Saturday, June 30, 2018

World Casino News
SkillOnNet partners FortunaGaming on launch of new online casino

A new agreement between iGaming software provider, SkillOnNet, and UK-based operator FortunaGaming will see the launch of a new white-label online casino. Malta-licensed Cozino.com, features upwards of 1,200 titles from various suppliers of video slots including NetEnt, Microgaming and Yggdrasill Gaming and will reportedly operate on the software provider’s platform, joining DrueckGlueck.com and PlayOJO.com brands. […]
Casino News Daily
Mike Takayama Wins 2018 WSOP $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em Super Turbo Bounty

Mike Takayama became the Philippines’ first WSOP gold bracelet winner after outlasting the massive field of this year’s $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em Super Turbo Bounty. Aside from the gold piece, which Takayama said he had always dreamt about, the player also collected $198,568 in prize money.

The $1,000 buy-in event was played on Friday at Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. There were over 1,400 players to have registered when cards were thrown in the air and by the time registration closed, the field counted 2,065 persons to improve from last year’s 1,867-strong field.

A prize pool of $1,858,500 was generated and the top 310 runners left with a share of it. It is also important to note that being a bounty, the tournament awarded $300 to players for each fellow competitor they eliminated over the course of action.

The turbo format provided for quick action and great poker thrill. It took just a few hours for the 2,000-plus-person field to be reduced to the final nine who comprised the official final table. The final table itself was not a long ordeal. And it looked as if Takayama was very comfortable playing that final stage of the event.

Final Table and Heads-Up

Of all nine players left at the table, there were just two who had previously won gold bracelets from the series, with Jack Duong and Steve Jelinek being those two. Duong was eventually eliminated in eighth place, while Jelinek busted in fourth.

As for Takayama, the eventual winner was a fierce contender, playing aggressively and putting quite some pressure on his fellow final tablists. It really looked as if the player went all in more frequently than folding hands.

On two of these occasions, odds were all against him until the very last moment possible. Yet, despite all the dangerous situations Takayama put himself into, the player was the last man standing after the final hand of the day was dealt and after surviving his last all in confrontation against his Italian heads-up opponent, Lorenc Puka.

The final table lasted 49 hands, while Takayama took just ten hands to finish off Puka in their two-handed duel, despite the latter’s efforts. Puka manged to double through the eventual champion early in the match. However, he was offered no more chances to reduce the huge gap between him and his opponent.

Hand #49 of the final table turned out to be the tournament’s final one dealt, Takayama challenged Puka by moving all in and the Italian called. Takayama tabled [Kd][Jc] to Puka’s [Ad][4d]. The board ran out [5h][4h][Kh][10c][Jd] to deny the Italian player his first-ever title from the series. Puka collected $122,627 for his efforts that brought him that deep into the tournament. As for Takayama, he was ready to pose for a victory picture, celebrating his triumph and his homeland’s first WSOP gold bracelet.

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Friday, June 29, 2018

Casino – CalvinAyre.com
Imperial Pacific to miss August deadline of Saipan casino

Saipan casino operator Imperial Pacific International Holdings (IPI) continues to struggle with the construction of its US$7 billion integrated resort, and is likely to miss its August 31 deadline.

Imperial Pacific to miss August deadline of Saipan casinoThe Hong Kong-listed casino operator have asked the Commonwealth Casino Commission (CCC) to extend the time frame for the completion of Imperial Pacific Resort until the end of December 2018, according to the Saipan Tribune report.

In a meeting with the CCC members on Thursday, IPI Vice President for Construction Eric Poon conceded that the casino operator may not be able to finish the construction of Imperial Palace by the end of August. Currently, the site is only 68 percent complete, according to the casino operator.

Failure of IPI to finish the construction on August 31 would mean another amendment of the casino operator’s license agreement. CCC chair Juan Sablan pointed out that it will be the sixth amendment to the license agreement if IPI misses the deadline.

“The development of the resort hotel experienced a big jump and we are trying to [do] everything and get ready for the inspection by the end of the year,” Poon said, according to the news outlet.

Poon said construction work is currently focused on the resort hotel, the hotel tower (including the building facade and roof), and the external works particularly in front of the hotel lobby. He added that they’re now working closely with the Development Planning Advisory Council to craft their extension package.

However, patience of CCC members is running thin due to the nitty-gritty paperwork that the amendment would entail as result of the construction delay. They pointed out that the IPI’s construction might see more delays since getting a government approval on casino operator’s extension request will take quite some time.

Sablan pointed out that IPI should have given a more realistic date on the integrated resort’s completion at the very start.

“Before it was manpower, then issue with the materials, but now you have materials here on Saipan… ask for a date that’s realistic…because if you pick a date that is unrealistic that would require another extension… violations in the agreement require sanctions,” Sablan said.

In February 2017, IPI asked for a construction extension citing delays caused by 2015’s Typhoon Soudelor and a shortage of trained workers.

Two months later, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Lottery Commission granted IPI extension request for completing the casino portion of its in-development Imperial Pacific Resort in Saipan’s Garapan region.

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Casino News Daily
Chinese Police Nab Another Illegal Gambling Ring

Chinese police busted an illegal online gambling ring in the city of Shenzhen, local news outlets report citing information provided by local authorities earlier today.

The Nanshan District police carried out on June 21 a raid that concluded with the arrest of seven individuals suspected to have conducted illegal sports betting services on the territory of China as the World Cup is in full swing in Russia.

Police seized computers and mobile phones believed to have been used by the illegal gambling ring to operate betting services. Local media reported that further probes will be carried out in relation to the latest detention of people suspected to be providing online betting services in a manner that breaches local regulations. It is believed that bettors serviced by the ring had managed to stake around CNY100 million (approximately $15.1 million) on World Cup matches.

This was not the first time raids were carried out in Shenzhen City in relation to the ongoing major sports event since it began on June 14 and even prior to that, as local police are stepping up efforts to prevent the illegal provision of gambling services across the nation.

Series of Raids

Earlier this month, a joint operation of Hong Kong and Mainland China police saw multiple raids taking place in a number of cities across China, including Shenzhen, to uncover illegal sports betting operations ahead of this year’s edition of the World Cup.

More than 20 locations were raided and 45 individuals aged between 24 and 62 were detained as they were suspected of offering illegal betting and gaming services. Police confiscated betting records for football and horse racing with a total value of HK$32 million (approximately $4.1 million).

To prevent illegal gambling operations from taking place during the World Cup, Hong Kong police and other law enforcement agencies announced earlier this year that bars and games centers across the city would be raided constantly during the major sports event and that there would be enhanced inspection across various control points. Most of the city’s anti-gambling operations kicked off about two months ahead of the World Cup in Russia.

Unlike other major markets across Asia, including Thailand and Malaysia, where online sports betting is illegal, Hong Kong has a framework regulating activities of this type. However, regulated betting entities in the special administrative region have long been complaining that their unlicensed rivals have been stealing customers creating a behemoth unsupervised market.

According to recent information provided by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, the amount of $68 billion could be staked illegally in the city during the World Cup. This is expected to cost Hong Kong more than $1.7 billion in betting revenue this year. The Jockey Club is among the entities to receive revenue contributions from licensed betting activities conducted on the city’s territory.

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Hard Rock Atlantic City Will Have A Sportsbook And NJ Online Sports Betting, Top Exec Confirms
NJ online sports betting

After weeks of speculation, Hard Rock Chairman Jim Allen confirms during the opening day ceremonies that a Hard Rock Atlantic City sportsbook and NJ online sports betting are in the cards.

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Thursday, June 28, 2018

Casino – CalvinAyre.com
Loan to developers of ‘The 13’ casino project repayable on demand

South Shore Holdings Ltd. (SSH), the developers of ‘The 13’ casino in Macau, have announced that a loan with a principal value of $387.4 million is now payable to the lenders “on demand.” A Loan to developers of 'The 13' casino project repayable on demandcovenant on the loan, originally required that the hotel operations be open by the end of July, 2017; however, SSH has renegotiated the terms several times with the lender since the original agreement was signed. In a filing from yesterday, SSH now hopes to open the hotel by July 31 of this year – instead and has contacted the lender about another extension. The unnamed lender has still not provided written confirmation by the time this story was written.

Since there has not been a response by the lender, SSH has stated in its announcement, “As a result, as at the date of this announcement, such bank borrowings are repayable on demand.” It added that it felt certain that it could “obtain all the licences for the operation of hotel business from the relevant authorities by the end of July 2018.”

In its 2017 annual filing, which was published in July of last year, SSH – then known as ‘The 13 Holdings Ltd.’ – said that it had already drawn around $384.7 million from a six-year term loan of approximately $388.5 million that it had been provided through a “mainland China-based bank.” That same month, Bloomberg reported that the company had missed its hotel opening deadline condition that had been stipulated in another loan agreement worth $382 million that was issued by the Bank of Communications Co. Ltd.

For its annual report through March 31, 2018, filed yesterday, SSH said, “Up to the date of this announcement, the group has not been rejected on the application for extension.” It also added, “The bank has frequent communications with the group on the progress of hotel opening preparation and also shows the positive support on the group. Therefore, the directors of the company do not expect the application of further extension will be withheld by the relevant bank.”

The project has met a series of delays since it was first begun two years ago. There have been a number of construction, as well as funding, delays, and the opening date has continuously been pushed back. Most recently, SSH expected to open the hotel tomorrow, but will miss that target, as well. There are now questions regarding licensing, with SSH “hoping” to secure a licensing agreement with an existing operator in Macau.

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Casino News Daily
Valley Forge Casino Resort Slapped with $50,000 Fine for Awarding Excess Free Slot Play

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board slapped on Wednesday a $52,500 fine on Valley Forge Casino Resort for giving out excessive amounts of free slot play to high-volume customers in the period between 2015 and 2016.

The fine was the result from an investigation conducted by the state gaming regulator’s Bureau of Investigations and Enforcement. Gaming Control Board investigators found that unauthorized employees at the casino awarded free slot play in the period between 2015 and 2016. It was also found that authorized employees awarded free slot play beyond their limits of authorization, thus violating state gaming regulations.

The unauthorized and excess free slot play eventually resulted in the casino awarding amounts higher than the level approved by regulators, as noted by the Gaming Control Board in a Wednesday notice.

The regulator’s probe into the matter found that in 2015 and 2016, unauthorized staff performed 557 complimentary slot play transactions, with those being worth over $4000,000. As many as 170 customers received the comps and 80% of the money were awarded to 20 high-volume players, the Gaming Control Board revealed.

The transactions accounted to less than 10% of the total amount of $5.2 million the casino awarded in free slots play during the period reviewed by state regulators.

The casino said Wednesday that it has agreed to pay the fine. Michel D. Fabius, the lawyer who represented the gambling venue before the Gaming Control Board said that he was confident the transactions were carried out to real customers and there was a real business reason behind those.

Previous Fines

This was not the first time the gaming resort was nabbed by Pennsylvania regulators. Back in 2013, the property received a $200,000 fine after being found that it had offered Dining Club memberships through a special promotion of little or no financial consideration. However, under state gaming regulations, patrons are required to spend at least $10 at a casino complex in order to be admitted to its gaming floor.

It was announced late last year that Las Vegas-based gaming and hospitality company Boyd Gaming would acquire Valley Forge Casino Resort for the total amount of $280.5 million. Located in the King of Prussia, about 20 miles west of Philadelphia, the casino complex became Boyd’s first property in Pennsylvania. The fact that the state is home to the nation’s second largest commercial gaming industry was among the factors that encouraged the company to seek expansion of its footprint there.

The Gaming Control Board gave the nod to the transaction in April. During the hearing before the gaming regulator, the casino’s new owners said that they would look to expand its existing offering with online gambling services. Boyd is no stranger to remote gaming, as prior to selling its 50% stake in Atlantic City’s Borgata, the company had participated in the operation of its online casino.

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Casino – CalvinAyre.com
Genting HK signs million-dollar deal with Finnish firm for ship fixtures

Genting Hong Kong, the casino cruise arm of Genting Bhd, is improving its fleet of casino vessels. Through its German subsidiary, MV Werften Wismar GmBH, the company has reached an agreement with a Finnish marine engineering company that will be responsible for outfitting the ships with fixtures and equipment. The deal will see Genting pay the company, Almaco Group Genting Hong Kong signs million-dollar deal with Finnish engineering companyOy, approximately $97.1 million to outfit the ships that are scheduled to be complete between now and 2021.

Genting made the announcement through a filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. It added that the price was agreed upon after “arm’s length negotiations between the parties with reference to, among others, the market value of similar systems for installation onto, and use by, comparable cruises at the time of negotiation.”

Almaco is a full service engineering contractor that provides new ship construction, as well as renovations of areas such as cabins, public spaces, galleys, wet units, machinery and refrigeration spaces, living quarters and store rooms. The two companies had previously reached an agreement for Almaco to supply MV Weften with equipment worth around $30 million.

Genting operates cruise ships under three brands—Crystal Cruises, which it acquired in 2015, Dream Cruises and Star Cruises. The company has positioned each for a specific market, with Crystal geared for the ultra-luxury segment, Dream for the premium segment and Star for the contemporary segment.

The company indicated two years ago that it would be spending over $115 million to upgrade its German-based shipyards, which it had acquired starting the year before. Genting acquired three shipyards in April 2016 that would be used for building larger ships. Another shipyard, which it purchased a year earlier is used for repairs and conversions, as well as the construction of mega yachts.

Almaco Group was founded in 1998 in Finland. It has since expanded to open offices around the world, including in Brazil, the U.S., France, Germany, Italy, China and Singapore. While its main focus has almost always been shipbuilding, it has branched out from time to time. In 2014, the company was awarded a contract to build the rooms, suites and common areas for Resorts World Bimini in the Bahamas.

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Casino News Daily
Ryan Leng Leads 4 Survivors Into 2018 WSOP $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Bounty Final Day

Ryan Leng is aiming for a first WSOP gold bracelet and has secured a comfortable entry into the final day of the $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Bounty to attack the top. The player bagged and tagged 5.44 million at the end of what was supposed to be the tournament’s final day.

With four contestants still in the mix, play will have to extend into an additional fourth day. Action is set to resume at noon local time today at the Brasilia poker room of Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, home to the WSOP for years now.

Leng will be accompanied and challenged by three more players at the table. Ranno Sootla collected the second largest stack last night. A look at the temporary chip counts chart shows that the player is set to enter Day 4 of the tournament with 3.835 million. Christian Nolte finished third in chips last night, trailing not far behind Sootla with 3.405 million.

Jay Farber, the player who finished runner-up to Ryan Riess in the 2013 WSOP World Championship, has, too, secured a spot among the final four with 2.195 million. The player might be the short stack into Day 4 of the event, but he is still pretty deep, which promises for additional thrill both for the remaining contenders and those fervently following WSOP action from Las Vegas and anywhere else in the world. It is also important to note that all four survivors are vying for their first gold bracelet from the series.

Leng’s Road to the Chip Lead

Leng had a bumpy third day of play. The player climbed to the chip leading position to then drop to the short stack several times throughout the day, before eventually taking the lead for a final time and never looking back.

Leng clashed with Sootla on numerous occasions on Day 3. On a very important hand, Leng managed to double through his fellow competitor to improve his stacks significantly. At a later stage on Day 3, Sootla doubled through Leng, telling him they were now even. As mentioned above, the two players eventually ended the day occupying the top half of the chip counts chart.

Leng scored his best live tournament result about this time last year. The player finished runner-up to Germany’s Christopher Frank in the $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em for a cash prize of $237,776.

The $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em tournament attracted 1,983 entries this year. A prize pool of $2,677,050 was generated. The money was split into payouts for the top 298 places. It is also important to note that participants are also being awarded a $500 bounty for every fellow player they eliminate.

Each of the four finalists is guaranteed a minimum payout of $89,151, but they are all certainly eying the $272,765 top prize and the coveted WSOP gold bracelet that goes along. Action resumes at noon local time at the host casino. The remaining hopefuls will play down to a champion.

The post Ryan Leng Leads 4 Survivors Into 2018 WSOP $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Bounty Final Day appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Casino News Daily
Malta Pushes New Gambling Law’s Implementation Back by a Month

Malta is set to postpone the implementation of its new gambling law to August 1, 2018, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) said in a statement from earlier today.

The gambling regulator further pointed out that a recently issued Detailed Opinion by the European Commission (EC) as well as comments by the EC and by another EU Member State have necessitated the delay in the finalization of the new regulatory framework’s implementation process. It is understood that the Detailed Opinion has extended the standstill period during which the new law cannot take effect to July 16, 2018.

The MGA’s statement further reads that the Maltese government and the regulator itself will need time to review and address the comments and recommendations made by the EC and the Member State to ensure the smooth implementation of the nation’s new Gaming Act.

Malta’s new gaming regulatory framework was tabled in the country’s Parliament earlier this year and was sent for review by the EC on March 14. It was previously expected that the new regime would take effect on July 1, provided that it survives the three-month standstill period.

New Licensing System

Generally speaking, the new Gaming Act aims to replace Malta’s current legislation and is particularly focused on the licensing and provision of gambling services. Once it takes effect, the new law would simplify the current gambling licensing system by introducing just two categories of licenses – a B2B one and a B2C one. Gambling companies are currently required to obtain different licenses for the different types of services and products they are providing.

Malta’s new Gaming Act represents the first revision of the nation’s gaming law in fourteen years. The amendments were initiated by former MGA Executive Chairman Joseph Cuschieri, who assumed the post of CEO of the Malta Financial Authority earlier this year. Mr. Cuschieri’s vacated spot at the gambling regulator was later on assumed by MGA Chief Operations Officer Heathcliff Farrugia.

Aside from the new licensing system, the new gambling law also aims to extend MGA’s powers over the regulation of the nation’s rapidly growing online gambling sector. The regulatory body will thus be able to roll out stricter regulations and tools for combating money laundering, terrorism financing, and other financial crimes often associated with the gaming and sports betting industry.

The newly set August 1 date for the implementation of Malta’s new Gaming Act will affect remote gambling operations. It was previously announced that the portion of the new law that concerns land-based businesses would take effect on January 1, 2019. It is yet to be seen whether that date would remain unchanged.

Another important provision in the new regulatory regime would exempt B2B gambling service providers from taxes. That particular language aims to further cement Malta’s already established reputation of a major tech hub and a nation that is open to new technologies and innovation.

The post Malta Pushes New Gambling Law’s Implementation Back by a Month appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Casino – CalvinAyre.com
North Carolina lawmakers scramble to pass bill vs illegal gambling machines

Members of North Carolina’s House of Representatives are racing against time to pass a bill that will add more teeth to the state’s current gambling law.

North Carolina lawmakers scramble to pass bill vs illegal gambling machinesWith only a few days before the end of the legislative session, The News Observer reported that North Carolina’s House Finance Committee presented a rewritten version of House Bill 471, which seeks to increase the penalty on illegal possession of gambling machines from misdemeanor to felony charges. The bill also authorizes law enforcement officers to confiscate electronic gaming machines while a felony trial is ongoing.

Under existing North Carolina law, violators are still able to make money from gambling machines since they are only facing misdemeanor charges. House Bill 471 sponsor Rep. Destin Hall believes that the measure “will put some teeth” into the existing law.

Political analysts, however, believe that the measure may not even reach the desk of North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper this year since the state Senate is focused on finishing the legislative session on time. Senate Rules chair Bill Rabon had already announced that the Senate will only prioritize constitutional amendments and local bills before the session ends this week.

Terminally ill man succumbs to cancer days after taking casino trip

In other gambling news, the terminally ill man who had one last big day at Bally’s Atlantic City last week passed away on Monday.

The Associated Press reported that 71-year-old John Mudry, who was inflicted with a rare form of non-treatable bladder cancer, died peacefully at a nursing home in Toms River.

Mudry made headlines last week after his wish to have one last big day at Bally’s Atlantic City was fulfilled, thanks to the efforts of his family, his hospice caretakers and health care providers. The septuagenarian played several hands of blackjack and handed a few hundred dollars of his winnings to his great-niece.

Bally’s operator Caesars Entertainment treated Mudry’s family to a complimentary lunch at Buca di Beppo after several rounds of blackjack as part of its corporate social responsibility program.

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Casino News Daily
Loren Klein Wins 2018 WSOP $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed Championship for Third Bracelet

Pot-Limit Omaha specialist Loren Klein captured last night his third WSOP gold bracelet in as many years after surviving tough competition in the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed Championship and defeating fellow gold bracelet winner Rep Porter in a short heads-up.

Apart from the coveted gold piece, Klein also scooped a hefty prize of $1,018,336 for a terrific performance in the tournament.

While playing the tournament, the champion also managed to cause quite some stir and draw negative comments from the poker community. Klein wore a Make America Great Again hat these past few days, which was not received very well by many following WSOP action at Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Some said that the player was apparently being ironic. Asked whether this was true, Klein said: “Am I? This might get me a White House invitation.” The player also pointed out that all the hate he received over the past few days for wearing the hat somewhat helped him do what he did.

The $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed Championship was played over four days. The final day of the tournament saw six players return at the host venue. Brandon Shack-Harris led the pack of six finalists. However, it was not long before Klein took over. The eventual champion was third in chips at the start of Day 4 action, but several key pots won him the chip lead.

Klein and Shack-Harris are no strangers to each other. The two players clashed in the same tournament in 2016. Shack-Harris won the title that year, while Klein had to content himself with the runner-up finish. Things turned up differently this time, as Shack-Harris was denied a second title from the same event and was eventually eliminated in third place last night.

Final Day Action and More about the Winner

As mentioned above, Klein managed to take the lead early into the additionally scheduled Day 4 of the tournament. While there were several short stacks at the table, it took around two hours of play before there was any actual development.

There were five former gold bracelet winners among the final six players and a former November Niner. That spoke quite a lot about the level of play at the final table of the Pot-Limit Omaha championship event.

Klein ultimately faced fellow three-time gold bracelet winner Rep Porter heads-up. The eventual champion had a comfortable lead early in the duel, but Porter managed to double through him and erase some of the huge deficit.

Heads-up did not last long, though, despite Porter’s effort. Klein had about two times more chips than his final opponent on what turned out to be the final hand of the tournament. The champion raised to 1 million pre-flop and Porter three-bet to 3 million. Klein potted and Porter called for his last 4.275 million.

Klein tabled [Ac][Ad][3d][2h] to Porter’s [Ks][Kd][Jd][5c]. With a blank board of [2c][10s][4c][4d][9c], Klein clinched the victory, sending his final opponent to the rail for $629,378.

As mentioned above, this was a third WSOP title and gold bracelet for Klein in just as many years. The player previously won the $1,500 Mixed No-Limit Hold’em/Pot-Limit Omaha event in 2016, good for $241,427, and the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha last year, good for $231,483.

As it can be seen, all three of the player’s bracelets involved winning a Pot-Limit Omaha. Asked whether he considered himself the best Pot-Limit Omaha player in the world, Klein said that he might well be, although there were a lot of players who played the game extremely well and he was probably one of them.

Dwelling on what it feels to win a third gold piece, the player said that he was certainly having a good time in terms of his poker career. Yet, he pointed out that he was the same player he had been three years ago and winning a third piece did not mean “a ton.” However, winning a seven-figure payout was something that really made Klein extremely happy.

The post Loren Klein Wins 2018 WSOP $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed Championship for Third Bracelet appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Casino News Daily
Brandon Shack-Harris Leads 6 Into 2018 WSOP $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed Championship Finale

The $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed Championship or Event #49 on the schedule of this year’s WSOP is just a day away from crowning a victor and there are six players left in contention for the title, the gold bracelet, and the first-place prize of $1,018,336.

The event was originally scheduled as a three-day one, but with six players still playing the final table, organizers extended action into an additional fourth day. The final six are set to return today at the host venue, Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, to play down to a champ.

There are five former gold bracelet winners still in the mix for the prestigious title. The six hopefuls will be led by one such former gold bracelet winner. Brandon Shack-Harris, who had previously captured two gold pieces, one of which from the same event back in 2016, bagged and tagged 7.73 million in chips last night to find himself atop the Day 3 end-of-the-day chip counts chart.

Shack-Harris already has 30 WSOP in-the-money finishes under his name. The player has collected more than $2.8 million in those. Being one of the final six in the Pot-Limit Omaha Championship means that he would cash no less than $157,097 from the tournament.

Winning the largest pot of the event so far really helped Shack-Harris rocket himself to the top. The player won a hand against Canada’s Mike Leah that secured him with a massive double in the final level played on Day 3.

The Final Pack

As mentioned above, Shack-Harris is not the only former gold bracelet winner that is vying for the Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed Championship as there are four more such players still in contention. And six-handed play will be rounded out today by a WSOP Main Event finalist.

Two-time gold bracelet winner Ryan Hughes collected the second largest stack last night. The player will thus enter the final day of action with 5.14 million.

Loren Klein, yet another two-time gold bracelet winner, ranked third in chips last night with a stack of 4.24 million. Rep Porter will be seeking to win his fourth gold piece from the WSOP later today. The player will enter the final stage of the tournament with a stack of 2.68 million.

Jerry Wong, who finished 8th in the 2016 WSOP World Championship for over $1.1 million, will be aiming for his first gold bracelet with a start-of-the-day stack of 2.15 million. The final table will be rounded out by one-time gold bracelet winner Scott Bohlman with 1.855 million.

Final day action is set to resume today at 2 pm Las Vegas time at the host casino. The six finalists will play down to a champion.

Overall, the Omaha championship event attracted 476 entries who generated a prize pool of $4,474,400. The top 72 places pay, with min-cashes starting from $14,969. As mentioned above, each of the six finalists is guaranteed a minimum payout of $157,097.

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Casino – CalvinAyre.com
US tribal casinos set another new gaming revenue record

tribal-casino-gaming-revenueUS tribal gaming operators reported revenue rising nearly 4% in their most recent fiscal year, pushing the sector to yet another record result.

Figures released Tuesday by the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) show that the 494 gaming venues operated by 242 federally recognized tribes generated gross gaming revenue of $32.4b in fiscal 2017, 3.9% higher than the fiscal 2016 result, which featured 10 fewer gaming venues.

The FY17 sum marks the seventh consecutive year of annual growth after flatlining at $26.5b in 2010. There were 33 venues earning over $250m in FY17, unchanged from FY16, while the number of venues earning between $100m and $250m rose by five to 56.

The 74 tribal casinos in the Sacramento region (California and Northern Nevada) claimed the largest slice of FY17 revenue at just under $9b, followed by $7.3b generated by the 37 venues in the Washington DC category (Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and New York).

The Sacramento region also claimed the largest year-on-year gain in percentage terms (7.3%), followed by the Portland region (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington), which grew by 6.5%. The Rapid City region (the Dakotas, Montana and Wyoming) was the only one on a negative revenue trajectory, falling 2.7% from FY16.

2018 marks the 30th anniversary of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), and NIGC chair Jonodev O. Chaudhuri said the success of the tribal gaming sector over that span proves that “the foundational principles of federal Indian law should remain at the forefront of any future public policy discussions.”

Future annual reports will likely get a shot in the arm from sports betting, an activity that the NIGC fully intends to incorporate into the tribal gaming mix. Following the US Supreme Court ruling in May that struck down the federal betting ban, the NIGC issued a statement noting that tribes should be given “a seat at the table to voice their positions, bring their perspectives and collective expertise, and maintain regulatory and operational control over all the gaming that occurs on their lands.”

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World Casino News
Slotegrator Limited to exhibit at upcoming iGB Live

Cypriot online casino software developer, Slotegrator Limited, has announced that it will be exhibiting at the inaugural iGB Live extravaganza in Amsterdam next month in order to introduce its team and impart ‘many positive emotions.’ The Limassol-based developer premiered its Moneygrator unified iGaming payments solution a little over two months ago while last week saw it […]
World Casino News
NetEnt progressive slot games help deliver more seven-figure prizes

Online gambling technology provider, NetEnt (NETB:Stockholm), has done it again! The Swedish firm recently helped to provide two massive jackpot wins, one each on June 12 and June 17, to two lucky players who together scooped more than €5.5m (US$6,431,229.11) in total. The first win came on Sunday, June 12, when a lucky person in Belgium […]

Monday, June 25, 2018

Casino – CalvinAyre.com
Taxes on casino winnings in Japan could be geo-discriminatory

As Japan gears up to legalize casino construction in the country, there are a number of loose ends that are starting to be identified. One in particular revolves around tax obligations on winnings, and it’s possible that taxes owed will be geo-discriminatory.

Taxes on casino winnings in Japan could be geo-discriminatoryJapanese regulators feel that profits generated from gambling should be considered “occasional income.” This would make the profits subject to tax regulations, and some indications are that citizens of countries such as China and India would be obligated to pay income tax on the winnings, while those of other countries, like South Korea and the US, would be off the hook for the taxes.

Japan currently has tax treaties with 123 states and regions. The train of thought is that foreign tourists gambling in Japan’s casinos would be held to the stipulations of those treaties. The National Tax Agency indicates that the country’s treaties with the US, South Korea, European countries and members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) provide provisions that put the tax onus on the visitor in his or her home country.

Other treaties, like those signed with India, China and Singapore, authorize Japan to collect taxes on casino winnings. These individuals would be required to adhere to Japanese tax laws and would be held to the same legal tax framework as Japanese citizens.

As the National Diet extends its session ostensibly to approve casino bills, there still needs to be clarification on how the country will monitor the income, how it will collect it and even whether or not citizens of different countries need to be treated a certain way.

Japan also has to create policies on how to deter money laundering. There is an established correlation between casinos and money-laundering (AML) activities, and the country is exploring options to ensure that it maintains a clean image. Takeshi Nakamura, a lawyer who works closely on gambling and casino issues in the country, explained, “Effective anti-money-laundering measures, such as a system to carefully monitor customers’ every move to identify those who win or bet in unordinary manners, should be introduced.”

There are already a number of recommendations, from domestic and international bodies, being submitted to create AML policies. With the clock running down, there is still a lot of work to be done, but Japanese lawmakers have repeatedly shown themselves to be more than capable of working together to create efficient, sound legislative policies in a short amount of time.

The post Taxes on casino winnings in Japan could be geo-discriminatory appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

World Casino News
Kenyan lawmakers support updated gaming legislation

In Kenya, a parliamentary committee has reportedly approved legislation that would institute a 10% tax on winnings from lottery and sports wagers while conversely cutting operator revenue duties by over half to 15%. According to a Sunday report from the Business Daily Africa newspaper, the Finance and National Planning Committee endorsed the changes contained in […]
Casino News Daily
Timur Margolin Tops 1,248-Strong Field to Claim Gold in 2018 WSOP $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em

Timur Margolin from Israel became the latest member of the WSOP’s club of gold bracelet winners. The player bested a pack of 1,248 tournament entries in the $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em or Event #43 on the schedule of this year’s edition of the series.

Margolin collected a hefty payout of $507,274 in addition to his first shiny WSOP gold bracelet. The player emerged as the victor after roller coaster four days and after clashing against some of poker’s big names, including six-time WSOP bracelet winner Chris Ferguson who has been making quite a comeback on the live tournament scene after a five-year hiatus.

The player disappeared from the felt after being indicted for his involvement with the Full Tilt Poker and for allegedly running a Ponzi scheme that saw nearly $450 million in customer money being paid out to directors and owners of the poker room. It took seven years before Ferguson finally addressed the issue and offered an apology to those affected.

In the $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em tournament, Ferguson finished fourth for $161,371. The player was denied a seventh WSOP gold piece namely by the event’s eventual winner. Margolin won a massive pot against Ferguson during four-handed play. It took the Israeli poker pro just a few more hands to send Ferguson to the rail.

Final Day of Play

Margolin’s road to victory was quite bumpy, particularly on the final day of play. Action was supposed to take place over three days, but was extended into an additional fourth one. That last day of play started with six remaining hopefuls. They were led by Ferguson who held 5.68 million in chips when cards were thrown in the air. Margolin was second in chips at the time with 3.52 million.

Ismael Bojang with 2.61 million, Michael Marder with 1.765 million, Dylan Linde with 1.33 million, and Ryan Laplante with 700,000 were the other four players still in contention.

Day 4 action saw the chip lead exchange hands on multiple occasions. The start-of-the-day field ultimately got whittled down to just two survivors, Margolin and Bojang. The duel began with the former holding a massive chip advantage over the latter. Margolin had accumulated a stack of nearly 12 million by that point to his last opponent’s 3.68 million.

Bojang did not waste time once the match began and quickly doubled up to reduce his disadvantage. He then emerged as the chip leader just as quickly and extended his lead methodically.

However, Margolin regained his momentum and retook the lead within the span of just a couple of hands. The player’s hardships were far from over, though, as Bojang scooped the lead once again a few hands later. It seemed that the mad race would never end.

The chip lead was swinging back and forth and then again, until Margolin reclaimed it one final time to never look back. Hand #158 was the final one to be played at the final table and the 23rd to be played within the heads-up match between Margolin and Bojang.

It saw Bojang shove for 4.41 million pre-flop with [Ac][2c] and Margolin snap-call with [Kc][Qs]. The board ran out [Ks][5s][4s][Qh][8d] to help Margolin claim the title and send his final opponent to the rail for a consolation prize of $313,444.

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Australian Betting Giants Sportsbet and CrownBet Clash over Trademarks

Paddy Power’s Australian betting business Sportsbet is suing its rival bookmaker CrownBet over the latter’s plan to trademark the Sportingbet name, arguing that the move would harm its own business as the two brands sound very similar, Australian legal news outlet Lawyerly reports.

CrownBet was selected in March as the preferred bidder for William Hill’s Australian business in a deal valued at A$300 million. It is also important to note that CrownBet and Sportsbet were actually the two finalists in the highly competitive bidding process for William Hill Australia.

The British bookmaker made its foray into the Australian sports betting market in 2013 when it purchased the local operations of the Sportingbet brand as well as the Centrebet and Tom Waterhouse brands in a £460-million deal. The company later on brought all three under the William Hill Australia brand. Despite its global recognition, William Hill never managed to gain footing in the highly competitive Australian space and announced early in 2018 that it was looking to sell its local business.

CrownBet’s CEO Matt Tripp and his family had once owned the Sportingbet brand. In a recent interview the gambling executive said that his father was particularly happy about having the brand back in the family.

Reports emerged last month that CrownBet was considering to rebrand as Sportingbet following the William Hill Australia acquisition. It was understood that the operator filed a trademark application last month. It also submitted an application with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to reserve the Sportingbet Pty Ltd name earlier in June.

CrownBet’s Rebranding Could Harm Sportsbet’s Business

In a June 21 statement of claims, Sportsbet said that Crownbet’s rebranding could violate its own trademark as the Sportsbet and Sporting brands sound very similar. The operator went on that the move was a “flagrant disregard” of its rights as the Sportsbet trademark owner.

It was also understood that Sportsbet, through its legal representatives, has sent a letter to CrownBet, urging the latter to withdraw its trademark application. CrownBet, in return, denied the request, pointing out that it intended to operate under the Sportingbet brand.

Sportsbet is concerned that the Sportingbet mark would mislead customers as many might think it is related to the Paddy Power-owned Australian operator. The company also believes that CrownBet is violating the Australian Consumer Law with its application to use a trademark so similar to the Sportsbet one.

A case management hearing is set to take place on July 25 before Justice Barry Beach, Lawyerly reports.

News about CrownBet being sued by its rival came as the company is in the middle of another acquisition deal, although it is the entity that is being purchased in this one. Canadian gambling giant The Stars Group announced in March that it would acquire 80% in the Australian operator thus securing its entry into Australia’s highly lucrative sports betting market.

The post Australian Betting Giants Sportsbet and CrownBet Clash over Trademarks appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Casino – CalvinAyre.com
Timothy Bruce named GM for City of Dreams’ Grand Hyatt

Timothy Bruce has been appointed as the new general manager for the Grand Hyatt Macau. The announcement was made last Thursday, effective immediately. The Grand Hyatt is located in the City of Dreams Macau casino resort in Cotai.

Timothy Bruce named GM for City of Dreams' Grand HyattBruce is an executive with global experience. He has been in the hospitality industry for more than 30 years, having held a variety of culinary positions in Australia, Malaysia, Japan, Belgium, Britain and the United Arab Emirates. He began working for the Hyatt company in 1999 as the Food & Beverage Director for Hyatt Hotel Canberra in Australia, and has been with them ever since.

After his stint in Australia, Bruce was sent to India, where he was appointed as the GM for the Hyatt Regency Kolkatta. From there, he moved to the Hyatt Regency Delhi, serving in the same role. Most recently, he was tasked with opening the Grand Hyatt Sanya Haitang Bay Resort and Spa in China.

Hyatt’s Cotai property offers 791 guest rooms and 15 multi-purpose areas that cover a total of 26,247 square feet. It occupies two towers of Melco Resorts’ City of Dreams, which just saw the completion of the Morpheus, a $1.1-billion hotel located at the northern end of the property. The Morpheus was designed by the late architect Zaha Hadid and has around 770 hotel rooms, high-end eateries and gaming.

Also located at the City of Dreams are two other hotel properties. One is the Countdown Hotel, which was previously the Hard Rock Hotel. The other is Nüwa, which was known as Crown Towers until earlier this year. In total, there are over 1,400 hotel rooms and suites in the City of Dreams, as well as a 420,000 square-foot casino with 450 gaming tables and 1,512 gaming machines. Melco is also behind the City of Dreams complex in Manila, Philippines.

The Hyatt Hotels Corporation has its start in California in 1957. It has since grown to operate in 54 different countries and has 777 properties. Last year, its net income was $249 million with revenue of $4.68 billion. Thomas J. Pritzker serves as the executive chairman and Mark S. Hoplamazian, the president and CEO.

The post Timothy Bruce named GM for City of Dreams’ Grand Hyatt appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Casino News Daily
Nicholas Seiken Claims Gold in 2018 WSOP $10,000 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Championship

Three days ago, Nicholas Seiken, a real estate broker from Texas, entered his first-ever standalone 2-7 Triple Draw event to eventually take it down, battling and outlasting a pack of seasoned pros. Late last night, the player joined the club of WSOP gold bracelet winners as he remained the last man standing in this year’s $10,000 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Championship.

Seiken also collected $287,987 for outstanding performance in a game he did not have that much experience.

The tournament drew 109 entries, including a number of Triple Draw experts. Farzad Bonyadi, a three-time gold bracelet winner, was among the notables to enter the tournament. It is interesting to note that Bonyadi’s mother, Farhintaj, became the first female winner of this year’s edition of the series just a couple of days ago. She bested the field of the $1,000 Super Seniors.

Despite his effort, Bonyadi could not claim the Triple Draw Championship title last night and add another gold bracelet to his already impressive collection.

Aside from Seiken and Bonyadi, the final day of the tournament kicked off with 11 more survivors. Quite some of the remaining players struggled quite a bit throughout the day. But it looked as if Seiken, a player with significantly less experience than some of his remaining opponents, navigated through that final stage of the game very successfully.

Final Table and Heads-Up Play

By the time the official six-handed final table was set, Seiken had already built quite a stack. The player entered that final stage of the game as the chip leader with a significant lead over the next in line, who happened to be Bonyadi.

The eventual winner had 1.661 million in chips at that point to Bonyadi’s 943,000. Seiken seemingly had an easy run at the final table. In his post-victory interview, the player said that being the chip leader helped him a lot against the plethora of experienced players he was facing and he did not take much risk that would have cost him that advantage.

The only time the player lost the lead for a very short while was during three-handed play, when Randy Ohel replaced him at the top of the chip counts chart. Seiken himself admitted that he got a bit worried by Ohel’s short momentum.

Eventually, the player regained the lead, eliminated Kristijonas Andrulis in third place to cement his leading position and headed into heads-up against Ohel with a 3-2 advantage. The structure of the tournament allowed for a longer heads-up, but Seiken finished off his final opponent relatively quickly over the span of a 45-minute duel, which concluded with Ohel heading to the payout desk for a second-place prize of $177,992.

The 109-strong field of the championship tournament generated a prize pool of $1,024,600. The money was split into portions for the top 17 finishers, min-cashes starting from $14,864.

Following his latest triumph, Seiken told WSOP staff that while he is completely done with No-Limit Hold’em, we will be seeing more of him at the tables of mixed-game tournaments.

The post Nicholas Seiken Claims Gold in 2018 WSOP $10,000 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Championship appeared first on Casino News Daily.

World Casino News
Grand Hyatt at City of Dreams Macau appoints new GM

In a recent statement to the press, the Grand Hyatt Macau hotel situated in the City of Dreams Macau announced that Timothy Bruce (pictured) has been appointed its new general manager. According to the hotel at the casino resort, the placement is effective immediately. GGRAsia reports that the hotel, located in the heart of the […]
World Casino News
Casino Industry Forum coming to Monaco from Thursday

The European Casino Association has announced that it will be holding the latest edition of its annual Casino Industry Forum on Thursday and Friday from inside Monaco’s iconic Hotel Hermitage Monte-Carlo and Casino de Monte-Carlo. According to an official Wednesday press release published by GiocoNews.com, the European Casino Association stated that the two-day extravaganza will […]

Saturday, June 23, 2018

World Casino News
Scout Gaming scores top Fantasy Sports award

Among fierce competition, Stockholm-based B2B fantasy sports and pool betting provider, Scout Gaming Group (SCOUT:FN Stockholm), has been named “Fantasy Sports Supplier of the Year” at this year’s EGR B2B Awards. Having recently had a string of commercial success with a number of top operator agreements on various markets and a robust product roadmap, on […]
Casino News Daily
Robert Nehorayan Takes Down 2018 WSOP $1,500 Limit Hold’em

Robert Nehorayan is known by many as Rec Rob, his nickname derived from him identifying himself as a recreational player. However, he outlasted last night a field that included seasoned poker pros like Daniel Negreanu, Chris Ferguson, and Ari Engel to win his first gold bracelet from the WSOP and his largest cash of $173,568.

The player topped the 596-strong field of Event #41: $1,500 Limit Hold’em. As mentioned above, some of poker’s top players entered the tournament to pursue another great accomplishment in the game. Of all fellow participants, Nehorayan had special praise for Terricita Gutierrez, a Limit Hold’em specialist whom the eventual champ considered his toughest opponent.

Terri, as Nehorayan called her, has been playing Limit Hold’em cash games every single day for years now to accumulate knowledge and experience that many other fellow players at the table lacked. She was ultimately eliminated in fourth place, good for $51,733.

The $1,500 event was played over three days through June 22. It saw 596 entries generate a prize pool of a little over $800,000. The top 90 places paid.

Day 3 Action Highlights

Day 3 of the tournament kicked off with 19 survivors in contention but seven of them quickly headed to the payout desk within the first 90 minutes of play. Action slowed up a bit afterward, as finalists became more aware of the event’s approaching end.

Chips swung back and forth throughout the day and the chip lead went from one player to another. Many of the remaining hopefuls had many ups and downs, but it can be said that Nehorayan managed to maintain a good stack and momentum throughout that final stage of the event. The brand new WSOP champion admitted that he had really good cards running his way, as well.

David Gee was the last player to be eliminated before the heads-up duel. That final duel took place between Nehorayan and one-time gold bracelet winner Kevin Song. Song won his piece 21 years ago for topping the field of a Limit Hold’em event. A second piece eluded him last night, unfortunately, although he fought really fiercely for it.

The match between the final two men standing began with Nehorayan holding a 3-1 advantage to Song. However, the latter quickly caught up and took the lead for a little while, putting great pressure on his opponent.

Nehorayan eventually regained his momentum and retook the chip lead to never look back. On Hand #286 of the final table, the player won a key pot that secured him with 3.9 million, while leaving Song with just 475,000.

The final hand of the tournament was dealt shortly after. On Hand #289, Nehorayan called from the button and Song raised. Nehorayan asked his opponent how much he had left and put him all in. Song tabled [8s][6s] to clash into Nehorayan’s [10s][7d]. The board landed [2c][Qh][9h][4h][Jh] to end Song’s participation in the tournament and seal the victory for Nehorayan.

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