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Found 54 results

  1. Hosted by Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters, The Fives Poker Podcast runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and debate the hottest topics in poker. Lance and Donnie remember the late Sam Grizzle to kick off this week's episode of The Fives. The 67-year-old poker legend passed away following a stroke in mid-October. The upcoming Doug Polk vs. Daniel Negreanu challenge is sure to take the poker world by storm and Lance and Donnie preview what the potential outcomes are and what - if anything - it settles between the two. While that challenge promises to hold the poker world's attention over the coming weeks and months, both guys discuss how the latest Galfond Challenge match featuring Phil Galfond and Chance Kornuth has yet to really garner the same type of following as the now legendary battle against 'Venvidi1993' did earlier this year. They also discuss the return of live poker to Atlantic City, the strong turnout at the Venetian in Las Vegas for the Venetian DeepStack Showdown, and the possibility of online poker foe Sheldon Adelson selling his US-facing operations and what that might mean for the future of regulated online gaming in the United States. Subscribe to The FIVES and never miss an episode - available everywhere you enjoy your favorite podcasts. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
  2. Following the introduction of legislation last week from South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham and Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz to ban online gambling and poker in the United States, a key organization responsible for implementing laws came out against their efforts. In an op/ed on The Hill's website, the President of the National Fraternal Order of Police, Chuck Canterbury (pictured), detailed what his organization looks at when certain legislation is proposed. "As an organization, we are always looking for opportunities to make citizens safer while improving officer safety," Canterbury wrote. In the case of the proposed legislation from Graham and Chaffetz, Canterbury said, "The answer in regards to a nationwide ban on all online gaming is an unequivocal no." Canterbury looked at the statistics behind online gambling and poker in its current unregulated state. "Approximately 1 million Americans spend approximately $3 billion a year on illegal, black market online gaming," he said in his op/ed. "We know, based on demand, that this number is going to continue to grow significantly in the future." From there, Canterbury pointed out the problems that face the current unregulated industry in the US. "This means millions of Americans are participating in a dangerous arena because of several reasons," Canterbury opined. "The black market has no age verification to prevent children from playing, the black market has no requirement that operators be licensed to screen out criminal elements, [and] the black market has no oversight that the games are fair." "A national ban on all online gaming would just drive online gaming further underground and put more people at risk," he wrote. Canterbury pointed out several reasons for having a regulated online gambling market. "We should maintain states' rights to regulate online gaming within their borders and reinvest that revenue to make sure the systems are safe for all consumers," he said. "This will allow law enforcement the tools necessary to monitor and shut down illegal activity and give consumers who may have been victimized a means of redress." "By having a well-regulated, well-monitored system for online gaming, people will be less drawn to illegal black market sites, which means a decrease in targets for criminals and less profit for their unlawful enterprises," Canterbury concluded. "We want to keep our citizens and our officers safe." Previous to Canterbury's op/ed in The Hill, the FOP has been on the fence regarding the issues of online gambling and poker. Just last year during hearings in Congress, Canterbury himself testified that the safeguards put in place for an online gaming industry might not be sufficient to make such an industry legally enforceable. "Law enforcement is always behind the eight ball on technology, especially state and local outlets," Canterbury testified in July 2013. "It will take us years to get to the place where we need to be technologically to fight any sort of money laundering at the state level, especially when it is cross-border money laundering." The bills from Graham and Chaffetz to ban online poker and gambling in the US have been linked to Las Vegas Sands Corporation chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson (pictured), who has ramped up the fight against online gaming through an organization he created, the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling. At this time, however, the bills from Graham and Chaffetz have not been scheduled for a committee hearing, the first step to putting a bill on the floor of the Senate or the House. Both lawmakers have declined interview requests from PocketFives. Adelson's casinos include the Venetian and Palazzo in Las Vegas and Sands Bethlehem in Pennsylvania. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  3. While Sheldon Adelson is right in the thick of his anti-internet gambling crusade, one of his Las Vegas Sands Board members has been busy buying up a massive stake in an online gaming giant. Jason Ader, founder of the investment firm SpringOwl, has acquired a 6.1% share of bwin.party, giving him a controlling interest in the London Stock Exchange-traded business. "I gave him the heads-up," Ader said in an article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, referring to Adelson. "He always agrees to disagree and that's why he likes having independent voices on his Board. I never would have made the investment without him knowing." Company founders Ruth and Russell DeLeon sold the bwin.party shares for around $100 million. The purchase allows Ader a seat on the gaming company's Board of Directors or the right to nominate someone in his place. With SpringOwl, Ader has thrown his hat into the ring of Activist Investment, the process of buying a large portion of a public company's shares to obtain seats on the Board and to carry out major changes in the business. Ader, a former Bear Stearns gaming analyst, believes bwin.party is "undervalued and has been under-performing." "There is a tremendous opportunity to improve in the online gaming space," Ader told the Nevada paper. "There are a lot of questions to be raised about accountability and management. I want to spend some time with the company and have a dialogue. The company truly is undervalued." In New Jersey, bwin.party leads the nascent online gaming market and banked nearly half of the i-gaming revenue generated in February in the state. The company supplies the software platform for its land-based casino partner, Borgata, owned by Boyd Gaming, as well as PartyPoker. In Nevada, it has partnered with MGM Resorts and Boyd Gaming, but has yet to enter the market. Ader says the US market is an extremely small facet of the company's business as a whole. The New York-based investor believes the "real growth" will be in the European markets, where the company has a well-recognized brand in part due to its former sponsorship of the Real Madrid football club. For his part, Adelson is not likely to be happy with the news that one of his own is investing in an industry that the 80-year-old billionaire has taken such a strong stance against. Through intense lobbying efforts, Adelson and his Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling have recently persuaded Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to introduce twin bills that would effectively ban online gambling nationwide. But while Adelson continues his anti-online gambling movement, Michael Leven, President of Las Vegas Sands, says that Ader can choose to invest however he sees fit. "He's free to do whatever he wants," said Leven. "We have a meeting in New York next week, but not about this." With the deal complete, bwin.party's CEO Norbert Teufelberger is anxious for Ader to name his choice for the company's Board. "We urge him to tell us who his nominee is," Teufelberger told the Financial Times. "I don't get the feeling he's hostile or against me or my team. An activist shareholder makes us think about whether we have considered all possible avenues and we are extremely critical in assessing that." Investors seem to warm to the idea of Ader joining the Board, as shares rose by around 6% upon the news of the acquisition. In the past year, the stock has fluctuated drastically, hitting a peak of 146.10 pence on May 16 and a low of 108.10 pence on September 2. Currently, shares are trading at 126 pence. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  4. US Representative Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah (pictured), is gearing up to introduce a bill that seeks to reinstate a Federal ban on internet gambling, according to the Congressman's spokeswoman. Chaffetz's bill is said to be very similar to one that GOP Senator Lindsey Graham will likely unveil before the end of the week and could roll back the huge gains made by the US online gambling industry in the past few years. According to a draft of the bill circulating on Capitol Hill, the legislation aims to "restore longstanding United States policy that the Wire Act prohibits all forms of internet gambling." The Wire Act was passed in 1961 and was originally meant to crack down on Mafia bookmakers who took bets over the phone. In more recent years, the Wire Act has been used to block not just sports betting, but also online poker. In 2011, the Department of Justice issued a reinterpretation of the law that paved the way for individual states to legalize the industry should they choose to do so. The Chaffetz-Graham legislation would block all forms of online gambling, but contains one very interesting carve-out for horseracing. "The term 'bet or wager' does not include any activities set forth in section 5362(1)(E) of title 31, or any activities permitted under the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978," the draft bill states. As Politico points out, that glaring exception is likely meant to appease Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose home state of Kentucky is one of the country's biggest horseracing hubs. The bill falls perfectly in line with Sheldon Adelson's (pictured) vision of a country free from the ills caused by internet gambling. In fact, according to the DailyCaller, properties of the Chaffetz bill seem to indicate that it was written by Darryl Nirenberg, a reported lobbyist for Adelson's Las Vegas Sands Corporation. Adelson has created a firestorm by taking a strong stance against the industry, claiming that it would exploit and corrupt America's youth and elderly. Keeping with his promise to "spend whatever it takes" to ban online gambling, the casino magnate has created the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling and put together a team of public relations experts and lobbyists to achieve that goal. Unsurprisingly, the group was quick to praise the coming legislation. "We support and applaud all efforts to restore the longstanding interpretation that the Wire Act prohibits internet gambling. It's common sense that putting a virtual casino in the pocket of every American with a smartphone is bad public policy," it said on Wednesday. Famous for lavishing cash on favored politicians, Adelson has recently turned on the faucet for Graham, donating $15,600 to the Senator's campaign in 2013. The timing of the contribution is telling, as the billionaire has never been known to be a supporter of Graham's and the Senator doesn't have a track record of opposing online gambling. Opponents of the bill, like the MGM-backed Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection, say that legislation hoping to block online gaming will do more harm than good. "Banning all online gaming nationwide, as this bill effectively does, would put American consumers at serious risk," said group advocate Mary Bono. "It is impossible to stand in the way of the internet; instead, we should embrace and shape these new technologies in a way that is safe for consumers." Although the anti-online gaming position has gained the support of the two lawmakers, the Chaffetz-Graham legislation could be a tough sell in Congress. Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey have already legalized the industry, which, apart from a few hiccups, is running smoothly and generating much-needed tax revenues. Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest poker legislation news. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  5. The man trying to eradicate online poker and internet gambling from the US – Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson (pictured) – claims he's "very socially sensitive," according to a Las Vegas Sun article published this week. Adelson gave his remarks during a talk at UNLV. After describing his tough roots in which "he and his three siblings slept on the floor in the same bedroom as their parents," the article noted that Adelson's father "spent his earnings as a taxi driver at racetracks." He told onlookers, "I see what exploitation of poor, vulnerable people does to a family. I was part of it." Despite managing the Las Vegas Sands empire and having an army of casinos that includes the Venetian and Palazzo in Las Vegas and Sands Bethlehem in Pennsylvania, Adelson is not in favor of spreading the industry online. On his overall mentality about gambling, Adelson said, “I am in favor of gambling. I am in favor of it as a form of entertainment. But, I am not in favor of it exploiting the world's most vulnerable people. I know I am a Republican and I am not supposed to be socially sensitive, but I am very socially sensitive." Adelson has launched the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling and pledged to spend "whatever it takes" to ban internet gambling in the US and restore the Wire Act of 1961. He has plenty of money with which to do so, as Adelson is the eighth richest person in the world "with almost $39 billion to his name," according to the Sun. Last year, he called internet gambling a "societal train wreck." Adelson's efforts against internet gambling have resulted in bills from Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who have introduced legislation to restore the Wire Act and prohibit internet gambling in the US, including in the three states where it's already regulated. While trying to stop internet gambling, Adelson has plans to expand his brick-and-mortar presence worldwide. Already a powerhouse in Macau, his company is targeting Japan and South Korea, with the Sun saying, "His company has launched advertisements in Japan, hired personnel there, and plans to open an office in that country. Casino resorts are not yet legalized in Japan, but Adelson said a few months ago that he would consider spending $10 billion to build a casino there." The reaction to Adelson's back-story and stance against online gambling was largely critical on Two Plus Two, where one poster pointed out, "I fail to see his point considering online gambling wasn't around when his father was degening it up. We all know what was around and we all know Adelson operates a B&M." Another poster echoed, "His father was a degen gambler, so instead of trying to help people that have that problem, he instead makes billions capitalizing on it then makes this the center of his argument why online poker should be banned. Are you kidding me?" According to a 2012 Huffington Post article, Adelson rakes in $3.3 million per hour. Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest poker legislation news. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  6. It took a couple of days, but the Venetianin Las Vegas officially let the world know why it turned away PokerNews from reporting on its own sponsored Mid-States Poker Tour eventlast week. PokerNews' Brett Collsongave the following response from the Venetian's Kathy Raymond via Twitter: "Given our Chairman's clear position on the matter of online gaming, Venetian/Palazzo made a business decision to not allow an online blog during the MSPT event." PokerNews' Donnie Peters originally said the reason for the dismissal was unclear, telling PocketFives earlier this week, "With each MSPT event, PokerNews Live Reporting comes as an option for the venue. Venetian decided not to pick up this option and PokerNews was given no specific reason. We are aware of Sheldon Adelson's (pictured) stance against online poker and would like to remind everyone that his stance is a hindrance to the growth of the game we all love." Ironically, you might recall that the Venetian was the host site of a PokerStars-backed North American Poker Tour stop in 2010. Raymond commented in a press release at the time that she was looking forward to working with an online poker site: "I am both pleased and excited about our new relationship with the North American Poker Tour and PokerStars.net. I believe that the Venetian poker room will serve as the perfect home to the hottest new poker tour in North America." Adelson, Chairman of Las Vegas Sands, has been on a crusade against the legalization of online gambling in the United States and has pledged to spend "whatever it takes" to eradicate the industry, including the legal online poker sites in Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware. Over on Two Plus Two, founder Mason Malmuth questioned the effectiveness of a boycott of the Venetian and Palazzo, both owned by Adelson's Las Vegas Sands Corporation: "We don't think that calling for a boycott of the Venetian would accomplish anything positive. If a boycott were somehow 100% effective, in our opinion it would have no affect on Sheldon Adleson or his anti-internet poker/gambling position, but a number of worthy people would lose their jobs." Malmuth added that after legislation was introduced in the US Senate by Lindsey Graham (pictured) to restore the Wire Act and prohibit online gambling earlier this year, Two Plus Two informed the Venetian that the site "would not accept any more advertising from them until all these issues were resolved." Adelson's stance has, in part, caused the American Gaming Association to take a step backin championing online poker legislation and instead follow a more back-seat approach. Adelson is also the brains behind the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  7. According to GovTrack.us, which keeps tabs on US legislation and lawmaker voting records, the bills to prohibit internet gambling in the United States have a slim chance of being passed before the end of the current legislation session, which occurs at the end of the year. Any bills not acted upon by the end of 2014 will be considered dead and must be reintroduced in 2015 in order to be considered. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsafe, one of the leading suppliers of online gaming products worldwide and a major sponsor of Gumball 3000. Sign up now for great bonuses, €3,000,000 guaranteed monthly, and plenty of live events! --- HR 4301, the Restoration of America's Wire Act, introduced by Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT, pictured), has an 8% chance of passing, according to GovTrack.us. The bill would restore the Wire Act to encompass online poker and internet gambling, making those activities illegal. The bill would also wipe out the current regulated US internet gambling markets in New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware. Chaffetz's bill was introduced in March and, according to GovTrack, has a 40% chance of getting past its committee. The companion legislation to HR 4301 in the US Senate is S 2159, introduced by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC, pictured). GovTrack gives Graham's legislation a minute 1% chance of being passed and a 7% chance of making it out of committee. Graham's bill was also introduced in March. Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson has been one of the main drivers behind the bills from Chaffetz and Graham. If you're interested in not supporting Adelson's anti-internet gambling efforts, don't gamble or spend money at the Venetian and Palazzo in Las Vegas and the Sands Bethlehem in Pennsylvania. One analyst doesn't see the Federal Government stepping in to regulate or prohibit online gambling unless more states move forward on their own similar to New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware. The analyst told Vegas Inc, "If more and more states would enact online gaming at the state level, I think at some point there would be more interest for a Federal bill." Also not high on the prospects of online gambling becoming an outlawed activity in the US anytime soon is Tom Russell, Director of the Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection, who was quoted by Vegas Inc as saying, "It's really unrealistic for Congress to step into the role of, for all intents and purposes, trying to put the internet back in a bottle." Stay tuned for the latest poker legislation news right here on PocketFives. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  8. You might recall that Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson (pictured) has pledged to spend "whatever it takes" to rid the United States of online gambling. In fact, he has corralled two lawmakers – Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) – into introducing bills to do exactly that. How much money have Adelson and his Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling spent in 2014? --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsafe, one of the leading suppliers of online gaming products worldwide and a major sponsor of Gumball 3000. Sign up now for great bonuses, €3,000,000 guaranteed monthly, and plenty of live events! --- According to a recent article from OpenSecrets, Las Vegas Sands has been busy on Capitol Hill lobbying lawmakers to its side: "The company paid out $290,000 during the second quarter lobbying solely on the issue of online gambling or the two bills that would ban it. That brings its yearly lobbying total to $460,000, spending in six months just $10,000 shy of what it spent in all of 2008, the year of its biggest-ever K Street splurge." Whereas Las Vegas Sands, which owns the Venetian and Palazzo in Las Vegas and Sands Bethlehem in Pennsylvania, has not launched any regulated online gambling sites, Caesars Entertainment is among the companies that has. Caesars, whose Interactive division runs WSOP.com, among other outlets, has also been busy trying to sway Congressmen, according to OpenSecrets. The site revealed that Caesars "spent $980,000 to advocate on various issues including online gaming in the second quarter, bringing its total so far this year to almost $1.8 million. That's close to the $1.9 million tab Caesars ran for 2013 in its entirety." The stakes could continue to rise as states like California and Pennsylvania grow closer to legalizing internet gambling. And plenty of other companies have dipped their toes into the lobbying pool as well, according to OpenSecrets: "Churchill Downs, Inc… spent $95,000 lobbying in the second quarter, mainly to oppose the ban. Meanwhile, Boyd Gaming, another online gaming pioneer, spent $230,000, mostly on the same issue. MGM Resorts reported spending $240,000 so far this year on several issues, including online gaming, which it supports." By comparison, in 2009, an Associated Press article revealed that the Poker Players Alliance, one of the main lobbying voices for poker players on Capitol Hill in the US, was planning to spend $3 million lobbying in 2009 and 2010. In the fourth quarter of 2008, it spent $300,000. And according to CardPlayer, "In 2006, the PPA spent $540,000, and in 2005, the first year it existed, $260,000." Little movement is expected on the legislative front on Capitol Hill for the remainder of the year given the upcoming elections in November, when one-third of the Senate and the entire House of Representatives will be up for grabs. We'll keep you posted on the latest poker legislation news right here on PocketFives. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  9. According to PennLive, Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson (pictured), who has vowed to spend "whatever it takes" to crush the internet gambling and online poker industries in the United States, allegedly contributed nearly $1 million to the reelection campaign of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett. The problem: the donation was reportedly illegal. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsafe, one of the leading suppliers of online gaming products worldwide and a major sponsor of Gumball 3000. Sign up now for great bonuses, €3,000,000 guaranteed monthly, and plenty of live events! --- Pennsylvania resident Nathan Sooy commented in a press release sent from the Keystone Group and picked up by PennLive, "The RGA and Adelson both say the donation was made mistakenly, but the intent is irrelevant. The Republican Governors Association Pennsylvania PAC received the money directly from Adelson. That is money that went directly and illegally to Corbett and the Pennsylvania Republican Party." PennLive quoted the same release as adding, "The RGA Pennsylvania PAC claims it returned the donation, but questions remain as to what communication has occurred between Adelson and Governor Corbett's reelection campaign. There is also some doubt about when the RGA returned the money to Adelson." The amount of the donation was $987,444, but Sooy is reportedly calling for a fine of $1.3 million. Although that might seem like a lot, it's likely the equivalent of pocket change to Adelson, who according to Forbes saw his net worth jump by $15 billionin 2013. Adelson's corporation owns Sands Casino Bethlehem in Pennsylvania, a state that is strongly considering legalizing online gambling. In fact, a bill to do exactly that was introduced in the state's Senate last week. Online Poker Report has a full breakdown of it if you haven't checked it out. However, Adelson's influence, potentially from a financial standpoint, could derail any bill in Pennsylvania, according to Online Poker Report: "The consensus opinion is that Pennsylvania is one of the most likely states to legalize and regulate some form of online gambling… [However, countering that are] well-financed opposition from Las Vegas Sands, a foggy legislative path through the House, and an uncertain fate for any bill that does reach Gov. Corbett's (pictured) desk." A complaint from Sooy was registered with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. Sands also owns and operates the Venetianand Palazzoin Las Vegas, two casinos many poker players have vowed to stay away from while in town for the World Series of Poker at the Rio. Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest poker legislation news. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  10. As Congressman Eric Cantor's (pictured) shocking defeat in the primary for the Seventh District of Virginia reverberates through the political spectrum, many gambling analysts are beginning to wonder how the loss of this Sheldon Adelson-backed lawmaker will influence the future of internet gaming legislation. In an outcome that almost no one predicted, little-known economics professor David Bratsoundly defeated the House Majority Leader. The Tea Party-backed candidate is a deeply religious, novice politician with a PhD from the Princeton Theological Seminary. He campaigned on the idea that his opponent was not sufficiently conservative and is strongly opposed to the idea of amnesty for illegal immigrants. In one of his many earlier writings, Brat chastised the Conservative Right for championing individual liberties, yet campaigning against gambling, abortion, and homosexuality. Little is known about the candidate's current stance on gambling. Cantor, who had ambitions of becoming the Speaker of the House, called the defeat a "personal setback" at a news conference and announced his intention to vacate his high-level post on July 31. Brat's victory over the seasoned politician also comes as a blow to Adelson (pictured), who had considered Cantor one of his most effective proponents on Capitol Hill. The anti-online gambling magnate has sunk at least $10 million in super PACs supported by the Majority Leader and the pair has worked together on issues like the anti-bribery Foreign Corrupt Practices Act reform and online gambling. "Cantor is an important and influential voice for Adelson in forwarding agendas in the House; therefore, the upset in the Virginia Republican Primary could imply a setback in initiatives including Adelson's fight to push down online gaming," said Union Gaming Group analyst Robert Shore. The 80-year-old billionaire and his Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling are said to be behind a bill introduced by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) in March. Graham has also received funding from Adelson, but before giving his backing to the bill, had never held a strong stance on the issue. For his part, Graham defeated his opponent on Tuesday to gain his party's nomination. Ironically for Adelson, Chaffetz (pictured) was the last lawmaker to defeat a big-name Republican incumbent for his party's nomination due to the issue of immigration. The pair's bill, dubbed the Restoration of America's Wire Act, has yet to be discussed in a hearing. According to another gaming source, lawmakers were "spooked" by Cantor's loss, adding that the defeat would call into question any action for or against online gambling. "If there is anything Washington hates, it's uncertainty," the source said. Other sources believed that the shock of Cantor's defeat could shelve even bigger issues, such as immigration reform, all the way through President Barack Obama's second term. "Internet gaming pales in comparison to immigration reform," the source said. "Not just internet poker, nothing is going to move forward in Washington." Adelson has continued to wage his one-man war against iGaming, asserting that the industry will exploit our society's most vulnerable, namely the very young and the elderly. Last week, he went so far as to instruct the Sands-owned Venetian in Las Vegas to bar PokerNews journalists from reporting on a live tournament due to the website's affiliation with online poker.
  11. The war against online poker from the Las Vegas Sands Corporation and its founder, Sheldon Adelson, ramped up this week, as PokerNews was turned away from reporting on its own sponsored MSPT event at the Venetian in Las Vegas (pictured). The Venetian, a Sands property, reportedly cited "site's affiliation with online poker," according to Pokerfuse. PocketFives has verified that the PokerNews reporting team was turned away from the event at the Strip casino, although PokerNews' Donnie Peters said he was "unsure" if online poker was the reason for the dismissal. Whether the site will be able to report on future Venetian poker events remains to be seen. PokerNews' Brett Collson Tweeted a statement from the Venetian regarding the incident: "Given our Chairman's clear position on the matter of online gaming, Venetian/Palazzo made a business decision to not allow an online blog during the MSPT event." A post on Two Plus Two announcing the news read, "According to a reliable source, Sheldon Adelson wouldn't allow PokerNews to report updates and chip counts from the nearly $1m MSPT Main Event currently being held at the Venetian. Apparently, a few PokerNews links to online poker were enough to cause their removal." Whether Adelson himself was behind the dismissal, or merely an executive at the Venetian mandated it, remains to be seen. As one poster said on Two Plus Two, "It seems a bit of a stretch to think that a billionaire CEO of a company with a bunch of properties around the world would somehow be aware that PokerNews is covering the Venetian tourney and their website has some links to online poker." According to Pokerfuse, "[PokerNews] reported live from the eight previous MSPT stops this season." Peters told PocketFives, "With each MSPT event, PokerNews Live Reporting comes as an option for the venue. Venetian decided not to pick up this option and PokerNews was given no specific reason. We are aware of Sheldon Adelson's stance against online poker, and would like to remind everyone that his stance is a hindrance to the growth of the game we all love. PokerNews remains committed to the MSPT as the tour continues to flourish and we look forward to providing live coverage. With 12 events remaining on the 2014 MSPT schedule, we encourage all poker players to attend one of the upcoming stops." The PokerNews incident aside, Adelson and the Sands Corporation have waged a war against online poker since 2014 began, forming the Coalition to Stop Internet Gamblingand prompting the introduction of two bills, one by Senator Lindsey Graham and one by Congressman Jason Chaffetz, that would eradicate online poker and internet gambling from the US by clarifying the Wire Act of 1961. His vociferousness has also reportedly caused the American Gaming Association to take a step back from championing legislation legalizing online poker in the US, instead moving to more of a backseat role. Adelson(pictured) has pledged to spend "whatever it takes" to stop regulated internet gambling from becoming a reality in the US and the two aforementioned bills, as written, would snuff out regulated online poker sites in New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware. Many poker players have pledged to stay away from the Venetian and Palazzo in Las Vegas, both of which Adelson's company owns and operates. In 2010, the Venetian ironically hosted a PokerStars-backed North American Poker Tour event whose feature tournament paid out nearly $1 million. Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest poker legislation news. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  12. In case you think that Las Vegas Sands head Sheldon Adelson (pictured) has a longstanding hatred for the internet gambling industry, you should check out an article from 2001 that appeared in the Las Vegas Sun. In it, Adelson charged that his company will "be in that ring," referring to the internet gambling arena, and praised lawmakers for pursuing pro-internet gambling legislation. Yes, that Sheldon Adelson. The same man who created the Coalition to Stop Internet Gamblingand said he'd spend "whatever it takes" to rid the US of internet gambling forever. As ESPN's "Monday Night Countdown" crew would say, "C'mon man!" According to the Sun in 2001, Adelson was "pleased that the Nevada Legislature has taken the lead in regulating internet casinos" and added, "Our hat will be in that ring, but I don't believe the US Congress or the current administration is very anxious to make it happen." The Las Vegas newspaper added, "Adelson said the ultimate acceptance of internet casinos may rest with the realization that billions of dollars are leaving the United States as gamblers play online casinos located offshore." He also stressed, "If more people accepted gaming, we'd also do well here." Just in case it weren't obvious, Adelson appeared to be pro-online gaming at the time, going so far as to say, "I applaud the gaming authorities in their efforts." And that was only 13 years ago. So what caused Adelson's about-face on internet gambling? As one poster on Two Plus Two joked of the now-81-year-old, "He was only 68 back then. You can't blame a guy for his youthful indiscretions. He was immature and looking to spread vice through the land. Now, he's a grown man and wants to prevent you from clicking mouses and losing houses." As posters on Two Plus Two pointed out, a sister company of the Venetianin Las Vegas, a Sands property, received an internet gambling license from Alderney in 2003. And, in perhaps one of the most hypocritical comments you'll ever see, Richard Depew, Venetian Interactive CEO, was quoted in the Sun as saying 11 years ago, "An internet gaming license in Alderney provides Venetian Interactive with some of the highest regulatory standards and controls in the industry, which supports our goal of providing a user-friendly gaming and entertainment experience in a totally secure and trusted environment." The statement's hypocritical nature stems from Adelson today questioning whether underage gamblers could be identified and rooted out in a regulated scheme. C'mon man! Sands has come out in opposition to rivals like Caesars Entertainment, which runs WSOP.com Nevadaand WSOP.com New Jersey and has been at the forefront of regulated internet gaming in the US. Perhaps Adelson's sentiments are more competitive-based as opposed to morally-based, but only time will tell. Sands has not yet opened an online gaming site in its home state of Nevada, one of three US jurisdictions with regulated gaming. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  13. GOP insiders say that casino tycoon and staunch internet gambling opponent Sheldon Adelson (pictured) could donate up to $100 million through various conservative political organizations and "dark money" channels in an effort to win back the Senate for Republicans in the upcoming midterm elections in the US. The 81-year-old billionaire will reportedly lavish the bulk of the cash on Americans for Prosperity, founded by the billionaire Koch brothers; Crossroads GPS, cofounded by political strategist Karl Rove; the Republican Jewish Coalition; and the US Chamber of Commerce. According to IRS rules, nonprofits are not required to divulge personal information of donors, effectively making Adelson's contributions untraceable. These groups have already spent millions on TV ads in battleground states like Colorado, Iowa, Arkansas, and North Carolina in the hopes of putting the Senate back in the hands of the GOP. Adelson, whose Las Vegas Sands casinos extend from Pennsylvania to Macau, is said to be worth $31 billion and has become infamous for writing mammoth checks to his preferred political candidates. In the 2012 elections, the casino mogul spent nearly $150 million in an effort to put a Republican in the White House. Against the urging of Mitt Romney supporters, Adelson dumped an extra $10 million on Newt Gingrich (pictured), singlehandedly propping him up in the race for President that year. With so much money up for grabs, political organizations and candidates alike have made it a requirement to meet with the octogenarian and trumpet his pet causes. Last spring, Adelson played host to RJC meetings at the Sands that featured Governors Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Chris Christie of New Jersey, John Kasich of Ohio, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. All four are potential 2016 Republican Presidential contenders. But as one of the driving forces behind online gambling in New Jersey, Christie might have to do a little more sucking up than the others. Adelson is vehemently opposed to internet gaming and has vowed to spend "whatever it takes" to put a stop to the industry in the US. As part of his campaign, the casino magnate has funded the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, which routinely releases over-the-top ads claiming that the industry will exploit and corrupt the nation's children. With a $15,000 donation, Adelson has enticed Senator Lindsey Graham into introducing a bill that would roll back the Wire Act, making online gambling explicitly illegal. Sources say that Americans for Prosperity has become one of Adelson's favorite "dark money" organizations. In 2012, the billionaire cut almost $15 million in checks to the group and continues to solidify ties with the Koch brothers-created institution. AFP is expected to spend nearly $125 million this year on conservative causes. Adelson spreads his tentacles widely with his funding largess, not only betting on Senate races, but also backing Governors, Congressman, pro-Israel groups, and anti-union drives. This year, he gave a public donation of $2.5 million to the Republican Governors Association and handed over the same amount to a Florida group fighting against the legalization of medical marijuana. Andy Abboud (pictured), who has appeared at several Congressional hearings as Adelson's representative and was once called hypocritical, has denied that Adelson will spend $100 million in the upcoming elections. "There is no set budget for this cycle," he said. More importantly, "any group that meets with us and leaks any information true or untrue gets cut off." Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  14. In what could be a significant blow to the regulatory movement for online gambling and poker in the US, the American Gaming Association – the powerful lobbying organization for the US casino industry – has withdrawn its support for legalization and regulation of the industry. According to the Wall Street Journal's Kate O'Keeffe, the reason the AGA has withdrawn its backing is simple: the industry leaders that make up the AGA's membership cannot come to a consensus regarding online gambling and online poker. Rather than attempt to mediate a solid platform for the organization to work from, the AGA has instead decided to back out of the battle entirely. The AGA's Chief Executive Officer, Geoff Freeman (pictured), remarked to O'Keeffe about the contentious battle that has gone on in the organization. He stated that, due to the disagreement between the major leaders in the industry, the AGA's stance regarding online gaming is "an issue that the Association cannot lead on." Freeman went on to say, "One of the things I've learned in this industry is we are extraordinarily competent at shooting at one another… The snipers in this industry are of the highest quality and, if you let that be the focus, we'll kill each other." Freeman told PocketFives, "The AGA Board, including members on all sides of the issue, collectively agree that the right role for its trade association is to advocate for the many issues that unite our industry, including the need for a more modern system of licensing and regulation, one that better recognizes the significant economic impact gaming contributes to local economies throughout the United States." While the major player against regulation, the Sheldon Adelson-led Las Vegas Sands Corporation, had not commented on the issue, Caesars Entertainment Executive Vice President of Communications and Government Relations Jan Jones Blackhurst simply stated to O'Keeffe, "On this issue, we've agreed to disagree," indicating that those who support online gaming and poker weren't going to battle Sands over the issue. Adelson is pictured. The decision by the AGA to pull out of the fight over online gambling and poker regulation is a stark departure from its stance only a few months ago. In testimony in front of a House committee in December 2013, Freeman testified to members of Congress that prohibiting online gaming "doesn't work" and that "the Government cannot put the internet back in the bottle." In January of this year, Freeman wrote an op/ed that spoke of regulation of the online gambling industry rather than an outright ban. Last August, Freeman said there was "great interest in a Federal poker-only solution." One of the groups that may be able to step in as a voice that the AGA once carried is the Poker Players Alliance. PPA Executive Director John Pappas was disappointed that the AGA is leaving the battle, saying to PocketFives, "The AGA has stated very clearly and publicly that they support sensible regulation of internet poker over a misguided prohibition. There is no backing away from that position. It is a shame they have chosen to be absent from this important debate, but as an industry association, they've decided to promote issues that have the full support of their membership." "This means that individual gaming companies will need to play a bigger role in advocating for internet gaming regulation," Pappas (pictured) continued. "It also means that the player community will need to be even louder in demanding that Congress and state legislatures act. The PPA will continue to help poker players, and all those who support iGaming regulation, through grassroots, public relations, and direct advocacy." Pappas added, "In the absence of the AGA, many gaming companies have supported the efforts of C4COP.com, which continues to be a strong advocate for regulation." Casino companies on the major financial markets have taken a bit of a hit with the news of the AGA's decision. MGM Resorts saw its stock price plunge from $24.09 per share to $23.90 in about an hour. Caesars Entertainment dropped from $18.29 to $18.09 per share in the same hour period and Boyd Gaming went from $10.51 to $10.35. Las Vegas Sands wasn't spared from the drop either, going from $73.49 per share to $72.84. Las Vegas Sands casinos include the Venetian and Palazzo in Las Vegas and Sands Bethlehem in Pennsylvania. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  15. The proposed deal between Amaya Gaming and the Rational Group, the parent company of PokerStarsand Full Tilt Poker, has brought the world's largest online poker room back into the discussions for New Jersey's online gaming industry. In response, an ally of Sheldon Adelson's (pictured) Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling has penned an op/ed for the Newark Star-Ledger that advocates for the PokerStars licensing process to be done under public scrutiny. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsafe, one of the leading suppliers of online gaming products worldwide and a major sponsor of Gumball 3000. Sign up now for great bonuses, €3,000,000 guaranteed monthly, and plenty of live events! --- Carl Zeitz, who was a member of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission (NJCCC) in the 1980s and is now an advisor to the Coalition, cited in his op/ed that PokerStars is on a "fast track" for review and licensing. Zeitz said that because PokerStars is being licensed as a "service provider" rather than a casino operator, the benchmark is to achieve. He added that the New Jersey online gaming industry "is being regulated without an open public process revealing the people and businesses running this socially and economically risky new gambling." Zeitz pointed out that during his time with the NJCCC, the organization and the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) were instrumental in setting a high standard for casino licensing. In 2011, however, the NJCCC was reduced from a five-member body to a three-member caucus, with many of the powers the organization had passed to the DGE. "The compromise and outright abandonment of the dual agency safeguards and systems now calls into question the kind of tough, open licensing and regulation we worked hard to achieve in New Jersey at the outset of legal casino gambling," Zeitz wrote. Zeitz went on to point out the issues that PokerStars has faced since the "Black Friday" indictments of 2011, saying that PokerStars "violated or continued to violate US laws with impunity." He added, "No such violator should ever be deemed fit to engage in a legal gambling business, especially if the law-breaking involved gambling statutes." "Who, in an open, contested, public hearing governed by due process will ask sworn witnesses the hard questions?" Zeitz asked. He then listed questions he would like to hear in such a hearing: What are the terms of the acquisition and financing by Amaya Gaming to purchase PokerStars? What is the stake of those under indictment (presumably meaning Isai Scheinberg and Paul Tate of PokerStars)? What lawsuits are pending against the company relating to prior bad acts by those being severed from the company? How will they be paid, how much, over how long a time frame, through what financing methods, and with what recourse against the company if it defaults? Zeitz finished his op/ed by stating, "PokerStars should face the scrutiny of a casino-licensing standard. They have not and, until they are, all of it is open to doubt." The Zeitz op/ed seems to be another method of attack by the Adelson-led Coalition in either delaying or preventing PokerStars from being licensed in the state of New Jersey, which is in danger of losing one-third of its 12 casinos in nine short months. The process of that licensing is, however, moving forward and may be completed by as early as this fall. Visit PocketFives' New Jersey poker community for the latest news and discussion from New Jersey players. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  16. Sheldon Adelson, the man who hates online poker with every fiber of his body, is going after internet gambling sites yet again. But this time, he may have a point. The Las Vegas Sands Corp., the company of which Adelson is the CEO, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada on Friday against 35 websites for trademark infringement. --- 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 now for a chance to win the a Dream Holiday with the Grand Poker Adventures throughout 2014! --- The websites appear to be Chinese gambling portals of some sort and appear to be making use of the Sands trademark as well as Chinese characters that are essentially the equivalent of the Sands trademark. In the lawsuit, Las Vegas Sands alleges that these websites are trying to make prospective online gamblers believe they are affiliated with Sands and, using the Sands name and image, trying to get people to register. For Adelson, seeing people sign up and play at offshore internet gambling sites is bad enough, but watching them be lured to those sites with his company's logo has to be gnawing at his brain. On top of that, the sites are targeting customers who could potentially play at his properties in Macau, from where he makes most of his money. In the lawsuit, the Las Vegas Sands Corp. made its case, stating, "The Sands marks are embodiments of the substantial goodwill and excellent reputation Las Vegas Sands Corp. and its predecessors have developed since 1952 as a premier provider of entertainment and casino services. As a result of the defendants' blatant exploitation of Las Vegas Sands Corp.'s trademarks without Las Vegas Sands Corp.'s consent, Las Vegas Sands Corp. has lost control over the Sands mark. It's not solely its casinos that Sands is concerned with. The company also fears that the message of Adelson's (pictured) anti-online poker lobbying group, the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, has been hurt by the unauthorized use of the Sands trademark. After all, who would take such a group seriously if its name were plastered all over Chinese internet gambling sites? Las Vegas Sands is seeking a "temporary, preliminary, and permanent injunction" prohibiting the defendants from using the Sands trademarks and "engaging in false or misleading advertising or commercial activities likely to deceive consumers into believing that any defendant is the plaintiff or that any defendant's services are associated or affiliated with, connected to, or approved by the plaintiff." One problem: Sands does not know whom it is suing. The domain names were all registered using privacy protection services that keep the personal information of the registrant out of the global WHOIS directory. Thus, Sands also wants the domain name registrars "to immediately remove or disable the current domain name server information for each of the domain names and place the domain names on hold and lock pending further order of the court." Las Vegas Sands is seeking compensatory, punitive, consequential, and/or statutory damages. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  17. In September of last year, New Jersey State Senator Raymond Lesniak hinted that PokerStars' approval to operate in the Garden State was imminent. But as the months pass by, many are wondering just what, exactly, is holding up the process. Speaking to Business Insider, several political insiders place the blame squarely on the shoulders of casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (pictured). "Christie put a stop to it," said Lesniak. "With a high degree of confidence, it's apparent that's exactly what has happened." The entry of PokerStars into the market could bring significant benefits to beleaguered Atlantic City. The site hopes to use its brand recognition and marketing prowess to sign up a new wave of online poker players. The gaming giant had also planned to invest $10 million in a showcase poker room at Resorts Atlantic City. Local union leader Bob McDevitt believes that PokerStars could bring upwards of 1,000 much-needed jobs to the community. So why would Christie, the Governor who once signed off on internet poker in New Jersey, delay something that seems like a clear win for the state? The answer is likely tied to Christie's personal ambitions of becoming commander-in-chief in 2016. Through massive donations to GOP candidates, Las Vegas Sands CEO Adelson(pictured) has become such a powerful force in American politics that right-wing presidential hopefuls are virtually required to pay homage to the billionaire and parrot his causes. Unfortunately for Christie, Adelson is vehemently opposed to online gambling and has been making good on his promise to spend "whatever it takes" to put a stop to it. That puts Christie in an awkward position, but delaying PokerStars' licensing could be a way for him to prove his loyalty in the eyes of the Republican mega-donor. Lesniak, who was instrumental in legalizing i-gaming in 2012, says it's common knowledge that Christie is doing Adelson a solid by blocking PokerStars. "It's pretty well known," he said. "But I don't think anyone's going to go on the record to confirm it." McDevitt was one of those who was willing to speak out, saying that, "PokerStars should have been already up and operating long before this point." He added that it was his own understanding that the Attorney General's office and the Governor were holding up approval. Another source was more resolute, saying, "There is no question in my mind that Sheldon Adelson is the reason why this hasn't moved forward, and that's the only reason." Christie has called the allegations that he put PokerStars on ice as a favor to Adelson "nonsensical." Christie's relationship with Adelson, however, is the subject of a biting New York Times piece, which questioned whether the two "friends" were acting in an inappropriate manner for a politician and a private citizen. While through the years, the Governor and his family have enjoyed perks like jaunts on Adelson's private jet, Christie claims that the men don't discuss issues like online gambling policy during such trips. Adelson, however, tells a different tale, once letting slip that the two discussed online gambling legislation. He implied that Christie wanted to veto the New Jersey i-gaming bill, "as Mr. Adelson would've wanted," but decided against it. He allegedly told the tycoon that the only reason he didn't use the veto was out of fear that the move would be overridden. Visit PocketFives' New Jersey poker community for the latest news and discussion from New Jersey players. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  18. The Sheldon Adelson propaganda machine is in full swing. Just a couple of days after PocketFives reported that Adelson met with Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee, the latter had its chance to grill Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC, pictured), who championed legislation from Adelson last Congressional session, spoke for about 75 seconds about the Wire Act during the hearing, the transcript of which is below: Lindsey Graham: Are you familiar with the decision by the Office of Legal Counsel in 2011 to basically say that the prohibition of the Wire Act was limited to sporting events and contests? Loretta Lynch: I am generally familiar with that. Lindsey Graham: Do you agree with that decision? Loretta Lynch: I haven't read that decision, Senator, so I am not able to really analyze it for you. Certainly, I think it was one interpretation of the Wire Act. Lindsey Graham: Would you agree that one of the best ways for a terrorist organization or criminal enterprise to be able to enrich themselves is to have online gaming that would be very hard to regulate? Loretta Lynch: I think what we've seen with respect to those who provide material support and financing to terrorist organizations [is that] they will use any means to finance those organizations. Lindsey Graham: I'm going to send you some information from law enforcement officers and other people who have been involved in this fight and their concern about where online gaming is going under this interpretation. Graham cut Lynch off at least twice during the conversation and seemed generally disinterested in her responses, instead using the critical confirmation hearings to spread Adelson's agenda. Consequently, it looks like we're in for another long year of Adelson (pictured), who owns the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, trying to ban online gambling in the US forever by updating the Wire Act. The law, originally passed when Adelson was 28 years old in 1961, was found to be applicable only to sports betting in a 2011 decision. One Olympics cycle later, that designation could be in jeopardy. Adelson's Sands owns the Venetian and Palazzo in Las Vegas and Sands Bethlehem in Pennsylvania. Why any player would step foot in any of his casinos is beyond this author's comprehension. You'll recall that PokerNews was even tossed from covering a live event at Venetian last year due to its online gaming ties. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  19. In case you're wondering why PokerStarshas not been approved for a license in New Jersey, the reason is that the site is in "time out," according to internet gambling advocate and State Senator Raymond Lesniak. Yes, PokerStars is in the same state my two-year-old son is in when he throws blocks at the television. The reason PokerStars is off the grid right now in the Garden State: Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson, of course. Lesniak posted on Twitter: Lesniak was kind enough to answer several follow-up questions to his Tweet and said that the cause of PokerStars being in time out is Adelson: "Christie just giving Adelson time during Congressional lame duck session to kill Egaming." There are strong rumors that we'll have a hearing about prohibiting online gambling during the upcoming lame duck session on Capitol Hill in the US. Whether a bill will be passed in some form remains to be seen. Lesniak was quick to point out that PokerStars' application has not been formally put on hold, but said his thoughts were based on "37 years of political insight." This author originally expected PokerStars in New Jersey around October 1. Now, it appears we could be waiting well into 2015. Despite plenty of gripe from the general public that New Jersey's internet gambling revenues have been lower than expected, it was recently revealed that Borgata's online gaming arm turned a profitin the third quarter. Borgata, of course, runs Borgata Poker. Regarding PokerStars, Borgata officials said during an earnings call that they expect the site to be in the market at some point: "With respect to PokerStars, once again we don’t have any insight or any knowledge. As we built the model to operate online gaming in New Jersey, we just assumed they would be involved at some point in time. So, that's the ultimate decision by the New Jersey regulators, then that's it. We'll be prepared to deal with it." At the federal level, Adelson (pictured) is supporting bills by Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) that would effectively prohibit internet gambling in the US and roll back the Wire Act of 1961. The bill, as presently written, would also wipe out the regulated internet gambling industries in Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware. According to the Poker Players Alliance, fantasy sports sits like FanDuel would continue to be permitted. The PPA declined to comment on Lesniak's Tweets. Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest poker legislation news. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  20. According to an article published on Monday on RedState.com, Sheldon Adelson's vaunted Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling is ironically being led by former lawmakers who were pro-gaming. Oops. The article singled out former New York Republican Governor George Pataki (pictured) and former Denver Democrat MayorWellington Webb, both of whom have been trumpeting the alleged evils of internet gambling to the masses without the masses realizing who they're listening to. According to RedState, "Gov. Pataki was labeled by The New York Times in 2001 as 'perhaps the most pro-gambling governor the state has ever had.'" The article went on to say that the New York Lottery tripled its revenues under Pataki's leadership to over $6 billion per year. It added, "Pataki pushed three gambling solutions to the New York state's runaway budget troubles: an expansion of the state lottery, a new Indian casino in Western New York, and slot machines installed in horse-racing tracks." Again, this is a top advisor to the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling. Why would a man who tried high and low to expand gambling when he was in office in New York seek to squash online gambling in the US just a decade later? RedState jabbed, "These days, Pataki claims the spread of online gambling will fuel terrorism networks and transnational organized crime as it makes money laundering easier." Then there's Webb, whom you likely recall said that "internet gambling is for chumps" in a recent Philadelphia Tribune article. Webb went all-out with the lottery as mayor of Denver, using its proceeds to fund parks around town. RedState explained, "Webb embarked on a plan to revitalize housing in downtown Denver using resources from the State Historic Fund, which is financed, in part, by gambling revenues." Webb's off-the-wall rant against online gambling in the Tribune equated internet gaming to "having a fast food restaurant in your living room" and "having an alcoholic in a bar 24-7." It took similes to a new level. Rather than push to eradicate the lottery in Colorado, however, Webb (pictured) apparently used gambling's fruits to the fullest extent. As RedState concluded, "Isn't it funny how neither Gov. Pataki nor Mayor Webb had a problem with gambling – or the 'chumps' it attracts – when it came to funding their favored government projects?" Poker Players Alliance Executive Director John Pappas perhaps said it best, telling PocketFives, "More evidence that this is not a real coalition of concerned Americans, rather it is a coalition of people willing to say whatever earns them a paycheck." According to its website, the Coalition believes that "targeting the young, the poor, and the elderly where they live, internet gambling takes gambling too far." Besides Pataki and Webb, other Coalition Chairs are former Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln and Former Speaker of the California State Assembly Willie Lewis Brown, Jr. As a reminder, Adelson's Las Vegas Sands Corporation operates the Venetian and Palazzo in Las Vegas and Sands Bethlehem in Pennsylvania. This author would advise against any PocketFiver spending any money at any of these properties. What do you think? Comment here and let us know. Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest poker legislation news. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  21. On Wednesday, Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson (pictured) spoke at the G2E gaming industry conference held his home casino, the Venetian in Las Vegas. Adelson, as you may know, said he'll spend "whatever it takes" to outlaw online gambling in the United States and has become public enemy #1 in our industry. The Poker Players Alliancefeatured a running commentary on Twitter during Adelson's keynote speech, which you can watch by clicking here. The organization started off by noting, "Adelson takes a direct swing at @PokerStars, says they are criminals trying to get a US license." PokerStars, which Amaya Gaming recently purchased along with Full Tilt Poker, appears close to launching in New Jersey and will perhaps do so as early as this month. Adelson appeared to stick to his usual script, including, according to the PPA, saying that you "cannot know your customer on the internet." The PPA retorted, "Hmmm, tell that to the US banking system." A motif from the PPA involved Adelson seemingly ignoring the fact that he owns brick-and-mortar casinos, three of them in the US: the Venetian and Palazzo in Las Vegas and Sands Bethlehem in Pennsylvania. At the same time, Adelson has been building his war chest courtesy of gamblers in Macau, yet at the same time is trying to undermine the expansion of online gaming. The PPA pointed out Adelson's hypocrisy in back-to-back Tweets: We'll keep you posted on the latest poker legislation news right here on PocketFives. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  22. In recent days, PokerUpdate and others have brought up the possibility of the Sheldon Adelson-backed Restoration of America's Wire Act (S 2159, RAWA) adding a carve-out for online poker during the so-called "lame duck" Congressional session in November. PokerUpdate reported on Saturday, "As Chris Grove reported from C5's US Online Gaming Conference, Bally Tech's John Connelly stated during a panel discussion, 'he expects a federal push to make 'everything other than poker illegal' this November.'" Adelson is pictured. PocketFives reached out to Poker Players Alliance(PPA) Executive Director John Pappas, who told us on Monday, "Senator Harry Reid has been very consistent in his support for regulated online poker, even if it is done at the state level, as is the case with his home state of Nevada. So, if there were a prohibition push during the lame duck session, I fully expect that Senator Reid would fight for a poker exemption." He warned, "To be clear, as far as I know, Sheldon Adelson, Senator Lindsey Graham, and Congressman Jason Chaffetz have not signaled any interest in a compromise to their bill that protects online poker." Graham and Chaffetz are the Republican lawmakers pushing RAWA through Congress. The measure would prohibit online gaming and eliminate the regulated markets in New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware. Congress returns to session the week of November 9 and is scheduled to break before Thanksgiving. If needed, the House and Senate could reconvene in December for any last-minute must-pass legislation like a budget bill to replace the one that expires on December 11. As Pappas put it, "There will be quite a few bills and issues on Congress' plate during the lame duck session, but lawmakers who support RAWA have said they intend to push for their bill." When asked if the PPA, which is the main lobbying voice for poker players on Capitol Hill, had reached out to Adelson, Pappas responded, "We have no reason to believe that Sheldon Adelson supports online poker in any form." Adelson has become public enemy number one for the online poker community despite speaking in support of regulation as recently as 2001. At the time according to the Las Vegas Sun, Adelson was "pleased that the Nevada Legislature had taken the lead in regulating internet casinos" and added, "Our hat will be in that ring, but I don't believe the US Congress or the current administration is very anxious to make it happen." He also wanted to "applaud the gaming authorities on their efforts." On Adelson's flip-flop, Pappas commented to PocketFives, "It's a well-documented fact Mr. Adelson has previously supported online gaming. In fact, even today, his Las Vegas casino [the Venetian]offers remote gaming to its customers. So, his newfound opposition has left a lot people scratching their heads." Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest poker legislation news. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  23. If you wanted to know where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV, pictured) stood on internet gambling, look no further than an article published on Friday in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. In it, Reid, clear as day, told the world, "I think the proliferation of gambling on the internet is not good for our country. I think it is an invitation to crime. I think it is hard to control for crime when you've got brick-and-mortar places, let alone something up in the sky someplace, and it is very bad for children." Yes, internet gambling is "something up in the sky someplace." Reid told the Review-Journal that he expects Republicans to initiate efforts to ban internet gambling when the new Congress convenes in January and, if that happens, he'll be in favor of an exemption for online poker. "I think there will be efforts made to look at the Wire Act in a Republican-initiated Congress," Reid told readers. "I think there will be efforts made to get rid of the Wire Act." According to the outgoing Senate Majority Leader, the only way to realize legalized online poker at the Federal level in the US is to prohibit other forms of online gambling in the process. He summarized, "Just to get poker alone is not going to work. We tried that." The Review-Journal explained the relationship that exists between Reid and billionaire Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas Sands owner who has vowed to spend "whatever it takes" to rid the US of internet gambling. Reid was quoted as saying, "Sheldon Adelson and I have been friends for a long time, but on politics he and I don't agree, so we don't do politics. I'm glad he joined my position (against internet gambling)." Did we mention the internet is "something up in the sky someplace"? Call it "series of tubes: the sequel." Maybe we'll see another remix: Adelson's bill, the Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)-led Restoring America's Wire Act, would have extinguished online gambling in the US, including in the three states where it's legal. It's unclear if there would have been a carve-out for poker or whether New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware would have been able to keep their industries intact. Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest poker legislation news. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  24. According to a report from the Washington Poston Thursday, "Lobbyists for Sheldon Adelson's Las Vegas Sands Corp. have been working in recent weeks to press for quick passage of [Restoring America's Wire Act], holding discussions with aides to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)." If you don't already know, RAWA would ban internet gambling in the US and wipe out the regulated markets in New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware. A hearing about RAWA in the House Judiciary Committee was reportedly scrappedamid backlash from figureheads like Grover Norquist and political groups like the American Conservative Union, but discussion on the bill does not appear to have stopped. According to the Post, Adelson (pictured), a longtime supporter of Republicans, and Reid, a Democrat, are closely tied even if they're on opposite sides of the aisle: "The two are political foes in many respects, but as fellow Nevadans they share an affinity for the home-state gambling industry. And Reid, facing a tough reelection in 2016, stands to benefit from continued warm relations. Even if Adelson is not a direct benefactor to Reid, he could minimize his role in the Nevada Senate race." In recent days, the Poker Players Alliance, the main lobbying voice for poker players on Capitol Hill, cautioned that there's a "very real chance this legislation could be tacked on to a non-relevant, must-pass bill at the last minute and passed into law… We're very concerned there could be a backroom deal brewing. Now more than ever, it is crucial that we remain vigilant to ensure political influence doesn't win out over what's in the best interest of consumers." The "backroom deal" the PPA referred to centers on dialogue among Adelson, Reid (pictured), and Boehner; the latter two control much of the agenda in the Senate and House, respectively. Las Vegas Sands lobbyist Andy Abboud, who was once called a hypocriteduring a House Subcommittee hearing, verified that discussions between Adelson's camp and top lawmakers have taken place: "I know they've had some discussions to some degree about when legislation could move and the need to address the issue. It's just not clear as to when the timing will be." Any bills not acted on by the close of the current Congress will be deemed dead and must be reintroduced in 2015 in order to be considered. Last week, Norquist (pictured) and the leaders of 10 other conservative groups penned a letterto Reid, Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) encouraging lawmakers to leave decisions about gambling up to individual states. "The states have always led the way in regulating gambling and that is why a diverse coalition of organizations… have already spoken out against this legislation," the letter read in part. "Regardless of your personal opinions on gambling, we encourage you to preserve the authority of the states to prohibit or regulate gambling as the 10th Amendment directs." The correspondence added that RAWA is an "assault on our Federalist system." The main spokesmen for Adeson's legislation in Congress are Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT). The latter will become the new Chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in January. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  25. In January, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) hijacked a critical Attorney General confirmation hearingto spread the gospel of Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson. The latter, whose properties include the Venetian and Palazzo in Las Vegas, has pledged to spend "whatever it takes" to rid the US of online gambling and online poker. Now, the Attorney General nominee has responded after Graham repeatedly cut her off during the hearing and showed little interest in what she had to say. As part of a 200-page documenton page 125, Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch (pictured) shared her thoughts on the Wire Act. The drama stems from a December 2011 interpretation of the Wire Act from the Department of Justice saying that the law, which was passed 50 years prior, only applies to sports betting. "If confirmed as Attorney General, I will review the Office of Legal Counsel opinion, which considered whether interstate transmissions of wire communications that do not relate to a sporting event or contest fall within the scope of the Wire Act," Lynch said to Graham and company in the document. She added, "It is my understanding, however, that OLC opinions are rarely reconsidered. If confirmed, I will read the opinion and if it articulates a reasonable interpretation of the law, I would welcome the opportunity to work with you and other members of Congress to address concerns about online gambling through legislation." There you have it, Sheldon (pictured). It doesn't look like Lynch, if confirmed, will overturn the 2011 decision. Whether we'll see legislation passed to ban internet gambling in the US, however, remains to be seen. Earlier this month, Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), reportedly at the behest of Adelson, reintroduced Restoring America's Wire Act, which would outlaw i-gaming in the US, including in the three states where it's already regulated. Chaffetz's office has failed to respond to repeated interview requests by PocketFives and the lawmaker has also failed to expound his interest in the industry. We'll keep you posted on the latest poker legislation news. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
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