Legal Internet UFA Gaming Doesn’t Look Likely in Near Term

While high-tech gaming advocates say a U.S. Justice Department advisory opinion against Internet gambling represents a significant setback for the industry, they’re not ready to give up efforts to someday make cybercasinos legal in the United States.

However, prominent Las Vegas gaming attorney Anthony Cabot indicated he doesn’t expect to see Internet gambling legalized in the United States any time soon.

Cabot and three other Internet gambling experts addressed the state of online casinos in a panel on the opening day of the four-day Global Gaming Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Last month the Justice Department affirmed its long-held stance that Internet gambling violates existing Wire Act laws making it illegal to place bets across state lines by telephone. The Clinton administration opposed Internet gambling and the Justice Department interpretation confirmed that President Bush also opposes it.

But most of the participants in the Tuesday panel held out hope that pending test cases on Internet gambling will reach the U.S. Supreme Court, which they hope would deliver an opinion that would favor the industry.

“Europe is now the hub of Internet gaming,” said panelist Marc Falcone, a gaming analyst with Deutsche Bank.

Falcone said Las Vegas gaming giant MGM MIRAGE is expected to have its own live gaming Internet site on line within a couple of months. The MGM MIRAGE operation would be based on the Isle of Man, an island off the coast of Great Britain.

Park Place Entertainment Corp., Station Casinos Inc. and Las Vegas Sands, which operates The Venetian, also are contemplating or developing Internet gaming ventures in foreign countries. But all of them are wary that they’ll be watched carefully by Nevada regulators, who won’t permit the companies from accepting bets from locations where gambling is illegal.

Assurances that the companies can qualify their players as legal bettors will be critical for them to operate and none of the companies wants to risk jeopardizing their valuable Nevada licenses.

Because of the unique characteristics of the Internet, many lawmakers pushed for a clear ban of online gaming in the United States. But efforts to pass legislation failed. In the meantime, Nevada became a proving ground for online technology, said panelist Richard Fitzpatrick, head of the Interactive Gaming Institute.

Over several years Fitzpatrick said, Nevada UFA casinos operated kiosks wired to sports books for remote wagering, closed-circuit television systems allowing bettors to gamble from their hotel rooms and technology that enables gamblers to place sports bets on cellular telephones and from their Palm Pilots.

Frank Fahrenkopf, president and chief executive officer of the American Gaming Association, said legislation making its way through Congress wouldn’t ban Internet gambling, but it would likely shut down betting from computer users who make their transactions by credit card.

A current proposal would make credit card gambling debts uncollectable. The reaction from credit card companies has been to prohibit the use of credit cards for a gambling stake at Internet casino sites. The online auction company eBay also has announced if it successfully acquires PayPal, an Internet commerce transaction system, it would institute a similar ban on casino stakes.

Cabot said he does not expect to see online sports wagering — the most popular form of Internet gambling — to be legalized in the United States in his lifetime. He’s also pessimistic about the chances of games of skill being played over the Internet for money, though many jurisdictions don’t consider person-to-person so-called games of skill, like poker, to fit the legal definition of gambling.

Panelists concurred that support for games-of-skill tournaments could come from an unlikely source — video game competitors, who are organizing events with admission fees and cash prizes that would function much like a poker tournament.

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Ligaz11 Review of Yes, You Can Win!

Bob Stupak was the founder and owner of the Vegas World ligaz11 Casino in Las Vegas, which is now the Stratosphere. A tireless promoter, Stupak was both one of the of the most innovative and controversial casino entrepreneurs. He’s also known as a big gambler himself, being one of the “old school” of casino owners who is both willing to fade very large action, occasionally gambling his casino’s livelihood against his opposition, and willing to make large wagers himself. Despite his brash style, Stupak also understands the fundamentals of gambling and mathematics. In Yes, You Can Win! Stupak dispenses gambling advice focused on what works for his personal style.

 

In his book, Stupak discusses the intrinsic mathematics of gambling at a very introductory level. I might quibble with the way he presents some concepts, but he gets the math right. He also relates his preferred style of gambling: Start with a moderate sized stake for the session, increase bet sizes when winning, but don’t double up, and decrease bet sizes when losing. Stupak feels that this gives the gambler a reasonable chance at making a big score without risking either an enormous session loss or on getting tapped out on a single big bet. While he decries more familiar “system” betting, like the D’Alembert or Martingale systems, the system he prefers using confers no intrinsic advantage or disadvantage over any other style, it’s just a method that suits him. This is fine, but it’s unfortunate that it’s presented as a superior system when it’s not. At least he does admit that no betting style, including his, can overcome the house advantage.

 

He talks about the rules and procedures for three of the most popular casino games: craps, blackjack, and roulette. These are all presented at the beginning level, and his description of play is easy to follow. His blackjack basic strategy table isn’t perfect, but it’s not completely out of line, and the rest of the information he presents on these games is accurate. Stupak also discusses slot machines. He mentions calculating pay back based on the number of reels and the number of stops on each reel. Even when the book was written, this information wasn’t correct for almost, if not all, slot machines in Nevada casinos. Instead of the stops being chosen randomly with equal probability, they’re chosen electronically, and each stop on each wheel may have a different probability of occurring.

 

Due to his direct style and relentless self-promotion people view Stupak in a variety of ways, ranging from admiration to bemusement to outright contempt. The title page touts Stupak as “The World’s Foremost Gambler”. Whether this is true or not can be debated, but his style is evident in this book. No place is this more apparent than in the last chapter, where Stupak is interviewed by some nameless individual, and in the first chapter, where the author describes how he came up with the idea for the Stratosphere tower.

 

I found this out of print book to be amusing. I think the gambling advice is better presented in a few other books, but his approach isn’t bad, especially considering how many awful books there are on the market. This isn’t a book that most people should relentlessly seek out, but for die-hard gambling readers who find Stupak’s style and antics at least amusing, it’s worth acquiring on the cheap if one stumbles across it.

 

Capsule:

Love or hate him, at least Bob Stupak is an interesting and genuine character. In “Yes, You Can Win!”, Stupak provides information on how to play the three most well-known casino table games and dispenses his advice on how he likes to bet. While his opinions on money management aren’t as definitive as he makes them sound, his advice certainly isn’t horrible, at least compared to other books on the market. Most people shouldn’t feel the need to seek out this mostly forgotten out-of-print work, but the right reader will find the book entertaining.

 

 

 

 

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Situs Judi Bola Gambling on the U.K.

“U.K. online casinos will undoubtedly benefit from the country’s long history of gaming regulation.”

Proposed changes to gambling legislation in the United Kingdom may make this the place to operate an online casino. And some of the big names in the betting industry are getting ready to seize the opportunity as soon as it’s available.

This past spring, the British government legalized Internet sportsbooks and it looks like online Situs Judi Bola casinos are next in line to get official support. The government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Gambling Review Body earlier this month recommended that online gambling be legalized in the U.K.

Gambling has been legal in Britain since 1968, but like the U.S., there is no existing legislation that specifically deals with Internet wagering. And while the British government didn’t shut down online sportsbooks or casinos, it did impose a hefty betting duty that drove virtually every casino and sportsbook offshore. Operators set up shop in Gibraltar, Malta, and the Caribbean in order to minimize the amount of tax they were forced to pay.

As a result, the U.K. lost out on hundreds of millions of pounds of revenue. But the British government finally came to its senses and legalized online sportsbooks earlier this year. It also scrapped the betting duty, thus offering yet another incentive for the sportsbooks to come home.

And if this new online gambling report gets governmental approval, it looks like casinos will be able to come home as well. There won’t be a casino free-for-all, however. Stringent regulations will be imposed on both returning casinos and new ventures. Operators will have to be registered as a British company, locate their web servers in Britain, and use U.K. web addresses (URLs that end with .co.uk) for casino sites.

Other restrictions will also limit casino advertising in the U.K. to licensed operators, and will require all sites to provide users with information on problem gambling. More importantly, a gambling commission will be created to test and inspect online gaming systems for fairness.

The prime jurisdiction in the U.K. for online gambling will likely be the Isle of Man, located off the western coast of central England. The Isle of Man recently chose three casinos to test its proposed gambling regulations and services; that list of casinos has not been disclosed to the public.

Interestingly, Las Vegas casinos are also keeping an eye on things in the U.K. Internet gaming was recently given a tentative green light in Nevada, but it will be several years before anyone places a bet at a Vegas online casino. Big players like Las Vegas Sands Inc. and MGM MIRAGE have been eyeballing the U.K. option to ensure that they don’t get left out in the cold. But whatever happens, neither company will do anything that might jeopardize their Nevada gaming licenses.

U.K. online casinos will undoubtedly benefit from the country’s long history of gaming regulation. According to Bear Stearns’ recent gaming report, the U.K.’s “highly sophisticated land-based gaming industry offers the most potential for a successfully regulated Internet gambling environment.”

What’s more, the online casino industry and subsequent regulatory efforts in Britain will more than likely be spearheaded by U.K.-based industry heavyweights William Hill, Ladbrokes, and Stanley Leisure. These companies have moved, or are in the process of moving, their sportsbooks back to the U.K. and can be expected to relocate their casinos as soon as this legislation is formally approved.

The British government has wisely decided that it would be better to bring betting companies back to the U.K. and regulate online gambling rather than ban it. The result will be a safer gaming environment for players and tax revenues for the government that could be worth hundreds of millions of pounds for government coffers – even without the betting duties.

In the end, any plan to legalize Internet wagering is a smart business decision that will benefit everyone involved – no matter how you slice it.

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NORTH DAKOTA LEGISLATURE: Hit me! Online poker gets boost

 

BISMARCK – Three weeks after approving the licensing of Internet poker sites, the North Dakota House has endorsed a state constitutional amendment to allow the idea to proceed, despite arguments that the game is a fad.

“Right now, (poker players are) playing in an unregulated industry that, if they wanted to, this industry could cheat them,” said Rep. Ron Iverson, R-Fargo. “If we regulate it, we’ll get the benefits of regulation of that industry.”

Representatives voted 50-44 Tuesday to approve the amendment, which now goes to the North Dakota Senate for its review. The Legislature may only put amendments on the ballot; voters must agree to make them part of the constitution.

No other state licenses Internet poker sites, and critics of the amendment noted U.S. Justice Department statements that Internet gambling is illegal.

“I am not opposed to gaming, but this is different,” Rep. Kari Conrad, D-Minot, said during the House debate. “All of the other gaming that we have considered has been within the realm of possibility. This is not.”

The amendment’s supporters argued it is better for North Dakota government to regulate Internet poker than to leave players unprotected, and they said federal courts have ruled that a key federal anti-gambling law, called the Wire Act, does not ban Internet poker.

The amendment adds one sentence to Article 11, Section 25 of the constitution: “The legislative assembly shall authorize Internet live poker, located in the state, and licensed and regulated by the state.”

It is an exemption to the constitution’s general ban on gambling, which bars the Legislature from authorizing “any game of chance, lottery or gift enterprises, under any pretense, for any purpose whatsoever.” Powerball and other multistate lottery games, as well as gambling operations run by charities, also are exempt.

Feb. 16, the House voted 49-43 to approve separate legislation that would authorize and regulate North Dakota-based Internet poker sites, tax their revenues and charge them fees for the players they host.

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on that measure Tuesday. Industry officials lined up to support it, calling it an incentive for Internet poker operations to relocate to North Dakota.

The amendment, which is necessary before the bill may take effect, survived despite a vigorous effort on the House floor to defeat it. More about Agen Poker Online

“The people who drafted this constitution spent a lot of time on it. They put a lot of thought into it. And now, we are being asked to … write into our constitution what is essentially nothing more than a fad – Internet poker,” said Rep. Lawrence Klemin, R-Bismarck.

Rep. Dorvan Solberg, D-Ray, said North Dakotans already have plenty of avenues for gambling – lottery games, bingo halls, casinos on American Indian reservations and gambling operations run by North Dakota charities.…

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Who are The Lovers?

The Lovers is the brainchild of Tom Hingley – former lead singer of The Inspiral Carpets, a band that along with The Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses defined everything that was good about the UK music-scene at the beginning of the 1990’s.

Despite, or because of, over 20 top 40 hits, seven Top of the Pops appearances, a rock solid fan base and successful tours all over the world The Inspirals ran out of steam in 1995 and Hingley drifted into solo projects on the fringes of the pop mainstream.

However, a chance encounter in 2001 with Steve Hanley – former bassist and longest serving musician with legendary Manchester band, The Fall (that broke up in 1998 after a much publicised stage fight in New York), led Hingley and Hanley to join forces in The Lovers. Despite kids, mortgages and the onset of 40, both still shared an intense passion and desire to make, perform and record great music.…

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Highlights Out Now!

One of the pleasures of listening to Inspirals frontman Tom Hingley band The Lovers is hearing a voice being set free: it soars and sings, like really sings. Makes a nice change in a climate of resolutely non-singing plastic indie bands. Lyrically clever and at times moving (‘3am’) this is a grown up album. While no young Turks themselves, The Lovers have enough energy and vigour to power a Tesco Megaplex and it’s extra 120,000 sq ft of illegally built floor space. Saying that though, the energy is reigned in and controlled. Some of the slower tracks here almost seethe….in a good way mind.

The songs are intelligent, fun, deep, and toe-tappingly tremendous. Tom steers the sound lyrically and vocally away from the Inspirals, but the ear for a good hook is there in spades. For example I challenge you to listen to ‘Kick Out The Clocks’ and not be humming it for the rest of your life.

A departure from previous album ‘Abba Are The Enemy’, less raucous but no less angry ‘Highlights’ is a superb collection of songs by a band who deserve to have strangers chanting their surnames football style.…

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The wonderful (& Frightening) world of the Lovers

Welcome to the new website. Very nice too. Thanks, Andrew! From now on reviews, inteviews etc will be posted on the ‘Media’ page and we’ll try and keep this page clear for news etc. Got that? OK!

Steve Hanley will be contributing to the upcoming BBC4 documentary on ‘The Fall’ – the following is from The Guardian

The Fall: The Wonderful And Frightening World Of Mark E Smith 21st January 2005 9pm BBC FOUR BBC FOUR focuses on one of England’s truly unique and under-rated bands – The Fall in this special documentary. One of the most enigmatic, idiosyncratic and chaotic garage bands of the last 30 years, The Fall are lead by the belligerent and poetic Mark E Smith and grew out of the fringe of the Manchester punk scene and to date have released in excess of three dozen albums, toured relentlessly, inspired two successful stage plays, recorded 24 Peel Sessions, performed with contemporary ballet dancer Michael Clarke along with various spoken word events. All this has happened under the guidance of Smith with various line-ups currently totalling over 40 different members. They have never conformed to fashion or musical trends and when asked why they were his favourite band, John Peel replied “They are always different, they are always the same.” This is the first time that Mark E Smith has agreed to the story being told on television and he along with many of the major players take us through this unique English rock ‘n’ roll story. Their rollercoaster story is told alongside footage of their most recent and sadly now last Peel Session recorded in August at the legendary BBC Maida Vale studios, there is also film of John playing out the session at Peel Acres a week later. Contributors include past and present band members including Marc Riley, Una Baines, Steve Hanley, Ben Pritchard and Eleni Smith plus thoughts from key fans/critics including Paul Morley, Tony Wilson, Stewart Lee, promoter Alan Wise, original Buzzcocks manager Richard Boon and Franz Ferdinand.…

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60 % of Lovers now 40, survey claims…

This weekend (Friday 8th July) saw The Lovers live at Junktion 7 (That’s their spelling, by the way) supported by South Parade and Ernest. South Parade were good enough to send us a review of the gig from their website (where South Parade get  the best review, funnily enough.) Tom turned 40 at Midnight and a good time was had by all. You can read the review at :

There’s a couple of the pictures from it below. Warning: If you see the man in the middle of the final picture DO NOT APPROACH.

See you all at BOMFEST next Saturday. See Gig guide for details.…

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BOMFEST – the evidence…. (26/07/2005)

Tom Hingley &  The Lovers blistering set brought proceedings at the Barnsley BOMfest to a suitably energetic conclusion. The band would like to thank the organisers for a fantastic event (it didn’t even overrun!) Pictorial evidence is reproduced blow for your  visual delectation.

 

Thanks for the pictures must go to  the very brilliant Bob Rose, whose website is www.EyesOpen.co.uk

 

The full set of BOMfest photos is visible at www.EyesOpen.co.uk/BOMFest2005

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