Archive for May, 2012
Illinois lawmakers have been debating the future of online poker legislation. A couple of months ago, Illinois became the first state to sell lottery tickets online. Experts projected that online poker would be the next logical step.
That step is starting to gain consideration among state lawmakers. Senate President John Cullerton proposed making Illinois an online gaming hub. Cullerton said that Internet based casinos could gain popularity all over the world.
Over the past couple of months, Illinois has sold nearly $2 million worth of lottery tickets over the Internet. The successful implementation of an online lottery sales site may have convinced Cullerton that online poker could bring substantial revenue into the state.
Cullerton and other lawmakers will need to act quickly if they intend to pass an online gaming bill this session. The Senate is scheduled to adjourn on May 31.
Cullerton told Gov. Quinn and other lawmakers that online gaming could bring in more money than the lottery along. Many citizens are already playing poker and other games online. The state could significantly increase its revenue share by expanding the Illinois Lottery to include these games as well.
Cullerton advises his colleagues that federal lawmakers are considering legislation that would bar any state from enjoining in the revenues brought by online gaming if they didn’t already have a law on the books. Therefore, he wants the Senate to consider a bill before they adjourn at the end of May. However, many of his colleagues are skeptical about online gaming and the value that it will bring to the state.
According to a spokeswoman for the House Republican Leader, many questions need to be answered. She argued that the state shouldn’t rush to legalize online gaming without having those answers.
Social games have become very popular on Facebook and other social networking sites over the last few years. Although social gaming has already become extremely popular, most experts believe it hasn’t even come close to reaching its peak. However, the business is about to become even more interesting as online gambling is about to go mainstream.
Experts project that online gambling is going to be integrated into social gaming at some point in the future. Although experts have become more optimistic that online gambling will soon be legal in the United States, they have no way of knowing when that will be. Despite the Justice Department’s new take on the Wire Act and how it pertains to online gambling, they feel that any movement to legalize online gaming is years away.
Lawmakers in Washington are sharply divided on whether or not they should legalize online gaming. Meanwhile, state governments, federal law makers, native America tribes and many other stakeholders are clashing on the direction of online gaming. This has caused a lot of confusion as to when online gaming will be mainstream in the United States.
Online gaming is expected to become a major new opportunity for people who already play casino games on Facebook and other social networking sites. As of last week, gambling has become more popular on Facebook than Farmville. The site’s users are still eagerly waiting for the day when they will be able to play for real cash.
Although many people enjoy social gaming, not all of them are looking to expand those services to include playing for real money. Many of them are concerned that minors who have come to enjoy social gaming will quickly become addicted to online gambling.
Many experts in the gaming industry have mentioned that online gaming could be the salvation for social gaming site Zynga. However, experts are starting to feel that online gaming may not be in the cards for the company.
Given the amount of political discord in Washington, many experts feel that it could take years before the online gaming situation is resolved. This means that Zynga may not be able to make online gaming a realistic revenue goal in the near future.
According to Kevin Stevens, a computer programmer and expert in the field of online gaming, the drama centered around Zynga and online gaming could be purely a marketing tactic. If that is the case, then the ploy seems to have worked. Zynga has received a lot of attention after the announcement that it could be merging with Wynn Resort and Casino.
Despite the rumors, Zynga has also received a lot of bad publicity regarding its growth model. CNN published an article that Zynga has been defying expectations recently, but is also struggling to maintain the backing of its investors.
Analysts aren’t entirely clear what is holding the company back. Some theorize that the firm’s commitment to online gambling may be working against it. Investors may believe that Zynga is investing a lot of money into a deal that may not possibly be able to survive. Unless online gaming regulations change in the near future, the firm could have a very difficult time getting investors to support it, the stock is currently trading at $6.82 from a high of $15.91.
If online gaming legislation changes in the near future, Zynga could stand to benefit from its new platform. However, CEO Mark Pinkus will need to wait a while before he hears whether online gaming will be in the company’s future.
The Tribal Alliance of Sovereign Indian Nations (TASIN) has taken a stand against every online gaming bill that has come out of Washington. The TASIN has not changed its position as California lawmakers are considering a new bill that would legalize online gaming in the state.
Senators Rob Write and Darrell Steinberg have been working on getting their bill through Congress since the later part of 2011. They originally hoped to get the bill passed in the legislator by June. However, they have hit a couple of roadblocks along the way. TASIN is the latest stakeholder that is arguing against the wording of the bill.
According to a spokesperson from TASIN, the bill would violate a treaty between the State of California and its tribal governments. The tribal alliance’s greatest concern is that the bill includes a clause that calls for a blanket waiver of tribal sovereign immunity. TASIN argues that clause is biased and inappropriate. Representatives have written to Wright and Steinberg and argued that the clause be removed.
Californian tribes are also concerned about who will benefit from the new laws. They argue that the bill should restrict online gaming licenses to casinos that already have licenses. Also, they feel gaming should be limited to online poker. One clause in the bill calls to legalize all forms of online gaming within two years of the date the bill is signed. TASIN’s letter to Wright and Steinberg said that clause should be removed as well.
Sen. Wright is passionate about getting this bill through Congress. He has said before that it is unwise to hinder the progress of technology. However, California will still need to consider the needs of Native American tribes as it moves forward with any legislation.
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The United States Justice Department opened the doors for online poker legislation at the end of last year. Politicians at both the state and federal level have been struggling to figure out where to go from here on in. State governments have shown they have a different agenda than lawmakers in Washington. As they continue to embark on different paths, state and federal lawmakers are trying to establish some ground rules to make sure neither steps on the other’s turf.
According to former Nevada House Representative Jon Porter, the federal government is asking states to put their gaming plans on hold. Federal lawmakers do not want to infringe on state rights, but would like to discuss the best way to implement gaming legislation for everyone involved.
Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Jon Kyl from Arizona are both enacting new legislation that would legalize online gaming. Both senators were encouraged when the Justice Department stated that the Wire Act of 1961 only applied to sports betting. However, that change may not have affected them as positively as they had hoped.
Reid and Kyl must now contend with the fact that states are moving forward with their own legislation that may be inconsistent with the direction they were hoping to take online gaming. According to Alexander Berzon, a renowned journalist from the Wall Street Journal, the federal government is likely to try to overturn state legislation as it clarifies what it is looking for with its own legislation.
That is exactly what would happen if the state legislation was passed. If either Kyl or Reid got their bills through both houses and signed by the president, the new legislation would supercede anything the states passed.
In the meantime, several states are much closer to passing online gaming legislation than Washington. However, federal lawmakers may push harder to get an online gaming bill through Congress if they are concerned with the direction individual states are taking online gaming.
Illinois lawmakers have considered the benefits online gaming could provide for the state. Spectrum Gaming Group recently released a report that found expanding the state’s gambling industry would create more revenue than previous estimates forecast.
Spectrum found that a larger gaming industry would create millions of dollars in tax revenue each year. In addition, a new gaming bill would help the state create thousands of private sector jobs. Lawmakers are considering all available evidence as they debate whether online gaming legislation will be in the state’s best interest. This report provides more encouragement for lawmakers and lobbyists interested in legalizing online gaming in Illinois.
Although some lawmakers still question the wisdom of legalizing online gaming in Illinois, they are likely to be moved by a report that shows a new online gaming bill could bring nearly $200 million to the state and create more than 20,000 jobs.
Although the bill focuses mostly on building additional land-based casinos, it offers support to those looking to increase online gaming legislation. Illinois has already become the first state to sell lottery tickets online. Lawmakers continue to look at online gaming as another big step towards creating revenue for the state.
Research has also found introducing new casinos has not significantly lowered lottery sales. This suggests that online gaming legislation may not damage state lotteries as much as many opponents fear.
Proponents of online gaming wonder what the next move will be in Illinois. Some expect that lawmakers will introduce new bills that could expand online gaming in Illinois.
Brian Mattingly, CEO of 888 is optimistic that online poker will soon be legal in the United States. 888poker abided with the terms of the Unlawful Internet Enforcement Gambling Act. After former President Bush signed the bill in 2006, 888poker left the United States market. However, Mattingly said his company is optimistic about coming back into the market in the coming months.
Mattingly has just replaced Gigi Levy as CEO last month. He is already thinking big things for 888poker, but wants to take things slow as he absorbs the new environment for online gaming.
Mattingly said that one of the big things it has going for it is its reputation. Many of its competitors continued to operate in the United States, but 888poker insisted on abiding by the law and maintaining the trust of its customers and regulators. Mattingly said this trust will help the company establish itself in the United States gaming market when Congress approves a bill regulating online gaming.
888poker is already applying for a license in Nevada. The company is going to move forward with its plans to capture the Nevada gaming market when lawmakers confirm online poker is regulated within the state.
888poker is prepared to expand its operations in a number of venues if other states and the federal government pass online gaming bills. They believe this is the next big thing they need to do to expand their firm. 888poker can’t capture much more of the market in Europe, which has already been saturated with competitors. The United States remains the next big frontier Mattingly and other 888 executives hope to delve into.
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Players at the 888 Casino may celebrate May Day this year in style with a choice of different benefits. The 888 Casino has introduced its May Day Madness promotion that is rolling in May 2012.
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