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Вы здесь » ДИСКУССИОННЫЙ КЛУБ НОВОСТЕЙ » Игорный бизнес » Delaware Becomes Second State to Authorize Online Poker

Delaware Becomes Second State to Authorize Online Poker

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June 28 2012, Matthew Kredell

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell signed a bill Thursday authorizing online poker in the state. The move comes less than 24 hours after the Delaware Senate passed the Gaming Competitiveness Act.

The quick signature was refreshing after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a similar bill last year, though there was never a doubt that Gov. Markell would sign legislation to make Delaware only the second state after Nevada to authorize Internet poker.

"It was the governor's bill," Delaware Rep. John Viola, who introduced the legislation, said in a phone interview. "They produced the bill. I just pointed some things out that should be looked at. It's their bus and I was just the driver."

Viola expects it will take about six months for the Delaware lottery to formulate the rules and regulations for Internet gaming and test the platform, projecting a January start date for everything to be up and running.

"I'd like to thank the legislators in both houses for their work to make this industry more competitive and keep so many people working," Gov. Markell said in an email statement.

Three racinos in Delaware, two publicly traded companies and one privately owned, will offer gaming websites under the jurisdiction of the Delaware state lottery.

Unlike in Nevada, Internet poker won't be the only gaming offered by these sites. Casino games and lottery tickets will be available, as well, making Delaware the first state to legalize full-scale Internet gambling.

"I think some states are going to want to take advantage of parts of what games can be offered but not all," Viola said. "We went full blown. You want to go online and play craps, poker, slots, buy lottery tickets, Mega Millions, Powerball. You're either in the game or out of the game. If you want to play, let's play. I think we're kind of on the forefront of Internet gaming right now."

The Delaware Senate passed the legislation by a 14-6-1 vote Wednesday, a month after the bill passed in the house. The Senate requires support from three-fifths of its members for passage, so the vote was close.

Gaming is a large part of the small state's budget, generating more than $250 million annually in state tax dollars compared to a state budget of about $3.4 billion. The new forms of gambling established by the bill are expected to generate an additional $7.75 million in revenues for the state in 2013.

An issue the Delaware racinos will have to overcome to create successful Internet poker sites is liquidity. It is the sixth-least populous state in the nation, though that could change if there is an influx of poker players looking to live in an online poker friendly state.

Viola said Delaware may be interested in joining with other states, perhaps neighboring New Jersey if the Garden State gets legislation passed later this year, to create a larger pool of players.

"I think interstate compacts are the next progression," Viola said. "I don't know of anybody seeking that at the moment, but I think that's the next move. I think it's coming and that we're not too far away from it. The nitty gritty is in the details — who gets what, when and how? Does each state get a percentage? Who knows? It's all something that they will have to wheel and deal."

Read more: http://www.pokernews.com/news/2012/06/d … -12966.htm



Reid, Kyl Pen Letter to Department of Justice Regarding Internet Poker

July 20 2011, Matthew Kredell

Could this be the beginning of a beautiful friendship? Senators Harry Reid and Jon Kyl wrote a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder that, on the surface, seems awful for Internet poker. Reading between the lines, however, it may be the best sign yet that federally licensed and regulated online poker will happen.

The letter, dated July 14 and published on the Las Vegas Sun website, chastises the Department of Justice for allowing Internet poker sites to operate without repercussions prior to Black Friday and urges the DOJ to aggressively and consistently pursue those offering illegal Internet gambling in the United States. Reid and Kyl also ask Holder to reiterate the DOJ's "longstanding position" that federal law prohibits gambling over the Internet, including intrastate gambling.

There's little good that can be taken out of the content of the letter. Yet, the indication that two of the most powerful Senators from across party lines are working together on the issue of Internet gambling is promising.

At the end of last year, Reid, the Senate Majority Leader from Nevada, pushed to get language that would have licensed and regulated online poker attached to must-pass legislation during the lame-duck session of Congress. Kyl, the Republican Senate Minority Whip from Arizona, predictably fought against the addition and won out. Kyl has fought against Internet gambling for more than a dozen years.

Earlier this year, Kyl wrote on his official website that he will consider efforts to legalize online poker, which he noted many believe is a game of skill, as long as they leave in place the broader proscriptions against online betting. That was the first sign that Reid and Kyl may be able to come to an arrangement that would allow for Internet poker while strengthening prohibitions against other forms of online gambling.

Now comes this letter, which serves notice that Reid and Kyl are making an attempt to get on the same page.

"I think this letter is a trust-building exercise between Sen. Reid and Sen. Kyl," said John Pappas, executive director of the Poker Players Alliance. "Them working together on this letter means there is some opportunity for cooperation down the road. I think it's clear that Reid would like to have regulated Internet poker, and it's clear that Kyl would like to strengthen the UIGEA. From a players perspective the letter may be viewed as hostile, but I think it may be the start of a very beneficial relationship between Kyl and Reid on this issue."

The wording of the letter mostly seems like points Kyl would want to make, though it does make sense that Reid would not want offshore Internet poker sites allowed to operate in the U.S. because he wants the industry to belong to his Nevada-based casinos. The letter also could serve as a message to California and the District of Columbia that Internet poker is a federal issue and should not be done at an intrastate level.

Outside of the New Jersey bill that was vetoed by the governor, all other state and district bills have been so poorly constructed that most in the poker community would probably agree with that part of the letter, as long as a federal law is forthcoming. The rest of the letter is highly objectionable.

"To be clear, the PPA does not agree with everything in the letter," Pappas said. "Some of the assumptions that Internet poker is illegal are something that the PPA does not agree with. We've made those positions clear and continue to stand by that."

Pappas said he expects that Holder will respond to the letter and, given the powerful positions of the writers, will do so quickly. He said he would expect Holder to restate the DOJ's position on Internet gambling and to continue to insist that online poker is illegal. The response would be sent directly to Reid and Kyl and may not be made public.

The letter could make it more dangerous to play or keep money on sites that continue to operate in the U.S. after Black Friday.

"Playing online poker is a very precarious position until federal or state law allows it," Pappas said. "I think it's very difficult to operate an online poker room in the U.S. and will come under great scrutiny, and certainly this letter will add to that scrutiny."

If the most powerful Democrat and the second-most powerful Republican in the Senate do combine their influence to push for legislation that would license and regulate online poker while strengthening the UIGEA against other forms of Internet gambling, that could be the momentum needed to finally establish officially legal online poker in the U.S.

Although Reid and Kyl joined on this letter, Pappas thinks it would be premature to say that an alliance has been established or that a jointly sponsored legislation is imminent. The world of politics advances at a slow pace.

"I think it's a first step," Pappas said. "There were earnest negotiations between them last November and December, and those are hopefully restarting very soon."

Read more: http://www.pokernews.com/news/2011/07/r … -10728.htm



PokerStars Settlement: What Does it Mean for Online Poker Legislation in the U.S?

July 31 2012, Matthew Kredell

Tuesday's settlement between PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and the U.S. Department of Justice removes a black mark from the online poker industry and could help lead to a regulated U.S. market, perhaps one in which PokerStars and even Full Tilt return their services to the country.

There's no doubt that the push for online poker regulation in the U.S. will be driven by U.S-based casino interests and not those offshore. But with Senators Harry Reid and Jon Kyl ramping up their efforts to pass regulatory legislation during the lame-duck session at the end of this year, the settlement clears a possible impediment.

The settlement explicitly permits both PokerStars and Full Tilt to apply to relevant U.S. gaming authorities to offer real-money online poker once state or federal governments introduce a framework to regulate such activity. However, that path will be long and full of potholes.

The biggest challenge will be to make sure whatever bill is passed does not include language that prohibits the licensing of companies that offered online poker in the U.S. following the implementation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

To ensure that doesn't happen, PokerStars' best bet likely remains partnering with a respected U.S.-based casino company that will have its back in behind-the-scenes discussions with Reid's office. Just prior to Black Friday, PokerStars had entered a partnership with Wynn Resorts. The alliance was terminated following the indictments.

A key element in the settlement is that PokerStars did not admit to any wrongdoing. The people who have admitted to wrongdoing at PokerStars and Full Tilt were individuals who will no longer be working at the companies. The agreement stipulates that PokerStars CEO Isai Scheinberg, who is presently under indictment, shall no longer serve in any management or director role at PokerStars within 45 days of the acquisition of forfeited Full Tilt assets. PokerStars also is prohibited from hiring Full Tilt Poker insiders Raymond Bitar, Howard Lederer, Rafael Furst, Chris Ferguson and Nelson Burtnick.

While this certainly wasn't the intention of the DOJ, the move cleanses the brands of the people who could have been problematic in future efforts to gain U.S.-based licenses. In Nevada, it is fairly common for casinos that have made a gaming violation to be forgiven once under new ownership.

One prominent connection remains in Mark Scheinberg, Chairman of the Board of PokerStars and Isai's son. Although he wasn't indicted, it remains to be seen whether the family association with Isai could prove detrimental.

What is clear is that PokerStars will make an attractive partner. PokerStars comes out of this process with a great deal of goodwill across the poker community. It proved to be a stand-up company in its quick handling of cashing out players following Black Friday, and now really looks like a hero for going above and beyond to ensure Full Tilt players get payment as well. Players will remember this and want to play on PokerStars. Potential U.S. casino partners will look at this as a very attractive quality.

Full Tilt Poker is a different story. The brand name is severely damaged. Still, with new ownership and players made whole, Full Tilt Poker (perhaps under a different name) could have a chance at a license.

As long as the regulatory bill allows PokerStars to apply for a license, the company should be able to make a strong case in front of a licensing board. PokerStars can show it not only paid its penalty to the DOJ but also get credit for stepping in and helping players.

Payments to players owed money from Full Tilt will go through the DOJ. This process has yet to be laid out in detail, though it is expected to entail a claim for remission submitted to the DOJ. The DOJ already has information on player names, addresses and balances, and everything needed to make payments happen. There's reason to believe that the DOJ will look for reasons to quickly process these requests rather than drag the issue on, and will therefore keep the burden of proof reasonable for players, though no time frame is yet known. The Poker Players Alliance has stated it will make sure to get clear instructions to players when they are available.

Read more: http://www.pokernews.com/news/2012/07/p … -13153.htm



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