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This Week in Gambling - News
This Week in Gambling - News
News for Online Gambling, Land Based Casinos, and Social Gaming
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AGA calls for online poker crackdown

AGA calls for online poker crackdown | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it
It's been one year since the FBI shut down several online gambling websites.


On the anniversary, the American Gaming Association (AGA) is calling for federal regulation for the industry. On April 15, 2011, the feds shut down Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars and Absolute Poker. Now, the AGA is asking Congress to change the rules that still allows offshore gambling sites to operate while websites in the Americas are blacked out.

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Two Full Tilt directors named in new lawsuit

Two Full Tilt directors named in new lawsuit | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it



Two of Full Tilt’s directors - Howard Lederer and Chris “Jesus” Ferguson - were specifically pointed in the lawsuit...


There doesn’t appear to be any respite in sight for Full Tilt Poker, especially after it has once again been hit with another class-action lawsuit from disgruntled online poker players. This time around, two of Full Tilt’s directors – Howard Lederer and Chris “Jesus” Ferguson – were specifically pointed in the lawsuit, alleging that both poker pros ”exercised unlawful dominion and control” over millions of dollars in players’ funds in their Full Tilt accounts.


According to the lawsuit, Lederer and Ferguson received a combined amount of around $130 million in distributions and “profit sharing” payment, some of which may have come in the form of loans. The lawsuit also adds that the defendants “approved distributions and loans to the other owners of Full Tilt Poker from funds directly traceable to the player accounts. The distributions and loans to Lederer, Ferguson and the other Full Tilt Poker owners were from intermingled funds containing monies from the player accounts.”


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William Hill's move into US market stalls in Nevada

William Hill's move into US market stalls in Nevada | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it
Speculation that delay in considering gaming licence is due to company strategy head's past involvement in market abuse case...


The bookmaker William Hill's "strategically important" entry into the US sports betting market has stalled, with the company appearing to be struggling to persuade Nevada regulators to consider its application for a gaming licence.


The state's Gaming Control Board meets every month to vote on new applications and it is understood that William Hill's application has not been included on the May agenda, despite a vote being widely expected by now. The UK-based company is making the application after last year's announcement that it will acquire three Nevada sports betting companies: American Wagering, Brandywine and Cal Neva Sportsbook.


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Utah Governor Pens Letter Against Federal Online Poker Bill | Card Player

Utah Governor Pens Letter Against Federal Online Poker Bill  |  Card Player | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it
The governor of Utah has sent a letter to two of the most powerful members of Congress to insist that online gaming not be legalized nationwide. Card Player received a copy of the letter dated April 4, 2012.


Dear Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Reid:


I am writing to ask you to oppose current proposals to federalize internet poker and casino gambling. Gaming issues traditionally have been regulated by state governments. It is a matter of both constitutional and social preference that matters relating to gaming be regulated by states for the benefit of their residents. The recent U.S. Department of Justice ruling clarifies and reaffirms that this is a matter of state authority.


Specifically, the residents of the State of Utah have always been very clear about our views that allowing gambling on the internet or other venues is not in Utah’s best interests. In the case of interstate online poker, if Congress were to make it legal, it would be against the wishes of the majority of Utahns and encroach on our 10th Amendment rights, as well as our historical and long-standing position against gaming and wagering. Indeed, the people of Utah included a prohibition on gambling in Article VI, Section 27 of the Utah Constitution. Federal legislation and regulation in this area must be resisted.


I appreciate your careful and positive consideration of our reviews on this very important issue.


Sincerely,

Gary R. Herbert
Governor of Utah

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Joe Brennan Jr: ‘I’m Not Anti-Federal But (Federal Online Gambling) Just Not in the Cards” (Video) | Gambling911.com

Joe Brennan Jr: ‘I’m Not Anti-Federal But (Federal Online Gambling) Just Not in the Cards” (Video) | Gambling911.com | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it
Appearing on the popular Quadjacks.com radio show this week, Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association head Joe Brennan, Jr. wants everyone to know that legalizing online gambling in New Jersey is moving full steam ahead.


Brennan is an advocate for state rights, but insists he has nothing against federal legislation. He just doesn’t see it happening any time soon.


“I’m not anti-federal, but it’s just not in the cards,” Brennan told Quadjacks.com. “There is no Congressional appetite to have a vote on this right now, and there hasn’t been since 2006, when the UIGEA was introduced. The vast majority of Congressmen are either unaware or ambivalent about the issue, for a number of reasons.


“We went down the state route because that seemed to be where there was the most interest, but more importantly, you have two historical precedents regarding gambling in the United States that evolved on a state-by-state basis: casino gambling and the lotteries.”


Brennan also makes it clear he has never been a fan of the so-called “poker only” pushes we have seen over the years. His organization, IMEGA, does represent gambling firms in various sectors either already in the online gambling space or looking to enter it.


“The reason why those companies (PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, UB) were successful is because most of the liquidity was concentrated in those two or three companies. In the long term, the only way you can be successful in the poker business is if you can dominate the market in terms of share.


“If the cost of getting legal, near-universal real-money Internet poker in the U.S. means also having real-money blackjack and real-money slots and real-money bingo online, the poker community should embrace that wholeheartedly.”
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PPA marks ‘Black Friday’ anniversary | iGaming Business

PPA marks ‘Black Friday’ anniversary | iGaming Business | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it

The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) political advocacy group is marking the one-year anniversary of ‘Black Friday’ with a call to action for players to ‘never fold in the fight for America’s greatest card game’.


The grassroots group has launched a new-look website at ThePPA.org that highlights the various ways Americans can support the cause of legalized and regulated online poker and helps to connect players with their Congressional representatives.


In addition, the PPA stated that it is urging players to show their support through social media and by downloading and sharing a special ‘Black Friday’ logo and avatar.


“It’s been a full year since the rights of millions of American poker players were trampled and, as a united front, we are calling on Congress to reverse this wrong and reinstate our basic freedoms,” said John Pappas, Executive Director for the PPA.


“As players’ frustration over their frozen funds and inability to play the game they love grows, it is crucial that Congress hears our voices and knows that the players will keep fighting until online poker is licensed and regulated in the United States.”


The PPA stated that it is also urging ‘additional organisations’ to join its campaign through a series of online banner ads while it is holding a Never Fold Money Bomb fundraiser this week to help fund its advocacy efforts.


“Throughout all of our efforts over the past year, our strongest asset has been the players themselves,” said Pappas.


“With more than 200,000 letters sent and thousands of calls placed to Congress, not to mention a steady up rise in social media outreach, players across the country have been voicing their frustration over the lack of legislative action.


“The millions of players across our country who were affected on ‘Black Friday’ will never forget the dramatic impact the actions taken on that single day has had on their lives. While the players still wait for their government to provide a solution, the time is now for Congress to protect those they serve and pass legislation to license and regulate online poker in the United States.”


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Lederer, Ferguson Named in Full Tilt Poker Ponzi Scheme Suit

Lederer, Ferguson Named in Full Tilt Poker Ponzi Scheme Suit | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it
Two Full Tilt Poker directors were hit with another class-action lawsuit Thursday by online poker players upset because they can’t withdraw funds from the company.



Two Full Tilt Poker directors were hit with another class-action lawsuit Thursday by online poker players upset because they can’t withdraw funds from the company.


Attorneys for four lead class-action plaintiffs filed suit in federal court in Las Vegas against Full Tilt directors Howard Lederer and Chris ''Jesus'' Ferguson, alleging conversion.


The lawsuit complains that before and after ''Black Friday'' — nearly one year ago on April 15, 2011 — Lederer and Ferguson ''exercised unlawful dominion and control'' over players’ funds in Full Tilt accounts.


It was Black Friday when federal prosecutors unveiled a crackdown and criminal fraud charges against online poker sites Full Tilt, PokerStars and Absolute Poker.


Later in 2011, the government claimed Full Tilt ''was not a legitimate poker company, but a global Ponzi scheme.''


Thursday’s lawsuit in Las Vegas focused on the Ponzi scheme allegation, charging U.S. players have been wrongfully denied access to some $150 million in their Full Tilt accounts in part because of the actions of Lederer and Ferguson.


The lawsuit claims Lederer received some $42 million in distributions and ''profit sharing'' payments, some of which was loaned from Full Tilt and may or may not be outstanding; while Ferguson similarly received $85 million, some of which may have been in the form of loans.


''Additionally, defendants approved distributions and loans to the other owners of Full Tilt Poker from funds directly traceable to the player accounts,'' the lawsuit says. ''The distributions and loans to Lederer, Ferguson and the other Full Tilt Poker owners were from intermingled funds containing monies from the player accounts.''


The suit seeks a court order requiring the defendants to refund players their money and punitive damages.

The lead plaintiffs in Thursday’s suit are poker players Steve Segal of New York, Nick Hammer and Robin Hougdahl of Minnesota and Todd Terry of New Jersey.


The same four players last year filed a class-action suit against Lederer, Ferguson and other Full Tilt officials and corporate entities in New York alleging racketeering because of an alleged pattern of bank fraud, wire fraud and money laundering; but in January a federal judge found that court lacked jurisdiction over the individual Full Tilt defendants.


In trying to establish jurisdiction for the new Nevada lawsuit, the players’ attorneys cited ''diversity jurisdiction'' in which all parties are residents of different states; and ''personal jurisdiction'' and ''venue'' because Lederer lives in Nevada, Ferguson has ''conducted substantial business'' within Nevada and ''because many of the wrongs and acts complained of herein were contemplated and executed by defendants in this district.''


The Full Tilt defendants have not yet answered the new Las Vegas lawsuit, but they’ve denied similar allegations in other suits including one filed in October in Los Angeles by different poker players.

The Los Angeles lawsuit names not just Lederer and Ferguson, but also Full Tilt CEO Raymond Biter and celebrity players including Phil Ivey.


Besides the New York and Las Vegas cases involving Segal and his three co-plaintiffs, and the Los Angles case; there are three other federal civil suits pending against Full Tilt and its officials involving different plaintiffs in New York.


One of those plaintiffs is the United States, which in an amended complaint in September unveiled the Ponzi scheme allegations against the company. The government claims that as of March 31, 2011, Full Tilt Poker owed about $390 million to players around the world, including about $150 million to U.S. players, but had only about $60 million in its bank accounts.


Thursday’s Las Vegas lawsuit was filed by attorneys at the firm Shook & Stone Chtd. In Las Vegas and the firm Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP in New York.

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Utah Governor Warns Feds To Back Off Online Poker Legislation

Utah Governor Warns Feds To Back Off Online Poker Legislation | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it
The general consensus in the United States seems to be that there will be no concerted push for regulated online poker at the federal level until the lame duck session of Congress following November’s elections. But that hasn’t stopped some of the players on either side of the debate from keeping up the pressure.


Wednesday saw the public release of a letter from Utah Gov. Gary Herbertto the leaders of the Senate (Harry Reid) and the House of Representatives (John Boehner) urging them to take no further steps towards the legalization of online gambling.


Interestingly, while Utah is one of only two US states that permits no gambling whatsoever, Herbert’s letter is not a jeremiad about the evils of gambling. Instead, Herbert states that it is “a matter of both constitutional and social preference that matters relating to gaming be regulated by states for the benefit of their residents.” Herbert even cites the Department of Justice’s pre-Christmas about-face on the Wire Act’s scope as justification for this stance. Herbert warns that passing federal laws re online gambling would “encroach on our 10th Amendment rights.”


On the other side of the coin, the Poker Players Alliance is using the upcoming anniversary of Black Friday to launch a new awareness campaign. The Players Will Never Fold campaign is a ‘remember the Alamo’ call to arms that provides players with easy links to contact their local federal representatives and demand action on Rep. Joe Barton’s stalled HR 2366 poker legislation. The PPA is also encouraging players to contribute to a ‘Black Friday Money Bomb’ campaign fund. Too bad the video’s background music sounds so much like the patriotic muzak in those cloying commercials for commemorative 9/11 coins. You know, the kind where you spend good money for something that doesn’t really have any value?

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Tribes Hold the Cards in California Online Poker Effort

Tribes Hold the Cards in California Online Poker Effort | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it
The odds of New Jersey legalizing online poker first is much greater than California doing so and the San Francisco Chronicle’s Demian Bulwa does a superb job of laying out the reason why.


Bulwa doesn’t draw comparisons between the two states but rather offers the various obstacles standing in the way of California's efforts.

Atop that list are the Tribal casinos, who have managed to quash past attempts. While some have come on board, others have not.


From the San Francisco Chronicle:


There's hardly consensus in the group. Some tribes support online gambling, believing it reaches a unique clientele, while others fear customers will stay home rather than travel to pull the levers of lucrative casino slot machines.


The Tribes want in but at the expense of the horse tracks that they want out.


Other barriers standing in the way include greed. California is asking for $200 million in licensing fees according to Bulwa’s article. That amount is in place to supposedly limit the number of applicants, and $200 million should certainly accomplish this...

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Arson charge pending in Vegas Golden Nugget fire

Arson charge pending in Vegas Golden Nugget fire | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it

A 33-year-old man who was rescued by Las Vegas firefighters from a smoke-choked hotel room is facing arson and attempted murder charges in a fire last month that caused minor damage on an unfinished floor but forced the evacuation of dozens of guests from upper floors at the Golden Nugget casino, a fire official said Monday.


Jerod Pressnell was in custody under guard at a Las Vegas hospital, but fire spokesman Tim Szymanski said he will face charges that could get him decades in state prison.


"It was definitely intentional," Szymanski said of the March 15 fire that caused only $1,000 worth of damage.


A motive and method for starting the fire wasn't disclosed. However, Szymanski said arson investigators determined that a hotel safety system had been tampered with before the fire.


Automatic sprinklers snuffed out flames minutes before Pressnell was rescued by firefighters in a locked room filled with boxes of soggy and smoldering linen and bedding on the unoccupied 22nd floor of the casino's 25-story Rush Tower.


No one else was hurt.


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Caesars Interactive share sale; Winamax US free-play; Dragonplay raises $14m

Caesars Interactive share sale; Winamax US free-play; Dragonplay raises $14m | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it


Caesars Entertainment has sold an undisclosed percentage of its online gaming division, Caesars Interactive Entertainment (CIE), to Rock Gaming, with whom Caesars is developing two Ohio casino projects.


In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission first reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Caesars stated that Rock Gaming had agreed to buy 12,300 CIE shares for $60.8m, with an option for Rock to acquire an additional 3,140 shares for $19.2m by Nov. 15. Caesars’ SEC filing didn’t provide a reason for the sale.


The filing also doesn’t specify what percentage of Caesars Interactive’s total shares the sale represents, but Gambling Compliance‘s Chris Krafcik heard unconfirmed reports that the figure was 1.5%. For the record, that would value Caesars Interactive somewhere around $4b. To quote Krafcik: “How on earth is that possible?”French market-leading online poker operator Winamax (last seen being blacklisted in Belgium) has announced the imminent launch of a US-facing free-play poker site.


A companion Facebook poker application will make its debut later this week. CEO Canel Frichet explained to eGamingReview that the poker site is designed to establish a market toehold while the company searches for an American joint venture partner on a real-money site. In an offhand swipe against her home territory’s cantankerous attitude towards online gaming operators, Frichet said the “fiscal and regulatory structure is so complex in France that we feel that we would know how to navigate any American model, either interstate or federal...”

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Full Tilt Poker CEO Raymond Bitar Facing Prison Term

Full Tilt Poker CEO Raymond Bitar Facing Prison Term | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it
If Roman Polanski can remain on the lam for more than 30 years after raping a minor, why would the US Government aggressively pursue someone charged with running an online poker room?


If Roman Polanski can remain on the lam for more than 30 years after raping a minor, why would the US Government aggressively pursue someone charged with running an online poker room?


Raymond Bitar was indicted exactly one year ago for running an online poker site, Full Tilt Poker. Charges include money laundering and bank fraud.


Like Polanski, US authorities have been unable – or quite possibly unwilling – to capture the elusive Bitar. Why should Ray be worried?


After all, US law enforcement has done little to try and go after Polanski despite the occasional media brouhaha. Most would argue Bitar’s alleged criminal offense is substantially less heinous than that for which Polanski was accused back in 1978.


The Director of classics such as “Rosemary’s Baby” and "Tess" was finally arrested two years ago in Switzerland on charges that he had sex with a 13-year-old girl while living in California. The Swiss ultimately refused to extradite Polanski and he was set free.


Think Polanski would have served the remainder of his life behind bars had he been sent back to the US?

He might not have seeen a day in prison as it turns out.


The judge overseeing Polanski’s case back in 1978 recommended a mere 90-day sentence. Today, a similar crime would yield four times the sentence or approximately one year behind bars.


And what about Bitar for running an online poker site, once the second largest in the world, which advertised openly on ESPN?


Rape of a minor, it seems, is nowhere near as serious a crime as running an online poker room.


Bitar is facing a maximum prison time of 75 years!


Oh the humanity!

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iMEGA Files Notice of Appeal Regarding Kentucky Domain Seizure

iMEGA Files Notice of Appeal Regarding Kentucky Domain Seizure | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it
IMEGA has submitted a Motion of Appeal regarding the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s attempt to seize 141 Internet domain names.


The Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association (IMEGA) has submitted a Motion of Appeal regarding the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s attempt to seize 141 Internet domain names related to online gambling, some of which are no longer being utilized or have since been seized by the US Justice Department.


On March 8, Judge Thomas Wingate ruled that no party with adequate standing had presented themselves to contest the forfeiture order issued nearly four years ago.


Wingate granted the Commonwealth permission to seize all 141 domain names on the basis that such Web gambling sites directly targeted citizens of Kentucky and harmed that state’s own gambling enterprises, including Churchill Downs.

An Appeals Court ruled against Wingate and the matter has dragged on since that time.


The majority of sites have since switched over to the .EU and .AG extensions in light of recent ICANN policy actions.


One of the world’s largest online gambling firms, PartyGaming.com, is also named in the seizure order despite not having taken bets from Kentucky citizens during the period cited.

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Internet Poker Bill to be Voted on by NJ Senate on May 31

Internet Poker Bill to be Voted on by NJ Senate on May 31 | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it

Senate Bill 1565, known as New Jersey’s Internet gambling bill, is scheduled to go up for a vote in the NJ Senate on May 31, later than sponsor NJ Senator Raymond Lesniak had hoped. According to Pokernews, the delay will push back his predicted Sept. 1 start date for online poker in the Garden State. Lesniak still says he expects online poker to be up and running “sometime in the fall.


Lesniak had predicted last month that the bill would pass through both houses in mid-April. The bill was passed by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on April 3 and according to Lesniak, the delay is the result of his colleagues in the legislature going on vacation over the next month.


“We have to make sure we have all the Democratic votes there, so we have to schedule around people’s vacations,” Lesniak told Pokernews. “Things like this happen. A year ago, the governor vetoed the first attempt. This time, it looks like we’re going to reach the finish line. It’s just taking longer than I hoped for.”

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Breaking News: Poker Legend Amarillo Slim on Deathbed

Breaking News: Poker Legend Amarillo Slim on Deathbed | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it
One of the greatest poker icons ever, Amarillo Slim, was reportedly in a hospice late Monday evening, April 16, 2012, clinging to life.


Amarillo Slim, whose real name is Thomas Austin Preston, Jr., is 83 years old.


Preston won the main event at the 1972 World Series of Poker and was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 1992.


Preston has four World Series of Poker bracelets with his most recent win in 1990.


In May 2003, Preston published his autobiography Amarillo Slim in a World Full of Fat People, where he wrote of playing poker with the likes of Presidents Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson along with Larry Flynt. A film based on the book is reportedly in development and will star Nicholas Cage.

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New Jersey Internet Gambling Should be Set for Fall | Gambling911.com

New Jersey Internet Gambling Should be Set for Fall | Gambling911.com | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it
A vote to legalize online gambling in New Jersey will take place in the state’s senate on May 31.


The delay will push back the start of legalized Internet gambling in the Garden State somewhat, but the bill’s sponsor, Raymond Lesniak, still anticipates a fall starting date.


He told PokerNews.com: "We have to make sure we have all the Democratic votes there, so we have to schedule around people's vacations," Lesniak said. "Things like this happen. A year ago, the governor vetoed the first attempt. This time, it looks like we're going to reach the finish line. It's just taking longer than I hoped for."


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Utah, Spanish Regulation, UK's Budget Announcement : iGaming Industry News with Natalie Rydstrom

Utah, Spanish Regulation, UK's Budget Announcement : iGaming Industry News with Natalie Rydstrom | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it

SBR news analyst Natalie Rydström reports on the latest in the iGaming news department. Natalie discusses Utah's stance on gaming legalisation, UK budget news, as well as an interview with noted iGaming video analyst "J Todd".

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Vasileios Volikakis's curator insight, May 14, 2013 8:24 PM

In other news, following Chancellor George Osborne's budget announcement last month to introduce a point of consumption tax for remote online gambling operators, the UK government has said that they would be ‘grateful' for any comments on the policy design and the potential impact of proposed legislation.

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States racing to set up legal online gambling

States racing to set up legal online gambling | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it
April 15, widely known as tax-deadline day, carries a starker meaning for fans of online gambling.


On April 15, 2011, federal authorities shut down U.S. operations of the three largest online-poker sites, stopping thousands of people from playing and tying up millions of dollars they had deposited or won.

Since "Black Friday," actions by the Justice Department, casino and online companies and several states indicate legal online gambling in the United States is tantalizingly close but still months away.


"Any time you're changing laws, whether it's in Harrisburg or Sacramento (Calif.) or any other place, it's time-consuming, an arduous process," Richard "Skip" Bronson, chairman of U.S. Digital Gaming says. His firm, based in Beverly Hills, Calif., provides online-gambling systems.


John Pappas, executive director of Poker Players Alliance, says many people expected virtual cards to be dealt in at least one state by the middle of this year after the Justice Department said in December that the Wire Act did not prohibit online gambling.

"Maybe by the middle of 2013, we'll see (online poker legal in) multiple states, but it's certainly not going to be this year," says Pappas, whose group favors federal regulation.


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Sources: UB.com, Absolute Poker Resolution With US DoJ Close to Finalized

Sources: UB.com, Absolute Poker Resolution With US DoJ  Close to Finalized | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it
UB.com and its sister online poker site, AbsolutePoker.com, are close to finalizing a resolution with the US Justice Department...


PocketFives.com on Thursday reported that UB.com and its sister online poker site, AbsolutePoker.com, are close to finalizing a resolution with the US Justice Department that could see affected customers paid, at least partially.


The US Justice Department has seized a large chunk of UB.com’s bank accounts as part of a probe that concluded exactly one year ago this week (April 15, 2011). Those funds will be available to customers who have made a claim with the US Government based on what is owed subtracted from what is under seizure.


The Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC), which licenses UB.com and Absolute, suggested that players would likely see between 15 to 20 percent of what is owed to them. In 2006 another online gambling website, BetOnSports.com, was shut down with players receiving 3 to 5 cents on the dollar five years later. The US Government had not seized funds of BOS.


The US Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York oversaw the investigation into UB.com and expressed a willingness to assist those players affected at the time of last year’s indictment. However, lawyers on both sides have extended the resolution deadlines on a number of occasions thus far, preventing any form of reimbursement to UB.com/Absolute Poker customers.


An Absolute Poker and UB spokesperson told PocketFives on Wednesday, "Our discussions with the DOJ are still in progress. We are confident that these discussions are nearing resolution, while legal constraints prevent us from making further details public or speculating on a time line at this stage."

Executives from Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars were also named in the US Justice Department indictment from last year.


UB.com stands the best chance of resolving outstanding issues with the DOJ in the short term. The only UB.com executive charged with money laundering and bank fraud, Brent Buckley, has already plead guilty and will be sentenced next Wednesday April 19. He is expected to serve no more than 18 months behind prison.

Scott Tom, another executive named in the indictment, was charged with a simple gambling violation. He was the only defendant to escape the more serious money laundering and bank fraud charges.


The UB.com software platform is considered one of the most advanced with many experts suggesting a sale of the product and database could yield substantial returns for Buckley and his partners once a settlement arrangement with the Feds has been reached.


Scott Tom aside, final negotiations should only involve an established fine paid to the US Government.

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US Owes Antigua $120 Million in Damages Over WTO Online Gambling Dispute

US Owes Antigua $120 Million in Damages Over WTO Online Gambling Dispute | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it

In 2007 The World Trade Organization (WTO) demanded the United States government pay restitution to the tiny Caribbean nation of Antigua after the later won a judgment against Uncle Sam.




Antigua essentially accused the USA back then of protectionism and engaging in unfair competitive practices as it pertained to the Caribbean nation’s role in regulating what is now a multi-billion dollar online gambling industry.


Restitution has now amounted to a whopping $120 million. Among those companies targeted recently by US law enforcement, Bodog.com, which relocated much of its base to Antigua back in late 2006. In February, the US Attorney’s Office in Maryland seized the Bodog.com domain name and indicted four of its executives including founder Calvin Ayre. For a period of nearly two years, that same office ran a sting operation that netted several million dollars from a handful of Web gambling establishments by setting up its own payment solutions company. Some in the industry called it “entrapment” while Antigua might see the matter differently. The Baltimore office used seized funds to pay for upgraded police cars.


It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that Ayre’s own media site reached out to Mark Mendel, Antigua’s lead attorney in the WTO dispute with the US, to get his opinion on the recent Department of Justice change of stance as it applies to online poker. The DOJ late last year rendered a decision that it will no longer prosecute cases related to poker or online casinos as it had previously cited the Wire Act in previous matters. This has opened the doors for individual states such as New Jersey, Nevada and California to begin setting up their own online gambling empires. But Antigua is quick to note that residents of all 50 states that allow gambling should also be able to play with sites licensed by its own gambling authority, Bodog included.


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Online gaming plans for Manitoba | iGaming Business

Online gaming plans for Manitoba | iGaming Business | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it

The minister responsible for lotteries in the Canadian province of Manitoba, Steve Ashton, has announced plans to partner with the British Columbia Lottery Corporation in order to bring regulated online gaming to the western province in hopes of earning up to $17 million a year by 2018.


According to a report from the Winnipeg Free Press newspaper, the plan would see five percent of the new site’s net income go towards funding responsible gaming initiatives while a further 15 percent is to be earmarked for expanding provincial aboriginal sport and recreation programmes.


The newspaper reported that the Manitoba Lotteries Corporation has been investigating the possibility of operating an online gambling site for the past three years and revealed that the province of 1.2 million inhabitants normally spends two percent of the revenues earned from the Manitoba Lottery on treatment programmes for problem gamblers.


“We don't view this as an expansion of gaming,” Ashton told the paper.


“People are gaming online as we speak. The difference with this is they'll have a regulated Manitoba option. It will have all the security features and the money will stay here in the province.

Manitoba is struggling with a budget deficit estimated at $1.1 billion and Ashton stated that the province lost around $37 million last year as its citizens gambled on one or more of over 2,000 offshore online gambling sites.


“Quite frankly, I think most Manitobans would say it makes sense to keep as much of the gaming revenue here with a regulated site where it's going to benefit Manitobans [rather] than going offshore to sites where who knows who benefits,” said Ashton.

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Instant Banking for Online Gambling Could Return to US Soon

Instant Banking for Online Gambling Could Return to US Soon | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it
There may be a new payment processor in town for those in the US online gambling community.




ADI-News.com has reported on the merger of two big name payment processors, Mazooma and BigPoint.


From ADI-News.com:


These two parties mentioned above have struck a deal with each other. This agreement will allow players from the US who play on Bigpoint EUR™ to use Mazooma EUR™ to satisfy all of their instant banking needs. This will help the United States players order and buy the virtual credits that they need to play on Bigpoint EUR™.


This cooperation could be the beginning of a very strong United States business opportunity for Mazooma if things go as predicted in the online gambling community in the US.


Currently, US-facing online gambling websites have had to work with more “risky” payment processors, assuming hefty fees. Some withdrawal methods can take between 4 and 6 weeks compared to the couple of hours once the industry norm through instant checks.

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Vegas visitors spend more on shopping, less on gambling - USA TODAY

Vegas visitors spend more on shopping, less on gambling - USA TODAY | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it
USA TODAYVegas visitors spend more on shopping, less on gamblingUSA TODAYIf so, you are married, middle-aged, and a repeat visitor who didn't make the trip primarily to gamble.


That's according to the 2011 Las Vegas Visitor Profile Study, just released by the city's Convention and Visitors Authority. Survey findings are based on about 3,600 in-person interviews conducted at the end of stays in Sin City.


While the typical gamer budgeted less for gambling (just under $448 in 2011, less than $466 in 2010 and and $532 in 2008), "the average visitor is spending more," says visitors authority senior marketing director Kevin Bagger. Spending in 2011 was up on shopping ($129) and dining and drinking ($275), two activities increasingly luring nongaming visitors. But spending was down on shows (about $47.50 a visitor, which Bagger attributes to leaner economic times). Sixty percent said they saw a show, down from 68% in 2010.

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Antigua considers new WTO case against USA

Antigua considers new WTO case against USA | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it
Many in the gambling industry thought they’d received an early Christmas gift following December’s surprise announcement by the US Department of Justice that the Wire Act pertained only to online sports betting.


For the nation of Antigua, it was like getting a Christmas gift they’d been promised years ago, but appeared to have got lost in the mail. For Antigua, the DoJ opinion appeared to be the first serious acknowledgement US authorities had given the World Trade Organization’s rulingthat America needed to get its online gambling house in order.


In 2003, when Antigua first asked the WTO to examine America’s online gambling stance, America’s defense centered on its proclaimed necessity to protect its citizens from the perils of online gambling. In 2005, a WTO Appellate Body concluded that America had the right to insist on such protection, but it couldn’t claim to be protecting its citizens from foreign firms while simultaneously permitting its domestic horse racing industry to offer interstate online wagering. This contradiction was a clear violation of US obligations under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). The WTO gave the US 11 months to either allow Antigua access to the US market or shut down US domestic online horse wagering.


A year went by without any action from the US, so Antigua went back to the WTO. In March 2007, a WTO Compliance Panel determined that the US had not lived up to its obligations and thus sanctions should be imposed. When it came time to determine the amount of those sanctions, Antigua went high ($3.4b) and the US went low ($500k). In December 2007, the WTO decided Antigua was entitled to $21m in annual damages. If the US refused to pay, Antigua was permitted to collect by other means, such as disregarding intellectual property obligations to the US. Antigua has yet to exercise this option, still hoping the US will choose to honor its treaty obligations. In the meantime, the total outstanding claim has accumulated to over $120m.

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Mega Millions Lottery Fever Shows the Hypocrisy over Gambling - Off Shore Gaming Assocation

Mega Millions Lottery Fever Shows the Hypocrisy over Gambling - Off Shore Gaming Assocation | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it
With the Mega Millions lottery reaching over $600 million, the American public went lottery crazy. Citizens who rarely played the lottery waited in long lines and dreamed about a life changing win despite knowing full well they had a better chance of being hit by an asteroid than picking the winning Mega Millions numbers.


And it wasn’t just ordinary citizens playing the lottery. Newscasts featured pictures of rich celebrities plunking down hundreds of dollars in hopes of winning more than even they could dream of earning. But the newscasts also showed pictures of politicians puffing out their chests and telling the public how fabulous the interest for the lottery is because the state proceeds from the lotteries has been earmarked for everything from children’s clinics to amateur sports to education. What the politicians didn’t say is that it’s for that exact reason that many states are currently opposing online gambling.


Tracing the history of the lottery in the United States it’s clear that the lottery was always viewed as a way to raise needed revenue. Prior to independence, lotteries were used as a means to finance colonization and when the country was created all 13 colonies had their own lotteries. In fact playing the lottery was actually seen as a civic responsibility. The country didn’t have income taxes so the lottery was a means to pay for infrastructure and to build institutions like universities and hospitals. The public enjoyed it and saw it as a win-win for themselves and the colony...


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