Buoyed up by the success of their casinos, Delaware looks like it’s trying to jump into the online gaming arena in a big way.   A bill to allow online betting in Delaware and provide more venues for sports betting is on its way to the state House for a vote.

The House Gaming and Parimutuels Committee approved the bill last week.  Gov. Jack Markell proposed expanding keno beyond Delaware’s three existing casinos to at least 100 sites throughout the state, and authorizing betting on NFL football in at least 20 more sites.

Expanded gambling revenues would let Delaware eliminate the $4 million in slot machine fees paid by the existing casinos and cut their table game fees from $6.75 million to $3 million. In return, the casinos would spend an equal amount on traditional business expenses such as marketing, capital improvements and debt reduction.

“This is key to making sure that this industry stays competitive for the years to come,” state finance secretary Tom Cook told the committee, noting that Delaware’s gambling industry has faced increased competition from neighboring states in recent years.

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“We want to take the lead,” said New Jersey state senator Sen. Raymond Lesniak (pictured left), a sponsor of the bill that would legalize online poker in New Jersey. “We don’t want Nevada to take the lead.”  His bill cleared the state Assembly’s gambling committee yesterday, as lawmakers race to make New Jersey the first state that allows Internet betting.

Lesniak said the state has already lost out on about $200 million because Gov. Chris Christie’s vetoed a similar bill last year.  But since then the US Department of Justice opened the door to internet wagering, and sent the Garden State’s lawmakers scrambling to enact legislation.

New Jersey estimates an additional $300 million to $400 in gambling revenue for the state if the bill becomes law, along with the construction of $150 million to $300 million of data centers to handle the traffic.

But it’s not all smooth sailing.  Lesniak is concerned that Gov. Chris Christie’s political ambitions are getting in the way of his previous support for Internet gambling legislation in the state.

Christie has been talked about as a possible running mate for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, and is also in line for a position in Romney’s administration if the former Massachusetts governor is successful in November.

After vetoing Internet gambling legislation last year, Christie reversed himself in January and now supports allowing Atlantic City casinos to host online gambling websites. Christie’s reversal encouraged Lesniak to reintroduce his bill.  Although Christie’s wavering could affect Republican votes, Lesniak said they aren’t needed for the bill to pass in the Democrat-controlled New Jersey legislature.

“We’ll have it on his desk before the end of June,” Lesniak said. “He’ll have to fish or cut bait at that time.”

According to Lesniak, Christie can always say, “I did what was right for my state. I’m not asking any other state to do it. I wouldn’t support it at the federal level, but for New Jersey it’s the right thing to do.”

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Barry Greenstein Claims Obama Supports Online Poker … but I Don’t See Any Evidence. Do You?

May 11, 2012

Card Player Magazine reported that poker professional and Hall of Famer Barry Greenstein tweeted in an attempt to link President Obama’s announcement in support of same-sex marriage to the plight of ostracized poker players. Greenstein said that the president supports efforts to legalize online poker, but just won’t admit it. While I respect Barry’s reputation […]

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I’m out as editor of Poker Player Newspaper

May 9, 2012

After five years as editor of Poker Player Newspaper, I’m out.  As of yesterday, Stan Sludikoff decided to assume the role of editor, in what’s one in a series of cost-cutting moves designed to stabilize the paper’s financial problems and retain its viability.  I will simply be a columnist for the paper going forward, and […]

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Black Friday … One Year Later

April 14, 2012

It’s been one year today since the Feds swooped down to shutter America’s most popular online poker sites: PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and CEREUS Network rooms Absolute Poker and UB.com.  On Black Friday, the US Department of Justice indicted these sites and millions of players have had to live with the aftermath of their actions. […]

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On the Air Again: This Thursday Night at 6 p.m. Pacific Time

April 11, 2012

Now you can hear Keep Flopping Aces, Thursday night at 6 p.m. Pacific Time for our first show on Hold’em Radio.  Our last show was two weeks ago at the old station, and this week Shari Geller and I will debut Keep Flopping Aces at www.holdemradio.com. For our first broadcast, it will be Shari and […]

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Moving to a New Online Poker Radio Station!

March 31, 2012

Yesterday was our 170th show on Rounders Radio.  It was also our last.  After a one week hiatus, Shari Geller and I will move Keep Flopping Aces to Hold’em Radio.  We’re keeping the same time slot: Thursday evening at 6 p.m. Pacific Time.  Shows will also be rebroadcast three times during the following week, and […]

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Judge Puts Kibosh on Black Friday Plea Deal

March 30, 2012

The government’s planned prosecution of Utah banker John Campos hit a road block of sorts, when US District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan ordered prosecutors to explain in writing why they let former Utah banker John Campos plead guilty to a misdemeanor instead of a felony, and avoid a trial scheduled for April 9. When Judge […]

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Feds Play “Lets Make a Deal” with Former Utah Banker John Campos

March 28, 2012

Federal prosecutors played “Let’s Make a Deal” with John Campos, former vice-chairman of a Utah bank and the last remaining money man scheduled to fight the government’s online poker case in a trial set to get under way April 9. Campos is alleged to have accepted a cash infusion in return for handling online poker […]

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Billion Dollar Payment Processor Daniel Tzvetkoff Set to Testify Against Former Cronies in “Black Friday” Trial April 9

March 22, 2012

Daniel Tzvetkoff, the one-time high-roller Australian businessman who brought down America’s multi-billion-dollar online poker industry, is set to emerge from hibernation April 9.  He will testify in a New York courtroom, when his former Las Vegas-based business partner Chad Elie, and Utah banker John Campos, go on trial. Elie, 31, is charged with nine offenses, […]

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