Posts Tagged ‘gaming and gambling regulations’

Drones Are the New Poker?

Unlicensed and unregulated at the dawn of a tech-fueled boom era

by , Feb 11, 2014 | 11:02 am

drone-coverCall it lo-tech, but I bought an actual paper magazine on the way home from Christmas, Popular Science, which lured me with its cover story, “Predictions for 2014”.

Semi-fascinating stuff regarding 3-D printing, a looming crackdown on opiate painkillers, and a right-around-the-corner future filled with bots — the good kind, apparently, not ones that threaten security of the human race and sanctity of Full Tilt Poker. Anyhow, one item that was nifty-neato featured some rhetoric that sounded kinda familiar. Supposedly, according to one of the PS predictions, the drone industry is ready to boom right about now. All they need, say drone profiteers pioneers, is to attach hole-card cams CyberChris Moneymaker a little government oversight to make sure you don’t go attaching laser death beams to go through your neighbor’s underwear drawer.

“We’re one of very few industries that is actually begging for government regulations,” says Ben Gielow, government relations manager at the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. FAA rules could potentially lead to a drone registry to help punish reckless piloting.

Exciting stuff … sounds kinda like a drone-age Pocket 5s, no? Let’s just hope (for the sake of the drone pros) that they have more success with that line than the PPA and AGA have had. Meanwhile, the government seems to be making sure this boom doesn’t get out of hand too early … starting by targeting media operations who may or may not be currently benefiting from unregulated drone piloting.


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

Lucky Us

by , Aug 23, 2013 | 2:17 am

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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Nevada GCB Investigation of Cantor Gaming Stuck in Mud?

Inside Gaming: Case challenges state regulators working across jurisdictions

by , Aug 22, 2013 | 9:16 am

Michael Colbert, caught up in a major New York sportsbook bust, has brought the heat on Cantor Gaming.

The case against Michael Colbert, for his alleged role in internet sports betting malfeasance, has brought the Nevada heat on his former employer.

A state investigation of sports book operator Cantor Gaming, launched after a company official was indicted for his alleged involvement in an illegal bookmaking and money laundering operation, has gone radio silent.

That doesn’t mean the matter has been swept away — not by any stretch.

Sources confirmed last week the Gaming Control Board’s inquiry into Cantor is moving forward, albeit at a slow pace.

Agents are trying to determine to what extent Mike Colbert, Cantor’s former sports book director, had with the betting operation, which was associated with offshore Internet wagering sites.

Investigators also are trying to determine if any of the illegal bookmaking allegations can be linked to Cantor. The state-licensed sports book operator was not a target of prosecutors, nor was the company even mentioned in the New York-based indictment.

After the inquiry opened, Cantor instituted damage control measures. The company distanced itself from Colbert, immediately severing ties with the oddsmaker.

Cantor went about its business. The company operates eight Las Vegas race and sports books — The Venetian, Palazzo, M Resort, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Tropicana, Silverton, Hard Rock and Palms — poker rooms, and manages a line of mobile gambling products.

However, Colbert has suddenly resurfaced.

Cantor officials can’t be too happy about this turn of events.

Colbert, 33, was the most prominent name among the 25 individuals indicted in October by New York authorities on allegations of ties to the illegal betting ring. Law enforcement alleged the operation yielded payouts of $50 million over an 18-month period.

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The Players’ Voice in Washington DC

Rep. Joe Barton on poker as a game of skill, and moving legislation on the Hill

by , Aug 3, 2013 | 7:43 pm

During the past month, Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX) has been on the move in his quest to bring about federal legislation favorable to online poker with an equally favorable revenue component for government.

At the end of June, the Congressman hit the road for his 3rd annual visit to the World Series of Poker—this time, to preview his latest federal legislative bill before introducing it into the U.S. House of Representatives. The official introduction of his newly minted bill H.R. 2666, the Internet Poker Freedom Act of 2013, followed on July 12.

Days later, Barton held a telephone press conference to discuss the new bill which “establishes a program for the licensing of Internet poker by States and federally recognized Indian tribes, and for other purposes.”  The teleconference was attended by media outlets across the country, including this reporter. However, it wasn’t until last week, when I met with the Congressman in his congressional office in Washington, D.C., that I got the complete picture of where he stands on poker and poker legislation. At the end of this day, Barton remains as unclear as anyone on the likely time table for passage of federal legislation to legalize online poker, by the Congress, but he exudes confidence that day will come.

Barton Invokes the President’s Name 
Barton is methodical. He is an engineer by training. He is a seasoned politician. He has held his Congressional seat since 1984. He rates himself as a good amateur poker player. By all accounts from mutual friends, this is an understatement. With a slight twinkle in his eye and a  poker player’s understanding of a well-placed semi-bluff, Barton goes further than mere prediction in stating that he expects President Obama to sign his legislative bill to legalize online poker, if it reaches his desk.

Barton talks the talk at poker tables and he walks the walk around the House in gambits to prod progress on the right online poker bill. He seeks a sensible federal law that will allow online poker in states that are so inclined, under the best conditions for all concerned.

He is also a pragmatist who recognizes the road will not be easy. His latest online “poker only” bill, like the others in which he has been intimately involved, previously, is designed to exempt poker from the category of “games of chance” which are subject to anti-gambling statutes. During our hour-long visit in Washington and a subsequent telephone call, Barton resonated as “the genuine article.”

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US Senate to Take up Online Gambling Consumer Protection Concerns

+ new poker-only Barton bill in the House

by , Jul 12, 2013 | 8:25 pm

Lest we think the Feds were just gonna drop their interest in online gaming and let states run amok with Kentucky-like money grabs, a new federal process is apparently underway … with a subcommittee hearing to put matters of consumer protection on the legislative agenda:

The Expansion of Internet Gambling: Assessing Consumer Protection Concerns
Jul 17 2013 10:00 AM ET
Russell Senate Office Building – 253

You’ll be able to watch a livestream of the hearing, which hopefully will finally remove “click a mouse, lose your house” from the conversation and instead address real issues of money laundering, privacy concerns, redress of grievances, bot use, and identity protection — not to mention what kinda data you can keep about other players, and what kinda hand histories the government can keep on you!

Gambling regulation may historically be a matter left to the states, but regulation of the internet is kinda new, and something Uncle Sam has wanted a role in for establishing minimum standards at least since the White House unveiled its strategy for consumer protection on the internet[Bump-bump-buhhh] … on April 15, 2011.

Meanwhile, we also have a new Barton Bill — HR 2666, which has a surprisingly ungodly bill number and stated goals of protecting poker players from consumer fraud by establishing a federal program for the licensing of Onternet poker by States and federally recognized Indian tribes. This bill may or may not also have the benefit of helping “poker only” ride along with other online gambling bills yet separate itself if necessary to distinguish its unique sector of the online “gambling” landscape.

Current draft of the new Barton Bill here — http://theppa.org/ppa/2013/07/11/pokerfreedomact/ — and media conference call about it next Tuesday:

logo-ppaMedia Teleconference: Congressman Joe Barton and PPA’s John Pappas to Discuss New U.S. Internet Poker Legislation HR 2666

WHAT: On Tuesday, July 16, John Pappas, PPA’s executive director will be joined by Representative Joe Barton (R-TX) on a media teleconference to discuss Mr. Barton’s newly introduced bill, The Poker Freedom Act, to license and regulate Internet poker.

The bill mandates technologies to protect consumers from fraud and limits underage access, preserves state’s rights, and ensures Indian Tribes have the same rights to apply for a license as other entities.

WHEN: Tuesday, July 16, 2013, 11:00 AM EST

The poker community may or may not have lost its verve for writing checks to politicians only to sweat subcommittee hearings that in the end prove about as significant as WSOP Day 1s. But this combo of activity is indeed the start of something — a new baseline at least, as poker interests presumably have until the end of the year to make something happen before all special interests get told the same thing about what’s impossible during an election year.


Retiring AGA Leader Changed the Face of Casino Industry

Fahrenkopf continues farewell tour as new era for gaming emerges

by , Jul 10, 2013 | 4:46 am

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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Cleaning up or Cleaning out?

@OPReport's Online Poker Bulletin

by , Jul 2, 2013 | 6:30 am

Weekly bulletin from OnlinePokerReport.com for the week of July 1st …

logo-OPReport

STORIES WORTH WATCHING

#1. Bet Raise Fold – Sunday was the worldwide release of the much-anticipated online poker documentary that has – so far – garnered an overwhelmingly positive response from advance viewers. Buy your copy here. If you supported the KickStarter campaign, you should have already received your link to view the movie via email.

#2. Kentucky – After successfully extracting a cool $15mm from bwin.party, Kentucky looks set to continue their litigious ways against other operators that took online bets from the state (and have some resources to target). I’ve been told to expect a significant legal filing related to Kentucky’s actions this week.

#3. PokerStars vs ACC – The ACC filed their response last week to Stars’ application for interlocutory appeal. While we don’t have a firm deadline for a ruling, I can’t imagine the courts are interested in letting this battle drag on much longer, especially given that it clouds the ability of the ACC to pursue an alternative sale. The holiday may result in a delay, but a decision could still be forthcoming in the next few days.

… + THE WEEK THAT WAS

—————–

OPR OUTPUT

On this week’s Rabbit Hunt, Mark and I cover the One Drop action at the WSOP, debate the best way of responding to Adelson and try our best to read the tea leaves of PokerStars’s battle with the ACC.

QuadJacks ran an article of mine imploring people to Stop Writing Responses to Sheldon Adelson. Finally, I offered up some thoughts on the Online Poker Compact Conundrum in the regulated U.S. market.

 

PICKS

#GoodRead – Brad Polizzano penned an informative and concise rundown of the 2013 NCLGS at QuadJacks.

—————–

Get in touch

Chris Grove / chris@onlinepokerreport.com / @OPReport / Google + / Skype: chrisgrove404


State by State by State by …

Inside Gaming: How will Nevada companies fare in New Jersey and beyond?

by , Jun 28, 2013 | 12:41 pm

No one can say for certain how much New Jersey’s online gaming market will actually be worth.

State regulators, lawmakers, casino industry insiders and Wall Street analysts have estimated Internet wagers could generate as much as $1.2 billion in gaming revenues in the first year — roughly 40 percent of what Atlantic City’s 12 casinos collected in 2012.

That’s one reason Internet gaming providers have hopes for a seat at the table.

The state has outlined an aggressive schedule. Regulations have been drafted and the Casino Control Commission wants to see cards in the air — or on computer screens — by Thanksgiving.

New Jersey has restricted operation of online gaming to Atlantic City’s casinos, which have until June 30 to line up their website technology partners. The state set a July 29 deadline for completed applications to the Division of Gaming Enforcement.

Anyone missing the deadlines could be sidelined until next year.

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New Jersey for Sale?

@OPReport's Online Poker Bulletin

by , Jun 24, 2013 | 10:00 pm

Weekly bulletin from OnlinePokerReport.com for June 24th …

logo-OPReport

STORIES WORTH WATCHING

#1. New Jersey – With a weekend deadline for potential licensees to announce partnerships, expect a flurry of activity – and possibly even the announcement of a casino sale agreement – in the next few days. Keep a close eye on Station / Ultimate Gaming, who have hinted they’ll be live in New Jersey at launch, and also the Trump properties.

#2. DiCristina – The general sense of observers is that the DiCristina hearing went well for poker players. Read a synopsis of the hearing at TwoPlusTwo (start at post #18) and at Diamond Flush, and then read Grange’s sober assessment of exactly what impact a favorable ruling would have on the legal status of online poker in the United States. There is no firm timeline for a decision, which could come as early as this week.

#3. Sheldon Adelson – The LVS CEO raised the hackles of online poker players with an opinion piece at Forbes  slamming online gambling regulation and a follow up interview with Bloomberg. Expect more information / insight in the days to come into why Adelson is choosing to publicly attack an industry he once embraced at this particular point in time – and perhaps another blast from Adelson.

… + THE WEEK THAT WAS

—————–

OPR OUTPUT

On this week’s Rabbit Hunt, Mark and I cover Adelson’s slam of online poker, WSOP happenings of note and the DiCristina hearing.

And here’s the latest installment of OPR’s comprehensive Online Poker in the States, providing regulatory updates for all relevant states in the U.S..

 

PICKS

#GoodRead – Kim Lund articulates the Migratory Patterns of Online Poker Players in an interesting piece over at QuadJacks.

@Follow – Great land-based casino coverage from David McKee over at @StiffsGeorges.

—————–

Get in touch

Chris Grove / chris@onlinepokerreport.com / @OPReport / Google + / Skype: chrisgrove404


Nothing to See Here …

GCB urges Nevada casinos to disallow Google Glass on gaming floors

by , Jun 19, 2013 | 11:31 am

I'm thinking of a number ... (Mashable)

image: Mashable

I’m thinking of a number …

State gaming regulators cautioned the casino industry Monday about the use of Google Glass by customers, saying the wearable computers could be used as a cheating device by gamblers.

In a memo published last week on the Gaming Control Board website, Enforcement Division Chief Jerry Markling said casinos were encouraged “to prohibit the wearing and use of Google Glass, or devices with similar capabilities, while on the gaming floor or while playing any gambling game.”

Recently, casinos in several states said they were blocking customers from using Google Glass, which is designed to be attached to eye glass frames.

Caesars Entertainment Corp., and MGM Resorts International have already said they were prohibiting customers from using Google Glass while on the casino floor.

Google Glass has the ability to display information, take pictures, record video, and transmit and receive data via the Internet.

In its one-page memo, Markling said while there is nothing illegal regarding possession or wearing the devices, “the potential for inappropriate and/or illegal use in a casino does exist.”

The control board cited poker or table games where the users of Google Glass could share card information between players, which would give them an unfair advantage or allow them to cheat.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.


From Poker-Only to Poker-Plus

King bill expands internet poker legislation to include casino games

by , Jun 13, 2013 | 2:00 pm

Give me online slot machines or give me death!

Give me online slots or give me death!

A New York congressman introduced legislation last week to legalize all forms of Internet wagering by establishing a federal licensing and regulatory system.

Internet gaming supporters quickly applauded the measure, authored by Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., which goes beyond previous attempts to legalize just online poker.

Others expressed caution and wanted to take a closer look at the 134-page bill.

“Our team and the board will need some time to fully review this legislation before taking an official position,” American Gaming Association President Frank Fahrenkopf Jr. said in a statement.

Last year an online poker bill backed by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and now-retired U.S. Sen. John Kyl, R-Ariz., was leaked in Washington, D.C., but never introduced.

Partisan politics and opposition from Indian gaming tribes and state lotteries sank the legislation. Several online gaming and online poker-only bills have surfaced in Congress over the past few sessions.

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, told Internet gaming proponents he will introduce online poker legislation later this year. Reid spokeswoman Kristen Orthman said the Democratic leader and Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., “continue to work together in this issue.”

Former Rep. Jon Porter, R-Nev., now a lobbyist in Washington, D.C., said the King bill most likely will take on a different form as it comes up for debate and additional online gaming bills surface.

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Nevada Online Poker Rivalry Brewing

WSOP.com and Ultimate trade barbs over early slip-ups


Sometimes karma can bite you in the butt.

World Series of Poker Executive Director Ty Stewart [recently] experienced that pain.

Recently, Stewart made light of early troubles that befell Ultimate Poker, the first legal pay-to-play online gambling website in the U.S., which launched April 30.

First, Ultimate was caught using an unlicensed and much maligned service provider to identify new players. Then, a glitch in the website caused two 9 of spades to appear on the flop in a game of hold’em.

“I think the market is ready for a first-class product,” Stewart told Case Keefer of the Las Vegas Sun while touting the World Series of Poker’s planned Nevada-based pay-to-play website.

Last week, the World Series of Poker suffered its own glitch. The unlicensed website briefly went live, letting players gain access to the pay-to-play area.

Caesars Interactive Entertainment, which owns the World Series of Poker, caught the mistake, shut down the site, and notified Nevada gaming regulators.

The laughter you’re hearing emanates from the corporate headquarters of Station Casinos, majority owner of Ultimate Gaming, which operates Ultimate Poker.

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New Jersey Regulations and Dutch Gaming Monopolies

APCW Perspectives Weekly

by , May 29, 2013 | 11:00 am

Regulators in New jersey roll out the first draft of online gambling rules, while The Netherlands plans to end their stats-run gambling monopoly by 2015.


Canada becomes bitcoin-friendly

FinTRAC does not see the need to regulate several bitcoin exchange models

by , May 23, 2013 | 11:57 am

A news report from The Register this past Monday suggested that Canadian anti-money laundering and financial crimes regulations and disclosures will not apply to bitcoin exchanges in Canada. This was based on letters apparently received by some exchanges from the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FinTRAC). I have not seen the letters, but today I confirmed this position with a spokesperson for the FinTRAC. This posture presents an exciting opportunity for bitcoin exchanges that the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) recently confirmed are subject to registration, monitoring, and reporting as money services businesses and money transmitters in the United States. On the financial regulatory side, those exchanges may find a more welcoming environment north of the border. However, remember that future changes to the regulatory structure in Canada are possible.

What is FinTRAC?

FinTRAC is an independent agency of the Canadian government that reports into the federal Minister of Finance. It is Canada’s financial intelligence unit for purposes of the Financial Action Task Force’s 40 Recommendations. FinTRAC’s mandate is to facilitate the detection, deterrence, and prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing activities. FinTRAC was set up and is empowered under the federal Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (the PCMLTFA) and the attendant regulations, including the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Regulations (the Regulations).

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Battered Atlantic City Seeking to Reinvent Itself

Will sports betting and web gaming help bring back NJ destination resorts?

by , May 22, 2013 | 10:00 am

Atlantic CityThe Boardwalk can’t catch a break.

For the past two decades, Atlantic City’s casino industry has been under siege from gaming competition in neighboring states.

The Southern New Jersey seaside resort, where saltwater taffy was created in the late 1800s, which thumbed its nose at Prohibition in the 1920s and was the inspiration for the board game Monopoly, once owned the monopoly for casinos in the East.

But starting in the mid-1990s, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, West Virginia and New York legalized gaming. The competition, combined with the recession, took away business and caused Atlantic City’s annual casino revenues to fall more than 41 percent between 2006 and 2012.

A comprehensive reform package pushed by Gov. Chris Christie in 2011 that created the Atlantic City Tourism District and focused new attention on boosting the city’s 12 hotel-casinos — nine on the famous Boardwalk and three in the Marina district — was just beginning to take hold in October.

Then Superstorm Sandy washed ashore.

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