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Sports gambling advocates see opening in court case

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Iowa gaming group drafts legislation in preparation for ruling

 

A case argued this week before the U.S. Supreme Court could — depending on how justices rule — open the door to legalized sports gambling in any state that approves it.

A nonprofit trade organization that supports Iowa’s casinos plans to draft legislation legalizing sports gambling in the state should the court rule in its favor.

I think there’s a great deal of interest among people (who want) the opportunity to bet on a game and do it in a regulated environment,” said Wes Ehrecke, president and chief executive of the Iowa Gaming Association. “If and when this were to be passed, to have that opportunity to provide this opportunity in Iowa, I think a lot of people have a great deal of interest in sports and betting on sports.

Indeed, interest in sports wagering is not in short supply. Americans illegally wager $150 billion on U.S. sports annually, estimates the American Gaming Association, which supports legalized sports betting. Of $4.7 billion wagered on last season’s Super Bowl, 97 percent was illegal, the group estimates.

Only four states — Nevada, Montana, Delaware and Oregon — are allowed to facilitate sports gambling under a 1992 federal law.

That law has been challenged by New Jersey in a case that was heard Monday by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Should the court rule in favor of New Jersey, all states would be free to legalize sports gambling.

The Iowa Gaming Association wants to be prepared. Ehrecke said his organization plans to draft such a bill and hopes it gets introduced in the upcoming legislative session.

If the court has not yet ruled before the legislative session ends, Ehrecke said lawmakers could approve a bill with the proviso that it depends on the ruling.

We would be interested in getting legislation adopted to legalize sports betting in Iowa at our casinos and regulated by our gaming commission,” Ehrecke said.

Iowa is among 32 states that are most likely to legalize sports gambling within five years of a Supreme Court ruling favorable for the states, according to a study from the California research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, the Associated Press reported.

Legalized sports wagering could provide a financial boon to Iowa’s casinos and the state, assuming it would tax legal sports wagering. Although state estimates are not available, Eilers & Krejcik estimates a legal sports gambling market would be worth more than $6 billion, the AP reported.

It’s going to generate revenue for the state as well,” Ehrecke said. “That would go to more worthwhile causes, like our gaming revenue, and tax revenue, does now.

Opposing New Jersey in the high court case are the professional sports leagues and the NCAA, which believe nationwide legal sports gambling would hurt the integrity of their games, according to arguments they made in court.

Spokesmen for casinos in Sioux City, Waterloo and Davenport either declined to comment or did not respond to requests.

Officials at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the Board of Regents, which governs Iowa, Iowa State and the University of Northern Iowa, said they had no comment.

A key state lawmaker said he is taking a wait-and-see approach before he decides whether the Iowa Legislature should explore legalizing sports gambling, should the opportunity present itself.

I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves here. Once we find out what the Supreme Court says, then we really need to assess what the people of Iowa want — do they want sports betting or not?” said Ken Rizer, a Republican from Marion who chairs the Iowa House state government committee, through which any gambling bill would have to pass.

Rizer noted the Legislature has spent the past two sessions debating a bill to legalize betting on online daily fantasy sports websites. Rizer said he supports that proposal, but wants to gather more information before deciding whether to support legalized gambling on games.

At the heart of the Supreme Court case is a question of the 10th Amendment — to what extent can the federal government can force laws upon the states?

The court’s decision could have repercussions beyond sports gambling.

The ruling “could have repercussions in areas that go well beyond sports betting: gun control, immigration, sanctuary cities,” Daniel Wallach, a Fort Lauderdale lawyer who specializes in gaming and sports law, told the Washington Post. “It is the most important federalism case the Supreme Court has heard in many, many years.

New Jersey has lost at every stage in court so far, but legal experts believe some of the justices’ questions during Monday’s hearing suggest the high court will rule in favor of the state.

If it does, Ehrecke said he hopes Iowa takes the next step to legalize sports gambling.

I think that could create some new interest for those that want to do that, to have a place for them to do that in a fun, regulated environment,” he said.

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.

Armenia

Armenian parliament adopts bill on gambling in the first reading

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The Armenia National Assembly voted overwhelmingly to adopt the draft law on making amendments in the law on combating terrorism in the first reading at today’s sitting.

 

The parliament fully adopted the draft law on making amendments and supplements in the law on the “RA Investigative Committee” and the attached package of draft laws in the second reading with a vote of 85 for and 7 against.

The issue of adopting the draft law on making addendum to the Criminal Code initiated by MPs Karen Avagyan and Hrayr Tovmasyan in the second reading was also put up to voting.

The bill passed overwhelmingly the parliament’s second reading. In a speech ahead of the voting, Tsarukyan faction MP Naira Zohrabyan voiced the faction’s intention to support the bill in the second reading since the proposals submitted by the bloc over the measure had been accepted.

The Armenian parliament also overwhelmingly voted to adopt the draft law on making amendments and supplements in the law on energy and the attached bill package in the first reading.

The draft law on making amendments and supplements in the law on “Games of Chance, Online Games of Chance and Casinos” and the attached package passed the parliament’s first reading, receiving a total of 93 votes in favour.

The National Assembly also fully adopted the law on the Constitutional Court and the attached draft package in the second reading with 87 votes for and 7 against.

 

Source: panorama.am

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EEG iGaming Directory

Play’n Go launches Mystery Joker 6000

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Omni-channel slots specialist Play’n Go has reinvigorated the much-loved fruit slot in its latest title Mystery Joker 6000.

 

The three-wheel, five-payline game delivers the same classical symbols known to slots fans, with the introduction of the Joker symbol which triggers free spins and big wins on finding it.

When players land a Joker on a payline that runs across reels one and two, the third will re-spin while the rest are held, and if a third Joker is found, the innovative mystery wheel feature is triggered, potentially paying out up to 6000 times the current coin value.

Mystery Joker 6000 allows players to transfer winnings from the main game into the super meter mode, where bets cost double but wins even bigger, and with the mystery wheel even easier to find.

Landing three jokers randomly across the reels in the base game will pay out randomly up to 6000 times the coin value, with three on the one payline automatically awarding the full 6000 times to the player.

Significantly, super meter mode offers an RTP of over 100%, hugely attractive to players looking for consistent wins, and unique for what appears to be a traditional fruit slot.

Johan Törnqvist, chief executive officer of Play’n Go, said: “The traditional fruit slot has been a mainstay of the casino space for decades with players loving its simplicity and regular payouts.

We’ve decided to add the Play’n Go creative touch to the classic and reinvigorate the genre for today’s player, and we’re sure they’ll enjoy Mystery Joker 6000’s much-improved gameplay.

The Super Meter mode will offer players constant choice between big wins or potentially even greater ones should they feel lucky, particularly as the Mystery Wheel will come into play when finding just two Jokers.

Mystery Joker 6000 marks Play’n Go’s final release of an award-winning year, which has seen it launch 60 new titles across various genres. It’s set to build on this in 2018, with a product roadmap in place that will see even more innovative and enjoyable slot releases.

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Asia

Hard Rock details Maldives plan

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The casino operator announced its plans to expand its portfolio in the Maldives.

 

Hard Rock International revealed yesterday its plans to expand its portfolio with Hard Rock Hotel Maldives and Hard Rock Cafe Maldives. The operator is set to participate in what will be the first integrated resort in the Maldives.

The facility that will be located within one of the Maldives’ largest lagoons, Emboodhoo Falhu, is expected to debut in October 2018. The first phase of the development includes a US$311 million investment that expected to boost tourism, and offer new services like hotels, entertainment and retails. Hard Rock Hotel Maldives is set to be part of the three resorts included in the project, and will include 178 guest rooms, family suites and beach villas.

Todd Hricko, senior vice president, head of global hotel development for Hard Rock, said: “Known for its vibrant culture, top-of-the-line luxury and some of the most breathtaking white-sand beaches in the world, Maldives is truly a slice of paradise and one of the world’s most desirable destinations. Traditionally regarded as being a popular honeymoon destination, we at Hard Rock are excited to work with the Singha Estate team to captivate multi-generational travelers, showcasing that the destination can cater to more than just newlyweds.

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