erinwootan

A New Perspective

Posted on: April 22, 2011

I had the privilege of sitting through a lecture with Mark Lipparelli, Chairman of the Gaming Control Board, in which he addressed the ongoing Internet Poker situation. It was interesting to hear a new perspective, since you get so many stories through  the news, and it’s great to hear from someone who is relatively close to the situation. First of all, he made it clear that it was very difficult to say how this would play out now that the Government has taken control of the situation. I asked him if he had an opinion about whether this would be a gateway to legislation or a nail in the coffin for internet poker. He honestly responded that he really didn’t have any better a feel for it than anyone else. It’s all just speculation at this point. Next, I was able to ask him if he thought that the indicted poker companies would likely be restricted from being licensed if and when legislation does pass, and he mentioned that companies probably won’t be explicitly excluded, however, certain companies and politicians might be more inclined to back legislation if the big players are not involved. This is especially true for the large casino companies like MGM, Wynn, LV Sands, etc…who would be way behind the game if those poker companies were to be allowed into the mix. Another growing questions seems to be when will players be able to get their money back from these poker sites. Mr. Lipparelli has visited almost all of these facilities overseas and said that if it is a reputable company, it is likely they will return money to players. “When” is the real question players should be asking. I just read an article today that quoted 4-6 weeks, however, Full Tilt issued a press release stating: “There exists no authorized U.S. payment channel through which to make refunds.” It is going to be difficult to have banks issue checks, since one of the main claims against these companies is bank fraud. To sum it all up, it seems like nobody has all the answers. In terms of Nevada, Harry Reid is fighting hard for legislation and he is a good person to have backing an issue. Governor Sandoval has made it clear, as have many other state leaders, that a “Federal First” stance will be taken. That means the State of Nevada will not make any moves in the direction of legalization or legislation of Internet Poker until there is first action taken at the Federal level. And if you’ve ever paid attention to how laws are passed, you will understand that this fight is just in the infant stages. In the mean time, Nevada is preparing itself for that day, when legislation occurs, which it likely will at some point. It is very likely that the first state to have a regulatory process in place will be the main breadwinner in terms of taxes, and don’t we know Nevada could use all the extra revenue it can get. I personally have a feeling that this will take a long time to sort out. In the mean time, it will be interesting to watch the indictments unfold in New York, and what will become of PokerStars and Full Tilt in terms of a US market.

What are your opinions on this matter and how it’s unfolded over the past week?

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This blog is devoted to the gaming industry news and information - keeping you up to date on the happenings in the gaming world. My personal expertise lies in event planning and entertainment in casinos.

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