Oliver Meerkamp Claims Chip Lead at GPT Easter Edition Main Event Day 1b

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 10:54 AM
CasinoGamesPro.com
Oliver Meerkamp Claims Chip Lead at GPT Easter Edition Main Event Day 1b

Poker action in the King’s Casino is in full swing and the venue located in Rozvadov is currently experiencing the riveting poker game called German Poker Tour Easter Edition Main Event which brings out big cashes to its players. The Easter Edition poker festival has been in progress for the past couple of days and […]

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Biggest EPT Sochi Winners

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 5:00 AM
Casino News Daily
Biggest EPT Sochi Winners

The first European Poker Tour festival since PokerStars brought back its popular live poker brand was held at Sochi Casino & Resort in the Russian city of Sochi. The EPT Sochi proved to be a great success, particularly its Main Event, which drew a massive field of more than 860 entries.

Bearing the above-mentioned in mind, it can be said that PokerStars has clearly made the right decision to dust off and revive its EPT brand, which had previously built a solid base of fans across Europe and the rest of the world. In addition to this, it should be pointed out that Sochi has great potential to become a new popular live tournament poker destination with its casino.

The EPT Sochi attracted thousands of players, both professionals and recreational ones. And millions were distributed in prize money to the ones who made it deep enough into the festival’s events. Here are some of the biggest winners during the EPT Sochi, the first of what we all hope will be a series of successful EPT festivals.

EPT Sochi ₽192,000 Main Event

Arseniy Karmatskiy bested a field of 861 entries to win the tournament on Thursday. The player’s share of the ₽150-plus-million prize pool totaled ₽27.3 million (approximately $478,451). Karmatskiy dominated the event’s final table, winning key pots and busting fellow competitors to build his stack and pull ahead of the other players left. In the end, he busted fellow countryman Viktor Shegai in second place to claim his first-ever EPT Main Event title.

Karmatskiy had some previous triumphs on the live tournament circuit. Last August, the player won the €2,200 German Poker Championship as part of the partypoker German Poker Championships at King’s Casino Rozvadov for a first-place prize of €185,000. During last year’s PokerStars Championship Sochi, Karmatskiy topped the field of a ₽19,800 event.

As mentioned above, Viktor Shegai finished runner-up to Karmatskiy in the EPT Sochi Main Event. The player collected ₽16.56 million ($290,225) for his efforts. Ernest Shakarian, Vahe Martirosyan, and Mikhail Kovalyuk were the other three players to cash big from the tournament, collecting payouts of ₽11.688 million ($204,840), ₽8.766 million ($153,630), and ₽6.923 million ($121,335) for finishing third, fourth, and fifth, respectively.

EPT National ₽66,000 No-Limit Hold’em

The EPT National was the first event on the schedule of the EPT Sochi festival. The tournament featured a buy-in fee of ₽66,000 and was played over March 20-23 at the host venue. As many as 439 entries bought into the event, including 266 re-entries. They contributed to the creation of a ₽41.031 million ($710,727) prize pool. The money was distributed to the top 103 finishers.

Czech player Matous Houzvicek was crowned the event’s victor. The player collected the amount of ₽7.77 million ($134,590) for besting the whole field of the tournament. This was Houzvicek’s largest cash from a live tournament. Including his EPT National first-place prize, the Czech’s live tournament earnings now amount to $241,500. Houzvicek cashed in one more tournament during the EPT Sochi. He finished 18th in the ₽132,000 No-Limit Hold’em Single Re-Entry for ₽228,000 ($3,978).

Other Players

Other players who cashed big from the EPT Sochi, included Sergei Kerzhakov and Viktor Ustimov. Kerzhakov finished sixth in the Main Event to collect ₽5.19 million ($90,958) for his deep run into the major tournament. This was the player’s third ever cash from a live poker tournament.

As for Ustimov, he cashed in two tournaments within the EPT Sochi. He first finished runner-up to Houzvicek in the EPT National, good for ₽4.745 million ($82,191) in prize money. He then took 42nd place in the Main Event for a payout of ₽498,000 ($8,728). The player currently has more than $620,000 in live tournament earnings.

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Gov. Cuomo Refuses Bailout to Cash-Strapped del Lago Resort & Casino

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 5:26 PM
Casino News Daily
Gov. Cuomo Refuses Bailout to Cash-Strapped del Lago Resort & Casino

New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that he is not supportive of a state commercial casino’s bid for a bailout. The top lawmaker was among the proponents of the legalization of commercial casino gambling in the state a few years ago.

Gov. Cuomo’s comments from earlier this week came shortly after del Lago Resort & Casino officials revealed that they were seeking assistance from the state after the gambling venue missed its first-year revenue projections by $100 million. While they did not provide details on the nature of help they were seeking from lawmakers, it is believed that they might have asked for a tax break.

Del Lago currently pays an annual tax of 37% on its slot machine revenue and a 10% one on table game revenue. The casino resort had its ribbon cut in February 2017. According to original forecasts, its casino floor was expected to generate revenue of $260 million during its first full year of operation. However, the gaming facility’s revenue eventually totaled $146 million at the end of that first year.

In a letter to Gov. Cuomo and New York State budget director Robert Mujica, Sen. Joe Griffo said that del Lago was seeking a tax break of around $14 million. The Senator further wrote that he did not support a bailout of this proportion, as the state had more pressing needs.

’Private Concerns’

Gov. Cuomo told local media earlier this week that the Upstate New York casinos were private concerns and that he did not want to “get into the business of bailing out private concerns.”

Del Lago officials have blamed the Seneca Nation for their casino’s failure to reach its gaming revenue goal. The tribe operates three casinos in the western part of the state. It used to share a portion of its gaming revenue with the state under a 2002 compact. However, it stopped making payments in 2016, arguing that the compact had expired.

Steve Greenberg, a spokesman for del Lago, said that the tribe has been using the portion of revenue it should have been sharing with the state to lure patrons with different offers and promotions. According to Mr. Greenberg, tribal casinos have thus been cannibalizing revenue from the state’s commercial casinos, hence del Lago’s call for assistance.

Casino officials have told lawmakers that the property generates enough revenue to pay the bills, but that it would likely face serious problems in the long-term if it is not treated to a bailout.

Rivers Casino, which opened doors in Upstate New York shortly after del Lago, is understood to have, too, turned to state lawmakers to seek a tax break. Rivers generated $151.8 million in gaming revenue during its first year of operation, falling well short of its target of between $180 million and $220 million.

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Casino Developer Genting Hong Kong Reports Annual Loss Surge in 2017

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 10:39 AM
CasinoGamesPro.com
Casino Developer Genting Hong Kong Reports Annual Loss Surge in 2017

Genting Hong Kong Ltd is a widely-known casino operator which is also famous for its cruise ships operation dedicating special efforts to the entertainment factor. As it was recently announced by the company in its revenue report, the annual loss of Genting has seen a significant decrease, which is always good news for a gambling […]

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Wynn Boston Harbor Rebranding ‘Absolutely’ under Consideration, Casino Executives Confirm

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 5:03 AM
Casino News Daily
Wynn Boston Harbor Rebranding ‘Absolutely’ under Consideration, Casino Executives Confirm

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission expects to complete its investigation into the suitability of Las Vegas casino giant Wynn Resorts to build and operate a casino in the state by summer, gaming commissioners said during a Thursday hearing.

It also became known Thursday that officials for Wynn Boston Harbor, the $2.4-billion integrated resort currently under development in the Greater Boston area, are “absolutely considering a rebranding of the project”.

The Massachusetts gaming regulator opened an investigation into Wynn Resorts and the company’s suitability to operate in the state’s nascent casino market after the publication of an extensive report by the Wall Street Journal containing multiple sexual harassment allegations against casino mogul Steve Wynn. The allegations were brought up by former and current employees of the company he found. Mr. Wynn stepped down from Wynn Resorts in February and sold his stake in it earlier this month.

Massachusetts gaming commissioners and Wynn Boston Harbor officials met on Thursday for a construction update and a presentation about the hiring plans for the towering casino resort. Gaming regulator also provided a quick update on their progress in the ongoing probe.

As mentioned above, the investigation will likely be completed by the summer. Stephen Crosby, Chairman of the Gaming Commission, pointed out once again that construction work on the casino resort, currently being built in the city of Everett, must proceed as planned. The top gaming official further explained that all involved parties need to be mindful of the thousands of jobs at risk as a result from the Steve Wynn scandal and the economic benefits a project of this scale will bring to the region.

Despite the above comments, Mr. Crosby stressed on the fact that the future of Wynn Boston Harbor is still unclear and that Wynn Resorts proceeds with the project “on an at-risk basis”, which, among other things, could mean that depending on the Commission’s findings during its investigation, the casino company might even lose its Massachusetts license.

Construction Progress and Possible Rebranding

Wynn Boston Harbor President Robert DeSalvio said Thursday that they are “absolutely” considering a name change, but refused to provide more information about the potential new name of the resort. Local media outlet the Boston Herald reported that Wynn Resorts Holdings recently registered nine website names containing the casino company’s Encore brand, with some of those being encorebostonresort.com, encorebostonharborcasino.com, and encorebostonjobs.com.

A spokesman for Wynn Resorts did not confirm whether a rebranding to Encore was under consideration, but explained that whenever they open a new property, they make sure to secure domain names of all their business units.

Mr. DeSalvio informed Massachusetts commissioners that construction work is on track for a summer 2019 opening and that they have the necessary funds to complete the integrated resort.

During a presentation about how Wynn Boston Harbor plans to train future employees, Mr. Crosby noted that casino officials did not dwell on sexual harassment training, which the gaming commissioner considered a major oversight. The regulator went on to say that given the shadows Wynn Resort had cast on it, the company should consider sexual harassment training an important part of its staff training courses.

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Popular Social Casino Constitutes Illegal Online Gambling in Washington

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 5:27 PM
Casino News Daily
Popular Social Casino Constitutes Illegal Online Gambling in Washington

A US Court of Appeals judge ruled on Wednesday that Big Fish Casino constituted illegal online gambling under the Washington state gambling law. The recent court ruling could open Pandora’s box for the growing social casino sector, particularly in the US where online gambling is prohibited in most states.

Developed by Seattle-based casual gaming company Big Fish Games, Big Fish Casino offers free-to-play versions of popular casino games, including slots, roulette, and blackjack. Players can play these via virtual chips that have no actual monetary value. However, if users run out of chips, they can either wait until they are offered more free chips to play the games, or can purchase chips for real money.

Judge Milan D. Smith of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said on Wednesday that the virtual chips were a “thing of value” and their purchase actually represented illegal online gambling under state law.

The lawsuit was filed against Churchill Downs back in 2015 when the Kentucky-based casino operator was the owner of Big Fish Games. Churchill Downs bought the casual games studio a year earlier for $885 million. It announced last year that it would sell Big Fish Games to Australian gaming company Aristocrat Technologies for nearly $1 billion. The deal was closed earlier this year, as confirmed by the casino company.

The ruling could have a negative impact on the growing social casino market which was worth over $3 billion last year, as virtual currencies are widely popular in social casino games. The outcomes of previous lawsuits against representatives of the social casino sector had generally been favorable. However, Judge Smith’s ruling from Wednesday could complicate future lawsuits related to the nature of social casino games and whether these constitute online gambling.

Big Fish Casino’s Lawsuit in Greater Detail

In 2015, Cheryl Kater, a regular Big Fish Casino player, filed a lawsuit against the social casino’s parent company Churchill Downs, claiming that she had spent over $1,000 on virtual chips to be able to play. Her legal team also argued that virtual chips represented “a thing of value” under a provision in Washington’s gambling law.

[A]ny money or property, any token, object or article exchangeable for money or property, or any form of credit or promise, directly or indirectly, contemplating transfer of money or property or of any interest therein, or involving extension of a service, entertainment or a privilege of playing at a game or scheme without charge.

Ms. Kater further pointed out in her legal complaint that the virtual chips could be cashed out by being sold for real money on secondary markets or being transferred to other users. However, that argument was rejected by the Court of Appeals as Big Fish Casino’s terms and conditions explicitly prohibited practices of this kind.

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Cambodia’s Siem Reap Enters Foreign Trade Partnership with Gambling Hub Macau

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 10:51 AM
CasinoGamesPro.com
Cambodia’s Siem Reap Enters Foreign Trade Partnership with Gambling Hub Macau

Cambodia is a country which is taking its gambling field seriously and putting a lot of effort into developing it. With the help of attracting new players and visitors to its gambling facilities, the country is striving to boost the local economy. In a recent statement, it was confirmed that the ancient province of Siem […]

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PokerStars Readies for India Online Poker Operation Launch in April

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 4:57 AM
CasinoGamesPro.com
PokerStars Readies for India Online Poker Operation Launch in April

The Stars Group is constantly looking for ways in which it can diversify its offerings and explore the online poker field of new markets willing to partner with the poker brands it has on offer. This Wednesday saw the official confirmation that mid-April PokerStars is going to be legally able to enter the Indian online […]

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Empire Resorts joins responsible gaming discussion

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 11:12 PM
Casino News – Focus Gaming News
Empire Resorts joins responsible gaming discussion

The renowned casino Empire Resorts raises awareness of problem gambling.

The post Empire Resorts joins responsible gaming discussion appeared first on Focus Gaming News.

Esports Arena Las Vegas -- LUXOR HOTEL AND CASINO

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 5:12 PM
eGaming
Esports Arena Las Vegas -- LUXOR HOTEL AND CASINO

Esports Arena Las Vegas, the first permanent esports venue on The Strip, is now open at Luxor Hotel and Casino.

South Korea’s MegaLuck Casino Marks Gambling Operation Deficit amid Chinese Tourists Ban

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 11:06 AM
CasinoGamesPro.com
South Korea’s MegaLuck Casino Marks Gambling Operation Deficit amid Chinese Tourists Ban

The gambling field in South Korea is one of the more developing in the region as almost all of its casino properties with the exception of one gambling facility focus on foreign tourists only. Jeju Island is the home of MegaLuck Casino which recently issued its revenue report for the year 2017 and as it […]

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Is £1 Million Enough Punishment for SkyBet for Failing Self-Excluded Gamblers?

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 5:24 AM
Casino News Daily
Is £1 Million Enough Punishment for SkyBet for Failing Self-Excluded Gamblers?

News exploded earlier today that Sky Betting and Gaming (SkyBet) has become the latest UK-facing operator to have been reprimanded by the Gambling Commission for social responsibility failures. One of UK’s largest gambling companies, formerly owned by broadcasting giant Sky, SkyBet was fined £1 million by the regulator for failing to prevent self-excluded customers from registering with its websites and other regulatory breaches.

SkyBet is being imposed a penalty from the UKGC at a time when the regulator is reviewing its existing license conditions and is gradually rolling out tougher ones for iGaming operators to follow and comply with.

Last summer, 888 Holdings was fined £7.8 million for similar responsible gambling breaches. And last month, William Hill received £6.2-million bill for what the Commission deemed poor anti-money laundering policies and player protection failures. While the scope of violations was different in each of the three cases, the fines imposed certainly raise the question whether the UKGC has gone too soft on SkyBet.

The Nature of SkyBet’s Failures

The UKGC found, after probing into the matter, that SkyBet breached the Commission’s codes and rules for the provision of gambling services in three different ways. In the first place, it became clear that 736 customers of SkyBet, who had self-excluded themselves, were able to open duplicate accounts with the operator and gamble via those in the period between November 2014 and November 2017.

In the second place, around 50,000 customers kept on receiving promotional materials by the operator even after self-exclusion. Self-excluded players and bettors were thus encouraged to gamble. And while they were presumably not able to reopen their accounts with SkyBet, people, some of whom may have been trying to fight problem gambling behavior, could have felt the urge to gamble somewhere else.

Last but not least, the UK Gambling Commission found that a total of 36,748 self-excluded customers did not have their account funds returned upon account closure.

SkyBet will thus have to pay £1,008,600, including £750,000 to responsible gambling charities. The remaining portion of its penalty would be split in the following way – £450,000 for allowing self-excluded customers to open duplicate accounts, £250,000 for sending self-excluded customers gambling-related promotional material, and £50,000 which the operator will have to return to players who had opted for self-exclusion.

Does the Penalty Match SkyBet’s Failures?

SkyBet’s breaches of its license terms eventually affected tens of thousands of self-excluded customers in one way or another and could have affected many more.

The reason why a person decides to self-exclude themselves from one gambling website or another is that they either feel to be close to developing some form of gambling addiction or have already become a gambling addict. What may seem to be a minor violation by an operator toward a self-excluded player could actually become a serious trigger for that same player to relapse into their risky gambling behavior. Operators need to be aware of that and to make sure that their customers are well-protected.

SkyBet was found to have generated gross gambling yield of £217,306 from the self-excluded players who were able to open new accounts with the operator. In comparison, 888 was fined £7.8 million partly for allowing players, who had self-excluded from its betting/casino/poker platform, to play on its bingo platform. Players were thus able to deposit over £3.5 million with the operator.

While £3.5 million is an enormous amount when compared to just over £200,000, it is important to note that in 888’s case self-excluded players were able to gamble within the period between October 2015 and September 2016. However, with SkyBet self-excluded customers opened and used accounts between November 2014 and November 2017 or for three years.

In 888’s case more than 7,000 customers were affected, while in SkyBet’s case there were just over 700 customers. Both operators failed self-excluded players in a very serious manner and fines were a must. However, the fact that it took SkyBet three years to solve an apparent issue with its self-exclusion system raises questions and doubts about the operator’s ability to prevent customers with problem gambling behavior from being able to gamble.

As already pointed out, SkyBet is one of largest UK-facing operators. And if an operator with extensive record in the online gambling field and with a large player base is unable to protect its customers, it certainly deserves more than a slap on the wrist, particularly when it takes so long to solve an issue that could put at risk thousands of people.

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Stop Predatory Gambling Organization Publishes “Hypocrite Hall of Fame” List

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 10:54 PM
CasinoGamesPro.com
Stop Predatory Gambling Organization Publishes “Hypocrite Hall of Fame” List

On Monday, the anti-gambling group Stop Predatory Gambling released a “Hypocrite Hall of Fame” list to scold the hypocrite tags on former and current public officials and industry insiders who have promoted gambling. The Washington D.C. non-profit organization which is headed by Les Bernal rolled out the list, which includes some popular public figures, such […]

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1xbet chooses BGB to power Live Casino services

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 5:06 PM
eGaming
1xbet chooses BGB to power Live Casino services

BGB recently announced that it has signed an agreement with 1xbet for BGB to provide its Live Casino platform to the 1xbet who will add BGB’s full portfolio of live games to its online platform.

Tigre de Cristal plans second stage

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 11:27 AM
Casino News – Focus Gaming News
Tigre de Cristal plans second stage

The second stage of the casino will expand the casino-resort, this time focusing on non-gaming facilities.

The post Tigre de Cristal plans second stage appeared first on Focus Gaming News.

Borgata Motion for Summary Judgment Denied in Latest Installment of Phil Ivey Edge-Sorting Saga

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 5:09 AM
Casino News Daily
Borgata Motion for Summary Judgment Denied in Latest Installment of Phil Ivey Edge-Sorting Saga

A US district judge denied Monday a request for summary judgment filed by Atlantic City’s Borgata Casino as the gambling venue seeks to sue card manufacturer Gemaco for knowingly supplying it with defective cards, Law360 reports.

The playing cards were used by famed poker pro Phil Ivey back in 2012 when the player won more than $9.6 million by playing baccarat at the Borgata with its fellow player Cheung Yin Sun. The Borgata has also been suing Ivey seeking to collect the aforementioned amount plus damages from him and his companion player.

Last summer, the popular Atlantic City Boardwalk casino filed a motion for summary judgment in its case against Gemaco. The gambling venue claimed that Gemaco had provided it with defective cards and that it had thus enabled Ivey and Sun to exploit the defects and generate large profits from the casino.

On Monday, US District Judge Noel L. Hillman denied the Borgata’s motion and partly granted Gemaco’s cross-motion for summary judgment, ruling that Ivey and Sun were the ones to blame for exploring and exploiting differences on the backs of the cards while playing baccarat at the casino. Judge Hillman went on to say that Gemaco was thus not “liable for any tort claims” by the Borgata.

The judge granted Gemaco cross-motion for summary judgment for the casino’s common law breach of contract claim, of implied warrant claim, and of common law negligence. The card manufacturer filed a request for cross-motion summary judgment last October, claiming that the Borgata had no actual proof that the cards were defective as it destroyed them.

The Atlantic City seeks to recoup the $9.6 million it lost to Ivey and Sun from both the two players and Gemaco.

Where Does the Legal Dispute Stem from?

Ivey and Sun visited the Borgata back in 2012 to play baccarat. The two players requested a private pit, a Mandarin-speaking dealer, and decks of purple Gemaco cards, among other things. They amassed winnings of more than $9.6 million over four casino visits.

The Borgata paid out the money but it later on came to its knowledge that the two players had used the controversial edge-sorting technique to win at the baccarat table. Generally speaking, Sun and Ivey opted for the purple Gemaco cards because they knew that these had tiny discrepancies on their backs that could be exploited by players to gain edge over the casino. That was exactly what Ivey and Sun, who is notorious for her edge-sorting skills, did at the casino.

Judge Hillman ruled in October 2016 that the technique itself did not equal to criminal deception or fraud. However, the judge concluded that the two players violated the New Jersey Casino Control Act by deploying edge-sorting at the Borgata. Ivey and Sun are seeking a final judgment in the case, that was originally opened in 2014, in order to be able to appeal the October 2016 ruling to the US Court of Appeals.

Late last year, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom ruled against Ivey in his lawsuit against Crockfords. The player sued the Mayfair casino for withholding the amount of £7.8 million he won in 2012 by playing punto banco. Once again accompanied by Sun, Ivey amassed the winnings by deploying edge-sorting. The casino eventually refused to pay out the money and found itself embroiled in a three-year legal fight that eventually concluded in December.

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Macau’s Gambling Regulator Considers Galaxy’s Wynn Resorts Shares Purchase Legal

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 4:57 PM
CasinoGamesPro.com
Macau’s Gambling Regulator Considers Galaxy’s Wynn Resorts Shares Purchase Legal

The recent exit of former Chief Executive Officer Steve Wynn from his own company Wynn Resorts caused a rapid wave of reactions and consequent moves of other gambling operators in the field. It has been officially confirmed that the Galaxy Entertainment’s decision to purchase 5.3 million primary shares in the company does not go against […]

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Caesars to invest in Maryland

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 11:32 AM
Casino News – Focus Gaming News
Caesars to invest in Maryland

Caesars will invest in its Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore, Maryland to boost economic situation.

The post Caesars to invest in Maryland appeared first on Focus Gaming News.

New Allegations Suggest Crown Fabricated Slot Machine Trial Story to Avoid Penalties

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 5:22 AM
Casino News Daily
New Allegations Suggest Crown Fabricated Slot Machine Trial Story to Avoid Penalties

Pressure on Crown Resorts has grown as a new wave of evidence shows that the casino operator might have only stopped what it previously described as a “trial” of removing betting options on slot machines after complaints from patrons.

A whistle-blower has told local news outlet ABC News that the major company, which operates two casino resorts in Melbourne and Perth and is building a third one in Sydney, felt forced to restore the normal operations of slot machines at its Melbourne property after customers at the casino had spotted that their betting options had been reduced significantly and had filed complaints.

Last fall, the Australian casino operator found itself embroiled in a scandal that could cost it its license in the state of Victoria. Back in October, independent MP Andrew Wilkie tabled evidence from three whistle-blowers who claimed that Crown had tampered with 17 of all 2,628 slot machines (or pokies as they are known in Australia) at its Melbourne casino, significantly reducing patrons’ wagering options and chances to win.

The chief allegation against the operator was that it has instructed staff to remove certain buttons on 17 slot machines. The gaming devices had thus been modified in a manner that had maximized profits for the casino and had reduced players’ wagering options. Patrons had thus been forced to wager the highest bet line on the affected machines, whistle-blowers had explained.

Separate allegations by the unnamed individuals also suggested that Crown had knowingly allowed select casino customers to dodge anti-money laundering regulations.

Crown’s Response and the New Wave of Allegations

Crown rejected all allegations back in October, but eventually admitted to removing buttons on 17 gaming machines between March and April 2017. The operator said in a March 5 statement to the Australian Stock Exchange that the “blanking” of buttons was part of a trial it had conducted at its Melbourne casino.

However, a whistle-blower who is employed at the casino company told ABC that the trial claims were “farcical”. He further pointed out that Crown only came up with the trial story after regulatory pressure began bearing down on its profitability and general performance.

The unnamed Crown employee went on to say that no trial had been running on the casino floor and what the operator had basically tried to do had been to see how much it could “rip people off”.

Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation had opened investigation into the allegations even before those were tabled in the Parliament. Crown could have its license from the regulator revoked if the allegations prove true.

The Commission has been presented with the latest whistle-blower evidence. The regulatory body told ABC that it is aware of the new claims and that these are now part of the ongoing investigation.

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Prague Gaming Summit Second Edition to Commence on 29th March

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 11:18 AM
CasinoGamesPro.com
Prague Gaming Summit Second Edition to Commence on 29th March

The last days of March are going to give the official start of Prague Gaming Summit 2018 which is one of the pivotal events in the gaming industry and on the radar of more and more businesses in the field. For the second consecutive year, this summit will take place in Prague, the Czech Republic […]

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Top Philippine Architect Says Boracay Is the “Wrong Place” for Casino Resort

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 5:38 AM
Casino News Daily
Top Philippine Architect Says Boracay Is the “Wrong Place” for Casino Resort

The proposed construction of a $500-million integrated resort on Boracay could damage the quality of the sand on the island, a top urban planner told local media.

According to Felino Palafox, a leading Philippine architect and urban planner, developers should not be allowed to build on the island’s beaches as this would have a negative environmental impact. Mr. Palafox spoke with local news channel ANC on Saturday.

Last week, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. awarded a provisional license to Macau-based casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group and its Philippine partner Leisure and Resorts World Corp. to build and operate a $500-million casino resort on Boracay.

Construction on the complex is set to begin in 2019 and to be completed over the next three years. Leisure and Resorts has recently secured a 23-hectare site on Boracay where its property will be built.

While the resort is expected to bring wealthy high roller players from the Asia-Pacific region and to thus boost the island’s already booming tourism sector, the proposal was not received very well by a number of parties, including tourism stakeholders and environmental groups.

During his recent interview, Mr. Palafox said that Galaxy’s project might be involving the “wrong land use at the wrong place at the wrong time”.

The locally established Boracay Foundation has also joined the casino resort debate recently, arguing that the island is well-known among tourists for its white sand beaches, water attraction, and bright nightlife scene, and these are enough to support and grow its tourism industry. The environmental group has added that the island does not need to promote itself as a gambling destination and that a casino would only harm its social environment.

News about the approval of the casino resort plan emerged as Boracay became the subject of heavy criticism from Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

Imminent Closure of the Island

President Duterte has been firing at the way the major tourism hub’s environmental issues have been handled since last month. The Philippines’ top official called the island a “cesspool” due to its lack of a properly functioning sewerage system and threatened to blow up every structure built on the island without the necessary permission.

After probing the island’s environmental situation, a specially assembled unit has recently recommended its closure for a period of between six months and a year, during which an environmental cleanup would be carried out.

It was confirmed earlier this week that the island would be closed for tourism for six months. In a letter to President Duterte, three government agencies recommended that the island be shuttered starting April 26. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the Department of Tourism wrote in their joint letter that the proposed date would prevent Labor Day parties on the island on May 1. However, the island would still be able to welcome tourists that have long planned and made the necessary arrangements to spend the Holy Week break there.

The final decision is in the hands of President Duterte and it is yet to be seen whether he would approve the proposal of the three departments or would pick another date for the island’s imminent closure.

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Macau Witnesses Record Surge of Visitor Arrivals in February

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 10:51 AM
CasinoGamesPro.com
Macau Witnesses Record Surge of Visitor Arrivals in February

This February brought a positive change to the region of Macau when it comes to the rates of visitors interest demonstrated, as it was recently confirmed by reports on the arrivals over the span of last month. According to the information issued by the Macau Statistics and Census Service on Friday the month of February […]

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Enhanced Rules for Gambling Ads on British TV to Come Into Force in Mid-2018

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 5:33 AM
Casino News Daily
Enhanced Rules for Gambling Ads on British TV to Come Into Force in Mid-2018

Gambling ads shown on UK television should feature responsible gambling messages throughout their duration from the end of June 2018. The new requirement was introduced on Friday by the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG) as the latest enhancement to its Code for Socially Responsible Gambling Advertising (Industry Code).

UK-facing gambling companies will thus be required to add a responsible gambling message or a reference to www.begambleaware.org to every gambling-related commercial on UK television and to make sure that the message is legible and runs throughout the length of the clip.

Established in 2014, IGRG is currently comprised of the Association of British Bookmakers, BACTA, the National Casino Forum, the Bingo Association, and the Remote Gambling Association. All of the aforementioned are trade bodies that represent the UK gambling industry and its various sectors.

IGRG itself through its Industry Code aims to promote and encourage the provision of different gambling services in a socially responsible manner.

The introduction of the new TV advertising requirement came after a broader review of the UK Government into gambling companies advertising activity found that the www.begambleaware.org reference and other responsible gambling messages featured as part of adverts did not appear on screen long enough to be easily spotted by viewers.

The new advertising guidelines are included in the fourth edition of the Industry Code. The Code was first introduced in 2007 when the Gambling Act 2005 came into force. It was reviewed in 2016 and 2017. IGRG said in a Friday statement that it is now committed to reviewing the Code on an annual basis so that emerging issues are resolved in a timely manner.

Gambling Ads on UK Television

Television has long been among the most popular mediums among gambling operators to advertize their services on. According to a 2016 report by measurement firm Nielsen, UK-facing gambling companies spent £456 million to advertize on British television in the period between 2012 and 2015.

While a well-established watershed policy prevents gambling adverts from being shown before 9 pm, there are certain exceptions to the general rule. Under UK advertising regulations, gambling-related advertising content can be shown during live broadcasts of sports events throughout the day.

Anti-gambling campaigners have long been calling for an overall pre-watershed ban on gambling TV ads, citing concerns that these trivialize gambling to children and overexpose vulnerable people to the risks gambling activities may create.

A recent report by the UK Gambling Commission indicated that while people, and children in particular, may not be watching television as they used to, gambling ads on TV are still reaching young and vulnerable members of the population. According to the report’s findings, 80% of all children aged 11 to 16 had seen gambling adverts on television and about 39% had seen these at least once a week.

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Belgium’s Constitutional Court Restores VAT Exemption on Online Gambling Services

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 4:43 PM
Casino News Daily
Belgium’s Constitutional Court Restores VAT Exemption on Online Gambling Services

The Constitutional Court of Belgium annulled on Thursday a 2016 constitutional amendment under which online gambling operators were required to pay a 21% value-added tax on their Belgian operations.

Belgium regulated its online gambling market in early 2010 when amendments to the Gaming and Betting Act of 1999 were published in the Belgian Official Gazette. The amendments took effect on January 1, 2011 to allow international gambling operators to apply for licenses from the Belgian Gaming Commission and operate in a regulated environment.

In 2016, the Belgian Finance Ministry successfully advanced a bill that proposed for online gambling services to become taxable under the country’s VAT laws. The new taxation regime came into force on August 1, 2016.

Gaming and betting transactions are exempt from VAT in the most general case. The Belgian government justified its decision to change the status quo in 2016 with the need for new revenue sources and for a major boost to the country’s tax income. It was estimated that the termination of gambling and betting companies’ VAT exemption could generate the additional amount of €39 million for Belgium’s coffers.

Malta-headquartered gambling operator Kindred Group (previously Unibet Group) was among the first to comment on the latest tax developments in Belgium and the Constitutional Court decision. The company has previously challenged the introduction of VAT on online gambling operations, slamming it as “unfair” and arguing that it undermined “policy objectives” and lowered channelization by affecting consumer protection.

In a statement from earlier today, Kindred went on to say:

The ruling also points out the inherent incompatibility between consumer protection and tax revenue objectives, especially when products (lotteries vs other products) and channels (retail vs online) are treated differently.

Gambling Ads Crackdown

The Thursday ruling was certainly a big victory for Belgium-facing online gaming and betting operators. However, the country’s gambling industry suffered a heavy blow last fall, when it became known that the Belgian Chamber of Representatives has approved a proposal for the introduction of a stricter gambling advertising code.

The proposal first emerged last summer when it was tabled by Koen Geens, a Christian Democrat MP from Belgium’s Christen-Democratisch en Vlaams party. Mr. Geens criticized heavily the increased exposure of gambling services to vulnerable people, including children, through advertising and presented what he believed would be a good solution to the issue.

Mr. Geens’ plan included an outright ban on gambling-related ads during sports events broadcasts and the introduction of an 8 pm watershed. The politician and his party also called for the number of ads by each individual operator to be limited and for new measures tackling problem gambling and wider awareness of gambling-related risks to be introduced. The move was supported by the Belgian Gaming Commission.

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NBA to Explore eSports Field with 2K League this May

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 11:15 AM
CasinoGamesPro.com
NBA to Explore eSports Field with 2K League this May

The world has been fascinated by the field of eSports for quite some time now and competitive gaming has a lot on offer for both gaming and betting enthusiasts. One of the most well-known American professional sports organizations, the National Basketball Association recently made it clear that it is going to work towards exploring the […]

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UK Court of Appeal Rejects Ladbrokes Appeal in HMRC Tax Battle

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 5:33 AM
Casino News Daily
UK Court of Appeal Rejects Ladbrokes Appeal in HMRC Tax Battle

The UK Court of Appeal rejected an appeal lodged by Ladbrokes in relation to the gambling operator’s decade-long £71-million tax avoidance battle with HM Revenue and Customs, City A.M. reports.

The dispute relates to a 2008 tax scheme deployed by Ladbrokes and accountancy firm Deloitte that exploited a legal loophole to avoid a higher corporate tax bill. The loophole was closed by the UK Government the same year.

Back then, Delloite advised several of its clients, Ladbrokes included, to establish “transacting subsidiaries” within their groups and to transfer corporate tax charges into these. The larger groups thus created just a single unit that was generating losses.

In Ladbrokes’ case, the high street bookmaker merged two of its companies – Travel Document Service and Ladbrokes International, into one subsidiary. The arrangement involved an “artificially manufactured fall in the value of shares” in one of the companies to create a loss in the other company for tax avoidance purposes. Ladbrokes was found to have not suffered actual economic loss following the move.

The dispute between Ladbrokes and HMRC began with the latter slamming the gambling operator for knowingly entering the arrangement and exploiting a loophole to renege tax duties. The UK Government department also pointed out that nine UK corporations that had deployed Deloitte’s scheme had conceded to have done wrong and had paid the tax owed, urging Ladbrokes to follow suit.

The operator admitted back then that it did aim to avoid taxes and it did not generate losses in 2008, but maintained that its set-up did not fall within the remit of HMRC’s rules against tax avoidance at the time.

The bookmaker eventually paid the amount of £71 million in taxes but later on sought to recoup the sum.

Tribunal Court’s Ruling

The UK Tribunal Court sided with HMRC last February, ruling that Ladbrokes had been well-aware of the fact that it had exploited a tax loophole to avoid tax burden. The bookmaker was later on allowed to appeal the Tribunal Court’s ruling in the UK Court of Appeal.

The UK’s second highest law court rejected the major gambling operator’s appeal and bid to rebate the amount of £71 million it had to pay in taxes.

News about Ladbrokes losing its tax appeal case came shortly after the Competition and Markets Authority cleared the operator’s proposed takeover by Isle of Man-based online gambling company GVC Holdings.

GVC is set to acquire Ladbrokes Coral for up to £4 billion to create one of the world’s largest gambling companies. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of this year’s first half. This would be the second consolidation move undertaken by Ladbrokes Coral in as many years. The Ladbrokes Coral group was created back in 2016 through the merger of Ladbrokes and Coral. The company currently operates the largest chain of betting shops across the UK.

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Two Casinos Reach Out to Macau’s Health Bureau Applying for 12 Smoking Lounges

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 5:35 PM
Casino News Daily
Two Casinos Reach Out to Macau’s Health Bureau Applying for 12 Smoking Lounges

Today, the Health Bureau (SS) of Macau revealed that it has been reached out by two casinos applying to build a total of 12 smoking lounges in their properties as of March 21st. The casino operators that have filed applications seeking the local authorities’ approval, are the recently-opened MGM Cotai and Ponte 16 casino hotel. No additional information about the number of smoking lounges sought to be established by each of the companies was revealed.

According to information provided by the Health Bureau, other casinos in the gambling hub also have intentions to apply, seeking permission to set up smoking lounges in their gambling facilities.

Gaming companies that currently operate in the city have until September 28th to apply for opening new smoking lounges in order for them to have a chance of getting the authorities’ approval before the new smoking ban in casinos comes into effect on January 1st, 2019. Today, the Health Bureau of Macau announced that September 28th would be the last day for local gambling operators to file their applications for setting special smoking lounges with enhanced technical standards in their casino venues.

As far as existing smoking lounges constructed on casino mass floors after the ban are concerned, casino operators would be required to have them upgraded in order for the facilities to meet the new standards imposed by Macau’s Health Bureau.

Macau Casino Smoking Ban

The new regulatory regime on smoking was imposed by the Macau Government in October 2014. At that time, the Government suspended smoking on casino mass floors, with an exception being made for the so-called enclosed smoking lounges.

The latter are special facilities located on some casino mass-market floors, where there are no gaming tables or slot machines, but smoking is allowed. On July 14th 2017, the Legislative Assembly of Macau gave the green light to a revised bill on smoking under which smoking in VIP rooms was suspended. Despite the fact that the amendment was set to be officially enforced on January 1st 2018, visitors of Macau casino VIP rooms are to be given the opportunity for tableside tobacco use until January 1st 2019, because the city’s casinos were provided with a grace period of one year to apply for and set up VIP smoking lounges under the new piece of legislation.

In accordance with the legislation amendment, smoking would be fully banned in casinos as of January 1st 2019, with the only exception being made for the above-mentioned smoking lounges.

The owners of already existing casino smoking lounges would have to submit separate requests to upgrade the facilities and would have to be provided with new licenses from the Macau authorities in order to be given the chance to operate such lounges. In case that any casinos run existing smoking lounges without the necessary technical upgrades and under a newly-issued operating license after the smoking ban comes into effect on January 1st 2019, they could be forced to pay monetary fine of up to MOP 200,000.

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Steve Wynn Sells 4.1 Million of His Shares in Wynn Resorts

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 11:06 AM
CasinoGamesPro.com
Steve Wynn Sells 4.1 Million of His Shares in Wynn Resorts

Wynn Resorts is a constant hot topic in the international gambling industry for the last two months since the news about the alleged sexual misconduct were announced in the public space. This led to quite the conundrum in the casino development structure and the most recent announcement that the former Chief Executive Officer of the […]

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Mini-casino licence auction postponed in PA

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 4:48 AM
Casino News – Focus Gaming News
Mini-casino licence auction postponed in PA

The PGCB postponed the auction of a fifth mini-casino licence due to bad weather conditions.

The post Mini-casino licence auction postponed in PA appeared first on Focus Gaming News.

Okada Manila ready to increase number of visitors

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 10:51 PM
Casino News – Focus Gaming News
Okada Manila ready to increase number of visitors

The Philippines casino will open permanent retail stores that will bring its targeted number of customers per day.

The post Okada Manila ready to increase number of visitors appeared first on Focus Gaming News.

Senate Judiciary B Committee Greenlights Two Louisiana Gambling Expansion Bills

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 4:48 PM
CasinoGamesPro.com
Senate Judiciary B Committee Greenlights Two Louisiana Gambling Expansion Bills

Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary B Committee of Louisiana gave the green light to two riverboat casino measures. The first one would permit riverboat casinos to offer their operations onto land and would give them more space for their slot machines, while the other measure would allow a referendum to be held in regards to riverboat […]

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Poker Veteran Wins First WSOP Circuit Gold Ring at Hard Rock Tulsa

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 11:32 AM
Casino News Daily
Poker Veteran Wins First WSOP Circuit Gold Ring at Hard Rock Tulsa

Josef Tittjung, a poker regular from Oklahoma, won his first WSOP Circuit gold ring last night after taking down a $365 No-Limit Hold’em Double Stack event at Hard Rock Tulsa. The player also cashed $23,806 from the event.

Tittjung was the last man standing from a field of 345 entries who played over two days at the host venue. The event’s field generated $103,500 in prize money, which organizers distributed to the top 36 finishers.

The tournament attracted several WSOP Circuit celebrities including ten-time gold ring winners Maurice Hawkins and Valentin Vornicu. However, an eleventh gold piece evaded them in the $365 No-Limit Hold’em Double Stack. The players were eliminated in 11th and 10th place, respectively, shortly before the end of Day 1, played on Monday at the host casino.

Their swift elimination also set the official nine-handed final table. Tittjung was second in chips at that point with 1.082 million. Micheal Cooper was leading the final 9 players into the final table with 1.2 million.

Day 1 of the tournament was completed with seven players left in contention. Tittjung had managed to emerge as the chip leader by that time. The player had 2 million in chips at the end of Day 1 and was the only finalist to have cracked the two-million mark.

Tittjung maintained his good run on Day 2 to eventually win the tournament and the coveted WSOP Circuit trophy. The player played heads-up against three-time gold ring winner Justin Gardenhire. The latter scooped a payout of $14,717 for his deep run last night.

A Little More about the Winner

This was Tittjung’s second-ever cash from the WSOP Circuit. The player finished 13th in the $365 Monster Stack a few days ago. That event too was on the schedule of the ongoing WSOP Circuit Hard Rock Tulsa.

While the player may have cashed only twice in the WSOP Circuit series, poker is a game he knows very well. The 72-year Oklahoma-based retiree cut his teeth back in the 1970s on five- and seven-card stud.

Speaking with WSOP stuff minutes after his triumph last night, Tittjung said that he hoped he would continue his good streak throughout the WSOP Circuit series’ ongoing event. The player further noted that he loved the challenge that poker presented to him as a mind game.

The latest member of WSOP Circuit’s winners club is a frequent visitor to his home state’s casinos. With decades of experience, he has completed multiple tournaments and has clashed against poker celebrities, including multiple-time WSOP gold bracelet winner and former WSOP Main Event Champion Scotty Nguyen.

The WSOP Circuit Hard Rock Tulsa is set to run through March 26 when the Main Event will be completed. The $1,675 buy-in event kicks off tomorrow at the host venue. It will feature a guaranteed prize pool of $1 million.

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Slot Machines Distributor Asia Pioneer Sees Year-on-Year Revenue Surge

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 4:39 AM
CasinoGamesPro.com
Slot Machines Distributor Asia Pioneer Sees Year-on-Year Revenue Surge

One of the gambling hubs with the largest impact on the international gambling scene, Macau experiences development on a daily basis, but when it comes to revenue levels they provide food for thought on a daily basis. The most recent announcement came from the slot machine supplier Asia Pioneer Entertainment Holdings Ltd. which issued its […]

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Bulgarian Slot Machine Hackers Arrested after Pulling Off Sophisticated Scam

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 5:33 PM
Casino News Daily
Bulgarian Slot Machine Hackers Arrested after Pulling Off Sophisticated Scam

Four individuals have been detained in Bulgaria after an operation by the General Directorate Combating Organized Crime (GDCOC) uncovered that they had defrauded casinos and gaming halls across the country out of large amounts of money by hacking their gaming machines.

The operation was carried out by GDCOC’s cybercrime unit. The four arrested individuals were found out to have devised a particularly sophisticated scheme for obtaining remote access to gaming machines at casinos and halls. They were thus able to manipulate the outcome of slot machine games and generate large profits in the process.

Each of the four individuals was assigned to a particular role. One of them had to simulate playing on slot machines, while the others accessed the machines remotely to meddle with the games’ outcome. Another member of the organized crime group had to secure the remote access and thus control the gaming devices.

There was also a person among the arrested individuals who was responsible for crafting the electronic devices that manipulated remotely the gaming machines’ software.

The four individuals were arrested shortly after they had hacked the slot machines at yet another casino and had collected their winnings from it. GDCOC also seized a large amount of money and different devices used by the organized crime group to meddle with the slot machines.

The detained individuals are set to be forwarded to judicial institutions and charged under Bulgarian law.

Other Major Casino Scams

While the activities of the recently uncovered Bulgarian organized crime group were the result from a very clever scheme that involved remote access to gaming machines, this was not an isolated incident of people trying to scam casinos out of money.

In 2012, a New York crime ring that comprised between 50-70 individuals was found to have devised a roulette scam and to have successfully ripped off multiple casinos across the United States before eventually being caught in Ohio.

In the scam, players (members of the gang) entered a roulette game with extremely low bets. Some of the players pocketed chips of one color or another while another player was tasked with distracting the dealer. A player at the roulette table then excused themselves to hand the chips stolen to another gang member. That another member then used the stolen chips to play at tables where their value was significantly higher. The player was thus able to cash out at the new and higher rate.

The group reportedly acted for years. Its activities were eventually uncovered in Ohio. The Ohio Casino Control Commission said back then that members of the group were able to collect between $1,000 and $2,000 per scam at the state’s casinos. However, it was hard to determine how much exactly the gang managed to rip off casinos across the country over the course of its activities.

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Maharashtra Government Seeks to Forge Online Gambling Legislation

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 11:03 AM
CasinoGamesPro.com
Maharashtra Government Seeks to Forge Online Gambling Legislation

Today, Ranjit Patil, the Minister of State for Home of India, informed the Legislative Council that the Maharashtra Government is planning to roll out a new gambling legislation. A legislation amendment is set to be brought to the Information Technology Act in order for the Maharashtra government to restrain credit card frauds and to regulate […]

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Caesars adds new offerings

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 4:51 AM
Casino News – Focus Gaming News
Caesars adds new offerings

Caesars Entertainment announces Kind Heaven entertainment venture.

The post Caesars adds new offerings appeared first on Focus Gaming News.

Affiliate Union Plan Surfaces to Help Affiliates against Predatory Gambling Operators

Posted by Costin Dinescu on 4:54 PM
Casino News Daily
Affiliate Union Plan Surfaces to Help Affiliates against Predatory Gambling Operators

Online gambling, over the course of its relatively short history, has often proved to be an industry that can be very hostile to the small ones. And iGaming affiliates have too often found themselves to be playing the role of the small ones, despite their numerous contributions to the growth of that same industry and its representatives.

Resourcefulness is an important ingredient for the growth strategy of any business, particularly when it is part of a highly competitive industry. The online gambling industry, with its rapid growth and highly demanding consumer base, needs resourcefulness and innovation more than anything.

However, it has been on too many occasions that resourcefulness has been deployed by gambling operators at the expense of their affiliate partners. The introduction of retroactive term changes in contracts between affiliate programs and affiliates, payments delayed for months and years, and the sudden termination of contracts and disregard of life-time revenue sharing agreements are few of the instances of operators showing that they can be very hostile to their affiliate partners.

These and many other instances have shown that the iGaming affiliate sector is extremely vulnerable to attacks of any sort and is almost incapable of defending itself. The recent court battle between the Online Casino Reviewer affiliate website and Affiliate Edge was yet another manifestation of the affiliate sector’s lack of proper defense tools.

In brief, Online Casino Reviewer sued against the affiliate program’s decision to retroactively apply a minimum activity quota, and lost the case due to an arbitration clause in the contract between the two parties, which many within the space would agree was a rather questionable clause.

It has recently come to the Casino News Daily team’s attention that another iGaming affiliate has proposed the creation of a union of affiliates, a body that would aim to protect the interests of those involved in the sector. As a news outlet and a representative of the online gambling industry, we would like to spread the word about an idea that, if realized, could help the iGaming affiliate space become less hostile to its active participants.

The Union

In a post in the Affiliate Guard Dog’s forums, ThePOGG, the user behind the eponymous website for online casino reviews and other information about the industry, presented his idea about the formation of an affiliate union that, in case of enough interest from the sector, would comprise between 50 and 100 affiliates who would work together to defend the sector from the predatory behavior of some operators and their affiliate programs.

– Each member would be assigned one vote.

– At no point will the union dictate which programs any member can work with.

– Any member can approach the union to request a review of an issue. The union would then prepare an overview of the key facts of the case, including what the affiliate feels is the problem and in which jurisdictions legal action could potentially be pursued. The overview would be distributed to all members. There are then multiple options, but each would require a vote. Before action would be taken, a majority of 55% of the membership would have to be in favour of it.

Each of the members of the affiliate union would be able to ask for help from its other members when it feels that an affiliate program may not be acting properly. All members would be informed about the issue and they would be required to vote on what further action, if any, should be taken. Each member of the union would be assigned one vote. A majority of 55% of all members would have to vote in favor of a proposed action in order for it to be taken.

Bad Publicity

One of the main goals of the union and its members would be to try to solve issues by spreading the word about instances of affiliate programs treating affiliates unfairly. In such instances, members of the union would be asked to publish a statement on the matter on their websites, presenting the issue in detail. The coordinated effort of a group of affected parties would certainly carry more weight than a single affiliate website that might not have enough means to spread the message to a wider public.

Those in favour of action would be asked to publish a statement on their respective sites. If managed correctly there is the potential to create a ‘link wheel’ like structure between the published articles to ensure that the articles rank well and even give some SEO benefits to the participating members.

It can be said that a negative story about an operator and its affiliate program circulating around the Internet and being distributed by a greater number of affiliates could affect that same operator much worse than a lawsuit against it. The reason is that while operators and affiliate programs may have been making sure to add clauses in their affiliate contracts that might spare them from negative court rulings, they cannot escape bad publicity from members of the industry.

ThePOGG also proposed that a “link wheel” structure between the published statements is created so that they rank better and provide webmasters with certain SEO benefits.

Collective Will

It would be again up to the union to decide whether a legal action against an operator is taken so that an issue is resolved. Each of the members of the union would be able to vote in favor of or against filing a lawsuit. A majority of 55% would be required to approve the move.

And if approved, each member of the union would be required to contribute a certain amount of money to cover the legal costs. The costs for any legal action would be shared equally. To ensure this, ThePOGG proposed that each participating affiliate signs a legally binding contract on behalf of their business upon joining the union that they agree to fund any lawsuits that might be filed against erring affiliate programs.

If the majority (55%) are in favour of taking legal advice the union then looks to engage a legal firm in the relevant jurisdiction and undertake a review of the case. The cost for this would be split equally amongst all members. This means ALL members, not just those in favour.

While the idea for the formation of the affiliate unit is still in its early stages of development and it certainly needs a certain amount of refinement, we personally believe that it could be a right step toward putting pressure on affiliate programs against predatory terms and conditions and other practices that harm the affiliate space.

Casino News Daily encourages interested parties to read the whole plan and voice their opinion and ideas to help the affiliate sector finally take long-overdue actions to defend those involved in it.

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