Another casino exits Atlantic City

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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – The owner of Trump Plaza casino announced it will shut down in mid-September.

On Saturday, the Trump Entertainment Resorts told The Associated Press that though no final decision has been made yet, it expects to close its doors on September 16.

According to the management of Trump Plaza, its board of directors have been reviewing alternatives for the property. Although this review has not been completed and no final decision has been made, the company expects that it will terminate the operations of Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino on or shortly after September 16, 2014.

New Jersey State Senator Jim Whelan expressed distress with the news.

“I’ve been back and forth between being depressed and angry all day,” said Whelan.

According to Whelan, the closure of Trump Plaza would lay off 1,000 employees. The WARN notices will be sent as early as Monday.

“I’d love to stand here and tell people – particularly the employees – don’t worry, we’re going to fight, we’re going to save your jobs; this, that and the other. I’d be lying,” added the former Atlantic City mayor.

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Delaware hits lowest online poker revenues; down by 22.4%

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DOVER – The Delaware Lottery reported a 22.4% setback on online poker revenue, a huge decline since Delaware launched online poker in November 2013.

The combined online poker revenue dropped from $1,854 in May to $57,470 in June. The May revenue also experienced a 24.9% slide with only $1,853.87 collection compared to $2,469.27 in April.

Delaware Park which offered nearly 2,500 slot machines, live table games, poker room and poker tournament room held 62% of the market share. Meanwhile, Dover Downs gained 32% and Harrington Raceway had 6%.

Despite the dramatic setback, the Delaware Lottery Office announced the addition of some enhancements to online gaming offered in all three sites.

Four new blackjack games were added to include multi-hand games. Also, both PC and Macintosh users without poker applications can now access the state’s internet casino games.

Secretary of Finance Tom Cook said the success of internet gaming for the state, the casinos, and players depend on creating a fun and easy experience for everyone.

“We’re excited to offer an iGaming option that doesn’t require a poker download, and we’re thrilled Mac users can now participate. These enhancements to the technology and to the games themselves allow Delaware to service a whole new segment of players,” Cook stated.

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North Carolina Pre-Reveal Games Compliant with Text of Law

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WHITEVILLE, N.C. – a Dublin elected official charged with misdemeanor for illegal operation of a video gaming café told pre-reveal video machines were legal under the state’s law.

Last week, law enforcement from Columbus County Sheriff’s Office arrested Jeffrey Scott Smith, a town commissioner in Dublin and charged him with two counts of misdemeanor for operating Gold Rush Internet Café north of Whiteville. He was released, however, with $1,000 secured bond.

According to Capt. David Nobles of the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office, the raid which confiscated 68 hard drives from computers and $5,800 cash from Gold Rush was authorized by the District Attorney’s Office who stated that the State Supreme Court upheld the ban on video gambling machines.

However, Smith’s lawyer Alan Maynard argued the machines were legal under the North Carolina law because those who purchased internet time were already notified of the winnings before the game.

“Those same games are running in over 40 counties in the state of North Carolina. There are other district attorneys and sheriff’s departments that agree that our software is compliant,” said Smith.

DublinDistrict Attorney Jon David, nonetheless, insisted to take the case to the superior court for Smith’s best interest.

“By bringing this matter directly into superior court, we’re going to expedite things and give the community a chance to weigh in on what justice should be. And I would think that any defendant should embrace that opportunity because a jury is the ultimate safeguard for any criminal defense,” David told.

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New Gaming Business Opens Doors For Entrepreneurs

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Equity Poker Network bid US regulated market good-bye

ATLANTIC CITY - Equity Poker Network (EPN) pulled out from regulated US market following Full Flush Poker (FFP) and Winning Poker Network’s (WPN) announcement of retreat from the three states with legal and regulated online poker.

“Our players are our number one priority, but playing fair is also central to our ethos. We believe this decision is in the best interests of the Network and its Operators to add and adhere to this Rule, given the availability of regulated poker in these U.S. states,” EPN stated in a press release.

EPN added, “we take great pride in delivering our recreational poker community with reliable access to our EPN poker rooms. Our goal is to ensure that they continue to enjoy a fun and safe time at EPN’s tables with every confidence and trust.”

FFP declared earlier that the decision to withdraw from the three states was effective immediately. All players from Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware were expected to receive notification email for the change in policy and closure of accounts.

“FullFlushPoker.com (“FFP”), flagship online poker room of the Equity Poker Network (“EPN”), announced today that effective immediately, they have withdrawn the full suite of online real-money gaming options for players residing in the regulated U.S. States of New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware.”

Moreover, “players with existing FFP accounts who reside in these three states will have access to them to close out their balances. FFP will work quickly to return player funds to those affected.”

According to FFP representative, the decision was made in order to ensure that the vast majority of their customers from outside of Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware will continue to have access to the site without disruption or inconvenience.

“Our priority still remains our players, and we’re proud to provide our loyal customers from around the globe with a fun and entertaining poker environment that they can trust, and that operates with the highest values of fairness, integrity and security.”

Based on reports, the withdrawal of EPN as well as FFP and WPN from the US regulated market was a stance to avoid the cease and desist letter sent by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) and the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office to six online poker affiliates in April.

“Any website that offers or displays such games through the Internet without the approval of NJDGE is violating the criminal laws of the state of New Jersey,” warned Assistant Attorney General George Rover.

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MARYSVILLE – in suspicion of illegal gambling, authorities searched sites and seized several computers, gaming machines, and records from internet cafes across states, yesterday.  CALL US TODAY !!  According to reports, the police conducted a raid in ten locales comprise of internet cafes, businesses and residences as part of their 10-month investigation mission. Among the counties inspected were Butler, Union, Shelby, Franklin, Logan, Hardin, and Montgomery.  SKILL GAMES REPLACE SWEEPS IN OHIO  In September, Union County has spearheaded the mission which stirred other counties to follow through. The Attorney General’s Office has tasked dedicated agents for the mission.   Although, no names have been disclosed yet, the law enforcement assured that the operators and owners will be charged for criminal activities such as money laundering and illegal gambling. Also, the Union County Judge David Phillips has announced that no arrests will be made unless the evidences seized are inspected by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.   As per Police Chief Floyd Golden, they speculate the residence of Riverside Drive manager will bring out financial statements and valuable records.   In addition, authorities assessed that five of the sweepstakes parlor busted are owned by the same group or individual.   The law states that prize, chance and consideration must be present for an activity to be considered gambling. An internet café owner offers patrons internet time and phone card with a chance to win a prize.   However, Judge Phillips argued that since customers do not go to internet cafes just to buy a phone card, the card is considered a wager for gambling.   Chief Golden stated that the internet cafes masquerading as legitimate businesses are not legal.   Furthermore, he said internet cafes result in a loss of hundreds of dollars monthly in Ohio funds because unlike legitimate casinos, there is no oversight with it.   It is remembered that state lawmakers has approved a new law this year banning internet sweepstakes starting September. The Committee to Protect Ohio Jobs represented by Mike Weaver is trying to gather 40,000 votes on a petition to put the issue into voting in 2014’s election.   Weaver expressed the government should not pick winners and losers in business.

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Pennsylvania Senator introduces online poker bill

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Pre-Reveal-GoldHARRISBURG – before the Penn Senate hearing on online gambling today, Senator Edwin Erickson announced his plan to legalize online poker in the state with an online gambling bill.

“In the next few weeks I intend to introduce Senate Bill 1386, legislation that would authorize Interactive Gaming in the form of online poker. A recent study from the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee found that Internet Gaming is a large new source of revenue that the Commonwealth could explore.  This means more revenue to assist in the reduction of real estate taxes,” Erickson stated.

On a feasibility study commissioned by state lawmakers, it was revealed that online poker can generate up to $129 million revenues for the state within its first year of operation. Thus, adding an extra $68 million of tax revenues with an increase of $113 million on the second year.

If the Senate approves SB 1386, an online poker-only bill, Penn will join the state of Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware in the race of online poker.

According to Erickson who proposed the online poker-only bill, poker was unlike banking games in many respects that make it best for the introduction of interactive gaming.

He added that poker operators were not participants in the games and were indifferent as to the outcome.

“The purpose of this hearing is to consider the current state and potential for growth with regard to the Pennsylvania casino gaming industry in an increasing competitive atmosphere… including the potential impact of new revenue sources avoiding the status quo to prevent stagnation and decline in the industry along with the revenues and jobs it generates. The goal of the CERD committee is to determine the best practices and course of action, versus pushing any specific agenda, to ensure the economic viability of the PA gaming industry for the foreseeable future,” said Erickson.

The hearing was scheduled today in front of the Senate Committee on Community, Economic and Recreational Development. Chairman Bob Green of Parx Casino and Caesars Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, Michael Cohen, Andy Abboud of Las Vegas Sands, and the Council on Problem Gambling are expected to testify at the hearing along with written testimony from the Poker Players Alliance.

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Some Operators Going Back To Ohio To Re-Open Sweepstakes Cafes As Skill Rooms  

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Pre-Reveal-GoldWith few remaining hours in the 2014 legislative session, both the House of Representatives and Senate in Colorado adjourned with HB1392 still pending on the table. The House already approved the bill and it’s up for the Senate to sign it to a law.

Once the Senate approve HB1392, the state would be the fourth in line next to Florida, Mississippi and Ohio banning internet sweepstakes cafes which the Colorado Attorney General’s office claimed as illegal gambling storefronts.

As of today, the state allows gambling only in Cripple Creek, Central City and Black Hawk. However, due to some loopholes, operators were able to set up sweepstakes cafes in other cities including the Pueblo and throughout Colorado.

In their defense, sweepstakes owners and operators argue their businesses should not be tagged as illegal gambling because they are simply selling internet time to customers via internet cards. The computer screen would then reveal if the customer who bought internet cards win a prize with a flashing screen that looks like slot machines.

Yet, unlike casinos, these gaming machines are not regulated which means that it does not have to pay a certain percentage of winnings. Also, sweepstakes cafe owners do not undergo extensive background checks like casino owners.

Based on the Colorado gambling law, gaming machines must pay out more than 80% of money bet.

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