bettingroundup041117 Betting roundup

Both sides of betting debate meet in D.C.; Arm wrestling NFL players may face league fines

Twice weekly, we’ll comb through as many articles, tweets and podcasts as we can find related to the world of sports betting and daily fantasy sports, and publish the good stuff here. 

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A key meeting for the possibility of legalized sports betting in the United States happened yesterday.

The legacy of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), the federal sports betting ban enacted in 1992, will be at stake when the Trump administration soon makes its position known in a pending Supreme Court case that features the NCAA, NFL and other professional sports leagues against New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Parties for both sides are scheduled to meet Monday with the U.S. Office of the Solicitor General in Washington, D.C., to discuss the issues. Trump recently nominated Noel Francisco to be the new U.S. solicitor general, the administration’s top Supreme Court lawyer.

The solicitor general’s office will then submit a brief to the Supreme Court, which is expected to decide whether to hear the case by the end of its current term in June.

At stake is whether more states can offer legal sports betting without running afoul of federal law.

A handful of NFL players may have violated the league’s gambling policy by participating in an arm wrestling event.

Participating players could be in violation of the league’s gambling policy and may face fines. League personnel are prohibited from making promotional appearances at casinos or other gambling-related establishments.

“Had we been asked in advance if this was acceptable, we would have indicated that it was in direct violation of the gambling policy,” Joe Lockhart, NFL vice president of communications, told USA Today Sports, which first reported the league’s concern over the event. “No one sought pre-approval.”

Some Las Vegas sportsbooks refunded those who bet Dustin Johnson to win the Masters, but others didn’t.

Dustin Johnson walked to the first tee at Augusta National on Thursday. The fact that he pulled out of the Masters without ever teeing off resulted in some gamblers getting their money back and others losing it either way.

Among the Las Vegas sportsbooks refunding money — taking the belief that the bet is off if the golfer doesn’t play — are Westgate, South Point, Wynn, Golden Nugget and Station Casinos.

Others, including MGM, Boyd Gaming, Caesars, CG Tech and William Hill (the largest Nevada sportsbook operator in terms of number of sportsbooks and market share), told bettors that Johnson’s lack of a single stroke in the year’s first major championship still results in a lost futures bet.

More money was bet on Johnson to win this year’s Masters than any other golfer at multiple Las Vegas sportsbooks.

The Seattle Times interviewed American Gaming Association President Geoff Freeman about the shifting landscape of sports betting for professional sports leagues.

At least, that’s how Geoff Freeman sees it. As president of the American Gaming Association, trade representative — aka lobby group — for the nation’s casino industry, he views the Raiders’ move as confirmation of sports betting having gone mainstream.

“I think it speaks to the mainstream nature of the industry and why you’re seeing greater comfort in working more closely with the industry,’’ Freeman said. “Already, in the case of the NFL, you have 28 of the 32 teams within an hour of an existing casino. And so, the omnipresence of the industry has changed the outlook on the industry.’’

Freeman sees it leading to leagues eventually allowing fans to bet on games directly on websites like And that’s a big deal, especially when you consider Pete Rose remains ineligible for the National Baseball Hall of Fame because he bet on games nearly 30 years ago.

Legal Sports Report posted an article about an online sportsbook that boasts a United States mailing address.

There are many offshore,online sportsbooks that take bets from American customers.

This is well-known, despite the fact that they all operate in the United States illegally. Federal law prevents legal sports betting outside of Nevada.

Almost all of them are not brazen enough to have a real presence in the US, however.

But at least one online sportsbook that is bucking that trend, as a site called claims to have an address in Florida.

A bill has been introduced in Illinois to legalize and regulate daily fantasy sports betting in the state.

The legislation’s chief sponsor, Rep. Michael Zalewski, D-Riverside, says the regulations proposed are designed to protect players.

“I think daily fantasy sports continues to be operating in a regulatory vacuum,” Zalewski said. “This has been going on for two or three years now where their sites have operated free and clear of regulatory laws or tax rates.”

The bill would offer protections such as an age restriction of 21, prohibiting employees of the fantasy contest providers from playing, and would require an annual independent audit to ensure providers are complying with the requirements.

Zalewski said that by allowing and taxing daily fantasy sports betting in Illinois, the state could bring in potential revenue to help pay for schools and other services.