Posts Tagged ‘York’

New York-New York Casino Cashier Robbed

 New York New York Casino Cashier Robbed

Another Las Vegas casino was hit this week, as a cage at New York-New York was robbed in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. At the time of this writing, about 24 hours since the robbery, the suspect has not been captured.

At about 1:00am January 10th, a man armed with a handgun approached a cashier and demanded cash. Money was handed over without incident, it appears, as the man’s weapon remained in his waistband. He then escaped through the south entrance of the casino and fled in a taxicab.

As can be seen in the security camera picture distributed by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the suspect is a black male wearing black rimmed glasses and a black beanie cap. In the picture, he appears to be wearing a black mock turtleneck shirt, but the police notice says he was wearing a black hooded jacket. The report also notes he was wearing black mechanics gloves, dark jeans, and black shoes, and looks like he is in his early to mid thirties.

This is the second cage robbery on the Las Vegas Strip in a month and a half. In late November, man robbed the cashier of the Bellagio poker room in the middle of the afternoon. It was similarly non-violent, as the crook just walked up to the cashier, showed a handgun, demanded money, got it, and ran out of the casino with the cash in a plastic bag. He got into a silver car at the valet station and escaped.

The man, described as a 30 to 40-year old white male between 5’ 7” and 5’ 9” tall and weighing 160 to 170 pounds, is still at large. The pictures of him are not as clear as the New York-New York suspect, but he looked like he was wearing a blond wig and black rimmed glasses as a disguise, as well as some sort of half-mask or partial bandage on his face.

There was also a man in the getaway car when it was parked at the valet, but he was able to leave the car before the Bellagio suspect drove off. Las Vegas Metro Police Capt. John Pelletier said it is believed that the man was being held against his will and was not an accomplice, though at the time, it was too early to label his presence as a kidnapping. The man was unharmed.

A number of poker players tweeted about the Bellagio robbery as it happened, including actor James Woods. He wrote, “@Bellagio staff were fantastic. They surrendered the money quietly, so no customers would get hurt. Nobody even realized it was happening. Excellent staff, cool under pressure.”

Poker Hall of Famer Doyle Brunson was playing in the Bellagio’s high stakes Bobby’s Room nearby and was unimpressed with the robber’s strategy. He tweeted, “The guy that robbed the cashier cage at the Bellagio should have walked south 10 yards and took our money in Bobby’s Room. He got 35k and we had about 200k in cash waiting to put it on deposit. Waitress said she could have hit the guy as he slowly left.”

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New York Governor Approves Credit Card, Internet Sales for Charitable Raffles

 New York Governor Approves Credit Card, Internet Sales for Charitable Raffles

It’s not online poker, but New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill to little fanfare a week and a half ago that allows charities to accept credit and debit cards for raffles as well as sell raffle tickets over the internet. The “Charitable Gaming Act of 2017” was introduced in February and passed both the House and Senate in June. Cuomo vetoed a similar bill last year and it came as a surprise to many when he gave his seal of approval to this one.

When one thinks of charity raffles, one often thinks of churches or schools. The driving force behind the efforts to get this law passed, though, was the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, and specifically its nonprofit arm, the Buffalo Sabres Foundation. The Sabres run a “50/50” raffle at every home game (41 of them per year, not counting playoffs) in which fans in attendance can buy raffle tickets with cash. The winner of the raffle receives 50 percent of the pot, with the other half going to the Foundation for its charitable causes.

According to the Buffalo News, the Foundation raised $ 1.1 million from 50/50 sales last year (it also holds the raffle at Buffalo Bandits lacrosse games), a number which made up more than half of the money it raised from all events.

Rich Jureller, president of the Buffalo Sabres Foundation, was very pleased about the new law, telling the Buffalo News, “It’s really going to create a lot of opportunities for us and any charity that wants to use new technology and new rules we have.”

One of the problems the Sabres have had with the 50/50 is that tickets could only be purchased with cash. The Charitable Gaming Act of 2017 will allow debit and credit card purchases, giving fans more options.

“It should certainly help us sell more tickets. And I’d imagine someone with $ 5 in cash would want to spend $ 10 [with a card],” Jureller said.

And of course, being able to expand sales to the internet could boost charitable raffles even more. The Buffalo Sabres Foundation imagines fans just pulling out their smartphones while at the games and buying raffle tickets as a matter of convenience. Fans watching the games on television could also participate.

The new law will take effect in six months. At that time, charities can begin advertising raffles online (and via newspaper, magazine, and other physical means, as well) and take debit and credit card sales over the internet.

The bill itself does not stipulate where raffle ticket buyers must be located, but it sounds like there will be some limitations. According to the Buffalo News piece, Senator Patrick Gallivan said that online sales will be restricted to customers local to the charitable organization. The Sabres, though, “believe it can sell online to people in Erie County and eight surrounding counties, except to people who are buying tickets while located in any locality that might ban the online sales.”

A spokesman for the state’s Gaming Commission said that the New York’s raffle law states that “charities can sell raffle tickets outside its premises provided local governments have OK’d such games of chance within their jurisdictions. Those sales can occur in the county in which the charity is located or in contiguous counties only if the charity has been gotten a raffle-selling license from those localities.”

Everything will be ironed out as the Gaming Commission determines the regulations over the next six months.

The post New York Governor Approves Credit Card, Internet Sales for Charitable Raffles appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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New York Online Poker Bill Passes Senate Finance Committee

 New York Online Poker Bill Passes Senate Finance Committee

It is on to the full Senate for a bill that would regulate and legalize online poker in New York state, as the bill has passed the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday by a 27-9 vote. On Valentine’s Day, the bill passed the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee by a unanimous 11-0 vote.

The purpose of S3898, according to the text of the bill itself, is:

To authorize the New York State Gaming Commission to license certain entities to offer for play to the public certain variants of internet poker which require a significant degree of skill, specifically “Omaha
Hold’em” and “Texas Hold’em.”

Straightforward, it is (Yoda…I am?).

The bill is sponsored by Republican State Senator John Bonacic, who has taken up the online poker cause during the last few years. He introduced a bill last year and everything was going well, especially when it sailed through the Senate by a 53-5 vote, but the Assembly never even voted on it.

Bonacic has been confident about his bill this year, telling GamblingCompliance, “Last year, there was too much gaming for the Assembly to consider with fantasy sports and the efforts in New Jersey for a referendum to put a casino in the Meadowlands, and I really think that it got put on the back burner. So now we are putting it in the front burner.”

We won’t bore our readers with all of the finer points of the poker bill, but some of the provisions, as we listed out in February, as well, include:

•    Permits the state to enter into interstate gaming compacts so that player pools can be combined.
•    15 percent tax on gross gaming revenue
•    A maximum of ten licensed operators who must pay a licensing fee of $ 10 million each. Licenses would be good for ten years.
•    Most forms of poker would be authorized, even though the above “purpose” statement only mentions Hold’em and Omaha (that was likely just a simplification, as Hold’em and Omaha are the two most popular forms of online poker – there would be no reason to exclude other forms, like Stud).
•    When and if the bill is signed into law, there will be a 180-day grace period before licenses can be issued and games can start, likely to make sure the state is properly prepared.
•    Operating an online poker site without a license is a crime. Unlicensed operators will be both fined and taxed.

One of the reasons that the bill didn’t get voted upon in the state Assembly last year was Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, who was actually the sponsor of the Assembly’s version of the bill. In a February interview with FIOS1 News’s Andrew Whitman, he said that he was not confident about operators’ ability to prevent cheating. Fortunately, after visiting New Jersey’s Attorney General, he came away impressed and is now “satisfied” that cheating can be prevented as much as is reasonably possible. Pretlow now believes the bill shouldn’t have problems in the New York Assembly, assuming it gets there.

“When I do sign off on something,” he told Whitman, “my colleagues feel that it is a good deal and they don’t question why I made a certain decision. They know that if that decision was made, it’s for good reason. So I don’t really see there’s going to be much opposition to moving this along.”

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New York Assemblyman Confident Online Poker Bill Will Move Forward

 New York Assemblyman Confident Online Poker Bill Will Move Forward

Last year, arguably online poker’s biggest supporter in the New York legislature was the one who put the kibosh on the possibility of the game becoming legal in the state. Now, Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow has expressed confidence that something will get done on the matter this year.

In 2016, a bill which would legalize and regulate online poker passed the New York Senate easily by a vote of 53-5. Pretlow had a similar bill in the Assembly and had been championing poker for a number of years, so one would have thought that the bill would at least have a fighting chance after it moved on from the Senate. Not so. Pretlow had concerns about the ability of online poker operators to prevent cheating and to ensure that only players from within state borders could access the sites, so the bill was never even voted upon.

Speaking with Andrew Whitman of New York’s FIOS1 News last week, Pretlow said his concerns have been alleviated. He made a “field trip” to New Jersey, where online gambling is legal, to speak with the Attorney General to learn more and to view gaming technologies in action. He came away “satisfied” that geolocation technologies works and that there are sufficient barriers to cheating in place. Thus, he feels comfortable moving forward in New York to try to get online poker legalized.

Whitman asked him about the reclassification of poker from a game of chance to a game of a skill. Though Pretlow did not straight-out say that poker is definitely a game of skill, he made his case in a round-about way, saying that it just depends on the player. For some, chance plays a greater role and for others, skill plays a greater role.

While Pretlow does not know if the Governor would eventually sign an online poker bill into law, he feels confident that he will have enough support in the Assembly to get it through.

“When I do sign off on something,” he told Whitman, “my colleagues feel that it is a good deal and they don’t question why I made a certain decision. They know that if that decision was made, it’s for good reason. So I don’t really see there’s going to be much opposition to moving this along.”

The process of legalizing and regulating online poker in New York has already gotten underway this year. A couple weeks ago, Senator John Bonacic’s bill, S 3898 easily made it through the Senate’s Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering by a unanimous vote. It will now be looked at by the Senate Finance Committee.

It is a fairly straightforward bill, allowing a maximum of ten online operating licenses with a fee of $ 10 million each. Though the bill only specifically mentions hold’em and Omaha, it is assumed that most forms of poker would be permitted. Players must be at least 21-years old and be within state borders, though the bill opens up the opportunity to form interstate compacts so that New York could pool its players with other states.

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New York Online Poker Bill Passes First Senate Committee by Unanimous Vote

 New York Online Poker Bill Passes First Senate Committee by Unanimous Vote

When New York State Senator John Bonacic once again introduced a bill to legalize and regulate online poker in the state in late January, it was expected that it would get through the Senate’s Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering fairly quickly. That expectation was correct. On Tuesday, Bonacic’s bill, S 3898, passed by a unanimous 11-0 vote and has now been advanced to the Senate Finance Committee.

The purpose of the bill, as stated on the bill’s webpage on the New York State Senate website, is quite simple:

To authorize the New York State Gaming Commission to license certain entities to offer for play to the public certain variants of internet poker which require a significant degree of skill, specifically “Omaha
Hold’em” and “Texas Hold’em.”

It also “….includes definitions, authorization, required safeguards and minimum standards, the scope of licensing review and state tax implications; makes corresponding penal law amendments.”

Some of the bill’s key points:

•    Permits the state to enter into interstate gaming compacts so that player pools can be combined.
•    15 percent tax on gross gaming revenue
•    A maximum of ten licensed operators who must pay a licensing fee of $ 10 million each. Licenses would be good for ten years.
•    Most forms of poker would be authorized, even though the above “purpose” statement only mentions hold’em and Omaha.
•    When and if the bill is signed into law, there will be a 180-day grace period before licenses can be issued and games can start, likely to make sure the state is properly prepared.
•    Operating an online poker site without a license is a crime. Unlicensed operators will be both fined and taxed.

Needless to say, if New York got an online poker industry up and running, that bit about interstate compacts being allowed is enormous. One would think that Nevada and Delaware, who have an agreement to share player pools, would be on the phone with New York immediately to try to get the Empire State on board. As readers of this site likely understand, online poker is all about player liquidity. Lots of players means active tables means more revenue. And the more activity the tables have, the more attractive the sites look to prospective players, resulting in more people signing up and the activity becoming even greater.

The reverse is also true: low activity leads to less attractive poker rooms leads to fewer signups and ultimately exiting players. Nevada and Delaware have fewer than 3 million residents between them (estimated) and can barely keep poker rooms going. New York, on the other hand, has nearly 20 million residents plus tons of visitors for both work and tourism every day. A combination with New York would do wonders for Nevada’s and Delaware’s online poker business.

Bonacic has made the regulation of online poker one of his primary focuses in the last several years, but obviously has never been able to get it done. His bill conquered the Senate easily last year, passing by a 53-5 vote, but was never voted upon in the Assembly.

Bonacic feels more confident this year, telling GamblingCompliance (premium content ahead), “Last year, there was too much gaming for the Assembly to consider with fantasy sports and the efforts in New Jersey for a referendum to put a casino in the Meadowlands, and I really think that it got put on the back burner. So now we are putting it in the front burner.”

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