Online Casino News From Around the Globe

Illinois Attorney General Says Daily Fantasy Sports Is Gambling
Dec24

Illinois Attorney General Says Daily Fantasy Sports Is Gambling

Illinois has become the latest U.S. State to ban residents from playing daily fantasy sports competitions on sites like DraftKings and FanDuel. Following New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s lead, AG Lisa Madigan said that the sites constitute gambling under Illinois law. She went on to say to say,” In light of the opinion, we expect that both FanDuel and DraftKings will amend their Terms of Use to include Illinois as an additional state whose residents are not eligible to participate in contests.” DFS operator FanDuel were not impressed by the latest legislator to challenge the legality of their business model and said,” Why the Attorney General would tell her 13.5 million constituents they can’t play fantasy sports anymore as they know it – and make no mistake, her opinion bans all forms of fantasy sports played for money – is beyond us.” Madigan’s legal challenge put Illinois alongside  Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Washington, Nevada and New York who are not putting out the welcome mat for DFS operators. Illinois makes up about 5 percent of total DFS activity which means that this is yet another major blow for an industry reeling from a sustained attack on all fronts. The “good news” for DFS operators is that Madigan stated that they might be welcomed back to Illinois after legislation is put in place to safeguard and regulate DFS activity. She stated that she already has legislative support to ensure these bills aimed at regulation become a...

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Kentucky Judge Orders Amaya To Pay $870m To State In Compensation
Dec23

Kentucky Judge Orders Amaya To Pay $870m To State In Compensation

PokerStars’ dubious past in the U.S. has come back to haunt them despite their recent re-entry into the U.S. after years of being banned. Franklin Circuit Court Judge Thomas WIngate of Kentucky has invoked an 1833 statue to seek damages on behalf of players who lost money from PokerStars’ illegal operation in the U.S. between the period of 2006 and 2011. The damages in the amount of $870 million are being demanded from Amaya Gaming who bought PokerStars last year. The original law suit was filed in 2010 by the state who claimed that PokerStars illegally offered gambling services to Kentucky residents between 2006 and culminating in Black Friday in April 2015. The original fine was “only” $290 million but upon request from the state Judge Wingate tripled the amount. The Judge went on to threaten Amaya with 12 percent annual interest if they linger with the payments. Wingate was not apologetic nor in the forgiving mood and stated that Amaya might “find the final damage award to be harsh medicine” but that such is the consequences for violating Kentucky laws. Amaya reacted by saying that they will appeal the decision and vigorously dispute any liability. Should their appeal be unsuccessful they will ensure that former PokerStars owners Isai and Mark Scheinberg pay the fine as they were the owners at the time. Whether the Kentucky legal case is just an attempt for a quick money grab or a real precedent for other states to follow suit remains to be...

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Texas Joins List Of States Who Say No To DFS Operators
Dec22

Texas Joins List Of States Who Say No To DFS Operators

Texas is well known for its restrictive approach to gambling and previous efforts to expand gambling there have not been welcomed to say the least. The daily fantasy debate is now reaching the Lone Star State with Attorney General Ken Paxton not yielding to pressure by lobbying groups like the Fantasy Sports Trade Associations lobbying and Fantasy Sports for all lobby. With 2015 coming to an end there is no doubt that that the DFS market is still in a phase of uncertainty and their meteoric rise has been seriously slowing down as they are forced to combat legal challenges to their core business model which until now relied on the legal premise that it was based on skill and not chance. The Fantasy Sports For All  lobby group have been targeting Attorney General Ken Paxton in an effort to ensure that he does not follow the lead of NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman who is seeking to get DFS banned as he is of the opinion that it is nothing other than real money gambling. Paxton came out with an ominous statement which made it clear that he had no intentions of rolling out the red carpet for DFS operators. He stated that he had been tasked by legislators to deliver an opinion on the legality of DFS and that “a publicity campaign cannot and should not influence that objective inquiry.” The chances of DFS operators being allowed to operate in Texas are not good as the Texas Penal Code seems to fit into AG Eric Schneiderman’s definition of what illegal gambling is. Here again the penal code forbids any betting on something which has the elements “of an agreement to win or lose something of value solely or partially by chance”. Just like most other states there is the clause of skill based games which are excluded from gambling laws. However the skill clause which he DFS operators have been utilizing until now to offer real money prizes is far from a accepted premise these days and is the core argument to ensure that the industry is regulated in the same manner as real money...

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PokerStars Launch Online Sports Betting Brand BetStars
Dec18

PokerStars Launch Online Sports Betting Brand BetStars

PokerStars are continuing to expand their global reach by diversifying from their traditional poker offering. Parent company of PokerStars, Amaya have announced the official launch of their new sports betting brand BetStars which will be available on the BetStars.com and BetStars.eu, BetStars.uk domains. BetStars will offer wagers on 25 sports and will continue to expand their product range in 2016. Some of the sports betting options that will be available include tennis, basketball and football. Besides the domains launched there is also both an Android and iOS app that is available. Players will have the option of one wallet across all of Amaya’s casino and poker offerings. The software provider is Amelco who also operate with other major brands like MyBet, William Hill and Betfair. CEO of the Rational Group Rafi Ashkenazi commented on the launch of BetStars,” We’re very excited about the launch of the BetStars brand, and expect it to be one of the most talked about sports betting sites in 2016 as it continues to evolve. We’re applying the same dedication and passion we have for poker to sports betting, and intend to create an authentic, world-class offering with new products and features that we believe will set us apart as a betting brand for the true sports fan. The BetStars brand will build on this passion and provide a safe, trustworthy and, most importantly, exciting environment for sports...

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DraftKings Delays UK Launch Till 2016
Dec17

DraftKings Delays UK Launch Till 2016

The last months for the daily fantasy sports market have been a nightmare with the real possibility that the entire industry could be brought down. The crisis was largely sparked off by the Ethan Haskell scandal which exposed the problem of employees from DraftKings and FanDuel having access to insider information and using that data to win huge amounts of money on each other’s sites. This of course threw the spotlight on the integrity of DFS and more so on just how long DraftKings and FanDuel can claim that what they are doing is anything other than real money gambling. The ongoing legal battle in New York speared by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has resulted  in DraftKings having to spend millions of dollars on legal battles and having to cut their marketing campaigns drastically as to get themselves out of the media spotlight. The very media spotlight that they used in almost every channel is now widely believed to be one of the contributing factors as to why they have grabbed the attention of politicians who have been looking on the sidelines and seeing billion dollar industries being created and essentially looks like any real money casino operation. The continuing legal battles and uncertainty in the DFS sector has now resulted in DraftKings delaying their UK launch. As we reported DraftKings secured a license to operate in the UK in August and were expected to launch there before the end of 2015. However in a company statement DraftKings have now said they will delay their UK launch until “early next Year”. The reasons for the delay were not given but it is safe to assume that the issues we discussed are the main factor. The coming year will be key to the future for the DFS sector both in the US and abroad. DraftKings were hoping to expand in the UK, Asia and Australia but never dreamt that that they would be the subject of federal investigations and ambitious politicians looking to make a name for themselves in being the ones that changed the playing field for DFS operators from games of skill to games of...

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