Headlines: Poker, Law, and Politics (09/04/07)

articles:
Poker Room in Little Rock Plans to Open Despite Warnings (KATV, 08/31/07)

Big Bear Lodge looks to deal out poker games (The Telegraph, 09/04/07)

Gambling rooms might get better deal (Fresno Bee, 09/04/07)

New Tax Law Takes Bite Out of Tournament Winnings (CardPlayer, 08/31/07)

New hearing date set for case against UIGEA (PokerListings, 08/31/07)

The Internet Gambling Initiative (Gambling911, 09/03/07)

UK Gambling Act In Effect Today- New Regulations for Online Poker Amidst Criticism (PokerPages, 09/02/07)

Gambling fever worries casinos (The Times, 09/02/07)

Cybercrooks use bots to deal winning hand (USA Today, 09/04/07)

Editorial: Time to regulate Internet gambling (Newsday, 08/29/07)

Editorial: A Losing Gamble (Winston-Salem Journal, 09/04/07)

Q&A: Does fantasy gambling violate law? (Miami Herald, 09/03/07)

Man pleads guilty to gaming charge (The Western Star, 08/29/07)

Roxbury police trial set to begin (The Daily Record, 09/04/07)

media:
WTO Weighs Online Gambling Dispute (NPR Weekend Edition, 09/01/07)

Online Gambling’s American Underworld (Talk of the Nation, 08/27/07)

press release:
Shelley Berkley’s H.R. 2140: A Closer Look (PocketFives, 08/31/07)

excerpts:

Poker Room in Little Rock Plans to Open Despite Warnings (KATV, 08/31/07)
“A Little Rock poker room will open despite warnings from city officials. The National Poker Challenge markets itself as legal poker–and it is now set to open in Little Rock in September. The National Poker Challenge, or NPC, delayed the opening of its poker room here in Arkansas after city officials told them the games would be in violation of state gambling laws.”

Big Bear Lodge looks to deal out poker games (The Telegraph, 09/04/07)
“The owner of Big Bear Lodge in Brookline wants to expand gambling operations and needs the planning board’s approval to do it. New Hampshire Charitable Gambling LLC is poised to enter a lease agreement with the lodge, owned by Paul Andres, to use space there to run Hold ’Em poker games, according to a site plan application. The planning board will hold a public hearing at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday on the hours of operation of the lodge, which need to be adjusted to allow for the games.”

Gambling rooms might get better deal (Fresno Bee, 09/04/07)
“A year after he pushed a bill to eliminate wagering limits at card rooms, state Sen. Dean Florez is seeking to loosen gambling laws some more — this time with legislation that would make it easier to add tables at small card rooms. Florez, D-Shafter, says the change is needed to accommodate the growing popularity of Texas Hold’em.”

New Tax Law Takes Bite Out of Tournament Winnings (CardPlayer, 08/31/07)
“A new tax code has been released that spells out just how much money the government will take from those who are lucky enough to cash for $5,000 or more in poker tournaments. Starting March 4, 2008, casinos and cardrooms are supposed to start withholding 25 percent of any poker tournament winnings of $5,000 or more. This will particularly affect the poker hobbyists who go deep in tournaments with buy-ins that range from  $100 to $550, and of course those who make their living humping the tournament poker trail.”

New hearing date set for case against UIGEA (PokerListings, 08/31/07)
“Just a few days short of the first hearing date set for the Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association’s case against the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, the hearing has been postponed to Sept. 26. According to iMEGA, it, along with the defendants – the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors – all agreed to the date change.”

The Internet Gambling Initiative (Gambling911, 09/03/07)
“There has been a lot of activity this year in the Internet gambling arena.  Devastating legislation has been passed, several operators have been the target of investigations and arrests, and the financial vehicles historically used to fund the offshore entities have been attacked.  In the midst of all this negativity,  a small but growing movement has begun to reverse the damage.”

UK Gambling Act In Effect Today- New Regulations for Online Poker Amidst Criticism (PokerPages, 09/02/07)
“The Gambling Act passed by the United Kingdom in 2005 comes into effect today, most notably making it legal for UK residents to play poker, gamble and bet online. And the UK Gambling Commission, which has been developing the rules and regulations for the Gambling Act since 2005, officially takes control of the British gambling industry today, amidst growing criticism of the direction government is heading. The Gambling Act was passed under Tony Blair, who intended gambling websites to be legalized, taxed and strictly regulated to protect against underage and problem gambling.”

Gambling fever worries casinos (The Times, 09/02/07)
“The last such “prevalence study” was in 1999 and the new survey, timed to coincide with the Gambling Act, which came into force yesterday, will be published later this month. The study is expected to show a sharp increase in the number of problem gamblers in Britain from the current level of about 300,000. Bookmakers and casino operators fear that, despite the government’s protestations to the contrary, it will seize on any increase to clamp down on the industry or hit it with punitive tax rises. “It’s time to put our tin helmets on,” said one executive.”

Cybercrooks use bots to deal winning hand (USA Today, 09/04/07)
“The fraudster then floods the poker forum of small-to-midsized websites with “players” in the form of bots. These are compromised PCs loaded with poker-playing programs that play poker, but not necessarily well. A human in cahoots with the crook then enters the same room as the bots to compete against sub par competition. The odds are heavily in favor of the human, who wins the pot. The money from the losers is transferred to the winner — in this case, the fraudster. Cybercrooks are going to elaborate measures in this use bots because it is difficult to transfer the money of a legitimate credit card account overseas. And there are still online payment processors that process online wagers — despite a recent crackdown on Neteller, a popular payment processor overseas.”

Editorial: Time to regulate Internet gambling (Newsday, 08/29/07)
“Antigua and Barbuda, a tiny twin-island nation of 80,000 people in the Caribbean, is the mouse that roared on Internet gambling. It could force the elephantine United States to reconsider laws prohibiting online wagering with offshore casinos. Antigua challenged that prohibition before the World Trade Organization and won – twice. Congress should accept that reality and replace the ban with regulation designed to ensure the financial integrity of gaming in cyberspace, to screen out minors and to make sure that the United States gets its cut in taxes. Legislation introduced by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) provides a good jumping-off point for debate in Congress.”

Editorial: A Losing Gamble (Winston-Salem Journal, 09/04/07)
“It’s hard to see how Congress and the president could implement a ban on all online gambling here, given the dependence of state and local governments on lotteries. And the penalty that the WTO is considering is to allow Antigua to violate all American claims to intellectual property, including music, movies and software. That could be an economic disaster if Antigua were allowed to become a haven for counterfeiters.”

Q&A: Does fantasy gambling violate law? (Miami Herald, 09/03/07)
“The act prohibits unlawful Internet gambling. This means ”to place, receive, or otherwise knowingly transmit a bet or wager by any means which involves the use, at least in part, of the Internet.” Since it’s a federal law, it restricts funding gambling activities that cross state or national borders. But there are numerous activities that are specifically excluded.”

Man pleads guilty to gaming charge (The Western Star, 08/29/07)
“Anderson was among 20 people who were charged as a result of an undercover operation by the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary into complaints of illegal Texas Hold ’em-style poker games being held on a regular basis at Union Street Bar and Billiards in Corner Brook. The charges against nearly all of those individuals have since been withdrawn, leaving only Anderson and the bar’s proprietor still facing charges. Anderson, who had eight counts of being found in a gaming house against him, pleaded guilty to one of those charges Tuesday and the other seven counts were withdrawn by the Crown.”

Roxbury police trial set to begin (The Daily Record, 09/04/07)
“The trial against two suspended Roxbury police officers and four other people on charges of running an illegal poker casino is marked to start Wednesday, but lawyers said that plea negotiations are actively underway. Morris County Prosecutor Robert A. Bianchi — who inherited the 2005 case when he succeeded former Prosecutor Michael M. Rubbinaccio on June 22 — said he has been poring over the evidence with four assistant prosecutors and negotiating with defense lawyers, but no agreements have been struck.”

media:
WTO Weighs Online Gambling Dispute (NPR Weekend Edition, 09/01/07)
“The World Trade Organization is now deeply involved in a five-year-old disagreement pitting the United States against the tiny Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda. The issue is online gambling. Simon Lester, a former WTO lawyer who now runs the Web site WorldTradeLaw.net, discusses the case with Scott Simon.”

Online Gambling’s American Underworld (Talk of the Nation, 08/27/07)
“The cards are digital but the cash is real in online gambling. There’s a fortune being won, and lost, on the Web, even though it’s illegal in the United States. Players go to surprising lengths to enter the virtual casino and place their bets.”

press release:
Shelley Berkley’s H.R. 2140: A Closer Look (PocketFives, 08/31/07)
“This fall, H.R. 2140, the Internet Gambling Study Bill, could give legislators new light into the industry. Armed with the power of knowledge, our elected officials can make an informed legislative decision. Proposed by Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-NV), the bill is one of four currently in Congress that deal with online gambling.”

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