Washington State looking to decriminalize fantasy sports and possibly online gambling

Posted by on 28 Jan 2015 | Tagged as: The Rumor Mill

Almost immediately after writing my article on fantasy sports as an alternative option for sports bettors, I received 2 emails from residents of Washington State informing me that state legislators are looking at decriminalizing fantasy sports. After looking into it, it appears that senator, Pam Roach, a Republican Senator from Auburn and Eric Pettigrew, a Democratic Representative from Seattle have done just that. Roach introduced Bill S5284 while Pettigrew introduced the companion bill HB 1301.

“Our state sees fantasy football as a game of chance – a felony crime. Congress has long considered fantasy football to be a game of skill. My bill will change the state’s definition,” Roach, a Republican from rural Auburn stated in a press conference.

“It’s always been something that’s been going on around me all the time… People are always talking about their fantasy sports leagues.” Pettigrew stated when introducing the House version of the bill.

Roach estimates that 500,000 Washington residents play fantasy sports but since FanDuel and DraftKings don’t allow signups from the state it seems that almost all of them play free fantasy sports on those sites or more likely the free games offered by sites like ESPN or Sportsline which are legal per Washington statutes. Roach believes that the UIGEA specifically allows fantasy sports and that the Gaming Commission has no business disallowing it. It seems that in determining that fantasy sports is gambling and thus illegal by Washington statutes the courts looked at the amount of chance involved in fantasy sports and deemed it significant enough to warrant being outlawed per RCW § 9.46.0225. On the Washington State Gambling Commission website under FAQ the following is stated:

“In 1973, when the Gambling Act was first passed, 100 square sports pool boards were authorized. This is the only type of sports betting allowed in Washington State. Bracket pools, office sports pools, and fantasy sports have never been authorized as gambling activities in Washington State and are illegal. See our Sports Wagering brochure.”

Harold, a lobbyist in Seattle who asked I not use his full name at the present time because it could hurt future lobbying efforts, felt the logic was disingenuous and was just another way to protect the 49 casinos and poker rooms in the state as well as the state lottery.

“I have no question the tribes and Washington State’s Lottery asked the Gaming Commission to put fantasy sports under the auspices of gambling because they don’t want the competition. Fantasy sports is almost exclusively a game of skill and the amount of chance is not material regardless of what the Commission says. Is there some bit of chance? Of course there is but everything in life has chance. Flying an airplane involves some chance (an engine could go, a flight can hit an unreasonable amount of turbulence) but we rely on the skill of the pilot to get the plane to the destination despite that bit of chance. We certainly don’t make it illegal for residents to fly.”

But what really irks Harold is the state’s unreal hypocrisy given that they along with Colorado legalizing marijuana possession in defiance of federal law and dared the feds to do something about it.

OSGA Announces Winner of 2015 College Football Bowl Bonanza

Posted by on 13 Jan 2015 | Tagged as: Promotions

Congratulations to Ratel, the winner of the 2014-2015 OSGA College Bowl Bonanza! ‘Ratel’ beat out nearly 100 other players by picking an amazing 25 out of 38 College Bowl games correctly, a win percentage of over 65%. He also hit 3 of his key picks and ended up with the pool high 31 points to collect the Grand Prize of $500 Cash. Even though he picked games at such an amazing rate, because of the key picks aspect of the contest, ‘Ratel’ only edged out ‘theguesser’ by one point. Still ‘theguesser’ will collect $250 courtesy of OSGA.

Four other players tied with 29 points, so we had to go to the first tie-breaker, the number of key wins, to separate winners 3-6 in the contest. ‘Jaws 37’ had four key wins giving him the third place prize of a $250 Free Play bonus at contest sponsor WagerWeb. We were forced to employ the second tie-breaker, the total points scored in the GoDaddy Bowl played last Sunday. ‘Bimmercando’ missed the total by just one point and will collect $125. He edged out ‘gseibel’ who missed the total by just 5 and will qualify for a $100 Free Play bonus at WagerWeb. ‘lee33’ rounded out the players with 29 points and will get $75.

Three more players tied with 28 points and each had three keys wins. The tie-breaker total was employed and ‘Robertyes’ came in 7th place, and gets a $50 Free Play at WagerWeb. ‘importmoon’ will get $50 for OSGA and ‘RJtheDog’ is entitled to a $25 Free Play at WagerWeb. ‘tigersfan’ rounded out the prize winners, grabbing a $25 Free Play. His total of 27 points was quite deceiving as he actually went 17-21 for the contest but hit all five of his Key Picks, thus boosting his score over players with more wins, several with 23 correct picks!

Thank you to everyone who participated in another great free contest from OSGA. Check back with OSGA for more free contests, including the Super Easy, Super Bowl Contest and Members-Only Super Bowl Squares contest.

OSGA Announces Winner of 2014 Beat the Book Contest

Posted by on 05 Jan 2015 | Tagged as: Promotions

The first ever OSGA Beat the Book Contest ended for members over the weekend and the same player who started the contest in first place, was the season long winner. ‘Dawk20′ came out of the gate on fire, won almost every month and the season long prize of $250 cash.

The Beat the Book Contest was a brand new virtual sportsbetting contest just for OSGA Members. Each week players were able to put in virtual ‘bets’ on NFL and NCAA football games and MLB and NBA and NCAA basketball games. Unfortunately, for contestants, Dawk 20 ran up a huge balance in September and never looked back.

He took the monthly $250 free bet prize from Elite-rated GT Bets several months and won over 10K off of the initial $2000 in virtual money. Dawk20 ended the contest with over $15,000!

The contest was very difficult for us to grade month-to-month and with this software it was tough to keep track of the required amount of weekly bets needed to qualify for the monthly prize, but expect to see some version of the Beat the Book contest for the 2015 football season.

Thank you all OSGA members who participated in the Members-only Beat the Book Contest. Members can look forward to our annual Super Easy Super Bowl Contest, Members-Only Super Bowl Squares and our 14th Annual OSGA NCAA Tourney Bracket Challenge!

OSGA Announces Winner of 2014 Pro Football Progressive Pick ‘Em Contest

Posted by on 29 Dec 2014 | Tagged as: Promotions

The Off Shore Gaming Association (OSGA) is pleased to announce the winners of our annual Pro Football Progressive Pick ‘Em Contest. The 2014 OSGA Pro Football Progressive Pick ‘Em winner is ‘illiniwx4caster’ who beat out over 110 contestants to win the cash grand prize.

The OSGA sponsors several football contests that run for the full football season, but the MacDaddy of them is the Progressive Pick ‘Em for Pro Football, now in its 8th year.

The OSGA Pro Football Progressive Pick ‘Em was two contests in one! Each week there was also a prize winner of a $100 free betting account at OSGA Elite-rated BetOnline.ag. Every week the player with the most wins for that week was given a $100 Free Play. Though a deposit was required, BetOnlinegave away nearly $2000 in weekly prize Free Plays.

This year OSGA’s popular Progressive Pick ‘Em saw the Progressive part of the contest hit for the third year in a row. In fact this year the progressive portion of the contest was hit for a cool $1000 in week 10 and again for $200 in week12. Unfortunately, for the season long contest pool, this brought the final prize pool available down to $500. ‘illiniwx4caster’ ended up the season with a whopping 162 wins, defeating three players who unbelievably tied with 160 games picked correctly! ‘illiniwx4caster’ will get 50% of the remaining progressive prize pool of $500.

After 17 weeks and hundreds of games, three players still tied with 160 wins and thus we had to default to the first tie-breaker – the season-long win percentage. Again this was extremely close with ‘Miklos’ edging out the other players by less than a single percentage point to collect $125. ‘vikingboy13’ and ‘stormy1114’ both tied with a 66.6% win percentage, so OSGA had to move to the second tie-breaker – total wins in the weekly tie-breaker game. ’vikingboy13’ picked 11 of those correctly to claim third place and ‘stormy1114’ came in 4th with 9 wins. Utilizing all of the available tie-breakers determined that ‘harnpar’ came in 5th place with 159 wins and 13 of the weekly tie-breaker games picked correctly.

In all more than a third of the players hit games at a clip of 60% with 19 different players cashing in on prizes throughout the season.

“Every year this contest gets more interesting, and with two players hitting the progressive prize and three players tied for second place after picking nearly 250 games, this year was no exception,” stated Jim Quinn from OSGA. “We are fortunate to be able to work with some top online sportsbooks to be able to offer these contests and look forward to more contests for our visitors, fans and members,” added Quinn.

This has been another great year for the OSGA Progressive Pick ‘Em. OSGA is looking forward to crowning a winner in the 12th Annual Bowl Challenge in two weeks and their annual NCAA Tourney Contest in March.

NFL Teasers can be Pleasing for Bettors in Week 17

Posted by on 28 Dec 2014 | Tagged as: Behind the Lines, OffShore Insiders

In what has become another “holiday tradition” many offshore sportsbooks have become quite stingy and limited allowing customers to play NFL teasers in the last week of the season. And I can’t say I blame them if I were calling the shots from mission control.

Top online sportsbooks like WagerWeb and Diamond Sports have mined previous research over the years following customer trends where there are very favorable opportunities to play certain teams in must-win playoff situations. Adding on the 6 to 7 bonus teaser points can be similar to receiving a potential post-Christmas gift. Or conversely, betting against teams that have been eliminated and are using the last week of the season to audition new players for the following year. This causes many online sportsbooks to limit teaser wagers for Week 17 in recent years and the final week of this year’s season is no exception.

Toss in head coaches that have packed their bags weeks ago (see Rex Ryan-NY Jets) and leaders that are evaluating their next destinations (Jim Harbaugh-SF 49ers) and there can be some very tempting teaser betting choices to ponder. But before you feel over confident circling “sure things”, I’d keep some issues in perspective.

All teams play to win and all personnel are expected to give 100%. In our ultra-tech world, every frame of game film is critically judged and any player suspected of “dogging it” will not be forgotten by the coaching staff. That is, if they’re still around to grade players.

Second great example: Does anyone remember the last game Super Bowl winner Jon Gruden coached in the NFL? I memorably do.

With his Tampa Bay Bucs simply needing a win to qualify for the playoffs against the lowly 3-12 Oakland Raiders about four seasons ago, tons of Bucs money rolled in, making them a strong -9 favorite at home. The loose Raiders beat them by a touchdown, taking all pointspread, money line and teaser money on the Bucs along. Gruden was fired the next week, paving the way for his ultra-successful Monday Night Football broadcasting career.

That being said, here are some very strong, advantageous and potentially favorable TEASER wagering suggestions to pursue. But don’t be surprised if you’re limited betting compared to weeks 1 through 16. Reversing roles as a bookmaker you might likely feel the same way.

NFL Week 17 Teaser Wagering Suggestions

The following point spreads are based on current lines at popular offshore sportsbooks including 5Dimes, Bookmaker and BetOnline.

Buffalo + at New England
With the #1 seed in the playoffs and first round bye locked up there is absolutely nothing to gain for the New England Patriots. Obviously, much more to lose including all their key stars including QB Tom Brady, WR Rob Gronkowski, etc. But getting head coach Bill Belichick to confirm or deny his intentions is harder than learning CIA secrets. Therefore, we can only assume this game will be played with the strategy of a pre-season game as the Buffalo Bills can gain go full-tilt on the field gaining momentum on a very positive season and finish 9-7 for next year.

The line at -4 and shrinking is every indication of that as if anything was on the line for the Pats this game would likely be at least -9 or higher. Receiving 10 points or more in a teaser is a gift for a game no one would be surprised if the Bills could win outright.

Baltimore vs. Cleveland
In an opposite situation, the Baltimore Ravens can earn a potential playoff spot with help from other teams. More so, they need to redeem themselves off an uncharacteristic lackluster effort in Houston last week, laying an egg against the Texans and losing 25-13 in a must-win game. Strangely, the Ravens were physically whipped and QB Joe Flacco was poor in a type game where he usually comes up big under pressure.

The Cleveland Browns are a mess and seemingly are going in the wrong direction after a very promising first half of the season. The awful distraction with Johnny “football” Manziel divided the team and hurt QB Bryan Moyer’s confidence, when he led them to some nice victories. Now he is out with a shoulder injury and the Browns will turn to QB Connor Shaw, with virtually no NFL experience. A latest update has Cleveland suspending their great WR Josh Gordon on previous drug issues that could carryover into next season. Pile on one of their best defensive starters, cornerback Joe Haden is unlikely to play with an injury and this could get really ugly fast.

Keep in mind the Ravens must win this game and will be very angry after last week’s terrible showing. If you can lay less than a touchdown in this game on the Ravens, a team that always plays well at home against a dysfunctional Browns team playing a trivia QB, you now have two very promising Teaser wagers to build a ticket upon.

2014 OSGA College Bowl Bonanza

Posted by on 19 Dec 2014 | Tagged as: Promotions

Our annual Bowl Contest is underway and we have had a huge response so far!

The OSGA College Bowl Bonanza is back for the 2014-2015 College Bowl Season. The entries take just a few minutes to complete and the contest is free to enter. Check it out at http://www.osga.com/contestcentral.html. The deadline for entries is 12 noon on Saturday, December 20.

This year the annual BCS Bowl Contest from OSGA is bigger and better than ever. In its 12th year, the pick’em-style contest includes ALL 38 bowl games and has a prize pool of $1450. This contest is Against the Spread. OSGA has massaged the point spreads to make every game half-point decisions to avoid pushes. Players simply pick the winners of each bowl game (ATS) and then the correct score of the BCS Championship game as a tie-breaker. Points are awarded for each win and this year players can pick five ‘Key Games’, so everyone has a chance right up until the GoDaddy Bowl on January 4th.

There is NO FEE to enter the OSGA 2014-2015 College Bowl Bonanza and this year the prizes are again HUGE. The GRAND PRIZE of $500 is in Ca$h. The Runner-Up gets $250 cash. This years places 3 through 10 also get prizes – 3rd Place gets a $250 Free Bet at Elite-rated WagerWeb and more cash and sportsbook prizes are up for grabs. Check the rules for the complete prize breakdown.

This contest takes just a few minutes to enter and there is No Entry Fee. Check it out at http://www.osga.com/contestcentral.html. The deadline for entries is 12 noon on Saturday, December 20. GOOD LUCK!

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