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Master catergory inherit only (391)

Wednesday, 06 January 2016 13:17 Written by

IFP’s Match Poker targets big markets through funding round

Match Poker’s bid to raise a new capital raise will be supervised by banking firm Turnstone Securities, hired as a financial and placement agent for the company.
Match Poker, operated by International Federation of Poker (IFP), is a variant of the game, which is based not on gambling but on team competition. It is played on mobile devices not with cards.
According to the company, the funding round will be aimed at building a “highly scalable” software platform that is expected to be rolled out in some of the world’s biggest markets in the next few years.
IFP has bigger plans though. The organization intends to engage with all stakeholders of the poker community in order to be accepted across the world as a mind sport and e-sport.
“The attention we are receiving is growing all the time,” said IFP chairman Patrick Nally.
“Now we need to accelerate software development and complete the platform to launch on a global scale.
“We are aiming to be up and running in two or three European countries this year, but the boost to funding would be used to create the technology and infrastructure to roll out in the bigger markets such as China, the US, Russia and Brazil.”
Match Poker's technology-centric product is what will appeal to young people and the mushrooming e-sports market, is what the IFP believes.
Walt Robinson, managing partner of California-based Turnstone Securities, commented: “We are thrilled to partner with Match Poker on this unique investment offering.
“We feel the company’s strategic goals will have wide-range appeal to qualified investors, not only from around the nation, but also the world.”
Whether this is an idea whose time has come remains to be seen. But the world of poker does need new idea and innovation to keep the users engaged and Match Poker is definitely doing just that.
Monday, 28 December 2015 19:34 Written by

After New York, Illinois bans daily fantasy sports

After New York, Illinois became the latest US state to ban daily fantasy sports (DFS). The Attorney General of Illinois ruled that DFS contests were illegal under state law.
In a decision announced last week, Lisa Madigan informed DFS market-leaders FanDuel and DraftKings to alter their terms and conditions in order to “include Illinois as an additional state whose residents are not eligible to participate in contests”.
Madigan highlighted that the stat law “clearly declares that all games of chance or skill, when played for money, are illegal gambling in Illinois”.
“It is my opinion that daily fantasy sports contests constitute illegal gambling under Illinois law,” she further added.
DraftKings and FanDuel were in November prohibited by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman from offering their services to residents of the state.
At the moment, they are still operating under an interim stay until at least January 4, 2016.
David Boies, part of DraftKings’ legal team, said: “The company intends to promptly seek a judicial resolution of its right to offer daily fantasy sports contests to Illinois residents.
“As it does so, it will continue to abide by all relevant laws and will follow the direction of the courts. Pending that resolution the company will preserve the status quo.”
Sunday, 27 December 2015 13:08 Written by

Amaya Gaming slapped with $870m fine in Kentucky

A Kentucky judge has directed Amaya Gaming to pay $870 million (€794.1 million) in damages for PokerStars’ alleged illegal operations in the state from 2006 to 2011.

Franklin Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate had in November fined the Canada-based company $290 million last month. However, on December 23 that amount was tripled after a request from the state.

Amaya completed the takeover of PokerStars’ parent company in November. The company has been informed that it will pay an interest of 12% until the debt is cleared off.

According to the state, the online poker giant offered online gambling services to 34,000 Kentucky players even after Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was enforced.

During the period from 2006-2011, the company generated close to $18 million in revenues. Under an 1833 statute, the state of Kentucky has now sought damages for those players who lost money during the five-year-period.

Wingate wrote that Amaya might “find the final damage award to be harsh medicine”. He added: “Such is the consequences for violating the laws of Kentucky.”

Amaya is expected to appeal against the court decision. In a statement released by the company, it will “vigorously dispute any liability” or seek recovery from Rational Group.

Sunday, 20 December 2015 18:11 Written by

Betfair-Paddy Power merger granted clearance by UK’s CMA

In a key development in the iGaming world, United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) gave a green signal to the proposed merger between Betfair and Paddy Power.
In August, the two companies had plans of merging public. This deal could lead to the formation of a brand that is worth a whopping £5.8 billion (€8 billion/$8.7 billion).
In November, the CMA published invitation to comment on the future merger. It had also set a deadline of November 20 for comments with regards to this deal.
In a statement released by Betfair confirming the approval by CMA, it stated that the proposed merger with Paddy Power was on track and a final deal was likely to be completed in the first quarter of 2016.
Of late, iGaming has witnessed a trend of mergers and acquisitions. It now remains to be seen how thing latest collaboration between two of the biggest companies in the sector will later the dynamics of UK’s betting market.
Monday, 14 December 2015 10:47 Written by

PokerStars to go ahead with changes to VIP program despite player boycott

Despite growing pressure and an ongoing boycott by players, online poker giant PokerStars has stuck to its guns with regards to changes to its VIP rewards program

The Amaya-owned poker site in November introduced sweeping changes like a new ‘VIP Steps’ program that will be implemented in January.

PokerStars players reacted strongly to the changes. Over 200 players have boycotted the site over the last few weeks.

However, PokerStars will go ahead with these controversial changes.

Eric Hollreiser, vice-president corporate communication at Amaya:

“We will not alter those plans. The current VIP program is no longer fit for its purpose. When combined with the increasing skill gap in the online poker market, the result is an increasingly poor experience for recreational and new players. We’re doing everything we can to make 2016 an exciting year for poker, but recognise that 2015 has been tough for many of our players,” he said.

“A tremendous amount of analysis goes into making these decisions by PokerStars. Our poker room management team is staffed with many former poker pros, and we have examined all possible scenarios. We are making these changes for the long-term health of the poker ecosystem and to put in place a system that is sustainable…changes are needed and we are making them. The funds that previously went to these rewards will be placed in more and bigger online promotions, more consumer marketing campaigns to attract new players and research and development of innovative new products and feature,” he further added.

It now remains to be seen whether PokerStars players will continue their boycott or return to play on the site. The online poker giant has made its move, the ball is now in the players’ court.

Tuesday, 08 December 2015 07:23 Written by

Simka Consulting co-founder Simona Bostan on judges panel for iGB Affiliate Awards 

iGB Affiliate Awards are widely regarded as the most credible and respected awards within the iGaming fraternity. The latest edition of these awards will be held at Electric Brixton in London on Thursday 4th February 2016.
The iGB awards recognize businesses of all sizes, which offers operators a chance to differentiate their products from competitors.
Brands within the iGaming industry earn recognition that helps them foster better relationship with peers via good marketing and PR opportunities.
The awards offer a platform to iGaming players to publicize their personal credentials to clients, existing employer and future employers.
Simka Consulting has been part of these prestigious awards for several years now. Our company has been nominated in previous editions in various categories.
However, this year is a bit more special for all of us at Simka. The wheel as they has now come full circle as Simona Bostan, our co-founder, has found place on an esteemed panel of judges at the 2016 iGB Affiliate Awards.
The panel consists of independent experts within the iGaming industry with impeccable credentials.
This vote of confidence from the organizers is a ringing endorsement of not just of Ms Bostan but also recognition of the work and value delivered by Simka Consulting to its clients and partners.
A total of 25 awards will be up for grabs at the gala event in the following categories.
Best website: Poker, casino, sports betting, bingo, lottery and financial
Best Affiliate Manager: Poker, casino, sports betting, bingo, lottery and financial
Best affiliate program: Poker, casino, sports betting, bingo, lottery and financial
Best newcomer: Affiliate program and affiliate
Best innovation
Best foreign language: Website and affiliate program
Best use of social media by an affiliate
Best affiliate marketing campaign
In a first, the iGB Affiliate Awards will be free to attend for everyone that is registered for the London Affiliates Conference.
Sunday, 06 December 2015 10:51 Written by

Yuri Martins stars at 2015 LAPT Grand Final

Yuri Martins emerged victorious at the 2015 Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT) Grand Final beating a strong field of 426 players.
Martins played solid poker through the course of four days to take home a cool R$652,509 ($170,000) first place prize. 
With his latest triumph, the Brazilian took his live career earnings to $522,095. To add to that, Martins has accumulated $5,012,333 playing online poker under the screen name “theNERDguy”. 
Some of the big names to have earned a return on their investment were Alex Manzano in 26th (R$27,450), Patricio Rojas in 21st (R$31,210), Ariel Celestino in 20th (R$34,970), and Caio Hey in 15th (R$43,240). 
Only 8 surviving players from Day 3 made it to Day 4 to close out the proceedings. Alfonso Henrique went in as cheap leader into the final table.
However, after a series of eliminations it was left between Henrique and Martins to fight it out for the big prize. Coming into the heads up battle, the former held a 2:1 chip advantage.
The two opted to split the prize money and but leave R$118,638 for the winner. After a protracted heads-up duel, the final hand was played when Henrique shoved pre-flop holding K-9 and was called by Martins with K-Q. The board ran 5-Q-9-7-K to condemn Henrique to a second place finish, while Martins was crowed LAPT Grand Final champion.
Final Table Payouts: 
1 Yuri Martins (Brazil) R$652,509* 
2 Afonso Henrique (Brazil) R$533,871* 
3 Andrés Herrera (Chile) R$329,030 
4 Ricardo Chauriye (Chile) R$261,340 
5 Alexandre Rivero (Brazil) R$204,940 
6 Carlos Alves (Brazil) R$160,540 
7 Bruno Kawauti (Brazil) R$120,700 
8 Gustavo Lopes (Brazil) R$85,730 
Season 9 of the LAPT will commence in Nassau with the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. 
Monday, 30 November 2015 09:42 Written by

Betfred’s Wigan facility to shut shop, over 100 jobs to be affected

Bookmaker giant is set to close its call center at Wigan Tote Park, leading to over 100 job cuts at the company.
The Wigan facility will be shut down on December 11, with part-time worked being hit the hardest.
Half of the 14 full-time workers will be given employment by Betfred. The company hoped to redeploy majority of its part-time staff from the Wigan call center.
The facility was taken control of by the company in 2011 after acquiring former state-owned betting operator Tote.
CEO of Betfed, John Haddock, said: 
“After a very detailed consultation with our staff at our Wigan call centre we have unfortunately, after reviewing all options, had to make the decision to close the operation.
We have already secured jobs for a number of staff within Betfred and there are others who are considering taking up positions, which are available within the company. 
We will continue to offer our full support to all staff who wish to find alternative employment within the Betfred Group or externally.
 Betfred management and local government agencies have been on site for a number of weeks helping staff with any questions and advice.”
Thursday, 26 November 2015 06:19 Written by

Ladbrokes shareholders give green signal to Coral merger

British bookmaker Ladbrokes got a green signal from its shareholders for a merger with fellow bookmaker Coral. The decision was taken at the company’s extraordinary general meeting held in London on Tuesday.
There was unanimous support for the deal as over 90% of those eligible, voted in favor of the merger. Irish shareholder Dermot Desmond, however, has been a vocal critic of this development.
Speaking on the merger between the bookmakers, Desmond said:
“In these discussions it has become clear that while most have placed their proxy in favor of the resolutions, they have huge sympathy with the points we raised and are voting for the Coral transaction out of a sense of frustration and resignation with the current board and management. I share their frustration, but not their resignation.” 
Regulatory approval has not yet been granted to this deal, with Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) almost guaranteed to initiate an investigation.
News of the proposed merger was made public in July with an estimation of forming a combined entity worth £2.3 billion (€3.2 billion/$3.6 billion).
After inking this deal, the duo is confident of generating net revenue of £2.1 billion as well as earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of £392 million, without cost synergies of approximately £65 million.
The merger has drawn some flak from analysts. Desmond – who owns nearly 3% of Ladbrokes – had said last week that there “were smarter deals the firm could have done”  like the sale of just Ladbrokes.  
Thursday, 26 November 2015 06:05 Written by

Amaya Gaming chairman David Baazov acquires $2.3m of additional shares in company

Chairman and chief executive of Amaya, David Baazov, bought another 110,000 common shares of the company for a whopping US$1.7 million/€1.6 million.
Baazov wasn’t the only one who decided to up his shareholding. He has two other Amaya executives for company.
Marlon Goldstein and Rafi Ashkenazi executive vice-president, corporate development and general counsel as well as chief executive officer of the PokerStars and Full Tilt businesses, bought a total of 47,460 common shares for close to CAN$1 million on the open market.
Canada-based Amaya Gaming confirmed the news of this latest development. According to the company, the acquisition deals were between November 12 and 18.
The timing of the purchases couldn’t have been better, as the company had earlier disclosed its year-on-year financial growth during the three months through to September 30.
Revenue increased by 8% to CAN$324.7 million, adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization was up by 8% to CAN$141.7 million, while net earnings witnessed a 13% year-on-year to CAN$90.5 million, reports iGaming Business.
Baazov believes Amaya’s financial results showcase the value the company has delivered for its shareholders.
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