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Oklahoma Legislature Up in Smoke Over Gambling and Cigarettes, Pennsylvania Too

The Oklahoma Legislature has reached an impasse over the sin that is so-called of gambling and cigarettes.

Oklahoma House Minority Leader Scott Inman wants to expand 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’sn’t stopping the minority celebration from blocking a tobacco cigarette tax increase proposed by House Republicans.

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

Oklahoma lawmakers are researching to close an $878 million funding gap. While Republicans can pass the budget of their choosing, they require a three-fourths vote to raise smoke taxes, and also the 26 Democrats within the 101-member House are not budging.

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

This week, the home and Senate budget committees recommended a $1.50 per cigarette pack tax enhance. 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 societal that is negative.

‘I think we have too gambling that is much on within the state,’ Senate President Pro Tem Mike Schulz (R-District 38) opined this week. ‘ I think we have people whom are spending milk and bread money in a casino instead of taking care of their children.’

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

The casino component might have permitted tribes to provide non-house-banked table games like roulette and craps in exchange for 10 percent of these monthly net win. It also needed the legalization of sports betting should the existing ban that is federal repealed.

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

Pennsylvania’s Smoking Gun

Even though the Oklahoma Legislature is anticipated to put up unique budget 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 Indoor that is clean Air to get rid of exemptions for gambling venues and pubs. Casinos are currently allowed to designate a percentage of their floors to smoking, and taverns that report 20 percent or less of their income comes from food can enable patrons to puff.

With 18 bill sponsors that includes Democrats and Republicans, HB 1309 generally seems to end up being the first gaming-related measure to have across-the-aisle help in Harrisburg in 2010. The state is considering a bunch of gaming expansion bills to finance 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 Global for $50 million, a discount that is massive what it are priced at to build the Atlantic City property 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 comparatively safe investment that is came back strong returns for homeowners, in addition to designers.

That’s changed, of course, in the past few years following a recession that is economic hit the united states in 2008 and 2009. The reality that is new you can forget obvious than in the valuation of the Trump Taj Mahal.

Dubbed the ‘Eighth ponder worldwide’ when it opened 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 less than a nickel in the dollar when compared with exactly what Trump and their financiers compensated.

The rough Rock purchase was announced in March, but economic terms of the deal weren’t made public until documents filed with all the United States Securities and Exchange Commission had been revealed this week.

Icahn Folds

Along with his vast estate that is real hotel portfolio, 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 certification agreement until this past year.

Icahn, a close buddy to the commander-in-chief, acquired the very last remaining Trump Entertainment Resorts home in bankruptcy in early 2016. During the time of the buyout, he called the Taj Mahal a signature Atlantic City home. Fast-forward 13 months, as well as the investment is revealed by the billionaire cost him $350 million.

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

Rewriting ‘Art of the Deal’

Though many are saying the Seminole Tribe, which owns the Hard Rock brand, essentially rewrote the ‘Art associated with Deal,’ Trump’s signature book, by purchasing the formerly valued $1.2 billion resort for just $50 million, the bargain price comes with its fair 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 actually the location valued at over $224 million, an assessment that Icahn has repeatedly appealed.

Hard Rock will additionally be forced to begin with participating in the state’s PILOT program (payment in place of fees) that mandates the city’s remaining casinos jointly remit a $120 million disbursement that is annual local government in the place of paying on gaming revenue.

The Seminoles will be on the additionally hook for the resort’s property taxes. The Florida Native American group should just expect to see those tariffs increase, as Atlantic City will likely raise its $224 million valuation whilst the tribe dumps billions of bucks into the Boardwalk center.

Did Chinese Authorities Launch Massive 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, in accordance with Arbor that is US-based Security which monitors the internet for DDoS attack information.

For a week at the start of April, Hong Kong became the ground zero of DDoS assaults through the entire world, but 21 dukes sister casino why? (Image: HackRead)

Between April 6 and 13, hackers apparently based in China flooded the bandwidth of countless gambling web sites having a massive influx of traffic, 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 planet for such attacks, a dubious honor always reserved for the United States.

Extortion Suspected

It was also noteworthy, said Arbor, because ‘country-level activity’ frequently denotes geopolitical motivation, i.e, assaults directed so intently at web sites of a single territory is definitely an indication of cyber warfare arranged on a state-level. It is an idea, however, that Kirk Soluk, supervisor 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 actually sought to hold online gambling internet sites to ransom since ab muscles beginning of the industry.

Sports gambling web 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 pay a tiny ransom when intentionally targeted during these periods.

Serious Punishment Guaranteed

But we wonder how up to speed 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 assaults came simply five days after China’s Public Security 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 certified Hong Kong-based online operator may be the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC), and for that reason any other online gambling web site based in Hong Kong is unlicensed and a legitimate target for the government that is chinese? In fact, in accordance with a declaration by the HKJC in 2014, unlicensed operators have actually links to crime that is organized therefore unlawful online gambling is akin to a ‘blood crime.’

Of course, the nature of DDoS attacks means they might have been orchestrated from any place in the entire world and attackers were just harnessing internet-connected devices from within China.

Or they could have come from within China, orchestrated by the government, which had motivation that is little disguise the origin. We may never ever know.

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 money where his mouth is. But the real question that is million-dollar, can he put $1,000 of McDonald’s food in his mouth, then chew it, and swallow it, and begin digesting it, all within 36-hours?

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

People think it’s impossible. Nearly everyone agrees it’s stupid.

Noori is getting 5:1 for a bet proposed to him by renowned tournament director Matt Savage. Even though 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 booked on the proposition wager, but merely a small slice of this is his money.

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

‘It can be achieved,’ another poster countered. ‘20,000 calories a time combined with exercise is already something men that are many in training. It is not easy but if he exercised throughout and had little rests it would 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 of this 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 foodstuffs,’ of which at least $50 must certanly be burgers. Other requirements are that Noori ‘must eat everything that comes with the 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 over repeatedly.’ Indeed, health and safety first.

Gamblers have done things that are notoriously foolish cash over the years. In 2014 Freddy Torres agreed to jump into a shark-filled tank for $1,000. In 2011, Ashton Griffin won a bet that he couldn’t run 70 miles in one single on a treadmill day. He attempted the feat while hungover and on very little rest, but prevailed and ended up being $350,000 richer once he finally reached the end of the treadmill.

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

Then there ended up being that man who had the boob work.

But Noori’s weight-loss bet in reverse could possibly be one of the more foolhardy and dangerous of the lot. And that’s 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 Perhaps 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 online 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.

Americans wish to know if President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey as retribution for a research into possible links between Russia and their 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 a private e-mail server. 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 within the 2016 presidential election.

Comey has critics on both sides associated with aisle, and requires his termination are regular since belated October, when he sent a letter to Congress about a need to examine additional Clinton e-mails, 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 law enforcement,’ Trump explained in a public statement from the White House. The president told Comey that he could no further ‘effectively lead’ the FBI and stated ‘new leadership that restores trust that is public self- confidence’ was required.

Trump has become tasked with getting a replacement, one who will be approved by way of a GOP-controlled Senate. And even though Republicans have actually supported efforts to bring back the Wire Act, online gambling industry experts have a time that is hard any brand 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 had been justly concerned throughout the future lawfulness of the systems they access from their homes and mobile phones. Especially 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 is own campaign donors that are largest ended up being Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson. The owner associated with Venetian, Palazzo, and a slew of casino properties over 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 interest that is much tackling the legality of on the web gambling. The subject did however come up, 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 a legal interpretation for the Wire Act as just deciding on sports betting.

Hold’em by the Short Hairs?

This opinion could be easily reversed by the DOJ, nonetheless. So whoever’s close to just 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 kinds.

Graham has worked on behalf of Adelson to introduce the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) in previous calendar years. Home Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), a critic that is strong of, has done similar in his chamber.

RAWA has failed to gain momentum in Congress, but also hasn’t been dismissed outright as a possibility that is legislative. Chaffetz recently announced his intent to possibly leave Congress prior to 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, among 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 denied usage of their funds for years, though eventual payoffs have finally happened for PokerStars and Full Tilt players, and lately, Absolute Poker.

2014 A flawed FBI raid of an alleged World Cup sports betting operation at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas allowed suspected ringleader Paul Phua to duck a feasible jail sentence. High-profile attorney David Chesnoff argued that the raid represented entrapment for their client, and the prosecution dropped all fees.

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