This Week In Sports Law: Betting On Vegas Raiders, Lakers Lawsuit Over, All In The Familia – Forbes
How Does The Raiders Move To Las Vegas Affect Sports Betting?
It seems as though the shift of the Raiders from Oakland to Las Vegas (officially to occur in 2020) should not heavily affect the way that gambling is treated in Nevada, other states and by the NFL. The league remains outwardly against legalized sports betting and Nevada casinos will still seemingly be able to accept wagers on the Raiders, even though the team will be playing games in close proximity to the strip.
The NFL still could try to prevent wagers on the Raiders. It would have until thirty days prior to the Las Vegas Raiders’ first game to make the request to the Nevada Gaming Commission.
“We are not changing our position as it relates to legalized sports gambling,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “We still don’t think it is a positive thing. We want to make sure that the integrity of our game is the primary concern and we do everything possible to protect that. And that people are watching it for the outcome, and they know that it is not being influenced by any outside influences. We are very determined to continue that, and we will; that’s a first priority for us.”
Lakers Ownership Issues Come To A Close
Jeanie Buss is the winner in a family feud over control of the Los Angeles Lakers. Jim and Johnny Buss have agreed that their sister will be controlling owner for as long as the family owns the team.
Jeanie’s lawyer said “there is not going to be a palace coup. Not now. Not ever.”
The commentary and legal fight, which is now resolved, was likely based on the brothers calling an annual shareholders meeting in February, immediately after Jeanie hired Magic Johnson as president of basketball operations and removed brother Jim from his executive position. At that meeting, the brothers tried to put together a five-member board including themselves and excluding Jeanie.
Jeurys Familia Accepts A Fifteen Game Suspension
New York Mets closer Jeurys Familia has settled a dispute with MLB that will lead to a fifteen game suspension based on his arrest for domestic violence. Familia’s lawyer, Jay Reisinger, believes that no punishment was warranted, but Familia accepted a shortened suspension so that he could get back onto the feel without further distraction.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred acknowledged that “the evidence reviewed by my office does not support a determination that Mr. Familia physically assaulted his wife, or threatened her or others with physical force or harm, on October 31, 2016. Nevertheless, I have concluded that Mr. Familia’s overall conduct that night was inappropriate, violated the Policy, and warrants discipline.”
Michael Irvin Accused Of Committing Rape
Former NFL wide receiver Michael Irvin is being investigated for allegedly raping a twenty-seven year-old woman at the W Hotel in Fort Lauderdale. The woman says that she believes she was drugged and raped.
Irvin’s lawyer says that Irvin was never alone with the woman and never sexually assaulted her.
In the meantime, Irvin’s already experiencing a bit of fallout from the accusation. The Salvation Army of San Antonio has cancelled a scheduled appearance with Irvin, with the public relations manager saying that it is not the right time to partner with Irvin since the programs that the organization runs and services that it provides are to women and families in need.
T.J. McDonald’s Mistake Costs Him Eight Games
One may have thought that T.J. McDonald’s eight game suspension for being charged with driving under the influence of drugs could have made the free agent a tough sell to an NFL team. While it will certainly cost him money, it was not enough to keep teams away from him.
The Miami Dolphins franchise has signed McDonald to a one-year deal giving the team a bit more depth at safety once McDonald returns from suspension.
Massachusetts Mulling Online Gambling
Currently, only three states permit online gambling within their borders. Massachusetts has not been one heavily discussed as potentially being the fourth, but that could be changing.
One reason for being an early entrant for online gambling is that it could make Massachusetts a marketable destination for developers, says state Senator Jennifer Flanagan.
“The online gaming world is evolving every day,” said Flanagan. “It’s constantly changing with new products and new technology. We’re trying to stay on top of it. But it isn’t easy.”
Last year, Massachusetts created a commission to look into online gambling. Flanagan was part of the commission.
Michigan Politicians Push For Legalized Sports Betting
Despite acknowledging the existence of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which makes it unlawful for a governmental entity to sponsor, operate, advertise, promote, license or authorize by law or compact any sports betting, a couple of Michigan lawmakers are pushing for a change within their state. Michigan House members Robert L. Kosowski and Brandt Iden are mostly concerned with a struggling state budget and believe that legalized sports betting could be part of a cure to the state’s problems.
“Because the Constitution does not specifically mention that sports betting is illegal, it is therefore unconstitutional for the federal government to ban that practice,” stated Kosowski and Iden in an op-ed. “While the Supreme Court has requested input from the solicitor general of the U.S. on the legal merits of the case, many states like Michigan are preemptively introducing legislation in the event that the betting ban is found unconstitutional.”
The reality is that sports betting is occurring in Michigan and other states even though it is technically illegal. Kosowski and Iden are of the opinion that legalized sports wagering could bring in an extra $300 million to $500 million in revenue for Michigan per year.
AGA Estimates $35.4 Billion In Illegal MLB Wagers
Approximately $35.4 billion will be wagered illegally during the 2017 Major League Baseball season, according to a new report from the American Gaming Association (AGA). That makes up 97% of the total wagers on MLB games. These illegal wagers will be placed primarily through online betting services such as offshore websites and sports bookies.
The methodology is imperfect, but the prediction highlights the fact that the vast majority of sports betting occurs illegally. The AGA has based its finding on an estimate of illegal sports betting activity from the 1999 National Gambling Impact Study Commission’s Final Report and applied GDP growth as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau to make the figure current to 2017.
Darren Heitner the Founder of South Florida-based HEITNER LEGAL, P.L.L.C. and Sports Agent Blog. He authored the book, How to Play the Game: What Every Sports Attorney Needs to Know.