Ah yes, gaming scandals and bankruptcies. Why must this be a category in gambling news at the end of each and every year?
Of all the video gaming scandals and bankruptcy news in 2015, perhaps the story that is biggest of all of the ended up being the arrest and indictment of 14 FIFA executives, but not President Sepp Blatter.
Because, unfortunately, bankruptcies and scandals are apparently inescapable in a world that is high-stakes fortunes are won and lost in a matter of seconds.
2015 wasn’t immune to news that is scandalous 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; certainly one of golf’s most readily useful players accused of involvement in an illegal gambling ring; and an alleged insider trading instance which could alter the landscape of daily fantasy recreations forever.
But let’s start at the top.
FIFA Gets Kicked
Match-fixing in soccer at the ground level takes place all the time. But so-called fixing of World Cups is an entirely different pastime.
This summer, 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 fraud, cash 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, nonetheless, are far from in the clear as US authorities continue their investigation and build their case. They will have recently been joined by UK investigators too, who have actually opened their own probe into Blatter and FIFA.
The alleged violations by FIFA date straight back as far as two decades, but more recently the Justice Department’s investigation revealed bribery attempts past that is surrounding future World Cup bids. And considering the World Cup could be the sporting event that is richest every year it is played, the long history of alleged bribes have added as much as making this possibly one of the biggest scandals to ever hit professional sports.
Mickelson Hits a Hazard
Sports had an added scandal in 2010 when, additionally this summer, star golfer and five-time major winner Phil Mickelson ended up being linked to an illegal gambling operation that is offshore. Court papers allege the operation was run by a bookie that is 56-year-old has already plead guilty and claims to have laundered nearly $3 million into the usa for an unnamed client, who ESPN’s Outside The Lines reported was Mickelson.
The ace golfer, that has talked openly over the years about their propensity to gamble on non-golf events that are sporting has denied the allegations and is maybe not currently under research. The case, however, is still pending.
Ivey Over the Advantage
Moving to another guy who loves to gamble: Phil Ivey. The 10-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner and arguably one of the biggest players of all-time is dealing with 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 baccarat that is multiple in 2012.
The Borgata’s suit, which Ivey has stated publicly, ‘I’m gonna win,’ alleged that the felt superstar hatched a scheme to use an edge technique that is sorting of variations on the straight back of the cards, therefore having the ability to predict what was being dealt.
The lawsuit also alleges Ivey even made special arrangements for the game, which Borgata agreed to, on the foundation he had been superstitious, but that basically created an advantage that is unfair him.
Not helping issues in Ivey’s situation is that he’s currently trapped in a lawsuit that is similar 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 states the ‘edge sorting’ method was used, because well.
Fantasy Sports Hits the Wall
The final big scandal of 2015 belongs to the daily fantasy sports (DFS) world, which had been cruising along legally and regulation-free until news broke that a DraftKings employee utilized inside information to win $350,000 on rival site FanDuels.
With regards to had been exposed, everyone from feared federal prosecutor Preet Bharara (of poker’s Ebony Friday fame) to Congress got involved to determine or perhaps a web sites were breaking law that is federal. Amid the unexpected concerns among players of DFS, the sites reported their lowest week of participation yet in late October.
Caesars Holds Court, and Not in a way that is good
Caesars Entertainment’s bankruptcy drama in 2015 was major and ongoing. Embroiled in the sort of complex monetary restructuring that is meant to preserve a company but that often actually leaves its employees by the wayside, Caesars drew ire and criticism this year when it reportedly deprived 279 current 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 had been left waiting for whatever little bit of the pie the courts and also the restructuring will utimately throw at them, however it seems unlikely that some of the deferred payment will ever be seen by said execs. We are guessing the lawyers is likely to make out the most useful in this case, as is usually the case in protracted battles that are legal money.
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, shut down the print version of the magazine a few years ago after it had been acquired by Churchill Downs, Inc. and switched a lot of the focus to coverage of the poker world that is online.
But earlier this year, the magazine shuttered the digital operation also and release all of its staff, ending a run of, at one time, one of the planet’s largest gaming periodicals.
California Online Poker in 2015: a consider the Golden State’s Politics, Factions, and Marketing
California on the web poker stalemate: State Senator Isadore Hall(D-Southbay), whose shell online poker bill was California’s greatest hope in 2015. But it came to naught this 12 months. (Image:AP/Damian Dovarganes)
The possibility for California on-line poker in 2015 started 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 acceptable language.
With that move, he felt that on-line poker had an even chance of passing this 12 months in his state. His optimism may too have been high though.
High on the list of divisive dilemmas was PokerStars. Due to the fact year began, a big coalition of tribal operators, which would become loosely called the Pechanga coalition after its main agitator, was adamant that the web poker giant will never enter the marketplace.
Opposing them were the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and an alliance associated with the state’s biggest card groups, like the Commerce, Hawaiian Gardens, and the Bicycle, who had inked a handle PokerStars to supply online poker in a regulated landscape.
The racetracks, meanwhile, also staked their claim to a bit of online poker market, a known proven fact that annoyed the Pechanga Coalition, possibly even significantly more than PokerStars’ ambitions.
It absolutely was into this weather that Reggie Jones-Sawyer introduced his own draft legislation, which had toned down its ‘bad star’ language from last year’s effort. The 2014 Jones-Sawyer bill precluded PokerStars from going into the market because of its history of offering wagers to Americans post-UIGEA.
This bill proposed to be more comprehensive and was cagier that is much the PokerStars question, hoping to appease all parties. Hopes had been indeed raised if the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians defected to the Morongo faction.
But the Pechanga Coalition, which had supported the year that is previous Jones-Sawyer bill, wasted no time in slamming the brand new one. It was ‘fatally flawed,’ it said, and ‘not sufficient to protect the integrity associated with California market.’
Talk But No Walk
At the Western Indian Gaming Conference in February, there had been talk that is much both sides of the urgent need for compromise, but none was forthcoming.
Once more, hopes were raised by the emergence of a 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 their respective chambers, and their bill quickly emerged since the frontrunner.
But the Hall/Gray bill included little real language. Instead, it was basically a shell bill created to act as a car to hold the presssing issue through the legislature, to be filled in that opinion could be reached.
But that was to not function as the full case in 2015. If anything, divisions grew deeper whenever Viejas Band of Kumayaay Indians paid for a string of radio ad spots, denouncing PokerStars and comparing the company to ‘Internet scam musicians and con guys.’
Meanwhile, within the lack of any progress that is legislative PokerStars launched a grassroots charm offensive, developing the Californians for accountable iPoker advocacy group, and visiting card rooms over the states along with its team of high-profile pros to teach the public about the dependence on regulation.
As a fiscal problem, 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. Nonetheless, due to the mutually exclusive demands of the different parties involved, it will be as tough in 2016 as it was in 2015.
Ca may very well regulate sooner or later, it’s just the procedure may take a complete lot longer than anyone initially thought.