Paul’s Blog April 23, 2018

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The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be.  CLICK HERE TO READ        Douglas Adams

We have just posted the fabulous articles and interviews from the March/April issue of PGRI Magazine, as well as a pdf of the magazine itself.  Also posted to our video website PGRItalks.com are the video-recordings of the presentations and panel discussions from PGRI SMART-Tech Miami. 

Sports-betting, profit-sharing, and the claim of “irreparable harm”: There is an article “Tossing Out the Supreme Court Sports Betting Case: Does ‘Mootness’ Doctrine Apply?” that brings our attention to the overture from the in-house lawyer for Major League Baseball (MLB) to open discussions about how the MLB might share in the profits of sports-betting.  The article observes the interesting legal conundrum that this MLB profit-grab poses.  After all, the MLB, along with other major sports franchises, is suing NJ to stop NJ from offering sports-betting, contending that this would cause “irreparable harm” to sports.  The U.S. Supreme Court has heard the arguments and is now deciding and will hopefully render a ruling within the next month or two.  This is not the only instance of the big sports franchises contending they are entitled to share in the profits generated by sports-betting operators.  This raises the obvious question:  To what degree is the “irreparable harm” caused to sports mitigated by the profit that the sports franchises might gain as a result of legalizing and regulating sports-betting?  More specifically: isn’t the fact that Plaintiffs’ position is dependent upon the degree to which they can profit testament to the lack of merit of the claim of “irreparable damages”?   Presumably and hopefully the major sports franchises will not succeed in forcing legislation that a profit-sharing agreement be imposed on operators of sports-betting.

Blockchain to revolutionize online gambling by circumventing the entire merchant banking system
:  Similarly, Blockchain (a technology) combined with cryptocurrencies (an asset class) has the potential to provide the platform for online gambling that is off-the-grid, i.e. difficult to regulate and tax.  If Blockchain/Cryptocurrency-based online gambling gains traction, will shapers of public policy feel compelled to regulate and tax this new operator model?  What are the implications for existing games-of-chance categories?

New York is streamlining the application process for Charitable Games, making it easier to expedite approval for Charitable Games.  Charitable Games have been viewed as small local games that pose no threat to large incumbents like state/government lotteries.  That’s what they thought in the UK until the Health Lottery created a consortium of small local games and turned them into a large nation-wide franchise.  As this model is replicated in other markets in Europe, do lawmakers need to revisit the regulatory laws to ensure that “Charitable Gaming” comports with the original intent of the laws that allowed them to operate – i.e. small local games as opposed to large-scale enterprises that compete with state lotteries? 

Until now, Amazon has kept secret the membership numbers and other metrics of success.
  Presumably, they did not want to alert their competition to the degree of their progress towards market dominance.  Well, it now appears that they no longer worry about anyone ever catching up to them, announcing that Amazon Prime’s 100 million (and counting) worldwide members shipped more than 5 billion products with the service in 2017.  Next front, attack on brand equity? 

Can data science save social media?
  On the one hand, we all talk about the importance of “data” and “knowing your customer”.  On the other, media companies (Facebook in particular) are under severe attach for it’s failure to protect personal information.  Facebook’s business model depends on its ability to mine and then leverage data to enable advertisers to connect with the most responsive audience. But consumers need to have the privacy of their personal information respected.  There is a solution to this conundrum.  “Data science” promises to enable the segmentation of markets into buckets of consumer behavioral types without compromising the confidentiality of private information.  Not a new idea, but this article explains why it is more important than ever, and how the science is being applied to online marketing and how to move it will deliver immense value to marketers. 

Online gambling comprises over half of the Danish games-of-chance market.
  Important article with lots of data-points about the revenues generated by the different game categories in one of the most liberalized gambling markets.  Interestingly, Lottery has maintained its status as the largest game category, and revenues have remained consistent, i.e. that have not declined despite intense competition.