Old news to us

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The front page of the most valuable real estate in business journalism earlier this week featured an article on outsourcing of sports bets to a fund manager.

Or, as those of us in the pari-mutuel world called it many moons ago, a syndicate or players pool.

The stakes in these broader sporting investments are higher than what most pari-mutuel collectives wager, says The Wall Street Journal.

“Entity-wagering funds are tiny by Wall Street standards—the largest has just over $1 million under management. By comparison, Sunday’s Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons alone is expected to generate more than $100 million in bets at Las Vegas sports books.”

Like players pools have ruffled some regulatory feathers, so have the sports betting funds, according to the Journal. 

The story said a company that worked with the sports betting funds paid a fine in an agreement that stemmed from a federal gambling and money laundering investigation.

Remember this? In 2014, the California Horse Racing Board ruled that, under that state law, players pools were the same as bookmaking and said California-licensed account wagering companies couldn’t conduct players pools in the state.

According to California Penal Code Section 337a, players pools are illegal as a form of bookmaking. As such, no wagering facility licensed in California should knowingly accept a pool wager.

Since then, players pools on California races have been allowed.

The Journal article concludes that the future of the funds in sports betting — how big of a deal they will be — is unknown, a forecast that could be adopted for players pools and syndicates as well.



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