Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Poker at Harrah's Cherokee - Update

The Raleigh News and Observer published an article today updating the situation surrounding upcoming poker room at Harrah's Cherokee Casino. This article is written much better than a similar article from the Charlotte Observer last week (kudos to the big O for getting the story first). The entire N&O article can be read here: http://newsobserver.com/news/story/1969770p-8342540c.html
The critical section of the article is this:
"If the house doesn't take a cut, the issue (legality of live poker) would fall to the National Indian Gaming Commission. Its spokesman, Shawn Pensoneau, said no request has been received from the tribe. If one is, he said, it would be screened to see whether the plan complies with state and federal laws.
"Already, though, the gaming commission has allowed live poker in New York and Arizona, where the casinos don't take a cut. The casinos make money by charging entry fees for poker rooms, requiring players to join a poker club, or by simply attracting new gamblers.
"The key test, he said, will be whether the game offered is either explicitly authorized by state law or not explicitly prohibited by state law.
"Poker is allowed across North Carolina, but only in video form and -- except at the Cherokee casino -- with no cash payouts.
"There is no law that specifically says live poker is illegal."
So the issue is likely up to the Indian Gaming Commission who has authorized poker in other states as long as it is not explicitly prohibited in that state. Poker is not explicitly prohibited in NC and is allowed in video form. You take that along with the fact that Harrah's has put thousands into construction of a new poker room, which I doubt they did without some research and lobbying (they are big into lobbying) and I begin to think that this may just be a done deal. I wonder why they are waiting to make their plans known to the state and the IGC. Is there some advantage to waiting until after the first of the year? That would have to be it if they plan to open in early 2005.
We continue to watch and wait.
Your comments are welcome.

1 comment:

Poker Paul said...

I realy feel for the gamblers in the US. I cant beleive your Congress banned all banks and credit card companies from accepting transactions from online gambling sites which makes you unable to play online poker. What a bunch of hypocrites your state government are. They have the largest gambling operations with lotto, keno, etc. If they truly believed their rhetoric about internet gambling they would cut out the state operations also. And now they are bringing in a law to legalise slot machines. Personally I would have a big grudge against any party that stopped me from playing on a online poker site. I think there must be some way for you guys to get around this problem. Must make you wonder if you are living in the land of the free when it seems the government has full control on what it will and wont let you do.