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Why the US Supreme Court Struck Down PASPA



Reading Time: 4 minutes

The United States Supreme Court has ordered to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).

PASPA, penned in 1992 by New York Knicks hall of famer and former New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley, came into force on New Year’s Day 1993. It slapped a virtual ban on sports wagering across 46 states and limited three other states to sports lotteries. The only state that received an exemption from the sole blanket ban was Nevada. New Jersey was also got a one-year window to legalise sports betting, but could not do so.

However, the apex court struck down PASPA this week on the grounds that it violates a provision of the 10th Amendment, commonly known as the anti-commandeering doctrine.

The anti-commandeering doctrine provides that, if the Constitution does not specifically reserve a power to the federal government (in this case, legislating sports wagering) or directly strip that power away from the states, that power resides with the states. The provision is known as the anti-commandeering doctrine because it is understood to bar the federal government from “commandeering” the rights of the individual states to enforce federal law.

In this case, since PASPA does not specifically ban sports wagering, rather the ability of the states to pass laws of their own to legalise sports wagering, the Court held that PASPA violates the anti-commandeering doctrine and thus, the 10th Amendment.

This battle started in 2012 when New Jersey passed a law to legalise sports betting. Shortly thereafter, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and all four major American sports leagues (NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL) sued the state of New Jersey, claiming that the law violated PASPA. When the lower federal courts ruled in favor of the NCAA and the leagues, New Jersey retreated but returned in 2014 with a new law, specifically tailored to challenge PASPA but only at casinos and racetracks. Predictably, the NCAA and the leagues took New Jersey to court again and eventually prevailed in the United States Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit.

However, that ruling was overturned by the Supreme Court. Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito opined, “It is as if federal officers were installed in state legislative chambers and were armed with the authority to stop legislators from voting on any offending proposals.” Alito continued, stating that “[a] more direct affront to state sovereignty is not easy to imagine.”

It is important to note that this ruling does not legalise sports betting nationally or in any state, including New Jersey. The strike-down of PASPA merely paves the way for each state to pass its own laws addressing sports gambling. The majority points out that it is still within the purview of the federal government to pass laws restricting sports gambling on a national scale, but that if it does not, it may not enact a law such as PASPA, which prohibited the states from passing sports wagering laws of their own; “Congress can regulate sports gambling directly,” writes Alio. “But if it elects not to do so, each State is free to act on its own.”

In addition to New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Mississippi have all passed bills legalising sports wagering and over 15 other states have introduced similar bills in the preceding months, in anticipation of today’s ruling.

While PASPA may seem, at first glance, an automatic ticket to the explosion of esports wagering in the United States, Will Green, Senior Director of Strategic Communications for the American Gambling Association is not so sure.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Green stated “I don’t think PASPA is the vehicle for the blossoming of esports.” Green points to the lack of esports-specific verbiage in pending state legislation and feels that “there has to be clarity [regarding esports being classified as a sport for betting purposes by regulators], and right now there are more questions than there are answers.”

Green’s point, while not determinative, is not without merit. While esports has gained a tremendous following and a great deal of mainstream acceptance in the US, it is still not what many would consider a mainstream sport. As such, it could be argued that esports was not envisioned by the legislators when the various state bills were written and might, therefore, have an uphill climb to fight for inclusion under those laws.

For his part, Seth Schorr, CEO of Las Vegas’s Downtown Grand Hotel and Casino, one of the first sportsbooks to accept bets on esports, appears to have a different outlook. Also speaking to The Post, Schorr referenced a memorandum of understanding between the Nevada Gaming Control Board and the esports Integrity Coalition in support of his opinion that esports will be defined as a sport for betting purposes. Schorr did qualify his statement, however, noting concerns around match-fixing and cheating, “You can’t bet on football; you can bet on the NFL,” Schorr told The Post. “I see Nevada looking at specific esports leagues and offerings [in order to assure the integrity of the matches on which bets are made].” Schorr continued, stating that while he believes the repeal of PASPA will ultimately have a “massive impact” on esports wagering, he cautions that the transformation might not happen as quickly as is expected for mainstream sports betting; “Everything takes time,” Schorr explained. “Each state is different. We are catching up with the rest of the world.”

Now that PASPA has been repealed, there is no telling how large the esports wagering market in the United States can grow or how long it will take to get there. As reported by both ESPN and Chris Grove, an estimated $5 billion was wagered illegally on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Database-Link-e1521645463907 through skin betting alone in the United States in 2016. When we account for the massive growth of CS:GO, along with the popularity of other games, including League of Legends Database-Link-e1521645463907, Fortnite Database-Link-e1521645463907, and PUBG Database-Link-e1521645463907, as well as the recent launch of Activision Blizzard’s Overwatch League, it is clear that the esports wagering market in the United States has the potential to be substantial.

Meanwhile, the American Gambling Association estimates that roughly $150 billion is wagered illegally each year on sports in the U.S. How much of that number is poised to flow into esports may very well be determined by how broadly each state’s sports wagering legislation is perceived. Whatever happens in the near term, it seems clear that esports wagering is knocking on the United States’ door. The question now appears to be when that door will open.


Source: European Gaming Media and Events


NSoft brings iGaming Future to february London event



NSoft brings iGaming Future to february London eventReading Time: 1 minute


The sports betting technology provider NSoft will be showcasing its comprehensive suite of products including a full Sportsbook platform, Virtual games and the latest innovations in AI solutions at ICE London 2019.

NSoft’s Self-Managed Pre Match application is fully integrated into Seven Platform and gives the betting operators full autonomy of sports events creation, odds management and risk management. Except for already supported option of importing Betradar Unified Odds Feed, the customer has the ability to manually create any sport, tournament, market and event, as well as to resolve the markets.

The upcoming ICE London 2019 is the only B2B gaming event that truly brings together the international online and offline gaming sectors. During this event, held from February 5 to February 7, 2019, NSoft’s focus shall be on promotion of new products and comprehensive business solutions.

NSoft team is performing the latest product polishing before presenting it to the industry’s leading stakeholders. This year we shall be hosting you on our stand with impressive design and demo zones.

Don’t miss out on the chance to find out more about NSoft’s products. Please meet us at Stand S1-260. Book a meeting with our team or contact


Source: European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: NSoft brings iGaming Future to february London event

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PointsBet enters the legal New Jersey betting market



PointsBet into the legal New Jersey betting marketReading Time: 1 minute


PointsBet has launched its online sports betting platform in New Jersey, had become the ninth operator to enter the legal New Jersey sports betting market. PointsBetting is essentially a high-risk form of spread-betting that rewards players with more money.

The company explained how PointsBetting works: “If a user bets $10 on the over, and the total ends 10 points over, that nets users $100. Stop-loss settings are able to be set by a bettor if they wish to limit their win and loss position. Users will still be able to make fixed odds wagers, which give a simple win-or-lose scenario.”

New Jersey residents can access PointsBet in web browsers via or by downloading the PointsBet mobile app for Android or iOS.

Johnny Aitken, PointsBet US CEO said: “We’re extremely excited to bring PointsBet’s premium and game-changing sportsbook and signature betting options to the US.

“By offering some of the world’s sharpest betting offers and prices, we have the back of all sports bettors, no matter how sophisticated they are, and we’re serious about offering a one-of-a-kind VIP betting experience.”

PointsBet is also partnered with Tioga Downs Casino in New York and will launch sports betting operations in New York if the state moves to legalise sports betting.


Source: European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: PointsBet enters the legal New Jersey betting market

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FDJ aims digital transformation to fuel its development



FDJ aims digital transformation to fuel its developmentReading Time: 2 minutes


FDJ Group announced €15.8 bn in player stakes in 2018. FDJ distributed €10.7 bn to players, a return rate of nearly 68%, an increase close to 1 point over 2017.

Stéphane Pallez, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of FDJ Group said “The continued growth in player stakes reflects the good execution of our FDJ 2020 strategy around areas such as innovation and digital, enhancing the appeal of our games and distribution channels. 2018 has been characterised by numerous successes, notably Mission Patrimoine games, illustrating FDJ’s redistribution model. These results underpin our ambition to anticipate changes in the gaming and entertainment sector to increase the Group’s leadership with richer and innovative gaming experiences”.

 The FDJ 2020 strategic plan aims at accelerating the Group’s digital transformation to fuel its development. In 2018, the group got benefited from increase in digitalisation of all games. This success confirms our strategic goal of reaching 20% by 2020. This digital growth was driven by online gaming as well as electronic player stakes at points of sale.

ParionsSport sports betting posted strong gains in player stakes. FDJ is one of the Top 10 sports betting operators worldwide. Player stakes recorded during the World cup reached €333 m, an increase of +75% over the 2014 event, mostly attributable to the French team’s performance. The overall trend remained strong, with +8% growth in non-World Cup player stakes.

ParionsSport also signed major four-year partnerships with four leading French football clubs (Olympique de Marseille, Olympique Lyonnais, AS Monaco, and FC Nantes), and launched the “Parions Club” challenge with each of them, giving the top punters in each club a VIP treatment in stadiums or at points of sale, in addition to their winnings.

Player stakes in lottery, instant lottery and draw-based games, grew 1.1% to €12,770 m. Player stakes on instant lottery games (scratch-card games in point of sale and digital) continued to grow, +3.2% to €7694 m.

Digitalisation drives growth in all lottery games, whether instant lottery or draw-based games. On-line lottery games were up +12% thanks to the steady increase in new players, with close to 1.9 million players at the end of 2018, and very frequent marketing events in the online gaming portfolio, with a launch, a relaunch, or a modification every week.

In 2018, FDJ stopped charging rent for point of sale equipment and started paying commission on promotional and free coupons. This year, a new commission structure has been introduced, with different rates across the various product lines and price ranges. In this context, net commissions earned by FDJ retailers were €785 m in 2018, up 5.7% on 2017.

After internalising its sales force and setting up its own logistics, FDJ has completed its business transformation and has direct control of its network.

The Group has continued to make substantial investments in points of sale, specifically in technology and equipment.

Source: European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: FDJ aims digital transformation to fuel its development

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