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Online Gambling Opponent: UIGEA Architect Bob Goodlatte To Retire From Congress

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One of the architects of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act(UIGEA) is calling it a career. After 26 years, Virginia Republican Bob Goodlatte announced he will be retiring at the end of his current term.

 

Goodlatte announced his retirement through a statement that reads in part: “With my time as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee ending in December 2018, this is a natural stepping-off point and an opportunity to begin a new chapter of my career and spend more time with my family, particularly my granddaughters.”

Goodlatte is the latest in a string of retirements by high-profile Republican lawmakers, and just days after Virginia Republicans suffered historic electoral defeats at the state level.

Goodlatte is also the second anti-online gambling congressional chair to announce his retirement this year. Earlier this year, Jason Chaffetz, the sponsor of the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA), abruptly retired.

Goodlatte’s gambling legacy

Goodlatte’s legacy is vast. But he’s best known in gaming circles for his role in crafting the UIGEA, and sneaking it through Congress in the Safe Ports Act of 2006.

Goodlatte authored the original legislation the UIGEA was largely based on, the Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act, and was one of the UIGEA’s most vocal supporters in Congress.

As much damage as Goodlatte caused, he inadvertently opened the door for legal online gambling in the US.

When a ban turns into legalization

Daily fantasy sports has used the fantasy exemption in UIGEA to its advantage.

UIGEA states: “…participation in any fantasy or simulation sports game or educational game or contest in which (if the game or contest involves a team or teams) no fantasy or simulation sports team is based on the current membership of an actual team that is a member of an amateur or professional sports organization … and that meets the following conditions: …”

In part because of this language, DFS is now expressly legal in no less than 17 states.

Another UIGEA supporter, Rep. Jim Leach (R-IA) has since said DFS is something he never anticipated: “The assumption was that while unconstrained Internet gambling could change the nature of America’s savings and investment patterns, fantasy sports would be a ‘de minimus’ footnote. No one ever conceived of it becoming a large scale activity or that it could transition into one-day contests”

Online gambling, too

Further, UIGEA contains language that allows intrastate online gambling: “The term “unlawful Internet gambling” does not include placing, receiving, or otherwise transmitting a bet or wager where— “(i) the bet or wager is initiated and received or otherwise made exclusively within a single State;

“(ii) the bet or wager and the method by which the bet or wager is initiated and received or otherwise made is expressly authorized by and placed in accordance with the laws of such State, and the State law or regulations include—”

That language, along with a 2011 Office of Legal Counsel opinion, paved the way for  Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey and now Pennsylvania to legalize online gambling.

Goodlatte’s name is anathema to online poker players. But they can take some comfort in knowing his efforts to prohibit online gambling have been indirectly driving legalization efforts.

George Miller (Gyorgy Molnar) started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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Gambling in the USA

Boom In 2021 March Madness Wagering Reflects Expansion of Legal Betting Market

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Boom In 2021 March Madness Wagering Reflects Expansion of Legal Betting Market

Online sports betting operators are set to see record-breaking wagering on March Madness this year.

The three-week long, single-elimination, seven-round NCAA college basketball tournament got underway in Indiana on March 18 and runs until the Championship final on April 5.

The dramatic growth of sports betting popularity over the last two years has been attributed to the ever-expanding US legal market which has seen 14 new legal jurisdictions open up and offer legal sports gambling. This equates to almost 74 million more Americans being able to safely and legally bet on March Madness this year.

The latest state to offer sports betting was North Carolina which went legal on March 18 just in time for bettors to get involved in the March Madness action.

17.8 million say they will place a bet online, up 206% from 5.8 million in 2019.

According to a report published by the American Gaming Association (‘AGA’) $8.5 billion was gambled on March Madness in 2019 by 5.8 million people.

With 45% of American adults now living in a state with legalized sports betting the number of people doing their March Madness betting online is expected to top 17 million in 2021.

Offline bets are also estimated to increase this year with the number of Americans placing their college basketball bets at brick-and-mortar sportsbooks nearly doubling.

March Madness Key Dates:

  • March 18-19: First Round
  • March 20-21: Second Round
  • March 25-26: Sweet 16
  • March 27-28: Elite Eight
  • April 3: Final Four
  • April 5: National Championship

2021 March Madness Wagering Estimates

47.4 million American adults are expecting to bet on March Madness this year. That’s more than 20% of the population!

Although that’s about the same number that indicated they would bet on the tournament in 2019, the number of people betting with a sportsbook is set to rise dramatically.

Other key findings reported by the American Gaming Association:

  • 30.6 million Americans expect to place more traditional NCAA March Madness bets with sportsbooks on this year’s tournament, up from 17.8 million in 2019.

  • 8.3 million expect to place a bet at a physical sportsbook, up 79% from 2019.

  • 36.7 million Americans say they will fill out a bracket, down 8 percent from 2019.

Bill Miller, President and CEO, American Gaming Association said The sports betting landscape has changed dramatically since 2019 – and as a result, tournament betting has transformed. With more legal, regulated options than ever before, millions of customers now have safer ways to enjoy all the fun and suspense only March Madness provides.

This year, due to the global pandemic, the tournament will be held entirely in a single state (Indiana) with the Championship final game scheduled for April 5 at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

According to Vegas-Odds.com futures betting data from online sportsbooks – the teams most likely to take home the Championship trophy are the Gonzaga Bulldogs (+170), Baylor Bears (+375) and the Houston Cougars (+800).

More March Madness Facts & Stats:

  • Gaming analysts Eilers & Krejcik estimated that if all 50 U.S. states had legal online sports betting, sportsbooks would handle $15.2 billion in total bets for March Madness alone, grossing about $1.2 billion of revenue.
  • Interest in this NCAA men’s college basketball tournament is up slightly from 2019 with 26% of Americans saying they are very interested in March Madness, compared to 23% two years ago.
  • Regulated Vs International Sportsbooks : $3.9 billion of bets will come mostly by way of international websites and bookmakers, though 4.1 million people will also place legal wagers through licensed U.S based casinos & sportsbook operators.
  • The betting odds of predicting all 63 March Madness games correctly is 1 in 9.2 quintillion!
  • The longest winning streak of NCAA tournament bracket picks to start the March Madness tournament stands at an astonishing 49, with an Ohio bettor correctly predicting the entire 2019 NCAA tournament into the Sweet 16 stage.
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California to compete with Las Vegas

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Casino operators in California are investing in the business to be able to compete with Las Vegas.

 

Casino operators in the State of California are innovating the market to strengthen its potential and be able to compete with the neighbouring city of Las Vegas, the most renowned gaming hub of the country. According to a recent study, 27 percent of tourists in Las Vegas come from the state of California.

Therefore, local native tribes that operate casinos in the region decided to further invest in innovative gaming services for residents and boost the regional economy. The operators are planning to improve current casino services by adding “integrated resorts, complete with shops, restaurants, spas and various other entertainment activities.

Katherine Spilde, director of Sycuan Institute on Government Gaming at San Diego State University, explained: “The tribes are really responding to a mature tourist market.” And added: The integrated resort is the evolved model of gaming where the gaming is just one part of the larger experience.

Meanwhile, the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians has recently held a pre-inauguration event celebrating the upcoming casino in California. The ceremony was held last Monday and authorities lifted white beams containing the signatures of tribal members, casino employees and construction workers to the top of the frame of the six-story hotel.

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Gambling in the USA

Pollard Equities Limited to support Scientific Games/NYX Gaming merger

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Canadian investment firm, Pollard Equities Limited has announced it has reached an agreement with NYX Gaming Group and Scientific Games Corporation to support the proposed acquisition of NYX by Scientific Games for $631m. 

A shareholders meeting to discuss the proposed acquisition is scheduled for the 20 December in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The acquisition can proceed if a majority in number of NYX shareholders present and voting, either in person or by proxy, represent at least 75% in value of the NYX ordinary shares held by those NYX shareholders present and voting, either in person or by proxy (excluding those shares already held by Scientific Games) or by a simple majority of the votes cast by the holders of NYX ordinary shares.

At present Pollard Equities Limited owns 8,621,300 ordinary shares of NYX and 4,000,000 warrants having upped its number of warrants last month in a CDN$120,000 deal bringing its potential stake in NYX Gaming up to 11.2%.

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