U.S. prosecutors are showing how seriously they’re taking their “War on Gambling”: Bail has been denied for Ira Rubin, an alleged online poker payment processor who was nabbed in Guatemala and brought to New York to await trial.

If you think that sounds a bit dramatic, you’re not the only one. “This entire case is a little bit of overkill,” Rubin’s attorney said. “This is the U.S. war on gambling as opposed to the U.S. war on terrorism. I don’t think this is a good use of taxpayer resources.”

New lobbyists for fantasy sports
In another indication that, hey, you know, some online gambling is fine, the Fantasy Sports Trade Association has hired a lobbyist to help get fantasy sports betting “legalized in the nine to 12 states where running or participating in a league could be considered illegal,” reports TheHill.com.

Nevada governor signs online gambling bills
At least two bills that could pave the way for legal online gambling in Nevada have been signed by that state’s governor, Brian Sandoval.

“Assembly Bill 294 removes a prohibition on the use of mobile gaming devices in hotel rooms or sleeping areas,” reports the Las Vegas Sun. “Another bill, AB 258, directs the Nevada Gaming Commission to adopt regulations to permit internet gambling if and when the federal government approves it.”

“Assemblyman William Horne of Las Vegas says AB258 will make Nevada a licensing model if and when the federal government legalizes online gambling,” adds the Reno Gazette-Journal.

California getting desperate
As California ramps up its own plans to regulate online gambling, leaders there may be in a more desperate situation then ever before. Yesterday, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a state budget plan.

That means Brown will have to come up with a new budget plan, and he’ll need Republican support. That’s an opportunity for the two California online poker bills, sponsored by Senators Rod Wright and Louis Correa, to take another shot at legalization.

Lawmakers in Massachusetts are closely watching Barney Frank’s (and Joe Barton’s) efforts to regulate online gambling on a national level. Current gambling regulatory plans in the Bay State may be stalling because lawmakers want to see what happens with national internet gambling laws, realizing that regulated igaming could undercut projected land-based casino revenues.

Last week, Treasurer Steven Grossman “asked the State Lottery Commission to set up a task force to study potential effects of online gambling on lottery and keno sales,” reports Boston.com.

“Nobody knows where this is going. Nobody knows when or if we’re going to have Internet gambling,” Grossman said. “But I want to make sure that we protect ourselves.’’

As we reported last week, D.C. is having some second thoughts about its plan to regulate online gambling, scheduled to go live on a free basis next month and with real money in September. A hearing has been scheduled for June 29 to see if that really happens.

“Issues include the troubling way the measure was enacted last year; it was slipped into the city’s supplemental budget with no hearing or debate and with no apparent regard for the cautions of the city’s chief financial officer and attorney general,” explains the Washington Post.

“Not only is there uncertainty over whether federal law permits this kind of online gaming, but there are significant technical issues, factors that have caused other states to shy away from authorizing it.”

Related posts: