New JerseyThe state of New Jersey is asking United States Supreme Court to remove the ban on sports betting because it forces the state to implement a law imposed by the Congress which has been repealed by the state.

The PAPSA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) is a 25 year old federal law that prohibits sports betting outside of Nevada.

According to New Jersey, the PAPSA law is unconstitutional because it signifies an overstepping of authority of the Congress and violates the Tenth Amendment.

New Jersey submitted filings earlier this week making an argument with regards to its appeal pending before the Supreme Court.

The state filed the appeal with the Supreme Court after losing its case in lower courts, most recently in the US Third Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this year.

The Court surprisingly chose to hear the state’s appeal which is now scheduled for later this year. The filings made by New Jersey point out that the PAPSA requires states to maintain prohibition forcibly. It noted that its constitutional framework does not allow Congress to influence any matter related to commercial activity within the state borders.

New Jersey has highlighted the fact that if Congress seeks to ban an activity it should make the activity unlawful instead of asking the states to do so. Nearly all of the major sports leagues including the NBA (National Basketball Association), NFL (National Football League), MLB (Major League Baseball) and NHL (National Hockey League), as well as the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) and the U.S. Department of Justice are opposing New Jersey move. The leagues will be filing their response with the court by October. Some law experts are hopeful of New Jersey’s chances to win the case.

In a statement Daniel Wallach, an attorney and expert in sports law said,

Congress can’t prohibit states from decriminalizing activity within their borders, which is the whole crux of this case. More likely than not, New Jersey winds up with some sort of sports betting when this case is done, whether it’s New Jersey alone, or all the states

New Jersey residents voted to legalize sports betting through a referendum in 2011. The state government subsequently passed a law regulating sports betting in 2012 which was challenged by the sports leagues. New Jersey has so far failed to make its case legally. If the Supreme Court decides to rule in favor of New Jersey, it would open the door for states nationwide to legalize and regulate sports betting as well.

Illegal GamblingYet another illegal casino operation was busted in India’s capital Delhi, the second such incident in recent weeks. Police raided a flat in an elite locality in South Delhi, where a former model was said to be organizing illegal gaming activities.

The police have arrested the alleged owner as well as 14 gamblers found on location. Most of the players were said to be businessmen and property dealers belonging to local areas like Pitampura, Noida and Gurgaon.

Ten others who were helping in casino operations were additionally detained. During the raid police found a poker table, a bingo game, 2,700 gambling chips, 45 packets of playing cards along with several bottles of liquor. Police have seized Rs 8.5 lakh in cash and chips.

The accused said that she had been operating the casino for 10-15 days. She told the police that she and her son had moved into the flat a year ago. Police had planned a raid last week but had to put it off after receiving information that the club was closed. Several such busts have taken place in Delhi in recent times. Gambling is illegal across India except in three states of Goa, Sikkim and Daman. But the rising popularity of gambling in the country amid a strengthening economy has led to several illegal venues coming up to cater to high rollers.

In a recent case, a major high end gambling operation was busted in Delhi. Police raided a large farmhouse located in south Delhi's Fatehpur Beri after a tip off that an illegal casino-cum-bar was being run there. Delhi Police arrested nearly 30 people including the owner, four gamblers as well as five women employees. Thirteen vehicles were seized.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Ishwar Singh said that gambling chips worth crores of rupees had been recovered from the site. According to media reports, four casino tables, along with gaming chips worth over Rs 30 million ($468,000) were found at the site. As per police reports, the illegal gambling den had been operating for the last two months in the farmhouse and gamblers had been informed of its operations via a closed WhatsApp group. The owner had rented out the property to three individuals who were running an illegal gambling operation.

The farmhouse had been put under surveillance for five days after police was alerted to the fact that illegal gambling activities were being carried out there. Senior authorities suspended five police personnel who were in charge of the particular zone due to negligence.

The second of the nine public sessions being held across Japan to discuss issues surrounding the legalization of casino gambling in the country concluded recently in Osaka. Measures being taken to deal with problem gambling and associated social ills were the top issues discussed during the hearing.

The Japanese government is holding these public consultations in an attempt to address concerns among public regarding the decision to legalize gambling in the country.

The government legalized gambling in December 2016 but is still in the process of formulating a second bill that will deal with the regulation of the industry covering issues like taxation rates, casino locations and licensing fees.

Japan’s Office of Integrated Resort Regime Promotion, a body comprising of professional civil servants are advising the government on the bill. They recently submitted a report with recommendations for the new regulations. Legislators have also drafted a problem gambling bill which is the first step towards the finalization of the IR Implementation Bill.

According to the Japan Times, the session at Osaka concentrated on measures to control problem gambling, the ideal size of the casino floors and the probable location for the casino. The newspaper reported that one of the participants in the session had raised concerns that suggestions included in the report regarding addressing the issue of locals gambling was not detailed enough.

The report suggests limiting the number of times Japanese nationals can enter casinos. The participant pointed out that such restrictions may just result in visitors staying for long hours inside the casinos and recommended that a time limit should also be put in place.

Another member of the public noted that such restrictions might push problem gamblers to indulge in illegal gambling. The participant said that a system limiting gambling in general and for tackling gambling addiction needs to be developed by experts.

A business group which attended the session suggested that the proposal to limit the casino floor be reviewed. The Japanese government is said to be strongly in favor of following the Singapore model of regulation which strictly limits the number of casinos in the country and
gaming floor space.

With a highly supportive local government, Osaka is believed to be a strong candidate for receiving one of the two urban casino licenses which are likely to be available. Moody’s Investors Service said in a recent report that Japan is likely to open four casinos by 2024. The ratings firm expects one in Osaka, one in Yokohama and two more in regional locations namely Nagasaki and Hokkaido.

Gaming regulators in Nevada are scheduled to meet this week to discuss the ramifications of the use of marijuana becoming legal in the state. Nevada recently legalized the recreational use of marijuana but the possession and use of marijuana is still a crime under federal law.

The change in the state law has thrown up a number of questions around how casino operators will handle issues arising from marijuana use on their facilities. State Gaming Control Board has asked the Nevada Gaming Commission to address the matter.

Chairman Tony Alamo has confirmed that the Commission would be meeting later this week to work through a list of identified issues. The meetings will take the form of discussions and not hearings, with public comments scheduled to be taken separately. Post discussions, commission members will decide if additional regulation is required to be formulated.


The settlement agreement shows that between June and November this year, at least 13 instances were noted of underage visitors gaining entry to the facility. Franks said that among other procedures missed, a basic one was to check the ID of anyone looking younger than 30 years.

Franks said that the issues were brought to the notice of the regulatory body since the US casino operator is required to report cases of underage players being found on its premises. This typically happens when another patron or a casino worker alerts security. In December 2016, Jack Entertainment hired the services of a security training instructor to train its security team.

The other violation by the operator involved allowing too many employees access to a critical software program that helps track the casino’s finances as well as player activity. Franks said that an audit held by the commission found that several employees who shouldn’t have access to such sensitive information were able to enter data and edit the program. Although Jack Entertainment stated that there was controlled access to the program, the auditors found that was not the case.

Franks stated that as a part of the settlement agreement, Jack Entertainment would be hiring an independent third party auditor to assess if there was proper compliance in relation to the operation of the computer management program.

Several casino operators are reportedly interested in the opportunity to win a casino license in Queensland.

Two regional casino licenses are now available in Queensland after the state government recently rejected a proposal to build an A$3 billion casino resort on the Gold Coast Spit. The government dropped the plan after large-scale public opposition.

State Treasurer Curtis Pitt stated that there was renewed interest from global developers after casino developer Aquis shelved plans last year for a regional casino at Yorkeys Knob.

In a statement Pitt said,

I’ve indicated that in my view there is a very strong interest in Cairns and again a very strong opportunity for something to happen in Far North Queensland

Some of the companies interested in exploring the Far North market include Cambodia-based operator NagaCorp. Paradise Palms Resort located on Kewarra Beach just north of Cairns has been named as a potential casino location. Although no official confirmation is available, consultant Pat Flanagan who handled the environmental study for the Yorkeys Knob project said that it was one of the few sites that could handle an integrated resort.

Pullman Reef Hotel Casino

He noted that Paradise Palms has the necessary infrastructure along with a golf course as well as available land for further development. Flanagan also pointed out that Cairns was a likely contender for a casino location as it is the only regional city having an international airport other than the Gold Coast. Paradise Palms Resort and Country Club managing director Darren Halpin was unable to comment on the matter due to an existing confidentiality agreement with the State government.

Cairns Regional Council Division 5 Councilor Richie Bates stated that it was better to locate a casino in the Central Business District (CBD) of Cairns rather than outlying areas like Paradise Palms. He pointed out that access to an airport is a major factor that will determine the final decision on the location.

Director Keith De Lacy of Reef Casino which is located in Cairns City said that his company had earlier supported the Aquis proposal due to its potential to bring in additional tourists. He stated that Reef Casino was considering expanding its facilities and was in discussion with the government on the possibility. De Lacy noted that the company was conscious of the government’s priorities and the public needs.

Cairns Mayor Bob Manning was concerned that the State government had kept the local city government out of initial discussions and wanted the government to keep them updated with the latest developments.

The landmark listing of Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco may to go to the New York stock exchange as per a Reuters reports which indicates that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman supports the American center rather than London.

Several legal and financial advisors are however recommending London since it is thought to be a less risky proposition.

Set to be the world’s largest public offering, the Saudi Aramco IPO (Initial Public Offering) involves placing of 5 percent of the company’s stake for sale. New York is said to have its relatively higher requirements for disclosures than the London stock exchange making it more risky for Aramco.

Prince Mohammad is however said to lean towards the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) primarily due to the political advantages from the move and also the access it will provide to deep capital markets. Sources pointed out that the listing in New York will give a boost to relations between Riyadh and Washington which Bin Salman has been working on developing, ever since President Donald Trump came to power.

Saudi Aramco

His advisors are however wary of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) strict regulations around company reserves and the litigation risks arising as a result of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act which allows lawsuits to be filed against the Saudi government for supporting the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

Aramco said that no decision has been taken as of now. Discussions are on between the Crown Prince, the Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih, the Aramco management and senior advisors. The debate may push back the IPO from its expected launch in second half of 2018.

In a statement, Aramco said

All options continue to be held under consideration. There is no timetable requirement for an immediate definitive decision.

The issues still to be decided include what assets will be floated in the listing and the internal organizational structure in Aramco post-sale. Another major issue under discussion is the valuation of the stock. Prince Mohammed has earlier said that the IPO will place a minimum value of $2 trillion on Aramco, but some experts estimate it will be between $1 trillion and $1.5 trillion, reflecting the downward slide of the oil price.

The Aramco IPO is fundamental to Vision 2030, a reform plan developed and championed by Prince Mohammad which aims to diversify the Saudi economy away from oil. For the exchanges, the listing is a prestigious opportunity, as it is expected to boost trading volumes.

The Law Commission of India has asked for inputs from BCCI state associations regarding the issue of sports betting. The Supreme Court of India ordered the Law Commission to conduct such a study after it was recommended by the Lodha Committee in its report that sports betting be made legal in the country.

The Lodha Committee was constituted to address the issue of match fixing in cricket. The letters sent by Sanjay Singh, member secretary of the Law Commission requests all the state associations to share their opinions. In the letter, Singh has stated that the Commission would be examining both betting and gambling since they are intertwined.

Legalizing sports betting in India has remained a hotly debated topic ever since the match fixing scandal came to light in 2000. The Lodha Committee was set up in the aftermath of the shocking 2013 spot-fixing episode which took place in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Currently legalized betting is allowed in India only on horse racing. However cricket is the biggest sport in India and the underground betting industry on cricket is estimated to run into millions of dollars each year. The Lodha Committee noted in its report that many of the respondents who appeared before the committee had stated that legalizing betting would be beneficial both to the sport and to the economy.

The Lodha Committee has however detailed several mandatory safeguards for sports betting in the country. Some of the key mandates include strict monitoring of betting houses and transactions by regulatory watchdogs, voluntary disclosure of income and assets by players, administrators and others, licensing framework for bettors and finally penal action for those violating the rules.

BS Chauhan, the chairman of the Law Commission had stated in a media interview that the possibility of regulating betting using an enactment of a law instead of an outright ban was feasible. In this case, the states would regulate the activity and it would help in eliminating the underground gambling industry and also generated a significant amount of gaming tax revenue for the state governments.

However it is not a straight forward decision as some would like it to be. A BCCI official outlined some of his concerns and stated that the legalization of sports betting needed a great deal of groundwork to be done before a decision was made.

In a statement a BCCI official said

If you want to do it and make it successful, there is a lot to be done because it can't be half-baked. If you legalize betting, then who runs the betting houses? Will it be done by the government or will there be certain companies? Have you thought of a system where you need gambling de-addiction centres? There are not enough liquor de-addiction centres in India, forget betting.

All Blacks: Bledisloe Cup 2016The All Blacks had a surprise in the recent series against the British & Irish Lions when they were held to a draw after an epic third test resulted in a 15-15 scoreline. They are used to winning convincingly and will have a thing or two to prove to their doubters in the upcoming Bledisloe Cup.

They will take on the Wallabies in the first test which is scheduled to take place on Saturday, August 19.

The All Blacks have not lost the Bledisloe Cup since 2003 and have shown on three previous occasions that even if the Wallabies manage to win the first test, they can still bounce back and close out the series.

However this time around they will want to send a clear message to the Wallabies and the rest of the Rugby World that the draw against the British & Irish Lions was a one-off series and not because their skill level was declining.

All Blacks

There are some analysts who believe that the All Blacks have dropped in their skill levels and overall leadership with the retirement of former captain Richie McCaw and experienced heads like Ma’a Nonu. The All Blacks will also play the Bledisloe Cup without experienced winger Julian Savea who has been dropped due to poor form. Savea has played in 54 tests for the All Blacks and has scored 46 tries.

The All Blacks have been forced to introduce a lot of young blood into the squad and coach Steve Hansen believes it’s a good thing as it will give new players the chance to burst on the scene, gain valuable experience playing quality opposition and a chance to establish themselves in the squad. It will also give some of the older players the chance to step up and showcase their leadership abilities.

In a statement, coach Hansen said

There were some clear things learnt in the Lions series and this is a great chance for us to implement those; to continue to grow our skill execution and the mental side of our game, and develop our leadership and the leadership group

The first Test will take place in Sydney, Australia and after a week’s break, the two teams will play in Dunedin, New Zealand. The squad for the first two tests has been named and the All Blacks have named exciting winger Nehe Milner-Skudder who returns from injury.

When it comes to cricket, it is pretty normal for sides to win test series on home soil and lose on overseas tours. The one team that has defied that logic for a number of years has been South Africa, as they have proven on a consistent basis that they have what it takes to win in overseas conditions more often than not.

South African cricket is changing and not for the better as the Proteas suffered their first series defeat in England since 1998 after they lost the four match test series 1-3. What will concern South Africa is the manner in which they lost the three test matches as they did not put up much of a fight and looked very much like a South African A side. We take a look at the key reasons why South Africa performed so poorly in England.

South Africa played the first test without captain Faf Du Plessis who stayed at home for the birth of his first child and stand in captain Dean Elgar looked out of place in the first test which the Proteas lost. Faf Du Plessis returned for the second test and the Proteas won that comfortably.

England & Wales Cricket Board

Dale Steyn, the South African spearhead for over a decade missed yet another test series due to his recurring shoulder problems. Even if Steyn returns, it is highly unlikely that he will be able to bowl as fast as before.

There are some who believe that AB Devilliers has put himself before the country and skipped the test series against England because he wants to save himself and focus on T20 leagues around the world as it brings him more money. Devilliers is one of the best batsman in the world and his absence was sorely missed by the Proteas.

Vernon Philander was the man of the match in the second test and was expected to be a key player for South Africa. He suffered a stomach bug in the third test and was under bowled and missed the fourth test due to a stiff back. Captain Du Plessis wasn’t very impressed with Philander and has called him out in the media for being a senior player who does not play a full series due to poor fitness levels.

Faf Du Plessis is the captain of the side and expected to lead from the front. However he will be the first to admit that his performance with the bat has been below standards and that has seriously impacted South Africa’s middle order.

South Africa have to regroup pretty quickly as they have two tough home test series coming up against Australia and India.