Posts Tagged ‘American Gaming Association’

August 23, 2013

AGA Plans to Use Online Poker Movie to Make Case for Regulation

Lucky Us

Gaming leaders are looking at leveraging the release of a feature film that depicts the seedier side of illegal Internet poker to raise awareness of the need for proper regulation of online wagering.

American Gaming Association President Geoff Freeman, in an email to the organization’s board of directors last week, said the Oct. 4 release of “Runner Runner” presents the Washington-based lobbying group an opportunity to state its case for Congress to pass regulations governing Internet gaming in the United States.

The movie, which stars Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake, centers on illegal offshore Internet poker and the cheating of U.S. gamblers. According to the plot summary on IMDb.com, Affleck portrays an online gambling tycoon in Costa Rica who is confronted by Timberlake’s Princeton graduate school student who believes he’s been swindled by the website.

“This film provides our industry with an opportunity that the AGA will capitalize upon,” Freeman said. “The AGA will leverage the certain coverage this film will receive to raise awareness about the need for proper regulation of online gaming.”

Freeman, who became the association’s president in June, said tactics could include releasing research data on the amount of illegal Internet gaming that is estimated to be taking place in the U.S.

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July 10, 2013

Retiring AGA Leader Changed the Face of Casino Industry

Fahrenkopf continues farewell tour as new era for gaming emerges

photo: Peter Urban / Stephens Media Washington Bureau

photo: Peter Urban / Stephens Media Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — The wall of framed photos with political heavyweights from Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher to Barack Obama — reputedly one of the more impressive collections in town accumulated over 30 years — has been taken down.

Two dozen boxes of papers and memorabilia are stacked on tables, on the floor, and atop filing cabinets, awaiting delivery to a warehouse in McLean, Va., where they will join another 35 boxes being transferred from storage in Maryland.

Among the few items not wrapped and packed in Frank Fahrenkopf’s corner office, which is located a block off Pennsylvania Avenue, are the custom desk from London he had crafted 24 years ago, an American flag standing in the corner and a knickknack of herding elephants signifying the job he once held as chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Fahrenkopf, who turns 74 next month, is downshifting after nearly two decades as the face of casino gambling in Washington and one of the most prominent Nevadans in the nation’s capital. The president and CEO of the American Gaming Association until he stepped aside on July 1 is plotting what comes next.

Over the years, he has alternately put out fires and served as a missionary for the commercial casino industry that once was concentrated in Nevada but now is an economic driver in almost half the states.

“It was a perfect storm in a way that when the industry needed to have someone, I happened to be here,” Fahrenkopf said in a recent interview.

But after staying on the job for an extra year in the for-now-dashed hope of helping to guide the industry into federally recognized online poker, he was completing his tenure.

“It just reached a point where 18 years is a long time. It’s always good to have fresh people come in,” Fahrenkopf said of the job he took when it was created in 1995 with the intention of staying just a year.

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June 12, 2013

Fahrenkopf, Reid at Odds over Internet Poker Failures

Outgoing AGA chief calls busted bill draw "my biggest disappointment"

For Frank Fahrenkopf and Harry Reid, it was like their rankings in the Bluff Power 20 meant nothing.

For Frank Fahrenkopf and Harry Reid, it was like their rankings in the Bluff Power 20 meant nothing.

Two of Nevada’s longtime political power players — gaming lobbyist Frank Fahrenkopf Jr. and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid — took turns blaming each other for the failure for Congress to legalize Internet poker last year.

The dust-up surprised many because the longtime Nevadans had always been complimentary to each other.

Fahrenkopf, chief executive of the Washington, D.C.-based American Gaming Association, is retiring at the end of the month.

In an interview with online publication Gambling Compliance that was published Thursday, he said the failure of Reid and now-retired Arizona Sen. John Kyl to introduce an online poker bill last year “was my biggest disappointment” in his 18 years with the American Gaming Association.

Asked if he blames Reid and Kyl for not introducing legislation, Fahrenkopf said, “If I had to blame anybody — I mean I’m sure they did their best — but that’s where the failure is. Blame is not probably the right way to put it, but there was a failure because nothing was introduced.”

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April 1, 2013

Instapoker

Howard Lederer returns to Full Tilt Poker

Rocco Palumbo Photo: World Poker Tour

Rocco Palumbo
Photo: World Poker Tour


Today’s Boxscore

Rocco Palumbo $180,097 – 2013 WPT Venice Main Event
Zachary Donovan $48,112 – WSOP-C Foxwoods Re-entry
Daniel Chan $48,521 – WSOP-C Foxwoods Prelim


With that subhead above, thus concludes the only attempt on my part to do anything for April Fools’ Day. Carry on.

There was plenty of potential for a first-class WPT Venice final table but instead it was just relatively historic. With just two tables remaining, the field still included WSOP bracelet winner Mike Sexton, former November Niner Martin Staszko, former EPT Champion Ludovic Lacay, poker player/producer/writer extraordinaire Matt Salsberg, and our bestie Kara Scott.

Unfortunately for televised poker history, all of them would be eliminated before the official final table except for Mike Sexton. This was the 2nd final table for the WPT commentator on their tour after his 2011 Bay 101 appearance. He collected just shy of $70,000 for his 3rd place result with the victory ultimately going to Italian Rocco Palumbo.

Link Dump

Tweet of the Day – I feel bad for poor Geno, friend of Pokerati and former professional poker writer. Not only is he stuck living in Pennsyltucky but he also fell for a prank on this of all days.

‘Ship It Holla Ballas!’ … Tracing The Rise And Fall Of Internet Poker And Its Most Unlikely Stars – Considering the date, and this was published on a Yahoo! Sports pages, I could be forgiven in thinking this was an internet April Fools’ Day gag. I seemed to have missed the news about a book coming out named (cringe) “Ship It Holla Ballas!” about the young guns of online poker back in the golden days just a few short years ago.

Apple’s poker app may be illegal here – News from Australia isn’t all sunbeams and wallabies. Word from Down Under that some bigwigs in government aren’t too happy with Apple and PokerStars since their mobile app is available for download in Australia complete with real money deposits and games.

Digging into the AGA / PokerStars New Jersey War – Missed this link a few weeks ago but worth a spot in the link dump. Haley Hintze gives her opinion on the battle in New Jersey between the American Gaming Association and PokerStars. Nothing is ever clear cut when it comes to all the players involved.

Google Glass At the Poker Table? – There’s been some interesting oh-god-we-are-living-in-the-future talk about Google Glass, headgear which looks/acts like something out of Star Trek. The gang over at CardChat took an amusing look at what it would be like have Google Glass at the poker table.

Posted by at 1:00 pm

March 25, 2013

Full Tilt Takes the Fourth

@OPReport's Online Poker Bulletin

From OnlinePokerReport.com for the week of March 25th …

3 STORIES TO WATCH THIS WEEK

#1. Full Tilt Poker’s traffic slide just won’t quit. PokerStars has tried bonuses, splashy promotions and even PR stunts to prop up Full Tilt, so it will be interesting to see how PokerStars reacts this week – if they react at all – to FTP’s recent drop into 4th place (by cash game traffic).

#2. PokerStars & NJ: The online poker giant has yet to complete its NJ application. But the PR war between PokerStars and the AGA continues, and looks set to escalate as NJ marches closer to launching real-money online gambling.

#3. NY will almost certainly abandon their brief legislative flirtation with online poker this week when the state’s budget is finally passed.

A week filled with official holidays should ensure that the legislative lull of last week continues through the end of April.

+ THE WEEK THAT WAS

RECENTLY FROM OPR

Check out my latest article for Casino Enterprise Management - Five Things Full Tilt Poker Got Right.

PICKS

#GoodReadCalvinAyre.com published what is sure to be one of many pieces prescribing a remedy for what ails Full Tilt.

Neat - LIFE slideshow of unpublished photos taken around Vegas in 1955 (h/t @BrianPempus).

Posted by at 11:00 am

March 14, 2013

AGA, Rational Group Slug It out before New Jersey Regulators

Caesars v. PokerStars fight for dibs on American players?

Attorneys for online gaming giant PokerStars said an attempt by the American Gaming Association to block the company from buying a failing Atlantic City casino was a thinly veiled anti-competitive campaign to keep new ownership out of the market.

In a lengthy letter to New Jersey gaming regulators, attorneys for PokerStars ownership, The Rational Group, said the American Gaming Association lacks standing in the matter.

Attorneys also raised a reported offer by Caesars Entertainment Corp. to sell the Rio to PokerStars. According to the letter, Caesars offered to sell the off-Strip casino to PokerStars because it would better the two companies relationship and would help PokerStars earn a Nevada gaming license.

PokerStars declined the offer because it had no plans to acquire another casino in the near term, according to a letter dated March 10 from Washington, D.C., attorneys Jeff Ifrah and David Deitch. Within weeks the AGA submitted its petition to the (New Jersey Casino Control) Commission.

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March 12, 2013

Intrastate of War?

@OPReport's Online Poker Bulletin

From OnlinePokerReport.com for the week of March 11th …

3 STORIES TO WATCH THIS WEEK

#1. PokerStars and the AGA  threw first punches last week in what could develop into an extended and mutually bruising battle. Are they interested in cooling down, or escalating further? This week should provide some clues. Also: It turns out PokerStars’ NJ application could drag out well into summer.

#2. IL and PA could both take legislative steps toward regulation. PA State Rep Tina Davis “might” introduce her bill mid-week (20% gross tax, no compacts, licenses to existing operators only). As for IL, look for clarification on the next step for online gambling after a planned Senate vote on the combined live/online gambling expansion bill was scuttled late last week. Seems like some IL Dems didn’t like what they saw?

#3. New Jersey was supposed to finish up a first draft of online gambling regulations last week. No word on what shape they’re taking, but with the pace to date I would expect more details – and more launch projections – as we move into the middle of March.

+ THE WEEK THAT WAS

RECENTLY FROM OPR

I offered my quick take on the Illinois gambling bill . And on the timing of the AGA’s petition to bar PokerStars from NJ, which I also discussed on last week’s TwoPlusTwo Pokercast.

PICKS

@Follow - It’s tax time, and U.S. poker players with questions would do well to follow both @QuantPoker and@taxdood.

#GoodRead -  …and to check out their respective blogs: quantitativepoker.com and taxdood.com

Posted by at 7:20 am

March 7, 2013

Did Caesars Really Just Try to Unload the Rio and the WSOP?

PokerStars avoids regulatory tangle by not taking the bait

CaesarsLogoCaesars Entertainment Corp. reportedly offered to sell the off-Strip Rio and the World Series of Poker to PokerStars, a spokesman for the owner of the online gaming business claimed in an email Tuesday.

The statement by Eric Hollreiser, head of corporate communications for The Rational Group, came a day after attorneys for the American Gaming Association wrote in a legal brief that PokerStars had been a “criminal enterprise for many years.”

The Washington, D.C.-based trade organization wants New Jersey gaming regulators to reject PokerStars’ application to operate the failing Atlantic Club Casino in Atlantic City.

Caesars representatives declined to comment on any “assertions” made by PokerStars.

Hollreiser, who is based at The Rational Group’s corporate offices in the Isle of Man, said PokerStars “declined the offer because we had no plans to acquire another casino in the near term.”

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March 5, 2013

Instapoker

Reslock joins 5 ring club and the AGA hates PokerStars (and money)

Chris Reslock Photo: WSOP

Chris Reslock
Photo: WSOP


Today’s Boxscore

Chris Reslock $25,480 – WSOP-C Caesars NLHE Prelim
Martin Bader £56,000 – GUKPT London Main Event


There were less than 200 entrees into the WSOP Circuit $580 NLHE event at Caesars in Atlantic City, but the final results were worth notice. AC and east coast legend Chris Reslock joined a very small club when he won the tournament and captured his 5th WSOP-C ring. He joins Ari Engel, Kyle Cartwright, Mark Smith, and Kurt Jewel in the 5 ring club and just one victory behind Alexandru Masek. Reslock has one WSOP bracelet as well, in the 2010 $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. tournament, and over $1,000,000 in career tournament earnings.

Also underway this week is the price-reduced WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star tournament, the buy-in reduced from $10,000 to $7,500. It looks like the discount is producing similar results as seen at the Borgata when they dropped their price to draw in more people yet still end up with a larger prizepool. Moon Kim is the defending champion.

Link Dump

Tweet of the Day – Tournament Director extraordinaire Matt Savage made it “official” with this tweet, the Bay 101 Shooting Star will top attendance and prizepool numbers from last year’s event.

Casino Industry Opposes PokerStars’ Bid for New Jersey License – The American Gaming Association doesn’t seem too thrilled with the idea of PokerStars buying the Atlantic Club Casino in AC. The AGA sited PokerStar’s troubles with the DOJ and thinks this should prevent them from buying the old haunt.

PokerStars responds to AGA protest of bid to buy Atlantic Club casino – And PokerStars responds.

Daniel Negreanu & Antonio Esfandiari For Choice Center Las Vegas Scam-Cult – Say it ain’t so Daniel! Someone who uses all his might to shout down all the evil people in the world can’t possibly be a shill for a Las Vegas scam company. It’s just not possible, unless it is. Bryan Micon attempts to piece it all together.

2013 WSOP Registration is open – Avoid those crazy, small buyin, weekend registration lines at this summer’s WSOP by registering for your events early and online. Registration is now open.

Posted by at 1:00 pm

March 1, 2013

Run It Twice?

Fahrenkopf suggests Barton bill redux in IGNA address

Frank Fahrenkopf AGA online gambling poker, who will step down in June after 18 years as president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, said Wednesday he believes a comprehensive federal bill legalizing online poker will be brought back to Capitol Hill this year.

Fahrenkopf expects Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, to reintroduce an Internet poker-only bill in the House. Barton has tried before but failed to garner enough support in the House to pass an online poker bill.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and former Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., were working on a bill last year, but it never materialized, much to the disappointment of Fahrenkopf and other gaming industry leaders.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if a new bill was introduced in this session,” Fahrenkopf told gaming regulators and executives during a question-and-answer session at the 2013 iGaming North America Conference at Planet Hollywood Resorts.

He said the association was “still hopeful something will get done,” but with Kyl’s retirement they are working to “find a conservative Republican from a nongaming state” to support a federal bill legalizing online poker.

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February 21, 2013

Real Professor, Economist Brought Gaming into Academic Realm

Inside Gaming: Bill Eadington dies at age 67

Photo: Theresa Danna-Douglas /University of Nevada, Reno

Photo: Theresa Danna-Douglas /University of Nevada, Reno

Bill Eadington never built a billion-dollar Strip resort. He never managed a riverboat casino or a gambling hall of any size. Eadington never created a new table game. He never developed an innovative slot machine.

Yet, the influence Eadington carried inside and outside gaming circles during his 44-year academic career as an economics professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, went beyond measure. He founded the Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming at UNR.

Dozens of gaming industry professionals owe their careers to Eadington. Emerging gaming markets sought out Eadington’s research and advice as a consultant on issues related to regulation and law, public policy, and legalization.

He paved the road for academics in other disciplines, such as sociology and history, to study gaming.

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January 18, 2013

Casino Lobby Elects New Representatives

AGAThe chief executive of Deutsche Bank Securities was elected to serve as a director of the American Gaming Association, the Washington D.C.-based lobbying arm of the casino industry.

Richard Byrne, previously director-elect, was elected for a one-year term as an at-large director.

William Newby, global head of gaming investment banking at Jefferies & Company Inc., was selected by the AGA board as a director-elect for the coming year.

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January 11, 2013

Fahrenkopf to Step Down as AGA Boss in June

fahrenkopf-g2e-b2Frank Fahrenkopf, a Reno native and former chairman of the Republican National Committee, said Monday he will step down as president and chief executive of the American Gaming Association.

Fahrenkopf, 73, has led the Washington-based gaming industry lobbying group since it was formed in 1995. His resignation takes effect June 30.

“There have been dramatic changes to the industry over the last 17 years,” Fahrenkopf said. “When we opened our doors in July of 1995, Native American casinos and riverboats really started taking off. Then it was racinos.” Today, 22 states have commercial casinos with annual revenues topping $35.64 billion.

Fahrenkopf’s retirement was planned well in advance. He said planning a transition with the board of directors took two years, and an agreement on his departure date was reached in December 2011.

“It’s the perfect time for me to step down,” Fahrenkopf said. “We have a new president and a new Congress. I wanted to stay on through the election to work on Internet poker and other issues.”

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December 20, 2012

Reid Says No Hope for Internet Poker in 2012

But reforming online gaming laws a frontburner item for 2013

WASHINGTON – Its dim prospects finally fading to black, Sen. Harry Reid pulled the plug [last] Friday on the effort in Congress to legalize Internet poker this year.

With only days remaining in the session, and with consensus far from reached on a bill that sought to reshape the landscape of online gaming, “we have simply run out of time in this legislative calendar,” he said.

“I am disappointed,” Reid said, adding he and Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., “remain committed to this issue and it will be a priority for us in the new Congress.”

Reid’s comment in a statement came shortly after his chief of staff, David Krone, said in an interview that “this bill for this year is dead.”

The poker bill was a priority for several Nevada casino companies seeking a lucrative new and national market for their brands and for poker players seeking legal and federally regulated online games accompanied by consumer protections.

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November 22, 2012

Some Question Constitutionality of Federal Internet Poker Bill

"Penalty box" provisions may have to be left to States

U.S. Capitol BuildingWASHINGTON – A bill to legalize online poker that is being written in Congress and that Nevada senators are trying to pass by the end of the year could be challenged in court and found unconstitutional, according to a legal analysis by a former top government attorney.

The bill would set up a framework to license and regulate Internet poker companies, and to nourish a U.S.-based online poker industry. But former U.S. solicitor general Paul Clement said he found flaws in segments of the bill that seek to punish overseas providers that ran games in the United States and continued to take bets from U.S. players even after Congress enacted online restrictions in 2006.

The so-called “penalty box” provisions would prohibit those companies from applying for an online poker license for five years, and from selling their trademarks or software to others seeking a license.

Clement said the bill being formed by Sens. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., “raises serious due process concerns.”

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