DAILY BUZZ: Ky. Court Quiet, Mich. Poker Bust, Iowa Mulls New Law

Welcome to the BLUFF Daily Buzz, where we scour the entire internet for all the latest news in and around the world of poker. If it involves chips and cards, or people known to associate with chips and cards, we’re there.

No decision in Kentucky

It’s been nearly a year and a half since Steve Beshear, governor of the state of Kentucky, struck out without any sort of legal precedent to seize 141 domain names belonging to internet gambling companies. Despite the passage of time, though, the legality of Beshear’s attempted seizure is still under debate.

Many expected that debate to be settled by the Kentucky Supreme Court this week, but the window for the court to hand down a decision has come and gone without any resolution in the case. Joe Brennan, Jr., chairman of the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association (iMEGA), told Poker News Daily that everyone in Kentucky was surprised that the court didn’t issue a ruling. “The rumor mill thought the decision was going to be rendered,” he said. “That could have been why their attorneys acted so quickly at the end of December, so if they got an adverse decision, they could keep it alive.”

The next scheduled date for the court to issue new rulings is March 18th, but again there is no guarantee that a judgment will be handed down. Eight other dates throughout the rest of the year are scheduled from April through December for the court to rule on the cases before it.

(No Decision Handed Down in Kentucky Internet Gambling Case – Poker News Daily)

Usually “poker bust” isn’t a double entendre…

If you’re running an illegal business operation, there are a few facts that you simply can’t avoid: first, blatantly advertising your service is likely to hamper your long-term prospects, and second, claiming something is legal doesn’t make it so when the law comes calling. The operator of the Grand Rapids Poker Club in Michigan chose to ignore those facts, though, and now he’s looking at a possible two-year stint in jail.

The game’s organizer publicly advertised the game, using both fliers around town and Craigslist to let everyone know there were seats open at the table. He also told anyone interested that the game was legal in order to entice them to show up at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in Kentwood, where he had rented out the meeting room under the name “Game Room Angels.” Why, you ask, would he use the name “Angels”? The topless dealers might have had something to do with that. More than 20 people, including four of the topless dealers, were arrested when – surprise! – local and state police raided the hotel.

A tip of the Buzz’s hat here goes to Wicked Chops Poker, who inducted the game’s organizer into the Stupid Poker Criminals Hall of Fame.

(Topless Poker Tournament Raided at Michigan Hotel – Online Poker News)

Iowa looking to change gambling law

Iowa casinos are asking lawmakers in the state to consider a change to its gambling laws, one that would allow them to host poker tournament in convention areas that are currently off-limits to any gaming activities.

If passed, the bill would put Iowa on par with casinos in other parts of the country that normally host their large tournaments, which only come around once or twice a year and therefore don’t need permanent gaming space, in such convention areas. According to Radio Iowa, the Harrah’s casino in Council Bluffs would be one of the biggest beneficiaries – and the numbers from past WSOP Circuit events, which have historically been some of the lowest on the tour, would seem to bear that out. (The 2008 and 2009 WSOPC championship events there drew just 99 and 67 players, respectively.)

The proposed change for poker tournaments is included in a bill that would also allow casinos to pay an extra fee to the state in exchange for avoiding public referendums that are currently mandated every eight years. With Iowa facing the same budget problems currently afflicting the rest of the states, the extra $25 million the casinos are willing to pony up might be too attractive for legislators to turn down.

(Legislators to consider gambling package – Radio Iowa)

Around the Table

Finnish spark plug Ilari “Ziigmund” Sahamies went ballistic on Cole South in chat after South grabbed a $600K pot from him on Full Tilt Poker the other night, even going so far as to invoke the Isildur1 datamining incident … Rapper and one-time online poker room owner Ja Rule sweated Phil Ivey live in the Penn & Teller Theatre last November, but if his gun case goes badly Ivey might not have his superstar friend’s support if he becomes the first repeat November Niner … Accompanying former teen chess whiz James “AndyMcLEOD” Obst, 2009 Aussie Millions champ Stewart Scott, and Team PokerStars pro Florian Langmann to the final table of Aussie Millions Event #7 today was former Australian cricket captain Shane Warne … A Philadelphia lawyer who once sued Bally’s Atlantic City claiming he was attacked by a drunken patron at one of the casino’s poker tables has filed a class-action lawsuit against Microsoft over its online Microsoft Points payment system.

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