Posts Tagged ‘sports betting’

Why the French shunned sports betting

According to the French authority of online gaming, bingo and online casinos have generated unprecedented interest in France in 2011. But sport betting escaped that frenzy.

The figures recently released by the authority of online games (Arjel) are final. If the French spend more money in online gaming, they shun sports betting despite the opening of this market to competition in June 2010. Every day in 2011, the French have wagered a record $ 86.5 million euros in different gambling legally available to them (lottery, casino, online betting…). In ten years this amount has doubled. However, the success announced was not at the rendez vous for sports betting. The bubble was quickly deflated. In the fourth quarter of 2011, the volume of sports betting collapsed by 20%. Online poker and horse race betting are the only segments on the Internet to continue to grow.

Three reasons explain the lack of enthusiasm of the French online gaming. It is primarily a cultural reason. There was no real culture in France of sports betting in contrast to Britain and Italy according to Arjel. Especially, French operators of sports betting have long neglected their offers. Sports betting requires explaining, an accompaniment with informative content, but the partnership agreements between sports betting operators and the sports media have not been sufficiently exploited. So that instead of supporting their offers with online information updated constantly, many operators were just happy to organize some betting.

In addition live sports betting was not well promoted. Instead, they devoted their investment to marketing and advertising. While the law allowed it, few operators have developed live betting: the challenge of betting during a live sporting event. This discipline only represented 50% of total bets in 2011 against more than 85% in Great Britain. But live betting is undoubtedly one of the essential tools for running a betting site and gaining important traffic.

Last but not least, the economic and fiscal model is not that suitable for sports betting. Operators had reported that problem in June 2010 to the government and the legislature, mentioning the risk of transfer to illegal sites. The numbers give them reason today. The rate of return to players is now just 82% which is well below that of Italy for example. The reason? The level of taxation.

Even Arjel themselves recommends in its latest report a change of assessment and tax rates. The regulator is concerned that because of the lack of appeal of online gaming sites promotes some players may prefer to play at to illegal sites that the law sought to avoid. To date no online gaming operator is profitable. Some had even to close the shop like EurosportBet (TF1). The government need to soon decide on a change in taxation at the risk of re-emergence a parallel illegal activity.

Sportingbet settles with US Government

Could gambling sites cleaning up their mess in America pave the way to a legal online gambling market in America?

The UIGEA, which was enacted in 2006 made many online gambling companies shut down their operations in America, so American players were no longer being accepted at many of their favorite sites.

Most Americans are waiting for some kind of change to occur with the UIGEA, which would allow the transfer of funds to online gambling sites to be legal in the United States again. In the mean time gambling, sports betting, and poker sites are trying to make amends for their legal discrepancies in the United States.

Sports betting site Sportingbet has just recently reached a settlement with the United States Department of Justice that will clear their name in America. The sports betting site is a company based out of London that has been in legal troubles for actions involving online gambling in America from the years 1998 to 2006 when the unpopular UIGEA bill was enacted.

The CEO of Sportingbet at one point was arrested in New York however was freed after arraignment of the charges. The arrest along with the UIGEA made it so that the sports betting site would shut down its service to American players.

Sportingbet paid out 33 million in penalties and fines however this has bought them a clean name within the United States. Another company that has cleaned up their mess in the U.S. is Party Gaming who reached a settlement similar to the Sportingbet’s settlement back in 2009.

Whether it be casinos, sports betting or poker, many companies have legal troubles to clear up with the United States. If sports betting companies like Sportingbet and poker companies like Party Gaming can clear their names in the United States, then maybe so can the rest and this could mean hope for those patiently waiting for some changes to the UIGEA bill.

Happy New Year 2010

Happy New Year to All Sports Betting Fans.

May the Sports God of Luck Be with You.

Thank you to all of you who have been reading my blog regularly. There was a lot of action last year, and there will be even more sports betting action this year 2010. I will be more active in posting interesting stories than last year, so please keep on coming back, and you will find great content about football, basketball, baseball, soccer, Tour de France, Olympic Games, and all the sports where betting takes place.

There is a lot of debate taking place in Congress about legalizing online gambling and it seems the wind is now blowing in favor of liberalizing the rules related to making online bets about the outcome of sporting events. Online gambling includes three main categories, online poker, online casino and online sports betting.

One important element in allowing this type of betting is related to the question of skill versus luck. Pure luck based games involving money are frowned upon, unless they are State owned. This is the irony of the so-called moral laws, if the State itself governs a game and gets the income from a luck game such as lotto, it is ok. But if not, then these games are the work of the devil and whoever runs them should go to jail.

Skill games are in luck, no pun intended, as such games are considered less morally disturbing. So the game of poker for instance is now getting more and more considered like a skill game by American judges all over the country. In other words it is getting closer to be approved, and there is a good chance that Congress will repel the infamous UIGEA, a law intended to ban all forms of online gambling. It was already postponed for 6 months.

The point here is that sports betting is also a skill based type of game. The most successful bettors are the ones who study the sports, the history, the odds and the players in great depth, in order to uncover when odds mispricings occur. Only counting on luck in sports betting will not cut it.

So logically we should also see some sort of legalization of sports betting to some extent in the not so distant future. Let us see.