Monthly Archives: May 2017

Illinois senate approves online gambling, daily fantasy sports bill

Illinois state senators stunned observers on Wednesday by overwhelmingly approving online gambling and daily fantasy sports legislation.

Before we go any further, understand that the state House of Representatives adjourned without considering the legislation in question, and won’t be back in session until June 8. Meaning the state’s online gamblers have a long nervous week ahead to frantically dial their local representatives and yell ‘one time’ into the phone.

The Senate vote – 42-10 in favor of passage – came as something of a shock, as the state legislature hasn’t seriously considered online gambling legislation since, well, ever. Multiple bills have been filed over the years but none of them made any headway whatsoever.

This current bill started out as a push to formally legalize DFS, but the Chicago Tribune reported that online gambling was added as a way of getting the state’s casino operators on board. Casino operators reportedly view online gambling as a hedge against DFS, which they consider to be direct competition.

ESIC and UK Gambling Commission team up to improve esports integrity

The Esports Integrity Coalition and the UK Gambling Commission sign a memorandum of understanding to share information appertaining to the integrity of esports as the popularity of the sport continues to grow.

The first recorded sporting event was a footrace as part of the Olympic Games in 760 BC, and I wasn’t there, but I would bet a date with my daughter that someone tried to trip someone else up as they all marched side by side in their sandals.

It’s life, unfortunately.

Wherever we have a sporting event, there will be people choosing to cheat to win. Somewhere along the way, our loving centre became tarnished with the need to be the best, and when people started gambling on the outcome of sporting events, then the cheating escalated accordingly.

BtoBet Chairman, Alessandro Fried, to headline at WrB Africa

BtoBet founder and chairman, Alessandro Fried, will be one of the industry thought leaders sharing his insight at next week’s WrB Africa. The event, organised by Clarion Gaming, runs across 7th – 8th June, at the Villa Rosa Kempinski, Nairobi, Kenya. Mr Fried, who, through BtoBet, has pioneered new technologies for iGaming operators by the application of technological intelligence, will be on the panel entitled: The Big Move: Retail to Online & Mobile, followed by the Fireside Chat discussion headlined, Maximising Your Retail Business.

The Big Move: Retail to Online & Mobile will focus on best practice for converting retail customers, the use of social media, infrastructure requirements, the customer experience and what it takes to offer an engaging in-play product. Maximising Your Retail Business will explore the raft of business opportunities that exist to boost the performance of the retail revenue channel courtesy of innovative back-end technology and consumer products including FOBTs and virtual games.

Both panels are set against the rapid expansion of mobile use in Eastern Africa, where 60% of mobiles sold are smartphones. Despite gaming being predominantly land-based in Africa, the explosion of mobile users is making Kenya one of the most attractive markets. Commenting on his participation in WrB Africa, Fried stated: “Entering a specific African market requires precise analysis. African countries all take differing approaches to the regulation and oversight of their gambling markets. This continent is an extremely promising market for mobile sports-betting operators. With due attention being paid to the particular needs of each local market, operators can equip themselves to be able to provide the right tools and technology to profit from the enormous opportunities that present themselves across the continent.”

Clarion Gaming’s Delfina De Moura, part of the marketing team responsible for the WrB brand, said: “WrB is an agile brand which has been created to respond rapidly to gaming opportunities in international markets. I am delighted that we have been able to draw on the support of thought leaders, operators and international experts, such as BtoBet Chairman Alessandro Fried in order to discuss the strategies that are required to profit from the rapid growth of the market.

WPTDeepstacks expands presence in Europe & Africa with 5-more 2017 stops

The WPT Deepstacks tour has increased its presence globally with the news of five more 2017 tour stops in Portugal, Belgium France, and Morocco.

Poker is experiencing a particular renaissance at the moment. The live tours, in particular, are churning out events with enough quality to lure monks out of their monastery.

The major online poker rooms have a vested interest in the live arena, and the World Series of Poker (WSOP) is about to kick off for the 48th time since a man called Benny decided to be a game changer.

The World Poker Tour (WPT) has been on the frontline, gallantly engaging with the poker community for 15-years, and despite losing an internal organ with the departure of Mike Sexton, they are determined to keep those lungs pumping thanks to a broadening of the horizons over at WPTDeepstacks HQ.

German court says ‘nein’ to Hesse online sports betting scheme

A German’s state’s efforts to offer a stopgap online sports betting licensing regime has been struck down a local court.

Last September, the German state of Hesse announced that it would allow online betting operators to apply for Duldungsverfügungen aka “temporary toleration dispositions.” These pseudo licenses would only apply within Hesse, offering no legal cover for operators who took wagers from punters in the other 15 German länder.

But the Administrative Court of Kassel issued a ruling on Monday that undermined Hesse’s plans. Responding to an appeal filed by a Malta-licensed operator, the Court ruled that the state had no authority to compel internationally licensed online operators to participate in the so-called ‘toleration’ scheme.

The Court cited a number of factors in arriving at its conclusion, including the fact that the application process wasn’t entirely transparent, and that Hesse’s scheme was less about opening up its market and more about imposing penalties on unauthorized operators. The Court also determined that online sports betting was a transnational issue, and thus beyond the scope of an individual state to dictate rules to international companies. featured conferences & events: June 2017

Blockchain Expo Europe

Over the course of two days, 1500 professionals interested in the disruptive Blockchain technology will gather at the Estrel Berlin for a series of keynote speeches, panels and case-studies.  Learning and building partnerships in the Blockchain space is the focus of this event, including industries such as legal, financial, health care, insurance, energy, music, government, gambling, real estate and more.

What: Blockchain Expo Europe

When: June 1-2, 2017

Imperial Pacific gets conditional okay for permanent gaming ops

Saipan casino operator Imperial Pacific International Holdings (IPI) has finally received regulatory permission to launch gaming operations at its permanent casino, albeit subject to a few conditions.

On Wednesday, Commonwealth Casino Commission (CCC) exec director Edward Deleon Guerrero told the Marianas Variety that the CCC had granted IPI’s request to launch gaming operations at the new Imperial Pacific Resort (pictured), but only after the CCC receives certain assurances from IPI regarding the property and the people who work there.

The CCC’s main concerns involve the safety of the unfinished resort, including ensuring that the venue has a fully operational and certified fire alarm system. The work site endured a ‘trash fire’ in March after welding sparks ignited a pile of construction debris.

The CCC also wants assurances regarding strict adherence to federal safety requirements. A worker for an IPI contractor fell to his death in March, and this week saw the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) impose nearly $194k in penalties against three IPI contractors who were found to have subjected workers to unnecessary workplace hazards.

Nevada sportsbooks enjoy record baseball win in April

Nevada casinos posted only a modest gaming revenue gain in April but the first month of Major League Baseball set a new record at the state’s sportsbooks.

Figures released Wednesday by the Nevada Gaming Control Board show April’s statewide gaming revenue rising 1.2% year-on-year to $886.5m. April’s total is well below March’s $991m but the state’s year-to-date numbers remain in positive territory, rising nearly 4% from the same period last year.

April’s numbers were much worse at casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, where revenue fell 3.25% to $475.4m, while every other region of Clark County posted improved numbers. Downtown Las Vegas posted the month’s biggest year-on-year improvement, rising nearly 22% to $52.3m.

The Strip’s woes were primarily due to a broad-based decline in table gaming win, with the overall games and tables number falling 6.75% to just under $288m. Statewide baccarat revenue was down 24.5% year-on-year to $79.2m, as Strip baccarat win rate fell five points to 13.1%.