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Ifrah Law's Jeff Ifrah Advises No Poker Market Is Possible Without PokerStars
WASHINGTON, DC - Jun 25, 2014) - Last week the Wall Street Journal reported on plans by Amaya Gaming Group Inc., a Montreal-based producer of gaming machines and systems, to buy PokerStars, the largest online poker operator in the world. According to the Wall Street Journal, Amaya Gaming will be paying $4.9 billion to take over privately held Oldford Group Ltd., parent company of Rational Group Ltd. that owns the PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.
Online gambling proponents hope that having PokerStars back in the game will mean an upswing for the industry in the U.S., which has been unexpectedly slow despite the legalization in the states of Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey. According to analysts, New Jersey has only generated between $130 million and $150 million last year, considerably less than what experts had expected. Part of the problem could be the fact that some leading banks in the United States are hesitant to let their customers use credit cards for online games, fearing regulatory risks. Another issue, in the opinion of iGaming experts, is the absence of PokerStars on the market. "You can't create a market without PokerStars, period," Jeff Ifrah, a litigator, who regularly represents PokerStars, told the Wall Street Journal.
By James McManus Bloomberg View
On May 15, Judge Cawthon dismissed the gambling charges against Kasper and Leuzinger. Ruling that the defense had provided “uncontroverted evidence” that poker is a “bona fide contest of skill,” he found that Idaho’s anti-gambling statue was void for vagueness as applied and that the state’s “prosecution under 18-3802 is unconstitutional as applied to these two individuals.” In essence the judge ruled that a statute that defines gambling to include poker but excludes games of skill is at odds with itself and therefore unconstitutional.
The case nudges Idaho, and perhaps other states, closer to understanding that the skill-to-luck ratio of America’s national card game makes it much more like playing baseball or the markets than like hoping a craps or keno or lottery number comes up. The federal treatment of poker has also been erratic -- sometimes even nonsensical –- and the new statistical research should open some eyes in Congress and at the Justice Department. Whether it happens on land or online, playing poker should no longer be considered a criminal act.
Friday, February 21, 2014 - LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky’s efforts to seize 132 Internet gambling domain names is on hold after an appeals court ruled Friday that a trade association may represent the owners of the sites trying to fend off forfeiture proceedings.
The decision by the Kentucky Court of Appeals allows the Interactive Gaming Council to step into the 6-year-old case and, at least temporarily, keep the identities of the owners of various Internet gambling sites from being publicly revealed.
Judge Allison Jones, writing for a unanimous three-judge panel, noted that Kentucky has treated the domain names as a group for much of the litigation but wants to handle them individually now to prevent the trade association from becoming involved.
“The Commonwealth cannot now turn the tables and ask the court to require each domain name owner to come forward individually and assert virtually identical legal arguments through separate counsel to resolve threshold, purely legal issues that affect the validity of the entire forfeiture procedure,” Jones wrote.
The appeals court sent the case back to Franklin Circuit Court Judge Thomas D. Wingate for further hearings.
“Obviously, we consider this a win,” said Interactive Gaming Council CEO Keith Furlong. “We are also proud to be a catalyst for this decision which provides guidance to all associations seeking to represent their members in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”
© 2014 Interactive Gaming Council (IGC)