Saturday, March 30, 2013

Nevada Lawmaker Seeks To Allow Betting on Presidential Elections

A Nevada senator introduced legislation to allow casinos to accept bets on US political elections.  Wagering on elections would be new in the US, but is common in other countries such as the UK.  The Las Vegas Sun article covering the story reports that the Irish online gambling company, Paddy Power, took $1.6 million in wagers over last year's presidential election.

The legislation would potentially allow wagering on more than just the presidential election.  Quoting from the article, "the law would allow betting on Senate, congressional and presidential campaigns. Segerblom said he would be open to allow bets on state elections as well, and said the law could also allow bets on the Academy Awards and other cultural events."

This is great news for YouGaming's patented pari-mutuel fantasy concept.  The concept, covered by three US Patents, covers pari-mutuel fantasy wagering on any human event or contest in both a skill game and a wagering game implementation.  To try out the feasibility of these kind of games, YouGaming's skill game website,, crafted a US Presidential fantasy game and an Academy Awards fantasy game on the site and tested game logic.

The wagering games being proposed in Nevada can easily be implemented in both a fixed odds as well as a pari-mutuel format.  The pari-mutuel format will allow the casinos to offer games freely without the worry of loss due to the setting of an improper payout odds or betting line.  In pari-mutuel wagering, the house just takes its percentage off the top, with the rest being paid to the winning bettors.  In these new game areas, pari-mutel will be a safer approach for the casinos and very likely more profitable, due to the higher takeout percentage.

Read more:

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Atlantic City Casinos To Add Fantasy Sports Games For Money

Sticking a finger in the eye of the sports leagues that have won the first legal decision to prevent the State of New Jersey to offer sports betting, New Jersey is allowing casinos to offer daily fantasy sports games as an alternative.  According to the New York Times article, the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement published regulations establishing standards for casinos to offer fantasy sports tournaments for money.  Even though players will pay money to play and can win cash, New Jersey won't regulate these games as gambling, dovetailing with federal law that distinguishes between fantasy sports and sports gambling.

From a gaming industry perspective, these games are not envisioned to be money makers for the casinos on their own.  They will be used as marketing tools to help attract players that will hopefully stay and play other games, eat at the restaurants, etc.  From New Jersey's perspective, this may open another front in the battle over sports betting, showing the court that what the sports leagues are doing with fantasy sports really isn't all that different than sports betting.  Don't be surprised if the casinos expand the offering to include college sports in addition to professional sports, hoping the NCAA tries to legally stop the activity.  That may be the legal trap being set by New Jersey.

The Times article does quote how this could be good for casinos as people will feel comfortable online with a trusted entity.  The person who said that from a online gambling advocacy group obviously doesn't know anything about fantasy sports.  Over 30 million Americans play fantasy sports now, predominantly online, with large players such as CBS and Yahoo.  They aren't going to switch to some Atlantic casino website because a state government says it is OK.  The federal government back in 2006 said it is OK.

Don't read too much into this development as a great positive for fantasy sports.  Think of this development as another chess move in the battle for sports betting in New Jersey.  If New Jersey wins, that is the big development as that will allow any state to offer sports betting if it desires.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

New Jersey Sports Betting Loses in District Court

Although not totally unexpected, a Federal judge ruled against the State of New Jersey with regard to its challenge to the constitutionality of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).  So, with this ruling, New Jersey can not proceed with implementing sports betting.  As it stands, sports betting is still allowed in just four states:  Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana.

Don't expect New Jersey to quit - an appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit is almost a given.  Whoever loses there will almost certainly appeal to the US Supreme Court.  This is a multi-round fight, but the first round goes to the NCAA and sports leagues.

Read more about this issue here.