Latest Gambling News: New Chairman Of Swedish Gambling Authority Announced, and more

Kat Pilkington


March 25, 2024

Catch up on six of the stories our gambling compliance analysts have covered lately, and stay up-to-date on the latest news.

New Chairman Of Swedish Gambling Authority Announced

Swedish authorities have named Claes Norgren as the new chairman of the Swedish Gambling Authority’s (SGA) board.

Norgren, who will replace Per Håkansson, will take up his new role on April 1, 2024, according to an announcement made by the Ministry of Finance on March 21.

He has previously worked as the auditor general, and the head of the Financial Supervisory Authority, and served as the deputy governor of Sweden’s central bank (Riksbank).

Additionally, the government has appointed Therese Mattsson as a new member of the SGA board starting on April 1, 2024.

The former director general of the Coast Guard’s term will end on March 31, 2026.

Maryland Senate Leader Sinks iGaming Hopes

Maryland senators are a “hard no” on legislation to authorize online casino gaming, according to Senate President Bill Ferguson.

The Senate leader, a Democrat, made the remarks to Maryland Matters this week after an iGaming bill was approved by the state’s House of Delegates on Saturday (March 16).

Ferguson said that bill as well as an unrelated measure passed by the House were “not things that we’re going to be taking up this year.”

In February, a Senate committee heard but did not vote on an alternative iGaming measure to House Bill 1319. The Senate bill’s sponsor has since suggested that senators could now look to remove all substantive language from HB 1319 and instead seek to hold a straightforward referendum on whether online casinos should be legalized in Maryland, before revisiting the specifics next year if the referendum is successful.

Maryland’s General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn on April 8.

Online Casino Cannibalization A Myth, Says U.S. Study

The states of New York, Illinois, Maryland, Louisiana and Virginia would all see an increase in revenue from land-based casino gaming after they choose to legalize online casinos, rather than cannibalization of their current markets, according to a study released Thursday (March 21) by a coalition of leading U.S. sports-betting operators.

The independent study produced for the Sports Betting Alliance found that the six U.S. states currently with legal iGaming had seen an average of 2 percent growth in land-based revenue post-legalization, with similar results anticipated in new online casino markets.

Of the five potential iGaming states studied, legislation is currently pending in New York, Maryland and Illinois, while industry advocates are understood to have lobbied lawmakers to introduce bills either this year or next in both Louisiana and Virginia.

The Sports Betting Alliance represents FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM and Fanatics. Its study follows a similar report released last month by online gambling trade association iDEA Growth.

Florida Supreme Court Tosses Seminole Compact Challenge

The Florida Supreme Court has declined to review the legality of the state’s landmark 2021 tribal gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe.

In an opinion published on Thursday (March 21), justices said the appeal of commercial gaming operator West Flagler Associates “presents nothing other than a challenge to the substantive constitutionality of the law ratifying the compact,” and therefore could not be heard directly by the Supreme Court because Governor Ron DeSantis did not exceed his authority in executing the agreement.

Petitioners should instead file a challenge, in the first instance, before a trial court, justices said.

West Flagler argues that the compact violates Florida’s constitution by authorizing new forms of gaming, including retail and state-wide mobile sports betting, without a voter referendum. The Florida Supreme Court’s ruling on Thursday did not address the merits of the case.

Last June, the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the validity of the Seminole compact under federal law. That ruling is also currently being appealed by West Flagler to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Massachusetts Gaming Commission Gets Interim Chair

Governor Maura Healey, a Democrat, has appointed commissioner Jordan Maynard as interim chair of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, following the retirement of Cathy Judd-Stein.

Healey’s administration confirmed Thursday (March 21) that it is in the process of searching for a permanent chair. Maynard was appointed to the five-member commission by former Governor Charlie Baker in 2022.

The commission was created in 2011 and is the licensing and regulatory agency of the casino, horseracing, and sports betting industries in Massachusetts.

Judd-Stein had been the chair of the commission since her appointment in 2019 by Baker, and her term expired on Thursday.

During her tenure, the state legalized and launched a land-based and mobile sports-betting regime that has become one of the most closely scrutinized models in the U.S. due to aggressive policymaking in areas such as advertising and data privacy.

Pennsylvania Fines Live Casino Over College Prop Bets

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has approved a $10,000 fine for Stadium Casino, which operates Live! Casino Philadelphia, for offering unapproved college prop bets through its subcontracted Betway platform.

John Crohe, senior enforcement counsel with the PGCB’s office of enforcement, said that between August 27 and September 11, 2022, Betway accepted college prop bets as a result of a failure to block these wagers following a system update.

Crohe said Wednesday (March 20) a total of 90 wagers were placed for $5,406, with a total payout of $6,357. He did not identify any specific prop bets placed by patrons.

Tom Diehl, vice president of legal for Live! Casino in Philadelphia, attributed the violation of PCGB’s sports-betting regulations to human error, and no additional prop bets have been placed since the initial incidents.

At the behest of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA), state regulators have considered or have outright banned prop bets on individual college athletes.

Ohio, Maryland, and Vermont are three states that recently imposed bans. Prop bets on college athletes were already prohibited in nine states, including Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, New York, Oregon, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Arizona.

The PGCB also fined DraftKings $10,000 for permitting players in Pennsylvania access to its “Reignmakers” fantasy contests after the control board ordered an end to the contests in the state.

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