New Swiss Online Gambling Law in Effect, Foreign Operators Barred

A little over a year ago, Swiss voters overwhelmingly approved a law – by about a 3-to-1 margin – that banned online gambling operators from outside of the country. That law is now in effect, with only the country’s casinos as the ones who are permitted to be licensed.

Even though 73 percent of those who voted in June 2018 were for keeping online gambling within the nation’s borders, those opposed to the initiative spoke loudly. They criticized legislators for seemingly getting into bed with the casinos and spoke out against the possibility of the government blocking access to foreign gaming websites altogether. They did not want the Swiss casino industry to be protected from competition. read more

Chicago City Hall Seeks Public Input on Casino Location with Online Survey

When locations are chosen for major city landmarks like a new stadium or casino, it is usually government officials and consultants that make the decisions. As the process starts to decide where Chicago’s first casino is going to be built, consultants and politicians are certainly going to make most of the decisions and have the final say, but Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot promised to give Chicagoans a say in the matter. On Friday, she took the first step in doing just that, posting an online survey seeking citizen input on where they think the future gambling venue should be.

Survey speaks in generalities

Now, the survey, aside from maybe one open-ended catch-all question, is not asking people for specific location suggestions. It isn’t asking respondents to say exactly where the casino should go. Instead, it speaks more in generalities, the types of locations people would like or not like and what concerns they have about possible spots. read more

Iowa Legalizes Sports Betting

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed Senate File 617 into law on Monday, legalizing sports betting in the state. Though the law is effective immediately, no sports betting is available yet, as the regulations still need to be hammered out.

“Gov. Reynolds believes that legalizing sports betting will bring this practice out of an unregulated black market. This law will regulate, tax, and police sports betting in a safe and responsible way,” spokesman Pat Garrett told the Des Moines Register. read more

North Carolina Legislature, Governor Legalize Charitable “Casino Nights”

It seems that the tide is turning in one
of the more conservative areas of the country when it comes to gambling. The
North Carolina General Assembly, while it weighs whether it will open for
sports betting in the state, has hit the green light for charitable “casino nights”
in the state. This action will allow several “acts of gambling” like blackjack,
poker, roulette and other table games to be played, if it is raising money for
charity. The new regulations even allow for one of the things that was
supposedly taboo at these events, the availability of alcoholic beverages.

Cooper
Signs Bill After 2017 Veto
read more

Florida Seminole Indians Introduce New Wrinkle to Gaming Negotiations

Long at the forefront of casino gaming,
especially when it comes to the Native American population, the Seminole Indians
of Florida have traditionally been hard core negotiators. With both the federal
and Florida governments, the Seminoles have more often than not come out on the
winning side when it comes to negotiations
over their sovereign gaming rights
. Now the Seminoles are looking to
stretch that reach even further.

The
Seminoles Look to Online Gaming…
read more

Maine Legislature Considering Multiple Sports Betting Bills

Maine has become the latest state to take a serious look at sports betting, as a pair of bills have been introduced in the state House of Representatives with the same goal of legalizing sports gambling, though with different takes on the matter.

LD 1348 was introduced a month ago by Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos (I – Friendship) and includes most of what one would expect in a sports betting bill. The legal gambling age would be 21 and betting would be permitted at racetracks, off-track betting shops, casinos, and online. read more

West Virginia Becomes Fifth State to Authorize Online Gaming

The news for online gaming and poker continues to be on the rise. Coming out of nowhere, the state of West Virginia has become the fifth state to authorize online gaming and poker inside its borders. The bill pushing for such activities became law after Governor Jim Justice did not sign the legislation passed by the West Virginia legislature earlier this week, thereby immediately passing the bill and enacting it into law.

Don’t Rush to the Internet Just Yet… read more

US DoJ Files Motion to Dismiss New Hampshire Lottery Wire Act Lawsuit

The United States Department of Justice has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit brought by the New Hampshire Lottery Commission (NHLC) over the DoJ’s revised opinion on the Wire Act.

In what is probably the biggest gaming news of the year so far, the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) published a new opinion on the Wire Act in January, though the opinion was officially issued in November of last year. It reverses the opinion the OLC wrote in late 2011, when it said that the Wire Act only bans interstate online sports betting, not all internet gambling. Prior to that 2011 opinion, the Justice Department had interpreted the Wire Act in a clearly incorrect way, saying it applied to all online gaming. read more

New Hampshire Lottery Sues Justice Department Over Wire Act

We knew there would be legal backlash against the U.S. Department of Justice for the Office of Legal Counsel’s revised opinion on the Wire Act and the first shoe to drop comes from New Hampshire. The New Hampshire Lottery Commission has filed a lawsuit against the DoJ and Attorney General William Barr, demanding that the Wire Act not be enforced using the new interpretation.

Though New Hampshire does not have regulated online poker, it did rely on the 2011 OLC opinion on the Wire Act to sell lottery tickets via the internet. For years, the Wire Act was interpreted by the Department of Justice to ban all online gambling, but the OLC took a look at it and in late 2011, issued the opinion that it only applied to sports betting, as the text of the Act plainly reads. read more

Georgia Senate Committee Passes Horse Racing Bills

In what might be a first for me in my nearly decade and a half here at Poker News Daily, I am writing about horse racing. I know nothing about horse racing beyond the “Let’s Go to the Races” VCR game that I played when I was a kid. But when I read that a Georgia Senate committee passed a resolution to legalize horse racing in the state, my eyebrows raised.

While just a tiny step in a process, the vote by the state Senate’s Economic Development and Tourism Committee to pass Senate Resolution 84 interests me for two reasons. First, I live in Georgia and the state is devoid of legal gambling aside from the lottery. And second, should horse racing – and the associated betting – become legal, that could open the door, at least a crack, for further expansion of gambling in the Peach State. It has always disappointed me that horse racing tends to be given more serious consideration by lawmakers around the country than does any other form of gambling, but I get it. Horse racing is a more traditionally accepted pastime than, say, online poker, and the horse racing industry has a strong lobby. read more

Responses to Reversal of DOJ Online Gaming Decision: “Unfortunate,” Planning for Next Steps

Since the U. S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel issued a reversal last Monday of the 2011 decision by the Obama Administration’s decision regarding online sports betting, gaming and poker, there have been a flurry of opinions on the issue. Some entities have called the new opinion “unfortunate,” while other organizations are tempering their responses as they plan their next steps.

American Gaming Association – Issues “Unfortunate” Statement Despite No Stance read more

Pennsylvania Casinos Told to Conform to New Wire Act Opinion

One of the key questions posed in the aftermath of last week’s new Wire Act opinion published by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) was, “Will this even have any effect on online poker?” It didn’t take long to find out the answer, as the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board quickly sent a letter to the state’s casinos informing them of adjustments they need to make in light of the new Wire Act interpretation.

To quickly review, the Wire Act was passed in 1961 to try to stem organized crime, making sports betting over “wire communication facilities” illegal. With the advent of online poker, the Justice Department interpreted the Wire Act to include a ban on all interstate internet gambling. In late 2011, though, the OLC issued an opinion – responding to the Illinois and New York lottery commissions, who wanted to sell lottery tickets online – stating that the Wire Act did, in fact, only apply to sports betting (as is rather obvious by the Act’s text). read more

Sports Betting Bill Introduced in Tennessee

It appears that the legalization of sports betting is something that may be up for discussion in the Tennessee legislature in 2019, as State Representative Rick Staples introduced HB 0001 in the House of Representatives last week, a bill which “authorizes sports betting in this state only in jurisdictions that approve sports betting by local option election.”

As that quote states, even if the bill passes, sports betting won’t necessarily be open to all Tennessee residents. Rather, each county would have to hold its own vote to permit licensees to operate within their jurisdiction. read more

California Indian Tribes Asserting Rights to Banked Games against Card Rooms

The history of tribal gaming in the States of America – where individual Indian tribes own and operate casinos outside of the purveyance of state and/or federal regulations – only dates back to the late 1970s. Those tribes that operate gaming on their reservations are also very protective of their rights to offer gaming and fight against any intrusion on that activity. A simple look at a case in California demonstrates this fact very well.

California Indians Filing Suit over Banked Games read more

Poker Alliance Comes Out Against Florida’s Amendment 3

Ever since it took over the Poker Players Alliance, Poker Central has been extremely quiet. The organization was rebranded at the time of the takeover, with Poker Central renaming the group the Poker Alliance, but it didn’t exactly jump back into the fray regarding poker, gaming or…anything, to be honest. Now the new Poker Alliance is looking to reenter the poker community’s consciousness by staking positions on some of the hot issues facing poker and gaming, both live and presumably online.

Brenner: “Vote NO on Amendment 3” read more

Relatives of Adam Laxalt Won’t Vote for Him for Nevada Governor

Adam Laxalt is the Attorney General of Nevada. He is currently running for Governor on the Republican side of the ballot. He is also, somewhat oddly considering the state he wishes to lead, against online poker. He is also getting very little support from his family, as is evidenced by a recent op-ed penned by a dozen of his relatives in the Reno Gazette Journal.

Yes, twelve of Laxalt’s relatives support his opponent, Democrat Steve Sisolak. read more

Online Poker Opponent Jon Kyl Back in U.S. Senate

Oh wonderful. Look who’s back. On Monday, Jon Kyl, one of the men responsible for the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA), was named by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey as replacement for the late John McCain in the Senate. There isn’t anything going on in the Senate when it comes to online poker, but it is not pleasant to see one of online poker’s top opponents – and an overall despicable lawmaker – trolling the halls of Congress once again.

Senate terms run six years and McCain’s seat was not up for re-election until 2022. Fortunately, Kyl has said that he will not be seeking re-election (or at least he says that for now), opting to just serve as McCain’s substitute. And, assuming Kyl sticks to his current word, he won’t even be in the seat for the full term. Arizona states that there must be a special election in 2020 to fill the final two years of McCain’s term. read more

Nine Pennsylvania Casinos Apply for Online Poker Licenses

Pennsylvania finally legalized online poker last fall and now the industry is finally, slowly starting to ramp up. The first deadline for casinos to apply for interactive gaming licenses was early last week and though for a while it looked like very few or even none of them would file petitions, in the end, nine of the state’s twelve casinos not only apply for poker licenses, but applied for all three gaming licenses.

In Pennsylvania, the twelve land-based casinos (there are currently eleven, but one will open later this year) get first dibs on licenses. There are three types of licenses available: internet poker, internet table games, and internet slots. The application fee alone for each is $4 million. For those who applied for all three by July 16th, though, the cost was $10 million combined. read more

Netherlands Fine Tuning Gambling Regulations, Moving Toward Open Market

Last week, Sander Dekker, Minister for Legal Protection of the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security posted a statement outlining his Ministry’s plans for changes to the Netherlands’ Remote Gambling Act in an effort to open up the country for online gambling while at the same time offering protections to players.

Not that long ago, it looked like the Netherlands was going to go in much the opposite direction: ring-fence its players from the rest of the world and make the state-owned Holland Casino, which holds a land-based gambling monopoly in the country, the lone authorized online gambling provider. read more

Kentucky Sports Betting Bill Penned With Bonkers Tax Rate

The good news: Kentucky state Senators are trying to legalize sports betting in the state next year. The bad news: the taxes they propose will kill the industry before it starts.

Senator Julian Carroll (D – Dist. 7) pre-filed BR 29, essentially getting it all set to go so that he can quickly introduce it next year. The bill would require the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission to implement a sports betting system. Sports wagering would be permitted at licensed horse racing tracks and off-track betting venues. read more

Sports Bettors Rejoice: U.S. Supreme Court Overturns PASPA

It was a day that everyone assume was coming, but until this morning, there was always going to be at least some doubt. In a 6-3 decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of the state of New Jersey and against the NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL, and NCAA, striking down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) and opening the door for states to legalize and regulate sports betting.

PASPA was a straight-up ban on sports betting, a federal law which said that individual states were forbidden from authorizing the activity. States which had regulated gambling for the previous ten years were allowed to be grandfathered in to sports betting, but only four – Nevada, Oregon, Montana, and Delaware – took advantage of that. Nevada is the only one with traditional casino sports books; the others have various forms of lottery-based sports wagering and are insignificant in the grand scheme of things. read more

Senator Orrin Hatch Wants Federal Regulation of Sports Betting

So this week has been an exciting one in the gambling world, hasn’t it? The United States Supreme Court deemed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) unconstitutional, making it permissible for states to legalize and regulate sports betting. A handful of states, including the state we have to thank for this legal victory, New Jersey, will likely have sports betting going within weeks. A number of others have legislation in the works and might not be too far behind. And then there is Senator Orrin Hatch (R – Utah), one of the original authors of PASPA, who announced just after the PASPA ruling that he wants sports gambling regulated on the federal level.

On his Congressional website, Sen. Hatch said: read more

Rep. Charlie Dent Retiring from Congress Earlier Than Expected

You know that feeling when you are around a person and you think to yourself, “Why won’t they just go away already?” Well, I’ve never been around him, but I’ve had that feeling about Rep. Charlie Dent (R – Penn.) for a while now. And guess what? He’s actually about to go away! Last fall, Dent announced that he would not run for re-election, but recently, he decided he wasn’t even going to wait for the end of his term and would walk away within the next few weeks. Though he is not my representative (mine is actually worse), I will not miss him.

Dent has positioned himself as a moderate Republican, serving as co-chair of the Tuesday Group Caucus, which is supposed to be a counter to the continued shifting of the party to the far right. But despite this positioning, Dent took up an extremely conservative stance on online poker, looking to ban it completely. read more

Poker Players Alliance Fails in Fundraising Drive, Future in Doubt

After making a plea to its membership base for donations to continue their efforts, the future of the Poker Players Alliance is in doubt as those pleas apparently went unheard.

In what has been a tumultuous few months for the Poker Players Alliance, the organization issued the call for donations as its leadership changed. In February, longtime Executive Director John Pappas stepped down from his position, indicating in some interviews that the lack of monetary support was part of the impetus in his decision. While Pappas was stepping away from leading the Poker Players Alliance, former Vice President for Player Relations Rich Muny stepped to the fore and took over the Executive Director role. read more

Nevada AG Hates Online Poker and is Running for Governor

Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt announced Tuesday via Twitter that he had officially filed the paperwork to run for Governor this fall. That he has thrown his hat into the ring is significant because he is extremely anti-online poker.

His stance on internet poker became known in late 2015, when he confirmed that he would be signing a letter with other state Attorneys General in support of Sheldon Adelson’s Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) bill. Adelson, CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., is a billionaire Republican donor and has stated that he will do “whatever it takes” to get online gambling banned in the United States. read more

Florida Legislature Closes Door to Expansion of Gambling for at Least the Remainder of 2018

With a referendum regarding gambling in the state being held during the 2018 midterm elections, the Florida Legislature had a final shot to make any moves regarding the state’s gambling laws. Instead, the politicians in Tallahassee punted the subject down the road, ensuring that there would be no further changes to the state’s regulations at least for the 2018 calendar year.

As the close of the legislative session loomed this week, both leaders in each chamber of the Florida Legislature revived the discussions on gaming in the state. Those two men, House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Senate President Joe Negron, would be facing starkly different roads to coming to an agreement, however. The job, at first glance, would have been easier for Negron, with a Senate willing to expand gaming where voters had approved of it, rather than Corcoran, who would have to convince fellow Representatives that have shown previously to be anti-expansion. read more