Nevada Will Allow Bets on National Football League Draft

Nevada’s gaming regulators said in recent days that gamblers will be allowed to place bets on the upcoming drafts for the National Football League. According to regulators, bets will need to be made before April 26th, at the close of business time. Licensed sports book in Nevada will be eligible to offer odds on the NFL draft.

The gaming board said that the decision to allow NFL draft betting was made on April 6th, days after NFL owners voted to allow the Oakland Raiders team to relocate to Las Vegas. Bookmakers will use the site as their official source of results when paying out bets.

The Gaming Control Board’s statement read: “The setting of odds is at the discretion of the book; rules governing these wagers shall be made available to the public.”

Not all wagers will be accepted. For example, punters won’t be able to wager on whether a certain player will be drafted, or whether a certain team will take player X as their number one pick. However, a variety of wagers will still be available to make NFL draft betting a reality in Nevada for the first time. This is also the first time that the state is allowing betting on a pro sports draft.

It remains to be seen whether this new policy will raise questions of a potential problem with the federal sports betting ban, PASPA.

Italy Sees Significant Rise in Online Sports Betting Turnover

Sports betting in Italy saw online numbers rise significantly in March 2017, with the industry reporting an excellent 44.5% year on year increase. These numbers were put out by the gaming news outlet Agimet, which reported that online sportsbooks licensed by Italian authorities handled EUR 478.4 million last month.

The company that enjoys the bulk of Italy’s online sports betting market is Bet365, which handles around one third of all wagering of this kind. Eurobet, the Italian brand owned by Ladbrokes Coral, handled EUR 46 million in bets in March, while Sisal, Snaitech and William Hill followed suit.

Other interesting facts in the Agimet report relating to Italy’s online gambling market:

  • Online casino gambling in Italy generated EUR 36.6 million in revenue.
  • Online casino gambling revenue grew 30.3% compared to the same month last year.
  • Lottomatica owes the biggest part of the online casino market (10.7%).
  • Following Lottomatica are Sisal, PokerStars, Eurobet and William Hill.
  • A fast-climber in Italy’s online casino market is StarCasino owned and operated by Betsson. Although the site only serves just over 2.5% of the Italian market, its revenues grew a whopping 77% when looking at the same month one year earlier.
  • The four land-based casinos in Italy generated nearly EUR 72 million in the first quarter of 2017, most of which came from players of slot games.




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.”