FanDuel May Purchase Fairmount Park Racetrack, Gain Immediate Sports Betting Access

Multiple sources have confirmed to Sports Handle that growing U.S. sports betting juggernaut FanDuel Group is in talks to purchase the Fairmount Park Racetrack in Collinsville, Ill., in the St. Louis metropolitan area. The reason? It’s a workaround for the application fee and would allow FanDuel, which would otherwise have an 18-month waiting period before it could launch its mobile sportsbook in Illinois, a chance to go live sooner under its own brand name.

The timeline for a purchase is unclear, but talks are well underway and FanDuel Group (Betfair Interactive US LLC) already applied for a management services provider license with the Illinois Gaming Board. The fee for this license is $1 million. Fairmount Park has applied for an organization license, which has a $10 million price tag.

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PA Governor proposes using Funds from Horse Racing to help with college tuition

“Three years ago the governor signed a bill to create that trust fund that couldn’t be touched, and now three years later he’s coming back and taking $200 million out of 250 dollars. All those jobs would be lost, all these horses would have to be re-homed, the economy would be devastated.” ~ Kim Hankins, the executive director of Meadows Standard Bred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, Pa. — Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is proposing to cut $204 million from the Race Horse Development Fund and moving it to help college students with tuition.

The governor says the money would support the Nellie Bly tuition program, which provides financial assistance to targeted full-time students who agree to stay in Pennsylvania for the same number of years for which they receive the benefit.

Governor Wolf tells Channel 11′s Cara Sapida that the legislature would need to approve the transfer of the tax dollars going to purse winnings for owners, trainers and jockeys, and redirect them to this scholarship program.

Pete Peterson, executive director of the Pennsylvania Equine Coalition, told Channel 11 that money in the Race Horse Development Trust Fund comes from an assessment paid by casinos on their gross terminal revenues from slot machine gaming. The legislature noted in the 2017 Race Horse Industry Reform Act that the money isn’t funds of the Commonwealth and that the “Commonwealth shall not be rightfully entitled to any money” in the RHDTF.

New Competition for Oaklawn Park in Arkansas?

Competition is coming for Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs.

Of course, it’s always faced competitors in the form of other thoroughbred racetracks and then, later, in the form of the electronic “games of skill” also offered by Southland Park (now Southland Casino Racing) in West Memphis, as well as the myriad other ways in which people spend money to entertain themselves.

But with the opening of the Saracen Annex in Pine Bluff, to be joined later this year by the full-fledged Saracen Casino Resort, Oaklawn faces head-to-head competition in its own backyard.

Gaming industry experts told our Mark Friedman that Arkansas’ gambling market probably wasn’t yet saturated. But the Saracen Annex, which opened for business in late September, already appears to be cutting into Oaklawn’s terminal and slot machine wagers, which fell 15.7% in the fourth quarter of 2019, compared with the same period in 2018.

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FL Court rules that Calder can switch from horse races to Jai Alai and retain slot machines

Slot Machines Seduce, Then EntrapAn appellate court upheld a decision by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation and said Calder Race Course could continue offering casino slot machines if it switched from horse racing to jai alai.

A state appeals court Wednesday (9/25/19) said Miami-Dade County’s Calder Race Course can continue operating slot machines if it discontinues horse racing and offers jai alai games instead.

A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal upheld a decision by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation and rejected arguments by thoroughbred breeders and owners, who had appealed the agency’s decision.

The case was rooted, in part, in a 2004 constitutional amendment that allowed pari-mutuel facilities in Miami-Dade and Broward counties to operate slot machines. Calder, which has run horse races for decades, obtained a permit to operate slot machines.

In 2018, Calder asked the Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering whether it could continue to operate slot machines if it shifted from offering horse races to jai alai. The Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association and Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co., Inc. opposed the proposal.

Wednesday’s ruling said Calder obtained its slot-machine license as what is known as an “eligible facility” under a section of state law…

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Sports Book at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino

Source:  Indiana Downs

Indiana Grand Racing & Casino made history Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019 as it became the first Sports Book in the state. A special pep rally was lead into the commemorative ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the official opening of Winner’s Circle Race, Sports, Pub.

“We are extremely excited and honored to open the first Sports Book in the State of Indiana,” said Ron Baumann, senior vice president and general manager of Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. “Our new Sports Book is a highly anticipated addition to our property, and we have worked hard over the past few months to redesign our current Winner’s Circle to accommodate the newest option in gaming in the state of Indiana.”

The Pep Rally will get underway at approximately 12:45 p.m. followed by comments from several local dignitaries, including Mayor Tom DeBaun of Shelbyville. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the Sports Book will officially launch legalized sports betting in the state of Indiana.

Sports available for legal wagers include professional football, basketball, baseball and golf. In addition, more than 100 other sporting events will be included in the new Sports Book at Indiana Grand.

The current Winner’s Circle has been expanded to include an entire new section dedicated to sports wagers. This addition will complement the existing area already established as the off-track betting venue for horse racing and dining venue.

The event is open to guests 21 years of age and older. The ribbon cutting ceremony will take place in front of the opening into the sports book inside Winner’s Circle, which is located on the casino floor. Those in attendance will receive a commemorative ball cap while supplies last to signify the historic event in Indiana history.

Slot Machines Seduce their Victims, Then …

Slot MachinesThis article was first published in Psychology Today.

Slot machines are often displayed as bright, shiny objects. Similar to video games, they feature creative, trendy themes, bright colors, flashing lights, and a combination of sights and sounds designed to lure potential customers.

Appropriately, Mike J. Dixon et al. (2019), in conducting research into gambling as a form of escape, began by noting the allure of slot machine play as a form of entertainment. Unlike slower games such as lotteries, slot machine payoffs (when they occur) are immediate, often accompanied by attention-grabbing music and high tech animations. In addition, slot machines are by nature unpredictable—due to what the authors refer to as a “variable-ratio reinforcement schedule.”

They focused on players who entered the “slot machine zone,” a state of absorption during which the game dominates their awareness, causing time to pass by without notice, a state many players find extremely pleasurable. Unfortunately for some, however, despite the similarity to the concept of “flow” in positive psychology, slot machine-induced flow often leads to negative consequences — in terms of time management and monetary loss.

Depression and Dark Flow

Dixon et al. describe the phenomenon of …

Controversial betting machines headed to Nebraska horse tracks

LINCOLN — The Nebraska Racing Commission rejected the position of the state’s attorneys in voting Wednesday to install controversial machines that take wagers at Nebraska’s thoroughbred tracks.

Commissioners voted 3-2 during a meeting at Grand Island’s Fonner Park racetrack to allow the machines, which are used to bet on historical horse races. The same board approved the machines in October but then nullified that vote amid warnings that the meeting had violated state open meeting rules.

Chris Kotulak, the CEO of Fonner Park, praised Wednesday’s decision, saying it would pump millions of tax dollars into state coffers and provide a much-needed boost to the state’s struggling thoroughbred racetracks.

“It will be the urgent shot in the arm to help the horse racing industry,” Kotulak said. “The surrounding states that offer thoroughbred racing all have additional gaming that supplements their purse money. They’re taking away the horses and trainers.”

Meanwhile, the head of a leading anti-gambling group in Nebraska promised a swift legal challenge to the commission’s action. The Nebraska Attorney General’s Office has said the commission lacks the power to approve a new form of legalized betting in the state.

“It’s a slot machine,” said Pat Loontjer of Gambling with the Good Life. “It walks like a duck, it talks like a duck — it’s a duck.”

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Thanks to Sports Betting, New Jersey Horse Racing Is Looking Up

Monmouth Park by Rich Nilsen

copyright 2016 AGameofSkill.com

OCEANPORT, N.J. – Last Friday, the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) hosted its annual Day at the Races event. The meeting, designed to focus on legal issues in the state horse racing industry, was held at Monmouth Park.

Last year, Monmouth Park made headlines by taking the first legal sports bet in New Jersey, when Gov. Phil Murphy put $20 on Germany to win the FIFA World Cup.

The NJSBA event was moderated by Monmouth Park CEO Dennis Drazin, who was recently inducted into the Sports Betting Hall of Fame for his role in bringing the industry to New Jersey.

Along with Drazin, former New Jersey senator Ray Lesniak was on hand to discuss the status of horse racing in the Garden State.

“Less than one year [after the PASPA overturn], sports bettors wagered more in New Jersey than in Nevada which had a virtual monopoly on legal sports betting for more than 20 years. It took New Jersey less than a year to overcome that more than 20-year advantage,” said Lesniak.

Playing Saratoga – Get  this 9 Keys to Winning

N.J. Legalized Sports Betting. Will it Challenge Nevada? Help Horse Racing?

Exactly a year ago, Gov. Phil Murphy traveled to Monmouth Park racetrack in Oceanport and made history by placing the first legal sports bets in New Jersey.

He wagered $20 apiece on Germany winning the World Cup and the New Jersey Devils taking the Stanley Cup. Both bets were a bust.

But a year later, elected officials, industry leaders, and gaming experts say the Garden State’s years-long gamble to fight pro sports leagues — all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court — to legalize sports betting has paid off big time.

On a national level, New Jersey’s successful court case opened the door for sports betting to become legal across the country.

On a local level, leaders say, it has helped provide a jolt to the state’s casinos and horse-racing industries, created hundreds of new jobs, provided the state with a bit more in tax revenue, and given New Yorkers a new reason to cross the Hudson River.

“I would characterize New Jersey as a success story and model for the rest of the country,” said Daniel Wallach, founder of Wallach Legal LLC, the first law firm in the country with a focus on sports betting.

Murphy took it a …

Does Horse Racing Need To Make Changes To Keep Up With Sports Betting?

A gambler can walk into the Meadowlands Racetrack or Monmouth Park in New Jersey — or at racetracks in other states such as Pennsylvania and West Virginia — and go to the sportsbook there and place bets on sporting events. The “hold” by the books averages around 5%.

Or the gambler can make a wager on a horse race, either happening at that track or elsewhere via a simulcast TV feed. The hold for that bet is around 15-20%.

Is that a problem, now that sports betting increasingly is going hand-in-hand with horse racing?

The Thoroughbred Idea Foundation, a not-for-profit industry advocacy group, said it is, in a provocative report published earlier this year.

“Racing’s existing customers, including our best customers, will be wooed by fabulously funded sports betting agencies,” the article reads, “while future generations of potential customers will be avalanched by customized fixed-odds betting products featuring their favorite leagues, teams, and players. The opportunities will be endless.

“Over roughly the next two to three years, racing must adapt to these new market conditions — accepting fixed-odds and exchange wagering on its product; developing a new funding model to support the sport in light of this disruptive, well-financed and aggressive competition; significantly boosting and improving our marketing efforts; and innovating to create new types of bets for customers who will soon be taken by agile, forward-thinking sports betting outlets. The future of horse racing …