Posts Tagged ‘state’

NJ State Sen. Ray Lesniak Introduces Bill to Expand Online Gambling Internationally

 NJ State Sen. Ray Lesniak Introduces Bill to Expand Online Gambling Internationally

One of online poker’s most fervent supporters in the political world, New Jersey State Senator Ray Lesniak, has one more trick up his sleeve before he retires. Late last week, Lesniak introduced a bill that would effectively allow New Jersey to enter into agreements with other countries in order to share player liquidity.

The bill, S3536, amends the portion of New Jersey law that legalizes online gambling. Most of the bill is what already exists, detailing the history of gambling in the state, the benefits of gambling (as well as regulation) for the state, and the legalization of internet gaming.

One of the key points of New Jersey’s online gambling law is that the gaming servers must be located in Atlantic City:

….all hardware, software, and other equipment that is involved with Internet gaming will be located in casino facilities in Atlantic City or in other facilities in Atlantic City owned or leased by a casino licensee and thereby considered to be part of a casino hotel facility that are secure, inaccessible to the public, and specifically designed to house that equipment, and where the equipment will be under the complete control of a casino licensee or its Internet gaming affiliate.

But then comes Senator Lesniak’s amendment. He starts by explaining that online gambling has been of great financial benefit to the state and that the market for internet gaming internationally is growing quickly:

In the coming years, the global online gambling market is expected to see a compound annual growth rate, and the largest share of online gambling revenue comes from Europe totaling nearly $ 15 billion a year and growing at a faster rate than the rest of the world; and

Since its inception under P.L.2013, c.27 (C.5:12-95.17 et al.), Internet gaming has resulted in economic benefits to Atlantic City and to this State, and is estimated to have produced, within the first three years of implementation, approximately $ 998 million in economic output, over 3,000 jobs, $ 219 million in employee wages, and $ 124 million in tax revenues, of which $ 84 million derive from Internet gaming revenue alone. The provisions in this act, P.L. c. (C. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), permitting Internet gaming equipment to be located outside of the territorial boundaries of Atlantic City if necessary to facilitate the conduct of international wagering, would increase the economic benefit of Internet gaming to Atlantic City and to this State.

And then, right near the end of the bill, comes the kicker, “The division may permit Internet gaming equipment to be located outside of the territorial boundaries of Atlantic City if the division deems it necessary to facilitate the conduct of international wagering permitted under this section.”

Thus, if this bill passed, poker players located in New Jersey would presumably eventually have the ability to play on sites not based in New Jersey. One would assume the New Jersey regulators would have to approve of individual operators and come to agreements with regulators in other countries. When this happens and the player pools of international sites merge with those of New Jersey, player traffic would jump, hopefully attracting more and more players and, in turn, generate more tax dollars for the state.

The current New Jersey legislative session ends January 9, 2018, so Lesniak has a month if he wants to see the bill passed while he is still a Senator.

The post NJ State Sen. Ray Lesniak Introduces Bill to Expand Online Gambling Internationally appeared first on Poker News Daily.

Poker News Daily

Floridians Could Decide Future of Poker, Greyhound Racing in the State

 Floridians Could Decide Future of Poker, Greyhound Racing in the State

As debate regarding the industry rages on, a proposed constitutional amendment could put the decision on the future of greyhound racing – and, by extension, live poker – in the hands of the voters of Florida.

Florida’s greyhound racing industry has for decades been a major draw for gamblers – and for the Florida government, a bonanza of tax revenues – but it has fallen on hard times of late. Deaths of racing greyhounds, drugging issues and other grievous injuries to the animals have been a part of the bad news that has affected those in the business. The Florida Constitution Revision Commission, which has the power to put different constitutional issues on the ballot for the 2018 midterm elections, is considering putting a resolution up that would let the voters have the power of whether to shut the lucrative but under siege industry down or not.

“This is, for me, a matter of conscience,” commission member and state Sen. Tom Lee, a Thonotosassa Republican who is sponsoring the proposal, stated to the Florida Times-Union’s Jim Saunders. “Our society has changed. We are evolving as a people. We are becoming more sensitive to those who occupy this world with us, regardless of their species, and to those who are going to follow us for generations to come. And that’s a good thing.”

The General Provisions Committee decided on Thursday to put the potential resolution in front of the entire Executive Committee. Called Proposal 67, the resolution would ban greyhound racing effective December 31, 2019. According to Saunders, the original plan was for the ban to be slowly phased in with an effective date of July 21, but the General Provisions Committee moved up the date. “We should do this as quickly as we feasibly can,” commission member Brecht Heuchan said to Saunders.

There is a lengthy history of greyhound racing in Florida, dating back to the 1930s. With the advent of horse racing and, to some extent, casino gaming, the greyhound racing industry has had difficulties. That was changed when, in the mid-2000s, the greyhound and horse racing tracks could start offering live poker at severely restricted limits.

Within time, poker became a major part of the greyhound tracks. In 2010, the restrictions on poker were lifted and the industry exploded, bringing many of the major poker tours to the state. Cash games, once limited to just limit games, became plentiful and lucrative at the greyhound tracks. But there has always been one problem with the linking of poker to the greyhound tracks.

By state law, the only way that a greyhound track can offer a poker room is if they offer a significant racing schedule and pari-mutuel betting. There have been discussions for several years about separating the greyhound tracks and the poker rooms, but they have been unable to separate the two industries. If Proposal 67 were first to get on the ballot in 2018 and then be voted through by 60% of the citizenry of Florida, there would be significant issues because of the linkage.

If the Florida Legislature had to decouple the racetracks from the poker rooms, they would have to revise their gaming laws. That has been extremely problematic for legislators in the state, who also must contend with the powerful Seminole Indian tribe and their sovereign rights to casino gaming in the Sunshine State. It is unknown what path would have to be taken to get the poker rooms to be able to stand alone from the racetracks, especially if the Seminoles objected to gaming being offered in a free-standing situation (something that breaks the gaming compact the tribe has with the state).

The proposed constitutional amendment isn’t necessarily looking at gambling or poker being offered at the tracks. Many of the members of the constitutional committee are more concerned with the perceived issues that have plagued the racing industries for years. As Lee stated to Saunders, “As we’ve evolved, we’ve banned all sorts of activities that have been considered cruel to animals: bullfighting and cockfighting and all kinds of things. To me, this is just the next step on that plane of becoming more sensitive to this kind of inhumanity.”

The post Floridians Could Decide Future of Poker, Greyhound Racing in the State appeared first on Poker News Daily.

Poker News Daily

Indiana Says Smoking Ban in Casinos Would Cost State Jobs, Money

 Indiana Says Smoking Ban in Casinos Would Cost State Jobs, Money

Since the 1990s, smoking has been banned in most of the poker rooms of casinos across the States of America. For the most part, however, smoking has been allowed in other areas of casinos outside of the sacred poker room area. Individual states are now having issues with the implementation of smoking bans in their locales (passed for the health of employees and the public), with Indiana the latest to sound off on the issue.

The Majestic Star Casino in Gary, IN, is complaining to state officials that the ban on smoking indoors is influencing its bottom line. The anti-smoking law, passed in 2012, banned smoking in most public places. Some exceptions were allowed, such as for private membership clubs and bars, tobacco retail outlets and hookah bars and horse racing facilities and casinos. Local leadership, however, could extend the law as they saw fit for their own locations.

Apparently, that is what the Gary Common Council is looking to do. On the table for the Council is an ordinance that would ban smoking in the Majestic Star period, not just the poker room. The smoking ban is backed by a group called “Smoke Free in the G” and is looking to pass the legislation to protect the employees of the casino. Naturally, the Majestic Star sees it another way and has made their opinion known to the members of the Council.

Majestic Star Chief Executive Officer Peter Liguori has said that the ban on smoking would have a tremendous impact on the success of the casino. He estimates that a ban on smoking would see the casino lose about $ 3 million in tax revenues for the state. Additionally, Liguori says that 400 jobs could be lost if the measure was passed. A look at other states who have passed anti-smoking legislation for their casinos demonstrates that Liguori isn’t blowing smoke.

In the state of Illinois (one of the competitors for Indiana’s action), a ban on smoking (called the “Smoke Free Illinois Act”) was put in place in 2008. Player numbers for the casino industry in the Land of Lincoln suffered following the smoking ban, with attendance in casinos falling by 22%. Estimates show that the total loss in revenues was around $ 200 million for the first year of the ban alone, with the estimated tax loss totaling over $ 12 million for that year.

2008 also saw the Atlantic City casino industry implement a smoking ban, much to the dismay of its bottom line. Facing increased competition from such states as Pennsylvania (which allowed smoking), the casinos in Atlantic City saw a 15% drop in customers, arguably because of the smoking ban but also possibly because of the “Great Recession” of 2018. New Jersey politicos, seeing the numbers fall, decided that the ban was wrong and, within a year, rescinded the ban.

In Florida, the Seminole Indians try to walk on both sides of the line. While their poker rooms remain smoke free, their casinos allow for smoking. This is because as a sovereign entity, they can set their own rules regarding smoking outside of those set by the Florida legislature and the “law of the land,” the Florida Clean Indoor Air Act. According to noted gaming journalist Nick Sortal, however, the Seminoles are trying to walk a fine line with the issue.

According to Sortal, the Seminoles are trying “to balance the desires of both smokers and nonsmokers.” To achieve this goal, the tribe is stepping up efforts in trying to keep smoking on the floor of their casinos and out of what is described as “general areas” such as restrooms, walkways, and elevator banks. To cater to those who don’t partake of tobacco or are disturbed by the scent, Sortal also states that they have installed improved air filtration and air conditioning systems on their South Florida properties.

Considering that there seems to be a predominance of smokers in the gaming community, the issue of smoking/non-smoking is an important one. It is estimated that only 10% of the country uses tobacco products, however, so the times may be changing on that stereotype.

The post Indiana Says Smoking Ban in Casinos Would Cost State Jobs, Money appeared first on Poker News Daily.

Poker News Daily

NJ State Senator Lesniak Wants to Open State’s Gambling Borders

 NJ State Senator Lesniak Wants to Open State’s Gambling Borders

When Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware launched their online gambling industries (just poker for the former, poker and casino games for the latter two), the gaming sites were restricted to accepting players only from within their respective states’ borders. It was kind of bullshit, but it was the way they could be compliant with federal law, so that’s what had to be done. Now New Jersey State Senator Raymond Lesniak, arguably online poker’s biggest supporter in the New Jersey legislature, wants to change that and permit people from outside of the state to play on his state’s gaming sites.

“I’ve changed my mission from making New Jersey the Silicon Valley of Internet gaming to the Mecca of Internet gaming,” Lesniak told the Associated Press. “Online gaming has helped Atlantic City to revive its casino sector with a success that we can expand in ways that will generate more revenue, create jobs and fuel technological innovation in gaming.”

Lesniak plans on introducing a bill to allow for the expansion of online gambling player bases beyond New Jersey’s borders. The Courier-Post says that the director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, David Rebuck, has not seen a proposal yet.

As it stands now, New Jersey gaming law states that any operator wishing to do business there must house their game servers in the state. Not only that, but they must be on the premises of an Atlantic City casino; Atlantic City is the only place in the state that casinos are permitted. Additionally, as was mentioned earlier, all players must be located within New Jersey’s borders. They do not need to live there, just be located within state borders while playing online.

According to reports, Lesniak’s future bill would do a number of things to change the state gaming laws: it would remove the location restriction on players, allowing people from other states to play on New Jersey sites, it will allow international gaming companies to establish New Jersey bases, and it would lift the requirement for servers to be situated in Atlantic City.

Unfortunately, people like me, who live in the state of Georgia or the multitude of other states that do not currently have legalized, regulated gambling, would not suddenly be able to hop on PokerStars NJ or the Party Borgata network. Only people in states where online gambling is permitted would be able to play on New Jersey sites. The good thing, though, is that it would remove the need to enter into interstate gambling compacts.

Players in other countries where online gambling is regulated would also be able to get in on the fun.

One of the tricky things about expanding the geographic scope of the player base is that it would complicate geolocation, meaning the ability for the gaming sites to pinpoint where someone trying to login is sitting at the moment. New Jersey got off to a rocky site with geolocation (mainly erring on the side of being too strict and sometimes thinking a player was outside of the state when he was not), but is now an example of geolocation excellence.

Lead photo credit: @senatorlesniak Twitter

Poker News Daily

State of Florida, Seminole Indians Reach Gaming Settlement

 State of Florida, Seminole Indians Reach Gaming Settlement

Ending a debate that has raged in the halls of the state capitol, Tallahassee, since early last year, Governor Rick Scott of Florida, his gaming enforcement board and the Seminole Tribe of Florida reached a settlement that will have a sizeable effect on gaming in the Sunshine State.

The new agreement will influence table games, which have started springing up in some of the poker rooms around Florida. Under the agreement signed by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation and the Seminoles, the table games – which included blackjack and other “banked” games (games in which players played against the house rather than each other) – and slot machines will be immediately closed in the poker rooms where they were operating. That closure gives exclusivity for table gaming and slots in the state to the six Seminole properties owned and run by the tribe for the next 13 years of the compact between the two entities.

“The DBPR is glad that the state of Florida has reached an agreement to resolve the ongoing litigation between the state and the Seminole Tribe,” DBPR Secretary Jonathan Zachem noted in a statement reported by Mary Ellen Klas of the Miami Herald. “The agreement ensures the continuity of the current Seminole compact and does not allow for any expansion of gaming.”

What was the driver of the deal? For the state of Florida, it was the money. Under the new agreement, the Seminole Tribe will continue to contribute a monthly revenue sharing program to the state, in part due to the enforcement of the table game and slot ban on non-Seminole operations. That totaled $ 220 million in revenues that the Tribe put towards the revenue sharing over the past couple of years (and an estimated $ 120 million per year), but had been held in escrow while both had lawsuits pending in federal court.

In 2010, the Seminole Tribe and the state of Florida agreed to an exclusivity agreement, giving the Seminoles complete gaming rights in the state. That five-year deal expired in 2015 and, as might be expected, the various dog and horse tracks and poker rooms in the area wanted to find a way to get into that area of gaming. The Seminole Tribe called foul, as the renegotiation of the compact was ongoing with state officials, and the Seminoles brought a federal case against the state of Florida for not enforcing the regulations. The state didn’t roll over, instead filing their own countersuit that stated the agreement had expired and that the Seminole Tribe, in fact, was violating Florida gambling laws by being in operation.

Federal judge Robert Hinkle ruled last year in favor of the Seminole Tribe, affirming that the state didn’t shut down the “banked” games in the non-Seminole operations per the compact between the two, violating the agreement. After Hinkle made his ruling, the Florida legislature considered expanding gaming in the state – and was unable to come to any agreement – while the Seminoles considered the option of withholding their revenue payments outright until the state enforced the law.

The new agreement, while ensuring that the Seminole Tribe continues its revenue payments in exchange for exclusivity on table gaming and slots, also has an effect on another area of debate in the state. The expansion of casino gaming in Florida, which had seen consideration of new casino operations in Miami and even in the family oriented Disney area of Orlando, is now dead. For the next 13 years (the end of the overall compact between the Seminole Tribe and the state of Florida), there will be no further discussion of expanding gaming inside the state, keeping powerful casino gaming operations out of the Florida market and in the hands of the Seminole Tribe.

Poker News Daily



usa poker svenska poker finland poker Deutsch poker spain poker italy poker france poker japan poker greece poker china poker brazil poker denemark poker netherlands poker india poker russia poker korea poker turkey poker
romanian poker bulgarian poker croatian poker czech poker israel   poker norway poker poland poker serbia poker slovakia poker slovenia poker