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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MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said the league is reexamining its stance on gambling.
When fans bet on games, Manfred continued, it “can be a form of fan engagement, it can fuel the popularity of a sport. We all understand that.”
And make no mistake: fans are betting on games. The American Gaming Association estimates that $4.7 billion was bet on this year’s Super Bowl, an all-time high—but 97% of those bets were placed illegally.
“Sports betting happens,” Manfred said. “Whether it’s legalized here or not, it’s happening out there. So I think the question for sports is really, ‘Are we better off in a world where we have a nice, strong, uniform, federal regulation of gambling that protects the integrity of sports, provides sports with the tools to ensure that there is integrity in the competition … Or are we better off closing our eyes to that and letting it go on as illegal gambling? And that’s a debatable point.”
President Donald Trump discussed the prospect of legalizing sports betting during a radio interview before the Super Bowl on Sunday.
GRAY: “You know quite a bit, as a former casino owner, and you have a particular insight — today an estimated $5 billion will be wagered, $4.8 billion, unregulated and untaxed illegally. What is your position and thoughts on making sports gambling legal nationwide?”
TRUMP: “Well, what I’d do is I’d sit down with the commissioners. I would be talking to them, and we’ll see how they feel about it. Some would not want it, and probably others — and I’ve read others maybe do. But I would certainly want to get their input and get the input from the various leagues, and we’ll see how they feel about it. I’d also get the input from lots of law enforcement officials, because, obviously, that’s a big step.
“So we wouldn’t do it lightly, I can tell you. It will be studied very carefully. But I would want to have a lot of input from a lot of different people.”
A likely U.S. Solicitor General has emerged, and he will have a key role in New Jersey’s case against PASPA which prevents nationwide legal sports betting.
The solicitor general position matters a great deal to the state of New Jersey in its ongoing case to offer legal sports betting within its borders.
The state has twice tried to pass laws regarding sports betting. Those efforts have been met with defeat after defeat in federal court. Now, the NJ sports betting case is being appealed to the US Supreme Court.
The latest development in that case? SCOTUS asked the SG’s office to weigh in with the federal government’s take on the case. That matter will fall to Cooper, if he indeed becomes the next solicitor general.
Maryland joins the lists of states that have introduced bills in efforts to legalize sports betting.
The new legislation that surfaced Thursday would not attempt to create a challenge to federal law, as in the New Jersey sports betting case. Instead, it would legalize sports betting should the applicable federal law — PASPA — be repealed, altered or deemed to allow for single-game wagering.
A reporter for MMQB spent Super Bowl Sunday following Jay Kornegay, the vice president of race and sports operations at Westgate Las Vegas.
To certain people, like Jay Kornegay, it’s everything. The VP of race and sports operations at Westgate Resort & Casino—where the motto is: “Good Teams Win; Great Teams Cover”—manages the largest book in Vegas, housed in a humble, off-strip property opened in 1969 as the International Hotel. His staff estimates that about 80% of the bets coming through for the Super Bowl are long-shot wagers like the one on Hogan; low buys, high returns and slim chance on actually cashing in. The sportsbook isn’t the most profitable venture in a Vegas casino, but on a day like Sunday it’s practically guaranteed to win big.
“This game is a bookmaker’s dream,” Kornegay says after arriving at the casino at 8 a.m. for what will be a 14-hour day.
Whatever consumer confidence there is in the Patriots is mitigated by their unpopularity. “They win too much, so there’s some jealousy there,” Kornegay says, “and people feel they bend the rules. People will bet the Falcons because of that distaste.”
A Nevada lawmaker introduced a bill that would lower the legal gambling age from 21 to 18.
Back in 2008, the idea to lower the legal gambling age to 18 was floated by some state gaming regulators after the question was raised by a lawyer during a gaming law conference in Las Vegas. But the idea was quickly shot down by state lawmakers and never made it beyond an idea.