Sunday, November 29, 2009
A Good Start
Friday, November 27, 2009
Government Delays New Ban on Internet Gambling
The Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve are giving U.S. financial institutions an additional six months to comply with regulations designed to ban Internet gambling.
The two agencies said Friday that the new rules, which were to take effect on Dec. 1, would be delayed until June 1 of next year.
A key Democratic opponent of the ban on online gambling praised the action and said it would give Congress time to overturn a law passed in 2006 when Republicans controlled Congress.
The delayed rules would curb online gambling by prohibiting financial institutions from accepting payments from credit cards, checks or electronic fund transfers to settle online wagers.
The financial industry complained that the new rules would be difficult to enforce because they did not offer a clear definition of what constitutes Internet gambling. They had sought a 12-month delay in implementing provisions of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act that Congress had passed in 2006.
The Bush administration issued regulations to enforce the law in November 2008 and had set Dec. 1, 2009, as the date financial institutions would have to begin complying.
However, in a joint notice Friday, Treasury and the Fed said that several members of Congress had sought a delay, arguing that there was considerable support for new legislation to clarify the current laws.
The two agencies said groups seeking a delay had provided sufficient reasons to justify a limited six-month postponement of the rules. Financial organizations including the American Bankers Association had sent the agencies letters supporting a petition filed by gambling industry associations seeking a delay.
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., praised Friday's announcement. He is sponsoring legislation that would roll back the 2006 law that bans financial institutions from handling transactions made to and from Internet gambling sites.
"This will give us a chance to act in an unhurried manner on my legislation to undo this regulatory excess by the Bush administration and to undo this ill-advised law," Frank said in a statement.
Frank's legislation would allow the Treasury Department to license and regulate online gambling companies that service American customers. Frank argues that online gambling should be legal as a matter of personal liberty and that the federal government could collect increased tax revenues if Internet gambling is regulated.
In September, a U.S. appeals court in Philadelphia upheld the 2006 law, rejecting a challenge from an association of offshore bookies that the federal prohibition was too vague and violated privacy rights.
U.S. bettors have been estimated to supply at least half the revenue of the $16 billion Internet gambling industry, which is largely hosted overseas.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Belichick Was Correct
New England coach Bill Belichick is taking a lot of heat for his decision to attempt a 4th down conversion late in the game against the Colts. Indianapolis came back to win in dramatic fashion. Was the decision a good one?
With 2:00 left and the Colts with only one timeout, a successful conversion wins the game for all practical purposes. A 4th and 2 conversion would be successful 60% of the time. Historically, in a situation with 2:00 left and needing a TD to either win or tie, teams get the TD 53% of the time from that field position. The total WP for the 4th down conversion attempt would therefore be:
(0.60 * 1) + (0.40 * (1-0.53)) = 0.79 WP
A punt from the 28 typically nets 38 yards, starting the Colts at their own 34. Teams historically get the TD 30% of the time in that situation. So the punt gives the Pats about a 0.70 WP.
Statistically, the better decision would be to go for it, and by a good amount. However, these numbers are baselines for the league as a whole. You'd have to expect the Colts had a better than a 30% chance of scoring from their 34, and an accordingly higher chance to score from the Pats' 28. But any adjustment in their likelihood of scoring from either field position increases the advantage of going for it. You can play with the numbers any way you like, but it's pretty hard to come up with a realistic combination of numbers that make punting the better option. At best, you could make it a wash.
Sunday, November 08, 2009
And then there were two...
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Merge Poker in Trouble - Not Paying Bills
The struggling Merge Poker Network reportedly owes $160,000 to a poker payment platform, PIC Club, Gambling911.com can reveal today. PIC Club has been trying to get its money since July and finally issued a deadline of this past Friday to be paid in full. PIC Club offered to take off $64,000 from that amount.
"Merge had a contract with us and we were giving them plenty of time to pay what was owed," said Chuck Kidd, head of PIC Club.
Chuck Kidd, CEO of PIC Club, responded: "The contract was ceased by Merge only after we set a deadline and threatened to cut them off if they didn't pay."
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