A hearing is currently underway on Capitol Hill to “examine” possible reasons for a blanket ban on online gambling. Meanwhile, in Nevada, evidence emerges of illegal HUDs being used on regulated poker sites. The TonyBet Open-Face Chinese Poker World Championship is going into Day 2.
Anti-online gambling forces present their case to Washington
Yet another hearing is being held in Washington today on the future legality – or lack thereof – of various forms of online gambling, including poker. The ostensible purpose of the hearing is to “examine how due to the inherently […] borderless nature of the Internet, the […] door [is open] to a casino in every smartphone around the country [and] online gambling is vulnerable to being used for money laundering, terrorist financing, fraud and other criminal activity.”
Despite the use of the term “examine,” the rest of the language in the above statement should make the tone of the hearing abundantly clear. It’s in no way a neutral examination of the issues relating to online gambling, but another push for the Restoration of America’s Wire Act bill (RAWA) from the anti-online gambling lobby. RAWA would explicitly make all forms of online gambling illegal in the US at the federal level.
Some preview analysis of the hearing is available over at FlushDraw, and surely many thorough summaries of its content will be available tomorrow.
In the meantime, for live reporting on the hearing, follow Steve Ruddock on Twitter.
Illegal HUD use on WSOP.com under investigation
One of the conditions imposed for regulated online poker by the Nevada Gaming Commission was a strict ban on third-party assistive software. Specifically, statute NRS 465.075 makes it illegal in Nevada for anyone partaking in licensed gaming to use a device which assists in analyzing probabilities or strategy. Although this law predates online poker, WSOP.com has taken it into account and made the use of “any automated tool” prohibited on its site.
Nevertheless, when pro player Tommy “BTCBLADE” Chen made the mistake of streaming a session on Twitch in which he was using a HUD, and this fact was brought to the attention of WSOP.com, the company’s decision was merely to issue a warning rather than ban him as per their own terms of service.
Now, as reported by FlushDraw, the Nevada Gaming Commission has become involved, and we may yet see repercussions against Chen or even WSOP.com itself for failing to respond adequately.
– Although poker is back at the top of the headlines in legal online gambling news, the daily fantasy sports (DFS) issue continues to roll along. DFS operator DraftDay has teamed up with the National Council on Problem Gambling to propose new consumer protection initiatives.
– Once a gambler, always a gambler: A New York resident has pled not guilty to swiping a $25,000 chip from a fellow gambler at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. Instead of accepting a $5,000 fine, she will go to trial on a tougher charge and could, in theory, be sent to prison for 20 years if found guilty.
– The TonyBet Open-Face Chinese (OFC) Poker World Championship is entering Day 2, with Sergey Bagirov in the lead. TonyBet is currently the only site offering real-money OFC globally.