by Haley Hintze
POKERSTARS INKS PARTNERSHIP WITH RESORTS CASINO ATLANTIC
PokerStars parent Rational Group has announced a deal with Atlantic City’s venerable Resorts Casino AC to offer online gaming in New Jersey. The casino, New Jersey’s oldest, is no longer a part of the Resort’s International family, and is instead operated by Mohegan Gaming Advisors, the management group behind Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun. The new deal is tentative, pending regulatory approval.
BWIN.PARTY SETTLES WITH KENTUCKY FOR $15 MILLION
Commonwealth of Kentucky officials have announced a $15 million settlement to be received from bwin.party, the operators of PartyPoker, for Party’s pre-UIGEA (2006) services offered to Kentucky residents. Bwin. party’s pre-merger precursor, PartyGaming, was targeted by Kentucky officials in a separate lawsuit in 2010, apart from the state’s infamous 2008 seizure attempt launched against 141 online gambling-related domain names. The $15 million adds to $6 million Kentucky recently received from a claim attached to the federal “Black Friday” case.
ULTIMATE POKER, TRUMP SIGN NEW JERSEY PACT
by Wendeen H. Eolis
Just as the 2013 World Series of Poker was beginning to wind up its engines for the main event at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX-) rolled into town for his third visit to the annual WSOP; this time to rev up support for his updated poker bill in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Poker Players Alliance hosted a Town Hall Meeting designed to preview Barton’s online gambling bill HR 2666, the “Internet Poker Freedom Act of 2013,” which was subsequently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, July 12.
While the PPA has been beating the drums for Barton’s “poker only” bill it is also applauding the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act of 2013 (HR 2282) introduced by Congressman Peter King (R-NY) last month. The King bill proposes “poker plus” other casino game options excluding, sports bets.
Unity is hard to come by in the business of online gambling and this week, from out of the blue, came a new wrinkle in the debate of online gambling consumer protections. The complexities in bringing online gambling to U.S. players seamlessly across the country grows at every turn, and so does the cast of characters with unique skin in the legislative game—at both the state and federal level.
Barton and King—Different Visions
On Thursday, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) introduced HR 2666, the The Internet Poker Freedom Act of 2013. This bill would license and regulate online poker in the United States. You can read the bill here.
The legislation is similar to a bill Congressman Barton sponsored in 2012 regarding online poker and addresses many of the concerns raised in previous Congressional hearings on the subject. The new bill focuses exclusively on Internet poker, as opposed to H.R. 2282 an online gambling bill recently introduced by Rep. Peter King (R-NY) that includes online casino games in addition to poker. Rep. Barton’s bill also mandates technologies to protect consumers from fraud and limits underage access, preserves state’s rights, and ensures Indian Tribes have the same rights to apply for a license as other entities. Additionally, the bill:
By Debbie Burkhead
On April 30 Ultimate Poker launched the first regulated real money poker site in Nevada. I was thrilled to be able to sit on the couch and play poker again, feeling secure that my money was safe because the site is regulated by the Nevada Gaming Commission. With that said, I started playing the following day, but I was somewhat disappointed in the software after playing on more sophisticated sites prior to Black Friday.
Even though the site had some areas that needed improvement, it was still nice to be able to play from the comfort of my home. After a few days of playing, I called my contact at Ultimate Poker and voiced my concerns. The Ultimate Poker Team was more than cordial and agreed to answer the following questions.
Q: Did Ultimate Poker launch a strip down version just to be the first legal, real-money poker site in the country?
By Shari Geller
Today, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) introduced the “Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act of 2013” which will legalize online gambling and address the regulatory uncertainty surrounding online gambling resulting from a December 2011 Justice Department ruling.
After years of prohibiting online gambling, DOJ’s 2011 ruling made online gambling of every type, except sports betting, legal at the federal level if it is lawful at the state level. But while online is legal, it is not uniformly regulated, the operators are not licensed, and consumers lack protection from fraud and abuse. With states approaching this issue piecemeal, it can lead to conflicting or inconsistent laws from state-to-state, varying levels of consumer protection, and a perverse incentive for a race-to-the-bottom on standards to attract gaming operators and revenues.
by Wendeen H. Eolis
Last March poker aficionados attending the annual “ATLARGE” gathering in Atlantic City, were energized like never before. The buzz in the Atlantic Club and Casino and Hotel (ACC) poker room that weekend was all good news. PokerStars, a staunch supporter of the online poker community had announced its intentions to purchase the Atlantic Club Casino and Hotel (ACC), the property at which they were meeting. New Jersey had recently legalized online poker. And the world’s largest and most popular online poker site was poised to obtain an Interim Casino Authorization (ICA). PokerStars had fast plans to take online poker forward in a big way on these American shores.
The ATLARGE revelers along with ACC personnel and associates of PokerStars celebrated together their expectations of a fast slam dunk deal. Steve Eisenstein, a member of the law firm Lum, Drasco, and Positan, LLC, and an avid poker enthusiast was one of the attendees at the ATLARGE festivities; he could not have imagined at that time what would come of the deal, all too soon. Two months later, the New Jersey law firm at which he practices was hired by PokerStars to sue the ACC in an effort to preserve its investment and protect its plans to purchase the ACC property. It was the Firm’s first engagement with Poker Stars according to Eisenstein, who was otherwise more circumspect than informative as to the possible next steps in this progressively messy situation. He is schooled in the ways of big companies. He offered up the PokerStars’ Director of Communications, Eric Hollreiser as the right man for media inquiries.
by David “The Maven” Chicotsky
How we approach tournaments will have an affect on the way we play. We’re aware going in that there will be ups and downs - that we’ll need to make many correct decisions if we want to have a chance at getting to the final table. When bad things happen while we’re playing, we need to be able to hit the proverbial reset button. Tournaments are long poker marathons where it is necessary to make many correct decisions, and it only takes one mistake to knock you out.
There are many things that set off poker players and make them lose their mind. When a player loses a big hand, they’re all of a sudden more likely to play in a polarized fashion: go into a shell and play extremely tight, or go on tilt and spew their chips off. Recognizing this, we must be very precise with how we play after we (or our opponent) lose a big hand. These are the times at the table where there is a strong connection between the last hand and the present hand.
Time to go public. My behind the- scenes campaign to protect Internet poker has failed.
LAS VEGAS, NV - On Sunday, May 5, amateur poker player Daniel Healey of Las Vegas, NV came in first place at Ultimate Poker’s first $10,000 SundayTournament at UltimatePoker.com, making history as the winner of the first legal, real money online poker tournament to be held in the United States.
The historic $10,000 Sunday Tournament capped at 200 players, with Healey taking home a first place prize of $4,173.
“It is really exciting to be a part of history, winning the first tournament,” Healey remarked. “I have been keeping up with the news updates and poker blogs ever since BlackFriday hit and was extremely excited to hear that legal online poker is here. I am excited to be living in Nevada and playing my favorite game.”
“Since going live on April 30, there has been no downtime whatsoever, and demand to play in our first $10,000 Sunday Tournament exceeded our expectations,” remarked Joe Versaci, Ultimate Gaming Chief Marketing Officer. “We ended up reaching our 200 player cap 45 minutes before the tournament opened.”
By Wendeen H. Eolis
The surprise move in the gambits of gaming companies seeking to position themselves for future fortunes in the online and commercial gaming market came last week from an unlikely source, the Atlantic Club Casino and Hotel (ACC) in Atlantic City New Jersey. The casino insulted Rational Group U.S. Holdings (PokerStars), dismissing its friendly bid and preliminary agreement to buy the property, suddenly, as too little too late.
PokerStars did not take the insult or the alleged injury to its plans lying down. On May 5, PokerStars responded with a lawsuit and yesterday the online poker behemoth followed up, marching into court to obtain a temporary restraining order against the casino company [Read the Court Filing]. It was granted a preliminary injunction that prevents a fast sale to any other suitor while PokerStars makes it case to complete the purchase if it can obtain an Interim Casino Authority from New Jersey regulators.
For the moment, PokerStars claims in scathing allegations of bad faith on the part of the ACC, its continued intentions to proceed toward completion of the purchase, noting the considerable investment it has already made in the property.