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Soon after the birth of the World Wide Web in 1993, Antigua and Barbuda passed the Free Trade & Processing Act of 1994 allowing the licensing and launching of online casinos in that same year. Online gambling sites were in their infancy, but they were popular with gamblers from around the globe due to their accessibility and convenience. Not to be outdone by the online casinos, the first sportsbook was launched online in 1996 by Intertops. The online gambling revolution was now in full swing and just 4 years later an estimated 2,000 online gambling sites covering casino games, poker, bingo and sportsbetting were online and taking action.
The explosion of online gambling was now large enough that it was displacing real world casino and sportsbook revenue as well as action for local bookies. Why would a bettor want to be limited to wagering options with their local bookie when they had the entire world of sports available to bet online at anytime of the day or night at their fingertips.
The New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons will square off against each other at the Super Bowl down at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas on Sunday, Feb. 5th. Atlanta captured the NFC crown this year with home playoff wins over the Seattle Seahawks (36-20) and the Green Bay Packers (44-21). They went 11-5 during the regular season to win the NFC South Division. The Patriots went a league-best 14-2 during the campaign to take the AFC East. They then recorded home playoff victories over the Houston Texans (34-16) and Pittsburgh Steelers (36-17) to win the AFC title.
New England’s overall record against Atlanta stands at 7-6 with all 13 games coming in regular-season play. They’re 4-2 both straight up and against the spread in their past six meetings. Their last encounter was in September of 2013 with New England winning 23-20 in Atlanta. New England is favoured to win the Super Bowl by three points with most bookmakers. The Falcons have gone 13-5 this season including the playoffs and are 12-6 against the spread. The Patriots have gone 16-2 and are 15-3 against the spread this campaign including the postseason.
Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter of Switzerland and two of his cronies are facing new charges from the FIFA ethics committee. The organization said it has already opened formal proceedings against Jerome Valcke, the former secretary general of FIFA, as well Blatter and Markus Kattner, the former finance director. The proceedings were triggered after it was discovered that the three men allegedly took payments of several million dollars in their contracts after other senior officials approved them.
Blatter is already serving a six-year ban from the sport for allegedly making illegal payments to former UEFA president Michel Platini of France, who was also banned for several years. FIFA alleges that Blatter, Valcke and the recently-fired Kattner conspired to pay themselves huge sums of money from the profits of World Cup tournaments. According to FIFA lawyers, the three men coordinated together in an effort to enrich themselves. Prosecutors claim the current investigation is focused on corruption, conflict of interest, bribery and accepting gifts. Kattner is also being investigated for breach of confidentiality.
Tiger Woods announced on September 7th that he plans on returning to competitive golf in October at the Safeway Open in Napa. The event, which runs from Oct. 13th to the 16th, is the season opener to the 2016/17 PGA Tour. If he’s able to play, it will be the first competitive round of golf for Woods in the past 14 months. The world’s former number one golfer has been out of action for more than a year due to back surgery, but claims he’s almost finished with rehab and is almost ready to play. However, he still admits there’s a chance his plans may fall through.
Four American Olympic swimmers have been punished for telling the media they had been robbed at gunpoint during the recent Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Ryan Lochte, Jimmy Feigen, Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger were all banned by the USA Swimming and the United States Olympic Committee for varying degrees of time. The 32-year-old Lochte, who first claimed to have been robbed, received the worst punishment as he was banned for 10 months and given 20 hours worth of community service to perform. This means he will miss the both the 2017 world and national a swimming championships.
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