Posts Tagged ‘UIGEA repeal’

Las Vegas Sun Quotes Reid: “Things have never been better”

Article touts successful bills; fails to mention online poker

by , Dec 24, 2010 | 11:05 am

The Las Vegas Sun has been following the antics actions of their favorite senator quite closely this December, particularly with respect to online poker legislation (see timeline below.)

But today, just a little more than a day after the second lameduck session of 111th Congress ended, the Sun chose to say nothing at all about #reidbill in this story published at 2am entitled “For Harry Reid, it’s been the best of times, worst of times.”


LV Sun Articles: Timeline

NOTE: Dec 2nd -> #reidbill announced to public via Wall Street Journal article

Dec 3rd -> “Harry Reid pushes bill to allow for online gambling”
Dec 7th -> “Harry Reid rushes effort to legalize Internet poker”
Dec 9th a.k.a. zombie-bill-day -> Is it dead? -or- Is it alive?
Dec 10th -> “Casino trade group supports Internet poker bill”
Dec 15th -> “Letter: Legalizing online poker of no help to average Nevadans”
Dec 15th -> “Reid, Republicans in spat over Christmas session
Dec 17th -> “All bets off: Online poker bill dealt possible death blow”
Dec 19th -> “Senate passes food safety bill, again – Sunday, Dec. 19″
Dec 22nd -> “9/11 health care bill still on Reid’s agenda

NOTE: Dec 22 -> 2nd session of lame duck adjourned “sine die” (adjourned for an indefinite period)



Pokerati on Sirius 98 Hardcore Poker Show

by , Dec 20, 2010 | 3:44 pm

I’ll be talking a little #reidbillthatshallnolongerbenamed *iGambling* tonight on Sirius 98 – Hardcore Poker Show tonight at 6:25p EDT/3:25p PT for a ten-minute segment.

Listen to it here -> The Hardcore Poker Show

Download podcast later this week -> iTunes

Watch it now -> PPA, #reidbill on Bloomberg Television

John Pappas to “discuss” iPoker

by , Dec 17, 2010 | 9:36 am

This broadcast is rescheduled from yesterday, when it was bumped for a big story on insider trading.

PPA’s Executive Director John Pappas will be on Bloomberg TV today to “discuss licensing and regulating online poker” @ approximately 11:45am EDT/8:45am PST ->

Will he give details on iPoker’s status on the Hill?

PPA, #reidbill on Bloomberg Television

John Pappas to “discuss” iPoker

by , Dec 16, 2010 | 9:37 am

PPA’s Executive Director John Pappas will be on Bloomberg TV this morning to “discuss licensing and regulating online poker” per @ppapoker morning tweet.

Will he give details on iPoker’s status on the Hill, or confirm/deny @ESPN_Poker‘s recent assertion that #reidbill is dead?

Watch it LIVE here @ 11:45am ET/8:45am LV ->


Reid Calls for Extended Lame Duck; GOP Pushes for Recess

by , Dec 15, 2010 | 5:47 pm

WASHINGTON, DC – Harry Reid went on record about the lame duck session schedule, telling The Hill, “we need to stay here until we finish.”

Whether or not “finishing” includes passing the online poker bill remains to be seen. What is clear is that the Reid bill is still on the table and continues to be revised, albeit quietly, as the Senate engages in a multitrillion-dollar left-vs-right holiday battle royale. But so far the only thing the bill has attached itself to is what is becoming, as NPR explains, a contentious race against the clock.

The Constitutional deadline for this session of Congress to close its business is noon on January 3rd, 2011.


Possible Beneficiary of #reidbill Blackout?-> Foxwoods Poker Room

by , Dec 12, 2010 | 9:40 am

MASHANTUCKET, CT: Day 2 of the Mega Stack Challenge XVIII $1000+$100 Main Event begins started 11a EST/8a LV at the Foxwoods Casino here in Connecticut.  I’ve been (living) here at the casino’s Great Cedar hotel since last Friday, after Amtraking my way from DC->CT in the wee hours of the morning, just hours after WSJ announced the existence of #reidbill, whose fate is still yet to be decided in DC.

I’ve split my time mostly between watching the action from the media desk, and railing iPoker from afar via CSPAN2.  It’s occurred to me during my time here, that if #reidbill lives on to become law (or possibly if it does not and the DOJ decides to force the issue anyhow), this casino is exactly the type of entity best positioned to provide once work-a-day online players a comfortable home to grind out a living in New England.

In the event the blackout takes hold in a month or two, say around the beginning of February, iPoker players will need to find local places to play to make a living in live play for at least 15 months, according to the stipulations of the current bill.  Used to making their own schedules, working in their underwear the comfort of their homes, and getting a trillion hands per hour – the #reidbill refugees will be hungry for daily tournaments under -say- $300, satellites into bigger live events such as WSOP 2011, and cash action. Perhaps this even will spell the re-emergence of some sit-n-gos here.

What makes me say that Foxwoods would stand to benefit, in particular?  The tourney room.

Foxwoods WPT World Poker Room
(photo courtesy of @WhoJedi,

Foxwoods has a big|bad ~70 table WPT World Poker Room dedicated to tournament play. Cash games were in here once, and then it was home to some slot machines, before being revamped in September 1st of this year.

The tourney room just kinda a *nice place* to exist in. The ceilings are super high, with a lot of natural light coming into the room during the day, and groovy curvy illuminated panels above.  They don’t have table service for food, but there is a deli right behind near the sports book. There’s lots of room to walk between the poker tables, and plenty of displays used both for the clock and TV display.  Suggestion for improvement: get some throne-like chairs akin those used at the Golden Nugget poker room.

The location works well too -> after players bust out of the tournaments, they are be faced with these options.

1) Donk off a bunch of chips at the ~90 table cash room downstairs and hope to hit the huge big bad beat jackpot (quad 8s beaten)

2) Donk off a bunch of chips on the way out of the casino at SHAKE-BO! -> a craps-like table where people take turns activating a Trouble Bubble on ‘roids with pushbutton activators

At least the players would be able to do some of their work at home from their laptops.  The Foxwoods Poker Room uses the reservation system, allowing the players to lock up their seats online.

Foxwoods Mega Stack Challenge XVIII -> Day 2 Update
Starts at 11a EST/8a LV
$1000+$100 (2-day) Main Event
69 of 265 entrants remain [30 will cash]

Prize Pool: $257,050 (guarantee was $100k)
1st: $61,692
2nd: $36,244
3rd: $23,392

POI (Person-O-Interest):
Busted: Darvin Moon, Bernard Lee, James Woods (with interview)
In it: Spiros Mitrokostas, WSOP 2006 PLO final tabler – with 205k – midfield
Played other events: Ronnie Bardah, WSOP 2010 Main Event (24th)

Chip counts/seat assignments can be found here.

Streamit NOW->
Follow -> @FoxwoodsPoker

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.

Tax Cut Bill (as-of-last-night) Does Not Contain “Poker Language”

Attachment still possible; omnibus continuing resolution other option

by , | 2:19 pm

In the exhausting hemming-and-hawing going in both the mainstream and iPoker media, there is only one topic on a bigger heater than when is this effing thing going be over if the #reidbill hand is still live.

Is the “Reid Online Poker” gonna be attached to the tax cut bill, or what?

Politico reported this morning that when “74-page tax cut bill was officially introduced late Thursday, it did not include the poker language.”  But without owning the Las Vegas Sun’s political Ouija board, all I can say is that there is still a chance this could happen.

Reid could still insert the poker legalization into the tax cut bill if additional modifications are made before a final vote is cast sometime next week. Or he could slip the plan into a mammoth $1 trillion omnibus spending bill that has yet to be unveiled but is necessary to keep the government funded through September. Any option is certain to generate backlash from the GOP.

Reid issued a statement to his home state press corps Thursday evening confirming that he is crafting legislation to legalize online poker, framing the effort as a common-sense measure to regulate and tax gambling occurring through offshore companies.

“The legislation I am working on would get our collective heads out of the sand and create a strict regulatory environment to protect U.S. consumers, prevent underage gambling and respect the decisions of states that don’t allow gambling,” he said.

He asserted his bill would ensure “the revenue and jobs from this multibillion-dollar industry will stay where it belongs — here in America.”

Seems like the tax-cut bill and the bazillion dollar CR (continuing resolution) omnibus are still both viable conduits for the #reidbill, but *no one* can truly say at this point how-when-or-if the internet poker legislation will pass.

So take a deep breath and pull up a comfortable chair at the virtual poli-rail, because to quote one fatigued tweeter named @MSauce_-> “The #ReidBill sweat is so swingy.”

Washington, Mizrachi?

Poker’s all-in moment

by , Dec 9, 2010 | 6:05 am

No matter what side you’re on in the heated Harry Reid online poker non-debate … the emotional ups and downs attached to it (for some) were rather unprecedented yesterday … at least as far as poker politics go.

But actually we’ve seen it before, just last month in fact …

Exhilaration, anticipation, deflation, uncertainty, recalculating your outs with survival on the line … it was enough to get hearts beating worldwide. That’s just poker, right? But hey, now we know … regardless of who sees whom as the Grinder in Washington DC, with some luck and cards still to play, we should be good for a 5th place finish.

#reidbill: It’s alive! (It was never dead.)

by , Dec 8, 2010 | 5:44 pm

Looks as if Las Vegas Sun has as many versions of their articles as #reidbill has drafts.

I’d link to the old article they published earlier, but I can’t.  Instead, the old link points to a new-and-?-improved article “Reid’s office: Legalizing online poker still on lame-duck agenda.”

Has anyone heard of publishing corrections rather than updating old content on the web? But instead out with the old, and in with the new:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s staff said late Wednesday that he is still intent on pushing for legislation during the lame duck session to legalize online poker.

The remarks came in response to a Sun article posted online earlier in the day. In that earlier article, Reid was quoted telling the Sun after a press conference that he would not be adding legalization of online poker to his list of objectives during the lame duck session.

“We’re still working on that, we’re not able to,” Reid said in a remark captured on audio tape.

A spokesman for Reid said later that the second half of Reid’s comment was in response to a different reporter’s question. That question was not heard by other reporters and in apparently responding to it, Reid did not break eye contact with the Sun reporter.

I’m not sure what to call this, but is certainly *not* a retraction. For those of us here tracking #reidbill, I think the Sun might owe us all some damages for whiplash.

#reidbill: Dead or Alive?

by , | 3:15 pm

The Las Vegas Sun published an article with breath-stopping title and sensational image of Reid ponderously looking downwards while chatting into his cell phone.

Twitfeed #reidbill erupted.

But take a closer look at this article -> frankly it doesn’t make any sense.

1. “Rest easy, traditionalists: online poker will not be entering the legally authorized gaming arena this lame duck Congress, and that probably means it won’t be happening any time soon.” -> this sounds like the bill is dead.

2. Reid “would not be adding legalization of online poker to his list of objectives during the lame duck.” -> objectives? so is it dead?

3. “We’re still working on that, we’re not able to,” Reid said.-> Is he working, or he not able?

4.  “But if Reid says there’s still too much work to be done on it, that doesn’t seem too likely an outcome anymore.” -> if it’s not an objective then when why is he working on it? Is it unlikely, or dead?

5. Why is the *Las Vegas Sun* the one reporting on this?

The only thing that seems relevant in this article is why it was published in the first place.

Reid Bill Legal Analysis: Can ‘Bad Actors’ be Licensed? If So, How?

by , | 12:36 pm

There has been some confusion on at least one major topic contained within the currently-circulating Reid bill (via @Kevmath), and that is surrounding the licensing of ‘bad actors’ (see below on this), which is my shorthand for entities operating US-facing Internet poker sites.

Questions of Interest:

1. Can a ‘bad actor’ who operated knowing it was serving US customers be licensed under the Reid bill?

2. Do the ‘bad actors’ specified in the bill include owners of Internet gambling facilities and not just Internet poker facilities?

3. If they can be licensed, will ‘bad actors’ be able to participate in asset sales (not just share sales)?

4. Does it matter if a US-facing site is currently transacting business with US residents or only did so historically?

In trying to answer these questions, and to keep things relatively simple, I am going to analyze the example of a US casino, otherwise licensable, that wants to purchase a corporation that is today accepting US bets or wagers with full knowledge of that fact.



#reidbill Hotlist: Wednesday Morning Edition

by , | 11:33 am

Here’s a Wednesday AM hotlist on the most recent #reidbill version 2.wtfknows

@PartTimePoker -> The Reid Bill: Where Things Stand Now for Online Poker Players
@ftrainpoker ->  Harry Reid’s Internet Poker Bill: While We Wait
@politico -> Reid wants online poker in tax bill
@egrmagazine -> US e-gaming legislation reaches climax
@twoplustwoforum -> NoahSD 2+2 forum #reidbill Cliffnotes
@PokerGrump -> Scratching my head
@CalvinAyre -> Will ‘Harrah’ Reid’s online poker bill win the Congressional pot
@GamblingComp -> Backing Reid, Obama’s Labor Tsar Endorses Internet Gambling
@washtimes via @ESPNPoker -> D.C. slips online, fantasy gambling into bill

@CEMMagazine via @Kevmath -> #reidbill Dickenson Wright attny 12/9 10:30a EST

@TWi_Poker-> #reidbill in This Week in Poker w/ @GamingCounsel & @lance_bradley

#pokerblackout hashtag on Twitter
#reidbill hashtag on Twitter

@ppapoker Call the Capitol Switchboard. Say I support online poker! -> (202)224-3121


Stage Being Set: Harry Reid Plays Rush Poker

Pokerati punditry in the news

by , Dec 7, 2010 | 5:05 pm

Check it out, front page of today’s Las Vegas Sun … got a speaking role in the Harry Reid online poker bill debate, playing a professional know-it-all an expert commentator on casinos, politics, and poker. When yammering on to a “mainstream” journalist for some 45 minutes about a plausibly complex subject, you never quite know which few lines will resonate … but here’s how my part played out in full:

Proposed language wouldn’t exclude these offshore companies upfront, as Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank’s previous attempt at Internet gambling legalization would have done. Instead, any gambling operator can apply for a license in the Reid bill. And yet, proposed language would allow only operators of existing casinos or racetracks to obtain licenses in the two years after regulators issue the first Internet poker license.

This provision, one of the most controversial in the Reid bill, is a reasonable compromise, although it has upset poker players who view it as unfairly benefiting Nevada casino giants over their favored gambling websites, said Dan Michalski, founder and editor of, a Las Vegas-based poker blog.

Some lawmakers and their constituents view these foreign companies as lawbreakers. And U.S. casino companies probably wouldn’t support an equal playing field for Web casino operators, given that the U.S. companies have waited on the sidelines for more than a decade for the chance to make money online, Michalski said.

“This kind of puts (the online operators) in the penalty box for a while and says, ‘We might let you in but you’re certainly not going to be the first in line.’ I think that was to be expected.”

#reidbill Hotlist: Read, Listen, Watch, Follow, Act

by , | 12:07 pm

Here is what you can do to stay on top of the latest in #reidbill v2.

Collaboration FTW!

@ftrainpoker saves our sanity, eyesight, and printer ink by with rapidfire review of latest “V2” of #reidbill ->  Quick and Dirty Summary of (Version 2!) of Harry Reid’s Internet Poker Bill

@Kevmath -> most recent #reidbill (v2)
@PartTimePoker -> Harry Reid Online Poker Bill Updates: 12/7 (AM)
@ESPNPoker -> Reid’s bill could change industry
@hardboiledpoker -> Getting a Reid on the Situation
@GamblingComp (can view with free trial) -> Internet Poker Vote Possible This Week

@PokerRoad -> #reidbill discussed in latest Poker Beat with @danmichalski and @BJNemeth

@TWIPoker-> @GamingCounsel and @lance_bradley to discuss effect Harry Reid’s online poker legislation would have on industry today at 7p DC/4p LV

#reidbill hashtag on Twitter
My list for key twitter conversation on #reidbill ->

@ppapoker Call the Capitol Switchboard & ask for your Senator. Tell your Senator support the online #poker #reidbill -> (202)224-3121