Foxwoods Mashantucket Pequots of Ledyard, Connecticut Sign Deal with GameAccount for Play Money Games

A couple weeks ago we were touting tribes in Oklahoma throwing their hats into the online gambling ring. To recap, two Oklahoma tribes were permitted to offer real money online gambling to NON-USA customers only, in exchange for a 20% cut to state of Oklahoma. Their website,, is in soft launch and will soon be accepting everyone in the world except USA players. Not to be outdone, the Mashantucket Pequots of Ledyard, Connecticut, owners of the world famous Foxwoods Resort Casino, have completed a deal with GameAccount Network to begin offering play money games to all website customers, regardless of origin.

At the moment Foxwoods must get regulatory approval to offer play money games, but this is a mere formality. The main challenge will be getting REAL money online gambling started in the state of Connecticut and the rest of the nation. The state hasn’t taken a formal position about online gambling yet, although it has been resistant in the past. Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun are the state’s only two Native American casinos allowed to operate. They have reaped enormous financial rewards, and so has the state Treasury, which gets 25% of the gross gaming revenue each month. Recent attempts by other Connecticut tribes to gain federal recognition have been shot down, most notably the Golden Hill Paugussetts of Kent, who were opposed by a local anti-casino group that successfully lobbied the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The BIA’s ruling was considered controversial and clearly under the influence of exogenous forces.

Our prediction is that real money online gambling from Foxwoods OR Mohegan Sun will be offered within 3 years. The dominoes are falling in other states hungry for additional tax revenue. Connecticut is a wealthier state than most, but that doesn’t mean people are happy paying high tax rates. Allowing the Native American tribes to run an online casino is potentially LESS threatening to state citizens if customers from around the nation and/or world are welcomed. State anti-casino groups oppose growth of legalized gambling because of social welfare concerns and the fact it is a de facto tax on local residents. That wouldn’t be much of an issue if online slots, blackjack, or roulette are offered to a global market. It would be easy money for the state and the local impact on social well-being would be nominal.

With e-gaming you have to think big, and then bigger. The booming market in Macau SAR, China, is evidence that an online casino based in Connecticut could easily tap into an immense revenue stream. Who in the USA is really against getting money out of China? No one wants people in any state or country to be hopelessly addicted to online gambling, but the State of Connecticut gaming commission could easily mitigate social problems at home or abroad with strict regulations and deposit velocity limits. Many foreigners from China already patronize Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. Why not go after those that don’t feel like taking a long flight to the USA to gamble?

The nation is busy with other matters, but the online gambling bug has crept into the legislative halls of our governments, and the case for legalizing and regulating it in the USA is compelling. Yes, there will have to be control over the age of customers, those who self-exclude themselves from gambling online, and controls on payment processing, but it is a winning proposition if implemented correctly.

See you at Foxwoods in person OR online soon!

Good Luck from!

Legends Sportsbook Closes Amid Indictments from United States Law Enforcement

It’s no secret anymore: indictments against Legends Sportsbook have been unsealed and the owners have decided to cease operations. Legends operated on a few different domains over the years, most recently, where the website appears to be running for non-wagering purposes.

The management has decided to transfer all player balances to another “A Rated” sportsbook. This is a departure from the normal routine of simply paying out all players and closing doors. We speculate Legends does NOT have the money to cover all its USA player balances. Therefore, by transferring accounts to another sportsbook, the money becomes that sportsbook’s liability. Of course, USA based customers might decided to wager at the other sportsbook, in which case the account balances *might* become an asset. It will be interesting to see who takes Legends’ orphaned players and how many customers yank their money out for good.

This development isn’t surprising in the least, and is just another offshore sportsbook falling under the weight of USA law enforcement. It has now been revealed that Legends was offering some credit wagering, which isn’t standard operating procedure for post-up sportbooks that take money upfront before accepting a bet. Perhaps agents in the USA went state’s evidence under legal pressure. Additionally, Legends owners living in Florida were transferring money back to the state for living expenses, including a personal jet. This officially qualifies as money laundering in the eyes of the DOJ.

Although the news is breaking as a “Legends problem”, in reality others were snagged in the indictments. The owner of The Greek was also named, another top rated sportsbook with a solid reputation in the industry.

It seems odd that the DOJ has targeted sportsbooks that have – for the most part – done right by their customers. They have functional betting software, responsive customer service, and pay winners as fast as possible. Sportsbooks aren’t awared a “A” rating from SBR for nothing. Essentially, this case is not about ripping off Americans who willingly bet offshore, but more about economics. The DOJ claims in excess of $1 billion was taken by the indictees, and that money should have stayed in the USA where it could have been taxed and regulated. Once money leaves American shores it still must be reported by USA citizens, but it is beyond the reach of law enforcement unless the citizen or financial institution holding the funds is compelled to bring them back (also known as repatriating assets).

These developments naturally beg the question, who’s next? Bodog founder Calvin Ayre is already under indictment and has secured one of the best defense attorneys in the United States to argue his case in lieu of turning himself in. Ayre has no plans to set foot in the USA, and extraditing him from a friendly USA ally might be difficult given his crime is financial and not violent. In the eyes of most other countries, Ayre has done nothing wrong. The same holds true for every other sportsbook operator on the USA radar.

Will this spell the end of offshore sports betting? Not quite. While legalized online poker and casinos games will soon go live in Las Vegas, Delaware, and New Jersey, sports betting is not likely to become legal soon. We use “soon” as a relative term: if poker and casino games prove profitable, someone will suggest online sports betting become legal and regulated inside the USA. Unfortunately, strong lobbies for the NFL, NBA, NHL, and NCAA are diametrically opposed to ANY form of sports betting whether or not it is offline or online. Convincing these groups that legalized online sports betting in the USA would keep each respective league’s games clean would be an uphill battle, but not impossible by any stretch of the imagination.

It seems the DOJ lashes out at those thumbing their noses at USA law enforcement. Strangely, companies that were formerly accepting United States customers through 2006 have NOT been prosecuted. They left the USA market and perhaps made deals with the government behind closed doors. In fact, was just approved for an online operator’s license in Nevada, despite the fact it welcomed USA customers until 2006 when the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act) was passed. They were wise to leave and bide their time, but aren’t exactly squeaky clean all things considered.

The fate of the Legends and The Greek owners really comes down to their own personal legal maneuvers. Those outside the USA might remain in their host countries until it is absolutely necessary to settle up with the DOJ. Those inside the USA are likely lawyering up and brokering deals. Among a group of indictees, the first to cooperate with the government get no penalties or reduced sentences. Hopefully the hubris that typically personifies offshore sportsbook owners won’t get in the way of their better judgment. It might be better to finish the show now and move on to other things, even if that includes a substantial forfeiture of assets and potential jail time.

Keep your ear to the rail, this case is still developing.

Good Luck from!