BUSINESS

Delaware adds over/under sports betting; Hawaii bookie sentenced to 20 months

TAGs: Atlantic City, Delaware, delaware lottery, Frank LoBiondo, Frank Pallone Jr., Hawaii, New Jersey Online Gambling, PASPA, sports betting

delaware-lottery-football-betting-lobiondo-palloneParlay sports betting fans in Delaware not only have many new locations at which to register their wagers this football season, but they’re also getting new betting options. Brand new for 2013, the Delaware Lottery is debuting Over/Under wagers on its Half-Point, Teaser and Super Teaser Parlay Cards, while the $100k Parlay Card “will have select totals on occasion.” The Over/Under option will not appear on the Early Bird Card or anywhere else during National Football League pre-season games.

Delaware’s limited version of legal sports betting was grandfathered in when Congress enacted the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 1992. PASPA simultaneously enshrined Nevada as the only state legally allowed to offer single-game sports betting, but New Jersey has battled hard to have PASPA declared unconstitutional. The state is eagerly awaiting the verdict on its most recent fight with the feds in Philadelphia’s Third Circuit Court of Appeals this June, and while the Court has offered no timeline for its decision, it could come as early as this month. In the meantime, the uncertainty is killing two of New Jersey’s political representatives in Washington.

With Congress enjoying its summer recess, the bipartisan pair of Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (the Democrat pictured above – appropriately enough – on the left) and Rep. Frank LoBiondo (the Republican on the right) found time on Wednesday to hold a media event on the Atlantic City Boardwalk to tout the economic benefits of legal sports betting at AC casinos. Both Lobiondo and Pallone have introduced (and reintroduced) separate federal bills to modify and/or gut PASPA so New Jersey can play in the sports betting sandbox. Lobiondo told onlookers that sports betting would give local casinos “yet another unique option” with which to woo customers while Pallone said legal sports betting would help “stem the criminal activity associated with sports gambling.”

It’s hard to argue with the logic that legalizing an illegal activity would reduce illegal activity. Meanwhile, the American justice system continues to lay down the smack on would-be bookies trying to bring manna to the masses. Case in point: the 20-month sentence handed down on Thursday to Hawaii resident Eric Ford, whose sports betting, craps and poker ring was broken up in November. Using a bottled water company as a front, Ford led a seven-member team taking sports wagers over the phone then processing them online via Costa Rica-based World Wide Wagering.

In February, the defendants began entering guilty pleas. Ford pled guilty to operating an illegal gambling ring and structuring financial transactions totaling millions of dollars to evade federal reporting requirements. In addition to his stint in stripes, Ford also agreed to forfeit nearly $130k in cash, a vehicle and a Rolex watch, the absence of which will likely be a blessing as he waits for the next 20 months of his life to tick by.

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