Friday, May 11, 2007

The Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman

The Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman:
"WASILLA - When Tennessee accountant Chris Moneymaker won the World Series of Poker's Main Event in 2003, he set off a tidal wave of poker popularity in the United States that has yet to crest.

Today, poker has become a nationwide phenomenon, with high-profile professional players competing with amateurs for billions of dollars in prize money annually. The most popular form of the game - no limit Texas Hold 'Em - is widely televised and played by millions of players in live games and online on a daily basis.

Poker in Alaska occupies a gray area of legality. Gambling for money in the state is technically illegal, although authorities typically turn a blind eye to casual “home” games played between friends.

But players who want live action on a regular basis are often out of luck. Underground, for-profit - or “raked” - poker rooms in the state operate outside the law, but raids on such games are rare.
That changed in the Valley on April 14, when members of the Alaska State Troopers' Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Enforcement, along with Palmer and Wasilla police, conducted a high-profile bust on a Wasilla building that led to the arrest - and subsequent felony charges - against five area residents. Warrants were also served on six private residences in Anchorage and the Valley."

Journal Gazette | 04/25/2007 | Legislators consider pull-tabs for taverns

Journal Gazette 04/25/2007 Legislators consider pull-tabs for taverns:

"INDIANAPOLIS – An attempt to crack down on illegal gambling could include a measure to allow bars and taverns to offer paper pull-tab games.
The discussion occurred Tuesday during the first public negotiation on a charity gaming bill that also seeks to limit Cherry Master machines.
There was little comment about the original core of the House Bill 1510, which updates provisions for the Indiana Gaming Commission on various charitable gaming issues.
But committee members considered allowing bars and taverns that initially sought authority to operate electronic gaming devices to instead have paper pull-tabs, a game similar to one offered by the Hoosier Lottery and something already allowed in charitable fraternal organizations or clubs.
Pull-tab distributors describe them as small paper games of chance used for profit-making or fundraising. The front side of the pull-tab shows winning combinations of symbols and prizes a player can win. The back side of the pull tab has windows to open. If the symbols underneath the pull-tab windows match the winning combinations on the front of the pull tab, the player wins.
Testimony indicated that pull-tab tickets would cost $1 each. The low-stakes game pays back about 70 percent of the money, with 30 percent of the revenue retained by the owner or group running the game."

Gambling compromise sought

Gambling compromise sought:
"INDIANAPOLIS -- State lawmakers seeking a compromise on legislation to crack down on illegal gambling are considering whether to let bars and restaurants sell low-wager paper gambling cards, as nonprofit clubs are allowed to do.
The pull-tabs -- small paper games of chance, typically sold for $1 each -- are common in bars and taverns. Although the cards are illegal, the law rarely is enforced. But bars risk fines, criminal charges or loss of their liquor licenses if caught selling them.

That risk could become greater under House Bill 1510, which is designed to clamp down on illegal gambling, in part by adding 25 excise officers and a special prosecutor to pursue the cases.
Yesterday, Brad Klopfenstein, executive director of the Indiana Licensed Beverage Association, urged the conference committee looking for a compromise to consider letting bars and restaurants that sell alcohol have some small form of legal gambling. "