News In Brief: July 8-July 12, 2024

July 11, 2024
The Isle of Man’s Gambling Supervision Commission chief executive is stepping down after 17 years, the UK's new gambling minister is still not confirmed and former NBA player pleads guilty to betting scandal charges.
Isle Of Man Gambling Regulator Chief Executive Stepping Down After 17 Years

The Isle Of Man’s Gambling Supervision Commission is looking for a new chief executive after Steve Brennan announced he will be stepping down after 17 years at the helm.

In a social media post on July 10, Brennan said he would be stepping down “towards the end of the year”.

Brennan said: “I’ve enjoyed my time enormously and hopefully contributed, in some way, to the advancement of regulating, and regulation of, online gambling.”

The Gambling Supervision Commission has begun its search for a new chief executive, with a closing date for applications set for August 19.

UK Still Waiting For New Gambling Minister

The UK is still waiting on confirmation of who the new gambling minister will be despite media reports claiming that Stephanie Peacock MP has been handed the role.

A spokesperson for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) told Vixio GamblingCompliance that “no ministerial portfolios have been handed out yet” and when they are confirmed they will be announced.

Peacock, who was the shadow minister for media, gambling and sport, was confirmed as a parliamentary under-secretary of state in the DCMS on July 5.

She has contributed to gambling-related debates in parliament and recently spoke at the Betting and Gaming Council's (BGC) annual general meeting, providing some potential insights into the top candidate to take over as gambling minister.

Former NBA Player Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy In Betting Scandal

Former NBA player Jontay Porter has pleaded guilty in a federal court to charges related to the betting scandal that led to his banishment from the league earlier this year.

Porter was arraigned Wednesday (July 10) in the U.S District Court for the Eastern District of New York and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Four other men are also charged as part of the conspiracy, but the other four have yet to enter a plea.

The charges stem from a scheme in which Porter exited two different games early claiming injury or illness while he was a member of the Toronto Raptors, one on January 28 and one on March 20.

In both instances, sportsbooks noticed a surge of activity on the underside of Porter’s player props, and text messages obtained by federal investigators indicated that Porter was pressured to carry out the plan to pay off existing debts.

According to the Associated Press, Porter admitted his role in the scheme in court Wednesday and said that he agreed to leave the games early to make up for large gambling debts.

“I know what I did was wrong, unlawful, and I am deeply sorry," Porter said, according to the AP.

Porter’s sentencing was scheduled for December 18.

AGA Endorses Human Trafficking Legislation

The American Gaming Association (AGA) on Tuesday (July 9) endorsed legislation to create a program through the Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign to certify employers that train their workforce in identifying and combating human trafficking.

The legislation, sponsored by Republican Congressman David Valadao of California and Troy Carter, a Democrat from Louisiana, was introduced Tuesday. 

“Businesses across hospitality, entertainment and transportation have a responsibility to bolster the front lines in the fight against human trafficking and the gaming industry is wholly committed to this imperative,” said AGA president and CEO Bill Miller in a statement.

“The AGA thanks Reps. Valadao and Carter for their commitment to combating this detestable crime and for recognizing businesses that share this commitment,” Miller said. 

Known as the Human Trafficking Awareness Training Recognition Act of 2024, the bill requires the secretary of homeland security to establish a Blue Campaign Certification Program to incentivize employers in covered industries to encourage employees to complete human trafficking awareness training. 

The bill also requires a report to be submitted to the appropriate committees within two years after the enactment of this measure and amends the Homeland Security Act of 2022 by requiring the Blue Campaign to increase coordination with experts from the private sector, academic institutions, and other covered industries for the campaign’s development.

ANJ Blocks Slippery Offshore Operator

French gambling regulator ANJ has publicised its ongoing battle with an offshore website called Cresus Casino.

The original web address for the French-language operator was blocked after the regulator alleged it received more than 2m visitors from France in May alone.

However, Cresus then quickly set up a new URL, according to ANJ, which the regulator says it has now also blocked.

The authority has warned that fines and prison sentences are available tools to punish the illegal provision of online gambling.

Kazakh Gambling Prohibition Law Signed

A bill that bans civil servants and military personnel from gambling in Kazakhstan has been signed into law by the country’s President.

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev approved the legislation on July 8, with the new rules also banning those on the debt register from partaking in gambling.

The government estimates that the new law will exclude almost 4m people from gambling in Kazakhstan.

Ukraine Gambling Tax Income Soars

The Ukrainian gambling industry has almost tripled the amount of tax it pays to the government in the past year, according to Danylo Hetmantsev, head of the parliamentary committee on finance, taxation and customs policy.

A tax bill of UAH8.4bn (€191,304,939) paid by gambling interests also represents a more than 14 fold increase on the amount contributed to the exchequer in 2022, he said.

However, Hetmantsev noted in comments on Telegram that income tax in Ukraine had increased more than seven times on average last year.

"Such a discrepancy indicates that we need to work with the tax on winnings," he said.

New Jersey Fines DraftKings $100,000

DraftKings has agreed to a $100,000 penalty in New Jersey following inaccurate financial reporting for two months, causing issues with the state’s sports wagering reporting, the state's Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) announced Friday (July 5).

The four-page Action in Lieu of Complaint, dated June 17, found DraftKings did not inform the DGE upon the initial discovery of a potential issue with its statistical reporting. The company operates in New Jersey under an agreement with Resorts Digital Gaming LLC.

The DGE noted the issues with its sports wagering reporting affect two months of reports filed by Resorts Digital. In early March, the DGE’s Office of Financial Investigations became away of similar issues with DraftKings reporting in Illinois and Oregon and notified the company of suspected similar issues in New Jersey.

DraftKings told the DGE that the reporting issue was due to an internal update to a newly created database that resulted in the miscategorization of certain wagers. The DGE noted that the error caused its monthly revenue numbers to be misstated for both December 2023 and January 2024.

“These types of gross errors and failures cannot be tolerated in the New Jersey gaming regulatory system,” the DGE said. “They evidenced weaknesses in DraftKings’ business abilities and casino experience and unacceptable in dealing with regulations and requisite reporting and financial systems.”

DraftKings has submitted a remediations plan to the DGE to prevent further issues. 

Caesars Entertainment Acquires Trading Tech Firm ZeroFlucs

Caesars Entertainment announced on Friday (July 5) that it has acquired ZeroFlucs Group for an undisclosed price.

The acquisition of the Australian-based firm follows an integration of ZeroFlucs’ technology into the Caesars Sportsbook platform that enabled the mobile betting app to launch new products, including in-game same-game parlays, as well as more SGP-eligible markets for Major League Baseball.

“Their expertise in data science and trading technology coupled with their passion for sports makes them a perfect fit with our team,” Eric Hession, president of Caesars Digital, said in a statement.

ZeroFlucs founder and CEO Steve Gray becomes senior vice president of pricing initiatives at Caesars Digital, while chief technology officer Carly Christensen becomes senior vice president of pricing technology.

Caesars acquisition of ZeroFlucs is the latest in a series of operators buying sports data and forecasting companies. In May, DraftKings acquired Sports IQ for an undisclosed amount, while in July 2023 Entain bought Angstrom Sports for $266m.


The Isle of Man’s Gambling Supervision Commission chief executive is stepping down after 17 years, the UK's new gambling minister is still not confirmed and former NBA player pleads guilty to betting scandal charges.

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