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March 20th Poker news ... Poker Blog Now at pokerblognow.com
ONLINE POKER COMPANY EXTENDS FRENCH FOOTBALL SPONSORSHIP
CAESAR'S CEO SPEAKS UP FOR ONLINE POKER LEGALISATION
But Loveman insists on a NFL Odds federal solution, and it only embraces poker
Achieving wide coverage that included major newspapers, CNN Money, Fortune magazine and Associated Press articles this week was an op-ed article written by Caesars Entertainment CEO Gary Loveman, supporting the idea of legalised online poker in the USA through the federal rather than individual state route.
The piece was prompted by the recent enforcement actions against major online poker sites (see previous InfoPowa reports), which Loveman sees as an opportunity for the United States to fully
legalise and regulate the $6 billion industry...but the tone of the article suggests that he's focused particularly on internet poker.
“Only federal legislation can clear up the current ambiguities in U.S. law and crack down on other online gambling like sports betting and casino games,” Loveman wrote.
Loveman appears to share the controversial US Department of Justice view that internet poker is expressly illegal in the United States, asserting: "Online poker is currently illegal in the U.S. and, as a result, the $6 billion industry has developed overseas, catering to the wishes of millions of Americans playing from their homes in Ohio, California, Mississippi and every other state. That's crazy."
But the land gambling executive points out that legal actions against PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker won’t change whether millions of Americans want to play online poker.
“Instead, the question is this: Should we seize the moment to legalize online poker, permit a safe and legitimate industry in the U.S., and bring these jobs and revenues home?” Loveman wrote.
“Unequivocally, the answer is yes.”
Associated Press noted that Caesars has long espoused the need to regulate and tax online gambling, and that Loveman’s comments are the first public statements about the indictments from the company that owns the World Series of Poker.
In his piece, Loveman compares the current US market enforcement moves to alcohol prohibition in the 1920s, saying adults are being hamstrung by a law keeping them from activities they consider appropriate.
“Business is being diverted from legitimate, respected companies that employ thousands of people to fly-by-night, underground (and in this case, foreign) operations,” Loveman said in his article, titled "Online Poker - Legalize It.”
"Just like Prohibition, consumers lose all of the protections that come with a government-regulated onshore business. And millions of otherwise law-abiding adult Americans are hamstrung by a law they disrespect and consider to be a barrier to a perfectly appropriate activity," he warns.
Loveman claims that the latest Department of Justice actions have created a unique opportunity to "...bring thousands of jobs home to America, to generate revenues that benefit Americans rather than foreign companies and to bring clarity to the current ambiguous set of federal laws.”
And he recommends: “We should seize the moment."
He adds: "The question we face isn't "will there be online poker?" Millions of Americans have already answered that question through their regular play, and the latest indictments won't change that. In fact, less than 24 hours after the three poker sites were closed, other foreign operators began filling the void."
Turning to the mechanics of regulation, Loveman emphasises the need for a federal solution, saying: "Unfortunately, however well-intentioned it may be, state level legislation will not adequately address the problems that currently exist.
"The goals of legislation are simple: let Americans play online poker in the privacy of their homes, and create jobs and revenues here in America. Only federal legislation can accomplish that, by creating a well-regulated system of online poker. And only federal legislation can clear up the current ambiguities in U.S. law and crack down on other online gambling like sports betting and casino games."
Loveman goes on to detail the generally accepted requirements for sound regulation, covering fair gaming, problem gambling and under-age precautions, financial probity, measures to guard against criminal involvement, money laundering and cheating, and shielding the privacy of players.
"In short, this bill should recognize the reality of the world we live in....And it should acknowledge that as a game of skill, poker deserves to be treated differently than other forms of gambling," Loveman opines.
He optimistically concludes: "One day, we'll look back at 2011 and laugh at the folly of a ban on Internet poker -- just like we now think about Prohibition. The sooner that day comes, the better."
GAMBOOZLE SET TO FILL U.S. ONLINE POKER GAP
Club subscription model is legal, says Intelimax
Vancouver-based Intelimax Media has announced that it is currently preparing a new subscription-based gaming platform on its Gamboozle.com site which will include internet poker.
With an eye on the gap in the US online poker market created by recent federal actions against Pokerstars, Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker and UBPoker, Intelimax says that its new multi-player platform will offer a number of casual games, casino games, poker, fantasy sports and social networking to members through daily play, leader boards and tournaments.
The company will generate revenues through its monthly membership fees and advertising on the website, whilst at the same time providing legal online gambling due to its subscription-based business model.
Glenn Little, Intelimax president and CEO said: "The recent news of several large online poker operators being shut down for illegal activities creates a much greater opportunity for Intelimax.
“Our InteliGaming entertainment platform will cater to those sports, social media and gaming enthusiasts that enjoy conversing and playing online games for free or for a monthly subscription fee to gain access to prizes paid out to weekly leaders and tournament winners."
POKER FOR THE TROOPS
Top aces to head to the war zones
The USO, which provides volunteer celebrity entertainers for shows in war zones where US troops are active, has assembled an all-star poker team to teach the grunts how to play successfully and enjoy the excitement and entertainment of the game.
Posts on Twitter from the organisation advised this week that Howard Lederer, Annie Duke, Tom Dwan, Phil Hellmuth and Huck Seed have all volunteered their services for the USO's inaugural poker tour.
More details will be released soon.