Weekly Poker Roundup: October 23, 2017
MGM Buys WNBA’s San Antonio Suns, Will Move Team to Las Vegas
This isn’t exactly poker news in the truest sense of the word, but since MGM Resorts International is a major player in the poker world, we thought this was of interest. This past week, MGM and the WNBA announced that MGM has acquired the league’s San Antonio Stars and will proceed to move the team to Las Vegas for the 2018 season.
MGM is the second gaming company to own a WNBA team; Mohegan Sun owns the Connecticut Sun.
WNBA President Lisa Borders told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world. We are a friends and family entertainment option. The WNBA is a women’s professional basketball league, but we are in the entertainment business. There is tremendous synergy between who we are and what the Las Vegas market offers, particularly in the hands of the MGM team. This is a match made in heaven between the MGM and the WNBA.
The Stars will play at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, a choice made very much because of the size of the venue.
New Hampshire Online Gambling Bill Could Be in Play….
An executive session has been scheduled in the New Hampshire House for October 25th in order to discuss an online gambling legalization bill. House Bill 562 is basically just an empty husk with the summary, “an act allowing online gambling.”
The bill was introduced in January and had an executive session in the House Ways and Means Committee in February, but has done nothing since. A couple weeks ago, though, a new executive session was scheduled, meaning that at least someone is interested in taking a look at internet gambling.
At the end of the executive session – basically just a committee meeting – the committee will submit a report to the clerk of the House with the designation “Ought to pass,” “Ought to pass as amended,” “Inexpedient to legislate,” “Refer to interim study,” or “Re-refer to Committee.” The first two statuses are the best (clearly), while “Inexpedient to legislate” is the death sentence.
As mentioned, this is really just a shell bill with no regulations of any type set forth. It would simply legalize online gambling with regulations to be setup later.….And So Could One in Illinois
To the west, online poker may still have a chance in Illinois this year, albeit not a great one. According to Online Poker Report, debate over an online gambling bill may take place during a veto session from October 24th through October 26th or November 7th through November 9th.
Veto sessions are times for legislators to look at bills that were vetoed by the Governor, but it is not unusual for other bills to be considered, as well. In June, the Senate passed an online gambling bill by a vote of 42-10, but it never got through the House.
That bill, which is one that might be considered, would authorize licensed casinos and horse tracks to operator online gambling sites, sites which could include poker. Operators would be taxed 15 percent of gross gaming revenue, but for the first five years, the first $100 million in revenue would only be taxed at 10 percent. There is also a “bad actor” clause, which would bar any operator who “accepted wagers via the internet in contravention of this act or in contravention of any law of the United States.”
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