Online Gambling or Sports Betting Prospects Stalls in Mississippi

Mississippi Representative Chuck Espy introduced Bill HB806 earlier this week in preparation for possible legalization of sports betting in his state. However, this depends entirely on whether or not New Jersey’s court battles to bypass the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act is successful or not.

The past few years has seen New Jersey locked in legal battles with the Department of Justice and the national sports leagues as it endeavors to get around the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which restricts sports betting to only four US states.

Rep. Richard Bennett, the chairman of the state House Gaming Committee, said in an interview with the Sun-Herald newspaper on Monday that the immediate possibilities were remote for both online gambling and sports betting.

Last year Rep. Bennett assembled the Internet Gaming and Sports Betting Task Force which was led by Allen Godfrey, a Mississippi Gaming Commission Executive Director, asking for a study of the legal, financial and technical considerations of betting on sports and Internet gambling. The study was requested due to Mississippi’s declining land casino revenues over the past two years which was mainly due to competition from other states.

The Sun-Herald also quoted Bennett as saying that sports betting would definitely help the industry in Mississippi but that he noted that it was a state that was going to “sit back and watch” as the New Jersey litigation on PASPA progressed, and warned that Internet gambling in New Jersey generated only 10% of what it had predicted. Bennett also said that it is just too early for them to look at going to Internet gaming in Mississippi right now and that it would have to be conducted strictly within state boundaries as half the people in Mississippi do not have a computer or Internet access.

DraftKings Signs Deal with NASCAR

DraftKings, a market leader in the flourishing Daily Fantasy Sports vertical, is thrilled to announce that it has entered into a new business deal with an American sports organization by signing an exclusive 3 year agreement with the NASCAR car racing body.

In terms of the new agreement, DraftKings has been given the authority to use the designation of “Official Daily Fantasy Sports Partner” in relation to NASCAR, together with an exclusive license which enables it to develop NASCAR-branded games for the Daily Fantasy Sports market.

NASCAR has also agreed to furnish DraftKings with a direct real time data feed which will enable them to give players up to the minute statistics on races and drivers. This information will also be made available on the Daily Fantasy Sports Company’s mobile app.

It is DraftKings’ intention to introduce new games in which Daily Fantasy Sports’ players get to pick teams of up to five top NASCAR drivers. Scoring in these games will be based on factors which include fastest laps, finishing position, laps led, passing differential and position differential. Special NASCAR prizes as well as cash will be awarded to winning players.

Steve Phelps, the auto racing organization’s marketing chief, revealed that NASCAR is using the Daily Fantasy Sports relationship in an endeavor to extend its influence and attract more enthusiasts by connecting with fans on a daily basis and providing a thrilling player experience to a new audience.

The new deal with NASCAR is the latest in a series that has seen DraftKings join up with franchises in all the major sports leagues in the United States.

Multi Million Dollar Bid Made for Bwin.Party

Sports betting and gaming company GVC Holdings Plc, has reportedly made an offer to take over Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment. Although the amount of the deal has thus far not been disclosed, it is expected to be worth hundreds of millions. Media reports have, meanwhile, sent the share price soaring.

Last November, Bwin.Party, the parent group of online gaming sites which include Bwin Poker and Party Poker, revealed that it had entered into preliminary discussions with several interested parties with regard to a variety of potential business combinations.

GVC and Bwin Party issued very similar statements on Friday which reconfirmed to the market that they were currently in talks.

The statement issued by Bwin Party on Friday referred to the media speculation and said that it is continuing its discussions with GVC and “a number of third parties”. The statement added that GVC has submitted a revised set of proposals with regard to a variety of possible business combinations.

According to the statement by GVC, it was revealed that the group has submitted a proposal for the acquisition of Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment in its entirety. The company also stated that if the proposed transaction were to be approved, the acquisition would be treated as a reverse takeover that would require the approval of the shareholders.

Both GVC and Bwin Party have made it clear that there can be no guarantee that these discussions will lead to any transaction being completed, and have promised to give a further update in due course.

According to data on the London Stock Exchange on Friday morning, Bwin Party was portrayed as having a market capitalization of £805 million, compared with GVC’s market capitalization of about £280 million.

The ACMA Investigates Ladbrokes Australia’s “Quick Call” and William Hill Australia’s “Click to Call”

Ladbrokes

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA) is currently investigating bookmakers’ recent efforts to bypass the country’s ban on online in-play sports betting.

In terms of Australia’s 2001 Interactive Gambling Act, punters who wish to place in-play sports betting may only do so via telephone or in person at a betting shop.

William Hill Australia launched a “click to call” feature last month which uses voice recognition technology in order to enable punters in Australia to place in-play wagers from their mobile devices without making a traditional phone call.

Ladbrokes Australia thereafter launched a “QuickCall” feature which digitally synthesizes punters’ voices to enable them to make a live bet on the punter’s behalf. According to Ladbrokes, this system was the most convenient way to place a bet on a live sporting event that has ever been available with a bookmaker.

Senator Nick Xenophon, an anti-gambling advocate, expressed his intention to write to the ACMA to request that they take action against Ladbrokes Australia and William Hill Australia. At the same time The Australian reported that the ACMA had received many complaints in this regard and that they were in the process of investigating the issue.

According to Xenophon, Ladbrokes and William Hill were effectively “giving the middle finger” to the 2001 law and that he did not rule out pushing for a legislative rewrite in order to clarify that such workarounds are illegal.

The previous federal government was toying with the idea of revising the 2001 law in order to allow for online in-play betting as well as poker but failed to follow through on its plans.

Ladbrokes to Title Sponsor Scottish Professional Football League

Ladbrokes

Ladbrokes, a world leader in online betting and gaming, has announced that it has entered into a deal in terms of which it will become the new title sponsor of the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL).

The deal between Ladbrokes and SPFL will run for a period of two years, from the 2015-16 through to the end of the 2016-17 campaign.

The Scottish Professional Football League, which operates the top four divisions in the country, has been without a main sponsor ever since it was formulated in June of last year through a merger between the Scottish Premier League and the Scottish Football League.

The new Ladbrokes deal, will however, see the four leagues that are covered by the SPFL being known as the Ladbrokes Premiership, Ladbrokes Championship, Ladbrokes League 1 and Ladbrokes League 2.

In terms of the deal, Ladbrokes will also have rights across all four leagues and 42 clubs and the company plans to use these various rights in order to host a number of activations.

Prior to the confirmation of Ladbrokes’ new deal, Betfred, a rival bookmaker, had also been linked with possible sponsorship of the SPFL.

Neil Doncaster, the Chief Executive of SPFL, stated that as an established and respected leading brand in its very competitive marketplace, Ladbrokes is a perfect partner for the SPFL and that they have a shared vision of a positive future for professional league football in Scotland.

The Chief Executive Officer of Ladbrokes, Jim Mullen, added that this new partnership will help to propel Ladbrokes and the SPFL to new heights and will put them at the heart of Scottish football throughout the year.