Nevada Joins Delaware Online; Senator Expects Online Ban; February’s Crazy Gambling Stories

 

nevada delaware

 

Breaking News: Nevada and Delaware Create First Interstate Online Poker Pact       

 

by Nolan Dalla www.nolandalla.com

 

Poker players woke up to more good news this morning with the announcement the nation’s first interstate poker pact is currently in the works.

Nevada and Delaware, the first two U.S. states to legalize online poker, agreed to form a partnership which is expected to allow poker players in those two respective states to play and compete together in online games.  This pact applies only to poker.

Most industry experts agree that pacts of this kind are absolutely essential for online poker to succeed in the United States since many states lack enough of a population base to support stand-alone intrastate poker games.  Unless federal legislation is signed into law which legalizes and regulates online poker nationally, most states will be required to work together in order to create what’s called “liquidity.”

Liquidity means having enough players and games going at one time for a site to be operational on a continuous basis.  It should be noted that small states such as Delaware don’t have enough online poker players for gaming websites to succeed, let alone be profitable.  Even in Nevada, America’s biggest gaming market, online poker has experienced considerable challenges to growth.  The potential for success remains severely limited without more players, which means interstate pacts like the one just signed by Nevada and Delaware are essential.

This news story broke in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and was announced as one of the spinoffs of this week’s meeting of the National Governors Association, which took place in Washington, D.C.  This breaking news story by Steve Tetreault can be read in full at the LINK HERE.

David G. Schwartz, Director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas immediately tweeted out the bigger question many are already asking in relation to this big announcement.  His tweet read as follows:  “The big question is, will New Jersey join with DE/NV now?”

Indeed, that’s the real tipping point, not only for those three states which have already legalized online poker, but quite possibly for something much bigger — a broad coalition of multiple states working together to create a workable online poker market which could number millions of potential players.  Should New Jersey agree to a similar interstate alliance, it’s likely just a matter of time before other large states population-wise legalize and regulate online poker, as well.

Speaking only for myself and no one else, my personal view of this breaking news story is as follows:

Short of getting a federal bill legalizing poker signed into law, this is as positive a development for the return of online poker to the United States as possible.  It’s a monumental first step in what will soon become a workable alliance between multiple states, which benefits not only poker players, but essential government programs to be aided by budget revenues acquired from a percentage of online poker revenues.  This also proves that with bi-partisan leadership and broader cooperation, a responsible 21st Century approach to online gaming is possible.  Everyone wins with today’s announcement.

At 11 am EST this morning, the two governors held a press conference in Wilmingon, DE.  The question-answer session at the end was especially insightful, which shows both governors know this subject matter surprisingly well.  Here’s a ten-minute clip of the joint announcement by both governors as well as discussion as to what this means for online poker in Nevada and Delaware, and beyond.  LINK HERE

Two important quotes from the news conference by Delaware Gov. Jack Markell:

(1) “We all benefit if we have more states participating.”

(2) “We’d love to have New Jersey as a partner, as well.”

An excellent analysis of the implications of this news can be read at OnlinePokerReport.com.  You can see Chris Grove’s excellent piece — CLICK HERE.

Today’s news comes one day after the announcement that monies owed by the former company known as Fullt Tilt Poker to American poker players will be returned within the next week.

Let’s hope there’s more good news to come.

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gambling ban

 

U.S. Senator Expects Bill Banning Online Gambling

By: Brian Pempus – cardplayer.com

A U.S. senator from Nevada wants forms of online gambling, except poker, to be banned by the federal government. Such efforts face extremely long odds, however.

Sen. Dean Heller, a Republican, agrees with some of the concerns from Las Vegas Sands Corp. owner Sheldon Adelson. The casino boss thinks online games will take away from brick-and-mortar play. Sands is the largest casino developer in the world, in terms of market size, making billions from its Asian holdings.

“I think Adelson brings up some reasonable concerns,” Heller told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “And to have the wild wild West as an empire of gambling for the country would have some serious social implications. And I think that’s what he’s concerned with.”

Now, Nevada currently has legal online gaming in the form of just poker, however there’s indication that plans are to expand those offerings in the near future. New Jersey and Delaware casinos offer Internet gambling that includes more than just poker.

Heller and Adelson’s opinions conflict with what the prevailing sentiment is in Las Vegas — that Internet gambling will compliment the brick-and-mortar business, and that sufficient safeguards are there to keep minors and some addicts from playing. Nevada lawmakers seem ready to authorize more than just poker. It’s just a matter of time.

It makes sense, after all, because poker represents one of the tiniest revenue streams for casinos in the Silver State — around one percent. Slot machines account for around 60 percent of overall gaming revenue. Keeping it poker-only doesn’t make economic sense, even with partnerships with other states. California is probably an exception.

According to the Review-Journal, Heller expects a bill to be introduced within the next month or so. It could be a joint effort from him and fellow Nevada Sen. Harry Reid.

Don’t expect such a bill to pass, however. It’s unlikely, just as it is for Congress to legalize online poker or any other form of web gambling. One reason for the former is that New Jersey is already realizing Internet gambling revenues, and federal officials would almost surely not try to stop that. It would be a political nightmare. What is more likely is the federal government getting its way in preventing New Jersey from offering sports betting, but that’s a slightly different topic.

While some of the same gambling firms do business in both Nevada and New Jersey, the states in some sense are in competition for becoming online gambling hubs in the United States. In this light, Heller might, in some strange way, be trying to help ensure Nevada has an edge. Or it could be a way to appease Adelson, a historic donor for Republicans.

Adelson is behind the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, which launched early this year. The group has hired lobbyists — including former high-ranking elected officials — to work both at the state and federal levels to oppose the spread of online games. Much of it is in the form public relations. Adelson said he would spend “whatever it takes” and the group is the product of those dollars. Since Sands only has casinos in Nevada and Pennsylvania, it’s assumed that those states are where the Coalition will have the most influence outside of Capitol Hill.

Expect a Heller bill to be dead in the water, and the slow process of more states legalizing forms of online gambling to continue. California (poker-only) could be next.

This is a reprint from cardplayer.com.

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old lady poker

 

Crazy Gambling Stories From February

 

From Penny Game Being Shut Down To More Charges For Poker Cheat

by Card Player News Team  www.cardplayer.com

The gambling world can sometimes produce really off-the-wall stories. Every month there are plenty of cases of individuals going to extreme lengths to pay back debts, or of simply bizarre behavior at casino properties around the globe. It can be entertaining and sometimes sad.

February was no exception, as there was plenty that happened in the casino world.

Here’s a look at some of the most colorful and noteworthy from the month that was.

Washington State Shuts Down Penny-Ante Card Game At Senior Center

The state of Washington busted a 25-year-old penny-ante pinochle game at a senior center in the city of Snohomish, King 5 News reported. About five years ago, the city passed an ordinance to keep for-profit card rooms from opening there, and apparently thanks to some murky language in the rule the senior center game was included under its scope.

Player Banned From WSOP Events and Properties After Taking Tournament Chip

On Feb. 16, during a World Series of Poker Circuit stop at the Palm Beach Kennel Club in South Florida, Chan Pelton took a single 25,000 denomination chip from his stack during heads-up play at the final table of a $1,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament.

Pelton, a tournament regular from Texas with over $300,000 in career earnings, then went on to win the tournament, the $47,061 first-place prize and a WSOP Circuit ring.

After video surveillance confirmed tournament staff suspicions that a chip had been taken, Pelton returned the chip, claiming he had taken it as a souvenir. However, Pelton was subsequently banned from all WSOP-related events and properties for casino theft.

Pennsylvania Lawmaker Wants Possible Prison Terms For Playing Online Poker

Some in Pennsylvania have been pondering the idea of legalizing online gaming that would be offered from state-sanctioned sites, while at least one elected official now wants the act of playing to be criminalized. A lawmaker is pushing a proposal that would make the “first violation a summary offense that carries a possible $300 fine and up to 90 days in jail”, while “a second violation would be a misdemeanor bringing a chance of a $2,500 fine and up to a year in jail.”

NFL Star Ray Rice Arrested At Atlantic City Casino

Ray Rice and his fiancée were both arrested for simple assault at a casino. Police have video evidence that shows Rice knocking her unconscious. A video posted online by TMZ shows Rice lifting the woman by her arms out of an elevator at the Revel Casino and laying her on the floor. It also shows Rice pulling the woman’s legs away from the elevator door.

Former Steeler Settles Case Against Casino

Michael Merriweather, a former linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers, has settled his federal wage theft and discrimination lawsuit against The Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Pennsylvania, according to the Associated Press. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

Sheldon Adelson Targeted In Las Vegas Sands Websites Attack

Casino boss Sheldon Adelson was the target of a online attack on various websites owned by Las Vegas Sands, a casino corporation that operates The Venetian and The Palazzo in Nevada, The Sands Casino Resort in Pennsylvania and other properties in Macau and Singapore. The sites were taken down, and restored about a week later.

More Charges For Alleged Borgata Poker Tournament Cheat

A man accused of using fake chips in a New Jersey poker tournament last month has been charged with copyright infringement after authorities found thousands of bootleg DVDs at his home. Customs agents have been investigating Christian Lusardi since mid-2012, when they started intercepting boxes of counterfeit DVDs from China heading to Fayetteville homes.

Woman Hits $29M Jackpot On Faulty Slot Machine, Casino Offers Her Two Steak Dinners

An apparent software glitch in a slot machine at Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City, Indiana awarded a woman nearly $29 million on January 11. She left empty-handed. According to reporting from a local ABC station, Jennifer Carmin sat down at the penny slot and before she knew it, the machine was flashing a number with a lot of digits and commas.

Vegas Slot Machine Hasn’t Awarded A Jackpot In Nearly 20 Years

A slot machine at MGM Grand in Las Vegas hasn’t awarded a jackpot in nearly 20 years. The prize currently stands at more than $2.3 million. Under Nevada law, the old machine can’t be replaced until awarding most of that sum. In other words, it stays until the jackpot is hit. Gamblers reportedly have flocked to it.

Dan Cates Says He Was Scammed Out Of $1.9 Million

Online poker legend Dan Cates said that a fellow high-stakes regular owes him $1.9 million from their matches, but has refused to pay him.

Nevada Indicts Gambler Over $12.9M Debt

A Canadian real estate businessman was indicted by a grand jury on charges he failed to pay back $12.9 million in gambling debts to two Las Vegas casinos. Semion Kronenfeld faces 12 counts, including theft and obtaining money under false pretenses, for not paying off $7.9 million in markers to the Venetian and $5 million in markers to the Green Valley Ranch Resort.

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