Posts Tagged ‘Joe Asher’

April 2, 2013

Nevada Lawmakers Consider Novelty Bets on Presidential Elections

2-to-1 says it happens anyway, so why shouldn't Vegas be allowed to play?

Welcome-to-Nevada-pokerIn Europe, it’s known as novelty betting. Bookmakers from Paddy Power to William Hill post odds and take bets on a variety of activities, from who looks good to win the Nobel Prizes this year to whether Prince Harry’s next girlfriend will be a blonde or a brunette and who might host the Oscars in 2014.

Paddy Power’s favorite to host the Oscar’s next year is Justin Timberlake at 2-to-1 . The odds are 8-to-11 that Harry’s next girlfriend will be a blonde.

But what produces increased publicity if only modest handle for British bookmakers is betting on U.S. politics. And oddsmakers and gaming industry analysts in Las Vegas said that if successful, a Nevada state senator’s efforts to legalize betting on politics will produce more notoriety than revenue.

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March 25, 2013

New Jersey Casinos to Offer Daily Fantasy Sports Tournaments

Loophole bets allow state to circumvent PASPA while awaiting court ruling

Atlantic CityWith its plans to legalize sports gambling held up in federal court, New Jersey is allowing casinos to offer daily fantasy games as an alternative.

The states Division of Gaming Enforcement has published regulations establishing standards for casinos to offer fantasy sports tournaments starting April 22. The casinos can charge patrons an entry fee and pay out winnings through the casino cage, but the activity is not considered gambling.

Fantasy sports tournaments are contests in which participants create and manage teams, made up of individual players from real teams, which compete against other fantasy teams based on statistics that players generate during real games.

It’s too early to tell how these fantasy games will affect sports book operators in Las Vegas.

“I’ve read the regulations and need to digest them to see what the opportunities look like,” said Joe Asher, CEO of Las Vegas-based William Hill U.S., which operates 160 sports books and kiosks statewide and is the risk manager for the Delaware lotterys parlay bets on National Football League games. “But obviously its a step in the right direction.”

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February 6, 2013

Bookmakers Bank on American Sports Betting Biz

How a British company is changing the Nevada race and sportsbook landscape

William Hill nets half billion in profit despite US losses

Despite its U.S. operations posting a “modest” loss, William Hill Plc. expects net revenue for 2012 to be 12 percent higher than in 2011. The British bookmaker is expected to release its official fourth-quarter and full-year earnings on March 1.

William Hill said Tuesday its 2012 performance had been “strong” with operating profit expected to be approximately $519.6 million, helped in part by a 27 percent boost in online net revenues and a six percent rise in retail earnings.

Its U.S. bookmaking business, which operates in Delaware and Nevada, was adversely affected by weak results, especially from the National Football League.

In a statement, William Hill said its Nevada acquisitions were successfully completed on schedule in September. The company warned that its performance in the U.S. “was impacted by weak sporting results, particularly the NFL in November, and as a result delivered a modest operating loss.”

William Hill spent $49 million to acquire American Wagering Inc. and Brandywine Bookmaking LLC in Las Vegas, as well as Club Cal Neva’s sports book operations in Northern Nevada. The company operates 160 sports books and kiosks in Nevada and employs 400 people.

William Hill determines the product offering, sets the odds and point spreads and manages the risk for the Delaware Lottery through a partnership with Scientific Games. Sports betting in Delaware is limited to wagers on NFL games only using parlay cards.

- C.S.

Michael Ciasco was quickly considering whom to bet on in the third race at Tampa Downs.

It was Friday morning, and Ciasco, who has bet on horse racing almost every day since he arrived in Las Vegas 36 years ago, took his seat at William Hill’s sports book at Terrible’s.

Armed with a small coffee, a pencil and the Player’s Edition of the Daily Racing Form, Ciasco was ready for his day at the office.

“I come here around 9 a.m., have breakfast, bet until about 1 p.m. and then I go home,” Ciasco said. “I do it every day. I only bet dollars on each race and I’m only a horse player.”

Ciasco said he isn’t comfortable betting more than $3 or $4 dollars per race. That adds up to $18 or $19 a day, making Ciasco a cautious if not thrifty gambler.

“Money management in this town is very important,” he said. “I don’t have a system of my own, so I’m pretty much picking horses at random.”

Sports bettors all have their own reasons for why they might put anywhere from $5 to $50,000 on a game.

“It’s exciting,” said Kandace Allman. “I watch every minute and really get into the game when I have money on it. Sometimes, I yell at the TV telling them what they should be doing.”

Allman sounds like a lot of people you meet at Las Vegas sports books.

“I win a lot,” she said. “I like to bet on NBA and NFL games, but I’ve started (betting) on hockey and college games. I’m really into betting on the Oklahoma City Thunder.”

Allman also likes to put a few dollars on the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, and Detroit Pistons. Both Allman and her friend, Connie Martin, took the 4 points and the Baltimore Ravens to defeat the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl on Sunday.

As of Thursday, the over-under on the game is 47.5 points.

“I can’t predict the future, but I like the Ravens,” Martin said.

While it might be a marginal addition to Nevada’s total gaming revenues, gambling on sports is big business. In 2011, casino visitors wagered more than $2.8 billion on sporting events, with sports books taking home $140.7 million, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

“It’s mostly football,” said David G. Schwartz, director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “Football has declined though and basketball is gaining in popularity. That’s because the NCAA is getting a lot more attention than it did years ago.”

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January 19, 2013

The Evolution of Fantasy Sports

Cantor Gaming sees profits in "not gambling" industry

cantor fantasy logoThe number of Americans playing fantasy sports has grown by 2 million annually for the past two decades, transforming what was once the pastime of a few devoted baseball fans into a lucrative business, generating more than $3 billion annually in total revenues, according to an industry analyst.

“We’re very comfortable these days,” said Paul Charchian, president of the Minneapolis-based Fantasy Sports Trade Association, which will hold its annual convention this month at The Mirage. “We’ve been growing at a ridiculous rate. Some day we won’t be growing by 2 million annually and I’m sure there’ll be stories asking us why we’re not growing by 2 million anymore.”

Fantasy sports were born in the 1960s, but it wasn’t until the late 1980s and early 1990s that it developed into a national sensation.

“We have grown by 2 million people a year since the Internet took off in the mid-1990s,” Charchian said.

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