Posts Tagged ‘Martin Owens’

Shifting Opinions: United States v. DiCristina

Fine lines persist between skill games and gambling crimes

by , Sep 18, 2012 | 1:50 pm

I intended to blog about the DiCristina decision since it was released on August 21st, but I haven’t made the time until now. With the usual great commentary about the case coming from all over the gaming spectrum, many of the more interesting points about the facts of the case itself and about what it means for poker have already been made. This post is really intended to be something of a summary of the commentary and reactions to date. If nothing else, hopefully Pokerati can act as a repository of documents and reflections on the case.

The Decision
Let’s start with the facts and the decision itself, a copy of which is here (all 120 pages of it). This summer, a jury convicted Lawrence DiCristina of operating (and of conspiracy to operate) an illegal gambling business contrary to the federal Illegal Gambling Business Act (IGBA). Those were the only federal charges against him. Mr. DiCristina ran a two-table, twice-weekly poker club in the back room of a Staten Island warehouse. The house at this business charged a 5 percent rake; the dealers were paid 25 percent of the rake collected. The defendant brought a motion for acquittal, arguing that the operation of the poker games didn’t violate the IGBA. The US District Judge in the case, Jack Weinstein, wrote his memorandum, order, and judgment in response to this motion. After an extensive discussion of the statute and its relationship to poker, Judge Weinstein vacated Mr. DiCristina’s conviction and dismissed the indictment.


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#G2E Podcast: “The Inter- vs. Intra-state Divide”

Gaming law experts say little chance of federal poker bill passing in 2011

by , Oct 6, 2011 | 9:27 pm

After hearing AGA and Big Casino big dogs barking up a big game about coming federal poker legislation, Mike went to a G2E session offering an almost opposite perspective on the “inevitable” future of fully legalized online poker in the US.

Attorney Tony Cabot moderated a debate between I. Nelson Rose and Martin Owens, two venerable internet gaming counselmen who’ve been following the legalities of internet poker (worldwide) since long before the DOJ knew the names Isai Scheinberg, Ray Bitar, et al.

Episode 2: Giddy-up? “The Inter- vs. Intra-state Divide”
[audio:/tao/g2e-2011-inter-intra-state.mp3]

Rose took the strongest position that the federal iPoker legislation stirring up so much excitement is going nowhere … at least not before we see state-by-state legalization … kinda like what happened in the Washington DC, only less sketchy and corrupt?

It’s all about the money, Rose and Owens say. Supposedly horse racing — with maybe a little Powerball lottery mixed in for liquidity’s sake– is where we’ll find the model for the intrastate internet poker … 7-year timeline for laws to populate across the continent … Keep your eye on Iowa as the dark horse in this race.