February 21, 2013
Inside Gaming: Bill Eadington dies at age 67
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.
December 20, 2012
Poker advocacy efforts ready for state-by-state push (starting with New Jersey)
I am proud of the effort so many in the poker community made to advocate for federal online poker legislation in 2012 and I thank everyone who participated in ensuring we were all heard. The community fought hard and came back from deep adversity from just a few years ago. After all, the bill that became the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act passed the House by 317-93 as a freestanding bill (it was not added to the SAFE Port Act until later, in the Senate backrooms).
Though it did not pass this year, the awareness raised by the Reid/Kyl and Barton bills will surely help us in the state-by-state fight in 2013. In fact, an impediment to the federal bill’s passage was the desire of some states to authorize their own online poker.
For a good explanation of why federal legislation makes the most sense, I encourage you to check out Mark Lipparelli’s piece HERE. For PPA’s statement on the matter, please check that out HERE.
2013 will be an exciting time for the poker community. New Jersey is taking this issue up already. Their General Assembly passed legislation to license online poker by a two-to-one margin, and the NJ State Senate will vote on the bill on Thursday. Other states, like California, are sure to take up this issue pretty quickly as well. Additionally, the federal effort is not over by any means. While PPA will shift some focus to the states, be assured PPA will continue to ensure the US Congress hears from America’s poker players and enthusiasts on this important issue!
Let’s encourage Gov. Chris Christie & NJ Senate President Stephen Sweeney to support online poker in New Jersey by sending prefilled, editable poker tweets! HERE and HERE.
November 5, 2012
Bwin.party on track for 2013 approval
Three more companies, including a subsidiary of MGM Resorts International, are a step closer to joining 13 other gaming companies participating in the Nevada’s growing online poker industry.
The state’s Gaming Control Board on Thursday recommended licensure for MGM Online LLC, as well as boutique firms Z4Poker LLC of Las Vegas and Cams LLC of Los Angeles.
The Nevada Gaming Commission will consider the applications at its Nov. 15 meeting.
MGM Resorts told regulators it plans to establish a play-for-fun website by March. The company already operates myVegas, a social media gaming site with 350,000 monthly visitors.
October 18, 2012
Inside Gaming: Russian mobsters looking to infiltrate Asia, too
The Russian government has wagered $18 billion in infrastructure projects for the southern port city of Vladivostok on a gamble that American casino giants will turn the area into the next Macau.
Vladivostok may also become known for something more than just its proximity to northeastern Asia, a minuscule gaming tax and a market hungry for casinos.
We’re not talking the drug lords that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jim Belushi chased down in the 1988 film “Red Heat.” Nor do they resemble the arms dealer portrayed by Nicolas Cage in the 2005 movie “Lord of War.”
Today’s organized crime in Russia is disguised as legitimate business operations.
August 9, 2012
Vegas casino an early adopter or late to the game?
The South Point could be ready to shuffle up and deal on the Internet sometime this fall.
State gaming regulators Wednesday granted Michael Gaughan’s Las Vegas casino tentative approval to operate an online poker website accessible only within Nevada boundaries.
South Point attorney Steve Harris told the Gaming Control Board in Carson City the technology to run the Internet poker website is in advanced stages of approval by an independent testing laboratory hired by gaming regulators.
If all conditions are met, Harris said the South Point’s website could begin accepting wagers over the Internet on a test basis by October. However, the control board placed several stipulations on the interactive gaming license to ensure all state requirements are met before the website goes live.
August 1, 2012
$731 million enough to close proceedings for dominant online poker sites
Internet gaming giant PokerStars will forfeit $731 million to the U.S. government over the next three years to settle a criminal complaint with the Department of Justice, although the company admits no wrongdoing as alleged in the April 2011 “Black Friday” indictments.
Some of the settlement will be used to refund money owed to U.S. and foreign customers of the now defunct Full Tilt Poker, which was also named in the original indictments.
PokerStars, which refunded money it owed to American gamblers more than a year ago, will acquire the assets of Full Tilt and relaunch the gaming website in legal markets as a separate brand.
The settlement, announced separately Tuesday by Isle of Man-based PokerStars and the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York, puts to rest many issues surrounding “Black Friday,” in which federal prosecutors cracked down on Internet poker in the United States, stopping three of the largest companies from taking wagers from gamblers in the United States.
PokerStars continues to operate legally in Europe and other markets where online gaming is regulated.
Under terms of the settlement, PokerStars can apply to offer Internet poker to U.S. customers if state or federal governments legalize the activity.
“We are delighted we have been able to put this matter behind us, and also secured our ability to operate in the United States of America whenever the regulations allow,” PokerStars Chairman Mark Scheinberg said in a statement. “The way we have operated our business since the U.S. Department of Justice brought its claim has underlined our credentials as a responsible online poker operator.”
July 27, 2012
Regulators say they are ready to go no matter what
Gamblers could be playing Internet poker in Nevada even before the Legislature has a chance to act on several Gaming Policy Committee recommendations to tweak current state regulations covering interactive gambling.
Gov. Brian Sandoval, following the committee’s final meeting Wednesday before the Legislature convenes in February, said he’s comfortable state gaming regulators are taking appropriate steps to license reputable casino operators and technology providers while protecting players’ interests.
Nevada gaming regulators licensed slot machine makers Bally Technologies and International Game Technology in June to provide interactive gaming products to casino operators. Shuffle Master has received tentative approval as a supplier and could receive final approval soon.
Gaming Control Board Chairman Mark Lipparelli said the first casino operators could be in front of regulators in 60 to 90 days. Once the casino operators are licensed and independent testing labs sign off on the technology, pay-to-play Internet poker could go live within Nevada boundaries before the session begins.
June 24, 2012
Gaming Labs ready as Nevada Net poker nears
A move by Nevada gaming regulators to have independent testing laboratories certify gambling equipment could result in new technology reaching casino floors more quickly.
It also could mean the state’s move into Internet poker might happen on a faster pace.
Last week, slot machine makers Bally Technologies and International Game Technology were licensed by the Nevada Gaming Commission to supply potential Internet casino operators with the systems to conduct, manage and monitor online gambling.
The technology Bally and IGT executives said they would use in Nevada is already in use in Europe, where online gaming is already legal in some jurisdictions. However, the technology still needs Nevada certification. The systems should be familiar to Gaming Laboratories International and BMM International, the two private labs registered by the Gaming Control Board on Thursday to test equipment for Nevada.
June 8, 2012
Vegas slot giant IGT gets thumbs up for approval
Executives for International Game Technology told Nevada gaming regulators Thursday they are in preliminary talks with U.S. Department of Justice officials concerning wagers placed before 2006 by American gamblers with Entraction, a Sweden-based online gaming operator.
The slot machine developer spent $115 million last year to acquire Entraction, an online poker operator in Europe with more than 4 million players.
The discussion with the Justice Department did not stop the Gaming Control Board from recommending that IGT be licensed as a manufacturer and provider of interactive gaming systems under Nevada’s newly created online gaming regulations.
Las Vegas Review-Journal
William Hill PLC, a British land-based and online bookmaker, was recommended on Thursday by state gaming regulators to receive its license to operate three race and sports book companies as well as mobile wagering apps in Nevada.
The recommendation by the three-member Gaming Control Board means William Hill is one-step closer to completing its acquisition of American Wagering Inc., which operates Leroy’s Horse & Sports Place.
The gaming company is also purchasing Brandywine Bookmaking LLC, parent of Lucky’s sports book, and Club Cal Neva Satellite Race and Sports Book division in Northern Nevada. William Hill spent more than $53 million in 2011 to acquire three Nevada companies.
June 7, 2012
Las Vegas Review-Journal
Nevada made its initial stride toward joining the Internet poker world Wednesday, but gaming regulators were quick to note that many more steps are needed before the first hands are dealt.
Slot machine maker Bally Technologies received a unanimous recommendation by the Gaming Control Board for the first interactive gaming license ever to be issued to a manufacturer of online gaming systems.
The matter will be taken up the Nevada Gaming Commission on June 21.
The hourlong hearing in Carson City marked the first time since Nevada gaming authorities approved regulations covering interactive gaming – online poker within the state’s borders – that a company was considered for licensing.
“We’re going to see a myriad of applications,” said Gaming Control Board Chairman Mark Lipparelli. “This is another step. It’s a thoughtful and diligent step, but it’s not the last step. The are no questions about Bally’s underlying suitability. The company will have the first interactive gaming license in the U.S.”