Online Casino News From Around the Globe

Ohio Takes Step Towards Legalizing Fantasy Sports

The daily fantast sports market in the U.S. is slowly but surely going down the road of gradual legalization ad regulation. This is a welcome relief for major DFS operators like DraftKings and FanDuel who were facing a potential meltdown of their industry not too long ago. The latest state to consider legalizing fantasy sports is that of Ohio which could join 16 other states already who have legalized DFS. A bill sponsored by Rep. Jonathan Dever could be enacted by the first quarter of 2018. For DraftKings and FanDuel Ohio is an important state who according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association has around 1.9 million fantast players. Of those around 400 000 belong to DraftKings and FanDuel. The proposed bill was passed by Congress by a margin of 82-15 in May and now sits with the senate. The proposed bill will grant the Ohio Casino Control Commission the authority to issue licenses and investigate oversees fantasy content. The proposed license fee would be $30k for three years which makes it attractive or operators who in states like Delaware and Virginia have to pay $50k. Any operator wishing to get a license will have to have acquire external auditors for their annual compliance check as well as prohibit contests on college and youth…

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Paddy Power Betfair CEO Adopts Maverick Approach To Proposed FOBT Crackdown

The proposed curbs on the fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) has become a national political issue with increasing pressure on the government to crackdown on what is dubbed as the “ crack cocaine” of the gambling world. One of the main recommendations to the government is to reduce the maximum wager stake from £100 to £2 which would have a devastating effect on the major bookies like William Hill and Ladbrokes. In an interesting development Paddy Power Betfair has seemingly broken ranks with the fellow bookmakers by becoming the first ones to actually recommend curbs on FOBTs. CEO Breon Corcoran believes that the overall debate around FOBTs has become “ so toxic” for the gambling industry and that decisive action is required to address Societal concerns. This unusual supports will not sit well with Ladbrokes Coral and William Hill where these machines make up a huge percentage of their revenues. Both the companies have made it clear that any reduction on the £100 maximum stake would lead to huge job cuts and shop closures. Corcoran in a letter to the Financial Times went on to explain his controversial stance. He said, ”Whilst we are not aware of any evidence which links stake size to problem gambling, we are acutely aware of the increasing reputational damage to the gambling industry that has followed lack of progress in this area. We now believe that the issue has become so toxic that only a substantial reduction in FOBT stake limits to £10 or less will address societal concerns. I am confident we could operate our retail business successfully and profitably under such circumstances. Other well-run operators should be able to do the same.” Many point out that the proposed changes to maximum stakes will have a relatively minor effect on Paddy Power Betfair should the £10 maximum stake be adopted with around £32m lost. But rival William Hill and Ladbrokes Coral could lose as much as £182m and £276m respectively. These sentiments was echoed by external relations director at Ladbroke Donal McCabe saying, “Of course with 300 shops [at Paddy Power Betfair] and a massive online presence, [Mr Corcoran] is looking at an impact on a very different scale to the rest of the sector, where 20,000 jobs are at risk. Some might say it is a naked act of opportunistic commercialism dressed up as a concern over the sector and the wider good.” People in the know believe that the limit will be reduced to something in the region of £20 – £30. Paddy Power Betfair’s maverick position is not shared by the Association of British bookmakers of which they are…

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Washington Post Poll Shows Most U.S. Adults Support Legalizing Sports Betting

The debate of legalizing sports betting in the US has taken a lot of dramatic turns in the last few years. Most prominent is the state of New Jersey who have been wagering a legal to and fro battle to get sports betting legalized in the Garden State. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments on the case soon and many are looking to this as the test case which could finally lead the way for a federal legalization of sports betting throughout the US. In the past we have reported on various polls that indicate growing support for legalization of sports betting. A recent poll conducted by The Washington Post and University of Massachusetts Lowell indicated that 55 percent of US adults support the legalization of sports betting on a pro event. This is a huge shift in attitude from 25 years ago when the federal law came into practice to effectively ban sports betting in most of the county. At that time around 56 percent of American disapproved the ideal of legalization. With the New Jersey case many believe that the tide has long since turned towards a pragmatic approach and the question is not if it will be legalized but rather when. Added to that is the turnaround the major sporting bodies have done in the last few years which have added a sense of inevitability surrounding the legalization. According to the latest poll 21 percent of sports fans have bet on professional sporting events in the past five years. These fans are most likely to be avid sports fans, male under the age of 40, pro football fans and nonwhites. The largest support for legalization comes from the group who have placed bets in the last five years  (84 percent). The level of support for legalization is 79 percent among those who played fantasy sports leagues, 70 percent for avid sports fans, 63 percent for men, 61 percent of people with household income of $100k or more and 60 percent among pro football fans. Among political lines the partisan difference is minimal with 57 percent of Democrats supporting the legalization and 52 percent of Republicans doing so. In terms of opposition to legalization the tide had definitely turned. Back in 1993, 29 percent of Americans aged 50 and older supported legalized sports betting. As of today 46 percent of those aged 50 support legalization. This poll definitely strengthens the pro legalization lobby which as gained the tacit and even public support of major sporting bodies like the NBA whose Commissioner Adam Silver has openly discussed legalizing gambling along with the Major League Baseball. MLB Commissioner…

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Lottoland CEO Reassures Gibraltar Workforce Amidst Mounting Pressure Down Under

Gibraltar based online lottery giant lottoland has been feeling the heat down under in the last few months. The much publicized publicity war between rival lottery operator Tatts Group came to a head with the “Lottoland’s Gotta Go! “Campaign being launched. Ever since Lottoland received their Northern Territory online betting license in 2016 they have been the target of rival operators who see Lottoland cannibalizing their market share and more concerning not having to give back anything to the community. In an interview with Gibraltar based Olive Press, CEO of Lottoland Nigel Birrell was adamant to point out that the negative publicity they were receiving down under will not have any negative impact on their Gibraltar workforce. Birrell’s words of encouragement to his workforce come at a time when many Australian politicians are looking to get Lottoland banned from operating. In addition to political pressure, over 3,000 newsagents across Australia have campaigned to get Lottoland barred as they believe they enjoy an unfair advantage in that they can sell lottery tickets yet do not have to give back to any good causes. Birrell went on to say,” We are proud to have our HQ in Gibraltar. Gibraltar is our home; it is where we were born as a company. Gibraltar is a worldwide hub for the online gaming industry. Our neighbours include some of the best and biggest names in gambling. To-date Gibraltar is very selective and restrictive in awarding licenses, at the moment it has only approximately 30 gaming licensees.” Birrell added that they are not breaking any laws and have been granted a licence to operate by the Northern Territory Government. In terms of taxes Birrell said that they are in line with any other company in Australia and are compliant with all the latest amendments as of July 2017. According to Birrell Lottoland has over 6 million global customers with over 350 staff of which 230 are in Gibraltar. Commenting on the recent negative publicity Birrell said that not only was it not hurting the Lottoland brand but in fact the free publicity they were getting was increasing registrations and brand…

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Tabcorp-Tatts Merger Suffers Another Setback After Appeal From ACCC Upheld

Tabcorp’s $11 billion bid for rival Tatts has suffered a setback due an appeal from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The ACCC along with rival bookmakers had raised concerns over the proposed merger. The court ruled this week that the matter should be returned to the Australian Competition Tribunal  (ACT) for  further consideration. It is expected that within a week the ACT will pass another judgement with ACT Justice John Middleton telling all involved parties  that he wanted the matter considered as soon as practically possible. Middleton said that any written submissions needed to be made by September 25 with a reply deadline of the next day. He went on to say,” The tribunal would then further consider and determine the matter. If the issues in contention are of small compass, the tribunal would endeavour to make a new determination by September 28 after considering the submissions of the parties and the participants.” To add fuel to the fire James Packer’s CrownBet also joined the ACCCC appeal claiming the deal was bad for completion and not in the public interests. If the new merger is approved it will mean the new entity will control around 90 percent of Australia’s totalizer betting and generate revenues in excess of $5…

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