Fired Trump Aide’s Security Problems Included Online Gambling

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Thursday 22 March 2018 3:14 pm

When Donald Trump’s personal valet, John McEntee, 27, was fired for security issues last week, those issues included a regular online gambling habit. That, among other things, was enough to earn him a Secret Service escort out of the White House that didn’t even include a stop at his former office to grab his jacket.

Details about McEntee’s alleged online gambling habits are scant, and were broken by the gambling media days before the story line was picked up by more mainstream news outlets like the Daily Mail. Still, multiple sources seem to confirm that one of McEntee’s biggest sins, in the eyes of the FBI anyways, was his online gambling habit.

Online gambling is, of course, illegal in all US States except New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada. McEntee, of course, doesn’t live in any of those states. McEntee lives in close quarters to the President of the United States in Washington D.C. McEntee’s position to the man in the White House is so close that his unofficial title is, “body man.”

Engaging in illegal, immoral or unethical behavior of any kind puts federal employees at risk of being blackmailed by enemies of the state, both foreign and domestic. That could have been a major problem for a young who sits close to the seat of power and, according to multiple published reports, can produce a perfect forgery of Trump’s signature.

McEntee, who once played quarterback for the University of Connecticut, is said to have eschewed more traditional vices such as drugs and alcohol and is generally regarded as something of a straight arrow. Now that his gambling habits have cost him his job at the White House, McEntee has found full-time employment working to help re-elect Trump in 2020.

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Big Name International Operators Join American Gaming Association

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Tuesday 20 March 2018 3:15 pm

The American Gaming Association (AGA) is welcoming six new members to its roster, including three big name operators who are relatively new to the US market. The new board-level member organizations are, MM Testlabs, Choctaw Casinos and Resorts, Golden Entertainment, GVC Holdings PLC, Paddy Power Betfair and The Stars Group (parent company of PokerStars). These new members come from an array of gaming industry interests and suggest that the US gambling market is in for some big changes in the years ahead.

Of particular note is the addition of GVC Holdings and Paddy Power Betfair, two operators based in the UK. This suggests that gambling companies from across the pond are positioning themselves to grab a share of the American market, should the US Supreme Court rule in favor of regulated sports betting later this spring.

Longtime gaming industry watchers will surely note how much the industry has changed over the past few years as indicated by the fact that PokerStars, by way of its ownership by the Stars Group, is now represented by the AGA. Just five years ago, the AGA worked hard to keep PokerStars out of the New Jersey online gambling market because of its connections to the Black Friday scandal. Now that it’s owned by the Stars Group, things have apparently changed.

It’s also worth noting that the AGA also entered a strategic alliance with BMM Testlabs. Under the arrangement, BMM will provide support to the AGA on strategic matters, especially as they relate to sports betting.

In a press release, Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of AGA described the new class of members as follows, “More than ever before, AGA’s diverse membership reflects the broad interests of the casino gaming industr. Adding these six industry leaders will help our ability to serve as an effective advocate for the industry as a whole, and we’re excited to add their expertise to our Board.”

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New Jersey Online Gambling Sets Another Revenue Record in Feburary

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Sunday 18 March 2018 3:15 pm

New Jersey’s once flailing online casinos have booked yet another record month for online gambling revenue. The feat is all the more impressive given the fact that with only 28 days, February is the shortest month of the year. Despite the lack of days, February produced nearly $ 22 million worth of revenue for Garden State online operators, according to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

More specifically, NJ’s five online casino operators clocked $ 21.992 million last month. That comes out to be around $ 785,433 per day. That number tops the previous daily record revenue of $ 708,463 per day, which was set in January of this year.

All told, New Jersey’s online gambling industry has been settling into some pretty consistent trends in recent months. One of the most consistent of these trends is that the Golden Nugget is the big leader month after month. They posted up $ 7.9 million in February, which was up from $ 7.3 million in January. Their closest competitor, Resorts Digital Gaming, Inc., brought in about half that number.

Once again, the Garden State saw casino gaming absolutely dominate the state’s online gaming scene. All told, tables games and slots accounting for a whopping $ 20.2 million of the $ 21.992 million February total. Online poker, on the other hand, brought in just $ 1.8 million across the entire state. That’s down 25 percent from the previous month.

Some takeaways from Jersey’s big month include the fact that online gambling is, indeed, a viable industry in the United States but that new markets should expect a long lead before the big numbers start rolling in. It’s also safe to say that Americans simply aren’t embracing online poker the way they did in the pre-Black Friday era. Whether these trends hold for other populous states (Delaware and Nevada are tough comparisons for New Jersey) remains to be seen but chances are they’ll see similar trends.

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Australia Bans Gambling Ads During Live Sporting Event Broadcasts

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Friday 16 March 2018 3:15 pm

The Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association (ASTRA) is implementing a new set of advertising standards that will block gambling advertisements from most live sports broadcasts. It’s the latest broadside in the country’s long-running discussion/controversy over the impact of gambling advertisements on children and it certainly won’t be the last.

Under the terms of the new rules, as reported on by Mumbrella, all advertising for sportsbooks and gambling operators will be banned during live sporting events that are aired between the hours of 5 a.m. a:30nd 8 p.m. (Do Australian children actually go to bed that early?) The rules are relatively thorough and specifically bar gambling ads from airing five minutes before or after the broadcast. They also include stipulations that prevent the ads from running during unscheduled breaks.

An exception to the rule is being made for events that air on channels with 0.5 percent, or lower, audience share. That exemption does not apply if the event airs on any Fox Sports channel or if the event is of national significance.

Media industry trade groups like Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) took exception to the new standards saying that they aren’t being applied to all media. CRA CEO Joan Warner explained the group’s position saying:

The industry has taken community concerns about gambling on board and our members are implementing measures to ensure they comply with the new rules when they come into force…We are concerned that similar restrictions for online platforms have not yet been put in place.

Regardles of the CRA’s concerns, the policy is set to take effect on March 30.

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Americans Wager $10 Billion on March Madness, 97 Percent Illegally

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Wednesday 14 March 2018 3:14 pm

As March Madness, in the form of the NCCAA Basketball Tournament, descends on the United States Americans are set to wager more than $ 10 billion on office pools and traditional single game wagers. Unfortunately for the gambling industry, about 07 percent of that cash will bypass legal outlets entirely. But with the potential of legal sports betting on the horizon, is this the last year that gambling operators miss out on March Madness cash?

According to a recent report from the American Gaming Association (AGA), about 10 percent of all Americans, or about 24 million people, will participate in NCAA bracket pools involving a cash payout. This is despite the fact that nearly two-thirds of all US states prohibit this sort of activity.

Not surprisingly, AGA President and CEO Geoff Freeman thinks this is a tad bit insane saying:

Our current sports betting laws are so out of touch with reality that we’re turning tens of millions of Americans into criminals for the simple act of enjoying college basketball. The failed federal ban on sports betting has created an illegal, unregulated sports betting market that offers zero consumer protections and generates zero revenue for state and tribal governments.

But given the fact that the US Supreme Court is getting ready to rule on whether or not states can offer single game wagering in a regulated environment, this could be the last March Madness that’s marked by widespread criminal activity. Should the high court rule in favor of New Jersey, as many as 48 states could be offering regulated sports betting, and March Madness pools in 2019.

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UK Gaming Operators Threaten to Pull Sports Sponsorships Over FOBT Changes

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Monday 12 March 2018 3:16 pm

Every year, gaming operators in the UK shell out millions of pounds for sports sponsorships of all kinds. This torrent of cash is used for everything from acquiring top level football stars to propping up struggling sports such as horse racing.

But if a series of proposed changes to fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBT)passes into law, companies like Ladbrokes Coral have indicated that their days of spending big cash on sponsorships will be a thing of the past.

At the heart of the issue is a government effort to curb problem gambling that revolves around the controversial gaming machines known as FOBTs. Recent technological advances have allowed these slot and poker machines (sometimes also known as “fruit machines”) to provide punters with an incredibly high rate of play. Some machines can whirl off a spin every two seconds. That, of course, is a major problem for problem gamblers (who sometimes refer to them as “video crack”).

To combat this problem, lawmakers have proposed lower the maximum wager on an FOBT from £100 to just £2, as well as slowing the overall rate of play. To say that this would impact the bottom line at most UK-based gaming operators is a bit of an understatement. That’s why Ladbrokes says that if the law is passed, its ability to provide sponsorships will be upended, and that could have a big impact on the UK sporting world.

In an interview with the BBC, a representative of Ladbrokes Coral emphasized the importance of sports sponsorships for both operators and sport clubs saying:

“A severe stake cut has many implications not least on jobs, the Treasury and the sports we support. Sports sponsorship is a two-way street, yes we get exposure but it also helps sports finance their entire structures right down to grass-roots funding.”

Within the sporting world, gaming sponsorships and their connection to FOBTs is something of a double-edged sword as Racing Post editor Bruce Millington explained to the BBC saying:

“No-one likes the fact that the horseracing industry is a hostage to a whole load of high octane fruit machines but there’s little question that a £2 limit would have significant implications.”

The impact of the proposed changes to FOBTs is quite serious and the gaming industry’s push to let the world know its impact is a good indication of how seriously major players like Ladbrokes are taking the matter.

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Aussie Pokie Reforms Under Fire for Not Going Far Enough

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Saturday 10 March 2018 3:14 pm

A new set of reforms on Pokies in New South Wales is under fire for not going far enough and leaving certain, at-risk, communities vulnerable to the impact of problem gambling. It’s just the latest volley in the ongoing effort to control Australia’s controversial slot machines at a regulatory level.

At the core of the most recent controversy is an effort by the New South Wales (NSW) Government to put a cap on the number of pokies in the state. This includes geographic limits that will prevent new machines from going into neighborhoods that are deemed to be at-risk for problem gambling. In particular, lawmakers are focused on the Fairfield neighborhood which houses a very large immigrant community.

Under the proposed reforms, the number of pokies in a certain area would be frozen at current levels. Though anti-gambling reformers say that’s not enough, NSW Minister for Racing Paul Toole is very pleased with the effort and described them in an interview with SBS News as, “…the most significant changes to gambling regulation in NSW for a decade.” He went on to say that, “These reforms follow extensive consultation and represent a reset of the way gambling is regulated in NSW.”

Despite Toole’s enthusiasm, anti-gambling forces such as the Alliance for Gambling Reform point out that capping pokies at their current levels is simply not enough. They point out that areas such as Fairfield already house more pokies than the rest of Tasmania combined.

In short, the Aussie battle over pokies is still a long way from coming to any sort of resolution.

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New York Tries Bargaining with Leagues on Sports Betting Issues

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Thursday 8 March 2018 3:14 pm

As the decision by the US Supreme Court on legal sports betting nears, lawmakers in states like New York are figuring out exactly how their new markets will be in regulated.

Earlier this week in New York, State Senator John Bonacic introduced a bill that spells out exactly how the state will deal with the thorniest issue surrounding regulated single game wagering, how to deal with the demands of professional sports leagues. In particular, Bonacic is looking at how to handle the leagues’ demands for a piece of the action by way of Orwellian-titled, integrity fees.

Bonacic’s bill, SB799 offers the leagues 0.25 percent of the gross revenue generated by operators offering single game wagering (in New York that includes casinos and race tracks). That’s a real shot across the bow to the leagues, which have been demanding one percent of the action. Under the language of bill, the integrity fee could not amount to more than two percent of the operator’s gross gaming revenue.

While there’s little doubt that the leagues won’t like the reduced integrity fee, they should like the fact that SB799 requires operators to use league data streams for in-play wagering. This would provide a major source of revenue from regulated sports betting to the very organizations that have opposed it for decades. Operators would, however, be free to use their own data for single game wagering. Bonacic did, however, leave the door open for leagues to make requests that operators use their data for multi-game wagers and futures.

Bonacic has acknowledged that threading the needle in an effort to please all the parties involved in regulating sports betting has been, “quite challenging.”

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NBA and MLB are Cool with Regulated Sports Betting…and 1% of the Action

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Sunday 4 March 2018 3:14 pm

As the US Supreme Court inches closer to making a decision on whether or not to legalize sports betting in the United States, we’re learning more about what it would take to get professional sports leagues on board with the plan. In the case of the NBA and MLB, all it’s going to take is a mere one percent of the total sports betting handle.

Representatives of the leagues brought that demand to life at a hearing in front of the West Virginia State Legislature that was looking at what regulated sports betting might look like in the state. Attorney Scott Ward, who represents both leagues in this matter, reiterated their desire to take one percent off the top for something he calls an, “integrity fee.”

The integrity fee would, supposedly, be used to help monitor potential fraud such as game fixing. It’s an idea that the leagues have proposed before and it’s one that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

For starters, regulated markets act as their own barrier against fraud. For example, regulated sportsbooks regularly monitor this type of fraud themselves. Their interest in preserving the integrity of the game is equal, or greater, than that of the leagues because they’ll lose money, and credibility, on fixed games also.

The leagues’ demands for a pound of flesh also underscore a fundamental misunderstanding of how much revenue sportsbooks really make. After all, with a record handle of over $ 158 million on Super Bowl wagers this year, Las Vegas sportsbooks only took about 1.8 percent of the action. Margins like that are unsustainable when outsiders are chipping away at it for the sake of “integrity.”

A representative for the state lottery commission dismissed the idea of handing over one percent of the handle to the leagues by pointing out that that one percent could actually cost more than the ten percent tax the state was already proposing.

In short, there’s still a lot of work to be done before the United States is ready for regulated sports betting.

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Austria to Gambling Sites: Hand Back 30 Years Worth of Winnings

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Friday 2 March 2018 3:15 pm

A recent proposal from the Austrian government sounds like something out of a problem gambler’s dream and a gambling operator’s nightmare; hand back the last 30 years worth of winnings. It’s all part of an effort by Austrian Finance Minister Hartwig Löger to protect the Austrian government’s own gaming interests from international competition.

Löger’s out-of-the-box plan includes an effort to block gambling domains that aren’t approved by Austrian authorities that are currently serving Austrian players. In Löger’s estimation, there are approximately 2,000 such sites.

As if that wasn’t enough, he’s also asking that players who lost money on any of those sites be refunded. That generous payback would apply to losses as far back as 30 years(!).

All of Löger’s ideas would be embedded in Austrian law as part of the country’s Gambling Act. It’s also safe to say that all of Löger’s ideas would be challenged in European Union trade courts and would stand little chance of surviving.

But enshrining new laws may not be as important to Löger as simply protecting the interests of an outfit called Casinos Austria. Casinos Austria both operates legal online gambling sites in the country and is partially owned by the Austrian Government.

The proposed legislation is, not surprisingly, being vigorously contested by the rest of the country’s gaming industry. Claus Retschitzegger, president of the Austrian Association for Betting and Gambling (OVWG) told local media that his group will fight the efforts as part of a larger effort to protect Austrian citizens working for companies like Bet-at-Home, which employees 300 Austrians.

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