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 so-called sin industries 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 isn’t stopping the minority celebration from blocking a cigarette tax increase proposed by House Republicans.

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

Oklahoma lawmakers are researching ways to close an $878 million capital gap. While Republicans can pass the budget of the choosing, they require a three-fourths vote to raise smoke fees, and also the 26 Democrats in the 101-member House aren’t budging.

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

This the House and Senate budget committees recommended a $1.50 per cigarette pack tax increase week. To really 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 too gambling that is much on in the state,’ Senate President professional Tem Mike Schulz (R-District 38) opined this week. ‘ I think we now have people whom are investing milk and bread money in a casino in place of using care of their young ones.’

Democrats proposed a plan that claims to create $400 million over the year that is next. In addition to the cigarette tax, the minority suggested a $17,000 cap on itemized income tax deductions for citizens, the renovation of the earned income tax credit, eliminating oil and gas manufacturing incentives, and expanding tribal gaming.

The casino component would have allowed tribes to offer non-house-banked table games like roulette and craps in return for ten percent of the 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 firm that is standing maintaining gambling as is, the Oklahoma Legislature has now reached a spending plan stalemate.

Pennsylvania’s Smoking Gun

While the Oklahoma Legislature is anticipated to keep unique spending plan sessions to iron out its distinctions over gambling and smoking, a bipartisan bill in Pennsylvania seeks to outlaw cigarettes in casinos and watering holes.

Pennsylvania House Bill 1309 will expand in the state’s 2008 Clean Indoor Air Act to eliminate exemptions for gambling venues and pubs. Casinos are permitted to designate a portion of their floors to smoking, and taverns that report 20 percent or less of their income comes from food can allow clients to puff.

With 18 bill sponsors that includes Democrats and Republicans, HB 1309 seems to function as first gaming-related measure to possess across-the-aisle help in Harrisburg this season. Hawaii is considering a host of gaming expansion bills to invest in its 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 cost 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 real resort. (Image: Wayne Parry/Associated Press)

Throughout the nation’s history, real estate has typically been a somewhat safe investment that’s came back strong returns for homeowners, as well as designers.

That is changed, of program, in the past few years following the financial recession that hit the US in 2008 and 2009. The reality that is new no further obvious than in the valuation of the Trump Taj Mahal.

Dubbed the ‘Eighth ponder of the World’ 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 not as much as a nickel in the dollar in comparison to what Trump and their financiers paid.

The tough Rock acquisition was announced in March, but economic regards to the offer were not made public until papers filed utilizing the United States Securities and Exchange Commission were revealed this week.

Icahn Folds

Along together with vast genuine estate and hotel profile, 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 little stake in the Trump Taj Mahal via a certification agreement until this past year.

Icahn, a friend that is close the commander-in-chief, acquired the very last remaining Trump Entertainment Resorts property 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, and the billionaire reveals the investment cost him $350 million.

A dispute that is contentious 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 of the contract’

Though many are saying the Seminole Tribe, which owns the Hard Rock brand, essentially rewrote the ‘Art regarding the Deal,’ Trump’s signature book, by purchasing the formerly valued $1.2 billion resort for just $50 million, the bargain price comes with its reasonable share of drawbacks.

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 venue valued at over $224 million, an assessment that Icahn has repeatedly appealed.

Hard Rock will also be forced to begin with participating in the state’s PILOT system (payment in place of fees) that mandates the city’s remaining casinos jointly remit a $120 million disbursement that is annual local government instead of 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 likely raise its $224 million valuation as the tribe dumps billions of bucks to the Boardwalk center.

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

Scores of online gambling websites situated in Hong Kong had been battered by a revolution of distributed denial of service (DDoS) assaults in the week of April, based on Arbor that is US-based Security which monitors the web for DDoS attack data.

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

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

The events were striking and unusual, according to Arbor, because for those 7 days Hong Kong had been the destination that is top the world for such attacks, a dubious honor always reserved for the United States.

Extortion Suspected

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

‘…the emergence of numerous, different gambling/gaming goals leads us to trust that DDoS extortion is considered 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 betting internet sites are particularly susceptible because they are hopelessly reliant on major sports for large chunks of these revenues and may be have little choice but to spend a small ransom when deliberately targeted during these periods.

Severe Punishment Guaranteed

But we wonder just how up to date Arbor is on Chinese gambling issues that are regulatory. Most likely generally not very, and why should it be?

Does it understand, for instance, that the initial of the Hong Kong attacks arrived just five days after China’s Public protection Minister Guo Shengkun promised ‘severe punishment’ for gambling operators targeting citizens that are chinese the mainland?

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

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

Or they could have come from within Asia, orchestrated by the government, which had little motivation to disguise the origin. We may never ever understand.

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

Poker player Mike Noori is a man whom likes to put his cash where his mouth is. But the real million-dollar concern is, can he put $1,000 of McDonald’s food in his mouth, then chew it, and swallow it, and commence digesting it, all within 36-hours?

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

Many individuals think it’s impossible. Very nearly everyone agrees that it is stupid.

Noori is getting 5:1 on a bet proposed to him by renowned competition 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 scheduled in the proposition wager, but just a small slice of this is his money.

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

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

1,500 Apples Slices

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

These dollar amounts on apple slices and salads were set as caps included in the conditions regarding 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 used on ‘hot food products,’ of which at least $50 must be burgers. Other demands are that Noori ‘must eat exactly what comes with your order (except the Happy Meal toy),’ and ‘no blenders.’

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

Gamblers have done notoriously foolish things for money through the years. In 2014 Freddy Torres consented to jump into a tank that is shark-filled $1,000. In 2011, Ashton Griffin won a bet that he couldn’t run 70 miles in a single day for a treadmill. He attempted the feat while hungover and on extremely little sleep, but prevailed and had been $350,000 richer once he finally reached the conclusion of the treadmill.

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

Then there was that man who had the boob task.

But Noori’s weight-loss bet in reverse could be one of the most foolhardy and dangerous of the lot. And that’s precisely why we’re praying he pulls it off, or at minimum does not choke for a french fry.

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

James Comey has been relieved of his duties as director of the FBI. While the world wrestles with implications of this unprecedented dismissal, some proponents of on the web gambling are breathing a sigh of relief. The belief is that online gambling, as a political issue, will stay out of the Trump administration’s crosshairs as the nation’s leaders search for a replacement amid a swath of critical issues facing the world. At least 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 their presidential campaign. (Images: Reuters)

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump abruptly terminated Comey, citing shortcomings in handling the probe of previous Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her usage of the email server that is private. This came less than a day following the American public started centering on new revelations from a Congressional research into Russia’s so-called interference in the 2016 election that is presidential.

Comey has critics on both sides of this aisle, and requires his termination are regular since late October, whenever he sent a letter to Congress about a have to examine extra Clinton emails, which ultimately revealed nothing of substance.

‘The FBI is certainly one of our country’s most cherished and respected institutions, and today will mark a new beginning for our crown jewel of police,’ Trump explained in a public statement from the White home. The president told Comey that he could not any longer ‘effectively lead’ the FBI and stated ‘new leadership that restores trust that is public self- confidence’ was required.

Trump is now tasked with locating a replacement, one who will be approved with a GOP-controlled Senate. And even though Republicans have actually supported efforts to bring back the Wire Act, online gambling skillfully developed have hard time imagining any new FBI boss making a popular recreational pursuit a pressing issue of your day.

Anti-Online Gambling Swamp

When Trump arrived in Washington, internet gambling and online poker players were justly worried on the future lawfulness of the companies they access from their homes and mobile devices. Especially as his appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions expressed interest in considering 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 campaign donors that are largest ended up being Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson. The dog owner regarding the Venetian, Palazzo, and a slew of casino properties throughout 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 curiosity about tackling the legality of online gambling. The niche did come up, however, 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 deciding on sports betting.

Hold’em by the Short Hairs?

This opinion might be easily reversed by the DOJ, nevertheless. So whoever’s next to take the helm of the FBI could possibly be instructed to deploy the agency’s full resources toward stopping on the web gambling in all 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 equivalent 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 possibly leave Congress ahead of the end of his current term.

The FBI and Its Long Arm Online Gaming Reach

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

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

2017 The FBI and DOJ investigated and successfully prosecuted sports that are notorious Billy Walters on charges of insider trading. Walters, whom was found responsible of using a stock tip supplied by former Dean Foods Chairman Tom Davis, is appealing the conviction. Pro golfer Phil Mickelson ended up being also for this controversy after investing in the same company. The 42-time PGA Tour champion admitted his sports gambling pal supplied the advice that is financial but advertised he was unaware it absolutely was acquired fraudulently. Mickelson returned his profits and was never ever charged.

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