Billionaire Gilbert Is Said to Be Looking to Cash Out of Casinos

Quicken Loans Inc. founder Dan Gilbert is looking to exit the casino business, including properties in Cleveland, Cincinnati and Detroit, according to people familiar with his plans.

Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse are representing Gilbert’s casino company in the sale process, and Caesars Entertainment Corp. is among the possible bidders that have expressed interest in some properties, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. Representatives for both banks and Caesars declined to comment.

“It is Jack Entertainment’s long-standing policy to not comment on rumors or speculation,” the company said in a statement Wednesday.

Gilbert, a billionaire who also owns the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team, began eyeing gambling as part of a strategy to revive struggling downtowns in older U.S. cities. He backed a 2009 ballot measure to legalize casinos in Ohio and opened his first property in the historic Higbee’s department store building in downtown Cleveland three years later.

Jack Entertainment, based in Detroit, has interests in six casinos and racetracks, including Jack casinos in Ohio and the Greektown Casino-Hotel in Detroit, which Gilbert acquired in 2013. The properties may be sold separately. He’s worth an estimated $7.8 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

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A sure bet? Universities wrestle with potential impact of betting

Someday in the near future, you might find yourself bored on a weekday afternoon and decide to turn on the television. Maybe you’ll scroll to ESPN or FS1 — the channel is irrelevant because the programming will be the same: a sports betting show.

On an otherwise typical May afternoon, the college sports establishment anxiously turned its gaze to Washington, D.C., where the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, a 26-year-old law that effectively outlawing sports betting outside Nevada.

In a 6-3 decision, the court ruled PASPA was unconstitutional, setting off a wave of enthusiasm from gamblers while athletic administrators and coaches cast a wary eye.

The word “gambling,” long a college sports bogeyman, carries negative connotations, striking fear of potential scandal into the NCAA’s powerbrokers.

“First thing I would say is I think we’ve got great students playing football,” Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said in Chicago at the conference’s media days. “Trust them. They’re young. We need to continue to educate them about the challenges associated with gambling and the importance of the integrity of the game.”

If Delany had it his way — and he usually does — he would eliminate college sports from the gambling model. And if that’s not successful, he prefers a framework that gives additional protection to college, high school, and Olympic sports.

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West Virginia opens first sportsbook, eager to welcome Ohio gamblers

West Virginia throws open the sports betting windows

On Thursday, West Virginia Delegate Jason Barrett made sports betting history in the Mountaineer State by plunking down $50 on WVU to win the national championship at 60-1 odds. 

“It's an optimistic bet, but it very well could be West Virginia's year -- we have a great quarterback and a tremendous offense,” said Barrett. “I thought it was appropriate for the first bet in West Virginia history.” 

The 36-year-old Democrat from Berkeley County earned the honors by working his side of the aisle to get the measure legalizing the industry passed on June 21. With Barrett's bet, West Virginia has now joined Delaware, New Jersey and Mississippi in taking legal sports bets following the U.S. Supreme Court decision in May. Nevada already had legal sports betting prior to the court's landmark decision.

Barrett said that some powerful West Virginia lawmakers had moral objections to expanding gambling, but they were eventually won over by a bipartisan majority who saw a revenue stream that wouldn't tax many of their constituents. West Virginia Lottery officials have estimated from $9 to 17 million in revenues will result from a 10 percent tax on gross receipts.

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New mobile-enabled Lottery Card stirs concern with addiction counselors

A new way to play the lottery is raising concerns among counselors who help those addicted to gambling. 

The new, mobile-enabled Lottery Card operates as a gift card would and can be used to play either Powerball or Mega Millions.

The cards are available now at Kroger stores throughout the state as part of a pilot program. 

According to creators Linq-3 and the Blackhawk network, the consumer buys a card in increments of $10 or $20 (plus an 89-cent fee for "mobile play benefits.”)

The buyer scratches off a section on the back of the card to reveal a code, which is then entered by text. Once the text has been sent, the buyer is in the next drawing automatically. 

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Potential legalization of sports gambling could impact NCAA rules

On May 14, 2018, the United States Supreme Court ruled 6-3 to strike down a federal law that prohibited states from authorizing sports gambling.

While this decision does not officially legalize commercial sports gambling nationwide, it gives individual states the option of doing so if they wish.

Eight of the 11 states that are home to teams in the Big Ten Conference have put forward legislation to legalize sports gambling, but only two of those states, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, have actually passed bills.

Currently, Nebraska has not put forward any legislation to legalize sports gambling.

While the NCAA currently prohibits their athletes from gambling, the decision could still have a profound impact on its sports, specifically football.

The most impactful change it could cause is the release of weekly injury reports, something that is not currently required by the NCAA. Many coaches prefer not to disclose who is unavailable for upcoming games because of both privacy concerns and gamesmanship. With sports gambling legalized, it could become a requirement to aid oddsmakers to set more accurate lines on the game.

Whether coaches will have to give accurate weekly injury reports remains to be seen. Many coaches use HIPAA, a federal law instated to keep medical information private, as a reason to not disclose injuries.

Adjusting to the potential new laws was a frequent topic at Big Ten Media Days in July.

“We've had a lot of discussion about the changes in gambling that will obviously occur in the coming years,” Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said during his media appearance. “We need to continue to educate them about the challenges associated with gambling and the importance of the integrity of the game.”

In regards to injury reports, Delany was a proponent of providing weekly “availability” reports.

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DraftKings Sportsbook Launches New Ad Campaign With Sir Charles In The Spotlight

Sir Charles, I presume?

This past week, DraftKings announced that Charles Barkley is the company’s spokesperson as it prepares to launch the Barkley-centered ad campaign on Monday.

Barkley said via a press release from DraftKings that he’s excited about participating in the campaign.

Ad campaign will focus on three different commercials

According to the information provided by DraftKings Sportsbook, there will be three commercials in the new ad campaign featuring Barkley and recurring DraftKings character Dr. Aftkings.

“The campaign was designed to demonstrate how DraftKings Sportsbook brings fans closer to the sports games they love by adding the fun and thrill of competition to their experience,” the press release stated. “It features TV spots and digital/social videos including DraftKings’ iconic character, Dr. Aftkings, who diagnoses fans suffering from a range of new sports-related disorders. The cure? DraftKings Sportsbook.”

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Industry Must Spend More Time & Money On Responsible Gaming Education

The executive director of the University of Las Vegas’ International Gaming Institute presented his views at the recently held American Gaming Association’s 21st Responsible Gaming Education Week in Las Vegas.

The conferenced looked at a number of different areas including the need to focus on the educational efforts required to curb problem gambling and responsible gaming.

Bo Bernhard explained how an Australian casino slowed down slot machine reels in their establishment in an attempt to keep compulsive gamblers from playing those slot machines. The operation backfired as slowing the spin rate down actually made the problem worse as the players simply played for longer periods of time.

Now that sports betting has been legalized in New Jersey, Mississippi and Delaware along with the fact that several other states will soon be offering it, discussions focused on how the industry needs to avoid creating more problem gamblers. The American Gaming Association has modernized its code of conduct to specifically address sports gambling. These updates include marketing and advertising rules and the prevention of underage gambling. Casinos have been asked to take careful measures to ensure that they don’t allow minors to place sports bets.

Sara Slane of the AGA said that the industry needs to help lawmakers to develop effective policies. She feels that “burdensome and unworkable regulations” are as harmful as doing nothing at all.

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Hollywood Gaming sees uptick in bets

Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course last month outpaced wagering on its video lottery terminals from last year.

Last month, the Austintown facility saw $102.1 million in credits played, up about $3 million over the same month last year when there were $99.1 million credits played, according to the Ohio Lottery Commission, which oversees video lottery terminals, or VLTs, in the state.

For the same month, there were $78.8 million credits played in 2016.

At the racino in July, $90.4 million credits were won, up from $87.9 million credits won the same month last year and up from $87.8 million credits won in May.

Net winnings, or the net revenues remaining after payout of prizes to players, were at $10.2 million in July, up from $9.7 million the same month last year and up from $10.1 million in June.

The percent payout was 89.97 in July, slightly down from 90.13 the same month last year and up from 89.81 in June.

In July, the win per VLT per day was $320, up from $305 the same month in 2017, but down from $326 in June.

Of the net winnings in July, $6.7 million went to Penn National Gaming Inc., the Wyomissing, Pa., company that operates the Austintown racino; $3.4 million went to the state lottery commission; and $34,077 went to problem-gambling services.

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Maybe Charles Barkley Isn’t The Best Spokesperson For A Sportsbook

Last week, DraftKings announced NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley would appear in a series of commercials. For right now, those commercials will only play in New Jersey, since that’s the only active area for the DraftKings Sportsbook.

The announcement seemed benign at the time. However, in light of Barkley’s history, his appearances may not be the best idea for DraftKings.

Barkley is one of the most high profile athletes who has lost millions gambling. By his own admission, his gambling has gotten out of hand before, and he has lost more than $1 million in a single session “10 to 15 times.”

For Barkley, who has made hundreds of millions of dollars, it may not be an addiction. He may simply like to gamble, and he has the wherewithal to lose more money than most.

However, the manner in which he’s portrayed is quite troubling. The premise of both commercial spots is to have Barkley interact with a medical professional known as “Dr. Aftkings.”

In the first commercial, Barkley is a patient in the doctor’s office. He is dressed in a medical gown and obviously suffering from some sort of ailment.

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Video game loot boxes are linked to problem gambling: Results of a large-scale survey

Loot boxes are items in video games that can be paid for with real-world money and contain randomised contents. In recent years, loot boxes have become increasingly common. There is concern in the research community that similarities between loot boxes and gambling may lead to increases in problem gambling amongst gamers. A large-scale survey of gamers (n=7,422) found evidence for a link (η2 = 0.069) between the amount that gamers spent on loot boxes and the severity of their problem gambling. There were strong differences in the amount spent by problem gamblers and non-problem gamblers (η2 = 0.377). It is unclear from this study whether buying loot boxes acts as a gateway to problem gambling, or whether spending large amounts of money on loot boxes appeals more to problem gamblers. However, in either case these results suggest that there is good reason to regulate loot boxes in games.

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Access To Sports Betting And Apps Could Increase Gambling Addiction

State lawmakers are working on a bill to bring full-scale sports betting to Ohio. That's after the Supreme Court in May struck down a law that restricted sports betting everywhere except in Nevada. If it's legalized, there will be big money in it for casinos, tax collectors, and app developers.

But advocates for problem gamblers, and experts who study gambling disorders, warn that making sports betting legal will likely increase the number of people at risk for gambling addiction.

Sports Betting Expands Beyond Vegas

For decades the only place you could legally wager on a basketball or football game was in Nevada. And to do it, you had to go to a casino “sportsbook”— in essence, a room where bettors sit in cushy seats while watching games on panoramic screens, and giant digital billboards tick out numbers to help them calculate how much they stand to win, or lose, on each matchup.

Kelly Stewart, a professional sports bettor, has spent hours of her life in sportsbooks in Las Vegas. “College football season, I have no life,” she said. “I’m working 65 hours a week.”

Call it gambling if you want, but there is a method to it, Stewart said. Each of her picks is based on strategy and hours of research.

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“The novelty of Las Vegas can hide its true intentions.  Its seediness might be hard to detect on the surface of many video games, but replace the roulette table with a Candy Crush wheel and the similarities become clearer.  Think about how many times you’ve paid real-life money in a game for the change to win an item you really wanted.  Was it a nice Overwatch skin?  Perhaps is was a coveted Hearthstone card.  How many times did you not get the item you wanted, then immediately bought in for another chance to hit the big time?”

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Hawley and Whyte column: State must take responsibility for problems related to gambling

The proposed massive expansion of gambling in Virginia under the guise of historical racing exposes the historic failure of the commonwealth to take any responsibility for social costs of gambling addiction.

A state that legalizes and regulates gambling — especially one that owns and operates a lottery monopoly — has an economic and ethical obligation to prevent and treat gambling problems among its citizens, especially among seniors, veterans, and members of racial and ethnic minority groups .

Their tragic stories are hidden in plain sight. The Virginia Council on Problem Gambling has heard from a Richmond senior who lost her house due to her gambling debts, a veteran in Norfolk who turned to gambling to escape his pain, and thousands of other Virginians whose lives have been devastated by gambling addiction.

Yet the commonwealth does not allocate 1 cent of more than $300 million in annual lottery and racing revenues to help those who become addicted to gambling, or their families. Now, a state with so little care for social costs is rushing to legalize up to 3,000 gaming machines. What makes these machines so lucrative is also what leads to problems for some players who are caught up chasing jackpots and betting repeatedly in a futile attempt just to break even. People with gambling problems account for a disproportionate share of gambling profits. Forty other states contribute a portion of their revenues to help prevent and treat problem gambling.

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Experts raise concerns about rising number of betting logos on football shirts

GambleAware’s boss warns of a “tipping point” for sport.

Experts on problem gambling have described the growing number of clubs with betting firms and online casinos on their shirts as “disturbing” and “worrying” and said a national debate on the potential harm is overdue.

Nearly 60 per cent of the clubs in England’s top two divisions will have gambling companies on their shirts this season – nine of 20 in the Premier League and a remarkable 17 of 24 in the Championship.

Only four of 48 clubs in Leagues One and Two will carry gambling advertising on their shirts, with four of 12 clubs in Scottish Premiership doing so, including Celtic and Rangers.

But with Sky Bet sponsoring the English Football League, it is the situation in the Championship, where the number of gambling sponsors has risen by four from last season, that most concerns charities which deal with the negative consequences of the UK’s £14billion gambling industry.

Speaking to Press Association Sport, Gambling Watch UK’s Professor Jim Orford said: “This is worrying.

“There is evidence that gambling is becoming ever more normalised, particularly among young people, so that increasingly betting is seen as part and parcel of following and supporting one’s favourite sport or team.”

According to the Gambling Commission’s most recent statistics, there are 430,000 adult problem gamblers in the UK, with a further two million at risk of developing a problem.

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Big Ten addressing gambling issue

Looking at education, standardized injury reporting

On May 14, in the case of Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a federal law banning states from legalizing sports gambling was unconstitutional. 

Since then, a handful of states have passed legislation legalizing betting on sports, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania, both home to Big Ten universities. Several other Big Ten states, including Indiana, could follow suit in the coming months or years.

Even if progress is slower on that front than expected, having some schools already playing in states that have legalized it has brought the issue to the forefront of discussion in the league.

Nearly every speaker at Big Ten Media Days, including conference commissioner Jim Delaney, was asked to address the issue of legalized sports gambling and how they believe it would affect college sports with football season kicking off in five weeks. Each coach, as well as Delaney, had their own take on the subject, but two major themes emerged over the two-day event in Chicago: creating a standardized player availability report and educating the players on the new challenges they could face in an environment in which gambling is no longer under the table.

The player availability report is an idea that's gained traction in recent months as a way to ensure that players and team personnel don't unknowingly give prospective gamblers a leg up by revealing which players will or will not be available for a game. Indiana head coach Tom Allen pointed out that determining which players are available is central to deciding which side has an advantage in a given matchup.

“To me, the injury part is a big deal,” said Allen, who is entering his second season with the Hoosiers. “That's why the NFL puts a lot of time into it and has strict guidelines for that and I'm sure those guidelines will filter down to collegiate football. Once they do, we've gotta make sure it's a system that we as coaches follow and nobody has a competitive advantage over another program.”

The NFL has a byzantine injury report policy, which mandates its teams release a report before three practices during the week, as well as before games. The game reports require players to be listed as “out”, “doubtful” or “questionable,” as well as the body part that has caused the player to land on the list.

At the college level, there is currently no such uniform report and coaches are permitted to make as much or as little information public as they want. In the Big Ten, preferences differ widely, with Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald providing a version of a weekly injury report and Michigan's Jim Harbaugh going so far as to withhold providing a depth chart until days before last season began. 

Even Fitzgerald, however, admits that he isn't always accurate with his weekly injury reports and that requiring a standardized version of the report could be beneficial.

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Sports betting makes way into college football and Big Ten media days

The landscape of college sports is different now from what it was at this point last year.

In May, the Supreme Court pushed aside a law from 1992 that prevented most states from legalizing sports gambling. Now, regulating betting is in the hands of the states.

There are now three states with legal sports gambling: New Jersey, Delaware, and longtime bettors’ haven Nevada.

In addition, New York, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, West Virginia, and Rhode Island have recently passed bills.

Fourteen other states, including Iowa, have introduced a bill without its passing yet, according to ESPN.

That raises a problem for the NCAA and the Big Ten. With the legalization of sports gambling, both organizations will need to share with players what the laws really mean and how it affects them.

“First thing I would say is I think we’ve got great students playing football,” Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said. “Trust them. They’re young. We need to continue to educate them about the challenges associated with gambling and the importance of the integrity of the game.”

Gambling could create problems for coaches around the country, and Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald took a similar stance as the conference’s commissioner.

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Here’s Why What Happened At The Meadowlands’ FanDuel Sportsbook Matters

When the Supreme Court struck down PASPA on May 14, the proverbial floodgates opened.

The ruling brought the quarter-century-old federal ban on legal sports betting to an end. Suddenly, states not named Nevada could choose to legalize and regulate sports betting within their borders.

To say things have been happening fast in US sports betting is an understatement.

Within a month of the court’s decision, West VirginiaNew Jersey and Rhode Island legalized sports betting. That’s in addition to preemptive legislation passed in DelawareMississippiPennsylvania and New York, in some cases many years earlier.

Delaware and New Jersey started accepting legal sports bets in June. In the case of Delaware, sports betting expanded beyond already-authorized parlay wagers.

But speed isn’t always an asset. Some of the consequences of rushed legislation and a race to be the first to launch sports betting are beginning to rear their heads.

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Non-Profit Fan Group Pitches A Different Kind of Sports Betting Bill

A consumer non-profit once involved in NFL TV blackouts and stadium public financing is shifting focus to legal sports betting.

Sports Fans Coalition announced Monday plans to advocate for a Sports Bettors’ Bill of Rightsin sports betting bills nationwide. The proposal includes five tenets that are “designed to encourage sports fans to leave the underground illegal sports betting market and conduct safe transactions,” according to executive director Brian Hess.

“Ever since the Supreme Court decision to overturn the federal ban on sports betting, we’ve seen states scrambling to legalize the activity. However, many are doing so without regard for consumer well-being,” Hess said.

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Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert was a crucial figure in bringing casino gambling to Ohio — and it offers insight into his transformation of downtown Detroit

When Dan Gilbert expands his businesses, he doesn't move to a place and stand idly by. Since moving his mortgage company Quicken Loans' headquarters to Detroit in 2010, he's invested more than $3.5 billion (with $2.1 billion more in development) into the city's downtown, where his company Bedrock owns 81 properties. And before that, after he became the majority owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA team in 2005, he began thinking of ways to expand his influence there, as well.

"There's a natural opportunistic thing that happens where one thing leads to another,"Gilbert told Business Insider for an episode of our podcast " Success! How I Did It ." "So now we have the Cavaliers, things are going pretty good, and we see this opportunity where we feel like we could impact things."

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The Real World Cup Winner? Online Gambling.

Ubiquitous ads for betting fuel big business, but also pose costs to society. 

The longer England captain Harry Kane and his team stay in the World Cup, the bigger the boost to the U.K. economy. But if there's one industry that stands to win whatever happens, it's betting.

Brits are set to wager an estimated 2.5 billion pounds ($3.31 billion) on the World Cup, according to data published by the London Times, or a 50-percent increase on the previous tournament. That number is almost exactly the sum fans are estimated to spend on food, drink, merchandise, pubs, clubs and cafes combined — if England were to win.

The boom should give pause for thought, not least because 2 million people in the U.K. are deemed at risk of becoming problem gamblers. Curbing advertising, without cracking down on betting platforms, is a good way to nudge consumers while still leaving their choice intact.

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