Archive for the ‘Iowa’ Category

U.S. Online Poker: Legislative Update

March 18th, 2012 No comments

Discussion about the possible legalization of online gambling in the U.S. has been gaining more and more traction for some time. An update here on the current legislative developments is long overdue.

California: In late February, Senate Bill 1463 was introduced. The bill would legalize online poker in California, and has a goal of raising $200 million for the state general fund. The bill is co-authored by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg. According to the complete bill history for Senate Bill 1463, the bill may be acted upon on or after March 26.

Iowa: This past Thursday, Iowa House Speaker Kraig Paulsen said the State House does not plan to take up Senate File 2275, which would legalize intrastate online poker in Iowa. The State Senate had recently approved the bill in a 29-20 vote. The bill is all but dead.

Mississippi: In late February, House Bill 1373 was introduced. The bill would have legalized online gambling within the state. The bill is now dead.

Nevada: Nevada is far ahead of any other state in this area, having legalized intrastate online poker late last year. In January, the Nevada Gaming Control Board finalized the Technical Standards for Gaming Devices, and the Minimum Internal Control Standards were finalized in February. At this time, it is unclear when online operators will be permitted to accept real-money deposits. Some speculate late 2012.

New Jersey: In early February, Senate Bill 1575 was introduced. The bill would legalize online gambling within the state. Just over a year ago, Governor Christie vetoed a bill that would have legalized intrastate online gambling, citing constitutional concerns. Current bill sponsor Senator Lesniak believes he has addressed these concerns. The bill failed to advance through the legislature during the final voting session this past week, however, so it may not be subject to a vote for at least six more weeks.

Anonymous Lottery Winner Walks Away with Nothing

February 7th, 2012 2 comments

Some state lotteries require their winners to provide identification information. Not all winners, however, want to thrust themselves into the public spotlight. For example, last September I wrote about a New York lotto winner who gave his $3 million winning ticket to a store clerk under the false pretense that as an illegal immigrant, he would be deported after coming forward.

In that case, the holder of the winning ticket came forward. But would a winner actually refuse to come forward to avoid release of identification information and thus forego the winnings? As reported by Joe Kristan at Going Concern, apparently so:

[A] New York lawyer acting on behalf of holder of a winning lottery ticket purchased at a Des Moines convenience store let the ticket expire rather than revealing the identity of the ticket owner.

The ticket was turned in hours before its expiration by a Des Moines law firm hired by a New York attorney employed by a Belize trust claiming to be the ticket owner.  The lottery wouldn’t approve the prize without knowing who was behind the trust, and the trust wasn’t telling.  Apparently $14 million wasn’t enough money to get the human(s) behind the trust to come out of the cold.

Truly bizarre. The question on all our minds: Why?!

Joe offers a few plausible reasons. The winner may be a fugitive or a tax evader. Or perhaps the winner is already grossly wealthy from offshore investments and doesn’t want to bring that to light, he suggests.

Even if any of these possibilities is the case, what was stopping the ticket winner from just giving it to someone else to claim?

It feels like I must be missing something. Maybe the act of giving the ticket to someone else would be considered a gift, giving rise to other issues. Or maybe Iowa law simply prohibits it.

Now a criminal investigation into the matter is underway and whoever had the winning ticket lost out on $14.3 million. Well played, people.

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