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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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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Washington D.C. Mayor Signs Sports Betting Legislation

On Wednesday, January 23, Washington D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser signed the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act, bringing the nation’s capital one step closer to becoming the next American jurisdiction to legalize sports betting. Back in December, the D.C. Council voted 11-2 to legalize sports betting within the city’s stadiums, private businesses, and on a mobile app. Uniquely, this authorization made D.C. the first American jurisdiction without casinos to authorize sports books. With Major Bowser’s signature, the bill now enters a 60-day review period by the…
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NFL Reaches Limited Sponsor Deal with Caesars Entertainment

On January 3, 2019, the National Football League announced its inaugural league-wide sponsorship deal with a casino company, Caesars Entertainment. While the financial terms have not yet been disclosed by Caesars or the NFL, it has been reported that the partnership will run for three years, costing $30 million per year. Previously, seven NFL clubs – the Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, Oakland Raiders, and the Philadelphia Eagles – maintained relationships with Caesars. This new deal also comes prior…
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FanDuel Strikes Deal with NHL as Official Sports Betting Partner

Via joint press release, FanDuel announced its partnership with the NHL, unveiling its multi-year deal as the official daily fantasy sports partner and sports betting partner. The partnership is not the first of its kind for the NHL, as the organization announced a comparable agreement with MGM Resorts International shortly before its FanDuel partnership. The NHL’s strategy to cozy up with sports betting giants is a sharp turn away from its previous views on the gambling practice. Back in 2016, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman stated…
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