Weekend Wisdom (8/8-8/9): WPT & Menendez Bill

by , Aug 8, 2009 | 2:44 pm

A couple of great pieces for weekend reading…

Amy Calistri always has eyes on the stock market and the corporate goings-on of poker-related businesses, and her latest take on the sale of the WPT assets is right on the money. She gives the latest about stockholder rage over the WPT/Gamynia move and puts into words what I’ve been thinking for years, since shortly after I left the WPT fold and began to notice its downfall. That’s not to say it can’t rise again, but it might need new leadership to make that happen. An excerpt:

Frustration and envy appear to be the seeds of the series of missteps that sapped millions of dollars and focus away from the company’s core business. While the WPT helped create the poker boom, its television production business model only got a small piece of the obscene profits that were being generated by poker’s popularity. Online poker companies and online media sites reaped the lion’s share. This infuriated the WPT; they felt they were owed.

Gambling law professor I. Nelson Rose can break down a legal document or political issue like nobody’s business, and it’s a good thing he took the time to analyze the Menendez bill introduced to the Senate this week. Thanks to Poker Grump, this piece takes a look at the 91-page document and sheds some light on the proposed participation of states in the regulation/licensing of online poker, the tax on deposits to online sites, and the possible exemption of sites like PartyPoker from licensing. A sampling from the article:

Taxes might be a problem. The Frank bills have no limit on what taxes states can impose on operators, but limit the federal government to what is called a fee of 2% on deposits. Menendez is asking for less and more: A Federal Internet gaming license fee of 5% of deposited funds and a State or Indian tribal government gaming license fee of another 5%. This does get over the big problem with the Frank bills, that the big states, like California, where the customers will be, have no incentive to support Internet gambling operated and taxed by Nevada. Under Menendez, California gets that 5% tax. Although the states won’t like this provision: Tribes are treated like states, so if a player is on Indian land, that tribe gets the full 5% and the state in which the tribe is located gets nothing.

Of course, the tax system is still screwy, since it is a tax on deposits, not revenue. But it might work.


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