More States Look To Sports Betting; Payment Problems Off Shore; Indian Tribes Fear Poker Legislation

States ponder sports betting as source of new revenue
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By Pamela M. Prah – stateline.org

A 34-year-old New Jersey man beat odds of more than 32,000-to-1 last month when he correctly picked the winners of 15 National Football League games against the point spread on a $5 wager. He collected $100,000.

He couldn’t place such a bet legally in New Jersey, but he could by using the Delaware lottery. Delaware is currently the only state outside Nevada that sanctions betting on the outcome of NFL games. It has a football gambling venture called the “$100,000 Parlay Card,” which it introduced in 2009. Nobody had hit the jackpot on it until now.

With revenues still far below pre-recession levels and demand for services still high, states around the country are looking to tap into the billions of dollars in play with the popularity of Super Bowl wagers and March Madness pools. One of the new entrants may be New Jersey. Voters there will go to the polls November 8 and consider a ballot measure that would legalize sports betting.

Gambling revenue plays a “consistently significant, if relatively small, role in state budgets,” Lucy Dadayan of the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government wrote in the latest report on gambling revenues. Dadayan found that, on average, gambling money represented 2.4 percent of revenue for states in 2009. But the percentage is much higher for some states. Nevada’s 12.5 percent is the highest in the country; Delaware takes in double the national average at 4.9 percent. New Jersey, without sports betting but with a clutch of Atlantic City casinos, gets 3.5 percent.

Even if New Jersey voters approve the ballot measure next week in hopes of bringing in more revenue, it may be a while before gamblers will be able to bet on NFL games in casinos or the state’s racetracks, as they can in Nevada. That’s because a 1992 federal law, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, prohibits sports betting except in four states that were grandfathered in because they already had sports wagering programs: Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon.
“While it amends the New Jersey Constitution, this ballot measure will not have any practical effect unless the federal government lifts its ban on sports betting,” said David Redlawsk, the director of a recent Rutgers-Eagleton Poll that showed 58 percent of likely voters supported the measure.

Growth amid recession

As in previous economic downturns, states have been looking to expand gambling in a variety of ways to patch holes in their budgets. Some 10 states went that route in fiscal 2010, including Pennsylvania, which added poker and table games at casinos. This year, lawmakers in Florida, Illinois and Massachusetts have debated whether to build new destination casinos in major cities, such as Chicago and Miami. And Maine will have a repeat vote next week on whether to add slot machines at certain race tracks.

But betting on the big-time sports events is different.

State Senator Raymond Lesniak is pushing the ballot measure in New Jersey because a lawsuit he filed to overturn the federal sports betting restriction was tossed out. He calls sports betting “a tool to help raise needed revenues for our state and our struggling gaming and wagering industry.” Lesniak has vowed to introduce legislation setting up a sports wagering program as soon as voters give their blessing.

Greg Gemignani, who specializes in gaming law at the Nevada law firm of Lionel Sawyer & Collins, says New Jersey is “fighting an uphill battle” to undo the federal ban, especially in light of opposition from the National Football League. In 2009, the league led a successful fight against a bill in Delaware that would have allowed that state to join Nevada in permitting unrestricted betting on individual sports contests.

Instead, Delaware launched the NFL “parlay” games, which involves betting on multiple games. It was free to do that, says Vernon Kirk, acting director of the Delaware Lottery, because the state had experimented with NFL parlay games during the 1970s, before the federal restrictions took effect. The state has several parlay offerings, with the most recent allowing the $100,000 winnings on a $5 wager. The cards are available only at Delaware’s three racetrack casinos.

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Payout Problems Now Infect Even the Best Sportsbooks

By Jim Quinn, Courtesy of www.osga.com
Join The Off Shore Gaming Association to keep up to date on gaming news that affects you!

The inbox has been getting filled for the last two weeks with payout complaints. Not the usual suspects though, instead a couple of Elite-rated books are having difficulties in paying their players in a timely fashion.

The floodgates opened last week when we got an inquiry from a player regarding ACH payouts.  The player told us that he had been paid before in just a few days but that he had been waiting. We had this report on several operations including 5Dimes, Bodog and BetAnySports.  As of today, 5Dimes has discontinued ACH payouts until thier problems get sorted out.

Still, the big advantage of playing at an Elite-rated sportsbook is that players will ultimately get paid. The outfits mentioned above will make good on any outstanding payouts, but it may take some time to get everyone squared away.

For the complete breakdown of recent slow-pay reports, become a member today. Get member-only sportsbook, casino and poker information as well as original articles, bad bet alerts and insights for less than $1 per week. Sign-up as an OSGA VIP today.

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Indian Tribes Want Their Share of Online Poker Legalization

By: Charles, www.pokernewsreport.com, a great site if you like poker and want to stay abreast of the happenings in the poker world

A tribal delegate from the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) was invited to offer testimony at Tuesday’s Congressional hearing on internet gambling and told the subcommittee that the way the current proposed legislation on internet poker is worded in its present form is not acceptable to tribal interests.

“Tribes are concerned that legalized Internet gaming will threaten their gains,” said NIGA chairman Ernest Stevens.

HR2366, the bill proposed by Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) to legalize online poker, gives individual states regulatory power and leans toward brick and mortar U.S. casinos getting the first crack at licensing. Companies providing online poker services in say, Nevada, would be allowed to accept wagers from players in other states where internet gaming is also legal. Tribal gaming interests are concerned that the proposed regulation would be in direct violation of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) of 1988.

The IGRA was enacted to protect gaming as a way to provide revenue to tribes. The law developed the NIGA and provided a regulatory mandate for it. The Act also established three classes of games with different regulations for each class. Certain classed games such as bingo or cards that are played against other players instead of against the “house” allow tribes to retain their own authority and regulate the games themselves.

If online gaming legislation should one day become a reality, tribal interests have requested the following:

That legislation acknowledges tribes as eligible, as governments not subject to taxation, to participate as operators and regulators.
That tribal internet operations be open to customers wherever legal.
That legislation protects tribal government rights under IGRA and existing tribal-state compacts.
That IGRA be free from any amendments.
That legislation provide positive economic benefits to the unmet needs of Indian tribes.
Several lawmakers at the hearing asked Stevens why the tribes should be treated differently than other potential operators of poker websites. Stevens said that the tribes have a great deal of experience in regulating gambling in the U.S. and wish to be acknowledged as sovereign entities governing themselves.

The most worrisome request of tribal interests in any new online poker legislation appears to be the desire to regulate themselves and be free from any taxation. Said Poker Players Alliance Executive Director John Pappas, “The idea that they should be exempt from regulation and taxation is a bridge too far for lawmakers. If you’re going to take gaming off your reservation, you’re going to need to be regulated. There’s some room for compromise, though, and we hope we can have a dialogue with them.”

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