Friday, June 22, 2018

Casino News Daily
Eric Baldwin Captures Second Gold Bracelet in 2018 WSOP $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em

Eric Baldwin took down last night Event #37: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em for his second gold bracelet from the WSOP and a first-place prize of $319,580. It has been nine years since the player from Henderson, Nevada captured his first gold piece from the series.

Baldwin made it through a field of 1,330 entries and a long and action-packed heads-up match against Ian Steinman, a player who was vying for his first WSOP gold bracelet but had previously won a gold ring from the WSOP Circuit.

Originally scheduled as a three-day tournament, action extended into a fourth day during which Baldwin and Steinman battled it out for a while before determining the champion.

As many as 20 players returned for Day 3 and that starting field was reduced quite quickly to just nine finalists who were seated at the official final table. From that point on, chips were swinging back and forth as players were not keen to give up on the title without a good fight.

During six-handed play, Baldwin won a massive pot against Aaron Massey. The former was propelled to the chip lead while the latter’s stack was weakened to a point that made it too challenging for him to recover. Massey, a two-time WSOP Circuit gold ring winner, eventually went out in fourth place.

A Two-Day Heads-Up

Heads-up kicked off after Steinman eliminated Germany’s Enrico Rudelitz in third place. It was Baldwin who entered the two-handed match as the chip leader. The two finalists played a level and a half on Day 3 of the tournament. The eventual champion built quite a momentum and stack during that time.

The players had the opportunity to choose between playing one more level Wednesday night or call it a day and resume action on Thursday. Baldwin, holding the lead, was keen to keep playing as he wanted to go back home on Thursday and celebrate his wife’s birthday. However, Steinman asked for an additional day of play and it was decided that the two players would have to return at the host casino, Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, on Thursday.

The next day saw Steinman put some pressure on his final opponent. The player managed to catch up a bit, but never took the lead. Chips went back and forth and short-handed play lasted for hours, which Baldwin said sucked his mental energy. Yet, the winner pointed out that he had great fun playing against Steinman.

Hand #270 of the final table was the last one dealt within the tournament. It saw Baldwin raise to 300,000 pre-flop and Steinman re-raise to 950,000. Baldwin then looked at his opponent’s chips and announced all in, which Steinman snap-called, tabling [Kh][Ks] to Baldwin’s [As][Jh]. The board ran out [2c][8h][10h][Js][Ac] to deliver a winning to two pair to Baldwin. The two finalists shook hands and Steinman headed to the payout desk to collect his consolation prize of $197,461.

In his post-victory interview, Baldwin said that he was actually happy that things turned up the way they did and that they had to play a fourth day because his mother was thus able to join his rail on that additional day to support her son. Baldwin said that he dedicated his second WSOP gold piece to his late father who had always attended tournaments he had played in.

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World Casino News
Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited suing in-arrears high rollers

In the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the operator behind the Imperial Palace Saipan integrated casino resort has reportedly filed lawsuits against 13 former customers in an attempt to recover approximately $12.9 million in unpaid debts. According to a Wednesday report from the Saipan Tribune newspaper, Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited lodged its complaints […]

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Casino News Daily
Swedish Gambling Authority to Publish License Application Forms for Interested Operators on July 10

The Swedish Gambling Authority, Lotteriinspektionen, announced Wednesday that application forms for interested gambling companies will be available on its website from July 10. The regulator has previously confirmed that the application process for online gambling licenses would start from August 1, 2018.

Yesterday’s announcement marked another preparatory stage ahead of the planned reorganization of Sweden’s gambling market.

Earlier this month, the Swedish legislature approved the country’s proposed new gambling law, Re-Regulation of the Gambling Market (En omreglerad spelmarknad), that aims to replace the country’s existing gambling regulations and liberalize the local market in a manner that would allow for international companies to be able to operate in a regulated environment.

Lotteriinspektionen said in a Wednesday press release that a number of foreign operators have already expressed interest in entering the local market and that they anticipate the beginning of the licensing process. The country’s new gambling law is expected to come into effect on January 1, 2019. It is currently being reviewed by the European Commission and is under a three-month standstill period.

The reorganization of Sweden’s landscape is expected to create one of Europe’s largest regulated online gambling markets. Online gaming and betting companies have been targeting Swedish players quite aggressively over the past several years, taking advantage of the potential of the local gambling space and there will certainly be great interest among those to be able to operate under the new regime.

According to the latest financial report from Lotteriinspektionen, Sweden’s gambling market was worth SEK22.6 billion last year and its gray iGaming market accounted for nearly a quarter of the whole with estimated revenue of SEK5.5 billion.

Possible delays of the Application Forms’ Publication

The Gambling Authority said that while it expects to be able to publish the application forms on July 10, there could be certain delays. The regulator explained that the government is yet to decide on certain aspects of the planned re-regulation of the market and that these decisions are scheduled to be made on July 5.

However, if lawmakers fail to move forward with these, the regulatory body warned that it could publish the forms at a later date and once all legal details are sorted out. Lotteriinspektionen further pointed out that it would publish its final guidelines in relation to the application process on or after July 24. The guidelines will contain important information for operators, the final regulations as approved by the government, and general advice. Application forms would be able to be submitted to the regulator from August 1.

Sweden is gearing up for the re-regulation of its market as more and more gambling companies are picking the Stockholm Stock Exchange to float on. Bloomberg recently reported that the Swedish capital’s stock exchange has become home to the largest number of gambling operators and providers with 19 such companies, beating the London Stock Exchange.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Casino – CalvinAyre.com
NagaCorp CEO spends $5M to boost stake in company

Hong Kong-listed casino operator NagaCorp has had a very successful run. Its 2017 gross gaming revenue (GGR) jumped by 85% to $926 million and its net profit improved by 39% to reach $255.2 million. It continued its winning streak this year, recording GGR of $243.19 million for the first quarter—an increase of 181% compared to the same period of last year. Now, its CEO and Executive Director, Tan Sri Chen Lip Keong, has upped his take in the company by a considerable amount.

NagaCorp CEO spends $5 million to boost stake in companyKeong, whose net worth according to Forbes Magazine sits at around $3.7 billion, made an on-market purchase of 5.4 million shares of his company. The purchase was managed over several transactions, and he ultimately invested $5 million to acquire the shares. He now is in control of 65.84% of NagaCorp’s share capital.

NagaCorp operates NagaWorld, a casino in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The company holds a license to operate the casino until 2065 and will maintain a gambling monopoly in the capital city until 2035. It is the largest casino resort in all of Indochina, and faces Naga2, which NagaCorp opened in front of the resort in November 2017. Keong paid for Naga2 to be built out of his own pocket, spending $369 million after refusing to pay the high interest rates the banks were demanding to finance the casino.

When Naga2 was first announced, many thought that it could lead to “cannibalization” of NagaWorld. However, the increase in revenue shows that just the opposite has taken place and continued growth is expected by analysts.

NagaCorp is also in the process of trying to attract investments for a casino in Russia’s Primorsky Territory. That casino would be part of the Primorye Integrated Entertainment Resort (PIER) zone, a mega resort project being developed by the government. It hopes to have construction completed at some point next year, with plans to open the casino in 2020.

NagaCorp first operated as a casino on a moored boat, opening its gangway on May 1, 1995. It moved to a land-based facility in 2003 and held its initial public offering (IPO) on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange three years later. It was the first gaming-related company, and the first Cambodian company, to be publicly traded on the exchange.

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