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Gambling in the USA

Florida governor announces deal with Seminole Tribe on gambling money

Niji Ng

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Florida Governor Rick Scott has announced an agreement between Seminole Tribe and the state, which would see the company extending its payment of more than $300 million a year as casino money to the state. The announcement comes in the wake of legislative leaders holding behind-the-scenes talks about revamping the gambling industry.

The tribe would keep on making the payments, as per the 2010 gambling agreement, through the 2019 legislative session. In exchange, the tribe will have exclusive rights to offer games such as blackjack at its casinos and will remain the state’s only slot-machine operator outside of Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

Scott, who will leave office in January after eight years, said “Today, I am proud to announce that the state of Florida has reached an agreement with the Seminole Tribe which ensures the tribe’s current commitment remains intact.… Since I took office, the Seminole compact (the 2010 agreement) has generated more than $1.75 billion which has helped our state make historic investments in things like Florida’s education and environment.”

This announcement is not expected to scuttle negotiations between House and Senate leaders as they try to enforce a sweeping gambling bill before the November election, when voters will decide whether to allow a constitutional amendment that would make it difficult to expand gambling. The proposed amendment, subject to approval, will allow the voters to decide on future gambling expansions, as opposed to the present system that is controlled by the legislature.

Rep. Jose Oliva and Sen. Bill Galvano, who will take over as House speaker and Senate president after the fall elections, have been in talks for weeks — without the Seminoles at the table — about a possible special session on the gambling issue.

The two leaders are reportedly close to agreement but have not closed out a deal that likely would encompass slot machines, controversial “designated player” card games and myriad other gambling-related issues. Lawmakers’ efforts to reach agreement on major gambling issues have repeatedly failed over the years.

“It’s a positive development but does not rule out a special [session]. There are still many questions regarding the statewide framework of gaming,” Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, said in a text message, referring to the agreement that Scott announced Wednesday with the tribe.

The ongoing discussions between the Republican legislative leaders are “more of a conversation than a negotiation,” Oliva said.

The agreement announced Wednesday would guarantee until May 2019 the continued flow of Seminole cash into the state budget — ostensibly one of the reasons legislative leaders have been floating the idea of holding a special session. But the agreement also could be part of an effort to head off attempts by lawmakers to expand gambling through steps such as allowing slot machines outside of Broward and Miami-Dade.

“It certainly is a positive step. However, we are continuing discussions regarding a special session,” said Galvano, a Bradenton Republican who has been instrumental in negotiating agreements with the Seminoles over the past several years.

The announcement from Scott’s office came after a series of developments that began with the 2015 expiration of one of the critical provisions of the 2010 compact. That provision gave the tribe exclusivity in being able to offer banked card games, such as blackjack.

While the tribe continued making payments to the state after the provision expired, the money was put in jeopardy because of a dispute about lucrative designated-player games at state-regulated pari-mutuel facilities.

A federal judge sided with the tribe in a dispute over whether designated-player games breached the Seminoles’ exclusivity over offering banked card games. The tribe agreed to continue making payments to the state, and gambling regulators promised to “aggressively enforce” the manner in which cardrooms conduct the designated player games.

But a temporary deal between the state and the Seminoles, in which the tribe agreed to continue making the payments, expired late in March, sparking the push for a new round of negotiations.

The Seminoles have never threatened to stop making payments to the state, although their Tallahassee lawyer, Barry Richard, has repeatedly said that is something they could do, given the federal judge’s ruling.

The new agreement “was intended as a level of comfort to anybody in the Legislature or the governor’s office or anywhere else that had any concerns that the tribe was intending to end the payments, which we never intended to do,” he said Wednesday. “So we gave people comfort.”

Source: orlandosentinel.com

Niji has been in the writing industry for well over a decade or so. He prides himself as one of the few survivors left in the world who have actually mastered the impossible art of copy editing. Niji graduated in Physics and obtained his Master’s degree in Communication and Journalism. He has always interested in sports writing and travel writing. He has written for numerous websites and his in-depth analytical articles top sports magazines like Cricket Today and Sports Today. Besides reporting industry headlines from all around the globe, Niji is also head of the content management team at Impressions Content Management, based in Kerala, India, which offers writing and editing services to clients around the world.

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Gambling in the USA

ATG partners with USA’s biggest TV network for horse racing

George Miller

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Photo Source: ATG/swedishhorseracing.com
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ATG has come to a partner agreement with TVG, the largest TV network for horse racing in USA.

 

Starting September 17, 45 million American households has will be given the possibility to bet on ATG‘s products.

“This is a unique possibility for ATG to reach out to horse racing bettors in USA and will also be a great way of showcasing the great sport we have here in Sweden” says Lars Nemeth, head of international sales at ATG.

TVG is a Los Angeles based company, founded in 1987. TVG has today two TV channels and broadcast up to 15 hours of horse racing daily to 45 million American cable and satellite households. Since 2009 TVG is a part of the Irish Paddy Power Betfair betting concern.

“TVG is a strong trademark on the American market and they broadcast around 50,000 races a year from around the world. The main intention with this cooperation agreement is of course to create revenue for both parts but like I said, I also see it as a unique possibility to showcase Swedish horse racing” says Lars Nemeth.

The TVG customers will be able to bet Win, Place, Show, Exacta, Trifecta and Daily Double right in to ATG’s Swedish pool.

“Swedish Trotting, Swedish Gallop and ATG will be able to deliver world class products, therefor it’s fantastic to be able to offer our viewers both broadcasts and betting from Sweden. Business wise and also editorial we’re emphasising on the best races Wednesday through Sunday. In our regular broadcasts we will have lots of live updates and latest news about the races and in cooperation with Kanal 75 show stories about both the sport of trotting and gallop in Sweden” says Stephen Kennelly, Vice President of Product and Exchange, TVG FanDuel Group US.

On the international betting market so called rakebacks, where bettors will receive discounts based on how much they bet, very common. However, in all of ATG’s partner agreements no rakebacks are allowed, also in this deal wth TVG.

“Both us and ATG are interested in creating a sustainable long term deal. TVG has basically the same broad spectrum of customers as ATG, we focus on incentivizing and gaining new and existing business by providing access to high quality content and service, not through high volume rebates to a limited audience.” says Stephen Kennelly.

Facts, TVG
• USA’s largest TV network for trot and gallop horse racing – reaches 45 million households.
• Owned by the betting concern Paddy Power Betfair, Irland.
• 320 employees, most of them at their TV head quarter in Los Angeles, California.
• Broadcasts around 50 000 races each year from around the world through their TV channels TVG (seven days a week) and TVG2 (five days). the channels are also available online (www.tvg.com) and through Apple TV, Chromecast, Amazon and Roku.
• Will be able to bet Win, Place, Show, Exacta, Trifecta and Daily Double starting September 17, 2018
• TV and marketing support in TVG1 and TVG2 from September 23.

Source: ATG

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Gambling in the USA

Vegas Golden Knights signs deal with William Hill

Niji Ng

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Vegas Golden Knights signs deal with William Hill
Photo Source: ingingitinmotown.com - Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images
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World’s leading betting company William Hill and the Las Vegas-based National Hockey League (NHL) franchisee Golden Knights have signed a multiyear partnership. The deal will include in-arena signage and updated league-wide odds displayed on the video board during intermissions at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

This partnership is the first of its kind in North America between a bookmaker and an NHL franchise.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“We are always looking for innovative ways to engage different segments of our fan base and provide a unique fan experience,” Golden Knights president Kerry Bubolz said in a release announcing the deal. “This partnership between a major professional team and a sports book operator is a historic, landmark agreement and we are delighted to be leading the way with William Hill in this space.”

The partnership between sports franchises and bookmakers could be the first of many as more states elect to offer legal sports betting. The NBA recently completed a deal with MGM Resorts, making the company the “official gaming partner of the NBA.”

“We could not be more excited to partner with the Golden Knights,” William Hill CEO Joe Asher said in the release. “William Hill is the leader in the U.S sports betting market and we are proud of the fact that this is the first sponsorship agreement between a sports book and an NHL team in the country.”

Asher said at a recent gaming conference that the U.S. branch of William Hill has been fielding frequent requests from sports franchises asking about partnerships.

The NHL, along with other major U.S. professional leagues, has been an ardent opponent of sports betting, with commissioner Gary Bettman often expressing concerns about how legalised betting would impact the atmosphere in the arenas.

 

Source: ESPN

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Gambling in the USA

Court cancels Pennsylvania’s ban on gambling donations

Niji Ng

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Court cancels Pennsylvania’s ban on gambling donations
Photo Credit: AP
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

A federal judge has annulled legislation in Pennsylvania law that banned casino owners and persons who owns stakes in the gambling industry from contributing to political campaigns in the state. The court observed that the legislation is unconstitutional.

In her 31-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Sylvia Rambo said the provision violates constitutional protections over political association. However, Rambo did not close the door on lawmakers reviving a similar ban that is narrower in scope and tailored to the purpose of fighting corruption.

“The court holds only that the ban in its current form goes much further than necessary to achieve its stated purpose of eliminating corruption and the appearance of corruption,” Rambo wrote.

The U.S. Supreme Court, Rambo wrote, has ruled that preventing corruption, or the appearance of corruption, is the only sufficient reason to justify restrictions on political contributions.

So the Legislature, she wrote, could more strictly define who is subject to the ban by limiting its reach to those with close connections to a casino or imposing a limit on the amount of cash contributions. Right now, law acts as a wholesale ban on contributions of any amount, even $1, by people with “even an attenuated connection” to the gambling industry, far exceeding the necessary scope of such a prohibition, Rambo wrote.

The ban applied to people who own a stake in a casino, a slot-machine manufacturer or a casino vendor, as well as non-owner executives and important employees.

The prohibition has largely stood in Pennsylvania since the state legalised commercial casinos in 2004, touted as a major bulwark against gambling industry influence. A spokesman for the state attorney general’s office directed questions to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. A spokesman at the board did not respond to a request for comment.

The lawsuit was filed last year by Pasquale Deon, who owns a 2.5 per cent stake in Sands Casino in Bethlehem, according to gaming board records, and Maggie Hardy Magerko, whose family owns the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in southwestern Pennsylvania that is home to Lady Luck Casino.

With 12 casinos operating and a 13th under construction, Pennsylvania is the nation’s No. 2 state for commercial casino gross revenue, second to Nevada. At $1.4 billion in the most recent fiscal year, Pennsylvania rakes in more tax revenue from casino gambling than any other state, according to the American Gaming Association’s figures.

 

Source: AP

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