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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Casino News Daily
Actor, Musician, and Entrepreneur Jared Leto Warns Against Gambling-Like Bitcoin Investing

An on-and-off Academy Award winning actor, frontman of 30 Seconds to Mars, the band holding the Guinness record for the longest concert tour with 309 concerts, and a tech investor, Jared Leto also seems to have familiarized himself with the bitcoin craze as he has recently joined the growing debate over the nature of cryptocurrency investing.

In an interview with Australian radio station Nova, Leto presented his opinion on the matter, slamming bitcoin investing as gambling. The multi-faceted artist warned future investors against putting their money into bitcoin. He called cryptocurrency investing gambling and speculation, and went on to say that the activity is not something a person who could not afford to lose their money should delve into.

Leto’s comments come at a time when bitcoin and those investing in it are having a bit of a hard time. The virtual currency’s price reached an all-time high of $19,343.04 in mid-December, but growing regulatory pressure from different parts of the world and other factors resulted in its price dropping significantly overnight, spurring fears that any investor’s worst nightmare of a bubble burst could come true. At the time of writing, bitcoin’s price stands at $10,083.85, up slightly from earlier today when it tumbled to $9,748.53.

While we cannot say whether Leto’s knowledge is extensive enough, it should be noted that his opinion about the gambling-like nature of cryptocurrency investing is shared by many financial experts and analysts.

Regulators’ Stance on Cryptocurrency Investing

Due to the volatility of bitcoin and altcoins’ prices, investing in these has often been referred to as gambling. The Bank of Canada has recently become the latest financial institution to join the debate over the proper definition of cryptocurrency investing.

In an interview with business news outlet CNBC, Canada’s central bank governor said that bitcoin investing is gambling and not actual investing. The official further pointed out that the Bank of Canada will be working with regulators from different parts of the world for crafting regulations aimed to put limitations on certain aspects of cryptocurrency investing and trading.

While digital currencies and investing in those are considered a form of gambling by many, actual gambling regulators have pointed out that they have no authority over the regulation of the activity. The Netherlands Gaming Authority was one such regulatory body to comment on the matter. The regulator said in a statement that under the country’s current gambling regulations, cryptocurrency investing cannot be defined as any form of gambling and it thus does not fall under its purview.

The Actual Link between Cryptocurrencies and Gambling

The potential of digital currencies has been spotted by the global gambling industry. A number of online gambling operators have added cryptocurrency transactions to their lists of available payment options, and many more are expected to follow suit. Generally speaking, cryptocurrencies allow a relative anonymity, cutting out banks and other third-party financial institutions.

The UK Gambling Commission has been among the regulators to acknowledge the use of bitcoin and altcoins for gambling-related transactions, as long as these are conducted between UK gambling customers and UK-licensed operators. However, the regulator has warned of the risks of transactions of this type.

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Casino – CalvinAyre.com
Steve Wynn’s $7.5m sexual harassment settlement “issue #1” for Massachusetts regulators

steve-wynn-massachusetts-gaming-commission-probeCasino boss Steve Wynn’s $7.5m settlement of a sexual harassment claim dominated a hearing of Massachusetts gaming regulators tasked with determining his suitability to operate in their state.

On Wednesday, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) held a public hearing into last week’s bombshell Wall Street Journal report alleging decades’ worth of sexual impropriety by Steve Wynn against female employees of casino operator Wynn Resorts.

Wynn is currently building the $2.4b Wynn Boston Harbor, and MGC chairman Stephen Crosby kicked off Wednesday’s hearing by saying nothing must be allowed to shake Massachusetts residents’ confidence in their gaming industry.

Karen Wells, director of the MGC’s Investigation and Enforcement Bureau, noted that the WSJ report had disclosed the existence of a $7.5m settlement Wynn Resorts reached with a former Wynn Las Vegas manicurist who claims Steve forced her to have sex in his office.

Wells said this private settlement was “not part of any court action or litigation” and thus no court documents existed to alert MGC investigators as to its existence. Wells stated that “steps were taken to keep [evidence of the settlement] from the public domain” and that no Wynn official had mentioned this settlement at the time of Wynn’s 2013 Massachusetts casino license suitability hearings.

Wells said the settlement would “remain a critical element” of the bureau’s ongoing review, which would include studying corporate action or lack thereof contemporaneous to the settlement, something Wells characterized as a variation of ‘who knew what and when’.

The bureau’s review will also monitor Wynn Resorts’ corporate response to information now in the public domain, and also determine the current situation’s impact on the company’s financial stability.

General counsel Catherine Blue added that one of the factors that the MGC uses to determine a licensee’s suitability is a “pattern or practice of misconduct” that doesn’t necessarily result in a conviction but nonetheless remains a concern.

Crosby noted that the sensitivity surrounding Wynn’s alleged wrongdoing meant there were limits on what the MGC could publicly disclose, but vowed that the MGC’s probe would involve a “tremendous presumption of transparency to the maximum extent possible.”

NEVADA REGULATORS ASK STEVE TO TURN HIS HEAD AND COUGH
Wynn Resorts’ current brouhaha got a lot less ha-ha on Tuesday after the Nevada Gaming Control Board (GCB) announced it had opened a formal investigation into the allegations surrounding Steve Wynn.

On Saturday, the GCB had said it was still ‘reviewing’ the allegations but newly appointed GCB chair Becky Harris – the first female to ever hold that position – told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Tuesday that the completion of this review would now be followed by a “thorough and judicious” investigation.

The GCB has broad powers to investigate its licensees and punishment for injuring the reputation of the state’s gaming industry could include seven-figure fines or even license revocation, although the former is far more likely than the latter.

Both Steve Wynn and his company have vehemently denied the allegations, and have suggested they were sparked by the contentious divorce war Steve is waging against his ex-wife Elaine Wynn.

In addition to the Massachusetts and Nevada probes, Macau authorities are conducting their own investigation into the allegations. Wynn’s board of directors has also tasked its independent members with conducting an internal probe.

STOCK SLIDE CONTINUES
Wynn Resorts’ stock lost nearly one-fifth of its value in the two trading days following Friday’s WSJ article, but the stock enjoyed a mild rebound on Tuesday. But (as predicted) this rally didn’t last, as the stock fell another 3.4% on Wednesday, closing at $165.59, down from over $200 at the opening of Friday’s trading.

Standard & Poor’s revised Wynn Resorts’ outlook from ‘stable’ to ‘negative’ on Tuesday, in part due to the uncertainty surrounding Steve’s ability to remain at the helm of his company.

The ratings agency also questioned whether the notoriety could negatively impact the company’s ability to pursue gaming licenses in new markets such as Japan, or even if the company would be forced to rebrand should Steve’s reputation spiral down to Weinstein levels.

The post Steve Wynn’s $7.5m sexual harassment settlement “issue #1” for Massachusetts regulators appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

Casino – CalvinAyre.com
Nevada sportsbooks set new revenue, betting handle records

nevada-casino-sportsbooks-betting-recordsNevada casino sportsbooks enjoyed record betting volume and revenue in 2017 on the back of soaring football and basketball wagers.

Figures released Wednesday by the Nevada Gaming Control Board (GCB) show the states’ casinos generated revenue of $960.4m in December, up less than 1% from December 2016’s result. The gains came despite Las Vegas Strip casino revenue falling 3.25% to $571.5m.

Statewide slots revenue was up 5.9% to $579.7m, while games & table revenue fell 6.9% to $380.6m. Baccarat topped the individual table game revenue chart with $120.4m, but this represented a 30.3% year-on-year decline. By contrast, blackjack improved 11.7% to $100.3m, while craps ($32.2m, -8.7%) and roulette ($30.1m, +15%) had a mixed month.

Shifting to the sportsbooks, overall revenue shot up 81.3% year-on-year to $34.5m in December, a significant turnaround from November’s $9.8m, which suffered from the worst baseball month on record.

December’s sportsbook revenue was goosed by above-average betting volume and hold in multiple sports. Football betting revenue shot up nearly two-thirds to over $23m as football win hit an impressive 7.9%. Basketball betting revenue was up 72% to over $11m on a 7% hold.

‘Other’ sports also had a good month, improving 77.6% to nearly $1.8m while parlay cards leaped 232.7% to $491k. The month’s overall numbers would have looked even better had laggard baseball bettors not cashed in $1.85m worth of winning tickets.

December’s revenue pushed 2017’s total take to $248.8m, smashing the state’s previous annual record haul of $231.8m in 2015. Total wagering handle also set a new record with $4.87b, up from the previous record of $4.51b in 2016, marking the eighth straight year of record handle.

As ever, professional and college football led the way with a record $1.7b in betting handle in 2017, with basketball ($1.4b) and baseball ($1.1b) also setting records for wagering volume.

With a new Super Bowl just around the corner, this week saw the US casino lobby group trot out its annual ‘estimate’ of how American bettors plan to thumb their noses at federal legislators.

The American Gaming Association (AGA) claimed this week that US bettors would wager $4.76b on Sunday’s Super Bowl LII, up slightly from the $4.7b the AGA claimed would bet on 2017’s big game. However, the AGA remained consistent in its belief that 97% of all US single-game wagering would be done outside Nevada, the only US jurisdiction that such activity is currently – emphasis on currently – legal.

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Casino – CalvinAyre.com
Florida kicks off two months of gambling legislative squabbling

florida-gambling-expansionCall us crazy, but we think we’ve figured out a way to make Florida’s annual gambling legislation derby a whole lot more entertaining.

Two weeks ago, Florida’s state Senate introduced the 2018 version of its omnibus gambling legislation. Among other things, SB 840 would approve daily fantasy sports operations and allow greyhound- and horseracing tracks to decouple, aka abandon racing while keeping their more lucrative slots parlors and cardrooms.

The bill would also allow those cardrooms to continue to offer the controversial designated-player games that the state’s Seminole Tribe believes run contrary to the agreement they signed last July with Gov. Rick Scott.

As such, in order to get the tribe’s support, the legislature will likely have to sweeten the Seminoles’ pot, possibly by adding the exclusive right to offer roulette and craps at the tribe’s six gaming venues in the state, as was offered in the 2015 gaming compact the tribe inked with Scott but which was never ratified by the legislature.

Florida’s House of Representatives has traditionally been far less enthusiastic about gambling expansion, and Tuesday saw the House Tourism & Gaming Control Subcommittee approve PCB TGC 18-01, a new version of the bill it put forward last year.

As with last year’s (ultimately doomed) effort, this House bill would renew the Seminoles’ existing compact and extend it through 2038, while boosting the annual payment from tribe to state from $250m to at least $325m.

But the House bill would ban the cardrooms’ designated-player games and prohibit tracks and jai-alai frontons outside Miami-Dade and Broward counties from launching new slots operations, even if voters in these counties have already given these plans their approval.

This year’s abbreviated legislative session, which ends in March, is further complicated by the fact that the Disney-backed No Casinos group succeeded in getting an amendment onto this November’s ballot that could require any gambling expansion plan to secure approval of the state’s voters.

The idea that any plan enacted after November could be undone by voters may provide the necessary impetus for legislators to get something done this time around. That said, the House appears largely content to carbon freeze the current gambling landscape, so who knows?

Frankly, we think the state and the rest of us would be far better served if we could just get all the stakeholders and legislators in a room, dress them all up in giant rabbit costumes, lock the door, then threaten to unleash all those coked-up greyhounds into the room if they can’t reach consensus.

The post Florida kicks off two months of gambling legislative squabbling appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

World Casino News
Aspire Global’s Karamba goes live with SBTech sportsbook

In a move that will see the expansion of its range of igaming products, online casino and white label solutions provider Aspire Global recently penned a deal with SBTech that will see the 2017 SBC Awards winner of the "Sportsbook Supplier of the Year" initially go live with its flagship Karamba brand. The Malta-based group is now live with its UK-facing online casino Karamba, and as complement to its existing offering of live casino, slots, table games, scratch and instant games, will now offer SBTech’s acclaimed sportsbook. Chief Executive Officer for Aspire Global Tsachi Maimon, commented: “We are thrilled to add this new and engaging vertical to our solution, and are confident that the collaboration with SBTech will be a successful venture for both parties. The decision to choose SBTech as our sportsbook provider was based on its ability to adjust its product offering to our unique solution and the needs of our operators. This partnership will enhance the diversity of our offering to our partners and will continue the positive trend of growth experienced over the past few years,” according to the press release. Also commenting on the collaboration, Chief Executive Officer for SBTech Richard Carter, added: “This launch confirms SBTech’s position as the leading supplier of sports betting solutions for the sector’s top operators. We’re anticipating significant growth for all of Aspire Global’s partners, thanks to our expertise in deploying flexible trading and content solutions, with unique focus on cross-selling from casino to sports.” Up to now, Aspire Global’s focus has been on offering a full online casino solution to white label clients and operators. The addition of the market-leading sportsbook from SBTech will allow it to increase revenues for its operators and widen its product offering. Just recently, SBTech entered into a strategic partnership with GameAccount Network in anticipation of a positive outcome to the Christie v NCAA case currently being considered by the United States Supreme Court.
Casino – CalvinAyre.com
US Treasury Dept. drops hammer on Laos’ King Romans Casino

us-treasury-department-kings-roman-casinoThe US Treasury Department has targeted the operator of a Laotian casino for alleged involvement in widespread trafficking in narcotics, wildlife and human beings.

On Tuesday, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) brought the hammer down on what it called the Zhao Wei Transnational Criminal Organization (Zhao Wei TCO).

A Chinese national, Zhao Wei is co-owner of the Kings Roman Casino (pictured) in the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone (GTSEZ) near Laos’ borders with both Thailand and Myanmar. The GTSEZ is a joint venture between Zhao and the Laotian government, which is said to hold a 20% stake, and is widely considered a hub for all manner of forbidden fruit.

The OFAC says the Zhao Wei TCO uses the Kings Roman Casino to store and distribute heroin, methamphetamine and other narcotics. Since 2014, Thai, Lao and Chinese authorities have seized large narcotics shipments that have been traced back to the casino.

The TCO also “permits and promotes” human trafficking and child prostitution via its GTSEZ operations, and also traffics in endangered wildlife, including Asiatic black bears, pangolin, tigers, rhinos and elephants.

Zhao Wei reportedly used to operate another casino in Mong La, Myanmar’s ‘vice city.’ In 2007, Zhao Wei inked a 99-year lease on the GTSEZ property, which spans roughly 3k hectares. Kings Roman and the GTSEZ’s other attractions cater to an overwhelmingly Chinese audience.

In addition to Zhao Wei, the TCO also involves his wife, Guiqin Su, a director of Kings Roman International (HK) Ltd, who allegedly moves money on behalf of the TCO. Abbas Eberahim, an Australian national who oversees security at the Kings Roman Casino, has allegedly engaged in bribery on behalf of the TCO, while Thai national Nat Rungtawankhiri is accused of moving money and providing material support for the TCO.

The OFAC has frozen all assets under US jurisdiction belonging to these four individuals and three related companies, and all US persons are prohibited from engaging in any transactions with them.

Sigal Mandelker, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said the designation of the Zhao Wei network was “part of a broader strategy to disrupt the financial infrastructure of transnational criminal organizations that pose a threat to the United States and our allies.”

In 2012, Laos shut down casinos operating in Boten, close to the border with China, reportedly after Beijing complained about rising numbers of its citizens being kidnapped and held for ransom after running up gambling debts.

Laos also has at least one casino on its border with Cambodia. The Savan Vegas Hotel & Entertainment Complex has been the subject of a multi-year legal fight after the Lao government booted its owner Macau-based Sanum Investments over alleged unpaid tax obligations and sold the property to Macau Legend Development.

The post US Treasury Dept. drops hammer on Laos’ King Romans Casino appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Casino News Daily
Philipp Gruissem Joins partypoker’s Cluster of Poker Celebrity Ambassadors

While PokerStars Team Pro seems to be thinning with each week passing, the case is exactly the opposite with its rival poker operator partypoker and its team of sponsored players. It was announced earlier today that German poker Philipp Gruissem has become the latter poker room’s newest brand ambassador.

The player is joining a growing team of sponsored players, which includes fellow countryman Fedor Holz, among a number of others.

With live tournament earnings of over $11 million, Gruissem is one of his homeland’s most successful poker professionals. And here it is important to note once again that over the past several years, Germany has turned into a superpower in the world of poker thanks to its players who have been dominating high roller fields for the past several years.

Gruissem, in particular, has been quite active on the high roller scene and has taken down an impressive amount of such tournaments, hence his bankroll. The player won his largest cash namely from a high roller event. Back in 2013, he topped the field of the WPT Alpha 8 London £100,000 No-Limit Hold’em, good for £862,400.

A year later, the German took down the EPT Season 10 Grand Final €25,500 High Roller 8-Max for another massive payout of €993,963. The player won the same event in 2017, this time for €485,135. Overall, he has cashed in 54 live tournaments over the course of his poker career, and as it can be seen some of his payouts have been quite impressive.

Gruissem has also been playing online for quite some time. In fact, the player has revealed that he won his first ever online tournament on partypoker under the ‘philbort’ screen name. He has also pointed out that it was this victory (which brought him $200) that encouraged him to learn more about the game and delve deeper into its particularities.

partypoker’s Expanding Team of Ambassadors

As mentioned earlier, the online poker room has expanded its Team partypoker significantly over the past two years, signing poker heavyweights such as Fedor Holz, Jason Koon, Dzmitry Urbanovich, and Kristen Bicknell, and now Gruissem.

On the other hand, PokerStars Team Pro, the team of sponsored players of partypoker’s rival online poker brand, has lost some of its big names. In fact, four players have parted ways with PokerStars since the beginning of the year, with those being Vanessa Selbst, Jason Mercier, Felipe Ramos, and most recently Bertrand Grospellier.

While the players have cited different reasons for their departure, it can be said that many of them have probably decided to end their contracts with the poker room, due to the wave of changes in its rewards program it has been rolling out for the past two years or so. Generally speaking, these changes are aimed at attracting recreational players while poker professionals consider them less friendly.

Isaac Haxton has been one of the most vocal critics of PokerStars’ new policies. The player was part of the poker brand’s Team Pro, but severed ties with it in early 2016, claiming that it had behaved “unethically”. It was announced last week that Haxton has too joined Team partypoker as ambassador for the poker operator.

The post Philipp Gruissem Joins partypoker’s Cluster of Poker Celebrity Ambassadors appeared first on Casino News Daily.

World Casino News
GameAccount Network to power Ocean Resort Casino online offerings

After last week inking a strategic partnership for the United States with sportsbetting solutions innovator SBTech, British online gaming software supplier GameAccount Network has now revealed the signing of a multi-year deal with the new owner of the coming Ocean Resort Casino. Previously known as TEN Atlantic City until it was sold for $200 million earlier this month to an entity known as AC Ocean Walk LLC and renamed, the 1,399-room Ocean Resort Casino expects to re-open for business in the summer complete with a casino featuring some 2,000 slots as well as approximately 100 gaming tables. To complement this casino, the Atlantic City property additionally intends to offer real-money online gaming and sportsbetting utilizing the New Jersey-licensed platform from GameAccount Network while moreover integrating these propositions with its on-site rewards program via the London-based firm’s Patent3 innovation. “This new Internet gaming destination is currently expected to launch in [the first half of] 2018 and will contribute materially to GameAccount Network’s revenues and earnings in [the second half of] 2018,” read a Tuesday statement from GameAccount Network. “Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, is the substantial casino property formerly known as TEN Atlantic City/Revel Casino Hotel Atlantic City.” GameAccount Network also stated that it intends to release its financial results for the twelve months to the end of December on March 29 and expects these to have benefitted from the signing of four more clients for its United States-facing Simulated Gaming offering. It declared that this innovation is now utilized by twelve casinos across the country and accounts for over $8 billion in annual land-based gaming revenues. “GameAccount Network’s United States-facing Simulated Gaming business continued to benefit from the launch of several new United States casino operator clients in 2017 including Ocean Resort Casino, Chickasaw Nation’s WinStar World Casino, MGM’s The Borgata, Oneida Nation’s Turning Stone and Station Casinos,” read the statement from GameAccount Network.
World Casino News
Solaire Resort and Casino customers to be rewarded with shares

In the Philippines, the Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels Incorporated subsidiary of casino operator Bloomberry Resorts Corporation has reportedly spent approximately $82,468 in order to purchase shares in its parent that it subsequently intends to award to ‘loyal patrons’ of its Solaire Resort and Casino. According to a report from the Manila Bulletin newspaper, the subordinate acquired some 382,900 shares in Manila-listed Bloomberry Resorts Corporation, which also holds a majority stake in the firm behind South Korea’s Jeju Sun Hotel and Casino, after receiving consent from its parent’s board of directors. “These shares shall be given as a reward to Solaire [Resort and Casino’s] loyal patrons and as part of Solaire [Resorts and Casino’s] marketing program,” reportedly read a statement from Bloomberry Resorts Corporation. The newspaper additionally reported that the first nine months of 2017 saw Bloomberry Resorts Corporation realize an over 275% increase year-on-year in its unaudited consolidated profit to just over $116.1 million. The firm purportedly attributed this success to the record performance of its Solaire Resort and Casino and the first positive earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization from its Jeju Sun Hotel and Casino since the venue was acquired in 2015. “We continue to grow across all sectors and hope to see this uptrend continue until the end of the year,” reportedly read a statement from Enrique Razon, Chairman and majority shareholder for Bloomberry Resorts Corporation. “Our top line and bottom lines are positive and, despite some minor hiccups, I am confident that 2017 will be a banner year.”
Casino News Daily
Republicans Urged to Return Donations from Casino Boss Steve Wynn after Sexual Misconduct Allegations

GOP Senators have urged Republican colleagues to return any donations they had received from casino boss Steve Wynn, after multiple sexual harassment allegations surfaced against him late last week. Mr. Wynn is a long-time GOP donor and up until this weekend he took the post of a Finance Chair of the Republican National Committee.

The Wall Street Journal published an extensive report on Friday, providing details about the casino magnate’s decades-long alleged pattern of sexual misconduct towards staff members at his company Wynn Resorts. Mr. Wynn is a founder, Chairman, and CEO of the Las Vegas-headquartered casino operator.

The major gambling company currently operates properties on the Las Vegas Strip and Macau, and is building a $2.4-billion integrated resort near Boston. The project is touted to be the largest private single-phase construction project in Massachusetts’ history.

Following the publication of Wall Street Journal’s report, Mr. Wynn stepped down from his post at the Republican National Committee, although he called the allegations against him “preposterous”.

Multiple Republican politicians have distanced themselves from the business mogul over the weekend. Sen. Lindsey Graham told the ABC on Sunday that if the allegations have merit, politicians should return the money they had been donated. Sen. Graham himself does not appear to have received money from the casino boss, according to Federal Election Commission records.

The Wall Street Journal reported that a number of Republican politicians have confirmed that they would donate the money they had been contributed to by Mr. Wynn to various charities.

During the presidential campaigns in 2016, the Las Vegas businessman provided financial backing to both Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and now US President Donald Trump. Mr. Wynn and Mr. Trump once were business rivals. They have a history of an on and off friendship. Back in 2016, Mr. Trump called Mr. Wynn a “great friend” who had provided him with important advice.

Long Pattern of Sexual Harassment

The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that both former and current employees at Wynn Resorts had revealed multiple sexual harassment incidents involving their boss, Mr. Wynn. One of these incidents involved a former Wynn Las Vegas manicurist who had claimed that the businessman had forced her into performing a sex act in his office. Mr. Wynn then paid her a $7.5-million settlement to keep the occurrence away from the media radar.

The Board of Wynn Resorts opened an investigation into the matter, although it said in a statement from this weekend that no complaint has ever been made against Mr. Wynn.

It also became clear that the Massachusetts Gaming Commission will review the appropriateness of Wynn Resorts operating a casino resort in the state, following the allegations. Wynn Boston Harbor, the $2.4-billion integrated resort currently under construction on the Everett waterfront near Boston, is slated to open doors next spring. However, it seems that Wynn Resorts’ license might be at risk, particularly if the allegations against its founder and major shareholder prove true.

As mentioned above, Mr. Wynn dismissed the sexual misconduct reports, further suggesting that these could have been spread by his former spouse Elaine Wynn, whom he is engaged in a years-long legal war with. Mrs. Wynn was ousted from the Wynn Resorts Board following her divorce from Mr. Wynn in 2010. She has been seeking to regain control over her stake for several years now without much success.

The post Republicans Urged to Return Donations from Casino Boss Steve Wynn after Sexual Misconduct Allegations appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Casino – CalvinAyre.com
Steve Wynn sexual allegations fallout widens

steve-wynn-sexual-allegations-falloutSexual harassment allegations have prompted Wynn Resorts CEO Steve Wynn to resign as the Republican party’s main money man.

On Saturday, Republic National Committee (RNC) chairperson Ronna Romney-McDaniel confirmed that she’d accepted Steve Wynn’s resignation as the RNC’s finance chair. The announcement came one day after media reports of multiple female staffers accusing Wynn of decades’ worth of sexual impropriety.

Wynn, who has been among the Republic party’s leading financial donors in recent years, was appointed to the RNC role in January 2017, shortly after Donald Trump was sworn in as the new President of the United States.

McDaniel’s statement made no mention of the allegations facing Wynn, but Steve issued a statement on Saturday saying “the work [the RNC] are doing to make America a better place is too important to be impaired by this distraction.” Steve’s statement on Friday called the allegations against him “preposterous.”

Wynn Resorts’ stock shed 10% of its value on Friday, and the expectation is that Wynn Macau shares will undergo significant downward pressure when the Hong Kong exchange opens on Monday. Such a dip would spoil the momentum sparked by the stellar Q4 and FY17 results the company reported last week.

The allegations against Steve have sparked concern that he could be forced to step down as Wynn Resorts boss. The company formed a committee headed by Patricia Mulroy, a member of Wynn’s corporate governance compliance committee, to investigate the allegations against Steve. The Nevada Gaming Control Board is also “reviewing” the situation.

Should Steve be forced to step down, Wynn is moving from the frying pan to the fire. Steve has no clear successor, in part due to what has been described as a weak board of directors allowing Steve to concentrate power in his hands.

The allegations could also spark fallout in Massachusetts, home of the in-development $2.4b Wynn Boston Harbor integrated resort project. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) issued a statement saying it was “now aware of and is taking very seriously the troubling allegations detailed in the Wall Street Journal article.”

The MGC’s decision to award Wynn the sole Boston-area casino license was controversial due to allegations of favoritism by MGC chairman Stephen Crosby. Rival Caesars Entertainment accused Crosby of making unfounded claims regarding Caesars’ regulatory unsuitability.

Crosby was ultimately cleared of wrongdoing but the issue of Wynn’s suitability is now on the table. The MGC’s weekend statement said assessing the suitability of its gaming licensees was “an active and ongoing process.”

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker added his voice to the growing controversy, saying he was “deeply disturbed by these allegations and expects them to be taken seriously.” Baker said his administration “has a zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment.”

The post Steve Wynn sexual allegations fallout widens appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

World Casino News
Partypoker Powerfest in full swing

Since January 21st, online poker players have been logging on at partypoker to take part in the 7th edition of Powerfest. The poker festival is one of the most popular on offer by partypoker, this time around offering 147 tournament events with $15 million in guaranteed prize money up for grabs. The action continues through February 4th, providing players with plenty of events to enjoy. Powerfest fits players of every bankroll as there are Low, Medium and High tier tournaments provided. The events in the Medium category will have buy-ins 10x the amount of the Low events. The events in the High category will have buy-ins 10x the Medium events. Players can choose to compete for the lesser buy-in, go for mid-range or on the high end, even a mix of them all! Players will find something on the schedule each day in each category. February 4th marks the final day of Powerfest with three events set to offer a $1 million in guaranteed prize money. Players can take part in the Main Event, scheduled for the 4th, offering a buy-in of just $215. This is the Medium option. Players can opt to compete in the Low Main Event for $22 or the High Main Event for $2,100. During Powerfest, party has been providing leaderboard competitions. As players compete in Powerfest events, they earn points based on finishes. The better the tournament finish, the more points earned. Leaderboards are on offer for the Low, Medium and High events. Partypoker will be providing $170,000 in prizes to the top 150 players on each leaderboard. Today, players will find a host of events on the schedule, in Low, Medium and High categories. Take part in Event # 24, a $25K guaranteed No-Limit Hold’em event with a $22 buy-in or go for the higher event, the $200k guaranteed event with a $215 buy-in. Additional tournament types on offer today include the Title Fight Special Edition, PKO and Turbo Pot Limit Omaha events, and more. Powerfest continues through February 4th, so there is still plenty of time for players to get in on the online poker action!
Casino News Daily
Ben Lamb Wins Aussie Millions A$25,000 Challenge

Ben Lamb, a two-time WSOP Main Event finalist, triumphed in the Aussie Millions A$25,000 Challenge in the first hours of Sunday to scoop a payout of A$647,114 and an ANTON Jewellery ring after dominating action on the event’s second day.

Lamb locked the victory after he agreed on a deal with Jan-Eric Schwippert before the beginning of heads-up. The two players shook hands on splitting what had remained of the prize pool based on their chip counts and flipping blind for the ring and the title. Schwippert, one of the members of Germany’s group of high roller elites, collected A$597,765 for his runner-up finish.

The event attracted a field of 114 entries, who created a prize pool of A$2,736,000. The second and final day of the A$25,000 buy-in tournament began with 19 players returning at the tables of Crown Casino in Melbourne. They were led by Taiwanese poker star Kitty Kuo. The female poker pro has performed quite well in Asian-Pacific tournaments over the past several years and was looking for a first major title from the Aussie Millions. The player actually came really close to winning one last night, but eventually finished fourth for one of her career’s best cashes of A$246,240.

As the day progressed, the Day 2 field of 19 players was reduced to the final seven who gathered around an unofficial final table. Schwippert was the chip leader at that point, followed by Lamb. It can be said that action during the final day of the event was marked by these two’s attempts to outrun each other.

Lamb’s Final Move to Victory

As mentioned above, Lamb and his German opponent were the last men standing in the field. Instead of engaging in what could have been a rather long heads-up duel, the two players agreed to split the remaining money and to flip blind for the title.

On the final hand in play, Lamb’s [Qc][Jc] faced Schwipper’s [10s][4h]. The board ran out [2c][9s][3c][3d][7h] to secure Lamb with the title and the champion’s ring.

In his post-victory interview, Lamb said that the six-handed format was his favorite, and he really enjoyed playing the A$25,000 Challenge. At this time of the year, the player usually participates actively in the PCA and skips the Aussie Millions. However, it was a bit different this year. Lamb decided to play in the PCA for just a week, and then he traveled to sunny Australia for Crown Melbourne’s big annual festival.

Including his latest live poker accomplishment, Lamb now has more than $8.8 million in tournament earnings. As mentioned earlier, the player played at the final table of the WSOP Main Event two times. In 2011, he finished third in the massive event, good for $4,021,138. Last summer, Lamb collected $1 million after took ninth place in the $10,000 Championship.

The post Ben Lamb Wins Aussie Millions A$25,000 Challenge appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

World Casino News
Senior management reshuffle at Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited

In Macau, casino operator Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited has reportedly announced a number of planned changes to its senior leadership team including the imminent departure of industry veteran Gabriel Hunterton as President for its City of Dreams Macau property. According to a report from GGRAsia, industry veteran Hunterton was appointed to oversee the Cotai Strip venue a year ago with this role now set to be filled by David Sisk, who currently serves as President for Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited’s nearby Studio City Macau enterprise. In addition, Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited reportedly explained that Geoffry Philip Andres, President for its City of Dreams Manila venue, will take over from Sisk at Studio City Macau while Kevin Benning is to be promoted to the roles of Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice-President in the Philippines. “The redeployment of our senior operating management across our integrated resorts is aimed at optimizing our operating excellence,” reportedly read a statement from Lawrence Ho Yau Lung, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited. “We are leveraging on key individuals who all have demonstrated their expertise in managing and delivering strong growth.” GGRAsia moreover reported that November saw Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited record net third-quarter revenues of around $1.38 billion, which represented a year-on-year rise of almost 19.5%, with the firm declaring that this swell had been ‘primarily attributable to higher rolling chip revenues at City of Dreams [Macau] and the commencement of rolling chip operations at Studio City [Macau] in November of 2016’.
Casino News Daily
Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier Leaves PokerStars Team Pro

French poker pro Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier has reportedly left PokerStars Team Pro, poker news outlet PokerFuse reported citing unnamed industry sources. The Frenchman thus became the fourth sponsored professional to leave the poker operator’s cluster of stars, who are promoting its brand globally, since the beginning of the year, with Vanessa Selbst, Jason Mercier, and Felipe Ramos being the other three.

While PokerStars is yet to confirm Grospellier’s departure, PokerFuse has pointed out that his picture and bio had been removed from the online card room’s official website. It is also still unknown why ElkY has decided to leave PokerStars’ team of sponsored players, but many would suggest that this might have to do with the multiple tweaks the poker operator has introduced in its rewards program over the past several years.

Many players, who have been playing poker for years, have complained about PokerStars depriving them of privileges they have earned through countless hours of playing. Indeed, the poker room’s focus has recently shifted towards attracting more recreational players to its online poker premises.

Who Is ElkY?

Prior to rising to fame in the poker world, Grospellier had made a name for himself as one of the world’s top eSports players. He then focused his attention to building a poker career. With live tournament earnings of more than $13.5 million, ElkY is his home’s country’s most profitable player of all time.

What is more, the Frenchman is one of the very few players to have accomplished the Triple Crown in poker. To be more specific, he has a WPT, a WSOP, and an EPT title in his massive portfolio of poker accomplishments. In 2008, Grospellier won the $8,000 PCA Main Event for $2 million in prize money. It was also in 2008 when the player won his WPT title. He bested the $15,000 buy-in Festa al Lago for $1,411,015. He has a gold bracelet from a WSOP Seven Card Stud Championship event he won back in 2011.

It is also important to note that ElkY is one of the world’s most accomplished online poker players, playing both in cash games and tournament events. In fact, he was the first online player to reach PokerStars’ Supernova and Supernova Elite statuses.

As mentioned earlier, three other Team PokerStars Pros parted ways with the online poker room since the beginning of the year. In a comprehensive post on Facebook, Vanessa Selbst, the world’s most profitable female poker pro, announced that she was retiring from professional poker to pursue other career opportunities. She thus ended her contract with the card room.

Jason Mercier followed suit, announcing that he had not renewed his contract with PokerStars. The player explained that he plans to spend more time with his wife, Natasha Mercier, who is also a professional poker player, and their newborn son. Judging by his statement, Mercier had parted ways with the poker room quite amicably, pointing out that he had spend wonderful eight and a half years as a sponsored player.

However, Felipe Ramos did not seem to have ended his contract with PokerStars in friendly terms. In a series of tweets, the Brazilian player joined the wave of discontent towards the poker brand’s new priorities.

The post Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier Leaves PokerStars Team Pro appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Friday, January 26, 2018

World Casino News
Arsenal F.C. agrees cryptocurrency sponsorship deal

One of the English Premier League’s biggest teams, Arsenal F.C., has reportedly inked a partnership deal with US-based CashBet, a cryptocurrency designed for sports betting, online casino and eSports. Via the deal, which was announced on January 24, the same day as CashBet Coin was due to be launched, the professional football club based in Highbury, London reportedly becomes world football’s first team to partner with a cryptocurrency. The iGaming cryptocurrency, which can be used on apps powered by CashBet and iGaming sites, hopes to benefit from Arsenal’s extensive reach as a football club which receives global support. Per the agreement, the California-based CashBet Coin will be advertised during Premier League home games inside the Emirates Stadium. The value of the deal was reportedly undisclosed. Commenting on the new partnership, CCO for Arsenal, Vinai Venkatesham, said: “We are pleased to welcome Cashbet Coin as our partner. We are looking forward to working with CashBet Coin as they launch their new cryptocurrency,” according to the Evening Standard. Also commenting on the deal, Founder and CEO for CashBet, Dr. Mike Reaves, said: “With our ICO for CashBet Coin, we are actively targeting a global, multi-billion dollar marketplace of iGaming content providers, operators and players. “We are delighted to do so in partnership with one of world football’s true giants in Arsenal, enabling us to build our brand and engage this audience in a meaningful way.” The deal comes as a growing number of business leaders and regulators express concern regarding the potential dangers to consumers who risk their savings in unregulated virtual currencies. According to British daily newspaper The Guardian, the Financial Conduct Authority, a financial regulatory body in the United Kingdom, warned consumers in 2017 that if they invested in Bitcoin, they should be prepared to lose their money. The Guardian reports that the FCA waved comment on the decision by Arsenal to promote a cryptocurrency, but that it was pointed out by a spokesman that the regulator was planning to “conduct a deeper examination of the fast-paced developments” of initial coin offerings (ICOs) and if necessary, would take “further regulatory action.” For its part, CashBet reportedly said that it was pleased to have secured a deal with Arsenal as the company is “actively targeting a global, multibillion-dollar marketplace of i-gaming content providers, operators and players,” as reported by The Guardian.
Casino – CalvinAyre.com
Macau’s casino junket operator ranks shrink for fifth straight year

macau-casino-junket-operators-rank-thirdThe ranks of Macau’s licensed casino junket operators underwent further contraction last year, but analysts believe the numbers will stabilize in 2018.

Figures released this week by Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) show the number of licensed gaming promoters fell to 109 – 99 companies and 10 individuals – this month, a 13.5% decline from the 126 approved junkets in operation during January 2017.

The current figure is further removed from the 141 licensed junkets on the DICJ’s approved list in 2016 and a 57% reduction from the 253 promoters who were plying their trade in Macau in January 2013.

The fifth straight year of junket shrinkage is partly due to the DICJ imposing tighter financial benchmarks on the sector. Also, some smaller junkets threw in the towel during Macau’s two-year-plus gaming revenue decline that ended in August 2016, or allowed their operations to be acquired by larger, more stable junkets.

However, with the VIP gambling sector having reestablished itself as the engine of the Macau’s market’s overall growth last year, analysts believe 2018 may snap the five-year streak of shrinking junket numbers.

Kwok Chi Chung, president of Macau’s Association of Gaming and Entertainment Promoters, told GGRAsia that the junket sector was unlikely to undergo a “big change” this year. If there is further downward pressure, “it will not be to a great extent” due to the consolidation push having “largely stabilized.”

Andrew Lo Kai Bong, chief investment officer of the market-leading SunCity Group junket, echoed this view, saying Macau’s VIP sector “has already grown to such a large scale that it is not easy for any new startups to enter it.”

Macau’s government plans to amend its gaming laws this year to further increase junket oversight, reportedly including greater disclosure on shareholder structure and boosting minimum capital requirements.

The post Macau’s casino junket operator ranks shrink for fifth straight year appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

Casino News Daily
Biggest Aussie Millions Winners over the Years

The Aussie Millions Poker Championship is probably the biggest live festival to be taking place in the Southern Hemisphere on an annual basis. Over the years, the event has gained global popularity with the number and diversity of poker events it features and has attracted some of the world’s most popular and highly selective poker players.

This year the major poker series celebrates its 20th anniversary which will certainly elevate the spirits of both organizers and players who are planning to take part in the poker festivities at the host venue Crown Casino in Melbourne. To celebrate the recent start of the 2018 Aussie Millions, Casino News Daily has prepared a short list of some of the largest payouts awarded to players over the past two decades.

Phil Ivey

Phil Ivey previously made history at the Aussie Millions. He became the only player to ever win three A$250,000 Challenges, an event that dropped from the 2018 schedule of the festival due to lack of interest last year.

Ivey won the tournament in 2012, 2014, and 2015, scooping a total of $8.205 million for his three triumphs. The 2012 edition of the event drew 16 entries, who created a prize pool of A$4 million. Ivey collected half of that amount.

In 2014, the popular poker pro took down the largest ever A$250,000 Challenge for A$4 million. The event had 30 entries and 16 re-entries. The massive interest generated a prize pool of A$11.27 million, which made the event the largest one to have taken place over the festival’s twenty years of running.

Erik Seidel

Seidel, yet another of poker’s heavyweights, is too part of the biggest Aussie Millions winners club. The player won the inaugural A$250,000 Challenge in 2011. He collected a nice payout of A$2.5 million for his efforts. It is also important to note that he beat a field of 20 entries.

The poker professional with live tournament earnings of more than $33.5 million also almost won an Aussie Millions Championship. The player finished second in the 2008 edition of the event. He was one of 780 entries to join the event’s field, and eventually made it to heads-up against Russia’s Alexander Kostritsyn. The Russian took down the Main Event, while Seidel scooped A$1 million for his deep run.

Sam Trickett

England’s most profitable poker player has too performed beautifully in several Aussie Millions tournaments over the years. He boasts a A$250,000 Challenge title as well as a A$100,000 Challenge one. Trickett captured his title from the A$100,000 event first.

He took down the high roller tournament back in 2011. The player collected the amount of A$1.525 million. That year’s edition of the A$100,000 Challenge attracted 38 entries for a prize pool of A$3.8 million. The Englishman was also the winner of the 2013 A$250,000 Challenge. The player emerged victorious from a field of 18 participants. His share of the prize pool totaled A$2 million.

Trickett’s current live poker bankroll exceeds $20.8 million. The player had his best cash ever back in 2012, when he finished runner-up to Antonio Esfandiari in the $1,000,000 buy-in Big One for ONE DROP.

Biggest Aussie Millions Main Event Winners

Australian players Stewart Scott, Tyron Krost, and David Gorr (pictured) were the ones to collect the largest payouts for winning the Championship event. They took it in that order in three consecutive years, and all three received A$2 million for their accomplishments.

Scoot took down the A$10,000 buy-in tournament in 2010. The player was the last man standing from a field of 746 entries. Krost beat a field of 721 fellow participants the next year. Finally, Gorr took down the event in 2012, emerging the victor from 659 entries.

This year, the A$10,600 Main Event is slated to kick off on Sunday, January 28, with the first of three starting flights. The tournament will be completed on February 4, when the official final table will take place.

The post Biggest Aussie Millions Winners over the Years appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Casino News Daily
Greek Taxman Slaps €200-Million Tax Bill on Gambling Operator GVC

One of GVC Holdings’ online sports betting brands has received an unexpectedly high tax bill, following an audit by Greece’s taxman. The €186.77-million tax bill was addressed to Sportingbet, which GVC acquired back in 2013.

The Isle of Man-based gambling giant may thus be forced into paying nearly a quarter of its group revenue for 2016 (€843 million), based on the review by the Greek Audit Center for Large Enterprises, the company itself revealed in a Thursday statement.

As mentioned above, GVC purchased Sportingbet, excluding the latter’s Australian and Spanish operations which were acquired by rival William Hill, back in 2013. The gambling company pointed out in its statement from yesterday that the tax bill from the Greek audit authority encompassed a period between 2010 and 2011, or two years before GVC took over the online sports betting brand.

It is understood that other gambling companies have too been affected by surprisingly high tax bills from the Greek tax authority.

GVC explained in its Thursday statement that the tax assessment was “substantially higher by multiplies” of what Sportingbet had generated in revenue during the covered period. The company further pointed out that its Board disputes strongly the Greek taxman’s basis for assessment calculation as the “assessed quantum” was “widely exaggerated”.

GVC’s Action Plan

The gambling company has sought legal and tax advice from its Greek advisers and is contemplating on disputing the tax assessment in court. It clarified that if it brings the matter to court, the appeal process will actually be conducted in Greek courts.

However, it has entered into agreement with the Greek Audit Center for Large Enterprises to make monthly payments of €7.8 million over the course of the next two years. As GVC is preparing to appeal the tax bill, the money will be held in an account, as per its agreement with the Greek tax authority. GVC has also made a €200-million provision in its financial accounts for 2017 to cover the tax bill.

GVC’s planned takeover of rival gambling company Ladbrokes Coral is not expected to be affected by the recent tax developments in Greece. Last month, GVC renewed its talks to acquire its fellow gambling operator, with discussions resulting in a preliminary agreement for a £4-billion deal.

GVC and Ladbrokes have a long history of courtship. The two companies originally discussed a potential merger deal in 2016 amid growing concerns over the results from the UK government’s review into the nation’s gambling industry. The review was focused on the highly controversial fixed-odds betting terminals and its findings were published last fall.

Ladbrokes is the largest operator of such machines in the UK, and it feared that a potential FOBTs crackdown would hit its profitability significantly. Last fall, the UK Government confirmed that there would indeed be a crackdown on the controversial machines and MPs are set to announce what this crackdown would involve anytime now.

Ladbrokes Coral hopes that joining forces with a strong digital partner could help it offset losses caused by the pending reduction of FOBTs’ maximum stake.

The post Greek Taxman Slaps €200-Million Tax Bill on Gambling Operator GVC appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Casino – CalvinAyre.com
Third time the charm for Brazil’s Winfil casino real-money slots

brazil-winfil-casino-real-money-slotsBrazil’s renegade Winfil casino is once again taking real-money slots action, while everyone else is taking bets on how long the joint will be open before the cops close it down again.

On Wednesday, local media outlet Gauchazh reported that the Winfil casino in Porto Alegre had resumed real-money slots play. The paper reported that around 70 individuals were at Winfil late Monday night, feeding money into the casino’s slot machines.

This is the third time in four months that Winfil has launched real-money slots play, with both previous efforts ending in major police raids and the confiscation of most of the casino’s slot machines (and the cash inside those machines).

Until Brazilian legislators get their act together, casinos remain illegal in the country. However, Winfil originally claimed to have obtained a court ruling allowing it to switch from free-play ‘demonstration’ mode to the real thing, a belief that wasn’t shared by the judge who issued said ruling.

According to the Gauchazh report, Winfil attorney Laerte Luís Gschwenter claims to have been issued an injunction following the second raid in December that supports Winfil’s interpretation of the original court ruling. That’s news to the local police chief, who insists that “the law is still in force” and a third police action is imminent.

BRAZIL GAMBLING EXPANSION GETS MORE COMPLICATED
Brazilian legislators’ snail-like process of advancing their gambling expansion legislation faces no shortage of obstacles, including resolving the differences between the separate bills put forward by the Senate (PLS 186/2014) and the Chamber of Deputies (PL 442/1991).

The Senate’s version is the slightly more comprehensive plan, envisioning land-based casinos, online gambling and multiple other products, including the popular jogo de bicho lottery game. The Senate’s Constitutionality and Justice Committee (CCJ) is expected to vote on its bill when it holds its first meeting of the year on February 21.

The Chamber’s bill also involves a number of gambling verticals, although its online component is a somewhat sketchy reference to ‘electronic bets.’ However, last December, Chamber of Deputies President Rodrigo Maia expressed a preference to strip the bill of everything but major land-based casinos, claiming they are the only gambling product that would boost international tourism.

Last week, Maia was in Washington, DC, where he repeated his casino-only sentiments, as well as his desire to toughen penalties on non-approved forms of gambling. Maia appeared to dismiss the possibility of advancing the current version of the Chamber’s legislation, primarily because it “blends everything.”

Maia nonetheless expressed optimism that the two bills could be merged and voted on by both legislative bodies by mid-year. Meanwhile, a small but vocal faction in Brazil has attempted to build support for Maia’s casino-only vision, which could further complicate this already torturous process.

The post Third time the charm for Brazil’s Winfil casino real-money slots appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

World Casino News
London Affiliate Conference networking schedule announced

The London Affiliate Conference (LAC) is fast approaching and iGB Affiliate has released a networking schedule for the event that will be held over the course of four days at the ExCeL London beginning February 7, 2018. While the guide is very handy, networking never really stops at LAC. But the schedule points out the main events inside and out of the main conference room where delegates have a chance to meet and mingle with 5,000 others and get to know some of the brightest minds in the industry. Whether you attend the dedicated parties, mingle on the floor, or wind it all up with a drink in the hotel bar, you can always meet someone new or reestablish loose connections with peers on the east side of London. The official opening party will be held at Trade Union. Payment processor for the industry, UPAYCARD will host a networking party at Tropicana Beach Club. The Draft House will be the location to meet up and wind down. Shona ODonnell, head of operations at iGaming Business said: "This is traditionally the busiest time of the year for our industry, but we can’t wait for the London Affiliate Conference to get underway next month. "We have laid on a series of events that will allow delegates to network and unwind at some of London’s most exciting venues," according to press released by iGB Affiliate this week. She added, "It’s an ideal opportunity to spend a week in London with the industry’s most influential individuals." Following is the full networking schedule for LAC 2018. Kick things off with welcoming drinks from 16:00 – 18:00 on Wednesday the 7th. Meet up at Tower Hotel on St. Katharine's Way to exercise your elbow shaking hands and lifting merrymakers. Hugs are allowed. Then from 21:00 until the last call, join in the official LAC opening party at Trade Union, 3 Thomas More Street, St Katharine's & Wapping. On Thursday night from 21:00 until late UPayCard will be holding another official networking party at Tropicana Beach Club. For those unfamiliar with the trendy outpost, take your choice between two themed bars and enjoy the palm trees along with exotics flora. Admission is free to the iGB Affiliate Awards which begin at 21:00 on Friday night, the 9th. Head over to The Brewery at 52 Chiswell Street to accept your award or cheer on your colleagues as delegates celebrate an eventful year in the iGaming business together. Once again, Intertops is sponsoring the Unwind Session from 13:00 – 16:00 on Saturday 10th February 2018. The Draft House will be your venue to finish off the week. Say your goodbyes and exchange any contact info you may have missed or misplaced earlier before catching a plane, train, or driving your auto home. For more information about LAC, please visit: http://www.igbaffiliate.com/events/london-affiliate-conference#networking