Cyprus Readies Regulated Online Sports Betting

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Sunday 31 July 2016 7:00 pm

Thousands of Cypriots will have access to regulated sports betting as soon as October 3 as their country preps for its first legal online sports books. It’s a massive leap forward for a country that once shunned regulated gambling of all kinds.

The idea of regulated online sports betting isn’t exactly new to Cyprus as plans have been in the works since 2012, according to a report on Calvinayre.com. Back then, the government was counting on a Greek operator called OPAP to run the show.

While OPAP was ready and willing to helm a Cypriot sports betting monopoly, European Union regulators weren’t won over by the plan. They very quickly labelled the plan as anti-competitive and encourage Cyprus to come up with another plan.

The Cypriots responded by opening their sports betting monopoly to all comers and, as of this writing, a total of three operators have applied for Cypriot sports betting licenses. Government officials have said they intend to have the applicants approved and operational by the beginning of October.

Online sports betting, however, is not the only arm of the gambling world Cyprus is looking to welcome to their shores. Government officials expect to approve the country’s first regulated brick and mortar casino by the end of the year.

This rush towards regulated casino gambling and sports betting is a direct result of the 2012 banking crisis that shattered the Cypriot economy. That left the government of Cyprus seeking new forms of revenue and, as is so often the case, they’ve turned to regulated gambling.

 

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Florida Judge Rules Bitcoin is Not Money

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Friday 29 July 2016 4:27 am

A Florida man accused of money laundering is a free man today after a Miami judge ruled the Bitcoins used in the alleged transaction aren’t actually money.

The case is a milestone in Bitcoin litigation and has been closely watched by the Bitcoin community.

At issue is whether a Bitcoin dealer named Michell Abner Espinoza knowingly sold Bitcoin that he knew were going to be used to purchase stolen credit numbers. Whether he knew what the Bitcoin were going to be used for Espinoza certainly didn’t know the men he was selling to were undercover cops.

Espinoza was charged with multiple felonies in the case, but caught a break when he pulled Circuit Judge Teresa Pooler.

Judge Pooler freely admitted that she hadn’t heard of Bitcoin before the case came before her court. In fact, the judge went so far as saying she wasn’t sure anyone really knows what they are. In her judgement she wrote:

Nothing in our frame of references allows us to accurately define or describe Bitcoin.

One thing Judge Pooler was definitely sure about is the fact that Bitcoin, in her view, simply isn’t real money as she described further in her ruling.

“Bitcoin may have some attributes in common with what we commonly refer to as money,” she said. But she also pointed out that Bitcoin is an incredibly volatile form of exchange with wild fluctuations in value. With such volatility, she said, “Bitcoin have a limited ability to act as a store of value, another important attribute of money.”

Because money laundering has to involve actual money, Pooler threw out the case and Espinoza walked out the courtroom as a free man.

Speaking on his behalf, his attorney lauded the decision saying that Espinoza did nothing wrong.

The question now is what impact Pooler’s decision will have on future legal matters, particularly criminal cases, involving Bitcoin?

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Do Lotteries Exploit the Poor? Not as Much as You Might Think

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Tuesday 26 July 2016 3:17 pm

Do national and multi-state lotteries like the Powerball take advantage of low-income players?

That’s a long-held notion that’s trotted out whenever the Powerball starts climbing past the $ 500 million mark, only there’s just one little problem with that idea. According to a recent Gallup Poll, that idea might not actually be true.

The new survey, which polled 1,025 American households, busted more than a few myths about America’s obsession with big-ticket interstate lotteries.

For starters, the survey said that a mere 40% of all participants earning under $ 36,000 bought a lottery ticket in the last year. That compares with 56% of households earning $ 36,000 to $ 90,000 that purchased lottery tickets.

Educational levels painted a similar picture of how the poor and uneducated view the lottery. Gallup found that only 47% of survey participants who had only a high school education had purchased tickets last year. Around 53% of players with a college education participated.

The lowest group, by education anyways, were eggheads. Only around 43% of Americans with post-graduate degrees found their way to their local convenience store to pick up a Powerball ticket.

There are, however, a few places where all demographics of lottery players intersect. For example, only around 7% of all participants, no matter how much they earn, would cop to a problem with gambling.

That said, approximately 11% of low income Americans admitted to spending more than they should on lottery tickets.

Finally, Americans of all stripes can join together knowing that no matter how much or how little they earn, their chances of actually winning the Powerball are extremely small. The odds of picking a Powerball winner are 1 in 292,201,338.00.

 

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Aussie Gamblers Can Access Online Gambling Accounts from Convenience Stores

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Sunday 24 July 2016 3:15 pm

In the very near future, Australia’s legion of online gamblers will be able to deposit and withdraw funds from online casinos and sportsbooks at their local convenience store.

The new system is a leap forward in convenience, but was instantly targeted by Australia’s very vocal anti-gambling crowd.

As of this writing, more than 1,600 gas stations and convenience stores have signed on to the system, which is offered by an Australian company called Emerchants. The company says it plans to have a total of 4,500 locations on board by the end of the year.

It’s worth noting that the only locations served by the system are small, independently owned operations. Both Woolworth’s and 7-11 signed on to the system early on, but backed out shortly thereafter.

On the operator side, both bet365 and William Hill have signed up to provide the service to their customers. William Hill spokesman James Burroughs told the Sydney Herald:

William Hill customers can not only get instant access to their winnings but they can deposit directly into their accounts, making their experience even faster and easier.

While Burroughs’ assessment is certainly accurate, increased access to gaming deposits isn’t sitting well with Australia’s very vocal anti-gambling crowd. They say the new system will provide a new way for problem gamblers to hide their habits from prying eyes at home.

Lauren Levitt of Financial Counselling Australia, a group that’s been pushing for stricter rules on online gambling and its association with the credit card industry, pointed out her objections to the system to the Herald saying:

We know that problem gamblers need to hide their trail – they don’t want their spouses to find out. They don’t want the ATO to find out if they’re hiding income. There are also money-laundering concerns.

Emerchant dismisses the criticism and says that gambling will take place whether punters can access their accounts at gas stations or not.

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Nevada Casinos Ready Prep for Olympic Betting

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Friday 22 July 2016 3:30 pm

Nevada sports books are prepping for their first venture into Olympic betting for the first time in more than a decade. Their expectations for making big bucks, however, are pretty low.

Olympic betting is hardly new and has been offered in practically every country except the United States for a very long time.

Even the US offered Olympic betting as recently as 2001. That’s when US Senator, and casino gambling fanatic, John McCain spearheaded an effort to ban the practice in an effort to somehow protect amateur athletes.

Amateur athletes, however, are no longer as big a part of the Olympics as they once were and the Nevada Gaming Commission has given its blessings to Olympic betting this year. Of course the other reason for their change of heart is that Nevada sports books weren’t keen on losing customers to UK sports books.

In an interview with the LA Times, Jay Rood, director of the race and sports book for MGM Resorts said:

We stated the position that we’re at a bit of a disadvantage in Nevada by not being able to offer odds on some of the more mainstream events. Everybody agreed that we don’t think the state of Nevada is interested in booking 12-year-old gymnasts or ice skaters, but we do want to book the basketball, the hockey, some of the track and field — things that are appealing . . . the volleyball, the swimming.

Rood went on to point out that he expects basketball, which the US usually dominates with NBA stars, to account for around 70% of all Olympic wagering action.

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Judge Kicks DraftKings Gambling Suit Back to State Court

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Wednesday 20 July 2016 3:20 pm

Beleaguered daily fantasy sports operator DraftKings is reeling tonight after a federal judge refused to hear a “problem gambling” case against the company in his court.

Judge Harry S. Mattice Jr., that the suit brought against DraftKings by plaintiff Erica Miller did not meet the standard to be heard in a federal court. Federal courts can only hear cases in which the damages exceed $ 75,000. Miller’s complaint only seeks to recover $ 46,000 her husband lost while “gambling” on the site.

This case is important to DraftKings for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that they’d certainly like to avoid any association the word, “gambling” (in the United States, anyways). DraftKings, which is fighting to keep its business legal in almost every US State,

Judge Mattice didn’t make any mention of the particulars of the Miller’s case and kept his ruling strictly to the $ 75,000 bar. DraftKings’ attorneys argued that Miller case could exceed $ 75,000 if the plaintiff pursued punitive damages, but Mattice countered with the fact that Miller had already offered to settle the whole case for $ 75,000.

Unfortunately for DraftKings, the Miller case is not the only major consumer-driven lawsuit on their docket.

The company is also facing a massive class-action suit, which definitely qualifies for Federal court, related to last fall’s insider trading scandal. According to Legal Sports Report, that case is being heard in the US District Court in Massachusetts. DraftKings, several banks and money processors are named as co-defendants in this case.

The consequences from a loss in either one of these cases could prove fatal to the US-facing daily fantasy sports industry.

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NFL Lawyer Coughs up Legit Argument Against Regulated Sports Betting

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Monday 18 July 2016 3:20 pm

After decades of arguing against regulated sports betting because it might impact the integrity of the game, an NFL lawyer recently coughed up the league’s real reason for the war on sports betting.

It turns out the league is actually worried that regulated sports betting might overshadow the product they’re putting on the field.

This revelation came in the form of an offhand comment from the League’s senior labor relations counsel, Brook Gardiner. Speaking at the 30th Annual Conference on Problem Gambling in Terrytown, NY, Gardiner told a discussion panel on sports betting:

One point to think about that people don’t mention as much, but is very prominent in the league’s discussions is: Would legalized gambling affect the product itself? Are we affecting the game itself or how people view the game, and does the game itself become tangential, and does the money-making enterprise become more important than the game?

This is very different from arguments the NFL has made in the past, which usually focus on the threat of game fixing. The new approach, which speaks to the thought that sports betting has the potential to become larger than the game itself is, frankly, a much more honest approach.

One needn’t look further than Australia to see how sports betting can overshadow the play on the field. In the Land Down Under, legislators have come down hard on a frenzied sports betting industry that dominated broadcast advertising with coverage of in-play betting. Americans who think that this situation couldn’t happen here should think back to the inescapable barrage of daily fantasy sports ads that dominated the airwaves until the DFS insider trading scandal broke.

While there’s more honesty in Gardiner’s words than we usually hear from the NFL, his words are still a bit misleading. Another way to look at this comment is that the League simply isn’t interested in sharing its product with another industry.

Regardless, it looks like the NFL will continue opposing regulated sports betting for the foreseeable future.

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US Daily Fantasy Sports Update: Delaware, New York and Tennessee

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Saturday 16 July 2016 3:14 pm

Across the United States, lawmakers are grappling with what should be done about daily fantasy sports.

Most state lawmakers agree that something needs to be done but solutions vary widely from state to state. Here’s a quick look at lawmakers in Delaware, New York and Tennessee are dealing with daily fantasy sports legislation in their states.

Delaware
In Delaware, the state’s Department of Justice recently sent out letters to daily fantasy sports provide such as DraftKing, FanDuel and Yahoo! Sports reminding them that real-money daily fantasy sports contests are currently illegal under state law.

The letter further states the State’s opinion that daily fantasy sports are a game of chance, not skill.

DOJ officials had been waiting for Delaware lawmakers to take some sort of action on the daily fantasy sports issue and, when no action was taken, they went forward with their “reminders”.

Delaware, it should be noted, is one of three US states where regulated online gambling is legal.

New York

In New York, state lawmakers and daily fantasy sports operators have been operating under a semi-truce wherein operators suspended real-money tournaments until lawmakers cam up with a bill to regulate their businesses.

The truce was set to expire on July 1, at which time it was hoped that Governor Andrew Cuomo would have signed the state’s daily fantasy sports bill into law. As of this writing the bill, which imposes a 15.5% tax on operators.

As of this writing, the bill is still sitting on Governor Cuomo’s desk and the deadline has been moved to July 31.

Lawmakers blame the delay on the fact that, “July is a slow month.”

Tennessee

Tennessee is hardly known as the most progressive US State but when it comes to daily fantasy sports legislation, the Volunteer State is leading the pack.

Late last week, Tennessee changed the name of its Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming to the Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming and put the office in charge of enforcing its newly enacted daily fantasy sports regulations.

The legislation itself isn’t particularly radical or unusual (it mostly involves basic licensing and the segregation of player funds) but is noteworthy as some of the first of its kind in the country.

 

 

 

 

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Brazilian Government Eyes Online Sports Betting Monopoly

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Thursday 14 July 2016 3:15 pm

Brazil’s troubled interim government is considering a revenue raising option that most governments would dare risk; an online sports betting monopoly.

It’s a desperate move that would take the Brazilian online gambling marketing in exactly the opposite direction of the rest of the world.

Brazilian lawmakers have been trying for years to wrangle enough support for regulated online gambling but have, so far, been unable to muster enough support to actually make it happen.

That standstill, however, looks to be coming to an end with a recent announcement from Interim President Michel Temer that government would be taking matters into its own hands. Temer suggested that the government form its own online sports betting monopoly.

What makes Temer’s plan different from traditional monopolies is that he plans to both work with a private operator and, eventually privatize the entire operation. The Brazilian government plans on keeping a share of the company once it goes private.

Government sources are predicting that the handover to private industry could generate more than $ 1 billion, not including residual income from their stake.

So exactly how long would Brazil maintain its sports betting monopoly? No one knows for certain but some sources, including CalvinAyre.com, are floating a number between 10 and 20 years.

That Brazilian lawmakers would even be considering such a move at a time when most European governments are dismantling their sports betting monopolies speaks volumes about the current state of affairs in that country.

Besides dealing with a corruption that’s reached to the highest levels of the Brazilian government, including the elected president, Brazil is also facing major budget deficits as a result of falling oil prices.

Brazilian officials are also looking at a similar plan for their country’s electronic lotto system.

 

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New Jersey, UK Discuss Shared Poker Liquidity

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Tuesday 12 July 2016 3:15 pm

New Jersey’s growing online poker market could be in a for a major shot in the arm if a proposal to share liquidity with the UK market comes to pass. It’s an audacious plan that faces some significant regulatory hurdles before becoming a reality.

On its face, the plan is pretty simple. Players from New Jersey would be able to participate in games that include UK players and UK players would be able to play with Jersey boys.

In this scenario, players benefit from being able to pick from a larger selection of tables, and operators benefit from larger rakes.

That’s the easy part.

As multiple online poker news sites, including OnlinePokerReport.com, have pointed out, shared liquidity has plenty of challenges to overcome before it makes its way across the Atlantic.

For starters, New Jersey law is very on the subject of server location. All Jersey players must play on servers that are located in the state. While that rule could be flexed a bit, it would require significant changes to current NJ gaming law.

There’s also some question as to whether the New Jersey gambling industry would even be all that interested in sharing anything with anybody. After all, the whole point of introducing regulated online poker and casino games was to help boost the fortunes of struggling Atlantic City casinos. It’s hard to see how throwing UK poker players into the mix will help accomplish that goal (unless UK players actually register and deposit with Jersey-based sites).

That said, New Jersey gaming are open to the idea. The Department of Gaming Enforcement recently sent out letters to their operators asking how they might make such a plan work and will be reviewing their answers this fall.

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