Weekly Poker Roundup: December 30, 2018

Michigan Governor Vetoes Online Poker Bill

Last week, we told you that the Michigan state legislature had passed a bill that would legalize online poker and that outgoing Governor Rick Snyder was expected to sign it into law. Well, he didn’t, vetoing it and 39 other bills.

Snyder cited two main reasons for his veto: 1) he was concerned that online gambling would cannibalize the online lottery sales and land-based casino business, and 2) he was iffy on the “expansion” of gambling in the state.

Rep. Brandt Iden, who was the one to introduce the bill, told Online Poker Report that the veto was “incredibly disappointing.”

“We had no idea this was coming. We had all the stakeholders supportive of the package and we had alleviated any concerns, so this is a very surprising outcome.”

Iden said he will introduce a new bill in January, but with new legislators coming in, it will take a while to get everyone up to speed.

AGA Hires New CEO

The American Gaming Association (AGA) announced that it has hired Bill Miller to be its President and Chief Executive Officer, replacing Geoff Freeman, who left at the end of July to become the President and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association.

Stacy Papadopoulos, the AGA’s General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Industry Services has been the group’s interim CEO.

“I am honored to join a team with a well-earned reputation for advancing the casino gaming industry’s legislative and communications priorities and addressing the issues that matter most to its members,”

said Miller in a press release.

Bill Miller has been Senior Vice President of Government Relations at Business Roundtable, a lobbying group that advocates for business-friendly policies in Washington, D.C.

“Bill’s extensive work with federal policymakers and as a seasoned leader of membership and industry advocacy organizations was critical to our decision,” said Tim Wilmott, Penn National Gaming CEO and AGA’s Chairman. “He joins a successful organization at a time when our industry is enjoying great momentum, thanks in part to a major policy achievement – the ending of the federal sports betting prohibition. On behalf of the AGA Board, I am excited to welcome Bill to the team.”

Wynn Resorts Sues Resorts World

A brand, spanking, new luxury casino resort is currently under construction on the Las Vegas Strip. Resorts World, owned by the Genting Group, will look to compete with the other lavish properties on Las Vegas Boulevard with its stand-out Chinese theme. It’s neighbor across the street, though, isn’t too happy about it.

Wynn Resorts has filed a lawsuit against Resorts World, claiming that the new property looks too much like Wynn and Encore. Though Wynn and Encore might not have the amazing look of, say Paris or MGM Grand, they are still quite distinct, with a concave façade, bronze color, and cream bands dividing the floors.

Wynn feels that Resorts World, even though the Chinese theme will set it apart, already looks too similar. The building is curved like Wynn, will be close in color, and looks like it might have similar banding (though artist renderings don’t really show the latter detail as much).

Wynn has listed five counts in its lawsuit: federal trade dress infringement, unfair competition and false designation of origin, federal trademark dilution, state trademark dilution, and copyright infringement.

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