OPC Recap: Horse Tracks Tout Experience in iGaming; Poker Pro Rick Salomon Accused of California Tax Evasion

Horse race

One of the biggest obstacles in achieving a consensus around a California online poker bill is whether the horse tracks should be allowed to open up their own iGaming sites. Tribes like the Pechanga Band assert that allowing the horse racing operators into the industry would break the compact which Indian tribes have with the state government that only allows for gambling on tribal lands.

Josh Rubenstein, COO of Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, recently told OnlinePokerReport that the horse tracks deserve a seat at the online poker table. “The horse racing industry has exclusivity with web-based gaming in California,” Rubenstein said. “It’s a big part of what we do. We’re pretty good at it.”

Earlier this month, a coalition of tribes sent a letter to Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer protesting the language in his online poker bill, AB 167. “While AB 167 is intended to legalize internet poker throughout California, it does so by expanding poker to horseracing facilities at the expense of tribal nations that have a demonstrated history of responsible gaming,” said the letter.

But the horse tracks believe that their experience taking online bets should allow them to open their own online poker sites. “We’ve operated it in a regulated fashion since 2001, everything from age verification to protecting the customer’s identity and making sure transactions are completed in a very timely manner,” said Rubenstein. “You can make the argument [horse] racing is as qualified as anyone in this forum.”

Poker Pro Rick Salomon Accused of California Tax Evasion

Former Baywatch star Pam Anderson has had a tumultuous relationship with high-stakes poker player Rick Salomon. The couple tied the knot in 2007 but then had the marriage annulled just a few months later. Then the pair reconciled and got remarried in 2014, but now Anderson was another divorce.

Lashing out at her estranged husband, Anderson claims that Salomon has failed to pay tax to the state of California on $40 million he won from heads-up matches with billionaire real estate mogul Andy Beal.

Solomon file taxes as a resident of Nevada, which does not collect state income tax. But Anderson says that in reality, the couple lived in Malibu, California, a state which levies a 13% income tax. In order to avoid that burden, Salomon allegedly set up a system in order to trick the IRS into believing that he made his money in Nevada.

She claims that Salomon owns a house in Las Vegas, which he bought for $4 million cash, and regularly sends assistants to make purchases with his credit card in Nevada, in order to prove that he did indeed live there.

Andy Beal is well-known for playing the best poker players in the world at the highest possible stakes. Earlier this year, Todd Brunson went head-to-head with Beal, taking the billionaire for $5 million.