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What a time it is to be alive.

It’s the week of Super Bowl LIV, and legalized sports betting permeates the country.

A week after that, the Academy Awards takes place.

Of course, not everyone can celebrate as much as we do. Just ask OJ Simpson. More on that in a minute.

First, let’s get to the PlayUSA Rewind.

Oscar betting comes to Indiana

For the second straight year, New Jersey regulators gave the go-ahead for sports betting providers to accept wagers on the 2020 Academy Awards.

Now, a second state has done the same.

Despite only operating for a few months, Indiana has launched markets for Oscars betting. The Indiana Gaming Commission signed off on the wagering expansion. Since then, DraftKings Sportsbook has introduced odds for all 24 categories it currently offers in New Jersey.

It would seem appropriate for FanDuel Sportsbook also to integrate Oscars betting, and it appears it will do so as FanDuel has petitioned the IGC for approval.

All this said, Sara Tait, executive director of the IGC, told The Times of Northwest Indiana that the commission can opt “to change course” should “circumstances arise that undermine the integrity of certain activities.”

Original West Virginia online sports betting provider could return

West Virginia became one of the pioneering states to launch legal online sports betting in the US.

Yet the two casinos that were at the forefront have not offered regulated wagering since March 2019. Soon, though, both Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras could come back online.

As West Virginia Lottery Director John Myers told the Charleston Gazette-Mail, both properties “have some target dates” to relaunch sports betting operations. “Our understanding is it’s going to happen a lot sooner than it has been.”

Recall in late-2018 when Delaware North, owner of the two casinos, introduced to West Virginia the BetLucky sports betting app, developed alongside tech providers Miomni and EnterG.

Mere months after going live with the wagering platform, however, BetLucky was shelved. A dispute stemming from pricing and intellectual property ultimately led to the shutdown, which resulted in retail books at Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras also closing their doors.

Delaware North has since cut ties with Miomni and is searching for a new sports betting partner. The gaming company aims to rejoin the online wagering market in West Virginia, potentially joining FanDuel SportsbookDraftKings Sportsbook and BetMGM.

OJ Simpson too tarnished to defame

The man known as “Juice” has long been in the spotlight, from his football career to his fall from grace with that whole “trial of the century” thing. Oh, and the “robbery at gunpoint” thing.

Now, all that time spent in courtrooms and prison has made it impossible to defame Pro Football Hall of Fame running back OJ Simpson, according to attorneys for a Las Vegas casino.

The former Heisman Trophy winner sued The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas after being escorted off the property in 2017. His legal team argues that hotel staff then spread rumors that Simpson was prohibited from returning to the Cosmo and that he was publicly intoxicated.

However, attorneys for the Cosmo told a judge that OJ Simpson could not have his reputation defamed by said accounts because it was already tarnished.

Simpson, obviously, was involved in one of the most high-profile homicide investigations and trials in history, which involved the deaths of his ex-wife and her friend in 1994. Later, Simpson was jailed following an armed robbery case in 2007.

Attorneys for the Cosmo argue that Simpson “is a well-known public figure” and that reports of the former running back’s behavior at the Cosmo could not have led to “tangible damage to his reputation.”

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