4 Minutes Read
The fast-sifting sands of the Indian gaming industry saw several notable developments. In Goa, Congress party chief Girish Chodankar unleashed a fresh attack on the BJP-led government for not fulfilling the promise of banning casinos in the state. On the other hand, Discovery Group’s DSport television channel roped in real money fantasy sports platform MyTeam11 as the official broadcast co-presenting partner for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) T20 tournament.
In the U.S., stock-car racing firm National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) may introduce its own version of gambling on car races. Moving over to other news, French state gambling regulator ARJEL has released its reviews of authorized online gambling for 2018 and Q4 of the year and while the report underlines healthy growth figures, ARJEL has called for tax reforms to support the fragile online market.
BJP-Led Goa Government Not Fulfilling Promise of Banning Casinos, Says Goa Congress
Goa casinos have often been used as an election plank by the political parties of the coastal state. Now that Goa is on the edge of by-polls and Lok Sabha elections, the casino issue is back in the news. Addressing a press conference on Thursday, State Congress president Girish Chodankar made a scathing attack on the BJP. Chodankar charged the party in power of forgetting the promise it had made to the people of Goa, of shutting down all casinos.
The Manohar Parrikar-led government had, he charged, made tall promises during the 2012 state legislative assembly elections, that it would ensure that Goa is freed from the casino culture. However, since coming to power BJP has skirted away from the issue.
“If the government is willing to ban casinos, we (the party) will submit the Law Commission’s report to it. Let the government examine the report and ban the casinos,” Chodankar said, referring to the Law Commission report titled ‘Legal Framework, Gambling and Sports Betting Including in Cricket in India’ that was tabled before the Union government in July 2018.
He pointed out that the Law Commission had recommended a complete ban on unlawful betting and gambling.
Casinos are currently operating from vessels moored on River Mandovi and in the midst of huge public outcry on stated pollution in the area, and their location, Chief Minister Parrikarhad promised to chalk out relocation of casinos to a land-locked location. In January 2019, the government tabled its draft Tourism policy where it included provisions for shifting of the casinos, but without any provisions of allowing more operators to begin operations in the state.
The BJP government it seems has little choice but to remain silent on this issue and something tells us that casinos will continue to remain the hot topic of discussion in the state at least till the upcoming elections.
MyTeam11 to Co-Present Pakistan Super League
Jaipur-based real money fantasy sports platform MyTeam11 will be the official broadcast co-presenting partner for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) T20 tournament. According to the latest announcement by Discovery Group’s DSport television channel, the fourth season of the tournament will be hosted across six cities in UAE and Pakistan from February 14 – 17, 2019. While the tournament will be broadcast on DSport channel, MyTeam11 will co-present it.
CEO of MyTeam11, Sanjit Sihag said, “We are aiming at achieving international presence as a leading fantasy sports organization thus, the said collaborations. We believe our partnership with PSL can reap both the series and us, great results in terms of fan engagement.”
LexSportel is the channel management partner of DSport. Talking about this collaboration, Managing Director of LexSportel, MC Venkatesh said, “Fantasy sports is a necessity for any sport and league to grow as it’s a natural extension for the fans to stay engaged to their favourite sport even after the live action is over.”
“My Team11 with their recent associations has only showcased the growing interest and increasing fan engagement in fantasy cricket and hence it was but natural for us to get them on board as the broadcast partners for the Pakistan Super League,” he added.
MyTeam11 has been an active player in the largely concentrated fantasy sports market in India. The fantasy site has Virender Sehwag as it`s brand ambassador and the former international cricket is featured prominently is various TVC`s and mainstream ads by the company. Sports collaborations are not new for MyTeam11 that has earlier sponsored other sports leagues like the Bangalesh Premier League, Pro Volleyball Series and the India New Zealand T20 cricket series.
Welcoming My Team 11 onboard, Venkatesh added, “The league has a huge following in India and the fact that last year it was India’s second most watched T20 league is a testimony to its popularity. I am happy to welcome My Team 11 as our Broadcast Partners and I am confident that the Pakistan Super League will scale newer heights in viewership ratings.”
NASCAR to Introduce Live Betting
USA based stock-car racing company National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is exploring the option of introducing its own version of gambling on car races. NASCAR is primarily looking into the possibility of including a lottery-type game and live in-race action.
NASCAR took the first step in this direction when its parent company, SpeedWay Motorsports Inc. (SMI) struck a deal with EquiLottery Games. As part of their first joint project, a ‘quick pick’ lottery called Car Crash is in the works where gamblers will be able to choose three numbers in every live race to participate in the game. The Car Crash tickets will be priced at $5 and winning numbers will be based on event winners. Prizes up to $50,000 will be up for grabs.
Last month, the company had announced that it would be enforcing strict guidelines for sports wagers for its members, which includes team owners, crew members, drivers and NASCAR officials. All of them are prohibited from placing bets and NASCAR has high punitive structure in place, with fines ranging as high as $250,000.
NASCAR is yet to confirm which racetracks will offer Car Crash. Since the SMI owns racing tracks in Georgia, Kentucky, Nevada, North Carolina, California, New Hampshire, Tennessee and Texas, it is being expected that Car Crash will be made available at all these venues. Additionally GMI will be extending Car Crash in other U.S. states where NASCAR is popular.
In a country where car racing was traditionally big till more than a decade ago when the sport lost its popular fan base, NASCAR has been struggling to gain a wider foothold. Offering people a cocktail of car-racing with gambling could well revive interest in the sport.
ARJEL Supports Tax Reforms in France to Support Online Market
France’s gambling regulator ARJEL has lauded the fast strides of development that the country’s online gambling sector is taking, but has called for tax reforms to support the fragile online market.
On Wednesday, ARJEL released its review of authorized online gambling for the fourth financial quarter i.e. Q4 and the financial year 2018. The report underlines the continued growth of the country’s online offerings including poker, horseracing and sports betting. However, ARJEL has warned that the current success that the online gaming sector is undergoing will be temporary unless the proposed reforms for converting sports-betting tax base to gross gaming revenue (GGR) are approved.
According to the report, in the final three months of 2018, sports betting turnover in the country increased by 51% to reach €1.06 Billion – the highest revenue inflow posted since the country’s market was regulated in 2010. Betting revenue was up by 32% to €215 Million and the number of weekly active bettors have increased by 39%, to 546,000. On the whole, the betting turnover in France was up by 56% from 2017 to €3.9 Billion in 2018.
According to the ARJEL, this is the first time the annual inflow in betting exceeded the contributions of other verticals. However, the regulator has warned that though the market has posted high growth figures, it continues to remain fragile primarily due to an underperforming poker player liquidity convention and the large influx of bettors during the FIFA World Cup.