Online poker is currently illegal in the United States. Efforts are being made to regulate the game both at state and federal levels, but nothing substantial has yet been pushed towards legislation.

There are many parallels between the ban on online Togel Hari Ini and the years of Prohibition in the 1920s. Business has been diverted from legitimate operations to underground and/or foreign operators. Instead of protecting consumers, government actions have infringed on the rights of citizens to decide what to do in the privacy of their homes and how to interact with society.

In both cases, the bans became increasingly unpopular and advocates of change emphasized that repeal would generate enormous amounts of much needed tax revenue.

Former Senator and poker advocate Alphonse D’Amato told the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade last month, “The problem that we have now seems to me very parallel to what we had in Prohibition. Billions of dollars that today flow across our borders and onto offshore websites could be kept here… yielding billions of dollars in revenue for the federal government, all without having to raise taxes.”

“We’re well behind the rest of the world,” said D’Amato. “If we do nothing, [the problem] will grow and we will have no opportunity to fix it.”

Advocates of legalizing online poker in the United States argue that not only would the move generate income through taxation, it would also create jobs in the U.S.

Working within the law, regulators would be able to prevent gambling abuse, money laundering, and underage gambling.

D’Amato, speaking on behalf of the Poker Players Alliance, concluded his testimony to Congress by stating, “For over a century, poker has been a reflection of America’s entrepreneurial and competitive spirit and has been a positive ambassador of our culture throughout the globe. Over the years, the way people play the game has changed and, like other recreational activities, more and more are turning to the Internet to enjoy this pastime.

“I urge this committee and this Congress to swiftly enact federal policy that ensures American consumers have a safe and secure marketplace in which to play this game of skill over the Internet.”

Germany Win Nations Cup Team Event

Team Grmany defeated competitors from ten other countries and from the Zynga online gaming company to win the inaugural International Federation of Poker (IFP) Nation Cup event in London. The event was played as Duplicate Poker, with each table of players receiving the exact same hand as that dealt at the other tables and players awarded points based on how they played.

Team Titan’s Sam Trickett played on the unsuccessful United Kingdom team, which was captained by Barny Boatman and included Jake Cody, James Akenhead, JP Kelly, and Liv Boeree.

The IFP Nations Cup took place in London as part of the London Mind Sports Festival. Germany won the event with 24 points, finishing ahead of Brazil and France that both ended up with 22 points. There were no cash prizes awarded to the winning team, just the national pride of being the best.

The winning German team included Stephan Kalhammer, Sebastian Ruthenberg, Moritz Kranich, Hans Martin Vogl, Sandra Naujoks, and Tobias Reinkemeier.

The U.S. team was led by Barry Greenstein and included Vanessa Selbst, Antionio Esfandiari, Matt Matros, Ali Eslami, Jennifer ‘Jennicide’ Leigh, and Isaac Haxton. Other nations taking part included Spain, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Australia, Japan and Denmark.

The Nations Cup is being followed by The Table, a $500,000 invitational freeroll to be played by regular no-limit Texas Hold’em rules with a field of 130 including celebrities and poker’s top professionals. According to its organizers, the winner of The Table will be crowned Official World Champion of Poker.

The IFP was established in Lausanne, Switzerland, in April, 2009, and considers itself to be poker’s official governing body. Its goal is stated as the promotion of poker and its duplicate version as a “mind sport without any discrimination as to race, sex, creed, or disability; and to reinforce the element of skill involved, as well as the talent and determination required to succeed.”

According to the IFP, “Duplicate Poker is intended to reduce random chance and allow skill to flourish.”  While this year’s World Championship was an invite only event, the IFP promises that “next year’s Championship will be open to all players from around the world.”

UNITED KINGDOM — As reported by the UK Financial Times: “To gamblers losing thousands of pounds betting on blackjack and poker, the prospect of one of Britain’s most established casino chains collapsing seems as unthinkable as a reality- defying run of wins on the roulette wheel.

 

“But unless London Clubs International, which operates some of the most prestigious casinos in the UK capital, manages to sell some of its assets or finds a partner to invest funds in the group, an ignominious exit from the gaming sector may happen sooner rather than later.

 

“Several parties have considered a bid for LCI: they include Kerry Packer, the Australian tycoon; Sol Kerzner, the gaming entrepreneur who created South Africa’s Sun City; and some of the international casino operators such as Las Vegas’ Park Place and MGM Mirage.

 

“…LCI’s debts of more than £230m (US$360 Million) have scared off several potential suitors, although it has now reached agreements with its lenders to extend existing debt facilities and reduce interest rates on some of its borrowings for a further two years.

 

“…How will LCI raise the money? A sale of some assets is one possibility, as LCI operates some of London’s plushest casinos, including Les Ambassadeurs, The Golden Nugget and 50 St James.

 

“A joint venture is another, with a new Togel Hari Ini investor putting fresh capital into the business. But it is likely that the company would be very wary of a joint venture after the disastrous repercussions of an ill-advised gamble in the US.

 

“…The company has privately suggested it would be prepared to sell a number of its UK casinos. `The problem is the ones they want to sell are not the ones people want to buy,’ says one banker…”

 

Analysts Optimistic About MGM Mirage’s Online Casino

 

LAS VEGAS–Most Wall Street experts see MGM Mirage’s playmgmmirage.com as a plus for the company, with its brand-building and business-growing prospects outweighing concerns that a security lapse could jeopardize the company’s relationship with regulators who police its land-based casinos in Nevada and elsewhere.

 

McDonald Investments casino industry analyst Harry Curtis said: “It makes sense for MGM Mirage to stick its toe in the water. $15 million isn’t that much. It’s really just research and development spending. As long as they stay on the right side of regulators, and I think they will, there’s no worry for shareholders.”

 

Deutsche Banc Securities casino debt analyst Andrew Zarnett said he thinks it may not take long for the site to contribute profit to MGM Mirage’s bottom line.

 

“The upside is fantastic,” Zarnett said. “This gives them a chance to capture business in Europe, and if and when the U.S. decides to allow Internet gambling they’d be years ahead of their competitors.”

 

Fellow Deutsche Banc analyst Marc Falcone said MGM Mirage is using superior technology and will use the site to attract new customers and improve its brand recognition.

 

“They can’t go after the whole world market, but initial results from the United Kingdom suggest that MGM Mirage will be tapping into a deep European market,” Falcone said.

 

Bear, Stearns & Co. casino industry analyst Jason Ader took a different approach from his Wall Street colleagues and said he thinks the MGM Mirage Web operation is more pie in the sky than a significant part of the company’s business.

 

“There’s a lot of ‘if, if, if,’ ” Ader said. “It’s a lot of energy and publicity for what will be a very small part of their business for a long time.”