#20 Weekly Digest – Latest News in US Gambling World
Here is a detailed gambling news digest for you that has comprehensively listed and explained all of the recent happenings in the world of gambling, casinos, legislation, etc. in the US. Read on to find out more about the latest news stories taking place. Going through these stories can be helpful if you take an active interest in the industry. A lot of events have taken the US betting industry by storm over the past week.
Future of WSOP Uncertain As Rio Passes On To Hyatt
The Rio Las Vegas is one of the most well-known and luxurious hotels in Vegas, with more than 2500 rooms and a plethora of luxurious amenities. Until late-2019, the Rio casino and hotel were owned by Caesars Entertainment. In fact, the hotel and casino even served as the home base for the World Series of Poker (WSOP). Management of the hotel is now operated by Dreamscape, a company that purchased the hotel for $516 million.
According to Kimo Bertram, the Vice President of Hyatt, the property is going to be broken into “multiple Hyatt full-service offerings”. One of the existing towers of the building is going to become a Hyatt Regency Hotel with 1500+ rooms. The remaining guestrooms are going to be affiliated with any one of the full-service brands currently offered by Hyatt Hotels. Las Vegas is soon going to become a dream luxury destination for many affluent holidaymakers. Eric Birnbaum, the founder and CEO of Dreamscape, has also said that the Rio Las Vegas is a perfect space for all kinds of events and purposes. He also remarked that he is very excited about this partnership with Hyatt. When the Rio opened in 1990, it was very well-known for its unique Brazilian theme and luxurious hotel rooms. Ever since 1999, the Rio Las Vegas has been the constant home of the WSOP events.
Many gamblers and poker fans are now uncertain of the developments that are taking place in the Las Vegas poker circuit. With Rio Las Vegas now on the way to becoming a unit of the Hyatt hotel fleet, there is a lot of uncertainty about the next home base of the WSOP. Some people are hopeful that the WSOP will be held in the newly finished Caesars Forum Conference Center, a well-known luxurious Caesars property.
New Mandate Issued By Appeals Court Keeps Wire Case Open
The Federal Wire Act of 1961 is one of the most restrictive pieces of legislation that stands in the way of legalized gambling in the United States. In 2018, the Department of Justice under the Trump administration tried to expand the scope of the law and curtail regulated gambling activities. This interpretation was immediately challenged in the Supreme Court by the New Hampshire Lottery along with other gambling providers in the United States as well.
The US Appeals Court heard both sides of the story and then delivered an opinion that sided with the New Hampshire Lottery’s perspective of events. The restrictive view that the Trump administration took towards gambling was very ironic, given that the erstwhile president was himself an owner of a casino. The new Attorney General Merrick Garland was sworn in on March 11 and it is expected that his DoJ will not challenge the court’s ruling. The First Circuit Court of Appeals filed a mandate on March 15 2021, which is basically a final and formalized version of the judgement that it handed down on January 20. Responding to queries from journalists, well-known iGaming attorney Jeff Ifrah said that the new mandate released by the court is just a procedural step. It is nothing more than a formality that needs to be taken care of with the new DoJ in place.
The losing party has 90 days to file an appeal with the Supreme Court, which gives the new Garland-led DoJ until mid-June to file an appeal. While it is unclear whether they will file an appeal at all, most experts are of the opinion that the Biden administration does not take the same restrictive and hypocritical view towards gambling as the Trump administration. The path for interstate online poker is going to be clear soon.
Lottery Legalization SB 319 in Alabama Approved by Senate Committee
The Alabama State Legislature met for its Regular Session of 2021, during which many of the legal issues facing the state were discussed by legislators. One of the major topics that was under discussion was Senate Bill 319 or SB 319, which proposes to legalize clean lotteries such as PowerBall and Mega Millions in the state. It would also create a new Alabama Lottery Corporation to oversee all of the lottery activities in the state.
This bill was sponsored by the Republican State Senator from Springville, Jim McClendon. The proposed bill is basically a constitutional amendment that would allow Alabama residents to participate in clean and regulated lottery games. It would also allow the state to earn a good amount of revenue, which McClendon’s bill has set aside for the state’s Education Fund. The Alabama Senate Tourism Committee gave the go ahead to SB 319 and approved of its content. The Committee engaged in a voice vote, and the bill was given the go ahead unanimously. None of the committee members had any issues with the Bill, so this could very well herald in a new era for the state of Alabama. According to Senator McClendon, SB 319 describes the formation of nothing but a clean and simple lottery game. The bill specifies that casino style lottery games will not be permitted in the state.
This is a welcome move because last week, a Senate Bill sponsored by the Republican State Senator from Anniston (SB 214) failed to make it through the Senate because of only 2 votes. Even though SB 214 is dead, SB 319 can be a catalyst for more legalization and regulation of lottery and other gambling activities in the state. However, SB 214 received a lot of backlash from Christian religious groups operating in the state.