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Saturday, July 21, 2018

Ionut Rusu

Melco Opens Two Casino Facilities at Larnaca Airport Within Months

Casino News Daily
Melco Opens Two Casino Facilities at Larnaca Airport Within Months

Two satellite casino facilities will open doors at the Larnaca International Airport by the end of the year under an agreement between Integrated Casino Resorts Cyprus and Hermes Airport Ltd., a joint statement by the two companies says.

Integrated Resorts Cyprus represents the joint venture between Hong Kong-based gaming and hospitality giant Melco Resorts & Entertainment and its Cypriot partner CNS Group. The two companies were selected as the preferred bidder for the development of the first integrated resort with a casino floor in the Republic of Cyprus. Under the term of their license from the Cypriot government, Melco and CNS Group are also set to open four satellite casinos across the tiny Mediterranean republic.

The recently signed agreement with Hermes Airports, the company operating the Larnaca International Airport, will allow Melco and its local partner to establish two gaming facilities at the airport. The agreement has a two-year term and an option for renewal.

The first facility will be located in the departures area and is expected to become operational in the next three months. Only departing passengers will be able to access it. The other facility will be established in the arrivals section of the airport and will be accessible to everyone. It is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Both facilities will be branded Cyprus Casinos. They will feature slot machines only and no gaming tables. It is yet to be determined whether the satellite casino at the Larnaca International Airport will be open 24 hours.

Melco Hails First Days of Temporary Casino Operation

News about Melco’s agreement with the Larnaca International Airport emerge days after the company said that its temporary casino in Limassol welcomed 34,000 unique visitors during its first three weeks of operation thus beating original expectations. The property opened doors on June 28 as a temporary operation while the main City of Dreams Mediterranean resort is under construction.

Melco revealed that guests from 41 countries played at its casino during its first days. Patrons from Cyprus, Greece, Israel, the United Kingdom, and Russia represented the largest group of players, and slot machines followed by American Roulette proved to be the most popular games.

The temporary operation currently features 242 slot machines and 33 gaming tables, a VIP salon, a restaurant, and two bars. It is open 24/7 and players must be 21 or over in order to be admitted to the gaming floor. Melco has said that 6,000 patrons have joined its rewards program since the casino opened doors.

The main resort is currently under development in Limassol. The property is slated to open doors in 2021. Melco plans to invest more than €550 million into what would be its first integrated resort outside Asia. The company has said that it would look to combat seasonality in Cyprus by establishing an operation that would be drawing visitors all year round.

The post Melco Opens Two Casino Facilities at Larnaca Airport Within Months appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Ionut Rusu

Gambling Business Group announce priority issues and extend open invitation to new Secretary of State

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Gambling Business Group announce priority issues and extend open invitation to new Secretary of State

Strategic body, the Gambling Business Group, (GBG) has contacted Jeremy Wright QC congratulating him on his appointment as Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and identifying a list of priority issues impacting the development of the industry as a socially responsible provider of gambling entertainment.

 

Ionut Rusu

Vietnamese Casino Fined for Faulty Tax Reports

Casino News Daily
Vietnamese Casino Fined for Faulty Tax Reports

The owner of Royal International Gaming Club in Ha Long, Vietnam has received a $15,000 fine after being found to have provided faulty reports of value added tax and using illegal invoices, local news outlet VnExpress reports.

Royal Casino is part of the larger Royal Halong Hotel owned by gaming and hospitality company Royal International Corporation. The gaming venue currently offers four table games, with those being blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and Sic Bo, as well as 70 slot machines.

According to the Tax Department of the Quang Ninh province, owners of the casino have breached several tax regulations in their 2017 returns filings and VAT receipts due February 2018. Authorities revealed that Royal International Corporation was penalized with a $15,000 fine, which included a $10,500 levy for faulty VAT reports and another $3,700 levy for providing illegal invoices.

Similarly to most of Vietnam’s land-based casinos, Royal Casino services foreign patrons only. The VnExpress reports that the gambling venue has been recording profit losses since 2013. According to the owner’s report for the third quarter of 2017, the casino saw its loss jump more than 23 times to over $3.04 million.

Revenue during the first quarter of 2018 totaled $2.92 million, the company’s financial report states. The property also generated $69,000 in profits after tax, which is a considerable increase from a loss of $908,000 during the same three months of 2017. However, it is believed that Royal International Corporation has accumulated loss of more than $7.4 million from its gambling operation on a total capital investment of around $30.5 million.

Casino officials have revealed that visitors from Taiwan represent their largest customer group and that the number of patrons from Mainland China has decreased significantly over the past several years. Chinese gamblers are the most popular customer group with stakeholders of the Asia-Pacific region’s casino industry due to their spending habits. Patrons from China are targeted heavily by casinos in the area and competition has become even fiercer in the years after Chinese President Xi Jinping’s anti-graft campaign that resulted in high rollers steering away from Asia’s gambling mecca Macau and looking for other destinations to gamble without appearing on Chinese authorities’ radar screens.

Regulatory Changes in Vietnam

Up until recently, Vietnamese nationals were prohibited from gambling at the country’s casinos. However, the country’s government announced earlier this year that it would lift the long-standing ban partially by launching a three-year pilot program that would allow residents to gamble at two gambling venues – one on the Phu Quoc island in South Vietnam and the other located in the Van Don Special Economic Zone. Both properties are currently under development.

In order to be admitted to the gaming floors of the two resorts, Vietnamese nationals will have to be aged 21 or over and to prove that their monthly income exceeds VND10 million.

Vietnam saw another important change in its gambling laws this year. The country’s government decided to relax previous restrictions on the provision of sports betting and engaging into the activity. A new set of rules was rolled out ahead of the World Cup, allowing nationals to bet on football matches but only with a state-run operators. Bettors can wager up to $44 on a match under the new regulations.

Despite the reforms, Vietnam’s black market was thriving during this year’s edition of the major football championship. Vietnamese police bust a number of illegal gambling rings in the months leading up to the World Cup and during the sporting event. News emerged most recently about an $87-million illegal online betting scheme that was nabbed by police during the football tournament. Ten people were arrested for their alleged involvement in the illicit operation which could easily be dubbed Vietnam’s largest one ever busted.

The post Vietnamese Casino Fined for Faulty Tax Reports appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Ionut Rusu

Anthony Zinno Wins CPPT $5,000 Main Event at The Venetian after Hot WSOP Run

Casino News Daily
Anthony Zinno Wins CPPT $5,000 Main Event at The Venetian after Hot WSOP Run

Anthony Zinno, one of the notable members of global poker’s elite and one of the few three-time WPT Main Event winners, topped the field of another prestigious tournament after a nice run at the WSOP.

Zinno took part in another popular summer series annually taking place in Las Vegas and bested the field of the festival’s Main Event just a couple of days ago. The popular poker pro emerged victorious in The Venetian DeepStack Championship Poker Series CPPT $5,000 Main Event after surviving through five days of action and outlasting a field of 547 entries.

The tournament kicked off on Saturday, July 14, at The Venetian, one of the premium poker destinations across the Strip. The Main Event featured a guaranteed prize pool of $2 million. The guarantee was crashed due to the great interest in the tournament. An overall prize pool of $2,529,875 was thus created to be distributed to the top 63 finishers.

Aside from the champion’s trophy and all the accolades that a winner deserves, Zinno also collected the amount of $466,670. Including his latest live tournament cash, the poker pro now boasts a bankroll of over $8 million.

Zinno beat a stacked final table in the CPPT Main Event. The player faced the likes of former WSOP Main Event champ Martin Jacobson, popular high rollers Dan Shak and Stephen Chidwick, and former World Championship final tablists Bryan Piccioli and Jay Farber, among others. UK’s Ben Jones was Zinno’s heads-up opponent. The player eventually busted in second place for a consolation prize of $390,956.

Zinno said after his latest poker triumph that he could finally take a break from poker as he has been playing almost incessantly over the past several months.

Hot WSOP Streak

Zinno jumped into The Venetian Main Event action fresh from a nice run at the WSOP. The player finished in-the-money in 12 tournaments on the schedule of the world’s longest running poker series and made two final table appearances.

Zinno finished third in the $565 Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Handed for $57,300. He also scored a third-place finish in the $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship for $129,186.

While the player failed to capture a WSOP gold bracelet this summer, he already knows very well what it feels like to claim the most coveted non-monetary prize in poker. He won his piece back in 2015 when he outlasted the elite field of the $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller. That victory actually secured the popular poker pro with his largest-ever live cash of $1,122,196.

Zinno is one of just five players in the history of the World Poker Tour to have won three Main Event titles from the series’ Main Tour. He claimed his first title in 2013. It was followed by two more titles in 2015 to tie with Carlos Mortensen and Gus Hansen who were the only other three-time WPT title holders at the time.

The post Anthony Zinno Wins CPPT $5,000 Main Event at The Venetian after Hot WSOP Run appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Ionut Rusu

Poker Pro Pleads Guilty in $6-Million Super Bowl/World Cup Ticket Scam Case

Casino News Daily
Poker Pro Pleads Guilty in $6-Million Super Bowl/World Cup Ticket Scam Case

Poker pro Seyed Reza Ali Fazeli pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges after being indicted in March for allegedly soliciting investors from three states to wire him more than $6 million to start a ticket-resale business.

Fazeli admitted in a Santa Ana, California court on Tuesday that he spent the money to gamble, repay gambling debts, and for personal expenses. Fazeli was particularly active on the Las Vegas high roller poker scene in previous years. His live tournament bankroll amounts to more than $2.2 million. His HendonMob profile shows that he last cashed in a live tournament back in December 2016, when he finished second in a $25,000 buy-in Aria High Roller event for $247,680.

Prosecutors have disclosed that Fazeli ran Summit Entertainment, a Nevada-located company that promised investors to buy Super Bowl and World Cup tickets and resale those at a huge profit. It has been understood that the poker pro was thus wired around $6.2 million in the period between May 2016 and May 2017 by investors from Nevada, California, and his homestate Texas.

Summit Entertainment operated the onlinetickets.com and pacertickets.com websites through which the tickets resale was supposed to take place. Despite previous promises for a healthy profit, Fazeli failed to provide returns to the investment made by his victims.

The poker player told investors that the business performed poorly as the NFL had prohibited any ticket resales. His explanations proved to be false, prosecutors have revealed, as he admittedly spent the money he had received to cover personal expenses and he never bought the tickets.

Fazeli’s sentencing is scheduled for January 28, 2019. The poker player could spend up to 20 years in jail now as he has pleaded guilty to wire fraud.

Poker Professionals among Fazeli’s Investors

Poker news outlet CardPlayer reported earlier this year that there were professional poker players among Fazeli’s victims. The poker website produced a copy of the joint complaint filed by three popular poker pros who claimed that they had invested a total of $1.3 million into Fazeli’s business.

The complaint showed that Erik Seidel, John Juanda, and Zachary Clark, all three of whom are accomplished tournament players, were among the people who have invested into Fazeli’s ticket-resale operation that never really materialized.

According to court papers, Seidel and Clark each pumped half a million dollars into their fellow poker pro’s fraudulent business, while Juanda invested $300,000. It is unclear whether the $1.3 million provided by the three players was included in the above $6.2 million Fazeli obtained in his admitted wire fraud.

It has also emerged that Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas has, too, filed a lawsuit against Fazeli over an unpaid casino credit the property has extended 34 separate times. Aria has been one of the casinos the player has been frequenting. He has won quite some of the $25,000 high roller tournaments the property is well-known for.

The post Poker Pro Pleads Guilty in $6-Million Super Bowl/World Cup Ticket Scam Case appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Ionut Rusu

Interblock to Showcase New Market Innovations at OIGA 2018

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Interblock to Showcase New Market Innovations at OIGA 2018

Automated Roulette and Dice ETGs arrive to the State of Oklahoma

Ionut Rusu

Ainsworth increase profit forecast to US$29 before-tax

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Ainsworth increase profit forecast to US$29 before-tax

Ainsworth Game Technology Ltd says it expects profit before tax in its financial year ended June to have been about AUD39 million (US$28.97 million). The Australian maker of slot machines had previously forecast a profit of about AUD36 million on July 3.

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