bettingroundup042117 Betting roundup

Times article reveals NFL’s betting hypocrisy; Alabama House approves DFS bill 43-38

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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The New York Times was the latest publication to point out the NFL’s contradictions when it comes to sports betting as the league prepares to send a franchise to Las Vegas.

Las Vegas has evolved enough for us to bless it with our presence, the league seemed to be saying.

But the decision to leave Oakland and embrace Las Vegas presents conflicts for a league that has long stood vehemently against gambling. A franchise will live in Sin City — a notion considered a nonstarter just five years ago — as a neighbor of the casinos and sports books that for so long were the enemy.

Goodell has said that the league’s policies are all about protecting the integrity of the game, but they amount to a hodgepodge of contradictions.

The league continues to fight legal efforts that would effectively let states other than Nevada and Delaware introduce sports gambling even as leagues like the N.B.A. and the N.H.L., which have stood with the N.F.L. in court, have softened their stance on the issue. The N.F.L. also continues to penalize players and other league personnel who are paid to appear at casinos even as team owners collect millions of dollars from sponsorships with casinos, state lotteries and fantasy football providers, and play games in England, where sports betting is legal.

This week, the Alabama House of Representatives approved a daily fantasy sports bill with a vote of 43-38.

Fantasy sports betting includes daily fantasy platforms like DraftKings and FanDuel. The state last year issued cease-and-desist orders to both providers, with former Attorney General and now U.S. Senator Luther Strange arguing they constituted illegal gambling.

Much of the debate surrounding the decision centered on whether daily fantasy games were primarily skill- or luck-based. Several states have gone on to allow the games, while Alabama and a contingent of about a dozen states continue to prohibit the operations.

The new bill would regulate fantasy sports contests and tax a portion of the operator’s profits. The bill now moves on to the Senate.

An reporter speculates on whether or not the NCAA omitted New Jersey from hosting an NCAA tournament basketball game until at least 2023 has to do with the state’s efforts to legalize sports betting.

The NCAA announced 600 host sites for preliminary rounds and finals of the Division I, II and III championships on Tuesday in several sports, and none of the basketball games are in New Jersey.

Criteria for landing an NCAA Tournament game includes optimal facilities, ease of travel to location and ample lodging and providing a safe and respectful atmosphere. New Jersey has met those specifications in the past — hosting the Final Four at the Meadowlands in what is now called the Izod Center (the last time a non-stadium hosted the event). Prudential Center in Newark, home to Seton Hall, was home for the Eastern Regional in 2011, and was praised as a host.

But the NCAA may be put off by New Jersey’s efforts to legalize sports gambling. A 2011 law that allows Las Vegas-style sports betting at state casinos and racetracks led to lawsuits from the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB as well as the NCAA. College championships have been scarce in the Garden State since the law was passed, though the 2019 Division III men’s volleyball championships will be held at Kean University and the 2020 Division III women’s field hockey championships will be hosted by Montclair State.

Two Mississippi men were fined for their roles in an illegal sports betting operation.

Russell Miller and Christopher U. Anthony each faced maximum penalties of two years in prison and a $250,000 fine at their sentencing hearings Wednesday in U.S. District Court.

Chief Judge Louis Guiorola Jr. fined Miller $5,000 and ordered three years of post-release supervision.

Guirola fined Anthony $3,000 and placed him on probation for one year.

The men were sending the bets — primarily on football games — to offshore online betting houses.

The San Diego Union-Tribune checked in with former sportscaster Brent Musburger on his new career in Las Vegas.

Musburger, who signed a two-year deal with VSiN and now lives in Vegas with his wife Arlene, is discussing his reasons for taking the gig when he’s briefly interrupted by an enthusiastic gentleman he calls “Joe the Barber.”

“Had a good night last night Brent,” Joe says while holding up a couple of winning betting slips that he’s about to turn in for cash. “Taking a long look at the MLS and that Atlanta team. I like them at home.”

As Joe goes on sharing his thoughts on Major League Soccer, Musburger leans in and intently listens. It’s no act. He’s really invested in what Joe has to say. It’s as if he’s back in his CBS days on “The NFL Today” with his buddy Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder, who taught an entire generation of young football fans how to think beyond: “I hope my team wins.”

“You’re going to be my guy on soccer,” Musburger says while jotting down notes on pad of paper. “I don’t know a lot about it but I like what you’re saying. Keep me posted on that.”

ESPN’s Uni Watch blog published reader submissions of Las Vegas Raiders uniform ideas.

Our latest challenge was trickier. With the Oakland Raiders moving to Las Vegas, we wanted to see how they might look after getting a facelift for their relocation to the desert. Tinkering with the Raiders’ look is a dicey proposition because most fans like the team’s uniforms just the way they are. How can you mess with the iconic silver and black?