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D.C. City Council votes to legalize sports betting

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D.C. City Council votes to legalize sports betting

WASHINGTON (AP) -- City lawmakers in Washington have voted to legalize sports betting, making the nation's capital the first U.S. jurisdiction without casinos to authorize sports books.

The D.C. Council voted 11-2 on Tuesday to authorize betting on professional sports at the city's stadiums and arenas, private businesses like restaurants and liquor stores, and within the city limits on a mobile app.

Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser supports the bill, which needs her signature to become law. It would also need to survive a review by Congress, but with Democrats taking over the House in January, the law from the Democratic-dominated city is almost certainly safe. Supporters hope bets could be taken in the city within months, although there is no firm timetable.

In May, the Supreme Court struck down a law that banned sports betting in most U.S. states. Since then, several states have authorized betting on sports. The closest place to Washington with legal sports betting is a casino in Charles Town, West Virginia. Sports gambling is also legal in New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania.

Because Washington lacks casinos, the D.C. Lottery would oversee sports betting, an arrangement that makes the nation's capital an outlier. Athens, Greece-based Intralot is the city's current lottery vendor. The lottery would sell licenses to sports books at arenas and stadiums for $250,000 over five years, and retailers would be able to purchase a two-year license for $5,000. There is no cap on the number of licenses.

Casino industry groups had a measured reaction to the bill's passage, saying that handing over control of sports gambling to the lottery could stifle competition.

"While the vote today is progress, we remain deeply concerned about giving the lottery a virtual monopoly in the mobile market," Sara Slane, a vice president at the American Gaming Association, said in a statement. "Predictably, this will result in less investment and innovation, to the detriment of consumers and the ability of a nascent legal marketplace to compete with the accessibility and convenience offered by many established illegal wagering operations."

Operators would be taxed at 10 percent of revenue, and city officials have estimated that legal sports gambling will bring in $92 million over four years. Critics said that figure was overly optimistic, particularly if neighboring Maryland, which has several casinos including the massive MGM National Harbor just over the city line, legalizes sports betting.

'Beyond the Scoreboard': 'Power of Sports' premieres, plus Chase Center opens

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'Beyond the Scoreboard': 'Power of Sports' premieres, plus Chase Center opens

By Rick Horrow

Podcast edited by Tanner Simkins

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE FULL PODCAST

  • “Power of Sports” Indianapolis episode premieres. This month, the popular show hosted by Rick Horrow and distributed by FOX Sports regional sports networks nationwide returns to Indianapolis to profile the regional impact of sports. A big part of the October episode takes place inside iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but not on the bricks…instead, on the links. 2019 marked the third year of the Indy Women in Tech Championship Driven by Group1001, one of the premiere stops on the LPGA Tour. The best golfers in the world fought it out at Brickyard Crossing with a $2 million purse on the line. Off the course, a full week of events made the most of this community-centered event. The week began with the IWiT Summit, where leaders from the golf, business, and tech worlds came together to discuss the benefits of inclusivity and diversity in their industries. The October episode also profiles philanthropic initiatives by the Indianapolis Colts – who stunned the Kansas City Chiefs in a primetime Sunday upset – and an Indy nonprofit founded by a national champion cyclist who uses an innovative program to share his love of cycling with kids.\
  • In Miami, Super Bowl LIV has already kicked off. Last Saturday, the HistoryMiami Museum opened the exhibit, “Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football HOF.” The exhibit arrives ahead of Super Bowl LIV and “will remain there until February 9,” according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel. The exhibit features 8,000 square feet of “photographs, vintage jerseys, helmets and interactive displays,” along with the Lombardi Trophy on display in a “Champions Theater.” The museum’s “Hometown Heroes” section “celebrates the Dolphins and athletes who played in South Florida during high school and college.” And last Friday, Dolphins President and CEO Tom Garfinkel announced that Hard Rock Stadium will "phase out 99.4% of single-use plastics by 2020 – including for Super Bowl LIV.” On December 22, Hard Rock Stadium will become the first venue in the NFL to “feature 20oz sustainable draft cups.” In all, the team will “eliminate more than 2.8 million pieces of plastic annually including over 600,000 plastic bottles.”
  • The Golden State Warriors’ Chase Center tenure begins. The Warriors were “happy to get into their new billion dollar home” on Saturday night despite losing to the Lakers during the team’s exhibition opener at Chase Center, according to ESPN. Warriors coach Steve Kerr said, “The crowd was fantastic. It seemed like everybody was, including the players and coaches and officials, everybody was sort of looking around.” The “cheapest ticket on the secondary market for Saturday’s debut game” was $131, and to get in the lower bowl, fans had to “shell out $300-plus.” The San Jose Mercury-News added that the arena is an "impressive building and a testament to what next-level perseverance, strong vision, and a ton of cold, hard cash can build.” There is “not a thing functionally wrong with this place.” Along with the indoor Jumbotron, Chase Center "boasts a prominent outdoor video screen, the captivating feature of a spacious outdoor area.” Samsung partnered with the Warriors to install the Jumbotron, the largest center hung main videoboard installed in a sports arena — a feature that will make the building a top level concert destination.

'Beyond the Scoreboard': Super Bowl halftime performers announced, plus NHl social media development

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USA TODAY Sports

'Beyond the Scoreboard': Super Bowl halftime performers announced, plus NHl social media development

By Rick Horrow

Podcast edited by Tanner Simkins

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE FULL PODCAST

  • EverFi “Runs the Right Plays.” Premiering earlier this year, The Sport Business Handbook recognizes the last 50 years as the formative period for the modern era of sport. Likewise, online education leader EverFi is celebrating over a decade of harnessing technology to equip communities with the skills they need for success. To celebrate the good work in our communities contributors continue to do, EverFi presents "Running the Right Plays: Doing Good Through Sport” on October 2 in Washington, DC. This symposium will present a rare opportunity to hear directly from key contributors in sport, business, and philanthropy and gain exclusive access to their personal insights. Panelists joining Rick Horrow for the evening include Lisa Bowman, Chief Marketing Officer, United Way Worldwide;  Jon Chapman, Co-Founder & President, EverFi; Phil de Picciotto, Founder & President, Octagon; Damon Phillips, General Manager, NBC Sports Washington; Nick Sakiewicz, National Lacrosse League Commissioner; and former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. We will also present the top five Washington, DC community impact milestones in and around sports.
  • Pepsi, the NFL, and Roc Nation announced that Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will perform during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show. “Ever since I saw Diana Ross fly off into the sky at the Halftime Show, I dreamed of performing at the Super Bowl,” said Lopez. “And now it’s made even more special not only because it’s the NFL’s 100th anniversary, but also because I am performing with a fellow Latina.  The Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show telecast on FOX taking place at the Miami Dolphins’ Hard Rock Stadium on February 2, 2020 will be produced by NFL Network. Roc Nation will serve as producers and strategic entertainment advisors of the live performance. According to Variety, although Lopez is originally from the Bronx and Shakira from Colombia, Miami is "widely recognized as the global capital of the Latin music business.” The booking also “bears the fingerprints of Jay-Z,” as it comes on the heels of the NFL-Roc Nation partnership announced last month that “encompasses entertainment – including the Super Bowl halftime show." 
  • The NHL looks to boost players’ social media presence through a deal with Opendorse. According to NHL.com, the NHL and participating clubs will use Opendorse to help players publish their highlights, in-game images, and other media to their personal social channels with the tap of a button. Rather than simply handing players a library of assets to wade through, the NHL and its clubs can now send individual players specific photos, videos, or GIFs, streamlining the process to effectively engage their social media audiences. Almost all of the work is done by Opendorse, all the athletes have to do is add or edit their own messaging, then approve the post to publish with a single tap. Opendorse then automatically publishes the post to the appropriate channel at the scheduled date and time. As NHL players already significantly outpace fellow professional athletes in terms of engagement rate in 2019, this added addition of Opendorse will boost the NHL’s social media game to a higher frequency to build a larger brand for hockey overall.