New Full Tilt Poker Lawsuit!
As if Full Tilt wasn’t mired in enough legal muck, according to EGRMagazine.com, the former online poker giant has yet another lawsuit to contend with. Apparently two Canadian players, Zayn Jetha and Donald Whelan, have filed a class action lawsuit. Named in the suit are Ray Bitar, Nelson Burtnick, Full Tilt Poker Ltd, Tiltware and other companies associated with Full Tilt Poker. Also named in the lawsuit is poker pro Howard Lederer, who is rumored to have had a big stake in the company.
This legal action comes a month after a class action lawsuit was filed by professional poker player Todd Terry and three other plaintiffs on behalf of "a nation-wide class of Full Tilt account holders residing in the United States." That suit also named Bitar and Burtnick plus 13 Team Full Tilt Members, including Lederer.
Could Bwin Be Wynning?
Last week rumors were flying that Wynn Resorts was in the market to possibly buy Bwin.party. According to Independent.co.uk, the gossip was enough to see Bwin.party's share prices soar, with speculation they may go as high as 170p per share. This is the second time in just a few months that popular online poker sites have been linked to Wynn, who appears primed to enter the online gaming market.
Back in March PokerStars and Wynn announced they were striking a deal to seek a license to jointly operate a U.S. online poker site - but the DoJ squashed that partnership before it even began with their Black Friday shakedown. Now it appears Wynn may be eyeing online gaming in jurisdictions outside the US where online poker is legal – far from the arms of the DoJ.
Lesniak Relentless in Pursuit to Legalize Online Poker in New Jersey
Never say die is apparently New Jersey State Senator Raymond Lesniak’s philosophy as he keeps trying to get his intrastate online gaming bill passed. Not one to give up, even after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed his bill for intrastate online gaming, Lesniak is forging ahead with plans to reintroduce the bill. The state senator believes that online gaming would create 1,900 new jobs and tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue that the state desperately needs. Rumor has it that the main reason Gov. Christie vetoed the Lesniak bill was because he was concerned that Internet cafes would crop up around the state and exploit internet gambling. Addressing the Governors reasoning, Lesniak retooled his bill which he will reintroduce on August 25th and if passed, he said Internet cafes "will be strictly prohibited from doing that."
It is no secret that New Jersey’s horse racing and Atlantic City’s casinos are suffering. Lesniak thinks passage of his bill will help them, "Both industries are dying a slow death and they need the additional revenues that online gaming will provide for them."
California Pushes Poker Legalization with TV Ads
Across the country from New Jersey, another state senator is pushing for poker legislation – on TV.
Time is running out for Senator Lou Correa's Senate Bill 40 to get passed. The last minute push is on to pass the bill that would make online poker legal and taxed in California. The California legislature only has one business-month left, so the California Online Poker Association is going all out by releasing a series of radio and television ads touting legalization.
The ad states, "California is facing a real emergency. A $4 billion budget shortfall that will result in cuts to police and fire departments, health care and state schools among others. Online poker will provide California with billions of dollars including $250 million immediately, create thousands of jobs and will ensure that the state's online poker market, the largest in the nation, won't be taken over by Nevada and its casinos." The ad is aimed at the legislature to pass the bill and the public to support it.
Of course the gaming tribes who are against online poker have issued a letter urging the legislature not to take action. According to the letter from Robert H. Smith, Chairman of the California Tribal Business Alliance, "Even though there have been hearings on the matter of intrastate internet poker, many fiscal, legal, technical and policy related questions must be resolved before adoption of any intrastate internet gaming legislation. There are numerous stakeholders who stand to be irreparably harmed should legislation be 'ram-rodded' through this legislative year and this surely would be a disservice to ALL Californians, Tribal and Non-Tribal, alike."
Many online poker players think that ‘Irreparably harmed’ translates into the tribes being fearful of losing business and income if online poker is legalized, especially in their brick and mortar poker rooms.
When it comes to online poker being legalized in the USA, it’s always all about the money. Maybe online poker players should be grateful the economy tanked – it may be our best bet for getting back to the virtual tables.