Posts Tagged ‘lottery’


by , Apr 8, 2014 | 10:27 am

Lest you weren’t sure about the relationship between lottery interests and slot machines in future regulated online gambling spaces, here’s a common ad getting served up to some of us on Facebook these days (for myVegas, an MGM joint). You do the math while I continue to get play-money slots game requests from Aunt Rita in Indiana.


While MGM has to wait (except in New Jersey) for real-money casino (or lottery) play, you can guess they are happy to be running various free point promotions where the prize is ultimately a trip to one of their real brick-and-mortar casinos, where the slot machines may or may not pay out the same way the they did for play money online.

Lessons from the Insurance Industry

by , Jun 23, 2013 | 1:00 pm

I. Nelson Rose

I. Nelson Rose

Licensed gaming is slowly becoming just another legal business; which is a very good thing.

Many of the strangest restrictions in the law arose from centuries of gambling being seen by society, or at least by opinion-leaders and law-makers, as an activity that was simply not respectable.  Gambling debts were unenforceable, and courts would no more allow casinos to advertise than they would brothels.  A gaming license was similar to James Bond’s “license to kill”:  It merely protected the operator from being prosecuted for what was otherwise an illegal act.

In the past, other industries struggled with becoming respectable in the eyes of the law.  This usually took the route of trying to show they were not forms of gambling, even if they were.  They also knew they had to come up with arguments on why they were actually good for society.  The best examples are trading in securities and commodity futures, and insurance.

Insurance is, of course, gambling.

Insurance eventually overcame its gambling roots because it was seen as creating a benefit for the general public, as an efficient way of spreading and lessening risk. Hence, the introduction of insurance to the drivers who follow car seat laws in california.

Looking just at the required three elements, insurance has prize, chance and consideration.  After all, a policy holder is merely betting a small sum with the expectation of winning a larger sum if a certain contingent future event occurs.

Systems similar to modern insurance are at least 3,500 years old.  Shippers, merchants and financiers developed schemes to share the risk and spread unexpected losses caused by pirates and shipwrecks.

Insurance as a separate contract first developed in Genoa in the 14th century, and was again focused on marine shipping.  The long history of maritime insurance made it the least susceptible of being viewed as merely gambling in more modern times.


Don’t Expect a Nevada Lottery Any Time Soon

by , Jun 19, 2013 | 6:29 am

Let’s halt one rumor before it gains traction.

Scientific Games Corp.’s $1.5 billion acquisition of slot machine manufacturer WMS Industries doesn’t mean a statewide lottery is headed to Nevada.

New York-based Scientific Games provides lottery systems and equipment to U.S. states, Canadian provinces and foreign governments. The company was actively seeking to acquire a traditional slot machine vendor when the buyout was announced in February.

It wasn’t about bringing a lottery to Nevada.

That said, Wall Street, which was skeptical about the deal, is starting to find some comfort with the transaction.

Scientific Games is paying $26 per share for WMS, roughly 59 percent above the slot maker’s closing stock price on Jan. 31.

When the buyout was announced, both WMS and Scientific Games officials said the transaction would provide $100 million of synergistic cost-savings between the merged companies.


What Are the Odds …

Is the Bulgarian lottery rigged?

by , Sep 18, 2009 | 2:14 am

I know we poker people hate lotteries (unless of course there’s a ridiculous Powerball overlay), but recent results in Bulgaria seem worthy of mention …

The numbers for the Bulgarian Lottery on September 6:

4, 15, 23, 24, 35, 42

The numbers for the Bulgarian Lottery on September 10:

4, 15, 23, 24, 35, 42

The BBC reports the odds of this happening as 1-in-4 million. ABC-Australia puts them at 1-in-14 million.

Poker people know statistical mathematics is often debatable, and the above occurrence is far more likely than quad aces losing to a royal flush.

Interestingly enough, nobody picked those six numbers the first go-round. On the do-over, 18 people picked them — a Bulgarian lotto record.

Each of the winners will get 10,164 leva (equal to €5,196 or US$7,643). While that might not seem like enough to create shenanigans, the average monthly salary in Bulgaria is about €400

The Bulgarian government is investigating … Perhaps sadly, you cannot find out more information about this at

Are You Ready for Some Lotto?!?

NFL-sponsored gambling kicks into high gear

by , Aug 24, 2009 | 5:06 am

The (American) football season is upon us … fantasy sports drafts and all that stuff. But more than that, some new NFL lottery tickets are hitting the 7-Elevens near you! $5 Eagles and Steelers scratch-off tickets (seen here) went on sale last week in Pennsylvania, and the New Jersey lottery will give the NFL a cut on Jets and Giants tickets sold … despite the fact that the super-duper majority of participants in this game of chance are guaranteed to lose.

UPDATE: A Dallas Cowboys scratch-off also went on sale last week.

In Massachusetts, Patriots lottery tickets are selling at a record pace, and have already awarded their first two million-dollar prizes. Wanna be a little disgusted by one of the poker industry’s biggest political opponents … check out the familiar pitch the NFL itself is using in promoting their rake game:


More Talk about Internet Gambling

From Texas lottery to Vegas casinos

by , Apr 12, 2009 | 10:17 pm

A gaming columnist for the LVRJ agrees with BJ … don’t expect changes to online gambling laws anytime soon, simply because Congress is busy with more pressing matters:

After checking with Washington, D.C., lobbyist contacts and casino company operators dialed into Capitol Hill, Simkins put steep odds on the issue seeing any light.

“We see little reason for investors to try to play this near-term,” Simkins said.

Meanwhile, I had almost forgotten there was an internet gambling bill pending in Texas … an effort to make the Texas Lotto playable online. (Ha! Just wait til Texas banks try to transfer that money around.) From the Beaumont Enterprise:


Internet gambling might seem like a big step to some Texans, but it’s not. More and more of our modern society is moving to the Internet, from shopping to news to entertainment. Gambling is part of this matrix. There’s no logical reason to wall off the ‘net from something that’s clearly popular with millions of consumers.


Internet gambling, especially when targeted at young adults, would cross a moral line that Texas needs to stay away from. That makes gambling a little too easy. It increases the chances that compulsive gamblers would waste money and establish bad gambling patterns for young adults.

OK, fair enough … you’re entitled to your moralist point of view, despite what statistics suggest. In fact, I’ll even assure you that it absolutely WILL be harmful to compulsive gamblers … which represent .6 percent of people online . How ’bout we compromise? We’ll say no to playing the Texas lottery on the internet if you say yes to brick-and-mortar poker rooms? Cool? Awesome … cool.

Politics is so easy.

Utah Good, Irish Banks Bad

Perspectives Weekly

by , Mar 6, 2009 | 2:11 am

Online gambling is discovering allies in the strangest places, as Utah just announced their support of Barney Frank and online gambling regulation. Meanwhile, the New Hampshire lottery runs into problems with the UIGEA. Plus, why are Irish banks searching peoples bank accounts for online gaming transactions? Watch and see!

Perspectives Weekly

by , May 5, 2008 | 6:39 am

In this episode:

Jon Kyl is Facing Reality!
It’s Lonely at the top of Morality Mountain…
There are still no regulations for UIGEA… Banks don’t want to police UIGEA… and others in Congress want to overturn UIGEA… I guess it’s time to face facts, Jon.

Chuck E Cheese is Facing Prison?
Pizza Selling Rat also promotes illegal gambling…
The great legal minds of South Carolina have concluded that the Skee ball and Whac-a-Mole games at Chuck E Cheese are a slippery slop to illegal gambling… and they must go!

News from both sides of the Atlantic
Lottery to Tennis… Texas to France…
In Texas, lottery officials are warning consumers about buying tickets online… and with good reason! And out of France, a judge has returned a ruling in the French Open vs Online Gambling case.