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