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Oklahoma Legislature Up in Smoke Over Gambling and Cigarettes, Pennsylvania Too

Oklahoma Legislature Up in Smoke Over Gambling and Cigarettes, Pennsylvania Too

The Oklahoma Legislature has reached an impasse throughout the sin that is so-called of gambling and cigarettes.

Oklahoma House Minority Leader Scott Inman wants to expand video gaming, but his Republican constituents think he should put that idea in his pipe and smoke it.

Both the Oklahoma Senate and House are controlled by the GOP, but that’sn’t stopping the minority celebration from blocking a cigarette tax increase proposed by House Republicans.

Democrats into the lower chamber are doing so in order to give their side leverage in ongoing budget negotiations, and their desires to expand gambling and allow tribal casinos to offer roulette and dice games.

Oklahoma lawmakers are searching for ways to close an $878 million funding gap. While Republicans can pass the budget of their choosing, they need a vote that is three-fourths raise smoke taxes, and the 26 Democrats into the 101-member House are not budging.

‘We’ve said all along that a cigarette tax is a Band-Aid on a bullet opening,’ Oklahoma House Minority Leader Scott Inman (D-District 94) told the Associated Press. ‘You’ve surely got to have additional revenue.’

This the House and Senate budget committees recommended a $1.50 per cigarette pack tax increase week. To make the budget whole with only that tariff hike, Oklahomans would roughly need to purchase 585.3 million packages of smokes.

GOP Extinguishes Gambling

Republican leaders in Oklahoma feel casinos are currently too accessible, and expanded gaming would result in additional negative societal consequences.

‘I think we have actually too much gambling going on in the state,’ Senate President professional Tem Mike Schulz (R-District 38) opined this week. ‘ I think we have people who are spending bread and milk money in a casino instead of taking care of their young ones.’

Democrats proposed a plan that claims to create $400 million over the next year. Along with the smoke tax, the minority recommended a $17,000 cap on itemized income tax deductions for citizens, the restoration of the earned tax credit, eliminating oil and gas production incentives, and expanding tribal gaming.

The casino component would have allowed tribes to offer non-house-banked table games like roulette and craps in exchange for 10 % of these monthly net win. It also called for the legalization of sports betting should the existing federal ban be repealed.

With Democrats refusing to budge on cigarettes, and Republicans standing firm on keeping gambling as is, the Oklahoma Legislature has already reached a budget stalemate.

Pennsylvania’s Smoking Gun

Although the Oklahoma Legislature is expected to carry special spending plan sessions to iron its differences out over gambling and smoking, a bipartisan bill in Pennsylvania seeks to outlaw cigarettes in gambling enterprises and watering holes.

Pennsylvania House Bill 1309 will expand regarding the state’s 2008 Clean Indoor Air Act to eliminate exemptions for gambling venues and pubs. Casinos are currently allowed to designate a percentage of these floors to smoking, and taverns that report 20 percent or less of their revenue comes from food can enable clients to puff.

This year with 18 bill sponsors that includes Democrats and Republicans, HB 1309 seems to be the first gaming-related measure to have across-the-aisle support in Harrisburg. Their state is considering a number of gaming expansion bills to invest in a unique growing budget deficit.

Trump Taj Mahal, Built for $1.2 Billion in 1990, Sold for $50 Million in 2017

The former Trump Taj Mahal was sold in March to Hard Rock International for $50 million, a massive discount on what it are priced at to build the Atlantic City property significantly more than a quarter-century ago in 1990.

Hard Rock will spend up to $400 million rebranding and renovating the former Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, or seven times what it paid for the resort that is actual. (Image: Wayne Parry/Associated Press)

Throughout the nation’s history, real estate has typically been a relatively safe investment that is returned strong returns for homeowners, along with developers.

That’s changed, of program, in the last few years following the economic recession that hit the united states in 2008 and 2009. The reality that is new forget about evident than in the valuation of the Trump Taj Mahal.

Dubbed the ‘Eighth Wonder worldwide’ when it exposed 27 years ago, billionaire Carl Icahn unloaded the resort, which he closed last October after failing in the future to labor that is new with casino workers, for the gravely discounted price of $50 million. That means significantly less than a nickel in the dollar when compared with exactly what Trump and his financiers paid.

The intense Rock acquisition was announced in March, but economic regards to the offer weren’t made public until papers filed utilizing the United States Securities and Exchange Commission had been revealed this week.

Icahn Folds

Along together with vast estate that is real hotel portfolio, Trump has credited their casino dealings for helping build his unknown fortune.

The 45th president severed ties with Atlantic City in 2009, though he maintained a tiny stake in the Trump Taj Mahal via a certification agreement until a year ago.

Icahn, a close friend to the commander-in-chief, acquired the very last remaining Trump Entertainment Resorts home in bankruptcy in early 2016. A signature Atlantic City property at the time of the buyout, he called the Taj Mahal. Fast-forward 13 months, therefore the investment is revealed by the billionaire cost him $350 million.

A contentious dispute between Icahn and the Unite right Here regional 54 workers union over a wage increase as well as the restoration of benefits led the corporate raider to shutter the Taj Mahal and put thousands out of work.

Rewriting ‘Art associated with contract’

Though most are saying the Seminole Tribe, which owns the Hard Rock brand, essentially rewrote the ‘Art associated with the contract,’ Trump’s signature book, by buying the formerly valued $1.2 billion resort for just $50 million, the bargain price comes with its share that is fair of.

The company also assumes the Taj’s massive property tax bill in addition to Hard Rock saying it will spend up to $400 million in rebranding and renovating the resort. Atlantic City officials have the place valued at over $224 million, an assessment that Icahn has repeatedly appealed.

Hard Rock will additionally be forced to begin with participating in the state’s PILOT program (payment instead of fees) that mandates the city’s remaining casinos jointly remit a $120 million disbursement that is annual local government rather than paying on gaming revenue.

The Seminoles will be on the additionally hook for the resort’s home taxes. The Florida Native United states group should only be prepared to see those tariffs increase, as Atlantic City will probably raise its $224 million valuation once the tribe dumps billions of dollars in to the Boardwalk facility.

Did Authorities that is chinese Launch DDoS Attacks on Hong Kong Online Gambling Sites?

Scores of online gambling websites based in Hong Kong were battered by a wave of distributed denial of service (DDoS) assaults in the week of April, according to US-based Arbor Security, which monitors the net for DDoS attack information.

For seven days at the start of April, Hong Kong became the ground zero of DDoS assaults throughout the world, but why? (Image: HackRead)

Between April 6 and 13, hackers apparently based in Asia flooded the bandwidth of countless gambling web sites having a massive influx of traffic, knocking them offline.

The events were striking and uncommon, according to Arbor, because for those a week Hong Kong ended up being the destination that is top the entire world for such attacks, a dubious honor typically reserved for the United States.

Extortion Suspected

It absolutely was also noteworthy, said Arbor, because ‘country-level activity’ frequently denotes geopolitical motivation, i.e, attacks directed so intently at websites of the solitary territory can be an indication of cyber warfare organized on a state-level. It’s an idea, however, that Kirk Soluk, manager of the company’s threat intelligence team, rules out.

‘…the emergence of numerous, different gambling/gaming objectives leads us to trust that DDoS extortion is the most likely motivation,’ he concluded in a web log on the Arbor website this week.

It’s a reasonable summary. After all, hackers have actually sought to hold gambling that is online to ransom since ab muscles early days of the industry.

Sports gambling web sites are particularly susceptible because they are hopelessly reliant on major sports for large chunks of their revenues and may be have small choice but to pay a small ransom when intentionally targeted during these periods.

Severe Punishment Guaranteed

But we wonder just how up to speed Arbor is on Chinese gambling regulatory issues. Probably never, and why should it be?

Does it understand, for example, that the first of the Hong Kong attacks arrived simply five days after China’s Public Security Minister Guo Shengkun promised ‘severe punishment’ for gambling operators targeting Chinese citizens on the mainland?

And does it know that the only legal and licensed Hong Kong-based online operator may be the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC), and therefore any other online gambling web site based in Hong Kong is unlicensed and a legitimate target for the Chinese government? In reality, according to a declaration by the HKJC in 2014, unlicensed operators have actually links to organized crime and consequently unlawful online gambling is akin to a ‘blood crime.’

Needless to say, the nature of DDoS attacks means they might were orchestrated from any place in the entire world and attackers were merely harnessing internet-connected devices from within China.

Or they are able to have come from within China, orchestrated by the government, which had little motivation to disguise the origin. We may never know.

Poker Player Bets He Can Eat $1,000 of McDonald’s Food in 36 Hours

Poker player Mike Noori is a man who likes to place his money where his mouth is. But the real question that is million-dollar, can he put $1,000 of McDonald’s food in his mouth, then chew it, and ingest it, and start digesting it, all within 36-hours?

Not Lovin’ It: Two-time LA Poker Timeless champion Mike Noori might have to consume at the least 66,000 calories in 36 hours if he’s the possibility of winning this reverse weight-loss bet. (Image: LAPC)

Lots of people think it’s impossible. Almost everyone agrees that it is stupid.

Noori is getting 5:1 on a bet proposed to him by popular tournament director Matt Savage. Whilst the exact figure riding on Noori’s success is undisclosed, Noori said on Twitter that to date that more than $200,000 has been booked in the proposition wager, but only a small slice of the is his money.

‘This is impossible,’ declared fellow poker pro and food that is aspiring Jimmy Fricke (JimmyEatsVegas.com) in the twoplustwo poker discussion boards. ‘ If he consumes the cheapest calorie/dollar food available (southwest grilled chicken salad) this is still 66,000 calories.’

‘It can be achieved,’ another poster countered. ‘20,000 calories a time combined with workout is already something many men do in training. It is not easy but it would help significantly. if he exercised throughout and had little rests’

1,500 Apples Slices

Like all good gamblers, Noori certainly has a game plan. He’s opting to begin off with $500-worth of apple slices, then $200 in salads, with bacon, cheese and add-ons that are guacamole.

These dollar amounts on apple slices and salads were set as caps within the conditions of the bet.

Each, and three slices in each bag, that’s still a body-punishing 1,500 apple slices Noori would need to ingest before he even thinking about the weightier burgers with bags of apple slices selling at a dollar.

No Blenders?

And yes, there will be burgers. It’s written into the rules, which state that $300 must be spent on ‘hot food products,’ of which at least $50 should be burgers. Other requirements are that Noori ‘must eat precisely what comes with the order (except the Happy toy that is meal,’ and ‘no blenders.’

The rules that are official state that ‘Puking is OK as long as he does not force the puke or puke repeatedly.’ Indeed, health and safety first.

Gamblers have done things that are notoriously foolish money through the years. In 2014 Freddy Torres agreed to jump into a tank that is shark-filled $1,000. Last year, Ashton Griffin won a bet that he couldn’t run 70 kilometers in one on a treadmill day. He attempted the feat while hungover as well as on really small rest, but prevailed and was $350,000 richer once he finally reached the end of the treadmill.

In 2010, Ted Forrest notably put his wellness in danger by losing more than 70 pounds in a year. However it was all for a good cause, winning $2 million from Mike Matusow.

Then there was that man whom had the boob task.

But Noori’s weight-loss bet in reverse could be one of the more foolhardy and dangerous of the lot. And that’s exactly why we’re praying he pulls it off, or at least doesn’t choke for a french fry.

FBI Director Comey Fired by Trump, Online Gambling Perhaps Safer Than Ever Before

James Comey has been relieved of his duties as director of the FBI. Some proponents of online gambling are breathing a sigh of relief while the world wrestles with implications of this unprecedented dismissal. As the nation’s leaders search for a replacement amid a swath of critical issues dealing with the world, the belief is that online gambling, as a political issue, will remain out of the Trump administration’s crosshairs. At minimum temporarily.

People in america desire to know if President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey as retribution for an investigation into possible links between Russia and his presidential campaign. (Images: Reuters)

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump suddenly terminated Comey, citing shortcomings in managing the probe of previous Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her use of a email server that is private. This came less than each day after the American public began targeting new revelations from a Congressional investigation into Russia’s so-called interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Comey has critics on both edges regarding the aisle, and demands his termination are regular since belated October, whenever he sent a letter to Congress about a need to examine additional Clinton e-mails, which ultimately revealed nothing of substance.

‘The FBI is one of our nation’s most cherished and respected institutions, and today will mark a beginning that is new our crown jewel of police,’ Trump explained in a public statement from the White House. The president told Comey that he could no further ‘effectively lead’ the FBI and stated ‘new leadership that restores general public trust and self- confidence’ was needed.

Trump is now tasked with locating a replacement, one who will be authorized by way of a GOP-controlled Senate. And though Republicans have supported efforts to replace the Wire Act, online gambling skillfully developed have a hard time imagining any brand new FBI boss making a popular leisure pursuit a pressing issue of your day.

Anti-Online Gambling Swamp

When Trump arrived in Washington, internet gambling and online poker players were justly concerned over the future lawfulness of the companies they access from their homes and mobile phones. Specially as his appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions indicated interest in looking into the legality of current intrastate online gambling measures.

The 45th commander-in-chief notoriously ran multiple New Jersey casinos into bankruptcy, yet one of his true campaign donors that are largest ended up being Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson. The dog owner associated with the Venetian, Palazzo, and a slew of casino properties across the world has been on a self-described moral crusade since 2014 to ‘restore the Wire Act,’ which would effectively outlaw online casino gambling and poker.

So far, neither Trump’s administration nor Congress has shown much interest in tackling the legality of on line gambling. The subject did however come up, from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S. Carolina) during confirmation hearings for Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who said he was ‘shocked’ at the Department of Justice’s 2011 opinion that clarified an interpretation that is legal of Wire Act as only applying to sports betting.

Hold’em by the Short Hairs?

This opinion could possibly be easily reversed by the DOJ, nevertheless. So whoever’s next to simply take the helm of the FBI could possibly be instructed to deploy the agency’s full resources toward stopping online gambling in every its forms.

Graham has worked on behalf of Adelson to introduce the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) in past calendar years. Home Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), a strong critic of comey, has done exactly the same in his chamber.

RAWA has did not gain momentum in Congress, but additionally hasn’t been dismissed outright as a possibility that is legislative. Chaffetz recently announced his intent to leave Congress, possibly before the end of his current term.

The FBI casino like 21 dukes and Its Long Arm Online Gaming Reach

2011 The DOJ and FBI changed the face area of online gaming in America following the agencies seized internet domains from PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, among others, on what would become known as ‘Black Friday’ in the poker world that is online. By shutting down these sites, players had been rejected use of their funds for decades, though eventual payoffs have finally happened for PokerStars and Full Tilt players, and most recently, Absolute Poker.

2014 A flawed FBI raid of an alleged World Cup recreations wagering operation at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas permitted suspected ringleader Paul Phua to duck a feasible prison phrase. High-profile attorney David Chesnoff argued that the raid represented entrapment for his customer, and all charges were dropped by the prosecution.

2017 The FBI and DOJ investigated and successfully prosecuted notorious activities bettor Billy Walters on charges of insider trading. Walters, who was discovered bad of utilizing a stock tip given by former Dean Foods Chairman Tom Davis, is appealing the conviction. Pro golfer Phil Mickelson had been also for this debate after investing in the same business. The 42-time PGA Tour champion admitted his sports gambling pal supplied the advice that is financial but advertised he had been unaware it had been acquired fraudulently. Mickelson returned his profits and was never charged.