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PASPA – Five years on – did any initial predictions come true or not?

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PASPA – Five years on - did any initial predictions come true or not?

 

With the fifth anniversary of the PASPA repeal on May 14th, we caught up with Compliable’s Chief Regulatory Officer, Justin Stempeck, who examines what was predicted in May 2018 and how accurate those initial guesses have proved to be.

“National regulation on sports betting”

When PASPA was overturned, the Supreme Court explicitly placed the power to regulate gaming in the hands of the states. It would be extraordinarily unlikely for our highest court to conclude that betting is not a federal issue, then have legislators introduce another national law, yet there were calls for this strategy from numerous stakeholders in 2018.

While the different approaches of each state were less than ideal, the industry was able to adapt and continue to advance in each new jurisdiction that has legalized.

Despite the ‘patchwork quilt’ aspect of regulation there are far more commonalities than differences. Regulators have made some efforts to avoid reinventing the wheel, but it would be great to see wider momentum. As a former regulator, I understand that each state has its own unique pressures and competing interests to juggle, but ultimately, a push towards uniformity will be a success for everyone in the absence of national regulation of the sector.

“National Collegiate Athletic Association’s sports integrity concerns”

Betting on collegiate sports has always occurred but it took place offshore and in illegal markets before the repeal of PASPA. The expansion of sports betting includes official regulation, taxation and supervision of the activity, which can only be a good thing. A number of regulated entities are now actively ensuring there are no discrepancies in game performance and there is a vested interest in guaranteeing that everything is above board. With some states today allowing betting on collegiate sports, people have become more comfortable with the idea.

The NCAA continues to officially oppose sports betting, yet appointed former Massachusetts governor, Charlie Baker as its president this past March. Notably, Governor Baker was a proponent of legalized sports betting in Massachusetts and ultimately signed it into law.  The combination of a sports betting friendly president and a lack of major integrity scandals since legalization may shift their official stance in the future.

“Increased risk of match-fixing”

As of yet, there have been no high-profile match-fixing scandals despite the existential threat and this is in large a testament to the leagues’ enforcement of its own integrity as well as the plethora of third-party monitoring services now available.

A match-fixing scandal would have a significant impact on the industry as a lot of bettors would likely be lost due to a lack of trust. With sports, the thrill and excitement lie in the possibility that anything can happen and underdogs can become winners, if that narrative is shown to be fiction, the reputational damage would be sizeable. The ripple effect of such an event would carry on for years as critics of sports betting could use a match-fixing scandal to argue against legalization.

“Responsible Gambling – a negative impact”

The expansion of betting and gaming is naturally going to lead to an increase in problem gaming. There is still a lot of data to collect and synthesize, particularly given that many regulated jurisdictions have only been up and running between one and three years.

Operators have started to take a focused view of responsible gaming and have dedicated internal teams, as well as funding research. Failure here is another existential threat to the industry and a big scandal could do a huge amount of damage to a nascent industry.

I see responsible gambling being a cutting-edge issue as it is so critically important so it will only become more and more relevant moving forward.

“32 states to enact sports-gambling legislation by the end of 2023”

This was a very accurate prediction as gambling is now legal in 35 states. Expansion has slowed down a bit compared with the great momentum we saw between 2018-2020, but we will see additional states roll out legislation in the short term. Some states will never legalize of course, but eventually, we will have 80-90% of the US allowing sports betting.

California, Texas and Florida are the three remaining big states that everyone is now eagerly waiting for, offering huge potential due to their respective market size.

“International betting operators prohibited free access to the US”

No rules or regulations have been implemented to specifically keep out remote operators or benefit local ones except those operating in black or grey markets. The US has been an open market for operators from Europe, but I have spoken to many companies who are finding the different rules across the regulated states extremely confusing and resource draining. The US is the equivalent of 50 countries and there is very little federal law that applies to gambling, making it difficult to operate if you are not a company with a dedicated compliance team or efficient tools to fill that need.

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Mohegan Appoints Joseph J. Hasson as Interim COO

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Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, known globally for its renowned integrated entertainment resorts, has appointed Joseph J. Hasson as interim Chief Operating Officer. Jody Madigan, the current COO, has resigned effective August 1, 2024, and will be taking a leave of absence pending his departure.

Joseph J. Hasson will serve as interim COO and retain his current role as General Manager of Mohegan Casino at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, subject to necessary regulatory filings or approvals. Mr. Hasson was an obvious choice for the Management Board, given his prior experience as the former Chief Operating Officer of Station Casinos LLC and Red Rock Resorts Inc. Joe brings considerable expertise to the executive team with a consistent track record of operating excellence and success over more than 40 years’ experience in the gaming and hospitality industry. Mr. Hasson will report to Ray Pineault, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mohegan.

“Joseph J. Hasson’s deep understanding of the gaming and hospitality industry makes him exceptionally qualified to maintain our high service and operational excellence standards. We are confident that Joe’s extensive experience and proven leadership will ensure continuity in our operations and guest experience,” Ray Pineault, President and CEO of Mohegan, said.

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Jennifer Shatley Joins ROGA as Executive Director

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Jennifer Shatley, a recognized expert in the field and a highly sought speaker and advisor, has joined the Responsible Online Gaming Association (ROGA) as Executive Director.

Shatley has had 25+ years worth of experience, working closely with the treatment community, academics, researchers, government bodies, state councils, and gaming industry representatives to promote responsible gaming.

“Many of America’s largest legal mobile gaming operators will be establishing a framework that helps to aid in responsible gaming education and awareness. By coming together with a clear set of objectives, ROGA and our members will work to enhance consumer protections and help provide easier and more efficient access to responsible gaming tools for consumers to enjoy the entertainment of online gaming,” Shatley said.

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Rush Street Interactive Appoints Brian Sapp as Chief Marketing Officer

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Rush Street Interactive Inc. announced the appointment of Brian Sapp to the newly-created role of Chief Marketing Officer.

In his role as CMO, Brian brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record in leading data-driven marketing and live operations within the mobile industry and joins the Company’s executive leadership team reporting directly to Richard Schwartz, Chief Executive Officer.

“As we continue to grow and expand across the Americas, a marketing leader with Brian’s unique blend of gaming and mobile experience, strategic insight, and creativity will be additive to the team as we shape the future of our brand and continue to innovate our customer first experience. We are thrilled to welcome him aboard to lead our marketing strategy, team, and operations,” said Richard Schwartz.

As RSI’s growth continues to accelerate, Mattias Stetz, the company’s Chief Operations Officer who previously led the marketing team, has deepened his focus on scaling operations and increasing Latin American growth.

Brian Sapp said: “I am thrilled to join Rush Street Interactive at a time when the company has such strong momentum. RSI’s customer first focus really resonated with me as a marketer who understands what it takes to succeed in a competitive mobile landscape. I look forward to leveraging my experience and expertise to drive forward our marketing initiatives during RSI’s next phase of growth and deliver exceptional experiences to our customers.”

Prior to joining Rush Street Interactive, Brian served on the Executive Team at Rec Room, overseeing several functions, including media buying, product marketing, creative, social, and first-party revenue, where he played a pivotal role in driving the company’s growth strategies and user base to new heights. Before his tenure at Rec Room, Brian held the position of Senior Vice President of User Acquisition & Ads at Jam City, overseeing the successful marketing campaigns for a diverse portfolio of casual and social mobile games.

With a career spanning nearly two decades, Brian also served as the Director of Digital Publishing at WB Games, where he managed all aspects of user acquisition, analytics, and monetization for WB’s mobile gaming portfolio. He began his journey in the mobile industry at Tapjoy, where he served as Director of Developer Partnerships, playing a key role in strategic partnerships, developer relations, and app distribution and monetization.

Brian’s appointment underscores Rush Street Interactive’s commitment to innovation and strategic growth in the rapidly evolving online gaming landscape. His extensive experience and proven leadership will undoubtedly propel Rush Street Interactive to new heights of success as new markets come online and existing markets continue to mature.

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