Russia’s election interference should alarm every American: What you need to know — Quartz

With anti-establishment politics shaking governments across the west, US and European intelligence chiefs are newly raising the alarm about Russian cyber attacks and information warfare, saying they pose a threat to their democracies. In the US, the warnings have been met with a mix of outrage and outright dubiousness. While a bipartisan group of senators…

via Russia’s election interference should alarm every American: What you need to know — Quartz

Are the Feds Going to Regulate Daily Fantasy Sports on a Nationwide Basis…?

“States have traditionally handled regulation of gambling, supported by federal law in situations where an interstate of foreign element might otherwise frustrate the enforcement of state law,” posited the CRS report. “With respect to federal law, DFS may implicate at least four gambling-related statutes.”

See, espn Chalk Talk report by Ryan Rodenberg

By Mistake or By Design: Why Does DraftKings Technology Not Block Proxies To Keep DFS Users From Restricted US States?

Saturday, November 14th 2015Ian J. Imrich, Esq.

Experts in geolocation — the technique of determining a computer’s location — say that blocking proxies is one of the first, and most straightforward, steps that websites take to keep users from restricted areas off the sites.

DraftKings clearly states the importance of complying with the laws of certain US jurisdictions. But as reported by the New York Times (whose investigative journalists probed the matter), some question the sincerity of the site operator’s terms of use.

By stating in the “terms of service” that users in some regions are not allowed, while at the same time doing little to enforce the rule, online gambling companies around the world often try to have it both ways, said Feda Mecan, a senior official at Playing Legal, a site based in Germany that is devoted to legal gambling in the United States. “I think they are playing that card, to be honest,” Mr. Mecan said.

Then, according to a poker web forum the NYT has reported, a DraftKings employee appeared to provide public advice on how to circumvent geographic restrictions in the United States.

“It seems absurd that a daily fantasy sports operator with financial means would not implement the best possible technology,” Professor Marc Edelman of Baruch College said.

Whether by mistake or perhaps by design, the failure to timely, properly, and regularly employ readily available Geo-Blocking technology to comply with jurisdictional rules in certain States throughout the nation could prove disastrous in the ongoing investigations and pending legal proceedings against of one of the top two daily fantasy sports companies currently operating within the US.

Is The NFL Now Distancing Itself from Daily Fantasy Sports; and if so, Why Now…?

Friday, November 13th, 2015 – Ian J. Imrich, Esq. 

The fantasy sports gaming business in the US is almost entirely unregulated. That’s just the way the NFL has always wanted it — until now.

After NFL’s lobbying extensively in late 2006 to get a “carve-out” from the hastily passed Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) — a carve out that the US Department of Justice never supported (and if reports coming out are true) —  the NFL is now quickly attempting to distance itself from the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) industry.  See, e.g., NFL is reviewing the entire fantasy sports situation, reports the New York Post.

Why now? Well, here are just a few possible reasons that might help to explain the NFL’s Fall of 2015 back-tracking:

-Legal challenges to the nationwide sports betting ban in Federal Courts are pending and the NFL remains vehemently opposed to any sort of legalized sports wagering (while the NBA by contrast favors regulated sports betting);

-Two major NFL owners could be forced to sell their huge equity stakes within the DFS industry;

-NFL policy strictly prohibits NFL employees or team owners from participating in or facilitating any form of gambling  — yet the same prohibitions do not apply to unregulated DFS skill gaming;

Meanwhile, what have Bob Kraft, Jerry Jones, and one major DFS site operator said about these reports?  So far, The Cowboys, Patriots and DraftKings have declined comment.  Will await to see how long their silence is deafening…

Why is UK-Based Daily Fantasy Sports Site FanDuel Only Now Applying For A License in the UK …?

Los Angeles, CA — November 6, 2015

Endemic gaming blogs are now reporting and FanDuel itself has confirmed that it is now applying for a gambling license in the UK vis-a-vis fantasy sports gaming.  See, e.g.,

Why Now?  (Especially given the fact that FanDuel is — and has been for some time — a UK-based gaming company that has not ever previously offered its DFS services to customers / markets beyond the US and Canada) Because the US market has become increasingly cloudy on the legal and regulatory front – as simple as that.

While the US market for DFS has not and will not likely be entirely shut down, it is now abundantly clear that it’s going to be a potpourri of State-by-State regulations and with uncertainty as to ring-fenced intra-state gaming activity versus inter-state customer pooling and resulting liquidity via State to State compact, and all with the possibility of Federal Intervention lurking ominously in the background — currently during an election year in the US.
Of course, FanDuel could have made this move years ago.  The same could be said for its chief competitor Draft Kings.  But, as is the case in many an eCommerce industry (or brick and mortar for that matter), the threat of regulatory activity and possibility of legal enforcement often hastens the moves of companies who have yet to diversify, divest, and divulge.
Strategic business maneuvering is more art than science.   Here the creativity, while somewhat tardy, is still artistic.

Is the Lytle Gaming Scandal an indictment of the Wild Wild West approach to Cardrooms?

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A detailed OpEd penned by long-time gaming industry observer and veteran journalist Dave Palermo underscores California’s politically bifurcated system of regulating approximately 80 card rooms and of providing oversight for 59 tribal casinos and points out that such a system is highly dysfunctional, incapable of regulating what gambling is already legal in the state, let alone Internet poker. [Read more here:

That being said, Palermo’s piece additionally points out that Federal law gives tribal governments primacy to regulate their casinos, including those in California which many gaming experts have called the “best regulated casinos on the planet.” For example, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians in San Bernardino County has more regulators than the California Bureau, which has some 150 employees and a $28 million budget.

But at the same time, and given the bifurcated nature of gaming control and enforcement in California, Card rooms — which have evolved from poker-only to high-stakes versions of blackjack, pai gow and baccarat requiring the use of banking firms, are another matter entirely. Some gaming industry experts contend that California’s card clubs lack internal operating controls as well as adequate surveillance.

“It’s the wild, wild west,” said independent card-cheating consultant George Joseph said.

“Internal controls are nil,” agrees Vic Taucer, an independent table games consultant.

In commenting upon the 4-member Gambling Control Commission appointed by California Governor Jerry Brown (which Mr. Palermo notes is largely inexperienced in gambling matters and struggles in particular with regulating card rooms), Commissioner Richard Schuetz  said that it was the “worse regulated segment” of the nation’s gambling industry.

While lack of resources are always an issue for cash-strapped governments, the bureaucratic culture and separation of gambling controls into separate dysfunctional State agencies exacerbates the disconnection between regulatory bodies which do not routinely or systemically communicate or coordinate with each other.

But is that more an indictment of the divergent approach to CA gaming regulation and enforcement activity for different gaming industries?  Or does it really mean only certain gaming market sectors are more prone to issues than others?

And what impact might this all have on California’s efforts to regulate online poker?  [See, e.g., Dave Palermo’s Blog at —
Additionally, the investigation by AG Kamala Harris  in the Lytle matter raises further questions about who may opine and rule upon the allegations made by the AG in her administrative complaint:  namely, is the fox watchting the hen house?

On that score, Palermo has augmented his investigative reporting to point out in another blog piece that the California gambling regulatory officials who will rule on the licensing of a former casino enforcement chief accused of jeopardizing a $119 million card room skimming investigation may themselves be faced with conflicts of interests, industry legal experts said.

Both Richard Lopes, chairman of the California Gambling Control Commission, and Tina Littleton, the commission’s executive director, have personal and professional relationships with persons connected to a licensing investigation by Attorney General Kamala Harris.  [See, Palermo Blog at —–+Victor+Rocha%26%2338%3B%2339%3Bs+Daily+News+Digest%5D

This story sounds more like one authored by John Grisham about the fictional law firm of Lytle, Lopes & Littleton as the details about the alleged conflicts of interest raised by AG Kamala Harris unfold.
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Stay tuned…!