Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Poker Movie �Molly's Game' hits Theaters this Holiday Season

BankrollMob News - Poker / Casino / Betting
Poker Movie �Molly's Game' hits Theaters this Holiday Season
This holiday season, vacationing poker players and poker enthusiasts have a good reason to visit the movie theaters. On December 25, the movie 'Molly's Game' opened in most huge cities in the United States, and the movie shall be released nationwide in January 5, 2018. Oscar-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin directed it and his highly-anticipated directorial debut was actually initially scheduled for release to theaters on Thanksgiving, but after a warmly received showing at the Toronto I[...]

Irish betting taxes to remain at 1% for 2018

World Casino News
Irish betting taxes to remain at 1% for 2018

Ireland's Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe (pictured) has decided not to change the country's taxes on betting businesses for 2018 but will revisit the issue before announcing the budget for 2019. The minister had been considering three options that could have added as much as €50 million to the Exchequer for the coming year. However, the issue is fraught with pitfalls and controversies with no immediate easy answer. The matter has pitted various interests in betting against each other with little understanding seeming to come from their respective proposals. When looking at the Irish betting model it is good to keep in mind that it is unique in the world with its own strengths and weaknesses. A fair decision that takes in all considerations, based on total taxation as well as potential profits and indeed the survival of small betting shops must be weighed against the government's need for revenue, the horse racing industry, and large betting providers' ability to continue serving the market. While bookmakers at racetracks saw a 50% reduction in their tax rate in 2017 with more cuts expected later, they are still struggling to support their industry. In August, Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) called for bookmakers' duties to be increased from the 1% they have paid since 2006 to 2.5% and to have punters pay the difference. According to a report in today's Irish Independent, a submission by Donohoe said in part, "[There is] the possibility of punters seeking out alternative untaxed forms of betting or a move towards unlicensed operators." The proposal would also need a complicated formula to take into account exchanges like Betfair who is currently taxed on commissions. The horse racing industry in Ireland is currently supported by all taxpayers via the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund, and the HRI proposal along with raising betting exchange commission levies from 15% to 37.5% would provide the fund with money from punters only, rather than every taxpayer. Minister Donohoe is well aware of the racing industry's need for stabilization and development but worried that raising taxes now would not help government revenues much if the proceeds went to the racing industry. "In the context of the historical link between betting revenues and the funding of the [racing] industry, any increase in betting receipts will be seen by some in the industry as being earmarked for the Horse and Greyhound Fund," Donohoe said. The Irish Bookmaker's Association released a report in August that said that claiming Ireland has the 'Lowest betting tax rate in the world' doesn't take into consideration that betting shops with less than €2 million in revenues already pay an effective tax rate of 614.7% with the inclusion of income tax, rates, VAT, betting duty, corporate tax, and 1% total tax. According to statistics compiled by the Association's Tony Foley, raising the tax to 2% would result in the elimination of all profits for small shops with less than €2 million in taxable revenues, while bringing the effective tax rate for a €4m shop up to 96.1%. According to the report, "With over 450 closures and 2500 job losses since 2008, an increase in betting tax would only serve to cause more closures and job losses". With bookmakers resisting a 1% increase in the betting tax on them and cautions over taxing punters, a scheme which has had less than favorable results in other countries, there was one final concept to consider - to tax the gross profits of bookmakers. The minister's submission stated: "There is no doubt that a move to gross profits would be of advantage to business as the level of tax payable will change in response to margins. "From a revenue point of view there is less stability around the yield of the tax and it is more susceptible to changes in the trade environment". While this may well be the course for next year's budget, a workable plan has not yet been introduced and would take "significant additional work" before it could be. So, for 2018 the industry will carry on under the present tax regime.

PokerStars announces $9 Million-added Players NLHE Championship in 2019 at the Bahamas

BankrollMob News - Poker / Casino / Betting
PokerStars announces $9 Million-added Players NLHE Championship in 2019 at the Bahamas
It looks like PokerStars is going all out this time at their PokerStars live events, as they announced the PokerStars Players No-Limit Hold'em Championship (PSPC), with the site putting into the prize pool a whopping $9 million right from their pockets! For those who are in the know, in the past few years the PokerStars site seemed to lose luster when it comes to their live tourney series. In fact, other online poker rivals have stepped up their game and it even came to the point that it may [...]

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Biggest Live Poker Comebacks of 2017

Casino News Daily
Biggest Live Poker Comebacks of 2017

Professional poker is a tough field and it requires a great amount of diverse qualities and skills for one to establish themselves as a big name. The three players below have each established themselves as members of poker’s elite. However, they had felt forced for one reason or another to withdraw from the limelight. And 2017 turned out to be the year of their comeback or the year they have indicated that we could anticipate their comeback in near future.

Here are the three players that we have seen little of over the past several years, but we are quite certain that they have a lot to show.

Chris Ferguson

Chris Ferguson has been praised by many for his qualities and skills of a poker player. However, he has drawn an equal amount of negativism towards himself due to his alleged involvement in the 2011 Full Tilt Poker Ponzi scheme scandal.

In a nutshell, Ferguson, who was co-founder of Full Tilt Poker, and three other individuals at the online poker room were indicted by the US Department of Justice for allegedly running a Ponzi scheme that had paid out nearly $450 million worth of players’ money to themselves. While Ferguson never admitted to being part of such a scheme and his guilt never was never proved, doubt over his integrity has remained within the poker community.

Following his indictment, the 2000 WSOP Main Event champion disappeared completely from poker. Little was heard of Ferguson in the years after 2011. The player eventually reappeared on the live poker stage last summer, when he joined the flock of WSOP participants in Las Vegas.

He cashed in ten events last summer, with his fourth-place finish in the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed Championship marking his deepest run. While Ferguson made his official comeback last year, it can be said that it was this year that he made bigger headlines.

Following this year’s editions of the WSOP and WSOP Europe festivals, the player was crowned the 2017 WSOP Player of the Year. Ferguson cashed in 17 WSOP events during the summer series and in five more during the WSOP Europe that took place in October at King’s Casino Rozvadov in the Czech Republic to collect 1,178.53 points and top the prestigious ranking.

In Las Vegas, he made two final tables, finishing fourth in the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship for $150,929, and second in the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship for $151,700. In Rozvadov, he topped the field of the €1,650 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better for €39,289 and his sixth WSOP gold bracelet.

Ferguson clearly re-entered the world of live tournament poker with flying colors. However, there were quite a lot of people who were not ready to welcome him back happily. Daniel Negreanu, known to be among the most outspoken representatives of the global poker community, criticized his fellow player for never offering an apology to those affected by the 2011 Full Tilt Poker scandal.

Negreanu first commented on Ferguson’s return last year and maintained his stance this year, as well. He took to Twitter when Phil Hellmuth posted a picture of him and Ferguson on his profile during the WSOP Europe.

Despite the stream of negativity towards Ferguson, there were also players who seemed to be ready to give him a chance. In a recent podcast, UK poker pro Charlie Carrel dwelt that people should be nicer to the disgraced player. Carrel also went on to say that multiple poker insiders have told him Ferguson was almost certainly innocent.

Gus Hansen

After building a terrific poker career and reputation as one of the world’s most skillful poker professionals, Gus Hansen disappeared from the public eye and from the poker stage. Losing millions of dollars at the online tables of PokerStars and Full Tilt, the player made a life-changing decision to move away from poker, at least for a while and channel his attention to something completely different.

The player has been rumored to have lost over $20 million in high stakes cash games. He said in a 2014 interview with Danish poker news outlet Pokernyhederne, that he blamed himself for his bad run and that he was considering switching to lower stakes poker. Eventually, the player left the poker stage altogether for several years. Until last year.

First indications that the player was returning to poker appeared last summer when it was reported that he was seen at the cash game tables of various Las Vegas casinos. In a November 2016 interview with Poker News, the Great Dane, as he is known in the poker community, confirmed that he was planning to re-enter the poker stage in 2017. Hansen was seen at more cash games during the first half of the year.

This spring, he even made his first televised appearance. He took part in the Celebrity Cash Kings cash game festival at King’s Casino Rozvadov, playing against Antanas Guoga, Leon Tsoukernik, and Sam Trickett, among others.

Most recently, Hansen appeared in a prestigious live tournament. The player took part in this year’s WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic $10,400. Here it is interesting to note that he took down the first ever such event back in May 2002. This was his first in-the-money finish ever, and his first live tournament title ever. Hansen did not cash during the 2017 edition of the event, but at least we know now that he is making steps towards returning to poker.

Phil Ivey

Ivey has had quite a rough time off the felt over the past several years. The player is being sued by Atlantic City’s Borgata and failed in his attempt to sue London’s Crockfords Casino over its refusal to pay him out £7.7 million in baccarat winnings from 2012. Both lawsuits were related to his use of the controversial edge-sorting technique while playing baccarat at the two gambling venues with his companion player Cheung Yin Sun.

The more publicity the cases gained, the less we heard from Ivey, whom many consider one of the world’s best poker professionals and card players as a whole. One of the cases was concluded in October, but the outcome was not in the player’s favor.

Ivey lost his appeal to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, with Supreme Court justices upholding the Court of Appeal’s decision from 2016 that Crockfords Casino should not pay the player his winnings due to his use of edge-sorting to gain advantage.

January 2016 was the last time the player cashed in a live tournament. He finished fifth in the $200,000 Triton Super High Roller for $656,500. The player has not taken part in a live tournament since then. What is more, few knew where he was exactly until the second half of 2017, when reports emerged that he was playing cash games at Macau casinos.

Many hoped that Ivey will return to the live tournament stage during the WSOP this summer. This did not happen, but it seems that the player has said in a recent interview with an Asian media outlet that he plans to make his comeback in 2018.

It is also important to note that Ivey was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame this year, along with the late David “Devilfish” Ulliott.

The post Biggest Live Poker Comebacks of 2017 appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Land casino reportedly places Blockchain gambling machine

World Casino News
Land casino reportedly places Blockchain gambling machine

The Ethereum blockchain development company SmartPlay has reportedly placed one of their cryptocurrency gambling machines in a land-based casino. The SmartBox machine operates on smart contracts using the Ethereum blockchain. This is a separate blockchain than Bitcoin is found on and ETH has its own value. Rather than having a random number generator and gaming software within the machine itself, the gambling program is actually written into the blockchain. The sponsored post, which the company placed on, does not go into much detail about what sort of games are available on the machine, nor where it is located. However, the company's official web page notes the production of the first blockchain gambling machine on November 16, 2017, and references only SmartRoulette as a game developed at that point in time. Company documents indicate that future developments will include poker, blackjack, and slots. The machine is said to accept fiat currency (most likely paper rubles) which then converts them into the company's own coin called the RLT (roulette token). The alt-coins are available for purchase and sale on Russia's LiveCoin exchange (account required) and have been listed on the Eidoo Exchange. The machine, as currently deployed, is only for beta testing and proof of concept, no real money bets are being accepted on it at the undisclosed casino location. If the beta test is successful the company plans to start mass production of the SmartBox. SmartPlay did an initial coin offering (ICO) on April 7, 2017,  with the goal of raising $100,000 to $150,000 by offering 2.5 million units of 10 million created at an initial price of 0.0015 ETH at the time. The value of the RLT was about $0.07 based on ETH currency and with the explosion of the markets is now worth about $1.15. The ICO was worth $126,150 at the exchange rate as of 04/10/2017 at the end of the three-day sale. The number of tokens sold was 1,874,170. One interesting element of the game machine is that one-half of one-percent of each bit is returned to players as a bonus in RLT coins. The company looks at this is a way for players to own part of SmartPlay and to profit off the gambling of future players. The company claims to have already paid more than $300,000 to players in the form of RLT tokens. The company's website is operational but US players have been restricted since May of this year. According to a quote in the company's press releases, Philipe Comini, CEO of the Gimmer project said: "SmartBox looks pretty reliable and I can see the technology is going forward, so I give my thumbs up and hope everybody can join as well. [It's] a very revolutionary technology introducing the blockchain on gambling, and I’m really watching for SmartBox". One selling point the company is using to place its machines on live casino floors is that they will be able to eliminate croupiers, cashiers, and accountants as all processes are handled via smart contracts on the blockchain. The games are also probably fair as nobody, not even SmartPlay can change the blockchain once it is written.

Maryland lawmakers want casino gambling funds in edu “lockbox”

World Casino News
Maryland lawmakers want casino gambling funds in edu “lockbox”

In Maryland, a pair of leading General Assembly Democrats are hoping to see revenues from casino gaming in the state put aside and used to help public schools. Delegate Maggie McIntosh and Senator Joan Carter have plans to introduce an amendment to the state constitution that will place the casino gambling revenues of the state in a ‘lockbox’ to be used by public schools when needed. As chair of the House Appropriations Committee, McIntosh stated in a report by The Baltimore Sun that the amendment would make sure that the taxes from gambling will be used to enhance the K-12 education fund formula and not used to finance the program. The only spending priority of the state constitution is education. In the interview, McIntosh stated that the amendment would help to keep a promise made by lawmakers to voters when casino gaming was approved back in 2008 and expanded four years later that the revenue share of the state would be used to improve education. When legislation was passed, nothing was put in place that would require the school spending amount to increase as the gambling revenues grow. The six casinos in the state have provided revenues for some time which have been set aside for education needs. However, over the past few years, the aid has fallen flat despite the casinos’ ability to prosper. Money flowed into the Education Trust Fund, but then flowed out as it was used in the general fund. According to McIntosh, when schools in Baltimore began to face cuts in state aid in 2016 due to declining enrollment, residents of the city were complaining and asking where the gaming money has gone, as reported by The Baltimore Sun. With the legislation the Delegate plans to introduce, an amendment would be up for vote on the 2018 ballot to let the citizens of the state decide on the educational fund. Within the budget year that ended on June 30th, casinos in Maryland had been able to generate $1.4 billion in revenues for the budget year. Casinos were able to maintain $814 million and the rest was paid in taxes. The Maryland Education Trust Fund was provided $451 million, according to The Baltimore Sun. With McIntosh’s proposal, the amendment would create a phase-in time frame, so the state would be able to make budget adjustments accordingly. After the MGM National Harbor opened one year ago, the state has continued to see top earning potential, with the MGM casino earning over $50 million in monthly revenues seven times within the year time frame. With gaming doing so well, it seems that the fund should only have more money added, which could benefit schools of the state if funds remained in one place and not used by the General Fund.  

20 Free Spins No Deposit Bonus at Leo Vegas Casino!

UK Casino Awards: New Online Casinos
20 Free Spins No Deposit Bonus at Leo Vegas Casino!

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The post 20 Free Spins No Deposit Bonus at Leo Vegas Casino! appeared first on UK Casino Awards: New Online Casinos.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Wealthiest Gambling Bosses of 2017 – the Rags-to-Riches Stories of Five Remarkable Visionaries

Casino News Daily
Wealthiest Gambling Bosses of 2017 – the Rags-to-Riches Stories of Five Remarkable Visionaries

Building wealth is hard. Keeping and increasing that wealth is even harder. It requires deployment of smart strategies and risk-taking. The five people below have apparently found the recipe for building wealth. What is more, they have managed to overcome the challenges of being born into poverty and to create something better for themselves and for many others.

These five remarkable businessmen currently top Forbes’ richest gambling representatives list. And while they are involved in different sectors of the global gambling industry, it can be said that they have quite a lot in common. They have found what it comes down to to become a wealthy gambling boss, have come up with concepts all unique for the industry, and have spotted the right niche to eventually create and grow successful gambling enterprises. Here is how they have achieved what they have achieved.

Sheldon Adelson

Net Worth: $30.4 Billion (Forbes: December 2017)/Self-Made Billionaire

The stories of self-made billionaires who managed to take themselves from the streets to the top of world’s richest people lists are countless. And Sheldon Adelson, the founder of one of the world’s largest casino companies (if not the largest) has one such rags-to-riches story.

Mr. Adelson was born in 1933 in one of Boston’s poorer neighborhoods. He sold newspapers in his teenage years and later on entered The City College of New York, where he commenced his corporate finance studies. He left two years later, never finishing his degree. Little did the college dropout know that he would happen to become one of the rulers of the casino world.

Mr. Adelson was engaged in different business endeavors in the 1960s. In the early 1970s, he started a dedicated show for the computer industry, interest in which was growing quite rapidly at the time. The first edition of the show was held in 1973 and saw modest success. However, Mr. Adelson felt that he was on the right path and sold a number of his other businesses to dedicate his attention to the computer show.

The businessman’s work in the field eventually brought to life the Computer Dealers Expo (COMDEX) in the late 1970s. The event took place at MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. It took less than a decade for it to become the largest computer-dedicated show in the world.

Adelson made his first foray into the casino world when he purchased the emblematic Sands Hotel and Casino, which had been known to be a favorite spot to stars like Frank Sinatra back in the 1950s. The property’s new owner redeveloped it into a multi-purpose complex that featured retail, dining, and entertainment facilities.

In 1990, Mr. Adelson opened the Sands Expo and Convention across the street from the Sands Casino. The center was the second largest one in the world at the time. It can thus be said that the businessman was the founder of what is now known as the MICE integrated resorts model. Multiple integrated resorts with meeting and convention space have been built over the past 27 years, following the success of Mr. Adelson’s endeavors and changing the casino, tourism, and hospitality industries for good.

The casino mogul further expanded his gambling and hospitality business in Las Vegas and later on in Macau and Singapore through Las Vegas Sands, the company he founded in 1998 gradually grew into the world’s largest casino operator. Its market cap stood at around $55 billion as of early December.

Las Vegas Sands Properties:

Sands Expo and Convention Center
The Venetian Las Vegas
Sands Macao
The Venetian Macao
The Palazzo Las Vegas
The Plaza Macao
Sands Bethlehem
Marina Bay Sands
Sands Cotai Central
The Parisian Macao

Carl Icahn

Net Worth: $16.4 Billion (Forbes: December 2017)/ Self-Made Billionaire

Carl Icahn is yet another billionaire businessman who was raised in relative poverty, but had a bent for business that eventually rocketed his name to the very top part of the world’s richest list. Icahn was born in 1936 and grew up in the Far Rockaway neighborhood in Queens, New York. The neighborhood was and still is quite a poor one.

His mother was a school teacher and his father was a lawyer and cantor at the neighborhood’s synagogue. Icahn himself said that he has always had a drive for success.

The businessman was a gifted student and was very keen on going to college. His parents said that they would pay his tuition fees only if he was admitted in an Ivey League college. Icahn applied to Harvard, Princeton, and Yale and was accepted by all three. He eventually picked Princeton where he studied philosophy. Icahn has said in interviews that his years at Princeton helped him succeed in his future business endeavors.

The businessman is widely known as one of Wall Street’s most colorful representatives and one of the most aggressive investors out there. Sometimes brash and controversial, his business tactics have won him the reputation of a corporate raider.

Icahn has been involved in different businesses over the years through his holding company Icahn Enterprises. The conglomerate has invested in real estate, auto parts, casinos, entertainment, and energy, among other things.

In 1998, Icahn was given the green light by the Nevada Gaming Commission to operate the bankrupt Stratosphere Casino and Arizona Charlie’s casino, which was under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection at the time. The businessman agreed to sell the two properties as well as the Boulder casino and Aquarius Casino Resort (both located in Nevada) and a portion of empty land in Las Vegas to Goldman Sachs’ Whitehall Street Real Estate Funds in 2007 for the total amount of $1.3 billion. The deal was completed at a profit of nearly $1 billion for Mr. Icahn.

The purchase and the subsequent sale of the unfinished Fontainebleau casino resort on the Las Vegas Strip was yet another highly profitable move. Mr. Icahn bought the property in 2009 for $156 million. Here it is important to note that the complex was under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection at the time. In 2015, the billionaire businessman listed Fontainebleau for sale at a price of $650 million. He sold the unfinished resort in August 2017 to investors New Valley LLC and Witkoff Group for the total amount of $600 million.

Mr. Icahn’s casino interests also spread to New Jersey and more specifically to Atlantic City. In 2009, the state’s Casino Control Commission backed the investor’s bid to assume control over Tropicana Casino Resort. His proposal to buy the then struggling property emerged a year earlier at a bankruptcy auction.

Back in 2009, Mr. Icahn was also battling now US President Donald Trump over the latter’s bankrupt Atlantic City casino resort business Trump Resorts Entertainment. The company was the owner of the now shuttered Trump Plaza, Trump Taj Mahal as well as of Trump Marina, which was bought by Tilman J. Fertitta’s Landry’s Inc. and now operates as Golden Nugget Atlantic City.

Mr. Icahn eventually acquired Trump Resorts Entertainment in 2015. Trump Plaza had already been shuttered by that time, and Trump Taj Mahal barely escaped bankruptcy. The latter property closed doors in October 2016 after a prolonged workers’ strike, during which staff picketed the casino resort over contract dispute with its owner. Mr. Icahn actually blamed Trump Taj Mahal’s closure on the strike. He sold the shuttered casino this spring to Florida-based casino developer Hard Rock International.

Lui Che Woo

Net Worth: $12.1 Billion (Forbes: December 2017)/ Self-Made Billionaire

At the age of 88, Chinese businessman Lui Che Woo survived the atrocities of World War Two, grew up in extreme poverty, and used every lesson life served him to build his business empire. Mr. Lui is one of Asia’s wealthiest people and most successful entrepreneurs.

He was born in Mainland China’s Guangdong province, but spent most of his childhood in Hong Kong. At the age of 13, he became his family’s breadwinner. This was when he gradually began entering the world of business.

He sold peanuts for a while to support his five sisters and the rest of the family. Later on, Mr. Lui joined his uncle’s car parts company as a stock keeper. He founded his own car parts company after gaining experience at his uncle’s.

He made his “first pot of gold” when he sold heavy machinery left behind in Japan after the Korean war to Hong Kong contractors. This helped him launch K. Wah Group in the 1950s. It later on became the parent company for his other businesses.

Over the years, Mr. Lui expanded his operations across different fields including construction materials supply, real estate, hospitality, and casino gambling. He also extended his businesses’ footprint across Southeast Asia and the United States.

He entered the hospitality industry in the 1970s when he purchased a waterfront site to build what would become Hong Kong’s first star-rated hotel. The businessman believed that he was onto something big and that demand for world-class hotels in the region would explode. And he turned quite right.

In 2002, Mr. Lui founded Galaxy Entertainment Group, the company that later on became parent to his casino operations. The businessman decided to explore the world of gambling after the Chinese government had given the nod to the construction of casino venues in Macau. Galaxy Entertainment was selected as one of the six preferred bidders for the city’s gaming concessions.

The company now operates its flagship property Galaxy Macau, an integrated resort with a gaming floor and multiple hotel, entertainment, dining, retail, and convention facilities, as well as several city casino clubs. It has recently emerged that Galaxy Entertainment has partnered a Philippine developer to build a $500-million integrated resort on the Boracay Island.

Johann Graf

Net Worth: $7.2 Billion (Forbes: December 2017)/ Self-Made Billionaire

The founder of international gambling company NOVOMATIC Group is yet another self-made billionaire. Mr. Graf was born in 1947 in Vienna, Austria. He was raised by his grandparents in a single-room apartment without running water.

He apprenticed as a butcher at a young age and his family hoped that he would take over their butcher business. However, Mr. Graf had different plans for his life. Sensing a good opportunity, he began importing pinball machines to his home country through Belgium. He distributed the gaming devices across caf├ęs, pubs, and other facilities around Austria.

With the popularization of electronic gaming machines, Mr. Graf grabbed what he believed was yet another good opportunity to extend his business, and formed Novomatic Automatenhandels AG in 1980. The company saw a quick growth which allowed it to expand its geographic footprint to Switzerland and across the East Bloc.

NOVOMATIC has grown into a company that annually generates billions of dollars in revenue, produces slot machines, electronic table games, video poker and video lottery products, and runs a chain of land-based casinos, with most of the venues operating under the Admiral brand. NOVOMATIC has offices in more than 40 countries and supplies its products across 80 countries.

Mark Scheinberg

Net Worth: $4.5 Billion (Forbes: December 2017)/ Self-Made Billionaire

Mark Scheinberg and his father, Isai Scheinberg, are recognized as the founders of PokerStars, the world’s largest online poker room. Mr. Scheinberg was born in Israel in 1973, but moved to Canada with his family at the age of 13. He was admitted to Fanshawe College of Applied Arts and Technology in London, Ontario, but spent only a year there before dropping out and moving to Toronto.

In Toronto, he started a job in hospitality and spent the next several years of his life traveling around South America and Asia.

The Scheinbergs eventually entered the world of online gambling in September 2001, when they launched PokerStars. The website initially offered play-money games only. The real-money wagering options arrived in December 2001.

Mark and his father, an experienced computer programmer, held a controlling stake in PokerStars’ parent company, Rational Enterprises. Although the online poker room was launched at a time when the Internet was still a bit of a weird place, its popularity among players grew exponentially within a very short period of time.

It can be said that PokerStars was at the center of what has become known as the boom of online poker in the mid-2000s. In 2003, Chris Moneymaker won the WSOP Main Event after securing a seat into the world’s most prestigious No-Limit Hold’em tournament through a PokerStars online satellite. The next several years saw an explosion in demand for online poker, a trend that many dubbed the Moneymaker effect.

In 2011, Isai Scheinberg was one of the people indicted by the US Department of Justice on five charges related to the provision of real-money online poker services to US players in the years following the implementation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.

In 2014, the Scheinbergs sold their stake in PokerStars’ parent company, the Rational Group, to Canadian gambling company Amaya Inc. (now The Stars Group). The deal was at the time the largest one to have ever taken place within the online gambling space. With Canadian businessman David Baazov at the company’s helm, Amaya paid the amount of $4.9 billion for the online poker business.

The sale actually made Mark Scheinberg one of the world’s youngest billionaires. The businessman reportedly cashed around $3.6 billion from the deal. He has been investing in different other fields since cashing out from the Rational Group. It has recently emerged that he is participating in a development project for the construction of a multi-purpose complex in Madrid.

The post Wealthiest Gambling Bosses of 2017 – the Rags-to-Riches Stories of Five Remarkable Visionaries appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Casino bill pre-filed in Kentucky for 2018

World Casino News
Casino bill pre-filed in Kentucky for 2018

Efforts to see casino gaming brought to the state of Kentucky will be revived next year as one Senator has already pre-filed a new casino bill. Lawmaker Dennis Keene feels that the atmosphere is more receptive currently which could help see the state pass a measure to begin providing casino games. According to WCPO Cincinnati, Keene has pre-filed a measure to see as many as four casinos created in Kentucky. Horse racing is already on offer in the state and Keene feels that the pari-mutuel properties and new casinos would be able to provide a nice variety of sports betting options. Sports betting is now a common topic of conversation as the state of New Jersey is involved in a case that is being reviewed by the United States Supreme Court. A decision on Christie vs. NCAA is expected to come next year, and if the court rules in favor of NJ, it would open up sports betting to every state that choose to offer the gaming options. According to Keene, now is the right time to consider gaming. Kentucky is currently one of 10 states that does not have a casino on offer. The state does offer an online lottery industry. The issue of casino gaming has come up in the past in Kentucky, but according to Keene, there has not been enough "political courage" to pass a measure.

Christmas giveaway with more than $200,000 in free prizes

BankrollMob News - Poker / Casino / Betting
Christmas giveaway with more than $200,000 in free prizes
From 25th December to 5th January, partypoker is celebrating Christmas in a very special way this year with an amazing "12 days of Christmas" promotion offering more than $200,000 in free giveaways, including: · A partypoker LIVE package worth $10,000. · Meet, greet and "spar" with World Champion boxer Carl Froch - including $500 towards travel and accommodation. · Tickets to $1,000, $2,000 and $5,000 freerolls · Title Fight ticke[...]

Upcoming Poker Tournaments – Holiday Edition

Casino News Daily
Upcoming Poker Tournaments – Holiday Edition

After unwrapping their Christmas presents and emptying their Christmas socks, many would likely feel tempted to head to a nearby or not so nearby casino for some holiday edition poker action. If there are such avid poker players among our readers, we at Casino News Daily have compiled a list of some of the poker events that will take place in the week after Christmas and before New Year. Here is a little bit more information about these.

2017 Deepstacks Challenge

The Borgata Casino, one of the casinos gracing the emblematic Atlantic City Boardwalk, will welcome players between December 26 and December 29 to celebrate Christmas with them and to offer them the chance to take part in four No-Limit Hold’em tournaments.

A single single-day tournament will take place on each of the four days within the Deepstacks Challenge. The $120 No-Limit Hold’em with a guaranteed prize pool of $15,000 will open the poker bonanza at the Borgata. The buy-ins and the guaranteed prize pools will grow with every day.

The second day of the festival will welcome players for a $180 buy-in tournament with a guaranteed prize pool of $20,000. The third day will feature a $230 event with a guaranteed prize pool of $25,000. Finally, the festival will be concluded with a $300 buy-in tournament that will offer $40,000 in guaranteed money.

Seminole Hard Rock Poker Fun in the Sun Poker Open

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida, known to be a popular poker destination, will host an exciting festival in sunny Florida in the days between December 26 and December 30. Players will be able to enter six different tournaments, with those featuring different structures.

The two-day $250 No-Limit Hold’em Big Stack with $50,000 in guaranteed prize money will be the opening event. There will also be two tournaments with guaranteed prize pools of $25,000, a $350 No-Limit Hold’em Bounty and a $250 No-Limit Hold’em Big Stack. Fans of Deep Stack Turbo poker will be offered the opportunity to enter two such tournaments in the days between Christmas and New Year festivities. Both events will be $130 buy-in ones and will feature guaranteed prize pools of $15,000.

Dutch Open Poker Series

Holland Casino in the Dutch city of Breda will welcome players from here and there for a nice post-Christmas and pre-New Year festival. Dutch Open Poker Series action at the hosting gambling venue is set to begin on December 27 and to last all the way through December 30. As many as six tournaments are scheduled to take place within the series’ Breda stop.

A €250 No-Limit Hold’em Steal the Button event will open the festival at Holland Casino. There will also be a Deepstack Bounty event with a buy-in of €800 as well as a Turbo and a team event with buy-ins of €400 and €500, respectively. The Main Event will kick off on December 28 with a buy-in of €1,500.

German Poker Tour – Christmas Edition

The Christmas Edition of the German Poker Tour is set to take place on December 25-30 at King’s Casino Rozvadov. The festival will feature five tournaments and several satellites to the Main Event. The German Poker Tour will kick off with the €115 Christmas Deepstack with a guaranteed prize pool of €20,000.

The German Poker Tour Main Event with a buy-in of €299 will certainly be the most exciting tournament on the schedule. It will feature a guaranteed prize pool of €200,000. The event will take place from December 26 to December 30. It will include three starting flights and two more days of action.

The post Upcoming Poker Tournaments – Holiday Edition appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

King’s Casino prepares to host German Poker Tour Christmas Edition

World Casino News
King’s Casino prepares to host German Poker Tour Christmas Edition

Rozvadov has been a hot spot for poker action lately, as King’s Casino has continued to host prominent live poker tournament events. The casino is currently preparing to host the German Poker Tour Christmas Edition starting next week with tournaments running from December 25th to the 30th. The most anticipated event of the poker tour stop is the Main Event, which will have a buy-in of €299 and feature €200,000 in guaranteed prize money. Players will be given 50,000 in starting chips with blinds set to increase every 45 minutes during the three opening flights. Players will have the ability to reenter during each flight, with the option to take the highest chip stack earned when the final day of play begins on the 30th. King’s Casino will be offering three qualifiers for the Main Event, each with a €70 buy-in. Each qualifier will guarantee ten seats to the Main Event. On top of the Main Event, poker players will find much more to enjoy. On the 25th, the €115 Christmas Deepstack tournament will begin while the next day, the €115 King’s Hold’em Championship NLH is on offer. Additional tournaments are on the schedule with King’s set to provide cash gaming 24/7. Players will be able to find low and high stakes cash gaming, with something for everyone at all times. Those attending can easily compete in a cash game in-between poker tournaments.    

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Shared Online Poker Liquidity Progress: Will the Project Go Live in 2018?

Casino News Daily
Shared Online Poker Liquidity Progress: Will the Project Go Live in 2018?

With online cash game poker being in a state of decline for years, it was last summer when the regulators of four European segregated markets decided that something should be done, and done quickly. The French gambling regulator ARJEL initiated year-long discussions with its counterparts from Italy, Spain, and Portugal, which discussions produced the shared online poker liquidity agreement this summer.

The shared liquidity project will allow operators licensed in the four countries to merge their player pools in a bid to improve their profitability in the respective markets and to hopefully boost regulated cash game activity there. While it was expected that an initial phase of the shared liquidity network would be launched by the end of the year and later on became clear that this would not happen, significant progress was made in 2017 in relation to the project’s eventual realization. Here is what regulators and other participants in the scheme managed to do over the past 12 months and how this would contribute to the success of the shared liquidity scheme and to the coveted improvement of Europe’s cash game poker.


Portugal Completes Shared Liquidity Technical Standards Framework

The country completed the necessary step of crafting a technical standards framework in relation to the shared liquidity project in early 2017. Basically, the framework was important as it would make it possible for locally licensed poker operators to merge their Portuguese player pools with their player pools in the other participating countries.

The set of technical rules was reviewed by the European Commission and received the necessary approval in April, thus making it possible for Portugal to participate in the shared liquidity project.

Winamax Seeks Italian-, Spanish-, and Portuguese-Speaking Staff

French online poker operator Winamax made it known in late January that it was seeking Italian-, Spanish, and Portuguese-speaking staff for its planned expansion across Europe. With that, the poker room revealed its interest and intentions to participate in the shared liquidity project. Winamax is the largest poker operator in its domestic market, and it has probably seen a good opportunity to extend its footprint across other regulated jurisdictions through the shared liquidity scheme.


PokerStars Restricts French Site to Local Players Only

In early February, PokerStars announced that it would restrict its French operations to players located in France and its overseas territories. Prior to that, its .fr website had been available to players from other European jurisdictions where local regulations had not banned access to the online poker website.

The online poker room cited the constantly changing regulatory environment as a reason for its decision, but many also believed that the move could have been partially motivated by the upcoming launch of the shared liquidity network.


France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal Sign Shared Online Poker Liquidity Agreement

The online gambling regulators of the four participating countries signed the shared liquidity agreement at a special meeting in Rome, Italy on July 6, 2017. The inking of the agreement concluded a year of negotiations in relation to the project and its eventual implementation. And while it was an important step towards the realization of the shared liquidity scheme, the agreement was not the final step towards that goal. Regulators still had a lot to sort out before interested operators were able to merge their player pools from the four participating segregated markets.

For instance, they all had to present technical requirements and additional information in relation to the way poker services would be provided. France and Spain produced that information towards the end of July. Portugal, too, completed that step in the next few months.


Italy Misses Deadline for Call for License Applications

It was originally expected that Italy’s gambling regulator Agenzia delle dogane e dei Monopoli would launch a call for new license applications and for license renewals in late September. However, that move was never undertaken, and eventually risked Italy’s timely entry into the shared liquidity project. According to recent information, France would seek an early 2018 start of the project. And it seems that the country as well as Spain and Portugal will be able to launch the shared liquidity network within such timeframe. However, Italy is expected to join a bit later.


Italian Opposition to Shared Liquidity

Casino News Daily, along with other news outlets, reported in October that the shared liquidity scheme had quite some opposition in Italy.

Italian politicians, including Deputy Paola Binetti and Senator Franco Mirabelli, were among the powerful figures who voiced opposition to the online poker scheme. According to them, and other members of Italy’s political elite, the shared liquidity project would create conditions for illegal activities and increased gambling addiction rates.

Winamax Buys Italian License and Hires New Ambassadors

While Italian politicians were going vocal against the shared liquidity project, Winamax bought the Italian iGaming license of online gambling brand bet-at-home. The move would make it easier for the French poker operator to enter the Italian market than if it had waited for the local regulator to launch the application process for granting new licenses.

As part of its strategy to enter the four markets that participate in the shared liquidity project, Winamax added two new ambassadors to its team. Italy’s Mustapha Kanit and Spain’s Adrian Mateos were recruited to promote the French poker brand in their homelands and across Europe.


PokerStars Receives First Shared Liquidity License

Earlier this month, PokerStars became the first online poker operator to receive the green light to participate in the shared liquidity project from French iGaming regulator ARJEL. Under the terms of its license, PokerStars will have to make sure that it merges its player pools only in the four participating jurisdictions. Here it is interesting to note that PokerStars is the only online poker operator that is licensed to operate in each of the four countries, and many believe that it will be the single big winner from the upcoming launch of the scheme.


It very much seems that France is pushing for early 2018 launch of the shared liquidity project. The country was actually the main initiator of the whole scheme, when it passed a law last summer that allowed it to enter shared liquidity negotiations with other interested countries.

As reported earlier this month, Spain and Portugal might be ready to join the project upon launch. As for Italy, it will probably have to wait a little longer as it is yet to renew the licenses of its existing iGaming industry stakeholders and to issue licenses to new operators. It is believed that the country will enter the project at a later point in 2018. It is yet to be seen whether this will happen and how the shared liquidity scheme will impact the online poker environment of the four participating countries and of Europe as a whole.

The post Shared Online Poker Liquidity Progress: Will the Project Go Live in 2018? appeared first on Casino News Daily.

New Jersey’s Gambling Industry Enters Year of Big Changes

Casino News Daily
New Jersey’s Gambling Industry Enters Year of Big Changes

A year of big changes may be coming for Atlantic City and New Jersey’s gambling industry. In the first place, Atlantic City, once the only casino gaming hub on the US East Coast, will see the re-opening of at least one previously closed casino. This is hoped and expected to boost the city’s casino industry after a streak of unpleasant events from the past several years.

In the second place, New Jersey might emerge the winner from a legal battle against major US sports leagues over the legality of sports betting in the state and the nation. The lawsuit is currently reviewed by the Supreme Court, and it is believed that a ruling will be issued sometime in the first half of 2018.

Prior to 2008, when the Great Recession sunk its teeth into the US, Atlantic City was one of the world’s most popular casino destinations. With the major economic crisis and the opening of new casinos in other states along the East Coast, the city gradually lost its luster and clientele to experience unprecedented drop in gaming revenue. That eventually culminated in the closure of five casinos over a period of two and a half years.

Casino Industry Revival

It can be said that Atlantic City has improved significantly since five of its twelve casinos closed doors between 2014 and 2016. What is more, there has been growing investment interest in the city and its casino industry.

The spring purchase of the former Trump Taj Mahal casino resort by Florida-based operator Hard Rock International came as a very clear signal that Atlantic City may be ready to move on from its tumultuous times. Hard Rock pledged $500-million investment into renovating and reopening the gambling venue, originally owned by US President Donald Trump, and expressed optimism about its future success. The property is slated to open doors in the summer of 2018.

Earlier this month, news emerged that another closed property may reopen next year. The former Revel, which opened in 2012 and was shuttered in 2014 after failing to make a profit, was reportedly sold to Colorado-based AC Ocean Walk LLC for $200 million. Florida real estate developer Glenn Straub, the current owner of the closed casino resort, denied reports about the sale.

However, those reports were joined by ones according to which AC Ocean Walk has applied for a casino license with the New Jersey Casino Control Commission with the intention to restart operations at the property in 2018.

It is still to be confirmed whether the sale and the reopening will take place. If this happens, this will mean that nine casinos will be welcoming patrons on the Boardwalk at a time when Atlantic City is striving for revival.

New Jersey’s Sports Betting Case

The US Supreme Court held its first hearing on the sports betting case earlier this month. While a decision may be up to half a year from being made, supporters of the legalization of sports betting saw indications of support from the nation’s highest ranking court and are optimistic about a positive outcome.

During the hearing, there were justices who commented on the fact that the current federal law prohibiting sports betting in the country actually does not have the right to “tell [New Jersey] how to legislate”. If this argument gains more support, this may result in a ruling that will change the gambling landscape not only in New Jersey, but also in the US as a whole.

According to information from the American Gaming Association, over $150 billion is annually wagered on sports by Americans. If sports betting is regulated and legalized beyond the four states where the activity is currently legal (those being Nevada, Delaware, Montana, and Oregon), this will create one of the world’s largest sports gambling markets.

However, analysts voiced concerns that even if New Jersey’s case gains support from Supreme Court justices, their ruling may be narrowed to just that state, and may not involve a general lift of the current nationwide ban.

The post New Jersey’s Gambling Industry Enters Year of Big Changes appeared first on Casino News Daily.

MILLIONS Online 2018 info released by partypoker

World Casino News
MILLIONS Online 2018 info released by partypoker

The first-ever online portion of the MILLIONS Online took place earlier this month, with just over 1,000 players competing and a $5.1 million prize pool created. The event was so successful, it was actually the largest MTT prize pool ever offered by the brand. For the 2018 MILLIONS Online, partypoker wants to go even bigger. This week, party announced the 2018 version will feature a whopping $20 million in guaranteed prize money! In the partypoker blog, details of the MILLIONS Online 2018 were revealed. The online poker tournament will run from December 1st to the 4th and feature the same $5,300 buy-in, but much more in prize money on offer. Along with the announcement of the massive prize pool, party will also begin offering players chances to win seats via a leaderboard competition. The MILLIONS Online Leaderboard will begin on February 5th with each week rewarding seats to the event. The top 10 on the leaderboard each week will be provided the $5,300 buy-in needed to compete. There is no limit as to how many seats a player can win, so once one is secured, any other seats won will be provided in a cash prize to the winner. Party will also be offering a low and mid leaderboard competition, so players can win satellite tickets to try and earn a seat to the big event. Satellite tickets will be worth $22, $109 and $530. Partypoker LIVE players also have the opportunity to earn tickets to the MILLIONS Online. Every MILLIONS Main Event taking place next year will include seats to the online event. Party will be offering $53,000 in MILLIONS Online seats to a MILLIONS Main Event top ten finishers. So any player who finishes in first to 10th place in a MILLIONS Main Event will be given an entry into the Online event. The first opportunity to earn seats in LIVE events will be at King’s Casino during the MILLIONS Germany. Tom Waters, the Managing Director for partypoker, commented on the MILLIONS Online 2018 via the partypoker blog by stating: “Running the first MILLIONS Online this year was an exciting time for us, bringing the concept of our live tour online. The feedback we had from our players was overwhelming, so what better way to say thank you than to run it again but this time making the guarantee a whopping $20,000,000.”  

Golden Globe to operate a sixth offshore casino

Casino News – Focus Gaming News
Golden Globe to operate a sixth offshore casino
Golden Globe to operate a sixth offshore casino
Golden Globe Hotels is set to develop a sixth offshore casino in Goa as it may take over the Maharajah casino.