Poker players received an update from their top lobbying organization on legislative efforts to license and regulate online poker in the United States during a special town hall-style meeting Saturday at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino. When it comes to federal efforts, however, it might be a short conversation. The Poker Players Alliance is using the World Series of Poker, which has attracted thousands of players to Las Vegas, to update the poker community on what’s taking place in various states.
John Pappas, the alliance’s executive director, said he expects to hear from players who have been sidelined from Internet play since the April 15, 2011, crackdown on Internet poker by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Sands Corp. could face sanctions from court
Las Vegas Sands Corp. could face state court sanctions for not revealing that about 100,000 emails and other documents, previously said to be tied up in Macau and unavailable to a lawsuit plaintiff, actually have been in Las Vegas since 2010.
The documents, encoded on a hard drive, were requested by former Sands Macau executive Steven Jacobs in his wrongful termination suit against the company. In a pleading filed June 27 in Clark County District Court, Jacobs ticked off several areas where he said the documents would show that Las Vegas executives controlled the Macau properties “on matters of great import,” contrary to Sands’ assertions that Macau operated with a large degree of autonomy.
McCarran opens new terminal
After five years of construction, McCarran International Airport’s $2.4 billion Terminal 3 went into service Wednesday with the standard official speeches and platoon of showgirls, celebrity impersonators and stage performers. Passengers marveled at the difference between the cramped, four-gate international facility at Terminal 2, which was built more than two decades ago as a charter flight terminal, and T3’s 14 gates, with seven for international use, as well as spacious new passport and customs facilities.
Court ruling opens door for JW Marriott sale
A New York appellate court has opened the way to a possible change of ownership of the JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa and the attached Rampart casino.
On June 19, a five-judge panel of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York ruled the investment funds that hold the $160 million mortgage on the Summerlin resort could not stop an outsider from buying them out at a discount to face value. Because owner Hotspur Resorts Nevada Ltd. defaulted last year, the lender could wind up owning the 548-room hotel and the Rampart’s 1,212 slots and 20 tables.
Comped meals to be subject to sales tax
The Nevada Tax Commission voted 5-2 on Monday to require payment of sales taxes on comped and employee meals — a move resort operators, restaurant owners and employees alike say will cut into profits as the tourist industry recovers from recession. The state Department of Taxation on Feb. 15 said free meals to resort guests and workers should be taxable. Monday’s vote puts in place specific regulations for collecting the tax.
Businesses have until July 31 to remit taxes on meals given since Feb. 15. Those failing to comply by the end of next month face a 25 percent penalty and a 9 percent annual interest rate on unpaid balances.
Technology for gaming labs nearly in place
A move by Nevada gaming regulators to have independent testing laboratories certify gambling equipment could result in new technology reaching casino floors more quickly. It also could mean the state’s move into Internet poker might happen at a faster pace.
Last week, slot machine makers Bally Technologies and International Game Technology were licensed by the Nevada Gaming Commission to supply potential Internet casino operators with the systems to conduct, manage and monitor online gambling. The technology Bally and IGT executives said they would use in Nevada is already in use in Europe, where online gaming is already legal in some jurisdictions. However, the technology still needs Nevada certification. The systems should be familiar to Gaming Laboratories International and BMM International, the two private labs registered by the Gaming Control Board to test equipment for Nevada.
Indian casino lawsuit could hold up projects
A lawsuit seeking closure of the tiny Gun Lake casino in Michigan could have a major effect on the nation’s Indian casino market, an industry that posted $26.73 billion in revenue in 2010, according to the Indian Gaming Industry Report.
Analysts say a U.S. Supreme Court decision to remand the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals could make it more difficult to fund tribal casino projects or even delay some projects until the matter is settled. The $160 million resort targeted in the lawsuit is in Wayland Township, 20 miles south of Grand Rapids. It was developed and is managed by Las Vegas-based Station Casinos LLC.