Idaho Senate Committee Kills Anti-Indian Casino Law

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Monday 27 February 2017 3:15 pm

An Idaho Senatorial Committee has killed an effort by one its own to permanently remove slot machines from Indian casinos in the Land of Famous Potatoes.

House State Affairs Chairman Tom Loertscher (R) spearheaded the effort to rob Indians of slot machine revenue in an effort that appeared to be motivated by revenge. Loertscher was apparently motivated by a 2015 effort on the part of tribal gaming interests to remove slot machines from Idaho race tracks, according to a report in Idaho Spokeman-Review.

Idaho Indian tribes have had the legal authority to host slot machines since 2002, when the Idaho State Legislature legalized Class III Gaming, which includes both state lotteries and slot machines on Indian land. This definition comes from the Federal Government and stands little chance of being revoked.

In 2015, Idaho’s gaming tribes led a successful effort to have slot machines removed from the state’s race tracks. That didn’t sit well with Loertscher whose transparent effort at revenge didn’t sit well with other Idaho lawmakers, including his fellow Republicans. Rep. Heather Scott (R) said simply:

There is no fiscal impact since there is no state or local excise tax on tribal gaming.

Loertscher’s Democratic peers were more forthright in their critiques of the Senator’s anti-Indian-slot-machine measure. Rep. Paulette Jordan (D) explained it to the Statesman by correctly stating:

The issue here is, I think, a personal matter with our chairman. I don’t know if this bill will make it out of committee.

Senators rejected the measure along party lines in an 8-7 vote.

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Adelson’s Japanese Casino Could Cost $10 Billion

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Saturday 25 February 2017 3:16 pm

Sheldon Adelson is getting ready to invest upwards of $ 10 billion on the construction of a Las Vegas Sand Corporation casino in Japan.

The billionaire casino magnate and political activist is so confident of success in the Land of the Rising Sun that he’s willing to lay down that $ 10 billion bet in cash.

Adelson addressed the subject of a Japanese expansion at recent press conference in Tokyo where he expressed his eagerness to break into the the Japanese market. A report on Bloomberg News has Adelson saying:

We will spend whatever it takes. We could pay all cash. We don’t have to, but we will borrow money in a typical mortgage-to-value ratio.

Adelson’s vision for his Japanese operation is big, and involves a lot more than just casinos. He’s planning on building two casino complexes, one in Tokyo and one in Osaka, that will rival his massive operations in Macau and Las Vegas.

Adelson says he won’t be focusing on smaller Japanese markets at all. That’s just as well as the Sands’ Japanese operations look to be sprawling operations that incorporate plenty of retail space and, most importantly, plenty of room for conventions and exhibitions.

Adelson is, of course, not the only casino developer with his eyes on the potentially lucrative Japanese market. Both the MGM Resonts and Wynn companies are planning operations in the country as well. (Though neither currently plans on spending quite as much as Adelson.)

It’s worth noting that casino gambling is not currently legal in Japan. Japanese lawmakers are currently considering a measure that would legalize casinos in the country and are optimistic that it will pass through Parliament sometime this spring.

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Mexican Gambling Reform Delayed Again

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Thursday 23 February 2017 3:15 pm

Mexican lawmakers are, once again, delaying an ambitious set of gambling law reforms that were aimed at moving the country’s gaming industry into the 21st century.

Members of Mexico’s gambling industry were hoping to see the Law of Games and Sweepstakes update implemented by August 31, 2018, but virtually no one seems to think that’s still a realistic timeline.

In an article on the Spanish language news site, Milenio.com (as reported on by CalvinAyre.com) Miguel Angel Ochoa Sanchez, president of La Asociación de Permisionarios Operadores y Proveedores de la Industria del Entretenimiento y Juego de Apuesta en México, (AIEJA) admitted that the reforms were stalled.

In his statements, Sanchez placed blame for the delay directly on legislative foot dragging. In particular, Sanchez pointed out that senators seem to continually ask for reports on issues pertaining to gambling, but never seem to follow through with action of any kind.

That individual politicians would not be interested in implementing a clear, cohesive and national licensing scheme. After all, gambling revenues are a cash cow for governmental agencies at all levels, in all countries, and Mexico is no exception.

Sanchez went on to point out that local governments aren’t particularly eager to relinquish any of their control over how much tax is collected from the gambling industry and where that cash ultimately winds up.

Gambling is a relatively large industry in Mexico and produces around $ 300 million (USD) in tax revenues for the Mexican government each year.

While some voices in the Mexican Senate are calling for the reforms to be implemented as quickly as possible, it’s not clear when lawmakers will take up the issue again.

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California Lawmakers Take Another Stab at Online Poker

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Tuesday 21 February 2017 3:15 pm

California lawmakers are taking another stab at legalizing online poker with the introduction of The Internet Consumer Protection Act (AB 1677).

The proposed legislation would establish a licensing scheme for the state; address the thorny issue of compensation for race tracks for not being allowed to participate in online gambling; and lays out the basics of Golden State online gambling. That’s a massive slate for one bill…and it doesn’t even cover the thorny issue of bad actors.

Introduced by Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer, AB 1677 establishes a licensing structure that includes a whopping $ 12.5 million, one-time, application fee. Successful applicants would receive a tax credit to compensate for the high price of admission. Unsuccessful applicants would be left holding the bag.

Jones-Sawyer addresses the conflict between racetracks and card rooms/casinos by offering up an annual payment of 95 percent of the first $ 60 million in taxes collected by the state each year. Though this seems wildly optimistic, it seems to satisfy California race track owners.

Most of what Jones-Sawyer is proposing is pretty basic stuff, with one major exception. When it comes to bad actors Jones-Sawyer punts the ball to regulators to figure out in the future. While that might sound like a good idea in his office, it’s likely to meet with stiff resistance from California’s powerful tribal gaming interests.

California Indian tribes have used their influence to block multiple efforts to legalize online gambling because of bad actors.

These big money operations have no interest in sharing the gambling pie with small tribes that have teamed up with international operators to create a large footprint in the market. More than any other issue, this one could sens AB 1677 to the graveyard of failed California online gambling bills.

 

 

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Bitcoin Report: Hedge Funds Snapping Up Mt. Gox Customer Claims

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Sunday 19 February 2017 3:14 pm

International hedge fund operators are snapping up claims from former customers of the now defunct bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox.

The story was broken by reporters at the Financial Times (subscription required) who relied on their own sources at unnamed international hedge funds. The current offer being floated is 15 percent of the claims value in Japanese Yen. (Mt. Gox was based in Japan.)

It’s an interesting offer that hedges entirely on whether or not Mt. Gox customers ever actually receive any compensation for their claims.

Mt. Gox was the epicenter of worldwide bitcoin trading in 2014 when hackers broke into its servers and stole 850,000 Bitcoin. At the time, bitcoin was trading at around $ 450 (USD), making the whole heist worth around $ 475 million.

Since the heist, Mt. Gox has gone out of business and its former customers are still waiting for some sort of legal redress. At last count, approximately 24,750 of them had filed claims, which were reviewed and validated by a Japanese bankruptcy court.

Unfortunately for Mt. Gox’s former customers, most analysts predict that they’ll only see around 25% of their bitcoin come home, and that’s if they’re very lucky. That’s where the hedge fund operators come into the picture.

Clever hedge fund managers are offering to buy the outstanding claims for 15% of the bitcoin’s value. That lets the bitcoin owners walk away with something, while avoiding a lengthy wait for their money.

For the hedge funds, the claims are as good as money in the bank, and then some. After all, they’re buying bitcoin at a 2014 price of $ 450 and once the claim is settled completely, they’ll be able to sell them at current market prices. As of this morning, a single bitcoin was trading for $ 1012 US dollars.

 

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Feds Investigate Kansas High Stakes Poker Player

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Friday 17 February 2017 3:15 pm

Brandon Steven is a Kansas business man and high stakes poker player who, seemingly, has it all.

He’s a well-known on professional and private high stakes poker circuits where he regularly plays for massive amounts of cash. He’s also known as a sharp business man who owns stakes in several car dealerships, health clubs and investment groups.

All that success, however, wasn’t enough to keep the middle American success story from becoming the subject of a Federal investigation.

Earlier this month, Steven was informed by the US Attorney’s Office that he, and a number of his associates, were the subjects of an investigation. On the matter of what exactly the investigation is looking into, the Feds were less forthcoming. Though they did hint that it had something to do with conversations that took place during the spring and summer of 2015.

Steven, however, has a couple theories that he shared with the Wichita Eagle saying:

And from what we understand, they are looking into my poker and my involvement with Castle Rock Casino. I’ve retained counsel, and we’re going to fully cooperate with this matter.

Steven and a group of investors tried unsuccessfully to launch the casino in southeastern Kansas several years ago.

It’s worth noting that just because Stevens is being investigated, he is not accused of any wrongdoing, nor does it mean that the Feds necessarily suspect him of wrongdoing. This type of investigation, which involves wire taps, frequently snares up people who merely had an innocuous phone call to a number that is the center of the investigation.

For now, Steven must wait and see where the investigation leads.

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Veto Stands on New Jersey’s Anti-Icahn Bill

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Wednesday 15 February 2017 3:17 pm

Carl Icahn Jr.’s foes in the New Jersey state house were delivered a blow this week when their efforts to overturn a veto of an anti-Icahn bill fizzled out.

Governor Chris Christie vetoed the bill (S2575) last week and didn’t hide his displeasure with the lawmakers who passed it. In remarks to the press, as reported on at NJ.com, Christie said the bill showcased New Jersey, “at its worst.”

Under the terms of the bill, which was clearly aimed at Icahn, casino owners who, “substantially closed” a casino during 2016 would be barred from owning or operating a casino of any kind for five years. NJ.com and other Garden State media outlets have reported that Icahn and the Trump Taj Mahal would be the only operators impacted by the bill.

The war against Icahn, however, is far from over.

State Senate President Stephen Sweeney pulled the bill before the veto override vote was entered into the record. This little piece of legislative voodoo allowed the bill’s supporters, mostly Democrats, to marshal their forced and fight another day.

Sweeney and his allies plan on reintroducing the veto-override sometime in the near future. According to local media reports, several Democratic senators including Ray Lesniak, were not present at this week’s vote.

Both Icahn and Christie are big supporters of American leader Trump’s administration and both men have met with him within the last week.

For his part, Icahn has stated that he is willing to sell the Trump Taj Mahal at a loss and that the senate’s actions will discourage other investors from putting their money in New Jersey. .

 

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Zynga Beats Q4 Expectectations as Old Favorites Stay Strong

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Monday 13 February 2017 3:14 pm

Zynga, the social gaming giant that ruled rode the early days of Facebook to massive popularity, is experiencing something of a rejuvenation in recent months.

The company is reporting positive growth for 2016 and Q4 earnings that were beyond Wall Street’s expectations. This is especially good news coming from a company that’s always struggling to find its next, big hit.

According to a report from Nasdaq.com, Zynga CEO Frank Gibeau crowed about its big year in a recent conference call to investors saying:

We had a strong Q4 and made significant progress this year in our turnaround and we’re encouraged by the fundamentals of our business as we head into 2017. We’re pleased with the performance of our live services and the quality of our new releases as we improved profitability and continued to sharpen our operating model.

Gibeau went on to report that long-time favorites like Words with Friends and Zynga Poker were still performing well, as were new titles like CSR2 and Dawn of Titans.

The strength of those titles, and Zynga’s extensive catalog of other games, combined to bring in Q4 revenue of $ 190.5 million. Those numbers not only beat the expectations of Wall Street analysts, but also represent a 31 percent improvement over last year.

At the core of Zynga’s success is a user base that simply can’t get enough of social titles and show up year in and year out to play them incessantly. During Q4 2016, Zynga’s  daily active user (DAU) base hovered at a very respectable 18 million, while its average monthly users hit 63 million.

Gibeau took over the top spot at Zynga from the company’s founder, Mark Pinkus, one year ago and has been tasked with restoring the company to its place as one of the top social gaming producers.

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Duterte Executive Order Intensifies War on Gambling

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Saturday 11 February 2017 3:17 pm

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is signalling an intensification of his war on gambling after issuing an executive order that clarifies the roles of various gaming license authorities.

The decidedly unsexy Executive Order No. 13, which Duterte signed on February 2, chopped through the country’s alphabet soup of regulatory agencies by stating that all regulatory agencies need to operate within the bounds of their respective jurisdictions. It also offered a rare moment of self-criticism from Duterte by acknowledging that there has been a great deal of confusion on this matter, according to Philstar.com.

Executive Order No. 13 takes a more sinister turn in the sections that define exactly what Duterte considers to be illegal gambling and its potential impact on the people of the Philippines saying:

Whereas, the State condemns the existence of illegal gambling activities as a widespread social menace and source of corruption, as it has become an influential factor in an individual’s disregard for the value of dignified work, perseverance and thrift.

To anyone who has been following Duterte’s war on drugs, and its skyrocketing body count, will likely get a chill from that particular line of executive doublespeak.

Duterte is not a leader who is completely willing to cut off his country’s badly needed tax revenues. To that end, he did clarify that international customers are welcome to gamble through licensed online operators. Late last year, Duterte attempted to snuff out all online gambling coming through the country, but balked when he saw the cost to the government’s bottom line.

Whether Duterte’s efforts to snuff out illegal gambling work or not will depend largely on whether his supporters, and the vigilante death squads they operate, have the same distaste for gambling that they have for illegal drugs.

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Super Bowl 51 Sports Betting: An After-Game Report

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Thursday 9 February 2017 3:14 pm

Last night the New England Patriots pulled off one of the greatest comeback wins in NFL history with their 34-28 overtime win over the Atlanta Falcons and entered into the legends and lore of American sports betting.

Besides offering up the first overtime in Super Bowl history, the Patriots also delivered a body blow to bookmakers across the country and the world.

Tom Brady and the Patriots took the field as a 3-point favorite and the betting public was more happy to come along for the ride. According to SportsInsight.com, a whopping 62 percent of public money was riding on the Pats. Though other sportsbooks reported more balanced action and a line that held steady at -3 all week seems to bear that out. A lack of line movement indicates an even balance of wagers on both teams.

Those dreams of easy money seemed to fade away as Brady and company entered halftime down 21-3. But nothing is ever easy when it comes to sports betting.

Inspired by Brady’s legendary abilities, confident live bettors threw cash at the Pats and the bookies got burned.

An unnamed sports book manager described the situation to CalvinAyre.com saying:

(The) mood is somber around here. The Pats peaked at 11/1 in game. We lost twice as much on the live betting as we did on the Patriots -3. It was devastating,

While bookmakers that took live action may have taken a hit, more traditional outfits, like the Westgate in Las Vegas, seemed to have a more balanced handle on the action. In an interview with Gambling911.com, a Southpoint sportbook manager reported smooth sailing:

This is a bookmaker’s delight. We haven’t had to move one number, one side, one total or the money line.

Though final numbers have yet to be released, last year Nevada sportsbooks took in about $ 13.3 million in profit on Super Bowl wagers.

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