5 Minutes Read
While the live and online felts on both the domestic and international circuits have been abuzz with exciting action, the legal and business end of the spectrum has also been developing at a brisk pace.
India’s largest fantasy sports website Dream11 has recently partnered with the International Cricket Council (ICC) in an exclusive 5-year deal which entails the creation of cricket-based fantasy sports games for all upcoming ICC events.
In the meantime, China’s attempts to downplay the allegations of lottery administrators embezzling close to $20 Billion from lottery proceeds faced a massive backlash on social media.
Back in the U.S., the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma’s Choctaw Casino & Resort has announced its decision to expand by including additional gaming space, hotel rooms, parking garage among other things.
Nevertheless, joining the sports betting legalization bandwagon, the American state of Rhode Island is gearing up to enter the market by the end of November.
Just two months after raising the biggest business investment to date from a foreign firm in the Indian gaming space, Dream11, that received a record-breaking US$100 Million (₹719 Crores) infusion from Chinese social media and gaming conglomerate Tencent Holdings, has now announced a partnership with the International Cricket Council (ICC) for an exclusive 5-year deal.
Under the partnership, Dream11 will be responsible to create fantasy sports games for all ICC events in the next five years, including the Champions Trophy and the ICC Cricket World Cups in both 50/50 and 20/20 over formats along with test matches. The company has already kicked off the promotions for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup as its official fantasy partner. Dream11 will also be integrated across all branding and marketing collateral of ICC events.
Harsh Jain, CEO of Dream11 spoke to The Economic Times about the latest partnership saying, “The ICC Dream11 partnership will provide the best, most trusted fantasy cricket experience to billions of fans globally.”
Former cricketer and current CEO of ICC, David Richardson stated, “The ICC is delighted to welcome Dream11 on board to deliver a fantasy cricket platform for cricket’s one billion plus fans across all ICC events. Giving fans the opportunity to enjoy our sport in more ways, by playing fantasy cricket throughout the tournament or for individual games, is important to us.”
In March this year, Dream11 had signed two-time Cricket World Cup-winning wicket-keeper captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni as its brand ambassador.
Even with the Chinese government’s attempts to cover up the true extent of the damage caused, social media has been buzzing with rumors that lottery administrators have embezzled nearly $20 Billion from lottery proceeds in the country.
The South China Morning Post reported on November 13 that, “the frantic efforts by Beijing authorities to refute social media chatter that around RMB136 Billion (US$19.5 Billion) had been embezzled by corrupt lottery administrators. A popular meme blames this corruption for the inability of the average citizen to win a sizable lottery prize.”
A meme has been circulating on social media that has its origins in a video that was recently broadcast on state television in which four former high-ranking welfare lottery officials confessed to “systematic corruption in the lottery field.” The officials included Wang Suying, the former director of the China Welfare Lottery Issuance Management Center, who was accused of “serious violations of Party discipline” in September.
The internet backlash escalated quickly and has convinced social media users that the corruption goes beyond the top echelons. This view was echoed by a Ministry of Civil Affairs official, who commented that “if only several fish die in a river, it’s probably the fish’s problem, but if all the fish die in this river, it must be caused by the water.”
The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma’s Choctaw Casino & Resort in Durant will expand its resort with additional gaming space, hotel rooms, parking garage, more options for food and beverage, retail, conference center, entertainment options, and a brand-new pool with a lazy river.
It is expected that the project will take roughly 2 years to complete and construction is expected to start in the spring of next year. This is the tribe’s fourth expansion project at the casino complex since it’s opening in 2006 and will help generate 1,000 new jobs.
Speaking about the brand-new plans of expansion, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Chief Gary Batton stated, “More than 30 years ago our tribe had the vision to begin this expedition by purchasing the 50 acres that the resort resides on today. The property was the starting point for many wonderful things to come for our tribe. We are elated to continue to grow with our community and improve the lives of our tribal and community members. This expansion will help the local economy and meet the demands of our growing customer base.”
Currently, the casino is equipped with 4,000 slot machines, 60 tables games, and nearly 800 hotel rooms. In addition to the casino, the property features two pools, six hot tubs, fitness center, a spa and 20,000 square feet of event space.
The dismissal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 by the U.S. Supreme Court has brought about a new era of progress for the country’s gambling industry. Joining the ever-growing list of states to legalize sports betting is Rhode Island.
The Boston Globe recently reported that, “the state’s two casinos will begin taking wagers as early as Thanksgiving weekend. Gamblers won’t be allowed to place bets from their computers or phones until next year, but they will be able to walk up to a betting window at one of the properties.”
Additionally, the Twin River Casino and Tiverton Casino Hotel will also launch sports betting by the end of November, with the Twin River also opening a sports betting lounge in December, along with a burger bar and enough screens to show all of the live action.
Head of operations for Twin River, Mike Barlow said, “I see folks from Connecticut, from Massachusetts all coming. New Hampshire. Why not? We’re the only game in town.”
Sports gambling is expected to bring in an additional $23.5 Million in tax revenue for Rhode Island by next summer, although that number could change depending on when nearby Connecticut and Massachusetts decide to step foot in the sport betting market.