The Fight: Full Tilt Teams with Ferttita Brothers, Iowa Online Poker Bill Dies

This week on The Fight, another online poker site announces a partnership with a brick and mortar casino, and another state decides to pass on intrastate online poker.

A week after PokerStars announced their strategic alliance with Wynn Resorts, Full Tilt Poker announced their own partnership with a Nevada-based casino in an effort to pass federal legislation to license and regulate online poker. The partnership was announced on Thursday between Full Tilt and Fertitta Interactive, an entity formed last year by Station Casinos owners Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta and Travelscape founders Tom Breitling and Tim Poster. In an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Breitling said: “We do believe that a federal online poker bill would be good for Nevada. Nevada is a leader in gaming regulation, and we need the thousands of high-paying high tech jobs and the millions in tax revenues associated with online poker.”  The two companies would jointly operate an online poker site under the Full Tilt Poker name when federal legislation is passed and the required licenses are approved. Fertitta Interactive would not have a tie-in to the Station Casinos, although the Fertitta’s ownership of the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) is expected to be used to attract customers to the new site.

The week in intrastate poker legislation was relatively light as state legislators in Iowa made changes to SF458, a bill that included language to create an intrastate online poker site, before an April 1 deadline. The bill is now expected to ask the state’s Gaming and Racing Commission to study online poker provide a report to the state legislature. In a Des Moines Register article, SF458 sponsor Jeff Danielson said legalizing online poker proved to be too controversial to remain in the bill. Iowa’s action leaves California, Florida, Hawaii and Nevada as states with intrastate online poker legislation under consideration.

Federal legislation currently consists of HR 1174, a bill to license and regulate online gambling sponsored by John Campbell (R-CA) and Barney Frank (D-MA).   Campbell believes a hearing in the House Financial Services Committee on the bill will not take place until May at the earliest.

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Kevin Mathers

Widely known by his twitter handle "Kevmath", many consider Kevin a go-to source for news and information in the poker community. Kevin finished on the bubble in the 2014 edition of the BLUFF Power 20.
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