Poker News

 No one was hurt or threatened after two men wearing masks to break open an automated teller machine, including a customer who calmly walked away from an 8-liner machine as the crime took place.

 The two men entered the Power Mart on Ella Boulevard near Rankin road in northeast Houston before 4 a.m. Friday and the entire incident was captured on surveillance video.
 As the burglars used crowbars to pry open the ATM, a customer was playing on one of the gaming machines and proceeded to gradually walk away from it during the attempted theft.
 The burglars were able to remove the cash box, which contained around $10,000, according to the store manager.  

 Online poker revenue totals for the state of Delaware reached a record low in September as only $24,523 in rake and fees was collected by the state’s three poker sites combined.

The previous low was $25,607 in June 2014. The miserable showing in September came on the heels of an 11% month-over-month gain in August. But last month’s new low wiped out that gain and then some, as revenue tumbled 21.5%.
Delaware Park remains the most popular poker site for The First State players, accounting for about two-thirds of the revenue action with $16,070. Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway split the other one-third, as the former took in rake and fees of $4,621, while the latter collected $3,830.
Igaming Revenue a Mild Decline
The totals were not as bleak when looking at online gaming revenue as a whole. Combining poker with the video lottery and online casino games, the Delaware State Lottery reported September revenue at $156,125.
That total is just a tad off the pace of the $158,979 in igaming revenue collected in August. Actually, the last two months have been the best in all of 2015 for online gaming revenue. It’s mostly attributable to the video lottery, which took in a record $93,737 in September,
New Sign-Ups Increase
Those looking for positives can point to the fact that new players continue to register at the online gaming sites available in Delaware. September saw 330 players get in on the action, the bulk of those (142) registering at Delaware Park.
That’s the second highest monthly total of new players in 2015. The average number of monthly new sign-ups this year is 302.
Deposit Bonuses
There is plenty of room for more Delaware online poker players so if you’re a resident and have yet to try any of the three poker rooms hosting poker action, why not give it a go? It’s worth your while considering that each site offers instant deposit bonuses.
The bonus is dependent upon the amount deposited and varies among Harrington Raceway, Dover Downs and Delaware Park. In any event, it’s free money that boosts your bankroll immediately.
Mid-Atlantic Poker Championship
Online poker revenue might take another hit this month considering that live poker may be the game of choice in Delaware. The Mid-Atlantic Poker Championship is set for October 14-26 at Delaware Park.
The schedule consists of 16 events with buy-ins ranging from $100 to $1,500. The prize pools encompass a wide range as well, from $2,500 to $150,000. Included is a $550 Heads-Up Championship, a $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha Championship, and the $1,090 Main Event.
Players who pre-register at least 24 hours prior to Event #4 on Oct. 17, a $550 HLHE with a $60,000 guarantee, as well as the Main Event set for Oct. 23, will receive $100 in slot dollars to be used at the Delaware Park Casino.

 The recently-formed Portuguese gaming regulator, the SRIJ, has appointed NMi of the Netherlands, as a gambling technical systems certifying organisation.

The draft legal framework for online games in Portugal is currently in the process of approval.
So far only regulated land-based games have been permitted in Portugal, in the country’s casinos. The online gambling law will define multiple gaming categories and will permit interested parties to apply for licences covering casino table games, bingo, sports betting, racing and slot machines.
It is expected that the market will open for licence applications before the end of this year.
NMi recently gained approval to certify operations in Peru, the Philippines and Lithuania. The company has expanded its facilities and opened additional office space in the UK and Canada. Digital Entertainment Plc (LON:BPTY) has received an average recommendation of “Hold” from the thirteen ratings firms that are currently covering the stock, MarketBeat Ratings reports. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating on the company. The average 12-month price target among brokerages that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is GBX 108.80 ($1.65).

In related news, insider Gibson,J M. Barry purchased 50,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 8th. The shares were purchased at an average price of GBX 106 ($1.61) per share, with a total value of £53,000 ($80,510.41).
BPTY has been the topic of a number of research reports. AlphaValue reissued an “add” rating and issued a GBX 114 ($1.73) target price on shares of Digital Entertainment Plc in a research report on Thursday, July 23rd. BNP Paribas reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a GBX 104 ($1.58) price objective on shares of Digital Entertainment Plc in a research report on Monday, July 20th. Citigroup Inc. reissued a “sell” rating and issued a GBX 65 ($0.99) target price on shares of Digital Entertainment Plc in a research report on Monday, July 27th. Canaccord Genuity restated a “buy” rating and issued a GBX 125 ($1.90) price objective on shares of Digital Entertainment Plc in a research note on Friday, August 21st. Finally, Goodbody Stockbrokers Ltd reiterated a “hold” rating and set a GBX 95 ($1.44) target price on shares of Digital Entertainment Plc in a research note on Thursday, August 20th.
Shares of Digital Entertainment Plc (LON:BPTY) traded down 1.68% during trading on Monday, reaching GBX 110.90. 736,003 shares of the company traded hands. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of GBX 109.81 and a 200-day moving average price of GBX 101.02. The firm’s market capitalization is GBX 912.15 million. Digital Entertainment Plc has a 12 month low of GBX 70.40 and a 12 month high of GBX 128.00.
The business also recently disclosed a dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 9th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 10th were given a GBX 1.92 ($0.03) dividend. This represents a yield of 1.65%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 10th.
bwin.bash digital entertainment plc (LON:BPTY) is a Gibraltar-based holding company. The Company is engaged in supplying online gaming services. bwin.bash’s business segments include sports betting, casino & games, poker, bingo and other (including World Poker Tour, the third-party payment processing business, Kalixa; the fiscal spreadbetting business, InterTrader; applications services, social gaming, profit on domain sales along with the Victor Retail company). The online gaming brands of the Business contain PartyCasino, partypoker, bwin and Foxy Bingo. bwin.celebration’s subsidiaries comprise bwin Italia S.r.l., services (Austria) GmbH, services (Malta) Limited, bwin.celebration amusement Limited and ElectraWorks (France) Limited.

 bwin party has been blacklisted by Romania’s online gaming regulator despite having paid around €8m in back taxes and been provisionally approved for a Romanian igaming licence. 

The reason bwin and its PartyPoker and PartyCasino sites join a number of other high profile igaming companies such as mybet, Betclic, William Hill or Betfred on the list is because it has continued to operate and take bets in Romania rather than pausing all operations until it had been officially allowed by the authorities to operate in market, according to sources close to the company.
The group’s inclusion means it will have to convince the Romanian authorities to remove it from the list, although this is understood to be hard and lengthy.    
bwin did not respond to requests for comment but iGaming Business understands the blacklisting is a big setback for the group as it was preparing for launch in the regulated Romanian market.
The Romanian authorities have been in discussions with operators to establish the amount of back taxes they will have to pay before being able to apply and receive a licence.
Operators could end up paying up to €90m in back taxes in Romania, the bulk of that amount to be paid by leading igaming groups such as bwin, Bet365, Sportingbet and PokerStars.

 The daily fantasy sports industry might be under fire at the moment, but the current controversies are likely to eventually die down, and we’ll be back to business as usual. Or, more likely, business as usual with government regulation.

The industry has exploded over the past two years, and the unicorn valuations of DraftKings and FanDuel are an indication that they’re doing something right. It seems to me online poker companies could learn a thing or two from the DFS industry.
Actually, there are four areas where I feel the online poker industry would be wise to follow the DFS industry.
You have to spend money to make money
To say DFS sites are willing to spend money on advertising is the understatement of the year. I’m not advocating for online poker sites to spend like drunken sailors on their first shore leave in six months, but it wouldn’t hurt to ramp up player acquisition efforts a bit, either.
It’s actually impossible for most online gaming companies to spend like DraftKings or FanDuel even if they wanted to, as most of them are public companies, with a board of directors and shareholders to answer to. But at some point there is some value in overspending for a short period of time. If done right, that money will return down the road.
Forget sponsoring players, aim higher
Online poker sites have a standard operating procedure of sponsoring poker players in order to advance their brand. The thinking is, these players (if they’re good) will get on TV wearing said site’s patch and BOOM: free marketing. However, the chances are still slim the TV cameras will find your player(s) unless you spend through the nose for a top talent like Daniel Negreanu or Phil Hellmuth. And let’s not lose sight of the fact that even at its peak, poker on TV wasn’t producing a massive viewership — it had good numbers, for cable.
On the other hand, DFS sites do sponsor athletes (sites like PokerStars, so as well), but the bulk of their sponsorship money goes towards deals with teams, leagues, and even stadiums. These same options are available to online poker sites (and some do sponsor shows or tournaments), if they’re willing to spend a bit more. PartyPoker NJ tried this, inking a deal with the New Jersey Devils, the Prudential Center, and the Philadelphia 76ers, but because of the size of the New Jersey market, and what I would call an inability to properly leverage the deal, the returns never materialized.
My advice: Go the DFS route and aim for the stars, casinos, poker rooms, poker tours, individual tournament series and so on. Structure the deals in the same way DFS companies do, where it appears the cost of the deal is more dependent on its success.
Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly poker players worth sponsoring, but by focusing on players, you’re limiting your reach, particularly if you sponsor multiple players as they almost certainly have overlapping followers, most of whom already have some interest in the game of poker.
If you want to reach a new audience, casino advertisements (outside the poker room) would seem to be the way to go.
Keep it simple
When poker was at its peak, new players logging on to a site for the first time had only a few options to choose from. Sites weren’t offering mixed games, Badugi, or PLO8. There were only a few different sit-and-go formats. And the tournament lobby didn’t need to be color coded.
Instead, they stuck to the bread-and-butter games, the games the casual players were interested in. Now, with online poker in a recession, operators are continually increasing their offerings. While I’m not against innovation, it seems like games and formats are constantly added, but none are ever removed. This has led to less “game liquidity” and a very confusing experience for new players who have to navigate lobbies that require multiple filters to read.
The idea of keeping it simple extends beyond game offerings, as well. Online poker websites need to simplify their rewards programs, the number and type of promotions they offer, and how they design their marketing efforts. If I were consulting with an online poker website, I would implement the 30-second rule, and I’m not talking about the one about eating food that has fallen on the floor.
The 30-second rule for online poker operators is simple; if you can’t explain your promotion in 30 seconds it’s too complicated.
When it comes to making games easy to understand, DFS has flourished. Everything about the game is simple. A first-time player can easily select a lineup, and there is very little fine print associated with any part of the process, as the sites pretty much have a first-time deposit bonus and that’s it.
On the other hand, online poker sites often have five or more promotions running simultaneously, all with kitschy names and loads of terms and conditions that require the prospective player to read through a subpage to understand. Then they get to the poker lobby and… WHAM… there are more table and game options than there are players on the site. I get that virtual space is cheap to inhabit, but when you go to a restaurant for the first time and they hand you a menu with 300 dishes, it’s a bit overwhelming.
If your game is good, people will play
For serious poker players in the early days of online poker, it was all about making money by beating your opponents at the poker tables. At some point this change; there was a fundamental shift in how a poker player profited. Once the games became harder to beat, players needed to find alternative ways to keep the online poker gravy train rolling on.
Instead of letting these lesser pros die off (they were only profitable for that brief period of time now known as the poker boom), the online poker sites came up with what seemed like an ingenious way to keep these players alive and kicking — offer them so many rewards that they could be a significant loser at the tables and still break even or turn a slight to decent profit, as long as they upped their volume, which is where the benefit for the site was, or so they thought.
Most poker players now look for sites where they can earn 30% or more in rakeback, and even more when you factor in VIP rewards and so on. Then they open up a ton of tables and play super tight, and let the rewards program be their profit.
My feeling is this was an overreaction by online poker operators. The games are now much tighter, slower and less fun. All of the rakeback grinders may still be plugging away at 16 tables 10 hours a day, but they don’t deposit, and they make the game frustrating for new players.
These rewards are also unnecessary. DFS sites currently offer modest deposit bonuses and rewards. You’re lucky to find a deposit bonus at a DFS site that clears at more than 4%. StarsDraft does have a VIP program where you can earn up to 18%, but the average player will be unlikely to get above 4%. Compare that to the 30% in rakeback online poker sites are constantly offering.
Not to mention DFS sites rake their contests by 10% or more, whereas online poker sites are loath to collect more than 5% in rake, and often far less.
It seems that if the game appeals to people, you can skimp on the lures. If your game is boring, it might be a better idea to fix the mechanics of it rather than give away the store.

 Shares of Caesars Entertainment Corporation (NASDAQ:CZR) appreciated by 9.66% during the past week but lost 14.71% on a 4-week basis. The shares have outperformed the S&P 500 by 6.21% in the past week but underperformed the index by 16.99% in the last 4 weeks.

Caesars Entertainment Corporation (NASDAQ:CZR) rose 0.63% or 0.05 points on Friday and made its way into the gainers of the day. After trading began at $8 the stock was seen hitting $8.1 as a peak level and $7.51 as the lowest level. The stock ended up at $8. The daily volume was measured at 636,306 shares. The 52-week high of the share price is $17.39 and the 52-week low is $3.3. The company has a market cap of $1,160 million.
Caesars Entertainment Corporation is up 17.82% in the last 3-month period. Year-to-Date the stock performance stands at -49.01%.On a different note, The Company has disclosed insider buying and selling activities to the Securities Exchange, According to the information disclosed by the Securities and Exchange Commission in a Form 4 filing, the director officer (Chief Exec Officer Designate) of Caesars Entertainment Corp, Frissora Mark P, had purchased 101,900 shares in a transaction dated on May 21, 2015. The transaction was executed at $10.04 per share with total amount equaling $1,023,076.
Caesars Entertainment Corporation (NASDAQ:CZR) stock has received a short term price target of $ 10.5 from 2 Analyst. The share price can be expected to fluctuate from the mean short term target, can be seen from the standard deviation reading of $0.71. The higher estimate of target price is $11 , while the lower price target estimate is $10
The company shares have dropped -6.87% from its 1 Year high price. On Nov 26, 2014, the shares registered one year high at $17.39 and the one year low was seen on Jul 22, 2015. The 50-Day Moving Average price is $8.45 and the 200 Day Moving Average price is recorded at $8.24.
Caesars Entertainment Corporation, is a diversified casino-entertainment provider. The Companys business is primarily conducted through a wholly owned subsidiary, Caesars Entertainment Operating Company, Inc. (CEOC), although certain material properties are not owned by CEOC. As of December 31, 2012, it owned, operated, or managed, through various subsidiaries, 52 casinos in 13 United States states and seven countries. The majority of these casinos operate in the United States, primarily under the Caesars, Harrahs, and Horseshoe brand names, and in England. In November 2012, the Company sold its Harrahs St. Louis casino to Penn National Gaming, Inc. In December 2012, the Company purchased all of the net assets of Buffalo Studios, LLC, a social and mobile games developer and owner of Bingo Blitz. In May 2014, Caesars Entertainment and Caesars Acquisition Company completed the sale of Harrahs New Orleans to Caesars Growth Partners.

 Alan Dunch, Chairman of the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission today [Aug 31] announced the appointment of Richard Schuetz as Executive Director of the Bermuda Gaming Commission.

“Mr. Schuetz is stepping down as a commissioner for the California Gambling Control Commission on August 31 to accept this post in Bermuda, and is set to begin work on September 1,” the announcement said.
Mr. Schuetz has worked as a senior executive in the gaming markets of Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Reno/Tahoe, Laughlin, Minnesota, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
“He has served on the boards of Shuffle Master Gaming, the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino [where he was also President & CEO], and Casino Publishing.
“He sat on the International Advisory Board for the Institute for the Study of Gambling Commercial Gaming at the University of Nevada, Reno, and was the Co-moderator of the Institute’s Executive Development Program.
“He was named an Honorary Professor of Casino Marketing at the Baron N. Hilton School of Hotel Administration at the University of Houston; was the marketing columnist for Casino Executive Magazine; and has taught Casino Management & Regulation at the Ecole Hoteliere Lausanne in Switzerland, and at the University of Macau and Macau Polytechnic Institute in Macau, SAR China.
“Richard was the consultant to the City of Detroit as that city introduced casino gaming, and served in a like position for the state of Kansas as that state introduced casinos. He has lectured throughout the world on the topics of gaming, gaming regulation, and casino marketing.
“Mr. Schuetz received his degree in Business from the University of Nevada, Reno, and holds a Masters in Philosophy specializing in economic analysis from the University of Utah.
“Mr. Schuetz is also ADB PhD in Economics from the University of Utah, and his dissertation topic was on the Nevada Experience in Gaming Regulation for the period 1945-1966. Mr. Schuetz has published over 60 articles on gambling, gambling regulation, and casino marketing.”
Commission Chairman Dunch, in acknowledging this appointment stated: “All of us at the Commission are thrilled to have Richard join us in helping to introduce casinos to Bermuda.
“His extensive experience as both a casino operator and as a regulator make him ideally suited to ensure that the Bermuda casino experience operates with a high degree of integrity, and offers an additional world-class tourism amenity for Bermuda.
“In addition, Richard’s strong background in teaching and publishing on the subject of casino gaming and its regulation is exactly what the Commission needs to assist us in educating the people of Bermuda about the benefits of this new industry to the Island as a whole.”
Mr. Schuetz added, “It is a true honor to be entrusted with such an important task, and I am thrilled to be able to work hand-in-hand with the people of Bermuda to usher in this new chapter of Bermuda’s tourism and economic development.”
“The Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission is comprised of Chairman Dunch, Deputy Chairman Garry Madeiros, and members Ms. Judith Hall-Bean, Mr. Dennis Tucker, and Mr. Derek Ramm,” the announcement said.
“The Commission is assigned the responsibility of executing the Casino Gaming Act of 2014, designed to increase employment and investment through casino development.”

 The coalition government in Czech Republic has agreed to scale back planned tax increases for the betting and gaming industry in 2016, but will increase tax rates for slot machines.

Leaders of the Social Democrats, ANO movement and Christian Democrats agreed that the tax for betting companies would rise to 23% from the current 20% threshold.
At 23%, the tax threshold is lower than the 25% previously mentioned by the country’s Finance Ministry.
The changes were confirmed by Social Democrats caucus chief Roman Sklenak to the Reuters news agency.
However, a planned increase to 25% has been edged up to 28% for slot machine operators, who will also pay a fee of 110 crowns per day for each machine, Sklenak added.
“We agreed in the coalition council that this amendment should be filed,” Sklenak said.
Fortuna Entertainment could save about Cz30m (€1.12m/$1.26m) in 2016 due to the lower-than-planned tax rate, according to the Hospodarske Noviny business newspaper.

 Online gaming licensees in the UK were told last week by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) the requirements they must adhere to when reporting information related to the holding of their Customer Funds.

From 2016, the UKGC says that Customer Fund Reporting for remote operators will begin. Licensees will be providing such reports on a monthly basis along with their weekly reconciliations.
The Customer Fund Report will be required to include the amount of customer funds held in each account, the location of the institution holding the funds, and the total amount of customer liabilities. It will also allow for the distinction between funds held for customers covered under the UKGC license and those that fall outside of the regulator’s jurisdiction.
The UKGC also reserves a right to ask for supporting documentation to verify the validity of any of the reported information.
A simple snapshot, of a single point in time during the month, is not adequate to determine that the customer funds on hand are sufficient to satisfy the liability the company has to its customers, determined the UKGC. It wants to see the “flow of funds throughout the reporting period” as a means of deterring licensees from structuring their reporting in a way that could hide monthly deficiencies.
Ultimate Bet, Absolute Poker, Everleaf and Purple Lounge are all part of several high profile cases where the collapse of an online gaming company has resulted in its customers losing their money on deposit.
Customers of Full Tilt Poker, which collapsed in 2011 and was probably the most high profile case of them all, only received their funds back because then-rival PokerStars acquired the company and provided the funds necessary for the repayment of its customers.
The UKGC will review the format and frequency of the reports, after one year of full reporting, to ensure that they are sufficient in providing information needed to assess any associated risks.
Overall, the UKGC seems to be taking a more cautious approach to player fund protection than initially anticipated when it released its consultation report in 2014 in which it justified its lenient position by stating: “Gamblers may have more appetite for risk.”
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