKD40 million credit from Wynn, which was granted.

Since then, the fund manager had still to honor HKD33 million in due payments, prompting Wynn Macau Ltd to launch a lawsuit in 2017. The news was also reported by Reuters, which fleshed out details of the case.

Judge S. Nantha Balan from the Kuala Lumpur court has ruled that Poh will have to pay the outstanding amount to Wynn Macau, plus interest.

The decision is not final as Poh can still appeal, although Wynn’s attorney Vincent Law believes that the case constituted an important victory for the gaming industry.

Malaysia and Wynn, Tied into a Legal Pickle

Interestingly enough Wynn’s U.S. subsidiary, Wynn Resorts Ltd. is tied up with Malaysia in another way. Last year, Wynn filed a complaint against Malaysia-based Genting Berhad over a property built at the northern end of the Las Vegas Strip.

Genting Denies Wynn Copyright Claims, Prepares for Court

According to the complaint, Genting was intentionally copying Wynn and Encore Towers’ design in a bid to syphon off customers from its own property. Genting has since dismissed the statement, issuing their official statement at the end of 2018.

Moving into 2019, none of the parties has seemed prepared to relent. Genting’s World Resorts Las Vegas is estimated at $4 billion, making a hiatus or cacellation of construction work not an option.

Meanwhile, Wynn continues to maintain that the claims made in its unlawful competition lawsuit dated December 21 very much apply. However, Genting has since said that the allegations were “baseless”.

Here’s what Genting SVP PR and Development Michael Levoff had to say, cited by Review Journal:

Genting (Resorts World’s parent company) remains confident that once all of the relevant facts are presented the company will defeat Wynn’s baseless claims.

The two parties are expected to meet in court in Nevada on January 29. In so many ways, Wynn continues to be legally bound to Malaysia, and not always in a good way.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Greyhound Racing Fund Gets £3m Extra from Bookmakers

  • Grehyound racing to get extra £3 million in voluntary funding in 2019
  • Minister of Sport Mims Davies assists funding
  • Better welfare options for retired dogs to be introduced

Greyhound racing received a substantial £3 million in extra funding, after bookmakers have agreed to invest more into the industry in a bid to revitalize it.

British Greyhounds Get Financial Help in 2019

Greyhound racing in the United Kingdom is about to get a very generous financial package to the tune of £3 million, following a newly-agreed partnership whereby sports bookies are shedding extra cash to prop up the industry. Given the popularity of the segment, that is good news indeed.

Based on the self-starter scheme, the British Greyhound Racing Fund (BGRF) will sit at the impressive £10 million in 2019.
Several flagship brands have agreed to throw extra financial help, including:

The expansion will focus on improving the entire industry across the board, including expenses for veterinary staff as well as expansion of the existing aid framework which is intended at injured race dogs.

Money will also go to the Greyhound Trust, which is an initiative helping retired dogs find a new home. Part of the funding will be allocated to improving the safety at the 21 racetracks in the United Kingdom that host greyhound races.

Additional improvements will be made to the kennels and trainers’ vehicles will be provided with air conditioning, the statement says.

Government and Bookmakers Work Together

The voluntary contributions have been made with the help of the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and in the presence of Gambling Minister Mims Davies. Before the latest £3-investment, there was a number of other bookmakers which offered to back the greyhound fund, including:

  • Ladbrokes Coral
  • Bet365
  • JenningsBet

Mims Davies expressed her appreciation of the progress that has been made in supporting the industry:

I am delighted to have reached an agreement with leading operators to ensure the welfare of our greyhounds is protected and improved through this fund.

The news was indeed well-met by all involved organizations. Expressing their appreciation further, members of the GBGB and the Managing Director, Mark Bird, spoke highly of the voluntary contributions:

“The Greyhound Board are extremely grateful for the conclusion of the mediation and the commitment of the major bookmakers to contribute additional funds from their on-line businesses.”

BGRF Chairman Joe Scanlon explained that the money that has been received by all major offline and online bookmakers will contribute to establishing better welfare options for racing dogs throughout the entire network. Mr. Scanlon used the opportunity to thank the Minister and her team for having agreed to assist the matter.

Having been approved and launched on January 1, 2019, the British Greyhound Racing Fund will enjoy £10 million in total funding.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

New York Will Try Again for Poker Legislation

New York may be looking at a future in which online poker is legalized. Having found a new backer for its cause, the state will now rely on Senator Joseph Addabbo to drive a stake through the heart of the opposition.

New York Takes a Step Closer to Legalized Online Poke

Senator Joseph Addabbo is the new face of hope for online poker in New York. The senator has introduced a new bill by the name of S.00018, a document outlining the future of the legalized industry. In the document, the senator has laid bare multiply provisions that address specific points:

  • Taxation & license application
  • Treatment of the so-called “bad actors” and their affiliates
  • Available licenses

One particular advantage of the S.00018 is that it cites the case of the United States v. DiCristina, which looks into violations of the Illegal Gambling Business Act (IGBA), clearing the defendant of any fault.

In other words, DiCristina’s case establishes the credibility of poker as a “game of skill”, which is exactly what Senate Bill 18 is stating. As a result, Senator Addabbo is going to save himself the trouble of arguing about the nature of the game.

The focus will remain on establishing the legal groundwork so that customers are protected, which is a topic that seems to be easier to garner support for.

Not Everyone Is a Winner

Even though the bill is good news, not everyone is likely to be a winner. The text of the bill specifies that parties that have been complicit with offering online poker services to New York citizens in the past may be classified as “bad actors“. The same applies to any party that has facilitated the activities of these so-called “bad actors”.

Put simply, a bad actor is a card room that has been offering services without proper licensing. The result could be a ban on these brands once (and if) licenses become available.

The Specifics of Online Poke in New York

The bill seems to have been well-written covering all potential questions that may arise from the idea of legalizing online poker. Apart from citing evidence that poker is indeed a game of skill, the bill gives the specifics of the industry itself:

  • Each individual license will cost $10 million
  • Only 11 licenses in total will be available
  • All operators will be taxed at 15% of their gross gaming revenue
  • The first two months of taxation will be included in the license fee

As outlined by the bill, the industry seems to be favourable to consumers and businesses both. However, Mr. Addabbo is facing a tough passage not in the Senate, but in the Assembly.

The Assembly has been the major pitfall sponsors have so far been unable to overcome. In 2018, Clyde Vanel and J. Gary Pretlow promised to back a bill, which foundered, because Mr. Pretlow decided not to seek the votes necessary for the bill to clear.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Wynn Wins Temporary Extension on Report Confidentiality

  • Steve Wynn’s report remains confidential for the time being
  • Ruling judge Elizabeth Gonzalez will announce further hearings on January 11
  • The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) will meet on January 10 to discuss the case

A Nevada’s judge has decided against the release of a report describing the misconduct of former Wynn CEO Steve Wynn.

Steve Wynn Wins in Court, Keeps Report Private

Steve Wynn, the defamed casino mogul, has won a court case against the Massachusetts gaming regulator and will prevent the information collated in a special report over his alleged sexual misconduct from leaking to the press, at least for the time being. Mr. Wynn’s case argued that it was “privileged information” and as such it was off limits for anyone but the court to see.

On Friday, Clark County District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez in Nevada said that Mr. Wynn was entitled to discretion, ruling in his favor against the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC). The regulator had prepared a report looking into both Mr. Wynn and the company he used to chair.

Wynn Sues Genting Vegas for Copyright Infringement and More

The report focused on establishing how much Wynn executives knew about Mr. Wynn’s sexual harassment practices. The report also affected the company’s chances of procuring a license to operate an ambitious new project. The Encore Boston Harbor is worth $2.5 billion and it’s going live in June, that is if the MGC clears it for opening. This is in fact one of the key reason why Steve Wynn stepped down from his position.

Back to the report itself, Steve Wynn has repeatedly said that the information in the report must be kept private as per the attorney-client confidence agreement. The information contained in the document could also potentially leave Mr. Wynn vulnerable to unrelated lawsuits.

A Favorable Ruling – For Now

Upon examining the report, Ms. Gonzalez said that she would extend the ban on revealing the information of the report, leaving the defense and prosecutors to carry on with additional filings by January 25. Meanwhile, Ms. Gonzalez is expected to speak on January 11 and announce how the case will proceed in future.

At the same time, the MGC will also have a meeting on January 10 during which it will consider again the Wynn license. One of the dangers for the company is that the MGC may decided to revoke the company’s gaming license, costing it billions and inflicting a heavy blow to it.

Of course, such a decision will trigger multiple lawsuits which the state and MGC must be prepared to handle at the same time. However, if it turns out that Wynn executives knew about the ongoing harassment by Mr. Wynn, then it would seem like the watchdog would have a very serious reason not to OK a gambling license.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Caesars and Oneida Indian Nation Partner in New York

  • Caesars and Oneida Indian Nation team up for sports betting in New York
  • New York held a referendum on betting in 2013
  • Senator Joe Addabbo is the man to watch for in 2019

Caesars Entertainment has tied up a successful partnership with Oneida Indian Nation, a tribal operator. This is an important stepping stone for the future development of the sports betting industry, paving the way for co-existence between competitive casino brands and native operators.

Caesars Entertainment and Oneida Indian Nation Develop Sports Betting

Renowned casino operator Caesars Entertainment and Oneida Indian Nation will be working together to introduce sports betting in three casinos across New York. In anticipation of the move, the pair is hoping that the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) and lawmakers will vote in favor of legislation that will bring sports betting to the region. If all goes according to plan, Caesars will be present at three properties, including:

  • Turning Stone Resort Casino
  • Yellow Brick Road Casino
  • Point Place Casino

All casinos are located close to Syracuse, which is one of the most populous cities in the state, allowing themselves a quick access to potentially huge crowds of gamers eager to place legal wagers. Regulation in New York is still being discussed, but the partnership is a clear indication that top brands have enough reasons to believe in the favorable development of the situation.

We are eagerly awaiting the NIGC’s review of this innovative new partnership involving a licensing and branding arrangement – Christian Stuart, Caesars’ VP of Gaming

Christian Stuart has embraced the idea of rolling out the casino’s operations in New York and at the designated locations, predicting a strong growth and expansion of the market in the state.

New York’s attempts to pass a working sports betting bill have been bolstered by Senator John Bonacic who nevertheless failed to see the legislation through. Mr. Bonacic is now also no longer a senator, leaving Senator Joe Addabbo in his stead.

We are eagerly awaiting the National Indian Gaming Commission’s review of this innovative new partnership involving a licensing and branding arrangement. – Stuart

As head of the Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering, Mr. Addabbo, has also said that he would seek to continue the efforts for the legalization of the sports betting industry in the state. Several commercial casinos have partnered with various iGaming operators who also offer sports betting in anticipation of the potential legalization.

DOJ Could Consider Flip-Flopping on Its 2011 Decision

In 2019, lawmakers will have to come together and make a decision about the future of the state’s betting industry. Despite the strong commitment from operators and companies, and even legislators, there’s still a lot to be desired. New York’s sports bills have been shot one after another, leaving the state in limbo.

However, the state does have four commercial properties that have been offering sports betting since around 2013 when the state’s residents voted during a referendum to legalize the industry. A lot of work needs to be done to see the full-scale launch of sports betting, but all of this is possible in the months to come.

The man at the helm, Mr. Addabbo, is now responsible for spearheading the activity.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

MLB Inks US, Japan Gambling Deal With MGM

MGM Resorts International has recently entered into a new partnership and endorsement of the Major League Baseball, a move that is expected to significantly improve its sportsbook game. The partnership deal between the two will encompass gambling rights between in both the United States and Japan and will see MGM Resorts International become the official sponsor of the NBA, the MLB, and WNBA as well as the NHL. With all these partnerships, MGM Resorts International now boasts of official sponsorships of three out of the five major sports leagues in the US. As it stands, the only pro sports league that has been left out is the National Football League but even they have given their individual teams the liberty to choose to get sponsorships.

However, of all the professional sports leagues in the United States, the Major League Baseball has been the most vocal when it comes to the issues of sports betting challenging the integrity of sporting activities. This is very understandable considering the fact the MLB has been the scene of two of the biggest gambling scandals in US history – they naturally have to be wary. As such, when inking the sponsorship with MGM, the league was very open about its plans to ensure the integrity of the sports, something that they hope to achieve by asking MGM to include additional integrity management measures into the sponsorship deal.

What the Deal Entails

As per the terms of the agreement, MGM Resorts International will be allowed to promote itself with the MLB network and the MLB teams. In addition to that, the gambling operator will also be allowed to set up shops at stadiums as well as MGM properties which promote baseball and demonstrate baseball technique. To facilitate most of these plans, the company has plans of launching small pop-up sites that will be offering pitching techniques, batting practice, baserunning practice as well as practice with other important fundamentals of the game.

MGM Resorts will also be running its commercials on the MLB network and the MLB’s At Batt app while branding itself as the MLB’s authorized gaming company. The gaming company will also be highly represented at major events in the league’s events including the All-Star Game and playoffs – this will also be the same for such events as the League of Championships, the Division Series, and the World Series.

One thing that is hard to dismiss is the fact that the new deal with the MLB effectively gives MGM Resorts International a near monopoly on league sponsorships in the United States. In fact, the company has reportedly been in talks with some NFL teams and we should, therefore, expect news of newer partnerships or sponsorships in the near future.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Gambling Addiction Clinic To Open in Northern England

Gambling addiction or problem gambling has been one of the most significant emerging issues in as far as gambling is concerned. With more and more gambling facilities and platforms being introduced and becoming even more accessible, regulators and various authorities have begun to look deeper into the issue of problem gambling which means that there is still hope for people with the problem. One of the most recent developments in this regard is the decision by the United Kingdom’s National Health Service to open a clinic that will be treating people who have gambling addictions in the north of England making it the very first clinic of its kind outside London.

This new clinic is set to be opened in before the summer of 2019 and was made possible by a $1.5 million grant from a charity which happens to be funded by GambleAware. This is particularly great for people outside London since, as it stands, gambling addicts must travel to south London to get treatment. The problem gambling clinic will be called the NHS Northern Gambling Clinic and it will be run with a partnership of the GamCare network and the NHS Foundation.

Among the services that the clinic will be providing will be mental health counseling as well as social services for the gambling addicts – researches have found that people with gambling disorders need help with a number of different problems including debt, bankruptcy, crime, drug use, suicide, and even job loss. In essence, the goal of the clinic is to not only help the gambling addicts break their addiction but also give them the necessary psychological treatment and counseling so that they are able to get back on their feet financially. All these will be complemented with group therapy sessions which will help the patients to open up about some of the issues that they face.

United Kingdom’s Gambling Statistics

Gamblers in the United Kingdom have so many options and a number of critics have pointed out that the availability of gambling products is part of the problem. Gamblers area able to wager online or at land-based facilities for almost all of their favorite sporting activities. The same goes for online casino and online poker games.

Research shows that almost two million in the United Kingdom are problem gamblers and nearly 400,00 of them are said to be gambling addicts. However, the government has been allegedly ignoring the issue of problem gambling because of the money that gambling brings into the coffers of the country. However, there have some moves by the British government to regulate the gambling industry further in the hopes that they would be able to deal with the issue.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

DOJ Could Consider Flip-Flopping on Its 2011 Decision

The Department of Justice (DOJ) could cancel a former decision it made back in 2011, regarding the remit of the Wire Act of 1961. According to the then Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), the Wire Act applied only to sports betting. However, this may not be the case if reports turn out to be true, with the OLC making a complete about-face on their former decision.

The Significance of 2011’s DOJ Wire Act Decision

Petitioned in 2009 by the states of Illinois and New York, the Department of Justice (DOJ) spent 3 years mulling the nature of the Wire Act of 1961, which the plaintiffs said, affected only sports betting. Three years after the states had filed their petition, the DOJ’s Office of Legal Council (OLC) reached a final decision in December, 2011.

The Wire Act, OLC’s opinion stated, doesn’t apply to other form of online gambling, including, but not limited to:

  • Poker
  • Card rooms
  • Lotteries

From the standpoint of Illinois and New York, that was the decision that the pair had hoped for, starting to develop their lotteries both in land-based venues, but also expanding online and across states.

Poker also benefited, albeit timidly. From 2011 through 2013, different legislations passed, making the game legal in several states, most notably:

  • New Jersey
  • Nevada
  • Delaware

These states were the pioneers of legalized poker. And it may all be coming to an end now, as reports have surfaced that The DOJ’s 2011 decision could be cancelled.

The Wire Act interpretation has been called “bizarre” by Senator Lindsey Graham, a close friend to casino mogul, Sheldon Adelson, who has been a sworn opponent of the online industry, seeing it as a strong competitor to his own casino business.

What Does a Cancellation of the OLC’s Opinion Mean for Online Poker?

There are certainly sufficient reasons for concern when it comes to pivotal changes in legislation. In the short term, there is little evidence to suggest that the industry will be disrupted. State laws in Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania are iron-clad and they would hardly suffer interference from the federal government.

Orrin Hatch and Chuck Schumer Deliver the Integrity Act

Lotteries are in immediate danger, experts opine, as they are based on systems that are intertwined and inherently dependent on one another. Should the state consider canceling the endorsement of online gambling products, the grid may start going off in individual states, sending ripples across the entire network.

Another danger is that if the legalization of online poker is targeted, along with that of online casinos, then the offshore industry will again re-double its efforts in pursuit of more ground from the United States, which is bad for customer protection.

Will the Opinion Pass?

While respected sources have confirmed that an opinion has bene drafted and prepared, there’s no evidence yet to suggest that it will be delivered before Christmas or at all. While the legislation would certainly be disruptive, its short-term implications are not entirely clear.

One thing is for certain, though. With the offense on sports betting from senators Hatch and Schumer, and the now reportedly renewed efforts to curb the expansion of the online gambling industry, the challenges ahead businesses are substantial.

No short-term implications may indeed follow, but investors, card rooms and iGaming companies will have to tread carefully.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

MRG and Bethard Ready to Grow in Swedish Market

A total of 21 companies have obtained a Swedish license in anticipation of the full regulation of the iGaming industry. Swedish brands MRG and Bethard have become the latest companies to procure the desired benchmark and join the fraternity of companies ready to launch their operations as early as January 1, 2019.

MRG and Bethard Obtain iGaming Licenses

The Swedish iGaming company MRG has just procured licenses to kickstart online casinos in its home country, with Mr. Green and Evoke Gaming rolling-out the full offer, acting as subsidiaries for the company.

As a result, a number of websites will become operational as early as January, including Mr. Green, Redbet, Vinnarum, Bertil and MamaMiaBingo, with the company clearly diversifying its efforts as early on as it can.

In the official press release, MRG CEO Per Norman expressed his satisfaction with the recent developments, noting that his company was looking forward to provide Swedish gamers with a product that is truly superior.

We are especially happy about the strong emphasis on responsible gaming in the Swedish regulation since Green Gaming has been part of our strategy since the start of the company 10 years ago. – MRG CEO Per Norman

MRG also operates in 13 separate markets, offering highly-polished iGaming products through its subsidiaries. Bethard alone, owns 16 flagship brands and licensed websites, considerably boosting the positions of the company in the sector.

In their own official statement, Bethard cited the company’s founder and executive Erik Skarp who also welcomed the newly-presented opportunity, cheering at the prospect of bringing the company’s products to Sweden.

Sweden is, for many reasons, a very dear market to us and I am personally looking forward to show what we can do in terms of responsible gaming on our home market. Bethard founder Erik Skarp

According to Mr. Skarp, the goal of Bethard is to “be a truly responsible gaming company” and to consolidate its footprint across new and existing markets. With the latest additions of casinos, Sweden now faces 21 licensed companies awaiting to enter the market at the turn of the year.

More Operators Arrive in Sweden

While the MRG’s licensing deals are important, they are far from the only companies to break into the Swedish market. Svenska Spel will be re-emerging in the freshly-regulated market on January 1, hoping to get a head-start on the many other that will follow.

Meanwhile, Bethard has reaffirmed its intentions to stay vigilant of new marketing prospects, including in Germany, where the company has been gaining ground.

Bethard is also planning a move on the Irish market, although the company openly suggests that the newly-proposed Irish tax is a reason for concern. However, the Irish government is likely to go back on the proposed sports betting tax hike, which would boost the amount collected to 2%.

Sweden will have a lot of hard work to do, with the country guaranteeing the safety of consumers and keeping nefarious third-parties at bay. The country’s re-branded Lotteriinspektionen regulator will take care of enacting all new measures.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Slovakia Is Close to Signing Gambling Act into Law

Slovakia is edging closer to becoming the next open market for iGaming products in the European Union (EU), following similar moves from Sweden and Poland. While lawmakers have been dragging their feet on the issue, a number of proponents of legalized gambling have been throwing their full support behind a legal framework.

Slovakia to Become a Free iGaming Country

A while back, the Slovakian Ministry of Finance drafted a piece of legislation referred to as the Gambling Act. Following months of debate, the bill has finally cleared parliament, garnering the support it needed all along.

In July, 2018, the bill was submitted to the European Commission, which regulates and approves gambling laws on the territory of the EU. Following a three-month standstill period, the bill now only awaits President Andrej Kiska’s signature to become a law.

The Gambling Act is an important turning point in the history of Slovakian iGaming, transforming the industry from a no man’s land into a regulated market where consumer protection is the guiding principle. Similar changes have been recently passed in other Member States, including Romania and the Czech Republic along with Denmark, which has been posting ever stronger results after the collapse of the Danske Spil monopoly.

On the Road to Regulation and Licensing

The bill will grant iGaming companies in the country a grace period until March 1, 2019 during which all interested businesses will have to obtain their online casino licenses. The first casinos will officially launch on July 1, 2019.

Now that the market is finally opening up, the bill will also reform sports betting and offer fixed-odds betting licenses, allowing companies to apply for a permit starting on July 1, although any business that wants to offer these segments will have to wait until July, 2020 before they can roll out their products.

As most new markets, Slovakia is not hesitant about taxing any operator lightly. A 23% gross revenue tax has been voted for all online casinos, including fixed-odds sports betting and peer-to-peer online games, such as most skill-based titles.

The bulk of the proceedings will be used to create a new regulator, which will be able to oversee the industry and make sure that no consumer protection laws are being violated. While this is good news, Slovakia will most likely go the same path that Denmark and others have walked at first.

In Denmark, Danske Spil used to hold onto most operations for a long while after the country had legalized sports. This monopoly is finally starting to crack year in and year out, but Danske Spil remains a favored son nevertheless.

Slovakia will also support its state-owned gaming operator, TIPOS, while competition is intensifying. If other markets are any indication, however, TIPOS is likely to soon start losing positions to far more competitive and accommodating products brought around by the vibrant competition that the newly-regulated market intends to create.

The legislation also specifies that gambling venues will have to be shut down at least 12 days a year, which is another precautionary measure against gambling addiction. Slovakia has much to figure out and a reliable law is the right way to go about it.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Offshore Gambling in Australia To Drop Significantly

The online gambling market in Australia has undergone some significant changes over the course of the past few years, as lawmakers aim to cut down on offshore gambling. Now, it has been reported that offshore gambling activity is expected to drop by over half in the coming year.

Online Gambling Reform

In 2017, Australia authorities enforced reforms that gave the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) more power to take action against unlicensed online casino operators. This meant that offshore gambling sites would face maximum penalties of $8 million per day if they continue to offer services to Australian players.

“Over the past year, we’ve moved decisively to disrupt the provision of illegal offshore gambling to Australians,” says Nerida O’Loughlin, Chair of ACMA. “If you provide prohibited or unlicensed gambling services to customers in Australia, you are breaching Australian law and we will take enforcement action.”

Since then, the ACMA has investigated nearly 140 websites. It was found that 58 weren’t offering their services to Australians after all, but the figure increased to 83 after the reform was introduced. As such, ACMA’s compliance action is certainly working in helping Australian authorities do away with unlicensed online gambling.

As a result of the reforms, ACMA anticipates that online gambling activity will drop by 50 over the course of the next year. In 2017, $450 million was spent at offshore casino websites, and it is expected that the number will drop to $200 million by the end of this year.

The reform has been an effective method of culling unlicensed gambling operators. It is quite an interesting stance, considering most countries are moving towards online gambling regulation while Australia is trying to get further and further away from it.

Australia’s Gambling Problem

For years, the Australian government has been working hard to reduce problem gambling rates across the country. In 2016, it was found that Australians lost more money to gambling than in any other developed country. Australians lost $990 per person – much more than players in Singapore, the runner-up, who lost $650 per person.

It seems that authorities in the country are targeting offshore gambling because it provides players with yet another outlet for spending money on casino games and sports betting. As such, Australian lawmakers refuse to license online casino websites and want to stop any online operators from doing so.

There’s no telling if these reforms to stop offshore gambling will actually reduce problem gambling rates in Australia. However, it is still an effective campaign that has reduced the number of offshore casino sites in the country. Only time will tell if this will be a good thing for Australians, stopping problem gambling from becoming an even bigger problem.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

IGT and NetEnt to Provide Online Casino Games in PA

Things are developing very quickly in Pennsylvania’s online gambling market. The state has only just started awarding licenses to local casinos, who are already teaming up with some of the biggest names in online gaming. This week, Penn National Gaming has signed deals with two leading online games providers, which are sure to put its new digital casino ahead of the competition when it goes live in a few months.

NetEnt Working with Penn National Gaming

Penn National Gaming was one of the first casinos to receive a license to operate online gambling activities in Pennsylvania, and things are off to a great start. This week, the company has signed a deal with NetEnt, one of the leading online casino games providers in Europe, to provide games at HollywoodCasino.com.  

It certainly goes to show that NetEnt’s hard work always pays off. Back in September, the games developer applied for a supplier license in Pennsylvania. The company had the foresight to anticipate that local PA casinos would be eager to partner with experienced online games providers, and made the right decision to file an application.

It was a wise move for NetEnt to throw its hat in the ring early. Even though NetEnt and the other online games developers that are now working with Pennsylvania casinos are already licensed in gaming hubs like Malta and Isle of Man, they have to go through the same process in every state where they hope to offer casino games. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will have to vet these companies to ensure that they are reputable games providers and will be able to provide safe gaming experiences to players across the state.

IGT Enters the Pennsylvania Online Casino Market

The next international games developer to enter the Pennsylvania online casino market is IGT. This week, the company also signed a deal with Penn National Gaming to provide games on HollywoodCasino.com.

The great thing about this partnership is that it will provide fans of land-based casino games with access to their favourite titles online. IGT is known for manufacturing some of the most popular brick-and-mortar slots games like Cleopatra, Wheel of Fortune and Siberian Storm, and players will be thrilled that they can now play these games without having to leave home.

While NetEnt is very popular in the European online gambling market, the company’s games won’t be well-known yet among Pennsylvania players. As such, Penn National Gaming has made a very smart move by getting two developers on board who are from two different backgrounds. Surely, while players are first drawn in to Hollywood Casino by the games they already know and love, they will want to stay to experience the new and innovative titles from NetEnt’s online gaming collection.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Sportsbetting Continues American Expansion

When it comes to sportsbetting expansion across America, things are moving quickly along. We’re seeing more and more states considering the option of legalizing sportsbetting, with Illinois and DC holding hearings on the topic – while a casino in New Mexico has just gone ahead and started taking wagers.

Gambling Hearings in Illinois and DC

At the House of Representatives in Illinois, lawmakers held a hearing on a potential gambling expansion which would include sportsbetting, online casino games and daily fantasy sports. Local casino operator expressed their support of expanding the gambling market within the state while representatives from sports leagues suggested that they should receive a portion of all wagers.

Some stakeholders expressed concerns that they would lose out on revenue due to increased competition. However, states like New Jersey and Delaware that have introduced online gambling have only seen revenue increase across the board, particularly in land-based gaming venues. This has resulted in more money being in paid in taxes and more jobs being created – both of which are huge benefits to the economy.

In the end, it seemed as though nothing will be done anytime soon. Even though the state Senate approved a bill in 2017, lawmakers haven’t done very much to move things forward. Now, even after this hearing, the fate of online gambling in Illinois is still unknown.

In DC, lawmakers came together to discuss amending the state’s gambling laws to include sportsbetting as a legalized activity. Things were certainly more positive here, as the Council has agreed to ensure that the law is approved before the end of the year. The only issue is deciding whether sportsbetting activities will be run by the DC Lottery or several different licensees.

New Mexico is Already Accepting Wagers

While some states are still humming and hawing over whether or not they should allow sportsbetting among their residents, New Mexico has simply powered on ahead. The Pueblo of Santa Ana tribe has started accepting wagers at the Santa Ana Star Casino & Hotel.

The venue has not mentioned any plans of launching online betting operations or allowing off-site wagers. Currently, punters can place their bets using four windows and two automated kiosks at the Santa Ana Star. There is one specific restriction, and that is the prohibition of betting on college teams.

This is an interesting one, as the move has been made without official state approval. Instead, the tribe has insisted that sportsbetting is included in the tribal-state gaming compact as a Class III gaming activity. So, any venues that want to launch sports betting in New Mexico will likely have to be tribal casinos and take a similar route. Other gaming companies will have to wait until the state’s lawmakers approve betting across New Mexico.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

The Stars Group Cleared for Sky Bet Takeover

In April, The Stars Group (TSG) announced its plans to acquire Sky Bet (SBG) for a whopping $4.7 billion. Due to the large sum of money being exchanged and the size of both companies involved, the UK Competitions & Markets authority put the deal on hold – but the deal has now been given the go-ahead.

A Good Thing for Customers

Three months after the deal was announced, the CMA issued an enforcement order to freeze the integration process. The authority’s goal was to investigate the acquisition and ensure the deal would not put players at a disadvantage in any way.

After months of looking into the issue, the CMA has decided that the coming together of both companies would be a good thing for customers.  The Stars Group will benefit from SkyBet’s global brand portfolio, and be able to offer its products on a larger scale. Since the United Kingdom is the world’s largest regulated sports betting market, The Stars Group’s products will have an increased presence in a country where the local government supports the growth of the online gaming industry.

SBG is also known for its innovative casino and sportsbook products, as well as its wide range of popular mobile apps. Now, The Stars Group will be able to offer these items to its own players, providing them with greater range of high-quality gaming products.

The Stars Group already operates Bet Stars, a popular online sportsbook – but it still doesn’t have the same kind of reach or reputation as Sky Bet. Now Sky Bet is part of the Stars Group, the company will not only have access to its larger player pool but also its innovative technology and gaming platforms that have been responsible for SkyBet’s impressive reputation.

Players are sure to benefit from this acquisition, as they will have access to better technology and more innovative gaming experiences. As such, the CMA was certainly correct in its decision to approve the deal.

Sports Betting Expansion

The acquisition of Sky Bet will also help The Stars Group in the American sports betting market. Now that states have been cleared to legalize wagering on sports, TSG will be one of the more attractive operators.

In states like New Jersey, betting licenses are only offered to local casinos. However, since these venues don’t have experience offering sports betting products to players, they have to team up with other operators that have been in the market for quite some time. With SkyBet’s technology under its belt, The Stars Group will become a popular choice among American casino operators who are looking to team up with an experience sports betting company.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Pennsylvania Grants First Sports Betting Licenses

The first two sports betting licenses have been handed out in Pennsylvania. Parx Casino in Bensalem and the Hollywood Casino in Dauphin County are now permitted to offer local punters the ability to wager on sports.

Huge Land-Based Betting Plans

Both casinos have big plans for the introduction of sports betting in the state. Parx Casino is currently preparing to transform its 360 Lounge into a temporary sportsbook which will feature a dozen self-service kiosks and seven sports betting windows. It will also have two 9-foot tall televisions displaying odds, along with a 75-inch TV showing games.

The casino operator will also be renovating the South Philadelphia Turf Club into a sports book. It will cost $1 million to complete, and the venue will feature 150 HD televisions that will allow visitors to “watch pretty much any game that’s on in the country,” according to John Dixon, the Chief Technology Officer at Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment.

The Hollywood Casino’s sportsbook will be located in the venue’s existing horseracing simulcast theatre. It will have 60 televisions, and players will be able to watch almost any game.

Both casinos  want to get their sportsbooks up and running shortly. Parx has stated that their sportsbetting offerings should be available by November while Hollywood Casino hopes to start things offer within the “next few months”.

What About Online?

The online market is a completely different beast, so Parx and Hollywood Casino are proceeding with caution. While their land-based sportsbooks should be available in the autumn or winter, it will be a little while longer before players are able to place bets online.

Executives at Parx Casino would like to have online sportsbetting up and running by January 2019. They have stated that it would take them a little while long to feature online gambling, as there are more regulatory approvals that need to be made. All of the vendors that contribute to the online sportsbook have to licensed and tested, which tends to be quite a long process.

One of the main reasons the operators want to get online sports betting live as soon as possible because it allows for in-play betting – a very lucrative market. According to Dixon, it’s “just not fast enough” to run in-game betting using tellers and kiosks. Punters need to be able to access an online betting system using their own devices in order to place wagers on games that are in progress.

So, it is hoped that the whole shebang – both online and land-based betting – will be available to Pennsylvania players by the start of 2019. It will be a hugely exciting development in the American online gambling market, and we can’t wait to see just how popular sports betting becomes in Pennsylvania and other regulated states.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Congressional Hearing on Sports Betting Held

Just a few months ago, the American federal government legalized sports betting by overturning PASAPA (the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992). Since then, we have seen many states begin offering sports betting services to their residents, several international operators make their way into the market and a few sports league announce betting partnerships.

Now that we know there is huge potential for growth in the American sports betting market, it’s time to determine the best way forward. To ensure that we go about this in the right way, the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations, held a hearing to find out what various industry professionals think of the newly legalized sports betting industry.

Perspectives from Both Sides

The hearing was quite balanced, hearing from a number of industry professionals from different areas. Pro gambling campaigners, anti-gambling activists and executives in the sporting world were all present to make their voices heard. These included:

  • Sara Slane of the American Gaming Association
  • Becky Harris of the Nevada Gaming Control Board
  • Jocelyn Moore of the NFL
  • Jon Bruning, a counsellor for Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling (CSIG)
  • Les Bernal, national director of Stop Predatory Gambling

One of the major concerns by many anti-gambling advocates was the protection of the integrity of sport. Moore’s testimony even quoted a portion of PASPA, which said:

“Sports gambling conducted pursuant to State law threatens the integrity and character of, and public confidence in, professional and amateur sports, instills inappropriate values in the Nation’s youth, misappropriates the goodwill and popularity of professional and amateur sports organizations, and dilutes and tarnishes the service marks of such organizations.”

Push for Federal Policies

Moving forward, there is the need for strict policies in placed to regulate the sports betting market. While it was argued that these are needed on a federal level, states have already started this process and have been successful so far.

New Jersey, for example, has quickly put together a sports betting framework that is working.  In fact, the state has already enacted regulations that congress is likely to consider when introducing sports betting policies.

New Jersey has been able to draw up rules and regulations that ensure gaming operators have the best interests of punters at heart while being able to generate impressive income from betting. Other states, and even congress itself, should certainly take a look at the way New Jersey is regulating its sports betting market for a great example of how it’s done. With these rules in mind, congress could certainly regulate sports betting in such a way that protects the integrity of sports.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.