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Posts Tagged ‘Online Poker’

Historic Internet Gambling Regulation Bill Overwhelmingly Passes Committee with Bi-Partisan Support

Amendments Further Strengthen Bill’s Consumer Protection Requirements

Washington, D.C. – Today the House Committee on Financial Services took a critical step forward in passing Internet gambling legislation by voting to approve the Internet Gambling Regulation and Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act (H.R. 2267), legislation introduced by Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA).

The legislation, which passed by a 41-22 vote would regulate Internet gambling activity in the U.S. and require licensed operators to put in place safeguards to protect against underage and problem gambling.

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PPA Launches iPhone App with Innovative “Click to Call Congress” Function

Poker players nationwide now have an innovative new tool for asking their members of Congress to support poker. The Poker Players Alliance, the leading poker grassroots advocacy group with more than one million members nationwide, unveiled its new iPhone app with an innovative click to call Congress feature. (more…)

Online Poker: Who Are The Biggest Losers?

The folks from Two Plus Two posed an interesting question this weekend: Who are the biggest losers in online poker?

Full Tilt Poker should be thrilled. Most of the biggest losers play with them.

Sure they’re the number two biggest online poker room in the world, but PokerStars has only a single biggest loser among the top 20.

Matatuk, Beardos, Brian Townsend and Patrik Antonius all rank among the top 5 biggest losers in online poker. Matutuk is down $1.5 million so far. (more…)

Lawmakers Push to Regulate, Tax Online Gambling

WASHINGTON – Prohibition didn’t work with alcohol and it’s not working with Internet gambling now, say lawmakers pushing Congress to approve long-shot legislation that would legalize and tax online wagering.

Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., told his colleagues during a congressional hearing Wednesday that millions of Americans gamble on the Internet each day, despite laws to prevent it. Citing industry analysts, McDermott said they wager nearly $100 billion annually, generating an estimated $5 billion for offshore operators.

He said the money would be put to better use in the U.S. and would create thousands of jobs for people who (more…)

Playing Too Many Starting Poker Hands

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Providing tips on starting poker hands, professional poker player Matthew Hilger discusses how to make better preflop decisions and points out many flaws in beginner to intermediate players’ poker game.

This is the first article in a series that I am calling the Top 10 Mistakes of Online Players. In each article I will be speaking about a particular common mistake. These are the mistakes that make it easy to separate the men from the boys or the women from the girls. When I see one of these mistakes from a player I can start to generalize about their overall play. These are the mistakes from opponents that make poker such a profitable game.

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Poker Players Alliance: Federal Poker Legislation

p36_pic_1_optTechnology has allowed an ever-expanding number of poker enthusiasts to hone their skills online, but brings with it a responsibility for consumer protection and reliable security. The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) advocates federal regulation and licensing of online poker as a means of protecting consumers. Recent state regulatory proposals in Florida and California point out the significant limitations that accompany intrastate models.

Tens of millions of U.S. citizens play some form of poker. The popularity of Internet poker is unsurprisingly on the rise, with recent game standouts like 2009 World Series of Poker winner Joe Cada citing it as their starting point.

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Harrah’s: Online Poker Could Bring in Billions

harrahs1BEVERLY HILLS (Reuters) – Gary Loveman, chief executive officer at Harrah’s Entertainment Inc, sees few signs of a recovery in Las Vegas, but believes U.S. legalization of online poker could bring in billions more to the world’s largest casino operator by revenue.

The company reported on Tuesday that its first-quarter loss widened to $195.6 million from $132.7 million a year earlier as revenue fell nearly 3 percent to $2.19 billion.

Hit by the economic downturn, consumers have cut back on discretionary spending like gambling trips at the same time businesses have reduced spending on meetings in Las Vegas.

Harrah’s, which was bought by private-equity firms TPG Capital LP and Apollo Management LP in a 2008 $31 billion leveraged buyout, operates more than 50 casinos in six countries, including Las Vegas resorts like Caesars Palace and Paris.

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Online Gambling Prohibition: Blame it on Abramoff

jack-abramoff-mainUber-lobbyist Jack Abramoff has long been noted as the individual who allowed online gambling to thrive unregulated, unlicensed and – for a few years – free from prosecution.  Whether the industry should thank him or not remains debatable since these days his associations are mostly frowned upon, and online gambling happened to be one such association.

He and the lobbying firm that employed him, Greenberg Traurig, also did a significant amount of work on behalf of foreign-based gambling Web sites, the Washington Post reported on Thursday.  Greenberg Traurig still plays a meaningful role in representing the sector (The Commonwealth of Kentucky vs. 141 Online Gambling Domain Names comes to mind).

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Barney Frank Hearing on Internet Poker Friday

frankCongressman Barney Frank has scheduled a hearing this upcoming Friday to discuss legalization of online poker.  Two bills will be presented by the House democrat from Massachusetts.

Frank’s bills include the Reasonable Prudence in Regulation Act and the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act of 2009.

Congressman Frank hopes to have online poker exempt from legislation passed in late 2006 that would hold banking institutions liable for allowing online poker payment transactions (The Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act or UIGEA).  Enforcement of this law was set for July 1 though a second delay is possible.

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Nevada May Want To Cut Off WSOP Online Poker Sponsors

online-poker-300x225The World Series of Poker may find itself in yet another setback.  Following legislation passed in October 2006 that essentially made it illegal (or at least difficult) for banks to transfer funds between poker players and online poker rooms, the World Series of Poker witnessed a sharp decline in participants from its 2006 peak.

Now comes word that Nevada regulators are looking to clamp down on contractual relationships between the state’s casino operators and nongambling arms of the Internet gaming industry. Such a move is almost guaranteed to cut off a significant revenue stream for the WSOP and other poker tournaments that take place in the state.

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PPA Launches “Tweet for Poker” Campaign

ppa-logoWASHINGTON, D.C. –(PRESS RELEASE) — The Poker Players Alliance (PPA), the leading poker grassroots advocacy group with more than one million members nationwide, today announced Tweet for Poker, an internet advocacy tool that allows poker enthusiasts and activists to directly contact their member of Congress and tell them to support pending legislation that will license and regulate online poker.

“Poker players are online, they’re active, and they’re weighing in on the policy battles that impact their right to play,” said PPA Executive Director John Pappas. “Tweet for poker is PPA’s most instant and dynamic tool for our members to directly contact their legislators in a way that engages the public in the debate.

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Gambling and the Law®: What Is Poker?

law(As reported by Gambling and the Law)
Should the prohibitions on internet gambling have a carve-out for online poker?
The question is much more complicated than it seems.     If the argument is that poker is not gambling but rather a contest of skill, should the exemption be limited to poker tournaments?  What is “online” – what about people playing against each others at terminals in a club, or linked clubs?  Which laws are getting changed, federal or state?  And who is doing the changing, legislature, courts or regulators?

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Gambling and the Law®: What the Proposed UIGEA Regs Mean for Players

gamblingandthelaw.jpgLast October, Congress passed the unworkable Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which I call Prohibition 2.0.  It required federal regulators to write regs requiring money transferors, including banks, credit card companies and e-wallets, to identify and block funds for illegal Internet gambling. What does this mean for the Players?

Faced with an impossible task, the regulators punted: They issued proposed regulations that tell the banks, etc., “It’s your problem.  You shouldn’t block legal online gambling transactions. But if you transfer funds for an illegal bet, you will be fined, or worse.”

The immediate impact of these proposed regs for players is . . . nothing.  Nothing has changed, and nothing will change, for many, many months. The long-run impact is not as rosy. There will be plenty of ways to get around whatever procedures are eventually put into place to i.d. and block funds transfers for unlawful gambling. But all American financial institutions, and their large counterparts overseas, are not going to take chances: They will block all gambling transactions, even legal ones.

So, poker players will be forced to open foreign bank accounts, use foreign credit cards and e-wallets, or use slower and sometimes even less reliable means, such as snailmailing paper checks or using phone cards. The Act had been rammed through Congress by the failed politician, then Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R.-TN). Frist attached it to the SAFE PORTS Act and told Democrats that if they didn’t like it, they could vote against it, and be seen as being soft on Islamist terrorism.

Although Prohibition 2.0 scared the bejesus out of publicly traded poker companies, it actually does only two things: It creates one new crime, being a gambling business that accepts money for unlawful Internet gambling transactions, and requires new regulations for payment processors. What it doesn’t do is make it a crime to play poker on the Internet. It doesn’t directly restrict players from sending or receiving money. It doesn’t spell out what forms of gambling are “unlawful.” Specifically, it does not do what the federal Department of Justice (“DOJ”) wanted, which was to “clarify” that the Wire Act covers Internet casinos, lotteries and poker.

The new felony it creates is greatly limited. Only gambling businesses can be convicted, not players. Bizarrely, for a law designed to prevent money transfers, the financial institutions involved in those transfers, including e-wallets, are expressly defined as not being gambling businesses and so cannot be convicted of this new crime. The proposed regs have finally been issued, four months late. The general public now has until December 12 to make comments. The agencies will then make changes in the proposed regs. The final versions will then be published, supposedly giving everyone six months to set up their procedures.

This is not going to happen.

The proposed regs put the burden entirely on the payment processors to come up with procedures for identifying and blocking restricted money transfers. But this can’t be done in six months.  In fact, it can’t be done at all. The problem is defining “unlawful Internet gambling.” 

Take, for example, poker. It is unclear whether online poker violates any federal law.  Some states, like California, do have specific prohibitions on unlicensed commercial poker, but it is unclear whether these apply to foreign operators. And 157 years of bad cases and obscure statutes make it a crime to participate, as a player, in any poker game where the pot is raked more than four times. How many payment processors even know what it means to rake a pot four times?

The problem for players is there is no law forcing U.S. banks to transmit funds for legal gambling, while there will be penalties for transmitting funds for what turns out to be an unlawful bet.

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© Copyright 2008.  Professor I Nelson Rose is recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on gambling law, and is a consultant and expert witness for governments and industry.  His latest books, INTERNET GAMING LAW and GAMING LAW: CASES AND MATERIALS, are available through his website, www.GAMBLINGANDTHELAW.com.

Live it up in Lake Charles!