Former Mohegan Sun Pocono Exec Sentenced to 32 Months for Bogus Loyalty Card Scheme

A executive that is former the Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania has been sentenced to 32 months for his part in a scheme that involved the casino’s slot machines and creating bogus loyalty benefits.

Casino fraudster Robert Pellegrini (seen right here in December after pleading bad) will be investing in dapper matches for inmate orange during a 32-month prison sentence. He will also need to spend near to a half-million dollars in restitution to the casino where he once worked.

Robert Pellegrini was VP of player development for the Mohegan Sun when he and two other people concocted a scheme to bilk his companies by using customers’ stolen loyalty card PIN numbers to play for free, allowing the gang to keep the winnings. The operation went from May 2014 to April 2015, before Pellegrini ended up being busted.

It was the role of Rochelle Poszeluznyj, a cocktail waitress, to notice down players’ loyalty card PIN numbers as she served them beverages, before passing them onto Pellegrini, who would create copies of the cards which he then packed with free slot money. Then it absolutely was Mark Joseph Heltzel, a person whom had formerly been caught cheating at blackjack but was mysteriously not banned, whom posed as a regular customer and used the cards to play slots, splitting the winnings among the group.

The court was told how the trio utilized $478,100 in free slot play to build $418,793 in illicit winnings.

Problem Gambler

‘I’m a problematic man,’ Pellegrini, who claims to be always a issue gambler, told the judge. ‘I’ve made mistakes in my life, this being the greatest,’ he said. ‘I didn’t steal to cover my bills. It had been to guide my gambling.’

When asked how a gambler that is compulsive hold down a high-profile job at a casino, Pellegrini responded: ‘in which do you think casino workers go on their days off? They head to other gambling enterprises.’

The scheme was uncovered when a dealer during the Mohegan Sun Pocono, who was simply apparently in love with Poszeluznyj, spilled the beans to authorities, because he viewed Heltzel as a rival on her behalf affections.

Getting Busy

Prosecutor Michelle Olshefski countered Pellegrini’s assertion that he had perhaps not stolen for greed, noting that although the scam was ongoing, he had a huge selection of thousands of dollars into the bank, in addition to a amount of assets. She said phone records proposed he was the ringleader of the scheme and because he had ‘bills to pay. that he regularly told their accomplices to ‘get busy”

Nevertheless, Senior US District Judge A Richard Caputo departed from sentencing directions after hearing impassioned pleas from his family members and character testimonies suggesting he had been of otherwise good character.

Pellegrini must also pay $478,350 in restitution to his former employer. He could have received because much as 20 years in prison.

Poszeluzny and Heltzel have actually both pleaded responsible and are due to be sentenced at a later date. Heltzel faces 175 mostly felony counts of theft, identity theft, criminal conspiracy, and winning by fraud. His bail was set at $500,000, but was paid off to $150,000, with all the understanding that he would surrender any firearms and pay just 10 percent of the bond to walk free until their sentencing date.

Federal Trade Commission Moves to Block DraftKings-FanDuel Merger

The usa federal government took first steps toward quashing a proposed merger between day-to-day fantasy sports leaders DraftKings and FanDuel, contending the transaction would create an illegal monopoly that controls 90 percent for the DFS market.

FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles (left) and DraftKings CEO Jason Robins (right) argued that the merger was in the most effective interests of DFS players, but FTC administrators disagreed. (Image: Vanity Fair)

On the Federal Trade Commission, in conjunction with the Offices of the Attorneys General of California and Washington DC, filed a suit in federal district court to seek an injunction to halt the deal friday.

‘ We are disappointed by this decision and continue to believe that the merger is within the most readily useful interest of our players, our organizations, our employees additionally the dream sports industry,’ said DraftKings CEO Jason Robins and FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles in a joint statement. ‘ We are considering all our options at this right time.’


The FTC claims the deal as it had been taking shape would violate Section 7 associated with the Clayton Act, which prohibits mergers and acquisitions that would in effect create a monopoly, and Section 5 of the FTC Act, which makes it illegal to engage in ‘unfair or misleading functions or practices in or affecting commerce.’

Eventually, the FTC refused to swallow DrafKings’ and FanDuel’s core argument that daily dream sports comprised merely a small part associated with much wider fantasy sports market, dominated by the season-long variety.

The commission concluded that DFS customers do not see season-long as a ‘meaningful substitute’ for DFS.

‘This merger would deprive customers of the substantial advantages of direct competition between DraftKings and FanDuel,’ said Tad Lipsky, Acting Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition.

The FTC contends that neither brand new entrants in the DFS business, nor any future expansion by existing operators, is likely to produce meaningful competition, as the two businesses hold a combined 90 percent market share that is estimated.

Love-Hate Relationship

DraftKings and FanDuel announced their intentions to merge last November, following months of speculation. As competitors, they spent an estimated $750 million trying to out-market one another, according to ESPN, while offering a broadly similar item.

Meanwhile, both companies have struggled after experiencing growth that is initially explosive. Regulatory uncertainty and legal challenges have actually plagued the industry from belated 2015 onward, which is on that front where the two businesses think together they are able to wage the fight that is strongest.

Tough Fold: Legal Online Poker Off the Table in New York for 2017

The State Assembly in nyc will never be passing a bill to legalize online poker before the chamber adjourns this Wednesday, June 21. That is according to the NY constant News, which spoke to Assemblyman Gary Pretlow (D-Westchester), the prime sponsor of legislation that would’ve made the fourth many populous state the fourth state to own game that is online.

The web poker dream team in nyc, State Sen. John Bonacic (left) and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow say they shall carry on their push for legal on-line poker in 2018. (Images: State of New York)

Assembly Bill 5250 desired to redefine Texas Hold’em and Omaha as games of skill rather than chance, a distinction that is key would’ve allowed both games to be played online.

But Pretlow changed their tune that is optimistic going the last week of legislative session, telling proponents to withhold their enthusiasm. ‘There was some opposition,’ Pretlow said. ‘We’ll pick it up year that is next than likely.’

Year Better Luck Next

The Poker Players Alliance (PPA), the lobbying that is leading for internet poker in Washington, DC, explained that the 2017 campaign in New York should give players plenty to cheer about.

‘This year the bill perhaps not only easily passed the Senate, but also for the time that is first an iPoker bill passed an Assembly committee. This is progress,’ the PPA said in a social networking post.

Pretlow is at the forefront of trying to end internet poker prohibition into the Empire State. The Democrat first introduced the topic into his chamber back in 2014, and throughout the last 3 years, he’s remain committed to advancing the discussion.

State Sen. John Bonacic County that is(R-Orange led the battle in the New York Senate, with much more success.

His companion bill earlier this thirty days found a full vote on the Senate floor and simply passed, 53-9. But once brought to the Assembly to be merged with Pretlow’s bill, it stalled in the Standing Committee on Codes.

A hurdle that is key exactly how to handle ‘bad actors,’ such as PokerStars, a significant supporter regarding the bill, who accepted electronic payments from New York customers even after the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 prohibited it.

Another roadblock for 2018 is conventional wisdom that has found bills associated with gambling tending to not go during election years.

Population Control

On the web poker in the United States has largely been a breasts since 2011. That was the Department of Justice issued an opinion that the longstanding Wire Act, which banned many kinds of gambling through the transmission of phone lines, applied only to sports betting.

That meant that individual states were liberated to license and regulate gaming that is online except sports betting. Though the DOJ under Attorney General Jeff Sessions has toyed with the basic idea of re-evaluating the 2011 opinion, thus far efforts to restore the wire work with specific prohibitions on all forms of on line gambling have also fallen flat.

But still, only three states have actually legalized some forms of on the web gambling, plus the fairly little populations of Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware have actuallyn’t quite allowed the poker to fully understand its online potential.

New York, but, stood to notably shake up the poker that is online, with almost 20 million residents that may potentially more than double the size associated with the overall American player pool, while also encouraging other states to move forward with legislation of the own.

Pennsylvania, the fifth many state that is populous immediately behind New York, is the next market to watch. The Keystone State is considering an extensive expansion of gambling and overhaul that is regulatory and there legalizing internet poker is a possibility nevertheless on the table.

Florida Seminole Tribe’s Bond Credit Rating Upgraded by Moody’s, Fitch

The Seminoles of Florida are likely to save a lot of money in the months that are coming after bond and credit history services Moody’s and Fitch both upgraded the tribe’s bank debt and bond credit ratings.

The Seminole Tribe’s seven gambling enterprises in Florida, handled by gaming administrator Jim Allen, can borrow money at reduced interest rates, after Moody’s and Fitch upgraded the American that is native group ratings. (Image: Miami Dolphins)

Moody’s Investment Services upgraded the Florida tribe’s current term debt and bonds rating to Baa2, and its Special Obligation Bonds to Baa3. While those increases are welcomed news to the Seminoles, the classifications are still described as ‘non-investment grade’ speculations.

However, it inches the Tribe’s financial obligation and bonds nearer to investment-grade securities, and even the tiniest bump into the Moody’s rating ladder represents huge savings in terms of interest compensated to lenders.

‘The ratings improvements, affirmations and strong new ratings are superb news for the Seminole Tribe of Florida even as we look toward a good, stable future,’ Seminole Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr. said in a presser. Seminole Gaming CEO Jim Allen added that the upgrades ‘will conserve vast amounts by helping to keep borrowing costs low.’

Bullish on Gaming

Although the Moody’s news had been cheery, things are looking even brighter for the Seminoles at Fitch. The ratings agency upped its categorization for the Tribe’s gaming unit to Better Business Bureau.

Where companies level according to the top credit assessors is key to how much they will be paying lenders. This chart shows how countries rate overall. (Image: World Economic Forum)

According to Fitch, the distinction that is investment-grade according to a favorable gambling environment in the Sunshine State, and the Seminoles’ ‘steady, positive operating trends when compared with more flat growth seen in other US gaming markets.’

The Tribe has borrowed $2.4 billion to repay outstanding term loans and fund expansions at its Hollywood and Tampa casinos. ‘These enhanced and renewed investment-grade ratings … helps Seminole Gaming to continue as you of the world’s many gaming that is profitable,’ Allen added.

Both ratings agencies additionally credited the tribe’s ongoing commitment to pay for video gaming taxes to Tallahassee, despite not having a legitimate compact with Florida.

Stalled in State’s Legislature

The state’s legislature did not arrived at terms over an arrangement that is new because of the House seeking to help keep gambling in its current status, although the Senate sought to expand gaming and put slots at dog and horse racetracks in eight counties.

The top chamber also wanted to allow the Seminoles to provide craps and roulette, in trade a commercial casino resort to be built in either Broward or Miami-Dade Counties. Moody’s and Fitch thinks the tribe’s continuing to spend video gaming revenue could play into its favor during upcoming compact negotiations.

Bonds Explained

A bond is a debt investment issued by businesses to investors who provide the entities money. They are different from stocks, in that the lender isn’t acquiring ownership within the borrower’s business.

The issuing of bonds takes place whenever a business requires to boost money. Bonds in many cases are seen as fixed-income securities, while the companies issuing them agree to spend either a variable or interest that is fixed to lenders.

The interest rate depends upon just how long the financing duration is, the number of annual payments towards the lender, and most importantly, the credit quality of the bonds, particularly, the chance from the loan.

Moody’s and Fitch reducing the long-lasting danger for the Seminole Tribe’s bonds means rates of interest will slightly diminish, as well as on $2.4 billion, that equates to millions of dollars conserved.

Touchdown for Redskins, as Supreme Court Overturns ‘Disparaging’ Trademark Patent Office Ruling

In a major ruling that reverses a longstanding statute, the United States Supreme Court has sided aided by the Slants, an Asian-American rockband that was denied a trademark by the US Patent and Trademark Office on the grounds that the name was disparaging to people of Asian lineage.

The Washington Redskins trademark wasn’t renewed in 2015 by the US Patent and Trademark Office, but the Supreme Court says the statutory law is on the NFL team’s side. (Image: Ann Heisenfelt/Associated Press)

Composing in the majority viewpoint, Justice Samuel Alito declared, ‘ The market that is commercial well-stocked with merchandise that disparages prominent figures and groups, and the line between commercial and non-commercial speech is not always clear. If affixing the label that is commercial the suppression of any message that will lead to governmental or social ‘volatility,’ free message could be put at risk.’

Three years ago, online recreations books had the odds of Washington being forced to replace the team’s name at around Yes (+300), No (-500). The bookmakers got it right as is often the case.

The ruling is a touchdown for Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder. Snyder has repeatedly refused to rename the NFL franchise, despite intense public scrutiny and even after multiple Native American groups said they found the team name become disparaging.

In 2014, 50 US Senators, 48 Democrats, and two Independents, signed a letter sent to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell asking the league to force the Redskins to rebrand. The document requested the league’s ownership deliver the message ‘that racism and bigotry don’t have any accepted place in professional sports.’

What is in a Name?

Should the Supreme Court have seen the full case an additional light, the fallout could have been far-reaching. In US activities, there is a host of potentially team that is controversial.

In Major League Baseball, there’s the Indians and Braves, and some have a problem with the Yankees designation. Within the NBA, there’s the Boston Celtics, characterized by an overweight, pipe smoking Leprechaun. There is the NFL Kansas City Chiefs and Minnesota Vikings, and in college sports, the Spartans, Trojans, Scots, and Irish are among potentially ‘negative’ names in NCAA programs that are athletic.

Of course, one man’s ‘offensive’ is another’s ‘who really cares?’ Cases in point:

The NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders are coming to town, albeit maybe not until 2020. The Oakland franchise was initially going to be called the Señors, but had been changed to the Raiders in 1960. Can a guy in a football helmut with eye area and swords on either side of his head be looked at unpleasant? The Vegas Golden Knights are coming to try out within the NHL this fall. Are knights an indication of white privilege? Classist elitism? Imperialist conquering? The Crusades?

It’s all in how it is seen by you, and the High Court states additionally it is all within the bounds of free speech.

Talk Freely

The Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) had denied the Slants’ application by citing the Lanham Act. The 1946 federal statute requires trademark requests to do not be disparaging in nature, and to avoid falsely suggesting a ‘connection with people, living or dead, organizations, thinking, or nationwide symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute.’

The PTO tried to make the argument that trademarks are government speech, as they’re qualifying by the agency that is federal. Justice Alito rejected that reasoning, saying, ‘It offends a bedrock First Amendment concept: Speech might not be banned on the ground that it expresses ideas that offend.’

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