On the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA)
There are two new bills being considered that would take away the rights of states to regulate and tax internet gaming and i-lottery of any form. These bills are known as the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA), a misnomer since they do not "restore" anything. What they really do is re-write and change the Federal Wire Act of 1961. The Wire Act of 1961 prohibits the use of electronic transmission in the conduct of sports-betting. The U.S. Department of Justice has confirmed that the Wire Act is intended to apply to sports-betting and not to other forms of gambling, like internet gaming. That would seem to be self-evident since i-gaming and i-Lottery did even not exist in 1961.
The goal of these two bills is to re-write and extend the Wire Act to prohibit most forms of online gambling and Lottery. These new bills address the fact that transaction information is transmitted electronically in the operation of land-based lottery ticket terminals. There is language that appears to stipulate that these bills are not intended to interfere with the conduct of retail businesses transmitting information back to lottery operator and/or vendor servers. The bill introduced in the Senate by Lindsey Graham states:
"Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, shall be construed to alter, limit, or extend the ability of a State licensed lottery 15 (including in conjunction with its supplier) or State licensed retailer to make on-premises retail lottery sales, including through a self-service retail lottery terminal, or to transmit information ancillary to such sales (including information relating to subscriptions or fulfillment of game play), in accordance with applicable Federal and State laws;"
The bill introduced in the House of Representatives by Jason Chaffetz has wording similar to the above. Both bills would, though, prevent lotteries from selling even traditional lottery products online; and they include no “carve-out” for those states (Nevada, Michigan, Illinois, Delaware, Georgia, New Jersey) that have already legalized and regulate the online gaming and lottery industries. In other words, these bills would be disastrous for states and their right to regulate and tax the gambling and lottery industries.
Clock ticks on Pojoaque gambling
This could be a bellwether case. U.S. Tribes are required by federal law to have a “compact” or agreement with the state in order to operate. The Pojoaque Tribe wants to terminate the condition requiring them to share a portion of the revenue with the state. All other Tribal compacts in New Mexico have been extended to 2037, and include the provision for revenue-sharing. The current Pojoaque compact expired June 30. Will the federal government force a shut-down if the Pojoaque Tribe refuses to comply with the state’s terms for revenue-sharing?
Celebrated farewell to Austria Lotto CEO Friedrich Stickler
Best wishes to industry leader and friend to all, Friedrich Stickler. Mr Stickler leaves the Austrian Lotteries after 44 years, and the presidency of the European Lottery Association after six years, to embark on the mission of leading the Global Lottery Monitoring System for sports betting (GLMS). After years of development, the World Lottery Association (WLA) and the European Lotteries (EL) announce. The GLMS will provide member lotteries with extensive monitoring of the various betting markets offered by government-authorized lotteries and for-profit-only bookmakers. Commenting on the launch of the GLMS, Mr. Stickler, GLMS President, stated: “Monitoring constitutes a significant tool to detect fraud and manipulations and is a necessary step for the effective fight against match-fixing and I am confident that the GLMS will provide sport and society with a significant helping hand in keeping sport competitions safe and clean, taking the monitoring work onto a higher level. VIPs from politics, economy and culture came together to celebrate with Austria’s Mr. " Lotto ".
Everything you need to know about New Jersey’s pending high-stakes sports gambling ruling The industry is anxiously awaiting the ruling in the lawsuit in the U.S. Federal Court of Appeals “NCAA, et al v. Governor of New Jersey, et al”. It was expected in June and could come any day. A win for New Jersey could effectively legalize sports betting there and pave the way for legalization in other states. A win for sports leagues would preserve the ban on widespread sports betting outside of Nevada, Delaware, Oregon, and Montana in place since 1992.
Unlike the Supreme Court, which releases decisions before it recesses for the summer, federal appeals courts work year-round, and release decisions when they’re done. New Jersey lawmakers have been arguing for the years that the law (PASPA) that allows four states to offer sports betting and prohibits the other 46 states from offering sports betting is patently unconstitutional. Being blessed with a federally sponsored monopoly, Nevada enjoyed the benefit of having $3.9 billion being gambled on sports in 2014. Interesting side-bar that illustrates infighting between various interest groups can produce a result that nobody wants: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has come out in favor of sports betting but the NBA is a party to the suit to prevent New Jersey from offering sports betting. The reason is that Silver wants there to be a federal regulatory framework that governs sports betting in all the states. The problem with that, of course, is that gambling has always been regulated and taxed on a state-by-state basis. This article details the history of New Jersey’s battle to secure the right to legalize and regulate sports betting. This is a very important case but it likely will not mark the end to litigation over the right for states to legalize and regulate sports betting.
How Gamification ‘Taps into What Makes Us Human’
This is article is basically a sell for the book “The Gamification Toolkit: Dynamics, Mechanics, and Components for the Win”. It includes lots of great insights on the applications, and limitations, of Gamification principles. Some key take-aways:
Gamification is the science of using game design elements and techniques to motivate and engage people. It involves understanding psychology, design principles, and how data is leveraged to constantly improve the process. We’re engaged by games. We respond to some of these game elements not because it’s some cool new idea that someone came up with, but because it relates to our basic human drives — our motivation for mastery, our desire to be connected to something broader than ourselves, our desire to connect with others, our desire for achievement, etc. The idea is not difficult to grasp, but it is not so easy to implement. The techniques are powerful indeed, but how they are used and applied can be complicated. Clarifying the profiles of the population that you want to engage, defining the objectives, designing a systematic process and approach, integrating feedback loops to drive process enhancements, isolating and deploying the specific game elements, all require a serious understanding of the science and management of the project. The biggest pitfall in using gamification is thinking that all you have to do is drop in some game elements.
The adoption of gamification tools seems to comply with the cycles associated with the adoption of technological innovations. Lots of hype in the beginning (which was about four years ago for gamification). Consultants and practitioners apply the ideas and they fall short of expectations. Then a lull during which pundits pronounce the new innovation to be dead or at least over-hyped. Then the innovation is refined and improved and it starts to gain traction again as its benefits become more apparent. As more research is done, as more data becomes available, as ‘best practices’ are identified, the results become more predictable and the innovation becomes more actionable. Academia has struggled to find a place for this topic because it falls in between the borders of different fields (Marketing, computer science, organizational behavior, management, etc.). The “Gamification Toolkit” at least keeps this powerful idea on our radar where, I would submit, it certainly deserves to be.
Innovation does not always require strokes of visionary genius. In fact, this story illustrates how innovation is driven by an intelligent application of fundamental business practices. Like, we could ask ourselves how might we add value to our relationship with our retailers. To my mind, the key to what the Virginia Lottery did was to first ask that question without regard to how the answers will help us sell more lottery tickets. Then we circle back around to how to shape the answers to that question into win-win-win propositions that serve the Consumer, the Retailer, and the Lottery. The answer to that question in this case was that 7-Eleven wants to sell more food items. That answer led to a cross-promotional collaboration that benefits everyone. I know I should resist the impulse towards hyperbole, but I would submit that this Virginia Lottery initiative represents a major breakthrough; and points the way towards incredible opportunities to forge creative collaborations that could reshape the Lottery-Retailer relationship.
Slot machines have a challenge similar to Lottery. Young people brought up on highly engaging video games want something equally as fun and stimulating when they move into the games-of-chance world. By the middle of next year, we will begin to see a new generation of slot machines that combines elements of chance with skill. Regulations for new game-styles are being developed now. Marcus Prater, the Executive Director of the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers, states "I truly believe this is the dawn of a new era for games on the casino floor".
The ongoing saga of legislators introducing bills that federalize the regulation of gambling continues. The stories in this Morning Report are self-explanatory. Let’s just hope that state governors and attorneys general will take action to prevent this usurpation of states’ rights. It is hard to imagine how these shamelessly brazen attempts to manipulate federal regulatory policy to the advantage of special interest groups (and to the detriment of charitable causes supported by Lottery) could get any traction. But miscarriage of justice has happened before, it is happening now in Europe, and so it could happen in the U.S. if nobody stands up to stop it.
It is surprising the degree to which disinformation permeates the whole dialogue about internet gambling. A few weeks ago, there was a story about how the Senior Vice President of NACS (National Association of Convenience Stores) Government Relations Lyle Beckwith asserted that there is virtually no such thing as “intrastate gambling,” as it has become simple for anyone, anywhere – and any age – to play state lottery games. He writes, in part: “States looking to put their lotteries online, for example, want to pretend that this constitutes purely intrastate gambling activity, but they’re wrong. Unlike brick and mortar casinos and convenience stores that sell lottery tickets, the Internet is accessible any time, by anyone, from anywhere. Herein lies the real states’ rights problem. Say I’m in Hawaii, a state that does not allow any gambling. But all of a sudden, I can get online — apparently no matter how old I am — and play another state’s lottery from anywhere and everywhere within Hawaii. That means the state of Hawaii has lost its ability to control what gambling goes on within its borders and its citizens can gamble from home, work, the car and even church using their choice of computer, tablet or mobile phone. The rights of Hawaii and every other state in the country to limit the gambling that can be done within its borders are completely undermined by a single state offering online lottery sales.” It is shocking that such ignorance of the facts actually sees the light of day, much less becomes position statements for an organization like NACS. Nice touch, though, trying to scare people into thinking that i-gambling is about to invade the inside of our church. The trick of it is to state your position with such certitude. Gotta respect a student of that venerable Music Man, Professor Harold Hill.
The reality is literally the opposite of the scenario portrayed by Mr. Beckwith. “Prohibition” is actually just a lack of regulation. The story It’s A Fact: Online Gambling Regulation Shuts Out Offshore Sites explains why regulated jurisdictions do a much more effective job at preventing illegality than do unregulated markets where i-gambling is theoretically “prohibited”. It’s a little paradoxical, but illegal off-shore i-gambling websites target U.S. states that “prohibit” internet gambling, and they vacate regulated markets. Illegal gambling websites that were active in Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey, for instance, left those markets once these states implemented a structure to monitor and regulate the i-gambling industry. But they haven’t left the markets where i-gambling is “prohibited”. These illegal i-gambling operators are not deterred by “prohibition”, but they voluntarily leave jurisdictions where the industry is regulated. “Offshore sites have already shown a willingness to respectfully bow out of regulated states. It is time for new jurisdictions to take them up on that offer.”