Daily Fantasy Sports Outfit Tells Federal Judge, ‘We’re Not Legal’

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Saturday 31 December 2016 3:14 pm

A daily fantasy sports company is using a novel legal defense in an effort to squirm out of a sponsorship deal with the Minnesota Wild hockey team. Their lawyers told a federal judge that their contract with the team was null and void because daily fantasy sports are illegal in Minnesota and that a lawsuit from the team should be thrown out of court.

US District Court Judge Wilhelmina Wright, who presided over the bizarre case, wasn’t exactly buying the argument from Emil Interactive Games, but she wasn’t quite willing to cast judgement on the legality of DFS either.

The case revolves around a sponsorship deal between Emil Interactive’s DraftOps brand and the Minnesota NHL franchise that was supposed to launch in September 2015. Under the terms of the deal, Emil Interactive was to pay $ 1.5 million to the team for rights to use its logo in advertising.

Everything was running smoothly until the State of Nevada, where Emil Interactive was based at the time, decided that daily fantasy sports should be regulated as gambling. That caused the company to suspend its operations, including the Minnesota Wild deal, while it figured out its next move.

Not surprisingly, the Wild still wanted their money and that’s when Emil Interactive told Judge Wright that the contract was, “null and void,” because daily fantasy sports were illegal in the first place.

Judge Wright wasn’t exactly buying this novel argument, but she didn’t exactly reject it either. In her ruling, Judge Wright said that this particular case revolved around, “advertising, not gambling.” She went on to say that, “…(the) theory regarding the legal status of DFS in Minnesota is at least colorable.”

In short, she wasn’t willing to make the final call on whether daily fantasy sports are gambling or not, but she still wants the show to go on in her court room. So far theres no word on when the case will actually go to court.

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Poker Sports League to Launch in India

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Thursday 29 December 2016 3:22 pm

An Indian entrepreneur is launching the Poker Sports League (PSL), a 12-team poker league that will be open to both established professionals and promising amateurs.

The PSL is the brainchild of Amit Burman, an Indian billionaire who made his fortune in the processed food business.

Teams in the PSL will compete in 70 qualifying events over a time span of, roughly, three months. The league’s final event will be a five-day tournament in Goa.

What makes the PSL unique is that it aspires not only to showcase the competitive side of poker, it also hopes to showcase the intellectual side of the game. In a statement posted on the PSL’s website, Burman shared his thoughts on why the brainier side of poker should be a big hit in India saying:

Poker is a popular mind sport across the globe and has gained tremendous traction within India, amongst individuals looking to challenge their mind, grit and decision making abilities. Although the game is played with cards and there is an element of luck – the vast majority of the game depends on pure skill, mathematics, probability and decision making strategy.

Burman went on to say that his vision of league-style play, with no individual entry fees, would allow players to really explore the game’s brainier aspects. Each team will feature an established poker pro who will act as a mentor to his or her less experienced peers.

Burman is selling franchises to league owners and should have the whole operation launched sometime in early 2017. As of this writing, however, Burman has only sold seven franchises, mostly to other wealthy Indian entrepreneurs.

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Russian Sports Betting Sites Race Towards Year-End Launch

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Tuesday 27 December 2016 3:14 pm

Three Russian sports betting sites are racing towards launching their products by year’s end. Once operational, the three bookmakers will represent a major step forward for regulated Russian sports betting.

BaltBet.ru, Bingo Boom, and Bkolimpbet.ru are all in various states of readiness as 2016 closes, but all are expected to be taking wagers by the time Baby New Year rolls out, according to a report on CalvinAyre.com.

BaltBet.ru is leading the pack and is expected to begin accepting wagers as early as December 28. The site has been in beta for some time and company officials are cautiously optimistic regarding the post-Christmas launch.

Bingo Room, which offers bingo and sports betting, is expected to be up and running by New Year’s Day.

Bkolimpbet.ru is also expected to be completely operational soon, though no official announcement has been made regarding a specific launch. (Though it’s believed that it will be going sometime this week.)

All three sites will be connected to the TSUPIS centralize payment hub. This homegrown Russian payment processing system is operated by Bookmakers Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO). The SRO is a home-grown regulatory/trade group that represents regulated Russian bookmakers.

So what does the face of regulated Russian wagering look like? According to a spokeman from TSUPIS, 540,000 Russians have already registered with the sites. Of those 540,000, approximately 89 percent were men. Roughly 95 percent of the new registrants are between the ages of 18-40.

Regulated Russian sports betting is actually open to Russians and foreign nationals, but foreigners must present proof of Russian residence in person to Russian gaming authorities.

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Duterte Calls for Shutting Down ‘All Online Gambling’

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Friday 23 December 2016 3:16 pm

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has announced his intention to shut down his country’s entire online gambling industry. It’s an unprecedented move that would cost the Philippines hundreds of millions of dollars in lost tax revenue.

Duterte made his unexpected announcement while giving an unrelated speech at the ceremonial signing of his country’s 2017 budget. “I am ordering the closure of all online gaming. All of them. They have no use,” he said, according to report in the International Business Times.

While this isn’t the first time Duterte has attacked the online gambling industry, it is the first time he’s threatened to shut it down entirely.

Though the President’s comments were short on details, he did go on to say that, “It’s online in the Philippines; but the betting outside, we have no mechanism against it.” Duterte was apparently referring to offshore-facing gambling sites, like the one run by Asian gambling magnate, and fugitive from Philippine justice, Jack Lam.

Lam is accused not only of running an unlicensed gambling operation, he’s also accused of attempting to bribe Philippine government officials. That is the more likely explanation behind Duterte’s surprise announcement. The President is known to have been, “pissed off,” by Lam’s alleged actions.

Banning online gambling outright because one very powerful man is mad at another very powerful man could wind up being the ultimate example of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. After all, the country’s online gambling industry generates more than $ 200 million in annual tax revenues.

So far, Duterte hasn’t introduced any formal measures, directives, or time frame to back up his desire to shut down online gambling in his country.

 

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California Indian Tribe Loses Online Gambling Fight

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Wednesday 21 December 2016 3:16 pm

A federal judge in California has ruled that the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel, a California Indian tribe, violated the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) by offering online poker and bingo from its website.

The small band, which is based outside of San Diego, launched the Desert Rose bingo site back in 2014 and immediately attracted lots of attention from state and federal authorities who said it was a clear violation of gaming regulations. In fact, the two entities were in such agreement that they merged their cases against the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel into one, which was heard in federal court.

Both state and federal authorities claimed that not only should the tribe not be offering online gambling at all, but also that they failed to properly protect their customers when they did, according to a report on Casino.org.

For their part, the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel officials argued that federal gaming laws do not apply on Indian reservations, but U.S. Southern District of California Judge Anthony Battaglia fervently disagreed. He pointed out that the the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) only applies to gambling that takes place on Indian land, not on Indian servers.

In his ruling he knocked down the Tribe’s argument saying:

It is beyond dispute that IGRA applies to only that which is conducted on Indian lands. But what of gaming that derives from servers located on Indian lands and utilizes the internet to reach beyond the borders of Indian country to patrons physically located within states where gambling is illegal? This is precisely the issue presented by this case.

Judge Battaglia not only ordered the tribe to shut down its online gambling operations, but also to stop accepting payments of any kind from gamblers who are not on tribal lands.

As of this writing, the only American Indian tribe that is legally able to accept online wagers is the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma, who only accept offshore wagers.

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Judge Sides with Borgata in Phil Ivey Edge Sorting Case

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Monday 19 December 2016 3:15 pm

Phil Ivey has been ordered to pay back $ 10.1 million he won from the Borgata Casino in 2012 while using an advantage play method known as, “edge sorting.”

U.S. District Judge Noel Hillman ruled that Ivey’s methods violated the New Jersey Gaming Control Act which made the massive roll illegal. Ivey will not, however, be on the hook for additional damages as was demanded by the Borgata.

Ivey’s unusual baccarat odyssey began back in 2012 when Ivey and an associate named Cheng Yin Sun walked into a high roller’s baccarat room at the Borgata with a few odd requests. The two men asked for, and received, a Mandarin-speaking dealer; the use of the same deck of cards during all of their play; as well as an automatic card shuffler that retained each card’s original orientation.

Borgata staff missed all of these glaring warning signs and failed to realize that Ivey and Sun were about to indulge in a seriously advanced form of advantage play known as edge sorting. During their marathon two-day baccarat session, Ivey and Cheng memorized imperfections on the edges of the cards and used that information to inform their wagers.

By the time they walked away, the two men had won more than $ 10.1 million. Unfortunately, they didn’t get to keep it for long.

Borgata officials very quickly figured out what had happened (maybe they Googled, “Phil Ivey Baccarat”?) and the two sides have been battling it out in court ever since.

Judge Hillman ruled that Ivey’s methods constituted the use of marked cards and was, consequently, a violation of the New Jersey Gaming Control Act. On Thursday he ordered the men to repay the money, which included $ 500,000 they won playing craps with their baccarat winnings.

He did not, however, honor the Borgata’s request that the men pay expectation damages, which refers to the money the casion would have won if Ivey didn’t have a photographic memory, according to a report in the New Jersey Law Journal. In his ruling he stated that expectation damages were, “too speculative.”

Ivey pulled a similar move at Crockford’s Casino in London and was ordered to pay back his winnings in that case, too.

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Antigua Talks New Tax Structure for Land-Based and Online Gambling

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

The island nation of Antigua is implementing a new tax structure for land-based and online gambling operators that emphasizes local employment.

Members of the Antiguan Financial Services Regulatory Commission met last week to discuss proposed changes to the rules governing gambling businesses on the island. Among the changes is a new tax code that would reward operators who employ local residents with a lower tax rate.

The new changes are part of what looks to be a total revamp of the island’s gambling regulation under a bill called, the Gambling Act of 2016. This new legislation is meant to replace Betting and Gaming Act 1963 which the head of Antigua’s Financial Services Regulatory Commission (FSRC), Dr Paul Ashe. In an interview with the Antigua Observer, Dr. Ashe called the 1963 act, “outdated.”

Under the new plan, island operators with fewer than five local employees will shell out 5 percent of their gross gaming revenue (GGR) to Antiguan tax collectors. Operators in the 5-30 local employee range will pay 4.5 percent while 30-100 local employees earns a spot in the 3.5 percent bracket. Larger operations, including land-based casinos, with more than 100 employees would pay out just 2.5 percent of their GGR.

Despite capping out at $ 750,000, the new tax structure does not compare favorably to other island gambling empires such as Malta.

Other changes to Antiguan gambling laws include stricter monitoring of digital currencies such as Bitcoin, as well as a new regulation requiring operators to remit funds in dormant player accounts to the government.

Not surprisingly, the regulatory schemes have not gone over well with operators who have come to appreciate Antigua for its laid back approach to gambling regulations. Just days after the plan was announced Pinnacle, a major offshore operator, announced that it would be pulling its licensed subsidiaries from the Antiguan market as soon as their licenses expire, according to a report on CalvinAyre.com.

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Pennsylvania Congressman Ready to Shut Down Online Gambling

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Tuesday 13 December 2016 3:18 pm

Pennsylvania Congressman Michael Fitzpatrick (R) introduced a bill last week calling for a rollback on the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) 2011 decision giving states the final word on regulated online gambling.

Fitzpatrick’s bill, which clocks in at a remarkably short two pages, suggests that a decision from the DOJ does not, “…carry the full weight of the law,” and should be rolled back, according to a report on Cardplayer.com.

If this bill sounds a lot like the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA), that’s probably because the two are remarkably similar. That’s probably because the bill’s co-sponsor, Congressman Charles Dent (D-Pennsylvania) is a RAWA supporter who has tried to push through this kind of bill in the past.

So what makes this effort different than previous efforts to shut down online poker in America?

For starters, the bill will be considered by a lame duck Congress that’s heading into a new and incredibly chaotic administration. Will the problems of the online poker industry carry much weight in Washington DC while government entities are grappling with issues like potential Russian interference in US elections?

And, of course, there’s always the very long shadow of casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. Adelson pumped millions of dollars into GOP candidates during the election and there’s always the chance that his minions will take advantage of the lame duck session to pass RAWA, or something very similar.

Efforts to shut down the online gambling industry may find plenty of support when the new administration is installed in the White House on January 26. Despite Trump’s past as a casino owner, Vice-President elect Mike Pence is an outspoken critic of land-based and online gambling.

Of course any effort to shut down the nascent US-facing online gambling industry will require a US Congress that’s functional enough to actually pass a bill into law. Given that the current Congress is one of the least productive in US history, online gambling may not be in much danger after all.

 

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888Poker and FlowESports Partner Up in Twitch Deal

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Sunday 11 December 2016 3:21 pm

888Poker is partnering up with FlowEsports in a deal that could expose the online poker brand to the rapidly growing esports market via a game called Hearthstone.

The deal, which was announced on 888Poker’s official blog, revolves around members of the FloweSports team as they play Hearthstone, an online card game with more than 40 million active users.

In a synergistic twist, several members of the team are already accomplished professional poker players. Daniel Märkisch and Johannes Steindl both participated in this year’s Series of Poker Circuit Event in Rozvadov, Czech Republic. Märkisch finished out the tournament in 20th place and walked away with 9,459 EUR ($ 10,208 USD).

Other members of the team play poker at various levels and are participating in the 888Poker deal.

As part of the arrangement, FlowEsports members will also broadcast their online poker play via Twitch at least once a week. All team members already broadcast their Hearthstone play on a daily basis.

888Poker is betting that the massive Hearthstone player pool is also hiding a massive harvest of online poker players. After all, both are card games and success in both games revolves around forcing your opponent to deplete his or her resources.

The eSports market is growing at an incredibly rapid rate with anticipated 2016 revenue of up to $ 436 million from the professional side alone. When ancillary markets, such as esports gambling, are factored into the mix, that number jumps well over the $ 1 billion mark. About a quarter of all revenue generated from esports emanates from the Asian market.

This isn’t, however, the first time that an online poker shop has teamed up with an esports team. PokerStars has a similar arrangement with a different Hearthstone team.

 

 

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LadBrokes and Digital Sports Tech Partner on Australian Prop Bet Deal

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Friday 9 December 2016 3:16 pm

Ladbrokes is teaming up with Digital Sports Tech to bring custom prop bets to the massive Australian sports betting market. It’s a move that, if successful, could add a very profitable vertical for bookmakers worldwide.

The new partnership will allow Ladbrokes to implement a new level of personalized sports betting by letting punters build their own prop bets using a proprietary algorithm developed by Digital Sports Tech.

For example, if a punter wants to wager on a head-to-head statistical match-up between two players in a rugby match, the system would analyze the wager and spit out odds in real-time. That seems like a slam dunk for Australia, a country that embraces live betting like none other.

That sentiment was echoed by Digital Sports Tech Executive Director Ari Lewski who described his product’s potential in Australia to Betting Business saying:

We’re thrilled to be able to offer our game-changing player proposition betting product to Ladbrokes Australia, one of the most respected operators in the industry…Naturally, we’re highly confident that our product, which takes player proposition betting to a whole new level, will prove to be a great success for Ladbrokes and their customer base.

Over at Ladbrokes, Dean Shannon, CEO of Ladbrokes Australia was excited to have a new tool to help his firm stand out in the crowded Down Under market saying:

This product provides us with a meaningful point of difference in the marketplace from our competitors and enables us to further enhance the personalised betting experience that we continually strive to offer our customers.

Digital Sports Tech’s systems is already in use by an Australians bookmaker called MadBookie.com. So far there’s no word on when Ladbrokes plans to launch it on their Australian-facing properties.

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