Posts Tagged ‘intrastate online poker’

Is Online Poker’s Window of Opportunity Closing?

by , Sep 1, 2012 | 1:00 pm

What seemed like a tremendous decision for the gaming industry nine months ago – the re-evaluation of the Federal Wire Act of 1961 – may not be so advantageous for Nevada unless Congress takes steps to enact Internet poker legislation.

A window of opportunity that could place Nevada at the center of the potential U.S. Internet gaming market is closing quickly, and some in the gaming industry worry that lack of federal action could cost the state tax revenues and casino customers, while making Nevada subservient to less-regulated states.

“There are different standards for gaming regulation in one state versus another,” Station Casinos Vice Chairman Lorenzo Fertitta said. “We know some companies will shop for the lowest common denominator. We could start seeing bets being taken away from Nevada.”

The U.S. Department of Justice on Dec. 23 reversed a 50-year-old interpretation of the Wire Act, saying the law covers only sports wagering. Legal experts said the decision frees individual states to let online operators offer poker and traditional casino games such as slot machines and blackjack if the play doesn’t cross state lines.

It’s been estimated that U.S. gamblers spent as much as $26 billion annually gambling online before federal prosecutors indicted the operators of three of the largest Internet poker websites in April 2011. Closing those sites, which had violated federal law by accepting wagers from the U.S., effectively walled Americans off from the online gaming universe.

Now, states dealing with tight budgets are looking at that huge, untapped Internet market and are increasingly open to allowing – and taxing – it. Lawmakers in several states are in various stages of adopting regulations to allow full-scale online gaming.

Several Nevada gaming companies are on the verge of offering in-state online poker, but they foresee trouble ahead if their market is limited only to players in the sparsely populated Silver State.

And not only are they concerned about missing out on poker profits, they fear gamblers who can play online at home won’t bother traveling to Las Vegas’s tourist-dependent resorts.


US Online Gambling State by State

by , May 31, 2012 | 5:02 am

While New Jersey pushes forward, California debates, and Iowa considers, Delaware decides to get in the race. And with so many states moving toward legal online gambling, is it any wonder predictions are they will lead the way in American gaming?

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

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”

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.

Nevada Internet Poker Rides Rush

iPoker bill heard; 888-Caesars deal approved; Wynn partners with PokerStars

by , Mar 24, 2011 | 7:39 pm

Just before the hearing on AB258 held in the Nevada Legislature this morning, the PPA released an official press statement supporting the “interstate” iPoker bill.  This announcement made an for an interesting preface to over three hours of testimony on internet poker in Nevada, featuring a bevy of high-octane witnesses presenting an array of statistics and factoids *in favor* the bill, without a whole lot of testimony (publicly) against.

It kicked off a major rush of online poker activity in the state of Nevada today.

At the hearing, witnesses giving testimony in support of the bill included Vanessa Rousso, who made the obligatory “poker star” (pun-intended) appearance.  She gave a rather harried and then hurried Online Poker 101 primer to Nevada Legislature, who by all appearances needed it – one state rep asking during the hearing for clarification on the difference between “video poker” at a casino and “online poker”.  There were some questionable large quotations of gargantuan customer bases and revenue projections by Applied Analysis, revelations of the wealth iPoker has provided the Isle of Man, and an infomercial reassurances from the Aristotle group (whose client is PokerStars) that their INTEGRITY age verification software could protect Nevada children from gaining access to iPoker.

Or – in short – a whole ton of high-end testimony that the backers of this bill would surely like to have presented. No vote was held in the Assembly Judiciary.  The next step per @RindelAP is that AB258 will proceed to the committee’s “work session” for amendments; date to be announced.

What I was truly intrigued by was the testimony of the “objector”, Pete Ernaut, representing the Nevada Resort Association, who seems to be the public voice for at least some of the Nevada casinos.  Ernaut did not testify against iPoker, but opined that Nevada should not pass their own bill, but rather wait for federal legislation.  He agreed, when questioned, that the federal process may be indeed too slow for Nevada to have competitive advantage.

His solution? A “re-ordering” of things where Nevada doesn’t need new legislation to begin building their advantage, and can begin planning for business without federal legislation like #campbill already in place.  He referred to some previous internet gambling  legislation in November 2001 named AB466 (see full bill text).


Nevada PStars-Backed “Interstate” iPoker Bill Heads for Hearing

Watch live webcast 11AM PST

by , | 7:37 am

The Nevada Legislature’s Assembly Judiciary will be hearing the PokerStars-backed iPoker bill, aka AB258 (complete bill text here) this morning at 11am PT. The hearing is the next step in the process for this bill to become a law, though not the final one.

This internet-poker specific bill is both uniquely controversial among all of the proposed intrastate iGambling bills.  Not only does it explicitly state that the NGC may not discriminate against the likes of Poker Stars and Full Tilt, which have operated gambling sites unlicensed with US players, but the legislation defines a model by which internet poker websites *outside* of Nevada could pay to connect player pools with new Nevada player pools through B2B state-regulated “compacts.”

That’s right.  If passed as is, players on new Nevada iGambling sites could play with people that live in places outside the state of Nevada “where interactive gaming is not prohibited” – so long as a regulated deal exists between the state and external websites.

One has to wonder – if this NV bill is made into law before the newly re-introduced federal internet gambling #campbill, what will the landscape of the future internet gambling market in the United States look like?

Watch it -> Live feed for AB258 in Carson City 11AM PST here ->  Assembly Judiciary @ NV Legislature webcast

Nevada Internet Gambling Hotlist

Several bills slated for hearing, two in NV Senate Judiciary this AM

by , Mar 11, 2011 | 9:00 am

Nevada has not just one, but three bills related to “interactive gaming” that now  have been referred for hearing in the state Senate Judiciary committee.  There are two bills related to internet gaming in Nevada being heard today 8AM PST in Senate Judiciary in Carson City labeled  SB103/SB218.  They are not specific to poker.

1) SB103 allows for Nevada Gaming Commission to establish licensing requirements/fees for “interactive gaming service providers” to act on behalf of licenses Nevada “establishments.”

2) SB218 authorizes the Nevada Gaming Control Board to setup and regulation of “hosting centers” as well as the authorization of “service providers” as amendments to NRS 463.750, with the assistance and advisement of the Nevada Gaming Commission

SB103 text at-> SB103 bill contents
SB218 text at-> SB218 bill contents

Live feed for the NV Senate Judiciary committee hearing for SB103/SB218 on 3/11/2011 in Carson City will be available here-> View (low speed) || View (high speed).

These two Nevada bills are *different bills* than the one read in the Assembly yesterday.  That bill was named AB258 that is specific to iPoker, allows for potential interstate gambling, and opened to doors for prior bad-actors-of-sorts.  This bill was referred, but not scheduled for hearing in the Senate Judiciary.

AB258 text at-> AB258 bill contents

Press links for AB258
Gambling Compliance article (by @CKrafcik) -> “Nevada Rejoins Internet Poker Race
Las Vegas Sun article (by @RalstonFlash) -> ‘As feds grapple with issue, Legislature will consider legalizing Internet gaming
ABC News article (by Michelle Rindels, AP, @oskargarcia contributes) ->‘Nev. Bill Would Set Regulations for Internet Poker’

Thanks to Chris Krafcik (twitter: @CKrafcik) and Susan Rhodes (twitter: @sdrhodes) for assistance in research and analysis.

Follow me @scarlet_lv today for live-tweet of the feed from the Nevada State Legislature.

Christie Vetoes New Jersey Intrastate iGambling Bill

Letter cites legality of cyber-cafes outside of Atlantic City

by , Mar 3, 2011 | 6:16 pm

Governor Christie prevented intrastate gambling in New Jersey from becoming law today with a his letter to the State Senate returning the bill without executive approval of the bill “in its present form.”  Christie did not comment on this bill in his press conference this morning, nor has made other public statement at this time.

The document can be found here-> <<image of Christie veto letter in PDF>>

It remains a bit unclear if this means the bill is going no further in the process to becoming law, or if it has been conditionally disapproved by Christie, and what precisely this means in terms of next steps for the effort to regulate gambling at the state level.

Checking the NJ Legislature of the website (searching for S490), the bill is currently listed with the last status update made today “3/3/2011  Conditional Veto, Received in the Senate.”

From the NJ Legislature online glossary:

CONDITIONAL VETO A veto in which the Governor objects to parts of a bill and proposes amendments that would make it acceptable. If the Legislature re-enacts the bill with the recommended amendments, it is presented again to the Governor for signature.

[Update per @GamingCounsel -> the NJ Legislature website has now changed the status of the bill in the past hour or two to the state of “Absolute Veto” from “Conditional Veto”]

In his veto letter to the Senate, Christie reveals what his objections are to this bill.  He cites his primary concern that this legislation as-it-stands does not prevent gambling transactions originating outside of the confines of Atlantic City in “commercial establishments”, as in intrastate cyber-cafes of sorts.  He states that if NJ residents wish to expand gambling beyond AC limits, they would need to reach this point by public “referendum” (a.k.a. vote).

Based on Christie’s statement alone, it sounds as if the governor is not asking for amendments, but rather stating his opinion that the issue of intrastate gambling in his state is one best left for public vote because of the “territorial limits” that exist.  If/what next steps the legislature in New Jersey chooses to take in response, as well as what Christie truly might be willing to sign into law in the future remains to be seen.

Seems to me that today’s veto, conditional or not, might alternately be thought of as a next step in the *pursuit* of intrastate iGambling legislation in New Jersey, just as many steps have also been taken in *pursuit* of federal online gambling legislation with HR2267 and the draft of #reidbill.

Christie Press Conference Gives No Decision on New Jersey iGambling

by , | 11:20 am

New Jersey Governor Christie did hold a press conference this morning, but it did not answer any questions regarding today’s decision on the fate of iGambling for New Jersey.

Press of Atlantic City reported here:

Gov. Chris Christie said at 11:30 a.m. today that he has not yet decided whether to sign or veto a bill creating an intrastate online gambling system.

Christie has just hours to decide whether to allow the system, which would be a first nationwide but which has faced questions about its legality within state and federal law.

Christie said he plans to decide the issue later today.

If he does not act by the end of the day, the bill becomes law.

The official live-feed site for Governor Christie went into “password protected” mode at about 11AM EDT, leaving those of us geeky enough to have gotten to the presser early to remain in the open chat room staring at a blank feed, and everyone else who wanted to watch *out*.

PPA Chairman Alfonse D’Amato appeared on Fox Business at 12:15PM EDT to discuss the governor’s upcoming decision. When asked what he thought was on Christie’s mind were this afternoon. D’Amato said:

“I think the governor would like to pass it [S490], but there may be a constitutional prohibition.  He’s studying that right now.  And it may have to first go through the people for legislative approval.”

Whatever Christie might be thinking or “studying” today, he has only until midnight tonight to veto the bill before it is made law.

New Jersey Intrastate iGambling Decision Day

Governor Christie holds press conference

by , | 8:42 am

Governor Christie is expected to announce today if he will sign/veto/ignore S490 which, if made law, “permits Internet wagering at Atlantic City casinos under certain circumstances.”

He is holding press conference shortly at 11am EDT, where he is expected to comment on his decision.

A live stream of Christie’s press conference can be watched-> here.

New Jersey Assembly Approves Internet Gambling Bill

Online poker, for all intents and purposes, legalized in United State

by , Jan 11, 2011 | 5:00 pm

Fully legal online gambling is coming to the United States … like this year, if not pretty much right now … regardless of whatever happened with the Reid Bill whereby one of the most powerful men in the world was not able to deliver to his strongest backers a relatively inconsequential bill that came with money and jobs for his own state (on a piece of legislation that was two years in the making) despite his party’s having control of the Senate, the House, and the Executive Branch.

But we’ll have to save that discussion for a later date … Last night the New Jersey Assembly (the Garden State’s version of the House) approved a package of five bills to recharge their battered Atlantic City-based gaming industry, one of which allows their casinos to offer online gambling (not just poker, but casino games, too) within NJ borders. Their Senate had already given the measures an official “like”, so now all that remains is needing a signature from Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican who has given no indications of wanting to veto.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Those bills’ final passage marks the first real change in more than three decades to how business is conducted in the nation’s second-largest gaming market, which is reeling from the weak economy and regional competition. The resulting structure mirrors that of Nevada.


GamingCounsel’s Weekly Briefs

Jersey intrastate score, Quebec’s online casino, Zynga in the City,
Lame-duck luck & Righthaven retreat

by , Nov 23, 2010 | 12:33 pm

Here are my thoughts on the most interesting stories in the gaming sector over the past week or so:

  1. New Jersey Moves Forward on Intra-State Gaming – Yesterday, Monday, November 22nd, the New Jersey State Senate passed S490, the succinctly-named “An Act permitting Internet wagering at Atlantic City casinos under certain circumstances and amending and supplementing the Casino Control Act.”The vote was 29-5 in favour. This bill authorizes Internet wagering at AC casinos; it would allow New Jersey residents and persons located outside of the US to place wagers on casino games by means of the Internet. All games that are permissible in a bricks and mortar AC casino could be offered over the Internet under this bill. S490 also provides for the imposition of a tax on such intra-state Internet wagering, monitoring and regulating the Internet offerings, and licensing fees. Now the bill will be taken up by the State Assembly’s Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee. New Jersey has elections in November of each odd-numbered year, so there is still considerable time to see this bill through to passage by the Assembly. It is looking more and more like the legislative i-gaming action in the US for the next little while will be at the state level and perhaps not in Congress. []
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  3. Quebec Launches Government Gaming Site – Loto-Quebec’s new Internet gaming site,, went online last week. (It looks terrible, which is to be expected of a government-run casino site.) as of next week, Quebecers will be able to wager up to Cdn$9,999 per week on sundry interactive games. The poker offering will eventually share liquidity between Quebec and British Columbia, but only Quebecers are supposed to be permitted on Loto-Quebec’s site. [Montreal Gazette]
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  5. New Zynga Game – Zynga, the popular social gaming developer, released CityVille. I haven’t played yet, but apparently it’s SimCity meets FarmVille. It will go live globally in the next few weeks. More proof that Zynga (and the social gaming sector, more generally) are key things to watch in the gaming industry as we go forward. [TechCrunch]
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  7. The Status of Congress – Congress is currently in the lame-duck session between election day and the start of the 112th Congress in January. Frank Fahrenkopf, President of the American Gaming Association and as keen an observer of the gaming industry in the US as anyone, said during G2E in Las Vegas last week that he doesn’t see online gaming legislation passing during the lame-duck session, but he left open the possibility that Internet gaming legislation could pass. No surprise, but Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV) thinks that, if anything passes during the lame-duck, it may be limited to legalizing Internet poker only: [Las Vegas Sun; Las Vegas Review-Journal]
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  9. Las Vegas Cut-and-Paste Lawsuits – Righthaven LLC is a firm in Nevada that has sued dozens of parties over posting content on the Internet from the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Some have alleged that Righthaven’s actions have been abusive. Comes now Righthaven with an indication that it will narrow its litigation campaign after a Nevada judge ruled that a realtor’s use of part of an LVRJ article constituted fair use. (The realtor reproduced 8 sentences of a 30 sentence news article on his blog.) See: This is fascinating enough by itself, but the Nevada attorney who is a principal of Righthaven (Steven Gibson) is the same lawyer that is a member of the law firm Dicknson Wright PLLC, an international law firm with a respected gaming practice and now with a Las Vegas office. [Wired]

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

New Online Gambling Debate Taking Shape

by , Oct 21, 2010 | 5:16 pm

Check it out … with so many individual states hungry for cash, California being the hungriest, that state will definitely be taking a look at the issue until they somehow figure out a way to collect the most duckets from all those poker geeks calling California home.

The arguments themselves are nothing new — for or against — but you will notice a slight shift on the “Gogogo online gambling FTW!” side that we’re all supposed to be a part of …

Here, Patrick Dorinson, spokesperson for the Coalition of California Card Clubs and Tribes, is clearly pushing for the intrastate model, with the California Gambling Control Commission setting the rules. He addresses that critical component so matter-of-factly that any new recruits to the online poker side would hardly know this is different from the federally regulated, interstate model pushed Barney Frank, the PPA, and others … you know, what we’ve all been supporting for a long time. That one, according to statements in Washington DC congressional debate, looks to rely on regulatory standards set by the Nevada Gaming Control Board … with maybe some input from New Jersey and the Indians.


California Intrastate Online Gambling Senator Indicted

8 felony counts, including voter fraud, perjury

by , Sep 17, 2010 | 6:46 pm

Sen. Rod Wright: Give me PartyPoker.cali or give me death!

California state Sen. Roderick Wright (D-Inglewood) — the legislator behind California’s aggressive efforts for intrastate online gambling and opponent to Barney Frank’s federal online gambling bills — is in some hot water. I couldn’t tell on quickest glance if he’s being hassled over some jurisdictional technicalities or if its indicative of some major shenanigans involving one of the biggest proponents for California’s French-like vision for online poker. But either way, somebody seems pretty pissed off at Wright, as a Los Angeles County grand Jury unsealed an 8-count felony indictment against him yesterday.

Wright is the sponsor of California’s SB 1485, a bill that would immediately kick off licensed and regulated online gambling for Californians in California. The bill has seemed on its last legs since this summer, but just won’t die as California desperately digs into its couch cushions looking for any way possible to to make up for extreme budget deficits supposedly driving the state toward insta-bankruptcy.


TWIPoker, WSOP Seniors, Various Big Games, and More


by , Jun 19, 2010 | 1:01 am

A multitude of random click-worthy links and watchable videos, with or without context, that may or may not play into your evolving, overall world poker view … brought to you by 1/2 NL/PLO at the Hard Rock, now playing Tuesdays, Thursdays, late Fridays and by request:

The new This Week in Poker is here. Probably not quite ready for an Emmy nomination yet, or even a Webby if there is such a thing. But smart people behind it all … and possibly eventually a show that comes in to its own somewhere around the convergence of the internet and TV. [Wicked Chops]

I love caption contests — have won many of them. But gonna let someone else take down the wordsmither’s glory (and Full Tilt prize points) on this one, featuring funny and plausibly awkward image moments from the WSOP. [Full Tilt From the Rail blog]

Dissension and Disagreement: APCW Perspectives Weekly for June 18, 2010. Internal fights with Indians mucking up intrastate online poker efforts in California; Big Casinos blocking progress in New Jersey; Malta fighting with France over Euro suckage. [YouTube/APCWperspectives]

Also, last week I missed his take on the GCB’s take on dot-net poker sites taking part in any Nevada casino take. (6:20 in)

Meanwhile, PokerStars’s Big Game is the show poker fans are currently most buzzing about. []

PartyPoker’s Big Game IV also looks pretty cool, with a very similar concept. [YouTube/PartyPoker]

One blog I enjoy reading regularly throughout the WSOP (personally check in on it about twice a week) is Adam Goulding‘s, aka Snoopy, who always provides a unique and worldly perspective on Poker America. [BlackBelt Poker]

Likewise, don’t forget to keep up with Dr. Shamus, who knows how to always keep the intellectual poker stimuli percolating. [Hard Boiled Poker]

I’m also checking in regularly on the people set to do the 360-streaming of final tables. Technology is supposed to be much improved from their WPT Championship debut, and word is they just got the green light from Nevada Gaming for the 2010 WSOP … but still not sure exactly when and where I’ll find the live action I’m looking for — hope to know soon! [All360Poker]

Also keeping up with the PokerNews Nightly Turbo for a basic rundown of news going on outside the WSOP. [PokerNews]

And probably the best video quick-taste of the flavor of a WSOP day, like yesterday, seems to be coming from WSOP Live! [YouTube/PokerListings]

The specific WSOP event I’ve been following, and will be tomorrow, is the Seniors Event, where rookie senior and Team Pokerati captain Tom Schneider is pounding around at the top of the leaderboard, and I’m still looking for Toothless Bob. []

UPDATE: Going into Day 2, with 450 players remaining from a record field size of 3,142, Tom is the chip leader. A little concerned that I couldn’t find Bob amongst the list of entrants.

Oklahoma Johnny Hale, apparently the driving force behind the Seniors Event, got a special trophy for his pioneering work on behalf of the Social Security-minded set. [Bluff Magazine]

Did you know David Plastik used to be a rock’n’roll photographer in the 80s before becoming a professional poker player? His photojournalism seems to wash through the bright lights and make-up for a grittier view of a glam music in a newspaper era. []

Hey, that mighta been my best link-dump ever! Actually led to fewer open windows on my desktop, not more, and took only about an two hours to provide you with 6+ minutes of targeted, purposeful pokery web browsing.

Oh oh oh … and one last thing (for the moment) … We’re kicking so much Tao of Pokerati arse ever since the Benjo partnership and giving Pauly a key to the server farm, I can’t even keep up with it all. But fortunately the Best Little Short-Podcast in Poker gives you so much for so little, it doesn’t take much to get caught up. Meanwhile for a little closer-to-real WSOP experience in condensed space and time, be sure to check for the latest in the Tao of Pokerati archives. There’s a Matt Savage and PPA buzz, while Benjo’s on a lesbian kick in the Rio again. [Tao of Poker]

This Week’s Tourists at the Table:

(L to R) Team Pokerati WSOP-Ladies Event Final Tablist La Sengphet, Stuey, her boyfriend DC, and Good Chuck showing the Vegas grinders that Dallas players know a thing or two about PLO.

California Fast-tracks Intrastate Internet Poker Bill

Read the marked-up legislation here

by , Jun 1, 2010 | 10:37 pm

Nope, nope, nothing’s changing, there’s nothing to see here … all in poker who are insisting that their lives didn’t just change dramatically are friggin’ idiots can just keep their heads in the sand reading Pokerati to see what the crazy people are talking about when not pimping 1/2 NL/PLO @hardrockpoker.

But all of the above is irrelevant, right, when we are discussing state bills, as opposed to federal? Technically, yes. However, when you realize that government is like the worst offenders in internet content ganking, you can see why the bill California just officially introduced — SB 1485 — is so significant … as it could become the baseline from which other states would cut and paste without credit or even a linkback!.

And how quickly are they ready to move on this measure? According to eGaming Review:

Intrastate initiatives in California, New Jersey and Florida, [have] been designated as an urgency measure. This means [SB 1485] would go into effect immediately upon legislative passage and signature by the Governor. A non-urgency measure would not go into effect until 1 January 2011.