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January 29, 2012

New York Mah Jong Ruling May Help Cause of Online Poker

By: Rachel Hirsch
Mah Jong, the ancient Chinese tile-based table game, can now count itself as a winner in the old debate of games of skill vs. games of chance, according to a New York state judge, who recently ruled that the game demands more than luck. On January 4, 2012, Criminal Court Judge John H. Wilson declared in People v. Feng that “the court declines to declare Mah Jong to be a per se ‘contest of chance.’ ” Although Judge Wilson ultimately allowed a charge of promoting gambling to go forward, his findings have significant implications not just for the game of Mah Jong itself, but also for other popular games, like poker, which have historically been viewed to constitute illegal gambling. In the Mah Jong case, Jun Feng and Victor Chan were charged with the misdemeanors of promoting gambling in the second degree and possession of a gambling device after allowing an undercover officer to participate in a Mah Jong game in their parlor. The alleged violation was of NY CPL 225.05,... Read more

Arguably the most popular social media platform in the world, Facebook appears poised to expand its ever-growing empire into the online gaming industry. Rumors circulated in early December 2011 that Facebook was developing a platform for its United Kingdom users to gamble online for real money, perhaps even as soon as in the first quarter… Read More

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December 26, 2011

New DOJ Opinion Paves Way to Legal Online Poker

By: Ifrah Law

On December 23, 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice revealed that it has reversed a long-held position by stating that the Wire Act applies only to sports betting. This marks a major change in policy for DOJ, which has long contended that the Wire Act prohibits all forms of Internet gambling, including poker. Late that… Read More

On Dec. 22, 2011, the Nevada Gaming Commission unanimously approved regulations drafted by the Nevada Gaming Control Board that could make Nevada the first state to provide online gambling within its borders. Earlier this year the Nevada state legislature passed legislation allowing for intrastate online gaming.  In June, Governor Brian Sandoval, a former Nevada Gaming… Read More

On Nov. 18, 2011, the House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade held its second hearing on the legalization of online gaming. The subcommittee had held an initial hearing on the subject last month. The hearing began with an opening statement from subcommittee chair Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.), who noted that… Read More

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October 27, 2011

House Panel Hears Arguments in Favor of Legal Online Poker

By: Admin Developer View

On Oct. 25, 2011, the possibility of legal online poker in the United States was aired before the House Energy and Commerce Committee subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade at a hearing entitled “Internet Gaming: Is There a Safe Bet?” The hearing was convened to discuss the “Internet Gambling, Prohibition, Poker Consumer Protection, and Strengthening… Read More

Will the German state of Schleswig-Holstein become the “Las Vegas of the North,” as some are already calling it? Last month, Schleswig-Holstein passed new online gambling legislation that will allow for online gaming beginning next year. The move will bring legal online gaming to one of Europe’s biggest and previously most closed markets. Schleswig-Holstein’s law… Read More

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August 2, 2011

Illinois Court Ruling Upholds State’s New Video Gaming Act

By: Admin Developer View

In a 7-0 decision, the Illinois Supreme Court recently upheld legislation that will allow video gaming in the state for the first time. Earlier this month, the court ruled in favor of the Illinois legislature’s 2009 omnibus bill for funding capital projects that included the Video Gaming Act. The legislation had been challenged by Chicago… Read More

On July 14, 2011, Sen. Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder asking the Department of Justice to clarify its position regarding enforcement of online gambling laws. The tone of the letter suggests that Sen. Reid, who has been a supporter… Read More

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July 15, 2011

Massachusetts Cracks Down on Gambling at Internet Cafes

By: Admin Developer View

Last month, citing evidence that illegal gambling was going on at “Internet cafés” throughout the state, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley issued a new permanent regulation banning gambling at such places. The regulation bans the operation of establishments “where a gambling purpose predominates over the bona fide sale of bona fide goods or services” – in… Read More

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