Supreme Court strikes down federal law prohibiting sports gambling

The Supreme Court on Monday struck down a key portion of a federal law that prevented states from offering legal betting on sports at their race tracks and casinos, KTLA reported.

By a 6-3 vote, the high court ruled that in 1992, Congress lacked the authority to pass the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which banned states that did not already allow legal sports betting from sanctioning it, The New York Post reported.

“Just as Congress lacks the power to order a state legislature not to enact a law authorizing sports gambling, it may not order a state legislature to refrain from enacting a law licensing sports gambling,” Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the majority, said in his 31-page majority opinion.

Currently, only Nevada offers legalized betting on sports, KTLA reported. New Jersey officials, who brought the case forward in July 2017, said the federal government could not force them to enforce a congressional ban on wagering on professional and college sports. New Jersey is expected to be an immediate beneficiary of the Supreme Court decision, the Post reported. Other states that are expected to follow suit are Delaware, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Read the rest of the Dayton Daily News article here.

Ohio lawmakers weigh sports betting possibilities

It’s a better-than-safe bet that sports betting will become an issue for Ohio lawmakers at some point.

But they will most likely take up the issue at their own pace. After Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling allowing states to make laws allowing sports betting, Southwest Ohio legislators don’t think Ohio will take any action quickly.

Sports betting today is illegal in Ohio. Even after the new Supreme Court ruling, states are free to allow or disallow wagering on sports.

In Ohio today, however, the General Assembly already has a full calendar from here to Memorial Day, said Ohio Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg. A vote for a new Ohio House speaker was set for Tuesday.

“There are other things that are top of mind,” Antani said.

“We can work up a bill as fast as the General Assembly wants to move,” said Sen. Bill Coley, R-Liberty Twp. “But I think I know my colleagues well enough to say that they will be thoughtful, they will be deliberate in their process here.”

“This is a clean slate,” Coley added. “We can move in any direction people want to move.”

Read more here.

DeWine urges Ohio lawmakers to act swiftly on sports betting

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is urging state lawmakers to get in front of a potential ballot issue by legalizing sports betting.

The Republican gubernatorial candidate told The Columbus Dispatch Tuesday that Ohio must act "right away" to prevent special interests from going to the ballot and determining how sports betting is regulated and where the money goes.

That statement differed from the DeWine campaign's initial response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that says states can authorize sports betting. A spokesman initially said DeWine opposed the expansion of gambling, including sports betting. Campaign manager Dave Luketic clarified that the spokesman provided the information before checking with DeWine.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray expressed support for a sports betting law that ensures proper regulation and generates revenue for local communities.

View story on 10TV here.

Gambling addiction a major concern in sports betting debate

Now that the Supreme Court has given states the go-ahead to allow gambling on sports nationwide, Ohio legislators are faced with deciding how to move forward with local legislation.

"There are a tremendous amount of options," said Senator Bill Coley, who represents the 4th Ohio Senate District, and is the Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Government Oversight and Reform.

He says the legislature will consider things like anti-money laundering, match-integrity, and problem gaming.

"If the people who are betting have a gambling addiction -- they are starting to lose their rent or their car payment -- then their families are going to call us. And, we don’t want that," Coley said.

Agencies like the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio have concerns about how the expansion of sports betting can impact the rise of gambling addiction.

"Sports betting is gambling. So, many of the issues we might see with other forms of gambling would certainly be applied to sports betting," said Derek Longmeier, Executive Director for the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio.

PGNO has a neutral stance on whether or not sports betting should be made legal in Ohio, but they do have concerns about implementation if approved.

"We want to make sure there will be pieces for voluntary exclusion, that there would be funds set aside for prevention and treatment dollars, and that any messaging related to sports gambling would include the Ohio problem gambling helpline," Longmeier said.

According to the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction services, 90% of Ohioians who gamble do it safely. However, officials with the department say they are concerned about the growing population of people who are at risk of addiction.

"Our biggest problem group tends to be young adult males (ages 18-25). Young adult males are known for risky behaviors. It starts with adolescence, maybe even before that -- they tend to act first, think about consequences later," said Stacey Frohnapfel-Hasson, Chief of Problem Gambling services for the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

The Legislature should make a decision on sports betting before December 31.

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What Americans Really Think About Sports Betting

I’ve come to think that Venmo, PayPal and the like might very well go out of business were it not for the annual three-week gambling festival known as the N.C.A.A. Division I men’s basketball tournament (estimated wagers this year: more than $10 billion).

But maybe that’s just me, what with the many bracket pools I’m invited to join every spring and the associated entry fees I’m asked to payment-app-as-verb to various gambling enablers — I mean pool organizers — around the country.

My particular challenges aside, this year’s iteration of March Madness and the Final Four is yet another reminder of America’s long-simmering and complex relationship with sports betting.

The United States Supreme Court, in a case to be decided in the next few months, is expected to rule in favor of the State of New Jersey and overturn a ban on non-internet sports betting in all but four states (Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon). According to a recent report from Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, at least 18 state legislatures are preparing bills to legalize and regulate sports gambling.

Read further here.

Jack Cleveland Casino rolls out hi-tech club, DJ-themed gaming area

Is it a DJ-fueled dance club? A jumpy light show? A boisterous party?

The Jack Cleveland Casino's Synergy Table Games concept is a little bit of all those things - but mostly a modern approach to gaming that targets younger players.

The electronic gaming "arena" features 28 hi-tech electronic play stations with 27-inch video screens that allow gamblers to interact with live dealers and play games such as roulette, craps, blackjack and baccarat.

Located on the first floor of The Jack, Synergy is laid out to look like a stadium - with gamblers facing a DJ booth and a sprawling video wall that displays the games as they progress in real time. Lights bounce off the walls and around the area as dance club-style music plays to underscore the theme.

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Ohio's skill-game regulations go into effect April 23; meetings scheduled to explain rules

The Ohio Casino Control Commission is expected on April 23 to launch a new system to license and regulate games of skill such as claw machines that nab prizes or arcade games that issue tokens or tickets.

The system also will make it easier for local officials and law enforcement to determine whether a business is operating legally, the commission said.

The commission was given oversight of the games by state law in 2015 and has spent the past year developing rules and license fees for the games.

Unlike other states, Ohio's law requires that the opportunity to win a prize in amusement games must be based on the skill of the player rather than a chance event.

Prizes can be awarded, but the prizes cannot be cash, gift cards, plays on games of chance (such as slot machines), lottery tickets, bingo, firearms, tobacco or alcoholic beverages.

The wholesale value of merchandise awarded as a result of a single play cannot exceed $10, but it is permissible to combine tickets or tokens to collect a prize worth more than $10.

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Police: Man robbed at Cincinnati casino, held at knifepoint in bathroom

A 26-year-old man has been arrested, accused of robbing and threatening to kill two men with a knife inside a casino.

Rashaud Graves faces charges of aggravated robbery, abduction and carrying a concealed weapon.

According to court records, Graves brought a knife to Cincinnati’s Jack Casino on Monday.

"The defendant held a knife to the throat of one of the victims. The knife was recovered from the suspect when he was arrested,” said Hamilton County assistant prosecutor Dave Wood.

Graves allegedly forced a man into the casino bathroom, held a knife to the victim’s throat and threatened to kill him unless he gave him money, court documents state.

No injuries were reported.  

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States are betting that Supreme Court will legalize sports wagers

This spring or early summer, the U.S. Supreme Court might legalize sports betting across the country. Missouri and Illinois are among dozens of states where Legislatures are scrambling to get ready.

Missouri, where several legalized sports betting bills already have had committee hearings, is moving faster than Illinois, where gambling-expansion legislation often runs afoul of efforts to expand the casino industry. In Missouri, the key question is how much the state should rake off in taxes. The answer to that, as with all sin taxes, should be “as much as possible.”

Supreme Court oddsmakers are betting that the justices will side with the state of New Jersey when they decide Christie v. NCAA, which would invalidate a 1992 federal law banning states from authorizing and licensing sports betting. In oral arguments heard in December, a majority of the justices appeared sympathetic to New Jersey’s argument that the 10th Amendment prohibits Congress from “commandeering” states into enforcing federal law.

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Efforts to discourage people from gambling still fall short

Singapore’s gamble to build casinos may have paid off from the economic standpoint, but regrettably, the impact on its people is not so positive (“More Singaporeans gambling butnumber of hardcore gamblers holds steady”; March 27).

As corporate honchos and businesses maximise profits, the people suffering misery and hardship are their customers and those related to them.

Frequent visits to casinos feed the addiction to gambling, leading to severe consequences for compulsive gamblers and their families.

Despite full awareness of the harm that gambling can do, efforts to deter or discourage people from this vice still fall short.

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Partnership takes aim at underage gambling

DePaul’s National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence-Rochester Area is partnering with New York Council on Problem Gambling to carry out the YOU(th) Decide Project in Monroe County. 

This marks the seventh year that NYCPG has worked with local providers in an effort to prevent underage and problem gambling. The NCADD-RA has been a part of the project since its inception. 

The YOU(th) Decide Project and NCADD-RA continue to raise awareness of the negative effects of problem gambling and what information and help is available. The most recent research indicates that 39 percent of youth ages 12-17 in the state have gambled in the past year. Nearly 30 percent of those youth said they started at ages 10 or younger. Underage gambling brings with it a number of negative consequences, many of which are serious and can be devastating to youth, as well as their family and friends.

The younger an adolescent starts gambling, the more likely they are to develop a gambling addiction. Underage gamblers are at an increased risk of delinquency and crime, damaged relationships and poor academic performance. Youth who gamble are more likely than their nongambling peers to develop mental health issues, including depression and alcohol/substance abuse disorders; to attempt suicide; and to maintain poor general health.

YOU(th) Decide is designed to be a multidimensional prevention effort aimed at reducing underage gambling. Local providers participating in the YOU(th) Decide Project will educate youth, work with local community leaders to decrease youth availability to gambling activities and conduct media and outreach campaigns. 

Call (585) 719-3480 or email jfaringer@depaul.org for information about how to get involved. Visit youthdecideny.org or bit.ly/1BCCnR1 for information about local efforts.

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Commonwealth Bank offered credit card increases to problem gambler

The Commonwealth Bank has admitted to offering repeated credit card limit increases to a customer who was begging them to stop because he had a gambling addiction and a $30,000 debt.

David Harris, a qualified roof tiler, broke down in tears on Thursday at the financial services royal commission when he described his experience with CBA and his fruitless attempts to get help.

He told the commissioner, Kenneth Hayne, that he had started gambling seriously with his first CBA credit card in 2015, and within a year he had obtained two more credit cards with CBA as his losses increased.

His first card had a $10,000 limit, his second a $7,000 limit, and his third a $8,000 limit.

Roughly a month after he opened the third account, he said, CBA had sent a letter to his house offering to increase the limit on his first card from $10,000 to $12,100, which he accepted. It took his aggregate credit limit to $27,100.

He then consistently maxed out all three cards as he chased his losses and tried to win enough to pay down his debts, but he never came close. “It was a ridiculously large amount of money for someone who was earning my wage,” he said.

Continue reading the rest of the article here.

Hard Rock Rocksino to be sold for $1.06 billion

Las Vegas-based MGM Growth Properties (NYSE: MGP) on Thursday morning, April 5, announcedit plans to purchase the Hard Rock Rocksino in Northfield for $1.06 billion.

In a news release, MGM Growth Properties said it plans to fund the purchase through a combination of cash on hand and debt. Ultimately, the company plans to sell the entities holding the licenses and operating assets to a third-party operator. The company, meanwhile, plans to retain ownership of the real estate, which it expects will generate $50 million to $60 million in annual rent.

MGM's purchase agreement is with Milstein Entertainment. It will be for 100% of the issued and outstanding limited liability company interests in Northfield Park Associates LLC, which owns and operates the Rocksino. The deal is expected to close in the second half of the year.

"MGP is proud to announce the acquisition of the Hard Rock Rocksino, the best performing gaming asset in Ohio. We are thrilled to join the Northeast Ohio community and look forward to continuing to work with the management team to consummate the transaction and identify a third-party tenant to operate the asset going forward," said James Stewart, CEO of MGM Growth Properties, in a news release. "This attractive addition to our portfolio is expected to result in mid to high single digit percentage accretion to AFFO per share, demonstrating again our commitment to generating value for our shareholders."

The Rocksino sits 16 miles southeast of downtown Cleveland and 18 miles north of Akron along Interstate 271. The 110-acre property includes a 200,000-square-foot gaming facility, 1,900-seat music venue and 250-seat event space. It also includes a year-round horse racetrack, gas station and car wash.

Awaiting Supreme Court decision, pro sports leagues prepare for legal betting

Across Florida and Arizona, professional baseball teams are prepping for the inevitable surprises of a 162-game season. Players and coaches use spring training to limit the unknown variables, and this year so is Major League Baseball.

By the season’s midpoint, fans in certain states might be able to place legal bets on baseball games, and MLB officials knew they couldn’t afford to wait to start preparing. So players from every team are getting an enhanced education this spring on sports gambling, as are coaches and umpires.

Some time before July — perhaps as early as Tuesday — the Supreme Court is expected to make a ruling that could drastically alter sports gambling in the United States, possibly striking down the 25-year-old federal law that largely prohibits sports bets outside of Nevada or maybe allowing individual states to decide for themselves whether fans should be permitted to wager on games.

“We’re realistic that sports betting in all likelihood is going to expand in the United States,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said on a conference call with reporters last week.

Read more here.

Problem gambling a public health issue

According to the National Council on problem gambling, nearly 80 percent of Americans report that they have gambled in the past year. The vast majority do so for entertainment and do not suffer significant consequences. But at least 6 million in the U.S. will experience serious problems with gambling, the impact of which will be felt by their families, colleagues and others in society.

Problem gambling does not just effect adults. According to the Iowa Youth Survey, 5 percent of Boone County sixth-graders, 17 percent of eighth-graders and 17 percent of 11th-graders report that they have gambled within the last year. Of those that gambled, they prefer skill games such as pool, bowling, dice or dominoes. Sports betting, that include Fantasy Sports or the brackets are also popular forms among Boone youth.

Problem gambling is a public health issue affecting all aspects of physical, social and mental health. It can affect families, work performance and general well-being. It is important to know the signs of a gambling program, that treatment is available and that it works.

There are many different behaviors that may indicate an issue and they include:

  • Suddenly becoming obsessed with gambling, a new sport or team.
  • Once you start to gamble it is heard to stop doing so, unless there is an outside force like running out of money.
  • Continuing to gamble despite losing and thinking that you’ll win it back the next time.
  • May become withdrawn when not able to gamble.
  • Look at gambling as a way to make yourself feel better when you are sad or depressed.
  • May begin stealing money in order to have money in which to play with.
  • When asked if you have been gambling you lie or deny that you have done so.
  • Asking for a financial bailout because you have spent money on gambling when it was supposed to cover the costs of housing, medication or other necessity.

The first place to look for help is to call 1-800-BETS-OFF. This is a 24 hour a day staffed hotline for gamblers and their loved once to seek out assistance. They provide information as well as have many referral sources available. If you would like more information please email katiet@cfrhelps.org.

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Gambling remains hungry for a win in state budgets

The next time you feel overcome with anger over underfunding and the treatment gap in substance use services, take solace (or get more outraged) in these comparative numbers regarding services for gambling disorders:

  • Substance use disorders in the U.S. are 3.8 times more common than gambling disorders, but public funding for substance use treatment is a whopping 330-plus times greater than public funding for problem gambling services.

  • While traditionally around 10% of people who need substance use treatment receive it, the comparative statistic in gambling disorder treatment was around one-quarter of 1% in 2016.

  • 10 states and the District of Columbia provide absolutely no public funding for problem gambling services, even though only two states in the entire country offer no government-sanctioned gambling.

The data come from the newly released 2016 Survey of Problem Gambling Services in the United States, and illustrate the significant challenge treatment and prevention advocates face in elevating gambling's negative effects to a front-burner issue in state policy discussions. The periodic survey, which had been last released for 2013, is co-produced by the Association of Problem Gambling Service Administrators (APGSA), representing state government administrators of public funds for problem gambling services, and the National Council on Problem Gambling, a policy and program development organization.

Read more here.

Industry: $10B Will Be Bet on March Madness, Most Illegally

America's gambling industry predicts $10 billion will be bet on the March Madness college basketball tournament — nearly all of it illegally or off-the-books.

That's one of the reasons the American Gaming Association favors the full legalization and regulation of sports betting in the United States.

The U.S. Supreme Court is weeks away from ruling on New Jersey's challenge to a law limiting legal sports betting to just four states: Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon, and a ruling that legalizes sports betting nationwide could provide new revenue opportunities for cash-strapped state governments, as well as casino companies.

The group found 54 million people — or about a quarter of the U.S. adult population — participated in a sports betting pool last year, spending $18 billion on entry fees. That includes 24 million who filled out basketball brackets pools and spent $2.6 billion on entry fees.

It also conducted a survey that found that roughly two-thirds of U.S. states make it illegal to participate in sports betting pools if money is involved. Enforcing those laws, however, has not been a priority for law enforcement.

"Our current sports betting laws are so out of touch with reality that we're turning tens of millions of Americans into criminals for the simple act of enjoying college basketball," said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association. "The failed federal ban on sports betting has created an illegal, unregulated sports betting market that offers zero consumer protections and generates zero revenue for state and tribal governments."

Freeman said only 3 percent of the $10 billion the group predicts will be wagered on the games will be done through legal Nevada sports books, or about $300 million.

Read the rest of the article here.

Gambling revenue down across Ohio and at Hollywood Casino

Gambling revenues declined in January at Ohio casinos in Toledo, Columbus, and Cincinnati, according to new data from the state’s gaming commission.

Hollywood Casino Toledo, owned by Penn National Gaming Inc. last month reported revenues of $14.9 million, down 1 percent from the same month in 2017, when revenues totaled $15.1 million. Also, the January revenues were down nearly 9 percent from $16.5 million in December.

At Penn National’s second state gaming establishment, Hollywood Casino Columbus, revenues totaled $17 million, down 2 percent from $17.4 million a year ago, and down 9 percent from $18.7 million in December.

At the Jack Cincinnati Casino, owned by Jack Entertainment LLC, gambling revenues totaled $14.6 million last month, a 10 percent drop from a year ago when they were at $16.2 million. It also was down nearly 17 percent from December’s $17.5 million.

Of the state’s four casinos, only the Jack Casino in Cleveland showed an uptick in revenues last month. The Cleveland casino brought in $16.5 million, a 9 percent increase from $15.1 million in January of 2017. But the January revenue was down 6 percent from a month earlier when revenues were $17.5 million.

All the figures were released last week by the Ohio Casino Control Commission, which is the governing body that controls slots and table gaming in the state.

The commission only tabulates revenues from casino gambling. Sales from food, drinks, merchandise, and events are not included in the commission's totals.

Continue reading here.

Will Eldorado Resorts, Inc. (ERI) Run Out of Steam Soon?

Investors sentiment decreased to 1.2 in Q3 2017. Its down 1.99, from 3.19 in 2017Q2. It is negative, as 21 investors sold Eldorado Resorts, Inc. shares while 39 reduced holdings. 27 funds opened positions while 45 raised stakes. 58.81 million shares or 43.37% less from 103.85 million shares in 2017Q2 were reported.

Pnc Fin Ser Grp Inc Inc owns 16,924 shares. Blackrock holds 0% in Eldorado Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ:ERI) or 3.05M shares. Oppenheimer Asset holds 12,532 shares. Ubs Asset Mgmt Americas invested in 0% or 10,624 shares. Savings Bank Of Mellon Corporation, a New York-based fund reported 527,940 shares. Credit Suisse Ag stated it has 0% in Eldorado Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ:ERI). Bank & Trust Of America Corporation De has invested 0% in Eldorado Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ:ERI). Dimensional Fund Advsr L P has 728,741 shares. Peak6 Investments Lp has 0% invested in Eldorado Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ:ERI) for 37,607 shares. State Street reported 849,193 shares. Jpmorgan Chase reported 1,390 shares stake. Laurion Capital L P invested 0% in Eldorado Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ:ERI). Moreover, Pub Employees Retirement System Of Ohio has 0.01% invested in Eldorado Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ:ERI). Pub Employees Retirement Association Of Colorado holds 0% of its portfolio in Eldorado Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ:ERI) for 8,719 shares. Legal General Gru Public Limited Company stated it has 0% in Eldorado Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ:ERI).

The stock of Eldorado Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ:ERI) reached all time high today, Mar, 8 and still has $38.29 target or 8.00 % above today’s $35.45 share price. This indicates more upside for the $2.74B company. This technical setup was reported by Barchart.com. If the $38.29 PT is reached, the company will be worth $219.04 million more.

Trading stocks at an all time highs is usually a winning strategy. An all time high points to a stock which has the most positive fundamentals ever. Even thought the pullback rate is high, if correct risk management is utilized, investors can trade very well such events.

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