DraftKings Comes Under Fire Following Collusion Scandal Involving “Bachelor” Stars

Two stars from “The Bachelor” are facing allegations that they colluded in a DraftKings contest to win $1 million, adding to the controversies that the daily fantasy sports industry is facing. Jade Roper-Tolbert won $1 million in the DraftKings Millionaire Maker involving the NFL playoffs. She entered 150 lineups, which is the maximum number allowed for a single contestant. Tanner Tolbert, her husband who she met while filming “Bachelor in Paradise,” also entered the same contest with 150 entries. However, it is alleged that none…
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NCAA Game Rigging Scheme: From Working in Politics to Working with the Mafia

Benjamin Bifalco, a 25-year-old former political staffer for a New York State Assemblyperson, was arrested in October 2019 for his role in attempting to rig an NCAA basketball game. He is expected to plead guilty on the charges. Previously, we reported Bifalco was charged with violating 18 U.S.C. Section 224(a), which makes it unlawful to influence a sporting contest “in any way, by bribery. . . .” Per the indictment, Bifalco is alleged to have “knowingly and intentionally attempt[ed] to . . . influence by…
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Rolling the Dice: Florida Sports Betting and Gambling

In Murray v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, the U.S. Supreme Court’s (SCOTUS) decision paved the way for states to enact sports gambling schemes. SCOTUS held that, “Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each State is free to act on its own.” In essence, SCOTUS found that a federal law banning sports betting and gambling is unconstitutional. Following this ruling, a flood of state legislatures moved to capitalize on the sports betting market. Recently, Florida State Sen.…
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Injunction Denied: D.C. Court Rules No-Bid Sports Betting Contract Okay

Washington, D.C. Superior Court Judge John Campbell issued an oral order on October 18, 2019, denying a preliminary injunction request to halt a contract between the D.C. Office of Lottery and Charitable Gaming and Intralot. The contract would permit Intralot, the district’s current lottery operator, to administer sports betting within the district. Under the Sports Wagering Procurement Practice Reform Exemption Act of 2019, the D.C. council was given the authority to award the contract to Intralot without holding a competitive bidding process. Previously, we reported
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Feds Discover NCAA Game Rigging Attempt, Mafia Connected

On October 3, 2019, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York unsealed a series of indictments against alleged crime family La Cosa Nostra (the Colombo Family). Among those arrested were Benjamin Bifalco, an associate of the Colombo Family, and Joseph Amato Jr., the son of an alleged Colombo Family captain Joseph Amato. Bifalco was charged with violating 18 U.S.C. Section 224(a), which makes it unlawful to influence a sporting contest “in any way, by bribery. . . .” Per the…
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Washington D.C. Arena Will Be America’s First Sports Venue with Sportsbook

Capital One Arena, the home of the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals, is about to become the first major sports venue in the United States to have a sportsbook. Monumental Sports & Entertainment, owner of the teams and the arena, announced a partnership with sports betting operator William Hill US. The sportsbook will span multiple floors and be accessible to both non-ticketholders and ticketholders for certain events. Expected to open in 2020, the sportsbook will be open year-round and is accessible to the public from…
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FanDuel Owner to Become Largest Gambling Company in $6 Billion Deal, Targets U.S. Sports Betting Market

Flutter Entertainment PLC, the owner of Paddy Power and FanDuel, announced a $6 billion deal to purchase The Stars Group Inc. (TSG) and become the world’s largest online gambling company. Flutter, an Irish gambling conglomerate, owns gambling websites Paddy Power and Betfair, in addition to sports betting websites FanDuel, Sportsbet, and TVG. Meanwhile, Canadian company TSG owns the world’s largest poker website, PokerStars, as well as BetStars and Full Tilt Poker. The combined value of the companies is approximately $12 billion. Further, the combined…
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NFL Officially Partners With DraftKings for Daily Fantasy

On September 26, 2019, the NFL announced that it has selected DraftKings to be its first official daily fantasy partner. Notably, this partnership deal does not include sports betting. In a joint statement, the companies stated that their partnership includes “exclusive sponsorship of the daily fantasy sports category with access to NFL branding and more.” NFL Chief Revenue Officer Renie Anderson said, “[d]aily fantasy football has been a tremendous vehicle for fans of all types to deepen their engagement with the NFL.” Over 11…
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$29.5 Million Sports Betting Scheme Unraveled by SEC

On August 30, 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court of Nevada against John Thomas, 74, and Thomas Becker, 72. The SEC alleges Thomas and Becker ran a fraudulent $29.5 million sports betting investment scheme. The two men raised the funds from 600 investors across 40 states by “offering investors pooled investment contracts whereby [the investors] obtain the opportunity to share in the purported profits” from Thomas’ and Becker’s “proprietary sports betting system.” Thomas and Becker communicated…
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Status of Online Sports Betting in New York

New York’s legislature approved back in April 2019 the 2019-20 state budget of $175 billion. Notably, while provisions had been considered for inclusion into the budget regarding online sports betting, lawmakers ultimately nixed the issue from the final version of the budget. Background To date, the most obtrusive hurdle to overcome in the eyes of the legislators is the New York State Constitution. While Governor Andrew Cuomo has no opposition to limited, on-site sports betting at particular upstate casinos, he has consistently maintained that a…
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