Every Friday, CasinoBeats is thinking out loud.
THE enduring “special relationship” between the UK and the US was first framed by British wartime Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, who called for “a special relationship between the British Commonwealth and Empire and the United States.”
It was – and has so often proved to be – a bond that sees the two nations, as Churchill put it, “work together at the common task as friends and partners”. And he should know, his mother, the Brooklyn-born Jennie Jerome, was a glamorous socialite and an American. His father, meanwhile, was as British as the Duke of Marlborough, which is in fact who he was. The seventh to hold the title, to be precise.
The Special Relationship (it merits caps) has been much maligned in recent years with differing political policies, personalities and ideologies making the US-UK marriage a less-than-picture-perfect one. Ultimately both serve not one another but the voters at home, so marital harmony has not always been possible.
However, in recent weeks, the US media has been fawning over everything British thanks to the imminent marriage of glamorous American Meghan Markle and the very British Harry Windsor.
Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales may no longer be the UK’s most famous Harry (looking at you, Potter) but the royal wedding is nonetheless an opportunity to build on the Special Relationship once more. The press both sides of the pond has taken much vicarious glee in this ordinary tale of love between two young people who find themselves in extraordinary circumstances – before rifling through their bins.
The wedding is of course a Good News Story, and why shouldn’t it be? It is, after all, a chance to stop talking about the latest geopolitical skirmish – or Brexit or Trump, or the NHS or FOBTs, or anything, really – for at least five minutes.
But will this jolt in the arm for the Special Relationship become a passing vehicle for political gain? You bet your ass it will (thanks America!). President Trump is due in the UK in July (good luck, fella) and images of him side-by-side with Prime Minister May will be all that much warmer thanks to the fond memories of that rainy day in May, for it will rain, when Megs and Hazlar sealed the deal [CB is pulling a face].
Something the two leaders will almost certainly not comment on publicly is the dismantling of PASPA, confirmed this week by the US Supreme Court. The dramatic striking down of the the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 is already doing much to cement the Special Relationship as stakeholders in the world’s largest regulated online gaming market, the UK, finally get to sink their teeth into post-PASPA America. Within moments, it seemed, UK-based and other European suppliers and betting brands were on the front foot. All leave cancelled as the gold rush begins.
The Guardian reported a £1.5bn leap in stock value of some of the UK’s biggest bookies and gaming companies, including 888, Paddy/Betfair and William Hill. A surge mercifully timed as, two days later, the very same boardrooms counted the cost of another F-word – FOBTs – and the dramatic stakes reduction that will hit them so hard, particularly when coupled with a rise in Remote Gaming Duty.
It has been said that “the law is an ass” (different kind) and there has been much uproar at the government’s Cat B2 (FOBT) stake reduction. Yet, a few online milliseconds away in the US, the law was being a total legend and opening potentially the largest regulated online betting market the world has ever seen.
We digress, which is not something CB does very often. The point is, marriage. Royal ones might be soap opera on a grand scale while political unions are usually betrothals of pure convenience.
But this week, in the halls of the US Supreme Court, a blockbuster new relationship was born. Forget Meghan and Harry, Donald and Theresa – forget even Potter and Ginny Weasley – this is a true love-at-first-sight blockbuster.
And you might not read about in the pages of the Daily Mail or the New York Times but, thanks to the Supreme Court, this week the Relationship just got a little bit more Special.