ICYMI: Jonathan Duhamel’s Ex Gets Jail, Las Vegas Sands Corporation Ups Ante Regarding Online Gambling

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While the 2013 World Series of Poker drives on (the $50,000 Poker Players Championship began yesterday and, on Saturday, the $10,000 Championship Event opens play), there has been some other news that has drawn some attention. In this edition of “ICYMI,” the Canadian court has finally sentenced Jonathan Duhamel’s ex-girlfriend and the Las Vegas Sands Corporation ups the ante on the online gaming question.

Bianca Rojas-Latraversed Sentenced In Duhamel Robbery

Last week, Quebec Court Judge Anne-Marie Jacques sentenced Bianca Rojas-Latraverse, the alleged mastermind behind the 2011 robbery of former World Champion Jonathan Duhamel, to 3½ years in jail. Rojas-Latraverse has already been in jail since her arrest in January for the crime, meaning that she will have an additional two years to serve out (she also was sentenced to three years probation).

Citing Rojas-Latraverse’s “behavior behind bars and her total lack of introspection,” Judge Jacques believed that the additional time was necessary. She also didn’t believe Rojas-Latraverse in that she had joined the plot to rob Duhamel only after the planning had been completed, stating that Rojas-Latraverse had “admitted that she wanted vengeance against (Duhamel), to do bad to him,” in sentencing her.

Duhamel and Rojas-Latraverse had begun dating following his 2010 victory in the WSOP Championship Event but, only six months later, the duo had what was thought to be an amicable split. That image was shattered when, prior to Christmas in 2011, two men burst into Duhamel’s condominium in Boucherville, Ontario and, after beating him severely, stole his WSOP Championship bracelet, a Rolex watch and approximately $115,000 (USD), which was predominantly in Euros.

Within a week of the break-in, Rojas-Latraverse and three male accomplices were arrested for the crime, with Rojas-Latraverse denied bail. She eventually would plead guilty to the charges against her in September, but sentencing was delayed after a jailhouse altercation injured Rojas-Latraverse. Police eventually would recover the Rolex, the badly damaged WSOP bracelet and about half of the money.

Although her sentencing seems to have ended the story, Rojas-Latraverse’s attorney, Sarah Desabrais, has stated that there is an appeal in the works. “We lost the battle, but we didn’t lose the war,” Desabrais stated after the decision was rendered.

Las Vegas Sands Creates Anti-Online Gaming Website

On Friday, the Las Vegas Sands Corporation fired the latest salvo in the battle over federal online gaming regulation, opening a website to push for a ban on the activity.

The website, StopInternetGambling.com, is paid for by the Las Vegas Sands Corporation and states that legalized online gambling “is a societal train wreck waiting to happen.” Not surprisingly, these are the same exact words that Sands Chief Executive Officer Sheldon Adelson used in an op/ed on Forbes.com to argue against federal regulation of the industry. “We urge state lawmakers to oppose internet gambling and we urge Congress to make it illegal nationwide,” the website’s final sentence reads.

Naturally, the outrage from the poker community regarding the stance by Adelson and the Las Vegas Sands Corporation has been loud. “If you’re a poker player, don’t play at any of the Sands’ properties,” poster “rebelfd” wrote on the pages at PocketFives. “Players really do need to stand firm and not visit the Venetian (the crowning jewel of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation’s properties in Las Vegas),” “ACheemz” wrote on PocketFives. “However, I can’t see this happening.”

There has been considerable talk regarding a boycott of the Sands’ properties but, as of yet, there has been no organization that has stepped up to push for such action. Much of the outrage has been expressed on message boards and on the Venetian’s Facebook page that promotes other non-gaming activities on the property. Whether the move by the Sands to create the website – or whether any potential player boycotts against the company – will have an effect is unknown at this time.

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