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Master catergory inherit only (391)

Tuesday, 13 October 2015 09:33 Written by

Romanian authorities blacklist bwin party despite paying back taxes

Online gaming giant bwin party was on Monday blacklisted by Romania’s online gaming regulator.
 
The decision comes as a surprise especially since the company paid close to €8m in back taxes. Moreover, the country’s authorities had provisionally approved bwin party’s igaming license. 
 
The reason offered for this action of the Romanian authorities is because bwin and its PartyPoker and PartyCasino continued to offer their services in the country despite without having the necessary approvals.
 
Ideally, the company should have stopped their operations until there was further clarity is what was the expectation of the authorities, claim sources close to bwin party.
 
Other notable companies that have suffered a similar fate in the European country include the likes of mybet, Betclic, William Hill and Betfred.
 
Now the onus lies with bwin party to reassure the authorities with regards to its future course of action so that they are allowed to offer their products to Romanian players.
 
Its inclusion in the blacklisted companies list is a major blow to bwin party, as it had plans to enter the country’s regulated market in a big way.
 
The Romanian authorities have had talks with operators to ascertain the amount of back taxes they prior to them applying and acquiring a license.
 
Companies could end up paying close to €90m in back taxes in Romania, with high-profile brands like bwin, Bet365, Sportingbet and PokerStars contributing majority of it.
 
Thursday, 08 October 2015 13:13 Written by

253,698 players participate in PokerStars’ tournament, new world record set!

 
Online poker giant PokerStars on October 5 made yet another mark in the record books.  The poker site set a record for ‘largest online poker tournament’, as a total of 253,698 players participated in the $0.01 Common Cents Kick- Off tournament.
 
‘DaDumon’ from Austria won this new micro-stakes tournament series run by PokerStars. He not only pocketed a cool $10,000 for playing solid poker for almost seven hours, but also earned himself a slice of history at a single cent buy-in.
 
In order to begin the Common Cents series with a splash, PokerStars offered a guaranteed prize pool $100,000, out of which, $97,463.02 was contributed from their deep pockets, while $2,536.98 accounted for the total player buy-ins.
 
To top it of, over 500 tickets to the Common Cents Main Event tournament were randomly distributed among players during the initial 60 minutes of the event.
 
Prior to October 5, the record number of participants for the ‘largest online poker tournament’ was 225,000, which was set in 2013 at Road to 100 Billion hands celebration.
 
With this latest record, PokerStars once again showcased its might in the world of online poker. To understand the scale of this event, think of it as this – the 253,698 players would occupy all the permanent seats at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway—the world’s biggest sporting venue.
 
The Common Cents tournament will culminate in a Main Event on Sunday, October 11 at 15.00 ET.
 
 
Wednesday, 23 September 2015 08:58 Written by

Amaya reiterates confidence over PokerStars’ US presence

 
Amaya Gaming on Monday reaffirmed their belief of PokerStars making its presence felt in the US market in the 3rd quarter.
 
For now though, the online poker giant is yet to re-launch its online poker operations in the country.
 
Several big players have entered the select US states that have passed legislation to permit residents to play online poker. After its takeover by Amaya Gaming, the chances of PokerStars to make a comeback improved significantly. 
 
David Baazov, chief executive of Amaya said:
 
“Regulation ensures license holders have the correct auditing, fraud and fund protection in place to protect consumers and allow strict government oversight
 
“To achieve those objectives it’s important to support and lobby for clarity and regulation that will allow consumers and governments to feel secure in knowing that they’re protected by a legitimate, forward-looking industry.”
 
Baazov’s statement comes at a time when there is lack of clarity whether other states want to adopt a pro online poker framework. For now only New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware have offered access to online poker to their residents.
 
All eyes were on California to push through a favorable legislation in 2015. However, the state’s latest legislative session ended earlier in the month with not much movement on this front.
 
Eric Hollreiser, vice-president of corporate communications at Amaya, said 
 
“We see a lot of momentum and it’s really a question of when not if, and obviously we’re hoping that it’s sooner rather than later.”
 
Thursday, 17 September 2015 17:43 Written by

WSOP announces ten finalists for 2015 Poker Hall of Fame 

 
The World Series of Poker earlier this week announced names of the 10 finalists for the 2015 Poker Hall of Fame.
 
Among them are four debutants - Max Pescatori, Terry Rogers, Matt Savage and David “Devilfish” Ulliott, while the remaining six have been nominated before.
 
The complete list of finalists is as follows: 
 
Chris Bjorin (Sweden) 
David Chiu (Chinese American) 
Bruno Fitoussi (France)
 Jennifer Harman (USA) 
John Juanda (Indonesian American) 
Carlos Mortensen (Spain) 
Max Pescatori (Italy) 
Terry Rogers (Ireland) 
Matt Savage (USA) 
David Ulliott (UK) 
 
The only native-born Americans in the list are Jennifer Harman and Matt Savage. Interestingly, all stakeholders of the debate have unanimously applauded the name of David “Devilfish” Ulliott, who died of cancer earlier in the year. 
 
“What was clear by this public nomination process, David Ulliott was a beloved figure in poker whom was taken too soon, but not before he left an indelible impact on the game and all those he came in contact with,” read his bio on the WSOP website.
 
The panel, which includes 39 eminent people, will begin the process of picking two HOF inductees later this month. The chosen dup will be inducted into HOF when the 2015 WSOP Main Event final table gets underway. 
 
Despite there being a huge debate surrounding the name of PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg, after his name was proposed by Lee Jones, the businessman did not make the cut.
 
Despite having a major impact poker in general, the Ischeinberg’s name was probably excluded due to the outstanding warrant issued against him by the US Department of Justice. 
 
Wednesday, 02 September 2015 10:45 Written by

3D poker giant PKR set to appoint third CEO for 2015

 
 
Online 3D poker site PKR is set to anoint its third CEO within a year as speculation over the company’s internal politics grows.
 
Neil Alexander is vacating his post, which will be taken over by incoming ex-bwin.party poker director Chris Welch. The reasons behind Alexander’s exit are not known. 
 
Welch is PKR’s third CEO in 2015 and replaced the incumbent after just two months.
 
Alexander was handed the responsibility of revitalizing the site’s new player sign-ups. Also the company wanted the PKR brand be head back into the mainstream space.
 
The 3D site’s cash game peak was 422 players, which suggests it ranked among the lowest in Europe.
 
Segregation of the EU marketplace is believed to be one of the major reasons behind PKR’s fall from grace. The company had earlier withdrawn from France that followed introduction of the UK’s Point of Consumption Tax.
 
Welch now has a huge task on his hands in order to revive the fortunes of the 3D poker giant.
 
 
Tuesday, 25 August 2015 09:27 Written by

Delaware experiences yet another revenue decrease in July

 
In a bid to increase revenues, the two states of Delaware and Nevada launched their online poker liquidity sharing mechanism in March.
 
However after five months, things haven’t gone as per plan for the two US states. 
 
As per the deal between the states, players from Delaware would be at an advantage. Reason for this is a population of the state, which stands at 920,000 inhabitants. While that of Nevada is 2.7 million. 
 
However, if the July numbers are to be considered, Delaware seems to be worst hit. This also indicated that the initial hypothesis have been proven untrue.
 
The combined income of the three poker operators in Delaware for the last month was $ 28,158, which was the lowest this year. In July 2014 it was $ 31,261. Sites of Delaware Park, Harrington Raceway and Dover Downs utilize 888Poker network technology. 
 
Interestingly, iGaming business has witnessed a downswing in July this year with revenues of $ 142,083 against $ 172,496 in July 2014.  Governors of both states put pen to paper in February 2014 to kick-start the liquidity sharing mechanism.
 
However, failure to eliminate technical problems led to a delay in its execution by the governor of Nevada, Brian Sandoval.
 
On the very first day after liquidity sharing, network brought together 313 poker cash game players in Delaware.
 
Saturday, 22 August 2015 09:53 Written by

Online poker legislation hearing in New York scheduled for September

 
 
New York Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee is expected to conduct a hearing with regards to ipoker regulation in September.
 
The hearing will be at the request of Senator John Bonacic. He had proposed legislation for online poker in May.
 
Though there is no confirmation of the date of hearing, is certain that the bill will get a look-see by the committee, chaired by Bonacic.
 
The hearing next month is to collect information regarding the legislation. The process before it becomes a law is a long one and nothing specifically can be expected in 2015.
 
Speaking about the same, Bonacic said:
 
“I’m bringing in Caesars and MGM plus all of my casinos, racinos and OTBs. We are going to have a discussion on the pros and cons of moving the legislation.”
 
The main reason behind the non-movement of the legislation the focus of New York on the expansion of land-based gambling. Gaming Facility Location Board, in December 2014, granted licenses to three new upstate casinos.
 
Once that is out of the way, the state is expected to turn its attention towards online poker regulation.
 
Bonacic’s S 5302 is poker-only legislation proposes a tax rate of 15% of gross gaming revenue.  The bill also recommends a $10 million licensing fee over a 10-year period.  The maximum number of licenses that can be issued is 10.
 
S 5302 does not include a bad actor clause, which could pave the way for the return of PokerStars to the US market.
 
New York has a population of just under 20 million.  Where the state will move ahead with poker-only is a topic for discussion. But one thing is certain; the Big Apple residents will not have access to legal online poker in the state at least in 2015.
 
Thursday, 20 August 2015 09:46 Written by

Unibet to apply for online gambling license in Romania

Unibet informed media and affiliates of its application that is in process to apply for an online gaming license under the new regime in Romania.
 
"While Unibet is still analyzing the license requirements/conditions, we would like to let you know that Unibet is in the process of going ahead with its application for a Romanian license," Unibet stated in an email.
 
The Romanian market is often viewed in comparison to that of Portugal considering its size. Romania boasts of $199 million GDP, while that of Portugal is $233 million GDP.
 
Some companies like Unibet have withdrawn from the Portugal market as they intend to become a licensed operator there.
 
France’s Winamax no longer permits Romanian players to access their online poker room.
 
"We will contact those partners currently referring Romanian customers in a separate communication in the coming days with more information on this matter."
 
Online poker giant PokerStars too revealed its licensing process in Romania. They too have told affiliates that the Amaya Gaming-owned site won’t be accepting news players from the country.
 
Considering the 20% taxes on revenues generated by Romanian players clause, dating back to 2010, and companies have taken the route of withdrawing from the market.
 
However, there are several other players interested in entering the Romanian market. Country's gaming regulator ONJN has already handed out the first three to Stanleybet, Netbet and Winmasters.
 
For now, Romanian players may not be able to access their favorite online poker rooms, as some of them will apply for a license. Some sites could totally back out of the country’s market due to retroactive taxes. While some sites could continue to operate without a license and run the risk of criminal charges.
 
 
 
Monday, 17 August 2015 19:30 Written by

Brazilian authorities prohibit public displays of online poker

 
Brazil, after having once ruled that poker is a skill game, has now prohibited citizens from playing online poker in public.
 
As per the official document published by the authorities on JusBrazil, it is illegal to play online poker or casino in any area, which can be accessed by the general public.
 
Why the government has done a U-Turn on this front is not clear. But the new law also makes it illegal to play online poker on you tablet or smart phone in public.
 
Punishment for the same includes a three-month prison sentence. Also there is a fine between $575 and $575,000 if convicted.
 
Considering the history of the country, this latest move has taken many by surprise in the South American country.
 
A 2012 ruling, declaring poker as a game of skill in Brazil read:
 
Following a push by the Brazilian Conferederação Texas Hold’em (CBTH), the Brazilin Ministry of Sport agreed to list poker as a sport on its website. Poker is a competitive practice in which the participant requires intelligence, ability and intellectual and behavioral skills to succeed,” read a quote from the Ministry. 
 
Despite that, the necessary legal framework will take more years to come into effect. Though industry experts may not view the latest changes in law as a backward step, the move has puzzled and confused the poker lovers in Brazil.
 
 
 
Saturday, 01 August 2015 19:12 Written by

Partypoker does away with most withdrawal fees with immediate effect

 
The latest move by Partypoker to remove most withdrawal fees with immediate effect is bound to bring a lot of joys to their players.
 

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The poker site has now made available more free options available at the time of withdrawal for their customers.
 
Partypoker players have long complained about the need to pay fees at the time of taking out their cash from the poker account using payment processing options like MasterCard, Maestro, Visa and bank transfer.
 
Most such options would usually charge players £1.50 to use. 
 
However, players can now use Kalixa Pay, goplay prepaid MasterCard, ClickandBuy and paypal without having to pay any withdrawal fee.
 
It is important to understand that the site has not removed all fees. E-wallets like Skrill and Neteller continue to charge a 3% fee.
 
Sources close to highly placed officials of the company suggest that these fees too could be waived in the near future.
 
The online poker giant is taking several measures to implement processes in order to reduce time taken for approving deposits and withdrawal.
 
The company is also taking feedback from its players to improve their mechanism. Earlier in the year, Partypoker restructured their loyalty program to make it simpler for beginners as well as regular players.
 
The new loyalty program has indeed been a positive and as of now the site’s loyalty store offers tickets to live tournaments and packages to their Pokerfest series.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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