Happy freaking New Year everyone! Jay Todd back after my two weeks off for the holidays. I could have used three weeks off, but whatever. Let’s get caught up with all the gambling news we’ve missed while I was away with this week’s big stories!
For the 51st year in a row we have a new World Series of Poker champion! The 2020 WSOP wrapped up over the first weekend of 2021 at the Rio Casino in Las Vegas, and the winner is: Damien Salas of Argentina! Wait… the guy’s not even an American? Mr. Salas took home just north of $2.5 million American dollars following a lengthy heads-up battle with Joseph Herbert of Louisiana. And hey. Louisiana is almost America!
Also new for 2021 is that online gambling is expected to go live in the state of Michigan sometime this month. And as exciting as that news is, the real story here is that Michigan will also allow interstate online poker! That means, my friends, that Michigan will allow online poker play across state lines. So poker players in Michigan can play at regulated online poker sites in other states… and players in other states can play at regulated online poker sites in Michigan! Of course the only states to allow interstate online poker right now are Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware… and now of course Michigan. But hey, it’s a step in the right direction. And perhaps other states will see the example that Michigan has set and follow suit.
Also making New Year’s gambling news headlines is sports betting out of California and New York state. More on that after the break. Plus, yet another major Las Vegas casino and resort has decided to shut their doors for midweek operations.
Sports betting has spread quickly all across the U.S. following the Supreme Court decision a couple years ago. Now the activity is legal and regulated in over half the states in the nation… and counting! While betting on sports is legal at New York state land-based casinos, legislators there have been trying to get online sports betting legislation passed for years… without success! However, now it appears they may have gained a very important ally: Governor Andrew Cuomo has now stated that he would welcome legislation to regulate internet sports betting within his state. And I’m quite certain that it has something to do with the $60 billion deficit they’re facing! But I’m just guessing!
Another state with a multi-billion dollar deficit problem is California, where sports betting has been a hot point of contention and political debate for years. Now, however, it looks like Tribal Gaming is spearheading a push toward the regulation of the activity. They circulated a petition in the state which garnered 1.4 million signatures in support of the legalization of sports betting in California, and that’s enough to get it on a ballot for a vote. Unfortunately that ballot and that vote won’t come until the year 2022.
Finally this week, we began our show with gambling news in Las Vegas we might as well end the show in Las Vegas, where the Mirage Resort has become the latest resort casino to announce they’re closing their doors Monday through Thursday as a result of lack of tourism because of the coronavirus. So, if you’re planning a vacation anytime soon and want to go to Vegas, you probably better make it a weekend trip.