bettingroundup041417 Betting roundup

Lesniak is optimistic betting will get hearing; Luxor set to open eSports venue, offer betting

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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* * * published an article about the meeting on sports betting between New Jersey officials and the U.S. Solicitor General that happened earlier this week.

While the ever-optimistic state Sen. Ray Lesniak – an attorney who is gambling’s biggest proponent in the Legislature – can picture the U.S. Supreme Court deciding on whether to take the case by the end of June and possibly even hearing argument in late fall, Drazin – also an attorney – said he doesn’t expect to hear until the fall on whether the case will be heard. That takes us into 2018 even if they do take the case. But both men agree that the Solicitor General’s brief to the Court could be sent over next month. It is considered extremely likely in legal circles that the Court will follow the recommendation of the SG’s office on whether to take the case, as that position is sometimes referred to as “The 10th Justice.”

The Luxor Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas is set to open an eSports arena and has plans to offer eSports betting.

The Luxor is not the first Las Vegas casino to recognize the potential of esports. The Downtown Grand began studying the esports industry in 2015.

Since then it has created the first casino esports venue in Las Vegas.

“We had viewing parties, and now we have contests where aspirational sports players go to the casino floor and pay a cash entry fee to play in a tournament, play for a cash prize, and that happens every Friday and Saturday night,” CEO Seth Schorr told ESBR. “Once we saw that happening and working really well, we realised we were on to something.”

When Esports Betting Report interviewed Schorr in May 2016, MGM had already put on two major esports events. Almost anticipating the Luxor announcement, Schorr said:

“There’s no question that every major casino in Las Vegas is talking about esports. It’s certainly a topic in the boardroom. MGM has done a fantastic job producing two large events.”

Nevada sportsbooks will be able to take bets on the NFL Draft for the first time this year, but there could be some potential conflicts with PASPA.

Why would this be a potential problem? PASPA is a law that is very much up for interpretation. We’ve seen that in play in the New Jersey sports betting case.

“I do not see any issues with PASPA,” NGCB chairman A.G. Burnett told LSR after the initial media reports came out.

But parsing PASPA even further, it’s at least conceivable that the NFL could have grounds to make a federal case out of it. Why? Because of the wording of the law.

“The vague language of PASPA, coupled with broad precedent from the New Jersey sports betting case, makes it possible that at least one sports league could file a PASPA lawsuit to try to stop betting on player drafts,” Ryan Rodenberg, a professor of sports law analytics at Florida State University, told Legal Sports Report.

Rodenberg notes that the language of PASPA’s prohibition is based on wagering on “games.” However, “games” is qualified by the phrase “directly or indirectly” in section 3702. Do drafts “indirectly” impact games? While that might seem like a stretch, it might be enough to file a lawsuit under PASPA.


ESPN published William Hill’s offering of NFL Draft bets.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board recently signed off on a request to offer proposition bets on the NFL draft, which means that Nevada sportsbooks can accept wagers on the event.

Limits will be small, but it’s certainly an exciting development and one more reason to watch the draft.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette examines the the hypocritical stance on gambling from the NFL after the league is set to punish a group of players who participated in an arm-wrestling event.

Pardon the National Football League if, when it comes to gambling, the league instructs its players to “do what I say, not what I do.”

The NFL, which just overwhelmingly approved a move of the Oakland Raiders to the gambling mecca of Las Vegas, is investigating the participation by a group of NFL players in a charity arm-wrestling tournament at a Las Vegas casino over the weekend.

USC quarterback Sam Darnold opens as the favorite to win the 2017 Heisman trophy.

USC quarterback Sam Darnold’s dazzling finish to his freshman season has earned him the role of Heisman Trophy favorite at multiple Las Vegas sportsbooks.

The Westgate SuperBook on Sunday opened Darnold at 5-1 to win the Heisman. The Trojans sophomore is followed by Oklahoma senior quarterback Baker Mayfield (7-1) and last year’s Heisman winner, Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson (8-1).

ESPN published a lengthy feature article about the Raiders journey to Las Vegas.

Dan Tana’s Italian restaurant in West Hollywood, July 2014: Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis and team president Marc Badain sit in a back booth with NFL executive vice president Eric Grubman. The dinner topic, over chicken Parm, is a familiar one, an arduous task that bedeviled Davis’ legendary father for decades and now bedevils him: trying to find a real prospect for a new stadium. There have been many stops and starts, in Oakland and in Los Angeles, with no end in sight.

Grubman, the league’s longtime point man on stadium financing, says, “Mark, we gotta come up with a plan for you.”

“I’m going to Vegas, baby!” Davis says.

Grubman laughs. Davis doesn’t.

“You’re nuts,” Grubman says.

“No, it’s a good market,” Davis says.

“Mark,” Grubman says, “you’ll never get approved to Las Vegas.”


“They’ll oppose it on principle,” Grubman says, like a parent explaining the real world to a child. “It’s not gonna happen.”

Phony sports betting tout “Vegas Dave” was indicted for using “phony Social Security numbers” at Las Vegas sportsbooks.

Now, he will be tasked not with beating the odds but with beating the charges contained in the 19-count indictment against him.

According to the indictment, Oancea provided casinos and sportsbooks with Social Security numbers that belonged either to nobody or to someone other than him.