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Monday, April 30, 2018

Ionut Rusu

Nevada gambling revenue tops $1B for third straight month

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Nevada gambling revenue tops $1B for third straight month

Regulators released data Monday showing casinos statewide earned about $1.03 billion from gamblers in March. 

 
 
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Cirsa bought by US Investor Blackstone

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Cirsa bought by US Investor Blackstone

As reported earlier this year by multiple Spanish media outlets, Cirsa Gaming Corp, one of the world leaders in gaming and leisure activities and the Spain’s largest casino and bingo hall operator casted a spell over several US hedge fund giants, like the Advent International, Apollo Global Management, Blackstone Group and Cerberus Capital Management who were all found to be swirling around Cirsa, competing for its fair hand.

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Ocean Resort Casino Owner Promises Difference-Making Experience upon Property’s Reopening

Casino News Daily
Ocean Resort Casino Owner Promises Difference-Making Experience upon Property’s Reopening

Days after reports emerged that Ocean Resort Casino, formerly Revel, will open doors on June 28, the property’s owner, Bruce Deifik, revealed important details about their plans of how to prevent it from failure.

The former Revel launched in 2012 to much fanfare, but survived in the highly competitive East Coast casino landscape for just over two years. The property was shuttered in 2014 to become one of four Atlantic City Boardwalk casino properties to close doors that year.

Revel was purchased by Florida developer Glenn Straub in 2015. The businessman announced back then plans to reopen it as a casino resort but missed several self-imposed deadlines, while bickering with the owners of the power plant that serviced the property and with city officials and casino regulators over whether he needed a casino license or not.

Mr. Straub eventually accepted a $200-million offer from Mr. Deifik late last year after previously being approached by several other interested parties with similar bids. It became known earlier this year that the property will reopen doors as Ocean Resort Casino sometime this summer.

A Difference Maker

According to reports from local news outlets, the property might open on June 28, along with Hard Rock’s redesigned and rebranded Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, or the former Trump Taj Mahal. In his conversation with The Associated Press, Mr. Deifik did not confirm those reports. However, it became clear that the property is still targeting a summer 2018 opening, just as previously announced.

Mr. Deifik said that they have been paying close attention to what people have to say about Revel, both positive and negative and transfer that into their work on turning Ocean Resort Casino into an attractive destination. Listening to what people say and treating them with respect, Mr. Deifik believes, will be the difference-maker.

The property’s new owner will look to learn from mistakes and to broaden Ocean Resort Casino’s accessibility to different groups of visitors. For instance, there will no longer be a two-night stay requirement, a wall that previously blocked access to the casino floor from Atlantic City’s Boardwalk will be replaced by stairs that will welcome foot traffic, and there will be more facilities dedicated to children.

Customers of the former Revel have said that they felt unwelcome there and that higher-end visitors and guests were seemingly treated with more respect. Mr. Deifik said that customers and gamblers of all levels will be welcome to Ocean Resort Casino.

There were previous complaints that smoking patrons felt unwelcome at Revel as they were not able to smoke at the property. Mr. Deifik said that while he is not a smoker himself, he understands that group of customers deserves to be treated respectfully and that it will be welcome at Ocean Resort Casino, once it opens doors this summer.

The post Ocean Resort Casino Owner Promises Difference-Making Experience upon Property’s Reopening appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Ionut Rusu

Sam Greenwood Takes Down EPT Monte Carlo €100,000 Super High Roller

Casino News Daily
Sam Greenwood Takes Down EPT Monte Carlo €100,000 Super High Roller

Canadian poker pro Sam Greenwood was the first player to register into the 2018 EPT Monte Carlo €100,000 Super High Roller event and, in the early hours of Sunday, he became the last man standing after besting a field of 30 of the world’s best high rollers.

Greenwood collected €1.52 million after a lengthy final day of play, which included an action-packed heads-up battle against Germany’s Christoph Vogelsang. The German received €1.046 million for his runner-up finish.

It was in fact Vogelsang who led the final six players into Day 3 of the Super High Roller tournament. He had a massive chip lead over the rest of his opponents, but it should be said that all six survivors were running quite deep at the start of the day.

The first elimination of the day occurred quite quickly. Isaac Haxton fell out in sixth place, after clashing against Vogelsang. The player collected €313,000 for his performance.

It then took hours before another player left the final table. The remaining survivors were all careful during those several hours, playing small pots and trying not to get themselves into trouble. Justin Bonomo, who was vying for his second EPT Monte Carlo Super High Roller title was the next to leave, good for €401,000.

Bonomo was followed by the other former EPT Monte Carlo Super High Roller champion at the final table, Germany’s Ole Schemion. His share of the prize pool totaled €513,000. The elimination of recreational player and businessman Ali Reza Fatehi in third place marked the beginning of the heads-up match. Fatehi meanwhile scooped €669,920 from the tournament.

Greenwood vs. Vogelsang

An action-packed four-handed play which involved all four players taking the lead at some point was followed by an even more exciting heads-up duel. The match began with Greenwood holding 7.61 million in chips to Vogelsang’s 3.89 million.

However, the German spotted an opportunity to even and then take the lead which he played beautifully. At one point, Vogelsang was just a river card away from the title, but that river card went Greenwood’s way to save him from busting out in second place.

It was a lengthy heads-up battle which extended into the early hours of Sunday. It was half an hour past midnight when the job was finally done and the EPT Monte Carlo Super High Roller had its new champion.

On what turned out to be the final hand in play, Vogelsang’s [Ah][5h] clashed against Greenwood’s [Ks][Jc]. A [Js] on the flop and a [Jd] on the river sealed it for the Canadian player. Vogelsang received €1.046 million for his excellent performance and deep run.

Last night’s victory marked Greenwood’s largest live tournament win. It is also interesting to note that the Canadian player came into the EPT Monte Carlo festival fresh from two tournament wins earlier in April. The player first topped the field of the partypoker Millions Grand Final Barcelona €50,000 Super High Roller for €1 million in prize money and then won the WPT Amsterdam €6,000 High Roller for €125,785.

Including his latest in-the-money finish from last night, Greenwood’s live tournament winnings currently exceed $11 million.

The post Sam Greenwood Takes Down EPT Monte Carlo €100,000 Super High Roller appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

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Vogelsang Heads Final Table, Schemion and Bonomo Eye Second EPT Monte Carlo Super High Roller Title

Casino News Daily
Vogelsang Heads Final Table, Schemion and Bonomo Eye Second EPT Monte Carlo Super High Roller Title

The EPT Monte Carlo is among the most exciting festivals on the poker calendar. This year the excitement is doubled as the festival is making its comeback under the EPT brand after a two-year hiatus.

And the highest buy-in event on what is currently officially running as the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo Casino EPT is under way at the host venue. The €100,000 Super High Roller has always drawn poker’s finest talent and this year makes no difference.

Day 2 of the major event was played on Friday. It started off with 24 players, including Orpen Kisacikoglu and Daniel Dvoress who re-bought into the tournament shortly before the beginning of the second day of play. This year’s EPT Monte Carlo Super High Roller attracted a field of 46 entries, including 16 re-entries, to create a prize pool of €4,462,920. The top six places are paid, min-cash is worth €313,000. Aside from the very prestigious title of a Super High Roller victor, the winner will also receive a first-place prize of €1,520,000.

It was a rather short day at the host casino on Friday. Half of the 24 players who entered Day 2 of the Super High Roller were eliminated within the first four hours of action. Play lasted until the final six players were determined. Mikita Badziakouski, who bagged the largest stack into Day 2 and thrived for a big part of the day, eventually became the unfortunate bubble boy. He was knocked out in seventh place by German poker pro Christoph Vogelsang. The latter thus cemented his position as the overnight chip leader.

Aiming for Another Big Title

Vogelsang has recorded more than $15 million in live tournament earnings since October 2013, when he cashed for the first time in a live tournament event. Last year, the young German took down the highly competitive field of the $300,000 Aria Super High Roller Bowl for a first-place prize of $6 million. It is also important to note that back in 2014, he finished third in the $1,000,000 Big One for ONE DROP, leaving it to Dan Colman and Daniel Negreanu to square off for the title. Vogelsang collected $4,480,001 for his deep run in that event.

The player now has the chance to win big on European soil. Vogelsang ran quite well during Day 2 of the Super High Roller. The player emerged as the chip leader at some point in play to become the first to crack the 2 million mark. He then lost some of his momentum to regain it towards the end of the day and become the first and only player to crack the 3 million mark.

Vogelsang is thus leading the pack of six Super High Roller finalists into the final day of play with a stack of 3.02 million, well ahead of Sam Greenwood, who bagged the second largest stack last night (2.065 million) and Isaac Haxton (1.68 million), who rounded out the top three stacks.

Ali Reza Fatehi (1.84 million), Ole Schemion (1.49 million), and Justin Bonomo (1.405 million) are the other three players who are still in contention for the title and the first-place prize. It is important to note that Schemion and Bonomo are former EPT Monte Carlo Super High Roller winners.

Schemion won his title in 2016 for €1,597,800, while Bonomo became a Super High Roller champion back in 2012 for €1,640,000.

Super High Roller Action is set to resume at the host venue today at noon local time. The remaining contenders will play down to a champion.

The post Vogelsang Heads Final Table, Schemion and Bonomo Eye Second EPT Monte Carlo Super High Roller Title appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Ionut Rusu

Construction of $400-Million Costa Rica Casino Resort to Begin Next Year

Casino News Daily
Construction of $400-Million Costa Rica Casino Resort to Begin Next Year

Construction work on a $400-million hotel and casino resort in Costa Rica is expected to begin in early 2019, after the project has received the necessary approval from the host municipality and tourism regulators, local news outlet The Costa Rica Star reports.

The property will be located in the village of Moín, in the Limón Province. It will operate as Casino City Caribe. Architecture firm Patti Rao Project will carry out the project. The company is led by Vancouver, Canada-based architect Patti Rao.

Mr. Rao told local media that they have selected Moín as the preferred location of their resort due to the untapped tourism potential of the area and their partners’ interest in investing in ecotourism projects. The architect further pointed out that the idea for Casino City Caribe emerged after he had retired and that he wanted to do something that would contribute to the further development of Costa Rica as a popular tourism destination.

Construction is expected to begin early next year. The project will be carried out in several phases until the final one is rolled out in 2027. Construction work during the first phase is expected to generate 150 new jobs. According to preliminary estimates, the resort will employ around 1,500 people once fully operational.

Facilities

Casino City Caribe will feature three hotels with a total of 264 rooms, 219 apartments, three casinos, two convention centers – one with capacity for 60 people, and the other for 150 people – a spa and wellness center, an entertainment center, a business center, and different other recreational facilities as well as large green areas.

The complex will offer access to the beach. It will also feature a heliport and a marina to provide visitors and guests with better access options.

While the project is still in its early stages of development, it has already been granted the necessary approval from the host Matina Municipality, the Costa Rica Tourism Board, and the Ministry of Environment.

According to information from the Costa Rica Tourism Board, the island nation welcomed nearly 3 million international tourists last year. Visitors from North America accounted for more than a half of that number.

During the first quarter of this year, Costa Rica received 6% more tourists than the 919,631 arrivals recorded during the same period of 2017. The Tourism Board has said that while the number of tourists from North America decreased during the first three months of 2018, the number of visitors from Europe and North America increased 14.2% and 11.4%, respectively.

Costa Rica has recently opened its first convention center, aiming to position itself as a popular destination for business events. The total amount of $35 million was invested in the nearly 170,000 square-foot venue which has the capacity for over 6,500 delegates and offers nearly 50,000 square feet of exhibition space. As mentioned above, the new Casino City Caribe will, too, feature two convention facilities, although much smaller in scale than the newly opened Costa Rica Convention Center.

The post Construction of $400-Million Costa Rica Casino Resort to Begin Next Year appeared first on Casino News Daily.

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Norwegian Scholar to Review Whether Loot Boxes Constitute Gambling

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Norwegian Scholar to Review Whether Loot Boxes Constitute Gambling

A Norwegian scholar will open loot boxes in video games to determine their nature and whether these constitute gambling, Norwegian media outlet Norsk rikskringkasting (NRK) reports.

Norway is the next to review the in-game items after the gambling regulators of the Netherlands and Belgium have recently published the results of their own investigations into the widely publicized matter. The two regulatory bodies have found that the loot box systems of a number of popular video games violate Dutch and Belgian gambling laws.

Rune Mentzoni, an Associate Professor at the Department of Psychosocial at the University of Bergen, will purchase loot boxes featured in the FIFA Ultimate Team video game worth NOK50,000 (approx. $6,248) as part of his study. Mr. Mentzoni told media that this would help him determine whether loot boxes should be considered a form of gambling. His findings will be presented to the Norwegian Gaming Authority (Lotteri- og stiftelsestilsynet) and other regulators.

The scholar explained that he believes the purchase of loot boxes and the fact that they contain a random selection of items in terms of their value very much resembles playing on a slot machine. According to him, the in-game purchasable items are often a loss disguised as a win. The Dutch Gambling Authority drew a similar conclusion in its review of the nature of loot boxes, saying that these acted like slot machines as they could be opened unlimited times and deployed the “near-miss” effect.

The Norwegian Ministry of Culture has assembled a special committee to probe into the matter and determine whether loot boxes should be considered a form of gambling.

Trude Felde, a Senior Advisor to Norway’s gambling regulator, told NRK that an investigation could provide good arguments for a change in the country’s current law. She further pointed out that when crafting new regulations, regulators and legislators need to bear in mind that circumstance and technology change very quickly, therefore any new rules need to be developed in a more “technology-neutral” manner.

New Gambling Law

News emerged earlier this week that a coalition of four parties has submitted a legislation aimed at preventing unlicensed gambling operations from targeting local gambling customers. The new rules secured a majority at a Tuesday vote, but legislators are yet adopt them. This is expected to happen by May 7.

Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto are the two state-run entities that are authorized to provide gambling services in Norway. Despite previous proposals for the creation of a regulatory framework that would allow foreign operators to obtain licenses from the national regulator and operate in a regulated environment, the country’s government has maintained that the monopoly system is the most socially responsible one and there is no need for it to be replaced.

Under the new rules, the Norwegian Gaming Authority will be able to penalize foreign operators targeting local players despite the existing ban. In addition, DNS blocking will be introduced to ensure that local players are not targeted by unlicensed companies.

The post Norwegian Scholar to Review Whether Loot Boxes Constitute Gambling appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Ionut Rusu

Japan Government Approves Integrated Resorts Bill

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Japan Government Approves Integrated Resorts Bill

The Japanese government endorsed on Friday a bill setting the broad regulatory framework for the establishment of a casino industry in the country. The document – known as the Integrated Resorts (IR) Implementation Bill – will now be submitted to the Diet, the country’s parliament, for voting.

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Erik Seidel, John Juanda and Zachary Clark Sue Ali Fazeli in $1.3 Million Super Bowl & World Cup Ticket Scam

BankrollMob News - Poker / Casino / Betting
Erik Seidel, John Juanda and Zachary Clark Sue Ali Fazeli in $1.3 Million Super Bowl & World Cup Ticket Scam
Last month, Aria High Roller regular Seyed Reza Ali Fazeli got indicted over a $6.2 million Super Bowl and World Cup ticket scam, which involved obtaining huge sums of money from investors meant to buy World Cup and Super Bowl tickets, but instead he used the cash to fund his lavish gambling and personal lifestyle. Sure there were a few notable victims mentioned before, including Republican donor Mel Sembler and his family who shelled out $5 million to Fazeli but in the end received nothing fro[...]

Thursday, April 26, 2018

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Bacta look to develop relationship with club sector

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Bacta look to develop relationship with club sector

Bacta and CORCA, the Committee of Registered Club Associations, have agreed an informal programme of co-operation on matters of mutual interest, following a meeting between senior representatives of the two organisations. 

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Triton Super High Roller Series Returns to Maestral Resort & Casino in May

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Triton Super High Roller Series Returns to Maestral Resort & Casino in May

Located in one of the most spectacular parts of the Adriatic coast, the recently renovated Maestral Resort & Casino near Budva, Montenegro is just weeks away from swinging its doors open to one of this year’s hottest poker events – the Triton Super High Roller Series 2018.

The thrilling poker festival will run from May 12-18, 2018 at the resort and will feature four different events. It will represented the highly anticipated continuation of the extremely successful Triton Super High Roller Series 2017 poker extravaganza that took place at the same resort last July.

The festival is set to kick off with a two-day HK$250,000 (approximately $31,859) buy-in Short Deck Ante-Only tournament. Another tournament with a buy-in fee of HK$250,000 is set to start on May 13. It will, too, take place over two days and will feature a 6-Max structure.

There will be one more Short Deck Ante-Only event to be played within the festival. However, players will have to pay HK$1 million (approx. $127,435) in order to be able to enter it. The tournament will be played on May 17-18 and will actually mark the end of the festival.

Main Event Action

As in its previous edition last summer, the Triton Super High Roller Series Main Event will take place over three days starting May 15. The buy-in for the tournament amounts to HK$1 million, which provides for the creation of a massive prize pool and an attractive first-place prize for the winner, in addition to great excitement for both tournament entries and viewers who will be following the action from the host casino’s rails or from home.

German poker pro Manig Loeser topped the event’s field last year to collect more than HK$16.8 million (approx. $2.16 million) and the accompanying champion’s trophy. Loeser was the last man standing from a field of 52 fellow entries, who created a prize pool of HK$48,921,600.

Winners of other Triton Super High Roller Series events over the years include Fedor Holz, another German high roller super star, Daniel Cates, Dan Colman, the winner of the 2014 WSOP Big One for ONE DROP, and John Juanda.

It is also important to note that the upcoming festival will be the first one of the Triton Super High Roller Series to be livestreamed on Twitch. Organizers have previously revealed that there will be separate streams in English, Chinese, and Russian. It has also been understood that Randy ‘nanonoko’ Lew and Kane Kalas will host the English-language stream.

The Short Deck Ante-Only format will be another innovation to be introduced during the series in May. The format has gained quite some popularity in Asia and now has the chance to make its debut on the European poker scene. It features a smaller deck comprised of 36 cards. The 2s, 3s, 4s, and 5s are removed from it and the Aces double as 5s. Aside from that, the game is played as a traditional Texas Hold’em.

The post Triton Super High Roller Series Returns to Maestral Resort & Casino in May appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Ionut Rusu

Norway to Enforce Firmer Payment Restrictions on International Gambling Sites

BankrollMob News - Poker / Casino / Betting
Norway to Enforce Firmer Payment Restrictions on International Gambling Sites
The government of Norway is planning new methods that will strengthen restriction of online gambling payment processing to help limit the competition of the state-owned Norsk Tipping gambling monopoly. Gambling in Norway is heavily regulated and its provision is restricted to only government-owned agencies. Playing poker for money is not permitted, whether this is live, online, or in private homes. Currently, there is no legal means to play poker in Norway. However, there is a bill that aims[...]

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

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Three Video Games with Loot Boxes Violate Belgian Gambling Law, Regulator Finds

Casino News Daily
Three Video Games with Loot Boxes Violate Belgian Gambling Law, Regulator Finds

At least three video games featuring loot boxes have been breaching Belgian gambling laws, an investigation by the Belgian Gaming Commission has shown. The news about the regulator’s position on the widely publicized issue comes shortly after its Dutch counterpart released its own findings regarding the virtual items just days ago.

Loot boxes gained broad attention with the fall 2017 release of the Star Wars Battlefront II video game. The latest installment of the popular Star Wars: Battlefront series quickly became the subject of major controversy due to the fact that it included a loot box monetization scheme.

Generally speaking, loot boxes are special items can be purchased in-game. They contain further items that can be extremely helpful to a player within the game, but can also be of little value. Each loot box includes a random selection of items and its contents only become known to a player after its purchase is completed.

The Belgian Gaming Commission was among the gambling regulators to question the nature of loot boxes. The regulatory opened a probe into the matter, the results of which were made public earlier today.

The Gaming Commission investigated four video games – Star Wars Battlefront II, FIFA 18, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, and Overwatch. The regulator found out that loot boxes in three of the games – FIFA 18, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, and Overwatch – violated Belgium’s gambling law. The Commission said that developers of Star Wars Battlefront II have addressed the issue following the controversy the game was embroiled in and that its loot box system no longer violated Belgian gaming regulations.

Under the country’s gambling law, spending real money on an item that could influence a player’s performance in a game constitutes a game of chance if the contents of such an item are determined by chance.

Teenagers at Risk

The Commission expressed concerns that loot boxes in video games and their gambling nature are putting vulnerable players at great risk. Video games are often played by players under the allowed age for gambling but being exposed by products that resemble gambling risks normalizing the activity.

The gambling regulator said today that developers of games with paid loot boxes violate Belgium’s gambling law and can be fined or even sentenced to prison for such a violation. They thus must remove the controversial in-game items or can otherwise face fines of up to €800,000 and or prison time of up to five years.

In a similar move, the Netherlands Gambling Authority, Kansspelautoriteit, announced last week the results from its own probe into loot boxes. The regulator investigated ten video games that featured loot boxes and were available to Dutch players.

Kansspelautoriteit found that four out of the ten games violated the Dutch Betting and Gaming Act as their loot box systems incorporated elements of games of chance into skill-based games. The provision of games of chance without the necessary authorization from the Dutch gambling regulator is strictly prohibited in the Netherlands.

The post Three Video Games with Loot Boxes Violate Belgian Gambling Law, Regulator Finds appeared first on Casino News Daily.

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Legends of Poker - Stu Ungar, the Greatest No-Limit Hold�em Tournament Player of All Time

BankrollMob News - Poker / Casino / Betting
Legends of Poker - Stu Ungar, the Greatest No-Limit Hold�em Tournament Player of All Time
While many people in the poker world consider Stu Ungar to be one of the greatest poker players ever, few can dispute he was definitely the greatest No-Limit Hold'em player in the history of poker. According to Wikipedia, Stuart Errol Ungar was a professional poker, blackjack and gin rummy player, widely regarded to have been the greatest Texas Hold'em and gin player of all time. He was virtually an unstoppable individual during his early days in the world of poker - he won 10 major $5,000 or h[...]