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U.S. Regulation News: New Jersey, Michigan, and FTP

The United States Legal sphere has been busy lately with poker stories coming out.  Some of them are good, and some of them are not quite as good.  We are going to cover all the news here though so you can be up to date on where things stand in Online Poker in the United States.

 

New Jersey Receives 37 Timely Applications for Regulated Online Poker

Diamondflushpoker.com reports that the New Jersey Gaming Commission has received 37 timely applications to offer regulated online poker within the states borders.  The official date was this past Monday, and most of the major players got their applications in as to be considered for approval and being able to open on the first day possible, which is going to be sometimes in early November. 

This does not mean that there will be 37 different sites operating, because each party in an operation must turn in an application to be considered. As PokerXanadu on 2+2 explains, Caesars Entertainment, WSOP.com, and 888 must all put in an application for the site to be approved and made functional.  So getting to the 37 isn’t near as outlandish as it sounds when you consider all the processors that also applied and other behind the scenes parties that players do not normally think about.

The only site that was really surprising with no application was PokerStars.  They had initially combined with Revel Poker Club, but a major falling out happened and they terminated their relationship.  This leaves PokerStars with no land based casino partner, which is needed to become regulated in New Jersey. On a similar note Revel Poker Room also didn’t apply for a license and has announced that it is going to close no later than August 15th, as covered on PokerUpdate.com.

Michigan Clamps Down on Charity Poker Rooms

According to reports by MLive Michigan has passed new regulations delivering a huge blow to the charity poker rooms which are exceptionally popular in Michigan.  The new regulations state that a room may only have relationships with 3 charities at a time, must be closed by 12 am, and also must limit themselves to $45,000 in chip sales.  These are all significantly more strict rules than what had been in place previously.

Currently there are 45 of these rooms in Michigan that raise over $15 million a year for different charities.  The way the operation works is by taking out a portion of the prize pool to pay staff, the poker room and the charity.  The amount taken out is normally around 10%, with a very small percentage going to the rooms and staff and a majority of the money going to the charity.

The major casinos in Detroit are being looked at for pushing for these regulations, and the Governor is being blamed for caving to the pressure.  Many parties are unhappy about this on many different fronts.  People will need to be fired or have their hours reduced, places will have to be closed, and significantly less money is going to be going to charities.  The only bright spot here is if you support major casinos and want to see the games get bigger at them.

PPA Looking to Pressure Congress to Help with Full Tilt Remission Process

The PPA is once again looking to rally the troops to pressure congress to help the remission process for funds from Full Tilt Poker.  There is a letter posted on 2+2 that you can send your elected official if you would like to make your voice heard about your unhappiness with the speed in which the process has been moving, or the lack of speed in which absolutely everything with this process has not been moving.  There is also a letter that you can send if you want to try to help a friend receive their funds faster as well.

This is a welcomed move by the United State poker community as a whole, and the fact that the PPA is taking the initiate with it means that there is the potential for some serious movement to actually be made.  It is hard to organize players many times and even harder to get them to all work together for a common goal.  Very little information has been released about the remission process and players are starting to get very restless after the DOJ handed the money over to the Garden City Group many months ago.  Any pressure that can be put on this company is sure to help the process at least a little bit and using the government’s power could go a long way.

So whether you are someone who has money locked up on FTP, or you know someone who does, sending a letter and quick and easy and can make a world of difference.

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Andrew Schupick

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