The Gambler's Report: Federal Oversight For Sports Betting?

Hope you are getting your holiday shopping done as another week has flown by and we are just under two weeks until Christmas. And while the shopping centers and online retailers are flying around like crazy so too is the sports world for gamblers and fans alike. The college football Bowl Season is set to kick off this weekend with a six pack of bowls that only gamblers could love. The NFL passed thru week 14 and jaws are still dropped after Miami's miracle laterals came thru to beat the Patriots. The NBA and NHL are continuing to grind along in regular seasons that offer plenty for punters to digest. The college hoops season is plugging along as Gonzaga was bumped from the number one spots after suffering a loss to the Tennessee Volunteers.  And of course, there is plenty happening as the legal wave of sports betting continues to spread around the US.  Let's take a quick look around the industry in this week's Gambler's Report.  

Legislation Drafted for Federal Oversight

Sen. Orrin Hatch has drafted legislation that would provide federal oversight for sports betting. Ok, just what we need is more politicians and federal oversight. ESPN was able to obtain the 37-page document that is viewed as an initial step in what should be a very long and drawn out process.  

Some of the major takeaways from the document are it would allow states to apply for approval from the US Attorney.  It would also require them to use official league data (the leagues are of course compensated for this) and one of the bigger takeaways is they would create a mechanism for authorities to target unlicensed operators both domestically and offshore.  More politicians and mentions of federal frameworks almost guarantee a garbage product designed to bury the consumer.  Really wish they would allow natural competition to evolve instead of having a short-term cash grab. 

Fanduel Freebie

So a little extra headline-grabbing promo never hurt anyone, right?  Fanduel announced they are paying out bettors who backed Alabama to win the national championship before the playoffs have even started. FanDuel says the move costs them approximately $400k and they will pay out winning tickets if another team is able to defeat the Crimson Tide. 


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State News

Currently, 7 states offer legal sports betting and numerous others are considering potential rollouts to capitalize on the recent lifted federal ban. 

Kansas is holding off as lawmakers wish to educate themselves on sports betting before passing any legislation. 

A Missouri state senator has proposed a .5 percent fee on sports betting that would go to "Entertainment Facilities Infrastructure Fund". The rest of the bill looks pretty standard but how much will this fee affect the numbers offered to the consumer.  

Washington D.C. is set to vote on its sports betting legislation on December 18th.  Lots of specifics on licensing and giving the city a monopoly on operating a citywide app. Private operators apps would only be allowed to function within their brick and mortar locations but only the DC Lottery would be able to offer bettors an app that could be used anywhere in the city. 

Offshore Report

Payout reports for December generally look good with most payouts going out within stated timeframes. 

Following up on a previous report Youwager continues to take a lot of heat with their case of trying to confiscate a players funds based on the alleged use of a robot to place wagers. Looks like the player and Youwager came to some sort of settlement agreement. And while happy for the player he was able to get what I guess is a decent chunk of his funds this is still a terrible precedent to set with this book and I would be wary of any substantial play going forward. 

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