Posts Tagged ‘American Gaming Association’

Some Question Constitutionality of Federal Internet Poker Bill

by , Nov 22, 2012 | 10:00 am

U.S. Capitol BuildingWASHINGTON – A bill to legalize online poker that is being written in Congress and that Nevada senators are trying to pass by the end of the year could be challenged in court and found unconstitutional, according to a legal analysis by a former top government attorney.

The bill would set up a framework to license and regulate Internet poker companies, and to nourish a U.S.-based online poker industry. But former U.S. solicitor general Paul Clement said he found flaws in segments of the bill that seek to punish overseas providers that ran games in the United States and continued to take bets from U.S. players even after Congress enacted online restrictions in 2006.

The so-called “penalty box” provisions would prohibit those companies from applying for an online poker license for five years, and from selling their trademarks or software to others seeking a license.

Clement said the bill being formed by Sens. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., “raises serious due process concerns.”


Gaming Business Gets Report at G2E

by , Oct 8, 2012 | 10:00 am

Passage of federal Internet poker legislation during Congress’ upcoming lame duck session will “take a little bit of gamblers luck,” the casino industry’s chief Washington, D.C., lobbyist said Tuesday in Las Vegas.

American Gaming Association President Frank Fahrenkopf Jr. said legalizing Internet poker in the U.S. continues to be an overriding issue for the casino industry, which officially kicked off the Global Gaming Expo at the Sands Expo and Convention Center. The four-day conference and trade show is the industry’s largest annual meeting.

Fahrenkopf, whose organization co-produces G2E with Reed Exhibitions, said Internet poker legalization is the most talked about subject among the gaming community. Most of the major casino companies and gaming equipment manufacturers have taken initial steps to jump into a legalized American Internet poker market.


Casino Poker Rooms Suffer in Post-Black Friday Era

by , Apr 30, 2012 | 2:46 pm

Las Vegas casino gambling revenues have been on a notable rebound. But in the year following online poker’s Black Friday, brick and mortar poker room revenues haven’t necessarily kept pace.

From February 2011 to February 2012, according to the the latest Nevada Gaming Control Board report, the state’s total gaming revenues (excluding sports books) increased by 5.6 percent, while revenues from poker dropped 1.4 percent. Las Vegas’ Clark County grew gaming revenues by 6.6 percent, while poker revenues slipped 1.1 percent.

Atlantic City has struggled with competition from new slot parlors in Pennsylvania. But even here, the toll on poker was larger. The latest report from New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforecement, Atlantic City’s total gaming revenue fell 5.0 percent from March 2011 to March 2012. Poker revenues fell 6.9 percent.

One poker room in Atlantic City handily beat the trend. Revenues at the Borgata’s poker room rose 28 percent. The Borgata played host to a number of major tournaments in the past year. The poker room staff is also very active on online poker forums such as 2+2.


The Future of Online Poker (as per the AGA)

by , Sep 28, 2011 | 4:59 pm

The 11th annual Global Gaming Expo kicks off next week in a new location, the Sands Convention Center, in Las Vegas. Of all the gaming expos worldwide (there seem to be about two a month these days) G2E is one of the big ones (if not THE big one) … not just for vendors hawking comfortable casino seats and slot-machine rides, but also for the sessions in which casino industry leaders gather to chat about everything from gaming technology to online regulation to Indian nations to rewards programs.

Check out the lineup for G2E ’11 here.

Just got the press release about what AGA/G2E chief Frank Fahrenkopf plans to speak on in his media address: (Yay. Looking forward to it.)


Preliminary Topline Results of Major Economic Impact Study to be Unveiled

Also got word that this year G2E has very clear “no audio or video recording” rules for their extra-informative sessions. (Crap, there go Pokerati’s plans for recording as many as possible and sharing them with you and others who didn’t pay to attend.)

Either that wasn’t policy last year or I mighta missed the memo. (Oops?)

From Pokerati’s vast archive of yet-to-be-seen-or-heard content … have a listen to Fahrenkop’s 2010 G2E media pow-wow. And hear, now with the benefit of hindsight, what the AGA leader had to say about how some wanted to work with (or against) online poker sites such as Full Tilt and PokerStars … and what the vision was (and presumably still is) for a combination of state and federal regulations being the future path for legalized online gambling in the US.

AGA’s “new reality” (circa 2010): 1. Doing the Macau-rena; 2. “Hey Harry, pull my finger!”; 3. Poker (only) face.

MEDIA BRIEFING: Frank Fahrenkopf at 2010 G2E



AGA Gives New Juice to Federal Online Poker Push

by , Sep 20, 2011 | 4:09 pm

The American Gaming Association put out a new video in support of making online poker legal (now!). Though plenty corny, it’s possibly the slickest representation of all the talking points certain poker people have been refining and pushing for the past several years — and yet it’s kinda dumbed down enough for legislators to see the probablility of looking kinda stupid (and un-Tea Partyish if they’re Republican) should they ignore this 2011 opportunity to re-Americanize online poker.

(I think I recognize that woman’s voice from some political attack ad in 2010 … or maybe it was ’08?)

LOL on the “SEIZED” sites — represented by cards with stars on them and with a red triangle. Guess they didn’t want to overreach by indicting the Shady dot-nets? The AGA also opened up a new section on their website — their Online Poker Headquarters.

OK, OK, I get the message … it’s gonna be about poker only, not poker+ casino games … And should it not be clear enough to anyone entertaining the idea of holding a US license that certain old-school online poker ways ain’t gonna fly in a regulated US future, the AGA has also issued a new code of conduct to establish who should and should not become card-carrying licensees:


AGA vs. Barton Bill, Legal DC Poker on the Shelf

by , Jul 15, 2011 | 12:07 pm

The Barton bill has raised the hopes of poker players, but not everyone is so enthusiastic about the proposed legislation. Also, more Black Friday fallout from across the Atlantic. Plus, regulated online gambling has been put on hold in Washington, DC

AGA to Push Its Own Federal Online Poker Bill

by , May 11, 2011 | 8:17 am

Frank Fahrenkopf AGA online gambling poker

Fahrenkopf: We’re ready to bring American casinos online (starting with poker)! Who’s with me?

The political arm of America’s brick-and-mortar casino industry is working on its own federal online poker bill, Frank Fahrenkopf, CEO of the American Gaming Association, revealed yesterday at a press conference in Washington DC. The AGA bill will likely be a hybrid between inter- and intra-state, providing federal oversight of independent state regulations.

Joining Fahrenkopf at the press conference were Keith Smith, president of Boyd Gaming; Gordon Kanofsky, CEO of Ameristar Casinos; and Virginia McDowell, president of Isle of Capri Casinos. The lobbying push the AGA kicked off yesterday talked about online poker most immediately, but language used didn’t seem to exclude the possibility of online slots and other casino games becoming part of these efforts.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is holding a lunch today with top Democratic leaders and casino executives to discuss, they say, a broad range of online gambling matters.

Gary Loveman, CEO of Caesars Entertainment (parent company to the WSOP), made note of the importance of online poker yesterday in an SEC filing yesterdayreporting Caesars Q1 2011 financial results. In the positive spin put on losing $147 million in the first three months of this year, he told Uncle Sam:

“Finally, we believe strongly that the recent federal indictments of illegal online poker operators should convince Congress to allow American citizens to play online poker and to allow American companies to compete in a multi-billion-dollar industry,” Loveman said. “By acting now to legalize a game enjoyed by millions of adult citizens, Congress can clarify ambiguous federal laws, generate tax revenues for federal and state governments and bring thousands of jobs to this country.”

5-Link Minimum

Pokerati’s irregular clickable web guide for pokerers

by , Mar 9, 2011 | 1:13 pm

Tonight’s semi-random collection of websites that have recently caught my eye for various reasons is brought to you by Suited Cribsyour 2011 WSOP housing hookup and VIP services connek!

OK, the links:

G2E Asia — the AGA brings its trade show to Macau, prepping Western gaming industry round-eyes for a new level of expansion in China and across Asia.

PokerGrump — an accidental low-stakes Vegas grinder, respected colleague on the license plate beat, and another guy I read often but don’t link up enough … generally thoughtful insight, and fun “guess the casino” posts, though few are as hard as this one:

highlight for answer

Mandalay Bay — Mike Sexton, Linda Johnson, and Jan Fisher’s philanthropic endeavor has undergone a website redesign as they continue efforts to make sure charity poker tournaments give back as much as possible.

DFW Gambler — don’t know who runs this site, but it kinda-sorta picks up where Pokerati left off upon skipping town, keeping the Dallas/Fort Worth poker scene up to date with solid, regularly updated info on local charity tourneys, big events in Oklahoma and Louisiana, and different free games — whether they be WPT Amateur Leagues or lesbian bar poker at Sue Ellen’s. Bingo, too!

The Poker Life Coach — Jen Dunphy was once responsible for keeping Harrah’s employees on their A-game, and now brings her motivational services to MGM Resorts. Not sure if she’s more happy drill sergeant or corporate therapist … but for poker players needing to work on their life skills (she won’t give up names of clients? Balls!) it seems she’s no Sam Chauhan … but then again, she’s also no Sam Chauhan.

Live Poker Training — Not sure if Shaun Deeb needs a life coach or just a mom. But either way, he’s got a boot camp March 26-27 … for players wanting to learn how to win so much money it doesn’t matter if you never learned to throw away pizza boxes or lift the toilet seat.

Zynga PokerCon 2011 — you know they are new to poker when they call their inaugural event Poker CON. But the best we can tell, even though the folks at Zynga supposedly have made millions without paying out any winners, they aren’t the second coming of UB … but they could well be proof that recreational players are more valuable than online pros. And they’ve hired me (along with Michele Lewis and BJ Nemeth) to tell you all about the Zynga version of BARGE — so already we think they’re great, obv!

Allied Service

Suited Cribs — The guys to handle your WSOP housing needs, and all variety of poker services, from laundry runs and VIP transportation to nightclub line passes. Say you heard about them from Pokerati for a special surprise AND to have me personally check out your summertime Vegas rental to make sure the internet works and no pillows smell like urine.

AGA Speaketh: Fahrenkopf Says #reidbill = Good

by , Dec 10, 2010 | 4:09 pm

AGA just released a statement in support of the “Prohibition of Internet Gambling, Internet Poker Regulation and Strengthening UIGEA Act of 2010”, or, as I like to call it -> the PIG-IPRSUA. Catchy, right?

Surprising? No. Except the time it took for them to come forth with an official press release.

Frank Fahrenkopf, AGA chieftain, had the following to say:

“This is tough law-and-order legislation that puts in place a solid regulatory framework and legal oversight that will prevent illegal activity and protect the estimated 15 million Americans who already are playing poker online. Ours is a unique industry in that it wants tough regulatory control and strict law enforcement oversight, which ensures the integrity of our business and protects consumers. Current online gambling laws do not provide these safeguards, leaving players and the system open to fraud, cheating and other illegal acts.”

“Without this legislation, players will remain unprotected, law enforcement oversight will remain murky, illegal offshore operators will continue to reap billions from U.S. bettors, and the U.S. will continue to lose out on the significant tax revenues and thousands of jobs that could be generated by this already popular activity. The millions of Internet poker players need and deserve the protections of a strong regulatory structure and law enforcement oversight that this legislation would provide.”

Nothing new here.  Yes, consumer protection is a positive.  But what about this (emphasis added)?

The proposed legislation ensures that Federal and State authorities will now have the ability to control what has, until now, been unfettered access to all forms of Internet gambling.

My takeaway?  AGA is letting *everyone* know they are behind this legislative horse.  Gotta wonder what Fahrenkopf and crew think about Jersey, California, and the District of Columbia‘s push to legalize iGambling on their own.

The PPA Wants (Needs?) Your Money

Poker politicos seeking buy-in to Washington DC Big Game

by , Jun 30, 2010 | 8:12 pm

A lot of different groups seem to have their fingers in the online gambling/poker pie these days. Kinda funny, because right now most Obama-admin efforts seem to be about stopping it, or at least making the process of winning a main event seat on PokerStars more difficult.

Yet at the same time, momentum in Congressional circles seems to be going the other way — with more money being spent on online gambling-related lobbying than ever before, and not coincidentally, a growing number of congressfolk suddenly on board with the cause.

But when it comes to hammering out a future for our specific special interest — licensed and regulated online poker — the Poker Players Alliance is hardly the only group claiming to speak on our behalf. The AGA, iMega, various Native American interests, the NTRA (horse racing) and the American Horse Council … they all want seats at the lawmaking table, too. However, the PPA is the only group specifically focussed on poker, that was built by poker players, and operates in Washington DC with poker community and industry interests foremost in mind.

Thus …

The PPA Poker Moneybomb

On July 1st, the PPA will be launching an unprecedented 1-day fundraising drive with the goal of raising $50,000 in support of our advocacy and grassroots efforts. We are asking all loyal poker supporters to make a donation to the PPA — even if it’s just $5 — on July 1st.

Love or hate Obama-driven reform, with health care out of the way, “financial overhaul” is next on the agenda. And the man spearheading this effort is poker’s ole friend Barney Frank, who has the ability and interest to make sure online gambling is — or is not — part of that political conversation.


PPA Lays Out Last-Ditch Effort to Spare Online Poker from UIGEA Deadline Day

by , May 12, 2010 | 4:34 am

Witht the June 1 enforcement deadline fast approaching, PPA Executive Director John Pappas lays out a new strategy for dodging the UIGEA:

They’re sending a petition around Congress requesting an exemption from the UIGEA for online poker and “peer-to-peer” games. Procedurally, this is similar to what got us that first six-month delay. And while it seems like a bit of a hail mary — starting off with just 22 signatures — if the PPA pulls this off it could be huge. Just guessing a bit here, but an exemption for poker, an ex post facto carveout essentially, seems like it would be a serious reversal of power akin to a middle pocket pair turning a set against an Ace-King that connected on the flop.

Haven’t spoken to anyone about this yet, but I think the big telltale sign here will be whether or not Harry Reid gets on board. He’s the guy other Dems (like my rep, Dina Titus, who recently signed on as a co-sponsor to the stalled Barney Frank bill) often look to for direction. Supposedly the rumors we’ve been spreading about his support for online gambling (and a possible poker-only bill) have been “greatly exaggerated”. And if you recall, his longtime big supporters at the American Gaming Association want more online gambling for sure, but only after this June 1 D-day passes.

Harry Reid to Push New Online Poker Bill?

by , Apr 19, 2010 | 8:52 pm

That’s the word from noted British investment analyst Daniel Stewart … And our sources in Washington DC (highly reliable sort) unofficially confirm that indeed, the beleaguered Senate Majority Leader is working on an online-poker-only bill. Might he be looking to pull a Bill Frist (his predecessor as #1 US Senator) and give a little gift to his Big Casino backers before he gets booted from office?


The stockbroker noted speculation that US Senator Harry Reid and his pro-legislation cohorts are preparing a Bill that could be introduced into the Senate within the next three months and ready for approval by the President during H2 2010.

Daniel Stewart believes that the proposed Federal legislation will encompass just online poker and exclude casino and sports betting services, which should ensure that it is easier to implement.

“The legalised US online poker market represents a massive pot of gold for the entities that can monetise a market we estimate to offer likely annual gross gaming revenue of >$8bn annually”. According to Daniel Stewart, the clear winners from the proposed US legislation will be the US-based gambling giants such as Las Vegas Sands, MGM, Harrah’s and Wynn.


AGA Changes Position Relevant to Online Poker

American Gaming Association “open to the concept of legalized internet gambling”

by , Mar 24, 2010 | 9:48 am

Fahrenkopf: Click your mouse for the house FTW!

As much as we try to resist, about twice a year does something uniquely worthy of sending you to them. (See, their spade points up, ours points down … that’s why we’re generally not link-friends.) The first of 2010 come from Stephen Murphy’s interview with Frank Fahrenkopf, president of the American Gaming Association. It’s a great getting-to-know one of poker’s most powerful potential allies in Washington DC … and he provides a solid explanation of where, from the Big Casinos perspective, all the current legislation, in DC and the various statehouses, stands.

First thing is that Fahrenkopf acknowledges the AGA has officially changed its position on online gambling. For years the folks at were against, and more recently shifted to neutral. Now, overall, they can be chalked up as for. “Open to the concept” means they’ll get behind it, so long as it’s done the “right” way.

However, Fahrenkopf informs us, the AGA’s voting membership is leaning more towards a state-based regulation model, and are maintaining a neutral stance on Barney Frank’s federal bill specifically. Also, he acknowledges, there actually is a need for the UIGEA if we really want the safe, protected internet gaming that we all purport to be demanding.

Good stuff that you can’t find anywhere else … and something that anyone following how the legislative framework that will shape poker’s future is, er, taking shape … will want to read.

Perspectives Weekly: From the G2E

Glimpse at the future of online gambling

by , Nov 21, 2008 | 6:04 pm


Coverage of the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada. Interviews with the President of the American Gaming Association, the Executive Director of the Poker Players Alliance (about the possibility of legal online poker in California), and a major industry announcement from the APCW, the GPWA, Affiliate Guard Dog, and Poker Affiliate Listings.