Oklahoma Legislature Up in Smoke Over Gambling and Cigarettes, Pennsylvania Too

Oklahoma Legislature Up in Smoke Over Gambling and Cigarettes, Pennsylvania Too

The Oklahoma Legislature has reached an impasse within the so-called sin industries of gambling and cigarettes.

Oklahoma House Minority Leader Scott Inman wants to expand gaming, but their Republican constituents think he should put that concept in his pipe and smoke it.

Both the Oklahoma Senate and House are controlled by the GOP, but that isn’t stopping the minority party from blocking a cigarette tax increase proposed by House Republicans.

Democrats in the lower chamber are doing so in order to give their side leverage in ongoing budget negotiations, and their wishes to expand gambling and allow tribal casinos to offer roulette and dice games.

Oklahoma lawmakers are searching for ways to close an $878 million financing gap. While Republicans can pass the budget of the choosing, they require a three-fourths vote to raise tobacco cigarette fees, while the 26 Democrats in the 101-member House are not budging.

‘We’ve said all along that a cigarette tax is really a Band-Aid on a bullet hole,’ Oklahoma House Minority Leader Scott Inman (D-District 94) told the Associated Press. ‘You’ve got to have additional revenue.’

This week, the House and Senate budget committees recommended a $1.50 per smoking pack income tax enhance. To make the budget whole with only that tariff hike, Oklahomans would need to buy roughly 585.3 million packs of smokes.

GOP Extinguishes Gambling

Republican leaders in Oklahoma feel casinos are already too accessible, and expanded gaming would result in additional negative societal consequences.

‘I think we have actually too gambling that is much on in the state,’ Senate President Pro Tem Mike Schulz (R-District 38) opined this week. ‘ I think we now have people who are spending milk and bread money in a casino rather https://myfreepokies.com/21-dukes-casino/ than using care of their children.’

Democrats proposed a plan that claims to generate $400 million over the next year. In addition to the tobacco cigarette tax, the minority suggested a $17,000 cap on itemized income tax deductions for citizens, the renovation of the earned tax credit, eliminating oil and gas manufacturing incentives, and expanding tribal gaming.

The casino component could have allowed tribes to supply non-house-banked table games like roulette and craps in exchange for ten percent of these monthly net win. It also called for the legalization of sports betting should the existing federal ban be repealed.

With Democrats refusing to budge on cigarettes, and Republicans firm that is standing maintaining gambling as is, the Oklahoma Legislature has already reached a spending plan stalemate.

Pennsylvania’s Smoking Gun

Even though the Oklahoma Legislature is anticipated to keep unique budget sessions to iron out its distinctions over gambling and smoking, a bipartisan bill in Pennsylvania seeks to outlaw cigarettes in casinos and watering holes.

Pennsylvania House Bill 1309 will expand in the state’s 2008 Clean Indoor Air Act to eliminate exemptions for gambling venues and pubs. Casinos are currently allowed to designate a portion of their floors to smoking, and taverns that report 20 percent or less of their income comes from food can allow patrons to puff.

This year with 18 bill sponsors that includes Democrats and Republicans, HB 1309 seems to be the first gaming-related measure to have across-the-aisle support in Harrisburg. Hawaii is considering a number of gaming expansion bills to finance its very own growing budget deficit.

Trump Taj Mahal, Built for $1.2 Billion in 1990, Sold for $50 Million in 2017

The former Trump Taj Mahal was sold in March to Hard Rock Overseas for $50 million, a massive discount on what it cost to build the Atlantic City property more than a quarter-century ago in 1990.

Hard Rock will spend up to $400 million rebranding and renovating the former Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, or seven times what it paid for the resort that is actual. (Image: Wayne Parry/Associated Press)

Through the entire nation’s history, real estate has typically been a somewhat safe investment that is returned strong returns for homeowners, also developers.

That is changed, of course, in modern times following economic recession that hit the US in 2008 and 2009. The reality that is new no more obvious than in the valuation of the Trump Taj Mahal.

Dubbed the ‘Eighth ponder of the World’ when it opened 27 years ago, billionaire Carl Icahn unloaded the resort, which he closed final October after failing in the future to brand new labor terms with casino workers, for the gravely discounted price of $50 million. That equates to not as much as a nickel on the dollar when compared with what Trump and their financiers paid.

The complex Rock acquisition was announced in March, but financial terms of the deal were not made public until documents filed with all the United States Securities and Exchange Commission were revealed this week.

Icahn Folds

Along together with vast estate that is real hotel portfolio, Trump has credited his casino dealings for helping build their unknown fortune.

The 45th president severed ties with Atlantic City in 2009, though he maintained a tiny stake in the Trump Taj Mahal by way of a certification agreement until this past year.

Icahn, a friend that is close the commander-in-chief, acquired the very last remaining Trump Entertainment Resorts property in bankruptcy in early 2016. At the time of the buyout, he called the Taj Mahal a signature Atlantic City home. Fast-forward 13 months, and the investment is revealed by the billionaire cost him $350 million.

A dispute that is contentious Icahn and the Unite Here neighborhood 54 workers union over a wage increase plus the restoration of benefits led the corporate raider to shutter the Taj Mahal and place thousands out of work.

Rewriting ‘Art associated with Deal’

Though many are saying the Seminole Tribe, which owns the Hard Rock brand, essentially rewrote the ‘Art for the Deal,’ Trump’s signature book, by purchasing the formerly valued $1.2 billion resort for just $50 million, the bargain price comes with its reasonable share of drawbacks.

In addition to Hard Rock saying it’ll spend up to $400 million in rebranding and renovating the resort, the company also assumes the Taj’s massive property tax bill. Atlantic City officials have the place valued at over $224 million, an assessment that Icahn has repeatedly appealed.

Hard Rock will additionally be forced to begin participating in the state’s PILOT system (payment instead of fees) that mandates the city’s remaining casinos jointly remit a $120 million yearly disbursement to local government rather than paying on gaming revenue.

The Seminoles will additionally be on the hook for the resort’s home taxes. The Florida Native American group should only be prepared to see those tariffs increase, as Atlantic City will probably raise its $224 million valuation since the tribe dumps billions of dollars to the Boardwalk facility.

Did Chinese Authorities Establish Significant DDoS Attacks on Hong Kong Online Gambling Sites?

Scores of online gambling internet sites located in Hong Kong were battered by a wave of distributed denial of service (DDoS) assaults in the week of April, in accordance with Arbor that is US-based Security which monitors the net for DDoS attack information.

For seven days at the beginning of April, Hong Kong became the ground zero of DDoS assaults through the entire world, but why? (Image: HackRead)

Between April 6 and 13, hackers apparently situated in China flooded the bandwidth of countless gambling sites by having a massive influx of traffic, knocking them offline.

The events were striking and unusual, according to Arbor, because for those 7 days Hong Kong ended up being the destination that is top the world for such attacks, a dubious honor more often than not reserved for the United States.

Extortion Suspected

It had been also noteworthy, said Arbor, because ‘country-level activity’ frequently denotes geopolitical motivation, i.e, assaults directed so intently at websites of the single territory can be an indication of cyber warfare organized on a state-level. It’s an idea, however, that Kirk Soluk, supervisor of the company’s threat intelligence team, rules out.

‘…the emergence of numerous, different gambling/gaming targets leads us to trust that DDoS extortion is considered the most likely motivation,’ he concluded in a web log on the Arbor website this week.

It’s a reasonable conclusion. After all, hackers have sought to hold online gambling sites to ransom since the very early days of the industry.

Sports betting web sites are particularly susceptible because they are hopelessly reliant on major sports for large chunks of their revenues and may be have little choice but to pay a small ransom when intentionally targeted during these periods.

Severe Punishment Guaranteed

But we wonder how up to speed Arbor is on Chinese gambling issues that are regulatory. Most likely not at all, and why should it be?

Does it understand, for example, that the first of the Hong Kong assaults came simply five days after China’s Public protection Minister Guo Shengkun promised ‘severe punishment’ for gambling operators targeting Chinese citizens on the mainland?

And does it know that the only legal and licensed Hong Kong-based online operator is the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC), and for that reason any other online gambling site based in Hong Kong is unlicensed and the best target for the Chinese government? In fact, based on a declaration by the HKJC in 2014, unlicensed operators have links to crime that is organized consequently illegal online gambling is akin to a ‘blood crime.’

Of course, the nature of DDoS attacks means they are able to were orchestrated from any place in the planet and attackers were simply harnessing internet-connected products from within China.

Or they might have come from within China, orchestrated by the government, which had motivation that is little disguise the source. We may never ever know.

Poker Player Bets He Can Eat $1,000 of McDonald’s Food in 36 Hours

Poker player Mike Noori is a man who likes to put his money where his lips is. But the real question that is million-dollar, can he place $1,000 of McDonald’s food in his mouth, then chew it, and swallow it, and begin digesting it, all within 36-hours?

Not Lovin’ It: Two-time LA Poker Classic champ Mike Noori could have to consume at the least 66,000 calories in 36 hours if he’s the possibility of winning this reverse weight-loss bet. (Image: LAPC)

Many people think it’s impossible. Very nearly everyone agrees that it’s stupid.

Noori is getting 5:1 on a bet proposed to him by famous tournament director Matt Savage. Even though the exact figure riding on Noori’s success is undisclosed, Noori said on Twitter that so far that more than $200,000 has been scheduled regarding the idea wager, but only a small slice of that is his money.

‘This is impossible,’ declared fellow poker pro and food that is aspiring Jimmy Fricke (JimmyEatsVegas.com) regarding the twoplustwo poker forums. ‘ If he eats the calorie/dollar food that is lowest available (southwest grilled chicken salad) this is still 66,000 calories.’

‘It can be done,’ another poster countered. ‘20,000 calories a day combined with workout is already something men that are many in training. It is not easy but it would help significantly. if he exercised throughout and had little rests’

1,500 Apples Slices

Like all good gamblers, Noori certainly has a casino game plan. He’s opting to start off with $500-worth of apple slices, and then $200 in salads, with bacon, cheese and add-ons that are guacamole.

These dollar amounts on apple slices and salads were set as caps within the conditions associated with bet.

With bags of apple pieces selling at a dollar each, and three pieces in each bag, that is still a body-punishing 1,500 apple slices Noori would need to ingest before he even thinking in regards to the weightier burgers.

No Blenders?

And yes, there will be burgers. It’s written into the rules, which state that $300 must be used on ‘hot foodstuffs,’ of which at least $50 must certanly be burgers. Other needs are that Noori ‘must eat precisely what comes with your order (except the Happy toy that is meal,’ and ‘no blenders.’

The official rules also suggest that ‘Puking is OK as long as he doesn’t force the puke or puke over repeatedly.’ Indeed, safety and health first.

Gamblers have done things that are notoriously foolish money over time. In 2014 Freddy Torres consented to jump into a shark-filled tank for $1,000. In 2011, Ashton Griffin won a bet that he couldn’t run 70 miles in one on a treadmill day. He attempted the feat while hungover and on extremely little sleep, but prevailed and ended up being $350,000 richer once he finally reached the conclusion of the treadmill.

In 2010, Ted Forrest notably put his health at an increased risk by losing more than 70 pounds in a year. However it was all for the cause that is good winning $2 million from Mike Matusow.

Then there ended up being that man whom had the boob work.

But Noori’s weight-loss bet in reverse might be one of the more foolhardy and dangerous of the lot. And that’s precisely why we’re praying he pulls it off, or at minimum doesn’t choke for a fry that is french.

FBI Director Comey Fired by Trump, Online Gambling Maybe Safer Than Ever

James Comey has been relieved of his duties as director of the FBI. Some proponents of online gambling are breathing a sigh of relief while the world wrestles with implications of this unprecedented dismissal. As the nation’s leaders search well for a replacement amid a swath of critical issues facing the world, the belief is that online gambling, as a political issue, will remain out of the Trump administration’s crosshairs. At least temporarily.

People in the us want to know if President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey as retribution for a research into possible links between Russia and their presidential campaign. (Images: Reuters)

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump abruptly terminated Comey, citing shortcomings in managing the probe of previous Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her use of a private e-mail server. This came less than on a daily basis following the American public began concentrating on new revelations from a Congressional research into Russia’s so-called interference within the 2016 presidential election.

Comey has critics on both sides regarding the aisle, and calls for his termination were regular since belated October, whenever he sent a letter to Congress about a need to examine extra Clinton email messages, which ultimately revealed nothing of substance.

‘The FBI is one of our country’s most cherished and respected institutions, and today will mark a beginning that is new our crown jewel of police force,’ Trump explained in a public statement from the White home. The president told Comey that he could no longer ‘effectively lead’ the FBI and said ‘new leadership that restores general public trust and self- confidence’ had been required.

Trump happens to be tasked with getting a replacement, one who will be approved by way of a GOP-controlled Senate. And though Republicans have actually supported efforts to bring back the Wire Act, online gambling industry experts have time that is hard any new FBI boss making a popular recreational pursuit a pressing issue of the afternoon.

Anti-Online Gambling Swamp

When Trump arrived in Washington, internet gambling and online poker players had been justly concerned throughout the future lawfulness of the sites they access from their homes and cellular devices. Especially as his appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions expressed interest in looking at the legality of current intrastate online gambling measures.

The 45th commander-in-chief notoriously ran multiple New Jersey casinos into bankruptcy, yet one of his campaign donors that are largest had been Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson. The master associated with Venetian, Palazzo, and a slew of casino properties throughout the world has been on a self-described moral crusade since 2014 to ‘restore the Wire Act,’ which would effectively outlaw online casino gambling and poker.

So far, neither Trump’s administration nor Congress has shown interest that is much tackling the legality of online gambling. The niche did come up, but, from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S. Carolina) during confirmation hearings for Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who said he was ‘shocked’ at the Department of Justice’s 2011 opinion that clarified a legal interpretation associated with the Wire Act as only deciding on sports betting.

Hold’em by the Short Hairs?

This opinion could be easily reversed by the DOJ, however. So whoever’s close to just take the helm of the FBI could possibly be instructed to deploy the agency’s full resources toward stopping on line gambling in every its types.

Graham has worked on behalf of Adelson to introduce the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) in past calendar years. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), a strong critic of comey, has done the exact same in his chamber.

RAWA has did not gain momentum in Congress, but also wasn’t dismissed outright as a legislative possibility. Chaffetz recently announced his intent to keep Congress, perhaps ahead of the end of his current term.

The FBI and Its Long Arm Online Gaming Reach

2011 The DOJ and FBI changed the face of online gaming in America following the agencies seized internet domains from PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, amongst others, on what would become known as ‘Black Friday’ in the online poker world. By shutting down these sites, players had been denied usage of their funds for a long time, though eventual payoffs have finally occurred for PokerStars and Full Tilt players, and most recently, Absolute Poker.

2014 A flawed FBI raid of an alleged World Cup sports betting procedure at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas permitted suspected ringleader Paul Phua to duck a prison sentence that is possible. High-profile attorney David Chesnoff argued that the raid represented entrapment for his client, and the prosecution dropped all fees.

2017 The FBI and DOJ investigated and successfully prosecuted notorious activities bettor Billy Walters on charges of insider trading. Walters, who was found guilty of utilizing a stock tip given by former Dean Foods Chairman Tom Davis, is appealing the conviction. Pro golfer Phil Mickelson ended up being also for this controversy after investing in the same company. The 42-time PGA Tour champion admitted his sports gambling pal supplied the advice that is financial but reported he had been unaware it was acquired fraudulently. Mickelson returned his profits and was never charged.