Vehement anti-online gambling proponent Sheldon Adelson is gathering state AG signatures towards Congressional action (Image: Bloomberg)
Sheldon Adelson has plenty of money to wage an one-man campaign against the spread of on line gambling in the United States if he wants to. But that money also makes the nevada Sands CEO a guy of great influence, this means Adelson can find himself in sometimes the company of powerful friends.
Gathering John Hancocks
That generally seems to be the case this week, as at the very least 10 state attorneys basic have signed onto a page from Adelson asking people of Congress to simply take learning to make online that is sure gambling unambiguously illegal into the usa. And that letter has now gone on to leaders that are congressional as well as both the House and Senate Judiciary committees.
The page is one of the first major salvos in Adelson’s lobbying effort, which seeks to clarify federal law to once again stop states from regulating online gambling on their own.
‘Online gambling exacerbates problems associated with gambling addiction and we’re proud to be dealing with a true number of other states to deal with the problem,’ read Sheldon Adelson’s official letter.
The most AGs that are prominent the letter include Missouri’s Chris Koster, Nebraska’s Jon Bruning and South Carolina’s Alan Wilson. The page was presented to the Republican Attorneys General Association this past year by Las Vegas Sands Corp., although the set of AGs on the letter does include Democrats as well (such as Koster). State attorneys general are considered a group that is important target regarding the gambling industry, as they’re the top appropriate authorities in each state, and would be tasked with enforcing online gambling regulations.
PPA Fights Straight Back
However, there’s a lot of lobbying being done against Adelson’s effort, too. The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) happens to be working to target the attorneys general of various states since well, asking their people and supporters to contact their AGs and other officials in their states in order to show support for state and federal-level online gambling. According to PPA executive director John Pappas, supporters have sent more than 9,000 letters and nearly as many Tweets to convey officials, in a effort to fight Adelson’s voracious lobbying.
‘We’re working overtime to make sure the letters don’t gain momentum among state AGs,’ Pappas said. ‘We realize 10 have signed already, so we’re hoping we can change their minds aswell.’
Based on Pappas, Adelson’s ultimate goal is to find Congress to pass through legislation that would strengthen the 1961 Wire Act to prohibit all gambling that is online. This is, in fact, the original interpretation of that statute, however a 2011 reinterpretation by the U.S. Department of Justice determined that regulations only applied to sports betting, and never to casino games or poker.
This type of change could create a legal nightmare for states like Nevada, nj-new jersey and Delaware, each of which has already legalized, regulated and launched on the web gambling, according to current law. It might also stop efforts to push online gambling in other states within their tracks. Even the existence for the page might cause states considering online gambling to give pause which is no doubt exactly the effect Adelson is aiming for.
Adelson’s efforts may also be being compared by Representative Joe Barton, who’s got introduced legislation that could manage online poker at the federal degree.
‘Our office is aware of the page, but our company is still actively working on Mr. Barton’s poker bill as it is the only method to ensure we get one uniform set of guidelines,’ said a spokesman for Representative Barton.
Dutch Courts Find that Poker is not Gambling often
A ruling that is recent a Dutch court found that poker isn’t gambling; nevertheless the law is still obscure (Image: fineartamerica)
Those who have ever played poker knows that there’s plenty of gambling included in this game that is great. But it’s not similar kind of gambling you run into whenever playing blackjack, slots, or nearly other game in a casino.
There’s an abundance of ability involved, you’re not playing against the house, and better players can not just expect to make money playing at least over the run that is long can make an income away from the game if their skills are sharp enough to do so. That raises some questions that are tricky it concerns gambling regulations in lots of jurisdictions, where games of ability may be addressed very differently under regulations than pure games of chance.
Courting the Law
These problems have now arrive at head in the Netherlands, being an Amsterdam court has ruled that the organizers of poker tournaments in that country are simple of breaking the nation’s gambling laws. This was due to the known proven fact that according to the court the game of poker is not gambling as defined under Dutch law.
That determination came after seven years of battling over the full instance, which began in 2007. At that time, the Café de Viersprong Bussum had been a regular host of €10 ($13.67) buy-in poker tournaments. When police found out, the tournaments were shut down, and owners Richard Blaas and Rene Kurver were accused of hosting an illegal gambling competition.
The ruling arrived after considerable research by the court to determine so how skill that is much active in the game of poker. Although there was a long wait, the courts eventually agreed with all the defendants that the skill element in poker was substantial sufficient for the overall game not to be considered gambling under current legislation.
Reiterates Previous Opinion
This is the time that is second recent memory that a Dutch court has made such a determination. In 2010, defendant Steven van Zadelhoff was also found not bad after he hosted poker tournaments. The courts also found that poker as a game of skill was exempt from Dutch gaming laws in that case.
In a meeting having a PokerNews, Dutch lawyer Peter Plasman said that despite the two similar verdicts, there’s still no certainty whenever it comes to hosting poker tournaments in the Netherlands.
‘The issue is that the Dutch gambling law is not yet determined and it will not provide a exact definition of which games should be viewed of possibility and which ones must not,’ Plasman said. ‘Now, the court ruled that poker is not [a game of chance], and things are meant to change since the court has the final word.’
However, Plasman added that there’s no guarantee that future tournament organizers wouldn’t be targeted by police.
‘ The right is had by the prosecutor to intervene, to stop the tournament and also to sanction the organizer,’ Plasman said. ‘There remains much to be performed before we can start thinking about this an issue that is closed. There might be another judge, somewhere, ruling that poker is just a game of chance.
‘The fact that two different courts found the same conclusion might make the prosecutor say that it’s time to prevent bringing people in front of criminal court…but I can’t make sure,’ the attorney included.
In the meantime, prosecutors are still determining whether they wish to attract the ruling in this case. The Netherlands is also anticipated to implement gambling that is new in 2015, which may help better define what is legal and what is prohibited with regards to video gaming for the reason that country.
Caesars Harrah’s Philadelphia Under Fire for Racetrack Conditions
The racetrack connected to Harrah’s Philadelphia casino in Chester, PA was shut down by racing authorities until it resolves track issues (Image: Harrah’s Philadelphia)
Nobody ever stated running a casino conglomerate was easy. The CEO of any major casino company better have a firm grip on ways to keep calm and carry on, as the modern vernacular says whether facing budget deficits, collapsing partnerships, or regulatory scrutiny.
And Caesars Entertainment Corp. has truly experienced more than its fair share of most for the above: whether carrying the debt load that is largest of any casino company in history, walking away on a possible Suffolk Downs alliance in Massachusetts, or getting taken to task by that state’s Gaming Commission for a six-degrees-of-separation alleged link with some body whom the commish didn’t see as entirely kosher.
Shape Up or Else
Now you can add ‘potential casino closure’ to that list of dreaded happenings, after Pennsylvania authorities shut down Harrah’s Philadelphia’s adjoining harness race track because of unresolved issues with the track’s racing surface. Sufficient reason for just somewhat more than a month before the track’s 2014 formal racing season begins on March 8, this will be described as a closing of no inconvenience that is minor.
A lot more problematic is the reality that Pennsylvania gaming regulators could shut the casino down itself if the racetrack issues are not put to bed.
The suburban Philadelphia-area racetrack’s problems started when the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission suspended the casino’s racing tasks, noting that the organization had perhaps not only did not resolve the track surface issues, but had consistently missed opportunities to tell rushing commissioners how they plan to resolve the problems. A racetrack must have a ‘written live racing contract with a horsemen’s organization’ so as to help keep their video gaming license valid, according to Pennsylvania law.
After a serious crash resulted in a track driver being tossed out of sulky and afterwards trampled by another horse when he hit the ground, drivers began to post complaints about the track conditions with racing authorities. Now the Harness Racing Commission which runs under the auspices of the Department of Agriculture has threatened to suspend the entire 2014 racing period until they get more concrete information on the issue from the track’s management.
More Fines for Violations
This isn’t the problems that are only’s Philadelphia has been facing of late, either. The casino was fined $90,000 by state regulators $70,000 for credit issuance violations and $20,000 for allowing an underage woman to enter, gamble on slots, and drink alcohol in April 2013 at the start of the new year. The credit violations revolved around a lack of protocol for laws and controls that are internal occurred between July 2010 and January 2013.
Because far as the racetrack issues are concerned, while Caesars Entertainment vice that is senior Jan Jones said in a message the ‘issue will be solved,’ the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s spokesman Doug Harbach claims they are still viewing and waiting, and ‘will continue to monitor the situation closely.’
There’s plenty at stake within the matter; as you of Caesars Entertainment’s Eastern Division properties (included with their four Atlantic City casinos) Harrah’s Philadelphia ranked #4 out of 12 of Pennsylvania’s gambling enterprises, getting $310.87 million in video gaming revenues year that is last. The Chester, Pennsylvania casino’s racetrack is one of five that are licensed in the state.