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 Laxalt: The Lex Luthor of Nevada and poker online

Laxalt: The Lex Luthor of Nevada and poker online
Published: 2018-03-15

Uncertainty starts to absorb the gambling industry since the moment when Adam Laxalt announced that had filed paperwork seeking to become the Nevada’s 30th governor this fall.

Laxalt trough his time in the political background has signaled his opposition to Las Vegas casinos, including the offering poker over the internet to people within the state’s borders.

The controversial anti-regulated online gaming Nevada attorney general has officially thrown his hat into the ring for governor. He would replace Gov. Brian Sandoval, who has been at the helm since 2011.

Sandoval, a former state gaming regulator, was the man to sign the online poker legislation in Nevada, and he also brokered online poker liquidity sharing deals with Delaware and New Jersey, all in an effort to grow the regulated online poker market. READ HERE: NEVADA UNCLAIMED WINS COULD EVEN CASINOS PRODUCTION IN ONE QT

MGM Resorts strongly opposed Laxalt’s position as well. The casino operator said that Laxalt’s views placed him “against the gaming industry in Nevada.”

In 2015, Laxalt said he would support plans at the federal level to “restore” a decades-old law in order to effectively ban online casino gaming nationwide.

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POKER in Latin-American is better than you could possibly thought about 

Laxalt: The Lex Luthor of Nevada and poker online

Latin America is currently one of the most lucrative emerging online gambling markets. Its residents have access to an ever-increasing selection of online casino games. From online slots to tables games and even poker, there is a lot to choose from. All they will need is a solid platform.


So, what are the factors pushing the growth of poker in Latin America?


When we say that Latin America is an emerging market, this extends well beyond just gambling. Generally speaking, the economies of many of the countries in the continent are growing fast. In addition to accounting for nearly 10 percent of the global GDP, the market population is expected to grow to over 640 million. For gambling, this comes to as many as 300 million potential customers. In addition to that, there is an evolving workforce population that is slowly fostering the emergence of a robust middle class.


In this case, that is the adult population with solid purchasing power. They can not only be able to buy into poker games but also invest in devices that will make that possible. Online poker is more accessible and popular than ever before in the region. That is because the socio-economic situation allows it.


Thanks to such things as tournaments, poker has been portrayed as a luxurious game to play. Everyone of legal age can participate though since the poker operators always have freerolls and promotions. Popular tournaments included the World Series of Poker (WSOP). This has sparked a lot of interest in the game and is pushing it further towards global recognition. A good way of illustrating this is by looking at the rising number of professional poker players in Latin America. Moreover, there are now even region-specific poker tournaments like the Latin American Poker Tour.


Telecom operators in the regions have invested in network coverage expansion. This has, in turn, fostered the growth of mobile usage which is great for online casino operators.


Now, Latin America is a vast market and everything is not going to be streamlined. This mostly applies to the laws which are often the biggest hurdles to the gambling sector. While some places are still holding out on legalizing the activity, many others have warmed up to the idea.


As it stands, countries like Peru and Colombia have legalized online poker. Unsurprisingly, they stand out as the leading online poker markets in Latin America. The strong revenue performance in these countries should be enough to nudge their neighbors to follow in their footsteps. Their residence gamble at offshore poker sites anyway. That is tax revenue that they are missing out on. No one wants that. We can expect mass regularization across the region soon.


Finally, the general outlook for the regulated online gambling industry is quite impressive, to say the least. As it continues to mature, we can look forward to even better projections. With dynamic and lucrative verticals like poker leading the way, those ambitions are just around the corner.


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No Mask required for WSOP for all 2021 events 

Laxalt: The Lex Luthor of Nevada and poker online

The World Series of Poker will not require any masks for in-person participants in Las Vegas, citing Nevada's new directives on large gatherings. In an announcement Tuesday, the WSOP said that it would follow Gov. Steve Sisolak's directive issued last week for indoor conventions with at least 4,000 attendees.


That directive allows those events to forgo a mask mandate if they require that all people in attendance are vaccinated for COVID-19.


The WSOP previously announced it would require all participants to be vaccinated prior to registration, meaning they must receive their final vaccine dose at least 14 days before their entry date.


Doors for the event open on Thursday, Sept. 30, at the Rio. The Main Event is scheduled to start on Nov. 4.

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WSOP with a divided public due to vaccine decisions 

Laxalt: The Lex Luthor of Nevada and poker online

Last Friday, less than five weeks from the start of the 2021 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, tournament organizers surprised many by announcing a vaccine mandate for anyone wishing to play.


Proof of vaccination, using a mobile health pass app, is required to participate in any bracelet event, deep stack tournament, satellite, or cash game. The policy applies to everyone involved with the event, including staff, media, vendors, and spectators.


“This is not a decision we have taken lightly-it is made with no agenda beyond protecting player eligibility and the operations of a unique televised gaming event. The nature of poker is to be in close proximity with your opponents for extended periods of time and a seat at the WSOP is a commitment for both our company and the participants. We want players to be excited for their return to the WSOP, while offering the greatest level of protection and limiting complications during the tournament this fall.” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart.


The WSOP joins other upcoming local events in requiring proof of vaccination, such as NFL Raiders games at Allegiant Stadium, as well as the upcoming Life Is Beautiful music festival and Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC).


But despite following CDC guidelines and the precedent set by others, and the fact that the vaccine was recently approved by the FDA, the decision seemed to divide the poker community, at least on social media.


While numerous players were happy with the news and applauded the WSOP for seemingly putting safety over profit, others felt the mandate was a violation of their personal freedom.


According to the CDC, approximately 58% of eligible Americans have received the vaccine. If those numbers hold true for the poker community, the WSOP would be potentially shutting out upwards of 42% of their player base.


That being said, enforcing a vaccine mandate may make those who have already gotten the shot more comfortable with playing live poker.


According to a poll conducted over the weekend, 41.1% of those who responded said they were MORE likely to play now that proof of vaccination is required. Only 22.1% said there were LESS likely to play.


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Poker player to jail after illegal poker game and stealing over $50,000 from one of his opponents 

Laxalt: The Lex Luthor of Nevada and poker online

A poker player from Singapore is spending time in jail for hosting an illegal poker game, assaulting one of his opponents and stealing the equivalent of more than $51,000 US from his bank accounts.


Santhakumar Emmanuel Kesigan (pictured), was sentenced to roughly 17 weeks behind bars on Monday for his actions at an underground poker game that he hosted, according to a report. The 26-year-old pled guilty to one charge of voluntarily causing harm, unauthorized modification of computer material and exceeding the maximum group size allowed.


In July 21, he held a poker game at a friend’s house. Kesigan’s event featured two tables of Texas Hold’em cash games with at least 18 players at the outset. At the time, the government was not permitting more than five people at a social gathering since it was in the second phase of its pandemic reopening plan.


Eventually one game broke and there was one eight-handed table running at about 3 a.m. Kesigan accused another player in the game of cheating, which escalated in a violent altercation. Kesigan punched the player in the nose and took his phone, demanding that he refund the game S$50,000 ($36,873), which was equal to about 15 buy-ins.


Kesigan then stole the accused cheater’s phone from his bag and got into his bank account through the mobile app. He was able to access the S$73,000 ($53,835) that was in the account. After using the app to raise the transfer limits to S$70,000, he sent the money to his own bank account.


Kesigan forced the player to sign a document stating that he owed money to Kesigan, but now it was paid off. He filmed the end of the attack to prove his victim voluntarily signed the document.


According to the police report, the player went to the hospital and suffered a possible broken nose, along with a small cut on his face. With all the charges, Kesigan was facing up to six years in jail and up to S$15,000 ($11,062) in fines.

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Major strike against unlicensed pokies in Austria 

Laxalt: The Lex Luthor of Nevada and poker online

Police in Austria have executed another major coordinated strike against unlicensed gambling in the country, carrying out simultaneous raids on 39 locations in Linz, Linz-Land, Steyr and Wels in central and eastern Austria, seizing 121 pokies machines.


Some venues tried to escape the raids by hanging “closed” and “danger” signs on their doors. Locksmiths were needed to enter eleven premises, and some machines had to be cut away due to being anchored to walls.


It was the largest operation yet in a series of strikes on illegal gambling venues. In June, police carried out simultaneous raids on 17 clandestine gambling establishments. The operations come after Austria reported a rise in illegal gambling in urban centres.


Austria’s finance minister Gernot Blümel said: “The regular operations of the financial police against illegal gambling make it increasingly unattractive for the operators to pursue their dirty business on the back of gambling addicts. This is a severe blow to organised crime in Upper Austria and the financial police will continue to crack down in the future.”


Earlier this year, a major overhaul of gambling regulations in Austria was announced, with the treasury to pass responsibility for licensing and enforcement to a new dedicated regulatory authority.


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