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Gambling in the USA

PGA Tour welcomes regulated sports betting

Niji Narayan

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Photo credits: https://sportshandle.com
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The PGA Tour declares its support for regulated and legalised sports betting, in the wake of Supreme Court ruling in Christie v. NCAA case that seeks to lift the federal ban on state-sponsored sports betting imposed by the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992.  At present, Four states are exempt from the law, and Nevada is the only one allowed to offer betting on single games. The Supreme Court is expected to provide ruling on the before its July recess.

The PGA Tour, while supporting the regulated environment, seeks an “integrity fee,” likely 1% of the handle from betting operators as well as input or control over the types of wagers offered to mitigate corruption. And it wants gambling operators to use only official data it produces.

In this context, the PGA Tour would welcome regulated and legalised sports betting on its competitions if the Supreme Court overturns the federal ban that prohibits such bets in most states.

“You have to keep in mind that betting is happening right now, with illegal black markets and offshore betting, and we don’t have any exposure to what is happening,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan told USA TODAY Sports in his first public comments on the issue. “If it’s legalized and regulated, you get to a point where you can better ensure the integrity of your competitions. You can provide adequate protection for consumers, which doesn’t exist today. There are commercial opportunities for us, which is one of the things we’re here to do, which is to create and maximize playing and financial opportunities for our players. And we believe we’d reach a much broader audience.”

“If the court decides the law is not constitutional, then it will obviously change the landscape of sports in the United States in a significant way,” said Andy Levinson, PGA Tour senior vice president of tournament administration.

The Tour has invested considerable time and money studying sports betting for several years, Monahan says, meeting with regulators, integrity experts, betting operators and others in the gambling industry. Monahan says the Tour has collaborated with the NBA and Major League Baseball to align lobbying efforts on the state and federal levels for legislation it supports.

For instance, the Tour seeks an “integrity fee,” likely 1% of the handle from betting operators. The Tour also wants input or control over the types of wagers offered to mitigate corruption. And it wants gambling operators to use only official data it produces.

“We’re making sure our voice is being heard,” Levinson said. “A lot of things remain to be determined. It’s not simply switching a switch. When the court rules it’s going to be big news for a while.”

Monahan says the Tour recently launched integrity programmes in coordination with sports data company Genius Sports, which monitors all of the Tour’s events in real time for suspicious betting activity. In part, the programme prohibits players, caddies, staff and others connected to the Tour from betting on professional golf through an operator or providing inside information to others for betting golf.

Genius Sports also provides integrity educational services, including an online module that is mandatory for all members. Plus, the Tour has installed a system for investigating and sanctioning parties for violations. Players have been kept apprised of the potential for legalized sports betting, and Levinson says “they are on board.”

Adding to the uncertainty in the looming Supreme Court decision is whether Congress would be involved and whether online sports betting would be allowed. Levinson spent time in the U.K. where legalised sports betting is prevalent. He learned that 95% of the handle is bet online. In the U.S., only Nevada has online betting within its borders.

Levinson says if sports betting is limited to brick and mortar casinos, illegal online gaming will continue on a massive scale. Legalised mobile betting would help states maximise tax revenues, promote integrity and protect consumers, he says.

All in all, fans are a long way off from being able to legally bet that Tiger Woods would win a tournament or that Jordan Spieth would best Rickie Fowler in a head-to-head wager. Regulatory bodies would have to be created on the state level, licensing fees determined, a sports betting system put in place — all contingent on the Supreme Court’s decision.

“The point some people will make is that we are now actively supporting legalized gambling. Well, yes, we are,” Monahan said. “Because we want to protect the integrity of our competitions, protect the consumer, and there are commercial opportunities. And we have a fan-first mentality. We want to grow and diversify our fan base. There are a lot of things we are doing to address that, and this could be another avenue that contributes to that.

“Like anything else we do, we are being very thoughtful. If we’re to go down this path, and it’s a big if, because at this point there is a lot of uncertainty, we’ll be prepared and we’ll protect our players and protect our constituents who are involved.”

Gambling in the USA

Gaming Americas Weekly Roundup – May 17-23

Niji Narayan

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Welcome to our weekly roundup of American gambling news again! It was again an eventful week at the USA, despite the still-active virus attack.

The good news is that the lock-down and social restrictions to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic have been eased in many states. As a result, most of the industrial sectors are resuming their operations. Same in the case of the gambling sector too. Several gambling companies too have restarted their operations and some others are on way to resume.

We also report new partnership deals, publication of financial results, and COVID-19 relief efforts in this weekly round-up. Read on and get updated.

Partnership Deals

Evolution Gaming signed a strategic agreement with online casino operator Golden Nugget. The deal will see Golden Nugget’s existing online offering further enhanced in New Jersey, and potentially in other US states in the future, by the addition of Evolution’s US online Live Casino services. As per the deal, Golden Nugget’s online players will have access to unique Evolution game types such as Dream Catcher, Side Bet City, and Top Card, as well as other games from the Evolution portfolio.

Also, the leading sportsbook and casino platform provider BetConnections inked an agreement to obtain DS Virtual Gaming’s full list of games. The integration of the games will give players access to a selection of DS VG’s hit releases with HD video content and state-of-the-art graphics.

There was happy news about Konami Gaming too as its SYNKROS CMS has been selected by Jamul Casino to deliver comprehensive gaming enterprise management across the 200,000 square foot destination.

Konami’s SYNKROS will deliver its leading systems technology across Jamul Casino’s 39 live table games, 1600+ slot games, restaurants, bars, and more.

Financial Reports

The Delaware Lottery reported a 39% year on year increase in online gambling revenues for April 2020. While the state’s land-based venues have been forced to close due to COVID-19, players have turned to online sites instead.

Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and the Harrington Raceway generated total revenues of US$856,182, up from US$615,772 the previous year. This number was and also higher than the US$514,959 generated in March this year.

COVID-19 Relief Efforts

The Alabama Food Bank Association received support from Wind Creek Hospitality, a company owned by the Alabama-based Poarch Band of Creek Indians, to help provide 250,000 meals to Alabama families during the COVID-19 pandemic. The support comes at a critical time for food banks in Alabama as they respond to a greater need during this unprecedented crisis.

Announcements

Ulrik Bengtsson, CEO of William Hill, has revealed that the company is planning to launch online casinos in the US in the second half of 2020.

Despite taking a hit to its results in Q1 2020, William Hill is determined to power up quickly in the second half of the year.

Surveys

Fantasy sports site Monkey Knife Fight (MKF) found in a recent survey of its 1000 users that the popularity of golf will soar both on viewership and participation.

Of MKF’s users, 76% reported that they would participate in a fantasy golf prop contest once golf returns. This is in sharp contrast (181% increase) to the 27% that reported ever having played one MKF golf prop contest before the pandemic.

Compliance

The Colombian gambling regulator Coljuegos published the live casino regulations. These regulations allow the country’s licensed gambling operators to offer live casino games from casinos or studios located within Colombia or overseas, subject to the certification of games by an approved testing house.

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Gambling in the USA

Grover Gaming Surpasses $150M Raised for Charities

Niji Narayan

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Grover Gaming Surpasses $150M Raised for Charities
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Greenville-based Grover Gaming has announced that it had surpassed $150 million in monies raised for charities through their charitable gaming and partners across the US.

These partners represent hundreds of charities, organisations, and fraternal groups, including the Loyal Order of the Moose, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks, the Fraternal Order of Eagles, and many others. These organisations are responsible for the support and care of millions of Americans and Veterans through hospitals, schools, retirement homes, and research centers.

“This is another incredible milestone for our charitable gaming partners. As the past few months have shown, charities and fraternal organizations often take the lead when it comes to providing help and support during difficult times within their communities. We’re proud to help our partners fulfill that mission as we continue to provide the most entertaining gaming experiences in the industry,” Garrett Blackwelder, President of Grover Gaming, said.

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Gambling in the USA

AGS Partners with Kindred to Offer Online Real-money Games in New Jersey

Niji Narayan

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AGS Partners with Kindred to Offer Online Real-money Games in New Jersey
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AGS has partnered with the Kindred Group to provide its online, real-money games for Kindred’s Unibet brand in New Jersey.

AGS has launched on Kindred Group’s nj.unibet.com with six of its highest-performing games: Fu Nan Fu Nu, Golden Wins, Jade Wins, Longhorn Jackpots, Olympus Strikes and Rakin’ Bacon.

“It’s exciting for AGS to partner with the Kindred Group and provide our high-volatility, entertaining, and proven slot content for their Unibet New Jersey online casino. Kindred’s Unibet brand enables us to introduce our popular AGS games to thousands of new fans and to partner with one of the world’s largest online gaming operators,” Matt Reback, Executive Vice President of AGS, said.

“It has been a true pleasure working with AGS on the launch of their games. AGS game titles are certainly well-known to retail players in the U.S. and are proving to be just as popular with online slot enthusiasts who seek high-volatility thrills and popular features like pick’em bonuses, progressive jackpots, and free games. We look forward to growing our partnership with AGS as we expand our reach in the U.S.” Manuel Stan, Kindred Group U.S. Senior Vice President, said.

AGS offers its game content to seven online operators in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Rush Street Interactive, Caesars Entertainment, Golden Nugget, Kindred Group, Mohegan Sun, Resorts World and Parx Casino.

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