Poker Playing Monks!?!? - The Pokerfuse Weekly Newsletter

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It seems the off-beat news of Buddhist Monks being caught in an illegal high stakes poker game drew quite a bit of attention this week. If you haven't already done so check it out. On a more serious note, the state of Illinois introduced legislation that would grant the Illinois State Lottery--the first to take its games online in the US and a big part of the reason the DOJ clarified its position on the Wire Act--the authority to enter the online gaming market. Also, you won't want to miss Gus Fritschie's latest security article that identifies some of the free tools used to examine the security of browser-based poker sites.

Why State Legislation in the US Won’t Affect the PokerStars / Full Tilt Deal

The most recent legislation introduced in New Jersey contains provisions that seek to ban those companies that took wagers from US residents after December 31, 2006. More importantly, it also seeks to ban the transfer of assets from those same companies to any potential license holders in New Jersey.

Haley Hintze was the first to point out that the December 2006 date is conveniently set to ban PokerStars, Full Tilt and Cereus assets from making their way into the New Jersey online arena, while still allowing a free pass. It is believed that the date is supposed to represent the passage of the UIGEA after which PartyPoker pulled out of the US market. (Beyond the scope of this article lays the fact that December 31, 2006 may also leave wiggle room for CEO to be overlooked for his transgressions while at the helm of UltimateBet’s parent company Excapsa.)

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How to Determine Poker Site Security Through Passive Examination

Security Professional Gus Fritschie takes us through some of the free tools used to examine the security of browser-based poker sites.

A question I am often asked is if a particular site is safe and secure to play on. Many times I hear “it has a lock on the page so it must be safe.” Now, while there are no guarantees, there are some items you can look for that may give you a clearer picture of a site’s overall security posture. In this article we will look at tools and basic techniques you can use to examine a site’s security utilizing a passive approach.

This article may be slightly more technical then the previous ones I have written for pokerfuse, although I have tried not to get too deep into the weeds. Even if you do not actually perform any of the outlined tests, hopefully you will be better informed on what can be done.

Passive and Active Security Testing

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Tax Demands Raise Fresh Doubts in Spain

Huge tax bills, retroactively applied to the last four years of operation, means some of the biggest poker rooms may not be granted licenses on June 1.

The new Spanish government is demanding that applicants pay backdated tax for the last four years of operation, pokerfuse has learned. The new stipulation comes just three weeks before the first licenses are supposed to be issued.

The last-minute demands raise doubts over which operators will settle up and be granted licenses on June 1.

It is understood that some of the largest operators in Spain over the last four years face huge tax bills: €60m, Sportingbet/Miapuesta €50m and PokerStars a staggering €200m.

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Illinois to Consider Expanding State Lottery Law to Include Online Gaming

Hearing tomorrow will discuss an amendment to offer state-owned online poker and other forms of gambling.

A hearing is scheduled on Wednesday to discuss the merits of an amendment that would allow the Illinois Lottery to offer online gaming in the state.

Senate President John Cullerton introduced the amendment to an existing unrelated bill on Tuesday. The legislation calls for the creation of a “Division of Internet Gaming” as part of the Illinois Lottery.

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Buddhist Monks Caught in High-Stakes Cash Game Scandal

Caught on camera: $800k changed hands in a secret 13-hour high stakes poker marathon involving South Korea's leading Buddhists.

Six leaders of a South Korean Buddhist Order have been forced to quit following the publication of secret video footage showing the monks drinking, smoking and playing a high-stakes cash game of poker.

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Tourney Tracking Sites Go to Full Opt-In as PokerStars’ Data Crackdown Continues

SharkScope and Official Poker Rankings are now fully opt-in for PokerStars profiles.

The crackdown on public sharing of poker results continues as Sharkscope and Official Poker Rankings, two of the largest independent tracking sites for online tournament results, have announced that they have switched to a full opt-in service for players on PokerStars’ to comply with the poker room’s demands.

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