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This Week in Gambling - News
This Week in Gambling - News
News for Online Gambling, Land Based Casinos, and Social Gaming
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States, Congress Clash on Online Gambling

States, Congress Clash on Online Gambling | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it
States and some U.S. lawmakers could collide with each other over online gambling.


States considering plans to legalize online gambling could collide with Congress.


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, and Sen. Jon Kyl, an Arizona Republican, are working on legislation that would legalize online poker but outlaw many other forms of online gambling, according to people briefed on the matter.


They have not introduced their plan in Congress and it's not known whether they would try to do so this year, the people briefed on the matter say.


Last summer, the senators told Attorney General Eric Holder they opposed legislation by states to legalize online gambling, as well as ...


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California Tribes Say Poker Bill Dead

California Tribes Say Poker Bill Dead | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it
California's Indian tribes unite in opposition to the state's SB1463 online poker bill; Nevada could issues online poker licenses by fall...


One of the more concrete pieces of news to emerge from the Global iGaming Summit and Expo (GiGse) on Wednesday was the line in the sand drawn by California’s Indian tribes against passage of the SB1463 online poker bill currently pending in the state legislature. Unlike previous instances, in which tribal organizations took opposite sides of the debate or favored one bill over another, they appear to be speaking with one voice this time, and that voice is saying fuggeddaboutit. Mark Macarro, chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, said there wasn’t a single California tribe that supported SB1463, which he described as “a dysfunctional product that encourages dispute.” Macarro went as far as to pronounce the bill “DOA.”


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PokerStars to Buy Full Tilt

PokerStars to Buy Full Tilt | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it

Following the news that Groupe Bernard Tapie’s proposed deal to buy Full Tilt Poker has been derailed after both parties failed to agree terms regarding the repayment of player funds, it has emerged that PokerStars has reached an agreement to acquire its former competitor.


According to several reports circulating this afternoon, PokerStars has agreed a settlement with the US DoJ that will lead to the purchase of Full Tilt Poker and, importantly, the repayment of all players still owed money after the closure of the Full Tilt site.


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Top Maryland Democrats divided over gambling

Top Maryland Democrats divided over gambling | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it

Gov. Martin O'Malley and Democratic leaders in Maryland's General Assembly appear to be in agreement that the Democratic governor should call a special session to pass tax and revenue increases.


But they appear to disagree over whether a special session should include discussion of a failed gambling bill, which would have let voters decide this fall whether to bring a casino to Prince George’s County and legalize table games at the state’s slots locations.


Observers say the result is an apparent showdown between Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., an ardent supporter of expanded gambling, and Mr. O'Malley and House Speaker Michael E. Busch, both of whom are highly skeptical of the proposal.


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Black Friday Stoolie Daniel Tzvetkoff Spotted in New York

Black Friday Stoolie Daniel Tzvetkoff Spotted in New York | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it
Former payment processor Daniel Tzvetkoff, the source of much of the info that led to the Black Friday indictments, spotted in New York.




Disgraced former payment processor Daniel Tzvetkoff has been spotted strolling the streets of New York City, according to Australia’s Courier Mail newspaper. Tzvetkoff, who was arrested in April 2010 in Las Vegas on charges of bank fraud and money laundering related to his work processing payments for online poker companies via his company Intabill, was assumed to be the source of much of the info that led to the Black Friday indictments against those same poker companies. It was widely suspected that Tzvetkoff had struck a deal for leniency with prosecutors in exchange for testifying against his former business associates – a suspicion confirmed last month when prosecutors revealed Tzvetkoff would testify against Black Friday financial figures John Campos and Chad Elie. Since that confirmation, both Campos and Elie struck plea deals of their own with prosecutors.


Before Saturday’s sighting, Tzvetkoff had not been seen in public since his arrest. He was rumored to be in the New York area under some form of house arrest/witness protection along with his family. The Courier Mail reported that Tzvetkoff’s wife, son and baby girl (his wife was pregnant at the time of Tzvetkoff’s arrest) were with him as they took “a leisurely family stroll” down Mott Street in Chinatown.


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Nevada Casino Bosses Close Ranks to Support Republicans

Nevada Casino Bosses Close Ranks to Support Republicans | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it
Nevada casino bosses fundraise for Republican cause; Wynn Resorts seeks Joe Francis' assets; US legal tussles worry Asian legislators...



Monarch Casino & Resort Inc, which runs the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno, Nevada, saw net revenue grow 3.9% to $34.6m in Q1 2012. Operations income was up 7.4%, but adjusted EBITDA was essentially flat and hotel revenue was off 12.7% due to the cancellation of a significant convention.


A different significant get-together will go ahead as planned next Friday at Sheldon Adelson’s Venetian hotel in Vegas. Politico reported that Adelson is hosting a fundraiser at the Venetian on April 27th to benefit House Speaker John Boehner. Adelson’s family spent $15m on long-shot candidate Newt Gingrich for most of the Republican primary campaign, but now that Mitt Romney is seen as inevitable, Adelson is throwing his support behind the overall Republican cause. Recent disclosure filings indicate that Adelson has already given $5m to the Congressional Leadership Fund, a Boehner-related super PAC.


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Wynn Takes Hard Look At Online Gambling Market With Zynga

Wynn Takes Hard Look At Online Gambling Market With Zynga | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it
In the future, if online gambling gets legalized in the U.S., this partnership could provide an edge to Wynn Resorts in entering this new space.


Wynn Resorts is in talks with Zynga, the world’s largest social gaming developer, in order to create a strategic online partnership. [1] We believe partnering with Zynga will give Wynn Resorts access to Zynga’s wider customer base which is spread globally.


Zynga presently has about 232 million average monthly active users across 166 countries. Its games are accessible on social networks like Facebook and mobile platforms globally.


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Massachusetts to Consider Internet Poker

Massachusetts to Consider Internet Poker | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it
The Boston Herald is reporting that a Massachusetts lawmaker wants the state to adopt a plan that would grant three intrastate poker licenses.


Massachusetts recently authorized the construction of brick-and-mortar casinos, but it hasn’t yet been decided who will win a license bid.


Each Internet poker license would reportedly have a minimum price tag of $10 million, and sites would pay a tax of 25 percent.

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Casino news | Playtech Issue of Trust

Casino news | Playtech Issue of Trust | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it

The 13-year old company has come under questioning once again following the news that they’re intending to buy a collection of social gaming gaming assets owned by none other than the company’s founder and biggest shareholder Teddy Sagi.


Sagi owns 48% of Playtech and is reportedly about to sell the companies (which haven’t been named) for around £80 million. Not only have that but Playtech’s immediate plans also included buying an office in London for £10.5 million – an office which is owned by a company that Sagi also has a connection to.


This is doubly strange given that very few companies, regardless of whether they’re in the iGaming industry or not, tends to buy offices – most preferring to rent instead. Finally Sagi will also come on as an advisor to the company that he built from the ground up for the princely sum of €1 per year. This suggests that either Sagi’s negotiation skills have declined rapidly in recent times or that there may be something strange going on at Playtech.


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News from around Europe

News from around Europe | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it

Malta’s Lotteries and Gaming Authority has signed a bilateral memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). It allows the two sides to exchange information on eligibility assessments of licence applicants and will be of great help to AGCO ahead of the opening of Ontario’s online gaming industry market this year. The industry’s latest MOU will give the sides the chance to work together on compliance and regulatory assurance activities in relation to gaming. It’s the second such partnership that the AGCO has entered after a similar deal was hammered out between themselves and the Alderney Gambling Control Commission.

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Malta, Canada sign bilateral memo on gambling and gaming

Malta, Canada sign bilateral memo on gambling and gaming | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it

Malta's Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA) has entered into a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (Canada).


The two jurisdictions have agreed to exchange information on eligibility assessments of applicants as well as compliance and regulatory assurance activities with respect to gaming.


Both jurisdictions have also agreed to possible joint, cooperative or collaborative inspections, investigations and enforcement activities. Malta and Ontario will contribute to the development of joint operational and technical standards for gaming, testing and certification of equipment and software.


Issues such as accepting respective testing activities; employee exchange and twinning programs; non duplication of requirements and controls and server location are all on the table for future development.


The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Mr Reuben Portanier, CEO of the Lotteries and Gaming Authority and Mr Jean Major, Registrar of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

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New Jersey gambling bill will be amended next month

New Jersey gambling bill will be amended next month | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it



New Jersey gambling bill will be delayed until the fall...




Members of the global gaming industry are currently gathered at the International Masters of Gaming Law (IMGL) summit in Scottsdale, Arizona to discuss the changing landscape of the industry as a whole. Organizers IMGL have assembled a “who’s who” of guest speakers at the event and discussion on the opening day centered on a number of topics.


Given the conference is in the U.S.A., one of those discussed was the state of the industry in this part of the world and where it’s headed. Over the past year, regulation has been the word everyone has been struggling to create from their alphabetti spaghetti. Unsurprisingly, one of the discussions at yesterday’s conference was looking at regulations in a number of U.S. states, including Maryland, New Jersey and Florida.


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Asian operators give Vegas casino titans run for their money

Asian operators give Vegas casino titans run for their money | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it

MACAU/LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Billionaire Sheldon Adelson , who became one of the world's richest men by creating a casino empire in Las Vegas and Macau , is doubling down on his bets in Asia , the hottest gambling market on the planet where his Singapore operation made $1 billion the first year it was opened.


The 78-year chairman of Las Vegas Sands , the world's biggest gambling company by market capitalization, looked supremely confident when he opened his new $4.4 billion casino last week in the former Portuguese colony of Macau, the world's largest gambling destination where bettors spent $33.5 billion last year compared to Las Vegas, which took in $6 billion.


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CyberSecurity Bill Passes in House with no Tack-on for Internet Poker

CyberSecurity Bill Passes in House with no Tack-on for Internet Poker | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it

A controversial CyberSecurity bill has passed in the House despite a veto threat from the Obama administration.


The bill does not contain any amendment pertaining to the legalization of Internet poker. The Poker Players Alliance had hoped to attach legislation legalizing Web poker onto this bill.


“As much as this is a bill about getting people the right to play online,” PPA Director John Pappas this week. “It’s also about giving law enforcement clear direction on how to enforce the law.”


Pappas also stated that the PPA would try to “tack this bill onto anything that is moving”.


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PokerStars Issues Comment on Rumored Full Tilt Poker Acquisition

PokerStars Issues Comment on Rumored Full Tilt Poker Acquisition | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it
Eric Hollreiser, Head of Corporate Communications for PokerStars, issued a statement at 3:40 pm ET regarding the rumored acquisition of Full Tilt Poker by PokerStars.


It’s what Hollreiser does not say that speaks volumes:


We've had a lot of enquiries and there's lots of speculation on the forums, so I wanted to address the PokerStars chatter. As you know, PokerStars is in settlement discussions with the U.S. Department of Justice. As such settlement discussions are always confidential, we are unable to comment on rumors. As soon as we have information to share publicly we will do so.


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French investor push to buy Full Tilt Poker fails

French investor push to buy Full Tilt Poker fails | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it

A French investment group's push to buy troubled online poker operator Full Tilt Poker for $80 million fell through after the potential buyer couldn't agree with the Department of Justice over how quickly players with money tied up on the site would be repaid, a lawyer for the group said Tuesday.


Benham Dayanim, a Washington-based attorney for Groupe Bernard Tapie, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that prosecutors changed their offer earlier this month and wanted players repaid in full within 90 days of the sale.


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Maryland Poker Sites – Legal Online Poker Accepting Maryland Players

Maryland Poker Sites – Legal Online Poker Accepting Maryland Players | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it
Maryland is one of the top 50 states that really does not like gambling, or should we say the state politicians don’t.It is in fact one of the more popular poker playing states despite a small state of only about 3 million people. Below we discuss Maryland poker sites and the situation with the State.


1. Betonline.ag – This poker site is the only poker site accepting all 50 States, and has a solid reputation for protecting their US players.


2. Cakepoker.eu – While they are the only 1 of 2 sites to accept Maryland, I’m not a fan of the site. They have gone downhill after being acquired/partnered with their affiliates, and deposits/withdraws are really slow.


Why is Maryland blocked by so many poker sites, casinos and sportsbooks? Well it’s because their aggressive attempt by the D.O.J. to make headlines and the mighty dollar from seizing “illegal” gambling profits from these companies.


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Why Zynga Is Not A Gambling Company

Why Zynga Is Not A Gambling Company | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it
In gaming news, gambling stock analyst Vince Martin evaluates Facebook game developer Zynga (ZNGA) of its potential in online gambling.


Earlier this month, the New York Post reported that Facebook game developer Zynga (ZNGA) was in talks with Wynn Resorts (WYNN) about a joint venture in the prospective US online gambling industry. The news did not appear to move the stock; ZNGA, in fact, fell 2% in that day’s trading, to $12.22 per share.


Over the last two-plus weeks, Zynga’s fall has accelerated; it closed Friday at $9.22. The reasons for the fall are difficult to parse; a secondary offering in late March, where shareholders sold an additional $515 million worth of shares into the market increased the stock’s “float” and may have helped push the stock down. But with a young (the company only went public in December) and speculative (Zynga is not yet profitable) stock, the drivers of even large movements like the current one-month, 33% drop can be difficult to tease out.


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Vasileios Volikakis's curator insight, May 11, 2013 8:20 AM

Without the potential for real-money house games, Zynga is left with online poker, with a initial eye to the prospective US market. From there, all Zynga needs to become an online gambling powerhouse is to see poker legalization move at a faster pace than it has, or anyone thinks it will; completely overhaul its brand image and market to a demographic that has essentially no interest in its legacy games; complete a massive upgrade of its technical capabilities; and then outsmart competitors who have decades more experience in the gambling industry and partners who have already succeeded in the cutthroat European iGaming market

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Judge Accepts Campos Plea Deal on Black Friday Charges

Judge Accepts Campos Plea Deal on Black Friday Charges | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it
Judge Kaplan agrees to accept the sweetheart plea deal worked out between US Attorneys and former SunFirst Bank vice-chairman John Campos.


The judge overseeing the case against indicted Black Friday banker John Campos has decided to accept the plea deal worked out with prosecutors last month. Campos, the former vice-chairman of Utah’s SunFirst Bank, was originally charged with five felonies for his role in helping to process payments for online poker companies. Unlike most of the indicted figures in custody, Campos and his co-defendant Chad Elie decided to take their chances in front of a jury. But less than two weeks before the trial was set to commence, Elie announced he’d reached a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to a single count of conspiracy. The next day, Campos announced his own deal, in which he agreed to plead guilty to a single misdemeanor count of “causing a bank insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to process illegal gambling transactions.”


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Caesars Entertainment Leads Federal Lobbying Spend

Caesars Entertainment Leads Federal Lobbying Spend | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it
Federal disclosure forms reveal Caesars Entertainment once again led all companies in lobbying federal politicians on internet gaming.


The US federal government has posted its Q1 2012 lobbying disclosure forms and, as usual, they show an awful lot of money being thrown around Washington by companies looking to influence politicians on the subject of online gambling. The disclosure forms aren’t perfect, in that some companies lobby on a variety of issues, and the sum total spent isn’t broken down on a dollar-to-issue basis. To help identify those companies that lobbied purely on the online gambling question, we’ve helpfully marked the others with an asterisk(*).


Of the individual gaming companies showering cash on Congress, Caesars Entertainment once again led the pack, splashing out $886k, a boost on the $784k the company spent in Q4 2011. The next closest individual company on the list was Betfair’s US horseracing subsidiary TVG, which spent $160k, up from $120k in Q4 (which was itself up from $60k in Q3). MGM Resorts anted up $150k* (unchanged from Q4) and Pokerstars (via Rational Entertainment Enterprises) contributed $150k (also unchanged).


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Foxwoods CEO: Competition may spur online gambling

Foxwoods CEO: Competition may spur online gambling | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it
The chief executive of Foxwoods Resort Casino says rising competition is forcing the Indian-run casino in eastern Connecticut to consider online gambling and other changes.


Scott Butera, in an online discussion Thursday with The Day of New London, said supply in the casino business is clearly outpacing demand. Gambling has been legalized in Massachusetts, though casinos are not expected to open for a few years. Casinos in New York also are taking a greater share of the market.


"We clearly believe that supply growth is outpacing demand," Butera said. "As a result, we will need to adjust our businesses accordingly."


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Gambling Ban Survives Chuck E. Cheese Challenge

Gambling Ban Survives Chuck E. Cheese Challenge | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it


Goose Creek says no to sweepstakes parlors, yes to animatronic mouse.


The City of Goose Creek has banned sweepstakes parlors, a new venue for video gaming machines that cluttered gas stations across the state a decade ago before gambling on these devices was banned.

Last week, the City Council gave final approval to the sweepstakes parolor ban, but not before fielding some complicated questions from residents wondering about the impact on everything from Chuck E. Cheese to World of Warcraft.

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EU Commission Online Gambling Manifesto Too Little, Too Late

EU Commission Online Gambling Manifesto Too Little, Too Late | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it
The European Gaming and Betting Association has published a manifesto for a sustainable EU policy for online gambling.


While the European Gaming and Betting Association has published a manifesto for a sustainable EU policy for online gambling, countries like Belgium and the Netherlands continue to engage in their own policy of quashing foreign competition, including that from neighboring European Union countries.

Secretary general of EGBA Sigrid Ligné said: "Our manifesto is designed to be a timely input to the commission as it prepares its EU action plan for online gambling. We are calling for the introduction of European rules to ensure proper protection for consumers while affording fair and transparent licensing conditions for EU operators."

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Laurent Tapie’s Name on ‘New Full Tilt Ltd.’ Registration | Online Poker News

Laurent Tapie’s Name on ‘New Full Tilt Ltd.’ Registration | Online Poker News | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it


GBT principal Laurent Tapie's name listed on filings in Malta and Ireland for newly registered companies using Full Tilt in title.




Despite Full Tilt Poker’s self-injected dose of financial formaldehyde a year ago, rumors continue to circulate that FTP’s toes are twitching. Earlier this month, we heard that FTP’s Dublin-based tech arm Pocket Kings was hiring new staff, suggesting real progress had been made in the three-way asset acquisition negotiations between FTP, the US Department of Justice, and French white-knight investors Groupe Bernard Tapie (GBT). More recently, a few diehard FTP customers who’ve made a self-flagellating ritual of logging into the site every day reported being presented with a notice asking them to upgrade their software to a numbered release suggesting a more recent vintage. Not all users reported similar experiences, but hope remains that FTP is embarking on some pre-relaunch beta testing.


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Betfair Rolls Out ‘App Cloud’ for Gambling Websites and Widgets

Betfair Rolls Out ‘App Cloud’ for Gambling Websites and Widgets | This Week in Gambling - News | Scoop.it
The new service will make it easier for developers to build transactional betting websites on top of Betfair's platform. The first customer is Manchester United.


Online gambling service Betfair is launching an “App Cloud” service intended to encourage developers to integrate transactional betting services into third-party websites and widgets. The first company to use the new service is Manchester United. Fans will be able to place bets on the club’s website without visiting Betfair.


Betfair already allows third parties to use its APIs to place bets. The company says that 70,000 customers make bets through third party applications. “Non Betfair-owned and non-Betfair built interfaces operating off Betfair’s API contribute approximately 20% of Betfair’s sports exchange revenues,” the company said in a statement.


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