Robbers target more gaming parlors in NC

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CONCORD, N.C. – Two black men ran away with almost $1,000 cash after robbing an internet sweepstakes café at gunpoint early morning on Monday, the Concord Police Department reported.

Based on the police report, a few minutes past midnight, two black males entered the Concord Business Center located at 3701 Concord Pkwy. S. Concord. The men brandished their handguns and fled with $991 on hand.

One of the suspects with a black handgun was described as 6-feet-2-inches tall, early 30’s, wearing a black shirt and a black bandana covering his face.

The other suspect with a silver handgun was reported to be 5-feet-3-inches tall, early 40’s, also wearing a bandana over his face.

No injury was reported during the incident.

Anyone with information regarding the two suspects is asked to contact the Concord Police Department at 704-920-5000.

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Man robbed while filling out lottery tickets

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PLANTATION, Fla. – A man trying his luck with lottery tickets had a case of bad luck when a robber snatched a gold chain around his neck, the Plantation Police Department reported.

According to Detective Philip Toman, the victim was busy filling out lottery tickets at the counter inside a 7/11 convenience store located at 640 North State Road 7 when a man approached him from behind and pulled off the gold necklace worth $2,500. Then, the robber ran out from the store together with his accomplices.

The incident was caught on camera with the CCTV installed inside the convenience store. No injury was reported.

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Anyone with information is asked to call the Plantation Police Department at 954-797-2100.

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Caesars to sell Showboat casino

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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - Caesars Entertainment, the parent company of the Showboat Casino Hotel told it would consider selling the casino to another casino operator instead of shutting it down.

Earlier, Caesars announced it will close down the Mardi Gras-themed casino in Atlantic City by August 31.

“While we regret the impact that this decision will have on our Showboat associates, we believe this is a necessary step to help stabilize our business in Atlantic City and support the viability of our remaining operations in the vicinity,” said CEO Gary Loveman.

Loveman called it a difficult decision and described it as “persistant declines in the business levels in the area exacerbated by the high property-tax burden in Atlantic City.”

However, the company received expressions of interest which made the company reconsider its decision earlier.

“We receive offers on properties relatively frequently and when we are planning to close one, we often receive offers from people who want to operate them as hotel casinos or have other uses in mind,” told Spokesman Gary Thompson.

He added that having another casino in the market will have an impact; play somewhat of a role. Yet, the largest role would be the amount of money they could receive from the property.

Meanwhile, Assemblyman Chris Brown stated that he will introduce measure that will encourage casino operators to sell their company to other casino operators if they decide to shut down or pay back economic incentives.

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Pre-Reveal Sweepstakes In-line With Law

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WHITEVILLE, N.C. – a Dublin councilman arrested on last week for illegal operation of video gaming café north of Whiteville argued the machines were legal under the state’s law.

The Columbus County Sheriff’s Office reported that detectives executed a search warrant at Gold Rush Internet Café along Highway 701 in Whiteville owned by Jeffrey Scott Smith, a councilman of Dublin.

According to Smith, the machines were legal because winnings were pre-revealed to customers before the game.

“Those same games are running in over 40 counties in the state of North Carolina. There are other district attorneys and sheriff’s departments that agree that our software is compliant,” said Smith.

On the other hand, District Attorney Jon David told the State Supreme Court already upheld the statute which made video gambling machines illegal in North Carolina.

Atty. Alan Maynard, Smith’s lawyer, contested that the court’s decision, however, does not outlaw the machines used in Gold Rush.

David responded by taking the case to the superior court.

babybucks“By bringing this matter directly into superior court, we’re going to expedite things and give the community a chance to weigh in on what justice should be. And I would think that any defendant should embrace that opportunity because a jury is the ultimate safeguard for any criminal defense,” David told.

Capt. David Nobles of the Columbus County Sheriff’s Officer declared 68 hard drives from computers and $5,800 cash were confiscated from Gold Rush.

The councilman was arrested and charged with two counts of misdemeanor for operating video gaming machines in Gold Rush. He was released, however, with $1,000 secured bond.

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Kane County opposes gambling expansion bill

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KANE COUNTY, Ill. – As Kane County commit the $65,000 video gambling revenues received to five-year capital improvement initiative in the county, officials said they will lobby against gambling expansion in Illinois.

County officials stated that the amount received from local gambling which was on a downward spiral would only worsen once lawmakers approve gambling expansion in the state.

State Rep. Bob Rita, a Blue Island Democrat, announced earlier, that the plan to expand gambling in Illinois was on hold until all issues were resolved with key support.

Rita proposed to expand gambling in two ways – one, to allow slot machines in horse tracks and Chicago airports; two, to approve a casino in Chicago, Danville, Lake County, Rockford and South Suburbs.

“I am disappointed we could not move this issue forward this spring, but I am determined to prepare a bill for consideration in the fall veto session. We will be considering important revenue and budget issues during that session,” Rita stated.

The county officials, however, believe the proposed casinos would compete with Hollywood Casino and Grand Victoria Casino. A resolution was drafted to oppose the casino expansion bill.

According to the resolution, now is not the time to loan hundreds of millions of dollars to build a mega casino because the state was in debt with backlog of unpaid bills and high deficits. As of June 30, the end of fiscal year, the state’s overall backlog of bills was about $5.6 billion.

The county board was expected to vote on the resolution next week.

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Police raid cyber sweepstakes cafe

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North Syracuse, N.Y. – police busted an internet café along Main Street on Wednesday and seized several computers and cash from electronic sweepstakes.

The raid in Cyber Café in 628 South Main Street led to the arrest of Joshua L. Nelson, 24, of Dayton, Ohio, and Zackary S. McMahon, 30 of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and seizure of computers as well as $1,279 cash from illegal operation of electronic sweepstakes.

Both Nelson and McMahon were charged with class E felony. They were scheduled to appear in Village Court on July 21.

On July of 2013, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed the Upstate NY Gaming Economic Development Act, a comprehensive new law that established four destinations gaming resorts in Upstate New York and made cyber sweepstakes cafes criminal.

“This new law will bring the state one step closer to establishing world-class destination gaming resorts that will attract tourists to Upstate New York and support thousands of good paying jobs as well as new revenue for local businesses. For too many years, gaming revenue has left New York for our neighboring states. Today, we are putting New York State in a position to have those dollars spent here in our communities, which will benefit our local economies and tourism industries, as well as support education and property tax relief,” said Cuomo.

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Amaya Gaming kicks off license talks with New Jersey casino regulators

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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – the Canadian-based international gaming provider Amaya Gaming Inc. which purchased PokerStars recently announced its intention to start licensing talks with New Jersey’s casino regulators.

Amaya which acquired PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker for $4.9 billion, started the formal talk on Thursday with the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement, told DGE Director David Rebuck.

Rebuck said he was encouraged with the deal which prompted the resignation of executives from PokerStars due to fraud and money laundering.

Moreover, the Director said the discussions with Amaya will reactivate the application of PokerStars to enter NJ’s market

“I think in the long run it will be a good story for New Jersey. I’m optimistic that they know what the rules are, and I fully expect them to be very aggressive because they want to be here,” he added.

Furthermore, Rebuck foretold Amaya will get approval to operate PokerStars by fall.

Though no documents were filed yet, Amaya’s company lawyer Marie Jones said a licensing application will be submitted next week.

“They are optimistic they will get this done quickly,” said Jones.

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Williams Interactive goes live New Jersey

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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – the Williams Interactive, iGaming provider and subsidiary of Scientific Games announced its internet casino game content was now available in the state of New Jersey.

Williams Interactive partnered not only with Gamesys-platformed Virgin Casino, but with Tropicana Atlantic City as well via Williams Interactive Remote Game Server.

“This is an exciting milestone in our mission to provide the world’s most compelling iGaming entertainment,” said Orrin Edidin, chief executive of Williams Interactive.

Gamers from Virgin Casino and Tropicana Atlantic City can now enjoy Gold Fish, Super Jackpot Party, Giant’s Gold, Rhino and Zeus III.

Edidin also announced to expect for more games in the upcoming months.

“With a library of content that has long been amongst the most popular on casino floors throughout the US and Canada, providing this authentic casino content library online for New Jersey players for the first time is a proud accomplishment for Williams Interactive,” the chief executive stated.

Moreover, the company expressed its intention in the future to provide library of games to Delaware’s online casino after the Delaware State Lottery chose it to be its vendor in lottery.

“We’re enthusiastic for the additional North American launches expected this year, and the benefits our casino customers will see from the on-going convergence of online and offline casino entertainment that our game library empowers,” told Edidin.

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Equity Poker Network bid US regulated market good-bye

ATLANTIC CITY - Equity Poker Network (EPN) pulled out from regulated US market following Full Flush Poker (FFP) and Winning Poker Network’s (WPN) announcement of retreat from the three states with legal and regulated online poker.

“Our players are our number one priority, but playing fair is also central to our ethos. We believe this decision is in the best interests of the Network and its Operators to add and adhere to this Rule, given the availability of regulated poker in these U.S. states,” EPN stated in a press release.

EPN added, “we take great pride in delivering our recreational poker community with reliable access to our EPN poker rooms. Our goal is to ensure that they continue to enjoy a fun and safe time at EPN’s tables with every confidence and trust.”

FFP declared earlier that the decision to withdraw from the three states was effective immediately. All players from Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware were expected to receive notification email for the change in policy and closure of accounts.

“FullFlushPoker.com (“FFP”), flagship online poker room of the Equity Poker Network (“EPN”), announced today that effective immediately, they have withdrawn the full suite of online real-money gaming options for players residing in the regulated U.S. States of New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware.”

Moreover, “players with existing FFP accounts who reside in these three states will have access to them to close out their balances. FFP will work quickly to return player funds to those affected.”

According to FFP representative, the decision was made in order to ensure that the vast majority of their customers from outside of Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware will continue to have access to the site without disruption or inconvenience.

“Our priority still remains our players, and we’re proud to provide our loyal customers from around the globe with a fun and entertaining poker environment that they can trust, and that operates with the highest values of fairness, integrity and security.”

Based on reports, the withdrawal of EPN as well as FFP and WPN from the US regulated market was a stance to avoid the cease and desist letter sent by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) and the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office to six online poker affiliates in April.

“Any website that offers or displays such games through the Internet without the approval of NJDGE is violating the criminal laws of the state of New Jersey,” warned Assistant Attorney General George Rover.

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California tribes back online poker; Morongo band opposes bill

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CALIFORNIA CITY – thirteen of California’s native Indian tribes recently announced their support for the state’s online poker bill to establish a legal framework for online poker in the state of California.

In a letter addressed to Democrats Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer of San Bernardino and Senator Lou Correa of Santa Ana, the tribes’ representatives stated that they had come to an agreement regarding the Internet Poker Consumer Protection Act of 2014.

“We are honored to inform you and your colleagues that for the first time in five years, the undersigned tribal governments are united in support of the language that would authorize intrastate Internet poker in the State of California,” the letter said.

In addition, the letter stated “this journey has been long and difficult, but the challenges posed by the Internet demand that we harness rather than cede the technology of the future for California and for our tribal communities.”

The letter sent on Monday was signed by Jeff Grubbe, chairman of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians; Mark Macarro, chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians; and Lynn Valbuena, chairwoman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.

Under the bill authored by Correa and Jones-Sawyer, online poker licenses would only be given to businesses currently operating gaming facilities and card rooms which made the native Indian tribes eligible for online poker.

Furthermore, the bill required all players to pay income tax from winnings and show a state license to prove that they are citizens of California.

On the other hand, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, a Native Indian tribe from Riverside, was notably absent from the joint letter. Instead, the Morongo tribe, along with PokerStars, Bicycle Casino, Commerce Casino and Hawaiian Gardens Casino, issued a joint response opposing the bad actor clause of the proposed bill.

The bad actor clause stated that a license will not be granted to online poker sites which accepted US players after the passage of the UIGEA in 2006.

Since Morongo, strike a deal with PokerStars lately, both Morongo and PokerStars argued that the tribal coalition violated California and U.S. constitutions with its anti-competitive stance which aims to ban companies that have never admitted or been convicted of wrongdoing, are duly licensed in jurisdictions around the world, and have set the gold standard in the online poker industry for game and financial integrity and player satisfaction.

“Efforts by a select few interests to rewrite longstanding and effective policy in order to gain a competitive market advantage or to lock out specific companies is not in the best interests of consumers or the state and will be vigorously opposed by our coalition, online poker players and many others,” the Morongo coalition told.

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