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Legislation for Poker & Income Taxes for Poker Players Discussions of various poker-related laws and steps players can take to push for better laws.

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Old 07-28-2010, 06:47 PM   #651
Mr. Barbegris
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Re: HR 2267 Markup, Wed. 7/28 10:00am

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Originally Posted by Icebeast26 View Post
I do not decide how you spend your hard-earned money and I do not agree that you should be able to cast votes that decide how I spend mine. Whether you would like to believe it or not, I and many other American citizens are adults and we do not need the government to "hold our hand". Whether I support internet gambling reform is irrelevant (although I do), but you are dealing our country and its' citizens a great blow by assisting in stripping us of our personal freedoms.
grammar nit here. the bolded part is the subject of that sentence, so it's nominative case. should be "I" instead of "myself." good letter.
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Old 07-28-2010, 06:49 PM   #652
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Re: HR 2267 Markup, Wed. 7/28 10:00am

Finally read all the amendments - PTR has a good summary.

I'm disappointed to see that the sites that defied the US will not receive licensing.

Is it possible we can still fight this? Is it just the end of an era? can they disband and rebrand themselves and offer us similar reward levels from what we've had?

What will all this mean for things such as current comp rewards and rakeback?
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Old 07-28-2010, 06:50 PM   #653
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Re: HR 2267 Markup, Wed. 7/28 10:00am

The roll call sheet says my rep (Sherman, D-CA) didn't vote. Any way to know if he abstained or just probably wasn't there?
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Old 07-28-2010, 06:53 PM   #654
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Re: HR 2267 Markup, Wed. 7/28 10:00am

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Originally Posted by udbrky View Post
I'm disappointed to see that the sites that defied the US will not receive licensing.
This has been addressed in this thread a million times already: The poker only sites that have operated in the U.S. post-UIGEA are NOT banned from getting a license.

They have a strong legal argument to make that:

1. Poker is legal and they broke no law.
2. That if they made a mistake about whether it was legal, it was inadvertent, and they can get a license.
3. The language of the amendment regarding accepting a bet or wager after UIGEA only applies to house games, not poker.
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Old 07-28-2010, 06:55 PM   #655
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Re: HR 2267 Markup, Wed. 7/28 10:00am

thank you to the PPA for helping to get his moved forward.

i am a bit concerned that illinois will choose to opt out, but i guess we'll cross that bridge when it comes.

i took this opportunity to contact my representative, mark kirk, who is also a candidate for senate. i also contacted alex giannoulias who is running against kirk for senator, and the other illiniois senator, dick durbin. i asked all to support this bill if it comes before them and to support any similar legislation that may come up for vote.
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Old 07-28-2010, 06:56 PM   #656
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Re: HR 2267 Markup, Wed. 7/28 10:00am

does anyone have a time frame for when the senate will vote?
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Old 07-28-2010, 06:56 PM   #657
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Re: HR 2267 Markup, Wed. 7/28 10:00am

Sorry, was grunching - I get intimidated by long threads/

The main question I have here is, will the US online gaming commission see it the same way?
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Old 07-28-2010, 06:57 PM   #658
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Re: HR 2267 Markup, Wed. 7/28 10:00am

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Originally Posted by Mr. Barbegris View Post
grammar nit here. the bolded part is the subject of that sentence, so it's nominative case. should be "I" instead of "myself." good letter.
Thanks for catching that and for your opinion.
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Old 07-28-2010, 06:58 PM   #659
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Re: HR 2267 Markup, Wed. 7/28 10:00am

Cliff notes?
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Old 07-28-2010, 06:58 PM   #660
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Re: HR 2267 Markup, Wed. 7/28 10:00am

If one of these ever goes through (all the way) then one day we need a bill for fair taxation of internet gambling such as in the 10-15% area IMO.
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:06 PM   #661
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Re: HR 2267 Markup, Wed. 7/28 10:00am

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Originally Posted by novahunterpa View Post
Yea but what they believe and what is political reality are 2 different things. Sure I think ps/ft will be able to apply for a license and have legal arguments to support their position for having not violated any US law,but lets face it after today I think PS/FT are long shots for ever receiving a license.

Really i don't think it matters, our support of this legislation shouldn't be dependent on whether certain sites get a license or not, I personally couldn't care if they receive a license or not (I would like it if they did) If this bill passes we will have plenty of sites to play at.
I have followed this thread most of the day. And am wondering what the issue is around a license.

DoesFull Tilt needs a license? The easiest path into the market would be to sell there software, customer list to one of the big US players for stock in the company.

Am I missing something?
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:08 PM   #662
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Re: HR 2267 Markup, Wed. 7/28 10:00am

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Originally Posted by Skallagrim View Post
What do the words "due diligence" mean to you Pokeraddict?

"Due diligence" is actually a LESSER standard. It allows for a company that truly tried to comply with the law but got the interpretation of the law wrong to still apply for a license .... Perhaps you have seen reference before to the claim by PokerStars that they have 5 or 6 legal opinions from some of America's top law firms that their operation is legal?

That sure sounds like "due diligence" to me.

Skallagrim
Skall, I just reread this provision. You are absolutely right. PS and FTP just have to show that they reasonably believed that they obeyed US law. Of course, the government will use PP's settlement against them. However, I believe that they will prevail in court, if necessary; and it likely will not be necessary.

They do have to move a lot of their assets to the US. Doing so should not be a problem. Many of their employees are US citizens. Also, the small islands from which they operate are not cheap locales to reside. Their taxes will increase, but their personnel, travel and financial costs should decrease.

I hope that this bill actually becomes law, but I am still pessimistic. Still, I congratulate you, TE and the PPA for the great victory.
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:09 PM   #663
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Re: HR 2267 Markup, Wed. 7/28 10:00am

What is the best thing to do if your representative voted against this bill. Write an angry email? I'm talking about Mike Castle (R-DE) fwiw.
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:09 PM   #664
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Re: HR 2267 Markup, Wed. 7/28 10:00am

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Originally Posted by udbrky View Post
Sorry, was grunching - I get intimidated by long threads/

The main question I have here is, will the US online gaming commission see it the same way?
No biggie. Your fear had been expressed by 10 or 20 people since the last post trying to lay that fear to rest, so it was getting to be about time to repost the arguments for Stars and FTP.

As Skall/TE pointed out a few posts up, Stars and FTP are still supporting the amended bill, so it is fair to assume that they like their chances of prevailing on one of the 3 arguments above (or, maybe, in the alternative to winning on one of those 3, merging their way around the prohibition). They're still in the game.
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:10 PM   #665
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Re: HR 2267 Markup, Wed. 7/28 10:00am

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Originally Posted by mpethybridge View Post
This has been addressed in this thread a million times already: The poker only sites that have operated in the U.S. post-UIGEA are NOT banned from getting a license.

They have a strong legal argument to make that:

1. Poker is legal and they broke no law.
2. That if they made a mistake about whether it was legal, it was inadvertent, and they can get a license.
3. The language of the amendment regarding accepting a bet or wager after UIGEA only applies to house games, not poker.
Everybody seems to be ignoring that the amendment says they could not break state or federal law. States have a variety of gambling laws and WA State specifically outlaws online poker. Nevada law states anyone that takes a bet must have a gaming license. Illinois has a similar law. Accepting action from residents of those states can't be described as an accident.

By processing payments for residents in those states, in violation of state laws, the rooms are in violation of the UIGEA. Even if you say poker is not gambling Washington state law says it is. By accepting players there a poker room can't plead ignorance. The PPA seems to have a different opinion than this but to me it seems obvious. The poker rooms are taking illegal action from several states and the provision includes that one who has accepted wagers in violation of state law cannot be granted a license.

I could certainly see rooms going the route of Party and Dikshit and just paying a massive fine to avoid prosecution but I don't see how in the world these rooms would be allowed to get licensed with B&M players like Harrah's and MGM around, especially since the bill as it stands currently specifically excludes these rooms.

Edit: If FTP and PS truly think they have good legal advice that they are operating legally then they have a chance but the WA state law is pretty clear. I guess we will see. This is all speculation and of course still has quite a few votes and a presidential signature before it happens. It could be changed 1000 times before that happens.

Of course these site's would have another option. Change the structure or outright sell. Obviously their businesses are worth a fortune to someone wanting to get in on the land grab.

Last edited by John Mehaffey; 07-28-2010 at 07:16 PM.
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:12 PM   #666
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Re: HR 2267 Markup, Wed. 7/28 10:00am

Just want to add my congratulations to TE, the PPA, Skall, etc. Plus all of us who've contacted our representatives on this issue. I can't believe the vote margin was so heavily in our favor just a few years after our side was trounced in another House vote.
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:17 PM   #667
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Re: HR 2267 Markup, Wed. 7/28 10:00am

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Originally Posted by TheGunslinger View Post
The roll call sheet says my rep (Sherman, D-CA) didn't vote. Any way to know if he abstained or just probably wasn't there?
He was there during the intitial floor discussions and IIRC seemed to be a proponent, I was surprised to see no vote listed as well.

Last edited by Zophar; 07-28-2010 at 07:19 PM. Reason: initial.....
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:18 PM   #668
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Re: HR 2267 Markup, Wed. 7/28 10:00am

is there any good/bad guys in the Committee of Ways and Means that we should know about? specifically people who have a strong opinion of gambling one way or the other?
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:19 PM   #669
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Re: HR 2267 Markup, Wed. 7/28 10:00am

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Originally Posted by Pokeraddict View Post
Everybody seems to be ignoring that the amendment says they could not break state or federal law. States have a variety of gambling laws and WA State specifically outlaws online poker. Nevada law states anyone that takes a bet must have a gaming license. Illinois has a similar law. Accepting action from residents of those states can't be described as an accident.

By processing payments for residents in those states, in violation of state laws, the rooms are in violation of the UIGEA. Even if you say poker is not gambling Washington state law says it is. By accepting players there a poker room can't plead ignorance. The PPA seems to have a different opinion than this but to me it seems obvious. The poker rooms are taking illegal action from several states and the provision includes that one who has accepted wagers in violation of state law cannot be granted a license.

I could certainly see rooms going the route of Party and Dikshit and just paying a massive fine to avoid prosecution but I don't see how in the world these rooms would be allowed to get licensed with B&M players like Harrah's and MGM around, especially since the bill as it stands currently specifically excludes these rooms.

Edit: If FTP and PS truly think they have good legal advice that they are operating legally then they have a chance but the WA state law is pretty clear. I guess we will see. This is all speculation and of course still has quite a few votes and a presidential signature before it happens. It could be changed 1000 times before that happens.

Of course these site's would have another option. Change the structure or outright sell. Obviously their businesses are worth a fortune to someone wanting to get in on the land grab.
My thoughts exactly. Will be interesting to see how that aspect plays out
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:21 PM   #670
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Re: HR 2267 Markup, Wed. 7/28 10:00am

People can spin it any way they want but I think the intent of the committee is obvious, they don't want sites like ps/ft to get a license. That said I'm sure the sites do have legal arguments they can make as to why this shouldn't apply to them and how they haven't violated any US law, I just don't see it working but what do I know, it just might.
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:23 PM   #671
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Re: HR 2267 Markup, Wed. 7/28 10:00am

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Originally Posted by Skallagrim View Post
The next step will be to move HR 4976 through the House Ways and Means Committee. If your Representative sits on that Committee, you can wait the few days for the PPA to provide you form letters and links or you can start making contact now on your own.
FYP

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Originally Posted by dabomb75 View Post
My question for the next step (sorry for starting this so soon, I know you guys want to celebrate) is: the taxation bill should pass out of the committee fairly smoothly right? I mean, the focus of that bill is purely taxation, and not whether poker should be regulated, and what congressman doesn't want to tax something they aren't taxing yet ?
The focus of the licensing and regulation legislation is licensing and regulation, not taxation. Taxation is added by this tandem bill, and will no doubt eventually be incorporated into one bill. Passage of the taxation bill should be rather smooth. However, scheduling of the bill markup and vote may not be - that's the hurdle. It's relatively easy to get it passed out of committee once taken up, but getting it taken up requires overcoming the inertia of committees and the Congressional leadership - probably the biggest barrier to passage of any legislation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeerBottlez View Post
If one of these ever goes through (all the way) then one day we need a bill for fair taxation of internet gambling such as in the 10-15% area IMO.
That's what the taxation bill does (HR 4976) - 8% total deposit tax (2% to federal, 6% to states/tribes).

Quote:
Originally Posted by LostInCT View Post
does anyone have a time frame for when the senate will vote?
No, no one has that yet. We are still a long way off from a Senate vote. Read the OP of this thread.
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:24 PM   #672
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Re: HR 2267 Markup, Wed. 7/28 10:00am

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Originally Posted by repulse View Post
If you don't like it when companies comply with US law, you're not going to like any of the companies that are licensed to offer online poker under US law.
What did US law have to do with it? Will a US bank give the USAO my records without a warrant or my permission? I paid my taxes if thats what you mean. Maybe I didn't want the DOJ invading my privacy of where I spend my money.

IMO Neteller did what they said they wouldn't. They also refused customer support during the time they held my money. They also tried to trick me into an agreement that I wouldn't sue them before they released my money.

I've already replied to much on Neteller in this thread. I apologize to all.
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:28 PM   #673
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Re: HR 2267 Markup, Wed. 7/28 10:00am

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Originally Posted by novahunterpa View Post
People can spin it any way they want but I think the intent of the committee is obvious, they don't want sites like ps/ft to get a license. That said I'm sure the sites do have legal arguments they can make as to why this shouldn't apply to them and how they haven't violated any US law, I just don't see it working but what do I know, it just might.
the question is though whether the treasury lawyers will care what the intent of the bill-makers was when writing those amendments, and if what our in-house lawyer Skall said is to be believed, then the treasury lawyers will be looking at this from a legal standpoint much further than what this specific amendment intends.
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:40 PM   #674
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Re: HR 2267 Markup, Wed. 7/28 10:00am

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Originally Posted by PPAdc View Post
Only those sites found in violation of federal gaming law will be denied a license. That is the what the current amdt says (sherman). As far as I know, the us-facing poker sites believe they are not breaking any laws, nor have they been convicted of breaking any laws. Nothing will guarentee that they get a license, but the amdt does not prohibit them. Now there may be another amdt offers that says anyone post uigea has taken a wager they cannot get a license. We will fight that!
What ever happened with the grand jury indictment on the head FTP guys? Wouldn't that be an indication that the US didn't believe FTP was acting lawfully?
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:43 PM   #675
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Re: HR 2267 Markup, Wed. 7/28 10:00am

Nice victory, its good to see something get out of committee with bipartisan approval. We're making progress.

Im glad to hear Tilt and Stars still support the bill. I think they have absolutely no shot at getting a license after what we've heard today, but the fact they arent abandoning ship helps our cause.

We have a ton of work to do to get to a good bill and get it passed this Congress. I dont think it will happen, but mine as well try. The Ways and Means committee bill needs improvement in order to be acceptable.

While bipartisan approval is a positive, and we played good defense on the opt-out provision, the substance of the bill unquestionably became worse today and the chances of a foreign site getting a license went down. That's not a reason in and of itself to support a bill, but its a fact. We need the opposite to happen in the next committee, so our biggest challenge lies ahead.
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