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Washington Post and 60Minutes, Need for player protection

The Las Vegas Review-Journal carried a thought-provoking piece by columnist Jane Ann Morrison this week, examining the impact of the recent Washington Post and 60 Minutes programs on the Absolute Poker and UltimateBet cheating scandals.
 
Morrison opines that the widespread publicity generated by the "double whammy" in print and television coverage improved the odds of Congressman Barney Frank's moves to legalise and regulate online gambling in the United States.  And she was not alone in that view; Bo Bernhard, director of gambling research at UNLV's International Gaming Institute, thought so, too, she reported.
 
Two national news outlets presenting online poker players as fraud victims strengthens the position of those who want to legalise online gambling ... and tax it, Morrison wrote. 
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"The heart of the Washington Post story was that poker players were cheated out of more than $20 million over four years through scams uncovered at AbsolutePoker.com and UltimateBet.com, two online poker sites. The Washington Post's two-part report ran Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 in the Review-Journal, and the "60 Minutes" segment aired Nov. 30," she recapped, explaining that Frank's proposal would overturn the UIGEA, but would likely not include the legalisation of sportbetting due to pressure from the NCAA.
 
The article also points out that in these economically stressed times, taxation could of a legalised and regulated business could provide much needed cash for government or state programs.
 
Bernhard told Morrison that he has mixed feelings about legalising online poker, the most likely online betting activity for legalisation.  "I'm torn. I believe in my Nevada soul that a gaming industry that's regulated properly, licensed, subjected to the rigors, is a good thing," said the son of Nevada Gaming Commission Chairman Pete Bernhard. "But I'm also sensitive to the problem gambler and the underage gambler."
 
Morrison points out however that, like many Nevadans, his philosophical bent is that people should be allowed to do what they want.
 
Bernhard speaks from experience, having headed the first research project to study Internet gambling by Nevadans, requested by the state's Gaming Control Board.
 
Morrison asks the rhetorical question: why would Nevadans want to play online given the abundance of land facilities in the state?  She answers: "The same reasons folks in other states without casinos gravitate toward online poker: convenience, lower stakes, and speed. Apparently this is a young man's form of recreation, and a young man with more education and more money.
 
The article recalls that Bernhard's study found that 3.7 percent of Nevadans in the survey of 1 000 respondents said they played poker online in the last five years, about the same percentage as the rest of the country. Their biggest concern? "Nevadans aren't sure of getting a square deal with online poker," Bernhard said.
 
Morrison writes that the study showed that online poker players were not concerned with the ability of Web sites to cheat them. They trusted the sites (obviously a mistake on their part in the wake of the two cheating operations uncovered). They didn't trust the other players.
 
"They were definitely convinced that collusion took place among other gamblers at virtual poker tables," the 2007 study concluded.
 
The piece discusses the now well known facts surrounding the cheating scandals, fairly reporting on the many millions in refunds paid or being paid to prejudiced players at the two websites.
 
Morrison reports that there are aditionally concerns about underage gambling, compulsive gambling and the potential for money laundering and organised crime influence if online poker is legalised, but it appears that this is the direction in which government and the major US gaming companies are headed.
 
"The sympathetic approach of the Washington Post and "60 Minutes" makes it seem like it's practically the government's job to protect poker players," Morrison notes. "But in reality, the casino companies are coming around to the belief that if they can make money through online betting without spending billions to build a property, it may be time to drop their opposition. And if it's taxable, that's bound to get government support.
 
"But the question remains, if the software is so vulnerable that players were cheated of more than $20 million, can government regulation really protect the online bettor?"



Gambling News :

NBA : Warriors Win the West; NBA Finals Next - The Golden State Warriors will play in their third-straight NBA Finals. They completed their sweep of the San Antonio Spurs Monday night, rolling to a 129-115 victory as 12-point road favourites; Golden State opened the season as a –250 chalk to win the Western Conference.

Iforium In Partnership With Booming Games - Iforium, the leading provider of casino aggregation software, are pleased to announce a new agreement with Booming Games

PartyPoker Rakebak - Partypoker brings back rake back for players. All new ‘partypoker weekly Cashback’ launches.

NHL Odds: Lone Canadian Team Plays on Friday - “Stingy” is a word that many have used to describe the Ottawa Senators in Round Three. The Sens know that they’re overmatched against a Pens lineup that features the likes of Sidney Crosby, Evengi Malkin and Phil Kessel, but with determined defensive play, Ottawa managed to frustrate the Penguins on their home ice, stealing one of two games.

NBA Odds: Will Cavaliers Be Rusty in Game 1? - The Boston Celtics needed seven games to get past the Washington Wizards, but they got the job done Monday night, winning 115-105 as 5.5-point home favourites. Next up: the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers, who visit the Garden Wednesday night at 8:30 PM ET on TNT.

4 New Microgaming Releases in May 2017 - Candy Dreams is a 720 ways to win, variable reel game. Players spin on a colorful reel area filled with candy treats, as they play towards enticing bonus triggers.

PKR Company Statement Update - Microgaming can confirm that David R Taylor and Matthew R M Wild of RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP were appointed Joint Administrators of PKR Ltd and PKR Technologies Limited on 11 May 2017 by the High Court, Chancery Division.

Microgaming Wins The Spark Award 2017 - The Spark Award celebrates organisations that experiment with ways of working differently. Previous winners include GCHQ and Places for People. It’s a part of Spark the Change, a global movement dedicated to empowering people and building happier workplaces.

NHL Predators First Ever Conference Finals Appearance - With three of the team’s top four point scorers residing on the blueline, the Nashville Predators have found a strategy that frustrates even the best in the West. After qualifying as the lowest-seeded Western Conference team, the Predators made quick work of the Chicago Blackhawks (4-0) and St. Louis Blues (4-1) in the first two rounds.

NBA Odds: Wizards-Celtics at the Garden - The Washington Wizards are making this a series. They’ve won back-to-back games against the Boston Celtics to knot this second-round matchup at 2-2 with Game 5 at the Garden on Wednesday. TNT has the coverage starting at 8 PM ET.

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