Headlines: Poker, Law, and Politics (11/12/07)

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articles:
Internet gambling is a target of Patrick bill (Boston Globe, 11/10/07)

Governor wants to make Internet bets illegal (South Coast Today, 11/11/07)

EU seeks betting offsets from U.S. (Washington Times, 11/10/07)

Killing Sends Tremors Through City’s Illegal Poker Scene (New York Times, 11/11/07)

Police raid illegal poker halls (Newsday, 11/12/07)

Illegal poker dens are easy pickings for stickup artists (North Jersey, 11/12/07)

Opponents of Legal Online Poker – Part 2 (Poker Player Newspaper, 11/09/07)

61 face gambling charges after raid by police (Globe and Mail, 11/10/07)

Credit Cards Still Accepted For Online Gambling (CBS 4 Denver, 11/12/07)

Twin River gets a cold table (Woonsocket Call, 11/11/07)

U.S. Casino Biz Colossal Juggernaut (Hotel Interactive, 11/09/07)

media:
Police raid illegal poker halls (Newsday, 11/12/07)

Credit Cards Still Accepted For Online Gambling (CBS 4 Denver, 11/12/07)

press release:
Internet Gaming to be Discussed in Judiciary Committee Hearing (PocketFives, 11/09/07)

blog:
Poker Bots on the Rise: A Guest Blog (Freakonomics, 11/12/07)

excerpts:
Internet gambling is a target of Patrick bill (Boston Globe, 11/10/07)
“Even as Governor Deval Patrick seeks to license three resort casinos in Massachusetts, he hopes to clamp down on the explosion in Internet gambling by making it illegal for state residents to place a bet on line. He has proposed jail terms of up to two years and $25,000 fines for violators. The provision, buried deep in Patrick’s bill to allow three casinos to the state, puts the governor at odds with a fellow Democrat: US Representative Barney Frank, the sponsor of federal legislation to license and regulate online gambling nationally.”

Governor wants to make Internet bets illegal (South Coast Today, 11/11/07)
“If Massachusetts adopts an online gambling ban, it would join such states as Utah, Nevada, and Washington. The Poker Players Alliance, a group that says it represents the interests of online gamblers, supports the governor’s proposal for three Massachusetts casinos, but plans to oppose the overall bill because of the online gambling prohibition. “It makes absolutely no sense to me,” said Randy Castonguay, director of the Massachusetts chapter of the Poker Players Alliance. “It’s actually kind of laughable if you think about it.”

EU seeks betting offsets from U.S. (Washington Times, 11/10/07)
“A top European trade official in Washington this week gave the U.S. government an ultimatum: Allow Internet gambling companies overseas to operate here, or compensate for lost revenues of as much $100 billion. Peter Mandelson, trade commissioner for the European Union, urged Congress to pass legislation that would bring the U.S. in line with World Trade Organization (WTO) requirements that it permit online gambling.”

Killing Sends Tremors Through City’s Illegal Poker Scene (New York Times, 11/11/07)
“For years, they have operated in the shadows of Manhattan. With names like Straddle, the Fairview, Playstation and the New York Players Club, they are remarkably well organized, but nonetheless illegal: poker clubs that attract thousands of players at all hours of the day and night. The players run the gamut, from cabdrivers to retired accountants, with a remarkably large contingent of young, well-paid professionals — people who consider themselves law-abiding citizens and play only for the love of the calculated bluff or the well-played wager.”

Police raid illegal poker halls (Newsday, 11/12/07)
“Eight illegal gambling operations were broken up when detectives burst into the poker dens that officials said rake in illegal profits while fueling gambling addictions on Long Island, Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota said Thursday. “Given the popularity of poker, particularly Texas Hold ‘Em … we are seeing that these facilities are proliferating,” Spota said. Nine poker managers were arrested and face misdemeanor charges.”

Illegal poker dens are easy pickings for stickup artists (North Jersey, 11/12/07)
“Because in many cases the organizers take a cut of the action, the clubs are operating outside the law. It also makes them easy targets for robberies. “I won’t play in an underground club. It’s too dangerous,” said Jeff Walsh, 36, of Clifton, who plays in a legitimate weekly Texas Hold ‘Em tournament at the Whiskey Cafe in Lyndhurst. “I could win $1,200 and a guy could be waiting for me in the parking lot.” Several other players insist underground poker clubs aren’t as risky – or as profitable – as some might think. Most are operated by old-boy networks of card enthusiasts who meet up regularly in unremarkable places – after-hours office buildings, for instance. They don’t make much money, and alcoholic beverages – much less guns or drugs – are strictly forbidden.”

Opponents of Legal Online Poker – Part 2 (Poker Player Newspaper, 11/09/07)
“One of the difficulties in discussing problem gamblers is deciding who, exactly, is a “problem” gambler. If you visit the National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling homepage you’ll learn that those who have a casino between 10 and 50 miles from home are twice as likely to become gambling addicts. That this statistic is somewhat misleading should not come as a surprise, considering the source, but examining the study conducted by the Research Institute on Addictions (RIA) that NCALG links to leads to some interesting conclusions.”

61 face gambling charges after raid by police (Globe and Mail, 11/10/07)
“Dozens of police officers swooped down on an alleged gambling ring late Thursday, arresting scores of people in one of the largest raids of its kind in the province. At least 40 heavily armed Toronto police officers raided the Thornhill Social Club, a well-known commercial unit on Finch Avenue West, near Dufferin Street, around 11 p.m. Thursday, police said.”

Credit Cards Still Accepted For Online Gambling (CBS 4 Denver, 11/12/07)
“Lawmakers have gone to great lengths to try to stop gambling on the Internet. One of the most effective methods has been banning the use of American issued credit cards, but Internet casinos based outside the U.S. are getting around those laws. A CBS4 investigation reveals how gamblers are still able to place their bets. CBS4’s Rick Sallinger started by going to an online gambling Web site. It may look like a game, but it’s serious business”

Twin River gets a cold table (Woonsocket Call, 11/11/07)
“The ballot included two questions: “Do you support the expansion of gaming hours at Twin River … from its current closing hours to 24 hours per day, seven days a week?” and “Do you support the expansion of gaming operations … to include full-scale casino gambling operations including, but not limited to, table games?” Sixty-five percent of the 3,203 voters who cast a ballot rejected Question 1 – seeking approval for “24/7″ gaming hours – while 59 percent of the voters defeated Question 2, related to expanded gambling operations, including table games.”

U.S. Casino Biz Colossal Juggernaut (Hotel Interactive, 11/09/07)
“Incredibly, poker is still exploding, performing strongly in 2006 with 14 percent of Americans saying they played poker during the past year. Revenues from poker in 2006 reflect a substantial 15 percent increase over 2005 figures, with players spending more than $238 million on casino poker in Nevada and New Jersey alone. In addition, there were 713 card rooms in five states in 2006, and the four states that track card room revenues reported $1.1 billion in revenue last year.”

media:
Police raid illegal poker halls (Newsday, 11/12/07)

Credit Cards Still Accepted For Online Gambling (CBS 4 Denver, 11/12/07)

press release:
Internet Gaming to be Discussed in Judiciary Committee Hearing (PocketFives, 11/09/07)
“The event was a rousing success and received major national media attention. Within only a few weeks, the fruits of the PPA’s labor can be seen. The Justice Department is holding a hearing about internet gaming on Wednesday, November 14, at 10:00am. This is a huge step for online poker’s future. PocketFives.com sat down with PPA Executive Director John Pappas to get all the details.”

blog:
Poker Bots on the Rise: A Guest Blog (Freakonomics, 11/12/07)
“Poker enthusiasts have argued for online legalization, saying that poker is a game of skill. And of course, it is (just like chess and checkers). But ironically, it’s because poker is a game of skill that humans’ chance of winning are undermined. Unlike checkers, the key to poker is to predict whether other players are bluffing. On the Internet (without the possibility of visual cues), computers are probably better at predicting a rival’s hand from his or her past play. But computers are much better at confounding the expectations of their human opponents.”

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