Pennsylvania online and retail sportsbooks posted a record handle of more than $342.6 million in December to cap a year that generated $1.5 billion in wagers, including $1.1 billion in online bets.
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GAN plc announced the appointment of Karen Flores as chief financial officer, effective immediately.
Super Bowl LIV: Bettors Pounce on Kansas City as a Slight Favorite Over San Francisco in Early Wagering
Super Bowl LIV is now set. In two weeks, the Kansas City Chiefs will face off against the San Francisco 49ers to determine who will win the NFL championship this season. And this year, we didn’t even have to wait for the end of both games to find out who – if anyone – was the early favorite.
Once the 49ers showed they were firmly in control of the NFC Championship and dominating the Green Bay Packers, oddsmakers wasted little time getting their initial lines out. By 8:14 pm ET, more than an hour before San Francisco received the George Halas Trophy, the Westgate SuperBook had its initial line out. They made the Chiefs and Niners a pick’em with the total points at 52.
“In the first 15 minutes of #SBLIV betting, 68% of the tickets are on the #Chiefs,” tweeted Jay Kornegay, the SuperBook’s vice president of race and sports, a few minutes later.
An hour later, the Chiefs moved to a 1-point favorite at the SuperBook. Two hours later, the total had climbed to 53.5.
William Hill released its initial line shortly after 8:30 pm ET, also as a pick’em. The book set the total at 51.5. Within the first 30 minutes, two-thirds of the bets and 87 percent of the handle were on Kansas City.
At DraftKings and FanDuel, the Chiefs started out as 1.5-point favorites. DraftKings had the total at 53, while FanDuel went a half-point lower.
Super Bowl Features Strength vs. Strength
When the two teams meet at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Feb. 2, it will be a Super Bowl matchup of two of the top scoring offenses in the NFL this season.
Both teams also feature stingy defenses, as both the Chiefs and Niners averaged giving up less than 20 points per game. However, Kansas City’s defense averaged giving up nearly 70 more yards per game than San Francisco, which ranked second in the NFL with 281.8 yards per game.
Kansas City was also susceptible to the run, giving up 2,051 yards on the ground. That ranked 26th in the league. But the Chiefs sure didn’t look like that on Sunday when they held Tennessee running back and league rushing champion Derrick Henry to just 69 yards on 19 carries – that came after he ran for 377 yards to lead the Titans to upsets of both New England and Baltimore in the previous two weeks.
‘Cause we’re the best defense in the world right now,” a confident Frank Clark, a defensive end, told the NFL Network on Sunday. “They come in here, they say they’re gonna run the ball. I know exactly what they were gonna do, you watching that film, you know what they’re going to do.”
Thanks to their prolific offense powered by quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs overcame deficits of 24-0 and 10-0 in this year’s playoff games to make their first Super Bowl in a half century. However, the 49ers may have the defense, led by rookie lineman Nick Bosa and veteran cornerback Richard Sherman, that can neutralize the Chiefs attack.
San Francisco had the league’s best pass defense, allowing just 2,707 yards through the air. Despite missing two regular-season games with a dislocated kneecap, Kansas City’s Mahomes still finished 10th in the NFL with 4,031 passing yards.
While both teams had strong regular seasons and earned byes in the NFL Playoffs, oddsmakers only expected Kansas City to make it this far.
Last January, William Hill listed the Chiefs at +700 to win the NFL title. In the regular season, those odds became as short as +400 in late September before they ballooned to +1500 after Mahomes suffered his knee injury. By the end of the regular season, Kansas City was back to +450.
San Francisco, which went just 4-12 in 2018, started off at +3000 at William Hill a year ago. In August, those odds grew to +4000. By the end of the regular season, though, the 49ers became the second choice at +300.
The post Super Bowl LIV: Bettors Pounce on Kansas City as a Slight Favorite Over San Francisco in Early Wagering appeared first on Casino.org.
The group representing horsemen across the United States renewed its opposition last week to federal legislation that would nationalize horse racing regulations.
In a video posted on social media, the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) reiterated it opposes efforts to ban race-day medications for horses as well as an initiative that would create a private, independent panel to oversee drug testing on thoroughbreds, standardbreds, and quarter horses nationwide.
Those are the main tenets of the Horseracing Integrity Act, bipartisan legislation sponsored by US Reps. Paul Tonko (D-New York) and Andy Barr (R-Kentucky) in the House and US Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) and Martha McSally in the Senate.
Folks, we have uniformity,” National HBPA CEO Eric Hamelback said. “There’s a myth that every racing jurisdiction is different. That’s simply not true.”
The association also takes aim at other racing stakeholder groups that have joined the effort to pass the legislation in Congress.
Hamelback added that the use of Lasix on race days actually controls bleeding in horses and prevents injuries. That runs counter to animal rights groups and others who say the drug, which is banned outside of North America, helps mask other medications given to the horse.
Bill, Reforms Gaining Stakeholder Support
Support for the Horseracing Integrity Act has gained traction over the past year thanks in large part to the number of thoroughbreds that died at Santa Anita, one of the more prestigious tracks in the US.
Since December 2018, 42 horses have died at the track – including three over the weekend since the HBPA released its video.
The Stronach Group, the company that owns Santa Anita, has joined forces with Churchill Downs Inc., the New York Racing Association and other major track owners and operators to create the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition. The group seeks to push reforms regarding medication rules, the use of riding crops, and the tracking of veterinary records.
In wake of the deaths at Santa Anita, The Stronach Group has already begun implementing some safety measures, and some states have already passed regulations to ban race-day Lasix applications for all 2-year-old horses starting this year. Restrictions for older horses in stakes races would start next year.
Other stakeholders, including the Humane Society of the United States, the Breeders’ Cup, The Jockey Club, and the Meadowlands Racetrack, have formed the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity (CHRI), which supports the Horseracing Integrity Act.
Marty Irby, the executive director for CHRI-member Animal Wellness Action, told Casino.org that Congress has lost its patience and ready to act. Already the House bill has more than enough sponsors to secure its passage in that Chamber.
“The American people will not continue to tolerate the deaths and abuse that comes with doping, in our modern day society,” Irby said. “The obstructionists in the industry like Hamelback should take a good look in the mirror and ask themselves if they want to be remembered for cruelty to animals and bringing an end to American horseracing; or for saving horse lives, and bringing integrity back to the sport. If horseracing ceases to exist, they will only be able to blame themselves.”
California Board Meeting This Week
After not having a fatality since New Year’s Day, the Southern California track endured one of its worst weekends since the rash of fatalities began. Two geldings were put down after sustaining injuries in races on Friday and Saturday, and according to animal welfare advocates PETA, another horse died while training Sunday.
The organization called on the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) to use its authority to suspend racing.
The CHRB will meet on Wednesday in Sacramento, and while Santa Anita itself is not on the agenda, several safety reform measures are on the docket.
In addition, the board discussed at its Nov. 21 the state law giving it the power to suspend racing during a meet. The CHRB unanimously approved a motion for a 45-day public comment period as a first step for it to permanently adopt the state law as part of its rules.
The post National Horsemens Group Speaks Out Against Proposed Drug Reforms for Racing appeared first on Casino.org.
Conor McGregor made quick work of Donald Cerrone in UFC 246, but would be an underdog in a potential rematch against current lightweight title holder Khabib Nurmagomedov.
McGregor was a heavy favorite in Saturday night’s contest. The Irishman closed at -335, a $100 bet netting $29.85. In just 40 seconds, McGregor TKO’d Cerrone to win in the first round.
The 31-year-old is now 22-4 in his mixed martial arts career. McGregor is seeking redemption for one of those losses, but oddsmakers don’t believe it would end in his favor, should the UFC and Nurmagomedov agree to a rematch.
It took little time following McGregor’s win against Cerrone for his next desired opponent to be revealed. Though Conor didn’t specifically name Khabib, saying only “I don’t think the ‘who’ matters,” UFC President Dana White did.
“Khabib is the fight to make. We’re looking at Hagler-Hearns. We’re looking at like Ali-Foreman, Ali-Frazier,” White said of the hypothetical fight.
This is a massive fight with global appeal. It’s the fight you make, it’s the fight that makes sense. It’s for the 155-pound title,” the UFC boss added.
So, who would win? Early odds on the potential clash have Khabib heavily favored at -370. That’s implied odds of 78.72 percent, a $100 bet netting just $27.03.
Meanwhile, McGregor is at +285, which is an implied chance of 25.97 percent. A $100 bet would win $285.
McGregor did say that if a Khabib rematch is scheduled, it will be quite personal, and camaraderie might be shown the door.
“It’s got very personal with that man and his team,” McGregor stated. “Look, it is what it is. I make no promises. I am who I am, and it is what is.”
McGregor vs. Nurmagomedov certainly isn’t a done deal, and oddsmakers are taking bets on who Conor will actually fight next. And, unfortunately for those who want to see the star-studded fight against Khabib, it’s Jorge Masvidal who is the frontrunner.
McGregor Next Opponent Odds
- Masvidal -200
- Nurmagomedov +300
- Gaethje +600
- Usman +900
- Diaz +1000
- Mayweather +1200
- Ferguson +1400
The 35-year-old Masvidal competes in the welterweight division (156 to 170 pounds). He’s 35-13 in his MMA career, and holds the record for the fastest knockout in UFC history at five seconds.
Masvidal has never fought McGregor, but does also have a win against Cerrone. He’s on a three-fight winning streak, his wins coming against Darren Till, Ben Askren, and Nate Diaz.
There’s also a chance that McGregor will again exit the Octagon and step into the boxing ring for a rematch with Floyd Mayweather. “I’d like to rematch Floyd,” McGregor said before the Cerrone fight. “I think we should rematch Floyd.”
In their first fight, which Mayweather won in the 10th round by TKO, McGregor was a substantial underdog at +375. Floyd was favored at -550.
There’s also rumblings that McGregor could box Manny Pacquiao. As for that hypothetical, McGregor is a severe underdog at +900. Manny would be the heavy favorite at -800.
The post Conor McGregor Underdog in Potential Khabib Nurmagomedov Rematch appeared first on Casino.org.
A 69-year-old casino player — tailed by an alleged bandit while inside Rhode Island’s Twin River Casino — was later robbed at knifepoint Saturday night while in his car, according to police reports. A suspect was arrested a short time later and was being held without bail this weekend.
The suspect got hold of the wallet and scooped out an undisclosed amount of cash. He then tossed the wallet back at the man, who remained in the driver’s seat.
Cash, Cell Phone Robbed
The victim’s cell phone and glasses were also stolen. The suspect additionally searched the victim’s clothes before fleeing into the casino. He later drove away in a gray Toyota with Massachusetts license plates that had been parked in another lot, WJAR reported, based on police reports.
Lincoln Police Captain Philip Gould said police were notified about the hold-up shortly before 6:30 p.m.
Police said they were able to trace the suspect’s identity by photos and video, allegedly of the victim and the car, supplied by casino security.
Police identified the robber as Anthony McClain, 30. The car was registered to an address in Massachusetts. But when police checked, there was also a connection to a residence in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
Pawtucket police located the car and said McClain was allegedly near the auto when they arrived. Police claim he was wearing the same clothing as the robbery suspect.
Police added McClain had a knife when he was apprehended. McClain allegedly had been following the 69-year-old through Twin River earlier on Saturday, the Providence Journal reported.
He was charged with first-degree robbery. He was arraigned in Rhode Island court and on Sunday was being held without bail at the Adult Correctional Institution in Cranston.
If convicted, he could face between 10 years and life in prison. He could also be ordered to pay up to $15,000 in fines.
Twin River Robber Sentenced in December
In December, a Boston man was sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty to robbing a woman in a parking lot at Twin River Casino. Anthony Harris, 27, pleaded guilty to a single count of first-degree robbery.
He allegedly stole a purse from the woman as she walked back to her car, according to the Providence Journal.
Superior Court Justice Luis M. Matos sentenced Harris to prison for just six of 12 years. For the other six years, he was given probation, The Journal said.
The judge also ordered Harris not to contact the victim. He must also pay $590 in restitution to the woman, The Journal added.
Last month, a former Twin River Casino executive was named in a Rhode Island grand jury indictment for his alleged involvement in a kickback scheme with a casino vendor.
Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha (D) alleged that Michael Barlow used his position as vice president of food and beverage at Twin River to orchestrate a kickback deal with casino vendor Yehuda Amar.
Barlow was charged with 12 counts, including accepting a bribe, obtaining property under false pretenses, and casino gaming crimes.
Amar was charged with 21 counts, including bribery, obtaining property under false pretenses, conspiracy to obtain property under false pretenses, and failures to file corporate and personal income tax returns.
Amar’s business associate, Jill Feldman, was additionally charged with six counts relating to tax crimes.
Elsewhere, last month a Pennsylvania man was arrested for allegedly abducting an 84-year-old woman from the Wind Creek Bethlehem casino garage and later robbing and repeatedly striking her.
Hykeem Rasmeen Sessoms, 38, of Bethlehem, was charged with kidnapping, robbery, threat of serious bodily injury, terroristic threats, theft, receiving stolen property and simple assault, the local prosecutor’s office confirmed.
The post Elderly Man Allegedly Stalked, Robbed at Lincoln, Rhode Island’s Twin River Casino appeared first on Casino.org.
Maltese Police Chief Went to EPL Soccer Game with Casino Owner Charged with Murder of Journalist Galizia
The Maltese police chief in charge of the murder investigation for journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has resigned over criticism of his handling of the case. Now it has emerged that his former assistant once attended an EPL soccer game in London with the accused.
Business tycoon Yorgen Fenech is Malta’s wealthiest casino owner. But he is also a defendant in a murder trial that ignited a political crisis in the online gambling hub and brought down the country’s former prime minister, Joseph Muscat.
Fenech is accused of ordering the 2017 car-bomb assassination of Caruana Galizia, an investigative journalist who devoted her career to exposing corruption among Malta’s elite.
Muscat resigned January 12 amid demonstrations in the country’s capital, Valletta, after his chief of staff, Keith Schembri, was implicated by Fenech and an alleged middleman in the plot. Schembri has not been charged with a crime.
Stamford Bridge Junket
Now, The Sunday Times of Malta reports that former deputy police chief Silvio Valletta traveled with Fenech to the Stamford Bridge stadium in London on September 29, 2018. They were there to watch Liverpool play Chelsea. At the time, Fenech had already been identified as a person of interest in the case.
Valletta admitted to the Times that he made the trip with Fenech. But he insisted he had paid the fare himself and he had been removed from the investigation three months earlier by a court order.
Caruana Galizia’s family had long challenged Valletta’s participation in the investigation because of his marriage to Justine Caruana, minister for Malta’s second-largest island, Gozo.
Since Caruana Galzia had repeatedly denounced corruption at the highest levels of government, this represented a conflict of interest, the family argued.
Rule of Law, Faith Shaken
On Friday, Malta’s Muscat-appointed police commissioner, Lawrence Cutajar, was removed from the case by the country’s new prime minister, Robert Abela.
Abela, who took office last week, has promised to strengthen the rule of law in the country and public faith in it, which has been sorely tested by the scandal.
Cutajar had been criticized for not doing enough to investigate Fenech’s links to Schembri and other government ministers.
Four years ago, Caruana Galizia discovered through the “Panama Papers” data dump that Schembri and another senior government member, Konrad Mizzi, were the beneficiaries of secretive offshore shell companies.
She was also looking into a mysterious company called 17 Black, which Reuters discovered after her death had been due to make a $2 million payment into Schembri’s and Mizzi’s Panama-based companies in 2015.
Reuters also discovered the owner of 17 Black was Yorgen Fenech.
Fenech, who is one of Malta’s richest men, was arrested on November 20 while trying to flee the country on his private yacht. That came a day after he had been named “the mastermind” of the plot by alleged middleman Melvin Theuma, who received a pardon for his testimony.
Police have also charged three men with detonating the the car bomb that killed Caruana Galizia on October 16, 2017.
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