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 within the sin that is so-called of gambling and cigarettes.

Oklahoma House Minority Leader Scott Inman wants to expand video gaming, but his constituents that are republican he should put that concept 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 smoke tax increase proposed by House Republicans.

Democrats in 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 money gap. While Republicans can pass the budget of these choosing, they require a vote that is three-fourths raise cigarette taxes, and the 26 Democrats in the 101-member House aren’t budging.

‘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 week, the home and Senate budget committees recommended a $1.50 per smoking pack income tax increase. To really make the budget whole with only that tariff hike, Oklahomans would need to buy roughly 585.3 million packs of smokes.

GOP Extinguishes Gambling

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

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

Democrats proposed a plan that claims to create $400 million over the next 12 months. The minority recommended a $17,000 cap on itemized income tax deductions for citizens, the restoration of the earned income tax credit, eliminating oil and gas production incentives, and expanding tribal gaming in addition to the cigarette tax.

The casino component could have allowed tribes to supply non-house-banked table games like roulette and craps in exchange for ten percent of the monthly net win. It also required the legalization of sports betting should the current federal ban be repealed.

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

Pennsylvania’s Smoking Gun

As the Oklahoma Legislature is expected to put on 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 on the state’s 2008 Indoor that is clean Air to remove exemptions for gambling venues and bars. 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 meals can allow 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. The state is considering a host of gaming expansion bills to fund its budget deficit that is growing.

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 discount that is massive what it cost to build the Atlantic City home 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 actual resort. (Image: Wayne Parry/Associated Press)

Through the entire country’s history, real estate has typically been a somewhat safe investment that is came back strong returns for homeowners, in addition to developers.

That’s changed, of program, in recent years following the financial recession that hit the usa 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 final October after failing in the future to labor that is new with casino workers, for the gravely discounted price of $50 million. That equates to lower than a nickel regarding the dollar compared to just what Trump and their financiers paid.

The tricky Rock acquisition was announced in March, but monetary regards to the offer were not made public until papers filed with all the US Securities and Exchange Commission were revealed this week.

Icahn Folds

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

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

Icahn, a friend that is close the commander-in-chief, acquired the past remaining Trump Entertainment Resorts property in bankruptcy in early 2016. During the time of the buyout, he called the Taj Mahal a signature Atlantic City property. Fast-forward 13 months, plus the billionaire reveals the investment cost him $350 million.

A dispute that is contentious Icahn and the Unite Here Local 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 away from work.

Rewriting ‘Art of the contract’

Though most are saying the Seminole Tribe, which owns the Hard Rock brand, essentially rewrote the ‘Art associated with 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 venue valued at over $224 million, an assessment that Icahn has repeatedly appealed.

Hard Rock will be forced to start participating in the state’s PILOT program (payment in lieu of taxes) that mandates the city’s remaining casinos jointly remit a $120 million disbursement that is annual local government as opposed to paying on gaming revenue.

The Seminoles will be on the additionally hook for the resort’s home taxes. The Florida Native American group should only expect you’ll see those tariffs increase, as Atlantic City will likely raise its $224 million valuation since the tribe dumps billions of dollars into the Boardwalk facility.

Did Chinese Authorities Launch Significant DDoS Attacks on Hong Kong Online Gambling Sites?

Scores of online gambling web sites situated in Hong Kong were battered by a revolution 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 7 days at the beginning of April, Hong Kong became the ground zero of DDoS assaults through the world, but why? (Image: HackRead)

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

The occasions were striking and uncommon, according to Arbor, because for those a week Hong Kong had been the destination that is top the planet 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’ often denotes geopolitical motivation, i.e, attacks directed so intently at sites of a solitary territory is definitely an indication of cyber warfare arranged 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 think that DDoS extortion is the most likely motivation,’ he concluded in a web log on the Arbor website this week.

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

Sports wagering internet sites are particularly vulnerable because they are hopelessly reliant on major sporting events for large chunks of their revenues and may be have small choice but to spend a ransom that is small deliberately targeted during these periods.

Serious Punishment Guaranteed

But we wonder how up to speed Arbor is on Chinese gambling regulatory issues. Most likely not at all, and why should it be?

Does it understand, for example, that the very first of the Hong Kong assaults came just five days after Asia’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 certified Hong Kong-based online operator could be the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC), and for that reason any other online gambling site based in Hong Kong is unlicensed and a legitimate target for the Chinese government? In reality, in accordance with a statement by the HKJC in 2014, unlicensed operators have links to crime that is organized consequently unlawful on the web gambling is akin to a ‘blood crime.’

Of course, the nature of DDoS attacks means they are able to have already been orchestrated from anywhere in the planet and attackers were simply harnessing internet-connected products from 21 dukes casino 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 who likes to place his money where his lips is. But the real million-dollar question is, can he put $1,000 of McDonald’s food in his mouth, then chew it, and ingest it, and commence digesting it, all within 36-hours?

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

Lots of people think it’s impossible. Very nearly everyone agrees it’s stupid.

Noori is getting 5:1 on a bet proposed to him by renowned tournament manager Matt Savage. As the figure that is exact on Noori’s success is undisclosed, Noori said on Twitter that so far that more than $200,000 has recently been scheduled on the idea 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 forums. ‘ If he eats the calorie/dollar food that is lowest available (southwest grilled chicken salad) that is still 66,000 calories.’

‘It can be done,’ another poster countered. ‘20,000 calories a time combined with exercise is already something many men do in training. It isn’t easy but it would help greatly. 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 down with $500-worth of apple slices, and 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 included in the conditions associated with 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 demands are that Noori ‘must eat precisely what comes with your 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 over repeatedly.’ Indeed, safety and health first.

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

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

Then there had been that guy who had the boob job.

But Noori’s weight-loss bet in reverse might 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 minimum does not choke on a fry that is french.

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 planet wrestles with implications of the unprecedented dismissal, some proponents of on line gambling are breathing a sigh of relief. As the nation’s leaders search well for a replacement amid a swath of critical dilemmas dealing with the world, the belief is that online gambling, as a political issue, will remain from the Trump management’s crosshairs. At minimum temporarily.

People in the us want 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 abruptly terminated Comey, citing shortcomings in managing the probe of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her usage of a private e-mail server. This came less than on a daily basis following the American public started focusing on new revelations from a Congressional investigation into Russia’s so-called interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Comey has critics on both edges of this aisle, and requires his termination happen regular since belated October, whenever he delivered a letter to Congress about a need certainly to examine additional Clinton email messages, which ultimately revealed nothing of substance.

‘The FBI is certainly one of our nation’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 no more ‘effectively lead’ the FBI and stated ‘new leadership that restores trust that is public confidence’ was needed.

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

Anti-Online Gambling Swamp

When Trump arrived in Washington, internet gambling and online poker players had been justly concerned throughout the future lawfulness of the companies they access from their homes and mobile phones. Especially as his appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions expressed interest in looking at 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 largest campaign donors ended up being Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson. The dog owner regarding the Venetian, Palazzo, and a slew of casino properties over the world has been on a self-described crusade that is moral 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 interest that is much tackling the legality of on the web gambling. The subject did come up, nevertheless, 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 recreations betting.

Hold’em by the Short Hairs?

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

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 similar in his chamber.

RAWA has failed to gain momentum in Congress, but additionally wasn’t 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 On The Web 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 on-line poker world. By shutting down these sites, players had been rejected use of their funds for decades, though eventual payoffs have finally occurred for PokerStars and Full Tilt players, and most recently, Absolute Poker.

2014 A flawed FBI raid of an alleged World Cup activities betting procedure at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas allowed suspected ringleader Paul Phua to duck a feasible jail phrase. High-profile attorney David Chesnoff argued that the raid represented entrapment for their 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, whom was discovered bad of using a stock tip provided by former Dean Foods Chairman Tom Davis, is appealing the conviction. Pro golfer Phil Mickelson ended up being also from the controversy after investing in the company that is same. The 42-time PGA Tour winner admitted his sports gambling pal supplied the financial advice, but claimed he had been unaware it absolutely was obtained fraudulently. Mickelson returned his profits and was never charged.