The fight to legalize poker in the United States is heating up at the state level, and of course players are still waiting on the US Department of Justice to begin the remission for the $150 million in frozen funds that are waiting to be released to US players. In this column I’ll get you up to speed on these two developments.
Next Thursday deadline for New Jersey online poker bill
Next Thursday Chris Christie will have to make a decision on the Online Poker Bill sitting on his desk, as the deadline to veto the bill will come and go at the end of the Day, Thursday, February 7th, 2013. Christie has three options available to him:
• He can sign the bill into law
• He can veto the bill
• He can do nothing in which case the bill will become law by default
On his weekly radio show last week Christie seemed to be leaning towards vetoing the bill, citing concerns he has including problem gamblers:
“The first is that I don’t know that it really will help Atlantic City. And I’m concerned that it may drive traffic away from Atlantic City – that if people can gamble in their own homes on their laptops, why are they going to go to Atlantic City? And I think it’s contrary to what we’re trying to accomplish there.”
“Secondly, I’m also really concerned about setting up a whole new generation of addicted gamblers. You know, if you can sit on the edge on your bed on your laptop and gamble away the paycheck – that’s a lot different than making the decision to go down to Atlantic City to gamble in a casino. So I’ve got those two concerns.”
However, with the state on the cusp of joining Nevada and Delaware as the only states to legalize online poker, the PPA was in New Jersey earlier this week to try and sway the Governor. According to the PPA the meeting between the executive director of the PPA John Pappas and a high-level aid to Governor Christie “went well”.
Christie vetoed a very similar bill in 2011 at the last moment.
DOJ says FTP Payments announcement coming “Soon”
Meanwhile, over at the Department of Justice, Cardplayer Magazine asked the DOJ if they had settled on a third-party payment processor, and were given the answer that it would be coming “soon.”
Back in November the DOJ said it was taking applications for third-party payment processors, and that a decision would be reached in January. Well, tomorrow is the last day of January and we still have no word yet on when we will be able to apply for our Full Tilt Poker funds.
There hasn’t been any movement on repaying the players, but the DOJ has settled with two of the former Full Tilt Poker board of directors’ members, Rafe Furst and Howard Lederer, and today gossip has been streaming in that Chris Ferguson is close to settling with the DOJ as well.