Tag Archives: Gambling

Match-Fixing: a Crime Worthy of a Life Sentence?

December 18, 2015

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By Vivian Wilson – Thompson Rivers University JD Student

In Nepal, five soccer players have been charged with treason over allegedly participating in match-fixing several soccer games, including the 2011 World Cup qualifiers. The accused players include Nepal team captain, Sagar Thapa, goalkeeper, Ritesh Thapa, along with Sandip Rai, Bikash Singh, and coach Anjan K.C.. A sixth accused, the team’s physiotherapist, who was not arrested is now deemed to be a fugitive. They are accused of taking money from bookmakers in Singapore and Malaysia in exchange for losing games. The players were found with large sums of money in their bank accounts, which authorities believe was provided by these bookmakers. The police have seized the players’ financial information as evidence.

The Nepal Government is seeking to impose a life sentence on the athletes as punishment under a 1989 act that states that anyone “unlawfully jeopardizing Nepal’s sovereignty, integrity, or national unity, shall be liable for life imprisonment.”

Is match-fixing a sufficiently serious offence as to warrant sentencing the accused to life in prison? In lieu of specific match-fixing laws, Nepal is dealing with this issue under the charge of treason. The magnitude of the offense in Nepal is striking when compared with North American countries, some of which also lack laws that explicitly deal with match-fixing.

According to an International Olympic Committee study, Canada does not have specific match-fixing laws, but match-fixing is most likely to be dealt with under the Criminal Code s. 380 fraud, or s. 209 cheating at play. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) suggest, in their 2013 comparative study on the applicability of criminal law provisions concerning match-fixing and illegal betting, that these criminal provisions carry quite low sanctions, as s. 380 of the Criminal Code imposes a term of imprisonment not more than fourteen years where the value of the subject matter of the offense exceeds five thousand dollars.

Match-fixing may also fall under s. 209 of the Criminal Code, Cheating at play. This offense covers people involved in defrauding others through cheating while playing a game, or holding the stakes for a game. This offense carries a sanction of imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years. Therefore, even though Canada does not have any offences specifically covering match-fixing, it will likely fall under Canadian criminal law. The sanctions however are very low compared to the life term sought by Nepali prosecutors.

The United States, however, does have specific offences for match-fixing. There are federal offense of Bribery in Sporting Contest, 18 U.S.C § 224, for which the sanctions are fine and/or imprisonment of not more than five years. There are also state offenses, such as Sports Bribing, and Sports Bribe Receiving under New York State’s Penal Law. The punishments for these state offenses are fine or imprisonment of not more than seven years, and imprisonment not more than four years, respectively.

Compared to the IOC and UNODC’s suggested most likely treatment of match-fixing under Canadian law and United States law, under which the highest sanction possible is fourteen years under Canada’s fraud provision, the Nepali life sentence for treason seems extreme. The North American countries’ laws suggest that match-fixing is not seen as sufficiently serious to warrant harsh punishments, suggesting a difference in the way North American and Nepali people perceive sports, and the disparate local perception of the seriousness of the impact of corruption in sport on the country’s sovereignty, integrity and national unity.

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Questions of Integrity: Single-Game Sports Betting in Canada

November 12, 2015

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By John Hulstein – Thompson Rivers University 2L JD Student

In 2012, Bill C-290 was passed unanimously by the Canadian House of Commons and sent to the Senate. The act sought to remove the paragraph in the Criminal Code which makes it illegal to gamble on individual sporting events. Once law, it would enable the provinces to establish Vegas-like sports gambling where individuals could bet on the outcome of single-games and point spreads.

The Senate failed to vote on the bill and simply let it die.

Much has been made of the fact that bill C-290 passed the House of Commons unanimously. However, in a move that should make us take pause and consider the effectiveness of Canada’s parliamentary system, the final vote happened late on a Friday when there were less than 25 of the potential 280 Members of Parliament present. Not one member spoke in opposition. Those present voted based on a report from the investigating committee who heard from one witness and has since been criticised for failing to carry out due diligence.

The work of due diligence fell to the Senate committee which heard from a wide array of stakeholders. The NHL, NCAA, NFL and the NBA advocated strongly against the bill which would, as they wrote, “jeopardize the integrity” of their leagues. Others opposed spoke about the social costs of increased gambling.

Despite the fact that C-290 is dead, the merits of the bill need to be understood as you can bet that we’ll see it again. At stake is the potential for billions of dollars in government revenue, hundreds of jobs and the possibility of restricting organized crime. The recently re-elected MP from Windsor West has already stated that he will try to re-introduce the bill.

The truth is that sports gambling is already available in Canada. The Canadian Gaming Association estimates that almost $10 billion is wagered illegally every year through organized crime and offshore bookies. State-regulation, they argue, is required to have greater transparency into betting patterns and to provide protection against criminal interference.

The “integrity of the game” argument is also suspect. It’s worth pointing out the potential hypocrisy of a professional league such as the NHL who, fresh off losing an anti-trust lawsuit concerning the overcharging of fans, is currently working towards placing a team in Las Vegas. Or how about the fact that the NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA and NCAA all lobbied in favor of paid fantasy-sports pools in the United States?

The issue of incentivizing corruption and point-shaving in sports is also worth examining. Advocates of the bill point out that state-sanctioned gambling creates a “first line of defence” against cheaters and illegal influence. Given that gambling and incentives to cheat are already in place, there is a strong argument that legal gambling institutions would bring the state-of-the-art technology necessary to catch cheaters, as has been the case in the NCAA and leagues across Europe.

Some have argued that single-game gambling represents an existential threat to Canada. Others have essentially argued that a rising tide lifts all boats and that Canada and sport would benefit from its regulation. Either way, Parliament has not treated this issue with the seriousness it deserves and it is sincerely hoped that Parliament steps up and does a better job next time round.

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R. v Riesberry – horse racing, doping, fraud and the Supreme Court

October 22, 2015

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By Chris Gall – Thompson Rivers University 2L JD Student

A unique case involving horse doping has reached the homestretch as it was heard by the Supreme Court of Canada last week. Here are the facts of the case: Derek Riesberry, a standardbred racehorse trainer, was caught by hidden camera injecting a performance-enhancing drug into a horse. Further, a syringe containing drugs was also found in his truck. He was charged with cheating and attempted cheating at a “game” as well as fraud and attempted fraud – all of which fall under the Criminal Code.

At trial, he was acquitted, with the judge ruling that horse racing is not a “game” within the meaning of the Criminal Code, and further, the Crown had failed to prove “deprivation” i.e. that anyone relied on his injecting or not injecting the horse with the drug. In essence, no monetary loss occurred from relying on the information so there was no deprivation and therefore no fraud. The charges of cheating were also dropped because the judge concluded horse racing was not a “game of chance or mixed chance and skill,” and thus did not meet the Criminal Code definition of a “game”.

The appeal court overturned the ruling and entered convictions on fraud, because he deprived bettors of an honest race and violated the rules of horseracing. The Supreme Court of Canada reviewed the meaning of “game” under the Criminal Code and raised questions concerning fraud, cheating, and whether horse racing involves chance.
There are three potential outcomes for Riesberry: 1) the fraud convictions are confirmed, 2) the fraud convictions are overturned, and 3) a new trial is ordered on fraud charges.

This case is being watched closely by the racing industry in Canada which insists doping is rare, however it is severe enough that six Ontario police officers have been seconded to the regulatory body for horse racing, the Ontario Racing Commission. This case also has implications throughout North America, where horse racing is still big business with $11 billion being bet on horses last year ($5.7 billion of that in Canada). It will be interesting to see how the issue of doping sorts itself out. One possible solution from the USA is the recently introduced Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015, which seeks to grant authority to an entity created by the United States Anti-Doping Agency for making and enforcing rules as well as testing for drugs and medications used in horse racing.

Another solution involves pressure applied by corporate sponsors. Scared by doping scandals in other sports, they do not want their brand associated with cheating or scandal. However, this is likely not enough. A real struggle comes from the veterinary business itself, where animal doctors prescribe and sell the drugs they administer. In this instance, the more drugs they prescribe the more money they make which raises issues of animal welfare as well. It is likely the courts themselves do not possess the power to compel real change. This poses a greater challenge when the potential health risks from doping are not faced by the person doing the injecting, and owners themselves may be unaware of what a trainer is doing. All bets are off until regulators, lawmakers, and industry insiders can work together and those in racing come clean.

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Fantasy Sports Leagues versus Sports Gambling in the United States: The Blurred Line Between Chance and Skill

October 18, 2015

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By Talina Handel – Thompson Rivers University 2L JD Student

The recent and rapid growth of fantasy sports leagues into a multi-billion dollar internet industry has many people questioning the legality of the activity: how are online fantasy sports games legal while the entire act of sports gambling is rendered illegal in the United States? The simple answer is that the passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling and Enforcement Act (UIGEA) by the United States Congress in 2006 expressly made fantasy sports gaming a legal activity. Section 5362(1)(E)(ix) of the Act specifically exempts “participation in any fantasy or simulation sports game” from the definition of gambling, betting or waging, so long as the prizes and awards are known to participants before the contest commences and their value does not change with the number of participants. It also holds that the winning outcome cannot be based on any specific player’s performance or on any specific real-world game. In short, the Act carved out a special statutory niche for fantasy sports leagues and business has been booming ever since.

Regardless of the UIGEA, the government’s statutory exemption of fantasy sports leagues from the gambling world has many people scratching their heads in bewilderment. Federal and state legislation consistently define gambling activities as those in which the “opportunity to win is predominantly subject to chance.” Thus, much of the debate surrounding the legality of fantasy sports leagues is anchored in the argument that one of the key ingredients of fantasy sports games is skill; whereas sports betting is entirely dependent on chance. Participants in fantasy sports games use their discretion and knowledge to select players and ultimately build their ‘dream team’, the performance of which translates into winnings.

Although this argument is one of the main lines of reasoning advanced in favour of the legality of fantasy sports leagues, it might not be able to withstand a closer look. First, the amount of skill required on behalf of a fantasy sports game participant is very minimal. Before technology took over, participants engaged in a manual tracking and compilation of player statistics in order to build their ‘dream team’. Now, the technology of big-box fantasy sports leagues provides automatic statistical updates and access to expert fantasy sports analysis to its online participants. Thus discretion, rather than skill, is likely the more accurate word to describe a fantasy sports participant’s cognitive involvement in the activity.

Second, even if one concedes the very weak reasoning that there is in fact an element of skill involved in the selection of players in a fantasy sports game, this does not vitiate the presence of chance involved in the outcome of the fantasy game. There is an abundance of factors that can and do change an athlete’s performance each and every game; athletes are not robots after all. Wagering on a player’s performance by selecting them for one’s fantasy team based on automatically compiled statistical data is taking a chance on that player’s performance. Thus, chance is undeniably present in the outcome of a fantasy sports game and the level of ‘skill’ involved does not mitigate this fact.

The blurring of the line between skill and chance may very well be the strongest point of argument for rendering fantasy sports another form of sports betting. The United States courts have not yet decided on this issue. In 2007 Humphrey v Viacom Inc. presented the New Jersey District Court with the opportunity to delve into the difficult analysis of skill versus chance involved in fantasy sports leagues. While the court briefly hinted that skill may be the predominant factor in fantasy sports games, it declined to conduct the necessary legal analysis required to make a definitive decision and instead dismissed the case on an unrelated federal court rule.

There is ample opportunity to present a strong argument to a United States court that fantasy sports gaming is in fact an activity where the outcome is predominantly determined by chance. When this chance arises, it is likely that fantasy sports leagues will fall into the category of sports gambling and be consequently illegal under United States federal law.

 

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Legalized Sports Betting: A Threat To Profits Or The Integrity Of The Game?

October 5, 2015

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By Alexander Paterson – Thompson Rivers University 2L JD Student

On August 25th, 2015, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal upheld the lower court verdict in NCAA v Christie, voiding New Jersey state legislation on sports betting. In the 2-1 decision by the Appeals Court, it was determined that allowing casinos and racetracks to take bets on sport events violated the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). The decision was the latest event in a three-year legal battle between the state of New Jersey and national sports organizations including the National Basketball League (NBA), the National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Baseball (MLB), and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

All of the national sports organizations opposed the legalization of sports betting on the grounds that “the sponsorship, operation, advertising, promotion, licensure and authorization of sports gambling … would irreparably harm amateur and professional sports by fostering suspicion that individual plays and final scores of games may have been influenced by factors other than honest athletic competition.” While those fears may have merit, New Jersey legislators pointed out the hypocrisy of the national sports organizations in opposing the legalization of sports betting while they simultaneously advertised and profited from fantasy sports.

Fantasy sports have often been referred to as sports betting, although they were specifically exempted from the PASPA in 2006 through the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). However, the recent rise of daily fantasy sports (DFS) competitions has led to questions of whether DFS fall within the exemption granted by the UIGEA. While traditional fantasy sports competitions involved season or playoff long undertakings, DFS competitions are focused on single day or weekend competitions. Furthermore, fantasy sport companies are now acting as facilitators by accepting entry money for fantasy competitions, then distributing it to the winners. The acceptance of money and its subsequent distribution is a large departure from traditional fantasy sport companies who merely facilitated the choosing of fantasy sports teams and players. The intake and distribution of money strongly resembles the actions of a casino, which is likely one of the reasons that both the Massachusetts Attorney General and Nevada Gaming Control Board have taken preliminary steps to assess the legal standing of DFS.

The first weekend of the NFL season featured a reported $31 million in expenditures on 9000 advertising slots by FanDuel and Draftkings, two fantasy sports companies who have each surpassed $1 billion in estimated value. Perhaps it is not surprising then that FanDuel and Draftkings investors currently include the NHL, MLB, NBA, and the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA). As mentioned, those leagues were all party to the lawsuit against the legalization of sports gambling, yet they are all currently involved, either directly through ownership stakes or indirectly through advertisement payments, with a practice that bears a strong resemblance to the sports betting they opposed.

In November 2014, Adam Silver, the Commissioner of the NBA, wrote an op-ed article in which he endorsed the legalization of sports betting in the United States through federal, as opposed to state, legislation. In 2007, the NFL played its first regular season game (of many) in London, England, where sports betting is a legal, commonly accepted form of entertainment. Similarly, the NHL is also strongly considering the possibility of granting an expansion team to Las Vegas, Nevada, where sports betting is currently legal as well. If national sports leagues are so concerned with the impact of legalized sports betting on the integrity of the game, actively looking to expand to locations where sports betting is already legal appears nonsensical.

Looking at the surrounding factors and events, the opposition of national sport organizations to the legalization of sports betting appears to be one based not on the integrity of the game, but on the ability to profit from the current system. Fantasy sports are surging in popularity, and the exposure provided by fantasy sports competitions, along with the money to be made through ownership stakes and advertising revenue, seem to be the primary drivers of their stance on sports betting. State regulation of sports betting in casinos and racetracks does not offer the same opportunity for investment and profits, so it appears to be in the national sports leagues’ best interests to oppose its legalization for the time being, and until federal regulation materializes, ride the wave of profits produced by fantasy sports.

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Place Your Bets: Blurring the Line Between Sports Wagering and Fantasy Football

November 9, 2014

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By Geea Atanase – Thompson Rivers University 2L JD Student

In 1992, the United States passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) (also known as the Bradley Act), which federally bans sports betting with the exception of sports lotteries in Oregon, Delaware, and Montana, as well as licensed pools in Nevada. States that had operated casinos for ten years prior to the introduction of the Bradley Act were also given one year to pass laws legitimizing sports betting, but New Jersey, which is home to the infamous Atlantic City, failed to pass such laws.

Until now, that is.

Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie recently approved legislation that allows state licensed casinos and racetracks to offer sports betting to patrons, and for the state, the new law could not have come at a better time. Revenue from gambling at the once sparkling Atlantic City is close to half of that in 2007, and the rapid closing of casinos has led to cuts to thousands of jobs. The legitimization of state-sponsored sports wagering could breathe some much-needed life into a struggling economy, and in the past, state senators from Iowa, Rhode Island, and Missouri have attempted to repeal the PASPA as well. In fact, New Jersey State Senator Raymond Lesniak filed a lawsuit in 2009 claiming that the PASPA unconstitutionally discriminates against all but the four states that allow sports betting, which led to voter approval of a repeal of the Act.

Although dissatisfaction with the PASPA appears to be widespread, both professional and amateur sports leagues have a different story to tell. The NCAA, NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and other leagues filed a motion to stop New Jersey from offering sports wagering, citing the conflict with the PASPA as the reason for seeking the injunction. The onus was on the leagues to show that they would suffer ‘irreparable damage’ if the state expands sports betting, and they were granted the injunction on this basis.

Although the NBA and NFL refused to comment, ESPN gambling writer David Purdum has stated that the leagues have been fighting against a repeal of the PASPA for several years, and they fear that the expansion of sports betting will hurt the integrity and credibility of their respective sports. However, proponents of the PASPA repeal argue that the legitimization of sports wagering can only help the integrity and credibility of sports in the US.

Would the expansion of sports wagering to include placing bets at casinos and racetracks truly cause irreparable damage to the integrity of sport? Not likely. Between 1984 and 2013, casinos in Nevada recorded $64.4 billion on sports bets, and since 1989, the total amount won on football bets is just over $1.1 billion. Purdum noted in an interview on ESPN that only about 1% of the money that is bet on sports in the US is wagered legally in Nevada; given that Nevada has already raked in billions of dollars on sports betting, the potential for other states to follow suit (should sports betting become legal) looks promising.

Additionally, when the NFL sought an injunction in 1976 to prevent Delaware from allowing casino patrons to bet on football games, Judge Stapleton found no “threat of immediate irreparable injury” to the NFL and refused to grant the order. Rather than tread on the integrity of sport, expanding state sanctioned sports wagering would funnel some of the illegally bet money into state economies and add some legitimacy to practices that occur with or without legislative approval.

Interestingly, the NFL wholeheartedly supports sports wagering when the league is able to claim a piece of the pie. Forbes estimated that people in the U.S. spent $15 billion playing Fantasy Football in 2013, and while the NFL does not directly claim revenue from that amount, it is still able to capitalize on this form of sports betting in other ways. More than half of those who take part in fantasy sports report watching significantly more games, buying more tickets and spending more money at stadiums.

Additionally, in 2006, the NFL entered into a $600 million deal with Sprint in order to allow football fans to use their phones to monitor drafts, and recently, the New England Patriots entered into a partnership with DraftKings, a fantasy sports website. As Marc Edelman at Forbes also notes, the lines have blurred between fantasy sports and sports gambling: “TradeSports has begun to allow users to compete head-to-head based on their ability to predict a number of ‘yes or no’ bets based on a single NFL game – something that sounds similar to head-to-head parlay betting. The NFL has not uttered a public word about this.”

It seems obvious that the NFL is less concerned with ‘irreparable injury’ to the league and the integrity of sport than it is with maintaining a monopoly on a market from which it stands to gain. As Edelman also notes, the NFL’s fight against the expansion of sports betting in New Jersey misses the mark if the league actively endorses Fantasy Football and implicitly endorses other forms of online betting. In the future, perhaps the NFL should put its money where its mouth is and pursue legal action against those who truly threaten the league with ‘irreparable injury.’

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Canada’s Las Vegas-styled Sports Gambling Bill Stalled

November 7, 2014

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By Mitchell Smith – Thompson Rivers University 3L JD

A law that would embrace Vegas-style sports gambling in Canada is still stalled in the Senate. Bill C-290 was proposed in 2012 by New Democrat MP, Joe Comartin and was passed quickly through the House of Commons without any opposition. Since then however, the Senate has avoided putting it to a vote, citing the lack of debate and upset senators displeased with the bill’s premise.

The following will examine this new law’s potential affect on the sports industry and society. It will not discuss the political aspects at issue with an unelected body attempting to block a law that has been supported by all parties.

Bill C-290’s purpose would be to give each province in Canada the power to allow single-game betting. While betting on a single sporting event or athletic contest is currently outlawed by sections 206 and 207 of the Criminal Code of Canada, provinces are allowed to offer parlay-style wagers on multiple games. A “parlay” is a bet that links two or more wagers together and is dependent on all of those wagers winning. The result is that the payoffs are usually higher than single-game betting but the odds of winning are also likely slimmer.

Why is single-game betting an issue?

Some of the major stakeholders that this bill affects are the professional sports leagues in Canada– including the National Hockey League (NHL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) – and society as a whole. Both of the professional sports leagues oppose Bill C-290, citing concerns over how it may affect the integrity of the sport.

The NHL is quoted as saying, “Such wagering poses perhaps the greatest threat to the integrity of our games, since it is far easier to engage in ‘match fixing’ in order to win single-game bets than it is in cases of parlay betting [as currently exists in Canada], where bets are determined on the basis of multiple game outcomes.”

Additionally, the CEO of the Toronto Blue Jays, Paul Beeston, stated that, “When gambling is permitted on team sports, winning the bet may become more important than winning the game; the point spread or the number of runs scored may overshadow the game’s outcome and the intricacies of play.” Beeston goes on to explain that he wants the fans to support and cheer for the home team and athletes, instead of the fans cheering for their bets to win.

In contrast to these opinions, Senator Frank Mahovlich, a former Toronto Maple Leaf hockey player argues that match fixing is not a concern because hockey players are insulated from being bought off by gamblers because of the large amount of money being earned.

The proponents of the bill believe that society stands to gain from job creation, increased government revenues, and tourism. They point to the fact only a handful of U.S. states allow single-game bets and therefore will attract more American visitors to our casinos. It is also stated that Canadians are already wagering their money on single-game bets through online casinos or through organized crime. All of society stands to benefit if the monies generated by gambling stay ‘in-house’ in provincial treasuries.

The question that politicians are trying to resolve is simple: are the detrimental affects of opening up sports gambling outweighed by society’s benefit?

In my opinion, Maholovich’s argument misses the point and is perhaps a little naïve. There are players in all sports who, regardless of the amount of money they are being paid, could still be manipulated and thus affect the integrity of the sport. As a sports fan, I agree more with Paul Beeston. I want to cheer for my favorite team because of the emotional attachment and for the spirit of the sport –not because of the reward I get from them winning or losing. Ultimately however, those who want to wager on single-game bets will easily find a way to do so online. Knowing this, it only makes sense to allow the bill to pass and let the provinces decide the best way to implement. The revenues generated are better served supporting Canadian society rather than in the hands of online casinos or organized crime.

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Please don’t gamble in the comments section of the blog…….

July 23, 2009

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Source: Sunday Business Post write-up: http://www.sbpost.ie/post/pages/p/story.aspx-qqqt=Business+Of+Law-qqqm=nav-qqqid=41591-qqqx=1.asp; Full case report: http://www.bailii.org/ie/cases/IEHC/2009/H133.html

Mulvaney & Others v. Sporting Exchange Ltd (Trading as Betfair) & others [2009] IEHC 133

The two linked cases both concern bookmakers (Seamus Mulvaney and Ellen Martin) who are claiming damages for libellous comments posted by third parties on a forum hosted by Betfair Ltd. Although a number of issues arise in each of the cases, the main focus in this preliminary judgment was on the applicability of European Directive 2000/31/EC (the E-Commerce Directive) which had been transposed into Irish law by the European Communities (Directive 2000/1/EC) Regulations, 2003 (SI 69 of 2003) ahead of a full defamation trial.

This issue is important because while the E-Commerce Directive was designed to remove obstacles to cross-border online services, Article 14 of the Directive can also exempt internet intermediaries from liability for things they host, but did not create. The problem for Betfair is that Article 1(5)(d) of the Directive does not apply to gambling activities. If the court therefore held that the chatroom constituted gambling or betting, then Betfair could not rely on the Directive as a defence.

Ultimately, at [4.15] the court decided that because ‘no significant nexus’ operated between the chatroom forum and the betting sections of the website, no gambling did take place in that area and the Directive did apply.

Given that Betfair could rely on the Directive, the next questions to be answered were whether Betfair was an “intermediary service provider” and if so whether provision of a chatroom comes within the Directive? At [5.14], the Court agreed that it did and held that the use of a chatroom forum by third parties did amount to hosting an ‘information society service’ for the purposes of the Directive. Betfair can therefore rely on the E-Commerce Directive as a defence at the full defamation trial, although whether it will succeed or not will depend on the action that Betfair ultimately took when it became aware of the comments.

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Gambling addictions start at Kindergarten

March 17, 2009

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Source: http://uk.reuters.com/article/oddlyEnoughNews/idUKTRE5220Z920090303?feedType=RSS&feedName=oddlyEnoughNews&sp=true

 

If Canadian researchers from the Universite de Montreal are to be believed, children rated as impulsive by their kindergarten teacher appear more likely to begin gambling behaviours like playing cards or placing bets before they hit middle school.

Researchers asked Kindergarten teachers for 163 students to complete a questionnaire on their pupils at the beginning of the school year in order to rank the children’s inattentiveness, distractibility and hyperactivity. Six years later, the researchers asked the (now 11yr old) children in telephone interviews how often they participated in gambling-related behaviours such as playing cards or bingo, buying lottery tickets, playing video games or video poker for money or placing bets at sporting events or with friends.

After controlling for factors like family composition, parents’ education and household income, the researchers found an increase of one unit on the impulsivity scale in kindergarten corresponded to a 25 percent increase in gambling involvement by the sixth grade.

The full research study appears in the Archives of Paediatrics & Adolescent Medicine: http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/short/163/3/238

Sorry I’d better go, one of my gymnasts wants me to place a bet for them…….

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