Sunday, September 30, 2018

1X2 Network partners with WeAreCasino

World Casino News
1X2 Network partners with WeAreCasino

A new partnership between 1X2 Network and new game developer and aggregator, WeAreCasino, will see the availability of the UK-based independent software company’s innovative online slots, virtual games and table games offering increased. According to the official press release… In addition to a broad range of popular titles from the supplier’s subsidiaries, Iron Dog Studio […]

Andrew Jacobs Leads after WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Southern Indiana Event #2 Flight B

Casino News Daily
Andrew Jacobs Leads after WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Southern Indiana Event #2 Flight B

Flight B of the second event on the schedule of the ongoing WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Southern Indiana live poker festival was completed last night. The second of two starting flights provided interested players with a final chance to register into the $400 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament.

As registration was closed, organizers were able to confirm the size of the event’s overall field as well as the prize pool and the places paid. As many as 763 entrants registered into the $400 No-Limit Hold’em Re-Entry. They generated a prize pool of $251,790. The top 81 finishers will leave with a cash from the event, with minimum payouts starting from $627. The champion will collect $50,359 and a WSOP Circuit gold ring.

And here is the place to mention that after Flights A and B, there are now as many as 93 players left in contention. Of them, 34 survived from Day 1A and the other 59 from Day 1B. The survivors from the two starting flights will combine together for the first time today when the final day on the tournament’s schedule is slated to be played.

Action resumes at 2 pm local time at Horseshoe Southern Indiana. The remaining hopefuls will have a long day ahead as they will have to first burst the money bubble, then to set the official final table, and finally to determine the champion.

Andrew Jacobs Emerges as Overall Chip Leader after Successful Day 1B

The remaining survivors will be led by Andrew Jacobs who bagged and tagged the largest stack after the end of Flight B. The player collected a total of 393,000 to top last night the Flight B and the overall chip counts chart, ending the reign of Day 1A chip leader Nicholas Pupillo (pictured). Pupillo now ranks second in the temporary leaderboard with a total of 389,500 in chips.

As it can be seen, Jacobs’ advantage is very tiny, and it is rather curious whether he will pull further ahead at the start of Day 2, or it will be Pupillo or another player from the 93 survivors who will assume the chip lead.

As mentioned earlier, action is scheduled to resume at 2 pm local time. It is also interesting to note that Pupillo is playing for his third WSOP Circuit gold ring. The player topped the field of a WSOP Circuit Main Event and of another tournament in previous seasons of the popular poker series to capture his first two pieces of gold.

Horseshoe Southern Indiana is playing host to the fifth WSOP Circuit stop of the 2018/2019 season. The ongoing live poker festival will run through October 8, when Day 3 of the $1,700 Main Event is to be played and the name of the Main Event champ is expected to become clear. The highlight tournament is slated to kick off on Friday, October 5 with the first of two starting flights.

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Saturday, September 29, 2018

Tribal Cher-Ae Heights Casino Expansion Stirs the Pot in Trinidad, Public Seeks Answers

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Tribal Cher-Ae Heights Casino Expansion Stirs the Pot in Trinidad, Public Seeks Answers

Casino expansion might be well its way for the gaming location overseen by the Cher-Ae Heights Indian Community of the Trinidad Rancheria, as it was recently revealed, This Thursday offered the community an opportunity it thoroughly review the proposed plan and get to know it better, as well as ask any questions they might have […]

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Online Casino Innovator 2018 award for Wazdan

World Casino News
Online Casino Innovator 2018 award for Wazdan

Online casino games and solutions developer Wazdan has announced that it was awarded with the Online Casino Innovator 2018 accolade during the Central and Eastern European Gaming Conference (CEEGC) on Tuesday. Talent affirmation: Licensed by regulators in Malta and the United Kingdom, Wazdan used an official Thursday press release to declare that the award has strengthened […]

Nicholas Pupillo Eyes Third WSOP Gold Ring at Horseshoe Southern Indiana

Casino News Daily
Nicholas Pupillo Eyes Third WSOP Gold Ring at Horseshoe Southern Indiana

Horseshoe Southern Indiana is the host casino of the latest WSOP Circuit stop on the series’ 2018/2019 calendar. Poker festivities at the gambling facility kicked off on September 27 with a single-day $400 No-Limit Hold’em, the field of which was topped by Corey Hodgeman for his first-ever WSOP Circuit cash of $15,873 and a gold ring.

The second gold ring tournament on the schedule started on Friday at the host venue. The $400 buy-in event began with the first of two starting flights and drew as many as 278 tournament entrants. The second starting flight is slated to be played today from 11 am. It will provide a last chance for interested players to join the event’s field.

The total amount of $91,740 was generated on Day 1A and it will be added to the money generated during the second starting flight of the tournament to comprise together the overall prize pool. And the prize pool itself as well as the places paid and how much the winner will collect will be announced upon the beginning of Day 2 on Sunday.

Of the 278 participants who registered for the tournament on Day 1A, there were just 34 players left at the time organizers called it a day on Friday at Horseshoe Southern Indiana.

The Day 1A Chip Leader

The remaining 34 survivors will have a day off today, while the second starting flight is being played. They will resume play on Sunday when the fields of Day 1A and Day 1B will combine for the very first time to play down to a champion.

Nicholas Pupillo finished off Day 1A as the chip leader. The player bagged and tagged 389,500 in chips last night to top the temporary chip counts chart after a particularly good run throughout the day. Charles Dawson with 245,500 and Kendall Staggs with 229,000 were the other two players to make it top three of the Day 1A leaderboard.

It is interesting to note that Pupillo is eyeing his WSOP Circuit gold ring number three. He won his first piece from the series in 2015 when he bested the field of a $580 No-Limit Hold’em event. He also collected a cash prize of $15,600 for his triumph back then. Gold ring number two arrived last fall when he emerged victorious in the $1,675 Main Event at Thunder Valley Casino. His victory also secured him with a payout of $170,286.

Over the course of his career, Pupillo has cashed in 36 WSOP Circuit tournaments and seven WSOP ones and has collected cash prizes of more than $512,083 from the two major poker series. It is to be seen whether the player will manage to score his third WSOP Circuit victory.

Action at the host casino resumes at 11 am local time and Day 2 action will kick off on Sunday at 2 pm at Horseshoe Southern Indiana.

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Friday, September 28, 2018

Two West Virginia Casinos Delay Sports Betting Launch

Casino News Daily
Two West Virginia Casinos Delay Sports Betting Launch

The launch of sports betting operations at two West Virginia casinos has been delayed, local news outlet the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported citing information from the West Virginia Lottery.

Lottery spokesperson Randy Burnside told the media outlet earlier this week that sportsbooks were expected to be opened at Mardi Gras Casino in Nitro and Wheeling Island Casino in Wheeling by the end of the month. However, Delaware North, the owner of the two gambling venues, had informed the state gambling watchdog that it would delay the opening of sports betting facilities at the two properties. The company had not specified why the launch would be delayed.

Mr. Burnside further pointed out that the Lottery is waiting to hear from Delaware North to schedule testing of the sports betting operations in October.

West Virginia became the fourth state to launch sports betting after the mid-May ruling of the US Supreme Court that authorized individual states to legalize wagering on professional and college sporting events, if they feel inclined to do so. Legal sports betting services went live in West Virginia in the end of August and Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races was the first local property to jump on the betting bandwagon.

The sportsbook at the casino is operated by British bookmaker William Hill. The Greenbrier is the only other property currently offering sports betting within West Virginia borders. It cut the ribbon of its FanDuel-run sportsbook on September 14.

Sports Betting Market Looks Healthy during First Few Weeks

According to information from the West Virginia Lottery, the state’s two sportsbooks have handled nearly $3.4 million in wagers since the Hollywood Casino facility opened doors. Sports betting handle at the property totaled a little over $450,000 during its first week of operation and a little over $1.1 million during its second week. Together with the FanDuel Sportsbook at The Greenbrier, sports betting handle amounted to more than $1.8 million during week three.

Handle figures are expected to improve even further in the coming weeks as the state’s sportsbooks are to go live with digital/mobile betting. Eric Zimny, Vice President of Racing and Sports Operations at Hollywood Casino, said during a recent ICE Sports Betting USA webinar that they will likely launch their mobile betting app in the coming weeks. The casino official pointed out that he still did not have a firm date and that the launch will not take place next week, but it will not take place in three or four months from now, as well.

It is still unknown when a FanDuel-powered mobile app will go live at The Greenbrier, but said app is anticipated to boost betting operations at the property significantly.

It now (and for now) seems that West Virginia has a healthy nascent betting market. And betting activity in the state is only poised to grow with the launch of mobile betting and the anticipated opening of two more sportsbook.

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Federal Sports Betting Hearing Packed With Hyperbole And Misunderstandings

Federal Sports Betting Hearing Packed With Hyperbole And Misunderstandings
packed trash

The 90-minute federal sports betting hearing was packed with testimony on both sides, but for NJ sports betting, it's carry on as usual for now.

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The Ryder Cup Is Here, And Kambi Swings Into Action In NJ Sports Betting

The Ryder Cup Is Here, And Kambi Swings Into Action In NJ Sports Betting
tiger woods

Golf's Ryder Cup only happens once every two years, so Kambi's NJ sports betting sites such as DraftKings Sportsbook are pouring on the betting options.

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Zitro achieves great success at Andalusian Game Congress Expo

Casino News Today
Zitro achieves great success at Andalusian Game Congress Expo

Zitro exhibited its latest creations for Video Bingo and Video Slots at the recent Andalusian Game Congress Expo, the new creations will be a revolution for the Spanish market in the coming months. Under its Video Slots brand BRYKE, Zitro showcased its leading product: LINK KING, a new form of revolutionary game in Spain. LINK KING has great progressive jackpots ...

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Thursday, September 27, 2018

Day Before Wynn Resorts Probe Report, Mass Gaming Commission Chairman Bows Out

CasinoGamesPro.com
Day Before Wynn Resorts Probe Report, Mass Gaming Commission Chairman Bows Out

The future of Wynn Resorts in Massachusetts remains uncertain as the situation further knotted this Wednesday. Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s Chairman Stephen Crosby filed his resignation letter only 24 hours before the scheduled monthly meeting reviewing results from the extensive investigation of the casino developer and its former CEO Steve Wynn. One comment issued in the […]

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NetEnt AB games launched in western Canada

World Casino News
NetEnt AB games launched in western Canada

Just a week after premiering a new affiliate service and online casino games and solutions developer NetEnt has announced that a range of its titles are now available to players in the western Canadian province of British Columbia. Benefitting from IGT tie-up: According to an official press release from the Stockholm-based innovator, the debut has been […]

The Players to Have Cashed in the Largest Number of Countries So Far in 2018

Casino News Daily
The Players to Have Cashed in the Largest Number of Countries So Far in 2018

Traveling around the world is one of the perks of being a professional poker player. Visiting new places, clashing against players with different techniques and at different level of skill and proficiency, and getting oneself exposed to new and different poker games is enriching experience that could help anyone improve their own game and overall worldview, of course.

The poker enthusiasts of Casino News Daily love poker-related lists and writing about poker lists. This is why they have prepared a brand new such list for their readers. This time, it will revolve around those three players who have cashed in the largest number of different countries around the world since the beginning of the year. Here are these three players and where they have cashed in over the past nine months.

Henri Ovaska

The Finnish poker player has cashed in 21 tournaments in 16 different countries since the beginning of the year, including Italy, Bulgaria, Estonia, Ireland, and many more. While Ovaska might have been quite active on the live tournament scene over the past several months, he has not won any major events. He scored his only victory this year during the Irish Poker Open & Norwegian Championships 2018 in Dublin.

He took down a €170 R.O.E. tournament for a cash prize of €2,700. He collected his largest cash of this year in January, when he finished third in the African Series of Poker/Unibet Deepstack Open €550 Main Event for €9,000. The tournament took place in Grand Bay, Mauritius an exciting destination without any doubt.

Andrew Christopher Hills

The Englishman cashed in 30 live events in 11 different countries around the world, mostly the United States. He has taken down three tournaments so far in 2018, none of them were major ones, though.

A victory in a Wynn Summer Classic $1,100 No-Limit Hold’em secured the player with his largest cash this year. He bested a field of 302 entrants, including fellow countryman Stuard Taylor, whom he clashed into in the heads-up match, to collect the total amount of $72,799 from a total prize pool of a little over $300,263.

Manig Loeser

The German poker pro has cashed more than $2.3 million since the beginning of the year in 25 events that have taken place in 10 different countries. The player has appeared and cashed in events in the United States, Russia, and Montenegro, among others.

It is also important to note that Loeser has long been particularly active on the international high roller scene. Over the past nine months, the player has participated in some of the major high rollers on the live tournament poker calendar. Most prominently, Loeser finished runner-up to Michael Lim in Aussie Millions Poker Championship A$100,000 Challenge for a cash prize of A$558,600 (approximately $445,334).

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Wazdan Wins Online Casino Innovator 2018 award at CEEG Awards

Casino News Today
Wazdan Wins Online Casino Innovator 2018 award at CEEG Awards

Slots provider Wazdan has strengthened its market leading position by winning the award for Online Casino Innovator 2018 at the 2018 Central and Eastern Europe Gaming Conference (CEEG) held in Budapest. The CEEGC award for Online Casino Innovator 2018 is a confirmation that Wazdan’s meteoric growth this year is underwritten by the company’s laser focus on technology innovation that allows ...

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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

MOP 300M VIP Gaming Hall Launches amid Macau Region High Roller Revenue Dip

CasinoGamesPro.com
MOP 300M VIP Gaming Hall Launches amid Macau Region High Roller Revenue Dip

When it comes to VIP gambling and high rollers utilizing gambling to the fullest Macau has been the go-to location for many years now. This could be proved by the recent launch of Galaxy Macau’s VIP gaming hall specifically dedicated to premium players from near and far, but there have been concerns previously expressed regarding […]

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SA Gaming launches a new Shanghai Godfather slot

Casino News Today
SA Gaming launches a new Shanghai Godfather slot

SA Gaming has launched a new game: Shanghai Godfather slot! The slot game features Shanghai in the 1930s. Those were the days when the bold gets the gold. With a 3×5-reel 30-line slot, “Shanghai Godfather” comes with a Free Game Feature, where free spins are awarded when a certain amount of Scatters appear on screen. Players have more chances to ...

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The Winningest US Poker Players of All Time

Casino News Daily
The Winningest US Poker Players of All Time

Poker has deep roots in the United States and there should not be surprise that some of the world’s winningest players hail namely from there. Not to mention the fact some of the longest running poker series such as the World Series of Poker originate from the US.

A look at the US all-time money list shows impressive tournament bankrolls and seven- and even eight-figure payouts scored by great poker players. Here are the three of them to have accumulated the largest bankrolls and highlights from their poker careers.

Justin Bonomo – $43,120,591

Not only is Bonomo the leader in the US all-time money list, but he is also topping the overall all-time money list. The player dethroned the long-standing number one, Canada’s Daniel Negreanu, earlier this year.

Bonomo has indisputably had his best year in poker in 2018, and it has not even ended yet. The player collected more than $20 million in live tournament earnings over the past nine months, besting Fedor Holz’s accomplishment from a few years ago, when the young German collected $16 million over the course of a single year.

Bonomo pretty much won every major high roller tournament to have taken place this year. In February, he bested the field of the Super High Roller Bowl China HK$2 million No-Limit Hold’em for a cash prize of $4,823,077. In May, he took down the elite $300,000 Aria Super High Roller Bowl in Las Vegas for $5 million.

Then in July, he emerged the victor in this year’s edition of the WSOP Big One for ONE DROP, a $1 million buy-in tournament that takes place biannually as part of the WSOP series. His cash prize from the event totaled $10 million.

Bonomo took down a number of other tournaments over the past several months to cement his position as the world’s winningest tournament player.

Erik Seidel

With eight WSOP gold bracelets, a WPT title, and an EPT title, Erik Seidel is one of the world’s most popular and most widely recognized poker pros. And being the holder of titles from the three biggest and longest-running poker series means that he has accomplished what few have done – he has won the Triple Crown in live tournament poker.

It is thus no surprise that Seidel is one of his homeland’s (and one of the world’s) highest grossing players. He won his largest cash of A$2.5 million (approx. $2,472,555) back in 2011 when he bested the field of the Aussie Millions Championship A$250,000 Super High Roller.

In 2015, the player triumphed in the EPT Grand Final €100,000 Super High Roller for €2,015,000 in prize money. This year, Seidel has not won any major events, but he still managed to score several six-figure cashes. His best one came from a third-place finish in the partypoker MILLIONS Grand Final Barcelona €25K Super High Roller in April. His performance in the tournament was rewarded with €300,000 from the overall prize pool.

Dan Colman – $28,925,059

Poker fans certainly remember Colman’s terrific run in the 2014 WSOP $1 Million Big One for ONE DROP. The player emerged as the victor after a heads-up battle against poker celeb Daniel Negreanu. Winning the tournament, Colman added more than $15.3 million to his poker bankroll.

It should also be noted that 2014 was the young player’s best year in poker. Prior to his Big One for ONE DROP triumph, he won the EPT Grand Final €100,000 Super High Roller for a cash prize of €1,539,300. A few month later, he also topped the field of the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open $5,300 Main Event for a top prize of $1,446,710.

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Recovered Drug Offence Convicts Eye Casino Key Employee Licenses after Bill Approval

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Recovered Drug Offence Convicts Eye Casino Key Employee Licenses after Bill Approval

Thursday would be an important one for the gambling field of Atlantic City, as a previously proposed regulation striving to introduce a wider variety of workers to the gambling industry is going to be subjected to voting. The bill proposed this spring by Chris Brown, R-Atlantic, and Jeff Van Drew, D-Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland aims […]

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Biggest Online Gambling Merger and Acquisition Deals Announced So Far in 2018

Casino News Daily
Biggest Online Gambling Merger and Acquisition Deals Announced So Far in 2018

Amid growing competition and massive regulatory pressure in a number of jurisdictions, several major gambling companies have decided since the beginning of the year to undertake merger and acquisition moves. M&A deals have often proved a successful way to blunt competition and to offset the ill effects of regulations that might aim to improve the quality of service but sometimes produce the exact opposite effect.

The past nine months have seen some of the major players of the online gambling field look for and find partners to reduce the negative impact from changes of different nature in the global market. Here are several of the biggest deals that have been undertaken since the beginning of the year and how they are expected to change those involved in them as well as the global online gambling landscape.

Playtech – Snaitech

Playtech announced in April that it had agreed to buy around 70.6% of the total issued share capital of Italian gambling company Snaitech S.p.A. in an initial acquisition deal. Under the terms of the agreement, the gambling tech giant agreed to make a mandatory takeover offer for the remaining shares in Snaitech after the completion of the initial acquisition.

The total purchase price was estimated at €846 million, which Playtech funded with existing cash resources and new debt facilities.

Snaitech generated revenue of €890 million and EBITDA of €136 million last year. The deal is expected to result in annual cost synergies of €10 million for the combined entity. The Italian company operates more than 1,600 betting points around the country. In addition, it also provides sports and horse race betting, online sports betting, and online casino games. Aside from its domestic market, Snaitech also operates in a number of other jurisdictions where it is fully regulated.

Playtech pointed out that the move was part of its newly implemented strategy to focus its business on regulated markets and reduce its reliance on unregulated markets. The company suffered a heavy blow following a massive gambling crackdown in Malaysia, which had previously been one of its key Asian markets. As a result, its share price has dropped more than 50% over the past year and it was forced to issue two profit warnings over that period.

The gambling tech giant, founded by Israeli businessman Teddy Sagi in the late 1990s, now hopes that the addition of Snaitech would help it diversify its geographical revenue and improve the quality of its earnings with a particular focus on regulated markets. It is to be seen whether that strategy will prove successful and will help Playtech leave the financial issues behind.

The Stars Group – Sky Betting & Gaming

The Stars Group, owner of PokerStars, and Sky Betting & Gaming announced in April that they had agreed to complete a landmark transaction that would create a $4.7-billion online gambling behemoth with presence across multiple jurisdictions, massive customer base, and strong positions in key online gambling sectors, including sports betting in which The Stars Group has taken great interest over the past year.

The two companies said that the deal would produce $70 million of annual cost synergies, among other financial benefits.

The transaction was closed on July 11. However, a day later, the UK Competition and Markets Authority announced that it had opened a probe into the deal, without giving much detail about the nature of said probe. The ongoing investigation blocked the beginning of the integration of the two businesses and the transfer of ownership that needed to take place as part of the deal. They will have to wait until the completion of the CMA probe in order to be able to move forward.

Although the watchdog has provided limited details on the matter, it is believed that the investigation was launched due to concerns over the effects a deal of this scope would have on competition in the UK gambling market, which is currently SkyBet’s main market of focus.

The CMA published earlier this month the two sides of its initial enforcement order, which means that The Stars Group and SkyBet can start the planning process for their eventual integration. It is believed that the competition watchdog will release the full results of its investigation in October.

Once the deal is finally closed and the two businesses are successfully merged, The Stars Group will be able to use SkyBet’s experience in the online sports betting vertical to improve its own sports betting business. It is also important to note that the company is among the gambling giants looking to expand their geographical presence in the United States in as many states where sports betting is legal as possible.

The Stars Group currently operates a mobile betting app in the New Jersey regulated market, which it rolled out earlier this month. But it has long been clear that the company is looking to return to the US after it was shamefully banished from the nation after the Black Friday of US online poker back in 2011.

As for SkyBet, it will be able to extend its footprint in a number of jurisdictions after joining The Stars Group. The company currently operates in the United Kingdom, Italy, and Germany.

The Stars Group – CrownBet – William Hill Australia

Australian online bookmaker CrownBet emerged in February as the winning bidder for William Hill’s struggling Australian business. The company, which was controlled by local casino operator Crown Resorts at the time, competed with the likes of bet365, Ladbrokes, and Paddy Power for William Hill Australia.

The final round of bids placed CrownBet against Paddy Power’s local business Sportsbet, but it was the former to win the bidding war. CrownBet agreed to buy William Hill’s ailing Australian operation for A$300 million.

It was announced at around the same time that The Stars Group had reached an agreement with CrownBet’s owners to acquire a 61% stake in the company. It then became clear that the Canadian gambling giant would actually acquire an 80% stake in a move that would allow it enter Australia’s regulated betting market.

The two deals resulted in the creation of the third largest licensed bookmaker in Australia. To mark the beginning of a new era, CrownBet announced in May that it would rebrand. It first picked Sportingbet as its new name, but Paddy Power’s Sportsbet contested its choice in court, arguing that the two brands were too similar and could confuse customers. The court sided with Sportsbet and CrownBet decided that it would eventually rebrand as BetEasy.

It is quite clear that The Stars Group is looking to cement its positions in the global sports betting market by entering as many regulated jurisdictions as possible. In Australia, in particular, the company might face certain difficulties as a result of the massive competition in the local sports betting industry and growing regulatory pressure, including the introduction of a point of consumption tax in almost all Australian states and territories.

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FanDuel Sportsbook Gaffe Provides Lessons For NJ Sports Betting As A Whole

FanDuel Sportsbook Gaffe Provides Lessons For NJ Sports Betting As A Whole
lessons

At the end of the day, FanDuel Sportsbook may have given the fledgling NJ sports betting market a chance to learn and improve the system.

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Steroids scandal rocks Japanese horseracing industry

World Casino News
Steroids scandal rocks Japanese horseracing industry

The horseracing authority for the northern Japanese province of Iwate was reportedly forced to suspend all contests for one day last week after several of the competing animals tested positive for a banned anabolic steroid. Horses tested positive for boldenone: According to a report from Asia Gaming Brief, the Iwate Prefectural Horse Racing Association first […]

Biggest WSOP Europe Main Event Winners

Casino News Daily
Biggest WSOP Europe Main Event Winners

The WSOP Europe festival is two weeks away and every self-respecting fan of live tournament poker has already braced for quality poker action and immense thrill. The 2018 edition of the major series is set to take place at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, one of Europe’s best and most popular poker destinations.

The WSOP Europe has 10 gold bracelets up for grabs and it is to be seen who the lucky ten players to capture the pieces of jewelry will be. Of course, the €10,350 Main Event is the most highly anticipated tournament. The event is slated to kick off on October 27 and to run through November 2. Aside from the Main Event gold bracelet for the winner it will also feature a guaranteed prize pool of €5 million. Hopes are that the guarantee will be crushed and that the tournament will see great interest among players from all around Europe and all other corners of the world.

Elio Fox – €1.4 Million

In 2011, US poker player Elio Fox emerged as the winner of the largest ever WSOP Europe Main Event. He topped a field of 593 entries to be awarded the amount of €1.4 million. The tournament took place in Cannes. England’s Chris Moorman was Fox’s heads-up opponent. The moment of victory came for the latter after his [Ad][10s] bested his final opponent’s [Ah][7s].

It is also important to note that Fox has remained quite consistent in his pursuit of poker prestige in the years after his WSOPE Main Event victory. Most recently, the poker professional finished runner-up in this year’s WSOP $100,000 High Roller event for a cash prize of $1,798,658 and took down the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open $50,000 buy-in Super High Roller for $500,000.

Marti Roca De Torres – €1,115,207

Spain’s Torres came as the winner of the 2017 WSOP Europe Main Event. That was the first edition of the tournament after a two-year hiatus of the European series. The player was the last man standing from a field of 529 entrants. He collected the amount of €1,115,207. Torres faced heads-up one of Italy’s most promising poker players – Gianluca Speranza. On what turned out to be the final hand in the Main Event, Torres beat his opponent with [Qh][5d].

Torres has cashed in several tournaments since last fall when he became the WSOP Europe Main Event, but has not taken down any major event since then.

The 2017 edition of the WSOP Europe took place at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, the venue that has now turned into a permanent home of the major tournament series.

Annette Obrestad – £1,000,000 (approximately €1.1 million)

The Norwegian poker pro became the winner of the first-ever WSOP Europe Main Event and has so far been the only female player to take it down. She outwitted a 362-strong field to collect £1 million in prize money. It is also important to note that at the age of 18, she was the youngest player to ever win a gold bracelet from the WSOP.

John Tabatabai from Wales was Obrestad’s final opponent on her road to victory. The two players’ final clash saw the Norwegian player’s pocket sevens hold up against Tabatabai’s [5s][6d].

The inaugural WSOP Europe Main Event took place in London. In fact, the first four editions of the series were all hosted by the capital of the United Kingdom.

Phil Hellmuth – €1,058,403

Hellmuth has long held the record for the most WSOP gold bracelets ever won. He captured his 13th ever piece of WSOP jewelry in 2012 when he topped the 420-person field of the WSOP Europe Main Event. His share of the prize pool totaled €1,058,403.

The tournament took place in Cannes where Hellmuth remained one of the two players to participate in the heads-up match. Ukraine’s Sergii Baranov was the other one. However, it was not meant to be for the Ukrainian as his [As][4c] sent him to the rail in second place after clashing against Hellmuth’s [Ah][10d]. The US player thus further cemented his reputation of a tournament poker legend. It should also be noted that Hellmuth is one of the few players to have won the WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas and the WSOP Europe Main Event.

Adrian Mateos – €1,000,000

Mateos is one of the most popular poker pros of the younger generation of players. At the age of 24, the Spaniard boasts three WSOP gold bracelets and an EPT Grand Final title. Mateos won one of his pieces of WSOP gold for taking down the WSOP Europe Main Event.

He became a WSOPE Main Event champion in 2013, when the tournament was held in France. The player beat a field of 375. Local player Fabrice Soulier was his heads-up opponent. The final hand of the tournament saw Mateos collect all his opponent’s chips with [Ad][Kc] to Soulier’s [9d][8d].

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Monday, September 24, 2018

Philippine President Wages War on Gambling with Fiery Rhetoric

Casino News Daily
Philippine President Wages War on Gambling with Fiery Rhetoric

Rodrigo Duterte is more than two years into his presidential tenure and it has been an eventful two years. Among other things, President Duterte’s past two years will be remembered for the top Philippine official’s continued war on gambling, which has most recently manifested itself in a moratorium on the construction of new casino resorts in the country.

President Duterte’s latest wave of rage against gambling was unleashed in the beginning of 2018 with the above-mentioned moratorium. The official ordered PAGCOR, the country’s gambling regulator, to stop issuing gaming licenses to interested parties in a bid to prevent the proliferation of gambling in the Philippines.

The moratorium was imposed in mid-January. In comments to local media, PAGCOR Chief Andrea Domingo said that the regulator had stopped accepting applications for the issuance of gaming licenses and that only applications submitted before January 13 would be considered. Several interested developers had managed to submit their applications before the above date. And two particular casino resort projects received provisional approval from the country’s regulator.

However, their approval turned into a widely publicized manifestation of President Duterte’s rage against gambling and vows that he would make sure to prevent the materialization of the two casino plans as well as of any other gambling project that might emerge in future.

Why did the two integrated resort schemes gained so much public attention and why did they spur President Duterte’s anger in the first place? Here is a little bit more about the most recent and most publicized events in the Philippines gambling industry.

The Two Failed Casino Resort Projects

News emerged last year that Macau gaming and hospitality company Galaxy Entertainment Group has partnered its Philippine counterpart Leisure & Resorts World Corporation to develop a $500-plus-million integrated resort on the Boracay Island. With its white-sand beaches and its tropical climate, the island is a popular hub for tourists from the Asia-Pacific region.

However, business and development activity on the island drew quite some ire from President Duterte in February. Following the publication of an environmental review of the popular tourism draw, the fiery leader announced that it would be shuttered for a cleanup as it had been turned into a “cesspool” by local businesses. Generally speaking, the environmental review found out that a number of businesses operating on Boracay had been discharging waste water directly into the sea for years. In addition, it turned out that a number of buildings on the island had been constructed without obtaining all the necessary permissions.

President Duterte vowed to make sure that all illegal operations would suffer extreme consequences and that plans for the new gambling operation would fail. The official has repeatedly pointed out over the course of the past several months that casino gambling beyond the existing businesses is something he would not support and that he would do whatever is necessary to prevent Boracay from becoming home to the Galaxy integrated resort.

Despite President Duterte’s comments, Galaxy and its local partner announced that they had managed to acquire a 23-hectare portion of land on Boracay before the island’s closure where the resort would be constructed. Representatives of the developers have pointed out that they believe the hotel and casino complex would be completed by 2021, despite the closure of the popular tourism hub and the Philippine President’s vows to block the scheme.

One more casino resort project has drawn the ire of the country’s top official in recent months. Hong Kong-based developer Landing International Development announced earlier this year a plan to build a $1.5-billion casino resort in the capital Manila.

The company broke ground on the mega-complex on August 7. However, President Duterte announced only a few hours later that the project would be nixed, once again reiterating his hatred for everything gambling. It is also important to note that the official sacked the whole board of the Nayong Pilipino Foundation on the day Landing broke ground on its resort.

Landing planned to build the resort on a portion of land that had previously been occupied by the Nayong Pilipino Cultural Park. The Nayong Pilipino Foundation agreed to lease the site to the Hong Kong-based company. President Duterte and his administration said that the lease contract, penned in March, was flawed and put the government at a significant disadvantage as the agreed rental payment was “unconscionable”. Earlier this month, the Philippine Department of Justice supported the top official’s claims and recommended the cancellation of the project.

The future of both the Galaxy and the Landing casino resort plans is quite uncertain at this point. President Duterte has vowed to prevent both projects as well as any other proposals of this kind and it seems that his stance on the matter is not likely to soften.

President Duterte Bans Casino Workers from Gambling

In a new rollout of casino-related regulations, it became known earlier this month that casino staff would be banned from gambling in the country’s casinos. In a notice dated September 6, the local gambling regulator, the Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), said that all employees at gambling establishments will be included in the country’s National Database of Restricted Persons. The computerized database contains the names of all individuals who are restricted from gambling at all local casinos licensed by PAGCOR.

The Philippines is apparently looking to avoid Macau’s mistakes where casino employees have long represented the largest portion of the local register of problem gamblers.

The country’s top official is clearly getting tough on land-based casinos and the scope of his crackdown is growing. It is yet to be seen what his next actions toward restricting the construction of new casino properties will be, but judging by his consistency, we will certainly see more of President Duterte and his anti-gambling rhetoric.

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Kiron Interactive deals with 138.com

Casino News Today
Kiron Interactive deals with 138.com

Virtual games specialist Kiron Interactive deals with 138.com to provide its full portfolio of products to the UK & Isle of Man licensed Gaming Operator, 138.com. As Kiron Interactive deals with 138.com, the Asian Casino & Sportsbook operator, which is now also focused on the UK & Global Emerging markets, will benefit from Kiron’s fully hosted and managed turnkey virtual ...

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Macau posts improved August visitor numbers

World Casino News
Macau posts improved August visitor numbers

Macau reportedly chalked up an 18.7% increase year-on-year in visitor numbers last month as some 3.4 million people travelled to enjoy the former Portuguese enclave’s extensive selection of shops, hotels and casinos. Year’s biggest rise: According to a report from GGRAsia citing official information from the city’s Statistics and Census Service, the August tally represented […]

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta Slashes Gambling Taxes Raising More Concerns

CasinoGamesPro.com
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta Slashes Gambling Taxes Raising More Concerns

Kenya’s Government has been mulling the idea of gambling tax reduction for several weeks now, but as it has been officially confirmed recently, the new Finance Bill 2018 has been inked and vital reductions are set to take place. The proposed tax cut would bring a breath of fresh air to the field as it […]

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Sunday, September 23, 2018

What’s Next for Gambling Tech Giant Playtech?

Casino News Daily
What’s Next for Gambling Tech Giant Playtech?

It has been an eventful year for Playtech and a particularly turbulent one at the same time. The gambling technology company, founded by Israeli businessman Teddy Sagi in 1999, saw its share price fall nearly 50% over the past 12 months and recorded a 34% drop in adjusted profit in the first half of the year. In addition, news emerged that a brand-new Playtech investor is pushing for a corporate governance overhaul and is not very happy about Mr. Sagi’s involvement in the company.

Earlier this year, the tech giant, which has for years been supplying major operators with a variety of products, completed the purchase of Italian gambling company Snaitech for €846 million. In its half-year results, Playtech CEO Mor Weizer attributed the company’s regulated revenue growth namely to that acquisition deal.

However, the debate over the introduction of massive restrictions on the distribution of gaming machines around Italy is becoming more and more intense with each day passing and this could cast heavy clouds over what Playtech hoped would be a purchase that would strengthen its footprint across the regulated gambling space. Snaitech derives nearly half of its overall revenue from the gaming devices.

Most recently, Playtech offloaded its entire stake in CFD trading platform Plus500 for £176 million, stating that it would use proceeds from the deal to reduce its debt and for general corporate purposes.

What is next for the gambling tech giant? The company is facing regulatory pressure and competition in key markets and will clearly have to direct its focus to where it can reap the greatest benefits. In addition, changes are clearly coming for Playtech, but it is yet to be seen how these will affect its operations, profitability and its lure to investors.

Shaky Profitability and Share Price Drop

Playtech has long been targeting a FTSE 100 status. However, it was forced to abandon these ambitions after issuing two profit warnings over the past year and reporting a 34% slump in adjusted profit for the first half of the year. The profit warnings and the eventual significant drop resulted in the company’s share price falling by half over the past 12 months.

Playtech attributed its shaky profitability to its operations in Southeast Asia. The gambling tech giant has maintained its footprint in that particular region for nearly a decade. However, growing competition in China combined with heavy pressure in Malaysia, where the local government has ramped up efforts to crack down on unregulated gambling, have had quite a negative impact on Playtech’s performance over the past year. In Malaysia, in particular, the company saw a significantly lower activity this year compared to two years ago.

On a more positive note, regulated markets offset the losses suffered in Asia. Excluding Asian revenue, the company recorded a double-digit growth during the first half of the year. Playtech further pointed out that it would look to focus on regulated markets which are traditionally more stable and that it expects to generate around 80% of its overall revenue for 2018 from such regulated markets. Around 69% of Playtech’s half-year revenue came from regulated markets, as reported by the gambling software developer.

New Shareholders with New Demands

News emerged last month that SpringOwl Asset Management had invested more than $100 million into Playtech over the span of several weeks, thus acquiring a 5% stake in the company. The New York-based hedge fund is led by US investor Jason Ader, who among other things is known for playing a key role in bwin.party Digital Entertainment’s sale to GVC Holdings. Mr. Ader used his holding in bwin.party to press for the gambling operator’s sale following a prolonged proxy fight with the company’s board which involved him criticizing board members for failing to properly execute the 2010 merger of bwin and Party Gaming, which resulted in a 60% decline in share price.

According to media reports, Mr. Ader is expected to use his newly acquired stake in Playtech to demand disposal of assets or even sale of the gambling tech company. However, Playtech’s corporate governance is understood to be SpringOwl and its leader’s main focus for the time being. Mr. Ader has reportedly expressed concerns over the fact that Alan Jackson has been serving as the company’s Chairman for too long. In addition, the US investor has pointed out that Mr. Sagi’s continuing association with the gambling tech giant he had found is “a negative” for Playtech. The company’s founder currently holds a 6.3% stake in it after selling down his controlling stake bit by bit over the past several years. Mr. Ader has recently told Reuters that he does not have “a sense that the future of this company includes Teddy Sagi”.

In a separate round of news, it became known that London-based privately owned hedge fund Odey Asset Management has quietly bought a 5% stake in Playtech. Reports also emerged that the hedge fund’s co-founder, British businessman Crispin Odey has been in touch with Mr. Ader. Together the two investors own 10% in Playtech, which is more than enough to secure them with the influence required to press for important changes, including a corporate governance overhaul.

According to the latest reports on the topic, a change in the company’s leadership could indeed be asked for by Mr. Ader.

Plus500 Stake Sale

As mentioned above, Playtech sold recently its entire stake in CFD trading platform Plus500 for the amount of £176 million. The company said in a statement that it would use the money it has raked in from the sale to reduce its debt and for other corporate purposes.

The move came days after five of the trading platform’s founders disposed of 9.4 million of their shares for the approximate amount of £145 million, citing personal reasons and “desire to diversify their investments” as the main reasons for their decision. Playtech previously made a £459-million offer to purchase Plus500. However, concerns raised by the UK Financial Conduct Authority combined with pressure from the trading platform’s investors, with Odey being one of them, resulted in the deal’s failure.

Playtech’s recent disposal of its stake in Plus500 has actually been applauded by Mr. Ader. The US investor has pointed out that the gambling tech firm should continue disposing of its financial businesses and focus solely on the gambling portion of its operations as its financial services holdings have proved to be a major distraction.

Conclusion

Bearing in mind the recent developments, it seems that Playtech’s eventful streak is far from over. With brand-new and very demanding investors, the company could be headed toward a sale, a disposal of some of its assets, and/or a corporate governance overhaul. In addition, it would be looking to improve its profitability by directing its focus mainly on regulated markets and gradually reducing the influence unregulated markets have on its business. Last but not least, there clearly will be pressure for Mr. Sagi to exit the company completely and it is rather curious to see whether and how this would happen.

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Mississippi casino revenue spikes as sports betting debuts

World Casino News
Mississippi casino revenue spikes as sports betting debuts

The regulations having taken effect on July 22, Mississippi’s launch of sports betting is already proving to benefit brick and mortar casinos in the state where overall casino revenue increased significantly in August. PASPA unconstitutional: In an effort to be among the first states in the nation to legalize sports betting, the Mississippi Gaming Commission […]

Erkut Yilmaz earns WPT Borgata Poker Open win

World Casino News
Erkut Yilmaz earns WPT Borgata Poker Open win

A total of 1,075 players registered to compete in the WPT Borgata Poker Open, with Erkut Yilmaz ending up the event champion. Yilmaz would hold the chip lead going into the final day and after defeating TK Miles in the final round, would eventually earn the first-place finish. Tough Competition: Several big name players were […]

Saturday, September 22, 2018

November Niner Jerry Wong Wins WSOP Circuit Coconut Creek High Roller

Casino News Daily
November Niner Jerry Wong Wins WSOP Circuit Coconut Creek High Roller

Poker action at the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek in Florida is heating up as the WSOP Circuit stop currently taking place there is approaching its final stages and last events on the schedule are being played.

The $2,200 High Roller certainly was one of the most exciting tournaments to take place within the poker festival. The event was completed a few days ago and was taken down by quite a poker celebrity. Jerry Wong, a player from the area, defeated a field that was comprised of some seasoned poker pros to grab the title and the first-place prize of $48,300.

Wong’s triumph was also accompanied by his first-ever piece of WSOP jewelry. Despite being very active on the live poker scene, a gold bracelet from the WSOP and a gold ring from its sister brand, the WSOP Circuit, had long eluded the popular poker pro.

However, it should be pointed out that his hefty poker resume includes an eighth-place finish in the 2016 WSOP Main Event, among other things. This summer, the player cashed in five WSOP tournaments and made three final table appearances.

As for his performance in the $2,200 High Roller at the Coconut Creek casino, Wong successfully navigated through a field of 69 entries over two days of action. The player’s road to victory included a star-studded final table that featured another November Niner – Josh Beckley – three-time gold ring winner Peter Vitantonio, and poker veteran Chad Eveslage, among others.

Final Table Highlights

Wong hopped into the final table holding the chip lead with 560,000 in chips. Beckley was his nearest competitor with 360,000. Wong never really lost his advantage over the rest of the final tablists. The player said that the table draw helped him a lot as he had tougher players to his right, and weaker ones to his left. That created nice opportunities for the player to further amass chips and he took great advantage of those.

By the time there were just five players left in contention, Wong had control over more than a half of all chips in play. And when the field was reduced to just him and his heads-up opponent Mack Ham, the eventual champion had 1.7 million of all 2 million chips in play.

While Wong never let go of the chip lead during the two-handed match, Ham fought fiercely and posed quite some challenge to his opponent. However, the High Roller gold ring was Wong’s to win. Ham walked out in second place for a cash prize of $29,848.

As mentioned earlier, the $2,200 buy-in High Roller drew 69 entries who generated a prize pool of $138,000. The top seven finishers received a share of the money, with min-cashes starting from $7,090. The WSOP Circuit stop at the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek will run through September 24 when the $1,700 is set to be completed.

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FanDuel Incorporated reverses New Jersey non-payment decision

World Casino News
FanDuel Incorporated reverses New Jersey non-payment decision

After earlier refusing to pay out on twelve bets it declared had been placed during an 18-second computer glitch on Sunday, New Jersey sportbook operator FanDuel Incorporated has now reportedly relented by announcing that it intends to honor every one of the contentious wagers. Decision includes $82,000 won on NFL wager: According to a Thursday […]