Monthly Archives: July 2017

Madison Square Garden Company moves into the esports business

Madison Square Garden Company has moved into the esports market after acquiring a controlling stake in League of Legends side Counter Logic Gaming, and broadcasters in South East Asia and Australia prepare to launch Reality TV style esports shows.

In 2015, the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York City played host to the North American League of Legends (LOL) Championship Series Summer Finals. It was the first time the home of sport in the Big Apple had entertained the esports crowd. Counter Logic Gaming (CLG) won the title. The Madison Square Garden Company must have liked what they saw.

Earlier today, ESPN announced that CLG would join the likes of the New York Knicks, and the New York Rangers, in the Madison Square Garden Company Sports Division, in a deal that ensured a controlling stake in the esports team.

Founded in 2010, CLG is the oldest LOL team in the business, but also has teams heavily involved in five other esports games. The sports advisory company Catalyst Sports & Media brokered the deal. The price is a secret.

Partypoker promise $35m in guarantees for third Powerfest of 2017

Partypoker is once again upping their game by promising to pay out a minimum of $35m in guarantees for the September iteration of the Powerfest online poker festival.

Robert Greene, the author of perennial classics such as The 48 Laws of Power, The Art of Seduction, and Mastery, once advised people to create value through scarcity.

I’m not sure partypoker is an avid reader of his work.

Earlier today, the online poker room announced plans to host their third Powerfest series of 2017. The festival will run 3-24 September, presumably at the same time PokerStars host the World Championships of Online Poker (WCOOP).

Philippine cops told to get rid of illegal gambling or get lost

Philippine police officials have been given two weeks to eradicate illegal gambling or turn in their badges, after a top cop blew his stack.

On Monday, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief director general Ronaldo ‘Bato’ dela Rosa told reporters that all PNP regional directors had been ordered to “go all out against illegal gambling.” Dela Rosa (pictured) said if the order proved too much for his subordinates, “I will relieve them.”

Dela Rosa said the new order applied equally to regional directors, provincial police directors and chiefs of police. Each stop along the upper registers of the chain of command had been given the authority to relieve “those who are not performing, those who are not acting on my directive.”

Dela Rosa said he was responding to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to “intensify the fight” against the “social menace” of illegal gambling, in particular operators of the jueteng numbers games that directly compete with the Small Town Lottery (STL) operations of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

Schuetz exiting Bermuda as country weighs casino applicants

Richard Schuetz is stepping down from the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission (BCGC) just as the country prepares to issue its first casino license.

On Monday, Bermudian media reported that Schuetz had announced his resignation as BCGC executive director for “personal and professional reasons.” Schuetz intends to continue to serve in his current capacity until the end of the year and will assist in identifying candidates to replace him.

It’s been nearly two years since Schuetz joined the BCGC following a lengthy stint as a member of the California Gambling Control Commission. Schuetz’s experience was seen as a valued asset as Bermuda refined its legislative and regulatory scheme to prepare for the launch of its own casino marketplace.

Speaking of, July 21 marked the deadline for would-be Bermudian casino operators to meet the BCGC’s request for proposals. A couple days later, the BCGC announced that Hamilton Princess Casino Limited Company had submitted a “substantially completed Casino License Application” to add a casino within the Hamilton Princess Beach Club (the official hotel of the America’s Cup sailing derby).

Tribal gaming throws support behind sports betting legalization

American tribal gaming operators have thrown their weight behind the US commercial casino lobby group’s push for legal sports betting.

On Monday, the American Gaming Association (AGA) announced that the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) had joined the AGA’s Coalition on Sports Betting, which aims to convince the federal government to repeal and replace the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).

NIGA chairman Ernie Stevens Jr. released a statement saying the group’s support for the Coalition “will enable us to coordinate with and provide feedback to the AGA with regard to tribal gaming concerns as the Coalition advances its policy objectives.”

Stevens made it clear that the chief concern of NIGA, which represents 184 federally recognized tribes, was that “tribal interests are protected, particularly avoidance of any negative impacts on existing compacts and exclusivity clauses.” But bottom line, NIGA members are interested in offering legal betting “as part of their overall entertainment package and as an additional source of revenue for tribal governments.”

Paradise City suffering from South Korea’s spat with China

South Korea’s first major integrated resort casino is enjoying healthy visitation since its opening this April, at least, healthy according to its operators.

South Korean foreigners-only casino operator Paradise Co Ltd opened Paradise City, the nation’s first major integrated resort, in April this year. The success of the launch has remained unquantifiable, at least, until late last week.

On Friday, a Paradise City spokesperson informed local media outlet Chosun Ilbo that the new resort in the Incheon region had welcomed over 310k visitors to its casino, hotel and convention space. Kye Jung-hyun said “about 90% of hotel rooms have been occupied” since the property’s grand opening on April 20.

Jung-hyun emphasized that the resort’s second phase was only “55% finished,” and that visitation would ramp up once the property was completed sometime in H1 2018. Paradise had projected its resort would welcome 1.5m guests in 2017, meaning there’s significant ground to be made up by year’s end if that goal is to be attained.

Bet-at-home has best ever quarter despite lack of major sports event

German online gambling operator Bet-at-home had its best ever quarter despite the lack of a major sporting event to spur betting activity.

Figures released Monday show French operator Betclic Everest Group’s Dusseldorf-based Bet-at-home subsidiary’s total betting and gaming revenue in the first six months of 2017 hitting €76.8m, a rise of 17.5% from the same period last year. Betting accounted for €34.5m of the H1 total, with eGaming (casino, poker, etc.) contributing €42.3m.

The Frankfurt-listed Bet-at-home’s earnings hit €17.4m in H1, nearly twice the €9m earned in H1 2016. Revenue and earnings in the second quarter totaled €39.6m and €12.4m, respectively, each of which represent new quarterly records for the company. Investors reacted by pushing the company’s shares 4% higher on Monday.

The lack of a major sporting event like the Euro 2016 football tournament or last summer’s Olympic Games in Brazil should typically have resulted in a decline in betting activity, yet Bet-at-home’s betting and gaming turnover through the first half of 2017 was up nearly one-quarter to €1.37b.