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National Football League Against Gambling But Makes Money Off it

Saturday December 19,2015 :  THE HYPOCRISY OF AMERICA'S NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
 
This organisation may rail against gambling as a danger to the integrity of sport, but it's not averse to indirectly making money out of the business.
 
The National Football League in the United States says that gambling presents dangers to the integrity of sports, but it is not averse to making money from indirect activities that support gambling despite going to extraordinary lengths to preserve the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (think New Jersey sports betting legalisation litigation).
 
This week the New York Times reported on the NFLs latest money-making venture - selling live data from its games that includes streaming from playing fields, driving not only game apps on fans’ mobile phones and computers, but also fantasy sites and professional reports for online sports betting sites.
 
The N.F.L. signed a lucrative new deal in April this year with Sportradar, a Swiss-based live data provider servicing the online sports betting industry which subsequently inked a deal to provide data to daily fantasy sports operator FanDuel, and a month later struck a deal to distribute data for the National Hockey League as well.
 
The NFL has taken an equity stake in Sportradar,  underscoring "...the league’s ambiguous position on the shifting ground of gambling in the Internet age, in which betting is increasingly woven into the culture of American sports but the nation’s legal structure lags behind," the newspaper reports.
 
And, as the NY Times article points out, online sports betting is almost entirely illegal in the United States, and the NFL is among its strongest opponents.
 
In addition, the NFL and its franchises are increasingly doing business with daily fantasy sports operators, where many lawmakers and regulators are of the view that this activity constitutes gambling.
 
"Almost every N.F.L. team has a partnership deal with the fantasy sites, and two of the league’s most powerful owners have stakes in DraftKings. The league also has a partnership in Britain with DraftKings, which has a gaming license there," the Times claims.
 
The NY Times investigation extended to Sportradar subsidiary Betradar, a provider of data to 450 bookmaking companies, including BetCRIS, which the article reminds readers has repeatedly faced prosecution in the United States.

Challenged on its apparent hypocrisy in contracting to provide live data to Sportradar for distribution to its clients, the NFL said its agreement was with the United States arm of the company, Sportradar US.
 
“There is a strict prohibition on distribution of the N.F.L.’s official data feeds to any gambling-related activity or entity, globally,” the NFL said.
“Sportradar US does not generate revenue from gambling-related activities for any sport.” Sportradar is allowed to distribute official data only “to consumer facing, digital distribution publishers,” the body stressed.
 
When asked whether it works with several online bookmakers that are known to be active in the United States, Sportradar said in a statement that it “does not comment on individual client contracts.”
 
But Sportradar said that it “has a strict policy to only provide data to licensed bookmakers” and obliges its clients “not to target customers in jurisdictions where betting is illegal.”
 
The company's US branch does not provide services to any bookmakers, the company claimed.
 
The article explores allegations of copying and reselling a rival's data between 2008 and 2012 which saw a legal action against Sportradar in the British courts and a subsequent confidential settlement.
 
The NY Times piece describes the complexities of deploying live data and its importance to online gambling websites and punters in today's world of instant communications.
 
Sportradar's penetration in the United States has included investment from the owners of three NBA franchises as well - the Washington Wizards, the Dallas Mavericks and the Charlotte Hornets...and the company has also begun working with Nascar Racing.
 
The attraction of the US betting market despite the legal hurdles is obvious - the American Gaming Association estimates that the illegal betting market for professional and college football alone will reach nearly $100 billion in 2015.
 
The Times article is interesting as both an examination of Sportradar and its US activity and the continued if painfully slow evolution of the US sports betting market - access it here:
 
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/19/sports/sportradar-nfl-gambling.html?_r=0

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Gambling News :

HeyPoker Closing - The operator is licensed by the UK Gambling Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority, with the registering company listed as Evoke Gaming Ltd.

Can Jack Lam Make Things Right in Philippines - Lam will no doubt seriously consider the offer, having lost access to his Philippines businesses and with charges of attempted bribery and "economic sabotage" and an arrest warrant hanging over his head .

PPA Wants pre-emptive strike against RAWA - It's not just civic associations that are warning against the introduction of a federal ban on online gambling in a denial of states' rights . The Poker Players Alliance action group has begun mustering its over a million US members in a campaign as well.

UK Wants Fixed Odds Betting Terminals Changes - The group, titled FOBT All-Party Parliamentary Group plans to release its full report early in the new year, but for now has claimed that changes to FOBT regulations could help in reducing "associated crime" and problem gambling.

Sportech Wins 8 Year Old VAT case - An eight-year long, GBP 97 million VAT repayment claim dispute between Sportech PLC and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has come to an end with the Supreme Court refusing HMRC permission to appeal a previous Court of Appeal ruling.

2017 MPN Poker Tour - Main Event packages, worth €1,500, are available online and players can qualify via any of the MPN participating card rooms through a variety of satellites, with buy-ins starting as low as €0.25. Each €1,500 package includes:

Realistic Games in deal with Kindred Group - The UK-based online gambling games developer Realistic Games has signed a deal to supply its games to online operator Kindred Group, parent company of quality brands that include Unibet, Stan James and Maria Casino.

Opposition to Anti Online Gambling Bill in Congress Lame Duck Session - Action groups appeal to House Appropriations Subcommittee to ensure that RAWA style language is not attached to unrelated spending bill.

DFS banning bill Introduced in Illinois - The legislative season in Illinois may be drawing to a close, but that hasn't stopped a new bid to ban daily fantasy sports from being assigned to the House Executive Committee; whether there is sufficient time to pass the bill is a matter for speculation.

Cambodia To More Closely Control Online Gambling - Cambodia, where online #gambling is operated by licensed land casinos alone, and Cambodian punters are banned from participating, is to tighten monitoring, control and management of the activity by setting up a centralized server, a Ministry of the Economy official revealed this week in a media interview.

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