Arkansas, Louisiana Voters to Decide on Legal Sports Betting, DFS

Voters in six states will decide issues related to gaming during the mid-term elections on Tuesday, but only two will consider measures directly related to sports betting and daily fantasy sports. Arkansans will have the opportunity to issue casino licenses to four casinos across the state, and those casinos could then offer gaming, including sports betting.

In Louisiana, voters will decide whether or not to legalize daily fantasy sports games, but the Louisiana state constitution requires that this decision be made on a parish-by-parish basis. In the end, some Louisiana parishes could vote to make daily fantasy games legal while others could vote against it.

If approved, Arkansas’ Issue 4 would authorize casinos in Crittenden, Garland, Pope, and Jefferson counties. Two of the licenses would automatically be granted to Southland Racing Corporation and Oaklawn Jockey Club. For the other two licenses, applicants in Pope and Jefferson counties would have to apply and prove their experience in casino gaming.


West Virginia Sports Betting Rules Ignore Pro Leagues’ Intimidation Tactics


The West Virginia Lottery Commission on Wednesday approved final rules governing sports wagering, rejecting written comments from several professional sports leagues, reports Jeff Jenkins of West Virginia MetroNews. The comments on the emergency regulations, submitted on behalf of the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and the PGA Tour, requested among other things that the Lottery require state-licensed sportsbooks to use “official league data” for purposes of grading wagers.

The emergency regulations allowed licensed casinos to begin taking wagers, while leaving the regulations open for additional comment before becoming permanent.

“Sports pool operators shall use only official league data to determine the result of ‘tier two’ sports wagers, provided that the data is available from governing bodies or a data sub-licenser based on commercially-reasonable terms,” wrote high-powered lobbyist Jeremy Kudon of the law firm Orrick, on behalf of the three sports leagues in an Aug. 30 letter obtained by MetroNews.


Here’s What Happened at the House Judiciary Hearing on Sports Betting


A House Judiciary subcommittee hearing titled “Post-PASPA: An Examination of Sports Betting in America” proceeded on Thursday under the shadow of a more high-profile hearing in the Senate.

Little new ground was covered during the one-and-a-half hour session that largely afforded the five witnesses an opportunity to reiterate their main positions underscored in the written statements submitted prior to the session.

Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations, Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), began by noting “This is just the beginning of the conversation,” and concluded by opining that “for Congress to do nothing” on the matter would be the worst possible outcome. What follows is a synopsis of highlights and lowlights.



Read more Here’s What Happened at the House Judiciary Hearing on Sports Betting on SportsHandle.

NJ Man Says FanDuel Won’t Pay; Company Investigating

The post NJ Man Says FanDuel Won’t Pay; Company Investigating appeared first on SportsHandle.

A New Jersey man says he made a wager on Sunday at the FanDuel SportsBook at the Meadowlands Racetrack and that FanDuel won’t pay up. The bet, an in-game wager, would have paid $82,610 on a $110 wager and was made with 1 minute, 10 seconds remaining in the Denver Broncos-Oakland Raiders contest.

According to a report from News12 in New Jersey, FanDuel says the ticket was a glitch and is looking into the matter. But the bettor, Anthony Prince, is all but demanding FanDuel pay out immediately.

“They said their system had a glitch in it and they’re not obligated to pay for glitches,” Prince told News12. “The other guy said, ‘You should take what we give you because we don’t have to give you [anything] at all.’ I said, ‘Wow, for real?’”


Read more NJ Man Says FanDuel Won’t Pay; Company Investigating on SportsHandle.

Players’ Claim of ‘Serious Consequences’ of Sports Betting Is A Hail Mary

The post Players’ Claim of ‘Serious Consequences’ of Sports Betting Is A Hail Mary appeared first on SportsHandle.
Professional athletes are hungry for competition and compensation, and they’re now seeing the same thing as leagues, owners and gaming businesses. With an expansion of legal sports wagering taking root in the U.S., players want a nice piece of the sports betting pie.
But same as the leagues that employ them, players’ unions for the major professional sports organizations are seeking some cut of the revenue based on a faulty, self-serving premise. The leagues, of course, are asking for a direct cut of sports betting revenue based on a claim in two dozen states for a poorly-received request for a sports betting “integrity fee” or “royalty.” Now, the players’ associations are taking the position that legal sports wagering poses a pernicious threat to athletes.
As reported by ESPN’s David Purdum, Casey Schwab, Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs for the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), said last week of expanded legal wagering: “There are serious consequences, particularly for the athletes. Because of those consequences, the athlete’s voice must be heard, particularly as we contemplate sports betting in the country.”

With The Number of Legal Sports Betting States Set to Increase, Now All of a Sudden Players’ Unions Change Claim ‘Serious Consequences’ Afoot.

nfl sports betting states nflpa claims consequences
NFLPA president and free agent lineman Eric Winston

Per Purdum, Schwab said the unions are concerned foremost with player privacy, data and their public perception — moreso than sports betting monetization opportunities. But now after years of being public figures, of having injury reports an accepted reality and of having reporters in their faces, for the players associations to now get amped up is ridiculous. When it comes down to it, nothing will be changing for the players or players’ unions in a world with expanded legal sports betting.
Wagering on games and specific player events has long existed in the form illegal wagering (a humongous market that will continue to exist), regular fantasy sports and daily fantasy sports. With a legal sports wagering expansion, it’s business as usual for the players. They will not be required to do anything differently. They want a piece of the pie — and naturally they would, business is business —  but their argument is a Hail Mary and Aaron Rodgers isn’t at quarterback.
The argument is an extension of an April joint statement put out on behalf of all four of the major pro sports leagues. They wrote:

“The time has come to address not just who profits from sports gambling, but also the costs. Our unions have been discussing the potential impact of legalized gambling on players’ privacy and publicity rights, the integrity of our games and the volatility on our businesses.”

The unions are making an obvious emotional appeal.
The above “consequences” position boils down to the claim that fantasy sports and bettors already “dehumanize” athletes on social media after games, per NFLPA president Eric Winston, and that expanded legal sports wagering will exacerbate that.
Meanwhile, the widely accepted (and celebrated) reality is that fantasy sports and sports betting has helped explode the popularity of NFL games. There is empirical evidence on this front, and as a consequence, the engagement has helped generate incredible NFL TV contracts that increase every cycle (ditto for the other major U.S. pro leagues).
Numerous players have embraced fantasy sports and encouraged fantasy players to draft them, while some appear on fantasy-focused shows. Former Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew and Chargers tight end Antonio Gates guest starred on FX’s “The League.”
nfl fantasy football sports betting states legal what now
Jones-Drew now co-hosts “NFL Fantasy Live.” And of course, the NFL provides its own platform for fantasy football and a plethora of fantasy sport content. If players truly have a problem with player privacy, data and their public perception, they should take it up with The Shield.
On the legal front, the notion that “publicity rights” would prohibit certain wagers or data usage on has been litigated in federal court in a fantasy sports context. The case reached the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, which found that information from sports contests is part of the public domain, and therefore that MLB team owners and the players’ union could not bar names and stats from being used commercially.
In the sports betting context, unions will try to distinguish wagers such “proposition bets” — for example the number of receptions Antonio Brown would have in a certain game. It’s a losing argument that will provide as much leverage as a single palm against a sled stacked high with 45-pound plates.
What about injury reporting and privacy? First of all, they were created for people wagering on sports. The league freely provides the information and if that’s now objectionable, unions can try to negotiate it away with the leagues. Nevada bettors, bettors in Europe and those wagering in other “offshore” jurisdictions where wagering is legal have been relying on this information for a long time. Why the sudden claims of privacy issues?
The availability of such information is part of being a public figure and a professional athlete. Injury reports are crucial information for fantasy sports, sports wagering, and likewise people who don’t give a damn about either. Before season-ticketing-holding Joe Fan shows up at Heinz Field, he wants to know if Ben Roethlisberger is going to be suiting up.
Players for a long time have accepted that certain health information, even the kind they probably would prefer keep private, is part of the deal. In the past, leagues have disclosed everything from weird injuries (it’s always MLB players, such as the Clint Barmes deer meat incident) to mental illnesses to quasi-health matters like domestic disputes.
Players have long gotten booed off the field for bad performances because they’re just bad performances — not because they failed to go “over” on a reception total or otherwise doom a wager. Everyone is subject from criticism at work. Getting booed is part of the game.

Ultimately, the Claim of “Serious Consequences” Is About Money.

“There needs to be a way for those of us, the players and the owners who create this game, to enjoy some of that revenue,” said NBA Players’ Association executive director Michele Roberts in an interview with ESPN’s Dan Le Batard in March. “We haven’t yet aligned ourselves to the extent we are, but I certainly don’t disagree that’s a conversation worth pursuing.”
And back to the NFL, said Schwab: “I look at the landscape for commercial opportunities, and I don’t see a pot of gold.”
[Also See: Pittsburgh Pirates Take Sports Betting ‘Integrity Fee’ to Whole New Level]
This conversation about sports betting needs to be had between the leagues and players during the next negotiations of their collective bargaining agreements. The NFL CBA discussion is expected already to be  a contentious round of talks with a work stoppage regarded as likely.
The leagues may not find an overflowing pot of sports betting gold, but they are in the process of selling “official data” — player performance data, that is — to sports betting operators. There will be more partnerships and sponsorships to be had, TV contracts will become more valuable and the pie will invariably grow, and player salaries along with it.

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How Will Nevada Answer New Questions About Legal Sportsbook Regulation?

The post How Will Nevada Answer New Questions About Legal Sportsbook Regulation? appeared first on SportsHandle.
Last week the Nevada Gaming Control Board posted the following notice:

“The Board recognizes the potential impact the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Murphy v. NCAA could have on Nevada’s sports wagering industry. In addition, various divisions of the Board are presently reviewing Regulation 22 (Race Book and Sports Pools) to determine which, if any, regulations need changes. As such, the Board would like comments from the industry regarding changes it feels are appropriate for Regulation 22. Please submit your comments no later than August 6, 2018.”

In the past when I would read these type of notices, I would chuckle, knowing most of the time the agency had already decided what they wanted to do and were simply following the state’s requirements to notice the industry. This time though, they might just be listening as to what regulations need to change to accommodate those Nevada bookmakers who are looking to centralize the management of their sportsbook operations, and I sincerely hope they do listen.
Sportsbooks have always been a challenge for regulators – lines made based on opinions; movements made based on recent and expected action and/or changes in team/player information; diverse lines between books – no simple basic math for the reviewing regulators to rely on, so confusing for the inexperienced.
Please click here to read the remainder of the column at Gaming Today.
RelatedMailbag Mythbusting: The Wire Act and Sports Betting, Explained
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Sports Betting Regulators, Officials Urge Patience– to Avoid Fumbling

The post Sports Betting Regulators, Officials Urge Patience– to Avoid Fumbling appeared first on SportsHandle.
Don’t rush! If there is one thing that regulators in states that have legal sports betting want to share, that’s it.
“I wouldn’t rush into this,” Delaware Lottery director Vernon Kirk said. “The world is still going to be there tomorrow. If you get started a little late, be thorough, talk to people who have experience with this and just be careful in your legislation and execution.”
On June 5, Delaware became the first state since the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) to offer legal sports betting. Delaware had company upon the debut of New Jersey sports betting on June 14, while Mississippi, Pennsylvania and West Virginia are currently developing regulations, accepting applications and preparing with licensees to begin accepting wagers in the next few months.
DE, PA and NJ Sports Betting Officials Agree: Rolling out Sports Betting Regulations Requires Patience, and States Want to Get It Right the First Time.
Delaware was particularly quick in debuting full-fledged wagering at its licensed properties, but the same facilities already were experienced in offering NFL parlay wagering in years passed, plus it had many of its rules, regulations and technology in place after attempting to offer full-fledged sports betting in 2009. One month in, things are going smoothly.
Other states may not have the luxury of past experience, or the ability to be as nimble as Delaware, the second smallest state by population in the nation.

rhode island sports betting governor raimondo expecting 24 million
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (L) with R.I. House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello.

But every state regulating body is likely feeling at least a little bit of pressure. Some lawmakers across the country have been touting sports betting as a windfall for their state budgets. In fact, Rhode Island governor Gina Raimondo earmarked $23.5 million in sports betting revenue in her latest budget. Rhode Island made sports betting legal in late June.
To help get there, the state is taking 51 percent of all sports wagering revenue — by far the largest cut in the country. The state will still need to generate an awful lot of wagering and will not be allowing mobile betting off premises, either.
New Jersey will celebrate its first month anniversary of legal sports betting on July 14, which coincides with the first day that The Meadowlands will accept sports wagers. Currently, licensed sportsbooks are operating in three locations in New Jersey.
The Garden State was the driver of Murphy v NCAA, the case that escalated to the Supreme Court and resulted in the high court ruling PASPA unconstitutional. Monmouth Park, a key driver in the lawsuit, was the first to open for business.
“We are pleased with the rollout of sports wagering in New Jersey,” said David L. Rebuck, director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. “While actual wagering only started in June, the Division was preparing for this possibility well in advance. My advice for other jurisdictions would be to have good communication with the industry and look to strong regulatory models such as New Jersey as you move forward.”

‘Don’t Let Your Legislators Go Crazy and Make Ridiculous Projections,’ Warned Delaware Lottery Directory Vernon Kirk. 

In Pennsylvania, which passed its enabling legislation in 2017, the state gaming commission is in the process of rolling out regulations to get started. And just as in any other state, regulators know the whole endeavor is driven by money.
“We understand that the expansion of gambling in Pennsylvania is being undertaken to raise more money for the commonwealth,” said Doug Harbach, Director of Communications for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. “We’re trying to get a potentially lucrative market up and running as soon as possible, but we want to make sure it has all of the necessary regulations to protect the public.”
Harbach’s sentiment was also echoed by Kirk in Delaware and down south, by Allen Godfrey, executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission.
“The one thing I would say is to tamp down expectations,” Kirk said. “We’re doing really well, but don’t let your legislators go crazy and make ridiculous projections and saddle you with unrealistic expectations.”
Said Godfrey: “The numbers out there are so out of whack, I wouldn’t want to quote them,” Godfrey said of lawmakers’ pie-in-the-sky expectations. “Anything we get will be more than we’re getting now.”

Mississippi, Pennsylvania and West Virginia Are Aiming to Take First Legal Sports Bets During or Even Before, Football Season.

In Mississippi, sports betting regulations will go into effect on July 21. The state’s gaming commission has already received at least a handful of applications from potential operators and it appears that every commercial casino in the state will offer sports betting. The gaming commission, which has been overseeing the state’s 28 casinos for more than 25 years, moved swiftly to put out its regulations.
In West Virginia, the goal, according to West Virginia Lottery general counsel Danielle Boyd, is for the Mountaineer State to accept its first sports bet by football season, but no later than Sept. 1. West Virginia has five casinos. The state will roll out regulations under “emergency status.”

wv sports betting plans and procedures
The West Virginia Lottery Building.

“It’s a different animal than anything that we’ve dealt with before and so knowing that, we’ve tried to surround ourselves with the best and the brightest consultants,” Boyd told Sports Handle in June. “One of the challenges has been making sure that we have the legislative rules we need, but avoiding ones we don’t. So we’ll need some flexibility.”
“We do have ’emergency status’ until early December as far as these legislative rules are concerned. So we can change them, we can add to them if we need to until December, but after that point, they would have to go through the legislative rule making process.”
Back in Pennsylvania, Harbach says the goal is slow and steady.

Focus of PA Sports Betting Regulations Is to Protect the Public.

“We know our chief role is to protect the public,” he said. “So we’re going to make sure we have it right. We’re not rushing anything.”
Pennsylvania lawmakers made sports betting legal in 2017 pending the status of PASPA. Since the Supreme Court decision came down, state regulators have rolled out draft regulations for sports betting and opened them to public comment. Those comments — from the professional sports leagues, Penn State University, Pitt and potential gaming operators — are under review. But the comment period is an example of why regulators can’t rush — it takes time to hear from stakeholders and then open conversations based on concerns.
Harbach thinks his group, similar to Delaware, has a bit of a leg up on other states. In the recent past, the gaming commission has had to develop regulations for fantasy sports and iGaming, among other issues, making sports betting legal a sixth new set of regulations to develop, he said.
Whether it’s sports betting or iGaming, Pennsylvania regulators would rather get it right the first time.
“The potential for revenue will be there when we are ready,” Harbach said. “We’re not feeling the pressure from the legislators. They understand that we need to get it right. There are some who see it as being beneficial as being ready before the football season, but we are not [aiming] for a particular sports season.”
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