Republican prudes take on online gambling

When billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson dangles money, Republicans tend to jump. Adelson is trying to protect his massive casino empire by opposing online gambling, trying his best to make it illegal.

Now politicians like Rick Perry, Nikki Haley and Bobby Jindal are jumping at the chance to impress Mr. Moneybags by coming out strongly against online gambling.

If you believe that the government should stay out of entertainment decisions made by citizens, can you support these clowns?

  

PokerStars wants to return to the US

Many things have changed since PokerStars got slammed by the US government. Check out the video for the story, but with many states putting together regulations to allow online poker, PokerStars wants to come back.

  

Entertainment money pours back into Las Vegas

Las Vegas is still having some issues following the economic crisis of 2008. Things have changed a lot in the city, and as a result we saw a collapse in the local real estate market. While visitor numbers are creeping up, gambling receipts are still a problem as Macau attracts so many of the world’s high rollers.

You wouldn’t be able to guess, however, if you pay attention to the shows and the nightclubs. Celine Dion just signed a $100 million extension with Caesars. and now there is speculation that Britney Spears could easily top that figure if she completes a deal as well.

Meanwhile, the biggest, newest casinos are killing it. Places like Aria and the Cosmopolitan are packed with the beautiful people, while the hottest clubs are packing them in again.

So Las Vegas continues to evolve. It still attracts the big time poker players, so it’s a mecca for that sport. As more people play online, looking to hone their skills and searching for the best bonus codes on sites like partycasino.com to grab more credits, it just creates more and more players who want to test their skills in person against the best in Las Vegas. If the feds ever get their act together and set up a federal regulatory system for online poker, the popularity will probably explode even more, and that’s very good for Vegas.

The key, of course, is dealing with all the distractions when you get there. Of course we all want to live like a high roller, but living that life has its costs. The booze, the women and the all-night parties make it a lot harder to be effective at the poker table for long stretches of time.

So the real key is discipline. Are you serious about being a winning poker player, or are you more concerned with bringing a hot babe to the Britney Spears concert? These are the choices you have to make. Win first, and then enjoy the festivities.

  

The future of online poker

There have been some startling developments in the poker world recently, and an article in Grantland sums up the future of online poker:

After 15 months of speculation, frustration, and general inertia, the former online poker players of America finally heard the good news on Tuesday. A deal had been struck between the online gaming sites Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars, and the Department of Justice. Another deal between the DOJ and Absolute Poker was reported with details forthcoming. The early details are startling: PokerStars, one of the three companies shut down last April, will purchase its former competitor, Full Tilt, and pay the U.S. government $547 million to settle a civil lawsuit the government brought against Full Tilt. A portion of that money will be used to reimburse U.S.-based Full Tilt players who had their accounts frozen during the shutdown. PokerStars agreed to directly pay back another $184 million to non-U.S. customers to settle their outstanding balances.

The agreement signaled the imminent return of online poker in the United States after a lengthy hiatus that damaged the poker industry with dropping television ratings, waning interest, and a litany of lawsuits against sites like Full Tilt. Nobody thinks that PokerStars would have invested $731 million without some certainty that online poker would soon be legal in the United States.

It’s worth asking, though: Has poker’s moment passed? Has the biggest fad in the past 25 years of gaming — one that spawned movies, TV series, clothing companies, hundreds of books, and its own pidgin language — given up the ghost?

It will be fascinating to see the rush of services out there once regulations are finally in place.

  

Federal poker legislation still on hold

Don’t expect Congress to get its act together on federal poker legislation.

Don’t hold your breathe if you’re waiting for the Federal Government to regulate online gambling. That’s the gist of remarks made by MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren at the Southern Gaming Summit in Biloxi, Mississippi last week.

“It won’t be here likely at a federal level because the federal government is doing what they are best at, nothing at all,” he said in his keynote address. “It will be done at a state-by-state level and (MGM) will be actively engaged.”

Murren pointedly criticized house Republicans for their inaction on Federal poker legislation, “If it isn’t happening, don’t blame Sen. Reid. Blame the House Republicans. That’s where it is being held up.”

A number of states are racing to bring intrastate online poker networks online in the wake of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) reversal on their interpretation of the Federal Wire Act last December. That move wasn’t necessarily as good for big casino companies like MGM Resorts as it might sound.

A patchwork of state-by-state gaming regulations creates major headaches for national firms looking for a piece of the poker pie. Another potential regulatory headache is that many states are likely to limit gaming licenses to companies with a physical presence in their borders.

The good thing is that the DOJ decision in spurring some action, even if it’s only at the state level so far. State action will then push the feds to do something.

  

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