1. Last month, Tom Malkasian, a representative of the Los Angeles Commerce Casino -- one of the largest poker rooms in North America -- testified before Congress (link) in opposition to federal legislation to license and regulate Internet poker. Rather than standing with poker players, Commerce Casino instead allied itself with Sen. Jon Kyl, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Rep. Spencer Bachus, and other anti-poker lawmakers. Why? Because Commerce's business interests may be better served with monopolistic control on California's online poker.

    What does Commerce seek from its proposed instate site? When asked what he'd change in the current federal bills, Mr. Malkasian stated his belief that bill needs stiff player penalties to stop individuals from choosing to play on unlicensed sites! He says this at time point 1:02:00 of the hearing: http://financialserv.edgeboss.net/wm...ring072110.wvx. He also says taxes in the current federal legislation are too low!!

    Originally Posted by Tom Malkasian, Vice Chairman of the Board, Commerce Casino

    Revenue provisions in HR 2976, the companion bill to HR 2267, further compound unfairness in the legislation. Tribal nations offering Internet gaming would be subject to a direct federal tax. This is a violation of tribal sovereignty, and sets a terrible precedent that may lead to expanded federal taxation of other tribal gaming activities.

    Additionally, by setting the rate of state taxation on Internet gaming at 6% of account deposits, most commercial and tribal gaming operations will be undermined and placed at a significant tax disadvantage compared to Internet gaming.

    For example, Pennsylvania casinos pay 55%, Indian casinos 46%, and Illinois riverboats 40% of their gaming revenue to states. This disadvantage creates incentives to close physical facilities in most states, lay off workers, and set up Internet-only operations in overseas tax havens.

    Today, the PPA is asking the poker community to speak out and tell the Commerce Casino to support H.R. 2267 and abandon its misguided effort for a California-only Internet poker monopoly. Join Chris Ferguson, Phil Hellmuth, Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey and dozens of the leading professional players who have signed an open letter to the Commerce Casino.

    Simply go to www.playersbeforeprofits.com, where you too can sign the open letter. You can also Tweet, email and call the Commerce Casino to express your disappointment in their position. As usual, please reply to the thread once you take action with "sent", "signed", etc., to encourage others.

    Contact the Commerce Casino today. Our opponents -- in whatever form they take -- cannot expect to freeroll us when their actions directly harm poker players and the future of sensible legislation to establish licensed Internet poker for all Americans.
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  2. such monopolistic slime Commerce is....not surprising though coming from such a grimy place IRL
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  3. signed
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  4. signed
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  5. sent.
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  6. I sent them a personalized version of the letter:

    As a dedicated poker player and Poker Players Alliance Board Member, I am extremely disappointed in the position Commerce Casino has taken in opposition to federal legislation to license and regulate online poker. Rather than standing with poker players, Commerce Casino instead allied itself with Sen. Jon Kyl, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Rep. Spencer Bachus, and other anti-poker lawmakers. Why? Because Commerce's business interests may (or may not) be better served with monopolistic control on California's online poker. Your opposition puts your narrow corporate interests ahead of the interests of America’s poker players.

    By testifying before Congress in opposition to HR 2267, your organization demonstrated complete disregard for every poker player who has ever patronized your establishment.

    HR 2267 will create a U.S. regulated online poker framework in this country, requiring all online poker sites to measure up to strict safety and consumer protection standards – requirements that do not exist today. More importantly, this bill will create an open and competitive market, giving players a choice of many sites on which to play against others from across the country and the world. This bill also includes language allowing states to opt out of this legislation while providing appropriate safeguards to ensure Indian tribes retain their current rights regarding gaming.

    It is important to note that with the rise of online poker, many individuals hone their skills online before they enter establishments such as the Commerce Casino – increasing traffic to poker rooms nationwide.

    Poker players hate hypocrisy. So, I am particularly dismayed that while Tom Malkasian's testimony before the House Financial Services Committee criticized federal legislation and regulation of online poker, Commerce Casino is actively promoting legislation to create a segregated, California-only online poker network. That proposal would create a monopoly that would harm California’s poker players by severely limiting the pool of players against whom they could play as well as the options for sites on which they could play. It could also set the stage for other states to follow suit, possibly resulting in a balkanized online poker world, where players across the nation would be limited in their choices of where and against whom they could play.

    It is disheartening that one of our own in the poker community is opposing good public policy that will keep players safe and preserve our rights to play poker online.

    I strongly urge Commerce Casino to support America’s poker players. Please change your position on HR 2267.


    Rich Muny
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  7. Recieved this email this morning and I have signed and tweeted. Everybody should do the same as this is very important.
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  8. Here's a nice column on this: http://www.fulltiltpoker.com/poker-b...igned-1137.php


    In an Open Letter to the Commerce Casino posted today on Players Before Profits, numerous influential poker players called out the Commerce for its hypocritical testimony before the US House of Representatives in opposition to federal regulation of online poker. I signed the Open Letter and, though I am used to casinos opposing online poker, the testimony by Commerce Vice Chairman Tom Malkasian reached a new level of duplicity....

    Thread StarterAdd Rich Muny to Rail
  9. Signed.
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  10. Signed

    Edit: Besides this commerce is the shit to play it. Lots of action, free food at certain stakes, fish in the pond.
    Edited By: Sir Aug 30th, 2010 at 11:32 PM
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  11. im on board. im going going back back to cali cali. Jane
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  12. signed, hopefully the dont shaft the online community pulling for PPA to keep internet gaming accesible to CA
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  13. Almost 2500!


    Join the pros above and the other 2407 PPA Members who have signed the letter so far.

    Edited By: Rich Muny Aug 26th, 2010 at 10:29 PM
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  14. sent ty TE
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  15. signed thanks rich
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  16. sent
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  17. signed... why didnt anyone call out the commerce guy during the hearing? atleast no one did afaik
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  18. Someone just replied to my Facebook posting with the following:


    Check out the DM I got After I sent My tweet
    ... Direct from CommerceCasino:
    I think ppl r jumping on the bandwagon here without looking at the facts. u can read Tom Malkasian's statements here: http://www.casinocitytimes.com/news/...-gaming-194453

    LOL. The linked article has no information that we're not sharing here. It's just as bad. In fact, here's the relevant section in its entirety:


    Tom Malkasian, the owner of Commerce Casino, a poker club outside Los Angeles, urged the bill be scrapped. Rep. Joe Baca, D-Calif., echoed Malkasian.

    Baca said legalizing Internet gambling "will create problems for California and its economic recovery. It does nothing to protect American jobs."

    Malkasian challenged estimates that as much as $42 billion could be raised over 10 years in taxes on the online industry. He said the estimates are based on the assumption that all online gaming companies would agree to be based in the United States.

    Malkasian said companies outside the United States that have been offering online gaming illegally should not be licensed.

    "They have built brand-name recognition and a strong customer base at the expense of American casinos and Indian tribes, who would have been shut down had they engaged in the same activities," he said.

    "If Congress were ever to decide to legalize marijuana, certainly no one would suggest that the first federal permits to sell it should go to the Tijuana drug cartel since they have the most money and experience in marketing and distributing the product," he said.

    Thread StarterAdd Rich Muny to Rail
    Originally Posted by TheEngineer View Post

    "If Congress were ever to decide to legalize marijuana, certainly no one would suggest that the first federal permits to sell it should go to the Tijuana drug cartel since they have the most money and experience in marketing and distributing the product," he said.

    this is just LOL. yes, online poker and the drug market are the same, obviously. and yes, we should torch the industry leaders because they got to that point by innovating and beating the competition. yes, that should definitely be punished.

    i can't wait for 2002 software to come out with the new sites in 2012.

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  20. sent---- #4119
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  21. Commerce has responded on its Twitter site. The email they linked is dead, though. LOL. Check it out:

    Originally Posted by @CommerceCasino

    Who is behind taking American poker players’ money & giving it 2 illegal foreign operators? Email us -supportonlinepoker@commercecasino.net

    LOL. Their position is that they have a right to our money? Really?

    I Tweeted the following:


    @CommerceCasino Online #poker players do not owe you their money. You want my business? Earn it by offering a competitive service!

    Edited By: Rich Muny Aug 27th, 2010 at 04:03 AM
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  22. Seems to me the Commerce is either really misguided or they are lying in their reason for opposition.
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  23. Signed

    Doesn't commerce realize that a lot of the poker boom was generated online games
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  24. Signed, thx again engineer, i think i speak for the community when i say we owe you one.
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  25. signed
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  26. signed. They are so misguided its crazy, maybe online players shouldn't show up to their tourneys and cash games.
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  27. Signed and e-mailed the Commerce saying I am appalled by their stance and won't be gambling there in the future.
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  28. I think this letter is missing something saying that the players signing will boycott the casino if they do not reverse stances.

    Surely this scummy place does not deserve anyone business.

    I still remember the first time i went to Commerce and played a $1500 event and some 1/2 cash while on vacation. It would have never happened if I never got comfortable to do that by playing online.
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  29. Commerce just issued a press release on this. CLIFFS: POKER PLAYERS ARE OUR PROPERTY



    CONTACT: Waltona Manion at 818-785-5525 or waltona@waltonamanion.com

    Industry Leaders Join Together with Commerce Casino in Opposing Frank Bill; "California Will Lose If Frank Bill Is Passed"

    August 27, 2010, Commerce, California --Concerned that card players have been misled by special interest groups receiving funds from illegal offshore gaming operators, Commerce Casino board members Tom Malkasian and Haig Papaian issued the following statement today to outline Commerce's position on Internet poker legislation. They are joined in their opposition to HR 4976(Frank), presently under consideration by Congress, by some of the largest card room casinos in the state and in the world - the Bicycle Casino, Hawaiian Gardens Casino and Hollywood Park Casino.

    "Poker players deserve to know the real facts so let us be clear: We support online poker and we are working hard to make sure it will benefit all Americans. America's poker community should be united in opposing the Frank legislation that would ship jobs, revenue and taxes beyond our communities. We need to work together to keep American dollars at home.

    Federal and state regulation of online poker is coming. To date, there have been more than 45 federal Internet gambling bills proposed and 60 state bills in the U.S. We can either fight to ensure that poker players' interests are legitimately protected or allow illegal foreign operators, who are siphoning millions of American dollars out of this country, to dominate the U.S. market.

    As owners and managers of the state's tax-paying, law-abiding, regulated card rooms, we employ more than 20,000 Californians; generate millions in salaries and benefits; goods and services purchased from local businesses; and tax revenues to our local communities and the state.

    In 2008, the California Public Policy Institute estimated that 70 percent of Californians were Internet users. According to another study in 2009, Californians wager an estimated $13.4 billion annually. That makes California the largest Internet gaming market in the world, and without state legislation to protect it, critically-needed billions will be captured by offshore and out-of-state operators never to return.

    California card rooms have been on the leading edge of establishing poker's prominence on a worldwide basis for more than a century. The Golden State's track record for introduction of new games and technology is unmatched. Texas Hold'Em, Omaha, Seven-Card and Five-Card Stud, Crazy Pineapple, Mexican and Chinese Poker were all pioneered and promoted to the global status they occupy today by California card rooms.

    Nevada casinos, offshore companies and Washington insiders don't want California to benefit from its own market. Our economic future is not their concern. We support free enterprise, fair competition and the principle that what plays in California, stays in California.

    In addition, we oppose the Frank bill because it would authorize all types of gaming. We strongly support poker-only legislation.California lawmakers should be the first to bring an illegal enterprise under legal supervision, provide needed consumer protections and capture revenue that can benefit our state first. California must act before the end of the year to protect its own economy to keep market predators out and California dollars in. We believe poker players, informed with the facts, will support our stand.

    We encourage anyone who wants more facts to contact us at supportonlinepoker@commercecasino.net.
    Thread StarterAdd Rich Muny to Rail
  30. Wow, so basically they want a higher % of the tax and they want the companies based in Cali.....How do they think this will work? Do they really believe they can act like there own Country and sanction all play within their state just because they have a large market?

    This release also doesn't say whether they are for their citizen's being able to play with people from other states, much less other countries. This might be the worst protectionism stance we have seen in this fight for regulation, other than France since theirs has actually gone through, but this is borderline the same thing, I don't know #'s but I'd assume California's market couldn't be much smaller than France's if it even is.
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