Despite Huge Office NCAA Competition, Warren Buffet Opposes Legalized Sports Betting

With the general consensus in the United States moving towards the legalization and regulation of sports betting, it comes as a surprise that the American business magnate and philanthropist, and the second wealthiest person in the United States, Warren Buffet, opposes the legalization of sports betting.

One of the reasons that his opinions are raising eyebrows is that Buffet has an incredible passion for March Madness – the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.  So much so, that Buffet, in his role as CEO of the company Berkshire Hathaway, is running a contest this year, offering a prize of $1 million per year for LIFE, for the employee who predicts the Sweet Sixteen.

Asked what he felt about the general momentum leading to legalized sports betting, Buffet said that he would be probably against that personally. “We’ve got casinos in Iowa, right across the river from Omaha, and the argument [in favor of changing the law], which is persuasive, is that Nebraskans go over there and deposit all their money in Iowa. But I still oppose legalizing gambling in Nebraska,” he said.

When asked why he opposes sports betting, Buffet said that he didn’t believe that there was anything to gain by having a country “where lots of people are going to be losers.”

“If they’re making a bet with the guy next to them, that’s one thing, but if they’re doing it against a sportsbook, they’re going to lose money all the time,” he added.

Hints of Legal Sports Betting in the US

Changes being made by the Trump administration to the US legal system could hint at upcoming changes to sports betting laws across the country.  Trump nominated Noel Francisco as his top Supreme Court attorney, making him representative of the administration’s executive branch in Supreme Court matters.

Francisco’s appointment could impact New Jersey’s numerous attempts to introduce Vegas-style sports betting in the state. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court invited the Solicitor General to file a brief explaining the federal government’s view on statewide sports betting – providing some hope for New Jersey and other states hoping to move away from the federal ban.

A researcher at Columbia Law School, Adam Feldman, explained why the Solicitor General is known as the ‘Tenth Justice’ – “Because of his or her regular appearances before the Supreme Court and trusted status as a litigant,” he said.

Last month, in replying to a question regarding his position on legal sports betting in the US, Trump did not close any doors to this option. “I would be talking to sports league commissioners, and we’ll see how they feel about it,” he said. “I’d also get the input from lots of law enforcement officials, because, obviously, expanded legalized sports betting is a big step.”

“We wouldn’t do it lightly, I can tell you that,” the president said. “It will be studied very carefully.”

Sports betting proponents are hoping that Trump’s willingness to discuss the issue is also reflected in the opinions of his new solicitor general.

William Hill reports a falling Operating profit in a ‘challenging year’

The last year has been a kind of flip flop for sports betting operators across UK while some made good improvement on YOY basis, there are also few who could not impress anyone despite having plenty of investments across marketing, new offers, and new gaming options.

William Hill is one such operator who has rather called the last year ‘challenging year’ in which they failed to use all their weapons for attaining a good financial result. It has precisely reported a 10% fall in its annual operating profit and blamed challenging trading conditions and unfavorable football results for the same. The profit for the 12 months through to December 27 is dropped to £261.5m (€310m/$328m) from £291m, and similarly earnings per share also fell by 13% YOY. Although, there is a small respite with revenue which has increased slightly to nearly £1.6bn despite a 3% fall in online business revenues.

William Hill has also reported that there are “positive trends” post December in all four of the company’s divisions in the seven weeks through to mid-February, including encouraging improvement in online, with UK sportsbook wagering up 10% and UK gaming net revenue up 8% which is a good sign for current year’s financial results. Talking about it, Interim chief executive Philip Bowcock said, “We have delivered extensive product, user experience and marketing improvements in online, modernised our retail management structure to focus more on the customer and continued to grow in our key international markets. There are now encouraging signs in all our divisions, in particular online’s UK business, which is now delivering sustained growth.

“Looking forward, we want to keep improving the customer experience. This means making it both fast and easy, as well as enjoyable and personal, to bet with William Hill. To do this, we are expanding our product range, increasing our marketing investment and deploying our technology assets and expertise in key areas. At the same time, we expect our transformation programme to continue delivering important efficiency savings that we can reinvest to deliver an even better customer experience and faster growth.

“We have a clear strategy to take the business forward and grow market share in the UK, while expanding our revenues internationally.”

Sporting Index Signs Up as ABP of British Horseracing Authority

Leading UK Spread betting firm Sporting Index has entered into an agreement with the British Horseracing Authority, the national governing body for horse racing, in terms of which it has become the latest operator to be certified as an Authorized Betting Partner (ABP).

The betting firm has committed to maintain a funding relationship with British racing until 31st March 2019 and has confirmed that its existing remote betting operations currently fall within the scope of the Levy.

Sporting Index has agreed to make voluntary contributions to British racing in accordance with ABP terms should it move any portion of its operations outside of the UK during the course of the agreement.

Authorized Betting Partners receive industry-provided benefits, the most important being the use of a kitemark across assets, central promotion via media campaigns, discussions with racing on the composition of the fixture list and access to an account manager resource within racing. Benefits are also offered to ABPs by commercial entities in the sport, at their discretion.

Paul Turner, Head of Sporting Index, commented on the agreement by saying that Sporting Index have been passionate supporters of British racing for 25 years and he is delighted to underline their commitment to the future of the sport by becoming an Authorized Betting Partner.

Will Lambe, Director of Corporate Affairs for the British Horseracing Authority added that they are thrilled to welcome Sporting Index as an Authorized Betting Partner of British racing and pleased that they recognize the mutual benefit of a partnership approach between racing and betting. He added that the Authorized Betting Partner initiative remains of critical importance to the health of industry and will continue until the new Levy Replacement system is implemented in April.

Coral to Sponsor the Punchestown Gold Cup

Leading bookmaker Coral has announced that it has entered into an agreement in terms of which it will become the new title sponsors of Irish horse racing event the Punchestown Gold Cup with the prize fund increasing by €50,000 to a total of €250,000 ($266,100).

The three-mile chase that will in future be known as the Coral Punchestown Gold Cup, is the highlight of the annual five day Punchestown Festival.

Gordon Elliot, Champion Trainer title-contender and previous winning trainer at the race, welcomed the announcement and revealed that they were lucky enough to win what is now the Coral Punchestown Gold Cup in 2015 with Don Cossack. He added that the race is always a target for them and that hopefully they will have another shot at it this year.

Simon Clare, PR Director at Coral, commented on his company’s decision to sponsor the Punchestown Gold Cup by saying that they are both proud and excited to be able to associate the Coral name with such a prestigious Irish jump race and are looking forward to working with the Punchestown team to promote this year’s contest, and those in years to come.

Janet Creighton, Head of Sponsorship at Punchestown, said that Coral first sampled the sponsorship experience at Punchestown on the final day of the 2016 festival and have returned this year as title sponsors at one of the most prestigious fixtures on the Irish sporting calendar. She added that she certainly thinks that shows their commitment to Punchestown and indeed to Irish racing.