Posts Tagged ‘Illinois’

Scheinberg Shuffle

by , Jun 18, 2013 | 10:55 am


#1. PokerStars filed a request for interlocutory appeal late last week in connection with their attempt to purchase the Atlantic Club Casino. This week could bring a response from either the ACC or the NJ courts, moving us closer to a final resolution. Read an in-depth analysis of PokerStars’ filing on OPR here.

#2. New Jersey regulators recently set a deadline of June 30th for casinos to ink online gambling partnerships . With more than half of the state’s potential operators still unaffiliated, the new deadline could spark a series of deals in the brief window that remains. A deal involving Trump and an as-yet-unnamed partner could come this week.

#3. Illinois lawmakers will convene for a special session this week to address the state’s pension crisis. Gambling expansion and pension reform have been joined at the hip politically in Illinois, meaning that if pension reform is on the table, gambling expansion probably is too. Movement on online gambling is a long, long shot, but not completely implausible in a session that could potentially produce unexpected results.



On this week’s Rabbit Hunt, Mark and I talk PokerStars’ appeal, Scheinberg’s settlement and controversy over the the growth of hold’em at the WSOP. And I offered what I see as 5 Reasons Rep. Peter King’s Online Gambling Bill is DOA.

Finally, I have a new article in the June issue of CEM – “Player Segregation in Online Poker: Fad or Future?”


#GoodRead – Missed this one while I was on vacation, but Grange95 has the most in-depth writeup of thePokerStars Purchase Agreement with the Atlantic Club Casino that I’ve seen anywhere.

The OPR Weekly Bulletin is delivered directly to subscribers and appears first at To connect with Chris Grove: 
[email protected] / @OPReport / Google + / Skype: chrisgrove404.

WSOP Dot Com Countdown

by , May 27, 2013 | 10:00 am

From for the week of May 27th


#1. did not launch real-money poker last week as rumors suggested they would. But it’s a safe bet they will be launching the actual WSOP this week – on May 29th, to be exact. WSOP officials have indicated a desire to run online satellites to the 2013 Main Event (which starts July 6th). If that remains their goal, then there’s a pretty small window remaining for launch.

#2. Massachusetts is returning to the issue of online poker only weeks after a House attempt to insert regulated online poker into the budget was killed at the last minute. Now GOP members of the State Senate are trying the same trick . We should learn the fate of their attempt sooner than later as the clock winds down on MA’s budget process.

#3. Illinois closes their current legislative session at week’s end. It seems unlikely that an online gambling measure will reappear and progress to law before the close. But stranger things have definitely happened. And the larger issue of gambling expansion remains in play during the last days of the session, which could potentially produce prodigious bursts of activity in Springfield.



The latest edition of poker news podcast Rabbit Hunt, hosted by myself and Mark Gahagan (and sponsored by CardRunners) is now available on iTunes.

Also on OPR last week: Does the UIGEA apply to bitcoin gambling , Sounding the Iovation alarm, andInternational Gaming Awards accuses critic of tax evasion.


#GoodRead – Brad Polizzano surveys the tax models being considered by regulated U.S. markets. And@Grange95  dives into why the ACC was so quick to sling mud at Stars.

More from Chris Grove: @OPReport / Google +

Under The Boardwalk

by , May 20, 2013 | 10:00 am

From for the week of May 20th


#1. PokerStars came out on the losing end of last week’s legal battle with the Atlantic Club Casino. But given the latest statement from PokerStars, and the fact that they’ve sunk $10mm+ into the deal to date, I expect PokerStars to file new litigation in the days ahead.

#2. iPoker has given skins until May 20th to verify the identity of all players referred by certain affiliates. Sources report the action is linked to suspected VPN play from banned countries – including the United States.

Watch iPoker’s traffic – and the traffic of major US-facing sites – this week for clues to the scope of the issue. Based on back-channel chatter, it’s potentially huge.

#3. Iovation will continue to be a story to follow. Nevada regulators are reportedly planning to take a closer look at the company, which has been linked directly to the cheating scandal at Ultimate Bet, most recently in secret recordings released by Travis Makar.



The latest edition of poker news podcast Rabbit Hunt (sponsored by CardRunners) is now available on iTunes.


#GoodRead – Interesting commentary on the relative wisdom of buy in spreads from Kim Lund at QuadJacks. And PokerFuse has a fascinating take on The Rising Concern of Forced Disconnection Attacks.

More from Chris Grove: @OPReport / Google +

Illinois Seeing (Poker)Stars

by , Apr 22, 2013 | 10:00 am

From for the week of April 22nd


#1. Pennsylvania  representative Tina Davis (finally) introduced a bill to regulate online gambling late last week. Expect more specifics to emerge this week; early word is that the license fee is $5m and the tax rate is 28%.

#2. Illinois members of the PPA just received a survey concerning PokerStars, leading one industry observer to speculate that Stars is considering buying their way into Illinois’ online gambling market. PokerStars wouldn’t need to take over a full casino to get in; electronic gaming license holders and advance deposit wagering license holders are also eligible to apply under proposed online gambling regulation in Illinois.

#3. Caesars is reportedly considering a sale of NJ property Showboat  – and the eligibility to apply for a New Jersey online gambling license that goes with it. It will be interesting to follow the story (and reaction from the markets) in the coming days. Will Caesars get a premium for the online component? And, if so, will that spark the sale of more New Jersey land-based properties?



I took a look at the state of online gambling regulation across the United States. And Mark & I got our first episode of The Rabbit Hunt in the books. Finally, I joined Rich Muny for a panel discussion on PokerAdvocacy.


#GoodRead – Dave Behr is setting the bar with his coverage of the federal indictment that’s reached into the world of high-stakes poker.

@Follow – @CAGamingLawyer had some great Twitter coverage of the Tribal Internet Gambling legal conference in Scottsdale, Arizona last week that’s worth reviewing.

More from Chris Grove: @OPReport / Google +

Empire (State) Poker Returns?

by , Mar 18, 2013 | 11:42 am

From for the week of March 18th …


#1. The Revolution Network is dealing with two unresolved stories – one regarding lengthy payment delays to a skin and one regarding a possible software bug related to hole cards – as the Lock-fronted network continues to lose ground.

#2. Empire (State) Poker: NY’s tentative step toward regulated online gambling will thrive or die between now and April 1st, the deadline for the state’s budget. Gov. Cuomo seems open to the idea, but we should get a good sense of what support the initiative actually has in the days ahead.

#3. IL and PA. This week could pass with no movement in PA, where a few soft deadlines for the introduction of an online gambling bill have come and gone. But the pressure for legislative progress on the larger issue of casino expansion is significant in IL and should result in a quicker timetable for online poker – one way or the other.



A quick FAQ on Full Tilt repayment. And Marco Valerio’s interview with Salim Adatia, CEO of GLI Interactive – the company behind software testing in Nevada. Plus an update to my Illinois FAQ to reflect last week’s changes to the bill’s “bad actor” clause.


#GoodRead – The New York Times has a good write up of the uncertain environment surrounding daily fantasy sports. Much of it should sound familiar to followers of online poker.

@Follow – @Pokeraddictnet. Often first to news on U.S. facing rooms + regulatory developments at the state level.

Intrastate of War?

by , Mar 12, 2013 | 7:20 am

From for the week of March 11th …


#1. PokerStars and the AGA  threw first punches last week in what could develop into an extended and mutually bruising battle. Are they interested in cooling down, or escalating further? This week should provide some clues. Also: It turns out PokerStars’ NJ application could drag out well into summer.

#2. IL and PA could both take legislative steps toward regulation. PA State Rep Tina Davis “might” introduce her bill mid-week (20% gross tax, no compacts, licenses to existing operators only). As for IL, look for clarification on the next step for online gambling after a planned Senate vote on the combined live/online gambling expansion bill was scuttled late last week. Seems like some IL Dems didn’t like what they saw?

#3. New Jersey was supposed to finish up a first draft of online gambling regulations last week. No word on what shape they’re taking, but with the pace to date I would expect more details – and more launch projections – as we move into the middle of March.



I offered my quick take on the Illinois gambling bill . And on the timing of the AGA’s petition to bar PokerStars from NJ, which I also discussed on last week’s TwoPlusTwo Pokercast.


@Follow – It’s tax time, and U.S. poker players with questions would do well to follow both @QuantPoker and@taxdood.

#GoodRead –  …and to check out their respective blogs: and

Poker, Polls, and Politics

by , May 19, 2012 | 10:49 am

With online lottery sales successful, Illinois may consider expanding to online poker. This while polls in New Jersey gives conflicting information about internet gambling. Also, our interview with the Lotos Affiliate Program.

Rabbit Hunt

by , Oct 26, 2010 | 9:59 am

Episode 23
The Rabbit Hunt is here, with special guest Corwin [vital]myth Cole and they’re talking about the latest WSOP-C and WPT news, Poker Hall of Fame inductees, the latest poker court cases in South Carolina and Illinois, and Ladbrokes Poker’s new anonymous tables.

GamingCounsel’s Weekly Briefs

by , | 1:22 am

Here’s @GamingCounsel‘s look at the important legal developments in gaming over the past ten days or so:

  1. Crespo v. Online Poker – Interesting complaint filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division filed on October 12th. In a nutshell: A resident of Florida named Scott Crespo, who may or may not play poker online (there’s no indication from the complaint that he does or not), is suing residents of Illinois under an Illinois statute for money they purportedly won from other online poker players who may or may not be residents of Illinois. Oh, and Crespo apparently didn’t lose any money. He wants triple the amount of the unclaimed “losses” of others accruing to the defendants. Illinois was chosen because it’s one of a handful of states that have third party recovery statutes. As a gaming attorney I know in the US put it: We have way too many lawyers with nothing productive to do. [US District Court]
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  3. Betfair IPO Numbers – The Betfair IPO seemed to hit the top end of what analysts were predicting as the company’s market capitalization. Betfair was valued at £1.4 billion on flotation. Fully £200 million was raised on the IPO. [Herald Scotland]
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  5. Harrah’s IPO Imminent – More news from the public markets: Harrah’s is heading back to the public marketplace with an estimated $575 million offering. The money is likely to be used for new casino projects in Las Vegas and Ohio, not to pay down debt. We’ll have to wait and see how this offering fares, but there are definitely challenges ahead. [Wall Street Journal]
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  7. Canadian I-Gaming Split – While certain provinces are keen to enter the interactive gaming market, others are throwing cold water on the idea. Ontario and Quebec have announced that they’re coming out with online offerings; British Columbia already offers an online experience at However, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island recently announced that they’re not comfortable with participating in Internet gambling at this point. These latter three provinces are small – PEI is the smallest province in Canada, both geographically and in terms of population – but, interestingly, they’re part of the Atlantic Lotteries Corporation, which is working with BC and Quebec on sharing liquidity on a common Internet poker platform. [Globe and Mail; CBC]
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  9. IMGL Conference in Madrid – The International Masters of Gaming Law is the pre-eminent organization for gaming attorneys and other gaming experts. Their Fall conference is on from October 24th-26th in Madrid and, as usual, it’s an interesting lineup and series of sessions. I’ll be tweeting on different panels and speakers throughout the conference; check out my tweet stream if you’re interested. [Gaming Law Masters]

The Poker Beat

by , Oct 25, 2010 | 5:29 pm

Huff, Dan, Jess, BJ, and even Stapleton (with the return of the Tight Laydown?):

The Poker Beat: October 24, 2010

  • Poker Hall of Fame inductees Harrington and Seidel, age-minimum debates, and comparisons to Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
  • Anonymous tables at Ladbrokes
  • Crespo’s Illinois online poker lawsuit — significant or frivolous?
  • More on WSOP-C’s new power and purpose?
  • WPT-Festa al Lago FT, Randall Flowers, and the Jess & BJ Show
  • Phil Ivey is gay? Craps + multi-phallus fellatio promises at the Wynn

Barney Frank Rolls Out UIGEA Repeal

Perspectives Weekly

by , May 11, 2009 | 8:44 am

Barney Frank has finally debuted his bill to Repeal the UIGEA and set-up a regulatory frame work for the online gambling industry in the United States! Also, industry news from Minnesota, Illinois, and the biggest jackass in the industry!

Fiery Scare, Temporary Death for a Special (to Me) Casino

by , Mar 21, 2009 | 5:04 pm

photo: Alex Garcia/Chicago Tribune

The Empress Casino in Joliet, IL, and its poker room of course, had to be evacuated yesterday as a big fire threatened to turn the first casino I ever gambled in to ashes.

At age 19, a couple of my Northwestern classmates and I would skip a few classes sessions of Super Mario and make the trek to Chicago’s outer suburbs … (I can’t remember if you only had to be 18 to gamble or if we used fake IDs) … and we all know where things have gone from there. When the Empress opened in 1992, you used to have to pay $12 to go on a “cruise” … i.e. the boats would leave the dock for about 10 feet. We were so excited to learn, after a few trips, that we could be playing enough $5 blackjack to get the pit boss to “comp” us another cruise ticket, and eventually we didn’t even have to stop playing or get off the boat! Ahh, our first taste of the high-roller life.

This is also where I was introduced to the concept of “a chip and a chair” when I once took my last $10 and put it on the 5-to-1 on the Wheel of Fortune and eventually left the casino that day up about $200, which was an absolute mint back then. It is also where I was exposed to (but didn’t quite get) the concept of bankroll management when my girlfriend at the time kept coming over to a blackjack table where I was winning and grabbing $30 or $40 every so often. I was pretty pissed at her by the time I ultimately went bust, thinking she blew my wad on slots little by little … but much to my pleasant surprise she was just pocketing the money, and when I later moaned to her about the bad beat I took with an 11 against the dealer’s 6, she was totally nonplussed and pulled out $265 that she had stashed away, telling me, here, this is yours … to which I responded “I love you”.

RE: ShuffleTech (2)

by , Sep 7, 2008 | 7:10 am

ItsOverJonny wondered in comment below whether or not the new ShuffleTech noise machines auto-shufflers actually kept a count of the cards being riffled … I wasn’t sure (kinda assumed they did), so, because apparently this is what I like to do at 6:30 am on Saturday night/Sunday morn, I wrote to the folks at ShuffleTech (which happens to be based in the small village outside of Chicago where I was born) and they responded:

Dear Dan,

I’m happy to answer this or any other question, particularly for anybody from Shuffle Tech’s home town!

The ST-1000 does not count cards. Most of the machines that do in the casinos are also scanning the faces of each card, which enables those machines to not only count but also identify any missing card. You can understand how that could be abused in a private, unregulated environment: a clever programmer could reprogram the machine to identify the location of any particular card in a deck, and in the case of the casino machines (which function differently than Shuffle Tech) place certain cards in a certain position in the deck.

I hope this answer the question, and our reason for avoiding any mechanism or feature that could potentially be abused.

Best regards,
Rick Schultz

Live- Poker-Blogging the Democratic National Convention

A single-issue, special-interest perspective on the Denver political hoopla

by , Aug 25, 2008 | 6:20 pm

Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) is speaking right now just spoke a little while ago … he’s a friend of poker!

Jackson is one of four cosponsor’s to Rep. Pete Sessions’ (R-TX) HR 6663. That bill, of course, is the most straightforward fix to the UIGEA — simply limiting its reach to online sports gambling — yet one of the more controversial because of, um, politics.

Perhaps shockingly, he didn’t mention anything about the critical importance of being able to easily compete in online WSOP satellites in his five minutes he had to address the world … but hey, that’s where we stand: We have a young, pre-introductory Day 1 speaker to the Democratic party (his debut performance on such a stage) aware of our issues and philosophically on our side, though not exactly the way the PPA would like him to be.

Speech transcript / Video

Re: Tarrant County Legal Rumbles

by , Dec 12, 2007 | 9:07 pm

It’s kinda funny sometimes the way news spreads … all the way to Chicago. Should be interesting to see how the non-poker masses respond (if at all) to the Dallas poker plight.