In July of this year DC was supposed to start offering online slots, poker, bingo and fantasy sports sites for fun, and then for wagering in September. The Washington Post even posted an employment ad for an online bingo chat room moderator.
So why is it taking so long you may be asking? The article I read at washingtonpost.com claims that legislators cannot make up their minds about regulating online gambling. The District is usually the trailblazer when it comes to states passing bills, but this one just can’t seem to be passed. There is no Federal Law prohibiting online gambling, but there are also no strict guidelines so it makes gamblers, along with websites apprehensive about what wagers they choose to accept.
There are plenty of supporters for moderating the online gambling industry. They make the argument that it could do wonders for our “cash-strapped” government; also the added employment, money for charities, and tax money. In fact, taxing online poker alone would produce 40 billion dollars in 10 years.
But for all of the people supporting the regulation of online gambling, there are plenty more actively against it. States such as New Jersey and Utah are very much against it. While State such as California and Florida are the closest to getting the ball rolling, so to speak.
At the end of 2011 Casino Bodog will officially stop accepting US players. Actually the whole Bodog brand will stop allowing US citizens to access their websites as they change the name from Bodog.com to Bodog.eu.
Bodog is a very well known brand, and is in the process of marketing themselves somewhat like the Virgin brand. I learned on wiki today that they are even starting their own coffee line.
Currently Bodog operates under Morris Mohawk Gambling, based out of Canada although Bodog is a European brand. They acquired a license from the UK Gambling commission in July but have been waiting for their current license to expire. A license from the UK Gambling Commission is a huge deal, and is not offered to just any casino, so Bodog is very excited about the changes that are happening.
The decision to stop accepting US players revolves around the uncertainty of taking wagers from US players. They would rather be safe than sorry, they don’t want to do anything to defame their name because they are growing right now in many markets, especially Asia.
Founder of Bodog, Calvin Ayre says that the new venture is exactly what the company needs and everyone throughout the company is very excited to get things going.
Casino Bodog is ranked 13th in overall online casino traffic and 2ndamong casinos still accepting US wages.
It is sad to see another casino withdraw from the US market but I feel it won’t stop anytime soon unless the government makes some changes with regulation.
There have been so many articles in the news recently about the legalization of online gambling in the United States. All of the speculation has made it a popular topic, but is it popular enough?
Many experts speculate that no bills are being passed because there are simply just too many other issues out there to deal with. Legislators are trying to fix the economy, unemployment, and healthcare. Online gambling doesn’t seem to hold a candle to some of these other bigger problems.
The regulation of online wagering could actually fix some of these problems. There is a “debt super committee” dedicated to cutting the government’s deficits by 1.2 trillion dollars over the span of ten years. Taxing online poker would bring in 40 billion dollars in taxes in ten years. I know this is only solving 1/30th of the problem, it is still something.
The District of Columbia is usually the leader when it comes to these types of bills, but gambling on online operations in DC is not something congress wants to do. Governors just don’t want to resort to online gambling, they think it will lead to the demoralization of society as we know it. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is one legislature that doesn’t seem to be budging on the issue. He feels that passing the bill to moderate online gambling will result in betting parlors popping up all over the state.
Legislators like Christie greatly outnumber the supporters of online gambling, so it is no wonder that the only conclusion any of them can come to is to not come to a conclusion, yet.
It doesn’t help that the previous, and current speak, never felt the need to bring this issue to a floor vote. It’s too bad The Donald isn’t still in the race for presidency; he is a huge advocate for online gambling.
When deciding where to play blackjack online it is relatively easy to find a site that you like.
I usually go to Online Casino Suite and find the best online casinos. They review all of them and let me know each casino’s payout percentage as well as the hit frequency. There are a lot of options, but the good thing is you can virtually leap from casino to casino.
But what about when you want to play blackjack at a physical casino? Do you find a local casino or venture to one for the well-known gambling destinations? I was reading an article today at Fox News about how New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has been making a push to get players to come to the east coast rather than the west coast. He says that “You’d have to be stupid to go to a dessert in the middle of the summer.”
But would you? Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman has to laugh at this, although she appreciates Christie’s efforts to draw tourism to Atlantic City.
The fact of the matter is Las Vegas will always beat Atlantic City in revenue, in 2010 Vegas nearly doubled AC’s earnings, and so Goodman has nothing to worry about.
So which is it going to be: Sin City or Atlantic City?
It all can be summed up with one quote from an active gambler who has visited both destinations many times: “If you want to experience Jersey, go to Atlantic City. But if you want to experience the world, come to Vegas.”
About five months ago, back in March, I brought to your attention the story of Jerome Powers. Powers racked up a $1.2 million blackjack debt playing at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut in May of 2009.
The story goes that Powers was extended a casino credit line worth $1.2 million. He lost it all at the blackjack tables. Before leaving the casino, Powers tried to pay off his credit line by writing six checks. All six checks were returned with the reason for the return being that Powers’ account was closed and no longer valid.
The last two years has been spent arguing in and out of courts with the Mohegan Sun. Powers and his attorney said that the credit line was illegal since the Mohegan is on tribal land where the state does not have any jurisdiction. But the court took the Mohegan’s side, said the gambling was legal so the credit line was legal and that Powers had to pay the Mohegan back. Rather than pay Powers and his attorney filed for an appeal as well as a court order that would stop the Mohegan Sun from seizing his assets to help cover the $1.2 million debt.
But within the last couple of weeks, Powers and the Mohegan have settled outside of court in which details were not disclosed. But it sounds like everyone is glad the ordeal is done and over with. Andrew Houlding, the lawyer for the Mohegan Sun, said, “We are just pleased that it is resolved.” Powers himself is quoted as saying, “It was a chapter. It was closed. Everybody is paid, and I am really happy about it.”
Let this be a lesson to all blackjack players not to overextend themselves when it comes to playing blackjack. And when playing online blackjack, do not overload your bankroll with money that you do not have. Gambling debt is not fun.
I may have to take back my words when it comes to PokerTek’s BlackjackPro automatic blackjack table. Back in November of last year I made it known that I was on the skeptical side of BlackjackPro. And really, can you blame me when one of their features allows the casino to set the game up with their own rules? Such a feature allows casino operators the ability to set up another blackjack table or blackjack variation with rules that are not player friendly.
However, response to the BlackjackPro system has been positive. Hopefully this means that players are not only taken with automated blackjack tables but also with blackjack games whose rules are not stacked more than normal against them.
A quick reminder: BlackjackPro automatic blackjack tables feature a center screen with six seats around it. It is on this screen that players see the game happen rather than on seven individual screens. This helps to improve group play and camaraderie at the table, which I can now commend as it has been a success.
As for the rollout, the entire batch of original BlackjackPro tables have found homes, with the last of the automated tables installed at the end of last month. This means that ninety six BlackjackPro tables have found homes in land casinos and on cruise ships. And the demand for them continues:
“Demand has exceeded our inventory during this initial rollout phase with our available supply now fully absorbed. In response to the favorable product performance and customer demand, production is underway to provide additional inventory for second half installations,” said Mark Roberson, PokerTek’s CEO.
This means that PokerTek will continue to build BlackjackPro tables with the ProCore system. The BlackjackPro tables have been the saving grace of PokerTek, so let’s hear it for blackjack! Considering the success of the BlackjackPro automated blackjack tables, it seems that players like them. Just please be wary of the rules the casinos set them up with as well as side bets that are set up in how the casinos program them.
Blackjack players in the international community have something to celebrate today: the release from Chinese police custody of Ai Weiwei. Weiwei was arrest back on April 3rd and he has been held on what blackjack players and activist and politician view as suspicious circumstances.
Once arrested he was held on economic crimes. What created all the outrage among blackjack players who knew Weiwei as a brilliant yet kind player and among the international community was that he was an artist and activist in a country that has come under fire for extreme censorship. Weiwei spoke out often against such censorship and voiced his opinions about the Chinese government, which is why many feel he was arrested.
But his detention is over and Weiwei has been released under the agreement that he pay taxes he evaded paying, not speak about his internment and to not leave Beijing for a full year unless the Chinese government gives him permission to do so.
Blackjack players who knew Weiwei or have heard of his skill at the tables in Atlantic City are just happy to have him back on the outside. Back in April the blackjack community had organized several blackjack and poker tournaments to raise money. That money was used to lobby for the release of Weiwei, to impart trade restrictions against China, the most populated country in the world.
That is how much Weiwei meant to the blackjack community, who knew him as a quiet well-mannered player who willingly gave out tips and pointers on how to improve other players’ game and blackjack strategies.
I am sure you all recall last month when the Tropicana in Atlantic City had to pay out $5.8 million to Don Johnson. It was only one of a handful of huge blackjack wins he had that amounted to $15 million winning streak around the Atlantic City casinos.
Now another blackjack player has made it big at the Tropicana. I do not have the winner’s name as it is not the Tropicana’s policy to name who their big winners are; it is their way of protecting the winner’s privacy. However, if the winner reveals their own identity, well that is their own prerogative, like how Don Johnson revealed himself to be the winner of the $5.8 million from playing blackjack back in May.
The latest winner at the Tropicana blackjack tables won $5.3 million. Not quite a Don Johnson, but pretty close. That makes for $11 million in just around a month that the Tropicana has had to pay out to blackjack players as a result of their high stakes blackjack tables. And despite the need to hang on to and make money, the Tropicana does not look to stop offering high stakes blackjack:
“That is just how it goes sometimes; if you get more, you can win more. We have a strategy of offering the most aggressive and highest table games limits in the Atlantic City market, and we are not going to change that. If someone wants to take the shot, we will take the action,” said the Tropicana’s President and CEO, Tony Rodio.
Do you remember that guy I talked about recently who won $5.8 million from the Tropicana in Atlantic City? Yes, it was that unnamed guy. Well that unnamed guy is no longer unnamed. He is Don Johnson from Bensalem, Pennsylvania. He is also the CEO of Heritage Development LLC. Heritage is a software company that specializes in betting computer assisted software. That software is not for blackjack or any other casino game but for horse races.
It was Johnson himself who stepped forward to reveal himself as the unnamed blackjack player who ruined the Tropicana’s profits for the month of April. But the Tropicana is not the only casino in Atlantic City that Johnson has hit with his outstanding blackjack strategy, that he refuses to reveal by the way and no small wonder he will not. Although he will say that card counting is not a part of his strategy, and that his entire strategy is based on knowing the game and its math.
“They [the casinos] beat most people in the long run because the average person will not have the bankroll. But I have my own bankroll. If you can take the swings, you are going to win. You also have to understand the math,” Johnson said when asked about his strategy. When it comes to Johnson, he started wagering $25 per round fifteen years ago. Now he is up to sometimes $100,000 per round. Players do not need to start with $25 per round when they are getting started in blackjack, but the point here is that Johnson started out wagering only a little before slowly working up over the years.
Johnson has had two other wins in the millions within the last six months. One of his wins was for $5 million at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa. His other big win in the last six months was at Caesar’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino for $4 million. Throw in a few other large wins and it brings Johnson’s total to $15.1 million.
There was one very lucky blackjack player last month at the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City. In a high stakes blackjack game, the player (who has not been named to protect him or her) won $5.8 million.
It is actually an unfortunately ironic story. Not unfortunate or ironic for the player though. He or she is probably quite happy right about now with their $5.8 million. But the Tropicana is not excessively happy. Do not get me wrong, the publicity that they had a nearly $6 million winner is going to do them some good. But they just had to pay out close to $6 million to one player.
Atlantic City has been suffering in the down turned economy. There has been a drop in visitors which further impacts the smaller and smaller turnouts. Profits are down and there is no end yet in sight for a solution. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has passed a few bills to help revitalize Atlantic City, but their impact has not yet been felt. As a result, the casinos are all trying different ways of drumming up business. The Tropicana’s method was to offer high stakes blackjack games. There was the potential to win a good chunk of money from players, and players would be lured in by the idea that they could win big.
But the Tropicana’s plan has backfired. Their high stakes gamble resulted in them having to pay out $5.8 million. One casino official summed it up as so: “We had the single-largest winner in our history. If it had not been for bad luck at the tables, we would have had a good month.” And when he says ‘bad luck’ he means bad luck for the Tropicana.
It just further proves that it is possible to make a decent turn of money playing blackjack.