Potential Federal Betting Regulations Highlight Sports Betting News

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Written By Giovanni Shorter | Last Updated
Recent Sports Betting News

There have been some interesting developments and news in the sports betting industry. Caesars CEO Tom Reeg spoke at a conference on the possibility of new federal regulations surrounding sports betting. Additionally, more details have emerged regarding the Iowa gambling lawsuit. Let’s break down these recent sports betting news stories in the industry.

Caesars CEO Worries Over Potential Federal Sports Betting Regulations

While speaking at the East Coast Gaming Congress in Atlantic City, Tom Reeg focused on problem gambling. With the growing popularity of the best sports betting sites, Reeg believes that focus on problem gambling should also increase.

“I worry about it in digital, when I’m watching an NCAA Tournament game or an NFL game, that two out of every three ads seems to be a sports betting ad,” said Reeg. “That’s troubling to me. And I recognize that we were part of that when we launched in 2021. As we’ve pulled back from that, our share has not degraded even though others continue (to do so).

Reeg states that the way sports betting advertising has grown, a potential for pushback is imminent. What the CEO of Caesars Sportsbook is concerned about is the government creating federal regulations that can affect operators. If sportsbooks do not work to maintain responsible gambling efforts, the industry could be headed in that direction.

“As we continue down the road, we as an industry have to develop responsibly in a matter that doesn’t encourage federal intervention,” continued Reeg. “These are the kinds of things that keep me up at night. How do we stay in front of it?”

Reeg referenced a letter issued from Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut ahead of the  March Madness tournament. Sen. Blumenthal urged sportsbook operators to do a better job at not advertising to those struggling with problem gambling.

“Sports betting companies are exploiting, targeting, and taking advantage of vulnerable problem gamblers, especially during these coming weeks, said Blumenthal. “How? They are enticing those problem gamblers to do more.”

Reeg says he spent the previous week responding to the letter issued to several sportsbooks by Sen. Blumenthal.

Sportsbooks Responsible Gaming Efforts

Sportsbooks have worked towards improving their responsible gambling efforts. In March, several sportsbooks formed the Responsible Online Gaming Association (ROGA), where they will focus on just what Reeg is pushing. Caesars Sportsbook is not among the operators that have joined ROGA.

Iowa Gambling Lawsuit Examined

More than two dozen Iowa and Iowa State student-athletes have come together and filed a civil suit against the state.

These students were embroiled in a 2023 Iowa sports betting investigation that led to charges being filed against them. Iowa State students Isaiah Lee, Jirehl Brock, and Enyi Uwazurike of the football team, and Paniro Johnson of the wrestling team were among students who turned down the plea deal offered by the state. In March, all charges were dropped.

Now, the students are suing the state for damages. As the case progressed, lawyers representing the students obtained emails from Division of Criminal Investigation special agent Christopher Adkins. The emails reveal that investigators were using the initial 2023 sports betting case as a means to impress the higher-ups and push for more strict gambling laws.

“If they get suspended or get a scholarship taken away, so be it,” wrote Adkins in his February 2023 email. Adkins would continue to state that the investigation “would bring attention to our unit, not only in the public’s eyes, but also as far as the commissioner and even possibly the legislatures.”

Investigators used geolocating software to identify the athletes who were alleged to be wagering on sportsbook apps. Through the geolocation software, authorities were able to show that the student-athletes were wagering under false identities so as not to get caught. However, the reason the charges were dropped in March is that investigators were found to have misused the tracking software.

Per the attorneys representing the students and student-athletes, the tracking data was obtained illegally. Because authorities had no search warrant, they exceeded the scope of permitted use of the software. The case is still ongoing.