Activision Blizzard Plans E-Sports League That Looks More Like NFL

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

Competitive-videogaming enthusiasts believe one day e-sports will be just like traditional sports, with player contracts and a league champion. Activision Blizzard Inc. wants to make that a reality starting as soon as next year. The biggest videogame company in the U.S. by market value said Friday it is talking to owners of more than 100 traditional and e-sports teams to gauge their interest in joining a league for its videogame "Overwatch" that would operate like the National Football League and other professional sports organizations. The company declined to name any of the people. Competitive videogaming is often heralded as the next big thing in live entertainment.


New York State Gambling Bill Would Give Some Money To Sports Leagues Instead Of Schools

Forbes - Tech

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo could help offset his education budget shortfall with tax revenues derived from sports gambling. When New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo unleashed his 2018-19 budget, it included a $1.6 billion shortfall between the amount of money requested by the Board of Regents to fund public school education and the amount of money allocated to student learning. The state's legalizing and taxing of sports gambling could help to offset this shortfall. But, rather than maximizing the amount of tax dollars that the state would collect from sports gambling, two recently proposed New York state bills both allocate "a quarter of a percent of all wagers" directly to the U.S. professional sports leagues -- private entities with no legal claim to these funds. Although lobbyists on behalf of the U.S. professional sports leagues have long argued that U.S. professional sports league owners should receive an "integrity fee" or "royalty fee" from state-licensed sports gambling, their claim of a purported intellectual property right over sports gambling statistics simply does not hold legal muster.


Don't Blame Pittsburgh Pirates For Idea Linking Gambling Revenues To Stadium Construction

Forbes - Tech

In 1990, an Illinois state legislator proposed legalizing sports gambling to pay for a new domed stadium for the Mike Ditka-coached Chicago Bears. Pennsylvania is one of six states to initiate state-licensed sports gambling since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in May. With the state's gaming control board placing a 34 percent tax on all sports-gambling revenues, few casinos have expressed interest in entering the market. Further complicating matters for the state, Pittsburgh Pirates President Frank Coonelly recently penned a letter to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board that seeks a share of any state gambling revenues for new stadium construction projects at PNC Park. Coonelly has since come under fire for his request, as state and local governments have already paid $212 million for PNC Park's construction.


Leagues lose as U.S. Supreme Court paves way for states to legalize sports betting

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for states to legalize sports betting in a defeat for the major American sports leagues, endorsing New Jersey's bid to allow such wagering and striking down a 1992 federal law that prohibited it in most places. The court upheld the legality of a 2014 state law permitting sports betting at New Jersey casinos and horse racetracks and voided the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. Some states see sports betting, like lotteries, as a potentially important source of tax revenue. The ruling, which sent shares in gaming companies and casinos higher in brisk trading, takes the United States a step closer to legal sports betting in numerous states, perhaps nationwide, rather than just in select places such as Nevada, home to the gambling capital Las Vegas. The current illegal sports betting market is worth billions of dollars annually. "New Jersey has long been the lead advocate in fighting this inherently unequal law, and today's ruling will finally allow for authorized facilities in New Jersey to take the same bets that are legal in other states in our country," New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, said in a statement.


Disney wants Fox's regional sports networks to boost ESPN

Los Angeles Times

Walt Disney Co.'s potential takeover of much of 21st Century Fox could provide an enormous boost to Disney's ESPN sports empire.