Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Apax Partners to assume control of Genius Sports Group Limited

World Casino News
Apax Partners to assume control of Genius Sports Group Limited

British private equity advisory firm, Apax Partners, has announced the signing of a definitive agreement that is to see it pay an undisclosed amount in order to assume a majority stake in sports data technology, distribution and integrity services firm, Genius Sports Group Limited. Existing team to remain in place: According to an official Monday press […]

Galaxy Entertainment Pays Forward IR Knowledge by Mentoring Japanese Students

CasinoGamesPro.com
Galaxy Entertainment Pays Forward IR Knowledge by Mentoring Japanese Students

Casino giant Galaxy Entertainment is willing to introduce a premium level of customer experience for the Japanese gambling field and this could easily happen with the help of its latest plan for the so-called GEG Japan-Macau Integrated Resort Management Mentorship Pilot Scheme. The program is set to provide students with the chance to enhance their […]

The post Galaxy Entertainment Pays Forward IR Knowledge by Mentoring Japanese Students appeared first on CasinoGamesPro.com.

Non-Gambling Investment Will Be Welcome on Boracay, President Duterte Spokesperson Says

Casino News Daily
Non-Gambling Investment Will Be Welcome on Boracay, President Duterte Spokesperson Says

New tourism projects would be welcome on Boracay when it opens after its six-month environmental cleanup, except casino resorts, a spokesperson for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has said in series of comments on the matter over the past few days.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque further told media during recent briefings that no private entities should challenge the President’s ban on developing casino gambling businesses on the popular tourist hub.

Boracay is undergoing an environmental rehabilitation after a review by environmental authorities found that multiple businesses discharged untreated water into the sea, thus polluting the surrounding environment and threatening the health of locals and visitors. It also became known that there were a number of illegal structures on the island, which President Duterte threatened to blow up.

Boracay was closed in late April and is expected to reopen for business on October 26. It has become clear from previous comments made by President Duterte and members of various government departments that the island might still look to attract international tourism. However, casino gambling would not be allowed, as repeatedly pointed out by the country’s top official.

The casino gambling comments have been made in relation to a recently announced project for the development of an integrated resort with a gaming floor. The project was introduced by Macau casino and hospitality operator Galaxy Entertainment Group and its local partner Leisure & Resorts World Corporation (LRWC). The two companies announced late last year that they planned to build a $550-million resort on the island.

They received a provisional license from PAGCOR, the Philippine gambling regulator, earlier this year and acquired a 23-hectare site where the property will be built. Commenting on Boracay’s closure and how this would affect their project, a LRWC official said over the weekend that the resort remained on track for 2021 opening, despite the island’s ongoing environment cleanup and the fact that no groundbreaking date has been decided on.

Casino Gambling a Vice

As mentioned above, President Duterte has been staunchly opposed to Galaxy and LRWC’s project and has reiterated his determination to stop that one as well as any other casino resort construction plan on the island from materialization.

The President’s spokesperson said in series of comments from the past few days that the official does not like casinos as they promote gambling, which is a vice and “contrary to good morals.”

The latest comments could mean that Boracay would still be open to business and international tourism after its cleanup is completed, despite previous statements made by President Duterte that the island could be subjected to an agricultural reform that would aim to return land to its residents.

The President has said that the government would have to decide how to determine who owns what portion of Boracay’s land and to make sure that the distribution of land would be fair.

The post Non-Gambling Investment Will Be Welcome on Boracay, President Duterte Spokesperson Says appeared first on Casino News Daily.

SoftGamings and SA Gaming announce partnership

Casino News Today
SoftGamings and SA Gaming announce partnership

SoftGamings and SA Gaming today announced the availability of SA Gaming online casino gaming software on the SoftGamings platform. SoftGamings is an online casino developer and gaming systems aggregator, which is growing fast and adding quality content to its products portfolio regularly. The company has signed an agreement with SA Gaming, a veteran of developing casino games, to offer a ...

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Monday, July 30, 2018

Choctaw Casino & Resort to host WPT

World Casino News
Choctaw Casino & Resort to host WPT

The World Poker Tour is back in Oklahoma in just a few days, as the Choctaw Casino & Resort will be hosting the WPT Choctaw event. Running from the 3rd to the 7th of August, the stop will mark the fourth year running that the WPT has traveled to Oklahoma for the main leg of […]

Bally’s, Harrah’s Launch Sportsbooks This Week In Atlantic City; Online To Follow Soon

Bally’s, Harrah’s Launch Sportsbooks This Week In Atlantic City; Online To Follow Soon
Harrah's

NJ sports betting begins at Bally's and Harrah's in Atlantic City this week. Caesars is rolling out sports betting at its properties in New Jersey and Mississippi with online sports betting next up.

The post Bally’s, Harrah’s Launch Sportsbooks This Week In Atlantic City; Online To Follow Soon appeared first on .

Caesars Ent Launches Sports Wagering at Four Casinos, Bally’s Atlantic City Today

CasinoGamesPro.com
Caesars Ent Launches Sports Wagering at Four Casinos, Bally’s Atlantic City Today

The time is now when it comes to sports betting across the states and this could be confirmed by major casino giant Caesars Entertainment which is set to launch sports wagering in two more locations in East Coast gambling hub Atlantic City as well as another two in Mississippi. According to the previously issued information, […]

The post Caesars Ent Launches Sports Wagering at Four Casinos, Bally’s Atlantic City Today appeared first on CasinoGamesPro.com.

Boracay Casino War Rages On: President Duterte Says ‘No’ to $550-Million Plan

Casino News Daily
Boracay Casino War Rages On: President Duterte Says ‘No’ to $550-Million Plan

There will be no casino on the island of Boracay, a spokesperson for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday, following recent comments by gaming and leisure company Leisure & Resorts World Corporation (LRWC) that their planned $550-million casino resort in the popular tourist hub was on track for 2021 opening.

LRWC partnered last year Macau casino giant Galaxy Entertainment Group for the development of the planned casino resort on the island. They received this spring a provisional gaming license from PAGCOR, the local gambling regulator. However, President Duterte ordered Boracay be closed for a six-month environmental cleanup at about the same time. The country’s top official also said multiple times that he would not allow casino gambling on the island after the completion of the rehabilitation process. Boracay was shuttered for business in late April and is expected to be reopened in late October.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said during a Monday briefing that President Duterte has remained firm in his decision to prevent the construction of casino resort on Boracay and that no private entity should be testing the political will of the country’s highest ranking official.

Mr. Roque further elaborated that Galaxy and LRWC only have a provisional license, which means that certain requirements should be met before the companies are able to operate casino gambling on the island. However, these requirements can never be fulfilled as President Duterte has previously said he would not allow that.

Casino On Track for 2021 Opening

Mr. Roque’s comments came in the wake of comments made by LRWC Vice President for Legal Affairs Katrina Nepomuceno regarding their joint project with Galaxy. Ms. Nepomuceno said over the weekend that they believe they will be able to launch the resort as originally planned in 2021, despite the island’s closure.

The official told media they were yet to decide on a groundbreaking date, but expressed confidence in the eventual materialization of the project. Ms. Nepomuceno further noted that they have been working closely with the Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources as well as with the special task unit responsible for the rehabilitation of the popular tourist hub to make sure that their plan would be implemented in full compliance with any future environmental requirements

The LRWC official said that they managed to complete an important phase of their project before Boracay was shuttered, which further boosted their confidence in the resort plan’s eventual realization. The local gaming and entertainment company and its Macau-based partner acquired a 23-hectare portion of land in the Barangay Manoc-Manoc area where they plan to build the $550-million casino resort that would aim to attract high roller casino patrons and non-gambling customers from the Asia-Pacific region.

It is yet to be seen who will emerge as the winner in what now seems very much like a war between the two gaming and leisure companies and President Duterte. Earlier this year, the top official ordered that PAGCOR place a moratorium on the construction of new casinos in the country to prevent the proliferation of gambling. However, it became known last week that Hong Kong-listed integrated resort developer and operator Landing International Development has been granted a provisional gaming license by the Philippine regulator to build a casino resort in the Manila Bay area.

The post Boracay Casino War Rages On: President Duterte Says ‘No’ to $550-Million Plan appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

GVC Holdings in merger talks with MGM Resorts

World Casino News
GVC Holdings in merger talks with MGM Resorts

Isle of Man-based online gambling company, GVC Holdings, has reportedly confirmed it is engaged in talks regarding a merger with global hospitality and entertainment company, MGM Resorts International (MGM:New York). According to Sky News … The owner of British-based betting and gambling company, Ladbrokes Coral Group plc, will this week or as soon as Monday, […]

Pachinko remains king for Japanese gamblers

World Casino News
Pachinko remains king for Japanese gamblers

In Japan, pachinko reportedly remains the most prevalent form of gambling with the amount spent by players enjoying the vertical pinball-like slot machines regularly topping approximately $200 billion every year. Revenues double earnings from automobile exports: According to a Thursday report from The Independent newspaper, the Japanese pachinko sector annually takes in about twice what […]

Ireland’s Revenue Declares War on Dublin’s Illegal Casinos

Casino News Daily
Ireland’s Revenue Declares War on Dublin’s Illegal Casinos

Ireland’s Revenue has issued enforcement letters to a number of illegally operating casino facilities across Dublin giving them 21 days to remove gambling machines from their premises, The Times reported earlier this week.

News about the government agency launching a crackdown against illegal operations arrived after an investigation by The Times showed that a number of Dublin-based arcades have used their licenses to operate gambling machines, thus breaching a 1988 citywide ban on the latter devices.

Under the long-standing prohibition, no licenses for gambling machines can be issued to facilities located within city limits. However, The Times reported last month that a number of arcade facilities are violating that ban and are using their arcade machine licenses to operate gambling machines.

According to Revenue definitions, arcade/amusement machines are games that gives players the chance to win no more than an opportunity to play again or a non-monetary prize the value of which is worth no more than €7. The Times found that the gambling machines at some of the arcade premises across Dublin offered players the opportunity to wager up to €2,500 on casino-style games such as video poker, roulette, and blackjack. Such premises now have 21 days to remove all gambling machines or face seizure of those.

Industry Responds to the Looming Crackdown

The Irish Amusement Trades Association (IATA), which represents both licensed and unlicensed arcades, has responded quickly to the pending crackdown, saying that it was considering legal actions against Revenue’s ruling. The association has long been lobbying for the ban on casino-style gambling in Dublin to be lifted.

IATA General Secretary John Roche has previously said that Ireland’s current gambling laws are archaic and are violating directives of the European Union in relation to the provision of gambling services across member states. Ireland’s gambling industry is regulated under the Gaming and Lotteries Act which took effect back in 1956.

Irish lawmakers have been working for years on a piece of legislation that would replace the obsolete regulations, but not much progress has been made so far.

A Revenue spokeswoman has told The Times than any operator of gambling machines without the necessary license or using an arcades license to operate gambling machines would have their machines seized and would be prosecuted. IATA maintains that they can face down the taxman in court and even win, citing recent European Court of Justice rulings, under which any laws restricting gambling to certain areas in a given country should be reviewed if they are applied properly.

According to a 2015 study by Gaming and Leisure Association Ireland the issuance of arcade licenses is cheaper than of gambling machine ones and by favoring the former, the country is thus losing revenue. The study also said that of all 7,559 arcade licenses issued, around 5,000 were actually used for gambling machines that offered cash prizes.

The post Ireland’s Revenue Declares War on Dublin’s Illegal Casinos appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Gamenet Group SpA purchasing rival GoldBet

World Casino News
Gamenet Group SpA purchasing rival GoldBet

Italian gaming operator Gamenet Group SpA has reportedly announced a deal that is to see it pay out approximately $310 million in order to purchase all of the capital in domestic rival GoldBet. Combined entity to be ‘clear leader’ in Italy: According to a report from iGamingRadio.com, Guglielmo Angelozzi, Chief Executive Officer for Rome-headquartered Gamenet […]

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Controversy At FanDuel Sportsbook Leads To Questions, Concerns As NFL Season Nears

Controversy At FanDuel Sportsbook Leads To Questions, Concerns As NFL Season Nears
fanduel sportsbook

A couple late MLB games lead to confusion and disgruntlement at FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands this week, but football season is just around the corner.

The post Controversy At FanDuel Sportsbook Leads To Questions, Concerns As NFL Season Nears appeared first on .

Pennsylvania Family-Run Illegal Video Poker Scheme of 30 Years Comes to an End

CasinoGamesPro.com
Pennsylvania Family-Run Illegal Video Poker Scheme of 30 Years Comes to an End

Pennsylvania is known as one of the booming centers of development when it comes to its gambling industry and it is not a secret to anyone that this could come with illegal operation taking place as well. The latest court action against an illegal gambling organization involves an entire family participating in the management of […]

The post Pennsylvania Family-Run Illegal Video Poker Scheme of 30 Years Comes to an End appeared first on CasinoGamesPro.com.

Boracay Casino Resort Still On Track to Open in 2021 Despite Ongoing Hurdles

Casino News Daily
Boracay Casino Resort Still On Track to Open in 2021 Despite Ongoing Hurdles

A planned casino resort on Boracay is on track to be launched in 2021, despite the Philippine island’s closure for environmental rehabilitation, a representative of one of the companies behind the project told local media.

News emerged last December that Macau gaming and hospitality giant Galaxy Entertainment Group had partnered Philippine leisure and entertainment company Leisure and Resorts World Corp. (LRWC) to build together a $550-million integrated resort on the island of Boracay. It was announced earlier this year that Galaxy has received a provisional gaming license from the Philippine gambling regulator, PAGCOR, for the operation of a casino at the planned property.

At the same time, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the closure of the island for a six-month environmental cleanup, following a probe into the environmental state of the popular tourist hub. The probe found that local businesses were discharging untreated waste water into the sea and that there were multiple illegal buildings across the island. Boracay was closed on April 26.

Responding to news that Galaxy and its local partner were planning to build a casino on the island, President Duterte has repeatedly said that he would not allow that.

Despite the President’s vows to prevent the plan from materializing and the island’s closure, LRWC is confident that the resort is on track to open by 2021, as originally planned. The company’s Vice President for Legal Affairs Katrina Nepomuceno said Friday that the environmental cleanup is not delaying the project as they were able to finish what they had to finish before Boracay’s closure.

It became known earlier this year that Galaxy and its local partner have obtained a 23-hectare site in the Barangay Manoc-Manoc area. Ms. Nepomuceno said that a land survey has proven that the portion of land was alienable and disposable.

Working Closely with Environmental Regulators

The LRWC official further explained that they have been working closely with the Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), which is in charge of the ongoing rehabilitation process, as well as with other government agencies, and that they are getting updates on the process from the Boracay task force.

Ms. Nepomuceno also told media that they want to be sure their project is fully compliant with the government’s environmental requirements.

Asked when construction on the resort is expected to begin, the official said that they are yet to decide on the official start of the development process but that they believe the 2021 targeted opening is still achievable despite the island’s closure. Ms. Nepomuceno further pointed out that she is confident in the future materialization of their plan because President Duterte has said that he wants to keep Boracay popular with tourists and they are offering an opportunity for that to happen.

The LRWC official also said Friday that they are yet to receive confirmation from the Department of Agrarian Reform about a recently announced planned for Boracay to be placed under an agrarian reform that would aim to hand land across the island to its natives.

The post Boracay Casino Resort Still On Track to Open in 2021 Despite Ongoing Hurdles appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Reconsideration of Brockton, Mass casino on hold until September

World Casino News
Reconsideration of Brockton, Mass casino on hold until September

A Thursday decision by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission will see a request to reconsider its 2016 rejection of a proposed $700 million casino on the Brockton Fairgrounds (pictured) put on hold until September. According to Mass Live… Developer Mass Gaming & Entertainment petitioned the commission in June to revisit its application and to do so “without […]

Friday, July 27, 2018

Operators reaffirm their interest in coming Japanese casinos

World Casino News
Operators reaffirm their interest in coming Japanese casinos

Following last week’s passage of the Integrated Resort Implementation Bill, three of the world’s largest gambling operators have reportedly reaffirmed their interest in running one of Japan’s coming trio of integrated casino resorts. According to a Thursday report from GGRAsia, the past seven days have seen leading figures at Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited, Las […]

Betsoft Gaming releases Dragon Kings slot

Casino News Today
Betsoft Gaming releases Dragon Kings slot

Feel the power of the four seas in Dragon Kings slot, the new, feature-packed, video game from Betsoft Gaming.  A remix of an ancient legend, Dragon Kings brings Chinese mythology to life with a crisp, modern aesthetic Asian-inspired music, and a collection of special features. Offering tiered, progressive jackpots and free spins, Dragon Kings slot has many unique features lying ...

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Simon Lam Takes Down Inaugural WPT Gardens $5,000 Main Event

Casino News Daily
Simon Lam Takes Down Inaugural WPT Gardens $5,000 Main Event

Simon Lam is the brand new member of WPT’s club of Main Tour Main Event champs. The player outlasted the 584-strong field of the inaugural edition of the WPT Gardens Poker Festival $5,000 Main Event for his first title from the popular poker series.

He collected a payout of $565,055 and a brand new 2018 Mercedes-Benz SLC Roadster (valued at around $50,000). The player also secured a $15,000 ticket into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions.

The final day of the WPT Gardens Main Event was played on Thursday at the Gardens Casino in Hawaiian Gardens, California. Lam came into that final day as the chip leader among a total of six survivors who comprised the official final table.

The first levels of the day saw poker pro Jake Schindler take the lead and extend the gap between him and his fellow contenders. Schindler then lost some of his momentum and what followed next was a fierce war for the chip lead between Men Nguyen and Lam. That war lasted hours and extended into three-handed play.

During that key and lengthy stage of the final table, the chip lead exchanged hands between Nguyen and Lam, and Schindler occasionally managed to double through his two remaining opponents to get ahead of them for a while. It was the elimination of Nguyen in third place that put an end to the mad three-handed race. The player collected $270,430 for his performance.

Heads-Up Duel

Lam was the chip leader at the time heads-up between him and Schindler kicked off. And the player never really lost his momentum, despite his opponent’s efforts to improve.

The two-handed match began with Lam holding 19.2 million in chips to Schindler’s 4.175 million. The two players battled it out for 11 hands until Hand #164 of the six-handed final table was dealt. It saw Lam raise to 600,000 pre-flop and Schindler call.

The [Js][7c][2c] landed on the flop. Schindler checked, while Lam bet 500,000 to see his opponent check-raise to 1.5 million. Lam spent the next 30 seconds thinking what to do next and eventually shoved. Schindler snap-called for his last 4.675 million, tabling [Jd][8d] for a pair of jacks. Lam turned [Jc][9s] for pocket jacks but with a higher kicker. Blank [3h] on the turn and [2d] on the river sealed it for Lam and sent Schindler to the rail. The tournament’s runner-up finisher collected $366,740.

Craig Varnell finished fourth in the WPT Gardens Main Event for $201,615. Saya Ono took home $151,995 for her fifth-place finish. Jared Griener went out in sixth place for $115,885.

The first ever WPT Gardens Main Event saw 584 entries who created a prize pool of $2,944,800. The top 73 finishers received a portion of the money.

The WPT is next heading to Choctaw Casino & Resort in Durant, Oklahoma for the second poker festival on its 2018/19 schedule. That festival’s Main Event take place on August 3-7. It features a $3,700 buy-in fee and a guaranteed prize pool of $1 million.

The post Simon Lam Takes Down Inaugural WPT Gardens $5,000 Main Event appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Tacoma; Puyallup Tribe’s new mega casino to open Dec. 2019

World Casino News
Tacoma; Puyallup Tribe’s new mega casino to open Dec. 2019

In Washington state, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians presented the Tacoma City Council with an update on its planned $370 million Emerald Queen Casino [I-5]. According to The News Tribune… The Tuesday presentation informed the council that the 310,000 square foot facility will be ready to welcome visitors by December 2019. Construction well underway: Situated […]

Thursday, July 26, 2018

India’s Lawmakers Unlock Gambling Field for Cryptocurrency Transactions

CasinoGamesPro.com
India’s Lawmakers Unlock Gambling Field for Cryptocurrency Transactions

The world of cryptocurrencies and their vast application throughout a wide variety of fields could be defined as groundbreaking, which is something acknowledged by the lawmakers of India as well. It has been confirmed that the Law Commission of India is taking virtual currencies into account and their implementation in the gambling and other industries […]

The post India’s Lawmakers Unlock Gambling Field for Cryptocurrency Transactions appeared first on CasinoGamesPro.com.

Simon Lam Leads WPT Gardens Main Event Final Table

Casino News Daily
Simon Lam Leads WPT Gardens Main Event Final Table

The WPT Gardens $5,000 Main Event final table was set early today after a long Day 4 of the tournament. Six players are set to return later today at the host venue, the Gardens Casino in Hawaiian Gardens, Southern California, to play down to a champion.

The winner will take home a nice payout of $565,055, including a $15,000 seat into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions, and a brand new Mercedes-Benz SLC Roadster worth over $50,000.

Simon Lam is leading the final pack of six players after the fourth day of play. The overnight chip leader had accumulated a stack of 6.155 million by the end of Day 4 action to pack with a considerable advantage over his fellow contenders for the title. Popular poker pro Jake Schindler bagged the second largest stack, good for 4.45 million.

This will be Lam’s second WPT Main Tour Main Event final table. Back in 2016, the player finished 4th in the $3,500 buy-in WPT Borgata Poker Open Main Event, good for his best live tournament cash of $250,970. Overall, Lam has nearly $1.4 million in earnings from various live tournaments.

Day 4 Action

Day 4 of the WPT Gardens Main Event kicked off with 46 hopefuls still in contention. Saya Ono was leading the survivors. While the local player failed to keep her lead throughout the day, she managed to secure her spot at the official final table. She currently occupies the fifth spot in the temporary leaderboard with a stack of 3.445 million, good for 57 big blinds. In other words, even though she stands near the bottom of the chip counts chart, she is still running pretty deep.

The Day 4 hopefuls first played to the unofficial final table of nine. Men Nguyen was holding the largest chip stack when that stage of the game was reached with 3.635 million. The remaining nine survivors were then relocated to a single table. It took 98 hands of play for the official six-handed final table to be reached.

Nguyen maintained quite some momentum halfway through those 98 hands. However, to everyone’s surprise the player fell asleep at the table and spent more than 20 hands in that state. He eventually woke up, but Lam was already gaining momentum by that time and was eying the top of the leaderboard.

Despite his unexpected nap, Nguyen made it to the official final table with the third largest stack among the remaining survivors. The player will enter the final day of action with 3.935 million or 66 big blinds.

Aside from the chip leader, Lam, Schindler, Nguyen, and Ono, Jared Griener with 3.875 million and Craig Varnell with 1.955 million were the other two players to make it to the tournament’s official final table.

Six-handed action is slated to kick off today at 4 pm local time at the host venue. The hopefuls will play down to a champion. Each of them is guaranteed a minimum cash of $115,885.

The post Simon Lam Leads WPT Gardens Main Event Final Table appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Provisional license for fifth Entertainment City integrated casino resort

World Casino News
Provisional license for fifth Entertainment City integrated casino resort

Chinese real estate firm, Landing International Development Limited, has announced that one of its subsidiaries has been granted a provisional gaming license for the new integrated casino resort it is planning to build in the Philippines. Hong Kong-listed Landing International Development Limited revealed via an official filing (pdf) that its wholly-owned Landing Resorts Philippines Development Corporation […]

KamaGames Reports More Strong Results For H1 2018

Casino News Today
KamaGames Reports More Strong Results For H1 2018

KamaGames, the largest European social mobile poker operator, today announced its half year results for H1 2018. The results show continued growth and success by every metric with DAU (Daily Active Users) increasing 2-fold in H1 2018 compared to H1 2017 and gross revenue growing by 53% in the same period from an already strong base of $57.5 million as ...

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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Exclusive Interview with PlayOJO’s Ohad Narkis on UK Gambling Industry’s Challenges

Casino News Daily
Exclusive Interview with PlayOJO’s Ohad Narkis on UK Gambling Industry’s Challenges

For its latest online gambling industry interview Casino News Daily has reached out to Ohad Narkis from PlayOJO, an innovative online casino that launched last year and is aiming to challenge the big industry names. Having previously worked for some of the global gambling industry’s powerhouses, including PokerStars and Scientific Games, Mr. Narkis is now using his knowledge and experience in the field to build a brand that places fairness and transparency at its core.

The UK gambling space is one of the main markets PlayOJO has been targeting since it went live. What are the challenges facing a new operation in the highly competitive UK online gambling environment? How is PlayOJO handling competition? And how does it make sure that its is fully compliant with the wave of regulatory reforms in the UK gambling industry from the past several years? Mr. Narkis has provided answers to these and many other important questions and has offered our readers an insight into how PlayOJO believes customers should be treated and industry challenges should be approached.

Operating an online casino business in the current environment of extreme competition, rising costs, and growing regulatory pressure must be really hard. What are the biggest challenges a new casino comes across when it goes live?

I would say that the biggest challenge of all is to cut through the noise in the market. The UK market is extremely competitive, very fragmented and is dominated by several well-established brands, some of which are high-street brands that have been around for years. To break into this cluttered market takes a lot of effort, preparation and much thought about how to differentiate yourself and stand out in the 3 key levels – Product, Brand, and Value proposition.

Without these major considerations and a creative and cut-through marketing strategy, it would be hard for any new brand to launch into a market and build any kind of significant market share. The growing compliance and regulatory pressure makes things even more challenging for a new casino. As far as PlayOJO goes, we believe that as operators we have a responsibility to our players and this is why we decided to challenge the market on some of its core shortfalls relating to fairness and transparency. With our fairness implementation, we’ve created a win win situation for both our players as well as for our business.

In what ways does PlayOJO stand out from its competition?

We’ve established PlayOJO to challenge the perception of the market. The outdated way of how things were being done was creating friction with customers and a greater level of mistrust within the industry. In order to address this fundamental inherent issue, we wanted to create a brand that is very transparent and fair. This is why we created a completely new value proposition with PlayOJO; we scrapped all the traditional bonus systems and created a new platform where customers could interact with us and not have concerns about things like funds availability or bonus money.

We wanted to create a brand that looked and felt different to any other brand. The name itself is not even a traditional casino name as we wanted to steer clear of using words like “luck” or “spins” that scream casino. The same goes for the visual brand elements being gender neutral, warm and welcoming. We treat players as our friends and this comes across in our playful and fun tone of voice and the way that we communicate with them.

Your bonus rewards system is a bit different from what is usually offered at online casinos. Can you elaborate more on how you approach new customers and how you reward them?

Keeping our players loyal is of essence and that’s why we came up with features like OJOPlus – a money-back mechanism which gives players back a percentage of their wager every time they bet, whether they win or lose. Unlike other casinos, it’s not a promotional offer but an inherent part of our value proposition which is active 24/7 and of course paid in cash.

On the same note, we don’t believe in luring our players in with too-good-to-be-true match deposit bonuses. Instead, we reward them for actually playing, using our levels system and the OJO Wheel, which they can spin by reaching new levels or just as a surprise extra perk. At PlayOJO, all funds are available for customers to play or withdraw at any time and without any restrictions. We do not impose painful wagering requirements on our players and we set no max win limit – they are in control.

The UK is the largest regulated iGaming market, but it has become a bit of a challenge to operate there due to competition and regulatory pressure. What are your personal views about that market and its current state?

The UK market is becoming much more challenging to operate in, particularly because of the increased regulatory pressure, some of which is understandable and actually very positive. It took extra attention and enforcement from the Gambling Commission and the likes of CMA and CPA to pave the way for operators to be more upfront about how they operate.

There was much non-transparency in the market between customers and operators that became a problem. I believe that it’s very positive that regulators are now pushing for operators to clean up their acts and give customers more control over their money and their play. This is a fundamental and welcome change in the way that the industry operates and I anticipate that it will take some time for the industry to adapt.

The UK Government announced started taxing freeplays last summer. How has this affected your operations in the country?

To be honest, it didn’t have a significant impact on our operations because we only launched a few months before the change to taxation calculation took place so were able to plan for it from the outset. Because we’re less bonus-heavy, the introduction of tax on bonuses didn’t impact our bottom line in a significant way.

The UK Gambling Commission has slapped massive fines on a number of operators for compliance failures over the past year. How do you make sure that all aspects of your UK-facing business are compliant with the growing number of requirements?

Along with the entire industry, we have learned a lot from these high-profile cases of certain operators, some of which who were were charged with failings within crucial operational functions. In an environment where the Gaming Commission keeps raising the bar when it comes to Responsible Gaming, KYC and Customer Protection, we need to stay one step ahead of the game so that our players stay protected.

This last year we’ve seen a greater endorsement in operators being challenged to be more socially responsible. The significant fines that the Gambling Commission has imposed onto operators clearly shows that much more attention, time and resources need to be devoted into internal processes. These should include rigorous checks for customers’ sources of funds, AML prevention, preventing instances where self-excluded players are marketed to via 3rd party channels and very importantly, ensuring that players are not encouraged to play beyond their financial means.

We actually introduced several new safety measures that identity unusual playing patterns very early on in the player’s life-cycle. These involve a very efficient KYC process, including source of fund authorisation, play monitoring and in certain cases, a total suspension of play activities. This is something we have seen across the industry and it has impacted VIP players in particular. Our VIP player numbers have actually decreased over the last months which is simply due to these suggested measurements, but we feel that this is the only way for responsible operators to operate.

You have quite unique approach to responsible gambling. Can you tell us more about your focus in that area?

We’ve created an environment where players feel secure because there is nothing hidden in our terms and conditions and they have full control of their money, which is held in a single cash account. It’s about being socially responsible in terms of how we communicate with players and the fact that everything is upfront for them makes them feel protected.

All of our marketing is based around this idea – in fact our new marketing campaign is based around our fairness message. There is no other operator that has built an entire brand or campaign around being fair and with this initiative we hope to educate the industry as well as the customers by setting the “fairness bar” of how players should be treated in the industry. It’s a long-term goal that requires a great deal of resources, patience and stamina because changing perceptions in an industry that has been operating for many years with low-trust levels is not something that can be done overnight.

The matter of social responsibility goes beyond the UK for us. PlayOJO operates in a number of different markets and one of our fastest growing markets is in Sweden, where we launched at the beginning of 2018 with exactly the same propositions and “fair” brand promise.

Despite the fact the market there is still unregulated and the industry does not face the same pressures from regulators, our perception of how we believe the industry should operate remained intact. With the knowledge that the Swedish market will re-regulate at the beginning of 2019, we anticipate that the Swedish Gambling Authority will follow in the same footsteps as the UK Gambling Commission as far as getting operators to clean up their acts. Therefore, we see ourselves as the pioneers of a fair casino promise in Sweden, setting that “fairness bar” high as we have done in the UK and demonstrating how we believe operators should treat their customers, in a socially responsible and fair way.

The post Exclusive Interview with PlayOJO’s Ohad Narkis on UK Gambling Industry’s Challenges appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Integration sees Wazdan go live with EveryMatrix

World Casino News
Integration sees Wazdan go live with EveryMatrix

In December 2017, major casino games producer, Wazdan, agreed a deal to integrate its award-winning content onto the EveryMatrix’s CasinoEngine platform. Per the agreement, the producer’s portfolio of innovative online slots, which players can enjoy on desktop, tablet and mobile, will now be made available to the UK-headquartered firm’s network of operators. According to the […]

Crown Melbourne Poker Championship Brings the Bling Next Wednesday

CasinoGamesPro.com
Crown Melbourne Poker Championship Brings the Bling Next Wednesday

The poker field is set to witness a brand new and exciting wave of cash prizes with the help of the soon-commencing Crown Melbourne Poker Championship poker festival which is going to transform the upcoming weeks into some of the most exciting ones in the Land Down Under. Crown Melbourne Casino and Hotel is going […]

The post Crown Melbourne Poker Championship Brings the Bling Next Wednesday appeared first on CasinoGamesPro.com.

Exclusive Interview with PlayOJO CEO Ohad Narkis on UK Gambling Industry’s Challenges

Casino News Daily
Exclusive Interview with PlayOJO CEO Ohad Narkis on UK Gambling Industry’s Challenges

Ohad Narkis is the CEO of PlayOJO, an innovative online casino that launched last year and is aiming to challenge the big industry names. Having previously worked for some of the global gambling industry’s powerhouses, including PokerStars and Scientific Games, Mr. Narkis is now using his knowledge and experience in the field to build a brand that places fairness and transparency at its core.

The UK gambling space is one of the main markets PlayOJO has been targeting since it went live. What are the challenges facing a new operation in the highly competitive UK online gambling environment? How is PlayOJO handling competition? And how does it make sure that its is fully compliant with the wave of regulatory reforms in the UK gambling industry from the past several years? Mr. Narkis has provided answers to these and many other important questions and has offered our readers an insight into how PlayOJO believes customers should be treated and industry challenges should be approached.

Operating an online casino business in the current environment of extreme competition, rising costs, and growing regulatory pressure must be really hard. What are the biggest challenges a new casino comes across when it goes live?

I would say that the biggest challenge of all is to cut through the noise in the market. The UK market is extremely competitive, very fragmented and is dominated by several well-established brands, some of which are high-street brands that have been around for years. To break into this cluttered market takes a lot of effort, preparation and much thought about how to differentiate yourself and stand out in the 3 key levels – Product, Brand, and Value proposition.

Without these major considerations and a creative and cut-through marketing strategy, it would be hard for any new brand to launch into a market and build any kind of significant market share. The growing compliance and regulatory pressure makes things even more challenging for a new casino. As far as PlayOJO goes, we believe that as operators we have a responsibility to our players and this is why we decided to challenge the market on some of its core shortfalls relating to fairness and transparency. With our fairness implementation, we’ve created a win win situation for both our players as well as for our business.

In what ways does PlayOJO stand out from its competition?

We’ve established PlayOJO to challenge the perception of the market. The outdated way of how things were being done was creating friction with customers and a greater level of mistrust within the industry. In order to address this fundamental inherent issue, we wanted to create a brand that is very transparent and fair. This is why we created a completely new value proposition with PlayOJO; we scrapped all the traditional bonus systems and created a new platform where customers could interact with us and not have concerns about things like funds availability or bonus money.

We wanted to create a brand that looked and felt different to any other brand. The name itself is not even a traditional casino name as we wanted to steer clear of using words like “luck” or “spins” that scream casino. The same goes for the visual brand elements being gender neutral, warm and welcoming. We treat players as our friends and this comes across in our playful and fun tone of voice and the way that we communicate with them.

Your bonus rewards system is a bit different from what is usually offered at online casinos. Can you elaborate more on how you approach new customers and how you reward them?

Keeping our players loyal is of essence and that’s why we came up with features like OJOPlus – a money-back mechanism which gives players back a percentage of their wager every time they bet, whether they win or lose. Unlike other casinos, it’s not a promotional offer but an inherent part of our value proposition which is active 24/7 and of course paid in cash.

On the same note, we don’t believe in luring our players in with too-good-to-be-true match deposit bonuses. Instead, we reward them for actually playing, using our levels system and the OJO Wheel, which they can spin by reaching new levels or just as a surprise extra perk. At PlayOJO, all funds are available for customers to play or withdraw at any time and without any restrictions. We do not impose painful wagering requirements on our players and we set no max win limit – they are in control.

The UK is the largest regulated iGaming market, but it has become a bit of a challenge to operate there due to competition and regulatory pressure. What are your personal views about that market and its current state?

The UK market is becoming much more challenging to operate in, particularly because of the increased regulatory pressure, some of which is understandable and actually very positive. It took extra attention and enforcement from the Gambling Commission and the likes of CMA and CPA to pave the way for operators to be more upfront about how they operate.

There was much non-transparency in the market between customers and operators that became a problem. I believe that it’s very positive that regulators are now pushing for operators to clean up their acts and give customers more control over their money and their play. This is a fundamental and welcome change in the way that the industry operates and I anticipate that it will take some time for the industry to adapt.

The UK Government announced started taxing freeplays last summer. How has this affected your operations in the country?

To be honest, it didn’t have a significant impact on our operations because we only launched a few months before the change to taxation calculation took place so were able to plan for it from the outset. Because we’re less bonus-heavy, the introduction of tax on bonuses didn’t impact our bottom line in a significant way.

The UK Gambling Commission has slapped massive fines on a number of operators for compliance failures over the past year. How do you make sure that all aspects of your UK-facing business are compliant with the growing number of requirements?

Along with the entire industry, we have learned a lot from these high-profile cases of certain operators, some of which who were were charged with failings within crucial operational functions. In an environment where the Gaming Commission keeps raising the bar when it comes to Responsible Gaming, KYC and Customer Protection, we need to stay one step ahead of the game so that our players stay protected.

This last year we’ve seen a greater endorsement in operators being challenged to be more socially responsible. The significant fines that the Gambling Commission has imposed onto operators clearly shows that much more attention, time and resources need to be devoted into internal processes. These should include rigorous checks for customers’ sources of funds, AML prevention, preventing instances where self-excluded players are marketed to via 3rd party channels and very importantly, ensuring that players are not encouraged to play beyond their financial means.

We actually introduced several new safety measures that identity unusual playing patterns very early on in the player’s life-cycle. These involve a very efficient KYC process, including source of fund authorisation, play monitoring and in certain cases, a total suspension of play activities. This is something we have seen across the industry and it has impacted VIP players in particular. Our VIP player numbers have actually decreased over the last months which is simply due to these suggested measurements, but we feel that this is the only way for responsible operators to operate.

You have quite unique approach to responsible gambling. Can you tell us more about your focus in that area?

We’ve created an environment where players feel secure because there is nothing hidden in our terms and conditions and they have full control of their money, which is held in a single cash account. It’s about being socially responsible in terms of how we communicate with players and the fact that everything is upfront for them makes them feel protected.

All of our marketing is based around this idea – in fact our new marketing campaign is based around our fairness message. There is no other operator that has built an entire brand or campaign around being fair and with this initiative we hope to educate the industry as well as the customers by setting the “fairness bar” of how players should be treated in the industry. It’s a long-term goal that requires a great deal of resources, patience and stamina because changing perceptions in an industry that has been operating for many years with low-trust levels is not something that can be done overnight.

The matter of social responsibility goes beyond the UK for us. PlayOJO operates in a number of different markets and one of our fastest growing markets is in Sweden, where we launched at the beginning of 2018 with exactly the same propositions and “fair” brand promise.

Despite the fact the market there is still unregulated and the industry does not face the same pressures from regulators, our perception of how we believe the industry should operate remained intact. With the knowledge that the Swedish market will re-regulate at the beginning of 2019, we anticipate that the Swedish Gambling Authority will follow in the same footsteps as the UK Gambling Commission as far as getting operators to clean up their acts. Therefore, we see ourselves as the pioneers of a fair casino promise in Sweden, setting that “fairness bar” high as we have done in the UK and demonstrating how we believe operators should treat their customers, in a socially responsible and fair way.

The post Exclusive Interview with PlayOJO CEO Ohad Narkis on UK Gambling Industry’s Challenges appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

SBTech as the Registration Sponsor at CEEGC Budapest

Casino News Today
SBTech as the Registration Sponsor at CEEGC Budapest

SBTech is once again the Registration Sponsor at CEEGC Budapest, now at its 3rd edition. The third edition of Central and Eastern European Gaming Conference and Awards will be held on the 25th of September at the Ritz-Carlton in Budapest. The organizers are honored to once again have the support of leading sports betting service provider, SBTech, as the “Registration ...

The post SBTech as the Registration Sponsor at CEEGC Budapest appeared first on Casino News Today.

Meadowlands Racetrack Sees Roaring Success over Two Sports Betting Weekends

CasinoGamesPro.com
Meadowlands Racetrack Sees Roaring Success over Two Sports Betting Weekends

New Jersey has no shortage of gaming offerings at the moment, especially once sports betting was legalized and many casino operators in the region were already prepared to make a move. The first nine days of operation for one Meadowlands Racetrack were more than successful as the location managed to rake in some $3.5 million […]

The post Meadowlands Racetrack Sees Roaring Success over Two Sports Betting Weekends appeared first on CasinoGamesPro.com.

The NJ Sports Betting Market Is A Little More Crowded Now

The NJ Sports Betting Market Is A Little More Crowded Now
several people riding on a bike

Six casinos submitted applications for sports betting before the deadline, putting the total number of N.J. casinos who are already running sportsbooks or have applied to run a sportsbook at eight of nine.

The post The NJ Sports Betting Market Is A Little More Crowded Now appeared first on .

Two More Casino Operators Whip Out Tentative Deals for 650 Las Vegas Workers

CasinoGamesPro.com
Two More Casino Operators Whip Out Tentative Deals for 650 Las Vegas Workers

Las Vegas recently witnessed the arrangement of one of the latest tentative agreements in the gaming field which would secure the working positions of employees working at Four Queens Hotel and Casino as well as Binion’s Gambling Hall and Hotel. This brings the unionized workers’ saga one step further to its completion and ensures that […]

The post Two More Casino Operators Whip Out Tentative Deals for 650 Las Vegas Workers appeared first on CasinoGamesPro.com.

Monday, July 23, 2018

NBA Betting Ban Could Cost Golden Nugget Owner Millions in New Jersey

NBA Betting Ban Could Cost Golden Nugget Owner Millions in New Jersey
golden nugget sports betting

Golden Nugget will be getting into NJ sports betting, but it will be facing a big disadvantage over other sportsbooks in the state.

The post NBA Betting Ban Could Cost Golden Nugget Owner Millions in New Jersey appeared first on .

Tennessee Plays Waiting Game for Sports Betting Legalization amid Support Expressed

CasinoGamesPro.com
Tennessee Plays Waiting Game for Sports Betting Legalization amid Support Expressed

The state of Tennessee still has a long way to go when it comes to sports betting and its potential legalization but as neighboring states to the likings of Mississippi, Arkansas, and Kentucky are already working towards introducing such offerings to their players action should be taken. At the most recent Governors Debate, two Democratic […]

The post Tennessee Plays Waiting Game for Sports Betting Legalization amid Support Expressed appeared first on CasinoGamesPro.com.

Thai Police Continue Clamping Down on Illegal Betting after World Cup

Casino News Daily
Thai Police Continue Clamping Down on Illegal Betting after World Cup

Thai and Chinese police busted last week another illegal online gambling operation in Thailand, Thai police officers announced earlier today.

In a joint operation, police from the two countries arrested 34 individuals, most of whom Chinese nationals, on illegal gambling charges as well as for the alleged operation of an illegal financial operation.

Thai Deputy Tourism Police Chief Pol Maj-Gen Surachet Hakpal disclosed more details about the latest nabbing of an illegal gambling ring in the country at a press conference held today at the headquarters of the Royal Thai Police. The official said that Chinese police cooperated in catching the 34 suspects, of whom 24 were Chinese nationals.

Thai police raided last Friday as many as 14 locations in Bangkok, Phuket, Nonthaburi, and Chon Buri. Nineteen of the arrested individuals were suspected to be part of call center gangs; 17 of them were from China, one was from Vanuatu and the other from Myanmar.

Another 15 individuals were detained for their alleged ties with online gambling gangs. Nine of them were Chinese nationals, while three were from Myanmar and the other three were from Northern Thailand.

Most of the arrested suspects were based in Phuket, which is known to be among Thailand’s largest tech hubs. Pol Maj-Gen Surachet said today that they targeted mostly Chinese victims via the WeChat messaging app.

Record Number of Gambling-Related Arrests During World Cup

Football and betting on football matches is particularly popular in Thailand, even though the latter activity is strictly prohibited under the country’s gambling laws. Gearing up for the expected increase in betting activity, Thai police set up a special center that was tasked with clamping down on illegal gambling ahead of and during the Russia World Cup.

Police officers announced last week that three times as much gambling arrests were made during the 2018 edition of the major sporting event than four years ago when it took place in Brazil. As many as 15,007 gamblers, including three individuals under 18, were arrested in the period between May 1-July 15, 2018, Thai police revealed. In addition, 695 illegal gambling operators and 166 gambling ticket runners were also nabbed during the above period. Assets and cash seized by police during raids totaled BHT51.2 million.

The largest number of bettors who were wagering money with illegal gambling operations were caught ahead of and during the World Cup final between France and Croatia. A total of 1,000 people were nabbed on illegal gambling charges related to that match, police revealed.

In comparison, the 2014 World Cup saw the arrest of 4,679 gamblers, 258 individuals providing illegal sports betting services, and 127 ticket runners. Police also seized THB12.4 million in cash during gambling-related raids.

The post Thai Police Continue Clamping Down on Illegal Betting after World Cup appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Macau Readies for New Gaming Regulations ahead of Casino License Auction

CasinoGamesPro.com
Macau Readies for New Gaming Regulations ahead of Casino License Auction

Macau’s gambling landscape is set to witness heated development with a proposed amendment to the regulations currently overseeing the field as casino licenses renewal looms over operators. With the help of this proposed change in the status quo, gaming permits renewal is expected to take place in a smoother manner, potentially opening the door for […]

The post Macau Readies for New Gaming Regulations ahead of Casino License Auction appeared first on CasinoGamesPro.com.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Camel Rock Casino agrees licensing deal with VizExplorer

World Casino News
Camel Rock Casino agrees licensing deal with VizExplorer

Provider of operational intelligence (OI) solutions to the casino industry, VizExplorer, recently announced that it had entered into a new licensing agreement to initiate deployment of its campaignViz and floorViz solutions at the Camel Rock Casino in New Mexico. Highly competitive market: Owned and operated by the Pueblo of Tesuque, the entertainment facility opened in 1995. […]