The Fight: BwinParty Pushes, Hearing on Horizon

The Republican debates may have been entertaining for some and disheartening for others, they haven’t given us much info about how these candidates feel about online poker.  In fact, these days online poker supporters are getting a lot of mixed messages for DC about where their cause stands with politicians.  We’ve got the latest batch of news on the push to regulate and legalize poker in the United States in this edition of The Fight:

BwinParty Seeks US Invite

Online gambling company may be based out of Gibraltar, but for over a month, the company’s co-CEO Jim Ryan has been on a tour of the States.  Forbes reports that Ryan has been actively campaigning to US investors in preparation for regulation.

After having to sit back and watch companies like Full Tilt and PokerStars continue to operate in the States after PartyPoker pulled out of the American market following the passage of the UIGEA, Ryan is upbeat about what the future holds in a post-Black Friday world.  He also tells Forbes he is preparing for a wide array of possibilities.

“We have to be ready for both federal or state,” he says. “It feels good to have American taxpaying companies finally driving this.”

Part of Ryan’s pitch to investors included emphasis on Full Tilt and PokerStars’ persona non grata status in the US marketplace and’s adherence to US laws and their $105 million settlement with the US government.

One commentator already spoke out on a potential flaw in this approach though.  Calvin Ayre’s official website featured an editorial from Peter Amsel that points out that, while the settlement with the Department of Justice put PartyGaming in the good graces of the US, the same might not be said for bwin, which did take sports bets from US customers following the passage of the UIGEA.  It should be noted that Ayre founded Bodog, a competitor of bwin.Party, but retired in 2008 to focus on his charity work.

Trump Eyeing Online Poker Too

With the buzz for intrastate gambling in New Jersey building, Donald Trump and the Trump Entertainment Group have their eye on the online poker realm too.  Business Week reports that Trump Entertainment and Lasry’s Avenue Capital Group are teaming together to “form an Internet gaming join venture should US regulators permit such businesses to operate.”

Trump and company are putting a lot of stock in the value of the brand and daughter Ivanka Trump, who serves as Executive Vice President of Development and Acquisitions, believes they would be in a strong position should they enter the market.

““In terms of the Internet, brand is essential toward attracting players,” Ishe suggests. “The Trump brand would be the most powerful one in this space.”

Poker agent Brian Balsbaugh spoke out on Twitter via his @Balsbaugh account in regards to her statement:

[blackbirdpie url=”!/Balsbaugh/status/126827705449713664″]

Some Fuzzy Math for the AGCC

When the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) permanently revoked Full Tilt Poker’s license last month, the organization claimed the Department of Justice  seized more than $330 million between June 2007 and June 2011.  On Thursday, the AGCC issued a correction to that statement, clarifying that number represented the total amount of money not available to Full Tilt, not the amount seized by the DOJ.  Despite the discrepancy, the AGCC asserts that it does not change their estimation of Full Tilt and the ruling issued.

House Hearing on Internet Gambling

It has been a while since there has been any news from Congress on the online gambling front, but it turns out they have not completely forgotten about the issue.  The Poker Players Alliance revealed that the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade will hold a hearing on internet gambling on Tuesday, October 25th at 1030am.  The hearing, titled “Internet Gaming: Is There a Safe Bet?” is an invitation-only affair.

The hearing notice also states there will be a bipartisan staff briefing on the Monday before the hearing, with separate Republican and Democratic briefings to follow.

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