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Monthly Archives: November 2023
Posted: November 30, 2023 at 8:36 pm
For years, the recipe for building wealth was straightforward: Graduate from college, get a good job, live below your means and invest the rest.
But a group of financial enthusiasts are veering off that path in favor of a more accelerated approach known as FIRE, or financial independence, retire early.
FIRE followers aim to exit the workforce years, even decades, ahead of schedule by drastically cutting expenses, boosting their income and investing heavily.
But like much of finance, FIRE blogs and Reddit threads are often dominated by non-diverse voices. We spoke with three women from diverse backgrounds who are challenging that stereotype and reshaping the conversation around financial freedom.
Meet three female FIRE followers:
Heres how these women are approaching the journey to financial independence, and how you can do it, too.
Many Americans struggle to save enough money for retirement by age 65 let alone 45 or even 35.
It takes hard work to retire early, so before you get started on your FIRE journey, understand your motivation.
For Torres, FIRE represents the freedom to walk away from her engineering career and pursue her creative passions full-time.
Youre not withholding to company layoffs, downsizing or a pandemic, says Torres, who quit her job in 2021 to pursue her company full time. Financial independence makes work optional.
For Saavedra, FIRE affords her the freedom to stay at home with her two young children while running her business part-time.
Because my husband and I were saving for a goal bigger than ourselves for our future children - it felt very meaningful, says Saavedra, who recently moved to California with her husband and two children. The sacrifices we made didnt feel like much of a sacrifice when we looked at it that way.
Rita-Soledad Fernandez Paulino, a first-generation Mexican-American living in California, started her journey toward financial independence at age 32 when she created her first budget.
Until then, I had just picked up side gigs, like babysitting, if I needed extra money, she says.
The turning point came after Fernandez Paulino was forced to take medical leave from her job as a public school teacher.
While collecting disability and confined to bed rest, the mother of two says she decided to get a firm grip on her cash flow and create a budget.
It made me be more intentional with my spending, says Fernandez Paulino. I used those budgeting skills to really buckle down and pay off my student loans.
Financial independence hinges on shedding student loan and credit card debt.
Fernandez Paulino paid off the rest of her and her husbands $23,000 student loan balance in 2019 after trying to apply for the federal teacher student loan forgiveness program.
Meanwhile, Torres aggressively paid off her $39,000 student loan balance from 2016 to 2020, making extra payments using revenue from her food blog side hustle and additional windfalls, like tax refunds.
Sometimes I would pay two, three, four times the minimum payment on my loans, she says.
Torres also refinanced her loans four times, each time lowering her interest rate and shortening the repayment period.
Frugality is a cornerstone of FIRE. Cutting expenses and learning to live on less are key strategies for building a massive nest egg in a short time.
Some FIRE followers embrace frugality more than others. Two subreddits, r/LeanFIRE and the more extreme r/PovertyFIRE, include members who live off $25,000 a year or less and plan to continue that minimalist lifestyle through retirement.
Saavedra, the daughter of Chinese immigrants, says she learned frugal habits from her parents. But in her mid-20s, Saavedra stepped up her saving habit in a big way.
She and her husband stuck to a strict budget when they were dating and after they married. They decided to live off just one persons salary in New York City for several years, aiming to save about 50 percent of their income annually.
Our thought was that if we learned to live off the lower of our two incomes, and then we had a kid, we wouldnt worry about the added cost, says Saavedra. And one of us could potentially be a stay-at-home parent.
The couple saved thousands of dollars a year by moving into a rent stabilized apartment, helping offset some of Manhattans high cost of living.
Neither owned a car and they both saved money on public transportation by walking as much as possible. Instead of pricey dinners in Midtown, the couple invited friends over for potlucks and home-cooked meals.
And since Saavedra and her husband were making six figures shortly after college, it didnt take long for the couple to amass a major nest egg.
By the time Saavedra got married at age 28, she and her husband both had six-figure net worths.
A few years later, Saavedra says her personal net worth hit the $1 million mark.
Frugality is really what drove the rapid growth in those final years before I hit $1 million, she says.
In July 2023, at the age of 37, Saavedra left her full-time six-figure consulting job to retire early.
I walked away because I wanted the freedom to do something else with my life and focus on being a mother, she says.
Budgeting helped Fernandez Paulino reign in her spending and prioritize paying off her student loans, but she soon realized she couldnt save her way to financial independence. Not on disability checks, or even a full-time teachers salary. She needed to earn more money.
I like spending money, says Fernandez Paulino. I get a lot of joy out of shopping. So cutting back on everything I enjoy just didnt feel sustainable.
A subset of the FIRE movement, known as Fat FIRE (in contrast to Lean FIRE) favors a less frugal and more lenient approach to building wealth. People with this mindset dont worry so much about making dramatic sacrifices today, but instead, focus on ratcheting up their earnings.
Torres thinks theres too much emphasis on frugality in the broader FIRE movement.
I want to still enjoy my life in the present, she says. I dont want to keep living like a broke college student.
As a Latina from a working-class Puerto Rican family, the thought of cutting back to bare essentials also conjured up unpleasant childhood memories of sacrifice and struggle.
It was kind of a trigger to even think about going back to that mentality, she says.
So while both Fernandez Paulino and Torres recommend creating a budget, getting a handle on your cash flow and saving money, theyre fueling their FIRE journey with our next tip: Earn more money.
To achieve FIRE, all three women aggressively pursued higher salaries and additional income streams.
Saavedra stressed the importance of asking for more money in your 9-5 job.
You need to back up your negotiations with data, she says. Know what the competition pays, know what other people were able to achieve within the same company and at the same level.
Saavedra says she often interviewed for jobs when she was employed just to gauge the market rate for a candidate with her background.
Saavedra and Torres started earning six-figure salaries shortly after college (Torres as an engineer and Saavedra as a management consultant), but they didnt fully embark on the road to financial independence until they created their own side hustles.
Torres started her food blog, Delish DLites, in 2013 when she was 25. She was in-between jobs and decided to devote time to a creative pursuit.
I always loved being in the kitchen and knew I wanted to do something around that, says Torres. It was just a hobby at first, an experimentation really.
A few years later, Torres began chronicling her financial journey on social media. She interviewed money experts on her podcast Yo Quiero Dinero, which focuses on helping Latinas build wealth.
Success didnt happen overnight, though. Torres says it took about seven years before she earned enough passive income from her food blog and other content streams to quit her day job and work her side hustles full-time.
At some point, each of these FIRE followers made the decision to pay for additional education or training to boost their earning potential.
Saavedra says she charged almost nothing to gain exposure when she first started her wedding photography business. After receiving additional training and improving her marketing skills, Saavedra was able to charge over $5,000 per wedding at the height of her side hustle.
Working with a financial advisor or a similar professional can help you map out your goals and avoid common pitfalls.
You have to realize there are areas where youre not the expert, and you may need to pay other experts to help you learn quickly, Saavedra says.
Investing in broadly diversified ETFs and index funds is a tried-and-true strategy used by millions of Americans to build wealth. Its also how Saavedra grew her sizable investment portfolio.
You cant buy back time, Saavedra says.
Index funds are a collection of assets, usually stocks or bonds, that share a common theme. Some of the most popular funds track the Standard & Poors 500 index a collection of Americas biggest companies. It has a track record of about 8 percent annual returns over time.
The beauty of index funds is they offer instant diversification, so you dont need to be an investing expert to get started.
We just invest the way Warren Buffet says the average American should invest cheap index funds, says Saavedra. Im not a stock picker. Thats not my job.
Saavedra says she bought many of those index funds inside tax-advantaged retirement accounts, including her workplace 401(k). When she started her financial education company, Save My Cents, in 2016, she also signed up for a SEP IRA.
SEP IRAs are a type of individual retirement account that allows a company to contribute up to the lesser of 25 percent of your compensation, or $66,000.
For workers who double as their own bosses, like Saavedra, a SEP IRA offers the chance to set aside much more money than they could in an employers 401(k) plan, which caps employee contributions at $22,500 in 2023 and $23,000 in 2024.
The road to early retirement begins with your FIRE number, or the amount of money you need to save to live the lifestyle you want after exiting the workforce.
Many people pursuing FIRE follow the rule of 25, which means accumulating 25 times your annual expenses before retirement.
To get this number, first multiply your monthly expenses by 12. Then multiply that annual expense by 25 to get your FIRE number.
Looked at another way, 4 percent of your net worth should be equal to or greater than a years worth of living expenses. Why 4 percent? Over the long term, the stock market has historically returned over 8 percent annually on average, so 4 percent is a conservative enough withdrawal rate to keep your investments growing.
Fernandez Paulino set her withdrawal rate at the standard 4 percent due to her heavy stock allocation.
If I were ever to change my asset allocation to have more bonds, I would change my withdrawal rate to 3 percent, she says.
Its important to consider the type of lifestyle you want in retirement. A higher withdrawal rate offers a more comfortable lifestyle, though youll need to save more money to afford and maintain it.
Traditionally, FIRE followers set a hard date to retire.
But the women we spoke to are interested in a more work-optional future, not a permanent departure from work.
For me, it was about figuring out how much I needed to make to replace my six-figure salary, says Torres, who achieved that goal in 2020. Then I said if I could replicate that again, I would officially be financially independent.
So, for Torres, she achieved financial independence in 2021 at age 35, though she still continues to run her businesses.
Saavedra was clear about her FIRE date: I never set a date.
She recognizes the value of work, citing its positive impact on mental well-being.
I decided to continue working because it made sense for me personally, she says.
According to Fernandez Paulinos calculation, she should be able to retire financially independent by age 47 if her company meets annual revenue goals.
Ive really been focusing more on a work-optional life, she says. If I miss my FIRE date, thats fine. Im working for myself, doing what I want.
She describes her FIRE date as aiming for the moon. Even if she fails, shell be among the stars.
Youll still set yourself up for a comfortable retirement later, even if you dont hit your target FIRE date, she says.
Achieving financial independence can be a psychological challenge, particularly for women of color and first-generation Americans who may be the first ones in their family to accumulate wealth.
There can be this feeling of wealth guilt, of who am I to even deserve this? says Torres.
For some people, feelings of unworthiness or insecurity can lead to self-sabotage, like failing to invest because youre afraid of losing money in the stock market and letting down people who depend on you, says Torres.
Fernandez Paulino recalls crying in a meeting last fall when she realized she was on track to make $100,000 after launching her business.
I kept thinking, This doesnt happen, this isnt safe, this is crazy, she says.
Therapy can be helpful in fact, all three women praised the benefits of therapy as a way to combat negative emotions and even address past financial trauma.
You have to become very thoughtful about your narrative, the thoughts you repeat to yourself, says Fernandez Paulino.
While therapy is valuable, these women stress the importance of self-care and a strong support network, too.
Finding a community where you can celebrate your financial wins can be a game changer, says Fernandez Paulino, who felt discouraged after no one liked or commented on her Instagram post about paying off her student loan debt.
I felt like I was the only one going through this, she says.
Ultimately, she discovered the FIRE movement, and connected with others in the Latinx community pursuing similar goals.
Fernandez Paulino believes that for women pursuing FIRE, especially women of color, its also essential to give yourself grace and practice self-care.
You really have to learn how to take care of yourself mentally, physically and financially, she says.
Thats the common goal after all: True freedom.
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Posted: at 8:36 pm
By Brian Murphy, WRAL
Sports bettors in North Carolina won't be able to legally bet on the 2024 Super Bowl in the state from their mobile devices.
North Carolina Lottery Commission chairman Ripley Rand made the announcement at the end of Wednesday's commission meeting.
The commission previously announced that sports betting would not go live on Jan. 8, the first date allowed by North Carolina's sports betting law. The commission has until June 14 to launch sports betting in the state.
The Super Bowl is Feb. 11.
"One question I know I have gotten a number of times and I'm sure other commissioners have gotten is whether sports betting will be up and running in time for the Super Bowl," Rand said. "While the commission is committed to making sports betting available in an effective manner as quickly as we can, with all the remaining work to be done, that unfortunately will not be the case. We hope to be able to announce a day in the near future about when sports betting will go live in North Carolina."
The commission approved application forms for operators at its meeting Wednesday. The first deadline for applications, which are expected to become available later this week, is Dec. 27.
The commission has 60 days from that date to perform background checks and other work on the applicants. That can be extended by an additional 30 days.
"We're asking our future sports wagering operators to complete and submit their applications to the commission by December 27th," said Sterl Carpenter, who is in charge of sports betting for the lottery. "In doing so, their applications can start the 60-day window for licensure approval and they would be able to be considered for our go-live date."
Sports wagering operators in North Carolina must obtain a "written designation agreement" from certain sports teams, leagues or facilities in order to apply for a license. The feature was added to state law in the budget several months after the original gambling law was passed.
The Charlotte Hornets announced Bet365 will be their official mobile sports betting partner. Other franchises, leagues or venues are expected to announce their partnerships with operators soon.
Sports betting is currently legal at three tribal casinos in the western part of the state.
Posted: at 8:36 pm
Picture by Getty Images.
Nov 30, 2023, 03:44 PM EST
LeBron James' high school teammate and long-standing business partner Maverick Carter admitted to illegally placing bets on the NBA in 2021, the Washington Post reported on Thursday.
Carter told federal agents as much during an investigation into bookie Wayne Nix, who ran an illegal sports gambling ring that encompassed many former and current players across American sports, according to federal prosecutors.
During the interview in Nov. 2021, Carter said he "could not remember placing any bets on the Lakers," according to a report that summarized the interview.
A spokesperson for Carter repeatedly declined to answer questions about James and said that Carter's sports bets "had nothing to do with [LeBron]." Carter said in the federal report that he did not place bets for people other than himself.
Carter has been partnered with James since the latter entered the league in 2003, having been anointed as "The Chosen One." Carter and James had both attended St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio. Alongside Rich Paul, the trio are considered among the most powerful people in basketball.
Carter and his lawyers said he made about 20 bets ranging from about $5,000 to $10,000 on football and basketball games over the course of a year. The bookie Nix's partner Edon Kagasoff told a "business manager for a professional basketball player" via text that he could increase his bets to a maximum of $25,000 for NBA games.
Carter was never charged for being a part of the scheme and served merely as a witness, his spokesperson told the Washington Post. Nix faces up to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to operate an illegal gambling business.
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MotoAmerica Partners With ALT Sports Data In Exclusive Global Sports Betting Rights Agreement – Cycle News
Posted: at 8:36 pm
Press Release | November 30, 2023
MotoAmerica To Be First U.S.-Based Two-Wheel Sport To Officially Offer Wagering On Races to Fans
This is a press release from MotoAmerica
Irvine, CA (November 30, 2023) MotoAmerica, North Americas premier motorcycle road racing series and home of the AMA Superbike Championship, is excited to announce an exclusive partnership with ALT Sports Data, a leading provider of cutting-edge sports data and analytics solutions. Beginning with the start of MotoAmericas 10th season in 2024, ALT Sports Data will be the sole distributor of sports betting data for MotoAmericas race events, strengthening its leading position as a major operator in the sports data and betting market.
The partnership marks a significant milestone in the sports industry. MotoAmerica will be the first two-wheel motorsport to officially partner with ALT Sports Data, which will leverage its deep expertise to provide comprehensive and real-time data to sports betting operators, enabling them to offer unmatched betting experiences for fans of MotoAmerica. The collective effort between MotoAmerica and ALT Sports Data will allow sportsbook operators to create pre-event markets, as well as manage in-race odds, giving fans a new way to connect with the series.
MotoAmerica will provide access to its race timing data, allowing ALT Sports Data to collect, analyze, and distribute the data to licensed sports betting operators worldwide. Fans can look forward to a robust betting experience that offers real-time statistics, odds, and insights. The partnership gives MotoAmericas fans the opportunity to engage with teams and riders more than previously was possible, as well as having more information about whats happening on the track through the sharing of information with ALT Sports Data.
We know that this exclusive partnership with ALT Sports Data will transform the way fans around the world engage with our series and offer a more immersive experience for them than ever, said Chuck Aksland, Co-Founder and COO of MotoAmerica. Sports betting continues to grow on a global scale, our fans have been looking for an opportunity to wager on races, and nows the perfect time for MotoAmerica to enter this industry, as the series is also experiencing positive growth.
Todd Ballard, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of ALT Sports Data added Its our mission to drive more commerce around the sports we watch and love. As the official data partner of MotoAmericaNorth Americas premier professional motorcycle road racing serieswe are opening the door for a new and highly engaged audience to engage with the sport. Legal sports betting offers a new point of connection to these iconic sports, their world-class athletes and their global communities. And that translates to more fans and greater engagement.
MotoAmerica, together with ALT Sports Data, is committed to maintaining the integrity of the sport. This partnership will uphold the highest standards of data accuracy and security, and through this collaboration, MotoAmerica looks to capitalize on the growing popularity of the series while ensuring a safe, secure, and entertaining betting experience for its fans around the world. More information about this partnership will be announced at a later date.
For more information on MotoAmerica, visit http://www.MotoAmerica.com
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Posted: at 8:36 pm
Mark Cubans surprise sale of a majority stake in the Dallas Mavericks to Las Vegas Adelson family could set the stage for another battle in Austin over the future of legalized gambling and sports betting in Texas.
The Dallas billionaire is a proponent of legalizing gambling in Texas to bring in resort casinos. Though the state has killed any efforts to allow sports betting or gambling, industry experts say Cubans move could be what finally pushes Texas lawmakers to act.
I have to believe that the political leadership has got to be a little tired of looking at all the tail lights leaving Texas, said Alan Feldman, a distinguished fellow at the University of Las Vegas International Gaming Institute. Theres a lot of money leaving the state. And at some point, I think theyre going to realize if they dont get in the game, Texas is just going to be exporting money to other states.
Cuban sold a majority interest in the NBA team to Miriam Adelson, the biggest shareholder in one of the worlds biggest casino operators, Las Vegas Sands, and a widow to Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. Cuban made clear last year that he hoped to eventually partner with the Adelson family to build an arena and resort-style destination in Dallas.
Become a business insider with the latest news.
Legalizing casino gambling requires an amendment to the Texas Constitution, which needs two-thirds approval in both chambers of the state Legislature to put it before voters.
Texas is one of the biggest states to not yet legalize casino gambling or sports betting. But with a fervent fanbase for its sports teams and a growing population, Texas, and Dallas specifically, are seen by proponents as perfect locations for casinos and gambling companies to set up shop, said Andrew Brandt, executive director of the Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law at Villanova Universitys Law School.
Texas is such a big stage. So much of a revenue base could come from sports betting and its the reason why a lot of states have implemented it, he said. Its an anomaly that large states like Texas and California are sitting on the sidelines in this industry.
The Texas Sports Betting Alliance, relying on a report from Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, estimates that more than $8 billion is illegally bet in Texas annually. The sports betting market was estimated to be nearly $77 billion in 2021. Data Bridge Market Research thinks that figure could soar globally to $297 billion by 2030.
Texans also spend roughly $5 billion a year in adjacent states and Las Vegas, according to another estimate.
Texans spend billions of dollars every year in casinos in nearby states, said Ray Perryman, CEO of the Perryman Group, a Waco economic research firm. There are gaming facilities very close to the border in Louisiana, Oklahoma, and New Mexico.
Next door in Lousiana, Baltimore-based Cordish Companies, the mastermind behind Arlingtons Texas Live! entertainment center, is planning a $250 million casino resort thats expected to open in 2025.
Cuban has previously said he believes Texas isnt a hot tourist draw because it lacks real destinations to save up for. Hes said resort gaming could change that, and hes not alone in that belief.
I imagine there could be a lot of gambling tourism, said Raji Srinivasan, a marketing professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Whether its Dallas or San Antonio, cities could really capitalize on this. Las Vegas might even see a cutback in a sizable portion of its tourism because people are willing to travel from Texas to gamble in Vegas.
The Adelsons have actively lobbied state legislators for years. The familys newfound ties to the Mavs could be the tipping point for lawmakers, Feldman said.
Theyve been looking at Texas for a long time, he said. People in the community might be hesitant about building a new arena, but they can put a new proposal on the table that might include a casino resort. That wasnt a realistic vision before but maybe that could change now.
Sheldon Adelsons influence on the Republican Party as a longtime donor may also sweeten the pot for decision-makers in Austin, Srinivasan said.
Their family has been a big contributor to the GOP. So they have good inroads with the party already, she said. I think theyll be able to advocate in a way that Mark Cuban hasnt been able to historically. I think that has to be one of the interests behind making this play for the Adelson family. If anyone can pull this off, its going to be them.
Brandt said the Adelson familys wealth Miriam Adelsons net worth is estimated at $33 billion gives them the financial resources to push for gambling expansion.
A family like theirs having a majority stake in one of the premier franchises in Texas is a net positive for the efforts of legalized gambling in the state, he said.
Given opposition from Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and others to legalization efforts, the fight in Austin is easier said than done, Perryman said.
It is difficult to say how the acquisition of a major sports franchise by a prominent casino operator will impact the efforts to enact legislation authorizing gaming, he said. Historically, efforts have come the closest to passage at times when the state was facing revenue shortfalls, which is not the case at present.
Despite his doubts, Perryman said hes not ruling out legalization as the state looks for solutions for a number of issues.
Texas is a rapidly expanding state that faces long-term challenges in providing necessary educational opportunities at all levels, infrastructure, water resources, broadband, health care, workforce development, and many other requirements, he said, The revenues that could be obtained from permitting gaming would be very beneficial in these efforts.
If Texas were to legalize casino gambling and sports betting, it could set off a scramble by Sands and other companies to cash in, Srinivasan said.
The Adelsons have the advantage here if it gets legalized, but once its legalized, youre gonna have a whole bunch of other companies coming in as well, she said. Within two to three years of legislation being passed, Id expect to see malls dying from low foot traffic be repurposed.
With DFW International Airport being the second-busiest airport in the United States, it makes it easier for casino operators to attract out-of-town visitors, Feldman said.
Dont dismiss Dallas now, even internationally. Its a very important city, he said. Las Vegas Sands already has a spectacular proposal in New York where the Islanders used to play at a site thats no longer being used. This is the evolution of those kinds of interests in Texas.
But competing with gambling meccas like Las Vegas is a long time away, Brandt said.
Vegas has been the standard. Im sure there will be a honeymoon period like there was in New Jersey, he said. But Vegas has other entertainment options that are ancillary to the gambling.
Feldman said its not so much about challenging Vegas, but more about enhancing Dallas international profile.
People from Latin America, Canada, even Asia, might add Dallas to their list of places to visit, he said. The Mavericks already dont have a hard time selling a ticket, but it could be even better. People are going to say, Lets catch a Mavs game and we can stay right where the stadium is for the weekend.
Other local teams like the Stars, Cowboys and Rangers also could cash in on an increased international presence, he said.
Those [arenas and casinos] are proving to be enormously powerful economic generators. Its the reason that the Oakland Athletics are trying to move to Las Vegas, he said Theyre willing to tear down the existing casino in order to make way for a new major sports arena on top of other development, including a new resort hotel. So this model is proving enormously powerful.
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Posted: at 8:36 pm
Bet $5 on any event and get $200 in bonus bets. Receive a deposit match up to $500. Deposit match up to $1,000. You have likely seen at least one of these ads for online sportsbooks. Maybe youve even seen one today.
The sports gambling industry is on the rise after nearly four years of being legal in Michigan. From record profits and earnings by DraftKings and FanDuel in 2022 to companies such as ESPN creating their own sportsbooks, everyone wants to take advantage of the growing market. As the industry grows, the ads multiply. An increase in addiction and underage gambling will follow. The state of Michigan set the stage for this epidemic with bad legislation, but its not too late to change course.
New research from Northeastern University shows that advertisements for sports betting have been more effective than those for cigarettes. You could encounter an ad for Caesars Sportsbook on the side of the bus as you walk down the street. You likely saw an ad for DraftKings or FanDuel last time you spent a few hours scrolling through social media or watching television. They have become practically unavoidable. But it wasnt always like this. Before 2018, Nevada was the only state that allowed sports betting. Other states joined Nevada after the Supreme Court overturned the Sports Protection Act, with Michigan legalizing sports betting in 2019. Companies found creative ways to advertise their sites.
Many online sportsbooks offer free money for new users to place a bet on their platform. They also use promo or QR codes for promotions, enticing users to place a bet and get improved odds with better payoffs or no risk with their wager by giving away bonus bets. But when sportsbooks run these ads, they are being deceptive. Much of the free money and no-risk bets that companies such as FanDuel promise in their commercials are awarded through in-site credits that can only be redeemed if the user continues to place bets.
These advertisements aid the growing addiction and underage gambling problem that the nation is facing. Teens exposed to gambling face a higher rate of gambling addiction than adults. Children who are exposed to gambling are also four times more likely to engage in problem gambling later on. Advertisements for sports betting also become amplified online with the use of targeted ads. Individuals who showcase the potential for gambling are subject to more ads for the sportsbooks that want their business. It is with this that these companies knowingly cater to addiction-prone individuals by offering additional items to make users think theyll beat the odds.
The Michigan legislature cannot defer to the national level on this issue. The only notable attempt by the federal government to curb advertisements for sports betting came from U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., but his Betting on Our Future Act has not been passed yet. Future bills will likely meet the same fate, considering that lobbyists for the gambling industry spent more than $26 million in 2023 alone. As money is spent to promote the industry among members of the government, it is unlikely that restrictions will be put in place to slow it down. However this doesnt mean that action cannot be taken on a state level. If Congress wont stop advertisers from exploiting gambling addicts and minors, then the state of Michigan must.
Banning sports betting ads should not be a difficult decision. Much like the cigarette advertising ban in 1970, an outright ban on sports betting ads would be based on the idea that they cause more harm to users than good. Sportsbook ads are already required to present a disclaimer providing resources for gambling addicts. Harmful products such as cigarettes are banned from being advertised on TV and radio.
Michigan legislators must push aside the lobbyists and do whats right to protect their constituents from these extremely dangerous advertisements. Standing on the sideline watching as companies take advantage of people too young to gamble and those too addicted to stop is not an option. Its time for the government to step up and ban these predatory ads.
Thomas Muha is an Opinion Columnist. He writes about issues relating to social media and the internet. He can be reached at email@example.com or on X @TJMooUM.
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Posted: at 8:36 pm
Oregon Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade this week released a new financial audit of the Oregon Lottery, the agency that provides the second largest pot of state funding after income taxes.
The new audit shows a second consecutive year of very robust revenues after a period in which the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the bars and taverns that provide most of the agencys income through nearly 11,000 video lottery terminals.
Heres how 2023s $1.678 billion in revenue (down a fraction of 1% from 2022) stacks up historically:
Historical Lottery Revenues
Video lottery revenues have boomed even though agency figures show there are 8.5% fewer machines across the state than there were a decade ago. Thats because people are playing video lottery more: Oregonians $395.66 per capita last year, versus $261.12 in 2014.
Within the numbers, there was actually a tiny decline in net video lottery revenue in 2023, although that game continues to produce about 70% of the agencys net revenue.
One significant change from last year: The numbers show that state revenue from sports betting jumped substantially and far more than budgeted: the state netted $55.3 million from sports bettors, a 72% increase from 2022. That net gain came from a gross total of $565.5 million bet on sports, which is 7.2% higher than the agency budgeted.
Although sports betting accounts for just a small fraction (3.3%) of total lottery sales last year, the agency is counting on young sports bettors to replace some the aging video lottery players over time.
Lottery spokesman Matt Shelby says the agency is pleased with the growth of its sports book, which since 2022 has been operated under a new contract with DraftKings.
We launched with Scoreboard [in 2019] and then switched to DraftKings, Shelby says. In effect, we started over. The player base is still maturing and sports betting is becoming much more mainstream.
Split of lottery sales by game.
The states reliance on gambling makes critics uncomfortable. Oregon is uniquely dependent on lottery tax revenue at the expense of our public health, says Kitty Martz, the executive director of the advocacy group Voices of Problem Gambling Recovery. We need to prevent further public health impact and get some legislation in place.
Martz and other critics have long pointed to the states conflicted position: through the Oregon Health Authority, the state provides mental health services, including funding to treat gambling addiction, as well as providing a variety of other services to families of those afflicted with a gambling addiction. Yet the Oregon Lottery is tasked with raising money for education, economic development, parks and other essential services.
The Lotterys cash has proven irresistible to lawmakers but Martz says it comes at a long-term, hidden cost. Lets look back at the onset of the opioid epidemic, she says. We later vilified big pharma, but where was legislative regulation? The lottery offers an addictive product, self-regulates, and is charged with maximizing profits. We need to better define how that serves the public good.
The audit also included a list of the top 10 video lottery purveyors in the stateand some historical context for how that has changed over time:
Top 10 retailers, 2023
Top 10 retailers, 2014.
Shelby says the enormous increase at the top of the list of lottery purveyors is attributable to a relatively new optioncouriers who buy and redeem lottery tickets for players living in other states and, in some cases, overseas.
All of the top four retailers are associated with a courier service, Shelby says. Its like DoorDash for lottery tickets.
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Posted: at 8:36 pm
Once sequestered to the desert of Las Vegas, whispered about over pay phones, and deemed to be a threat to the integrity of football by the NFLs commissioner, the practice of betting on sports has escaped ostracism and emerged as a ballyhooed favorite of sports leagues and fanatics.
For decades, only racetracks and Las Vegas allowed sports gambling in the U.S. Pro leagues were so wary that they refused to even place a team in Sin City, lest athletes get caught up in the unseemly habit. In a 2012 court filing, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell formally opposed the spread of sports betting.
But a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision opened the door to widespread sports wagering. And as a new revenue stream for casinos, leagues and states and a new source of entertainment for fans, sports betting quickly proved a coveted debutant. What was taboo became ubiquitous: 38 states have legalized it in some form. In Maryland, there are 13 retail sportsbooks and 12 mobile operators. The Ravens and Orioles both have partnerships with sportsbooks.
The sports world ... went from, Gambling is bad, we dont like this, we dont want this, to every other commercial is promoting some sportsbook, said Sean Jones, a Howard County resident who occasionally bets on sports.
It was first legalized in Maryland in 2021, with online wagering starting in November 2022. In the year since, it has entertained bettors across the state to the tune of a predicted $4 billion in bets. With 15% of sportsbooks profits going to the state, its expected to raise at least $40 million for public education in its first year.
But increased access to a popular new national pastime raises questions about addressing the potential for more people developing an addiction to betting. The growing mobile sports industry doesnt contribute to the Maryland Problem Gambling Fund. And a new player on the horizon internet gambling could broaden the pool of people whose habit becomes self-destructive by making casino games available online.
Monitors display schedules and games at a casino. (Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun)
The New York Giants recently played the Washington Commanders in the worst, in terms of win-loss records, matchup of the NFLs Week 11.
But Jones likes football enough that the unappetizing matchup didnt bother him. Whatever game is aired, hes content to watch. And this year, hes been even more engaged. Hes not much of a gambler and has never walked into a sportsbook, but with the advent of mobile sports betting, he likes to place tiny bets on his phone maybe $2 each to add some drama.
A couple of bucks, just for some fun, just for a little extra bit of excitement, he said.
Sports gamblers used to have to illegally use a bookie, which is what Billy Small, of Baltimore, was used to. After a long launch process in Maryland, he was happy to begin betting legally on his smartphone.
The ease of betting on an app is an enticing new option. Last month, 96% of the sports betting handle (the total of money wagered) came from online bets, as opposed to just 4% from physical sportsbooks.
Sure, you can bet on the Orioles to win the 2024 World Series or the Ravens to win Dec. 10. But you can also put the price of a cup of coffee on an otherwise unremarkable football game that, suddenly, you have a stake in.
Kevin Green, a Virginia resident and Ravens fan, said he doesnt like betting on the Ravens (I dont want to be mad about two things if they lose), but he wagers on other NFL games.
If you do it responsibly, it gives you another layer of fun to the viewing experience, he said.
That excitement has attracted many. More than 73 million Americans were expected to bet on the NFL this season, according to a survey from the American Gaming Association.
But bettors dont have to stop there. They can also wager on whether a middling NBA player will have at least 3.5 rebounds. Or who will win an upcoming game of snooker. Or, as of earlier this year, pickleball.
Gamblers can also place parlays a bet requiring a combination of outcomes that is less likely to occur, but which yields a larger prize. Those wagers offer tempting rewards, but rarely pan out. Theyre generally moneymakers for the sportsbooks.
Those types of bets give pause to people concerned about the future of sports betting and its effects. In October a month that featured five Sundays of NFL games Maryland had its most successful sports betting month, generating $5.8 million in revenue for the state. The other side of the coin is that Marylanders lost $39 million in betting on sports during the month.
It does make it easy, Jones said of betting on ones phone. And it makes it more dangerous, I think.
Eight states have legalized 'iGaming,' which allows adults to play casino games on their phone. Maryland could be next. (Canva)
One of the greatest advantages of legalized sports wagering aside from regulating what had previously been a black market is that it raises state revenue. Before mobile wagering was legalized, the research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming predicted that Maryland would bring in $26 million in sports betting in 2023 and then increase from there.
Next fiscal year, Maryland will likely generate around $45 million for education, Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency Director John Martin said. In the grand scheme of the states $63 billion budget, that contribution is a drop in the bucket (less than 0.1%), but every million helps.
In addition to money for the state, sportsbooks have made hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.
However, no mobile sports wagering revenue goes to the states Problem Gambling Fund, which finances education on responsible betting and support for those facing addiction. People who seek support for gambling problems receive free treatment in Maryland via the fund.
During a General Assembly committee hearing last month, legislators discussed a potential slippery slope facing the state: Online sports betting is becoming more popular, but is not legally required to contribute to the fund. Instead, slots and table games at casinos finance support for problem gamblers. So, while more people have access to gambling and do it on their phones, the fund hasnt received extra money.
Online and mobile gambling is creating, I think, I dont know if I want to call it a burden, but its certainly stretching the resources we have currently, Mary Drexler, director of the Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling, told the Joint Audit and Evaluation Committee. Its a public health issue. Relying solely on the casino table game taxes and [slot] taxes isnt going to carry us into the future, isnt going to allow me to expand our public awareness, to expand some of the staffing needed.
In the months since mobile betting began, Maryland has seen an increase in gamblers seeking professional help, especially among young men of color, but Drexler said in an interview that its too early to know whether the additional calls are a result of online sports wagering.
Legislative analysts suggested at the hearing that the Problem Gambling Fund diversify its revenue. That would likely mean requiring contributions from mobile sports gambling, perhaps as a result of action taken in the General Assemblys 2024 session.
We want to do so much more with public awareness campaigns and keep them going through the year, Drexler said, but we dont have the funding that the sports world has that can spend millions and millions of dollars to get the message out on betting.
Democratic state Sen. Clarence Lam, who represents portions of Howard and Anne Arundel counties, is a physician. (PAMELA WOOD/Baltimore Sun)
The success of online sports betting has prompted some states, like Maryland, to consider internet gambling, or iGaming, as its sometimes called. Eight states have legalized it.
I think the success of sports betting is sort of pushing legislators to say, Hey, look, were making some decent money with sports betting. We could be making more with iGaming, said Robert Linnehan, a sports betting regulation reporter at XLMedia and Sports Betting Dime.
State senators in Maryland proposed a 2023 bill to legalize iGaming, although it did not pass. Also, the state gambling agency retained a consultant, The Innovation Group, to study the topic for a report published this month.
While opponents of iGaming point to its dangerous accessibility someone could, while sitting on their couch, quickly lose thousands of dollars on cellphone roulette proponents note it could be another strong public revenue stream.
The consultant predicted in its report that, if legalized in the coming years, iGaming could amount to $900 million in gross revenue by 2029. Depending on how much of that casino win the state would tax, it could generate as little as a few million dollars annually or as much as $300 million, the consultant found. The profit margins for iGaming for states and casinos are better than for sports betting, so the addition of iGaming could be lucrative.
However, legislators on the legislatures Joint Audit and Evaluation Committee expressed caution at last months hearing.
I think we really need to slow down and take a good look at this, said Del. Steve Johnson, a Harford County Democrat.
Feedback provided by Marylands problem gambling center in the report to the state gambling agency detailed that most studies have found online gambling to result in more issues than in-casino wagering. The report stated the convenience factor of online gambling cannot be overlooked as a reliable predictor of problem gambling.
Sen. Clarence Lam cited that factor as a potential hazard. He co-chairs the committee, represents parts of Howard and Anne Arundel counties, and is a doctor.
If you were to open up more internet gaming, the equivalent of slot machines on your phone, at home, he said, it will probably lead to more Marylanders experiencing problem gambling, as well as a reduction in revenue at our casinos.
Legalization of iGaming could be a topic for the General Assembly in the session that begins Jan. 10. If legislators consider it, theyll have to weigh potential dangers against potential revenues, as online sports wagering marches into its second year.
Ive lost more than Ive won, for sure, said Green, the Ravens fan. But I still find it to be fun.
Baltimore Sun reporter Jacob Calvin Meyer contributed to this article.
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Scammers try luck with sports betting | Business | thenewsenterprise … – Elizabethtown News Enterprise
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Posted: at 8:36 pm
The Kaizen Gaming brand was FIFAs very first betting sponsor back in 2022, partnering for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Last Updated: Nov 30, 2023 1:29 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has announced Betano as their EURO 2024 sponsor. UEFA EURO 2024 will take place in 10 German host cities from June 14 to July 14.
Kaizen Gaming, a leading global game technology company and parent company of the Betano brand, will serve as the exclusive betting partner of the European Championship.
Guy-Laurent Epstein, UEFA Marketing Director said, We are delighted to welcome Kaizen Gaming and its brand Betano as an official partner of the UEFA EURO 2024. Betano is a leading digital sports betting operator with a focus on cutting-edge technology and responsible gaming. We believe that their industry expertise and affinity to football make them a great fit for the tournament.
-Guy-Laurent Epstein, UEFA Marketing Director
Betano was FIFAs very first betting sponsor back in 2022, partnering for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Betano has also been affiliated with the Czech Republics FC Viktoria Plze, Brazils Fluminense, and Portugals FC Porto.
Kaizen Gaming continues to strengthen its ties with football, even as regulators look to restrict gambling-based advertising in the sport. For instance, starting after the 2025-26 season, the English Premier League (EPL) will no longer allow gambling sponsorships on the front of match day jerseys. The move was made to pacify UK regulators from potentially imposing stronger restrictions. Spain and Italys top club leagues already prohibit gambling ads on kits.
In the United States, where legalized sports betting is still relatively new, regulators and industry associations have focused most of their attention on restricting advertising deals between gambling companies and college sports programs.
The prevailing regulatory winds, however, havent deterred Kaizen Gaming. The Greek-based company appears committed to strengthening its ties to the sport and its fans.
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