GamingCounsel’s Weekly Briefs

Midterm elections, Tzvetkoff’s Vegas loans, Polish gambling, Zynga mobile

by , Nov 10, 2010 | 6:43 pm

I know that these past few days everyone’s been talking about Jonathan Duhamel’s triumph in the November Nine. Sadly, I wasn’t in Las Vegas for it and it has been covered much better than I ever could elsewhere. In lieu of that, here are my thoughts on some of the interesting legal developments in gaming over the past week:

  1. American Midterms (Part I) – Top story last week & top 2 stories this week. As expected, the Democrats lost control of the House of Representatives, Representative Boehner will be the next Speaker, and Senator Reid kept his seat and his job as Senate Majority Leader. (Aside: great article here on how Reid pulled it off.) What does it all mean? It’s too soon to say. I continue to think that the general trend towards legalization in the US will continue and that, if nothing passes during the lame duck session of Congress, there may be more going on in intra-state gaming in the coming year than in Congress. However, it may be that a new bill (sponsored by Senator Reid) could be passed during the lame duck and legalize poker. Keep watching. [Examiner; Poker News Daily]
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  3. American Midterms (Part II) – During the midterms, there were many races and referenda addressing local gaming issues. There’s a great summary of many of them by Sarah Klaphake Cords at Casino Enterprise Management here.
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  5. Tzvetkoff Squirrel Funds – This is a story that’s been followed by those in online poker for months. Daniel Tzvetkoff created a payment processor in Australia called Intabill. He is alleged to have defrauded several Internet poker operators and was arrested in Las Vegas earlier this year on money laundering charges, among others. Most seem to think that he’s co-operating with federal authorities. Now come allegations that funds from the payment processing business were squirreled away in a payday lending company in Las Vegas called Hugo Services. Apparently some $50 million are at stake. If true and if the federal government hasn’t already seized it, Daniel’s and Intabill’s creditors can be expected to make a move against it to try to recoup some of their losses. [Courier and Mail]
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  7. Increase in Polish Internet Gambling – In case any more evidence were needed that banning Internet gambling doesn’t reduce its incidence, apparently Poles will have gambled away 20% more by the end of this year than they did in the year in which Internet gambling and advertising was outlawed in Poland. [Warsaw Business Journal]
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  9. Zynga on the Go – These guys have been in the press a lot lately, and especially in the past week. First came news that Zynga Game Network’s estimated worth exceeded video gaming giant Electronic Arts’s market value. (Apparently, Zynga is worth $5.5 billion.) Now Zynga is being touted as a player in mobile gaming. It already has a Texas Hold’em game available on Facebook that supports 6 million users daily. More proof that the next wave of gaming is already underway and will involve social media and mobile gaming. Watch these guys and other players in this developing market. []

Attorney Stuart Hoegner regularly follows matters of international gaming law; you can follow him @GamingCounsel on Twitter.

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