Gambling and Sports Betting News Wire - June 19 2019

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:

Here are today's headlines in the world of gambling and sports betting as they happen - Wednesday June 19, 2019.

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Maine Deadline to Legalize Sports Betting Today

Maine lawmakers are hoping to finish up work on marijuana sales, renewable energy and online sports betting during the last scheduled day of this session Wednesday.

Lawmakers say they are prepared to work into the night to get it all done.

Both the House and Senate have approved current sports betting legislation.  All that's left, a final vote in both houses and to pass and amended version of the bill and then onto Governor Janet Mills for her signature.

Maine would permit retail and online sports betting from 11 properties including one racetrack, two casinos, four OTBs, and four tribal casinos.  Betting on in-state college sports teams will be prohibited.

Bookmakers Pledge £100m to Avoid Gambling Crackdown

The owners of William Hill, Coral Ladbroke, Betfair Paddy Power, Skybet and Bet 365 will offer to increase the voluntary levy on their gambling profits, the BBC has learnt.

They have offered to up the levy from 0.1% to 1% over the next five years.

The new level would eventually raise £100m per year for gambling charities.

The pre-emptive offer is part of an effort by the industry to improve its image after what insiders acknowledge was a reputation-damaging battle over Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, which eventually saw the maximum stake in any one spin reduced from £100 to £2.

Jeremy Wright, Secretary of State at the DCMS, said: "I want the gambling industry to step up on social responsibility and keep their players safe, including through making more funding available for research, education and treatment to tackle problem gambling.

"I have met the major players in the sector recently and my department is in discussions with them on a strong package to increase their financial contribution, as well as make meaningful commitments on other measures to help ensure people gamble safely.

"Protecting people and their families from the risks of gambling-related harm is a priority for this government and I am encouraged that the sector now recognises that they need to do more."

Gambling.com Announces Winners of First Ever American Gaming Awards

2:52 pm ET - The 14 winners were recognized for their leadership in the regulated, online U.S. gambling industry at a party hosted by ESPN+ host and fantasy sports analyst Matthew Berry on June 18, 2019 at Monmouth Park Racetrack in New Jersey.

Each winner received a custom-designed Golden Eagle trophy - an American-made, 11-inch, gold-plated, cast-pewter statuette of an American Bald Eagle. The inaugural awards featured more than 70 finalists, with a panel of more than 25 expert judges evaluating the nominations. To ensure the highest possible integrity, votes were tallied by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The 2019 American Gambling Awards winners are:

  • American Operator of the Year: Rush Street Interactive
  • Sports Betting Operator of the Year: FanDuel
  • Casino Operator of the Year: Rush Street Interactive
  • Poker Operator of the Year: WSOP
  • Fantasy Sports Operator of the Year: DraftKings
  • Horse Racing Operator of the Year: TVG
  • Payments Provider of the Year: Paysafe Group
  • Service Provider of the Year: Evolution Gaming
  • Corporate Transaction of the Year: Paddy Power Betfair's acquisition of FanDuel
  • Responsible Gambling Award: National Council on Problem Gambling
  • Industry Supporter of the Year: Raymond Lesniak, former New Jersey State Senator
  • Lawyer of the Year: Ted Olson
  • Policymaker of the Year: J. Gary Pretlow, New York Assemblyman
  • Regulator of the Year: David Rebuck, New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement

"The American Gambling Awards is our gift to the growing industry in America," remarked Charles Gillespie, Chief Executive of Gambling.com Group Plc. "We are gamblers and we are American and we are for the development of a responsibly regulated, competitive, modern online gambling market that serves the interests of the American consumer. It is our hope that the American Gambling Awards will bring positive attention to the leaders making this a reality."

The American Gambling Awards party and trophy presentation was part of a week-long series of conferences, seminars and social events in and around Monmouth Park in conjunction with the one-year anniversary of New Jersey's first legal sports bet. Attendees came from New Jersey, New York, Washington D.C., California, Tennessee, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Florida, West Virginia and North Carolina.

The American Gambling Awards were launched in March 2019 as the first awards program to recognize excellence among operators, suppliers, advocates, policymakers, lawyers and regulators supporting the regulated online gambling market in the United States.

A full list of American Gambling Award winners, finalists and judges can be found at: www.gambling.com/us/awards

Daniel Negreanu Leads Final Seven of Event #41: Looking for Bracelet Number 7

12:14 pm ET - The second day of Event #41: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship has now come to an end after seven exciting levels of play. The 88 player field had a total of 48 returning for Day 2 and when the dust had settled it was fan favorite Daniel Negreanu leading the final seven with 1,502,000 in chips.

Negreanu came into the second day with just over average and by the time the two table redraw happened he had one of the top stacks. He drew the better of the two tables, having several short-stacks clawing at a chance to make the money and he took complete advantage of it, opening as many pots as possible.

The Canadian continually climbed at his table with the aggressive style against the smaller stacks and when the final table came around he found himself sitting on a million in chips, just one of two players to be there at that point.

Final Table

Seat Player Country Chip Count

1 David SingerUnited States388,000

2 Daniel NegreanuCanada1,502,000

3 David "ODB" BakerUnited States1,070,000

4 Chris TrybaUnited States542,000

5 John HenniganUnited States682,000

6 Frank KasselaUnited States919,000

7 Mikhail SeminRussia183,000

Bulgaria Becomes More Interesting for iGaming Firms

9:57 am ET - Recent headlines in the gambling industry media outlets have reported that the Bulgarian Ministry of Finance has appointed Alexander Georgiev as the new Head of Bulgaria’s State Gambling Commission, however there has been quite a few movements in the region that need mentioning.

The former head, Maria Filipova, is appointed as the deputy chairman of the Financial Supervision Commission (FSC) and is now in charge of the Investment Activity Supervision Division.

The naming of the new and now former Head of Bulgaria’s State Gambling Commission comes after the dismissal of Ohnemir Mitev, who was accused by media publications in regards to the commissions’ inaction against the aggressive advertising of gambling on national televisions.

Besides the shifts in the state wise industry management, there have been quite a few large names mentioned that have entered the market or established strategic offices.

Kambi Group plc is now powering the international sports betting expansion of Bulgaria’s National Lottery JSC after the two companies strengthened their partnership by signing an extended sportsbook agreement.

The new deal which is already in effect enables Kambi to continue to provide its Sportsbook and managed services to the National Lottery JSC’s 7777.bg brand in Bulgaria and in addition, support the operator’s planned entry into Moldova this summer.

Scientific Games has also successfully launched the first in a series of online slot games with National Lottery Bulgaria and within 24 hours following the initial launch of nine player-favorite digital games, the games generated over a half million Euros in sales.

Scientific Games’ partnership with National Lottery Bulgaria builds on the Company’s presence in regulated European gaming markets, where it is reaching new players with a portfolio of immersive online games. The launch in Bulgaria included globally renowned favorites like 88 Fortunes®, Giant’s Gold® and Rainbow Riches™. Scientific Games plans to launch more titles with National Lottery Bulgaria in 2019 to entertain a broader audience and drive player engagement.

Microgaming, one of the industry’s leading software providers, is also now live with National Lottery AD to provide its award-winning poker platform in Bulgaria.

The major poker deal, signed through Prima Networks Limited, marks the first time that Microgaming’s poker network has been made available in the Bulgarian market. The move is in line with Microgaming’s strategic goal of continuing to expand its presence in key regulated markets.

All these movements are recorded on the supplier side, however when we examine the operators side, it is totally different story. However, this doesn’t mean that the industry isn’t booming at the moment in Bulgaria.

The Bulgarian Trade Association of Manufacturers and Operators in the Gaming Industry’s (BTAMOI) has reported in at the end of 2018 that the country’s online gaming revenues showed a growth in the last financial year. The industry paid €57 million in taxes to government, which corresponds to a 17 per cent rise year on year. BTAMOI said in a press release: “For the period 2017/2018 the gaming industry in Bulgaria has shown very good results at national level, based on the country’s upward economic performance.”

The online gambling segment in Bulgaria represents about 10 per cent of the country’s total gambling market. The segment posted a revenue of €89 million in the nine months to September 30, a spike of 30 per cent compared to the figure same time last year.

At the 4th edition of the yearly Central and Eastern European Gaming Conference, which takes place on the 24th of September at the Ritz-Carlton Budapest, Georgi Dimitrov, Legal Counsel / Compliance Manager at EGT Interactive will join the “Regulated Central and Eastern European jurisdictions” compliance panel discussion and share the latest insights on the subject and how Bulgaria can be a good opportunity for operators to expand in regulated markets.

About Georgi Dimitrov

Georgi Dimitrov is a legal counsel at EGT Interactive Ltd., with a focus on legal, regulatory and technical compliance matters related to the iGaming industry. He specializes in international gambling regulation and provides guidance on licensing and certification frameworks, policy drafting, and compliance processes. His line of work involves communication with focal stakeholders in the business such as testing labs, regulators and operators. He has background in company structuring, M&A, business and corporate development and extensive expertise in competition law. As a lawyer he has advised the Bulgarian operations of large-scale corporate clients, and public authorities.

Make sure you take advantage of this unique opportunity of learning and networking with the gambling industry in the CEE and Balkans region via the CEEGC platform which is committed to bringing together industry shareholders and government officials from the region on a yearly base.

Register here or View the Agenda!

Browse the official event website here: www.ceegc.eu

About the Central and Eastern European Gaming Conference

The Central and Eastern European Gaming Conference and Awards (CEEGC & CEEG Awards) has been launched in 2016 with the aim of bringing together gambling industry professionals, executives, and government representatives.

Every year, +125 like-minded delegates have the opportunity to discuss collaboration opportunities, learn about compliance updates and harvest the tech & marketing related information which is presented by industry leaders from the ever-evolving international gambling industry community.

Make sure you take advantage of this unique opportunity of learning and networking with the gambling industry in the CEE and Balkans region via the CEEGC platform which is committed to bringing together industry shareholders and government officials from the region on a yearly base.

Register here!

Browse the official event website here:  www.ceegc.eu

Our Free Picks Record June 18

2019 MLB Record: 17-11-2 (60.1%) - No Plays Over -160

2018-19 College Basketball Record: 12-9 (57.1%)

2018-19 NBA Record: 7-5 (58%)

2018 MLB Record: 45-35 (56.2%)

2018 NBA Record: 12-4-1 (75%)

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