The SCALER Weekly 5/22/24

SharpRank’s weekly updates on Compliance, Audit, Legislation, Ethics, & Regulation.


Topics 5/22/24:


Ohio Gaming Agency Adapts Rules for Sports Betting Operators

The Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) recently amended its regulations regarding sportsbook licenses, removing the previous requirement for licensees to start accepting bets within 12 months of receiving the license. This change gives operators more flexibility in launching their betting operations, with the OCCC now having the authority to rescind licenses if bets aren’t being accepted during the five-year validity period. The amendment addresses the challenges faced by some licensees, such as the Cleveland Cavaliers and Jack Thistledown Racino, in launching both retail and online sportsbooks. Despite the delay in launching, Ohio’s sports betting market saw significant activity in its first full year, with FanDuel and DraftKings leading the market share. The state has increased its tax on gross sports betting revenue, with the majority of the income allocated to public education.

The Full Story Here.

MLB Scandal Deepens: Fletcher Linked to Illegal Gambling

David Fletcher, a former teammate of Shohei Ohtani, has been implicated in the illegal gambling scandal associated with Ohtani’s ex-interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara. Fletcher, currently playing for the Atlanta Braves’ Triple-A team, allegedly placed bets with bookmaker Mathew Bowyer, while his friend Colby Schultz reportedly wagered on baseball games, including those involving Fletcher. Major League Baseball (MLB) prohibits such activities, prompting an expected investigation into Fletcher’s actions. While Fletcher’s involvement adds complexity to the scandal, Ohtani is still viewed as a victim of Mizuhara’s $17 million bank fraud, with no evidence linking Ohtani directly to illegal gambling. With MLB likely to investigate Fletcher’s betting activities, the situation raises concerns for the Angels, given their previous scandals. The ongoing investigation may uncover further connections within the team or league, potentially leading to sanctions or reforms in MLB policies, highlighting the importance of maintaining integrity and enforcing anti-gambling regulations.

The Full Story Here.

Debate Over College Player Prop Bets in North Carolina

North Carolina lawmakers, State Rep. Marcia Morey and State Sen. Julie Mayfield, expressed doubts regarding the passage of their bills aimed at ending college player prop bets in the state, citing reluctance from the majority Republican Party to advance the legislation. Despite this, they remain resolute in their efforts, driven by concerns over athlete harassment stemming from such bets. Morey, a former Olympic swimmer, emphasized the importance of addressing this issue and expressed a commitment to pursuing alternative avenues if necessary, potentially including appealing to state gaming regulators for action, similar to what has been done in Louisiana. Mayfield, likewise, acknowledges the uphill battle in getting her proposal approved this legislative session but remains steadfast in seeking accountability for bettors who harass college and amateur athletes, potentially through amendments to existing bills. Their concerns were sparked by incidents like the harassment faced by University of North Carolina basketball player Armando Bacot. Meanwhile, casino executive Carlton Saffa suggests a different approach, advocating for monitoring rather than outright banning of college player prop bets to prevent driving bettors to unregulated offshore sites, highlighting the importance of regulation in mitigating potential issues.

The Full Story Here.

Minnesota Sports Betting Bill Fails Amid Political Division

Minnesota’s hopes for legalizing sports betting were dashed as partisan politics and time constraints prevented the passage of legislation, despite reported progress and bipartisan support from major stakeholders including tribes, tracks, and charities. Rep. Zack Stephenson acknowledged falling short but emphasized the groundwork laid for future endeavors. The debate heated up as the deadline approached, with debates and last-minute efforts yielding no tangible results. The battle lines between Republicans, tracks, Democrats, and tribes remained firm, with disagreements over issues like sports betting exclusivity and revenue allocation. Although there’s optimism for future attempts, uncertainties loom, including potential legislative changes and the outcome of elections.

The Full Story Here.

Nevada Grants Full Gaming Licenses to Entain and Accel Entertainment

Despite past compliance issues, both Entain and Accel Entertainment have now secured full gaming licenses from the Nevada Gaming Commission, marking a significant achievement for the companies and demonstrating their commitment to meeting Nevada’s rigorous licensing standards. Entain, a prominent British sports-betting and technology firm, has shifted its focus towards compliance over profits, making substantial sacrifices by exiting underregulated markets and emphasizing ethical governance. Similarly, Accel Entertainment, an Illinois-based video gaming terminal provider, has implemented significant compliance reforms following previous regulatory fines, now boasting rigorous diligence and oversight measures. Commission members praised both companies for their efforts during the licensing hearing, emphasizing the importance of continued adherence to regulatory standards to prevent future issues.

The Full Story Here.


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