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We are back with another PokerGuru Gaming Report which is all about the legal and financial developments happening across the world. We start by reporting about BSE Listed Delta Corp’s stock price that is witnessing an all-time high of ₹338.90 after it registered a 319.1% gain year-on-year in their December 2017 quarter net profit.
Next, we talk about the online poker bill introduced in West Virginia and the Sports Betting Bill introduced in Indiana. Moving on, we have Melco Resorts and Entertainment that is keen on increasing its investments in the Philippines. Finally, we conclude our report with the story discussing the RAWA like letter received by US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Delta Corp Stock Price Hits Lifetime High
India’s largest gaming company and the only one to be listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), Delta Corp’s stock price hit a new record high of ₹338.90 on January 16 after the casino and gaming industry player logged a whopping 319.1% (year-on-year) rise in its third quarter (December 2017) with a net profit at ₹44.70 crore compared to the ₹10.7 crore in third quarter of last fiscal.
The stock remained among the top five gainers of the day on BSE. The stock has gained 147.33% or 197.35 points on yearly basis. Notably, the company’s stock has gained 7.72% or 23.75 points since 2018 began.
The firm's revenue rose to ₹155.97 crore in comparison to the ₹145.02 crore in second quarter of this fiscal. The revenue from its online gaming operations rose 18% to ₹28.4 crore in the third quarter compared to ₹24.1 crore in second quarter of current fiscal year.
Founded by Jaydev Mody, Delta Corp started as a real estate firm and gradually entered the hospitality and gaming segment. The firm operates three offshore casinos in Goa namely Deltin Royale, Deltin JAQK, and Deltin Caravela, the only floating hotel with a casino in India.
West Virginia May Legalize Online Gambling
Lawmakers in West Virginia are gearing up to take another shot at legalizing online gambling. A new version of bill H3067 was reintroduced this week. First introduced in March of last year, the bill if passed would allow its state casino industry to launch online gaming sites.
The primary sponsor of the bill is Democratic delegate Shawn Fluharty. He has also received support from co-sponsors Sean Hornbuckle, Mike Pushkin, Joseph Canestrato and Mick Bates.
Under Bill H3067, online gambling operators would have to pay an initial $50,000 licensing fee as well as a 14 percent tax on all gross gaming revenues. The bill also states that gamblers must be at least 21 years of age in order to make a wager and be physically located within the state of West Virginia.
Currently, there are almost 30 casinos operating in three of the five states that border West Virginia.
Poker players in West Virginia will have to take a wait-and-see approach on the reintroduced bill. The bill H3067 was originally introduced on March 15, 2017, but was declared all but dead two weeks later due to the lack of support.
Indiana Sports Betting Bill Introduced With ‘Integrity Fee’
Indiana State Representative Alan Morrison recently introduced a bill that would allow the state's riverboats, racinos and their satellite facilities to offer legal sports betting if the federal ban – the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) – is lifted. State Senator Jon Ford, introduced SB 405 and representative Morrison filed a companion bill in the Indiana House just three days after him.
The most notable and, frankly, surprising provision of House Bill 1325 (HB 1325) is the inclusion of an “integrity fee” that would give sports leagues a 1% fee on amounts wagered at state-licensed sportsbooks.
Also, under Ford’s proposal, operators would have to pay an initial fee of at least $500,000 for a sports betting license. Then they would owe an annual administrative fee of $75,000. Finally, the adjusted gross receipts on all wagering would be subject to a 9.25% tax. Ford estimates that this tax would bring between $3.1 and $18.8 million each year to state coffers.
The federal law that HB 1325 would violate is the PASPA, which effectively bans sports wagering outside Nevada. HB 1325 will not take effect unless Congress repeals PASPA or unless the Supreme Court rules in favor of New Jersey in Christie v NCAA, in which the state argued that PASPA is unconstitutional. A decision in that case is expected this coming spring.
Melco Plans to Increase Investments in the Philippines
Hong Kong based casino operator Melco Resorts and Entertainment is apparently planning to increase its investments in Philippines.
Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) chairman Andrea Domingo said chairman and CEO of Melco International and Melco Crown Entertainment Lawrence Ho along with Melco executives and Entertainment Gaming Asia officials, led by Clarence Chung, met with President Rodrigo Duterte to discuss future plans of investments in the country.
Domingo recalled Ho and Duterte discussing Melco’s new luxury brand NÜWA, which will soon replace the Crown Towers brand at luxury integrated resort and casino complex, City of Dreams Manila and City of Dreams Macau on January 16.
In September 2017, Ho said he was interested in acquiring PAGCOR casinos after the government announced its plans to sell 17 of its 46 casino properties. The government, however, moved its initial plan to sell PAGCOR-operated casinos to 2018 after failing to complete the plan, including the method of privatization.
US Deputy Receives RAWA-Like Letter by 4 US Congressman
Four Congressmen, Republican US Representatives Dan Donovan of New York, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Tom Garrett of Virginia, and Louie Gohmert of Texas have written and signed a letter (dated December 19) to the US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, asking him to reverse the Office of Legal Counsel’s clarification of the Wire Act from late 2011 which said that the Act only prohibited sports betting.
The letter evidently looks a lot like a letter signed by Senators Lindsey Graham and Dianne Feinstein about a month earlier. The larger truth is that both letters were almost certainly crafted by lobbyists in the employ of Las Vegas Sands Corporation and its CEO Sheldon Adelson who continues his war on the entire concept of legalized online gambling and online poker in America.
The Wire Act of 1961 states that sports betting over communications lines is illegal. While it makes sense that the Act would extend to internet sports betting, it doesn’t make sense that it should be extended to all online gambling, which is how the Department of Justice has interpreted it for years. Around Christmas 2011, the OLC clarified the interpretation of the Wire Act, explaining that it only applied to sports betting. This opened the door for states to legalize and regulate online gambling within their borders.
Adelson, to counter, crafted the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA), a short bill that would basically erase the OLC’s clarification and put into law the DoJ’s previous, incorrect interpretation of the Wire Act.