Casino Gambling

Climate's changing for sports betting

CHARLIE RIEDEL/ASSOCIATED PRESSA Super Bowl 50 sign stands in a park overlooking San Francisco Wednesday. Billions will be bet -- most of it illegally -- on every aspect of the NFL Super Bowl game between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers.
CHARLIE RIEDEL/ASSOCIATED PRESSA Super Bowl 50 sign stands in a park overlooking San Francisco Wednesday. Billions will be bet -- most of it illegally -- on every aspect of the NFL Super Bowl game between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers. AP

Much has happened to grow the national conversation on sports betting since Geoff Freeman, president of the American Gaming Association, came to Biloxi in April to announce the organization's campaign to stop illegal gambling:

-- NBA Commissioner Adam Silver took a position saying, "Times have changed . I believe sports betting should be brought out of the underground and into the sunlight where it can be appropriately monitored and regulated."

-- The NFL prohibited Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and other players from participating in a fantasy sports convention at a casino in Las Vegas, according to a report in the New York Times. But the NFL hasn't prevented owners Jerry Jones of the Cowboys and Robert Kraft of the New England Patriots from having stakes in DraftKings, one of two largest fantasy sports companies.

-- An employee of DraftKings won $350,0000 in a Fan Duel contest, and employees from both companies admitted they won large amounts on the rival sites. That brought charges of insider trading and legal action in New York and other states.

-- Documents filed in the case show the industry would take in about $4 billion in entry fees in the U.S. in 2015, and could reach up to $20 billion in 2017, according to the Associated Press.

-- Another court document said the U.S. has a market of 63 million male sports fans between 21 and 50 years old, including 25 million fantasy sports players.

-- Websites provide rules for holding office pools and tell players nobody ever was prosecuted in Mississippi for betting on an Internet site.

-- Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood joined attorneys general in other states with an opinion that fantasy sports betting is illegal in the state.

-- Indiana senators approved a bill last week that would regulate daily fantasy sports.

­-- Mary Perez

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