New Jersey to clash with sports leagues, US DOJ

SBR provides an iGaming News video update for Friday, January 25th, 2013. The headliner of today's show is the legal battle between New Jersey and the major sports leagues, the NCAA, and now the US Department of Justice. NJ is attempting to bring sportsbooks to Atlantic City, but must convince US District Court Judge Michael Shipp that existing federal legislation is unconstitutional.

International gaming operators are taking note of the fireworks set to begin in New Jersey federal court. New Jersey is planning to license sportsbooks to operate in Atlantic City this year, but the professional sports leagues, the NCAA, and now the US Department of Justice stand in their way.

We know that PokerStars is pushing their chips in the middle despite this legal fray, as PokerStars is moving for permission from regulators to purchase the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel: a property that had revenue of $120 million in 2012.

The US market is something many international operators are licking their lips over. British bookmaker William Hill received a gaming license in Nevada and finalized a deal purchasing three Nevada sportsbook companies.
There are many millions to be made with sportsbooks in Atlantic City if New Jersey can convince District Court Joudge Michael Shipp to rule in their favor. New Jersey intends to argue that federal statute PASPA is unconstitutional. PASPA outlaws sports betting nation wide with the exceptions of Nevada, the largest beneficiary of the legislation, Delaware, Oregon, and Montana.

Speaking of the US DOJ’s recent involvement in the federal case is New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who had the following to say on New Jersey Radio Station 101.5:

“If, in fact, we’re attacking a federal statute, which is what we’re doing...we’re saying that the federal statute prohibiting us from doing sports wagering is unconstitutional...the Department of Justice has an obligation to stand up for the constitutionality of laws that have been passed by Congress and signed by a President, which this law was.”

All parties are scheduled to meet in court on Valentines Day, we kid you not, as oral arguments are scheduled to be heard on February the 14th.  I would suspect there will be more legal mumbo-jumbo than warm fuzzy feelings flying around Trenton Federal Court.

Probability hires ex-Betfair employee as its CFO

Mobile gambling software company Probability has agreed to terms with former Betfair Head of Commercial Finance Qurban Hussain. Hussain will serve as Chief Financial Officer beginning in April. Probability is based in London and is listed on the London Stock Exchange as A I M – Alternative Investment Market.

Probability CEO Charles Cohen had this to say regarding the hire: “Our recent growth has merited the appointment of a board-level Chief Financial Officer. Qurban is joining Probability at an important stage in our growth and I am sure he will make a very valuable contribution as we move towards profitability.” – Probability CEO Charles Cohen, *credit iGaming Business.

Ladbrokes acquires BetDaq Sportsbook

Ladbrokes has acquired BetDaq Sportsbook in a deal worth €30 million. €15 million is in Ladbrokes shares. Ladbrokes will also receive a 10% piece of TBH Guernsey Limited, the technology provider of BetDaq. This news is underscored by Ladbrokes CEO Richard Glynn having made his first acquisition since becoming the top suit at Ladbrokes three years ago. Glynn had walked away from chances to purchase SportingBet, 888, and CentreBet Australia previously. BetDaq was reported to have cleared €2.8 million last year with gross assets of more than €35 million.

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