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Why the US Supreme Court Struck Down PASPA

Niji Ng

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Photo credits: commons.wikimedia.org
Reading Time: 4 minutes

The United States Supreme Court has ordered to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).

PASPA, penned in 1992 by New York Knicks hall of famer and former New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley, came into force on New Year’s Day 1993. It slapped a virtual ban on sports wagering across 46 states and limited three other states to sports lotteries. The only state that received an exemption from the sole blanket ban was Nevada. New Jersey was also got a one-year window to legalise sports betting, but could not do so.

However, the apex court struck down PASPA this week on the grounds that it violates a provision of the 10th Amendment, commonly known as the anti-commandeering doctrine.

The anti-commandeering doctrine provides that, if the Constitution does not specifically reserve a power to the federal government (in this case, legislating sports wagering) or directly strip that power away from the states, that power resides with the states. The provision is known as the anti-commandeering doctrine because it is understood to bar the federal government from “commandeering” the rights of the individual states to enforce federal law.

In this case, since PASPA does not specifically ban sports wagering, rather the ability of the states to pass laws of their own to legalise sports wagering, the Court held that PASPA violates the anti-commandeering doctrine and thus, the 10th Amendment.

This battle started in 2012 when New Jersey passed a law to legalise sports betting. Shortly thereafter, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and all four major American sports leagues (NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL) sued the state of New Jersey, claiming that the law violated PASPA. When the lower federal courts ruled in favor of the NCAA and the leagues, New Jersey retreated but returned in 2014 with a new law, specifically tailored to challenge PASPA but only at casinos and racetracks. Predictably, the NCAA and the leagues took New Jersey to court again and eventually prevailed in the United States Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit.

However, that ruling was overturned by the Supreme Court. Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito opined, “It is as if federal officers were installed in state legislative chambers and were armed with the authority to stop legislators from voting on any offending proposals.” Alito continued, stating that “[a] more direct affront to state sovereignty is not easy to imagine.”

It is important to note that this ruling does not legalise sports betting nationally or in any state, including New Jersey. The strike-down of PASPA merely paves the way for each state to pass its own laws addressing sports gambling. The majority points out that it is still within the purview of the federal government to pass laws restricting sports gambling on a national scale, but that if it does not, it may not enact a law such as PASPA, which prohibited the states from passing sports wagering laws of their own; “Congress can regulate sports gambling directly,” writes Alio. “But if it elects not to do so, each State is free to act on its own.”

In addition to New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Mississippi have all passed bills legalising sports wagering and over 15 other states have introduced similar bills in the preceding months, in anticipation of today’s ruling.

While PASPA may seem, at first glance, an automatic ticket to the explosion of esports wagering in the United States, Will Green, Senior Director of Strategic Communications for the American Gambling Association is not so sure.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Green stated “I don’t think PASPA is the vehicle for the blossoming of esports.” Green points to the lack of esports-specific verbiage in pending state legislation and feels that “there has to be clarity [regarding esports being classified as a sport for betting purposes by regulators], and right now there are more questions than there are answers.”

Green’s point, while not determinative, is not without merit. While esports has gained a tremendous following and a great deal of mainstream acceptance in the US, it is still not what many would consider a mainstream sport. As such, it could be argued that esports was not envisioned by the legislators when the various state bills were written and might, therefore, have an uphill climb to fight for inclusion under those laws.

For his part, Seth Schorr, CEO of Las Vegas’s Downtown Grand Hotel and Casino, one of the first sportsbooks to accept bets on esports, appears to have a different outlook. Also speaking to The Post, Schorr referenced a memorandum of understanding between the Nevada Gaming Control Board and the esports Integrity Coalition in support of his opinion that esports will be defined as a sport for betting purposes. Schorr did qualify his statement, however, noting concerns around match-fixing and cheating, “You can’t bet on football; you can bet on the NFL,” Schorr told The Post. “I see Nevada looking at specific esports leagues and offerings [in order to assure the integrity of the matches on which bets are made].” Schorr continued, stating that while he believes the repeal of PASPA will ultimately have a “massive impact” on esports wagering, he cautions that the transformation might not happen as quickly as is expected for mainstream sports betting; “Everything takes time,” Schorr explained. “Each state is different. We are catching up with the rest of the world.”

Now that PASPA has been repealed, there is no telling how large the esports wagering market in the United States can grow or how long it will take to get there. As reported by both ESPN and Chris Grove, an estimated $5 billion was wagered illegally on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Database-Link-e1521645463907 through skin betting alone in the United States in 2016. When we account for the massive growth of CS:GO, along with the popularity of other games, including League of Legends Database-Link-e1521645463907, Fortnite Database-Link-e1521645463907, and PUBG Database-Link-e1521645463907, as well as the recent launch of Activision Blizzard’s Overwatch League, it is clear that the esports wagering market in the United States has the potential to be substantial.

Meanwhile, the American Gambling Association estimates that roughly $150 billion is wagered illegally each year on sports in the U.S. How much of that number is poised to flow into esports may very well be determined by how broadly each state’s sports wagering legislation is perceived. Whatever happens in the near term, it seems clear that esports wagering is knocking on the United States’ door. The question now appears to be when that door will open.

Source: esportsobserver.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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eSports

UltraPlay wins Best B2B Digital Product Solution at G2E Asia Awards

George Miller

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UltraPlay wins Best B2B Digital Product Solution at G2E Asia Awards 2018
Mario Ovcharov, CEO of UltraPlay receiving the award.
Reading Time: 2 minutes

May 22nd, 2018, Sofia, Bulgaria – Advanced betting solutions provider UltraPlay has been recognized by the industry at G2E Asia Awards for its eSports betting feed ODDS.gg winning the Best B2B Digital Product Solution Award. The Award’s ceremony was held during G2E Asia, on May 15th, at MGM Grand Macau.

Commenting on the accomplishment, Mario Ovcharov, CEO of UltraPlay said: “It is very satisfying to see our strategy for providing the highest quality of eSports betting data and solutions recognized by the industry at the leading gaming exhibition in Asia. Winning the Best B2B Digital Product Solution Award for ODDS.gg is a special tribute to the combined dedication of the entire team at UltraPlay and the unrivaled qualities of our advanced eSports betting suite.

ODDS.gg provides real-time eSports odds, based on the idea of combining machine learning algorithms and human trading interactions. This hybrid methodology allows the system to learn from previous outcomes while taking into account what people are likely to bet on in an effort to accurately predict winners. ODDS.gg is adopted by the industry’s professionals from all across the globe, as a working model for eSports betting, covering the requirements of both operators and gaming consultants alike.

UltraPlay has taken its eSports product ODDS.gg onto the next level by evolving both number of events, games and live betting coverage. Reaching the unprecedented numbers of 25 game titles, 3000+ eSports event a month, 1500+ in-play events as well as 50+ markets, ODDS.gg offers the widest coverage on eSports betting and is the industry’s leader in this very specific and highly-demanded sector.

Following the award, the company has reported an increased interest from many new potential partners operating on key Asian markets during the three days of G2E Asia, in Macau. The company’s booth at the leading Asian exhibition gathered many operators and organizations interested in the development and advantages of the company’s sports and eSports betting solutions as well as the eGold cryptocurrency powered by UltraPlay. The new front-end solution that UltraPlay has presented during the show also attracted many who are looking for a turn-key solution to start operating online on a global scale.

Recently, the company has announced that its live betting model was enhanced to offer more markets on the Golden Trio – CS:GO, Dota2 and League of Legends. New tournaments and several new games titles were included in the company’s portfolio as well such as King of Glory, GWENT, NBA 2K League and others.

UltraPlay’s solutions offering a wide range of betting verticals – from sports to eSports betting and cryptocurrencies wagering allow a new betting website to launch successfully and be solidly positioned on the online gaming market. Through the company’s solutions experienced and well-known bookies can definitely expand their business with the hottest betting options the players and online operators are constantly demanding such as eSports and crypto betting.

 

About UltraPlay:

UltraPlay is a modern technological company, founded in 2010, with the core ambition to offer an innovative approach to the online gaming industry by providing advanced betting solutions, focused on sports and eSports betting, live betting, white label, online casino and Blockchain technology.

Assembled by a team of iGaming professionals with vast experience in betting product development, operations, eSports and marketing, UltraPlay is a trusted partner for delivering superior sports software and odds products to its customers. Learn more about the company here: www.ultraplay.co

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Australia

Nova Entertainment enters eSports business with ESL

George Miller

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Nova Entertainment enters eSports business with ESL
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Nova Entertainment, the Australian entertainment company has entered the realms of eSports business in form of a strategic partnership with ESL. The partnership will see Nova Entertainment selling ESL inventory for ESL AU & NZ Championships in Australia through their radio and digital platforms.

Nick Vanzetti, Managing Director of ESL Australia explained the strategic deal in a statement: “ESL has pioneered the way in esports live events and broadcast innovation in Australia and it is our mission to continue to develop the ecosystem here. Partnering with NOVA Entertainment will provide the growth platform to bring mass audience to esports in Australia through IEM and the ESL AU & NZ Championships.

Nathan Reay, Head of M&A, Strategy and Partnerships at NOVA Entertainment commented: “We are excited to partner with ESL, a global leader in esports, with an established award-winning presence in Australia. As esports experiences enormous growth, NOVA Entertainment is committed to being at the forefront of its expansion in Australia.

 

About ESL:
ESL, a part of the international digital entertainment group MTG, is the world’s largest esports company, leading the industry across the most popular video games with numerous online and offline competitions. It includes high-profile, branded international and national leagues and tournaments such as the IEM Sydney, ESL One, ESL National Championships and other top-tier stadium-size events, as well as grassroots amateur cups, leagues and matchmaking systems.

ESL covers a broad field of services in gaming technology, event management, advertising and television production, fully catering to the needs of the esports ecosystem. With offices in North America, Germany, Russia, France, Poland, Spain, China, and partners in many other countries, it has a global footprint.

ESL creates and promotes gaming experiences globally with its Australian flagship event, IEM Sydney, part of the longest-running global pro gaming tour in the world. The annual competition features the world’s best gamers in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive amongst other esports titles with over $7m in prize money to date.

Australia’s largest esports event, IEM Sydney, returned for a second consecutive year at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena in May, building on its online audience of over 8 million last year. Additionally, the nationally focused ESL AU & NZ Championships are entering their third year of competition in 2018.

 

Source: esportsinsider.com

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eSports

Epic Games Will Provide $100,000,000 For Fortnite Esports Tournament Prize Pools In The First Year Of Competitive Play

George Miller

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Epic Games Is Giving Away Massive Rewards In First 'Fortnite' Esports Season
Reading Time: 1 minute

Fortnite Competitors!

Grab your gear, drop in and start training. Since the launch of Fortnite Battle Royale we’ve watched the passion for community competition grow and can’t wait to empower you to battle with the best.

In the 2018 – 2019 season, Epic Games will provide $100,000,000 to fund prize pools for Fortnite competitions. We’re getting behind competitive play in a big way, but our approach will be different – we plan to be more inclusive, and focused on the joy of playing and watching the game.

Stay tuned for more details about competitive structures and eligible platforms in the weeks ahead!

 

By The Fortnite Team

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