Sports betting beat: A trial you couldn''t make up

Jul 11, 2013 |
By: Jon Campbell
Sports betting beat: A trial you couldn''t make up
Bettors lost $4.2 million betting on MLB in May after losing $6.4 million in April.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
Bettors lost $4.2 million betting on MLB in May after losing $6.4 million in April.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
There is a sports betting trial going on in Philly right now that is everything you hope it would be.

Eleventh hour evidence. Millions in cash buried in pipes. The accused has been dubbed the "gentleman gambler". A U.S. Attorney whose name is - ahem - Balogna.

Oh yeah, and the accused - Joseph “Joe Vito” Mastronardo Jr. - is married to the daughter of former famed mayor and police commissioner Frank Rizzo.

Mastradona and 15 others face racketeering charges surrounding an alleged gambling ring that prosecutors say used websites, phone banks and other means to handle bets across state lines and in Costa Rica.

The trial was postponed Wednesday because the prosecution only recently turned over 14 cartons of documents to the defense for some light summer reading. Balogna admitted only 10 percent of the latest evidence is new or relevant and it's on top of 100,000 pages already handed over to the defense.

The trial was originally slated to begin Sept. 23 but Judge Jan E. Dubois been postponed it to Feb. 2. The next hearing is Sept. 30.

It's just the latest example of why we need to legalize sports betting across North America.

I think we can all agree this won't do much to deter Philly bettors from finding a way to make a wager. And when you think of the tax dollars being pumped into this case it's enough to make your stomach churn.  

This just in: Nevada sportsbooks still love baseball

Whoever said betting MLB was easy must've been doing it wrong. Nevada books cleaned up in May again after a strong April according to the most up-to-date numbers from the Nevada Gaming Commission.

Bettors lost $4.2 million betting on the big leagues in May after losing $6.4 million in April. The only positive for cappers is the hold was down a little from last year when the books pulled in over $12 million through the first two months of the season.

"(Baseball) Volume is up 20 percent and win is down 13 percent on lower hold than last year," Michael Lawton, Senior Research Analyst for the Gaming Control Board, told Covers. "Thus far, hold is not lower than normal (5.6%) but going up against very strong holds (for baseball) last April and May (7.7%)."

New Jersey sports betting case

Not much new on the New Jersey front since oral arguments were heard on June 26. But Christopher Soriano, who live Tweeted from that hearing, wrote this solid and easy-to-digest summary of the Third Circuit argument on PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act).

PASPA is at the center of this whole thing and it's worth a read if you're trying to get a quick understanding of what is probably the most vital sports betting case of our lifetime.

Sports betting kiosks out in Nevada

In case you missed it, many kiosks were pulled out of taverns and bars across the sports betting mecca state of America last week.

The move comes ahead of the deadline that will make kiosks illegal in the state. William Hill and Cantor made the moves in an effort to move their customers to the mobile way of life. The catch is you have to sign up for the accounts in a sportsbook, making things less convenient for some bettors.

Kiosks made up about 0.35 percent ($600,000) of the total revenue in 2012 according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

Odds & ends

Frank Fahrenkopf is stepping down as the long-time serving head of the American Gaming Association.

MarathonBet signed a deal to be Fulham's kit sponsor in the EPL. Sky Bet signed with Leeds also. (NFL - are you seeing this?)

Paddy Power started a customized Facebook app with real-money betting. Will be interesting to see how this one does.

William Hill continues its expansion throughout Nevada and will have its grand opening for a new sports book at Edgewater Casino Resort in Laughlin on Wednesday.

Recent sports betting beat columns:

Supreme Court a likely scenario for New Jersey case
Does betting online make you a bad person?
'Don't you dare bet on sports!'
C290 at the battle to legalize sports betting in Canada

What did I miss? Please comment below or email us here.

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