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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NFL Partners with Australian Sports Bookmaker, Signals Future Cooperation in America

With the emergence of widespread sports betting in the USA, we’ve seen the vast majority of the major sports leagues – including the NBA, MLB, and NHL – join forces with sports books, allowing the bookmakers to use live statistics and official licensing on their platforms. Notably absent from these deals, however, has been the NFL. While ESPNews recently rebranded to show live odds and statistics concurrently with its primary programming, nothing official from the NFL may be shown—the sport is listed as Professional Football,…
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Bills to Permit Sports Wagers at NYC Arenas Being Discussed

Legislation is on the New York Assembly floor that would allow betting at sporting venues like Madison Square Garden, Yankee Stadium, and The Barclays Center. Assembly Bill A06113 was amended on June 6, 2019 to allow a sports stadium or arena in a county without a horse track or casino to offer sports betting. The bill is sponsored by Gary Pretlow, the chairman of the Assembly Racing and Wagering Committee. The amendment would revise Bill S 17, which dealt with mobile sports gambling,…
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New York Gaming Commission Approves Rules for Licensing and Operating Sports Wagering Facilities

The New York Gaming Commission (Commission) unanimously approved rules for licensing and operating sports wagering facilities across upstate New York on Monday, June 11. This is a major step toward the allowance of sports betting in New York, which is now the fourteenth state to legalize some form of sports betting following the May 2018 Supreme Court ruling that struck a law federally banning sports betting in the United States. Legal experts estimate that New York sports books will be fully operational by the beginning
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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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Caesars, ESPN Reach Media Partnership Deal

On May 14, 2019, ESPN announced a media content partnership with Caesars Entertainment. Similar to Caesars’ deal with Bleacher Report, its LINQ Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas will host a brand new ESPN-branded studio, where they will produce sports-betting-themed content and contribute to ESPN’s Daily Wager show. In addition to the studio, Caesars will serve as ESPN’s official odds data supplier throughout its platform. Per ESPN’s Vice President of Business Development Mike Morrison, “[w]e are poised to expand our coverage in a big way…
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