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Casino Executive Based In Las Vegas Not A Fan Of Online Gambling; Competitor Is Pro Online Casino - Poker, by Greg Tingle - 8th December 2011


World's Richest Casino Exec Not So Keen On Online Casinos, Poker..., by Greg Tingle


You may not of heard of this cashed up gambling and property tycoon, but he's happy to share his thoughts on online gambling, especially when it comes to his U.S turf. No, it's not Donald Trump, Steve Wynn or even Richard Branson. Meet Sheldon Adelson.

Adelson is by all accounts the world's wealthiest casino executive and top dog of the industry's largest publicly traded company, says he is against online gambling because he doesn't believe available technology is good enough at the moment to prevent young people from making wagers on the Internet, a spokesman said Wednesday.

Adelson's sharing his personal viewpoint is just that - personal - rather than a formal stance taken by his firm that owns and operates casino-resorts in Las Vegas, Macau, Singapore and Bethlehem, Pa., Las Vegas Sands spokesman Ron Reese said.

Reese advised Adelson hasn't spoken with the company's board about his position, nor has the board decided an online gambling plan.

"It's a personal observation of concerns about technology," Reese said.

The opposition comes at a time when numerous other operators, including Caesars Entertainment Corp and MGM Resorts International, have backed an industry push to legalize online poker and let established land based casinos offer the service in the U.S. MGM Resorts International even went as far as to ink a deal with world's leading igaming firm Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment.

Poker, which involves a combination of skill and luck (as ruled in legal cases), now huge on the internet (see World Poker Tour and World Series of Poker), has been illegal online for real money since a 2006 law was brought in and ruled against igaming operators from providing games by preventing financial institutions from processing funds for the majority of online gaming.

The land based casino sector has swayed over the years from anti online gambling to largely pro online gambling, of course, with them getting some of the financial rewards. The bricks and mortars casinos have seen some of their punters go online to bet, with the traditional casinos missing out of the action. It's unclear how much revenue traditional casinos are down, thanks to online casinos, but a Media Man spokesperson said "Online casinos have cost land based casinos in the U.S and elsewhere, many millions, if not billions of dollars. Vegas and Atlantic City land based casinos are down. People still like to bet and the internet serves them well, be it for poker, casino, sports betting or slots".

The American Gaming Association, the leading U.S gaming lobby group, has switched from a neutral stance to pro actively pursuing federal legislation that would allow for legalization and regulation of online poker. Online poker could be a lead in to online casino games.

Frank Fahrenkopf, CEO of the American Gaming Association, said he met with Adelson on Monday and Adelson advised him he'll oppose legislation to legalize online poker on U.S soil.

"Sheldon has long had concerns about this issue, and it is perfectly within his right to make this decision," Fahrenkopf said in a statement. "However, the AGA, at the direction of our board of directors, will continue to support federal legislation to allow states to license and regulate online poker."

The online gambling industry is not seeking to legalize other games like blackjack, craps and slots online. Those games are a different kind of animal because players wager against the house. In poker, players wager against each other and operators take a fee from each pot in exchange for hosting the game. Of course if online poker becomes totally legal in the U.S, this may lead to online casino games also becoming totally legal in the states.

The matter of online poker has heated up among players and casino executives in the past 12 months. U.S. Senate Majority Leader last year pitched a blueprint to legalize poker that fell short without legislation being introduced. Last April, three of the largest online gaming operators who offered online poker in defiance of the law had their websites seized and executives indicted by the U.S. Justice Department, accused of financial crimes including fraud and money laundering for disguising payments for gambling funds as transactions for things like flowers and golf balls. The day it all went down, including sites going down et al, is known in igaming circles as 'Black Friday'.

After the indictments, the estimated $6 billion U.S. online poker market dived overnight, leaving many players unable to access funds in online poker bankrolls.

Then, with the "big three" poker websites closed out of the U.S, the American Casino Association became more active in urging lawmakers to close loopholes and draw up better regulations.

One thing is for certain. Online poker and online casino players are not going to want to stop playing the games they love. Players are mainly sticking to brands they know and trust with some of the leading contenders being PartyPoker.com PartyCasino.com PKR.com World Poker Tour and the World Series of Poker.

Australian casino mogul James Packer's Crown Casino has the 'Aussie Millions Poker Championship' coming up in Melbourne this January and providers such as PartyPoker.com are even offering qualifying poker matches, where players get to 'Win a seat to Aussie Millions'. Bwin.Party's World Poker Tour is also broadcast of American and Australian pay television, which online helps fuel the popularity of online gambling.

Fahrenkopf advised his casino association wants federal legislation that allows U.S states to decide whether to offer poker to its residents, keeps youngsters from gambling online and lets law enforcement shut down illegal operators.

If you enjoy a punt, please bet with your head, not over it, and have fun.


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Donald Trump says US should legalize Internet betting, by Greg Tingle

Donald Trump has witnessed lots of money side slipping him, and he's hoping that situation changes soon.

The real estate, gaming and entertainment tsar, and founder of an Atlantic City casino company says the US should legalize internet gambling. The company that bears his name, Trump Entertainment Resorts, is moving forward with plans to establish an online betting venture... just as soon as it is legal to do so.

The company says it wants to get in on the ground floor of the internet gambling industry, and is close to selecting a joint venture partner to run an online gambling operation. The idea is to be well-placed and ready to go as soon as such activity is legalized in the United States.

"It should be approved here," Trump told news media. "An awful lot of money is leaving the U.S. that should and could stay in this country."

Trump Entertainment, which includes Donald Trump and daughter, Ivanka, and the Avenue Capital hedge fund, would own 10% of the new business venture.

Donald Trump advised the key to success in the online gambling market is having the best brand.

"We think we have the hottest brand there is, the Trump brand, my personal brand," he said. "We think it's going to do phenomenally well."

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Trump Entertainment said it has "determined that such a joint venture represents the most advantageous way for the company to participate in opportunities in online gaming at minimal cost to the company."

No cost estimates were given, and Robert Griffin, the company's CEO, declined to comment Thursday. But in March, after Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill passed by New Jersey lawmakers that would have allowed Internet betting solely within New Jersey's borders, Griffin said the money lost to offshore operators should benefit New Jersey.

The new law would seen New Jersey become the first state in the nation to allow Internet betting.

"Currently, millions of Americans engage in online gaming with illegal offshore operators, and do so with no oversight, no regulation or no consumer protections," Griffin said at the time. "It makes sense for the state of New Jersey to regulate this activity, enforce strict standards to ensure games are fair and safe, and in turn be able to collect tax revenue instead of having those dollars and the jobs they support leaving New Jersey and going illegally overseas."

Christie advised he vetoed the law fearing it was unconstitutional and could lead to an explosion of betting parlors throughout the state. By law, gambling in New Jersey is restricted to gaming hotspot Atlantic City.

But a New Jersey lawmaker is asserting that individual states in fact have the legal right to offer in-state Internet gambling within their own borders.

State Sen. Raymond Lesniak, D-Union, wrote in July to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder asserting that New Jersey and all other states can legally offer online betting within their borders.

Lesniak said he will introduce legislation in November to address the prime concerns expressed by Christie.

The filing said the company, Donald and Ivanka Trump, and Avenue Capital have signed an agreement authorizing the joint venture once it becomes legal, and that prohibits any of them from seeking other online gambling ventures through May 2012.

Atlantic City is in the midst of a nearly 5-year revenue slump brought on by increasing competition from casinos in neighboring states, and worsened by the continuing unsteady economy. It's also speculated that many AC businesses have not adapted well to the internet medium.

Just a few online gaming companies that are understood to be interested in coming to business terms with Trump include Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, Richard Branson's Virgin Games and PKR. Most experts see Bwin.Party as the best bet, as they don't have any outstanding issues with the US Department of Justice, and have been playing by the rules (law) for many years, while other gambling companies continue to go after U.S players.

Internet gambling is legal in many countries, with the U.S being a glaring exception.

Media Man is following up.

 

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IGT Goes 'All In' With Texas Hold'em Heads Up Poker(TM) at World Series of Poker

Poker Game's Mathematical Model Simulates the Operation of the Human Brain to Give Players Authentic Experience

LAS VEGAS, Nov. 3, 2011 - The over 150 million Texas Hold'em fans around the world will be hootin' and hollerin' at no longer having to wait in long lines to play the tables or lasso up a willing opponent with the debut of Texas Hold'em Heads Up Poker(TM) from International Game Technology (NYSE: IGT). Premiering at the 2011 World Series of Poker at the Rio in Las Vegas on Nov. 5-6, fans can now enjoy everything they love about Texas Hold'em - the strategy, bluffing and tells - in an interactive poker machine.

IGT's Texas Hold'em Heads Up Poker(TM) is the first poker game to use a neural net, a technology-developed mathematical model that simulates the operation of the human brain.
The advanced technology of Texas Hold'em Heads Up Poker(TM) recreates engaging behavioral nuances such as opponent "bluffing" and "thinking" in a scenario that's less intimidating than a live-table experience - making the slot machine inviting to all levels of Texas Hold'em players.

In addition to the innovative technology, a number of other features will have casino-goers strapping on their cowboy boots to test their skills against this highly individualized game:
Striking graphics and player-customizable options - including fun touchscreen good luck charms - will entertain and delight even the coolest poker players.

The Multi-Hit Stud Bonus game doubles the action and increases the player experience.
After the conclusion of a game, the "peek" feature gives the player the choice to see the opponent's cards - even if a showdown did not take place - giving the player insight as to how the opponent plays.

At this year's World Series of Poker, Texas Hold'em Heads Up Poker(TM)will be on display for players, operators and media to try on Nov. 5-6. IGT brand ambassadors will be handing out free play coupons from 4-6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5, and from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 6.

"Designed to bring all the thrills and high drama of live-action table Texas Hold'em to the slot machine format, players will want to put on their shades and pull down the brim of their hats to hide their tells when they saddle up to Texas Hold'em Heads Up Poker," said Eric Tom, IGT executive vice president, North America Sales and Global Operations. "This is a game that players of every level can test their craftiest bluffing strategies and Texas Hold'em skills against."

About IGT
International Game Technology (NYSE: IGT) is a global leader in the design, development and manufacture of gaming machines and systems products, as well as online and mobile gaming solutions for regulated markets.

 

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Profile

Las Vegas (often abbreviated to "Vegas") is the most populous city in the state of Nevada, United States, the seat of Clark County, and an internationally known vacation, shopping, entertainment, and gambling destination. It was established in 1905 and officially became a city in 1911. It is the largest U.S. city founded in the 20th century.

The name Las Vegas is often applied to the unincorporated areas of Clark County that surround the city, especially the resort areas on and near the Las Vegas Strip. This 4½ mi (7.2 km) stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard is mostly outside the Las Vegas city limits, in the unincorporated towns of Paradise and Winchester.

The center of gambling in the United States, Las Vegas is marketed as The Entertainment Capital of the World, also commonly known as Sin City, due to the popularity of legalized gambling, availability of alcoholic beverages at any time (as is true throughout Nevada), and various forms and degrees of adult entertainment. The city's glamorous image has made it a popular setting for films and television programs.

Las Vegas started as a stopover on the pioneer trails to the west and became a popular railroad town in the early 1900s. It was a staging point for all the mines in the surrounding area, especially those around the town of Bullfrog, that shipped their goods out to the rest of the country. With the growth of the railroads, Las Vegas became less important, but the completion of the nearby Hoover Dam resulted in substantial growth in tourism, which, along with the legalization of gambling, led to the advent of the casino-hotels for which Las Vegas is famous.

The city owes almost all its current status and reputation to the American mafia. All of the original large casinos were managed or at least funded under mob figures Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky.

The constant stream of tourist dollars from the hotels and casinos was augmented by a new source of federal money. This money came from the establishment of what is now Nellis Air Force Base. The influx of military personnel and casino job-hunters helped start a land building boom which still goes on today.

Tourism

The major attractions in Las Vegas are the hotels. The most famous hotels line Las Vegas Boulevard South, also known as the Las Vegas Strip. Many of these hotels carry thousands of rooms and are featured on various themes. There are, of course, large casino areas in these hotels as well. There are many hotel casinos in the city's downtown area as well, which was the original focal point of the city's gaming industry in its early days. Several large hotels and casinos are also located somewhat off the Strip but adjacent to it, as well as in the county around the city.

Some of the most notable casinos located downtown are on the Fremont Street Experience and include:

* Golden Nugget
* Four Queens
* Binion's Gambling Hall and Hotel
* Fremont Casino
* Plaza Hotel & Casino
* Las Vegas Club
* Fitzgeralds Las Vegas
* Golden Gate Hotel and Casino
* California Hotel and Casino

Sports

Sports in Las Vegas

Currently, Las Vegas is without any major-league level sports teams although the city's metropolitan population is as large or larger than current cities with professional sports teams such as Buffalo, New York; San Antonio; Pittsburgh; Portland, Oregon; Indianapolis; Milwaukee; and Green Bay, Wisconsin. The hurdle the city needs to overcome is professional leagues being concerned about legalized sports betting in the city and the competition for residents' entertainment budget. High profile one-time sporting events, though, have had success. For example the Las Vegas metropolitan area hosted the NBA 2007 All-Star Game. The NASCAR Sprint Cup series race in the area has drawn up to 165,000 fans. Neither of these events have taken place directly in Las Vegas city limits (although that is no different than most cities teams that play in suburban areas).

Economy

The primary drivers of the Las Vegas economy have been the confluence of tourism, gaming, and conventions which in turn feed the retail and dining industries. Several companies involved in the manufacture of electronic gaming machines, such as slot machines, are located in the Las Vegas area. In the 2000s retail and dining have become attractions of their own.

Tourism marketing and promotion are handled by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, a county wide agency. Its annual Visitors Survey provides detailed information on visitor numbers, spending patterns and resulting revenues

Las Vegas, as the county seat and home to the Lloyd D. George Federal District Courthouse, draws numerous legal service industries providing bail, marriage, divorce, tax, incorporation and other legal services.

Many technology companies have either relocated to Las Vegas or were created there. For various reasons, the Las Vegas area has had a high concentration of technology companies in electronic gaming and telecommunications industries. Some current technology companies in southern Nevada include Bigelow Aerospace, CommPartners, Datanamics, eVital Communications, Petroglyph, SkywireMedia, Switch Communications, and WorldDoc. Companies that originally were formed in Las Vegas, but have since sold or relocated include Westwood Studios (sold to Electronic Arts), Systems Research & Development (Sold to IBM), Yellowpages.com (Sold to Bellsouth and SBC), and MPower Communications.

Constant population growth means that the housing construction industry is vitally important. In 2000 more than 21,000 new homes and 26,000 resale homes were purchased. In early 2005 there were 20 residential development projects of more than 300 acres (1.2 km²) each currently underway. (Credit: Wikipedia).

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