Posts Tagged ‘Washington DC’

RE: Banks Prepping for Kibosh (2)

Old Congressional poker foes resurface

by , Nov 5, 2009 | 6:00 pm

via the PPA

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL) have submitted their petition asking Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to ignore requests seeking to delay enforcement of the UIGEA.

[DC] Bachus Kyl Letter (11/03/09)

Are You Ready for Some Lotto?!?

NFL-sponsored gambling kicks into high gear

by , Aug 24, 2009 | 5:06 am

The (American) football season is upon us … fantasy sports drafts and all that stuff. But more than that, some new NFL lottery tickets are hitting the 7-Elevens near you! $5 Eagles and Steelers scratch-off tickets (seen here) went on sale last week in Pennsylvania, and the New Jersey lottery will give the NFL a cut on Jets and Giants tickets sold … despite the fact that the super-duper majority of participants in this game of chance are guaranteed to lose.

UPDATE: A Dallas Cowboys scratch-off also went on sale last week.

In Massachusetts, Patriots lottery tickets are selling at a record pace, and have already awarded their first two million-dollar prizes. Wanna be a little disgusted by one of the poker industry’s biggest political opponents … check out the familiar pitch the NFL itself is using in promoting their rake game:


More Poker Issues in the Non-Poker Press

by , Jul 27, 2009 | 12:52 pm

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has a pretty good story … and though bummer that they described the honcho here at Pokerati as little more than “Dan Michalski, who runs a poker Web site” … hey, such is life and media control … and overall, yay on the one quote they chose to share with those whom we are trying to educate.

Beltway (Poker) Blogging

by , Jul 22, 2009 | 3:07 pm

I couldn’t resist posting the view of where I’m blogging from. There’s something quite serene about sitting on grass in pinstripe slacks, leaning against a tree, with the view seen here …

I’m in a park just outside the Senate office building, where I just had a meeting with a rising* Kay Bailey Hutchison staffer. Didn’t get to pitch the future governor of Texas senator herself — today is a crazy health care day around the Capitol — but we did get to educate her office on a Senate online poker bill that will supposedly be introduced in the next week or two. This bill — a re-introduction of Sen. Robert Menendez’s (D-NJ) S-3616 — will be “like the Barney Frank bill, only it’s a cleaner bill … without any political bullshit,” one lobbyist explained to me.

Anyhow, the meeting went well, or at least well-ish. It was clear that KBH’s office hadn’t yet given any consideration to poker nor online gambling … so we got to lead out, and counteract the opposition arguments before they were even made. One noted positive — her staff has already been hit by a mini flood of letters supporting all our anti-UIGEA initiatives, so they know it’s an issue that matters to a sizable enough constituency to make it matter to elected officials, who apparently are very aware of any issue that potentially leaves them losing voters in bulk.

With that said, it also became clear that Hutchison (R-TX) will not be leading the way on this bill. Her staff was most interested in where Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) currently stands. Now while we know him as a previous bad guy, he and other UIGEA strongmen are apparently “coming around”. That’s not to say they’re suddenly going to switch teams, but Howard Lederer specifically made some persuasive arguments that made him far less likely to vehemently oppose us. The estimated $3 billion a year (which doesn’t even count the corporate taxes American-based online poker companies would pay) is resonating loud and clear, particularly this week as those wanting to position themselves as fiscal conservatives are trying to come up with a way to support health care despite its $200 billion shortfall. And being pegged as people who turned down tax revenue generated on behalf of protecting citizens and internet freedoms alike, they know may not sit well with voters.


Russ Hamilton Joins the PPA?

by , Jul 21, 2009 | 3:53 pm

Howard Stern wasn’t the only one to join the PPA this week (aka “National Poker Week”). Caught up in the poker-politicky whirlwinds emanating from Washington DC, Russ Hamilton also became a member, as seen here:

Says Hamilton, according to sources plausibly fabricated out of thin air: “Joining the PPA is the right thing to do. It shows you are a good person who really cares about protecting poker players from internet malfeasance. We need US regulation to ensure a fair playing field for all, and so we can appropriately punish anyone who might steal 10s of millions of dollars from unknowing American players. Ha ha ha ha! LOL.”

Hamilton says he also plans to sign the Poker Petition (350k electronic signatures and climbing) and may even submit a video to

“Mine is a really good one,” he says.

Washington DC Follows

by , | 6:41 am

Here’s a thread on 2+2 from The Engineer (@TheEngineer2008) with his pics from the various meetings around the Hill this week.

Howard Stern Joins PPA, Makes Online Poker a Matter of Internet Freedom

by , | 3:58 am

National Poker Week kicked off with Al D’Amato on Howard Stern yesterday, and Howard Stern joining, on-air, the Poker Players Alliance. While I couldn’t help but wonder if anyone listens to Howard Stern anymore — or is he kinda like Friendster … you know, very Web 1.0 — apparently Stern does still have a few million listeners, most of whom had little clue about poker issues before yesterday, when D’Amato also discussed the possibilities of more legal marijuana in America and the joys of an elder man banging his pregnant wife. So mission accomplished, at least as far as injecting our issues into the semi-intelligent American discourse is concerned.

From the Examiner:

D’Amato (who sounds a lot like Gilbert Gottfried to the untrained ear) told Howard Stern that he believes that America should get out of both Iraq and Afghanistan immediately, stating that both wars are unwinnable. D’Amato also spoke about current efforts to reform the U.S. healthcare system. D’Amato stated that he preferred “marginal” reform to overhauling the entire system, which he states would result in huge tax increases for most Americans.

“What about legalizing pot?” asked Howard Stern, pointing to new reports about the flourishing legal marijuana industry in California.

After thinking on it carefully, D’Amato responded: “I think there’s some merit in it.”

It wasn’t all shop talk for Alfonse D’Amato. Howard Stern asked D’Amato some of his classic questions. Alfonse D’Amato admitted that he still regularly has sex with his 6-month pregnant wife, spoke about it openly, and then sheepishly followed up his response by saying: “This isn’t going to be on TV is it?”

To celebrate this momentous kick-start to a week of DC-centric poker politicking, the PPA unveiled a press release font upgrade and added the color blue to its official statement on Stern’s membership:


Bad Beat #1 for Barney Frank Bill?

Congressional online gambling hearings to be pushed back to September

by , Jun 23, 2009 | 5:00 pm

Yikes, I haven’t even gotten to write up all the exciting stuff the PPA has working for National Poker Week, and efforts to support efforts to undo the UIGEA.

Seriously, the fully legal online poker forces are gearing up for a long, arduous fight — and man, they got lots of us feelin’ good! — and yet Beltway sources are telling Pokerati that Congressional hearings on the Frank bill are about to be pushed back to September.


May just be standard procedure … but also could be a sign of the types of procedural obstacles we can expect to be thrown in our way. More TK, of course …

National Poker Week, July 20-23, Washington DC

by , Jun 8, 2009 | 9:20 am

A bunch of PPA state directors and politically involved pros are already booking their plans for after the WSOP — they’re headed to Washington DC for an aggressive play by the PPA supposedly dubbed National Poker Week.

Should be a most interesting gathering — different from previous pokery political collectives in that there are so many legal issues playing out in real ways right now (Kentucky, Minnesota, Pokerstarzistan, etc.) … and all this with a pretty important-looking nuts-and-bolts online banking regulation bill in play … with non-pokery representatives finally aware of the online poker murmurs, and public opinion clearly leaning in our favor.


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!

Regulating Online Gambling 2009: Starting Point

by , | 2:33 am

Good article in Congressional Quarterly about Barney Frank’s online gambling regulatory framework bill and Rep. Jim McDermott’s (D-WA) HR 2268, which sets up associated tax collection measures.

TRIVIA: Does anyone know the bill number for the UIGEA? Free satanic spade swag-shirt for the first correct commentor.

The article points out what a significant move it is by Harrah’s to be so publicly behind these legislative measures, and the relevance of Rep. Shelley Berkeley’s (D-NV) full-on support. (She previously supported only studying the issue.) Overall, the non-partisan piece is far more optimistic than most of us poker-biz “professionals” … but even CQ knows they’re just guessing. What it does, however, is establish the baseline, from where Congressional dialogue on online gambling will be starting. (So we’ll have to deal a lot with addiction and protection-of-minor issues, but not so much with 1/3 of them attempting suicide the first time they suffer a bad beat.)

DC Charity Poker

by , May 1, 2009 | 10:34 pm

Cool event went down this week in Washington DC — a fundraiser for Put a Bad Beat on Cancer, where a bunch of politicos got together with Team Full Tilt Howard Lederer, Phil Gordon, and Rafe Furst to experience the joys of getting beginner poker lessons and playing in a terrible an exciting, luck-friendly blind-structure tournament (with rebuys!) … all for a good cause.

Check out the video coverage from

My observations:

  • Had Rep. James McGovern (D-MA) read Joe Navarro, he’d know that we know he’s probably not being truthful when he says he’s happy to be there … unless, of course, that’s just his baseline response.
  • Multiple politicians admit to experimenting with poker “when I was in college.”
  • Barney Frank (D-MA) says he doesn’t play poker because he doesn’t enjoy it … but that doesn’t stop him from wanting to “repeal the foolish law that makes it illegal for people who want to gamble to gamble over the internet.” (So we can say “illegal” now?)
  • Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) gets credited with having the best poker face … and I hope state legislators back home take note that even some gray-haired, vote-conscious conservatives are totally cool with poker.
  • Nice closing line by Lederer about politics being just another form of poker.

NFL Fans Irritated at Anti-Gaming Lobby

by , Apr 24, 2009 | 9:32 am

Fans of the National Football League probably didn’t start off on the right foot anyway, since football is done for awhile and they’re forced to see baseball games/references everywhere. But there is another source of annoyance for NFL’ers, and that is the knowledge that the biggest opponent of online gaming in the United States is their very own football organization.

The NFL has promised to fight any effort by Rep. Barney Frank to push legislation that legalizes online gaming. With a lobbyist, an office in D.C., and a PAC donation committee in place, the NFL is ready to fight online gaming with the help of the Christian Coalition and Rep. Harry Reid of Nevada. Wait…What? Reid on the same side of this fight as Bob Goodlatte? Yessirreee.

Well, one NFL fan in particular sees the ridiculousness of it all. Dan Boone, of Bleacher Report:

The NFL, always a bright beacon of morals in a blighted land, has decided to self-righteously step into the public morals debate. The NFL does not want a bill allowing online gambling, that is a current bill legalizing poker, to pass.

The NFL behemoth is so against people playing online poker that they have hired a high priced Washington Lobbyist, opened a DC office, and set up a PAC Donation committee to help its noble cause.

So that’s where ticket increase money goes. That’s why the stadium beers are nine bucks and the exhibition games are full priced flops. Perhaps that explains the PSL’s. The league needs just craves some spare change to pay some politicos for favors.

Read the rest of “NFL Declares War on Poker” here.

More Talk about Internet Gambling

From Texas lottery to Vegas casinos

by , Apr 12, 2009 | 10:17 pm

A gaming columnist for the LVRJ agrees with BJ … don’t expect changes to online gambling laws anytime soon, simply because Congress is busy with more pressing matters:

After checking with Washington, D.C., lobbyist contacts and casino company operators dialed into Capitol Hill, Simkins put steep odds on the issue seeing any light.

“We see little reason for investors to try to play this near-term,” Simkins said.

Meanwhile, I had almost forgotten there was an internet gambling bill pending in Texas … an effort to make the Texas Lotto playable online. (Ha! Just wait til Texas banks try to transfer that money around.) From the Beaumont Enterprise:


Internet gambling might seem like a big step to some Texans, but it’s not. More and more of our modern society is moving to the Internet, from shopping to news to entertainment. Gambling is part of this matrix. There’s no logical reason to wall off the ‘net from something that’s clearly popular with millions of consumers.


Internet gambling, especially when targeted at young adults, would cross a moral line that Texas needs to stay away from. That makes gambling a little too easy. It increases the chances that compulsive gamblers would waste money and establish bad gambling patterns for young adults.

OK, fair enough … you’re entitled to your moralist point of view, despite what statistics suggest. In fact, I’ll even assure you that it absolutely WILL be harmful to compulsive gamblers … which represent .6 percent of people online . How ’bout we compromise? We’ll say no to playing the Texas lottery on the internet if you say yes to brick-and-mortar poker rooms? Cool? Awesome … cool.

Politics is so easy.

RE: Legislative Pulse

More PartyGaming, Poker Beat

by , Apr 9, 2009 | 6:22 pm

On today’s episode of The Poker Beat, BJ and I lightly sparred about the significance of Party Gaming’s $100+ million settlement with the US Department of Justice. I’m pretty sure I beat him in everyone’s mind but his own … but still, I also know I got a few things wrong that might unsettle the Insider, so it’s good to know the Washington Post pretty much agrees with my take on the fluid situation:

Today’s news sent online gambling stocks soaring overseas. That’s because some financial analysts see the settlement as possibly leading to others, thus reducing uncertainty in the industry and opening the door to industry consolidation and expansion outside the U.S

Moreover, it’s taken some hard work to educate the masses on our semi-complex issue, but it’s good to see the message the (super-influential) non-poker media is putting out there:

… some legal scholars and Internet gambling proponents see the government crackdown as a disconnect between 21st-century technology and the 20th-century laws used to protect Americans from gambling.

The Justice position is considered controversial with some members of Congress and gaming analysts arguing it has steered U.S. players to unregulated offshore sites. “The U.S. government has now succeeded in driving out the reputable publicly-traded Internet gaming operators,” said Joseph M. Kelley, a professor of business law at the State College at Buffalo, who has also served as an expert witness for gaming and government interests. “It has not decreased online gambling, but has reduced the ability to monitor suspicious transactions.”