Posts Tagged ‘States’

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

Is Flurry of States’ Activity with Online Gaming Related to Future Federal Moves?

 Is Flurry of States’ Activity with Online Gaming Related to Future Federal Moves?

After the decision by the U. S. Department of Justice in 2011 that the Wire Act of 1961 only applied to sports betting, it was expected that the individual states would flock to online gaming. It was thought that most of these would be online lottery sales, but the doors were also opened for online casino gaming and poker. That expected “flood” turned out to be a trickle as only three states – Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware – passed regulations on the industry and opened the doors for action in 2013.

In the three-plus years since then, there have been plenty of states that have flirted with the idea of passing legislation, but there has been no sincere action towards passage of those regulations. With the 2016 General Election, however, and a GOP administration in control in Washington D. C., the potential fates of online gaming are in more question than ever. It bears asking if the current flurry of some states regarding the online gaming question is a result of the potential for federal movement (and not in a good way) on the subject?

In what seems to be a perennial entry, California has once again proposed a bill that would legalize and regulate online poker only in the state. The bill, AB 1677 from the office of longtime gaming advocate Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer, would open the doors for the largest state in the Union to earn tax revenues from a regulated online poker industry. The major roadblock for passage of the bill, as it has been since the first bill appeared more than a decade ago, is that none of the parties involved in the Golden State – the powerful Indian tribes, the card rooms, and the horse racing tracks, along with the politicians – cannot come to a consensus as to how to move forward.

New York has two bills on each side of the General Assembly (important for passage and forwarding to the governor). New York State Senator John Bonacic has S. 3898 (which has already gone through committee), while Assemblyman Gary Pretlow has introduced A. 5250, which is still in the discussion phase. If these two bills can get passed and are reconciled into one actionable bill, then Governor Andrew Cuomo would be the final arbiter.

Pennsylvania has already counted the money from full online casino gaming (including poker), there’s just one problem…they haven’t passed the regulations for it. Facing such a dilemma, a contingent of Keystone State representatives have presented HB 392, which not only would authorize full online casino gaming but also would open daily fantasy sports in the state. Once again, there’s been plenty of discussion but little action.

Even states that previously hadn’t been “in the pool” with online gaming and poker have decided to jump in. Dabbling with the issue in 2016 has pushed Michigan to consider the passage of online gaming regulations once again (hasn’t moved beyond talking) while a new player entered the game. Hawaii, long an anti-gaming state that actually has laws on the books preventing live gaming, has seen a bill, S. B. 677, introduced for the state to open “internet gaming (a very wide definition)” in the Aloha State.

So why are all these states suddenly rushing to pass (or at least looking at passing) online gaming regulations, be it for full casino gaming or just online poker? One only has to look at the situation in D. C. to be able to ascertain that answer.

When former Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions was cake-walking through his confirmation hearings to be the next U. S. Attorney General, noted anti-gaming Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina directly asked Sessions his thoughts about online gaming and its legality. In particular, Graham mentioned the Christmas 2011 decision from the Department of Justice – which, as Attorney General, Sessions would oversee – and the validity of the findings from the previous AG’s staff. In replying Sessions admitted that he already thought that it “wasn’t legal” for online gaming to be conducted and that he would “be revisiting” the decision if he were to be confirmed.

If Sessions were to overturn that 2011 decision by the DoJ, then the entire legality of the state’s rights to conduct online gaming would be destroyed and the enforcement of the Wire Act would be put back in place. No states would be able to pass their own laws regarding the conduct of online gaming inside their borders and the states that have already passed laws would presumably be shut down. Many are hoping (perhaps Pollyanna-like) that those states with laws passed would be “grandfathered” in and allowed to still operate, which would explain the “gold rush” like atmosphere with the actions from those states that haven’t yet passed regulations.

Currently Sessions has his plate full with other things that have plagued the current administration (when seven figures in the administration have met one Russian spy master, there’s a bit of a problem). But sitting out there is billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who donated tens of millions of dollars to the GOP and is wanting some return on his investment (hence his meeting with Vice President Mike Pence, another noted anti-gaming advocate). The eventual outcome is not known but the individual states should waste little time if they want to get in under the gun.

Poker News Daily

Poker Author/Player Ashley Adams Completes Goal of Poker in 50 States

 Poker Author/Player Ashley Adams Completes Goal of Poker in 50 States

There are some achievements in the world of poker that everyone strives for. Playing at a particular casino or in a particular tournament, battling for a pot against a professional player or even winning a World Series of Poker bracelet (or Circuit ring) or a World Poker Tour or European Poker Tour title all come to mind. From all appearances there is only one man, however, that has had the dream of playing in every state in the U. S., a dream he completed last weekend.

Ashley Adams, a noted poker author and player from Boston, MA, stepped into the Wildhorse Resort and Casino in Mission, OR, last weekend as the culmination of a trip to play poker in every state in the country. While it would have been nice to say that the hand he played at the Wildhorse was a cinematic classic with a dramatic finish, it wasn’t to be. According to Kathy Aney with EastOregonian.com, the J-2 that Adams was dealt immediately found its way to the muck, but Oregon became the 50th – and final – state in the Union for Adams to play poker.

Poker News Daily caught up with Adams earlier this week to discuss his achievement and where Adams goes from here:

Poker News Daily:  When did you realize that pulling off playing in all 50 states was possible?

Ashley Adams:  About 10 years ago. I was driving around and thinking of all the states I’d played in. I realized I had played in 28 states at that time and began to entertain the thoughts of playing in every state.

PND:  In two states in particular – Utah and Hawaii – there are no casinos and gambling is outright illegal. What hoops did you have to jump through to find a game there?

AA:  Hawaii was tough.  It took a whole bunch of calls and emails.  Oddly, I ended up finding a game through the most obvious, but last used, source — my resort hotel concierge.

Alaska was easy.  I knew a guy in Fairbanks.  I called him to help me find a poker game.  He said that I was in luck.  He ran a bed and breakfast where my daughter could stay cheaply.  And attached to the bed and breakfast — a poker room!

PND:  In a few of the states you were outside the normal casino setting. What was the strangest game you were a part of?

AA:  It had to be Alabama, when I played in a Quonset hut in the woods.  Finding it reminded me of the movie Deliverance.  Fortunately, I never had to “squeal like a pig”!

PND:  Any memorable players along the way or will you be saving them for a fictional work?

AA:  No individual player pops out immediately, but I’m sure if I gave it some thought I could think of some interesting characters I ran into.  You know, though, every single player I meet is interesting in some way.

PND:  Is this a big achievement or just something that you wanted to do for yourself?

AA:  It is both — a big achievement I believe and something that I wanted to do for myself. (Writer’s note:  Adams’ achievement of playing in all 50 states is believed to be one of a kind.)

PND:  What advice would you give to someone wanting to try to replicate your efforts?

AA:   Be willing to take risks and seize opportunities when they come up.  Playing poker should be viewed as an adventure.

PND:  What is next as far as your poker playing exploits? What about literary efforts?

AA:  I do not have another goal with regard to playing poker, such as playing in every country or all the provinces of Canada. Finishing up the goal in Oregon, I do want to turn this into a book — The 50 States of Poker.

We’d like to thank Adams for his time and look forward to that book – that is where we will probably hear all the REALLY good stories!

Poker News Daily

Law on online poker in the states?

 Law on online poker in the states?
Does anyone know what the current state of online poker is in the states? Also if there is any way around it?

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