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 gaming, but their 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’sn’t stopping the minority celebration from blocking a cigarette 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 wishes to expand gambling and allow tribal casinos to offer roulette and dice games.

Oklahoma lawmakers are searching for 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 tobacco cigarette taxes, therefore the 26 Democrats within the 101-member House aren’t budging.

‘We’ve said all along that a cigarette income tax is just a Band-Aid for a bullet hole,’ 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 packs 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’ve people whom are spending milk and bread money in a casino rather than taking care of their kids.’

Democrats proposed a plan that claims to create $400 million over the year that is next. 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 permitted tribes to offer table that is non-house-banked like roulette and craps in return for 10 % of their 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 firm that is standing keeping gambling as is, the Oklahoma Legislature has reached a budget stalemate.

Pennsylvania’s Smoking Gun

As the Oklahoma Legislature is expected to put up special budget sessions to iron its differences out 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 allowed to designate a percentage of the floors to smoking, and taverns that report 20 percent or less of their revenue comes from meals can enable patrons to puff.

With 18 bill sponsors that includes Democrats and Republicans, HB 1309 generally seems to function as the first gaming-related measure to own across-the-aisle help in Harrisburg this year. Hawaii is considering a bunch of gaming expansion bills to fund 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 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 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 came back strong returns for homeowners, along with designers.

That is changed, of program, in modern times following recession that is economic hit the usa in 2008 and 2009. The new the truth is no more obvious than in the valuation of the Trump Taj Mahal.

Dubbed the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’ when it exposed 27 years back, 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 equates to lower than a nickel in the dollar in comparison to just what Trump and his financiers paid.

The tough Rock purchase was announced in March, but financial terms of the offer weren’t made public until papers filed utilizing the US Securities and Exchange Commission were revealed this week.

Icahn Folds

Along with his vast real 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 tiny stake in the Trump Taj Mahal via a licensing agreement until a year ago.

Icahn, a close friend to the commander-in-chief, acquired the past 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 also the billionaire reveals the investment cost him $350 million.

A dispute that is contentious Icahn and the Unite Here neighborhood 54 workers union over a wage increase while the restoration of benefits led the corporate raider to shutter the Taj Mahal and place thousands away from work.

Rewriting ‘Art regarding the Deal’

Though the majority are saying the Seminole Tribe, which owns the Hard Rock brand, essentially rewrote the ‘Art for 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 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 location 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 system (payment instead of taxes) 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 additionally be on the hook for the resort’s home taxes. The Florida Native American group should just expect to see those tariffs enhance, as Atlantic City will likely raise its $224 million valuation because the tribe dumps billions of bucks in to the Boardwalk facility.

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

Scores of online gambling web sites based in Hong Kong had been battered by a wave of distributed denial of service (DDoS) assaults in the week of April, based on US-based Arbor Security, which monitors the net for DDoS attack information.

For 7 days at the start 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 based in Asia flooded the bandwidth of countless gambling internet sites by having a influx that is massive of, knocking them offline.

The activities were striking and uncommon, according to Arbor, because for those seven days Hong Kong ended up being the top location in the entire world for such attacks, a dubious honor more often than not reserved for the United States.

Extortion Suspected

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

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

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

Sports gambling web sites are particularly vulnerable because they are hopelessly reliant on major sporting events for large chunks of these revenues and may be have small choice but to spend a tiny ransom when intentionally targeted during these periods.

Severe Punishment Guaranteed

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

Does it understand, for instance, that the initial of the Hong Kong attacks arrived simply five days after Asia’s Public safety 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 could be the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC), and therefore any other online gambling web site based in Hong Kong is unlicensed and the best target for the government that is chinese? In reality, in accordance with a statement by the HKJC in 2014, unlicensed operators have actually links to crime that is organized therefore unlawful on the web gambling is akin to a ‘blood crime.’

Needless to say, the nature of DDoS attacks means they are able to happen orchestrated from any place in the planet and attackers were just harnessing internet-connected products from within China.

Or they might have come from within Asia, orchestrated by the government, which had motivation that is little disguise the source. We might 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 put his cash where his lips is. But the real question that is million-dollar, can he place $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 Vintage champ Mike Noori may have to consume at the least 66,000 calories in 36 hours if he has an opportunity of winning this reverse weight-loss bet. (Image: LAPC)

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

Noori is getting 5:1 on a bet proposed to him by famous tournament director Matt Savage. While the figure that is exact on Noori’s success is undisclosed, Noori said on Twitter that thus far that more than $200,000 has been scheduled in the idea wager, but only a small slice of the 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 carried out,’ another poster countered. ‘20,000 calories a day combined with workout is already something a lot of men do in training. It’s not easy but it would help greatly. if he exercised throughout and had little rests’

1,500 Apples Slices

Like all gamblers that are good Noori certainly has a casino game plan. He’s opting to start off 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 as part of the conditions for 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 allocated to ‘hot food products,’ of which at least $50 should be burgers. Other requirements are that Noori ‘must eat exactly what comes with the order (except the Happy Meal toy),’ and ‘no blenders.’

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

Gamblers have done notoriously foolish things for cash over the years. In 2014 Freddy Torres consented to jump into a shark-filled tank for $1,000. Last year, Ashton Griffin won a bet that he couldn’t run 70 kilometers in one day for a treadmill machine. He attempted the feat while hungover as well as on very sleep that is little 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 an increased risk by losing more than 70 pounds in a year. However it was all for the good cause, winning $2 million from Mike Matusow.

Then there had been that guy whom had the boob work.

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

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

James Comey has been relieved of his duties as director of the FBI. While the world wrestles with implications with this unprecedented dismissal, some proponents of on line gambling are breathing a sigh of relief. As the world’s leaders visit a replacement amid a swath of critical problems facing the world, the belief is that online gambling, as a political issue, will stay from the Trump management’s crosshairs. At minimum temporarily.

Americans wish to know if President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey as retribution for a research into possible links between Russia and his presidential campaign. (Images: Reuters)

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

Comey has critics on both edges associated with aisle, and calls for his termination have been frequent since belated October, whenever he sent a letter to Congress about a need certainly to examine additional Clinton e-mails, 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 law enforcement,’ Trump explained in a public statement from the White home. The president told Comey that he could no longer ‘effectively lead’ the FBI and said ‘new leadership that restores general public trust and confidence’ had been required.

Trump has become tasked with finding a replacement, one who will be authorized with a GOP-controlled Senate. And although Republicans have actually supported efforts to replace the Wire Act, online gambling industry experts have a hard time imagining any brand new FBI boss making a popular leisure pursuit a pressing issue of the afternoon.

Anti-Online Gambling Swamp

When Trump arrived in Washington, internet gambling and online poker players were justly worried on the future lawfulness of the sites 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 had been Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson. The 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 subject did come up, but, 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 just applying to recreations 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 might 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 previous calendar years. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), a critic that is strong of, has done the same in his chamber.

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

The FBI and Its Longer Arm On The Web 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, amongst others, on what would become known as ‘Black Friday’ in the online poker world. By shutting down these sites, players had been rejected usage of their funds for a long time, 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 activities wagering procedure at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas permitted 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 client, 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 guilty of utilizing a stock tip given by former Dean Foods Chairman Tom Davis, is appealing the conviction. Pro golfer Phil Mickelson was also linked to the debate after investing in the company that is same. The 42-time PGA Tour winner admitted his sports gambling pal supplied the advice that is financial but claimed he was unaware it had been acquired fraudulently. Mickelson returned his profits and was never ever charged.