PayPal gets subpoena from NY Attorney General





NEW YORK, July 12 (Reuters) – Internet payment provider PayPal Inc. said it received a subpoena from the New York state attorney general’s office related to its activities in the Internet gambling market, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

The company said the attorney general’s office had asked for information about online gambling payments that occur through the company’s network, and it would co-operate.


PayPal on Monday accepted a $1.5 billion buyout offer from eBay (nasdaq: EBAY – news – people), which supplies more than 60 percent of PayPal’s clients.


At the time of the announcement eBay Inc. said it would cease the business PayPal does with Internet gambling firms when the online auctioneer completes its proposed acquisition.


EBay said it decided to close the gambling business, which accounts for 8% of payments on the PayPal network, because of uncertainty surrounding regulation of that market.


Sands abandons ‘loosest slots’ title, marketing


ATLANTIC CITY – Sands’ 20-month reign as king of the city’s loosest slot machines is over.


The casino that all last year made “loosest slots” a cornerstone of its marketing program now has average payouts to gamblers. All of its slot machines together returned 91.92 percent of the money wagered in June, matching the citywide average, according to Casino Control Commission statistics released Friday.


Resorts topped the chart with a 92.16 percent payout, barely ahead of Trump Marina and Tropicana.


“It’s not a goal of ours to have the loosest slots, although we want to be among the loosest,” Resorts President Audrey Oswell said. “From month to month it can fluctuate depending on the mix of business and games on the floor.”


Two factors have caused Sands’ lower payout percentage: A tightening of its existing nickel, quarter, half-dollar and dollars slots, and the addition of 280 nickel slots. Lower-denomination slots typically pay out less than the higher denominations.


In March, Sands’ slots paid out nearly 1 percent more than they did last month. The UFA change hasn’t affected business, said Harvey Perkins, vice president of operations.


“I don’t believe a customer can tell the difference in pricing,” he said. “You would have to play a slot machine through a whole cycle, through millions of decisions (handle pulls), then play exactly the same slot machine at another club, through another millions of decisions, to see a pricing difference.”


Casinos and slot manufacturers set the games to pay back certain percentages over the game’s cycle. A casino’s overall payout percentage varies each month, usually by less than a half-percentage point.


Sands began offering the city’s best payouts immediately after billionaire investor Carl Icahn became majority owner in October 2000. Its highest companywide payout during the loosest-slots campaign was 93.41 percent in December, the same month former President Alfred Luciani was asked to resign.


The payouts gradually lowered after Herbert Wolfe took over in March. Perkins said it is “to be determined” whether Sands will ultimately have high, average or low slot payouts.


With all Atlantic City casino slot payouts usually within 1.5 percent of each other, Oswell said few gamblers select their casinos by payout rate alone.


“I think the customers are sensitive to the total value they receive from the property, including the payout on the games, the cash back (rewards) and other promotions the property has to offer,” she said.


Through the first half of this year the citywide slot payout was 91.95 percent. The annual overall slot payout rate has risen over the previous year’s in 20 of 23 years.