Feeling grows that Net poker is nearing

Based on headlines alone, 2011 has been a bad year for Internet poker.

Federal indictments in April shut down three of the largest online poker sites that catered to Americans. Other popular Web portals cut their access to U.S. gamblers after the legal action was unsealed.

Also, four states and the District of Columbia failed in efforts to legalize the activity.

But the game has shifted.

Caesars Entertainment Corp. Chairman Gary Loveman optimistically told investors on Aug. 9 that members of Congress view the federal legalization of Internet “as inevitable.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D.-Nev., echoed those sentiments a few days later. In a meeting with members of the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s reporting staff, Reid said he expects Congress to take up debate on legalizing Internet poker “soon,” although he wasn’t ready to commit a time frame.

Many are now looking toward the “supercommittee,” the 12 senators and representatives charged with finding some
$1.5 trillion in debt savings over a 10-year period.

With estimates of Americans having wagered $6 billion annually on the activity, Internet poker proponents said there is just too much money — and too many potential tax dollars — on the table for the committee of six Republicans and six Democrats not to at least consider federal legalization and regulation.

“There’s a lot of speculation that the committee will take a serious look at Internet poker,” said Las Vegas attorney Greg Gemignani, who is chairman of the technology and Internet division of Lionel Sawyer & Collins’ gaming practice.

One reason for optimism is the appearance of Sen. John Kyl, R-Ariz., on the panel. The conservative Kyl joined Reid earlier this year in supporting online poker legislation.

“It’s no longer a question of if, but when,” Loveman said of Internet poker’s legalization.

Caesars stands to benefit more than any Nevada casino operator if the U.S. legalizes Internet poker. The company owns the lucrative World Series of Poker and operates Internet poker websites in Europe that capitalize on the popular brand.

Federal legislation is all that’s needed for the company to launch an American-based pay-for-play World Series of Poker website.

Meanwhile, Nevada has begun the process of adopting regulations, allowing the state to license and oversee Internet poker providers pending federal approval. State gaming regulators released the first draft for industry review on Aug. 24.

Gaming Control Board Chairman Mark Lipparelli said he hopes to have the regulations set by Jan. 31.

“We can’t predict what may happen with any national legislation and we have attempted to frame these regulations in a manner that will provide appropriate flexibility,” Lipparelli said.

Gemignani and his partner at Lionel Sawyer & Collins, former U.S. Sen. Richard Bryan, have long advocated Nevada as the hub for regulating Internet casinos once federal approval of Internet poker takes effect.

With Congress seemingly headed down that road, the firm will host a workshop on Internet gaming for Nevada’s media next week at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ Boyd School of Law.

“This is all-new territory for many states, but Nevada has the people intimately familiar with how gaming regulation works,” Gemignani said.

The nationwide shutdown of Internet poker began April 15 with the indictment of 11 individuals, including the founders of PokerStars, FullTilt Poker and Absolute Poker, on charges of money laundering and bank fraud.

But the action didn’t stop poker players. Traditional casinos saw their poker business increase. The World Series of Poker at the Rio attracted a record 75,672 players and a record- high prize pool of $191.9 million. Other Internet poker players moved to Canada, the Caribbean, Europe and jurisdictions where the activity is legal.

“Obviously, the appetite for poker has not dropped off,” Gemignani said.

It’s that hunger for the game — and its potential revenues — that has Internet poker players hoping the last four months of 2011 will be better than the first eight months of the year.

Howard Stutz’s Inside Gaming column appears Sundays. He can be reached at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871. He blogs at lvrj.com/blogs/stutz.
Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
Motel 8 on south Strip will become site of hotel-casino
Israeli hoteliers Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah bought Motel 8 on the south Strip for $7.4 million, records show. They plan to bulldoze the property and build a hotel-casino. Motel 8 was built in the 1960s and used to be one of several roadside inns on what's now the south Strip. But it looks out of place today, dwarfed by the towering Mandalay Bay right across the street.
Project billed as one of the world's largest marijuana dispensaries plans to open Nov. 1
Planet 13 co-CEO Larry Scheffler talks about what to expect from the new marijuana dispensary, Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Oasis Biotech opens in Las Vegas
Brock Leach, chief operating officer of Oasis Biotech, discusses the new plant factory at its grand opening on July 18. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV Tech Park innovation building breaks ground
Construction on the first innovation building at the UNLV Tech Park is underway. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caesars Forum Meeting Center
Caesars broke ground Monday on its $375 million Caesars Forum Meeting Center (convention center) just east of the High Roller observation wheel. (Caesars Entertainment)
Technology reshapes the pawn shop industry
Devin Battersby attaches a black-colored device to the back of her iPhone and snaps several of the inside and outside of a Louis Vuitton wallet. The device, installed with artificial intelligence capabilities, analyzes the images using a patented microscopic technology. Within a few minutes, Battersby receives an answer on her app. The designer item is authentic.
Recreational marijuana has been legal in Nevada for one year
Exhale Nevada CEO Pete Findley talks about the one year anniversary of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Nevada. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Young adults aren't saving for retirement
Financial advisors talk about saving trends among young adults. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
President Trump’s tariffs could raise costs for real estate developers, analysts say
President Donald Trump made his fortune in real estate, but by slapping tariffs on imports from close allies, developers in Las Vegas and other cities could get hit hard.
Las Vegas business and tariffs
Barry Yost, co-owner of Precision Tube Laser, LLC, places a metal pipe into the TruLaser Tube 5000 laser cutting machine on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Nevada Film Office Connects Businesses To Producers
The director of the Nevada Film Office discusses its revamped locations database and how it will affect local businesses. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Opendoor isn't the typical house flipping company
Unlike most house flippers, the company aims to make money from transaction costs rather than from selling homes for more than their purchase price.
The Venetian gondoliers sing Italian songs
Gondolier Marciano sings a the classic Italian song "Volare" as he leads guests through the canals of The Venetian in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Building In Logandale
Texas homebuilder D.R. Horton bought 43 lots in rural Logandale. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Indoor farming in Southern Nevada
Experts discuss Nevada's indoor farming industry. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Fontainebleau could have become a Waldorf Astoria
Months after developer Steve Witkoff bought the Fontainebleau last summer, he unveiled plans to turn the mothballed hotel into a Marriott-managed resort called The Drew. But if Richard “Boz” Bosworth’s plans didn’t fall through, the north Las Vegas Strip tower could have become a Waldorf Astoria with several floors of timeshare units. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
LVCVA CEO Rossi Ralenkotter announces plans to retire
Rossi Ralenkotter, CEO of the LVCVA, on Tuesday confirmed a Las Vegas Review-Journal report that he is preparing to retire. Richard N. Velotta/ Las Vegas Review-Journal
Cousins Maine Lobster to open inside 2 Las Vegas Smith’s stores
Cousins Maine Lobster food truck company will open inside Las Vegas’ two newest Smith’s at Skye Canyon Park Drive and U.S. Highway 95, and at Warm Springs Road and Durango Drive. Cousins currently sells outside some Las Vegas Smith’s stores and at Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas home prices to continue to rise, expert says
Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, gives homebuyers a pulse on the Las Vegas housing market. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NV Energy announces clean energy investment
The company is planning to add six solar projects in Nevada, along with the state's first major battery energy storage capacity. Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal
3 Mario Batali restaurants on Las Vegas Strip to close
Days after new sexual misconduct allegations were made against celebrity chef Mario Batali, his company announced Friday that it will close its three Las Vegas restaurants July 27. Employees of Carnevino Italian Steakhouse, B&B Ristorante and Otto Enoteca e Pizzeria, all located in The Venetian and Palazzo resorts, were informed of the decision Friday morning. Bastianich is scheduled to visit the restaurants Friday to speak to employees about the next two months of operation as well as how the company plans to help them transition to new positions.
Nevada has its first cybersecurity apprenticeship program
The Learning Center education company in Las Vegas has launched the first apprenticeship program for cybersecurity in Nevada. It was approved by the State Apprenticeship Council on May 15. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like