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Esports Interest Growing Among Players, But Less So For State Lawmakers

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If you were a sporting sort, now might seem like the time to place a wager on the broader acceptance of betting on esports, or organized multiplayer video games.

While esports are wildly popular and gaining even greater acceptance, it is not so with esports wagering. At least not yet — and likely not in the next few months. Maybe not this year, either, with politicians focused on the existential threat posed by the coronavirus and not on the lost revenue that has resulted from that threat.

The growing interest in esports

Interest in esports is way up, but not in statehouses, which is a puzzle.

The popularity and the viewership for esports are at a record high across delivery platforms such as Twitch, with individual participants topping 2 billion. Those hordes of gamers are watching consecutively for more than five hours at a stretch, MarketWatch reported just this week.

That’s the sort of audience engagement that marketers only dream about.

Few jurisdictions allow sports betting. But here’s the rub: Most esports currently do not include sanctioned wagering.

Esports’ massive and growing numbers of fans and players make sense for a world constantly craving entertainment and a sports void created by COVID-19. After all, precautions against the pandemic have benched nearly every sporting event dependent on physical competition.

And without most traditional sports, there is almost no sports betting — plus, no sports revenue and no tax revenue from betting. That’s significant.

Between June 2018 and late March 2020, aggregate sports revenue topped $20.5 billion and state tax revenue was more than $180.8 million. Those are some big holes to fill.

Nevada just approved esports wagering

Only two states, Nevada and New Jersey, have clearly prioritized esports wagering in 2020, though that does not entirely translate quickly.

Just last month, Nevada agreed to let sportsbooks to take wagers on Counter-Strike ESL Pro League. In both Nevada and New Jersey, NASCAR iRacing is approved, but no other esports.

Because of the virus, the regular season will take place entirely online to avoid international travel. The finals will take place in a studio in Europe but without spectators.

Esports events routinely are held before live audiences and staged at arenas. Matches began on March 16 and they run through April 9. This year’s season includes 24 teams, divided into four groups.

There are numerous possible wagers in esports, but Nevada began by allowing just three:

  • Head-to-head
  • Winner of each match
  • Overall season winner

What might come next in the Silver State is unclear.

New Jersey is working on approving esports

New Jersey did a brief test run on esports wagering last November. Several esports tourneys (without wagering) also took place in Atlantic City.

A state assemblyman moved a bill through committee in early March, but there’s been no forward motion since, legislatively. A regulatory framework must also get approved.

Anthony Gaud, president and co-founder of the Jersey-based G3 Gaming Group, is confident that full approval of wagering on esports will come, but he is not sure when.

Gaud testified on behalf of the passage of the enabling legislation.

David Rebuck, New Jersey’s director of the Division of Gaming Enforcement, endorsed the bill during the committee meeting.

“New Jersey is the most aggressive state” in the country intent on approving esports gambling, said Gaud. He mentioned benefits such as attracting STEM students, IT and software professionals and building hotel room nights around tournaments.

“It is something happening overtime, seeing what works and what didn’t work” in other locations, added Gaud.

Esports has sticking points

One ongoing issue, in his view, is gambling executives in Atlantic City have been slow to incorporate mobile devices into their businesses.

Other sticking points that Gaud agreed with are:

  • An age gap. The esports industry is unfamiliar to older lawmakers and regulators.
  • There is no one universal definition of what is or isn’t esports.
  • Esports gamers do not fit the familiar demographics of casino gamblers, nor even mobile phone-leaning sportsbook fans.
  • Policing esports is a challenge and fixing of matches is a real concern.

Esports progress for Washington tribal casinos

Washington state tribal casinos approved to offer esports as part of a sports betting bill. Still, each tribe will negotiate individually with the state for precisely what is provided, according to Geek Wire.

But the news site also reported that esports is unlikely to be included initially. And even once approved, esports wagers would only be allowed at retail locations, not via mobile or internet.

Many murky situations

  • Indiana, which offers legal sports betting, has flatly banned esports. The situation in other states with sports betting is murky.
  • Colorado is set to add sports betting on May 1, except, of course, there are virtually no sports to bet on due to the pandemic. The Denver Post reported in mid-March that the app PointsBet is working to have esports available, but details are scant.
  • West Virginia has proposed esports legislation, which has not been enacted.
  • Rhode Island is hung up by a legal challenge to its sports betting law, according to Legal Sports Report.
  • Pennsylvania and additional jurisdictions have murky laws, Play Pennsylvania recently reported. Most neither allow nor expressly ban wagering on esports, so it doesn’t look like PA is moving toward approval.

With a robust sports betting market even online, you might think a jurisdiction with revenue shrunk by the virus might be the candidate to go next.

You’d be wrong.

PA Sen. Tom Killion said, “While the COVID-19 emergency is an unprecedented public health and economic emergency and esports wagering is a potential new revenue stream, I’m not aware of any discussion regarding esports wagering. … ”

Killion, a Republican, leads the committee that oversees most gambling legislation in PA.

His Democrat counterpart, Sen. Lindsey Willams, also said esports is not a legislative priority now, as did Jim Marshall, chair of the gaming committee in the legislature’s lower house.

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Esports Interest Growing Among Players, But Less So For State Lawmakers

[ad_1]

If you were a sporting sort, now might seem like the time to place a wager on the broader acceptance of betting on esports, or organized multiplayer video games.

While esports are wildly popular and gaining even greater acceptance, it is not so with esports wagering. At least not yet — and likely not in the next few months. Maybe not this year, either, with politicians focused on the existential threat posed by the coronavirus and not on the lost revenue that has resulted from that threat.

The growing interest in esports

Interest in esports is way up, but not in statehouses, which is a puzzle.

The popularity and the viewership for esports are at a record high across delivery platforms such as Twitch, with individual participants topping 2 billion. Those hordes of gamers are watching consecutively for more than five hours at a stretch, MarketWatch reported just this week.

That’s the sort of audience engagement that marketers only dream about.

Few jurisdictions allow sports betting. But here’s the rub: Most esports currently do not include sanctioned wagering.

Esports’ massive and growing numbers of fans and players make sense for a world constantly craving entertainment and a sports void created by COVID-19. After all, precautions against the pandemic have benched nearly every sporting event dependent on physical competition.

And without most traditional sports, there is almost no sports betting — plus, no sports revenue and no tax revenue from betting. That’s significant.

Between June 2018 and late March 2020, aggregate sports revenue topped $20.5 billion and state tax revenue was more than $180.8 million. Those are some big holes to fill.

Nevada just approved esports wagering

Only two states, Nevada and New Jersey, have clearly prioritized esports wagering in 2020, though that does not entirely translate quickly.

Just last month, Nevada agreed to let sportsbooks to take wagers on Counter-Strike ESL Pro League. In both Nevada and New Jersey, NASCAR iRacing is approved, but no other esports.

Because of the virus, the regular season will take place entirely online to avoid international travel. The finals will take place in a studio in Europe but without spectators.

Esports events routinely are held before live audiences and staged at arenas. Matches began on March 16 and they run through April 9. This year’s season includes 24 teams, divided into four groups.

There are numerous possible wagers in esports, but Nevada began by allowing just three:

  • Head-to-head
  • Winner of each match
  • Overall season winner

What might come next in the Silver State is unclear.

New Jersey is working on approving esports

New Jersey did a brief test run on esports wagering last November. Several esports tourneys (without wagering) also took place in Atlantic City.

A state assemblyman moved a bill through committee in early March, but there’s been no forward motion since, legislatively. A regulatory framework must also get approved.

Anthony Gaud, president and co-founder of the Jersey-based G3 Gaming Group, is confident that full approval of wagering on esports will come, but he is not sure when.

Gaud testified on behalf of the passage of the enabling legislation.

David Rebuck, New Jersey’s director of the Division of Gaming Enforcement, endorsed the bill during the committee meeting.

“New Jersey is the most aggressive state” in the country intent on approving esports gambling, said Gaud. He mentioned benefits such as attracting STEM students, IT and software professionals and building hotel room nights around tournaments.

“It is something happening overtime, seeing what works and what didn’t work” in other locations, added Gaud.

Esports has sticking points

One ongoing issue, in his view, is gambling executives in Atlantic City have been slow to incorporate mobile devices into their businesses.

Other sticking points that Gaud agreed with are:

  • An age gap. The esports industry is unfamiliar to older lawmakers and regulators.
  • There is no one universal definition of what is or isn’t esports.
  • Esports gamers do not fit the familiar demographics of casino gamblers, nor even mobile phone-leaning sportsbook fans.
  • Policing esports is a challenge and fixing of matches is a real concern.

Esports progress for Washington tribal casinos

Washington state tribal casinos approved to offer esports as part of a sports betting bill. Still, each tribe will negotiate individually with the state for precisely what is provided, according to Geek Wire.

But the news site also reported that esports is unlikely to be included initially. And even once approved, esports wagers would only be allowed at retail locations, not via mobile or internet.

Many murky situations

  • Indiana, which offers legal sports betting, has flatly banned esports. The situation in other states with sports betting is murky.
  • Colorado is set to add sports betting on May 1, except, of course, there are virtually no sports to bet on due to the pandemic. The Denver Post reported in mid-March that the app PointsBet is working to have esports available, but details are scant.
  • West Virginia has proposed esports legislation, which has not been enacted.
  • Rhode Island is hung up by a legal challenge to its sports betting law, according to Legal Sports Report.
  • Pennsylvania and additional jurisdictions have murky laws, Play Pennsylvania recently reported. Most neither allow nor expressly ban wagering on esports, so it doesn’t look like PA is moving toward approval.

With a robust sports betting market even online, you might think a jurisdiction with revenue shrunk by the virus might be the candidate to go next.

You’d be wrong.

PA Sen. Tom Killion said, “While the COVID-19 emergency is an unprecedented public health and economic emergency and esports wagering is a potential new revenue stream, I’m not aware of any discussion regarding esports wagering. … ”

Killion, a Republican, leads the committee that oversees most gambling legislation in PA.

His Democrat counterpart, Sen. Lindsey Willams, also said esports is not a legislative priority now, as did Jim Marshall, chair of the gaming committee in the legislature’s lower house.

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Five Current Players Who Could Soon Join Trammell And Chipper As One Team Hall Of Famers

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Because six new players were enshrined in Cooperstown over the weekend, many baseball broadcasts have included discussions about the current inductees as well as possible future inductees. During one particular game, an analyst praised the fact that two of the new Hall of Famers spent their entire careers with just one team.

He was referring of course to Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones and Detroit Tigers shortstop Alan Trammell. Jones received 410 of 422 votes during his first year of Hall eligibility, while Trammell was elected by the Veterans Committee.

The point was made that baseball fans may not for at least another decade see even a single one-year player reach Cooperstown, much less two of them. The announcer identified two certain future inductees, Albert Pujols and Adrian Beltre, who each have played for several different teams.

A cursory look at other stars nearing retirement, however, seems to indicate that we will indeed soon see another one-year player. Indeed, there could be two or more.

Here is a list of likely or highly possible one-team players who could be enshrined in Cooperstown after they leave the field.

Yadier Molina of the St. Louis Cardinals

This guy is a no-brainer for Hall of Fame induction in his first year of eligibility, no matter what his offensive statistics are. He has been the premier catcher for almost two decades, has led the Redbirds to multiple World Series appearances, been selected as a perennial All-Star,and remains one of the best clutch hitters in all of baseball.

Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners

Closing in on his fourteenth season King Felix is likely to amass two hundred wins by the time he hangs it up, which is far short of the coveted three hundred mark that guarantees enshrinement. His era, however, makes it nearly impossible to get more than fifteen victories per year, so that fact in addition to a Cy Young Award and six All-Star games might land him a plaque.

Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds

His lengthy contract almost ensures that the Canadian will finish his playing days at Great American Ball Park, and his numbers are approaching HOF statistics.

Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins

The native Minnesotan has declined since winning the Most Valuable Player Award as Twins catcher, which could hurt his chances to get into the Hall. Plus, because he is at the end of his current contract with his home town team, Mauer could be dismissed from this list if he signs elsewhere next year.

Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants

Ten years into his career the catcher is a six time All-Star with both a Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Award, but it might be his three World Series Championships that eventually get him to Cooperstown.

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Source by Doug Poe

Dickens On The Diamond: Roster Of Baseball Players Sharing Names With Characters Of Charles Dickens

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The Los Angeles Dodgers posted a recent promotion that had a sketch of third baseman Justin Turner, who was adorned in a beret and smock while holding a paint brush in front of an easel. The caption identified Turner as “The Artful Dodger”, an allusion to a character in the famous Charles Dickens novel, Oliver Twist.

For all of us who caught the reference right away, I offer an entire roster of baseball players who share a name with a character from the writings of Dickens.

First Base: Wally Pipp

Young Lou Gehrig filled in for him for what was supposed to be one day, but history tells us that the Iron Horse stayed there for the next 2,632 games. In the fine novel Great Expectations, Pip was the protagonist who was bequeathed a fortune from an unknown benefactor.

Second Base: Jason Bates

He played five seasons for the Colorado Rockies in the Nineties, while Charley Bates was a member of the gang of thieves in Oliver Twist.

Shortstop: Barry Larkin

The Hall of Fame shortstop spent his entire career with the Cincinnati Reds. Miss Larkins was the first love of David Copperfield, a beautiful girl who ended up marrying a soldier in the book.

Third Base: Tommy Lastella

Hitting a combined .284 over the past two seasons, he helped the Chicago Cubs to consecutive National League West Championships. When you drop the first letter from his last name, it matches the snobbish girl with whom Pip falls hopelessly in love in Great Expectations.

Left Field: Danny Heep

Uriah Heep was a clerk of Mr. Wickfield in David Copperfield, while the baseball player was a consistent hitter for the Astros and Mets during a ten year Big League career.

Center Field: Fred Snodgrass

He spent nine years mainly with New York Giants until leaving the game in 1916, and Augustus Snodgrass appears in The Pickwick Papers as a member of the club named after the title of the novel.

Right Field: Al Oliver

As if his career with Pittsburgh Pirates had not been impressive enough, Oliver went to the Texas Rangers and captured the American League batting title. His last name of course is the first name of young Mr. Twist in the title of the Dickens novel to became a huge hit on Broadway.

Catcher: Bill Plummer

Dickens’s The Cricket on the Hearth was centered on the Plummer family, and in the Seventies Bill served as the backup to Johnny Bench on the Big Red Machine.

Starting Pitcher: Bob Sykes

He was a lefthander who played for both the Tigers and Cardinals in the Seventies and Eighties, while Bill Sikes was a boy with whom Oliver Twist fought but later befriended.

Relief Pitcher: Hi Jasper

This right hander who was part of the bullpens for the White Sox, Cardinals, and Indians in the second decade of the twentieth century, but Mr. Jaspers was the lawyer who eventually married the female protagonist in Bleak House.

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Source by Doug Poe

Personality of Successful Handicappers – Sports Betting Players

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Successful handicappers I have met have much in common with each other. These main characteristics and distinguish the winners from the 99% losers.

Firstly, it should be noted that such players trust themselves and their opinion. That means that they are capable of analyzing other peoples’ opinion, criticizing and not being influenced by it.

At the same time, they have such quality as “eternal student”: they constantly learn. Opinion of a professional player about the theory of handicapping and management is dynamic and subject to change. He does whatever, but does not stand still. He could easily revise even its own foundations if they are questionable or getting older create a lot of questions. He learns something from anyone, at any time. It is open to debate and is always in the learning process.

A well-known professional gambler Lem Benker – is an excellent example of such a player. I saw him attentively listening to crap, when one guy talked about how to bet “right”. And Lem was not just being kind in terms of etiquette, listening to him. He really listened, and listened attentively, trying to discover something new.

Another important point that you should note: among the high profile players there is such thing as professional attitude. They do not lose their head after a disaster – losing the series, they don’t wave their hands and dance salsa, after an outstanding victory. Periodically, they they have such results as 0-8 (win-lose), but long experience has taught them that these days are normal and they are part of the picture, as well as the outcome as a victory 10-0. Professional players do not pay attention to short-term results: they are focused on obtaining long-term profits.

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Source by Aleksandrs Sorokins

These US Online Slots Offer Players Plenty Of Christmas Twists

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year. ‘Tis the season. And, you’d better watch out, because whether you are naughty or nice, these typical Christmas cliches and images of Santa Claus climbing down the chimney, gifts laid out in front of the tree, and a winter wonderland outside are bound to surround us all month long.

Even at US online casinos.

Yes, Christmas is coming up on Dec. 25 and US online casinos are celebrating by offering up a plethora of online slots featuring the same theme as the annual holiday.

So, we’re making a list of the most popular Christmas-themed online slots in the US online casino market today and checking it twice.

In honor of Christmas and the entire holiday season, here are the Top 5 Christmas-themed online slots in the US today:

#5 Flowers Christmas Edition

NetEnt designed a Christmas edition of its popular slot Flowers and it’s available at a variety of online casinos across the country, including SugarHouse in Pennsylvania.

The angry flowers are still here. However, the developers have added a number of Christmas-themed symbols to get you into the holiday spirit.

The gameplay is pretty much the same as the original and the Flowers Christmas Edition free spins feature is also triggered by landing four or more cloud symbols.

Christmas graphics like snow, trees, and lights are also there to put you in the festive mood.

#4 Fruit Shop Christmas Edition

Once again, NetEnt has released a Christmas edition of its popular slot Fruit Shop. This one is also available at a variety of online casinos across the US, including SugarHouse in PA.

NetEnt has added just enough Christmas spirit, including snowmen and trees, to get you feeling holly jolly.

Gameplay for the Christmas edition is the same and landing two or more Cherries gets you free spins, which is as easy to do as it sounds.

Fruit Shop Christmas Edition is really out to spread some holiday cheer.

#3 Santa’s Super Slot

If it wasn’t obvious that Santa Claus was going to make an appearance on this list of the top Christmas-themed online slots, it should have been. Santa is Christmas, and he is the star of Santa’s Super Slot available on 888 Casino in New Jersey.

This five spinning reel and 15 fixed payline online slot brings a 3D animated Santa Claus to life to guide you through the game’s various rounds.

Free Spins, Bonus Games, a Progressive Jackpot, Wild and Scatter symbols are all a part of the loot Santa is offering up as well.

#2 Festive Fortunes

Festive Fortunes is the PartyCasino group’s own holiday-themed online slot available on PartyCasino, Borgata Casino, and BetMGM in NJ.

This online slot features all kinds of holiday-season symbols including snowmen, candles, angels and stars. Plus, its 95.01% Return to Player rate (RTP) is truly appropriate during the season of giving.

Jackpots, free spin bonuses, and multipliers keep that theme going strong as well. There’s even a Santa scatter symbol that gives you the gift of a sixth reel when you line up three.

If a spin or two on Festive Fortunes and a carton of egg nog doesn’t get you in the mood for the festive season, nothing will.

#1 Secrets of Christmas

Secrets of Christmas is the ultimate Christmas-themed online slot in the US online casino market today.

This slot transports players to a rustic cabin in a snowy winter wonderland. Once there they can experience the joys and rewards of the holiday season.

The all-Christmas-song soundtrack delivers on the holiday theme and the five by three-row column layout filled with Christmas-themed symbols completes it.

Christmas bells, candles, gingerbread houses, milk and cookies, and Christmas stockings are all there. There’s even a fun Free Spins Bonus triggered by the sack of toys scatter symbol.

In keeping with the season-of-giving theme, Secrets of Christmas has one of the highest RTPs you’ll find at an online slot any time of year, standing at 96.72%.

That makes it the perfect Christmas-themed online slot. Especially when it comes to racking up loyalty club points at the NJ online casinos where it is available, including:

  • Golden Nugget
  • Betfair
  • Caesars
  • Virgin
  • Tropicana

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