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Barry Greenstein (pictured), Poker Hall of Famer and Team PokerStarsPro, took to his blog this week to make a case for why his sponsor doesn't deserve to be labeled a "bad actor" and prohibited from doing business in the US by state governments considering legalizing online poker. Read the blog. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsson Poker, a leading global online gaming provider. Betsson Poker is available on Mobile and offers regular promotions to live events around the world along with great bonuses and competitions. Play nowfor a chance to win the a Dream Holiday with the Grand Poker Adventures throughout 2014! --- "Bad actor" language is technically meant as a protection to consumers from nefarious gaming operators and has been inserted into the online poker legislation of various states. Generally, any company that continued to offer online gambling in the US after the UIGEA was passed is branded with the label. But as the three-time bracelet winner says, it's no secret that this type of verbiage is targeted directly at PokerStars, the site that upstart gambling interests fear will quickly corner the market, leaving little profits for them. Before Amaya's acquisition of PokerStars, the company's opponents highlighted the fact that founder Isai Scheinberg (pictured) had been indicted for violating the UIGEA, yet was still involved with the company. But Greenstein questions the legality of that indictment altogether after years of discussions with company lawyers and executives. "In every case, in every decision that was made, I was told PokerStars had lawyers who closely examine every detail to ensure that they were not violating any law and that their actions could be defended if they have to go to court or make their case for being licensed in the United States," he said. He gave one example where Stars' attorneys did, in fact, find issue with the legality of a situation and decided to play it safe when other companies did not. "When the state of Washingtonpassed a law banning online poker, PokerStars pulled out," he reminded. "Because UIGEA made it more difficult for payment processors to accept payments, some of them used deceptive (and probably illegal) methods for accepting funds." The consequences for those operators who blatantly disregarded the law, as he pointed out, were severe. "Full Tilt's decision to continue accepting deposits from these payment processors ended up contributing greatly to their bankruptcy," he continued. Greenstein also highlighted the fact that soon after Scheinberg's indictment, the DOJ had a change of heart and issued a memo clarifying that the Wire Act only prohibited online sports betting, not all forms of internet gambling. "You would think that after this judgment was handed down, all the charges would be dropped and PokerStars would be viewed in the right," he said. "[But] due to the indictment, PokerStars [was] worth too much money to the Department of Justice." The pro bashes his employer's competitors, whom he said spend "an incredible amount of time and money" lobbying to keep PokerStars out of the US. But now that the company has been sold to Amaya, he said, the proponents of the "bad actor clause" lose their argument again. Greenstein described the company as having a "family culture," which only tries to be the best "and will spare no expense to do it." He believes that other operators can't compete against Stars, "because PokerStars gained deep respect from the poker community for quickly repaying US customers after Black Friday and bailing out Full Tilt." In the end, he believed the opposition is simply based on the fear that, if PokerStars reenters the market, "they will continue to be the leading company as they have been for the last several years in Europe and as they were doing in the United States before they got shut down." Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
In an article that will be published in the next issue of Gaming Law Review and Economics that Bluff Magazinepreviewed, Professor I. Nelson Rose (pictured) of GamblingAndTheLaw.comsays that "bad actor" clauses could be permitted since gambling is considered a vice. That opinion is in contrast to a theory put forth by Laurence Tribe, who said that bad actor clauses could be unconstitutional. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsson Poker, a leading global online gaming provider. Betsson Poker is available on Mobile and offers regular promotions to live events around the world along with great bonuses and competitions. Play nowfor a chance to win the a Dream Holiday with the Grand Poker Adventures throughout 2014! --- According to Bluff, "Rose goes on to explain how gambling falls under 'vices' and is therefore subject to the 'state's police power,' which is to protect the 'health, safety, welfare, and morality of its citizens.' Rose continued on, saying, 'state's police power often trumps constitutional rights,' which allows the state governments to ignore Federal law and even the Constitution in some instances." As Rose pointed out, "Gambling implicates no Constitutionally protected right; rather, it falls into a category of 'vice' activity that could be, and frequently has been, banned altogether." Bad actor clauses, depending upon how they're written, could prevent sites that serviced the US market for real money post-UIGEA from receiving licenses. The same could hold true for any rake-based site still in the US after Black Friday. In California, the holy grail of online poker markets due to its population, one bill's bad actor clause contains language that would make software and player lists tainted regardless of ownership, making entry for sites like PokerStarsand Full Tilt Pokerpotentially problematic despite their recent purchase by Amaya Gaming. Tribe (pictured) concluded about the bad actor clauses, "Taking all these infirmities in the bills into account, I believe that they should not, and would not, survive Federal Constitutional attack." As Poker Players Alliance Executive Director John Pappas argued, the industry shouldn't be focused on whether "bad actor" clauses could withstand a Constitutional challenge. Rather, as he said, "I think it is past time to put the 'bad actor' language to rest and have the industry work toward passing bills and not throwing their competitors under the bus." When asked what states will be the next to pass legislation regulating internet gambling within their borders, California and Pennsylvania tend to be the two top-of-mind responses among those in the industry. The California legislative calendar ends on August 31, so we'll know more in the very near future. Visit PocketFives' California poker community for the latest news and discussion from California players. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.