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Operator News


FANTASY SPORTS & ESPORTS


Te integrity of US sports and betting is to be the focus of a lawsuit filed by a DraftKings player against Major League Baseball (MLB,) MLB Advanced Media, the Houston Astros, and the Boston Red Sox . According to lead plaintiff Kristopher Olson Fantasy baseball contests from 2017, were “tainted by cheating and compromised.” Te class action lawsuit could potentially encompass millions of DraftKing users.


Betfred and Saratoga Casino Black Hawk have signed an agreement to offer sports betting throughout the state of Colorado. Betfred and Saratoga Casino will be opening a full sports book at the casinos Black Hawk, Colorado property, as well as offering mobile and internet betting for customers within the state of Colorado Subject to regulatory approval.


“We are delighted to partner with Saratoga Casino Black Hawk," stated Mark Stebbings, Betfred Group Chief Operating Officer. "Tis is an exciting opportunity for both companies and we look forward to sharing our joint expertise to provide excellent service and value for sports bettors both on premise in Black Hawk and online to the people within the state of Colorado.”


Saratoga Casino Black Hawk is located in the historic town of Black Hawk, Colorado and features over 425 slot machines, 10 table games, a full- service restaurant, bar and a variety of guest services.


Scientific Games and Betfred are partnering to provide full retail and digital sports betting solutions in Pennsylvania. Betfred have chosen Scientific Games as their technology provider to launch retail solutions at Wind Creek Casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in the first half of 2020 as part of Betfred's recently announced partnership with the property.


Keith O'Loughlin, SVP Sportsbook, Digital for Scientific Games, said, "Betfred is one of the UK's top-performing bookmakers, and their move into the U.S. will spark growth . . .Together, Scientific Games and Betfred can make a massive impact in the sports betting arena by driving player engagement and putting their digital and retail sportsbooks at the forefront of this expanding landscape. Betfred is synonymous with giving UK customers a great value proposition, and we are confident that they will get great traction in the U.S. with this customer-oriented approach."


TeScore has been appointed an authorised sports betting operator of the National Basketball Association (NBA) in a multi-year partnership. Te deal adds to the number of deals the league has also struck with companies involved in sports betting including DraftKings, MGM Resorts International, William Hill, Stars Group and Unibet.


Under the terms of the new deal theScore will gain


access to official NBA betting data, including league marks and logos, for its mobile sports betting app, theScore Bet. TeScore Bet is the first mobile sportsbook to be created and launched by a media company in North America.


INTRALOT Inc., a subsidiary of INTRALOT Group in the USA, and Sportradar, have reached an agreement on a sports betting partnership for the US market. Under the terms of the deal, Sportradar will provide INTRALOT with all of its pre-match and live data requirements, including the official data feeds from all major US leagues. In turn, INTRALOT will supply this data to lotteries in the US including Washington DC, Montana, New Hampshire and New Mexico.


“INTRALOT is a highly respected leader in the US lottery market and renowned sportsbook operator around the world,” said Neale Deeley, Vice President of US Sales and Gaming, Sportradar. “We are delighted at the confidence INTRALOT has in our ability to deliver high quality betting services and we look forward to powering INTRALOT’s sportsbook operations in the US.”


International Game Technology (IGT) has announced that it has signed a multi-state sports betting agreement with Delaware North to power retail and mobile sports betting in West Virginia and retail sports betting in Arkansas. Under the terms of the agreement, IGT will provide Delaware North's West Virginia casinos Mardi Gras Casino & Resort in Cross Lanes and Wheeling Island Casino- Hotel-Racetrack in Wheeling Island with retail and mobile sports betting technology. IGT PlaySports technology will also power retail sports betting at Southland Casino Racing in West Memphis, Ark.


"We're proud to add Delaware North to our growing list of U.S.-based customers leveraging PlaySports technology to offer reliable, best-in-class sports betting experiences to their patrons," said Enrico Drago, IGT PlayDigital Senior Vice President.


"Delaware North can count on IGT's experienced team and trusted technology to help build a sports betting business that can scale for the opportunities of today and the future."


In addition to West Virginia and Arkansas, Delaware North operates casinos and other gaming properties in New York, Illinois, Florida, Ohio, Arizona, and Australia. IGT PlaySports is currently powering sports betting in 11 US states.


Te lawsuit comes after Te MLB was caught up in a scandal involving two of its teams illegally stealing signs. (In baseball this is the observing and relaying of the signs being given by the opposing catcher to the pitcher). Te Astros illegally used a camera system to steal signs during the 2017 and 2018 seasons while Te Boston Red Sox are under investigation by MLB for similar practices in 2018. According to the class action lawsuit filed in a Manhattan federal court, the MLB had created an unfair gambling platform by ignoring the practice even though they knew it was happening.


“Te MLB was well aware that its member teams were engaging in corrupt and fraudulent conduct that rendered player performance statistics dishonest and undermined the validity of its fan wagers on DraftKings’ fantasy baseball contests.” Te suit alleges: “Plaintiff Olson and his fellow DraftKings’ contestants made wagers on DraftKings’ fantasy baseball contests that they thought were based on the honest performance of MLB’s players.” However the results of the contests “were based on the cheating by MLB’s teams and their players that MLB chose to turn a blind [eye] to and knowingly failed to prevent or disclose.”


State lawmakers in New Jersey are considering a new law that would include esports. Talking during a hearing of the Assembly Tourism Gaming and the Arts Committee Assemblyman Ralph Caputo said that esports were “the next big thing when it comes to sporting events . . . Whether they follow along online or in person, hundreds of millions of people watch esports each year — and that number is only growing" and said that the “time is right for New Jersey to expand legal wagering beyond traditional sports.” In November 2019, the state gave explicit permission to sportsbooks to accept bets on the League of Legends World Championship Finals held in Paris.


Te US Army has been trying new approaches to bring in the soldiers it needs to reach its goal of 500,000 in active-duty service by the end of the 2020s. Te 6,500-soldier shortfall the service reported in September 2018 was its first recruiting miss since 2005 and came despite it putting $200 million into bonuses and issuing extra waivers for health issues or bad conduct. When the Army announced it was seeking soldiers for an esports team it described the recruitment drive as, “building awareness of skills that can be used as professional soldiers and to use gaming knowledge to be more relatable to youth.”


By January 2019, more than 6,500 soldiers had applied for a team that was expected to have about 30 members. In September 2019, the Army credited the esports team, one of two new outreach teams set up that year, as having “initiated some of the highest lead-generating events in the history of the all-volunteer force.”


NEWSWIRE / INTERACTIVE / MARKET DATA P35


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