Adelson Recruits State AGs with Letter associated with the Law to Congress

Vehement anti-online gambling proponent Sheldon Adelson is gathering state AG signatures towards Congressional action (Image: Bloomberg)

Sheldon Adelson has ample money to wage an one-man campaign against the spread of on the web gambling in the United States if he wants to. But that cash also makes the Las Vegas Sands CEO a guy of great influence, meaning Adelson can find himself in sometimes the company of effective friends.

Gathering John Hancocks

That appears to be the case this week, as at the very least 10 state attorneys basic have signed onto a letter from Adelson asking members of Congress to simply take steps to make sure online gambling is unambiguously illegal within the usa. And that letter has now gone on to leaders that are congressional as well as both the home and Senate Judiciary committees.

The letter is one of the primary major salvos in Adelson’s lobbying effort, which seeks to simplify federal legislation to once again stop states from regulating online gambling on their very own.

‘Online gambling exacerbates problems connected with gambling addiction and we’re proud to be working with amount of other states to handle the matter,’ read Sheldon Adelson’s official letter.

The most prominent AGs on the letter include Missouri’s Chris Koster, Nebraska’s Jon Bruning and South Carolina’s Alan Wilson. The page was initially presented to the Republican Attorneys General Association year that is last Las Vegas Sands Corp., although the variety of AGs on the page does include Democrats as well (such as Koster). State attorneys general are considered a group that is important target with regards to the gambling industry, because they’re the top appropriate authorities in each state, and would be tasked with enforcing online gambling laws.

PPA Fights Straight Back

However, there’s lots of lobbying being done against Adelson’s effort, too. The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) happens to be working to target the attorneys general of various states because well, asking their users and supporters to contact their AGs and other officials in their states to be able to show support for state and federal-level online gambling. According to PPA executive director John Pappas, supporters have actually sent a lot more than 9,000 letters and nearly as numerous Tweets to mention officials, in an effort to fight Adelson’s voracious lobbying.

‘We’re working overtime to make sure the letters don’t gain momentum among state AGs,’ Pappas said. ‘We understand 10 have signed already, so we’re hoping we can change their minds as well.’

Based on Pappas, Adelson’s ultimate goal is to get Congress to pass legislation that would strengthen the 1961 Wire Act to prohibit all gambling that is online. This is, in reality, the interpretation that is original of statute, but a 2011 reinterpretation by the U.S. Department of Justice determined that regulations only applied to sports betting, and never to casino games or poker.

This type of change could create a nightmare that is legal states like Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware, each of which has already legalized, regulated and launched on line gambling, centered on current legislation. It could also stop efforts to push online gambling in other states inside their tracks. Even the presence for the letter might cause states considering gambling that is online give pause which is no question precisely the effect Adelson is targeting.

Adelson’s efforts may also be being opposed by Representative Joe Barton, who may have introduced legislation that will control on-line poker during the level that is federal.

‘Our office is conscious of the letter, but we’re nevertheless actively working on Mr. Barton’s poker bill that we have one uniform set of rules,’ said a spokesman for Representative Barton because it is the only way to ensure.

Dutch Courts Find that Poker is not Gambling Sometimes

A ruling that is recent a Dutch court discovered that poker isn’t gambling; but the law remains obscure (Image: fineartamerica)

Anyone who has ever played poker knows that there’s plenty of gambling involved in this game that is great. But it’s different kind of gambling you run into when blackjack that is playing slots, or just about every other game in a casino.

There’s plenty of skill involved, you’re not playing up against the house, and better players can not just expect to make money playing at minimum over the run that is long can even make a full time income off of the game if their skills are sharp enough to do so. That raises some tricky questions when it comes to gambling regulations in many jurisdictions, where games of skill may be addressed very differently under regulations than pure games of chance.

Courting the Law

These issues have now arrived at a relative head in the Netherlands, as an Amsterdam court has ruled that the organizers of poker tournaments in that country are not liable of breaking the country’s gambling laws. This was due to the known proven fact that according to the court the game of poker is not gambling as defined under Dutch law.

That dedication came after seven years of battling over the full situation, which began in 2007. At that time, the Café de Viersprong Bussum had been a regular host of €10 ($13.67) buy-in poker tournaments. When police found out, the tournaments were shut down, and owners Richard Blaas and Rene Kurver were accused of hosting a gambling contest that is illegal.

The ruling arrived after extensive research by the court to determine exactly how skill that is much active in the game of poker. Although there was a long wait, the courts eventually agreed utilizing the defendants that the ability factor in poker was substantial enough for the game not to be viewed gambling under current law.

Reiterates Previous Advice

This is the time that is second recent memory that a Dutch court has made such a determination. In 2010, defendant Steven van Zadelhoff was also found not bad after he hosted poker tournaments. In that case, the courts also unearthed that poker as a game of skill had been exempt from Dutch video gaming guidelines.

In an interview with a PokerNews, Dutch lawyer Peter Plasman said that despite the two similar verdicts, there’s still no certainty whenever it comes to poker that is hosting in the Netherlands.

‘The problem is the fact that Dutch gambling law is unclear and it does not offer a definition that is precise of games should be considered of opportunity and which ones cannot,’ Plasman said. ‘Now, the court ruled that poker is maybe not [a game of chance], and things are meant to change as the court has the final word.’

However, Plasman added that there isn’t any guarantee that future tournament organizers wouldn’t be targeted by police.

‘ The prosecutor has got the right to intervene, to stop the tournament and also to sanction the organizer,’ Plasman said. ‘There remains much to be performed before we can start thinking about this an issue that is closed. There could possibly be another judge, someplace, ruling that poker is a game of chance.

‘The reality that two different courts found the conclusion that is same make the prosecutor say that it’s time to prevent bringing people in front of criminal court…but I can’t be certain,’ the attorney added.

In the meantime, prosecutors are still determining whether they wish to allure the ruling in this situation. Holland is also likely to implement new gambling laws in 2015, which could help better define what is legal and just what is forbidden regarding video gaming in that country.

Caesars Harrah’s Philadelphia Under Fire for Racetrack Conditions

The racetrack attached to Harrah’s Philadelphia casino in Chester, PA is shut down by racing authorities until it resolves track issues (Image: Harrah’s Philadelphia)

Nobody ever said running a casino conglomerate was easy. The CEO of any major casino company better have a firm grip on ways to keep calm and carry on, as the modern vernacular says whether facing budget deficits, collapsing partnerships, or regulatory scrutiny.

And Caesars Entertainment Corp. has truly experienced more than its reasonable share of most of the above: whether carrying the debt load that is largest of any casino company ever sold, walking out on a prospective Suffolk Downs alliance in Massachusetts, or getting taken to task by that state’s Gaming Commission for a six-degrees-of-separation alleged link with someone whom the commish didn’t see as entirely kosher.

Shape Up or Else

Now you can truly add ‘potential casino closure’ to that list of dreaded happenings, after Pennsylvania authorities power down Harrah’s Philadelphia’s adjoining harness race track because of issues that are unresolved the track’s racing surface. Along with just a little more than a month prior to the track’s 2014 official racing period begins on March 8, this will be a closing of no inconvenience that is minor.

Much more problematic is the reality that Pennsylvania gaming regulators could shut down the casino it self if the racetrack issues are not put to bed.

The suburban Philadelphia-area racetrack’s problems started whenever the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission suspended the casino’s racing activities, noting that the organization had maybe not only didn’t resolve the track area issues, but had consistently missed opportunities to tell racing commissioners the way they plan to resolve the problems. A racetrack must have a ‘written live racing agreement with a horsemen’s organization’ in an effort to keep their gaming license valid, according to Pennsylvania law.

After a crash that is serious in a track driver being tossed out of sulky and afterwards trampled by another horse when he hit the ground, motorists began to publish complaints about the track conditions with racing authorities. Now the Harness Racing Commission which operates beneath the auspices associated with the Department of Agriculture has threatened to suspend the entire 2014 racing period until they have more tangible information on the issue through the track’s management.

More Fines for Violations

This is not the problems that are only’s Philadelphia has been facing of late, either. In the beginning of the new year, the casino was fined $90,000 by state regulators $70,000 for credit issuance violations and $20,000 for allowing an underage girl to enter, gamble on slots, and are drinking alcoholic beverages in April 2013. The credit violations revolved around a lack of protocol for regulations and internal controls that occurred between July 2010 and January 2013.

As far as the racetrack issues are concerned, while Caesars Entertainment senior vice president Jan Jones said in a contact the ‘issue will be solved,’ the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s spokesman Doug Harbach says they are nevertheless watching and waiting, and ‘will continue to monitor the problem closely.’

There’s a whole lot at stake into the matter; as you of Caesars Entertainment’s Eastern Division properties (included with their four Atlantic City casinos) Harrah’s Philadelphia ranked #4 out of 12 of Pennsylvania’s gambling enterprises, pulling in $310.87 million in video gaming profits year that is last. The Chester, Pennsylvania casino’s racetrack is one of five that are certified in the state.