Weekly Poker Roundup: July 23, 2018
PokerHost Shutting Its Virtual Doors
Teenaged online poker site PokerHost will be closing on July 31st, per an e-mail sent to customers. There is no reason to think that player funds are not safe, but customers would be wise to submit their cashout requests before the site goes under, as it will likely be much easier to do so compared to after it closes.
PokerHost is one of those odd sites that has been around a long time – in online poker terms – yet was never really all that popular. It was a survivor. It started in 2005 on the Dobrosoft Network (remember that one?) and then moved to the Tribeca tables in 2006. Shortly thereafter, it moved to the Microgaming Poker Network because the network’s owner, Playtech, bought Tribeca. Of course, the UIGEA hit in 2006 and since PokerHost wanted to keep accepting U.S. customers, it had to move again.
PokerHost went over to the Cake Network, which was in turn bought by Merge. In 2014, PokerHost headed over to the Winning Poker Network, where it has been ever since. Phew.
Nearly All Pennsylvania Casinos Apply for Online Poker Licenses
In the last days before the initial deadline, nine Pennsylvania casinos filed applications for interactive gaming licenses. There are three different licenses available: online poker, online table games, and online slots. The application fee alone is $4 million for each, but by the July 16th deadline, all three together ran $10 million.
The nine casinos are as follows (they haven’t been awarded the licenses yet, but there is no reason to think they won’t be): Sands Casino Resort, Hollywood Casino, Valley Forge Casino Resort, Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack, Rivers Casino, Sugarhouse Casino, Parx Casino, Mount Airy Casino Resort, and Live! Hotel and Casino Philadelphia (opening later this year).
The other three Pennsylvania casinos can still apply for licenses, but will now have to pay the full $12 million if they want all three. After August 14th, outside “qualified operators” can apply if there are licenses remaining.
MGM Suing Las Vegas Shooting Victims
In a move that seems to be unfortunately legally valid yet at the same time a very bad look, MGM Resorts International has actually sued more than 1,000 victims of the devastating Las Vegas mass shooting on October 1st.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, MGM is citing a 2002 federal act that protects a company from liability if it uses appropriate technology or services to prevent mass violence. MGM hired Contemporary Services Corp. to provide such services; Contemporary’s procedures were certified by the Department of Homeland Security. MGM believes that since Contemporary would be protected from liability, MGM should be, too.
The lawsuit seems to be a way to get the case in front of a federal judge and, in turn, get said judge to confirm that MGM is protected by federal law from future lawsuits by victims and their families. MGM believes that federal court, not state court, is the right place for this case (or it hopes it is because of the 2002 act).
Robert Eglet, an attorney for some of the victims, told the Review-Journal that what MGM is doing is a “blatant display of judge shopping.”
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