Wednesday, November 28, 2007
The debate on online gambling rages in Congress even as I type this. Lawmakers are trying to decide if legalizing Internet gambling is the right thing to do since it was outlawed a year ago.
People are still playing poker online. I still play poker online, but advocates out there are trying to make it so it’s not against the law.
Nevada is working on becoming the first state to legalize Internet gambling. There is a catch: You have to be a Nevada resident and only gamble online within the state limits. The law states that online gambling can be regulated by states. It also states that bets are legal as long as they begin and end in a jurisdiction where Internet gambling is allowed.
This idea is still in its infancy. Regulators right now are trying to gauge public opinion and find out how many state residents gamble online. Once their investigation is complete they will move forward or just put the idea into the trash. However, states don’t want to change the law just yet. They are waiting to see what the Legislature is going to decide before moving forward.
By approving last year’s Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act, the United States is losing a ton of business and pushing the Internet gaming underground. Companies that used to operate within the U.S. borders are now offshore just out of reach of U.S. jurisdiction. Online gamblers have created offshore accounts because credit card companies and banks have to follow federal regulation.
For people like myself, it doesn’t matter if Internet poker is legalized. I live 20 minutes away from Atlantic City. For people such as my brother who enjoys poker, but lives almost two hours away, legalizing the online game would become one less burden.
It’s legal to gamble inside of a casino, where the government is getting money back. But if you do it where the government isn’t getting a cut, that’s when the government gets mad. Like people who smoke cigarettes, tax the heck out of it. Legalize online gambling and get a percentage of it going into your pocket.
States could use the extra revenue, considering they are always in debt. States such as California, where there is a large population and many live poker rooms, could use the money rather than setting up authorities to arrest people.
The gamblers are still going to gamble (there is a reason slot parlors popping up in the middle of nowhere are thriving). Smokers are still going to smoke. The government is still going to tax.
Give the people what they want. Allow them to sit at home in the underwear while playing five different games of poker. Gas costs too much these days anyhow.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
That leaves two casinos in AC without a BBJ, Borgata and Taj. They are both the most popular poker rooms in A.C. I suspect the new BBJ won't effect that much.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Though, I do love the attacks on other readers. That always makes the most sense and gets your point across in a classy and intellectual fashion. Keep up the great work.
When I get time later, I will scan other newspapers to look for more stories regarding the betting ring.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
I do not condone sports betting. I don't like the idea of it. I probably won't ever do it. However, if the government is worried about mob ties and illegal sports betting in New Jersey there is a simple solution to fix it -- legalize it.
Sure, I know what people are saying. You shouldn't make illegal things legal just so people won't go to jail. But consider this, in Las Vegas what these people did is called a sportsbook. In Atlantic City, it's called jail time.
I am not saying we should legalize marijuana or other drugs before someone goes in that direction. While sports betting is potentially harmful, especially those with gambling addictions, in moderation it could be done right -- just like the rest of Atlantic City. It's a town built on gambling. People who come to AC could bet on pretty much anything they want except sports despite the fact sports lines are readily available in almost every casino.
So, the New Jersey government, which is already in shambles, uses money and people to take down this sports betting ring. Great, they took down people committing crimes. The big problem though is that the state isn't getting a cut from this money. That's why it's so pissed.
If sports betting was legalized in the casinos, the state could tax the hell out of it and get a cut of the money. People bet without getting arrested. The state gets money. Everyone is happy.
The New York Times' David Chen was on the job. He was sent down to Atlantic City to check out the action.
The Press of Atlantic City has an updated story on its website regarding the dealings.
Here's an updated story from The Press of Atlantic City. They are also looking for any poker players or dealers with stories to share. I am not calling.
The Philadelphia Daily News has a story in the paper. You will love their style.
The Courier Post had its own reporter on the beat.
The Star Ledger sees more than poker in the poker. It's also a bookie joint.
In the end, it looks like this was done by a few people trying to make extra money. The Borgata, the entity, didn't know about it until the authorities brought it to their attention. As the Borgata always is, it was classy and handled it the way it properly.
The Borgata needs to have a sense of trust with its customers to continually bring them back. So although this is the second situation at the Borgata in the last four months(Forte arrested for illegal poker games), the head honchos at the casino are working with authorities to get things under control.
-- Andrew Micali, 32, of Ventnor, was the head of the gambling ring, authorities said. A law enforcement source speaking on the condition of anonymity says he has a relationship with Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino, the former reputed leader of the Philadelphia mob. Micali is charged with promoting gambling, money laundering and criminal usury.
-- Vincent Procopio, 41, of Brigantine. Also identified by the law enforcement source as connected to Merlino. Charged with promoting gambling.
-- Michael Lancelotti, of Philadelphia, was identified as a suspect in two mob murders during the 2001 trial of Joey Merlino, then the reputed head of the Philadelphia mob. Lancelotti, who watched much of the trial, has denied the allegations and has never been charged. Charged Wednesday with conspiracy to promote gambling.
-- Anthony Nicodemo, 36, of Philadelphia, has been described as a former bodyguard for Merlino. According to news reports, he began a feud between Philadelphia mobsters and the Pagans by insulting members of the outlaw motorcycle gang at a bar in 1995. Charged Wednesday with conspiracy to promote gambling.
Borgata employees, all charged with promoting gambling:
-- Joseph Wishnick, 42, Brigantine, poker room supervisor.
-- Paul Parks, 31, Egg Harbor Township, poker room supervisor.
-- Austin Johnson-Brown, 35, Atlantic City, poker dealer.
-- Robert McEwen, 26, Edison, poker dealer.
-- Matthew Weyler, 26, Turnersville, bartender.
-- Jeffrey Ebert, 45, Ventnor, poker room supervisor. Also charged with criminal usury.
-- Jack M. Buscemi Jr., 50, Mullica Jill, promoting gambling.
-- Russell Brown, 44, Egg Harbor, promoting gambling.
-- Nicholas Caltabiano, 24, Brigantine, promoting gambling.
-- Fekre Tesgaye, 50, Atlantic City, money laundering.
-- Ian Blackman, 28, Mays Landing; promoting gambling, conspiracy to commit criminal usury.
-- William DePena, 39, Philadelphia, conspiracy to promote gambling.
-- Joseph Baldino, 22, Philadelphia, promoting gambling.
-- Frank Baldino, 21, Philadelphia, promoting gambling.
-- Mark Galasso, 23, Philadelphia, conspiracy to commit money laundering.
-- Steven Cassassanto, 37, Philadelphia and Margate, conspiracy to promote gambling.
-- Douglas Rubino, 30, Philadelphia, promoting gambling.
-- Matthew Zambaninni, 27, Bear, Del., promoting gambling.
-- Robert Mackie, 39, Staten Island, N.Y., promoting gambling
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Developing: Maryland man faces charges after peaceful end to standoff
By ELAINE ROSE Staff Writer, 609-272-7215
Published: Wednesday, November 14, 2007
A bomb squad vehicle and dogs were in the area around the brown Harrah's bus at Showboat casino early today.
11:15 a.m. Nov. 14 Update -
ATLANTIC CITY - David Kilkeary, who allegedly boarded a Showboat shuttle bus and demanded money through making bomb threats, is expected to make an first appearance in federal court in Camden this afternoon.
He allegedly held dozens of police at bay early this morning at the entrance to the Showboat Casino Hotel.
A records search indicates Kilkeary may be a Maryland resident with a criminal record that includes a bank robbery.
City Councilman George Tibbitt, who went to the scene, said he was told that a man with a bomb strapped to his body rode the Harrah's Express shuttle to the Showboat porte-cochere at about 10:45 p.m.
Shortly before 1 a.m. today, Acting Mayor William "Speedy" Marsh said the man had a gun and there was a language barrier in trying to communicate with him.
The mayor said he was told a robot had delivered a telephone to the shuttle bus to communicate with the man.
Several popping sounds, similar to gunshots, were heard coming from the porte-cochere at about 11:15 p.m.
Nichole Handwerk, of Allentown, Pa., said she was standing on the roof of the parking garage with her fiance, Sean Libovsky, when they heard a woman scream that a masked man on the shuttle was holding hostages.
From the ledge of the roof, they saw a man let four or five people go and shoved an older man toward a second bus, Handwerk said.
"He went from one bus to the other with a huge duffle bag," she said.
They were watching the situation when police officers ordered them to leave the garage, Handwerk said.
"As soon as I heard there was a bomb, I got out," she said. "It was like watching TV."
A massive law-enforcement team responded to the scene, closed Pacific Avenue from Delaware to Maryland avenues and emptied the casino's bus area.
The Atlantic City Bomb Squad, police in riot gear carrying rifles, K-9 officers, State Police troopers, FBI agents, the Atlantic City Fire Department and ambulances rushed to the area.
There had been reports of a body found in the building, but a medical examiner's van was seen leaving the area with no body inside.
"We're leaving it to the experts to do what they've got to do," Marsh said.
Meanwhile, casino employees, hotel guests and others waited on the west side of Pacific Avenue. Many were in town to attend the New Jersey League of Municipalities conference and were not allowed back into their rooms.
One man, talking to a friend on his cell phone, said, "It's like something out of a movie."
To e-mail Elaine Rose at The Press:
This is right off The Press of Atlantic City website. The moment I hear more I will post.
"More than a dozen employees of Borgata Casino and Spa's poker room and organized crime associates were arrested and charged with operating a sports gambling ring on the Borgata's poker room floor. Attorney General Anne Milgram will announce the charges at a 2 p.m. press conference."
This from the AP:
"TRENTON — An illegal sports gambling ring being run out of a high-stakes poker room in an Atlantic City casino was busted up today.
Eighteen people were arrested in connection to the gambling ring, a law enforcement official said today. Among them were six Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa employees and four known mob associates from Philadelphia, according to the official, who spoke only on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak about the case.
The official said another five people were being sought.
New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram scheduled a 2 p.m. news conference.
A call to Borgata spokesman Michael Facenda was not immediately returned today.
The arrests appear to be among the most serious mob incursions into the Atlantic City casino industry since the first casino opened in 1978.
Fear of organized crime prompted New Jersey to institute tight controls when legal gambling began, but those regulations have been loosened over the years."
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I am tired of dealers not doing their job. I am sick of rude dealers with their nasty comments. They cost the game action and me, money. So to all those dealers -- welcome to the $1 tip list.
I don't care how much money I win in a pot, you get a $1. Just one white chip. I don't care if the pot is for $500 or $5 because if you did your job correctly, then you would get tipped properly.
Why should a dealer who does a poor job get tipped as much as someone who does their job well? Waiters don't. Bartenders don't. Now, dealers won't.
I will not list the dealers on my $1 tip list just yet. However, after one night it's up already up to three names.
For the record, I won last night and I am still cranky. When the dealers are bad, the game just isn't fun.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
The Hilton has temporarily moved its poker room. They swapping it was the Asian games room. The Asian games is a much bigger room and poker has not done well other there. They have a higher rate and a bad beat jackpot, but that is not bringing people into the room.
For now, the room is in the ballroom near the old poker room, presumably because of the complaints of the poker games being in the middle of the casino floor.
The Hilton offers a good deal for players, but it's never going to live up to the better casinos in Atlantic City.
Friday, November 09, 2007
The biggest news is Borgata is having a deep stack tournament starting Sunday for $5000 + $200. It had satellites leading up to it that I didn't write about because I haven't been around. I suck, work sucks. There is a theme going on here.
This tournament is set to last five days where the players get $50,000 in chips. The blinds last an hour.
For those that don't have enough to pony up the 5K, there is a smaller tourney tomorrow night. $1040 + $60 at 3 p.m.