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POKER STARS HOVERS OVER BICYCLE CLUB

By Wendeen H. Eolis
Poker Player Newspaper

June 04, 2010

Yesterday, the Nevada Gaming Control Board (“GCB”) raised the curtain on its evolving policy toward relationships between casinos and online gambling companies. In its publicly posted reply to an unidentified gaming attorney’s inquiry, more than a month earlier, the GCB let it be known it is paying closer attention than ever before to the distinction between dot-net and dot-com poker sites and their respective connections with Nevada casinos.

The spotlight on this issue at the GCB was apparently fueled by complaints from various casino licensees and their lawyers over the questionable partnership between the Venetian Hotel and Casino with Poker Stars, for the inaugural of the North American Poker Tour in Las Vegas, some three months ago.

According to a Carson City government affairs lawyer, “A few days after the North American Poker Tour (“NAPT”) event last February—the Nevada GCB politely and quietly informed the Venetian, permission would not be granted for a second event, anytime soon.” The dots were well connected in the GCB posted letter on the regulatory authority’s website, yesterday.

The Venetian reportedly obtained permission from the Nevada GCB prior to proceeding with plans for the inaugural NAPT. By all accounts, throughout the tournament, both Venetian and Poker Stars honchos were aglow over the initial collaboration. Word around town was that they were rarin’ to do an encore this summer.

Meanwhile, the highly regarded Venetian Poker Room is packed for its popular Deep Stack summer tournaments and online giant Poker Stars appears to be fully engaged in preparing for the next NAPT event.

A well-informed gaming official asserts (on the condition of no attribution) that “Poker Stars has embraced the Bicycle Casino and Card Club for its next NAPT Festival.” He says it is slated for “wheels up” on or about August 1st. The NAPT countdown meter shows 58 days until the next event. The website remains mum as to the venue.

Look for my eye-opening report on the current state of affairs of online gambling issues and the inside scoop on why the status quo may soon be turned on its head—one way or the other in the June 21st cover date issue available in poker rooms everywhere on June 8th.

Editor’s Note: Wendeen H. Eolis is an internationally recognized legal/government affairs consultant with extensive experience in the gaming industry. In her spare time she has cashed seven times at the World Series of Poker.