Weekly Poker Roundup: December 3, 2017
Bellagio Poker Cashier Robbed in Broad Daylight
In the middle of the afternoon on Tuesday, an armed man robbed the cashier cage of the Bellagio poker room, quietly escaping without a major confrontation. According to witnesses, one of which was actor James Woods, the cage staff calmly handed over the money so as to avoid any possible escalation or violence.
Doyle Brunson was playing in the high stakes “Bobby’s Room” at the time and tweeted, “The guy that robbed the cashier cage at the Bellagio should have walked south 10 yards and took our money in Bobby’s Room. He got 35k and we had about 200k in cash waiting to put it on deposit. Waitress said she could have hit the guy as he slowly left.”
Security footage shows a man wearing a half-mask or with half his face bandaged casually walking into the Bellagio with a plastic bag and heading directly to the poker room cashier. He had a small handgun – which is difficult to see in the video – and was wearing dark-framed glasses and what looks like a blonde wig. The money exchange went quickly, after which the robber ran out of the casino to his car at the north valet. He has not been apprehended.
Senators Graham, Feinstein Back on the Online Poker Attack
Senator Lindsey Graham is once again going after online poker, teaming up with Senator Dianne Feinstein to write another letter to the Department of Justice, urging Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to incorrectly declare that the Wire Act makes all online gambling illegal, as opposed to just sports betting.
Graham and Feinstein did the same thing three years ago, and like then, they make the same awful arguments against online poker, spouting the same debunked myths. You would think they would have educated themselves on the topic, but I guess not.
As usual, the Senators cite a decade old, deceivingly interpreted FBI letter, saying “[o]nline casinos are vulnerable to a wide array of criminal schemes.” You know, money laundering by terrorists and organized crime syndicates. That FBI letter was actually talking about unregulated online gambling, so Graham and Feinstein really make the argument for the pro-poker crowd as the implication is that proper regulation would curtail that sort of crime.
Then again, there has never been any evidence that terrorists use online poker to move money, but trying to explain that to these Senators is typically a fruitless endeavor.
Portugal, France, Spain Almost Ready to Merge Player Pools, Italy Lags Behind
According to reports, Italy has been slow to get the process going for shared poker liquidity with its neighbors, while the other countries will likely combine their player pools in early 2018. In July, Italy, Portugal, France, and Spain announced that they will open up their ringfenced online poker industries and combine them to create a larger market. They had hoped that the implementation would be in place by the end of this year, but early 2018 was the more realistic target.
Casino News Daily said Italy’s problem right now is that has yet to open the bidding process for online poker licenses, either for currently licensed operators or ones seeking their first Italy license. In the meantime, the other countries are just about ready to go. Reports are that France and Spain might go ahead and launch their shared liquidity first and Portugal would follow shortly. Italy wouldn’t join until later in 2018.
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