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Showing posts with label legalize online poker. Show all posts
Showing posts with label legalize online poker. Show all posts

Monday, June 20, 2011

Online Poker to be Legalized by Tuesday! Obama Defies Gravity and Becomes Defacto Protector of Sector 2814

if there isn’t any real news we can make it up as good as everyone else!

barack-obama-green-lanternStill nothing much is actually NEW.  The excitement out on the street is that the bill co-sponsored by Texas representative Joe Barton could arrive as early as the end of this week, which the various news blogs and so on have morphed to “WILL ARRIVE THIS WEEK AND INSTANTLY REGULATE ONLINE POKER” which is not going to happen.  The fact of the matter is that the Nevada land casinos are already hard at work (don’t worry how I KNOW THAT land casinos, get back to it) on putting together the regulation infrastructure necessary for handle online poker.  If they work REALLY fast the soonest that’s going to happen is early 2012 so it really doesn’t matter much how fast the Federal legalization comes as long as it happens near the time Nevada casinos are ready to cash in on it.

Here’s the actual rundown so much as I know (and I’ve had my ear to many a door as of late):

Full Tilt Still Has Not Paid US Players: In fact, they haven’t even credited the accounts of most US players with the funds that they will eventually be paid.  An article on Subject: Poker on June 16th talks about a 60 million dollar shortfall they created by essentially giving players “loans” when the players deposited money on the site but Full Tilt didn’t have a payment processor to debit their accounts.  Since Black Friday this has sort of sealed the loss for Full Tilt and may be part of the accounting difficulties they are experiencing which of course are in addition that they just plain don’t have the money to pay US players.

The Joe Barton Poker Bill: He’s drafting it and they keep quoting him as saying online poker’s been legal but the bank funding has not, which is incorrect.  The DoJ clearly thinks that online poker is illegal (regardless of the truth) and the funding woes of all online poker sites trying to service the United States are due to the UIGEA which only applies if online poker is illegal.  So basically the DoJ is the bully which is saying they think it’s [online poker] illegal and if you’d like to try your luck funding it you might just disappear in a bleeping hole.  Obviously none of the other crimes like providing bank executive bonuses, funding player accounts with golf balls or providing hot oil massages to bank employees would be necessary at all if the banks weren’t 100% convinced by the DoJ that online poker is 100% illegal and therefore under the enforcement of the UIGEA in the first place.

Phew!  Having said that, online poker is actually legal, just no one wants to risk their life or freedom to prove that especially when state and federal bills which will effectively legalize the industry are so close.

UB.com and AbsolutePoker (Cereus Network) Payouts:  Honestly I think we’re all going to probably have to give up on this one.  The amount of business they are doing post Black Friday just isn’t going to be sufficient to generate money to pay back the US customers they owe.  Take a trip over to Poker Scout and check it out for yourself.  Maybe in the long run this is the best thing.  Cereus made some horrible decisions and they still refused to fix their infrastructure including customer support and fraud prevention.  I’m not saying they were actively cheating anyone in 2011, but they weren’t doing as much as they should have to be responsive to customers and to protecting their online interests.  Full Tilt Poker is also guilty of many of these issues especially with regard to poor customer service.  I sincerely hope that the next wave of online poker uses PokerStars as a model.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Nevada Assembly Passes Online Poker Bill

But don’t worry it’s corrupt and evil just like you’d think.

The bill that was passed is a modification of a previous version.  The previous version would let Nevada residents play online poker regardless of federal regulation, but the version that actually passed was essentially just a machine to grant licenses as soon as the federal government explicitly legalizes (the non explicitly illegal) online poker.  So essentially this is just a bill to get Nevada’s hand out and ready to grab some cash when the time comes.

The bill also, and this is the evil part, requires that sites seeking a Nevada license must have a partnership with an existing Nevada land based casino that has been in good standing with the gaming commission for at least five years.  So payola to the land casinos is now legally enforced.  All that’s missing is a federal bill that will allow Nevada to license cardrooms.  I wonder how long it will take that to pop up?  I’m guessing within 30 days—any takers?

Friday, April 15, 2011

US Federal Government Lowers the HAMMER on Top 3 Online Poker Rooms

 

Full Tilt, Pokerstars and Absolute Poker up on charges

The United States Department of Justice created an indictment against the top 3 USA online poker rooms accusing them of fraud, money laundering and more.  This could effectively and immediately shut down the still thriving US online poker scene and rattle a nest of hornets that the DOJ may wish they hadn’t touched.

The full text of the indictments are here:

http://www.justice.gov/usao/nys/pressreleases/April11/scheinbergetalindictmentpr.pdf

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Poker Player’s Alliance Message from John Pappas

Last night (Wednesday Feb. 16, 2011) John Pappas sent out a message about online poker legislation. The first half was another lame attempt to justify their support for the Harry Reid legislation even though it included a 15 month freeze on all online poker while licensing, etc. was taking place.

My position is that even if you believe that the 15 month freeze won’t turn into a 20 month freeze or a forever-until-there-is-replacement-legislation freeze it is too brutal for those that make their living either playing or supporting online poker.  This is not a small number of people and includes yours truly so yes I do have a bias (just as the PPA should!).

There is no legitimate reason for ANY freeze in online poker during the enactment of this sort of legislation.  In fact the lack of a freeze during the enactment would be incentive for the state and federal govt. to speed the licensing process so they can start to receive tax and licensing revenue sooner. 

Other provisions of current legislation restrict people to playing against online people in their own country (or in the case of a recent California bill their own state)—this is also ridiculous—The United States has a great opportunity to license and regulate brands of online poker on our shores that would have a heretofore unknown level of integrity that would and should attract players from around the world.  And Yes I just said heretofore.

Please continue to put pressure on the PPA to reject ANY freeze on online poker in future legislation.  And to follow the rest of their stated plans for 2011 internet regulation:

During this Congress, the PPA will seek to improve key aspects of the draft bill, including:

  1. eliminate/reduce the playing freeze
  2. eliminate/reduce the restriction on global player pools
  3. increase the number of automatically opted in states
  4. establish favorable tax treatment for online players
  5. ensure that legislation does not unfairly discriminate against companies who currently serve the U.S. market.  

Friday, December 17, 2010

Reid Poker Bill With 15 Month Blackout All But Dead, Thank God

I mentioned earlier that the PPA has been limply caving to “blackout” periods in the legalization of online poker (a misnomer because online poker isn’t explicitly illegal in the first place).  These blackout periods would cause all the major online poker rooms to leave the US market for up to 15 months.  The Reid poker bill was the one garnishing the most recent attention and with the most possibility of actually happening but thankfully it did not happen: 

On Thursday morning, John Pappas told Poker News Daily that the bill introduced by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) legalizing and regulating online poker is all but dead. A move to add the bill’s language to the tax relief act currently being debated in Congress failed to come to fruition.

Pappas told Poker News Daily that a highly charged debate over the tax measure was largely to blame: “When the tax package fell through and things became much more political for it – not related to our bill – it became clear that another controversial addition to the tax bill could sink it.” Reid’s bill would have opened the online poker market in the United States to current operators like Caesars Entertainment, which owns the rights to the annual World Series of Poker.

Reid struck a deal with Republicans on the contents of the tax relief act, which perhaps closed the door to other bills being added.

Now what? With the Republican Party taking control of the House of Representatives in 2011, pro-internet gambling allies like Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) may take a back seat. Frank, whose HR 2267, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act, garnered 70 co-sponsors and sailed through the House Financial Services Committee in July, will likely lose his post as Chairman. In his stead could be staunch internet gambling opponent Spencer Bachus (R-AL), whom the PPA graded an “F” in its Congressional Ratings Guide.

Looking ahead to 2011, Pappas told Poker News Daily, “The online poker bill that was floating around needs some improvement, so the PPA wants to go back to Senator Reid and talk about how we can improve on his current draft. There’s going to be a renewed focus in the Senate and we’ll be taking some of the legislation in a different direction so that’s it not focused on the Financial Service Committee, where we have a known opponent.”

Two years ago, Bachus, the current Ranking Member of the committee, erroneously quoted a study from McGill University linking internet gambling to suicide. The Alabama lawmaker asserted in a June 2008 hearing, “McGill University found that one-third – one-third – of college students who gambled on the internet ultimately attempted suicide. That is why the rate of suicide on our college campuses has doubled in the last ten years.” In fact, no such study had ever taken place.

On Wednesday night, ESPN.com published an article declaring Reid’s bill dead. Pappas told the Connecticut-based news outlet, “Sadly, some politicians remain with their heads firmly in the sand. The leadership of the Poker Players Alliance got the debate this far and we are determined to see this through.” The Hill reported that the ongoing lame duck session on Capitol Hill is scheduled to end on Friday, although reports during the week have surfaced that lawmakers may remain in Washington, DC until close to Christmas.

Last weekend, adding language legalizing and regulating online poker to a must-pass omnibus spending bill appeared to be a possibility according to Bloomberg, but Pappas explained that adding another earmark to would “make things more complicated.” The Senate approved the tax relief bill on Wednesday, with the House potentially set to follow suit this afternoon.

Pappas was scheduled to tape a segment about the online poker bill with Bloomberg. Pappas will speak on behalf of the 1.2 million member strong lobbying group that has become the main voice for poker players in the United States. Four years ago, the PPA stood at just 50,000 members.

Reid’s bill won’t officially be dead until the clock strikes Midnight on the 111th Congress. Pappas concluded with a silver lining: “We always knew we had a chance to pass legislation during the lame duck session, but it fell short. But, I think there’s significant momentum going forward. We’ve done a good job of convincing lawmakers that the status quo isn’t acceptable.”

Source: Poker News Daily

Friday, July 23, 2010

Barney Frank’s Online Gambling Bill Goes to Markup Tuesday

Tuesday July 27th, 2010

This is legitimate movement in the direction of officially legal online poker.  Even though other bills including the notorious UIGEA which was installed as a Trojan Horse aboard the SAFE Port Act never made it illegal for an individual poker player to play on online poker sites it still has had a chilling effect on online poker players especially in the United States.

Other steps will have to be made before this bill becomes a law and these steps probably won’t happen until next year.  According to John Pappas, the executive director of the Poker Players Alliance, the bill almost certainly has support to pass or Mr. Frank wouldn’t be calling it to a vote.

We all look forward to the day when we can pull the noble game of poker out of the shadows and into full legalization and play poker hands online knowing we are participating in a fully regulated and legal endeavor.