Category Archives: Poker

Poker Legalization Bill Passes House Committee In Texas

Poker Legalization Bill Passes House Committee In Texas

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Lawmakers in the state of Texas have finally realized what many residents have been saying. That the game of Texas Hold’em poker is popular, and is currently being run underground because of laws in the state.

The Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee has passed through a Bill that would legalize the game of poker in Texas. The vote was 6-3 in favor of the Bill. The Bill is aimed at giving local communities the right to vote on whether to allow poker.

“The vast majority of communities in Texas will hold successful elections allowing Texas Hold’em at specific locations,” said State Director of the Poker Players Alliance, Mike Lavigne, “This is a smart way to allow local control over what will quickly become an economic development issue.”

Representative Jose Menendez is the sponsor of the Bill, and he feels that the current laws are driving people to play at underground games. He wants the laws to reflect the will of the society.

It is currently legal to play poker in Texas, but the house cannot profit from the games. Once the house or the dealers profit, the game becomes illegal. The new Bill would call for establishments to obtain poker licenses, and then to be taxed on their winnings.

 

Illegal Gambling Lottery Under Investigation In Greensboro

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When police showed up at the scene of an armed robbery attempt of C&S Jewelers, the last thing they were expecting was to find an illegal gambling operation. That is, however, what they discovered, according to Police Chief Tim Bellamy.

The owner of the store, Kim San, was shot during the robbery attempt. When authorities showed up, they found gambling paraphernalia at the store. Kin has denied any illegal gambling was taking place.

When questioned about the possibility of an illegal lottery being run out of the business, San was emphatic in his answer that nothing illegal was taking place. He told WFMY News 2, “no” when asked, “So your jewelry store is not a front for a gambling ring?”

During the gambling investigation, police seized large amounts of money from San’s home and business. They also seized receipts that they felt were being used for the illegal gambling.

It was a complex betting scheme consisting of several different forms of gambling. Sports bets were taken and an illegal lottery was also being run, according to the police. The robbery did not produce the gambling investigation, Vice Narcotics had been watching the store for several months.

The suspects in the shooting were not yet found by police. San’s daughter and wife were both at the store at the time of the shooting, but were unharmed.

Poker Legal Challenges Popping Up All Across US After Rulings

Poker Legal Challenges Popping Up All Across US After Rulings

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While the laws in states around the US are different involving what is legal and illegal gambling involving the game of poker, there is one area of the law that is almost the same in every state. Games of chance are considered illegal.

Poker has, for a long time, fallen under a grey area regarding the gambling laws. The Poker Players Alliance and other groups have argued for years that poker is a game of skill, not luck, and therefore should not be considered illegal.

Until recently, there had been no legal precedent set regarding poker as a game of skill or luck. Several prosecution cases, however, have fallen apart in recent weeks because judges have ruled the game to be one of skill.

Those rulings have already had a major impact around the US. People who have been pleading guilty to illegal gambling charges are now starting to challenge those charges in court. With precedent now set, it will become easier for lawyers to prove poker is a game of skill and get their clients cleared of any wrongdoing.

The Poker Players Alliance has received so many calls from people facing these gambling charges related to poker, that they have set up a network of lawyers around the country to assist in their court cases. So far, Pennsylvania and Colorado judges have made rulings in favor of poker being a game of skill.

The perception in the US that poker is illegal may be changing. Authorities are still raiding weekly poker games and using taxpayer money to do so, but if these cases keep getting thrown out of court, that practice may change.

Hundreds of people are currently facing charges around the US stemming from illegal gambling at poker games. With every judge that renders the game of poker one of skill, that number will gradually decrease until it no longer exists at all.

Philadelphia Casino Site Draws Lawsuit From Neighborhood Civic Groups

Philadelphia Casino Site Draws Lawsuit From Neighborhood Civic Groups

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A Foxwoods casino on the Delaware River and the SugarHouse casino a few miles up the river were overjoyed when they received the necessary licenses from the Philadelphia Gaming Control Board, now the two groups are facing opposition.

Civic groups in the neighborhoods of Pennsport, Society Hill, Old City, and Northern Liberties, and some individual residents have filed a Federal lawsuit.

In the lawsuit the groups claim that by allowing the casino it will bring added crime to the area, along with pollution and congestion.

The other area of the lawsuit is one of interest, the groups claim that former commission chairman Tad Decker should have taken himself out of the decision making process since he had ties to Cozen O’Connor, the law firm that represents Sugarhouses developer.

Decker has returned to the firm as their president and chief operating officer after leaving for three years to be the gaming board chairman.

The groups have already tried to disrupt the expansion of the two casinos by challenging the licenses in state court, but that attempt failed and they have now moved on to their Federal lawsuit.

Gambling Mecca Macau Has Corruption Trial Begin Against Top Official

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Billions and billions of dollars have been spent on building luxurious hotel and casino resorts in the city of Macau, so many, in fact, that Macau has become the gambling capital of the World.

On Monday, however, some of the building of these resorts came under scrutiny as a trial began against a former secretary for transport and public works official was ready to begin standing trial for 76 counts of corruption.

The trial focuses around Ao Man-long, the former official who is accused of money laundering, abuse of power, and accepting bribes. The trial could take up to a month as there are over 100 witnesses that are set to be called to the stand.

Ao was said to have taken millions of dollars in kickbacks from developers to help speed up the construction of the city’s multi billion dollar casinos.

Prosecutors claim that Ao has accrued over $100 million over a seven year period. That number is nearly 57 times his income as the top policy secretary.

The arrest came as a shock to many in the industry as he was the one that gave the approvals for land sales to the property developers of these lavish casinos.

Pennsylvania Court Administrator Stole Seized Gambling Money

Pennsylvania Court Administrator Stole Seized Gambling Money

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It is common practice during police raids around the US that money and other illegal gambling paraphernalia are seized during raids. People have long wondered where exactly all of that seized money goes.

In Pennsylvania, the answer comes in the form of Luzerne County Court Administrator William T. Sharkey Sr. He was indicted and will plead guilty on charges that he stole over $70,000 in gambling money that had been seized.

The way he ran the scam was to have county judges sign forfeiture orders for the funds. Then, instead of transferring the money into the County Treasurers Office, he re-routed it for his personal use. The money was also never filed into the court records.

Sharkey has already worked out a plea agreement with prosecutors in which he will repay all of the money that he illegally stole. That may come at the expense of his house, car, and state pension fund. He still faces up to ten years in prison as well.

The indictment of Sharkey will certainly raise eyebrows around the country. For years officers have been seizing money from gambling raids. Sometimes authorities take all the money in someones house when they make arrests. Questions have been raised before as to where that money has gone.

Gambling Operation At The Forefront Of Another Mafia Bust

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In the state of New York it has become common place to have police bust up mafia operations. It occurred again on Wednesday when thirteen alleged members of the Genovese crime family were charged with various crimes.

Gambling, as it is in most mafia cases, was at the forefront of the charges. The indictment that was unsealed refers to the “operation of illegal gambling businesses.” The men were also charged with extortion, narcotics trafficking, and loansharking.

Of the thirteen people that were charged, six of them were arrested early Wednesday morning. The other seven were either in the process of turning themselves in or were already in custody from other charges.

Among the arrests was a former acting boss for the Genovese crime family. Several of his soldiers were also picked up in the raid. Thomas Tassiello, another Genovese family member was charged in a separate indictment on charges of extortion and racketeering.

The sting stems from the crime family shaking down local businesses, mainly bartending school owners in both Jersey City and Manhattan. Genovese soldiers reportedly took over the businesses after the owners could make their payments on loansharking debts.

Patrick Claims Gambling Issue Not Dead In Massachusetts

Patrick Claims Gambling Issue Not Dead In Massachusetts

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Governor Deval Patrick wants to bring casino gambling to the state of Massachusetts. He claims that it would bring necessary help to the budget deficit in the state.

A proposal that he unveiled to legislators to bring the legalized form of gambling to the state was met with resistance. Legislators said no to the proposal, leaving the issue for dead.

Patrick claims, however, that the issue will resurface, and that eventually legalized casino gambling will make its way to Massachusetts. Some believe he is hopeful that when opposition leader Salvatore DiMasi, Speaker of the House, departs, the Bill will once again move forward.

Patrick has different reasons for believing the issue will be resurrected. He claims that the financial troubles will force something to be done to raise money for the state.

He also believes that the efforts of the Wampanoag Indians to build a casino of their own, will force lawmakers to consider getting in on the action before it is too late.

DiMasi was the leader against Duval’s plan, which would have legalized casino gambling at three locations throughout the state.

Gambling Machines Confiscated In Texas, Charges Could Follow

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The state of Texas is leading the way when it comes to cracking down on illegal gambling machines. The state has made several busts in the last few months, and is continuing its efforts to stop the illegal gambling.

At the center of the police’s attention this time were five local convenience stores and a game room. Police had been investigating the rooms before they raided the establishments.

“We sent people in undercover to play the games,” said Richmond Police Sgt. Lowell Neinast. He claims the undercover operation was to find out if people were receiving any rewards when they won on the machines.

They found that store owners were paying out winners with cash, or with prizes worth more than $5. State law says that prizes cannot be awarded that are worth more than $5.

Forty five machines were confiscated after search warrants were issued. The machines were taken from, Stop N Save, Speedy Express, Texas Super Food, Corner food Mart, Richmond Exxon, and a game room in a strip center.

Charges have not yet been filed, but the owners of the locations where the machines were taken from will be the most likely people charged. Operating gambling facilities would be the likely charges.

PartyGaming And US Reach Historic Online Gambling Resolution

PartyGaming And US Reach Historic Online Gambling Resolution

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The ongoing drama that was PartyGaming Plc. versus the US has finally come to an end. PartyGaming has announced early this morning that an agreement has been reached between themselves and the US.

Speculation had been building as to what the final agreement would amount to. In the end, PartyGaming agreed to pay $105 million to the US in exchange for no prosecution for their conducting online gambling business in the country.

“The resolution of our position with the US authorities marks an important day for PartyGaming,” said the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Jim Ryan, “It has been a long and complex process but we have reached an amicable solution with the USAO that makes commercial sense for our business and is in the best interest of our shareholders.”

In the Statement of Facts that accompanied the agreement, PartyGaming admitted that they had been taking bets from players in the US. They also agreed to stay out of the US online gambling market in light of the current laws. In exchange, the US agreed to no further prosecution of PartyGaming.

In 2006, US lawmakers voted in favor of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. That law was supposed to be the end-all of Internet gambling in the country. What has happened, however, is that the law has been accused of being vague and millions of residents in the US are still gambling online.

US Representative Barney Frank is expected to introduce legislation that would overturn the UIGEA, but in light of the economic conditions, the Bill has taken a back seat for Frank who is the House Finance Committee Chairman.

While PartyGaming and many other foreign companies have pulled out of the market after the UIGEA, others are weathering the storm and still servicing the demand of millions of Americans.

The agreement between the US and PartyGaming has been rumored to be close for several months. Many people following the story expected that the negotiations would have netted more money for the US after one of PartyGaming’s founders, Anurag Dikshit, plead guilty in US court to offering illegal gambling services and agreed to pay $300 million.

The deal announced this morning could have major implications for PartyGaming in the immediate and distant future. Shares in the company are expected to spike after this news reaches investors.

The bigger picture, however, indicates that if, and when, US online gambling laws are changed, PartyGaming would be a candidate to receive licensing and re-enter the US market.

The financial terms of the agreement may not be met until 2012. PartyGaming will have the option of paying the $105 million in eight semi-annual installments, but the money is the smallest of details. As for the future of Internet gambling in the US, and PartyGaming’s role in it, Ryan offered a hint of what may be to come.

“We’re hopeful that, in the fullness of time, the new (Obama) administration will take steps to regulate it (online gambling).”