Gaming Scandals and Bankruptcies in 2015: Sports and Gambling’s Megastories for the Year

 Gaming Scandals and Bankruptcies in 2015: Sports and Gambling’s Megastories for the Year

Ah yes, gaming scandals and bankruptcies. Why must this be a category in gambling news at the end of each 12 months?

Of all the gaming scandals and bankruptcy news in 2015, perhaps the biggest story of most was the arrest and indictment of 14 FIFA executives, but not President Sepp Blatter.

Because, unfortunately, bankruptcies and scandals are apparently inevitable in a high-stakes world where fortunes are won and lost in a matter of seconds.

2015 wasn’t immune to scandalous news, including a whopper involving widespread corruption at FIFA; a multi-million dollar lawsuit against a star poker player whom was accused of cheating; a longtime poker magazine closing up shop; one of golf’s most readily useful players accused of participation in an illegal gambling ring; and an alleged insider trading instance that may alter the landscape of day-to-day fantasy activities forever.

But allow’s start towards the top.

FIFA Gets Kicked

Match-fixing in soccer during the walk out takes place on a regular basis. But so-called fixing of World Cups is an ball game that is entirely different.

Come early july, key officials within FIFA, professional soccer’s governing body, were rounded up by the Department of Justice (DoJ) and charged with widespread, systemic corruption. The charges included fraudulence, money laundering, and bribery. All while FIFA’s President Sepp Blatter somehow avoided prosecution (although he was briefly suspended) in all, the DoJ, aided by an investigation by the FBI, indicted 14 top-level FIFA employees.

Blatter and FIFA, but, are far from in the clear as US authorities continue their investigation and build their case. They’ve recently been joined by UK investigators also, who have opened their own probe into Blatter and FIFA.

The alleged violations by FIFA date back in terms of two decades, but more recently the Justice Department’s research revealed bribery attempts past that is surrounding future World Cup bids. And considering the World Cup may be the richest sporting occasion each year it’s played, the long history of so-called bribes have added as much as causeing this to be perhaps one of the greatest scandals to ever hit professional sports.

Mickelson Hits a Hazard

Sports had an added scandal this season when, additionally come early july, star golfer and five-time major winner Phil Mickelson had been linked to an illegal gambling operation that is offshore. Court documents allege the operation was run by a 56-year-old bookie who has already plead guilty and claims to have laundered nearly $3 million into the US for an unnamed client, who ESPN’s Outside The Lines reported was Mickelson.

The ace golfer, who’s spoken openly over time about their tendency to gamble on non-golf events that are sporting has denied the allegations and is not currently under research. The way it is, however, remains pending.

Ivey Over the Advantage

Moving to another guy who really loves to gamble: Phil Ivey. The 10-time World variety of Poker bracelet winner and arguably one of the biggest players of all-time is facing a whale of lawsuit by the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City for $9.6 million after allegedly cheating the casino out of millions during a numerous baccarat sessions in 2012.

The Borgata’s suit, which Ivey has stated publicly, ‘I’m gonna win,’ alleged that the felt superstar hatched a scheme to make use of an edge technique that is sorting of variants on the back of the cards, hence having the ability to predict the thing that was being dealt.

The lawsuit additionally alleges Ivey even made special arrangements for the game, which Borgata decided to, on the foundation he was superstitious, but that basically created a unfair advantage for him.

Not assisting issues in Ivey’s situation is that he’s currently caught up in a similar lawsuit across the pond in which Crockfords Casino withheld nearly $12 million he won playing another kind of baccarat. Ivey is the one suing this time, to back get his money. And like Borgata, Crockfords says the ‘edge sorting’ method was used, since well.

Fantasy Sports Hits the Wall

The final big scandal of 2015 belongs to the fantasy that is daily (DFS) world, which ended up being cruising along lawfully and regulation-free until news broke that the DraftKings employee utilized inside information to win $350,000 on rival site FanDuels.

With regards to was exposed, everyone from feared federal prosecutor Preet Bharara (of poker’s Ebony Friday fame) to Congress got involved to determine whether or not the web sites were breaking federal legislation. Amid the unexpected concerns among players of DFS, the websites reported their week that is lowest of participation yet in late October.

Caesars Holds Court, rather than in a way that is good

Caesars Entertainment’s bankruptcy drama in 2015 was ongoing and major. Embroiled into the kind of complex economic restructuring that is supposed to protect a company but that often actually leaves its workers by the wayside, Caesars drew ire and criticism in 2010 when it reportedly deprived 279 present and former Caesars executives and directors some $78.6 million because of a deferred compensation system.

A reported 15,000 note holders of various types were kept waiting for whatever bit of the pie the courts as well as the restructuring will utimately throw at them, nonetheless it seems unlikely that any one of the deferred payment will ever be seen by said execs. We are guessing the lawyers can make down the best in this case, as is often the scenario in protracted battles that are legal money.

Bad Bluff

Not quite because grand a breakdown, but BLUFF Magazine also hit the skids in 2015. A longtime member of the poker community, BLUFF, founded in 2004, power down the printing version of the magazine a several years ago after it absolutely was acquired by Churchill Downs, Inc. and switched most of the focus to coverage of the poker world that is online.

But previously this year, the mag shuttered the digital operation as well and release all of its staff, ending a run of, at one time, certainly one of the world’s gaming periodicals that are largest.

California Online Poker in 2015: a go through the Golden State’s Politics, Factions, and Marketing

California on line poker stalemate: State Senator Isadore Hall(D-Southbay), whose shell internet poker bill was California’s hope that is greatest in 2015. But it came to naught this year. (Image:AP/Damian Dovarganes)

The likelihood for California internet poker in 2015 began having a sense of optimism for regulation in the Golden State.

The feeling was that this was the year it could all finally come together despite the numerous divisions of the state’s various gambling stakeholders, whose inability to see eye-to-eye had led to an impasse for the previous year’s legislation.

Possibly sensing the challenges ahead, Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) got in there early, introducing a bill in December 2014, hopefully to give squabbling factions the necessary time to agree on mutually language that is acceptable.

With that move, he felt that on-line poker had an even chance of passing this year in his state. His optimism may too have been high though.

On top of the range of divisive problems was PokerStars. Because the year began, a coalition that is large of operators, which will become loosely known as the Pechanga coalition after its main agitator, was adamant that the online poker giant will never enter the market.

Tribal Wars

Opposing them were the Morongo Band of Mission Indians as well as an alliance of the state’s biggest card clubs, like the Commerce, Hawaiian Gardens, and the Bicycle, who had inked a deal with PokerStars to provide online poker in a regulated landscape.

The racetracks, meanwhile, also staked their claim to an item of online poker market, a known undeniable fact that annoyed the Pechanga Coalition, perhaps even more than PokerStars’ aspirations.

It had been into this weather that Reggie Jones-Sawyer introduced his draft that is own legislation which had toned down its ‘bad star’ language from last year’s effort. The 2014 Jones-Sawyer bill precluded PokerStars from entering the market because of its history of offering wagers to Americans post-UIGEA.

This bill proposed to be more comprehensive and ended up being much cagier on the PokerStars question, hoping to appease all parties. Hopes had been indeed raised when the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians defected to the Morongo faction.

But the Pechanga Coalition, which had supported the previous year’s Jones-Sawyer bill, wasted no amount of time in slamming this new one. It had been ‘fatally flawed,’ it said, and ‘not sufficient to protect the integrity of the California market.’

Talk But No Stroll

During the Western Indian Gaming Conference in February, there had been much talk from both edges of the urgent need for compromise, but none was forthcoming.

Yet again, hopes were raised by the emergence of a brand new bill with friends in high places. State Senator Isadore Hall (D-South Bay) and Assembly Member Adam Gray (D- 21st District) both chair Governmental Organization committees of these respective chambers, and their bill soon emerged since the frontrunner.

Nevertheless the Hall/Gray bill included little real language. Instead, it had been basically a shell bill designed to behave as an automobile to hold the presssing issue through the legislature, to be filled in that consensus could be reached.

But that has been never to end up being the case in 2015. If anything, divisions grew deeper if the Viejas Band of Kumayaay Indians covered a set of radio ad spots, denouncing PokerStars and comparing the business to ‘Internet scam music artists and con men.’

Charm Offensive

Meanwhile, within the absence of any legislative progress, PokerStars launched a grassroots charm offensive, developing the Californians for Responsible iPoker advocacy group, and visiting card rooms over the states having its team of high-profile pros to coach the public about the need for regulation.

As a fiscal issue, any online poker bill in California would want a two-thirds majority vote in the legislature to pass, which is just why the consensus of the stakeholders is crucial. However, due to the mutually exclusive demands of the parties that are various, it will be as tough in 2016 as it had been in 2015.

California may very well regulate eventually, it’s just the method can take a complete lot longer than anyone initially thought.



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