Oklahoma Legislature Up in Smoke Over Gambling and Cigarettes, Pennsylvania Too
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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 Republican constituents think he should put that concept in his pipe and smoke it.
Both the Oklahoma Senate and House are managed by the GOP, but that’sn’t stopping the minority party from blocking a smoke tax increase proposed by House Republicans.
Democrats into the reduced chamber are doing so 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 smoking fees, plus the 26 Democrats within the 101-member House aren’t budging.
‘We’ve said all along that the cigarette tax is really a Band-Aid on a bullet hole,’ 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 cigarette pack taxation enhance. To help make the budget whole with only that tariff hike, Oklahomans would require to purchase roughly 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 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 instead of taking care of their young ones.’
Democrats proposed a plan that claims to generate $400 million over the next year. 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 might have permitted tribes to provide non-house-banked table games like roulette and craps in exchange for 10 percent of their monthly net win. It also required the legalization of sports betting should the existing federal ban be repealed.
With Democrats refusing to budge on cigarettes, and Republicans standing firm on keeping gambling as is, the Oklahoma Legislature has reached a spending plan stalemate.
Pennsylvania’s Smoking Gun
Even though the Oklahoma Legislature is expected to hold special budget sessions to iron out its differences 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 permitted to designate a portion of the floors to smoking, and taverns that report 20 percent or less of their income comes from food can enable 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 bunch of gaming expansion bills to invest in its 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 discount that is massive what it cost to build the Atlantic City property significantly 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)
Through the country’s history, real estate has typically been a somewhat safe investment that is returned strong returns for homeowners, also designers.
That is changed, of program, in the past few years following the economic recession that hit the united states in 2008 and 2009. The new the truth is forget about evident than in the valuation of the Trump Taj Mahal.
Dubbed the ‘Eighth ponder of the World’ when it opened 27 years ago, billionaire Carl Icahn unloaded the resort, which he closed last October after failing in the future to brand new labor terms with casino workers, for the gravely discounted price of $50 million. That equates to lower than a nickel on the dollar in comparison to what Trump and his financiers paid.
The intense Rock purchase was announced in March, but financial terms of the deal were not made public until papers filed utilizing the US Securities and Exchange Commission were revealed this week.
Along together with his vast estate that is real hotel portfolio, Trump has credited their casino dealings for helping build their unknown fortune.
The 45th president severed ties with Atlantic City in 2009, though he maintained a tiny stake in the Trump Taj Mahal by way of a certification agreement until a year ago.
Icahn, a friend that is close the commander-in-chief, acquired the final remaining Trump Entertainment Resorts home in bankruptcy in early 2016. At the time associated with the buyout, he called the Taj Mahal a signature Atlantic City home. Fast-forward 13 months, as well as the billionaire reveals the investment cost him $350 million.
A dispute that is contentious Icahn and the Unite right Here regional 54 workers union over a wage increase as well as the restoration of benefits led the corporate raider to shutter the Taj Mahal and place thousands out of work.
Rewriting ‘Art for the Deal’
Though most are saying the Seminole Tribe, which owns the Hard Rock brand, essentially rewrote the ‘Art of the contract,’ 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.
In addition to Hard Rock saying it’s going to spend up to $400 million in rebranding and renovating the resort, the company also assumes the Taj’s massive property tax bill. Atlantic City officials have actually the place 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 fees) that mandates the city’s remaining casinos jointly remit a $120 million annual disbursement to local government instead 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 only expect you’ll see those tariffs enhance, as Atlantic City will probably raise its $224 million valuation since 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 websites situated in Hong Kong were battered by a wave of distributed denial of service (DDoS) assaults in the week of April, in accordance with US-based Arbor Security, which monitors the internet for DDoS attack data.
For 7 days at the start of April, Hong Kong became the ground zero of DDoS assaults throughout the world, but why? (Image: HackRead)
Between April 6 and 13, hackers apparently located in Asia flooded the bandwidth of countless gambling web sites by having a massive influx of traffic, knocking them offline.
The events were striking and unusual, according to Arbor, because for those 7 days Hong Kong ended up being the top location in the entire world for such attacks, a dubious honor always reserved for the United States.
It was also noteworthy, said Arbor, because ‘country-level activity’ frequently denotes geopolitical motivation, i.e, assaults directed so intently at internet sites of the single territory is definitely an indication of cyber warfare organized on a state-level. It’s a notion, however, that Kirk Soluk, supervisor of the company’s threat intelligence team, rules out.
‘…the emergence of numerous, different gambling/gaming targets leads us to think that DDoS extortion is considered the most likely motivation,’ he concluded in a web log on the Arbor website this week.
It’s a reasonable summary. After all, hackers have sought to hold gambling that is online to ransom since the very beginning of the industry.
Sports wagering internet sites are particularly susceptible because they are hopelessly reliant on major sports for large chunks of the revenues and may be have little choice but to spend a ransom that is small deliberately targeted during these periods.
Severe Punishment Guaranteed
But we wonder just how up to date Arbor is on Chinese gambling issues that are regulatory. Probably not at all, and why should it be?
Does it know, for instance, that the very first of the Hong Kong assaults came just five days after Asia’s Public safety 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 licensed Hong Kong-based online operator is the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC), and so any other online gambling site based in Hong Kong is unlicensed and a legitimate target for the Chinese government? In fact, based on a statement by the HKJC in 2014, unlicensed operators have actually links to organized crime and consequently illegal on the web gambling is akin to a ‘blood crime.’
Needless to say, the nature of DDoS attacks means they could have already been orchestrated from any place in the entire world and attackers were merely harnessing devices that are internet-connected within China.
Or they could have come from within Asia, orchestrated by the government, which had motivation that is little disguise the foundation. 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 whom likes to put his cash 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 Timeless champion Mike Noori may 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)
Many people think it’s impossible. Nearly everyone agrees that it’s stupid.
Noori is getting 5:1 for a bet proposed to him by legendary 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 already been booked in the proposition wager, but just a small slice of this 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 carried out,’ another poster countered. ‘20,000 calories a day combined with exercise is already something men that are many in training. It isn’t easy but if he exercised throughout and had little rests it would help significantly.’
1,500 Apples Slices
Like all gamblers that are good Noori certainly has a game plan. He’s opting to begin off with $500-worth of apple slices, after which $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 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.
And yes, there will be burgers. It’s written into the rules, which state that $300 must be spent on ‘hot foods,’ of which at least $50 needs to be burgers. Other demands are that Noori ‘must eat precisely what comes with the order (except the Happy toy that is meal,’ 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, safety and health first.
Gamblers have done things that are notoriously foolish money through the years. In 2014 Freddy Torres agreed 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 single on a treadmill day. He attempted the feat while hungover as well as on really sleep that is little but prevailed and ended up being $350,000 richer once he finally reached the conclusion of the treadmill.
In 2010, Ted Forrest notably put his health 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 man whom had the boob job.
But Noori’s weight-loss bet in reverse could possibly be one of the most foolhardy and dangerous of the lot. And that’s exactly why we’re praying he pulls it well, or at minimum doesn’t choke for a french fry.
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 of the unprecedented dismissal, some proponents of on the web 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.
Us americans desire to know if President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey as retribution for an investigation 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 email server that is private. This came less than every day after the American public began focusing on new revelations from a Congressional investigation into Russia’s so-called interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Comey has critics on both sides regarding the aisle, and requires his termination have already been frequent since late 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 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 longer ‘effectively lead’ the FBI and said ‘new leadership that restores trust that is public confidence’ was needed.
Trump is currently tasked with getting a replacement, one who will be authorized by a GOP-controlled Senate. And although Republicans have actually supported efforts to restore the Wire Act, online gambling industry experts have hard time imagining 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 worried within the future lawfulness of the sites they access from their homes and mobile phones. Particularly as his appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions indicated interest in considering 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 ended up being Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson. The owner of the Venetian, Palazzo, and a slew of casino properties across 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 fascination with tackling the legality of on the web 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 only deciding on activities betting.
Hold’em by the Short Hairs?
This opinion could be easily reversed by the DOJ, however. So whoever’s next to just take the helm of the FBI might be instructed to deploy the agency’s full resources toward stopping on line gambling in all its kinds.
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 strong critic of comey, has done equivalent in his chamber.
RAWA has neglected to gain momentum in Congress, but also hasn’t been dismissed outright as a possibility that is legislative. Chaffetz recently announced his intent to keep Congress, possibly 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 facial skin of online gaming in America following 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 were rejected usage of their funds for years, 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 recreations gambling operation at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas allowed suspected ringleader Paul Phua to duck a prison sentence that is possible. High-profile attorney David Chesnoff argued that the raid represented entrapment for their 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 bad of utilizing a stock tip provided by former Dean Foods Chairman Tom Davis, is appealing the conviction. Pro golfer Phil Mickelson ended up being 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 had been unaware it was obtained fraudulently. Mickelson returned his profits and was never charged.