The SCALER Weekly 6/5/24

SharpRank’s weekly updates on Compliance, Audit, Legislation, Ethics, & Regulation within the Sports Betting Industry.


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Topics 6/5/24:

FanDuel to Acquire Naming Rights in Diamond Sports Deal

FanDuel is reportedly close to securing the naming rights for 18 regional sports networks owned by Diamond Sports Group, a subsidiary of Sinclair, replacing Bally’s Corporation’s existing deal which expires after the MLB season. As part of the agreement, FanDuel would acquire an equity stake in Diamond Sports and integrate FanDuel-related programming into the channels, while also reselling Diamond’s streaming service. This move aligns with Diamond Sports Group’s efforts to restructure and emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, aiming to alleviate over $8 billion in debt with creditor support. Despite securing deals with Amazon and various cable providers, Diamond’s negotiations with Comcast have stalled, and major sports leagues, including MLB, NBA, and NHL, have expressed concerns about the company’s reorganization plan. MLB has even considered launching its own streaming service if Diamond fails to reorganize successfully. A confirmation hearing for Diamond’s plan is scheduled for July 29.

The Full Story Here.

West Virginia University Granted Access to Anonymized Gaming Data

Starting June 7, 2024, West Virginia University will be authorized to collect and analyze gaming data, thanks to House Bill 5568 signed by the governor. This legislation allows the university to access transactional data and various metrics related to gaming operations in the state, starting from March 1, 2024. The data includes demographic information, usage statistics, responsible gaming feature utilization, account suspensions, complaints, and financial details such as deposits, withdrawals, bonuses, balance statements, and bet-level data. All collected data will be anonymized to protect personal identities, ensuring no personally identifiable information is shared. This initiative aims to facilitate research and analysis in the gaming sector.

The Full Story Here.

California Tightens Advertising Rules for Cardrooms

On April 29, the California Gambling Control Commission released updated advertising regulations for cardroom licensees. These new rules mandate that advertisements must display the cardroom’s name, indicate that participants must be at least 21 years old, and use the Bureau of Gambling Control’s (BGC) approved game names. Third-party providers of proposition services are prohibited from creating or placing advertisements unless contracted by a cardroom licensee. Additionally, any website or social media page controlled by a cardroom or third-party provider must feature a responsible gambling message and a link to the California Office of Problem Gambling. The public can comment on these regulations until June 13, 2024, after which a hearing will address the feedback.

The Full Story Here.

NBA Commissioner Calls for Collaborative Framework in Sports Betting Integrity

In a recent conference, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver acknowledged the NBA’s limited control over online betting markets and stressed the necessity of a collaborative framework between leagues and betting platforms to ensure fair play. Silver’s call for a cross-league framework aims to address blind spots in sports betting integrity, marking a significant step forward. However, merely establishing a framework is insufficient without an active ecosystem involving all stakeholders, including smaller leagues, casinos, online platforms, players, and federal law enforcement. Gamblers also pose significant risks to sports integrity, necessitating a comprehensive approach to monitor and prevent abuse across all betting levels. Drawing parallels to the U.S. government’s cybersecurity efforts, it’s crucial for larger leagues to support smaller ones by sharing resources and information. A robust, cooperative environment is essential to safeguard legal gambling and protect the integrity of sports

The Full Story Here.

Michigan Gaming Control Board Cracks Down on Bovada’s Unauthorized Access

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) has issued a cease-and-desist order against Bovada, a Curaçao-based operator, for permitting Michigan residents to access their gaming platforms without the appropriate license. Alleged violations include breaching multiple Michigan gambling laws, with potential penalties of up to ten years in prison or a fine of $100,000. Harp Media BV, the operator of Bovada, has 14 days to block Michigan users, or face legal consequences. This action serves as a warning to international operators, emphasizing the MGCB’s commitment to enforcing state regulations for a fair gaming environment. Meanwhile, Curaçao is in the process of tightening its gambling legislation to improve its industry reputation, aiming to address concerns related to money laundering and criminal activity.

The Full Story Here.

Identity and Ownership Concerns Surrounding the @NFL_DovKleiman Twitter Account

This week, discussions arose concerning the identity behind the @NFL_DovKleiman Twitter account, with suggestions indicating a potential change in ownership over the past year, sparking considerations regarding the credibility and accountability of aggregator accounts like Kleiman’s, especially given his previous efforts to maintain transparency and interact with the media. Recent controversies surrounding the account, including allegations of a sale and changes in behavior, have raised questions about its reliability and the need for transparency, particularly in an era of increased sports gambling and media influence. While some may argue that the identity behind aggregator accounts is inconsequential if the content remains valuable, others emphasize the importance of understanding the source and potential biases inherent in such accounts, underscoring the broader conversation about accountability and transparency in sports media.

The Full Story Here.

Malta Gaming Authority and Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario Strengthen Partnership with New Agreement

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) have strengthened their collaborative relationship with a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), aiming to enhance mutual assistance and the exchange of regulatory information. Swintt’s approval by AGCO for operations in Ontario, alongside AGCO’s recent decision to ban WBA boxing bets, reflects ongoing regulatory developments in the region. MGA CEO Charles Mizzi emphasized the commitment to improving regulatory practices and addressing shared challenges through this partnership.

The Full Story Here.

Illinois Sports Betting Tax Hike

The Illinois Legislature is poised to pass a $53.1 billion state budget, featuring a substantial increase in the sports betting tax rate, potentially impacting operators like BetMGM, FanDuel, and DraftKings. This hike, raising taxes from 15% to 20%-40% based on annual revenues, has drawn criticism from industry leaders, warning of adverse effects on promotions and odds for Illinois customers. If enacted, Illinois would have the nation’s second-highest sports wagering tax rate, behind only New York and New Hampshire. This move, amid resistance to broader tax increases, reflects lawmakers’ efforts to boost state revenue in an election year, yet it has already impacted the stock market, with shares of DraftKings and Flutter Entertainment declining following news of the tax vote.

The Full Story Here.

MLB Issues Lifetime Ban to Tucupita Marcano for Betting Violations

Major League Baseball has handed down severe penalties to five players, including San Diego Padres infielder Tucupita Marcano, who has been banned for life for betting on baseball games. Marcano, along with four others, violated MLB’s betting rules, with Marcano placing a total of 387 bets, including 231 MLB-related ones, during his time with the Pittsburgh Pirates and while on the injured list. The investigation found that 25 of these bets were on Pirates games. Despite no evidence of game manipulation, Marcano’s lifetime ban underscores MLB’s commitment to preserving the game’s integrity. The other four players, including Oakland Athletics pitcher Michael Kelly, received one-year bans for betting on baseball games while in the minor leagues. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred emphasized the importance of upholding the sport’s integrity and reiterated the league’s stance against gambling on baseball games, especially by those involved in the sport. The league continues to invest in integrity monitoring and educational initiatives to ensure adherence to these fundamental rules.

The Full Story Here.


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