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Us Attorney Has Change Of Heart On Poker

Monday November 5, 2012 : A CHANGE OF HEART ON POKER?
 
Former US Attorney and an opinion on the skill vs. chance debate
 
The online poker information site Quadjacks unearthed an interesting opinion on the intricacies of the chance vs. skill legal debate over the weekend, reporting that Black Friday cash processing defendant Chad Elie had posted a view from former Missouri US Attorney Catherine Hanaway, now apparently employed in the legal private sector.
 
Hanaway rose to prominence in the first really big U.S. bust of an online gambling firm when she headed the government prosecution team and presided over the resultant demise of BetOnSports and the detention of its CEO, David Carruthers back in 2006
 
In 2010, Hanaway appeared to be employed by a law firm led by former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, which provided a legal opinion to SunFirst, a bank that subsequently featured in the e-processing prosecutions that have been a feature of the internet gambling scene in recent times.
 
Quadjacks reports that the Hanaway letter is one of the documents posted by Elie, who has been sentenced to a five month jail term, on his Twitter account this week at http://twitter.com/BlackFridayChad/status/264475312329478144/photo/1
 
In the letter Hanaway gives her professional opinion on the Wire Act and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, although it must be remembered that this was prior to the game-changing December 2011 DoJ about-face on the Wire Act.
 
To quote Quadjacks: "The Hanaway letter seems to support the notion that processing transactions related to online poker does not violate the Wire Act or the UIGEA. This is a document a bank would need to protect themselves against liability in case the transactions turned out to be problematic."
 
An article published in the Salt Lake Tribune in April last year and subsequently referenced in an April 2011 discussion on the twoplustwo message board confirms the existence of the Hanaway letter here:
 
http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/money/51650236-79/bank-companies-payments-poker.html.csp and notes:
 
"A letter last year to SunFirst from a law firm led by former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft says the firm believes it could be legal to process payments for peer-to-peer poker players, that is those who play against each other and not against a computer.
 
"If a case was taken all the way to a judge and/or jury, and a decision was made on the legality of these practices ... we believe the decision would be in favor of online poker as a game of skill being allowed under those laws," said Catherine Hanaway, the attorney who wrote the letter.
 
"The letter dated July 26, 2010, was solicited on behalf of one of the poker companies, PokerStars, named in the [Black Friday] indictment and addressed to SunFirst Bank. It came about seven months after the indictment says SunFirst began processing payments.
 
"But the letter makes clear that the Department of Justice "takes a contrary position" and warns that the law in this area was unsettled.
 
"Hanaway said given that warning, she was not surprised by the indictments."
 
It is not clear what Elie hopes to achieve by posting the Hanaway letter, although it is certainly an interesting postscript to his case.

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Gambling News :

Amaya FY2016 Trading Update - The Montreal-based Amaya online gambling group has issued a trading update covering FY 2016 and improving its forecast revenue and earnings numbers.

Another Mega Fortune Dreams jackpot for Euro 3.5 million - In a statement Friday NetEnt advised that the lucky player is a 62-year-old woman from central Finland who won the seven-figure sum from a Euro 1 stake.

Stanleybet has filed a legal action against the government of Cyprus - Bookmaking firm Stanleybet has filed a legal action against the government of Cyprus, claiming Euro 12.5 million as compensation for what it claims is loss of profits and opportunities, prejudice to image and business reputation and legal costs.

LeoVegas To Sponsor Leicester Tigers - The agreement includes official partner accreditation, media space at Welford Road stadium and matchday tickets and VIP hospitality as well as two pitchside perimeter boards from the 2017/18 season and one for duration of the 2016/17 season.

Optima Information Services iShop - Industry visitors to the recent TVC Bookmakers Trade Fair in Solihull, UK were much taken by Spanish betting technology firm Optima Information Services' iShop product, and the company went on to win the SBC Best Retail Betting Product award with it last month.

Golden Nugget Las Vegas Launches New Betting App - Golden Nugget Las Vegas has unveiled a sports wagering app offering Nevada punters the comfort and convenience of being able to wager from anywhere in the state.

CAGAYAN CHIEF MOVES TO REASSURE LICENSEES - Apparently $4 million is going into improvements of the Authority’s data centre in the Freeport at Cagayan, whilst another $3 million has been earmarked for an upgrade to data infrastructure located outside the Freeport.

New Massachusetts Online Gambling Bill - It seems that every two years (give or take a few months) Massachusetts state Senator Bruce Tarr flights an online gambling legalization bill in the state Senate.

Las Vegas Sands Fined for foreign bribery allegations - #lasvegassands Las Vegas Sands, the land casino company owned by multi-billionaire US mogul Sheldon Adelson, has again had to cough up a stiff penalty for non-compliance with the law.

Libratus AI Program Destroying Human Poker Opponents - #Libratus With 40,340 hands played (about a third of the 120,000 planned) Dong Kim is down $29,506, whilst Jimmy Chou ($113,7728), Daniel McAuley ($141,877) and Jason Les ($186,489) are all carrying losses.

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